Sunday, December 31, 2006

Libyan government orders three days of official mourning for Saddam

The libyan government has ordered three days of official mourning for the hanged former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein. They also cancelled all the Aid al Adha cellebrations.

Well, apparantly Saddam still have soulmates, and perhaps it takes one dictator to know and appreciate one.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein waiting

As were waiting for news about Saddams death by hanging, i can´t help thinking that it´s wrong. Of course i´m against capital punishment, but there is also several other aspects, the obvious being that every person is entitled to a fair trial, and as pointed out on several occasions, the latest by the HRW for instance, there have been several flaws in the trial proceedings. I would also have liked to see more trials against him in due time, But i also think that it´s a harsher punishment to sit and wait for 30-40 years waiting day in and day out, having time to reflect upon one´s life.

UPDATE: The BBC has news about the excecution having taken place a half an hour ago.

Happy aid al Adha and a happy new 2007

Happy aid al Adha and a happy new year to all my readers! Let´s hope that this year´s haj will go as smoothly as planned with about 2 milion participating. The saudi auhorities has taken precautions to avoid the tragic stampede that cost 345 people their life, that occured last year. Let´s hope for the best.

Enjoy the holiday and go easy on the food!

Also a really happy new year to all of you!

Maria Golia´s 2006

While were waiting to celebrate the new year and for 2007 to begin, Maria Golia remind´s us of what 2006 was all about. A terrible year, let´s hope 2007 proves to be better!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Egyptian census takers faces unique hurdles

The Daily Star has an interesting article in todays paper about the current census, ongoing since three weeks. The last census was done 10 years ago, and the Egyptian population was then 59 milion, and according to unicef statistics, the egyptian population increases with 1.9 milion/year.

More than 120 000 people have been recruited to do this, but this qoute perhaps reflects the problems that people working with the census face.

"But the way the census was conducted - run by military generals - also speaks volumes of a country where people fear interaction with the state, whatever shape it takes."

Another qoute comes from AUC sociology professor Maha Abd al Rahman:

Sociologist Maha Abdel Rahman says reluctance to give information might be explained by a general feeling of mistrust of the state's intentions.

"People do not trust government officials who are supposed to be providing them with services, because experience has proven time and time again that the state is not on your side," the American University in Cairo professor said. "Representatives of the state can use information to harm, to hurt you or at least sabotage your daily life."

She continues by saying:
"The government in this particular instance is trying to use an academic or scientific approach when at every level in society, representatives of the state are negating the simplest ideas and principles of scientific thinking," she said. "The state, at the educational level, does not invest in preparing people to think scientifically - and all of a sudden it wants them to follow scientific methods of thinking."

After having seen the way the census is being done in a home in upper Egypt two weeks ago, the questions for a family of eight taking no longer than two minutes, i can not help but think about how the census is being conducted in comparison with the United states state department lottery applications, that ended just 10 days ago, and where many Egyptians opted voluntarilly to answer much more precise questions for a chance to go the land of oppurtunities.

Go read the article!