4E Goes to Hollywood

Hollywood-Cartoon-Sign-WallpaperWhile 4E usually posts things that are relevant, somewhat strange, and often less conventional, rarely do we take the opportunity to brief you on a day in our lives. So, in the spirit of campfire stories let us share our latest adventure…

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It all started when some obscure e-mail was sent out to the masses of The Hoya, with the subject reading something along the lines of “FREE TRIP TO LA”… (we thought it was a joke at first). Actually, to be honest, a few weeks later when we boarded our flights, traveled across the country and wound up at a random dorm complex in Long Beach we STILL thought it was a joke. And if we’re being completely honest- now that we, and our fellow Hoyas, have left and returned to our respective summer lives, our random trip to LA is still seems completely unreal.


It turns out we were there for a conference. It was called DOHAgoals. It was all about empowering people through sports. It allowed us to share air with a lot of super stars: Michelle Obama, Maria Shriver (Hoya Saxa), Debbie Phelps (Oh, and Michael too), Nadia Comăneci, Avril Lavigne, an important man with a beautiful french accent, Abby Wambach…


You know, big names. Big words. Big living. There was even special furniture brought in to the giant conference center ordered especially to match the colors of the event. All expenses were paid. We ate a lot of free lunch and drank a lot of coffee. And it was thanks to the Qatari government.

In 4E fashion, we decided to take advantage full advantage of this FREE trip: 

We hid in a hallway for 3 hours, rather than go for a run.

We posed for pictures on elevated surfaces (and spammed our GroupMe with a scrapbook of our adventure- 17+ of which no one else seemed to acknowledge…).Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 10.42.20 AM

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Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 10.42.47 AMWe wound up on a set for So You Think That You Can Dance, meaning there’s like a .0089999% chance we’ll be making our feature television debut!

We met a lot of fellow student ambassadors who were all sports management majors and proudly told them what little relevance the conference had to our own very less relevant studies.

We went to a rooftop bar, Hollywood, a karaoke bar and a bowling alley.

And if these examples are not painting the picture of a ~wild~ adventure, know that we at least had fun.

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com

Coping with Conflict in Israel

Coping with Israel Conflict

“Would you like your drinks before or after we go to the bomb shelter?” With unwavering calm, a waitress coolly inquired after our drink orders as incoming rocket fire compelled us to flee our oceanside table for the local Tel Aviv bar’s shelter. To quote the 2003 cinematic classic “Bad Boys 2,” shit just got real.

After growing up in the Midwest and spending two years of college in the Georgetown bubble (where the greatest threat to my survival was Tuscany’s closing), I have found the gravity of the conflict in Israel difficult to fully fathom. While rockets have sporadically threatened Jerusalem, warning sirens echoed through Tel Aviv at least five times a day in the past week. Even in the relative safety of Jerusalem, I still consider the blaring of the alarm bells terrifying. I am not alone: Fearing an escalation in conflict, many universities have evacuated their students from Israel.

Unaccustomed to such a threatening environment, many students in my group have turned to humor in order to cope. From setting a picture of the Iron Dome demolishing a rocket as a Facebook cover photo to complaining that the bomb shelter doesn’t have Wi-Fi, humor provides the best medicine. By jokingly thanking Hamas for timing their missile firing during class time, we conceal our greater fear that the classroom — our supposedly sheltered cocoon of learning — cannot escape the looming menace of the outside conflict.

Yet, I wonder if this treatment of the crisis unfairly diminishes the suffering and fear both sides have experienced. Since I am a foreigner staying in Israel for only a short period of time, I can brush off the frightening moments I have confronted as an adventure, which will impress the SFS hotshots when I get back on campus. For most people, however, this is their home: Innocent civilians in Gaza have been killed and displaced, while various Israeli cities experience continued rocket attacks. We must remember this is no laughing matter. In order to reduce hostilities and begin to mend the widespread mistrust, it’s going to take more than a few one-liners: Both sides need to express a commitment for peace.

Jessica Tannenbaum is a rising junior in the College. Check out her other posts about her experience at Hebrew University this summer.

Photo: rt.com

Poli Sci for the Average Guy: What’s the Deal with Iran?

In Tehran, Iran’s nuclear program was born and raised, in centrifuges is where it spent most of its days. Maxin’ out, enriching, playing it all cool, fooling inspectors and breaking the rules. When John Kerry appeared, he was up to some good, tryin’ make peace in the Middle East neighborhood. Iran struck a deal and Israel and Saudi Arabia got scared, they said, “Yo, John this new deal you got isn’t so fair.”


On Nov. 24, the United States – together with the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany – struck a historic deal with Iran.

Since 1979, the United States has imposed sanctions on Iran in response to Iran’s nuclear program, which began in 1957. The United States, along with the other five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, perceived a nuclear Iran as a threat to international stability and the balance of power. Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is legally permitted under international law to produce nuclear material for peaceful purposes. However, Iran’s legitimacy in claiming peaceful purposes has often been called into question. Therefore, the United States and the United Nations imposed defensive sanctions against Iran to destabilize and cripple its nuclear program. (For those who don’t know, sanctions are national “time-outs” with tremendous economic repercussions.) In the case of Iran, sanctions caused the Iranian currency to drop 80% in value.


This brings us to last week in Geneva, Switzerland – the home of indecision, chocolate and watches – where the United States and Iran struck an short-term, six-month deal to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons program in exchange for a “modest relief” from sanctions. Even more impressive, Iran joined other powerful nations at a negotiation table. “For the first time in nearly a decade we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program,” President Obama said.

Here’s the Dealio:

What will Iran do? Iran will lessen its stockpile of uranium – yellow powder that goes kaboom – enriched to 20 percent. Although uranium isn’t bomb-grade until it’s enriched to 90 percent, 20 percent is too close for comfort. The deal also requires Iran to stop all enrichment above 5 percent (enough to generate electricity from nuclear energy) and dismantle all accompanying equipment to ensure that remaining nuclear infrastructure is for peaceful purposes. Lastly, Iranian nuclear facilities will be subject to daily inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

What will the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany do? They will lift some sanctions formerly imposed on Iran, thus providing Iran with an additional $1.5 billion dollars in revenue … but that’s only a fraction of what is still frozen by sanctions. Ultimately, the ease in sanctions is “limited, temporary, targeted and reversible relief to Iran,” according to CNN.

Can we trust Iran to hold up its end of the bargain? Only time will tell.


Sources: NBC News, CNN
Images: Google, NBC, CNN