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Archive for January, 2015

A cross border marriage, 25 years on


Fasih ilmana 001

On Eid soon after the wedding: finding harmony


We argued, we fought, like any other couple. But we made it, thanks to our conscious decision to not let cross-border politics derail our relationship

By Ilmana Fasih

Jaaney kya tuu ne kahi, jaane kya main ney suni, baat kuchh ban hii gayee…”
(Wonder what you said, wonder what I heard, but we still made it.)

I am sure I am not the only South Asian who finds a Bollywood song that feels like it was written for them.

This month, on 29 January 2015, it will be 25 years since we got married. Time seems to have passed in a blink. Not that it has all been a smooth walk through a garden of roses. But, occasionally traversing thorny paths, we have managed to emerge more resilient.

Being politically aware individuals, and as a Pakistani and an Indian respectively, both my husband and I knew it would be hard to prevent cross-border politics from affecting us. However, early on, after many thoughtful discussions, we vowed not to make our home a battlefield of political taunts. At the same time we used our political concerns to rise above emotional rhetoric and develop an objective outlook. When pessimists dismissed our aspirations of peace we would come up with statements like: “When fractured bones can heal why can’t India Pakistan relations?”

We learnt to be sensitive enough to respect the idiosyncrasies of our extended families on either side, and ignore those who used our presence as a cue to trigger India-Pakistan debates or even, I dare say, hate.

To my good fortune, my husband was strong enough to not take to heart the mocking of everything Pakistani by some of my Indian relatives when he visited India. I had my share of outbursts with his family in Pakistan only to mature with time and learn that what really mattered was our relationship and not what rest of the world said.

Looking back I can say we worked hard, really hard, to maintain our sanity. At times we went out of our way to shield each other from the hyper-patriots of our respective sides. And then consoled each other with, “Pity their ignorance; they don’t know what they are missing.”

We argued, we fought, like any other couple, but never over border politics. We needed to raise children who were confident and not confused about their identities and who could stand up as beacons of harmony, not hate. We are honoured that our two children grew up loving both countries, both peoples, and cherishing the beauty of their differences.

India-Pakistan moments came to our home only as jokes.

My son would ask his father, “Why did you have to marry an Indian who cooks bhindi?”

Pat would come the response, “Because she wore a bindi.”

As little children, they made valiant warriors and proud ambassadors for both sides. What more could a mother want?

My Indian family still remembers how a cousin joked with our five-year old Fatima during a picnic in Delhi: “Tumhara Pakistan ganda hai.” (Your Pakistan is dirty).

She responded innocently: “But the roads are dirty in India too. And like this Qutub Minar, Pakistan has a tall Minar-e-Pakistan. It is in Lahore. Mummy says Lahore is like Delhi.”

And how my son came to my rescue when in Pakistan, an extended family member in a gathering remarked, “The Ghauri-II missile has a range to reach up to New Delhi.”

My wide-eyed six-year old Ismail came running to me and whispered in my ear, “Ammi, no one can bomb Delhi. Don’t worry, Nani and Nana will be safe.”

All my anxiety and anger dissipated as he gave me a tight bear hug, insisting, “Hold me tight too Ammi.”

When they were little, the children were also teased in school that their Indian mother was a ‘traitor’. There were tearful moments for them, but there were far more occasions to rejoice and be able to enjoy the best of both places.

As adult now, my daughter takes pride in introducing herself as the “daughter of an Indian mother and a Pakistani father, who learnt very early that there are loved ones and not enemies on the other side.”

My son enjoys supporting both cricket teams, and even switching loyalties depending on which team is performing better.

Visa for us have not been a challenge except for occasionally. However, it is always painful to see how other divided families struggle for an almost impossible-to-obtain visa.

What hurts is the hatred spewed on electronic or social media that is so unnecessary, when what the region needs is positive energy.

It hurts that the naive on both sides fall easy prey to rhetoric, not realising that conflicts feed only a few hawks both sides. Why don’t they understand that with peace, everyone wins and with conflict we all lose.

It hurts that vested interests refuse to resolve age-old issues or move on to strive for a bright future for the billion strong youth of the region.

It hurts that our meager resources are spent on nuclear arsenal and war mongering, rather than being channeled to alleviate hunger, disease and poverty.

I often quote the poet Kunwer Mahinder Singh Bedi’s eloquently asked question to hawks on both sides:

Poochhna hai ab mujhe ye Hind-o-Pakistan se,
Peit bhookon ka bhoroge kya jang ke samaan se.
(I wish to ask both India and Pakistan,
Will you fill the hungry stomachs with weapons?)

It hurts that we exchange dead soldiers and arrested fishermen instead of exchanging of knowledge, expertise and resources from each side.

It even hurts that the people who are so close culturally and geographically are kept miles apart by almost impossible visa policies.

More than everything else what hurts is the fools we make of ourselves in front of rest of the world by our reputation as nations with multiple common enemies including poverty and violence against women, yet we are fighting each other.

Outsiders often ask, “Don’t you share a common history?
I retort as always, “Yes, we have the same DNA too.”
“Do you think peace is possible between your countries?”
“Do we have any other choice, but to peace? We have fought three wars and been involved in several conflicts. It’s time we give peace a chance for regional cooperation and coexist as peaceful neighbors.”

To those who understand Urdu, I simply quote Jagannath Azad’s couplet:

Siyasat ne jo khenchi hain hadein qayam rahein beshak,
Dilon ke hadd-e-faasil ko mitaa dene ka waqt aaya.
(Let the lines that are drawn by politics stay,
But it is time for hearts to mend the gap).

The writer is an Indian gynecologist married to a Pakistani. She dreams of a world without wars.She dreams of a world without wars.
Email:ilmana_fasih@hotmail.com
Blog:https://thinkloud65.wordpress.com

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

P.S. My sincere thanks to Aman ki Asha, of the Jang Group, The News for publishing my story. Link to the article in The News Aman Ki Asha is here >> http://amankiasha.com/detail_news.asp?id=1503

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Can we spare the children of our planet from violence?


Child-hope

Was published in Pak Tea House here >>  http://pakteahouse.net/2014/12/31/can-we-spare-the-children-of-our-planet-from-violence/

Thousands of miles away, in a candle vigil for the children of the Peshawar attack, the Mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Bonnie Crombie said,

“The children lost in Peshawar were not just Pakistani kids; they were our children, the children of this planet.”

I shuddered to imagine the paranoia of millions of parents in Pakistan on the day that their children will have to go back to school after winter break. And along with them, my mind wandered to the other children on the planet – the children who have lost their lives and so much more.

I couldn’t help but think of the 200 plus school girls that Boko Haram kidnapped in Nigeria. Will these girls ever be able to return to school again?

Last September, Gaza was short of almost 490 school-going children, as schools reopened after a 50-day war with Israel during the summers. Many of the kids who survived had lost their homes and family members. The Israeli kid who died after rockets were fired from Gaza was also a child of the same planet.

How can one not think of the millions of displaced children of Syria currently spending their fourth winter in refugee shelters, attending makeshift schools in the camps, while nearly 14,000 have perished?

My heart aches for the children who have been brutally beheaded by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for not converting. Hearing the spine-chilling stories of Yazidi minor girls who are being sold as sex slaves makes me tremble.

“They will sell my girl for $10.”

This cry of a Kurd father from Sinjar haunts me to date. So does the recount of a 19-year-old  Yazidi girl who managed to escape:

“One day we were given clothes that looked like dance costumes and were told to bathe and wear them. One girl killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself.”

In a lesser heard Central African Republican, almost 6,000 to 10,000 children  have been snatched of their school lives and have been forcibly recruited as child soldiers, some being as young as eight-years-old. There are child soldiers recruited by Iraqi militias and ISIS too. Amnesty International reports there are 250,000 child soldiers world over.

Closer to home, around the time of Malala Yousafzai’s incident, 12-year-old Mehzar Zehra  was shot on her way to school and while her father became the victim of target killing for being Shia. I also think of little Rimsha Masih, who had to languish in jail, and Aitzaz Hasan from Hangu, who lost his life while averting a bomb attack in his school. Let’s not forget the Hazara kids who either perished or were injured in Mastung and other attacks on the Hazara community. Let’s not forget the hundreds of children who have died during the drone attacks in Waziristan.

Forgive me for not being able to enumerate every child who was lost to meaningless wars happening around us.

Echoing Mayor Crombie, each of these are children of the same planet. And it is incumbent upon humanity to ensure them a safe childhood.

According to a UN report,

“More than one billion children under the age of 18 were living in areas in conflict or emerging from war. Of these, an estimated 300 million were under age five and more than 18 million children were refugees or internally displaced.”

As the calendar flips to 2015, there will hardly be anything new for these children. Those who have perished shall sleep below heaps of earth with their innocent dreams buried in their hearts. Those alive will continue to bear the trauma of bare survival, feeling lucky to have lived another day, no matter how.

This is not all.

Beyond active warfare, vested interests in media, state or faith-based groups also subject children to psychological abuse by preaching warmongering and hatred. A child’s video on Memri TV telling tender Palestinian children about evil Jews, a seven-year-old boy from a madrassa who sings jihad  against infidels, or a 10-year-old boy from a Gurukul who spews hate and desires to combat Muslims – these are just a few examples, and not a concoction of my mind. Even on social media, we violate war-torn kids by sharing gory pictures of disfigured or dead children to evoke emotional propaganda.

Is this the quality of life the children of our planet deserve?

Why are we so disgustingly insensitive about how detrimental something like this could be to a child’s health and potential? Would you put your child through this physical or psychological politics of hate and violence? Why do we fail to think of the long-lasting adverse consequences of violence on their tender minds and bodies in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Do these children even have an idea of the geopolitics, war on resources or hegemony of sects or tribes, for which they are subjected to the worst form of violations?

We take pride in the scientific advances which have reduced the child mortality to rate more than 70% in the last century. We also brag about the human progress, having created the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which recognizes that children are people who have rights that

must be respected equally to those of adults.  The convention has been ratified by majority of the world’s nations.

A lot may have been achieved in terms of legislations, and with the slogan of ‘every child counts’. However, one billion children living in conflict zones is a grim figure. Several UN reports reveal a change of war tactics, in current conflicts, that have made children more directly exposed to warfare. This only makes the future grimmer. http://www.un.org/rights/impact.htm

Hope is rekindled, time and again, when voices like Satyarthi or Malala or Edhi  are recognized? The bitter truth remains that the scale of war industry is too huge to be countered by few sincere souls.

Wars are not going to disappear overnight, but we can at least mitigate their effects and ensure that they do not target children and women. It may be a wishful thinking that warmongering ‘vested interests’ may be put aside someday for the sake of our  children. One wonders what is the critical number of affected children needed to get that.

With specific concerns for the children affected by violence, UNICEF has put forth an Anti-war Agenda enlisting a series of steps, which they believe are realistic and effective to  improve the well-being of children in situations of conflict.

The report says:

“The Anti-war Agenda rests on the proposition that much of the tragedy befalling children is preventable. The evil deeds that this report documents are, after all, driven by human behavior. Children are suffering as a direct and immediate consequence of the decisions of adults. If conflict seems, at times, to be inevitable, there is nothing inevitable about children bearing the brunt of its consequences. Brutality, violence, rape and torture—all would stop tomorrow if the will to stop them existed, or if the rest of us devised means to compel them to be stopped.”

The details of the Anti-war agenda  can be seen in the link here> http://www.unicef.org/sowc96/antiwar.htm

There is so much to be done to improve the plight of children even in peace times, from combating poverty to malnutrition to illiteracy. Violent conflicts not only impede them, but divert the focus towards destruction rather than construction.

To prevent continued cycles of conflict, education must seek to promote peace and tolerance, not fuel hatred and suspicion.

Disputes may be inevitable, but violence is not.

Till we drive this idea home, the remarks of Garcia Machel, ex-representative of UN Secretary General  and widow of Nelson Mandela shall sound as fresh as ever,

“It is unforgivable that children are assaulted, violated, murdered and yet our conscience is not revolted nor our sense of dignity challenged. This represents a fundamental crisis of our civilization.”

Indeed.

Anyways, let us still wish a Happy New Year to each other.

http://pakteahouse.net/2014/12/31/can-we-spare-the-children-of-our-planet-from-violence/

Thousands of miles away, in a candle vigil for the children of the Peshawar attack, the Mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Bonnie Crombie said,

“The children lost in Peshawar were not just Pakistani kids; they were our children, the children of this planet.”

I shuddered to imagine the paranoia of millions of parents in Pakistan on the day that their children will have to go back to school after winter break. And along with them, my mind wandered to the other children on the planet – the children who have lost their lives and so much more.

I couldn’t help but think of the 200 plus school girls that Boko Haram kidnapped in Nigeria. Will these girls ever be able to return to school again?

Last September, Gaza was short of almost 490 school-going children, as schools reopened after a 50-day war with Israel during the summers. Many of the kids who survived had lost their homes and family members. The Israeli kid who died after rockets were fired from Gaza was also a child of the same planet.

How can one not think of the millions of displaced children of Syria currently spending their fourth winter in refugee shelters, attending makeshift schools in the camps, while nearly 14,000 have perished?

My heart aches for the children who have been brutally beheaded by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for not converting. Hearing the spine-chilling stories of Yazidi minor girls who are being sold as sex slaves makes me tremble.

“They will sell my girl for $10.”

This cry of a Kurd father from Sinjar haunts me to date. So does the recount of a 19-year-old  Yazidi girl who managed to escape:

“One day we were given clothes that looked like dance costumes and were told to bathe and wear them. One girl killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself.”

In a lesser heard Central African Republican, almost 6,000 to 10,000 children  have been snatched of their school lives and have been forcibly recruited as child soldiers, some being as young as eight-years-old. There are child soldiers recruited by Iraqi militias and ISIS too. Amnesty International reports there are 250,000 child soldiers world over.

Closer to home, around the time of Malala Yousafzai’s incident, 12-year-old Mehzar Zehra  was shot on her way to school and while her father became the victim of target killing for being Shia. I also think of little Rimsha Masih, who had to languish in jail, and Aitzaz Hasan from Hangu, who lost his life while averting a bomb attack in his school. Let’s not forget the Hazara kids who either perished or were injured in Mastung and other attacks on the Hazara community. Let’s not forget the hundreds of children who have died during the drone attacks in Waziristan.

Forgive me for not being able to enumerate every child who was lost to meaningless wars happening around us.

Echoing Mayor Crombie, each of these are children of the same planet. And it is incumbent upon humanity to ensure them a safe childhood.

According to a UN report,

“More than one billion children under the age of 18 were living in areas in conflict or emerging from war. Of these, an estimated 300 million were under age five and more than 18 million children were refugees or internally displaced.”

As the calendar flips to 2015, there will hardly be anything new for these children. Those who have perished shall sleep below heaps of earth with their innocent dreams buried in their hearts. Those alive will continue to bear the trauma of bare survival, feeling lucky to have lived another day, no matter how.

This is not all.

Beyond active warfare, vested interests in media, state or faith-based groups also subject children to psychological abuse by preaching warmongering and hatred. A child’s video on Memri TV telling tender Palestinian children about evil Jews, a seven-year-old boy from a madrassa who sings jihad  against infidels, or a 10-year-old boy from a Gurukul who spews hate and desires to combat Muslims – these are just a few examples, and not a concoction of my mind. Even on social media, we violate war-torn kids by sharing gory pictures of disfigured or dead children to evoke emotional propaganda.

Is this the quality of life the children of our planet deserve?

Why are we so disgustingly insensitive about how detrimental something like this could be to a child’s health and potential? Would you put your child through this physical or psychological politics of hate and violence? Why do we fail to think of the long-lasting adverse consequences of violence on their tender minds and bodies in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Do these children even have an idea of the geopolitics, war on resources or hegemony of sects or tribes, for which they are subjected to the worst form of violations?

We take pride in the scientific advances which have reduced the child mortality to rate more than 70% in the last century. We also brag about the human progress, having created the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which recognizes that children are people who have rights that

must be respected equally to those of adults.  The convention has been ratified by majority of the world’s nations.

A lot may have been achieved in terms of legislations, and with the slogan of ‘every child counts’. However, one billion children living in conflict zones is a grim figure. Several UN reports reveal a change of war tactics, in current conflicts, that have made children more directly exposed to warfare. This only makes the future grimmer. http://www.un.org/rights/impact.htm

Hope is rekindled, time and again, when voices like Satyarthi or Malala or Edhi  are recognized? The bitter truth remains that the scale of war industry is too huge to be countered by few sincere souls.

Wars are not going to disappear overnight, but we can at least mitigate their effects and ensure that they do not target children and women. It may be a wishful thinking that warmongering ‘vested interests’ may be put aside someday for the sake of our  children. One wonders what is the critical number of affected children needed to get that.

With specific concerns for the children affected by violence, UNICEF has put forth an Anti-war Agenda enlisting a series of steps, which they believe are realistic and effective to  improve the well-being of children in situations of conflict.

The report says:

“The Anti-war Agenda rests on the proposition that much of the tragedy befalling children is preventable. The evil deeds that this report documents are, after all, driven by human behavior. Children are suffering as a direct and immediate consequence of the decisions of adults. If conflict seems, at times, to be inevitable, there is nothing inevitable about children bearing the brunt of its consequences. Brutality, violence, rape and torture—all would stop tomorrow if the will to stop them existed, or if the rest of us devised means to compel them to be stopped.”

The details of the Anti-war agenda  can be seen in the link here> http://www.unicef.org/sowc96/antiwar.htm

There is so much to be done to improve the plight of children even in peace times, from combating poverty to malnutrition to illiteracy. Violent conflicts not only impede them, but divert the focus towards destruction rather than construction.

To prevent continued cycles of conflict, education must seek to promote peace and tolerance, not fuel hatred and suspicion.

Disputes may be inevitable, but violence is not.

Till we drive this idea home, the remarks of Garcia Machel, ex-representative of UN Secretary General  and widow of Nelson Mandela shall sound as fresh as ever,

“It is unforgivable that children are assaulted, violated, murdered and yet our conscience is not revolted nor our sense of dignity challenged. This represents a fundamental crisis of our civilization.”

Indeed.

Anyways, let us still wish a Happy New Year to each other.

http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http%3A%2F%2Fpakteahouse.net%2F2014%2F12%2F31%2Fcan-we-spare-the-children-of-our-planet-from-violence%2F&layout=standard&show_faces=true&width=450&action=like&colorscheme=light&height=80

Thousands of miles away, in a candle vigil for the children of the Peshawar attack, the Mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Bonnie Crombie said,

“The children lost in Peshawar were not just Pakistani kids; they were our children, the children of this planet.”

I shuddered to imagine the paranoia of millions of parents in Pakistan on the day that their children will have to go back to school after winter break. And along with them, my mind wandered to the other children on the planet – the children who have lost their lives and so much more.

I couldn’t help but think of the 200 plus school girls that Boko Haram kidnapped in Nigeria. Will these girls ever be able to return to school again?

Last September, Gaza was short of almost 490 school-going children, as schools reopened after a 50-day war with Israel during the summers. Many of the kids who survived had lost their homes and family members. The Israeli kid who died after rockets were fired from Gaza was also a child of the same planet.

How can one not think of the millions of displaced children of Syria currently spending their fourth winter in refugee shelters, attending makeshift schools in the camps, while nearly 14,000 have perished?

My heart aches for the children who have been brutally beheaded by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for not converting. Hearing the spine-chilling stories of Yazidi minor girls who are being sold as sex slaves makes me tremble.

“They will sell my girl for $10.”

This cry of a Kurd father from Sinjar haunts me to date. So does the recount of a 19-year-old  Yazidi girl who managed to escape:

“One day we were given clothes that looked like dance costumes and were told to bathe and wear them. One girl killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself.”

In a lesser heard Central African Republican, almost 6,000 to 10,000 children  have been snatched of their school lives and have been forcibly recruited as child soldiers, some being as young as eight-years-old. There are child soldiers recruited by Iraqi militias and ISIS too. Amnesty International reports there are 250,000 child soldiers world over.

Closer to home, around the time of Malala Yousafzai’s incident, 12-year-old Mehzar Zehra  was shot on her way to school and while her father became the victim of target killing for being Shia. I also think of little Rimsha Masih, who had to languish in jail, and Aitzaz Hasan from Hangu, who lost his life while averting a bomb attack in his school. Let’s not forget the Hazara kids who either perished or were injured in Mastung and other attacks on the Hazara community. Let’s not forget the hundreds of children who have died during the drone attacks in Waziristan.

Forgive me for not being able to enumerate every child who was lost to meaningless wars happening around us.

Echoing Mayor Crombie, each of these are children of the same planet. And it is incumbent upon humanity to ensure them a safe childhood.

According to a UN report,

“More than one billion children under the age of 18 were living in areas in conflict or emerging from war. Of these, an estimated 300 million were under age five and more than 18 million children were refugees or internally displaced.”

As the calendar flips to 2015, there will hardly be anything new for these children. Those who have perished shall sleep below heaps of earth with their innocent dreams buried in their hearts. Those alive will continue to bear the trauma of bare survival, feeling lucky to have lived another day, no matter how.

This is not all.

Beyond active warfare, vested interests in media, state or faith-based groups also subject children to psychological abuse by preaching warmongering and hatred. A child’s video on Memri TV telling tender Palestinian children about evil Jews, a seven-year-old boy from a madrassa who sings jihad  against infidels, or a 10-year-old boy from a Gurukul who spews hate and desires to combat Muslims – these are just a few examples, and not a concoction of my mind. Even on social media, we violate war-torn kids by sharing gory pictures of disfigured or dead children to evoke emotional propaganda.

Is this the quality of life the children of our planet deserve?

Why are we so disgustingly insensitive about how detrimental something like this could be to a child’s health and potential? Would you put your child through this physical or psychological politics of hate and violence? Why do we fail to think of the long-lasting adverse consequences of violence on their tender minds and bodies in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Do these children even have an idea of the geopolitics, war on resources or hegemony of sects or tribes, for which they are subjected to the worst form of violations?

We take pride in the scientific advances which have reduced the child mortality to rate more than 70% in the last century. We also brag about the human progress, having created the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which recognizes that children are people who have rights that

must be respected equally to those of adults.  The convention has been ratified by majority of the world’s nations.

A lot may have been achieved in terms of legislations, and with the slogan of ‘every child counts’. However, one billion children living in conflict zones is a grim figure. Several UN reports reveal a change of war tactics, in current conflicts, that have made children more directly exposed to warfare. This only makes the future grimmer. http://www.un.org/rights/impact.htm

Hope is rekindled, time and again, when voices like Satyarthi or Malala or Edhi  are recognized? The bitter truth remains that the scale of war industry is too huge to be countered by few sincere souls.

Wars are not going to disappear overnight, but we can at least mitigate their effects and ensure that they do not target children and women. It may be a wishful thinking that warmongering ‘vested interests’ may be put aside someday for the sake of our  children. One wonders what is the critical number of affected children needed to get that.

With specific concerns for the children affected by violence, UNICEF has put forth an Anti-war Agenda enlisting a series of steps, which they believe are realistic and effective to  improve the well-being of children in situations of conflict.

The report says:

“The Anti-war Agenda rests on the proposition that much of the tragedy befalling children is preventable. The evil deeds that this report documents are, after all, driven by human behavior. Children are suffering as a direct and immediate consequence of the decisions of adults. If conflict seems, at times, to be inevitable, there is nothing inevitable about children bearing the brunt of its consequences. Brutality, violence, rape and torture—all would stop tomorrow if the will to stop them existed, or if the rest of us devised means to compel them to be stopped.”

The details of the Anti-war agenda  can be seen in the link here> http://www.unicef.org/sowc96/antiwar.htm

There is so much to be done to improve the plight of children even in peace times, from combating poverty to malnutrition to illiteracy. Violent conflicts not only impede them, but divert the focus towards destruction rather than construction.

To prevent continued cycles of conflict, education must seek to promote peace and tolerance, not fuel hatred and suspicion.

Disputes may be inevitable, but violence is not.

Till we drive this idea home, the remarks of Garcia Machel, ex-representative of UN Secretary General  and widow of Nelson Mandela shall sound as fresh as ever,

“It is unforgivable that children are assaulted, violated, murdered and yet our conscience is not revolted nor our sense of dignity challenged. This represents a fundamental crisis of our civilization.”

Indeed.

Anyways, let us still wish a Happy New Year to each other. (more…)