Hello people, I have been away for a while, hope everyone is well...
OK this post is going to be about the ways you can help with relief efforts for the victims of the Tsunami, and also a reminder that events like these should bring attention to the other tragedies happening in the world, and make us respond to them with equal compassion, not draw attention away from them. Our giving of what we can and our capacity to care should be limitless:
1- Several sites have in depth coverage, in case you want to get more info: The BBC has a lot of information and they have links to relief efforts and ways to locate those who are still missing---The WHO has a page on what kind of diseases spread through flooding disasters, so that you know what people there need---A Blog that has a wealth of info is the SEA-EAT blog --- Air America has news and you can listen to the radio shows..
2- For those of you who want to find relief agencies that are working to help the victims take a look at Doctors Without Borders, they are dedicated amazing people who are setting up relief centers/clinics and sending in medical supplies and aid, if you are a doctor or emergency worker you can volunteer to go over there and help out, through them---Oxfam, as always, is out there and helping, so give what you can---Save the Children is out there too in several regions including Madras, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Thailand---the UN agencies involved in the disaster relief work are the World Food Programme, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization---The International Red Cross is in Sri Lanka and Indonesia---even Amazon is taking donations for the American Red Cross.
3- For those in Kuwait: Kuwait has so far pledged 2 million worth of aid, keep an eye on them so that they keep their promise---The Red Crescent can be a place you go to see how you can help---The Embassies of the countries affected by the disaster can be a source of information, ask them what they are doing to help and how you can help the victims, and help their families who might be in Kuwait---Things that are needed to be sent there, if you know someone in the area or someone who is going there, include: rehydration pills/kits, Malaria pills, paracetamols, diarrhoea pills for adults and children, multivitamins, water purification tablets/chlorine tablets, antibiotics, clothes, blankets, some places need more of some things than others so ask around..(also remember, north of our border those supplies are also desperately needed)
Indian Embassy---Indonesian Embassy---Thai Embassy---Anyone have info on the Sri Lankan embassy/consulate?
Kuwaiti blogs who also have info are Zaydoun's and Jambino's..the others out there let me know, I just haven't had enough time..
4-Lastly... disasters are taking place everyday, and they need a sustained effort from us as a world community to give relief to the victims and to help prevent them...our hearts all opened up for the victims of these horrendous floods, as they should, and it was probably very much due to the media attention and the heartbreking pictures and stories...our compassion should not end at the events that gain public attention only...or which stir us to a moment's need to do some good...let's remember the over two million dead in the DRC (Congo)--Lets remember 100,000 dead across our northern border, their wounded civillians and their devastated infrastructure---let's remember the wars that are raging all over the world that we are silent about---there is hunger that we can prevent worldwide (over six million children die each year, of hunger)---Write to the media, ask them why they don't do live coverage of suffering that goes on daily in war stricken countries? Where is their coverage of AIDS victims in Africa? Where is their coverage of hunger worldwide? Where is their coverage of the spending that goes on useless items while children and labourers and minorities worldwide become more and more needy..
The United Nations Development Program estimates that the basic health and nutrition needs of the world's poorest people could be met for an additional $13 billion a year. Animal lovers in the United States and Europe spend more than that on pet food each year
Peace everyone, let this new year be one we can all be proud of.
Friday, December 31, 2004
Hello people, I have been away for a while, hope everyone is well...
at 11:37 AM
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Mobile phone cameras have caused yet more trouble, this time in India where a seventeen year old boy has been arrested for filming a sexual encounter he had ...also arrested was the chief exec. of India's version of ebay, because a copy of the video was offered on the auction site..Condi Rice is said to have taken personal interest in the case because he is an American citizen, the story is in the Guardian---The Guardian also had an article about Iranian blogs yesterday. There are 75,000 Iranian blogs out there , bravo Iran--- A majority of Americans, according to CNN, think Rumsfeld should resign---Jehane Noujaim, who went to school in Kuwait when she was young, has followed up her hit Startup.com with the highly praised Control Room, it's on DVD now---The magazine American Prospect has an article about how badly American democracy ranks among world democracies---According to a poll released by ABC and the Washington Post, Bush's approval is the lowest of any returning president ever---Newly released documents have even more prisoner abuse scandals in them---Due to continued attempts to convert Christian Copts in Egypt to Islam, the Coptic Pope has gone into seclusion to draw attention to the problem---Saad Eddin Ebrahim has been in Kuwait for the past two days, he gave a talk at KU and then at The Graduates Society (is that what it's called) and was interviewed on KTV as well---Finally, this is old news but here it is, if you're in the mood for learning, MIT has a free and open courseware site you can take a look at..
at 9:29 AM
Thursday, December 16, 2004
at 10:02 AM
Monday, December 13, 2004
at 11:42 AM
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Morning folks, I read a strange article in the Kuwait Times about bottled water..Apparently a Kuwaiti family were nearly poisoned by dirt and insects in bottled water from Saudi. The company in charge told the father to stop making such a big fuss and then when the father informed him that his child almost died, the company representative told him it would be no more than losing a dog..hhmm..really guys? Well, the family will be suing the company..
Are we really surprised that in this world we have created, profits come over people? Are we surprised that poisoned people are not as important as the bottom line? Why would we be? Is there anything on our store shelves that doesn't poison you one way or another? When companies take shorcuts, is that done for the good of the consumer or for an increase in profits? The documentary The Corporation shows you that if the the corporation were a person, it would be clinically diagnosed as a 'psychopath'..The documentary has been getting great reviews.
From crimes like Bhopal (see the post on it below), to scandals like Enron, to the poisoning of communities like Woburn, MA described in A Civil Action to all the the chemicals we eat and drink everyday..are we really surprised? The question is why we continue to allow it...or why we just sit back and say, well thats what we have, and there's no changing it..or even, "ma feenna shay, ka 3aysheen wishzeenna! there can't be any problems"..The whole idea of just looking for profit (which tends to be very limited to few people, and also short term) instead of taking into consideration the effects these products will have on our health and the environment should have become extinct by now. But because we continue to be silent, continue to make lazy choices and continue to say 'well that's the way of the world', companies, corporations and profit seekers will not have to stop doing what they are doing. I hope the case against this water company comes to something, but will it be a loud enough shout for others to hear?
To read more about the way we have poisoned ourselves read the classic Silent Spring...and Trust Us We're Experts, watch Supersize Me and read Fast Food Nation and Affluenza: The all Consuming Epidemic...
To get an idea of how corporations are making sure that nothing stands in the way of business and profits, not the environment, not human rights, not sovereignty of states, not law..see: The Yes Men---This is What Democracy Looks Like---Bretton Woods Project----Corpwatch..
at 11:11 AM
Saturday, December 11, 2004
What a beautiful day, take a look out the office window, or step outside and take a deep breath and smile..Isn't this planet just a wonderful place to be?...
(when you don't think about all the damage we have done to it)
So what's in the news?
The Independent says this:
And just some lighter stuff so you don't feel like the world is just too depressing (which it isn't, if we don't want it to be)-
- A German company is planning to launch a new web service, Cybersky, that will allow you to watch TV shows from almost anywhere in the world, for free..
- Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy) was in Dubai this week and spoke about the need for more starring roles for women in Hollywood films...and a film-makers' guild might be set up soon in Dubai..
- Watch the Daily Show for a good laugh.
Peace everyone, and have a sweet day under these blue skies..
at 10:44 AM
Wednesday, December 8, 2004
Another cloudy day, and people turning three highway lanes into 5 and slowing everyone down..
The news: Kuwaiti co-ops are recalling chicken meat due to a salmonella infection--A chemical commonly found in shampoo,methylisothiazolinone (MIT), may cause brain damage according to research at Pittsburgh University---Cairo-based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRINFO), titled "The Internet in the Arab World: A New Space of Repression?" finds many of the area's estimated 14 million Internet users facing shutdowns of Web sites, the closing of Internet cafes and prosecution for a variety of crimes, real or imagined.---The US is also flexing it's muscles on that front, seeking to limit the freedoms of the internet"I know that these actions will be controversial in this age when we still think the Internet is a free and open society with no control or accountability," Tenet told an IT security conference" ..
As for the news to our North:
- "Forty-six eminent figures including military men, ex-diplomats and bishops have written to Tony Blair urging a inquiry into civilian deaths in Iraq"BBC
- The 1000th US soldier dies in combat in Iraq, while the death toll from both combat and other causes in the war totals 1,275, while 9,765 US troops have been wounded. (The Guardian)
- The CIA says that Iraq looks bad and is getting worse..(International Herald Tribune)
- "Devastation, bitterness for Fallujah residents" (Kuwait Times)
at 9:46 AM
Tuesday, December 7, 2004
The clouds are great, and the weather smells like rain.. A thing I love here in Kuwait.
Ok guys the news goes a little like this, Al-Hayat reports that the Jon Stewart's book has been named book of the year by Publisher's Weekly--- Eight Us Soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait plan to sue the army for not letting them go home after their enlistment ended---If climate change isn't dealt with properly, populations in low-lying areas by the water will be forced to migrate. Bangladesh is one such place---Rich countries, who are richer today than they have ever been, are breaking promises they made to aid the poor, which Oxfam says will lead to the deaths of 45 million children by 2015..
at 10:07 AM
Thursday, December 2, 2004
- limit the hours of domestic workers by specifying:
-a forty hour work week, with adequate remuneration for overtime work;
-the specification of the maximum hours of work permitted per day;
-a fixed uninterrupted rest period of eight hours per day;
-a limition on the hours spent "on call" and adequate remuneration for those hours;
- ensure that minimum wage laws and regulations apply to domestic workers and that domestic workers are included within the minimum wage fixing system, having due regard to the general level of wages in the country, the cost of living, social security benefits, the relative living standards of other social groups and economic factors;
(From HRW report about Abuse In Saudi Arabia)Reports and articles to look at:
- BAD DREAMS:Exploitation and Abuse of Migrant Workers in Saudi Arabia (Human Rights Watch)
- Indonesia's abused migrant workers
"On July 1, 2003, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families* will enter into force. Its primary objective is to protect migrant workers, a particularly vulnerable population, from exploitation and the violation of their human rights...
...At present, the impact of the Convention remains limited, given that it has not been ratified by countries in either Europe or North America, where nearly 60% of the world’s migrants live (56 and 41 million respectively), nor by other major receiving countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Israel, Japan or Australia." (UNESCO)
Abuse happens worldwide, including in Europe and the US, but this is about abuse here because we live here..and it's shameful.
at 11:06 AM
at 10:30 AM