Project Update

So I just interviewed another friend. I have a lot of material to work with and still not quite sure how I’m going to shape everything. I’m writing the script right now hopefully that will help me. My biggest fear is my project looking like one big hot mess instead of a video with a clear and concise argument. At first I thought 4-5 minutes is very long but when I started collecting info, I realized it might not be long enough for me to present all of my info and argument. I still have a lot of work to do but fingers crossed the final product is acceptable.


Project Update

AIYA!!!!! I’m going to pull my hair out!!!!! I’m just starting to get used to Lightworks and then an extreme roadblock hits me. I can’t add text to images/videos on the Beta version of Lightworks!!! WHAT?! I need to be able to add text onto my images to explain what’s going on. There is a way in which I can get around it but it would require me using other software to make a video with the text then adding it to my project in Lightworks. So complicated. My other option is to completely start fresh with another software that allows me to add text onto my images/videos like Avid or Window Movie Maker. This sucks!!! I might have to go with the ladder even though the former is so much more cooler! For someone who is completely computer illiterate like me, Lightworks is a hard software to use. It’s very professional, real film editors use Lightworks. The Beta version is the version available and free to the public. It’s great because it’s very high quality but it’s confusing to use if you’ve never used it before. I spent ages watching tutorial videos just to figure it out. Also something happened to my videos when I was importing them. My HD videos, the audio was messed up after importing them into Lightworks. Trimming and editing the clips is fairly easy but takes some time to get used to. Looks like I’ve got a huge decision on my hands. I want to continue using Lightworks just so I can learn how to master it but I absolutely need to use text :/.

Syria Project update

So I realized I didn’t post on Wednesday, my bad! Well here it, late in my usual fashion, really need to work on that. So last time we discussed which platforms to use to present our projects. I want to make a video and was thinking of using iMovie, Kino, Windows Movie Maker, etc. Apparently we can do something similar on PowerPoint too. Well I don’t have a Macbook so that kind of rules out iMovie. Windows Movie Maker sucks but I’ve heard if you know how to master it you can make some pretty kick ass projects which I’ve seen on YouTube. I came across Lightworks, which is another professional non-linear editing software. I’m playing around with it, if it’s too hard to use then I guess I’ll settle with WMM. I got my first interview done, I need a few more. So far I’ve been collecting news videos and videos from protestors. Oh I’m going to have a blast editing…

Plan for Syria project

So for my project I want to make a video showing clips and pictures of the violence and devastation that’s been going on in the country. I’ll include voice over from interviews I’ll be conducting with my friends. This is a great video I found, I hope to do something like this but with a more personal quality by including voices of people who truly care about this topic.


The person who made this video did a great job in showing the despair the Syrian people feel, their pain, and their loss. The cuts of Barbara Walter’s interview with President Bashar shows his indifference to the conflict and 0utright denies what is going on. Granted I haven’t seen the whole interview but I’m pretty sure that it’s an accurate depiction of Bashar.

Synthesis on Syria II

Just as Kofi Annan feared, Syria did not adhere to the Tuesday ceasefire plan. Syrian government forces still have not pulled out of populated areas, though some Syrian forces claim they have begun to do so according to an article from Al Jazeera The latter statement is possibly false since the Syrian government “has a history of empty promises,” the Obama administration stated in an article from the New York Times Annan hopes the ceasefire plan will be fully carried out on Thursday 4/12, but the international community is skeptical partially because Russia, one of Syria’s strongest allies, have focused their attention on the rebel groups. In an article by BBC Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov “urged Mr. Annan in a telephone call to put pressure on countries backing the Syrian opposition to make sure they stuck to the ceasefire plan.” The article by the New York Times also makes a similar point, “The Russian minister criticized the opposition, saying, ‘We cannot ignore the well-known fact that the proposal of Kofi Annan has not been accepted by some, if not the majority, of opposition groups, including the Syrian National Council.’”

Kofi Annan meeting Syrian refugees in Turkey

The article by Al Jazeera focused on the condemning Syria on not following through with the ceasefire plan but the articles by BBC and the New York Times make valid points. Has the international community done enough to ease Syria of its concerns of rebel groups also agreeing to the ceasefire plan? On Sunday, Syria asked for “written guarantees” from rebel groups and neighboring countries that the rebel groups will drop their weapons, but the government have since changed its mind and asked Annan himself to write a guarantee stating the opposite will also withdraw their forces accordingly. Since the Syrian government has agreed to the peace plan, violence has escalated and action must come quick or the conflict will persist. For now, the peace plan is still intact but it is quickly losing credibility because neither the Syrian government or the opposition are willing to back down. Again I ask the question, what will the international community do come Thursday if the ceasefire does not occur and violence continues? Will the Security Council be able to come up with a solution that Russia will agree with?

Synthesis on Syria

In a recent Al Jazeera article, the Syrian government is demanding “written guarantees” from rebel groups that they must drop their weapons before the government can proceed with withdrawing its troops. Rebels say they also want a ceasefire but will only answer to the international community and not the government so they will not present written guarantees to the government. About two weeks ago, President Bashar al-Assad agreed to the six-point peace agreement brought forward by Kofi Annan. In the agreement, it calls for a ceasefire by Tuesday, April 20th. In the Al Jazeera article, it says the troops must withdraw from towns and villages but in an article by CNN, it says the government must pull troops out of urban areas and checkpoints. However, according to BBC, it vaguely states that all troops must be withdrawn from all populated areas. Since the government indicated its intention to adhere to the peace agreement, violence has escalated. CNN estimated at least 69 people were killed on Sunday alone and that at least 525 people were killed since the peace plan was announced. It is believed that most of the victims were civilians. BBC also had similar numbers and estimated an outrageous 180 deaths  during this weekend alone. Kofi Annan and the international community were shocked to hear of such violence. A spokesperson for the foreign ministry of the Syrian government said reports of Syria committing to withdrawing troops by Tuesday were false.  At this point it is unlikely the ceasefire will occur by Tuesday. How will Annan and the UN-Arab League respond on Tuesday if the ceasefire does not occur? Will military intervention be next?

How it started in Syria

So today’s my catch up day on posts, better late than never. I’m gonna provide some background on the conflict by looking at the beginning of the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring started in December 2010 in Tunisia when a young man set himself on fire in protest of policemen confiscating his vegetables and fruits stand. Problems such as unemployment and freedom of speech have been a problem for some time now and this was the tipping point. Soon protests erupted throughout Tunisia and within a month the President Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia in January 2011. Not long after, Egypt also began protesting on the grounds of similar issues. In February President Mubarak resigned. In the same month Yemen, Libya, and Bahrain also began protesting. In March, Syria began to protest. One year to this day, the protests still continue but it has escalated to fighting and more violence. It is on the brink of a civil war much like Libya. June 2011, President Saleh leaves Yemen for Saudi Arabia for medical treatment when he was injured in an explosion. A few months later in October, Gadhafi is killed by rebel forces in his hometown of Sirte. In November, President Saleh also resigned. With most of the leaders gone, only Syria and Bahrain still have their leaders.

The conflict in Syria is still raging as president Bashar al-Assad refuses to step down and relinquish his power. So far, thousands have died, though the exact number is not clear, and thousands more have been displaced and sought refuge in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.

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