Civil Rights in the Middle East...
Hello Dear readers
I received an invitation from the American Islamic congress, to share in an interesting contest .but unfortunately I can't because of my age (too old to share), they encourage young people in the age of 25 and younger to write about "Civil Rights in the Middle East"…I promised to publicize the essay contest in my blog to see if someone interested to share in this contest, please read this…
Make your voice helpful to others and gainful to you......
The “Dream Deferred” Essay Conteston Civil Rights in the Middle East
English French Arabic Farsi
Speak your mind on freedom in the Middle East. Win $2,000!
This essay contest takes its title from a 1951 poem by Langston Hughes: What Happens to a Dream Deferred?. The poem helped propel the civil rights movement in the United States. Today, it will hopefully inspire you to describe your dream deferred for the Middle East, which the United Nations calls the world’s least free region.
The “Dream Deferred” essay contest has two parts: one for Middle Eastern youth (25 and younger) and one for American youth (25 and younger). To participate, all you have to do is write a brief essay (600-2,000 words) addressing one of the questions below. Winners - selected by a panel of celebrity judges - will receive a $2,000 prize, with other prizes for top essays (details below).
Answer one of the following essay questions:
If you live the Middle East...
If you live in America...
1. Why are individual rights important? Explore this question through the impact of repression in your society and in your own life. Describe a personal experience when restrictions prevented you from expressing yourself - for example, when you were afraid to speak out, when information you needed was censored, or when your identity made you a target for discrimination. Consider how civil rights restrictions block a society's creative development, an idea expressed by an 18th Century British reformer: "Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech."
1. Why should Americans help civil rights reformers in the Middle East? Consider the role outsiders played in the South during the American civil rights movement. Reflect on the challenges faced by today's Middle East reformers, as expressed by a blogger from Bahrain: "We continuously live in abject fear of the rulers and their instruments... If you dissent - and there are many who do - then the wrath of terror is visited upon you and your family. That means no income, no business, no education, no job, and no life. It is a very brave man or woman indeed who bucks the trend." Explore moral and strategic imperatives - as well as the consequences of inaction.
2. How are non-violent campaigns for civil rights making Middle Eastern societies more open? Despite widespread repression, there are new opportunities for expressing yourself and challenging abuses. Identify these changes. Analyze the significance of recent peaceful protests in Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, and beyond. Explain how grassroots movements are making an impact in your society and consider what the next big campaigns might be. Share your own creative ideas for civil rights programs, using new technology and help from concerned Americans.
2. How can you as an individual support the struggle for civil rights in the Middle East? Without waiting for the government to act, consider how you can leverage your freedom to challenge repression by dictators. Reflect on recent technological advances that empower individuals, as well as recent grassroots organizing by people your age across the Middle East. Consider the tools you have access to that American civil rights activists in the 1960s did not. Propose a specific campaign young Americans could lead to help defend civil rights in the Middle East.
3. What is your "dream deferred" - a vision of your society with civil rights for all people? Share your ideas for a future without repression. Describe what is happening in the streets; discussion in classrooms; open criticism of leaders in the media. Consider how equal rights for women and minorities impact everyday life. If you like, answer the question by writing a newspaper article from the year 2010 reporting on a ground-breaking event. Don't be afraid to dream, but make sure to ground your vision with substance.
3. What might the future look like if Americans partner effectively with Middle Eastern reformers? Envision a focused movement and describe it in action: What are its slogan, symbols, and campaigns? What individual rights has it secured? Consider the obstacles surmounted and the factors behind the movement's success. If you like, write a newspaper article from the year 2010 reporting on the accomplishments of this new civil rights alliance. Don't be afraid to dream, but make sure to ground your vision with substance.
Make sure your essay clearly answers one of the questions above. Essays must be between 600 and 2,000 words – in English, French, Arabic, or Farsi. Anyone under the age of 26 can submit an essay. Contestants must either reside in Arab League member countries, Iran, or the United States. See the "Rules and Guidelines" page for more information.
There is $10,000 in available prize money.
One grand prize winner in the Middle East and one in the US will receive $2,000;
One second place winner in the Middle East and one in the US will receive $1,500;
Three runners up in the Middle East and three in the US will receive $500 each;
Book prizes will be awarded to additional outstanding essays.
March 31, 2006
Click here to submit your essay.
© 2006 Hands Across the Mideast Support Alliance. All rights