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Global Briefs

Global BriefsA quick look at some of the international happenings in the student community.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [04.05.10] Beth Bahia Cohen: The Art of the Bow
On March 7, music department applied faculty member Beth Bahia Cohen explored the use of the violin in traditional music from regions such as Eastern Europe and the Middle East. A range of unusual instruments were featured, including a Romanian trumpet violin and an Egyptian rababa made from a coconut shell with horsehair strings. The performance was presented as part of the Sundays at Tufts Community Concert Series.

"The concert was a musical journey through Greece, Turkey, Hungary, Egypt, Kurdistan, Romania, Norway, and more, and much of the music presented is endangered or no longer played," said Cohen. "It was a thrill to share the beauty of music that's usually inaccessible, and to introduce people to the musical expressions of these various cultures."

Emerging Black Leaders Symposium
On March 13, Emerging Black Leaders hosted its sixth annual symposium "Reshaping the Global Black Consciousness: Who Gets to Tell the Story of the African Diaspora?"The keynote speaker this year was Nikki Giovanni, a world-renowned poet, writer, activist and educator.

"Through our symposium we were trying to show how powerful a story is, especially for the black community," says Krystle Shakespeare (A'11), president of Emerging Black Leaders. "When you turn on CNN, you see at the bottom of the screen ‘Haiti, poorest country in the Western hemisphere.' What you don't know is that it was the first black country to gain its independence successfully-how did it go from the first country to gain independence to the poorest? There must be a story in between."

The United Nations: A Firsthand View
On March 10, a panel of Fletcher students shared their stories, gave advice and answered questions on working with the United Nations. This was the fifth incarnation of the panel which emphasized the broad array of employment opportunities at the UN.

"Know that the pay is not great, if you get paid at all. You're there for the experience," said JessicaSmith (F'10), who works in the UN Office of Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs. "Despite the bureaucracy and the special set of obstacles it can sometimes pose, it's a fascinating and deeply rewarding place to work."

"The UN is more likely to hire you, either for an internship or a job, if you're already in country and have some background knowledge and experience," said Amy Patanasinth, a 2006 graduate of Tufts and current Fletcher graduate student who is a consultant with the UN World Food Programme in East Timor. "One of my Fletcher professors likes to say that you spend years of your life learning about a country, and that will get you through your first three days there. I completely agree. Nothing beats hands-on experience."

Parade of Nations
Concluding a week of intercultural events on March 13, Parade of Nations provided students from different cultural groups with the opportunity to showcase their traditions. The event included a fashion show and performances by student dance groups such as Tufts Garba and the Irish Step Team.

"I hope the audience got to enjoy the international talents at Tufts that aren't necessarily part of student clubs or performance groups," said Tala Kayyali (A'11), vice president of the International Club. "It's a casual atmosphere where you can just express yourself in whatever way you grew up in, and in the language and culture you feel comfortable sharing."

Freedom Fest
On March 12, the Modern Day Slavery committee of PANGEA co-hosted a panel discussion including former Haitian slave Jean Robert Cadet, representatives from the Boston Police Department Human Trafficking Unit, Associate Professor Rosalind Shaw and author Marlen Bodden. A benefit concert followed the panel with performances by both local artists and Tufts students.

"The speakers were extremely knowledgeable, engaging, and informative and the benefit concert included amazing performances by extremely talented local artists and Tufts artists that inspired the audience to want to help people in need," said committee members Aline Gue (A'12) and Ella Kipervasser (A'12). "Hopefully, the audience members at both events have learned that although slavery still exists today, everyone can do something to help end it."

By Kelsey Anderson, (A'11)


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