Afghan Women’s Writing Project | My Dear Sister

For all the girls who suffer violence

I wish you could be free of the cage and

come beside your other sisters

sitting in a school chair,

hugging your books,

rather than your baby.

I wish you could wear your school clothes,

rather than a wedding dress,

laugh with your classmates,

rather than cry with your kids.

I wish you could wear the white school headscarf,

rather than wear the green wedding veil,

sleep all night so you could do well

in your studies,

rather than stay up all night for the baby.

I wish you could laugh one day.

I wish all this for you, my beloved sister,

and for all the girls forced to marry too young.

By Maryam M.

via Afghan Women’s Writing Project | My Dear Sister.

Palestine: Cycling Not to Forget

Three young women from the United Kingdom are about to start a journey that sees them cycling through Palestinian villages demolished in 1948. The Palestinian exodus, Nakba, occurred when about 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were forced to leave their homes in Mandatory Palestine, in the territory now controlled by Israel. Their right to return to their original hamlets or a possible compensation for their loss are one of the causes for discussion in the on-going Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Today the depopulated villages do not longer exist or are reduced to ruins.

via Palestine: Cycling Not to Forget.

Burma should be boycotted again! Myanmar′s Rohingya stripped of right to vote in referendum | Asia | DW.DE | 12.02.2015

Following protests by nationalist groups, the Myanmar government has decided to cancel the temporary voting rights that would have allowed the Rohingya minority to vote in the country’s upcoming referendum.

via Myanmar′s Rohingya stripped of right to vote in referendum | Asia | DW.DE | 12.02.2015.

We messed up but Greece still has to suicide? Stubb: No more patience with Greece | Europe | DW.DE | 12.02.2015

What do you have to offer Greece? Is there room for a compromise?

The compromise is very simple. They could receive an extension of the current bailout program, which in our opinion would be in Greece’s best interests. But then they would have to push on with their structural reforms. The body monitoring these structural reforms is the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF has 70 years of experience with situations like this. I don’t think we should allow any scope for populism in Europe. We have obligations and contracts, and we must stick by them.

via Stubb: No more patience with Greece | Europe | DW.DE | 12.02.2015.

Saudi Arabia reports 12 MERS cases; UAE adds 1 | CIDRAP

The three linked cases involved three men from Hofuf, ages 76, 62, and 59, all of them in stable condition. The 76-year-old, who got sick on Jan 19, owns a camel farm, has frequent contact with camels, and drinks raw camel milk, the WHO said. He has no history of exposure to other risk factors.

The 59-year-old and the 62-year-old fell ill on Jan 28 and 29, respectively. Like the older man, they both have other illnesses, and neither was exposed to other risk factors in the 2 weeks before getting sick.

Of the other seven patients noted in the WHO statement, only one is a healthcare worker, and three are foreigners. One patient, an 80-year-old man who lived in Riyadh, died on Feb 1. Another patient, a 62-year-old man from Riyadh, has no symptoms and was identified by tracing and testing contacts of an earlier case-patient.

Aside from the asymptomatic patient and the man who died, all the patients were in stable condition, the WHO reported.

In a third statement yesterday, the WHO added a few details on the MERS case in a 55-year-old man in Qatar, which was announced Feb 1 by the nation’s Supreme Council of Health. The WHO said he is a foreigner living in the city of Al-Shahaniya who fell ill on Jan 28 and was hospitalized Feb 1.

The man, who is in stable condition, often had contact with camels and goats but has no other known risk factors for MERs and no comorbidities, the WHO said.

The WHO’s current MERS count is 977 confirmed cases, with at least 359 deaths.

via Saudi Arabia reports 12 MERS cases; UAE adds 1 | CIDRAP.

Childhood friends wed after being reunited on blind date 23 years later: Shanghaiist

A man and woman in Jiangyin city, Jiangsu province who first met as kids during a photo shoot and then again on a blind date 23 years later recently tied the knot.

Twenty-seven-year old Liu Tao told reporters that one summer when he was four, the three-year-old daughter of his father’s classmate came to his father’s photo studio and the two were photographed together, People’s Daily reports.

via Childhood friends wed after being reunited on blind date 23 years later: Shanghaiist.