April Astor



Palestinian Awareness Week

A white tent erected on the quad last Monday marked the beginning of the fourth annual Palestine Awareness Week on AU's campus, and symbolizes the plight of Palestinian refugees. AU Students for Justice in Palestine staffed the tent all week, providing information on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict along with Palestinian food and music.


Iraqi media experiences new freedoms

Before the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, the only media in Iraq was government run. There was no chance to express a second opinion, said Hamdi, an Iraqi newspaper editor. "Since the arrival of the liberating forces, a new page in the life of Iraq has begun as far as the media is concerned," he said on Thursday.


Students divided over Israeli election results

On the AU campus, opinions vary greatly on how recent election results in Israel and Palestine will impact progress toward Middle East peace. Israel's centrist Kadima party, led by acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, won the country's parliamentary election Tuesday with a total of 28 seats.


Panel looks at women's role in Middle Eastern society

The image of a Middle Eastern woman covered by a burkha may conjure up strong feelings for Western feminists. During the Taliban regime however, there was more public outrage over the group's destruction of Buddhist statues than over their harsh treatment of women, said AU professor Catherine Warrick at a panel discussion Monday night.


Coffee on campus

Davenport Lounge in the SIS building has a definite indie vibe. Students lounge on large comfortable couches, play chess and listen to the music playing. The student-run coffee shop offers a unique place to relax and chill out. The Mud Box is a new addition to the library.


Fall brings two new coffee vendors to campus

The Mud Box and Pura Vida Coffee Shops will open this fall, joining the four others already open on the AU campus. While some students are glad to be able to grab coffee anywhere at AU, but others say the coffee proliferation is overkill and the space should be used for other kinds of vendors.


Drinking rules change in D.C., but not at AU

In a change from last year, improved and increased enforcement of underage drinking laws will be practiced by the Metropolitan Police Department. This is part of an annual effort to let students know that underage drinking will not be tolerated, said Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham.


World War II Memorial opens downtown

Some members of the AU community described their first viewing of the World War II Memorial with mixed feelings or disappointment. The monument, which opened to the public April 29 and was dedicated a month later, is the only memorial to a 20th century event on the central axis of the National Mall.


Return of cicadas could increase bird population

New students on campus will not see much of the cicadas, whose peak was from May to mid-June, but they may notice the aftereffects of Brood X. The cicadas provide a readily available food source for a variety of animals including birds, snakes, lizards and small mammals. This could potentially lead to larger populations of these species in the future.

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