Deadline for re-registration passes; churches face illegal status        
Oppressive new laws in Azerbaijan and Tajikistan required religious communities to re-register with the government by January 1, 2010 or face illegal status. As of December 16, only about 100 of Azerbaijan’s 534 religious communities had been able to do so. Fewer than half of Tajikistan’s religious communities re-registered, reports MNN. According to Joel Griffith […]
          Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
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          A Muslim's Top 10 Wishes for 2016        

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post on January 3, 2015. You can find the original article by clicking here or on the title. 

A Muslim's Top 10 Wishes for 2016

Have you ever made a wish that's come true -- because you made the wish? Until now, making a wish, whether at the sight of a shooting star or when blowing out the candle(s) on your birthday cake or when breaking a wishbone, has not yet been scientifically proven to actually work, as far as I know. Yet, in the spirit of hope, I am making 10 wishes at the beginning of the New Year. And as is always the case, as a Muslim, I speak on behalf of 1.5 billion people. So here goes...
1. People no longer confuse me with ISIS.
My name isn't ISIS. It's not even Islamic State. In fact, the words Islamic or State are not actually in my extended name. Nevertheless, time and time again, I keep getting requests to respond to the group's actions. I swear, ISIS or ISIL or IS -- none of them are in my family tree; they're not some distant cousins of mine. In 2016, I just want people to stop confusing me with ISIS. I really don't know what ISIS is thinking and why they do what they do. It's not like the State Department is asked for comment because of the State-to-State connection. As a postscript, can ISIS stop using the word Islamic? 
2. Muslims stop killing Muslims for being Muslim.
Somewhere, along the way over the last couple of decades, Muslims started killing other Muslims for being Muslim in the wrong way, or at least took it to a whole new level. There's a whole ideology out there built around takfir or essentially "declaring Muslims as kufar or unbelievers" for failing an evermore peculiar litmus test. Imagine if death squads emerged killing Black people for not being Black enough. Originating in some of the philosophical exhortations by scholar Ibn Taymiyyah 700 years ago, the criteria by which you are deemed "takfir-ed" and permissible to be killed has reached insane if not idiosyncratic levels. It would be funny if the situation weren't so deadly. Even barbers were caught in the crosshairs and were being assassinated in Baghdad in the 2000s. 
3. Death and destruction in the Muslim world have a timeout. 
From Yemen to IraqLibya to Somalia, and from Afghanistan to far beyond, civil strife is rife in too many parts of what is defined as the Muslim world. Autocrats, militants, extremists and terrorists, don't care who they kill: men, women, children -- everyone is fair game. I wish this would stop. Into this toxic mix, the last thing needed is more killing coming into these countries from the outside; the 2003 invasion of Iraq proved that. I wonder if Russia will hear that message? 
4. We all get comfortable with the "other."
What a difference it was in 2015 between Trudeau and Trump in the North American political cycle. The world needs more Trudeaus and less Trumps (Donalds that is). The fear of the "other" is starting to define Western politics and it is not just about Trump. The rise of right-wing political parties in Europe from Hungary to Denmark is a poignant reminder of the breadth of this phenomenon. Yet, outside the West this fear of the other also permeates and often dominates. In Turkey, we are seeing a renewed vilification of the Kurdish population. Further afield in Burma, the Rohingyaare cast as outsiders. In Malaysia, Christians are prohibited from using the Arabic word for God. And, in nearby Brunei, Christmas was simply cancelled. In some of the war zones in the Middle East, Christians are on the verge of disappearing. The world would be a lot better off if we weren't so afraid of the bogeyman of the other.
5. The Muslim world deals with its taboos. 
Speaking of an aversion to the non-orthodox, there's a whole set of taboos that many Muslim countries and societies need to start dealing with. A lot of them relate to sex. Sometimes the Muslim world acts like it has one big case of the cooties. There have been attempts by some to break through these restrictions. Wedad Lootah in the UAE comes to mind. Shereen El Feki's Sex and the Citadel is another. This is not an issue to take lightly, especially in societies where 60-70 percent of youth are under the age of 30. Bombarded by sexualized imagery from modern and digital media, these youth then live, essentially, in an austere second world that is their reality. More importantly and tragically, rape and sexual assault are simply not talked about; child abuse is an even worse curse hidden under the rug. Finally, at some point Muslim countries - and the clerical establishment -- will need to come to terms with the fact that gay Muslims exist
6. Somewhere, over the rainbow, democracy and Islam go steady. 
Let's be honest, a lot of people have tried to set up democracy with Islam for a relationship. Sometimes it has been a surprise blind date (e.g. Iraq in 2003). Other times, it was a relationship that grew from blind passion (e.g. the Arab world in 2011). Often, the sparks of love eventually turn into animus and things quickly go south. In the Arab world, Tunisia is carrying - with some fragility -- the banner of democracy. Many Muslim-majority countries that used to be counted as democracies now suffer from authoritarian syndromes (e.g. TurkeyMalaysia, and Bangladesh). In other cases, democracy in its infancy quickly devolved into score settling or majoritarian mafias (e.g. the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt). Perhaps Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country is our hope that can breathe life into this wish. 
7. Averroes comes back in style. 
Averroes -- or Ibn Rushd -- was a man's man. He schooled his way into Raphael's The School of Athens. The polymath kept alive ancient Greek philosophy, paving the way for much of Europe's modern intellectual movements. Back in the day, in Andalusia, he was a big deal (Biden-style). And, why not? He vociferously argued for the co-existence of secular and religious thought in a posthumous debate with the Abbasid scholar Al Ghazali. Ultimately, Ibn Rushd lost the debate to the detriment of the Muslim world, but his arguments culminated with the work, The Incoherence of Incoherence, which I think would be a great riposte to all ISIS ideologues and their friends. If Ibn Taymiyyah came back, then let's bring Averroes back too. 
8. Flying while Muslim is no longer a thing. 
They say that flying while Muslim is the new driving while Black. I guess if you're a Black Muslim, this really sucks, especially if you drive to the airport for your flight. So my wish maybe can be two-pronged: getting rid of both 'driving while Black' as well as 'flying while Muslim.' What is flying while Muslim? Well, it often starts with a casual stare or two from across the way. A timid approach then ensues: "Excuse me sir." This is normally followed by a more forceful: "Please follow me." It can then get quite aggressive, with clothes falling by the wayside. It normally ends with your belongings in disarray, your belt on backwards, and you fast-walking without turning back in the hope that no one thinks twice about you boarding your flight. Oh, and don't watch the news while on the plane. I hate flying while Muslim. 
9. Trump presides over a Muslim beauty contest. 
Was 2015 the year of Trump? You have to hand it to Trump; he sure knows how to grab the spotlight. Unfortunately, he's used that spotlight to spew increasingly populist venom targeted at Muslims (and others). Maybe, we need to better appeal to Trump's core interest: beauty pageants. There are a few lists circulating online for potential Muslim contestants (for Men: click here | for Women: click here). Yet, I think we should make this a mipsters pageant and turn this whole thing on its head. 
10. Peace comes to Syria. 
This Muslim (me) -- speaking on behalf of 1.5 billion people around the world -- has 10 wishes for 2016 but if only one of them came true it should be this one. No country has been more ravaged in recent memory than Syria. Hundreds of thousands have been killed as gangsters, terrorists, and dictators fight for supremacy. The surrounding region, instead of trying to promote a solution, has sent in weapons, fighters, and incitement. The world, instead of trying to mediate, has sought to settle old scores. All the while, the people in Syria live in lifeless limbo amidst daily death and destruction. If I had only one wish it would be that the violence in Syria would come to an end. 
This wish list is non-exhaustive. I think I may have missed a few...

          World: FPMA Bulletin #7, 10 August 2017        
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Country: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World, Zambia

Key messages

  • International prices of wheat rose further in July on quality concerns, particularly for higher protein wheat, although upward pressure was limited by prospects of ample global supplies. Export prices of maize remained generally unchanged, while a slowdown in demand capped gains in rice quotations.
  • In East Africa, prices of cereals in most countries declined signi cantly for the second consecutive month in July with the new harvests, but remained generally higher than a year earlier. However, in Ethiopia, prices of maize surged further and reached record levels, underpinned by uncertain prospects for the 2017 crops.
  • In the CIS, prices of staple potatoes declined sharply from the record or near-record highs of June in most countries of the subregion with the beginning of the new harvest. Prices, however, remained higher than in July last year after the sharp increases of the past months.

          Mount Etna and the Mountains of Pamir inscribed on World Heritage List alongside El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar        
The World Heritage Committee has inscribed natural sites from Tajikistan, Italy, and Mexico on the World Heritage List. Tajikistan National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs) (Tajikistan) Tajikistan National Park (Tajikistan) covers more than 2.5 million hectares in the east of the country, at the centre of the so-called “Pamir Knot”, a meeting point of the highest mountain ranges on the Eurasian continent. It consists of high plateaux in the east and, to the west, rugged peaks, ...
          Fashion Design        
threeASFOUR Recognized as one of the most innovative fashion labels today, threeASFOUR was founded in New York City in 2005 by Gabriel Asfour, Angela Donhauser, and Adi Gil, who hail from Lebanon, Tajikistan, and Israel, respectively. Having worked together since 1998 (under the label AsFour), the trio uses fashion to promote the need for human...
          Killing us softly         

A recent public outcry in China, sparked by a damning documentary about air pollution, was based on well-founded fear:

Of the 100 million people who viewed the film on the first day of its online release, 172,000 are likely to die each year from air pollution-related diseases, according to regional trends.* 

Worldwide, pollution kills twice as many people each year as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined,** but aid policy has consistently neglected it as a health risk, donors and experts say. 

Air pollution alone killed seven million people in 2012, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures released last year, most of them in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the Asia Pacific region.*** 

In a self-critical report released late last month the World Bank acknowledged that it had treated air pollution as an afterthought, resulting in a dearth of analysis of the problem and spending on solutions. 

“We now need to step up our game and adopt a more comprehensive approach to fixing air quality,” the authors wrote in Clean Air and Healthy Lungs. “If left unaddressed, these problems are expected to grow worse over time, as the world continues to urbanise at an unprecedented and challenging speed.”

A second report released last month by several organisations – including the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, an international consortium of UN organisations, governments, development banks, NGOs and academics – also called for more funding towards reducing pollution. 

“Rich countries, multilateral agencies and organisations have forgotten the crippling impacts of pollution and fail to make it a priority in their foreign assistance,” the authors wrote. 

Housebound in China 

A dense haze obstructs visibility more often than not across China’s northern Hua Bei plain and two of its major river deltas. Less than one percent of the 500 largest cities in China meet WHO’s air quality guidelines. Anger over air pollution is a hot topic among China’s increasingly outspoken citizenry.  

“Half of the days in 2014, I had to confine my daughter to my home like a prisoner because the air quality in Beijing was so poor,” China’s well-known journalist Chai Jing said in Under the Dome, the independent documentary she released last month, which investigated the causes of China’s air pollution.

The film was shared on the Chinese social media portal Weibo more than 580,000 times before officials ordered websites to delete it. 

Beyond the silo

Traditionally left to environmental experts to tackle, the fight against pollution is increasingly recognised as requiring attention from health and development specialists too. 

“Air pollution is the top environmental health risk and among the top modifiable health risks in the world,” said Professor Michael Brauer, a public health expert at the University of British Columbia in Canada and a member of the scientific advisory panel for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a consortium of governments and the UN Environment Programme. “Air pollution has been under-funded and its health impacts under-appreciated.”

Pollution – especially outdoor or “ambient” air pollution – is also a major drag on economic performance and limits the opportunities of the poor, according to Ilmi Granoff, an environmental policy expert at the Overseas Development Institute, a London-based think tank. It causes premature death, illness, lost earnings and medical costs – all of which take their toll on both individual and national productivity.

“Donors need to get out of the siloed thinking of pollution as an environmental problem distinct from economic development and poverty reduction,” Granoff said. 

Pollution cleanup is indeed underfunded, he added, but pollution prevention is even more poorly prioritised: “It’s underfunded in much of the developed world, in aid, and in developing country priorities, so this isn’t just an aid problem.”

Mounting evidence 

Pollution kills in a variety of ways, according to relatively recent studies; air pollution is by far the most lethal form compared to soil and water pollution. 
 

Microscopic particulate matter (PM) suspended in polluted air is the chief culprit in these deaths: the smaller the particles’ size, the deeper they are able to penetrate into the lungs.  Particles of less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM2.5) are small enough to reach the alveoli, the deepest part of the lungs, and to enter the blood stream.  

From there, PM2.5 causes inflammation and changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood clotting processes - the precursors to fatal stroke and heart disease.  PM2.5 irritates and corrodes the alveoli, which impairs lung function - a major precursor to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also acts as a carcinogen.

Most research looks at long-term exposure to PM2.5 but even studies looking at the hours immediately following bursts of especially high ambient PM2.5 (in developed countries) show a corresponding spike in life-threatening heart attacks, heart arrhythmias and stroke.

Asia worst affected

The overwhelming majority - 70 percent - of global air pollution deaths occur in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia regions.  South Asia has eight of the top 10 and 33 of the top 50 cities with the worst PM concentrations in the world.  

 

WHO says a city’s average annual PM levels should be 20 micrograms per cubic meter.  But cities such as Karachi, Gaborone, and Delhi have yearly PM averages above 200 micrograms per cubic meter. 

The main source of PM2.5 in indoor air, or household air, is burning solid fuels for cooking and heating, using wood, coal, dung or crop leftovers - a common practice in rural areas of low and middle-income countries that lack electricity.  

Almost three billion people live this way, the majority in the densely populated Asia Pacific region: India and China each hold about one quarter of all people who rely on solid fuels. For these people, the daily average dose of PM2.5 is often in the hundreds of micrograms per cubic meter. 

Filling the gaps

Unlike many other health risks air pollution is very cost-effective to address, Brauer said. Analysis of air quality interventions in the US suggests a return on investment of up to $30 for every dollar spent. 

“We already know how to reduce these risks, as we have done exactly that in high income countries, so this is not a matter of searching for a cure - we know what works,” he said.

But the World Bank report said that unless it starts gathering better data on local air quality in LMICs, the amounts and sources of air pollution and the full gamut of its health impacts, “it is not possible to appropriately target interventions in a cost-effective manner.”

Granoff said there are also gaps in government capacity to monitor, regulate and enforce pollution policy. 

Beijing hopes to bring PM2.5 concentrations down to safe levels by 2030, and has said it will fine big polluters. 

The World Bank report said China is also charging all enterprises fees for the pollutants they discharge; establishing a nationwide PM2.5 monitoring network; instituting pollution control measures on motor vehicles; and controlling urban dust pollution.

But enforcing environmental protections has been a longstanding problem in China.

“Pollution policy will only succeed if citizens are aware of the harm, able to organise their concern [through advocacy campaigns], and have a responsive government that prioritises public welfare over the narrower interests of polluting sectors,” Granoff said. 

While more people die from household air pollution than from ambient air pollution, the latter – through vehicles, smokestacks and open burning – still accounted for 3.7 million deaths in 2012, according to the WHO. 

A change in the air

Kaye Patdu, an air quality expert at Clean Air Asia, a Manila-based think tank - and the secretariat for the UN-backed Clean Air Asia Partnership, comprising more than 250 government, civil, academic, business and development organisations - said the aid community is finally starting to recognise the importance of tackling air pollution.  

• Last year’s inaugural UN Environment Assembly adopted a resolution calling for strengthened action on air pollution.  
• WHO Member States are planning to adopt a resolution on health and air quality at the upcoming World Health Assembly in May. 
• The proposed Sustainable Development Goals, which will set the post-2015 international development agenda, address city air quality and air, soil and water pollution. 

None of the experts IRIN contacted could provide a breakdown of total aid spending on all forms of toxic pollution (air, water and soil pollution that is harmful to human health).  So IRIN asked each of the major global donors for their figures.  

Three responded.  

A back-of-envelope calculation of all reported spending on toxic pollution by USAID, the European Commission and the World Bank suggests that between them they committed about US$10 billion over 10 years. This does not include aid spending on the diseases that pollution causes. The World Bank’s spending figures eclipsed those of other the other donors. 

By very rough comparison, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, with half the death toll of air pollution, received $28 billion via public sector commitments to the Global Fund – the world’s largest financier of programs that tackle these diseases – over the same period, a fraction of total spending on these diseases. 

gh/ha/bp

*Based on WHO statistics for per capita mortality rates in the Western Pacific region in 2012. 

**The mortality figures for air pollution come from 2012 statistics and were released by WHO in 2014, while the figures for the infectious diseases come from 2013 statistics and were released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in 2014 (the Global Burden of Disease study).

***Includes deaths from both household air pollution (4.3 million) and ambient air pollution (3.7 million): the combined death toll is less than the sum of the parts because many people are exposed to both. 

For more: 

The relationship between household air pollution and disease

Ambient air pollution and the risk of acute ischemic stroke 

Cardiovascular effects of exposure to ambient air pollution 

Particulate air pollution and lung function  

Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and incidence of cerebrovascular events: Results from 11 European cohorts within the ESCAPE Project  

OECD's The Cost of Air Pollution report
 

101285 200901271.jpg Analysis Health Killing us softly Gabrielle Babbington IRIN HONG KONG Congo, Republic of Djibouti DRC Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda Somalia Sudan Tanzania Uganda Angola Botswana Lesotho Madagascar Malawi Mauritius Mozambique Namibia Seychelles South Africa Swaziland Zambia Zimbabwe Benin Burkina Faso Cameroon Cape Verde Chad Côte d’Ivoire Equatorial Guinea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Togo Colombia Haiti United States Bangladesh Cambodia Indonesia Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Myanmar Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines Samoa Sri Lanka Tajikistan Thailand Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vietnam
          Scale of Vanuatu cyclone disaster complicates aid response        

The scale of Vanuatu’s cyclone disaster is matched only by the complexity of the required humanitarian response, according to both the government and aid workers arriving on the battered Pacific islands.

“The problem is absolutely massive,” Alice Clements, spokesperson for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Vanuatu, told IRIN. “We have simultaneous emergencies in 65 islands, with no telecoms, accessible only by boat or helicopter, in an archipelago stretching 1,300 km.”

Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale was reported by the BBC as saying the 13 March storm had "wiped out" all recent development and the country would have to rebuild "everything".

Half the population - 132,000 people - are estimated to have been affected by cyclone Pam, including 60,000 children, according to UNICEF. Initial assessments indicate 90 percent of houses have been damaged in the capital, Port Vila, with destruction on the southern island of Tanna “significantly worse”, Care Australia reported.

Twitter accounts to follow
Hanna Butler - Red Cross @hannarosebutler
OCHA - Asia Pacific             @OCHAAsiaPac
Tom Perry - CARE Australia     @thomasmperry
UNICEF - Australia       @unicefaustralia
Liam Fox - ABC News       @liamfoxabc
Radio Australia Pacific Beat     @RAPacificBeat
Tess Newton Cain             @CainTess

More than 3,300 people are sheltering in 37 evacuation centres on the islands of Torba and Penama, and the main island of Efate. But the National Disaster Management Office will need help if people remain displaced for a prolonged period. 

The humanitarian response “is almost going to be like applying a medical triage, to work out which is the most urgent”, said Clements. Aerial assessments have been carried out so far by military aircraft from Australia, New Zealand and France, with more flights scheduled for Tuesday. Commercial flights have resumed to Port Vila despite damage to the airport.

“There is need for logistics experts and light reconnaissance planes/helicopters, pilots, and fuel to deliver supplies and conduct assessments. There is also a need for sea shipping to transport food, water and rebuilding materials,” the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported. The main hospital in Port Vila is badly damaged, patients have been transferred to a newer part of the building, “but there is an urgent need for medical supplies” and “the morgue is unserviceable”.

Twenty-four people are confirmed dead so far, but the toll is expected to rise as assessment teams reach the more remote islands.

Providing clean water for survivors is a priority. There is a risk of waterborne diseases, especially dangerous for pregnant mothers and young children, and food is also likely to be a problem in the coming days with fruit trees uprooted, root crops inundated, and animal pens destroyed by the 270 km/h winds and flooding.

“Eighty percent of Vanuatu’s population engage in subsistence agriculture as a primary economic activity. It is anticipated that emergency food relief could be needed for up to a month, plus longer term recovery support,” OCHA noted.

Vanuatu has “3,000 years of experience dealing with an incredible mind-boggling range of disasters, from earthquakes to volcanos. People have great coping mechanisms, but this was a category 5 storm," Clements said.

oa/rh

101239 Vanuatu aftermath of Cyclone Pam, 13 March 2015 News Migration Environment and Disasters Scale of cyclone Pam disaster staggering IRIN NAIROBI Bangladesh Indonesia Iran Kyrgyzstan Cambodia Kazakhstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Sri Lanka Myanmar Papua New Guinea Philippines Pakistan Thailand Tajikistan Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vietnam Vanuatu
          Vanuatu reeling from impact of cyclone Pam        

The closure of the main airport in Vanuatu is hampering the humanitarian response to cyclone Pam, which tore through the Pacific island archipelago yesterday, causing colossal damage.

The airport in the capital, Port Vila, is still flooded and trees are blocking the runway, Vincent Omuga, deputy head of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Regional Office for the Pacific, said on Saturday.

“There are lots of plans to provide regional humanitarian support, but the challenge is that the airport is not open at the moment. There are indications the government will open the airport to military flights: Australia and New Zealand have plans to move in, and UNDAC [UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination] have a nine-member team on standby, but all flights are currently suspended,” Omuga told IRIN.

Reports describe the tropical cyclone packing winds of up to 270 km/h as “devastating” and potentially one of the worst weather disasters in the region. There are unconfirmed reports of casualties, but aid agencies are warning it will take several days before there is a full picture of the storm’s impact.

Omuga said the government’s priorities are to open the airport, repair damage to hospitals, and clear the roads closed by the category 5 cyclone. It is expected to declare a state of emergency to facilitate the humanitarian response.

“Power lines are still down, there is lots of damage to infrastructure and lots of houses have been destroyed. Many provinces are flooded and inaccessible, and the islands on the eastern side [of the archipelago] were especially affected,” Omuga said.

Even a temporary damage assessment in Port Vila is constrained by the extent of the flooding and the trees and debris blocking the roads. Aid workers on the ground “have not gone out of the capital, and not even all of the capital [has been surveyed]. What they are reporting is what they can see from leaving their vehicles and walking around,” said Omuga.

oa/rh

101235 Port Vila, Vanuatu, aftermath of cyclone Pam, 14 March 2015 News Environment and Disasters Aid and Policy Vanuatu reeling from cyclone Pam IRIN NAIROBI Bangladesh Indonesia Iran Kyrgyzstan Cambodia Kazakhstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Sri Lanka Myanmar Papua New Guinea Philippines Pakistan Thailand Tajikistan Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vietnam Vanuatu
          Challenging innovators to find new ways to make disaster risk information accessible to all        
Mapping damage after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines. GFDRR


Sometimes the impacts of disasters seem difficult to predict, such as when the heavy snow that set off deadly avalanches in Afghanistan this winter also damaged transmission lines, disrupting the flow of electricity imported from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and resulting in power outages in Kabul. Other times the consequences seem almost inevitable, for example the likelihood of a devastating earthquake in the Ganges Basin of India, Nepal and Bangladesh within our lifetime.

There are, however, tools and models that allow us to determine the potential impacts of a disaster before they happen, and provide decision-makers with information they can use to reduce the potential impact.


          CHP-169-The Mongol Yuan Dynasty Part 1        

In this long overdue episode with a deceiving title we don't actually get around to the Yuan Dynasty.  However a nice handy and confusing overview tracing the rise of the Mongol nation is presented which includes a bio on Genghis Khan.  We'll get to rise of Kublai Khan this time and look at the Yuan Dynasty next episode.  

 

Terms from this Episode

numero ciento sesenta y nueve Number 169

Qin Shihuang 秦始皇 Qin Dynasty founder

Da Yuanchao 大元朝 The Great Mongol Dynasty

Parthians 帕提亚  Iranian nomadic people

Scythians   斯基泰人 Iranian nomadic people

Yuezhi 月氏 Originally from Xinjiang and Gansu, defeated by the Xiongnu

Goths 哥特 West central Asian power, the scourge of the Roman Empire

Magyars   马扎儿人 West central Asian power. Today they are known as Hungarians.

Huns 匈奴 More from the western part of the steppe, often confused with Xiongnu

Xiongnu 匈奴 Often called Huns, they were an early northern tribe who kept invading China

Slavs   斯拉夫人 People from central Europe and the West Asian steppe

Xianbei 鲜卑   So-called "proto-Mongols" who lived around the Qin and Han dynasties and founded the Northern Wei.

Shatuo Turks  沙陀突厥  Power in north China late 9th and 10th century. Founded several short-lived dynasties in the north of China.

Khitans 契丹 The people who founded the Liao Dynasty 907-1125

Tatars 鞑靼人 Mongol tribe defeated by Genghis Khan who later moved westward towards Russia and Europe

Kazakhs   哈萨克人 North-Central Asian people, Turkic, found mostly in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

Kyrgyz  吉尔吉斯  Central Asian people, Turkic, found mostly in Kyrgyzstan

Uighurs   维吾尔人   Turkic people who today mostly live in Xinjiang

The Hakkas 客家人 The Hakka People

Fujian 福建   Province on the east coast of China

Huizong   徽宗 Last emperor of the Northern Song

Aguda 阿骨打 Also known as Emperor Taizu of Jin, founder of the Jin Dynasty

Wuqimai 吴乞买 Aguda's brother, second emperor of the Jin

Kaifeng 开封 Capital of the Northern Song Dynasty

Jin Dynasty  金朝 Jürchen Dynasty 1115-1234, founded by Aguda

Zhao Gou   赵构 Escaped Zhao royal family member, launched Southern Song

Gaozong 高宗 First emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty

Lin'an 临安 Southern Song capital, present day Hangzhou

Merkits  蔑儿乞人 One of many tribes of the Mongols

Keraits  怯烈亦 One of many tribes of the Mongols

Ongüts  汪古部 One of many tribes of the Mongols

Ongirats  One of many tribes of the Mongols

Naimans 乃蛮 One of many tribes of the Mongols

Temüjin 铁木真 Genghis Khan's name

Dobun Known as Dobun the Clever, married to Alan the Fair, early ancestors of Temujin

Ah-Lan the Fair married to Dobun, early ancestors of Temujin

Khaidu 海都 c. 1040-1100 Great-grandfather of Khabul Khan

Khabul Khan  合不勒  Early great khan and great -grandfather of Genghis Khan

Yesugei the Brave 孛儿只斤Ÿ也速该 Father of Genghis Khan

Yuanchao Mi Shi 元朝秘史 The Secret History of the Mongols

Börte 孛儿帖 Wife of Temüjin and later Grand Empress of the Mongol Empire

Ulaan Bator 乌兰巴托 Capital of Mongolia

Jochi 术赤 Oldest son of Börte and maybe Genghis Khan

Golden Horde 金帐汗国  Originally the northwest portion of the Mongol Empire. Also known as the Kipchak Khanate. Lasted till 1502.

Xinjiang   新疆 Northwest autonomous region in China

Mongol Yasa (Jasagh)   A Mongol Codified law introduced by Genghis Khan

Khuriltai 忽里勒台   A Mongol congress of all elders and leaders

Kara Khitai 喀喇契丹 Also known as the Western Liao 1124-1218

Xixia  西夏 The Western Xia, an empire established by the Tanguts

Khwarizmian Empire 花剌子模王国 Lasted 1077-1231. Khwarazmia covered All of Iran and parts of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan.

Batu 拔都 Founder of Golden Horde, son of Jochi, grandson of Genghis Khan

Chaghadai 蔡合台 Second son of Genghis Khan, founder of Khanate of Chaghadai

Khanate of Chaghadai 蔡合台汗国 Covered most of Central Asia

Ogedai Khan 窝阔台 or 斡歌歹 Third son of Genghis Khan, second Khan of the Mongol Empire

Tolui 拖雷 Fourth Son of Genghis Khan, father of Kublai Khan

Möngke 蒙哥 Eldest son of Tolui, elder brother to Kublai Khan

Kublai 忽必烈 1215-1294, Great Khan and founder of the Yuan Dynasty. Reigned 1271-1294.

Hulagu 旭烈兀 grandson of Genghis Khan, son of Tolui

Arigh Boke 阿里不哥 Youngest son of Tolui, fought civil war with Kublai

Subotei 速不台 Genghis Khan's number one guy (and Ogedai's too!). Great Mongol general.

Dzungaria 准噶尔 Northern half of Xinjiang with Tianshan Mountains south and the Altai north.

Karakorum 喀喇昆仑 Mongol capital 1235-1260

Guyuk 贵由 Eldest son of Ogedai Khan, reigned only two years as the 3rd Great Khan

Mamluks 马木留克 Originally slave soldiers, they were a powerful "caste" of warriors who operated from the 9th to 19th centuries. Not to be messed with.

Il-khanate 伊儿汗国  The southwestern portion of the Mongol Empire. Ruled by Hülagü's branch of the family - centered around Iran

Dali Kingdom 大理国 Kingdom that lasted 937-1253. Mostly located in Yunnan.

Owen Lattimore 欧文Ÿ拉铁摩尔 American scholar and Central Asian specialist

 

Isaac Meyer:  “History of Japan Podcast”

https://historyofjapan.wordpress.com/

 

Nina Xiang: "China Money Network"

http://www.chinamoneynetwork.com/

 


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The US And That 'Other' Axis

by Jephraim P Gundzik [asia Times: June 9, 2005]

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/GF09Ad08.html



Beijing's increasingly close ties with Moscow and Tehran will thwart Washington's foreign policy goal of expanding US security footholds in the Middle East, Central Asia and Asia. However, the primacy of economic stability will most likely prevent a proxy-style military confrontation, in Iran or North Korea, between China and the US.


Threat to 'axis of evil' unwinds in Baghdad

In January 2002 during his State of the Union address to the US congress, President George W Bush outlined his administration's primary foreign policy goal as preventing "regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction". Bush went on to specifically name Iraq, Iran and North Korea as state sponsors of terrorism, infamously dubbing this group the "axis of evil". After failing to gather multilateral support in the United Nation, Bush declared war on Iraq.

Since the beginning of the war in Iraq, Beijing has worked feverishly to strengthen its ties with Moscow and Teheran in an apparent effort to prevent US military action against the remaining "axis of evil" members, Iran and North Korea. In addition to recent massive energy deals with Teheran, which place Iran in China's security web, both Beijing and Moscow have accelerated the transfer of missile technology to Teheran, while selling the Islamic republic increasingly sophisticated military equipment.

Armed with a vast array of anti-ship and long-range missiles, Iran can target US troop positions throughout the Middle East and strike US Navy ships. Iran can also use its weapons to blockade the Straits of Hormuz through which one-third of the world's traded oil is shipped. With the help of Beijing and Moscow, Teheran is becoming an increasingly unappealing military target for the US.

As in the Middle East, the China-Iran-Russia axis is challenging US interests in Central Asia. Washington is working feverishly to gain security footholds in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan to complement existing US military bases in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. China and Russia are working equally hard to assert their influence in Central Asia. A good portion of this work is being done under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO.)

Composed of China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the SCO was created in 1996 and reborn in 2001 when it was bolstered to counter the initial eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The SCO is becoming an increasingly powerful regional mutual security organization. Joint military maneuvers between SCO member states began in 2003. In 2004, the SCO created a rapid reaction anti-terror strike force. According to Igor Rogachev, Russia's ambassador to China, the new force is designed to combat and respond to terrorist attacks in any SCO member nation.

In 2004, Iran made it clear that it was interested in joining the SCO. Iran's mammoth energy deals with China imply that Tehran is now integral to China's national security. A good way to formalize security relations between China and Iran is through the SCO.

The autocratic governments of Central Asia have much more in common with China, Iran and Russia than with the US. At the same time, China and Russia can invest exponentially larger sums of money in Central Asian countries than the US. Almost all of China's and Russia's foreign investment is conducted by state-owned enterprises. Investment by these enterprises is primarily driven by geopolitical expediency.

Foreign investment in the US is controlled by profit-driven private enterprises. While the US government can dole out aid to Central Asian countries, the size of this aid pales in comparison to the money that can be lavished on Central Asian countries by China's and Russia's state-owned enterprises. In 2004, commercial and security ties between Kazakhstan and China were strengthened when Beijing signed a deal with Astana to build a pipeline from the Caspian Sea to western China.

The pipeline deal with Kazakhstan prompted Beijing to pledge increased military and technical assistance to Kyrgyzstan, through which this pipeline passes. Despite its small size and lack of natural resources, the geostrategic importance of Kyrgyzstan, which hosts military bases for both Russia and the US, is enormous. Recent political instability in Kyrgyzstan especially alarmed Washington.

In early April, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Bishkek to ensure that Kyrgyzstan's new government would continue to host US military forces. In addition, Rumsfeld tried to persuade interim President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to allow the US to station AWACS surveillance planes in Kyrgyzstan. At the beginning of 2005, the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry denied this request by Washington, saying that such equipment was beyond the original humanitarian and peace-keeping mission of US. forces in Kyrgyzstan. Bakiyev made it clear that Washington would not be allowed to deploy the AWACS or to establish any more bases or expand existing facilities in Kyrgyzstan.

Bakiyev also stressed that US forces would not be in the country permanently. Deepening economic and security ties between Central Asian countries and China and Russia could eventually reduce Washington's influence in the region to Afghanistan. However, in addition to three operational military bases already in Afghanistan, Washington plans on building another six military bases, further amplifying the US military threat to China, Russia and Iran.

East Asia is another region where the China-Iran-Russia alliance has common interests diametrically opposed to Washington's. The most obvious country where these interests conflict is North Korea. As with Iran, the Bush administration is determined to force North Korea's government to acquiesce to US security demands. Again, like Iran, North Korea poses a strategic threat to Washington's global hegemonic aspirations. The mutual antagonism by Iran and North Korea of the US has naturally brought these two countries together. North Korea has been an integral supplier to Iran's ballistic missile program over the past 15 years.

The US State Department has sanctioned the Changgwang Sinyong Corporation, North Korea's main missile exporter, four times since 2000 for engaging in proliferation activities with Iran. In 2004, US intelligence reported that North Korea was helping Iran build long-range missiles. While Iran's ties to North Korea are strategic, Russia's and China's ties to the country are security driven. Both Russia and China share common borders with North Korea.

The Soviet Union had strong ties with North Korea between 1950 and 1990 punctuated by a mutual security agreement. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia's relations with North Korea weakened sharply. President Boris Yeltsin chose not to renew the mutual security agreement with North Korea in favor of strengthening relations with South Korea.

President Vladimir Putin reestablished the historically close ties between Russia and North Korea. In 2000, Putin traveled to Pyongyang. North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-il, paid return visits to Russia in 2001 and 2002. In addition to official state visits, Moscow and Pyongyang have exchanged several ministry-level visits in the past two years. Pyongyang also enjoys very close relations with Beijing, with which high-level visits have been exchanged regularly in the past several years.

More importantly, Pyongyang and Beijing are tied together by a mutual security agreement. North Korea is an important security buffer for both China and Russia against US military projection in Asia. With Beijing and Moscow clearly in accord about countering Washington's global hegemonic aspirations, neither country is likely to sell out their relations with North Korea and this security buffer. More likely, Beijing and Moscow would like to bolster the security buffer in the light of expanding US militarism. It is extremely unlikely that the US will convince North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and uranium enrichment program because both Beijing and Moscow need North Korea and the security buffer it provides.


Playing in Washington's backyard

In 2004, Russia and China launched a counter-offensive to the expansion of US militarism in Asia. Beijing and Moscow began to court Latin America's new leftist governments in an unprecedented slap to the US. Both Russia and China have strengthened relations with Washington's arch foe in Latin America - Venezuela. In November 2004, Moscow agreed to sell Caracas as many as 30 combat helicopters and 100,000 automatic rifles. In addition, Venezuela is considering the purchase of up to 50 MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia to replace aging F-16s.

The Russia-Venezuela arms deal was widely criticized in Washington. Both Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have voiced strong opposition to the deal. In late 2004, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez visited Beijing, where he signed several oil sector investment deals with the China National Petroleum Corporation. Chavez has also stated that he would like to give oil export preference to China rather than the US. China also signed significant energy-related investment deals with Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina in 2004. The willingness of Beijing and Moscow to challenge US security so close to home clearly indicates that a geostrategic battle has begun.


Security threat or strategic competitor?

Beijing's expanding foreign relations both within and outside the China-Iran-Russia alliance and China's growing militarism have begun to repaint Washington's perceptions of US-China relations. These perceptions have been echoed by Washington's closest allies in Asia - Taipei and Tokyo. In mid-2004, reports by both the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) and the Pentagon depicted China as a major threat to US national security.

The USCC was created by Congress in 2000 "to monitor, investigate and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People's Republic of China, and to provide recommendations, where appropriate, to Congress for legislative and administrative action". In June 2004, the USCC released its annual report on China.

This report noted that China was deliberately using economic warfare against Washington by creating a "competitive advantage over US manufacturers". The report specifically referred to the undervaluation of the yuan against the dollar and Beijing's (alleged) disregard for World Trade Organization rules as weapons in China's economic war with the US. The report described China's expanding relations with Iran as countering multilateral efforts to stabilize international oil supplies and prices.

The USCC report also noted that Russia was supplying increasingly sophisticated weapons to China and that these weapons were part of Beijing's strategy for defeating US forces in the event of war with Taiwan. A congressionally mandated report on China by the Pentagon described China's Russia-assisted military buildup as giving China the ability "to cause significant damage to all of Taiwan's airfields and quickly degrade Taiwan's ground based air-defenses and associated command and control". Most alarming, the Pentagon report warned that Chinese military strategists were considering the use of nuclear weapons against US and Taiwanese forces.

The Bush administration's concern over China's growing military power is also depicted in Washington's reaction to the European Union's proposed lifting of its China arms embargo. Washington's greatest concern about renewed arms trade between the EU and China was that this trade would permanently tip the balance of power away from Taiwan and toward China. Even worse, European arms could be used to kill US troops in Asia. Of course, the possibility of Beijing using European weapons to kill US troops presupposes that a war between China and the US will erupt.

Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) share Washington's concerns about China's military threat. The Chen government's concern stems from its drive for Taiwan's independence from China and Beijing's forceful reminders that Taiwan is part of China. In the lead up to Taiwan's legislative elections in late 2004, Chen campaigned on a platform of Taiwanese independence. Though Chen's DPP suffered significant losses in these elections, Beijing's response was largely entrained in the form of China's anti-secession law.

The law was meant to firmly warn Chen against seeking Taiwan's independence from China in the event that the DPP won a legislative majority. The DPP's losses to the unification-minded opposition takes much of the bite out of the law. In addition, Chen's opposition, the Nationalist Party, has permanently stalled legislation seeking about $18 billion to bolster Taiwan's missile defense system. The opposition has realized that Taiwan has no hope of defending against a military attack from the mainland, prompting renewed ties between Taiwan's Nationalist Party and Beijing.

Along with Washington and Taipei, Tokyo also demonstrated its growing concern over China's increasing military might. In December 2004, the Japanese Defense Agency issued a defense policy guideline that defined China as a potential security threat. The report noted, "China, which has significant influence on the region's security, has been modernizing its nuclear and missile capabilities as well as naval and air forces, and expanding its area of operation at sea."

In a joint US-Japan security statement issued in February, Tokyo went further, agreeing that Japan would "encourage the peaceful resolution of issues concerning the Taiwan Strait through dialogue". Both the defense policy guideline and Tokyo's concern over tension between China and Taiwan are a dramatic departure from Japan's post-war foreign policy. The change in foreign policy focus from military pacifism to military assertion is being driven by Washington's own security concerns.

These same concerns drove Tokyo to encourage oil exploration in an area of the East China Sea that is claimed by China. Japan's military assertion has accelerated China's defense buildup while contributing to the creation of the China-Iran-Russia alliance. The shift in Tokyo's foreign policy has led to a sharp deterioration in China's relations with Japan. Foreign policies in Beijing, Washington and Tokyo are all characterized by two separate components - geopolitical relations and economic relations.


Cold War redux

Beijing's geopolitical relations with Washington and Tokyo are arguably at their lowest ebb since China established formal relations with the US and Japan in the 1970s. The deterioration in China's relations with the US and Japan and the resultant improvement in relations with Iran and Russia are being driven by Washington's outsized global security concerns. These security concerns are becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy for Washington.

In sharp contrast to geopolitical relations, economic relations between Beijing, Washington and Tokyo remain quite strong. The mutual interdependence of these economies argues strongly against the preeminence of security issues in overall relations. China is the largest trading partner of Japan and third largest trading partner of the US. In addition to substantial trade links, American and Japanese companies have invested tens of billions of dollars in China over the past 15 years. Nonetheless, Beijing, Washington and Tokyo have all elevated the importance of security to overall economic well-being.

While a conflict between the US and China over Iran or North Korea cannot be ruled out, economic interdependence suggests Beijing and Washington have entered a period of geopolitical detente. Beijing's increasingly close relations with Moscow and Tehran will contain Washington's further military projection in the Middle East, Central Asia and Asia and foil the Bush administration's plans for subduing uncooperative governments in Iran and North Korea. Finally, Washington's unilateralist foreign policy will increasingly isolate the US to the benefit of China's foreign economic relations, making Beijing all the stronger.

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Jephraim P Gundzik is president of Condor Advisers, Inc. Condor Advisers provides emerging markets investment risk analysis to individuals and institutions globally. Please visit for further information.

(Copyright 2005 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us for information on sales, syndication and republishing.)
          Episode 22- Traversing the Fedchenko Glacier – Holly Walker, Vince Shuley, Zebulon Blais        

Holly Walker, Vince Shuley and Zebulon Blais talk about their upcoming mission to traverse the Fedchenko Glacier in Tajikistan. They will be joined by Emelie Stenberg and Selena Raven Cordeau and will spend 30 days climbing, exploring and skiing the largest glacier located outside of the poles. Find out how a trip like this comes […]

The post Episode 22- Traversing the Fedchenko Glacier – Holly Walker, Vince Shuley, Zebulon Blais appeared first on Low Pressure Podcast.


          Episode 22 – Traversing the Fedchenko Glacier – Teaser        

Holly Walker, Vince Shuley and Zeb Blais share with us the epic mission they are about to embark on. They will be travelling to Tajikistan, where they and two others will be spending 30 days traversing the largest glacier outside of the Earth’s pole regions. Holy Crap! Some of the team on a training mission.

The post Episode 22 – Traversing the Fedchenko Glacier – Teaser appeared first on Low Pressure Podcast.


          Improving global governance through engagement with civil society: the case of BRICS        

This paper presents a set of recommendations to increase the effectiveness of global governance forums by incorporating the experience, views and expertise of civil society.

These recommendations are based on a research study, commissioned by Oxfam GB in Russia, which documented and analysed the experience of the Civil BRICS Forum 2015 and the views of organizers and participants. The recommendations are presented together with an overview of the lessons learned.

English
Summary picture: 
Photo credit: Andy Hall

          Tbilisi Dialogue Highlights Regional HIV Challenges        
30 Oct 2014

​Cooperation between government and civil society is crucial in securing rights for people living with HIV, a UNDP- and IDLO-sponsored meeting was told. Held in Tbilisi, Georgia with support from the European Union, the International Dialogue brought together government and civil society representatives from eleven former Soviet states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia have continued to see a rise in HIV infections. An estimated 1.6 million people live with the virus. Between 2005 and 2012, the AIDS mortality rate climbed by more than a fifth. Levels of treatment are low: no more than a third of those in need of antiretroviral therapy are estimated to be receiving it. The rights of people with HIV are frequently breached in the region: violations range from denial of confidentiality to outright criminalization of the behavior of the populations most at risk.

“HIV is a matter of human rights,” Evgeniy Spevak of the Eurasian and Belarussian Union of People Living with HIV told the meeting. […] states have the obligation to undertake legal, financial and administrative measures to bring these rights as close as possible to the highest standards of health.”

Country: 

          International Women's Day (8 March)/Dia Internaçional da Mulher (8 de março)        

International Women's Day, 8 March 2010:

Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all

From: http://www.internationalwomensday.com

International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. 

1908
Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women's oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

1909
In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

1910
In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result.

1911
Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women's Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic 'Triangle Fire' in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women's Day events. 1911 also saw women's 'Bread and Roses' campaign.

 
1913-1914
On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Wommen's Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women's solidarity.

1917
On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for "bread and peace" in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women's strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.

1918 - 1999
Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women's Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women's rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as 'International Women's Year' by the United Nations. Women's organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women's advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women's equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.

2000 and beyond
IWD is now an official holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that 'all the battles have been won for women' while many feminists from the 1970's know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.
However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.

GoogleAnnually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women's craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.
Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as 'Women's History Month'.
So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women's Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

---

More about International Women's Day from the UN's Women Watch site: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/iwd/:
In 1975, during International Women's Year, the United Nations began celebrating 8 March as International Women's Day. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions. For the United Nations, International Women's Day has been observed on 8 March since 1975. The Day is traditionally marked with a message from the Secretary-General.



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          Breaking the link between disability and exclusion in Tajikistan        
Several hundred Tajik people need long-term rehabilitation care following a large poliomyelitis (polio) outbreak in 2010. To support the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Tajikistan, WHO set up a disability rehabilitation programme in 2013. The programme improves the provision of and access to rehabilitation services for people with disabilities, with a focus on those affected by polio.

          How to Save Snow Leopards        
The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is one of the rarest and most elusive big cat species with a population of 4,500 to 7,500 spread across a range of 1.2 to 1.6 million kilometers in some of the world's harshest and most desolate landscapes. Found in arid environments and at elevations sometimes reaching 18,000 feet (5,500 meters), the species faces great threats despite its extreme habitat. These threats vary across its range, but in all countries where it is found — Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and possibly Myanmar — the species is at risk. In some countries snow leopard are directly hunted for their pelt, in others they are imperiled by depletion of prey, loss of habitat, and killing as a predator of livestock. These threats, combined with the cat's large habitat requirements, means conservation through the establishment of protected areas alone may not be enough save it from extinction in the wild in many of the countries in which it lives. Working to stave off this fate in half a dozen of its range countries is the Snow Leopard Conservancy. Founded by Dr. Rodney Jackson, a biologist who has been studying snow leopard in the wild for 30 years, the Conservancy seeks to conserve the species by "promoting innovative grassroots measures that lead local people to become better stewards of endangered snow leopards, their prey, and habitat."
          Netizen Report: Tech Community Mourns Open-Source Activist Executed by Syrian Regime        

The Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in internet rights around the world. It originally appears each week on Global Voices Advocacy. Ellery Roberts Biddle, Mohamed ElGohary, Leila Nachawati, Inji Pennu, and Sarah Myers West contributed to this report.

This week, open technology and knowledge advocates around the world mourned the execution of Bassel Khartabil, an open-web advocate and close friend of many in the Global Voices community. Bassel was reportedly sentenced to death in November 2015, at which point his whereabouts and condition became unknown. His wife, Noura Ghazi, learned this week that he was executed in 2015.

Khartabil spearheaded the open-source technology movement in Syria, as an avid contributor to global projects like Creative Commons and Wikipedia and as co-founder of the country’s first open-technology lab in Damascus. To honor his country’s historic past, he worked with technologists and architects to virtually reconstruct the ancient city of Palmyra, in hopes of reviving its historical notoriety.Like so many other peaceful technology developers and activists in Syria and beyond, Khartabil was accused of “harming state security.”

In The Cost of Freedom: A Collective Inquiry, a book of essays and poems written by artists, thinkers and technologists who knew Bassel, his wife, Noura Ghazi, reflected on his spirit:

I’ve lived all my life dreaming of Freedom, and Bassel taught me to embrace it. ... He has always shared his knowledge with everyone who asked, and has also taught many prisoners to read, write, and speak English. Bassel opened the door to technology for me, he taught me to use both computers and smartphones. He taught me the Internet. He also taught other prisoners to use computers theoretically, without having one in their hands.

Vietnamese blogger sentenced to nine years in prison
In a one-day trial on July 25, the People’s Court in Vietnam’s Hà Nam province sentenced Trần Thị Nga to nine years in prison and five years of house arrest for “conducting propaganda against the State.” The 40-year-old Nga, also known by her pen name Thúy Nga, is a prominent advocate for migrants and land rights. She has also been documenting and campaigning against police brutality on her Facebook page and her YouTube channel. Nga has been frequently intimidated and physically attacked by police for her work.

Facebookers in Kashmir and Brunei pay high prices for “anti-national” speech
A man in Kashmir was detained by police after allegedly writing “anti-national” posts on Facebook. Local residents complained to police about the posts, which appeared after India lost to Pakistan in an international cricket competition. An officer told the Kashmir Observer, “We are running a check on whether this person has links with any terror outfit or not. We are also scanning his activities on social networking sites.”

A government employee in Brunei was charged with violating the Sedition Act after he complained on Facebook about new halal certification regulations released by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Global Voices’ Mong Palatino explained that given Brunei’s stringent media regulations, issues related to civil liberties are not often discussed online. “That's why the [online] conversation about Shahiran's case provides a rare glimpse of how some netizens think about the situation in the country today,” he wrote.

Fake news flourishes on Free Basics
New research
by Global Voices show that Free Basics, the “free” mobile version of Facebook, makes it difficult for users to assess the reliability of news articles. The app only allows users to read headlines and the captions of photos, stripping away valuable context that helps users determine the validity of the information in a news report. Given the proliferation of copycat websites spreading fake news, this makes it easier for Free Basics users to spread false information without realizing it.

Forget censorship—Tajikistan will monitor the web instead
Tajikistan’s parliament passed a set of amendments to the country’s criminal law that grant security services the right to monitor and control citizens’ online activities. This includes keeping detailed records of SMS and mobile messages, social media comments, and anyone who visits websites deemed “undesirable,” though it is unclear what sites would qualify. The law also criminalizes making comments that could damage someone’s personal honor or undermine national security, with a minimum punishment of two years in jail. The legislation marks a shift in approach for the Tajik government, which historically banned controversial websites and services instead of monitoring citizens’ activities across the web.

Palestinian Authority rushes through cybercrime bill
On June 24, Palestine passed a new law regulating online transactions, media websites, and social networking sites. The law outlines a number of “cybercrimes” that can be punished by up to 15 years in prison or hard labor for life. While it lists a few cybercrimes that should be fought at all costs, such as sextortion, fiscal fraud, and identity theft, it also gives the public prosecutor's office unlimited powers to surveil Palestinian citizens, intercept their online communications, and arrest them for airing their opinions and political views online. The law was approved by President Mahmoud Abbas just two weeks later, with no opportunity for input from civil society.


          Tajikistan Flowers For Norouz 2010        

Click here to view the embedded video.

Children in Tajikistan villages go from door to door presenting the first flowers of spring to their neighbors in exchange for food and candy.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Happy Nawruz navruz Norooz 7032 حنا حنا میبنده دلبرجان نوروز پیروز

مهربان یار [...] Related posts:

  1. Norouz In Tajikistan – Cooking of Sumalaq سمنو
  2. Nowrouz 2010: Public holidays worldwide
  3. Slideshow of Nowruz in Iran and neighboring countries

          12 Must-Know Facts about Asia        
Asia is the world's largest continent in world covering 60 percent of Earth's total land area.

1.Asia is the most populous continent in the world with world's populous countries,China and India.It is the land of diversity.


2.Asia can be divided into 6 subcontinents :



  1. Central Asia – Kazakhstan Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
  2. East Asia – China, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, North and South Korea.
  3. North Asia – Russia.
  4. India Subcontinent – India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.
  5. Southeast Asia – Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar [Burma], Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  6. Southwest Asia – The Middle East including Turkey, Iran, Cyprus, Israel, and Lebanon.

3.Top Ten Tallest Mountains in Asia :

Mount Everest is the highest point on Earth and it is located in Asia.

Mount Everest with group of people
Mount Everest



  1. Everest -Nepal,Tibet
  2. K2 - Pakistan,China
  3. Kangchenjunga - Nepal,Sikkim, India
  4. Lhotse - Nepal,Tibet, China
  5. Makalu - Nepal,Tibet, China
  6. Cho Oyu - Nepal,Tibet, China
  7. Dhaulagiri - Nepal
  8. Manaslu- Nepal
  9. Nanga Parbat-Pakistan
  10. Annapurna- Nepal
4.Top Ten longest rivers in Asia :

  1. Yangtze 
  2. Yellow River 
  3. Lena River 
  4. Mekong River 
  5. Irtysh River 
  6. Yenisei River 
  7. Ob River 
  8. Nizhnyaya Tunguska River 
  9. Indus River
  10. Brahmaputra River
5.Asia is located to the east of the Suez Canal, the Ural river, and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains (or the Kuma-Manych Depression) and the Caspian and Black Seas.It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean.

6.Asia’s most dominant financial centers are Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.

7.Asia is only continent joined by two other continents,Africa and Europe.


9.China is the world's biggest nation and it is located in Asia.

10.Asia is the only continent where tigers are found in the wild.

11.Caspian Sea is the Largest Salt Lake in Asia.

12.The Dead Sea or The Salt Sea is the lowest place on earth is situated in Asia.


          Codes for making International Calls        

What is a Country Code?

      Country codes are used to make International Phone calls.Every country has a unique country code. Country codes are the prefixes you need to dial before calling to the country.This short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes (geocodes) are developed to represent countries and dependent areas.The International Dialing codes of a country is called "Country Code" or  International Area Code(IAC) or International Calling Codes.

International Calling codes of all countries



Country Codes List




CountryCountry Code
Abkhazia+995 44 +7 840, 940
Afghanistan+93
Albania+355
Algeria+213
American Samoa+1 684
Andorra+376
Angola+244
Anguilla+1 264
Antigua and Barbuda+1 268
Argentina+54
Armenia+374
Aruba+297
Ascension Island+247
Australia+61
Australian Antarctic Territory+672 1x
Austria+43
Azerbaijan+994
Bahamas+1 242
Bahrain+973
Bangladesh+880
Barbados+1 246
Belarus+375
Belgium+32
Belize+501
Benin+229
Bermuda+1 441
Bhutan+975
Bolivia+591
Bonaire+599 7
Bosnia and Herzegovina+387
Botswana+267
Brazil+55
British Indian Ocean Territory+246
British Virgin Islands+1 284
Brunei+673
Bulgaria+359
Burkina Faso+226
Burundi+257
Cambodia+855
Cameroon+237
Canada+1
Cape Verde+238
Cayman Islands+1 345
Central African Republic+236
Chad+235
Chile+56
Christmas Island+61 8 9164
Cocos Islands+61 8 9162
Colombia+57
Cook Islands+682
Costa Rica+506
Côte d'Ivoire+225
Croatia+385
Cuba+53
Curacao+599 9
Cyprus+357
Czech Republic+420
Democratic Republic of the Congo+243
Denmark+45
Djibouti+253
Dominica+1 767
Dominican Republic+1 809 / 829 / 849
East Timor+670
Ecuador+593
Egypt+20
El Salvador+503
Equatorial Guinea+240
Eritrea+291
Estonia+372
Ethiopia+251
Falkland Islands+500
Faroe Islands+298
Federated States of Micronesia+691
Fiji+679
Finland+358
France+33
French Guiana+594
French Polynesia+689
Gabon+241
Gambia+220
Georgia+995
Germany+49
Ghana+233
Gibraltar+350
Global Mobile Satellite System+881
Greece+30
Greenland+299
Grenada+1 473
Guadeloupe+590
Guam+1 671
Guatemala+502
Guernsey+44 1481
Guinea+224
Guinea-Bissau+245
Guyana+592
Haiti+509
Honduras+504
Hong Kong+852
Hungary+36
Iceland+354
India+91
Indonesia+62
International Freephone UIFN+800
International Premium Rate Service+979
Iran+98
Iraq+964
Ireland+353
Isle of Man+44 1624
Israel+972
Italy+39
Jamaica+1 876
Japan+81
Jersey+44 1534
Jordan+962
Kazakhstan+7 6xx, 7xx
Kenya+254
Kiribati+686
Kosovo+377 44 / 45 +386 43 / 49 +381 28 / 29 / 38 / 39
Kuwait+965
Kyrgyzstan+996
Laos+856
Latvia+371
Lebanon+961
Lesotho+266
Liberia+231
Libya+218
Liechtenstein+423
Lithuania+370
Luxembourg+352
Macau+853
Macedonia+389
Madagascar+261
Mainland China+86
Malawi+265
Malaysia+60
Maldives+960
Mali+223
Malta+356
Marshall Islands+692
Martinique+596
Mauritania+222
Mauritius+230
Mayotte+262 269 / 639
Mexico+52
Moldova+373
Monaco+377
Mongolia+976
Montenegro+382
Montserrat+1 664
Morocco+212
Mozambique+258
Myanmar+95
Nagorno-Karabakh+374 47 / 97
Namibia+264
Nauru+674
Nepal+977
Netherlands+31
New Caledonia+687
New Zealand+64
Nicaragua+505
Niger+227
Nigeria+234
Niue+683
Norfolk Island+672 3
North Korea+850
Northern Mariana Islands+1 670
Norway+47
Oman+968
Pakistan+92
Palau+680
Palestinian territories+970
Panama+507
Papua New Guinea+675
Paraguay+595
Peru+51
Philippines+63
Poland+48
Portugal+351
Puerto Rico+1 787 / 939
Qatar+974
Republic of China (Taiwan)+886
Republic of the Congo+242
Réunion+262
Romania+40
Russia+7
Rwanda+250
Saba+599 4
Saint Helena+290
Saint Kitts and Nevis+1 869
Saint Lucia+1 758
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1 784
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon+508
Samoa+685
San Marino+378
São Tomé and Príncipe+239
Saudi Arabia+966
Senegal+221
Serbia+381
Seychelles+248
Sierra Leone+232
Singapore+65
Sint Eustatius+599 3
Sint Maarten+599 5
Slovakia+421
Slovenia+386
Solomon Islands+677
Somalia+252
South Africa+27
South Korea+82
South Sudan+211
Spain+34
Sri Lanka+94
Sudan+249
Suriname+597
Swaziland+268
Sweden+46
Switzerland+41
Syria+963
Tajikistan+992
Tanzania+255
Telecommunications for Disaster Relief by OCHA+888
Thailand+66
Togo+228
Tokelau Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent in the world with 50 Countries.Here is the list of 50 countries in  Asia and their capitals. 
Asia





S.no
Countries
Capitals
1.
Afghanistan
Kabul
2.
Armenia
Yerevan
3.
Azerbaijan
Baku
4.
Bahrain
Manama
5.
Bangladesh
Dhaka
6.
Bhutan
Thimphu
7.
Brunei
Bandar Seri Begawan
8.
Cambodia
Phnom Penh
9.
Cyprus
Nicosia
10.
East Timor
Dili
11.
Egypt
Cairo
12.
Georgia
Tbilisi
13.
India
New Delhi
14.
Indonesia
Jakarta
16.
Iran
Tehran
17.
Iraq
Baghdad
18.
Israel
Jerusalem
19.
Japan
Tokyo
20.
Jordan
Amman
21.

Kazakhstan
Astana
22.
Kuwait
Kuwait City
23.
Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek
24.
Laos
Vientiane
25.
Lebanon
Beirut
26.
Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur
27.
Maldives
Malé
28.
Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar
29.
Myanmar
Naypyidaw
30.
Nepal
Kathmandu
31.
North Korea
Pyongyang (P'yŏngyang)
32.
Oman
Muscat
33.
Pakistan
Islamabad
34.
The People's Republic of China
Beijing
35.
The Philippines
Manila
36.
Qatar
Doha
37.
The Republic of China
Taipei
38.
Russia
Moscow
39.
Saudi Arabia
Riyadh
40.
Singapore
Singapore
41.
South Korea
Seoul
42.
Syria
Damascus
43.
Tajikistan
Dushanbe
44.
Thailand
Bangkok
45.
Turkey
Ankara
46.
Turkmenistan
Ashgabat
47.
The United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi
48.
Uzbekistan
Tashkent
49.
Vietnam
Hanoi
50.
Yemen
Sanaá

          Dynaflex appointed authorized representative for TGI ILMADUR gauge & sight glasses in Middle East & Africa        
TGI's factory in Ilmenau

Ilmenau — 22 June 2012 — Dynaflex Corporation, the authorized importer, stockist & representative in India for ILMADUR gauge & sight glasses manufactured by Technische Glaswerke Ilmenau GmbH, has been allotted by TGI the additional territories of the Middle East & Africa to cater to requirements of their ILMADUR branded gauge & sight glasses in the region. With this appointment, Dynaflex Corporation will now export Ilmadur Gauge & Sight Glasses to Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Northern Cyprus, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Comoros, Djibouti, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan & Sahrawi.

ILMADUR branded gauge & sight glasses are manufactured by Technische Glaswerke Ilmenau GmbH at it's Ilmenau plant. ILMADUR gauge and sight glasses are manufactured from borosilicate “I-420” material developed and patented by TGI particularly to produce high-quality sight glasses.

About TGI
Technische Glaswerke Ilmenau GmbH is a leading manufacturer of laboratory and household glassware, sight and gauge glasses, pressed technical glasses, glass tubes, capillaries & rods in Ilmenau, a town located in the district of Ilm-Kreis, Thuringia, Germany.

About Dynaflex Corporation
Dynaflex Corporation is a leading importer and one of the largest stockists in the world of technical & safety glasses from the leading manufacturers in Europe & the USA. Most of the products are again re-exported to South East Asia, Middle East, Africa, North & South Americas & Europe.

Contact
To learn more about this topic, please contact
Dynaflex Corporation, Media Relations
Tek Towers (DOXA)
No.11, Rajiv Gandhi Salai (OMR)
Thoraipakkam
Chennai 600097, INDIA
pr@dynaflex.asia


          My take on China’s "Marshall Plan"        
An abridged and combined translation of the two-part series by He Qinglian published in VoA on Nov 15 and 18 respectively. -- translator note.

Overcapacity: “nuclear threat’ of the Chinese economy

The majority of industries in China faces severe overcapacity that seriously threatens the smooth function of the Chinese economy.
Despite China’s high hope for it, “the Road Map for the Asian Investment Bank” remained only a plan in the APEC summit in 2014. In addition, the Mexican government decided to cancel a Chinese company’s $3.7 billion bid for a hi-speed railway project. China’s "Marshall Plan", which aims chiefly to “export the country’s overcapacity”, is off to a bad start; Beijing would still need to find ways to deal with the “nuclear threat” of the Chinese economy.

Why would China want to implement a Marshall Plan?

Most of the comments made inside China regarding the country’s "Marshall Plan" focus on the investment to be made overseas. While some might point out “export of capacity” is an intent, they deliberately omit the key modifier for the word capacity: over.

China seeks to establish an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and, with that bank as the core, materialize its planning of “one belt and one road”—“the Silk Road Economic Belt” and “the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century”. Through this “one belt and one road”, China can export capacity it doesn’t need. Commentators dubbed this as China’s Marshall Plan.

What I want to discuss here is the reason why China needs to implement its "Marshall Plan": The majority of industries in China faces severe overcapacity that seriously threatens the smooth function of the Chinese economy.

Why is overcapacity deemed as “nuclear threat” to the Chinese economy?

Overcapacity means the sum of productivity is greater than the sum of consumption demand. Unlike the US Marshall Plan that exported predominantly manufacturing apparatuses, the Chinese version seeks to export its infrastructure (such as railways and motorways) and the up- and downstream industries of the real property, where overcapacity is most noticeable.

China’s overcapacity came almost hand-in-hand with the country’s economic growth and its roots can be summarized as follows: investment made in the socialist manner and demand came following the capitalist fashion.

By “investment made in the socialist manner” I mean borrowers—state-owned-enterprises bosses (exempt from shouldering responsibility as unwritten rules dictate) and private companies owners (they would flee if they become bankrupt) alike—do not have to shoulder real risks as investment funds came mainly from the government or commercial banks and the investment risks are transferred to banks as bad debts.

By “demand came following the capitalist fashion” I mean that there has to be market demand for capacity. If effective demand is insufficient, excess, or in the case of the Chinese economy, over capacity would result.

Based on the aforementioned summary, we could see that China’s overcapacity has the following two characteristics:

First, overcapacity is the inevitable product of government interference with the economy.

Chinese economic growth is often linked to government stimulus policies. Whenever the central government launches stimulus policies, local authorities would without a doubt initiate as they please projects that are very similar in nature and result in severe overcapacity. Although the central government seeks to arrest excessive growth in some industries through macroeconomic regulation and control, their efforts have often been futile, with new overcapacity emerging while the existing ones have not yet been cleared.

In 2009, the NPC Financial and Economic Committee revealed in a survey and research report that starting from 2005, varying levels of overcapacity could be seen in 19 industries. At that time, the State Council Standing Committee set about a special plan to tackle the issue; however, with the local authorities seeing GDP growth as their achievement, overcapacity could not be controlled. By 2013, overcapacity became, as the respective industries acknowledged, a widely seen phenomenon that appeared in aluminum production, steel manufacturing, photovoltaics, wind power, ship building and the like.

Second, the macroeconomic regulation and control policy of the central government results, more often than not, in overcapacity becoming even more serious. Take for example the steel industry in China, despite going through several attempts to suppress its overcapacity in the last decade or so, the industry managed to circumvent those measures in one place or another somehow.

For instance, government policy stipulated that furnaces smaller than 200 cubic meters would be phased out. The intention of the policy was to eliminate smaller mills. However, many of those mills replaced their furnaces with ones sized 300, 500 cubic meters or even bigger. The phased out standard was raised to 300 cubic meters later on, and the mills made changes accordingly. This resulted in the actual capacity of China’s steel manufacture growing larger and larger.

Right now, the steel manufacturing industry has been in a state of overcapacity for several years and yet enterprises are still very eager to increase their capacity. In 2013, the overcapacity of the steel industry in China was 300 million tons, roughly two times the EU capacity. And in 2014, according to China United Steel Net (CUSteel), 24 new furnaces were put into operation; their combined annual capacity was 35 million tons. Although this was half of the 70 million tons increase in capacity in 2013, it’s still adding to the overcapacity issue when the demand is not strong.

According to a document from the National Development and Reform Commission, overcapacity could also be seen in a wide range of other industries and analysts were quoted as saying that there are but a handful of industries that do not have the overcapacity issue. Thus, overcapacity became the “nuclear threat” of the Chinese economy.

Why is it so difficult to bring overcapacity under control? The reasons, apart from the systemic issues of investment mentioned above, are that local authorities have two things to consider. First, phasing out excess capacity would result in huge layoffs, which would destabilize society and contradict the government objective of stability maintenance. And the second thing is debt risk. At present, the debt ratio of member companies of CUSteel is as high as 70%, with the total amount of loans reaching 1.3 trillion dollars. If the debt of non-CUSteel-member companies is also included, the sum of debt of the entire steel industry may exceed 2 trillion dollars. Phasing out companies would leave behind a massive credit black hole.

Obstacles abroad: oppositions to AIIB

Judging from China’s own situation, export of excess capacity might be a solution. So, during a 2013 visit to Indonesia, Xi Jinping offered to “finance infrastructure projects in developing countries in Asia, including ASEAN members” and proposed to set up an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
After representatives from 21 countries including China, India, Kazakhstan and Vietnam signed their signatures on the AIIB memorandum on October 24, the financial institution is expected to complete its charter signing procedures and works to make it become effective in 2015 and come into operation before the end of 2015.

The obstacles AIIB faces include a lack of interest from major economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Representative from four key economies in the region—Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Australia—did not attend the AIIB memorandum signing ceremony. In addition, both the US and Japan oppose it. There were reports that the US asked its allies to take careful considerations before they decide to join the AIIB. Nakao Takehiro, president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), stated simply that he does not welcome the creation of another regional bank spearheaded by China with objectives similar to the ADB.
Without the China-led AIIB to handle the lending business, it would not be easy for China to implement its plan to export the country’s excess capacity.

Obstacles abroad: investment risks outweigh opportunities

The idea of “one belt and one road” fascinated China, with plenty of articles on its bright prospects. These articles, I have to say, are written by starry-eyed persons who took into account only where to invest, i.e., where they could export excess capacity and did not think about the ways to have their return of investment guaranteed.

China’s so-called “market economy”, interfered with by the administration, concentrated only on how to get approvals from superiors, how to banks to lend the money and spend it; never once was ROI taken into consideration and unfinished projects and debts were deemed simply as “prices for mistakes”.

Take a look at the countries and regions covered by this “one belt and one road”, we could see that ASEAN, Southern Asia, West Asia, North Africa and Europe are all included.

Sure enough, countries like Korea, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and Russia are not in the initial stage of industrialization and they have in place well-developed infrastructure and so they don’t need to take in massive excess capacity from China.

As for India, it’s a populous country that doesn’t lag far behind China in terms of manufacturing and I.T. industries and has plenty of workers if it really needs to build infrastructure.

Hence, countries that might actually need China’s help would only be Indonesia, Malaysia and Central Asian countries like Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Obstacles abroad: troubles and losses

The difference between overseas investment in “one belt and one road” and that China made in the past is that: in the past, China's overseas investment was strategic investment made to resolve its energy and mineral needs; this time, it is to release China's massive overcapacity and it came up with the premise that other countries need infrastructure and yet they lack the fund.

But all investment, whatever the purposes maybe, needs returns. The gains and losses incurred in overseas investment made in the past can provide meaningful insights into how China has been doing.

The Heritage Foundation set up a database called China's Global Reach to keep trace of overseas investment projects of Chinese enterprises that worth 100 million dollars or more. The data showed that China invested in industries like energy, mining, transportation and banking.

Between 2005 and 2012, Chinese enterprises made investment in 492 projects that worth at least 100 million dollars and committed a total of 505.15 billion dollars, around 90% of this money came from State-owned enterprises. And according to the list of “troublesome projects” in the database, 88 projects of the same period were either rejected by supervision agencies in later stages or partly or completely failed, a total of 198.81 billion dollars were involved.
Things are much much worse if according to China's own calculation. Wang Wenli, vice-president of China Economic and Trade Promotion Association, said in August this year that there over 20,000 Chinese companies have investment overseas, more than 90% of those suffered losses because of [faulty] asset valuation, labor disputes, anti-monopoly and national security issues, tax, public relations and so on. What Wang did not include was embezzlement committed by overseas investment management of state-owned enterprises.

These factors of losses would not go away because the investment objective of “one belt and one road” changed to export of excess capacity.

Beneficiaries of China's overseas investment

The massive investment China made in the last decade or so is a phenomenon unlike anything the international community has ever seen. Such a phenomenon could not possibly emerge in capitalist countries, where all investment all from private money; no multinationals would keep making investment with a loss rate as high as 70-90% over a long period; it didn't emerge in any other socialist countries either: before the 1990s, socialist countries only traded among themselves; today, of the remaining socialist countries, China is the only one to have amassed a wealth so massive that it can make large-scale and ineffective overseas investment using its state power.

As a result, China as a socialist authoritarian country became economically intertwined with democratic countries around the world, and adversaries were turned into partners.

But for all the political gains, China's investment overseas has so far incurred only economic losses. And despite this, China is still making investment abroad. According to China's Ministry of Commerce, the country committed 81.9 billion dollars in direct investment overseas. It's hard to see this as normal investment behavior.

A news report in a Guangzhou newspaper on September 2 would perhaps hold the key to the question why China is so persistent in making investment overseas despite the staggering losses: many mid-level officials of the PetroChina and Sinopec cliques sought opportunity to emigrate to Canada, the US, the UAE and elsewhere before they are struck by the anti-corruption drive. It's estimated that 20 to 40 billion dollars would thus be moved out of China.

          Pacing tactics for recreational and competitive cyclists        
In my inaugural article at Tour d’Afrique I make my introductions and share some tips, tactics and strategies for athletes riding in the Silk Route Expedition. Tee Silk route is broken into several sections but for those brave athletes that will be riding the whole 12,100 kilometer/3899 miles in 129 days through China, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. These ... Read More
          Tajikistan’s Abandoned Wives        
Many men find new partners while working abroad, leaving families at home without support.

Adolat’s story is a familiar one amongst many Tajik women. She has been on her own ever since her labour migrant husband took a new wife while in Russia.

The 40-year-old mother-of-three from the Bokhtar district of Khatlon region said her husband Muhamad had been working in Russia for many years, but used to visit often and send money home.

But the last time he came to Tajikistan was nine years ago, for his eldest daughter’s wedding. He brought his new “wife” to the event, and Adolat says that she hasn’t seen him since.

While in Russia, Muhamad had married another Tajik labour migrant in a religious wedding ceremony known as a nikoh. He then stopped sending any money home to his first family in Tajikistan.



Up to a quarter of the Tajik population are labour migrants, almost all men. Women back in Tajikistan are left to take care of their families. (Photo: Adil Nurmakov/Flickr)
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          Commentaires sur Occlusions veineuses rétiniennes par MichaelNex        
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          For all those who wish they had received a Christmas newsletter from me last year        



Finally, a news letter about one person, not five, four of whom you’ve never met and who you resent for displacing you in the life of the first. This letter is a summary of all things me. For those of you only interested in who I married and how many kids my wife had last year and how my career is serving to nurture said persons, you may stop reading now.


In 2010 Joseph (conventional news letter structure dictates I write in third person, which really annoys me, but is nonetheless one of the most important indicators, along with the embedding of a family photograph, that the dispatch is indeed a formal news letter and not simply a letter relating news, the distinction of which is important this time of year when goodly neighbors everywhere are judging their own goodliness by how many official Christmas news letters they receive) finished graduate school (if you don’t know what I studied, you have received this letter in error—your address must have slipped into the lists of people I know), spent the summer in Tajikistan learning Tajiki (if you don’t know where that is, you may or may not have received this letter in error—many in my own family still ask me where I was this summer), went to China for kicks (really, for kicks—my “Michael Jackson Number One” Converse knock-offs are the best thing that happened to me that trip), moved back to Ohio and got a job working for Battelle for Kids (if you think this sounds like a company that builds weapon systems for kids, and that I took the job hoping for employee discounts on Nerf weaponry, you deserve this news letter—you know me well).


Now that formalities are complete, I would like to direct your attention to the left of the text where you will see this year’s three finalists in Oslo’s Nobel Face Prize competition. Most people are familiar with Norway’s Nobel Peace Prize, but many are unaware that among the several other international Nobel prizes awarded annually in Alfred Nobel’s honor, is the Nobel Face Prize. As it turns out, each of the finalists this year is me. Oslo, in a gesture to democracy and fairness, is offering each of you the opportunity to circle your favorite finalist and send the committee your vote, so that whoever wins this year, the world can rest assured, he is the peoples’ choice.

Oh, and Merry Christmas

Love, joe


          Ethnic Federalism a Reactionary Plan for Iran's Future- Second Version http://www.ghandchi.com/555-FederalismeGhomiEng.htm Persian Version متن فارسی        
Align LeftEthnic Federalism a Reactionary Plan for Iran's Future- Second Version
http://www.ghandchi.com/555-FederalismeGhomiEng.htm

Persian Version متن فارسی
http://www.ghandchi.com/555-FederalismeGhomi.htm

Again although I have repeatedly discussed these issues from a theoretical perspective (1) but I have to clearly state my political position although the political groups I am addressing here try character assassination and attack using pseudonames on the Internet without their leaders inside the remainders of Democratic Party of Iranian Kudistan (PDKI.org) and the remnants of Komala (komala.org) and the Congress of Nationalities for Federal Iran (iranfederal.org) who are at the helm of these destruction programs for Iran to take responsibility for such personal attacks. On one hand in their radio and TV front programs they pretend to be Iran lovers but on the other hand open criticism of their Iran-breaking platforms is met with character assassination under pseudonames so that they would not have to take direct responsibility for their destructive political positions towards Iran. Let me emphasize that my opposition to these groups and their programs to break up Iran in ethnic hatred has nothing to do with nationalism which I oppose as well (2).

The reality is that for decades the Islamist fundamentalist and Stalinist groups have lost any following in the more advanced parts of Iran among the political and human rights activists and nobody in the Iran's civil rights movement or in Iran's new political opposition has any relationship with such groups and noone in a democratic mindset would consider her/himself a sympathizer of such backward sects which still try to find following, just like the Islamic Republic, by boasting the number of martyrs they have had in the last 30 years ago and previous to that. But in some parts of Iran like Kurdistan there are still some civil rights activists who are afraid of these groups. When these groups try to use the civil rights movement of areas like Kurdistan as a front for themselves, and for their ethnic federalist platforms, these activists are intimidated to go along. One of the most recent examples of such efforts by these ethnic sects is the formation of a group called Iran Federal with a clear *ethnic* federalist mind set in facebook which I think should be boycotted because it tries to mislead people by using the word federalism when their platform is nothing more than ethnic division of Iran and their goal is *not* a non-ethnic administrative decentralization like American federalism.

Even Komala and PDKI today are divided into several pieces although they still go by their old names and are just like the Communist Party of Gus Hall in the United States when time and again in any presidential election, again Mr. Gus Hall is a candidate from the that Communist Party USA, for American presidency, a candidacy which is nothing more than a ridiculous game in the eyes of living political forces in the U.S., whether they are conservative or are at the opposite end of the political spectrum. Of course if Iran was a democracy and if these same groups showed up as humorous political realities in the open and were not using the atmosphere of secrecy in Iranian political life, to create the impression of an important force, there would be no need even to write about them as nobody in the US politics even talks about Gus Hall and his Communist Party. But in Iran too, in the 21st Century these sects that only resemble a ridiculous caricature of a historical Stalinist parties with backward programs have long lost any attractions in the regions they claim to have following, as the civil rights movement and modern political thinking is growing in those areas too but these groups try to use the hush hush of secrecy to draw a different picture of political reality of those regions.

Also those in other parts of Iran who do not know about these realities when they visit regions like Kurdistan are like someone who has left the urban areas for the countryside and in the first sight, the facade of strong non-religious organizations when seeing the office and facilities of these groups in the neighboring countries of Iran (in Iraq) impresses them as if these groups are more advanced than the political groups in other parts of Iran and imagine as if they are visiting a modern political party whereas for these sects, these days, only ethnicism has replaced their past Stalinist flag making them the twin of Khomeini's religionist politics, where they are both remnants of Iran's Medieval times, and surely they have nothing to do with Modernism.

Many activists who fled the Islamic Republic from Tehran and see the offices of some of these groups in neighboring country Iraq think that these sects are a powerful force in those regions. These sects by creating lobby groups in the U.S. and Europe and by receiving money from several countries in recent years and by forming relationships with neighboring countries are working just like the Ferghe Democrat of Azerbaijan and of Kurdistan lead by Pishevari and Ghazai Mohammad in the 1940's, when they created similar relations with the northern Azerbaijan Soviet Republic at the time of Stalin and were both destroyed in the aftermath of Stalin's pact with Iran's government in mid 1940's. Although the current remnants of those groups carrying the same name are nothing more thank a caricature of those groups of the 40's withno grassroots following in those regions but they work hard are to fool the honest political and civil rights activists of Iran and also endeavor to misrepresent themselves to some of the advisers of foreign governments who are not familiar with the realities of Iran's Kurdistan and this way they try to fool them to get money and weapons for themselves. Their political platform of these sects are like a Stalinist nightmare which weighs heavily on the body of Iranian political movement as they try to mislead Iran's prodemocracy movement towards ethnic hatred and civil war by advocating the breakup of Iran in an ethnic destruction. They are pushing platforms that, along with dark nightmares of Soviet influence, even among older activists of Iran, have long been discarded, and are looked at as part of a history which brought us nothing more than destruction, and finally an Islamic Republic which today is not much different from Stalin's Soviet Union. Today when our people say we want a secular republic it means we want a government which not only is not Islamic-oriented, but it is not ideology-oriented, and is not ethnicity-oriented. In other word we do not wabt to discard negation of secularism by a religious state, to accept negation of secularism by an ethnic state, which is another version of a nonsecular state, because it approves of ethnic apartheid, just as Soviet Union was another version of a nonsecular state by being ideology-oriented.

But if Khomeini's Islamists brought us the souvenir of a backward religious state in the 21st Century, these ethnicists want to bring back an ethnic state for our people, at the time of demise of Stalinism and Communism, and are dreaming of Iraq's Kurdistan (a wholly different situation in remnants of Ottoman Empire which I have extensively discussed in my book about Kurdistan that is used to mislead Iranian Kurds as a pretext for the so-called Theory of Greater Kurdistan). They are waiting for Iran's situation to change a little bit towards freedom, and instead of helping the prodemocracy movement of Iran, by misusing the efforts of Iran's prodemocracy activists to disintegrate Iran. They are so shameless that they talk as representative of Kurdish people about the post-June 12th demonstrations of Tehran and other parts of Iran and send message as if Kurdistan is a separate country and as if they are the representative of that country instead of participating in the current movement along with other prodemocracy activists as the people of Kemanshah did in the memorial ceremony of Kianoush Asa, in a movement which emphasizes secularism that negates both Islamism and Ethnicism.

Iran is a country which is neither coming out of a war nor is it just a collection of regions wishing to form a modern state to decide whether they want to choose a canton-style confederation model like Switzerland or follow the model of federalism of the former colonies of the America forming the United States. The reason that I have personally even suggested provincial federalism for Iran which resembles US federal system was not based on any ethnic division and was not because of any illusion as to think of country-making (so-called nation-building) but it was solely because the existing Iran has had a modern state, although not a democratic one, for over 100 years, and our provinces that are the result of the 100-year development may be able to use provincial federalism to help the **checks and balances** to further grow democracy in Iran, not to grow ethnic hatred. Basically provincial federalism means that all three branches of government are elected offices in every province and are not appointed offices from the center (3).

Otherwise to resolve issues of the ethnic rights, whether one adopts the provincial federal model or a central state, is related to citizen rights in Iran and has nothing to do with federalism, and thus ethnic state is not a solution to those issues. If we end up sliding in the slope of tribal government, I also like many other Iranian political activists, will drop federalism altogether from my suggested platform, because I do not want federalism to be used as an excuse to break up Iran and turn Iran into another Yugoslavia, which is only the wish of colonialists and reactionaries, and is not the desire of Iran's freedom loving people, and we in the Iran's political movement feel no proximity with such colonial backward schemes and condemn any such endeavors to break up Iran's territorial integrity.

Fundamentally our argument against ethnic federalism is not because of impracticality. The point is that an ethnic state in one province or two or a region or in the whole country is reactionary. Paying attention to the ethnic demands in the areas of language and culture has nothing to do with having an ethnic state (4). The same way that paying attention to the religious demands has nothing to do with accepting a religious government, and in fact, it is the reverse, and ethnic or religious states are themselves the cause of ethnic and religious discrimination.

Any personal insults, threats, etc. is not a response to my discussions. Modern government was formed in Iran for more than a century ago after the Constitutional Revolution and we are not at the beginning of state-making to define our borders, and such issues to become our preoccupation, as some of these sect leaders want to push us that way, is against the interests of Iranian people and no foreign government should help such efforts which are condemned by Iran's pro-democracy movement and is viewed not much different from the wron support of Khomeini by some Western countries in 1979 at the expense of Iran's secular opposition groups. Even if we predict a situation like Yugoslavia in Iran, what we have learned from the experience of Iran's 1979 Revolution is that we made a mistake when we assumed the supporters of a religious government to be progressive, and this time we will not view those who are dreaming of ethnic state for Iran, as progressive, and will clearly draw our line separating ourselves from them, from now.

What is from the distant past of Iran in the Iranian plateau namely countries such as former Soviet Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan if decide to join Iran, in a bigger region, such a union will neither be an ethnic federation nor a provincial federation but it will be a new thing like European Union and has nothing to do with these discussions, or with the ridiculous games of separatists, to justify the disintegration of Iran, when the result will not be the strengthening of democracy, and if not constant civil war, in the best case will be an ethnic state like the state of Ardalans in Kurdistan in Medieval Iran which more resembles the state of Farmanfarmaeian rule in Fars province at the end of Qajar Dynasty, where they both, just like the power of clergy, belong to the old world, and reviving them in any part of Iran, is regressive, and a return to the past, and not progress, the same way Khomeini brought back the rule of clergy 30 years ago, which was a return in history, and was not modernism and progress.

A particular mistake that some Kurdish political friends in Iran makeو is that the Iraqi Kurdistan regional government has become a source of going astray for them, and now they say Shi'ite and Sunni Kurds of Iran should unite or they call for linguistic unity among the Kurds to unite Kurdistan, East Azerbaijan, Ilam and Kermanshah provinces of Iran into one region, planning for a Kurdistan regional government in Iran, similar to Iraq. If Iraqi Kurdistan has now Kurdish new television programs, Soviet Azerbaijan had all these decades ago. The issue of Kurds and Azeri of Iran is not these things, why are these sect leaders trying to mislead people of Kurdistan with these words to separate them from the large pro-democracy movement of people of Iran. If the sect leaders again cause the blood of Iranian people to spill because of these nonsense of ethnic state, there is no difference between them and Khomeini who brought destruction for our people for 30 years, with a retrogressive platform of a non-secular state.

Ethnic makeup of different parts of Iran has been formed the way it is because of the wars with the Ottomans and Russia and in Iran's previous and later history (5). Iran not only now but in the past 100 years has not been in a country-making (nation-making) situation and even during the 1979 Revolution, the movement did not have such a goal in its outlook, which some remnants of Komala and PDKI and together in Congress of Nationalities for Federal Iran (iranfederal.org) are trying to push by the help of foreign powers, by combining some provinces they want to separate from Iran. Stop these breakup schemes for Iran. Those activists among them, who had some respect in the Iranian movement, were political activists in Aryamehr University in Tehran at the time of the Shah and were not some people trying to create ethnic state in Iran, and were considered as Iranian political activists, because they were prodemocracy activists for Iran, and not because of being after breaking up Iran for ethnicism. Not even anybody knew these friends were Kurdish in those days, let alone to be pro-ethnic separation, when working with them. Moreovere, today Iran's new political movement is not after a revolution and is for peaceful change and the armed operations of the likes of Jundullah and armed groups in Kurdistan only hurt the growth of this movement unless they want to achive their goals by starting a war with Iran which I will discuss below.

Those who are after military attack on Iran, and hope Iran to be attacked to make small countries out of Iran, will only get the wrath of Iranian people, and will be marked for betrayal, even by Kurds and Azeris of Iran, just like those who because of cooperation with Saddam Hussein, got the mark of treason by Iranian people, and have been isolated from the Iranian movement. The Congress of Nationalities for Federal Iran (iranfederal.org) and remnants of Komala and PDKI better take their shop somewhere else and instead of getting money from foreign countries, join the civil rights movement of Iran. Times of Comintern and the foreign states making decisions for Iran has long passed and this is why Iranian movement after so many years remembers Dr. Mossadegh with such reverence. Don't do something to get the label of treason and betrayal of Iran forever. If the mistake of Pishevari and Ghazi Mohammad in the era of dominance of Stalinism in the international progressive movement, was understandable, the actions of remnants of Komala, PDKI, and Congress of Nationalities for Federal Iran (iranfederal.org) are not only unjustifiable but will be the mark of shame on the forehead of their leaders.

Forces and individuals belonging to the prodemocracy movement of Iran that are not agents of foreign powers should separate their way from these groups and should clearly state that they are after democratization of Iran. Using the models of provincial federalism in existing country of Iran is not for breaking up Iran, but is to grow democracy in Iran, and that is all. Even if this model of provincial federalism becomes something for separatists to misuse, I personally am ready to remove federalism from my suggested political platform altogether, instead of allowing it to give rise to a civil war in Iran. The leaders of these ethnicists have heard all these several times but again they translate federalism to ethnic federalism. I do not want to have any part in such federalism and if that is what they are looking for, one should vote negative to any proposal for federalism in any founding parliament in any future state for Iran. I personally and specifically until these groups have not been dissolved, or until the majority of supporters of federalism have not distanced themselves from ethnic federalism, will not support the position of federal republic for Iran. Repeating again, the issue for Iran, is not country-making (nation-making), to allow the merging of the four provinces of Kurdistan to create a new Kurdistan, so that it can become part of the Greater Kurdistan schemes of PKK later (6). No we will resist any such schemes that are the start of Iran's breakup.

Such ethnicist views were followed by some people for Azerbaijan, and a generation was destroyed. This is a wrong road, let's not try it again. The problem is not whether it is practical or not, the problem is that it is a wrong way for any force in Iran's democratic movement, which wastes the movement's energy on ethnic hatred, rather than on the growth of democracy. PJAK party is a living example of this error in Turkey, and Iran does not even have the problems of Turkey, when the Iran's branch of PKK, the PJAK, or Komala or PDKI, or Congress of Nationalities for Federal Iran (iranfederal.org) are prescribing such paths of going astray for our people. Theseactions have nothing to do with the freedom movement of Iran and will only destroy the new secular and democratic movement of Iran.

Hoping for a Democratic and Secular Futurist Republic in Iran,

Sam Ghandchi, Publisher/Editor
IRANSCOPE
http://www.iranscope.com
August 14, 2009



Footnotes:

1. http://tinyurl.com/p3f3ab
2. http://tinyurl.com/q37ywu
3. http://tinyurl.com/p8bv9f
4. http://tinyurl.com/ppr75a
5. http://tinyurl.com/rceagk
6. http://tinyurl.com/qzqaor



-------------------------------------------------------
Web Site
http://tinyurl.com/q5ov94

All Articles
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Web ghandchi.com


          Comment on “Ismaili country” for Aga Khan: AKDN and Aga Khan Foundation funding Ismaili separatist militants against Tajikistan government by Aga Khan Foundation official declares Muslims as ‘cancer’ of society | Inside Ismailism        
[…] Indeed what their hearts conceal, is far more than what this tweet reveals. Read more: West plans new country for Ismailis […]
          Comentario en Yamaha PW-X, Bosch y Brose : motores eMTB 2017. por MichaelRam        
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          Comentario en Yamaha PW-X, Bosch y Brose : motores eMTB 2017. por MichaelRam        
Our company is a unique producer of quality fake documents. We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards, stamps and other products for a number of countries like: USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. This list is not full. 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          Comentario en Yamaha PW-X, Bosch y Brose : motores eMTB 2017. por MichaelRam        
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          Kommentar zu Ein Blick zurück… von Roland Holzer        
Hallo Corinna & Phillip, auf der Suche nach Infos ueber Tajikistan bin ich auf eure Website gestossen. Fliege Mitte Juli nach Dushanbe und werde mit dem Velo ueber den Pamirhighway nach Kirigistan fahren, fliege dann von Bishkek wieder nach Hause. Habe das Tajikistan Visum schon im Pass (von der Wiener Botschaft): Ich wusste dass man sich mit einem 30 Tage Touristenvisum nicht registrieren lassen muss und habe deshalb ein soches beantragt - allerdings habe ich ein Double Entry Visa - das war nur geringfuegig teurer. Wie ich allerdings jetzt aus euerem Blog erlese ist man dann mit einem Double Entry Visa dann doch wieder registrierungspflichtig. Ich habe unzahlige Websiten und Infos gewaelzt bevor ich das Visum beantragt habt, diese Information ist mir allerdings komplett neu ! Meine Frage deshalb: Woher habe ihr diese Information dass man mit einem 30 Tage Double Entry Tourist Visa registrierungspflichtig ist ??? Gruss und Vielen Dank, Roland
          Temperatures rise, but Tajikistan still on alert after winter crisis        
UNICEF Deputy Representative for Tajikistan Ruth Leano discusses the current situation in the country and the winter emergency’s impact on children.
          Youth Educators in Tajikistan try to stem the tide of HIV infection        
Correspondent Anora Mahmudova reports on UNICEF supported Peer Educator programme in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, to train groups of youth on HIV prevention.
          à¤‡à¤¸à¥à¤²à¤¾à¤® न तो धर्म है औऱ न ही संप्रदाय        
इस्लाम न तो धर्म है औऱ न ही संप्रदाय ,इसके पूरे संदर्भ मैं ये एक संपूर्ण 100 प्रतिशत जीवन जीने का एक तरीका है.इस्लाम मैं धार्मिक,कानूनी,राजनीतिक,आर्थिक सामाजिक व सामरिक पहलू है.

किसी भी देश मैं इस्लामी करण का प्रारंभ होता है जब पर्याप्त मात्रा मैं मुस्लिम जनसंख्या होती है और वे इसके लिए उग्रता दिखाने की स्थिति मैं होते हैं और जब राजनीतिक रूप से जागरूक और सहनशील समाज मुस्रलिमों की कुछ धार्मिक बातों को मान लेते हैं तब उनकी कुछ और मांगें धीरे से आगे आजाती है…….ये किस तरह काम करता है…. उस देश मैं हो जब तक मुस्लिम जनसंख्या 2 प्रतिशत या कम हो तो मुस्लिम समाज एक शांतिप्रिय समाज है जो किसी भी प्रकार से अन्य नागरिकों के लिए खतरा नहीं दिखाई देता है जैसा कि ….

United States -- Muslim 0.6%,Australia -- Muslim 1.5%,,canada -- Muslim 1.9%,China -- Muslim 1.8%,Italy -- Muslim 1.5%,Norway -- Muslim 1.8%
जब ये जनसंख्या 2-5 प्रतिशत तक पहुंच जाती है तब धर्मांतरण प्रारंभ होता है,जो अक्सर अन्य धर्म के अल्पसंख्यकों और जैलों मैं अलग थलग पङे लोगों से होता है ….जैसा कि निम्नांकित है…..
Denmark -- Muslim 2%,Germany -- Muslim 3.7%,United Kingdom -- Muslim 2.7%,Spain -- Muslim 4%,Thailand -- Muslim 4.6%,प्रतिशत से ज्यादा होने पर ये अपनी जनसंख्या के अनुपात से ज्याद मांगे रखना शुरु कर देते है……जैसे वे हलाल के मांस की मांग करेंगे एक तरह से जोब सिक्यूरिटी हो गई मुस्लिमों की खाने की इंडस्ट्री मैं…..सुपरमार्केट्स पर हलाल के मांस के अलग स्टाल लगाने का दबाव बनाया जाता है अन्यथा उनके बहिष्कार की धमकियां दी जाती हैजैसा कि निम्न देशों मैं हो रहा है……
France -- Muslim 8%,Philippines -- Muslim 5%,Sweden -- Muslim 5%,Switzerland -- Muslim 4.3%,The Netherlands -- Muslim 5.5%,Trinidad & Tobago -- Muslim 5.8%

और अब समय आता है जब वे सरकार से ऐसे कानून बनाने की बात करते हैं कि उनके ऊपर सिर्फ शरियत लागू की जाये…..क्यों कि मुसलमानों का अंतिम लक्ष्य पूरे विश्व मैं शरियत लागू करना है…..

जब मुस्लिम जनसंख्या 10 प्रतिशत या ज्यादा हो जाती है तो अपनी बनाई हुई बिगङी हुई परिस्थितियों के लिये आंदोलन करना शुरू करते हैं….और यदि कोई गैर मुसलमान इस्लाम के प्रति असम्मान जताते है तो ये धमकियां देना शुरु कर देते हैं और दंगा भङकाने की कोशिश करते हैं. जैसा कि एम्सटर्डम मैं हुआ जहां मुहम्मद साहब का कार्टून बनाने के बाद धमकियां दी गई……..

Guyana -- Muslim 10%,India -- Muslim 13.4%,Israel -- Muslim 16%,Kenya -- Muslim 10%,Russia -- Muslim 15%

और जब जनसंख्या 20 प्रतिशत या उससे अधिक हो तो छोटी छोटी बात पर दंगा करना….जिहादी ग्रुप बनाना,हत्यायें करना ….मंदिर और चर्च जला देना आम बात हो जाती है जैसा कि ……
Ethiopia -- Muslim 32.8%
At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, such as in:
Bosnia -- Muslim 40%,Chad -- Muslim 53.1%,Lebanon -- Muslim 59.7%

60 प्रतिशत से ऊपर वाली जनसंख्या वाले देशों मैं गैर मुस्लिमों को औऱ अन्य मुस्लिम समुदाय जैसे पाकिस्तान मैं अहमदिया पर स्वायंभू तरीके से मुकदमें चलाकर उन्हें परेशान किया जाता है औऱ एक तरह से उनकी सामुहिक हत्यायें आदि करके उनको खत्म किया जाता है…..औऱ इसके लिए हथियार बनाया जाता है शरिया कानून को औऱ जजिया कर जो कि काफिरों पर लगाया गया टैक्स है कि वे शांति से जी सकें…….जैसा निम्न देशों मैं हो रहा है……
Albania -- Muslim 70%,Malaysia -- Muslim 60.4%,Qatar -- Muslim 77.5%,Sudan -- Muslim 70%

औऱ 80 प्रतिशत के बाद हिंसक जिहाद औऱ हत्यायें रोजमर्रा का काम हो जाता है…..याने राज्य द्वारा प्रायोजित सामुहिक हत्यायें क्यों कि काफिरों को खत्म करना इन देशों की मूल नीति होती हैऔर 100 प्रतिशत मुस्लिम जनसंख्या लक्ष्य जैसा कि निम्न देशों मै हो रहा है….
Egypt -- Muslim 90%,Gaza -- Muslim 98.7%,Indonesia -- Muslim 86.1%,Iran -- Muslim 98%,Iraq -- Muslim 97%,Jordan -- Muslim 92%,Morocco -- Muslim 98.7%,Pakistan -- Muslim 97%,Palestine -- Muslim 99%,Syria -- Muslim 90%,Tajikistan -- Muslim 90%,Turkey -- Muslim 99.8%,United Arab Emirates -- Muslim 96%

और जहां संपूर्ण लक्ष्य प्राप्तकर लिया जाता है वहां दार –ए -सलाम के रूप मैं शांति का प्रवेश होता है…..और वहां पूरी तरह से शांति औऱ शांति ही होनी चाहिये क्यों कि हर व्यक्ति मुसलमान है…..विध्यालयों की जगह सिऱ्फ मदरसे होते हैं औऱ कोरान ही सिर्फ साहित्य होता है……..चारों और इस्लाम का बोलबाला होता है…..सिर्फ कुरान सुनाई देती है जैसा इन देशों मैं हुआ है…….

पर दुर्भाग्य से शांति कभी नहीं आती जैसा कि इन देशों मैं हुआ है…जिनमें बिना किसी अपवाद के सबसे कट्टर मुसलमान रहते हैं और जो अपनी खून की प्यास को थोङे कम कटेटर मुसलमानों के खून से बुझाते हैं…..जिसके अनेक कारण गिनाये जा सकते हैं

Afghanistan -- Muslim 100%
Saudi Arabia -- Muslim 100%
Somalia -- Muslim 100%
Yemen -- Muslim 100%'

Before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; the tribe against the world, and all of us against the infidel. -- Leon Uris, 'The Haj'

ये समझना बहुत ही महत्वपूर्ण है कि जिन देशों मैं मुस्लिम जनसंख्या 100 प्रतिशत से ठीक ठाक कम होती है जैसे फ्रांस जहां अल्पसंख्यक मुस्लिम जनसंख्या अपनी ही बनाई हुई बस्तियों मैं रहती है जहां वे शरियत कानून के अनुसार रहते हैं….जहां पुलिस प्रवेश भी नहीं करती………जहां न पुलिस न न्यायालय न विध्यालय और न हीं गैर मुस्लिमों के लिए कोई धार्मिक सुविधा होती है….ऐसे मैं मुस्लिम समाज के अन्य वर्गों के साथ मिल भी नहीं सकते ……बच्चे मदरसों मैं जाते हैं और केवल कुरान सीखते हैं जिसमें वो जान पाते हैं कि काफिर की सजा केवल मौत है……………

आज
आज 1.5 अरब मुसलमान विश्व की जनसंख्या का 22 प्रतिशत है….पर उनकी जन्म दर ईसाई,हिंदु,बौंद्ध,यहूदी और अन्य सभी धर्मों के मानने वालो से अधिक है…इस सदी के अंत तक मुसलमान विश्व की जनसंख्या के 50 प्रतिशत से ज्यादा होंगे……….

सोचो………और सोचो…………….फिर क्या होगा…..

Adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond's book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat.

साभार - विनय खंडेलवाल, जमशेदपुर
चित्र साभार - गुगल


          Tajikistan Accuses Iran Of Involvement In Killings        
Tajikistan on August 8 accused Iran of backing high-profile killings in the wake of the Central Asian country's 1990s civil war, including the assassination of former parliament chairman Safarali Kenjaev in 1999.
          Refugees Find Afghanistan Less Than Hospitable        
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We often hear about the droves of refugees fleeing Afghanistan, but there are also people from places like Tajikistan, Iran and Iraq who are taking refuge in that country.

          IMAM MAHADI AKHIR ZAMAN.        

Musuh-musuhnya (YAHUDI) amat percaya masa KEBANGKITANNYA sudah dekat. Mereka berusaha sedaya mungkin menjejaknya. Persoalan yang amat pelik kenapa mereka percaya ramalan yang disebut di dalam alQuran dan Hadis padahal mereka tidak beriman kepada kedua-duanya? Memang benar mereka adalah golongan yang paling tegar menentang Allah swt

Dari Dzar dari Abdullah dari Nabi SAW yang bersabda: “Sekiranya dunia hanya tinggal sehari sahaja (sebelum qiamat) nescaya Allah memanjangkan hari itu sehingga bangkit padanya seorang lelaki dari keturunanku atau dari kaum keluargaku, yang namanya spt namaku, nama bapanya spt nama bapaku, ia akan memenuhi bumi dengan keadilan dan saksama sebagaimana bumi dipenuhi kezaliman dan kekejaman”. Hadith riwayat Abu Daud dan Turmizi.

Dengan jelas Hadis di atas menceritakan perihal Iman Mahadi. Pertama, lelaki dari keturunan Baginda Rasulullah SAW, keduanya namanya Muahammad dan nama bapanya ialah Abdullah. Secara logiknya tentulah mudah bagi kita mengenalinya asalkan ia bernama Muhammad bin Abdullah. Keturunan Rasulullah yang kita tahu ialah mereka yang bergelar Syed atau Syarif, tentulah namanya ialah Syed Muhammad Bin Syed Abdullah.

Diriwayatkan oleh Al-Imam Abu Daud , “Telah berkata Ali sambil memandang puteranya Hassan,” Sesungguhnya Puteraku ini ialah syed (sayyid) sebagaimana yang telah dinamakan oleh Nabi SAW. Dari keturunannya akan lahir seorang lelaki yang namanya seperti nama Nabi kamu, menyerupai baginda dalam perangai dan tidak menyerupai baginda dalam rupa dan bentuk.”

Adakah semudah itu kita mengesannya padahal kita tahu Dajjal dan talibarutnya berusaha sedaya mungkin menjejaknya sejak ratusan tahun dahulu. Di dalam sejarah begitu ramai keturunan nabi Muhammad yang menunjukkan ciri kepimpinan dan lebih menonjol telah dibunuh dan kebanyakannya mati diracun walaupun apa nama mereka sekalipun (tidak semestinya Muhammad Bin Abdullah).

Bagaimana hendak mengenali Imam Mahadi jika ia benar-benar telah muncul atau ada di persekitaran kita? Persoalan ini nampak remeh tetapi amat sukar untuk dijawab. Kenapa demikian? Bagi yang berhujah berdasarkan tafsiran alQuran dan Hadis semata-mata tentu sekali akan mengatakan 'telah jelas' tanda-tanda yang disebut dalam banyak nas yang telah dibukukan dan tak perlu bersusah payah menyelidik dan mencari-cari "siapa dia". Ada pula akan mengatakan persoalan ini tak wajar dibangkitkan kerana dikhuatiri akan menjejaskan aqidah dan iman.

Telah bersabda Rasulullah s.a.w, “Al-Mahdi berasal dari umatku, berkening lebar, berhidung panjang dan mancung. Ia akan memenuhi bumi ini dengan keadilan dan kemakmuran, sebagaimana ia (bumi ini) sebelum itu dipenuhi oleh kezaliman dan kesemena-menaan, dan ia (umur kekhalifahan) berumur tujuh tahun.” (HR. Abu Dawud dan al-Hakim)

Lagi pula Imam Mahadi akan bangkit dan akan menyeru manusia ke jalan tauhid, bagi kaum Muslimin sudah tentu akan bertemu dengannya dan bersenang hati menerima ajakannya itu. Apakah benar begitu?

Dari Abu Said Al-Khudri ra berkata : “Aku telah mendengar Rasulullah SAW bersabda ; “Akan lahir dari umatku seorang lelaki yang menyeru dengan sunahku, Allah menurunkan hujan dari langit untuknya, bumi mengeluarkan hasil darinya. Ia memerintah umat ini selama tujuh tahun dan akan berada di Baitul Maqdis”.Hadith riwayat At-Tabarani.

Bersandarkan kepada Hadis di atas, bahawa Imam Mahadi akan muncul dan berdakwah menyeru umat manusia kembali mengamalkan sunah Rasulullah SAW.  Apabila muncul pendakwah sedemikian tentulah tidaklah sukar untuk kita mengenalinya. Akan tetapi jika kita perhitungkan apa yang sedang berlaku sekarang, ia agak janggal kerana musuh-musuhnya sudah mengetahui peristiwa kebangkitan ini dan berusaha sedaya upaya untuk menghalangnya usahanya.

Cuba kita perhatikan kata-kata Baginda dalam hadis di atas, "berada di Baitul Maqdis", agaknya bilakah peristiwa ini akan berlaku?  Keadaan pada waktu itu berlaku huruhara yang amat menggerunkan dan suasananya tidaklah aman seperti hari ini. Jadi jawapannya yang paling munasabah ialah selepas Dajjal dibunuh oleh Nabi Isa as dan negara Israel ditawan baharulah Imam Mahdi bebas melaksanakan dakwah. Sebelum daripada waktu itu, amat mustahil Imam Mahadi dapat berdakwah di sana kerana Baitul Maqdis dibawah kekuasaan musuhnya, Dajjal dan tentera-tenteranya.

Kemungkinan besar kekacauan dan kekejaman yang berlaku adalah unjuran dari peperangan dunia ketiga (WWIII). Bumi telah dirosakkan dengan teruk dan manusia ketika itu pula hanya tinggal sedikit sahaja. Peperangan ini menular hingga ke Madinah, sebuah bandar yang aman damai selama ini. Malah ada diantara mereka juga cuba menyerang Makkah.

Telah bersabda Rasulullah s.a.w, "Seorang laki-laki akan datang ke Baitullah (Kaabah), maka diutuslah suatu utusan (oleh penguasa) untuk mengejarnya. Dan ketika mereka telah sampai di suatu gurun pasir, maka mereka terbenam ditelan bumi." (HR. Muslim)

Aisyah Ummul Mukminin RA telah berkata, "Pada suatu hari tubuh Rasulullah s.a.w. bergetar dalam tidurnya. Lalu kami bertanya, 'Mengapa engkau melakukan sesuatu yang belum pernah engkau lakukan wahai Rasulullah?' Rasulullah s.a.w. menjawab, 'Akan terjadi suatu keanehan, iaitu bahwa sekelompok orang dari umatku akan berangkat menuju baitullah ( Kaabah) untuk memburu seorang laki-laki Quraisy yang pergi mengungsi ke Kaabah. Sehingga apabila orang-orang tersebut telah sampai ke padang pasir, maka mereka ditelan bumi.' Kemudian kami bertanya, 'Bukankah di jalan padang pasir itu terdapat bermacam-macam orang?' Beliau menjawab, 'Benar, di antara mereka yang ditelan bumi tersebut ada yang sengaja pergi untuk berperang, dan ada pula yang dipaksa untuk berperang, serta ada pula orang yang sedang berada dalam suatu perjalanan, akan tetapi mereka binasa dalam satu waktu dan tempat yang sama. Sedangkan mereka berasal dari arah (niat) yang berbeda-beda. Kemudian Allah s.w.t. akan membangkitkan mereka pada hari berbangkit, menurut niat mereka masing-masing.'" (HR. Bukhary, Muslim)

Telah bersabda Rasullah s.a.w, "Sungguh, Baitullah ini akan diserang oleh suatu pasukan, sehingga apabila pasukan tersebut telah sampai pada sebuah padang pasir, maka bagian tengah pasukan itu ditelan bumi. Maka berteriaklah pasukan bagian depan kepada pasukan bagian belakang, dimana kemudian semua mereka ditenggelamkan bumi dan tidak ada yang tersisa, kecuali seseorang yang selamat, yang akan mengabarkan tentang kejadian yang menimpa mereka." (HR. Muslim, Ahmad, Nasai, dan Ibnu Majah).

Telah bersabda Rasulullah s.a.w, "Akan dibaiat seorang laki-laki antara maqam Ibrahim dengan sudut Kaabah." (HR. Ahmad, Abu Dawud)

Telah bersabda Rasulullah s.a.w, "Suatu pasukan dari umatku akan datang dari arah negeri Syam ke Baitullah (Kaabah) untuk mengejar seorang laki-laki yang akan dijaga Allah dari mereka." (HR. Ahmad)

as-SYUFYANI

Jika Imam Mahadi muncul sekarang atau sebelum berlakunya peperangan dan huruhara, tentu ia akan mudah dikenali dan musuh-musuhnya dan mereka tidak akan teragak-agak untuk menghapuskannya. Hadis tersebut hanya menceritakan secara am peribadi Imam Mahadi dan membayangkan bahawa Imam Mahadi hanya akan muncul bila keadaan telah selamat dari gangguan musuh-musuhnya.

Ada hadis yang menyebut "ia disembunyikan" oleh Allah swt, tetapi lebih sesuai jika dikatakan "ia dipelihara" oleh Allah sehinggalah tiba masanya. Ia di islahkan dalam satu malam sahaja. Dari rangkaian hadis akhir zaman, kita temui seorang dari musuhnya adalah beragama Islam kerana dia dapat menjejakkan kakinya ke Mekah dan Madinah. Rasulullah saw juga menyebut manusia ini dari kaumnya (umat). Namanya as-Syufyani atau as-syufiani.

Siapakah as-Syufyani ini? Adakah dia seorang pemimpin kaum arab atau dari bangsa ajam dan kenapa dia memusuhi manusia yang masih belum dibaiat itu? Pemimpin Islam mengejar untuk membunuhnya? (Suatu pasukan dari umatku akan datang dari arah negeri Syam ke Baitullah (Kaabah) untuk mengejar seorang laki-laki yang akan dijaga Allah dari mereka - hadis di atas'

Dari satu hadis lain. ".........maka mereka membai’at paksa lelaki itu di antara Rukun dan Makam Ibrahim padahal ia tidak suka dengan hal itu, kemudian suatu pasukan diutus dari ahli Syam (untuk menangkap orang-orang yang berbai’at itu), maka mereka dibenamkan ke dalam bumi di suatu tempat bernama Al-Baida antara Mekkah dan Madinah."

Al-Muhaddits Sayid Ahmad Siddiq Al-Ghumari menerangkan di dalam kitabnya Aqidah Ahlil Islam Fi Nuzuli Isa AS bahawa Al-Mahdi dilahirkan di Madinah Al-Munawwarah serta dibesarkan di sana. Sebelum umat Islam berbai’at dengannya, berlakulah satu peperangan yang besar di antara penduduk Madinah dengan tentera-tentera As-Syufiani. Dalam peperangan tersebut, penduduk Madinah mengalami kekalahan dan mereka lari bersama-sama Al-Mahdi ke Makkah. Di Makkah datanglah orang dari berbagai-bagal negeri kerana berbai’at dengannya di suatu tempat iaitu di antara Hajar Aswad dan Maqam Ibrahim

As-Syufyani ini dari daerah Syam (Damsyiq, Syiria). Dialah yang menyerang Madinatul Munwwarah yang menyebabkan penduduknya melarikan diri ke Makkah, termasuklah Imam Mahadi. Pada waktu itu tiada siapa pun yang tahu bahawa dia adalah Imam Mahadi termasuklah dirinya sendiri.

Jika ada sesiapa yang mendakwa dirinya adalah Imam Mahadi, dakwaan tersebut akan tertolak dengan sendirinya. Imam Mahadi sebenar, tidak mengetahui bahawa dirinya adalah Imam Mahadi, jauh sekali membuat pengakuan (sebelum berlakunya peristiwa "baiah" seperti yang disebut dalam sabda baginda junjungan). Telah ramai Imam Mahadi palsu muncul dan mungkin ada lagi selepas ini, oleh itu berhati-hatilah jangan sampai terpedaya. Begitu juga manusia yang mendakwa dirinya ialah Pemuda Bani Tamim. Tiada siapa pun yang mengenali PBT ini sehinggalah Imam Mahadi di "baiah" nanti. Harus diingat bahawa alMahadi dan Pemuda Bani Tamim itu hanyalah gelaran bukan nama mereka.

Rasulullah saw bersabda: “Akan terjadi perselisihan setelah wafatnya seorang pemimpin, maka keluarlah seorang lelaki dari penduduk Madinah mencari perlindungan ke Mekkah, lalu datanglah kepada lelaki ini beberapa orang dari penduduk Mekkah, lalu mereka membai’at Imam Mahadi secara paksa, maka ia dibai’at di antara Rukun dengan Maqam Ibrahim (di depan Ka’bah). Kemudian diutuslah sepasukan manusia dari penduduk Syam, maka mereka dibenamkan di sebuah daerah bernama Al-Baida yang berada di antara Mekkah dan Madinah.” (HR Abu Dawud 3737)

Imam Mahadi mempunyai ramai musuh termasuk dikalangan pemimpin Islam sendiri. Mungkin pemimpin Islam ini sudah menjadi sahabat Dajjal. Seolah telah tahu waktu kebangkitan Imam Mahadi dan berusaha menghapuskannya sebelum tarikh pembai'atannya lagi (di Madinah). Kita lihat as-Sufyani tahu perkara ghaib ini (peristiwa bai'ah), dari mana sumbernya?

Begitulah cara Rasulullah menyampaikan maklumat kepada kita. Huruhara berlaku gara-gara perebutan kuasa, apabila 3 putra "raja" Arab Saudi bertelingkah dan berperang merebut takhta. Ditambah pula dengan serangan tentera as-Sufyani.

Bagi "jentera" Dajjal pula, Imam Mahadi adalah musuh nombor satu kepada "BOSS" mereka, beliau (Imam Mahadi) akan menjadi penghalang utama terhadap rencana jahat mereka menyesatkan seluruh manusia di muka bumi. Imam Mahadi akan bertindak tegas dalam menjaga dan menyelamatkan kaum Mukminin dari gangguan dan pengaruh Dajjal Laknatullah. Menyerukan kebenaran untuk menghapuskan pembohongan Dajjal. Penipuan Dajjal sememangnya licik dan sukar untuk dikesan kecuali oleh mereka yang mendapat perlindungan dan petunjuk Allah. Orang Mukmin sendiri tidak terjamin selamat dari godaannya, apa lagi gulungan yang menjadi orang Islam melalui keturunan.

Ia akan mendakwa dirinya adalah Nabi Isa almasih yang ditunggu-tunggu dan selepas itu mendakwa pula sebagai tuhan. Sesuai dengan konsep trinity pegangan umat Kristian, Katholik terutamanya. Yesus (Jesus) adalah salah satu dari tiga tuhan mereka.

Konsep TRINITY itu disediakan oleh mereka yang bekerja untuk Dajjal dengan memesongkan ajaran Nabi Isa as. Kelihatan seolah menyediakan laluan mudah untuk Dajjal mengaku sebagai TUHAN pada akhir zaman. Adakah ia satu kebetulan atau telah dirancang? Hanya Allah yang tahu segala rahsia mereka. Biasanya kerja-kerja seperti ini dilakukan oleh berbagai pertubuhan dan badan sulit yang beroperasi secara tersembunyi yang digelar "The Hidden Hand" ringkasnya THH. Rahsia ini telah dibongkar dan diulas mendalam di banyak laman2 web dan blog seperti Mistisfiles, Sangtawal, dan Efairy (sekadar beberapa nama). Jika ianya benar seperti yang didakwa, perancangan mereka bermula sejak 1700 tahun yang lalu. Orang Kristian tentu dengan mudah menerima Dajjal sebagai" Isa almasih" seterusnya memujanya sebagai "tuhan". Ia amat berbeza dengan Islam yang memegang kukuh kalimah "TAUHID" yang terang dan jelas seperti dalam surah al Ikhlas.

Amatlah ganjil jika mereka menyambut kedatangan Nabi Isa as kelak, apa lagi menerima seruannya untuk mengimani Syariat Nabi Muhammad, iaitu Islam yang amat mereka musuhi dan pandang hina selama ini. Saya tidak akan membincangkan soal trinity dan THH ini kerana perkara pokok yang akan diperkatakan ialah mengenai Imam Mahadi.

PANDANGAN PENGANUT KRISTIAN

Adakah pembaca maklum bahawa para penganut Kristian juga telah membuat kajian mendalam mengenai Hadis akhir zaman ini dan mereka membuat kesimpulan yang sungguh menghairankan. Iaitu keterbalikan fakta (Islam) hanya kerana tidak dapat menerima agama Islam sebagai agama yang benar. Mereka juga tidak dapat menerima kenyataan: Nabi Isa as. akan menghapuskan "salib". Bagi mereka mana mungkin Nabi Isa as. (Jesus) akan bersekongkol dengan orang Islam, Imam Mahadi. Akhirnya mereka berkata Hadis ini dari sumber "syaitan".

Mereka membuat satu ketetapan sebagai jalan untuk mententeramkan perasaan gusar mereka dengan mengatakan, Imam Mahadi ialah "ANTI CHRIST" yakni "Dajjal" sementara Nabi Isa as. pula dikatakan sebagai "NABI PALSU" (false Prophet).

Maklumat ini diperolehi dari beberapa rencana yang ditulis oleh mereka (penganut Kristian) dan juga bebera siri perbincangan dalam forum-forum berbincangan dikalangan penganut Kristian. Mereka membolak balikkan kitab mereka mencari fakta untuk menguatkan hujah mereka. Adakalanya saya kesihan melihat gelagat mereka. Yang pasti mereka sedang mempersiapkan diri untuk menerima Dajjal sebagai "Jesus" yang juga "tuhan" mereka. Lihat petikan di bawah:

"Therefore, the church's need for a healthy and sound end-time theology has never been greater. And those of us who believe we are living in the 'last of the last' days, Jesus' words to 'watch' for his coming carry with it a great responsibility. I am now going to expound on a teaching that has permeated the Muslim faith over the centuries, but with a great intensity over the last few decades. It is a very intriguing teaching that parallels the Biblical teaching of Antichrist in many ways."
Mereka berusaha bersungguh-sungguh untuk menyesuaikan atau memadankan pandangan mereka dengan apa yang tertulis dalam kitab-kitab mereka.
"Yes, the holy books of Islam (Quran, the Hadith) contain many prophecies concerning the future. As a Christian, I believe these Islamic prophecies to be satanically inspired, but that is beside the point. All branches of Islam (Sunni, Shiite...) maintain a teaching that in the 'last days,' an Islamic savior, known as Al-Mahdi, will rise to great power and conquer the world for Islam. He will annihilate Christians and Jews, will conquer Jerusalem, and will fill the world with Islamic justice"
Mereka telah membaca dan mengkaji Hadis-Hadis yang menceritakan kebangkitan al Mahdi dan Jesus Christ, sayangnya mereka menganggap alQuran dan Hadis sebagai ayat-ayat syaitan dan mengalihkan perhatian kearah kepalsuan dalam membuat keputusan. Walaupun begitu terdapat tanda, (saya kira) bahawa mereka masih ada rasa ragu untuk menafikan kebenaran isi alQuran dan Hadis. Dalam keadaan keraguan itu, disebabkan taksub kepada kepercayaan mereka, dengan nada sinis mereka menyatakan Nabi Isa as yang akan turun itu (disebut dalam alQuran dan Hadis) sebagai NABI PALSU (false prophet) kerana ia tidak disebut sedemikian di dalam kitab-kitab mereka:
"According to the Quran, Islam's holiest book, and the Hadith, a collection of Islamic holy writings that supplement the Quran, a messianic figure will arise in the last days of history known as Al Mahdi. He, along with the 'Prophet Jesus,' (False Prophet) will lead the Muslim believers to victory over the infidels (Christians and Jews)."
Jelas bahawa mereka tidak akan menerima orang yang mereka anggap sebagai "NABI PALSU" sebagai "penyelamat" (Jesus Christ) yang mereka nanti-nantikan sejak sekian lama. Lihat betapa kelirunya mereka dan sia-sia sahaja mereka menunggu dengan penuh semangat (Jesus akan turun menyelamatkan mereka).
"Islam teaches that Jesus was born of Mary and was a great prophet but that he is not the Son of God. Muslims teach that it is not possible for God to have a son. This opposing view of who Jesus is one of the greatest distinctions between Islam and Christianity."
Sememangnya konsep TRINITY telah menyesatkan mereka begitu jauh sehingga sukar mereka menerima kebenaran. Islam menolak dan menafikan Jesus itu anak tuhan bertentangan dengan doktrin gereja Kristian. Jika tidak kerana TRINITY itu tidaklah begitu susah mereka mencari jawapan terhadap persoalan yang memeningkan kepala mereka.

Mereka berusaha untuk mengenali Imam Mahadi melalui beberapa kajian terhadap Hadis-Hadis seperti yang yang di "ketengahkan":

"Quotes from the Hadith:"al Mahadi will return at the head of the forces of righteousness and do battle with the forces of evil in one, final, apocalyptic battle. When evil has been defeated once and for all, the al Mahadi will rule the world for several years under a perfect government and bring about a perfect spirituality among the peoples of the world. After the al Mahdi has reigned for several years, Jesus Christ will return"
"al Mahadi: His forehead will be broad and his nose will be high. He will fill the world with justice and fairness at a time when the world will be filled with oppression. He will rule for seven years."
"Allah will give Al-Mahdi the ability to righteously rule the Muslim nation in the span of a night. He will fill the earth with justice, as it was filled with injustice. He will lead the Muslim nation to the second conquering of Constantinople and possibly Rome."
Bagi menyesuaikan apa yang tercatit pada kitab mereka (Bible) mereka menuduh Nabi Isa as adalah nabi palsu. Sukar bagi mereka menerima hakikat Nabi Isa akan membawa syariat Islam dan membuang salib. Nabi Isa as tidak membela mereka sepertimana yang mereka percaya dan harapkan, bahkan menidakkan ajaran Kristian dengan membuang salib, tindakan ini seolah-olah "memusuhi" mereka:
"According to the Quran, Islam's holiest book, and the Hadith, a collection of Islamic holy writings that supplement the Quran, a messianic figure will arise in the last days of history known as Al Mahdi. He, along with the 'Prophet Jesus,' (False Prophet) will lead the Muslim believers to victory over the infidels (Christians and Jews).
1) The word, Mahdi, means 'The Guided One.'
2) According to Islam's holy writings, one day the entire world will be converted to Islam. Leading this revival will be the Mahdi, who will assume the role as the Islamic Messiah.
3) Islamic tradition teaches that Jesus will return from heaven in the last days and follow the Mahdi into Jerusalem, where Jesus will deny he is the Son of God.
4) Then, together the two will destroy the 'Cross'(Christianity) and kill the Jews who will be 'hiding behind rocks.' Afterwards Islamic justice will prevailand the world will submit to the rule of Mahdi, and Jesus.
5) All branches of Islam teach on the Mahdi. All Muslims believe this!
In addition, Islam's holy writings describe the Islamic messiah's lineage, name, facial features, etc. in great detail. "
He will be tall
He will be fair complexioned
His father's name will be Abdullah
His mother's name will be Aamina
He will speak with a slight stutter and occasionally this stutter will frustrate him causing him to hit his hand upon his thigh.
Kita tinggalkan dahulu kaum Kristian dengan gelagat mereka.

Yahudi Zionis

Zionis terus menerus mengkaji rahsia dan petunjuk yang disebutkan di dalam alQuran dan Hadis malah lebih gigih berbanding kebanyakan orang Islam sendiri. Siapakah Zionis adakah sama dengan Yahudi lainnya? Sila rujuk artikel sebelum ini mengenai bangsa terlaknat ini. Mereka juga induk kepada YAKJUJ dan MAKJUJ.

Mereka adalah ejen kepada Dajjal laknatullah. Mereka mengumpul sebanyak-banyaknya emas untuk menguasai perekonomian dunia, (sila kaji siapa ' Illuminati bloodline"). Semua keuntungan adalah untuk "boss" mereka Dajjal laknatullah, semua emas dan dana yang dikumpulkan kini sedang disalurkan ke Israel iaitu tempat bersemayamnya "raja" mereka (Dajjal). Mereka akan aturkan kejatuhan semua matawang kertas termasuk negara Malaysia dan USA juga tak terkecuali. Hanya emas dan mungkin perak sahaja akan bernilai. Wang baru berserta CHIPs akan dilancarkan oleh mereka ini. Ada kisah tentang chips dengan lambang "beast" iaitu 666. Saya tidak akan bicarakan hal tersebut.

Lawati laman web zionis – “ Temple institute”. Di sana kita akan lihat betapa gigihnya kaum Yahudi mahu membina biara suci untuk menyambut kedatangan "Raja" mereka yang mereka nanti sebagaimana yang tercatat dalam kitab mereka.

The Temple Institute is Founded
Archeological Devastation
Jews return to the Mount
Dajjal mampu menguasai sebilangan besar penduduk bumi ini melalui pertolongan Iblis (Lucifer). Kumpulan yang dinaungi oleh Dajjal ini tidak pernah lalai dan berhenti mengesan Imam Mahadi di serata pelusuk dunia terutama di lokasi yang disyaki seperti "khorasan", Indonesia dan Malaysia selain negara-negara Timur Tengah.

Apakah Imam Mahadi akan dibiarkan jika ditemui oleh Dajjal? Pembaca sendiri tentu sudah maklum jawapannya.

Adakah kita tidak percaya dengan kenyataan ini ataupun tidak ambil peduli dan hanya mengatakan "hanya Allah yang Maha Mengetahui" tanpa perlu mengkajinya? Ramai diantara kita tidak mengambil berat soal ini kerana telah tergoda oleh "fitnah Dajjal" yang diatur sekian lama tanpa disedari. Berbeza dengan kelompok kaum yang menjadi hamba Dajjal. Mereka akan terus mengkaji tanpa jemu.

Mereka (ejen Dajjal) begitu yakin Imam Mahadi tidak akan muncul dalam bentuk personaliti sebagaimana yang kita bayangkan selama ini. Mereka mendakwa dapat merasakan wujudnya "keganjilan" dan "helah" penceritaan mengenai Imam Mahadi ini. Baik dari segi perwatakan, peribadi atau tempat kelahirannya. Inilah perkara yang amat menyusahkan dan membimbangkan musuh-musuhnya. Begitulah kebenaran Islam dan kebijaksanaan Allah swt, Maha Perancang.
PERSONALITI Imam Mahadi

Secara logiknya akan berlaku penyamaran sebagai pelindung dan ini akan berterusan sehingga masanya yang sesuai. Ia akan selamat dari bencana manusia. Oleh itu sesiapa sahaja yang mengaku dan mendakwa dia "Imam Mahadi" adalah seorang pendusta dan pembohong. Tiada siapa akan mengenalinya walaupun kita telah bertemu atau bergaul dengannya setiap hari. Orang Islam juga akan terkeliru, apa lagi mereka yang bukan Islam. Sila renung kembali kisah Uwais al-Qarni ra yang hanya dikenali oleh Rasulullah sahaja, para sahabat pun tidak mengenalinya sehingga diberitahu.

KHALIFAH (King)

Imam Mahadi adalah seorang pemerintah (raja) yang memerintah "umat ini" selama 7 tahun. Jelas bahawa beliau bukan orang kebanyakan kerana sifatnya seperti sifat Rasulullah, bukan juga dari kalangan seorang raja yang sedia ada kerana sifatnya dan keteguhannya kepada tauhid dan adil. Adakah wujud pemerintah yang ada sekarang ini zuhud, warak dan adil? Jadi timbul pula pertanyaan baru, bagaimana caranya Imam Mahadi mendapat sokongan untuk menjadi pemerintah kerana dimana-mana tempat di dunia ini sudah ada pemerintah tersendiri (yang dilantik melalui demokrasi). Jawapan yang boleh kita agak ialah beliau hanya memerintah selepas Dajjal dihapuskan dan pusat pemerintahannya di Pelestin (Baitul Maqdis). Dari sinilah bermulanya era baru yang penuh keadilan dan kesaksamaan seperti yang disebut di dalam Hadis Rasulullah SAW.

Persoalan lain pula timbul, adakah dia sudah menjadi RAJA atau khalifah Daulah Timur sebelum memerintah di Baitul Maqdis itu ? Ada bukti bahawa beliau adalah "raja" dari timur (King of the East) yang menyerang tentera Dajjal. Didalam kitab2 agama terdahulu termasuklah Bible menceritakan pasukan dari Timur ini akan tiba sebaik sahaja sungai Furat kering. King of the East inilah yang bergabung dengan tentera Kristian dan membawa kemenangan menentang tentera Anti Christ (Dajjal). Negara manakah Daulah Timur tersebut? Ada hadis yang menyebut "dari Khorasan". Di manakah terletaknya Khorasan ini? Pada masa ini Khorasan ialah satu daerah di negara Iran. Kita lihat peta Khorasan lama dimana ia meliputi satu kawasan yang luas berbanding yang wujud pada hari ini.

KHORASAN (zaman keagungan Parsi)
Ramai juga pengkaji meramalkan dan tidak kurang juga yang amat yakin bahawa pemuda Bani Tamim itu adalah dari Khorasan (Khurasan) yang asalnya ialah kawasan yang luas meliputi sebahagian dari negara Parsi, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan dan utara Pakistan.

Pendokong kuat Imam Mahdi ialah Pemuda Bani Tamim yang sekaligus menjadi 'tulang belakang' kepada kekuatan Imam Mahdi. Pemuda Bani Tamim berasal dari Timur dan mengikut pandangan Syeikh Dr Walid al-'Ani yang dimaksudkan dengan Timur itu ialah Afghanistan. Namanya ialah Syuaib Bin Soleh. Beliau ialah seorang pemimpin tentera yang hebat. Pada waktu malam beliau terkenal sebagai seorang yang amat kuat dan khusyuk beribadah, manakala pada waktu siang pula, pula digeruni oleh musuh dengan ketangkasannya dalam medan perang.

Logiknya kemungkinan ini adalah kerana rekod perjuangan kental para Mujahideen Afghanistan terbukti amat digeruni pihak lawan walaupun dari negara kuasa-kuasa besar seperti Rusia dan USA. Keimanan mereka tinggi dan mereka berjuang kerana Allah bukan kerana habuan dunia.

Dari beberapa kajian yang dibuat juga menunjukkan bangsa Phatan/Phastun mempunyai pertalian darah dengan Bani Israel (Bani Ishaq) tetapi tiada kaitan dengan orang Yahudi Khazar yang menduduki negara Israel sekarang. Sebab itu Afghanistan di "tawan" oleh tentera USA yang menjadi alat ILLUMINAT yang kini berpusat di Israel. Secara mudahnya, pihak Yahudi akan mengambil kesempatan mencari pemuda Bani Tamim ini sambil menghalang kebangkitan tentera al Mahdi. Petikan artikel "Black Banner from the East" Research Paper by Bilal Khan.
"the army of Mehdi will consist of Muslims from Bani-Israel from Khurasan holding black flags. No power in the world will be able to stop them till they reach Jerusalem and erect their flags where there is Aqsa Mosque standing today."
"The older Persian province of Khorasan (also known as the Greater Khorasan) included parts which are today in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Some of the main historical cities of Persia are located in the older Khorasan: Nishapur and Tus (now in Iran), Merv and Sanjan (now in Turkmenistan), Samarkand and Bukhara (both now in Uzbekistan), Herat and Balkh (now in Afghanistan), Khujand and Panjakent (now in Tajikistan). In its long history, Khorasan knew many conquerors and empires: Greeks, Arabs, Seljuk Turks, Safavids, Pashtuns (ethnic Afghans) and others."
Sementara DAJJAL (ANTI-CHRIST) adalah NABI PALSU dan MENDAKWA dirinya sebagai ISA ALMASIH yang dinantikan oleh penganut Kristian. Persediaan awal telah dilakukan dengan baik menaikkan imej Jesust Christ (Yesus) berwajah Eropah, berkuli cerah berambut ikal warna kuning mayang. Dari penyelidikan sumber sejarah telah terdapat fakta bahawa Nabi Isa as berkulit sedikit gelap dan berambut hitam kerinting sesuai dengan perwatakan Bani Israel. Lukisan pada dinding-dinding bangunan purba dan piramid di Mesir telah membuktikannya.

Bayangkan apabila Nabi Isa muncul nanti dan memperkenalkan dirinya sebagai "Yesus" kepada penganut kristian. Apa pandangan mereka terhadapnya? Adakah mereka (penganut Kristian) akan mempercayai kata-katanya? Tentu sekali mereka akan mendustainya kerana perawakannya tidak sama dengan wajah yang ada pada lukisan dan ukiran patung yang telah di"sogok" oleh pengikut Dajjal kepada mereka. Betapa bijaknya pengikut Dajjal ini mengelirukan berjuta-juta manusia kristian ini. Tambahan pula Nabi Isa as akan membawa akidah Islam yang selama ini amat mereka musuhi.

Dajjal pula akan berjaya menjadi al Masih dan akan diterima sebagai Yesus, penyelamat mereka. Konsep trinity juga mirip pegangan masyarakat Yahudi sekarang (zionis) yang mengamalkan fahaman Kabbalah berformat paganisma Mesir purba. Memang trajis fenomena ini.

Bagaimana bentuknya Dajjal ini. Adakah serupa dengan apa yang kita fikirkan? Siapakah sebenarnya dia? Dari beberapa keterangan, dia munculkan diri lebih awal dari Imam Mahadi dan Nabi Isa.

Dari Jabir bin Abdullah, katanya Rasulullah s.a.w bersabda:"Dajjal muncul pada waktu orang tidak berpegang kepada agama dan jahil tentang agama. Pada zaman Dajjal ada empat puluh hari, yang mana satu hari terasa bagaikan setahun, ada satu hari yang terasa bagaikan sebulan, ada satu hari yang terasa satu minggu, kemudian hari-hari berikutnya seperti hari biasa".

Dia tidak akan muncul sehingga manusia (sebahagian besar) meninggalkan agama dan penghuni dunia asyik memikirkan kepuasan nafsu dan keseronokan. Fitnah Dajal adalah "besar dan serius". Ini bukan masalah hidup atau mati tetapi kesengsaraan, mereka yang terpengaruh dengan sihir Dajjal akan jadi kafir, Na’uzubillah. Sabda Rasulullah saw mahfumnya, sejak zaman Nabi Adam, tidak ada Nabi yang tidak mengingatkan umat mereka tentang fitnah Dajal. Sedarlah dan sedarkanlah seluruh kaum muslimin tentang peristiwa paling dahsyat yang bakal berlaku. Jika kita perhatikan fenomena semasa, mungkin sebahagian darinya telah dan sedang berlaku.

Sebelum Dajjal muncul akan berlaku "kemarau" selama 3 tahun. Manusia akan menderita dalam kepayahan hidup yang cukup menyiksakan disamping peperangan dan pembunuhan yang tak terkawal. Kita harus bersedia jika ingin selamat dari fitnah "terbesar" Dajjal (menawarkan "syurga" kepada siapa yang mengakuinya sebagai tuhan) ketika dunia dihimpit kesengsaraan yang amat perit.

BERITA YANG MENGGERUNKAN ....

Jangan mengambil mudah dan hayatilah setiap peristiwa berlaku berlaku, kerana ia menjurus kepada satu mala petaka yang akan meruntuhkan iman. Perangkap durjana telah lama menjerat kita tanpa disedari.
layari blog rakan seperjuangan saya, ada sesuatu yang mengejutkan..

http://holywar-efairy.blogspot.com/2009/12/pope-roman-peter-ii-cantus-benedictine.html#comment-form

SAYANG SEKALI BLOG INI TELAH DIGODAM DAN DITAMATKAN RIWAYATNYA. Namun saya ada menyimpan salinan artikel tersebut, KLIK sini atau sila ke ABATASA II

Kita kembali kepada Imam Mahdi atau Al Mahdi. Telah dijelaskan, beliau adalah dari keturunan cucu Rasulullah SAW, Saidina Hassan bin Ali Bin Abi Thalib. Bernama Muhammad Bin Abdullah.

Dari Ibnu Umar bahawa Nabi SAW telah mengambil tangan Saidina Ali ra dan bersabda: “Akan keluar dari sulbi ini pemuda yang akan memenuhi dunia dengan keadilan (Al Mahdi). Bilamana kamu melihat yang demikian itu, maka wajib kamu mencari Pemuda dari Bani Tamim itu, dia datang dari sebelah Timur dan dia adalah pemegang bendera Al Mahdi“ dari Al Hawi Lil Fatawa oleh Imam Suyuti

Kemunculannya menjadi tajuk bualan hangat sejak kebelakangan ini. Kenapa? Kerana semua tanda-tanda kecil kiamat telah nyata dan hanya menanti tanda-tanda besar sahaja. Samaada ia akan muncul sekarang atau kemudian nanti tidak menjadi soal, apa yang jelas dari Hadis di atas ialah - ia (Pemuda Bani Tamim) akan datang dari "TIMUR". Bukan dari tanah Arab. Adakah pemuda Bani Tamim ini Imam Mahadi sendiri? atau orang lain,  apa sahaja yang berlaku nanti, tanggung jawab kita ialah "..... maka wajib kamu mencari Pemuda dari Bani Tamim itu".  Untuk itu kita perlu membuat kajian mengenainya.

Diriwayatkan oleh Al-Imam Abu Daud dalam, “Telah berkata Ali sambil memandang puteranya Hassan,” Sesungguhnya Puteraku ini ialah syed sebagaimana yang telah dinamakan oleh Nabi SAW. Dari keturunannya akan lahir seorang lelaki yang namanya seperti nama Nabi kamu, menyerupai baginda dalam perangai dan tidak menyerupai baginda dalam rupa dan bentuk.”

Adakah dia seorang Raja atau Pemerintah (Perdana Menteri, Presiden atau Khalifah) ?

Bahawa Al Mahdi ini mempunyai dua ciri-ciri besar iaitu akan mendapat daulah di sebelah Timur dan akan memegang pedang Zulfaqor (Dhu al-Faqar) sebagai bukti bahawa ia membawa kebenaran.

Malangnya tiada sesiapa yang mengetahui dan mengenali Imam Mahadi ini termasuk "dirinya sendiri" sehinggalah di islahkan dalam satu malam. Dalam keadaan kacau bilau kerana kemangkatan raja, Imam Mahadi dilantik untuk menjadi pemimpin.

Sabda Rasulullah saw ”Akan terjadi perselisihan (kekacauan) setelah wafatnya seorang pemimpin, maka keluarlah seorang lelaki dari ahli Madinah mencari perlindungan menuju ke Mekkah, lalu lelaki itu didatangi oleh sekumpulan manusia dari ahli Mekkah, maka mereka membai’at paksa lelaki itu di antara Rukun dan Makam Ibrahim padahal ia tidak suka dengan hal itu, kemudian suatu pasukan diutus dari ahli Syam (untuk menangkap orang-orang yang berbai’at itu), maka mereka dibenamkan ke dalam bumi di suatu tempat bernama Al-Baida antara Mekkah dan Madinah.” (HR Abu Dawud)

Sajauh mana keyakinan anda setakat ini?

TIGA KELOMPOK MANUSIA SEDANG MENANTI ORANG YANG AKAN MUNCUL SEBAGAI "PENYELAMAT". ISU INI MENJADI TAJUK PERBINCANGAN HANGAT OLEH PENGANUT ISLAM, KRISTIAN DAN YAHUDI. Masing-masing mendakwa merekalah di pihak yang benar.

Apa yang pasti, Al Mahdi tetap akan muncul, hanya masa menentukannya. Beliau bukanlah manusia sembarangan tetapi yang terpilih dikalangan penghuni dunia akhir masa. Kehebatannya sehebat hulubalang agung Saidina Ali ra dan pekertinya pula halus selunak pekerti Baginda Rasulullah SAW.

Pihak illuminati zionis amat gerun kepada berita kemunculan lelaki pilihan ini. Mereka menggelar dan memanggil Imam Mahdi ini sebagai Muhammad kedua dan menamakan Rasulullah saw sebagai Muhammad pertama. Apakah maksudnya, sama-samalah kita cuba fikirkan. Muslimin yang soleh dan patuh mengikut sunnah Nabi pula (benar-benar bertaqwa) dianggap sahabat Muhammad (kedua) ini..

Segalanya masih menjadi rahsia. TIDAK AKAN DIKETAHUI sehinggalah bai'ah (perlantikan) di makam Ibrahim - penjuru Kaabah.

          DISINFORMATION: RUSSIA'S OLD BUT EFFECTIVE WEAPON OF INFLUENCE        

I The Metropol Gala
It may have seemed like any other Thursday in Moscow. The dismally overcast sky and near-freezing temperature lay heavy on the city, heralding the darkening days of winter. On that morning, the historical Art Nouveau-style Hotel Metropol Moscow, situated between the Kremlin and the FSB (formerly KGB) headquarters, was slowly and quietly filling with important guests. It is unlikely that many passers-by noticed the members of Russia’s power elite, headed by President Vladimir Putin, arriving one by one at the hidden entrance.
It was 10 December 2015. Russia’s global propaganda television channel RT (formerly Russia Today) was celebrating its 10th anniversary with a lavish gala. The organisers had put great effort into hand-picking the guests: the tables were filled with high-calibre figures active in the fields of politics, the economy and propaganda.
When analysing images taken at the event in light of the information available today, it is immediately clear to a watchful eye that this was a carefully planned Russian active influence operation. Its main objective was not to promote the television channel, but to prepare for the massive interference in the upcoming US presidential elections.
Retired US general Michael T. Flynn had taken his place at Putin’s right hand. By that time, it was well known in Moscow that Flynn could play a key role in advising presidential candidate Donald Trump on national security issues. A battle-hardened veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Flynn’s pronounced negativity towards Islam suited Russia very well.
Flynn did not fail to meet the expectations of those who had ordered the speech. For 40,000 dollars, the retired general scolded Obama’s administration for its Middle East policy and kept mum about Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, as well as the many civilian casualties of air strikes in Syria. One must not forget that during the Metropol gala the international situation was rather tense, especially when it came to Russia’s relationship with the West. Only a couple of weeks had passed since Turkey had shot down a Russian Su-24M attack aircraft on 24 November 2015. Flynn was not bothered by this.
Putin did not shy away from egging Flynn on during their dinner-table talk. Having essentially been removed from the position of director of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Flynn had a bone to pick with President Barack Obama. Thus, Putin’s jaundiced views on Obama and Hillary Clinton fell on fertile ground. Flynn admitted in a later interview with Dana Priest of The Washington Post that the only thing he remembers from his table talk with Putin was the latter’s deep mistrust of the Obama administration.
Flynn had likely been under surveillance for a while. When he was still the director of the DIA in 2013, the three-star General Flynn received an unusually warm welcome in Moscow. He was the first—and so far the only—high-profile US officer to have entered the headquarters of Russia’s Main Intelligence Agency (GRU). Flynn himself remembers this with great pride, because he was asked to conduct a masterclass on the professional development of leadership. The mind boggles at the thought of what the listeners made of him at the time. After all, countering the activities of the US and its allies was and continues to be one of the GRU’s main priorities.
Nevertheless, it is evident that Flynn ending up as the main guest at the December 2015 gala was no coincidence; the role of RT commentator was merely a suitable cover. However, Flynn was not the only one to attract attention on that table of ten bigwigs.
Right across from Putin sat another fateful figure from the US—the Green Party’s presidential candidate Jill Stein, who is known for her accentuated friendliness towards Russia. She also made a presentation at the gala, although her presence was advertised more modestly than Flynn’s. Still, it was Stein who became the dark horse of the November 2016 elections.
Stein drew more votes in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan than Trump’s margin of victory over Hillary Clinton. Stein received the votes of 1.4 million people nationwide, i.e. 1% of voters. All this could have been an additional reason for stopping Clinton from becoming president.
Putin was not the only one gracing Flynn and Stein with his undivided attention at the main table. The conversation was steered by the then Kremlin Chief of Staff and former KGB general Sergey Ivanov, the president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov (who is also regarded in intelligence circles as Putin’s national defence adviser), one of the Kremlin’s leading propaganda chiefs Alexey Gromov, and RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, who is known to be friends with Putin.
In order to help Flynn and Stein blend in with the crowd, the main table also included Willy Wimmer, a veteran German politician from Angela Merkel’s party and a former member of the Bundestag (1976–2009), and the former Czech foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda. Both are also known for their pro-Russian attitude. For instance, Wimmer has said that pursuing an anti-Russia policy is a crime against the whole of Europe. As expected, Wimmer’s analysis has no room for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, because he believes that the coup in Kyiv was caused by the West.
The picture of what transpired at the Metropol would be incomplete without mention of Julian Assange, whose presentation was broadcast via a live link and who was later suspected of leaking 20,000 emails stolen from the server of the US Democratic Party; former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, who has justified Russia’s aggression against Ukraine with the need for protection from NATO; and a former analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, Raymond McGovern, who had become a scandalous political activist in the 1990s. McGovern later admitted to having voted for Stein in the 2016 elections.
As the event at the Metropol drew to a close, few people realised that something big was happening. Back then, nobody outside his immediate circle knew Flynn. Today, his name features in the international media almost every day, and with good reason. The most dramatic outside interference in the US presidential elections is a fact, and Flynn played one of the key roles in it.
Even though his career as President Trump’s national security adviser was cut short, his suspicious and covert ties managed to cause serious damage to the reputation of the US as the leader of the Western world. The story does not end there. One thing is certain: this is the first time the global public has felt the reach of Russia’s influence operations and the professionalism of its subterfuge so clearly. Many see this as something new and unexpected but, in reality, it was a long time coming.

II The Marquis de Custine’s Timeless Testament

In 1839, a French aristocrat, the Marquis de Custine, travelled to Russia to seek support for his reactionary views. He was resentful of the representative democracy of his own country and thought it would lead to mob rule. He was a well-known travel writer and had published eloquent accounts of Spain and Italy.
Custine got the idea to write about Russia from the 1835 book by Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, in which the author foretells a great future for Russia and the US. Custine was later called “the Russian Tocqueville”.
He spent most of his time in Russia in Saint Petersburg, but he also visited Moscow and Yaroslavl. Custine was interested in the lives, customs and mindsets of both the aristocracy and common folk. His hopes of finding support for his ideas in Russian authoritarianism were promptly crushed. He was especially appalled by the fact that Russians were ready to cheerfully collaborate with their own enslavers.
Having collected only one year’s worth of immediate impressions and information, Custine managed to turn the material into a book titled La Russie en 1839, which captures the nature of Russia extremely well. The book was so successful that for a long time it was banned by the Russian authorities. The unabridged version of Custine’s book was finally published in Russia 157 years later, in 1996.
Among other things, the author noticed the tendency of Russians to deceive their guests or alter reality. Custine wrote that everything in the country was an illusion and the professional misleading of foreigners was a practice only known in Russia.
A former US ambassador in Moscow, General Walter Bedell Smith, wrote an introduction to the English edition of Custine’s book in 1951. Smith stressed that Custine’s political analysis was “so penetrating and timeless that it could be called the best work so far produced about the Soviet Union”. All of today’s extensive historical books on Russia owe thanks to Custine’s contribution. In Russia, however, the Frenchman is seen as the father of classic Russophobia.
Custine was not the first or only person to draw attention to Russia’s “Susaninist” nature. Even during the Livonian War (1558–83), the tsar’s negotiators tried to leave the misleading impression that Tallinn was situated on ancient Russian land, and that Livonia should therefore be ruled by Moscow. The “villages” of Prince Potemkin, a favourite of Catherine the Great, have even acquired a proverbial meaning.

III The KGB and the Beginnings of Disinformation as a Science

The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 changed everything. All previous experiences paled before the extent to which deliberate lying, deception and misleading became a conscious choice in the forge of the Bolshevik special services. In the course of a century, many people from all over the world, from popes to presidents, from countries to international organisations, witnessed the disinformation skills of the Cheka/GPU/NKVD/KGB/FSB and the implementation of active influence measures in the service of Russian foreign policy.
The use of disinformation as a tactical weapon of influence became organised as early as 1923, when the Deputy Director of the GPU, Józef Unszlicht, formed a special disinformation unit to conduct active intelligence operations. Born in Poland, Unszlicht was one of the founders of the Cheka and saw disinformation as an excellent opportunity to create successful diversions in open Western societies.
On 22 December 1922, Unszlicht and Roman Pillar wrote to Stalin’s Politburo that the special disinformation unit should focus on the creation and distribution of misleading information. The best way to spread disinformation in a credible manner was to use the media of open societies. Stalin and the Politburo approved the proposal and urged Unszlicht to proceed.
The first notable and successful use of disinformation was Operation Trust. This ran from 1923 to 1927 with the aim to mislead the White Army and monarchist organisations in exile and foreign intelligence institutions with false information about an extensive resistance organisation, Trust, operating within the Soviet Union. The illusion helped to lure many anti-Soviet (Boris Savinkov and Pavel Dolgorukov) and foreign (Sidney Reilly) agents into Russia, who were then arrested and executed. Interestingly, both the beginning and the end of the operation had close ties to Estonia and Latvia.
Trust was followed by a number of other known and less-known operations that have provided material for hundreds of books. One of the best sources is the collection of notes made by Vasily Mitrokhin during his 30 years as a KGB archivist before he fled to the West in 1992. The historian Christopher Andrew has written two hefty books based on these notes.
Another person who deserves a mention is Ion Pacepa, a general in the Romanian communist special service Securitate, who fled to the US in 1978. In 2013, he published the book Disinformation, in which he uses his own immediate knowledge to shed light on the creation of false narratives such as the framing of Pope Pius XII as “Hitler’s Pope” during World War II.
In the Soviet Union, disinformation became a science in its own right and was honed to perfection over the years. The term was first used in The Great Soviet Encyclopaedia in 1952, where it was presented as classic disinformation. According to the book, disinformation constitutes false news distributed in the media with the intention of misleading the public. The entry added that such tactics were used by the West against the Soviet Union. The truth was, naturally, the exact opposite.
Curiously, “disinformation” did not enter Western dictionaries until the late 1980s. The English word is directly derived from the Russian Ð´ÐµÐ·Ð¸Ð½Ñ„ормация.
In the late 1960s, the Director of the KGB, Yuri Andropov, took disinformation as a successful instrument of influence to a whole new level. Andropov himself said that “disinformation is like cocaine—sniff once or twice, it may not change your life. If you use it every day, though, it will make you an addict—a different man.”
In general, it is customary for foreign intelligence services to be created on the basis of collected information to advise a country’s political authorities in matters of foreign relations. However, in addition to collecting past facts, the tasks of Russian foreign intelligence involve manipulating the future.
Furthermore, the masterclass of Russian special services includes the creation of a new past to destabilise the opponent, which is then used to tamper with the latter’s international image. I will look at Estonian examples later, but Russian attempts to change the past to serve its foreign-policy interests are best illustrated by the subject of World War II.
It is crucial to understand that the fall of the Soviet Union changed nothing. The KGB was broken up and reorganised, but its tasks remained roughly the same. Mistrust in the Western system of values and security persisted.
For instance, in his 2007 book Comrade J, Pete Earley uses the story of Sergei Tretyakov, a high-ranking Russian intelligence officer who defected while at the UN in 2000, to demonstrate how Moscow continued with active intelligence and influence operations against the US even in the 1990s, the friendliest period in their relationship.
Tretyakov makes a thought-provoking statement in the book: 
I want to warn Americans. As a people, you are very naive about Russia and its intentions. You believe because the Soviet Union no longer exists, Russia now is your friend. It isn’t, and I can show you how the SVR is trying to destroy the US even today and even more than the KGB did during the Cold War.
Thanks to the endless possibilities of the internet, disinformation and national propaganda acquired an entirely new meaning with the rise to power of the former KGB intelligence officer and FSB director Vladimir Putin in 1999. The KGB’s machinery was polished and harnessed to serve Russia’s imperialist interests. The state quickly assumed control over the media, and the leading television stations became the world’s most professional propaganda outlets.
The authorities turned their attention to information security, which quickly found its way into new strategy documents. Its nuances were made famous by Russian general and current Chief of the General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, in his notorious doctrine.
The introduction of social media and its rapid development have proved to be an unprecedented goldmine for intelligence services. The distribution of disinformation is considerably easier in today’s world than it was in the late 1980s, for instance. To compare: it took more than three years for the KGB’s operation INFEKTION to succeed in spreading a global rumour that the HIV virus originated from the Pentagon’s biological weapons programme. This information leak first appeared in a small pro-Soviet Indian paper, Patriot, on 17 July 1983. Two years later, this was referenced by a popular Soviet weekly, Literaturnaya Gazeta, as the source of the scandalous story. From there it found its way to the front page of a British tabloid, and by April 1987 the fake news had been published by the mainstream media of 50 countries.
On the eve of the decisive round of the 2017 French presidential elections, the favourite, Emmanuel Macron, fell victim to a massive hacking attack. The database of his e-mails and other documents went viral on a file-sharing service within minutes. In the space of just three hours, the post was shared around 47,000 times, and half a day later it was trending worldwide on Twitter. Even though Russia has denied involvement, the cyber trails prove otherwise.
In the noughties, several Western intelligence leaders were already complaining that Russia had become more active than it had been during the Cold War, but this went largely unnoticed. Russia was off the radar while the focus lay on Afghanistan and the Middle East in general. The Western political elite began to regard Russia as a threat only after the occupation and annexation of Crimea. This also brought Moscow’s activities back into the sights of intelligence services.

IV Estonia as a Target of Russian Information Attacks

Depicting Estonia (and Latvia) as a country that discriminates against minorities and promotes Nazism has been one of Russia’s largest and most consistent international deception operations in the last 25 years. The reasons for this are numerous, the main one being Moscow’s strategic interest in restoring its authority over the Baltic States. Russia became particularly pushy in the 1990s when Estonia and the other Baltic States were applying for membership of NATO and the European Union.
On 4 December 1991, only three months after the restoration of independence, the Estonian foreign ministry was forced to send its Soviet counterpart a note condemning President Mikhail Gorbachev’s hostile attitude towards the Baltic States during his appearance on Soviet Central Television the previous day. Gorbachev first blamed the Baltic States for violating the human rights of minorities and then added that Russians, Ukrainians and other minorities living in the Baltic States had requested protection from the Soviet Union. Estonian diplomats treated this as a threat to national security.
Active measures continued to be taken in this spirit on both diplomatic and journalistic levels for years. Essentially, it has not stopped, even today. The situation was particularly severe in the 1990s, when Russia tried to influence the West to ignore the Baltic States. Moscow also tried to discourage Estonia from adopting the Aliens Act in 1993 by issuing threats bordering on the undiplomatic.
For instance, on 18 June 1993, the then Russian deputy foreign minister, Vitaly Churkin, who later became Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said on Radio Moscow that: “Russian-Estonian relations are clearly deteriorating. We are currently preparing a package of serious diplomatic, political and perhaps not only political measures with regard to Estonia.” Six days later, President Boris Yeltsin said that Estonia had “forgotten” geopolitical and demographic reality and threatened that Russia had the means to refresh its memory. Foreign minister Andrey Kozyrev did not hold back on 14 August 1993, saying that international relations in the Baltic States had “strong potential for violence and unrest”.
On 23 August 1993—exactly 54 years after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact—Yeltsin’s press secretary, Vyacheslav Kostikov, naively stated that “the forces that try to push Russia out of the Baltic States must consider that Russia governed the Baltic geopolitical area for centuries and it has invested great material and intellectual resources into its development”.
On 2 March 1994, Artur Laast, a diplomat at the Estonian Embassy in Moscow, was invited to the Russian foreign ministry, where the head of the Second European Department, Yuri Fokin, made a threatening oral statement about President Lennart Meri’s criticism of Russia in his speech at the annual Matthiae-Mahl dinner in Hamburg on 25 February. The memo of the meeting ends with Laast quoting the Russian diplomat: “If the course that is focused on aggravating the relations between the two neighbouring countries does not change, Estonia will assume full responsibility”.
In the 1994 report “Russian Threats to Estonia” by the embassy in Moscow, an Estonian diplomat discusses political hazards among other questions. The author of the report writes that Russia 
attempts to influence Estonia by damaging us on the international arena. For this, it uses the well-known thesis of violating the human rights of the Russian minority, spreads rumours that Estonia has become a transit country for crime and that Estonian citizens participate in military conflicts in Tajikistan and Chechnya, and accuses us of supporting separatism in Russia.
These are only a few examples from the archive of the Estonian foreign ministry that illustrate Russia’s diplomatic pressure on Estonia, but also on the West. At the time, occupying forces were still in Estonia. The troops were withdrawn on 31 August 1994.
When the First Chechen War broke out at the end of 1994, Russian media gave extensive coverage to a false news story about alleged Baltic female biathletes serving as snipers on Dudayev’s side. As the so-called “White Tights”, the phantom snipers even featured in songs.
From my time as a foreign correspondent in Moscow, I clearly remember a detailed, multi-page account in the daily Moskovskiye Novosti of how Estonians were skilled and disciplined killers: all this to distort our image and influence public opinion at home and abroad.
World War II has remained one of the main arguments in the information war against Estonia over the last 25 years. The tension grew at the beginning of Putin’s tenure and finally led to the Bronze Night events in 2007. Russia has not made much progress on this matter or on other topics.
Estonia has now been a member of NATO and the EU for 13 years and will use its presidency of the EU Council to collaborate with other member states to implement more effective means to combat Russia’s information attacks and disinformation campaigns.

V In Place of an Epilogue

In 1930, Professor Dmitry Manvilsky of Moscow’s Leninist School of Political Warfare wrote that Russia was creating the world’s most progressive peace movement to lull the West to sleep. Convinced that a war between the two great systems was inevitable, Manvilsky thought that 
foolish and decadent capitalist countries will be happy to use the opportunity to cooperate with us to bring about their own destruction. They will use every opportunity to become friends. As soon as the enemy lets their guard down, we will crush them with our iron fist.
The Soviet empire used various means to achieve its geopolitical goals and, to an extent, world domination. At the forefront of the campaign in the free world were the “useful idiots” and agents of influence. Moscow took good care of its mouthpieces. In the 1980s, French communists were paid 24 million dollars, while Americans received 21 million dollars. Finnish communists received a generous reward of 16.5 million dollars for their pro-Russian views. During the final two decades of the Soviet Union, Moscow distributed more than 400 million dollars of such benefits all over the world, mainly to extremist communist movements.
The fight for the hearts and minds of the free world was on, and it has not subsided even today. Russia’s new clients are mainly extremist forces of both left and right, and by supporting them Moscow tries to weaken the integrity of the European Union and NATO, disrupt the internal stability of their member countries, and create the circumstances for a Finlandisation of Europe.
Russia has managed to make a right mess of America’s domestic politics. However, the Dutch and French elections provided some assurance that Moscow’s influence operations have limits and that Europe is not disintegrating. Then again, the fight continues and it is too early to draw any final conclusions.
The international debate has provided many good ideas and political suggestions to counter Russia’s aggression, information attacks and propaganda. History provides good counsel, even here.
On 14 April 1950, only 12 months after the founding of NATO, the US National Security Council’s special task force presented President Harry Truman with top-secret report No. 68. The 58-page document was essentially the basis for the US long-term policy on the Soviet Union, which culminated with victory in the Cold War in the late 1980s. The report described the challenge posed by the Soviet Union as something that could cause “the destruction not only of this Republic but of civilization itself”. The Soviet Union was treated as the exact opposite of the US, with Moscow’s expansionist policy deemed a great threat to the security of the free world.
Among other topics, the report also highlighted the fight against the Soviet Union’s influence operations. The document stressed that the campaign for truth must above all become a fight for people’s minds.
A lot has changed by 2017 but, in general, Russia and the US, together with the latter’s allies, remain in fundamental opposition. Hence it is vital that the allies’ conflict-avoidance strategy looks beyond the false hope of solving problems with meaningless dialogue.

          Iqbal: His Life and Our Times        
Cover design MelloWatts 
Originally published at Marghdeen Learning Centre

The mind of Goethe,
The heart of Rumi,
The message of the Quran.

This was the unparalleled legacy of the poet-philosopher credited with birthing a nation and a state, and at no other time has the world been more ready to embrace his ideas than it is right now. 


The story of his mind, and what he taught, as told herein from a new and compelling angle, leads us on a trail of discovery towards a new way of life. You're invited to approach this as a handbook for implementing his life-giving ideas.
The above-quoted blurb reflects the spirit in which my new book, Iqbal: His Life and Our Times, is being offered. The book is a tribute to Iqbal by ten sovereign states, since it is being published jointly by Iqbal Academy Pakistan and the Cultural Institute of the Economic Cooperation Organization, which is the successor organization of the RCD and now includes Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The international edition is being brought out by Libredux, UK, on behalf of the original publishers. It will be available from Thursday, May 8.

It can be ordered from the page on the Createspace Website. It will also be available on other websites, including Amazon. The Pakistani edition is hopefully coming out by the end of this month.  

Much has been written about Iqbal but this book may turn out to be different (even from my earlier writings) because it presents Iqbal with a special focus on how his ideas can be implemented today - especially in Pakistan and the Muslim world, but also elsewhere - by individuals as well as societies. I have kept it less than 200 pages, so that it may serve as a compact handbook.

Until the book comes out this Thursday, I offer you following introduction written by two people for whom I have deep respect and gratitude.


Introduction
by 
Muhammad Suheyl Umar, Director, Iqbal Academy Pakistan;
and Iftikhar Arif, Director, ECO Cultural Institute (ECI)

Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) is the only poet and thinker in the history of world literature who has been credited with the birth of a new nation and a new state. It is therefore very befitting that a handbook about his life and thought should be brought out by an organization comprising of ten member states. The Economic Cooperation Organization’s Cultural Institute (ECI) is pleased to bring out this publication jointly with Iqbal Academy Pakistan.

In addition to his unique status in Pakistan, Iqbal also happens to be either a national poet or a household inspiration in several other countries including Iran, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and India. In Turkey, his symbolic grave stands in the compound of the mausoleum of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi. In the universities of Heidelberg and Cambridge, there are chairs or fellowships in his name. Roads, buildings and monuments have been named after him in other countries too, including Mauritius.

Iqbal: His Life and Our Times fulfils the need for a simple and reliable introduction to the life and work of this unmatched genius, highlighting the practical relevance of his ideas for those who wish to consider them for implementation. The author, Khurram Ali Shafique, is well-known in the field of Iqbal Studies. The awards which he has received for his previous publications include the coveted Presidential Iqbal Award.

The present volume includes many findings that are the outcome of the author’s original research. Of special interest to the general readers as well as the experts would be the evidence, presented here for the first time, which establishes a historical connection between the political ideas of Iqbal, the American thinker Mary Parker Follett and the Bengali visionary C. R. Das. 

We are hoping that this volume will offer much by way of looking at the present times from new avenues. 

It is shown here that the views expressed by Iqbal in his poetry and prose formed a coherent system of thought, and the same was implemented by him through political and social action. 

This is to dispel the myth which has been preventing a deeper understanding of Iqbal’s thought until now, i.e. the false but widely perpetuated assumption that the ideas presented by Iqbal were either inconsistent with each other or they kept undergoing such perpetual changes throughout his life that they cannot be considered for implementation in any other time.

The system of his thought and its underlying principles are being presented here, perhaps for the first time. It is also being shown that in spite of its inner coherence, the system of Iqbal’s thought kept pace with the evolution of the collective life of his community. 

This evolution can be studied by dividing the intellectual life of the poet-philosopher into three stages: inquiry, discovery and transcendence. The duration of each stage has been established here on the basis of biographical and textual evidence, and the book has been divided into three chapters accordingly. 

Each of these three stages started in his mental life when his community adopted a new goal collectively. The goals, their relevance to the world and humanity, their implications for Iqbal, and his contribution towards achieving them are issues which are being discussed here in a fresh light. This may turn out be one of the most significant contributions which this book will make to the subject.

If nations of the world desire to come closer in their hearts and minds, they cannot ignore to learn about the ideas, emotions and visions of each other. The Economic Cooperation Organization’s Cultural Institute (ECI), formed through a charter at the third summit meeting of the countries of ECO held at Islamabad in 1995, aims at fostering understanding and the preservation of the rich cultural heritage of its members through common projects in the field of the media, literature, art, philosophy, sport and education. 

The present volume is being offered in line with this vision, and with the conviction that it is important for everybody to be informed about the ideas of Iqbal, since they may be counted among those cultural forces which have gone into shaping a significant part of our world.

This conviction is shared by Iqbal Academy Pakistan, a statutory body of the Government of Pakistan, originally established through an act of parliament in 1951 and reinforced through an ordinance in 1962. The aims and objectives of the Academy are to promote and disseminate the study and understanding of the works and teachings of Iqbal. The Academy has been translating its objectives into action and activity through a number of measures including publication programme, IT projects, outreach activities, Iqbal Award Programme, website, research and compilation, audio-video, multimedia, archive projects as well as exhibitions, conferences, seminars, projection abroad, research guidance, academic assistance, donations and library services.

We hope that the readers will benefit from the book which we are offering here jointly, and this will go a long way in achieving our common objectives.

          Female Bankers in Tajikistan        
Hi Kiva Lenders, 

Today I would like to share a story about a group of women whose hard work makes it possible for you to learn about the unique story of each Kiva borrower in Tajikistan. Let me introduce you to Nargiza, Fazilat and Nilufar, the all-star female Kiva team members from MDO Humo and Partners (Humo), one of my microfinance field partners in Tajikistan. 
Country: 
Tajikistan

          Bulan September        
1 September
Menara Pisa Mulai Dibangun
Tanggal 1 September 1174, dimulai pembangunan menara Pisa di kota Italia. Tujuan pembangunan menara ini adalah untuk menempatkan sebuah jam besar di atas menara tersebut. Namun, beberapa lama setelah pembangunan dimulai, ternyata menara setinggi 55 meter itu melenceng dari garis lurus sepanjang 5 meter. Oleh karena itulah menara ini disebut sebagai menara miring Pisa. Hingga kini, atas usaha para insinyur dan para ahli berbagai negara, kemiringan menara ini telah diperbaiki sampai batas-batas tertentu.

Perang Dunia II Dimulai

Tanggal 1 September 1939, dengan serangan tentara Nazi Jerman ke Polandia, Perang Dunia Kedua dimulai. Hitler dalam masa kekuasaannya di Jerman, dengan memanfaatkan nasionalisme rakyatnya yang kalah dalam Perang Dunia Pertama, telah memperkuat pasukan dan persenjataan negara ini. Hitler menjustifikasi aksi perluasan kekuasaannya dengan bersandar kepada pemikiran rasialismenya. Dalam waktu singkat, tentara Jerman berhasil menguasai sebagian besar kawasan eropa dan sebagian utara Afrika.
Sementara itu, Italia dan Jepang, dua sekutu Jerman dalam Perang Dunia Kedua, juga menguasai wilayah lain di Afrika dan Asia. Namun, sejak awal tahun 1943, setelah tentara Jerman menghadapi pelawanan kuat rakyat Soviet, mereka mulai mengalami kekalahan beruntun sampai akhirnya menyerah tanpa syarat di bulan Mei 1945. Jepang masih meneruskan peperangan yang juga berakhir dengan penyerahan tanpa syarat setelah kota Hiroshima dan Nagasaki dibom oleh Amerika pada bulan Agustus 1945.Perang Dunia Kedua ini telah menyebabkan 40 juta orang tewas terbunuh dan mengakibatkan kerugian milyaran dolar di berbagai negara.

Konferensi Pertama GNB Diadakan
Tanggal 1 September 1961, diselenggarakan konferensi pertama para pemimpin negara-negara non-blok di Beograd, Yugoslavia. Konferensi yang dihadiri oleh 25 pejabat berbagai negara ini diadakan untuk membentuk organisasi non-blok yang bertujuan melindungi negara-negara dunia ketiga dari perseteruan antara Blok Barat dan Blok Timur. Syarat terpenting keanggotaan dalam organisasi ini adalah tidak memiliki keanggotaan tetap dalam perjanjian-perjanjian keterikatan dengan negara-negara superpower Barat atau Timur. Sejak awal, organisasi ini telah memiliki dua kelompok. Kelompok revolusioner yang dipimpin Tito, presiden Yugoslavia dan Ahmad Sukarno, presiden indonesia, menghendaki perjuangan yang konsisten melawan imperialisme. Kelompok ini juga didukung Nehru dari India. Sementara itu, kelompok lainnya cenderung konservatif dan masih menginginkan adanya hubungan baik dengan negara-negara superpower.
Hingga kini, perbedaan pendapat dalam organisasi non-blok masih terus berlangsung. Hal ini menyebabkan organisasi ini tidak mampu menjadikan diri sebagai kekuatan penentang kekuasaan-kekuasaan besar dunia yang konfrontatif.

Qaddafi Berkuasa di Libya
Tanggal 1 September 1969, dengan melakukan sebuah kudeta, Muammar Qaddafi meraih kekuasaannya di Libya. Sebelumnya, Libya adalah sebuah negara monarki. Pada saat Raja Idris Pertama menjalani pengobatan di Turki, sekelompok perwira muda yang dipimpin oleh Muammar Qadafi melakukan kudeta untuk menyingkirkan raja tersebut. Libya pun kemudian dijadikan negara sosialis yang pro Soviet. Pangkalan-pangkalan militer Inggris dan AS di Libya pun dibubarkan serta beberapa industri minyak dan perbankan Libya dinasionalisasi.

2 September
Perancis Kalah Perang Melawan Ustmani

Tanggal 2 September tahun 1801, setelah terjadi beberapa peperangan antara tentara Utsmani yang bersekutu dengan tentara Inggris melawan tentara Perancis, Perancis mengalami kekalahan besar. Setelah Napoleon menjajah Mesir, Inggris yang pada masa itu merupakan pesaing utama Perancis dalam bidang ekoonmi dan militer merasa kepentingannya terancam. Oleh karena itu, Inggris dengan tujuan mengeluarkan Perancis dari Mesir dan mencegah kemajuan tentara Perancis, bekerja sama dengan pemerintah Utsmani. Setelah kembalinya Napoleon ke Perancis, tentara Perancis yang ada di Mesir menjadi semakin lemah dan setelah mendapat serangan beruntun dari Inggris dan Utsmani, akhirnya mereka kalah dan terpaksa meningalkan Mesir.

Vietnam Merdeka
Tanggal 2 September 1945, Republik Demokratik Vietnam meraih kemerdekaannya dan hari ini dinyatakan sebagai hari nasional Vietnam. Vietnam pada pertengahan abad ke 19 berada di bawah penguasaan Perancis. Namun pada tahun 1940, dalam Perang Dunia Kedua, setelah kekalahan Perancis dari Jerman, Kaisar Jepang menggunakan kesempatan melemahnya Perancis ini dengan menguasai Vietnam. Vietnam pun berada di bahwa kekuasaan Jepang sampai Perang Dunia Kedua berakhir dengan kekalahan Jepang. Pada masa ini, organisasi perlawanan India dan China yang dipimpin Ho Chi Minh berhasil meraih kontrol atas Vietnam dan pada tanggal 2 September 1945 mendirikan republik Vietnam. Beberapa bulan kemudain Ho Chi Minh diangkat sebagai presiden.
Pada tahun 1946, Perancis menyerang Vietnam dan sejak saat itulah dimulai perang panjang antara rakyat Vietnam melawan Perancis dan kemudian agresor AS pun turut campur dengan alasan utnuk menjaga kemerdekaan dan persatuan Vietnam. Dengan perlawanan rakyat Vietnam, pada tahun 1954 Perancis berhasil dikalahkan dan pada tahun 1975, AS berhasil diusir sehingga Vietnam kembali menjadi negara independen.
Vietnam memiliki luas wilayah 329.566 kilometer persegi, terletak di Asia Tenggara, dan berbatasan dengan Laos, Cina, dan Kamboja.

Perang Dunia II Berakhir
Tanggal 2 September tahun 1945, dengan menyerah tanpa syaratnya Jepang, Perang Dunia Kedua dinyatakan berakhir. Setelah kekalahan susul-menyusul Jepang melawan pasukan Sekutu di perang dan dijatuhkannya bom atom di kota Hiroshima dan Nagasaki oleh AS, akhirnya pasukan Jepang terpaksa menyerah kalah. Kejadian ini terjadi empat bulan setelah menyerahnya Jerman. Kemudian, diadakan perjanjian Postdam yang berisi penyerahan Jepang kepada Sekutu. Berdasarkan perjanjian ini, komandan umum militer Jepang diserahkan kepada Jenderal MacArthur dari AS. Pada tahun 1951, 49 negara dunia mengadakan perjanjian damai dengan Jepang dan setahun kemudian Jepang kembali memegang pemerintahannya sendiri.

3 September
Oliver Cromwell Meninggal Dunia

Tanggal 3 September 1658, Oliver Cromwell seorang politikus dan presiden pertama Inggris meninggal dunia. Selepas mengeksekusi Raja Inggris, King Charles 1, Oliver akhirnya menghapus sistem kerajaan di negara ini. Sejak tahun 1649 Ia menjadi penguasa Inggris secara tidak resmi dan pada tahun 1653 dikukuhkan secara resmi. Dia memerintah Inggris secara despotik selama 9 tahun. Kemudian posisi jabatannya digantikan oleh putranya sebagai presiden Inggris. Tetapi dikarenakan ketidaklayakannya, dia pun disingkirkan dan sistem kerajaan kembali menguasai Inggris.

Rais Ali Delwari Gugur
Tanggal 3 September tahun 1915, Rais Ali Delwari pemimpin perjuangan melawan penjajahan Inggris di Iran, gugur syahid. Pada awal Perang Dunia Pertama, tentara Rusia dari utara dan tentara Inggris dari selatan, berusaha menduduki Iran. Pada masa itu, Rais Ali Delwari memimpin perlawanan rakyat atas fatwa para ulama yang mewajibkan jihad demi mempertahankan negara. Rais Ali dan pasukannya yang gagah berani berkali-kali berhasil mematahkan serangan tentara Inggris yang berniat menguasai pelabuhan Bushehr. Perjuangan rakyat Tanggestan yang terletak di dekat Bushehr itu, berlangsung hingga tujuh tahun.

Damaskus Diduduki Tentara Inggris
Tanggal 3 September tahun 1918, kota Damaskus yang merupakan kota tua dan bersejarah umat Islam, diduduki oleh tentara Inggris. Pada Perang Dunia Pertama, salah satu tujuan utama negara-negara Eropa adalah memecah-belah Imperium Utsmani. Satu persatu wilayah kekuasaan Imperium Utsmani akhirnya jatuh ke tangan Inggris dan Perancis, termasuk di antaranya kota Damaskus. Kemudian, berdasarkan perjanjian antara London dan Paris, kekuasaan di Suriah dan ibukotanya, Damaskus, diserahkan kepada Perancis.


Italia Kalah dalam Perang Dunia II

Tanggal 3 September tahun 1943, Italia menyerah kalah dalam Perang Dunia Kedua dengan ditandai oleh penandatanganan sebuah surat perjanjian antara pemerintah Italia dan Sekutu. Menurut surat perjanjian tersebut, Perdana Menteri Italia menyatakan bahwa Italia menyerah tanpa syarat. Dengan demikian, salah satu aliansi utama Nazi Jerman yang terpenting, telah keluar dari medan pertempuran. Paham Nazi dan paham fasisme Italia memiliki kesamaan dalam ambisi memperluas kekuasaan. Oleh karena itulah, Jerman dan Italia bersatu dalam Perang Dunia Kedua tersebut. Namun, setelah kekalahan susul-menyusul yang dialami Italia, Musolini terpaksa menyerah. Setelah ditandatanganinya surat perjanjian tersebut, Pasukan Sekutu menyerang dan mengusir pasukan Jerman yang ada di Italia.

Qatar Merdeka
Tanggal 3 September 1971, Qatar meraih kemerdekaannya dari Inggris dan hari ini ditetapkan sebagai Hari Nasional Qatar. Pada abad ke-19, Qatar berada di bawah kekuasaan Imperium Utsmani. Setelah melemahnya imperium besar tersebut, pada tahun 1882, Qatar jatuh ke tangan Inggris hingga tahun 1971. Pada tahun itu pula, dibentuklah Uni Emirat Arab dan Qatar bergabung di dalamnya. Namun, tak lama kemudian, yaitu pada bulan September 1971, Qatar keluar dari Uni Emirat Arab dan mengumumkan kemerdekaannya. Qatar berbentuk kerajaan dan merupakan negara penghasil gas alam terbesar ketiga di dunia.

4 September
Tentara Perancis Kudeta Kelompok Monarki

Tanggal 4 September tahun 1797, tentara Perancis melakukan kudeta menumbangkan kelompok monarkhi Perancis. Delapan tahun setelah revolusi Perancis, karena kinerja pemerintah dan para pemimpin revolusi yang buruk serta kekalahan yang dialami Perancis dalam berbagai pertempuran di Eropa, rakyat dalam pemilu parlemen memberikan suara kepada kelompok monarkhi. Namun, atas keinginan para komandan militer, diantaranya Napolean Bonaparte, kelompok militer melakukan kudeta di Paris dan 177 wakil kelompok monarkhi disingkirkan serta 65 orang lainya diasingkan. Para pelaku kudeta juga mengasingkan banyak orang pendukung monarkhi serta membredel 42 surat kabar. Akhirnya, kekuatan monarkhi menjadi kacau-balau dan terbuka jalan bagi Napolean untuk menguasai pemerintahan di tahun 1799.


Richard Nathaniel Wright Lahir

Tanggal 4 September 1908, Richard Nathaniel Wright penulis kulit hitam Amerika lahir di dunia. Selepas melalui kehidupan yang penuh kesulitan, dia mulai menulis pada usia 30 tahun. Di antara hasil karyanya yang memperlihatkan kehidupan miskin dan penderitaan warga kulit hitam Amerika ialah Black Boy dan Big boy leaves home. Wright meninggal dunia pada tanggal 28 November 1960.


Thomas Alpha Edison Ciptakan Motor Listrik

Tanggal 4 September 1882, diciptakan motor listrik pertama oleh Thomas Alpha Edison, seorang inventor Amerika. Motor listrik buatan Edison tersebut memiliki kekuatan 300 tenaga kuda. Dengan memanfaatkan motor listrik ini, Edison mendirikan pusat produksi listrik di kota New York yang hasilnya mampu menerangi sebagian kota tersebut. Sebelumnya, di tahun 1879, Edison telah menciptakan lampu listrik.


Demo Pertama Anti Syah
Tanggal 4 September 1978, dilaksanakan demonstrasi pertama rakyat Iran dalam menentang rezim Syah. Demonstrasi ini dilakukan setelah shalat Idul Fitri dan dimulai dari empat penjuru kota Tehran dan secara bertahap peserta demonstrasi semakin banyak memenuhi jalan-jalan kota Tehran. Mereka membawa foto besar Imam Khomeini dan meneriakkan yel-yel kebebasan, kemerdekaan, dan didirikannya pemerintahan Islam di Iran. Demonstrasi besar ini disusul oleh demonstrasi bersejarah yang dilakukan pada tanggal 8 September seusai shalat Jumat.

5 September
Banjir Besar di Cina

Tanggal 5 September 1887, air sungai besar Hwang Hu di Cina mulai meluap. Banjir besar akibat meluapnya sungai ini terus berlangsung hingga satu bulan. Korban jiwa yang jatuh sekitar 900 ribu orang. Beberapa kota, ratusan desa, serta kawasan pertanian yang luas juga hancur akibat banjir tersebut. Sungai Hwang Hu mengalir di bagian timur Cina dan memiliki panjang 5200 kilometer.

Ayatullah Ali Qudusi Gugur

Tanggal 5 September 1981, Ayatullah Ali Qudusi, pejabat tinggi pengadilan Republik Islam Iran, gugur syahid akibat ledakan bom yang dipasang oleh kelompok teroris Mujahidin Al-Khalk. Syahid Qudusi menimba ilmu dari ulama-ulama besar pada masa itu, di antaranya Ayatullah Burujerdi, Allamah Thabathabai, dan Imam Khomeini sampai akhirnya mencapai derajat mujtahid. Beliau kemudian aktif di bidang pendidikan agama dan mendirikan sekolah agama bernama "Haqqani". Sejak tahun 1952, Ayatullah Qudusi memulai perjuangannya melawan rezim Syah. Akibatnya, selama beberapa waktu, beliau dipenjarakan oleh rezim despotik itu. Tahun-tahun terakhir kehidupan Ayatullah Quddusi dibaktikan untuk memperkokoh pondasi negara Islam Iran yang baru berdiri.

Salah Satu Mesjid Terbesar di Dunia, Dibangun di Maroko

Tanggal 5 September 1993, salah satu mesjid terbesar di dunia, dibangun di kota Casablanca, Maroko. Bangunan mesjid ini menggunakan teknik modern dan menaranya memiliki aliran seni Islam. Bagian utama mesjid itu memuat 25 ribu pendiri sholat dan bagian sekitarnya bisa menampung 75 ribu orang. Dinding mesjid ini dihiasi dengan marmer indah yang berpola hindisi. Di dalam kompleks mesjid ini, dibangun pula sebuah perpustakaan dan sebuah hauzah ilmiah.

6 September
Perang Pharsalus Pecah

Tanggal 6 September tahun 48 sebelum Masehi, terjadi perang bersejarah Pharsalus antara Julius Caesar dan Pompey, dua anggota utama The First Triumvirate. The First Triumvirate adalah persatuan tiga ksatria dalam imperium Romawi, yaitu Julius Caesar, Pompey, dan Crassus. Dalam perang ini, Julius Caesar meraih kemenangannya dan Pompey tewas terbunuh. Sebelumnya, Crassus telah tewas dalam peperangan di Timur Tengah. Dengan kemenangan ini, Caesar meraih kekuasaannya di imperium Romawi. Caesar dilahirkan pada bulan Oktober tahun 101 SM dan pada mudanya bergabung dengan tentara Romawi. Secara bertahap, Caesar berhasil menjadi komandan angkatan bersenjata Romawi. Caesar memerintah kekaisairan Romawi dengan tiran sehingga akhirnya tewas dibunuh oleh para senator yang menentangnya.

Perang II India vs Pakistan Pecah
Tanggal 6 September 1965, setelah lebih satu bulan terjadi kekacauan di perbatasan India dan Pakistan, tentara India memulai serangannya ke Pakistan. Ini adalah perang kedua yang terjadi di antara kedua negara akibat memperebutkan wilayah Kashmir. Perang ini berlangsung selama tiga minnggu dan atas perantaraan Soviet, dilakukan gencatan senjata. Pada tanggal 10 Januari 1966, para pemimpin India dan Pakistan memulai perundingan mereka di Tashkent ibukota Uzbekistan dengan mediator Perdana Menteri Uni Soviet. Di akhir perundingan Tashkent itu, dikeluarkan sebuah pernyataan bersama mengenai penyelesaian masalah Khasmir antara India dan Pakistan.

Swaziland Merdeka
Tanggal 6 September 1968, Swaziland yang terletak di selatan Afrika, meraih kemerdekaannya dari tangan Inggris dan hari ini dijadikan sebagai Hari Nasional negara ini. Sejarah Swaziland berawal sejak abad ke-19. Pada masa itu, pengaruh imperialisme Eropa meluas di Afrika dan Swaziland pun termasuk kawasan yang menjadi jajahan Eropa. Selama beberapa waktu, negara ini diatur secara bersama-sama oleh Inggris dan Transvaal, sebuah bagian di Afrika selatan saat ini. Tak lama setelah kemerdekaan Afsel di awal abad ke-20, Swaziland secara penuh menjadi jajahan Inggris. Akhirnya, pada tahun 1968, negara ini berhasil meraih kemerdekaannya. Swaziland adalah negara berbentuk kerajaan, memiliki luas 17.364 kilometer persegi, terletak di di bagian selatan benua Afrika, dan berbatasan dengan Mozambik dan Afsel.

Demonstrasi Besar Besaran Terjadi di Seantero di Iran

Tanggal 6 September 1978, menyusul meningkatnya perlawanan rakyat terhadap rezim Syah Iran yang despotik, terjadi berbagai demonstrasi besar-besaran di hampir seluruh penjuru Iran. Syah Pahlevi kemudian mengeluarkan larangan segala bentuk demonstrasi. Namun, pada saat itu pula, Imam Khomeini dari pengasingannya di kota Najaf, Irak memberikan seruan agar perjuangan rakyat terus dilanjutkan. Beliau menyatakan, "Dengan nama Allah yang Mahakuasa, saya meminta agar kebangkitan rakyat terus ditingkatkan dan demonstrasi dilakukan sebanyak mungkin agar rezim yang zalim dan kejam bisa segera dikalahkan."

7 September
Reamur Meninggal Dunia

Tanggal 7 September 1683, Reamur, fisikawan dan matematikawan Perancis, terlahir ke dunia. Pada usianya ke 20, Reamur telah merilis karya di bidang teknin dan pada usianya ke 25 tahun, dia telah menjadi anggota akademi Perancis. Pada waktu yang relatif bersamaan dengan Fahrenheit, dia melakukan penelitian mengenai suhu udara dan pada tahun 1730, dia berhasil menciptakan sebuah alat pengukur suhu. Reamur meninggal dunia pada tahun 1757.


Brazil merdeka
Tanggal 7 September 1822, Brazil meraih kemerdekaannya dari Portugis dan hari ini dijadikan Hari Nasional negara ini. Portugis menjajah Brazil sejak tahun 1494 dan menjadikan rakyat kulit merah negara ini menjadi budak. Portugis bahkan juga mendatangkan jutaan budak kulit hitam dari Afrika untuk dijadikan pekerja di bidang pertanian. Pada awal abad ke 19, setelah Portugis diduduki oleh Napoleon Bonaparte, Kaisar Portugis dan keluarganya melarikan diri ke Brazil dan sejak itu situasi di negara ini semakin tidak tenteram.
Setelah kekalahan Napoleon, Kaisar Portugis kembali ke negerinya namun, anak laki-lakinya tetap tinggal dan menjadi raja pengganti di Brazil. 14 tahun kemudian, raja pengganti ini mengumumkan kemerdekaan Brazil dari tangan Portugis dan menjadikan dirinya sebagai kaisar Brazil.
Pada tahun 1889, sistem pemerintahan Brazil diubah menjadi republik.
Brazil yang memiliki luas wilayah 8,5 juta kilometer persegi ini merupakan kawasan yang luas di bagian tengah dan timur Amerika Selatan. Negara ini terletak di tepi samudera Atlantik dan berbatasan dengan Argentina, Paraguay, dan Uruguay.

Kaum Boxer Lancarkan Perlawanan di Cina

Tanggal 7 September 1899, terjadi gerakan perlawanan boxer di Cina. Kaum boxer adalah julukan bagi sekelompok militer Cina yang bernama "Ay Hu Chuan" atau pukulan bersama yang telak. Kelompok ini bangkit untuk menentang campur tangan Barat dan Jepang yang kian meningkat di Cina. Kaum boxer menduduki kedubes-kedubes Barat di Beijing dan terjadi bentrokan yang keras dengan para misionaris Eropa. Namun, perlawanan ini bisa ditumpas secara bersama oleh pasukan Eropa, Amerika, dan Jepang. Cina pun terpaksa membayar ganti rugi kepada para imperialis itu dalam jumlah yang sangat besar.

Ayatullah Mirza Muhammad Baqir Ashtiani Wafat

Tanggal 7 September 1984, Ayatullah Mirza Muhammad Baqir Ashtiani, seorang ulama kontemporer Iran, meninggal dunia. Beliau dilahirkan pada tahun 1905 di Teheran, Iran dan setelah melewati pendidikan dasarnya, beliau melanjutkan pendidikan ke hauzah ilmiah di kota Najaf, Irak. Setelah mencapai derajat mujtahid, beliau kembali ke Teheran dan mengajar agama di kota ini. Karya-karya Ayatullah Ashtiani di antaranya berjudul, "Irsyad az Nazar-e Islam" dan "Malikiyat dar Islam."

8 September
Kanada Merdeka

Tanggal 8 September tahun 1763, Kanada berhasil memerdekakan diri dari kekuasaan Perancis. Kemerdekaan itu diperoleh rakyat Kanada melalui berbagai pertempuran yang memakan waktu cukup lama. Akan tetapi, meskipun telah merdeka, Kanada masih terus dirundung konflik antara orang-orang Kanada keturunan Perancis dan orang-orang Inggris yang tinggal di negeri itu. Meskipun secara resmi menyatakan diri merdeka, secara politik Kanada masih berada di bawah pemerintahan Inggris. Selama beberapa waktu, sejak tahun 1867, Kanada diperintah oleh seorang gubernur jenderal yang diangkat oleh ratu Inggris.


Tentara Nazi Kepung Leningrad

Tanggal 8 September tahun 1941, tentara Nazi Jerman berhasil mengepung kota Leningrad, Uni Soviet. Akan tetapi, berbeda yang dibayangkan oleh Hitler, kota ini tidak juga bisa dijatuhkan. Rakyat kota itu bahkan mampu melakukan perlawanan hingga bulan Januari tahun 1944, padahal warga Leningrad sama sekali tidak memiliki fasilitas militer yang cukup. Selama tiga tahun bertempur, mereka hanya memiliki sedikit cadangan makanan yang dikirim dari Iran. Selama masa perlawanan it, lebih dari satu juta warga sipil tewas. Akhirnya setelah warga Leningrad mendapatkan bantuan militer langsung dari tentara Uni Soviet, serta akibat faktor cuaca yang sangat dingin, tentara Jerman terpaksa mundur.

Richard Strauss Meninggal Dunia
Tanggal 8 September 1949, Richard Strauss, seorang komposer Jerman meninggal dunia. Dia dilahirkan pada tahun 1864 dan sudah mengenal musik sejak usia kanak-kanak. Cukup banyak karyanya yang dibuat ketika ia masih muda. Banyak orang menyebut dia sebagai peletak dasar musik romantis baru pada abad ke-19 dan 20. Karya Strauss yang paling terkenal adalah "Waltz" dan "Danau Biru"

Pakta SEATO Diteken di Manila
Tanggal 8 September 1954, sebuah pakta pertahanan bernama SEATO yang merupakan perjanjian keamanan Asia Tenggara ditandatangani di kota Manila, Philipina. Pakta ini ditandatangani oleh AS, Inggris, Australia, Pakistan, Thailand, Perancis, Selandia Baru, dan Philipina. Berdasarkan perjanjian SEATO ini, para anggota perjanjian akan memberikan bantuan militer kepada negara anggota lainnya yang diserang oleh pihak luar. Pada tahun 1975, SEATO dibubarkan setelah terjadinya perubahan besar di kawasan Asia Tenggara, khususnya yang terkait dengan kekalahan AS dalam perang Vietnam.

Demo Akbar Anti Syah Pecah di Teheran

Tanggal 8 September 1978, sebuah demonstrasi besar-besaran dalam rangka menentang Rezim Syah Pahlevi yang despotik, berlangsung di Teheran. Demontrasi ini sebenarnya adalah kelanjutan dari berbagai demonstrasi yang dilakukan beberapa hari sebelumnya. Akan tetapi, demonstrasi hari itu mencapai puncaknya dengan pembantaian massal yang dilakukan para tentara Syah terhadap para demonstran. Hanya dalam satu hari, lebih dari 4000 warga Teheran gugur syahid. Peristiwa tanggal 8 September 1978 itu kini dikenang sebagai hari Jumat Berdarah.

9 September
Imperium Romawi Bertempur Dengan Imperium Persia

Tanggal 9 September tahun 571, terjadi pertempuran sengit antara dua kekuasaan besar besar dunia saat itu, yaitu pasukan kekaisaran Romawi melawan kekaisaran Persia atau Iran. Perang yang dikenal dengan "Pertempuran Tujuh Tahun" itu dimulai dengan serangan yang dilakukan pasukan Romawi terhadap kawasan barat Iran.
Setelah berlangsung pertempuran selama tujuh tahun, pasukan Iran yang dipimpin oleh Raja Anushiravan berhasil memukul mundur tentara Romawi. Akibatnya, Kaisar Romawi Zusti Nin disingkirkan dan Romawi diharuskan membayar ganti rugi peperangan kepada Iran sebesar 45 ribu keping mata uang emas.

Hirohito Istruksikan Peletakan Senjata Tentara Jepang di Cina

Tanggal 9 September tahun 1945, Kaisar Jepang Hirohito mengeluarkan instruksi agar satu juta tentara Jepang yang ada di daratan Cina dan sedang melakukan aksi penjajahan meletakkan senjatanya. Dengan dikeluarkannya instruksi ini, maka berakhirlah peperangan bersejarah antara Jepang dan Cina. Kemenangan Cina ini tidak telepas dari kuatnya persatuan yang dibangun antara tentara nasional Cina dan tentara komunis. Hanya saja, setelah terusirnya Jepang, justru terjadi konflik internal di antara tentara nasional dan tentara komunis. Setelah berlangsuing pertempuran sengit di antara keduanya, pasukan komunis berhasil menguasai seluruh daratan Cina.

Mao Zedong Meninggal Dunia

Tanggal 9 September tahun 1976, pemimpin Cina Mao Zedong meninggal dunia. Ia lahir tahun 1893. Pada tahun 1921, atas ia secara aklamasi diangkat rekan-rekannya menjadi pemimpin Partai Komunis Cina. Dengan berbekal propaganda-propaganda pemihakan kepada para rakyat di pedesaan, Mao dengan segera mampu memperoleh banyak pengikut.
Pada tahun 1934, Mao memimpin peristiwa bersejarah Long March 100 ribu pasukan Cina dari kawasan selatan ke utara Cina. Peristiwa ini dikenang sebagai perjuangan nyata kaum komunis terhadap kelompok nasionalis dukungan Barat.
Pada tahun 1949, Mao berhasil mengusir pemimpin kelompok nasional Cina Chiang Kai-shek yang kemudian mendirikan pemerintahan Taiwan. Saat itulah Mao memproklamasikan Republik Rakyat Cina yang berhaluan komunis. Karena perbedaan haluan komunisnya dibandingkan faham-faham komunis yang dianut Lenin dan Marx, fahamnya itu kemudian dikenal dengan nama Maoisme.

Tajikistan Merdeka

Tanggal 9 September tahun 1991, Tajikistan memproklamasikan kemerdekaannya. Enam abad sebelum masehi, Bangsa Tajikistan telah berada di bawah kekuasaan Kekaisaran Khahamaneshian, Iran. Kemudian, pada abad ke-9 Masehi, pasukan muslimin datang ke kawasan negara itu untuk membebaskan rakyat Tajikistan. Pada abad 19, intervensi pasukan Rusia mulai terasa di kawasan itu. Akhirnya, meskipun terdapat perlawanan sengit rakyat setempat, Tajikistan dimasukkan ke dalam wilayah Uni Sovyet pada tahun 1917. Selama penguasaan Sovyet , Tajikistan menjadi kawasan yang paling tertinggal dibandingkan kawasan-kawasan lainnya.
Pada akhir dekade 1980, terjadi transformasi politik di Moskow. Yang mengakibatkan runtuhnya Uni Sovyet. Berbagai kawasan Uni Soyet, termasuk Tajikistan, rama-ramai memproklamasikan kemerdekaannya. Hanya saja, proses kemerdekaan yang berlangsung di Tajikistan tidaklah semulus kawasan-kawasan lainnya. Di kawasan ini, terjadi konflik internal yang sangat serius. Akan tetapi, berkat campur tangan PBB serta bantuan Iran dan Rusia, kelompok-kelompok yang bertikai mau menandatangani kesepakatan perdamaian pada tahun 1997.
Tajikistan terletak di kawasan tengah Asia. Negara ini memiliki luas lebih dari 142 ribu km. Persegi. Tajikistan bertetangga dengan Cina, Kirgistan, Uzbekistan dan Afghanistan.

Ahmad Shah Masoud diteror

Tanggal 9 September 2001, Ahmad Shah Masoud seorang komandan mujahidin Afghanistan dan menteri pertahanan Burhanuddin Rabbani, presiden pemerintahan sementara Afghanistan diteror. Ahmad Shah Masoud lahir pada tahun 1952. Saat komunis memasuki ke Afghanistan dan pendudukan negara ini oleh militer bekas Uni Soviet pada tahun 1979, beliau tinggal di kawasan pergunungan utara Afghanistan dalam memerangi penjajah. Dia memperlihatkan kepakarannya dalam memimpin tentaranya sehingga kawasan yang berada di bawah penguasaannya Dareh Panjshir tidak pernah dapat ditembusi oleh tentara Russia maupun pihak penentangnya yang lain termasuklah Taliban. Sehingga beliau dikenali dengan gelaran Singa Panjshir. Pada tahun-tahun akhir usianya, dia memimpin koalisi utara Afghanistan dan berjuang menentang tentara Taliban yang mendapat dukungan dari Pakistan dan Amerika serta beberapa kali mengalahkan Taliban. Selepas teror ke atas Ahmad Shah Masoud, Taliban tidak berusia panjang dan tentara koalisi utara dengan menggunakan kesempatan serangan Amerika ke Afghanistan untuk mengalahkan Taliban secara total.

10 September
Simon Bolivar Menjadi Presiden Peru

Tanggal 10 September, Simon Bolivar diangkat menjadi presiden Peru. Simon Bolivar dilahirkan pada tahun 1783 di Venezuela. Sejak awal tahun 1800-an, ia bergabung dengan kelompok pejuang untuk membebaskan Venezuela dari penjajahan Spanyol. Dalam perjuanangan itu, pasukan Bolivar dipaksa mundur hingga ke Kolombia. Bolivar kemudian menduduki Kolombia, namun kemudian karena kekurangan pasukan, dia terpaksa mundur ke Jamaika. Ia kemudian berhasil mengumpulkan pasukan di Haiti, dan kembali menyerang tentera pendudukan Spanyol di Venezuela.

Akhirnya, perjuangan rakyat Amerika latin di bawah pimpinan Simon Bolivar mencapai hasilnya pada tahun 1819 dan didirikanlah Republik Kolombia yang terdiri dari Ekuador, Kolombia, panama, dan Venezuela. Simon Bolivar berhasil mengusir Spanyol dari Peru dan iapun diangkat menjadi presiden di sana. Sebagian kawasan Peru, yaitu Upper Peru, kemudian memisahkan diri menjadi negara terpisah dengan nama Bolivia, untuk mengenang jasa Simon Bolivar yang dijuluki El Liberator atau Sang Pembebas, meninggal dunia pada tahun 1830.

Perang Jerman vs Rusia di Sekitar Danau Masurian

Tanggal 10 September tahun 1914, meletus perang antara Jerman dan Rusia di seputar Danau Masurian. Perang ini dimulai akibat pecahnya Perang Dunia Pertama dan bergabungnya Rusia ke dalam kekuatan Sekutu. Dalam Perang Masurian, pasukan Jerman di bawah komando Hindenburg dan dengan menggunakan taktik serta senjata modern, berhasil menang. Sekitar 20 ribu tentara Rusia terbunuh dan 45 ribu lainnya ditawan. Akhirnya, setelah terjadinya Revolusi Oktober 1917 di Rusia, negara ini mundur dari medan Perang Dunia Pertama.

Penekenan Perjanjian Saint Germain
Tanggal 10 September tahun 1919, ditandatangani perjanjian Saint Germain antara negara-negara pemimpin Perang Dunia Pertama dengan kaisar Austria. Menurut perjanjian ini, wilayah imperium Austria dibagi menjadi tiga bagian, yaitu Austria, Hongaria, dan Chekoslovakia. Beberapa bagian dari wilayah Austria juga diserahkan kepada Italia, Yugoslavia, Soviet, Polandia, dan Romania. Dalam perjanjian ini juga disebutkan bahwa perjanjian antara Austria dan Jerman yang telah ditandatangani sebelumnya, dibatalkan dan Austria dilarang mengikat perjanjian apapun dengan Jerman. Hal ini dimaksudkan untuk mencegah Austria dan Jerman membentuk kembali sebuah kekuatan besar.

Gempa Bumi Dahsyat di Aljazair
Tanggal 10 September tahun 1945, sebuah gempa bumi dahsyat terjadi di Aljazair. Kota Orleansville yang terletak di barat laut Aljazair mengalami rusak total dan 10.000 orang dari 30.000 warga kota itu tewas. Warga yang selamat kehilangan tempat tinggal mereka dan Aljazair juga mengalami kerugian ekonomi yang cukup besar.

Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Taleqani Wafat
Tanggal 10 September tahun 1979, Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Taleqani, seorang ulama besar Iran, meninggal dunia akibat serangan jantung. Beliau dilahirkan pada tahun 1905. Pada tahun 1963, Ayatullah Taleqani dipenjarakan oleh Rezim Syah karena ikut serta dalam peristiwa Kebangkitan Berdarah tanggal 5 Juni. Selanjutnya, beliau berkali-kali keluar masuk penjara. Setelah kemenangan Revolusi Islam Iran yang dipimpin oleh Imam Khomeini, Ayatullah Taleqani ditunjuk menjadi pimpinan Dewan Revolusi dan Imam Jumat kota Teheran. Dalam pemilu pertama anggota Majelis Ahli, beliau juga terpilih sebagai wakil rakyat Teheran. Di antara karya-karya Ayatullah Taleqani adalah buku tafsir yang berjudul "Partu-e Quran" yang ditulisnya semasa beliau di penjara dan buku berjudul "Sistem Kerajaan dalam Islam."

11 September
Muhammad Ali Jinah Wafat

Tanggal 11 September tahun 1948, Muhammad Ali Jinah yang dijuluki "Qaid A'dzam", pendiri negara Pakistan, meninggal dunia. Dia dilahirkan pada tahun 1876 di kota Karachi. Ali Jinah merupakan salah satu pendiri Liga Muslim pada tahun 1906. Awalnya, partai ini aktif di bidang budaya dan agama, namun secara bertahap mulai beralih ke kegiatan politik dan menyuarakan keinginan untuk mendirikan negara muslim yang independen. Dengan kepemimpinan Jinah, banyak kaum muslimin yang bergabung dalam Liga Muslim dan partai ini menjadi sangat besar dan kuat. Dalam pemilu anggota parlemen yang diselenggarakan pasca Perang Dunia Kedua, partai Liga Muslim menang di semua daerah muslim di India. Pada tahun 1947, Pakistan berhasil mencapai kemerdekaannya dengan bentuk pemerintahan gubernur jenderal dan Muhammad Ali Jinah menjadi gubernur jenderal pertama negara ini. Untuk menghormati jasa-jasanya, rakyat Pakistan menggelarinya sebagai Bapak Bangsa.

Augusto Pinochet Lakukan Kudeta di Chili

Tanggal 11 September tahun 1973, Jenderal Augusto Pinochet komandan angkatan laut Chili dengan dukungan Amerika, melakukan kudeta terhadap pemerintahan Salvador Allende. Allende adalah pemimpin Partai Sosialis Chili dan terpilih sebagai presiden pada tahun 1970. Dia kemudian menjalankan program nasionalisasi perbankan, pertambangan, dan industri Chili. Hal ini membuat kepentingan perusahaan-perusahaan Amerika menjadi terganggu. Amerika kemudian mendalangi kudeta untuk menjatuhkan Allande dengan menggandeng beberapa perwira Chili dan dipimpin oleh Pinochet. Setelah meraih kekuasaan, Pinochet memimpin Chili dengan tangan besi dan represif. Pada tahun 1990, atas tekanan dari dalam dan luar negeri, Pinochet terpaksa menyelenggarkan pemilu presiden secara bebas. Dalam pemilu ini, terbentuk sebuah pemerintahan sipil. Namun, karena Pinochet masih memegang posisi sebagai komandan umum angkatan bersenjata Chili, pengaruhnya masih beasar. Akhirnya, pada tahun 1998, Pinochet turun dari jabatannya tersebut. Sejak saat itu, tuntutan para korban HAM selama masa pemerintahan Pinochet semakin menguat.


Ayatullah Sayyid Asadullah Madani Gugur

Tanggal 11 September tahun 1981, Ayatullah Sayyid Asadullah Madani, Imam Jum'at kota Tabriz, gugur syahid akibat serangan kelompok teroris Mujahidin Al-Khalk di saat sedang melaksanakan shalat Jumat.
Ayatullah Madani dilahirkan pada tahun 1914 dan menempuh pendidikan di kota Qom dan Najaf hingga mencapai derajat mujtahid. Selama masa pendidikannya, beliau sudah aktif dalam perjuangan politik. Beliau juga turut serta dalam Kebangkitan 5 Juni 1963 yang mengakibatkannya harus masuk penjara. Setelah kemenangan Revolusi Islam Iran, Ayatullah Madani ditunjuk oleh Imam Khomeini sebagai Imam Jumat kota Tabriz.

Doktor Muhamad Ramyar Wafat
Tanggal 11 September tahun 1994, Doktor Muhammaad Ramyar, peneliti dan ahli Quran kontemporer Iran, meninggal dunia. Dia dilahirkan di kota Mashhad, Iran dan di kota itulah dia menimba ilmu keislamannya. Dia kemudian melanjutkan pendidikan di bidang hukum dan filsafat. Gelar doktornya di bidang filsafat diraihnya di universitas Edinburgh. Selama beberapa waktu, Doktor Ramyar menjabat sebagai Dekan Fakultas Teologi Universitas Teheran. Di antara karya-karyanya adalah buku berjudul "Tarikh Quran" dan "Kasyful Matalib".

Tragedi Teror Dahsyat di New York dan Washington
Tanggal 11 September 2001, dua dari empat pesawat AS yang telah dibajak, menabrak gedung kembar WTC di New York dan sebuah pesawat lainnya menabrak gedung Pentagon di Washington. Pesawat keempat jatuh karena ditembak oleh radar penangkis udara. Dalam serangan terorisme terbesar abad ini, gedung pusat perdagangan internasional WTO hancur berkeping-keping dan sebagian bangunan Pentagon hancur. Jumlah korban tewas mencapai 3200 orang.
Setelah serangan ini, pemerintah dan media massa Barat terutama Amerika menuduh kelompok Al-Qaida dengan pimpinannya Usama bin Laden sebagai pelaku aksi teroris ini dan dengan alasan ini pula seluruh kaum muslimin dituduh sebagai pelaku kekerasan dan terorisme. George W. Bush presiden AS dengan memanfaatkan kesempatan ini dan menggunakan alasan memerangi terorisme, melancarkan aksi konfrontatif dan perluasan kekuasaannya terhadap negara-negara Islam. Dengan alasan memerangi teroris, AS menduduki Afganistan pada tahun 2001 dan Irak pada tahun 2003 serta membunuhi dan melukai ribuan rakyat sipil.

12 Septembe
Pertempuran di Austria

Tanggal 12 September 1683, terjadi pertempuran antara pasukan Kaisar Utsmani dengan tentara Austria dan Polandia. Wina, ibu kota Austria, selama dua bulan dikepung oleh tentara Utsmani dan kemenangan sudah hampir jatuh ke tangan mereka. Namun, kaisar Austria kemudian mendapat bantuan dari Polandia sehingga kepungan tentara Utsmani bisa dilawan dan mereka terpaksa mundur dari medan pertempuran.

Lahirnya Ilmuwan Penemu Radioaktif

Tanggal 12 September 1897, Irene Curie, ahli kimia dan fisika Perancis, terlahir ke dunia di kota Paris. Ibunya adalah Marie Curie, dan ayahnya adalah Pierre Curie, dua fisikawan terkenal yang berhasil menemukan radioaktif. Irene Curie kemudian meneruskan penelitian di bidang radioaktif tersebut bersama dengan salah satu asisten ibunya. Dia berhasil menemukan cara pembuatan radioaktif buatan. Irene Curie meninggal dunia tahun 1958.

Gugurnya Ayatullah Khiyabani

Tanggal 12 September 1920, Syaikh Muhammad Khiyabani, seorang pejuang pada periode revolusi konstitusional Iran, gugur syahid. Setelah menuntut ilmu-ilmu agama, Syaikh Khiyabani memulai perjuangannya untuk melawan kekejaman penguasa Iran saat itu, yaitu dinasti Qajar. Setelah disingkirkannya Syah Muhammad Ali pada tahun 1908, Syaikh Khiyabani terpilih sebagai wakil rakyat Tabriz di Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat Iran. Kemudian, beliau kembali berjuang melawan pemerintahan Wutsuqud-Daulah yang merupakan penandatangan perjanjian kerjasama antara Iran dan Inggris. Syaikh Khiyabani sempat berhasil merebut kekuasaan pemerintahan di kota Tabriz, namun kemudian dalam pertempuran yang tidak seimbang melawan pasukan pemerintah, beliau gugur syahid. Dengan gugurnya Syaikh Khiyabani, gerakan kebangkitan di Tabriz telah ditaklukkan oleh rezim Wutsuqud-Daulah.


Perjanjian AS, Inggris, dan Sovyet
Tanggal 12 September 1944, ditandatangani perjanjian antara Amerika, Inggris, dan Soviet di London yang berisi kesepakatan untuk menduduki Jerman. Kemudian, pasukan Sekutu menyerang Jerman dari barat dan timur sampai akhirnya kekuatan Nazi Jerman berhasil ditaklukkan pada bulan Mei 1945.

13 September
Perang Manshuriah Meletus

Tanggal 13 September 1250, terjadi perang Manshuriah yang merupakan salah satu perang dalam peperangan Salib antara kaum Kristen dan umat Islam. Perang yang terjadi sebuah kawasan bernama Manshuriah di Mesir ini, dimulai oleh St, Louis, raja Perancis. Pasukan muslim yang dipimpin oleh Salahuddin Al-Ayubi berhasil mengalahkan pasukan Kristen dan St Louis ditawan oleh pasukan muslim.

Oliver Cromwell Meninggal Dunia

Tanggal 13 September 1658, Oliver Cromwell, seorang pemimpin revolusi Inggris tahun 1940-1960, meninggal dunia. Setelah mengeksekusi raja Charles Pertama, pada tahun 1648, Cromwell membekukan bentuk kerajaan di Inggris dan menggantikannya dengan persemakmuran. Sejak tahun 1953, Cromwell menjadi penguasa Inggris atau Lord Protector dan memerintah dengan despotik selama sembilan tahun. Setelah kematiannya, pemerintahan di Inggris kembali berbentuk kerajaan.

Ujicoba Elevator Pertama di Dunia

Tanggal 13 September 1780, elevator pertama di ujicoba di kota Chicago. Elevator pertama ini diciptakan oleh seorang berkebangsaan Amerika bernama John Binkley. Pada tahun 1889, elevator listrik pertama diciptakan dan pada tahun 1915, diciptakan elevator otomatis.

Penandatanganan Perjanjian Gaza-Jericho

Tanggal 13 September 1993, nota kesepakatan damai "Gaza-Jericho" ditandatangani oleh Yaser Arafat dan Yitzak Rabin di Washington. Yaser Arafat adalah pemimpin Organisasi Pembebasan Palestina (PLO) dan Yitzak Rabin adalah perdana menteri Israel waktu itu. Dalam kesepakatan damai yang didahului dengan berbagai perundingan dan proses perdamaian antara Arab dan Zionis itu, kedua pihak, yaitu PLO dan Rezim Zionis, saling mengakui keberadaan masing-masing. Selain itu, setelah mendapat banyak konsesi dari pihak Yaser Arafat, Israel bersedia mundur dari 90 persen wilayah Tepi Barat dan berjanji akan menandatangani perjanjian akhir pada tahun 1990 mengenai pembentukan pemerintahan Palestina di kawasan antara jalur Gaza hingga kota Jericho di Tepi barat.
Berdasarkan perjanjian Gaza-Jericho ini, pembangunan kota-kota pemukiman Israel di kawasan pendudukan harus dihentikan, tawanan Palestina dibebaskan, dan pembicaraan mengenai pengembalian pengungsi Palestina dan penetapan garis perbatasan akan dimulai. Namun, rezim Zionis hingga kini tidak menepati satupun dari isi perjanjian itu. Sebaliknya, Yaser Arafat dipaksa memberikan sejumlah konsesi kepada Israel. Akibat lain dari kesedian Yaser Arafat menandatangani perjanjian ini adalah terpecah-pecahnya persatuan kubu bangsa Arab dalam perundingan damai dengan Tel Aviv.

14 September
Imperium Utsmani Menyerbu Serbia

Tanggal 14 September 1389, imperium Utsmani dalam awal usahanya untuk menaklukkan Eropa, menyerang dan menduduki Serbia. Kemenangan ini diraih pada masa Sultan Murad Pertama, raja ketiga dari Imperium Utsmani. Selama hampir lima abad kemudian, Serbia berada dalam jajahan Utsmani, meskipun berkali-kali melakukan perlawanan rakyat. Pada akhir abad ke-19, Serbia dan Rusia bersatu melawan Utsmani dan berhasil mencapai kemenangan. Pada Kongres Berlin tahun 1878, Serbia dinyatakan sebagai negara merdeka.

Alexander von Humboldt Lahir
Tanggal 14 September 1769, Wilhelm von Humboldt, seorang sosialog dan ahli pendidikan dan pengajaran Jerman, terlahir ke dunia. Dia dikenal sebagai reformator kurikulum pengajaran dan pendidikan baru di Jerman. Humboldt mendirikan Pusat Pendidikan Berlin yang kemudian berubah menjadi Universitas Berlin. Dia meninggal pada tahun 1859.

Percobaan Pertama Balon Gas untuk Penelitian Cuaca
Tanggal 14 September 1804, untuk pertama kalinya, balon gas digunakan dalam penelitian cuaca. Balon yang diisi dengan berbagai gas yang lebih ringan daripada gas-gas yang ada di udara ini diciptakan oleh seorang fisikawan dan kimiawan Perancis. Balon tersebut terbang hingga ketinggian 460 meter.

Kebakaran Besar di Moskow

Tanggal 14 September 1812, salah satu kebakaran terbesar dalam sejarah yang dilakukan dengan sengaja, terjadi di kota Moskow. Sehari setelah Moskow diduduki oleh tentara Napoleon Bonaparte, atas perintah penguasa Moskow, kota itu dibakar agar pasukan Perancis tidak memiliki fasilitas apapun untuk tinggal di sana. Dalam kebakaran besar ini, tiga perempat kota Moskow hancur terbakar.

OPEC Berdiri

Tanggal 14 September 1960, piagam pendirian organisasi produsen minyak (OPEC) ditandatangani oleh lima negara, Iran, Arab Saudi, Irak, Kuwait, dan Venezuela. Organisasi ini didirikan dengan tujuan menghadapi perusahaan-perusahaan minyak besar milik Barat yang memonopoli penemuan, eksplorasi, dan penjualan minyak di tingkat dunia. Perusahaan Barat tersebut juga menentukan harga minyak sesuai dengan kepentingan mereka dan hal ini merugikan para produsen minyak. Meskipun pada awalnya, OPEC tidak memiliki banyak kekuatan, namun kemudian secara bertahap setelah bergabungnya Al-Jazair, Libya, Nijeria, Qatar, Emirat, Gabon, Indonesia, dan Ekuador, OPEC semakin kuat. Oleh karena itu, pada krisis minyak akibat perang antara Mesir dan Zionis dan embargo minyak di Barat oleh negara-negara Arab, harga minyak naik hingga tiga kali lipat. Peran OPEC di pasar minyak dunia dan penentuan harga minyak selama dekade 70-an hingga kini, sangat besar. Kini, meskipun Ekuador dan Gabon keluar dari OPEC dan saham OPEC dalam produksi dunia telah menurun, organisasi ini masih memiliki peran besar dalam penentuan harga minyak dunia.

15 September
Lima Negara Benua Amerika Merdeka

Tanggal 15 September 1821, Nikaragua , Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, dan Costarica, memproklamasikan kemerdekaannya dari Spanyol. Kemerdekaan ini diraih setelah Napoleon menguasai Spanyol sehingga pemerintah negeri ini menjadi lemah. Kelima negara tersebut kemudian mendirikan Persatuan Amerika Tengah. Dengan bubarnya persatuan ini pada tahun 1838, negara-negara tersebut menjadi negara yang terpisah-pisah. Pada pertengahan abad ke-19, seorang Amerika bernama Wiliam Walker dengan dukungan tentara AS, menduduki kelima negara ini. Namun, dengan persatuan di antara mereka, pasukan AS itu berhasil diusir. Kelima negara Amerika Latin ini, ditambah Meskio, Panama, dan Belize, merupakan negara-negara yang terletak di Amerika tengah dan berada di tepi Lautan Teduh dan Laut Karibia.

Dr. Zamenhof Lahir
Tanggal 15 September 1859, Doktor Zamenhof, seorang dokter, sastrawan, dan ahli bahasa dari Polandia terlahir ke dunia. Dia berusaha menemukan kesamaan di antara berbagai bahasa dunia dan percaya bahwa melalui jalan ini, bangsa-bangsa di dunia bisa saling bersahabat. Zamenhof dengan pengetahuannya yang mendalam terhadap akar bahasa Eropa kemudian menciptakan sebuah bahasa yang dinamakan bahasa Esperanto yang berarti "harapan". Dalam bahasa ini tidak ditemukan masalah dalam penulisan, karena apa yang dibaca sama dengan apa yang dituliskan. Dengan mempelajari 278 huruf dan 16 kaidah, semua orang dengan mudah bisa menggunakan bahasa ini. Namun demikian, bahasa ini tidak begitu berkembang sesuai yang diharapkan Zamenhof dan tidak berhasil menjadi sebuah bahasa internasional.

Penulis Terkenal W. Georgio Lahir
Tanggal 15 September 1916, W. Georgio, penulis dan peneliti Romania, di kota Rusbani, terlahir ke dunia. Setelah menyelesaikan pendidikannya, dia melakukan penelitian di berbagai bidang, di antaranya tentang agama Islam. Buku "Muhammad Nabi Islam yang Harus Dikenal Lagi dari Dasar" adalah salah satu karya utama W. Georgio yang diterima luas oleh dunia Islam, terutama di Iran.

Virus Trachoma Ditemukan
Tanggal 15 September 1958, untuk pertama kalinya dalam sejarah ilmu kedokteran, ditemukan sebuah virus penyakit yang berbahaya yang bernama trachoma. Dengan ditemukannya virus ini, terbuka jalan untuk mengobati penyakit yang hingga saat itu, telah membuat ribuan orang di seluruh dunia kehilangan penglihatannya. Virus ini ditemuka oleh dua dokter Inggris bernama Kulir dan Swa.

Makedonia Merdeka
Tanggal 15 September 1991, Makedonia di tenggara Eropa mencapai kemerdekaannya dari Yugoslavia. Makedonia pada pertengahan abad ke-15 dijajah oleh imperium Utsmani dan pada akhir abad ke-19, menjadi bagian dari Bulgarian. Pada Perang Balkan Kedua di tahun 1914, Serbia menduduki Makedonia dan pada akhir Perang Dunia Pertama, bersama dengan Kroasia dan Slovenia, Makedonia mendirikan sebuah negara merdeka. Namun, rakyat Makedonia menentang persatuan tersebut dan melakukan perlawanan. Setelah Perang Dunia Kedua, Makedonia kembali bergabung dengan Yugoslavia dan menjadi sebuah pemerintahan otonomi. Menyusul perkembangan yang terjadi di Soviet dan Eropa Timur pada dekade 1980-an, dan terpisahnya Kroasia dan Slovenia dari Yugoslavia, Makedonia dengan dukungan Barat juga memisahkan diri dan memproklamirkan kemerdekaannya.
Makedonia memiliki luas wilayah hampir 26 ribu kilometer persegi dan berbatasan dengan negara-negara Yugoslavia, Albania, dan Bulgaria.

Dr. Zarrin Kub Meninggal Dunia
Tanggal 15 September 1999, Doktor Abdul Husain Zarrin Kub, sejarawan dan peneliti terkemuka Iran meninggal dunia karena penyakit jantung. Pada tahun 1922, dia terlahir ke dunia di kota Burujerd, Iran. Doktor Zarrin meraih gelar doktornya di bidang sejarah dan banyak melakukan penelitian dan penulisan di bidang ini. Di antara karya-karyanya adalah buku berjudul "Kemunculan Islam" dan "Catatan Keberhasilan Islam".

16 September
Joseph Garibaldi Meninggal Dunia

Tanggal 16 September 1882, Joseph Garibaldi, komandan militer Italia yang nasionalis, meninggal dunia. Pemimpin peperangan dalam mempersatukan Italia ini dilahirkan pada tahun 1807. Di masa mudanya, dia menjalani berbagai pekerjaan, sampai akhirnya dia bergabung dengan militer. Setelah Garibaldi diangkat sebagai komandan militer, dia berusaha keras untuk mewujudkan persatuan Italia. Atas jasanya tersebut, Garibaldi dikenang sebagai pahlawan nasional oleh rakyat Italia.

Umar Mukhtar Dihukum Gantung
Tanggal 16 September 1931, Umar Mukhtar, pemimpin perjuangan bangsa Libya dalam melawan penjajahan Italia, dihukum gantung. Dia dilahirkan pada tahun 1859 dan merupakan seorang alim agama. Pada tahun 1895, Umar Mukhtar pergi ke Sudan dan ikut serta dalam kebangkitan Mahdi Sudani melawan penjajahan Inggris. Setelah kekalahan perjuangan Madhi Sudani, Mukhtar kembali ke Libya. Pada tahun 1911, Italia dengan tujuan untuk menguasai Libya berperang dengan Utsmani dan meraih kemenangan. Umar Mukhtar dengan dukungan kabilah-kabilah Lybia melakukan perlawanan terhadap Italia dan menjatuhkan banyak korban di pihak lawan. Akhirnya, Italia dengan mengerahkan pasukan yang sangat banyak dan senjata canggih, mengepung Umar Mukhtar dan pasukannya. Umar Mukhtar pun kemudian tertangkap dan dihukum gantung.

Kota Warsawa Polandia Dikepung Tentara Jerman
Tanggal 16 September 1939, kota Warsawa Polandia dikepung oleh tentara Jerman pada bulan pertama Perang Dunia Kedua. Serangan tentara Nazi Jerman ke Polandia itu telah dimulai 15 hari sebelumnya. Meskipun Polandia diserang dari dua arah oleh Jerman dan Soviet, tetapi, rakyat Polandia berjuang sekuat tenaga mempertahankan kota Warsawa. Namun, akhirnya setelah 11 hari bertempur, pada tanggal 28 September, kota ini jatuh ke tangan Jerman. Berdasarkan nota kesepakatan antara Jerman dan Soviet yang ditandatangani sebelum penyerangan itu, Polandia dibagi dua oleh kedua negara itu.

Papua Nugini Merdeka

Tanggal 16 September 1975, Papua Nugini meraih kemerdekaannya. Pada abad ke-16, Belanda menjajah kawasan tersebut, pada tahun 1884, Inggris berkuasa di Papua. Pada tahun 1906, sebagian wilayah Papua dikuasai oleh Australia. Sebagian wilayah Papua lainnya dikuasai oleh Jerman. Kemudian, Papua dibadi menjadi dua bagian, yaitu Papua di bawah kekuasaan Australia dan Nugini yang berada di bawah pengawasan PBB. Pada tahun 1949, kedua wilayah itu bersatu. Baru pada tahun 1975 Papua Nugini menjadi sebuah negara merdeka. Papua Nugini bagian barat berbatasan dengan Indonesia dan bagian selatannya berbatasan dengan Australia. Negara ini memiliki luas wilayah 462 ribu kilometer persegi.

Gempa Bumi Dahsyat di Iran
Tanggal 16 September 1978, terjadi gempa bumi dahsyat sebesar 7,7 skala Richter di timur laut Iran. Gempa ini menghancurkan kota Tabas dan daerah sekitarnya. Dalam peristiwa ini lebih dari 25 ribu orang tewas dan puluhan ribu lainnya terluka. Rezim Syah berusaha memanfaatkan situasi ini untuk menghalangi berlanjutnya gerakan revolusi Islam, namun Imam Khomeini memberikan pesan kepada rakyat Iran untuk menolong para korban bencana dan melanjutkan gerakan revolusi Islam.

17 September
Bernadotte Terbunuh

Tanggal 17 September 1848, Count Bernadotte, mediator PBB dalam masalah Palestina dan perang pertama antara Arab dan Israel terbunuh dalam sebuah serangan teroris. Pembunuhan yang dilakukan oleh kelompok Zionis bernama "Stern" ini dilakukan di kawasan pemukiman Israel di Baitul Maqdis. Bernadotte mengemban tugas untuk mencari jalan keluar dari permasalahan Palestina dan menghentikan perang Arab-Israel. Bernadotte mengakui keberadaan Rezim Zionis namun juga menekankan bahwa bangsa Palestina adalah penduduk asli kawasan tersebut. Hal inilah yang menimbulkan kemarahan kelompok ekstrim Zionis dan menyebabkan dia terbunuh.

Emil Ludwig Meninggal Dunia
Tanggal 17 September 1948, Emil Ludwig, seorang penulis biografi Jerman, meninggal dunia. Dia terlahir ke dunia pada tahun 1881 dan terkenal atas karya biografinya mengenai Bismarck, Kanselir Jerman pertengahan abad ke-19. Selama Perang Dunia Kedua, Ludwid sebagai seorang wartawan, mewawancarai beberapa tokoh terkenal dunia, seperti Roosevelt, Churchill, dan Stalin dan kemudian menulis biografi mereka. Selain itu, Ludwig juga menulis naskah drama dan novel. Di antara karya-karya Ludwig yang paling penting berjudul "Napoleon", "Goethe", "Dunia yang Aku Lihat", dan "Kehidupan Sebuah Sungai."

Pembunuhan Massal Rakyat Palestina

Tanggal 17 September 1970, dimulai pembunuhan massal rakyat Palestina oleh tentara Yordania. Menyusul kehadiran angkatan bersenjata Organisasi Pembebasan Palestina (PLO) di Yordania dan terjadinya perlawanan gerilyawan Palestina terhadap tentara Zionis, Raja Husain bin Thalal merasa kepentingannya terancam. Oleh karena itu, sejak awal September tahun 1970, terjadi berbagai bentrokan sporadis antara tentara Yordania dan kelompok gerilyawan Palestina, khususnya di kota Amman.
Pada tanggal 16 September, pemerintahan militer terbentuk di Yordania, dan sehari kemudian atas perintah Raja Husain, tentara Yordania menyerbu berbagai posisi gerilyawan dan warga sipil Palestina yang mengungsi di Yordania. Ribuan rakyat Palestina terbunuh atau terluka dalam kejadian ini. Pada tanggal 28 September 1970, ditandatangani perjanjian gencatan senjata antara Yaser Arafat dan Raja Husain,. Namun, pada akhir tahun itu pula, kembali terjadi bentrokan antara tentara Yordania dan gerilyawan Palestina. Akhirnya, Raja Husain melarang total para gerilyawan Palestina untuk menyerang tentara Zionis di dalam kawasan Yordania dan kemudian, ratusan ribu pengungsi Palestina diusir keluar dari negeri itu.

Saddam Merobek-Robek Perjanjian Aljazair

Tanggal 17 September 1980, Rezim Irak secara sepihak membatalkan perjanjian perbatasannya dengan Iran, yaitu perjanjian Aljazair yang ditandatangani pada tahun 1975. Pada hari itu, Saddam Husain, presiden Irak dan pemimpin Partai Ba'ats merobek-robek surat perjanjian itu di depan kamera televisi yang disiarkan ke seluruh Irak. Beberapa hari kemudian, tentara Irak memulai invasinya ke Republik Islam Iran dan berlangsung perang selama delapan tahun. Berdasarkan perjanjian Aljazair, garis perbatasan Iran dan Irak telah ditentukan. Pada tahun 1990, Saddam Husain terpaksa kembali mengakui secara resmi perjanjian tersebut.

Pembunuhan Massal Kamp Shabra dan Shatila
Tanggal 17 September 1982, terjadi pembunuhan massal terhadap warga sipil Palestina yang menghuni kamp penampungan Shabra dan Shatila di Libanon oleh kelompok Phalang yang didukung oleh tentara Zionis. Sebelumnya pada bulan Juni 1982, tentara Zionis menyerang Libanon dan setelah mengusir angkatan bersenjata Organisasi Pembebasan Palestina (PLO) keluar dari Beirut, ibu kota Libanon, kota inipun diduduki oleh tentara Zionis. Dengan persetujuan Menachem Begin, Perdana Menteri Israel dan atas perintah Ariel Sharon, Menteri Perang Israel pada waktu itu, pada dini hari tanggal 17 September, tentara Zionis mengepung kamp pengungsi Shabra dan Shatila. Lalu, kelompok Phalang memasuki kamp tersebut dan memperkosa serta membunuh warga sipil Palestina yang umumnya wanita, anak-anak, dan orang tua. Pembunuhan massal ini berlangsung selama 40 jam dan 3300 orang telah terbunuh.

18 September
Samuel Johnson lahir

Tanggal 18 September 1709, Samuel Johnson, penulis drama, syair, dan novel Inggris, terlahir ke dunia. Johnson memulai aktivitas sastranya dengan menulis kritik sastra dan beberapa lama kemudian mulai menulis syair. Dia kemudian menulis buku "Kehidupan Penyair". Karyanya yang lain berjudul "Kehidupan Sastra di Inggris" dan "Kamus Bahasa Inggris". Samuel Johnson meninggal dunia pada tahun 1784.

Chili Merdeka
Tanggal 18 September 1818, negara Chili berhasil meraih kemerdekaannya dari Spanyol dan hari ini dijadikan sebagai Hari Nasional negara tersebut. Chili pada tahun 1536 dijajah oleh Spanyol dan dijadikan bagian dari wilayah Peru yang juga dijajah oleh Spanyol. Pada tahun 1788, Raja Spanyol Charlos III memisahkan Chili dari Peru. Perjuangan kebebasan pertama rakyat Chili dimulai pada tahun 1814. Namun, pejuang Chili kalah dalam melawan tentara pemerintah Spanyol. Pada tahun 1817, Jose San Martin , komandan Argentina bersama beberapa ribu pasukannya menyerbu beberapa sejumlah wilayah jajahan Spanyol, di antaranya Peru dan chili. Dengan dukungan rakyat Chili, Jose San Martin berhasil mengusir tentara Spanyol dan pada tahun 1818, Chili berhasil menjadi negara merdeka.
Chili memiliki luas wilayah 756.626 kilometer persegi dan terletak di bagian barat Amerika selatan. Negara Chili berbatasan dengan Argentina, Bolivia, dan Peru.

Manchuria Diduduki Jepang
Tanggal 18 September 1931, kawasan Manchuria di timur laut Cina, diduduki oleh tentara Jepang. Pendudukan Manchuria yang memiliki luas wilayah lebih dari satu juta kilometer persegi itu ditengarai sebagai permulaan perang antara Cina dan Jepang. Setelah menduduki Manchuria, Jepang menempatkan pemerintahan boneka Mancheko. Sampai tahun-tahun awal perang Dunia Kedua, sebagian besar wilayah timur dan selatan Cina diduduki oleh Jepang. Pada peristiwa perang Dunia Kedua, Cina mendapat dukungan sekutu dalam melawan Jepang. Menyusul kekalahan Jepang dalam Perang Dunia Kedua tersebut di tahun 1945, tentara Jepang pun meninggalkan seluruh wilayah Cina, termasuk Manchuria.

Sekjen PBB Dag Hammarskjold Tewas
Tanggal 18 September 1961, Dag Hammarskjöld, politikus Swedia dan sekjen PBB yang kedua tewas dalam kecelakaan pesawat. Saat itu, dia sedang dalam menjalankan misi untuk menyelesaikan perang Kongo. Hammasrkjold pada tahun 1952 dipilih sebagai sekjen PBB dan tak lama setelah kematiannya, dia dianugerahi hadiah Nobel Perdamaian.

Husein Syahriar Meninggal Dunia

Tanggal 18 September 1988, Muhammad Husain Syahriar, seorang penyair terkenal Iran meninggal dunia. Dia dilahirkan di kota Tabriz Iran pada tahun 1904. Setelah menyelesaikan pendidikan menengahnya di madrasah Darul Funun Teheran, dia memasuki sekolah kedokteran. Namun, di tengah jalan, ia meninggalkan sekolah ini dan kembali ke kota kelahirannya. Pada usianya ke 33 tahun, Syahriar sudah merilis buku syair pertamanya. Syahriar adalah seorang penyair yang dikenal merakyat dan memiliki perasaan yang lembut. Dalam syair-syair Syahriar juga tercermin perasaannya dan reaksinya mengenai rezim yang berkuasa di Iran pada saat itu. Pada masa revolusi Islam Iran, Syahriar mengiringi perjuangan rakyat Iran dengan syair-syairnya yang memberi semangat kepada rakyat. Dia juga menulis syair-syair relijius yang menunjukkan kecintaannya kepada Rasulullah dan ahlul baitnya.
Di antara karya-karya Syahriar yang paling terkenal adalah "Diwan-e Asy'ar" dan "Haydar Baba" yang ditulisnya dalam bahasa Turki. Pemimpin Besar Revolusi Islam Iran Ayatullah Khamanei pernah menyampaikan komentarnya mengenai Syahriar sebagai berikut.
"Kecintaannya terhadap Al-Quran dan spiritualitas merupakan salah satu keistimewaan Syahriar selama tiga dekade terakhir kehidupannya. Hal ini bisa terlihat dengan jelas dalam syair-syair Syahriar. Dia menyambut revolusi Islam dengan jiwa relijius dan pikirannya yang lurus dan lembut. Dia juga memiliki peran yang berpengaruh pada periode-periode sensitif revolusi Islam."

19 September
Minyak buatan Ditemukan

Tanggal 19 September 1907, untuk pertama kalinya dalam sejarah, usaha manusia untuk menciptakan materi yang bisa menciptakan panas dan energi, mencapai hasilnya dengan ditemukannya minyak buatan. Materi baru ini ditemukan oleh James Yong, seorang ahli kimia Skotlandia. James Yong memiliki sebuah pertambangan batu arang dan sebuah laboratorium lengkap. Melalui penyulingan batu arang tersebut, dia berhasil menciptakan minyak buatan.

Kudeta Militer di Argentina

Tanggal 19 September 1955, Presiden Argentina saat itu, Juan Domingo Peron, tersingkir dari posisinya oleh sebuah kudeta militer. Peron yang telah memerintah selama satu dekade itu, meraih kekuasaannya di tahun 1946 dengan dukungan kelas buruh. Penasehat politiknya yang paling besar adalah istrinya sendiri, yaitu Evita Peron. Pada tahun 1952, Evita Peron meninggal dunia dan disusul dengan pecahnya koalisi nasional yang selama ini mendukung Peron. Setelah diusir dari negerinya, ia menetap di Spanyol dan dari sana, ia memimpin Faksi Peronists yang merupakan faksi yang sangat kuat di Argentina.Juan Domingo Peron dilahirkan pada tahun 1895 dan memulai karirnya di bidang militer.

Perjanjian Militer AS dan Kuwait

Tanggal 19 September 1991, Kuwait dan Amerika menandatangani sebuah nota kesepakatan militer. Nota kesepakatan ini dibuat enam bulan setelah berakhirnya pendudukan Irak di Kuwait. Menurut para pejabat Kuwait, kesepakatan ini dibuat untuk mencegah kembalinya agresi Irak. Berdasarkan perjanjian ini, Amerika memiliki hak untuk menggunakan pelabuhan-pelabuhan Kuwait dan mendirikan pangkalan militer di negara itu, serta kedua negara akan melakukan latihan militer bersama.
Pada tahun 1992, Kuwait juga membuat perjanjian serupa dengan Inggris dan Perancis. Pada tahun-tahun berikutnya, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Uni Emirat Arab juga mengadakan perjanjian militer dengan Amerika, Inggris, dan Perancis. Namun, di luar yang dibayangkan oleh negara-negara itu, kehadiran militer Barat di wilayah mereka justru mendatangkan masalah di dalam negeri dan meningkatkan ketidakamanan di Teluk Persia.

Tentara AS Menyerbu Haiti
Tanggal 19 September 1994, 20 ribu tentara AS menyerbu Haiti, sebuah negara kecil di Laut Karibia, dari laut dan udara dan kemudian menduduki negara tersebut. Alasan Washington dalam serangannya tersebut adalah untuk mengembalikan Jean Bertrand Aristide, mantan presiden Haiti, ke kursi kepresidenan. Sebelumnya, pada tahun 1991, Jenderal Raol Cedras melakukan kudeta terhadap Aristide yang delapan bulan sebelumnya terpilih sebagai presiden Haiti. Namun, atas desakan internasional, terutama Amerika, para pelaku kudeta bersedia menyerahkan kembali kekuasaan keapda Aristide. Di luar kesepakatan, tiba-tiba AS menyerang Haiti dan tetap tinggal di negara itu dengan kedok sebagai pasukan penjaga perdamaian. Tindakan AS ini merupakan bukti lain dari pelanggaran undang-undang internasional yang berkali-kali dilakukan oleh negara ini.

20 September
Bus Bertenaga Uap Diciptakan

Tanggal 20 September 1831, untuk pertama kalinya diciptakan bus pertama yang menggunakan tenaga uap. Bus uap ini diciptakan oleh seora
           Radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating of sediments from Lake Karakul, Tajikistan         
Article Mischke, S. , Lai, Z. , Aichner, B. , Heinecke, L. , Mahmoudov, Z. , Kuessner, M. and Herzschuh, U. (2017) Radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating of sediments from Lake Karakul, Tajikistan , Quaternary Geochronology, 41 , pp. 51-61 . doi:10.1016/j.quageo.2017.05.008 , hdl:10013/epic.51074
           A multiproxy case study from Lake Karakul, Tajikistan: 29 kyr BP of climatic and environmental change         
Conference -Conference paper Heinecke, L. , Herzschuh, U. , Mischke, S. , Adler, K. , Biskaborn, B. , Barth, A. , Kuhn, G. and Rajabov , I. (2015) A multiproxy case study from Lake Karakul, Tajikistan: 29 kyr BP of climatic and environmental change , 13th IPS , Lanzhou, China, 3 August 2015 - 7 August 2015 . hdl:10013/epic.45906
          Masjid Qulsharif, Kazan, Russia        
Location : Kazan, Russia
Description : Masjid Qolşärif juga disebut Qol Sharif, Kul Sharif, Qol Sherif melalui bahasa Tatar: Колшәриф мәчете dan Kul Sharif melalui bahasa Rusia: мечеть Кул-Шариф) adalah masjid yang begitu indah di Kazan, Republik Tatarstan, Federasi Russia. Masjid ini merupakan salah satu masjid indah dunia yang fotonya bertebaran di dunia maya. Arsitekturnya yang begitu indah menjadikannya sebagai salah satu objek foto pavorit. Masjid ini juga menyandang predikat sebagai salah satu masjid terbesar di Russia dan wilayah Eropa timur.



Di restorasi ulang dari puing kehancuran, masjid Qulsharif kini kembali berdiri megah di pusat kota Kazan, ibukota Republik Tatarstan, bagian dari Federasi Rusia. Masjid yang sudah melegenda sejak empat abad yang lalu ketika empirium Islam Kazan Khanate dalam masa ke emasannya di wilayah tatarstan, menara menara masjid Kul Sharif sudah menghiasi langit ibukota Kazan Khanate memukai siapa saja karena keagungan dan keindahan nya. Nama masjid ini merupakan penghormatan terhadap Imam masjid terahir dan pemimpin perlawanan rakyat Kazan “Seid Kul Sharif” yang gugur bersama para muridnya mempertahankan Kazan dari serbuan Tsar Rusia Ivan The Terrible.

Lokasi Masjid Qulsharif



Sejarah awal Islam di Russia

Beberapa temuan sejarah menunjukkan bahwa Islam telah ada diwilayah Federasi Rusia (saat ini) sejak abad ke-10 M. Tepatnya di Kazan, Ibu Kota Republik Tatarstan dan salah satu kota terbesar di Rusia. Bukti kehadiran Islam di tanah Kazan ini, merujuk pada penemuan sebuah masjid yang diyakini berusia seribu tahun lebih. Arkeolog menemukan reruntuhan lain berupa bebatuan putih di dekat salah satu benteng kuno. Menurut para peneliti, bangunan itu menghadap ke arah Makkah.

foto dari reuters

Temuan tersebut sekaligus membantah pandangan para sejarawan yang mengatakan bahwa Islam berkembang di Kazan dan daerah sekitarnya setelah abad ke-15. Menurut para ahli Rusia, Kota Kazan telah ada sejak abad ke-10. Namun, dokumen-dokumen tertulis yang dimiliki kota ini berasal dari abad ke-15. Dalam periode tersebut, Kazan adalah Ibu Kota Kazan Khanate. Kota ini, berkembang setelah didirikannya Kazan Khanate (Dinasti Kazan). Lokasi ditemukannya reruntuhan bangunan masjid tersebut, kini berdiri sebuah masjid yang diberi nama Qolsharif (dalam bahasa Tatar, red) atau Kul Sharif (dalam bahasa Rusia, red). Masjid ini merupakan masjid terbesar di Rusia dan di kawasan Eropa Timur.

Sekilas Republik Tatarstan

Republik Tatarstan adalah salah satu negara federasi Rusia yang terletak 797 km di sebelah tenggara Moskow-ibu kota Rusia. Tatarstan dikenal sebagai pusat kebudayaan Islam di negeri Beruang Merah, Rusia, selain Dagestan. Tatarstan dihuni oleh sekitar dua juta etnis Tatar (etnis asli Tatarstan) dan sekitar satu juta etnis Rusia. Negara ini menggunakan dua bahasa, Rusia dan Tatar. Bahasa Tatar bisa dibilang sebagai peranakan dari bahasa Turki. Yang dalam literaturnya, kemudian banyak ditemukan kesamaan kata dengan bahasa Arab. Tulisan kuno bangsa Tatarstan menggunakan huruf Arab. Hal ini menunjukkan bahwa mereka telah mengenal Islam sejak lama. Kemudian, abjad tersebut diubah ke huruf cyrlic (abjad Rusia) pada masa kekuasaan Uni Soviet.

foto dari Flickr

Ibu kota Tatarstan adalah Kazan. Di kota ini nuansa keislamannya sangat kental. Kazan adalah salah satu kota besar yang berada di Rusia. Di kota ini, banyak kendaraan umum seperti bis dan taksi yang menempelkan kaligrafi atau simbol-simbol keislaman lainnya. Di Kota Kazan, juga terdapat banyak masjid. Jarak dari satu masjid ke masjid lainnya tidaklah berjauhan sehingga kita bisa melihat satu menara ke menara lainnya. Di jantung kota ini, juga terdapat banyak kafe yang menyediakan makanan halal. Jadi, bagi Muslim, tidak perlu khawatir untuk mencari makanan yang halal dan aman dikonsumsi.

Bisa pastikan, di samping setiap masjid terdapat restoran halal. Toko-toko busana atau kios-kios Muslim juga ikut menambah nuansa kesejukan salah satu ibu kota negara federasi Rusia itu. Keistimewaannya lagi, di Kazan, terdapat banyak madrasah atau lembaga pendidikan Islam. Salah satunya, Rossiski Islamski Universitet (RIU) atau Universitas Islam Rusia. Universitas itu memiliki asrama. Mahasiswa yang belajar di perguruan tinggi itu mayoritas berasal dari berbagai penjuru negara federasi. Selain itu, ada pula yang berasal dari Turki, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, dan negara-negara sekitarnya.

Salah seorang dosen di RIU. Secara terus terang, ia mengatakan sangat bangga dengan Indonesia. Dan memang, RIU sudah menjalin MoU dengan beberapa universitas Islam di Indonesia. Pada tahun ini, ada 10 mahasiswa lulusan RIU mengambil program pascasarjana di Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN) Malik Ibrahim Malang, Jawa Timur.



Sejarah Masjid Qulsharif

Nama Qolsharif yang tersemat pada masjid ini, mengacu pada nama pemimpin dan ulama terkemuka di Kazan Khanate dan merupakan imam terahir Masjid Qulsharif sebelum dihancurkan oleh pasukan Tsar Russia, Seid Kul Sharif. Sejumlah literatur sejarah menyebutkan bahwa Qolsharif meninggal bersama sejumlah muridnya ketika berusaha mempertahankan Kazan dari serbuan pasukan Rusia tahun 1552 ketika itu Russia dibawah kekuasaan Tsar Ivan The Terrible.

Untuk mengenang sang ulama dan pahlawan Kazan ini, Presiden Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaymiev, Tahun 1995 mengeluarkan perintah untuk membangun kembali masjid Kul Sharif. 21 Februari 1996 proses pembangunan kembali pun dimulai. Kontes internasional diselenggarakan untuk projek pemugaran masjid. Sebagai hasilnya diputuskan dari 16 kontestan. Restorasi masjid ini berdasarkan pada kondisi teratak masjid yang tersisa berupa komposisi symetris dengan bangunan masjid berada di tengah tengah serta dua paviliun di kedua sisinya. Komplek bangunan masjid tersebut terdiri dari bangunan masjidnya sendiri, lalu dilengkapi dengan perpustakaan, pusat penerbitan dan kantor pengurus masjid.


Aslinya masjid Kul sharif dibangun di Kazan Kremlin pada abad ke 16 sampai kemudian diluluhlantakkan oleh pasukan ivan the terrible pada tahun 1552. Ivan the Terrible atau Ivan Chetvyorty, adalah Tsar Rusia modern pertama. Pada penyerbuan itu Ivan juga membumi hanguskan bangunan bangunan islam di wilayah kazan.

Masjid Kul Sharif dibuka kembali pada 24 Juli 2005 menandai perayaan 1000 tahun Kazan yang ditandai dengan ribuan jemaah yang berkumpul disana untuk melakukan sholat jum’at berjamaah. Bagian dalam masjid mampu menampung 1500 jemaah sementara alun alun masjid mampu menampung sepuluh ribu jemaah sekaligus.

Simbol kemerdekaan

Bangunan Masjid Kul Sharif diresmikan pada 24 Juli 2005. Pembukaan kembali masjid ini dijadikan momentum bagi kebangkitan Kazan dan Tatarstan, karena bertepatan dengan hari berdirinya Ibu Kota Kazan yang ke-1000. Karenanya, masjid ini dianggap sebagai salah satu simbol terpenting dari keinginan bangsa Tatar untuk merdeka dan bebas. Peresmian tersebut dihadiri oleh ribuan warga Muslim Tatarstan. Beberapa perwakilan negara Muslim, seperti Arab Saudi dan Uni Emirat Arab, yang ikut menyumbang dalam pembangunan Masjid Kul Sharif, hadir dalam acara peresmian tersebut.

Arsitekrural Masjid Kul Sharif Memadukan Gaya Renaisans dan Ottoman

Bangunan Masjid Kul Sharif ini terdiri dari dua tingkat. Lantai atas merupakan ruang shalat, sementara lantai bawah digunakan bagi keperluan pendidikan, museum, maupun administrasi. Pada bagian halaman, terdapat dua ruang paviliun besar dan kolam berornamen Timur Tengah. Dengan mempertahankan beberapa elemen arsiktektur pada bangunan lama, kompleks Masjid Kul Sharif dianggap menjadi titik lanskap arsitektur Kazan terpenting. Selain bangunan masjid utama, juga terdapat ruang perpustakaan, ruang publikasi, serta ruang khusus bagi para imam. Lantas, menurut Situs resmi Qulsharif restorasi masjid ini menghabiskan dana sebesar 500 juta rubel, yang sebagian besar berasal dari donasi masyarakat Tatarstan sendiri.

Selain karena kemegahan bangunannya, masjid yang juga terkenal di Eropa ini memiliki keunikan lainnya. Masjid ini berdampingan dengan sebuah katedral. Konon, kabarnya orang Rusia percaya bahwa apabila berdoa di dekat menara merah bata itu, maka doanya akan dikabulkan.Saat ini, bangunan Masjid Kul Syarif menjadi pusat kegiatan keagamaan umat Islam di Rusia. Setiap Idul Fitri, masjid ini ramai dikunjungi jamaah yang merayakan hari raya. Keadaan yang sama juga terjadi ketika mereka merayakan acara-acara keagamaan lainnya.


Pimpinan Dewan Muslim Tatarstan, Iskhakov Gusman Gumerovich (mufti yang juga pimpinan Russian Islamic University), menyatakan, pembangunan masjid dan revitalisasi masjid-masjid mati di Tatarstan adalah penanda semangat Islam telah lahir kembali di negaranya. Pembangunan kembali masjid tak hanya dilakukan di Kazan, tetapi juga di 29 wilayah lainnya di negara itu. Umumnya, masjid-masjid mati atau yang telah berubah fungsi, dikembalikan lagi sebagai pusat ibadah kaum Muslim.

Keterikatan sejarah dengan Usmani terlihat dalam arsitektur masjid 4 menara setinggi 57 meter itu, kaya dengan Granit dan Marmer dari Ural, Interior dihiasi karpet dari Iran kristal chandelier dari Ceko dan plesteran dan mosaik dari Saudi Saudi. Masjid Kul Sheriff dianggap terhadap simbol berdampingan Muslims dan Kristen Ortodoks di Tatarstan. maka kemudian dibangun kembali sebuah masjid yang hampir serupa, walaupun konstruksinya mendapatkan sentuhan lebih modern. Pendirian masjid ini, menurut sang presiden, merupakan perwujudan rumah ibadah yang representatif bagi umat Muslim, dengan mengadopsi corak dan gaya arsitektur Ottoman(Turki Usmani). Pembangunan kembali masjid tersebut dimulai sejak tahun 1996.


Diketahui bahwa bangunan masjid yang dulu pernah berdiri di lokasi tersebut memiliki dua buah menara. Kedua menara tersebut dalam bentuk kupola dan tenda. Secara keseluruhan, bentuk bangunan masjid itu mengadopsi bangunan tradisional di wilayah Volga Bulgaria. Volga Bulgaria adalah sebuah negara di Bulgaria yang pernah eksis antara abad ke-7 hingga abad ke-13 di sekitar Sungai Volga dan Kama di Rusia.Meskipun mengadopsi bentuk bangunan tradisional Volga Bulgaria, beberapa bagian dari masjid ini menggunakan elemen arsitektur Renaisans awal dan arsitektur Ottoman. Tahun 1552, selama penyerangan ke Kazan, masjid ini dihancurkan oleh pasukan kekaisaran Rusia.Kendati bentuk bangunan lama dari masjid ini tidak lagi dipertahankan, namun penggunaan elemen arsitektur masa Renaisans awal dan Ottoman tetap dipertahankan oleh sang arsitek. Sekilas pandang, bangunan masjid ini menyiratkan kemegahan. Warna putih dan biru tampak mendominasi bagian luar masjid. Bangunan baru dari Masjid Kul Sharif ini memiliki delapan buah menara dan satu kubah utama yang dapat dilihat dari Katedral Saint Basil, Moskow. Kubah masjid berwarna putih-biru ini berdiameter 39 meter. Adapun kedelapan menaranya, masing-masing memiliki tinggi 57 meter.

Sejak awal penyebaran Islam di Tatarstan, masjid menempati fungsi sentral sebagai pusat kegiatan umat dalam beragam aspek. Seiring pembangunan masjid itu, mereka juga akan membangun madrasah di lingkungan sekitar masjid, nantinya akan menjadi pusat pengembangan ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi..










          Tajikistan Government Critic Missing for Two Weeks        

Early on Mar. 15, a 58-year-old man put on his tracksuit and left home in Qurghonteppa, a 90-minute drive south of Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital. Morning exercise was a regular part of his routine, says Amnesty International. But on this morning the man, a prominent critic of President Imomali Rakhmon, did not return. Friends and political […]

The post Tajikistan Government Critic Missing for Two Weeks appeared first on Inter Press Service.


          ISIS Colonel Was Trained by Blackwater and U.S. State Department for 11 Years        

ISIS Colonel Was Trained by Blackwater and U.S. State Department for 11 Years

Global Research, June 15, 2015
Activist Post 11 June 2015

A former police commander from Tajikistan was featured in an ISIS video recently where he admitted he was trained by the U.S. State Department and former military contractor Blackwater all the way up until last year.

At a Blackwater facility in North Carolina, Col. Gulmurod Khalimov received “counter-terrorism training.”

“From 2003-2014 Colonel Khalimov participated in five counterterrorism training courses in the United States and in Tajikistan, through the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security/Anti-Terrorism Assistance program,” said US State Department spokeswoman Pooja Jhunjhunwala.

According to CNN’s fearmongering report, “The program is intended to train candidates from participating countries in the latest counterterrorism tactics, so they can fight the very kind of militants that Khalimov has now joined.”

In the video he spoke in Russian, giving a speech perfect for a mainstream media report: â€œListen, you American pigs, I’ve been to America three times. I saw how you train soldiers to kill Muslims…we will come to your homes and we will kill you.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/isis-colonel-was-trained-by-blackwater-and-u-s-state-department-for-11-years/5455664


                  

          Join now! Everything you ever wanted to know about student assessments        


Assessments make a lot of people nervous, and I’m not just talking about the students who have to take them. As a psychometrician (assessment expert) and World Bank staffer, I’ve worked on assessment projects in more than 30 countries around the world over the past 10 years. Time and again, I’ve found great interest in student assessment as a tool for monitoring and supporting student learning coupled with great unease over how exactly to go about ‘doing’ an assessment.

This capacity gap needs to be filled -- now more than ever. The latest global goal for education requires countries to ensure that children are acquiring the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in life and work. Student assessment is a key tool in these efforts, but, as I’ve seen, many countries are ill-equipped to design the kinds of assessments needed to monitor and support this goal.

I’m excited therefore to share that we have just launched a new course in the World Bank’s Open Learning Campus on the topic of Student Assessment for Policymakers and Practitioners. This self-paced course, which is accessible to anyone anywhere in the world, represents the culmination of many months of curating a vast amount of information and resources on student assessment into a user-friendly instructional package. The result is a practical, step-by-step introduction to student assessment for policymakers and practitioners. In my view, one of the most important features of the course is that it does not assume prior knowledge on the part of the learner, but takes a gradual approach, first explaining what assessment is and why it is important, before delving deeper.

The target audience for the course is national policy-makers and practitioners who work directly or indirectly on issues of education quality, student learning, and student assessment as well as staff working in international development organizations.

 The course is organized into three modules:

  1. Why invest in student assessment? This module provides an introduction to the topic and terminology of student assessment. It describes some of the pitfalls of assessments when done poorly, and some of the payoffs of assessment when done well.
  2. What matters in student assessment systems? The second module describes the key ingredients that go into effective assessment systems as well as some of the tools and resources that countries can use to evaluate and strengthen their assessment systems.
  3. How to design and implement student assessments? The last module explains how to make strategic tradeoffs among assessment options. It also outlines key issues and steps to consider when designing, implementing, or using data from classroom assessments, examinations, and large-scale assessments.
After taking this course, you will be able to:
  • Describe different types of student assessment activities, such as classroom assessments, public examinations, and large-scale assessments; 
  • Discuss what matters in student assessment systems;
  • Identify tools for pinpointing strengths and areas for improvement in a student assessment system; and
  • Understand how to design and implement student assessment activities.
Completing this course won’t turn you into an assessment expert, but it will make you a more informed user. The course is part of the World Bank’s increasing efforts to build countries’ assessment capacity, which include dedicated funding and technical support to countries for strengthening their assessment systems (including work taking place in Armenia, Cambodia, India, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Vietnam under the READ Trust Fund program) as well as a large variety of knowledge products and toolkits on assessment for practitioners.

Currently, the Student Assessment for Policymakers and Practitioners course is available in English, but there are plans to translate it into other languages. We invite you to check it out and let us know what you think!
 
Find out more about World Bank Group Education on our website and on Twitter.
 
 
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Russia warns Syria not to use chemical weapons, after threat by Assad official

Russia warns Syria not to use chemical weapons, after threat by Assad official

Statement by Syrian Foreign Ministry comes as top Iranian general threatens Arab states against possible repercussions of aiding the attempt to topple Assad regime.

By Reuters and The Associated Press |

A satellite image of al-Safir, Syria's main chemical weapons facility, near Aleppo.
A satellite image of al-Safir, Syria's main chemical weapons facility, near Aleppo. Photo by GlobalSecurity.org

Russia warned Syria on Tuesday not to use chemical weapons, saying Moscow "proceeds from the assumption" that the government will adhere to its international obligations.
In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Syria had ratified an international protocol in 1968 that bars the use of poison gases as a method of warfare.

US-trained cartel terrorises Mexico

US-trained cartel terrorises Mexico
Founders of the Zetas drug gang learned special forces techniques at Ft. Bragg before waging a campaign of carnage.
Despite the deployment of 50,000 troops, Mexico seems to be losing the 'war on drugs' [AFP]
It was a brutal massacre even by the gruesome standards of Mexico’s drug war: 72 migrant workers gunned down by the "Zetas" - arguably the country's most violent cartel - and left rotting in a pile outside a ranch in Tamaulipas state near the US border in late August.
The Zetas have a fearsome reputation, but the real surprise comes not in their ruthless use of violence, but in the origins of where they learned the tricks of their bloody trade.

Syria bolsters troops in battle for Aleppo


Activists say thousands of troops have been sent to Syria's second city, Aleppo, as clashes were reported in the city for the sixth consecutive day.
Fighting was reported in the central al-Jamaliya neighbourhood on Wednesday, close to the local headquarters of the ruling Baath party. In Kalasseh, in the south of the city, rebels set fire to a police station, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Why so many communist philosophers?

Why so many communist philosophers?
The destructive nature of neoliberalism has prompted many philosophers to reconsider communist ideas.

Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker
The 2008 financial crisis has sparked renewed interest in the writings of Karl Marx, says Zabala [EPA]
Barcelona, Spain - Reading and writing about Karl Marx does not necessarily make you a communist, but the fact that a number of distinguished philosophers are reevaluating Marx's ideas certainly means something.
After the autumn 2008 global economic crisis, new editions of Marx's texts returned to our bookstores accompanied by a large number of introductions, biographies, and new interpretations of the German master.
While this resurrection was undoubtedly caused by the financial meltdown allowed by our democratic governments, Marx's revival among philosophers is not as simple a consequence as many believe.

Indigenous Colombians: 'We're the ones dying'


Indigenous people in Colombia's southwestern region of Cauca say they have had enough of being caught in the middle of the country's long-running civil conflict.

The Imam and the Colonel

The Imam and the Colonel
Could the end of Muammar Gaddafi's rule help solve the mystery surrounding the fate of a missing Lebanese imam?
Filmmaker: Abdallah El-Binni
The downfall of Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi last year was greeted with great hopes for the rebirth of a nation.

But there was another hope felt by many inside and outside of the country - that the end of his 42-year rule would allow some light to be shed on the fate of a charismatic Lebanese cleric.

Imam Musa al-Sadr, the leader of Lebanon's Shia Muslims, disappeared, along with two companions, in the summer of 1978 during a visit to Libya to meet Gaddafi.

Hand-painted portraits of Imam Musa al-Sadr can still be seen on the streets of Lebanon, 34 years after he disappeared
As in the Shia myth of the 'hidden imam', this modern-day cleric left his followers upholding his legacy and awaiting his return.

The enigmatic cleric's popularity had transcended religions. Calling for social justice and development, in 1974 al-Sadr founded the Movement of the Deprived - aiming to unite people across communal lines.

Archbishop Youssef Mounes of Lebanon's Catholic Information Centre remembers a sermon al-Sadr delivered in a church, in which he warned of an imminent sectarian war.

"It was a surreal scene," Mounes says. "Seeing the turban of a Muslim imam under the cross in a Christian church. He delivered a sermon at a very significant time."

Raed Sharaf al-Din, al-Sadr's nephew, recalls how his uncle believed that Lebanon's sectarian nature could cut both ways: "Imam al-Sadr used to say that sects are a blessing, but sectarianism is a curse. It's a blessing to have this diversity of sects in Lebanon. But when there is strife among them, sectarianism is the worst thing for a country."

China Troops In Mexico To Invade US

Dirty money thrives despite Mexico drug war

Dirty money thrives despite Mexico drug war
Major banks are getting rich from money laundered by violent Mexican drug gangs, whistleblower says.

Cambridge, UK - Sitting in the smart office of a London-based financial security firm, Martin Woods seems far removed from the drug violence tearing at Mexico's soul.
A former compliance officer with the US bank Wachovia, Woods - despite his unassuming demeanor and upper-crust British manners - has seen the drug war and its illicit loot in a light unavailable to even the most seasoned observers.

Cartels cast shadow over Mexico polls

Cartels cast shadow over Mexico polls
Speculation rife over role of criminal syndicates as country votes for new president amid continuing drug violence.
Mexico's PRI party is widely believed to have made pacts with cartels and traffickers [Reuters]
Juarez, Mexico - Covered in tattoos and working on a construction site in scorching desert heat is a reformed cartel assassin Luis (a pseudonym), who killed several men on orders from his bosses. "I was a bodyguard for one of the biggest gang members in Juarez," he told Al Jazeera. "We killed people, sold drugs and ran operations from inside prison and on the streets."

Mexican official: CIA 'manages' drug trade

Mexican official: CIA 'manages' drug trade
Spokesman for Chihuahua state says US agencies don't want to end drug trade, a claim denied by other Mexican officials.
The CIA refused to comment directly on the allegations of complicity made by a low-level Mexican official [Reuters]

Juarez, Mexico
- The US Central Intelligence Agency and other international security forces "don't fight drug traffickers", a spokesman for the
Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico has told Al Jazeera, instead "they try to manage the drug trade".
Allegations about official complicity in the drug business are nothing new when they come from activists, professors, campaigners or even former officials. However, an official spokesman for the authorities in one of Mexico's most violent states - one which directly borders Texas - going on the record with such accusations is unique.

CIA finds stack of 'overlooked' documents on bin Laden movie

The Central Intelligence Agency recently discovered a "4 to 5 inch stack" of documents that relate to the spy agency's cooperation with the makers of a forthcoming Hollywood film on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, according to a new court filing.
The documents about CIA dealings with the film now titled "Zero Dark Thirty" were "inadvertently overlooked" in response to a Freedom of Information Act request and lawsuit filed by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, Justice Department attorneys said in a motion filed in federal court in Washington Tuesday afternoon (posted here).

Mitt Romney accuses Barack Obama of classified bin Laden leaks. Steven R Hurst


Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney moved today from his attacks on Barack Obama's handling of the struggling US economy to a charge that the president sought political gain by leaking classified details of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Romney planned to make the accusation today during an address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention. Obama addressed the VFW yesterday as both candidates shift, if briefly, from economic issues to military affairs and foreign policy.

US places relatives of Sinaloa cartel drug lord on kingpin list

By Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — The U.S. Treasury Department announced Tuesday that it has imposed sanctions on relatives of Sinaloa cartel drug lord Juan Jose Esparragoza who allegedly run gas stations, a shopping mall, a housing development and an industrial park in Mexico that invested or laundered drug money.
Six of the people named are wives or children of Esparragoza, alias “El Azul” or “The Blue One.” The department said he had at least two wives.

At Least 42 Killed in Southern Tajikistan Fighting

At Least 42 Killed in Southern Tajikistan Fighting

Military Attacks Rebels Near Afghan Border

by Jason Ditz

At least 42 people were killed today and possibly quite a few more according to various reports from officials in Tajikistan, after the Tajik military launched a major offensive against rebels in the southern Gorno-Badakhshan Province. Scores of others were reported wounded.
Gorno-Badakhshan is an autonomous province in the far east, home to ethnic Pamiris. The province declared independence in 1992 but was crushed in the ensuing civil war. After the civil war, many of the former rebels were given government jobs as part of a UN-brokered reconciliation plan. They have mostly been driven out of their positions by the regime, fueling discontent.
The offensive was announced after a top Tajik general was stabbed to death and the rebels were blamed. Officials say that while today’s offensive went well, more attacks are planned for tomorrow.
The initial military statement for today’s offensive said 12 soldiers and 30 rebels were killed, but other official outlets said 20 or more Tajik soldiers were slain. A number of ambulances were seen pouring into the capital city later in the day, apparently ferrying wounded soldiers to hospitals.

Afghan Police Commander, 12 Other Officers Defect to Taliban

Afghan Police Commander, 12 Other Officers Defect to Taliban

Afghan Govt. Denies Claims Two Members of Peace Council Also Defected

by Jaso

Farah Province officials are expressing serious concern today after the police commander from Bala Boluk District defected to the Taliban, taking 12 other police officers and a large quantity of weaponry and military vehicles with him.
On the way out the commander, identified in reports only as Mirwais, apparently poisoned seven other police who refused to defect with him. They are still recovering in Farah hospital in the capital.
Defections are not unheard of, but in the past Afghan officials have insisted they were “infiltrators” when they joined in the first place. They are calling this defection the “first” time a large group left with so many weapons.
But officials are denying other repotrs that two members of the Afghan High Peace Council had also defected to the Taliban. In this case the defectors were not named.

Israel Pins Bombing on Hezbollah to Get EU Terror Ruling

Israel Pins Bombing on Hezbollah to Get EU Terror Ruling
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim Sunday of absolutely reliable intelligence linking Hezbollah to the bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria, last week was apparently aimed at supporting his government’s determination to get the EU to declare Hezbollah a terrorist state.
The Netanyahu claim in interviews on Fox News Sunday and CBS’s Face the Nationof “rock solid” intelligence on the bombing was accompanied by an announcement that Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would travel to Brussels Monday to meet with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and foreign ministers of nine EU member states to persuade them to put Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations.

Is Iran a Threat?

Is Iran a Threat?
On Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, I gave a talk at the Rotary Club of Monterey. I’ve spoken there two or three times in the past, always with a good response, but always on economic issues. This time I decided to push the envelope by making my case that the Iranian government, while it is a threat to its own people, as all governments are to various degrees, is not a threat to the United States. The president of the club told me that the turnout for the speech, whose topic was announced well in advance, was unusually high. I would estimate it at 120 to 140.

Yawn: Romney Goes Abroad

Yawn: Romney Goes Abroad
If you didn’t know that Mitt Romney is taking his campaign overseas this week to share his Mittastic worldview with the great people of England, Poland, Germany and Israel, don’t worry, not many do. Or care.
Announced early this month, Gov. Romney’s upcoming deployment to these places will serve, presumably, to help boost his foreign policy credentials, which at this point are pretty non-existent. His advisers said in a recent press briefing that he will be “learning and listening” and “forging” ties. It isn’t clear, however, how chumming with the Brits right before the Olympics will do anything more than recall his “saving” the 2002 games in Salt Lake City or make a few Republican expats feel good. Apparently that’s the point. Poland and Germany are safe bets and decent photo ops, too. But in reality, only Israel offers the chance to hear Romney vocalize his positions on a critical international flashpoint — the War in the Middle East.
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          Iran Bantah Terlibat Perang Sipil Tajikistan        

intelijen – Iran membantah tuduhan terlibat dalam perang sipil Tajikistan pada medioa 1990-an. Teheran menyebut tuduhan tersebut sebagai upaya untuk merusak hubungan bilateral kedua negara. Dalam sebuah film dokumenter yang disiarkan oleh televisi pemerintah Tajikistan, tiga orang Tajik mengakui mengikuti sebuah pelatihan di Iran. Setelah mengikuti pelatihan tersebut, mereka membunuh politisi dan sejumlah tokoh penting... Read more »

The post Iran Bantah Terlibat Perang Sipil Tajikistan appeared first on INTELIJEN.


          Tajikistan reports a decrease in annual seat capacity despite Dushanbe showing a rise of 18.3%        

Located in Central Asia, Tajikistan’s wonders nestle in the Pamir Mountains, not far from the north-western section of the Himalayas. This makes it a great geographical location, centralised as it is between three of the vast BRIC economies of China, Russia and India. anna.aero looks to see how the country’s aviation industry has changed over the […]

The post Tajikistan reports a decrease in annual seat capacity despite Dushanbe showing a rise of 18.3% appeared first on anna.aero.


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          RI’s soccer team in Group E with Thailand, Maldives, Timor Leste        
Timor-Leste
Indonesia, Thailand, Maldives
Indonesia can look forward to some tough matches during the soccer competition at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, which begin in September.

The soccer draw, which was held on Thursday at the Harbor Park Hotel, Incheon, saw Indonesia placed into Group E together with Thailand, the Maldives and Timor Leste.

“Every opponent is tough. We are already familiar with the other teams because we have played them several times,” Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI) chairman Djohar Arifin told The Jakarta Post in a phone interview.

Djohar said he hoped Indonesia’s young players would not suffer any lack of confidence.

“I hope the Indonesian team will advance to the knockout phase, at the very least,” he said.

Host country South Korea was drawn in Group A with Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Laos, while defending champion Japan was placed in group D with Kuwait, Iraq and Nepal. Four-time winner Iran will kick off its campaign in group H with Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan.



The Asian Games, which takes place every fours years, is slated to run from Sept. 19 through Oct. 4. However, the soccer competition is scheduled to start on Sept. 14, four days ahead of the opening ceremony. The age limit for the teams is 23, with three players over that age also allowed.

Indonesia’s soccer team is part of the country’s 188-strong delegation to the Games, where it is due to participate in 23 out of the total 36 events.

With only a slim chance of advancing beyond the first knockout stage, Djohar said the Asian Games was just a stepping stone in the team’s long-term program of developing a new generation of players for the senior team.

“This tournament will allow them to gain experience as they face opponents at the regional level,” Djohar said.

Wei Jizhong, honorary life vice president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), said as reported by Reuters that the Games were a chance for the region to impress the world.

“With nearly 10,000 athletes and 5,000 officials, the Asian Games is nearly on the same scale as the Olympic Games,” he said.
Soccer draw

Group A: South Korea, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Laos
Group B: Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Afghanistan
Group C: Oman, Palestine, Singapore, Tajikistan
Group D: Japan, Kuwait, Iraq, Nepal
Group E: Thailand, Maldives, Timor Leste, Indonesia
Group F: North Korea, China, Pakistan
Group G: UAE, India, Jordan
Group H: Iran, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan

Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sports | Fri, August 22 2014, 10:17 AM
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/08/22/ri-s-soccer-team-group-e-with-thailand-maldives-timor-leste.html
          The NGGR January 18: From Kabul’s Damage Control after Wild Accusations against Russia-Tajikistan to Georgia’s Main Opposition Party Split        
The Great Game Round-Up by Newsbud’s Christoph Germann brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players. Georgia's Main Opposition Party Splits but the Drama Ain't Over Georgia's […]
          The New Great Game Round Up Dec 15: From Russia-China Competition in Tajikistan to Russia-Taliban Honeymoon        
The Great Game Round-Up by Newsbud’s Christoph Germann brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players. Russia Stepping Up its Game in Tajikistan to Counter Chinese Competition  […]
          Early Soviet Rule in Tajikistan        
Guest: Botakoz Kassymbekova is a research associate in the History Department in Humboldt University in Berlin and author of Despite Cultures: Early Soviet Rule in Tajikistan published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Music: Non-Prophets, “Any Port,” Hope, 2003.
          Jom Dengar Tentang GST!        
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh!


Ever since I am busy with my working, I don't really spend time with friend but not always have meeting them at weekend only.. Hahahaha >,< Then leisure time I have will be spent either on the bed, office and writing but not idea what need writing.. But, I have a time for myself. I still can write on daily basic (dairy), eat good healthy food because it is my hobby and playing with my niece... They are cute with me and call me "Pak Razi, I want eat Nasi Lemak that you cook and it very delicious!" Thank you my cute niece and I really miss them..

But don't worry I said have spent time for myself, am I right? Hahaha.. When I decided to get myself for soon, it was an abrupt decision. I never ever except things will happen this soon. But I'm glad that I will finally settle down with my beloved family - parent, elder sister and brother who have married, too relatives.. InshaAllah. May Allah ease our journey.. =)

Okay I tell you about business in the world that our Prime Minister, Dato Najib Razak announcement about Good Servives Tax (GST), begin in April 2015.. Don't worry I can explain about GST.. So please listen and read carefully until you understand..

Ramai masyarakat kita di luar sana kurang faham tentang Cukai GST. Pihak yang berkenaan pula sering menyampaikan penerangan GST lebih kepada aspek pengiraan teknikal. Kekadang susah nak faham.. Puak-Puak yang tidak bertangunggjawab pula menggunakan kecelaruan dan ketidakfahaman masyarakat berkaitan GST untuk memburuk-burukkan sistem percukaian moden tersebut. Walhal mereka sendiri pun tak faham dan buat-buat tak faham kerana takut kehilangan pengaruh. Maklumlah tanpa fitnah dan pembohongan maka matilah perjuangan mereka.

Apabila tak faham, termakan pula dengan hasutan dan dakyah songsang maka akan lahirlah masyarakat yang keliru dan haru biru. Inilah yang disukai oleh puak-puak pembangkang. Maka pihak-pihak berkenaan perlu bekerja keras membetulkan persepsi negatif tersebut. Xpela perbuatan baik selalu mendapat mendapat ujian dan cabaran. Betul tak??

Apakah itu GST?

GST adalah Cukai Barangan dan Perkhidmatan (Good Service Tax). Di beberapa negara ia juga dikenali sebagai Value Added Tax (VAT) atau  Cukai Nilai Tambah. Ia bukannya kerajaan telah menambah lagi cukai sedia ada atau mengenakan cukai atas ke cukai.

Kenapa kerajaan melaksanakan GST, apa sistem cukai selama SST tak baikkah?

Pada masa kini dan selama ini kita membayar dua cukai serentak dalam Cukai Jualan dan Perkhidmatan (Sales and Service Tas - SST) bagi setiap barangan dan perkhidmatan yang kita beli iaitu:

Cukai Jualan - 10% dan Cukai Perkhidmatan - 6% menjadikan setiap barangan yang kita beli dikenakan cukai 16%. Cukai-cukai ini kadangkala tidak disedari oleh kita kerana tiada dalam bil atau resit pembelian kita.

Untuk apa GST diperkenalkan?

GST diperkenalkan bagi memperbaiki dan menyusun semula sistem percukaian negara pada masa kini suapaya lebih berkesan, saksama, efisien dan telus. Kerajaan mendapati Cukai Jualan dan Perkhidmatan mempunyai kelemahan iaitu:
  • Bagi mengelak cukai terselindung yang menjadi kos kepada harga akhir yang sebenarnya melampau akibat pengambilan untung berlebihan oleh para pemborong, peruncit dan peniaga.
  • Bagi mengelak cukai bertindih yang sebenarnya membebankan para pengguna yang dikenakan cukai sebanyak dua kali.
  •  Bagi mengekal caj perkhidmatan yang disembunyikan yang mana ia tidak diisytiharkan oleh para peniaga/penjual barangan di dalam resit dan bil-bil kita bagi meningkatkan margin keuntungan mereka.
  • Bagi mengelak perbuatan segelintir golongan pengilang, pemborong, peruncit dan peniaga yang cuba elak dari bayar cukai dengan tidak isytihar sumber, aliran dan jumlah pendapatan mereka.
  • Bagi mengelak perbuatan khianat eknomoi yang dilakukan oleh segelintirgolongan peruncit dan peniaga yang sengaja menyorok barangan,  mengurangkan sukatan, memonopoli barang dan memanipulasi harga.

 Contoh penipuan dilakukan oleh golongan peniaga yang tak faham GST dan sengaja ingin menjatuhkan imej Kerajaan

Perbuatan-perbuatan ini akan menyebabkan para pengguna terbeban dengan harga barang yang semakin mahal, bekalan sukar diperolehi , rasuah, penyeludupan dan penipuan berleluasa yang akan menjejaskan ekonomi dan kestabilan negara.

Kadar GST Malaysia membebankan?

Pendapat ini salah sama sekali. Secara perbandingan kadar GST di negara-negara anggota ASEAN:

Kadar GST yang berbeza di kalangan negara-negara anggota ASEAN

Apabila GST diperkenalkan pada 1 April 2015 ke atas semua barangan dan perkhidmatan, adakah bermakna bahawa semua barang akan menjadi mahal? Betul tak??

Dari 600 barang yang dikenakan GST, dijangka hanya 10% yang akan mengalami kenaikan harga, 42% kekal harga dan 48% akan mengalami penurunan harga. Perubahan sesuatu harga barang atau caj perkhidmatan adalah amat minimum. Banyak barang akan menjadi lebih murah kerana cukai GST hanya 6% berbanding 16% yang akan berakhir pada 31 Mac 2015.

Pada masa kini terdapat segelintir peniaga yang tidak jujur dengan sengaja menjual harga barang mahal kerana ingin mengambil keuntungan berganda sebelum perlaksanakan dan mengambil kesemptan memburuk-burukkan imej Kerajaan keran sikap khianat mereka, pada pengguna boleh melapor pada pihak berwajib dan boikot produk atau premis mereka.

Apa yang dilakukan cukai dan apa yang tidak?

Senarai barangan yang tidak dikenakan GST

Harga kenderaan pula semakin lama semakin turun hasil perlaksanaan Dasar Automatif Negara 2014. Perumahan rakyat semakin giat dibina, ia masih mampu dibeli atau disewa. Perkhidmatan perubatan diberi percuma dan murah buat rakyat Malaysia. Semua rakyat turut berhak mendapat pendidikan yang berkualiti.

Manakala banyak pasaraya dan kedai mengambil bahagian dalam promosi jualan harga murah. Cuma kita hanya perlu rajin  bijak dan berhemah ketika berbelanja serta selalulah menabung dalam pelbagai skim amanah saham dan insurans yang diiktiraf Kerajaan agar kehidupan kita dan keluarga lebih terjamin di masa hadapan. Insya-Allah =)

Pada peringkat mana cukai GST dikenakan?

Cukai GST akan dikenakan di setiap peringkat pengedaran atau rantai pembekalan iaitu dari pihak pengimport, pengilang, pemborong, peruncit dan peniaga. Dengan kata lain, hakikatnya setiap peringkat rantaian ini memerlukan pihak syarikat pengisyitiharan segala sumber, aliran dan akaun pendapatan mereka kepada pihak berwajib. Ini menggmbarkan GST adalah sistem yang telus.


Perlaksanaan GST akan menyebabkan banyak syarikat asing akan lari dan syarikat tempatan akan bankrap?

Ini adalah tohmahan liar dan tidak terasas. Hakikatnya, Malaysia merupakan antara negara mesra pelabur kerana kestabilan politik dan sosio ekonominya serta kecanggihan prasarananya berbanding dengan beberapa negara rantau ASEAN yang lain. Rakyat Malaysia juga terkenal dengan sikap rajin, berpengetahuan, setia dan murah berkomunikasi.


Syarikat-syarikat besar yang mementingkan kualiti biasanya tidak akan gentar dengan GST malah lebih menyukainya kerana sistem percukaian ini lebih cekap, telus, dsan terkini. Malah Kerajaan juga menyediakan pelbagai insentif seperti kemudahan kredit, latihan, pengecualian cukai dan sebagainya demi menjaga kebajikan sektor perniagaan dan korporat di negara ini.


Adakah Indeks Harga Pengguna (IHP) akan naik selepas perlaksnaan GST?

GST bukan kos kepada perniagaan. Dengan perlaksanaan GST maka Indeks Harga Pengguna (IHP) dijangka akan turun bagi sesetengah barangan dan perkhidmatan seperti pakaian, kasut, barangan hiasan, perkakasan rumah, penyelenggaraan dan komunikasi.

Manakala IHP yang dijangka meningkat adalah minuman beralkohol, arak, tembakau (rokok, cerut), pendidikan swasta, restoran di hotel , pawangan, spa dan sebagainya. Produk dan perkhidmatan ini bukannya satu keperluan yang kerap tetapi lebih kepada kemewahan dan bersifat sekali-sekala.

Untuk pendidikan swasta kerajaan turut menyediakan dana PTPTN yang mana akan diberi percuma sebagai biasiswa jika seseorang pelajar itu cemerlang dalam pengajiannya. Manakala banyak skim insuran kesihatan yang boleh dimanfaatkan oleh mereka yang menggunakan perkhidmatan perubatan swasta.

GST tidak meningkatkan kos perniagaan kerana ia adalah cukai kepenggunaan. Cuma akibat penambahbaikan sistem cukai ini berkemungkinan ada segelintir peniaga tidak berlepas dari pengisytiharan sumber, aliran dan pendapatan mereka yang selama ini 'disorokkan' dan mereka terpaksa membayarnya bila sistem percukaian GST dilaksanakan. Inilah dikatakan GST mampu mengelak ketirisan dan penyelewengan dalam perniagaan.


GST memiskinkan dan menyusahkan rakyat? Apa yang kerajaan lakukan untuk membantu rakyat?

Pendapat ini salah sama sekali. Banyak bantuan dan sokongan diberikan oleh kerajaan kepada rakyat. Untuk mengatasi sebarang peningkatan harga secara mengejut maka kerajaan akan memberi bantuan tunai secara one-off sebanyak RM 300 kepada penerima BRIM yang rata-ratanya berpendapatan rendah., Pendapatan ini boleh digunakan secara beransur-ansur bagi menampung lebihan belanja akibat kenaikan kos sara hidup setiap bulan, bukannya diperhabiskan dalam tempoh sekelip mata.

Rakyat berpendapatan rendah dan golongan miskin tidak akan dikenakan sebarang cukai GST jika mereka tidak membayar makanan dan menginao di hotel-hotel, restoran makanan segera, memnonton wayang, mengunjungi pusat-pusat hiburan dan spa dan sebagainya.

 Contoh mudah pengiraan GST... Jom makan KFC!

Adakah kita masih perlu membayar cukai pendapatan pada kadar yang sama?

Tidak, memlalui perlaksanaan GST kadar cukai individu akan dikurangkan sebanyak 1-3% untuk semua pembayar cukai. Kadar pendapatan bercukai juga akan dinaikkan kepada melebihi RM500,000. Jika di bawah nilai ini, mereka tidak perlu berdaftardan membayar GST.. Mudah tak kah?

Dengan itu mereka mempunyai lebihan wang untuk berbelanja atau menabung. Ini adalah inisiatif nyata kerajaan bagi membantu dan menjaga kebajikan rakyat. Perlu diingat, golongan berpendapatan rendah di bawah RM200,000 sebulan tidak dikenakan cukai. Bahkan mereka akan dapat lagi BR1M tahunan dan pelbagai insentif kewangan dan bantuan dari kerajaan. Inilah yang dikatakan rakyat diutamakan dan kebajikan mereka dijaga. Nak tahu kena cukai atau tidak berdaftarlah pada Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN).

Bagaimana pula dengan sektor perniagaan?
  • Kerajaan akan mengurangkan cukai pendapatan korporat maksimum 26% kepada 24% mulai tahun taksiran 2016
  •  Cukai pendapatan syarikat kecil dan sederhana akan diturunkan daripada 20% kepada 19% mulai tahun taksiran 2016
  • Cukai pendapatan koperasi dikurangkan 1-2 mat peratus mulai tahun taksiran 2015 dan potongan cukai bagi yuran kesetiausahaan.
  • Pemfailan cukai mulai tahun taksiran 2015
  • Potongan cukai tambahan untuk beli kos beli peralatan dan perisian ICT bagi tahun taksiran 2014 dan 2015
  • Geran latihan GST berjumlah RM100 juta dan bantuan pembelian perisian perakaunan GST berjumlah RM150 juta.
Dengan pemberian insentif-insentif ini, maka kos harga jualan barangan dan perkhidmatan boleh dikurangkan dengan begitu banyak. Secara langsung harga barangan akan menjadi lebih murah. Namun jika ada peniaga menjual barang kepada pengguna dengan harga mahal, maka ia adalah salah penjual tersebut melakukan khianat pada kita.

Kenapa GST dilaksanakan sekarang dan bukannya kemudian apabila tiada lagi ketirisan ekonomi?

Tujuan utama pengenalan GST adalah untuk mengurang dua membanteras ketirisan ekonomi akibat perbuatan pengkhianat-pengkhianat ekonomi. Kerajaan sentiasa menambah baik sistem perekonomian dan percukaian negara agar ketirisan ekonomi, rasuah dan penyelewengan ekonomi dapat diatasi dengan sistem pengurusan yang lebih cekap dan telus.

Kerajaan berpendapat bahawa kadar inflasi negara pada masa kin bawah 2% adalah rendah dan ia sememangnya masa terbaik untuk melaksanakan GST. Ini bagi memastikan rakyat tidak terbeban dengan perlaksanaan GST jika kadar inflasi tinggi.

GST memiskinkan rakyat dan menyusahkan golongan berpendapatan rendah?

Pendapat ini salah sama sekali. Apabila sistem kutipan percukaian semakin baik dan cekap banyak ketirisan ekonomi berjaya dibanteras. Hasil pendapatan kerajaan semakin meningkat dan hasil tersebut akan dipulangkan kembali kepada rakyat menerusi pembangunan infrastruktur seperti sekolah, universiti, rawatan kesihatan kerajaan, subsidi baja dan pendidikan, pembinaan jalan raya, pembekalan utiliti, pembayaran gaji dan imbuhan perkhidmatan, peruntukkan kewangan pada negeri-negeri dan sebagainya.

Malah setiap tahun kerajaan telah menaikkan jumlah BR1M kepada golongan sasar selain pelbagai insentif kewangan dan bantuan bagi membantu rakyat dan golongan peniaga. Kerajaan tidak lagi boleh bergantung harap pada sumbangan dari hasil petroleum Petronas untuk selama-lamanya kerana hasil bahan mentah tersebut semakin berkurangan dan syarikat tersebut memerlukan perbelanjaan yang tinggi untuk penerokaan di luar negara serta pengurusan syarikat. Sudah lebih 160 buah negara di dunia telah berjaya melakukan GST. Adakah negara-negara ini semakin miskin dan rakyatnya semakin susah?

GST adalah cukai  yang bertentangan dengan Islam?

Jika GST bercanggah dengan ajaran Islam mengapa beberapa negara-negara Pertubuhan Islam Sedunia (Organzation of Islamic Countries - OIC) seperti Algeria, Turki, Jordan, Lebanon, Indonesia, Mesir, Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenisan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan dan sebagainya turut melaksanakannya? Kadarnya pula berbeza dari serendah 5% dari (Iran) hinggat ertinggi 20% ( Uzbekistan dan Tajikistan).

Kadar GST yang berbeza di kalangan sebahagian Negara-Negara Pertubuhan Islam Sedunia

Adakah negara-negara OIC ini tidak Islamik? Hakikatnya, kadar GST 6% di Malaysia jauh lebih rendah dari negara-negara lain yang mengenakan GST sehingga 27% (Hungary).

Jika GST adalah sistem percukaian yang zalim, mengapakah negara-negara dunia ini boleh dan berjaya melaksanakannya? Adakah mereka telah membatalkan GST dan melaksanakan suatu sistem percukaian yang lain yang lebih baik dari GST?

Dalam sejarah Islam, sistem percukaian mula dilaksanakan di zaman Khalifah Umar al Khattab (633-644M) untuk membangunkan negara Islam dari pelabagi sudut. Jika cukai itu haram, apakah hukuman yang perlu dijatuhkan ke atas baginda?

Jadi apa peranan kita sebagai rakyat dalam menghadapi GST?
  • Jangan percaya kepada spekulasi, fitnah dan tohmahan pihak yang tidak bertanggungjawab memburuk-burukkan GST
  • Bertanya pada yang pakar GST, banyakkan membaca tentang kebaikan GST
  • Sebagai pengguna sebelum membeli sesuatu barangan kita perlulah membuat perbandingan harga
  • Sentiasa merujuk kepada panduan harga pengguna
  • Membeli di premis-premis jualan yang menawarkan harga berpatutan dan berkualiti
  • Sentiasa memantau dan melaporkan apa-apa kenaikan harga yang tidak munasabah kepada pihak berwajib seperti Kementeriaan Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Keppenggunaan (KPDNKK) atau persatuan-persatuan pengguna seperti Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia
  • Menggunakan kemudahan sosial seperti pesanan mesej ringan (SMS), WhatApps, WeChat, Facebook, blog, Twitter, dan sebagainya melaporkan perbuatan khianat ekonomi oleh golongan peniaga seterusnya kita memboikot premis mereka.
Link berkaitan dengan GST di bawah:
  1.  GST haram ke?
  2. Salahkah GST kalau tidak tahu ke?
Buku Panduan Harga Pengguna

Buku Panduan Harga Pengguna dilancarkan oleh Jabatan Kastam Malaysia bekerjasama dengan Kementerian Kewangan Malaysia dan Kementerian Perdagangan dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan.

You can get the book at any supermarkets such as Giant, Cold Storage, NSK and others or can download the book, click the book GST .. Wait here, I will tell you and I am meet GST book in reception's Cold Storage in KLCC.. In that book, it have explain different price to things..

Alhamdulillah I am done my story title "Good Services Tax" with smoothly.. Actually this story copied from other resources and I must tell you all if you don't know about GST.. Okay I hope you understand about GST and ready to buy things daily necessities with good choices... Up to you if you choose thing have GST or not.. Good luck =)

Tomorrow GST will be implemented in Malaysia. The  average Malaysians are still not quite sure whether the effect of GST on thier spending. Insya-Allah, we can double the GST compliant storage to accommodate the expected increase in the cost pf living. Don't worry, there has the way to help to solve your problem in business, Zakat is answered. Zakat can help you to improve increase cost of the daily living..
       Wallahu a'lam

Jazakallahu Khairan for your reading this entry !

              Daftar Keanggotaan di WOSM         
    Albania Beslidhja Skaut Albania
    Algeria Scouts Musulmans Algériens
    (Algerian Muslim Scouts)
    Angola Associação de Escuteiros de Angola (AEA)
    (Scout Association of Angola)
    Argentina Scouts de Argentina
    (Scouts of Argentina)
    Armenia Hayastani Azgayin Scautakan Sharjum Kazmakerputiun (HASK)
    (Armenian National Scout Movement)
    Australia Scouts Australia
    Austria Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs
    (Scouts and Guides of Austria)
    Azerbaijan Azerbaican Skaut Assosiasiyasi
    (The Association of Scouts of Azerbaijan)
    Bahamas The Scout Association of the Bahamas
    Bahrain Boy Scouts of Bahrain
    Bangladesh Bangladesh Scouts
    Barbados Barbados Boy Scouts Association
    Belgium
    Belize The Scout Association of Belize
    Benin Scoutisme Béninois
    (Benin Scouting)
    Bhutan Bhutan Scout Tshogpa
    Bolivia Asociación de Scouts de Bolivia
    (The Scout Association of Bolivia)
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    The Council of Scout Associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Botswana The Botswana Scouts Association
    Brazil União dos Escoteiros do Brasil
    (Brazilian Scouts Association)
    Brunei Darussalam Persekutuan Pengakap Negara Brunei Darussalam
    (Brunei Darussalam National Scout Association)
    Bulgaria Organizatsia Na Bulgarskite Skauty (OBS)
    (Organization of Bulgarian Scouts)
    Burkina Faso
    Fédération Burkinabé du Scoutisme
    (Scout Federation of Burkina Faso)
    • Les Eclaireurs et Eclaireuses du Burkina Faso (The Scouts and Guides of Burkina Faso)
    • Les Scouts du Burkina Faso (The Scouts of Burkina Faso)
    Burundi Association des Scouts du Burundi
    (Scout Association of Burundi)
    Cameroon Les Scouts du Cameroun/Boy Scouts of Cameroon
    Cambodia National Association of Cambodian Scouts
    Canada Scouts Canada, with which is affiliatedAssociation des Scouts du Canada
    Cape Verde Associação dos Escuteiros de Cabo Verde (A.E.C.V.)
    (Scout Association of Cape Verde)
    Chad
    Fédération du Scoutisme Tchadien
    (Scout Federation of Chad)
    • Eclaireurs du Tchad
    • Scouts du Tchad (Scouts of Chad)
    Chile Asociación de Guias y Scouts de Chile
    (Guide and Scout Association of Chile)
    China, Scouts of Scouts of China
    Colombia Asociación de Scouts de Colombia
    (Scout Association of Colombia)
    Comoros Wezombeli (Association Nationale du Scoutisme Comorien)
    (The National Scout Association of Comoros)
    Congo, The Democratic Republic of The Fédération des Scouts de la République démocratique du Congo
    (The Scout Federation of the Democratic Republic of The Congo)
    Costa Rica Asociación de Guias y Scouts de Costa Rica
    (Association Guides and Scouts of Costa Rica)
    Côte-d'Ivoire
    Fédération Ivoirienne du Scoutisme
    (Scout Federation of Côte d'Ivoire)
    • Les Eclaireurs Laïcs de Côte d'Ivoire
    • Les Eclaireurs Unionistes de Côte d'Ivoire (Unionist Scouts of Côte d'Ivoire)
    • Les Scouts Catholiques de Côte d'Ivoire (The Catholic Scouts of Côte d'Ivoire)
    Croatia Savez Izvidaca Hrvatske
    (The Scout Association of Croatia)
    Cyprus Cyprus Scouts Association
    Czech Republic Junák-Svaz Skautu a Skautek
    Denmark
    Fællesrådet for Danmarks Drengespejdere
    (The Danish Scout Council)
    Dominica The Scout Association of Dominica
    Dominican Republic Asociación de Scouts Dominicanos
    (Dominican Scout Association)
    Ecuador Asociación de Scouts del Ecuador
    (Scout Association of Ecuador)
    Egypt Egyptian Scout Federation
    El Salvador Asociación de Scouts de El Salvador
    (Scout Association of El Salvador)
    Estonia Eesti Skautide Ühing (Estonian Scout Association)
    Ethiopia Ethiopia Scout Association
    Fiji Fiji Scouts Association
    Finland Suomen Partiolaiset-Finlands Scouter
    France
    Scoutisme Français
    (French Scouting)
    Eclaireuses et Eclaireurs Unionistes de France (EEUF)(Unionist Guides and Scouts of France)
    Les Eclaireuses et Eclaireurs de France (EEDF) (Guides and Scouts of France)
    Les Eclaireuses et Eclaireurs Israélites de France (EEIF) (Jewish Guides and Scouts de France)
     Scouts et Guides de France (SGdF) (Scouts and Guides of France)
    Scouts Musulmans de France (SMdF) (Muslim Scouts of France)
    Gabon
    Fédération Gabonaise du Scoutisme
    (Scouting Federation of Gabon)
    Eclaireurs et Eclaireuses Unionistes du Gabon (Unionist Scouts of Gabon)
    Eclaireuses-Eclaireurs du Gabon (Scouts and Guides of Gabon)
    Scouts et Guides Catholiques du Gabon (Catholic Scouts and Guides of Gabon)
    Gambia The Gambia Scout Association
    Georgia sakartvelos skauturi modzraobis organizatsia
    (Georgian Organization of the Scout Movement)
    Germany
    Ring deutscher Pfadfinderverbände (RdP)
    (Scout Federation of Germany)
    Bund der Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder (BdP) (Guides and Scout Union)
    Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft Sankt Georg (DPSG) (German Saint George Scout Association)
    Verband Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder (VCP) (Christian Guide and Scout Association)
    Ghana The Ghana Scout Association
    Greece Soma Hellinon Proskopon
    (Scout Association of Greece)
    Grenada The Scout Association of Grenada
    Guatemala Asociación de Scouts de Guatemala
    (Scout Association of Guatemala)
    Guinea C National Scout Association of Guinea
    Guyana The Scout Association of Guyana
    Haiti Scouts d'Haïti
    (Scouts of Haiti)
    Honduras Asociación de Scouts de Honduras
    (Scouts Association of Honduras)
    Hong Kong The Scout Association of Hong Kong
    Hungary Magyar Cserkészszövetség
    (Hungarian Scout Association)
    Iceland Bandalag íslenskra Skáta
    (Icelandic Boy and Girl Scout Association)
    India The Bharat Scouts and Guides
    Indonesia Gerakan Pramuka
    (Boy Scouts and Girl Guides Movement)
    Ireland Scouting Ireland
    Israel
    Hitachdut Hatsofim Ve Hatsofot Be Israel
    (Israel Boy and Girl Scouts Federation)
    The Arab School Scout Association
    The Druze Scouts Association
    The Hebrew Scout Association
    The Israel Catholic Scouts Association
    • The Israeli Arab Scouts Association
          The Orthodox Scout Association
    taly
    Federazione Italiana dello Scautismo
    (Italian Scout Federation)
    Associazione Guide e Scouts Cattolici Italiani (AGESCI) (Association of Catholic Guides and Scouts of Italy)
    Corpo Nazionale Giovani Esploratori ed Esploratrici Italiani (CNGEI) (National Corps of Italian Boy Scouts and Girl Guides)
    Jamaica The Scout Association of Jamaica
    Japan Scout Association of Japan
    Jordan Jordanian Association for Boy Scouts and Girl Guides
    Kazakhstan Organization of the Scout Movement of Kazakhstan (OSMK)
    Kenya The Kenya Scouts Association
    Kiribati Kiribati Scout Association
    Korea, Republic.of Boy Scouts of Korea
    Kuwait Kuwait Boy Scouts Association
    Latvia Latvijas Skautu un Gaidu Centrala Organizacija
    (The Scout and Guide Central Organization of Latvia)
    Lebanon Fédération du Scoutisme Libanais
    (Lebanese Scout Federation)
    One of the associations in the Federation is:
    Independence Scouts
    Lesotho Lesotho Scouts Association
    Liberia Boy Scouts of Liberia
    Libyan Arab
    Jamahiriya
    Public Scout and Girl Guide Movement
    Liechtenstein Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Liechtensteins
    (Scouts and Guides of Liechtenstein)
    Lithuania Lietuvos Skautija (Lithuanian Scouting)
    Luxembourg
    Lëtzebuerger Guiden a Scouten (LGS) (Guides and Scouts of Luxembourg)
    Macedonia, The former Yugoslav
    Republic of
    Sojuz na Izvidnici na Makedonija
    (The Scout Association of The former Yugoslave Republic of Macedonia)
    Madagascar
    Firaisan'ny Skotisma eto Madagasikara
    (Scout Federation of Madagascar)
    Tily Eto Madagasikara (Christian Scouts of Madagascar)
    Antilin'i Madagasikara (Catholic Scout Association of Madagascar)
    Kiadin'i Madagasikara (Scouts of Madagascar)
    Malawi Scout Association of Malawi
    Malaysia Persekutuan Pengakap Malaysia
    (The Scouts Association of Malaysia)
    Maldives The Scout Association of Maldives
    Malta The Scout Association of Malta
    Mauritania Association des Scouts et Guides de Mauritanie
    (The Scout and Guide Association of Mauritania)
    Mauritius The Mauritius Scout Association
    Mexico Asociación de Scouts de México, A.C.
    (Scout Association of Mexico)
    Moldova, Republic of Organizatia Nationala A Scoutilor Din Moldova
    (The National Scout Organization of Moldova)
    Monaco Association des Guides et Scouts de Monaco
    (Association of Scouts and Guides of Monaco)
    Mongolia Mongoliyn Skautiyn Holboo
    (The Scout Association of Mongolia)
    Montenegro Association of Scouts of Montenegro
    Morocco Fédération Nationale du Scoutisme Marocain
    (National Federation of Moroccan Scouting)
    Mozambique Liga dos Escuteiros de Moçambique
    (League of Scouts of Mozambique)
    Namibia Scouts of Namibia
    Nepal Nepal Scouts
    Netherlands Scouting Nederland
    (Netherlands Scouting)
    New Zealand Scouting New Zealand
    Nicaragua Asociación de Scouts de Nicaragua
    (Scout Association of Nicaragua)
    Niger Association des Scouts du Niger
    (Scouts Association of Niger)
    Nigeria Boy Scouts of Nigeria
    Norway
    Speidernes Fellesorganisasjon
    (The Guides and Scouts of Norway)
    Norges Speiderforbund
    (Norwegian Guide & Scout Association)
    (YWCA-YMCA Guides and Scouts of Norway)
    Oman The National Organisation for Scouts & Guides
    Pakistan Pakistan Boy Scouts Association
    Palestinian Authority Palestinian Scout Association
    Panama Asociación Nacional de Scouts de Panamá
    (National Scout Association of Panama)
    Papua New Guinea The Scout Association of Papua New Guinea
    Paraguay Asociación de Scouts del Paraguay
    (Scouts Association of Paraguay)
    Peru Asociación de Scouts del Perú
    (Scout Association of Peru)
    Philippines Boy Scouts of the Philippines
    Poland Zwiazek Harcerstwa Polskiego (ZHP)
    The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association
    Portugal
    Federação Escutista de Portugal
    (Scout Federation of Portugal)
    Associação dos Escoteiros de Portugal (AEP) (The Scout Association of Portugal)
    Corpo Nacional de Escutas (CNE) (Escutismo Catolico Portugues) (The Catholic Scout Association of Portugal)
    Qatar Qatar Boy Scouts Association
    Romania Cercetasii României
    (The National Scout Organization of Romania)
    Russian Federation Russian Association of Scouts/Navigators (RAS/N)
    Rwanda Association des Scouts du Rwanda
    (Scout Association of Rwanda)
    San Marino Associazione Guide e Esploratori Cattolici Sammarinesi
    (The Catholic Guide and Scout Association of San Marino)
    Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabian Boy Scouts Association
    Senegal
    Confédération Sénégalaise du Scoutisme
    (Senegalese Scout Confederation)
    Eclaireurs du Sénégal (Scouts of Senegal)
    Les Scouts du Sénégal (The Scouts of Senegal)
    Serbia Scout Association of Serbia
    Seychelles The Scout Association of Seychelles
    Sierra Leone Sierra Leone Scouts Association
    Singapore The Singapore Scout Association
    Slovakia Slovensky skauting
    (Slovak Scouting)
    Slovenia Zveza tabornikov Slovenije
    (Scout Association of Slovenia)
    South Africa South African Scout Association
    Spain
    Federación de Escultismo en España (FEE)*
    (Scouting Federation in Spain)
    Federación de Asociaciones de Scouts de España
    (ASDE) (Scouts of Spain)
    Movimiento Scout Católico (MSC) (The Catholic Scout Movement) *with which is affilliated:
    Federació Catalana d'Escoltisme i Guiatge (FCEG) (The Federation of Scouts and Guides in Catalonia)
    Acciò Escolta de Catalunya
    Escoltes Catalans
    Minyons Escoltes/Guies Sant Jordi de Catalunya
    Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Scout Association
    Saint Lucia The Saint Lucia Scout Association
    Saint Vincent and The Grenadines The Scout Association of Saint Vincent & The Grenadines
    Sudan Sudan Boy Scouts Association
    Suriname Boy Scouts van Suriname
    (Boy Scouts of Suriname)
    Swaziland Emavulandlela Swaziland Scout Association
    Sweden
    Svenska Scoutråde t
    (The Swedish Guide and Scout Council)
    Frälsningsarméns Scoutförbund
    (Salvation Army Guide and Scout Association)
    KFUK- FKUMs Scoutförbund
    (Swedish YWCA-YMCA Guide and Scout Association)
    Nykterhetsrörelsens Scoutförbund
    (Swedish Temperance Guide and Scout Association)
    SMU-Scout
    (Guide and Scout Organization of the Swedish Covenant Youth)
    Svenska Scoutförbundet
    (Swedish Guide and Scout Association)
    Switzerland Swiss Guide and Scout Movement
    Syrian Arab Republic Scouts of Syria
    Tajikistan Ittihodi Scouthoi Tochikiston / Associatsia Skautov Tadjikistana
    (Scout Association of Tajikistan)
    Tanzania, United Republic of Tanzania Scouts Association
    Thailand The National Scout Organization of Thailand
    Togo Association Scoute du Togo
    (Scout Association of Togo)
    Trinidad and Tobago The Scout Association of Trinidad & Tobago
    Tunisia Les Scouts Tunisiens
    (The Scouts of Tunisia)
    Turkey Turkiye Izcilik Federasyonu
    (Scouting and Guiding Federation of Turkey)
    Uganda The Uganda Scouts Association
    Ukraine National Organization of Scouts of Ukraine
              Life After Islamic State: Pardoned Tajik Militants Navigate Road To Reintegration        
    Tajikistan has pardoned dozens of its nationals who voluntarily returned from Syria and Iraq. The returnees are now to trying to rebuild their lives under the watchful eyes of the government in a society wary of their intentions.
              Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, I like you...        

    In the second to last week of school before the winter holidays, all of the ETAs in Central and South Asia packed up and flew to Sri Lanka for a Fulbright ETA Regional Conference.  The week was surreal in many ways; we were staying in a five star hotel with all of the luxuries we could ever ask for (or not ask for, for that matter).  We ate at the hotel’s fancy all you can eat buffet for every meal, and were given tea and refreshments between sessions.  There was a gym that was even better than the Taj’s, and a beautiful swimming pool.  The weather was gorgeous, as was the scenery, prompting some of my friends to occasionally spontaneously sing the line: "Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, I like you..." to a tune vaguely reminiscent of Annie's "Tomorrow."

    We're so official!
    India's Fulbright ETAs, 2011-2012!

    Even outside of creature comforts, the Sri Lankan Fulbright commission took great care of us, making sure that we got to experience some of their beautiful country outside of the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel.  Firstly, they made sure to organize one of the conference workshops in Galle, a town on the Southern Coast.  Galle is most famous for its fort, built by the Portuguese, then taken away by the Dutch, who later lost it to the British.  After our workshop finished, we were given a brief tour of the fort then set free to wander its ramparts.  The architecture was the most interesting mix of various European and South Asian styles, and I enjoyed looking at it.  My favorite part, however, was just wandering around, passing under coconut trees, strolling along the ramparts and staring out to sea.  It was beautiful to see nature again, after having spent such a long time in very urban Delhi. 

    British coat-of-arms

    Scene from the interior of a Dutch Church

    Dutch Church

    Pier

    View from the ramparts, looking into the fort

    Ramparts

    The reason we were not allowed to swim

    Buddhist Temple inside the fort


    On the last day, the commission organized a menu of afternoon tours we could choose from.  I chose to visit the famous Kelaniya Buddhist Temple, a site that Buddha himself is said to have visited in the 5th Century BCE.  As shoes are strictly prohibited within the temple, we took off our shoes in the bus, and limped our way over to some stalls selling lotus flowers.  The flowers were used as offerings, our guide explained, as their fragile blossoms symbolized the impermanence of life and earthly "beauty"--a key Buddhist teaching.  The temple itself was beautiful, and very different from other Buddhist temples I had seen before (Buddhism is an extremely diverse religion, and Sinhalese Buddhism is markedly different from other traditions).  The frescos on the walls inside showed scenes from the Buddha’s life, and were incredibly intricate and beautiful.  The carvings outside were equally impressive.  The temple was bustling with worshippers that day, yet still somehow incredible peaceful.  All people were very friendly to us, and happy to let us participate in what was going on.  I ended up receiving a blessing from a priest, and several people in our group collected water in pots and offered it to the Buddha.  Most of the worshippers we saw were Buddhist.  Interestingly though, this temple is also significant to Hindus, as important events from the Ramayana are believed to have taken place there, namely the crowning of King Vibeeshana, brother of Ravan.  Though Ravan, King of Lanka and kidnapper of Ram’s wife Sita, is the villain of the epic, Vibeeshana is seen as a good and just  King, as he saw the wrongdoings of his brother, and supported Ram in his cause.  We visited the shrine to Vibeeshana, which contained beautiful murals.

    Lotus flower

    Temple complex entrance

    Naga carving

    Temple

    Dancing Bodhisattva

    Ceiling painting

    Oil lamp offerings

    Taking water to offer to the Buddha

    Hindu shrine


    As for the whole reason we were in Sri Lanka, the conference itself?  I found it incredibly useful in terms of some of the teaching strategies that were talked about (giving your kids routines to settle them down, not relying on technology, encouraging critical thinking, taking each day at a time, celebrating small victories, etc.).  It was also both enjoyable and informative to meet the ETAs from other countries.  We laughed at each others’ stories, commiserated over the seemingly rampant laissez faire attitudes towards cheating, and most importantly, shared strategies for improving our teaching.  Meeting the other ETAs made me realize that we India ETAs are dealing with many difficulties, but there are difficulties everywhere.  We have problems with classroom management and a crippling bureaucracy, but our schools at least have desks and chairs.  The monsoon season was certainly tiresome, but at least we don’t have to shiver through a bitterly cold winter—sans heat and electricity—in Northern Tajikistan. 

    Most importantly for me, the conference came at a very good time.  I am about halfway through my time as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in India, and I still sometimes wonder what my role here is, and if I’m really making any kind of positive difference.  Though certainly not burned out, I had been growing tired.  The conference re-energized and inspired me, and reminded me why I had applied for this grant in the first place.  Though I know no magic occurred, and there will continue to be hard times ahead, I am excited and ready to go back into the classroom after winter break.  But first: my Christmas celebrations, including my travels to South India.  More on that soon…

              Community Event        
    Name * What would you like to invite the community to? (Ballet performance, rugby game, chess tournament, piano recital, etc...) * Wanna give some more details? Date/Time * Where will it be held? * AfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBrazilBruneiBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaColombiComorosCongo (Brazzaville)CongoCosta RicaCote d'IvoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEast Timor (Timor Timur)EcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFijiFinlandFranceGabonGambia, TheGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGreeceGrenadaGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHondurasHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, NorthKorea, SouthKuwaitKyrgyzstanLaosLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacedoniaMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMauritaniaMauritiusMexicoMicronesiaMoldovaMonacoMongoliaMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepaNetherlandsNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPolandPortugalQatarRomaniaRussiaRwandaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint VincentSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwanTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTogoTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVatican CityVenezuelaVietnamYemenZambiaZimbabwe Website Upload Flyer or Photo (optional) Prev Next Submit
              Encuentra personas mdiante su telefono y el GPS        
    A continuacion les presentamos esta innovacion para localizar gente mediante la señal del celular y un GPS. Gracias a www.trackapartner.com

    Debes poner el pais y el numero de telefono con el codigo de la ciudad...


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    GSM mobile phone tracking system via the GPS-TRACK satellite network
    Based on repeater triangulation, the system tracks mobile phones using GPS and GSM technology
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    10 meters (max.) for mobile phones in Europe and the U.K.
    25 meters (max.) for mobile phones in the U.S.A., South America and Canada.
    50 meters (max.) for mobile phones elsewhere.
    This system will not work in countries without GSM technology networks.

              Integrated Pest Management Improves Agriculture in Tajikistan        
    In 2005, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), through a grant administered by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management at Virginia Tech, sent...
              Why Moscow will never get a museum of migration        

    Russian museums tend to avoid the subject of migration at all costs. For curators, it seems the people and history embodied in migration processes are invisible. RU

    Russian museums, much like Russian society in general, perceives migrants as mere “gastarbeiters” whose stories are not worthy of their curiosity. Photo (c): Maxim Blinov / RIA Novosti. All rights reserved.Three years ago Izvestiya trumpeted the news that Moscow was scrapping its “Museums for Migrants” project. “Gastarbeiters,” apparently, just didn’t want free visits to the capital’s museums. The article didn’t, of course, mention that the scheme had never got off the ground in the first place. Meanwhile, exhibitions and entire museums devoted to migration are springing up across the world. This year has not only seen new developments in museums across America, but a greater civic role. The American Alliance of Museums released this strong statement in response to Donald Trump’s executive order on restricting immigration to the USA:

    “History, art, science, and culture don’t stop at our borders, nor should the people who dedicate their lives to sharing and explaining these foundational elements of our society. By helping us to understand this broader world, they help us to understand each other. We are gravely concerned that this executive order runs counter to these objectives.”

    Russia has had the largest rate of net migration alongside Germany and the USA, but not a single museum has appeared here to reflect that fact. If you search for the words “migrant” or “migration” on Russia’s largest museum website, you will not find a single hit. 

    The migration that wasn't

    Even if we ignore migrants from outside Russia, this silence looks more than strange. The latest figures from the Internal Ministry’s Main Directorate for Migration reveal that 88% of migrants in fact resettle within the Russian Federation, and only 12% come from other states. But from the legendary invitation of the Varangians to rule Kievan Rus’ in the 9th century to the mass waves of emigration throughout the 20th century, migration has played an immense role in Russian history.

    To say that the subject is entirely ignored woul be a gross generalisation. There are private and public museums that do deal with migration, as it's an integral part of their story: one example is Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center.

    Recently, museum projects connected with local identity have started to focus on migration, as the history of many towns and cities can’t be understood without it. The regional history museum in Tomsk, for example, ran a project on “Siberians Free and Unfree”, while Izhevsk’s award winning Gallery exhibition centre is working on a project entitled “The Izhevsk Decalogue.” These initiatives are, however, the exception.

    If you search for the words “migrant” or “migration” on Russia’s largest museum website, you will not get a single hit

    So, where all the other other migration stories? 

    We can look at the question from three different angles: migrants’ narratives about museums; historical narratives connected with museums and migration and finally, museum narratives about migration.

    Let’s start with the abstract concept of migrants, since it’s evidently all their fault. All over the world, people who have left their homes and moved to pastures new enjoy visiting museums – except in Russia, where they supposedly have no desire to visit museums or recognise their worth. Here’s an example of their mentality, as seen by a show on the Ekho Moskvy radio station: “You suggest that migrants should find out about our country by going to museums. But there are a lot of young people coming here; why not take them to football matches or discos instead – wouldn’t that make it easier for them to assimilate in our country? Will they really want to go to museums?” Or, “Viktor is on the line with another question for us: ‘If a migrant doesn’t speak even two words of Russian, what can a museum do for him?’”

    I would like to ask Viktor a question: how do Russian tourists manage in the Louvre, if they don’t speak two words of French? But in the end, museums’ interest in the subject of migration is hardly surprising: they work with artefacts and works of art, which speak to us in a universal language that everyone can understand (so long as the museum is doing its job). And a focus on migration doesn’t necessarily mean a focus on migrants themselves: it can sometimes be more important to bring the locals’ attention to the concept itself. Although, not necessarily Viktor’s.

    Invisible visitors

    But we have got distracted from the main question – do migrants in Russia go to museums?

    A field study carried out in 2014-2017 revealed that fewer than 20% of migrants had never been to a museum. The researchers had individual conversations with migrants (both citizens of other countries and stateless people) as part of a formal procedure where the Moscow committee of the Internal Ministry’s Main Directorate for Migration determined whether individuals in these categories could be categorised as Russian speakers. The committee meets twice a month and has so far assessed 358 people, 11.4% of the total number of aspirants.

    But what was much more interesting were the answers given by respondents to the question, “What Russian museums have you been in?”

    Some answers fitted standard stereotypes:

    “The Central House of Artists (more than 10 times – we were fixing the window panes), the Paleontology Museum, the Darwin Museum, the Biological Museum – also for work, you get to see everything (on the sly) at one go; it’s very interesting”.

    Others shattered expectations:

    “The museum-flat of the ballerina Galina Ulanova, the Gulag museum…Why those? I just worship the great dancer’s art. I also love Stalinist imperial architecture, especially the high rise buildings – I dream of visiting them all. I haven’t managed to visit Moscow University’s main building – isn’t there a museum there too? But I don’t know when it’s open. I also visited the Gulag museum with a friend: it was very interesting. You need to know your history, so as not to repeat it”.

    And a few reminded Russia’s museums of the meaning of the word “competition” and their place in the world:

    “The Italian courtyard in the Pushkin Museum. I’ve been to Venice and seen the frescoes there. What is there to see here?”

    In all, these migrants, who “don’t go to museums”, in fact mentioned 137 Russian and world museums they had collectively visited. We would probably not have had a better response from “indigenous” Muscovites, 70% of whom, according to the Moscow Institute For Social and Cultural Programmes, never go to museums. Admittedly “migrant”, and indeed “Muscovite” are rather abstract definitions that encompass dozens of social strata and population groups. The museum world shows no interest in recognising and studying either category – just look at the description of “target groups” in most projects and schemes run by Russian museums.

    Nonetheless, if some of these “generic migrants” go to museums, then the passivity shown by the museums can’t be explained by a lack of demand for their services.

    Catherine the Great: gastarbeiter

    Perhaps this ignorance on the subject of migration has more prosaic roots – that museums just have nothing to work with. They’d love to tackle the topic, but their collections don’t allow it. 

    It’s an interesting hypothesis, but in Europe, museums of more or less every kind – from Italian palaces and Barcelona’s Maritime Museum to Athens’ Byzantine Museum – run projects on migration. Even Tenerife’s unique underwater Atlantico museum has tackled the subject.

    Russia’s museums perhaps believe that their collections are so homogeneous as to exclude any reference to migration. But the facts show otherwise. The luxurious palace and grounds of Tsarytsino are in the Top Ten of migrants’ favourite Moscow museum complexes.

    Visitors to the Tsarytsino park and museum complex in suburban Moscow. Photo CC-by-2.0: Alex1 / Flickr. Some rights reserved.You might wonder how should an 18th century palace address “migration”. But you need to remember whom it was built for — not Yuri Luzhkov, Moscow’s former mayor, but his favourite heroine Catherine the Great.

    And Catherine, a minor German princess, started off in her own way as an immigrant worker, brought to Russia as a diplomatic pawn with concrete responsibilities, albeit aristocratic ones. The initial function of the palace also had nothing to with a settled existence, but, on the contrary, with the Empress’s constant shuttling between Moscow and St Petersburg. The estate later fulfilled a similar ritual-seasonal purpose in its “dacha” period in the 1870s.

    While we’re about it, we can even see the palace’s architecture as a fine example of the migration of styles – the Gothic is not native to Russia. And we mustn’t forget the migration of collections: the museum holds mainly works of applied art from former Soviet republics – that’s right, the same ones that our awful “migrants” come from (we don’t mind their objets-d’art). And let’s not forget the grounds and park – the natural world is an example of regular migrations.

    Tsarytsino’s collection comprises mainly works of applied art from former Soviet republics – that’s right, the same ones that our awful “migrants” come from

    Indeed, we have to recognise that it is only the theme of migration that allows us to conceptually and consistently weave Tsarytsino’s numerous strands into a single narrative.

    It is the same with the State Literary Museum, which was intended as one of the main elements in the Moscow government’s “Museum for Migrants” project mentioned at the start of this article.

    On the one hand, what have migrants to do with great Russian literature? But migrants have provided three out of Russia’s five Nobel Prizes for literature – and the last winner, Belarusian writer Svetlana Aleksievich (who writes in Russian) is no exception. Even if we turn from national pride to more prosaic subjects, we still can’t deny that journeys (i.e.migration) are at the heart of all traditional literature, whether folk tales, myths or epics. This goes back to the Odyssey and is as true for literature today.

    In this context it’s interesting to look at the museum devoted to the life and work of the brilliant poet Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841), a descendent of Scottish immigrants who became one of Russia’s national treasures. This fact may be regarded as both a motivating force for people with an immigrant background and something to ponder for the “indigenous” population. But it is not only famous names who have left their mark on national life: there has been practically universal migration. To see all the places where Lermontov lived and worked you need to go by air. And the themes he chose for his works are full of this migrant reflex – one of his most famous lyric poems begins, “A lonely sail is flashing white/ Amidst the blue mist of the sea!”.

    There is, by the way, a mass of useful themes for an anthropologist or museum educator in Lermontov’s work: take, for one, the voluntary/involuntary migrant Pechorin, who, like his creator, was exiled to the Caucasus where he tried various ways of establishing contact with the local population.

    Refined racism

    We have to admit here that the problem lies not in the migrants or the art collections, but in peoples’ heads.

    The hosts of the Ekho Moskvy radio show began their discussion of this issue with a remark that illustrates beautifully the average Russian’s idea of migrants: “And now they’ve dreamed up a scheme called ‘Migrants in Museums’. I must say that when I read the brief for it, I thought I had stumbled on some comedy script…”

    This imperial myth gets in the way of our museums not only engaging with the subject of migration, but of any interaction with real people

    The museum community, supposedly among the more enlightened members of our society, should have a totally different view of this issue. But, no. This humorous take on the subject of migration is in fact one of the more harmless ones. Museum workers are not laughing - here are some of their other remarks on the issue, as posted on Facebook:

    “Museum workers fear and envy migrants. What good does it do to a museum to get involved in this dangerous subject of migrants? How can we protect the museum from the migrants that, as we know, get everywhere and sneak their homies in after them?”

    In closed museum workers’ groups on social media you can find such “conceptual” suggestions as: “we should have asked these ‘guests of the capital’ to augment our collections: they’re so good at smuggling illegal stuff!”

    And in any case, engagement with the subject doesn’t eliminate the “refined racism” in their attitudes to people with an immigrant background.

    “We had a really positive experience. We held an exhibition of Armenian artists living in St Petersburg and you know, it was a real hit! We had full galleries every day! And the migrants did come – quite a diaspora (they’re easy to recognise). They, of course, understood their own art, and we’re thinking that maybe if you begin with something familiar, then they can start getting to know…well, less accessible stuff. More contemporary, say – things they’re not familiar with. We could use projects like that to attract and educate them…”

    It’s difficult to think of St Petersburg’s Armenian diaspora as migrants, since it has been in existence since 1710, just seven years after the founding of the city.

    But even that’s not the point. We still feel the need to teach and educate people of other countries and ethnicities, to raise their cultural level to our own, even when a museum is working with people whose culture it is exhibiting. This imperial myth gets in the way of our museums not only engaging with the subject of migration, but of any interaction with real people. How would you like it if you were always in the role of a pupil?

    The Moscow Centre of Museum Development brought out a calendar that repeated every possible stereotypical view of migrants

    Even when attempts are made to draw attention to this issue, the narrative stays the same.

    The Moscow Centre of Museum Development brought out a supposedly “humorous” calendar in an attempt to illustrate the subject of migration and inform the public about “the openness of our capital’s museums to every actual and potential visitor”. But it presented all migrants in the form of “Maksud”, a manual worker who speaks Russian badly and knows nothing about contemporary art. When some museum specialists called the cartoon illustrations chauvinist, other members of their professional community complained.

    lead Moscow’s Centre of Museum Development published a calendar displaying more or less all the prejudiced views about migrants. Here, a Tajik labourer called Maksud is at the contemporary art gallery. Noticing than a conceptual installation features rubber bricks, he cries “Hey! Let me fix that for you!” Photo courtesy of the author.

    The Russian state is traditionally seen as the most “European” element of our country, but in this area it is resoundingly at one with the public. Moscow’s Department of Culture analysed the failure of the “Museums for Migrants” project in the following words: “We also ran an experiment: we invited a few Tajiks to a museum, but they all said they would only come if we paid them 300-500 roubles [£4 - £6.50]”. So here we have another fine image of the migrant manual worker from Tajikistan.

    It’s no surprise that even the few exhibition projects devoted to the subject of migration are incapable of rising above this level. The introduction to the “Migrant Moscow” exhibition created by the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration states that “in general, these are people from poorer countries who come to Russia on a temporary basis, to take up work not requiring high qualifications of any kind”. Once again, the subject of migration is displaced by the subject of migrants, and we end up with yet another reiteration of the same old story – that migration equals migrants, and migrants are temporary unskilled workers, criminals and terrorists.

    Russian museums are afraid of the subject of migration and avoid it at all costs, even when it is obvious and natural. And despite successful projects curated by the Museum of the History of Religion, the Museum of Street Art and the Museum of Moscow, this fear stops them creating a unified narrative of migration – something that concerns every one of us.

    Translated by Liz Barnes.


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              No Way to Treat Children Fleeing Danger         

    Refugee children take part in a protest in March 2015 against their resettlement on Nauru and living conditions on the island.

    © 2016 Private

    Migrant children might soon be separated from their parents as a matter of course when families enter the United States irregularly, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told CNN in early March. Under the proposal, which another Homeland Security official described as among the options the department is considering to “discourage [others] from even beginning the journey,” separated parents would be detained in jail-like facilities while children would be placed in foster homes or shelters for children.

    The suggestion rightly drew considerable criticism, and by early April, Secretary Kelly had begun to back away from it. “The idea that the government would cause harm to children to dissuade other families from crossing the border is cynical in the extreme,” my colleague Clara Long wrote in response.

    Holding children in immigration detention is a recurring, if abusive, practice around the world, as Australia, Europe, and the United States each seek ways to respond to recent migration flows.

    To be sure, it’s unusual to deliberately separate young children from their mothers, as the US proposal would do. But families are frequently split up, with men held separately from women and children. It’s also common for countries to detain unaccompanied children, sometimes for protracted periods.

    As one example, Mexico began to detain unaccompanied children as well as adults in large numbers after 2014, at least partly at the urging of US authorities who sought to “stem the flow” of Central American asylum seekers, in the words of Lev D. Kubiak, the assistant director of international operations for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in testimony before a House subcommittee in June 2015. Mexican immigration authorities apprehended more than 20,000 unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in 2015 and over 17,500 in 2016, detaining the vast majority.

    In Europe, Hungary has just adopted a measure allowing its authorities to detain asylum seekers on its territory, including families with children and unaccompanied children age 14 and above. Belgium, which had been something of a regional model after it eliminated immigration detention for families in 2009, announced at the end of 2016 that it planned to resume the practice sometime this year.

    In perhaps the most extreme and flagrantly abusive use of immigration detention, Australia has forcibly transferred all asylum seekers who arrive by boat, including unaccompanied children and families with children, to offshore facilities in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. The asylum seekers sent there face the choice of indefinite banishment to those countries, relocation to Cambodia, or return to the countries they fled.

    Practices such as these are a particularly inhumane response to humanitarian crises. It’s no mystery why Central American children flee their home countries in large numbers, on their own or with their families. Gang violence has plagued Central America’s Northern Triangle for decades, and children are particularly targeted. It’s not uncommon to hear reports that 13-year-olds, or even younger children, were shot in the head, or had their throats slit, or were tortured and left to die, as Óscar Martínez observed in The Nation.

    Many of the arrivals to Europe, including large numbers of unaccompanied children, are coming from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen or from highly repressive states, Eritrea and Ethiopia among them.

    Similarly, Australia’s offshore operations on Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island house men, women, and children from these and other countries who fled armed conflict or sustained persecution because of their political beliefs, religion, or ethnic origin.

    Detention has particularly devastating human consequences, which is why international standards discourage detaining asylum seekers and call on countries to end the immigration detention of children. Nevertheless, politicians and policymakers frequently turn a blind eye to the abuses immigration detention entails. What’s more, they sometimes attempt to justify detention in terms that suggest that it somehow serves the “greater good.” The reality, as I’ve seen, is anything but humane.

    The Effects of Immigration Detention on Mental Well-Being

    Perhaps nowhere are the adverse effects of immigration detention more evident than in Australia’s offshore operations on Manus Island and Nauru, where refugees and asylum seekers have been warehoused for more than three years. A leaked report by UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, found, in fact, that post-traumatic stress disorder and depression “have reached epidemic proportions” among those held in both locations.

    I’ve been to the facilities on both islands, and many of those I spoke with told me they were seriously considering suicide. More than a dozen adults and some of the children I and an Amnesty International researcher interviewed on Nauru had tried to kill themselves at least once by overdosing on medication, swallowing bleach, other cleaning products, or razors, hanging or strangling themselves, or setting themselves on fire. “I’m tired of my life,” a 15-year-old girl said, telling me that she had tried to commit suicide twice since she arrived on the island.

    Children who were separated from one of their parents suffered particularly dramatic and immediate downturns in their mental state. A woman whose husband had been transferred to Australia for medical treatment told me that their 9-year-old son began to repeatedly talk about killing himself: “Two weeks ago, my son took the lighter. He said, ‘I want to burn myself. Why should I be alive? I want my daddy. I miss my daddy.’ I look in his eyes and I see sadness.”

    The father of another boy reported that his son had begun to have violent mood swings, stopped speaking, and avoided leaving his room after the boy’s mother was transferred to Australia for medical care without advance warning.

    These kinds of adverse effects on mental well-being aren’t restricted to places like Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Human Rights Watch documented similar feelings of depression and suicidal feelings among asylum-seeking mothers and children detained for long periods in the United States. In Greece, where unaccompanied children are frequently held in police custody with no access to mental health care, we’ve spoken to children who appeared to be experiencing psychological distress and in some cases had attempted to harm themselves.

    Whatever the circumstances, immigration detention causes significant harm to children and adults. Studies by Physicians for Human Rights and the Bellevue/New York University School of Medicine Program for Survivors of Torture, among others, have found that detained asylum seekers suffered high levels of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder and that their mental health worsened with continued detention.

    Children, in particular, can experience extreme distress in reaction to even short periods of confinement. Research shows that they may become aggressive, display separation anxiety, have difficulty sleeping, and suffer loss of appetite.

    These consequences are lasting: children continue to experience emotional distress for months after leaving detention settings. In light of these outcomes, a 2014 survey of pediatricians by the Medical Journal of Australia found that 80 percent of those responding believed that the mandatory detention of asylum-seeking children amounted to child abuse.

    The Impact on Children’s Protection Claims

    Detention can also be particularly problematic for those who are in need of refugee protection. As a practical matter, it’s much more difficult for people in detention to get the kind of specialized support they need to present their asylum claims effectively. Moreover, children as well as adults may decide not to pursue claims, even very strong ones, because they don’t want to remain locked up in the meantime.

    In the United States, where most people in immigration proceedings do not have court- appointed lawyers (instead, under US immigration law, they have the “privilege of being represented, at no expense to the Government”), a 2015 study published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review found that only 37 percent of all immigrants (and 55 percent of all child immigrants) were represented in immigration cases. For detained immigrants, adults as well as children, the representation rate fell to 14 percent.

    In part, that disparity in the United States is because many immigration detention centers are located in rural areas that are often far from pro bono or private lawyers. For example, the immigration detention center in Artesia, New Mexico, where women and children fleeing violence in Central America were held when they began to arrive in large numbers in 2014, is “far away from public scrutiny and public access,” with “no lawyers to speak of [,] . . . no human rights groups, and no community based organizations,” Stephen Manning wrote in The Artesia Report, published that year.

    The US government has opposed efforts to provide representation for unaccompanied children and other groups of particularly vulnerable people in immigration proceedings. In fact, one immigration judge went so far as to claim that even very young children could represent themselves adequately. “I’ve taught immigration law literally to 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of patience,” the judge said in a March 2016 deposition reported in the Los Angeles Times, claiming, “They get it. It's not the most efficient, but it can be done.”

    But the difference between having a lawyer and being unrepresented is far from trivial: among detained immigrants, those with lawyers are more than 10 times more likely than their unrepresented counterparts to win their cases, the 2015 University of Pennsylvania Law Review study found.

    Elsewhere in the world, I’ve seen that detention has similar adverse effects on children’s ability to pursue protection claims.

    In Mexico, which has also detained large numbers of Central Americans in recent years, UNHCR has estimated that as many as half of all Central American children there  have strong cases for asylum—not meaning necessarily that all are refugees, but rather that their cases warrant in-depth review.

    In October 2016, President Enrique Peña Nieto announced that Mexico would strengthen its refugee recognition procedures and “develop alternatives to immigration detention for asylum seekers, particularly children.”

    These promises were largely unfulfilled by the year’s end. Mexico’s refugee agency, the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados, COMAR), afforded international protection to just 124 unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in 2016. That’s a considerable increase from 2015, when 57 children from these countries received protection, but still less than 1 percent of the total number of unaccompanied children Mexican authorities apprehended in each of these years.

    If my interviews are any indication, Mexico’s practice of detaining most asylum seekers is an important factor that helps explain the discrepancy between the large number of unaccompanied children with plausible claims and the very small number who apply for and receive asylum.  Edgar V., a 17-year-old Honduran boy, told me that when he was apprehended in Oaxaca, Mexican immigration officials advised him to apply for asylum. But it is far more common for immigration officials to tell unaccompanied children not to bother making an asylum claim, other children reported.

    Despite the advice he received, Edgar had decided not to seek asylum. “I was locked up, and they said it would be a long time before I heard. I couldn’t handle that,” he said. “At least two months, up to six months for the response. When they told me it would be six months before I heard back, I said no, I don’t want that.”  Instead, he accepted being returned to Honduras.

    I heard from other unaccompanied children as well as families who made similar decisions to forego asylum claims even when they thought they would face serious risks on return. “I don’t want to return, but because of the time locked up here, I told myself it’s better to return,” another 17-year-old boy told me, after describing a series of death threats that had led him to flee. I asked him how he would stay safe. “I won’t leave the house unless I have to,” he said. “There are criminals on every corner. They walk around armed as if they were the police appointed by law.” 

    To be sure, a large number of unaccompanied children would probably prefer to travel through Mexico to the United States rather than staying in Mexico. But it’s also the case that other countries in the region—Costa Rica, Panama, even Belize—are seeing increasing numbers of asylum applications from children and adults, just as Mexico is. Put another way, children and adults fleeing persecution and violence will seek safety in countries throughout the region if they are aware of their right to do so, aren’t locked up, and receive appropriate assistance to go through the process.

    Using Detention to Deter Others

    As Homeland Security officials did with their family separation proposal, lawmakers and policymakers often try to justify immigration detention as a deterrent to future irregular arrivals. Australian lawmakers, for example, have repeatedly stated that mandatory detention and offshore processing of maritime arrivals are necessary to “stop the boats.”

    These kinds of explanations fail to hold up in several respects.

    For one, a policy of deterrence means that the state is imposing a hardship on some people to change the behavior of others. But “there is something contradictory at the heart of any policy calling for the detention of asylum-seekers, since it means that people seeking refuge from persecution are welcomed first by being locked up,” as Michael Kagan, a University of Nevada law professor, wrote in a 2016 Texas International Law Journal article.

    For another, these policies don’t serve their stated purpose. Refugees and asylum seekers are primarily motivated by finding a place of safety and may be completely unaware of detention policies in destination countries, researchers have found.  Similarly, migrants who aren’t fleeing persecution probably choose their destinations on the basis of factors such as family or community ties and perceived educational and economic opportunities. Alice Edwards, a senior UNHCR official, observed in a 2011 article for the Equal Rights Review, “There is no empirical evidence that the prospect of being detained deters irregular migration.” Similarly, the International Detention Coalition concluded in an April 2015 report that detention is largely ineffective at reducing irregular migration.

    Moreover, international standards call for limits on the use of immigration detention. UNHCR’s Detention Guidelines call for immigration detention to be used sparingly, and only after a detailed, individual assessment; even then, they maintain that detention must be reasonable in the specific circumstances and proportionate to a legitimate public order, public health, or national security purpose. These guidelines explicitly note that mandatory or automatic detention is arbitrary, and therefore impermissible.

    For children, the standard is clearer, stronger and even stricter: the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which oversees compliance with the global treaty on children’s rights, says that countries should “expeditiously and completely cease the detention of children on the basis of their immigration status.”

    In short, as UNHCR noted in a 2014 report, Beyond Detention, “[n]ot only does detention not work as a deterrent, it is not a legitimate purpose for detention under international law.”

    In truth, immigration detention often serves a purpose that’s largely symbolic. As the sociologists Arjen Leerkes and Dennis Broeders have observed, countries use immigration detention as a signal that they are acting to control their borders. Australia’s offshore processing system, which holds 2,000 people on remote islands as an example to others, provides a clear illustration of this function of immigration detention. As a refugee on Manus put it, “The cost of Australia’s border protection policies is a human sacrifice—us. They need us here as a symbol to stop the boats.”

     Rebranding Detention and Other Restrictions as Protection

    Perhaps the most pernicious claim I hear from government officials is that detention, with its purported but unproven deterrent effect, has a protective function. Australian officials have perfected this tactic, spinning the sustained abuse of their offshore operations as a life-saving measure by claiming that offshore operations are necessary to deter smuggling by boat and thus save lives at sea. Some European lawmakers are adopting this rhetoric and also claiming, largely without evidence, that immigration detention prevents trafficking.

    Countries deploy other strategies in combination with detention. Australia, the European Union, and the United States are each taking steps to prevent asylum seekers and migrants from reaching their territories, as Bill Frelick, Ian Kysel, and Jennifer Podkul discuss in a 2016 article Journal of Migration Security on the “externalization” of migration control.

    In Australia, methods include the interdiction of boats on the high seas and pushbacks of boats to Indonesian waters. A 2015 Indonesian police investigation also found that Australian authorities paid smugglers to turn boats around. Asked to respond, then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott refused to admit or deny the reports of collusion with smugglers, saying only that the Australian government had stopped the boats “by hook or by crook.”

    The United States has also employed high seas interdictions and shipboard screenings. And both the European Union and the United States have pursued intensive efforts to support and encourage third countries to “contain” asylum seekers and migrants.

    In the case of the United States, that’s meant pushing Mexico to apprehend, detain, and deport Central Americans in large numbers.

    The EU has negotiated an arrangement that commits Turkey to accept the return of all asylum seekers who travelled through Turkey in exchange for billions of euros in aid, visa liberalization for Turkish citizens, and revived negotiations for Turkish accession to the EU. In principle, the €3 billion funding is designated for projects to improve the lives of refugees as well as of host communities in Turkey. The deal also provides for the resettlement of one other Syrian refugee from Turkey for each Syrian returned to Turkey.

    Under the deal, Greece and other EU countries regard Turkey as a safe country even though Syrians often face significant hurdles in registering for temporary protection and asylum seekers of other nationalities, including Afghans and Iraqis, are ineligible even to apply. Turkey has accepted obligations under UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, but only for refugees from Europe. As Human Rights Watch and other groups have found, many Syrians, as well as Afghans, Iraqis, and others seeking international protection in Turkey cannot lawfully work, access health care, or enrol their children in school, meaning that their presence in Turkey is precarious.

    In addition, individual EU member states are known to have turned asylum seekers away at their borders with other non-EU states. Hungary’s violent pushbacks of asylum seekers to the Serbian border are well-known. Poland, which receives large numbers of asylum seekers from the Russian Republic of Chechnya as well as from Tajikistan and Georgia, routinely denies them the right to seek asylum at its border with Belarus and instead summarily returns them there, Human Rights Watch found in a March report.

    Characterizing such tactics as protective is both contrary to the facts and shamelessly manipulative.  It’s simply not credible to claim that immigration detention and efforts to contain migrants in third countries protect people from serious harm.

    The Way Forward

    Authorities should know by now that immigration detention has serious adverse consequences for mental well-being, particularly for families and unaccompanied children. It’s also the case that detention can lead unaccompanied children, as well as adults, to abandon well-founded asylum claims and accept return to possible harm. And closing off safe and legal routes for refugees makes it more likely rather than less that people will turn to smugglers in their search for safe destinations.

    It doesn’t have to be this way. For many adults, probation-style periodic reporting to the authorities, or being asked for a financial deposit, and other alternatives are proven means of avoiding the negative consequences of detention while providing reasonable guarantees of appearance in immigration proceedings, the International Detention Coalition has found.

    When it comes to children, countries should eliminate the use of immigration detention. Some countries have already agreed in recent years to end or sharply reduce the detention of migrant children: Japan, Panama, Taiwan, and Turkey now prohibit the detention of migrant children, and half a dozen other countries have placed limits on immigration detention of children.

    But more countries, Australia and the United States among them, need to recognize that locking children up as a means of migration control is unnecessary, abusive, and counterproductive.


                      
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              Tajikistan in $1bn hydropower bid        
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              XINJIANG & TIBET:CONTINUING WEAKNESSES IN CHINA'S PERIPHERAL SECURITY        

     



    B.RAMAN

    Ten Uighurs, three Hans and two Mongols working for the Ministry of Public Security in Xinjiang and six Uighur separatists were killed on the morning of April 23,2013, in an incident in the Selibya Township in the Bachu county, in the Kashgar area of China’s Xinjiang province. The area of the incident is near Xinjiang’s borders with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

    2. The Information Office of the Xinjiang Government has projected the incident as a “severe, violent, terror incident” which has been brought under control. It has projected 15 of those killed as police officers and social workers helping the police in maintaining security.

    3. In its announcement, the Information Office has given the following details of the incident: The  incident happened after three community workers  found several suspicious people and knives in a local house. They reported the details to their supervisor but were then restrained by suspected terrorists. When police and community workers arrived, they were ambushed by attackers inside and outside the house. The attackers, who had killed the three community workers who had been held captive, then set fire to the house. By the time police brought the situation under control, 15 people had been killed by the gang. Six gang members were shot dead at the scene, bringing the death toll to 21.

    4.The “China Daily” has quoted Mutalif Wubuli, commissioner of Kashgar prefecture, as saying that eight suspects have been arrested. It has also quoted Qi Baowen, commander of the Xinjiang Armed Police, as saying that the consequences of the incident are relatively severe because there are many casualties.

    5. Last month, courts in Kashgar had sentenced 19 people for their alleged  involvement in organized terror activities and for spreading extreme religious information via the  Internet and cellphones.

    6.In March, the local Ministry of Public Security had started what was described as “Social management in communities” under which Uighurs were recruited as community workers to help the police in the maintenance of security. “It is the foundation of maintaining stability in the region,” Xiong Xuanguo, Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of Xinjiang, had said in a media briefing.

    7. The incident of April 23,2013, appears to have been in retaliation for the jailing of 19 Uighurs last month and to deter the local Uighurs from co-operating with the police in dealing with separatism.

    8. In a commentary on the incident carried on April 25,2013, the “Global Times” of the Communist Party of China said: “The latest clashes show that Xinjiang has a long way to go in its anti-terrorism efforts. But it's worth pointing out that this case will not pose a threat to the overall stability of Xinjiang. The public expects social harmony and prosperity…..Although Xinjiang has experienced several violent clashes in recent years, social confidence in Xinjiang and the confidence of the whole country toward the region have remained stable. The situation in Xinjiang since the July 5 riots in 2009  has improved and no violent cases have impeded that process. As the sources of violence in Xinjiang haven't been eradicated, its occasional occurrence cannot be fully prevented. Xinjiang has learned to manage the situation despite some isolated violent cases. It has been investigating and eradicating the internal and external sources of violent terrorist attacks. We should firmly act against violent terrorists. Terrorists should not be permitted to have the misconception that they are carrying out a "holy war" or simply fighting against the regime. They must be clear that they are making enemies of all the Xinjiang people and the Chinese people.”

    9.The Xinjiang authorities have not so far blamed the Pakistan-based Islamic Movement of Eastern Turkestan for the fresh violence. They are apparently worried that as the US-led Western troops thin out from Afghanistan, violence by different separatist groups could increase in Xinjiang adding to internal instability. Hence, their interest in co-operating with India in monitoring the ground situation in Afghanistan.

    10.The Chinese face a two-pronged threat to their peripheral security--- from the growing anger of the Tibetans in the Tibetan areas and from the Uighurs in Xinjiang. Their hopes that rapid economic development of these areas will dilute the threat have been belied so far.

    11. In view of China’s insensitivity to India’s core interests and major concerns in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, it will not be in India’s interest to co-operate with China in relation to its peripheral security problems. ( 25-4-2013)

     

    ( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. Twitter : @SORBONNE75)

     

              FOREIGN FILM PREDICTIONS (Asia)        
    And here are my predictions from the 23 countries from Asia. 19 of these countries submitted films last year. Bhutan (1999), Mongolia (2005), Sri Lanka (2009) and Tajikistan (2005) haven't sent films in years.

    1. AFGHANISTAN- “Wolf and Sheep” Afghanistan is one of those countries that keeps sending great movies year after year without luck. “Parting” was one of the best films submitted last year (albeit a weak year) but AMPAS mysteriously disqualified it without announcing a reason. Was it because of nationality (the film was an Iranian co-production) or was it not properly released in Afghanistan? Who can say? The year before, “Utopia” was disqualified for having too much English. This year, I predict they will send either “Lina”, a movie about a young woman who goes in search of her biological father after learning from a blood test that her parents are not her real parents, or “Wolf and Sheep”, about life in a pastoral village in central Afghanistan. I give the edge to “Wolf and Sheep” whose 27-year old female director won Director’s Fortnight at Cannes in 2016, and who made the film in Afghanistan with an international crew. Siddiq Barmak (the Golden Globe-winning director of “Osama”) is currently in production on a new movie called “The Pass” in Georgia. 
    2. BANGLADESH- “Rina Brown”- There seems to be an unfortunate trend in Asia whereby the highest-profile films of the year are being banned. In February, Bangladesh joined Bhutan and Jordan on the list by banning â€œNo Bed of Roses”, a drama starring Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan. Reasons for the ban are unclear, but it appears to be due to allegations from the widow of acclaimed author/filmmaker Humayun Ahmed (who was also a strong supporter of the current ruling party) that the film is an unauthorized dramatization of her husband’s life. All but one of the Bangladeshi submissions since 2005 have been produced by Impress Telefilms, the dominant national film studio. That bodes well for “Hotath Dekha”, a co-production with India about two characters who meet on a train in 1938 Bengal, and “Rina Brown”, a romance between a Muslim man and a Christian girl on the eve of the war for independence. Films about the 1971 war are always popular subjects for Bangladeshi cinema. If selected, “Rina Brown” would be the first female-helmed film to represent the country. However, most Bangladeshi films that have received buzz abroad have been made outside the Impress studio system, including two decidedly arthouse entries- “Live from Dhaka” (Singapore) and Abu Sayeed’s crowd-funded “Death of a Poet”- as well as “Gopon: The Inner Sound”, which won Best Foreign Film at the Delhi Film Festival. Other Bangladeshi movies about the war for independence this year include “Bhuban Majhi” and “Lal Sobujer Sur”, which could be selected.  My prediction: “Rina Brown” ends up being one of the more obscure entries on this year's Oscar longlist, with war drama “Bhuban Majhi” in second, dramedy “Hotath Dekha” in third, and arthouse “Gopon” in fourth. 

    3. BHUTAN- “Honey Giver Among the Dogs” Bhutan submitted a film just once in 1999, for Khynetse Norbu’s delightful “The Cup”. According to the national newspaper/news agency Kuensel, the producers of Norbu’s latest film- “Hema Herma: Sing Me A Song While I Wait” were preparing to submit their film- when the film (which has delighted audiences in Locarno, Toronto and Busan) was unexpectedly banned. Bhutan, best known for its mountain scenery and “gross national happiness” policy is not known for censorship. However, the Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority (BICMA) refused to budge, meaning the film cannot be screened in Bhutan and thus cannot compete for an Oscar. The reasons are vague, but it appears the cultural authorities objected to the way Bhutanese masks were used in the film, in fictional, non-traditional ceremonies. This is a pity for Bhutanese filmmakers and a shameful act of censorship. But all is not lost. Bhutan actually had two well-reviewed films at Busan, so I’m hopeful they’ll send film-noir mystery “Honeygiver Among the Dogs” this year until “Hema Hema” can work out its issues with the government. But they probably won’t send anything. “Honeygiver” is about a policeman searching for two missing people- a monk and a local femme fatale. “Serga Mathang”, which won Best Picture at the National Film Awards, won’t figure into the decision-making.

    4. CAMBODIA- “Diamond Island” Most of Cambodia’s film and television industry were executed or exiled during the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s, but the country has submitted films four of the past five years, and netted an unexpected Oscar nomination for Rithy Panh’s documentary “The Missing Picture”. I used to struggle to find even one eligible Cambodian film, but this year’s Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF) featured six new movies. This year’s nominee is almost certain to be “Diamond Island”, which screened at Cannes Critics Week 2016 before opening in Cambodian cinemas in October. It’s a familiar story- boy from the countryside moves to the big city to find work and falls in love with a local girl- but it’s all supposedly done very well. The main competition comes from Oscar nominee Panh, who has another Khmer Rouge documentary out this year- the French-language “Exile”. However, it’s so abstract and cerebral that I think the Cambodian Academy will give 33-year old Davy Chou a chance. The other four Cambodian premieres at the CIFF included a psychological thriller, a popular martial arts action film, a horror film and an LGBT-themed chase comedy.

    5. CHINA- “The Chinese Widow” Director Feng Xiaogang has been selected by Chinese officialdom to represent the country twice. He is one of China’s biggest box-office draws and his “I Am Not Madame Bovary” has been the front-runner all year, ever since its domestic release date was postponed from September to November 2016, changing the year it was eligible. It won Best Picture at the Asian Film Awards and at the China Film Directors Awards and was nominated at the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan. “Madame Bovary” is a comedy/satire about a woman who is double-crossed by her ex-husband after the two plan a fake divorce to get around government land regulations. Will China feel comfortable nominating a film with a heroine who is trying to cheat the government? Probably not, but they did approve it for release. China is usually the last major country to announce their Oscar pick, and they often make strange decisions. In the past three years, they've selected movies out of left field, that few people had heard of, and which hadn’t won any awards of note. For that reason, I’m wondering if “Madame Bovary” could get bumped by nationalist war drama “The Chinese Widow”, directed by Danish Oscar winner Bille August and starring Emile Hirsch as a downed American pilot who is cared for by a benevolent Chinese family during WWII. Although the film isn’t supposed to be very good, this sounds much more like China’s cup of tea. "The Chinese Widow" opened the Shanghai Film Festival and China has a tradition of sending films to the Oscars with Hollywood stars (Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins in “Back to 1942”, Christian Bale in “Flowers of War”). Feng Xiaogang also has a new movie premiering in October (“Youth”) that could arrange an early release. Three other Chinese films deserve a mention here: “Summer is Gone” is this year’s arthouse frontrunner. It beat out “Madame Bovary” for Best Picture at the Golden Horse Awards, and is an intimate B&W tale of a Chinese family living in Inner Mongolia. “Lady in the Portrait” is this year’s costume drama frontrunner, starring Fan Bingbing (who also plays (not) Madame Bovary) as a 16th century Empress who commissions a portrait by a French artist. “Wasted Times” is a lush, period crime epic, co-starring Zhang Ziyi and Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano. All of these films (except the brand-new “Widow”) competed at the China Film Director Awards, and appear to have the approval of the Chinese government. Less likely:  China’s festival films have either gotten mixed reviews (“Free and Easy” from Sundance, “Crosscurrent” from Berlin) or deal with controversial issues (“Walking Past the Future” from Cannes and “Mr. No Problem” from Tokyo). Only “Knife in the Clear Water” (Rotterdam) would seem to stand a chance. Dark horses: a couple of Mainland pictures with Hong Kong directors- girl power romantic drama “Soul Mate” probably has a better chance to represent Hong Kong than China, while hit action film “Operation Mekong” isn’t acclaimed enough. In the end, I’m disappointed to say that I’m predicting “Chinese Widow” will beat out the superior “Madame Bovary”, but I'm hoping that I’m wrong. Rounding out the Top Seven from the world’s largest nation: (in order) “Wasted Times”, “Summer is Gone”, “Lady in the Portrait”, “Youth” and “Knife in the Clear Water”.  Or maybe something nobody has ever heard of. 

    6. HONG KONG- “Our Time Will Come” Hong Kong is confusing because many of the territory's top directors are now working on the Mainland, with its mega-market of 1.2 billion cinemagoers. At the same time there are a growing number of people wary of Mainland influence and urging the protection of Hong Kong’s distinct culture and Cantonese language. The obvious Oscar front-runner is “Our Time Will Come”, a large scale historical drama directed by Ann Hui, who has represented Hong Kong four times. It’s about how local Hong Kongers and Chinese guerillas fought the Japanese together during World War II. It’s gotten decent reviews, but Hong Kong’s artistic community may be reluctant to select a film that was released to celebrate twenty years since the unification of China and Hong Kong (it depends who’s on the selection committee!) Still, for now that’s the front-runner. Two small-scale dramas (of the sort selected in 2010 and 2011) also have a chance, namely Cantonese-language “Mad World” (winner of two acting awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards), about a man struggling with mental illness, and Mandarin-language “Soul Mate” (nominated for Best Director at Asian Film Awards and Best Picture at the HK Film Awards), an emotional girl-power romantic drama about two best friends in love with the same man. They haven’t chosen a big martial arts movie in years (2006 and 2008), but these visually impressive films may impress members of the tech branches. Of these, the ones with the best chance are Gordon Chan’s “God of War”, about local Chinese fending off Japanese pirates in the 16th century, and the upcoming Tsui Hark-produced “Thousand Faces of Dunjia”, a wuxia film about the formation of secret society. It’s set to bow October 1st, but Hong Kong frequently arranges an Oscar-qualifying release to promote new films. They could also do the same for “Find Your Voice”, a new Andy Lau movie about a grouchy choir (Oscar loves choirs!) that is currently without a release date. I’m predicting “Our Time Will Come”, but I’m not confident. The rest of the top five: “Mad World”, “Thousand Faces of Dunjia”, “Soul Mate” and “Find Your Voice”.

    7. INDIA- TBD

    8. INDONESIA- “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts” Indonesia rarely makes movies that make it to the Cannes Film Festival, so “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts”, an exciting feminist revenge thriller with shades of “Kill Bill”, is currently the front-runner to represent Indonesia. One big problem- the film has no domestic release date. Another potential problem- the Indonesian Academy usually sends stuffy historical dramas rather than edgy and exciting fare like "Marlina". But the film has gotten enthusiastic reviews, and I’m hopeful she’ll make it to the longlist.  Overall, Indonesia is seeing a film resurgence, even though they’ve never yet seriously contended for an Oscar. I’m going to predict “Marlina” gets an Oscar-qualifying release this "island western" about a kick-ass widow who takes revenge on the men who have wronged her. Other possibilities include a trio of historical dramas (“Kartini”, “Solo, Solitude” and “A Woman From Java”) and two melodramas (“Salawaku” and “A Letter to God”). If “Marlina” doesn’t get released, I think Indonesia will select “Kartini”, about a feminist hero who defied the traditions of her high-born family to fight for women’s rights in early 20th century Indonesia. Director Bramantyo was selected in 2014 and the film co-stars Indonesia's most acclaimed actress- Christine Hakim- as Kartini’s mother. In third place: “A Letter to God”, about two street children whose fates diverge when the girl is suddenly adopted by a foreign family. She then searches for her best friend a decade later. Garin Nugroho , one of Indonesia’s most senior directors, hasn’t been selected since 1998 but his “A Woman From Java”, about the Indonesian concubine of an elderly Dutch merchant in the colonial era, will come fourth and road movie “Salawaku”, which got a Best Pic nominee at last year’s national Citra Awards, will probably come fifth. 

    9. JAPAN- “Harmonium” I lived in Japan five years but I’ve never once predicted them correctly. Their choices tend to be extremely random. I’ve managed to see seventeen out of eighteen submissions since 1999 and they’ve sent some brilliant films (the best was “Confessions”) as well as some real losers (last year’s “Nagasaki: Memories of My Son”) that nobody inside or outside Japan seemed to like. So it’s best not to spend too much time trying to understand. This year, I predict they’ll send “Harmonium”, a dark drama about a man who hires his friend who has just been released from prison. The “friend” (played by Japanese superstar Tadanobu Asano) begins to insinuate himself into the lives of the man’s family. It won the 2016 Jury Prize in Cannes “Un Certain Regard”, and was the only Japanese film to be nominated for Best Picture at the 2017 Asian Film Awards. It has good reviews and starpower and has the same dark tone of their 2010 and 2014 submissions.  Not far behind is Hirokazu Koreeda’s “The Third Murder”, which opens in September. Koreeda is a brilliant director who works outside the studio system. He’s frequently passed over for great work ("Like Father, Like Son" etc.) but he was selected by the Japanese Academy once. Told from three perspectives, “The Third Murder” is about a murderer, a lawyer and the family of a murder victim. Three strong dark horses are (1)- “The Old Capital”, a family drama about a traditional family whose business has hundreds of years of roots to the city of Kyoto, but which is having trouble adjusting to the modern world; (2)- “Oh Lucy!”, a quirky low-key comedy that was called a “hidden gem” at Cannes, stars Shinobu Terajima and Josh Hartnett as a bored office lady and her English teacher. (It’s produced by Will Ferrell!) and (3) “In this Corner of the World”, a gorgeous animated film about Hiroshima in the years leading up to World War II, which won Best Animated Film (a very competitive category in Japan!) at the Japanese Academy Awards this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of these five were selected. Cancer comedy “Her Loves Boils Bathwater” and samurai movies “Tatara Samurai” and ultra-violent “Blade of the Immortal” have all gotten great reviews….but none of them seem serious enough to be the Japanese candidate. And the high-profile “Radiance” from Naomi Kawase has gotten mostly mixed reviews. I still say “Harmonium” gets this, with “Third Murder” and “Oh Lucy!” the most likely spoilers.

    10. KAZAKHSTAN- “Returnee” Kazakh films do well at international film festivals, though these arthouse films don’t always get released at home. Kazakhstan doesn’t have any obvious contenders this year. Their most acclaimed film (“Road to Mother”) was released on September 29th, 2016 meaning it was eligible for last year. I predict the Kazakhs send “The Returnee”, a drama about the oralman, ethnic Kazakhs from other countries (mostly China and Mongolia) who are invited by the Kazakh government to resettle in Kazakhstan. Although they are “Kazakhs” ethnically, these immigrants often have a difficult time adjusting to the more liberal and secular, Russified culture of Kazakhstan. It was the only Kazakh fiction feature at the Eurasian Film Festival (Kazakhstan’s largest) and it won Best Asian Film at the Fajr Film Festival in Iran. In second place is “Districts” (Rayony), a well-received crime drama by Akan Satayev, who has represented Kazakhstan twice before. A third option would be “The Plague at the Karatas Village”, an arty drama about a new mayor confronted with a strange village plague. It earned Kazakhstan a prestigious nomination for “Best Film From the CIS Countries” at the 2017 Russian Nika Awards. Less likely: taxi driver drama “4+1” (Busan 2016) and 3-hour biopic “Aktoty”.

    11. KOREA- “Warriors of the Dawn” South Korea is the world’s greatest filmmaking nation that has never been nominated for an Oscar. They’ve tried everything- arthouse/festival darlings, big-budget war movies, big-budget costume dramas, mainstream box-office hits, comedies, dramas and action movies- but nothing works. This year, they’ve got a lot of contenders (including five by previously submitted directors, four that premiered at Cannes and two that premiered in Berlin), with no obvious frontrunner. The highest-profile Korean film of the year is “Okja”, starring Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal and a flatulent, giant animated pig. It premiered at Cannes and is being called this year’s “E.T.” However because it may have premiered online and also has a lot of English, I don't think it will be considered. From Korea’s arthouse branch we have “Bacchus Lady” (Berlin 2016), “On the Beach At Night Alone” (Best Actress; Berlin 2017) and “The Day After” (Cannes 2017). The Koreans love their anti-Japanese history movies (e.g. “Anarchist From Colony”, “Snowy Road” and “Battleship Island”, all set in the colonial era, as well as “Warriors of the Dawn” set in the 16th century), but they also sent one last year. And although they rarely send them to the Oscars, they have a number of crime dramas that could compete here like “The Merciless” (Cannes), box-office hit “New Trial”, corruption drama “Ordinary Person” (Moscow) and this summer’s upcoming “VIP”.  And it’s never wise to count out (1)- Song Kang-ho, who has starred in the Korean submissions the past two years and who stars in “Taxi Driver”, about a man driving a German journalist around during one of Korea’s most politically turbulent times, or (2)- Kim Ki-duk who should have two Oscar noms already for “Spring Summer Fall Winter Spring” and the disturbing “Pieta”. Kim has a new movie- “The Net”- about a North Korean fisherman who accidentally drifts into South Korean waters. It’s gotten good reviews, though they say it’s not his best film.  Ultimately, I think it will depend whether Korea wants to go large or small; set in 1592, “Warriors of the Dawn” is a splashy historical drama about mercenaries fighting against the Japanese with great battle scenes and high production values. It couldn’t be more different than “Bacchus Lady”, a comparatively low-budget film about the surprising Korean phenomena of elder prostitution, that has quietly gained strong notices since its Cannes debut over a year ago. I'll pick “Warriors” since Korea has tended to go glossy the last few years and "Bacchus is a bit disturbing. Rounding out the Top Five: Kim Ki-duk’s “The Net” , big-budget prison break drama “Battleship Island” and noirish police drama “Ordinary Person”. I wouldn’t count out festival films “The Day After” or “On the Beach At Night Alone” either, but reviews have been more mixed.

    12. KYRGYZSTAN- “Centaur” Kyrgyzstan takes on the story of Don Quixote in "Centaur", a village drama about a man living with his wife and handicapped son, who secretly frees racehorses in the middle of the night. Director Aktan Arym Kubat (formerly known professionally as Aktan Abdykalykov) is the country’s best-known director and his films have represented the country three times.  Combine that with the fact the film won two awards in Berlin and was the country’s representative at Karlovy Vary, and “Centaur” looks like a shoo-in. Dark horse: “Finding Mother” has also gotten good notices (and some US screenings) for its story of a Kyrgyz orphan who goes to the United States to find his long-lost mother.  

    13. MALAYSIA- “Interchange” Malaysia’s first-ever Oscar submission was a Malay-language fantasy film by ethnic Chinese director Teong Hin Saw. This year, most everyone would agree that Malaysia’s best film of the year is “You Mean the World to Me”, a semi-autobiographical drama about Saw’s difficult relationship with his mother. It has an all-star regional cast and is lensed by Wong Kar-wai cinematographer Christopher Doyle. In any other country, this critically-acclaimed family drama would be automatically be the country’s Oscar submission. But the film is about an ethnic Chinese family, and Malaysia has a system of pervasive legal and cultural discrimination against its Chinese and Indian ethnic minorities. I’d say it’s extremely unlikely they would select a Chinese-language film to represent the country, no matter how good it is (In 2014, Malaysia sent nothing, rather than send “The Journey”). However, things may be changing. Last year, a number of prominent Malay filmmakers threatened to boycott the Malaysian Film Festival in protest of the rule that only Malay-language films could compete in the main awards (Malaysian Chinese and Indian films would be relegated to a sort of Best Foreign Language Film category). Due to the controversy, the festival was forced to change the rules, and a Tamil-language film won. So, I hope I'm wrong. For now though, I still think the Malaysian Academy will seek to send a Malay film….Problem is, they don’t have much to choose from this year. One option is “Interchange” (Toronto 2016), a weird fantasy-mystery about a forensics photographer trying to solve a supernatural murder. Director Dain Said directed Malaysia’s second Oscar submission (“Bunohan”). Other possibilities: social dramas “Adiwiraku”, about a rural school and “Hijabsta Ballet”, about a young ballerina who insists on wearing a hijab when she dances. I’m definitely rooting for “You Mean the World to Me”, but ethnic prejudice means I’m going to predict “Interchange”, even though it hasn’t gotten great reviews. But then, most Malaysian films sent to the Oscars haven’t either.

    14. MONGOLIA- “Children of Genghis” Mongolia hasn’t been on the Oscar list since 2005. Both their previous submissions were directed by Germany-based Byambasuren Davaa who got a Documentary Oscar nomination for “The Story of the Weeping Camel” after failing the make the shortlist for Foreign Film the year before. Davaa said in a 2017 interview that she is working on “several projects” but nothing is ready to start filming. She also mentioned that her next film may be a fiction film. The Mongolians began a new national film Awards this year, so perhaps that will inspire them to rejoin the Oscar race. This year, the two front-runners are “Faith”, a moral dilemma drama about the pervasiveness of corruption in Mongolia which won Best Picture at the new awards, and “Children of Genghis”, a US co-production which appears to be a sort of docudrama about Mongolian children learning the ancient sport of horse racing. I give the edge to “Genghis”.
    15. NEPAL- “White Sun” Few countries this year have an easier decision than the Himalayan nation of Nepal, which is certain to submit “White Sun”, which has played at a dozen festivals since its premiere in Venice last August. It won the Interfilm Award there, as well as prizes at Palm Springs (Grand Jury Prize) and Singapore (Best Asian Film). This film, about a political activist burying his father amidst ancient traditions, family pressures, caste differences and the challenges of living under the new, post-war republican government, is said to be one of the best films ever made by a Nepali director. The Hollywood Reporter specifically noted in its review that the film could “go a fair distance” in the Foreign Language category. It’s a lock.

    16. PAKISTAN- “Rahm” Pakistan is my home country until September 2nd, and I’ve had a wonderful year here. Unfortunately, although national cinema has really been improving, many Pakistanis still snobbishly say they won’t go and see local films. While here, I’ve tried to encourage people to support their local cinema industry.  I see five possibilities this year:  (1)- “Abdullah: The Final Witness”, a film based on a true story about an innocent truck driver convicted of the murder of several foreign citizens in Balochistan province. It was set to premiere in 2015 but was banned by the Pakistani censors until Fall 2016; (2)- “Gardaab”, a gritty thriller very loosely based on Romeo & Juliet, set amidst the slums of Karachi, (3)- “Rahm”, also based on a Shakespeare play (the less well-known “Measure for Measure”),  about a woman trying to save her innocent brother from being executed by a fanatical, religious governor, (4)- “Salute”,  based on the true story of a teenaged boy who died saving his school from a suicide bomber and (5)- the long-delayed “Saya-e-Khuda-e-Zuljalal” (aka “SKZ”…I predicted it two or three years ago), a nationalist action film about Pakistan's worsening relations with India between Pakistani independence in 1947 and the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. Less likely: two-time Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s new animated film “3 Bahadur”, or upcoming revenge thriller “Wujood". In the past four years since Pakistan returned to the Oscar race (after a 50-year absence), Pakistan has selected one “indie” movie, and three arty but mainstream dramas. For that reason, I’m predicting a surprise nod for the relatively obscure “Rahm”, which has arguably gotten the strongest reviews and which is not controversial like “Abdullah” or “Salute”. I’ll rank the other Shakespearean adaptation- “Gardaab” – in second place with "SKZ" a strong third. 
    17. PHILIPPINES- “Pedicab” I honestly don’t have a clue what the Philippines will send to the Oscars this year. They have a couple dozen mostly well-received films that have won awards at the country’s numerous awards shows and film festivals. Virtually none of them have been screened at any major film festivals (except “Pedicab”), and almost none of them have been reviewed by international critics. To make things more complicated, they have nine new films premiering at the Cinemalaya Film Festival in August, which often supplies many of their Oscar submissions. So, I'm definitely going to get this one wrong. I vaguely see the ten leading candidates (in alphabetical order) as “Apocalypse Child”, “Baconaua”, “Die Beautiful”, “Mercury is Mine”, “Mrs.”, “Patay na si Jesus”, “Pedicab”, “Right to Kill”, “The Sun Behind You” and “Women of the Weeping River”….but none of them seems especially likely. My prediction is “Pedicab”, but only because it won Best Picture at the Shanghai Film Festival. It’s a black comedy about a poor family moving from the slums of Manila, back to their home village. Reviews have been good but not great. My runner-ups: “Apocalypse Child”, about a youth in a surfing town who believes he was conceived during the filming of “Apocalypse Now”, “Women of the Weeping River”, a drama about a blood feud in a Muslim village which dominated the Gawan Urian Awards and “Die Beautiful”, by the director of “Bwakaw”, a surprisingly heartwarming comedy about a family trying to honor a transgender woman’s last wish to appear dressed as a different celebrity each night of her wake. The Philippines is the most confusing country in the world this year.

    18. SINGAPORE- “A Yellow Bird” Tiny Singapore has submitted films six years in a row now, and appears to have become a regular participant in thi category. Although most of their films are made in Chinese or English, this year's two main contenders are in minority languages. The front-runner has got to be “A Yellow Bird”, which premiered in the International Critics Week section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. That’s a big deal for Singapore. The multilingual film is mostly in Tamil and focuses on an Indian Singaporean whose family rejects him after he is released from prison. Singapore likes to highlight its multicultural society and has never selected a director from the minority Indian community (although director Rajagopal was one of the short film directors who made the entertaining omnibus “7 Letters”). The problem is that “A Yellow Bird” hasn’t gotten very good reviews, with critics applauding the cinema verite style, but also calling the film slow, boring and/or difficult to watch. A fun, alternate choice would be the Thai-language “Pop Aye”, a road movie made in Thailand by Singaporean director Kirsten Tan. It delighted audiences when it premiered in Sundance and it's been getting great reviews around the world. Starring 50-something Thai singer Thaneth Warakulnukroh alongside a scene-stealing elephant, “Pop Aye” is an indie dramedy about a man travelling with his childhood friend (an elephant) on a road trip back to his hometown. I’m rooting for “Pop Aye”, but I think the more “authentically Singaporean” “Yellow Bird” will be Singapore’s submission.

    19. SRI LANKA- “Aloko Udapadi” Sri Lanka hasn’t sent a movie since 2009, despite a medium-sized film industry that annually produces several dozen films. They’ve only sent two films before- first an arthouse costume drama (“Mansion By the Lake”), followed by a more commercial effort (“The Road From Elephant Pass”). Their best movie of the year is said to be “Burning Birds’ (Busan, Tokyo, Rotterdam etc.), about a widow forced to care for a family of nine after her husband is abducted and killed by a paramilitary group. The director’s first film “Flying Fish” was banned in Sri Lanka by the previous government in 2011. There’s a more liberal regime in place now, but the film still hasn’t secured a local release. So, if the Sri Lankans do elect to send a movie, it will probably be big-budget historical drama “Aloko Udapadi”, set in 89BC in an ancient kingdom replete with palace intrigue, or the arthouse “Dirty Yellow Darkness” about a man with mental illness struggling to win back his wife. This really should be “Burning Birds”, but I’ll guess “Aloko Udapadi”.  

    20. TAIWAN- “The Road to Mandalay” Taiwan has a wide open race, with every possible genre in contention to represent the island- comedy (“Village of No Return”), theatre of the absurd (“The Great Buddha”), straight drama (“Gangster’s Daughter”, “Missing Johnny”), arthouse (“Road to Mandalay”, “White Ant”), road movie (“Godspeed”), thriller (“The Last Painting”), musical (“52Hz, I Love You”), and even an unlikely horror film (“Mon Mon Mon Monsters”). Most of their top contenders were screened at the Taipei Film Festival, where the bizarre B&W “The Great Buddha” was the unexpected winner of both the festival's Grand Prize, and Best Fiction Feature in the Taiwanese film competition. “Road to Mandalay”, about two Burmese migrants living illegally in Thailand, has been the most acclaimed movie of the year from international critics, while “Godspeed” managed an impressive number of nominations (including Best Picture) at the Asian Film Awards and the Golden Horse Film Festival (losing both to films from Mainland China). The directors of black comedy “Godspeed” (about a man dealing drugs by hiring a sleep-deprived taxi driver to take him from one side of the island to the other and back, in 24 hours) and the Burmese-language “Road to Mandalay” have both been selected before. I’m unsure what Taiwan will do. “The Great Buddha” just looks too weird. Wei Te-sheng got Taiwan to the shortlist for “Seediq Bale” but his latest- “52Hz”- didn’t get great reviews. Taiwan-based Burmese director Midi Z. was selected in 2014, and selecting a non-Taiwanese twice in four years might be perceived negatively. It’s a confusing year, but I’m going to predict Midi Z. gets this for “Road to Mandalay”, with murder mystery “The Last Painting” and Taipei winner “Great Buddha”  not far behind. Less likely: taxi comedy “Godspeed” and “Missing Johnny”, about a number of characters whose lives intersect in Taipei. That last one won four awards in Taipei. I personally am most looking forward to see quirky comedy “Village of No Return”, about a con artist who brings a magical machine to a small village that causes people to forget all their bad memories, worries and responsibilities. 

    21. TAJIKISTAN- “Monkey’s Dream” Tajikistan hasn’t submitted a movie since 2005, but their biennial Didor International Film Festival featured no less than four new films. So, here’s hoping Tajikistan returns to the Oscar race with the Russian-language horror-drama “Monkey’s Dream”, a local retelling of the famous short story “The Monkey’s Paw”, about an Oriental relic that grants its owner three (cursed) wishes. Sadly, Tajikistan's most famous international director, Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov,died in 2015.

    22. THAILAND- “By The Time It Gets Dark” Thailand has probably had the weakest film year of the major Asian countries, so they don’t have much to choose from. Most of their film output consists of silly comedies replete with ghosts and drag queens, a huge number of horror films and the odd martial arts action movie. I think that the Thais will send “By The Time It Gets Dark”, a drama that won Best Picture and Best Director at this year’s National Film Awards. Set in the 1970s, it’s about student protests against the Thai military junta, and it’s been praised for its unique, dreamlike style of cinematography. However, since 2014 Thailand has once again been ruled by a military junta, which has been busy putting down protests and clamping down on dissidents, so this film may be a little too close to home. “Bad Genius” isn’t a typical Oscar submission- it’s a youthful heist thriller- but it’s gotten surprisingly good reviews, it has rocked the Thai box office and won Best Picture at the New York Asian Film Festival, so that’s probably their second-best option. Other possibilites: romantic drama “A Gas Station” (Busan) and romantic anthology “The Gift”, featuring music composed by the late King. Less likely: indie drama “Fail Stage” and Burma co-production “From Bangkok to Mandalay”. One potential dark horse: Thailand selected a film by an American director in 2015 so they could send critically acclaimed elephant comedy “Pop Aye” made in Thailand by Singaporean director Kirsten Tan. That would actually be a very smart move.

    23. VIETNAM- “Father and Son” Vietnam’s film industry used to be dominated by dull state-sponsored dramas about Vietnamese history, and the occasional arthouse film made by Vietnamese directors based overseas. No longer. Vietnam has a local film industry catering to local tastes, dominated by local romantic comedies and action movies of the type that are popular all over Asia and around the world. 18 movies competed at the national Silver Kite Awards this year, and there wasn’t a Vietnam War movie in sight. The awards were dominated by rom-coms “Saigon, I Love You” and “12 Zodiac”. “Saigon, I Love You”, an omnibus of five romantic stories (including a gay couple, and one foreigner) centered around Ho Chi Minh City, was a local box-office hit and is eligible this year. It’s possible, but I think the Vietnamese Academy will go with something more serious. Vietnam’s “The Way Station”, a heavy drama about a series of characters from all over Vietnam who find themselves in a small seaside village,  won the third biannual
              2017 Foreign Oscar Predictions- ASIA (18 films)        
    And here are the 19 films from Asia. Really, almost none of these films have any chance at all to be nominated....though once again SINGAPORE is a potential dark horse.

    DISQUALIFIED
    19. AFGHANISTAN- "Parting" 

    Afghanistan's film industry is always struggling but the produce some absolutely beautiful films that can compete with the world's best. This is why it's disappointing that for the second year in a row, they're not on the official list. Last year, "Utopia" was disqualified after being accepted because it had too much English. And this year, "Parting" (Busan 2016) didn't even make the shortlist. No official reason was given. Some have speculated that this film about Afghans fleeing to Iran was judged to be a majority Iranian film (the director is an Afghan-born refugee who moved to Iran as a child). But the director's brother had a similar co-production accepted to compete for Afghanistan a few years ago. Others have speculated that it didn't have a qualifying run in Afghanistan. I'm not sure what the reason is. If it's the first, I'm angry. If it's the second, hopefully we'll see "Parting" in competition next year (There is precedence for this...."Basain" from Nepal, and "Ghadi" from Lebanon).

    BOTTOM OF THE LIST

    18. THAILAND- "Karma"
    17. PAKISTAN- "Mah-e-Mir"
    16. CAMBODIA- "Before the Fall"
    15. TAIWAN- "Hang In There, Kids!"
    14. BANGLADESH- "The Unnamed"

    THAILAND has sent a horror movie about a sinful young monk who confronts some sort of demon/ghost for his transgressions with a cute local girl. And no matter how good a movie about a demon attacking a monk is, it's not going to be nominated for an Oscar. And I think Thailand knows that by now. And they don't care. This film was banned in Thailand and then re-edited and released and turned out to be quite a box-office success.

    Neighboring CAMBODIA has selected "Before the Fall", a gonzo action thriller about a love triangle between an American man, a Frenchman and a local Cambodian girl in 1975 right before the genocidal Khmer Rouge took over Phnom Penh. Directed by Australian Ian White, this was a last-minute surprise on the Oscar shortlist. It looks like a fun flick made on a low-budget but the over-the-top acting (especially from the French lead who is a model in real life) and staged fighting mean Cambodia is a bit out of its league here. Still, glad to see them here!

    PAKISTAN had a weak year and almost decided not to send a film at all. They ended up selecting "Mah-e-Mir", about a modern-day poet who delves into the life of a renowned 18th century poet. Urdu poetry is not likely to interest Western audiences (and poetry is extremely hard to translate well in subtitles) and the film did not enthuse audiences here in Pakistan. Most people here say it's well-filmed but boring and nobody expects it to do well. Still, I'm trying to find a legal copy so I can judge for myself! Nearby BANGLADESH has selected "The Unnamed", a drama centered on the human trafficking trade. In the film, a family awaits the coffin of a Bangladeshi laborer who died in the Gulf. They problem? The family knows their relative is alive and living illegally in Italy....so who is in the coffin? The answer to that question is eventually answered (becoming another family's tragedy) with excellent storytelling and lots of black humor....but production values in Bangladesh are always a challenge.

    And there's TAIWAN...."Hang In There Kids" is a saccharine family drama about three boys from poor Aboriginal communities (they speak Atayal with their families but Mandarin Chinese at school) and their misadventures in their village, with their teacher and with their parents. It's a perfectly nice film that makes the Taiwanese countryside look gorgeous but it's a bit lightweight and forgettable to make an impact here.


    OUT OF LUCK
    13. INDONESIA- "Letters from Prague"
    12. CHINA- "Xuan Zang"
    11. KAZAKHSTAN- "Amanat"
    10. MALAYSIA- "Redha" (Beautiful Pain)
    9. HONG KONG- "Port of Call"

    INDONESIA has once again chosen a soapy historical drama- "Letters From Prague"- which sheds light on a little-known period in Indonesian history when Indonesians living abroad were required to swear their allegiance to the new revolutionary government when Suharto took over in a coup d'etat....or forced to renounce their citizenship and live in exile foreve