Language:

Will you share your proudest journalistic work with us?

Do you have an example of a journalistic work that you are very proud of? Perhaps an investigative story on your local government, a photograph that captured a beautiful or historic moment, or a video you created using new journalism tools?

If so, would you like to share it with the rest of the world?

The International Journalists' Network is giving you the chance to post a link to an example of a journalistic work that makes you proud. The work, which must be accessible online, can fall into any category of journalism -- a news story, video, photograph, audio clip, etc. The link will be posted here, on this discussion thread.

To take part, simply click "Add new comment" below (you must be registered). For context, please include some information about yourself. In addition, share what you learned while completing the work, and why it makes you proud. Thank you!

 

Black Women prone to deadlier breast cancer than White counterpa

African women and women of African descent are likely to die younger from breast cancer than any other ethnic group, investigations have revealed. Researchers have discovered that a more aggressive, less-responsive to treatment and an uncontrolled form of breast cancer could be found among women of African ancestry. Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer that has spread than their white counterparts.

Read more: http://www.afrik-news.com/article16279.html

Undercover: On the street for four days with beggars

Submitted by Esther Namirimu

The Christmas story rhymes with the street beggars we meet almost everyday. Like the infant Jesus, they are poor, homeless and no one can believe that they will grow into someone influential.

ESTHER NAMIRIMU stayed with them to uncover what the eye does not see when you drive by on Kampala streets. Do these women own the children who beg? Who keeps the money? Or is there a bigger racket behind it all?

I HIT the streets at 5:00 am, Thursday August 2 to uncover the truth behind the children who beg on the streets of Kampala.

We always see women with many children, usually seated in one place and seemingly controlling a network of children who beg and hand over the harvest. But are they genuine beggars?

Are they incapable of earning their own living? Are all the children theirs? What kind of life do they lead? In short, are they pitiable or should they be rounded off?

MORNING MISSION

I reach my first destination, Uganda House, at 5:45am and position myself at one of the Pioneer bus stages. There are neither street children nor their ‘mothers’ begging on the streets yet. This is my chance to watch their arrival.

Time goes by; 6:45am, 7:45am, 8:45am, 9:45am, 10:45am and there is still no sign of street women or children. I move to the nearby Nandos for breakfast and I take a strategic location, but still no sign of the women.

THE BEGGING STRATEGIES

It is not until about 11:30am when I see a boy in a dirty blue T-shirt and black shorts, bare feet, begging alone. Ten minutes later, a girl in a dirty purple dress, also bare feet, appears.

The two have something in common: they have money bags, hanging on their necks by a string and covered by the cloths they are wearing.

Each coin they receive is dropped in that bag. It is 12:10pm, four street women carrying babies on their backs and about fi ve others of about four to seven years arrive.

The women place their children, of two to three years, at a measurable distance from each other to beg, while seated.

Immediately the woman leaves, the child starts begging in a seemingly trained manner. With a titled pitiable head and sorry face, they extend a hand, expecting a sympathetic person to give. Whoever receives something brings it victoriously to the ‘mother’, who sits at a strategic place to monitor them. The older ones follow passers- by, moving after them stubbornly for some distance, asking with a merciful face for some money.

They genuflect, display distress, signal hunger, sometimes thirst, call on ‘uncle’ or ‘aunt’, until a person yields. The older children keep all the money collected in their moneybag.

Occasionally, the ‘mothers’ move around, giving extra instructions and the children obey diligently. Sometimes, the mother is pointing out a potential ‘donor’ and other times she is not happy with the child’s act. Other times, the women sit under a small tree as they chat and laugh, but keeping a watchful eye on the children.

DAY TWO

It is Friday August 3. This time, I arrive at 8:00am at the Electoral Commission, and I am not late. The women and children street beggars begin arriving at around 11:15am.

This time, children are first and they come one by one. Some come from the direction of the city centre, others from the side of Namuwongo while the rest are strolling in from the side of Garden City.

Unlike the ones I met yesterday, these seem to have masterde city roads because they cross unaided. The women, too, are begging. Dressed in a black and green checkered Karimojong skirt, with a dirty blue shirt, one of the women carries a baby on her back and uses it to generate sympathy. But the beggars here are not as lucky as those at Uganda House because this spot has a few pedestrians.

At about 3:30pm, a baby defecates by the roadside and the mother uses a piece of paper to remove the feaces, and ties the paper in a white polythene bag. She drops it by the roadside, where no one can step on it.

By 4:00pm, the traffic has increased and that is their harvest time, till 8:30pm, when they return home. Again, I follow stealthily, until Nalubwama Arcade on Ben Kiwanuka Street.

I find so many of the beggars already gathered here, chatting heartily, with happiness like one big family. I return very early the next day to start the day with them.

They say aunt, not mother

STILL AT UGANDA HOUSE ON DAY ONE

Not many people give money. One girl, of about two years, who had not got anything for about two hours, suddenly receives a sh500 coin.

She runs, with a beaming smile to the woman under a tree to handover the money. “Aunt, aunt, kikumi kikumi,” she says as she approaches the woman. The child’s calling her aunt sends me thinking whether she is actually her mother.

The ‘aunt’ smiles, says nothing, but keeps the money and tells the child to hurry back to the station. At one time, the children started playing, but that did not last long because the ‘aunts’ sent them back to their station. The girl who had brought the sh500 coin boldly refuses, but is dragged back into duty.

The ‘aunt’ then checks on all the older children, gathering the money they had so far collected. She puts it in her bag and resumes her sentry position. At about 4:30pm, something happens, that raises lots of questions. A woman, dressed in a red top and black jeans comes along, with soda in a plastic bottle and two disposable glasses.

These children are so happy to see her and gather around her, shouting ‘aunt, aunt’. They dance around her, jubilating. She distributes the soda to the three children and gives each of them Bogoya.

While the rest drink the soda happily, the young girl (of sh500) takes her soda to their ‘aunt’ who are seated under a tree. The women have a fi ve-litre yellow jerrycan in a green polythene bag, from which they have been drinking. They do not have cups, so they drink directly from it. They take her soda and give her the jerrycan to drink from.

It is 5:00pm. People are returning home and this, apparently, is their harvest time. Many give money and some food, even left-overs. It is mostly the pedestrians and people in taxis who give. Those in private cars close their car windows or look away when the children approach.

Time check is 7:30 pm. Women announce it is time to leave. They gather the children and leave with them. I follow from a distance up to Owino Market, till it becomes too dangerous for me to follow as they head towards Kisenyi.

THE BEGGING FAMILY

Saturday August 4, 5:45am finds me on Ben Kiwannuka Street. I find the women bathing. She first removes the blouse and bathes the upper body parts and thereafter removes the skirt and bathes the lower body.

After, they disappear, one by one, towards Owino Market. I would like to follow them, but they are looking at me suspiciously. When everyone is gone, one teenage girl remains.

It is 6:35am; I greet her and look for ways of beginning a conversation. “That water must be very cold, right?” I tell her. “Yes, it is, but if you do not bathe now, there is no other opportunity as the town will be fi lled with people.”

“Where do you fetch the water from?” “From Nakivubo Channel, there is some clean water that comes from the springs. Sometimes we get it from the Old Park late in the night. During the day, they beat us if we try to get the water,” she explains. “How often do you bathe?” I inquire.

“Every day, around this time,” she replies. “Why don’t you undress fully and bathe at once?” “I also do not know, I have grown up bathing like that." “Why is everyone going that side of Owino market?”

“To pick some grains, tomatoes and matooke that fall off the trader’s vehicles during offloading. And that is where I am heading too.” I thank her for the information and give her sh2,000, for which she smiles and thanks me.

BUSINESS HIGHS AND LOWS

7:05am finds me at Standard Chartered Bank on Speke Road. I sit on the steps at the Statue of Liberty and open my Facebook page on phone. No beggar arrives till 11:45am when three women carrying children on their backs show up.

Then, other children, of four to nine years, come, as women follow closely. They start ‘working’ right away. Altogether, there are 11 children, of two to nine years.

A few lucky ones receive some money. A woman wearing hijab offers money to all the children and their ‘aunts’. Still, it is mostly pedestrians giving, people travelling in cars close the windows as soon as the beggars approach. One woman driving an Ipsum says to a beggar: “If I give you something to eat, you will not return home and more of you will flood the streets.” Here, at every interval of about 20 minutes, the women collect the money from the children.

And like elsewhere, the most harvesting time is 5:00pm to 7:00pm. At 8:00pm the women gather the children, making sure no one is left behind as they return ‘home’.

GETTING CLOSER

My last day’s assignment is different. I have to get closer and talk to them. It is Monday, 6 August. I arrive at Uganda House at midday. I have a box of Safi drink and milk biscuits and start distributing to the children and the women. I also give each woman sh1,000 to earn their trust.

I then ask if one of them can stay with me because I need to get some information. One volunteers and the rest go back to their begging stations.

She says she is Alice Achu, her baby is from an Itesot man who got tired of being on the streets and returned to Soroti. I learn that the women are impregnated by fellow beggars on the street. At 20, Alice already has four children, her fi rst coming at the age of 14, out of rape on the streets, she says.

Achu came from Moroto and has been on the Kampala streets for six years. She was lured to Kampala by a friend who convinced her there were jobs in the city.

Her four children help her earn more money. Sometimes, women ‘borrow’ children and pay the mother a commission after work in the evening, she says.

Their day begins with a trip to Owino Market to pick the grains and other foods which fall as traders offload trucks. They cook, eat and then come to work. Achu sleeps in Kisenyi at Mama Dalla’s house, where she pays sh500 every night.

How do they ease themselves on the streets? “We pay sh200 for the public toilet. It is not good to be dirty. You can fall sick if you are dirty,” she answers.

On a good day, Achu says she can earn sh15,000. “I can meet a good person and he says: go and buy passion juice for the baby. On a bad day, I earn sh3,000. There are also days I go back empty-handed.”

She uses the money to buy food. She also pays for accommodation, toilet and medical treatment. On a bad day, she picks garbage like chicken feet and heads and cooks with discarded tomatoes.

Work stations have their own politics. Some women do not allow a new member to ‘work’ from their begging station.

“For me, I do not mind, but some people do not allow strangers to invade their space.” “How do you handle menstruation?” I inquire. “We pad ourselves with a piece of cloth. Later on, we wash it and keep it well for the next month.”

Japan - 12 months after the tsunami

This is a video about how Japan was coping after the earthquake and tsunami that struck in March, 2011. Making it really opened my eyes to the scale of destruction. Japan may be one of the most developed countries in the world with a strong tradition of self-sufficiency, but one year after the disaster the whole country still seemed shell-shocked from the shear size of the disaster.

I'm proud of this video because, aside from some excellent help with logistics and translation from my Japanese friend Kiyoto, I did everything myself including research, writing, narration, shooting and editing after simply arriving in the country with a camera.

Japan - 12 months after the tsunami http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8QO6u5tZF8

Little Boy who begs for a living

My name is Gertrude Tumusiime, I am a young Ugandan Journalist. I am currently persuing furthur career training in Nairobi, Kenya. I wrote this piece while i worked for the Observer Newspaper in Uganda.

It is one of the pieces thah make me proud, because it gave me opportunity to speak for a voiceless child . After the story ran, an organisation contacted me and offered to help this boy together with afew others in a similar situation.

Below is the link to the story... http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14010&catid=34&Itemid=114

tumusiimetrudy@gmail.com

Mi mejor cosecha

Con esta foto retraté la pobreza de la ciudad de San Salvador para toda Latinoamérica Juan José López Torres - jjlopezt2008[arroba]gmail.com

Inquiry - distance learning

The journalist from the sowetan... I hope ou reply to my message... How and where and through which institute did you obtain your degree... I really want to further my career? Please do email me if you can vury111@gmail.com

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-570331

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-570331 The above link reads one of my investigative stories. Check more of me out on my blog : http://debrebirhan.blogspot.com

My another proudest

My another proudest experience was when I interviewed a woman without saying I was a journalist .This woman used to practise abortions into a non hygienic conditions and my editor asked me to inquire. I entitle my article"Les dessous de l'avortement",which means the hidden side of abortions.So in this island where I had my working experience as a journalist, abortions was illegal. This woman which i had to interview lived in the suburb and she used all sorts of tools for her practise and she was not qualified . I did not tell her I was a journalist . We started chatting about this practise and i learnt in dismay that she used broken umbrella and other tools to do her practise and she takes a huge sum of money for that without omitting to say about the side effects. I noted down everything and wrote my article on the same day. She called to my newspaper and I got some threats from her . But at least I prevented her other probable victims to go and see her. Nazma FOURRE

Another proudest experience

In this tiny island where I had my first working journalistic experience, I had to report on an accident in the eastern part of the country.There were lots of people gathering here and there around this messy scene where the accident took place, shouting at the driver who knocked down a middle-aged woman. The driver of the car was beaten up by the people when my photograph and I came to interview them . I was shocked for my photograph was beatened up too, by those angry people who took his camera and broke it into pieces. i was shocked and I tried to protect the photograph but in vain. He was assaulted for taking pictures.I held my note book but some people began to run after me and I had to jump on a lorry to protect myself . Still I searched for the photograph who fortunately was safe just some brews here and there.I called my editor who asked me to find the broken car and to come to the news desk before 14 pm. So, the photograph went home as he could not work for he had no camera. I ran to the police station and asked for information about the vehicle which caused the accident of the woman. I did have any photos of the broken car but I had the news. I was proud of myself.By hook or by crook, I had the news. Nazma FOURRE

More exciting journalistic experiences

I once had to report a suicide case in this island found in the indian ocean where community casts are the centre of the main gossips of the year. A painful event indeed as two lovers commited suicide because of religions differences.The father of the girl was against this wedding and had beaten up his daughter who was 20 years old. Their situation was so tough that both the man and the girl commited suicide . I had to report this case which was not an easy task . My photograph was just in time as usual, and we went first to the man's place where all his relatives were crying and could not tell a word. I tried to make them say something so that I could have something to write. But this was not an easy task. One lady talked how good was his brother. The funeral was not taking place and so I could not have some pictures about this ceremony. Then following the advice of my editor, I went to the funeral ceremony of the girl. The father was sitting down and my photograph tried to take some pictures when the girl's father shouted at both of us. My photograph was terrified but I mastered my courage by telling the old man that I am a journalist and wish to report on this sad event. He asked us to go and promised he would shoot us.He roared in an angry voice, that I did not know how speedy i was by pulling the photograph and we ran and ran for about 1 hour , did not know where we were going as the angry man was about to follow us. We came to a police station,and explained that we had threats and we made an official complaint.Still, I had an article to write, or else, my editor would be angry. i did not know how to entitle it , but I was not afraid to write . I explained in my article the sad ending love story of two lovers but I did not omit to say that both my photograph and I were threatened by the angry old man.My editor was happy and congratulated both of us to have the strength to run and seek protection to the police station and to come with pictures of the funeral scene.I wrote the article and was proud of myself and of my photograph. Nazma FOURRE

My Name is Sipho Masombuka. I

My Name is Sipho Masombuka. I am a reporter with a South African daily newspaper. I have seven years experience in Journalism. I studied Journalism through distance learning funding my studies by working as a baker at night and studying by day. I am a graduate of a number of media studies at the Institute For The Advancement of Journalism in Johannesburg. I landed my first journalism work by taking social pics for a national magazine on freelance basis. I went on to write, on freelance basis, for several reputable and popular national newspapers in my country. I finaly joined a newspaper of my dream on permanent basis in mid 2007. BELOW IS AN ARTICLE I WISH TO SHARE:

Sowetan Web THE SOUL TRUTH

Sister Lazarus stays down

Sipho Masombuka 29 August 2007 Family pays sangoma to bring back dead woman

A family that paid a traditional healer R15 000 to bring their daughter back from the dead now say that the Pretoria woman is a fraudster. Dorah Ngwenya of Atteridgeville allegedly promised in July last year to resurrect Florah Theledi, 23, a week after she died.

Theledi, of Soshanguve, had died of an undisclosed illness at Legae-Medi Clinic in Mabopane.

The dead woman’s sister, Lizzie Theledi, said yesterday Ngwenya had demanded R30 000 for the job, but they paid her R15 000 upfront “so she could do it quickly”.

She said Ngwenya told the family to go ahead and bury the dead woman.

“She said the body we were burying was not that of Florah and that we should not worry as the real Florah would come back to us.

“We have now been waiting. It has now been 13 months. That is why we have confronted Ngwenya.”

She said when the family started asking questions, the healer told them she would keep their sister on her plot in Brits with other people she had resurrected until they paid the balance owing.

Theledi said in July this year they demanded to see their sister, but Ngwenya became aggressive.

“We could see she was lying,” she said.

“She told us she was still organising an ID document and counselling for Florah before we could see her.”

Isaac Nkanyezi, president of Tshwane Faith and Traditional Healers Forum, said yesterday their office had received hundreds of similar complaints about Ngwenya.

Ngwenya is a registered member of the organisation.

Nkanyezi said they distanced themselves from her claims and deeds.

Yesterday the organisation, led by Nkanyezi confronted Ngwenya and demanded that she pay back the R15 000 she took from the Theledi family.

She has promised to pay back the amount by September 17.

The family, who were present during the confrontation, agreed to wait until that date.

The sangoma refused to speak to Sowetan.

“Late last year we ordered her to refund a Tembisa woman R6000 after promising that she would resurrect her husband,” Nkanyezi said.

Atteridgeville police spokesman Captain Thomas Mufamadi said that the SAPS were still taking statements .

END.

This article was published in a newspaper I am working for now, Sowetan.

When the conned family called me and explained their dillema, I was shocked and dismay. It made me realise how much people could be gullible. I later learned that the family fell for the Sangoma's trick after reading astory about her bragging about her prowess to raise people from the dead. It made me realise how mcuh powerful the media is. Some people, if not most, believe everything they read in a newspaper.

Sipho Masombuka-Pretoria, South Africa

Apologies for the length: ON

Apologies for the length:

ON THE BRINK: BURMA’S DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT by Daniel Pye Ahead of elections planned for 2010, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) – Burma’s ruling military junta – are aggressively pursuing their goal of eliminating all opposition. In a small Karen National Union (KNU)-controlled village in eastern Burma children play tag and clutch pieces of string tied to oversized flying beetles. “I speak English,” they tell me. Here, at least, there exists a semblance of normality. But the Tatmadaw – the Burmese military – are camped just 20km away. The village is preparing for Karen Martyrs Day, a day of remembrance and celebration of those who gave their lives in pursuit of independence, promised by the British in 1948. Since 1949 the Karen have fought against the central Burmese government: this is the world’s longest ongoing civil war. A Thai, sympathetic to the Karen’s plight, shows me three schools and a medical clinic he built. “But all the teachers, all the nurses, the doctors,” he says, “most of them go to Thailand.” Young cadets form in the village square to practice their martial routine for the coming ceremony. Minutes later army fatigues are discarded for shorts and a chaotic game of volleyball. That was six months ago, and despite torrential rain, in late June 2008 the battle for control of the region escalated. The rains have since gone and a new offensive is underway. SPDC policy known as ‘four cuts’ - intended to deprive their enemies of food, funds, recruits and information - is in practice a policy of systematic intimidation and repression of the civilian population. The aim is to force villagers into Burma Army-controlled sites to be used as a readily available pool of forced labour. They build roads to link up military installations, and then are ‘reintroduced’ into what the Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) calls “forced labour villages”. These slave-labour camps are kept safely away from passing tourist’s busy cameras. Surviving soldiers of the guerrilla campaign that helped defeat the Japanese Empire in Burma now struggle to nourish their bodies on hand-outs in ‘temporary refugee camps’ near the border in Thailand. The camps house around 160,000 ‘displaced persons’ from Burma. Most have fled the violence in the east of the country. Others live a marginal existence in frontier towns like Mae Sot, three kilometres from the border, where trafficking in drugs, gems, guns and people is the norm. They are dispossessed and largely forgotten. When the Burmese generals refused to recognize the landslide victory of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy in the elections of 1990 the elected government and their supporters were forced to flee the central plains, and seek refuge in the mountainous jungles along the border with Thailand. Burmese resistance fighters joined ethnic-minority guerillas in the stronghold of Manerplaw, having been pursued by the army into the mountains. Manerplaw - the planned capital of a future autonomous Karen State - was overrun by the Tatmadaw in 1995 after a lengthy siege that cost hundreds of lives. Armed with billions of dollars of Chinese military hardware over recent years, the Army has no constituency within Burmese society. Mid to high-level officers see it as one of few real career opportunities and use their positions to enrich themselves. The grunts are conscripted through forced lotteries or are rounded up in markets and schools. Most recruits are young boys. Many Karen were converted to Christianity in the nineteenth century by Jesuit missionaries, but there are still a large number of Buddhist-animists. The late General Bo Mya of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) - the armed wing of the KNU – was responsible for KNLA battalions and their Burmese allies in Manerplaw. Bo Mya wrote of how the junta used an agent called U Thuzana to fracture their forces. The story goes that U Thuzana was sent into Manerplaw by the junta to preach his path to nirvana to the Buddhists. He gained a devout following and suggested building monasteries on the mountain-tops that surround Manerplaw on three sides. Construction began without consulting Bo Mya. When the General learned they would obstruct his soldiers’ positions he had the half-built structures destroyed. This was used as a pretext to divide the Karen, and depicted as deliberate religious persecution. It worked, and some of the Buddhists made a pact to guide Tatmadaw soldiers through the minefield covering the only land-route in. They became the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), a slave militia in the pay of the junta. Over the past seven months DKBA and SPDC patrols have repeatedly breached Thai sovereignty in their war against the Karen, Shan and Karenni rebels. And have terrorised local Thais they suspect harbor sympathies. As Daniel Pedersen, quoting Benedict Rogers author of A Land Without Evil: Stopping the Genocide of Burma’s Karen People, reports: “The SPDC’s latest offensives, which began in Karen State but have now pushed into Shan and Karenni States, are part of an outright bid to force armed insurgencies into submission before the 2010 elections.” Pedersen continues: “Burman dissidents in Mae Sot agreed, saying the SPDC would pressure insurgents weakened by the current extreme military offensives to sign ceasefire deals before next year’s poll.” The loss of a base camp garrisoned by the 103 Special Batallion means that “only Wah Lay Kee, further north, remains,” he said. Wah Lay Kee has seen serious bouts of fighting since it was attacked on the evening of June 29, 2008, and could fall at any time. This war is as much about money as it is about crushing dissent and armed resistance. The area of conflict, between the Phop Phra region in the north, and Umphang to the south, has sizable deposits of gold, tin, zinc, and antimony, and has long been deforested on both sides of the border for its fine teak. Deforested areas now provide a lucrative farming income to whoever can occupy them. Defeating the KNLA here could open up new trade and smuggling routes, and increase security for lucrative mining and damming projects already agreed with Thailand and private financiers. Thailand’s foreign ministry portrays the current escalation in violence as in-fighting between Karen factions and denies SPDC involvement. It is more profitable to maintain a semi-cordial relationship with the generals. Speaking in August last year at a KNLA base camp, destroyed in the ongoing offensive, Colonel Nerdah Mya, Bo Mya’s son said: “We cannot run away from this. We must confront it, for our families, for our homes. We must continue the struggle.” Some warriors have just intentions, but I doubt wars can ever lead to justice. Over the past few months, lawyers, artists, monks, journalists, students and human rights activists have been given sentences of up to 65 years for opposing their rule. Crimes as great as writing a poem or drawing a cartoon critical of the regime can get you decades of forced labour and incarceration at the aptly named Insein (pronounced Insane) Prison. This, they say, “threatens the stability of the government”. KHRG estimates between two and four million people are displaced within Burma, and a further one million eek out a meagre existence in the illegal labour market in Thailand. Mae Sot has over 40000 registered migrant workers, probably four times that counting those who don’t register. They produce clothing and other products to supply famous high street brands to your local superstore, and are paid a pittance for their sweat. Thailand calls this an ‘export processing zone’. Burmese living in Mae Sot are routinely arrested by the Thai police and driven to the ‘Friendship Bridge’ that spans the Moei River on the Thai-Burma border. There they are handed to the Tatmadaw and taken to the SPDC stronghold of Myawaddy, where they face destitution and years of forced labour among other horrors. Women are brutalised in scores of brothels, many of which are run by trafficking gangs with ties to the local police force, spies, and drug cartels. And are sentenced to death by sexually transmitted infection. Some choose suicide. The capacity of the human spirit to endure terrible brutality is astonishing.

Zin, aged 17, spent two years in prison where he was tortured by SPDC ‘interrogators’. He was beaten, stripped naked, made to stand on his tip-toes and simulate riding a moped while they drank Johnny Walker and burnt his genitals. This would happen for several hours at a time. “That’s one of their favourites” he says with a sardonic grin. “We have a saying in Burma,” says Ken, a Burmese student living in Mae Sot, “Behind the smile there are many tears, but behind the tears there are many more smiles.” He has an infected stomach and doctors have told him he hasn’t got long to live. He wants to study computer science and tells me of his plan to hack into US Department of Defence servers and “steal the Roswell spaceship” to force world leaders to listen. “But,” he says, “one day I will go home.”

there are a number of sites

there are a number of sites but www.iNewsit.com brings the online journalisim experiance a lot better!

when tsunami hit aceh 4 years

when tsunami hit aceh 4 years ago i was the first journalist who visit that province, im lucky that i can feel the real feeling in aceh on that day and have opportunity to tell the world, what happen t\in the province and how big that tsunami was, my fist video about tsunami can be seen in www. youtube.com/yrlaka

tv journalit

I posted this article in

I posted this article in http://www.cplash.com/post/Technology-in-our-life920.html. The article goes like this: I love technology and technological advancement which has brought us to this stage.Now it is in our life.It used to be before too and we now enjoy the fruit of labour put by inventors which had been dreams before.From telephone to Buses,Cars, Planes ,the examples are endless.I want to post this article because of recent craze over the years on Computers and one may add another common day instrument ,the mobile.

To start with I want to state that people now also feel sense of pride in displaying something vintage.But we have to change and change with time.How fast the technology is changing and how capable we are to cope up with the change.Everything gets obsolete at the next moment.The mobile purchased 15 days before at 7/8 K has a resale value of mere a thousand or even less.In one institute I saw few years before,lots of PCs were purchased and the cost was in crores.It became obsolete.Management decided to donate the working machines for welfare of children for their academics.And again a lot of millions INR were spent to revamp the system and for purchase of new machines which should be Windows compatible since their software can run only on Win based machines.Later from another organisation I came to know they have purchased a software froma reputed Software Company.They paid huge cost.Now the software license /copyright lies with the Software Company which implies that everything happens you have to go to him.And the software has got to be upgraded every now and then with the change in market demand.

A banking company was working with TCS software.It became obsolete.They had to upgrade.Again a lot of money put to dump.Mobile has different story.The cost in both the products names of which I gave above,drastically gone down,but again the longevity too.A drop of water ,mobile is dead.I believe the mechanics/technicians are getting good money out of it.

Some one said mobile is a necessity.Single cost is this and there are big advertisements.But when the bills come it tells the story otherwise,may be because the consumer is not that clever or upper leverage of knowledge how to minimise.Some one said Chinese sets are very cheaper,but you do not know how long it will last.

The fast change in technology added with marketing strategy can do blunders.But in the long run,the cost factor is also not a metter to be ignored.How many times you will exhange a note book purchased at very high cost but exchanged at a throw away price?Same is with TV,and everything.Even food related items,detergents any item you can dream of,the fact is same.Food is preserved even season does not matter,but the after effect of preservatives used and cost of unseasonal purchase are matter of concern.Come to detergents.It makes clothes white,but what is the effect on skin.

Anyway technology is for welfare of humanity and I am not against it.But I stated the effects of latest change which is going on and is bound to happen because it is for better,on humanity and see also our dependence which has made us lazy.

I went to a Bank,or say Railways or say Airline.So dependent they are on it that when there is no connectivity it is holiday for them and you find a placard showing"we regret the inconvenience".It is technical failure,why blame technlogy.Equally I watch my uiility consumption bill.They say that they are helpless since it is system generated.When I showed them the actual reading then they rectify.

May be human error.But again the inventor of these machines is man.So I feel that man is more important than machine what ever words one may use.

Can you win nature with technology? Do not say cyclone,disasters.Prediction or minimise effect is known to me as well.This is an agnostic view though Net or net related things are my favourite interest zone.

Just watch the photo.Can you change and revert back the seasons or bring old golden days back.I also do not like nor I can walk 50 KM and I can cover 4/5000 miles in very few hours.

m.kumar

You can also go to

You can also go to www.globalradionews.com - ask for a login and use your own page as an archive of all your material...it's free and you could even resell some of it.....

This small state in India has

This small state in India has been witness to killing (burning alive)of a foreign father and his family few years back leaving behind onl his wife.Now also one of its district is in deep turmoil.It is Kandhamal district.A nun is alleged to be raped in relief camp.Christian's houses are burnt and many people are left homeless.This is subsequent to killing of a hindu Swami.The maoists are taking responsibilities as per reports.The maoist chain starts from Nepal to extreme Andhra covering few states.The victims are all tribals.And the are forced to convert to Hinduism.The methodoly is to gulp a bit of cowdung and cow urine.Cow is treated holy in Hindu religion.The other side of story is fathers/preachers reach poor tribals and they are converted to Christianity.The nation has 80% Hindus and the percentage of Christians is below 20%.If maos are behind it as they claim ,then it passes on a very alarming signal since states like Bihar,Jharkhand,West Bengal,Orissa,Andhra all are facing the problems of Mao.Conversion should be a matter of choice and not compulsion. This is my latest posting in newsvine.com

m.kumar

A MIDDLE PIECE NEW CALLING

A MIDDLE PIECE NEW CALLING CARD DAMARU LAL BHANDARI

The nation has long acquired a bad image for a number of reasons. Much of it scaled new height on this side of 1990. Not that the years prior to that were any better.

The misrule first coming from the Ranas and subsequently that from the Shahs had already damaged the image of the nation. Nepal evolved as a nation far backward in development initiatives. One can say it was trailing far behind something which is true even now.

Here one is likely to put up a claim that the nation has made rapid strides ahead at least on the political front. But good news ends here. The fact that the nation has made rapid strides at times appears to be a fallacy.

The problem with Nepalese history is misrule in its varied and changing form. While Ranas must have made merry on tax payers money and for no reasons at all, the trend is still unabated even in the greatly changed context if one can use the word “greatly.”

Hold on. We are now suppose to be a republic where everything which transpires around the highest executive is not only transparent but also justified, commendable and in the interest of the republic.

This reminds one of what the people had come around to believe around 1990 when the Panchayat oligarchy was toppled. But soon enough, the new ruling families like Bhattarai, Singh and Koirala cropped up. So much so that their scions were entitled to everything that is good and beautiful, including women.

What was law for others was bullshit for anyone from Bhattarai, Singh and Koirala families. They could not only literally screw the law but also the party, the government and party workers. And orgy lasted as long as they were not spent.

But all that is history now. People have forgotten all that. One can say the people are in a state of frenzy and delirium on this side of May 27 last, the day the nation was formally declared a republic.

Just because not many have recollected their senses, they are not aware of what is unspooling in the new corridors of power. It is much like no one taking note of what is happening on the sidelines while the party is still on.

Yes this is to talk about the latest fraud at the very top level. The word going around is the way Prime Minister Prachanda is going about, he has raced ahead of Koiralas, Bhattarais, Singhs and even Shahs.

Here is the dissection: He flies to the US with wife, son, daughter and, hold on, even daughter in law. It would not have been so much embarrassing to the party workers had Prime Minister Prachanda not defended the latest fraud vehemently. Look his son traveled with him as a computer handling staff !

For all practical purposes, there is no need to elaborate any further since Prime Minister would have given enough reasons why he had to take his daughter in law and of course daughter along. Certainly, CPN-Maoist has evolved as a new calling card of nepotism, favoritism, sychophantcy, racketeering and fraud on the nation.

zartosht sorry, if this

zartosht sorry, if this message to me i don't know arabic.

hello, admins I'd like to

hello, admins

I'd like to sugesst another idea. yeah, it's pleasant to post own article to world-know site but now i see articles posted one by one together which interrupt by messege like this "dear admins, i don't now how edit my profile and etc". and these articles amalgamated to one text. it's difficult to read articles in such conditions. and when i read I'll get opinion which i'd like to share with other people, author.

i suggest to create special part of ijnet.org for all members of ijnet.org under the name "criticism of artilces" or something. and split this part to rubrics like "society", "culture", "business", "finances", "sport", "events", "politics" and etc. and allow to the mebers to post own articles to rubrics. and under the article allow to all members begin to discuss article itself and share opinion how to better to change article, correct and etc. it will be very and very interesting for young and old authors. about possible spam. for example, only these who level criticism at articles are allowed to post own articles to be subjected to criticism. for example you post criticism under article (3-4) and after this you upgrade and be allowed to post own article.

with regards, rusrainbow

The following is a piece I

The following is a piece I wrote after spending the night in a Johannesburg, SA refugee camp. The camp is one of many that were set up in June for the protection of victimized foreigners subjected to xenophobic violence.

Finding a Home A Congolese community shares their stories, their company and a place to sleep. By Dan O'Connor

It’s a brisk Friday evening in July—nothing out of the ordinary for Johannesburg’s arid winter. I’ve bundled up for the night in four short-sleeved layers and a hooded sweatshirt—a makeshift thermal outfit for the under-packer. I’d soon find out that I should have also layered my socks. Tonight, I’ll forfeit the familiar comforts of my dorm room at the University of the Witwatersrand. Instead, I’ll sleep in a United Nations disaster relief tent shared by a fellow journalist and six exiled Congolese men at the Rifle Range Road displacement camp on the outskirts of Johannesburg. The camp houses 1,700 foreigners from other African nations in a tent community set up for their protection by the South African government. The camp residents have been subjected to violence and threats by native South Africans who banished them from their communities and attempted to take over their jobs and businesses. Erected in June 2008 after just two days of intense construction, Rifle Range Road stands as the largest displacement camp in Johannesburg.

When the sun goes down

It’s 9 p.m. when our car rolls up to the fence manned by two armed security guards. Immediately, they stop us. A crisp breeze chills my face as I roll down my window to speak to the guard glaring down at me. His expression is stern. He seems a bit more hostile than the other guards we’ve encountered during our numerous daytime visits to the camp. We’d find out later that’s the nature of the night shift. Camp residents are more prone to getting drunk at night and starting fights, or they’ll use the darkness to shade thievery. The night guards have to be tougher than their daytime cohorts. The guard wonders why my 26-year-old colleague Judy Lelliot and I are at the camp at such an odd hour. The humanitarian groups have all left. Reporters had returned to their newsrooms hours ago. Even the camp manager, Buks Burger, has left for the day. What could a couple of seemingly naïve student journalists want to do at the camp after hours? We’re spending the night, we tell him. Our peculiar response amuses the guards. But after a phone call from their boss approves our mission, they hastily let us pass.

A divided path

We park and begin walking the familiar path to the northeast corner of the camp, past the surprised looks of the Somalis and Malawians. My white skin and the expensive camera gear dangling from Judy’s shoulder make us a target for wandering eyes. Before long, we reach the boundary path that separates the Muslim Somalis from the Christian Congolese. These groups have a deep history of distrust, so the wide path acts as a buffer separating the two from the lingering stigmas of conflicting religious beliefs that have provoked decades of struggle between their countries. As I walk across the path, I think about the divisions throughout Africa—borders within borders, prejudices within the same race, tension and hate within the same country. These social and religious divisions resonate through Rifle Range as well. Without them, the camp would disintegrate into chaos. It’s these distinct communities that led Jean-Baptiste Kanda-Kanda and his family to seek refuge at the camp. Jean-Baptiste is the first to greet us as we cross the divide into the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s community. He’s happy to see us, as usual, but looks concerned about our safety. The roughly 6-foot-4, 225-pound Congolese family man has taken it upon himself to guide us around the camp every time we visit. Tonight would be no different.

No easy answer

Jean-Baptiste leads us past rows of tents, roaring campfires, the sounds of lively conversations, the smells of bread baking and rice cooking to tent number 174. I know this tent well. It’s Pastor Raphaël Mbombo’s tent. Pastor Raphaël, 32, is a community leader among the Congolese. When I poke my head into his 6-foot-high tent to say “Bonjour,” he hops to his feet, with plenty of headroom to spare, and comes out to shake my hand. His handshakes usually last about three minutes. His hearty grasp makes me feel welcome as he speaks in his native French, locking his one steady eye with mine while the other wavers lazily. Two years of college French don’t take me far in conversations with the pastor. Soon, familiar faces circle Judy, Pastor Raphaël, Jean-Baptiste and me. There’s the pilot, the lawyer and the doctor. I can’t remember their names, but that’s OK. In the camp each professional is addressed by his title. When their native South African neighbors attacked the Congolese in May, they were forced to abandon their homes, practices and businesses. But that didn’t take away their degrees or status within their own community. After struggling through Franglish—our best version of each other’s language— the pastor takes Judy and me to a campfire near his tent. There, about a dozen wide-eyed Congolese, intrigued by our late-night presence, welcome us. Pastor Raphaël pulls up two upside-down buckets so Judy and I can sit next to the fire. The scene conjures up fond youthful memories of summer camp. But for the Rifle Range Road residents, camp life is an ongoing nightmare that keeps them from pursuing their dreams. They don’t want to be here. They want nothing more than to find a safe home in another country that isn’t suffering from a political and economic crisis like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and isn’t conflicted with xenophobic tension aimed at foreigners like them.

Fireside chats

Conversation around the fire is casual. The Congolese ask about my interest in journalism and media coverage of the U.N. displacement camps. They let me know their discontent about what they’ve read in the newspapers. Coverage could be improved, they say, by promoting community action against xenophobia and educating people about the hardships inflicted on foreigners. “South Africa doesn’t care about anyone’s safety,” says Joseph Mbuyi, 18, of Pretoria. “[Action] goes beyond what people say. It’s what they do.” Joseph was about to graduate from high school when he was forced to leave his family and seek refuge at Rifle Range in June. He was taking the bus home after school one day when he noticed a mob brandishing machetes, iron pipes and baseball bats waiting for him at his bus stop. He yelled for the bus driver to keep driving, and she did. He never turned back. Like many others at the camp, all Joseph wants is to get on with his life, to finish high school and study law, journalism or political science. He wants to purse opportunities, not just dream about them. “Time is already passing. I can’t afford to sit in a camp for another year,” Joseph says. “But I can’t go back to a school where I will be abused or killed.” I walk with Joseph down to a group of a dozen high school kids gathered around another campfire scorching out of a metal container. I’m surprised to hear the group talk about issues ranging from xenophobic violence and safe sex to local and national politics. They speak from experience.

Tent 174

Around 10:30 p.m. Pastor Raphaël and the doctor come to tell me they’ve prepared a spot in their tent. While heading back to my resting place, I’m stopped by Jean-Baptiste. “Do you have everything you’ll need for tonight? Are you sure you’ll be comfortable?” I can tell he’s still worried about my safety, but he’s sympathetic to my cause. “You know, you’re doing God’s work.” Jean-Baptiste’s caring words reflect the Congolese’s belief that God will help them find a solution to their conundrum: They can’t return to their homes in South Africa nor can they go back to their native country. But these are the only two choices the South African government has given them as ways out of the camp. Their problems trouble me as I lie on the thin mat that Pastor Raphaël has given me, curled up next to Judy for warmth in the frigid night air. I’m lying under three blankets and wrapped to my ankles with layered clothing, yet I’m shivering. I hear the cries of the young. For me, tomorrow will be a new day full of promise and freedom. The other six men in the 18-by-11-foot tent won’t be so fortunate. They’ll have to fend for themselves, fenced off from the land that has oppressed them. I eventually fall asleep. I don’t dream in this place.

Freedom of religion

When I open my eyes, I’m disoriented. The morning sun illuminates the cold blue tent, making it almost impossible to sleep. The tent is empty except for Judy and me. An angelic harmony draws me out of the tent and toward the center of the camp. Judy follows. In an opening between rows of tents, about 50 Congolese encircle Pastor Raphaël and sing praises to the Lord. As the sun rises, the Johannesburg skyline glows in the distance. The 5-foot-tall pastor commands the attention and devotion of this transplanted community. Here in the camp, the Congolese can praise the Lord in their native tongue, among their brothers and sisters, without fear of persecution. They call for forgiveness for the enemy that has wronged them and ask for the strength to make it through another day. -30-

This piece accompanies a multimedia presentation, as well as several of my other packages, at this Web site: cronkitezine.asu.edu/southafrica/finginfHomeRR.html

Dan O'Connor

This is a piece I wrote in

This is a piece I wrote in The Tribune in November, 1984, exactly three weeks after assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi.

Profile of an assassin By

Profile of an assassin

By Prabhjot Singh

What prompted Sub-Inspector Beant Singh to assassinate Indira Gandhi? Was it only foreign money or a mere religious motivation to take “revenge” for the Army action in Golden Temple, or both? Beant Singh was a husband, a father and a police officer with clean records. He and his wife, Bimal Khalsa, a staff nurse at Lady Harding Hospital, had been earning enough to look after their three children and themselves. Besides, Beant Singh had been living at 6, Ashoka Police Lines, a government house. Born on My 4, 1950, at Maloya village in the house of Sucha Singh, a weaver and a Ramdasia Sikh, Beant Singh had his education at Government schools in Maloya, Teera, Hamirpur and Khalsa School, Kharar, before joining the Sector 23 Government Higher Secondary School in Chandigarh in 1967. In 1968 he passed the Higher Secondary examination of Panjab University in second division.

COURSE IN RUSSIAN In 1969-70, he did a diploma in Russian from Panjab University, securing 186 marks out of a maximum of 300. In April 1971, he absented himself from the B.A. (final year) examinations of Panjab University as a student of the Sector 11 Government College for Boys. In September the same year, he cleared the examinations, missing the second division by just two marks. After graduation, Beant went to Delhi, and in 1972 got into Delhi police as a Sub-Inspector against the reserve quota. Though his uncle, Mr Bahadur Singh, had got all the children baptized in early 60s, Beant Singh turned a “patit amritdhari” on entering the college in 1968.

MALOYA’S HISTORY Malyoa a big village on the outskirts of Chandigarh was primarily village of Rajputs. In 1905, a Sikh preacher came to the village. The Harijans of the village, who were until that time called “ad dharmis” embraced Sikhism. It enraged Jhalam Singh, a Rajput, who attacked the Sikh preacher with a burning wooden log. The preacher left the village but Sikhism stayed. It was during this period that the grandfather of Beant Singh embraced Sikhism. Since then, a majority of the Harijans of the village has been going to a gurdwara, which was built just in front of Beant Singh’s house. During his childhood, Beant used to play with Sukhwant Kaur, one of the three daughters of Mr Randhir Singh, also a Harijan Sikh and a distant nephew of Such Singh. Sukhwant Kaur is now married to Harinder Singh, an Indian diplomat in Norway who resigned from the Indian Foreign Service in June, 1984. In protest against the Army action in Golden Temple. Harinder Singh’s elder brother, Butshikan Singh, is also in the I.F.S. and now posted in Bahrain.

WELCOME During his maiden trip abroad with Indira Gandhi. Beant had met Harinder Singh in Oslo in October last year. Initially Sukhwant was reluctant to recognize him. It was a lukewarm reception from Harinder Singh’s family, Beant had told his brothers and father on return. In fact, Beant’s father and four brothers were annoyed with him when he had gone to attend the marriage of the youngest daughter of Randhir Singh to Sarabjit Singh, an IPS officer allocated to the Karnataka cadre but now posted in Delhi. The marriage took place in 1980. The parents of Beant Singh did have good relations with the family of Randhir Singh, who, in 1955, was appointed to the Punjab Civil Service. Mr Randhir Singh has settled at Ludhiana after retirement. He had left Maloya in early 60s.

LOVE MARRIAGE Beant’s eldest brother, Shamsher Singh, was also in Punjab Civil Service (Judicial Branch) before he resigned and started his own practice at Kharar, Kurali, Ropar and Chandigarh. He is Marxist and Beant was under his influence. Gurdarshan Singh, who is younger to Shamsher Singh and older than Beant Singh, is a junior engineer in Delhi Telephones. He is married to Mohinder Kaur, a daughter of S. Darshan Singh, a former head granthi of Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. It was an inter-caste marriage as Darshan Singh was a Jat Sikh. Before shifting to Ashoka Police Lines, Beant Singh lived at Vishnu Nagar. On his way to Ragbhir Singh bus stand. He used to pass by the house of Bimla Devi, the eldest of the three daughters of a carpenter, Gurbachan Singh. Beant fell for Bimla, who after her matriculation examination was doing a course in nursing at Lady Harding Hospital. It was sub-inspector Hardev Singh, a college of Beant, who proposed marriage between Bimla and Beant in 1976. The marriage was performed according to Sikh traditions in 1976 and Beant changed the name of the Bimla Devi to Bimal Khalsa. Beant and Bimal named their eldest child a daughter. Amrit Khalsa, Bimal was allergic to the drinking habit of her husband. Beant, on the other hand, a carefree man, used to invite his friends home for drinks.

TRANSFORMATION There was a sudden transformation in the thinking of Beant Singh after the Army action. He started accompanying his uncle, Kehar Singh, an assistant in the office of the Director-General, Supplies and Disposal, to Gurdwara Moti Bagh. In July, a noted ragi from Punjab performed “virag katha” at the gurdwara. Beant Singh was moved and reportedly started crying. It was at this stage that Kehar Singh told him not to cry but to take “revenge”.

RELIABLE PARTNER The idea appealed to Beant Singh. He reportedly discussed it with his friend, sub-inspector Amarjit Singh Sagi, a clean-shaven Harijan. They conspired to “liquidate” Mrs Gandhi before August 15. Beant later told Kehar Singh that Amarjit had let him down. He, however, reiterated his determination to “kill Mrs Gandhi”, saying he had found a reliable partner in constable Satwant Singh. Satwant then started frequenting his house. With the passage of time, Beant was turning more religious. On October 10, Beant told Bimal that he would soon become a “martyr”. Bimal could not understand what he was talking about.

A BROTHER’S VIEW On October 14, Beant left his house in a kurta pyjama and a flowing beard. He went to Kehar Singh’s house, from where he went to Gurdwara Moti Bagh and then to Sector 6 Gurdwara in R.K. Puram for taking “amrit”. He was punished for not maintaining himself as an “amritdhari Sikh” after baptism in childhood. He was asked to sweep the floor of the gurdwara and recite Sukhmani Sahib. Beant Singh promised that he would get his wife, Bimal, baptised within a week. On October 17, Beant took Bimal to Gurdwara Sis Ganj and got her baptised there. On October 20, Beant, Bimal and their three children reached the house of Kehar Singh in Sector 12, R.K. Puram, early in the morning. Beant Singh had four railways tickets for Delhi-Amritsar sector with him. Kehar Singh and his wife, Jagir Kaur distant aunt of Beant Singh from Maloya village, agreed to accompany Beant’s family to Amritsar by the superfast train a few hours later. In Amritsar, Beant Singh took a vow at Akal Takht on October 21 to “assassinate Mrs Gandhi”. An “ardas” was performed and Beant was given five flowers of marigold. Though Beant wanted to meet Satwant Singh at the Golden Temple, the latter failed to turn up. A final meeting was held at the house of Beant Singh and was attended also by Kehar Singh and Satwant Singh. Whether Beant Singh came in contact with Harinder Singh, again through Sarabjit Singh, is yet to be established. Who other than Kehar Singh provoked him to take the decision to assassinate Mrs Gandhi has also be found out. Shamsher Singh, however, maintains that his brother killed Mrs Gandhi not for money but for religious reasons. Beant, he says, was left with no spirit of nationalism after his return to the fold of amritdhari Sikhs.

“NOT THAT TYPE” When the police questioned Sucha Singh and his four sons (Shamsher Singh, Gurdarshan Singh, Kirpal Singh and Bhagat Singh), they asked them about the “foreign money” Beant might have received. Sucha Singh, at 76, works from 6 am to 8 pm on his handloom to earn Rs 15 to Rs 30 to make ends meet. His wife, Kartar Kaur, had been staying with him until September, when Beant came to the village for the last time and persuaded her to go to Delhi to look after his children as he and his wife, Bimal, had to attend to their duties from morning to evening. Beant had come to the village in June again to attend the marriage of his youngest brother, Bhagat Singh. That time Bimal and his children had accompanied him. Everyone in the village was surprised to learn about the role Beant played in the assassination of Mrs Gandhi. “He was not that type Barring Shamsher Singh, our family had been a Congress (I) supporter. It was because of the reservation policy pursued by the Congress (I) government that Beant got into Delhi police as a “Sub-Inspector” says Kirpal Singh.

NO DIWALI GIFT “Beant would have been in Punjab Civil Service in 1974 if he had been given the benefit of reservation. I even spoke to Mr Bansal, the then Chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission, but he expressed his inability to help him as no one from Chandigarh could be considered under the reserved quota”, adds Shamsher Singh. Beant had refused to draw the Rs 100 as Divali gift given to each member of the Prime Minister’s Security staff. The plot of “assassinate Mrs Gandhi” was an open secret among several members of security staff. The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police questioned Sub-Inspectors Balbir Singh, Amarjit Singh, Ajaib Singh and Gurdev Singh and Constable Jagtar Singh, besides others.

POSITIVE RESPONSE Beant had sounded sub-inspector Balbir Singh, a Ramgarhia, about his intention to kill Mrs Gandhi and sought his help. Balbir had given a positive response but Beant reportedly did not pursue the matter further. Meanwhile, Balbir had come in contact with another group of conspirators who wanted Mrs Gandhi to be “liquidated”. Balbir had reportedly demanded Rs 6 lakh and a dynamite to accomplish the target. One of the conspirators, an industrialist, offered Rs 20,000 in cash. Besides promising another Rs 50,000. The conspiracy, however, fell through.

PUNISHMENT It is strange that intelligence agencies were unaware of who was conspiring against the Prime Minister. The turning of Beant and Satwant Singh into amritdhari Sikhs and the refusal of Beant to take his Divali gift should have aroused suspicion. According to reliable sources the posting at Prime Minister’s house for security is considered a “punishment” for the policemen. No one willingly goes there. Most of the policemen deployed at 1, Safdarjung Road, had been in police stations before the change in the top brass of the Delhi police in 1981. The police also questioned Bimal’s father, Gurbachan Singh and her brother, Narinder Singh. All relations of Beant, Satwant and Bimal have been released.

Thanks, Nigel. To edit your

Thanks, Nigel. To edit your profile, login to the site, and then:

  • go to “IJNet Profiles”
  • click “My IJNet Profile”
  • click “Edit my Profile”
  • Change/add/delete any information
  • Save

Email editor@icfj.org with any questions at all! Thank you.

Hi IJNet team. Thank you for

Hi IJNet team. Thank you for this good initiative to take care of journalists' interests. Could you please add a button we can click to edit our profiles. I didn't append my email address to my profile and would like to do so. Or if possible, could you help append it for me? Here it is. nigel5nas@yahoo.com. Mobile contact +256712975088.

Thank you.

http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/

http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/26/566098

HIV-positive children: Who is to blame? Sunday, 20th May, 2007 E-mail article Print article

By Nigel Nassar

CHILDREN infected with HIV are asking a critical, yet incriminating question. “Who is to blame for our status?” And the adults, though with the answer, cannot bring themselves to saying it.

There is an air of apprehension with which they receive the query, ultimately staying gagged, yet traumatised from seeing the children suffer.

The fact remains; adults are to blame for these children’s plight. Of course, the children will not push for the answer, but they already know it. And they won’t blame the adults for infecting them, either directly or indirectly.

They are only children, innocent and forgiving as ever. But must the adults continue sinking these innocent hearts deep down the HIV/AIDS pit?

Apart from the guilt that is eating at us, what are we doing about it? And what becomes of the future if this continues? This is the dilemma that gripped the over 450 participants during the fifth African Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect at Hotel Africana, recently.

The conference was organised by the African Network for the Prevention and Protection of Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) Uganda Chapter, ANPPCAN Nairobi and the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

The three-day conference was held under the theme, ‘HIV/AIDS and Children: The challenges of care for and protection of children in Africa.’

Seventy-six children, 59 from Uganda and 12 from six Sub-Saharan countries joined academicians, researchers and HIV activists to share experiences and research findings on childcare and protection in Africa to forge a way forward amidst the HIV/AIDS scourge.

With different speakers expressing the gravity of the dilemma children are facing, participants were at a loss for words.

The conference happens to be one of the few where the congregation stays put, wondering what lies ahead if the children continue dying and getting infected with HIV at the current rate, with others getting orphaned by the same scourge.

A research by the John Hopkins Research University, USA, estimates the number of children orphaned by the virus in Africa at 12 million, 1.7 million in Uganda.

One shocking revelation that came up during Dr Grace Ndeezi’s presentation was that 40 children worldwide die every hour as a result of HIV/AIDS. The UNAIDS 2006 statistics indicate that 2.3 million children in the world are infected with the virus, 90% of these in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Of these, Uganda has approximately 150,000 children living with HIV. In this case, adults are to blame because 90% of infections to the children is through Mother-To-Child Transmission (MTCT), while 10% is through risk factors like blood transfusion, injections, accidents and sexual abuse (defilement and rape).

According to the 2006 Ministry of statistics, 20,000 children in Uganda are infected each year through MTCT. This calls for more intervention by the Government and non-governmental organisations to sensitise people about the pandemic, with emphasis on abstinence, faithfulness in marriages and use of condoms.

This way, the current scenario, where we have an increasing number of child- headed households will be reduced. During her presentation, Dr. Sabrina Bakeera-Kitara displayed a photograph of an old woman who has done nothing over the last few years, but take care of her eight HIV-positive grand children who were orphaned by HIV.

Taken from a rural setting, the picture showed the grandmother and the children looking hungry and unhealthy, but trying to smile for the camera. In case the old woman dies, her home could become child-headed.

The child will not only be looking after seven children, but rather, seven HIV-positive children, him or herself inclusive.

And there is more to the pandemic than this. Only those with their eyes open can see this. Others have not had to keep on the lookout – the circumstances in which they are living have showed it all to them by default.

In his presentation, Dr. Emmanuel Luyirika, the director of medical services at the Mildmay Centre, said: “If there were no adults, children would not be HIV-positive.”

His statement was followed by silence, adults turning to look at each other, while the children tore through their guilt-laden faces with their innocent subdued stares.

One would console oneself with media allegations of discoveries of an HIV cure, but like Dr. Alex Coutinho, the director of The Aids Support Organisation, said: “There is no cure for HIV.”

Much as there is considerable progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, caring for children infected with the disease remains a challenge. Many children are dying due to lack of care, yet more are getting susceptible to similar deaths.

For instance, of the 660,000 children requiring antiretroviral treatment, only 10% (66,000) are receiving it. Lack of access to antiretrovirals makes children die at an early age. For instance, one out of every three newly-born HIV-infected children dies before their first birthday.

Therefore, part of the care for the children involves helping them access antiretroviral drugs and making sure that they take it appropriately. Since adults are to blame for the predicament, they should fight the pandemic.

They can bank on the fact that the children have not sat back, but have also joined the fight. At the end of the conference, the children presented a statement to the chief guest, the Nabagereks, Sylvia Nagginda.

In the statement, the children called on their families and the community to show them love and care and to remind them to take their medicine properly.

They also asked for access to education and for hope through spiritual and moral support. “We call upon our government to enforce laws against child abuse and neglect, to support families of affected children with incomes and create awareness about HIV/AIDS and the children’s rights,” the statement said.

They committed themselves to be role models in the fight against the pandemic through abstaining and preaching abstinence.

The children sang a sorrowful song, “Children of Africa...see them crying, see them dying on the streets…we need love, we need care, we need ARVs to be the future generation.”

At the end of the conference, everyone was visibly burning with the resolve that something has to be done and it is all in behavioural change. The global campaign: Unite for Children, Unite Against Aids, should not be taken for a cliché.

Children are the future generation. We need to save them.

Picture Caption: Children living with HIV sharing their experiences during a camp at the Youth With a Mission Centre in Wairaka last year

please have a look at my

please have a look at my article on street wear and politics in Iran. I am very proud of it, because it has been translated into Farsi for the website www.shahrzadnews.org. It has been 12 years since i first went to Iran, a woman alone, rather scared. Since then I have made radioreports, two books, many articles, public debates, but most important: Iranian friends. The fact that my Iranian friends can now read them in their own language fills me with pride and joy.
http://www.shahrzadnews.org/en/article.php5?id=1218 leads you to the the English version of one of my articles, you can click to go to the Farsi translation.

American youth are engaging

American youth are engaging in sex acts as teenagers. This is dangerous to think about. Over the years Americans were addressed with Aids, while primary decease of having herpes, scabs or virginal itching were more aware than Aids.

Aids was started in Africa where the virus was wide spread and troubling from exposed monkeys. Aids existed prior to when it was first known. The health care crisis made aware that Americans had Aids, only, it was not as detrimental as it is known now.

The epidemic created a natural prevention measures to disturb the spread of Aids.

It is known that Aids kills. Celebrities like Johnson, made it aware that anyone can fall a victim from the disease . Aids is active participants with gay men and lesbian women who do not practice safe sex. It spreads with having multiple sex partners and unsafe sex. It can be a result from using bad needles intervening in drug addicts.

It is important that people practice safe sex. It was noted in high school students that condoms are distributed to prevent sex deceases .

Like Africa, I feel that the Caribbean should protect themselves from a decease that is detrimental to survival legacy. They deserve expertise advise to over a quarter million people it could effect. Like Africa, the Caribbean should be involved in education to make aware of Aids. In the Caribbeans, there should be precautions where vaccines sent out. In the Caribbeans, medical precautions to test for Aids should be available whether antonymous or out in the open.

A young innocent girl, wanted a boy friend. He pressured her into being with him. He wanted sex. One night after a date, the young boy offered to kiss the young girl. She thought she show him how much she cared for him. They engaged in a kiss that led to him having a discussion with her to his next move to take her virginity. Enthusiastically; he told her he whispered in her ear that loved her. He told her he was on medication. He told her he had a disease that he may have given her from swallowing his spit from kissing him. He admitted that now he had trapped her in being with him because she now shared the disease. She will now be medicated from this predatory effecting her for the rest of her life. A desease that may take her life.

Precautions are not enough. It is everyone who suffers of victums of Aids. Kids are born of aids. Aids is a battle ground. Aids causes hostility and addictions. It is clear this is an argument that raises questions of how to be a good resource to handle the pressure of safe sex practices. Is awareness consistent with the spread of the desease in the value of preventing the desease .

The proudest experience in my

The proudest experience in my journalism's life in this far remote island in the indian ocean where I have been a journalism for 4 years was when I had to interview a Police commissioner who corrupted money from the government for the construction of a gate of about 2 millions rupees and rumours said that he used part of his money for his own personal use. Indeed , going to interview him for that was not an easy thing because first of all, he was not a welcoming person when it comes to personal accusation against him. I was so pestered by my editor who gave me this task that I could not deceive him. So I went slowly and surely. His office was very impressive and his photograph was everywhere .I was well received by Mr D, the commissioner who had no idea that I was to inteview him about this particular rumour for I was the only journalist having this scoop from the editor. So we start chatting about the development and projects of this new police head quarters, about his task , and he was smiling greedily for he was deliberately fishing for pride and honour. I could sense that as a journalist. I tattered a little before the embarassing questions, smiling at him with my charming smile and said softly"From the two millions rupees that the governement attributed to you for the gate of this new police head quaters, how much did you use to install this gate". He was confused and did not want to answer making as if he forgot the statistics and I pursued after having swallowed my saliva for he looked angry" Rumours said that you used part of the money for your own personal use,what do you have to say? Would you confim this rumour or not"? There he was , very red as a chilly, staring at me rather to impress me but I was strong and said to myself" You are the power Nazma, go on, don't be afraid". He did not want to answer and I could sense corruption. He called to his subordinate and asked me" I shall have the priviledge to invite you for a short trip in the new helicopter which the police autority purchased recently. It is used to seek boats who are in distress in harbours". I said yes to this proposal but was on my thirst for he did not answer my question. Was he corrupted or not? I thought about my editor who wanted the fresh news for the scoop. I did not write my article on this day and postponed it furthermore, fishing for new information for Icannot confirm news that I did not get. It was a kind of a dilemma and I had to be strong because in this tiny island in the indian ocean, corruption is not rare.So as a journalist, I went for a free helicopter trip and see a boat who was in the harbour. Back to my newsdesk, I related the trip which was nice, the welcoming commissioner , but did not ommit to write about the growing supscions regarding the corrupted gate of the head quarters which costs 2 millions rupees and that the commissioner refused to answer regarding part of the money which he apparently used for his personal expenses. Though I did not take any personal calls from my newpaper after my article , I was happy to say in my article that he did not answer to this question. Unfortunately, I did not have further information regarding this matter for he was protected by the prime minister who was the prime minister of this island. I was proud of myself, proud of saying things which my pen has been burning to say. namely that he refused this question and he was embarassed to answer this accusation of corrupting money for his own use. I have said it by hook or by crook!!! Nazma FOURRE

I live in St. Augustine,

I live in St. Augustine, Florida, USA. I retired here about five years ago. The piece below is satire about the State Department that supposedly protects the environment. The writing is an ongoing project and involves other people who have concerns about the environment. I will post more as the story continues. d

Progress: Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Maher Awarded Big Kudos for "Primary Sensing Method" Discovery September 29, 2008 St. Augustine, Florida Joebillybob

The International Ecumenical Council on Quality (IECQ) named Mr. Jim Maher, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Wetlands Specialist and Environmental Resource Permitting Administrator, recipient of the Chief Senior Master Sensor Award for application of his “Primary Sensing Method” (PMM). PMM will save money for the local government of St. Augustine and, when applied statewide will save millions and millions of dollars each year.

The St. Augustine Record, with a few errors, mainly of substantive omission, reported on September 26, 2008, page 1A, that Mr. Maher could find no harm to the saltwater marsh where a broken pipe dumped tons of treated freshwater from the St. Augustine waste treatment plant. What is so absolutely wonderful about Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method is that future measurements, observations, and numbers are not necessary, he just “Senses” how the area feels. The cost savings from not having to send out people to take samples of the marsh, to preserve the samples properly, and then analyze all the samples for those terrible sounding chemicals, which only a chemist can pronounce, is more than we can calculate using the old abacus that the seventh circuit state attorney’s office loaned us while they’re having another cake party.

No longer will DEP have to hire ecologists, biologists, chemists, statisticians, health professionals, epidemiologists, and many others, at salaries the state can not afford. With these Salary savings, along with other money that is going to be saved by not having to purchase all those expensive electronic equipment thingies and tons of glassware, Florida is positioning itself to be able to loan money to a number of banks that don’t like the terms and conditions the federal government is offering them.

To be honest, there are some needed expansions of Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method to ensure that the State of Florida gains optimal benefits: First, we need to know the physical limits of Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method: Can he Sense the health of a saltwater marsh only from a kayak, or can he Sense it from 50 or 100 or 1000 feet? If the Sense is independent of distance, we could put Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher into a small jet airplane and fly him over different parts of Florida and we’d know instantly which areas are healthy and which are not healthy. With a tiny bit of research, I bet we could put Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher on board the space station and he’d be able to tell us what parts of what countries are healthy or not. Obviously, those countries would have to pay a small fee to obtain Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s full report. An added bonus, never forget, is that using Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method means the Sensed reports, unlike those tacky reports from the ancient, Pre-Sensing DEP, eg., “Biological Assessment of St. Augustine WWTP #1”. St. Johns County, NPDES #Fl0021938, November 25-26 and 28, 2007, redated August 2008, Biology Section, Bureau of Laboratories, Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, will have none of those cursed numbers. Goals achieved: Easy to read, easy to understand, and cheaper than dirt.

Now, as soon as those now unnecessary ecologists, chemists, and others clear out of their old offices, the State of Florida can adapt Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s methods for other commercial domains, like publishing. The St. Augustine Record has done excellent preliminary work so we know that readers do not miss having numbers in their news articles, or statistics, or analyses. Indeed, the St. Augustine Record has shown that numbers are so unimportant that you can use words like “couple”, as in the article cited above, when the actual number is “five”. No one notices and no one cares. Ah yes, publishing is a perfect market for the State of Florida to develop because the City, County, and State agencies are paying over $100,000.00 per year to the St. Augustine Record to publish legal notices. Although some picky pear bears have complained that paying the newspaper is an uncompetitive (there are more people subscribed to the internet in St. Johns County than there are who subscribe to the St. Augustine Record — and the internet ads would cost pennies not thousands of dollars) and unethical act (how can a newspaper be objective when writing about those who pay them big bucks?). Thankfully, the pay me to print and I’ll not say bad things about you tradition, is withering away, so we can expect those $100,000.00 to not leave home soon.

Using Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method the publishers will learn, as soon as Maher Senses and reports to them, what headlines will get the most readers, what books will be bestsellers, and what columnists are most readable. The publishers will be on easy street. As soon as Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method completes its work with publishing, there are other domains, many other domains that we can improve with Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method; like Health Care, HUD and DOD

Health care will benefit because Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method will tell us which pregnant woman will go full term, or not, and which baby will live after birth, and so on. We could have lines of people walk rapidly past Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher and he would send them to the left, no hope, or to the right, ok for now.

Applying Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will determine which applicants will pay rent or not. Decisions on what type of building will be cheapest to build and maintain, as well as who gets grant money will be quick — those painfully detailed, integrity challenging grant applications will not be needed.

Saving billions on health care and housing leaves only one other major group needing huge amounts of tax money — the Department of Defense.

No worry. Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method will determine which countries are healthy democracies and which are not. Total eradication (prophylactic) actions will allow for subsequent reductions in defense spending.

Domestic tranquility will blossom in the country as true justice is achieved by putting Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method into place in the courts. Guilt and innocence, even sentencing is best determined by “sensing”. There will never again be profiling of anyone by the police or the prosecutors. Never again.

More happiness and joy will arrive when Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method takes over marriages. No matter if the marriage is same or different sex, Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method will let us know who is happy and who is not, and which marriage should not occur. Add to these joys the sense of pleasure that many many people will have from finally learning that those boring chemistry and statistics courses were not necessary, and that is why they failed them, is difficult to imagine. We are in for a lot of “I told you sos!”

Finally, all this progress will culminate in Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method being the basis for his election to “Top Leader”, and we will revel in our non-metric world, and read articles with titles that must be meaningful, like:

“The Unmetrics of the Unfine for the Unpolluted, Undamaged Saltwater Marshlands by the Unsewage that was Unfastly Dumped by City of St. Augustine that Uncaused Unharms by Untold Unnumbers of E. coli so DEP Requires Urgent Placement of the Un3milliondollar Pipeline, as Unreported by the Undoubting Unasking St. Augustine Record.

Ah yes, I’ve paved a gold brick road for us to travel to the future, but we need to do a bit and byte of some clean research, research that only uses paper and pencil, not computers or big chemistry sets, and a handful of public records requests (Chapter 119, Fla. Stat. (2007) to let us figger how much money we are saving as Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method becomes ubiquitous.

First, how many other environmental cases does Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher judge and permit, or not, in a year, for the past two years? If Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher decides 12 cases per year, the amount of money saved, using St. Augustine as a low estimate of savings, will be multiplied by 12. I know, you hate the numbers, but I think you are getting the picture.

Second, how many employees of the NorthEast FL-DEP make decisions similar to what Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher makes in a two year period? Those decisions, and all their associated costs, would be complete savings once Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method is in place.

Third, how many other departments, divisions of FL-DEP exist in locations outside NorthEast Florida?

All these data, plus more, could be put into a large matrix to show the real savings earned by avoiding the silly and unnecessary collection and analyses of objective data that we know now are archaic and, at times, stinky.

It is only right, it is only fair and just, that all those people in the past who were given awards and fame for their work before Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method was developed be forced to return the awards, or their monetary equivalents. It is only fair, it is only seemly, that those attorneys and others who have associated with, and broken bread and hoisted beers with members of the Society of Empirical Legal Studies gnomes, be forced to shut down their webpages and burn all those statistics, law, and philosophy books.

I’d write more but it’s time to type up and type down my public records requests to FL-DEP, NorthFlorida Section. It’s breathtaking, it’s mind-warping, it’s gravitationally radical to think about how much money we can save on the cost of government when we use Chief Senior Master Sensor Maher’s method.

Joebillybob, St. Augustine, Florida September 29, 2008

War, refuge…and heavy

War, refuge…and heavy metal

By Sonya Rehman

Strapping on bullet-proof vests, amidst a platoon of armed men – directors Eddy Moretti and Suroosh Alvi are ready to embark on a risky expedition right in the heart of war-torn and ravaged Baghdad to meet a band. But not just any old band, rather, Iraq’s sole Heavy Metal band – ‘Acrassicauda’, Latin for ‘black scorpion’. Having premiered at the ‘Toronto International Film Festival’ in 2007, the ‘Berlin International Film Festival’ in February 2008, and more recently, the ‘SXSW Film Festival’ (held in Austin, Texas) this year in March - ‘Heavy Metal in Baghdad’ is a one-of-a-kind ‘rockumentary’ that truly makes an impact – throughout its 85-minute footage - from start to finish. “We first heard about Acrassicauda through our friend Gideon Yago”, Suroosh states, “he’d been doing some reporting in Baghdad for MTV News in 2003 after Saddam’s regime had been toppled. After he got back he told us about them. The mere idea that a heavy metal band was playing in Baghdad in those circumstances seemed incomprehensible to us, so we decided to investigate.” And investigate they did. Following the band’s tumultuous journey over a span of three years, in a country pregnant with fear, its jaded skies etched with missiles, and buildings riddled with brutal bullets and grenades…Baghdad, Iraq, no matter how crippled is still considered ‘home’ to Faisal Talal (vocalist), Tony Aziz (lead guitarist), Firas Al-Lateef (bassist) and Marwan Reyad (drummer extraordinaire) – Acrassicauda’s tight-knit line-up of musicians. Considering the dangers involved in filming a relatively political documentary in Iraq, were the directors scared of being shot at, and/or kidnapped? Was the ‘fear’ constant throughout the filming process? “Filming in Iraq was hard”, agrees Suroosh, “we had no real mobility, nor were we able to walk the streets freely. The situation in Baghdad was the worst it had been since the Coalition troops started the occupation. There were virtually no other journalists there at the time, and westerners were being targeted constantly, so we were at the mercy and care of our bodyguards, who we credit with getting us out of there safely. I was scared of roadside bombs and of being kidnapped, but by the end of the week, as Eddy says, ‘we got comfortable with the feeling of uncomfortability’”. In the documentary while jamming at a gig held in Al-Fanar hotel (in Baghdad) with over one hundred Iraqi men head-banging, a young man in the audience faces the camera and says (in a thick Iraqi accent): “We are of the heavy metal music. We are in the Iraq. Nobody here can grow long hair you know? Because they will think we are the bad guys. So we need REAL freedom”. Soon after, Faisal begins belting out ‘Massacre’ – a fierce, angst-ridden, Acrassicauda metal number. Sings Faisal emotively, as beads of sweat cling to his forehead: “They stole my lands/ They stole my home/ They stole my flesh/ They stole my bones”. “You got the troops and you got the terrorists outside…and we are stuck in the middle”, Acrassicauda’s drummer, Marwan, enunciates in the documentary. He says it in a tone caught between sarcasm and vulnerable acceptance. Perhaps the most painful part in the documentary comes when the band’s jamming sanctuary (a tiny room in a building situated in downtown Baghdad) gets blown to pieces by a stray missile. The reactions are intense. Teary-eyed, choked up, grim and clenching teeth, Firas, Faisal and Marwan appear emotionally crippled as they sit in their humble room (in a housing complex for Iraqi refugees) while watching a clip Firas recorded (of the ruptured building) on his handy-cam. Having had to flee Iraq to Syria (four months after the stray missile hit), and much later on to Turkey, Acrassicauda is a band literally living on the edge – yet courageous and resilient enough to keep trying to piece together the fragments of a life-long dream…to play music without being persecuted and living under constant threat – whether physically, emotionally or monetarily. Says Suroosh: “From the first moment that we made contact and met them, their struggle started to affect us on a personal level. Their story was so compelling that it pushed us to chase it harder than anything we’ve chased before, but once we met them and saw the hell they were living through it made us so grateful for the things that we take for granted everyday: the freedom to express ourselves freely without the fear of persecution and death, living in a free and open society, to be able to travel anywhere we want at anytime. Whether they are in Baghdad, Damascus, or Istanbul, there have always been insanely large obstacles in front of them. The latest predicament of being in the UNHCR refugee system is yet a whole new set of challenges for them.” Currently residing in Istanbul, Acrassicauda “live dual lives”, expresses Suroosh, “on the one hand they’re dealing with the typical trials and tribulations of being refugees in a foreign country where they don’t speak the language and have no money, and at the same time they’re in an open and relatively free society and modern society for the first time in their lives. They’re part of a musical community for the first time in their lives and they’re like any other struggling group of musicians, except that they’ve lived through three wars and are refugees. They still have a long road ahead of them.” ‘Heavy Metal in Baghdad’ brings to light so many things all at once, but what really stands out is this: that the real heroes of war are, at the end of the day, ordinary individuals that most of us tend to overlook. All soldiers of war limping down broken paths, don’t always carry guns, bullet-proof vests and helmets…but rather, empty pockets, worn-out souls, yet resilient hearts…and even, broken dreams of heavy metal.

Post new comment

Google Translate