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Intercultural
Lexicon

The United Nations

The Organization of the United Nations is the largest international organisation and in fact includes almost all the states existing on the planet. There are currently 192 member states. The seat of the UN is in New York and the current Secretary General is the South Korean Ban Ki-Moon..

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The Diaspora

Literally a diaspora is the “dispersion of a people leaving their homeland and migrating in various directions”.

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Nationalism

The 20th Century was par excellence the century of nationalisms. It is sufficient to remember that the causes of the two world wars were directly linked to the consequences of nationalist doctrine exalting all that belongs to one’s own nation..

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The Armenians

The Armenians descend from Indo-European populations who, between the 7th and 6th century B.

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Tolerance

After the Nineties of the 20th Century tolerance returned to the centre stage in political thought, returning to fashion a concept that has certainly been central within the framework of political thought in modern times, but that appeared to have become a closed book with the French Revolution that...

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Reset
A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding

Freedom and Democracy

Gulf

Bahrain’s Spring: Activism and Society in Revolt

Maryam Al Khawaja talks to Azzurra Meringolo

Maryam Al-Khawaja is Acting President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and head of the Gulf Center for Human Rights’ international office (GCHR). Based in Copenhagen, she comes from one of the most prominent dissident Bahraini families .She loves reading, travelling and speaking frankly. Speaking at a Festival on international journalism organized by the weekly magazine Internazionale in Ferrara, Italy, she openly criticized Western support for the Bahraini regime. “The last time I cried was when I read the report about my father torture” said Maryam. “But my family is just one of a long list.”


Freedom and Democracy

Afghanistan as 2014 approaches: a long transition amidst progress and uncertainty

Ilaria Romano

Kabul - The process of transitioning from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to the government and security forces of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is approaching its final phase, with the handover expected to be completed by 2014. However, in spite of the results achieved so far in training Afghan troops in joint operations and in handing over a number of Forward Operating Bases such as Bala Murghab (in the province of Badghis) which until last August was under Italian control, events in recent weeks confirm that the country’s stabilization cannot be taken for granted, not can security or freedom of movement.


IT Africa

Ivory Coast and Ghana, the diplomatic impasse

Danilo Ceccarelli

Diplomatic relations between the Ivory Coast and Ghana have seriously deteriorated in the past few weeks, caused by a series of events that have destabilized relations between the two countries. On the night between September 20th and 21st, the small border town of Noé, which lies about 170 km east of Abidjan, was the scene of a bloody and violent clash between an unknown armed group and Ivorian soldiers. About 50 masked men attacked the border post, retreating into the surrounding bush. A few hours before this attack, about a dozen men armed with AK47s attacked a police station in the Port- Boué quarter of Abidjan, killing three people.


IT Yesterday's and today's refugees

Nahr el Bared, still paying for destruction

Ilaria Romano

Nahr El Bared, Tripoli - Milal lives in an unfinished building near the sea, it is small and un-plastered and from the outside one catches a glimpse of a staircase leading to the first floor. A small, well-tended garden separates the house from a room that perhaps might have become a garage or a tool shed. It is instead a sort of kitchen-hobby room with a small gas cooker, a few pieces of furniture and the walls covered in photographs. These are memories of friends, relatives and moments of life. While she prepares zaatar tea, a mixture of thyme, sesame and sumac, Milal shows me three aerial photographs. In the first, one can see houses, in the second, clouds of black smoke rising from the buildings and in the third, nothing remains, only grey patches and heaps of rubble. These three images are enough to portray what happened in 2007 at the Nahr El Bared Palestinian refugee camp, 16 km from Tripoli, in northern Lebanon.


After the Arab Spring

Tunisia, the work of the Constituent Assembly worries Human Rights Watch

Antonella Vicini

The alarm has been sounded not only by Human Rights Watch, but also by many Tunisian citizens who have taken to the streets to protest, in particular the young, women and activists, who had not been overjoyed by Ennahda’s victory in the October elections. The draft of the new Tunisian constitution being prepared by the Assembly, elected less than a year ago, is causing concerns due to, let us say,  regression as far as human rights are concerned.


In depth

Syria, On The Edge

Ilaria Romano for Resetdoc

To date, the victims of the Syrian regime's bloody crackdown have surpassed twenty-two thousand while refugees from the fighting have grown to over two-hundred thousand. International pressure on Bashar Al-Assad is mounting, but little tangible progress has been made. Meanwhile, the regime's growing isolation and the increasing number of defections affecting its leadership have led Syrian authorities to escalate their repression, dragging the whole of the country into a bloody civil war. Today, a peaceful solution appears unlikely and remote. Ilaria Romano analyzes the latest developments in Syria's tragic predicament for Resetdoc.Post-Annan Mission ImpossibleVictims and RefugeesAssad, between defectors and loyalists


IT Syria

Assad, between defectors and loyalists

Ilaria Romano

The Syrian state’s leadership is the result of a complex mix of President Assad’s family interests and the military’s strict control over intelligence. Bashar Al Assad inherited the presidency from his father Hafez in 2000, but his family has always played a fundamental role in the country’s politics since 1971, when Bashar’s father became president. In recent times this has not however prevented defections from within the apparatus. In Syria political and government organisation consists of a cabinet, parliament, a military network of agencies responsible for internal and external security and a diplomatic corps.


IT Syria

Victims and Refugees

Ilaria Romano

According to information gathered by the Centre for Documentation of Violations in Syria (http://vdc-sy.org/index.php/en/), which processes data from local committees of anti-government activists, updating them on a daily basis, so far 22,176 people have died in the Syrian civil war. Data indicates that 19,883 of those killed were civilians, of which 18,872 were men and 1,236 women. The victims also included 1,467 boys and 601 girls.


Comment

Reflections on the unfolding debate about sexual freedom in Morocco

Brahim El Guabli

The political atmosphere, created by the sexual liberty debate in Morocco, is reminiscent of the early 2000, when the then brave Family, Childhood and Social Solidarity Minister, Professor Said Essaidi, proposed and staunchly defended his National Plan for the Integration of Women in Development. This latter would have assuredly catapulted Moroccan women into the heart of the socioeconomic development of the country; had it been passed the way it was drafted, it would have allowed Moroccan women to be on the foot of equality with men and would have allowed them to acquire more clout in economy and politics.


IT Africa

Sudan’s economy collapses amidst arrests and protests

Salma El-Wardany talks to Azzurra Meringolo

In the last week of June, Khartoum and other cities in the Sudan experienced a new wave of protests caused by President Omar Al-Bashir’s announcement of a new austerity plan. On June 18th the president had announced the progressive abolition of fuel subsidies as well as higher taxes and customs duty on luxury goods. With this plan, the dictator, in power since 1991 and wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity perpetrated in Darfur, is desperately attempting to increase revenue to reduce the country’s $2.4 billion deficit.


IT After the Arab Spring

A New Marshall Plan for Tunisia

An interview with Radwan Masmoudi

Radwan Masmoudi is the director of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy. A dual Tunisian-American citizen, he has worked tirelessly to improve cooperation between the two countries and to promote a moderate vision for the co-existence of democracy and Islam. As the Arab world’s best candidate for democracy, Tunisia is seen as a crucial test case – the success or failure of Tunisian democracy, Masmoudi believes, could create either a pro- or an anti- democratic wave across the Arab world. “In the end, democracy has to deliver,” he says. “It has to improve the economic situation of the people. So this is the real test: Freedom has to improve the quality of citizen’s lives.” A year after Tunisia’s unprecedented revolution, the economic turbulence threatens to spoil the democratic experiment and possibly represent a fatal setback to democratization in the Arab world. To address this risk, Masmoudi is promoting an ambitious plan to ensure Tunisia’s success: a New Marshall Plan for economic development, on the order of 5 billion dollars for 5 years.


IT After the Arab Spring

After the Revolutions: Different Paths to Democracy

Rajeev Bhargava, in a conversation with Giancarlo Bosetti

Many countries in the south-Mediterranean region have been experiencing profound changes in 2011 and 2012, and young Arab democracies will have to deal with problems and debates related to the relationship between religion and democracy, Islam and secularism, citizenship and the rights of minorities. People will have to chose between new or maybe existing “models” of democracy: will they chose to live in a secular democracy? If yes, which kind of secularism will they chose? Or will people rather prefer to build a “religious democracy?” To address these questions, Resetdoc has interviewed Rajeev Bhargava, currently Senior Fellow and Director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi. He has previously been a Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Delhi. He has been a fellow and visiting professor in many international universities, including Harvard and Columbia University. His research and publications focus on secularism, multiculturalism, political theory and India’s democracy.


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