Author Archives: iaapanorama

Grade 10 Art Work

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As a community filled with various talents and astonishing capabilities, IAA takes great pride in students work and continues to encourage learners to pursue their skills and hobbies. Recently, the art department has witnessed great talents come to life on canvas as grade 10 students exhibit their artistic side when painting abstract portraits inspired by great artists. A picture is worth a thousand words… Take a look below at some of the great work produced!

Zain Zu’bi’s Literature essay

Zain Zu’bi

DP Literature

Ms. Nadia Abdallah

Exploring the Theme of Gender in Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll House”

Henrik Ibsen’s play-in-prose, A “Doll’s House”, centres around the dysfunctional relationships between the characters. An exploration of this necessarily requires a closer look at how the playwright defines gender roles, (women and femininity, and men and masculinity), marriage, and gender conflicts. From the very beginning the readers are presented with a clear picture of the traditional roles of husband and wife in the Nineteenth Century. Ibsen defines these in the contexts of love, sacrifice, domination, freedom and handling of money and conveys them through interesting use of literary devices including alluding to the metaphor of the title itself “A Doll’s House” and gender-specific vocabulary.

Nora is unquestionably the prime example of the author’s notion of femininity. As a protagonist, she embodies all of the ideals attached to women at that time: she is a beautiful, delicate homemaker who is servile to her husband. Clearly Ibsen is referring to Nora in his title “A Doll’s House” where she is a painted, perfect and beautiful female. From the very beginning we learn that Nora has an obligation to keep a clean home and to listen wilfully to her husband. In sharp contrast, Torvald is depicted as the main masculine figure in the play. His masculinity is linked with his role as a husband and the breadwinner: Nora’s lord and master.

Bearing in mind the commonplace dominance of men in the Victorian Era, it is logical for the importance of the sacrificial role of women (in order to keep harmony and unity in a marriage) to be implied. The writer relays a crystal clear notion that women take on the role of the martyr and sacrifice motivated by love (whether it be parental love, spousal love, filial love or maternal love) for the benefit of others. The readers cannot overlook the doting relationship between Nora and her husband, which entails sacrifice and patience on her part. Her conversation with Mrs. Linde, for instance, shows how Nora plays the role of the dutiful wife who is concerned about sparing her husband’s feelings regarding money and not compromising his role as the provider: “And besides, how painful and humiliating it would be for Torvald, with his manly independence, to know that he owed me anything!”(Ibsen, 22) By referring to “his manly independence” Nora shows respect for his masculine ego and role as the breadwinner. Similarly, Ibsen sheds light on the sacrificial role of women towards parents and siblings. A prominent example would be Mrs. Linde who worked hard throughout her life looking after her bed-ridden mother and providing for her brothers, claiming: “I had to provide for my two younger brothers; so I did not think I was justified in refusing his [her husband’s] offer.” (Ibsen, 19) Moreover, in his portrayal of women as sacrificial figures in the family, Ibsen may appear to be elevating their status to heroines at the centre of family life.

The social status of men in this work is clearly much higher than that of women as expressed in the characters of Torvald and Krogstad. Both men exercise some financial dominance over Nora, although Torvald is also socially domineering. Torvald exemplifies the typical husband of the day; provider of the household and interacts with his wife in a condescending manner, as seen in his choice of name-calling. Prominent examples include: “squirrel” and “skylark”; seemingly weak, vulnerable, sweet, pretty, and amusing animals. In addition, he controls her natural habits and urges to the extent that he manipulates her behaviour and demeans her. He even goes as far as to forbid her from eating macaroons, by checking up on her: “Not been nibbling sweets?…Not even a macaroon or two?” (Ibsen, 14) Torvald’s financial and social control over his wife, Nora, alludes to the use of the word “doll” in the title referring to her as a puppet that is easily controlled. However, the financial matter that binds Krogstad and Nora, allowing him to exert his dominance over her is quite different; the lawyer blackmails her for forging a signature in the past. Fearing he may lose his job, Krogstad manipulates Nora by using mind games and bluntly threatens her to make her suffer some personal as well as legal consequences. (Ibsen, 34) As a result, her roles as wife and mother are at risk; indeed her very existence in life has been shaken.

Furthermore, the author clearly portrays women as diminutive individuals who are reduced to being submissive sexually to their possessive husbands. This is conveyed when Torvald claims to own his wife’s good looks, by boasting: “All the beauty that is mine, all my very own.” (Ibsen, 67) The playwright’s integration of words indicating possession such as “mine, own” serves to depict women as objects of amusement and not necessarily as spousal companions or equals. Once again, Nora is likened to a “doll” which gives Torvald visual, physical and materialistic pleasure. There also seems to be no evidence of an emotional tie between Nora and her husband. She regards her marriage as a mere contract rather than a spiritual union between man and woman in her reference to her decision to leave Torvald; “When a wife deserts her husband’s house…he is legally freed from all obligations towards her.” (Ibsen, 81) To add fuel to the fire, Torvald even goes as far as to call his wife “A hypocrite – a liar, worse, worse – a criminal” (Ibsen, 72) for concealing her actions from him, failing to realise that she did what she had to do in order to save his life. The readers notice that the element of intellectual motivation is missing from their daily interactions, since they have not had a proper conversation. Nora admits: “We have never exchanged a word on any serious subject.” (Ibsen, 76) Clearly, there is no concept of love attached to Nora whose role as wife seems to hold no emotional value to Torvald.

Not only is Nora’s role as a wife reduced to being that of a sexual object, but her role as a mother is minimised as well. It seems as though Nora has been stripped of her motherly responsibilities, to the extent that the maids take care of the children and “know all about everything in the house – better than [she does].” (Ibsen, 81) Interestingly, the ‘doll’ motif is extended to her own children who are dolls to her; she enjoys playing with them once in a while. Nora even asks the maid’s permission to hold her daughter, “the sweet little baby doll,”(Ibsen, 28) which implies the fact that her daughter is almost unreal, but rather something that is handled delicately with precaution in the same way a doll is handled by its owner. It is no wonder she is not portrayed as a dedicated mother if she herself is childishly competing for attention. She has been described on occasion as sneaking sweets into her pocket and lying about doing so, “No Torvald, I assure you really…I [Nora] should not think of going against your wishes.” (Ibsen, 14-15) In light of her child-like behaviour and tendencies, her vanity and the lack of responsibility assigned to her by her husband, it is no surprise that she is not functioning effectively to her best as a wife and a mother. Indeed, the tone of this play at the beginning is biased towards Nora and the readers sympathise with her and her husband’s condescending treatment of her. However, the tone changes later to being a more objective one and the readers start to empathise with other characters including Torvald. Perhaps his treatment of Nora can be viewed as sheltering her from responsibilities that may overwhelm her. If so, then his position is not regarded as one of control but perhaps seeking her best interest in fulfilling his role as provider. 

Ibsen’s idiosyncratic technique of incorporating melodramatic devices serves to make the play more interesting. For instance, he integrates into the scene secret letters showing up to reveal Nora’s motivations for her financial actions and the roots of the conflict. (Ibsen, 72) He also introduces into the act the sudden rings of the doorbell at interesting times to bring unexpected revelations and, more so, trouble for the central character. (Ibsen, 73) In addition, Ibsen includes few characters on stage at a time, usually a male and female, in order to portray their interactions effectively and carry the plot forward.

As the play comes to a close, the readers necessarily question Ibsen’s main goal in writing this piece and his message behind the outcome of the play. The focal character of “A Doll’s House” gains sudden insight and strength and decides to leave her husband and children in order to challenge societal gender roles that are dictated for women so as to “make out who is right, the world or [herself].” (Ibsen, 79) Nora even rejects Torvald’s desperate plea when he suggests that they live as brother and sister in the guise of a marriage. (Ibsen, 80) Nora’s decision to leave Torvald and “stand quite alone if [she is] to understand [herself] and everything about [herself],” (Ibsen, 77) may be viewed as the playwright’s way of encouraging female emancipation and individualism to those who may find themselves in this social dilemma. One questions if Nora would have ever considered this decision had she been given a more pivotal role as wife and mother. Whether we choose to admire Nora for her courageous decision and wish her luck for the future or fear for her fate is left to the reader. One thing is for sure: Ibsen is challenging the readers to think about the social gender conflicts or decisions presented in this play and decide for themselves.

Bibliography

Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House. Clayton, Delaware: Prestwick House, 2006. Print.

Mother’s Day

“A mother’s love is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking, it never fails or falters, even though the heart is breaking.” -Helen Rice

We all cherish our mothers someway or another, so what a better way to truly express our love to them than mothers day. Well, the reception one students decided to celebrate their love to their mothers by hosting a little show for them. Cupcakes, handcrafts, and many more was done by them to their mothers. A sight to see, as they hurried in a line to spread the love to each and every loving mother present that day! Reception one practiced for months on songs and jingles to sing for their mothers in both Arabic and English. What a day! Videos and pictures are available showing the event of that lovely event. Well-done reception one!

“We Care”

This video shows makes us feel special, mainly due to the arabic department’s great hard word in making sure every student is taken care of. Mohammed Hijazi did an incredible job in producing this video and hopefully you will enjoy it as much as we did!
– IAA Panorama Team

Eco Park/Um Qais Trip 2013

This video is of Grade 11 students going to Um Qais and Eco Park to dig up old artifacts. This trip was found to be very useful in many different aspects. The students enjoyed the trip very much, and hopefully you will be able to enjoy this video!

– IAA Panorama Team

Hala Taher – Grade Nine – Animal Artwork

This is Hala’s second submission to the site, and we feel it to be just as creative as was the first. This piece depicts a jungle and its animals and does so in a manner that highlights the vibrancy of such a scene. That vibrancy is captured by the range of colors that she uses in the piece. Hala’s art never ceases to impress us.

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Haya Al-Sharif – Grade Eleven – Artwork

Haya Al-Sharif has also contributed to the cascade of artwork that we’ve received recently with her own pieces. The first two prominently feature human faces, and depict them quite expertly. The color blue in the second one, to us at least, makes the person look a bit like a Na’vi from the movie Avatar, but we aren’t artists. The third features what appear to us as the mid-sections of snakes tangled around one another in a manner that makes them look like an enlargement of a picture of a person’s hair. The fact that at least one of them appears to have been made out of coke cans makes the piece all the more appealing. Haya’s work is, by all standards, excellent.

Faces, faces everywhere

Looks just like a Na'vi to us..

Snakes or colored stands of hair? You be the judge

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Nereen Sbeitan – Grade Eleven – Artwork

Grade Eleven student, Nereen Sbeitan, produced these wonderful pieces of artwork. The first is a mosaic-style piece that features several pictures of Marilyn Monroe with a painting of the actress on the left side of the piece. The second is a very calming piece that features several shades of the color blue. The third is a black-and-white surrealist piece at the forefront of which is a man whose piercing gaze adds to a perceived closeness of the piece that greatly contributes to its effectiveness. This is the sort of work that the Panorama loves to host.

Marilyn everywhere!

Quite the calming picture, if we say so ourselves

He can see straight into your soul, is what they say to us

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Hala Taher – Grade Nine – Art Work

Hala Taher in ninth grade produced this wonderful piece of black-and-white surrealist art work. The shading in this piece quite considerably increases the appeal of the overall image. It can also serve to create a sort of 3D effect. Just look at that cactus on the right. Well done Hala!

Hala Taher's Piece

Just look at that cactus!

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Alia Asad – Grade Nine – Art Work – Vases

Alia Asad, a student in ninth grades, produced these fine pieces of artwork that most prominently feature vases of a number of shapes and sizes. We at the Panorama might not know much about art, but even untrained eyes like ours can appreciate pieces as good as this one. 

Vases of different shapes and sizes

Alia’s work features vases of different shapes and sizes

Independence Day

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Independence Day, a set on Flickr.

On the 66th anniversary of Jordan’s independence, the IAA partnered with the King Hussein Cancer Foundation and hosted a set of runs to raise money for the foundation. The day was, all in all, very enjoyable and was , as the year draws to a close, a great way to get IAA students involved in something a little bit out of the ordinary.

Grade 12 Student- Dear IAA Students

Dear IAA Students,

Grade 12 will certainly go down as a year to remember for me, especially because of how quickly it finished! It seems like just yesterday that I walked into Grade 11, and now, I am studying for my externals and readying my goodbyes to friends that I grew up with. But as exciting as it may seem, great responsibilities and decisions that will affect your future await. Although everyone believes that doing the externals is the most important part, one must not forget the endless tasks to complete before readying oneself for these exams. The internal assessments, TOK, CAS, and Extended Essay are crucial and may easily determine the fate of one’s IB diploma. As a student who has gone through this, I urge Grade 11 students to complete as much as they can, as soon as they can, so that they won’t deal with the stress and pressure that comes with working before the deadline- and parents to stay on your children’s case! Also, for those who wish to study abroad, I cannot stress on how relieving it is to complete all SAT, TOEFL, and IELTS, as well as university applications, before the due date to ensure a relaxed university process. The wait is very scary, but the results are very rewarding. It’s very saddening to see my favorite teacher- Mr. John McCune- leave, as his efforts and methods of teaching have been extremely rewarding and left a mark on me! With all that said, students are also extremely privileged to have Mr. Martin at their side, who put every last effort in him to ensure that each and every one of us seniors met all requirements and beyond.

Juniors, do not feel upset when your parents deny you an outing with your friends at times, for those extra weekends spent studying for the SAT and IB got me into the university of my dreams, and I thank my parents for making me stay at home. At the same time, however, parents, do let your kids out for fresh air and a change of environment with friends, for the end of some weeks can get very hectic and stressful on some. Besides, it will be their last year as a class together- do make sure your children enjoy it after studying!

I wish all Grade 10, 11 and 12 students the best of luck,

 

Fadi H Kafeety

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Round Square Conference

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Round Square Conference, a set on Flickr.

The Grade 10 Round Square Conference is one that allows students in the grade to partake in a once-in-a-lifetime exchange of culture and ideas. Students also get to take part in several service-oriented activities that add to their characters considerably.

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Umm Qais/Gadara + Ecopark Trip

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Umm Qais/Gadara + Ecopark Trip, a set on Flickr.

Grade Eleven’s second trip to Ecopark this year allowed students in the grade to see part of Jordan that they very rarely get to. The trip started with Grade Eleven students taking part in an excavation at Umm Qais, the remains of the Roman settlement of Gadara, which is located around the city of Irbid. Grade Eleven then spent the next two days at Ecopark where they had the opportunity to hike and ride bikes around the environmentally-friendly and self-sustainable camp.

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Grade 11 Umm Qais/Gadara Trip

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Grade Eleven’s second trip to Ecopark this year allowed students in the grade to see part of Jordan that they very rarely get to. The trip started with Grade Eleven students taking part in an excavation at Umm Qais, the remains of the Roman settlement of Gadara, which is located around the city of Irbid. Grade Eleven then spent the next two days at Ecopark where they had the opportunity to hike and ride bikes around the environmentally-friendly and self-sustainable camp.

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First Ecopark Trip

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First Ecopark Trip, a set on Flickr.

These are pictures of the first Grade Eleven trip to Ecopark in North Shuneh. Grade 11 students helped to use bricks of recycled paper to build homes for and connect drinkable water to villagers in the area who had lived without them for decades. They also took part in numerous hikes through North Shuneh and experienced a part of Jordan they very rarely get to.

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