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Index February 2009

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Sotigui Kouyaté – Mali and Burkina Faso

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Linked with Vent d’Afrique (African wind, about African Arts).

Sotigui Kouyaté (born c. 1936) is one of the first Burkinabé actors. He is the father of film director Dani Kouyaté and is a member of the Mandinka ethnic group. Kouyatés have served as griots for the Keita clan since the 13th century. The Kouyatés guard customs, and their knowledge is authoritative amongst Mandinkas. Keitas have to provide amenities to Kouyatés, who in turn should not hesitate to ask for Keita help. The word Kouyaté translates as “there is a secret between you and me”. Sotigui Kouyaté was born in Mali to Gambian parents and is Burkinabé by adoption. When he was a child, he enjoyed koteba performances. He once played on the Burkina Faso national football team. Kouyaté began his theatre career in 1966, when he appeared as adviser to the king in a historical play produced by his friend Boubacar Dicko. That year, he founded a theatre company in 1966 with 25 people and soon wrote his first play, The Crocodile’s Lament … // … In 2009, Kouyaté won a Silver Bear at the Berlinale Filmfestival for his acting. He played the male main character in Rachid Bouchareb’s drama London River on the 2005 London bombings … (full text, last modified on 22 February 2009).

… As government funding has dried up, Dani Kouyaté and other film-makers have become increasingly dependent on the West – particularly France – for cash. About 80% of the money for films in Burkina now comes from Europe. Kouyaté himself, the son of one of the first ever Burkinabé actors, Sotigui Kouyaté, spent five years at the Sorbonne after studying film in Burkina Faso. (full text).

He says: Let’s be modest. Africa is vast, and it would be pretentious to speak in its name. I’m fighting the battle with words because I’m a storyteller, a griot. Rightly or wrongly, they call us masters of the spoken word. Our duty is to encourage the West to appreciate Africa more. It’s also true that many Africans don’t really know their own continent. And if you forget your culture, you lose sight of yourself. It is said that “the day you no longer know where you’re going, just remember where you came from.” Our strength lies in our culture. Everything I do as a storyteller, a griot, stems from this rooting and openness … (more on wikipedia).

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Sotigui Kouyaté – Mali and Burkina Faso

… This past is again present in three new French-language plays at his Paris home, the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord. The main work, “Tierno Bokar,” the name of a Sufi mystic caught in an Islamic dispute in French-ruled Africa, has echoes of Mr. Brook’s African epic, “The Conference of Birds.” “The Death of Krishna” is taken from Mr. Brook’s Indian saga, “The Mahabharata.” “The Grand Inquisitor,” based on Dostoyevsky, also addresses questions of religion and power … Yoshi Oida, Habib Dembele, Sotigui Kouyaté and Bruce Meyers in “Tierno Bokar,” one of three new Peter Brook works about religion now at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris … (full text, November 29, 2004).

… Sotigui Kouyate taking the award for best actor. It was a good decision, as it was only Kouyate’s performance that lifted an otherwise dull and predictable film that avoided any meaningful discussion about the effect of the terrorist attack around which the story was shaped … (full text).

Multinational Forces at the Berlin Film Festival.

… At the same time in France, the elderly African father Ousmane also sets out for London in search of his missing son. The tall, austere Ousmane (played with great dignity by Sotigui Kouyate) works as a forester in France and is a practising Muslim with long dreadlocks … (full text).

BERLIN, Feb. 14 2009 (Xinhua) – Actor Sotigui Kouyate from “London River” won the silver bear for the Best Actor on the 59th International Film Festival Berlin (Berlinale) on Saturday …

Le Malien Sotigui Kouyaté, 72 ans, a gagné l’Ours d’argent du meilleur acteur dans “London river” du Franco-Algérien Rachid Bouchareb, samedi soir à la Berlinale … (full text, Feb 14, 2009).

He plays a French Muslim desperately awaiting news of his son after the 2005 terrorist attacks in London

GERMANY-FILM-BERLINALE-AWARDS: Actor Sotigui Kouyate of Mali poses during a press conference after winning the Silver Bear award for best actor following the awards ceremony of the 59th International Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin on February 14, 2009. Sotigui Kouyate won the award for his role in “London River” by Franco-Algerian director Rachid Bouchareb as a father looking for his son after the July 2005 attacks in the British capital … (full text, Feb 14, 2009).

Find him and his publications, movies, videos, pictures: on this, and on that zimbio page; on yahoo movies /filmography; on IMDb; on Google Video-search; on Google Images-search; on Google News-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

SIA: THE MYTH OF THE PYTHON (2001, Burkina Faso, 96 min.), directed by Dani Kouyaté; screenplay by Kouyaté, loosely adapted from the play The Legend of Wagadu Seen by Sia Yatabéré by Moussa Diagana; cinematography by Robert Millié; sound by Pierre Lorrain; edited by Zoë Durouchoux; music by Daniel Rousseau and Fantani Toure; with Sotigui Kouyaté (Watigué the General), Habib Dembelé (Balla the Griot), Hamadoun Kossoqué (Kerfa the Madman), Fatoumata Diawara (Sia), Ibrahim Baba Cissé (Mamadi), Kardiqué Lolco Traoré (the Emperor, Kaya Maghan), Fily Traoré (Kététigui), Mariétou Kouyaté (the Empress). In Bambara with English subtitles … (full text).

Genesis: … Il restait à faire des liaisons en filmant Sotigui Kouyaté dans un décor indéfini qui pourrait ressembler à une case faite en terre. Nous avons tourné au studio Eclair pendant deux semaines pour une durée de 7 à 8 minutes. Travail très précis et rigoureux pour des metteurs en scène très exigeants et très agréables. En fait, des conditions de tournage idéales. Nous avions le temps de travailler calmement et dans la bonne humeur. Pour eux ce petit tournage était vraiment un tout petit court métrage, ils ont tourné plus de deux ans et sur plusieurs continents. (full text, octobre 2004).

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Fatma Hamisi Misango – Tanzania

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Linked with Ruvuma Orphans Association ROA.

Fatma Hamisi Misango was born in 1961 in the poor and neglected Songea District in south western Tanzania. She is a district counsellor and coordinator of a legal aid program in the district. She is engaged in governance issues, legal aid to women and children, particularly those orphaned by HIV/Aids, income generation and political participation. As a result of her work, women’s participation in the civil society in Songea has increased, and they have started their own initiatives to help widows of HIV/Aids.

Educated to secondary school level, she has built formal and informal networks. She belongs to the Sahiba Sisters Foundation, a network of Muslim women engaged in development. Other affiliations are the Tanzania Gender Network, the Intermediary Gender Network and Songea Counsellors and Women in Enterprise. “She values people’s support and has made extensive networks with religious and community leaders and local government officials,” says a colleague who knows her well … (1000peacewomen 1/2).

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Sorry, no photo found for Fatma Hamisi Misango, Tanzania

She works for the Songea District Council, and for the Songea Legal Aid Program SOPLU (both have not an own website).

(1000peacewomen 2/2): … Songea District in the South-West is one of the least developed, poorest areas in Tanzania. Its lremoteness makes it invisible in national development priorities, so there is low investment and minimal presence of international donors in this region. But its location on the borders to Malawi and Zambia offers countless opportunities for women and youth in cross-border trading, agriculture and development linkages.

As a result of Fatma Misango’s work, the participation of women in the civil society has increased. The women have begun initiatives to help widows of HIV/Aids and a legal aid scheme. “Fatma knows how to involve others in development activities,” says the colleague. “She has been instrumental in networking in seven community groups and promotes the inclusion of more women in training.”

Fatma Misango addresses culture and religion issues, often contradicting religious leaders who feel that she wants to question religious authorities. Perhaps her greatest challenge is motivating women in believing they can improve their lives. They face many problems as a result of oppressive laws and customs, as well as discrimination and hunger. She wants to make a difference in women’s lives, to improve their lives. This is her driving force. Fatma’s driving force is to make a difference in women’s lives. (On 1000peacewomen).

Sorry, no other texts found in the internet for Fatma Hamisi Misango, Tanzania.

links:

Open University of Tanzania OUT;

Regional Commisioner’s Office Ruvuma;

Ntimbanjayo Millinga.

Pinar Ilkkaracan – Turkey

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Linked with Women for Women’s Human Rights WWHR, and with Sexuality Studies.net.

Pinar Ilkkaracan is the Founding President of Women for Women’s Human Rights, a leading women’s advocacy organization in Turkey; and co-founder of The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies, an international network of NGOs and academicians working towards promotion sexual and bodily rights in the Middle East/ North Africa and South/Southeast Asia. She has participated in various UN meetings and conferences on women’s human rights both as a member of the Turkish delegation and NGO representative … (full text).

… Ms. Ilkkaracan has authored numerous articles on violence against women, women in Muslim societies, women in Turkey, and women and sexuality. She edited the book, Women and Sexuality in Muslim Societies and co-authored a human rights manual, Human Rights and Legal Literacy Training Manual, which is used in community centers throughout Turkey to raise awareness of women’s reproductive rights. She is also a member of the Global Fund for Women’s Advisory Council, the International Advisory Committee of BRIDGE at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), and the Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health and Ethics. (full text).

She says: “The whole of Europe is focusing on honour crimes and we keep saying … honour crimes are the tip of the iceberg,” said Pinar Ilkkaracan, founder of Women for Women’s Human Rights.”We want quotas (for election candidates) … Fifty percent of the population are women and we’re asking for only 30 percent quotas, which is nothing”. (on Street News Service.org).

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Pinar Ilkkaracan – Turkey

She is founder of Women for Women’s Human Rights WWHR, and founder of Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies CSBR (named on Sexuality Studies.net), (both showed on zoom.info).

Starting with spearheading legal reforms for full equality of women in her own country, psychotherapist and activist Pinar Ilkkaracan expanded her advocacy to networking in Muslim societies and promotion of women’s human rights at the United Nations level. Her organization, Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways (WWHR) pioneered reforms to anchor women’s full equality in the legal system and launched the most widespread human rights training program for women in Turkey. Her international coalition of 38 organizations from 14 countries, the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Countries (CSBR), promotes sexual and reproductive health and rights as human rights. The coalition works to transform and eliminate customary practices and discriminatory attitudes leading to human rights violations … (full text).

… Pinar Ilkkaracan has voiced the issue of women’s sexuality in Muslim societies through the first ever compilation on the issue, and connected groups working on sexual rights in Muslim countries to create the first solidarity network in the field. At the UN level, she has successfully lobbied for advancements on contentious issues such as honor crimes, forced marriages and the rights of the girl child. She is also a prominent researcher and scholar who has published extensively on a wide array of issues including sexuality, violence, migration, and human rights education. What makes Pinar Ilkkaracan’s work unique and noteworthy is her ability to link local, national and international contexts, capacity to combine activism and professionalism and ability to employ a holistic proactive approach using diverse methods. (full text, 2007).

Find her and her publications on zoom.info; on pipl; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

… The human rights training program she developed with WWHR, remains to be the most sustainable and widespread women’s human rights education program in the world. Pinar Ilkkaracan has led numerous successful advocacy initiatives in Turkey including the protection order law against domestic violence and the penal code reform to safeguard women’s sexual rights and effectively criminalize sexual violence. Pinar Ilkkaracan has voiced the issue of women’s sexuality in Muslim societies through the first ever compilation on the issue, and connected groups working on sexual rights in Muslim countries to create the first solidarity network in the field … (full text).

psikoterapist, araştırmacı ve insan hakları savunucusudur. Kadının İnsan Hakları – Yeni Çözümler Derneği’nin kurucu başkanı olan Pınar İlkkaracan, aynı zamanda Ortadoğu, Kuzey Afrika, Güney ve Güneydoğu Asya’daki önde gelen sivil toplum kuruluşları  ve akademisyenlerden oluşan Müslüman Toplumlarda Cinsel ve Bedensel Haklar Dayanışma Ağı’nın da kurucusudur. Sıcak Yuva Masalı: Aile İçi Şiddet ve Cinsel Taciz (1996), Müslüman Toplumlarda Kadın ve Cinsellik (2000), ve Orta Doğu’da Cinselliğin Çözümlenmesi (2008) gibi eserleri bulunmaktadır. Birleşmiş Milletler (BM) Kadının Statüsü oturumlarında Türkiye resmi delegasyonunda bir çok kere yer almış olan Pınar İlkkaracan, 2007 yılında Peter-Patricia Gruber Uluslararası Kadın Hakları’nı almıştır. (On AntiHomoFobi).

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Raoul Schrott – Austria

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Linked with Die Entstehung der „Ilias“ – Es geschah in Kilikien.

Raoul Schrott is at home in many countries, languages and cultures. He is the prototype of the ‘poeta doctus’, a cunning Proteus with a large and variegated oeuvre encompassing volumes of poetry, novels, short stories and an essayistic output of considerable intellectual prowess. He is a man of undeniable courage, witness the title of his much-talked-about poetry compendium: Die Erfindung der Poesie / Gedichte der ersten viertausend Jahre (The Invention of Poetry / Poems from the First Four Thousand Years,1977). Witness also his translation and modern adaptation of the Babylonian-Assyrian Epic of Gilgamesh. His search for the roots of language has led him to ‘small languages’ such as Breton, Basque and Occitan. Making tradition work for the present time is Schrott’s aim: In fact, I look upon poetry as a millennia-old machine that determines our literary production far more than we do ourselves. Schrott’s seemingly traditional stanzas are highly structured by a network of rudimentary rhymes; his vocabulary is as rich as a painter’s palette, for instance in the description of pigments and tinctures in ‘Cefalù’. The absence of conventional punctuation marks is compensated by various subtle structural devices. In the poem ‘La Ziza’, for instance, the length and number of lines is crucial: rotated a quarter turn, this poem exactly represents the silhouette of this Arab-Norman castle with its nineteen battlements and three gates … (full text).

… In Raoul Schrotts Gedichten laufen Erkenntnistheorie, Phänomenologie und Wissenschaftsgeschichte ineinander, ohne dass er je den Nahblick auf die Dinge verliert. Vernunft und Sinnlichkeit verschmelzen zu einer Weltsicht, die das eigene Selbst und das eigene Wissen relativiert. Raoul Schrott vermag es, bei seiner gedichtweisen Weltaneignung auf dem schmalen Grat zwischen Physik und Metaphysik zu balancieren und dabei niemals die humorvolle, augenzwinkernde Distanz zu verlieren. Unter zahlreichen anderen Auszeichnungen erhielt Raoul Schrott 1995 den Leonce-und-Lena-Preis, 1996 Berliner Literaturpreis und 1999 den Peter-Huchel-Lyrikpreis. Raoul Schrott lebt heute in Irland. Raoul Schrott (* 17. Januar 1964 in Landeck, Tirol) ist ein österreichischer Literaturwissenschaftler, Komparatist und Schriftsteller. (full text).

Raoul Schrott (* 17. Januar 1964 in Landeck, Tirol) ist ein österreichischer Literaturwissenschaftler, Komparatist und Schriftsteller … // … Ab 2005 arbeitete er an einer Neuübersetzung von Homers Ilias. Sie wurde von den Hörspielredaktionen des Hessischen Rundfunks und von Deutschlandfunk in Auftrag gegeben, als Hörspiel mit dem alleinigen Sprecher Manfred Zapatka und in der Regie von Klaus Buhlert produziert und ausgestrahlt … (full text).

A german-bio on the Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck.

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Raoul Schrott – Austria

Two videos in german:

… He is a prolific producer of essays, novels, and poetry, for which he won a major litrary prize about 5 years ago. I have just run across him myself and so while I have ordered a number of his works from interlibrary loan, I have yet to read them. I became aware of him by finding and listening to a fascinating 12-part radio series that he produced about a decade ago called die Erfindung der Poesie … (full text /Forum).

… Schrott can be considered not only an Austrian writer, but a cosmopolitan writer. Though he is best known for his poetry, his writing is as varied as his locale and encompasses many other genres, including the novel, the short story, and the essay. Schrott also successfully undertook the ambitious endeavor of translating and adapting the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh … (full text).

Listen in german on podcast: Die sumerische Hohepriesterin Enheduanna und die Hofdichterin, Länge 20.33 min … Il(…)ummiya* (* Name nicht lesbar) eröffnen Raoul Schrotts Anthologie als erste namentlich bekannte Dichter. Die sumerische Kultur entwickelte als erste die Schrift und gibt einen Einblick in den Ursprung der Poesie … (full text 01/12: Enheduanna, Ilummiya und die sumerische Literatur /24. Jh. v. Chr).

As a lover of lists, I was intrigued by the list of 100 Near Perfect Books of Poetry compiled by the people at the Lilliput Review.  So I undertook a less ambitious project of listing the 50 Near Perfect Books of  German Poetry, limiting it to 1) books published since 1900, and 2) collections or poem cycles published in the poet’s lifetime. The list is arranged by date of publication. I make no claims of completeness or objectivity: the choices are mine alone. No doubt Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Germany’s Literary Pope, would heap scorn on many of my choices. So be it … (full text 50 Near Perfect Books of German Poetry, August 17, 2008).

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Maya John Ingty – India

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

Maya John Ingty (born in 1932) plays a unique role in the conflict-ridden Northeast region, bringing together powerful Christian and secular organizations to work for peace. Several states in the Northeast have been torn by conflict and strife, both internal and with the security forces. This conflict has left the economy and society in a shambles. The region has a high number of school and college dropouts and there are a number of young widows who have to fend for themselves and their young children. Ingty, the first woman from the Karbi tribe to complete a Masters degree, has been involved in social work right from her college days. In 1956, she was appointed Special Officer (Social Welfare) through an application and interview in undivided Assam, when Shillong was the capital of Assam. Meghalaya was formed as a separate state only in 1972 … (full text).

… Maya is also a respected member of the Church and plays an important role in critiquing the regressive positions of the Church. She has pushed for greater involvement of the Church with social issues and with other secular and non-Christian organisations in their work for peace. As Secretary of the Diocesan Board of Participatory Development, she has undertaken several programmes to help young people develop self-employment skills. She firmly believes this will lead them away from the gun culture. The activities include natural resource management, weaving and tailoring, vermicomposting, fishery, and training people to be barefoot veterinary doctors, automobile drivers and electricians. With no training, and often no forum behind her, Maya has worked with marginalised people since 1956. She has also been active in ecological and conservation programmes. Many young people received training in vermicomposting in Tinsukia (Upper Assam) under an eco-friendly waste control programme. Since then, many of them have taken up organic farming. In her individual capacity as well, Maya has been a member of important peace missions and committees in the strife-torn Northeastern region. (full text).

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Maya John Ingty – India

She works for the Diocesan Board for Participatory Development, for the Interdenominational Christian Women’s Forum, and for the Northeast Christian Council Women’s Assembly (no own website for all three groups).

Tribute to an Educator and Peace Builder, 5 pdf-pages.

(1000peacewomen): Being a respected member of the church does not constrain Maya from critiquing its regressive positions and pushing for its greater involvement with social, often secular, issues. Maya John Ingty plays a unique role in the northeast, bringing together powerful Christian and secular organizations to work for peace. She is strongly driven by her conviction that working for social justice issues should not be determined by caste, creed, or religious persuasions.

She also mobilizes the youth and women-through group discussions, skill-building, and alternative ideas for sustainable development for women-toward education and employment as a means of drawing people away from the pervasive culture of the gun.

Maya John Ingty (born on 16 March 1932) is a Karbi, an indigenous, marginalized tribe in the Indian Northeast. With four brothers and sister, she was born into a family committed to social issues. Her father was a dubhashi (interpreter/translator of the court). Maya was the first Karbi woman to complete a Masters degree. She did her Bachelors and BT from Gauhati University and her MEd from Allahabad University. Her eldest brother, Samseen S Ingty, influenced the creation of the Karbi Anglong district in Assam.

Maya was involved in social activities from her college days through the Student Christian Movement of Northeast India. In 1956, she was appointed special officer (Social Welfare) in undivided Assam, when Shillong was then its capital. (Meghalaya became a breakaway state only in 1972.) After her marriage in 1958, she resigned and joined the Union Christian College (UCC) in Meghalaya, where her husband worked.

As a government officer, Maya was a desk-bound upper-level bureaucrat. But her heart was in grassroots activities. While at the UCC, she mobilized a group of women and formed a women’s association, which conducted several health programs and started a primary school. It also helped in the formation of a high school in Umbir village in Meghalaya. The women’s association is still exists and continues to run healthcare programs, school education, and immunization camps.

For six years, Maya worked as president of the Northeast India Christian Council Women’s Assembly, conducting many workshops and discussions on topics relating to women’s development. Much of this work was transacted with people working in conflict situations. She regularly visits the Northeast’s conflict-ridden areas, trying to support women and women’s groups who are struggling to bring a modicum of peace to their villages.

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Victor Kiernan – England (1913 – 2009)

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Linked with Historian with a global vision.

Victor Kiernan (4 September 1913 – 17 February 2009) was a British Marxist historian, a former member of the Communist Party Historians Group and has written in particular about imperialism … (full long text on wikipedia – last modified on 22 February 2009, at 09:10).

Victor Kiernan, professor emeritus of Modern History at Edinburgh University, was an erudite Marxist historian with wide-ranging interests that spanned virtually every continent. His passion for history and radical politics, classical languages and world literature was evenly divided. His interest in languages was developed at home in south Manchester. His father worked for the Manchester Ship Canal as a translator of Spanish and Portuguese and young Victor picked these up even before getting a scholarship to Manchester Grammar School, where he learnt Greek and Latin. His early love for Horace (his favourite poet) resulted in a later book. He went on to Trinity College, Cambridge where he studied History, imbibed the prevalent anti-fascist outlook and like many others joined the British Communist Party. Unlike some of his distinguished colleagues (Eric Hobsbawm, Christopher Hill, Rodney Hilton, Edward Thompson) in the Communist Party Historians Group founded in 1946, Kiernan wrote a great deal on countries and cultures far removed from Britain and Europe. A flavour of the man is evident from the opening paragraphs of a 1989 essay on the monarchy published in the New Left Review: … (full long obituary text, 20 February 2009).

… Victor Gordon Kiernan. He turned 90 a month or so ago, and lives with his wife Heather in the tiny village of Stow in Scotland. Thanks to Prakash Karat, the editor of this book, and Leftword Books, the publishing house, a lot more people would have access to some of Kiernan’s writings. The value of this elegantly produced volume is, doubtless, enhanced by E.J. Hobsbawm’s brief but stimulating profile of his life-long comrade, and Harvey J. Kaye’s thoughtful essay “Seeing Things Historically” … (full text, Dec 07, 2003).

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Sorry, no photo found for Victor Kiernan – England (1913 – 2009)

Indian Prakash Karat’s obituary: … I was fortunate to have been a student of his in the late-1960s. The bond between us was strengthened by his India connection. I last met him in September 2008, a few days after his 95th birthday. He was cheerful, and asked about developments in India. Kiernan will be remembered both in India and Pakistan for his empathy with, and erudition of, this part of the world. (full text).

Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm has written this about Kiernan: … He settled down in the 1950s to publish on everything: from Wordsworth to Faiz, evangelicalism to mercenaries and absolute monarchy, Indo-Central Asian problems, Paraguay and the “war of the Pacific” of Chile, Peru and Bolivia, not forgetting a full-scale study of the Spanish revolution of 1854. In the 1960s he discovered his unique gift of asking historical questions, and suggesting answers, by bringing and fitting together an unparalleled range of erudition, constantly extended by one of the great readers of our time. He became the master of the perfectly chosen quotation inserted into a demure but uncompromising survey of a global scene. Nobody else could have produced the remarkable works on the era of western empires he wrote after the middle 1960s, and by which he will be chiefly remembered, notably The Lords of Human Kind: Black Man, Yellow Man and White Man in an Age of Empire (1969) … (full text, February 18, 2009).

Find him and his publications on leftword books; on BookFinder; on amazon; on wikipedia; on Barnes and Noble; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

SOCIAL science scholarship on India will doubtless be enriched by Leftword Books’ year-end offering: a splendid collection of essays on India by Victor G. Kiernan, the British Marxist historian and literary critic. Kiernan who in the words of his friend and admirer Eric Hobsbawm has “no parallel amongst twentieth-century historians”, has nurtured a special attachment for the subcontinent over the decades, having spent several years in Lahore as a teacher in the 1940s, developing Indian friendships, and writing with insight and erudition on issues that ranged from India’s encounter with colonialism to Urdu poetry. The first ever compilation of Kiernan’s writings on India honours this distinguished historian and friend of India on his 90th birthday, which fell on September 4, 2003. The essays are not new, but for one that was written by him specially for this book, and were written from the 1960s through the early 1980s in books and journals that are no longer easily accessible. The book, therefore, re-introduces Kiernan to the Indian reading public, in particular, to a new generation of Indian scholars who may not be familiar with his work … (full text, January 03 – 16, 2004).

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Gil Scott-Heron – USA

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(Not to be confused with Guillermo Scott Herren, a hip hop and IDM producer and artist, who has been based out of Atlanta, Barcelona and New York).

Gil Scott-Heron (born April 1, 1949) is an American poet, musician, and author known primarily for his late 1960s and early 1970s work as a spoken word soul performer and his collaborative work with musician Brian Jackson.[1] His collaborative efforts with Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues and soul music, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. The music of these albums, most notably Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul. Scott-Heron’s recording work is often associated with black militant activism and has received much critical acclaim for one of his most well-known compositions “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. On his influence, a music writer later noted that “Scott-Heron’s unique proto-rap style influenced a generation of hip-hop artists” … (full text wikipedia, last modified on 31 January 2009).

…Gil Scott-Heron may have started out in 1971 as an angry young revolutionary, spouting racially-charged polemics, but my man was also twenty-two years old at the time. Ten year later, when Gil cut “Blue Collar” (from the Moving Target LP), he was older, wiser and in tone at least, quieter. He realized that the battle for equality wasn’t just in the urban centers where most of the black and Latino folk are, but also “between the cities and the towns,” where you’ll find mostly working-class white folk, many of whom are dealing with the same or similar economic pressures as working class black people deal with in Chicago or L.A. or NYC … (full text, scroll down).

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Gil Scott-Heron – USA

Watch these videos:

… I won’t say working with Gil was easy – I was an inexperienced editor and publicist trying to look after one of the most notoriously erratic performers and get him to turn up to more interviews, broadcasts and signings than he would ever want to do – but it was rewarding and enlightening and to be absolutely certain – Gil knew exactly what he was doing the whole time and was in so many ways the consummate professional. (That he didn’t do things the way I wanted him to goes to show why I was the amateur.) I thought I’d share the follwing story as I’ve enjoyed telling it in the past … (full text, 23/08/06).

It was around the middle seventies when I first heard this brazen, young black man’s voice.  He was angry! We were angry! I was angry!  Angry over the fact that it was a few years ago that they had just taken from us our black shining Prince. He was mad.  We were mad.  I was mad!  Mad over the fact that our struggle for freedom had come to a screeching halt.  He was loud!  Loud and determined to be heard.  And I heard him. I heard him loud and clear.  I heard him when he said “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.  I heard him when he said “No Knock On My Brothers’ Head”.  I heard him when he was saying that the spirit of Brother Malcolm will flourish in him as it has in me … (full text, 2.13.2009).

… Musically, Mr. Scott-Heron sounded a bit more gruff, (we might call this older and wiser) and has thusly surrounded himself with an array of top-notch performers as his band (particularly on keys and bass). His songs retained all of the potency and relevance as when they were written, their lyrical content ranging from war to substance abuse to being down across this country … (full text, February 12, 2009).

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Pierre Claver Mbonimpa – Burundi

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Linked with Association for the protection of human rights and detained persons A.PRO.DH.

A former policeman in Burundi until he spent two years in prison because of false accusations, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa founded the Burundian Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons (APRODH). He has campaigned against torture, addressed the plight of the 9,000 detainees waiting years for trial in the country’s overcrowded jails, and organized events where police and military representatives have had to face questions from human rights activists and victims. Hailed as one of the few who stands up for the rights of Hutu, Tutsi and Batwa, he is regularly threatened by the government. Mbonimpa recently exposed the mistreatment of detainees in holding cells in rural Burundi. He says: “At the provincial capitals, where human rights organizations and the United Nations conduct monitoring visits regularly, there are fewer cases, but in the lock-ups in the interior of the country, further from these areas, there are many more cases”. (More on every human has rights.org).

… Upon his release, he founded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to help protect the rights of prisoners, including the 9,000 prisoners that have been waiting for trial for years in the country’s overcrowded jails. He has campaigned fearlessly against torture, and organized events where police and military representatives have had to face public questions from human rights activists and victims. When civil society members and journalists were arrested recently, he again spoke out despite the risks. In a fragile country, where civil war has claimed thousands of lives, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is often hailed as the only person who stands up for the rights of Hutu, Tutsi and Batwa. He is outspoken about human rights violations, even in the public media … (full text, 04/05/2007).

Human Rights Defenders from Sri Lanka and Burundi share 2007 Martin Ennals Award, 4 May 2007.

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Pierre Claver Mbonimpa – Burundi

… According to the President of Association for Promotion of human and Prisoner Rights (APRODH), Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, only the International Criminal Court (ICC) was an appropriate body to try the case. Mbonimpa said that he was disappointed the way in which the case proceeded. “The national courts are unable to try the case, it is necessary to transfer it to ICC…we request its intervention”, he said … (full text, 3 June 2008).

… Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa, head of the Association Pour la Protection des Droits Humains, a rights group, also challenged the numbers, saying it expected the “release not of 247 but 452 prisoners”, referring to its own investigations in prisons … (full text).

… “Colonel Vital Bangirinama, who supervised the massacre, has been condemned to death,” said Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, a local rights defender. Another senior officer and two ranking soldiers were sentenced to life imprisonment, with seven more troops handed 10-year jail terms for taking part and another five given two years behind bars for failing to act, he added … (full text, Oct 23, 2008).

… Numerous expulsees have spoken out on local radio to accuse police of brutal and summary methods, rounding them up and tearing up their Burundian identity cards, and rights organisations have taken up their cause. The chairman of the Association for the Protection of Detained Persons and Human Rights, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, condemned what he called a “degrading hunt for foreigners” in police raids … (full text).

Find him and his publications on OMCT; on HuriSearch for any language, and on english HuriSearch; on EMM NewsExplorer; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

… Meanwhile, 37 founding members of Movement for Security and Democracy who were arrested along his side, had been freed since Saturday, a human rights activist confirmed. “Some were not even questioned and the police commander told me that he received orders from above to free them,” said Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa, head of Association for defence of detained persons and human rights. Mr Sinduhije is one of several opposition and civil society figures in the central Mpimba prison. European Union on Monday condemned his arrest and warned central African country that such action violated terms of the bloc’s aid to Bujumbura … (full text).

High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Burundi Louise Arbour (second from right, at table), United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Pierre- Claver Mbonimpa (right), founder and president of the Burundian Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons (APRODH;) and Martin Ennals (left), 2007 Award laureate, are participating in a meeting with victims of violence at the APRODH office, in Burundi … (full text, 22 May 2007).

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Galuh Wandita – Indonesia

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Linked with Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation CAVR.

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

Galuh Wandita (born 1966) is an activist working for human rights in conflict areas. She frames her work with a gender perspective irrespective of whether it deals with industry/corporate-triggered conflict in Kalimantan or Papua or atrocities following the referendum in East Timor prior to the birth of the new nation. With her professional contribution spanning more than a dozen years, Galuh has established herself in the forefront of the feminist movement. Her work has not only changed the lives of the people she works for, but also the way human rights are applied, promoted and protected. Galuh Wandita was in her early 20s when she decided to return from the United States, where she had lived for almost a lifetime, to her home country Indonesia. “My father passed away, and it was a wake-up call for me to come home and settle down here,” she says. The youngest of three daughters of Soedjatmoko – a distinguished diplomat and internationally-recognized intellectual who was once the Rector of the UN University – Galuh returned to her country in 1989 more as an international person who had never really resided in the country of her ancestors. After she graduated from Swarthmore College in Philadelphia, she worked in a non-government organization dealing with reproductive health and HIV/AIDS issues, then took up a post at Oxfam Great Britain as its Program Manager in Indonesia. At that time, Oxfam GB was moving from from a welfare-based approach to a rights-based approach to development … She says: … “Women living in conflict areas need help to enter the public arena, grab the microphone and influence the decision-makers, if not be the decision-makers themselves” … (1000peacewomen 1/2).

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Sorry, no downloadable photo found for Galuh Wandita, Indonesia.

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Her book: The Price of Denial

Galuh Wandita has a long history of working with human rights organizations in Indonesia and Timor-Leste, where she developed expertise on gender and justice. In 2002 she became deputy director of the UN-backed Timorese Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CAVR) and was instrumental in writing the Commission’s Final Report. Since early 2007 she has been the head of the ICTJ’s Jakarta office, where she manages our work in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Wandita sat down to talk with us during a recent visit to our New York office …(full text, April 9, 2008).

She works for the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation CAVR of East-Timor / Comissao de Acolhimento, Verdade e Reconciliaçao CAVR de Timor-Leste

She is Director of the International Center for Transnational Justice ICTJ, Jakarta: Over the last decade, Galuh Wandita has worked with several local human rights organizations in East Timor and Indonesia. Before moving to East Timor in 1999, she worked for 10 years with Oxfam, focusing on support for local NGOs working in conflict areas in Eastern Indonesia (Nusa Tenggara Timur, East Timor (then part of Indonesia), Papua, and Kalimantan), with a focus on gender approach to development. In 1999, she worked with East Timorese human rights NGOs, during the crisis around the ballot, monitoring the human rights situation, providing support for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and women victims of violence. In 2000, she worked as a human rights officer for the United Nations in East Timor, and in 2002 was appointed as the Deputy Director/Program Manager of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CAVR). After 2003, she continued as Program Manager, and later joined the Editorial Team for the writing of the Commission’s Final Report. She obtained a BA in Anthropology from Swarthmore College, and completed a Masters in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University in 2007 (ICTJ/her short bio).

Find her and her publications on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search (with many articles in Indonesian languages).

She says also: … I think—I mean, I think at this moment, because of the—this [inaudible] to now, I think the reformation agenda has gone backwards, and a lot of the information about the truth, what happened during his (Suharto’s) regime, is actually to become known or to be acknowledged by the public in Indonesia, the general public in Indonesia, and also by the Indonesian government, obviously. So I think that what I would like to say to the American public is that, you know, it might be very baffling to see what’s happening now with this—all this sort of apologizing and adoration for Suharto, but really the jury is still not out. The truth hasn’t come out yet, and we mustn’t forget the cost, I think, that both Allan and Brad have spoken about, the cost of the thirty years of corruption and crimes, really. We’re still living in the consequences of what happened during Suharto regime. But in Indonesia, that connection is still not made yet, and that is part of our struggle now, to look at the crimes of the past and actually to find—to speak to the public about how his actions actually led to all these crimes … (full interview text, January 28, 2008).

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Michael Hudson – USA

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Linked with A Short History Of US Government Handouts, with Once in a century rip-off, with Financial Bailout, America’s Own Kleptocracy, and with A Debt Write Down, and Jubilee Year Clean Slate.

Michael Hudson (born in 1939, Chicago, Illinois, USA) is Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC). He is also a Wall Street analyst and consultant as well as president of The Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends (ISLET) and a founding member of International Scholars Conference on Ancient Near Eastern Economies (ISCANEE) … // … The New School in New York City, where he taught previously, and UMKC, where he is currently a Distinguished Research Professor, are the main U.S. alternatives to Chicago School anti-government economics. He also lectures and publishes in association with UMKC at The Berlin School of Economics. Hudson served as Chief Economic Advisor for Dennis Kucinich’s 2008 presidential campaign and holds the same position in Kucinich’s Congressional campaign. He has been economic advisor to the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments, to the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and he is president of the Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends (ISLET). Hudson is a former balance-of-payments economist for Chase Manhattan Bank and Arthur Andersen, and economic futurist for the Hudson Institute
(no relation). For Scudder, Stevens & Clark in 1990, he established the world’s first Third World sovereign debt fund, which became the second best performing international fund in 1991 (an Australian real estate fund was number one … (full text).

Dr. Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1972 and 2003) and of The Myth of Aid (1971). ISLET engages in research regarding domestic and international finance, national income and balance-sheet accounting with regard to real estate, and the economic history of the ancient Near East … (full text).

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Michael Hudson – USA

Watch these 3 videos:

… Hudson calls it “Stage One of a two-stage plan”, so far unannounced, to transfer trillions more to people who, in any sane world, would be behind bars, the purpose being to re-inflate the bubble economy that made them wealthy beyond their dreams while leaving wages stagnant and creating little meaningful work. The “change” president is continuing the Bush-Paulson giveaway, allowing the process of creating a few giant Wall Street-based trusts which will act as the economy’s central planners in the new “socialism for the rich”. Any talk of nationalisation should be seen in this context. “ Washington has given them $9 trillion so far, with promises now of another $2 trillion – and still counting.” Instead of sputtering about capping CEO bonuses, if he is serious, why hasn’t Obama reversed the Clinton-Rubin repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, responsible for the massive speculation for the past two decades? … (full text, Febr 17, 2009).

He says:

  • … (on government bailout, which means taxpayers stuck with the bill. Do you think this is the right move?) – MICHAEL HUDSON: No, it’s the worst possible move, and it puts the class war back in business with a vengeance. Wall Street has been preparing for this for years, because every financial analyst knows that the debts can’t be paid. And the question that Wall Street has, if you’re going to take a gamble on bad debts that can’t be paid, how are you going to come out a winner? And there’s only one way of coming out a winner, and that’s to make the government bail you out. This has been known for years, because it’s inherent almost in the mathematics of compound interest. Every banker I know knew that the loans they were making were going to go bad. They were trying to sell them to somebody else, ultimately expecting them to end up with some sovereign wealth fund … (full interview text, September 17, 2008);
  • … Because it’s not leading to recovery at all. It’s now up to $12 trillion. It’s a giveaway to the banks, to the creditors, without a single penny for actual debt reduction. And I had thought that at least half a percentage point, $50 billion, was going to be to write down troubled mortgage debtors, but it turns out that not a penny of mortgage debt is going to be written down. When the banks have lent more money than a mortgage owes, with 38 percent, the government is going to create its own debt to come in and make up the difference, so the debt is going to continue to grow exponentially, and it’s way beyond the ability of the economy to pay. If people have to pay the amount of debt that they have now, there won’t be any money to buy goods and services, companies will not sell as much, they’ll invest less, they’ll hire less, and they’ll continue to downsize. And what’s happened is that this is the greatest transfer of wealth really in American history. It’s doubled the American debt. The closest parallel I can think of is William the Conqueror’s conquest of England. He came with a military band, conquered the land and imposed taxes over the whole land, basing it all on the Domesday Book, what—the rent could be squeezed out. In this case, the rip-off has been non-military. The bankers have done insider dealing to get the government to give them or guarantee them $12 trillion of bad loans they’ve made, many of them fraudulent … (full interview text, February 13, 2009);
  • … And the most worrisome aspect of the appointment of Summers is, indeed, as Naomi pointed out, what he did in Russia under privatization. He created a kleptocratic class of billionaires who will be ruling Russia for the next hundred years. And the key was to use public expenditure that would increase private wealth. And I think what the plan is that, from everything Obama has said, is that there is going to be a heavy government expenditure on infrastructure here, very much like there was in Chicago, and this infrastructure is going to create huge real estate fortunes for the property along the lines that—in the vicinity of the location of the infrastructure. It’s going to create huge financial fortunes … (full interview text, November 25, 2008).

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Alison Des Forges – USA (1942 – 2009)

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Alison Des Forges (née Liebhafsky) (August 20, 1942 – February 12, 2009) was an American historian and human rights activist who specialized in the African Great Lakes region, particularly the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. At the time of her death, she was a senior advisor for the African continent at Human Rights Watch … Des Forges left academia in 1994 in response to the Rwandan Genocide to work full time on human rights. She testified 11 times before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and gave evidence about the Rwandan Genocide to panels of the French National Assembly, the Belgian Senate, the US Congress, the Organisation of African Unity, and the United Nations. She was also an authority on human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Burundi. She wrote the 1999 Leave None to Tell the Story, in which she argued that the genocide was organized by the Rwandan government that took power in 1994, rather than being a spontaneous outbreak of tribal conflicts. Her specialized in the African Great Lakes region and studied the Rwandan Genocide. Des Forges was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999, and became the senior advisor at Human Rights Watch for the African continent … (full text on wikipedia, last modified on 16 February 2009, at 20:49).

Her Bio on USHMM.org, on HRW.org.

Alison Des Forges chased justice right up until the very end. The 66-year-old, considered among the world’s foremost experts on the Rwandan genocide, had spent her career studying violence and genocide in Africa. Ms. Des Forges had long warned of a looming bloody conflict in Rwanda, before the 1994 killing of some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. She then authored a much-heralded genocide account, Leave None to Tell the Story, and was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1999. “She predicted the genocide. She worked very hard to prevent it. And when it occurred, she was trying to save lives while others stood by and watched,” said Georgette Gagnon, Africa director of the Human Rights Watch, a division Ms. Des Forges worked in for more than 20 years … (full text).

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Alison Des Forges – USA (1942 – 2009)

She worked for Human Rights Watch Africa.

Tributes for Alison Des Forges (1942 – 2009):

  • (New York) – It is with enormous sadness that Human Rights Watch announces the death of our beloved colleague Dr. Alison Des Forges, who was killed in the crash of Flight 3407 from Newark to Buffalo on February 12, 2009. Des Forges, senior adviser to Human Rights Watch’s Africa division for almost two decades, dedicated her life to working on Rwanda and was the world’s leading expert on the 1994 Rwanda genocide and its aftermath … (full text);
  • Alison Des Forges, 66, Human Rights Advocate, Dies;
  • Key human rights advocate dies in U.S. plane crash;
  • The New Yorker;
  • While many of the services are private, a public memorial for Alison Des Forges is set for Sunday. The human rights activist and expert on genocide and Rwanda was returning from London. Des Forges and 49 others died in the crash … (full text);
  • … and any article about on Google News-result.

Alison Des Forges (née le 20 août 1942 et morte le 12 février 2009) était une historienne américaine diplômée de l’université de Yale, conseillère principale de l’organisation Human Rights Watch pour l’Afrique. Elle s’est surtout fait connaître pour ses travaux sur l’Afrique des Grands Lacs et plus particulièrement sur le Génocide au Rwanda de 1994. Elle est la rédactrice d’un rapport sur le Génocide au Rwanda, réalisé sous l’égide de Human Rights Watch et de la Fédération internationale des droits de l’homme. Ce rapport, publié en 1999 est considéré comme une référence sur ce sujet. Alison Des Forges est morte le 12 février 2009 dans un accident d’avion survenu près de Buffalo dans le nord de l’État de New York … (texte entier sur fr.wikipedia).

Find her and her publications on amazon; on wikipedia /Bibliography; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Image results (Results 1 – 20 of about 33,500 – 0.13 seconds); on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

Long audio: Alison des Forges, The impact of the Rwandan genocide on Congo Episode, Vital Voices on Genocide Prevention, not dated, time not indicated.

ALISON DES FORGES had said about Rwanda:

  • … “Why didn’t the world react? That is a question that’s almost as difficult to answer as why did Rwandans engage in the killing, because the evidence was so clear. The argument that people didn’t know, particularly at the highest levels of governments, that as Clinton told the Rwandans, you know, “Your voices didn’t penetrate into my office,” that’s not true. They knew. We know now from intelligence records just how much they knew, that within hours they were aware that the killing was being done on an ethnic basis, systematically, that there were lists, that the killers were going through the capital city choosing out people from certain households and executing them. They knew this. People had the impression that this was tribal warfare, that this was a repeat of something that had gone on forever, for centuries. And none of that was true. What was true was that this was a genocide fully as modern as the Holocaust, in the sense that it was state-organized and state-driven. At least half-a-million people were killed, and they were killed in a hundred days. Does it have to be 800,000? Does it have to be a million to cross the threshold of a horror? Isn’t half a million enough? … (Alison Des Forges on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. She later became very critical of the Tutsi-led Rwandan government headed by Paul Kagame and its role in the mass killings in both Rwanda and neighboring Congo after 1994. Last year – in 2008 – she was barred from entering Rwanda) … (full interview text with Kenneth Roth of HRW);
  • … The U.S. was interested primarily in getting a war over. They acknowledged that there were human rights abuses which had taken place during the course of the war. But they felt that, rather than address those abuses directly, it was more important to resolve the conflict, because they believed that the killing of Tutsi, for example, the smaller-scale massacres that had happened in 1991, 1992 and so on – that these would end when the war ended. So their immediate preoccupation was ending the conflict, getting some kind of a stable government in place that would carry on. Often now, there has been the allegation that the U.S. was, in fact, favoring the RPF, was favoring that side of the conflict. Seems to me that was not the case, because in the discussions I had, both in Washington, and locally in Rwanda, where I attempted to create some sense of outrage about massacres of Tutsi and abuses of Tutsi – My sense was that this was that this was always downplayed; that the primary concern for the diplomatic personnel, both at the embassy and in Washington, was to maintain neutrality in this war and not to condemn any abuses of the Tutsi, because this might suggest they were no longer neutral. So they were very anxious to try to preserve their own role as a middle player here, as a facilitator between the sides. So once the paper was signed, it became a kind of sacred text, and everyone wanted very much to make it happen. The focus on making it happen meant perhaps the key players were unwilling to look away from that text, and [were unwilling] to actually look carefully at what was happening in the real scene … (full long interview text, posted april 1, 2004).

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Rima E. Laibow, M.D. – USA

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Linked with Natural Solutions Foundation, and with the video: Compléments alimentaires / about Food complements.

Rima E. Laibow, M.D. is the Medical Director of the Natural Solutions Foundation. She is a graduate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1970) who believes passionately in the right every American to choose a personal health path that is free of government or corporate interference … // … Like other healers who trust the innate ability to heal, she believes in using nutrients and other natural options to find, define and treat the problems which underlie degenerative, chronic diseases. The key is supporting the immune and other crucial body systems. Dr. Laibow has seen results from these techniques so often in her patients and in her personal life, that she believes the medicine of the future is the medicine of cooperation with nature … // … Because of Dr. Laibow’s awareness of the wide variety of powerful natural, non-toxic options available to treat the underlying causes of disease, she is focused on maintaining these choices for all Americans. Based on her understanding of the impact of poor nutrition and chemical/pesticide toxicity on the declining health of America, Dr. Laibow is determined to help Americans maintain their right to choose health promotion rather than illness care in their efforts to protect themselves from disease and toxic harm. (full text).

Her full 10 pdf-pages CV.

She says: … “I am interested in learning more about the Transition movement. The Natural Solutions Foundation, www.HealthFreedomUSA.org, through its International Decade of Nutrition, www.NaturalSolutionsFoundation.org, has created the Valley of the Moon Eco Demonstration Community in the temperate, fertile Highlands of Panama and I am eager to learn more about the Transition movement … (full text).

Her Natural Solutions Foundation Codex Blog and Announcements Page.

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Rima E. Laibow, M.D. – USA

She works for the Natural Solutions Foundation … Washington, DC PRWEB January 21, 2009 – Health Freedom – the right to determine what happens to one’s own body – stands out as one of the “Top Ten” ideas at Change.org. Spearheaded by the efforts of Natural Solutions Foundation’s 190,000+ supporters, “Health Freedom” was voted as one of the Top Ten issues to be considered by the incoming Obama Administration. Because of its strong showing, Health Freedom is now mounted on the “Citizens BriefingBook” section of the official Obama transition web site, Change.gov. As with Change.org, voting at Change.gov takes place when people register and vote for an idea or concept … (full long text).

Watch this video: Your Food and Your Life – Divesting the FDA, 07.54 min, Oct 14, 2008.

Natural Solutions Foundations: The TRUTH is our Defense!.

… Several countries have recently objected to this practice and stated that because of this and other reasons, decisions made by codex in their absence do not have international legitimacy. One major point of contention has been the U.S. and Codex’s staunch refusal to allow labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Japan and virtually all African countries and the 26 countries of the EU (European Union) have fought the U.S. for nearly 18 years to allow mandatory labeling of GMOs. The U.S. fallaciously considers GMOs equal to non-GMOs solely based on a 1992 Executive Order from then-president George H. W. Bush, therefore no pre-market safety testing occurs on any GMOs before they are released into the food chain in the U.S. The FDA refuses to review any safety data except for a single, preliminary review early in the organism’s development … (full text).

… Letting Go of Medical Practice to Fight for Health Freedom: We looked at the current legislative climate and personnel and their stance on health and health freedom and then counted up the votes needed to push back the deadly incursions being made by CODEX ALIMENTARIUS and domestic health freedom threats. We felt that we had no moral and ethical choice but to close our medical practice of Advanced (pharmaceutical-free) Medicine to new patients so that we could tend to the body politic which was sick and suffering … (full text).

… The World Trade Association (WTO) is very close to taking away our right to buy, sell or use almost all nutritional supplements. In addition, the ability of physicians to legally practice environmental or natural medicine and the rights of patients to chose these treatments are about to be criminalized here in the United States. Currently in the U.S. nutrients are classified as foods [under the 1994 Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA)] and any substance not explicitly forbidden is permitted as a nutrient. Under CODEX, any substance not explicitly permitted by CODEX policy is banned as a nutrient. The CODEX preamble specifies that supplements and nutrients “may not be used to prevent, treat or cure any disorder.” Natural health options will become illegal if either of the following occurs:
1) the United States is “harmonized” with the WTO this spring while compliance with CODEX is still “voluntary”
2) total compliance becomes mandatory, as it will be after the next CODEX Commission meeting in Rome July 4-9, 2005.
… (full long text, March 23, 2005).

Find her and her publications on ;
on YouTube videos concerning Natural Solutions; on live.video.com; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Prak Sokhany – Cambodia

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inked with Applied Conflict Transformation Studies ACTS.

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

Prak Sokhany (born 1958) has channeled her life and work into peace building and conflict resolution in Cambodia, where people are still traumatized by the wounds of war. For nearly ten years, she and her organization, Australian Catholic Relief (ACR), with its allies in peace work, have trained NGO workers, government officials and entire communities in conflict resolution and peace building. Prak works with the grassroots, designs training programs, facilitating training and networking with numerous institutions. Prak Sokhany has dedicated her life to making a better, more peaceful world where people work together to create a civil society and collaborate to solve problems that cause violence. After surviving the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, Sokhany had to deal with the reality of Cambodian society after the Khmer Rouge era, where people have lost trust in each other and violence continues to wreak havoc on their culture and daily life … // … She says: “Perhaps the deep wounds of the war are impossible to erase. Perhaps we can only come to understand it better,” says Sokhany. But she has kept her hopes up and this is what motivates her in her work for a “better world”. “Humanity can be healed and evolve only through peace building and solidarity of the community,” she says … (On 1000peacewomen 1/2).

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Prak Sokhany – Cambodia

She works for the Australian Catholic Relief ACR, (named on hotfrog, and on AYAD Assignements). She is part of the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia CCC with its NGO Good Practice Project NGO GPP, also find her on Google Book-search and on Google Blog-search.

… The first peace building dictionary in English – Khmer were introduced by the centre for Peace and Development Cambodia Development Resource Institute by Ok Serei Sopheak and David Wharton with Meas Savath, Chea Mouy Kry, Kep Kanaro, Prak Sokhany and Thorng Kakada … (full text).

MDG 3 – Promoting Gender equality and Empowering Women: Ms Prak Sokhany was one of the 1,000 women nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. She is also the Programs Advisor for Caritas Australia ’s partner in Cambodia . Ms Prak believes that “the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) cannot be seen as individual goals. They are all interconnected. Gender equality and empowering women are a requirement of every goal. We cannot achieve the goals in isolation.” The MDGs are something that many people strive to achieve, and it is through an integrated approach that this is being done effectively. It is not possible, as Ms Sokhany says, to achieve these goals in isolation, we need to see all of the MDGs as something to strive for and achieve in collaboration. (on Refugee Camps – Women and Children at Risk).

Appeal for Peace Of the Cambodian civil society groups on the armed clash between the Cambodian and Thai troops near Preah Vihear Temple, 16 October 2008 … (full text). For more information:

  • Ms. Prak Sokhany, member of the Working Group on Peace, 012 940 851;
  • Mr. Cheang Sokha, Executive Director, Youth Resource Development Program, 012 360 464;
  • Ms. Chan Sona, Executive Director of Women Peace Makers, 012 568 479.

On 1000peacewomen 2/2: … In 1998, after undergoing formal training in conflict resolution and peace building, Sokhany formed a volunteer group to train the municipal officers in Phnom Penh in conflict resolution. The group also developed the training curriculum. They then networked with regional organizations and evolved into the Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT). ACT gets strong support from the Malaysia-based Southeast Asia for Conflict Studies Network. Sokhany has since become a volunteer member of the executive committee of ACT.

When the corrupt judicial system failed to convince the public that it was an effective institution to resolve conflict, Sokhany and ACT began training NGOs to facilitate conflict resolution at the local level, so that people don’t have to pay bribes to get their way through the courts. Poverty is a severe enough problem, and the Cambodian people cannot afford to pay bribes to buy their way out of conflict, says Sokhany.

There is, however, more to it than just saving money and time, she says. “Through the conflict resolution process at the local level, people learn about reconciliation and forgiveness in order to reach a satisfactory resolution.”

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Eric Margolis – USA and Canada

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Linked with GLASNOST IN LONDON – WAR FEVER IN WASHINGTON.

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times and Dawn. He is a regular columnist with the Quebecor Media Company and a contributor to The Huffington Post. He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC … A native New Yorker, he maintains residences in Paris, New York and Banff but spends much of his time traveling the globe on assignment. (full text).

… He is a contributing editor to the Toronto Sun chain of newspapers, writing mainly about the Middle East, South Asia and Islam, and appears frequently on Canadian television broadcasts … // … His political views: Margolis identifies his politics as “Eisenhower Republican”. Though his domestic political persuasion is moderately conservative (he is a staunch anti-communist and a supporter of capitalism), Margolis’ views on the Middle East are sharply at odds with the neoconservatives. Margolis is best known from his coverage of Palestine and Kashmir. Margolis’ mother, Nexhmie Zaimi, was also a journalist who spent a long time in the Middle East documenting the plight of the Palestinians during the 1950s[1]. Her influence, plus Margolis’s role as a foreign correspondent in the Mideast and travelling with the mujahideen during the Soviet-Afghan War, invested Margolis with a strong interest in the Muslim World … (full text).

His personal website.

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Eric Margolis – USA and Canada

watch this videos:

He says:

  • … People have to realize that violence emanated from the Muslim world due to a combination of factors. It has a lot to do with a history of Western colonialism. America inherited a business model created by the British when they ruled India. One of the most galvanizing moments came when the Soviets were driven out of Afghanistan and the Muslims found itself with a victory. It’s the first they had in hundreds of years. That victory also allowed Muslim radicals to formulate jihadism as a way to drive Western influence out of the area … and: As for Muslim influence in Pakistan, Islamic people never commanded more than 12 per cent of national votes. It’s real backwards fundamentally. In north Pakistan, bullets are whizzing, and tribes think unbelievers are those who come from another part of Pakistan. The problem is the Pakistani military keeps bombing Pashtun areas, inflaming opinion against the central government and thus creating more extremism. The only way out is for the U.S. to broker a political settlement. And neither presidential candidate is impressing me right now. I’m disappointed with Obama for taking such a shallow view of the area with little understanding of the problem. McCain was using Cold War rhetoric when he was debating with Obama about Russian and Georgia. That’s worrisome. Washington doesn’t understand the ethnic politics of region … (full interview text, Oct 4, 2008).

… Margolis also warned that Comparisons with the Warsaw ghetto uprising will inevitably be made … (in Canadian journalists castigated by media watchdog, Jan 26, 2009).

… His viewpoints always supply a real historical background to the typical trouble spots in the world — the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. This perspective usually points out the past European colonialist involvement in these areas — the maps of their former colonies were drawn to suit European needs. All of this is a moot point since, for the past 50 or more years, as the European colonialism has diminished, Americans have increasingly taken their place. The continued U.S. embargo of Cuba is a prime example of America’s colonial attitude in Latin America — which the U.S. seems to consider as its own property. America comes off looking nothing better than a bully of the first magnitude. Margolis is right, with President Obama in office, who was elected on the basic premise of change, this would be a perfect time to end this ridiculous struggle. (full text, 21st January 2009).

Find him and his publications on flickr.com; on Lew Rockwell.com; on Big eye.com; on his website: political commentaries, on writer’s notebook, on media/video, on publications; on Google Video-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Cassandra Balchin – England

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Linked with Women Living Under Muslim Laws WLUML, and with Musawah, there cannot be justice without equality.

Cassandra Balchin – Cassandra Balchin, formerly a journalist based in Pakistan, has been linked with the network Women Living Under Muslim Laws since the early 1990s. Her research and writing has focused on Muslim family laws and law-reform processes, and more recently on critiques of international development policy and practice regarding religion. She is currently concentrating on networking, advocacy, and policy work in the context of Muslim communities in Britain. (InformaWorld).

Cassandra Balchin is a freelance researcher, writer and human-rights advocacy trainer, and has been part of the network Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) for fifteen years. Formerly a journalist based in Pakistan, she has published on Muslim family laws and international development policy regarding religion … (openDemocracy).

… More recently, she has published critiques of international development policy and practice regarding religion, and has been assisting international development and human rights organisations to strengthen their analysis of fundamentalisms. She is currently focusing on networking, advocacy and policy work in the context of Muslim communities in Britain. Her more recent publications include: “‘Muslim Women’ and ‘Moderate Muslims’: British Policy and the Strengthening of Religious Absolutist Control over Gender Development”, in The Power of Labelling: How and Why People’s Categories Matter, Rosalind Eyben and Joy Moncrieff (eds.), Earthscan (2007); Recognising the Unrecognised: Inter-Country Cases and Muslim Marriage and Divorce in Britain, WLUML (2005). (full text).

She says: … I was in Pakistan for 17 years; 1983-1991 as a journalist and 1991-2000 with the Lahore-based women’s group Shirkat Gah, which is the Asia Regional Coordination Office of the WLUML network, and I helped them with their publishing programme. Then, in 2000 I left Pakistan and came to London to help the network set up its international coordination office … (full interview text, 10 February 2005).

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Cassandra Balchin – England

She works with Women Living Under Muslim Laws.

Book-review by Cassandra Balchin: Shari’a Has Never Been and Should Never Be the Basis for Family Law, February, 2004.

Shaping Women’’s Lives: Laws, Practices & Strategies in Pakistan, full article edited by Farida Shaheed, Sohail Akbar Warraich, Cassandra Balchin, and Aisha Gazdar. Lahore: Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre, 1998.

Islamophonic: Muslim marriageRiazat Butt is joined by Sunny Hundal to discuss Muslim marriage contracts, the centre for social cohesion, and tensions between Muslims and Sikhs, 2 September 2008: … many Muslim marriages are not registered in accordance with UK law. Riazat meets Cassandra Balchin and finds out why she is campaigning for the recognition of a Muslim marriage contract … (full text).

Find her and her publications on pipl; on openDemocracy: author presentation, and: pathways of women’s empowerment; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

She says also:

  • … The network (WLUML) as such does not privilege faith-based discourse. We are not a faith-based organization. We regard religion as a private matter. We, however, bring together both practicing Muslims as well as people who define themselves in other ways. The dichotomy between faith-based and secular discourse is very distinct in the West, where the two are generally seen as opposed to each other. The distinction is much less sharp in other contexts. Thus, for instance, Sisters-in-Islam, a leading Malaysian feminist group that works from a faith-based perspective, works closely with secular human rights groups. I think this owes in some way to the fact that in non-Western contexts religion is so much part of people’s daily experiences that people are more aware of what harm can sometimes be done in the name of religion. In turn, this means that they can also be more confident in challenging conservative or reactionary interpretations of religion. This sort of thing does not happen much in the West, where faith-based groups and secular groups rarely, if ever, interact. For instance, here in Britain, women from non-white communities see racism as the principal source of their oppression and so tend to cling to their community identities, which leaves little or no room for challenging patriarchal forms of religion. This is bolstered by what is called multiculturalism, with the state privileging religious discourse and male religious leaders in the name of community authenticity, and more often than not it privileges conservative, patriarchal interpretations of religion over other competing understandings. At the same time, secular human rights groups or white feminist groups, who could be allies of women in non-white communities, are so terrified of being accused of being being racist that they often fall into the trap of cultural relativism, allowing for patriarchy to remain largely uncontested … (full interview text, 14 February 2005);
  • … The network as such does not privilege faith-based discourse. We are not a faith-based organization. We regard religion as a private matter. We, however, bring together both practicing Muslims as well as people who define themselves in other ways. The dichotomy between faith-based and secular discourse is very distinct in the West, where the two are generally seen as opposed to each other. The distinction is much less sharp in other contexts. Thus, for instance, Sisters-in-Islam, a leading Malaysian feminist group that works from a faith-based perspective, works closely with secular human rights groups. I think this owes in some way to the fact that in non-Western contexts religion is so much part of people’s daily experiences that people are more aware of what harm can sometimes be done in the name of religion … (full interview text, 10 February 2005).

Global solidarity by and for muslim women, an interview with Cassandra Balchin, 2005-03-08.

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Mary Liston Liepold – USA

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Linked with Peace, Prayer, and Protest; The World-Uniting Force of a New American President, with What Women want: RESPECT, with Peace x Peace.org,  and with Christine Ntahe – Burundi.

Mary Liston Liepold, Ph.D., has 30 years of experience writing and editing a wide range of materials for national nonprofits, federal and state agencies, and individual authors, and 10 years raising funds for major nonprofits. Before coming to Peace X Peace Dr. Liepold spent 14 years at the Child Welfare League of America, where she developed, and for eight years, edited the magazine Children’s Voice. From 2000 through 2005 she wrote speeches for CWLA President Shay Bilchik while raising several million dollars in federal and foundation grants and developing the organization’s first individual giving program. She earned her doctorate in American Literature and Linguistics from the Catholic University of America. Mother of four, grandmother of four, and a daycare mom for 15 years, Dr. Liepold believes with Gandhi that if we want peace, we have to begin with the children. She also believes that if the people lead, the leaders will follow, and she lives that maxim daily at Peace X Peace … (full text).

Mary Liston Liepold set her hair on fire reading under the covers with a swiped cigarette lighter when she was five. At 63, she’s a passionate reader, writer, activist, wife, mother, and grandmother. In her view, the second and third flow from the first as naturally as kids have kids. Once you know what’s going on, it’s almost impossible not to tell others and to act on what you know. Her activism for peace and justice includes working for the international nonprofit Peace X Peace, where she’s a host on the weekly interview series Women’s Global Roundtable and blogs on Week X Week, and attending demonstrations to let history and the rest of the world know our government doesn’t speak for all Americans … (full text).

She is Senior Writer and Editor for Peace x Peace.

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Mary Liston Liepold – USA

Her publication: Earthquakes: A Teacher Package for K – 6, 2nd ed.edited by Mary Liston Liepold. Containing five units that contain materials at three levels (K-2, 3-4, and 5-6) that contain activities to help teach children about earthquakes. IML Prof QE 535.2 .U6 E265 2002 (on uw.platt.edu).

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

She writes:

  • … With a global economic crisis making it harder for millions of the earth’s people to meet their basic needs, one pointless war is winding down in Iraq and another is heating up in the Gaza Strip. The Iraq war is such old news that the media have almost stopped covering it, but it’s still costing $500,000 a minute—enough every day to fund 35,000 four-year college scholarships, or Head Start for more than a million pre-schoolers. Those same pre-schoolers are going to lack lots of essential services if we keep this up—or we move the troops and dollars to Afghanistan—while also continuing to fund “bottomless bailouts” for multinational corporations with no accountability to any nation. And this is the world’s richest government. What about the rest? Isn’t it high time we all turn our attention to solving the environmental, educational, and health challenges that cross every border, and can only be solved by concerted global action? … (full text, December 30, 2008).

  • I’m not the only one who’s choosing the start of the new year to visualize peace. Pope Paul VI declared January 1 the World Day of Peace in 1967, and his successors have proclaimed it again each year. New Years Day is also Global Family Day, set aside for recognizing our common humanity. Ironically, given this week’s news, Global Family Day was first celebrated by Palestinians and Israelis in Nablus in 2000, after an uncommonly peaceful 1999, as One Day of Peace and Sharing. It was taken up by the United Nations and given its new name in 2001. US ex-president Bill Clinton and President George Bush were among sponsors representing 20 nations. So, how would YOU like to start the new year? Why make timid, personal resolutions like losing 10 pounds when we could resolve together to end the madness forever? We are half the human race, after all. Peace on earth will begin with us, the women … (full text);

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Lita Anggraini – Indonesia

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Linked with Urban Poor Linkage (uplink) – Indonesia.

Lita Anggraini brings marginalized domestic workers back into Indonesian society. She does this by educating workers, raising public awareness of the issues that affect them, and changing the laws so that the state recognizes, appreciates, and protects their rights as workers, persons, citizens, and women—leading to a better situation for domestic workers and their relationship with employers. In a country with more domestic workers than any other in the world, Lita has created an education system that empowers young female workers to take an active role in changing their conditions and societal attitudes toward them. Her goal is to change the way society values the contribution of domestic workers so that their rights as both workers and citizens are protected. To transform deeply ingrained attitudes toward women, women’s work, and the relationships between employers and informal employees, domestic workers must take a leading role. Lita’s new educational system teaches domestic workers life skills; trains them about their rights as workers, women (because the vast majority are women), and citizens; and gives them the skills they need to negotiate fair contracts with their employers. While Lita provides alternative learning opportunities, she has designed her system to encourage young domestic workers to seek more formal educational opportunities as well. The idea that domestic workers should be educated and taught to negotiate written contracts with their employers is new in Indonesia. As a result of her program, workers become more competent and more confident, and employees and employers have begun to communicate about their rights and responsibilities … (full text).

Her Bio also on changemakers.

She says: … “This show is in contrast with the stark reality … the Indonesian term “pembantu,” which means helper rather than worker and is used in the Indonesian title of the show, in itself reinforces the view that maids are not professionals and therefore not entitled to normal worker rights. And in practice Indonesia’s labor laws either don’t apply or are largely ignored when it comes to maids … (full text, 27 July 2005).

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Lita Anggraini – Indonesia

She works for National Network for Domestic Workers Advocacy (JALA PRT – Pekerja Rumah Tangga), named in the report LEGAL REFORM FOR DOMESTIC WORKERS – INDONESIA, october 2005.

… Salaries for domestic workers in Jakarta vary, from Rp 500,000 ($46) to Rp 1 million, on average. The government has set the minimum monthly wage for the Greater Jakarta area at Rp 972, 604. “Household helpers are not covered under the law, because they work in homes and not in factories,” said Lita Anggraini, who chairs the National Network of Domestic Workers Advocacy, or Jala PRT. They are also prone to abuse and exploitation, she said. Household workers “do at least two-thirds of the housework, including taking care of the kids,” Lita said. According to a paper presented by the International Labor Organization in 2007, domestic work in Asia represents the most important source of income for women with low levels of education … (full text, December 30, 2008).

She participates in the Asian Solidarity for Human Rights in Nepal, 1st February 2006.

Hundreds of thousands of young girls employed as domestic helpers in Indonesia are at risk of physical and sexual abuse, much of it due to lack of legal protection from the state … // … Another panelist, Lita Anggraini of Tjoet Njak Dien, a women’s organization, recounted a case in Surabaya as an example of the lack of protection that the law gives to young female domestic helpers … // … (full text, 21 June 2005).

… Separately, Lita Anggraini of Jala PRT domestic workers right NGO said several NGOs had been working on the 30-article bill since 2004. “The law will also specifically regulate housemaids agents so it can stop the exploitation of workers,” Lita said. According to research conducted by the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry and the International Labor Organization in 2007, Indonesia had some 2.6 million housemaids, 688,000 of whom were children under 15 years old.  (full textc, February 11, 2009).

Find her and her publications on Google Group-search.

… and there exists a great amount of texts from and about Lita Anggraini in Indonesian language.

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Brendan Barber – England

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Linked with Trades Union Congress TUC – Britain at work, and with TUC New Year Message.

Brendan Paul Barber (born 3 April 1951, Southport, Merseyside) has been the General Secretary of Britain’s Trades Union Congress (TUC) since June 2003 … // … TUC: In 1975 he got his first job at the TUC as a policy officer. In 1979 he became the head of the TUC’s Press and Information Department. In 1987 he became head of the Organisation and Industrial Relations Department and in 1993 he became Deputy General Secretary … (full text).

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber is the current General Secretary of Trades Union Congress. He took up the post in 2003, becoming only the 9th person to hold the position since its introduction in 1922. The General Secretary is responsible for the effective operation of the TUC and for leading implementation of policies set by the annual Congress and the organisation’s General Council … (TUC’s short bio) … and: (He) was born on 3 April 1951in Southport, Lancashire. He was educated at St Mary’s College, a grammar school in Crosby and spent a ‘gap year’ with Voluntary Service Overseas teaching in the Volta Region of Ghana before going on to the City University in London where he gained a BA Hons in social sciences … // … Recently he has helped establish new negotiating machinery in the university sector and worked hard to build better relations between all the unions in the schools sector. He has worked closely with John Monks in the area of government relations. Brendan Barber is a Non-Executive Director of the Court of the Bank of England. He was a member of the ACAS Council from 1995 until May 2004. He was also a member of Sport England from 1999 until 2003. He lives in Muswell Hill, north London with his wife Mary, whom he met when she worked in the TUC International Department, and his daughters, Amy (18) and Sarah (16). Brendan is an avid supporter of Everton Football Club, though he also occasionally attends the home games of Vauxhall Conference side Barnet. He is also a keen golfer. (full text).

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Brendan Barber – England

Watch these videos:

He says:

  • Banking sector needs root and branch reform, not a review of bonuses: Commenting on the Government’s announcement today (Monday) of a review of bankers’ bonuses, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘The determination of Britain’s bankers to hang on to their bonuses show just how broken down the banking model has become. ‘We do not need a review of bonuses, but a root and branch reform of the whole banking sector and the employment of people who do a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, not expect a bonus to get out of bed in the morning.’ (on e-gov monitor, 10 February, 2009);
  • ‘The determination of Britain’s bankers to hang on to their bonuses show just how broken down the banking model has become. ‘We do not need a review of bonuses, but a root and branch reform of the whole banking sector and the employment of people who do a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, not expect a bonus to get out of bed in the morning’ (on commenting on the Government’s announcement of a review of bankers’ bonuses, 9 February 2009);
  • … The government has been addressing some of these issues, though we are yet to see the impact of some of the decisions that have already been made. There is still work to be done to see the banking system working — to try and get banks to lend properly. A lot of financial institutions are withdrawing to the home base to try to build up their balance sheets again. In the case of British companies, 30 per cent of the lending came from international banks. In terms of stimulating the economy and trying to keep people in their jobs, the idea is to make big investments in major public works, which the government has talked about but has not yet been able to deliver. I would attach a lot of importance to that. We still have major social housing needs in Britain. We still have many problems with transport infrastructure that need attention without making work for the sake of making work. Hence, I will kind of group the major issues in three areas — banking and financial issues, public works issues and measures in the labour market to try and help workers through these difficult times … (full interview text, New Delhi, 3 February 2009);
  • Brendan Barber, the TUC’s general secretary, has been hugely critical of the banking system and its role in causing the recession in the real economy. Last month, he even persuaded the Institute of Directors to join the TUC in calling for the reform of City bonuses. Privately, Mr Barber is understood to be telling ministers that there can be “no return” to the virtually unregulated financial system once the recession is over. However, Mr Barber is accused of “being as weak as a pint of piss” by a particularly militant trade unionist. The reason for this is that Mr Barber largely backs the Government’s handling of the financial crisis, at a time when many union members would like to see him battle to guarantee their jobs. “The union role remains to keep employers honest and make sure that they’ve thought through the money-saving options before handing employees their P45s,” says Mr Barber. “In this recession, we’ve seen more firms looking at short-term working options. For example, Honda is to shut for four months to help save jobs” … (full text, 1 February 2009);
  • … Recession must not lead to equality taking a back seat, says TUC, (full text, 9 February 2009);
  • … Brendan Barber, secretary general of the TUC, said workers were “rightly angry” at employers who have not given British based workers the opportunity to apply for new jobs but added: “The anger should be directed at employers, not the Italian workers”. (full text, 31 January 2009);
  • … “This is a terrible blow to Woolworth’s staff and to the firms and jobs that rely on the chain’s custom,” said Brendan Barber, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, an umbrella group. “It will also mean a further dent to business and economic confidence and less spending power in the economy,” he added. (full text, 17 Dec 2008);
  • … “I do think the media characterisations of all of this are kind of ludicrous,” he says. “At the one extreme this is the government surrendering all autonomy and giving the unions a veto power over policy or it’s a totally meaningless talking shop at the other extreme. I just think you cannot win when people just reach for some of the tired old clichés about ‘the brothers are back’ and ‘beer and sandwiches’ and so on. I want us to have a modern, intelligent dialogue with the government so that we can make a good case that they will respond to” … (full long text, 6 September 2003).

Labour must show us that its love affair with the City is over, the government needs to realise that voters will no longer tolerate a government in thrall to Britain’s financial establishment, 6 October 2008.

Find him and his publications on quotes; on Ask.com; on Google Video-search; on Google 246 New-results; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Stanford R. Ovshinsky – USA

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Linked with Made in America.

Stanford R. Ovshinsky (born November 24, 1922) is an American inventor and scientist who has been granted approximately 400 patents over the last fifty years, mostly in the areas of energy or information. Many of his inventions have come to play central roles in modern society. Among the most prominent are: his environmentally friendly nickel-metal-hydride battery, which has been widely used in laptop computers, digital cameras, cell phones, and electric and hybrid cars; continuous web multi-junction flexible thin-film solar energy panels; flat screen liquid crystal displays; rewritable CD and DVD computer memories; hydrogen fuel cells; and nonvolatile phase-change electronic memories. Ovshinsky opened the scientific field of amorphous and disordered materials in the course of his research in the 1940s and 50s in neurophysiology, neural disease, the nature of intelligence in mammals and machines, and cybernetics. Amorphous silicon semiconductors have become the basis of many technologies and industries. Ovshinsky is also distinguished in being self-taught, without formal college or graduate training. Throughout his life, his love for science and his social convictions were the primary engines for his inventive work … (full text).

Read further on wikipedia:

He says: “The ages of mankind have been classified by the materials they use—the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Age of Silicon. We are at the dawn of the Hydrogen Age, what is more, the hydrogen economy is happening already” … (full text, Nov 30th 2006).

His Bio on OVONIC.com.

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Stanford R. Ovshinsky – USA

Watch these videos:

He says also: … “We believe the functionality of the Ovonic Quantum Control device will enable it to replace transistors and result in new circuitry. It will also be used in the Ovonic Cognitive processor, positioning it to augment and increase performance of today’s computers and potentially become the preferred computational system, either binary or nonbinary. It can also be used in combination with the Ovonic phase change memory, Ovonic threshold switch and the Ovonic cognitive computer device. Therefore all thin-film computers would be made possible,” … (full text, 6 June 2006).

TIME.com has put him on its heroes-gallery, MARCH 1, 1999.

A husband and wife team has been working together since 1960 to solve the energy woes of today. As early as this year, world oil production will peak out and begin to fall off dramatically, causing fuel shortages and gas prices three or more times higher than we pay today. “Hydrogen has been called the ultimate fuel and the sun is the ultimate source of energy. If you tap into that, and you should, it changes the world beyond anything anybody could expect.” Stan Ovshinsky 2002 … (full text, not dated – in: Stan and Iris with the Hydrogen loop diagram in 1960).

Video is from Google video: Installing clean, reliable, inflation-proof solar power … (full text).

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Stanford R. Ovshinsky has spent 40 years — and millions of dollars in backing from various partners — pursuing his dream. He wanted to build a huge machine that would make giant sheets of material that can generate solar power. “I said we are going to make it by the mile,” he recalls. “Nobody believed me, not even in my own company.” Today, Mr. Ovshinsky, 84 years old, finds himself running his factory at full capacity and overwhelmed with orders. His company, Energy Conversion Devices Inc., is the largest U.S.-owned maker of photovoltaic materials, which convert sunlight to electricity. The company is a pioneer in an exploding global industry selling $15 billion a year of what’s called “PV.” The company’s mammoth machine extends the length of a football field … (full text, Nov. 28, 2006).

… My late father and I held stock in Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) which turned into Ovonics because we were great fans of Ovshinsky. Unfortunately General Motors and other companies made life difficult for him (and ENER) because much of his research was to enable technologies that would lessen our need for petroleum based products. I hope this new memory does well and I know my father, wherever he is, will be pleased with Ovshinsky’s success. (full text, April 1st, 2008).

Find him and his publications on MetaFilter.com; on Visual wikipedia; on PatentDocs; on IMDb; on ebay; on NationMasterEncyclopedia; on amazon; on yahoo glue; on flickr’s photo sharing; on RAD; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

General Motors Corp Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has defended remarks he made dismissing global warming as a “total crock of shit,” saying his views had no bearing on GM’s commitment to build environmentally friendly vehicles … // … Watching the clips should energize the viewers to take action to prevent the GM-Chrysler bail out as currently proposed. The best use of US Treasury money would be to buy a controlling interest in Chrysler and turn it over to a really green management team which would rename it as the Chrysler Electric Auto Company (CEAC). CEAC would make only electric plug-in and electric plug-in hybrids. Over time, it would repurchase the older cars and trucks and convert them to electric vehicles. The full story can be read at a mock website of Chrysler: Chrysler Electric Auto Company. Summary of video clips and films: … (full text of Does Detroit Deserve a Handout? November 19, 2008).

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Suketu Mehta – India and USA

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Suketu Mehta is the New York-based author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found … Mehta is Associate Professor of Journalism at New York University. He is currently working on a nonfiction book about immigrants in contemporary New York, for which he was awarded a 2007 Guggenheim fellowship. He has also written an original screenplay for ‘The Goddess,’ a Merchant-Ivory film starring Tina Turner, and ‘Mission Kashmir’, a Bollywood movie. Mehta was born in Calcutta and raised in Bombay and New York. He is a graduate of New York University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. (full text).

… Mehta moved from Mumbai to Jackson Heights when he was fourteen; his family lived on 83rd Street. Not many of the shops and restaurants from his youth are still in business–although he notes that his family didn’t eat out much anyway, unless it was to go for south Indian food (”That’s what Gujaratis eat when they go out.”) The neighborhood has evolved, as Indians who immigrated in the 70s move out to the suburbs and newer immigrants move in … (full text).

… He has attended New York University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His autobiographical account of his experiences with the city of Mumbai, Maximum City, was published in 2004. The book explores the underbelly of the sprawling city. It was a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist. Suketu Mehta also co-wrote the screenplay to the Bollywood film Mission Kashmir with novelist Vikram Chandra. Suketu lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. He is currently working on a book about the New York City immigrant experience. He will be joining the NYU journalism faculty in 2008. Awards: … (full text).

His official website.

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Suketu Mehta – India and USA

Watch these videos:

Two award-winning authors who feature one of the world’s most crowded and polluted urban centres in their books were a natural choice for a breakfast focussing on the city, moderated by York Professor Engin Isin, Canada Research Chair in Citizenship Studies. Suketu Mehta and Anosh Irani joined Isin on stage June 1 at the 75th Congress for the Humanities and Social Sciences for a discussion about Bombay – or Mumbai as it is now called – and the role this city of dreams plays in their fiction, as both setting and subject … (full text).

He says: … It was very scary and continues to be so. But I wasn’t interested in making judgments because then I would be judging my own life. I would hope that they will find that I’ve been fair to them, presenting them as fully rounded humans … I don’t spare myself. I’ve changed the names of most – probably they won’t be identified – but there’s potential for really serious violence, or lawsuits. It’s a great risk one takes in writing nonfiction … As the famed Czech poet Jaroslav Seifert said, for anybody else, not telling the truth can be a tactical maneuver. But for the writer, staying silent is lying. So, if I write about these people without their darker side, then … I might as well be writing propaganda … (full interview text).

… To gain a deeper understanding of the city, Boyle urged Patel to read Suketu Mehta’s unparalleled account — part memoir, part travelogue — of modern Mumbai, Maximum City. When you walk out of the airport you are hit by all these people, and this heat, Patel says. There’s this smell in Mumbai — Mehta calls it the smell of sweat and dreams. Hard work and people pursuing their dream … (full text).

… In one voyeuristic flourish, Suketu Mehta describes in Maximum City how a slum goon thrusts a hand through an open window to grope a sleeping woman. Unless you can testify with conviction that no sick predator has ever sexually tormented anybody in offices, restaurants, homes, or trains – you will have to sing this dirge with me: Slums are us. (full text).

Find him and his publications on alibris; on LibraryThing; on BookFinder.com; on NationMaster.com; on Borders; on amazon; on Google Video-search; on Google inauthor-results; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

He says also: … Well, I am doing something about it. I’m donating all of the Indian royalties of my book to set up a legal defence fund that will litigate on behalf of all the children in India. There are Acts of Parliament in India to protect children’s rights, and there are international covenants that India is a signatory to. Under these, every Indian child has the basic right to food, clothing, shelter and education. But you step off the plane in Mumbai, and immediately there are 1 million violations right there. The leading public interest lawyer, MC Mehta, has agreed to take on the responsibility. I’m really encouraged by that. There are some good people in government too who want some kind of outside pressure. What we’ll do is to first look at what’s happening with children on the streets and in prisons, we’ll prepare a report, and we’ll prepare a legal note of what the government is committed to and is not delivering. ‘MC’ will then take it to the Supreme Court, and hopefully the government can be persuaded to act. (full interview text).

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Indira Jaising – India

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Linked with India: The 498A Survival Kit – A Guide To Surviving IPC 498A.

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

Indira Jaising (born 1940, Mumbai) is an Indian lawyer. She went to school in Mumbai and graduated in Bangalore, before getting her degree in law in 1962. Jaising became the first woman to be designated as a Senior Advocate by the High Court of Bombay in 1986. From the beginning of her legal career, she has focused on protection of human rights, rights of women and those of the poor working class … // … Indira Jaising has attended several national and international conferences on women and represented her country at these conferences. She had a fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies London and has been a visiting Scholar at the Columbia University New York. She was conferred with the Rotary Manav Seva Award in recognition of her services to the nation in fighting corruption and as a champion of the weaker sections of the society. She was given the Padma Shree by the President of India in 2005 for her service to the cause of public affairs … (full text).

Her Bio and CV: on OHCHR.org, on Gender and Law Association GALA.

Once fighting to establish herself on an equal footing with her male colleagues, Indira Jaising’s legal work and her dedication to the cause of the marginalized is today the stuff of legend-her cases include Olga Tellis (pavement-dwellers’ rights), the Bhopal Gas Leak (that the government cannot represent the victims to their exclusion), Mary Roy (inheritance for women), Gita Hariharan (mother’s right to guardianship of the child), and many others. With each victory, Indira holds the Indian constitution to its covenant-justice for all.Indira Jaising was born in 1942 to Sindhi parents, from a middleclass business community, who had migrated from what is now Pakistan. Like so many people displaced during the massively traumatic India-Pakistan Partition, her parents were forced to uproot themselves, leave everything behind, and relocate to India. Indira still retains vivid memories of Partition and of her ancestral home in Pakistan. “The greatest sense of loss I experienced was the loss of a language with which I could identify,” she says, recalling the lasting emotional destitution following Partition. “The fact that there is no Sindh state in India has always made me feel displaced, a refugee.” She says: … “Stereotyping of women, both as lawyers and as women, is carried to the extremes in the profession. It has been a great struggle to gain acceptance, without compromising yourself” … (on 1000peacewomen 1/2).

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Indira Jaising – India

She is founder-member of and works for the Lawyer’s Collective.

Watch these videos:

She says: … The struggle goes back more than 16 years. The most difficult part was to convince law makers and policy makers that such a thing exists. They did not know that something like domestic violence needed to be dealt with by law. The words ‘domestic violence’ did not exist in Indian law. It is true that we did have section 498A in the Indian Penal Code which deals with cruelty to a married woman. However, there was no explicit definition of domestic violence. There was no explanation that verbal, emotional and sexual abuse is also violence. For them, violence meant only beating a woman, that that too severe and repeated beating … and: This law is in addition to other laws. It is an improvement or two. It defines domestic violence to include all form of violence and it provides a right to reside in the shared household. It provides accessible remedies and empowers judges to grant injunctions restraining violence … and: The commonest problem is marring a woman in India and then taking her to another country, normally the US and then sending her back with no visa to get back. It is a major problem which the government is looking into. Inter-governmental agreements are being worked out. In my opinion, such men should be kicked out of the US and sent back home to face the consequences. (full interview text).

Her book: Men`s Laws, Women`s Lives : A Constitutional Perspective on Religion, Common Law and Culture in South Asia, by Indira Jaising (ed), 2005.

A seminar on panchayats started here under the aegis of the Institute of Social Sciences (April 23-25). Though around 1,500 women delegates are attending it, with actress-activist Shabana Azmi and noted lawyer Indira Jaising as special guests, an irony looms large. In this round of elections, the very word “panchayat” seems almost missing or lost. Not just at the manifesto level but even during the campaigning … (full text, April 25, 2004).

Architects of Act on domestic violence caught in a catfight, December 27, 2007.

New Delhi: Upholding people’s right to access pathway that they had been using for time immemorial, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Goa’s upcoming beach resort Fomento Resorts and Hotels to demolish the 1,000 metres of illegal extension of the building … // … Judges also accepted the proposition made by Goa Foundation’s lawyer Indira Jaising asserting that under the public trust doctrine, people couldn’t be denied access to the natural resources including the pathway … (full text, January 21, 2009) … and: ‘Public trust’ invoked in Cidade case.

Indira Jaising elected to UN committee on women discrimination: Jaising, 68, secured the highest number of votes – 149 out of 181 – in a keen contest; this was the first time India fielded a candidate for this 23-member committee … (full text). And: MS. Indira Jai Singh elected as member in CEDAW (Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women).

Indira Jaising, renowned Supreme Court lawyer and founder-member of the Lawyers Collective, spent last year lobbying the government on reviving the Domestic Violence Bill, 2002. It asks for far more stringent punishment for offenders. This year, women are fervently hoping the bill will become an Act. Jaising is among the experts being consulted by the law ministry on how to make it accessible to all women. And as the whole nation directs its eyes to the progress of the Bill in Parliament, Jaising will not rest even after it is enacted. It?s her mission to appoint women lawyers for victims in districts. (on Telegraph India, January 02, 2005).

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Frank R. Rijsberman – Netherlands

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Linked with Every Last Drop, and with the International Water Management Institute IWMI.

Since 2000, Frank Rijsberman is Director General of the International Water Management Institute IWMI. IWMI is the leading international research organisation on water, food and environment, headquartered in Sri Lanka. It is one of the 15 centres supported by the CGIAR. IWMI has over one hundred senior researchers, a staff of 380, offices in 12 countries in Africa and Asia and a budget of US$28M. Its mission is to improve water and land resources management for food, livelihoods and nature. Since 1999 Rijsberman has been appointed part-time Professor at the UNESCO-IHE Institute of Water Education (jointly appointed at Wageningen University since 2003). At IWMI, Frank Rijsberman has developed and spearheaded international initiatives to (a) increase the dialogue among agriculturalist and environmentalists (The Dialogue on Water, Food and Environment) and (b) increase water productivity in agriculture (Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management for Agriculture; CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food). He has 25 years of experience in natural resources management research and consulting, specifically for fresh water resources, coastal zones, soil erosion, environmental management and climate change / sea level rise … (full CV long text).

… From 1990-2000 he was a co-founder, partner and managing director of Resource Analysis, a private research and consulting firm in the Netherlands.  From 1998-2000 Mr. Rijsberman was also one of the key organizers of the World Water Vision and second World Water Forum process.  He has been a member of the Water Task Force of the UN Millennium Development Goals Project, an invited speaker at CSD 12, and a chapter review editor of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.  He has well over 50 scientific and technical publications. (full text).

The Board would like to commend Frank for his successful leadership of the Institute during the past seven years. As is well documented elsewhere, IWMI has grown and blossomed over the period under his leadership. The overall conclusion of the 3rd External Program and Management Review of IWMI was that the institute has emerged from its period of rapid growth as a larger, more diverse, more proactive and generally stronger research organization, with enhanced human resources management. IWMI has benefited greatly from the leadership of a strong and dynamic Director General since 2000 … // …The IWMI Board fully agrees with this endorsement of the external review panel and wishes Frank well as he goes on to new challenges in helping to build Google’s new philanthropic arm, google.org. (full text, May 2007).

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Frank R. Rijsberman – Netherlands

Find him and his publications on his CV page 4-6: Selected Publications; on amazon; on allBookstores; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

He writes:

  • … As people accept that climate change is real and here to stay, they are likely to realize that while reducing greenhouse gas emissions is all about energy, adapting to climate change will be all about water … (as subtitle in an article, );
  • … However, water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and all other domestic needs is only a small fraction of the requisite supply. A much larger amount is needed to grow our food as well as the fibers, such as cotton, in our clothes. On average, growing a single calorie of food demands a liter (a little more than a quarter of a gallon) of water. Plants need water for evapotranspiration, the process by which water evaporates from soil and leaves and transpirates from plants through the stomata, thereby transferring water from Earth’s surface into the atmosphere. A healthy diet of 3000 calories requires at least 3000 liters (792.5 gallons) of water to produce; a vegetarian diet requires the least amount of water, while a Western, meat-based diet rich in corn-fed beef can require as much as 15,000 liters about 3,963 gallons) of water per person per day. Roughly seventy times as much water is needed to grow the food that people eat as to serve domestic purposes … (full text, 25 Jan 2009;
  • … It is surprisingly difficult to determine whether water is truly scarce in the physical sense at a global scale (a supply problem) or whether it is available but should be used better (a demand problem). The paper reviews water scarcity indicators and global assessments based on these indicators. The most widely used indicator, the Falkenmark indicator, is popular because it is easy to apply and understand but it does not help to explain the true nature of water scarcity. The more complex indicators are not widely applied because data are lacking to apply them and the definitions are not intuitive. Water is definitely physically scarce in densely populated arid areas, Central and West Asia, and North Africa, with projected availabilities of less than 1000 m3/capita/ year. This scarcity relates to water for food production, however, and not to water for domestic purposes that are minute at this scale. In most of the rest of the world water scarcity at a national scale has as much to do with the development of the demand as the availability of the supply. Accounting for water for environmental requirements shows that abstraction of water for domestic, food and industrial uses already have a major impact on ecosystems in many parts of the world, even those not considered ‘‘water scarce’’. Water will be a major constraint for agriculture in coming decades and particularly in Asia and Africa this will require major institutional adjustments. A ‘‘soft path’’ to address water scarcity, focusing on increasing overall water productivity, is recommended … (full text, Aug. 8, 2005, click on Water scarcity, Fact or fiction? 18 pdf-pages).
  • … Most of the earth’s water is saline, located in seas and oceans. And most of the earth’s fresh water is locked up in the ice caps around the poles. The rest is the water pumped around by the sun in the hydrological cycle: water that evaporates into the atmosphere, gathers in clouds, and falls as rain … (full text).

Sorry, many of his texts are not available for free.

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Asghar Ali Engineer – India

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Linked with Madrasa education myth and reality, with The Two Circles.net, and with Islamic banking in India: Challenges and prospects.

Asghar Ali Engineer is a Muslim scholar and engineer. Internationally he is known for his work on liberation theology in Islam, the leader of the Progressive Dawoodi Bohra movement, and his work on (and action against) communalism and communal and ethnic violence in India and South East Asia. He is an advocate of a culture of peace and non-violence. Asghar Ali Engineer was born 10 March 1939 in Salumbar, Rajasthan, India as the son of a Bohra priest. He was given training in Qur’anic tafsir (commentary), tawil (hidden meaning of Qur’an), fiqh (jurisprudence) and hadith (Prophet’s sayings), and learnt the Arabic language. He graduated in civil engineering in Indore, Madhya Pradesh), and served for 20 years as an engineer in the Bombay Municipal Corporation before he took voluntary retirement to devote himself to the Bohra reform movement. He began to play a leading role in the reform movement in 1972 when a revolt took place in Udaipur. He was unanimously elected as General Secretary of The Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community in its first conference in Udaipur in 1977. In 2004 due to criticism of the Dawoodi Bohra religious establishment he was expelled. Asghar Ali Engineer has been instrumental in publicizing the Progressive Dawoodi Bohra movement through his writings and speeches. He has authored more than 40 books and many articles in various national and international journals, and is founding chairman of the Asian Muslim Action Network, director of the Institute of Islamic Studies, and head of the Center for Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai. He has been awarded several awards, among which the Communal Harmony Award in 1997 and the Right Livelihood Award in 2004 (with Swami Agnivesh) for his ’strong commitment to promote values of co-existence and tolerance’ … (full text).

He receives the Right Livelihood Award, Joint with Swami Agnivesh (2004).

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Asghar Ali Engineer – India

He says: … Yes, that is very true, that secularism is a must for us. It is so multi-religious, it is so multicultural, multilingual, and so diverse. Even within Hindu society there is so much diversity, within Muslim society there is so much diversity in India. How can it function smoothly without secularism? … and: Secularism in Indian context means equal respect for all religion, equal protection for all religion by State, and the State not associating with any one religion, but keeping equal distance from all religions. That is secularism … (full interview text).

Combat Terror Day’ on February 5, 2009: … The other dignitaries who will preside over this youth initiative against terrorism include secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace, Teesta Setalvad; actress-cum-director Nandita Das; NDTV- Kashmir correspondent Zaffar Iqbal; journalist and editor of ‘Gujarat Carnage’, Asghar Ali Engineer; Centre for Health and Allied Services activist, Abhay Shukla along with director general of RSS-run NGO Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini Vinay Sahasrabuddhe … (full text, 27 Jan 2009).

Find his bio on cmss.uwa.edu.au; his archive on countercurrents; his publications on andromeda.rutgers.edu; on amazon; on wikipedia /some works; on blogs on word-press; on Gojaba; on Google Images-results; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

He writes:

  • Every year we monitor communal riots in India. Here is the account of riots, which took place in 2007, which we could monitor through various sources … (full long text, 01/16/2008).
  • Modernity was greatly celebrated during colonial days of 19th century throughout the world, especially in African and Asian countries colonized by European countries. It was hallmark of superiority of west over east. West was considered most modern, rational in its approach and technologically far more superior whereas Asian and African countries superstitious, irrational and ignorant and backward. Most of the intellectuals, mainly product of western colonial education felt ashamed of their ignorance and backwardness and lack of rationality and science and tried to reform their societies by spreading modern approach among their people. However, there was vertical division in these societies between those who refused to modernize and preferred their orthodoxy and those who considered modernization a must and celebrated modernity … // … Spiritual joy and material happiness must go together. Reason should not be devoid of values. Reason without higher goals, meaning and significance of life, is two-edged sword. Truth should not be mere conformity with facts but also beyond and above it, transcendent and all inclusive. Otherwise modernity will remain handmaiden of powerful vested interests which is what it is today and will generate more and more discontents. (full long text, January 2009).
  • After the carnage in Gujarat and subsequent victory of Narendra Modi-led BJP in Gujarat has intensified threat of Hindutva forces. The Hindutva forces not only celebrated the victory in Gujarat but also declared their intention to repeat the Gujarat model in other states in coming elections. It is not so surprising after all that even the Prime Minister Vajpayee when asked about it, confirmed it. When reporters asked him would you repeat Gujarat model in other states he said, ìWill Godhra be repeatedî? The implication of this cryptic reply is that if Godhra is repeated (or created?) in other states Gujarat model will be justified and the BJP Government will neither owe responsibility to prevent Godhra-like occurrence nor the subsequent events that followed in Gujarat. Thus the BJP owes no responsibility to enforce rule of law but rule of hate, blind revenge and violence … (full text, Feb. 1-15, 2003).

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Mu Sochua – Cambodia

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

Mu Sochua, 50, began this work while serving as Cambodia’s minister of women’s and veterans’ affairs. Last summer she left her post to join her country’s opposition party; she continues to learn the harsh truth by walking with those who walk the streets. “I am very frightened on these nights. But I want to feel the violence, the abuse, the reality of these women,” she says quietly, with controlled passion … // … More than two decades ago, Sochua finished graduate school in the United States. She could have stayed to enjoy a relatively comfortable career in social work. Instead she returned to her homeland to become a passionate fighter for girls and women. Her drive to transform a society shattered by war into one that’s fair and equal has led her to tackle one of the worst human rights problems of our time.Sex Trafficking is a global outrage that victimizes millions: Nepalese women are sold into India; sub-Saharan Africans into Belgium; Nigerians into Italy, Germany, and France; Filipinas throughout much of the world, including North America; and those from the former Soviet bloc all throughout Europe. (the wave project).

… Since her return to Cambodia after 18 years in exile, Mu Sochua has been an assertive participant in the rebirth of her homeland, which was torn apart in the 1970s and 1980s by genocide and foreign occupation … (full text).

Mu Sochua (born 1954) is deputy head of the steering committee of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party in Cambodia. A former minister of Women’s and Veterans’ Affairs, Mu spearheaded the drafting of the law on domestic violence and trafficking. A catalyst for policy reform and institution building for the advancement of women and children’s rights, she advises international organizations promoting women’s rights. She authored the Prevention of Domestic Violence law (pending parliament approval) and advocates for a quota system to ensure the participation of women in politics. Mu Sochua has no private office and has to share her computers with her colleagues. But the former government minister on women’s affairs pays little attention to luxury, even if she was born into it  … She says: “What I will not compromise on are poverty and violence against women”. (1000peacewomen).

… In July 2004 she stepped down from her role as a Minister, citing corruption as a major obstacle to her work … (full text).

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Mu Sochua – Cambodia

Since January 15, 2007 she works as Secretary General for the Sam Rainsy Party (its website, on wikipedia, Sam Rainsy USA, Sam Rainsy UK, and named on Liberal International, Cambodia).

Watch these videos:

  • Stolen Innocence – Cambodia, 25.25 min;
  • Seven – A Documentary Play, 07.30, Mar 19, 2008, and this text: Mu Sochua, our Board member from Cambodia and an inspiring political leader in her country, was one of seven remarkable women from around the world whose life and contribution was honored in a documentary play called Seven … (full text, February 12, 2008).

Her statement on Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board CRDB: Gender disparities exists in all sectors of development. Gender gaps are widespread in access to and control Of resources, in economic opportunities, in power and political voice. Women, girls and the female youth bear the largest and most direct costs of these inequalities. Addressing equity issues relating to women’s and children’s rights is crucial to good governance and to sustainable social and economic development, to social justice and to alleviating poverty. Indeed, improving the situation of women and children is central to the Royal Cambodian Government’s strategy to alleviate poverty. Neary Rattenack: Women are Precious Gems is our five-year strategy and action plan to achieve our vision … (full text, not dated).

“With no law to define specifically the penalty for acid attacks, several officials said more or less the same, ‘There will be a trial of this case of an acid attack, based the the obvious damage which has been inflicted on the victim’s appearance.’ “However, the deputy secretary-general of the Sam Rainsy Party and former Minister of Women’s Affairs Ms. Mu Sochua said, ‘Acid attacks, which often target women, should be considered a crime which is heavier than just bodily injury’ … (full text).

She says also: “Their bodies are cheap currency in Cambodia, where girls—many of them under 16—turn tricks for pennies, often with dozens of men a night. Why is this still going on? Blame poverty, blame corruption, blame a society that views women as a disposable resource. Carol Mithers talks to an amazing crusader named Mu Sochua about her fight to stop the tragedy”. (the wave project).

Find her and her publications on IMDb; on Google Images-results; on Google News-results; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

And she says (in her statement): “The Secretary General is to make the SRP machinery work and that task can never be achieved if one works alone or with just a few groups of selected people. I believe in team work, I believe in reaching out, I believe in the power of ideas and actions. But with a real focus … ” (full text).

On 1000peacewomen 2/2: … Coming from an affluent family in Cambodia, Mu Sochua (born 1954) grew up in an environment where she got a lot of love and attention from relatives. “My father was not with my mother when I was born. He registered my birth in another province two weeks later. I learned about loneliness, thinking that my mom had to be lonely when she was pregnant and delivered a baby while my father was away.”

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Zohra Andi Baso – Indonesia

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

Zohra Andi Baso (born 1952) is an activist working on empowering women to be aware of their rights so they can defend them. She began as a journalist and a consumer rights activist focusing on women. She has shifting focus onto dealing with violence against women, both in domestic and public spaces, social and political, through an organization she founded, the Forum for Women’s Issues in South Sulawesi, her home province. The endless work has kept her from finishing her dissertation for her doctorate degree.Coming from a royal family in the South Sulawesi (Celebes island) province, Zohra Andi Baso grew up with certain privileges. But she never cared for the feudalism and conservatism that accompanied them. “Even in my time, with all the money our family had, the girls were advised to stop going to school after finishing elementary,” she says, laughing.
As the youngest in a line of cousins, Zohra saw her older female cousins getting married so early (right after the elementary school), simply because the junior high school was in a bigger town, and the family didn’t want them to move away. As the eldest of three daughters, she managed to escape this cultural trap, thanks to her faithful ally in the family, her own mother. “My mother said one of us (three) had to continue studying. She got it from one side of her grandfather’s clan,” Zohra explains. One of her sisters got married not long after she graduated from junior high school, and the other, like her, continued her studies … She says: “I want justice for women. I want them to be aware of their rights and be brave enough to stand up whenever these are violated” … (1000peacewomen 1/2).

She is named as political heroe.

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Zohra Andi Baso – Indonesia

She works for the South Sulawesi Consumer Association, for the Forum for Women’s Issues in South Sulawesi (both not found in the internet), and for the Indonesian Women’s Coalition KPI (named on human trafficking.org).

Find some articles in english:

Find her and her publications on National Library of Australia, Catalogue; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

Find many articles in Indonesian language with her name in:

(on 1000peacewomen 2/2): … Zohra says of her privileged childhood: “I never understood why we needed to be treated differently, such as asking four people to lift us on their shoulders in a beautifully decorated ‘cage’, or people getting off from their bikes in a rush upon seeing our cars coming from afar.” But she loved listening to her mother and aunts tell family stories. One of them was about the great-grandfather of Zohra’s mother, whose entire family was sent to exile in Padang, West Sumatra, by the Dutch colonizers.

As part of the progressive elite of Minang (the ethnic city in West Sumatra), they were inspired to pursue modern education, and this became a model for little Zohra. “I don’t really know,” she shrugs when asked what triggered her adult activism. “Perhaps it was the injustice I saw as part of our life back then, and these fascinating family stories lingered in my mind, and inspired me to do what I’m doing now.”

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Raqiya Humeidan – Yemen

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

Raqiya Humeidan was the first woman in Yemen and the Arab Gulf region to become a lawyer. Born in 1947 in Aden, she graduated with a BA in Law from the University of London in 1971, and the following year obtained a Masters in Law, from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSEPS). She is currently a private barrister and is also a renowned legal consultant and advisor for the World Bank. For the last 24 years, Humeidan has been working hard as a lawyer and legal advisor for the Yemeni Supreme Court. She was the first woman lawyer in Yemen and the Arab Gulf region, and she has represented her country in many regional and international legal conferences. Throughout her career as a lawyer in Yemen, one of the developing countries where female illiteracy stands at around 75%, Humeidan has maintained a prominent profile and continued to defend women’s rights. Her unwavering stands have earned her popularity allover the country and have accredited her to be nominated for the membership of the Higher Committee for the 1993 parliamentary elections … (On 1000peacewomen 1/2).

The first woman in Yemen to become a lawyer, Raqiya Humeidan is an English-educated practitioner who has held significant positions in the Yemeni government, including legal adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the National Council for Foreign Trade. She is “a highly respected and very skilled lawyer” running a successful practice in business law (in General Business Law, Band 2, mentionned on Chambers and Partners).

She is named in ‘Exceptional Gulf Women‘ about the 1000peacewomen project.

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sorry, no photo found for Raqiya Humeidan, Yemen

She works for the Advisory Committee to the Ministry of Human Rights ACMHR; for the Yemen Advocates Union YAU; and for the Arab Association for Supporting Women and Juvenile Issues AASWJI, (no website found for any of these three organizations).
She is named as political heroe, (their homepage).

ADEN, Yemen, Feb 24 (Reuters) – When Islamists criticised a concert by a Syrian woman singer in Yemen’s port city of Aden this month, disaffected southerners took it as yet another slight from their more powerful northern cousins. Troops and police guarded the half-empty stadium when Asala took the stage, braving a reported threat from al Qaeda to stop the show, but she sang into the early hours with no disruption. Still, the verbal sniping by Islamist parliamentarians from the north left a sour taste for many in the sleepy southern city, where performances by Arab pop stars are a novelty. “They’ve had concerts in Sanaa and Taiz and Hodeida before. Nobody opened his mouth,” said Raqiya Humeidan, a woman lawyer, referring to northern cities. “Why is it different in Aden?” Far less trivial grievances are fuelling discontent here, where many are once again querying the value of the 1990 union between the Marxist-led south and the tribal-dominated north … (full text).

She says: … “They took our lands, our jobs and our wealth … We all feel they treat us with hate. So people are saying: If that’s what you mean by unity, we don’t want it” … (quotes).

Trotzig gab die syrische Sängerin Asala Nasri ihr Konzert im Stadion der südjemenitischen Hafenstadt Aden – obwohl Islamisten und angeblich El-Kaida ihr massiv gedroht hatten. Ihr Auftritt sei unmoralisch und widerspreche der Sharia, hieß es zur Begründung. Die forsche, in einen westlichen Hosenanzug gekleidete Anwältin Raqiya Humeidan ist erbost: “Warum dürfen wir in Aden kein solches Konzert haben? Warum hatten sie Konzerte in Sanaa, in Hadramawt und in Hodeida? Nur in Aden nicht. Alles in Aden muss anders behandelt werden” … (ganzer Text).

(On 1000peacewomen 2/2): … Throughout her life she wrangled with the Yemenite authorities because of her openly critical views, but she always remained steadfast in her positions. She worked hard to achieve peace in her community, about which she says: “Our definition of peace is the same as our definition of humanity.

We would not be able to achieve peace until justice and equality prevail among people, regardless of gender, religious or political considerations.” She drafted hundreds of legal contracts in various respects, and has represented hundreds of clients (companies, public institutions, foreign bodies and individuals) before Yemeni courts. She has been a prominent consultant for the World Bank in the Resettlement Plan and Social Assessment Study.

From July 1973 to March 1980 Humeidan worked in various crucial positions in the Yemenite government and in the private sector. She worked as a Legal Advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a member of the Attorney General’s Chamber in the Ministry of Justice, and the Legal Advisor of the National Council for Foreign Trade. She conducted several studies on various legal national and international topics, such as phrasing and revising the draft bills of law and presidential and ministerial resolutions.

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Dave Lindorff – USA

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Linked with The American Economy Is Not Coming Back.

Dave Lindorff (born 1949) is an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com. He received a Project Censored award in 2004 … // … Lindorff gained national attention when he ran a false story, just days before the 2004 presidential election, accusing President George W. Bush of using a remote wireless cueing device under his jacket and embedded in his ear during the Presidential debates against Democrat John Kerry. The article, which ran in Mother Jones magazine’s online edition, included photographs that had been edited by a leading photo analyst based at NASA’s Jed Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Born in Washington, DC in 1949, Lindorff lives just outside Philadelphia with his wife, harpsichordist Joyce Lindorff. He has two children, Ariel (a gifted vocalist) and Jed … (full text).

Dave Lindorff is a columnist for Counterpunch magazine and author of several recent books including ‘This Can’t Be Happening! Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy’ and ‘Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Penalty Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal’. His latest book, coauthored with Barbara Olshanshky, is ‘The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office’ /St. Martin’s Press, May 2006. (on his website).

His website named This Can’t Be Happening. And his blog The Smirking Chimp.

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Dave Lindorff – USA

Watch these videos:

Find him and his publications on Abu Jamal News; on OEN OpEdNews; on alibris; on amazon; on political affaires pa; on blogged.com, on mcMillan.com; on the populistParty; on his blog; on his website; on wikipedia /bibliography; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

A few articles:

Two Google download books:

Further he writes:

  • Many of the current administration’s “crimes” are not statutory violations. They are so called “high crimes” as defined by the Founders. That is to say they are abuses of power that threaten the nation’s very essense. They are not crimes in the sense that they violate a law, but, even more seriously, they undermine our political system and consequently threaten the very continued existence of our free and democratic society … (full text, January 16, 2009).
  • … Missile Defense is big business.  In addition to the billions of dollars already spent and millions more requested by the Bush administration, giving lucrative contracts to defense industry corporations and military agencies and high-level personnel, in late October, according to Mark Thompson, Time  Magazine/CNN, the Pentagon began work on a new missile defense “Headquarters Command Center” at Fort Belvoir, Virginia about 10 miles south of the Pentagon.  The $38.5 million building will be home to 300 Missile Defense agency workers. A key question we need to ask ourselves is will a renewed arms race, including the proliferation of nuclear weapons, between the U.S. and Russia on European soil and elsewhere provide security and gain trust among all nations concerned. Or would deterrence, containment and diplomacy, including talks with Iran, serve us far better in the long run. The time is now for the U.S. to withdrawal its plans for the missile defense system in Europe and for Russia to accept that withdrawal as a victory for peace by all sides and demonstrate to the world that diplomacy and disarmament can help lead us foward into more peaceful times – that give opportunities for progressive growth and development for millions of people worldwide. (full text, January 20, 2009). Continue Reading…

Adrienne van Melle-Hermans – Netherlands (1931 – 2007)

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Adrienne van Melle-Hermans passed away in August 2007

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

At 73, an age when most would settle for retirement, Adrienne van Melle-Hermans is busy trying to resolve the biggest challenge facing Dutch society today: seeing the increasingly widening gulf between ‘us’ and ‘them’ – Dutch-born white people and immigrants and their children – she’s determined to bridge the gap … // … Changing people’s minds: Adrienne explains that Theo van Gogh’s killing was personally poignant because the suspect, Mohammed Bouyeri, grew up where she lives now. He went to the same school as her daughter (though not at the same time) and was a regular visitor at a community centre where Adrienne had been president for many years. Now, whenever she ventures out, she sees an area in rapid decline: empty shops, so-called ‘black’ schools almost entirely made up of students from immigrant backgrounds and growing ethnic tensions. But, while many point to religion as the root of today’s troubles, Adrienne prefers to focus on cultural similarities rather than differences … (full long text, 28-06-2005).

She said: “Born in a wealthy part of our planet, I feel an obligation to dedicate myself to work for a more just society, globally and in my community. This is one way to bring durable peace a little nearer”. (1000peacewomen).

1000 vrouwen die genomineerd waren voor de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede: Op 29 juni 2005 werden de namen van 1000 vrouwen bekend gemaakt die waren genomineerd voor de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede 2005. Onder de vrouwen – afkomstig uit 150 landen – waren vijf vrouwen uit Nederland vanwege hun toewijding en werk voor vrede en mensenrechten. ‘1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005′ was een gemeenschappelijke inspanning om het werk van vrouwen voor vrede over de hele wereld te erkennen … (full text).

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Adrienne van Melle-Hermans – Netherlands  (1931 – 2007)

She worked for Vrouwen voor Vrede (Women for Peace). To find a long list of Netherland’s peace movements click on Interessante links down in the right column.

Voortrekker Vrouwen voor Vrede overleden: 24.08.2007 – Op 23 augustus is overleden Adrienne van Melle-Hermans. Met haar overlijden heeft de Nederlandse vredesbeweging één van haar leiders verloren. Decennialang was zij één van de voortrekkers van Vrouwen voor Vrede. Zij liep mee voorop in de vredeslobby, steunde zeer actief vredesvrouwen overzee en was jarenlang de vertegenwoordiger van Vrouwen van Vrede in het overleg met andere vredesorganisaties. Haar betrokkenheid, trouwe inzet en kennis zullen we node missen. Namens IKV Pax Christi, Marijke van Grafhorst, voorzitter IKV. (IKVpaxChristi.nl).

She was mentionned in grandmothers-for-peace-international-newsletter-may-1999.

Find her and her publications on Google Book-search and on Google Group-search.

She said also: … ““I was born in 1931 into a rather well-to-do family. It was important that we lived in Arnhem, [because] a few years later we were at war. That meant that for nine months we were in the middle of a battle and later had to be evacuated […] That was September 1944. I think that made it clear for me; I had experience of war and also the bad experience of going somewhere that people don’t like to receive you. It wasn’t their fault. They didn’t have enough to eat for their own children […] so it was a difficult time to be somewhere you aren’t welcome” … and: “With the assistance of a professor of ethics in the theological faculty, we organised study journeys to marginalised churches in Eastern Europe. That wasn’t well accepted because I was a member of the Christian Student Movement and we said ‘in order to understand the people of Eastern Europe, we need to learn something about communism’. For one week we studied Marx and people in the Christian Union said ‘you should be studying the gospel of Matthew’ so there was conflict over that” … and: “The UN has now passed Resolution 1325 saying that women have to be more involved in conflict solution and the reconstruction of countries. For a long time, I found that it was the men in the governments who made peace, but that peace can only happen on the ground if the women are involved. Women don’t tend to have a high rank in society, so in countries like former Yugoslavia, they’re less nationalistic and more willing to work with the enemy” … and: “A lot of people don’t like to hear that you have to make a difference between radical Muslims and Muslims as a whole. It’s stupid. We have a duty to make the difference” … (full long text).

(On 1000peacewomen): Adrienne van Melle-Hermans has been tirelessly battling the polarization of her native country for many years. She fights racism, fosters cooperation between religions, and spreads understanding between women of many cultures at many different levels. She has represented Women for Peace at conferences, workshops, and across all media. Adrienne also works extensively at grassroots level, setting up meetings and discussions in homes and community centers, reaching out to those women herself.

Although illness curtails some of her activities, her fight goes on.At an age when most of us would settle for an argument about the Netherland’s greatest artist, Adrienne van Melle-Hermans is trying to resolve the biggest challenge facing Dutch society today. She does not just want to bridge what she sees as an increasingly widening gulf between ‘us’ and ‘them,’ she wants to be the bridge. Recently, recovering in hospital from major surgery, she had regular visits from groups from her home neighborhood in Amsterdam. The women from the Moroccan Berber culture wanted to join the multi-cultural meetings to try to improve their community but were not allowed to by their husbands. Adrienne came up with the bright idea of moving the group to a primary school, a place where their husbands would be happy for them to go. Problem solved.

Continue Reading…