Posts related to 6. (In)security
It aims to question the concept and practices of security – what does ‘being secure’ means to you by the way?…
17 November 2015 - It’s not IS we should fight against – it’s obscurantism
After having published a post yesterday (No more bombs) arguing that the West won’t win peace by dropping more bombs and should instead fight against inequality and injustice, Chris, a follower of Making Sense of Things on Facebook asked if we had “any advice for what people should do to counter [the Islamic State]? Or should it just be allowed to continue? They won’t allow a diplomatic solution, as they believe any negotiation is sacrilegious, let alone voting?” This question is very relevant indeed. How can we negotiate with IS if we can’t even talk with them?
I understand that throwing 20 bombs at the Islamic State, like the French warplanes reportedly did two days after the Paris attacks, sounds the right thing to do. It feels good, we get … Read the rest
16 November 2015 - No more bombs
I now live in Australia but I’m French. I’ve lived several years in Paris where many of my friends and family members still live. Two of the attacks occurred in the same street where by my best friend lives. His partner’s sister was enjoying drinks with her friends in one of the restaurants were so many people got killed on this tragic Friday the 13th. Luckily she survived.I was touched by the outpour of solidarity I have received, my warmest thanks to you all. I read lots of articles and watched heaps of media about the Paris attacks. Yet, I started quite rapidly to feel uncomfortable at the world’s focus on this latest wave of terrorist attacks. I’ve lived and worked in countries where such violence is a daily fact of life, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Kenya and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. … Read the rest
08 March 2015 - I’m sick and tired of International Women’s Day
Today is International Women’s Day. I know we should celebrate this event but the truth is that I’m not in the mood for it. I’m a man, and I’m sick and tired of hearing horrible stories whichever part of the world I travel to, about how badly and unfairly women are treated in their respective society.
I’m sick and tired to know that 35 per cent (35!) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.
I’m sick and tired that there are fewer women at the helm of top Australian and US companies than men named Peter or John sitting as chief executive and chair positions.
I’m sick and tired that good men all around the world are so much the slaves of their sexual desire that they end up groping, catcalling, lacking respect, hurting, hitting or raping a woman (or … Read the rest
26 October 2011 - The politics of olive harvesting in Palestine
We are currently staying at Bustan Qaraaqa in Palestine and just happen to be here during olive harvest season… we are also here during an interesting time because of the Shalit Deal, where Israel swaps one Israeli soldier for 1027 imprisoned Palestinians… so, how do we link olives with the Shalit Deal??
Well, ironically, the olive leaf is a symbol of abundance, glory, wisdom, fertility, pureness and peace… but here people are oppressed, getting their olive groves and rain water cisterns destroyed by Israel as the natural water resources are monopolised (on average Israelis have access to 4 times as much water as Palestinians). People’s ability to sustain themselves is being taken away from them. In the past every self respecting family in Palestine would produce their own olive oil but now many are shifting to buy their oil as access to their land is taken away and their trees … Read the rest
25 July 2011 - “Faced with inhumanity, we must be more human” – A witness account of the Oslo tragedy
Erik Abild, a Norwegian friend of mine whom I met while working in Gaza, yesterday shared his thoughts about the horrendous and absurd killings which just occurred in Oslo. We particularly appreciate his call for greater humanity. As he puts it perfectly:
“Today, here in Norway, many politicians and people state that “today we are all AUF” (the name of the youth party). And we are. Just as we all were Japanese when the earthquake struck, or as we all are Somalis when we read about famine. This feeling of community is a part of being human. And this communality, the shared experience of humanity, is essential to hold onto. In the face of inhumanity, we have to be more human. Because there is only this one world, brutal and beautiful, and we only have one fragile life to make our difference in the world we all share as … Read the rest
02 June 2011 - Insecurity in Central America, a little heard story
I just come back from Central America where I was doing a consultancy for a humanitarian organisation and, given that we don’t hear much about the region in the news, I thought you might be interested to know a bit about it.
The organisation has been operating there for decades but has recently questioned its presence given the drastic deterioration of the security there in the last three years. Indeed, statistically, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador (now known as the “Northern Triangle of Death!”) are amongst the most dangerous countries on earth. While in each of these countries, the levels of insecurity vary from one area to another, this means that aid workers (and of course the population) are living in high-risk areas. In light of this, the aid organisation asked me specifically to assess whether they could continue working in these countries, and if so, provide them with … Read the rest
23 April 2011 - Living well in the West Bank?
If you follow this blog regularly (which we are grateful for! :-)), you know that I’ve recently come back from the Middle-East and already expressed some reflections about my stay in Israel in a previous post. Today I would like to share some thoughts about my stay in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
As you know, ‘Palestine’ does not exist as a legal entity (although around a hundred countries recognise it as a country and it is likely more will later this year) and is rather referred to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, composed of two disconnected and fragmented territories, namely the West Bank and the Gaza strip. While the former is governed by the party Fatah, the latter is de facto led by the Hamas, an Islamist movement. Although both territories are populated by Arab Palestinians, the West Bank is also occupied by Israeli Jews, essentially settlers. The International Court
16 April 2011 - Reflective impressions of Jerusalem
I am pretty lucky as my job frequently brings me to diverse places of the world. This time, I just come back from Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) composed of the West Bank and of Gaza where I spent the last three weeks. Although I was based for most of my stay in the recluse/closed down Gaza strip (indeed inaccessible to most), I nevertheless also had the chance to stay few days in Jerusalem. This post then relates my impressions of Israel, while I’ll write two other posts about the West Bank and Gaza.I’ve been wanting to visit Jerusalem for a looooong time, and indeed, my expectations were met. Its central place in the world’s history is obvious to anyone looking at it, and it remains today one of the most important places for half of the world’s population, namely the Jews, Christians and Muslims.
First, of… Read the rest
11 February 2011 - Is the world as we know it going to collapse?
It seems that the closer we get to 2012 and the more we hear of ‘end-of-the-times’ related cataclysmic stories. Since the 2012 Hollywood blockbuster released in 2009, the belief in the end of our ‘age’ and subsequent birth of a new one as conceived by the Mayan calendar, has become mainstreamed. Personally, we don’t believe in the so-called Mayan prophecy and 2012 does not worry us more than 2011 or 2013. Having said that, one cannot ignore the frenzy around the idea of the collapse of the world as we know it. We’ve decided to look into the subject and see if there is any susbtance behind these warnings – and whether we should worry or not. Please note that this post is a follow-up to this one, where we argued that rather than viewing ‘collapse’ through the lens of conspiracy theories, we could understand it in a historical … Read the rest
08 February 2011 - What is collapse? Conspiracy or a very real phenomenon?
The concept of collapse of our civilisation is often heard among conspiracy theorists, causing many mainstreamers out there to ignore the concept altogether. But should they? Is it really a word that should be owned by the conspiracy theorists and disregarded accordingly?
We believe we should not disregard it, but, rather than viewing ‘collapse’ through the lens of conspiracy theories, we could understand it in a historical and ecological sense. This then allows us to be realistic about future scenarios.
Have you heard of the global collapse of fish species? If not, you need to watch The End of the Line (see our previous post to watch it easily). You will discover that Atlantic cod stocks were severely overfished in the 1970s and 80s, leading to their abrupt collapse in 1992. In Newfoundland, Canada, the devastating collapse of cod has impoverished entire communities, and the cod stocks have never recovered. … Read the rest