Monday, March 31, 2014
Some Opinions on Dr. Telhabi's Talk
Last week, Dr. Telhabi came to McDaniel campus, which I consider a real honor, as from what I found out, he is truly an expert in the political science field, and we were lucky to have him come share some of his knowledge with us.
Something I really took away from his lecture and wanted to expand on was Middle Eastern identity. I thought it was very interesting, especially in American culture, where if you aren't chanting USA all day, you're un-American. Dr. Telhabi said that in his surveys, most Middle Easterners identified with Arab or Muslim before they did their state. This concept was so foreign to me, again, because Americans are so unashamedly American. Though, given the circumstances past and present in those Middle Eastern countries, upon thinking about it, it was not that unsurprising. The governments and terrorism and different aspects in this region are so corrupt that identifying with the state is somewhat akin to identifying with and accepting that corruption.
Bringing this topic into the world of the Hunger Games, this same idea of identification is seen in the Districts. Though there is absolutely no religion seen in the stories (could this be a tactic of the government? That's a question for a different post, I suppose), but no one identifies with the Capitol, except for those who live in the Capitol. District 12 identifies as District 12, District 3 with District 3, and so on. Because the government is so corrupt, again, identifying with that government is identifying with the corruption.
Though, perhaps unlike in the Middle East, this identification somewhat helps the government. Because the Districts are so cutoff from everyone else, and because they identify so closely with their District, the government is able to hold the Hunger Games every year without a total uprising, until, of course, there is an uprising. But nonetheless, the government was able to get away with killing 23 children a year for 74 years because the Districts were so separated.
So, identification of a people can really play a huge role in how an area is run. Maybe if people did identify more with their state in the Middle East, they would not have nearly as many problems as they do now. But then, would the Middle East be the Middle East? Middle Eastern muslim culture is such an important part of the region, obviously, and wouldn't be as rich in culture or as steeped in history as it is. Identification is a double edged sword, I guess.