Search Results: Syria

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Human rights viewed from a Swiss mountaintop

    • Pat Walsh
    • 05 June 2013
    5 Comments

    The weather seemed to express the mood of this city of international public servants paid to resolve the world's problem. Over dinner we discussed health and human rights for remote rural communities in the poorest corners of the world. That's Geneva: clean, ordered, pretty, earnest, and struggling to make the world in its image.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Pilgrims in the landscape of lament

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 19 April 2013
    7 Comments

    He was the same age as me and had the same name. But he looked old. He'd left Nigeria and walked to Macedonia; four years of walking. His feet were covered in callouses, dried and thickened. In the course of these wanderings he had been kidnapped, beaten and starved. The irregular migrants in Macedonia have come to the end of the road.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Post-Saddam Iraq defined by division

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 20 March 2013
    1 Comment

    One Christian engineer remembers celebrating religious festivals with his Muslim neighbours. They in turn would celebrate Christmas with him. Such interfaith experiences are almost unknown now. Iraqis tell me that at least under Saddam you knew where the boundaries were. Now there is uncertainty and indiscriminate violence.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Israel's emotional pull on Australian Jews

    • Philip Mendes
    • 26 February 2013
    12 Comments

    Some Jewish Australians bring from their childhoods in tranquil Australia a special degree of idealism and innocence to their involvement in homeland conflicts. It may be this, rather than spy-catcher conspiracy theories, which best explains what happened to Ben Zygier and other young Australians who have died in conflicts in the Middle East.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seekers stiffed by election year spin

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 11 February 2013
    16 Comments

    The ad hoc nature of arrangements for asylum seekers in Nauru and PNG reveal that priorities are being determined by election dates rather than respect for human dignity and international human rights laws. The latest Coalition idea to interdict boats from Sri Lanka outside our territorial waters and send them back is particularly ill-considered.

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  • RELIGION

    Moving on from a soiled 2012

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 December 2012
    12 Comments

    We might associate the world events of 2012 with the worsening threat of global warming and continuing misery of Syria; Australian politics with the misery inflicted on asylum seekers; the Church through the lens of sex abuse. That is why in New Year celebrations the old year is ritually banished and the new welcomed. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's cluster munitions shame

    • Michael Mullins
    • 22 October 2012
    8 Comments

    As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Australia has the opportunity to make a substantial contribution to creating a better world. Foreign Minister Bob Carr declared Australia a 'fine global citizen'. Yet last Wednesday, we cynically ratified the international treaty to ban cluster munitions after legislating to create a loophole that will undermine the treaty's effectiveness. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rise of the Kurds in Syria

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 10 October 2012
    4 Comments

    It is not only Arabs that stand to benefit from the Arab Spring. Kurdish autonomy has long been a desire of the Kurds, who are spread through Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. In Syria, while the Assad regime is occupied by rebel groups in Aleppo and Damascus, the Kurds are establishing their own armed security in their areas.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Life in the Ramadan fasting lane

    • Pat Walsh
    • 05 September 2012
    2 Comments

    The fasting rule is interpreted flexibly. You are free not to fast if you have to travel, are pregnant, old, little, sick, or basically have a good excuse. Ironically, Ramadan can also involve an enormous amount of cooking, late night and pre-dawn binges. Households buy up. Restaurants offer discounts. One hotel lobby was decked out like Mecca.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How not to have a revolution

    • Justin Whelan
    • 23 August 2012
    6 Comments

    Syria was touted as an example of the limits of nonviolent struggle against a ruthless dictator. Now it is fast becoming a case study on the even greater strategic weaknesses of violence. As the nonviolent movement came under sustained repression, some people decided to take up arms, and opened a Pandora's Box.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia and other arms rogues

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 06 August 2012
    4 Comments

    A long-standing principle of arms control is that some regimes deserve lethal weapons, and others do not. But who is or is not a desirable dealer is often an open question. Australia adds to the confusion: one Brisbane weapon-maker's claim to fame is the creation of an electronic gun capable of firing a million bullets a minute.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's the point of the Olympics?

    • Fatima Measham
    • 01 August 2012
    16 Comments

    The games are an escapist spectacle, where the flags of Iran, Palestine and Syria flutter without irony alongside those of the US, Israel and Turkey, and delegates from Spain and Greece wave as if their nation's economies have not fractured the Eurozone. The dissonance between the games and reality has become hard to ignore.

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