Thursday, 22 November 2012

War and Crime in Gaza

It is common knowledge across the world that if Israel was any other country (including the US) would be correctly accused and no doubt tried for war crimes for its continuous bombings of civilians especially women and children in Gaza who are literally sealed inside the world's crowded territory (also referred to as the world's largest open air prison) with no where to seek refuge. Gazans can not go into Egypt or use tunnels while politicians seek photo opportunities. Below all some cartoons that show the horrors of war as experienced by civilians.

Warning: The following images may disturb and anger our viewers but they tell the truth. All are uncensored.
-From Aan
Illustrated by Khalil Bendib

The following three cartoons are illustrated by LB

The remaining cartoons below have been written and illustrated by activist Cartoonist Carlos Latuff who is brave enough to illustrate visually the anger towards the injustice experienced by Gaza for a decade plus and the "might makes right" of Israel who is collectively punishing ordinary Gazans for the actions of several militants.

Finally, the following cartoons (some considered so controversial that New Zealand Herald cartoonist Malcolm Evans was fired) were illustrated by Malcolm Evans

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Syria Files

What Could Happen if the Syria and neighboring countries were to become unstable and become succked into Syrian war

What the Middle East, parts of Central Asia and Pakistan could look if more instability from the current wars and United States and allies insistent playing chess with Turkey, Iran, Saudi and other states against one another in a resource war.

The war in Syria is one that becomes more unpredictable by the day. There some media networks such as NPR (National Public Radio) that have attempted to imagine what would occur if Assad was to leave or removed from office. Similar to Libya, Syria is a diverse and multicultural country. Syrian Kurds and Alawites which is a sect of Islam and not all alawites identify with Assad or the Syrian government have been targeted by rebel forces (Free Syrian Army). While the Kurds have been able to reassert their claim to land rights and even autonomy in Kurdish majority areas in Northern Syria following the example of Iraqi Kurdistan when it was granted autonomy and self rule following the 2003 Ango-American invasion. Turkey home to the Middle East's largest Kurdish population rightfully fears the aftermath of Assad's removal from office not only having to fear a possibly unstbale Syria but also the possibly it could loose land if Turkish Kurds mimic their compatriots in Syria and Iraq or join together to create a large Kurdistan.

Syrian Kurds emerge as winners in conflict

If Assad falls...

When Assad falls Kurds will take back land given to Arabs

What happens if and when Assad falls

Turkey Must work with Syria's Kurds


After Assad, Syria could be worse

Conflict hits the House of Assad

Why Syria won't fall

Kurds in Syria

Syrian's Sectarian Echoes in Turkey

Alawites fear they, not Assad are the targets of rebels

Hidden gems of mankind's past in Iraq

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Africa Updates

Some small updates on what has been happening a few African countries the past few weeks. Special focus is on the ongoing protests taking place at Lonmin Platinium mines outside Jo-Burg, South Africa.

South Africa's Unfinished Revolution & the Makana Massacre

Euro American Songs of Racism, War and White Supremacy: An African Perspective

Modernity doesn't belong to the West anymore

Modernity isn't West Centric

ANC rejects nationalization of South African mines

Zuma squashes mining nationalisation talk

Protests spill over to other S. African mines

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Happy Eid from Gaza with Love

A happy and blessed Eid in Gaza for the kids and families

Enjoy the photos and story here

Palestinian boy with candy in Gaza an often forgotten image outside of Gaza

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Eid, Gaza 2012 Photographer Sarah el-khoudary

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Unwanted everywhere

As Ramadan ends, Muslims around the world prepare for Eid al fitr in India to Morocco and Senegal to Bangladesh and Palestine. While Eid is a joyous time, this Eid is being overshadowed in several countries by the recent violence against Muslims in India and Myanmar. And Sikhs in the United States. It would seem as though the images of global protests against government abuses highlighted in the apocalyptic thriller 2012 had came true. As Syria continues to slowly implode on itself from the violence, once again the Rohingya in Myanmar are being forced out of their country, state and towns by their own compatriots who do not consider them as even fellow citizens or human beings in need of protection. In the United States, two near back to back shootings against Christians and Sikhs have brought American terrorists (both Aurora and Wisconsin Shootings would fit the definition of terrorism) to the attention of the government and the public. It also pushes the United States to look itself in the mirror to address a taboo subject among many politicians and mainstream media, white terrorism carried out by white male supremacists, right wing sympathizers or fascists (sometimes connected to the military) euphorically called "Domestic terrorism."

Rohingya: Stateless and Unwanted

Rohingya lives lost in Limbo

No bodies people in No Man's Land

Attacks on US Muslims creates Eid worry

Wisconsin Shooting Reveals connections between US Military and Fascist Groups

What's wrong with white men (white American men) Aurora Shooting

Happy Eid al Fitr

To Break away from the violence and negative events in this world, here is Ignoring Occupation's kaleidoscopic mediation celebrating Eid al Fitr. Enjoy the gallery and find some peace.

Persian Gulf Monarchs Relics of Barbarism

The rickety, crickety monarchs of Persian Gulf and six Gulf Council countries still do not understand the meaning of enough is enough when  a royal family has ruled for over two hundred plus years. Which makes me ask, "Why isn't no one making the same argument for the Queen of England?" Webster Tarpley, an independent analyst on Middle Eastern Affairs dissects the old monarchies staying power and their use of force against their own citizens to maintain self proclaimed power at the expense of building real long lasting systems and political institutions. Read article below

Persian Gulf Monarchs Relics of Barbarism and stubborness

Monday, 23 July 2012

The Migration South

With increasing bank scandals including the latest LIBOR scandal (a major that they do not teach students in schools and universities) and the continual recession many Europeans and other Westerners and African migrants are looking South for economic opportunities. The new industralizing BRICS Countries are experiencing steady economic growth (despite some estimates that China and other countries might experience a housing bubble in the near future) and an unusual migration flow. Some Westerners are finding coincidentally better economic opportunities and push and pull factors in Africa, Latin America and Asia! Some of the countries receiving European migrants include Angola, Mozambique, Brazil, China, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Liberia, Kenya, among other countries.  The last time European immigration to the Global South occurred a much massive scale was in the 19th to 20th centuries. Perhaps history is repeating itself. Now the question is what will this mean for migration policy in these countries? As a side note South to South migration and Cooperation will still continue. There will always be migrants moving across borders and regions. Its been part of human history for centuries. 

Angolans Choose Brazil as destination 
Portugal's Jobless Graduates flee to Africa and Brazil
Moving From Portugal to Angola
Europeans looking for Greener Pastures in Africa
European Immigration to Latin America 1870-1930
Causes of South-South Migration and its Socio economic effect
South South Migration in West Africa
Africa Paradise and the double standards of European expatriates as migrants

Africa Paradise or Africa Paradis

A film that imagines if and when a United States of Africa emerges and becomes the new economic powerhouse of the world in the year 2033! In addition European migrants are desperately trying to reach Africa particulary the country of Benin for greater economic opportunities as Europe and the United States are no longer feasible top economic destinations. It is not a far fetch idea given the current economic situation. It is already happening in China, UAE, Brazil, Mexico, etc so why not Benin or other African countries? :)  

Friday, 13 July 2012

Migrant workers face racism and segregation at Lebanese pools

From Jadaliyya...Migrant workers in Lebanon hailing from Sri Lanka, Phillipines, Indonesia work as domestic workers for Lebanese families in Beirut from cooks to charges caring for children. The majority of the workers are women who were employed to work in Lebanon through local organizations in their home countries. Despite their many years in Lebanon, fluency in Arabic and providing for their families back home, many migrant workers face discrimination within Lebanese society. Ranging from feelings of alienation in a new country to insults and abuses by their employers to indifference by the state if they are injured or mistreated. Now there is a new movement by Lebanese human rights watch volunteers to confront discrimination against migrant workers not only to protect their human rights but to also challenge discrimination at private clubs and swimming pools. Migrant workers are not allowed and are even turned away from entering private pools to swim although they often accompany their employers' families to the private pools they are forbidden to swim. Lebanon is not the only country with strict access to swimming pools. Not too long ago private swimming pools in the United States and European countries were banned and off limits to certain ethnic groups. Videos below are from the Anti Racism Movement in Lebanon.

Read article from Jadaliyya here

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Days of summer & The Ocean of tanners

Some articles on why, for what reasons and the historical connections to white people (mostly Americans but some Western Europeans) tanning during the summer. Is it to look more exotic for a short amount of time? Or is it hipster fad or fetish? What makes millions of Americans run to the nearest or sometimes furthers beach and lie out in the sun? Irony is while tanning may be relief who consider their skin too atrocious (a harsh critique for ones own natural body) without a nice tan (no matter if its spray on, a tanning bed or lotion) it is well known that too much exposure to the ultra voilet rays the UVRs of the sun or tanning beds' rays lead to damage skin and if it eventually skin cancer. Let's also be clear, some people of color depending on the person tan too at the beach but it is more of a fad.

Stuff white people Do Get interested in Black skin when summer comes around
A light hearted take on understanding why tanning is so popular

Tanning from an African American perspective

A short History of Tanning

Americans on a beach somewhere 

Women on a beach in Venezuela

A group of beachgoers in Mexico

Soaking up the sun in Tunisia

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Migrants in Qatar

As Qatar experiences a construction boom and looks forward to hosting the 2022 World Cup, migrant workers from India, Pakistan and across South east Asia and Africa are working in the shadows and behind the scenes building the gleaming skyscrapers across the Persian Gulf in Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait. Despite their hours of labour, the migrants are often given open ended contracts, cheated by companies that originally hired them, denied access to lawyers and legal protection within the countries they work or loose their papers and means of identity. Video below is compliaments of Al Jazeera. 

Monday, 11 June 2012

Democracy and Corruption

Two articles take a look at how selling Democracy to the poor citizens living with corrupt governments may not be a God's send but a joke and even a mistake without the need to critique what Democracy is and how it relates to the country it is expected to grow in. The second article focuses on the corruption that breeds violence among citizens with South Sudan as a warning to Liberia's future petroleum prospects. The first article comes from the Liberian newspaper: New Democrat and the second form Liberian Observer. Enjoy

Liberia: Selling Democracy As an Endangered Demon to the Poor

Throughout his earthly sojourn, versatile Liberian journalist Tom Kamara, who died Friday while undergoing medical treatment in Brussels, remained an uncompromising campaigner for social justice at home and everywhere.
This unimpeachable trademark can be seen and acknowledged unquestionably by both his admirers and detractors in this last analysis of the situation in Liberia written by the man, whom his contemporaries often called "Tom" while his co-employees and workers referred to him as "Uncle Tom":
One of Pakistan's most respected charity heads, in an interview with the BBC, said most Pakistanis would prefer military rule over a network of corrupt civilian politicians that take turns in ruling the country with fat bank accounts abroad. For the poor, he said, democracy has meant nothing for them, only the incubation of poverty.
Prevailing developments in Liberia suggest the same trend. Because of the growing disconnect between politicians and the poor, as the Vision 2030 recently suggested, democracy--the freedom to periodically elect one's own thieves and plunderers, amongst other democratic values--is fast becoming an endangered demon to the poor.
This mistrust in democracy serves as one of the growing reasons for the relevance of Mr. George Weah's Congress for Democratic Change (CDC). The poor see their children hanging on crawling vehicles, running behind Mr. Weah, as their chance to material wellbeing once he gets the presidency. And one of the reasons for the fanatical loyalty Mr. Charles Taylor commands even as he prepares for a long jail term as the rest of the world demands is that under him, a few saw their material conditions enhanced.
This enhancement of their material conditions was at the expense of others in the forms of murders, looting, etc. But they would care less, since they saw what they considered a better life under Taylor. The wife of the feared Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU) commander was filled with nostalgia in an interview with foreign journalists as the verdict against Mr. Taylor came down. She had a better life under Taylor, she said, since the prices of commodities were cheap or for the taking, since her husband was an ATU commander who had in his hands the power to administer death or allow someone to live.

A Dreaded Lesson for Liberia

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South Sudan, Africa’s newest independent nation, is a nation that has been through so much over the past decades, but with independence, and bountiful oil deposits, it was also seen as a nation with a lot of promise. But that promise, while challenged on many fronts, is facing its greatest threat from within—from perniciously corrupt officials, who the people have entrusted with the business of running the nation’s affairs
After over three decades of civil war in which the predominately Christian South fought for autonomy from the largely Muslim North, leaving at least 2.5 million people dead, and many peace negotiations in between, the South finally reached a peace agreement with the North, which lead to a referendum for independence in January 2011. An overwhelming number of South Sudanese, over 98.83%, voted for self-suffrage from the North. And on July 9th, as the world watched, South Sudan declared its independence with great fanfare and hope for a better future for its people.
But all that hope is being asphyxiated in what will probably go down as the most despicable corruption scandal in the annals of the world. In the face of continuing tension between the South and North over the sharing of oil revenues (80% of Sudan’s oil deposit is believed to be located in the South), which has led to a temporary halt in oil export, the country has been rocked by news of the massive pillaging of the country’s oil revenues, in the tune of US$4 billion, by current and former officials of the government.
“An estimated $4-billion are unaccounted for or, simply put, stolen by current and former officials, as well as corrupt individuals with close ties to government officials,” President Salva Kiir said in a letter to his officials.
Desperate to feed the country’s poverty-stricken population of 8 million people, one-fifth of who suffers from chronic hunger, and with child malnutrition rates reaching 21%, South Sudan’s President sent the letter to 75 current and former officials pleading with them to return the country’s money and promising that those who return their stolen cash would be granted amnesty.
“Many people in South Sudan are suffering and yet some government officials simply care about themselves. We fought for freedom, justice and equality. Many of our friends died to achieve these objectives. Yet once we got to power, we forgot what we fought for and began to enrich ourselves at the expense of our people,” President Kiir lamented in the letter.

Monday, 4 June 2012

News From Motherland: Africa

News From the Motherland: West Africa and the North 4 June 2012Now with clickable articles :)
This is the first of the new news series News From the Motherland 

The green dotted lines shows how far Tuareg peoples live across the Sahara. French colonialists attempted to create a homeland for the Tuareg prior to the first Tuareg Rebellion in 1963 again the Malian Govt but the French knew such an attempt would be unrealistic and unstable. 
In less than a week some unimaginable events have been happening in several African countries. Two plane  crashes in Ghana and Nigeria. Clashes between rebels at Tripoli International Airport in Libya. Malians from Timbuktu and other cities of Northern Mali are now Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) in their own country now live in refugee camps in the Malian capital Bamoko. The Taureg Revolution which began as a challenge to the Malian government over neglect and lack of rights has now been transformed in European/American media as a threat of an Islamic state in Northern Mali. Historically, Muslims and Islam in Mali have been known for being relaxed and influenced by the religious and cultural diversity of its adherents as is common with most West African Muslims in neighboring and further away West African countries such as Cote d' Ivoire, Niger, Chad, Senegal, Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, the two Guineas, The Gambia and so on. Even with Boko Haram in Nigeria, Nigerian Muslims do not follow nor belief in the strict so called Sharia law type interpretation and applications of Islam in everyday life. For those curious to read more into how religion came synonymous with war please read the link to the Myth of War and Religion. As history and recent events show rebels in any African country are never good for anyone not the supporters, non political citizens or leaders. Is this Neo Colonialism creeping across Africa?

Effects of Colonialism on Africa's past and present

Myth of War and Religion 

Northern Mali: An Islamic State?

Clashes erupt at at Tripoli Airport in Libya

Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou: "It was Not Necessary TO Kill Gaddafi"

Is France the Curse of Africa?

Prince of Poets

I love poetry but I can't write it. ITs one of the hardest forms of writing. Enjoy the above video/lyrics. Its the Prince of Poet by Iraqi-Candian Journalist/Hip Hop Artist the Narcycist. One of the commentators for the  original song gave me the challenge of creating my own video with the lyrics of the song. As a result, the video became a tribute if you can call it that to the revolutions in North Africa and Middle East enjoy.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Catching hell all over

Three stories from three different regions of the world on the stress and tensions facing everyday people. After relistening to an interview with Laura Nader on Orientalism and Edward Said's legacy towards post colonial studies, it reminded me of the media's role in painting or writing the world. Said continuously reminded the world that the Palestinians still have not received justice despite most peoples being well aware of the long lasting Palestinian-Israeli conflict. A combination of news stories on Houla Massacre in Syria, the continual instability in Libya brought on by armed rebels who refuse to lower the guns and the Travyon Martin Case led me to comply the three stories below. Enjoy the read.

Multiculturalism and anti Islamic movements in Europe

Media's Portrayal of Black Youth contributes to Racial tensions

Blaming the Victim

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Confessions of a Vietnamese in Czech Republic

The Dancing House of Prague
A Vietnamese American shares her experiences of living in Bosnia and Czech Republic and the complexity of living as an expatriate of color not to mention an American expatriate  in Eastern Europe. Given its history, identity politics and much more. Enjoy
Read here

Friday, 4 May 2012

Right Wing nationalism in Europe

The Greek Parliment without protest 
As austerity measures are implemented or still pending implementation in several European countries, frustration has transformed into public support for far right and nationalist parties. As with most economic crisis, blame is always placed on the government and immigrants in addition to the countries that are faring well for the most part. Greece along with France, Czech Republic and other parts of Europe are experiencing not only prime time spotlight for right wing and nationalist groups but are also voting candidates into office. The upcoming French elections for Sunday will determine if Sarkozy stays or leaves the Presidency. Greeks' frustration at high unemployment and government's slow response has made the extreme right parties into a popular alternative to the traditional socialist and left wing parties.

Greece's Right Wing: A New Dawn?
Al Jazeera's Stream looks at the rise of the Golden Dawn political party as it seeks to gain a foothold in parliment for Sunday elections in Athens. 

Saturday, 28 April 2012

We rule the world: Economics

The true story of globalization and economics that they didn't teach you. Its not just the corporations...Its also the economic jackals...Scene take 1! 

Economic Hit Men

Causes of Globalization The Butterfly Effect

"I've given all I can, its still not enough I've given all I can, But we're still on the payroll
That's what you get, That's What you get, That's what you get when you mess with us"
   -Radiohead "Karma Police"

Monday, 23 April 2012

Beauty of African Women

A Response to the Swedish Cake and cultural minister's mocking grin. And a long overdue photo gallery of beautiful African Women from Africa and the Diaspora. Enjoy and appreciate.

Liberian school girls



African American

Ancient Egyptian

The iconic woman toting a load on her head-West Africa

Cynthia McKinney on left with Palestinian woman 

Haitian Priestess

Viola Davis

Liberian woman

Cynthia McKinney

Carnival across the 

Haitian Revolution and woman


Mother and child-Haiti

Senegalese woman