Financial Analysis for Frou Biscuits Essay

Financial Analysis for Frou Biscuits Essay

Financial Analysis

FBI Financial Analysis

Stock symbol FBI belongs to the Alkis H. Hadjikyriakos company in Nicosia, Cyprus, also known as Frou Biscuits. The company “is engaged in the food sector. The Company is the parent company of the Frou Group of Companies and is mainly active in the manufacturing of biscuits and snack foods” (CreditRiskMonitor, 2011). Founded in 1964 the Frou group deals in much more than just biscuits. Information on the company’s website says that;

“Other companies of the Group are Frou Cereals Ltd., which is active in the manufacture of breakfast cereals; Spinneys Cyprus Ltd., which imports and distributes foodstuffs, and personal care and household products; Frou Investments Ltd., an investment portfolio company; Athalassa Farm Ltd., which is engaged in the property sector, and Haris M. Hadjikyriacos (Holdings & Management) Ltd., which provides investment and asset management services” (CreditRiskMonitor, 2011).

Frou Frou group has continued to expand due to strong financial growth into both local and international markets to further strengthen its position. Following is a financial analysis of the company followed by a recommendation regarding the advisability of buying the company’s stock.

Financial Performance

The company’s website is very vague as to their actual financial information. Most company websites will include downloadable financial documents, such as annual and quarterly reports, that give potential investors a means of determining whether the company is a good buy of not. FBI did not provide this information, and it was difficult to find anything on the internet that talked about the financials of the company. The problem is that this is a relatively small company (as of 12/31/2010 only 212 employees) that is listed exclusively on the Cypriot stock exchange. Therefore, some of the information provided by the company was lacking. Also, there is not a great deal of information from the usual financial web site regarding the performance of the company either. It was necessary to piece together an understanding of the company’s financial performance from this scant information.

The following table provides the information on FBI’s total assets from 2003 to 2008.

FBI Financial Information 2003-2008








Yearly increase

Group sales development








Gross profit development





Operating profit


Total assets








Note: Figures are in million euros. Information from (Frou Group, 2011).

Every year from 2003 up to 2008 FBI experienced positive growth, increasing at a cumulative rate of 17% per year. This is an incredible growth rate and has more to do with the fact that the company expanded its base from a simple food services company to include other industries as well. FBI also increased the market share of the company in the Cyprus biscuit industry even though competition increased markedly during the timeline of the report.

By conducting a SWOT analysis it is possible to see how the company has strengthened its position and determine what areas of growth are not being exploited as they should be.


FBI’s annual assets have increased each year and are up dramatically over a six-year period. This shows that the businesses managers have been very active in increasing the product’s brand (in this case the biscuit and cracker segment), and in marketing. The managers have also been able to expand into other markets that are profitable and increase the overall stability of the company. There is also an experienced, well-recruited team of managers in place at the highest levels of FBI.


From the chart provided, it is possible to see that the company has expanded rapidly. This could cause systemic weakness if the expansion is more rapid than the markets they are entering and the finances of the company can bear. The growth has been controlled to an extent, but there is the possibility of decreased sales and slower growth in the future.


So far, it seems that the business has taken advantage of all of the opportunities available. From a biscuit maker, the managers have expanded into other markets and this strategy has not slowed the overall growth of the business. As a matter of fact, this has spurred the company into even bigger growth. Since Cyprus is a relatively small island with an equally small population, it behooves them to have an aggressive international growth plan. The company has already been expanding beyond the borders of Cyprus, but it is possible to do even more. Since both Greece and Turkey have substantial representation in Cyprus, it is possible to market FBI products heavily in these regions. After the company is well established in these areas, it has the ability to do even more business because of it inclusion in the European Union. About two-thirds of the island and 80% of the population is made up of ethnic Greeks. This part of the island (the other one-third being people primarily by Turkish Cypriots in a country only recognized by Turkey), has formed a country that was accepted into the European Union. This means that FBI has the opportunity to send its products to markets all over Europe relatively inexpensively. The EU gives all member states certain trading privileges and FNI should take advantage of this situation to market its product.


The political situation on Cyprus is not very stable and the international market for snacks is very competitive. As mentioned above, the island of Cyprus actually houses two competing countries. The Turks to the northeast are not recognized by any government in the world except for Turkey. The international community has been pressuring the government of Turkey to release its ties to the Turkish Cypriot nation and allow the island to become whole. However, despite numerous attempts at peaceful settlements by the Greek Cypriots there has been no settlement. This means that although FBI is operating in a relatively stable environment on the Greek side of the island, this could all change very quickly. The situation could deteriorate if there is a declared war between Greece and Turkey, or if the United Nations gets involved on the side of the Greek Cypriots. The market threat is one that almost any company has to face. There are very few industries that are not competitive. However, and food industry is even more so because people are very brand loyal when it comes to snacks. This means that it could be difficult for FBI to make significant inroads into new markets.

Currently, since the financial crisis that has been occurring in Europe, the company’s growth has stagnated. However, growth has held steady, and the company has not lost any ground. This bodes well for the company going forward.

Investment Performance

The company has built up its business to the point that it has been a very good investment in the past. Although the returns have not been outstanding, the dividends have been steady. Over the past year the stock has seen a high of 0.20 euros (on 3/30/2011), and a low of 0.13 euros (on 12/29/2010). Currently the stock price has steadied at 0.16 euros (BusinessWeek, 2011). This basically means that the stock price has remained relatively steady, fluctuating just a few percentage points over the course of the year. The steadiness is a tribute to the management of the company.

Another indicator of how well FBI managers have been able to manage the company is that it has had a steady dividend for its shareholders over the course of the last decade. Currently, the return rate stands at 5.65% and the dividend is 0.0089 euros (BusinessWeek, 2011). This means that the company has a positive dividend per share, and that this is growing. Maintaining the current rate of growth is essential for future profits for investors. It does not seem that the financial crisis has decreased the value of the company significantly, and FBI has been able to give its investors a positive return despite the fact that many stocks have seen zero growth for almost two years.

Financial Position

Position can be regarded as how strong the company is with regard to the problems that could occur. One way to measure the position of the company is by using Porter’s Five Forces Model to make an evaluation. These forces — threat of new competition, threat of substitute products or services, bargaining power of customers, bargaining power of suppliers, and the intensity of the competitive rivalry — all figure into how well a company will do going forward.

Looking at the two potential threats listed by Porter, gives the investor a look at how the company responds to competition. Because the main product of FBI can be easily copied using slightly different ingredients, there is always the threat that FBI will lose market share. However, brand loyalty makes it very likely that this will not happen. Customers have already shown that they prefer FBI’s product because they have made it the largest producer of biscuits in Cyprus. Also, because every person has a…

Lifeline Management Principles and Theories Stark2004Term Paper

Lifeline Management

Principles and Theories

Stark (2004) discussed the transformational elements present in the state of leadership in his article. This article attempted to strike a balance by understanding leadership as more of a state of mind than a state of action. Five major conclusions were highlighted in this reading. The first suggests that strong and positive organizations are direct reflections of the collective state of the workers of that organization. The next suggests that leadership is not related to power and is a state of being. The third conclusion the author discussed that the fundamental state of leadership is results driven. The fourth conclusion mandated that leaders need to experience deep and serious change to enter a state of fundamental leadership. The fifth conclusion suggested that change is contingent upon the leadership’s ability to accept and engage in change.

Lawler & n Golden’s (2003) article embraced the idea of organizational change by developing a Built to Change (B2change) model that consist of three processes that help to identify an organization’s true character and constituency. These authors suggested that orchestrating, or the manner in which an organization conducts its business is the most important aspect of this model. The B2change model is implemented in three phases and aligns the strategic outlook of an organization of firm with an appropriate leadership design. The endgame of the model is to create a virtuous spiral which ” exists when everything comes together in such a way that critical configuration and dynamic alignment equally coexist for extended periods of time.” Competitive advantage is promised if this model is properly applied in a balanced and deliberate manner. One disadvantage of the B2change model is that organizations are often changing too fast for this model to be applied in any reasonable manner.

Van Fleet & Van Fleet (2007) offered an explanation for the role of the boss in the workplace while highlighting ways to avoid sustaining a poor relationship with a supervisor or boss. The article is helpful because it demonstrated how and why all jobs are not tailor made for each individual. Both bosses and workers can both hold negative characteristics and it is up to the individual to decide if this relationship is beneficial for either person and the organization itself.

Reardon (2005) presented a rather bleak picture of the political nature of the workplace. The article is essentially a playbook on how to play the political game at workplace while defending the validity and effectiveness of this approach. Deception and wit are required to play this game according to the article and one must be aware of the political power structures that will inevitably exist at work.

Gigerenzer (2007) appealed to the more subtle forms of intelligence in his article to help reveal how intuition can assist people in their workplace lives. The unconscious mind is discussed as a reserve power that can greatly affect how one thinks and acts. Logic is dismissed as a sole beacon for guidance and gut feelings should replace this outdated mode of action according to this author.

Lennick & Kiel (2005) wrote that moral intelligence is one of the most important, yet overlooked aspect of workplace management. The article is premised on the idea that there is a universal right and wrong as we are born with these instincts. An alignment model is presented to demonstrate how one would match upon their actions with this dogmatic idea.

Kidder (2009) wrote about how a dearth in ethical behavior at the workplace is the root of many of the problems we are facing today. The idea that the ethical behavior is countercyclical to the economy reflected this author’s principles of a call for ethical reform and creating a culture of integrity and honesty that is lacking in many areas of our environment. The author called for a revolution to turn towards ethical behavior as its main principle.

George (2003) suggested in his article that authentic leadership “involves those actions taken by people of high integrity who are committed to building enduring organizations relying on morality and character, ” (p.226). He suggested that a model that is based on a mission-driven principle would best authenticate one’s leadership position in an organization. Balance and self-discipline are offered as means to attain an authentic leadership style that would provide a whole and true picture of that organization.

Part 2: Application

To properly apply the aforementioned concepts and principles to my workplace organization is important to first give some information about my employer. I work for Lifeline in Ft. Wayne, IN helping to instill lasting change in many troubled youths and their family structures. Lifeline works closely with Child Protective Services, probation departments and other local law enforcement entities to provide family counseling services to these troubled youths and their loved ones.

Lifeline is an non-profit organization employing nearly 250 people. The company is guided by a Board of Directors that influences the methods, practices and ethical climate of our organization. Lifeline has several different services all dealing with some specific aspect of the troubled family which is headed by a director in charge of that specific program. I specialize in case management and am witness to many of the key aspects brought out in the assigned readings.

The readings themselves all are generalized and can be applied to most organizations including Lifeline. Even though the organization is a non-profit and competitive advantage is not relevant, leadership and organizational management theories still very much apply. As Lifeline is a stalwart supporter of the lasting effects of positive change and many of the suggestions in the readings reverberate with our message.

Our organization, like any other, often experiences leadership problems and mistakes are common. The general theme of the readings suggested that improvement should always be considered and my workplace is no different. Sustaining organizational change is very important to our work environment and is obviously necessary to implement them with prudence, foresight and wisdom if possible.

The ideas of moral intelligence and ethical approaches are also very applicable to Lifeline as it would be to most agencies of our nature. The unique position of intervening within the family life is a very sensitive and touchy issue for many within the community and it is important that our organization is aware of our ethical and moral approach and how it is or is not aligned with the overall organizational strategy as dictated by the Board of Directors.

The aforementioned readings all regard leadership as a key ingredient to organizational success and Lifeline is once again no exception despite its non-profit status. It is important that leadership qualities are reflective of our community and government as opposed to simply just a profit making corporation. In many ways, leadership is that much more important at Lifeline because the monetary element is not present and we are essentially working for a non-tangible and subtle principle of harmony and peace within the community. Healing these young people and their families cannot be approached with a money-making attitude as this is not our goal. A strong leadership approach is therefore necessary and imperative in order to fully convince others of our purpose and meaning.

Although Lifeline does have some bad bosses and bad workers in the organization, the impact of lasting change can alter these behaviors and produce a conformed effort that epitomizes the essence of leadership and guidance. We are lucky at Lifeline however because, in my opinion, most of the leadership is authentic and comes from a deep and caring place that transcends the notions of selfishness, attachment and stagnation.

Part 3: Comparison

Gigerenzer’s article which discussed the unconscious mind’s contribution to effective leadership is very appropriate within the culture of Lifeline. His main point suggested that sometimes information and data come from a place that is not intellectual and, at face value, may seem over-emotional or irrational. This approach is very necessary when dealing with the troubled youths we encounter on a daily basis.

Human beings are not machines and we should treat them as such. Intuition, gut feelings and unconscious intelligence, while difficult to quantify, do very much indeed produce successful and harmonious results at Lifeline. It is this human gift and instinct to look beyond what’s at face value to truly isolate the causes of the problems.

George’s (2003) writing articulating the components of authentic leadership also apply at Lifeline. He declared that “a leader’s authenticity is based not only on differentiating right and wrong (the classic “moral compass”) but also on a leadership style that follows qualities of your heart and mind (passion and compassion) as well as by your intellectual capacity.” This holistic approach is unquestionably necessary at Lifeline where balance is a key to success. Spiritual and religious aspects of our work cannot be ignored as this important factor in humanity needs to be used in many cases to help heal and encourage our troubled youths.

Many of the youths and their families are very “street smart” and can often see…

Social Media: Impact on Youth and Minorities Essay

Social Media: Impact on Youth and Minorities

The purpose of this paper is to review the impact of social media on education, specifically related to youth and minorities including the Asian, Latina and African-American populations. The researcher believes that social media when used correctly has the potential to create great leaders, and provide a forum for ethical decision making and a forum for the voice of the people to be heard. This includes not only people in the U.S. But people throughout the word. There are many different feelings regarding social media; there are some people, including minorities who believe that minorities are under-represented in social media. However a close examination of statistics reveals that social media is very diverse, with youth and minorities taking advantage of technology and using social media as an outlet not simply for expression, but also as an organizational tool and method of free speech, to put content on the Web and Web 2.0. Several researchers have noted that the Web is in fact very diverse, representing young people including minorities and many other cultural groups including immigrants. Social media is in fact one of the most powerful tools youth and minorities can use to level the playing field with regard to leadership, ethical and social justice issues when used as a tool not just for recreation and entertainment, but also as a resource for networking, publishing, marketing, education and other valuable resources.

Hoy & Miskel (2008) note the relevance of specific interventions and dimensions of success and effectiveness related to leadership, justice and ethics, stating that it is critical to satisfy the least advantaged groups and different groups at various times, including youth and minorities; it is the position of the researcher that the prime beneficiary of many minorities in the past related to social media have not been minorities. From a social justice perspective, it is essential that minorities have adequate access to social media, because it has become a framework for building relationships and networking related to business relationships and the potential for leadership roles. This is evidenced by youths that do have access to media outlets including social media, which has allowed prominent youth figures to achieve high status and fame early on by accessing these resources. It does not matter what one’s cultural background is. If they have access to social media, they have the potential to reach a world-wide audience. If one’s aim is to make millions, this is certainly possible. There are certain markets including the very young where this has been evidenced. Take celebrities including Justin Bieber who reached fame instantly, overnight in fact by accessing social media. Corey et. al. (2011) notes that such changes and evolutionary processes in some instances and industries are inevitable particularly in school management organizations, although even here a mismanagement of funds or access to social media and computer literacy programs may be possible. In fact, “hidden barriers and sly forces of tenacity” are always a risk factor related to the potential for growth relevant to social media, but there is always a counter factor that may balance any hindrance to success whether one is looking at social media as an outlet for education, or as a tool for networking; one can discover “the way toward appropriating barriers in order to engineer their abdication through robust policy design. (p.20).

When it comes to diversity, it is necessary to ensure adequate access to social media tools. If a discrepancy in access is found, particularly in the realm of education it is important to discover the source of such discrepancies and to uncover whether they are real or imagined. Part of the reason there are diverse views on “diversity” is that many researchers have not done all of their homework. Hoy & Miskel (2008) also note that it is difficult to ascertain real problems associated with “standards-based reform measures” within the U.S. (p. 20) because there are various factors that are relevant to differences in acquisition of information. The institutionalized system may impose standards and behavior that is “locally efficient, acquired through practice, anchored in the logic of the task, and legitimized through unremarkable repetition” (Hoy & Miskel, 2008, p. 18; Snook, 2000). When it comes to social justice, many studies of the effects of systems including social media do not take into effect all factors, for there are far too many confounding effects, including the individual characteristics and track assignments of teacher and departments, just as there are the type of minority examined, the ages of youth examined, their cultural background, access to social media cultural beliefs, religious and social customs, etc. (Hoy & Miskel, 2008, p. 147).

From an ethical perspective how fair is this to the rest of the population? From an evolutionary perspective, this can only be seen as a natural process (Chelladurai, 1987). What is key to understanding diversity in social media is discovering why there is a perception of lack in diversity in social media anywhere, in schools or elsewhere, when there are dozens of statistics showing Asians, African-Americans, and other ethnic populations far exceeding in some instances the number of Caucasians accessing certain social media outlets.

There is a lack of diversity in social media circles among some white users, suggesting that minorities use social media much more than whites; for example statistics tend to suggest that 36% of the Latino population and as much as 33% of African-Americans use social media including mobile phones and Facebook; this is compared with just 19% of the Caucasian or white population; why the disparity (Sutton, 2011). There are others however that argues that social media is in fact very diverse, depending on where you look for your statistics, suggesting that many attendees to social media conferences and marketing seminars tend to be young, white individuals under the age of 40. Brown, co-founder of a marketing organization suggest that in the United States, many visible minorities living in the U.S. tend to visit social networking engagements more often, which is why it appears they are more often users. A quick view from Merkle (2010) offered by Sutton suggests that Non-ethnics tend to use Facebook as often as Hispanics, with African-Americans using about the same percentage of the time, 53% compared with 52%.

A study of 23,000 Canadians suggest that many immigrants and ethnic members of the community produce their own social media content rather than simply follow what is happening on the net. According to Delvinia and Environics Analytics survey from the same (Sutton, 2011), young ethnic singles in urban environments are mostly likely to use, followed by multi-ethnic middle-aged families in the same setting, followed by young, upper-middle class South-Asian families, followed by young immigrants.

Many people have noted that African-Americans are more likely to use social media than ever before; many suggest that social media is an excellent resource that can highlight minorities including blacks in technology in media; social media for definitive purposes may include Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogging (which is a lead platform for social interaction and pop culture) (Brown, 2011).

Despite this there is still what seems a domination of white “presence” in social media. Why? Perhaps it is a lack of effort on the part of social media enterprises to represent minorities; perhaps it is a lack of effort because of pre-existing social biases, or a lack of effort on the part of groups to make them known. It is important that experts work to get their name out to show indeed that diversity does exist within the social media circle. There are still many racial biases that exist within society. While it is not the fault of the enterprise altogether, it still exists, and something must be done to overcome these prejudices and boundaries so that social media more accurately reflects the…

International Economy and Finance Term Paper

powerful arguments in its favor, has free trade not been the norm?

For over two centuries free trade arguably has been promoted as the most favorable economic policy among nations (Blinder, 2008). Yet it has yet to be implemented as a global trade policy. The reasons for this are many. Economists often favor protectionist policies or other face saving policies that tend to “protect” nations from what economists deem “unfair competition” (Binder, 2008). However, according to many, it makes more sense to pay others that specialize in work to do specialized work, because in the long-term this will save money. Cutting our nation off from specialists will only result in a reduced quality and standard of living in the long-term. This applies to the U.S. And to nations as a whole. Adam Smith noted this, by stating the following: “It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family, never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy…” (Binder, 2008).

Thus, if foreign countries can supply the U.S. Or other countries with valuable commodities at cheaper prices than what the home country or U.S. can make, it is better to buy it of the foreign country than to make it at home; this provides the U.S. with an advantage (Binder, 2008; Destler, 2005).

Binder presents this case easily by arguing the case of a lawyer that types especially well. The lawyer may type much better than his secretary. Yet, it would not make sense for the lawyer to stop arguing cases to type. Rather, the lawyer should hire a secretary to do this type of work, because the lawyer specializes in law. It would cost far more for the lawyer to attempt to handle his or her case load and type up the cases and other office or administrative work (Binder, 2008). Likewise, there are times when nations need to hire outside specialists to accomplish certain tasks. To do so is far cheaper than to attempt to carry out certain functions in house. In some cases, China may have a cost advantage points out Binder, in the case of say, manufacturing toys; this however is not the case in manufacturing all items, as in the case of manufacturing electronic items like computers (Binder, 2008). The United States then can manufacture higher end items, and engage in free trade with China to help keep the cost of manufacturing low for both countries. This is an example of making free trade work for both countries. There are many economists that don’t agree with this argument however. They note that American workers are not paid at the same wage that Chinese workers are paid at. Thus, they say free trade is not justified. However, Binder points out that wage is dependent on the productivity of its workforce and not the trade policy, and “as long as American workers remain more skilled and better educated, work with more capital, and use superior technology, they will continue to earn higher wages” and the wage gap will disappear once these differences disappear” (Binder, 2008). Thus, everything balances out in the long-term. Within each of the states within the United States, free trade is also enjoyed, with each state specializes in different products.

Governments have long been afraid that free trade would cause them to lose a competitive advantage over their international neighbors. But, this is not often the case. For some time many governments have felt it their duty to control trade so they could secure more financial leverage over their competition. Free trade technically allows traders to trade across national boundaries without interference from respective governments. This should allow trading partners to receive mutual gains from the trade of their goods and services. This would suggest that the prices reflect the true supply and demand of these goods and services; however there is much corruption in the industry. Free trade has not been widely adopted because most countries have adopted policies of either protectionism or mercantilism. This often prevents free trade from flourishing in the manner in which it should, unfortunately preventing most countries from enjoying the many benefits of free trade that they should.

Protectionism is a policy adopted largely by the U.S. And other countries which in the past have been afraid of enjoying the benefits free trade has to offer. It was adopted mostly…

Exodus and Redemption of Israelites Essay

Exodus/Story Of Moses

Many scholars refer to the book of exodus as the bedrock of faith in Israel. The book links two key first encounters: the Israelites’ Exodus from captivity in Egypt, and their reception of the covenant of God at Sinai. The Exodus of Israelites from Egypt is symbolic of the existence of Israel, primarily by the delivering power of God. And the covenant shaped the nation’s relationship with God. This relationship or covenant entails both parties keeping promises, and also holding the key promise from Yahweh for a brighter future. The two foundational encounters — the exodus and the reception of the covenant — are the source of the identity of Israelites as a people delivered by God.

The exodus of Israelites from Egypt is also a key basis for the two main religions related to the Messiah — Christianity and Judaism. In Christianity, the exodus is celebrated as Easter, where Christ represents the Passover lamb, while in Judaism it used to be and still is the festival of Passover, celebrating the liberty and freedom of Israelites. The name ‘exodus of the book’ comes from the Israelites’ miraculous escape from captivity (“CHAPTER THREE Exodus: Deliverance and Covenant” Para 1&2).

The book of exodus is second after that of Genesis in the Bible, and it can be segmented into 2 main sections: chapters 1 to 18 on the traditions surrounding the people’s departure from captivity, and the chapters 19 to 40 on the traditions linked to the revelation of God to the people on Mount Sinai (“CHAPTER THREE Exodus: Deliverance and Covenant” Para 1&2).

This paper seeks to assess the book of Exodus, in the perspective of the narrative on Moses by looking into the purpose, authorship of the text, the culture and traditions of the time, and many other elements that might have influenced the writing of the text, and how the covenant agreement is interpreted even in the modern world.

Text Authorship

It has been assumed since the compilation of the first Bible that Moses is the author of the book of Exodus, although the book doesn’t explicitly assert that fact. Even though many biblical scholars look at Moses as a key player in the events recorded in the book, he is not seen as the only author of the book, in terms of authorship in the contemporary style. As with the book of Genesis, many historical Jewish sources name Moses as the most likely individual to have written the text. This assertion is supported by various factors. One is that Moses had been educated in the Egyptian royal house, and this experience gave him the ability to write the book. There are also several texts in the book itself that support the idea that Moses wrote the book (Swindoll, Para 1&2).

Many topographical details, conversations, narratives and events could only be in the book, if they were written by the individual who personally witnessed them. For instance, the scripture reads at one point that Moses then wrote what the Lord had said (Exodus 24:4 NIV). Even in the gospels, there was an occasion where Jesus quoted from Exodus 20:12 and also 21:17, saying that, “for Moses said,” showing Christ’s explicit confirmation of the author of the book. The name ‘exodus’ originates from the Septuagint, which derives the title from the book’s main event, the deliverance of the people of God from captivity and/or slavery, and their exit from Egypt through the grace of God (Swindoll, Para 1&2).

Purpose of the Text and Message

The birth of Moses took place at a time when the wrongs being committed on the Israelites were at their worst, and the Hebrew kids were being slaughtered by their captors, the Egyptians. The Egyptians had set to make the lives of the Israelites difficult. They made them to toil huge fields and build pyramids for them. When Moses was born, the Egyptians – afraid that the Jews would outnumber them — decided to murder all the boys born to the Jews. And, they also made them work harder, so as to break their resolve (Marshall, Para 6-8).

However, in the book of Exodus, we see Yahweh starting to fulfill the promises he had made to Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham. Despite the Israelites having been held in captivity for many years, God delivered them to freedom in their own home. God then founded the nation of Israel as a theocratic one, based on the covenant He made with Israelites on Mount Sinai (Swindoll, Para 5).

The 10 plagues: their houses being passed over by the angel of death, the splitting of the Red Sea, the power of God’s presence at the mountain, the issuing of the 10 commandments and placing them in the tabernacle, are the main events that form the basis of Judaism. These events also offer an important glimpse into the environment surrounding the writing of the text to a modern day reader of the scripture, and also enable the reader an overall understanding of God’s plan of redemption. The number of times the authors of the other books of the Bible quote the book of Exodus, and even the references to the book made by Jesus, are testament to the significance of the book (Swindoll, Para 5).

The running theme in the book of Exodus is God’s plan of redemption — how He delivered the Israelites from captivity. After the delivery, God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments to help guide the people’s relationship with Him. He also gave instructions on how sacrifices could be made, as an act of worship. Just as importantly, He also gave them instructions on how to construct the tabernacle and by extension, the Tent in which it was to be placed because He wished to live among His people, and to show His glory (Exodus 40:34-35). The Sinai Covenant, which was represented at first through the Decalogue, is the basis of the beliefs of Judaism. Through His law, God states that everything in Life relates to Him, and that nothing is not within His power (Swindoll, Para 6&7).

The first book of the Bible — Genesis — offers the situational context behind the delivery of the Israelites from captivity, while the third book, Leviticus, is more of a completion of the Mosaic covenant stipulation given in Exodus. This was in terms of the context of the structure and function of the worship that was to be performed in the tabernacle by the Levites, and also in terms of the righteousness that was to be upheld by the nation of Israel. Thus, it can be safe to say that the book of Exodus fits between that of Genesis and Leviticus, in both a logical and theological manner. The act of redeeming the Israelites from captivity in Egypt is God’s fulfillment of one of the promises He had made to their ancestors, including Isaac and His father Abraham (DeCanio, Para 24).

The bringing of the people into a covenant agreement with Him is not only redemption of the whole nation of Israel, but also that of the individual people of Israel. The redemption, however, requires that the people of Israel should also be redeemed from sin so that Yahweh might live among them (DeCanio Para 25).

Exodus reveals how God made the Israelites special through the covenant, and by dwelling among them as their King. The book is also transitional in that it shows how God’s promise to Abraham is fulfilled as His Law. Even though the promise God made to Abraham and later to Jacob is the basis of His relationship to the people, His Law also becomes the ground for either blessings or curses on the succeeding generations, depending on whether or not they obey the Law. For God to fulfill the promises He made to Abraham, in our lives, there is a need for us to be faithful to God; faith, which is determined by our obedience to His Laws (DeCanio, Para 26).

In the book of Exodus, (chapter 1) describes the way Egyptians mistreated the Israelites. And since their actions and forced labor did not stop the growth of the population of Israelites on their land, the Egyptians decided to murder all new-born male Israelites. However, they did not succeed in killing Moses. Upon the birth of Moses (2), his family hid him for some time and then hatched a plan to save him.

They put him on a basket and floated him down the River Nile, to a place that was frequently visited by Pharaoh’s daughter. Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby and took compassion upon it. She decided to raise the baby as her own. When Moses had grown and became an adult, he attempted to help some Jews who were being mistreated by their Egyptian masters, and in the process, killed the Egyptian. He decided to flee the royal court and Egypt, and hid in the Sinai desert. While in the wilderness, he met and married Zipporah, and had children…

Importance of Parables in Jesus Teachings Term Paper

centrality of the parables in Jesus teaching

The historical life of Jesus is significantly discussed in the Gospels of the New Testament which, though from different perspectives, give the facts around Jesus as basically the same. He was portrayed as a person whose birth was foretold by the prophets and came through the Virgin Mary, wife of Joseph. He is seen to grow up as a very intelligent boy whose level of intelligence was divine since he challenged the teachers of the law and other religious leaders in the temple with his questions. Further, Jesus comes out as a great leader who would attract large followings, with the selected 12 disciples being those beside him everywhere he went, helping him to spread the gospel of salvation. Jesus performs many miracles, and unlike the sorcerers, each miracle he performed, planned or random came with a lesson that the rest of the people around would learn from and apply in life. Against the expectations of the Jews, Jesus, who was Lord showed that his kingdom was not of the physical world hence did not free the Jews and dominate over the Roman Empire. However, he strived to bring reconciliation and peace between the Jews and the gentiles. However, his great influence on the people and following resulted in him being disliked by the Roman rule and other gentiles hence his ultimate arrest, mistrial and death on the cross. Jesus later overcame death and resurrected to ascend to heaven. His death formed the hallmark of the salvation of Christians and foundation of Christianity.

The current writings and documentation of Jesus Christ slightly differ from the Gospels especially in the way they breakdown the image of Jesus Christ to the contemporary Christian. Different from the gospels that presented Jesus as sacrosanct and inaccessible by the many who followed him, the contemporary time documentation and discussions bring Jesus as accessible and easy to talk to. He is not feared as the King who would be received by laying down of palm tree branches but a friend who listens to our daily problems. The contemporary biographies present Jesus as more human than there before where He was portrayed as more divine than the present times. This could be to help make his life and miracles more applicable to us in the current times, otherwise the current society would be distanced from Jesus (Gerard Hall,…

Tie Between Politics and Religion Essay

Religion and Politics

Some groups hold the view that faith groups and other institutions have a very significant role to play within the political arena and that they have a duty to enter the political fight and they expect the government to remain supportive of this obligation. However, the argument of this article suggest that religious / faith groups and institutions should never have the chance of forming political parties and they should never try to posses influence in the workings of government for their views as well as values by finding their way to the realm of political discourse and any attempts to elect their own politicians.

Different countries have their varying degrees of separation between government or politics and religious institutions. A number of countries have moved a head and set up explicit barriers between church and state since the 1780s. The constitution of the United States has recognized this by acknowledging the need for separation of the church and the state in the “first amendment document.”(Daniel L. Dreisbach, 2006). Though many countries still believe in the strong interconnection between these two institutions.

These various variations on separation is well evident in countries with high degree of religious freedom and tolerance including strong secular political cultures which up to now still maintains state churches or financial ties with certain religious organizations. In nations such as England, they have a constitutionally established state religion but they tolerate other faiths. Supreme Governor of the Church of England is British monarch, as well as 26 bishops (Lords Spiritual) who sit in the upper house of government, the House of Lords.

Theologians view is that separation of church and state is essential for the continued vitality of the church. According to them, separation between church and state would make the state attempt to corrupt religion and find ways of controlling it. Therefore they see this separation as necessary in protecting the vibrancy of the church. Rationalists as the other group are more concerned with the impact from the state religion towards the individual freedoms. The general argument of these theorists is that religion is a private matter that concerns man and God, and that the political arena such as the government, via the church, must never force a particular belief upon man.

Aristotle describes politics as the art that directs people to the highest good achievable by action, and these highest good achievable by action tend to be life according to virtue. His argument is that religion is subordinate to politics, due to the fact that if politics is the most authoritative and architectonic art, in that case the political authorities will definitely direct the religious life of citizens (James Leon Holmes, 2003).

However, Faith group and other institutions involvement in politics will definitely be inconsistent with Democratic Values. Apart from faith groups facing problems with allowing political participation, it is also inconsistent with democratic values. Since the power of religious institutions will be increased in the society once they are involved in politics, it will cause a serious problem for our current system of governance. To some extent it may pave the way for followers or members to be overrepresented in political debates and political life. Increased power tend to give a particular group more power to press their view on the whole polity, hence such power always leads to overrepresentation of that group’s particular issues. In addition, increased power may make a minority group, the one which has receive more power, end up lashing out against another minority groups. Such may take place because politicians may remain reluctant in supporting any initiatives from the other powerful group hurting large segments of society.

Even though these cases have been minimal within the United States, other countries have fallen victims of these religious parties gaining too much power. For example, in Israel, the religious parties in that nation wield significant influence depending on the fact that religious leaders are the ones to balance power in the Knesset. This means that as much as Israel is a democratic nation, religious institutions still exercise significant control over personal autonomy. This was evident way back during Ottoman Empire where Jewish religious courts were involved in handling most of the matters in regard to personal autonomy.

Other countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran which are governed by theocracies encounter more serious problems. These theocracies countries are always very intolerant towards the minority religions and tend to be extremely intolerant of individuals who happen to take another direction of not practicing the state-sponsored religion. Of course democracy is strengthened when minority’s rights are respected and protected as well as when the entire citizens have an open opportunity of participating in the democratic process. However, a system that tips the scale in favor of a particular group over the others poses a serious potential of challenging majority governance and to trample on the rights of minorities.

Most of the religious faiths in the United States have partially flourished as a result of religion and government occupying independent spheres. The more churches become increasingly political, the more they seriously risk the chances of becoming designated and destroyed. When a church takes a move to endorse a candidate, it will be very difficult for the same church to speak out against their chosen candidate or to be involved in preaching issues that might otherwise makes members feel discouraged and never vote in their support. Therefore, by church supporting a candidate may in-turn put pressure on the very church to change or maybe deemphasize some aspects of church doctrine. The independence of the church may be lost through this move. The church may feel constrained to speak out just on particular issues that are helpful to the candidate. This means that the church changes to be part of the candidate’s campaign and move away from its independent voice. In addition, when this happens so, the credibility of the church on issues is hurt. The followers will always ask questions whether the position that the church has taken is political or theological.

Banning churches from political campaign protect churches from intimidation by political parties or powerful politicians. This is because churches involved may be put under pressure to get involved in political campaign. The pressure and intimidation to be avoided may both come locally and internationally. Giving space to this involvement, those who seek government office as well as those in power would time and again have every incentive of pressing churches to become involved in campaigns. What the churches would be facing is an uncomfortable proposition of either having to be reluctant in appointing a particular candidate or disappoint powerful politicians. Some of the religious leaders may have fear of retribution if they fail to support incumbent. Government officials may subject these religions to ostracism if they fail to support the correct candidate. The consequences of their action may make them excluded from government discussions involving religion, or never receive any government grant. To some extent they may be unofficially blacklisted by government officials.

Once a church is involved in discussions or promoting issues, it is engaged in its core moral and religious functions. There are some particular groups who may disagree with the teaching of the church or believe that the position taken by the church towards certain moral issues is not the correct one, however, churches should remains a leading example to be followed in holding any position when caught up in a discussion regarding moral and religious issues. When churches goes a head and talk about moral issues politically, it can cause deep division and discord within its members since their teaching requires them to always maintain acceptable morals in the society. Having been left free for people with similar theological beliefs to support their preferred candidate, makes the members feel comfortable as their elect candidates of their choice. However, when a religion or any institution decides to support a particular candidate, it will exclude large portions of their membership and cause deep division. Such division make religious group to have more difficulties in promoting their traditional function of preaching to the masses as well as providing spiritual comfort to its members.

Apart from law and philosophy, there are some Christians who do not believe in voting, carrying arms, or participating in civil government in any way, majorly resulting to their persecution. For example, the Anabaptists, their generation which included Quakers, Mennonites, and Amish, as well as by 20th century, various members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in different countries believed that when they are not participating in the politics they get closer to the Kingdom of God, and they have depended a lot from the answer that Jesus gave Pilate that “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were this world, then would my servants fight to defend me.”

John Locke in his view based on his principle of the social contract argued that the government did not have the authority within the realm…

Impact of AIDS in South Africa Term Paper

AIDS in South Africa

Those of us living in the United States became used to the face of AIDS a generation ago. We learned to recognize the particular gauntness that characterized those who had been struck by it, and who would soon be taken away by it. And then, after years of people dying from this disease, we learned that people who had this terrible disease could be healed; not cured, for they still contained the viruses within their bodies, but they could live lives that were happy and meaningful – and long. The terror of AIDS subsided, becoming one of only many of the perils of modern life rather than one of the predominant ones.

But the trajectory of AIDS in South Africa (as well as in other parts of the developing world, has been very different. Even in the first years of the disease the manifestations of it tended to be worse in Africa, and the gap between Africa and the United States and Europe has only grown in the generation since, as Bond (1997) argues. This paper examines the impact that AIDS has had on South Africa, an impact that is based in the biology of the disease itself but far more in the social, cultural and economic conditions of this region of the world. For disease is never a purely physical phenomenon: The ways in we understand illness – and the ways in which we seek to combat it – are always a function of culture and belief, of economic resources, of history (Garrett 19).

The struggle against AIDS in South Africa reminds us of the cultural bases of both disease and health – and even more about how the practice of Western medicine is as culture (and so as rule-governed) as other systems of belief. This refutes the commonsense attitude that many readers might bring to the book, which dictates that the concepts of health and illness seem at first glance to be entirely biological constructs. After all, a person contracts tuberculosis not because she belongs to a certain religion or because he is a certain ethnicity but because a particular type of bacillus enters into her or his body and infects its human host. People get epilepsy because of a particular mis-wiring in their brains. Nothing could seem more straightforwardly objective and clear-cut and scientific. But in fact the picture is more complicated than this.

Health (and the absence of health, or sickness) is culturally constructed. Both concepts of sickness and perhaps even more ideas about health are in fact deeply culturally rooted in the specific belief systems of a given role and society. We get sick for a number of reasons – and through the invasion of our bodies by a number of parasites. This is as close to an objective Truth as any of us is likely to get. But health, and sickness (and what to do about either) is not only a matter of objective truth; belief matters at least as much as truth. It is impossible to understand the impact of AIDS in South Africa without remembering this, or without acknowledging this.

Part of understanding AIDS in South Africa (at least for those of us who are from other places in the world) is an understanding of traditional African beliefs – such as the fact that witchcraft is known by many Africans to cause unfortunate things to happen. This may be because witches themselves are evil and untrustworthy. Or it may be that the person involved has in fact done something bad and deserves to be cursed.

In order to understand something more of the cosmology of traditional Africans (and bearing in mind that we must treat their beliefs with as much respect as we do our own) let us sketch a hypothetical situation involving witchcraft. Let us assume that there is someone known to be greedy, selfish, and violent. One day this person becomes gravely ill after eating a newly discovered kind of berry. Everyone in the village comes to the conclusion that a) witchcraft exists; b) witches curse bad people; c) person X is a bad person; therefore d) a witch has placed a curse on this new fruit to teach person X not to be such a bad person anyone or at least to punish him.

Well that’s silly, we are all tempted to say. Curses don’t cause illness. Toxins and microbes do.

Well, possibly. But let us look at the syllogism that Westerner might invoke in the same situation. a) Toxins and microbes exist; b) toxins and microbes hurt people; c) person X is a person and so can be hurt; therefore d) person X has eaten a fruit that is either poisonous or infectious.

But you may say that the two cases are entirely different, that poisons are real, for example, and curses are not. There are two rejoinders to this. Certainly most Americans believe that in fact poisons are real. But, on the other hand, most of them have no personal expertise in detecting them as I am not a chemist. If someone points out a fruit to most people and tells them that it is poisonous, they have to take this on faith.

There is no significant difference between a person’s accepting that a particular fruit is poisonous just because the person who says so has an advanced degree in chemistry and a villager learning about curses from an elder. Both systems of thought require that lay people – whether non-scientists or non-witches, take a great deal on faith from experts.

The mixture of traditional understanding of cause and effect (such as in our hypothetical case above) with Western medical concepts is part of the story of AIDS in South Africa – along with the political and economic situation of the country. All of these will be explored in greater detail below.

The importance of designing and instituting an effective AIDS prevention program in South Africa is imperative because of the number of people already sick with the disease, its probably spread, and the terrible costs to South African society that will result from the pandemic unless significant social intervention occurs. South Africa has more HIV-positive people than there are in any country in the world. The following statistics give us some sense of how terrible the pandemic could (and in fact is likely to) become in South Africa:

Estimated HIV Infected: 4.8 million

Estimated 1999 AIDS Deaths: 250,000

Estimated AIDS Orphans: 420,000

11% of South Africans are HIV-infected; by 2010 adult HIV prevalence could reach 25%.

Daily estimates of 1,600 people with new HIV infection; two-thirds of them aged 15 to 20.

By 2008, 1.6 million children will have been orphaned by AIDS.

South Africa has a well-developed health infrastructure relative to other African nations, and there is a substantial amount of international and donor interest in the country.

In 2005 the population is expected to be 16% lower than it would have been in the absence of AIDS. By 2015 population loss to AIDS-related deaths will be 4.4 million.

In 1998 South Africa had approximately 100,000 AIDS orphans, and by 2008, 1.6 million children will have been orphaned by AIDS.

An estimated 50% of all tuberculosis patients are co-infected with HIV. In some hospitals in South Africa, the HIV prevalence in tuberculosis patients is higher than 70% (

The figures above give a good sense of the seriousness of the disease in South Africa in medical terms. However, even these figures fail to convey the true cost that South Africa will have to bear over the next generation as a result of the pandemic:

HIV / AIDS will create significant economic costs to businesses, although the long-term macro-economic impact is likely to be limited to a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate reduction of about 1% per annum (,Lamont 2002)

HIV / AIDS care will become a substantial part of health care spending, thus substantially limiting the ability of the country to pay for other vital health services, including especially the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis and maternity care (

South African women, who already perform more than half of the work of the nation (,Nessman 2002; Khan 2003)

The HIV epidemic will produce large numbers of AIDS orphans (by 2005 there will be nearly a million children under the age of 15 who will have lost their mothers to AIDS) (

Education will be affected through staff becoming infected and through increasing needs of affected and infected children. The need to educate children, in addition to becoming more pragmatically difficult, may well seem to be less important to a nation that feels that its future has been fundamentally compromised (McGreal 2002; “AIDS against AIDS” 2003).

The ability of the nation’s welfare system to help those debilitated by AIDS, AIDS orphans the elderly who no longer have adult children to care for them will be severely tested; in the likely event that the government is unable to provide needed social services…

Gender Roles Essay

Gender Roles

In the world today, the most common way in which human beings probably distinguish themselves is by their gender. All human beings, or at least the vast majority, are born as clearly male or female. Perhaps this is also why this distinction has, since ancient times, served as a factor in human relationships and indeed vast-scale human oppression and even slavery. Indeed, to this day many women suffer indignities at the hands of patriarchal societies with a sense of entitlement over the fates of half or more of their populations. Whatever one’s personal views on this state of affairs might be, it is interesting indeed to consider ancient literature to determine the various cultural roots of many patriarchal societies and viewpoints that remain existing to this day. Often grounded in religious values, the male-female relationship is complicated not only by the “men are from Mars” ideal, but also by the cultural values encouraged by ancient religious texts. As such, the Odyssey, the Bible (and specifically the Book of Genesis), and the Ramayana, provides particular insights in the women and men of Greece, the Ancient Israelites, and India, how they regarded the ideal of woman- or manhood, and how they related to each other on these platforms.

In the Odyssey, men and women had very specifically assigned roles. Men, as a defined ideal in the Odyssey, were warriors, making great, epic journeys to accumulate wealth for their households. Women were expected not to accompany their men on these journeys, but rather to wait for their men to complete their journeys and return home. In the household itself, it was expected of men to do physical work, such as work in the lands while women were expected to do household tasks such as cooking and weaving.

From both of these paradigms, Penelope and Odysseus represented the perfect man and woman. Penelope is generally passive, waiting at home for her husband to return and pining for him. Although many suitors visit her home in an attempt to win her hand, she thwarts them by claiming that she would choose among them when she had finished her weaving, which she unravelled every night.

Another interesting element in this is that, as a woman, Penelope does not have the power or the right to dismiss the suitors from her home. Instead, she uses the wiles in her power to stave them off. This kind of chaos ensued due to Odysseus’ absence from his home, which demonstrated the fact that, as a woman, Penelope and the rest of the household was absolutely subordinate to him. Although Telemakhos was the rightful head of the household in Odysseus’ absence, hew as absolutely unable to establish himself as such because of his youth and inexperience.

A further element of the gender roles in this book is Penelope’s desirability as marriage partner. For the suitors, winning her hand in marriage would mean a prominent leadership position by being associated with the demised leader’s widow. Whatever else her charms may have included, this is highest on the list of appeals and also the reason for the many suitors overrunning the household.

As a man, on the other hand, Odysseus is concerned with material wealth almost to the point of obsession. After having been away from his household for some 20 years, he chooses to remain at sea yet another year to accumulate even further wealth. Property owned by the male in the society of the time was absolutely to be respected; this included women. Hence, when Odysseus returns to his household, he does so not only with sufficient wealth to offset the damage done by the suitors, but wreaks revenge for their violation of the social norm by killing them all.

In conclusion then, the role of women in the household and in society is very limited, with weaving and spinning considered to be most acceptable. For men, being warriors and gaining property by means of raiding and war were the most desirable activities. These roles were enforced very strongly, and were to be accepted by all men and women. Women, especially, who did not accept these roles were reprimanded or regarded as non-ideal in terms of their femininity.

Of the three works discussed here, the Book of Genesis probably has the most negative view of women. Rather than clearly delineated male or female roles, depending on which a woman or man is regarded as the ideal, Genesis instead sketches an image of women as continually coming in the way of God’s plan for his nation. Indeed, the first woman to transgress is the first in a long line of female obstacles to God’s plan for his people.

When regarded in terms of gender roles, Eve’s first transgression, by eating the forbidden fruit and successfully tempting her husband to do the same, establishes her as rebelling against the role God created for her. She was to be Adam’s companion in the ideal world of Eden. By succumbing to the lures of the paradigms outside of the role, Eve has effectively reduced womanhood to a subordinate but rebellious gender who would do all they can, either by design or not, to rebel against God and his plan. Later in Genesis, Sara’s infertility nearly causes the loss of God’s people, for example. In their ideal shape, women were therefore to be mothers, to bear children, and to perpetuate God’s nation of patriarchs.

Another frequent transgression that women in Genesis committed was seduction. Indeed, throughout the Bible, the role of the seductress was to be the downfall of god-fearing men. Most notably, Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, was forced to flee when the wife of his master claimed that he tried to rape her. She did this in reward for his refusal to accept her sexual advances.

Hence, in Genesis, the original sin committed by Adam and Even set the roles of men and women in the rest of the book. Men were to work for their living, while women were to bear children with great pain. When the laws of Moses were further developed, women were told to be submissive to their husbands and “honor” them. While men were to be the protectors of their wives. As such, the main conception of women were not only that of sinful creatures, but also of weaklings in need of protection.

While the role of submission was also prominent in Odysseus’ Ithaca, Penelope was not seen as any more sinful than Odysseus. She was certainly not considered rebellious against the gods for overstepping the boundaries of her gender on occasion. The Book of Genesis therefore contrasts strongly with the Odyssey in that women are far less recognized for their potential virtue than for their potential vice. Although Penelope and her counterparts in The Odyssey are certainly capable of vice, there is a clear delineation between the virtue of the main female character as cohort to Odysseus and those women who would tempt him away from her. For Adam, on the other hand, there is only Eve, both the cohort and the temptress. For Abraham, there is only Sara, who, by her infertility, disobeys God’s command to “multiply.” For Joseph, there is no virtuous counterpart to his master’s wife. In effect, God stages himself as the only perfect partnership with a sinful and rebellious people, the worst of which are women.

Hence, Genesis creates a rather gloomy vision of women in its gender role divisions. Women have the role of bearing children. However, when they are unable to do this, they are regarded as almost worthless. In fact, whenever a woman cannot conceive, she bears this as a burden and a shame as opposed to other women of the nation who can bear children for their husbands. Furthermore, bearing sons is considered a virtue over bearing daughters.

There is no such specific focus on children in the Odyssey. The gender roles in the Greek work are far more specific to the existing people of the time than to the ideal of procreation. The “household” is seen as women, servants, and children, without any specific focus on a singular biological function as the most important reason for a woman’s existence. As such, the role of women in Genesis, and to some extent that of men as well, is far more passive than those portrayed in the Odyssey.

In the Ramayana, the subordinate role of the ideal wife is also emphasized, as in the other two works. This epic poem, however, creates a far clearer delineation between the ideal and its opposite for both men and women than either of the other works. Whereas Genesis delineates God as the only good as opposed to sinful humanity and the Odyssey creates absolute virtue in Odysseus and to some extent in Penelope, the Ramayana represents virtue by means of its main characters and vice by means of their opponents. This is also the case in terms of gender roles.

In the Ramayana, Rama is considered to be the…

Huntington’s Disease Huntington’s Chorea Term Paper

Huntington’s disease, also known as HD, is an uncommon degenerative disorder that greatly impacts the central nervous system of the individual. It is often characterized by surplus and unneeded choreatic movements, unusual behavioral patterns, disturbances in the mental level and dementia. (Sheth 2013) As far as the Caucasian population is concerned, the Huntington’s disease is prevalent in one out of ten thousand persons. The symptoms start to appear when the individual is thirty to fifty years of age. In a few cases, adolescents start to show symptoms of HD (known as JHD or Juvenile Huntington’s disease) before the age of twenty by demonstrating behavioral disorders and learning difficulties at school. However, chorea is the major sign of the onset of HD that spreads to all muscles with the passage of time. The affected individual becomes severely retarded as the psychomotor processes are affected gradually. he/she also suffers decline of cognitive skills and starts experiencing mental disorder symptoms (Roos 2010).

If described in medical language, Huntington’s Disease is “an autosomal dominant inherited disease caused by an elongated CAG repeat (36 repeats or more) on the short arm of chromosome 4p16.3 in the Huntingtin gene” (Roos 2010). The symptoms begin to show as early as elongated the CAG repeat is. In adolescents that suffer from Juvenile Huntington’s disease, the repeat frequently goes beyond 55. The signs and clinical symptoms lay the basis for diagnosis, especially for individuals who have a parent with confirmed Huntington’s disease. The diagnosis is confirmed with the determination of DNA. Several types of diagnosis may be conducted including pre-manifest diagnosis, prenatal diagnosis and pre-implantation diagnosis. Although, there is still no cure for the mentioned disease, the quality of life of the patients can be improved with the help of care (both medical and non-medical) and other available treatments. The individual with Huntington’s disease becomes completely dependent as the disease progresses and is not able to carry out even the day-to-day tasks. This situation ends up in full time care and then death. Death is most commonly caused by pneumonia seconded by successful suicidal attempts (Roos 2010).

The above chromosome map clearly shows there is a mutation in the Huntington’s disease.

Causes and Risks

All Huntington’s disease cases are found to be caused by the defective gene that was identified by the medical scientists in the year 1993. The huntingtin gene imperfection is consisted of an additional particular chemical code repeat in a minute part of chromosome 4. Normally, the huntingtin gene has a total of more or less twenty repetitions of this specific chemical code among the total codes that number three thousand approximately. The Huntington’s disease is caused by the chromosomal defect in which there are more than forty repetitions. For the genetic tests of the Huntington’s disease, these number of chemical codes repetitions that are present in the huntingtin protein gene of the patients are measured (Knowles 2007).

The actual function of the hungtin protein/gene is still not known to the scientists. They still don’t know about the process due to which dozens of surplus repeats in its genetic design cause the destructive indicators of Huntington’s disease. This is the reason why scientific researchers are making endeavors for the resolution of the unanswered Huntington’s mysteries. Any advancement and solution would be advantageous for the getting insights of psychological disorders for instance Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease etc. (Knowles 2007).


The symptoms of this disease may vary from person to person. There are cases when within the same family the symptoms differed from the other family member. In some cases, emotional and behavioral symptoms are more prominent. For others, the emotional and behavioral symptoms may be less obvious as compared to the symptoms of involuntary movements (Lemiere 2004). Following are some of the most common symptoms of Huntington’s disease.

Emotional/Behavioral Symptoms

Some of the symptoms which are commonly encountered in the Huntington’s disease are anxiety, irritability, depression and apathy. Some people suffer from depression for a longer period which may be months or even a year, before its recognition to be a symptom of HD. Social withdrawal, several occurrences of mood swings and impulsiveness with aggression are the behavioral changes that may show up. Existing personality traits can also get intense by Huntington’s disease. There are also very less chances of schizophrenia and other psychiatric problems in Huntington’s disease (Lemiere 2004).

Cognitive/Intellectual Symptoms

The very first signs of cognitive disturbance often are the slight changes in intellectual capacity. These signs may be the reduced ability to handle new situations and the organization of the routine matters as well. Long-term memory stays well but short-term memory loss is a symptom too. The daily routine work/tasks become extremely difficult to perform (Lemiere 2004).

Motor Symptoms

Excessive restlessness, fidgeting, twitching are the nervous activities that are initial physical symptoms. There may be a change in the hand writing of the person. Routine activities like driving and cooking, which involve concentration and coordination, become difficult. Facial grimaces can appear as well. All these initial symptoms may develop with time into some involuntary movements of head and limbs. As a result, these may lead to walking problem and balance maintenance. During rest and taking sleep, movements decrease and the movement in stress or excitement may increase during voluntary effort (Lemiere 2004).

Being at Risk for Huntington’s disease

Huntington’s disease has different effects on different people so there is no particular condition/situation that makes a person vulnerable to get affected by Huntington’s disease. There are a majority of people who do not wish to have discussions regarding their status of being at risk for HD. Some people get so allergic of the topic that they even turn away from their family members. On the other hand, there are a number of people who do nothing but constantly think about being at risk to HD and fear about the development of the Huntington’s disease. Such influences can prove to be dangerous and may lead to menacing and self-destructive behavior. However, there are other groups of people who have the ability to think of and adopt a balanced approach regarding their at-risk status. They also make good decisions for themselves through this positive approach about their conditions (Weiner & Lipton 2003).

This is important to note here that being susceptible to Huntington’s disease is rather influential for people as it has a major effect on the choices in life including marriage, family planning and job opportunities. In addition, this vulnerability to the mentioned disease may influence the daily routine of people in insidious manners. An occurrence of awkward situation, shuddering or absentmindedness/lack of memory may be regarded as an onset of the Huntington’s disease that may have terrifying consequences for the individual and his/her family. A good number of at-risk people show enough bravery to acknowledge the vagueness of being at risk for Huntington’s disease. This is significantly observable when there is no availability of an effective treatment. Without a doubt, as there is no cure available for the disease, people choose to continue living and do not opt for taking tests (Weiner & Lipton 2003). Currently, there is one in every ten thousand individuals in United States of America who is suffering from Huntington’s disease. Those who are at risk to have inherited HD from a parent number more than 2.5 million. As already mentioned, the symptoms start appearing between the age of 30-50 and the disease becomes worse over a period of ten to twenty-five years. It is important to mention here that both genders are equally affected by this mental impairment disease. According to the worldwide statistics, estimations reveal that 5-10 people out of every 100,000 people will suffer from HD. Every ethnic background is vulnerable to get the disease. Children who have a parent with HD have a 50/50 chance to be at risk of inheriting it. The occurrence of the Huntington’s disease has been observed all over the world. However, there are a number of territorial groups in which Huntington’s disease is uncommonly found.


Only a comprehensive and detailed examination of Huntington’s disease can make sure the completion of an accurate clinical diagnosis. The examinations to diagnose Huntington’s disease consist of numerous neurological and psychological exams. Family history is also checked in detail. In some cases, diagnosis also involves MRI (magnetic response imaging)/CT scans (computerized tomography). However, the findings from such processes do not provide enough information with the help of which a proper diagnosis may be formed. In the similar manner, Huntington’s disease may also be diagnosed by conducting the genetic test of the individual, the results of which may help in the confirmation, ruling out or identification of Huntington’s disease development (DiMaio, Fox & Mahoney 2010).

It is extremely important to mention here that if the HD gene is identified after a positive test result, this finding may not be helpful for the confirmation of HD diagnosis without a neurological examination. This is the reason why it is excessively significant to get checked up by a neurologist who…