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Student reflects on his trip to Mecca

(10/18/00 9:00am)

I felt a nervous twitch as the Saudi Arabian Airlines pilot announced that our flight had landed safely at King Abdul Aziz International Airport. I was in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, only 100 kilometers from the holiest city of Islam, Mecca, and the noblest of sanctuaries, the Ka'ba -- endearingly referred to by Muslims as the House of God. It is in the direction of the Ka'ba that Muslims all over the world offer prayers five times day.

'Dancer' a welcome surprise in a lackluster film year

(10/17/00 9:00am)

In these cynical times, we think we've seen it all. We've made it through the 1990s, in which popular media massaged us into thinking we were smart, jaded and sophisticated, and in the '00s, we're even above that 20th-century sophistication. After over 100 years of movies, it can seem that there's little room for innovation remaining in the world of cinema, especially after taking in this year's crop of films.

Where is the Outrage?

(10/17/00 9:00am)

About 45 minutes after the conclusion of the second presidential debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush, I found myself in my room watching the post-debate spin and discussion on CNN. Bernard Shaw posed a question to highly respected CNN conservative commentator Robert Novak, asking him for his opinion on who performed better in the lengthy foreign policy discussion. Novak's response: "I don't think the American people care all that much about the issue of foreign policy right now." Less than 12 hours later a bomb exploded on the other side of the planet that killed at least 17 American sailors aboard the U.S.S. Cole, a United States Navy ship that was refueling in a port of the Arab nation of Yemen. At the same time a Palestinian mob was murdering two Israeli soldiers in Ramallah, a Palestinian-controlled city in Israel. The Israeli government retaliated by using helicopters to fire missiles into the heart of the West Bank town. Was this horrible string of events enough to make the American people care?

The Debate

(10/17/00 9:00am)

Me: Hello, and welcome to the first of the Hemant Joshi Debates. Our guests today are presidential candidates Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore. Before we begin, please allow me to explain the rules of this debate. Let me remind you that both of you have agreed to these guidelines earlier. First, I am the only one who knows what questions will be asked -- I have made these questions up myself. Second, and most importantly, I get to answer the questions for you. Neither of you can say anything. OK, with that said, let's begin the debate.

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