Messing About with the Many #Canva #Resume #Template

hebatullahissa-copy-2hebatullahissa-copy-3hebatullahissa-copy-3hebatullahissa-copy-4hebatullahissa-copy-4hebatullahissa-copy-5hebatullahissa-copyhebatullahissa-copyhebatullahissahebatullahissa

heba-issa-3

heba-issa-copy-5

issa

heba-issa-copy

heba-issa

hebatullahissa-1-copy-2

hebatullahissa-1-copy-3

hebatullahissa-1-copy-4

hebatullahissa-1-copy-5

hebatullahissa-1-copy

 

Editor For Hire #editing #writer #editor #writing

glow in the dark party (2).jpg

40 Reasons You Should Hire Me

Hello, I’m Heba. I have sent you this link because I REALLY want to work at your organization because I think your company is pretty awesome– I wouldn’t have sent this link to you otherwise. Below, you will find a list of the reasons I would make a great employee and creative partner. I hope by the end of this post you will learn more about me and give me a chance.

Here it goes:

1. I have a BA in Journalism from Penn State, an MA from Dartmouth College in Liberal Studies and an MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter.

tumblr_ll4cvrKS241qgrhjdo1_500

2. I’m a fast learner.

635920369314243634-1808424565_harvard elleI’m very much a hands on learner and I hit the ground running. As well as learning quickly, I’m always looking and finding ways to make work tasks more time efficient.

3. I’m dedicated and focused.

1n6sc.gifOnce I set my mind on a goal, I put my all into achieving it. In 2006, after a mere month of fundraising, I was able to raise almost $1 million in medical supplies for war torn regions. How many other people can say that?

4. I have strong writing and editing skills.

Cp8gJw8I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. In addition to my BA in Journalism, in which I had a 3.67 GPA in my major, I had a focus in Creative Writing during my first MA at Dartmouth College.

5. I’m willing to move.

giphy (2)I have lived in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Switzerland, the U.K., Jordan, Palestine and Israel. I’m a professional at packing and moving. I’m more than willing to move for the right opportunity.

6. I can roll with the punches.

post-23206-be-water-my-friend-bruce-lee-g-nhkfI consider myself a perfectionist, but I understand that things can’t be perfect all the time. Sometimes, you have to do the best you can with what you have. I can handle all sorts of circumstances that come my way. Kind of like when I can’t find Collection or Gabrini eyeliner anywhere and I have to make due with Almay.

7. I’m organized.

Label Makers Can Definitely Help You Get Your Documents OrganizedReally, I am. I even won an MVP award from my time working at the GAP because I was the most organized employee.

8. I can stay calm in a crisis.

tumblr_n5zob3klSy1rkbvfno1_500.gif

Accidents happen and sometimes they’re unavoidable. Someone misses a deadline, a package wasn’t delivered on time, products break, people get hurt– Life happens. Working with kids between the ages of 5-17 has taught me to stay calm in all sorts of crazy scenarios. And if you’ve ever worked with kids, you know how crazy things can get.

9. I love to laugh.

tumblr_mmglvzD48Q1rvzco7o4_250.gif

Laughing and making others laugh is a great talent of mine. I’m not signing up for any open mic nights or doing any stand-up comedy acts, but I can find the funny in the ordinary.

10. I like to read.

219fa5aa141805491600461570_700wa_0

In elementary school, I set the record for the most books read during National Reading Month. You can always find me with a book in hand or an article on screen.

11. I live online and stay on top of all the new trends.

tumblr_m37b3vXhu91r46y0so1_400.gif

Most of my day is spent online digging through the mountains of information, videos, photos and such. I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing and am always the first one of my friends to identify viral material and trends.

12. The world inspires me.

robin-williams-impersonator-actor-inspired

Everywhere I look, everyone I see, inspires me in some sort of way. Everyone I meet and encounter leaves a mark on me and inspires me to make the world a better place.

13. I’m well-versed in social media.

200_s (2).gif

Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, Pinterest– I love it all.

14. I’m a realistic optimist.

a3f22c412d0ca559caed3adb62b6df68

I try to see the best in everyone and in every situation, but my expectations are always realistic. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

15. I can work with a team, as well as on my own.

635925653462378461-1036772743_hsm gif

Being a journalist, I’ve learned to work as part of a team. Especially when working as an editor, much of the position is dependent on working with others. Working in groups is great because everyone brings a different perspective to the project at hand. But, I have also been a teacher and have had to take responsibility for creating curriculums all on my own. Working on my own is also great because I get to see how far I can push myself.

16. I have experience managing volunteers.

x3ip08

Remember that huge fundraiser I talked about earlier? Well, I had recruited and managed the efforts of more than 50 volunteers in under a week’s time. I was responsible for training the volunteers, managing their schedules, communicating their needs and supervising their delegated responsibilities.

17. I’m an email wizard.

tumblr_mq9kgxHHY51qzcmp3o3_r1_500

Any of my former students can tell you that I respond to emails as soon as I possibly can, sometimes within minutes.

18. I’m creative.

1.jpg

I dabble in the arts and always have new and innovative ideas running through my head.

19. I have lots of interests.

200_s (1)

I like fashion, desserts, poems, coffee, bright colors, food, photography, art, literature, movies, music, naps, decorating, calligraphy, libraries and spending time with my friends.

20. I’m great at conflict resolution.

tumblr_m8ccipfL5J1qayayao2_250

I’m an American-Palestinian-Arab-Muslim-woman with Israeli citizenship. If that doesn’t make me an expert problem solver, I don’t know what does.

21. I’m good at stuff.

things-walking-dead-gif

I’m a good listener and a good friend. Some other things I’m good at include, but are not limited to: eyeliner application, fashion styling, tea brewing and reality check administrating. I’m also a pretty great actress in life more so than in art.

22. I have experience writing blogs, fiction, nonfiction, research papers, listicles, essays, executive reports, newsletters and more.

tumblr_nerwu3jiu11sgl0ajo1_500

I can do it all because I have done it all. Writing, of all sorts, is what I do and it is what makes me happy.

23. I’m confident in my abilities to speak and relate to different types of communicators.

200_s

Not everyone communicates in the same way. I have learned to adjust my tone, vocabulary and methods to fit the person I am speaking to.

24. I’m proficient in Word and other software.

Word-Up-Music-Video-little-mix-36863975-500-180.gif

Word, Adobe, ProTools, PCs, Macs, FinalCut and so much more.

25. I’m pretty good at evaluating situations.

situation-gif

I’ve always been good at reading a situation. I’m pretty observant and I can usually tell when someone is sad, happy, irritated, excited or any other range of emotion.

26. My creative writing pieces have been published in several magazines.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-25892-1414855372-5

You can check out my published writing by clicking on the Portfolio link at the top of the page.

27. I’m always looking to improve.

Cher_and_Dionne_Makeover

Whether it’s getting a new haircut or trying to learn a new language, I’m always trying to improve myself, both inside and out.

28. I can dish it and I can take it… In a respectful manner, of course. Tumblr_lp0rbgfnEg1qfal67o1_r1_250.gif

As a writer, criticism can be tough. I put my heart and soul into my work and I know how disheartening harsh criticism can be. I’ve grown a thick skin over the years and can take criticism pretty well. I believe that criticism should always be constructive and when I give constructive criticism to an employee, I am always respectful and appreciative for their hard work. Constructive criticism should always help the other person improve their work and boost their self-confidence.

29. I take pride in my work.

tumblr_mis4lpHqrk1r9gl25o2_250

But just the right amount of pride. I’m not cocky, I promise.

30. I want to plant some roots.

giphy (1)

I’ve moved around a lot and I’ve had a lot of different type of jobs. Now, I’m ready to settle down and really grow within a company.

31. I’m a coordination queen.

tumblr_nbec9o4tyc1qlvwnco1_500

That goes for both my outfits and my workload. I’m all about the time management skills.

32. I’m passionate about human rights, education, social justice, prison reform, women’s health, politics and life.

tumblr_inline_mp0blmWka21qz4rgp

33. I’m always prepared.

game_of_thrones

I watch a lot of scary movies. As a result, I’m now prepared for any and all scenarios, at all times. If the zombie apocalypse ever happens, come with me because I have a plan.

34. I like to bake.

Baking-cookies_1641

I love baking and all things sweet. I also believe that sharing is caring, so, if you hire me you will be sure to have a taste of the sweet life.

35. I smell nice.

tumblr_lxkm8cJ1wV1qcptr6o1_500

I wear perfume even when I don’t leave the house, because I deserve to smell nice. I’m also super hygienic and carry around hand-sanitizer that doubles as lotion. It’s kind of my thing.

36. I love animals.

tumblr_nsugbeXumj1ucuwbho1_500

Well, most animals. I have a fear of geese and swans, but other than that, I love animals. One of my dreams is to open up an animal sanctuary so I can love and hang out with my animal friends all day.

37. I’m a feminist.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-16180-1410397727-18

I believe everyone should be a feminist and we should all be working towards equality and justice for women.

38. I make 11:11 wishes for good measure.

4930523e98e8f4949a4f34d37df74e40

It can’t hurt, right? I’ll make a wish for you too.

39. My life is a meme.

e37d6234fba678f1e0ee3c0852beddd97cc5bd549ecf4ef9425cae05e83f8a1f

Anyone who knows me, knows that if there is a one in a million chance of something strange happening to someone, it’s going to be me.  And most days people get a kick out of it. Me included.

40. I want to work and have fun doing it.

giphy

I want my work to be meaningful and I want to enjoy doing it. I’m not looking to clock in and clock out. I want to make a difference and improve people’s lives. I may not be able to change the world, but I certainly can change a tiny corner of it– even if it is one person.

It’s like they [Confucius] say: Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.

MENA Internship – Summer/Fall 2015: Search For Common Ground

JOB DETAILS:

Organisation: Search For Common Ground

Deadline Sat, 28 Mar 2015

Job type: Volunteer

Location: United States

The Organization

Search for Common Ground (SFCG) is an international non-profit organization that promotes peaceful resolution of conflict. With headquarters in Washington, DC and a European office in Brussels, Belgium, SFCG’s mission is to transform how individuals, organizations, and governments deal with conflict – away from adversarial approaches and toward cooperative solutions. SFCG seeks to help conflicting parties understand their differences and act on their commonalities. With a total of approximately 600 staff worldwide, SFCG implements projects in 35 countries, including in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.  The organization is an exciting and rewarding place to work, with a dedicated and enthusiastic staff who love their work.  You will be joining a highly motivated staff with a good team spirit and there will be opportunities to grow in the role.

Summary of Position

Search for Common Ground seeks a professional, motivated, and creative intern to join the Middle East – North Africa regional team. Based in Washington, DC, the intern will provide support to SFCG’s offices and programs in MENA, including Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, Lebanon, and Jerusalem. Duties of this internship will contribute to the development of programs for sustainable peace and conflict transformation in the MENA region, and will give interns an opportunity to practice high-level, professional skills.

Interns must be available to work 24-40 hours per week. This internship is unpaid. We are looking for an intern to begin mid-May 2015. Interns must commit to at least 3 months, but preference will be given to those who can continue through Fall 2015.

Responsibilities:

  • Assisting with grant proposal development for country and regional programs.
  • Researching contextual information to enhance program design.
  • Editing reports from country offices for language and fluidity.
  • Assisting with donor reports and other communications.
  • Maintaining the MENA team’s communications strategy, including compiling updates from country offices, revamping website content, and creating visibility pieces for social media.
  • Collaborating with other departments to share MENA expertise.
  • Provide front desk back-up support through greeting visitors, answering calls and receiving packages during the receptionist’s lunch hour. (For this service you will remunerated if eligible to work in the US.)
  • Planning travel and meeting logistics
  • Performing other supportive duties as needed.
  • Perform French and/or Arabic translations if possible.

As job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, the position-holder may be required to undertake other duties that are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

Required Qualifications:

  • BA or MA (completed or in progress) in international relations, conflict resolution, Middle East studies, international development, or a related field.
  • Excellent writing, editing, and communication skills in English.
  • Computer proficiency.
  • Interest in peacebuilding and conflict transformation.
  • Familiarity with the MENA region.
  • Ability to maintain professionalism, creativity, and enthusiasm while working in a fast-paced, multi-cultural environment with minimal supervision.
  • Self-starter, able to work independently, and willing to take on tasks small and large.
  • Prior international or cross-cultural experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ability to write and translate in French and/or Arabic preferred.

Salary: This internship is unpaid.

To Apply:

Please submit a (1) resume, (2) cover letter, and (3) writing sample (400-600 words: NO MORE) through our online application system at https://sfcg.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=219. This should be combined into 1 document and all uploaded into the “resume” space in the online system. Please follow this instruction. In the cover letter, besides highlighting your qualifications, please include the dates you will be available, the number of hours per week you are able to commit, and your goals for the internship. Submission deadline is March 28, 2015. 

Compilation of Interviews with Secretary Kerry from July 20

Dear Journalist:
Below please find transcripts from Secretary Kerry’s interviews with Candy Crowley of CNN’s State of the Union, David Gregory of NBC’s Meet the Press, George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s This Week and Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release July 20, 2014

Interview

Secretary of State John Kerry
With Candy Crowley of CNN’s State of the Union

July 20, 2014
Washington, D.C.

QUESTION: Joining me now, Secretary of State of state John Kerry. Mr. Secretary, it’s good to see you. Let me start off with whether you know anything new about the downing of this Malaysian airliner from intelligence information. What do we now know for certain?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, we know for certain a lot more, Candy. We know for certain that in the last month there’s been a major flow of arms and weapons. There was a convoy several weeks ago of about 150 vehicles with armed personnel carrier, multiple rocket launchers, tanks, artillery, all of which crossed over from Russia into the eastern part of Ukraine and was turned over to the separatists.

We know for certain that the separatists have a proficiency that they’ve gained by training from Russians as to how to use these sophisticated SA-11 systems. We know they have the system. We know that they had this system to a certainty on Monday the 14th beforehand, because the social media was reporting it and tracking it. And on Thursday of the event, we know that within hours of this event, this particular system passed through two towns right in the vicinity of the shoot-down. We know because we observed it by imagery that at the moment of the shoot-down, we detected a launch from that area and our trajectory shows that it went to the aircraft.

We also know to a certainty that the social media immediately afterwards saw reports of separatists bragging about knocking down a plane, and then the so-called defense minister, self-appointed of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, Igor Strelkov, posted a social media report bragging about the shoot-down of a transport plane – at which point when it became clear it was civilian, they pulled down that particular report.

We know from intercepts, voices which had been correlated to intercepts that we have that those are in fact the voices of separatists, talking about the shoot-down of the plane. They have shot down some 12 planes, aircraft, in the last months or so, two of which were major transport planes. And now we have a video showing the – a launcher moving back through a particular area there out into Russia with a missing – at least one missing missile on it.

So we have enormous sort of input about this which points fingers. And now we have these horrendous —

QUESTION: At who, Mr. Secretary? At who?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, it basically – it’s pretty clear that this is a system that was transferred from Russia in the hands of separatists. We know with confidence – with confidence – that the Ukrainians did not have such a system anywhere near the vicinity at that point in time. So it obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists, and that’s why President Obama and the international community are demanding a full-fledged investigation, which Russia said they would do.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, do you believe that Russia is culpable for the downing of this commercial jetliner if they gave these separatists the equipment, whether or not they were there on site at the moment the anti-aircraft missile was launched? We do know from folks that have said so publicly in the intelligence community that, in fact, they had to have been trained by Russians, they had to have gotten the equipment from Russia. Doesn’t this make Vladimir Putin culpable for this plane crash?

SECRETARY KERRY: Culpability is a judicial term, and people can make their own judgments about what they read here. That’s why we’ve asked for a full-fledged investigation.

Yesterday – on Friday, the investigators and the people who were needing access, the OSCE monitors, were given 75 minutes. And obviously, the area is under control of the separatists. Yesterday they were given three hours. Today we have reports of drunken separatists piling the remains of people into trucks in an unceremonious fashion, actually removing them from the location. They are interfering with the evidence in the location. They have removed, we understand, some airplane parts.

It is critical – this is a very, very critical moment – for Russia to step up publicly and join in the effort in order to make sure there is a full-fledged investigation that the investigators and people who are coming to help from outside, the ICAO, the FBI, the National Transportation Safety Board. We’re sending people over, others are sending people, experts who have an ability to be able to put these facts together so no one will have doubt, no fingers will be pointed about conspiracies, about ideology and politics governing this. We want the facts. And the fact that the separatists are controlling this in a way that is preventing people from getting there, even as the site is tampered with, makes its own statement about culpability and responsibility.

QUESTION: And what is the U.S. doing about that today? What is different in your approach to Russia since this plane crash? If you believe that they have control or some say-so over what these separatists do —

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, yesterday —

QUESTION: Mm-hmm.

SECRETARY KERRY: Yesterday, Candy, I had a direct conversation with my counterpart, Foreign Minister Lavrov. It was a direct and tough conversation. We’ll see if anything happens as a result of that. I’m confident that President Obama will shortly be talking yet again with President Putin in order to find a way with very specific steps to move forward.

But President Obama, I remind you again, the day before this event, unilaterally moved even before this to put tougher sanctions in place, what we call sector sanctions, sanctions that begin to do something about their energy companies, about their defense companies, about their banks. Several of their biggest banks —

QUESTION: Sure. But Mr. Secretary, is it true that you think —

SECRETARY KERRY: — will now not be able to access the market.

QUESTION: Do you think – but so far, these sanctions have not changed Russia’s behavior in the least.

SECRETARY KERRY: That’s why they were ratcheted up. That’s precisely the point. I don’t think anybody in America is yet talking about putting troops in there. Nobody’s talking about military. The point is that we’re trying to do this in a thoughtful way with the maximum amount of diplomatic energy and pressure, and it would help enormously if some countries in Europe that have been a little reluctant to move would now recognize this wakeup call and join the United States and President Obama in taking the lead and also stepping up. That’s important.

QUESTION: And Mr. Secretary, I have to let you go, but I can’t without asking you about Israel, which has now expanded, it says, its attack into Gaza to try to stop the missiles from coming into Israel. We all know that the U.S. believes in Israel’s right to defend itself. Are there, in your mind, any line after which you think Israel has gone too far? Have those discussions taken place at all?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, the President talked to Prime Minister Netanyahu Friday. I talked to Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday. The President’s talking to him again today. We’re in constant conversations. And I believe the President is asking me to go over there in very short order to work on the issue of a ceasefire. I was in touch yesterday with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. We’ve agreed to meet at a certain time. We’re working on the idea of a ceasefire.

Israel is under siege by a terrorist organization that has seen fit to dig tunnels and come through those tunnels with handcuffs and tranquilizer drugs, prepared to try to capture Israeli citizens and take them back to hold them hostage. No country could sit by and not take steps to try to deal with people who are sending thousands of rockets your way, literally in the middle of a conversation both with the President and with me. While we were talking to the prime minister, sirens went off. The prime minister of Israel had to interrupt the conversation with the President of the United States to go to a shelter. People can’t live that way.

And Hamas needs to understand we are supporting the Egyptian initiative for a ceasefire. We will work for a fair ceasefire and we will work afterwards, as we have shown our willingness to try to deal with the underlying issues. But they must step up and show a level of reasonableness and they need to accept the offer of a ceasefire, and then we will certainly discuss all of the issues relevant to the underlying crisis. No country has indicated a greater willingness to do that, and no president’s been more willing to put himself on the line in recent time to do that than President Obama.

QUESTION: So as I understand it, what you are saying is that the U.S. is comfortable with Israeli actions thus far —

SECRETARY KERRY: No, I —

QUESTION: — but you would like to see a ceasefire?

SECRETARY KERRY: Candy – Candy, please. No country, no human being is comfortable with children being killed, with people being killed, but we’re not comfortable with Israeli soldiers being killed either, or with people being rocketed in Israel. So in war, it’s very difficult. There tends not to be a sort of equilibrium in terms of these things. The fact is that we’ve asked Israel and Israel has said we will try to reduce whatever we can with respect to civilian involvement, and civilians have been warned to move well ahead of time. The fact is that Hamas uses civilians as shields and they fire from a home and draw the fire into the home, precisely to elicit the kind of question you just asked. We need to have a ceasefire.

QUESTION: Secretary of State Kerry, very much appreciate your time this morning.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you.
# # #

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release July 20, 2014

Interview

Secretary of State John Kerry
With David Gregory of NBC’s Meet the Press

July 20, 2014
Washington, D.C.

QUESTION: Secretary Kerry, welcome back to Meet the Press.

SECRETARY KERRY: I’m glad to be with you, David. Thank you.

QUESTION: The President demanded absolute cooperation from Russia, from the separatists in eastern Ukraine, and now the whole world is watching, and the startling developments that the rebels are removing bodies from the crash site, putting them on refrigerated trains, even talk of removing the black box. What do you say about that this morning?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, what’s happening is really grotesque and it is contrary to everything that President Putin and Russia said that they would do. There are reports of drunken separatist soldiers unceremoniously piling bodies into trucks, removing both bodies as well as evidence from the site.

They promised unfettered access, David, and the fact is that right now – they had 75 minutes on Friday, yesterday three hours. There were shots fired in the area. The separatists are in control. And it is clear that Russia supports the separatists, supplies the separatists, encourages the separatists, trains the separatists, and Russia needs to step up and make a difference here.

QUESTION: How might the investigation be compromised the government’s ability to determine with certainty who fired this missile based on what’s happening now? And specifically, I speak here about these reports of the black box being removed.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, let me tell you what we know at this point, David, because it tells you a lot about what is going on. In the last month, we have observed major supplies moving in. Several weeks ago, about 150-vehicle convoy, including armored personnel carriers, tanks, rocket launches, artillery all going in and being transferred to the separatists. We know that they had an SA-11 system in the vicinity literally hours before the shoot-down took place. There are social media records of that. They were talking, and we have the intercepts of their conversations talking about the transfer and movement and repositioning of the SA-11 system.

The social media showed them with this system moving through the very area where we believe the shoot-down took place hours before it took place. Social media – which is an extraordinary tool, obviously, in all of this – has posted recordings of a separatist bragging about the shoot-down of a plane at the time, right after it took place. The defense minister, so-called self-appointed of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, Mr. Igor Strelkov, actually posted a bragging statement on the social media about having shot down a transport. And then when it became apparent it was civilian, they quickly removed that particular posting. We —

QUESTION: Are you bottom-lining here that Russia provided the weapon?

SECRETARY KERRY: There’s a story today confirming that, but we have not within the Administration made a determination. But it’s pretty clear when – there’s a build-up of extraordinary circumstantial evidence. I’m a former prosecutor. I’ve tried cases on circumstantial evidence; it’s powerful here. But even more importantly, we picked up the imagery of this launch. We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing, and it was exactly at the time that this aircraft disappeared from the radar. We also know from voice identification that the separatists were bragging about shooting it down afterwards.

QUESTION: Right.

SECRETARY KERRY: So there’s a stacking-up of evidence here which Russia needs to help account for. We are not drawing the final conclusion here, but there is a lot that points at the need for Russia to be responsible. And what President Obama believes and we, the international community, join in believing, all, everybody is convinced we must have unfettered access. And the lack of access – the lack of access, David, makes its own statement about culpability and responsibility.

QUESTION: Given that – given that and what comes next, The Washington Post has editorialized this weekend what was missing from the President’s comments when he spoke out on Friday was a clear moral conclusion about the regime of Vladimir Putin or an articulation of how the United States will respond. What about it?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, we’re in discussions about that right now. I had a conversation yesterday with my counterpart, Foreign Minister Lavrov, and made it very, very clear that we need this cooperation. We’re going to try to find a way immediately to determine whether or not that’s going to be forthcoming. As you know, President Obama only the day before this incident took place unilaterally moved in order to impose tougher sanctions. And he imposed sanctions on Gazprom, sanctions on energy companies, sanctions on military companies. We’ve taken tough sanctions. We hope this is a profound wakeup call for those countries in Europe that have wanted to kind of go slow and soft-pedal this. And —

QUESTION: But call Vladimir Putin what he is. What is the threat that he and Russia present to the United States and to the West?

SECRETARY KERRY: It’s not a question of the threat that they present to the West, David. It’s a question of whether or not you’re going to get the cooperation necessary in a way that they have said that they would. And we’re trying for the last time to see if that will be forthcoming at this moment or not. But obviously, the additional sanctions are reflections of the President’s exhaustion of patience with words that are not accompanied by actions.

Going back to the meetings that I had with Mr. Lavrov in Geneva several – what, a couple months ago now, the fact is they agreed to do certain things and the Ukrainians agreed to do certain things. Ukraine declared a ceasefire. Twenty-six soldiers of Ukraine were killed during the course of the ceasefire.

We need Russia to publicly, publicly start to call for responsible action and itself take actions that they can take with the separatists that they have encouraged, they have inflamed, they have supplied, they have trained, and that are still engaged in a contest for the sovereignty of Ukraine itself. Russia said they would respect the sovereignty of Ukraine, but that is not respectful to be transferring those weapons across. That’s why the toughest —

QUESTION: But I detect in your words, Mr. Secretary, some reluctance to make this a one-on-one battle. You want to give Russia a little bit more room here. But the question is still about consequences. How can anyone view this as anything other than the lowest moment between the United States and Russia in the post-Cold War environment?

SECRETARY KERRY: David, you can get into these grand sort of proclamations about where things are and where they aren’t. The fact is we live in an extremely complicated world right now where everybody is working on ten different things simultaneously. Russia is working with us in a cooperative way on the P5+1. We just had important meetings in Vienna where we’re trying —

QUESTION: This is about Iran’s nuclear program.

SECRETARY KERRY: — in order to try to deal with Iran’s nuclear program. Russia was constructive and helpful and worked at that effort. Russia has been constructive in helping to remove 100 percent of the declared chemical weapons from Syria. In fact, that was an agreement we made months ago and it never faltered, even during these moments of conflict. So this is more complicated than just throwing names at each other and making declarations. There has to be a continued effort to find a way forward, and that’s what we’re trying to do. But we’ve made it clear even as we do that.

There is no naivete in what President Obama has done with respect to these very tough sanctions. And the United States has been working diligently with Europe trying to bring Europe along. They’ve included additional sanctions. We think, frankly, that they may need to be tougher. And it may well be that the Dutch and others will help lead that effort because this has to be a wakeup call to Europe that this has to change. We cannot continue with a dual-track policy where diplomacy is winding up with nice words and well-constructed communiques and agreements, but then there’s a separate track where the same policy continues.

QUESTION: Let me ask you —

SECRETARY KERRY: This is a moment of truth for Mr. Putin and for Russia. Russia needs to step up and prove its bona fides, if there are any left, with respect to its willingness to put actions behind the words.

QUESTION: The war in Gaza also is occupying your time. What is it that you think Israel stands to gain from its invasion into Gaza and the bombardment of Gaza?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, this is a very, very difficult moment also and a very difficult situation. Israel has been under attack by rockets. I don’t think any nation in the world would sit there while rockets are bombarding it, and you know that there are tunnels from which terrorists have come jumping up in the dead of night, some with handcuffs and with tranquilizer drugs on them, in an obvious effort to try to kidnap people then hold them for ransom. The fact is that is unacceptable by any standard anywhere in the world. And Israel has every right in the world to defend itself.

But we’re hopeful, very hopeful, that we could quickly try to find a way forward to put a ceasefire in place so that the underlying issues – so that we can get to the questions. But you cannot reward terrorism. There can’t be a set of preconditioned demands that are going to be met. So we support the Egyptian initiative joined in by Israel and others to have an immediate ceasefire, and we’re working that ceasefire very, very hard. I have been in touch all yesterday, the day before, many days now, with my counterparts. The President has been in touch with Prime Minister Netanyahu, I think day before yesterday. They will talk again today. I talked to Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday. And I believe the President wants me to go very, very shortly to the region in order to try to see if we can get a ceasefire in place.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, before I let you go, I want you to answer critics who accuse this President of an uncertain course in his foreign policy. And it harkens back to something the President wrote in his own book, Audacity of Hope. He wrote this critical of the Bush years: “Without a well-articulated strategy that the public supports and the world understands, America will lack the legitimacy and ultimately the power it needs to make the world safer than it is today.”

SECRETARY KERRY: David, let me —

QUESTION: Is that the problem President Obama faces?

SECRETARY KERRY: No. Let me tell you what he faces maybe is a problem with a bunch of critics who want to jump to conclusions without looking at the facts. But the facts could not be more clear: The United States of America has never been more engaged in helping to lead in more places than we are now.

I just came back from China where we are engaged with the Chinese in dealing with North Korea. And you will notice, since the visit last year, North Korea has been quieter. We haven’t done what we want to do yet with respect to the denuclearization, but we are working on that and moving forward.

With respect to Syria, we struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out. With respect to Iraq, we are deeply involved now in the process of government formation, helping the Iraqis to be able to choose a government of unity that can reunite it. They’ve elected a speaker. They’re about to elect a president. We believe that’s moving forward.

On Afghanistan, we helped strike a deal recently to help warring parties in contest of the election to be able to come together and hold Afghanistan together.

With respect to Iran, we – this President has taken the risk of putting together a negotiation. For the first time in 10 years, the Iranian nuclear program is actually being rolled backwards, and Israel and the region are safer than they were.

We’ve negotiated a ceasefire in an effort to try to bring troops into South Sudan. We’ve negotiated a disarming of the M23 rebel group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We’re negotiating a major economic treaty, a package trade agreement —

QUESTION: Right.

SECRETARY KERRY: — with Europe, 40 percent of the world’s GDP. Same thing in Asia.

I would tell you something, David. One thing I’ve seen for certain: People aren’t worried around the United States and sitting there saying, “We want the United States to leave.” People are worried that the United States might leave. And the fact is that every fundamental issue of conflict today, the United States is in the center leading and trying to find an effort to make peace where peace is very difficult. And I think the American people ought to be proud of what this President has done in terms of peaceful, diplomatic engagement rather than quick trigger, deploying troops, starting or engaging in a war of choice. I think the President’s on the right track and I think we have the facts to prove it.

QUESTION: Secretary Kerry, as always, thank you for your time.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you.

# # #


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release July 20, 2014

Interview

Secretary of State John Kerry
With George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s This Week

July 20, 2014
Washington, D.C.

QUESTION: We are joined now by the Secretary of State John Kerry. Mr. Secretary, thanks for your time this morning. We just heard in Alex Marquardt’s piece that Palestinians are calling this morning’s operation in Gaza a massacre and a war crime. What’s your response?

SECRETARY KERRY: That’s rhetoric that we’ve heard many, many times. What they need to do is stop rocketing Israel and accept a ceasefire. It’s very, very clear that they’ve tunneled under Israel. They’ve tried to come out of those tunnels with people with handcuffs and tranquilizer drugs to capture Israeli citizens and hold them for ransom, or worse. They’ve been rocketing Israel with thousands of rockets. They’ve been offered a ceasefire, and they’ve refused to take the ceasefire. Even though Egypt and others have called for that ceasefire, they’ve just stubbornly invited further efforts to try to defuse the ability to be able to rocket Israel.

So it’s ugly, obviously. War is ugly, and bad things are going to happen. But they need to recognize their own responsibility. We have offered to have a ceasefire and then negotiate the issues. We’ve obviously shown our bona fides in the United States, and the President has put his presidency behind the effort to try to find peace in the region. So they need to join up and be responsible and accept a unilateral – not a unilateral, but a multilateral ceasefire without conditions, and then we pledge to discuss all the underlying issues, which we’ve been trying to do for the last year and a half.

QUESTION: You pin the blame – you seem to pin the blame most squarely on Hamas. Is there any dealing with Hamas, or must they be removed from power?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, that’s a – well, we don’t deal with Hamas, but there are people in the region who obviously do, and Israel has had to find a way to communicate through Egyptians or others in order to get Private Shalit back or other kinds of things historically. But there are plenty of people talking to Hamas in the region, and they’re all telling Hamas that they need to try to have a ceasefire. And what we need to do is get that ceasefire rapidly. I’ve been in touch with every foreign minister involved in this discussion. I talked yesterday with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. President Obama talked on Friday evening with Prime Minister Netanyahu. I talked to him yesterday. The President will talk to him again today. We are trying to get a ceasefire in place, and then be able to move on and get back to the discussions that really are underlying this conflict.

QUESTION: In the meantime —

SECRETARY KERRY: But in the immediacy, when three young Israeli kids are taken and murdered, and Hamas applauds it and celebrates the fact that they were kidnapped and supported the kidnapping, and then starts rocketing Israel when they’re looking for the people who did it, that’s out of balance by any standard, George. And I think it’s important for people to remember the facts that led to this. Hamas needs to join up, be part of a solution, not the problem

QUESTION: The U.S. and the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, you just mentioned, have also called on Israel to do more to stop civilian casualties. What exactly would you like to see from Prime Minister Netanyahu?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, Prime Minister Netanyahu has indicated that he is not trying to go in and create some sort of massive counter-civilian re-takeover. What he’s trying to do is make it clear to Hamas that he’s prepared to do what he needs to do to protect the citizens of his country. I mean, just yesterday, when I was talking – or the day before, when I was talking to the prime minister, in the middle of our conversation, the air raid sirens go off and the prime minister of the country has to tell me, “I have to interrupt the conversation. We have to go to the shelter.” Twenty minutes later, we can pick up a conversation. The same thing happened with the President of the United States. This is happening to families all across Israel. Every day, they have to seek shelter. Hamas has to understand you can’t just sit there and claim moral rectitude or the higher ground while you’re busy rocketing people and capturing people and digging tunnels to attack them. And this has to stop.

Now, we’ve indicated our willingness to be a fair mediator, arbiter, to try to come in together with others, in order to negotiate the key issues. But you can’t reward this terrorism with a bunch of preconditions up front. There has to be a humanitarian or some kind of ceasefire in order to stop the violence.

QUESTION: I want to move on.

SECRETARY KERRY: And we all want to see that happen.

QUESTION: I want to move on to the situation in Ukraine. Our embassy in Kyiv has laid out a string of evidence tying the shoot-down to Russia. In your view, is Russia responsible for these deaths?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, the question of responsibility is going to be adjudicated, obviously, in an investigation, providing we can get that full and fair investigation. But there are an enormous array of facts that point at Russia’s support for and involvement in this effort. Russia – there are – I mean, some of the separatist leaders, George, are Russian. Russia has armed the separatists. Russia has supported the separatists. Russia has trained the separatists. Russia continues to refuse to call publicly for the separatists to engage in behavior that would lend itself to a resolution of this issue. And the fact is that only a few weeks ago, a convoy of 150 vehicles of artillery, armored personnel carriers, multiple rocket launchers, tanks crossed over from Russia into this area, and these items were all turned over to the separatists.

We track – we, ourselves, tracked the imagery of the launch of this surface-to-air missile, of the disappearance of the aircraft from the radar at that time. We know that this comports with an SA-11 system because it hit an aircraft at the altitude of 33,000 feet. We know to a fact that the separatists bragged on the social media immediately afterwards about the shoot-down, and then later, when one of the leaders of the social – of the movement who – Igor Strelkov, who’s the self-proclaimed defense minister of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, he posted a social media bragging about the takedown of a military transport, and when it turned out to be civilian, he then quickly removed it from the social media. Now, drunken separatists are stacking bodies into the back of trucks, removing materials from the site. On Friday, we had 75 minutes of access to the site; on Saturday, three hours of access. This is an insult to everybody.

QUESTION: So given all that, Mr. Secretary —

SECRETARY KERRY: This is a moment of truth for – it’s really a moment of truth for Russia to step up and be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

QUESTION: So given all that, what exactly should President Putin do right now?

SECRETARY KERRY: President Putin should publicly call on the separatists. He should engage in a public support for the ceasefire. He should engage with the separatists directly in order to release the hostages that they’ve taken, and he should encourage them immediately to take part in a political process that can bring peace to the region. He needs to stop arming them. He could help prevent people crossing the border. He could stop the supplies from coming in. He could engage in the kind of constructive effort that Russia engaged in with us in order to remove 100 percent of the declared chemical weapons from Syria. He could do those things.

QUESTION: There’s no indication, yet, Mr. Secretary —

SECRETARY KERRY: All of those things.

QUESTION: — that he’s prepared to do that. So if he doesn’t, what’s going to be the United States’ response, and do you believe Europe is now prepared to go along with greater sanctions?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, we hope Europe will be obviously. We think this is a wakeup call for countries in Europe. President Obama, however, took the lead and put additional sanctions in place on energy, on arms manufacturing companies, and on banking. And those are the toughest sanctions that have been put in place to date. He did that the day before this incident took place, and he is absolutely prepared to consider further, but we need to consult with our allies in Europe. And equally importantly, we’d like to take a stab at seeing if we can find a way for Russia to join in taking actions that actually back up the words that we’ve been hearing.

QUESTION: Finally, Mr. Secretary, you’re juggling so many different crises right now. Your friend and former colleague, Senator John McCain, has said that the world is in greater turmoil than any time in his lifetime. And he and many of your other critics say that the President bears some responsibility for that, he hasn’t been forceful enough. Do you agree with this analysis of the world right now? And how do you respond to the criticism?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, I agree with the analysis to the degree that it says that the world is in turmoil right now, and the world is because enormous numbers of forces have been unleashed with globalization, with the Arab Spring, with the radical religious extremism, none of which are the fault of President Obama. And that’s a nice narrative, politically, if all you want to do is play politics. But the fact is that the United States of America, George, is more engaged in more places in the world, and frankly, I think, to greater effect than at any time in recent memory, and I can’t think of a time when the United States has been engaged in more places where people are worried not about our staying, but they don’t want us to leave, and they recognize that American leadership is critical.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, thanks very much for your time this morning.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you.

# # #


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release July 20, 2014

Interview

Secretary of State John Kerry
With Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday

July 20, 2014
Washington, D.C.

QUESTION: Joining us now to discuss all these issues is the Secretary of State, John Kerry, who’s in Boston. Secretary Kerry, welcome back to Fox News Sunday.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, Chris. Good to be with you.

QUESTION: Pro-Russian separatists have reportedly removed almost 200 bodies from the crash site and are continuing to refuse to allow investigators full access to the site. Has this investigation already been compromised, sir?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, it’s been seriously compromised, notwithstanding President Putin and Russia saying that they were going to help to enforce the idea of a full investigation that was – had integrity and access. We haven’t. On Friday, the monitors and the people trying to get in there to secure the site were given 75 minutes. Yesterday, they were given three hours. Drunken – I mean literally drunken separatist soldiers are piling bodies into trucks unceremoniously and disturbing the evidence and disturbing the pattern that is there. Anything that is removed – and we understand some aircraft parts have been removed – compromises the investigation.

So we need full access. And this is a moment of truth for Russia. Some of the leaders of the separatists are Russian. Russia arms these separatists. Russia trains these separatists. Russia supports these separatists. Russia has spoken out and has refused to call on them publicly to do the things that need to be done. So I think this is a fundamental moment of truth for Russia, for Mr. Putin. They need to exert all of the influence that they have in order to protect the full integrity of this investigation.

QUESTION: Secretary Kerry, you say that they arm the separatists, they train the separatists. I want to try to get your latest intelligence on what the Russian role was in this shoot-down. Did they supply the missile that was used to shoot down this airliner? Did they have some complicity, direct or indirect, in the actual decision and the action of shooting down the missile?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, Chris, nobody – you can’t draw a final conclusion to an investigation before you’ve had the investigation. But let me tell you what we know and people can begin to make their own assessments. We know to a certainty that within the last month, a major convoy of 150 vehicles, including tanks, artillery, multiple rocket launchers and armored personnel carriers, all crossed over from Russia into this area of Ukraine, and these things were turned over to the separatists. This is one instance. We know to a certainty that the separatists have gained proficiency in using sophisticated surface-to-air missiles and that they have shot down some 12 aircraft in the last months, including two transport planes. We know to a certainty that we saw the launch from this area of what we deem to be an SA-11 because of the altitude – 33,000 feet – and because of the trajectory. We have the trajectory recorded. We know that it occurred at the very moment that this aircraft disappeared from the radar screen. We know that very shortly thereafter, separatists were bragging in the social media about having shot down a transport plane. We know that the so-called defense minister of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, Mr. Igor Strelkov, actually posted a bragging social media posting of having shot down a military transport, and then, when it became apparent that it was civilian, they pulled it down from the social media.

QUESTION: But Secretary Kerry —

SECRETARY KERRY: We have voices that we have overheard of separatists, in Russian, bragging about the shoot-down and then subsequently taking down social media —

QUESTION: But Secretary Kerry —

SECRETARY KERRY: — and yesterday —

QUESTION: — you’re presenting – and I know that you were a prosecutor in Massachusetts – a very strong case with a lot of Russian involvement, which raises the question in the immediate aftermath of the shoot-down on Friday, President Obama said he still is not going to provide military aid to Ukraine, and he said that he is not going to impose new sanctions on Russia. And —

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, the President – no, no, no, I think you —

QUESTION: — if I may finish my question, sir.

SECRETARY KERRY: Yeah.

QUESTION: And I guess the question is: If this is an outrage of unspeakable proportion, as the President said, why not impose a greater cost on Vladimir Putin?

SECRETARY KERRY: The President imposed a greater cost on Vladimir Putin the day before this shoot-down took place. And what we are doing now is trying to bring our European counterparts along because we have 4 percent of Russia’s trade is with the United States; 50 percent of their engagement is with Europe. So we are trying to encourage our European friends to realize this is a wakeup call, and hopefully they will also join us in these tougher sanctions.

QUESTION: But again, sir —

SECRETARY KERRY: The President – let me finish, let me finish. The President is prepared to take additional steps, and we are discussing with the Ukrainians right now what they need, what else we can do, and every – I don’t think anything except American troops going there – other things are on the table, Chris. All of that is now being discussed.

QUESTION: Well, wait a minute. Sir, that is not – sir, if – respectfully, that is not true. You just gave a long list of what Putin is providing the separatists, from surface-to-air missiles to tanks. We’re providing the Ukrainian military with MREs, with military rations. And you talk about putting pressure on the Europeans. In fact, the President, on Friday, didn’t put any pressure on the Europeans. Instead, he said this. Take a look.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: We feel confident that at this point, the sanctions that we put in place are imposing a cost on Russia, that their overall impact on the global economy is minimal.

QUESTION: Secretary Kerry —

SECRETARY KERRY: That has nothing – whoa, whoa, whoa. Look, Chris —

QUESTION: — if I may just ask my question.

SECRETARY KERRY: Yeah.

QUESTION: If the massacre of 300 civilians isn’t enough, what is it going to take for the United States and Russia to go after entire sectors, not individual companies or individuals, but entire sectors of the Russian economy?

SECRETARY KERRY: Chris, that particular little clip is really taken out of context. It refers to the sanctions that we’ve had in place already taking a cost. The President has not taken off the table the notion that there may be additional sanctions. In fact, he also said that there would be additional sanctions if we can’t move this process forward.

QUESTION: Well, how about just for the fact —

SECRETARY KERRY: And we are currently —

QUESTION: — that they shot down the plane?

SECRETARY KERRY: Let me just finish.

QUESTION: Why not sanctions for that?

SECRETARY KERRY: Let me just finish. Chris, let me just finish. We are currently in discussions with our European allies precisely with respect to what the next steps will be. And rather than shoot from the hip, the President is going to do this in a thoughtful way – where it’s one day, two days later. We’re just gathering more facts, and I think it takes facts for responsible leadership. So that’s exactly what we’re doing.

QUESTION: I – we obviously have limited time, and there’s a lot to talk to you about. You announced Friday that the U.S. and the allies are extending talks – nuclear talks with Iran for another four months, but when those talks began six months ago, members of the Administration promised that there would be new sanctions if there was not a deal, if there was not an agreement by the deadline, which, in fact, is today. Take a look at what various Administration officials have said, sir.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: If Iran’s leaders do not seize this opportunity, then I will be the first to call for more sanctions and stand ready to exercise all options to make sure Iran does not build a nuclear weapon.

MS. PSAKI: If the Iranians don’t get to a yes at the end of six months, we can put in place more sanctions.

QUESTION: But Secretary Kerry – and that last person was your spokesman, Jen Psaki. But instead of sanctions, Iran is going to get $2.8 billion more in assets that we have frozen instead of sanctions even though there’s no deal, and they continue to – their research and their enrichment.

SECRETARY KERRY: Actually, Chris, they’re reducing their enrichment, and the fact is that this is the first time in 10 years, under this current deal, that Iran’s nuclear program is being rolled back. And I know you and others don’t ever want to give the Obama Administration credit for almost anything, but the fact is this is the first administration to get a rollback in those 10 years, and right now Israel and countries in the region and the world are safer because Iran’s 20 percent enriched uranium is now being reduced to zero, and under this agreement to continue the negotiations for four months, Iran will further reduce the capacity of that enriched uranium to be used by turning it into fuel for the research reactor, which makes it almost impossible to be used in a weapon. In addition, we have inspectors in their facilities every single day. In addition to that, they have not been able to move forward on the Arak plutonium heavy water reactor.

QUESTION: But sir, they can continue —

SECRETARY KERRY: No, no, no.

QUESTION: I – they can continue enrichment.

SECRETARY KERRY: Chris, you like to ask questions, but you don’t like to get answers.

QUESTION: No, I do, sir.

SECRETARY KERRY: Let me answer.

QUESTION: But they do – they are able to continue enrichment.

SECRETARY KERRY: Let me finish my answer.

QUESTION: They are able to continue work on their centrifuges.

SECRETARY KERRY: Chris, I don’t care how many questions you ask. I’m going to finish my answer. And I am telling you that everybody said at the beginning of this the sanctions won’t work, the sanctions regime won’t hold, Iran won’t do what it’s supposed to, and they’re dead wrong. Everything that Iran was supposed to do they have done with respect to this, and we believe – and the sanctions have held, and we believe that it is smart to continue the negotiation as Israel even and others said don’t rush to an agreement; a bad deal is worse than no deal. And we agree, and so we’re trying to move, but we are making some progress, Chris, and we’re not going to turn our back on that progress. We’re going to try to continue for the next four months, and I think what we’re doing by holding their nuclear program at a lower level, we’ve expanded the breakout time, the world is safer, and this is a smart deal.

QUESTION: Finally, sir – and I wanted to give you an opportunity to answer the question there —

SECRETARY KERRY: Finally, yeah.

QUESTION: Listen, the limits on time have been put on by your people. We’d talk to you all day, sir. While – you’re doing a series of interviews with all of the networks, and while you were on camera and while you were on microphone, you just spoke to one of your top aides in between the interviews about the situation in Israel and the fact that 14 Israelis have either been shot or killed in an operation. We want to play a clip of that conversation, because it’s an extraordinary moment of diplomacy. Take a look at this.

SECRETARY KERRY: It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation. It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.

STAFF: Right. It’s escalating really significantly, and just underscores the need for a ceasefire.

SECRETARY KERRY: We’ve got to get over there.

STAFF: Yeah. Yeah.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, Jon. I think, Jon, we ought to go tonight. I think it’s crazy to be sitting around.

QUESTION: Secretary Kerry, when you said it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation, are you upset that the Israelis are going too far, and in fact, do you intend to go back to the Middle East tonight, sir?

SECRETARY KERRY: I think it’s very, very difficult in these situations, obviously very difficult, Chris. You have people who’ve come out of tunnels. You have a right to go in and take out those tunnels. We completely support that, and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against rockets that are continuing to come in. Hamas has started this process of rocketing after Israel was trying to find the people who killed three young – and one American kid, three young Israeli citizens. It’s disgraceful.

And so, yeah, it’s tough. It’s tough to have this kind of operation, and I reacted obviously in a way that anybody does with respect to young children and civilians. But war is tough, and I said that publicly and I’ll say it again. We defend Israel’s right to do what it is doing in order to get at those tunnels. Israel has accepted a unilateral ceasefire. It’s accepted the Egyptian plan, which we also support. And it is important for Hamas to now step up and be reasonable and understand that you accept a ceasefire, you save lives, and that’s the way we can proceed to have a discussion about all of the underlying issues which President Obama has clearly indicated a willingness to do.

QUESTION: Secretary Kerry, we appreciate your answering all of our questions, even if occasionally I do interrupt, and thank you very much, sir, and safe travels.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. Thank you very much, appreciate it.

# # #

Falling through the cracks…

I hope this post finds you all well. It has been a while, hasn’t it?

So as some of you may know, I have been accepted into the MA in Middle Eastern Studies program at the University of Exeter. I have searched the University of Exeter website concerning funding and scholarships. I searched the funding database and am not eligible for any of those scholarships. I contacted the funding office months ago when I received my offer to inquire about funding and was advised to search external sites for scholarships. I have searched many other sites for scholarships and I don’t seem to be eligible for any of them. In order to confirm and hold my spot in the program, I have to pay a nearly $4,000 deposit. Last year, I only made $8,039. Do you see my challenge?

I have literally spent more than 40 hours combing through scholarships I am not eligible for. I’ve been searching for scholarships since 2011 and have been coming up short.

You may be asking why I opted to apply to a British university as opposed to an American university. I applied to the University of Exeter specifically because of the European Centre for Palestine Studies and to get the chance to learn from and work with Ilan Pappe.

I would obviously be an international student  at Exeter. And like many other American students, I have a considerable amount of student debt. I have well over $70,000 in student debt. I have American citizenship, as well as Israeli citizenship. And as a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, I am not eligible for many scholarships afforded to most Arabs. This has been made clear to me by quite a few funding bodies.  The only scholarship I slightly qualify for is the Edward Said scholarship (although the deadline has passed), but seeing as I am not currently residing in the Middle East, the scholarship requires non-current residents to provide proof from a future employer that I will return to Palestine after receiving my degree. This is not exactly simple seeing as I cannot guarantee myself a job in 1-5 years time.  I couldn’t even guarantee myself a job now. I cannot apply for American scholarships meant for minorities because Arabs are considered White and therefore not a minority. I have found a few scholarships that consider Arabs to be minorities, but I have been disqualified from those for reasons like not being an undergraduate student, being over the age of 25 or not attending a U.S. university. Many Israeli scholarships are advertised in Hebrew, which I do not speak or they require you to be a current resident. The only Islamic/Muslim scholarships I can find are meant for either undergraduates or meant to be used at U.S. universities. I cannot seem to find any scholarships for Middle Eastern Studies students at the postgraduate level. I currently work at a university teaching Arabic and I have even asked them about possible funding opportunities for me, with little luck. I applied for recent graduate scholarships from the university I received my previous degree from and did not receive any. When I inquired why I didn’t receive a scholarship, I was told that their is a preference towards non-UK universities.  Other scholarships I applied for– I have been disqualified from because the degree program I recently attended did not run on a GPA system and a GPA was required for the scholarships. It runs on a High Pass, Pass, Low Pass, Credit and No Credit basis. There is no way to calculate a GPA. I have also filled out my FAFSA application, as well, but last year was prevented from taking out further loans and I’m not sure if things have changed this year.

I was supposed to attend an Arabic Language program this academic year but was forced to take a year off to save money because I was unable to fund my studies. I do not want that to happen this year again and while I have saved up some money, it is not nearly enough to cover my expenses for the year or even grant me a student visa to get to the UK.  My difficulties in saving money have stemmed from my inability to find a full-time job, the effects of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy and general life occurrences.

Even if I am approved for loans this year, I wouldn’t be able to access that money until the start of the academic year; still making it impossible for me to pay the deposit to save my spot. I have every intention of continuing onto a PhD, hopefully at the University of Exeter.  And I really do not want to miss out on this opportunity.

This is why from the bottom of my heart, I am asking for tiny donations to help me fund my studies. Even $1 would help. I wouldn’t be asking if I didn’t absolutely need it. I find it incredibly embarrassing to ask for money, but find myself incapable of finding another way to fund my studies.

You can check out the link below to learn more about my professional goals and my volunteering to do community service in exchange for donations.

Pretty please check out my link to my Go Fund Me page and  share it with friends.

http://www.gofundme.com/2kowa0