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A Kansas Citian’s Visit to Iran


This blog was written in early October 2019, before the events of recent days. "Where are you from?" This was the quizzical look on the Iranian people's faces and what they really meant was, "if you are from the U.S., how did you get a visa to come to Iran?". We said yes, we are from the U.S. "We love Americans" was the constant rejoiner. To that, we said, "We apologize for what our administration has done to your people." On September 26th, a group of four of our Global Exchange Tour arrived in Tehran for a 14-day tour of [...]

A Kansas Citian’s Visit to Iran2021-06-11T11:07:50-05:00

Many Mistakes Led to Tragedy in Syria


This article was originally published in the StarTribune on Wednesday, October 16 and can be found on their website.  The tragedy unfolding in Syria has riveted American attention anew to the problems there, problems that reflect contradictions we have avoided, but must grapple with now. One problem is that America's single-minded focus on ISIS since 2014-15 has more or less willfully disregarded the longer-term. This no longer seems sustainable. The post-ISIS future of Syria is at stake as the Sunni Arab majority, Kurds, Alawites and Christians, as well as Turks, Russians and Iranians, are duking it out. We must decide [...]

Many Mistakes Led to Tragedy in Syria2021-06-11T11:07:59-05:00

The Middle East Beyond the Headlines


The University of Central Missouri (UCM) offers a wide variety of study programs for students to take advantage of while in school. One of these programs is "The Middle East Beyond the Headlines" which is a three-week, faculty-led tour to Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank. I participated in this program in the summer of 2018 and could not have been happier with the knowledge and growth I took back with me. The purpose of this specific program is to break the common stereotypes that people have regarding the Middle East. For example, when telling my family and friends that [...]

The Middle East Beyond the Headlines2021-06-11T11:08:08-05:00

International Dining Experiences at KU


As someone that has never traveled outside of the United States and has lived in a small town for most of her life, my interactions on an international level have been limited. However, I have met a number of wonderful people that are international exchange students through my occupation as a Student Manager for the University of Kansas' Ekdahl Dining Hall. The University of Kansas requires all international students to work a part time job while they are in the United States. Due to this rule, a lot of international students work at Ekdahl, and, every year, a majority of [...]

International Dining Experiences at KU2021-06-11T11:22:08-05:00

Kansas City Transplant


Being from Upstate New York, I have been lucky to move to Kansas City at a very exciting and dynamic time. Prior to my arrival here, I have lived in Galway, Ireland for about six months, and Athens, Greece for three months. These two experiences gave me the tools to make such a large jump in my geographic home. My greatest takeaway from living in these two locations was that to make it feel like home, I have to explore events in the city. Whether it be festivals, local sports, or concerts, I have not been bored for one second [...]

Kansas City Transplant2021-06-30T14:14:32-05:00

Commentary: Debunked! Most Americans Do Support the U.S. Engaging in World Affairs, Not Retreating


Op-Ed by Ivo Daalder, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO. Originally published in the Chicago Tribune. Also carried in the Charlotte Observer (Sept. 18) and nationally. A powerful belief about American views of the world has taken hold among foreign policy experts, that Americans are exhausted from global overreach and want to shed the burdens of global leadership. Arguing that American voters' "foreign policy views stink," New York Times columnist David Brooks opined that, after "Iraq and other debacles, many Americans are exhausted by the global leadership role" and "actively hostile" to key elements of U.S. foreign policy from past decades. [...]

Commentary: Debunked! Most Americans Do Support the U.S. Engaging in World Affairs, Not Retreating2021-06-14T10:09:50-05:00

KC to Seville, Spain and Back Again


I have always been an introverted person with just enough self-awareness to know which baby steps to take in order to reach my goals that were outside of my comfort zone. I knew I wanted to travel the world. Creating new memories, meeting new people, and experiencing different cultures abroad was something that I always wanted to do. So, when I was in high school, I talked my mother into going on a faculty-led trip with me to Spain. She agreed. A few months later we landed in Madrid and made our way south to Malaga, stopping in Seville and [...]

KC to Seville, Spain and Back Again2021-06-14T10:09:56-05:00

Welcoming Week


One of the reasons I am so proud to work for the YMCA of Greater Kansas City and be a part of the Y movement across the world is because of our commitment to be welcoming to all. Welcoming to new associates. Welcoming to members. Welcoming to those in need. Welcoming to those new to our community. Welcoming no matter a person's background, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, or economic status. The Y is a WELCOMING organization. The Y is so committed to being welcoming to those new to our community and nation that we have a New American Welcome [...]

Welcoming Week2021-06-14T10:10:02-05:00

The Continuing Importance of the International Criminal Court


The International Criminal Court (ICC) shines as an example of modern international law. There is nothing quite of its likeness in human history. The ability of a diverse international body to put individuals accused of crimes against humanity and genocide on trial is a great accomplishment of human civilization. The modernity of the International Criminal Court can also work to be one of its greatest flaws.   People tend to have a fixation on things in our past, and nostalgia can be a big factor in how people view their history. Collective memory intensifies this practice, and can reach back [...]

The Continuing Importance of the International Criminal Court2021-06-14T10:10:08-05:00

Increasingly International


Growing up in Kansas City, I always had a fascination with other cultures. In elementary school there were periods of times when I would immerse myself in research about Ancient Egypt or the Elizabethan Era. After having the opportunity to visit Thailand and then paying my way to Cuba, I knew I wanted international travel to be a large part of my life. After those two trips, there was no doubt that I would study abroad in college. However, it was not until my junior year of high school that I considered actually going to college abroad full time. My [...]

Increasingly International2021-06-30T14:17:12-05:00
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