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In Brief

Michelle Obama Speaks at Kings College Prep, ISIS’ Poet Laureate, and more news coverage.

By News

Illustration by Alex Kostiw

Michelle Obama Speaks at Kings College Prep

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at Kings College Prep High School in Kenwood last week. The address was directed, at least in part, towards a high school senior who had died in 2012 after she was shot in a park on the South Side. Hadiya Pendleton, an honor student at Kings College Prep, had marched in President Obama’s inaugural parade in 2012. The First Lady, a South Side native urged the class to “survive their heartbreak and pain, if they could found organizations to honor her unfulfilled dreams, if they could inspire folks across this country to wear orange to protest gun violence, then I know you all can live your life with the same determination and joy that Hadiya lived her life,” according to the New York Times.

Summer Shark Attack

Off the coast of Oak Island, North Carolina, two teenagers were swimming in waist-level water when they became victims of shark attacks. The names of the two victims have yet to be released, but both victims are in stable condition. The attacks, which happened about an hour apart, caused both victims to lose partial limbs. The 12-year-old girl lost part of her arm and had severe damage to her left leg, while the 16-year-old boy had his arm removed below his shoulder. The victims were airlifted to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, where they were announced to be in ‘good condition’ after having been in surgery.

Georgia’s Tbilisi Zoo Floods

Deadly flooding in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi has left at least 12 people dead and dozens homeless. The Tbilisi zoo also suffered a great loss when it became a “hellish whirlpool,” according to Mzia Sharashidze, the zoo’s spokeswoman. She reported that countless animals had died in the zoo due to drowning, and the ones who escaped have, for the most part, been shot dead or tranquilized. Georgia’s officials have called for residents to stay inside until all of the animals are found.

ISIS’ Poet Laureate 

In 2011, a woman named Ahlam al-Nasr was married to a high-ranking official in ISIS. Al-Nasr more interestingly, is a literary celebrity among the jihadi group as she penned a collection of verse titled “The Blaze of Truth.” The New Yorker states that almost all of the poems were written in monorhyme with classical Arabic meters. Though this poetess’ fame has been overlooked by mass media coverage, the tradition of Arabic verse goes back in history to before the Koran was written. “Unlike the videos of beheadings and burnings, which are made primarily for foreign consumption, poetry provides a window onto the movement talking to itself,” authors Robyn Creswell and Bernard Haykel state.


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