Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
The stress and anger reached its maximum levels with me…this can't be, I'm going nuts…something must be done and sadly I believe my words or anybody else can't change anything otherwise I would write continuously for a week.
We are living in a real hell now; for the past 3 days till now there is a sever sand storm, the sky is red and the air is suffocating added to that the heat is unbearable it reaches 60s and 70s C° in the sun and high 40s in the shade and since we have a sand storm then we can't open the windows and you can imagine how nice the weather is in a closed room in these temperatures…well, I bet you are thinking with your selves what is the problem? Just turn on the air conditioner or the air cooler!! Well, those are electrical devices and they need something really rare to operate; it's the holy electricity…yes, believe me in Iraq electricity is holy…
I think soon enough there will be a group of people that warships electricity…why not? People used to warship fire, and electricity is more important than fire!! I'm not crazy or getting close to be but read till the end and you would know what the situation is.It has been 5 days and there is no fuel in the gas stations! Yes 5 days without a single drop of fuel, that means I can't operate my home generator and once the fuel in the car is finished I'll have to stay at home and screw working, the queue for the gas station is about 6 km long with two rows and that means everything in Iraq will stop working pretty soon, even food will disappear from the markets if this continues ….it has been 4 days without electricity!! Well, we had it for 2 hours during the past 100 hours. You might ask your self "how are you able to use the computer and internet?" thanks to the neighborhood generator guy who is smart and have saved a good amount of diesel fuel to operate his generator for 8 hours a day and my laptop needs 1.5 hour to charge for 2 hours.There are other methods to fight the unbearable heat; the heat that is not designed for humans at all, many machines wouldn't work in such temperatures…I can have a shower to refresh and cool my self a bit, right? So I went to the shower and I found that there is no water in the tub! It has been more than a week and the water is so scarce, it either drips or there is no water at all…I think that's great, we only have two big rivers and bunch of river branches with many lakes, we are so lucky to have dripping water once and a while !!!….OK, no need to take a shower I already took one with my sweat and keep in mind there is a sand storm out there!…I'll go to the fridge and drink something cold…Ooops, did I say cold? Sorry for that the fridge is hot and there is nothing cool in it and all foods have rotten and they need to be thrown away, isn't that just great?
Continue reading hereeeeee
Note: One year ago I had for a short time direct contact with Mohammed, the author of this blog. Two days ago he wrote to me that he will be in Istanbul for holidays during the month of August. So we are in contact again and I hope to find him a descent place to stay, where he and his wife can rest for a month. I admire his courageous and overall attitude, and looking forward to meet him on many occasions in Istanbul. I and Ozlem will be his guide during his stay in Turkey.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
This video shows why Iranians can not count: after praising Allah (fsih) they started the countdown 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and FIRE.....but nothing happened. Then some bla bla, and the countdown goes on, reverse: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8...and suddenly the racket goes away...
'What goes up must goes down', anyone seen the racket?
I never had so much faith in Flying Carpets of Persia, do we have to be scared for their unguided missiles....)
For the first time, the French State council refused to give a person of Morroc descent, French citizen ship, based upon the fact that 'religious matters interfere'; Pour la première fois en France, le Conseil d'Etat a pris en compte le niveau de pratique religieuse pour se prononcer sur la capacité d'assimilation d'une personne étrangère.
Eight years ago she moved from Morocco to France where she married another Morroc immigrant. He ordered her to wear a burqa, and she didn't resist and refused to integrate in the French society.
The French State council ruled that her lifestyle contradicts the French republic norms and values: "une pratique radicale de la religion incompatible avec les valeurs essentielles de la communauté française".
Their two children have the French nationality, she not. Appeal is not possible: bravo!
But in fact she is a ticking time bomb. And that's scary.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Don't worry, most of these counters can not count precisely (Like the Iranians who shot 3 instead 4 missiles into orbit yesterday, but photo shop did a pretty good job).
The first counter is a free one: it counts visitors, page hits and so on. The second, third and fourth counters are more precisely (paid for these ones): they count unique visitors by day, by city and current readers - click on mother earth to see who your co-voyeurs are.
But the last one only show bloggers who hit - on purpose or by accident - this blog. And it has an interesting feature; where are people looking for. And I tell you, that many people are looking for things they dont talk in live about: sex, hookers, prostitueus in Athens, Patras, Amsterdam, Istanbul etc....))
Here an example of today:
Houston, Texas arrived from google.com on "Internation Musing: Istanbul, Athens, Amsterdam, Patra, Utrecht, Thessaloniki and Des Moines: Islamic Republic of Hookers and Drugs Addicts" by searching for hookers in istanbul.
...of our future King and Queen, Alexander and Maxima...
Don't think that they everybody bikes in the Netherlands, but it looks so cozy...
The guy is 10 years younger than me, but he has already 3 daughters, but must be some kind of ordeal for him....)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
It would be a tour in a four-wheel-drive with three other people interested in the forbidden city on the roof of the world. Five days through the giants of Nepal and Tibet, two days in Lhasa, than an airplane back to Kathmandu. Food, guide, accommodation and entree-fees, everything is included. But there is a price: $800,- or €510,-.
It's a lot of money, but it would be great to be one of the first to enter Tibet again. I have to admit that I'm not sure if it's possible to enter from within China, so maybe others have succeeded in visiting this mystic country. But it seems impossible at the moment unless you pay.
The money isn't such a problem. I would be willing to pay it if the local people were profiting from it. But my ethical consciousness starts to work here. Should I pay the money and have a scoop and support the destroying of an ancient old tradition or should I decide not to go as a form of protest? There is a reason why the Chinese decide to keep it closed or if entered, completely restricted to the things they want you to see.
Another thing is: can I make a story out of this that's interesting enough for Western countries to read? The fact that I'm interested doesn't make it an appropriate story for the rest of the world.
I have two or three weeks to decide because I'm off to the Anna Purna mountains to do a trekking. But when I come back, the bureaucratic machine has to start once I've decided to go. But it's a difficult decision. So dear reader, what do you think?
Holland is one of the nicest countries in Europe, and it attracts a large number of tourists. This is a land known for its milk, windmills, tulips and canals, but some prefer to describe it as a country of freedoms.
Damrak Street is the first place to see upon arrival in Amsterdam. The street draws attention owing to the continuous presence of large numbers of tourists. It is also a favorite place for the Dutch. The town square, encountered in all major European cities, is also seen here in the form of Dam Square, the center of Amsterdam and home to the queen's palace. Amsterdam is also Holland's cultural and economic center.
During a brief stroll through the city I noticed that Amsterdam hosts a large black population, indicating Holland's position as a colonial country. In the past, the Netherlands was one of the leading countries in the slave trade and colonialism on the African and American continents. Owing to exploitation in the colonies, Holland became an economic giant in a very short period of time.
Half of Dutch territory is below sea level; the Dutch call their country Netherland, which literally means low country. Amsterdam is a city of canals, boasting more than 100 canals. It is almost a custom for visitors to this city to take a tour of the canals. Travel with special boats produced for canal tours gives us a great opportunity to experience the city from a different perspective. Amsterdam is connected to the North Sea by a canal. The canals divide the city into 90 islets joined by 400 bridges. Homes and land are pricey because of the land shortage.
During the city stroll, you will notice the houses floating on the river. If they have been legally constructed, the houses are provided with gas and electricity by the state. These houses remind me of the shanties in our country; the only difference is that they are situated on canals instead of land.
Green parks that you may encounter at the very heart of the city are the classic and indispensable components of city life in Holland. Even though the country has a very small territory, authorities pay the utmost attention to the creation of public recreation areas. The parks and other similar areas also host flowers; this is why Holland is called the flower garden of Europe.
Continue reading hereeee
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Some said that it was the Europeans who supported his dead since they were involved...
Some even said that the Armenians killed him...
Some believe that he was murdered by the CIA....
Some believe that he was murdered by Mossad...
Some believe that he was murdered by the Vatican....
But no one can believe that he was killed by Nationalists Islamists...
and no one take responsibility....
read here the trial
Gunmen opened fire on police in front of the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul today and three officers and three attackers were killed in the shootout.
The secure U.S. consulate building was built on a hill after homegrown Islamic militants linked to al-Qaida carried out suicide bombings in 2003 that targeted two synagogues, the British Consulate and a British bank in Istanbul, killing 58 people.
Note: Some things sounds weird to me; one of the attackers managed to escape, and what the heck this attack was about? Do I have to believe the Turkish 'Chaos theorie' now?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink was assassinated before his office a year and a half ago. The ostensible reason was that Dink had “insulted Turkish blood”. The gunman was arrested and put on trial, along with his associates. Since then, it has emerged in the investigation and trial that security officials had been warned several times about the plot to murder Dink, but did nothing and instead told the concerned citizen to tell no one. Since the trial began, evidence and files have mysteriously disappeared. Also disturbing has been the lightheartedness of the perpetrators and the seeming collusion of police. On the day of his arrest, grinning police officers took photos of themselves with the happy murderer in front of a Turkish flag. In yesterday’s trial session, that mockery again was apparent.
People I know who have attended the trial in the past have told me that Dink’s wife, lawyer and supporters have been pushed, insulted and threatened by nationalist spectators, with no move by the court to protect them.
Update; Blocked and blurred, Dink trial feeds sense of despair
Children of immigrant from countries without a dominant religion, such as China, perform the best.
These are the conclusions of the Dutch researchers Jaap Dronkers and Manon de Heus of the European University Institute in Florence. They studied 9,414 immigrant children aged 15 with parents from 46 countries in 16 West-European countries, New Zealand and Australia.
The results are presented last week in Berlin.
The study shows that children of parents who are lowly educated and come from a country where Islam is the dominant religion, score on average 30 point lower in the natural sciences than children of lowly-educated parent from non-Muslim countries.
The researchers used the international Pisa study. The average score in this test was 500 points, with a standard deviation of 100. Kids from a Muslim background systematically scored by one third of the deviation less. "That is very considerable," says education sociologist Dronkers. Muslim immigrant students with highly-educated parents scored just as well as other immigrant children of highly-schooled parents, according to NRC.nl
The negative 'Islam effect' can't be completely explained by the fact that Muslim immigrants often come from the socially-economically weakest areas of Turkey, Morocco and Algeria, according to Dronkers.
A possible explanation is that Muslims feel discriminated more quickly. And their idea about the male-female relationship and about honor possibly impede individual development. A UN study has already shown that the inequality between men and women in Arab countries prevents the economic and cultural development there.
Read the regression model - Het regressiemodel van onderzoeker Jaap Dronkers
Het regressiemodel van onderzoeker Jaap Dronkers
Monday, July 7, 2008
Today, late this afternoon she will travel back to Nepal.
Our condoleances and wish her all the strength. It must be a roller coaster for her, the last week...
Sunday, July 6, 2008
His thesis is about Turkish journalism and the EU. We drove through the area north of Istanbul, close to the Balkan sea. Had lunch there and drove back to Istanbul where we continued to talk with a good glass of whiskey. We both are pessimistic about Turkish future.
The problem in Turkey nowadays is that you don't can have an opinion anymore. You are For or Against them. And with 'them' I mean: You Love Kemalism or you want to Destroy It or You Love Islamist or you want to bring them Down. And if you have an opinion somewhere in between, I bet you, you will be labeled as a 'shallow liberal'. No nuances are possible. People don't listen, don't think on their own (although they think they are independent) and don't speak out. Its not surprising that in this 'communication climate' Turkish journalists are acting the same: You are With or or Against us.
In May of this year I wrote:
"The mouthpieces of these political parties and spectators are Turkey's press groups. They are as polarized as possible with an inward-looking social ‘pecking order' and walk hand-in-hand with the conventional political parties, using the same language as the politicians whom they try to embody. By creating a media tsunami between a non-conformist, politico-religious group and a deeply-restricted, conservative-ideological one, they leave the foreign press, politicians and others in limbo, but not into the dark."
Read: 'but not into the dark'.
I am happy that Turkish media experts came to the same conclusion;
'The controversial relationship between politics and the media was once again put under scrutiny with the Ergenekon case, an investigation of an alleged secret organization plotting a coup against the government.
“There is no true, neutral and uncontaminated information regarding the Ergenekon case in the media. There is a lack of information, and a lack of information amplifies the crisis,” according to Professor Sezer Akarcalı at Ankara University's Faculty of Communication.
'According to Akarcalı, the politicization of the media and a climate where information is lacking and served to specific media groups have triggered the current chaos. “Or have those media groups that are reinforced with unshared information multiplied for these days?” he asked.
' According to Hülya Uğur, a communications expert at Galatasaray University, the media have covered the Ergenekon case as if they were publicizing their political stance.
The real problem Turkey is facing is not a coup, in what kind of form, but the continues negative and false press coverage domestically and international, if there is a press coverage...
And at the same time, Turkish journalists are not independent, cannot write according their consciences. Just think what is so influential on the Turkish mind, both the voters as the parliamentarians as well? Right, the Turkish press.
No good will come out this conflict.
Sorry to be so pessimistic.
Hanover: Metro tram operator Uestra has invited world-famous designers and architects to enhance the looks of the system: the 'Busstops' art project of 1992 resulted in nine remarkable bus and tram stops at street level [uestra.de (PDF)]. Jasper Morrison has designed new trains in 1997, and Uestra's headquarters is a twisted cuboid by Frank O. Gehry.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
No matter who you are or where you are, You are not responsible for the past,
But you are responsible for the future."
In The Trouble with Islam Today, Irshad Manji notes that Muslim families bring up their children to believe Islam is the most beautiful way of life—morally, socially and spiritually.
Meanwhile, Joel Brinkley writes about how Saudi religious authorities directed the execution of two Saudi journalists for suggesting religions other than Islam are worthy of respect. Why? The Koran demands respect of all religions and prophets.
Chairman Mohamed Sini of the Trust for Islam and Citizenship says he respects freedom of speech, all the while slamming Ayaan Hirsi Ali for speaking in defense of Muslim women's rights and considers her motives to address such issues as 'pure provocation'.
While Muslim women desire equal treatment, they're not interested in complete adoption of Western values or morals. In "Who Speaks for Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think" majorities in most countries surveyed believe men and women should have the same legal rights: Iran at 89 percent agreement; Egypt at 74 percent and Saudi Arabia at a high 73 percent.
For the rest of the story, click here. Your comments are invited, always.
The ad, which was created by Germaine ad agency, similarly shows that we need to stop climate change before it changes us. A man is shown with a fish head as a sign of reverse evolution that might occur if the climate change and ice melting continue at the current alarming rate.
While the first campaign was kind of sexy (at least to me), this man with a fish head is totally creepy and should work as a motivation for us all to double our efforts to protect our planet.
The 2008 campaign was created by Germainead agency, Antwerp, Belgium.
Friday, July 4, 2008
That is totally fine with me! I believe they have found it within their national territory; but if you see more carefully, the plate is written in greek!
The Skopjan authorities - with no doubt, including Nikola Gruevski and Antonio Milososki, need a translator in order to read what it says! But for greeks... is just so easy!
What about "Macedonian" language then?
I feel like the author of the original post says that there is no need to use any other argument to support the greek point of view!
When F. Nietzsche was writing, he once asked him self: 'what are people feeling when they see them selves in the mirror?" "Do they feel unappropriated or do they start laughing?"
There is an old Japanese story about the three monkey's. One didn't want to speak bad, the other didn't want to see good and the third didn't want to hear bad things.
If you replace them with the 'sincere intentions' of the current Turkish political leaders, it must be easy for you to place them where they belong...we don't hear, don't see and never talk....
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Definitely, the Turkish press in general act like loose canons. Everybody want to have a piece of the cake. It doesn't matter what and who said what, it matters who said 'that' first.
But here an exception: Cengiz Akdar his 'Waking up Ergenekon':
"Circles who invited everyone to have respect for the judicial process in the closure case raised hell the other day in the face of the Ergenekon arrests."
Of course there some things we should be surprised about. For instance, circles who invited everyone to have respect for the judicial process in the closure case raised hell the other day during the Ergenekon arrests and made accusations that Turkey has become a “police state” or a “fear empire.” But these same groups regarded the closure case as the judiciaries business and did not even say a word against it, although the case is not in line at all with “democratic norms” of the international community or the European Union which Turkey wants to be integrated with.Weren't these arrests a result of “independent jurisdiction?”A Republican People's Party, or CHP, official reacted against the arrests and said the arrested are prestigious and well-known people in society since they are retired top generals.Leaders behind the Sept. 12 military coup were all generals. The symbol of the Feb. 28 “post-modern coup” was again a general. That is to say being a general, being a well-known public figure or being respected by some does not keep a person from committing a “crime against democracy.”Besides, being a “law state” or “rule of law” being in force means not legitimizing everything some people do."
Just click here to see real time life the traffic density.
Or click here to choose a location with life camera's.
General: the web site in English just click hereeeeeeee
Is this fun or not?
8 Czech Republic
Note: Click on countries names for ranking over the last 14 years.
I simple don't understand the request made by the Turkish Association of Continuous Service for Foundations, Historical Artifacts and Environment (what a name) demanding the cancellation of the council's 1934 decision to turn the Hagia Sofia Mosque into a museum. The association had applied to the Prime Ministry before with the same demand, asking for Hagia Sofia to be opened for worship for Muslims without damaging its museum quality if the interests of the country required...
The Hagia Sophia is the Holy church of all Eastern Christian churches including the Greek Catholic church.
How can this 'association' demand to open it for Muslims to worship without damaging its 'museum' quality?
This bizarre tradition and habit by some Muslim groups to turn each and every church into a mosque is not only bizarre for a faith which usurps to be the most tolerant religion but also shows no respect for historical artifacts. The association which required to turn it back into a mosque doesn't know what Historical artifacts means?
The demand was turned down by the Council of State.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
New indoor-smoking ban allows customers to smoke inside marijuana "coffee shops" as long as the joint is pure cannabis. But cutting joints with tobacco will be illegal. Just in case you didn't know...
At the escalators a line formed; a man pushed his stuff on the stairs, but didn't follow. For two minutes he stood there, hesitating when to step on the moving stairs. The line waited with patience. Once on the stairs, the guy was counting when to get off. His friend down the escalator embraced him with a clap on the shoulder and a big smile.
After the visa/passport check the crown moved to another stair. It seemed to me that I had to go through a ricked gate to get to the luggage. When I looked back, I saw the crowd turning around with a bit of confusement and finally follow the same way I did. Boxes, blankets, whole televisions passed before I found my bag. At the end of the airport a pickup service was waiting for me. In an old jeep we drove through small alleys, stopping suddenly because there was a calf on the road. Carefully the driver got round the animal to continue its way over bumpy lanes.
With a friendly "Namaste" and a cup of tea I was welcomed in the hotel. A shy guy brought me to my room. A basic one, but with everything in it.
This morning I woke up with the noise of fighting parrots (at least, I think so). I love being in Asia again!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
At the same time a campaign was launched in Jordan to boycott Dutch and Danish products over the film and caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed published in Danish newspapers.
In an interview with a Dutch newspaper Zakaria told that the goal of his campaign is to make 'insulting Islam' illegal by law. It must be on the same line as the denial of the Holocaust.
Our dear bigot didn't say anything about 'death wishes' against Jews and the systematical news terror against Jews in his tribal country and other Middle East countries.
In 10 years the oil fields there are dwelled up, lets talk then about a boycott against countries which are build upon hate against other religions...
Monday, June 30, 2008
Armenia - Turkey
Turkey - Belgium
Turkey - Bosnia-Herzegovina
Estonia - Turkey
Spain - Turkey
Turkey - Spain
Turkey - Estonia
Bosnia-Herzegovina - Turkey
Belgium - Turkey
Turkey - Armenia
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Dutch National Anthem;
The Dutch text of the first stanza
Wilhelmus van Nassau
ben ik van duitschen bloed.
De vaderland getrouwe
ben ik tot in de doed.
Een prinschen van Oranje
ben ik vrij onverveerd
de koning van Hispanje
heb ik altijd geëerd.
The English translation:
William of Nassau, scion
Of a Dutch (Deutsche) and ancient line,
Faith to this land of mine.
A prince I am, undaunted,
Of Orange, ever free,
To the king of Spain I've granted
A lifelong loyalty.
What I expect? A boring match.
What I hope? 6- 5 for Spain, and that all their goals must be made in the the last 25 minutes: with the ritme of each five minutes one goal: 65 min. GOAL, 70 min. GOAL, 75 min. GOAL, 80 min. GOAL, 85 min. GOAL and 90 min. own goal by Lahm GOAL for Spain...))
Germans likes everything precise and on time, so beat them with that!
Spain won!!!!!! Ole Olanda..)) This promise some hot Dutch Spanish parties. Keep you updated...
"Islam may feature prominently among some AK Party supporters. Take, for example, communism; some communists wanted to bring about communism through a revolution but realized that it was not possible to do so in countries like Italy and France. They then decided to have Euro-communism through elections. Instead of a revolution, they decided to work in a gradual manner. So Islamists have also seen that when they assure the public that they do not aim to bring Shariah to the country, their votes increase. This gives them a message: "You promised not to bring Shariah, so we trust you and give you our votes." This is what democracy is about. But if you don't trust the public, then the public's votes do not mean anything and you deal with issues by using judicial organs or the gendarmerie."
"I would say that the case filed by the Supreme Court of Appeals chief prosecutor [Abdurrahman Yalçınkaya] seeking to close the ruling party is a pathological development. The closure case against the [pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party] DTP is also pathological. I would say that about the decisions of the judiciary in general. There is another example: I read a verdict of a judge who handed down a sentence on some writing in Agos. That judge quoted some writers who claim that the Armenian massacre never happened. There are also writers who claim that the massacre did happen. How can a judge quote only from writers who say it did not happen? We have numerous other such examples. What kind of objectivity can we expect from this kind of a judiciary?"
Murat Belge is a left-wing Turkish intellectual, translator, literary critic, scholar, civil rights activist and academic. He is the son of political journalist Burhan Asaf Belge and the nephew of Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu. He received his Ph.D. from İstanbul University in 1969. After the military coups of 1971 and 1980, he had to leave academic life and went into publishing left-wing classics through İletişim Press in İstanbul. Belge has translated the works of James Joyce, Charles Dickens, D. H. Lawrence, William Faulkner and John Berger into Turkish. Since 1996 he has been a professor of comparative literature at İstanbul Bilgi University. He also chairs the Helsinki Citizens Assembly.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
A research done by two Dutchmen at the International University of Florence will be shown he later. Its about how religion disrupt people their developments. Later/
You may read the whole article here ... :
Additionally, you can find some useful links here ... :
In my second year I had the honour to meet Peter Tetteroo and to talk with him about this documentary. They were not looking for secret news, they wanted to show how absurd North Korea is. A lot of things that happened were coincidence and sometimes pure luck. Today it's still a country strictly controled.
Welcome to North Korea, Peter Tetteroo and Raymond Feddema, 2001
Click here for the documentary on a larger screen
Toyota thinks that sometimes you gotta overlook and forgive a man’s wrongdoing, as long as he is driving a Prius! The new Toyota Prius campaign uses the tagline “Well, at least he drives a Prius” with a backdrop of three pretty bad/naughty scenarios.
Killer, shows a man dragging a dead body into the lake. Lover, shows a wife making out with the gardener while the husband is at the doorsteps (How very Desperate Housewives). And Prostitute shows a man in a Prius chatting up a street hooker.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Right now, there's 2.5 million Muslim-American citizens living in America. Read part 4 of the series on Who Speaks for Islam.
We're waiting to hear your voice on this important issue. Leave your comments either here or there.
As the relevant document describes, "intercultural competence and foreign language skills are seen as essential preconditions for youth mobility, for the development of international activities and for increased youth participation, one of the key priorities of the Council of Europe’s Directorate of Youth and Sport. The intercultural language courses combine language learning with intercultural learning through a non formal education methodology.
The aim of the programme is to promote intercultural dialogue with a special focus on human rights and youth policy development at European level by bringing together young people from different backgrounds and countries. Language learning with a strong intercultural dimension can contribute to an active, critical understanding of one’s own culture and of others people’s culture. And this programme allows participants to undertake multicultural exchanges and to develop this international understanding and co-operation.
The programme also encourages an interest in areas other than just language: history, politics, culture, geography, religion and everyday life in another country.
The intercultural language course takes place in the country in which the language is spoken, in this case, in Turkey. The choice of the city for the pilot project is significant, because Istanbul bridges the two continents and through centuries has been a crossroads of cultures and civilisations, including for three major religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
The Council of Europe Joint Council on Youth, the youth sector’s decision-making body, has decided that in 2008 Turkey will be one of the priority countries for the pilot projects to be supported by the Council of Europe European Youth Foundation. This is quite natural given the important role Turkey, as a member state of the Council of Europe and a co-founder of the Alliance of Civilisations, plays in boosting intercultural and inter-religious dialogue.
On the other hand, the priorities of the youth sector of the Council of Europe for 2008-2009 mention “youth programme on human rights education and intercultural dialogue”as the first of its priorities. The expected results are: “inter-religious co-operation in youth work is reinforced and with other concerned youth partners is reinforced” and “good practices for human rights education and intercultural dialogue by young people at local level are supported and promoted”.
This course will also subscribe into the very necessary follow-up to the so-called Istanbul process initiated in the framework of the All Different All Equal Campaign (ADAE). The Istanbul Declaration (it will be part of the documents for the course) – the fruit of the ADAE Symposium on “Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Youth Work “(Istanbul, Turkey, 27-31 March 2007) – calls on the Council of Europe to “develop educational projects aiming at respecting religious, cultural and ethnic diversity suitable for formal and non-formal education”. It stresses that “innovative formal and non-formal educational activities that encourage direct communication between different cultural groups need to be developed and supported” and “to increase their focus on and sensitivity towards the importance of dialogue, especially intercultural and inter-religious dialogue”.
Spain produced a superb display to cruise past Russia and set up a Euro 2008 final against Germany on Sunday. Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas was the driving force behind the win after coming on as substitute for injured David Villa. Russia didn't play as it played against the Netherlands and Sweden.
So the final will be Spain against Germany. Not a final I expected and certainly not the final I hoped for. Not much to cheer for, so I will skip this match...
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Twenty years ago Guus Hiddink won with PSV Eindhoven the Europa Cup 1 (now Champions League) and the Netherlands won in Germany Euro 1988.
In the first match the Netherlands lost from Russia but faced them again in the finals, this time the Netherlands won.
Tonight match between Spain and Russia is the second confrontation between these two countries. The first match was won by Spain, but tonight Andrei Arshavin will play when he missed the first two games.
Andrei Arshavin won with Zenith St.Petersburg this year the UEFA cup (with another Dutch coach: Dick Advocaat).
I go for Russia tonight, as long as Guus Hiddink wear that nice Orange t-shirt (see picture, made yesterday during a press conference). My prediction: 3-1 for Russia.
While everything Jewish was considered evil in early Islam, everything evil was now being labeled as Jewish, from wars and revolutions to the drug trade and the decline of moral values. Between 1938 and 1945, the Nazis' radio station broadcast its lies about a supposed Jewish world conspiracy into the Islamic world every evening. The professionally produced programs were broadcast in Arabic, Persian and Turkish, and were very popular. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the Hamas charter has also adopted this legacy.
The Jews, we read in Article 22, "stood behind the French Revolution, the Communist Revolution and most of the revolutions we hear about... They stood behind World War I ... There is no war going on anywhere without them having their finger in it."
Teachers in the German capital Berlin are sometimes confronted with Muslim students who expressly use the Holocaust to justify their sympathies for the Nazis ("I like Hitler; he did the right thing with the Jews"), refusing to take part in school trips to concentration camp memorials. During one excursion to the German Historical Museum, a group of Muslim youth gathered in front of a replica of a gas chamber in Auschwitz and applauded.
continue reading here
A few weeks ago in the Turkish press there was reference to the conference, by the NGO I lead, the Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, organized in Yerevan. I would like to share the findings of the opinion surveys conducted as part of the same project, between October 2007 and December 2007, with support of the Eurasia Partnership Foundation and USAID.
The interviews were conducted with representatives of political parties, NGOs and the academic community in Armenia and demonstrated that the views of the Armenian elite concerning the future of Armenian-Turkish relations is indeed changing profoundly.
A majority of respondents felt that applying pressure on Turkey through third countries or international organizations was not the right way to solve the problems in the relationship. It was widely considered unacceptable that international structures use the Armenian genocide issue as leverage against Turkey in pursuit of their objectives. By the same token, it was also noted that Turkey's position, which connects normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations with the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, is undesirable.
Enough empty declarations:
continue reading here
Dr. Stepan Grigoryan, is the chairman of the board of the Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation in Yerevan. The term ‘Armenian genocide' used in this piece reflects the opinion of the author, not that of the TDN.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
But who are the real winners? Undoubtedly the German and Turkish players. And the common men on the streets in Germany and Turkey. Why? Some Turkish outlets already started talking about 'We finally will take Vienna' and German outlets started to write about that 'we will fight against the Turkish invasion'. 'It will be war' and more of these nonsense.
It was a sportive match. And just only a game. Only two yellow cards.
And for some Turks in Kreutzberg, Berlin, it has been a day of doubly festive.
Note: not a 3-2 for Turkey but a 3 -2 for Germany....
The freedom of speech and press were important themes in these tests. Lots of things are involved with these universal human rights. It's a real privilege to live in a country where these rights are of great importance in politics. To know that only 17 percent of the total world population lives in real freedom is unbelievable. The majority of the world still lives in circumstances where they are not free to express themselves and live a free life as I'm accustomed to.
To read again about these important values, remind me of the importance of freedom. I'm not suppressed by anyone. I can go wherever I want to and there is nobody except time and money limitations that stops me from doing all the things. There are rules to follow and sometimes others prevent you from going somewhere. The whole reason why I wanted to go to Nepal for example, was to visit Tibet. Next Wednesday (I'm already in Nepal by then) the borders will be opened again for foreign tourists. It's not sure yet if I can enter, especially money might be a problem. I've no idea with what kind of demands the Chinese come up with but the fact that the possibility is there again is already great.
A small detail: Tibet is considered partly free by the Freedomhouse while China is not free.
Click here for an interactive version of the map on Freedomhouse.org.
Yes, for the very first time I bought a t-shirt of the Turkish national team. Never did that in my life, not even when the Dutch were playing Euro 1988 and won the finals...
My prediction? 3-2 for Turkey. And a lot of yellow cards...but as long as the Germans football players are acting so arrogant, everything is allowed to beat them!..))
Read more about this aspect of Who Speaks for Islam, part 3 and give us your comments.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Samira al-Onal is the pseudonym name of a highly-educated Dutch Muslim woman.
As exceptions to normal policy our editorial staff sometimes decides to publish pseudonym articles e.g. when the author is afraid for repercussions.
source: http://www.devolkskrant.nl/ of June 10, 2006
"It is time that we Muslims let go of our feeling of superiority, hypocrisy and ignorance" says Samira al-Onal.
I urge the Volkskrant to publish this article with which I pursue two goals: the first is to expose the centuries-old egoism of Muslims concerning non-Muslims. The second to show that not non-Muslims but Muslims themselves are to blame that they stand in bad light."
We demand from non-Muslims that they respect our religion, that they accept our cultural demands and that they support us financially. But what do we give in return which they demand from us?
Before Islam the Middle East was inhabited by people who adhered to an in origin Indian ideology wherein statues were venerated. Islam then proclaimed that no images of God are allowed. What happened next? Wherever statues were found these were destroyed by Muslims who then converted these people to Islam, if needed using violence and murder.
Muslim history writers wrote with pride about what they saw as successful heroic deeds. And we still live under the delusion that the quality of the lives of indigenous people is improved by replacing their temples and churches by mosques, and that we conquer their hearts by doing so. But nothing is further from the truth and why the Dutch say 'our culture is disappearing as we do see mosques everywhere' when yet another church is transformed into a mosque.
We call our sons Muhammad, Hassan and Ali, but allow these names to be used for murders, for hitting women, for theft, and for showing no respect for other cultures. If we believe that Islam stands for peace -our excuse is that these Muslims give us a bad name. But are these names indeed holy?
The prophet and his followers waged wars and Mohammed murdered people himself. Are mosques indeed superior to the temples and churches upon which they were built? We are in fact saying that Islam is inferior to already existing religions or else our ancestors would have had no use for their 'stupid', non-holy materials.
We consider it marvellous that Islam is growing but which can only be considered the growth of blind faith. You can believe whatever you want, but believing without any proof is witnes to stupidity.With the support of my parents I plucked-up the courage to examine Islam in the past and present, and found much that makes me sad.
The present time: consider the decapitation of non-Muslims in Iraq and Pakistan. Those so-called heroic deeds are perpetrated in name of Allah. What is our response to this? Do we condemn this? No, we look on silently, but do demonstrate on streets when an insulting cartoon is published in a newspaper and we threaten politicians with their murder. Embassies of non-Muslim countries are attacked, and numbers of murders are committed out of our passion for heroic martyrdom.
Simultaneously, and already for centuries on end, we find it normal to ridicule holy elements in non-Islamic cultures. Why do we behave disrespectfully of Dutch culture and that while we consider that everyone must show respect for us? That people in other cultures do not protest against us shows that they are wiser then we are.
We find existing politics guilty or the media, but Geert Wilders didn't just fall out of the blue sky and if we had shown more respect, Wilders' political platform wouldn't exist. Do we ever ask ourselves why there isn't an anti-Chinese political party?
Back to violence: When people are decapitated or shot in name of Allah that doesn't mean that He condones this. And where is written that suicide-bombers will arrive by Allah as martyrs? Also non-Muslims are Allah's children. Why therefore does Allah allow that one group of 'children' humiliates, persecutes and murders the other group?
In India, and each year, and much more than in the West, trains, busses, temples and other buildings are blown-up by Muslims in name of Allah. We don't even respect Hindu religious celebrations because our ancestors did not in previous centuries. Islam attacked India around AD 700 and occupied India well into the 18th century. In those centuries Muslims occupied India using much violence and plunder. Religious men and scientists were murdered; others converted or made into second-class citizens. Christians, Jews and Hindus were not allowed to hold good jobs, had to pay religious taxes and tax and put on food-rations. This while we, and European culture, owe much to the old India, especially concerning science.
Last year Salman Rushdie was given a knighthood. What was our response? Our Muslim brothers and sisters demonstrated worldwide in streets of capitals, especially in London, Pakistan and India. A few years before the same thing happened in France as caused by the prohibition of headscarves in schools. But when non-Muslims are humiliated or murdered by Muslims we remain quiet. And what is our response to Malaysia where Hindu-temples are still destroyed by Muslims? What in respect to Kazakhstan where a group of non-Muslims were thrown out of their houses in freezing-cold weather? What about Bangladesh where land of non-Muslims is confiscated by Muslims with politicians looking-on in silence? What our response to Kashmir where the same things happen? As in Iran where non-Muslims are not allowed to study in universities? And Afghanistan where non-Muslims are spat and jeered at, and driven away by Taliban-Muslims? What is our response to the Netherlands where non-Muslims are treated with comparable bullying tactics and non-Muslims preferably driving out of their suburbs?
Why don't we demonstrate against these and other actions of our fellow-believers? Why don't we show respect in the Netherlands where we adhere to few rules and civic norms, and where we perpetrate senseless violence - while we make use of their medical facilities, ask for special attention of teachers and community-workers, complain a lot while expecting non-Muslims to take account of us?
We should get rid of our egoism, our short-sightedness and sense of superiority, and stop feigning holiness, or else it is better for us to return to our Muslim lands so that non-Muslims can live in peace and we get rid of the hatred for Muslims but which we generate ourselves.
Update: the article is authentic. Got the proof of it.
You will find part of it here below. Its quite interesting, and never imagined that you can see it through this angle.
Islam and Patriarchy
Generally, religions have a patriarchal view of the relationship between the genders.
But some scholars point out that, in comparison with other religions, the idea of patriarchy is even greater in Islam. They mean that there are in the Koran (Quran) many verses, especially Surah 4 which clearly legitimizes gender inequality. Even hadith (stories from the Prophet’s life) and Shariah (Islamic law) have the same tendency.
Since Islam regards women as an active sexual power, it is important to restrict women’s sexual power over men. The result is isolating women and men in different worlds. A woman’s sexuality has to be concealed. Her looks and behavior must not reveal her sexual force since it will remind the man of his weakness.
Fatima Mernessi, a famous Arab feminist, explained a long time ago that the Christian portrayal of the individual as tragically torn between two poles (good and evil, flesh and spirit, instinct and reason) is very different from that of Islam, which has a more sophisticated theory of the instincts, more akin to the Freudian concept of the libido. She writes:
"In western culture, sexual inequality is based on the belief in the biological inferiority of woman. In Islam, it is the contrary: the whole system is based on the assumption that woman is a powerful and dangerous being. All sexual institutions (polygamy, repudiation, sexual segregation, etc.) can be perceived as a strategy for constraining her power (Beyond the Veil, Mernissi 1975, P 16)."
This explains why the Koran (Quran) maintains man’s superiority and domination over woman. It is men’s responsibility and duty to keep women under their control.
Monday, June 23, 2008