Tag Archives: Middle East

Tik Root Released From Custody

1 Apr

Good news from Damascus this morning. Middlebury College student Tik Root has been released from Syrian custody this morning, according to a press release from the College.

Root had been held by Syrian authorities for over two weeks after being detained while taking pictures at an anti-government protest. Additional details are few and far between, but this is wonderful news for the Roots, Middlebury and the United States.

Tik Root

Middlebury Student Tik Root Missing in Syria

24 Mar

Tik Root Missing in Syria

A Middlebury College student has been missing since last Friday in Damascus, Syria. Tik Root ’12 was last seen at a political protest that encountered opposition from pro-government forces.

At the rally, police arrested and beat around 30 people. Root’s father believes he was among that group. Before enrolling at an independent study program in Damascus, Root studied at the Middlebury school abroad in Alexandria, Egypt. The students from that program were evacuated as the situation in the country worsened, and arrived back in the United States. Root, though, wished to return to the region and did so through an independent program.

The story has gained a lot of national attention with The Huffington Post picking it up. As someone who’s worked with Tik on several occasions, I know he’s a great guy and certainly hope for some good news as soon as possible. It’s a reminder to everyone out there that the situation in the Middle East remains extremely volatile. The State Department has opened an investigation into Root’s whereabouts.

2 Unbelievably Stupid Tweets

11 Mar

The power of social media allows us to share information quickly and share news with one another. Twitter is a large part of that sharing process. At the same time, allowing us to post information instantaneously often removes a critical period of evaluation that used to exist before publishing something. That’s a lesson two people have learned the hard way.

1) State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley: In this case, Crowley somehow thought this tweet made sense. It reads, “We’ve been watching hopeful #tsunami sweep across #MiddleEast. Now seeing a tsunami of a different kind sweep across Japan.” So, he compared the volatile situation in Middle East to the 8.9 earthquake that could have killed thousands of people in Japan. Just stupid. But apparently saying stupid things is nothing new to Crowley.

2) Unnamed ex-employee of Marketing Firm: An employee with access to the Chrysler official Twitter feed accidentally posted something to that account instead of his personal one.

Now, this is particularly bad since the company just spent millions on a Super Bowl campaign that touted its people, driving and cars. The marketing employee was promptly fired, but the marketing firm, New Media Strategies, will not have its contract renewed by the car giant at the end of this year. It shows that one erroneous tweet can cost you an important account. All it takes is a second.