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May-21-2010 17:39printcomments

Africa: Faces in Words

New weekly update on the breaking stories in the African nations.

Faces of Sudan
Courtesy: Sudan Watch

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Unseen, unheard; no one should be the bearer of these two words. Unfortunately, Africa is often in the forefront of this association.

Our common humanity should change this; we should never look away because it is too distant. Our commitment to one another, to human rights, and the ability to learn should always keep us connected no matter the severity and complexity of problems.

Important insights from last week, not to be missed:

Intel Freaks Out, Shuts Off Human Rights Protest on Facebook - It turns out that even a high tech company like Intel can fail to understand the power of social media in the hands of activists – and so far, their public relations response has been a gaffe a minute for the past several days. -

Malawi: Couple convicted of ‘gross indecency’ must be released - Amnesty International calls on the Malawian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release a couple convicted today on charges of "gross indecency" and "unnatural acts". Malawi: Couple convicted of 'gross indecency' must be released -

World Cup welcome: a billion condoms and 40,000 sex workers - CAPE TOWN, South Africa — The taxi drivers hustling around the bars on Long Street in Cape Town say they are ready for all the soccer fans that will flood the city in June for the World Cup. So are hotels, restaurants, breweries and, inevitably, prostitutes. World Cup welcome: a billion condoms and 40,000 sex workers -

Former Child Slave fights to end trafficking in Ghana - Sankor, Ghana (CNN) -- A former child slave is rescuing victims of child trafficking in Ghana and has built a school to help give them a better future. CNN Former child slave fights to end trafficking in Ghana

Uganda: Protect, Don’t Punish, People With HIV - (Kampala) - Uganda's parliament should amend a proposed law on HIV/AIDS to remove punitive and discriminatory provisions and to ensure that the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS are protected, Human Rights Watch said today, after the controversial bill was introduced. Human Rights Watch - Uganda: Protect, Don’t Punish, People With HIV

Africa: Ten countries seeking doctors - NAIROBI, 19 May 2010 (IRIN) - Shortages of medical staff have been identified as one of the major impediments to achieving the health-related UN Millennium Development Goals. For example, one of the poorest countries in the world, Mozambique, has just 548 doctors for a population of more than 22 million, according to the UN World Health Organization (WHO). - AFRICA: Ten countries desperately seeking doctors

Doctors Seek Compromise on Female Genital Cutting - In a new policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics says a "ritual nick" to the genitals of newborn females might "save some girls from undergoing disfiguring and life-threatening procedures in their native countries." Law Professor Dena Davis explains the policy. Doctors Seek Compromise On Female Genital Cutting -

Overcrowding, Stalled Reform Keep Guinea’s Children Out of School - In Guinea, the number of children attending school has dropped since 2007, due to overcrowding and political turmoil, but aid workers are hopeful that newly awarded international funding will usher in education reform. Voice of Africa News - Overcrowding, Stalled Reform Keep Guinea's Children Out of School

Fighting child sex trafficking Tanzania - DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania — Say “child trafficking,” and you’re likely to conjure up images of organized crime and international smuggling rings. Fighting child sex trafficking in Tanzania -

Zimbabwe: Rights Groups Demand Justice for Victims of Operation Murambatsvina - An international human rights organisation is leading demands for justice for the victims of Operation Murambatsvina, five years after the mass evictions took place. Zimbabwe: Rights Groups Demand Justice for Victims of Operation Murambatsvina -


Alysha Atma spends many hours working on projects that support and benefit the beleaguered people of African nations who spend way too much time off the western media's radar. This writer explains that she is a culmination of all her experiences, most importantly knowledge she says, and all that she still needs to learn; lessons of love, laughter and the extraordinary giving of both young and old. She says she has the enormous fortune of learning from the best; every person around her, and the amazing strength and fortitude of those she has never met but will always strive to listen to. "I continue to work and write because I believe in the power of community and the power of one, both contradictory to each other and yet can move together in a very powerful way. I feel a responsibility to use my place, freedoms and connections here in the US to stand up and yell for those who need my voice and actions. I have seen such strength in my fellow humans that I cannot even begin to comprehend, they have traveled distances, have gone without food, water, shelter and safety for days and weeks at a time. I have a responsibility as a fellow human to put our common humanity before anything else. Everyone deserves to look towards tomorrow, to dream of a safe future and to have a peaceful present." You can write to Alysha Atma at:

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Anonymous May 21, 2010 6:55 pm (Pacific time)

At first, I thought I might be off topic, and wait until another time to post this. But after thinking about it, it fits right in, even tho it from a different part of the world. Gorden Duff is a very interesting character. Please read:

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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