Last month, Sudan was roiled by a backlash of anti-austerity demonstrations. A media blackout was imposed after the seat of governance Khartoum became the bull’s-eye of the target for irate citizenry. I made an appointment to sit down with a man who lives in my area, a Sudanese who is well acquainted with the political climate in Khartoum.
Mohamed Elhassan was nominated as the presidential candidate . . . .
Tammy and I chat, mostly chatype, and she comments on this blog now and then, one of the few — perhaps the only serious regular participant here, so far. She is a powerhouse of a pundit, maintaining her own blog at http://tammyswofford.blogspot.com/ and publishing elsewhere. Her column appears in Pakistan’s Daily Times reliably every Friday.
Ansar Abbasi proves his ignorance not just of worldly education and the modern world but also about Islam itself in his column. He claims that only Islamic knowledge is real knowledge, and therefore, all other knowledge is fake by implication. Nothing militates more against the spirit of Islam than this statement.
Facebook’s English-speaking culture and civilization has brought to my own desktop a global network, a distributed and deepening layer of progress-inducing intellectuals, and I may append that with the preposition, “from Riyadh to Islamabad”.
I and the author of the above quoted passage have seven Facebook buddies in common: for the time being, however, I’ve elected to follow the writer on Facebook. I’m not full up on cyber associates, colleagues, and sources — and I’m way short on clients (editorial and research) and sponsors (say, for example, for this blog or more focused and private research) — but what a world one has at a computer’s keyboard for getting around: for several to many Pakistanis, I am the first conservative Jew they have ever met, and with a few, have talked face to face with via Skype.
As per the Education Emergency of Pakistan (EEP) report, Pakistan is second in the global ranking for the total percentage of out-of-school children. As of now, seven million children are deprived of proper primary education and three million have never seen a classroom. Only 1.5 percent of the GDP is allocated for education, which is less than the subsidy the state gives to corporations like PIA, Pakistan Steel and Pepco. Across the country, over 21,000 schools have no buildings, only 39 percent have electricity, and 64 percent of schools are said to be in an unsatisfactory condition.
Haroon Mustafa Janjua has made himself a fixture in my Facebook experience. He has an extraordinary collection of oral history interviews with survivors of Partition and another set involved with the plight of women in contemporary remote village life — and he knows he’s welcome to share on this blog a short article or excerpt from that work.
There is no need to name names but rather heed the warning that for any society, autocratic leadership, corruption, exploitation, injustice and violence may in part represent the expression and end products of having made way for the demands of a malignant narcissist.
An in-bounds narcissism may be part of the prerequisite for leadership — every would-be leader has to have the want of the role, the ambition to pursue it, and some good-feeling vision about seeing himself in it and modestly heroic — but the leap into the grandiose travels far beyond that. Consider, for example, Saddam Hussein’s genocidal persecutions of the Kurds and of the Marsh Arabs taking place beside the construction of Tikrit Palace and the building or maintenance of another 80 similarly opulent residences.
The concerns, desires, and observations formed today by an emerging global intelligentsia may be having effects in news reflection, specifically, i.e., how we encounter online our own image — individually, collectively — delivered and suspended in the language of remote others.
Expect normative adjustment from that interaction.
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The old saying “Think globally; act locally” may need to be modified some by The Awesome Conversation and related capability in influence slowly working its way down into issues in remote (to one party or the other) regions, essentially producing around each intellectual node its own locality — it’s own intellectual geography — in cyberspace.
Distilled: there is nothing to keep a mind from working on either local or impossibly remote problems and participating in their management or solutions as if they were all taking place down the hall, next door, or one building over.
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