Tag Archives: culture

Suspend Saudi Arabia from the Human Rights Council

Suspend Saudi Arabia from the Human Rights Council

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The al-Shaymeh Education Complex for Girls after it was struck by missiles fired by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition

We just called for the UN General Assembly to suspend Saudi Arabia from the world’s top human rights body.

Help us do more to champion human rights. Donate now.

This is intolerable.

Saudi Arabia has used its position on the UN Human Rights Council to shield itself from human rights investigations.

Since joining the Council in 2013, Saudi Arabia’s dire human rights record at home has plummeted, and the government has also led a devastating campaign of unlawful airstrikes against civilians in the next-door country of Yemen.

Help support our work to demand that Saudi Arabia’s government respects human rights. We are pressuring all UN member states to take action.

The list of violations is long:

    • More than 350 people – including children – have been executed In Saudi Arabia since it was elected to the Council.
    • Saudi Arabia used its membership on the council to derail a resolution that would have investigated war crimes by the Saudi-led military coalition that bombed Yemen.
  • Human rights activists in Saudi Arabia have been harshly sentenced for peacefully expressing their opinions. Since 2014, Saudi’s Specialized Criminal Court has sentenced hundreds of activists – including Raif Badawi and his lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair – to lengthy prison terms, and even to death, after grossly unfair trials. In May 2014, Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for blogging about religious freedom.

The international community – including the United States and the U.K – has been deafeningly silent. President Obama even sold Saudi Arabia a billion dollars in additional bombs.

When it comes to Saudi Arabia, we must make sure the international community does not put business and arms deals before human rights. Donate now.

I hope you’ll be part of our efforts.

Sincerely,

Sunjeev Bery
Advocacy Director, Middle East North Africa
Amnesty International USA

1960s Zanzibar a happy Island – Cultures Exposures – ViWiDA-USA

Cultures Exposures
Expose yourself to different cultures and appreciate humans as they are. It is the elimination of racial differences

Intended to educate and empower the followers about other people cultures in order to gain knowledge, which may come in handy when visiting, or doing business in an environment where they differ in cultures and/or, in places where cultures and religion may seem to intertwine when compared to their own cultures.


We have started a new endeavor in order to include our wonderful community in the chance to bring about miracles and to help others.


Paying Tribute to Prince — RIP Prince!

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Week-end Cultures Exposed @viwidausa.org –

VIWIDA-USA improves and enriches the life experiences of women, youth and underprivileged individuals across the globe.

“Communities that give their daughters the same opportunities as their sons, they are more peaceful, they are more prosperous, they develop faster, they are more likely to succeed.” — President Barack Obama, July 26, 2015

#Empowering women and youth with education and life changing programs; thus, empowering communities economically @viwidausa.org

Victory Women in Development Association (ViWiDA)-USA is a nonprofit organization enriching the lives of women, youth, and underprivileged individuals in international and local communities by providing social, academic, and business programs that help participants gain skills, foster self- sufficiency and sustainable economic development.

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Eid al-Adha, The Greater Eid and Yom Kippur completes the period of High Holy Days

This whole week and its weekend turned out to be Holy Days for those who are believers in Jewish and Islamic faith. As Hajj concludes, the Muslims are celebrating holiday Eid al-Adha this weekend; and Yom Kippur completes the period of High Holy Days.

The Greater Eid commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to Allah – and Allah’s mercy in putting a lamb in Ishmael’s place at the last moment. Eid also marks the end of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia undertaken by about 1.5 million Muslims.

According to scholars, the Greater Eid is the opportunity to give and forgive and reminisce about the story of the great sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him). The celebrations are interrelated with worship in Islam and are meant to develop and achieve piety, and make Muslims closer to God Almighty

In the meantime, Yom Kippur completes the period of High Holy Days for the Jewish community. Ten days of reflection and repentance that began with Rosh Hashanah end today, on Friday, with the arrival of Yom Kippur at sundown. The High Holy Days is a period of introspection — a time when Jews ask God and acquaintances for forgiveness for wrongs committed during the past year, said Rabbi Debbie Stiel, of Temple Beth Sholom.                                                                http://m.cjonline.com/life/religion/2014-09-19/high-holy-days-begin-sundown-wednesday#gsc.tab=0

One of the secrets of this day, sometimes referred to in whispers as “Yom HaKadosh” (“The Holy Day”) is that it allows Jewish believers to begin again. This is a day for transformation, a day to let go of the past and to set new, real, achievable goals toward being servants of God. “This is a time to begin again, particularly regarding our efforts to begin again. Like Aaron we must bury the approaches, the context and past years. It’s time to dress in white both metaphorically and actually and to start on starting again”.
Secrets Of The Holy Day Wed, 10/01/2014 Rabbi Neil Fleischmann Special To The Jewish Week
http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial-opinion/sabbath-week/secrets-holy-day

“And Aaron is to come to the Tent of Meeting and remove the linen garments that he had put on before entering the Sanctuary, and he is to leave them there” [Leviticus 16:23].


Eid al-Adha, The Greater Eid
According to Islamic tradition, approximately four thousand years ago, the valley of Mecca (in present-day Saudi Arabia) was a dry, rocky and uninhabited place. God instructed Abraham to bring Hagar (Hājar), his Arabian (Adnan) wife, and Ishmael, his only child at the time, to Arabia from the land of Canaan.[citation needed]
As Abraham was preparing for his return journey back to Canaan, Hagar asked him, “Did God order you to leave us here? Or are you leaving us here to die.” Abraham didn’t even look back. He just nodded, afraid that he would be too sad and that he would disobey God. Hagar said, “Then God will not waste us; you can go”. Though Abraham had left a large quantity of food and water with Hagar and Ishmael, the supplies quickly ran out, and within a few days the two began to feel the pangs of hunger and dehydration.
Hagar ran up and down between two hills called Al-Safa and Al-Marwah seven times, in her desperate quest for water. Exhausted, she finally collapsed beside her baby Ishmael and prayed to God for deliverance. Miraculously, a spring of water gushed forth from the earth at the feet of baby Ishmael. Other accounts have the angel Gabriel (Jibrail) striking the earth and causing the spring to flow in abundance. With this secure water supply, known as the Zamzam Well, they were not only able to provide for their own needs, but were also able to trade water with passing nomads for food and supplies.
Years later, Abraham was instructed by God to return from Canaan to build a place of worship adjacent to Hagar’s well (the Zamzam Well). Abraham and Ishmael constructed a stone and mortar structure – known as the Kaaba – which was to be the gathering place for all who wished to strengthen their faith in God. As the years passed, Ishmael was blessed with prophethood (Nubuwwah) and gave the nomads of the desert his message of submission to God. After many centuries, Mecca became a thriving desert city and a major center for trade, thanks to its reliable water source, the well of Zamzam.
One of the main trials of Abraham’s life was to face the command of God to devote his dearest possession, his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to God’s will. During this preparation, Satan (Shaitan) tempted Abraham and his family by trying to dissuade them from carrying out God’s commandment, and Ibrahim drove Satan away by throwing pebbles at him. In commemoration of their rejection of Satan, stones are thrown at symbolic pillars signifying Satan during the Hajj rites.
When Ishmael was about 13 (Abraham being 99), God decided to test their faith in public. Abraham had a recurring dream, in which God was commanding him to offer up for sacrifice – an unimaginable act – his son, whom God had granted him after many years of deep prayer. Abraham knew that the dreams of the prophets were divinely inspired, and one of the ways in which God communicated with his prophets. When the intent of the dreams became clear to him, Abraham decided to fulfill God’s command and offer Ishmael for sacrifice.
Although Abraham was ready to sacrifice his dearest for God’s sake, he could not just bring his son to the place of sacrifice without his consent. Ishmael had to be consulted as to whether he was willing to give up his life in fulfillment of God’s command. This consultation would be a major test of Ishmael’s maturity in faith; love and commitment for God; willingness to obey his father; and readiness to sacrifice his own life for the sake of God.
Abraham presented the matter to his son and asked for his opinion about the dreams of slaughtering him. Ishmael did not show any hesitation or reservation even for a moment. He said, “Father, do what you have been commanded. You will find me, Insha’Allah (God willing), to be very patient.” His mature response, his deep insight into the nature of his father’s dreams, his commitment to God, and ultimately his willingness to sacrifice his own life for the sake of God were all unprecedented.
When Abraham attempted to cut Ishmael’s throat, he was astonished to see that Ishmael was unharmed and instead, he found a dead ram which was slaughtered. Abraham had passed the test by his willingness to carry out God’s command.[1][13]
This is mentioned in the Quran as follows:
100 “O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!”
101 So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.
102 Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: “O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!” (The son) said: “O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!”
103 So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),
104 We called out to him “O Abraham!
105 “Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!” – thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
106 For this was obviously a trial–
107 And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:
108 And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:
109 “Peace and salutation to Abraham!”
110 Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
111 For he was one of our believing Servants.
112 And We gave him the good news of Isaac – a prophet – one of the Righteous.
—Quran, sura 37 (As-Saaffat), ayat 100–112[14]
Abraham had shown that his love for God superseded all others: that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dearest to him in submission to God’s command. Muslims commemorate this ultimate act of sacrifice every year during Eid al-Adha.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_al-Adha

The Rights of the Child-CRC25 Google+ Hangout – 24 September 2014 -Children fr Tanzania@UN

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRC/Pages/CRC25thAnniversary.aspx
Celebrating 25 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child! The children expected to participate are from: Australia, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Gambia, Japan, Lebanon, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, Tanzania,Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay and Yemen.
No matter where you are or how old you are, watch online and send your comments. Use #CRC25 and follow United Nations Human Rights.
On 24 September 2014 the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) will dedicate a day to speak with children (defined as in the Convention on the Rights of the Child as persons under the age of 18) from 14 different countries. There will be four sessions during the day so that the Committee can speak to children in different timezones.

Free Online Business Course @Stanford 4people who want to start startups

Free business course is offered at Stanford for people who want to start any business. The course are scheduled for Fall starting 9/23/14 to 12/4/14. After the in-person lectures every Tuesday and Thursday, all lecture videos will be uploaded to this site http://startupclass.samaltman.com/ –  Hundreds of universities are organizing groups to watch the videos together, as well as peer evaluate the projects. See if your university already has a group, and if not, apply to be a leader. If it does, you’ll be able to sign up for that shortly!

In addition to the mailing list and Facebook group, a discussion forum will be set up specifically for students following along to discuss the contents of the lecture. Join either of the groups to get updated when that is live, as well as when the first lecture video is put online!

http://www.fastcompany.com/

Y Combinator is taking its entrepreneurship lessons into the classroom. The accelerator said Tuesday its president, Sam Altman, will teach a class at Stanford this fall for budding startup founders. The instruction and course material will be made available online and free of charge.

Altman, a Stanford dropout himself, said the class is designed to be a single business course for entrepreneurs, covering about 30% of what a startup founder needs to know–the other 70% is unique to the startup’s product and situation. His favorite professor from Stanford, Mehran Sahami, is the faculty sponsor for the class. “He is like a legend,” says Altman.

The course, offered through the computer science department for two credits, will cover how to raise money, hire, grow a user base, leverage marketing, build company culture, execute business strategy, and more. In total, it will cover about 1,000 minutes of content in 20 videos, which Altman will post to his personal website.

http://startupclass.samaltman.com/

Videos of the lectures, associated reading materials, and assignments will all be available here. There will be 20 videos, some with a speaker or two and some with a small panel. It’ll be 1,000 minutes of content if you watch it all.

We’ll cover how to come up with ideas and evaluate them, how to get users and grow, how to do sales and marketing, how to hire, how to raise money, company culture, operations and management, business strategy, and more.

You can’t teach everything necessary to succeed in starting a company, but I suspect we can teach a surprising amount. We’ve tried to take some of the best speakers from the past 9 years of Y Combinator dinners and arrange them in a way that will hopefully make sense.

We’re doing this because we believe helping a lot of people be better at starting companies will be good for everyone. It will hopefully be valuable even for people who don’t want to start startups.

Talks like these have really helped Y Combinator founders create their companies. We hope you find it helpful too!

-Sam

 

Time 4 Action YALI And YSEALI – TAKE ON LINE COURSES

Our Leaders Can’t Finish This Job Without Your Actions YOUTH!
The next phase of Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) to develop a prestigious network of leaders across critical sectors, cement stronger ties to the United States, and offer follow-on leadership opportunities in Africa, with the goal of strengthening democratic institutions and spurring economic growth is upon us; thus, we urge YOUTH and these

Young African leaders who visited the World Bank in July, and gave their views on Africa’s development, their role and what they’d like to see come out of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Forum to act NOW!.

Our leaders can’t finish this work without your participation in action. If you don’t know where to start; how about herehttps://youngafricanleaders.state.gov/resources/take-an-online-course/

‘The courses are very easy any high school student can pass. I took the first course and it took me less than 15 minutes to learn and take the test. Very easy, I would urge most youth who come into contact of this message to register for YALI network, or Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, whichever apply. To do so will empower our youth around the globe economically” …dwalton

Take an Online Course
3 Steps to Online Learning:
1. Register for a YALI Network account.
2. Complete one of the YALI Network courses below by watching, listening to or reading the three lectures associated with each course.
3. Earn a YALI Network Certificate* by passing the quizzes after each lecture and the test after each course.
4. *Download a YALI Network Certificate for each course from the website or your email after you pass the test.
For more online learning opportunities, check out the YALI Network collection of massive open online courses (MOOCs).
Here are some of the courses that will benefit you.
Business and Entrepreneurship Course
1776 Co-Founder Evan Burfield breaks down the basics of starting and growing a business including how to develop a great pitch. Complete all three lecture quizzes and pass the test to earn a YALI Network Certificate in Business and Entrepreneurship.
Civic Leadership Course
Independent NGO Consultant Hilary Binder-Aviles offers practical advice for running an effective NGO including how to draft and implement work plans. Complete all three lecture quizzes and pass the test to earn a YALI Network Certificate in Civic Leadership.
Public Management Course
Dr. Eric Bing, a Senior Fellow in Global Health with the George W. Bush Institute and a Professor of Global Health at Southern Methodist University, describes a successful public-private partnership. Complete all three lecture quizzes and pass the test to earn a YALI Network Certificate in Public Management.
Leadership Course
Dr. D. Christopher Kayes, a Professor of Management at George Washington University, presents basic leadership concepts including the differences between leadership and management. Complete all three lecture quizzes and pass the test to earn a YALI Network Certificate in Leadership.

https://youngafricanleaders.state.gov/resources/take-an-online-course/

Our OWFI Sisters In Iraq Need Your Urgent Support

Our OWFI Sisters In Iraq Need Your Urgent Support

The situation in Iraq is shocking and brutal. Our sisters are being murdered, raped, sold and held hostage. They have asked for our help.

By donating to the Rising Fund you will immediately benefit women on the ground. 100% of donations will go directly to these efforts via the Organization of Women’s Freedom Iraq (OWFI). Please consider donating whatever you can – everything and anything will help.

Long time V-Day sister Yanar Mohammed from OWFI wrote last night:

Dear Friends in V-Day,

Here in Iraq, we are shocked every other day with a new massacre. After ISIS invaded the city of Mosul, one city fell after the other, and the political and military establishment in Iraq turned out to be a joke, but a bad one, for which millions of Iraqis had to pay the price.

In the following weeks of June, “Sunni” ISIS attacked the Turkomen Shia of the city of Telafar and caused the mass immigration of hundreds of thousands. After killing hundreds of the men, and kidnapping their wives and sisters and detaining them in what is similar to concentration camps; in schools, a movie theater building and in the airport. Hundreds of women were destined to becoming sexual slaves and human shields in this city.

In July, many cities of Western Iraq were invaded also, Tikrit and Baiji where the oil fields were taken, and tens of thousands of residents turned into refugees.

Our OWFI branch in the city of Hawija was flooded by refugee women and their children, who were sheltered in our offices, and then distributed to the houses of our supporters. And Hawija also fell under ISIS control, but with less atrocities, because many of the locals joined ISIS ranks, due to the previous oppression of the Iraqi government to them. Still, an ISIS leader came to our office and questioned our representative ms. Khadija Husein angrily, asking where her financing was from. The locals defended her, saying that her services were very important and that they need it. Therefore, OWFI has a branch which is open and functioning under the Islamic State now.

SUPPORT WOMEN IN IRAQ, DONATE NOW

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Share the facts about Ebola and help stop the spread of this disease.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is something that matters to all of us, and President Obama is asking you, as leaders in your communities, to share the facts about Ebola and help stop the spread of this disease.

Watch or listen to his message to you here:
youngafricanleaders.state.gov/CDCyalichat/

As President Obama asks in the video, take a few moments to learn the facts about Ebola and inform others.

Here are some of the facts on symptoms and preventions of Ebola from last week’s #YALICHAT with medical experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the CDC, here are the four ways to protect yourself:

  1. Practice good hygiene.
  2. Avoid contact with bodily fluids of infected persons.
  3. Don’t handle the body of an Ebola fatality.
  4. Avoid contact with nonhuman primates and bats, their meat and their bodily fluids.

Ebola is not spread by air or water, but it can spread through direct contact with objects that have been contaminated with the virus, such as, blankets, linens, utensils, etc.

Also remember that anyone who is sick with Ebola can spread the virus. If someone you know is exhibiting the following symptoms, he or she should be quarantined at a health facility to receive proper treatment and to avoid the spread of the disease. Symptoms are: a fever greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F, a severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or unexplained hemorrhage.

Be a part of the solution. Share this graphic with Ebola facts with your family, friends and community.
Be a part of the solution. Share this graphic with Ebola facts with your family, friends and community.

For details about Ebola, follow this link:

youngafricanleaders.state.gov/CDCyalichat/

Live Coverage: Nelson Mandela Memorial Service&OBAMA’s Speech

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Celebrating one of his personal heroes, President Barack Obama praised Nelson Mandela as the last great liberator of the 20th century, urging the world to carry on his legacy by fighting inequality, poverty and discrimination.
At a memorial service in Johannesburg, Obama compared the former South African President to Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln.
“For nothing he achieved was inevitable,” Obama said. “In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness, persistence and faith. He tells us what’s possible not just in the pages of dusty history books, but in our own lives as well.”
The crowd at the half-filled stadium erupted in applause each time Obama’s name was mentioned or his image was shown on the screen. Dozens gathered below the box seats where Obama and other U.S. presidents sat, waving and snapping pictures of the leaders.
As if to underscore the spirit of reconciliation that Mandela’s life embodied, Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro as he made his way down a line of world leaders gathered to honor the anti-apartheid leader. It was a rare moment of accord for the leaders of the two Cold War enemies.
Calling himself a beneficiary of Mandela’s struggle, Obama traced the influence that Mandela’s story has had on his own life, disclosing that he asks himself how well he’s applied Mandela’s lessons to himself as a man and as president.
He said in the U.S., South Africa and around the world, people must not allow progress that’s been made to cloud the fact that more work must be done.
“We, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality,” Obama said, referring to Mandela by his traditional clan name.
Extolling Mandela as practical but unyielding on his core principles, Obama said it was because Mandela could admit to being imperfect that the world loved him and continues to learn so much from his example. “He was not a bust made of marble. He was a man of flesh and blood,” Obama said.
He said Mandela had changed both laws and hearts, inspiring those around him by reconciling with the jailers who kept him prisoner for 27 years. In trusting others despite the injustices he suffered, Mandela showed that the cruelty of the past must be confronted with truth, generosity and inclusion, Obama said.
“We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again,” Obama said. “But let me say to the people of Africa, and young people around the world: You can make his life’s work your own.”
Joining Obama on the 16-hour trip from Washington for the ceremony were first lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter also attended the memorial service.
___
Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC