war, middle east, Israel, civil war in syria, tension

War Is Real, Not Something You Just See On TV

Believe what you see in the media, because it's happening.

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So, your first thought right now might be why I chose such a happy picture to be the cover of this article. You know the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" could never be more relatable in this picture.

I was lucky enough to have traveled to Israel on a 'Side by Side' mission through Hillel Milwaukee as a leadership opportunity. The purpose of the trip was to educate us about the conflicts currently going on in the Middle East and bring some sort of advocacy around campus for the coming fall semester. Over the course of the trip, I took many pictures, but none stuck out as much as this one did to me. I'll spare you the time of scrolling up and seeing the picture again, so I'll post it here.


Right where my forehead is, at the same level in the background is the border of Israel and Syria.

Stewart Kraus


In the picture you see me standing in front of a beautiful view off the top of a mountain in the Golan Heights on the border with Syria. The top of the mountain was filled with tourists taking in the breathtaking view. I posed for this picture, not quite aware of what was happening behind me.

You can't tell from the actual picture, but a war was going on behind me. From what sounded like thunder (I looked up in the sky to see if there was a storm coming, to prove myself wrong from hearing explosions, but there wasn't a cloud in sight) was explosions, machine gun shots, and death behind me. Beyond the border fence in Syria, you can see a lot of smoke coming up from a building. Not knowing what the actual cause of it was made me assume the worst.

Every now and then there would be another rumble in the ground from the war. Don't get me wrong, however, I was safe on the Israeli side, but at that moment and time, I got chills knowing that people were dying right behind me, and there is me, posing for a picture on a mountaintop that looks very happy, now gives me memories of war and death.

Growing up the concept of war seemed so surreal to me. We see it on TV and in movies, but living in the United States, we don't see warzones on our streets like some other countries do. War always was some sort of illusion to me because it felt worlds away (which it really was being on the other side of the world).

Since experiencing those eerie sounds while on the border of the two countries, that WAR IS REAL, NOT SOMETHING YOU JUST SEE ON TV. We are just fortunate enough to live in the United States where we don't need to worry about it happening in our backyards as much as other countries do.

Cover Image Credit:

Stewart Kraus

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14 Stages Of Buying Jonas Brothers Concert Tickets As A 20-Something In 2019

"Alexa, play "Burnin' Up" by the Jonas Brothers."

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In case you missed it, the Jonas Brothers are back together and, let me tell you, they're giving us some major jams. For those of us who were there when it all began back in 2007 with their first album, It's About Time, this has been one of the most important events of the year. But nothing, and I mean nothing can rival the excitement every twenty-something felt as the Jonas Brothers announced their Happiness Begins tour. I, for one, put my name in for ticket presale, have been following every single social media site related to the tour/group, and, of course, listening to the Jonas Brothers on repeat. And if you did manage to snag tickets, then you know that this is how your brain has been ever since they announced the tour.

1. Finding out that they're going on tour

2. Hopefully entering your name into the lottery to get presale tickets

3. Finding out that you actually get to buy presale tickets

4. Impatiently waiting for your presale tickets by listening to their songs on repeat

5. And remembering how obsessed you used to be (definitely still are) with them

6. Trying to coordinate the squad to go to the concert with you

7. Waiting in the Ticketmaster waiting room...

8. ...And feeling super frantic/frustrated because there are about 2000 people in line in front of you

9. Actually getting into the site to buy the tickets

10. Frantically trying to find seats you can actually pay for because, let's be real, you're twenty-something and poor

11. Managing to actually get the seats you want

12. Joyfully letting your squad know that you've done it

13. Crying a little because all of the dreams you've had since 2007 are coming true

14. Listening to every single Jonas Brothers song on repeat (again)

If you, like me, have finally fulfilled one of your dreams since childhood, then congrats, my friend! We've made it! Honestly, of all the things I've done in my adult life, this might be the one that child me is the most proud of.

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Must-See Movies For Your Summer

Check out these movies in theaters soon!

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I can't wait till these movies come out. Going to the movies during summer is a great escape from the heat, giving you a few hours in the air conditioning while enjoying a big tub of popcorn.

Here are a few movies to check out this summer when you want to cool down for a little while:

1. "The Lion King"

2. "Aladdin"

3. "The Hustle"

4. "Men in Black: International"

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