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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Qatar – A Growing Force in Africa

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 The Persian Gulf country is increasingly using its economic resources deriving from the sale of hydrocarbons in order to increase its political and religious influence in the African continent.The economic tool is not the only one Qatar is using, the country also relies on media communication: the relevant role, the broadcaster Al Jazeera plays, shows…

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DRC- Slaves of war and of minerals

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Forced labour in eastern Congo is linked to the artisanal exploitation of minerals and to a continuing state of war. Two million people are directly involved: governments, NGOs, and churches raise the alarm. A Congolese fable tells that when God decided to distribute natural resources on the newly created Earth, he walked through the world…

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Middle East – The ‘blue gold’ crisis

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Scarcity of drinking water is without doubt the most imminent threat to the planet.While blue gold, as water is often called, becomes less and less accessible, the risk of wars being fought over water scarcity rises.According to UN data, more than one billion people have limited access to fresh drinking water, with highly densely populated…

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Quinoa – The Golden grain of the Incas

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Incas called quinoa Chisiya mama (in Quechua), “the mother of grains.” Incas revered quinoa as a sacred food and plant. For them it was as valuable as “gold.” The origins of this plant date back to thousands of years ago. Pre-Inca civilizations are likely to have cultivated this pseudo-cereal, which was, like potatoes, a staple…

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Prospects for change in 2014

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5 April 2014 is the date set for the presidential election in Afghanistan. It was decided upon by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) which allows for a four months campaign. The electorate will also have 18 months to study the candidates. Some of the major concerns, at institutional and public opinion levels, are security during…

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Afghan Women

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In general, a woman who does not disappear inside a burqa or who does not keep a ground-level profile in Afghanistan is in danger of death at any time. This is despite the fact that eleven years have passed since the “victory” over the Taliban who made it a priority to oppress women. Of course…

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From 2000 until today

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In March 2001, the Taliban began more than a month of bombing and demolition, which destroyed the two III-V century Buddhas of Bamiyan (Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan), part of UNESCO’s world heritage. On 7 October 2001, the Unites States and some allies invaded Afghanistan. This was in response to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks and…

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Afghanistan – A bleak outlook

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In recent years there has been an increasingly widespread conviction that, to face up to the critical situation in Afghanistan, military intervention alone would not suffice, even if it is essential to maintain security. It seems the problem requires a global approach. It is difficult to find a symbolic image to represent the war in…

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Tanzania – The Mother of the Community

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Margaret John Kiria manages to combine the hard work of a catechist and looking after her family, with kindness and energy. It is still dark in Bagamoyo on the coast of Tanzania. Forty year-old Margaret John Kiria wakens her two daughters Cecilia, 15, and Claudia, 13, and carefully checks her mother’s blood pressure. Before the…

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Mexico – Migrant House

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  This is a place to welcome people pursuing the American dream – a dream that often becomes a nightmare. Xavier smiles as he looks out over the Rio Grande. On the other side, he sees the land he so often imagined and dreamt about: the United States. Only yesterday, he arrived in Nuevo Laredo…

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Mexico – Nuevo Laredo, the diocese of the migrants

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  Nuevo Laredo is a border diocese. From here hundreds of migrants try to cross the border into the United States every day. It is controlled by the drug cartels. Gunfights and violence are part of daily life. The Bishop, Monsignor Gustavo Rodriguez Vega, granted us an interview. How would you describe your diocese?“Nuevo Laredo…

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Brazil – The Pope: “Work for a more just world”

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  “Never tire to work for a more just and united world! No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that still exist in this world,” said the Pope to the young people during a visit to the favela of Rio, called Varginha, on July 25. “We all have to learn to embrace those who…

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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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