The Brooklyn Bridge Beyond its Grandeur

Everyone’s perception and emphasis on how we see places are different. You can go online to learn about a certain place, look the place up on a map, or talk to people who know about the place. However, these measures will not suffice if one seeks the fulfillment that can only be achieved from personally visiting a place. Famous writer Walker Percy emphasized that seeing and experiencing things first hand gives you a different kind of fulfillment and satisfaction. He says that when tourists see a famous place or a famous landmark, it is not “the sovereign discovery of the thing before him; it is rather the measuring up of the thing to the criterion of the preformed symbolic complex (Percy, 2011)” that is given much emphasis. This means that if you have a preset image of a place in mind before you visit this place, whether it’s from online pictures, travel brochures, then there is a tendency that your preconceptions might influence your perspective of a certain place. When you finally visit the place, you tend to compare your expectations to the actual place and could then result to a false appreciation of the place (Percy, 2011). In order to avoid this, a person must avoid going to a place with other people’s opinions about it in order for him to personally perceive it from one’s perspective in order to heighten one’s firsthand experience.

            Take the Brooklyn Bridge, for example. It may be a familiar route for commuting to work between Brooklyn and Manhattan but for me, it is a great building that combines the magnificent vicissitudes of classical and modern architecture. Before I visited the Brooklyn Bridge, I didn’t know its history yet but I already had a preset picture in my mind about it because of all that I have heard about it from other people and through the internet. This picture is beautiful because I saw many photos and posters of the bridge on Instagram and mine has presented it in a unique way. The way that people have recognized the Brooklyn Bridge has made me appreciate it even more because it made me wonder what was so special about it. Through this, I delved deeper and I was able to actually appreciate it better, too, knowing how useful it is and how significant of a landmark it is for the city. At this moment, the Brooklyn bridge was like a web celebrity place for me and it is a place I simply had to visit.

            When the architects conceived the design of the bridge, in addition to the roadway, they also wanted a sidewalk so that residents on both sides of the east river could walk across the bridge and enjoy the riverside scenery along the way. Thus, the bridge deck is divided into two parts: the lower floor is for vehicles, the and the upper deck is for pedestrians and bicycles. However, there are usually a lot of people walking but a few bikes, so pedestrians sometimes occupy the bike path. At this time, an unpleasant drama begins. Some cyclists start shouting “watch out! Damn it!”, shouting some rude words. At this moment, the painters’ work was blocked, the pedestrians had no room to walk, the cyclists complained of the traffic, and the people who were taking pictures fidgeted with the bad background behind them. But this was only for a few minutes; then the chaos cleared itself up; the pedestrians stepped forward as usual, and girls are back to posing for their Instagram pictures.

My appreciation of the Brooklyn Bridge started when I visited New York for the first time. It was a hot summer day in August and I had the opportunity to visit the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time with a friend from St. Louis. Brooklyn Bridge is so different from other famous New York attractions because it is set apart by the history that accompanies its grandeur. Attractions such as the Empire State Building is a place high into the clouds which offers a view of New York but there are also other attractions that can make me see New York from above such as the Rockefeller Center or the World Trade Center. These iconic places didn’t impress my friend because they are already had very common attractions from where he was. However, the Brooklyn Bridge is set apart because it allows you to appreciate the city from ground level.

When we stepped out from the subway line 6’s Brooklyn Bridge station, the first thing we saw was the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge. We walked to the bridgehead where there is a significant bronze medal on the wall which recorded the time and event of the bridge’s construction. A bronze medal commemorated the workers that gave their lives to the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. It also commemorated the designer of the bridge, Roebling, who had to have his toes cut off after they were crushed during construction. Roebling’s toes had to be amputated which led to tetanus. He was dead shortly after and his son Washington Roebling then took over the construction of the bridge. Without standing under the bridgehead, we wouldn’t know the story behind it and it would be hard to imagine the majesty and grandeur of these two behemoths made of 6,500 cubic meters of cement which looms over people and makes them realize that man can actually create beautiful infrastructure from scratch. However, I believe that our preconceptions of Brooklyn Bridge have really influenced our views regarding its majesty and grandeur.

That day, as I slowly walked on the Brooklyn Bridge, I was filled with holy reverence. The Brooklyn Bridge in August is a season filled with many tourists. I felt so overwhelmed by the noisy crowd around me which contributed to my dissatisfaction. But when I look up at the towers on the bridge, I was overwhelmed by their height. It is the first bridge that joined the two boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Two gothic bridge towers and four main cables supported the whole deck. Its construction began in the 1860s and it took 14 years to complete the project. From then on, the towers and steel cables have offered safe and scenic passage to millions of commuters and tourists, trains, bicycles, and cars.

As I strolled on the bridge, I bathed in the harsh sunshine and the blowing breeze brought the taste of the ocean and slight coolness to me which slowly drifted into every corner of the bridge. As far as I can see, there were many vendors on the deck, I saw a man standing by a blue and white picnic cooler, mopping his brow, cheeks and neck with a towel and then hanging it on his left shoulder before crying out, “Water one dollar.” We stopped and bought 2 bottles of water. There were also many painters, they put their hard work on the bridge to show everyone that passes by, but no one bought it.

These chaotic scenes led me to wonder whether our preconceptions of the bridge have already influenced our impression of it that day. Percy explained how one had lost an experience through various symbolic complexes which is the preconception you have before visiting the place, and by means of trying to achieve that experience through this preconception. In my case, the beautiful pictures of the bridge on Instagram I saw are what Percy says to be the “symbolic complex that has already been formed in the sightseer’s mind”. However, I don’t think he was entirely right. I wasn’t all that influenced by the preconceptions I had, and I didn’t come to the bridge with a desire to try to make situations measure up to the symbolic complex. The Brooklyn Bridge I observed is very different; my encounter with the bridge so far are not like people stated on Instagram “like a dream” or “amazing”. I saw the details, the points that nobody cared about such as the carefully thought out structure and the strong foundation of the bridge except the towering grandeur of the Brooklyn Bridge. In fact, the scenes I experienced were like a microcosm of life because it is trivial, but everywhere, this is a vicissitude bridge.

I continued to tread carefully on the boardwalk, I felt the vibrations generated by the fast cars below me, it made my legs shake a little, and I was afraid if I dropped my phone while taking pictures. This led me to question the stability of the bridge, but then when I did some research on the bridge, I found this fun the fact that I thought was funny: “On May 17, 1884, P. T. Barnum led 21 elephants over the Brooklyn Bridge to prove that it was stable (Percy, 2011).” On the bicycle lane’s side, there were padlocks that seemed to be put and locked on the fence. People write their names and ages on locks and attach them to structures. Most of them are recent, which makes me disappointed. I wanted them to be older as if they witnessed the Brooklyn Bridge story. It seemed to have the same purpose as the headphones, like a promise.

Compared with other bridges such as the Golden Gate Bridge with its golden glory and brightness, the taupe Brooklyn bridge is low-key and seems slightly sad. It is more somber, blunter and hard; those towers of stone do not laugh, and neither do the steel cables in their exquisite, lyrical webbed pattern. It is full of stories, full of legends and reminds me of the classic movie “Once Upon a Time in America”. The story starts here and ends there. Some people say that “Once Upon a Time in America” with a length of a film, accommodated all the dreams of a man: love, career, family, friendship, and so on. The Brooklyn Bridge, however, has become the starting and ending point of this dream. I don’t know if the film makes the Brooklyn Bridge more vicissitudes of life or vice versa, or they are the cause and effect of each other. What I am sure of is the fact that the Brooklyn Bridge may appear as a symbol of foundation for the stability of the country as was depicted in the film.

With the story of “Once Upon a Time in America,” we began to turn back. The golden sun slowly sets over the New York bay; it is exciting to stand on the board of the bridge and look at the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. All that remains are the quiet beauty; the incisively and vividly displayed Brooklyn Bridge. It’s like life in miniature, the culture and spirit of New York are all in full view here.  Because The 1880s were the beginning of the modern New York of skyscrapers and mass immigration, of explosive growth and intense creativity, and the Brooklyn Bridge is the embodiment of that age’s spirit. It unites different elements of society. You only have to come here to feel the charm, the quiet peace and its different beauty. The Brooklyn Bridge stands firmly in there no matter when, sunny or rainy days, early morning or evening, or through the unchanged vicissitudes of history. But then I thought of the chaotic scene on the bridge I began to smile. Life can be like the Brooklyn Bridge, charming and vicissitudes merge, full of unknown and trivial things is what makes it interesting.

Works Cited

Percy, Walker. “The Loss of the Creature” Occasions for Writing: Evidence, Idea, Essay. Ed.

            Ephemeral New York, https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/the-  elephants-that-tested-the-new-brooklyn-bridge/.

Advertisements

A Gleaming Place: Times Square

New York is a place that everyone dreams of. Times Square is a must-tour place in New York. Times Square, one of Manhattan’s busiest neighborhoods, runs from West 42nd Street to West 47th Street at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue in midtown Manhattan (Morand & Lubbers, 1931). Times Square was built by the New York Times to replace the city’s downtown premises. It has become a famous tourist spot since then and has contributed greatly to the progress and development of the city. However, it encountered a decline in the thirties because of the great depression (Whitehead, 2004). After this dilemma, Times Square regained its grandeur and remains a beautiful part of the city.

Times Square is the center of the Broadway theater district where many shopping malls, entertainment centers, and office buildings are gathered. The walls of surrounding buildings are covered with colorful LED advertisements where commercial information and high-tech artistic means are perfectly integrated. The mix of buskers and tourists fill the streets and the crowds send the message that ‘You have not been to America until you have been to New York. You have not been to New York until you have been to Times Square.’ Times Square is more than just a tourist spot that people can visit from time to time. For me, Times Square symbolizes the nature of life and how diverse people can come together as one and redefine society simply by accepting one another. Times Square has always symbolized the convergence of different cultures and the different people that constitute these cultures (Reid-Pharr & Delany, 2019).

My first encounter with Times Square was at a summer camp that required us to visit the place. I was 12 years old at the time and I can only remember that I was so shocked by everything around me. The substantial overhead buildings and colorful LED lights made me feel like I am as small as the humble ant. During that experience, I was awed by the diversity of the people that I encountered. I saw different people with different skin colors and it made me happy that they all looked like they were having such a good time at Times Square. It was like all the differences that set each of them apart really did not matter in that moment. Some of the people seemed to be a part of a parade since they were wearing heavy makeup and extravagant clothes which I have never seen before. At that time, I remember that I was overwhelmed with everything around me from the colorful sights to the sweet aroma of food that wafted from the different stalls around me.

Luckily, I was given the opportunity to visit Times Square again after I got accepted at New York University (NYU). Ever since my first visit to Times Square, I have always dreamed of coming back. It was at the beginning of the semester that I visited Times Square with my parents. We walked out of the Metropolitan Museum and took a taxi south of Fifth Avenue. Fifth Avenue is a bustling north-south thoroughfare in the heart of Manhattan. Along the way, we admired the modern scenes of New York. On the right was New York’s famous Central Park while on the left were the high-rise buildings. Men in suits and ladies in fashionable clothes were rushing to their appointments on both sides of the street while presenting an elegant and chic scene of American life. The driver reminded us to see the current US President’s Trump Tower standing on the left side of the street, with the golden glass wall shining in the sunlight and police guarding the entrance of the building. We got off at Rockefeller Center, then walked about 10 minutes to Times Square.

Times Square still shocks me. This surreal scene consists of towering buildings looking down upon this landmark of America. Hanging from the buildings were advertisements for everything under the sun. Many billboards were for the different musicals that were going to be shown at Broadway soon such as the classics like the West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, Annie, and Wicked which are always there. Others announced the release of new laptops or Samsung HDTVs. Some unveil a high fashion store’s new fall line of sweaters and jeans. Of course, there is the obligatory Coke commercial telling you to enjoy a refreshing bottle of iced Coke.

After standing and staring at the buildings, we strolled up to the red stairs in the middle of 42nd street in times square and sat contentedly sipping a fresh matcha latte while watching the crowd walking around which produced an orchestra of sounds that came blaring through the ears. From the consistent taxi horn to simple chit chat between two friends enjoying a day out, the cacophony of sounds really made me happy to be back at Times Square again.

Looking from side to side, it seemed that all the big shops were within the vicinity. While we were looking around, it seemed that the stores were calling to us to splurge on their merchandise. From the five-levels-tall Ferris wheel in Toys R’ Us to the largest Forever 21 store, Times Square is surely a paradise for people who wish to splurge. In observing the crowds that swiftly passed by, I noticed that most people were carrying a bag or two from the surrounding stores. There were people who stopped to take pictures with Spiderman and Batman. If one wanted to accomplish several things at a certain time period, then Times Square would be the best place to be.

I will never forget the sound of Times Square. The cars are aligned in rough, jagged lines; some are jutting out from their lanes, trying to switch lanes. The drivers are impatient and blast their car’s horn, ordering those in front of them to let them through, but those in front of him are just as busy and don’t budge. There are so many cars with different colors; The yellow taxis are very conspicuous and are characteristic here. There are big red buses and a big orange truck zoom past the people walking on the sidewalks. There is no single discernible sound, the voice in your head being the only thing that you can hear clearly, but at times, even that can be drowned out. All around you, the noises tend to become overwhelming since you can hear people yelling, talking, or cheering at the same time. The advertisements playing on the giant screens are colorful and loud. There is someone selling hotdogs on the corner of the street, bellowing praise for his goods. You hear children laughing and hollering, chasing after each other or playing a game. A man in a suit struts past you, yelling into his phone, promising that he won’t be late for his 4:00 meeting, even though it’s already 3:53. Across the street, you can spot a man in solid, neon green attire: shirt, pants, shoes, and all. You hear him singing out loud terribly, but he is unashamed of his novice skill. But beside these noisy scenes, there are also many like me just observing everything from the sides. I was impressed by a smoking lady who has found a rare quiet spot in the noisy aperture. She was holding her cigarette with both hands and was puffing and puffing on it with an expression of enjoyment while maintaining an elegant posture.

I stayed here for over an hour and by the time I almost closed my observation of Times Square, nothing changed. The mass of people continued to fill the streets and provide economic growth. From what I have observed, Times Square is comparable to a cultural fair. A lot of different races and cultures are seen divulging in this tourist spot and one could really say that Times Square is the “melting bowl” due to the fact that we can see black, white, Latino, and Asian people gathering there.

I’ve been to Times Square a few times since this visit and its magnificence and the fast pace of the city have inspired me to make continuous efforts to move forward in a pace similar to the pace of the people who seemed to always be rushing off to something important. Whenever I feel enormous pressure, I would come here to have a look and sit down. Seeing all kinds of people around me are busy, and the colorful atmosphere here makes me feel that my usual troubles are nothing such as troubles in school. By being a part of something big and dynamic, I realize that different people have different reasons of living and I know that I can strive to move forward and be a part of the population that has found purpose here in this city. In order for me to explore and navigate the city from beginning to ending, I would have to explore its history and visit significant sites that have shaped the city’s progress. Looking back now, I can really say that Times Square really does bring people together regardless of their differences (Reid-Pharr & Delany, 2019).

References

Morand, P., & Lubbers, A. (1931). New-York. [Paris]: E. Flammarion.

Reid-Pharr, R., & Delany, S. (2019). Times Square Red, Times Square Blue 20th Anniversary       Edition. New York: New York University Press.

Whitehead, C. (2004). The colossus of New York. Anchor.

Memorial Mania—Forgotten Sacrifices

The 9/11 memorial commemorates the sacrifices made by thousands of people of the New York City who were engulfed by the terror and cruelty of the terrorists. It reminds us of strength and sufferings of the victims—those who died and those who survived, but not without being handicapped mentally, emotionally, and physically. It reminds us of the forbearance of the families of the martyred people—who tolerated with agony the loss of their family members. It reminds us of the time when the whole of America cried in unison for the people who were burnt in the Two Twin Towers. It also reminds us of the things that followed.

Visiting the site one morning, I was appalled to see the somewhat indifferent attitude of the people towards the memorial. They were making selfies and photographs. I also saw many of them making sad videos of different applications such as musically, snapchat and facebook. I was perplexed to see the way the people were showcasing their sentiments relating to the 9/11 memorial in such a way. Does making pictures make them feel good? I wondered if the filtered videos besides the memorial make them feel elated? What about the sacrifices of the thousands of people? Are they forgotten?

I looked at the solemn and the sophisticated architecture of the memorial. I observed it. It reminded me of the days of 9/11, of the days following it. I wondered whether the structure of the memorial even truly commemorated the real struggles of the victims and their families. My heart said a big no. it told me that perhaps if it had been more gruesome in appearance, had it the images of the dead bodies etched over its wall, had the memorial images of the crying people pasted on all sides, people here would have acted differently. Perhaps, making pictures and videos for social media would not have been so important then.

This reminded me of an article that I had read about America’s mania for memorials. The masses of America demanded that a memorial should be built on the site of the World Trade Centre and Pentagon to commemorate the people who suffered in the 9/11 incident. However, the whole project appeared to become more commercial then personal. “Yet memorial culture itself isn’t this straightforward; this is memorial mania” (Doss 31). There were battles about what to keep in the memorial and what not. There were battles about the design and architecture of the memorial. There were battles after battles after battles.

The article further reminded me of another article “Democrats Also Plan to Read Gettysburg Address for 9/11.” The Democrats had decided to read two excerpts from the Gettysburg Address because they argued that the historical value of that address would add to the potency of the one year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. People criticised it for being a political move made by the Democrats. It was argued that they were even using the event of 9/11 which shook the whole nation into tears into a political drama. ”It is a day to be patriotic, and as long as they steer clear of Democratic jingoism, I suppose it is just fine,” said Peter Farago, a Manhattan advertising executive. ”But it is a political ad. It’s them wrapping themselves in the flag” (Archibold 12). The democrats maintained that the excerpt would only be used to express the solidarity of the Democrats and not to exploit some political cause. However, the debates remain vague till now.

I couldn’t take the indifferent attitude of the people, so I moved to the north side of the memorial. There, I saw a family. They were not making selfies or videos. They were simply huddled together and gazing at the memorial with empty eyes. I approached them a bit and saw that there were tears in their eyes. The silence near them was deafening. The solemnity with which they were looking at the memorial was heart breaking. They were not crying or shrieking, but the silence of their pain was heart breaking.

Moving ahead to another side, I also saw another group of people who looked like Muslims. My heart burned in anger. I came near them. They were a family of 4. Mother, father, son and daughter. The children must be of 10 or 11 ages. What they were doing softened my heart. They were not making selfies, nor were they rejoicing at the corners of the memorial. The father was narrating prayers for the victims of 9/11 and the rest of the family was saying Ameen. “Oh Allah, let these people be in Heavens. Reward them for their sacrifices. AMEN. Oh Allah, You are the merciful. Help the families of these victims find peace. AMEN.” The children had bouquets in hand. They placed it near the memorial and left.

No doubt that the persecuted and martyred people of the 9/11 incident might have suffered. But the memorial which was supposed to let the memories of the victims remain etched in our minds is a tourist spot. No doubt that the indifferent attitude of the tourists show that the tears of the whole nation which were shed during the days of the 9/11 are completely dry. No doubt, that the Muslim terrorists might be involved in the whole incident, but no every Muslim person is a potential terrorist. There are good bearded men and there are pious hijabi girls as well.

Work Cited

Archibold, Randal. “Democrats Also Plan to Read Gettysburg Address for 9/11.” The New Yorker. 2002

Doss, Erika. “Memorial Mania”. 2008. Archive.org.

educ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bargaining

Name

Institutional Affiliation

 

Bargaining

Bargaining is the art of purchasing something at a lower than the market price. Many are times when people go to purchase items in the market, only to find that the seller has increased the marked price and they want us to pay more. I know you are thinking that this is not a big deal. However, think of the amount of cash that you can save after bargaining. In order to make look better and exciting, think of yourself as a buyer who needs to buy a car that is marked at a price of $900,000. There is a possibility for you to actually buy it for $500,000 if you know to bargain.

In order to bargain effectively, you have to do some window shopping to know what the locals and other people pay for the item. It should be noted that not all situations encourage negotiations. After conducting such research, determine the worthiness of the item and the amount you are willing to spend. This method is very crucial because there are situations when vendors would triple their first price so that you can feel that you have achieved if you purchased at half price.

Once you have decided the worth of the item, carry your cash in hand to avoid a situation where you show a lot of cash to the vendor and pay less. Once the vendor tells you their starting price, do not show any interest in the item and do not act surprised. Ask them for their last price. Once they have told a higher value again, name your price below the actual worth of the item. For example, if the car you wanted to buy is worth $500,000 you can quote your price at $300,000. This price should be about 30% 0r 25% lower than the actual price. In order to be more persuasive, get a friend to work with you in convincing the vendor. If the vendor does not lower their rice to the normal value, then do not be afraid to walk away and buy it somewhere else. Avid taking the bait when the seller announces their final offer. However, when the seller gets to a favorable price according to your budget, it’s time to stop and make payment. This action saves you a lot of cash. The last tip, always make sure that you have enough time because bargaining requires a lot of it. Good luck with your next purchase.

Recorded Music Production

Recorded Music Production

Introduction

Planning and budgeting are quite significant tools when it comes to studio session management and control (Nunes et al., 2013). For a proper and professional recording session there has to be distinctive stages during the sessions. There are four important stages of recording a song in a professional studio. Namely the composition stage, roles in the studio, recording in layers and finally mixing and mastering.

The composition stage is where most of the activities involving the song creation take place. This is the stage where either the song composition starts from scratch, or modification a lyric, or adding a bridge. It doesn’t mean that when the band is in the studio, the songwriting process is done. The best lyrics are formed in the studio.

The second stage involves the roles of each person in during the studio session. On the recording gig, there is four chief personnel besides the musicians: the main producer and sound engineer, the mixer and finally the master-er (Power And, & Hallencreutz, 2007). During this stage, the band is held to the level of the visualization for the recording by the producer. When it comes to if the track is good enough and the artists are done with one part the producer has the final say on the quality. In order to achieve the objectives and goals of the session, the engineer utilizes the technological resources in the studio. That means if the producer requires a little shingle from the artist, to make it happen the engineer must correct the compression settings or even the microphone. For the recording to sound like one piece of work, the finishing touches is done by mastering guy sets levels and enhance the product with finishing touches.

The third stage includes the recording in layers. Just like painting most of the recording is supposed to take place in layers.  Starting with a base color, an artist then roughs it up into various basic shapes using different tones to add further details on top. The same is to be said about the process taking place in a recording studio. The tempo of the song is set with the most basic layer which is the click track. A simple drum sequence, usually the guide rhythm tracks which is laid down once the tempo is laid down. Then to set the proper feel for the song and to lock the structure of the song the bass/ guide guitars/ keys are laid over the top. For the final tracks to be in proper melody, then the guide vocals are laid. The band can now start to record the parts to be heard in the final mix now that the guide tracks are down. This is usually done part-time or even live when the band is playing in unison. The drummer is basically the one who sets the tempo by playing his part all through the song with as many takes as possible.

Mixing and Mastering

The parts get recorded in multiple tracks per instrument often multiple tracks per instrument (Burgess, 2010). The sounding of a track is determined individually and collectively by the mixer. For the listener to get the sounds clear and distinctively the use of spatial analogy for sound separation is required.  The combination of reverb, EQ and compression are the most common mastering tools. The difference between mastered tracks though easy to recognize but hard when it comes to description.

One Week Album Recording Session Schedule

The session schedule will depend on the number of musicians and vocalists that are involved in our band. Due to the arrangements and complexity of the boarding and recording project, it may take about 30 to 50 hours. Therefore a one-week album schedule is recommended.

Session Day 1

We normally commence with a rhythm section of bass and drums together with the keyboards. Therefore on the first day arrival time should be strictly 10 AM so that the band can be able to get enough time to working and interact with this essential group of musicians.  Tracking of the entire songs in the album of 10 songs in 6 hours. The keyboard player usually remains for 2 to 3 hours after the completion of the 3 major musicians in laying the bed tracks. This is to ensure addition of the extra orchestrations or keyboard parts that is the string.

Session Day 2

The vocals for the solo is recorded while voices are still fresh. After this recording of any of the group, vocals could take place. Then perhaps for a 3-4 hour session by the first dub musician later in the evening.

Session Day 3

This day will most likely be dominated by recording sessions with the vocal group since the project will involve studio background vocalists.

Session Day 4

This session includes a chance for additional or extra musician over-dubs as included in the session budget. This could be most likely a horn section or the string ensemble coming in to do 3 songs. This might as well be different musicians each participating in a 3 to 4-hour studio session. Any additional time during this session day will mostly be used for counterchecking or finishing incomplete vocals done by the artists.

Session day 5

 This is the day session when final mix and mastering will be done after everything is recorded. This will most likely be the busiest day working with the producer and sound engineer. Since the mixing is done manually songs are likely to take an hour or more depending on the effort required. For a recorded project it is likely to take 2-6 hours for necessary mastering normally done at the end of the process.

The session

Before the setting up and starting of the sessions, to save the session from confusion through microphone leads are run first. This is because when various leads gather at the pane, they might create a mess making it difficult to trace any complications. To minimize disorganizations and save time, the keeping a tracking sheet with song location of individual songs is quite significant. Communication between musicians and the recording crew is key before the recording starts.

Sample Budget

PROJECT EXPENSES (PRIMARY)

Pre-production                                                                                    Rate (per artist)           Total
Rehearsal Space Rental $50 $300
Equipment Rentals $50 $300
Session musicians $50 $300
Sub Total   $900
Recording/ Production Rate (per hour) Total
Recording Studio Rental $50 $2500
Equipment Rental $10 $500
Producer $10 $500
Engineer $10 $500
Arranger $5 $250
Tapes & Supplies $5 $250
Session Musicians $10 $100
Other    
Travel $100 $500
Accommodation $100 $500
Sub Total   $5600
Post production Rate (per song) Total
Mixing $100 $1000
Mastering $100 $1000
Other    
Packaging 250 copies $1000
Subtotal   $3000
Weekly Subsistence Expenses Total
Housing $300
Local Transportation $800
Food/Personal $100
Weekly subsistence total $200
Subtotal $1400

 TOTAL PROJECT EXPENSES

Project Total
A $900
B $5600
C $2000
D $1400
Total 10,900

All in the producer (production/mixing/sound/engineering) – $600 per song multiplied by ten songs making it $6000.

The session amount charged for Musicians is six musicians at $50/ hours totaling to $3000. The mastering session is also a critical area of the budgeting process. The charges are $100 per song and therefore $1000 for the ten songs. Other charges include the packaging which involves limited run CD pressing of 250 copies with two pocket eco packaging costing $1000. Album art design rates are usually $500 and the digital distribution costing about $20.00. All this leads to a total cost of $ 10,900.00

Therefore for a ten album tracks, the band should be prepared on spending around $12,000.00. There are also other expenses that may arise during the recording and production process such as the need to rent instruments. This will lead to extra costs on the production than anticipated. If the cost becomes unaffordable other means to reduce the overall expenses can be devised. This includes going to the studio with digital-only release or LANDR to master the tracks. But since the band desires to utilize the professional resources in the studio, we opt for the producer to take us through the songs recording and production process.

Studio time

We are all aware of the time set for the studio session being the most obvious cost for recording in a studio. During the time calculation, I find it important to add a little extra to avoid the stress caused by crumpled sessions which doesn’t add any value to the project. Proper estimation is required for the time taken during the setting up sound systems and also the time taken for the period of artists’ changeover. Therefore the addition of extra time to the budget is essential for quality recording and production.

Musicians

It is usually evident that involving other great musicians in our record will cost a lot of money (Baskerville, & Baskerville, 2010). For an album production session, something to consider is even though I may be expensive to involve musicians of a higher caliber, they save you some money.  This is so because a less experienced musician will probably need many takes and editing compared to a seasoned session player with only a few takes will get the job done. Therefore the top cats can save us some money even though they are expensive to hire.

Scheduling

Another way of cutting down the expenses is knowing how to schedule and sway musicians’ arrival. For example getting drum sounds while you have the whole rhythm section there is a waste of time and money. The musician is supposed to show up based on the complexity of the project setup. This usually means that the bassist can be the last one to be recorded.

Editing

The editing process is crucial and has to be put into proper consideration (Burgess, 2013).  This means the amount of prep and editing that is going to be required during the mixing process. A band project is usually a complex project when recording since a lot of editing may be required. Therefore during tracking, it is recommended to make as many crucial decisions as possible. Therefore what takes ten mins now may take ten more minutes later making it an extra $10 of the studio time.

Engineer

When it comes to proper budgeting, it will be important to realize how the sound engineer is going to work (Baskerville, & Baskerville, 2010). Their flexibility in the setting up, an organization of the professional tools and their approach to problem-solving during the studio sessions. For the continual progress of the session, the take organization and labeling is going to be significant. Sloppy edits, confusion and poorly labeled tracks over the playlist all will cost a lot of money. Therefore proper budgeting and the battle plan are required to decide on how things will be organized.

Duplication is not our department, but when it comes to the cost, it will present for the band it is good to have an idea about it.

Mastering

Having an idea or a rough budget for the mastering process is also significant when budgeting for the studio sessions. Based on the number of songs one is supposed to include an estimate.

Mixing though it seems quite obvious it is important to consider the way in which the songs are going to be mixed. This is so because we have to know if the rate will be per song or hourly and if the mixing of the particular project is going to be done in the studio to tape.

Vocal takes

It is also important during the budgeting to recognize the type of singers you are working with, and the time they will need to capture and take (Baskerville, & Baskerville, 2010). One of the things that eat up the studio time is a recording of the vocals which may make the whole studio session expensive. The experience of the vocalists also matters a lot since a vocalist who is inexperienced may need a vocal coach. To avoid bad takes the vocal coach will work out the repeated problems to avoid vocal problems.  The artists are supposed to be provided with full breakdown costs and estimates in some physical forms.

Conclusion

Proper budgeting makes the whole studio sessions and song production more enjoyable for the band and musicians involved. This will definitely lead to saving of unnecessary costs while at the same time utilization of the available studio resources to the maximum. Accounting for each and everything in a studio is not an easy task since and so there may be a need for future changes along the way.  But since the budgeting process provides a solid footing, it will be easy to adapt to the choices made or altered.

References

Baskerville, D., & Baskerville, T. (Eds.). (2010). Music business handbook and career guide. Sage.

Burgess, R. J. (2013). The art of music production: the theory and practice. Oxford University Press.

Burgess, R. J. (2010). The Art Of Music Production: With an Introduction to Twentieth-century Music. Omnibus Press.

Nunes, T., Gillett, S., Norrish, P., Lima, M., Jordán, C., Vargas, I., … & Lawrence, A. (2013). Planning and budgeting. In Plant Identification (pp. 39-76). Routledge.

Power And, D., & Hallencreutz, D. (2007). Competitiveness, local production systems and global commodity chains in the music industry: entering the US market. Regional Studies, 41(3), 377-389.

Appendix

Initial pre- production meeting

Sonic signature/ artist identity/ vision/ intention of the recording/ audience/ time/ budgeting/ musicians/ tech spec)

 

Non-Profit Management Context: Middle East & Northern Africa

 

 

 

NON-PROFIT MANAGEMENT CONTEXT: MIDDLE EAST AND NORTHERN AFRICA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Name

Course Title

April 14, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

The increase in the number of global challenges facing developing and underdeveloped countries has led to growth of relief and humanitarian organizations. Nonprofits institutions and nongovernmental organizations are some of the leading entities that provide world aid and other support services to needy regions. A nonprofit organization (NPO) is an institution that has no business or profit intentions but seeks to develop and sustain social issues through crafting collaborative efforts to alleviate challenges and problems.[1] The objectives of most NPOs is informed by the imbalances in the development and advancement in economic and social aspects in the world.

Majority nonprofits in the world focus on poverty eradication, provision of education facilities in the less developed countries, provision of better health, creating an inclusive society, advocating for human rights for the oppressed in dictatorial society, and creating a place for women and disadvantaged social groups. Modern institutions have focused on creating a balance in lifestyle and standards of living between the developing and developed world[2]. This explains the reason why most NPOs originate from the more advanced countries such as America, Canada, and Europe.

The increase in specific social and health problems such as untreatable diseases, poverty, hunger, floods, political oppression, and poor economic levels has led to growth of specific nonbusiness entities that focus on such particular issues. The increase in international nonprofit institutions has also facilitated governments in developing regions to create avenues for growth of internal and regional relief and humanitarian programs. Popular NPOs rely on contributions from volunteers and donors to meet their objectives, an aspect that has seen limited growth of internal charity entities. However, large international nonprofits operate under parent organizations that may be business entities. The huge donors in these NPOs include global multinationals such as Walmart, Toyota, Apple, Facebook, and Google that allocate some of their profits to charities and humanitarian aid.

Africa still remains the region with the highest number of nonprofits organizations followed by the Latin America and Middle East. Most of the prominent NPOs in the world are based in America and Europe. By the end of 2017, the NPO activities in Middle East and Northern Africa focused on education, poverty, health, and housing. These efforts have been complimented by the entry of Asian nonprofit institutions that are focused on provision of solar power to support learning and environment conservation. In efforts to compete with the western world, China, Japan, and other Asian countries have expanded their humanitarian activities in Middle East and Africa leading to diversity of services provides by the NPOs in these countries.

Historical Development of Nonprofits in the Middle East and Northern Africa

Wang points out that the influx of nonprofits in Middle East and North Africa dates back to the period after independence[3]. The social, political, and economical systems in most countries were unstable and required external aid to reboot the critical operations. However, the population that lived in rural and remote areas lacked essential services and commodities such water, food, sanitation, education, and health facilities. The plight of women and children also facilitated the entry of NPOs in these regions to offer supportive services through collaboration with governments and local social institutions.

According to Wang[4], Middle East attracted more nonprofits that focused on the human rights for women and the girl child. The strict religions and fundamentalist believes as well as civil wars in the region denied women and children access to basic services such as education and health care. These institutions sought to engage the governments and political administration to expand the facilities and provide more avenues for women and children to participate in the economic and political lives. While the operations of these NPOs are still challenged due to the civil and political unrest, they have continued to influence the position of women in the society.

Importantly, regional organizations have provided support in education and healthcare services leading to improvement of education levels in the Middle East countries. Afghanistan has been a huge beneficiary of the American nonprofit organizations that have used the presence of the US military troops to reach more regions and provide opportunities for women and children to access education and healthcare. Importantly, the institutions continue to impact the lifestyles leading to suppression of the fundamentalist and theocratic beliefs. On the other hand, Northern Africa has posted similar challenge over the years with Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia involved in significant political unrests that have resulted in wars and other conflicts. The religious systems in these countries have also oppressed the women and children denying them basic rights that are available to men.

Shaw[5] notes that the increased levels of poverty in marginalized areas, as well as the lack of education, water, and health care facilities in such areas, created an imbalance in social and economic development. Therefore, nonprofits that focused initial efforts in Africa sought to fight poverty, illiteracy levels, and provide better healthcare services to the poor and marginalized. Such perennial social, political, and economic challenges have placed Middle East and North Africa as the leading regions in the world with the highest presence of international nonprofit organizations. Understandingly, the regions are served by similar institutions that operate collaboratively. Studies have shown that the implementation of humanitarian projects in Middle East and North Africa has considered the two regions as a single program target[6].

However, there are specific organizations that are specific to each region depending on the definite needs and objectives of the NPOs. The America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc. (AMIDEAST) is one of the top NPO in the Middle East that creates and strengthens cordial relations between America and Middle East & North Africa through educational training and skill exchange programs. Anna Lindh Foundation is another organization that promotes integration, relations, and coexistence between cultures through respect dialogue and diversity[7].

The Middle East Youth Initiative offers economic empowerment and inclusion of young people in the region through building partnerships and strategic alliances among policy makers, investors, youth leaders, governments, civil society, academics, and the private sector while the Said Foundation targets the children towards assuring a better future for them by investing in their education, development, and understanding of important cultures. Save the Children Sweden: The Middle East Chapter provides programs to uplift and sustain better living conditions for children in difficult situations. The program has been expanded in North Africa to promote the abilities of parents and guardians in achieving better lives for the children.

Northern Africa is served by similar organizations that have comparable objectives and goals. The Action for Africa is a nonprofit organization that supports productive and healthier young lives through supporting early child development, education especially for girls and orphans who have higher risk of illnesses, social violence, and neglect. The Fistula Foundation focusses on restoring health for African women suffering from obstetric fistula[8]. The nonprofit organization is a response to the increased number of women who deliver without medical help due to unavailability of facilities or resources.

World Conservation Network (WCN) has programs in Northern Africa that include the identification and preservation of endangered specifies of wild animals and their habitants such as lions, elephants, cheetahs, and rhinos. The NPO promotes coexistence between local population and wildlife through sensitization and awareness programs. The Search for Common Ground (SFCG) is another Northern Africa and Middle East nonprofit organization that seeks to improve women participation in the social, economic, and political processes. The institutions focus on rights of women through inclusive dialogues with leaders in various sectors[9]. Therefore, the historical development of nonprofits in the Middle East and Northern Africa has been facilitated by the recurrent social and economic issues facilitated by poor governance and improper use of available resources[10].

 

Philanthropic Traditions

The operations of global nonprofit organizations have been lauded for excellent management, control, and coordination. Denhardt, Denhard, and Aristigueta[11]assert that top performing NPOs across the word are better organized that some governments and other critical authorities in the developing countries. The strict regulations, traditions, and principles that are used by these institutions have facilitated their effectiveness in operations and excellence in services. Notably, the countries of origin have huge impacts on the traditions and strategies of management and operations. For instance, nonprofit organizations originating from the United States are likely to uphold the equality, inclusivity, and fairness in provision of various services as compared to internal organizations in the targeted areas that may be affected by the various social and economic difficulties such as corruption and discrimination.

According to Wolf, nonprofit organizations and nongovernmental institutions operate on similar principles and traditions that aim to correct social evils and achieve balance in provision of services[12]. Majority of nonprofit organization in Middle East and Northern Africa seek to understand the plight of neglected members of the society then provide aid to uplift and improve their social and economic conditions through educational opportunities, health, housing, and integration in the modern society. In the contemporary society, majority of nonprofits use similar management styles that include identification of projects, implementation, evaluation, and recruitment[13].

The resemblance of Middle East and Northern Africa in terms of political frameworks, economic patterns, social environment, and religious systems helps the NPOs to interrelate in the provision of the elected services. The common types of philanthropic and humanitarian traditions that have been used by NPOs operating in the Middle East and Africa include relief principle, improvement tradition, social reform, and response principles. These traditions dedicate the selection of needy population and regions, setting of targets and objectives, as well as sourcing for finances[14] and other resources.

The relief tradition is commonly used by most NPOs to introduce their humanitarian services and understand the populations and systems in the interested areas. Budrys states that philanthropy as relief relates to the charitable act to eliminate human suffering among targeted population[15]. The principle is commonly propagated by organizations affiliated to churches and other religious institutions. The Bible teaching on compassion and sharing has informed the use of this tradition among institutions that have strong ties to religious institutions or are funded by the church.

The main objective of many nonprofit organizations in the Northern Africa and some parts of Middle East focuses on alleviating poverty through provision of basic amenities such as food, water, and housing. This core aim of these institutions advances the use of the relief tradition. Nonprofit organizations that user this tradition include World Vision, Red Cross, World Relief, Direct Relief, Care International, Save The Children, among other NPOs. The level of effectiveness in the operations of these NPOs is pegged on the number of individuals reached through the relief programs and the positive impacts of such projects.

The other tradition common in philanthropic activities in the Middle East and North Africa is the improvement principle. This tradition is often used by the modern organizations and includes providing adequate tools for the neglected, poor, and marginalized individuals to aid them develop a better future live. The tradition is advanced through the provision of educational opportunities, lighting services, health care facilities, scholarships, trainings, and awareness programs.

The contemporary NPOs are adopting this tradition to match their mission and strategies that require creation of sustainable economic and social developments for the population in remote and poor regions. The collaboration between these institutions and the government to improve the quality of health care, education, literacy, sanitation, and provision of water resources fits in the improvement tradition. Empowering the population will reduce the overreliance on external help in the future through creation of a self-sustainable society[16].

The social reform tradition recognizes poverty, illiteracy, religious discrimination, and racial differences as the huge challenges facing developing and underdeveloped countries. Social reform includes initiating and supporting social change due to the impact that the society has on other aspects of growth, development, and inclusion[17]. Establishing accurate and proper social values and rules is significant in the functioning of social, political, and economic systems. The focus of social changes stems from the rapid global transforms that are expected to create a unified society bound by similar social aspects. The nonprofit institutions that propagate the social reform tradition tend to lean more on human rights and elimination of discrimination in the society.

The last philanthropic tradition prevalent among the NPOs operating in Africa and Middle East is the response principle. This tradition includes investing to change the perceptions and opinions of individuals, societies, and institutions towards adopting a common agenda in the achievement of mutual goals. The institutions are involved in sensitizing the public on their rights, need for their participation in the various national aspects, and encouraging children to pursue education as some of responsive strategies that the organizations have used to create a unified society that is able to establish and achieve mutual goals[18].

Key Features of the Regulatory and Tax

The success of nonprofit organizations is guaranteed by the availability of a friendly and legal regulatory system that enables such organizations to operate and adhere to the internal, national, and international regulations. The exceptional function of NPOs has led to the development of specific regulations and guidelines to guide their activities in the targeted regions. While the Middle East and the Northern Africa regions have received many nonprofit institutions, the increased presence is not facilitated by the laxity of laws, regulations, or the protocols needed to allow and manage the operations of the these relief entities[19].

The regulation of NPOs varies from region to region due to the diversity in political, policy, regulatory, and income laws. The universal goal for majority of nonprofit organizations has led to unification of taxation and regulation mechanisms that seek to create a global environment where the organizations can work without excessive control and monitoring.[20] The high number of conflicts between the nonprofits and governments in the Middle East and Africa stem from the differences in regulation and taxation[21]. Some governments have mandated all organizations in their territory to pay and file tax returns to support the government activities.

However, the vital element of these regulation processes is the exemption from income and other forms of taxes by the government and other entities. The objective of these NPOs has informed the decision by international society to exempt them from levies on their incomes that come from projects, sponsors or donors. While some countries and regions have indirectly dictated the utilization of the funds collected by these organizations, nonprofits select the appropriate projects to invest in economic, social, education, infrastructure, religious, and research settings.

Nevertheless, the exemption from tax system is subject to application by the NPO and subsequent review and approval by the government. In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is responsible for receiving tax exemption application from NPOs then vetting such organizations to determine their operations, sources of revenue, expenditure, and other financial processes before issuing them with tax exemption certificates[22]. The governments have a regulatory role of examining and reviewing the operations of these institutions to ensure that they abide by the mission, objectives, and strategies[23]. There are various cases where business frauds have registered NPOs with a mission of executing illegal business in foreign countries as well as evasion of taxes.

Notably, nonprofit organizations working in the Middle East have faced the same procedures in complying with the regulations and tax systems. In these regions, the tax authorities or services work with the NPO organizations to provide exemptions on the payment and filing tax returns. The lifting of tax levies for the international relief organizations in these regions has been attributed to high number of humanitarian activities in Middle East and Africa. More institutions are preferring countries that have fewer restrictions on financial control and other regulations that may limit the implementation of social and economic projects[24].

However, organizations that do not deliver their mandate in uplifting the lives of the population may be forced out of these regions through imposition of taxes rendering the operation futile[25]. The exemption from taxes is a method by governments to enable the nonprofit organizations to expand their activities in the humanitarian, development, and relief efforts. Additionally, the sources of finances for the institutions has also been considered in exempting them from income levies due to the understanding that majority of donors and volunteers are subjected to normal incomes taxes such as Pay as you Earn or income withholding taxes.

On the other hand, the regulation of nonprofit organizations in Northern Africa and Middle East is carried out by specific government authorities that oversee the operation of these institutions. The authorities ensure that the NPOs meet their objectives in the charters agreed with the governments. Importantly, the organizations are not allowed to interfere with the national political, social, and economic landscape[26]. The mandate of most NPOs includes providing relief, response to calamities, and supporting social processes such as education and healthcare. The governments have strict rules to bar the organizations from interfering with the major sectors in the politics and economy[27].

Nonprofit organizations that participate in the political processes such as campaigns and election have often found them deregistered and blocked from operating in these regions. This also applies to such institutions that go beyond the agreed charters and scope of work. The struggles between governments in developing countries and NPOs has resulted from the increased activities by these entities such that the population will view the NPOs as more important in uplifting their lives leading to conflicts and eventual registration of such institutions. Potluka, Spacek, and Schnurbein[28] point out that the position of the nonprofit organizations should be assistive, not major roles in changing the population perception or impact the direction of development policies and strategies.

Other regulations include solicitation of funds within the regions covered or outside such areas. The institutions must understand and adhere to such policies to avoid creating tensions between countries. For instance, the civil wars prevalent in the Middle East determine which countries the NPOs should engage in seeking financial or material support[29]. The self-regulation among these organizations is also recommended by experts and analysts due to the closed nature of their operations. While the government have laws and rules that guide the operations of NPOs, such regulations only apply to general processes with control and management of internal activities left to the organizations to manage. The NPOs operating in Middle East and Africa have shown high self-regulation levels leading to their success in meeting their goals and objectives.

Core Policy Postures

The social, economic, and political environments in Middle East and Northern Africa have influenced the management and structuring of the nonprofit institutions that have presence in the regions[30]. Middle East countries have strong religious background and views as well as the extensive oil resources but weak political systems that culminate to offer unstable environment for positive operations of foreign NPOs. Nations such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates are extremely wealthy in oil deposits and other resources despite their poor administration.

The economic policies and political regulation have impacted the introduction of humanitarian and relief programs because proper administration of the available resources is able to sustain the whole population through better lifestyle without outside help[31]. The regions that have developed economies through high GDPs attract fewer nonprofit institutions due to the improved social and financial power in the population. The countries usually develop and implement policies on external aid organizations based on their levels of political, social, and economic development.

Similarly, Northern African countries such as Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, and Morocco have comparable environments that determine the success of NPO operations. Sheehan[32] notes that the widespread social challenges such as corruption impact the introduction of essential operation in these countries. The styles and types of governments have also obstructed the management and functions of the NPOs in North Africa. The various core economic, political, and social policy postures and positions impact the managements, organization, and capabilities of the nonprofit organizations[33].

The management and regulation policy frameworks have increased micromanagement of many nonprofit organizations and NGOs in Africa and Middle East. Countries with volatile political systems such as Iran and Iraq have influenced the operations of these institutions though direct interference with their management styles and planning of operations. The fact that majority of NPOs working in these regions originate from the west create the need by these nations to direct all the operations due to ill relations between Middle East and western powers[34].

Fundraising policies relating to the procedures and rules on raising resources for the various humanitarian projects have also impacted the capabilities of the NPOs. Most organizations are used to an environment where they are free to solicit funds from various sources that may not be authorized by the governments such as churches, communities, and schools. However, most developing countries will limit the number of sources that the organizations can use to collate their funds thus impacting on the organizations of projects as well as the capacities to meet the targeted populations and regions[35]. The NPOs cite the restriction on collection of funds as the major challenge facing their operations in the Middle East and African countries. The poor relationships among countries in these regions also reduce the number of donor and volunteers.

On the other hand, fiscal policies in any country also impacts the operations of nonprofit organizations because the revenues collected and expended by such institutions is not considered in annual government collection and expenditure. The regulation by many governments in the Middle East and African countries determine the cumulative revenues and expenses for the country, therefore, requiring the NPOs to provide their financial statements and reports which may pose adverse effects to their future capabilities[36].

Through exposing their financial reports, the institutions will reveal the allocation for resources to various regions and social challenges thus creating perceptions by the government and the public of their operations. NPOs prefer using their internal management styles and structures to decide on the use of their finances without any oversight or control from government or other external entities. The other core policies that have impacted the management styles, operations and organization of activities include the selection of projects and regions to service, dictation on the expenditure, and the operational and financial reviews.

Comparison with Standard Western Nonprofit Management Model

According to Irwin[37], the standard Western nonprofit management model includes a board that is charged with strategic running of the institution in the various regions selected as candidates for the humanitarian aid. The boards are usually composed of founders and major financiers of the institutions. The structure of the board determines the success of the operations though the development of various committees that are charged with separate responsibilities that cultivate to the mission, vision, and core values of the NPO.

This management model has been considered effective in the United States, Europe, and other countries have implemented all the aspects of the system. The finance, program, planning, fundraising, personnel, and executive committees are some of the critical elements in this management model.[38] However, the entry of the western NPOs in foreign regions such as Africa and Middle East include influences on the implementation of these management styles leading to adoption of local models that have adverse impact on the eventual outcomes of the programs[39]. It’s imperative that these nonprofits stick to their management and operational styles considering that the goals of the projects are based on these styles. However, some of these style shave proved unviable in some countries such as Libya, Iraq, and Iran where the levels of common languages, social aspects, political ideologies, and other processes impact the implementation of programs

Notably, cultivating public confidence is important in achieving the set objective with the minimal modification of standard management models. The accountability levels in NPOs is very important in informing the donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders on the utilizations of their resources and the actual health, education, or social impacts that they have contributed to the population. Significantly, the management and control of these organizations should not be entirely left to volunteers and local personnel in these regions. Many NPOs have reported change of their program objectives due to the individuals charged with running projects in the remote areas. Reporting is very vital in management of projects that are spread across many communities to ensure that the injection of the resources is yielding the expected outcomes.

While the NPOs are not business entities, their management and operations should meet the requirements of profit organizations because they work with finances, personnel, infrastructure and other resources thus required to be responsible in terms of professionalism and financial control. The personnel and other human resources should include experts in employee relations, project management, accounting, management, coordination, risk management, and auditing to ensure that the operations of the institutions meet the required standards and can be comparable to business entities.

Conclusion

The management of nonprofit organizations in Northern Africa and Middle East has been subject to various internal and external issues that have impacted the execution of various projects and programs. The nature of the political environment, religious systems, and the cultural background has affected the entry and presence of these NPOs.  The notable civil wars in the Middle East and Some parts of North Africa has also resulted to limited relief and humanitarian programs implemented in these regions. However, the study has identified the key philanthropic aspects that have guided the success in improving the people lives and guarantying their human rights.

Relief, improvement, social reform, and response principles are some of the humanitarian features that are considered in management and operations of the nonprofit organizations in the selected regions. Importantly, the regulatory framework by the home and host governments has also affected the organization and management of nonprofit institutions operating in North Africa and Middle East regions. These countries have facilitated a cordial environment for the institutions through a framework of policies and regulations that prevent maltreatment while affording them access to the government infrastructure and resources required in reaching most remote areas.

The exemption from any form of taxes and levies both at the institutional and employee level encourages initiation of more programs that results in economic and social benefits for the host population. The paper has also highlighted how the various economic and political policies impact the management and functioning of the NPOs. The financial, regulation, economic, and fundraising procedures determine the levels of investment. Governments that are extremely strict on the work of external stakeholders create challenges for these institutions to achieve their goals.

The diversity of polices in the Northern Africa and parts of Middle East regions is considered the major influencer of humanitarian and relief organizations. The level of poverty that does not correspond to the value of available resources is used to shield more NPOs from accessing such countries. The mismanagement and misappropriation of natural resources due to poor political administration and instability creates an economy with few wealthy individuals and many middle and low income earners. The analysis of the standard Western nonprofit management model compared the changes that the NPOs have made to ensure full assimilation in the targeted regions through understanding the local political, social, and economic systems.

However, the relevance of the board as the steering organization of all operations for nonprofit organizations is still critical to guide proper selection, financing and implementation of valuable and needed programs. Therefore, the success of managing nonprofit organizations in the Northern Africa and Middle East region is pegged on the relation that the entities creates with the governments as well as the adherence to the conventional management models and regulation that have helped the institutions succeed in other regions.

 

Bibliography

Anderson, Ronald. World Suffering and Quality of Life. New York: Springer, 2015

Anheier, Helmut. Nonprofit Organizations: Theory, Management, Policy. New York: Routledge, 2014.

Aoki, Masahiko, Kuran, Timur, Roland, Gerard. Institutions and Comparative Economic Development. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012

Arvidson, Malin, Lyon, Fergus. “Social Impact Measurement and Non-profit Organizations: Compliance, Resistance, and Promotion.” International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 25, no. 4, (2014): 869-886

Berman, Margo. Productivity in Public and Nonprofit Organizations. New York: Routledge, 2014.

Budrys, Grace. How Nonprofits Work: Case Studies in Nonprofit Organizations. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013

Ceptureanu, Sebastian, Ceptureanu, Eduard, Bogdan, Liviu, Radulescu, Violeta. “Sustainability Perceptions in Romanian Non-Profit Organizations: An Exploratory Study Using Success Factor Analysis.” Sustainability, 10, no. 2, (2018): 294

Denhardt, Robert, Denhard, Jane, Aristigueta, Maria. Managing Human Behavior in Public and Nonprofit Organizations. Thaousand Oaks: SAGE, 2012

Driver, Carolyn. Guidelines for Writing Successful Grant Proposals for Nonprofit Organizations. Bloomington: AuthorHouse, 2010

Epstein, Marc, Yuthas, Kristi. Measuring and Improving Social Impacts: A Guide for Nonprofits, Companies, and Impact Investors. Orkland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2014

Eweje, Gabriel. Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability: Emerging Trends in Developing Economies. Auckland: Emerald Group Publishing, 2014

Fishman, James, Schwarz, Stephen, and Mayor, Lloyd. Nonprofit Organizations: Cases and Materials. New York: Foundation Press, 2015

Flynn, Patrice, Hodgkinson, Virginia. Measuring the Impact of the Non-profit Sector. Washington: Springer Science & Business Media, 2013

Gould, Julie. “Non-profit organizations: Scientists on a mission” Nature, 527, no. 7577, (2015): 265-266.

Halpem, Mafred. Politics of Social Change: In the Middle East and North Africa. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2015

Hoque, Zahirul, Parker, Lee. Performance Management in Nonprofit Organizations: Global Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 2014.

Irwin, Julia. Making the World Safe: The American Red Cross and a Nation’s Humanitarian Awakening. New York: OUP USA, 2013

Kinzey, Ruth. Promoting Nonprofit Organizations: A Reputation Management Approach. New York: Routledge, 2013

Kovacs, Gyongyi, Spens, Karen. Relief Supply Chain Management for Disasters: Humanitarian Aid and Emergency Logistics. Hershey: Information Science Reference, 2012.

Kumar, Anuradha. Human Rights Development of Under Privileged. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons, 2006

Maier, Florentine, Meyer, Michael, Steinbereithner, Martin. “Nonprofit Organizations Becoming Business-Like a Systematic Review.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 45, no. 1, (2016): 64-86

Meier, Patrick. Digital Humanitarians: How Big Data Is Changing the Face of Humanitarian Response. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2015

Osula, Bwamwell, Ng, Eddie. “Toward a Collaborative, Transformative Model of Non-Profit Leadership: Some Conceptual Building Blocks.” Leadership in Non-Profit Organizations, 4, no. 2 (2014): 87-104

Potluka, Oto, Spacek, martin, Schnurbein, Georg. “Impact of the EU Structural Funds on Financial Capacities of Non-profit Organizations.” International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 28, no. 5, (2017): 2200-2223

Shaw, John. The World’s Largest Humanitarian Agency: The Transformation of the UN World Food Programme and of Food Aid. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011

Sheehan, Robert. Mission Impact: Breakthrough Strategies for Non-profits. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2010

Singh, Ardhendu. “Conducting Case Study Research in Non-Profit Organizations”, Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 17 no. 1, (2014): 77-84.

Slim, Yugo. Humanitarian Ethics: A Guide to the Morality of Aid in War and Disaster. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015

Svara, James. The Ethics Primer for Public Administrators in Government and Nonprofit Organizations. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2014

Tanielian, Melaine. The Charity of War: Famine, Humanitarian Aid, and World War I in the Middle East. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2017

Turton, Tine, Torres, Nicholas. Social Innovation and Impact in Non-profit Leadership. New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2014

Walker, Peter, Maxwell, Daniel. Shaping the Humanitarian World. New York: Routledge, 2014

Wang, Jiane-Ye. What Drives China’s Growing Role in Africa? Washington: International Monetary Fund, 2007.

Wang, XiaoHu. Performance Analysis for Public and Nonprofit Organizations. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2010

Weikart, Lynne and Chen, Greg. Budgeting and Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations. Thaousand Oaks: SAGE, 2012

Wolf, Thomas. Managing a Nonprofit Organization: Updated Twenty-First-Century Edition. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2012.

 

 

 

[1] Kinzey, Ruth. Promoting Nonprofit Organizations: A Reputation Management Approach. (New York: Routledge, 2013), 17.

[2] Fishman, James, Schwarz, Stephen, and Mayor, Lloyd. Nonprofit Organizations: Cases and Materials. (New York: Foundation Press, 2015), 42.

[3] Wang, Jiane-Ye. What Drives China’s Growing Role in Africa? (Washington: International Monetary Fund, 2007), 58.

[4] Wang, Jiane-Ye, 56.

[5] Shaw, John. The World’s Largest Humanitarian Agency: The Transformation of the UN World Food Programme and of Food Aid. (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 102.

 

[6] Hoque, Zahirul, Parker, Lee. Performance Management in Nonprofit Organizations: Global Perspectives. (New York: Routledge, 2014), 78.

[7] Tanielian, Melaine. The Charity of War: Famine, Humanitarian Aid, and World War I in the Middle East. (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2017), 17.

 

[8] Anderson, Ronald. World Suffering and Quality of Life. (New York: Springer, 2015), 38.

[9] Halpem, Mafred. Politics of Social Change: In the Middle East and North Africa. (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2015), 112.

[10] Driver, Carolyn. Guidelines for Writing Successful Grant Proposals for Nonprofit Organizations. (Bloomington: AuthorHouse, 2010), 121.

[11] Denhardt, Robert, Denhard, Jane, Aristigueta, Maria. Managing Human Behavior in Public and Nonprofit Organizations. (Thaousand Oaks: SAGE, 2012), 26.

[12] Wolf, Thomas. Managing a Nonprofit Organization: Updated Twenty-First-Century Edition. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2012), 57.

[13] Kumar, Anuradha. Human Rights Development of Under Privileged. (New Delhi: Sarup & Sons, 2006), 31-32.

[14] Weikart, Lynne and Chen, Greg. Budgeting and Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations. (Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2012), 84.

[15] Budrys, Grace. How Nonprofits Work: Case Studies in Nonprofit Organizations. (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), 18.

[16] Svara, James. The Ethics Primer for Public Administrators in Government and Nonprofit Organizations. (Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2014), 66.

[17] Hoque, Zahirul, Parker, Lee. Performance Management in Nonprofit Organizations: Global Perspectives. (New York: Routledge, 2014), 14.

 

[18] Halpem, Mafred. Politics of Social Change: In the Middle East and North Africa. (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2015), 46.

[19] Svara, James. The Ethics Primer for Public Administrators in Government and Nonprofit Organizations. (Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2014), 37.

[20] Anheier, Helmut. Nonprofit Organizations: Theory, Management, Policy.(New York: Routledge, 2014), 132.

[21] Osula, Bwamwell, Ng, Eddie. “Toward a Collaborative, Transformative Model of Non-Profit Leadership: Some Conceptual Building Blocks.” Leadership in Non-Profit Organizations, 4, no. 2 (2014): 91

[22] Meier, Patrick. Digital Humanitarians: How Big Data Is Changing the Face of Humanitarian Response. (Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2015), 86.

[23] Singh, Ardhendu. “Conducting Case Study Research in Non-Profit Organizations”, Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 17 no. 1, (2014): 79

[24] Arvidson, Malin, Lyon, Fergus. “Social Impact Measurement and Non-profit Organizations: Compliance, Resistance, and Promotion.” International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 25, no. 4, (2014): 881

[25] Berman, Margo. Productivity in Public and Nonprofit Organizations. (New York: Routledge, 2014), 92.

[26] Maier, Florentine, Meyer, Michael, Steinbereithner, Martin. “Nonprofit Organizations Becoming Business-Like A Systematic Review.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 45, no. 1, (2016): 71

[27] Walker, Peter, Maxwell, Daniel. Shaping the Humanitarian World. (New York: Routledge, 2014), 29.

[28] Potluka, Oto, Spacek, martin, Schnurbein, Georg. “Impact of the EU Structural Funds on Financial Capacities of Non-profit Organizations.” International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 28, no. 5, (2017): 2233

[29] Kovacs, Gyongyi, Spens, Karen. Relief Supply Chain Management for Disasters: Humanitarian Aid and Emergency Logistics. (Hershey: Information Science Reference, 2012), 22.

[30] Gould, Julie. “Non-profit organizations: Scientists on a mission” Nature, 527, no. 7577, (2015): 265

[31] Ceptureanu, Sebastian, Ceptureanu, Eduard, Bogdan, Liviu, Radulescu, Violeta. “Sustainability Perceptions in Romanian Non-Profit Organizations: An Exploratory Study Using Success Factor Analysis.” Sustainability, 10, no. 2, (2018): 294

[32] Sheehan, Robert. Mission Impact: Breakthrough Strategies for Non-profits. (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2010), 77

[33] Aoki, Masahiko, Kuran, Timur,Roland, Gerard. Institutions and Comparative Economic Development. (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 76.

[34] Epstein, Marc, Yuthas, Kristi. Measuring and Improving Social Impacts: A Guide for Nonprofits, Companies, and Impact Investors. (Orkland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2014), 61.

[35] Flynn, Patrice, Hodgkinson, Virginia. Measuring the Impact of the Non-profit Sector. (Washington: Springer Science & Business Media, 2013), 45.

[36] Turton, Tine, Torres, Nicholas. Social Innovation and Impact in Non-profit Leadership. (New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2014), 19.

[37] Irwin, Julia. Making the World Safe: The American Red Cross and a Nation’s Humanitarian Awakening. (New York: OUP USA, 2013), 57.

[38] Slim, Yugo. Humanitarian Ethics: A Guide to the Morality of Aid in War and Disaster. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), 89.

[39] Eweje, Gabriel. Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability: Emerging Trends in Developing Economies. (Auckland: Emerald Group Publishing, 2014), 62.

 

Slavery

Name:

Course:

Tutor:

Date of Submission:

Slavery

The play Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson is set in a 1911 boarding house in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The boarding house is a waystation for black people freeing the rural south into the industrialized north. The south is characterized by slavery in its different forms and unfriendly economic and civil environments while the north is famous for its intense manufacturing activities. The African Americans, that dominate the play, are fleeing the south in search of better lives and to re-establish themselves in the new society post the civil war. Being entangled in their past experiences of slavery, African Americans are facing difficulties in searching for their identities and in integrating socially, politically and economically into the new society. Particularly, they are being faced with new challenges that threaten to dim their economic prospects in the new environment. The boarding house in Pittsburgh is owned by a comparatively successful African American named Seth and his wife Bertha. Seth inherited the house from his father who was a free Northern man. Seth and Bertha are in the Kitchen, watching in disapproval as Bynum makes a religious ritual using pigeons. Bynum is a religiously obsessed fellow who believes such rituals are solutions to many life problems. Seth also makes a fortune as a smith making pans and pots that he sells to a white man Selig who also doubles up as a people finder.

The abolishment of slavery and involuntary servitude through the ratification of the 13th amendment came in as good news for the African Americans. However, the abolishment of slavery created a shortage of labor making reconstruction difficult and firms faced huge losses in revenue due to low productivity. To sustain the labor supply, authorities came up with the convict leasing and the peonage systems. In the convict leasing system, prisons created large pools of felons that were then leased out to become laborers in private enterprises. To maintain a steady supply of the prisoners, states passed draconian criminal laws targeting the black community. Misdemeanor offenses such as burglary and larceny were turned into felonies that attracted exaggerated fines and months in custody. On the other hand, peonage was a debt servitude system. Workers were forced to work for those they were indebted to as a way of settling the amount due. The convict leasing and the peonage systems were a lucrative business for they provided cheap labor to industries while the prisons and state governments earned substantial revenue (See Black See Power n.p). However, these experiences created psychological scars that would affect the African Americans in their later life. In essence, the experiences either directly or indirectly affected the ability of African Americans to integrate economically through religious interference, inability to move freely, inability to access credit and fear of taking risks, separation of families and creation of unfriendly business environments.

To begin with, the African Americans face challenges in establishing themselves economically due to the inability to access credit and lack of courage to make risky economic decisions. Although Seth is relatively successful as an African American in the north, he has been struggling to obtain financing to fuel his ambitions of becoming an entrepreneur. Seth possesses hands-on skills as a smith who makes pans and pots and he wishes to establish a small shop. Despite slavery having supposedly come to an end, there is still a lot of distrust among the races. There is still a lot of uninformed judgment amongst the people with the blacks being viewed as low-end citizens that cannot sustain any economic venture. The judgmental nature of the people is exemplified by Seth and Ruben’s judgment of Herald Loomis as a scary person and potentially dangerous. That kind of mistrust may be among the reasons why the northerners were hesitant to offer credit to the African American migrants. Seth, therefore, survives by relying on a white middleman named Selig to supply him with raw materials and to buy the finished wares for resale. By setting up a small shop, Seth would be able to expand his productivity and widen the market for his wares while eliminating the need for using Selig as an intermediary.

Secondly, African Americans are in fear of making risky business decisions that could be their only way to economic breakthrough. That is clearly seen in the case of Seth, who is torn between maintaining his economic status quo or taking a risk that could help them grow. Having struggled to find a financier for his business, Seth finally receives a deal that he considers too risky. The loan offer requires him to give out the boarding house as collateral, a risk that Seth is unwilling to take. In the reconstruction era, African Americans had bitter experiences with taking loans as they easily led them to become peons. The peonage system was a form of debt slavery whereby a person would be enslaved by another as a way of settling a debt that had been extended to them. The debts came in many forms with the sharecropping loan system being the most common scheme. At times, the rich whites would claim false debts with the assistance of the corrupt legal system. Due to such experiences, the African Americans developed a phobia for conditional debts as it triggers the painful experiences of the peonage system. That could explain why Seth becomes reluctant to take the loan offer since he fears to lose the boarding house in the event, he is unable to settle the debt.

Thirdly, African Americans are still being faced with a difficult economic environment that makes it difficult for them to grow. Similar to the era of the convict leasing system, the African Americans are still not allowed to move freely. In the play, Wilson provides an account of a young boarder named Jeremy that spent the overnight in jail having been arrested due to vagrancy. That indicates that the draconian laws established in the reconstruction period were still effective and they sought to limit the movement of the African Americans. Practically, it would be almost impossible for a person to grow economically if their movements are restricted. In addition to the inability to move freely, African Americans are also facing cases of economic dishonesty and exploitation. Although Seth and Selig seem to have a good business relationship, Wilson exemplifies the exploitation in the business dealings when Selig supplies fewer sheet metals than Seth had paid for. When Seth raises concern that the sheet metals were falling short in number, Selig pretends to be engaged in something else saying, “Wait a minute, Seth, Bynum’s telling me about the secret of life” (Wilson np). Similarly, Jeremy is a talented guitarist and Bynum believes he could make a fortune by joining the local guitar competition. Jeremy joins the competition for a few nights but he eventually gets fired for failing to pay the white bosses the extortion fee they were asking for. Such unfriendly environments make it difficult for African Americans to thrive since they do not get their fair share of the spoils.

In addition, African Americans are still entangled in their past cultural and religious practices and that distracts them from keeping up the pace with the fast-growing economic-oriented society. They are facing difficulties integrating their traditional religious practices acquired in the south with the new Christian beliefs being practiced in the north. While the northerners and civilized migrants like Seth are busy into meaningful economic activities, religiosity intertwines the African Americans claiming much of their time. Bynum is the perfect example of an African American tied up by religiosity and spends considerable time performing religious rituals using pigeons. Bynum believes that religious rituals are the secret to life and that they were a solution to all the life challenges. As much as religion could be important in quenching the spiritual thirst, taking too much time on it could prevent a person from realizing that economic challenges can only be solved through engagement in business or employment. Furthermore, Bynum spends a lot of money on buying pigeons that he uses for the rituals. The pigeon selling business is so lucrative that Ruben fails to honor his late friend Eugene’s promise that he sets off the pigeons. Instead, Ruben continues selling them to Bynum for his regular rituals.

Lastly, the separation of families that resulted from slavery also makes it difficult for African Americans to integrate economically into the new society. The families spend a lot of time and resources looking for their loved ones, with the hope of forming reunions. Herald Loomis and his daughter Zonia have been traveling far and wide looking for his wife Martha Loomis. Herald says that they have “Come from all over. Whichever way the road take us that’s the way we go” (Wilson n.p). After Herald was abducted and enslaved by Joe Turner, Martha Loomis left Zonia with her parents and set off to look for employment opportunities in the north. To add to the amount of time they spent looking for Martha, Herald has no choice but to pay Selig to find Martha on their behalf. Wilson suggests that there were more African Americans that came searching for their loved ones and Selig made a good fortune as a “first class people finder” (Wilson n.p). The time and resources that the African Americans spent on finding their loved ones could have been used in seeking employment or working to earn a living.

More than a century after abolishment of slavery, studies and surveys suggest that it could still be present but in less blatant forms. The best example of a new form of slavery is presented in Whitney Benns American Slavery Reinvented, where she cites cases of involuntary servitude in the prison systems. The Angola state prison enrolls prisoners for prison industry, a form of employment where they work in large farms for negligible pay. Benns further establishes that the participation of prisoners in the servitude is not voluntary as prisoners that express resistance are often threatened with punishment. That is one of the many cases of modern-day slavery that replicates the reconstruction period’s convict leasing system.

In conclusion, it is notable that the history of slavery negatively affected the African Americans’ ability to integrate economically in society. The influences of the convict leasing and the peonage system are still sound in Wilson’s play, that is set several decades after the abolishment of slavery. Several factors particularly inhibit the African Americans from making economic breakthroughs in the new society. The factors include mistrust and identity crisis that prevents them from accessing credit, religious obsession, unfriendly business environments characterized by extortion and exploitation, restriction of movement and separation of families. Additionally, it is important to note that even in modern society, cases of slavery and related schemes still exist.

 

Works Cited

Benns, Whitney. “American Slavery, Reinvented”. The Atlantic, 2015, https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/09/prison-labor-in-america/406177.

See Black See Power. “Slavery by Another Name”. YouTube, 2014, https://youtu.be/UcCxsLDma2o.

Wilson, August. “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”. F01.Justanswer.com, 1911, https://f01.justanswer.com/e0dsVAG2/JOETURNER%27SCOMEANDGONE_75826.pf.