Welcome. :)

Welcome to my blog. Here I share my successes and failures along my journey to becoming an anthropologist. My most prominent interest anthropologically are the new approaches to handing food security/healthy eating in the US, particularly in urban "food deserts". I enjoy the Anthropology of Tourism as well; combining food and tourism has scholarly promise. My other interests which have converted into anthropological hobbies of sorts include converts to Islam, diaspora of Muslims, and MENA in general. I also have some interest in historical archaeology.

I welcome comments, discussion and even respectful debating. I will however keep discussions to a respectable level. I reserve the right to ban anyone from this forum.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I never thought someone could grow while earning their bachelors degree but I must say, I have. Particularly at UCF. I have learned so much more about the world around me and I am looking forward to moving along to the next phase of this process. Many times, I put so much emphasis on *finishing*, I do not enjoy the process. I had my snakes vet tell me once..."Enjoy the process...don't live completely for what is to come..". I tend to forget these words alot; more than I should.

Speaking of growth, I need to go and plow through the Abassid Empire stuff not to mention the Ottomans and Safavids. lol

anthrogeek10 who wants this semester to end. Less than one week to learn the ups and downs of the 600 year Ottoman Empire...

Black Chick in Saudi!

I cannot get into your blog! I thought you added me. :-)


Thursday, April 23, 2009

School update

Its not really an update but a feeling about this whole situation with school. I feel like I bloody hell want to quit! I really feel like I should just quit. I am do down on myself these days.
anthrogeek in limbo

Saturday, April 18, 2009

School schedule

I have my official school schedule down for the next two semesters. I am still deciding (I will need help from my advisor making the decision) about being Honors in the Major. I will need more funding to make this happen. For sure. That would mean adding a class to my already full load for two semesters to do research and a thesis. I will have to see....

Well, here is my schedule from Summer 09-Spring 2010

Summer 09-Introduction to Archaeology

Fall 09-
Archaeology of Complex Societies
Ethnography of American Indians
Arabic (totally baby arabic! lol)
Culture, Power and Development
Language and Culture.

Spring 2010-
History of Anthropological Thought
Human Origins
Arabic (second baby arabic...lol)
World Religions.
Research my thesis topic (converts to Islam and identity)

Summer 10
I hope to squeeze some course in the summer OR write my thesis (if thats my choosing) this time

Fall 2010 St this point, this is so NOT set but this is tentative)

Politics of the Middle East
Arabic (3rd baby arabic...lol)
Islamic Thought and Culture
Modern Middle East (maybe summer IF online)This is the encore class. I dropped it this semester.
Moses, Jesus and Mohammed

Taking this minor is a good thing but has really set me back more than I needed to be. I feel a bit down on myself now....I need to give myself a break...


Oh...grad date is ideally Dec 2010 yippie.

Finally quit

I have finally quit smoking with the miracle drug Chantix. I love this stuff. Blocks the receptors in the brain that tell ya to smoke! I am kinda depressed today for whatever reason but whatever...it's my first day as a non-smoker (once again but this time it is duable).

Other than that, school is a struggle...I am signed up for arabic in the fall. I also have 4 anthropology classes I am registered for. I want to graduate Dec of 2010. I need to be over with it. It will be a rough year and a half folks...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror book review

Review Author: Tiffany C. George
Lewis, Bernard. The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy terror. New York: Random House Publishing Group. 2003. 190 pgs.

Bernard Lewis has had a sixty-year career writing about Middle East history and current events. In this book, he focuses on the grievances the Islamic world has against the West and why some Muslims have turned to violence. Here, he writes for the general public in a somewhat informal writing style, and he provides background information and maps to situate his discussion. The book is arranged topically with an introduction and a forward. Additionally, he draws on historical references to illustrate his points.
In the beginning of the book, Lewis gives the impression that Islam is a violent faith, particularly focusing on modern examples of violence that has been perpetrated against Westerners or Western interests. Later, however, he presents points that go against that viewpoint. Still, the book seems to be slanted toward an unfavorable appraisal of Islam.
Lewis provides some basic information about Islam as a faith, but he emphasizes how Muslims have historically practiced their religion with a combination of ideology and politics. One of the ways he implies that Islam has a tendency toward violence is through using the example of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which is concerned, among other things, with “the international position of Islam and of Muslims” (15). He makes it clear that this organization”does not look into human rights abuses and other domestic problems of member states” (16) other than issues surrounding Palestine (for example). This seems to be a not so subtle way of implying that Islam as a faith is unjust and condones violence, implying that only the West and Christianity are concerned with justice and human rights.
Another way Lewis attempts to prove that Islam as a faith is at fault for recent violence in the Middle East is by using jihad as an example. Although he acknowledges the basic moral meaning of jihad as striving for the path of God, he puts more emphasis on the places in the Qur’an where jihad seems to imply an armed struggle. This seems to suggest that, for Lewis, the ultimate meaning of jihad is to justify violent acts based upon the faith.
Later in the book, however, Lewis defends the Islamic faith against charges of terrorism. Regarding the attacks of September 11, 2001, he says clearly that they had “no justification in Islamic doctrine or law and no precedent in Islamic history” (154). He goes on to say that those acts have been considered blasphemy by other Muslims because they were done in the name of the Islamic faith.
Finally, from an anthropological perspective, the book exhibits some ethnocentricity. An example is his claim that one of the benefits of colonial rule in the Middle East was “the considerable reduction though not elimination of polygamy” (57). Lewis neglects to consider that having more than one spouse has had and continues to have positive social functions in different societies around the world. In Islam, polygyny (having more than one wife) is allowed with some restrictions because historically men were sometimes killed in wars and women needed protectors. While it is true that Muslim women today may sometimes be critical of polygamy that is not an issue for the West (or non-Muslims) to decide.
In summary, I did not find this book to be as informative or as balanced as I had hoped it would be. In my view, there are better books on the market about Islam written for the general public.