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“Scandal for the soul”: giving a voice to Palestinian suffering through literature

After spending several months in the West Bank, one quickly learns that the Palestinians are creative and resourceful with a huge thirst for knowledge- so when I heard about Palfest, a travelling literature festival, I was both intrigued and excited. Palfest, or the Palestine Literature Festival as it is also known, has been running annually since 2008. Previous participants read like a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the literary world:

Blog written by A.N.S. and published on 14-July-2014

Losing the game: human rights violations and football

Brazilians love football. Being no exception to the rule, I can spend hours discussing why it is one of the most beautiful and democratic sports on the planet. It would have to be, to move the hearts of over half of the World’s population. That being said, the World Cup organization in Brazil and Qatar have tarnished the beauty of the sport with a gruesome series of human rights violations. Recently Brazil was given a “yellow...

Blog written by Natasha Leite and published on 11-July-2014

Is Kenya on the brink of violence?

The largest incidence of post-election violence in Kenya happened in 2007/2008 after a highly contested general election between the major protagonists Mr. Mwai Kibaki of the Party of National Unity (PNU) and Mr. Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). The violence erupted immediately after the Electoral Commission Chairman announced Mr. Kibaki as the winner, prompting supporters of Odinga to protest. The protests which were dubbed peaceful took another twist when supporters o...

Blog written by Victor Oteku and published on 29-June-2014

Between a rock and a hard place part II: The Malawi elections revisited

A month after the general elections in Malawi, we can conclude that the many handouts by President Banda to poor rural voters did not make them vote for her. On Friday night, May 30th, right before the constitutional deadline at midnight, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) announced Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Peter Mutharika as president-elect after ten nerve-wracking days of mutual accusations ...

Blog written by Suzanne van Hooff and published on 29-June-2014

Somaliland: Locally-led peace

Peace is priceless. Many people seek peace, yet struggle to find an innovative way to achieve it, so it remains a distant dream. Africa is often perceived as a home to violence, conflict and anti-peace cultures. Some African countries, such as Somalia, are known to be among the most dangerous places on earth. Within so-called Somalia however, there is a special place, a self-declared country, which has enjoyed two decades of peace by listening to and following local voices: Somaliland. The...

Blog written by Muhyadiin Yussuf and published on 17-June-2014

Military Coup in Thailand: a desperate move

22 May 2014 marks Thailand’s first military coup in 8 years, after the army ordered two days of peace talks during which the country's political rivals failed to end their deadlock. Thailand’s history has averaged one coup every 4.5 years for the last eight decades and its enviable record of economic resilience in the face of political upheaval has gained itself a nickname

Blog written by Sofie Chen and published on 13-June-2014

Pinkwashing Palestine- Is Israel obliged to help LGBT Palestinian asylum seekers?

When discussing the conflict between Israel and Palestine, the concept of pinkwashing is one that is rarely mentioned. Pinkwashing occurs when supporters of Israel attempt to deflect attention from Israel’s human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by pointing out the favourable treatment of the minority LGBT community in Israel, the aim being to perpetuate the image that Israel is a modern democratic state that does not carry out human rights abuses. However, it s...

Blog written by A.N.S. and published on 06-June-2014

No justice no peace? Part Three

Peace and justice go hand-in-hand in most countries, but in countries which are neither stable nor democratic, peace and justice often compromise one other and it seems that only one can be achieved at any time. Peacemakers, international organisations and politicians ask themselves whether it is more important to end violence and save civilians from atrocities, or whether charging leaders with crimes against humanity and bringing justice to the victims is more important. Can there be peace...

Blog written by TES and published on 27-May-2014

No justice, no peace? Part Two

Peace and justice go hand-in-hand in most countries, but in countries that are neither stable nor democratic it peace and justice often compromise each other and only one is achieved at any time. The questions that peacemakers, international organisations and politicians ask themselves are is it more important to end violence and save civilians from atrocities? Or are charges of leaders for their crimes against humanity and bring justice to the victims more important? Can there be a peace w...

Blog written by TES and published on 16-May-2014

Elections amidst localized conflict and rising political tensions in Mozambique

In 2014, the people of the Southern African countries of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique will go to the polls. The general elections in Mozambique will be of particular interest, as they will most likely take place amidst rising political tension between the 39-year ruling party of FRELIMO (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique, or Mozambique Liberation Front) and the militarized rebel group turned major opposition party RENAMO (Resistência Nacional Moçambicana, or M...

Blog written by Suzanne Van Hooff and published on 16-May-2014

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