DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Darius Muniz
Professor Rothenberg
GEO 10    Section 2378
February 15, 2009


    French fries have been one of my favorite foods since I can remember.  From

when I was a kid I would always request fries whenever the choice was mine.  No meal

was envisioned without french fries accompanying it, making the meal complete.

    When I think of french fries, I think of good old American McDonald's, Burger

King or Wendy's.  Or even K.F.C. for a different variation called "potato wedges."  But

America isn't the only place that serves up this type of food.  Matter of fact, you could

probably get french fries in almost every country in the world.

    Of course, depending on which country you are in, fench fries are prepared in

different ways and are called by different names.  For instance, if you were in the United

Kingdom you would call them "chips," which is also the case in Australia and Ireland.  If

you were on our side of the world, however, you would call them "french fries" or just

"fries" for short.

    This food is usually deep fried in oil and is created by slicing potatoes into long

thin strips.  French fries have been changed into different types of fries and have been

named accordingly.  A few of these different styles have names such as "thick-cut fries",

"curly fries", "shoestring fries", "jo-jo fries", etc.  Each name pretty much represents the

way the fries look and are prepared.  French fries can also be prepared with bread

crumbs and sometimes different spices.

    Now you may ask where this wonderful food originated from.  Probably even

assume it would be French since the name seems to imply that.  However, depending on

who you ask, you would get much debate on that fact.

    If you were to get an American opinion you would most likely get pointed in the

direction of France.  This is when this trip takes an unexpected turn.  Eventhough

"pommes fritas" or french fries have been seen in French cookbooks as far back as 1755.  

It is mostly common knowledge in France that french fries originated in Belgium.

    Though no solid evidence can be presented on thie origin of the french fry,

Belgium historian Jo Gerard claimed that potatoes were being fried in the 1680's in the

Spanish Netherlands, almost a century before its appearance in France.  These people

would usually cut fish into long strips and fry them, but when their river was frozen and

fish were not available, they would cut potatoes in this fashion and use these as a


    Another contender would be Spain.  They claim that fried potatoes were first

created by them and were spread through the New World colonies.  They say that its

first appearance was a side dish to fish in Galacia, then spread to the rest of the country

and continued on to the Spanish Netherlands over a century before Belgium was


    So you see, the so called "French Fry" is a subject of much debate and cloaked in

a shroud of mystery on where exactly this food was first created.

    To tell you the truth, regardless of where the french fry originated from or whom

exactly created this masterpiece, is not even important, nor will it diminish my never

ending quest for the perfect french fries.

    I hope this journey through the alleged originators of french fries has been

enlightening and imformative.  Eventhough there is no definitive proof on where or

whom made the french fry, what I do know for sure is that this world is a better place

with them in it!

Works Cited

"French Fries." Wikipedia. 14 February 2009. Wikipedia Foundation. 14 February 2009


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Darius Muniz    
Professor Rothenberg
Geo 10  Section 2378
April 5, 2009

                                 "  Oil Crisis in Iraq "

    Kirkuk is a town located in Iraqi Kurdistan and home to about forty percent of

Iraq's oil fields. The Kurdish people estimate in the four millions and are about ninety

percent of those are Muslim. This northern part of Iraq has been known as " The Cradle

Of Civilization, " and is home to such ancient cities as Babylon and the Garden of Eden.

    After World War I, the country was released from Ottoman control and given to

the British empire.  Occupied by the British goverment until 1932, this land was then

turned over to a monarchy.  Short lived, this goverment was overthrown and replaced

with a republic in 1958. hopefully for the benefit of all Iraq.

    Though this was not the case, Iraq went through the years being tossed back

and forth from one military dictator to the next.  From these ranks rose Saddam

Hussein and his corrupt regime.  Saddam is well known for his political ambitions,

cruelties to people in and around Iraq and corrupt state policies.

    Saddam Hussein was eventually overthrown in a U.S., British invasion of Iraq in

2003.  Though it was too late for tens of thousands of Kurds who were displaced during

Saddams " Arabization " program in the late 1980's in Kirkuk.  Saddam replaced these

undesirable Kurds with pro-goverment Arabs from southern Iraq.  The displacement of

these non-arabs is what is to be the cause of much violence as they return home after

the fall of Saddams regime.  

    The area of Kirkuk is ethnically diverse and is considered home by Turkmen,

Arabs, Assyrians, Armenians, and Kurds alike.  The Kurdish people have a strong

sense of national pride and feel that Kurdistan should of never been split up by England

when they held the territory.  The Kurdish people have been thrown off their land and

betrayed by goverments who sold empty promises.

    During a filmed visit by one of the kurdish exiles named Kuzan Sherabazani, the

opinion of the general public was one of mixed feelings.  Most were open U.S. and

british supporters who were happy the invasion that wiped out Saddam took place.  

Still other locals were convinced that much of the violence that is directed towards them

is done because they are allies of the U.S. and Britain.

    The security in Kirkuk and neighboring cities has fallen apart so much that car

bombings and insurgent attacks seem to be a part of your typical day in Iraq.  The area

is thrown back to the stone age it seems due to the water, gas and electricity shortages

that are now common place around most of the city of Kirkuk and most of Iraq.  

    The two borders that are most widely used for oil purposes are the Turkish

border and the Iranian border.  These borders are two very different scenes working

towards the same goal, to feed Iraq's fuel consumption needs of about elleven million

liters of petrol a day.  This gap was left due mostly to the fact that most of Iraq's oil

refineries were either sabotaged or destroyed when Saddam fell from power.  Now

most of Iraq's oil is shipped crude out of the country to be refined.  Then it is shipped

back by truck to be sold throughout most of Iraq.  This is the scene on Iraq's turkish

border, an endless stream of trucks and tankers at a stand still as far as the eye can

see.  Patiently waiting for the weeks long process of oil transfer, which is an inefficient   

process at that.  The film maker is amazed by the sight and is left dumbfounded by his

countries deterioration.  

    A completely different scene is painted at Iraq's Iranian border.  Here is a place

where smuggling has run so rampant that the smugglers make no hesitation with

conducting daylight runs across the border.  Smuggling has become common place

among young Kurds trying to make money in their hard economic times of crisis.  A

dangerous profession that has attracted many to its way of life where being mamed or

killed was a very real possibility.

    All this effort is being put forth to fill the gap that was left by the destruction of

Iraq's oil refineries.  The fuel shortage has left a great demand for gas and where there

is demand there will be people willing to supply that demand and risk their lives in the

process.  This source of income would be known as an informal economy, which is

defined as a money generating resource that is at most times illegal and not reported to

or taxed by that area's goverment.  Much of Iraq is in economic meltdown and is in

great need of reform.  Until order is restored and safety is ensured, the people of Iraq

will continue to live in economic strife and constant fear of violence.

    The film director has shown me many great points on the economic collapse of a

country and the waves of deterioration that follows. Until, eventually, a country with one

of the worlds most precious resource can't even fuel their own cars.  Not to mention

being thrown back as human beings for lack of bare human essentials such as water,

and electricity.

    When posed with the question of building my future in this war torn country, I

would have to say definitely not.  What kind of life could I provide for my family when we

could probably be killed by any number of different occurences that have become so

common place in Kirkuk.

    It is just not safe, the whole place needs a major overhaul and accompanying

security forces need to be put in place.  To tell you the truth I would probably still not

risk it.  Everyone wants the oil under your land and who knows what would be done to

obtain it.  He should most likely stay in England and wait it out until things sort

themselves out.



DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.