Thoughts from Contemporary Thinkers

Is Hypocrisy The Silent Strategy of Western Democracy?

The official reasons for the US-led, UK-backed invasion of Iraq in 2003 were to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, end Saddam Hussein’s support of terrorism, and free the Iraqi people.

Modern-day Slavery in Oman? Domestic Workers in Peril

In order to escape poverty and support their families back home, thousands of domestic workers from South and South-East Asia migrate to Oman with the promise of stable employment in local households.

The Pursuit of Global National Happiness

Should a country’s development be measured in smiles instead of dollars? Increasingly, governments and organizations are measuring social progress through happiness. This is in marked contrast to the long-accepted practice of using Gross Domestic Product to measure development, built upon the premise that a country’s success can largely be quantified by its economic activity. Though only recently gaining international attention, the push to pursue “gross national happiness” as a policy goal originated over 40 years ago in the small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

A Question of Honour for a Nigerian Migrant

“In 2005 I left my home town in Eastern Nigeria by boat, landing in Athens, Greece along with my fellow companions - members of a football team. I decided to push my luck and moved to Italy in search of what I believed to be better opportunities to start a new life and get a decent job. Unfortunately, this may have just been an illusion.”

“A Fair Day’s Wage for a Fair Day’s Work?”

“During the first months in Italy, I always prayed for rain. I spent hours checking the weather forecast” said Roni, a 26 year old graduate from a middle-income family in Bangladesh. His father, a public servant and his mother a home maker, Roni had to sell umbrellas on the streets of Rome for more than a year before finding a summer job by the sea at a coffee shop, popularly known as a ‘bar’ in Italy.

Spanish Member of Congress Causes Controversy after Breastfeeding in Parliament

A member of the Spanish Congress, Carolina Bescana, of the anti-austerity Podemos Party, created a controversy last week when she took her six-month old baby to work and openly breastfed him during a session. The delegate was widely criticized by almost all parties for her action and the event has spurred a lively debate on the image of mothers who juggle motherhood with their jobs.

Can Russia handle the flood of Ukrainian immigrants?

According to official data released by the Russian Government, since April 2014 more than one million Ukrainian refugees have sought refuge in Russia. Despite these figures the Government has not acknowledged that there is a migrant crisis. Some Russian politicians have gone so far as to say that the international community should follow the Russian model in dealing with large numbers of refugees.

Could a wall stop the Mexican people?

“The truth is, immigrants tend to be more American than people born here” (Chuck Palahniuk, journalist and author of the best seller “Fight Club”). Currently migration has risen to the top of the international agenda, along with climate change and terrorism.

Water, Water Everywhere but Too Much or Too Little

“Water is at the core of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA), but it is true that for a long time water and oceans issues have been marginalized in climate conferences, considering that 90 per cent of natural catastrophes are linked to water and 40 per cent of global population will face water scarcity from now to 2050,” stated Marie-Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, during the press conference at the launch of the #ClimateIsWater initiative at COP21. “It is through water that it is possible to measure climate change impacts,” she said.

Ettelaat—an Iranian Newspaper—condemns media censorship in Iran

On Wednesday 9th of December, the Iranian Newspaper Ettelaat published a front page editorial urging President Rouhani to condemn the ban on publishing the name or images of the previous president and reformist, Mohammad Kathami.

Alaa Arsheed: A Refugee’s Sweet Sound of Success

“In Beirut I was like a bird in a cage, I felt like a prisoner. Today, I have the chance to let my dreams come true, make a living with my music, realizing my dad’s project: open a new Alpha – my family’s cultural center, destroyed during the war- to share Syrian culture and help my people in Europe,” Alaa Arsheed, a Syrian refugee, told IPS.

Human Rights in Turkey: Is Turkish Press Freedom in Danger?

The last week of November marked another phase of an ongoing shift in the Turkish Government´s approach to human rights issues – Two important events highlighted the ongoing attack freedom of press is suffering in Turkey. First two prominent Turkish journalists were arrested after publishing a story claiming that members of the state intelligence agency had provided weapons to Syrian rebels; second, lawyer and leading human rights defender and Tahir Elçi, President of the Diyarbakir Bar Association in south eastern Turkey, was killed in crossfire while making a press statement on Saturday 28th of November.

Terrorism Index Shows Nine-Fold Increase Since 2000

In 2014, the number of lives lost to terrorism around the world increased by 80 percent, the highest level ever. The majority of such terrorist activity occurred in the largest refugee-producing nations, a Global Terrorism Index (GTI) showed.

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