Quality Commenting


To make a quality comment, I would implement elements of an unbiased and proper tone. Obviously, the person whom’s post I am commenting on could have feelings. Therefore, I’d make sure that if there are any things of which they can improve, I address them in a polite fashion. To me, quality comments are comments that are well structured, so no random statements such as “this video sucks lol”. Quality comments are comments of which when your opinion is stated, you explain your stance and why it is different from the post’s.

On my blog, I’d like to see comments written on the positive end. If a person has a suggestion to make about one of my posts, it should be given in an eloquent manner. That way, I can understand my areas of improvement and not deal with any insults. Any comments trying to “roast” or “fire shots” will have a special place reserved in my trash.



Kermit the Frog: But That’s None of My Business. Digital image. Giphy.com. Giphy, n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 16.



My third and final FWW Blog Post draws from the 5th Guidepost, “Student distinguishes a variety of perspectives among historical actors participating in a given event” 

The Treaty of Sèvres – a bite at the Middle East?


As the Paris Peace Conference concluded, there were a number of unsolved issues remaining for both the Allies and the Central Powers. The PPC contributed to the inception of the Treaty of Versailles, a document concerning consequences for the German Empire, who the Big Four deemed a part of the ‘losing side’. The TOV, signed on July 28th 1919 officially ended the war between Germany and the Allied Powers. Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire would have an extended wait to complete their peace treaties – these documents would be signed in July 1920, November 1919 and August 1920 respectively.

The Ottoman Empire was the last Central Power to sign a peace treaty with the Allied Powers. However, an armistice had been declared on the Eastern Front since October 30th, 1918. Reasons for this delayed ratification included internal tensions within the Empire and a 15-month debate concerning the split of Ottoman territories.


General information

Like the Peace Conference of 1919, this treaty was signed in France. The representatives met in an exhibition room in Sèvres, a suburb outside of Paris. The treaty’s signatory delegation included British, French, Italian, Japanese and Czechoslovak diplomats. The United States had established an isolationist stance in early 1920 and Russia was completely excluded from the meeting. Mustafa Ataturk and Alexandre Millerand were notable attendees.

As seen in the PPC, each state represented in the Treaty of Sèvres had its own goal in mind. Below are the most significant objectives set by Allies. It is important to note that the UK, France and Greece had already calculated their strategy regarding the destiny of the Middle East.

United Kingdom: Claiming Palestine, Iraq and controlling oriental oil concessions.

France: Taking Syria, Lebanon, and influencing parts of Anatolia (most of modern-day Turkey)

Greece: Control of Smyrna and Thrace

Each of these prospects would become reality, as the Allies pressed the Ottomans in the same manner as Germany during the PPC. However, unlike Germany, Ottoman leaders refused to sign the document due to its harsh conditions. All Allies present, meanwhile, accepted the terms. A conflict would surface within the Empire’s government between those who wished to ratify and those who rejected the conditions. Eventually, Ataturk would be victorious, forcing the introduction of an alternate document with more lenient conditions.


The Treaty of Sevres


The Imperial War

My second IBH Blog Post will draw from the 3rd Diverse Perspective – “Student explains or illustrates perspectives of people in their historical context”.   


Credit to Brilliant Maps

World War I is known to many as a conflict with foundations set in Europe, but a setting of the war that is seldom discussed in sources is colonial Africa. While the Central and Allied powers fought on the East and Western fronts, the “Imperial Battles” took place in Kenya, a UK colony, and the German territories including Togo, Cameroon, Namibia and German East Africa (Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi). Like the tensions that erupted in the Balkans, there were disputes leading up to WWI within the African colonies. Incidents such as the two Moroccan Crises demonstrate the extent to which European powers engaged in competition for control of African territories.


Contrary to generalisations that warfare in the African fronts was small-scaled, the statistics suggest otherwise. According to SanBeck.org, over 750,000 troops were mobilised in East Africa alone to form the Allies’ indigenous force. Britain, France and Belgium coordinated a plot to attack and control German colonies; this plan was seen as a way to weaken supply of sources and hurt the German establishment. As WWI broke out, the British Navy took steps to blockade German East Africa. In mainland German East Africa, territories were claimed by Belgium and the UK. Cameroon and Togo would be overtaken by French colonial forces, primarily assembled from French West Africa, Madagascar and French Equatorial Africa. The German territory of Namibia was also swiped by the British in Southern Africa, along with the piece of the Congo taken post-2nd Moroccan Crisis (France took this territory back).

In order to understand how battles in Verdun or Gallipoli were synchronised would lead to fighting in Yaoundé or Dar es Salaam, the geographic context must be established.


In July 1914, France, Britain, Russia were the major powers constituting the Allied force, with minor forces including Belgium. There were colonies established by the French, British and Belgian administrations in Africa prior to the war; Germany was the only true Central power with territories in the continent. The Allies knew that a point through which the Kaiser’s Empire could be penetrated was the control of the colonies. German Cameroon, East and Southwest Africa were all significant sources for mineral and agricultural exports.

At the conclusion of the war in 1918, Germany would surrender its African colonies to the Alliance; France, the UK and Belgium would split the Empire’s former territories amongst themselves.

Below is a list of the African Allied and Central colonies in 1914. These groupings can be used to understand how the Alliance was able to reach German colonies with their neighbouring territories. This proximity shows why France, Belgium and the UK would’ve been interested in taking German colonies even prior to the war.

French African Colonies in 1914

French West Africa: Senegal, French Sudan (Mali) Mauritania, Niger, Dahomey (Benin), Ivory Coast, Guinea

North Africa: Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco

French Equatorial Africa: Gabon, Ubangi-Shari (Central African Republic), Chad, French Congo State (Congo-Brazzaville)


British African Colonies in 1914 (South Africa is excluded as it became a Union in 1910)

West Africa – Nigeria, Gold Coast (Ghana), Sierra Leone, The Gambia

North Africa – Egypt/Sudan

East Africa – Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Nyasaland (Malawi), British Somaliland

Southern Africa – Northern Rhodesia (Zambia, Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Basutoland (Lesotho), Swaziland


Belgian Colonies in 1914 

Belgian Congo (Congo-Kinshasa)


German Colonies in 1914 

German East Africa (Tanzania, Rwanda)

German Southwest Africa (Namibia)

German Cameroons (Cameroon)

Togoland (Togo)




Beck, Sanderson. “East Africa 1700-1950.” East Africa 1700-1950 by Sanderson Beck, SanBeck.Org, www.san.beck.org/16-12-EastAfrica.html#a7.

Pre-War Communications


Generally, historians have come to a consensus in terms of the immediate causes of World War I. The two incidents most often mentioned are the Assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the July Crisis. Post-WWI, using first-hand accounts, letters and articles, individuals have been able to piece together events between July 1914 and November 1918; however, at the time of the conflict’s start, a number of reasons were suggested to justify the intensification. This article will examine the perspective of 1914’s European leaders in regards to the triggers of World War I. The acts of war were ultimately signed by these individuals – their thought process leading up to the agreements are an essential element to analyze decisions made.

Tough Times

Context, context, context…this term is relevant to the evidence in the following section due to the tone of the individuals involved. Two important points of reference – 1) The “Big Five” in Europe in 1914 constituted of France, Russia, Austria-Hungary, Germany and the United Kingdom. 2) Aside from France, these powers were all a form of monarchy (constitutional or autocratic), and the royalty of each nation was related by intertwining marriages/relationships.

A key form of examining the thought process of European leaders prior to WWI is through communication. Telegrams and letters shall be used as indications of pre-war sentiments.

Between the Big Five, there were two primary opinions to consider when deducing the ultimate cause of World War I. Austria-Hungary supported a theory that the Serbian government plotted the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie; Germany backed its ally, AH, in the event of an attack on Serbia. Meanwhile, the Serbian administration fervently denied any involvement in the assassination; Russia, the third power involved promised to uphold its alliance with Serbia if Germany and AH decided to act militarily.

The Russian government’s open letter to Serbia on July 11, 1914 (13 days after the assassination) demonstrates the conditions of the Russo-Serbian alliance and the ultimatum set by Austria-Hungary against Serbia. “[We advise that you] approve the proposal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to get in touch with the Cabinets of the Great Powers in order to induce the Austro-Hungarian Government to grant a postponement in the matter of the answer to the ultimatum demands presented by the Austro-Hungarian Government. (Golemykin)” This statement made by Russian officials is a reflection of the urgency of the matter. Serbia had 48 hours to respond to the 23 demands set forth by A-H – this was seen as a short amount of time to inspect the document. Otherwise, an act of war would be signed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, bringing Serbia, Germany and Russia into action. 

The back-and-forth between cousins Tsar Nicholas and Kaiser Wilhelm were a signal of Germany and Russia’s stances.
“Willy” justifies the Austro-Hungarian mobilizations by stating “The unscrupulous agitation that has been going on in Serbia for years has resulted in the outrageous crime, to which Archduke Francis Ferdinand fell a victim(..)all the persons morally responsible for the dastardly murder should receive their deserved punishment (Wilhelm II)

According to “Nicky”, “The military measures which have now come into force were decided five days ago(…) I hope from all my heart that these measures won’t in any way interfere with your part as mediator which I greatly value. (Nicholas II)” The Tsar’s perspective refers to A-H advances towards the Russian border. This letter also confirms Nicholas’ wish for continued peace between Germany and Russia, which would be threatened if war ensued.  

Image result for tsar nicholas kaiser wilhelm 

The two cousins, Kaiser “Willy” of Germany and Tsar “Nicky” of Russia.

Image courtesy of BBC

Wilhelm’s penned response addresses Germany’s alliance with Austria-Hungary and its promises to Franz Joseph. “Austria has only mobilized against Serbia & only a part of her army. If (..) Russia mobilizes against Austria, my role as mediator (..) will be endangered if not ruined. (Wilhelm II)”  The German emperor deflects the pressure onto Russia by claiming that Austria-Hungary only wishes to attack parts of Serbia and not Russia as the Tsar indicated. As a result, Wilhelm declares that any Russian offense against A-H will be treated as an infraction. 

The United Kingdom and France, allied through the Entente Cordiale did not voice an opinion concerning the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in their communications. Nonetheless, the UK’s representatives were wary of any mobilization, citing peace and financial security as a justification.

A message sent from UK Foreign Secretary Edward Gray provides insight towards British attitudes and intentions during the July Crisis in a letter to British Ambassador to France, Francis Bertile. “I said that we had come to the conclusion, in the Cabinet today, that we could not give any pledge at the present time. The commercial and financial situation was exceedingly serious (Gray)” Based on this sentence, the government of the United Kingdom would prefer to avoid involvement due to the economic repercussions of participating in a war. “Up to the present moment, we did not feel, and public opinion did not feel, that any treaties or obligations of this country were involved. Further developments might alter this situation and cause the Government and Parliament to take the view that intervention was justified. (Gray) Such a statement from the Foreign Secretary would suggest that up until July 31st, 1914, the British administration had no motive to enter the continental debate. However, if any further arguments or events were to arise, this stance would change. 

The examples presented in these preceding instances are essential first-person sources to enlighten historians and individuals alike about pre-WWI tensions. By analyzing the communications between Europe’s powers in the month before the first battle, one is able to verify the credibility of leaders’ policies.



Goremykin. “Russian Memorandum of Advice to Serbia.” Received by Kingdom of Serbia, 24 July 1914.

Wilhelm II. “Kaiser to Tsar.” Received by Tsar Nicholas II, Germany, 30 July 1914, Berlin

Nicholas II. “Tsar to Kaiser.” Received by Wilhelm II, Russian Empire, 31 July 1914, St. Petersburg.

Grey, Edward. “ British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey to British Ambassador to France, Sir Francis Bertie. .” Received by Francis Bertile, 31 July 1914.



Genius Hour #2 Reflection

The primary focus of my Genius Hour was Donald Trump and the infamy that surrounds his reputation. As soon as the 2016 Election results were released, I was curious to find out why there was so much disappointment due to Trump’s victory. From a personal perspective, I have absolutely no respect for Donald “Chump” as he is referred to in my home. The research I conducted for Genius Hour was done in the goal of trying to see how and why others view our 45th president. Then, I wanted to present, from an unbiased viewpoint, all of these details in order to make a final conclusion on whether or not Trump is bad for America.

#BigBabyTrump spanked by his own Republicans. #Ouch!Creative Commons License Steve Baker via Compfight

Throughout this project, I learned how to channel out personal opinions in order to make intelligent statements based on facts. This relates to Donald Trump because I hold very strong thoughts towards the way in which he carries himself; however, my opinions on Trump could not be the main point of the project if the presentation was supposed to hold unbiased information. Learning how to be more inclusive of information regardless of personal preconceptions and perspectives will continue to help me outside of class. At any future points in my life, I will probably encounter a situation similar to the project where I am forced to set aside any feelings towards a person or thing in order to make a serious product.

The research I engaged in on Donald Trump’s persona can definitely be a source for the world as a whole. As we are now truly getting to know the eccentric mogul as the leader of the free world (this man has access to nuclear codes!) , it is important to understand his ability (or lack thereof) to run the Oval Office. If American citizens, and world citizens as a whole are informed, they will be able to speak out against or support the cause. One can only form a solid opinion if they are weathered in terms of information.

For my next Genius Hour project, the prospect of music production has come to my mind. I believe this could make a positive impact on the community because music is one of, if not the best way to communicate issues like Donald Trump’s policies. Although it is nice to make a track that gets the clubs and parties buzzing, I would like to make a song that could relate to the things that really matter. Not only could the song potentially send a worldwide message, but a sum of the profits made from my song would go to a good cause.

Mal Chakra Live - Sala Arena Nube Toxica via Compfight





Twitter Expert/Academic Connect Assignment – Reflection

I followed Mimi Alemayehou (@malemayehou), Oz Hassan (@ozhassan), Stuart White (@StuartGWhite), Kevin Gillian (@kevgillan), Jason Dittmer @RealJDittmer, Politics (@JournalPolitics), Joshua Inwood (@JoshGeog), James Tyner (@Tynergeography), Alasdair Pinkerton (@AlPinkerton), Eric Lipton (@EricLiptonNYT), Zahra Billoo (@ZahraBilloo), and Robert Bullard (@DrBobBullard).  

Ms. Alemayehou, Journal Politics, Mr. Hassan, Mr. White, Mr. Gillian, Mr. Dittmer, Mr. Tyner, Mr. Pinkerton, Mr. Lipton and Mr. Inwood related to my project because their current/previous employments revolved around politics and/or the study of it. As a result, I would be able to receive information about Donald Trump from a more detailed standing point. As each of these people was familiar with the U.S government system, my questions could demand for answers regarding Donald Trump’s ideals and promised laws.

My questions were:

Ms. Billoo and Mr. Bullard related to my project due to their occupation as activists/writers. Along with the work they have done, their backgrounds also proved to be helpful for my research. Ms. Billoo and Mr. Bullard are Muslim-American and African-American respectively, thus both representing groups of people that feel threatened by the policies President Trump has guaranteed to pass. When I asked them questions, it was in order to seek information about how they felt about the way in which Trump’s election may affect their communities.

I will definitely be able to use the Twitter process for future research endeavours. For classes such as Social Studies, this method will definitely be helpful due to its hands-on approach to getting information. The Twitter Expert Project, in my opinion, was most helpful to me because I was able to become more confident; this aspect of the research will stick with me in the future. Prior to starting to ask the questions and retweet, I was liable to get scared when asking for something I really want, specifically with people I don’t know. Now, in and out of school, I will have little to no issue going up to a stranger in the hopes of receiving information, or whichever need I require.



Only Mr. Hassan and Ms. Alemayehou, two of the total experts listed, responded to my Tweet questions. I only received a single follow, which came from from Ms. Alemayehou. I was able to continue the conversation with Ms. Alemayehou, as we had an in-depth conversation about my inquiry in person. She offered help if I encountered crossroads in the Trump research.

I could definitely apply the Twitter question process outside of school.


Week 8 – Community

The community I am currently a part of is the Dakar, Senegal area. This community spans throughout the city. Dakar isn’t that big of a city, especially considering that it is a capital city. However, it is densely populated in relativity to its size; the population is estimated to be 1.5 to 3 million, which goes from 1/9 to a little under a quarter of Senegal’s entire population.

The primary language spoken in my community is French, the colonial language followed by Wolof, the local Senegalese language.

The problems my community faces is dealing with housing (prices too high) and (un)employment, which is leading to poverty. In downtown Dakar, groups of people can be seen begging for money, a sign that my community’s economy is a low point. In order to improve this situation, more aid can be given, as well as training to increase the workforce. Also, more homes must be built, in order to reduce the demand, hence putting prices down. The government must also survey the money being transferred in Dakar, as many of the expensive homes are made in an effort of money laundering.


Week 9 – Oh, the Places to Go!

For my 9th week of SBC posting, I decided to follow activity 1’s prompt of demonstrating my travels. I have been to around 20 countries, in 3 (soon to be 4 in April) continents, as well as the Caribbean. As it would take an extensive amount of time to list each nation I’ve visited, and describe it in detail, I found it more appropriate to discuss my journeys in a more organised manner.  Instead of analysing my visited destinations one by one, I could state my favourite holiday per continent.


North America

Costa Rica (Central America, but still connected to the North American continent 

When it comes to overall places I’ve been in North America, I will choose the United States hands down. However, since I was born and raised there, as well as having lived in the U.S for 11 years, it wouldn’t be considered a real “travel”. As a result, I took Mexico, a country I visited in 2014. This nation was chosen ahead of Mexico, Costa Rica, and Canada.

Costa Rica was a great destination for me because there was lots of natural beauty that could be seen all over. I was in a particularly touristic area outside of the capital city, so I was able to see some wonderful sights. My best experience in Costa Rica was zip-lining across the rain forest. The course I went on is the 4th longest on the planet, and I was able to enjoy my experience for around 10 minutes in the rain while observing the appealing environment below me.





Tunisia was ahead of Ethiopia, Senegal, Morocco, and Egypt. Tunisia is a mix of several components that made it a great experience: ancient sites, splendid beaches, and great places to explore in urban areas (restaurants, markets). I lived there for 18 months while my mom worked a diplomatic job; I lived in Tunis, the capital, but I was able to visit a few small towns in the heart of the Sahara, as well as Djerba, a city renown for its trademark colosseum from the Carthaginian civilisation built at the time of the Romans.




France was selected ahead of Italy, Portugal, Greece, Switzerland, Germany, and The United Kingdom . Since I turned 1, I’ve had the opportunity to visit France once a year, either as an actual destination or a stopover through my flight to Senegal from Washington, D.C. In these 13 years, I’ve been in the southern Cote D’Azur region, Brittany towards the west, the Alps in the east, and the famous city of Paris. From the ski courses of Chamonix, to the Van Gogh museum of Arles, or even the renown sights of Paris, France is full of wonderful places to go. There was no doubt in my mind that this is the number one European country I have visited. I am going to France once again this Winter Break, and I look forward to spending time in the city of lights, as well as the Alps.

paris-tour-eiffel-at-night ski-holidays-france-1



My School Schedule at ISD

Background information: I am a high school freshman attending the International School of Dakar, an IB system establishment.

8:00 I arrive at school, and shoot some hoops before the bell rings at 8:25.

8:25 Bell. This signifies that we have 5 minutes to get to our block one class before the starting time of 8:30.

8:30 School starts. Anyone who comes after the time will be marked tardy.

9:50. End of block one. 10 minutes break before second block

10:00 Beginning of block two.

11:15 End of block two. This signifies the start of either extended block, advisory or a community meeting (entire high school and teachers). Advisory is every other Monday, and every Thursday. Extended Block is Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Friday and every other Thursday. Community meeting is every other Monday, unless a consecutive meeting is necessary.

11:55 Beginning of lunch

12:25 End of lunch, 5 minutes before beginning of block three.

13:50 End of block three, 10 Minute break until 14:00, block four.

15:20 End of school. Some students participate in after-school activities: these generally start around 15:30-45.





My Poem

This work was based on the achievements of Martin Luther King. I recently read a book about the Civil Rights Movement, so I felt like writing a poem based on the ideals of the campaign. For a little background, Selma, Alabama, was one of the more racist areas in the United States in the 1960s. As a result, it was one of the bigger concerns for African-American Civil Rights groups.



Through the streets of Selma 

Freedom walks, freedom rings

He yells, chants, for the people

As his words shine and bling

Emanating from Martin

The Luther to the King  

White to the left, colored in the corner

Acquitted for trial, but Emmett’s at the coroner

Martin will end it, oh yes for sure

For society as we know it is still not pure

Through the streets of Selma

Freedom has something to say

And he will not stop talking

Until the last of his days

Emanating from Martin

The Luther to the King  

And may the voice of freedom

Continue to sing