Friday, 22 March 2013

Chinua Achebe, voice of Nigeria and Africa gone

The never tired writer, Achebe continued to hold public readings, write critical essays and discuss various topics related to the well being of his own country Nigeria and Africa even in retirement demonstrating his long standing commitment to improving Africa intellectually and justice 
The author of Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe passed away today at the age 82 years old. Achebe was a giant among many of his peers and remind a legendary literary voice widely respected inside and outside his country of Nigeria and beyond Africa's borders. His book Things Fall Apart which recounts the story a Nigerian village's struggle between synchronizing Nigerian and Western culture upon independence and weary of the future is required reading in African schools. Few African and Nigerian writers of the past and even today with exception of Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o) have enjoyed world wide recognition as Achebe. In addition to Things Fall Apart, he continued to write until his last breath. His books includes Man of the People, Arrow of God, No longer at Ease, his most recent book, "There once was a country," about his personal experience during the Biafaran war in 1960s Nigeria. Achebe also published essays among them, "Africa's tarnished image," in which he laments not only the use of continual and recycled racist images of Africa and its diverse peoples but also Europe and America's failure to see both the continent and its peoples and the Diaspora as fellow humans and not as exotic aliens. Having experienced colonialism and witness racism firsthand while growing up in Nigeria, Chebe had an eye and heart for showcasing the humanity of Africans and their beautiful history, culture, traditions and arts. In nearly all his writings he denounces both colonialism, racism and negative stereotypes associated with the continent to remind Europe and the world that Africans can and do speak for themselves, they have names, personalities and families and are well aware of the power media and imagery has on one's perception of the world. Chinua Achebe was the lion that told his own story making his voice louder than the hunter. A giant among giants and a literary king, who proved the pen is far mightier than the sword, gun and bombs. Rest in Peace and thank you for your stories. 

"Until the lion tells his own story, the hunt (history) will always glorify the hunter."
-African Proverb

Chinua Achebe dies at 82

Monday, 18 March 2013

Iraq 10 Years Later

10 Years later
Photo from AP

Iraq is still facing a brutal civil war based on ethnic and religious differences fanned by Anglo-American occupation forces
Iraqis do not feel secure in their own homes or streets even among neighbors who are considered life long friends
Iraqi women have seen their rights, freedom and equality in society (Iraqi women enjoyed more equality with men than women in most neighboring countries, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, etc) reduced significantly since 2003.
-Compared to its neighbors, Iraq like Iran holds the record for the highest number of women enrolled in universities, working outside the home and the highest levels of education in society. Making Iraqi society even under Saddam Hussein one of the most literate and semi-equal in countries in the region.
-Baghdad has a long history dating back centuries of being a center of education
More than 1 million Iraqi civilians have been killed since the invasion of Iraq
-Iraqi children have had their childhoods and education cut short and ended by the violence they and their parents have witnessed across the country both the major cities and villages as well
Children in Fallujah are still being born with deformities and experiencing high levels of cancer, leukemia from depleted Uranium bombs, white phosphorous and other poisonous chemicals used in the Bombing of Fallujah
-In addition to PTSD, many children and adults have witnessed or experienced torture in prisons, long detainment and raids on their homes and neighborhoods by occupation forces and Iraqi troops
-Former Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W. Bush Jr. along with other high officials in Bush-Blair governments have not been tried for war crime and violation of international law.
It is a proven fact that Iraq had no WMDs in 2003
-Nor did Iraqis have any links to 9/11 Hijackers nor was Saddam responsible for instructions
Stolen Iraqi art and artifacts part of the Cradle of Civilization Mesopotamia have not been returned to the country or accounted for by international heritage and art preservation organizations
Nor did American occupation troops made an attempt to stop the 2003 looting of Mesopotamian arts
It is now established that Iraq served as the pretext and foreshadowed the current wars in Libya, Syria, Palestine, Pakistan drone attacks, Mali
-The language used to regime change in Mali and elsewhere follows the similar statements used against the Iraqi government such as "He is killing his own people," "The people want freedom and are tired of this tyrant," "The country needs to building democratic institutions and respect the rule of law," "The war is leading to a sectarian bloodbath," etc.
-The critics of the Iraq war who originally said the war was a lie, a mistake and based on deception were speaking the truth
Iraqi American Raed Jarrar: "We've lost our country"
Jarrar charts his family story of how the war separated his mixed Shia-Sunni family and made his country unrecognizable from his childhood and pre war days and disappearance of a national Iraqi identity since 2003.
Once Upon A Time in Baghdad

Mesopotamia: Destruction in the Fertile Crescent Part 1

Mesopotamia: Destruction in the Fertile Crescent Part 2

Mesopotamia: Destruction in the Fertile Crescent Part 3

Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre

Children of Fallujah

"Psychosis of US Foreign Policy Prevails"-Arundhati Roy
US still hasn't learned its lessons from Iraq
A warfare state of mind

Monday, 11 March 2013

Libya Updates

50 Coptic Christian siezed by extremist Libyan Islamic milita in Benghazi

A video showing fifty terrified and weary Coptic men who heads and beards were shaved by their captors has been posted to youtube by a Libyan militia with extremist roots from Benghazi who currently have the men detained as they accuse them of proselytizing for Christianity in Libya. Although Libya is a Muslim majority country there is a small Christian community of Coptic Christians and other denominations spread out across the country. Two years after the 2011 Libyan war, NATO bombings of the country and death of Gaddhafi, security for most Libyans is still limited and some parts of Libya non existent. Numerous Libyan militias with some even linked to Al Qaeda and other extremist Islamic groups still have detainees (ranging from African Libyans, migrant workers to Gaddhafi supporters and critics of the current regime) locked up in private and national prisons around the country. Most of the rebel groups involved in 2011 war/Revolution have not been disarm since than and roam the country freely. Some rebel/militia groups have personified the rule of law and take it upon themselves to detain fellow countrymen who they view as dangers to their towns, regions, their group or critics that threaten their power. Also at play is "tribal" clashes (more of towns and villages) occurring in the countryside between rebel forces, anti government forces and former Gaddhafi supporters as in Bani Walid.

Christians being rounded up and tortured in Libya

Did Libya's lack of security and rebels fuel the current fires in Mali?

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Hugo Chavez passes on to take his place among the Giants

How Legends are born to the history books and icon
Carlos Latuff's homage below.

Chavez will finally meet Simon Bolivar, Che, Jose Marti, Poncho Villa, L'Ouverture Toussaint, Jean Jacque Dessalines, among other revolutionary giants who have visited the skies. RIP. As a final act, Chavez leaves the world with some infamous and ordinary memories as one of South America's revolutionary inspired presidents.

Celebrating the Legacy of Chavez
Rest in Power Revolution Bro Hugo Chavez
Revolutionary Brother President Hugo

The real size of Africa

The Real Size of Africa in perspective

No Africa is not a country. It is a continent and even if it was a country its size would be something to think about in comparison to other continents and countries. As a matter of fact Africa is the second largest continent in the world only Asia is large. Nearly a billion people live on the African continent that represent a long list of diverse ethnic groups, three of world's major religions including indigenous religons, various cultures as diverse and variety as Asia and speakers of over 2000+ languages not to mention different geographies and landscapes.