Arts & Culture

Does religion restrict freedom?

The word ‘freedom’ is one of the great buzzwords of our culture. In the words of the rock band Queen, we all want to “break free”. Whether it’s Mel Gibson shouting “Freedom” as he is hung, drawn and quartered, or Martin Luther King crying “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last”, we all want freedom. But as Rousseau famously observed: “Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains”. What chains… Source: Does ... Read More »

Tigers seized from controversial Thai Buddhist temple

Wildlife authorities in Thailand are removing tigers from a controversial Buddhist temple after accusations of wildlife trafficking and animal abuse.. Three of the 137 tigers at the temple in Kanchanaburi province were moved on Monday. The 1,000-personnel operation will last all week. The monks, who deny all allegations, resisted at first but gave in when presented with a court order… Source: Tigers seized from controversial Thai Buddhist temple – BBC News Read More »

Rahmani, Neda

Neda Rahmani

A child of the revolution, born in Iran to Persian and Mauritian Parents. Neda grew up in Australia enjoying the freedom to perform and develop as one of Australia’s strong live female performers. A seasoned percussionist and natural performer, she is also now establishing herself as an actress and story teller. Her main band is called Neda – All Colour Project. She is Melbourne Festival’s and Multicultural Arts Victroria’s Cultural ambassador and her career has been in collaborating and delivering ... Read More »

From Bosnia to Iraq: The Failure of Forced Coexistence

The obsession with inviolable borders often creates dangerously divided societies.. Janko Bekić The U.S.-led military interventions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, rump Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq have revealed Washington’s inclination toward forcible regime change and external democratization, but also its propensity for the maintenance of the status quo in regard to international boundaries (with Kosovo’s secession from Serbia as an obvious exception to… Source: From Bosnia to Iraq: The Failure of Forced Coexistence | The National Interest Read More »

Thousands of Muslims demand right to pray at Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia


ISTANBUL // Thousands of Muslim worshippers descended on Istanbul’s world famous Hagia Sophia museum on Saturday to demand the right to pray there. An imam led a prayer in front of the vast building that was once a Greek Orthodox basilica, then a mosque and now a museum before crowds called for it to be restored as a Muslim place of worship. “Let the chains break, open Hagia Sophia,” chanted the crowds who gathered on the plaza in front of ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia and Iran fail to reach deal on Hajj

Riyadh accuses Iranian officials of walking out of talks despite offers for “solutions” to Tehran’s demands.. Saudi Arabia and Iran have failed to reach a deal on arrangements for Iranians to attend this year’s Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, with officials from both countries trading accusations on who was to blame for the impasse. Saudi officials accused their Iranian counterparts of walking out of talks early on… Source: Saudi Arabia and Iran fail to reach deal on Hajj – AJE News Read More »

Is this Greek hilltop the 2,400-year-old burial place of Aristotle?

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Greek archaeologist ‘almost certain’ he has discovered the long-sought tomb of world’s greatest philosopher.. Greek archaeologists believe they have discovered the lost tomb of Aristotle, the greatest philosopher in history. Kostas Sismanidis said he was almost sure that a 2,400 year-old domed vault he unearthed in ancient Stagira was the burial place of the man credited with formalising logic… Source: Is this Greek hilltop the 2,400-year-old burial place of Aristotle? | World news | The Guardian Read More »

How I mourned my sister through the books she left behind

But in Emily’s library, I also saw a life well lived.. By Tom Rachman Tom Rachman is the author of two novels, “The Imperfectionists” and “The Rise & Fall of Great Powers.” My sister always wanted built-in bookshelves. So when she bought a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Washington, she hired a carpenter. Soon, there were glossy cookbooks as you stepped through the front door, fiction when you crossed the living room, travelogues by… Source: How I mourned my sister through ... Read More »

Muslim mob in Egypt strips 70-year-old Christian woman

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Seven Christian homes ransacked and torched following rumours woman’s son had affair with Muslim… Associated Press in Cairo The Guardian A Muslim mob stripped a 70-year-old Christian woman and paraded her naked on the streets in an attack last week in which seven… According to the local Orthodox Coptic church and security officials, the assault in the Minya province village of Karama on Friday began… Muslim mob in… Read More »

Turkish singer steps down as UNESCO goodwill ambassador in protest of Turkey stance

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Revered Turkish singer Zülfü Livaneli, who has been holding a post as UNESCO goodwill ambassador since 1996, has resigned, accusing the organization of “hypocrisy”, Turkish daily newspapers reported on Wednesday. Livaneli noted in his resignation letter that UNESCO has remained silent in the face of human rights violations, attacks on free speech and… Source: Turkish singer steps down as UNESCO goodwill ambassador in protest of Turkey stance – Turkish Minute Read More »

Ancient crayfish and worms may die out together

Research suggests that bizarre, tentacled worms which live attached to crayfish in the rivers of Australia are at risk of extinction – because the crayfish themselves are endangered. It would be an example of coextinction, where one organism dies out because it depends on another doomed species. Just a few millimetres long, the worms eat even tinier animals in the water or inside the crayfish gill chamber… Source: Ancient crayfish and worms may die out together – BBC News Read More »

Talks break down between German right-wing AfD, Muslim group

Agence France Presse BERLIN: A meeting between Germany’s right-wing populist AfD party and a Muslim organisation ended in acrimony Monday after less than an hour. A co-chair of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), Frauke Petry, said there was nothing left to talk about after the Muslim group had compared her party to the Nazis. Aiman Mazyek, the head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD), who initiated the meeting held in a Berlin hotel… Source: Talks break down ... Read More »

Rome’s treatment of censured Irish priests a ‘great scandal’

Catholic bishops urged to develop more just and respectful process for dealing with cases.. An Irish priest censured by the Vatican has cast doubts that his future or the futures of other clerics in his situation will improve following last week’s meeting between Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) colleagues and bishops… Source: Rome’s treatment of censured Irish priests a ‘great scandal’ Read More »

Logging to begin in last remaining European primeval forest

Warsaw: It is the last remaining relic of an ancient forest that stretched for millennia across the lowlands of Europe and Russia, a shadowy, mossy woodland where bison and lynx roam beneath towering oak trees up to 600 years old. Conservationists believe the fate of the Bialowieza Forest, which straddles Poland and Belarus, is more threatened that at any time since the communist era due to a new Polish government plan for extensive logging in parts of the forest. The plan ... Read More »

One day at Agkalia (Embrace)

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One day at Agkalia *(Embrace) we encountered group of seemingly tough young men. By Giorgos Tyrikos-Ergas * Μια μέρα στην Αγκαλιά… They set themselves apart from the other groups with the families and were just sitting around and loitering making comments about the volunteers, all kinds of insinuations about the women volunteers, and in general: they looked like trouble. When we started giving away food they did not wait in line. They cut in and grabbed it. To my request ... Read More »

Queen’s appoints 18 highly paid academics amid cutbacks

Queen’s said its appointments fit with its aim to create strong and visible academic leadership A DOZEN senior managers appointed as part of a major restructuring by Queen’s University stand to take home more money a year than the First Minister. As academics at Queen’s prepare to take part in a UK-wide strike over pay, it has emerged that the university is spending millions on new… Source: Queen’s appoints 18 highly paid academics amid cutbacks – The Irish News Read More »