Written Reflection

Posted on December 13th, 2010 in Uncategorized by rkhan826

Runa F. Khan

Prof. Trevor Lee

ENG 379

Written Reflection

Due: December 13, 2010

             In my research I developed an educational awareness on two major issues that are

currently going on in Bangladesh. Low wages and unfit working conditions of factory workers in

this country have been on-going issues for many years and has been the focus of numerous

international labor rights organization since the peak of the problems. Their goals and efforts that

I have researched drawn me in to see how I, myself can help spread the word and help gain

support to help these factory workers who are crying out for help.

        Before I started my initial research on this topic, I knew of the situation at hand but never

had the chance to go in depth to see what was really going on. Throughout all the articles I have

read, the documentaries and news segments I have watched, and all the mission statements of

labor rights groups I came across, I realized just how serious these issues really were and gained

incredible knowledge day by day as my research continued.

       For instance I was shocked to have learned that there are 2.5 million people employed in

4,500 garment factories, earning an average of twenty-five cents an hour. When I did the math,

I thought that a garment factory with so many workers can produce much more garments and be

paid a reasonable and livable salary, but boy was I wrong. What I came to realize was that the

garment factories were being hired by big name American, as well as British companies, such as

Wal-mart, for as little money they can possible fork up.

          From this information I have come to learn, I came to the conclusion that these big

name companies are number one on the list of who is to blame. I have made the connection

that companies like Wal-mart hire these garment factories for as little money as possible, that

these garment factories who do not want to miss out of the opportunity for business, have

to pay their thousands of workers so little. Therefore, I personally believe that big name

companies should be considerate and pay more to those who help them bring in billions of

dollars of profit.

         Many obstacles came about during my research process. I tried getting in contact with

Bangladeshi garment factories to hear how they stand on these issues and what are their

concerns, but not being able to get in touch with them via telephone and having a language

barrier made my task quite difficult. Also, I tried getting in contact with Wal-mart to ask why

they have been lobbying against the government-supported wage increase which would give

workers a thirty-five cent salary increase, none of my emails were responded too nor were my

attempts for an interview granted. Another obstacle that I faced was getting in touch with H&M,

regarding the February 2010 factory fire that claimed twenty-one lives and left fifty injured

while producing garments for their company and ask them if they full-filled the demands the

factory workers demanded of them, yet my emails and phone calls were never responded to.

          The strategies I came to develop to help me overcome these obstacles were to rely on

the news (NTV/ATN-{Bengali news networks, CNN), documentaries, and the mission of labor

rights groups. I have visited about eight labor rights groups websites to see how they were

advocating for these issues and what strategies they were using to reach those who are behind

these issues and the ones who are more able and higher up to help make a difference regarding

these issues. From all these sources I learned information regarding all violations that the

garment factories are committing which included low wage violations, the disgusting un-safe

working conditions with the list of the major factory fires that have occurred within the past

fifteen years, seeing footage of how devastating a factory fire can be as shown in the

documentary “Schmatta: From Rags to Riches, how labor rights groups such as the International

Labor rights forum are sending out letters to Bengali government officials, posting up petitions

such as the one against Wal-mart on humantrafficking.change.org, collecting donations,

protesting outside Bangladeshi embassies around the world,  and the list goes on.

       For my research I would have done some things differently. I would have loved to visited

these labor rights headquarters in person, visited the main offices of these big name companies,

gone to Bangladesh to do my own documentary interviewing factory workers and owners of

garment factories and learn first-hand how everyone has been affected. I think I should have

been more aggressive in my emailing and telephone calls, which if would have been continually

consistent, I may have gotten a response sooner or later in time for my presentation. I can only

learn from this to help me the next time around.

          I’m proud of the fact that I was able to make a difference in the world by developing

an educational awareness and sharing with my classmates, which is something I have never done

before. From this project I was able to sign petitions, send letters out to government officials,

give donations, and mainly spread the word that there is an issue that needs us to help not one

person but over 2 million individuals. Knowing that my efforts are helping in some way or

another, brings a smile to my face and only opens the doors for me to help with other issues

around the world. This has made me more enthusiastic and concerned with helping out with

international as well as national issues that are consistently going on.

             In class we learned how devastating takeovers of a nation can be and the many ways in

which inhabitants are affected. To those enforcing globalization, they don’t see the possible

harms but see dollar signs instead. It is important for us to help people of a country keep their

identity and make sure that those who come into their lands are helping them benefit and live

sufficient lives without being forcing them into hard low paying labor that is harming instead

of benefiting them.

             For anyone who is interested in helping out with the campaign against low wages and

unfit working conditions as well as many other factory violations of Bangladeshi factory

workers, I advise you to contact or visit labor rights organizations who are already fighting for

this cause. From them they can assist you and what you can do the help in the effort. Whether

its sending out letters to government officials, signing petitions, giving donations, or branching

out and doing your own mission to help, I strongly urge you to do so. Be consistent in your

mission and don’t give up because the fruits of your labor will be more beneficial to you then

sitting around and doing nothing.

          These issues in Bangladesh won’t be over in a blink of an eye, but the more help we give

to the cause the more faster we may be in helping with change. Just imagine yourself working 18

hours straight everyday for $32.51 a month, in a work area that isn’t guaranteed safe, you would

be fighting to get your voice heard and be hoping that there is someone out there who has a heart

big enough to help you.

Goals for the End of the Semester

Posted on December 13th, 2010 in Uncategorized by rkhan826

   Since the semester is already over I must say that this class has given me brand new experiences and given me knowlege on Pacific Island Protest Literature which is something I knew nothing of prior to taking this class. Going to the museum, watching Kinding Sindaw perform, learning some hula, and doing a project on educational awareness were some of the new experience I had gained from this class. My goal is to keep everything I’ve learned in mind and to not forget any of it.  Also getting a good grade is also a goal of mines.

      I must say this class went beyond my expecatations. I didn’t expect for a professor to go out of his/her way to make the class a fun learning experience, so my utmost thanks goes out to Prof. Lee for doing such and never having a dull moment in the class.  I think I’ve gained so much from this one class that 15 classes together may have done.

Experimental Geography

Posted on December 13th, 2010 in Uncategorized by rkhan826

                                               MY land
                   NEW YORK———————————————————————————————————————————-
                                   /                                                                                                                                                               l
                                   /                                                                                                                                                               l
                                   /                                                                                                                                                               l                                                                                                                                                                 
                                   /                                                                                                                                                               l
                                   /                                                                                                                                                               l
                                   /                                                                                                                                                               l
                                   /                                                                                                                                                               l
                                   /                                                                                                                                                               l
                                   /                                                                                                                                                               l
                                   /                                                                                                                                                               l
                                   /                                                                                                                                           BANGLADESH
                                  /                      mother land                                                                                           father land                   /
                        PUERTO RICO ————————————————- / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / // / / / /

Project Update

Posted on November 8th, 2010 in Uncategorized by rkhan826
  At this point in my research process I’m trying to contact labor rights groups in Bangladesh that dedicate their purposes to workers who are being unfairly treated in their work environments. Also, I’m trying to set up phone interviews with factory owners and question them on issues such as their set pay for their workers, the safety of their factories, and how they view the issue of labor rights and if they are or are not committed to the welfare of those who work for them. I know this will be hard conducting a phone interview and knowing for a fact how honest a factory owner will be when asked these such questions.
    I’m also trying to put together a slide show, collage, or maybe a video awareness of this issue in Bangladesh. I haven’t yet decided on exactly how I would like to wrap up my research and how I would like to present it.

Personification

Posted on November 8th, 2010 in Uncategorized by rkhan826
  It all started when that Mr.G demanded that tax cuts be extended to those rich people, which just made me shake my head in disgust. Me being a middle-class working American, working 2 jobs, with 6 kids and a mortgage, where is my tax break?. I guess money is the rich mans best friend. They could buy everything and anything, but their, what I call “money pedestal” gives them privileges that’s us who are “under the money pedestal” can’t have because we earn less then $250,000.
      Now that Mr.O is onboard, what will he decide for our nation?. Will he give tax to the whole country as a whole no matter how much their income is or will those whose have enough money to make houses out of them the upper hand?

Alienation Poetry

Posted on November 8th, 2010 in Uncategorized by rkhan826

There are five times a day,
I escape from my everyday life and feel so alive,
Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha,
When I pray to Allah,
My heart softens and everything feels easier,
Tears blur my vision,
The Ayaats I utter,
Pierce thru my soul like a deep incision,
Making Du’a for everything especially for forgiveness,
I may not look, dress, or openly act the part,
But I’am Muslim and Islam is in my heart.

Resistance Literature

Posted on October 8th, 2010 in Uncategorized by rkhan826

   When hearing the term ‘resistance literature’, you automatically assume that it has to deal with a piece of writing that talks about some kind of opposition to a certain thing or situation from someone’s point of view. The writer is usually someone whose opinions, views, and ideas are banned because what they are expressing seems to conflict negatively with those who are at a “higher power”, usually those who are in control of a government.

         These resistance literature writers are usually imprisoned for their works and even worse,  executed, like Jose Rizal, for writing what they believe in. Through this type of literature, it opens up perspectives that may have been missed by an ordinary person. This literature may inform, warn, and open up the eyes of people to things that may do the opposite of benefiting them.

        I personally think this type of writing is written by brave individuals, who aren’t worried about the persecutions that may come along with publishing their works to a greater audience. It also gives people in other parts of the words an understanding or what groups of people are subjected to in there countries.

Topic Proposal

Posted on September 30th, 2010 in Uncategorized by rkhan826

Runa F. Khan

Prof. Trevor Lee

Eng 379

Topic Proposal

Due: September 28, 2010

Garment Factory Workers in Bangladesh Being Paid Low Wages and Working in Unfit Working Conditions: An Educational Awareness.

      In Bangladesh, there are 4,000 garment factories, many of which are employing workers, paying them very low monthly wages and keeping them in an unfit work environment. These workers work long hours, making clothing for well known companies in the fashion industry.If these big name multi-billion dollar making brands are top notch money makers, shouldn’t they be concerned about the hands that are working strenuously to produce these clothes for them?

      Many workers have been protesting time and time again throughout the years to get their voices heard.  This issue should not only be a concern for this countries government to deal with, but should be a worldwide issue. It is said that Bangladesh will raise the wages for these workers to a set monthly payment of 3,000 taka (name for the Bangladesh currency), which is to start in November of this year. Workers and labor rights groups have asked for a set pay of 5,000 taka and I believe that the pay they asked for should be granted instead of just 3,000 taka.

      Also another problem in these garment factories are the unfit working conditions. Throughout the years, there have been several reported factory fires that claimed the lives and injured many factory workers. Most recently, in February of this year, a factory fire claimed the lives of 21 workers and left 50 injured. What seems to be recurrent in these fires were the lack of emergency exits, exits that have been either locked or blocked by materials, and worst enough workers being locked behind closed doors while they work.

        I would like to develop an educational awareness about these two main problems that happen to take place in these garment factories. I would also like to find out which exact fashion brands are using these factories to produce their clothing and if they are concerned about these situations or turning a cold shoulder to them. Finding out what the government in this country are planning to do and what efforts are being made or suggested to fix these problems, is also something I would like to further research for this awareness.

        Lastly, I would also like to explore what is being done about the lack of safety in these factories and what organizations or people are helping to make the needs of these workers met. I also intend to develop further questions as I go along with my awareness.

Experimental Poetry

Posted on September 15th, 2010 in Uncategorized by rkhan826

His Hands as Cold as Ice

by Runa Khan

His, hands, as, cold. as, ice,
I, remember, the, sting, on,
My,
Warm, Skin,
Like, nothing, I, have, ever, felt,

This man: turned, to, me,
With, eyes, the, color, of, honey
As, though,
He, felt, it, to, know-
ing,
very, well,
yes, very, well, he, didnt!

I, let, go, of , his,
grasp,
Walking, away,
Without,
Turning, back,

 I, will, Never, make, the, same, mistake, twice.

Satrical Character

Posted on September 6th, 2010 in Uncategorized by rkhan826

Satrical Character

Due: September 07, 2010

           As a boy he dreamed of success, fame, and fortune. He grew up to achieve these goals, but later on down the line, his personal life seemed to be plummeting down as a result from this fame he had aquired. Nicky Larenzo, now in his late thirties, after taking a hiatus from the spotlight, seems to be trying to make a comeback to stardom, but will he find himself repeating his mistakes?.

          Having a sweet voice, appealing looks, and being one of the most sought after men during his rising fame gave us the impression that this flamboyant bachelor lifestyle he was living will always linger inside him even if he did decide to settle down. When that time came for him to look for someone, who else could be a better match other then someone who shared the same passion, but just not quite the same lifestyle.

         After dating on and off for several years he married what seemed to us to be the girl of his dreams, his girlfriend Jamie.  The biggest mistake in this picture was putting themselves more in the public eye and taking part in their own television show soon after their marriage.  What made Nicky and Jamie make this decision, only the lord knows. This was a make or break them situation, and it certainly broke them.

         Nicky found him self being the center of numerous rumors and allegations regarding his marriage. Soon after, Jamie and him separated and  seven months later they divorced.  He was spotted with another hollywood beauty, Valerie Madison. It is only human nature for people to try to come up with ther on theories on what really happend.

        Today Nicky Larenzo is trying to start fresh and re-launch his career. We can only sit back and watch and see what is to become of this man.  His motivation seems to be his passion for music and hopefully he will gain back some of the success he once had.

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