Posts Tagged ‘Refugees’

I came across this old footage of Syria’s First Lady, Asma al-Assad, and found the content of her talk here striking: and also somewhat poignant, given when it was made and what has happened since.

Given the current situation and escalating tensions, I thought this was well worth sharing. In this talk, from way back in 2008, London-born Asma al-Assad (or ‘Emma’ from Acton) is addressing an international charity and talking about Syria in particular and the Middle East in general and her experiences.

In doing so, she touches on the popular international misconceptions about the region, as well as refugees, and the right of the Syrian people to live in peace and with dignity. (more…)

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I have decided – due to requests from several people – to stop writing negative things about Donald Trump or the Steve Bannon administration that has just come into the White House.

Even though I have serious misgivings about this new administration and its outlook (along with some more positive views on some specific ideas), I will – for a little while, at least – refrain from upsetting anyone any further or bursting any bubbles by asking questions or being too critical about the Trump White House.

Barring any particularly extraordinary event, this will be a Trump-free zone for a while. (more…)

Mideast Gulf Torn Over Iraq

‘Staggering’ is how the UN has described the depth and nature of civilian suffering in post-war Iraq; citing over 18,000 civilians having been killed in the space of just this last year-and-a-half.
According to the report, conducted by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, an approximate 3.2 million people have also been displaced internally over this same period of time.

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humanrightsday

A few days ago, the annual Human Rights Day marked the United Nations‘ adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948; the first global  enunciation of human rights and one of the first major acts of the then newly formed UN.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights called upon the entire world to recognise and respect every human being’s inalienable rights “without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.

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Spectators gather on the pitch of the Stade de France stadium following the friendly football match between France and Germany in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. At least 18 people were killed, with at least 15 people had been killed at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, only around 200 metres from the former offices of Charlie Hebdo which were attacked by jihadists in January. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Even days after the event, there is still no footage or images of the explosions at the Stade de France.
We are told suicide-bombers detonated devices. But not only are there no images or videos of the explosion, but there are no videos or images of the aftermath.

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As Europe continues to face an unprecedented refugee/migrant crisis – largely the consequence of illegal wars and disastrous foreign policies in the Middle East – there is a great deal of misinformation, propaganda and racist nonsense now circulating about the refugees, which a lot of people seem overly willing to embrace.
This misinformation war ranges from basic cultural prejudice and the usual xenophobic/tribal fear-mongering to outright lies and fakery all designed to demonise refugees and incite sectarianism and hatred within Western societies. It is unfortunate – and a sad sign of our times – that what should be a discussion about a humanitarian crisis and the appropriate response has instead become a discussion about race, religion and fear.
But in trying here to correct some of the lies about the refugee crisis, there is little choice but to also tackle the subject of what is being rather ominously called ‘the Muslim Problem’ and also the resurgence of Nazism in Europe…

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While other European leaders and governments are continuing to argue and prevaricate and avoid action or responsibility in regard to the escalating migrant crisis, Angela Merkel and Germany have led the way in humanitarianism and responsibility and have set a standard and an example.

Any humanist or humanitarian would observe the welcome that thousands of refugees have received at German stations in recent days and be deeply heartened by the spirit and attitude shown by the German people.

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libyan-rebels-massacres

Having read so much witless shit about the migrant crisis, some of the particularly ill-informed, paranoid and hate-filled comments have made me wonder if we should be sending migrant boats full of our own unwanted citizens across the Mediterranean in a sort of reverse-journey.
I don’t think I can bear to hear or read one more paranoid alcoholic blogger prattling on about the ‘conspiracy’ to ‘wipe out the white race’; it was funny at first, but we’re way passed levity by now.

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libya-migrants-die
The tragic deaths of hundreds of people by drowning in recent days, all risking their lives to reach Europe via Libya, is just the latest in a long line of tragic effects and human costs to the illegal NATO-led ‘intervention’ in Libya in 2011.

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