Saturday, April 30, 2011

Update On YJI's GlobalGiving Campaign

There is less than an hour left of our April Challenge at and we are pausing for a moment to say thank you.

We made the GlobalGiving required goal - $4,000 in 30 days from 50 unique donors - by the middle of the month, thanks to generous contributions from students, alumni, parents of students, readers and other friends of Youth Journalism International.

Thank you to everyone who helped us meet that goal! At this writing, we have 64 donors and contributions totaling a magical (if you're into numbers) $4,444.

Since then, we've been focusing on getting enough Facebook shares to win a $300 bonus, which we are on track to collect.

We're still a long way from our own goal of $40,000, but we know we'll get there.

Because we met the requirements set by GlobalGiving, we have earned a permanent spot on its high profile charity website. Our project will remain there until we make that $40,000, so please, don't hesitate to continue to contribute or direct your friends there. We will also gratefully accept donations through our website or by the traditional check in the mail.

Youth Journalism International students are doing great work and we need a lot of support to keep going and keep growing.

Our own students got us off to a wonderful start by giving us photos of themselves, videos and comments to share with people who might be unfamiliar with YJI. If you haven't seen them, please take a look.

YJI was lucky to be able to kick off our first major online fundraiser with a party at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, one of our favorite places and certainly an important place in American and literary history, never mind that it's a really cool place.

Our kickoff reception was made all the better by generous donations from Hall's Market, Hubbard's Florist, Trader Joe's and Big Y.

We got terrific help from friends and family who helped us set up, pour the punch and cut the cheese.

Alumni made a point of being there, and we even were able to include students from Egypt, Canada, England and Scotland via Skype. 

It was a great party, but only the beginning of what we can all do, together.

YJI Will Be At Forestville's Duck Race Sunday

Youth Journalism International's Yelena Samofalova giving a duck tattoo to Bristol Mayor Art Ward during last year's duck race.

Youth Journalism International will be at Sunday's duck race in the Forestville section of Bristol from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or so. Come by and say hey or to find out more about YJI! While you're at it, get a free temporary tattoo! We have a wide selection this year.

Royal Wedding A Royal Waste?

Official photo of The British Monarchy

By Gemma Finn
Junior Reporter
LONDON -- Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, married Prince William in a fairytale setting few brides will ever experience.
The enthusiasm of the one million people who flocked to central London witness the event was clearly evident as they waved their flags and cheered as cars carrying all the royals drove past. Some had travelled from all over the world to seek a glimpse.
Yet my own enthusiasm for this “historic moment” consisted mostly of wanting to see how the bride looked in her dress. Unlike the estimated two billion people around the globe who watched on television, I was not stuck to the TV like glue trying to take in each moment.
I may be deemed a little un-British in my views, yet I cannot see the point of spending hours of my life watching the extravagant affair of a couple whom I have never even met.
Yes, the groom is an heir to the throne.
Yes, there is some value to the royal family as tourist magnets and icons of British history.
Yet I cannot help but wonder if there are more vital events occurring around the world than watching two people get married.
When you look at the cost of the wedding, which some say could even exceed £50 million, plus the lost productivity due to the bank holiday and the many taking leave so they can go on vacation or watch the spectacle, this is going to cost the economy billions.
In a time of global recession, when many are forced out of work and businesses are closing down, was this worth it?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a critic of weddings and such historic celebrations. I just do not believe that that the benefit outweighs the cost.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Change Of Heart On The Royal Wedding

Official photo, The British Monarchy
The Dutchess and Duke of Cambridge wave from the balcony
of Buckingham Palace after their wedding Friday.

By Evangeline Han
Junior Reporter
Youth Journalism International
MELAKA, Malaysia – I always thought the royal wedding was overrated – until I watched it.
After watching everything, right from the guests’ arrival to the couple’s Buckingham Palace balcony appearance, I’ve finally realized why everyone was excited about it.
A fairy-tale wedding completed with kings, queens, princes, princesses and carriages, it is the wedding of weddings.
The broadcast frequently showed excited crowds in various parts of England. Anyone who saw the excited crowds would find it hard not to be excited, too. Excitement about the royal wedding was also obvious on Facebook, Twitter and various internet chat rooms where it was a hot topic.
TV channel NTV7 in Malaysia partnered with BBC for the broadcast. I was in a Wikipedia Internet Relay Chat channel and there was another user in there who was also watching the BBC broadcast.
It was amazing to be watching exactly the same thing as someone across the world in England.
Throughout the ceremony, I was constantly tweeting about what was going on. My tweets are going to be my mini-journal about the royal wedding.
On Twitter, almost all of the Twitter trends were about topics related to the royal wedding, including the term “RoyalWedding.”
Celebrity Victoria Beckham’s dress, the fact that Samantha Cameron, the wife of the English prime minister, wasn't wearing a hat and Sarah Burton as Princess Catherine’s wedding dress designer all proved Twitter-worthy.
Towards the end of the wedding, I wasn’t surprised to find that #proudtobebritish had become a Twitter trend.
At the end of it all, I did not regret spending five hours watching the coverage of the royal wedding.
It was spectacular and fabulous.
In the future, I will be proud to tell my grandchildren that I watched the royal wedding of His Royal Highness Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Her Royal Highness Princess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Notebook: Tear Gas Hurled At My House

Youth Journalism International Reporter Bwette Daniel Gilbert
at his home in Kampala, Uganda, holding one of the tear gas
canisters tossed at his home Friday.

By Bwette Daniels Gilbert
Youth Journalism International
KAMPALA, Uganda – The violence on the streets of Kampala is getting more intense by the second, and today, it truly hit home for me.
I went to take some photographs this morning of the demonstrations near Entebbe Road.
Police were shooting bullets and tear gas into the air to scare demonstrators, who aren’t backing down.
Today the military hurled four tins of tear gas at my house.
I’ve seen them in my neighborhood on foot, shooting and in their jeeps before this, and everyone at home saw them today.
I returned home for some lunch and found my little brother and sisters, my auntie and others at the house sobbing, their eyes stinging from the tear gas smoke still in the air. It was terrible.
My brother, who is five, was crying, asking me what was hurting his eyes. I almost couldn’t answer him because everyone was crying out so loud.

Bwette Daniel Gilbert /
A military vehicle on the streets of Kampala Friday morning.

Ugandan Demonstrations Intensify

Bwette Daniel Gilbert /
Protester ready to hurl a rock. He did, after the photo was taken.

By Bwette Daniel Gilbert
Youth Journalism International
KAMPALA, Uganda – The walk to work demonstrations that started two weeks ago turned bloody today following the severe beating and arrest Thursday of opposition leader Dr. Kiiza Besigye.

Besigye, a physician who leads the Forum for Democratic Change, was severely battered Thursday by uniformed and plainclothed security personnel, according to NBS, a Ugandan television network.

Bwette Daniel Gilbert /
Kampala street Friday morning

Soldiers, police and military intelligence personnel, including Criminal Investigation Department’s Gilbert Arinaitwe, also known as Bwana, used sledgehammers, batons, gun butts and other implements to break in & vandalize Besigye’s car along Wandegeya Road.

Besigye sustained severe injuries during arrest, according to reports, and was later taken to Kasangati court later during the day.

Bwette Daniel Gilbert /
Kampala street Friday morning

Bwette Daniel Gilbert /
Kampala street Friday morning

Friday morning, Besigye’s supporters started the day with riots and demonstrations around Kampala. Some started fires in the middle of the streets to try to stop the police from reaching them, and some threw stones at police vehicles or cars with government registrations.

Police were shooting with live bullets and firing tear gas into the air to scare off the protesters.

Demonstrations today rocked all of Uganda, leaving scores of people wounded.

The Daily Monitor, an independent newspaper in Kampala, reported that the army is patrolling the streets in the town of Mukono, where demonstrators fought skirmishes with police Friday morning after authorities tried to arrest opposition politician and Member of Parliament Betty Nambooze.

The rioting, which began by 8 a.m. in Kampala, prevented motorists from entering the capitol city via Entebbe Road, a major route into the city. By then, police were already fighting with angry protesters.

Besigye loyalists started their campaign at his headquarters, the office of the Forum for Democratic Change, but in no time the demonstration was all over Entebbe Road, from Najja Nakumbi street all the way to Abayita Ababiri street.
Bwette Daniel Gilbert /
Kampala street Friday morning

Bringing Back British Pride

Official photo of the British monarchy
Catherine Middleton marries Prince William at Westminster Abbey

By Myah Guild
Junior Reporter
Youth Journalism International
DUNSTABLE, Bedfordshire, England – Watching the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton reignited a sense of British spirit today.
Seeing the crowds of people turning out to cheer on our future king and queen resurrected the patriotism and joy that this country has lacked for so long.
Before today, there had been mixed feelings directed towards the royal wedding. Some felt it was a burden financially for the country. Others felt that the monarchy had simply run its course.
Now, however, everyone seems to have come to consensus that this new couple represents a bright future for Britain.
The effortlessly stunning Kate Middleton wowed the crowds with her elegant dress and the calm demeanour of our future King impressed many. Also, the relaxed approach of the royals towards the event renewed confidence in the family.
The venue, music and the crowds added to the jubilant atmosphere. The roar of the congregation outside Westminster Abbey could be heard, with the congregation inside the abbey being shown and commented upon by the television broadcasters.
There was one face however, who will be forever absent and sadly so – that of the mother of the groom – Princess Diana.
Despite this noticeable absence, it seems the whole country is in agreement that, had the original People’s Princess been here on this special day, she would have been beaming with pride at the sight before her.
This feeling of pride swept through the country today and has given us confidence that our new princess – Kate Middleton – will do us, and her late mother-in-law, very proud.
Today, regardless of your views of the royal family, a familiar phrase returned.
It’s a phrase that hasn’t been used for a considerable amount of time, but that will ring true for many across Great Britain: ‘proud to be British.’
It feels wonderful to have pride in your country, pride in your people and pride and hope for the future, once again. Long may it continue.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Swooning Over Justin Bieber

Nancy Hsu at the concert
Lauranne Tham/

By Nancy Hsu
BRISBANE, Australia -- On the train to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, it dawned on me: “Oh my gosh. I’m going to see Justin Bieber. Justin Bieber and I will be in the same vicinity. Oh wow.”
Five days before his Brisbane concert, when the tickets were being promoted, my friends unsubtly told me not to buy a ticket because they’d “noticed the concert was close to your birthday.”
It was the best birthday present.
Walking into the arena for the show was surreal. I felt like I was on a first date, nervous and giddy all at once. Flo Rida’s song "Club Can’t Handle Me" was playing over the speaker system as teenage girls, mothers of young girls and awkward looking fathers walked through the entrance gates as security checked bags and confiscated many posters and bottles.
Up the seemingly endless flights of stairs and inside the building, merchandise booths were swamped with crowds of eager girls purchasing Bieber glow sticks, posters and other items deemed to be keepsakes and memorabilia of the enchanting night.
At that point my friend had turned to me and asked if I was planning to get anything.
I answered with a sulk, “I’d love to, but I’m a poor belieber.”
But I did end up buying myself a glow stick – which came in handy throughout the concert as I waved it around with pride while singing along to every song.
Finding our seats, my friend and I slowly took in the size of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. It was enormous.
And by that time, just about every concertgoer had found a seat. Excited chatter spread like wildfire.
As the lights dimmed, the arena at once filled with unbelievable amounts of high pitched screaming. It literally made me jump from fright. I had not expected piercing screams to that intensity.
But soon after the first few rounds of screaming, I numbed to it and no longer jumped at the vast amounts of shrieking. In fact, I joined in.
I’d just about lost my voice by the end of the night.
Justin’s official deejay came out to hype the audience and introduce the opening act.
The audience seemed to enjoy its music but from the intensity of the screaming after each song it performed, it seemed like they were eager to have the two girls finish up and have Justin out on stage already.
When Justin finally did make an entrance, it was a good one.
His deejay spurred on the crowd as the large screen above displayed a countdown until the moment when Justin would come out. The audience cried out in unison as the countdown hit 10 seconds.
In smoke, a white get up and sunnies, Justin stood center stage, smiled and won over the hearts of every girl in the place.
Then he launched into "Love Me" and had everyone passionately singing and dancing along with him.
“How you doing Brisbane?” Justin screamed, to which the crowd yelled back with enthusiasm.
Every other song he performed showed off every aspect of his talent – his singing, dancing, guitar-playing, drumming and his skill on the piano.
With each song, he excited the audience. He serenaded the audience and captivated and captured the hearts of every already swooning girl.
When he sang "One Less Lonely Girl," the song which began his life as an artist, he teased the audience by asking, “Where are all the single ladies?”
When they cheered, Justin cheekily continued, “Good,’cause tonight I’m looking for One. Less. Lonely. Girl!”
The crowd went berserk.
A girl was chosen by his team and in the midst of his song she was brought out on stage where she was given a seat and room for Justin Bieber to serenade her with flowers and caresses throughout the tune.
Every girl screamed with joy, but at the same time wishing they were that girl.
Being his cheeky, lovable self, Justin ended the show with a simple “thank you and goodnight. Love, Justin” message on the projected screens and walked off stage without performing his defining song, "Baby."
The crowd chanted “Justin! Justin! Justin!”
Then a question appeared on the screen: “Do you want more?”
The crowd screamed.
The crowd screamed.
As the font grew large, the crowd screamed.
“Then make some noise!”
The crowd screamed.
The crowd screamed.
In even large font: “Louder!”
The crowd screamed.
In a giant font: “Louder!”
The crowd screamed lustily.
Justin then made his return on stage to perform his last song.
During the show, I laughed and I swooned. I felt inspired. It was an enchanting night and an unforgettable experience.
Walking from the concert toward the train station, I thought, “Wow. I just saw and experienced Justin Bieber."

A Right Royal Waste Of Time? Not At All

By Nicole Hendry
Junior reporter
BIRMINGHAM, England – When asked in a recent A level English Literature lesson , ‘What do you associate with being British?’ the answer that came before tea, before fish and chips and even before the celebrated Sunday roast, was the Queen.
And personally I think quite rightly, too.
The monarchy is part of our history as a nation. Few countries today have their monarchs and I believe it to be a great benefit to our country to be one of the few to have kept hold of such an institution, and at no cost to our democracy.
It is this history that makes Britain, London in particular, the tourist attraction it is today.
Visitors come from all over the world to see the famous gates of Buckingham Palace and the renowned changing of the guards ceremony.
This is all part of the charm of Britain and the economy would suffer from an even greater strain if it was not for the tourism brought in by this.
But the Queen is not simply a tourist attraction.
There are those who would suggest she has become a superfluous figurehead in modern times, void of any consequential power, but this is simply not true.
She is key in providing a continuity within an ever-changing society. Our system of constitutional monarchy bridges the gap in party politics and provides a consistent head of state within Britain.
And as head of the Commonwealth she represents a positive unity between the countries of the long gone colonial years.
This is vastly important, not only for Britain itself but the world, as the collaboration of countries is vital in a search for a more peaceful cohabitation of the world.
Many say that a war between countries in the European Union is now impossible. The same goes for the commonwealth. A common bond such as this can only strengthen the global community.
The Queen is a figure of great importance to those outside the commonwealth, too.
One only has to look to the masses of American citizens who have lined the London streets this weekend to see the sentiment attached to her. She provides an all important link. She is unique to Britain and so should be something to take pride in.
The other commonly argued concern with the monarchy is the issue of taxpayers’ money being used to fund it.
In fact, the money granted to the Royal Family from the government only goes towards official royal duties and the upkeep of the residences.
The Queen has her own private income from her personal investments and private estates to fund any private expenses. The money from the taxpayers, therefore, is used for the public events that so benefit our reputation and our relationships as a nation.
Other members of the Royal Family, such as Prince William and Prince Harry for example,e have their own military careers that provide not only their income but prove a devotion to the country they head.
The Queen herself is voluntarily subject to the same tax as everyone else.
The Royal Family is not the useless, money-draining waste of time that some claim.
It is, in fact, an excellent contribution to the British identity.
And with the wedding of William and Kate, a new generation of the Royal Family comes through – a younger, more modern couple with all the vibrance and new ideas the world is ready for.
I cannot wait to see the two make their vows this weekend. It is an important day for them, for Britain and for the world as the British monarchy takes a step into the future and history is made.

London Youth Underwhelmed By Royal Wedding

By Noah Kidron-Style
Junior reporter
LONDON -- Prince William and Kate Middleton are set to marry Friday in the most high profile Royal Wedding since Princess Diana’s in 1981.
For some in Britain it is a cause for celebration.
But others wonder whether such a grand celebration of our hereditary elite is a good thing, especially while Britain is trying to support those who are rising up against their own unelected leaders in Africa and the Middle East.
The wedding has caused a media frezy across the world. One family friend, who works with the foreign press, has been offered numerous bribes for camera positions at Westminster Abbey. Such is the competition for positions that even if he wished to accept a bribe, corruption at this event would be well above his pay grade.
The old adage goes, ‘there’s no such thing as bad press,’ but this event raises the question of how we in the UK wish to be portrayed.
For me, this wedding doesn’t show us in the best light.
Instead of highlighting the democratic pedigree and multicultural attitudes of modern Britain, we look instead like a waning postcolonial power clinging onto the coattails of past glory – and all this at great cost to the British taxpayer.
Even this would be fine if it was an event that the British people were genuinely excited about.
Instead, while the response has been by no means entirely negative, there has been an underwhelming ambivalence, especially among young people.
This is not for lack of trying on the part of the press, the royals or the government.
Prime Minister David Cameron has been encouraging Royal Wedding street parties. He even went as far as to say people should ignore the red tape of official channels. Local government officials called such a message irresponsible pointing out that such bureaucracy is designed so people don’t set up trestle tables on roads that lead to hospitals.
At the same time as royalists are being given free reign over their use of public spaces, pro-democracy protestors in Parliament Square have not being shown such lenience.
Brian Haw, who has been camped out in the square for 10 years, has been told to leave by the courts. This follows a concerted attempt to have protesters evicted by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, which echoes of China removing free Tibet protesters from Beijing in the build-up to the 2008 Olympic games.
Regardless of how easy it has been made to set up a street party, I don’t know why people would want to attend one. I have always thought that weddings tend to be thoroughly unexciting affairs, even when you’ve actually been invited.
For those of us who don’t wish to join the Royal Wedding party there is the anti-monarchist ‘not the royal wedding street party’ hosted by the pro-democracy group Republic. Their event is also scheduled for Friday despite numerous attempts by Camden’s council to ban the street party.
In my opinion, there are only a few moments that Britain will have the attention of the world media and it is a pity that this is one of them.
I won’t be watching because I genuinely do not care what type of dress Kate Middleton is wearing.
I’m not even concerned about whether she travels to Westminster Abbey in a car or a horse drawn carriage.
Our world image should be more than the promotion of an aging dynasty wielding a nonexistent power because the Royal Family is irrelevant to most people.
When kings and queens are the best known features of a functioning democracy, you know something isn’t right.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dalai Lama Calls For New Era Of Peace

The Dalai Lama (Pushkal Shiva/

By Pushkal Shivam
Senior reporter
MUMBAI, India – With a wave of his hand, the Dalai Lama said that his generation “is ready to say goodbye” after living through a century that became “the center of bloodshed.”
The Dalai Lama, 75, told Youth Journalism International that those who are under 20 today belong to a new century that “should be the center of dialogue” so that it can be more peaceful for everyone.
“We must try to solve these problems through dialogue. That’s the human way,” the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Tibetan spiritual leader said during a recent visit to Mumbai.
The Dalai Lama said “the new shape” the world will take is on “youths’ shoulder.”
“You should have realistic vision. That’s very important,” he said. Click here to read the rest of Pushkal Shivam's coverage.

Follow this link for a full transcript of the exchange between Youth Journalism International's Pushkal Shivam and the Dalai Lama.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Remembering The Armenian Genocide

All photos of the Tsitsernakaberd memorial in Yerevan, Armenia by Narine Daneghya/

By Narine Daneghyan
Junior reporter
Yerevan, Armenia – Every year, there are fewer survivors left.
But Armenians will never forget the horrible events of 1915.
Today, as Christians all over the world celebrate Easter, my country also marks the annual day of remembrance for victims of the Turkish slaughter of Armenians in the first modern genocide.
Tsitsernakaberd, a memorial dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide, is located on a hill overlooking Yerevan.
Every April 24, hundreds of thousands of Armenians gather there to remember the victims of the Turkish government’s massacre of more than 1 million Armenians in the years between 1915 and 1923.
If you ask them what they want, they will say they demand justice and insist that the world must no longer remain silent.
Turkey, which refuses to acknowledge the holocaust that happened within its borders, must recognize the genocide. This is what Armenians demand.
Every day, the people who live in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, see the magnificent Mount Ararat in the distance, their spiritual, iconic symbol, sitting across the border of modern-day Turkey.
It is land poached from the Armenians during the genocide.
And Armenians want that stolen land back as a monument to the fallen millions, a last vestige of Armenian’s long culture there.
We cannot, will not, forget what happened in 1915.

Here is a slide show with more pictures:

For more information, see The Aremenia Genocide Museum-Institute website, which includes many personal stories.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Video from Egypt: Jala Ayman Sadek

Here is a video by Jala Ayman Sadek, a Youth Journalism International student in Alexandria, Egypt, explaining why YJI means something to her:


You can help Youth Journalism International touch more lives by making a contribution to its ongoing GlobalGiving campaign.
This is a crucial month for YJI. This fundraising campaign, our first, aims to give us a permanent spot on GlobalGiving's important website. We are deeply grateful to anyone who can help.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

'Source Code' A Solid Thriller

By Vipasha Shaikh
Junior reporter
TORONTO, Ontario, Canada -- It takes a lot to make a good thriller these days.
From a good plot to a considerable, well-rounded cast, we are at a place where we expect a lot out of our movies, mainly because our culture has evolved to take on complex media forms, including movies.
Many thrillers today fall short somehow, done in by bad acting or a really cheesy plot.
Many movies today are hybrids, such as a sci-fi thriller or a comedy-drama, and somehow fail to take the good elements of the two genres and mash them together successfully.
So I’ve tried to avoid sci-fi thrillers because they seemed to the bad corniness of a suspenseful thriller with nonsensical 'sci-fi' elements.
There are parodies about these sort of movies, overplaying the emotion while totally misquoting the science. I look at them all with caution.
However, there are films that do overrule my objections, such as J.J. Abrams's recent Star Trek film, and The Source Code.
The fact that Jake Gyllenhaal and Vera Farmiga are in it was enough reason for me to want to watch it in the first place, but praise for this movie should go to the director as well.
Duncan Jones finds a way to go beyond the really shoddy sci-fi plot and to focus on the emotions behind the characters, By doing that, he creates a thoroughly satisfying movie.
Do not mistake Source Code for another The Day The World Ended sort of film. It's a movie that avoids shoddy science and creates a considerable amount of depth to all of its characters.
Notice the one tear running down the cheek of Derek Frost (Michael Arden) or the subtle facial expressions behind Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga).
These characters work out well to the point that they seem human, or real, and that is what’s best about Source Code.
The plot involved a soldier who has to find the criminal behind a recent bombing on a train bound to Chicago. He does this by using the Source Code machine to take over the mind of someone who was on the train eight minutes before the bombing occurs.
But forget the mind-boggling plot and be satisfied with the rollicking fun that the actors provide.
The sci-fi elements of Source Code may not make any sense, but everything else does.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Video Commentary By Jessica Elsayed: Burka Ban

Here's another first for Youth Journalism International.
Senior Reporter Jessica Elsayed weighs in from Alexandria, Egypt to talk about the French burka ban and a bit more in a video commentary. Check it out:


Please feel free to offer your thoughts as comments to this piece.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Egypt Cheers As Mubarak Faces Trial

By Ghada Abdelhady
Junior Reporter
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt – Following last Saturday’s violent rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, many Egyptians felt deceived and neglected by the military forces with whom they had previously felt absolute harmony.
The military crackdown against demonstrators created a shockwave that left many angry and frustrated.
The protesters headed to Tahrir demanding the prosecution of former President Hosni Mubarak, but they returned home flabbergasted by the brutal reaction to their demands.
But it was clear that the military forces have been under a lot of pressure, too, after taking over the government. They showed immediate patriotism towards their country as well as their hope as citizens for a better tomorrow.
Still, there have been a lot of questions about why it took so long to start investigating the ones responsible for undermining Egypt for so many years. People started to wonder if the blood spilled for the January 25 Revolution was worth it.
Then Mubarak issued an audio statement claiming he had no accounts outside of Egypt and vowing to bring legal charges against anyone who accused him of treason. He said he had always sacrificed for his country.
That angered Egyptians even more.
But this week, prosecutors issued a formal request to question the former president and his sons.
With that, Egyptians could smile again with hope for justice to finally triumph. Everyone holds a huge grudge against not just Mubarak but also his family, his sons and his wife.
Now, as the investigation proceeds, Egyptians feel their revolution has been revived and that protests are finally paying off.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Walking In Kampala A Crime?

By Bwette Daniel Gilbert
Junior Reporter
KAMPALA, Uganda – A walk-to-work demonstration by opposition leaders concerned about rising food and energy costs led to their arrest for allegedly inciting violence.
Kizza Besigye, Nobert Mao and other critics of the government were charged Monday.
They vowed to try to walk the streets of the capital again Thursday.
The inspector general of police, Karre Kaihura, called the demonstration illegal and unlawful because the politicians failed to ask for permission to hold a walk-to-work demonstration.
But human rights organizations and others said the protests should be allowed.
During Monday’s protest, police fired tear gas to disperse opposition supporters.
The tear gas disrupted studies at one primary school in Kasangati. It also created chaos in some residential areas, causing some injuries that required medical attention.
Police are deployed heavily along the streets of Kampala, near the opposition party offices and in public gathering places.Government critics said they’ll keep walking every Monday and Thursday until a plan to reduce essential commodities and fuel prices is put into effect.

Kampala street scene pictures by Bwette Daniel Gilbert for Youth Journalism International.

Students Show Creativity And Brainpower At Egypt's National Science Fair

Photo by Ghada Abdelhady
Azza and Hend Faiad at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Science and Engineering Fair in Alexandria, Egypt in March.

By Ghada Abdelhady
Junior Reporter
Youth Journalism International
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt – Three top science students will represent Egypt later this year at an international competition in Los Angeles.
Mohamed Magdy took first place at the Intel Bibliotheca Alexandrina Science and Engineering Fair in March with his project on satellite-controlled cars in the electrical and mechanical engineering category.

Photo by Ghada Abdelhady
Mohamed and Yomna Aly Elhaddad
Competing in the animal sciences category, Ahmed Hassan Hussein won second place overall for a project on living with termites.

Sara Mohamed Samir captured third place overall for her project in the behavioral and social science category called, “Do you know your memory?”

All three student scientists will have a chance to show their creativity and their ability to pave an innovative path toward development as they represent Egypt on the world’s stage next month in Los Angeles.

Students ages 14 to 18 years old and in grades 9 to 12 are eligible to compete in their home countries. Of those, up to three then move on to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, scheduled for May 8-13. Students from as many as 60 countries are expected to take part.

The Planetarium Science Center and Bibliotheca Alexandrina recently hosted Egypt’s competition in collaboration with Intel, the international sponsor.

The Alexandria fair, which began March 13, took place after a year of hard work by participants, organizers, volunteers and staff.

“Intel BASEF taught me how to think differently and deeper, it made me an extremely different person who has self-confidence and can bear huge responsibilities,” said Yomna Aly Elhaddad, 17, who placed second in the environmental management category. “I am proud to be a part of changing Egypt.”

Photo by Ghada Abdelhady
Nour Mahmoud with her project

On the first day of the three-day fair, there was energy in the air as participants, filled with passion for their projects, prepared for the competition to come.

Nour Mahmoud, an 18-year-old who took second place in the behavioral sciences category, said the Alexandria fair “has improved the scientific research for me and has provided opportunities for a lot of young inventors who didn’t have the chance or support to show their work.”

Judging took place the second day, which was filled with enthusiasm, optimism, hope, ambition and stress.
Photo by Ghada Abdelhady
A boy explains his project to a science fair judge

Each student had his or her own way of expressing it, but all shared a thirst for science and knowledge and used this common ground to learn by seeing the world through each other’s eyes.

The final day, while filled with stress, pressure and hope, students still enjoyed themselves and showed good sportsmanship.
The closing ceremony included speeches by Hoda El-Mikkaty, director of the Planetarium Science Center and Dr. Ismail Serageldin, director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina. 

Photo by Ghada Abdelhady
All participants at the 2011 Intel Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Science and Engineering Fair in Alexandria, Egypt last month. 
Youth Journalism International Junior Reporter Ghada Abdelhady was a particpant in Egypt's national science and engineering fair last year. Read her reporter's notebook to learn what it felt like to attend as a spectator this year.

Reporter's Notebook: Emotional Intensity At The Egyptian Science Fair

By Ghada Abdelhady
Junior Reporter
Youth Journalism International
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt – Last year, I competed in Egypt’s national science and engineering fair and experienced the exhilaration, joy and stress of the action-packed three day event.

Ghada Abdelhady

This year at the Intel Bibliotheca Alexandrina Science and Engineering Fair, I was surprised to feel the same excitement as before – even though I didn’t enter a project.

The fair comes after an excruciating year of preparation for participants, organizers, volunteers and staff, but at show time, all the hard work pays off.

On the first day of the fair, I saw the glow, not of ambition, but of passion coming from the student scientists.

When judging was underway on the second day, I knew the mix of enthusiasm, optimism, hope, ambition and tension that students were feeling.

All mixed together with joy and ecstasy, this emotion-packed experience seemed to create a unique chemical reaction among participants, one that could hydrolyze any burdens or limits between participants.

Despite their differences, it was clear that the students had something important in common – a passion for science and knowledge. They connected by learning from each other, building a kind of scientific highway from one mind to another.

At the closing ceremony, everything fades compared to the stress, pressure and most of all, hope, that students feel. In spite of all that, I found it refreshing to see all participants enjoying themselves and being good sports. As everyone took their seats and waited to hear the winners’ names, I realized that my experience as a participant last year and as a spectator this year weren’t so different.

I could still feel adrenaline racing through my blood and I felt I could hear the rapid yet rhythmic pounding of heartbeats in everybody’s chests. With each name called, I could see glow of success and relief.

That moment brought an overwhelming state of anxiety along with an utterly heavy heart, for reaching the end of an indescribably beautiful adventure that lasted only three days.    
The judges and staff members deserve praise for taking an idea on scrap paper and turning it into such a well-structured, successful fair.

But this event was much more than a science fair. It was a gathering that allowed youth who are starved for a modernized, creative and diverse community to come together as one.

Their differences of opinion only enhanced their experience. Diversity inspired these young people, preparing them to face the world and become someone who counts.

They’re now ready to get involved, to design a new path for Egypt using their love for science and for knowledge in general.

It’s these young scientists who can use their cooperative brain power as the key that frees them from the dangers of ignorance, and unlocks the secret of sustainable development so badly needed for our nation’s future.

Read Ghada Abdelhady's news story about the science fair by following this link.