Jonathan McCullum, a 5-foot-9 teenager, weighed 155 pounds when he left to spend a school year in Egypt.
- Good news: He made it back alive, and may survive
- Bad news: He weighed 97 pounds when he got back to America
Which did Mr. Hanna mean: that
- The American ate as much as six people would consume in a meal
- Jonathan McCullum ate as much meat as you'd get from six people
The Egyptian family was presumably following their religious rules, which has them (presumably) fasting more than 200 days a year.
Does this show how cruel and inhuman Muslims are?
The family are Coptic Christians.
- Is running this news story anti-Christian?
- If the host family followed Islam, would it be anti-Islamic?
- Was my "as much meat as you'd get from six people" remark anti-Christian?
On the other hand, this news story could be an indication of bias. "Exchange student starved while in Egypt" (Yahoo News (February 27, 2008)) tells that young Mr. McCullum's experience isn't all that unusual.
"The Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students, a nonprofit advocacy group, said the exchange programs are rampant with instances of abuse and neglect.
" 'This is not an isolated incident. I'm aghast but I'm not shocked,' the committee's director, Danielle Grijalva of Oceanside, Calif., said after hearing McCullum's story."
Rampant abuse of exchange students, in a world where exchange students wind up even in small central Minnesota towns?1 That's dramatic. And this isn't news?
I could be wrong about this, but it's possible that traditional news organizations shy away from stories that might embarrass socialist regimes, or cast 'oppressed' people in a bad light.
1 We don't starve them, here in Minnesota. On the other hand, the winters here might be considered a sort of punishment.
Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students
"The Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students (CSFES) advocates for the safety of foreign exchange students and was instrumental in the strengthening of the U.S. Department regulations for the protection of these young people."