Sunday, July 31, 2005

Going through Shady's blog just now i ran accross this senctence talking about Sharm El Sheikh bombings

"Yesterday my Italian room mate Alessandro asked me:?Why Muslims do that to each other?? I had no answer! Such a shame what?s happening!"


I had no answer ....

News about Sofia

(click here to see later update)

(click here to see previous update)

We have very hopeful news! We were able to communicate with Sofia's family, and they informed us her condition has improved enough to travel to Mexico City. Due to her progression, her doctor has extended the time she is allowed to fly, so she's expectedto arrive Monday night in Mexico city. She's going to be in the Nutrition Hospital. Right nowthe family was able to buy 2 tickets (she and her mom) to take her to Mexico City (Accra-London-Mexico City) with the money they raised (before buying the tickets it was 51,000 dollars).However it won't be until Tuesday (After medical check ups and examinations) when they know the exact amount of money they will be needing to cover all the expenses mainly for hospitalization, surgery (if needed, transportation from the airport to the hospital, medicines,treatment. etc). Because of this We still need to keep the fundraising. Thank you very much for your support. We will be informing more news about her condition and the costs needed when available.
Mexican MC

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Maybe Egypt?

I will call some hospitals here and see if we could treat her in Egypt?!
It's closer so it could be cheaper.

will update tomorrow

News about Sofia


(click here for later update)

(Click here to see previous updates)


The Secretary of Foreign Affaires in Mexico has obtained acceptance to get Sofia to Milan, Italy. However the entry date is not yet defined. Sofia has been stable for 3 days, but still is urgent to transfer her to perform surgery.Parents are already there. We are getting quotations right now through Alitalia. We will inform you more news when available.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Don't be reasonable

It is gratifying to see the instant donation for Sofia in the past 24 hours.

We could do more, faster. We are nowhere near seeing the full potential of AIESEC network in responding.

Don't stand on the sideline and offer sympathy. Get involved. Be annoying, be pushy, be demanding. Be aggressive. Be a wolf (and not a lamb). Expect more. Raise more. Ask for more people to participate in helping. Demand it.

We need to raise more money, faster.

We are not dealing with some abstract impersonal concept here. Sofia, a trainee doing the work of AIESEC continents away from her origin, is very ill and have a long battle ahead of her. Sympathy alone is not sufficient. She needs the money to recovery.

We cannot change the world if we cannot take care of our own.

Let's not settle for this mediocrity. Let's hit that 10K mark hard and fast.

UPDATE Sofia's case

(Click here to see later posts about Sofia)

(Click here to see previous updates on Sofia's case)

Support
A short update about the donations

There are many contries organizing collects around the world and we expect them to transfer the money in the following days.
Special thanks to following countries which are coordinating actiong to gather money for Sofia:

Guatemala: They're organizing a collect and they will send the money next friday with a mexican trainee. If you are in this country contact Gaby Pérez Office: 5918-6468 email: anagab@ufm.edu.gt

Cono Sur: Community in Chile is organizing a collects and will try to send the money as soon as they can. Contact Ruben for more info if you are in these countries (Chile / Argentina / Uruguay) mailto:countriesruben.marquardtroman@aiesec.net

Brazil: Member are organizing collects among them and alumni to raise money. They will transfer the money in Aug. 31st. If you are in Brazil contact Manuela M. Czinar alumni@aiesecalumni.org.br

Indonesia: Members of this country are organizing collects among trainees and alumni. Please contac Adrian.Vargas@aiesec.net if you are in Indonesia.

India: Trainees from Satyam (company in India) are also organizing collects.

CAS: MC of this country is organizing donationg to gather money to send them to Mexico soon.
If you are in Panama contact Magaly: Tel: 2308369. If you are in Costa Rica contact Enrique Tel. Office: 2252840 Email: enrique.sanchezsimon@aiesec.net

Canada: MC is coordinating activities to fundraise within the country. Contact arazn@ca.aiesec.org if you are in Canada and want to contribute.

Also Mexican LC's are fundraising money by themselves, we have set a minimum of donation per LC setting this monday as deadline. Congrats and thanks to the team of LC Veracruz who already donated the 1500 dollars.




Hello, just a brief update of what is going on right now, Mexican government is taking diplomatic actions to get Sofia accepted in one of the hospitals from the possible hosting countries (Italy, UK, Germany and The Nederlands) once she gets accepted in one of them, it will be much more easier and faster to determine the exact amount needed. We will be posting this as soon as we have it. Thanks you very much for your support.

Fabian Hernandez
AIESEC Mexico

Update from Sharm El Sheikh

Jen, Roudy, Michael, and I have been in Sharm El Sheikh for the last 24 hours. We saw the sites of the two bombings. They were very sad to see, but the most devastating thing is seeing how empty the place is. We were talking last night with a friend who is working here and the impact on those who depend on tourism to feed their families is devestating.Its the height of the season here and although some strong-hearted tourists like us linger on, their is an eerie feeling of emptiness.

I feel very safe here though...more police and bag checks than I have ever seen, even post Sept. 11th in NYC. And I still think this is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Today we spent the day snorkeling and touring the bay by boat...I am in love with Sharm...and more upset than ever with the idiots that would destroy a place as beautiful as this.

From the President of AIESEC International...

Sent today to the global membership of AIESEC.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello AIESECers,

As many of you are likely aware, there is currently a trainee who is ill and in hospital in Accra, Ghana. This email is to clarify the situation and ensure that everyone knows what is being done to help. AIESEC International has been closely following the situation and has been directly in touch by telephone with the people who have most immediate and direct access to current information about her condition. She requires medical attention in a hospital with facilities not available in Ghana, and we are currently looking into all potential options for both transportation and treatment in suitable locations. While it is urgent that she receives this treatment, she is in stable condition based on information as of mid-afternoon GMT, Friday.

Her parents are currently en route to Accra, and AIESEC International will be directly in touch with her parents over the weekend as soon as is possible and appropriate . We will be offering them our support in whatever course of action they choose to pursue. Various efforts to provide support have been coordinated. If you are looking for ways to help directly, please contact Gina Giron, MCP of AIESEC in Mexico, at ggiron@aiesec.org.mx.

Throughout our times in AIESEC, we've all had the experience when an organization that spans 90 countries, 800 universities, tens of thousands of members, and a million alumni shrinks to seem like nothing more than a close family. This past week, we've seen the same thing happen as concern was raised and members from around the world have risen to the occassion and lent their support in time, financial resources, and sympathy. This testament to what is best in the spirit of each of us, and to that sense of global family is nothing less than inspiring to us, to the organization, and to those most closely affected. Thank you for this.

I hope you'll join us in offering your thoughts and prayers.

On behalf of AIESEC International,

Brodie

Brodie Boland
President
AIESEC International

Rescuing Sofia - Update from Mexico



(click here for the later updates on Sofia after this post was made)

(click here for previous updates on Sofia's case)



Hello, this is Fabian from Mexican MC, first of all, in the name of AIESEC Mexico and Sofia, we would like to thank you for your incredible support given to us in the past hours/days. We've been told Sofia is able to talk now and she is aware of your support, she is extremely grateful.

We also would like to give you an update about the situation about Sofia

Medical situation:
Sofia is getting better, but still with high risk to get sick again. Her doctor informed Sofia?s family that it?s still required to move her to another city by plane (maximum duration of trip allowed : 7 ? 8 hours) . They have authorized her to travel in a commercial flight (as long as she continues stable) which reduces enormously the costs. Nevertheless, we still need support for covering hospital and other expenses.

She definitely needs to leave Ghana this weekend, since the surgery is needed and can?t be performed where she is. We are trying to move her during this weekend to the following cities: London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt or Milan.

About insurance:
Her insurance doesn't cover all the costs. At the begining, the family contacted the insurance company and that's how they got the SOS International quotation. The company stated they would cover 2 hours out of the 8 hours flight of the air ambulance. Now that the ambulance is not need we need to figure out how much are they covering. however, the insurance she got works as rebate (she has to pay first) We will get this info tomorrow.

Support

Mexican government is supporting us with all admission procedures needed to move a person in the conditions that Sofia is facing now.

In order to give the authorization to move Sofia to another country in Europe, her parents are arriving tomorrow friday in Accra Ghana.

We are getting quotations from different companies in order to determine a final amount needed to cover the cost of hospital, transportation and other expenses. We need support from Europeans or people in that continent in order to get quotations directly from there! Please contact ggiron@aiesec.org.mx

Secretary of Foreign Affairs is already dealing with possible host countries (UK, Italy, Netherlands and Germany) in order to get acceptance in their hospitals.

Donations update:

Around 47, 000 USD have been collected in Mexico coming from family and friends, this money was raised by family and Mexican community. Money has been taken from donations by parents to pay their airplane tickets and expenses, that leaves 40,000 USD in total.

AIESEC support: Thanks to nomadlife.org site, we have raised around 1400 USD in less than 12 hours through PayPal. (mostly from US)

Tomorrow, we are going to update with a specific situation and countings. We are still waiting for more transfers and donations from different countries. Guatemala, USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and trainees from different countries like Australia, Germany and The Philippines. We are unable to see if they have donated since they?re international transfers which take from 24 to 48 hours to reflect on account.

Thanks again for your constant and amazing support, keep in touch and let?s continue helping Sofia.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sofia Mendez Rescue Fund Donation Information

Via International Money Transfer (verified)

Bank: JP Morgan Chase
SWIFT CODE: 021000021 CHASU533
Bank Account: 400047144 BMSXMXMM
Bank name account: Banco Santander Serfin SA
AIESEC Mexico A.C.
IBAN: 014180655013972868
Account: 65501397286
Branch :0474

PayPal (credit card donation)

Look up for "Sofia Mendez Rescue Fund (by Aiesec Mexico)". The paypal account goes directly to Aiesec Mexico Bank Account. They coordinate all the international donation for Sofia.
Aiesec Mexico will coordinate all the inflow of international donation.

Rescuing Sofia

(click here for the later updates on Sofia after this post was made)
Her name is Sofia Mendez. She's an Aiesec trainee from Mexico currently having a traineeship in Accra, Ghana. This is her SN number: SN-In-MX-CJ-2005-1234. Right now she's in a medical emergency situation in Accra after attracting Septicemia, a deadly infection with 50% fatality rate that will require immediate attention (more info on Septicemia). Based on the recommendation of her doctors there, she will need to be airlifted out of Ghana because the medical facility in that country cannot handle her case. Her parents left Mexico this morning (Thursday, July 28, 2005) for Accra, Ghana and they will arrive tomorrow.

Aiesec Accra will be taking care of Sofia's parents. Aiesec Mexico MC is coordinating international donations to help pay for the emergency air ambulance.

The first viable air ambulance alternative is from International SOS which will fly Sofia out of Ghana for a proper emergency care in Switzerland. The estimated cost for this airlift is $80,000 US dollars. Half of that amount is already raised in Mexico, so they need another $40,000 dollars to save her life.

A cheaper airlift is being aggressively pursued right now but time is ticking by. We can lose her anytime.

So please help anyway you can and help spread the word.

$40,000 dollars can sounds a lot. However, there are 500 of us here in nomadlife and far many more in the Aiesec network. If each of us can raise $100 dollars (individually or from friends, family or peers), we can solve this money issue and save Sofia.

This is literally a life and death situation. Let's save her.

Thanks.

Dody G.

You can reach Aiesec Mexico via their website. Or you can call and talk to them directly at (52) 55 - 5564 - 2709. It will take you to a receptionist. Ask for "Aiesec Mexico" (or more like Ayysseec Mexico) and she will transfer you to the Aiesec Mexico MC Office. Ask for Gina, the MCP of Aiesec Mexico that is coordinating this rescue.

To Help

Via International Money Transfer (verified)
Bank: JP Morgan Chase
SWIFT CODE: 021000021 CHASU533
Bank Account: 400047144 BMSXMXMM
Bank name account: Banco Santander Serfin SA
AIESEC Mexico A.C.
IBAN: 014180655013972868
Account: 65501397286
Branch :0474
PayPal (credit card donation)
Look up for "Sofia Mendez Rescue Fund (by Aiesec Mexico)". The paypal account goes directly to Aiesec Mexico Bank Account. They coordinate all the international donation for Sofia.
Aiesec Mexico will coordinate all the inflow of international donation.




(previous raw weblog entry)

" The reason for this message is to request your
support for fund raising since one of our students who was performing her traineeship in Ghana has had a health problem and it is necessary to transfer her to another city in order to receive better medical attention, Sofia has been in intensive therapy and it is necessary to transfer her by air ambulance and it is necessary to pay this transfer, thus we request your support to collect the requiered money ammount for this." (Aiesec in Mexico)


Info I get from calling the Aiesec in Mexico:

1. Total amount of money needed $80,000 dollars.
2. Money raised already $40,000 dollars in Mexico. We need to raise $40,000 more.
3. Their first alternative is International SOS, which will airlift her to Switzerland for care (this is where $80K cost comes from); A cheaper alternative is still being pursued but more money is definately needed.
4. They will write an info kit (FYI) that will state these facts that we can use to raise funds instead of just normal email spams.
5. All the money will go through Aiesec Mexico bank account so they can monitor the donation.
6. I'm helping them to set up a PayPal business account so you can contribute online using Credit Card.

This is the emergency we are talking about

"Septicemia is a serious, rapidly progressing, life-threatening infection that can arise from infections throughout the body, including infections in the lungs, abdomen, and urinary tract. It may precede or coincide with infections of the bone (osteomyelitis), central nervous system (meningitis), or other tissues.

Septicemia can rapidly lead to septic shock and death. Septicemia associated with some organisms such as meningococci can lead to shock, adrenal collapse, and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, a condition called Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome." (MedlinePlus)


In Africa

Aiesec Ghana will be doing the reception of Sofia's parents once they arrive there. Her parents are leaving Mexico earlier this morning and it will arrive in Accra, Ghana tomorrow.

Aiesec Mexico
This is their website.

You can call them at (52) 55 - 5564 - 2709. It will take you to a receptionist. Ask for "Aiesec Mexico" (or more like Ayysseec Mexico) and she will transfer you to the Aiesec Office. Ask for Nina, the MCP that is coordinating this rescue.

And this is the direct line to the office (52 ) 55 - 5264 - 4294.

PEACE AT LAST!!!!

PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD - the news today was a different tone than we've been used to recently. There was news of peace and hope...I have been waiting for this day for a long time - the People of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and England have been waiting for peace and now it's here. Go to www.ireland.com - for the Irish Times to get more news - below is the IRA Statement on Decommissioning:

Full text of the IRA statement

Last updated: 28-07-05, 13:05

"The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign. This will take effect from 4pm this afternoon. All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms.

All Volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever.

The IRA leadership has also authorised our representative to engage with the IICD [International Independent Commission on Decommisioning] to complete the process to verifiably put its arms beyond use in a way which will further enhance public confidence and to conclude this as quickly as possible.

We have invited two independent witnesses, from the Protestant and Catholic churches, to testify to this.

The Army Council took these decisions following an unprecedented internal discussion and consultation process with IRA units and Volunteers.

We appreciate the honest and forthright way in which the consultation process was carried out and the depth and content of the submissions.

We are proud of the comradely way in which this truly historic discussion was conducted.

The outcome of our consultations show very strong support among IRA Volunteers for the Sinn Féin peace strategy.

There is also widespread concern about the failure of the two governments and the unionists to fully engage in the peace process. This has created real difficulties.

The overwhelming majority of people in Ireland fully support this process. They and friends of Irish unity throughout the world want to see the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

Notwithstanding these difficulties our decisions have been taken to advance our republican and democratic objectives, including our goal of a united Ireland. We believe there is now an alternative way to achieve this and to end British rule in our country.

It is the responsibility of all Volunteers to show leadership, determination and courage. We are very mindful of the sacrifices of our patriot dead, those who went to jail, Volunteers, their families and the wider republican base.

We reiterate our view that the armed struggle was entirely legitimate. We are conscious that many people suffered in the conflict. There is a compelling imperative on all sides to build a just and lasting peace. The issue of the defence of nationalist and republican communities has been raised with us.

There is a responsibility on society to ensure that there is no re-occurrence of the pogroms of 1969 and the early 1970s. There is also a universal responsibility to tackle sectarianism in all its forms.

The IRA is fully committed to the goals of Irish unity and independence and to building the Republic outlined in the 1916 Proclamation.

We call for maximum unity and effort by Irish republicans everywhere. We are confident that by working together Irish republicans can achieve our objectives.

Every Volunteer is aware of the import of the decisions we have taken and all Óglaigh are compelled to fully comply with these orders.

There is now an unprecedented opportunity to utilise the considerable energy and goodwill which there is for the peace process. This comprehensive series of unparalleled initiatives is our contribution to this and to the continued endeavours to bring about independence and unity for the people of Ireland."

I can't tell you how happy and excited I am about this - go out and get yourselves a GUINNESS!!!

yours in peace - FDR

how does it feel like

to have deluge of rain in short amount of time (so far killing 500 or so people)? Can any nomads on the ground in India share their experience?

Hunger Crisis in West Africa

World Food Programme has a page that keep track with the current food crisis happening in West Africa, calling it "hungry season" for the region.

Love Bug

This is a fascinating site that allows you to identify insects that you encounter in daily life.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

You might not expect this

but the Pew Research Center suggests that Americans' view of Islam is warming.

"Particularly striking is the poll?s finding that, by a significant margin, Americans refuse to see themselves as at war with Islam. A clear majority, 60 percent, say the conflict is with a small radical element, compared with only 29 percent who see it as a conflict between the West and Islam itself, down from 35 percent in August 2002."


The American public has spoken and the result is encouraging. The question now is, does the global Muslim communities think that the US is at war with Islam?

wohoo

Finally geeks like me can get a girfriend. (link found via Johnny D)

from citizen to citizen

Assem links to a new effort a group of world's citizens to pray for peace.

This is another example of collective barn raisings by citizens around the world who virtually never met in person.

US troop withdrawal from Iraq could begin next srping and summer

Gen. George Casey, the top American commander in Iraq, said he believed a fairly substantial U.S. troop withdrawal could begin y spring 2006 if progress continues on the political front and if the insurgency does not expand. This was said after Iraq's transitional prime minister called Wednesday for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Read more on Yahoo news and ABC news

Is this going to be the end of Iraq war? What does a fairly substantial withdrawal mean? Are Iraq's military and police going to be ready on time? What have you guys heard on this matter?

9/11 wake-up call ignored..

9/11 wake-up call ignored, Blair says in swipe at obstructive judges : "Britain must not allow the terrorist threat to undermine its commitment to the law and democracy. "

and thus, we obviously need more restrictions on people's liberty. It seems to me that the judges are right. They are supposed to balance politicians who often act irrationally... Judges, stand up for yourself. Do what is right, not what a politician 'demands'

I was so disappointed in reading this article. I expected Blair to have discussed why terrorism is a growing threat and not a dminishing threat. Surely the 9/11 wakeup call was to ask why? And then to act to reduce the threat... Everything that is happening seems to be increasing the threat.

p.s. classically, after the first London bombings, Blair had a meeting with all the most important Muslim leaders in the UK. a young muslim in Luton was quoted in the papers wondering why Blair should meet with those people, when it was the young people who are the bombers. Why not engage more with Mulsim youth? Go Salaam!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Egyptian traffic saves the day

For anyone who has experienced it, Egyptian traffic will remain locked in your mind as one of Egypt's great national characteristics. And according to this article, it looks like it might have played a role in reducing the carnage from Staurdays bombings:

"A working hypothesis was that the second vehicle was heading toward another luxury hotel when it got stuck in traffic. The two militants inside are believed to have left the truck in Sharm el-Sheikh's Old Market, setting it to detonate after they left the scene."

Go traffic. Even 500kg of explosives isnt going to get you in front of that donkey cart on Egypt's streets.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

If you are travelling to non-Muslim countries and looking for halal restaurants and groceries, look it up on this website.

Status of Egypt

Shireen Rashad, we're not sure of her status. If anyone hears anything, please contact Luli.

The MC is okay.

Most of the trainees are okay. Most are in Aswan and Luxor, Siwa, or Cairo. Some are yet to be confirmed. All Aiesecers yet to be confirmed. CU and AUC are doing their planning. Most likely they are here.

Aiesecers Okay
Chris G.
Margo (Alex)
Bahaa (Alex)
Sarah Sadek (Madison)


Trainees that are okay
Nisrin
Simona
Sarah
Helima
Bryon
Mike P
Mike G
Mike W
Brennan
Jacek
Kaitlin
Jessica
Allison
Alyssa
Jenny
Laura
Kyle
Augusto
Andre
Daan
Ryan
Alice
Purvi
Cozmas
Nadia

Trainees yet to be confirmed
Cloud 9 Trainees
Guido
Effi
Paola

Alexandria
Rachel
Leah
Morgan

Other Apartments
Reda

Please Post if you hear anything
"Okay, suppose that the UK decided to leave Iraq, what's next?
Egyptians leave Cairo, Londoners leave London, or I leave Baghdad??
Apparently, we're facing the terrorists' version of globalization where every democracy is heresy and every man or woman smoking, playing soccer or not wearing hijab or a beard is infidel. They want their dark culture to dominate the world and they know that the only they can do that is by destroying every other culture they don't agree with. " Click Here for more

"When the explosions began last night, hundreds of tourists and local workers grabbed their belongings and their suitcases and started to run around Naema Bay in a frenzy, just looking for a way to get out of Sharm," More from Al Ahram Weekly
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." - Albert Einstein

We are at world wide war (already for sometime) and the frontlines are us and our communities.

"Egypt's foreign minister was talking about a phone call he got from Britain's Jack Straw. He went on to add that in the past Britain always issued warnings against traveling to areas that were hit by terror attacks. Now the British government adopted a new policy that do not issue such a warning. "They believe today that we cannot defeat terror by hiding but by confrontation" he said." (Big Pharaoh)

AP says this is the deadliest attack in Egypt ever (with 88 dead so far)



I modify the date of this post to make it appear under "status of Egypt" post.

fuck




CNN just reports multiple explosions struck Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, a famous and popular tourist town, with early estimation of 30 people killed. BBC also reports.

Early report suggest 7 simultaneous explosions, including 4 car bombs. Google is tracking the news.

nomads, please report in.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Skinny Dipping

Top ten nude beaches in the world.

Moving

This may be a question for the DHL trainees (but anyone who can help is welcome to respond):

I will be finishing up my job in Switzerland in September and am heading back to Australia. I am contemplating backpacking my way home and was wondering if anyone could give advice of a cheap way to send off my luggage without me. Having been abroad over 2 years I have accumulated a suprising amount of stuff that I can't really fit into a backpack.

I imagine shipping is the cheapest way to go, but I wouldn't know where to start or who could help. All of the online inquiries I have made end up with needing to send all my details off for an email quote.

Is there any sites with a quote calculator out there?

Who is best to relocate your gear?

Any comments greatly appreciated.

Cheers
B

Thursday, July 21, 2005

HELP! Accomodation in London!

I am beginning to deduce that avoiding a bomb on the train in London is a lot easier than avoiding a bomb on the pocket in the form of rent and accomodation. more...
China has decided to float its currency. The Yuan had been pegged 8.277 to one US dollar.

In 2 years time, will it get stronger against the dollar or weaker?

i'm feeling lucky

google "failure" and then click "i'm feeling lucky"

google "french military victories" and click "i'm feeling lucky"

three london undergrounds evacuated


london

(post modified by dody:insert map)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Picture perfect

Robots ride camels in race

Handwashing with soap curbs diseases

Seemingly different enough articles. Click the links, go ahead. You'll notice they use the same photo of generic brown kids placed on the upper right hand side. Underneath you'll find two different captions: one about diseases and the other about jockeys.

Perhaps its no big deal, but there is something about it I find unsettling. How many times has this been done and gone unnoticed because the two articles were not read consecutively? How many times has this been done with recent war photos, for example, perhaps to embellish the situation a bit more with a more dramatic photo taken months or years earlier, in a completely different country, just with similar people? Like an article about a soldier dying in Iraq, and using photos from Somalia.

I've always been under the assumption that photos accompanying text meant those pictures were shot on site. Am I right in feeling deceived that misleading photos are paired with unrelated stories. The photos in line with these stories are powerful and do form opinions. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Is this a common practice? Where else is it done?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Nicole provides an incisive observation on cultures and tolerance

" Many young people want to go abroad to learn and understand other cultures...its even considered to be something cool and trendy. And indeed, intercultural exchange often widens people´s horizon and makes them more open-minded. Interestingly though, the open-mindedness is especially in relation to other cultures in other countries.

what about the understanding of minorities and marginalised in our own countries? "

if you are interested project management

follow this Reforming Project Management Theory and Practice weblog. There is a lot of innovation happening in the project management space that aren't taught in many businesss schools yet.
flipbook allows you to draw animation online for free.
bridgesweb is connecting youth worldwide through digital storytelling.

Monday, July 18, 2005

raising a cow - bootstrapping a nomadfund

Amateur Philanthropy

Let's invest directly in humanity. Instead of donating to just charities, let's create a distributed global micro investment funds that funnel money directly to people that can benefits from it.

We have people on the ground everywhere in the world that can find opportunities to micro invests in micro businesses or farms. There will be no intermediary; it's just us, nomads and the recipients.

There is no need for centralized decision making. You or a group you belong to can decide to invest in certain micro businesses or opportunities that other nomads found around the world. We will then track the progress of the investment publicly here in nomadlife. We can limit to the amount of investment in each venture to max 500 dollars and as little as 100.

We can support micro farms to be independent by providing funds for equipments or livestocks (buy cows). We can provide scholarships for kids to finish their primary education so that they don't have to drop out. We can purchase manual water pumps to irigate micro farms.

And we will set up invididualized benchmarks and success criteria for each investment (not donation).

Essentially we have three components in this investments funds.

1. Investors. These are nomads that provides the money.
2. Tracker. These are nomads that help track the progress of the investment.
3. On the ground. These are nomads that are on the ground that evaluate and spot investment opportunities.

We start small and use the benefits of time to learn the inticracies and challenges in working this way but I think the potential benefits are great.

This way we can link the younger generations who has the time, with the older generation who has the money to work together in directly solving worlds problem. This way we can learn on philantrophy since the beginning. This way we all can stay involved and contribute directly to humanity.

And all of these will done on part time and voluntary basis; in short, amateurs.

This is in essence how the dark side operates btw. Global terrorism and international black market operate in decentralized ways solely based on trust (because they are outside legal protection) and fear. Funds are funelled mainly through individuals or small groups instead of institutions for direct operations.

There is no light side network that utilize this principle (without the fear part) that I know of so there is no playbook for us available to use. Well, that means we will get to write one. Fun.

path less travelled

Messed up private lives, a cautionary tales of a career.

Reporting from an AIDS congress...


An International Congress on AIDS in Japan was an amazing experience for me. Here, you can read more about all the interesting people I met, and their stories. Check the postings from July 1st to July 14th.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

breakthrough

"The Indonesian government and separatists from Aceh Province agreed to a peace deal in Finland today to end a 30-year-conflict that has killed some 15,000 people, government officials here said." (NYTimes)

What is the biggest factor in enabling this peace agreement? The December Tsunami. Nothing clears the mind like 160,000 of your people in the region of conflict perished in an instant. Suddenly the squabbles and stubborness in the previous peace efforts looked very silly.

Freedom vs Independence

Are Freedom and Independence synonymous?
Can you be free without being independent?
Can you be independent without being free?
or do you have to be both?
And if you can be one but not the other, which would you choose?

just been wondering about that lately and i thought my fellow nomads can help.

Travelling Ruins Friendship

The problems began with the smallest of complaints. Meat was so scarce at times that they resorted to eating seagulls, and this made their conversations about who was getting more of their fish rations increasingly tense.

Check out the article here.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The E word

Now even the British says it.
I think they are on crack, but here's World Tribunal on Iraq. The anti war movement really needs a message discipline. It can do with less hyperbole.
Now it's Izmir's turn, attacked by a female suicide bomber.

This shit is definately our generation's burden, on top of the other really tough global issues. The generations before us managed to end World Wars, rollback the tyranny of communism, end colonialism, supported women emancipation.

Let's not fail.
Tom Peters (yeah, that Business Author) has an awesome blog.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The importance of being frugal

This short piece is inspired by Superluli who dropped by my MSN earlier (dody_g@hotmail.com) to chat about nomadlife.

nomadlife costs about 100 bucks a month to host, which can buy you a harem in Egypt, but only get you about 10 minutes of taxi cab ride in Manhattan.

The low cost enables nomadlife to remain independent and not depending on ads or other revenue to support itself. This independence is very important. That means we can freely speak here without kissing somebody' s ass or worrying about the fund being pulled out because 'our master' objected. That means we don't have to advertise on this main blog. That means every nomad can post to this main blog if they wish to.

We don't have to be accountable to anybody else but our peer nomads. nomadlife is a collection of labour of love from many people, who contribute their time, skills and idea for this community. It is a perfect ground for testing ideas and experiments because hey, if you are volunteering, you might as well be daring; we don't have to be conventional. You will recognize this trait and spirit in all aspect of nomadlife.

And all of this wonderful things are possible just because nomadlife is cheap.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

the Taj is now a grave!

considering IC 2005 is going to be at the backdrop of this magnificent monument- i thought this was a pretty interesting piece of news- communalism and it's backers will never stop..its a disease...latching now onto arguably the most beautiful and sacred of visual beauties of the world. Read the article here

Connections in Sydney?

A colleague is relocating with her boyfriend to Ozland, and she doesn't know anyone there. Have any friends or organizations she can get in touch with to help her with the integration process? (i.e. @ alumni groups?)

Wall Collapse Near US MC apartments

Hey Everyone,

If you've heard on the news there was a wall collapse pretty close to where a bunch of the US MC live (Natalie, Chris P, Jill, Jen, Sarah, Carly). Just wanted to say that everyone is okay. It was a few blocks away from some of our apartments. Unfortunately a few people have been hurt including a 3-month-old. So sad. Here's the article: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/news/wabc_071405_WALLCOLLAPSE.html
Here is one powerful example of ultimate power not corrupting ultimately.
A list of 100 jokes. They are mostly not funny. Anyone has any good joke?

Update:

I found these jokes that our beloved Muslim Scholar and ex-President of Indonesia like to tell to his guests. Now this is funny. An example:

"A survey was conducted by the U.N. worldwide. The only question asked was:
"Would you please give your most honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?"

The survey was a HUGE failure.

In Africa, they did not know what "food" means.
In Western Europe, they did not know what "shortage" means.
In Eastern Europe, they did not know what "opinion" means.
In the Middle East, they did not know what "solution" means.
In South America, they did not know what "please"
means.
In Asia, they did not know what "honest" means.
And in the USA, they did not know what "THE REST OF THE WORLD" means. "

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Immune?

_41300207_woman_afp

A mother travelled from Nigeria

to London trying to find his missing son, Anthony, after the attacks last week. She made this incredible impromptu speech on her plea for help find him

Since then he has not made any contact with any single person. Now New York, now Madrid, now London. There has been widespread slaughter of innocent people. There have been streams of tears, innocent tears. There have been rivers of blood, innocent blood. Death in the morning, people going to find their livelihood, death in the noontime on the highways and streets.

And these people are still missing.

Another entrepreneurship in Africa story

Nobody is under any illusion that in countries where millions live
below the poverty line, the answer to all the problems is going to be private business.

From Africa's Entrepreneurial Vision

There is something a fellow AIESECer once told me which startled me at the time. He said "The problems in the world don't result from capitalism but from a lack of capitalism." By this, meaning lack of free trade, open policies and market, hinderances to doing business, etc.

Condsidering I leaned to the left then and was quite anti-business, this quote stuck with me. Yet, when I was on my CEED in Kenya I found myself saying that the best thing that could happen for Kenya would be the development and encouragement of more entrepreneurs.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

nomadlife is the source

Well I remember the days when i was in highschool and i would start the day with a newspaper and a bowl of cereal every morning. Well I usually try to change habits. My new habit is my bowl of cereal and then sitting in front of my computer and bloggin on NOMADLIFE. Tell me more!!!!
The New Republic magazine examines the irony of Che phenomena where he has become a quiessential capitalist brand, the exact system that he tried to destroy.

You Gonna Call Your Crew,

I gonna call my crew, we can rendezvous at the bar around 2.

Come on Americans, admit it, who's still using the dashes?

guess who lost a customer?



To all DHL trainees out there. This is a photo I took at an exhibition centre in Japan. Here we are shipping our FedEx boxes back to Malaysia via DHL :)

G8 commentary

The result from G8 meeting was supposed to be the news of last week. The London attack changed that. Here's the commentary from the Economist on the result of the meeting.

worrisome anecdotes

"I talked to many of the young Muslim lads I've known since they were babies, and I talked to their parents. And guess what? The parents are shocked, the youngsters gleeful. Go figure. The leaders of the Muslim Council of Britain can issue as many statements of solidarity and sympathy as they like; the facts are that many of their children rejoiced after the carnage in New York and they rejoiced after the slaughter in London yesterday. " (Dan Gilmor)

The million dollar question

"So all of us who are travelling the world, what society do we belong to..who is accountable to us? The world is separated by borders which we are trying to live without, but where does that leave us. Nationalisitic/liguistic pride aside - what does it really mean to be from somewhere if you're not planning to contribute back and play a role in moving that society forward. Does this global village really exist and what does it mean to be apart of it?" Asha

Odd Job

What's the oddest job you've ever held?

I'm sure with this group, there will be some bizarre ones to tell.

Monday, July 11, 2005

ouch

"How clever of the Los Angeles Times to propose that Judy Miller debate Mike Kinsley on the subject of press freedom. Sadly, Judy is not on a fellowship at some writers' colony. She is in JAIL. She is sleeping on a foam mattress on the floor, and her communications are, shall we say, constrained." (Bill Keller - NY Times Executive Director)

if you live in Europe

don't miss the fabulous Umbria Jazz 2005 in Perugia, Italy. I still cherish listening to the gentle 'Easy' sitting down in Piazza IV Novembre in the azzure dusk of Italian summer.
10 years ago today, 8000 people were slaughtered in Srebrenica.

Guns, Germs and Steel

if you are located in the US, check out PBS documentary based on the book to be aired tonight.

End of the World

a flash cartoon making light of the impending disaster of nuclear war. it takes a couple minutes to load. be patient.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Cityscapes

After the pioneer cityscape blog for Singapore, two new additions are being added into the fold:
- Shanghai
- Beijing

If you live in either of these cities and would like to have editor access to help developing these blogs please contact me.

It would be nice to see similar blogs popping up in cities we have larger communities (i.e. New York, London, Cairo, Amsterdam, etc) also.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Survivors

I'm compiling a list of nomads that survive terrorist attacks in the city they are located at the time. Please edit this message or comment. I want to see how common the experience is amongst us.

9/11/01: Suzanne, Devrim, SinoInc, Voirdire, Paito


..
(there's a lot of gap here that needs to be filled in)
..

7/7/05: Wonderwoman, La Contessa, Heath

he definately makes the right choice :o)

"In order to integrate the American culture I'll stop being vegetarian and start exploring thousands of drive through restaurants." (Ahmed)

Jen ?

Nationality of Al-Qaeda Suicide Attackers


(click on image to see bigger picture)
Source: NYTimes

Saudi Arabia nationals takes the top spot at 34 for attacks between 2002-2003 and accounts about 50% of all suicide bombers worldwide in that period. If you add 2001, you will have to add 15 hijackers attack on 9/11 upping the number to 49 people.

NYT Op-ed on Al Qaeda

This article puts it all in numbers. (you need to sign in, it's free) How many - sucide bombers & victims. Who - identities of the terrorists & they're targets. Where - where they come from, where they get 'martyred'. How - boats, buses and train bombs.

Why.......... hell, I wish we knew the answer to this one.
odeo.com. Listens to podcasts until you drop.
London Olympics to Baseball and Softball, bugger off.
We are not afraid.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Safety of friends in London

We are with you

Li'er still waiting anxiously for the news of her sisters working in Kings Cross Station, London, which is very near to the second explosion. Let's pray that they are OK.

So far the following people have checked in safe and sound:
- AIESEC UK MC ( Mark Duffield, Heather Brierly, Henry Richards, Scott Douglas, Lucy Morgan )
- AIESEC UK trainees
- Wonderwoman
- La Contessa
- Dean Addis -- currently traveling in Asia
- Kate Barker
- Srini
Aiesec Australia Alumni (Denise Thomas, Jacqui Evans)

more ..

Even though word that all @ alumni are ok, it is important to list out their names so those people who google their friends looking for news can alleviate their fears.

Still news is pending regarding:
- Evrim Sen (OK)
- Burcu Savran (OK)
- Susana Muhammad
- Nigel Stephenson
- Carey Benn (OK)
- Louise Barber
- Lisa Renissen (OK)
- Kene
- Annemieke (NL) (OK)
- Steve K. (UK) (OK)
- Heath OK
- Guy Collins


UPDATE (Tom G) - All AIESEC International people are OK - thanks for the millions and millions of emails.

If you have others who are in the city and you haven't heard from, or you have news on anyone on or not on this list, please feel free to modify this post or make a comment.

1000 words

(Taken from a mobile phone camera by Adam Stacey)

Flickr images.

the sound of sirens

there have been large explosions at multiple london underground stations, as well as on at least one bus. the city is shut down, traffic at a standstill and everyone on the phone (when the service is working) with their loved ones.

the day after the olympics, the G8 summit.... there's no way this was a 'power surge'.
see wonderwoman for more updates

London Terror Attack

(I changed this post timing to move this post below wonderwoman's initial post. She lives in London and so does la contessa)


Wonderwoman is safe. There is no confirmation from la contessa is safe yet. More safety confirmation about Aiesec Community members in London.

(Take care folks. Please stay safe).



UK bloggers cover the attacks. Wikipedia's entry on London, July 7, 2005.

Terror alert for the US raised for subway and railway systems, following the earlier Europe wide Terror alert.





(map from BBC)


Between Aldgate East and Liverpool Street tube stations
Between Russell Square and King's Cross tube stations
At Edgware Road tube station
On bus at Tavistock Square






Yahoo UK consolidated coverage. BBC's. CNN's . Blogosphere's reactions to the attack. Word leader's reactions.


Chronology of attack

Paddick said the first explosion had come at 8:51 a.m. BST (O351 ET) near Liverpool Street, Aldgate and Aldgate East Underground stations, where seven were confirmed dead.

At 8:56 a.m. there was a second explosion on a Piccadilly Line train near Kings Cross and Russell Square tube stations, where 21 were confirmed dead.

At 9:17 a.m. there was an explosion on a train traveling into Edgware Road station, affecting two other trains, with five confirmed dead.

At 9:47a.m there was an explosion on a bus at Upper Woburn Place near Tavistock Square. Fatalities have been confirmed, but the number is unknown at this stage. (CNN)
The New York Times editorial is pissed about the jailing of one of their journalist by the US government.

Gravity is only a theory...

You know what, I agree with this article: All texts books should state that gravity is only a theory.

For those living outside the US, the theory of evolution has been under attack for sometime. With some state counties (namely in the south, coincidently the place where highschoolers test and place the lowest in the country) mandating warnings, such as the one below, be placed on the fronts of text books:

"This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

However, the integrity of sicence has been upheld in several supreme court decisions, much to the dismay of fundamentalist Christians, who believe in the literal translation of the bible.

I advocate that the science community, and those who publish text books, should openly and voraciously state outright, on the fronts of text books, that in fact all science is theory, which anyone who passed high school biology and chemistry should know anyway. Only when scientists take back the word theory and return it to its true scientific meaning, that of a well tested and academically accepted hypothesis, will these ridiculous attacks on science finally stop. The misdesignation of theory, as an unproven and unsupported hypothesis, needs to be met head on with theory being redefined to every highschooler, not as fact, be as close to fact that humans are, at these time, able to attain. Take it or leave it, but all these theories of science make your cars go, TV turn on and even reproduces through mechanical, chemical and electrical means the very bibles that are quoted to undermine them.
"Duncan, a registered sex offender, was charged Tuesday with two counts of kidnapping with the intent to rape, commit an unnatural act or perform a lewd and lascivious act upon a child under the age of 16." (cnn).

He blogged and his blog received about 1000 comments so far condemning him. Wired has a story.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Well, It's About Time!

I thought we should be reading a story like this sometime soon...

can't upload pics!

hey, well I cant upload pictures onto my blog at blogger.com - is this happening with anyone else? solutions? would be appreciated.
many thanks would be showered...

LONDON 2012

London's hosting the 2012 Olympics! bbc

jetset

Theme by JohnnyD.

Did you know that Jesus Christ is considered a Saint in Islam?


Islam
Originally uploaded by ying22.
And so is Moses etc. Was wondering why Buddha isnt in that list as well :P

Well I didnt know and within that one day, the seemingly wide divide of religions seems interconnected and not so far off afterall.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Nicole has another set of amazing pictures of Children of Nicaragua.
Free science fiction book.

More Power to our tribe?!

Futurologist put together a VERY interesting 8 minute flash presentation that looks through to the year 2014 and tells us how two companies - Microsoft and Google (surprise, surprise!) change the way the internet links everyone and everything together. Watch with an open mind.
http://mccd.udc.es/orihuela/epic/
China is going to be the third largest trading partner of Africa by the end of 2005, with 700 Chinese companies operating in 49 countries by being purely capitalistic.
Holy cow, this is crazy shit. Found through MetaFilter.

we are all shallow

Researchers from University of Chicago and MIT concludes from their research on an online dating sites that both men and women care strongly about physical appearances. Women also put much values on the income and education of the men. You can read the research paper or the Times article about it.

credit where it's due

Nicholas Kristof of the New York times wrote

"Those who care about Africa tend to think that the appropriate attitude toward President Bush is a medley of fury and contempt.

But the fact is that Mr. Bush has done much more for Africa than Bill Clinton ever did, increasing the money actually spent for aid there by two-thirds so far, and setting in motion an eventual tripling of aid for Africa. Mr. Bush's crowning achievement was ending one war in Sudan, between north and south. And while Mr. Bush has done shamefully little to stop Sudan's other conflict - the genocide in Darfur - that's more than Mr. Clinton's response to genocide in Rwanda (which was to issue a magnificent apology afterward)."


Kristof's acknowledgement of President Bush achievement on Africa is definitely unexpected considering that if you follow his writings, you will know that he is a bleeding heart liberal humanist, a section of the US political wing that is usually very critical of the President.

117th International Olympics Committee session held in Singapore

" I heard sipo is having some action now with the election of the location of the olympic games.

A lot of high profile people will be there, so quick, go to all the posh places and bring your camera. David Beckam is going to be there......."

Thanks for the reminder Viv, I should definately whip out my camera and go star hunting hehehe...

Check whats happening

Monday, July 04, 2005

january nomadlife gathering

the consensus so far seems to be egypt, with both cairo (kegs on a felucca) and beaches/oaises mentioned. there are other suggestions of libya and pakistan floating. i still seek other ideas, just to catch a fair nomad opinon/feasibility study. gather your arguments, for the one who wins does not have to travel! there is also a party on the cameroon/nigerian border if everything goes pear shaped.
Check out the list of 1000 women nominated for 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

4th of July

Happy Birthday USA. Declaration of Independence, (in the midst of the American War for Indepence). A lot of other things happened on 4th of July as well, including Thea's Maltese Day.

To all my fellow patriots

Happy Fourth of July. Don't blow your hand off trying to top NASA's fireworks.

It is also Filipino-American Friendship Day in the Philipines.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

My Life : The Soundtrack

This is something interesting I came across while trawling through a few blogs the other day. Mostly cos I couldn't watch the LIVE 8 concert on the tube which was something I really wanted to do

Seeing as how most AIESECers have a fairly eclectic taste when it comes to music, being as how music and jives are almost synonymous with AIESEC... I think this is something everyone should try, I've posted my list on my blog in case anyone wants some ideas on how to start... do let me know when you do make your list

cheers

My Life : The Soundtrack

A List of Songs that define key points in my life...

Opening Credits:

Waking up:
Average Day:
First Date:
Falling in Love:
Love Scene:
Fight Scene:
Breaking Up:
Getting Back Together:
Secret Love:
Life's Okay:
Mental Breakdown:
Driving:
Learning a Lesson:
Deep Thought:
Flashback:
Partying:
Happy Dance:
Regretting:
Long Night Alone:
Death Scene:
Closing Credits:
A physicist reckons that innovation is slowing down, but again, check out these recepients of IDEA awards for cool and innovative designs in products created in 2004.

Benevolent Imperialism

This article for the NYTimes Magazine proposes the idea of Benevolent Imperialism to handle failed states such as Congo.

Here's the choice paragraph. The article is a must read on the situation in Congo which become the background of the writer's proposal.

" What, then, is to be done? After all, the doctors of the international community, for all their wealth and know-how, cannot rid Congo of its poisons; this is the work of generations. And one argument we will be hearing from the Bush administration at the Gleneagles G-8 summit meeting is that corrupt countries have to change their own political culture before the world starts pouring in aid. That is true, but rather facile. For just as Monuc has begun demonstrating, at last, that there's plenty of space for action between passivity and warfare, so there is space between anticolonial deference and neocolonial dominion (though Congo presents a pretty strong case for the latter). And it is not just something that we owe to the Congolese. If we believe that in the post-9/11 world we can no longer afford to let failed states fester, then we plainly owe it to ourselves to stop the Congolese political class from preying on its people and to shape the nascent institutions of state in such a way as to give legitimate economic and political activity a decent shot at survival. Is that, in fact, a prescription for some kind of benevolent imperialism? If so, then bring it on."

I am in favour of this intrusive intervention in the case of failed states such as Somalia, Congo or Sudan as long as it acts as a scaffolding in building a viable state rather than being the end result itself. This type of intervention plainly says "you are not to be trusted to run your own country", which goes against my worldview insticts, but the reality of the world have once and again prove that statement right.

What's your opinion on this?

what should we do, what should they do?

Is itn't it ironic that Live8 did not aim to donate money; indeed the 20m (UK pounds) raised was spent on itself, organising the concerts. Why should 8 people be the ones responsible and blamed for the World's issues?

By declaring we don't want to raise money, we realise how ineffective aid has been, and will continue to be, and remove the responsibility from our shoulders to place it on the shoulders of 8 people. We turn a movement that should be about life and death, into a movement about politics. We get the World's most famous musicians, worth tens of billions of dollars themselves, to not donate their money but to tell us how poor africa is.

Make Poverty History does not aim just to raise money but, honestly, raising money is the only goal it is likely to achieve. It won't make trade fair, or free. Yet despite not aiming to raise money, the concerts profiled the cases of people saved from Live Aid (from raising money), at the same time Geldof and many others all agree most of the money raised then was wasted, and he himself was too naive about what he hoped money could do, and where it would go.

It's ironic that as everyone says 'raise more aid for africa', most of the public perceive that aid won't make a difference and most acadacemics are still arguing over why 500 billion US dollars has made GDP go down on average in most impoverished countries. Noone has worked out how this aid can really make a difference on a grand scale.

Poor governance is a great excuse, yet those countries with the best governance are sometimes still the most poor. ODAs have now decided that local governments know how best to spend their aid money, and should not have countless conditions laid down. So they contribute 5% of a country's health budget...won't this increase corruption?

Sure, the most effective aid is that delivered from the bottom up. But why is live 8 asking for more money from the top down? why is live 8 asking for more aid, yet not know how to deliver it properly? There are papers arguing that the money in Ethipia resulting from Live Aid just kept a bad government in power for longer, pushing more into poverty.

Why is it respectful thinktanks (that are on UK national press and national prime-time TV) can issues papers entitled 'more aid, less growth'? So what 'they' should do, noone knows. What we are doing is removing responsibility from ourselves and placing it on them. The politicians, the ones who are the slowest at doing anything and the onese elected to do what is best for their own country, not for the World. What does the UN do? Its run by same politicians trying to use the UN to make the best decision for themselves.

What should we do? Education and awareness is of course a crucial step -and for that live8 is commended, for raising the issue onto the 'average' person's agenda. Pressuring politicians is an admirable aim, but what they need to do is not something that can be done in days, weeks or even months. They need to do it. Spending a week telling them to do it won't work. Pressurising politicians through the media and public opinion os not how you achieve long-term policy. You achieve that by electing governments with those policies as their aims. What we need are politicians who really ask the public what we want, do we really want to sacrifice our own wellbeing for the poor (farmer's persepctive) or indeed believe the economists that argue its in our best interests (consumer's persepctive)?

I hope we do. I hope we can find the most effective political means to achieve determined, sustained, political change. I don't want to seem a pessimist, but we might make things worse..we might raise money and see it not achieve anything tangible; we might raise awareness for 1 week and then see everyone think the problem is solved and forget about it.

In the meantime, whilst we try to influence what 'they' should do, what should we do? On an individual level, we can make a concerted, immediate difference. For each of us, the answer is different. Some might run for political power, some might work for an NGO, some might write research papers, some might do business with the poor, others might continue to raise awareness. What will you do?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

We Are The World...

12:23 a.m. Beijing time.
The Black Eyed Peas have just finished performing 2 songs in their setlist. The venue is Philadelphia's Art Stadium. Across the Atlantic, in London, Travis just finished performing their song 'Sing'.

In a small African village, a young boy has just died of malaria because his parents were too poor to afford the drugs that could have easily saved his life. Much worse - they were too poor to buy simple mosquito nets that would have prevented the disease in the first place.

12:32 a.m.
Kofi Annan has just walked onto stage in Philadelphia to address the hundreds of thousands in the crowd. Here's what he has to say to the millions watching him around the world:
"This is really the United Nations. The whole world has come together in solidarity for the poor. On behalf of the poor, voiceless and the weak - I say thank you."
Audioslave have just gone live in Berlin. Back in Philly, Bon Jovi have begun their performance. Keane have just walked onto stage in London. The night will go on with many more artists to follow.

Why have 150 bands and artists decided to perform together on the 2nd of July 2005 in ten different cities around the world? Well - it's linked to that one boy back in Africa who died 10 minutes ago. What can they hope to achieve? The concert is being watched live by millions of young people around the world as I type this sentence out. Tens of millions more will be watching the live broadcasts over the radio, TV and the internet. At a time when 850 million people who are so desperately poor that they cannot afford more than 1 meal a day, the world has chosen to speak in the language of Music to spread the word that so much more needs to be done to prevent the deaths of 30,000 people every day. Live 8 is Live.

12:50 a.m.
Bryan Adams has begun signing 'Back to You' in Barrie, Canada. Annie Lennox is live on stage in London.

Too many people have died needlessly because their countries are too poor. Heavily burdened by the debts they owe to developing nations the people in these countries have entered an endless cycle of poverty, disease and death that is impossible for them to break out of unless we help. Unless someone steps up to champion their cause.

12:58 a.m.
Bob Geldof - the man behind Live 8 has just come on stage in London.

If anyone fits the bill of a 'change agent' as AIESEC calls them It's this man. Mr. Geldof's vision along with the support of countless others is to free Africa and other regions from the massive burdens they are being suffocated by.

1:04 a.m.
Faith Hill is on stage in Rome. She is singing 'Breathe'

The message for us if what Mr. Geldof flashed on screen after his performance -
"Sometimes it takes a generation to be great."
Our's is the generation and the time is now. Get yourself online & educate yourself on issues such as Debt relief, free and fair trade, HIV & AIDS and poverty. Find a way in which you can contribute to make a difference. Be an active part of the generation that will make history. Be a part of the generation that stands up and orders its leaders to put every resource that they have in their power to end the deaths of millions of people each year.

1:15 a.m.
Brad Pitt, live in Philadelphia - "Let us be outraged. Let us be Loud. Let us be Bold."

We must do whatever it takes at whatever be the cost to stop these senseless deaths from happening. These are not people dying from wars or terrorist attacks. These people are dying because we do not give them the chance to a better life. In the 1 hour that it's taken me to write this blog, 1250 people have died around the world because we failed to move. In the next 24 hours, 30,000 more will die for the same reason.By December end this year, another 5.4 million people. How long will it take before we get moving? Lets make history by Making Poverty History.
Live8 is on. Blogosphere's coverage. Ticket is free. You can watch it live on AOL. You can listen to it live on BBC.

Friday, July 01, 2005

What is happening in China?

"CDT Mission

China Digital Times (CDT) is a collaborative news website covering China's social and political transition and its emerging role in the world. CDT aims to use the new generation of participatory media technology to create a fully interactive network that will track and report news, facilitate conversations and debate, and share resources and knowledge in a virtual China community.

Our goal is to harness the distributive power of the Internet to advance the world's understanding of China. In a time of profound transformation, CDT takes an innovative approach to one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century: China's democratic transition, sustainable development and peaceful emergence in the global community."

read, learn and be prepared!

Foreign language news in English..

Stumbled upon a fantastic idea:

"About Press Interpreter

Press Interpreter was created in February, 2005, by law and east asian studies students at Harvard. It is premised on the belief that there are enough public spirited polyglots on the Internet to eliminate the language barrier (for English speakers) in access to world news. Its purpose is to eliminate that barrier.

To become a Press Interpreter translator, click here."

although its new and there are not that many articles translated; the concept is magical. No longer can you JUST read english language press's interpretations of foreign news. Maybe some linguistically skilled AIESECers can help them?

Worlds Collide - in the workplace

Lately, I have been helping a professional cross-cultural coach put together some info about work cultures in PHILIPPINES, CHINA, INDIA, and VIETNAM.

We are gathering some realistic scenarios of culture clash in the workplace. I'm sure some nomads have experienced this first-hand (either in the country or with people from a certain culture).

If you have any incidents you can share, can you please send them to saki_takasu1@yahoo.com (or post it in the comments section if you don't mind?). Thanks!

High-Tech Donkey Care in Ethiopia

thought it is quite interesting......

In a country where only half the population can afford or find medical treatment, a high-tech donkey clinic with its very own ambulance service may seem excessive.

But not to the Ethiopian farmers who rely on these sure-footed, stoic beasts of burden.....

Ethiopia has the 2nd largest donkey population, with China being the first.... Ethiopia 5million and China 12million.... I didn't know they counted donkeys too....

China seems to be beating everyone in everything...

Korea to Introduce Robots in Public Offices

Ha...this is the future.

If vacuuming houses and entertaining you isn't enough, the robot will also keep your house and office from intruders. "You have trespassed. I'll shoot if you move."

Read on: