lundi 30 décembre 2013

Nicaragua: The “Metal Tree of life”, new symbol of the Sandinista power*.

The First lady Rosario Murillo and the painter Gustav Klimt’s imagination.

         Huge metal structures and spectacular bright yellow symbolizing the "tree of life" have been installed in the emblematic places of the capital, Managua. Imagined by the first lady and inspired the painter Gustav Klimt, these "trees" that have ”bloomed " generate a lot of comments ...

         On 19 December, the Loma (hill) Tiscapa in central Managua, puzzled passersby saw workers erect a huge metal tree yellow alongside the statue of the national hero of Nicaragua, Augusto César Sandino . Nobody explained what was doing this dance hall , the largest forest trees iron which extends from July on the main roads of the capital.

Loma de Tiscapa is a kind of sanctuary.

         For Managuayens, Loma de Tiscapa is a kind of sanctuary that is located that were prisons where they tortured under the dictatorship of Somoza. The "tree of life " because that is his name, has been installed beside Sandino at the request of Rosario Murillo, Nicaragua's first lady . It is the emblem of the new power booming.
         These yellow trees are an adaptation of the famous drawing by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt in 1909. Sensitive to the symbolism, the first lady promotes a strange doctrine which mixes Catholicism, mysticism, pre-Hispanic symbols and Sandinistas. It opened its adaptation of July 19, the day of commemoration of the Sandinista revolution. Rosario Murillo has created a kind of altar to worship the image is that of Sandino, lit by a sun in the center which weaves a feathered serpent. On each side of the image, there is the "tree of life". It is not known whether Rosario Murillo asked permission to adapt the work of Klimt and in any case, the government gives no explanation.

Trees for 20,000 dollars each!

         After this ceremony the Catholic-revolutionary, metal trees began to be planted throughout the city . Each tree has dozens of small twinkling lights at night. These facilities are monitored by a private company, which according to the Nicaraguan press, belongs to the family of President Daniel Ortega. The digital magazine of investigation and analysis Confidencial (Managua) consulted several specialists-architects, electrical engineers, planners- who said that the cost of each tree, including manufacturing and maintenance amounted to 20,000 dollars. If this is the case, it is a significant expense for a country where 47% of the population live below the poverty line , according to official figures.
         One afternoon in late November, I went to the Plaza de la Fe (where was celebrated the anniversary of the revolution), along with a foreign journalist who visited Nicaragua. At one corner of the square, some workers were busy painting huge yellow metal structures.

Pope John Paul II’s Obelisk, alongside Hugo Chavez’s memorial!

         These came complete obelisk currently erected in honor of Pope John Paul II, a personality constantly cited by Rosario Murillo in his frequent speeches on television (at least four, broadcast on cable) that controls the Ortega family. Later, these trees should be installed by the workers of the municipality of Managua and national electric transmission company (Enatrel) in the main squares of the city.
         "It's incredible, I've never even seen such a thing in the countries of the former Soviet bloc",
he assured me this foreign journalist experienced . While talking, we walked along the broad Avenida Bolívar, planted on either side of yellow trees by the dozens, along with altars dedicated to the Virgin Mary and nativities, all designed by Rosario Murillo.
         At the end of the avenue, another place, the first lady has installed a monument to the memory of Hugo Chávez, the great benefactor of President Ortega: the face of the deceased commander, painted in yellow, uniform the air Force, crowned with three huge trees of life overcoming a sun which wraps the feathered serpent and at the foot of all , small shrubs in plastic merry little lights.
         "It's like in the world of Willy Wonka", he told a passing allusion to the character of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Ronald Dahl novel, adapted by Tim Burton).

Symbols of a hard and absolute power.

         Nicaraguans are quick to get excited about politics, but they did not hesitate either to mock their leaders. They were quick to deride these strange trees that thrive in the capital. And then, last Thursday, 19 December 2013, which was not surprise to see that one of these trees, much larger than the others, stood alongside their hero Sandino, in a place that symbolizes torture and the ignominy of the Somoza regime.
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*Carlos Salinas Maldonado, published in "El Pais" on 24 December 2013.

jeudi 26 décembre 2013

South Africa: Seme Pixley Ka Isaka Isaac, the first true Black nationalist.

During 1911, a thirty-year-old black lawyer with a growing practice in Johannesburg, South Africa, took the major initiative in organising a nation-wide congress of Black representatives. This was an idea that had already germinated in his mind eight years before while he was still an undergraduate student in New York. His name was Pixley kaIsaka Seme. He was a Zulu barrister-at-law, practising in the Transvaal as an attorney of the Supreme Court of the Union of South Africa. 

In this historic call, he emphasized the necessity for black unity

         The demon of racialism, the aberration of the Xhosa-Fingo feud, the animosity that exists between the Zulus and the Tongas, between the Basutos and every other native must be buried and forgotten... We are one people. These divisions, these jealousies, are the cause of all our woes and of all our backwardness and ignorance today.         
         On January 8, 1912, his hope seemed to be realised when personalities from black communities all over Southern Africa converged on Bloemfontein. Appropriately Pixley Seme, as the initiator, gave the keynote address. 

Who was the first Black South African nationalist?

         Son of Isaka Seme and Sarah Mseleku, born on October 7, 1882 in Daggakraal (now KwaZulu-Natal). Early orphan, his education is supported by the American Missionary S.C. Pixley. After primary school in a Catholic mission, he joined at the age of fourteen years at Amanzimtoti College which later became Adams Training School for Boys. At sixteen, he traveled to New York, where he met his cousin John Dube, a student at the Theological Seminary in Brooklyn. He works as a bellhop at the hotel "The Northfield" in Massachusetts. At this time he is called Pixley, taking the surname of his benefactor. On September 6, 1896, he was admitted to the College of Mount Hermon in Massachusetts with financial assistance from the Reverend Pixley. In April 1902, he graduated before being admitted in September of the same year at Columbia University in New York. He graduated (B.A.) in law 1906. with the help of missionaries, he studied law at Jesus College in Oxford, England. In 1910, he enrolled at the Bar at Middle Temple before returning to South Africa the same year. With Alfred Mangena* he opened a law office in Johannesburg. Among his clients include among others, the royal family of Swaziland. He married
Phikisele Harriet, the king's daughter of Dinuzulu, Zululand. On January 8, 1912 in Bloemfontein alongside of Black Lawyers Alfred Mangena, Richard and George W. Msimag Montsio, he founded the National Congress of Indigenous Africa (S.A.N.N.C.), which became the African national Congress (A.N.C.) in 1925. He was elected treasurer of the movement, which he had given the original name "the South African Native Congress", the first president of the A.N.C. was the Reverend John Dube Langalibale, a son of Chief Zulu.

In parallel with Mohandas Gandhi among South African Indians.

         With financial support from the Queen Regent of Swaziland, Pixley Seme founded "Abantu Batho", the journal of information of S.A.N.N.C. published in Zulu, Xhosa and English and the publication will cover twenty organ. In 1913 Xeme founded the Association of Indigenous farmers in South Africa, which includes farmers in Daggakraal and Drienfontein in the district of Wakkerstroom Transvaal. In 1926, he accompanied the king of Swaziland, Sobhuza II in England argue a case against the land of South Africa. In 1928, Columbia University in New York confers him the title of "Doctor honoris causa". In 1930, he replaces J.T. Gumede as A.N.C. president. He was replaced in 1937 by the Reverend Z.R. Mahabane. In 1946, with Mr. Anton Lembede President the Youth League Congress (C.Y.L.), they founded a trading company "Seme & Lembede" and dedicated to his lawyer until his death in Johannesburg on June 17, 1951. Seme's nationalist organizing among Africans paralleled the contemporaneous efforts of Mohandas Gandhi with South African Indians.
Cfr. Kanyarwunga I.N. Jean, Biographical Dictionary of  Africans (French version) at (

mardi 24 décembre 2013

Russia: Kalashnikov, a fabulous story*.

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the rifle Soviet AK-47 assault weapon spent left this Monday, December 22, 2013 at the age of 94 years.
         Since its inception in 1947, more than 100 million copies (copies included) were put into circulation in the world. At the option of revolutions and other coups, the Kalashnikov continues through the bloody turmoil of history. Back on the eventful life of its inventor, nicknamed "The poet of Steel",
and the incredible saga of a gun legend.

Browning and injury.

         All began in 1935. Mikhail Kalashnikov is 16. The teenager is given by a buddy custody of a pistol, a Browning. Bulky gift. Hold a weapon U.R.S.S. is strictly prohibited. But Kalashnikov marveled:
"The aesthetics of this gun required that the take in his hand. I wanted to feel how it works, consider all mechanisms!".
         Thunderbolt is quickly upset. He denounces. Militia arrested him and requires that he be provided the gun. Kalashnikov is the fool says anything but does not yield. Despite the threats, he refused to reveal where the browning is hidden. Mikhail Kalashnikov has just caught the virus weapons. It did leave him. It is released.
         As it is now known under surveillance, he prefers, at age 17, leaving his family and his village rather than making the weapon. Too good story? Can be. It was not until the early 80s to see another chapter of his life, darker.
         On the occasion of the publication of his memoirs, Mikhail Kalashnikov evoke the pages injury never closed: the deportation in 1930 of his family in the Siberian region of Tomsk. His father, a farmer, was considered too rich and therefore presumed hostile to the doctrines of Stalin then collectivises land in the country. The future engineer will lose ten siblings, malnourished or dead by fevers.

A fairly simple machine gun.

         He is found in a deposit in Kazakhstan railway and Ukraine, where, under the flags, the young inventor is distinguished by developing a mileage counter and consumption for the tanks. In 1941, the sergeant here in a tank unit, where he was severely wounded. For him, the war is over. “At the hospital, he explained, I heard the injured complain. The Germans all have guns. Why not us? "

He thought. "How to create a fairly simple soldiers gun that could make any craft workshop?".

A factory of pans.

         With some friends, he tinkers a first prototype.
The idea is to design a comparable to formidable German
 "Sturmgewehr" submachine gun. He thinks of a gun that would not fire piecemeal but in bursts, a sort of intermediary, lighter, between the gun and the machine gun .
         He met Ekaterina, a young technician who became his wife. She is more talented than him for drawing, which drew up the plans of the weapon from which the military authority is invited to comment. End 46, the weapon is born. Its main merit is to use a unique ammunition 7.62 mm that allows to pull away and at a steady pace. But the army, at first, refuses.
         The invention of this little sergeant is very promising, but is that the use of this new weapon, dubbed AK-47, will not waste too much ammunition? Military hierarchy nevertheless decides to start production.
         The factory of Izhevsk in the Urals, is chosen. Formerly, it made frying pans and cooking utensils. Well, the factory fit! Kalashnikov received the Stalin Prize and in 1949, the soldiers of the Red Army received the first copies of the AK 47.

Baptism of fire.

         Kalashnikov is convinced that if every infantryman was equipped with his weapon, he would have an unparalleled firepower. Meanwhile, the rifle Simonov remains preferred weapon during military parades on Red Square. Kalashnikov is chomping. He knows the effectiveness of the weapons.
         In 1952, the AK-47 is still used during training, and to preserve the secrecy of his ammunition, he asked each soldier to recover the sockets. In October 1956. The AK47 knows the true baptism of fire in Budapest, during the insurgency.
         Western then realize the advance made ​​by the Soviets with the AK47. It is a real shock to Americans. They stubbornly believed that the equipment of the Russian army was obsolete!
         Success requires the Kalashnikov soon escapes the hands of its creator. And even many countries compete imagination to customize the weapon: the East German model released a foldable butt, Romania and Hungary, another with a second handle. Poland proposes an outright model still able to throw a grenade!

Nasser, customer of Russians.

         Egypt is also equipped with the machine gun. President Gamal Abdel Nasser, in disagreement with the West on the policy to be in the region want weapons to liberate Palestine. Since he can not get them to Westerners, the Rais turned to the U.S.S.R...which in fact is not far: Soviet instructors are already in the circle of Egyptian power!  "The Soviet Union was seen as a supplier of arms and not as an ideology to follow. Moreover, the time Nasser, many communists were thrown in jail",
specify the General Sadd Chazli, founder of the Egyptian airborne troops.

The World emotion

         On 17 August 1962, Peter Fechter, a mason of 18 years from Berlin is hit by border guards German Democratic Republic (G.D.R.) while trying to cross the wall to reach West Berlin. Badly wounded, he remained on the ground, dying at the foot of the wall, helpless. Police in West Berlin had no right to intervene and border guards Allied of Checkpoint Charlie did not intervene either.
         The border guards were equipped with a Kalashnikov. The World emotion ensuing make a huge publicity to the weapon described as "red"
referring to his producing country and the ideology that it is supposed to defend. The AK 47 has become the symbol of the separation between two worlds. And now the armies of the Eastern bloc are now all equipped with Kalashnikovs.

The honor of the Palestinians.

         Then nothing seems able to stop the progression of this
weapon in the ongoing conflict . In Vietnam, it enters the legend appear when the first Chinese-made Kalashnikov in the hands of Viet Cong soldiers .
         In 1967, after the Six Day War , Israel's occupation of the West Bank offers the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine (P.L.O.) new perspectives control; China passed Yasser Arafat new weapons and when Palestinian leader, will discuss the Kalashnikov, he define it as "honor of the Palestinians".

300 dollars the "Karach".

         In the years that followed , German and Italian terrorist groups anti- imperialist Unleashed and take the Kalashnikov symbol of their struggle. In 1978, Lebanon, all factions have a Kalashnikov . At that time, 15 countries produce it , including Libya .
         In 1984, Afghanistan, war wreaks havoc on the side of the Soviets. Germany Democratic Republic sends it manufactures of Kalashnikovs wherever the money is taken. China takes control of world traffic. The U.S.A., this is the least expensive weapon. 300 euro, the machine guns are cheap. The undeniable success of the Kalashnikov continues to ensure good fortune of arms exporters in Russia. Alexey Sorokin, C.E.O. of gunsmiths group confided to the Voice of Russia:
"The Western buyer has an idea of the Russian -made weapon. According to him, it is simple and cheap (...) In general , it is very reliable. This is the idea of the West. This weapon is in its specific niche product at low cost".

         Simplicity, lightness, hardiness: three key words to define the worldwide success of the Kalashnikov. It was produced over a hundred million units, copies included. In two years, the company Izhmash, which manufactures the famous weapon, multiplied by twelve its export volume, which has now reached 12 million dollars.
         And the inventor, Mikahi Kalashnikov? Did he at least enriched with his gun? Nay! He never touched money on selling millions of guns bearing his name, intellectual property is collective in the Soviet law. And to those who asked him if he ever thought of all the deads that his invention had the little sergeant became lieutenant-general said the utmost seriousness: "My arms should serve to keep borders. To serve peace, not war".
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* Frantz Vaillant published on December 23, 2013.

samedi 21 décembre 2013

‘I had a dream’: A brief history of Arab dictators and their not so subconscious*.

Egypt : Abdel Fattah al-Sissi’s dream. 

         Egypt’s strong man Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has revealed that he had a dream 35 years ago that one day he will be the President of Egypt. The interpretation of dreams is a favourite Arab pastime, there’s nothing that we love more than analysing night-time revelations. The more complex the dream the more enjoyment we will derive out of it. Al-Sisi’s is certainly a complex and mysterious dream, and who knows what it could really mean. To that end, Egyptians and other Arabs have set up popular committees and working groups to pour over the dream’s details and explain the meaning of al-Sisi’s vision. Much coffee will be consumed from Casablanca to Muscat in the coming days.

         Now al-Sisi can best be described as a reluctant dictator. Quite how reluctant, time will tell. But he is certainly manifesting several of the symptoms we typically associate with Arab dictators. For one thing, there’s the proliferation of his images in public spaces and in the media. Then there’s his lack of inhibition in using force to achieve his political aims. A less known syndrome however is the Arab dictator’s proclivity for experiencing vivid and elaborate dreams that go on to play an important role in the history of the nation. Below we list a selection of the most remarkable Arab dictator ‘I had a dream’

Saddam Hussein and the Magical Egg.

         In the year 2000, Saddam Hussein had a dream when he was sleeping in his bed. Saddam was walking across a barren desert when he saw a large egg from a distance. The egg was taller than a house. When he came closer, the egg shell started cracking and then a hand stretched out of it. The hand was holding a beautiful winged horse. On top of the horse sat an imposing man, not dissimilar to Saddam but not his exact likeness either.

         When he woke up, Saddam announced that there will be an architectural competition to build a monument that represents his dream. The general consensus was that he was taking this dream quite literally, but nobody felt that they could point this out to Saddam. For months every architect in Baghdad was busy coming up with designs to reflect the boss’s dream, but nothing pleased Saddam.

         Saddam then decided to cancel the competition and instead announced a new competition to see who could interpret his dream. The prize for guessing the true meaning of the dream was winged horse. But the punishment for failure was death. Surprisingly, nobody volunteered to try to explain the dream despite the desirable reward. To this day, nobody knows what the true meaning of the dream was, which is very frustrating.

Hafez al-Assad and the angel visit.

         In 1976, Syria’s late President Hafez al-Assad was visited by an angel without a prior appointment. Al-Assad didn’t have any other appointments that night, so he waived aside scheduling protocols and received the angel. The angel made himself/herself (let’s not get into that one) comfortable and told Assad a story:

         A boy lived in a village with his poor mother and father. The boy was very popular in the village and respected for this honesty. One day the boy came across a strange sight while walking in the hills. An old man was about to attacked by a hungry wolf. The man begged the wolf to spare his life, arguing that his flesh is too tough anyway. The wolf stopped and told the man: “I will ask you a riddle and if you answer it correctly I will spare your life.”
At that point, the boy hit the wolf with a rock and killed him, saving the old man’s life but ruining the story for the rest of us.

         The angel then got up and left. When Assad woke up, he called in his close advisors and asked them what the vision means. Then he sent them away and sat there thinking for two hours. At the end, he decided that the dream meant that he had to intervene militarily in Lebanon, which is pretty obvious if you think about it. The Syrian army remained in Lebanon for nearly 30 years, and it all started with a simple vision.

Gaddafi and the untranslated Italian dream.

         In 1986, Muammar al-Gaddafi had a lengthy dream when he was staying in one of his favourite desert spots. Gaddafi used to say that the desert enhanced his access to ‘the other dimension’, something that George Galloway explained as a scientific manifestation of Gaddafi’s access to the will of the people against western attempts to slander Gaddafi as a deranged individual, who dabbled in the occult.

         The dream had an intricate plot involving several speaking animals, an African god, two poets that experienced frequent metamorphoses into trees, shrubs and discarded train tickets, and a TV talk show that hosted various historical figures like Homer, Nietzsche and Al-Mutanabbi. Frustratingly, the entire dream was in Italian which Gaddafi couldn’t speak, and there were no subtitles.

         Gaddafi was very irritated when he woke up, and none of the Popular Committees for Deciphering the Brother Leader’s Dream could offer a convincing explanation. Gaddafi retreated for several days in the company of his favourite Egyptian herb and when he came back he announced that he had decided that all Italians should be expelled from Libya. As it happened, there were no Italians in Libya then, so all the Palestinians whose name began with ‘M’ were expelled instead.

Omar al-Bashir, the snake, the owl and the vending machine.

         One day, the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir had a curious dream. In the dream, al-Bashir is very thirsty and he’s trying to buy a soda from a vending machine. But every time, he tried to insert a coin in a machine, the coin turned into a snake and slithered away before he could step catch it again. Which is probably better because he wasn’t really an experienced snake handler. Every time this happened, an owl would appear inside the machine and laugh at al-Bashir.

         The next day, al-Bashir was in a very bad mood. He thought about the dream for hours, then the answer came to him in a flash. Al-Bashir promoted himself to Field Marshall and then removed some of his closest allies from power and imprisoned them for life. And everyone remarked how al-Bashir is wiser in his sleep than all his enemies combined when they are awake.

         These are but a few example of the subconscious revelations of Arab dictators. Next time you use the phrase ‘the power of dreams’
, reflect on this rich history.
*Sharro al-Baliya, in  Karl reMarks Middle East politics, culture and satire,  December 12, 2013.

mercredi 18 décembre 2013

Egypt: Did Doria Shafik really committed suicide in 1975?

 Traitor to the revolution!

“No one will deliver freedom to the woman, except the woman herself. I decided to fight till the last drop of blood to break the chains shackling the women of my country in the invisible prison in which they continued to live; a prison, which being invisible, was all the more oppressive” Said Shafik Doria.

Shafik Doria, the only man of Egypt!

          Born on December 14, 1908 at Tanta. She passed her early childhood in Mansura where her father held a post as engineer. Her Mother belonged to an old upper-bourgeoisie Egyptian family which had lost most of its fortune. She completed her primary and secondary education at the College Notre-Dame in Alexandria. In 1922, she completed her secondary education at the French Lycée. A scholarship from the Egyptian government allows him to study at the University of Paris Sorbonne. After obtaining a degree, she returned to Cairo for a short period during which she married the journalist Ahmed El-Sawi. A few months after her first marriage, she divorced and married Nour El-Din Ragai, that she gives two daughters: Aziza and Gehane. In 1940, she returned to school and obtained a doctorate. Back in Egypt, she was appointed inspector of French Ministry of National Education.

Wake up Daughters of Nile!

         In 1948, she founded the "Bent el Nil (Daughters of the Nile)", a party to defend the rights of Egyptian women and to promote emancipation. In 1953, when political parties are banned by the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser, she transforms her political party in union of women. She organizes a peaceful demonstrationt o force the Egyptian parliament to amend Article 1 of the Constitution, which enshrines inequality between men and women. She calls for the introduction of divorce law restricting polygamy and the recognition of equal rights for all. On March 24, 1954, she began with her colleagues, a hunger strike at headquarters of Union the Press. She asked the President of promise into women's demands to end the hunger strike.

The New Woman of Egypt, danger to the Islamic nation.

         In 1945, she founded and edited the newspaper "Al Maara Al-Guadida (The New Woman)", which deals with the problems of women and "Al Katkout (chick)" responsible for children's issues. In July 1952, she praises the beginning of the Nasser revolution and the victory of the Egyptians. She also advocate the Palestinian cause. Presidential Decree No. 25 of 29 July 1957 prohibits the publication of his newspaper. Her name is banished from the Egyptian press while during more than a decade, she had fired the imagination of the Cairo press which called her "Leader fragrant", "danger to the Islamic nation", "traitor to the revolution"and "the only man of Egypt". Condemned to silence and isolation for the rest of her life, she committed suicide in 1975 by throwing herself off the balcony of her sixth-floor apartment. General Nasser had her name barred from all Egyptian texts and had most of her original documents destroyed. Very few have survived.
Her biography has been published by:
-Cynthia Nelson, Doria Shafik, Egyptian Feminist: A Woman Apart American University in Cairo Press, 1996.
Her bibliography includes:
-Shafik Doria, Ibrahim Abdu, Tatawwur al-Nahda al-Nisa’iyah fi Misr (The development of the rennaissance of women in Egypt), Maktabat al-Misr, Cairo, 1945.
-Shafik Doria, Ibrahim Abdu, Al-Mar’ah al-Misriyah min al-Fara’niah il al-Yawm (The Egyptian woman from the pharaohs until today), Maktabat al-Misr, Cairo, 1955.
Cfr Jean I.N. Kanyarwunga ; Dictionnaire biographique des Africains (Biographical Dictionnary of Africans), Digital French version on www.NENA. 2013.

lundi 16 décembre 2013

France: Severiano de Heredia, First Black Mayor of Paris and current racial prejudice in the West.

After the death of apartheid and that of his killer, Nelson Mandela, racism reborn in West and in Israel!

Today the socio-economic crisis brought down politicians in racial prejudices of another age, vis-à -vis of Blacks. In Italy and France, the Congolese Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Minister for Integration and her sister Guyana, Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira-Delannon, have been being treated of macaque and orang-outan. Pure scapegoats of a decadent society that lead to grow up in history, these ladies chosen from the best politicians of the moment. In Switzerland, bananas are thrown to the first Black National Councilor (M.P.) of Angolan origin, Richard Lumengo. In Sweden, they treated Ms. Nyamko Sabuni, of Congolese origin, the first woman Minister for Integration and Equality of  genres (2004-2006) of Islamophobic. Mrs. Rotimi Adebari, Irish of Nigerian origin elected in 2007, the mayor of an Irish town of 15,000 inhabitants, which advocates "Respect the difference" is judged by her roots and color. Ms. Manuela Ramin-Osmundsen, of Martinican origin, first Black woman Minister of of family and gender (2007-2008) in Labour Government of Norway lead by Jens Stoltenberg, who suffered serious racist attacks before being pushed to resignation for "loyalty to France ", etc ...

Blood of an Ethiopian Jewish MP refused !

What about the refusal of Magen David Adom, the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross to accept blood donation from Ethiopian Black Member Pnina Tamano-Shato, during an operation organized within the enclosure Parliament in Jerusalem, under the pretext that the particular blood of Jewish Ethiopian (Falasha Mura) is "likely to spread disease, including A.I.D.S.". Falashas in Israel are 120,000, whose parents were brought from Ethiopia to Israel during "Moses and Solomon" operations in 1984 and 1991 to price of  millions of dollars! Reached the age of 3 years in Israel, Pnina Tamano-Shato completed his military service and 32 years old, mother of two children, she is the representative of Yesh Atid party MP in the Knesset (Parliament Hebrew) since 2013.

And if the black sheep of the Democratic Union of the Centre (U.D.C.) of Switzerland was the hopeful of a decadent West?

This lack of consideration and respect that uses dermal color of politicians already underway in France and Italy. In Italy, Alessandro de 'Medici (1510-1537), Lord of Florence from 1530 to 1537, was known as the Moor (il Moro). He was murdered by his cousin Lorenzino de 'Medici by jealousy on March 18, 1536.
In France, the great writer Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) who described the murder, and that falsely accused of employing Negroes faced racist taunts in France.  
"My father was a mulatto , my grandfather was a Negro , and my great-grandfather was a Monkey. You see, sir: my family begins where yours ends", he said.
…while his Russian alter ego, Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799-1837) was killed in a duel "unequal" against the French officer, Baron Georges d'Anthes Charles Heeckeren, who envied him his wife, the expensive Nathalie Goncharova. Politically, reformers resented his attitude too servile towards the tsarist regime, but what triggered his youthful rage was a racist insult.

A Black mayor of Paris in 1879, erased in Archives and in History.

Severiano de Heredia*, a cousin of another famous French poet, José-Maria de Heredia (1842-1905) was born in Havana, Cuba on November 8, 1836. His father Henri de Heredia and his mother Beatrice Cardenas were free people of color. It is said, that he was the natural son of his godfather, Heredia y Campuzano, who adopted him at the age of ten years and sent him to France for his studies. He made brilliant studies at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, where he received in 1855, the great honor of the school. His "sponsor" was his heir to the shelter need. In 1870, he asked the French nationality "to show that he recognized what he owed to France in these difficult times and to be useful to the country", he said then. In 1870, he entered politics as a Republican radical trend. In April 1873, he was elected member of the City Council of Paris, for the area of Termes (XVIIth Arrondissement).

He was the only "Black man" in the Council.

         In 1879, he was elected president of the municipal council of Paris. In August 1881, he was elected under the banner of the Republican Union to the Chamber of Deputies. On 30 May 1887, he was appointed Minister of Public Works and seat in the government of Maurice Bouvier until 11 December 1887. Back on the benches of the Assembly, he finished his term in November 1889. He fought among other things to reduce the working day at the factory ten hours for children under twelve. He retired from politics to devote himself to the history of literature. He died on February 12, 1901 to his home at Courcelles Street in Paris on 12 February 1901.

Ignoring the insults, he remained magnanimous!

Racial prejudice woke particularly, when he was appointed Minister of Public Works. He was accused less by his action in government than the color of his skin, he was tricked qualifiers such as the "negro of the ministry", "Negro rogue with big thick lips”, "Chocolate  minister”, and other nonsense insults. This mongrel called to the highest offices of the administration bothered, and that was all his deserves superbly ignored these quips, paving the way for other great servants of the state "colored" as Félix Eboué (1884-1944) or Gaston Monnerville (1897-1991), among others.
Erased from the history of the city of Paris, his biography was published in 2011 by Professor Emeritus Paul Strade "Sévériano de Héredia: ce mulâtre cubain que Paris fit maire et la République ministre (Severiano de Heredia : The Cuban mulatto that Paris was mayor and the Republic Minister)", prefaced by the first Black MP of Paris, Georges Pau- Langevin.
* Paul Platform, "Severiano de Heredia. This Cuban mulatto that Paris was "mayor", and the Republic Minister" Editions Les Indes savantes, Paris, 2011.

samedi 14 décembre 2013

Nigeria: Ken Saro-Wiwa's final address to the military-appointed tribunal on November 10, 1995.*

My lord,

         We all stand before history. I am a man of peace, of ideas. Appalled by the denigrating poverty of my people who live on a richly endowed land, distressed by their political marginalization and economic strangulation, angered by the devastation of their land, their ultimate heritage, anxious to preserve their right to life and to a decent living, and determined to usher to this country as a whole a fair and just democratic system which protects everyone and every ethnic group and gives us all a valid claim to human civilization, I have devoted my intellectual and material resources, my very life, to a cause in which I have total belief and from which I cannot be blackmailed or intimidated. I have no doubt at all about the ultimate success of my cause, no matter the trials and tribulations which I and those who believe with me may encounter on our journey. Nor imprisonment nor death can stop our ultimate victory.

«I repeat that we all stand before history»

         I repeat that we all stand before history. I and my colleagues are not the only ones on trial. Shell is here on trial and it is as well that it is represented by counsel said to be holding a watching brief. The Company has, indeed, ducked this particular trial, but its day will surely come and the lessons learnt here may prove useful to it for there is no doubt in my mind that the ecological war that the Company has waged in the Delta will be called to question sooner than later and the crimes of that war be duly punished. The crime of the Company’s dirty wars against the Ogoni people will also be punished.

How Nigeria nation, jeopardized the future of its children! 

         On trial also is the Nigerian nation, its present rulers and those who assist them. Any nation which can do to the weak and disadvantaged what the Nigerian nation has done to the Ogoni, loses a claim to independence and to freedom from outside influence. I am not one of those who shy away from protesting injustice and oppression, arguing that they are expected in a military regime. The military do not act alone. They are supported by a gaggle of politicians, lawyers, academics and businessmen, all of them hiding under the claim that they are only doing their duty, men and women too afraid to wash their pants of urine.

History is on their side, God is their side!

         We all stand on trial, my lord, for by our actions we have denigrated our country and jeopardized the future of our children. As we subscribe to the sub-normal and accept double standards, as we lie and cheat openly, as we protect injustice and oppression, we empty our classrooms, denigrate our hospitals, fill our stomachs with hunger and elect to make ourselves the slaves of those who ascribe to higher standards, pursue the truth, and honor justice, freedom, and hard work. I predict that the scene here will be played and replayed by generations yet unborn. Some have already cast themselves in the role of villains, some are tragic victims, some still have a chance to redeem themselves. The choice is for each individual.

Nor imprisonment nor death can stop our ultimate victory.

         I predict that the denouement of the riddle of the Niger delta will soon come. The agenda is being set at this trial. Whether the peaceful ways I have favored will prevail depends on what the oppressor decides, what signals it sends out to the waiting public.
         In my innocence of the false charges I face here, in my utter conviction, I call upon the Ogoni people, the peoples of the Niger delta, and the oppressed ethnic minorities of Nigeria to stand up now and fight fearlessly and peacefully for their rights. History is on their side. God is on their side. For the Holy Quran says in Sura 42, verse 41: “All those that fight when oppressed incur no guilt, but Allah shall punish the oppressor.” Come the day.
*Born on October 10, 1941 at Bori near Port-Harcourt, in Nigeria, Ken Saro-Wiwa, poet, playwright, novelist, was arrested in May 1994 on charges of inciting his followers to murder and was sentenced to death after a trial his defenders said was a sham. Mr. Saro-Wiwa, then 54, and eight other Ogoni men were hanged on November 10, 1995.

mercredi 11 décembre 2013

Egypt: Sayed Darwish Shaykh, the composer of the Egyptian National Antem died of cocaine overdose.

  Born on March 17, 1892 in the popular area of ​​Kom ed-dikka at Alexandria. At five years old, his teacher, Sami Effendi finds its musical qualities. After training as a "Munshid (Singer)", he sings in semi church choirs , in cafes , working in a warehouse, in a shop, etc... In 1909, he traveled to Syria, but his tour was a failure even if it enables him to discover music in other Arab countries. He also met the great composer Syrian music, Othman Al Mawseli. In 1912, he lived again in Syria and joined the cast of Selim Attallah. This time, the tour was a success and allows him to stay in the country for two years. 

He learned Arabic music, Persian and Turkish music. 

He founded his own musical band with the best Syrian musicians of the time. He recorded his first album "My Heart" which become a real tube. Back to Cairo, he signed a contract with the Egyptian composer Naguib Al Reehani. He joined musical artists, Badie Khairi, Amin Sidqi and Barram Al Tunisi. In 1921, he founded a musical troupe with which he produced two plays: "Scheherazade" and "The Whig". Innovative music as theater, he has produced more than 20 musicals. His work has graced the Egyptian nationalist nationalist sentiments such as Mustafa Kamel, Mohammed Fareed and Sa'ad Zaghloul. He is the author of the Egyptian National Anthem. On September 23, 1923, he died of cocaine overdose in Cairo at the age of 31 years, the day of the return from exile of nationalist leader Saad Zaghloul welcomed to the sounds of Bilady, Bilady, Bilady”.The Alexandria Opera House built in 1918 and opened in 1921 was named Sayyid Darwish Theatre in his honor.
His discography and dramaturgy include:
-Muwashahat (musical album).
-Ana esheqt (I loved passionately), Dôr in mode  higâzkâr.
-Dayya you mustaqbal Hayati (I ruined my future), Dôr in mode bayyâti shuri.
-Awatfak ashhar men-nar (Your feelings are obvious), Dôr in mode nawâ athar.
El-habib lel-hagr e-mayel (My lover wants to leave me), Dôr in mode rast sâzkâr.
Cfr Dictionnaire biographique des Africains (Biographical Dictionary of Africans), www.NENA. Dakar. 2013. 

lundi 9 décembre 2013

United Kingdom/Guinea: Sancho Ignatius, the African, who disguised the traditional image of Negro wild and uncultivated!

Born and Sold on a slave ship!

  Born in 1729 on a slave ship came from Guinea on the way to the Spanish East Indies. His parents perished during the crossing. Arrived in England, he is sold at Greenwich three sisters, who treat him like a slave, without education or instruction. She nicknamed him Sancho because of his resemblance to Sancho Panza, the character of Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes (1547-1616). Their neighbors, the Duke and Duchess of Montague having noticed his intellectual curiosity secretly provide him books and materials to learn. When in 1749, the owners are ready to sell to an American slave, he escapes and hides in Montague. After the death of the Duke and Duchess of Montague, he moved to London where he studied art and music. He composed pieces for musicians and artists and became a friend of the famous actor David Garrick. After several years of wandering, he returned to Greenwich to be at the service of the new Duke of Montague.

Sancho Panza or Sancho Ignatius, the character of Don Quixote by Micguel Cervantes!

  In 1773, he opened a small green grocery in London. He met the Duchess of Qeensbury, the artist Joseph Nollekens and the painter John Hamilton Mortimer, who admire his artistic talents. There were many correspondents in the world to whom he dispensed sound advice through his letters on slavery. The publication of his correspondence makes him famous. He married a woman of Indian origin and they had six children. He defended economic liberalism and opposed the radicalism fashionable in England. He harnessed to demonstrate to the British that Blacks had the same intellectual capacity as whites. At the time of slavery in full swing, his ideas of humanism, fraternity and moderation seem revolutionary. He died on December 14, 1780 and became the first African to be given an obituary in the British press.

The first African to be given an obituary in the British Press.

  His correspondence with the novelist Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) published two years after his death still made ​​him more famous. The British Humanist Lloyd Brown said of him "that he disguised the traditional image of negro wild and uncultivated". His son, William Leach Osborne, inherited the shop and transformed it into a printing and book-selling business. He printed a 5th edition of Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho with Memoirs of His Life by Joseph Jekyll and the frontispiece engraving by Bartolozzi in 1803 at this shop on Charles Street. His portrait painted in 1768 by British artist Thomas Gainsborough throne at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
His biography and his work has been published in:
-Reyahn King and alii, Ignatius Sancho,
An African Man of Letters, Wappingers Falls, New York, 1997.
-CarettaVincent, Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, an African,
Penguin, New York, 1998.
Cfr. Dictionnaire biographique des Africains (Biographical Dictionary of African), www.NENA, Dakar, 2013. 

samedi 7 décembre 2013

Vatican: The bergoglisms and other neologisms of Pope Francis’s Church of Street!*

Anxious to use a simple and direct language, the Pope Francis often uses the terms of “lunfardo” or neologisms of his own. Expressions that L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper , tries to explain.
         "How could I have imagined fifty years ago, the most rebellious of my students
write in L'Osservatore Romano (the Vatican newspaper) If I had known, I would have you may not sent pass your exam ... ? " launched Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis) Milia Jorge, of Santa Fe "And me, how could I imagine there fifty years that I would be received by a pope 'néologist' reinventing the Latin, Spanish, Italian?" Francis replied to his former pupil.
         This dialogue took place during a meeting between the two friends in the Vatican, there is a little more than two months. There, the pope praised François comments Milia, published by L'Osservatore Romano,
on his “argentinisms” and neologisms. As soon as he kissed the pontificate, François surprised by his actions but by his language. Not only he invited bishops and priests "to be pastors who feel the sheep", but he started to use almost slang , words of lunfardo ( slang of Buenos Aires and the tango language ] and neologisms he created to focus on a particular concept.
         When Francis spoke “primerear”,
many wondered what he meant, especially in the Vatican. Milia then wrote the first of his articles for the blog Terra de America, led by Alver Metalli. "All this had a great impact if they asked me to continue to write about what has come to be called bergoglismes and then L'Osservatore Romana began to publish these articles" says Milia.

"Defending the youngsters (Mioches)”

         A list of words he says - "balconer", "fish an idea", "run dry", "miséricordier", "go fuck" - one could add many others, such as "make a head vinegar","out of the cave"or "beware of swindlers". Considered as the "bergoglisms" expressions of Pope give a hard time to translators and surprised everyone, except those who knew him.
More than once, Jorge Bergoglio apologized for having used a vulgar or popular word. Thus, in his homily at the Mass for the education he gave in April 2009, where he was outraged that the drug be sold at the doors of schools, he said: "We must defend the youngsters, go pardon the expression, and sometimes this dark world makes us forget that brats defensive instinct".

The Blessed Virgin Mary, a woman of the streets!

         That is why the father Javier Klajner responsible for the youth ministry of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, said: "Much of what the pope said, his expressions, his way of being, means the live as a reality”.
And recalls that the former archbishop of Buenos Aires described “the Virgin as a woman of the streets. You must be like her, a woman of the streets, and be on the street", he said to the priests.
"The bergoglisms are the expression of a hundred percent catechesis the Pope Argentine exports, he diffuses into the world, not to assert a regional identity, but by missionary fervor", Virginia Bonard, author of Nuestra fe es analysis revolucionaria (Our faith is revolutionary),
a collection of homilies and messages Jorge Bergoglio, the time when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. Ms. Bonard adds: "The Pope says he prefers a rugged Church (because it takes risks) to a church he too sick, it is clear that he prefers to use words and gesturing taking risks. rather than keeping something for him".

Some definitions of the papal language.

         "Lord we first he awaits us. You sin and he is waiting to forgive you".
According to Bergoglio, this term (primerear) comes from footballing language from Buenos Aires. It expresses the fact of taking the initiative to arrive first.
         Do not “balconez” life, enter into it, as Jesus did.

In one of his articles, Milia explains that lunfardo "balconer "
(balconear) means watch from a balcony as a spectator and not the protagonist, without participating in what happens.
-------------------------------------------------- ----------------------
*Article published in International Courier on December 6, 2013.

jeudi 5 décembre 2013

China: The Helmsman Mao Zedong feminine!

Ms Chen Yan, the larger than life version of Mao!

Since Ms. Chen Yan, fifties, discovered that she was the double of Chinese Helmsman Mao Zedong , she is worth gold. She is paid 100,000 yuan or 1,200 Euros minimum for a single public appearance. In Mao green apple costume, she occurs mainly in shopping centers or companies of Sichuan.
To better resemble to her model, she juche on massive shoes on heels lined and embellished with 26 centimeters, applies a mole on the chin and refines her hair in a special area.
Often it is accompanied by false guards of the Red Army to make even more true.

"Nothing is difficult for those who want to rise" according to Mao.

But to play the game, she does not speak and had to settle for walking tall, salute as Mao, smoking much, keeping the last folded back left arm. Last formal prohibition Chen Yan speak to reporters, especially foreigners!
Chinese New female helmsman can not wear women's clothes since she was accused of mocking Mao Zedong wearing a flowery dress, says the Huanqiu Renwu newspaper  which adds that his sex life has become a disaster. Her husband resents having to sleep with the Great Helmsman.
In his mausoleum on Tiananmen Square since May 24, 1977, the old Mao is a good laugh, he who loved to surround himself with very young beautiful girls to rejuvenate and dreamed to be cremated!

lundi 2 décembre 2013

United States/Liberia: Parallel Destinies of Two Presidents of Liberia.

At the base of Liberia: Roye Edward Jenkins, son of slaves, hairdresser, adventurer and thief!

         Born on 3 February 1815 on the Route du Mont Vermont to Newark, in United States. His father John Roye and his mother Nancy were born slaves Igbo (Nigeria) in Kentucky and came to Newark after their liberation in 1810. He did his primary and secondary education in Newark. In 1822, his father sold his property in Newark and moved to Illinois, leaving Edward and her mother in Newark. He becomes barber to earn money and support his mother.
         In 1832, he left Newark and enrolled at Ohio University in Athens. In 1836, he became a teacher in Chillicothe Ohio and Terre Haute, Indiana, where he opened the first Beauty and Hairdressing City. In 1840, he lost his mother Nancy. He decided to leave the United States. On May 1, 1846, he embarked from New York on a ship of the American Colonization Society and arrived in Monrovia in Liberia a month later.

Businessman, judge and president!

         After flourishing business, he returned to the United States and bought his own boat. A few years later, he became a judge, president of the National Assembly and the fifth President of the Republic of Liberia in 1871. After loan negotiations with British Banks and undertakes the construction of infrastructure (roads, schools ...). Unable to repay loans, economic policy ruin the country. Accused of embezzlement of public funds, the population rebelled against him. On October 26, 1871, he was deposed and imprisoned. Rumors never verified, he seems in danger of being dragged in Justice, he escaped by taking a docked British ship at the port of Monrovia on February 12, 1872. In fact, he seems to have been murdered in prison. After Acting Vice President James S. Smith, he was replaced by Joseph Jenkins Roberts (1809-1876), the real first president of Liberia.

Taylor McArhur Charles will never be released alive!

Son of a teacher " Congo," a descendant of American slaves and mother Gola, born on January 28, 1948 at Arthinton near Monrovia. His father, teacher sends him in a private school outside Monrovia. He is 26 years old in 1974, when he arrived in Boston on a student visa. Joined at Chamberlayne College in Newton, Massachusetts, he held several odd jobs to pay for his studies (sentinel, truck driver , mechanic..). After obtaining a degree in Economics at Bentley College Waltman (Massachusetts), he returned to Liberia at the request of President William Tolbert and directed since 1980 , the General Service Agency in Monrovia.

The hate of Sergeant Samuel Doe, the greed and the adventure!

         He became close and confidant of President William Tolbert, who was overthrowed and murders on 12 April 1980 by Master Sergeant Samuel Doe. In May 1983, he was accused by the regime of Samuel Doe of embezzling $ 900,000 from the City Bank in Monrovia. He fled to the United States. On request of the Liberian government, the Boston Police arrested him in May 1984. He briefly jailed in Ghana for monetary offenses. In September 1985, pending his extradition in a U.S. prison, he escaped from prison and fled from Plymouth to Côte d' Ivoire, where he finds a residue of the party Quiwonkpa the N.P.F.L. (National Liberation Front). Thanks to his friend, the president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, he happening in Libya, where he acquired military training for three years.

A horrible and criminal civil war to gain power!

         On 24 December 1989, the National Patriotic Front (N.P.F.L.)  reinforced with forty armed militants, he attacked the border post Buoto east of Côte d' Ivoire triggered the civil war in Liberia. His supporters are mainly recruited mainly among the Gios and Manos who attacked the Krahn and Mandingo. Despite the death of Samuel Doe September 9, 1990 (which he had made his objective) and, since August 7, 1990, troops of the West African peacekeeping force (E.CO.M.O.G.) set up by the Economic Community of West African States (E.C.O.W.A.S.) intervention to separate the warring factions, the civil war in Liberia continues for seven years and has 200,000 victims. On 24 October 1990, an interim transitional government headed by Amos Sawyer lawyer is appointed by the Economic Community of African States West (E.C.O.W.A.S.). From October 1990, he installs a provisional government at Gbarnga in central Liberia and control Robertsfield Airport and the deepwater port of Buchanan.

A president with bloody hands!

         On 19 July 1997, he was elected president of the Liberian Republic. In 2001, while he faced a rebellion led by the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (L.U.R.D.) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MO.DE.L.), he continues to support Sierra Leone rebels of Foday Sankoy, responsible for grave atrocities and supports the Ivorian rebel patriotic Movement of the Great West (M.P.I.G.O.). On May 12, 2003, he was indicted by the Special U.N. Tribunal for Sierra Leone (S.C.S.L.) and an international arrest warrant was issued against him.
         Driven by the administration of George W. Bush, he resigned and handed over power to his vice president and former companion bush, Moses Blah. On 11 August 2003, he went into exile in Calabar in Southern Nigeria, where he continues to lead the civil war in Liberia. Arrested in Nigeria 26 March 2006, he comes to the International Tribunal for Sierra Leone (S.C.S.L.) in Freetown and convicted for war crimes, violations of human rights and crimes against humanity. June 20, 2006, he was transferred to The Hague (Holland) to be tried by the same court.
         On April 26, 2012, he was convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Sierra Leone. The charge requires a sentence of 80 years imprisonment to be served in a prison in England. The Special Court for Sierra Leone (S.C.S.L.) sentenced him to 50 years imprisonment, confirmed on appeal on September 26, 2013. He is serving his sentence at the prison's high security Frankland near Durham in the U.K..
KANYARWUNGA I.N. Jean : Biographical dictionnary of Africans. French version available on Nouvelles Editions Numériques Africaines (NENA), 2013.