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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Book Review – Self evaluation

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  The present collection of essays tackles the question of the study of religion in Africa. Somehow, it matches another collection of essays published in Germany in 2004, European Traditions in the Study of Religion in Africa (ed. by Frieder Ludwig and Afe Adogame). The specification respectively of “African traditions” and “European traditions” in the…

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Popular Literature – Princess of the night

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  The king of Michoacán sent his messengers to the villages and towns. “By order of the king: all the girls of the kingdom are invited to participate in the Flower Contest. The girl, be she beautiful or ugly, rich or poor, who will present the most beautiful and unknown flower will become the wife…

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Music – Spirit rising?

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  Earlier this year, Angelique Kidjo released her first live album – Spirit Rising – after a long carrier of studio albums and concerts in the most respected music temples on the planet. Kidjo is certainly one of the most important living African singers. In October 2011, Forbes listed her as the first woman in…

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Sudan – Think Pink

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  As I enter the Al-Ahfad campus in Omdurman, I feel like I am invading a female only territory. I walk past young ladies in niqab, barely able to see their eyes, and other who seem coming out of the latest youth fashion show. They come from all corner of Sudan, as their complexions reveal.…

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Ecuador – New paths

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  In 1955, the Comboni Missionaries arrived in Ecuador. Until then, they had worked mainly in Africa, and they were called in Latin America especially to work among the Afro-American. Father Raffaello Savoia and Bishop Enrico Bartolucci – who previously worked in Burundi – immediately started to live among black communities in Esmeralda. They realized…

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Central African Republic – Re-establishing peace

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  Four new Central African bishops were consecrated in Bangui in July; an important event for any local Church, even more for the Central African Republic (CAR) for the new bishops make up half of the episcopate. In the past few fears the Church in this nation has been going through heavy turbulence. With these…

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New Evangelization – Collegial process

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  The synods of bishops call for a long process to assure the participation and contribution of all local Churches to the teaching service of the Church. When the Vatican II instituted the Synod of Bishops, the aim was to find and foster a concrete path to assert the collegiality of the magisterium: of the…

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Israel – Trafficking in the Sinai

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  Azezet Habtezghi, known to all as Aziza, is a Comboni missionary sister from Eritrea. She is a nurse and has extensive knowledge of languages from the Horn of Africa. Because of that, the NGO Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) assigned her the responsibility of a ground-breaking research project on the human trafficking in the…

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Southern trade

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Arab slave traders travelled through northern Mozambique both to reach the interior and to mount slave hunting parties. There is evidence of their passage in the oral tradition. The ruins of slave houses along the coast are also a powerful reminder of the trade. African slaves ended up as sailors in Persia, pearl divers in…

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Comboni and Slaves

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 In the XIX century, Europe reacted strongly against slavery. The first effort was to put an end to the slave trade in the Atlantic. However, also the eastern slave trade became under scrutiny. Missionaries from different Churches and denominations worked hard to free slaves and halt the trade. For centuries, Arab slave traders pillaged villages…

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Slave Routes

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  The slave trade in East Africa was conducted under conditions of utmost brutality by Arab merchants. Slave trade in what is today Kenya was largely curtailed by the presence of Maasai. These were perceived to be fierce warriors, a perception greatly amplified by the Kamba who wanted to keep out competitors in their trade…

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The traders

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  In the area between Lake Tanganyika and the coast, Arab or Afro-Arab traders had established small communities, with their two centres at Tabora and, on the east coast of the lake, at Ujiji. From there, in the 1880s, A. J. Swann – a Protestant missionary – wrote: “The Arab system extended to great distances, and…

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Advocacy

A Museum for advocacy?

A Museum can surely be an action of advocacy, if it provides awareness towards empowerment. The National Museum of African American History and Culture that ex…

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Baobab

Why the sea is salty.

Long ago, the sea was not salty. People got their salt from the mountain of salt across the sea. One day, the people in the village…

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Youth & Mission

Bennie was the wrong person, in the wrong place at…

Bennie had a thin, hollow face, the picture of malnutrition at 22 years of age, he had never been to school for more than a few…

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