What You Need to Know About IS

IS is a Jihadist group that was formed in 2000 as an affiliate group of Al-Queda. In 2003 and following the US invasion of Iraq, it separated itself from Al-Queda, and they started competing against one another for influence and world domination. At the core of the IS ideology, IS seeks to claim authority of overall Muslims. And ultimately, establish an Islamic State that is led by a religious, political leader known as a ‘caliph’.

The group is known for its extreme brutality and they regularly take advantage of social media sites to release mass execution videos on the internet. IS is considered the richest Jihadist group in the world with assets that is worth 2 billion dollars. A quarter of that sum was looted from the central bank of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. The group aims to suppress other religious beliefs by threatening and killing people of any other faith. It is important that everybody understands how IS works, so we can find a solution together. This is why this article will talk in more depth about the points already mentioned above.


The Islamic state has lost thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria. It is estimated that the number of fighters dropped to more than 6,000. The White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, said there are now over 25,000 fighters still fighting for the Islamic State. The leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghadi, the replacement of Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi, tries to get more recruits from Iraq and Syria, but also from the rest of the world. It is hard to tell how many foreign fighters are in the Islamic State at the moment, but it is a fact that many of them return to their home countries after a while fighting for the Islamic state and these people remain a threat.


The Islamic state is one of the best funded terrorist groups in the world. So how does IS gets its money? It is all about oil and extortion. The group controls oil fields and refineries across Iraq and Syria and fighters smuggle crude oil across the border for cash and other goods. The Islamic State also steals a lot of money from the government banks. People who live in territories occupied by IS are taxed on everything. They have to pay taxes to be able to access their own bank accounts and they have to pay taxes on the goods they sell. The Islamic State also makes money by selling art they have stolen and by asking for ransom money for prisoners.


The Islamic State uses the internet for two important reasons. The first reason is to spread fear. In the last few years, the Islamic State has killed a lot of people in front of the camera with multiple messages to countries which were attacking the Islamic State. They kill, for example, people from the Syrian army or journalists from Europe and the US, in an awful way to scare other people. They mostly chop the head off of those people or burn them alive. That shows us how barbaric those fighters are.


The other reason why the Islamic State uses the internet is to recruit new fighters from all over the world. By spreading promotion videos on the internet, they hope they can persuade people to join the Islamic state and go to Syria or even worse, attack Europe like what happened in Brussels and in Paris. So you can see their army is big, they have a lot of money and they are a threat to the world. It is important that people are aware of this threat and together try to defeat it with everything we have. At this point this is not the case and many people are in danger. When the US and European countries take action together this problem can and will be solved.


General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon

By Clem, Belgium

In this plane there is only one seat. This is a supersonic multirole fighter aircraft. Its first flight was the 20 January 1974. It has key features including a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility.The primary user is the United States Air Force. It was developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force.

In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation, which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin MariettaThe F-16 has also been procured to serve in the air forces of 25 other nations. As of 2015, it is the second most common currently operational military aircraft in the world.


A Little About Brazil

Renata Tanza, Brazil


If you are looking for a country where you can adapt, this country is Brazil. You can find what you want, for example, someone from your country, because in Brazil there a lot of cultures mixed. You can find the type of food that you want to eat, but you need to eat the Brazilian food, is the best cooking in the world.

The Brazil’s capital is Brasilia. This country is the longest of South America and with more than 200 million of people. I believe that the Brazilians are the best receptive. You won`t have problem with this.

I can`t forget the beaches. The Brazilian beaches are amazing. Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago in Pernambuco and you can`t lose the chance to go. In Brazil is common you pass the New Year at the beach, see the fireworks and after jump seven waves.

Another thing you can`t lose is the Carnaval in February or March. The most famous party in every part of Brazil. This party is very excited and meets a lot of people from Brazil and the world. Every city has your particular Carnaval and all the styles are very good. Another famous party in Brazil is the Festas Juninas. These parties happen in June and in July, and meet a lot of typical foods and dances.


The Brazilians are so crazy about soccer. A lot of Brazilians go to the stadium every week to see theirr favorite team play. The most famous teams are Sao Paulo, Corinthians, Palmeiras and Santos. This event is cheap and everybody can go alone, with the family or with friends.

But this country is not just parties, beaches and games. Sao Paulo city has all this, but is most famous because of the business district. In this city you can find the headquarters of the best companies in the country, or the world.

But, is possible have fun in Sao Paulo, so much fun. There are a lot of bars and nightclubs of different styles. The name of the main avenue in Sao Paulo is Paulista. On Sundays, these avenues are closed to cars and just people can stay there. The street stays like a park in these days.

I am completely sure that if you go to Brazil you won’t regret it.  It’s a beautiful country with amazing people. You have to go there.

Donald Trump as 45º President of the U.S

January 20th, was the Donald J. Trump’s inauguration in Washington DC. After swearing over two Bibles as the 45th President of United States he affirmed: “Today will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. Thank you, America!”


Thousands of people from all over the United States travelled to the capital of the country to see the ceremony in the National Mall. When the already sworn-in President talked to them, he stated, “they will not be forgotten again”, no matter which political party is in control of the government.


The new President closed his inaugural speech using the same sentence which made him famous during his campaign: “Together we will make America great again.” The speech was about 16 minutes, one of the shortest in the history of the American Presidents’ inaugurations.

(Complete speech): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRBsJNdK1t0

After the ceremony, Trump signed his first presidential decrees and legislative documents. He approved the law which allows General James Mattis (called “Mad Dog”) to serve as Defense Secretary; otherwise Mattis couldn’t be appointed to the office because he was only out of the military for seven years. Mattis will still need to be confirmed by the Senate, which is expected on Friday 27.

Additionally, he also signed more documents related to formal nominations for his Cabinet and a proclamation day of patriotism in United States. He was surrounded by his family, Vice-president Mike Pence, his wife and some legislators of both political parties.


Some days ago he also signed what is known as the Muslim Ban. This means that the citizens of: Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Iran and Syria cannot enter into the US for a period longer than 90 days. This has resulted in thousands of protests all around the country, including airports, where several people couldn’t pass the security check.


This is just the beginning of the next long four years for the American citizens and also for the rest of the world, because what happens in the U.S affects all other countries. The consequences for Spain are not good at all. First of all, with the Military bases that US has in the south of Spain (Cadiz and Sevilla), Trump wants Spain to pay the U.S because of the “protection”. Another big problem is the nuclear bomb that U.S dropped onto Palomares beach, located in Almeria, south of Spain. Spain has been waiting 50 years for the U.S to take responsibility, and last year the ambassador in Spain said that they were going to clean up the radioactive material from the site; but now, with Trump in the power, the agreement will be derailed.

Nothing good can come from one man who is a racist, sexist and homophobe, and, if he is the President of the first country in the world, we are all in trouble. Up to now, nobody knows what is going to happen next. The only thing that is sure is that the well-known “American dream” has become in “American nightmare”. Now more than ever, God Save America.





Mass Killing in the USA

By Hugo Gilson, Belgium

On May 23, 2014, in Isla Vista, California, Elliot Rodger (the son of Peter Rodger, a Hollywood filmmaker) decided to take his revenge on life and on women. The police described this attack as “premeditated mass murder, spree-killing, murder-suicide, drive-by shooting, stabbing and vehicular assault”.

The attacks

1        First, he stabbed three men to death in his apartment. He was in possession of two knives, a Glock 34 handgun, and two SIG Sauer P226 handguns. In the hours before the massacre, he posted on YouTube a video titled Retribution confession. Seated behind the wheel of his car, he filmed and explained, for nearly seven minutes, his hatred to the world.

He says, “You girls have never been attracted to me, I don’t know why […] I don’t know what you don’t see in me, I’m the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentlemen. On the day of retribution, […] I will slaughter every single blonde slut I see. […] I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am in truth the superior one, the true alpha male (laughing). After I’ve annihilated every single girl in the sorority house, I’ll take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there. All those popular kids who live such lives of hedonistic pleasures while I’ve had a rotten loneliness for all these years. […] Now I will be a god upon you. […] I hate all of you. Humanity is a disgusting wretched depraved species. If I had it in my power I would stop at nothing to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls and rivers of blood.”

After uploading the video, Rodger e-mailed a lengthy autobiographical manuscript to approximately a dozen acquaintances and family members. The document, which he titled “My Twisted World”, was made available on the Internet and became widely known as his “manifesto”. In it, he described his childhood, family conflicts, and frustration over not being able to find a girlfriend, his hatred of women, his contempt for racial minorities and interracial couples, and his plans for what he described as “retribution”.

Afterwards, he drove to a sorority house and shot three female students outside, killing two. He drove to a nearby deli and shot to death a male student who was inside. He began to speed through Isla Vista, shooting and wounding several pedestrians and striking several others with his car. Rodger exchanged gunfire with police twice during the attack, receiving a non-fatal gunshot to the hip. The rampage ended when his car crashed into a parked vehicle and came to a stop. The police found him dead in the car with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

All six murder victims were students at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). They were declared dead at the scenes of their attacks. Fourteen other people were injured; seven from gunshot wounds and seven by blunt trauma sustained when Rodger struck them with his vehicle.


Several news networks, including ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and MSNBC, limited use of the “Retribution” video posted by Rodger out of fears of copycat crimes. The Fox News Channel refused to broadcast the video. Students and community members gathered at Anisq’Oyo’ Park in Isla Vista on the evening of May 24 for a candlelight memorial to remember the victims. On the following day, more than 20,000 people attended the memorial service at Harder Stadium. One year after, on the first anniversary of the attacks, hundreds of people gathered at UCSB for a candlelight vigil commemorating the six slain victims. The attacks have renewed calls for gun control and improvements in the U.S. health care system. California Senator Dianne Feinstein blamed the National Rifle Association’s on gun laws for the attack and said “shame on us” in Congress for failing to do something about it.


The victims













By: Rafaella Amorim de Souza, Brazil


“Try to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy, or brightened a small town by your contribution to the fund of general enjoyment.”

– Sydney Smith


Does money bring happiness? Is it possible to be happy alone? Are children happier than adults? Are joy, satisfaction, pleasure and happiness the same? Happiness is the absence of sadness? Is health fundamental to happiness? Have we been born happy or unhappy? We were happy and did not know? What does the brain have to do with happiness? These are questions that positive psychology are trying to respond.

Since Classical Antiquity, Happiness has been the subject of debates, philosophical and religious reflections.  Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Carl Jung, Albert Bandura, Gordon Allport and others focused on the investigation of positive emotions. Therefore, the great contribution of Positive Psychology wasn’t to create the study of Happiness, but to have it developed on a scientific basis.


To include the research of happiness in the field of sciences, Positive Psychology uses both traditional methods of psychological research and the most advanced process in the field of neurosciences for the study of emotions and human behavior. This is how Positive Psychology chooses the path of empirical research, respecting the rigors of scientific methodology and basing its analyzes on concrete data.


Unlike the “smiley face” apologists, positive psychologists distinguish the importance of knowledge of dark and thorny subjects such as depression and misery for the understanding of happiness. That’s why their scientific objectivity that Positive Psychology should not be confused as the source of a recipe for happiness. Happiness is not about always being smiling but try to see the good on every bad decision, moment of sadness.


Negative emotions are essential for us, because they shows when we need to st
op and look to ourselves, because they’re signals urging us to change what we’re doing wrong, so If you never permit your self feeling blue you will never truly know why you are sad. That’s why thousand of people don’t achieve the happiness, because they think superficially and don’t try to change what is wrong.


Happiness is never found in materialistic things that cannot be physically possessed. The society are forgetting their bases, living their lives with no sense of control, buying everything just as excuse for trying to emerge on a social standard, that will never be reached. Therefore, happiness is priceless. It can never be purchased. Obviously you need money to survive, but you have to concentrate on what is really important for you. The life is made by small and unforgettable moments that money can’t buy.




Get to know the Dutch

Anouk Slijkerman, the Netherlands.

Get to know the Dutch

Cheese, tulips and riding bicycles. This is what most people think of when they think about The Netherlands, but there is so much more to know about this small country with almost 17 million inhabitants. It’s a very successful country with a lot of history. The Netherlands has a lot of traditions most people never heard of and food that you can’t buy in any other country. Such as drop, stroopwafels and poffertjes.

Netherlands or Holland?
To begin with, I would like to tell the difference between the Netherlands and Holland. Most people are very confused by this. Sometimes when I say, I’m from the Netherlands people don’t immediately know what that is, but when I say Holland, almost everyone knows about the small country. So to explain this difference, we have to look at some history. The netherlands as we know nowadays came into existence after napoleon in 1830. The kingdom also included Belgium and Luxemburg. Later, Belgium and Luxemburg became independent countries. Nowadays, the Netherlands has 12 provinces. Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe, Overijssel, Flevoland, Gelderland, Utrecht, North-Holland, South-Holland, Zealand, North Brabant and Limburg. hollandSo, Holland is basically North-Holland and South-Holland combined. Holland was famous during the Dutch golden age, the 17th century, because of their many ships who tried to establish the trading routes. The Netherlands didn’t exist back then, so the sailors referred to their city state, South-Holland and North-Holland. So, Holland refer to the Netherlands as a synonym, but this is not true.  

Sinterklaas is a Dutch tradition for small children. Not every citizen likes this tradition, some people consider it as racist tradition because of ‘Zwarte Piet’.

The history of Sinterklaas starts in Turkey. Sint-Nicolaas (original name of Sinterklaas) was the bishop of Myra, a town in Turkey. Because of all the good deeds Nicolaas did, such as giving money to the poor, people professed him as a Saint. A lot of legends started to follow about this man and all his good deeds. So Sinterklaas is originally a Catholic tradition. Sinterklaas hassinterklaas helpers called Zwarte Piet. People aren’t sure where Zwarte Piet originally came from but there is a suggestion. People say that Sinterklaas  helped them from escaping slavery, and as an reward they kept helping Sinterklaas. Nowadays, Sinterklaas gives children presents on December 5th. Every year, he arrives in a big boat with his helpers in Holland. Mostly on November 11th. Children put their shoe under the fire place, and every once a week Zwarte Piet comes through the chimnpepernoteney to deliver a present in the shoe of the kid. Some people suggest that this is why Zwarte Piet is black. During Sinterklaas we eat pepernoten. Pepernoten stand for the money that Sinterklaas gave to the poor. They are small cookies made with dutch cookie species and a lot of sugar.

King Day, or Koningsdag how the Dutch call it. This is a day where we celebrate the birthday of the King. Kingsday originally started as ‘prinsessendag’, princess day, which was the celebration of the birthday of princess Wilhelmina. This was on August 31th 1890. 5 Years later, when her daughter Juliana became queen, princess day became Queens Day and was hold on April 30th, the birthday of queen Juliana. Queen Juliana her daughter, who became queen in 1980 decided to keep Queensday on Juliana her birthday in honor to her mother. When King Willem-Alexander, the current king and son of Beatrix became king in 2013, he decided to change it to Kingsday and moved it to april 27th, his birthday.koningsdag.jpg

On Kingsday, most schools, stores and businesses are closed in The Netherlands, so everyone can celebrate the birthday of the king. In the morning, streets are covered with orange decoration and there’s a flea market on every street where people can sell their used stuff. People also play Dutch traditional games. One of the game is Koekhappen, Koekhappen is a game where people have to catch cake dangling from a string in their mouths. In the afternoon, there are big parties in every city and there are a lot of festival with famous DJ’s such as Martin Garrix and Armin van Buuren.


Dutch food
So this were 2 of the Dutch Holidays. Sinterklaas and Koningsdag. But what about the food? There are a lot of typical Dutch dishes. During winter the Dutch love to eat hot, home prepared meals for dinner. One of them is ‘hutspot’ (which can be roughly translated as “shaken pot”). The main ingredients are carrots, boiled and mashed potatoes and onions.  All the ingredients are mashed together and it’s mostly served with ‘rookworst’. Rookworst is a smoked sausage.hutspot


There are also Dutch sweets and cookies. Stroopwafel is the most popular kind of cookie in the county. Stroopwafel are two waffles glued together with caramel. The waffles get hard but the caramel stays soft. You can buy different types of them. You can buy fresh made ones on the market, but you can also buy them in the supermarket. You can even buy them at Publix, but these are way more expensive than the ones you can buy in the Dutch supermarket.stroopwafel

So I hope you learned a lot moreabout this small country. Are you planning on visiting this country? Come during koningsdag or Sinterklaas. And are you hungry? Go to a restaurant and ask for Hutspot with Rookworst. Maybe you can explain to a Dutch local what the difference is between Holland and the Netherlands. Because there are even people in the country self, who don’t know the difference. The next time you hear a person say, I’m from the Holland. You can ask them, North or South Holland. If they say an other part. Correct them and say no, you mean the Netherlands.

Is San Francisco Worth It?

Check out my video and discover it by yourself if it worth in just 3 minutes, no opinions, just your judgement, that’s all that matters.


The places visited in the video are:

– Park Central Hotel (0:30)

– Twin Peaks (0:48)

– Vista Point (1:03)

– Pier 33 (1:07)

– Pier 39 (1:20)

– Golden Gate Park (1:37)

– Chinatown / Chinese New Year (1:39)

– Golden Gate National Recreation Area (1:58)

– San Francisco Town Hall (2:00)

– Pier 39 (2:03)

– Golden Gate National Recreation Area (2:17)

– Emerville (2:22)

– Vista Point (2:32)

Feminism: The movement

beyonceFeminist: the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes’ is a famously quoted sentence from Beyoncé’s song ‘Flawless’. Recently women, and especially the adolescent ones, are becoming more aware of the inequality that occurs in their everyday lives. Not only has this led to empowering messages, organisations and protests, but it has also created a big anti-feminist movement. In order to truly understand the definition of feminism and its beliefs, we have to go back to events happening in the nineteenth century; the feminist waves.

Throughout all of history there have been three main periods in which the feminists protested. The first of them occurred on the 19th of July 1848 during a woman’s right
convention in Seneca Falls, New York. The two organisers, Elizabeth Stanton and Lucretia Mott, met during the World Anti-Slavelucretia-mottry Convention in 1940. During the Convention they had to sit separate from the men and they were basically excluded from the event. This led to them discussing the possibility of a women’s rights convention. When they met up, eight years later in Seneca Falls, they decided it was time to host ‘a convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman’. Stanton wrote a document, The Declaration of Sentiments, containing 18 injustices about the unequal rights and 11 resolutions that would make equal rights possible. This document was to be signed by everyone that attended the Seneca Falls Convention. During this event the attendees discussed every part of the document, and eventually the majority signed it. Once the Convention had ended a lot of newspapers, first just local papers, but then the story got picked up by the bigger ones, published stories on the subject. Some of the reports were positive, but a lot of them were not. Although nothing changed regarding the unequal rights, the Convention had started a movement. The Declaration of Sentiments became the basis of the women’s rights movement and since the event had gotten international news coverage, a large amount of people was aware of the progression made in order to gain equal rights.

The second feminist wave started in the 1960’s in the USA, but eventually spread out and became a worldwide movement. The two decades before this era made
the movement possible. In the 1940’s a lot of men went away to fight in World War II, which resulted in women taking over the jobs they left behind. When the War finished and the men were reinstated at their old positions, women were left with nothing and decided that they wanted to keep working these jobs. In the late 1950’s, people started to become more curious. New music, new art, new literature, new fashion were created and new ideas were thought of. This included the introduction and approval of the contraceptive pill, or ‘the pill’, which made sure that women could no longer unexpectedly become pregnant. Another idea that gained more acceptance was that women wanted to do equal-paythe same labour as men, and get paid the same amount. A popular belief, at that time, was that the only thing they could do was take care of the children and do the chores. However, throughout the wave more and more women realised the importance of having their own live and career. This inequality was fought via anti-discrimination laws. A great example of this was an amendment to the Civil Rights Act. Howard Smith, a representative from Virginia, wanted to add a prohibition on gender discrimination. Although all the other male representatives laughed at his proposal, the amendment eventually did pass.

Another issue the feminists had with the law was that abortion was not legalised. Therefore women could not decide whether or not they actually wanted to keep the baby. Since anti-conception for women was something recent, and was not widely accepted, they did not have another option then keeping it. They addressed the issue by protests, publicly admitting to illegal abortion
abortion and explaining their reasons why. In 1973 abortion was finally legalised throughout the entire US, however every state can add their own conditions, which still makes it difficult, in certain states, to get an actual abortion. In the end the second wave made a big difference on the subject of equal rights in the workplace and on the subject of women’s rights of their own body.

The third wave of feminism began in the early 1990’s and is still continuing until this day.  These feminists were/are the daughters of the women that fought for their own rights in the second wave. Their mothers had successfully fought for equal job opportunities, but there still wasn’t any actual equality. There were a lot of barriers on the job market, not only for women, but for everyone that was not a white, straight man. These women were/are ambitions and were/are willing to fight these obstacles. In this period of time feminism grew and extended, it no longer was about just the female gender. Subjects such as sexuality, race, femininity, masculinity were also of great importance. Another thing feminists tried to fight were the stereotypes displayed in movies and other art forms. These stereotypes were often showing unrealistic expectations of women, and they influenced expectations in real life. By trying to change the display of their gender in movies, feminists tried to change their position in reality. One of the most memorable moments at the beginning of the movement was the letter that Rebecca Walker wrote for MS Magazine. In this article she wrote about her rage about women being silenced by white men due t
o oppression. Throughout the years many other events occurred that showed that the feminists were fighting for something that was justifiable. One of the most recent events, and hence the largewomens-marchst combined demonstration in the history of the United States, was the ‘Women’s March on Washington’. Between 3.3 and 4.6 million people joined marches all around the world to protest for immigration, health care, civil & LBTQ rights and environmental issues. This event took place one day after President Trump’s inauguration, since his opinions on most of these matters are the opposite of the feminist ones.

Like President Trump, there are a lot of people that disagree with the ideas that the feminists have. These people, the so-called anti-feminists, believe that feminists are over exaggerating and that they want to oppress men. This is sometimes caused by the misunderstanding of the definition of the word ‘feminist’. It is commonly believed that feminists want the female gender to stand above the male one, and that is why people believe that feminists are ‘bad’. Out there on the internet are millions of websites stating why feminism is bad and that things that feminists claim is ‘bullshit’. In some occasions, the writers do have a point, there are indeed extreme feminists and they tend to exaggerate. Not every single thing has to do with discrimination or sexism, and extreme feminists sometimes do believe that. However, the solely basis of feminism is still just wanting social, economic and political equality, and that is what people need to know.

In conclusion, feminism is a movement that has been active for over two decades. In this period of time the feminists have booked a lot of progress in order to gain a balance between the two genders. Without them fighting for their rights all those years ago, my life, and the life of many other girls and women around the world would be completely different. Therefore, I support this movement and its beliefs. However, I do agree that there is limit to all of this, and that we should not make a discussion out of every small event happening in the world. I look forward to seeing what the Third Wave is going to bring us in the future.

Sophie Pijl