Stories written by Baher Kamal
Baher Kamal is Senior Advisor to IPS Director General on Africa & the Middle East. He is an Egyptian-born, Spanish-national, secular journalist, with over 43 years of experience. Since the late 70s, he specialised in all development related issues, as well as international politics. He also worked as Senior Information Expert for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership at the European Commission in Brussels, and as the first-ever Information Officer and Spokesperson at UNEP’s Mediterranean Action Plan in Athens. Kamal speaks Spanish, Arabic, English and Italian. | Twitter |

Go and Tell the Hungry that Their Food Is Being Thrown in the Garbage

These are facts, not guesses: about 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted and lost… every single year, the equivalent of one ton per each of the one billion hungry people, many of them are those who produced the food.

Of the Mexican Joke and the Nuclear Top Guns

A Mexican joke goes: “I kill people for money. But you are my best friend, so I will kill you for nothing.”

A World of One Billion Empty Plates

Have you eaten today – or are sure you will? The answer depends on where you were born and where you live now. If you are Spanish or live here, you likely did or will, provided that you are not one of this European country’s 900.000 inhabitants who face some sort of hunger, malnutrition or undernourishment.

Why Are Politicians Able to Read – and Understand – Some Texts and Not Others?

Day after day, the world's scientific community, based on solid investigations, elaborates dozens of studies identifying the causes of the existing emergencies facing humanity. They also prepare understandable summaries and conclusions and propose feasible solutions to the current crises and ways to prevent major future risks.

Full Gender Equality Almost 300 Years Away at Current Rate of Progress

While women in rich societies are paid around 25% less than men for equal jobs, those living in impoverished countries receive by far much lower salaries, if any at all.

Hundreds of Millions of Children Sentenced to Ignorance

More than two-thirds of 10-year-olds are unable to read and understand a simple text. This shocking finding should be enough to be alarmed about the horrifying fate of an entire generation. But there is much more.

Afghanistan: A Treasure Worth More than a Trillion Dollars

Both mainstream media, international bodies and human rights defenders continue to rightly denounce the Taliban's inhuman abuses against the Afghan people’s basic rights, in particular those of women and girls.

A Tale of the Spanish Neckties and Other Made-in-Europe Things

Shortly before the 25 August approval by the Spanish Parliament of the government’s plan to save energy, the country’s right and far-right opposition parties revived their debate about an earlier suggestion of not wearing neckties in the Spanish Congress and Senate and other official institutions.

“The Worse, The Better” Doctrine and the Melting Ice

‘There is a prevailing doctrine among the right and far-right political parties who are still in the opposition and are most likely to jump to power in those countries where they are not already ruling. It is the doctrine of “the worse things go, the better for us.”

‘And of Water We Made Every Living Thing’

This is how the Muslims’ Holy Book - the Quran refers to the most precious element of life.

Of Aristotle, Orwell, and the Young Heirs

A couple of decades ago in Athens, a conversation over a ‘souvlaki’ and wine dinner with a young Greek economist led to talking about democracy. Asked for his opinion, he said “By then, when philosophers like Aristotle formulated their theories about democracy, the society was dominated by the rich.”

The Hunger Factory (II): The Modern Horsemen of the Apocalypse

While often too quickly attributing -quasi exclusively- the world unprecedented hunger tragedy to the current proxy war in Ukraine, other major causes remain hidden in plain sight.

The Hunger Factory (I): The Miracle of the Sudden Rise and Fall of Food Prices

The benchmark for world food commodity prices declined “significantly” in July, with major cereal and vegetable oil prices recording double-digit percentage declines.

Of the Far West, the ‘Good Cowboys’… And the ‘Bad Indians’

Nothing --or too little-- has changed since Hollywood started producing its spectacular western movies. Rough men, ranchers, mercenary killers, saloons, cowboys, guns, gold fever, the ‘good sheriff’… and the ‘bad indians”. Those movies were anything but fiction–they were real history.

Technology Helps Traffickers Hunt Their Victims, Enslave Them, Sell Their Organs

Human beings have proved to be capable of producing innumerable practical inventions while much too often making the worst use of them. Take the case, per example, of how criminal groups heavily rely on digital platforms to trap and enslave their victims also for extracting and selling their organs.

Of the Secret Leaks and the Baking Planet

Strangely enough, two major scientific findings, both announced in July, did not attribute the current dangerous world’s disasters to the proxy war unfolding in Ukraine.

The World Was Already Broken. Shall Ukrainian Cereals Fix It Up?

A wide majority, including the United States, has cheered the 22 July Turkey-brooked agreement between Russia and Ukraine to resumen cereals and fertilisers exports from both countries.

Xenophobia in Mandiba’s Land: Too Black…Or Just Too Poor?

South Africa, the home land of the late giant fighter against Apartheid, racism and discrimination – Nelson Mandela “Mandiba”, is already ‘on the precipice of explosive xenophobic violence’ against migrants, refugees, asylum seekers - and even citizens perceived as outsiders.

Hundreds of Millions of Human Workers Treated Worse than Robots

While the world’s big private business pours billions of dollars in producing automatic machines and assuring their optimal functioning, bareley no money has been invested in the hundreds of millions of human workers, who are left shockingly unprotected, treated like cheap robots, or even worse.

A World of 8 Billion, Yes, But (II): The Unseen, Untold Story of the 50%

While women and girls have been so far enjoying some of their due rights in Western high-income countries, the overwhelming majority of teenagers and adult women in the impoverished regions of the current world’s population of 8 billions continue to suffer all kinds of inequalities.

A World of 8 Billion, Yes, But Only a Few Are Seen as Human Beings

Far-right Brazilian president, Jair Messias Bolsonaro, was quoted a year ago or so as saying to a small group of indogenous people that they “now look a bit more like humans.”

Next Page »