On many occasions, even very rich nations needed international help in times of disaster. The
The Indian government still lacks full resources to help its entire people.
Indians living and working in
So let’s say, every pound donated to
On many occasions, even very rich nations needed international help in times of disaster. The
The Indian government still lacks full resources to help its entire people.
Indians living and working in
So let’s say, every pound donated to
Monarchy in many countries is the symbol of national unity and identity. But as an institution, it should move with time. What makes some monarchies unpopular is when the monarch has disregard for popular attitudes, trying to keep privileges or authorities dating from centuries and which have little to do with the political aspirations of the new generations. But there are absolute monarchs under disguise in some republics like
One negative aspect of absolute monarchy is when the king considers himself as the rightful guardian of society disregarding calls for change. It can be OK for a king to perpetuate a style of rule, subjugating his people by enshrining himself with sacredness. But in today's world, there is no place for despotism. Monarchy in
In Japan and Thailand, monarchy is popular and a stabilizing factor because it is constitutional, leaving the choice to people to decide through elected governments in whose policy the monarch doesn’t intervene. As
After all, what people need is a leader, be it king or president, who can ensure the stability and the welfare of the country. Even in republics, there are people who have the lifestyle of kings and princes. Naming a country a republic or a monarchy can be deceiving.
Although monarchy is abolished in many countries, successful and popular stars are described as princes, princesses, kings and queens. Prestigious places have titles starting with royal like Royal Hotels. So many countries considered as republics still have a yearning for royal splendour.
A large number of people like to have a role model. Many role models are almost worshipped by their fans. Stars in sport and art are like idols for their fans. Very rich football stars are loved by their fans however poor they are. They know how much they earn, but they support them. They don’t boo them at the pitch because of their extravagant lifestyle and earning, but only when they don’t play well.
On Larry King show, there was a debate about British monarchy. An American speaker criticised the British monarchy for its lavish style, to which a defendant of the monarchy asked him, “What about your imperial presidency?”
Monarchy is a matter of the past in many countries, but still they seek to have a distinguished person to rule their heats and mind. Monarchy, as a form of leadership, is an innate inclination to have one person turned to by the masses as personification of the glory the want to have in their lives.
Following the terrorist attacks in
So while there are attempts in Western countries to build (more) Islamic schools, in Morocco the trend is that such schools are on the verge of extinction, as people here seek a modern education from which they can make a living.
But this doesn’t mean that educated people can’t further their studies about Islam. In Moroccan universities there are branches about Islamic studies. Also in
One difference is that current Islamic institutions and schools are directly directed by the state, unlike countries such as
Religious schools in general become a danger when they teach archaic views leading to extremism. Inculcating students just with religious notions without preparing them to be open on the reality of their societies and adapt to it can lead to an isolated section of the population that will use whatever means to impose its views or to seclude itself from society totally.
Many countries are ruled by despotic regimes, with leaders seeking all means to stay in power by silencing their opponents through death, torture and imprisonment.
There are two countries in the news today which are an example of the violation of human rights:
These two cases show the impotence of the international community to intervene to put things right. There are sometimes political calculations. The West and other big countries like
What pressure can be put on governments abusing human rights to respect them? Are economic sanctions effective to make abusive regimes change their policies?
There are many illegal immigrants crossing to Europe mainly from
My third question is about the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state:
On the Algerian territory, there are displaced people from
The situation of children has changed because of a change in the notions of families and neighbourhood and how they relate to each other. In the past, the role of parents was that the mother took care of the children while the father was out at work. Neighbours were like an extended family whose children could mix easily. Children were relatively safer.
Today, family structure has changed. The extended family is becoming a matter of the past. There are increasingly single parents with a single child. The child is left alone at home or in the care of schools. The itinerary from school to home can be dangerous for weak children as they have to move in a space where there can be a pack of children ready to attack as there can be malicious adults ready to sexually exploit the child.
It has always been normal that weak children are bullied by strong ones. What is worrying today is that some children are getting more violent, committing even murder. But there is no need to be alarmist despite all this as child safety is still guaranteed as long as child tutors know how to guide their children and to teach them how to be both safe and sociable. It is the lack of social skills on the part of children that makes them either aloof, frightened or aggressive.
Children should be given the opportunity to live their childhood fully. Neglecting them or overprotecting them can have adverse effect on their personality. They need guidance as well as the skill to make choices. They should not be dangerously exposed to scenes fit for the adults who can discern their right and wrong aspects. This has to do, for example, with the violence they’re exposed to on TV and video games.
The dangers facing children have different aspects according to regions. They are prey to the dangers according to the environment in which they live. In other words, this has to do with the practices of the adults in general.
There are children who are the victims of AIDS from the wombs of their mothers. There are children who are smuggled from one country to another for labour.
There is also the danger of exposing children to drugs. There are drug dealer who sell their goods to (school) children. There are those who start drinking alcohol at a very young age.
Helping children to live in a safe world has to do with preparing a clean environment for them. As long as the laws are barely enforced and some adults themselves need care and supervision, the victimized children will be left to face their situations helpless because of the failure society to have adequate means to help all children have a normal life.
The world can be safe for children as long as the adults, who should be concerned about their future, make it safe for them. If adults become totally disengaged from the education and the welfare of the children, each according to their responsibility, this can result in having children adrift, at the mercy of dangers that should be avoided.
A fatherless child can apparently have a normal childhood if surrounded by the needed care. Currently there are cases of fatherless children because of the death of their fathers, divorce or the fathers simply have disappeared without leaving any trace.
What may matter for a child is to have a father-figure imbuing him with fatherly qualities. But for many, there is nothing like a real father, especially in societies where the mother and the father are the centre of the family. In many (Muslim) societies, it is an insult to describe someone as being illegitimate or the child of unknown father.
It seems only animals don’t need a father when born and they can altogether do without their mother when grownups. Needless to say, there are also types of birds as well as wolves that make everlasting couples, which jointly care for their offspring.
It remains to see if some people copulate without looking back at their actions or they take such action with responsibility as it can result in the birth of a human being entitled to have a family life.
Men who donate their sperms and women who donate their eggs must be crazy as they encourage lesbians and gays to act against prevailing social norms by having children that can know just one parent they’re from and without ever having the chance to know the other parent.
There are still people who are curious or proud of their family trees. With the new law, children can trace their families just from the side of their mothers.
But normally a child should know who his father is, at least later in life. When adults, these children are likely to feel something missing in their lives if they have never experienced fatherly attention.
Many adopted children feel they aren’t the natural children of adoptive parents. Relations can be good with them, but an essential part from which they were born is still missing.
Allowing mothers to have children, without necessarily revealing their fathers, is just a response to their egoistic desires to be mothers and have a family. But there is the denial of the right of the child to know his father, especially if that is possible.
As incest is still prohibited, it is likely that a daughter and her father can have sex or even get married without knowing the biological relationships between them.
Now with the fact that fertility clinics no longer need to consider a child’s need for a father, it seems there will be a surge in the birth of children from gays and lesbians. It remains to see how these children can cope in society. Or will there be a community of gays and lesbians, transmitting these practices to their children? Contrary to straight people for whom it is a must the couple should be heterosexual, gays and lesbians may convince their children that the right way to live is to be homosexual.
There is also the position of the church. Will it baptise these children? Or in the end, will there be a church for this category of people?
Diplomacy is the best way to conduct relations between countries to avoid direct confrontations, military or economic. It’s diplomatic relations that help countries channel their views and coordinate them for a collective or bilateral actions.
Appeasement shouldn’t be just face-saving for the weak party. It should be based on solid grounds to last. Saddam gave in to
After the Second World War the
Currently, appeasement should be based on helping the weak side to have the possibility to stay in power on condition of honouring the agreements to keep a balance of power. Seeking to annihilate an enemy outright can prove impossible, if that enemy has the means to rise from its ashes. In
Countries with uneasy relations have different means to talk. Either directly at different levels from the level of ambassadors to that of head of states. There is the means of intermediation as it happened in
The other level of talk can be carried by international organisations like the UN. There have been some successes about this, at least for appeasement.
The success of diplomacy depends on the will of the parties to have normal relationship. They can discard military actions to solve their problems if that proves to be costly for both sides. But there are other means to perpetuate the conflict by having no bilateral cooperation or economic exchange. The
Diplomacy becomes appeasement only when the parties find military confrontation is of no good to either side, despite the possession of the weapons and the soldiers to do so. Diplomacy in many cases becomes a stick and carrot to solve a problem. The case of Iran shows this when the West has used economic incentives to dissuade it from pursuing its nuclear programme, while at the same time it is imposing gradual sanctions on it, when the US politicians are blowing hot and cold about a possible military strike.
As long as countries that are the centre of major international diplomatic crises are piling weapons and sophisticating them, there is no guarantee that there will be no temptations to use them as a gamble to solve a situation that diplomacy has failed to do.
Appeasement can be possible when all parties see eye to eye. But as there are deep divergence between the parties that can’t live side by side, skirmishes, bomb attacks and wars will remain an inevitable outcome in a world that historically has innumerable record of wars.
No one has a magic wand to put an end to armed actions as long as there are military and diplomatic options. Each option is valued according to the results it can yield. Appeasement and confrontations will remain the reality governing the thinking of politicians, either for their survival or the survival of their countries.
Diplomacy, if it can’t solve problems and make things better, should keep “safely” bad situations the way they are before they become dangerously worse.
This raises the question, “When should reporters stop and help, and when should they simply report ?Good reporters are supposed to be detached, so as the give credibility to their stories and to reach an audience of different persuasions. A report embedded with personal opinions and attitudes is likely to attract a specific section only.
There are of course reporters who work for news agencies known for their bias and ideological leanings. So the reporter has to reflect that. But for an independent reporter working for an independent and neutral news agency the reporting should be done professionally as the job for reporting is to make people know about facts and not to try to make them a certain position.
There are cases in which reporters find themselves reporting in difficult situations or in areas in abject poverty or plunged in disaster. During their reporting they have all the facilities like food and shelter to report on people without a home or food. They become just witnesses of situations they can do nothing about, but which is a stuff for reporting a story.
Some journalists become so involved with the events they report about. There is the example of Kevin Carter whose work drew praise and condemnation in almost equal measures until finally, haunted by the horrors of the scenes he had witnessed, and beset by financial problems, he committed suicide at the age of 33.
The picture for which Carter was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography on May 23, 1994 at Columbia University's Low Memorial Library is an example horrors of the scenes he had witnessed before committing suicide.
For journalists, “doomed” to report just about such disasters are unlikely to remain indifferent. If they can do nothing, they’re at least beset by the memories of what they have witnessed.
Journalism remains a hard job, especially for those who are activists, and because of this they can’t remain detached. They try to help by whatever means through connections and by using their reports to raise awareness about issues close to their hearts.
The best help reporters can do professionally is to report the truth and nothing but the truth, especially about political scandals or abuses to make people aware of what’s around them. Getting personally implicated can have an effect with dealing with a situation that should be reported with total objectivity. A reporter who says, for example, in his/her report “ I was sad to see so many dead and injured people in an earthquake.” isn’t the same as the one who says, “ There were many dead and injured people in an earthquake.”
In a catastrophe, resulting from natural disasters or wars, children are the most vulnerable; especially, when they are orphaned and left without relatives to take care of them.
Concerning the situation in
China has the responsibility to take care of orphaned children because of its birth control policy that has reduced the members of each family. Each family has the right to only one child, which means orphaned children can’t have a grown-up brother or sister to turn to. This catastrophe is a test for the
On the whole, children, orphaned or having witnessed horror, need support to overcome the trauma experienced in their tender years. They shouldn’t be left alone, the victims of an experience that can accompany them for the rest of their lives.
Children of this kind having become familless should be adopted by the whole society that should cater for them by sheltering them in decent homes, and providing them with special education to face life when adults. They can also be adopted by other families. For them, unlike adults, they don’t need just material aid to survive, but also psychological support to feel they have a new life for better after having experienced the worst.
It is also the responsibility of the international and local aid agencies to closely follow their needs. The natural disaster may be over. The land it destroyed can be rebuilt easily. But to rebuild a shattered life needs to be done piece by piece without neglecting any essential side.
The health of any person is the responsibility of society as long as there are services to cater for that. Medical treatment shouldn’t be stopped if this becomes life-threatening.
In the case of children, they’re too young to take decisions on such matters. They should get all the support to bear with the treatment however painful it can be if it can save their lives.
Yielding to a child’s refusal to get medical treatment is a tacit form of euthanasia, as his /her death becomes a permanent cure.
Doctors and psychiatrists should work out ways to convince the child that it is in his/her interest to be courageous enough to get the best cure to enjoy a healthy life through which they can fulfil their ambitions.
It must be a painful experience for the parents to have a critically ill child refusing crucial treatment. But their support and care will be the cure needed for the child to voluntarily accept medical treatments. Sometimes the psychological support plays wonder when the physical side is run down. It’s the mental preparations for a morale lifting that can defeat the physical pain.
After all, doctors know better. If they are sure of their treatment, they should have the final say. Parents can be just the moral support of their child to go through a life saving experience. For parents, it’s better to feel that they have done all they can than to feel that they have let their child down by being soft out of compassion instead of being firm about a matter of life and death.
The current troubles seem not to have occurred at a good time for
Disadvantaged South Africans can use the 2010 World Cup to stage civil disobedience and to turn their areas into disaster zones if their government doesn’t work right away to solve their urgent problems. This is not good for the image of
I still remember an extremist from the Sash Party who found a quick solution to the Palestinian issue. He argued that Arab countries should divide the Palestinian population among them, especially those living in
On my part I have even a crazier solution to this problem. The Israeli and the Palestinian land makes no more than 30,000 square kilometres. It won’t be spacious enough if the Palestinian refugees return there. Which means more than 10 million people should live in it, while in a decade or two that population can jump into 15 million. What I suggest is that a portion of the Israelis should return to their countries of origin, i.e. the countries from which they migrated to make room for the Palestinian refugees to have breathing space in the land from which they fled after the creation of
Now trying to be serious, I think the Palestinian issue will remain unresolved as long as the refugees aren’t granted the right to return to their homeland. This of course doesn’t mean all of them will seek to return, especially if they know the economic difficulties they can face. Currently, many of those living in Palestinian controlled territories are seeking to migrate to Europe, the
What can solve the problem of the Palestinian refugees is a general peace agreement between the Arabs and the Israelis after solving territorial and border issues with mainly
It is the political issue that makes the question of refugees of paramount importance. There are countries whose at least tenth of its population live abroad as immigrants or residents. The majority of the Lebanese live abroad in the
Nearly 15,000 people died in the devastating earthquake that hit
By its old standard,
The earthquake, however disastrous for the local populations, is an opportunity for
Thanks to its relative openness,
Friends are important in our lives as long as they help us to have a bearable life. Sometimes we feel regret for having got to know a person as other times we regret coming to know another person later rather than sooner.
But friends are like life. They change. In the modern world there is only “contractual” friendship. Many friendships can’t stay permanent because of continuous changes. Friends change addresses, cities and places of jobs. It becomes difficult to keep at pace with those changes. Sometimes, friends become just a memory as there is no way to get into contact with them.
Thanks to the new communication technology, it’s possible to have contact with them through emails and chatting. New social working has made it possible to know people from different places without ever meeting them.
But there is nothing like direct friendship, through face to face contact. After all we are humans. Through facebook and the like, we can have just impressions of the persons we claim to have as friends. Getting to know them can best be done through direct contact and not through live chats.
For those who like to meet people just to pass time and to have their fantasies displayed through fake names and pictures, they can have their satisfactions as they are just making use of one another. But those seeking deep friendship, there is nothing like classical friendship based on sincerity and great sharing of everything from a joke to notions.
The BBC isn’t new to receiving prestigious international a wards through its programmes and journalists. HARDtalk won the Royal Television Society’s prestigious award through Tim Sebastian . Talking point which later became known as Have Your Say has also won the award of The One World Media: . I cited these two programmes because the first is still alive and kicking while the second was unfortunately put to sleep, without the BBC giving justification for this blunt euthanasia.
WHYS also deserves to be award winning as most of the show’s agenda are set by the listeners, which I guess something unique in international media. WHYS has helped people from all over the world to connect through comments on the blog or live contributions on the show.
From its start in October 2005, it has made up to now more than 600 shows, with thousands of listeners taking parts from all over the world. It has tackled subjects of different interests, from politics, economics, religion, morality, sports, social issues etc. I can “certify” that the show has so far left no stone unturned! On my part I have tried to send my contributions on every topic, however shallow they may be. I hope the committee deciding the award for WHYS won’t use them as an excuse to deprive WHYS from its merited award.
WHYS deserves its award. it was hard won considering the other programmes it had to compete with.
I still remember Maestro Mark Sandell was sceptical about winning this award when he said, “We’re up against some top shows - most of whom have won Sony gold awards in the past - so it’s a bit like West Ham being in the Champions League.”
Now I think WHYS has all the potentials to compete with the Radio Champion League after this spectacular win.
This all should be the result of the ceaseless efforts of the WHYS team, including those of who have sadly departed like Anu Anand, Richard Bowen and Kevin Anderson. It is also the results of the thousands of contributions of all parts of the world.
I think Mr Ros, you should send tomorrow a special daily email with the picture of the award. Needless, to say it will be a good idea if you include a video footage of the ceremony in which you appear in dinner jacket as an alternative to your customary T-shirts.
I hope the sweat of anxiety has dried and now you are sweetly sweating in merriness.
My experience with WHYS is that it has never stopped evolving. The latest is the inclusion, of the Blank page, a testimony of the mutual trust and appreciation between the WHYS and its international contributors.
As everyone who has joined, CONGRATULATIONS and may the show continues to get better and better through time. Let it be a show through which listeners nod in approval, laugh up in their sleeves or show whatever reaction. The important is that dialogue between listeners of different persuasions should continue.
Once again, congratulations. May the glory of WHYS continue.
Cheers to all, including WHYS detractors!
A regime can fall alone with or without aid if there are no outside forces to back it or when there is an international intervention to topple it.
Aid agencies should be like médecins sans frontières whose job is to save lives and not to dictate the governments what they should do. This should be the job of international banks like the World Bank which should monitor the loans they offer to despotic and corrupt regimes.
After all the aids distributed are just hand to mouth. They barely answer the basic necessities like infrastructures for an economic upsurge. At heart, it’s better to see a population under a despotic and corrupt regime survive than to see it starving causing human catastrophes.
Perhaps, aids agencies should have more autonomy in their distributions. They shouldn’t be under the nose of local authorities that can use the aids just for their own advantages.
Aid agencies shouldn’t become a political weapon. They should continue as humanitarian agencies, whose sole purpose is to help the needy without any political agenda. As a professional doctor, they should spot the ills and find remedies to them. They shouldn’t seek to equate the political affiliations or non-affiliation of the recipients or that of those governing them to scale how much hand-out should be offered.
Many people are made to care about certain issues more than others. There is sometimes sensational news that tops all the news. The case of a star being called to the police station to account for the slapping and headbutting of an individual becomes news as it happened with Amy Winehouse a few days ago while somewhere in the world there are people exposed to hunger and torture.
Death is death. Pain is pain. But the way suffering and death are reported depends on the “weight” of the nationality of the persons or even the animal concerned. There was an incident in which a dog was stuck in the Berlin Wall before the unification of
There are many stories that go around the world untold or they are reported just as footnote.
There are many countries that are rarely reported in the news and therefore they are little known.
What matters is that people should get real facts about what’s going on in their own countries or communities and be mobilized to find solutions to their problems. Being briefed about the problems in another country isn’t enough if they don’t know about the problems in their homeland.
People get more interested in a news item through hot and witty debates. When debates are plain they become boring. What make them interesting are the challenging questions and the opposed parties on the qui vive not to give ground.
It’s also queer that in some countries, people don’t know even the name of ministers forming the government and they are knowledgeable about foreign heads of states and prime ministers, simply because they are constantly in the news.
The commercial media is in most cases concerned about attracting the largest audience or readership. They report for them what can be more exciting than informative. It turns out to be just a big machine of propaganda. News in depth in long articles has little chance of catching the eye. Light news is enriched with pictures has popularity as it is a way to, pass the time rather than getting deep knowledge.
The media despite all this has been greatly instrumental in making people have their own vies about challenging events. There are issues on which concerns diverge like the environment and the threat of hunger around the world. So it isn’t easy to portray the media just as black and white. Let’s not forget the case of hunger in Africa in the 80s was brought to the world through a BBC report about starvation in
As long as a story has depth, it’s worth reporting globally. What is worrying is when the media becomes a propaganda machine with imbalanced and one-sided approaches to events for political and economic reasons. It’s the responsibility of the recipient to choose which side to take and which item to pick up be it of international, national or local concern.