PTC World News Roundup #2: 'Puppy Pistols'
Welcome to our second installment of WNR. In this week's post, find out why an asylum-seeking father and son decided to leave the U.K.; how lower income countries can make trillions of dollars with one simple step; and how easy it is to dupe Republicans into backing bizarre gun law proposals!
There are many sad stories in this week's WNR series that we would like to draw attention to. Firstly, the death of two young Palestinian boys, Luay and Amir, who were playing on a roof when an Israeli airstrike hit Gaza. Secondly, the worrying trend of disenfranchisement within new arrival communities: The father and son who fled Afghanistan, but decided to return after finding little hope or welcome in the UK. The young man, Jamal, who suffered from depression but nevertheless was deported from Germany back to Afghanistan, and later hung himself. We hope that by sharing stories like these we can help bring attention to the difficulties faced by refugees trying to find their place within a new society, and who often feel very isolated and bewildered by the bureaucracy of the asylum system.
"The refugees who gave up on Britain"
Deeply moving article by The Guardian about an Afghan father and son who came to Britain for a fresh start, but who decided to leave. After a harrowing journey from Afghanistan via the Mediterranean and the migrant camps of Calais, father, Said Ghullam Norzai, and his son, Wali Kahn, arrived in the UK. Although Wali Kahn settled well into his new life, learning English very quickly and making friends at school, his father became very depressed over the convoluted and unforgiving asylum application procedure. Feeling rejected and desperate, and still deeply traumatized by the loss of his wife and their other children, Said decides he wants to leave the UK to look for his family. Shortly after, Said and Wali disappear from their home in Derby.
9-year-old Wali still keeps in contact with his school friends in the UK by sending them pictures via Watsapp. He hopes that one day he can return to school. Wali and Said are now travelling through Iran and Turkey, retracing their steps, hoping to find their family.
"Germany is partly to blame for Jamal's death"
"Germany is partly to blame for the death of Jamal because it was known that he was depressed."
The young Afghan, Jamal Naser Mahmodi (23), was found hanged in a hostel in Kabul after having been recently deported from Germany. Jamal's father explains how their family had saved up all of their money to send Jamal to Germany to start a better life. Over the ensuing years Jamal had stopped contacting his family, and began to get in trouble with the law and take drugs. Eventually, after robbing a man on New Years Eve in 2017, the Germany authorities decided to deport him back to Afghanistan, along with 69 other Afghans. Jamal was so ashamed about his deportation that he did not reach out to his family, and became more and more isolated and depressed. He committed suicide shortly after. Jamal's death has raised important questions about deportation policy with regards to young adults, and mental health issues amongst refugees.
"Because of her headscarf, my sister was not allowed to go to the gym"
A young woman speaks out in protest against the treatment of her disabled sister, Fatima, after she was denied access to her local gym because of her headscarf. Fatima had been a member of the FitnessFirst branch in Dusseldorf for some time, training there regularly and using the disabled equipment. However, when it changed to 'FitnessHoff', so did the terms of her contract. Upon arriving at the gym, Fatima discovered that all the disability equipment had been removed, and she was told she could not train there anymore because she wore a headscarf.
"US Republicans endorse arming toddlers on Sacha Baron Cohen show"
"Just remember to point Puppy Pistol's mouth at the middle of the bad man."
In his latest TV show, 'Who is America?', comedian and producer, Sacha Baron Cohen, convinces gullible US Republican congressmen and other right-wing activists to endorse a fake 'kinder-guardian' scheme which would arm children as young as 4 with guns and other assault weapons! Read full story here
"'Like twins': Gaza mourns teenage boys killed in Israeli air raid"
"I heard an explosion, and instinctively knew that something had happened to my son..."
15-year-old Luay, and 16-year-old Amir, friends since childhood, were playing together on a roof in the Gaza strip (home to 2 million Palestinians, and dubbed 'the world's largest open-air prison'), when they were both killed in an Israeli airstrike. The heartbroken mother of Lauy describes the two boys' friendship- how they were like twins, and had grown up together, walking to school every day, playing football and dreaming of one day becoming top footballers. 30 Palestinians were also wounded in the same airstrike.
"Missed Opportunities: The High Cost of Not Educating Girls"
Educational statistics show that currently only 1 in 3 girls from lower income countries complete secondary education. An article by the World Bank has revealed that this costs countries between $15 trillion and $30 trillion dollars in lost lifetime productivity and earnings!
"Mural Painting Brings Smiles to Rohingya Children Healing From Trauma"
The wonderful artists at the community arts nonprofit, Artolution (read our past interview with Artolution co-founder, Joel Bergner here), in partnership with UNICEF USA, have come together to coordinate an amazing bi-national mural project with Ronhingya refugee youth and families in the United States. This collaborative art exchange program sees Rohingya children from the Balakhali refugee camp in Bangladesh paint a huge canvas mural (measuring 21 feet by 10 feet). Meanwhile, 200 families in the New York have also painted a mural, which will be sent to the Rohingya camp as a gift. The Rohingya mural will be flown to the U.S. where it will be permanently installed at the Westfield World Trade Centre in New York as an enduring symbol of peace and solidarity with refugees, and a reminder that they will not be forgotten.
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