Today, UNICEF launched its flagship publication The State of the World’s Children Report.
This year’s report, entitled Adolescence – An Age of Opportunity, focuses on the 1.2 billion young people around the world from ages 10 to 19.
In the most recent addition to the ‘Beyond School Books’ podcast series, UNICEF Radio podcast moderator Amy Costello talked with two adolescents who have contributed essays to The State of the World’s Children 2011 Report on how education can empower young people to realize their full potential and contribute to shaping the future of their nations.
To listen to the podcast, please visit:
Mohammed Omer, an award winning journalist from Gaza will speak at 7 p.m. tonight (Friday, Feb. 25) at the Friends Meeting House in the University District – 4001 9th Avenue N.E. in Seattle. He will talk about what it’s like to grow up and live under occupation, and he will speak specifically about daily life under siege in Gaza.
The event is sponsored by American Friends Service Committee, the Arab American Community Coalition, The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice, Voices of Palestine and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Omer’s reporting from Gaza has made him in demand from outlets around the globe. He has been published in numerous international outlets around the globe, including the Vermont Guarian, ArtVoice Weekly, the Swedish dailies Dagen Nyheter and Aftonbladet, the Norwegian daily Dagbladet, the Baque daily Berria, and the Swedish magazine Arbetaren.
Omer makes regular appearances on BBC and BBC Scotland Radio, BBC News 24 TV, the Norwegian national NRK TV, and stations in Australia, South Africa, Ireland, and New Zealand, along with Democracy Now! in the United States.
He currently writes regularly on life in Gaza for the Norwegian weekly Morgenbladet, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and the Inter Press Service News Agency.
Omer’s photographs have been featured by many international news agencies, including Agence France-Presse (AFP) wire service.
Omer is the youngest journalist to win the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Award for Journalism, as he did in 2008 as a co-recipient of the award with U.S. journalist Dahr Jamail. In 2009 Omer was awarded the Press Freedom Prize from Reporters Without Borders in Sweden, along with the Ossitzky Prize from Norway for his reporting from Gaza.
When: February 26, 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM
Where: Benaroya Hall, Seattle
In tune with activists around the country, Seattle human rights advocates plan to protest the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra’s role in whitewashing Israel’s apartheid policies against the Palestinian people. Protests have been held in West Palm Beach, New York City, and Newark.
Those involved in organizing the events are heeding the call by Palestinian civil society to boycott institutions that work to normalize Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.
By serving as cultural ambassadors for Israel, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is supporting the Israeli government’s “Brand Israel” initiative, a campaign by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to divert public attention from Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people.
The IPO refrains from criticism of Israel’s policies and is described by the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as “Israel’s finest cultural emissary.” American Friends of the IPO further notes that “the goodwill created by [the IPO's] tours…is of enormous value to the State of Israel. As a result, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra maintains its position at the forefront of cultural diplomacy and the international music scene.”
In 2004, Palestinian civil society, led by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), called on colleagues in the international community to boycott Israeli academic and cultural institutions until Israel respects Palestinians’ basic rights. A year later, the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel was endorsed by over 170 Palestinian civil society groups. The Palestinian BDS movement is a nonviolent campaign for Palestinian rights inspired by the international boycott campaign that helped to abolish apartheid in South Africa.
The growing international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel has gained momentum in recent years with more supporters worldwide. Performers like Elvis Costello, Gil Scott-Heron, Roger Waters, Devendra Banhart, and the Pixies all refuse to play in Israel; globally human rights advocates protest visiting Israeli performers who are participating in “Brand Israel.”
The following are the scheduled dates and locations for protests of the remaining performances of the IPO:
February 26, Seattle, WA, Benaroya Hall, 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM, Palestine Solidarity Committee – Seattle
February 27, San Francisco, CA, Davies Symphony Hall, 6 PM, Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!)
March 1, Los Angeles, CA, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 6:30 PM – 8 PM, BDS-LA
(This just in from Rita Zawaideh at Caravan-Serai Tours)
As the protesters in Egypt finish cleaning up the streets they are now turning their attention to making the necessary changes in their government, and a large part of that task will be to get the economy repaired and growing again. Tourism is a huge part of the Egyptian economy and it is important for the country to begin welcoming visitors back as soon as possible.
Caravan-Serai Tours is offering a tour of Egypt at the end of March to visit the historic places of the Egyptian Youth Revolution, and will include meetings with our contacts in Cairo, sightseeing in and around Cairo and Alexandria, and a Nile Cruise. This tour will be a great opportunity to see the monuments and sites of Egypt without the throngs of people usually present. Also, hear first hand from people who were present during the many days of protests at Tahrir Square.
This tour will be escorted by our own Maha Sarhan. A native of Egypt, she has lived in the US since the early 1990′s. Maha leads groups to Egypt, Jordan, Libya, and Israel and she has traveled throughout Europe. She is fluent in French, in addition to Arabic and English. Before joining Caravan-Serai Tours, Maha worked with KLM Airlines for 5 years.
We are getting a group rate on Egypt Air from New York, so please call for details.
Join us during this historic time in Egypt!
March 26 – April 5, 2011
11 Days/ 10 Nights
Price per person, land only:
Sharing Double: $975.00
Call for details on air fare.
One of the many highlights of the tour is a visit to historic Tahrir Square. This is where the Egyptian Youth stood their ground and demanded their rights. Our tour will take us here to see the square and have time for photos.
We will also visit the main rallying point in Alexandria during our tour of the city. Other points of interest on the tour include Coptic Cairo sites, the Citadel, Sakkara, the Giza Plateau, National Museum, and Nile Cruise (visiting Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Luxor).
To see a full itinerary and details, please visit our website: New Egypt Tour Information
Many of you have read our reports from Eygpt and Amal Winter, the author of those reports, will speak to the group after our second day of sightseeing in Cairo. Amal is an Egyptian-American psychologist in Seattle who currently lives in Cairo, Egypt during the academic year where she is Visiting Professor of Practice at the American University in Cairo’s Graduate School of Education. She is a member of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, the Arab American Community Coalition in Seattle, and the Arab American Institute’s Pacific Northwest representative. Her numerous consulting positions include the U.S. Department of State where she trains women in the Middle East to run for public office and the creation of training programs for panels of mediation specialists in over 450 Egyptian family courts.
We will aslo have Jere Bacharach, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, at the University of Washington, speak to the group. While a member of the University of Washington faculty, Bacharach served as Chair, Department of History; Director, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies; and Interim Chair, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization. He has also been President, Middle East Studies Association of North America, President, Middle East Medievalists, and President, Association for Professional Schools of International Affairs. He has served in Cairo as Interim Director, American Research Center in Egypt and has held numerous other positions in various professional organizations. His publications have ranged from the architecture of power in the Islamic world to the use of African slaves in military Muslim armies.
(From a MoveOn.org email this morning)
This is an all-hands-on-deck moment.
The protests in Wisconsin are sparking something we haven’t seen in years. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Madison to stop a radical, right-wing attack on workers. Protesters have occupied the Capitol building for the last eight days and nights.1
Now, they need the rest of us to pitch in.
So we’re putting videographers on a plane to Madison to get the protesters’ stories out to a wider audience. We’re buying air mattresses for the folks who are sleeping at the Capitol. And we’re organizing emergency solidarity rallies in every state capital this weekend.
But to make this all happen, we need to raise $315,000 today—for permits and PA systems and plane tickets, and those air mattresses. Can you help fight back?
The situation in Wisconsin has captured the attention of the nation. And winning in Wisconsin doesn’t just matter to Wisconsinites.
With Republicans using the wrecked economy as an excuse to slash vital programs and hurt workers, what happens in Wisconsin has huge implications for every one of us. If we can stop Governor Walker in Wisconsin, it’ll send a message to every other governor who’s thinking about trying the same thing.
And it’ll help turn the tide in Washington, D.C., where Republicans are threatening to shut down the government next week in order to force Democrats to agree to devastating cuts. NPR, the EPA, food aid to hungry kids, clean energy research, AmeriCorps—all are threatened.2
Right now, Wisconsin is the key to shifting the whole debate. Can you help make sure we have the resources to win? Chip in $5 by clicking here:
From Al Jazeera:
Dozens have been reported dead after more violence hit the Libyan capital as angry protests against embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi’s 40-year rule escalate across the country.
At least 61 people were killed in clashes in Tripoli on Monday, witnesses told Al Jazeera. The protests appeared to be gathering momentum, with demonstrators saying they had taken control of several key towns in the country, including the city of Benghazi.
Another huge march under way in Tripoli on Monday afternoon was reportedly under attack by security forces using military planes and live ammunition to fire on protesters, sources told Al Jazeera.
Ahmed Elgazir, a human rights researcher at the Libyan News Centre (LNC) also told Al Jazeera that security forces were “massacring” protesters in Tripoli.
Elgazir said the LNC, based in Geneva, had received a call for help from a woman witnessing the massacre in progress. She called the Centre from a satellite phone, as Libyan authorities have cut all landline and wireless communication in the country.
Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency reported that president Gaddafi may have fled the country and was on his way to Venezuela.
British foreign secretary, William Hague, told Reuters on Monday that he had seen some information to suggest Gaddafi had fled Libya.
However, government officials in Venezuela have denied the reports, Al Jazeera’s Dima Khatib reported from Caracas.
Read the full report here.
Meanwhile, in another article, Al Jazeera’s Azad Essa asks if a revolution must be filmed and photographed to succeed, and says that international media seems to be following protests across the “Arab” world while ignoring those in other countries in Africa. Read the full report here.
(From the organizers)
Where: Westlake Park (4 and Pine, Seattle)
When: Saturday Feb 19, 3pm-7pm
By now you must have heard some of the reports about the events in Libya. Being a Libyan I can assure you of eye witness accounts coming out of Libya that Gaddafi is using helicopters to shoot demonstrators — yes helicopters, imagine the number of deaths that can result from using a war machine against innocent, unarmed young people to suppress them.
Gaddafi hired thugs from inside and outside Libya to attack the wives and children of the protestors in their homes. The situation is getting ugly by the minute. The problem with Libya is there is NO international media presence — unlike Egypt and Tunisia. So Gaddafi can get away with killing many many people before the world will know. He did it before when he killed 1260 political prisoners in 1996 and nobody knew about it.
Please look at this video showing pictures of people getting killed by Gaddafi’s thugs on Feb 16th and 17th (it is graphic so viewer discretion is advised)
What can you do to stop the bloodshed? Call on the US senators, and officials, to issue a statement ASAP condemning the killing and call upon Gaddafi and his thugs to stop killing innocent people.
There is NOTHING that Gaddafi and his thugs fear more than statements from the American government and officials. That will send fears in the hearts of his thugs when they know the world is watching.
Please remember your action will save lives. You have seen how effective the statements from the American officials with the Mubarak regime. It will be even more effective with the Gaddafi mob and his hooligans.
Here a link where you can find contact info of all US senators (scroll the page down to see all contact info): http://www.theorator.com/senate.html
Tell them time is of the essence and people are dying by the hour.
All we are looking for is a statement from the US government to warn Gaddafi and his thugs not to fire on innocent Libyans who are demonstrating peacefully for their universal rights of freedom and free speech and let independent international media in the country to report on what is happening.
We are calling on all democracy and peace-loving people for assistance to stop the killing of these civilians. Please feel free to spread the word and get other people to call.
Thank you and may you and your familes always enjoy peace.
From Al Jazeera:
The Bahrain capital of Manama was rocked by sporadic clashes, hours after riot police attacked a makeshift encampment of pro-reform protesters in the centre of the city, killing at least six and injuring dozens of others.
An Al Jazeera correspondent, who cannot be named for security reasons, said on Thursday that “clashes were no longer limited to one place…they are now spread out in different parts of the city”. He said that the hospitals are full of injured people after last night’s police raid on the pro-reform demonstrators.
“Some of them are severely injured with gunshots. Patients include doctors and emergency personnel who were overrun by the police while trying to attend to the wounded.”
Another Al Jazeera online producer said that booms could be heard from different parts of the city, suggesting that “tear-gas is being used to disperse the protesters in several neighbourhoods”.
Latest reports, however, indicated that a tense calm had descended on the capital with troops patroling the streets. There were also reports of dozens of armoured vehicles moving towards the Pearl Roundabout, the protest site that was raided by the riot police.
Read the full story here.
Meanwhile, this just in from the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Reem Khalifa is senior editor for diplomatic affairs at Al Wasat in Bahrain. She said today: “The regime forces just came and massacred a crowd of people as they slept. The young people marching were so beautiful. They were chanting together, shouting ‘neither Sunni nor Shia but Bahraini’. We have not seen this before. And this is what annoyed the government agents the most — they are always trying to divide the people. So they just went at night and massacred them, there were children there. And now the regime is spreading lies about me and other journalists who are trying to say what is happening.”
You can follow Reem Khalifa at http://twitter.com/#!/reemkhalifa17
The Institute also said that New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tweeted this from Bahrain:
“King Hamad of Bahrain will never regain credibility after attacking peaceful protesters as they slept. Blood is forever on his hands.” Kristof also notes that members of the royal family are spreading rumors about him: “Example of #Bahrain govt propaganda: @alibinkhalifa of royal family tweeted that I am ‘supporting outlaws with weapons.’”
Letter to the Editor from Bert Sacks:
I hope that Americans will compare these first steps towards liberation in Egypt with the so-called American “liberation” of Iraq in 2003.
What could show more clearly the difference between using force to coerce an objective versus achieving it through nonviolent actions.
Bert Sacks also just did this interview about nonviolence:
(Don’t miss great comments from Egyptian protester in video at end of post.)
From Al Jazeera:
Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has resigned from his post, handing over power to the armed forces.
Omar Suleiman, the vice-president, announced in a televised address that the president was “waiving” his office, and had handed over authority to the Supreme Council of the armed forces.
Suleiman’s short statement was received with a roar of approval and by celebratory chanting and flag-waving from a crowd of hundreds of thousands in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, as well by pro-democracy campaigners who attended protests across the country on Friday.
The crowd in Tahrir chanted “We have brought down the regime”, while many were seen crying, cheering and embracing one another.
“Tonight, after all of these weeks of frustration, of violence, of intimidation … today the people of Egypt undoubtedly [feel they] have been heard, not only by the president, but by people all around the world,” our correspondent at Tahrir Square reported, following the announcement.
Pro-democracy activists in the Egyptian capital had marched on the presidential palace and state television buildings on Friday, the 18th consecutive day of protests.
Read the full story here.
See streaming video of developments in Egypt on Al Jazeera here.
And here are just a few of the hundreds of Facebook comments on the “We are all Khaled Said” page:
I CANT BELIEVE IT … FOR 30 YEARS .. 30 YEARS OF DICTATORSHIP… MUBARAK RESIGNSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS …………………
BACKGROUND STORY ABOUT KHALED SAID
Khaled Said, a 28-year-old Egyptian from the coastal city of Alexandria, Egypt, was tortured to death at the hands of two police officers. Several eye witnesses described how Khalid was taken by the two policemen into the entrance of a residential building where he was brutally punched and kicked. The two policemen banged his head against the wall, the staircase and the entrance steps. Despite his calls for mercy and asking them why they are doing this to him, they continued their torture until he died according to many eye witnesses.
Khaled has become the symbol for many Egyptians who dream to see their country free of brutality, torture and ill treatment. Many young Egyptians are now fed up with the inhuman treatment they face on a daily basis in streets, police stations and everywhere. Egyptians want to see an end to all violence committed by any Egyptian Policeman. Egyptians are aspiring to the day when Egypt has its freedom and dignity back, the day when the current 30 years long emergency martial law ends and when Egyptians can freely elect their true representatives.
It is believed that Wael Ghonim is the creator of the Facebook page “We are all Khaled Said” and that he works with a colleague in England on the website. Wael Ghonim is a Google executive in Cairo who played a vital part in the Internet discussions on Facebook that helped spark the rebellion in Egypt. Wael Ghonim was held captive for 12 days by Egyptian security forces shortly after the protests began.