These schoolgirls — with bare heads, not wearing the compulsory hijab — are standing under a banner that says “Sister, the hijab means protection, not limitation.” The picture is just another example of young Iranians’ frustration with the restrictions that the state imposes on them. The Islamic hijab became compulsory in Iran after the 1979 revolution, but there has always been resistance, particularly from young people.(...more)
Friday, 30 January 2009
TRIPOLI â€“ In Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli, itâ€™s always a rare thing to see youth from Bab al Tabeneh, a Sunni neighborhood, together with youth from Jaba…(...more)
High expectations are resting on Iraq’s provincial elections this Saturday. Iraq has been such a mess and the return to near-normalcy such a welcome event, that it is easy to endow the upcoming vote with an unreasonable significance. Yes, the elections are evidence that things are on the mend. But we should temper our expectations — about the vote’s outcome and what it means for Iraq now and when the U.S. pulls out.(...more)
The first World Without Wars and Without Violence march will embark around the planet in 2009. Its goals are as utopian as they are necessary. The challenge is as imposing and as resonant as it sounds. And it relies on detailed planning for its success, a march that hopes to pressure and move public opinion around the world.(...more)
When Tang Xiaozhao first saw a copy of the pro-democracy petition in her e-mail inbox, she silently acknowledged she agreed with everything in it but didn’t want to get involved.(...more)
Rabinal, Guatemala – The memories of massacre survivors take shape in the colorful fabric of the Rio Negro Memorial Quilt: a bright blue river, hills marked with crosses, and the names of murdered family members. Behind each panel is a harrowing story.
The quilt was woven by 15 indigenous women in the resettlement village of Pacux, in the province of Baja Verapaz. All were displaced from their homes when the Chixoy Hydroelectric Dam was built in the early 1980s, and all lost relatives in massacres that accompanied the dam’s construction.
Almost 30 years later, the survivors are using the new quilt to remember their loved ones and press the government of Guatemala for reparations.(...more)
In Gaza, Palestinians have once again been blamed for their own deaths. The British made a similar argument 151 years ago when they killed thousands of Indian civilians — 1,200 in a single village — in response to the largest anti-colonial uprising of the 19th century. If Israel truly desires peace with the Palestinians and safety for its citizens, it should look back to one of the greatest, and misunderstood, independence movements in history.(...more)
Artists’ voices can be both provocative as well as healing and since they represent the people at large they can play a major role in the peace process between India and Pakistan, says Pakistani painter and human rights activist Salima Hashmi.(...more)
Thursday, 29 January 2009
MORE than 1,000 students are taking part in an anti-bullying week at the Bahrain Bayan School (BBS), Isa Town. They will be wearing pink as it concludes today as a stance against bullying.
The tradition of wearing pink goes back two years to when two Canadian teenagers were praised across America for the way they turned the tide against bullies, who picked on a fellow student for wearing the colour pink.(...more)
It is just over two years since police officers started working in schools in the city as part of a pilot project to crackdown on bullying and anti-social behaviour.
PC Pippa Hind and PC Trevor Eves are familiar faces to pupils at two Norwich schools and have helped to make it a safer environment for both pupils and teachers.
PC Eves said his work revolved around behaviour and attendance and low-level bullying…
He said: â€œWe do a lot of work with the youth offending team as well and one of the way forwards we have been pioneering is restorative justice principles within the schools.(...more)
5th Annual Restorative Approaches in Education and Residential Child Care Conference.
26 Feb 2009 – 27 Feb 2009
Developing an emotionally literate response to disruption, conflict and anti-social behaviour.
Fresno Pacific University, California: Restorative Justice Conference TBA, 12 Feb 2009 – 14 Feb 2009 Sponored by the Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies.
13th Restorative Justice Conference at Fresno Pacific University
12 Feb 2009 – 14 Feb 2009
Sponsored by the Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies.
While the Catholic Church across Ireland is promoting its own schools this week, integrated education campaigners in the North are working to build community schooling that crosses religious and other divides.
The underpinning principle of â€˜integrated educationâ€™ is the belief that by bringing Catholics, Protestants and children of other faiths and none together, in a shared learning environment, they can learn to understand, respect and accept each other better than in strongly denominational schools.
The November 2008 legislative elections were an important test for Guinea-Bissau, whose transition to democratic rule badly needed impetus. It was uncertain whether they would take place until the last minute, but they were praised by both citizens and international observers. Still, that is not enough to guarantee either stability or movement on badly needed institutional reform.(...more)
The Australian National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council’s Compendium of Research Papers (full text [pdf]) presented at the 2007 National ADR Research Forum in Melbourne just up on the web…(...more)
BAGHDAD – Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Thursday said that the constitution is the only recourse and elections are a strong guarantee for the â€œunity and sovereignty of our country,â€ noting â€œtodayâ€™s Iraq is not that one of yesterdayâ€…
â€œElections would guarantee the unity, sovereignty, power sharing and elimination of sectarianism,â€ he added, noting that the power of Iraq â€œis not with its military might and aggression on neighbors but rather with its internal unityâ€.(...more)
It’s easy to argue that renewed fighting between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines since the breakdown of the formal peace process in August last year means there is little chance of a peace deal between the two sides…
But this alarmist view ignores genuine efforts on both sides since then to restart the process.(...more)
PHNOM PENH – At first glance it seems to be simply a numbers game: whether to try 5, 10 or more defendants for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people at the hands of the Khmer Rouge three decades ago.
But as a United Nations-backed tribunal prepares to hold its first trial session next month, it is embroiled in a wrangle over numbers that goes to the heart of longstanding concerns about the tribunal’s fairness and independence…
After a decade of difficult and not always friendly negotiations between the United Nations and the Cambodians, a hybrid tribunal is in place, with Cambodian and foreign co-prosecutors and panels of co-judges in an awkward political and legal balancing act.(...more)
Today, I foist a new blog called Aid Watch on the blogosphere. The objective is to be brutally honest when aid is not helping the poor, but also praising it when it is.
Alas, there is far to go.(...more)