Monthly Archives: June 2015

Too little: and how it can be better than too much

On Friday, the EU announced an agreement which had apparently taken ‘until the early hours’ to achieve: it would care for 60,000 people who had fled war, terror, poverty and unnecessary death. It’s hard to imagine how this could possibly have taken so long, for several reasons. First, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has asked that every state in the developed world should take 20,000 Syrian refugees (the UK has taken 187. … Continue reading

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Ramadan: communication, and ‘gifts’ from above

This week – on Thursday 18 June – Ramadan began across the Muslim world. Lasting either 29 or 30 days (based on the sightings of the crescent moon, which symbolises the start and end of the lunar month – this year Ramadan lasts 29 days, until 16 July), it is the holiest month of the Muslim year, and centres around the date on which Mohammed is said to have received the first revelation of the … Continue reading

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It’s called a ‘parliament’ because…

At the end of last week, a cartoon graphic appeared on social media sites of a handshake in front of the Libyan flag. Under the headline ‘Together for Peace in Libya’ the text reads ‘We will be highlighting in the next few days the importance of reaching a peaceful settlement in Libya as soon as possible, given the worsening security and economic conditions in the country. The aim is to explain the importance of the … Continue reading

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We Need To Talk

They say talk is cheap. They may be right, but it can also deliver something better than bullets and missiles… On Sunday (7 June), at the G7 (in fact, the G8 minus Russia) world leaders’ summit in Germany, UK Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to the media about the thousands of people risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean to gain refuge in the EU.

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            From the palaces – parliamentary and aristocratic – of Europe, the meeting rooms – governmental and academic – of the New World, and from the gardens of Asia. From the universities and stables of Africa, and the burja and commissariats of the Middle and Far East, a new sound can be heard. It is the sound of chains and gears rattling and clanging across the night. The sound of … Continue reading

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