MUHAMAD ALOTHMAN WRITES– Kuwait and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November of 2018, in Beijing. This non- binding agreement gives Kuwait the opportunity to expand and even become a leading global financial hub in the Gulf. Oil prices, Kuwait’s main source of income, have been declining over the…Full Article Kuwait: Dreams of ‘Silk City’
AASHNA MALPANI WRITES– Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, victims of Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing, are packed into refugee camps just 20 miles from the city of Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh. Their everyday life is riddled with little access to education and restricted cellular reception. And they are social pariahs. “The average…Full Article BANGLADESH: Rohingya Exodus – What’s Happening in Cox’s Bazar?
(Certain names in the story have been shortened to protect the person’s identity.) AASHNA MALPANI WRITES– I hear a piercing wail in the background. My source puts the phone on hold for a minute, then returns with apologies: “Sometimes I wish I never had him.” She sounds exasperated, complaining about…Full Article INDIA: Postpartum Depression, Women, and the Indian Society in Between
KAISARA WALTON WRITES — Bangladesh’s government recently enacted a controversial new law, the Digital Security Act, invoking sections of the colonial era 1989 Official Secrets Act, which included restrictions in freedom of the press. Press releases from other entities such as the US, the EU, and human rights activists have…Full Article Bangladesh: The Fight for Free Speech & Media
AASHNA MALPANI WRITES — On September 6, India’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of legalizing consensual same-sex relations by striking down a draconian law that deemed LGBT Indians to be “against the order of nature.” The landmark ruling marks the culmination of decade-long protests staged by gay Indians and…Full Article But Modi Ji, What About India’s LGBT Population?
Courtesy of the East West Center: From Singapore, 30 June 2018—From the Himalayas to the Korean DMZ to the South China Sea, the balance of power in Asia appears to be shifting. But beneath the rhetoric, have the fundamentals really changed? At this past week’s 2018 East-West Center International Media…Full Article SINGAPORE: EAST WEST CENTER MEDIA CONFERENCE OFFERS OPTIMISTIC VIEWS IN CONTRAST TO MEDIA’S GENERAL SKEPTICISM
DELANEY DEWHURST WRITES–Paying for Facebook–a thought that probably hasn’t crossed most people’s minds. It’s a given that you log on at no cost to connect with family and friends by sharing photos, videos and updates on your life. Yet across the globe in Bangladesh, talks are underway about putting a…Full Article BANGLADESH: ‘DIGITAL OPIUM ADDICTION’, THE TEENAGE TECHNO-RELIGIONS OF THE PEOPLE
MURAD BASRAWI WRITES—Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for women’s education and the youngest person to receive a Nobel Peace Prize, arrived in Islamabad, Pakistan this past month, six years after she was shot by the Taliban for advocating for women’s education. Security was tight when Yousafzai and her family arrived…Full Article PAKISTAN: Malala Yousafzai Comes Back to Pakistan Six Years Later After Attack
YOUSEF AL HOMAIDHI WRITES — Aadhar is an ambitious project started by the Government of India which functions under the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and came into existence in 2009. Aadhar is a 12-digit unique identification number that is given to each and every citizen by UIDAI. It…Full Article INDIA: NOT UNLIKE FACEBOOK, WILL ‘AADHAR’ PROVE A BOON OR A CURSE?
MURAD BASRAWI WRITES – Pakistan faces a growing problem with people disposing garbage, toxic household waste, and chemicals in public areas. In response, some areas in Pakistan are urgently passing laws banning the dumping of garbage in public places, reports Dawn, the widely respected newspaper published in Islamabad. The province…Full Article PAKISTAN: WHAT COLOSSAL WASTE IN AN OTHERWISE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY
DIANA JABLONSKI WRITES – Riots and protesting broke out in India last month against the release of the controversial Bollywood film “Padmaavat.” Protesters have filled streets, vandalized cinemas, ransacked shops, burned vehicles, and called for the film’s ban. In fact, protests started a year before the film’s release, with vandals…Full Article INDIA: PADMAAVAT FILM LEADS TO CONTROVERSY REGARDING RELIGION
FASSA SAR WRITES – Arunachalam Murugunatham’s community once even labeled him a pervert when he decided to create a low-cost sanitary pad for women in rural India. He noticed that the women’s menstrual cycles were considered so taboo, it led to women using old rags, sand, leaves and even ash…Full Article FILM: WHOEVER SAID INDIA HAS NO SENSITIVE MALES?
MURAD BASRAWI WRITES – Pakistan has condemned Indian soldiers for the brutal killing of three innocent civilians, and the injury of several others, in the Ganowpora Village of Shopian—a district in India-Occupied Kashmir this past month. Pakistan’s Foreign Office in Islamabad delivered an angry statement to the media claiming that…Full Article PAKISTAN: MORE CIVILIAN KILLINGS, MORE CONDEMNATIONS – WILL IT NEVER END?
AASHNA MALPANI WRITES – Stories of harassment and violence in India made headlines all over the world again when a Swiss couple was brutally assaulted by a group of five young men at Fatehpur Sikri near Agra late last month. Marie Droz and Quentin Jérémy Clerc, both 24, decided on…Full Article INDIA: INDIA HATES WOMEN (EVEN MORE) WHEN THEY’RE WITH THE OPPOSITE SEX
FASSA SAR WRITES – Films that are bold enough to retrace the disheartening memories of those who died and survived during authoritarian regimes, civil wars and genocide expose the silenced wounds of history. “First They Killed My Father,” directed by Angelina Jolie and produced by legendary cambodian filmmaker, Rithy Panh,…Full Article FILM: HOLLYWOOD’S TAKE ON KHMER ROUGE
AASHNA MALPANI WRITES – Muslim women in India took the lead in changing the tone of the narrative from being a victim to an activist. The women united against the disputed practice of “triple talaq”—an Islamic law that allows men to split from their wives by saying the Arabic word…Full Article INDIA: HOW TO DIVORCE IN UNDER 3 SECONDS – THE TRIPLE TALAQ LAW