Your Search Results

Index May 2006

Comment first! »

V. Mohini Giri – India

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of Guild of Service – India.

Linked also with our presentation of Transforming Approaches to Conflict Resolution.

She says: “The building of peace is a constructive activity. There is nothing passive about either the concept or the state of peace”.

V. Mohini Giri – India

Dr. V. Mohini Giri has served as Chairperson of the Guild of Service since 1979. Guild of Service is a social service organization which, among its projects, helps the displaced widows of India. Dr. Giri has also served as Founder President of the War Widow Association since 1971 and as Founder Trustee of the Women’s Initiative for Peace in South Asia since 2000. A social activist and leader in the women’s movement, specializing in human rights and gender justice, Dr. Giri is renowned both nationally and internationally for her committed work in empowering women politically, socially, legally and economically.

Continue Reading…

Jeremy Corbyn – England

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentations of Make Poverty History – Treat Humanity properly, and also of Towards a global solidarity. See also Remembering British Unions.

He said about his proudest achievement in parliament since 1997: “The detention of General Pinochet for 503 days in Britain helped to change the political climate in Chile, which means there is now a real prospect of him being put on trial. I am delighted that the government has put so much money into housing repairs, but in a second term they must put money into new council housing in London”.

Jeremy Corbyn – England

In January 2003 he visted the US to conduct and participate to anti-Irak-war demonstrations. See all texts and photos on this page of the Traprock Peace Center.

Excerpt of a debate about War-on-Iraq: … Of the speeches that stick in my memory – obviously Tony Blair’s speech. Not that I agreed with it, in fact I intervened on it. Kenneth Clarke I thought made a very strong case and Chris Smith made I thought a very logical case against the war, and Tam [Dalyell]. It was a day when, while there was a three-line whip on, obviously there was huge pressure being put on, in a sense, with the numbers opposed it would be impossible to completely whip on that. It would have to be done by persuasion. That’s why enormous effort was put into the persuasion of MPs, including alleged threats and dangers, and endless lists of who might vote against, who might abstain. We, at one stage, found we had a list of 200 plus Labour MPs who were possibly going to vote against – and we ended up with a 139, plus Dennis Skinner (who was very ill in hospital and couldn’t be there, but I always include Dennis in the anti vote).

Continue Reading…

Yan Christian Warinussy – Indonesia

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of Statement … The West Papua Case.

And linked with our presentation of Petition Letter the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization.

Indonesia maintains control over West Papua, using military might to deny the indigenous peoples their human rights and silence demands for self-determination. Since its invasion in 1963, an estimated 100,000 Papuans, about 15% of the population, have been killed by Indonesian armed forces and militias. Read more on Canada’s West Papua Action Network.

westpapuaIndonesia.jpg

Mr. Warinussy’s untiring efforts for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in West Papua have made him a role-model for his community and for future generations. Confronted with summary executions, torture, sexual violence and massive appropriation of indigenous land by Indonesia’s armed forces and multinational companies, Mr. Warrinussy works tirelessly towards ending impunity for those who commit these crimes against humanity and the environment of his homeland. (Read more on this page of Pacific Peoples’ Partnership PPP).

Yan Christian Warinussy – Indonesia

2005 John Humphrey Freedom Award – Rights & Democracy is honored to present Papuan human rights activist Yan Christian Warinussy with the 2005 John Humphrey Freedom Award.

Continue Reading…

Bahey El-Din Hassan – Egypt

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentations of The prisoner as message, and of Human Rights… The Sacrifice on its Feast Day!.

Linked also with the presentations of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network EMHRN, and of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies CIHRS.

He says (excerpt): “International initiatives are particularly important because Arab governments turn a deaf ear to internal calls for reforms and even suppress reformists, while they pay more attention to external initiatives.Chances of success of initiatives of the International Community initiatives are however enhanced if they meet the principles of the calls for reforms from within the Arab region”. (See fidh.org).

Bahey El-Din Hassan – Egypt

See Arab Reform Bulletin March 2006.

He says also: “With the growth of the human rights movement in the Arab world, there are several tasks that must be accomplished. They can be divided into three groups: First: Policy-Oriented Tasks … , Second: Institutional Tasks … , Third: Intellectual Tasks … “. (Read this all on The Human Rights Databank).

Continue Reading…

Veronica Khosa – South Africa

Comment first! »

Linked with the presentation of SOS Social Centre Mamelodi – South Africa.

Linked also with our presentation of Successful Social Entrepreneurs … a book review.

Veronica Khosa saw that the health care system in South Africa was unable to manage the AIDS crisis. A nurse by trade, she had visited hundreds of people with AIDS who were suffering alone in their homes, with no one around to provide simple care or pain relief. In response, she founded Tateni Home Care Nursing Services and instituted a community-based model capable of addressing the AIDS pandemic at the enormous scale of the problem. She spent years developing and professionalizing her basic home-care model, instituting an innovative system to provide training to thousands of unemployed youths so they could offer effective care to the people in their communities and families.

Veronica Khosa – South Africa

The government has adopted her model for the largest state in South Africa and it has since spread to more than fifty localities. Through the recognition of the world’s leading health organizations, the idea is spreading beyond South Africa. Khosa is now developing a community-based response to orphan care that she plans to spread nationally. (Read more on how to change the world).

Veronica Khosa is the coordinator and founder of Tateni home-based care organization. She sought out the partnership with SOS in order to address the overwhelming orphan problem she was confronted with when terminally ill patients who were receiving care from her organization passed away. “When SOS agreed to partner I was so happy to know that I was not alone – I had someone else to share burden.” When Veronica established Tateni it was the first home-based care project in South Africa. Formerly employed as a government nurse, Veronica was confronted by the fact that the hospitals had very little to offer PLWHAs in the way of care. She realized that to address the needs of people who were ill, their families had to be taught how to care for them. With regard to children from affected families, Veronica remarks, “How would you discover the situation ofchildren that need care, unless you go into the homes?” Veronica hopes that the partnership between SOS and Tateni will be able to further expand into the community and reach out to even more needy children. (Read more on SOS childrend’s villages).

She is also one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Continue Reading…

Medha Patkar – India

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of Narmada Bachao Andolan – India.

Linked also with the presentation of The Narmada Dam Project – India.

She says (excerpt): “The first and the foremost are the development issues, which people are raising wherever they are questioning the development process. The point is that the communities which are based on the natural resources are compelled to sacrifice those resources in the name of development, with the principle of eminent domain that the state resorts to. The state takes away these natural resources from the communities, the fish workers, the farmers, or manual labourers. It certainly stands by the marketized, industrialized, urbanized communities, and that small section of the society then uses these resources or the benefits drawn out of these resources at the cost of all those who loose theirs. This society certainly doesn’t give a real share in the benefits to those who sacrifice their land, water, forests. This is considered as a part and parcel of development and the tradeoff that is necessary”. (Read the rest of this very long interview on India Together, about The face of the Narmada).

Medha Patkar – India

She is also one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Among India’s most dynamic activists, Medha tai or Medha didi, as she is called by schoolchildren and police alike, knows the Narmada Valley hamlet by hamlet. Equally fleetfooted on the narrow mountain paths with only a torch and the light of the moon and stars, or on the Indian Railways where all the Ticket Collectors (TCs) are familiar with her travelling karyalaya — documents, banners, pamphlets — Medha Patkar follows the truth to its lair.

Continue Reading…

Willy Randin – Switzerland

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of Nouvelle Planète.

Texts about Willy Randin himself are seldom and they are most in french. What can be found in the internet is about his devoted work for what is called the south, the poors, women, projects in emerging countries. But this work is so important, so I’ll do my best:

Willy Randin – Switzerland

The founder (of the NGO Nouvelle Planète) Willy Randin, who used to direct the hospital, and Maurice Lack, an architect specialized in bioclimatics, proposed a project based on renewable sources of energy. Research was conducted in this direction, but the people in charge of the Albert Schweizer hospital were not interested by the project. Instead of simply abandoning their ideas, Maurice Lack and Willy Randin wanted to develop the appropriate technologies with interested people in other parts of the world. To do this, they founded the « Albert Schweizer Ecological Centre » (CEAS) and the «Sahel Action of Schweizer’s Work » (now « Nouvelle Planète »), in Switzerland.

At the time, Willy Randin was working for a big development agency in Switzerland, and he had been able to see the extent to which citizens had the desire to understand the reality of Southern countries, and to mobilize themselves in view of backing small projects by establishing direct relations with the beneficiaries. (See this page of Nouvelle Planète).

Books and articles in french, by Willy Randin:

Continue Reading…

Evaristo Nugkuag Ikanan – Peru

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of the KARI-OCA DECLARATION.

“…for organising to protect the rights of the indians of the amazon basin.”

He says: “We are now facing a difficult situation in Peru, where there are attempts to cut back the territorial rights of the indigenous peoples, including moves to divide, fragment and privatise our communal organisations. Now more than ever, it is a matter of urgency for us to consolidate our own indigenous alternatives for development.”

Evaristo Nugkuag Ikanan – Peru

1986 he was awarded for upholding the rights of the Amazon Indians.

Since the European invasion of South America in the 16th century, the indigenous peoples, and especially those of the Amazon, were confronted with various ‘civilising’ forces which brought the destruction of their lands, resources, cultures and rights, and even individual or mass killings. On the threshold of the 21st century , this reality still continues in different forms, using violent or subtle methods according to the country concerned. In this context, Evaristo Nugkuag Ikanan became a leader of the Aguaruna people of Peru and has devoted himself to organising the indigenous people of the Amazon Basin in order to uphold their human, civil, economic and political rights. In 1977, he was one of the founders of the Aguaruna and Huambisa Council (CAH) which represented 45,000 inhabitants of 140 communities in the tropical forest region. Developing alternative methods of land protection, human development, health care and education, the Council became one of the most effective indigenous organisations in South America …

Continue Reading…

Rita Thapa – Nepal

Comment first! »

She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Through Nagarik Awaz, Rita Thapa provides support to thousands of people whose lives have been turned upside down by the fallout of the Maoist insurgency in Nepal.

Rita Thapa – Nepal

She works for Tewa, and for Nagarik Awaz.

For the past 24 years, Rita Thapa (born 1952) has devoted her personal and professional life to founding and supporting institutions working for women’s empowerment and for the development of philanthropy and peace-building in Nepal. Through Tewa, established in 1996, she has worked for grassroots women throughout Nepal. Nagarik Awaz (Citizen’s Voice), set up in 2001, provides support to thousands of people whose lives have been turned upside down by the Maoist insurgency and the government’s overkill retaliation.As the Maoist insurgency in Nepal gained ground, Rita Thapa knew she could not sit on the sidelines and just watch her fellow countrymen and women kill each other. So, in 2001, this intrepid woman decided to found an organization, Nagarik Awaz (Citizen’s Voice), to help all those affected by the conflict, without taking sides.

As the situation in Nepal is deteriorating by the day, it is hard to talk of ‘results’ and ‘improvements’. But, clearly, the intervention of Thapa and her coworkers has had its impact.: A cadre of committed peace workers has been created, and their numbers are growing. Transit homes and temporary shelters have been set up to help the thousands of people internally displaced, injured and traumatized by the armed forces, whether Maoist or government.

Continue Reading…

Mahnaz Afkhami – Iran

Comment first! »

Linked with the presentation of Searching for the Sources of the Self.

Born in Kerman, Iran, Mahnaz Afkhami is a leading proponent of women’s rights in the Islamic world. She is president of Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) and executive director of the Foundation for Iranian Studies. She chaired the English department at the National University of Iran, founded the Association of Iranian University Women, and served as secretary general of the Women’s Organization of Iran and minister of state for women’s affairs prior to the Islamic revolution. She is the author of many books on women’s roles in the Islamic world, including Safe and Secure: Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls in Muslim Societies. (See scu.edu).

Mahnaz Afkhami – Iran

Ferdows Naficy and her two daughters, Mahnaz and Farah became independent women in America. When Ferdows decided to emigrate to the U.S., she opened the door for her daughters to later join her in California. Both would later return to Iran as adults, where they would be torn apart by Iranian politics during the reign of the shah. Mahnaz became a minister in the shah’s government and advocated for women’s rights, while Farah and her husband joined the cause of the revolution. Ultimately, Mahnaz and Farah had to flee Iran in fear for their lives. This is the lastest update from Mahnaz and Farah. (See pbs.org).

In exile in the United States, she has been a leading advocate for women’s rights for more than three decades. She serves on the boards and steering committees of several international organizations, including the World Movement for Democracy, the Commission on Globalization, the Global Fund for Women, the International League for Human Rights, and Women’s Human Rights Net. She has made numerous international radio and television appearances, including interviews on Australian Radio, the BBC, German Radio Network, Swedish Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, and CNN. Her publications include Women and the Law in Iran; In the Eye of the Storm: Women in Post-Revolutionary Iran; Faith and Freedom: Women’s Human Rights in the Muslim World; Safe and Secure: Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls in Muslim Societies; and Women in Exile. (See Omega Institute).

Continue Reading…

Fatoumata Dembélé Diarra – Mali

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of The International Association of Women Judges IAWJ.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Goes with ‘Assuming Authority‘.

She says: “Being able to help others is a great opportunity and a duty toward the most disempowered among us. I dedicate the Nobel Peace Prize 2005 to the victims of all forms of violence the world over.”

Fatoumata Dembélé Diarra – Mali

She works for the Observatoire des Droits de l’Enfant et de la Femme (ODEF), and for the Fédération Internationale des Femmes des carrières Juridiques (FIFCJ).

Fatoumata obtained a licence in human rights from the University of Dakar in 1971, a master in legal sciences from the national school of administration of Bamako (ENA) in 1974, and a diploma from the national legal school of Paris in 1977. She has done many university courses. She also has a rich career in the Malian judicial world.

After holding several portfolios in the different courts and courses, she finally became head of the national directorate of judicial matters.

It is for that position that the UN summoned her to the Criminal Court in the former Yugoslavia then to the all new CPI (International Criminal Court).

Continue Reading…

Bosiljka Schedlich – Germany & Croatia

Comment first! »

She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “The trauma of war fills all our cells with fear; healing allows a return to peace, to trust, as a human being.”

Bosiljka Schedlich, born in 1948 in what is today Croatia, founded the Southeast European Cultural Center in Berlin in 1991. Since then, some 30,000 war refugees from former Yugoslavia have received care, counseling, and therapy.

Bosiljka Schedlich – Germany & Croatia

Bosiljka led therapy groups of people traumatized from the war and soon became an expert on trauma. Meanwhile, many war refugees have returned voluntarily. Bosiljka and her colleagues have recreated their reconciliation projects in former war zones through sponsorships or “storytelling cafés” in which people can speak freely about their war experiences.Bosiljka Schedlich is a short woman whose large dark eyes radiate an astonishing mix of gentle motherly patience and strict precision. When she talks she gets right to the point, her psychological intuition is on target and her memory exact.

The 57-year old knows the long and complicated history of the war in former Yugoslavia only too well. In 1991, she founded the Southeast European Cultural Center in which some 30,000 war refugees have received care, counseling and therapy. After the end of the war in former Yugoslavia, many refugees returned more or less voluntarily. For them the center provides help with the return, arranges for supporting sponsorships, and runs reconciliation projects in the war zones. For example, the “storytelling cafés” in which people can talk freely about their war experiences in a pleasant coffee house atmosphere.

Continue Reading…

Khalida Messaoudi – Algeria

Comment first! »

In 1993, a handwritten envelope arrived in Khalida Messaoudi’s mailbox. In it was an official communique announcing that she had been condemned to death by the Islamic Salvation Front. This letter came after a series of threats and an attempt on her life in retaliation for her role as a leader of the feminist and democratic movements in Algeria and a fierce opponent of Islamic fundamentalism. Khalida Messaoudi did not flee from this threat by seeking refuge outside her country. Instead, she went into hiding within Algeria, where she continued her fight for emancipation and independence from religious extremism … to restore in Algeria what she describes as “the basics of dignity”—a woman’s right to pursue her studies, practice a profession, make a living, marry and divorce freely, and walk the streets without a veil. She is a former mathematics teacher.

Khalida Messaoudi – Algeria

She said in 1995: “More than 80 people a day have been killed by Islamic fundamentalists. They concentrated on journalists, because writers symbolize freedom of expression, which the fundamentalists find intolerable. Intellectuals, teachers, writers, thinkers – these are the people killed because it is they who defend traditional notions of liberty. But sometimes simple citizens were killed too, randomly, just for the purpose of terror. One day ordinary people may decide to say ‘No’ to the fundamentalists’ ambitions and they want to avoid that happening. They killed women who opposed their views of how we should behave. They cannot allow difference. That is why they insist on veils to cover the difference. They are fascists who claim Allah is on their side and that they are marching under the banner of righteousness.” (Read this and more on this Third World Traveler page).

Continue Reading…

Editor’s concerns

Comment first! »

I am not so much happy with my World People’s Blog. My goal is to show engaged humans wanting realise a good job for this humanity. To reach this goal I need written material available for me. But I do not want show V.I.P.s, as they have enough attention. I want give attention to the millions of us giving their best every day for a better world, people like you and me. They must have not only received some attention, but a public recognition of their work must have been put into an ENGLISH text, available for me in some public way (and with a copyright making not too much trouble). This makes that normal people is not enough presented in this blog, mainly those out of poor and not western countries, also women or minorities.

There are so many good persons in countries NOT writing in the latin alphabet, their internet sites showing any chineese, japaneese, arabian or kryllic text. Women of Muslim countries show not any photo, small people in poor countries have not any internet text. For exemple all the many women in the 1000-peace-women-project out of a Chineese country (China itself (108 names), Hongkong SAR (88 names), or Taiwan (99 names) ), they show all only texts of 4 to 5 lines, and they have often only group photos, one cannot see which woman is meant (same for almost all people out of the former UDSSR). And in Google images you can not distinguish each other of the hundreds of Li, Wang, Chang, Tian, Shang etc. etc., if any of them shows hopefully a text in english, and not only in chineese. Even good known human rights workers out of the french colonies of Africa show only texts in french.

Ok, for the frenchies there could be made also a world peoples blog with our francophone blog. But sorry, I am old and have reached the limites in time and energy of what is possible for me to be done every day. As I am also making the other blogs, the NGOs blog, the blog with many Humanitarian Texts, also the Economy & Society blog, and the blog relating news around the United Nations and countries. My limit is definitively reached.

So, if one knows good people of more modest conditions, all those making a good work and having no chance to be reached by my limited efforts, people working to create a better world for ALL humans, in their free time or as a profession, please do not stop yourself to send me a longer text, with an electronic photo. This text should contain their work in a sobre form, but NOT making battle for any religious or political ideology. The main concern of this blog is all around human rights, but this includes all what gives us a way to live together in peace, freedom and progres.

You may take the already written presentations as a guideline. And please indicate your name and coordinates to be put with the presentation, and also your sources, if a text is not written by yourself. Texts are to be sent to this e-mail address. Many thanks in the name of all this famous people.

Cheshmak Farhoumand-Sims – Canada & Afghanistan

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

Cheshmak Farhoumand-Sims is a peace researcher, educator and practitioner completing her PhD studies at York University in Toronto in the Department of Political Science. Cheshmak received an Honours BA in peace and conflict studies from the University of Toronto and a M.Sc. in conflict analysis and resolution from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where she wrote her Master’s thesis on the subject of the psychological, cultural and religious dimensions of post-conflict reconciliation processes in intractable conflicts. In addition to these degrees, Cheshmak has studied at the Austrian Peace University and the United Nations Graduate Studies Program.

Cheshmak Farhoumand-Sims – Canada & Afghanistan

Cheshmak believes that women play an integral role in the development of their societies and that their absence from public discourse contributes to the stunted growth of the society as a whole. She is interested in exploring how religion and culture are often used to prevent women’s active participation in society and in considering how this impacts peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts. Her dissertation focuses on the relationship between the protection and promotion of women’s human rights and peacebuilding in conflict zones, where religion and culture serve as a barrier to women’s participation, such as the case in Afghanistan. She gained insight into these issues through her research, travels to Afghanistan, and participation at the Commission on the Status of Women, and the meeting of the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 2001. These experiences provided her with the opportunity to interview Afghan women in Afghanistan, and gender experts within the United Nations at the United Nations Division on the Advancement of Women, UNIFEM and 17 of the 21 experts that sit on the CEDAW committee.

Continue Reading…

Douangdeuane Bounyavong – Laos

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of Lao literature (in English and Lao). Also with Thierry Falise – Belgium & Thailand, and with Vanida S. Thephsouvanh – Laos & France.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “I want to make the wonderful world of books accessible to all children.”

Douangdeuane Bounyavong (born 1947) is dedicated to the promotion of literacy and cultural experience through books in a country with a very limited reading tradition, due to lack of education and resources. She founded and is now directing and writing for Dokked Publishing and bookstore in Vientiane, a small independent publishing house, which focuses on titles for children and women, securing the necessary funding through successful networking abroad. She has established many libraries in rural regions and is working to improve the working conditions and quality of teachers. (Read on this 1000peacewomen site).

Douangdeuane Bounyavong – Laos

One of the foremost cultural figures of Laos, Ms. Douangdeuane Bounyavong has contributed to promoting traditional Lao culture, particularly textiles and traditional weaving techniques, and studying and disseminating Lao literature.

Continue Reading…

Tarun Tejpal – India

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of Tehelka – the people’s paper – India.

And linked with our presentation of For whom the bell tolls.

He said in an interview about his book ‘the alchemy of desire’: (excerpt) ” … yes, the book’s strongest characters are female, and the book is decidedly very pro-female. Personally, I just think women are far, far more interesting than men. It has to do with their immense layering, an emotional ‘nuancing’ that is the creation of millennia of facing up to difficult odds. In comparison, men are almost two dimensional, emotionally and sexually lesser beings. Yes, most of the important people in my life are female — mother, sister, wife, daughters, colleagues, friends. Yes, they are changing — no options: The future belongs to women, but they are changing at too slow a pace. The north, of course, could certainly do with a dramatic behaviour reorientation. Mostly very badly behaved, I have to say … ” (Read the whole interview on this rediff.com page).

Tarun Tejpal – India

TARUN TEJPAL is CEO and editor-in-chief of tehelka, an Web-only news and literary site based in New Delhi — and one of India’s most well-known editors. Since its founding in March 2000, two of the site’s stories have brought it international attention: its investigation of a cricket match-fixing scandal and its sting operation that exposed corruption in the Indian defense establishment.

Continue Reading…

Karen E. Mundy – Canada

Comment first! »

She says: “The main innovation that I’ve been pulling together is to start thinking about education as part of a world system rather than as something contained within each nation.”

And: “A school looks like a school almost anywhere you go,” she notes. But while some systems succeed in lifting people out of poverty, other systems do not. She worries about the increasingly skewed global situation: “While it may seem fine if everyone in developing countries gets a primary education, what if everybody in the rich countries gets a university education?” (See boh on IDRC report).

Coming to Canada from the Stanford University USA, she became the chairholder of the Canada Research Chair in Global Governance and Comparative Educational Change, University of Toronto, Tier 2, Social Sciences and Humanities, on October 1, 2002.

Karen E. Mundy – Canada

The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) has designated 24–30 April 2006 as its “Global Action Week” to focus international attention on education as a universal right. It’s a matter close to the heart of IDRC awardee Karen Mundy, a world-renowned scholar of comparative education now based at OISE/University of Toronto.

Continue Reading…

Myla Jabilles Leguro – Philippines

Comment first! »

She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Peace education should be a must among schools and other institutions. It is as serious as math and science. If we do not give it equal importance, then we are not giving peace importance either.”

Myla Jabilles Leguro – Philippines

She works:

- for the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in the Philippines;

- for the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) and Grassroots Peace Learning Center (GPLC), same as html-file;

Myla Jabilles Leguro (born 1968) is the Peace and Reconciliation Program Manager of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) where she works on Muslim-Christian dialogue in war-torn Mindanao. She has been involved in peace and reconciliation projects in areas with histories of violent conflicts like Jolo and Basilan. She organized two major peace-building institutions: the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) and the Grassroots Peace Learning Center (GPLC). Through these institutions, Myla helps create peaceful communities in Mindanao. For Myla Jabilles Leguro, peace building is not a job. It is her life. As a peace advocate, she has dedicated her life to building peaceful communities in Mindanao.

Continue Reading…

Dora Nkem Akunyili – Nigeria

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of NAFDAC, the National Administration for Food, Drug Administration and Control.

Goes with ‘Assuming Authority‘.

She’s been credited with saving millions of lives and with moving mountains with sheer dedication to duty. Undoubtedly the Nigerian woman of 2002, she is the most beloved and most popular public official in Nigeria today. Since taking over this important health sector, she has fought persistently with unsurpassed dedication to sanitize the pushing of fake medications and unclean food items. Nigerians were being poisoned by these fake foods and drugs and someone needed to do something seriously about it. (Read more of this long article on kwenu.com).

Dora Nkem Akunyili – Nigeria

She said: “On why she chose pharmacy as a profession, she said it was destined. Her result in secondary school was the best ever in QRC, Nsukka. “When we were to take JAMB, I never thought of pharmacy but wanted a professional course where I could do a lot of chemistry and mathematics. They were my best subjects and I felt giving them up was like giving up my soul”. Nevertheless, she fell in love with the course. “I did not know that God was actually propelling me to what he really wants me to be and coincidentally, it is actually what I want to do”. (Read more of this long article about her on this day online).

Before Dr. Akunyili took over the running of NAFDAC, the agency had functioned merely as a toothless bulldog, but she has radically transformed it into a fierce fighting force. Her well-publicized war on drug abuse is fought relentlessly and the enemy is resisting with every dirty means available. NAFDAC has won several victories in cities most notorious for fake drugs: Onitsha, Aba, Port Harcourt, and Lagos.

Continue Reading…

Thomas G. Weiss – USA

Comment first! »

Linked with our presenttions Why are lessons spurned, rather than learned? Also with UNHCR Should Lead the International Humanitarian Enterprise, and finally with Security Council Reform, Problems and Prospects in September 2005.

He asks: “Is the idea of a forward-looking history an oxymoron or a constructive way of improving the future by learning from past mistakes? According to Professor Thomas G. Weiss, it is not an oxymoron, and “learning from the past may be difficult, but that is no excuse for not trying”. With his leadership, this is exactly what the United Nations Intellectual History Project (UNIHP) has set-out as its goal. As he explains, the project’s research seeks to “stand on the shoulders of past giants in order to confront future challenges, to learn from past successes and failures in order to improve multilateral cooperation in the future”. (Read more on this WFUNA-page).

Thomas G. Weiss – USA

He says: “The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is the nation’s largest grassroots foreign policy organization and the leading center of policy research on the UN and global issues. UNA-USA Policy Briefs are intended to provide background and stimulate discussion on issues related to US foreign policy and the work of the UN. For more information, please visit www.unausa.org”. (Read more on UNA-USA).

He is Presidential Professor of Political Science at The CUNY Graduate Center and Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, where he is co-director of the United Nations Intellectual History Project and editor of Global Governance.

Continue Reading…

Elahe Sharifpour-Hicks – USA & Iran

Comment first! »

(Excerpt) … Elahe Sharifpour-Hicks, of the New York-based monitoring group Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations Commission for Human Rights says: “Change in all areas has been difficult and the underlying problem is broadly similar. It is not only in the area of women’s equality where we can see a lack of progress. The same can be said of religious freedom and of progress towards a more representative government.” Ms. Sharifpour-Hicks says Iranians will know that change is occurring when women are given equal rights in areas such as child custody, inheritance, and the transmission of citizenship to their children.

Elahe Sharifpour-Hicks – USA & Iran

During a Hearing in the United Kingdom Parliament, the Examination of Witnesses (Excerpts, Questions 85 – 99), she made the following statements:

- I would add to Steve’s comments that they closed more than 90 newspapers in the last two years. They are using a criminal law—an instrument of a crime for the hands of criminals—and using that law to close newspapers. Recently the remaining reformists that did not get sent to jail have opened web sites and they have their own web sites now. In the last few months the judiciary is thinking of a way of closing web sites and jailing those who are running them. In the past newspapers worked as a political party and a reform agenda was put in those newspapers and that is why they have become a target. The Iranian leader said there should be no amendment to the press law. President Khatami, to his credit, at the beginning promised freedom of expression but unfortunately even though it was prepared by the cabinet, by the President, it has not been introduced to the Parliament to amend the press law.

Continue Reading…

Irina Yanovskaya – Georgia

Comment first! »

Linked with our NGO-presentations of Journalists for Human Rights JHR, and with the International Center on Conflict and Negotiation ICCN – Georgia, and also with the The Caucasus Network for Social Research and Conflict Resolution.

And also linked with our presentation of Situation in Abkhazia.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “It is easier to destroy the world than to create it. But in creating the world, one is sowing life and creating the future.”

Irina Yanovskaya – Georgia

She works for ‘Journalists for Human Rights‘, and also for the Caucasus Network on Conflict Resolution. She is also member of the International Center on Conflict and Negotiation ICCN.

Before she also had worked as a trainer for the Unifem project, Ossetia Women for Peace.

A well-known journalist in South Ossetia, Irina Yanovskaya (43) founded and directs the organization Journalists for Human Rights with the aim of preserving peace. The organization has become an important part of a broader network of conflict resolution groups. Irina focuses her efforts on the area of interethnic conflict resolution. She has made her way into people’s hearts, finding ways to unite rather than separate groups, thus, helping to establish peace in South Ossetia.

Continue Reading…

Ana Raffai – Croatia

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of the The European Church and Peace Network.

Linked also with our presentation of Center for Peace Studies – Ontario/Canada.

And linked with our presentation of How churches become peace churches.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Every person is able to work for freedom. In each of us there is great potential – a resource for a better future. The beginning and fundamental question of change is: What can I do for freedom?”

Ana Raffai – Croatia

She works for the Center for Peace Studies; for the NGO Rand; and for the European Church and Peace Network.

Ana Raffai, a Roman Catholic Croatian theologian, has been training and mentoring over 500 peace activists on nonviolence and peace mediation over the last ten years. Together with her husband, she has designed and led various workshops for the Center for Peace Studies. Some of their trainees are now trainers in peace education themselves.

She also works with the non-governmental organization (NGO) Rand in peace education for different faith groups. Recently, she has become more involved with NGOs that are active in protest and training for protest. Ana Raffai first met the word “peacemaking” at the beginning of the war in Croatia.

Continue Reading…

Nuruddin Farah – Somalia

Comment first! »

He said about himself during the book fair in Geneva, April 2006: “I am a refugy out of Somalia, but I am in the rest of Africa”, (meaning, I am at home in Africa).

(Read all this also on kirjasto.sci.fi). Somali novelist, writing in English and Somali. Farah has ofted dealt the history of his country throught the fates of his characters. The central theme in his work is the women’s liberation in postcolonial Somaliland, which he sees as a precondition for political and individual freedom.

Nuruddin Farah – Somalia

The majority of his essays, novels, short stories, plays, and film scripts are written in English, but he has also translated children’s stories from Arabic, Italian, French, and English into Somali. Farah received in 1998 the Neustadt Award.

“What we hear from beginning to end is the daring, lush, urbane voice of the author. Farah writes in English, which would be his second or third language, and his collisions of folkloric, academic and realistic prose produce a startling effect, at times wildly improbable in a way few native speakers would permit themselves…. Yet this means his work is also capable of a freedom and exuberance that might be unavailable if the words were embedded in a clearer context.” (The New York Times Book Review).

Continue Reading…

Naw Zipporrah Sein – Burma/Myamar

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of U.N Must Act to End Attacks on Karen in Burma/Myamar.

Linked also with our presentation of the Karen Women’s Organization KWO – Burma/Myamar.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “The voices of many women striving for peace, freedom and equality among human beings shall be heard better and better and will become the most powerful voice in the world community.”

Naw Zipporrah Sein – Burma/Myamar

She works for the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO).

Naw Zipporrah Sein was born in 1955 at Saw Kar Der Village, Kler Lweh Htoo District, Karen State, Burma. She was home educated by her mother before she went to school in the conflict zone in Karen State (Kaw Thoo Lie) where she completed her teacher education. For safety reasons, she sought refuge in Thailand in 1995 where she instilled and promoted education for Karen women in refugee camps. In 1998, Sein moved on to work for the Central Committee of the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) as coordinator and executive secretary, a position she still holds.No human beings want to desert their homeland to seek refuge in other countries where they find their lives equally miserable, due to lack of recognition of their status, causing them to live in hiding day after day. But when death is imminent, fleeing is inevitable and they go with the hope that one day, when the sovereignty and freedom of their motherland is restored, they will be able to return.

Continue Reading…

Abdullahi Ahmed an-Na’im – Sudan

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of the Speech by Abdullahi Ahmed an-Na’im.

He is a Sudanese academic and human rights activist – A native of northern Sudan, Professor Abdullahi An-Na’im holds an LLB (Honours) from the University of Khartoum, Sudan (1970), an LLB (Honours) and Diploma in Criminology from the University of Cambridge, England (1973) and a PhD in Law from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (1976).

Abdullahi Ahmed an-Na’im – Sudan

His identity as an African and a Muslim has guided his academic and professional interests as he has strived to reconcile his Islamic faith with his commitment to the universal acceptance of and respect for human rights. An-Na’im is now widely known for his search for a cultural legitimisation of human rights within both African and Islamic contexts and his works on the modernisation of Sharia. This latter interest stems from 1968 when he joined the Islamic reform movement of Ustadh Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, The Republican Brothers, whilst a student at the University of Khartoum, Sudan. By joining the movement An-Na’im demonstrated his commitment to a Sufi reformist doctrine.

In the early 1980s when Islamisation was expanding its grip on the country, the movement and other opposition groups became targets for persecution. In December 1984, the movement was suppressed and Taha executed soon after, leading An – Na’im to leave the country in April 1985. Like many immigrants or exiles, he left hoping that he would be able to return sooner rather than later.

Continue Reading…

Ismat Chughtai – Pakistan-India (1915 – 1991)

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of Islamic Studies in Canada.

Ismat Chughtai was an eminent Indian Urdu writer. She was born in Badayun, Uttar Pradesh and grew up largely in Jodhpur where her father was a civil servant.

Noor Shah writes after her death (excerpt): … There is no denying the fact about her literary greatness. She was really a great short story writer and in the words of Qurratulain Haidar, she was Lady Changez Khan … I want to reproduce an extract from the letter written by film actor Janki Das which he had written immediately after her death. The letter said, ‘Ismat Chughtai had the habit of saying or doing something startling in her life. She had once said that she should be thrown into the sea where fishes would swallow her and when the people would eat the fishes, she would come back to them’. (Read the whole long article in the MG Milli Gazette).

Ismat Chughtai – Pakistan-India (1915 – 1991)

In 1941, she was charged with obscenity for her short story “The Quilt” (”Lihaaf” in Urdu) which dealt with lesbianism, among other issues. She was acquitted after her lawyer successfully argued that the story could not be a corrupting influence because the subject would only be understood by someone who has had a lesbian experience. Along with Rashid Jahan, Wajeda Tabassum and Qurratulain Hyder, Ismat’s work stands for the birth of a revolutionary feminist politics and aesthetics in twentieth century Urdu literature. She explored feminine sexuality, middle-class gentility, and other evolving conflicts in the modern Muslim world. She was briefly associated with the membership of the Urdu Progressive Writer’s Movement in Lucknow. She appeared in Shyam Benegal’s 1978 film Junoon, and she died in Bombay in 1991. (Read the rest of this article on wikipedia).

Continue Reading…

Anat Biletzki – Israel

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of Edward Said (1935-2003), by Anat Biletzki.

And linked with our presentation of B’Tselem.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “For the past years I have been engaged in the effort to intertwine philosophy with politics, gradually drawing the desired idealism closer to the existing realism.”

Anat Biletzki – Israel

She works for The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem).

She writes: Abstract – The oft-repeated mantra of human rights organizations is that “human rights are not political’,” human rights being grounded in universalism, which is diametrically opposed to political partisanship. The philosophical question to ask is: how can rights discourse be anything but political? This gives rise to a conceptual paradox concerning the very fundamentals of human rights; it also leads the way to pragmatic quagmires in which “global” human rights organizations find themselves. But the epitome of this (conceptual and concrete) dilemma is to be found in conflict situations where local/national human rights groups operate, for these groups literally embody the contradiction between universal moral principles and particular human interests. Does this mean, then, that the ideological opposition between politics and human rights, as originally contrued in standard and traditional human rights talk, has brought the concrete manifestation of human rights to a dead-end? Is there any way for local human rights organizations – real, operational, organizations that are not globally oriented – to substantiate their particular focus without reneging on universal demands? Or are they doomed to represent, in their respective agendas, their political, “biased” context?

Continue Reading…

Irene Rodriguez – Switzerland and Argentinia

Comment first! »

Linked with our presentation of FIZ – Women’s Information Center.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Solidarity is the heart of people. In the name of life, we need respect.”

Irene Rodriguez – Switzerland and Argentinia

She works for Minka alter Latina, and for Infoladen Kasama , and also for Women’s Information Center (FIZ),

Irene Rodriguez was born into a large poor family in Argentina. Her life was filled with rape, brute force, pain, and misery. With only three years of school, Irene soon became a victim of prostitution and slave trade. With unbelievable toughness she managed to survive, to actually free herself, and legalize her existence in Switzerland. She is now a source of power for those who are in the hands of prostitution and slave trade, a tireless fighter for those who are willing to get out. Irene Rodriguez fights for the basic rights of illegal migrants, a voice for those who have none.

Once upon a time there was a little girl in Missiones in Argentina. Her family was big and poor and violence was the daily bread. Not knowing anything else Irene thought that this is life as it is. She never stands up against her mother who permits the male members and friends of the family to rape the young body and soul. The child is only nine or ten when her mother finally comes to the conclusion that something is wrong about how her little girl is being treated.

Continue Reading…

Snjezana Mulic–Busatlija – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Comment first! »

She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “The biggest barricades are in people’s heads.”

Snjezana Mulic – Busatlija – Bosnia and Herzegovina

She works for the ‘Dani Magazine’, Sarajevo, and for the ‘Women’s Association Bosancic’.

For the past 12 years, Snjezana Mulic-Busatlija has been working to promote and protect human rights, exposing herself to innumerable risks in a militarized environment and a society driven by nationalism and ethnic division. Through her work as a journalist, she has drawn public attention at national and international levels to the conditions of people during and after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has never renounced the highest journalistic principles or given in to numerous forms of pressure. Her courage demonstrated that it is possible to implement the Dayton Peace Agreement.

Continue Reading…

Aïda Chouk – France

Comment first! »

She is a judge to the Bobigny’s court. She is also the Présidente of the magistrature’s union. She has succeeded Evelyne Sire-Marin in 2004. The magistrature’s union is placed on the left on the french political arena. Like this, the work’s axis of the Presidente are, notably, the independance of the public prosecutor’s office facing political power and the community justice. She is opposed to the increase in immediate appearance and to the emergency justice. (Read the rest on Ideas diary).

Aïda Chouk – France

Excerpt: France – Wiesenthal Center officials met with the heads of the French Magistrates Union The President of the Magistrates Union, Judge Aida Chouk, felt that, “though, since 2001, the law had been reinforced, the volume of juvenile delinquency and recidivism had overloaded the judicial system. Moreover, as prison sentences were repressive and counter-productive, the tendency was to impose a research assignment on antisemitism. [Because] most offenders are uneducated minors from Paris slum peripheries, such [prison] penalties are not the answer,” he asserted. Chouk felt that a global approach was needed to train judges, police and teachers as partners to the solution. The Wiesenthal Center will continue to urge that tougher sentencing become a part of that approach.
(Red the rest on the Blog of Simon Wiesenthal Center).

Read this text in english, translated from french (by Patrick Bolland ), about ‘The Suburbs: In the Wake of the Uprising’ (Cyrille Poy: Banlieue, lendemains de révolte), to get a picture of the situation.

Continue Reading…