“Muslim or Hindu?”, asked my driver, Aamaal, just moments into our undulating 5-hour journey through the Himalayan foothills from Dharamsala to Amritsar. So close to the conflict-ridden Kashmir, a region symbolizing the religious and national tensions between India and Pakistan, it seemed an important, if not routine question. Noting the crescent-shaped moon flag wedged between the back passenger seats, I misleadingly explained, in broken Hindi, that I come from a Muslim family. It was c...
Written by Tej Parikh and published on 20-June-2017
What's happening in Yemen?
The Yemeni Civil War began on 26 March 2015 between the internationally recognised government of President Abdarabo Mansor Hady, supported by the Joint Meeting Parties, and those allied to the Houlthi rebel movement that accused the government of corruption and of planning to marginalise their heartland within a proposed federal system.
This conflict started after the failure of the constitutional reform and the attempt to restructure the military secto...
Written by Ali Habeeb and published on 05-June-2017
Pakistani households are generous to the tunes of billions, yet nearly a third are still poor
Pakistan has a strong culture of giving. According to the study on the State of Individual Philanthropy in Pakistan "nearly 98 percent of households reporting giving for various social causes in one form or the other (cash, in-kind, or time volunteer...
Written by Fatima Jaffery and published on 05-May-2017
Rarely a day goes by without news from Syria or Iraq, on attacks, the continuous fighting and ongoing humanitarian crisis. It is undoubtedly the focus of international attention, even though other countries such as Libya and Yemen also experience persistent armed conflict, insecurity and enormous humanitarian challenges.
A few years back, the situation in Libya was actively reported on in the western mainstream media. However, the last big public discussions seemed to be limited to former pres...
Written by Marie-Luise Schwarzenberg and published on 19-April-2017
As eleven years of peaceful leadership comes to a close, the world reflects back on what Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has achieved for women’s rights and gender justice in Liberia. As the very first female head of state in post-independent Africa, President Sirleaf stood as a beacon of hope for w...
Written by Olivia Doherty and published on 05-April-2017
The conflict between India and Pakistan has been the subject of many popular movies in Hindi cinema (Bollywood). Both in India and Pakistan, the mainstream movies' discourse is based on the construction of hatred for the 'other', so as to glorify patriotism and add a sense of national superiority. Few movies have dealt with the human side of this cross-border conflict that has been raging on since 1947. It’s for this reason that
Written by Nidhi Shendurnikar and published on 22-March-2017
As the first Arabic woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, she is considered the international public face of Yemen's Arab Spring. She is a prominent activist for human rights and freedom of expression.
A new generation of activists, young and confident, led the revolutionary wind that in 2011 had spread in North Africa and in the Middle East. The protests started from Tunisia in December 2010 and rapidly expanded to neighbouring countries. Deteriorating economies with unequal distr...
Written by Marcella Esposito and published on 08-March-2017
Africa must wake up, the sleeping sons of Jacob
For what tomorrow may bring, may a better day come
Yesterday we were kings, can you tell me young ones
Who are we today?
It is only befitting for me to begin this piece about the power of music with the lyrics above, written by Nas and Damien Marley in ‘Africa Must Wake Up’. I love this song because it embodies the idea of pa...
Written by Ndunge Wayua and published on 19-June-2016
National sovereignty is weakly aligned to global altruism. Accountable to its own constituents, foreign policy, fundamentally a tool to serve and protect national interests, can act like a cap on humanitarianism.
When national interests are at stake, international policy suffers from myopia, self-interest and double-standards. And it lies at the very heart of our collective failures in peace, human rights and economic prosperity.
Security is one such national priority that does...
Written by Tej Parikh and published on 10-June-2016
Throughout the past couple decades, our world has been through significant changes, both positive and negative. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a group of 8 goals and comprised of a set of time-bound and quantifiable targets, came to an end in 2015. The MDGs were the first major declaration from the world on tackling some of the most systemic travesties, with the eradication of poverty being the primary...
Written by Daniel Winstanley and published on 16-May-2016