Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Classes Cancelled due to Protests

I was packing my bag to head off to Lahore College when I got a phone call letting me know that classes had been cancelled. Today was supposed to be my first day teaching for the M.A. TESOL program, and I have to admit I was a bit nervous about getting there, getting copies of my syllabus made, and finding the right class on time. Not to mention that it would be my first time teaching ESL teachers as opposed to students. Well, it looks like my nervous excitement about my first day at the university will be staying with me ‘til tomorrow, because today the country is on strike against the Danish cartoonist. Reuters Update 14 Feb Near the university people are stoning any cars on the roads, as the cars might be going to or from work and the whole country is expected to be unified in the strike.

When we drove in to the Cultural Centre office this morning, the driver noted that all the shops were closed. I didn’t even know that a strike was planned for today, but basically everything in this area is closed except our office. We aren’t located near the city center, but the university is in a more central part of town. As I was told, there’s a lot of “garbar” (confusion, chaos) going on there. For this part of town, the worst thing happening is that people are giving us funny looks and there aren’t any restaurants open to order our lunch from. The good thing is that it's the AUSTRALIAN Cultural Centre, not the Danish one. As far as I know, there's no Danish presence in this country, but unfortunately the agression needs to be taken out somehow.

A nationwide strike, including all forms of transportation, is planned for 3rd March, and George W. will be paying us a two-day state visit that same week.

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