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Freshta Shikhany – Pakistan ex Afghanistan

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Linked with INTERNEWS, with PACT radio – Pakistan, with Houda Mahamat Malloum – Chad, and with The

“With radio, I can give my community a voice,” says Freshta Shikhany, one of few women reporters in Pakistan. Shikhany reports for Da Pulay Poray (On the Borderline). The weekly program, started by Internews and produced by a team of Pakistani and Afghan radio journalists, covers issues affecting populations along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and airs on 15 radio stations in the region. Shikhany also has her own show on Buraq 104 Peshawar’s first independent FM station. Shikhany received early education in refugee schools and later joined an unregistered Afghan university to study journalism. She had family support, but no Pakistani institution would accept her as a student to allow her to finish her degree. Then she learned about the journalism training program run by Internews at the University of Peshawar. Shikhany was admitted as a special case due to her refugee status and went on to complete the course … (full text).

Freshta Shikhany, aka “DJ Malaika,” is a study in determination. She fled Kabul in 1992 at age 9 when “rockets were flying all over the city” and sought refuge in the border town of Peshawar in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province. Freshta got her early education in refugee schools and later joined an unregistered Afghan university to study journalism. A year into the course, Pakistani authorities closed down the school. Undaunted, Freshta and a few other students continued to study with volunteer teachers from the defunct university. Their classes, started in the backyard of a refugee organization, soon grew into a university when more refugee students joined. But two years later, this too closed down. Freshta had family support, but no Pakistani institution would accept her as a student and allow her to finish her degree. Then she learned about the journalism training program run by Internews at the University of Peshawar. She was admitted as a special case due to her refugee status. Freshta went on to complete the radio journalism course offered by Internews … (full text).


Freshta Shikhany – Pakistan ex Afghanistan

Read this 4 pages pdf: internews-pakistanwomen-2007march.

More Pioneering Women Journalists of Pakistan (besides of Freshta Shikhany): Rashida Kiani; Nabeela Aslam; Nighat Hunzai.

Farishta Shaykani was born in Kabul but actually she belongs from Shaykhan village of Panjsher, in Afghanistan. As a ten-year old girl, she and her family became refugees in Pakistan. She was in her final year at the Peshawar-based Ibn-e-Sina Afghan University, when the University was closed. But this disappointment turned out to be a new opportunity for Farishta, since it gave her the chance to attend a journalism course at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Peshawar University. Farishta chose radio because it is very popular among Afghans. Besides working as refugee reporter for PACT, she also works as a Farsi DJ at Radio Buraq, the first Pakistani FM station to conduct programmes for the Afghan community in their own language … In December 2007, Farishta Shaykhani was promoted from reporter to producer, Da Pulay Poray programme. She is responsible for producing the second weekly Da Pulay Poray programme.  (full text).

… Like other PACT reporters, Farishta has remained committed to PACT, even when there have been no funds with which to pay her. Explaining her commitment to PACT Radio, she said: Through Din-o-Dunya and Da Pulay Poray, I am able to help people. I will never abandon that help … My family says to me, you are working so hard, following people around the place, don’t you get paid anything? I reassure them and say, it’s okay, I am helping people, and this work has become part of my life. I cannot give it up now. She has done many reports for PACT, bringing out best aspects of Pak-Afghan peaceful co-existence and harmony, which she herself embodies, having lived most of her life in Pakistan. One of the hallmark reports which she made in this regard was a report on Pak-Afghan relations, on a people and politician level … (full text).

Sorry, thats all I found in the internet on Freshta Shikhany, Pakistan ex Afghanistan.

More about Press freedom and other items in Internews:

  • Internews Celebrates World Press Freedom Day: What Does Press Freedom Mean to You? – As we mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3, Internews honors those journalists around the world who are devoting their lives to ensure that people can get the news and information they need to make decisions for themselves, their families, and their larger communities. What does press freedom mean to you? Please e-mail us your thoughts, which we may include in future newsletters or on our web site. In this issue: … (find here five relevant articles).
  • The Elders Celebrate World Press Freedom: … (full text).
  • Good Morning Afghanistan: On the Front Lines of Building Independent Media: … (full text /scroll down).
  • … and more.


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Galerie de photos d’Internews Network, and its photostream;

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Women Journalists on UN jobs;

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About press freedom on wikipedia:

Alice Schwarzer – Germany

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Linked with So long, Marianne.

Alice Schwarzer (born December 3, 1942 in Wuppertal) is the most prominent contemporary German feminist. She is founder and publisher of the German feminist journal EMMA. As the daughter of a single mother she spent her childhood with her grandparents. In 1969 she started working as a journalist. From 1970 to 1974 she worked as a freelancer for different media in Paris. At the same time she studied psychology and sociology, amongst others lectured by Michel Foucault. She was one of the founders of the Feminist Movement in Paris (Mouvement de Liberation des femmes, MLF) and also spread their ideas to Germany. In 1971 she raised public attention for the first time with her project “Frauen gegen den § 218″ (Women against Paragraph 218, which was the German statute that made abortion illegal). In autumn 1971 she released her first book of the same title. She contributed substantially to the abortion debate in Germany, resulting in legalization in 1974. (See Abortion in Germany.) One of her best known books is “Der kleine Unterschied und seine großen Folgen” (The little difference and its huge consequences), which was released in 1975 and made her famous beyond the borders of Germany. It was translated into 11 languages. Since its release, Schwarzer is considered as Germany’s best known, but also most controversial contemporary feminist. She is a second-wave feminist representing concepts of feminist equality, similar to Simone de Beauvoir. One of her goals was the realization of economic self-sufficiency for women. She argued against the law which required married women to obtain permission from their husbands before before beginning paid work outside the home. This provision was removed in 1976. In January 1977 the first issue of her journal EMMA was published. The next years she concentrated on the work for her journal, serving as chief editor and publisher. With her PorNo campaign, started in 1987, she advocates the ban of pornography in Germany, arguing that pornography violates the dignity of women, constitutes a form of medial violence against them, and contributes to misogyny and physical violence against women. The ongoing campaign has not seen much success … (full text).

… Alice Schwarzer not only made her name as an author and activist, but as a publisher as well. In 1977 she launched the monthly magazine EMMA, Europes only independant feminist magazine. Still published today, it regularly sparks heated debates and high-interest campaigns. Although Alice Schwarzer (now aged 57) hails from the pioneer generation of the 1970s, she enjoys an even more prominent position in the public dabate today at the start of the twenty-first century. Her latest book is one of this autumns most eagerly anticipated arrivals. (full text Kiepenheuer and Witsch, 2000 /her book publisher).


Alice Schwarzer – Germany

Her official homepage in german.

She says (on Angela Merkel): … “ Sixty years after Hitler and 87 years after gaining the right for women to vote, the people may have elected her, but the majority of the powerful are still far removed from conceding the highest  office to a woman” … and: “For the first time, we’ve got a woman as head of government. That means something. I hope that this woman really gets a chance and doesn’t continue to be surrounded by disrespect and intrigue” … (quotes).

She is named as political heroe.

… But when it gets dark and the rioting begins, there is not a single woman left on the streets. For on fiery nights like these, the “whores” are in just as much danger as the “sons of whores” … (full text).

Specially some books:

Find her and her publications on better world links; on Frankfurt Bookfair 2007 – Alice Schwarzer; on; on IMDb (in german); on Google News-results; on Google Image-results; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

An honor killing or honour killing is the murder of a family or clan member by one or more fellow family members, when the murderers (and potentially the wider community) believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family, clan, or community, normally by (a) utilising dress codes unacceptable to certain Islamic people or (b) engaging in certain sexual acts. These killings result from the perception that defense of honour justifies killing a person whose behavior dishonours their clan or family. The United Nations Population Fund estimates that the annual worldwide total of honour-killing victims may be as high as 5,000 … (full long text).

She says also: … “While we have entertained the contention that a deed may make more propaganda than hundreds of speeches, thousands of articles, and tens of thousands of pamphlets, we have held that an arbitrary act of violence will not necessarily have such an effect” … and: “The god of the Christians, as we have seen, is the god who makes promises only to break them; who sends them pestilence and disease in order to heal them; a god who demoralizes mankind in order to improve it” … and: (next page) “It is the lash of hunger which compels the poor man to submit. In order to live he must sell – `voluntarily` sell – himself every day and hour to the `beast of property” …`(quotes).

… They look back at women’s passionate struggle for their right to vote. What seems so normal today was considered a scandalous, outrageous demand in those days. Not only notoriously misogynistic men rejected women’s suffrage, but also the political parties, from left to right. But then women all over the world rallied together: from Germany’s sharp-tongued Hedwig Dohm to the militant Emily Pankhurst in England right up to America’s legendary Susan B. Anthony … // … Alice Schwarzer, born 1942, journalist and essayist, since 1971, has been one of the most successful authors in Germany. Her books have been translated into numerous languages.  Other titles with Kiwi: Simone de Beauvoir. Weggefährtinnen im Gespräch (2008), Romy Schneider. Mythos und Leben (2008), Marion Dönhoff. Ein widerständiges Leben (2008). (full text).

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Jawed Naqvi – India

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Linked with If winter comes, can spring be far behind? Linked also with Map of the
North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan

You may find a huge amount of his articles, but it seems difficult to get privat informations on Jawed Naqvi. The following was available on the net:

  • Jawed Naqvi, New Delhi is a former Chief Reporter of Gulf News and News Editor of Khaleej Times, and a veteran journalist who has also worked for many years with Reuters in Delhi. He has covered wars from frontlines in Iran, Iraq, Western Sahara, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Jaffna. After the nuclear tests of 1998, he embarked on a mission of cross-border journalism, campaigning against nuclear madness and human rights abuses. He writes as a freelance journalist for the Karachi Dawn and the Dhaka New Age. Occasionally writes for Tehelka and appears as an analyst for TV channels. (sarai waag exchange platform); … same, and: Occasional analyst for TV channels (
  • Jawed Naqvi is a noted Indian journalist who contributes a weekly column for Dawn, the leading English daily of Pakistan. (Chowk).
  • JAWED NAQVI is a Delhi-based journalist and writes for Dawn, Karachi (; … same, and: can be reached by e-mail (on
  • (Sagarika Ghose asks in an interview with Jawed Naqvi): you are one of the many eminent writers, journalists and activists who have contributed to the book and you have made a persuasive case of state terror that’s existent in Kashmir. But books written in English within India do tend to address an elite audience … (full interview text


Jawed Naqvi – India

Some of his many articles:

Find him and his publications on South Asian Citizen Web ; on; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

He writes:

  • NEW DELHI, Jan 25: Anti-terror police killed two suspected members of Lashkar-e-Taiba near the Indian capital on Sunday and said they might be linked with the gunmen in Mumbai and were planning to attack the Republic Day military parade here on Monday. United News of India said the potentially major plot was blown up when the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh police gunned down the two alleged LeT militants in an encounter in the early hours in Noida. The men were on their way to New Delhi when police intercepted them at the Expressway, Uttar Pradesh State Additional Director General of Police (ATS) Brijlal said in Lucknow … (full text, January 26, 2009).
  • … At another level, there is a mismatch between the spaces that civil society groups have forged for themselves in Pakistan and their Indian groups who are getting increasingly marginalised from the mainstream struggles. The Pakistanis have thrown out a military dictator, restored the dignity of their judiciary and generally created a consensus for democracy to strike roots in an otherwise difficult terrain in their country. They are standing tall even in the unequal battle against religious fundamentalism. Indians were way ahead of their Pakistani counterparts in having a better-choreographed struggle, like the one they displayed in the overthrow of the emergency regime … (full text, January 26, 2009).
  • … In the absence of Dr Singh, Mr Mukherjee “will look after the functioning of the government”. He will also represent the prime minister during the Republic Day parade on Monday … (full text, January 24, 2009).
  • NEW DELHI, Jan 20: The Indian government is nervous about the policies the new US administration, headed by President Barack Obama, could pursue on Kashmir, CTBT and other tricky issues, which it didn’t worry about with the Bush presidency, the Mail Today reported on Tuesday. “On Monday, a day before President-elect Obama formally takes charge as the 44th US president, India’s foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said he was ‘nervous’ about this change,” The Mail said. It quoted senior analysts and Foreign Secretary Menon as expressing apprehensions about the Democratic administration … (full text, January 21, 2009). Continue Reading…

Aisha Abubakr Subaira Adam – Sudan

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inked with DARFUR Peace and Development, with The, and with Crossing Conflict Lines to Promote Good Governance.

Aisha Abubakr Subaira Adam is the peace and development office coordinator for the Community Development Association in Sudan. Formerly a member of parliament in Darfur, Ms. Adam is a member of the leading council of Darfur Forum for Peace Dialogue and Peaceful Coexistence. She was a member of the gender expert support team and headed the power-sharing committee in the 7th round of the Darfur peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria. Ms. Adam is a graduate of Khartoum University with a degree in English. She also graduated from the Teacher Training Institute; she taught English for 16 years in the United Arab Emirates. Ms. Adam is an activist for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Darfur and for increasing the role of women therein. Standing up for the principles of the Universal Declaration … (full text).

Same on the beta HUB.


Sorry, no photo is published in the internet for Aisha Abubakr Subaira Adam, Sudan.

The life of Aisha is proof that a woman can be far more learned than men and that she can be the teacher of scholars and experts. Her life is also proof that a woman can exert influence over men and women and provide them with inspiration and leadership. Her life is also proof that the same woman can be totally feminine and be a source of pleasure, joy and comfort to her husband. She did not graduate from any university there were no universities as such in her day. But still her utterances are studied in faculties of literature, her legal pronouncements are studied in colleges of law and her life and works are studied and researched by students and teachers of Muslim history as they have been for over a thousand years. The bulk of her vast treasure of knowledge was obtained while she was still quite young. In her early childhood she was brought up by her father who was greatly liked and respected for he was a man of wide knowledge, gentle manners and an agreeable presence … (full text).

Sorry, no other results found for Aisha Abubakr Subaira Adam, Sudan.


The elder’s Darfur Mission: In support of those working to end the atrocities in Darfur, Elders Desmond Tutu, Graça Machel, Jimmy Carter and Lakhdar Brahimi travelled to Sudan to meet with a wide segment of leaders and civil society. Their report presents an action plan to galvanize the international community into bringing an end to the region’s suffering. Read three reports (in word and pdf); also support, and take action. Click also on video and photos.

Women Moving Millions, on Hunt Alternatives Fund;

directory of women experts;

Every Human Has Rights’s Media Library;

Text written by Denise Halel A Woman For All Seasons: Aisha bint Abu Bakr (Muhammad’s young wife);

Aisha bint Abu Bakr (died 678, Muhammad’s young wife) on wikipedia).

Houda Mahamat Malloum – Chad

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Linked with INTERNEWS, and with Stigmatisée par la société.

When Houda Mahamat Malloum first applied to work as a journalist in her native Chad, she was turned down because of her gender. But she persisted, and became the only female member of a small group of journalists-in-training at the Internews office in Abéché, eastern Chad. There, Malloum learned reporting skills and digital sound editing. Now she is a full-time host, reporter and producer at La Voix du Ouaddaï, a community radio station set up by Internews in Abéché to serve refugees from Darfur as well as local Chadians. In this conservative Muslim society, the 25-year-old journalist often faces disapproval for her choice of work … (full text).

Houda Mahamat Malloum is a full-time host, reporter and producer at La Voix du Ouaddai, a community radio station in Abeche, Chad, set up by the non-profit Internews network to serverefugees from Darfur and local Chadians. As well as presenting the news at noon every day, Malloum produces Internews’ weekly radio show, “She Speaks, She Listens.” The program focuses on violence against women and girls, covering taboo subjects such as rape, female genital cutting and forced child marriage … (full text).

Watch: Internews reporters Houda Mahamat Malloum (left) and Al Haram Oumar (right) interview Darfuri women at the Farchana refugee camp in Chad (scroll down).


Houda Mahamat Malloum – Chad

… In the middle of a worsening humanitarian crisis in the Darfur area, three radio stations based along the Chad-Sudan border have been giving a voice to refugees, internally displaced and local populations, and delivering news critical to their survival as well as information and entertainment making life easier in these extreme circumstances … (full text).

Internews first “Every Human Has Rights” Media Awards.

She says: … Girls are commonly married off as young as 10 years old. It was the episode about child marriage that evoked some of the strongest responses, and which touched Malloum the most … and: “People in Abéché criticize girls who work with men, but I close my ears so as not to hear it,” Malloum says. “I am proud of my work, and my parents are proud of me, too” … and: “The young girls that I interviewed said they couldn’t continue to live as they wanted because they were married too young. They are now parents, they couldn’t continue to study, they couldn’t work,” Malloum says. “It’s not just a problem for them. It’s a consequence for the development of the country also” … (full text).

… Houda Mahamat Malloum est journaliste pour la radio La voix du Ouaddaï, qui émet dans ces camps dans l’est du Tchad. Pour elle, circulation de l’information et de l’aide alimentaire sont intimement liées. “Imaginez une veuve africaine avec huit enfants, qui n’a rien à manger, à qui l’on donne cinq à huit kilos de mil par mois. C’est très difficile. Nous allons dans les camps, nous rencontrons ces gens, nous prenons leurs doléances. Ensuite, nous rencontrons les humanitaires pour voir comment trouver une solution”, explique-t-elle à FRANCE 24. Selon elle, certaines personnes utilisent aussi la radio afin que leurs demandes soient écoutées par les responsables et les humanitaires … (full text).

Pourquoi ce travail? Est ce que ces femmes sont obligées de faire ce travail? Que font les hommes si tout est fait par les femmes. C’est la question qu’on pose souvent quand on visite les camps des réfugiés soudanais … (full text).

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Philip Emeagwali – Nigeria and USA

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Linked with Africa Must Produce or Perish.

Philip Emeagwali (born in 1954) is an Igbo Nigerian-born computer scientist /geologist who was one of two winners of the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize, a prize from the IEEE, for his use of the Connection Machine supercomputer – a machine featuring over 65,000 parallel processors – to help analyze petroleum fields … Biography: Emeagwali was born in Akure, Nigeria in 1954. He dropped out of school in 1967 because of the Nigerian-Biafran war. When he turned fourteen, he was conscripted into the Biafran army. After the war he completed a high-school equivalency through self-study and came to the United States to study at university under a scholarship. He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Oregon State University in 1977. He received a master’s degree in environmental engineering from George Washington University in 1981, and another master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1986. He also received a post-master’s degree in ocean, coastal and marine engineering from George Washington University in that year. He was also working as a civil engineer at the Bureau of Land Reclamation in Wyoming during this period … (full text on wikipedia).

… Nigerian born Dr. Philip Emeagwali first entered the limelight in 1989 when he won the prestigious Gordon Bell Prize for his work with massively parallel computers. He programmed the Connection Machine to compute a world record 3.1 billion calculations per second using 65,536 processors to simulate oil reservoirs. With over 41 inventions submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Philip Emeagwali is making big waves in the supercomputer industry, amazing achievements only surpassed by an even more amazing life … ( /Inventors).

… In 1974, based on a 1922 science fiction novel he read, Emeagwali worked on a theory about using 64,000 processors distributed around the world to forecast the weather, calling it a HyperBall network.  His idea was rejected, but in the late 1980s, he was able to test his theory when the Los Alamos National Laboratory had access to 65,536 processors, and Emeagwali had permission to remotely program them.  These computers were able to perform 3.1 billion calculations per second, and in 1989 he was making magazine cover stories about the capabilities of supercomputers. His HyperBall idea was given credibility”. In 1989, Emeagwali received the Gordon Bell Prize for his work on the Connection Machine, one of his many prizes.  Emeagwali is a popular speaker and contact for various subjects, including the arts. (full text).


Philip  Emeagwali – Nigeria and USA

His personal Homepage.

Watch two of the 289 Google video-results:

He says (excerpt of an Interview): … Question – You speak about the influence nature’s own creativity has had upon your science theories, how did this begin?
Philip Emeagwali – I have expertise in five different fields which helps me to easily understand the analogy between my scientific problems and those occurring in nature. First, I identify an analogous problem in nature and borrow from it. It is smarter to borrow from nature than to reinvent the wheels … (full interviw text).

He writes: … As the gap between rich and poor countries continues to widen, it is becoming clear that intellectual capital and technology are the new fronts for acquisition of wealth and power. Natural resources such as oil, gold, and diamonds are no longer the primary determinants of wealth. This is demonstrated by the fact that nations with few or no natural resources are realising higher growth rates than OPEC countries … (full text).

More articles:

Find him and his publications on (for articles, videos, photos); on Google Video-search (announcing 289 results); on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

… In 1989, he shocked the computing industry by winning singlehandedly, as an unknown, the Gordon Bell Prize, considered the “Nobel Prize of supercomputing.” He reformulated Newton’s Second Law of Motion as 18 “grand challenge” equations and algorithms and then re-created those as 24 million algebraic equations. By programming 65,000 processors to work as one seamless unit, he solved those 24 million equations at a speed of 3.1 billion calculations per second, setting three world records and garnering international headlines … (full text).

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Peter Piot – Belgium

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Linked with Global HIV/AIDS: Five Leadership Issues.

Peter, Baron Piot (born 1949 in Leuven, Belgium) is Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN specialized agency UNAIDS. In 2004, he was awarded the Vlerick Award. After he qualified as a Doctor of Medicine at the University of Ghent (Belgium) in 1974, he co-discovered the Ebola
virus in Zaire in 1976. In 1980 Peter Piot received a PhD degree in Microbiology from the University of Antwerp (Belgium). He was also a Senior Fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle. In the 1980s, Dr. Piot participated in a series of collaborative projects in Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Tanzania and Zaire. Project SIDA in Kinshasa, Zaire was the first international project on AIDS in Africa and is widely acknowledged as having provided the foundations of our understanding of HIV infection in Africa. He was a professor of microbiology, and of public health at the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, in Antwerp, and the Universities of Nairobi, Brussels, and Lausanne … (full text).

His Bio in 5 UN languages.

… In 1992, Dr Piot joined the Global Programme on AIDS of the World Health Organization, in Geneva, as Associate Director. Born in 1949 in Belgium, Dr Piot is fluent in three languages and is the author of 16 books and more than 500 scientific articles. He has received numerous awards for scientific and societal achievement, and was knighted as a Baron by King Albert II of Belgium in 1995. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States and the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, UK. (full text).


Peter Piot – Belgium

Watch these videos:

During a visit to Bangkok, Thailand, UNAIDS Executive Director Dr Peter Piot met with the Prime Minister of Thailand and celebrated the International Women’s Day with the Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and with Ms Joana Merlin-Scholtes, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Thailand. Dr Piot released a statement stressing the importance of addressing gender inequality and the feminization of the AIDS epidemics. Read the statement here … (full text).

First UN HIV/AIDS director Peter Piot joins Gates Foundation; rest of UN coming soon, Jan. 15, 2009.

He says: “I arrived here yesterday from South Africa, where I saw very positive signs of strong new leadership on AIDS. The National AIDS Council has a clear agenda, and it is good to see government and civil society really rallying together to achieve this”. (Speeches, on UNAIDS).

Find him and his publications on Speeches on UNAIDS; on Google News-results; on Google Video-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

… Ban, in a speech before the 2008 High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, praised Piot for being a “tireless leader who has been at the vanguard of the response to AIDS since the earliest days of the epidemic.” A successor has not yet been named. Piot, a Belgian who co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire in 1976, has led the UN’s response to the AIDS epidemic as executive director of the Joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) since its inception in 1995. In a little noticed statement in April, Piot said he would step down when his term ended at the end of this year … full text, June 11, 2008.

UNAIDS chief Peter Piot to direct new Institute for Global Health at Imperial College London, 16 Oct 2008.

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Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht – Germany and USA

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Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, best known as “Sepp” Gumbrecht, is a German-born American literary theorist and currently the Albert Guérard Professor on Literature in the Departments of Comparative Literature, French and Italian, German, and Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford University. Born in 1948 in Würzburg, Germany, Gumbrecht received his education in Paris, Munich, Regensburg, Salamanca, Pavia and Konstanz, receiving his Ph.D. at the University of Konstanz in 1971 where he was also an assistant professor from 1971 to 1974. He had appointments at the universities of Bochum, Siegen, and has been at Stanford since 1989 … (full text … his Work, the Honors).

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (* 15. Juni 1948 in Würzburg) ist ein deutsch-amerikanischer Literaturwissenschaftler, on de.wikipedia.

He says: … “I arrived from Germany in 1989, knowing I can’t live without team sports. Of course, you can watch soccer here, but you want an environment where people get excited about it and can competently talk about it. I’m an American citizen now and very proud of it, but Americans talking about soccer are as bad as Europeans talking about baseball. They don’t get it. So I made this rational decision. I decided I’m going to become a football fan” … (full text).

Announcement: Schweizer Fernsehen, SF1, Sternstunde Philosophie, 25. Januar 2009 /11.00 Uhr: … über die politische Philosophie Barack Obamas (in german).

At his Homepage; his CV.


Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht – Germany and USA

Watch this video in german: Joseph Vogl und Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, 08.53 min, Aug 29, 2008.

… Ken introduces Hans Gumbrecht, author of many works including “In Praise of Athletic Beauty” and Albert Guerard Professor in Literature at Stanford University. John asks Hans: Don’t people care more about their team winning than looking beautiful? Aren’t championships and goals what attract people to sports? Gumbrecht agrees completely, but thinks that even in the most diehard fans there exists a certain amount of
appreciation for the beauty of the game. Gumbrecht argues that beauty is the least mentioned of the important reasons why people love sports, and that is why it is interesting to discuss … (full text).

… The disastrous term “Leitkultur” (something like, “defining culture”) should therefore be dissociated from institutions of citizenship as soon as possible – and then forgotten, never to be replaced. One can hope that new citizens will be open to the culture of their new country but this can definitely not be forced by means of state institutions, and the word “Leitkultur” seems to mask the wish to implement cultural adaptation through legislation … (full text).

He writes: For a European academic in California, the ubiquitous question “You ok?” typifies self-help culture in which everybody becomes a therapist in need of a patient. Activities that ought to be sheer pleasure, like wine drinking or sex, become opportunities for nursing, while an event such as the timely death of a relative becomes a tragedy. But is the critical spirit of the European tradition not the reverse side of the same desire to take care of other people’s lives, “The surgical mode of the nursing complex”, as the letter-writer puts it? … (full text).

Find him and his publications on Project MUSE; on amazon; on GoodReads; on his current projets at Stanford; on wikipedia /publications; on allBookstores; on Barnes and Noble; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

Left and Right simultaneously will not solve any problems, says Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht on the eve of the German election. What exactly is so irritating about the events leading up to the elections slated for September 18, 2005? Why are we bothered, even after the Federal Constitutional Court decided that the elections, which were precipitated by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s purposefully losing a vote of confidence in parliament, could go ahead? It can hardly be held against a government that it “clears the way for new elections”. On the contrary, in the tradition of parliamentary democracy such decisions are generally seen as a sign of statesmanly verve … (full text).

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Wanda Nowicka – Poland

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Linked with ASTRA Network, with Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in EU and non-EU countries, and with The

Wanda Nowicka is a leading activist for women’s sexual and reproductive health rights in Poland. She is co-founder and director of the country’s Federation for Women and Family Planning, and co-founder of ASTRA, the Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Nowicka is an outspoken advocate of women’s right to a legal and safe abortion, accessible contraception and comprehensive sex education. Through her work at ASTRA, government commitments to this crucial aspect of women’s health and rights are now monitored and reported on nationally and internationally. Nowicka has worked tirelessly to enable women to have access to legal support where the system fails them on their reproductive rights and health, recently taking a case as far as the European Court for Human Rights … (full text).

Wanda Nowicka (ur. 21 listopada 1956) – filolog klasyczny, działaczka ruchów kobiecych i praw człowieka, feministka, polityk lewicy. W latach 1985-1993 nauczycielka łaciny i angielskiego w liceach warszawskich. Współzałożycielka Stowarzyszenia na rzecz Państwa Neutralnego Światopoglądowo Neutrum (1990). Współzałożycielka (1992) i przewodnicząca Federacji na rzecz Kobiet i Planowania Rodziny. Współzałożycielka Polskiego Komitetu Organizacji Pozarządowych – Pekin ‘95. Współzałożycielka (1999) i koordynatorka sieci regionalnej ASTRA (Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights). W latach 1995-2002 ekspertka Światowej Organizacji Zdrowia (Program dot. ludzkiej rozrodczości). W 1994 r. laureatka polskiej edycji konkursu Kobieta Europy. W 2000 laureatka Tęczowego Lauru. W 2003 r. współpracowała z holenderską Fundacją Kobiety na falach i koordynowała udział organizacji polskich w wizycie statku Langenort, pełniącego rolę gabinetu aborcyjnego, we Władysławowie. W 2005 r. odebrała nagrodę 100.000 funtów od Fundacji Sigrid Rausing dla sieci ASTRA za wyróżniające się przywództwo. 16 maja 2008 r. Nowicka odebrała prestiżową Nagrodę Uniwersytetu na Wygnaniu (University-In-Exile Award) od nowojorskiego Uniwersytetu New School. Nagroda Uniwersytetu na Wygnaniu została ustanowiona w celu uhonorowania osób instytucji wspierających rozwój demokracji i praw człowieka. Jej mężem jest Światosław Florian Nowicki. Ma trzech synów – Michał Nowicki jest aktywistą komunistycznym działającym w Lewicy Bez Cenzury, Florian Nowicki jest działaczem skrajnej lewicy i politykiem Polskiej Partii Pracy … (full text on polnish wikipedia).

Her CV.

In polish: her personal blog.


Wanda Nowicka – Poland

Watch these videos:

She says: “I advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights, especially for the right to legal and safe abortion, modern and accessible contraception and comprehensive sexuality education at the national and international level” … (full text).

Each year the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers highlights sixteen women, men and organizations that standout in the fight against gender violence. Representing December 9th, is: Wanda Nowicka … (full text).

The position paper on SRHR from Wanda Nowicka of ASTRA – Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights … (full text).

Find her and her publications (in polnish and english) on Women on Waves – Press releases; on EMM; on AOL-video; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search.

On January 29, the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality of the European Parliament (EP) held a public hearing on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).  During the hearing, five panelists spoke: Wanda Nowicka of the ASTRA Network; Irene Donadio of the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPFEN); Jana Tutkova of the Centre for Bioethical Reform; Sandra Dahlén, an author and gender and sexuality educator; and Douglas Sylva of Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) … (full text).

Some articles in polnish:

… Honorary degree recipients include sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, urban planner Majora Carter, theater director Elizabeth LeCompte, and management educator Henry Mintzberg. Women’s rights activist Wanda Nowicka will receive the University in Exile Award … (full text).

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Natacha Atlas – Belgium and UK

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Natacha Atlas (Arabic: نتاشا أطلس‎; born March 20, 1964) is a Belgian singer known for her fusion of Arabic and North African music with Western electronic music. She once termed her music cha’abi moderne (an updated form of Egyptian pop music). Her music has been influenced by many styles including Arabesque music, drum ‘n’ bass and reggae … /// … Personal Life: In 1999, Atlas married Syrian kanun player Abdullah Chhadeh. The couple divorced in 2005. Atlas considers herself to be a Muslim with an interest in Sufism.  She is, however, open to other forms of spirituality because “it’s important to be tolerant”. In 2001, she was appointed by Mary Robinson as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Conference Against Racism. Robinson chose Atlas because “she embodies the message that there is a strength in diversity. That our differences – be they ethnic, racial or religious – are a source of riches to be embraced rather than feared” … (full text).

Her Solo career.

As befits her globetrotting lifestyle and influences, Middle Eastern singer NATACHA ATLAS continues to create a body of work that refuses to be neatly categorized. Over the past decade, she has entrancingly fused North African and Arabic music with western electronic beats to produce a unique dance music hybrid. This sound has constantly been fed by fresh musical passions and testing in new sonic settings. With her latest album MISH MAOUL, her career comes full circle to touch base with her roots. The new album harks back in its sound and traditions to the music she grew up hearing in the Moroccan suburb of Brussels, particularly when the Golden Sound Studio Orchestra of Cairo makes its entrance. It also reunites her again with the Temple of Sound’s Nick Page aka Count Dubulah, with whom she first worked in Transglobal Underground and who helped produce her very first solo album Diaspora (and many subsequent collaborations) … (full text Biography).

Her Homepage on Beggars Group.


Natacha Atlas – Belgium and UK

Watch these videos:

… “The Arabic form doesn’t need any alteration, Atlas said in an interview “World Music Central”. “You don’t need to f*** about with the Arabic scales, they’re beautiful as they are,” she said a few years ago. “If you just mix them together with modern European sounds and dub sounds, you’ve got a great blend.” Atlas says her 2008 outing and tour “shows the Western public that, actually, Arabic composers have been fusing music, East and West, a lot longer than I have” … (full text).

Natacha Atlas – Gone:

  • He went on a journey and left
  • He crossed the seas
  • And nobody knows where he might be
  • And he’s gone … (full text).

… With a heritage that connects Egypt, Palestine, Morocco, Belgium and the UK, the unique singer Natacha Atlas represents a one-woman Migration. Indeed, she has described herself as “a human Gaza strip”. An international star for two decades, she is famed for her collaborations with Transglobal Underground, Nitin Sawhney, David Arnold and Jah Wobble. Tonight Natacha goes acoustic to present the music from her acclaimed album ‘Ana Hina’, a sensuous evocation of the Egyptian and Lebanese singers she first heard through her father’s record collection, and in which her incredible voice takes centre stage … (full text, January 5, 2009).

… Another London-based world music talent, Natacha Atlas, is doing a short tour in support of her sublime recent album Ana Hina, on which she moves away from her more club-based music to a fairly restrained take on traditional Arabic music. Joining her will be the Mazeeka Ensemble, who also played on the album. They’ll be at the Salisbury Arts Centre (01722 321744) on 28 January, St George’s, Bristol (0845 402 4001) on 30 January, the Union Chapel, London (08700 600100) on 1 February, and the Norwich Arts Centre (01603 660352) on 2 February … (full text, 4 January 2009).

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Ram Puniyani – India

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Linked with Centre for study of Society and Secularism CSSS, with – Protecting and Promoting Human Rights in India, and with Invoking India’s Fuhrer.

Ram Puniyani is a Professor in Biomedical engg. at the Indian Institute of Technology, Powai. Apart from his teaching and research activities, he pursues a parallel track concerned with issues related to social problems,particularly the one’s related to preservation of democratic and secular ethos in our life. Also has serious interest in the understanding the Human Rights of weaker sections of society. He is a member of EKTA, Committee for Communal Amity, Mumbai and has been associated with different secular initiatives for many years. He has also been engaged in understanding global and local changes, which have resulted in communal violence. He is particularly concerned with the adverse effects of globalisation and the rise of fundamentalism, particularly in India. Ram has contributed articles to various magazines and journals on these themes. He has authored three books around these subjects: Fascism of Sangh Parivar, The Other Cheek and Communal Politics: an illustrated primer. At present Ram is continuing with his endeavour to understand these phenomena with a focus on human relationships geared around substantive liberty, equality and fraternity … (full text). Same on Plural India.

His Book Review of: The RSS and the BJP, A Division of Labor, by A.G.Noorani – … The strongest point of the book is of course the thorough research, which has gone in to the writing of the book, which has very impressive list of resources and rare references. Noorani has done a yeoman service in marshalling the facts in this book, in turn making it a crucial source book for all those who wish to understand this organization and its wily methods of operation … (full text).

His website Plural India.

A List of Some Secular Education Material in India, by Ram Puniyani, EKTA, Committee for Communal Amity, 2002.


Ram Puniyani – India

Mukto-Mona congratulates Prof. Ram Puniyani on Winning the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration, November 01, 2007.

He writes:

  • … Why is the world witnessing such a massive erosion of human values, the trampling of international norms, conventions? US after its humiliation in Vietnam had decided not to send its armies to outside countries for some time and during that time, to counter the Russian occupation of Afghanistan, it propped up Al Qaeda type terrorists. From last three decades its aggressive designs are rampaging not only the countries of the world but also the spirit of humanism as a whole. The undermining of United Nations by US arrogance has been a major reason contributing to miseries of the World today. US actions to couch its politics in the language of religion, to prop up the theory of Clash of Civilizations, to demonize Islam and Muslims can be regarded as one of the worst sins against humanity in contemporary times … (full text, 03 January, 2009).
  • … Many a scholars of Islam and social scientists have produced remarkable literature explaining the nature of Islam, showing the difference between religion as moral values, religion as an institution, religion as part culture, and abuse of religious identity for political goals by social layers or global super powers today. But of course these remain in the world of academia and libraries where not many people read them; some review of these books is carried out in an odd journal here and there, while the popular perceptions against Islam and Muslims are deepening by the day … (full text, March 03, 2008).
  • The humiliating defeat of BJP in the parliamentary elections followed by Maharashtra Assembly  elections has created a crisis in the party. One of the measures taken to offset this demoralization and despondency has been to appoint, once again, Mr. L.K. Advani as the president of the party. Since so far the party has been operating on the plank of Hindutva and it seems this slogan has lost its sheen along with the issues which have been identified with it Ram Temple, Article 370 and Uniform Civil Code. This Hindutva has got politically and socially manifested in a rabid anti-minoritism as seen in the burning of Pastor Graham Staines and the state-sponsored carnage in Gujarat … (full text, 15 November 2004).
  • Orissa is witnessing unprecedented violence against the tiny Christian minority. On August 23, Swami Laxmananand along with his four followers was killed, probably by a group of Maoists. Immediately, anti-Christian violence began on a large scale. The way it began it seemed as if preparations for it were well afoot. It was systematic and widespread … (full text, Sept. 14, 2008).
  • One always wondered as to why the patriarch of Sangh combines, the plethora of organizations pursuing the goal of Hindu Nation, RSS, is an exclusively male organization. While one hears quite a bit about Uma Bharati’s, Sushma Swaraj’s currently and one heard about Vijaya Raje Scindia and Sadhvi Ritambhara in the recent past, one knew that even they could not enter the hallowed precincts of the controller of Hindutva politics, the RSS itself. We were enlightened about this recently by none other than the RSS Supreme dictator (Sar sanghchalak), Mr. K. Sudarshan himself … (full text, 25 April 2005).

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David Cerny – Czech Republic

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Linked with Entropa: art of politics, heart of a nation, and with About the State, the State-owned and the Non-state Owned Cultural Sector in Bulgaria.

David Černý (born December 15, 1967 in Prague) is a Czech sculptor whose works can be seen in many locations in Prague. His works tend to be controversial. He gained notoriety in 1991 by painting a Soviet tank pink that served as a war memorial in central Prague. As the Monument to Soviet tank crews was still a national cultural monument at that time, his act of civil disobedience was considered “hooliganism” and he was briefly arrested. Another of Černý’s conspicuous contributions to Prague is “Tower Babies,” a series of cast figures of crawling infants attached to Žižkov Television Tower. In 2005, Černý created Shark, an image of Saddam Hussein in a tank of formaldehyde. The work was presented at the Prague Biennale 2 that same year. The work is a direct parody of a 1991 work by Damien Hirst, the Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. In 2006, the work was banned twice, first in Middelkerke, Belgium, then in Bielsko-Biała, Poland. With respect to the Belgian situation, the mayor of that town, Michel Landuyt, admitted that he was worried about the potential of offending Muslims in a year already marred by tensions associated with Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed … (full text).

His (english) CV on his website (click on the red face).

The Czech Republic’s David Cerny is one of the country’s most original but also most provocative visual artists. His work includes the giant black babies that crawl up Prague’s Zizkov TV tower and the famous Pink Tank – the Soviet tank, a memorial to the liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1945, which David Cerny painted pink overnight. But this time, it is David Cerny’s sculpture called “Shark”, which caught the attention of the citizens of the Belgian town of Middelkerke. It features a life-size Saddam Hussein in underpants with his hands tied behind his back, floating in a large glass tank filled with the embalming fluid formaldehyde. The sculpture was supposed to be exhibited on one of the town squares as part of this April’s Beaufort 2006 Modern Arts Festival … (full text).

His personal Website: the Bulgarian Homepage; the english Homepage.


David Cerny – Czech Republic

Watch these videos:

entropa vs. the muhammad cartoons, January 16, 2009: it appears that Europe can laugh at the gods but not at itself. let this be a lesson: don’t ever underestimate the power of cheap patriotism. (a comment on stephanides).

It seemed like such a good idea at the time: what better way to celebrate the Czech Republic’s presidency of the European Union than a giant art installation, with input from every member state, showing what we really feel about our place in Europe? Eccentric sculptor David Černy was charged with the task of sourcing contributions from up and coming artists from the various countries … (full text, January 14, 2009).

… The problem is, it seems, Europe doesn’t see the joke. The Bulgarian government has summoned the Czech ambassador to Sofia for an explanation, and more protests could follow. That leaves the Czech government in a awkward position – deputy prime minister Alexandr Vondra is due to switch on the 16 square meter work at Thursday’s official launch; he must now decide whether the giant-sized model kit shouldn’t be put back in its box. (full text).

Entropa: Fake artists and offense… Brilliant! January 14, 2009.

… Cerny is an artist that enjoys getting a reaction from his audience. He is famous for works like his “Shark” sculpture, where a model of the former Iraqi leader Saddam Husseim is suspended in a glass box filled with formaldehyde. It’s a tribute to everyone’s favorite bad boy, Damien Hirst and his “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” work … (full text, June 13, 2007).

David Cerny on Gargantuan Media.

… Now, I love big elaborate instillation that cause controversy. One of my earliest museum memories is of the Sensation Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. I consider the Atheist Bus Campaign as a great example of a provacative instillation. There are parts of Entropa I like. France with a huge “Strike” sign? Sure. Romania as a vampire fun house? Hell year.  Italy as a eternal soccer match? Sounds about right. But Bulgaria, represented by overlapping squat toilets, really got reamed. I’m not Bulgarian, and I thought it was crossed a line … (full text, January 16, 2009).

Art Installation at Franz Kafka Museum: Sculpture, by David Černý.

… It was several days, however, before anyone complained and the EU began to smell a rat. Only when Bulgaria – depicted as a Turkish lavatory – objected did the Czechs start to question the organiser of the project, the artist David Cerny. Yesterday Mr Cerny admitted that the whole thing had been a hoax, and that he had created all the sculptures himself and invented the names of the “up-and-coming” artists from the 27 member states … (full text, Jan 16, 2009).

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(William) Bill Drayton – USA

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William (Bill) Drayton is a social entrepreneur. Born in 1943 in New York City, U.S. Drayton was named by US News and World Report as one of America’s 25 Best Leaders in 2005. He is sometimes mistakenly credited with having coined the phrase “social entrepreneur”, although it was already in use by 1972 … The American Society of Public Administration and the National Academy of Public Administration jointly awarded him their National Public Service Award and he has also been named a Preiskel-Silverman Fellow for Yale Law School and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences … (full text on wikipedia).

William (Bill) Drayton is a social entrepreneur with a long record of founding organizations and public service. As a student, he founded organizations ranging from Yale Legislative Services to Harvard’s Ashoka Table, an inter-disciplinary weekly forum in the social sciences. After graduation from Harvard, he received an M.A. from Balliol College in Oxford University. In 1970, he graduated from Yale Law School. After working at McKinsey and Company, he taught at Stanford Law School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. From 1977 to 1981, while serving the Carter Administration as Assistant Administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency, he launched emissions trading (the basis of Kyoto) among other reforms. He launched Ashoka in 1981. He used the stipend received when elected a MacArthur Fellow in 1984 to devote himself fully to Ashoka … Bill Drayton, USA is Chair and CEO of Ashoka. (full text on ashoka).

He explains: … “First, you have to give yourself permission to be one (a social entrepreneur)! And that may be the biggest barrier – you have to very politely ignore those people who will tell you that you will fail” … (full text).


(William) Bill Drayton – USA

Watch these two videos:

Everyone a Changemaker, 18 pdf-pages, Feb 23, 2006.

He says also: “Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry” … (full text).

He says: … “A $20 donation represents much more to us than just the money. It means that the investor, begins to explore the field of social entrepreneurship. It means one more person becomes aware of the powerful work of social entrepreneurs around the world and it means one more person will hopefully be inspired to create social change. And of course, it also helps provide support to Ashoka Fellows and gives them the freedom to pursue her/his idea. Once launched, the impact will grow and multiply for decades. And success will provide a powerful role model encouraging many, many others to step up and become change-makers. That is the enduring value of a donation to Ashoka” … (full text, December 3, 2007).

Muhammed Yunus and Bill Drayton at Santa Clara University, October 19, 2008.

… In the summer of 1963, Bill Drayton witnessed the power of a simple idea to effect vast social change. A Gandhian named Vinoba Bhave was walking across India and persuading individuals and whole villages to legally “gift” their land to him. Bhave then redistributed the land more equitably to support untouchables and other landless people, thus breaking an endless cycle of poverty. Drayton, just 20 years old and on summer break from Harvard, drove a red-and-white Volkswagen van from Munich to India to join him … (full text, 10/31/05).

He says also: … “(a)big idea with a good entrepreneur: there’s nothing more powerful. That’s just as true [for] education and human rights as it is for hotels or steels” … and: “The social entrepreneurs are governments’ best friends … “Yes the social entrepreneurs are challenging the governments, but that’s very healthy” … and: “Two of the last three Nobel [peace] prize winners have been social entrepreneurs. This is a recognition that our field is maturing” … (full text).

Find him and his publications on NationMaster-Ecyclopedia; on BetterWorldHeroes; on Backbone Cabinet;
on changing the; on amazon; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Carol Chomsky – USA (1930 – 2008)

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This morning’s NY Times is reporting the sad news that Carol Chomsky, retired from the faculty of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and a pioneer in the field of child language acquisition, passed away last Friday at the age of 78. Chomsky’s 1969 monograph, The Acquisition of Syntax in Children from 5 to 10, remains an important psycholinguistic work today. For generations now, the focus in much research on child language development has been on the earliest (pre-school) years … (full text, Dec. 21, 2008).

Carol Chomsky (July 1, 1930 – December 19, 2008) was an American linguist and education specialist who studied language acquisition in children. Chomsky was born in Philadelphia as Carol Doris Schatz on July 1, 1930. She married Noam Chomsky in 1949, the two having known each other since she was five years old. Her mother had been a teacher at a Hebrew school where his father was the principal.[2] She was awarded a bachelor’s degree in French from the University of Pennsylvania in 1951. The couple spent some time living on a kibbutz … (full text wikipedia).

Brilliant and accomplished, Carol Chomsky taught for many years at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and wrote oft-cited articles about how young children learn to read. And yet, she possessed talents that didn’t easily fit on a curriculum vitae … (full text).


Carol Chomsky – USA (1930 – 2008)

“She was a pretty remarkable person,” said Judith Chomsky of Philadelphia, who is married to the younger brother of Dr. Chomsky’s husband, Noam. “She was very athletic, and, until she was ill, she was fishing and water skiing and doing things people wouldn’t normally associate with her. She played the accordion. She could fix a car. She was mechanical. I mean, she was the one who fixed everything at the house” … (full text).

… According to a New Yorker profile of Chomsky, they first met when she was three and he was five; they had been married for 59 years.

… I must pay respect to the unknown (and known outside of me) contributions that her very existence has given to the common good and our (now) higher knowledge. The Chomsky family has given the world of the upper-classes a window into how to live a life of grace, solidarity and to attempt a sincere commitment to justice. And as a gift to us in the working classes, we’ve been given (for almost nothing) a frame of reference, history and a language to help guide our liberation. Mrs. and Mr. Chomsky could have (with their intellects and positions) chosen very different lives for themselves. They stayed (and stood) with us. This is inspiringly unusual … (full text).

Please keep all her family, from the littlest up to Poppa Bear Chonky himself, in your thoughts.

WHEN Carol Chomsky arrived at a kibbutz in Israel with her husband, Noam, she wanted to drive a tractor or work as a mechanic. “The kibbutz wasn’t quite ready for that,” she once said. “It was way before there were even words for women’s rights”. Carol, who went on to become a prominent linguist and educator, didn’t mind getting her hands dirty. “She could fix a car,” said a sister-in-law, Judith Chomsky. “She was mechanical. I mean, she was the one who fixed everything at the house … (full text).

… My friend Manuel put it best: May the company of all who love you surround and support you in gratitude for all you have given us. To Carol and Noam.

… in Israel. Despite her interest in becoming a mechanic or driving a tractor, at the time of the Chomsky’s stay in 1953 “the kibbutz wasn’t quite ready for that. It was way before there were even words about women’s rights” according to Judith Chomsky, who is married to the younger brother of Dr. Chomsky’s husband Noam. She earned a doctoral degree in linguistics from Harvard University in 1968, having attended the school in order to ensure that she would be able to make a living in the event that her husband would be sent to jail for his active opposition to the Vietnam War … (full text).

Read: Carol Chomsky: Creativity and Innovation in Child Language (April 1975, 18 pdf pages).

… A nationally recognized authority on the acquisition of spoken and written language, Professor Chomsky was on the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education from 1972 until her retirement in 1997. In retirement, she was a frequent traveling companion of her husband, the linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky, as he delivered his public lectures. Carol Chomsky was perhaps best known for her book, “The Acquisition of Syntax in Children From 5 to 10” (M.I.T. Press), which was considered a landmark study in the field when it appeared in 1969. In it, she investigated children’s tacit, developing awareness of the grammatical structure of their native language, and their ability to use that awareness to extract meaning from increasingly complex sentences over time … (full text).

The Way They Were (and Are): Carol and Noam Chomsky, July 2001.

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John Case alias Jim and Carolyn Hougan – USA

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John Case disambiguation on wikipedia)

(On this page Jim and Carolyne Hougan and their publications are presented as: Jim Hougan, as Carolyne Hougan, and as both named John Case).

Linked with Response: TARP, Full Employment and Other Sticky Details.

John Case is the pseudonym of Jim (1942 – *) and of Carolyn (1943 – 2007) Hougan, husband and wife, both published authors in their own right. Jim Hougan is also an award-winning investigative journalist and broadcaster. He lives in Afton, Virginia. Under the pseudonym, the Hougans authored 6 novels: The Genesis Code, The First Horseman, The Syndrome (a.k.a. Trance State), The Eighth Day, The Murder Artist, and Ghost Dancer (a.k.a. The Dance of Death – UK ed.). The joint writings of Jim and Carolyn have now ended following the untimely death of Carolyn Hougan from cancer on February 25, 2007. (wikipedia).

Bios of Jim Hougan: on Spartacus schoolnet; on fantastic fiction.

Bios of Carolyn Hougan: on John; Farewell to Carolyn Hougan, Charlottesville novelist: 1943-2007 on CVilleWords.

Carolyn Hougan, 63, a novelist who wrote under her own name as well as the pseudonym “John Case” for thrillers written with her husband, died of cancer Feb. 25 at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. Ms. Hougan wrote “Shooting in the Dark” (1984), “The Romeo Flag” (1989) and “Blood Relative” (1992). She teamed up with her writer-husband, Jim Hougan, to pen a series of thrillers of which the best known is “The Genesis Code” (1997), a bestseller about Vatican intrigue. Their latest novel, “Ghost Dancer” (2007), has been nominated for the Dashiell Hammett Award for the best literary crime novel … // … They lived in Alexandria and Washington from about 1980 until last August, when they moved full time to their home in Charlottesville. Ms. Hougan enjoyed gardening, sailing and spending summers in Phippsburg, Maine. (full text, March 2, 2007).


John Case alias Jim and Carolyn Hougan – USA

The woman on the left, known far and wide as “Herself,” is the critically-acclaimed author of four novels and the co-author of six others.  So she’s not what you’d call “at a loss for words.”  Nevertheless, it has fallen to me, her co-conspirator in all things, to pen a biographical note in her behalf – if only to shame her into writing one of her own. The daughter of Samuel and Elisabeth Johnson, Carolyn made her debut in a shotgun shack in New Iberia, Louisiana…some time ago. She is, nonetheless, a Jersey girl by virtue of her graduation from Scotch Plains High School (where the students are exhorted to “Buckle down, Blue Raiders, buckle down!”).  A Peabody scholar at the now defunct Western College for Women, she is an honors graduate of the University of Wisconsin … (full text).

Another tremendous blast from the out-of-print past by the impeccable folk at Felony & Mayhem is Carolyn Hougan’s shamefully neglected 1989 thriller THE ROMEO FLAG – a veritable Faberge egg (there’s a real one at the heart of the plot) full of treasures and delights that begins in Shanghai just as the Japanese are invading; sweeps along a tangled trail through Moscow and the upper reaches of the CIA; and winds up in the Maine home of an apparently perfectly ordinary teacher named Nicola Ward with a history that just won’t quit. (full text, May 16, 2006).

… Classic mysteries are immensely satisfying reads, but difficult to locate without expert guidance.  If you find an author you like, you track down every other book written by that author and impatiently await the next title.  If you learn of a favorite author’s death, like Sarah Caldwell (And Thus Was Adonis Murdered), the loss is sharply felt … Last night I finished The Romeo Flag by Carolyn Hougan, a 1980 Cold War espionage story … (full text).

Carolyn Hougan writes thrillers. After penning four novels of suspense on her own (including Blood Relatives), she teamed up with husband Jim to write as John Case. “John Case” is New York Times bestselling author of five thrillers including the Genesis Code. 3/19 10 a.m. (vabook).

Find Carolyn Hougan and her publications on goodreads; on alibris; on amazon; her bibliography on Mystery File; on fantastic fiction; on flipkart; on a book trader; on Gibson books; on cover to cover books; on e-bay; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.


Jim says: … I think the United States entered this quagmire in the way that it enters all quagmires, with wonderful good intentions and very fuzzy objectives. … The American intention, insofar as it had a mission that could be articulated — which is itself questionable — was to stabilize Lebanon after the Israeli invasion, to retrain and reconstitute the Lebanese army, which was composed of many ethnic groups, most of which were at war with another, and to create a kind of Western democracy out of what was really a confessional nightmare. And it was probably doomed to failure … (full long interview text).

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Hannelore Vonier – Germany and USA

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Linked with Heide Göttner-Abendroth – Germany, with Matriarchy.Info, and with The International Academy Hagia.

As an autodidact, Hannelore Vonier became an expert on matriarchy, when she realized about 10 years ago, that there is another social system that can help us out of the misery patriarchy is offering us. Constantly studying, reading and writing about it in German, she is focusing more on English readers now, especially on the internet. Hannelore says: People, who know me, could say I am obsessed with the matriarchy-issue, because every normal talk is leading me to the matriarchal/patriarchal subject sooner or later. But I consider this as important and actually I am only doing my “job” in close connection with the spirits – you can call it Goddess or ancestors or spiritual guides … (full text).

She writes: … “Peaceful societies are contemporary groups of people who effectively foster interpersonal harmony and who rarely permit violence or warfare to interfere with their lives. This website serves to introduce these societies to students, peace activists, scholars and citizens who are interested in the conditions that promote peacefulness. It includes information on the beliefs of these peoples, the ways they maintain their nonviolence, and the factors that challenge their lifestyles” … (full text). (Go to Peaceful societies).

Contact Hannelore Vonier through Matriarch/contact.


Hannelore Vonier – Germany and USA

Watch her video: Awareness of Wisdom, 2.17 min, added March 2, 2007.

She writes more: in english:

She writes also: on Sexual equality in matriarchy: … Harmony and reciprocity between men and women is an important feature of these societies. Matriarchies are societies in balance. This means that the relationship between man and woman is no “battle of the sexes,” no “marital war”; there are no hen-pecked husbands, bridled by some “Xanthippe,” no women’s shelters offering refuge to abused women. How, then, does it work? And what does a couple’s relationship look like? …
… The anthropologist Dr. Shanshan Du investigated four socio-cultural frameworks for the equality of the sexes, which … :

  • mother-centeredness
  • the complementariness of the sexes— “different, but equally valuable”
  • the meaninglessness of the sexes— the exact opposite to our society
  • or, the unity of the sexes— together forming a whole.

… Tatsache ist: Wir müssen etwas anziehen, uns irgendwie frisieren, eine Brille aufsetzen usw. Damit treffen wir eine Aussage. Wir setzen Signale, ob wir wollen oder nicht. Die falsche Farbe kann einen müden Eindruck hinterlassen, unpassende Stilelemente können irritierend auf unser Gegenüber wirken und beides kann eine Karriere hemmen. Die meisten Signale senden wir unbewusst, d.h., wir sind uns oft nicht im Klaren darüber, was unser Image anderen mitteilt. Schauen Sie sich an, wie Körpersprache arbeitet … (ganzer Text).

And she writes: In Matriarchy subsistence is until today the only way to provide goods for the community and standing for autarchy. Private ownership is unknown. Inheritage is matrilineal, that means passing from mother to the (often youngest) daughter. So, what could be inherited, if there is no private property? ‘Things’ like:

  • Responsibility for well-being of the clan
  • Responsibility for distributing goods and work adequate
  • Administration of the clans common property
  • Responsibility for keeping the fire alive in the family hearth
  • Taking care of the children equally

and more suchlike lifetime tasks … (full text).

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Kalinga Seneviratne – Sri Lanka and Singapor

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Linked with The Digital Divide., with MEDIA-PHILIPPINES: Community Radio – Balm in Troubled Areas, and with Financial Meltdown Decolonising Asian Minds.

Kalinga Seneviratne is a journalist, radio broadcaster, television documentary maker and a media analyst. He was born and raised in Sri Lanka, lived in Australia for more than 20 years and is currently a senior research associate with the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre AMIC … (full text).

… He specializes in development journalism and feature writing and has been writing for the Inter Press Service (IPS) newsagency  since 1991.  He has been part of the IPS ‘Terra Viva” reporting team at a number of international conference. In addition he has been an award-winning community radio broadcaster in Australia in the 1980s and 1990s; In 1987 he won a UN Media Peace Award for a series broadcast on Australian community radio titled “We don’t Want No Peace” looking at the relationship between rich and poor countries.  He has taught radio production, international communications and journalism at tertiary level in Australia and Singapore … (full text).

He is also Judge for the Asia Pacific Rice Journalist Award 2008:   Kalinga Seneviratne – Senior Research Associate with the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC), Singapore

Find his CV on the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre AMIC.


Kalinga Seneviratne – Sri Lanka and Singapor

Watch the video by Dr. Kalinga Seneviratne, 3.30 min, August 15, 2008. The video is on the presentation in the annual conference of AMIC in Manila Hotel, 14-17 July 2008. The title of the presentation was “ Indonesia: Turning The Tide of Cultural Imperialism With Dangdut”.

… The country’s population, with an annual growth rate of 2.34 percent, is projected to reach 90 million this year. In 2007, the Philippines’ human development index ranking fell seven places, to number 90. “The problem of population growth is the problem of poverty,” argues Father Francis Lucas, president of the Catholic Media Network. “Don’t blame population growth for poverty. The problem is disparities in the income levels.” (full text, August 05, 2008).

SRI LANKA: Building Ethnic Harmony With Community Radio, by Kalinga Seneviratne, July 2008:
KOTHMALE, June 4, 2008 – In this tea-growing hill country, about 150 km from Colombo, a staterun community radio station is creating harmony among the country’s Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim ethnic groups by broadcasting from the villages and opening up the airwaves to people’s participation. ”People all over Sri Lanka are talking about peace, but this community radio has been doing it from the beginning,” P. Pavitheran, an announcer at the Kothmale Community Radio (KCR) told IPS … (full text).

… Dr Kalinga Seneviratne, Head of Research at AMIC, confirmed the claim made by Sasako and that it “reflects correctly what happened.” Dr Seneviratne said he was “disappointed” that Sasako could not make it but expressed support for Sasako “as a journalist and also as a person who could take the voice of the Pacific to international forums” … (full text, November 16, 2008).

He writes: … SINGAPORE, Sep 3 (IPS) – Threatened with arrests and canings, activists planning demonstrations at the annual meet of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), to be held here this month, are organising a parallel event on the nearby Indonesian island of Batam. But, even in that ‘free trade zone’ they are going to be less than free. Commander Anggaria Lopis, a spokesman for police in the Riau Islands province (where Batam is located) told the ‘Jakarta Post’ newspaper on Thursday, that permits would not be issued for holding the parallel event. Freedom of expression laws, introduced in Indonesia after the fall of dictator Suharto in 1998, have done away with permits for public gatherings or demonstrations. All that is needed is to inform police three days beforehand so that security arrangements can be made. However, Indonesian law does not allow foreigners to protest on the streets. Thus, foreigners taking part in a proposed anti-IMF/WB protest rally on Sep.18 could be breaching Indonesian law … (full text, January 03, 2009).

Find him and his publications on daylife SOURCE HUB; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Ron Kurtz – USA

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To disambiguate many persons with the same name: on LinkedIn, on ZoomInfo, .

Linked with The Hakomi Institute.

Ron Kurtz is the originator of the Hakomi Method and a preeminent influence in progressive psychotherapy. Ron has led hundreds of trainings and workshops around the world over the last quarter of a century and continues to teach internationally. Ron is a master therapist, gifted teacher and author of Body-Centered Psychotherapy: The Hakomi Method, and coauthor of The Body Reveals and Grace Unfolding. Ron Kurtz is the recipient of the US Association of Body Psychotherapy’s 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented July 25, 2008 at the USABP’s Conference in Philadelphia.

… Ron has published three books in English and three others in Japanese. The first book was published in 1976 and was called, The Body Reveals. It was a book about reading the body for psychological information and contained numerous photos and illustrations. The second, published in 1991 was about the Hakomi Method and was called, Body-Centered Psychotherapy. This second book contained the first publication describing the method. Since then, Ron has written many essays on the method and a number of training handbooks and workshop manuals … (full text).

Foundations of Hakomi Therapy, 7 pdf pages.

He says: “The impulse to heal is real and powerful and lies within each of us.”

… His field of work continues to evolve and mature, influenced by his interest in systems theory, Buddhism and Eastern spirituality, scientific method and personal experience. He has pioneered the use of mindfulness in psychotherapy, the experimental attitude, working with the body-mind and practical non-violence … (full text).


Ron Kurtz – USA

Watch these videos:

… What fundamentally empowers our work with others is the relationship we create with them. In this introduction to Hakomi, we will use mindfulness and experiential exercises to focus on discovering what shapes our unconscious habits of relating. Bringing this to awareness creates the possibility of being more fully present and compassionate, in turn promoting a deeper awareness of what is happening for another, and creating a powerful connection. (full text).

Listen the audio: Conversations, September 2008, Ron Kurtz – At the 2008 Conference, about 30 min, click on this site.

More audios on

He writes on his website: As I approach the end of my long career, I am preparing to travel less, work more in Ashland. I will continue to do workshops and trainings, mostly therapy intensives, master classes and to do some parts of the Level 1, Heart of Hakomi training and the Level 2, The Art of Hakomi training. How many of these I do will depend on how much energy I have … // … Lastly, this month, I will be honored twice, once by receiving an honorary doctorate from the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, where I will give the commencement address, and by the United States Association of Body Psychotherapy which is giving me a Lifetime Achievement Award. I am truly grateful for the recognition of my work. I would be happy to hear from you, should you wish to respond. (full text).

Grace Unfolding: Psychotherapy in the Spirit of Tao-Te Ching, by Greg Johanson, Ron Kurtz … Grace Unfolding applies the spirit and principles of Lao Tsu’s ancient Chinese classic, the Tao-te Ching, to the practice of contemporary psychotherapy. Both therapists and clients can use this sensible and compassionate book to understand the roles they play in the therapeutic process. Includes 35 Chinese brush paintings and calligraphy. (full text).

Body Reveals: How to Read Your Own Body, Ron Kurtz, Hec.

Find him and his publications on; on goodreads; on amazon; on alibris; on Google Video-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search. (There are many persons having the same name).

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Michel Collon – Belgium

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Linked with On vend des pays – Se venden países.

Michel Collon is a Belgian writer and journalist who has written extensively (and mostly in french – and spoken in spanish) on the geo-political aims of NATO’s war.

Michel Collon is the editor of the Belgian weekly Solidaire, and is preparing a manual of alternative journalism. He spent the last 8 years in the Balkans … (full text, not dated).

Michel Collon est un journaliste et écrivain d’extrême gauche belge. Il a commencé sa carrière à l’hebdomadaire alternatif Solidaire. Il a poursuivi son travail de manière indépendante à travers livres, films et une newsletter internet diffusée à 40 000 abonnés. Proche du Parti du travail de Belgique, il a organisé des déploiements d’observateurs civils en Yougoslavie et en Irak. Il est membre de la conférence anti-impérialiste Axis for Peace. Il a récemment dénoncé l’usage d’une photo manipulée pour faire croire que des soldats chinois s’étaient déguisés en moines bouddhistes et avaient provoqué les émeutes du printemps 2008 au Tibet … (texte entier).

Son site web; sa bio sur son site, et sur wikipedia.


Michel Collon – Belgium

Watch these spanish videos with Michel Collon (19 de Abril de 2008):

  • Estados Unidos intenta hacer en Bolivia lo mismo que hizo en Yugoslavia: parte 1, 30.22 min; and parte 2, 28.23 min;
  • and Resumen de la intervencion de Collon, hecha por VTV, 2.18 min.

Watch these french videos:

He writes: … Bolivia has certainly changed. In La Paz, I attended a large reception given by the Cuban ambassador. Mojitos, buffet, dances… Where was it held? In the ceremonial hall of… the Bolivian army. Yes, the one that killed Ché. Bolivia has certainly changed, but not everyone wishes it well. We had come to get an idea first hand with some progressive intellectuals from about 15 countries. Frei Betto, Ernesto Cardenal, Ramsey Clark, François Houtart, Luis Britto Garcia, Pascual Serrano… A few days of meetings and exchanges with Bolivian intellectuals, representatives of the Indian communities, artists. It’s a sensitive moment. The rightwing is trying to split away the wealthy regions of the country’s East … (full text).

Find him and his publications on ;
on alibris; on goodreads; on Google Video-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

… and a photo of Michel Collon as witness on Brussel’s

Contra Venezuela y Ecuador, Bush recupera la estrategia de las «armas de destrucción masiva». Todas las guerras van precedidas por una gran mentira mediática. Actualmente, Bush amenaza a Venezuela y a Ecuador. ¿Mañana a Irán? ¿Y después? ¿A quién le tocará el turno? … (full text, 20 Mayo, 2008).

He writes also:

  • If they tell us that everything that has happened in Yugoslavia is the fault of one man, all the while hiding the manoeuvring by the German and subsequently the American Secret Services to blow to pieces this too independent country, and remaining silent on the arms they furnished to the enemies of the Serbs, long before these wars;
  • If they hide the discreet but revealing words with which Clinton and other US and NATO leaders admitted that they were carrying out this war on behalf of Globalisation, the multinationals and the control of the oil supply lines;
  • f they admit today that public opinion was manipulated with regard to the true reasons for past wars (Korea, Suez, Algeria, the Gulf) as well as with regard to the crimes committed by the armies of the West during those wars, but that in recent wars everything was better and the media told the truth;
  • If the media magnates persist in courageously refusing all debate on the recent media lies;
  • If the Western leaders affirm in 1998 that the KLA is a terrorist organisation, in 1999 that it is not at all and that in 2001 it most certainly is;
  • … (full text: if … , July 9, 2001).

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David Takayoshi Suzuki – Canada

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inked with The David Suzuki Foundation, and with Kids in the Nest.

David Takayoshi Suzuki CC OBC (born March 24, 1936), is a Canadian science broadcaster and environmental activist. Since the mid-1970s, Suzuki has been known for his TV and radio series and books about nature and the environment. He is best known as host of the popular and long-running CBC Television science magazine, The Nature of Things, seen in syndication in over 40 nations. He is also well known for criticizing governments for their lack of action to protect the environment. A long time activist to reverse global climate change, Suzuki co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation in 1990, to work “to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that sustains us.” The Foundation’s priorities are: oceans and sustainable fishing, climate change and clean energy, sustainability, and David Suzuki’s Nature Challenge. He also served as a director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association from 1982-1987 … (full text).

David Suzuki is renowned both for his unwavering dedication to sustainable development and for his criticism of human activities that threaten our planet. For more than three decades, he has been one of our foremost science broadcasters, environmentalists, and grassroots activists. He has increased public awareness of a multitude of issues as the host of the long-running television series “The Nature of Things” and as the author of several books, including From Naked Ape to Superspecies. In 1990, he established the David Suzuki Foundation to promote resource conservation and environmental protection. Always forthright and thought provoking, he continues to reflect on the impact of our behaviour on the natural world that sustains us … (full text).

He says: … “You have lived your entire lives in a completely unsustainable period,” he told students and fans. “You all think growth and [climate] change is normal. It’s not.”

His full-bio, 16 pdf-pages.


David Takayoshi Suzuki – Canada

Watch these videos:

  • a Suzuki Interview, 17.42 min, Dec 18th, 2008;
  • David Suzuki: Vote Environment 2008, 5.10 min, 19 Dec 2008 – David Suzuki doesn’t care which party you prefer. He does care passionately that you know what’s at stake in the federal election, and that you let politicians know that;
  • an Interactive Video on asterpix, no time and date indication.

His climate change activism on wikipedia /climate change activism.

… David Suzuki’s Japanese name is Takayoshi Suzuki (鈴木 孝義, Suzuki Takayoshi?) but he is always known by his English name to the public, even in Japanese scientific and popular literature (using Romaji). Suzuki lives in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver. (full text).

A lecture-audio, 106,16 min.

… David has authored more than 40 books, and has received numerous awards for his work including a UNESCO prize for science, a United Nations Environment Program medal and the Order of Canada. He has 15 honorary doctorates from universities in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. For his work in support of Canada’s First Nations people, David has received many tributes and has been honoured with five names and formal adoption by two tribes. (full text).

David Suzuki has received 22 honorary degrees from universities in Canada, the United States and Australia.

… David has authored more than 40 books, and has received numerous awards for his work including a UNESCO prize for science, a United Nations Environment Program medal and the Order of Canada. He has 15 honorary doctorates from universities in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. For his work in support of Canada’s First Nations people, David has received many tributes and has been honoured with five names and formal adoption by two tribes. (full text).

David Suzuki’s photos and videos on

Find him and his publications on wikipedia /publications; on amazon; on Google Video-search; on alibris; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Bapsi Sidhwa – Pakistan (-India-USA)

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Bapsi Sidhwa (1938 – ) is an author of Pakistani origin who writes in English. She is perhaps best known for her collaborative work with filmmaker Deepa Mehta: Sidhwa wrote both the 1991 novel Cracking India which is the basis for Mehta’s 1998 film Earth as well as the 2006 novel Water: A Novel which is based upon Mehta’s 2005 film, Water. Background: Sidhwa was born to Parsi Zoroastrian parents Peshotan and Tehmina Bhandara in Karachi, Pakistan and later moved with her family to Lahore. She was two when she contracted polio (which has affected her throughout her life) and nine at the time of the partition of the subcontinent (facts which would shape the character of “Lenny” as well as the background for her novel Cracking India, originally titled, Ice Candy Man). She received her B.A. from Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore … (full text).

More bio on her website; on emory; on; on Bio and Research Guide.

… Sidhwa was a solitary and lonely child. Her parents were advised by doctors not to send her to school. She spent her time daydreaming and listening to stories told by servants. She writes about servant’s lives with such sympathy because she came to know their world, as a child, better than the society her parents moved in. A governess taught her to read and write and introduced her to Little Women which made a great impression … (full text).

Her official website Bapsi Sidhwa.


Bapsi Sidhwa – Pakistan (-India-USA)

Watch this video: The Pakistani Bride, 01.51 min.

… She has also been inducted into the Zoroastrian Hall of Fame. Cracking India, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, was made into the film Earth by internationally acclaimed director Deepa Mehta. It was also listed as one of the best books in English published since 1950 by the Modern Library …
(full text).

… Our creative genius in arts and literature has been recognised world over in people Faiz, Sadqain, Guljee, Bapsi Sidhwa, Tariq Ali and Hanif Kureishi … (full text).

Bapsi Sidhwa began her writing career at the age of 26 after visiting the Karakoram mountain-area of Pakistan with her husband. She was touched by a tragic story of a young girl who had been brought to one of the area’s tribes as a bride. After being there for a short time, the girl ran away from her husband’s home. The tribals considered this a highly dishonorable act. Some of the men hunted her down and murdered her. “When I came [back] to Lahore, the story haunted me,“ says Bapsi Sidhwa. “The girl’s story, the poor tribals, the way they lived, all [of] that I wanted to write about,” she adds … (full interview text).

Bapsi Sidhwa has won Italy’s Premio Mondello 2007 for Foreign Authors for her novel, Water … Water is based on the critically-acclaimed film of the same name, directed by Deepa Mehta. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Mehta and Sidhwa previously worked together on Earth, a film based on Sidhwa’s classic novel about the partition of India and Pakistan: Cracking India … (full text). /

Find her and her publications on; on Literary Encyclopedia; on SawNet bookshelf; on her website /books; on wikipedia /works; on amazon; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

The Google download book: Bapsi Sidhwa, By Randhir Pratap Singh, 2005, 98 pages.

Bapsi Sidhwa’s Cracking India, The Traumatic Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, © Linsay Philippe-Auguste, Apr 30, 2008: Lenny, a young Parsee girl living in Lahore, witnesses first-hand the emotional turmoil and chaos caused by the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 … (full text). .

… Trauma of Partition: Interestingly, the story she’d carried inside her almost all her life — that of the terrors and traumas of Partition — was to emerge much later in 1988 — as The Ice Candy Man (published in the U.S. as Cracking India as “ice candy man” had colloquial connotations of a drug supplier) … It’s an immensely powerful book, written from a child’s point of view and based on Bapsi Sidhwa’s own terrified memories. As she writes in an essay for The New York Times of those times, “Yet the ominous roar of distant mobs was a constant of my awareness, alerting me, even at age seven, to a palpable sense of the evil that was taking place in various parts of Lahore … (And when) the dread roar of mobs has at last ceased, terrible sounds of grief and pain erupt at night. They come from the abandoned servants’ quarters behind the Singhs’ house… why do these women cry like that? Because they’re delivering unwanted babies, I’m told, or reliving hideous memories” … (full text).

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Amy Johnson – England (1903 – 1941)

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Amy Johnson CBE, (1 July 1903 – 5 January 1941) was a pioneering English aviatrix. Flying solo or with her husband, Jim Mollison, Johnson set numerous long-distance records during the 1930s. Johnson flew in the Second World War as a part of the Air Transport Auxiliary where she died during a ferry flight … (full text).

Amy Johnson was the first female pilot to fly alone from Britain to Australia, which she achieved at the age of 26. Her flying career began in 1928 and other triumphs included becoming the first female ground engineer licensed by the Air Ministry, and being awarded the C.B.E. for her flying achievements. All her accomplishments were well recognised at the time. Not only was she formally acknowledged by dignitaries, but also received much public interest, becoming a celebrity of the day … (full text).

… The family had a kipper business. She flew aircraft to the R.A.F. sites during the war, but on January 5th 1941, got lost in fog, and crashed into the River Thames. Her pigskin bag was found in the Thames and is now in the Sewerby Hall Museum. Her plane was never found … (full text).

… Amy Johnson’s daredevil flying exploits made her an icon of her age. But her glamorous life and career tragically ended in a mysterious plane crash in 1941. Sixty years on, Inside Out lays bare the elaborate rumours surrounding her death. Here we examine the most likely scenario of what really happened to a homegrown heroine … (full text).

Galleries:Her memory postcard; See also the Amy Johnson Gallery; Escort for Amy Johnson’s landing in Sydney, June 4th, 1930; Amy Johnson Centenary; Wonderful Amy! on RAF museum; The Most Famous Man in the World: After lunch Charles Chaplin joins pilot Amy Johnson, Lady Astor and George Bernard Shaw for a portrait in Lady Astor’s garden, 1931; the Denham Aerodroome; on flickr.


Amy Johnson – England (1903 – 1941)

Watch the video with Golden Age Pioneer Amy Johnson, 10.10 min, April 20, 2008.

… Within the first three days of the journey, she’d already had to deal with a leaking petrol tank – and Turkish officials in Constantinople who refused her permission to fly over their air space. But, she persuaded the authorities to let her go on. Amy Johnson herself starts the story, in an archive reconstruction of her flight … (full text, 20 May 2005 – click also on ‘listen to this item’).

Divers confident they have found Amy Johnson’s lost aeroplane. By Steven Morris in London, October 21, 2003.

… Many theories have grown up surrounding her mysterious death. Why did an experienced pilot get lost on a flight that should have lasted only 90 minutes? One suggestion was that she was shot down by anti aircraft guns after being mistaken for a German bomber. Another theory says she was on a secret mission. The truth of what happened will probably never be known … (full text).

Museums exhibiting on Amy Johnson: Sewerby Hall & GardensRoyal Air Force RAF Museum.

Aviation enthusiasts have embarked on a mammoth project to re-build the plane in which Amy Johnson competed in a race to Australia. Members of the Derby Aero Club hope to finish restoring the de Havilland 88 Comet Racer in time for the 70th anniversary of the race in 2004. The only part left of the plane, known as Black Magic, is the fuselage. Restorer and former Rolls Royce engineer, Martin Jones, said: “Amy Johnson was as popular as Princess Diana in her day … (full text, 25 January, 2002).

Find her and her publications on amazon; on commons wikimedia; on wikipedia /bibliography; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

Johnson was introduced to flying as a hobby in 1929 when she joined the London Aeroplane Club in London, England, and got her licence soon after. After some training Johnson became the first qualified British-trained woman ground engineer, and gained further fame in 1930 when she became the first woman to fly from Britain to Australia. On May 5, 1930, she left Croydon, England, in her De Havilland Gypsy Moth airplane named ‘Jason’ and landed in Darwin, Australia, on May 24, 1930, having flown 11,000 miles. In July 1931 Johnson flew a De Havilland Puss Moth airplane from England to Japan with a co-pilot and set a record for flying. A year later in July 1932 Johnson again set a record for a solo flight from England to Cape Town, South Africa, in a De Havilland Puss Moth airplane, and another record in time flying in a Percival Gull in May of 1936 … (full text).

‘Jason I’, de Havilland Gypsy Moth, 1928: In 1930, English aviator Amy Johnson (1903-1941) piloted Jason I … (full text).

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Maria Gaetana Agnesi – Italia (1718 – 1799)

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Maria Gaetana Agnesi (May 16, 1718 – January 9, 1799) was an Italian linguist, mathematician, and philosopher. Agnesi (pronounced ‘Anyesi’) is credited with writing the first book discussing both differential and integral calculus. She was an honorary member of the faculty at the University of Bologna. According to Dirk Jan Struik, Agnesi is “the first important woman mathematician since Hypatia (fifth century A.D.)” … // … Instituzioni analitiche: First page of Instituzioni analitiche (1748) The most valuable result of her labours was the Instituzioni analitiche ad uso della gioventu italiana, a work of great merit, which was published at Milan in 1748 and “was regarded as the best introduction extant to the works of Leonhard Euler.” The first volume treats of the analysis of finite quantities and the second of the analysis of infinitesimals. A French translation of the second volume by P. T. d’Antelmy, with additions by Charles Bossut (1730-1814), appeared at Paris in 1775; and an English translation of the whole work by John Colson (1680-1760), the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, “inspected” by John Hellins, was published in 1801 at the expense of Baron Maseres … (full text).

Her bio also on; on NNDB; on Britannica online Encyclopedia; on Malaspina (book of physics and morality, a radical non-faith based spirituality); on MellenPress; on farlex; on allBusiness.

… This site is a collection of Agnesi miscellany built upon many exciting hours spent in some of the greatest libraries in the English speaking world.  We highly recommend that you pause to look at the Bibliography and Acknowledgments web sites to appreciate our far flung efforts to provide students with a tantalizing smattering of the strength of resources in mathematics … (full text, web site maintained by Shirley Gray, California State University, Los Angeles).

A CRATERS ON VENUS is named Agnesi.


Maria Gaetana Agnesi – Italia (1718 – 1799)

… The Canadian composer Elma Miller has written a work called “The Witch of Agnesi” for B flat clarinet, bass clarinet, horn, 2 percussion, viola and double bass. The work was commissioned by the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects and was first performed in late October 1989 in Toronto. Despite its premier performance so near Halloween, the inspiration for the piece was the curve of Maria Agnesi … (full text).

Salvate dal web le italiane che hanno reso grande la scienza, 08 dicembre 2008.

… As a young girl MARIA GAETANA AGNESI was called a “Walking Polyglot” and the “Seven Tongued Orator.” At the age of nine she transcribed and delivered a discourse in Latin on the need for female education entitled, “Oratio qua ostenditur artium liberalium studia femineo sexu necitiquam abhorre.” She spoke Greek at 11 and Hebrew at 13 … (full text).

… In 1750, on the illness of her father, she was appointed by Pope Benedict XIV. to the chair of mathematics and natural philosophy at Bologna. After the death of her father in 1752 she carried out a long-cherished purpose by giving herself to the study of theology, and especially of the Fathers. After holding for some years the office
of directress of the Hospice Trivulzio for Blue Nuns at Milan, she herself joined the sisterhood, and in this austere order ended her days on the 9th of January 1799 … (full text).

Mathematikerinnen im 18. Jahrhundert: Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Gabrielle-Emilie DuChâtelet, Sophie Germain: Fallstudien zur Wechselwirkung von Wissenschaft … der Aufklärung.

Witch of Agnesi … Also on wikipedia … And hereafter: One of her solutions for an algebraic equation is still found in today’s textbooks. The solution follows a curve now called the “witch of Agnesi” not because she was thought to be a witch, but because the shape of the curve was called aversiera , which in Italian means to turn. The word is also a slang short form for the avversiere which means wife of the devil. A series of mistranslations over time finally set the name of curve to the “witch of Agnesi“. We now present the Living Witch of Agnesi. Watch the curve grow before your very eyes … (full text).

Find her and her publications on John Hopkins Univ. Press books; on ;
on amazon; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Conor Cruise O’Brien – Ireland (1917 – 2008)

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Linked with Conor Cruise O’Brien, the irascible angel.

CONOR Cruise O’Brien’s life straddled diplomacy, politics, historical scholarship, literature and journalism. He was a diplomat at the UN, a professor in the US, a government minister in Ireland, the Editor-in-Chief of ‘The Observer’ Sunday newspaper in Britain and a writer whose work commanded attention throughout the English-speaking world. He was an inveterate controversialist, the quality of whose judgment and the wisdom of whose actions were often questioned. But none could deny the force of his intellect, the skill of his exposition and the courage with which he held to his convictions … (full text).

Conor Cruise O’Brien (3 November 1917 – 18 December 2008), colloquially known as “The Cruiser”, was an Irish politician, writer and academic … // … Unionism: In 1996, he joined Robert McCartney’s United Kingdom Unionist Party and was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum. He was involved in the talks process that ultimately led to the Good Friday Agreeement until the party withdrew on the installation of Sinn Fein. He later resigned from UKUP after publishing an extract from his book Memoir: My Life and Themes in which he called on Unionists to consider the benefits of a united Ireland to thwart Sinn Féin. In 2005 he rejoined the Labour Party … (full long text – last updated 22 December 2008).

His bio also on the Atlantic online;

Works by or about him: 161 works in 283 publications in 17 languages and 19,444 library holdings.


Conor Cruise O’Brien – Ireland (1917 – 2008)

Watch this video: Conversations with History: Conor Cruise O’Brien, 28.48 min, January 31, 2008.

See his memoir (1998), and his biography by D. H. Akenson (1994).

He said: “I hope to die with a pen in the hand, but I am in no rush” … and: “I had a bad fall about five months ago, in which I broke several bones and dislocated my hip. But I have made a good recovery and my spirits are good,” he said. “My greatest resource is Maire, my family and my many friends. I have never been depressed, and I’m not now. Perhaps during my life, there have been times, a day or two, when I have felt some melancholy, but it always went, and I was glad to let it go” … (full text of The warrior scholar will be 90, October 28, 2007).

… O’Brien’s life has spanned the entire existence of the Irish State: his first memory is of the sound of Michael Collins’s pro-Anglo-Irish Treaty forces bombarding republican anti-Treaty elements in the Four Courts Building in Dublin in 1922, which signalled the start of the civil war. He was born into the inner sanctum of intellectual Home Rulers – the supporters of Parnell and Redmond who wanted devolution within the Empire rather than separation. Indeed, his mother’s family, the Sheehys, appear in veiled form in Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man … (full text).

… Taoiseach Brian Cowen said Dr Cruise O’Brien had been “a leading figure in Irish life in many spheres since the 1960s”. He “. . . was blessed with a strong intellect and he was a man of strong convictions”, he said, adding that while Dr Cruise O’Brien’s “political views were not always in accordance with those of my own party over the years, I never doubted his sincerity or his commitment to a better and more peaceful Ireland” … (full text).

… It is easy now to forget the intensity of fear generated by the IRA and the loyalist paramilitaries: the safest thing to do was to keep your mouth shut, or give voice only to generalised pieties. Those who persistently ignored such rules had a tendency to be murdered. Under such circumstances, O’Brien became an implacable public foe of the IRA and its sustaining well of passionate unreason. Irish republicanism recognised him as a dangerous enemy, because he understood its “ancestral voices” intimately: both his mother and father had been committed “Irish Irelanders”, and he had close acquaintance with the seductive power of its myths … (full text).

Find him and his publications on ;
on Elections; on The; on ;
on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Bina D’costa – Australia

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Linked with War babies and Bangladesh’s tragedy of abortion and adoption.

Dr Bina D’Costa is the Convenor of the Bachelor Program in Security Analysis and a lecturer with the Faculty of Asian Studies, the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra. She was previously the post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand and the John Vincent Fellow in the Department of International Relations of the Research School of Asian and Pacific Studies at the ANU, here she earned her PhD in 2003. Her research interests are in postconflict peacebuilding, governance, gender and conflict, gender and development and the role of civil society and social movements. She has also focused extensively on both development and human security issues in South Asia. Bina is working with on historical injustices, truth and memory in relation to the strategies of civil society in demanding justice when there is a hostile government in power. This action-oriented research informs her book manuscript titled ‘Burden’ of the State: Gendering War Crimes and National Identity Politics in Postcolonial South Asia’. Bina is Verulam’s Senior Associate Consultant for post conflict and peace building (on the the Verulam Group, their Homepage).

Her bio at the Faculty of Asian Studies, The Australian National University ANU.

… She has contributed to various CSO (civil society organisations)-led projects in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India and worked as a consultant for the UNRISD (United Nations Research in Social Development), and DfID (Department for International Development, UK. Professional Activities:

  • Bina’s research interests and specialisations are in peacebuilding, justice and reconciliation processes; human security and borders; gender and conflict; children and war; and the role of NGOS in social movements;
  • War Crimes and Justice: Bina’s current project is on war crimes, transitional justice and peacebuilding in Asia. She is investigating various ‘justice seeking’ processes in Sri Lanka, East Timor, Cambodia and Bangladesh. She is also revising her manuscript titled ‘Burden’ of the State: Engendering War Crimes and National Identity Politics in South Asia;
  • Human Security and Borders: Bina has been involved in various policy oriented projects on borders, identity and human security, focusing on Rohingya and Muslim refugees from Burma and the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) of the Chittagong Hill Tracts;
  • Children and War: Bina has conducted extensive field research on ‘war babies’ with special attention to the War of Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. This project has developed largely out of Bina’s activist work. She is currently involved in building a children and conflict network with Dr Katrina Lee Koo, International Relations, ANU.

… (full text).


Bina D’costa – Australia

War Babies: the question of national honour.

Listen this audio: Sarkar Kabiruddin interviews Dr. Bina D’Costa, 5.58 min, Jan. 21, 2007 … In this interview Dr. D’Costa talks about the workshop and its significance for future references and historical documentation.

Read: (Dis) Appearing Women in Nationalist Narratives (Part 1): Interview with Respondent A, Conducted by Bina D’Costa[1], of the Australian National University, January, 2000: (she says). I (Bina) gratefully acknowledge Ms Shahin Akhter’s insights and comments during and after the interview – Opening Note: The following interview was conducted in India. The respondent was not keen to disclose her identity. For the sake of ethical research practice, I kept the interview unedited … (full interview text).

She writes: … The most common form of translating films from Bangladesh is through subtitles. Unfortunately, except for a handful of the movies produced and directed by new age and alternative filmmakers, Bangladeshi productions do not have high-quality subtitles. I am really surprised by it because so many Bengalis are either bi-lingual or multi-lingual. Bangladesh is the homeland of a people who are unique in this world because they fought for their right to speak a language in 1952. The rich history, the beauty and evocative nature of Bengali are a source of pride for the people who speak it, who think in it and who write in it. It is indeed distressing that not enough attention is paid to the translation of dialogues in the movies. The lack of sensitivity and indifference when it comes to interpretation are frustrating! Some of the translations are totally wrong, have no meaning in English or simply do not make any sense … (full text on Bangali (Bengali) Community News Gateway in Australia for World News).

Find her and her publications on Regulatory Institutions Network RegNet /ANU; on Faculty of Asian Studies /ANU; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

The book South Africa and Human Rights Violations: Bina D’ Costa argues in his chapter on marginalized identity, that often the language of peace and the language in laws that is meant to restore a post conflict society differs or is not in touch with the reality “on the ground” (D’ Costa 132).  Lamia Karim, in Democratizing Bangladesh, finds a similar issue to the one mentioned by D’ Costa in Bangladesh.  Karim argues that in Bangladesh there is the issue of the “government two-facedly watching.”  To elaborate in Bangladesh, “The rights of a woman to free speech, to free assembly, to vote…are rights under the Constitution of Bangladesh, and the functions of the democratic state is to protect the rights of its (female citizens),” but the state will retreat to the threats of the Clergy and become silent to atrocities committed in the name of religion against women (Karim 293) … (full text, November 24, 2008).

Gender and Global Politics in the Asia-PacificEdited by Bina D’ Costa and Katrina Lee-Koo. RELATED: Asian Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations: This book demonstrates the integral nature of gendered issues and feminist frameworks for a comprehensive understanding of contemporary IR. It uses feminist frameworks and research to both uncover and reflect upon gender and global politics in the contemporary Asia-Pacific. It also brings together, into a coherent and accessible collection, the work of feminist scholars, teachers, and activists in international relations … (full text).

She writes also: … Men and women journalists, academics and practitioners all have a responsibility to consciously use gender sensitive language, as their outputs have significant impact in shaping norms and practices. Also, ridiculing Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia as “begums” does not necessarily translate into pointing out their failure as leaders. In a twisted way, familial connection has served as an opportunity to access political power for both men and women in Bangladesh. Family connections are important, not only in politics but in every aspect of economic and social life here. Who knows whom, and who is connected to who often determine who gets where. It is important to consider reforms in the society that will allow someone without any connection to show her or his potential. However, ethnic and religious minorities, people living in rural or remote areas, children who do not attending English schools or the best Bangla schools, must be given opportunities that allow them to have access equally. Neither AL nor BNP regimes have consciously improved the condition of marginalised people in Bangladesh. Benefits have trickled down in the name of the poor, but they have never actually been the primary beneficiaries … (full long text).

And she writes: … When this interim government began its drive against corruption, it received overwhelming support from the people. Some powerful lawbreakers were arrested including Khaleda Zia’s son Tareque Rahman, which further raised the expectations of Bangladeshis. According to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the government has detained or questioned nearly 200 people (see BBC interview with ACC chief Lt General, retd, Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury). However, in its overzealous drive to fight corruption, the government neglected governing the country. The law and order situation deteriorated, prices of food and basic products skyrocketed and millions of people were left to deal with their own insecurities because of the recent floods (A. S. Huque, 27 August, 2007, The Daily Star) … (full text).

Discussion transcript on Pakistani power struggle emerges ahead of elections (she says): … I think there is a little bit of truth to that because you may remember a few months ago, Nawaz Sharif was trying to return, return to Pakistan and at that time Musharraf regime wasn’t very interested but now of course, because Benazir Bhutto suddenly changed her mind and mentioned that she wasn’t going to go into any negotiation with Musharraf so Musharraf thought it would be easier to bring back Nawaz Sharif and have a deal with him. But mind you, the people in Pakistan, they are currently very severely opposed to any sort of deal with Musharraf … and: I would be very surprised if it is a free and fair election but I think the election would certainly be rigged or at least manipulated by the current government … and: Behind the scenes there are quite a lot of conversations happening at the moment in dialogue and Imran Khan he is also part of this dialogue and they realise that only if they join forces, they can ask this current military government … (full interview text).

Security and Strategic Studies B (ASIA2030) – Semester 2, 2008: Dr Bina D’Costa: The purpose of the second semester is to extend understanding of the different dimensions of security in the Asia-Pacific region, nuclear biological and chemical weapons proliferation; economic and energy security; issues such as terrorism and counter-terrorism and trans-national crime as a security challenge; environmental pressures and resource competition; and ethnic conflict and separatism. The course will also look at different approaches to promoting security, and will consider the issues of regional order, alliances, international law, NGOs and civil society, intervention and peace operations as examples of the range of approaches. By the end of this two semester course, students should have a clear understanding of the nature of the major powers in Asia, the key issues that drive their security policies in this region, the most serious points of pressure and international tension and the forms of international tension and conflict that are most likely to characterise this region in the coming quarter of a century (on Korean Studies

The fringe people /Divided waters: Tracing relations between India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, coupled with people’s perceptions and experiences of state practices, the authors demonstrate that state discourses about borders and boundaries in the name of national interest often ignore those people who rely on the ocean for their livelihood. The region’s internecine strife is in many ways a paradox – of history, connections and shared national myths. Similarly, fishing as a hereditary profession has been perceived as ‘polluting’. It has also been understood as an outright ‘crime’, with fisherfolk often being treated as criminals, who must be punished, in order to teach them and their country’s government a lesson for the violation of international boundaries. We hear the stories of Indian fishermen in Pakistani jails and Pakistanis in Indian jails. Paradoxically, the dichotomies of shame and pride, impurity and purity, crime and rights are each reproduced by the fisherfolk themselves, both when they appropriate the languages of the state and when they join across borders as one livelihood community in multifarious ways. The fishermen of India feel irritated when Bangladeshi fishermen cross to their side, and vehemently support state action against those ‘unruly’ fishermen. On the other hand, Sisira, a Sri Lankan fisherman, when asked by an Indian magistrate about his citizenship, states “I live in Sri Lanka. My forefathers lived in India … I work and live in the sea. India or Sri Lanka does not come to me” … (full long text of her book review CONTESTED COASTLINES: Fisherfolk, nations and borders in South Asia, by Charu Gupta & Mukul Sharma, Routledge India, 2008).


Faculty academics in Burma open letter;

Women of 1971;

Feminist blogs: Feminist Theory and Gender Studies; Muslima Media Watch; Global Feminisms Fall 2008; Bangladesh Feminism, and its article: Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain and Taslima Nasrin – A Comparative Analysis of Feminism As Desired Role Models for Bangladeshi Women;

the website: Bangali (Bengali) Community News Gateway in Australia for World News (in bengali, with many english annotations);;

Voice of Bangladeshi Bloggers;

More books and articles: Feminism in Bangladesh; Muslim Feminism and Feminist Movement: South Asia;

On the Feminism of the Gift Economy.

Fethullah Güllen – Turkey

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Linked with Islamic Revivalism in Muslim World, and with The Fethullah Gülen Movement in Thought and Practice.

Upcoming: The Fifth International Conference on Islam in the Contemporary World: The Gülen Movement in Thought and Practice, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A. – March 6-7, 2009.

Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish writer, former Islamic preacher and the leader of the Gülen’s movement, one of the largest Islamic movements in Turkey. As the author of more than 60 books, Fethullah Gülen advocates tolerance, acceptance of others, and dialogue for peace. He sees the solution to many of the world’s problems in a return to religious faith, and advocates that in true Islam, terrorism is murder and is strictly forbidden. Gülen’s followers have formed more than 500 educational institutions in over 90 countries around the world (on Better World Heroes).

He says: “Today, people are talking about many things: the danger of war and frequent clashes, water and air pollution, hunger, the increasing erosion of moral values, and so on. As a result, many other concerns have come to the fore: peace, contentment, ecology, justice, tolerance, and dialogue. Unfortunately, despite certain promising precautions, those who should be tackling these problems tend to do so by seeking further ways to conquer and control nature and produce more letal weapons … and: interfaith dialogue is a must today, and the first step in establishing it is forgetting the past, ignoring polemical arguments, and giving precedence to common points, which far outnumber polemical ones … and: tolerance, a term which we sometimes use in place of the words respect, mercy, generosity, or forbearance, is the most essential element of moral systems; it is a very important source of spiritual discipline and a celestial virtue of perfected people … and: it is impossible for people who have given their heart to seeking forgiveness not to think of forgiving others. Just as they desire to be forgiven, they also desire to forgive … and: altruism is an exalted human feeling, and its source is love. Whoever has the greatest share in this love is the greatest hero of humanity; these people have been able to uproot any feelings of hatred and rancor in themselves … (see all quotes).


Fethullah Güllen – Turkey

His official website.

Watch these videos on  YouTube:
Gülen seems a controversial figure for some secularists in Turkey. While his followers and a significant part of Turkish society respects him as a humanistic figure at the service of Islam, a large fraction of society perceives him as a significant threat who aims to transform the country’s secular system. On the other hand, some radical groups severely criticize his actions, especially interfaith dialog efforts, as a diversion from Islam. Controversies over Gülen are even enhanced by his interfaith dialog activities including meeting with the Pope John Paul II … (full text on wikipedia /controversies).

Gülen Movement Becomes Best-linked Muslim Network.

Who is the number one public intellectual in the world?  Umberto Eco?  Garry Kasparov?  Salman Rushdie, Vaclav Havel, Christopher Hitchens?  EO Wilson (I thought he went to the big anthill in the sky)? If you chose Fethullah Güllen, you’re not alone.  Prospect Magazine and Foreign Policy Magazine have published the results of their survey, and the Turkish Islamic religious leader topped the poll … (full text, 15 July 2008).

Find him on the spanish wikipedia.

The Turkish Islamist movement of Fethullah Gulen is one of the most interesting examples of liberal Islamist thinking in the Middle East. Gulen and his followers have tried to produce a religious-political movement favoring modernism, Turkish nationalism, tolerance, and democracy without sacrificing religious precepts. The structure and philosophy of this movement and its leader have been manifested in many groups and educational institutions. Part of the Turkish secularist elite views Gulen as a progressive development, though others see him as a threat in moderate garb … (full long text).

Find him and his publications on; on alibris; on wikipedia /works;
on Google Video-search (all in turkish language); on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search with one result; on Google Group-search; and on Google Blog-search.

NEW YORK: Two Indians now settled in the US — Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen and acclaimed journalist Fareed Zakaria — are among the top 20 intellectuals in the world today, according to a poll conducted by a US magazine … Fethullah Gullen, an Islamic scholar from Turkey with a global network of millions of followers, is at No.1 on the list and Nobel Prize-winning microfinancier Muhammad Yunus from Bangladesh is at No 2 … (full text).

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Dorothea Christiane Erxleben alias Dorothea Chr. Leporin – Germany (1715 – 1762)

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Dorothea Christiane Erxleben née Leporin (November 13, 1715 in Quedlinburg – June 13, 1762 in Quedlinburg) was the first female medical doctor in Germany. Erxleben was instructed in medicine by her father from an early age. The Italian scientist Laura Bassi’s university professorship inspired Erxleben to fight for her right to practise medicine, and in 1742 she published a tract arguing that women should be allowed to attend University. After being admitted to study by a dispensation – (see rather under the words: Casuistry and Derogation) – of Frederick the Great, Erxleben received her M.D. from the University of Halle in 1754. She went on to analyse the obstacles preventing women from studying, among them housekeeping and family. Dorothea was the mother of Johann Christian Polycarp Erxleben … (wikipedia).

… Dorothea got in touch with the young Prussian king Friedrich the Great to ask him for his approval. Friedrich instructed the university of Halle not to hinder Dorothea’s studies. However, she did not intend to go by herself as she did not feel safe without her brother. But war broke out and her brother, who did not intend to join the army, had to flee Prussia to avoid being drafted. Dorothea also got married and thus her studies became even less probable. She married a widowed minister who brought 5 children into the marriage, and later they had 4 children of their own. All this time Dorothea visited ailing people and treated them with all her ability, which was always frowned upon by male colleagues, especially since she had people refer to her as Frau Doktor (Ms Doctor) – a title she always maintained she did not want people to use. When one of her elderly patients died of her ailment, three well-known medical doctors of Quedlinburg sent an official complaint about her to the Prussian court. Thereafter she applied again to gain a doctorate and was granted to do so at the university of Halle. She passed the test with flying flags in 1754 and continued to work in Quedlinburg until, in 1762, at the age of only 46, she died from a mysterious infection … (full text).


Dorothea Christiane Erxleben alias Dorothea Chr. Leporin – Germany (1715 – 1762)

She said: ein jeder will gern ein verständiges Weib haben, aber die Mittel des Verstandes will man ihnen nicht zulassen / (my translation): every man wants a comprehending wife, but disallows her the right for reason (Zitate historicher Personen).

Find her and her publications on world; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

The Google download book: European Feminisms, 1700-1950, By Karen M. Offen, 2000, 554 pages.

Much more exists in german:

  • Sie schrieb: Die Verachtung der Gelehrsamkeit zeigt sich besonders darin, dass das weibliche Geschlecht vom Studieren abgehalten wird. Wenn etwas dem größten Teil der Menschheit vorenthalten wird, weil es nicht allen Menschen nötig und nützlich ist, sondern vielen zum Nachteil gereichen könnte, verdient es keine Wertschätzung, da es nicht von allgemeinem Nutzen sein kann. So führt der Ausschluss vieler von der Gelehrsamkeit zu ihrer Verachtung. Dieses Unrecht ist ebensogroß wie dasjenige, das den Frauen widerfährt, die dieses herrlichen und kostbaren Gegenstandes beraubt werden. (Gajo Simpatico).
  • Dorothea Christiane Erxleben;
  • Dorothea Christiane Erxleben (* 13. November 1715 in Quedlinburg; † 13. Juni 1762 ebenda; gebürtige Leporin) war die erste promovierte deutsche Ärztin … (ganzer Text);
  • … Dorothea Leporin wurde am 13. November 1715 als zweites von vier Kindern des Arztes Christian Polycarpus Leporin (1689–1747) und seiner Frau Anna Sophia (1680–1757), einer Pastorentochter, in Quedlinburg (Sachsen-Anhalt) geboren … Ihr Vater ließ sie am Unterricht ihres Bruders Christian Polycarp sowie an dessen Vorbereitung auf das Medizinstudium teilnehmen und nahm sie zu Hausbesuchen bei Patienten mit. 1724 schlug Christian Polycarp Leporin vor, in jeder Stadt sollten Akademien eingerichtet und Schüler, die den Unterricht nicht selbst bezahlen könnten, kostenlos unterrichtet werden. Außerdem sollten nicht nur Männer einen Zugang zu diesen Bildungseinrichtungen erhalten, sondern auch die Frauen. Seine Tochter Dorothea wurde vom Rektor und Konrektor des Gymnasiums Quedlinburg in privaten Lektionen mit dem Gymnasialstoff vertraut gemacht … (ganzer Text).
  • … Bei der Erbhuldigung des preußischen Königs Friedrich II. der Große (1712–1786) im November 1740 in Quedlinburg überreichte die 24-jährige Dorothea Erxleben dessen Bevollmächtigtem neben französischen Versen zum Regierungsantritt des Herrschers ein Gesuch mit der Bitte um Freilassung ihrer zum Militärdienst rekrutierten Brüder. Diese Bitte erklärte sie mit dem Kummer der Eltern und ihrer eigenen Hoffnung, gemeinsam mit ihrem Bruder an einer Universität die medizinischen Examen ablegen zu können … (ganzer Text).
  • Kleine Chronik großer Frauen, Band 2;
  • Die Ärztin aus Quedlinburg – Hörbuch;
  • Gleichstellungsbüro;
  • Meilensteine der Medizin;
  • Till Bergner’s Artikel: Dorothea Christiane Erxleben und ihre Gründliche Untersuchung der Ursachen, die das weibliche Geschlecht vom Studiren abhalten / (Throurough studies about the reasons which prevent the female gender from studying);
  • …  Gründliche Untersuchung der Ursachen, die das weibliche Geschlecht vom Studieren abhalten – (gescannter Text auf deutsch / as a scann of the historc document in german) – a tract arguing that women should be allowed to attend university, and she directly appealed to Friedrich the Great who gave her a dispensation. At age 39, after the birth of her fourth child, she successfully completed her exams in 1754 and received her Medical Degree. (full text);
  • … von Dorothea Chr. Leporin das Buch bei Amazon.

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Abigail Smith Adams – USA (1744 – 1818)

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Abigail Adams (née Smith) (November 11, 1744 – October 28, 1818) was the wife of John Adams, the second President of the United States, and mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth, and is regarded as the first Second Lady of the United States and the second First Lady of the United States though the terms were not coined until after her death. Adams is remembered for the many letters she wrote to her husband while he stayed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the Continental Congresses. John Adams frequently sought the advice of his wife on many matters, and their letters are filled with intellectual discussions on government and politics. The letters are invaluable eyewitness accounts of the Revolutionary War home front as well as excellent sources of political commentary … (full long text).

Find also her bio and picture: on First Ladies; on library thinkquest; on; on American Picture Links.Com; on NNDB; on; on East Buchanan Community Schools;  on picture History; on; on an asian language.

Find her also on The Adams Papers; on; on alibris; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

She is named as Better World Heroe.

.. – ..

Abigail Smith Adams – USA (1744 – 1818)

Abigdail’s Letters on Harvard University Press; on Abigail Adams letters for the years 1761 thru 1816; 0n The electronic archive;on amazon; as a Google download-book: The Book of Abigail and John, By John Adams, L. H. Butterfield, Marc Friedlaender, Mary-Jo Kline, 2002, 411 pages; on A Love Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams; … (and much more by Google-search result and by Googles Image results for Abigdail Adams letters).

Video-search on YouTube by Abigdail Adams letters. Watch also the video.


  • … “Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.
  • “That your sex are naturally tyrannical is a truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute; but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up – the harsh tide of master for the more tender and endearing one of friend.
  • “Why, then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity?
  • “Men of sense in all ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the (servants) of your sex; regard us then as being placed by Providence under your protection, and in imitation of the Supreme Being make use of that power only for our happiness.” (full text).

She wrote:

  • Great necessities call out great virtues.
  • EDUCATION: Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.
  • LEADERSHIP: Great necessities call forth great leaders.
  • PERSEVERANCE: “Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance.”
  • WOMEN: If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation … and: “If we mean to have heroes, statesmen and philosophers, we should have learned women” (all picked up on Better World Heroes … (with LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION).
  • I begin to think, that a calm is not desirable in any situation in life. … Man was made for action and for bustle too, I believe (letter to her sister, Mary Smith Cranch, 1784).
  • … many on my dearest friend.
  • … I have sometimes been ready to think that the passion for Liberty cannot be Eaquelly Strong in the Breasts of those who have been accustomed to deprive their fellow Creatures of theirs. Of this I am certain that it is not founded upon that generous and christian principal of doing to others as we would that others should do unto us … (full text).
  • Find 3 quotations in The Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations.

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Chukwumuanya Igboekwu – Nigeria

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Medical Activist Fighting HIV/AIDS – standing up for human rights

Linked with The Right to Health and Health Workforce Planning.

As a doctor working in Nigeria’s remote Niger province, Chukwumuanya Igboekwu confronted the reality of AIDS in rural Africa: In 2003 an estimated 99.5% of the estimated 22,000 people with HIV/AIDS could not afford anti-retroviral medications. He began a local campaign to secure a significant increase in health funds in the provincial budget. The four-hour drive from Igboekwu’s home in rural Sahon-rami to the state capital became a regular one. After many visits, he met with the Deputy Governor, the Commissioner of Health, key parliamentarians and other officials. Igboekwu and his coalition made a strong case for the government to take responsibility for providing clinical care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS. In 2005, the government announced it would provide life-saving antiretroviral drugs to 1,000 people. The grave situation in 2003 has been reversed as majority of PLWHAs in Niger province now have access to antiretroviral medicines … // … Chukwumuanya is an Oxfam International Youth Partnerships action member. Oxfam International Youth Partnerships is a global network of young people working with their communities to create positive, equitable and sustainable change. (full text).

His bio.

He writes: … my name is Chukwumuanya Igboekwu, I male and 25. I am a young medical doctor from Nigeria. I have just finnished my one year youth service corps serviceand cuurrently working in a rural hospital in kontagora, Niger state ,north central region of Nigeria. I am currently a member of the Oxfam International Youth Parliament,OIYP, based in Sydney Australia. I am currently involved in a project aimed at reducing the burden of HIV/AIDS among rural youth in Niger state. I am also the program manager of a grassroot youth serving organisation,the Young Corps for Social Responsibility(YCSR), based in Niger state Nigeria … (full text, May 21, 2005).

… As a medical doctor volunteering in the rural community, he has also been involved in establishing an HIV/AIDS treatment centre within the community where he’s working. Chukwumuanya is also strategically campaigning and lobbying the Niger State Government, with the aim of increasing the budgetary allocation to health and HIV/AIDS programming activities, especially with regards to the procurement of essential medicines and technologies for people living with HIV/AIDS in his community. Less than 5% of those requiring ARV’s and other medicines actually have access to them … (full text).

He is also member of Taking It Global.


Chukwumuanya Igboekwu – Nigeria

Law and Health Initiative Sponsors Health and Human Rights Activists from Nigeria and Russia, December 1, 2006.

Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu: This project provides families with malaria prevention education, life-saving medicines and insecticide treated bednets to protect 20,000 children from malaria related deaths in rural Mashegu … (full text):

  • 11-09-2008 – Field update from Tunga-magaji, Maisara and Nassarawa;
  • 05-27-2008 – Updates from the field;
  • 03-31-2008 – Malaria Prevention Project Outreach at Faje Community in rural Mashegu.
  • More Information About this Project: Project Needs and Beneficiaries In this region, malaria accounts for 30% of deaths for children under 5 (UNICEF/FGN 2004). PSJ estimates that about 70% of outpatient visits for children under 5 and 50% of hospital admissions are due to malaria in areas where we work. This project seeks to significantly reduce the high death rate resulting from malaria among children in rural Mashegu through community-wide malaria prevention education and distribution of ITNs to families with children under 5 … (full text).

Comment by Novartis, November 2006.

… Chukwumuanya hopes to work with various stakeholders within his region at the conclusion of the training to bring affordable, effective and safe generic versions of ARV medicines into the Niger state. To do this he hopes to work with the Federal Ministry of Commerce, the National Action Committee on AIDS (NACA), Care People International, the Niger State Chamber of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture and the Nigerian Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDS … (full text 10 pdf-pages).

… The VCHI is an integrated rural community based health intervention project aimed at making high quality health care delivery services available and accessible to the rural people at affordable costs. The project uniquely focuses on the pivotal role of grass-root community based health care delivery strategy in bringing affordable health care services nearer to the people. Our service delivery approach is an integrated model, which combines all aspects of primary health care including both curative and preventive aspects, which are administered as a combined package. We also have a simple team made up of only 3 persons ? The Primary Care Physician, a Community Health Extension Worker CHEW and a junior community Health Worker who serves as Nursing Aid … (full text).

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Theo Hobson – England

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Linked with Why I am a Christian, and with John Milton’s vision.

Theo Hobson (born 1972) is a British theologian. He was educated at St Paul’s School in London; he read English Literature at York University, then theology at Cambridge University. He focused on the strongest voices of Protestant tradition: Martin Luther, Kierkegaard, and Karl Barth. His PhD thesis became the basis of his first book, The Rhetorical Word – a study of the role of authoritative rhetoric in Protestantism. He gradually turned his attention to ecclesiology. His next book was Against Establishment: An Anglican Polemic. In this book he announced that the Church of England was doomed, and that he considered himself a “post-Anglican.” His third book was Anarchy, Church and Utopia: Rowan Williams on the Church – a critique of the Archbishop’s ecclesiology, and perhaps of all ecclesiology. He has written for various journals and newspapers including The Guardian, The Times, The Spectator, and The Tablet. His principal interests are the relationship between Protestant Christianity and secularism, which he believes is more positive than is generally understood; the relationship between theology and literature; and the post-ecclesial renewal of worship. He thinks that large-scale carnival-style celebration must replace church worship. He lives in Harlesden, London and is married and has two children. (on wikipedia).

He says: … “Hello! I’m a theologian who believes that Christianity must move in a post-ecclesial direction – that means I don’t like any form of institutional church. Down with organised religion! Down with orthodoxy! There ought to be lots of free-style Jesus Christ-communication, in which ‘worship’ merges with ‘art’” … and about his book Milton’s Vision: “My book on Milton is out. It basically argues that he’s the most important liberal Protestant theologian, for he sees the need to detach the Gospel from institutional authority. Only thus can Christianity be fully in tune with secular liberalism” … (on His website).


Theo Hobson – England

He says also:

  • (about Milton) “We sentimentalise the great poet as a mascot of British liberty, instead of looking at what he really thought”… (full text, 9 December 2008);
  • … There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with having faith at the centre of school life, it’s discrimination that’s pernicious” … (fullt text, 9 September 2008);
  • “Does it matter whether the majority of religious believers actually think the things atheists claim they do?” … (full text, 3 November 2008).

… In his most recent column, “A Pink Reformation,” Hobson argues that controversies over homosexuality now present the Christian church with a credibility crisis of historic proportions. Hobson presents an argument that demands careful attention. Indeed, Hobson argues that the church now faces a shift as cataclysmic as the Reformation of the 16th century. He asserts that it is “not absurd” to draw this parallel, arguing that the debate about homosexuality poses “a serious threat to organized religion” … (full text, February 12, 2007).

More articles:

… Hobson therefore tells us that he stands for an “explicitly secular state that treat[s] all religions equally, … mean[ing] the disestablishment of the Church of England – a move [that he finds] necessary to renew Christianity and free it from its aura of official privilege.” From looking at the American example, we see that Hobson may have a point, for Christianity has a rather powerful voice in American society … though I suspect that Hobson wouldn’t quite approve of that, either. (full text).

Find him and his publications on daylife Source HUB; on openDemocracy; on firstPost; on Google; on conservapedia; on the; on the Guardian; on amazon; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Kenneth Roth – USA

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Linked with Human Rights Watch HRW, with Cop violence up due to the culture of impunity; with After Guantánamo; and with The price of rights.

Since 1993, Kenneth Roth has been the executive directof or Human Rights Watch, an NGO that investigates, reports on, and seeks to curb human rights abuses in over 70 countries. He was the deputy director of the organization from 1987-1993, before which he worked as a private litigator and served as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington. During his time as Executive Director, Human Rights Watch has quadrupled its size, expanded its geographic reach, and developed new programs specific to issues such as refugees, children’s rights, AIDS, gay rights, counter-terrorism and international justice … (full text).

… Roth was born to a family of German refugees of the Third Reich. He studied at Brown University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts, and at Yale Law School, where he obtained a Juris Doctor. He worked as a private litigator, before working as a federal prosecutor for the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He also investigated the Iran-Contra affair. Roth started working on Human Rights in 1981, following the declaration of martial law in Poland. He was later interested in the Haiti regime. Roth held the position of deputy director of Human Rights Watch between 1987 and 1993, and has been executive director since 1993 … (full text).

His Bio on China.hrw.

Latest Human Rights news around the world:


Kenneth Roth – USA

Watch the following videos:

… HRW’s Ken Roth in his opening remarks about the Congo criticized what he called the three countries best equipped to go into the Kivus: France, the UK and Germany. Inner City Press asked why he had not even bothered to mention the U.S.  Roth agreed, saying it is sad one does not even think of the U.S. for peacekeeping any more. He said that among the victims of the war in Iraq are people left unprotected in Sudan, the Congo and Somalia. This implies that the U.S. would have participated in those UN Missions but for occupying Iraq and Afghanistan … (full text, December 10, 2008).

UK government urged to protect civilians in Congo, 22 November 2008.

He says: … “The prohibition on torture is one of the basic, absolute prohibitions that exists in international law. It exists in time of peace as well as in time of war. It exists regardless of the severity of a security threat. And the only other comparable prohibition that I can think of is the prohibition on attacking innocent civilians in time of war or through terrorism. If you’re going to have a torture warrant, why not create a terrorism warrant? Why not go in and allow terrorists to come forward and make their case for why terrorism should be allowed? … and: OK, there is no moral or legal difference between torturing yourself and subcontracting torture to somebody else. They’re equally absolutely prohibited … and: Once you open the door to torture, once you start legitimizing it in any way, you have broken the absolute taboo. President Bush had it right in his State of the Union address when he was describing various forms of torture by Saddam Hussein and he said, “If this isn’t evil, then evil has no meaning” … (full interview text, March 4, 2003).

“Turkey needs to tackle its violent and trigger-happy policing culture. That can only happen if the criminal justice system holds the police to account for these serious crimes.” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. The 80-page report, “Closing Ranks against Accountability – Barriers to Tackling Police Violence in Turkey, December 5, 2008″ documents 28 cases of police abuse against members of the public since the start of 2007, and examines official investigations of police conduct in those instances. (See all HRW reports and click on Issue and Country).

Find him and his publicationson the New York review of books; on amazon, authored, inkl. citations; on Council on Foreign Relations CFR; on HRW/bio; on Google Video-search; on YouTube; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search; on Google Finance-search.

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Michael Krepon – USA

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Linked with, and with Does Threat Reduction Require Threat Inflation?

Michael Krepon is Co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center and the author or editor of thirteen books and over 350 articles. Prior to co-founding the Stimson Center, Krepon worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency during the Carter administration, and in the US House of Representatives, assisting Congressman Norm Dicks. He received an MA from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University and a BA from Franklin & Marshall College. He also studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Krepon divides his time between Stimson’s South Asia and Space Security projects. The South Asia project concentrates on escalation control, nuclear risk reduction, confidence building, and peace making between India and Pakistan. This project entails field work, publications, and Washington-based programming, including a visiting fellowship program. The Space Security project seeks to promote a Code of Conduct for responsible space-faring nations and works toward stronger international norms for the peaceful uses of outer space. Krepon also teaches in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia. (on

… Michael Krepon is available to talk about nuclear threat and terrorism in the region. Sample quote: “Mumbai has already suffered three 9/11-type attacks” … (full text).
Michael Krepon divides his time between the Stimson Center’s South Asia and Space Security projects. He is one of the leading experts on nuclear weapons issues in India and Pakistan, including escalation control, nuclear risk reduction, confidence building and peace making.  The Space Security project seeks to promote a Code of Conduct for responsible space-faring nations and works toward stronger international norms for the peaceful uses of outer space.  Prior to co-founding the Stimson Center, Krepon worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and in the U.S. House of Representatives. (on


Michael Krepon

Watch the following videos:

He says: … “I’d be surprised if the Bush administration were satisfied with the steps that the Pakistan government has taken so far. These steps are welcome, but the infrastructure for the LeT is far greater than a couple of camps outside of Muzzaffarabad. So, more needs to be done,” … (full text).

… A fourth abolitionist wave is now building. This wave is unusual because it is moving from the center outward. Its leading advocates—statesmen like George Shultz, Sam Nunn, Henry Kissinger, William Perry and Max Kampelman—have long resumes of distinguished public service. Because of their leadership, the fourth wave has more potential than its predecessors. When foreign policy realists who have served in positions of great responsibility in the Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan Administrations join with a Democratic presidential candidate like Barack Obama in calling for nuclear abolition, clearly something noteworthy is unfolding … (full text).


Then he says: … “Well India has experience multiple 9-11’s, Ray. In the 1990s there was an attack on the Mumbai stock exchange and other targets: 250 dead, 700 wounded. There was an attack on the mass transport system in Mumbai in 2006. Another horrendous casualty list. So, the people of India have reason to ask their leaders to come together and to do a better job. This is all compounded by the fact there is a national election coming up next year in India. And the current government of India which is led by the Congress Party—Dr. Manmohan Singh –is under a lot of pressure to show he has got some mettle” … (full interview text, December 2, 2008).

Find him and his publications on NY Times; on; on EMM; on ISBN; on MacMillan; on amazon; on; on Barnes and Noble; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Karsten Kjaer – Denmark

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Linked with Why Democracy?

KARSTEN KJAER is a Journalist, Director and Producer who worked as a foreign correspondent for World Media before turning to television. He has produced more than 200 programmes for Danish and European television as well as numerous specials on world affairs, especially in the Middle East. Karsten is the founder and owner of the independent production company Freeport Film in Copenhagen. He is best known for his use of satire, humour and extraordinary methods in the coverage of sensitive political and cultural issues. (on

He names himself a Rock’n'Roll Fan and a Computer Freak.

He says: … “Because of our recent history it would have been very important for Finns to see the documentary”, Kjær says, in a reference to Finland’s political balancing act as a neighbour of the Soviet Union, and the self-censorship that occurred in the postwar period. “In addition, the subject is very topical in the Nordic Countries. Kjær accuses Iikka Vehkalahti, producer of the YLE Documentary Project, of personal censorship, after hearing the justification put forward by Vehkalahti for the decision” … (full text, October 12, 2007).

His blog he shares with everyone.


Karsten Kjaer – Denmark

Watch these videos:

… The recent furore over allegedly anti-Islamic cartoons published in a Danish newspaper is the subject of the provocative documentary “Bloody Cartoons.” Director Karsten Kjaer asks whether respect for Islam, combined with the heated response to the cartoons, is leading to self-censorship and whether there should be limits to freedom of speech in a democracy … (full text, 1 Aug 2008).

… As Pub Philosopher reminds us “It’s two years since Jyllands Posten printed the Mohammed cartoons and about twenty months since thousands of Muslims rioted over something that most of them had never seen”. This last point is underlined in the BBC film when Karsten interveiws an Iranian professional protestor … (full text, October 17, 2007).

… the scoop of the film is an interview with a “professional demonstrator” in Iran:
This 72-year old man is instructing the Basij forces of the revolutionary guard to attack the Danish embassy. Reporter Karsten Kjaer finds him in a town outside Teheran, and contrary to all the official figures the guy is honest.
‘We heard that the Prophet had been insulted, so in a letter to the Danish ambassador we demanded that the Danish government punish the offenders and apologize,’ he explains.
‘But did you see the cartoons?’
‘No, I did not.’
When he is presented with the cartoon showing Mohammed with a bomb in his turban he replies.
‘Is this Mohammed? He doesn’t look like the prophet. He is an Indian Sikh.’

That’s what all the fuss was about? … Watch the video: Bloody Cartoons – The World’s reaction to the cartoons, 48 sec … (full text).

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James Zogby – USA

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Linked with The Arab American Institute AAI, and with James Zogby and the Politics of Perception.

James J. Zogby (born 1945) is an American academic, political consultant and founder and president of the Washington, D.C.-based Arab American Institute. In 2001, Zogby was elected to the Executive Committee of the United States Democratic National Committee DNC. He is a senior analyst with the polling firm Zogby International, founded and managed by his brother John Zogby, and is a lecturer and scholar on Middle East issues … Writing and advocacy: Since 1992, Zogby has written a weekly column on American politics for major Arab newspapers, Washington Watch, and authored a number of books, including What Ethnic Americans Really Think and What Arabs Think: Values, Beliefs and Concerns. He also blogs at The Huffington Post. In 1984 and 1988 Zogby served as Deputy Campaign manager and Senior Advisor to the Jesse Jackson Presidential campaign. In 1995 he was appointed as co-convener of the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Committee (NDECC), an umbrella organization within the Democratic Party of leaders of European and Mediterranean descent, to which he was reelected in 1999 and 2001. Also in 2001, he was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee DNC, and in 2006 was also named Co-Chair of the DNC’s Resolutions Committee. Zogby also serves on the Human Rights Watch Middle East Advisory Committee and on the national advisory boards of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Forum, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Zogby has testified before a number of Congressional Committees and Executive branch forums, most recently on the subject of Arab attitudes toward the United States … (full text).

His Biography on the Arab American Institute.

His blog at the Huffington Post.


James Zogby – USA

Watch these four videos:

  • Interview with John Zogby, part one, 09.54 min, Aug 12, 2008;
  • Interview with John Zogby, part two, 9.55 min, Aug 12, 2008;
  • James Zogby: The Mess We Are In, 36.01 min, Aug 30, 2006;
  • Charlie Rose – O’REILLY / THE ZOGBY BROTHERS, 57.13 min, Dec 28, 2004.

Arab- and Muslim-Bashing Failed in ‘08, Nov. 28, 2008.

He says: “I think the American people get it. I think our leadership doesn’t get it. They’ve made a mess”. (James Zogby discusses American policy in the Middle East, 2005).

He writes: Yes, we mustn’t expect too much. We all know it is the establishment that comes first in United States politics. Obama’s presidency could easily be sabotaged by the powers that put him there … (full text, 27 November – 3 December 2008).

… A recent Zogby poll of Obama voters found disturbing (and controversial) results.  These voters knew almost nothing at all, and that is hardly an exaggeration.  I wonder how many of these voters graduated from college?  I wonder how many of them teach at our colleges?  I wonder how many of them spent their formative adult years in the bowels of Mein Kampus? (full text, November 24, 2008).

Find him and his publications on ; on ; on sourcewatch; on Google Video-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

Find the Politics of Perception on ; on ; on ; on Google News-search; on Google Image-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

His political activities on sourcewatch.

Understanding America’s Right Wing, part two, June 04, 2002.

… Zogby was born in 1945 in Utica, New York to Lebanese Catholic parents. He earned his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Temple University in 1975. In 1976 he attended Princeton University, where he was a National Endowment for the Humanities post-doctoral fellow … (full text).

Because expectations across the Middle East are so high and the need for change is so great, during the next two months, all eyes will be focused on the early decisions made by President-elect Barack Obama. But precisely because the need is so great, I believe that the region’s leadership should be more than spectators during this critical transition period. This is especially true with regard to efforts to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace. The damage done by eight years of the Bush Administrations’ neglect and recklessness is all too clear … (full text, November 24, 2008).

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Moorthy Muthuswamy – India

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Linked with Unraveling India? Linked also with K.N.Pandita’s blog KASHMIR and IDPs and Geopolitical Analysis.

Dr. Moorthy Muthuswamy (is) an expert on Islamic terrorism, an internationally recognized critic of Political Islam and an author of the book “The Art of War on Terror: Triumphing Over Political Islam and the Axis of Jihad” … (on IntelliBriefs, February 28, 2008) … (link to the book) …

Nuclear Physicist, Internationally recognized critic of political Islam: Dr. Moorthy Muthuswamy grew up in India, where he had first-hand experience with political Islam and jihad. He moved to America in 1984 to pursue graduate studies. In 1992, he received a doctorate in nuclear physics from Stony Brook University, New York. Since 1999 he has extensively published ideas on neutralizing political Islam’s terror war as it is imposed on unbelievers. He is the author of the new book, The Art of War on Terror: Triumphing over Political Islam and the Axis of Jihad. His subject: Neutralizing Political Islam’s Terror War. (on basic

He says: … Because the political Islamic movement is driven by a conquest-oriented medieval ideology and outlook, it behaves like a “germ”. Dialogue or accommodation is simply not possible. Second, this movement is entrenched among Muslim populations and importantly, is networked, with multiple power centers or nodes. This means classical approach of predominantly using diplomacy and/or military force, along with aid is not effective. This may be the reason why our traditional Think Tanks are struggling to come up with a coherent policy response that our political leaders could rely on … (full long interview text).


Moorthy Muthuswamy – India

The Little Secret about Kashmir, October 16, 2008.

He writes: … In the long run, if the United States wants an effective ally in India and wants democracy to succeed there, it must side with Hindu-majority organizations and help them undermine Indian jihadis. Otherwise, the trend in intensifying Islamic terrorism and its siege of Indian democracy shows that the promise of U.S.-Indian ties likely will go unfulfilled and jihadis will destroy another critical democratic ally in South Asia. (full text,  Dec. 21, 2006 /scroll down).

The Western political, defense and intelligence establishments, for the most part, view Islam under the “religion model.” In this model, aspirations of Muslims are seen to be no different from the ones in any other religious community. It acknowledges the violent track record of Muslims and its probable origins in Islamic scriptures, but hopes that, as is the case with other ethnic groups and nations, over the passage of time, Muslims too will eventually overcome the hurdles to become a cohesive component of the global community. This model implicitly assumes coexistence … (full text).

Find him and his publications on amazon; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

He says also: … “Our enemy is political Islam and a movement based upon it: the political Islamic movement. Political Islam holds that Islam should have a dominant say in governing the affairs of government. There are good reasons for this outlook, going back to Islamic scriptures … // … We should view political Islam, not radical or militant Islam, as our main enemy. Any movement based on the political ideology outlined in the trilogy has to have powerful and resourceful backers in order to be successful. Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan have powerful political Islamic movements within that fuel movements elsewhere – both in other Muslim majority nations and in nations with Muslim minorities. These three nations are called, Axis of Jihad in my book … (full long interview text).

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Shabana Azmi – India

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Linked with Lara Shankar – India.

Shabana Azmi (born 18 September 1950 in New Delhi, India) is one of the leading actresses of parallel cinema. She is a film actress as well as a social activist, and her performances in films in a variety of genres have generally earned her praises and awards including five wins of National Film Award for Best Actress. She is married to Indian poet Javed Akhtar … (full text).

Social activism: Shabana Azmi has been a committed social activist, active in fighting AIDS and injustice in real life. Shabana Azmi has voiced her opinion on a variety of issues. Initially, her activism drew skepticism and was dubbed by some as a publicity gimmick. However, she proved her critics wrong and used her celebrity status to emerge as a high-profile social activist … She has campaigned against ostracism of victims of AIDS. A small film clip issued by the Government of India depicts an HIV positive cuddled in her arms and saying: “She does not need your rejection, she needs your love”. In a Bengali film named Meghla Aakash she played the role of a physician treating AIDS patients … (full text social activism).

She says about herself: … I have not met the right man yet. I wish to have kids someday. I am skinny girl that eats right and works out. I have a cute and slim body. As far as clothes that I wear, I am casual. Vegetables are how I keep myself looking good. I am your typical fast food junky. I love eating Moghlai dishes. I don’t drink at all. Cigarette smoke makes me sick. I am a very devout and practicing Hindu. Painting is a very cool thing. I do not even know what numerology is but I list it as my hobby. (full text).

UNFPA Announces the Appointment of Ms. Shabana Azmi as its Goodwill Ambassador for India, 01 November 1998.

… “HIV/AIDS is about society being hit at its bones and roots,” said Ms. Azmi. “[It] is about families losing their means of livelihood and support. Is about individual women and men whose legitimate dreams are dashed away. … It is ripping-off the very fabric of community and family life” … (full text).


Shabana Azmi – India

Watch these videos:

She says also: “I am a daughter, a wife, a mother, a woman, an actress, an Indian, and a Muslim. Each of those identities is important to me” … and: “That nations cannot be built on the sole basis of a commonality of religion was proved when Bangladesh became free. Since, however, India and Pakistan do exist, we should first try to work on the commonalties between them, rather than the differences. I would emphasize that in the new world of today, we should be thinking less in terms of the isolation of nations than what is in the common interests of whole regions” … and: “Theatre is really the actor’s medium. When you go on stage, it is your space. Cinema is the director’s medium”. (Quotes).

The Actor as Activist: Celebrating Shabana Azmi.

… However, no one can blame the director for not fleshing out the characters of the delightful parents. Shabana as the domineering mother could have ended up being a caricature; instead she comes across as a believable, quirky lady, who wants the best for her sons. Boman Irani has played the poker-faced jokester so many times that he can probably sleepwalk through such roles, and still endear the audience. (full text).

… Appreciating the efforts of the farmers they felicitated them for their outstanding work. Presence of world renowned Dr Joseph Mercola and actor and social activist Shabana Azmi, added a touch of glamour to the event … (full text).

Karan’s guests this week are an extremely special couple. She is an actor par excellence…in fact, almost an institution! From path breaking alternate cinema to plausible mainstream… She’s been there, she’s done that! Her contribution to the society as well as the fraternity has never gone unnoticed and on a lighter vein, she can be the life of a party … (full long text on Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and Farhan Akhtar enjoy Koffee with Karan).

Find her and her publications on the Shabana Azmi page on (filmography, images, SONGs, articles); on; on amazon, (54 DVD results); on e-bay;
on a fan site; on wikipedia /select filmography; on wikipedia /Awards and honors; on IMDb; on her Google Video-results; on You Tube; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search; on Google News-result.

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Fatima Jinnah – Pakistan (1893 — 1967)

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Linked with Book review: What Fatima Jinnah thought.

Fatima Jinnah (July 30, 1893 — July 8, 1967) was the sister of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan and an active political figure in movement for independence from the British Raj.
She is commonly known in Pakistan as Khatoon-e-Pakistan (Urdu:Lady of Pakista) and Madar-e-Millat (Mother of the Nation) She was born in Karachi, Pakistan, then a part of British India. She was admitted to the Dr. R. Ahmed Dental College in the University of Calcutta in 1919 and went on to open her dental clinic in Bombay in 1923. She was an instrumental figure in the Pakistan movement and the primary organiser of All India Muslim Women Students Federation. After the formation of Pakistan and the death of her brother, she remained an active member of the nation’s politics. In 1965, Miss Fatima Jinnah ran for President as a candidate of the Combined Opposition Party Pakistan COPP; widely believed to win the election, her loss came as a shock to the world community. The election is still regarded as rigged by most historians. She continued to work for the welfare of the Pakistani people until she died in Karachi on July 8, 1967 … // … Death: Fatima Jinnah died in Karachi on July 8, 1967. The official cause of death was heart failure, but rumours persist that she was murdered by the same group who killed Liaquat Ali Khan. In 2003, the nephew of the Quaid-i-Azam, Akbar Pirbhai, reignited the controversy by suggesting that she was assassinated … (full text).

… If Fatima JInnah serves as a role model for Pakistani girls, she is indeed a fine one for she had a life filled achievements. (full text).


Fatima Jinnah – Pakistan (1893 – 1967)

… Miss Fatima Jinnah initially lived with her brother for about eight years till 1918, when he got married to Rutanbai. Upon Rutanbai’s death in February 1929, Miss Jinnah wound up her clinic, moved into Jinnah’s bungalow, and took charge of his house; thus beginning the life-long companionship that lasted till Jinnah’s death on September 11, 1948. (full text).

Fatima Jinnah called ‘Fatima Jinnah Bhutto’, August 1st, 2008.

Her book: My Brother.

ISLAMABAD, July 22: Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, senior adviser to the prime minister on Tuesday said Akbar Pirbhai, nephew of the Quaid-i-Azam, had told President Ayub Khan that Miss Fatima Jinnah was assassinated, and had demanded a judicial inquiry into the matter, which was turned down. Mr Pirzada, who was quoted by a section of the press as saying on Monday that he himself had seen blood stains on the bed sheet and cuts on the neck of Miss Jinnah, said that he was grossly misquoted by the press … (full text, July 23, 2003).

Find her and her publications on ;
on book on Fatima Jinnah: on MILLAT; on Google Image-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

Full text of her biographies on Millat’s page.

… Next, Guha points out the dearth of biography. But again, only if we (for unknown reasons) stick to English. In his talk he mentions Fatima Jinnah as one individual ignored by historians. He cites that in Ayesha Jalal’s book on Jinnah, there is no entry in the index on Fatima. But, here is the deal, Guha ji. Fatima Jinnah has had numerous, numerous, histories and biographies written in Urdu … (full text).

On September 24, 1948, after the demise of Quaid-e-Azam Mohamed Ali Jinnah, his sister Fatima Jinnah and Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan submitted a joint petition at the Karachi High Court describing Jinnah as a `Shia Khoja Mohamedan’ and praying that his will be disposed of under Shia inheritance law. On February 6, 1968, after Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah’s demise, her sister Shirin Bai moved an application claiming Fatima Jinnah’s property under Shia inheritance law because the deceased was a Shia … (full text, May 23, 1998).

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John Knox – Scottland-England (1505-1572)

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(See also: Disambiguation John Knox – and wikipedia’s Human name disambiguation pages)

Linked with The International Reformed Center John Knox IRCJK, with John Knox and women, and with Découvert un trésor des TPG Genevois, le  Site NonOfficiel des tpg SNOTPG – le Site NonOfficiel des TPG.

John Knox (c. 1510 – 24 November 1572) was a Scottish clergyman and leader of the Protestant Reformation who is considered the founder of the Presbyterian denomination. He was educated at the University of St Andrews and worked as a notary-priest. Influenced by early church reformers such as George Wishart, he joined the movement to reform the Scottish church. He was caught up in the ecclesiastical and political events that involved the murder of Cardinal Beaton in 1546 and the intervention of the regent of Scotland, Mary of Guise. He was taken prisoner by French forces the following year and exiled to England on his release in 1549 … // … On his return to Scotland, he led the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Protestant nobility. The movement may be seen as a revolution, since it led to the ousting of the queen regent, Mary of Guise, who governed the country in the name of her young daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots. Knox helped write the new confession of faith and the ecclesiastical order for the newly created reformed church, the Kirk. He continued to serve as the religious leader of the Protestants throughout Mary’s reign. In several interviews with the queen, Knox admonished her for supporting Catholic practices. Eventually, when she was imprisoned and James VI enthroned in her stead, he openly ridiculed her in sermons. He continued to preach until his final days … (full long text).(More on wikipedia: 1) Early life, 1510–1546, 2) Embracing the Protestant Reformation, 1546–1547, 3) Confinement in the French galleys, 1547–1549, 4) Exile in England, 1549–1554 , 5) From Geneva to Frankfurt and Scotland, 1554–1556, 6) Return to Geneva, 1556–1559, 7) Revolution and end of the regency, 1559–1560, 8) Reformation in Scotland, 1560–1561, 9) Knox and Queen Mary, 1561–1564, 10) Final years in Edinburgh, 1564–1572, 11) Legacy, 12) Selected works, 13) Notes, 14) References, 14.1) Primary sources, 14.2) Secondary sources … ).

.. ..

left: John Knox – Scottland-England (1505-1572) – right: eternally in Geneva

He says: A man with God is always in the majority … and: Quhat have ye to do, said sche [Mary Queen of Scots], ‘with my Mariage ? Or quhat ar ye in this Common-welth?’ … ‘A Subject borne within the sam’, said he [John Knox}, ‘Madem … and: And albeit I be nyther Erle, Lord, nor Barron within it, yit hes God maid me (how abject that eveir I be in your Eies) a profitabill Member within the sam’ … (full text, scroll down),

… It would not be beneficial in this article to transcribe the entire History of the Reformation by D’Aubingne, or The Reformation in Scotland by John Knox, when one can much more conveniently buy the books, and others like them, and read them at their leisure.  This is simply a short timeline of events and people leading up to the Puritans and their mark on history.  It is a terse depiction of those who were used of God to prepare theology for the development of the Puritan mind … (full text).

… John Knox was responsible for bringing Calvinism to Scotland. Still independent, Scotland had been prepared for reform by the Lollards, by humanists, and by a strong nationalist sentiment. Returning from exile in Geneva, Knox joined the Scot’s cause against Catholicism, and against the French headed by Mary, Queen of Scots. The Scottish Parliament established Protestantism in 1560, and a Confession of Faith and Book of Discipline followed, based on uncompromising Calvinism. (on Ken

John Knox was born in Haddington, a town not far from Edinburgh, and he went to university there, briefly, before starting work as a lawyer. In 1546 he supported the murder of David Beaton, Archbishop of St Andrews, and was imprisoned for 18 months on a French galley (The French Mary of Guise, widow of James V, was Regent of Scotland at this time) … and he wrote: “to promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion or empire above any realm is repugnant to nature, contrary to God.” This was aimed at Mary of Guise but Queen Elizabeth of England, who came to the throne in the same year, took it personally … (full text).

Find him and his publications on the John Knox Resource; on Index of images and TShirts; on wikipedia /selected works; on Creeds of Christendom (their Homepage).

Find the reformation on the Catolic Encyclopedia; on the BBC; on le poulet gauche /the left chicken); on Univ. Hannover; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Blog-search; on Google Image-search.

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James Cogan – Australia

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(Disambiguate with James Cogan, a member of the Ottawa Social Media Meetup Group)

Linked with Iranian regime reacts to Obama’s election.

James Cogan, 37, has been a staff writer for the World Socialist Web Site since 1998. Raised in the Victorian town of Bendigo /Australia, James enlisted in the Australian Army at the age of 17, serving with the infantry until 1990. Opposed to the Hawke-Keating Labor government and the first US-led war against Iraq, James joined the SLL in 1991. He moved to Sydney in 1994 and was elected branch and then Sydney Area Secretary. Over the past four years James has written extensively on the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. His regular articles documenting the ongoing atrocities of US imperialism and its allies in the Middle East are followed by a growing international audience. In 2004 he represented the SEP in the federal seat of Kingsford-Smith, opposing Labor’s Peter Garrett. (Socialist Equality Party SEP).

His personal website: is the deferential home for the personal thoughts, news and opinions of a Canadian entrepreneur, husband, father of two boys and founder of the dailypixel Network.

He tells on his blog: … Amassing over a million downloads in under seven days, ‘The Dark Knight’ is by far the most pirated movie of this week. Earlier this year, Cam and DVD-screener versions of the latest in the Batman series already found their way onto the Internet, making this blockbuster the most pirated movie of 2008 … That leads to the inevitable question; is movie piracy the big villain that the movie industry would like us to believe it is? Or has piracy to some degree become a precursor for box office success? In other words, if nobody is pirating and downloading your movie, is it doomed to fail? … (full text, Nov. 21, 2008).


James Cogan – Australia

Watch his video: Rudd and Howard prepare to back US attack on Iran, 4.43 min, November 11, 2007.

He writes: 2 days after making history and being elected the next President of the United States, Barack Obama registers the domain name Change was his primary brand message, now it’s his primary domain name. Smart fella that Obama is (Obama gets it – on his website).

An increasing number of politicians, diplomats, military commanders and media commentators are describing the US-led occupation of Afghanistan as a failure and warning that American and NATO forces face defeat at the hands of a strengthening resistance movement led by the Islamist Taliban movement. The most prominent example in the past week has been a comment published in the British Independent on October 20 by David Davis, a Conservative Party parliamentarian. He has been promoted by various liberals and “lefts” in Britain as a defender of civil liberties, due to his opposition to aspects of the Labour government’s anti-terrorism laws … (full text, Oct. 24, 2008).

Find him and his publications on a Google compilation of his articles on WSWS; on Google Book-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

… If the security agreement is passed by the Iraqi parliament and comes into effect on January 1, 2009, it will represent one more milestone in the reduction of Iraq to the status of a US client-state. The next step will be the negotiation of a formal “Strategic Framework Agreement”, or long-term defence treaty that will govern the operations of US forces in the country after December 31, 2011. Far from “bringing the troops home”, an Obama administration will preside over the indefinite deployment of tens of thousands of US military personnel in Iraq and attempt to complete the neo-colonial operation initiated by the Bush White House. (full text, 19 November 2008).

He asks: … That leads to the inevitable question; is movie piracy the big villain that the movie industry would like us to believe it is? Or has piracy to some degree become a precursor for box office success? In other words, if nobody is pirating and downloading your movie, is it doomed to fail? Maybe the Dark Knight is the exception, not the rule. With its big budget aesthetics, perhaps many people who pirated the movie simply had their appetite whetted with the pirated version and then subsequently went to the theater to see it on the big screen to get the full experience. I’m not sure what the answer is, but it appears that piracy alone can’t be blamed for the overall downturn in box office revenues … (full text, Nov. 21, 2008).

He writes also: … Without US support, the Kurdish factions have no possibility of achieving their ambitions. In Kirkuk, in particular, the result may well be escalating communal conflict and, potentially, civil war between the KRG and the US-backed Baghdad government or a Turkish military intervention. Even as the Bush administration hails its “surge” as a major success, the lurches and shifts in its policies have only fuelled antagonisms between rival Iraqi factions and generated new recriminations against the US occupation. (full text, February 11, 2008).

Le cabinet irakien temporise sur l’accord de sécurité américain, Nov. 1, 2008.

US carries out more airstrikes in Pakistan, November 3, 2008.

Turkish military again strikes Kurdish areas in northern Iraq, 7 February 2008.

Iraq: US military extends its offensive into the northern city of Mosul, 30 January 2008.

De-Baathification laws modified by Iraq’s parliament, 17 January 2008.

Ölpreisverfall untergräbt die Stabilität des Regimes im Iran, 12. November 2008.

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Sulak Sivaraksa – Thailand

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Linked with Sulak Sivaraksa’s arrest raises free speech fears, and with Global problem-solving: A Buddhist perspective.

Sulak Sivaraksa is founder and director of the Thai NGO Sathirakoses-Nagapradeepa Foundation. Besides being the initator of a number of social, humanitarian, ecological and spiritual movements and organizations in Thailand, like the College SEM (Spirit in Education Movement) Sulak Sivaraksa is known in the West as one of the fathers of International Network of Engaged Buddhists INEB, which, in 1987 was established by leading Buddhists like the 14th Dalai Lama, the Vietnamese monk and peace-activist Thich Nhat Hanh and the Theravada Bhikkhu Maha Ghosananda. When Sulak Sivaraksa was awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize Right Livelihood Award he became known to a wider public in Europe and the USA. Sulak was chair of the Asian Cultural Forum on Development and has been a visiting professor at UC Berkeley, the University of Hawaii and Cornell … // … Sulak was a strong critic of deposed Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. He publicly accused Thaksin of adultery at rallies organized by the People’s Alliance for Democracy. However, he has never cited any evidence for his claims. During a protest on 26 February 2006, Sulak called Thaksin a pitifiul dog. Sulak’s comments were condemned by Somsri Hananantasuk, Chairperson of Amnesty International (Thailand), who said that such words could provoke violence. In 2007, he spoke out against proposals to declare Buddhism Thailand’s ‘national religion’ in the new constitution, arguing that to do so would exacerbate the existing conflict in southern Thailand … (full text).

Sulak Sivaraksa is the co-founder of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists and is counted with such luminaries as the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh as one of the most important leaders of Engaged Buddhism. In Thailand S. Sivaraksa has established himself as an outspoken social critic, prolific author and a compelling speaker. His books in English include an autobiography, When Loyalty Demands Dissent‘and a book of essays titled Seeds of Peace. In Thailand his titles include, A Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society and Siam in Crisis. His most recent initiatives are Alternatives to Consumerism and the Spirit in Education Movement, both focused on offering alternatives to western cultural models. He is often called the father of Thai civil society … (full text).

Sulak Sivaraksa’s blog with his Bio.


Sulak Sivaraksa – Thailand

Watch this video: Sulak Sivaraksa: Democracy in Thailand Speech 1/4, 5.02 min, Nov 24, 2008; and: Thailand’s best-known social critic arrested for royal insult, Nov 6, 2008.

His arrest in all languages:

… Mr Sulak was arrested at his home in Bangkok by Khon Kaen police on Thursday for making remarks deemed to constitute lese majeste during his speech to new students at Khon Kaen University on Dec 11 last year. The arrest warrant was issued in the northeastern province on Sept 22. Mr Sulak denied the charge after being taken to Khon Kaen for interrogation yesterday. Afterwards, the dean of the university’s law faculty, Kittibordee Yaipool, bailed him out. Lawyer Somchai Homla-or questioned the timing of the arrest as it took place after his client had criticised convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra … (full text, Nov. 8, 2008).

(He became the Alternative Nobel Prize Right Livelihood Award) … for his vision, activism and spiritual commitment in the quest for a development process that is rooted in democracy, justice and cultural integrity (1995) …

He says also: We have more than enough programs, organisations, parties, and strategies in the world for the alleviation of suffering and injustice … Radical transformation of society requires personal and spiritual change first or at least simultaneously … People seeking to live spiritually must be concerned with their social and physical environment. (on Better World Links).

Find him and his publications on openDemocracy; on amazon; on his blog; on Google News-search (on 28.11.08 /concerning his arrest); on Google Video-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

… In particular, we strongly support the peaceful expressions of the loving-kindness and compassions for the Burmese society by the Buddhist monks across Burma. We also support their demands for the SPDC to offer their apologies to the monks:

  • To reduce all commodity prices, fuel prices, rice and cooking oil prices immediately,
  • To release all political prisoners including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and all detainees arrested in ongoing demonstrations over fuel price hike,
  • To enter into dialogue with democratic forces and ethnic nationalities for national reconciliation immediately, and
  • To resolve the crises and difficulties facing and suffering by the people,

… (full text).

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Maxine Waters – USA

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inked with Congresswoman Waters Calls on USAID to Save the Lives of Children Starving in Haiti, and with

Maxine Waters (born Maxine Moore Carr on August 15, 1938) has served as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1991, representing California’s 35th congressional district (map). She resides in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, which is approximately six miles west of downtown. Her husband, Sidney Williams, is a former U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas … (full text).

She is member of the United States House of Representatives (last modified on 26 November 2008).

She says: “I have a right to my anger, and I don’t want anybody telling me I shouldn’t be, that it’s not nice to be, and that something’s wrong with me because I get angry” … in Brian Lanker, I Dream a World, 1989.

Her official House website. She writes there: Following the historic election of Barack Obama as our nation’s next President, many Americans have expressed an interest in attending the Inauguration Ceremony in Washington on January 20, 2009. Tickets to the ceremony are free and will be distributed through the offices of Members of Congress and U.S. Senators. If you live in the 35th Congressional District and are interested in attending the Inauguration, please send an e-mail to * and include the following information: … If you do not live in Congresswoman Waters’ district, you should contact your Representative. More information is available at this Senate’s webpage … (full text).


Maxine Waters – USA

Watch the videos:

Her press release on October 2, 2008: Homeless Emergency Assistance & Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2008.

Some of her Floor Statements:

… Harman said she planned to reserve some tickets for local elected officials, as well as 14 for her staffers. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, found herself even more besieged by requests from eager constituents. Last week she had gotten more than 2,000 requests, with many more coming in every day. Waters was trying to increase her allotment of tickets by appealing to Republicans in very conservative districts to give up some of their share … (full text, Nov. 23, 2008).

Votes database for Maxine Waters.

And she says: … “I have known Rodney Hubbard for many years. His heart is with the people of St. Louis. He is a fighter and I am proud to call him my friend,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), a St. Louis native.  While in town for a Congressional hearing on urban development, Waters took the opportunity to endorse her longtime friend, State Representative Rodney Hubbard, in his campaign for state senate” … (full text).

Find her and her publications on her press releases as US Representative; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

… Hurricane Katrina recovery has been a high priority for Rep. Waters, who has made repeated visits to New Orleans and recently criticized the slow pace of housing recovery efforts during a hearing by the House Financial Services Committee in Washington. Waters heads that committee’s housing subcommittee. Waters will head to New Orleans the day after the convocation to lead a February 22-23 subcommittee field hearing. The congresswoman’s heavy schedule leading up to the hearing forced cancellation of early plans for an on-campus forum, but Waters will attend a luncheon with student leaders the day of her speech … (full text).

Maxine Waters on the Federal Election Commission, and her Issues and Quotes.

Positions and Views: Prior to the election of “superstar” Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois), Waters was considered the United States’ most prominent African-American legislator. She is considered by some to be an outspoken champion for the underprivileged and underrepresented. Her no-nonsense left-wing rhetoric makes her a favorite quote for reporters, as well as a frequent target for the wrath of right-wing pundits. As a first-term representative, she gained fame by walking into the Oval Office and telling then-President George H.W. Bush that “[his] time was up.” Waters co-chaired the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton … (full text).

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb – Lebanon and USA

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Linked with renegade trader with renegade ideas – that work, and with Philosophy Talk.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb (born 1960) (alternative spellings of first name: Nessim or Nissim) is a literary essayist, epistemologist, polymath, scholar of randomness and knowledge, researcher, and former practitioner of mathematical finance. As a pioneer of complex financial derivatives, he held a “day job” in a lengthy senior trading and financial mathematics career in a number of New York City’s Wall Street firms, before starting a second career as a scholar in the epistemology of chance events to focus on his project of mapping how to live and act in a world we do not understand, and how to come to grips with randomness and the unknown – which includes his black swan theory of unexpected rare events. Taleb’s extremely idiosyncratic literary approach consists of providing a modern-day brand of philosophical tale by mixing narrative fiction, often semi-autobiographical, with erudition and scientific commentary … (full text).

Learn more on:

His Bio on

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an influential scholar who has written several books on randomness and the effect it has in our lives. I’ve heard great things about his books and have wanted to read them, so I thought I would start with Fooled by Randomness, which seeks to explore the effect randomness, rather than skill, has on our own success: … (full text, May 29, 2008).

He says: “My major hobby is teasing people who take themselves and the quality of their knowledge too seriously and those who don’t have the guts to sometimes say: I don’t know”.

His Homepage.


Nassim Nicholas Taleb – Lebanon and USA

Watch the videos:

Listen this audio: Predicting the future, 54.05 min, Oct. 21, 2007.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb: the prophet of boom and doom. When this man said the world’s economy was heading for disaster, he was scorned. Now traders, economists, even Nasa, are clamouring to hear him speak. Watch the video of 2.46 min, June 1, 2008.

He writes: … Last August, The Wall Street Journal published a statement by one Matthew Rothman, financial economist, expressing his surprise that financial markets experienced a string of events that “would happen once in 10,000 years”. A portrait of Mr Rothman accompanying the article reveals that he is considerably younger than 10,000 years; it is therefore fair to assume he is not drawing his inference from his own empirical experience but from some theoretical model that produces the risk of rare events, or what he perceives to be rare events … (full text, October 23 2007).

How Nassim Taleb turned the inevitability of disaster into an investment strategy, April 22 & 29, 2002.

Quotes by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 4 Nov 2008.

The black swan survival guide, 24 November 2008.

Other analysts, however, like Nouriel Roubini and Robert Shiller have seen their reputations blossom. And some like Nassim Nicholas Taleb have prospered amidst the carnage. An options trader turned philosopher … (full text, November 4, 2008).

He says also: “We humans are naturally gullible – disbelieving requires an extraordinary expenditure of energy. It is a limited resource. I suggest ranking the skepticism by its consequences on our lives. True, the dangers of organized religion used to be there — but they have been gradually replaced with considerably ruthless and unintrospective social-science ideology” … THE OPIATES OF THE MIDDLE CLASSES, by Nassim Taleb, Sept. 26, 2005.

Find him and his publications on YouTube; on Google Video-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi – USA

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… I hoped with all my might that Obama would win the presidency and end the reign of terror that the Bush Administration has inflicted on the world. Much more needs to be said about the historical significance of a White House with black residents, but not here. I am jubilant that he has won and apprehensive about how soon he and his administration will capitulate to the habitual politics of the District of Columbia. Obama has the power to resist the current, but he won’t. To do that, he would have to launch a paradigmatic shift in the way politics is taught, thought of, and practiced in this country … (full text).

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi is an Assistant Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, who specializes in transnational and global histories in the Middle Eastern postcolonial context.  He studies social movements and intellectual articulations of Islamic conceptions of modernity.  He is currently completing a manuscript entitled Islam and Dissent in Postrevolutionary Iran: Abdolkarim Soroush and the Religious Foundations of Political Reform, to be published by I. B. Tauris & St. Martin’s Press. (on Payvand /Iran News, March 3, 2008).

… He has published in varieties of academic journals such as International Sociology, International Review of Social History, Migration Review, Critique, and others. His teaching interests include transnational and global histories, contemporary histories of the Middle East, Islam and modernity, revolution, social theory, social movements, and politics and power … (History at Illinois).


Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi – USA

Could Obama Transcend The Iron Cage Of The White House? 14 Nov, 2008.

He writes: … Once compared to all other coercive and military measures, the following six-point plan to resolve the crisis offers concrete benefits for both sides. The major costs of this solution (comparing to the possible hundreds of thousands of deaths, immense destruction of Iranian cities, and colossal economic price for both sides) are symbolic, for the most part, and require prevailing over issues of pride and prejudice: … (full text).

Contentious Public Religion: Two Conceptions of Islam in Revolutionary Iran, Ali Shari`ati and Abdolkarim Soroush: Two Conceptions of Islam in Revolutionary Iran “Ali Shari`ati and Abdolkarim Soroush” is an article published in International Sociology Vol. 19 No. 4 (pp. 504-523) by Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi. In this article he tries to makes a comparison between Ali Shari`ati and Abdolkarim Soroush before and after the Iranian revolution of 1979 … (full text).

… Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, assistant professor of sociology at Georgia State University, said that since World War II the United States has claimed to promote democracy but has failed to back its affirmations with action. Democracy is basically a shibboleth that we put on the table to justify our own policy, he said. Instead, he said, the United States has often supported tyrannical regimes in order to promote stability and prevent the spread of communism. The Cold War created a tendency of shortsightedness and narrow-mindedness in U.S. foreign policy, he said … (full text).

The World Isn’t Florida and the US Isn’t Its Supreme Leader in Iran’s Elections, by BEHROOZ GHAMARI-TABRIZ, Dec. 18, 2006.

Find him and his publications on amazon; on allBookstores; on MacMillan books;  on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

The 1980-88 war between Iran and Iraq war claimed close to one million lives on both sides of the conflict. In Iran, the war displaced four to five million people and left a legacy of collective trauma that has directly affected more than fifteen percent of the country?s population. Professor Ghamari-Tabrizi plans to examine how Iran?s veterans have expressed, maintained, and transformed their war-time experiences as they cope with the war?s residual trauma. His project follows a three-part research scheme: … (full text).

Amid the confusion and chaos surrounding Hurricane Katrina, the University’s Teachers for Peace and Justice helped students cope with their many questions. The activist group sponsored a “Teach-In” entitled “Katrina and Other Human Disasters” on Wednesday. The session was open to students and faculty members who were interested in discussing and learning more about Katrina. Teachers for Peace and Justice are faculty members who got together to organize open forum events for students to come and discuss their thoughts on pressing issues … // … The moderator and master of ceremonies for Wednesday night’s forum was Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, University professor of sociology and history … Topics of discussion included Hurricane Katrina’s link to Homeland Security, the unnatural elements of Katrina, the black Atlantic perspective on Katrina, projections of human-induced climate change and their influence on the new New Orleans, the state of grievance with the catastrophe and media coverage of the event …  (full text, Sept. 23, 2005).

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Youssef Chahine alias yousef shaheen – Egypt (1926 – 2008)

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Linked with The Patriarchal See of Alexandria, and with Youssef Chahine, the life-world of film.

Youssef Chahine ( January 25, 1926–July 27, 2008) was an Egyptian film director active in the Egyptian film industry since 1950. He was credited with launching the career of actor Omar Sharif. A critically acclaimed director frequently seen in film festivals during decades, Chahine also had his reach to wider international filmgoers’ audiences as one of the co-directors of 11′9″01 September 11 … (full text).

… Youssef Chahine has won many awards for his movies, including a lifetime achievement award on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival. He is a loved, well-known and respected film director around the world. A lot of actors in the world wish to work with him. I hope to follow in his footsteps in the future. (full text).

… Chahine’s work is rooted in the rich traditions of popular Arabic culture … (full text, 10 décembre 2007).

Adieu Chahine – Creativity has indeed lost one of its greatest champions. Youssef Chahine passed away on 27-07-08 in his home in Cairo … (full long text with photos and poems in arabic and in english, August 2, 2008) … Yousuf Shaheen’s funeral takes place in Cairo … on Global Voices … Youssef Chahine: an appreciation.

YOUSSEF CHAHINE, director of some 40 films, is probably the most independent of Arab film-makers, producing what he thinks is important, even at his own expense, and raising issues that disturb … (full text, 01 August, 2003).

Welcome page of his official website.


Youssef Chahine alias yousef shaheen – Egypt (1926 -2008)

Watch these videos in arabic:

Grande figure des cinématographies arabes, Youssef Chahine a subi le sort de nombre de grands auteurs des cinémas du Sud : la reconnaissance internationale et la marginalisation dans son pays. Mais par l’énergie de sa veine populaire, son impertinence et son refus de l’intégrisme, il a su incarner la voix d’un cosmopolitisme engagé, agissant comme la conscience de ces cinématographies … (longue Bio en francais).

Youssef Chahine, le cinéaste Egyptien, hospitalisé, 17/06/2008.

Addio a Youssef Chahine, il maestro del cinema egiziano, Lug 27, 2008.

Find him and his publications - as Youssef Chahine - on amazon with DVDs; on IMDb; on his website /films; on Middle East Times; on; on Alex Cinema; on Film; on Movie Industry today; on wikipedia /filmography; on Google Video-search; = Youssef Chahine); on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

And find him and his publications – as yousef shaheen – on arab film posters; on technorati (with many mouvies); on yahoo movies; on Google Video-search; on; on Google Book-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

He said: … ‘Our Leaders are Ignorant and Corrupt, and Continue to Embarrass Us’. “There are supposed to be among us many who are expert and talented, whose role is to think, because our leaders are ignorant and corrupt, and continue to embarrass us inconceivably – except that they have strangled our freedom. We have reached a situation where an Egyptian strikes an Egyptian and an Arab strikes an Arab. At the beginning of the Kuwait war [i.e., the first Gulf War], Bush Sr. asked us to send 50,000 men [to fight against the Iraqi army], and we sent them. I personally knew that half the Iraqi army was Egyptians, because I used to go to Iraq” … (full interview text, June 16, 2004).

… THIS IS CHAOS (2007): Chahine’s last film was co-directed by Khaled Youssef, as Chahine’s failing health prevented him from making the greater part of the film. Yet because of the film’s sensitive subject matter of police brutality in contemporary Egypt, it was a laudable act of Chahine’s in insisting that his name appear on the film in addition to that of Youssef, since this gave the film, and its main director, some measure of protection. This is Chaos was the last film by Chahine to be shown at international festivals, and it was screened last year at the Venice Film Festival. (full text, 31 July – 6 August 2008).

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Lara Shankar – India

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Linked with India: Homeless Street Children, and with Children’s Rights and You CRY.
Added Dec. 4, 2008: and linked with Shabana Azmi – India.

Lara Shankar is a social worker and child-rights activist who has spent over five years working with street children and addressing issues concerning children and their rights. After completing her master’s in child development from Lady Irwin College, Delhi University, Lara has worked with several organizations, including Salaam Baalak Trust, Butterflies, Youthreach, Childline India Foundation and Child Rights and You (CRY) in Delhi and Mumbai. She continues to research, document and fight for the realization of child rights. Lara Shankar lives in Mumbai with her husband, Manu Chandra, a strategy and management consultant. (Penguin books India), presenting her book: Midway Station: Real-Life Stories of Homeless Children, Oktober 2006; (also on; on online; and on amazon).


Sorry, no photo found for Lara Shankar, India (… and no other text found about her bio and work than her book’s presentation. Despite this, I want her work to be acknowledged.
More down you may find some more NGOs and articles regarding Street Children in India)

She writes: … The Juvenile Justice System in India claims to exist for the care, protection, rehabilitation and development of neglected and delinquent children. Children who are without homes must derive good from this system and find a place where they feel safe, protected and cared for. However, inspite of these noble intentions, the children feel anything but benefited. More often than not, they are forcibly brought to these socalled ‘homes’ and the general feeling among them is that they have been ‘caught’ and put into ‘jails’. They recall being beaten, held by the neck and taken to juvenile welfare courts, without being given any explanation. “When the hearing for children takes place at the children’s courts, the magistrate asks us if we have anything to say. But they do all the proceedings in English and then they just take us out of the room. We do not get a chance to speak,” claimed a 14-year-old boy living in an observation home … (full text in Voices of the Future, not dated).

There are millions of children in India today who spend their childhood on the streets, in railway stations and jail-like shelters, living on the edge and taking each day as it comes. Some have been abandoned; others have chosen to run away from harsher realities at home; yet others have been born on the streets and know no other life. In Midway Station child-rights activist Lara Shankar records the voices of eleven such children living in shelters in Delhi. We meet, among others, Mohan, who hopped on to a train in Chennai when he was four to escape from his stepmother; Allam, who sends money to his mother whenever he can and visits her in Bihar during Id; and Rani, who thinks life in the shelter is too comfortable and looks back with nostalgia on her days as a domestic servant. What emerges from these narratives is a nightmarish world of poverty and neglect, rape and murder, Mafiosi-like gangs and police brutality. Yet there are redemptive stories of courage too, of friendships made and kindnesses repaid. Poignant and hard-hitting, these real-life stories of homeless children are testimony to their resilience in the face of adversity, their will to carry on and determination to build a life of dignity. ‘The author discovers a world most of us close our eyes to. It is the world of homeless children living rootless, incomplete lives. Midway Station is a work of care and concern and an effort to make all of us think of the invisible and underprivileged child, who is also the face of tomorrow’s India.’ -Shabana Azmi, actor and social worker … (on sifyMall). Same on;

Street Children in India – some NGOs and articles:

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