Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Interning at the State Department

Friday, October 9th, 2009

By Thao Anh Tran


Meeting with Hillary Clinton while interning at the State Department. Photo: Thao Anh Tran

As a Thomas R. Pickering Fellow, an honor that I received with assistance from the staff of the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research, I had the privilege of interning at the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs (more commonly referred to as the China Desk) at the State Department this past summer. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Living Under Conspiracies

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

By Hussain Nadim

I must confess that up until 2008, I was one of those people living in Pakistan who thought 9/11 was an inside job and that the War on Terror was actually a War on Islam. I have lived 18 years of my life in a country that has been overwhelmed by conspiracies. Whether it is a suicide attack on a five star hotel or economic turmoil, our government has comfortably blamed the Indians and the United States for every flaw of our society. During the time I spent in Pakistan I pondered why every other country conspired against us? The only answer I got from the people was that they (the United States and India) hate us because we are Muslims and we are a nuclear power. Reluctant and unsatisfied, I would accept these answers. However, this was soon to change. Read the rest of this entry ?

Human Potential in Beijing

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

By Bobak Tavangar

“The endowments which distinguish the human race from all other forms of life are summed up in what is known as the human spirit; the mind is its essential quality. These endowments have enabled humanity to build civilizations and to prosper materially. But such accomplishments alone have never satisfied the human spirit, whose mysterious nature inclines it towards transcendence…”

–The Promise of World Peace, Universal House of Justice, The Baha’i Faith


Walking the streets of Beijing, China. Photo: Bobak Tavangar

I’ve been thinking a lot about human potential. Who? How much? How do we know? Where does it come from? How can it be unlocked?

Here in Beijing I see so much potential inherent not just in the individual but in Chinese society as a whole. History has shown us how capable the Chinese are with significant contributions to science, governance, commerce, and social theory and it is proving no different now. This country is rediscovering what it means to harness the world around them for the sake of progress. Read the rest of this entry ?

A Global Re-Wiring

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

By Bobak Tavangar

“The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.”
–Baha’u’llah, Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í­ Faith


This is only my first post as a writer for the E Street Beat but I feel obligated to cut through the fluff and get right to what I think we should be talking about. We live in a new world, one inextricably connected not just along external political and economic lines but internally enmeshed along social and spiritual undercurrents as well. It’s too easy to highlight what is being destroyed all around us but it’s when we dig through the ashes and find beauty reborn that we can begin to understand the reality of the words above: “the earth is but one country…” Read the rest of this entry ?

Dispatch From Abroad: Cape Town, South Africa

Friday, May 8th, 2009

By Alison Chatfield

As Americans witness the close of the first 100 days of President Obama’s term in office, I’ve been busy watching a very different system of politics morph before my very eyes.  Or at least, I’ve seen a lot of political posters.  Posters making dramatic proclamations in multiple languages, posters with posed national leaders in crisp business suits and even crisper smiles, posters with some very controversial color choices.  Basically, there were a lot of posters in Cape Town this April.

Being in South Africa for the re-election of the African National Congress (ANC) Party was not as exciting as it seems.  Read the rest of this entry ?