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Index June 2006

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Ronald V. Dellums – USA

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He says as Major-elect: “We can solve the problems of Oakland. We can be a great city.” And: “I accept this responsibility with honor, humility, optimism and idealism,” Dellums said. “We can solve the problems of Oakland. We can be a great city.” (See People’s Weekly World).

He said: “What am I ducking about? I am equal to you intellectually, I am equal to you as a human being. I respect you, you respect me. And in an honest discourse in a free and open society, I have to have the right to step up and define who I am. What gives you the right to define who I am? I am not here to judge you, who are you to judge me? And if we’re going to deal with each other in a free and open society with a legitimate exchange of ideas in the marketplace, then I cannot put myself in a second-class role to you to allow you to assume the capacity to even think that you could judge me. So if I’m not going to judge you and you don’t judge me, now there are two equals in discourse. So I don’t accept the labels that you place upon me. And if there are other people out there who are wondering what all these labels are about, let me tell you who I am.” (See the whole interview on berkeley interview).

He was legislating for the people, as a U.S. Representative from California from 1971 until 1999.

See also R.V.Dellums Homepage.

Ronald V. Dellums – USA

The contest between Dellums and De La Fuente — Oakland’s longtime City Council president — triggered a debate over Oakland’s civic identity and a referendum on the eight-year tenure of outgoing Mayor Jerry Brown. While race per se was not an issue, class was. A housing and development boom under Brown forced out many lower-income residents, mainly African Americans, while more middle-class residents moved in. The result was an expanded tax base that boosted business activity in Oakland, but simultaneously left many lower-income residents feeling excluded. For poorer residents, Oakland is in crisis, with violent crime increasing and the schools in state receivership.

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Erzsebet Turos – Romania

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

She says: “Considering the disastrous situation of care when I first started working here, we have made progress and to me the future looks optimistic.”

Erzsebet Turos – Romania

She is working in the Psychiatric Hospital Borsa.

Erzsebet Turos has worked as a general practitioner in a psychiatric hospital in Borsa in Cluj county, Romania, for several years. When Dr. Turos arrived, the hospital was pure horror and passive euthanasia was repeatedly taking place. Dr. Turos is highly appreciated by the 230 patients for her care and help. She has instituted occupational therapy and social activities where before there were none. Since December 2002, she has been cooperating with the German association Beclean e.V, which was founded by the staff of a psychiatric hospital in southern Germany to provide help to Romania.Erzsebet Turos has been working in the psychiatric hospital in Borsa for the past nine years. When she started to work, there were 215 chronic psychiatric patients with different diagnoses: schizophrenia, alcoholism, epilepsy and dementia. For these patients there were only two doctors: a psychiatrist who is also the general director of the hospital and another general physician, a woman who left the hospital shortly after Dr. Turos arrived. Since then, no other physician has come to work in Borsa.
The hospital is in an old castle, which belonged before the Communist era to a family of barons. It is the only chronic psychiatric hospital in Cluj county.

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Nang Charm Tong – Burma

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Linked with our presentation of A Petition.

She says: “I told myself I had to do my best because I was the voice of the people and their suffering. I almost cried during the presentation, and time was so short, and my voice was shaking …” (Read on UNPO).

Read here about the World Pace Forum 2006 in Vancouver.

Nang Charm Tong – Burma

At age 16, Nang Charm Tong began working with human rights groups, interviewing sex workers, illegal migrants, HIV patients and rape victims. The following year, she spoke in Geneva on their behalf—and still speaks, in four languages, with the poise and confidence of a mature woman. (Read this long article on TIME).

Forum aims to give peace a chance – Thousands of delegates to spend five days in Vancouver discussing global challenges. (Read this article on NATIONAL).

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

Nang Charm Tong’s parents were so concerned for her safety in Burma that they sent their daughter across the border into Thailand at the age of 6, where she grew up in an orphanage – never to return home to Shan State. Over the years, atrocities against the Shan and other ethnic minorities by the Burmese military regime have produced a steady flow of refugees across the border. Nang Charm Tong, as witness to these women and children, began to advocate for their rights as a teenager. Now, at 23, she is a veteran activist and a winner of the 2005 Reebok Human Rights Award. (Read more on Christian Science Monitor).

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William Blum – USA

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William Blum is an author and critic of United States foreign policy. A former State Department employee, he left in 1967 due to his opposition to the Vietnam War. His work devotes substantial attention to CIA interventions and assassination plots. Blum describes himself as a socialist and has supported Ralph Nader’s presidential campaigns. From 1972 to 1973 Blum was in Chile, where he reported on the Allende government’s “socialist experiment”. In the mid-1970s, he worked in London with ex- CIA and KGB agent Philip Agee and his associates. Agee wrote a scathing critique of CIA operations in his book Inside the Company: CIA Diary. (See wikipedia).

He writes: If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy of the past century, this is what crawls out … invasions … bombings … overthrowing governments … suppressing movements for social change … assassinating political leaders … perverting
elections … manipulating labor unions … manufacturing “news” … death squads … torture … biological warfare … depleted uranium … drug trafficking … mercenaries … It’s not a pretty picture. It is enough to give imperialism a bad name … (See this on his Homepage).

William Blum – USA

“It was in the early days of the fighting in Vietnam that a Vietcong officer said to his American prisoner: “You were our heroes after the War. We read American books and saw American films, and a common phrase in those days was ‘to be as rich and as wise as an American’. What happened?” An American might have been asked something similar by a Guatemalan, an Indonesian or a Cuban during the ten years previous, or by a Uruguayan, a Chilean or a Greek in the decade subsequent. The remarkable international goodwill and credibility enjoyed by the United States at the close of the Second World War was dissipated country by country, intervention by intervention.” William Blum. (See Third World Traveler).

See also: Biography and more.

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Hanif Kureishi – England & Pakistan

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Linked with our presentation of Freud’s Requiem.

He says: “When I was growing up, the idea of anyone writing about my life, or about people like me, was inconceivable. Asians, and particularly those who had migrated to or grown up in Britain, were a kind of anti-subject matter”. Hanif Kureishi, a literary godfather to a generation of British Asians, has now written a memoir of his own father. Sukhdev Sandhu meets the writer who saved him from adolescent despair. (Read this very long article on the Telegraph).

Hanif Kureishi – England & Pakistan

Excerpt: … Not only is Kureishi very cute, but very open about his relationships with
other men. Many of his books have autobiographical elements. One of my
favorites, “The Buddha of Suburbia” was made into a four hour movie
staring Naveen Andrews (from The English Patient) as the Karim, the
protagonist of the novel who falls in love with his male punk rocker
friend from school. An interesting aside is that Kureishi attended school
in England with a young man named William Broad who later changed his name
to Billy Idol … (Read more about his book: My son, the fanatic).

Excerpt: … His book The Buddha of Suburbia (1990) won the Whitbread Award for the best first novel, and was also made into a BBC television series with a soundtrack by David Bowie. The book Intimacy (1998) created some controversy. The story includes a man leaving his wife and 2 young sons, for he feels physically and emotionally rejected by his wife.

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Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls – Fiji

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

She says: “The main objective of femLINKpacific is to bring the stories of our women and their communities to the forefront, to help promote peace and reconciliation in multi-ethnic Fiji”.

Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls – Fiji

She works for the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), and the National Council of Women (NCW).

Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls (38) gained national prominence in Fiji by organizing, through the National Council of Women, a daily prayer vigil when government leaders were held hostage for 56 days during the 2000 coup. She now produces the monthly e-news bulletin “FemLINKpacific,” originally to give voice to women affected by the coup and a quarterly magazine “femTALK 1325″ covering women’s peace initiatives and post-conflict needs in the region and advocating for UN Security Council Resolution 1325 implementation. She also runs FemTALK 89.2FM, a monthly mobile women’s community radio service. Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls works to share Fiji women’s stories with the rest of society in the hope that her community-centered initiative, femLINKpacific, will not only increase awareness of critical social, political and economic issues, but also serve as a channel for promoting peace and national reconciliation. She takes a very hands-on approach in all aspects of the work, including developing and strengthening partnerships with other women’s organizations and like-minded NGO and civil society organizations.

Questions and Answers on Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls’s work:

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Laila Lalami – Morocco

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Linked with our presentations of some of her texts on our blog for Humanitarian Texts: Exile and the Kingdom, and Love and Betrayal in Colonial Africa, and also The Cult of the Ethnic Autor).

She says: “These days, being a Muslim woman means being saddled with what can only be referred to as the “burden of pity.” The feelings of compassion that we Muslim women seem to inspire emanate from very distinct and radically opposed currents: religious extremists of our own faith, and evangelical and secular supporters of empire in the West”. (Read this whole long article on The Nation).

She says also: “I was writing before getting married and becoming a parent, but it’s true that it becomes a challenge to find the time to write. I’m fortunate that I have a supportive spouse and I’m also extremely disciplined, so it all works out”. (See this interview by Dan Wickett on 6/20/2005).

Laila Lalami – Morocco

The picture that emerged from the Casablanca attacks was the kind of cliché that drives conservatives to hysterics. The bombers — all young men, all single, all unemployed or hustling for jobs — came from the sprawling slum of Sidi Moumen, just outside the city. Sidi Moumen is home to 200,000 people squatting in shacks with corrugated tin roofs. There is no running water. Trash pick up is sporadic and open sewage makes its way down dirt alleys. Unemployment is sky high. In addition, the bombers were recent recruits to Islamic fundamentalism; some had been going to the underground mosque at Si Larbi for only a few months.

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Guadalupe Mejía Delgado – El Salvador

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Linked with our presentation of FEDEFAM – Fighting Against Forced Disappearances.

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

She says: “Hope also feeds us. Not the hope of the foolish, but the other one”.

Guadalupe Mejía Delgado – El Salvador

She works for the Comité de Familiares de Víctimas de las Violaciones de Derechos Humanos de El Salvador Marianella Garcia Villas (Codefam).

She is a woman of the countryside, affable and sensible. Who could guess that behind her serene appearance there is a personal history of pain and loss? Defender of human rights for 22 years, her courage and determination have allowed her to open the doors of prisons and military barracks, achieving freedom for people who were opposed to the regime, during the Salvadoran Civil War (1980-1992). 13 years after the signing of the peace agreement, she still works for justice and truth, asking, “Where are the missing people?” She is Guadalupe Mejía, an untiring seeker of peace.

Guadalupe Mejía is a rural woman, born and raised in the canton of La Ceiba, in the municipality of Las Vueltas, in the administrative district of Chalatenango, in the North of El Salvador. She married Justo Mejía, when she was barely 17 years old. With him, she found love, and their nine sons and daughters were born as a product of that love.
Justo was a farmer, politically and socially aware, who taught her a way of life that she would never abandon: to defend life in the midst of a poor and repressed society. When he was murdered in November of 1977, Guadalupe continued the fight that he had begun. “Justo is my conscience”, she would say.

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Achta Djibrine Sy – Chad

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Linked with the presentation of Intermón Oxfam.

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

Goes with ‘Assuming Authority‘.

She says: “Since I was a child, I have always had a dream: that one day I shall build a big house where all unfortunate people can live and enjoy life.”

Achta Djibrine Sy – Chad

She works for Intermón Oxfam (IO); for Groupe informel de réflexion et de recherche action feminine (GIRAF); and for Said-Al-Awine (Women’s Union).

Achta Djibrine Sy (born 1962) obtained her first degree in Management and Economics from the University of N’Djaména. She is Intermón Oxfam Representative in Chad and has been advocating women’s work to be visible, regardless of their ethnical and religious background. She encourages women to gain self-confidence and to pool their labor to bring about peace in Chad. Thanks to her splendid efforts, women who were very poor some years ago are now self-dependent and are even able to give loans to others.At the beginning of civil war in Chad in 1979, Achta Djibrine Sy was a 17 years old high school student. Despite the abrupt instability of the country, she succeeded in getting her baccalaureate and Bsc in Management and Economics from the University of N’Djaména in 1989. A year before completing her Bsc program, she worked with a group of women, who were affiliated with international organizations in the country, to form an interactive assembly called “Groupe informel de réflexion et de recherche action feminine” (GIRAF), which is an informal group of research about women issues.

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Janet L. Abu-lughod – USA

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She is professor emerita of sociology of Northwestern University and the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, has been writing about and studying cities for more than fifty years. Her books include From Urban Village to East Village: The Battle for New York’s Lower East Side; Changing Cities: Urban Sociology; Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350; Rabat: Urban Apartheid in Morocco; and Cairo: 1001 Years of the City Victorious, among many other publications. In 1999 she received the Robert and Helen Lynd Award (American Sociological Association, Section on Community and Urban Sociology) for distinguished lifetime contributions to the study of cities. (Read more on beHeard.com).

Sorry, I do not find any photo of Janet L. Abu-lughod – USA

But here a photo of one of her books

Some of her Books:

Writing Women’s Worlds, Bedouin Stories, by Lila Abu Lughod. Publisher Comments: In 1978 Lila Abu-Lughod climbed out of a dusty van to meet members of a small Awlad ‘Ali Bedouin community. Living in this Egyptian Bedouin settlement for extended periods during the following decade, Abu-Lughod took part in family life, with its moments of humor, affection, and anger. She witnessed striking changes, both cultural and economic, and she recorded the stories of the women. Writing Women’s Worlds is Abu-Lughod’s telling of those stories; it is also about what happens in bringing the stories to others.

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Bilquis Edhi – Pakistan

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Added July 2008: She is also one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005. Her peacewomen-bio.

Unwanted infants that are left at Edhi emergency centers are are given shelter and cared for at Edhi homes. These children are then handed over for adoption to couples in need. Bilquis Edhi personally meets and conducts interviews with the prospective adopting parents. The background of the prospective parents is thoroughly checked. So far more than 14,700 children have been adopted through the Edhi Foundation after personal approval from Bilquis Edhi. (Read this very long article by Faisal Abdulla on Women of Pakistan).

Text: just need somebody to lean on.

Wife of Abdul Sattar Edhi. One of the most active philanthropists in Pakistan. She heads the Bilquis Edhi Foundation. She is a professional nurse who reputedly proposed to him. They both received the 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. She is also the recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize. Her charity runs many services in Pakistan including a hospital and emergency service in Karachi. (read on answers.com).

Text: An Inspiration for Pakistanis.

Bilquis Edhi – Pakistan

Bilquis got married at a very young age. She met Maulana Edhi at the same place which was then a dispensary, now a hospital and the Edhi headoffice, where she was serving as a nurse. It was an arranged marriage. Bilquis recalled that Maulana Edhi started his social work immediately after independence, on a small-scale among his Memon Jamaat. However, he did wanted to be a part of a larger community. “I’m proud that the Almighty Allah brought his dream true and today he is part of the world now,” She said. “We have 350 centres in Pakistan, 600 cars, one helicopter, three planes and 17 homes for women, children and mentally ill men,” she said. “Once a week we give an advertisement in newspapers, appealing to parents not to throw away children for poverty or other reasons. We keep them carefully and later childless couples adopt them.” (Read this long article on
this site).

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Reema Nanavaty – India

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Linked with Poor women and economy; also with Microcredits and poor women; and also with Self Employed Women’s Association’s response to crisis.

She says: “As long as microenterprise development is offered as a substitute for meaningful social development … it will only impede progress towards finding real answers to the very real problem of poverty in the South”.

Reema Nanavaty – India

She writes on global fairness.org: Poor people’s membership based producers organizations have been unable to take advantage of increasing trade openness and break into global markets. There are a growing number of organizations working in this area, yet the scale of their impact continues to be low. Fair trade observers, for example, estimate worldwide annual sales at about $500 million in 2000, and that number is growing rapidly. This total, however, amounted to the equivalent of less than 0.3% of WalMart Corporation’s annual sales in that same year. The gap between local producers organizations and global markets is large, making it difficult for poor people’s organizations to connect with buyers/retailers in the North.

Barriers to Poor Producers’ Participation: Global markets do not offer a level playing field. Poor producers face a number of entry barriers which make it difficult for them to compete in global markets:

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Tahmineh Milani – Iran

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June 14, 2006: TEHRAN – A group of Iranian cinema directors met Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Tuesday. The Leader said that the need for the development of Iran’s cinema is strongly felt, and the important art of cinema is essential for the country. Cinematic officials can play their role in developing the country by boosting hope, motivation, and self-confidence and promoting Islamic beliefs in society, he added. Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the need for cinematic officials to focus on the Iranian nation’s sacrifices during the eight-year Iraqi-imposed war. The directors discussed cinematic, artistic, cultural, and social issues with the Leader. They also emphasized the necessity to make efforts to establish a national cinema, to boost relations between officials and directors and artists, to better focus on artistic and cultural values in movies, particularly on the theme of the family, and to avoid imitating Western and Indian styles. Tahmineh Milani, Fereidun Jeirani, Rasul Sadramoli, Majid Majidi, and Ebrahim Hatamikia were among the directors who attended the meeting. (See on tehrantimes.com).

She says: ” … the danger in filmmaking is that you can begin the process with one ministry official and by the time your film is complete, someone new has taken his place who might not like your work (it took seven years to get ‘Two Women’ approved) … Filmmaking is very much dependent on our political and social situation in Iran” … (see on NewEnglandFilm.com).

Tahmineh Milani – Iran

Her website in english and farsi.

Iran’s director Makhmalbaf under the spotlight in Munich: TEHRAN, May 23, 2006 (MNA) — Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf will be honored at the 23rd Munich International Film Festival, which is to be held from July 15-22, the student news agency ISNA reported here Tuesday. The festival will also be screening his credits’ retrospective. Makhmalbaf is writing his new film’s screenplay in Afghanistan. The festival also honored other Iranian filmmakers such Mohammad-Ali Talebi and Tahmineh Milani at the 21st and 22nd editions respectively. The annual event aims to highlight the blockbusters of the cinema world. (See this on Mehrnews.com, and also on ISNA.ir).

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Natalia Shabunz – Turkmenistan

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Added January 14, 2008: linked with CANGO.net.

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

She says: “I believe in the values of democratic change and human rights.”

Natalia Shabunz – Turkmenistan

She works for ‘Civil Dignity’, and for ‘Counterpart Consortium’.

Natalia Shabunz lives and works under Turkmenistan’s authoritarian regime as a well-known educator, writer, and public- and human rights-activist. She started her work in Turkmenistan when civil society activism first began to take shape in the nation, but maintains that even today the democratic culture of the Turkmen population needs to be strengthened even more. Fighting some very difficult conditions, Natalia has often been persecuted by local authorities for her work in education and public activity.Natalia Shabunz was born in 1951, in Simpheropol, Crimea, and studied at the Art Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. Since 1976 she has been living in Turkmenistan, where, from 1979 till 1993 she worked at an art museum. Since 1993 she has been active in the public sector and the civil society movement in Turkmenistan. From 1993 to 1998 she worked in a public school of economics, and in a youth center called Dialog as a trainer. Since 1999 she has been a trainer for the Counterpart Consortium, and is also leader of the youth-centered non-governmental organization (NGO) Civil Dignity.

As a writer, she has published textbooks and popular works that are famous throughout Central Asian and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. In both realms she is dedicated to concepts of civil society, democracy and human rights. Her books, which discuss new approaches to interethnic conflict resolution and development of democracy, include “Alphabet of Civil Education,” “Laws that Bring Us Together,” “Several Steps to Win,” “Animals’ Rights in the World of People,” and “How to Live Together,” and are used in regional, Central Asian and Russian NGOs and education centers alike. Her textbooks on civil and human rights are used not only in Turkmenistan, but in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Armenia and Russia. Her writing has helped challenge and alter national and international understanding of the political and human rights situation in Turkmenistan, and the general world outlook for people living under authoritarian regimes, and her books form part of a new democratic culture in people’s understanding of the Turkmen situation.

As an educator, Natalia conducts seminars, training workshops and practical initiatives. She has held 300 training programs and seminars, for 6000 participants across the country and abroad. Thanks to her, over 6000 NGO leaders, journalists, and women have gotten access to new information, knowledge and know-how in navigating the troubled landscape of women’s and human rights for their nation. She has also participated in both regional and international conferences and round tables on education, human rights and NGO development, and has reported extensively on her experiences, sharing her knowledge with colleagues from all over the world.

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Shanti Christine Arulampalam – Sri Lanka

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Linked with our presentation of Survivors Associated – Sri Lanka.

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

Shanti Christine Arulampalam and her organization Survivors Associated, for witch she is working, have transformed the lives of more than 27,000 people in four war-torn districts of northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

Shanti Christine Arulampalam – Sri Lanka

As executive director of Survivors Associated, working for the psychosocial healing of people affected by war, Shanti Christine Arulampalam has helped transform many formerly ravaged lives. She and her organization have assisted more than 27,000 people in four districts of northern and eastern Sri Lanka. As a Sinhala working among Tamils, Shanti has often been viewed with suspicion, but has won over her critics with her hard work and transparent approach.The daughter of academics, Shanti Arulampalam did not expect to become a social worker. She had planned to be a doctor, but became instead a teacher. Today, Shanti is executive director of her own organization, Survivors Associated, which works for the psychosocial healing of people affected by war.

Shanti discovered her mission in life by a circuitous route. After finishing her studies in business management, she taught English and mathematics in the Maldives for two years. After her contract was over, she returned to Sri Lanka to work in a commercial establishment as a business manager. In 1967, Shanti, who is a Sinhala, married a Tamil man, but the marriage was not a happy one. She was left to take care of two little boys on her own: as a single parent, she went to work in a premier export house as commodities buyer, and employed by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, became the first woman member in its commodities auction division. She later began her own export venture.

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Leyla Zana – Turkey / Kurdish part

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

She says: “We refuse to be silent! To speak out freely is a decisive step on the way to freedom.”

At her oath of allegiance to become Turkey’s first ever Kurdish woman in Parliament she said: “I swear by my honor and my dignity before the great Turkish people to protect the integrity and independence of the State, the indivisible unity of people and homeland, and the unquestionable and unconditional sovereignty of the people. I swear loyalty to the Constitution. I take this oath for the brotherhood between the Turkish people and the Kurdish people.”

And at her trial in which she was sentenced to 14 years in prison, she said, “This is a conspiracy. What I am defending is perfectly clear. I don’t accept any of these accusations. And, if they were true I’d assume responsibility for them, even if it cost me my life. I have defended democracy, human rights, and brotherhood between peoples. And I’ll keep doing so for as long as I live.”

Leyla Zana – Turkey / Kurdish part

Since 1980, Leyla Zana has been active in gaining recognition of the social, political, and cultural rights of Kurdish populations and for a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish conflict. She was a Representative of the Democratic Party in the Turkish Parliament (1991–1994), a political prisoner (1994–2004), and since 2004 a co-initiator of DTH, a new movement for democratic society. She has become a symbol of the struggle for human rights, democracy, and peace. Her courage has sensitized European public opinion about the problems of the Kurds and inspired numerous women to become active.Leyla Zana, called the “Kurdish Pasionaria” (in the spirit of the Spanish oppositional politician Dolores Ibarruri) is a symbol of the fight for freedom, democracy, and equality as well as for the rights of the Kurdish people. She was freed unexpectedly on 9 June 2004 after ten long years of captivity. On 14 July, the highest appeals court in Ankara reversed the second verdict that had upheld the 15-year prison sentences of four Kurdish ex-parliamentarians, including Leyla Zana. Both these decisions are connected with Turkey’s desire to join the European Union, but they are also linked to the continuous pressure of an international solidarity movement.

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George Khutsishvili – Georgia

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Linked with our presentation of Towards an Inclusive Interpretation of Conflict, and with our presentation of International Center on Conflict and Negotiation – Georgia.

Linked also with our presentations of Irina Yanovskaya – Georgia, who works in the same International Center.

He says: “The common point in all major crises is that you cannot overcome them without transforming your mind”.

He is the Chairman of Board of the International Center on Conflict and Negotiation (ICCN) based in Tbilisi, Georgia (since 1998); Director of the same Center (full time; since 1994). He is also Professor of Conflict and Peace Studies, Department of International Law and International Relations, Tbilisi State University (part time; since 1994), and Professor of Conflict Studies, Humanitarian-Technical Dept., Georgian Technical University (part time; since 1998).

George Khutsishvili – Georgia

Bio: November 15, 1948 in Tbilisi, Georgia, then USSR, he is now since 1990 Honorary Citizen of Atlanta, Georgia, USA;
1993 Research Fellowship at the Center for International Security and Arms Control, Stanford University (IREX Program in International Security Studies, extended to full academic year with support from Mr. David Packard);
1993 NATO Research Fellowship (Democratic Institutions Individual Fellowships Program);
1994 The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Grant (ICCN has been established with this grant);
1995, 1997 Open Society – Georgia Foundation Grants;
1995 Norwegian Refugee Council travel grant for the Negotiation Training Course at Harvard Law School;
1997 International Studies Association Grant to participate in the ISA Annual Convention in Toronto;
1997 Distinguished Leadership Award from the American Biographical Institute (Note: Also look in the publications part).
For the rest of his long CV, Memberships, Fellowships, Awards and Honors, his Workshops, Conferences, Courses and Books see al on his Homepage.

links:

Conciliation Resources;

Assistance Georgia, and this text;

about the Kosovo-Conflict;

Nadia Ait Zai – Algeria

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Since 1984, Algeria has had an Islamic family code, which considerably disadvantages women. Nadia Ait Zai is a lecturer in family law at Algiers University, a committed campaigner for women’s rights in the Maghreb and founder of the “Centre d’Information et de Documentation sur les Droits de l’Enfant et de la Femme” (CIDDEF) in Algiers. In this interview with D+C/E+Z, she elaborates on the work of her initiative and explains the proposals for reforming Algerian Family Law.

She says: “We’re at the bottom of the class in North Africa, … Algeria is now the only country where women need a man’s permission to get married.” (see on quantara.de).

JD800743 rogné redim 25p.JPG

Sorry, I can not find any photo of Nadia Ait Zai, Algeria (see also my comment ‘Brave women without photos‘).

Nadia Ait Zai is the president of the Women’s and Children’s Information Center of Algeria.

She says also: “Basically, if we really wanted to be modern, polygamy should be outlawed altogether. But when it (the Islamic family code) was reintroduced in 1984, certain conditions were attached. If the first wife objects, she can apply for a divorce. Anyway, polygamy is rarely practised. We know that women today very rarely accept becoming a second or third wife. Whenever they do, the husband is financially so well off that accommodation presents no problem. Having said that, most women choose divorce because they see polygamy as an affront to their dignity. I do not really focus on the issue of polygamy because I know that women are strong enough to say no” … and … “What we need in Algeria, I think, is space for dialogue. Whenever there’s a demonstration, we see evidence of people’s need to express their views. Newspapers are a possible forum but women don’t use them.

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Piri Thomas – USA

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Linked with our presentation of ‘ … some texts of Piri Thomas‘.

He says: A child needs to find some way to express his talent, to express that he is a he, or she is a she, that we are of earth. When you start getting all these rejections, because of your color, or your tongue, or your geographic location, there starts to build up some kind of anger and rage, that should almost be alien to a child. And yet it comes so tremendously strong and ever-growing and you manage to hide it, what you are feeling, by putting on a “cara palo” expression, which means a face of wood. It has no expression so nobody can see how much you’re hurting just from the rejection, let alone the beatings. Why are you here? You shouldn’t be born. This is not your world, this is our world. (Read this long interview on In Motion Magazine).

Piri Thomas – USA

Love is not even
Giving or taking
For that leads to
counting and accountings
of “look what I did for you?”

So, verily, merrily, I say unto you,
That love is a sharing
A caring
Born of truth.
For those are the roots
From which all us children flow. (Excerpt from his poetry ‘love is a sharing‘).

The roots of Borinquen (the original indigenous name for the Puerto Rico people) were trampled from the beginning of the European presence, where some lost sea captain who called himself Christopher Columbus landed on the island and renamed it Puerto Rico almost 500 years ago.

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Ela Bhatt – India

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Linked with our presentation of Self Employed Women’s Association SEWA.

She says: “The poor mostly work on manual job for lack of education and modern skills, have to work using the strength of their body. Therefore, we see them suffer from many occupational health hazards. Also the women start aging at an early age; childbirth and maternity are a health hazard for her. Since her work is manual, her most important asset is her own body. This body needs to be protected, maintained, and enhanced through adequate healthcare and nutrition. Moreover, a woman worker is also a mother, a builder of the future generation. Therefore, women’s health is most crucial to the development of our nation”. (Read this whole interview on sewa.org).

Ela Bhatt – India

True to the spirit of her country and her inspiration, Mahatma Gandhi, Ela Bhatt is a gentle revolutionary. Gentle but tough. For decades, she has quietly gone about the business of kicking ass on behalf of some of India’s most disenfranchised — women working in the “informal sector.” A former lawyer and social worker from a well-to-do family, she launched the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in 1972. As chief of the women’s section of the Textile Labour Association in Ahmedabad, she had witnessed the crappy conditions confronting women in the garment industry and resolved to organize self-employed women to help them develop a bit of collective clout … … She says also: “Gandhi tried to find out that what kind of employment opportunity can be given to even the most illiterate woman in the village,” she says, “so that each family has economic strength.” (Read the rest of this article on adventure divas.com).

In recognition of her courage, innovation and leadership, we are honored to present the 2005 George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award to Sister Ela Bhatt, on behalf of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a 700,000-member union of women workers in India. Sister Bhatt and SEWA are committed advocates for the rights of poor, women workers in the unorganized, informal sectors of the economy.

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Prema Gopalan – India

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Linked with our presentation of SSP Swayam Shikshan Prayog – India.

Linked also with our presentation of The Huairou Commission.

She says about NGO governance: “There are over hundred thousand organizations registered as trusts or societies under the relevant Acts; bulk of which, may be defunct or mere tax shelters. Time has come for the establishment of an autonomous entity to conduct a performance audit along internationally recognized norms and grade all development NGOs on critical factors: staff welfare, internal governance, records, accounting, goal attainment, etc.” (See on Indian NGOs.com).

Prema Gopalan – India

Prema is empowering women to influence and change government policy from inside the system, creating a “micro-macro” balance that will help stop the tremendous waste of resources. Prema has made it possible for women to be involved from the first step of the policy process: to draft a new sectoral reform policy at the Maharashtra state level to effect a transfer of power and resources relating to water and sanitation to women at decentralized, community institutions and local governments. Prema is now taking advantage of this historic policy to involve the women in promoting community ownership of water supply systems and their management by demonstrating how collaborations between gram panchayats (village administration committees) and community groups that are operated by women can manage water systems. This is not only changing the way women participate in the planning process for development of their own community, but also creating for them channels of economic development. She and her team at SSP, Swayam Shikshan Prayog (literally, swayam: own; shikshan: learning; prayog: practical application) have been working closely with the government–and now international institutions–to realize their long-term vision: transforming the way water supply and sanitation projects are managed through institutionalized community ownership. (Read the rest of this article on this page of Ashoka Fellow Profile).

She is a founding member of the Huairou Commission.

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Ana Teresa Bernal – Colombia

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Linked with our presentation of REDEPAZ – Colombia.

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

She says: “Peace is not a Colombian invention. It is a flag of all humanity.”

She works for the Red Nacional de Iniciativas por la Paz y contra la Guerra (Redepaz).

Ana Teresa Bernal – Colombia

”When Ana Teresa Bernal was an adolescent, she distributed food to children living on the streets. As a young woman, she continued her social work and created a movement called ‘Life’. Later, as a woman, she founded REDEPAZ, the National Network of Citizen Initiatives against War. Her personal fight is against war. She dreams of a Colombia at peace. She has been working, day after day, for more than two decades to achieve this. “I believe that this is our country and that we have to defend life. It was formed in 1993 as the citizens’ answer to the president of Colombia at that time, César Gaviria. He proposed what was called ‘an integral war’. We said that what the country needed was ‘integral peace’. In 1996, REDEPAZ organized what became known as the ‘Mandate against Violence’. They asked boys and girls from more than a hundred municipalities all over Colombia to choose, from twelve fundamental rights, the one they considered to be the most important. Then, 2.700,000 children voted for the right to peace. Their voices were heard all over the country. One year later, REDEPAZ organized a new vote, when more than 10 million adult Colombians called for the same thing. Each year in Colombia, approximately 30,000 people die. According to the United Nations, more than 1 million inhabitants have been displaced by the war and thousands have been killed or remain missing. (Read all this on this 1000peacewomen page).

In the past, negotiations and general discussion of the Colombian conflict have excluded representatives of civil society, particularly members of youth, women’s, indigenous peoples’ and farmers groups. Instead they have been limited to representatives of the more powerful sub-sectors, such as unions, universities, and the different religious sectors.

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Kamala Sarup – Nepal

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Linked with our presentations of Women Rights Are Limited in Seminars, and of Crimes Against Women Are Still Prevalent. Further of International Women’s Conference Held in Arlington, and also about Nepal in peace, and also of Peace Journalism.

She writes: Productive and prosperous transformation in the development process, can become viable only through permanent economic development. The essentiality of today, is to ensure the solidarity of national development, with economic re-strengthening. Is it going to guarantee sustainable peace? Will there be earnest effort in harnessing cooperation from all respective sectors? … and … Economic development, whether in personal, group, or international relations, requires a variety of capacities for self-transcendence: transcendence of one’s own interests and perspectives for the sake of understanding the interests and perspectives of the other side, which calls for the virtue of empathy; transcendence of one’s pride and defensiveness. (Read the whole article on the LA Chronicle, June 7, 2006).

Kamala Sarup – Nepal

She writes: For Children’s development we must produce children development program who can work through the Internet. Knowledge work does not require tranportation and large capital investments. However, children development program must be competitive in a world environment. This requires, in turn, world-class education in those subjects so that the graduates are able to compete around the world via the Internet. Many underdeveloped countries today are doing what I described above. Therefore, I can’t think of a better way for us to spend its revenues toward the objective of making us a richer country for our children. It is true, our aim is committed to addressing the challenges of peace and development. We can make this world become the workshop of the world, has very prosperous enclaves on its coast. We too have seen a stunning change to its fortunes as the world has changed with rise. So what does this mean for the children who are being born today? What will their world look like in 2006 and 2010? To have a child can be looked at a number of ways. In adulthood, children are the expected result to approved building block of any civilization. (Read the rest of this article on WEB Commentary).

Writer and journalist Kamala Sarup (M.A. in Journalism) is an editor of peacejournalism.com. Some of the main focus of the e-magazine has been on disarmament, conflict resolution, nonviolent sanctions, conflicts and crises. Its activities include training, research and supports peace, democracy and development in societies undergoing crisis and change. Kamala Sarup is specialising in in-depth reporting and writing on Peace Resolutions, Anti war, Women, Terrorism, Democracy, Development, Politics and HIV/AIDS. She wrote and published many articles, books and research papers.

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Khun Htun Oo – Burma

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Linked with our presentation of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners – Burma AAPP.

Linked also with our presentation of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy – Burma.

Hkun Oo Kya, elder brother of Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) leader Hkun Tun Oo, both of whom were detained and sentenced to long term imprisonments, was transferred from Kyaukme in northern Shan State to Mandalay early in May, according to sources close to the family … (Read this on June 2, 2006 on Shan Herald Agency for News).

Khun Htun Oo – Burma

June 1, 2006: The Supreme Court in Rangoon on Thursday summarily rejected appeals by seven Shan leaders against their conviction and lengthy prison sentences on charges of treason and defaming the state. An eighth member of the group of defendants died in prison, reportedly of epilepsy, before his appeal could be heard. The eight were convicted by a Rangoon court last November and given sentences of up to 106 years imprisonment. That heavy sentence was imposed on Maj-Gen Sao Hso Ten, president of the Shan State Peace Council. Hkun Htun Oo, chairman of the Shan National League for Democracy, was sentenced to 92 years, and Sai Nyut Lwin, SNLD general secretary, to 75 years. Aung Thein, a member of a defense team provided by Burma’s opposition National League for Democracy, told The Irrawaddy the appeals had been summarily dismissed with no explanation.

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Specioza Kazibwe – Uganda

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Linked with our presentation of African Women Committee on Peace and Development AWCDP.

She says: “My mission is to see the emancipation of rural women through functional skills development and access to micro-financing to ensure internally generated improvement.”

Specioza Naigaga Wandira Kazibwe was the elected Vice President of Uganda, serving from 1994 until 2003, being the first woman in Africa to hold that position. Dr. Kazibwe has been an advocate for women in their position in Africa. In collaboration with the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, she founded the African Women Committee on Peace and Development (AWCDP) in 1998 to help enable women’s participation in peace and development processes on the continent, an organization which she has chaired. Dr. Kazibwe has also been chair or a member of various national interest groups, including the Senior Women’s Advisory Group on the Environment, the Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited, and the Uganda Women Doctors Association. In 1998, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) awarded her the “Ceres Medal” for her “contribution to food security and poverty eradication” (see wikipedia).

Specioza Kazibwe – Uganda

As Africa’s highest-ranking female politician she tackles wife-beating taboo. She had spoken out about the beatings which she said were responsible for her separation from her husband. Wife-beating is not uncommon in Uganda where culture dictates that a man overrules a woman in every decision in a home. (Read the rest of this article on this page of BBCnews).

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Frederick Akhelumele – Nigeria

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Linked with our presentation of Youthcare International.

Linked also with our presentation of Some reports on Africa and Education.

Mr. Frederick Akhelumele – a Nigerian school teacher who has lived in Austria for many years, founded the organization in August 2002. Since then, Mr. Akhelumele has embarked on a mission to give children in Nigeria and other developing countries a brighter future through the agency of Youthcare International.

Frederick Akhelumele – Nigeria

In the final week of October, 2005, Dr. Rupp and a small team of Austrian sponsors visited Nigeria for four weeks. There they attended the official opening of the Ebhebe Project and experienced the first few weeks of the school in action. Below is a report from Dr. Rupp.

On the 25th November 2005, the school was officially opened in the presence of many important members of the Nigerian society including politicians, religious leaders, educators, doctors etc. Currently the school has eleven highly qualified teachers who instruct the classes according to the West African curriculum. The standard of education is quite high and comparable to European standards. Remedial teaching is also ongoing for a number of children between the ages of 12 and 14, who still cannot read and write properly. Healthy snacks are available to the children during the breaks. The children have often expressed how happy and proud they are to be attending the school. Security is provided by competent watchmen 24 hours per day. Mr. Akhelumele, the founder of Youthcare International, has remained there to teach and supervise the project. The executive directors from the Austrian company “print & more”, Mr. Wolfgang Winkler and his wife Mrs. Angelika Winkler donated 2000 schoolbooks. Although start-up has been quite successful and inspiring, we still need a lot of support to sustain the current classes and to implement other vital aspects of the project. These include upgrading the current classes, finishing the kindergarten, completing and outfitting the computer centre, maintaining the remedial teaching programme for children and improving our efforts to disseminate information about AIDS. (Written on 09. Nov. 2005, read more on this page of Youthcare International).

Sorry, but all other informations by Google are only in german.

here these german links:

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Rosiska Darcy de Oliveira – Brazil

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Linked with our presentation For a fair sharing of time – Brazil households.

Linked also with our presentation of Women’s Leadership Center, Brazil.

She is the President of the Women’s Leadership Center, Brazil, and she was formerly president of the National Council on Women’s Rights. She is actively engaged in the cause of gender equality for more than thirty years. She was Co-chair of the Brazilian Delegation to the Beijing Women’s Conference. (See worldforum.org).

Rosiska Darcy de Oliveira – Brazil

About her book: A radical proposal that equality between men and women will only be achieved through the acknowledgment of their difference without hierarchy. “In no other book have I learned so much about women in the public sphere as in this impressive essay. In a continent whose culture has been marked by the work of great women from Sor Juana to Rigoberta Menchú-Rosiska Darcy de Oliveira is one of the most outstanding.”-Tomás Eloy Martinez, Rutgers University. Rosiska Darcy de Oliveira is arguably the most influential and visible feminist in Brazil. The emergence of the feminine as a paradigm for social change constitutes the landscape of her essay In Praise of Difference. And here the book: In Praise of Difference, The Emergence of a Global Feminism, Translated and with a preface by Peggy Sharpe, Subject: Women’s Studies/Latin American Studies. Cloth ISBN 0-8135-2557-8, Paperback ISBN 0-8135-2558-6. (See Rutgers Univ. Press, and also Univ of Oklahoma Lib.). Same in Portuguese Elogio Da Diferenca: O Feminino Emergente, 1st edition ISBN: 8511160175.

In the fight against terrorism, citizens have all too often been forgotten. In addition to the state response, the strengthening of civil society is critical in formulating a long-term response to terrorism. During the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security, hold on 8-11 March 2005 in Madrid, they discusses the roles citizens can play in strengthening democracy and countering terrorism. She participated this working group 14 , to examine the impact of terrorism and political violence on civil society. They attempted to define the sometimes delicate relationship between the citizens and the terrorists. See also this page of Safe democracy foundation.

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Grace Antonia D’Almeida – Benin

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Linked with our presentation of Network of African Women Ministers and Parliamentarians REFAMP.

Linked also with our presentation of UNFPA.

Goes with ‘Assuming Authority‘.

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

Her fight against forced marriages was a project that covered several areas and especially towns of north and south Benin and the lake-bordered towns.

Grace Antonia D’Almeida – Benin

She works for the Association des Femmes Juristes du Bénin (AFJB), and for the Network of the Women Ministers and Parliamentarians.

A lawyer, Grace Antonia D’Almeida (1951–2005) was divorced and the mother of three children. She enjoyed her work and excelled at everything she did. She, indeed, was a great fighter in the women’s movement in Africa and world-wide. She passed away in early 2005.The work of the AFJB was especially beneficial to rural women and women lawyers of the sub-regions who undertook an appeal on the status of women. Nevertheless, Grace Antonia never lost sight of the fact that she achieved the results she did because she and her colleagues took courage in their two hands to confront the challenges, among which was the hostility of men and traditional leaders towards the legal status of women. Many meetings were held with these hostile people to get them to embrace the initiatives of the AFJB.

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Tagreed Hikmat – Jordan

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She said “There are some social obstacles blocking the way of women from reaching judicial positions. But sometimes, the woman herself also hinders her own advancement. Part of it is personal incentive. Any change in the status of women in our country or in other Arab countries to reach a new position always needs a political decision.”

Tagreed Hikmat – Jordan

Tagreed Hikmat, Judge, International Tribunal for Rwanda, Jordan – Judge Tagreed Hikmat was the first female judge appointed in Jordan in 1996. Since then she has served as an Assistant to the Prosecutor General, Judge in the Court of Appeals, and currently as Judge in the Higher Criminal Court in Amman. In 2003, Judge Hikmat was also the first Arab woman judge to be elected to the International Tribunal for Rwanda. Prior to becoming a judge, she was an attorney representing cases in Jordanian civil and criminal courts for fourteen years, from 1982-1996. Judge Hikmat has also been a teacher in Amman from 1965-1978 and served as the Director of the Educational Institute in Amman until starting her career as an attorney. In addition, Judge Hikmat is a member and chairwoman of a number of Jordanian and international human rights and women’s organizations.

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Ayman Abd El-Aziz Nour – Egypt

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Ayman Abd El-Aziz Nour (Arabic: أيمن عبد العزيز نور) is an Egyptian politician, a former member of that country’s Parliament and chairman of the al-Ghad party (Arabic: حزب الغد “Tomorrow Party”). He became famous around the world following his January 2005 imprisonment by the government of President Hosni Mubarak, which was widely understood as a politically motivated move by the state and caused a lot of internal anger as well as foreign pressure for his release. (Read the rest of this article on wikipedia).

Ayman Abd El-Aziz Nour – Egypt

Latest News on June 1, 2006 – A fire has caused serious damage to the headquarters of imprisoned Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour. No-one was injured in the blaze in his offices in the capital, Cairo. The police have said an electrical fault may have been the cause but Mr Nour’s wife suggested that there was evidence of arson. (Read the today’s article on BBC news).

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