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  • Meet the man crowd-funding Gaza's first English library

    Beit Lahia, Gaza - Escaping the confines of the besieged Gaza Strip, often described as an "open-air prison", is a nearly impossible dream for many of its two million residents.

    But 24-year-old Mosab Abu Toha has found a way to free himself - through books.
    "Freedom is a state of mind. [With books], you're liberating yourself by living in an imaginary world where there are no boundaries ... If I choose to be free, I can be free through my writing, through speaking," Abu Toha told Al Jazeera.

    As an English literature graduate, he has a thirst for books that has always been difficult to quench in Gaza, where new English books are hard to find. PDF files are not a great alternative, as Gaza suffers from frequent, lengthy power cuts. Read more

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  • Hero dad adopts 22 HIV-positive children who were abandoned by their parents

    Rajib Thomas – or Papa Reji, as he is known to his adoptive family – has done something pretty extraordinary.

    He has adopted 22 children who were abandoned by their parents after being diagnosed with HIV, and brought them to live in his Mumbai home.

    Despite already have two biological teenage kids, he looks after the children's healthcare and education, while his wife Mini Reji cooks them all three meals a day.

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  • Social welfare, wealth, ‘rent seeking’; on the ground

    I was on the way to work; I heard beggars sit here and there on pedestrian route; saying, “in the name of God, please throw my daily meal!” Despite the fact that it’s the very truth and is global phenomenon that to see a beggar on streets outpouring for a bunch of bread; ever before and then after, there were questions that stuck in my mind; are we, Ethiopians on the right truck to welfare? Is there a tale or fact that Ethiopia is one of the countries in the world registering skyrocketing growth and taken as a model economy for other nations? Or is the deeply rooted poverty and undernourishment many are facing in Ethiopia part and parcel of the growth or any other else? – Mind accentuates!

    According to Economists, Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith for instance affirmed in their book entitled ‘Economic Development’, “over 40% of the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day, part of a condition of absolute poverty, a situation of being unable to meet the minimum levels of income, food, clothing, healthcare, shelter, and other essentials. An examination of these global differences in living standards is revealing.”

    Accordingly, in Ethiopia the fact on the ground can be a testimony for the current poverty level of the country; which is unbalanced. Many are still under deep poverty, lives in slum or squatter habitats hidden behind some commercial buildings of Addis Abeba the diplomatic capital of Africa. Street and highways are filled with boys and girls who are forced to spend the whole night in chill even in rainy seasons. For these reasons, most of the times they tend to develop addictive behavior by different hallucinogens including smoking Benzene to fill warmth and protect themselves from harsh weather condition. At the same time they began to look for another way round to coup up with life, stealing by force either physical attack or hanging, which is the social manic.

    Elderly peoples above 65 years old who unable to work any labor intensive jobs due to naturally deteriorated health and force obliged to live with begging; suffering from starvation, where there are no any support from their siblings, that there is no any social security as such handful to say, regardless of the role from charitable organizations.

    Although, various buildings, roads and other infrastructures have been constructed in the country especially in the capital Addis, and it was reported that, Ethiopia is number one in Africa in its increment by number of millionaires. However, many comments that government is using this and the like for the sake of reaping its political benefit, reality on the ground is however seem far from this and even looks time taking.
    There still ambiguities are for that matter where ‘millionaires’ become wealthy by what EPRDF dubbed as “Rent Seeking”. For instance, the former authorities of Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority and heads of the National Security and Intelligence Service were accused of many criminal charges in relation with corruption. Prior to the process of the charges, it was reported that Police exhibited millions of Birr, US Dollars and Pounds from their house.

    This reminds me a joke once my colleague told me; there was one government official who was giving a workshop on the devastating impacts of corruption to the country’s development with analysis with commitment, and told to the peoples who have gathered there, “Corruption is just like an Ostrich, an animal with long neck, he said, “once upon a time there was this Ostrich went to a grassland seeking for some food, a moment after bad thing happen where it took a look at Hyena approaching him to snatch it as a daily blessed hunt. Immediately, the Ostrich began to run away from that ugly Hyena and manage to hide somewhere to escape, and buried its neck in the hole. Despite of its attempt, the Hyena doesn’t consume time to look for the ‘missed’ one; it walked carefully by not making any din. And finally, the Ostrich got bitten behind by the Hyena.” The official concluded his words and warned personnel’s gathered there, “those of you, who buried your neck; although your neck buried, you can’t escape from us; we will bite your back”, he aphorized.

    Here is the surprise, after sometimes, the speaker of this maxim himself charged for bribery. Those who were there listening to him asked bizarrely how it could be?
    As far as the writer’s argument is concerned, fair wealth distribution on basis of social benefit that common good is addressed well; pure and critical sources of wealth with their colliding of the so called “rent seeking” state should be seem very well, than what is seen on the ground.

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  • Brazilian pensioner becomes world’s oldest fiancée after getting engaged at the age of 106

    A Brazilian pensioner has defied doctors to become the oldest person to get engaged at the age of 106.
    Valdemira Rodrigues de Oliveira said yes to her 66-year-old toyboy Aparecido Dias Jacob at a ceremony despite being given advice by physicians not to go ahead with it.
    The smitten seniors with the combined age of 172 years have separate rooms at Nossa Senhora Fatima retirement home in Pirassununga, south east Brazil, and were determined to prove it's never too late to be with your soulmate after three years together.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4187466/The-world-s-oldest-fiancee-gets-engaged-106.html#ixzz4XuOLlMa4
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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  • Nanny Donates Portion of Liver to Save 16-Month-Old's Life

    A 16-month-old New Jersey girl's life has been saved by her nanny, a University of Pennsylvania student who donated a portion of her liver to aid the child.

    Kiersten Miles had only known the Rosko family, of Jackson, for three weeks when she learned that baby Talia had a serious disease that could turn fatal if she didn't receive a liver transplant.

    Wanting to help and knowing that her O blood type was compatible, 22-year-old Miles started researching living organ donation.

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  • Ethiopia - Timket in the City of Gondar 2017

    Timket means to be immersed in water in the ancient Ge'ez of the Horn of Africa and is the name of the yearly  Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebration which attracts a record number of tourists to Ethiopia every January.

    Hotels are booked long in advance and rooms in Gondar and Lalibela are very hard to find in short notice notwithstanding the new entrants to the lodging industry in those towns. 

    This documentary of the 2017 Timket celebration on January 20, begins with an interview of a visitor to Ethiopia who speaks in Amharic and is involved in producing media about Ethiopian tourist attractions. He expresses his joy in taking part in the rich ceremonies.

    EBC interviews a man who says it is his first time and that he is happy with what he has seen here. Views of the castle grounds and religious music are in the background. Timket is celebrated here as in many of the Ethiopian towns to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ in his early 30s. An older priest explains the significance of the event. Tourists take pictures and celebrate alongside celebrants of the event. People in yellow roll carpets in advance of a procession of people dressed in white and golden colored embroidery.

    Many Tourists are interviewed as well as an official who talks mainly about the preparation that went into the event and the specific crowd control measures that were taken. A young woman with a colorful umbrella talks about dance, the poetry the posturing she says it is very beautiful.

    A tourist who spontaneously decided to come to Ethiopia with her friends is dressed in an Ethiopian outfit and says that Ethiopians have a deep tradition and that they must preserve it.

    All of this is a sort of spiritual riches says a seated man in a suit who is interviewed by EBC. Later on, a priest of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church preaches in a soothing voice about the importance of agreement and peace. People must listen to their spiritual fathers who instruct them about this celebration and it is good that everyone including government officials celebrates side by side, he says.

    One woman in a blue dress is a bit pessimistic about the whole thing. “Our tradition is getting a bit slower and we are preparing to heat things up next year with traditional dresses and other things,” she says while standing inside the castle grounds.

    Another interviewee, a middle-aged man in a suit, talks about the effort being made to get the Timket celebration registered as a Unesco Heritage Site.

    Priests face each other and engage in a spiritually moving, rhythmic dance accompanied by two men with large drums.


    By Jialiang Gao www.peace-on-earth.org - Original Photograph, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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