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Index January 2008

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Munir A. Malik – Pakistan

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Linked with Interview with Munir A. Malik, Jan. 13, 2008 (had been published on AHRChk.org Hong Kong) and with AHRC.

Munir A. Malik (Munir is also spelled Muneer) is a very prominent Pakistani lawyer.He is the former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) of Pakistan.He was the leader of the legal defense team of Chief Justice of Pakistan … Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry when the latter was illegally dismissed by general Pervez Musharraf … (wikipedia).

He says: “it was quite a sad instance that Army was victimizing its own masses rather than cross border enemies … (full text, Jan. 24, 2008).

Watch the videos:

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Munir A. Malik – Pakistan

Some latest articles where Munir A. Malik is named:

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Ayse Düzkan – Turkey

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

Ayse Düzkan, born in 1959, is one of the first feminist activists and writers in Turkey and has been active in various campaigns for women’s rights: in the peace struggle after 1990, as a journalist on war crimes and women’s issues among the Kurds, with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) on the Peace Train from Helsinki to Beijing, and the Peace Tent in the NGO Forum in 1995. She has been in and written about post-war Bosnia and Albania, as well as the Women in Black in Serbia and the Balkans. And she has also been active against the war in Iraq.

Listen her in turkish on the video: Sisli Direnis evi imza gunu, 9.05 min, December 27, 2006.

She is also a political heroe.

Ayse believes peace is possible only through struggle. She hopes to find a future where women are not oppressed and exploited, and she hopes to find equality, freedom, and justice in that future.

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Ayse Düzkan – Turkey

She works for the Women’s Foundation for Culture and Communication,
and for Pazartesi (Monday newspaper).

Ayse Duzkan started working in a trade union of health workers after she finished high school. The next year she started as a journalist on labor issues in a daily which was closed down after the coup d’etat in Turkey in 1980.

She was arrested, tortured, and imprisoned for several months. In 1984 she joined the first feminist group in Turkey and is one of the founders of the feminist movement there, always active in the movement and in various related campaigns.

She is one of the founders and writers of the first feminist magazine in Turkish, Feminist. She was also founder of Pazartesi, a feminist monthly that has been published for ten years. Ayse has also worked in the women’s peace movement in Turkey, and on building contacts with women who work for peace in other countries.

In 1995, she went to the NGO Forum in Beijing via the Peace Train organized by the Women’s League for Peace and Freedom. She participated in many conferences for peace in Turkey, many organized by women.

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Pervin Buldan – Turkey

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

Pervin Buldan’s political life began when her husband was murdered on 3 June 1994. This killing alerted her to the dirty war waged in Turkey. She first joined the Saturday Mothers, the relatives of those who had disappeared. She then worked at Mag-der, an association to assist these relatives, which was subsequently closed by the state. In spite of many difficulties, Yakay-der, the Center of Support and Solidarity for the Family Members of Forcibly Disappeared People was founded in 2002, and Pervin became president. She is also the mother of two children.

She says: “Our struggle is hard and full of sorrow. But there are instances that give so much power and hope. These moments let us stand up again after having fallen down”.

Listen her speak on this turkish video: DTP’li vekilin arabasıyla uyuşturucu ticareti, 3.03 min, January 02, 2008.

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Pervin Buldan – Turkey

She works for The Center of Support and Solidarity for the Family Members of Forcibly Disappeared People (named on Amnesty International),
/Yakay-der.

She was born on 6 November 1967 in the southeastern province of Hakkari, Turkey. There she grew up, went to school and started to work as an official in the local government administration department. At the age of 19, she married her cousin Savas Buldan. The couple moved from the eastern part of the country to the western metropolis of Istanbul in 1990, where Pervin Buldan was a full-time housewife. There, Pervin’s husband became a well-known Kurdish businessman, who was well liked because of his willingness to help oppressed people. One year later, Pervin’s first child, Necirvan, was born.

In 1993, her life turned into chaos after the former Prime Minister of Turkey, Tansu Ciller, made a speech declaring that the government had a list of businessmen supporting the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) whom they would hold accountable. After that speech, Savas received a series of threatening telephone calls. The period of “killings by unidentified murderers” against businessmen, including Savas Buldan, began.

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Laila Iskandar – Egypt

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Linked with Community and Institutional Development CID.

For Laila Iskandar, founder and managing director of the Community and Institutional Development group (CID), that opportunity came in the form of an empty shampoo bottle. Multinational cosmetic companies were frustrated that empty bottles of their products were being filled with bogus material, then resold as the real thing with the labels still intact. Who was doing the refilling? The garbage collectors, of course … (full text).

Watch the videos:

STUDY ON SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT OPTIONS FOR AFRICA, PROJECT REPORT, Final Draft Version.

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Laila Iskandar – Egypt

Egypt: where and who are the world’s illiterates? (2005).

She writes: They have living memories of the horror of evictions and a city that never regarded their work as valuable. In 1974, the choice to settle deep in the ‘belly’ of the Mokattam hills was made consciously and collectively in order to avoid further eviction. They have never stopped serving the city at great financial and personal cost. Let me enumerate some of these costs:

  • unremunerated labour (they were never paid for the service of climbing up and down multi-storey buildings in Cairo);
  • gruelling work (especially for the women who have to sort the garbage by hand);
  • harsh living conditions and a lack of education and health care.

… (full text).

Visions of zero waste around the world.

Laila Iskandar and her Community and Institutional Development group (CID) took home the Schwab Foundation’s honor for Social Entrepreneur of the Year in Egypt. We look at how she and her fellow nominees are setting out to change the economy as we understand it today … (full text).

The Urban Poors as Development Partners.

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Lucía Willis Paau – Guatemala (1959 – x)

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Lucía Willis Paau was battling against cancer, she has passed away. Sorry, I found no where indicated any date.

She was one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She was a Guatemalan woman, the worthy heiress of two great ancestral cultures: the Maya Q’eqchi (direct descendents of the Mayans) and the Garífuna (descendents of former African slaves). During her life, Lucía Willis Paau (46) had played many roles: nurse’s aide, researcher, social worker, mother, and defender of human rights. From her mother, she learned to fight. She had faced poverty, discrimination and marginalization, but she never forgot her origins. Lucía had an unbreakable fighting spirit. She weaved her life with threads of work and hope.

She said: “My life is hope”.

She said also: “If one wants to overcome adversity, one must make sacrifices”.

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Lucía Willis Paau – Guatemala (1959 – x)

She worked for Foundation of the Mayan Woman of the North (Funmmayan).

Forged through constant effort, persistence and sharing an interest in women’s causes, Lucia Willis Paau was a blend of two ancestral cultures: the Maya-q’eqchí’ (direct descendents of the Mayans) and the Garífuna (descendents of former African slaves that lived on the island of San Vicente in the Lower Antilles, during the 17th and 18th centuries; afterwards, they populated the Atlantic coast of Central America).

She went through many difficulties during her childhood. Her father, Stanley Willis, died when she was very young; her mother, Josefa Paau, had a great influence on Lucia’s development. From her mother, Lucia learned the responsibilities of managing a household, how to care for the animals and the crops, how to gather firewood, carry water, make tortillas, wash clothes, and cook. She also learned how to weave the cloth that she sold in the market.

The Mayan-q’eqchí’ culture was prevalent in her development. Her grandmother and her mother passed on the values that are reflected in all aspects of her life – organizational, philosophical, spiritual, and social; the respect for sacred places, for older people, for women and for harmony with nature and the universe. “She told me that when a woman could not make tortillas, she had to make tortillas at night, in front of grandmother moon and ask for help to make round tortillas. From the stars, one can ask them to guide us to find our gifts: our talents and our destiny.”

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Angie Zelter – England

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Linked with Trident Ploughshares TP.

Angie Zelter is a British peace activist who founded Trident Ploughshares, which seeks to disarm nuclear submarines in Great Britain through nonviolent means. Since the mid-1990s she has been arrested more than 100 times and more than 2200 arrests have occurred all around the world after Trident Ploughshares actions. These arrests help to bring media attention to the cause of nuclear disarmament in order to raise public awareness about the issue. Trident Ploughshares has also presented legal actions to show that nuclear weapons and nuclear armed submarines are a violation of many international laws. Angie Zelter is the author of the 2001 book, “Trident on Trial: the case for people’s disarmament” and that year her organization received the Right Livelihood Award (often referred to as the Alternative Nobel Prize) “… for providing a practical model of principled, transparent and non-violent direct action dedicated to ridding the world of nuclear weapons”. She is a Betterworld-heroe.

She says: “I had people in the village who would cross the road rather than speak to me and others who would tell me to go back to Russia”. (edp24).

Trident Ploughshares campaigner Angie Zelter said: “These women are very long-standing campaigners who have devoted a huge amount of their lives to protesting all over the UK, at huge cost to themselves. They command a huge amount of respect”. (full text, January 10, 2008.

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Angie Zelter – England

She founded the group Trident Ploughshares to challenge Britain’s deployment of nuclear weapons (and she) describes her work as a peace activist in Britain and the Palestinian territories. (the 12 principles).

She quotes: “Our planet is dying – both spiritually and physically. Fear, aggression and greed, narrow-minded national interests and immature dominance and control over others is a common theme in most countries. However, there are more and more people who define themselves as global citizens, who know that life is intimately interconnected, and that we can never be fully human whilst others continue to suffer, and who know that love, justice and nonviolence is the very essence of life. And what gives me hope is the very many different ways in which ordinary people are taking responsibility. They are creating the changes needed to pass beyond war and injustice, control and dominance and towards a free, just, loving, and diverse world”. (Betterworld heroe).

One stop shop for justice – JUSTICE in Inverclyde is set to undergo its biggest overhaul in decades, with extra court room, extra powers and the return of the High Court, Jan. 7, 2008.

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Walden Bello – Philippines

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Linked with Transnational Institute, with Foreign Policy in Focus FPIF, and with The Climate Corporation.
Walden Bello (born 1945) is a left-wing author, academic, and political analyst. He is a professor of sociology and public administration at the University of the Philippines, as well as executive director of Focus on the Global South. Born in Manila, Philippines, he became a political activist following the declaration of Martial Law by Ferdinand Marcos on September 21, 1972. In 2003, he was awarded the Right Livelihood Award; describes him as “one of the leading critics of the current model of economic globalisation, combining the roles of intellectual and activist.”[1] Bello is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute, based in Amsterdam and is a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus. (wikipedia).

See his personal website.

Little photogallery and more.

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Walden Bello – Philippines

European Commission ploughs ahead with irresponsible agrofuels push, 25/01/2008.

He writes: The American fast food diet and the meat eating habits of the wealthy around the world support a world food system that diverts food resources from the hungry. A diet higher in whole grains and legumes and lower in beef and other meat is not just healthier for ourselves but also contributes to changing the world system that feeds some people and leaves others hungry. (betterworld). See also it’s Vegetarian Quotes.

Social forum proposes alternative to Davos, 23/01/2008.

He writes also: I’m engaged in the global resistance movement because I think that one has to do something worth while with one’s life. There’s nothing heroic about this. It’s just that you have to do it, to be human. It’s something we owe to our fellow human beings. We have a situation in the world in which this sort of exploitation and poverty that we have should not be seen. Human beings should be able to devise more equitable structures. And so one has to be part of that process. Because you either engage in the process and thereby be true to yourself or you disengage from the process and are just an onlooker and that, I think, would be not being true to oneself. So, the answer to the question why does one engage in this work, it’s because that’s the only decent thing to do. There’s no big inspiration and there’s no big heroism, there’s no sort of martyrdom and there’s no glory. It’s just pure decency. I think that’s at least what motivates me. (full text, scroll down).

Poor, Deluded Europeans, January 22, 2008.

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Zuleikhan Bagalova – Russian Federation

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

Zuleikhan Bagalova is a leading actress of the Chechen theater. She holds the titles People’s Actress of Checheno-Ingushetia and Distinguished Actress of the Russian Federation. For her theatrical achievements, she was awarded the order Symbol of Honor. Zuleikhan already began her social activities in Soviet times. She was three times elected to the Supreme Council of Chechen-Ingushetia. Since 1995, she has been directing the LAM Center which focuses on reviving Chechen culture, providing humanitarian aid, and taking a stand against the war in Chechnya.

She says: “Those trying to conceal the truth about Chechnya do their best also to conceal the fact that the activities of the human rights organizations are anti-war rather than anti-Russian”.

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Sorry, I can not find any photo of Zuleikhan Bagalova in the internet.

She works for the LAM–Center for Complex Research and Popularization of Chechen Culture.

Zuleikhan Bagalova was born on 2 June 1945 in Kara-Balta in Kazakhstan. Her father Mutush Ginaevich Bagalov was a veteran of World War II, who, after having been seriously wounded, was demobilized from the army in 1943. He then worked in the military procurement service.

Zuleikhan has three children. The daughter with her two children is currently permanently living in Norway. Her eldest son is working in the Theater-Museum “Bakhrushin” in Moscow. The youngest son is a student.

After having finished secondary school in 1961, Zuleikhan Bagalova enrolled in the Grozny Theater Studio, which she finished in 1963.

She worked in the Chechen Drama Theater “Kh.Nuradilov” from 1961 to 1997. She completed a distant learning course as actress at Moscow Lunacharskiy State Institute of Drama Art.

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Francis S.L. Wang – China & USA

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Linked with Rebuilding a Bridge, and with War Crimes Studies Center WCSC, U.C. Berkeley.

Francis (Frank) S. L. Wang ’72, sharpens the contrast of East and West with two quotes, one by Angus Graham – “…The most striking difference between…the two ends of the civilized world is in the destiny of logic. For the West, logic has been central…” – and the other by Liu Shuhsien – “…it is precisely because the Chinese mind is so rational that it refuses to become rationalistic and…to separate form from content”. (full text).

He says: “It’s not as if the two cultures are from different planets, but they do originate from differing philosophies and perspectives. It is not sufficient just to preach about the rule of law; we need to understand that people are different. If we want to bridge the gap between China and the West, we need to learn more about China’s philosophies and culture so as to understand the way the Chinese organize their world view, and as a consequence their society, and the way they think about law” (full long text).

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Francis S.L. Wang – China & USA
Professor Wang is a Professor of Law at the Kenneth Wang School of Law of Soochow University and is a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a visiting professor and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University of the Pacific / McGeorge Law School, (Courses: International Intellectual Property, Concepts of Chinese Law). He is one of the founders and the Senior Counsel of the U.C. Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center. He is one of the founding members and serves on the Board of Governors of the International Association of Law Schools IALS. He is the Executive Director of the Wang Family Foundation (named in SuperPages.com). He has testified before the United States Senate, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Trade Commission, as well as the United States Trade Representative’s Office. He has published widely and lectures frequently in the U.S. and Asia on selected aspects of international law and related issues. (full text).

Find him on FindLawyer.cn (a chinese website).

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Geum-Soon Yoon – South Korea

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also called: Yoon, Keum-Soon

Linked with Via Campesina.org, International Peasant Movement,
with Ha-Joon Chang, South Korea & England, with Heisoo Shin, South Korea, and with Sook-Im Kim, South Korea.

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

One of the founders of the Korea Women Farmers Association KWFA, Geum-Soon Yoon has helped to place women and farmers in the forefront of her country’s reunification movement. Educated as an environmental engineer, Geum-Soon worked within the farmers’ movement to improve the lives of the poor farmers. As vice-president of KWFA, she was instrumental in making the historic first reunification conference between North and South Korean farmers a success. Geum-Soon is a sharp critic of globalization policies that negatively affect farmers’ rights and the environment.

She says: “Most women neither possess land nor have the right of joint possession. They are excluded from education and training, buying machinery, financial support. Only their husbands have these rights”.

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Geum-Soon Yoon, also called: Yoon, Keum-Soon – South Korea

She works for Reunification Solidarity; for the Korea Women Farmers Association KWFA: also named on Wiser Earth, address: Korea Women Farmers Association KWFA, Sambo Building 303, Yanjae-Dong, 247-4, Seocho-ku, Seoul, Korea 137 130; and for Via Campasina. (See also: Members of La Via Campesina).

She writes: She told she was extremely happy when she picked up green peppers which was going to be her own name product. Changes in the farming area encourage her to work pleasedly. When the plants got desease or when the products were sold at a very cheap price, she had a broken heart. Nevertheless, the heart-breaking incident reversed a courage to her. She asked other women farmers to put her own name as a producer, but it caused to a couple-quarreling in such a conservative agricultural society. Even the women farmers’ meeting was often blocked by their husbands. Generally speaking, the main female farmers’ issue to be solved is a welfare thing. However, the most important problem raised by Yoon, Keum-soon is that women should be regarded as major farmers. Of course, the welfare issue is also important. Because of lack of child-care facilities, children are ignored and mothers are easily tired by double day works. Most of female farmers suffer in a poor health condition … (full text).

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Bahman Nirumand – Iran & Germany

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Linked with Shirin Neshat – Iran & USA, with Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in IRAN CASMII, with The Lost Children of the Revolution, and with The American Muslim TAM.

Born in 1936 in Teheran, Bahman Nirumand studied German Studies, Philosophy und Iranian Studies in Munich, Tübingen and Berlin. In 1960 he received his PhD on the basis of a dissertation on Brecht. After his studies, he returned to Iran, and worked as a Lecturer for Comparative Literature at the University of Teheran, and also as a writer and journalist. He soon came into conflict with the Shah-Regime and fled the country in 1965 in order to escape his imminent arrest … (full text).

Bahman Nirumand (* 18. September 1936 in Teheran) ist ein iranischer und deutscher Publizist und Autor (wikipedia.de).

He writes: “The more the regime manages to mobilize the masses for its foreign policy aims, the easier it is to increase pressure within the country. The nuclear conflict, the threat of sanctions by the USA and the EU in an attempt to force Iran to forego its internationally given right to the enrichment of uranium – a right that has in the meantime be elevated to a matter of national honor, along with the general demonization of Iran by the West and similar developments, give the radical Islamists just the ammunition they need to bring the masses into line in terms of ideology, religion and nationalism and to demand their solidarity with their country. This is the context in which Ahmadinejad’s invective against Israel and denial of the Holocaust must be seen”. (full text).

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Bahman Nirumand – Iran & Germany

Media Darlings of the Unenlightened Masses.

Bahman Nirumand calls on the West to take a closer look at Iran: “There are also moderate forces at work within the government. Even conservatives reject President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s confrontational policies. The signs of Tehran’s adopting a softer tone which could be observed over the past few weeks throw light on a power struggle that has become increasingly fierce since Ahmadinejad made his radical statements. It’s thanks to the moderate forces within the government that Tehran described Russia’s offer to produce nuclear fuel in Russia as ‘positive’ and as a ‘possible way out of the crisis’, and that just last Monday an Iranian delegation tried to prevent Europe from making ‘rash decisions’. The question now is which faction within the Iranian parliament will win the battle. The answer depends to no small extent on the West’s response. Threats, sanctions or a military attack will only serve to strengthen the radicals’ position and silence the voices which today rise in opposition to Ahmadinejad’s policies. (euro topics).

Bahman Nirumand, born in 1936 in Tehran, is an Iranian-German writer. (The following article appeared in Taz in german). Here the english translation by Yoshie Furuhashi, on 17 November 2007.

The Danger of War Grows: The Scenario Reminiscent of the Iraq War (texts on this site are in english AND in german). (critical montages, Nov. 17, 2007).

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Maria José Rosado Nunes /Sister Zeca – Brazil

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Linked with Religious Ideology and Social Control: Abortion and the Catholic Church., and with PLANetWIRE.org.

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

Maria José Rosado Nunes (1945) was the first Brazilian nun to publicly criticize the sexist attitudes of the Catholic church’s progressive wing. In the beginning of the 1980s, she contested left-wing religious authorities who “used to fight against poverty and for social justice, but not against the prohibition of women’s right to become priests and not for women’s sexual and reproductive rights.” After leaving the church, she founded in Brazil an organization called Católicas pelo Direito de Decidir (Catholics for the Right to Decide).

She says: “Mass is an offense against women since a man, to celebrate it, has to be apart from them. It constantly shows women as Eve, the one who brought disgrace, sin”.

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Maria José Rosado Nunes /Sister Zeca – Brazil

She works for Católicas pelo Direito de Decidir CDD /Catholics for the Right to Decide (named in the Letter to President Hu Jintao, and on Popline.org).

She says also: “For me, Beijing was deeply moving. I experienced that meeting as a singular historic moment. Thousands of women from all over the world, gathered in a distant Asian country—distant at least relative to Brazil, where I come from. The variety of colors, faces, languages, ways of dressing and behaving—Should we hug? Should we kiss? Should we put our hands together as if in prayer and bow our heads? Countless ways of greeting one another. We were different. Even in our ways of thinking and expressing our ideas and dreams about feminism”. (full text).

Prostitutes of Barra do Mendes, a city in the hinterland of Bahia, used to live on Palha Street. To go from her house to the school where she would give classes, the newly arrived nun Maria José Rosado Nunes had two options: walking down that street or going all the way round the church square. The advice was pretty obvious: take the longer way.

Sister Zeca, as she was known, took a decision upon which she has based her life and that made her, years later, leave the Church: saying “no” to any kind of discrimination against women: Zeca made friends among the women of Palha Street.

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Jeanne M. Gacoreke – Burundi

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

Jeanne Gacoreke (49) is a teacher in Bujumbura. She helps orphans and widows of war and sexually abused women, fights poverty and reintegrates refugees within the country and those from abroad. In her Maison d’écoute, victims of war and sexual violence receive physical and psychological help and legal advice. Thanks to her initiative, the local radio has been presenting women’s personal stories about rape, thereby raising the public awareness on their plight. Jeanne is trained in psycho-pedagogy, peaceful conflict resolution and modern communication technology.

She says: “My dream is slowly becoming reality. At last rape victims are finding a way out of shame and silence. They are speaking up”.

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Sorry, I can not find any photo of Jeanne M. Gacoreke, Burundi in the internet (see also my comment ‘Brave women without photos‘).

She works for Union des Groupements et Association pour la Promotion de la Femme (named on Urgent Action Fund, scroll down).

Her village, a poor quarter on the outskirts of Bujumbura, has been destroyed four times in the last ten years. Each time the village has been rebuilt. Twice she had to take a bank loan to rebuild her own house. After the fourth attack, she remained in exile in order to spare her children the sight of dead bodies. But she helped the women of the village to rebuild their homes and eventually returned.

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Lihua Xie – China

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

Xie Lihua was born in 1951 in Chanyi County, Shandong Province. In 1969, she served in the military before she began to move towards a career as a journalist and development worker. In 1985, she became editor and reporter for China Women’s Daily and, eight years later, its deputy editor-in-chief. The same year, she founded China’s first magazine for rural women, Rural Women Know All. Alongside, she developed a series of programs for rural women that included literacy courses, micro financing and reproductive health.

She says: “I hope for the day when the whole nation will be mobilized to support the survival and development of rural women and they will no longer be on the margins”.

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Lihua Xie – China

She works for the (All-) China’s Women’s Federation, the China daily and Chinese women on DANWEI, and the Rural Women Know All magazine (on informa wolrd).

Even before she turned forty, the fabric of Xie Lihua’s life was woven with words. During her eight years at China Women’s Daily, she rose through the ranks from reporter to editor, to department director, to editorial board member, to deputy editor-in-chief. After forty, Rural Women Know All seeped into her veins. She worked on this magazine day and night, as if obsessed.

In the summer of 1992, Xie Lihua visited her hometown in Shandong where she had lived until the age of five. She felt a renewed sense of connection with her “roots” and she said, “In my adulthood, I have become one of Beijing’s residents, but the moment I set foot on the soil of my hometown, I hear the rich village sounds and taste our local food, I truly feel that my roots are still deep in the earth of the village”.

China remains an agricultural nation and 70 per cent of its women live in rural areas. After fourteen years of military life and eight years in the media, Xie Lihua came to the sudden realization that she did not understand her country or her countrywomen. Therefore, at a time when everyone was fighting to join the wave of commercialism and partner with the corporate world, Xie opened herself a door to the villages.

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John Perkins – USA

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Linked with Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and with Dream Change DC. Also linked with John Perkins of 3rd November 2006 on this blog.

John Perkins (b. 28 January 1945 in Hanover, New Hampshire) is an activist and author. His best known book is Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, an insider’s account of the exploitation or neo-colonization of Third World countries by what Perkins portrays as a cabal of corporations, banks, and the United States government. His 2007 book, The Secret History of the American Empire, makes further claims about the negative impact of global corporations on the economies and ecologies of poor countries, as well as offering suggestions for making corporations behave more like good citizens … (full text).

He says: “When you look at the world we humans have created you may conclude that it was created by sleeping people, because awake, aware, conscious people would manifest a very different world. We have entered one of the most important periods in human history…We have the opportunity to lift ourselves to new levels of consciousness” … (full text).

Listen his video: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, 53.34 min, June 21, 2007.

Look at his own website.

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John Perkins – USA

He is the Founder of DREAM CHANGE.

Listen his video: John Perkins – America’s Secret Empire, 5.30 min, August 13, 2007.

He says: “Basically what we were trained to do and what our job is to do is to build up the American empire. To bring—to create situations where as many resources as possible flow into this country, to our corporations, and our government, and in fact we’ve been very successful. We’ve built the largest empire in the history of the world. It’s been done over the last 50 years since World War II with very little military might, actually. It’s only in rare instances like Iraq where the military comes in as a last resort. This empire, unlike any other in the history of the world, has been built primarily through economic manipulation, through cheating, through fraud, through seducing people into our way of life, through the economic hit men. I was very much a part of that” … (full interview text).

John Perkins spent three decades as an Economic Hit Man, business executive, author, and lecturer. He lived and worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and North America. Then he made a decision: he would use these experiences to make the planet a better place for his daughter’s generation. Today he teaches about the importance of rising to higher levels of consciousness, to waking up – in both spiritual and physical realms – and is a champion for environmental and social causes. He has lectured at universities on four continents, including Harvard, Wharton, and Princeton. (full text).

Self-Described Economic Hit Man John Perkins: “We Have Created the World’s First Truly Global Empire”.

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Pilirani Semu-Banda – Malawi

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Linked with The Gender and Media Project, with Daughters for loan under fire, … , and also linked with Malawi PeaceWomen already on our blog: with Irene Chaluluka, with Helen Munthali, and with Madam Felister Chinthunzi.

Pilirani Semu-Banda is a journalist contracted by the USAID as Media Specialist for Casals and Associates in Malawi. As a freelancer, Pilirani has won both local and international awards, including the Africa Education Journalism Award. She has also been voted Malawi’s best female journalist twice. (altvoices).

Visit her blog.

A short video-statement about Pilirani Semu-Banda, by USAID to Africa, 0.39 min, 20 Nov 2007.

Malawi: ‘Foreign Traders Are Taking Our Jobs‘, by Pilirani Semu-Banda, December 20, 2007.

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Pilirani Semu-Banda – Malawi

Modern Day Slavery in Malawi Persists in the Name of Culture.

As one of the major tobacco exporters in the world, Malawi derives up to 70 percent of its foreign exchange earnings from tobacco, accounting for five percent of the world’s total exports and two percent of the world’s total production. Tea is the second major foreign exchange earner after tobacco, contributing a nine percent share to the country’s total exports. This little country in southern Africa, 20th in population out of the 54 countries and island kingdoms that make up Africa, ranks only after Kenya, which has almost three times the population, as the second largest producer and exporter of tea in Africa; it is 12th on the world list … (full text).

The Cost of the US Elections on Africa.

She writes: In Nkombanyama, a village in Malawi’s northern district of Chitipa, a 14-year-old girl was saved by a traditional chief as she was about to be married off to a successful farmer. Sadly, her father was using her as currency to settle a debt with the farmer.

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Harry B. Coonce – USA

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Linked with the Mathematics Genealogy Project, and with Family Tree for Mathematic Scholars.

Retired Minnesota State University-Mankato mathematics professor Harry B. Coonce has proven once again that nature abhors a vacuum. Four years ago, he started a small project that has blossomed into a massive online effort to list all the world’s mathematicians. His reason for starting the Genealogy Project for Mathematicians? The information wasn’t available anywhere else … (full text).

A Labor of Love: the Mathemiatics Genealogy Project.

The Project in the UK: Notes.

the Project on wikipedia.

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Sorry, I found no photo of Harry B. Coonce in the internet.

He has created the Mathematics Genealogy Project of thed NDSU North Dakota State University.

(To access their feature – as participant of the project – you have to login with your ACM Web Account and, if you fullfill their requirements*, click on ‘this link’ of the project).

* to full fill their requirements, Dr. Coonce requests that the following information be sent to him (by mail) for any Ph.D. mathematician not currently included in the list (or for whom there is an incomplete or inaccurate entry):

  • The complete name of the degree recipient;
  • The name of the university that awarded the doctorate;
  • The year in which the degree was awarded;
  • The complete title of the dissertation;
  • The complete name(s) of the advisor(s).

(full text).

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Siin-Do Song – Japan & Korea

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

Telling the story of her experience as a sex slave, Siin-Do Song (born 1923) is paving the way for thousands of women to pursue justice. Siin-Do was one of the “comfort women” to the Japanese military during World War II. Following the war, Siin-Do faced harsh racial and ethnic discrimination as a Korean living in Japan. Using her own name in a culture that forbids talking of such things, Siin-Do filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government asking for an apology and compensation. Her quest for justice is a protest against both sexual violence during the war and racism after it.

“Siin-Do Song’s actions make us realize that the impunity of crimes of violence against women in war should be ended” says Yuko Sugiyama

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Sorry, their is no photo for Siin-Do Song, Japan & Korea

She works for VAWW-NET Japan.

The tragedy of Siin-Do’s victimization began when she was a young girl, growing up in Korea at a time when her country was under Japanese rule. At age 16, Siin-Do ran away from an arranged marriage on the day of her wedding, and was approached by a Korean woman who told her she could make money if she went to the battlefield of “her nation” (Japan). In 1938, Siin-Do was taken to China, which had just been invaded by Japan. There, she was forced to serve for years as a “comfort woman” in a “comfort station,” which meant servicing hundreds of soldiers who would wait in line for their few minutes of rape. When Japan surrendered in 1945, Siin-Do fled China, leaving behind children born in the brothel.

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Shirin Neshat – Iran & USA

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Shirin Neshat doesn’t quite know where to call home. The 43-year-old artist was born and raised in Iran but moved to the U.S. after high school to study art. When the Islamic Revolution overtook her homeland in 1979, Neshat was exiled and couldn’t return until 11 years later – and the country she went home to bore little resemblance to the one she left … (time.com).

She says: “For a long time I resisted that word, exile. I feel like when you say “exile” it implies a state that is not voluntary like when you leave your country. At the time I made that statement -that was quite a few years ago – I had been traveling to Iran, and I was really proud that I had made the effort to go there. It’s within the last few years that the notion of exile has really started to sink in for me. Every time I tried to go back, there were all these blocks that prevented me. I started, for the first time, to really feel this frustration. Before, it had always been a matter of choice. I made the decision. This time I realized I didn’t have the choice, and I felt really angry and frustrated. Then I said, “Well you know something? I am an artist in exile.” I decided that maybe once I accepted that, other doors would open in my mind in terms of the way I situate myself, in terms of my work, my psychology”. (BelieverMag).

She was also impressed with the museum’s commitment to show the works of artists who have not been seen in the region, including Shirin Neshat, Pipilotti Rist and Bill Viola … (full text, Jan. 9, 2008).

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Shirin Neshat – Iran & USA

Listen the video: The Noam Chomsky / Shirin Neshat / Death Penalty panel, 56.40 min., 09.06.2006 on charlierose.com.

This will be the first time that the subject will be offered as an extensive one-day course and for many art lovers in Dubai, some of the artists to be discussed will be familiar thanks to having exhibited in the city and across the region. These include Farhad Moshiri, Shirin Neshat, Walid Raad, Rabab El-Nemr and Paul Guiragossian. (full text, Jan. 7, 2008).

Universes in Universe.org.

Solo show reviews include: Gert & Uwe Tobias, Mariko Mori, Carlos Amorales, Mary Heilmann, Slater Bradley, Ian Kiaer, Duncan Marquiss, Luisa Lambri, Charlotte Posenenske, Joanne Tatham & Tom O’ Sullivan, Mathieu Mercier, Mark Leckey, Job Kolewijn, Ian Tweedy, Konstantin Kakanias, Enrico Morsiani, Gino De Dominicis, Yael Bartana, Jordan Wolfson, Lorenzo Scotto di Luzio, Shirin Neshat, Jean-Luc Moulène, Sean Snyder, Teresa Margolles, Noriko Yamaguchi. (full text, Jan. 7, 2008).

An Unveiling.

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Youyun Zhang – China

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

Zhang Youyun was born in 1940. She worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was involved in the negotiations with Britain for Hong Kong’s future. In 1990 she joined Ministry of Labor. In 1994 she became a member of the International Labor Organization ILO and was also appointed Special Adviser on Women Workers’ Questions and Director of the Bureau for Gender Equality.

She says: “Being a woman does not necessarily mean that you are gender conscious. We should challenge existing rules of the game, including existing mechanisms that cause and perpetuate gender inequality”.

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Youyun Zhang – China

In 1940, when Zhang Youyun was born, her father Zhang Aoyun was the magistrate of Yunxian county, Hubei province, under the Republic of China. Two years later he passed away, stressed out by overwork; he left a will which urged his children to take pains to complete what he had not finished, to love the people as well as the country, and to not be egoistic, grudging, lazy or greedy.

Dancing and gymnastics fascinated Zhang Youyun then. However, bearing her father’s will in mind, she gave up her favorite activities. After experiencing many difficulties, Zhang Youyun at last passed the examination and began to study English at the Beijing Foreign Studies University. In 1973, she went to Britain to further her studies at the University of Bath. She began her career as an interpreter in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1974, where she worked as long as sixteen years. During this period, she also took part in foreign affairs.

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Robert Bauval – Egypt & Belgium

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Linked with SATAN’S CALLING CARD, and with The Language of Stone.

Look at this upcoming event: ‘THE GRAND GATHERING OF SOULS’, SPRING EQUINOX, plus an unique 12 days tour of Egypt … from 19 to 30 March 2008. For Bookings and more detail please contact with Candice Bauval,
and in Egypt with Mohammad Nazmy.

Robert Bauval says: “The controversies that were generated in 1990s have been debated to the hilt. It’s now time to move the discussion onwards. The Orion Correlation Theory (OCT) remains controversial. So be it. The Egypt Code takes the thesis forward to fit the notion of a sky-ground correlation into the overall context and timeframe of pharaonic Egypt. It takes on board many issues that were not dealt with in my previous books, and seeks the common denominator that motivated the 3000 years of pyramid and temple building along the Nile” … (full interview text).

His website: … Please feel free to take a ‘romp’ around my Website, and I hope you find many things that will interest you: Homepage; books; feature articles; photo galleries; links to interesting websites.

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Robert Bauval – Egypt & Belgium

THE EGYPT CODE by Robert Bauval, A Special Review Written by Greg Taylor, June 2006: It is a little difficult to understand why the OCT has been rebuked so ferociously by not only Egyptologists, but also astronomers such as Ed Krupp. The likeness is quite apparent, and there is much to suggest that the ancient Egyptians revered the Orion constellation in particular – even if one day it is ultimately proven incorrect, it still seems a topic well worth some serious discussion. In all likelihood, the orthodox opposition to Bauval’s research comes not so much from that core theory, but from the other subjects associated with him from the ‘alternative history’ genre throughout the 1990s – the Age of the Sphinx controversy, the 10,500 BCE date given by Bauval for the perfect mirror image of the Giza layout to be present in the sky, and the confluence of this date with theories of a lost civilisation (notably the big ‘A’: Atlantis) … (full long text).

Graham Hancock And Robert Bauval, Monuments To Life: a DVD.

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Ana Maria Romero de Campero – Bolivia

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Linked with Developments on the Road to ‘Division Day’.

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

A prestigious journalist, Bolivian Ana Maria de Campero (1943) was a Public Defender, from 1998 to 2003. With her, this position was born. Her goal was to defend the human rights of prisoners, coke growers, prostitutes, children, homosexuals and sick people without resources.

She has not lost her determination. Today, from the Unite Bolivia Foundation, over which she presides, she promotes non-violent management and dialogue.

She says: “I know that I can fight power without letting it seduce me or scare me”.

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Ana Maria Romero de Campero – Bolivia

She works for the Unite Bolivia Foundation.

“The best thing that could ever happen in the country, at that time, was her appointment to become Public Defender. We verified this every day. There is nothing like time to show us our successes or mistakes. And time plays in her favor, because she works in favor of the people. Human rights: she is right and human. Ethics: to her, it is not just a word, it is her backbone. Solidarity: open hand, given heart. Simplicity and grace: they are hers.” This is how journalist Caesar Rojas Ríos, of La Prensa, Bolivia, defined Ana Maria Romero de Campero (born in La Paz in 1943).

Ana Maria did not gain these praises without encountering difficulties. She started her career as a journalist after she was already a wife and a mother. She was a journalist for 30 years. She became Director of the daily newspaper, Presencia. From there, she opposed the dictatorship of General Hugo Bánzer (1971-1978).

In 1979, there was an opening for democracy. She was named the Minister of Information. But after only a few days, a state coup sent her into exile. But she returned and continued her work in journalism.

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Francis F. Muguet – France

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Linked with Connect the World.

He is international expert for new technology /expert international pour nouvelles technologies. He is working with the WSIS project:

  • About WSIS;
  • WSIS Follow-Up: In the resolution (2006/46) passed on 28 July 2006, entitled “Follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society and review of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development”, ECOSOC indicated how it will oversee the system-wide follow-up of the Summit outcomes, as requested in the Tunis outputs. This is in the context of the annual consideration by ECOSOC of the integrated and coordinated implementation and follow-up of major United Nations conferences. To this end, ECOSOC decided that the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) will assist the Council as the focal point in the system-wide follow-up of WSIS. (full text).
  • WSIS Implementation;
  • WSIS newsroom.

A french video on ITC & god governance of the internet: Francis Muguet, Expert International TIC, ENSTA, 5.38 min., Oct. 22, 2007.

Muguet.org.

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Francis F. Muguet – France

Relevant websites he’s working with:

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Jacqueline Kelen – France

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Linked with CIRET, and with CHARTER OF TRANSDISCIPLINARITY.

To heal, to feel ‘good inside’: today we are living under an all-powerful therapeutic ideology, regressive and consumerist, that infantilises us by trying to exclude all risks. Jacqueline Kelen speaks out against the tyranny of comfort that is attempting to sidestep the human being’s spiritual vocation. A specialist of the myth, the author evokes her heroes, gods and saints in this book. They remind us, with their wounds and their ordeals, that man does not achieve plenitude through facility: Achilles and Ulysses, Lancelot and Tristan, Osiris cut into pieces and Christ crucified; they are all telling us, with the Jacob of the Bible and the Christian and Sufi mystics, that a wound is also an opening; and there is no wound that does not bring us back to the wound of love. (english part of an East-Asian-language website).

Ecoutez sa vidéo ‘La demeure du printemps‘, 2.51 min.

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Jacqueline Kelen – France

… The answers show the difficulty found by most of those interviewed when it came to stating clearly that they became adults when they were well in their 30s. The term “adult” is not accepted, as writer Jacqueline Kelen says: “Being an adult? I prefer the concept of maturity including at least one type of age and expressing the capacity of renewal of the being. There is an expression I like and I hope to experience: ‘Stay in youth’ … ” (page 7/11, full long text).

Her publications: on Bookstores.com (18 books, all in french); on BestBookBuys (10 books, all in french); on amazon (many books, many languages); on chapters.indigo.ca; on a japanese book-selection; on Oxford Journals: French Studies (requires a subscription); on FNAC.com (36 titres).

Sorry, I found only few sites in english … but she is soooo gooood!!

sites en français:

Aimer d’amitié, Comment l’amitié enseigne à aimer.

Ecrivain qui traite dans son oeuvre les thèmes de l’amitié, la solitude, la passion amoureuse, le secret, le sommeil, et revisite de nombreuses figures légendaires comme Ulysse, Mélusine, Lancelot ou la Reine de Saba. Pour elle, les mythes sont des réservoirs de rêves, mais aussi des passeurs de sagesse. (voyages).

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Chris Maser – USA

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Linked with Trees for life, with Now we are human commodities, with THE ECONOMICS OF EXTINCTION, and with THE SELF-INFLICTED COST OF ECONOMIC MYOPIA.

Chris Maser is a freelance consultant on sustainable forestry. He is the author of some 30 books, some 250 articles, he leads conferences, speeches and workshops. His career spans thirty years as a research ecologist in forest, shrub steppe, subarctic, desert, coastal, and agricultural settings. He was a member of Yale’s Peabody Museum Prehistoric Expedition to Egypt, conducted a three-year coastal survey for the University of Puget Sound, and carried out an eight-year study of old-growth forests with the U.S. Department of the Interior. He has given more than 100 talks throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Speaking topics include sustainable forestry, sustainable community development, and resolving environmental conflicts. (full text).

He writes: “I am but one person…. What can I do? The answer is always the same: I can do something. It doesn’t have to be much. It only needs to be done with love and it becomes great, no matter how small it may seem to the giver of the gift. Ours is not to question the size or value of our individual contributions. Our task in life is simply to give from the essence of who we are. Each gift is unique and valuable, and each adds a necessary piece to the whole”. (full long text).

Homepage of his website, and its sitemap.

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Chris Maser – USA

Land-Use Planning for sustainable development.

Trained primarily as a vertebrate zoologist, Chris Maser spent over 25 years as a research scientist in natural history and ecology in forest, shrub steppe, subarctic, desert, coastal, and agricultural settings. He was a research mammalogist in Nubia, Egypt, (1963-1964) with the Yale University Peabody Museum Prehistoric Expedition and a research mammalogist in Nepal (1966-1967) for the U. S. Naval Medical Research Unit #3 based in Cairo, Egypt, where he participated in a study of tick-borne diseases. From 1970 through 1973, he conducted an ecological survey of the Oregon Coast for the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington. Following that, he was a research ecologist with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management from 1974-1987 (the last eight studying old-growth forests in western Oregon) and a landscape ecologist with the Environmental Protection Agency 1990-1991). Today Chris is an author as well as an international lecturer, and facilitator in resolving environmental conflicts, vision statements, and sustainable community development. He also an international consultant in forest ecology and sustainable forestry practices. He has written over 270 publications, including more than twenty books about sustainable forestry, resolving
environmental conflict, the various aspects of sustainable community development, natural history of mammals, gardening, and the perpetual consequences of fear and violence in today’s world. He has worked and/or lectured in Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Slovakia, Switzerland, and throughout the United States. (Read text).

The Seen and Unseen World of the Fallen Tree.

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Sook-Im Kim – South Korea

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Linked with Korean Women’s Association United , and with human trafficking.org.

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

Sook-Im Kim began empowering women to make a difference in Korea in the late ’70s, in what she calls the “Dark Ages for women’s movements.” In the face of military dictatorship, a divided country, and an inflated national defense budget, women’s voices were silenced. Understanding that women’s welfare was at stake, Sook-Im pioneered the women’s peace movement by organizing the radical group, Korean Association of Christian Women, for whom she and her husband built a church and kindergarten. For 26 years, Sook-Im has modeled leadership in her quest for peace.

She says: “Female-oriented peaceful movements, measures, and mind have guided me into a vision for resolving the conflict in the Korean peninsula as a mediator of peace”.

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Sook-Im Kim – South Korea

She works for the Peace and Reunification Committee of the Korea Women’s Association,
for the Unification and Peace in Korean Women’s United Association,
and for the Korea Campaign to Ban Landmines (named on Landmine Monitor).

The daughter of a wealthy businessman, Sook-Im Kim was always encouraged by her parents to become socially active. But a quiet reader and musician, Kim preferred to keep to herself. She enrolled in Seoul’s Women’s University to study literature, and there her life took a sharp turn. As a jazz pianist and dancer, her performance of a masque dance caught the attention of the military police. Believing it was a form of government resistance, they sent Kim to prison.
Ironically, it was at this point that her true resistance began.

She became very ill in prison and an operation on her spine ended her days of dancing. But a new kind of dance was born. Upon her release from prison, she became an activist, fired by her first-hand understanding of an unjust political system.

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Michel Onfray – France

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Michel Onfray (born January 1, 1959 in Argentan, Orne, France) is a French philosopher. Born to a family of Norman farmers, he graduated with a Ph.D. in philosophy. He taught this subject to senior students at a technical high school in Caen between 1983 and 2002, before establishing the Université populaire de Caen on a free-of-charge basis, for which he wrote a manifesto in 2004 (La communauté philosophique). (full text).

He says: “There is in fact a multitude of ways to practice philosophy, but out of this multitude, the dominant historiography picks one tradition among others and makes it the truth of philosophy: that is to say the idealist, spiritualist lineage compatible with the Judeo-Christian world view. From that point on, anything that crosses this partial – in both senses of the word – view of things finds itself dismissed. This applies to nearly all non-Western philosophies, Oriental wisdom in particular, but also sensualist, empirical, materialist, nominalist, hedonistic currents and everything that can be put under the heading of “anti-Platonic philosophy”. Philosophy that comes down from the heavens is the kind that – from Plato to Levinas by way of Kant and Christianity – needs a world behind the scenes to understand, explain and justify this world. The other line of force rises from the earth because it is satisfied with the given world, which is already so much”. (full text).

Son site internet français.

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Michel Onfray – France

Read: Jean Meslier and ‘The Gentle Inclination of Nature’, by Michel Onfray, translated by Marvin Mandell, on New Politics, Winter 2006.

From art and politics to bioethics, religion, the internet and the odyssey of tea, French philosopher Michel Onfrey focuses on a multitude of issues that concern contemporary humanity in his numerous books and lectures. For Mr Onfray, philosophy must be effective on the existential plane. (full text).

Onfray believes that there is no philosophy without psychoanalysis. An adamant atheist, he considers religion to be indefensible. He regards himself as being part of the tradition of individualist anarchism, a tradition that he claims is at work throughout the entire history of philosophy and that he is seeking to revive amidst modern schools of philosophy that he feels are cynical and epicurean. His writings celebrate hedonism, reason and atheism. He endorsed the French Revolutionary Communist League and its candidate for the French presidency, Olivier Besancenot in the 2002 election, although this is somewhat at odds with the libertarian socialism he advocates in his writings.[citation needed] In 2007, he endorsed José Bové – but eventually voted for Olivier Besancenot – , and conducted a famous interview with ideological enemy Nicolas Sarkozy for Philosophie Magazine. Onfray traced back the birth of a philosophic community such as the “université populaire” (folk high school) to the results of the French presidential election, 2002: it is committed to deliver high-level knowledge to the masses, as opposed to the more common approach of vulgarizing philosophic concepts through easy-to-read books such as “Philosophy for Well-being” ( Declared during Printemps des Universités populaires, Lyon, June 23-25th 2006). (full text).

Listen to the audio of abc australia: Michel Onfray with Waleed Aly and Rabbi Gersh Zylberman.

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Kumiko Yokoi – Japan

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

Kumiko Yokoi uses the power of music to spread messages of peace, dignity, and hope. Millions of people of all ages in Ireland, Sri Lanka, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and the United States have been inspired by the singer’s performances; profits from her concerts and CDs have benefited children, particularly those with disabilities. She is also known as a fighter for worker’s rights in her home country, Japan.

She says: “Sing the love, love the song I want to fight with dreams in my soul, with you Sing the love, love the song, I want to fight with dreams in my soul”.

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Kumiko Yokoi – Japan

Kumiko Yokoi uses the power of music to spread messages of peace, dignity, and hope. Millions of people of all ages in Ireland, Sri Lanka, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and the United States have been inspired by her performances; profits from her concerts and CDs have benefited children, particularly those with disabilities. She is also known as a fighter for worker’s rights in her home country, Japan.

When Kumiko saw the pain and suffering of children – second and third generation Agent Orange victims – at a rehabilitation center in Vietnam, her heart was broken. “The village is a holy place,” she said. “It has experienced peace and the cruelty of war.” As she has been doing since 1973, she dedicated her 2004 concert to help children. Vietnam has about 1.2 million children with disabilities, 150,000 who are Agent Orange victims.

The concert was her fourth in Vietnam. She first performed there in 1973 when she sang Stop! Tank for northern soldiers during the Vietnam War. She is especially moved by children and families whose health has been devastated by environmental catastrophes. In 1985 she sang in Nicaragua and in 2001 she donated the profit from sales of a CD to children in Afghanistan.

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Chitamma – India

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Linked with ProPoor.org, and with Fish trade: women join hands against middlemen menace.

Chitamma is the driving force behind Samudram, a federation of fisherpeople in 21 coastal blocks of Orissa that trains women to be economically independent and demands entitlements to education, public health, PDS and water … (full text).

She says: (about Koturu, a very small village). “If there was anything aplenty here, it was the staggering number of alcoholics. Even women were drinking!” … “People were constantly borrowing money from sahukars for medical expenses, marriages, festivals, even to buy food. Borrowing for food never struck them as unusual. Money borrowed to meet health or marriage expenses was, to them, real borrowing. It all added up in the end, but people never really saw the connection” … (full text).

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Chitamma – India

Chitamma was the natural choice for president. “Everyone unanimously nominated me, and I couldn’t refuse, not after having come such a long way,” she says, a little embarrassed. “Samudram has 11 executive members, including the president and secretary, and a total membership of 3,080, all traditional fishermen. Members can join by paying a lifetime membership of Rs 150” she adds … (full text).

Assisted by over 7,000 volunteers from around the world, Charity Focus and its ProPoor network offers an impressive database of news, information and job searches on the Internet … (full text).

Clad in a simple cream-coloured sari, blue blouse and matching blue bangles, 65-year-old B Chitamma greets us with a warm smile as we step into her spartan office.

There’s a prosperous feel to the village — a new high school building, the (gaudy pink) cyclone shelter, concrete bylanes, and the general hustle and bustle of a small, close-knit fishing community going about its business. “It was not like this 10 years ago… we have seen our livelihoods and food security disappear faster than the fish in Chilika,” Chitamma quips. “There was a time when we told the government: either you kill us, or you give us our fishing grounds back (from the non-fishermen). But it didn’t make a bit of a difference to the government!”

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Jerry Mazza – USA

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Linked with 9/11’s history of tragic events, and with AIDS estimates surge in America.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York.

He writes: … I mean, who loves a loser? Really. And who loves a winner? I saw most of my generation in the ad business get blotto at lunch on whatever came out of a bottle, or what you could roll up in a little cigarette, or cut up into lines on your desk and snort. And it wasn’t just the creative guys. It was the suits. They were even worse. But to all, it was about having the performance-winning edge, the big idea that led to cold hard cash, the biggest office, the best babe, the biggest pad on Park Avenue, the biggest house in Scarsdale, etc. It was about winning. Winnnnnn-ing, you dumb mo-fo! The cash, the awards, the whole enchilada. Was it crazy? Yes, of course. Did it go away when I did? No. Of course not … (full text, December 17, 2007).

Jerry Mazza’s Professional Profile.

The Star Chamber: Shedding light on today, Dec. 12, 2007.

.Jerry Mazza, USA.
Jerry Mazza, USA.

More of 9/11’s amazing history, Dec. 24, 2007.

Wealth and Hellness© — the Bush years, Dec. 21, 2007.

We don’t know until detainees are tried whether they are guilty or not. Some may be and some may not. By dismissing due process summarily we suspend the liberties which we claim to be fighting to protect. But these are old, almost tedious arguments, though their challengers have provided the insidious intent to repeat them until they are heard and understood. That is, given the record of torture at Abu Ghraib, the humiliating human experiences of Guantanamo, the slow and steady decent into the pits of ethical and moral depravity. (full text, October 2, 2006).

If you see something, say something … , July 26, 2007.

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Sheridan Prasso – USA

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Linked with Back and Fort.

Sheridan Prasso is a writer, editor, and Asia specialist with more than 15 years of experience in the region. She focuses on global issues from cultural, economic, and business perspectives – with topics ranging from the glamour of chief executives and exotic travel destinations to the grit of red light districts and garment factories. Her reportage has taken her across the breadth of Asia, from Dhaka to Hanoi, Beijing to Jakarta; her expertise in the region has led to guest lectures at the world’s top universities, appearances on television networks such as CNN and ABC of Australia, and interviews with notable figures including Nobel Peace Prize winners Aung San Suu Kyi and Muhammad Yunus. Sheridan’s articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, The Los Angeles Times, and The World Policy Journal, among other publications. The South China Morning Post has called her “the new face of the old Asia hand” … (full text).

She says: “(We need) … more stories about the realities of Asia, and fewer about the exotic nature of travel and adventure and the “Wild, Wild East.” There is a real craving for knowledge about what’s going on in Asia today, and the media –of which I am a part— is not satisfying it, but instead offering stories that continue to play into our preconceived expectations. The desire is there; now if only editors would realize the need to fulfill it. (full interview text).

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Sheridan Prasso – USA

A stock crash is just what China needs, by Sheridan Prasso, Dec 15, 2007.

She says also: “As I explain in the chapter of my book called Matters of Men and Country, The Unbearable Lightness of Being Portrayed, in Hollywood movies, over and over again, action heroes such as Jet Li and Chow Yun-Fat save the girl but don’t even get a romantic kiss at the end. I have read that in the finale of ‘Romeo Must Die’, the kiss scene between Jet Li and Aaliyah was cut after it fared badly in front of test audiences, and the director decided that American audiences weren’t ready yet to see an Asian man acting the same way that a white hero would. There is no such prohibition between white men and Asian women on screen (witness “Sideways” as the most recent example). These images from Hollywood need to change before male sex symbols from Asia can be fully regarded as masculine heroes in the eyes of Hollywood and in Western culture in general. I argue that such images – of Asian males as asexual and/or emasculated in Hollywood movies – have an impact on interpersonal relations, such as the low prevalence of Asian male/Caucasian female couples in the West” … (full interview text).

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