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Diala Brisly: Paintings of hope for Syria’s children – BBC News

88847868_refugee88847473_dream-catcher976-188847865_its-a-baby-girl88847474_child-labour

Artist Diala Brisly fled Syria in 2013 but she’s well known among Syrians for her work on a children’s magazine that, amazingly, is still printed in the country, despite the war.

Source: Diala Brisly: Paintings of hope for Syria’s children – BBC News

 

Diala Brisly: Paintings of hope for Syria’s children

  • 19 March 2016
  • From the sectionMagazine
Diala Brisly

Artist Diala Brisly fled Syria in 2013. She now lives in Beirut but she’s well known inside Syria for her work on a children’s magazine that, amazingly, is still printed and distributed inside the country. Here’s her story in her own words, followed by some examples of her work.

The magazine is called Zayton and Zaytonah – like Olive and Oliver, a boy and a girl. There are a lot of olive trees and olive farms in the north of Syria.

They used to print it in Saraqeb but the press was destroyed by shells and they couldn’t fix it, so now they are printing it in Aleppo. They are taking a risk by printing it and distributing it.

The main purpose is to remind kids about being a human being and keep them away from being a fighter. I think this magazine really gives them hope.

I was talking to someone who was distributing the magazine in the north and he told me about a kid who really likes this magazine, but now he has to go to fight. He can’t read the magazine any more because the fighters say it’s “forbidden”.

It’s very important to keep kids on track – being human beings – not just growing up to fight or kill yourself in some war you don’t belong to.

Dreamcatcher - an illustration by Diala Brisly, encouraging children to hang on to their dreamsImage copyrightDiala Brisly
Image captionThis recent cover for Zayton and Zaytonah encourages children to hang on to their dreams

I remember when we were still in Syria – a girl came to play the guitar for some kids, and when she went to take the guitar out, one of them started yelling and crying. He thought it was a weapon. It took hours to convince him that it was just an instrument.

There are so many things for them to deal with.

It’s very hard for a kid to see his brother with an open head. He won’t forget it ever.

They still laugh. They still smile. Sometimes they like to play, but they are not comfortable with strangers.


Find out more

Media player help88847473_dream-catcher976This illustration is inspired by the graffiti on a school wall that triggered Syria’s uprising. Seeing the revolutions in other Arab countries, some children wrote, “Your turn is coming doctor”, referring to President Bashar al-Assad, an opthalmologist. They were reportedly tortured after arrest, which is why in Brisly’s painting their nails fall out as they lose their grip on their school books. “It was just kiddy behaviour and it made them lose their future,” Brisly says. “In the prison, they didn’t just lose their nails, they lost their future.”

Watch a report on Diala Brisly by Anna Ridout for Newsnight on BBC2


I used to work preparing [opposition] field hospitals in Syria – bringing medical supplies and collecting money and donations – and month by month it became harder. I remember the last month, it was almost impossible and I thought: “That’s it, I can’t do it any more.”

So many people around me got arrested, and some of them got killed.

Once I had medical supplies under the car seat, and the checkpoint stopped me and they wanted to check the car, but I was lucky that the soldier that I stopped next to was a bit drunk. So he said, “Ah you are a beautiful girl, you can go.” I thought, “Oh my God, I am so lucky.” But that made me feel like I could not stay.

We don’t have a country, we don’t have a home.

We lost a lot.

I lost my brother.

You always think, even about the people around you, that you will lose them one day. So you are always prepared for this.

Some people look at the news and they feel like, “Oh my God, we can’t do anything any more.” And this is why I prefer to put some hope into the illustrations – facing tragedy in a different way.

People don’t like to see dead people or explosions. They can’t see it any more. Even me – I can’t see it any more.

Art is a better solution. You can put philosophy in a painting.

Child labour

Boy on bicycleImage copyrightDiala Brisly

He’s selling cotton candy. It’s symbolic. He’s a kid but he’s selling things for other kids because he has to make a living. Most people who get this magazine are in the same situation. That’s why I drew this boy happy. I can’t find a solution for him but I want him to be happy anyway. He will keep working, he doesn’t have any solution.

[The following examples of Diala Brisly’s work were not created for Zayton and Zaytonah magazine.]

Be my leg – I will be your arm

Boy who has lost an arm and girl who has lost a legImage copyrightDiala Brisly

This is a kind of encouragement to of us who have lost. I’m really very sad that I lost my brother. All of us lost something, but we can support each other. When I posted it, it had a big impact because there is a lot of depression now among Syrians. We can feel hope with this illustration. We really need something like this. This is why we need art.

Leave Us

Boy who has lost an arm and a leg holding a blood-spattered balloonImage copyrightDiala Brisly

This is about a massacre that happened in 2012. It was the first time we had heard about this much killing and massacre, so it was a shock for us. I saw a photo of a kid who lost his arm and his leg and I drew him in my own way. The balloon is a symbol of childhood. I don’t want to give up hope, but actually it is sad. He lost half of his body. It was a collection of illustrations and I called it “Leave Us”.

It’s a baby girl

Asylum-seekers on a rubber boatImage copyrightDiala Brisly

I saw a photo of people in a rubber boat in the middle of the sea. You see that guy – he might sink in a minute, but he was documenting every minute on his phone. I called it “It’s a baby girl” because it may be the end, but there is also beginning in this boat. They are travelling with this baby to start a new life. After that I was thinking about the life jacket itself, and how all of us need a life jacket – not just people in the middle of the sea.

Refugee

People floating in a tent-shaped air balloonImage copyrightDiala Brisly

Refugees are in the middle of nowhere. In their tents it’s like they are in an air balloon, but it doesn’t take them anywhere – it’s not for travelling anywhere. It’s just a long-term temporary situation. Even with a very nice house, I feel like I’m floating. How about these people? If you can’t stop the war, you have to expect people fleeing everywhere. You can’t expect people to stay there dying.

Inside me

Woman with a box containing many memoriesImage copyrightDiala Brisly

When I moved to Istanbul [when this picture was painted] I had contradictory feelings about lots of things. I felt guilty and lonely not being in Syria. Later, when I came to Beirut, I was doing voluntary work with refugees and I was with friends. I could do things to distract myself.


Media captionDiala Brisly: “Art is a weapon”

This is an edited version of Diala Brisly’s interview for BBC2’s Newsnight

Subscribe to the BBC News Magazine’s email newsletter to get articles sent to your inbox.

 

 

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undp.org – OGENETAN VILLAGE, Iniyandit subdistrict, Boven Digoel regency, Papua – Yulia Bayup, 24, is a happy woman. She is the proud owner of two fishponds, having been provided with IDR 2 million (US$150) i…

POLITICS

Trump Threatens To Fight #BlackLivesMatter Protesters If They Interrupt His Rallies (VIDEO)

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Hadi Elis

addictinginfo.org – Not one to miss even a single day of saying something that would get any other candidate immediately kicked out of the race, Trump spent a recent campaign rally suggesting he would physically fight…

WORLD

Failed revolution, failed state: Libya’s torment continues

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Hadi Elis

euronews.com – The rebel Libya Dawn forces have held the capital, Tripoli, for the last year, forcing the legitimate government to flee. In February they put on a show of strength ahead of a resumption of UN-brok…

SCIENCE

10 NASA Images That Will Inspire You – InformationWeek

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nomoreslaves

informationweek.com – The ubiquity of digital cameras makes it easy to overlook the glory of the visible world. Facebook in 2013 said users had uploaded more than 250 billion photos, and were adding 350 million photos p…

WORLD

Le massacre des prisonniers politiques en 1988 en Iran reste impuni – Maryam Radjavi

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Amir Faroky

ncr-iran.org – L’été 1988 fut l’apogée de l’horreur pour le peuple iranien qui a vu des milliers de prisonniers politiques pendus en quelques semaines dans les prisons du pays. Ces prisonniers qui purgeaient leur…

ART & ENTERTAINMENT

“I’m Scared to Be a Woman”

hrw.org – This report addresses human rights abuses faced by transgender people in Malaysia. “Transgender” is an inclusive term for anyone whose sex assigned to them at birth—i.e., the designation as “female…

WORLD

Sudanese Army Troops Raped Over 221 Girls, Women in ‘House-to-House’ 3-Day Onslaught in Darfur, Says Leading Human Rights Group

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domnogin

LEISURE

Nothing prepares you for being the daughter of ageing parents

theguardian.com – Old people’s wards are hell for old people. Geriatric wards are bedlam, bonkers, bananas. A toothless woman screaming when left alone, a cry that reaches the high hospital ceiling. A woman effing a…

LEISURE

JUNGLE SCHOOL

gogetfunding.com – The migrants living in appalling conditions in the tented settlement in Calais are getting no help from any of the EU governments. They have nothing and need virtually everything that we take for g…

LEISURE

Discussion with Leslee Udwin, Director of ‘India’s Daughter’

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Saurav Dutt

sauravdutt.com – Whilst researching, writing and completing my latest book ‘The Butterfly Room’ I-like many around the world-was struck by the power, resolve and unflinching horror of the ‘India’s Daughter’ documen…

LEISURE

Migrants flock to tiny school built by 1 of their own

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Yuuki Fushimi

bigstory.ap.org – CALAIS, France (AP) — The floor is sandy like the nearby dunes, the canvas roof is held up by tree branches covered in flowered cloth and the students seated at small desks are listening with soldi…

WORLD

Child Piracy – The Somali News Story You’re Not Being Told About

asafeworldforwomen.org – Somalia made headlines again on the 26th July as a bomb explosion outside the Jazeera Palace Hotel in Mogadishu killed 13 people and injured more than 40 others. The attack, which was carried out b…

ART & ENTERTAINMENT

A Journey With Mum – Called Alzheimer’s

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Wfac.cm

asafeworldforwomen.org – By Chris Crowstaff, founder of Safe World for Women. 13th June 2015. “It’s nice that we should all be friends, despite differences. What we want to hear about, around the whole world, is similariti…

LEISURE

The Second Hardest Thing I’ve Done

asafeworldforwomen.org – By Chris Crowstaff, founder of Safe World for Women. 11th August 2015. Friday 7th August was Mum’s birthday. She turned 79. Mum lives with our son in her bungalow, half an hour away by car. I went …

ART & ENTERTAINMENT

Alzheimer’s – Looking on the Bright Side

asafeworldforwomen.org – By Chris Crowstaff, founder of Safe World for Women. 6th July 2015. OK this is relatively early stages but, at the moment, it is still possible for me to see Alzheimer’s in a positive light, at tim…

LEISURE

Expecting the Unexpected – Alzheimer’s

asafeworldforwomen.org – By Chris Crowstaff, founder of Safe World for Women. 20th June 2015. Reading about Alzheimer’s, it looks as though the condition progresses in a series of clear-cut stages, starting with a bit of c…

LEISURE

Dementia and the Importance of Family

asafeworldforwomen.org – By Chris Crowstaff, founder of Safe World for Women. 4th August 2015. My recent blogs started out being about Mum who has been diaignosed with Alzhemer’s Disease. But actually this one is at least …

LEISURE

Love, Joy and Alzheimer’s – A Day With My Mum

asafeworldforwomen.org – By Chris Crowstaff, founder of Safe World for Women. 15th July 2015. Today I took my mum for an ECG (electocardiogram) to check out her heart, to help the psychiatrist to prescribe the most appropr…

WORLD

Israeli Forces Kidnap 9 from West Bank Districts – International Middle East Media Center

imemc.org – WAFA correspondence stated that Israeli forces raided a Hebron city neighborhood, where they proceeded to detain a Palestinian after breaking into and ransacking his house. The detainee was identif…

WORLD

Mother of Ali Dawabsha’s Health Deteriorating, Possible Brain Death – International Middle East Media Center

imemc.org – (Press TV/Al Ray) Riham Dawabsha who was herself injured, and also lost her husband as a result of the attack, was put on a respirator at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center, also known as Tel HaShomer …

WORLD

$35 million to UNRWA from Saudi Arabia – International Middle East Media Center

imemc.org – According to Ma’an, Yousef al-Bassam, Managing Director of the Saudi Fund for Development, said the donation aims to mitigate a funding crisis within UNRWA, which has threatened to delay the start …

WORLD

Pour la première fois depuis 1979, un journaliste d’un média juif américain a pu visiter l’Iran

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AmisIran

fr.news.yahoo.com – Le reporter du Jewish Daily Forward, une publication marquée à gauche, livre un reportage nuancé sur le pays et son rapport à Israël. Le Congrès américain devra se prononcer en septembre sur l’acco…

WORLD

Solidarité Socialiste avec les Travailleurs en Iran

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AmisIran

iran-echo.com – Dernière liste des prisonnières politiques Iraniennes détenues dans la seule prison d’Evin à Téhéran‎ La liste suivante comprend les prisonnières politiques, actuellement arbitrairement enfermées d…

WORLD

The Movement Against Solitary Confinement

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AmisIran

nymag.com – Earlier this summer, in considering the appeal of a longtime California death-row inmate named Hector Ayala, Justice Anthony Kennedy set aside the substance of Ayala’s appeal (it had to do with the…

WORLD

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center – Eleven Human Rights Organizations Condemn the Destruction of Sunni Place of Worship in Tehran

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AmisIran

iranhrdc.org – Eleven human rights organizations have condemned the destruction of a Sunni place of worship in Tehran in a statement and called on international organizations and Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rap…

WORLD

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center – Majid Moghaddam on Ward 8 of Evin Prison: “A Reminder of Kahrizak Detention Center”

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AmisIran

iranhrdc.org – Late last month Majid Moghaddam, a prisoner of conscience and former detainee at Kahrizak Detention Center was granted bail as his six-year sentence on charges relating to political crimes such as …

WORLD

Bangladesh Police Chief Tells Bloggers, “Don’t Cross the Line” · Global Voices

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AmisIran

globalvoicesonline.org – It has been five days since the assassination of secular blogger Niloy Neel but Bangladesh police authorities have made no significant progress investigating his murder. Neel was hacked to death by…

WORLD

I am a Jewish Iranian-American in favour of the nuclear deal

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AmisIran

theguardian.com – As an Iranian Jew raised in Tehran, educated in the United States, and a frequent visitor to Israel, the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran has pulled me in different directions. Like m…

WORLD

Iran refuses to free student activist Bahareh Hedayat after six years in jail

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AmisIran

theguardian.com – Seven years ago this summer, everything was set for the marriage ceremony of a young Iranian couple who had met and fallen in love at university. But on the day before the wedding, plain clothes of…

WORLD

In Iran, Anti-Baha’i Actions Hurt People and Business

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AmisIran

ihrb.org – The airwaves are still buzzing with news of the historic nuclear deal between six major world powers and Iran. As foreign corporations begin to consider the opportunities to do business in Iran, it…

WORLD

A Jewish Journalist’s Exclusive Look Inside Iran – News – Forward.com

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AmisIran

forward.com – Pasagardae, Iran —— In the heart of Fars Province on Iran’s high desert plateau in the South, a stark and bare large limestone tomb juts out of the landscape. It’s in the middle of nowhere. But the…

WORLD

Proof Iran Funding Hamas Gives the Lie to Obama Claims

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AmisIran

commentarymagazine.com – When asked repeatedly by Republicans about Iran’s repeated threats to destroy Israel during Congressional testimony about the Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State John Kerry sighed and looked at h…

WORLD

Amid Crackdown, Putin Reportedly Plans Human Rights Award

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AmisIran

rferl.org – MOSCOW — Rights groups in Russia have been ensnared in a far-reaching government clampdown since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency in 2012, but some activists may soon get plaudits and eve…

WORLD

Jailed Iranian Artist Atena Farghadani Recipient of CRNI’s 2015 Courage in Cartooning Award

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AmisIran

cartoonistsrights.org – CRNI’s 2015 Courage in Cartooning award is being given to Iranian artist-activist Atena Farghadani.  Ms. Farghadani was jailed in Tehran in August of 2014 after publishing a cartoon in protest of p…

WORLD

Inside Syria: Kurds Roll Back ISIS, but Alliances Are Strained

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AmisIran

nytimes.com – HASAKA, Syria — Green drapes were drawn against the sun, cloaking the room where members of a Syrian Kurdish militia huddled around walkie-talkies, assiduously taking down GPS coordinates. Talal Ra…

WORLD

Israeli Generals Back Nuclear Deal With Iran — Split With Netanyahu – Breaking News – Forward.com

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AmisIran

forward.com – In remarks carried by several Israeli media outlets, an unnamed senior military officer said that if agreed by its June 30 deadline, the deal would provide clarity on the direction of Iran’s nuclea…

WORLD

Tehran May Be Planning a Foreign Policy Reversal

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AmisIran

chathamhouse.org – In many ways, Iran’s behaviour in its region over the past five years has been an exception to its usual rule. The narrow sectarian politicking that has shaped much of its foreign policy since 2011…

LEISURE

How Princess Reema Is Opening Doors For Women In Saudi Arabia

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AmisIran

fastcompany.com – “She comes from a country where women can’t drive, can’t go outside, can’t go to restaurants, can’t socialize, can’t, can’t, can’t . . .” This is how Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar A…

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Mark G Kirshner

MarkGeoffreyKirshner @MarkGKirshner #Art #Music #Law #vaw #UN #HeForShe #Interfaith #Iran #Egypt #Spirituality. http://pinterest.com/markgkirshner . https://markgeoffreykirshner.wordpress.com . http://instagram.com/markgkirshner/ . NY

Tenth Wall Defense 4 Human Rights

Source: Tenth Wall Defense 4 Human Rights

 

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@MarkGKirshner

Over a million evacuate after massive earthquake in Chile

Shared by
kume bryant

nypost.com – ILLAPEL, Chile — Thousands of residents of this small city in northern Chile were sleeping outside Thursday after a powerful earthquake destroyed their homes, a tremor that also forced more than 1 …

Vast Ocean Underlies Ice on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus

news.nationalgeographic.com – A global ocean lurks inside Enceladus, Saturn’s saltwater-spitting moon—and that’s good news for alien hunters seeking an A-list extraterrestrial petri dish. After sorting through more than seven y…

Gay marriage to be recognised in Ireland before the end of 2015 – Independent.i

independent.ie – Gay marriages will be recognised in Ireland before the end of the year. Despite delays in publishing the liberalised laws following legal challenges, the Government said the legislation should be p…

A New Generation in Somalia

markgeoffreykirshner.com – In Somalia, there is a new generation of young female law students who hope to use their education to build a strong and fair justice system. UNDP, through the Rule of Law Access to Justice Project…

Iran regime ups internet censorship – Reporters Without Borders

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MYTRA

markgeoffreykirshner.com – Source: Iran regime ups internet censorship – Reporters Without Borders NCRI – Reporters Without Borders has condemned the Iranian regime’s increasing censorship of the Internet, including its cens…

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Mark G Kirshner

MarkGeoffreyKirshner @MarkGKirshner #Art #Music #Law #vaw #UN #HeForShe #Interfaith #Iran #Egypt #Spirituality. http://pinterest.com/markgkirshner . https://markgeoffreykirshner.wordpress.com . http://instagram.com/markgkirshner/ . NY

Hate speech legislation does not tackle radicalization: Quebec Bar Association

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#PillMunny

montrealgazette.com – QUEBEC — The Quebec Bar Association added its voice Wednesday to those calling for significant changes to Bill 59. Human rights lawyer Pearl Eliadis said the Bar supports the bill’s principle — to …

State of Fear

Shared by
domnogin

hrw.org – Since taking power in 1994, President Yahya Jammeh has ruled Gambia with often-ruthless repression of dissent, a tight clamp on virtually all independent media, and the use of state security forces…

All World →

Why You Should Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend – Chelsea Krost

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kume bryant

chelseakrost.com – I’ve been a fan of Amy Poehler since her Saturday Night Live days, where she parodied everyone from former first ladies to Mickey Mouse-adorned teens. I’ve also watched her on all 6 (soon to be 7) …

As A Man Here’s Why I Believe Gender Equality & Women’s Rights Are Also My Fight

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Saurav Dutt

girltalkhq.com – I write from the perspective of a man who cares very much about women’s rights, gender equality, and homophobia. I’ve written about these issues within the context and framework of South Asia and p…

All Art & Entertainment →

Chicago — MacArthur Foundation

macfound.org – Since 1978, MacArthur has invested nearly $1.1 billion in Chicago. Grants have supported more than 1,300 organizations and individuals in the region. MacArthur awards $10 million annually to more t…

All Science →

Istanbul Biennial commemorates Armenian genocide

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biay jo:

theartnewspaper.com – The 14th Istanbul Biennial, Saltwater: a Theory of Thought Forms, opened this week amid calls for all participating artists to suspend their work for 15 minutes in support of Turkey’s Kurdish minor…

All Leisure →

At least 3 dead in 8.3-magnitude earthquake off coast of central Chile

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Silvana

kdvr.com – SANTIAGO, Chile — A powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile’s coast on Wednesday, triggering a tsunami alert and coastal evacuations. At least three people were killed President Michelle…

SDGs Will Only Succeed If They Can Succeed in Africa

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AmisIran

All Environment →

Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jeffrey Goldberg Debate Mass Incarceration

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domnogin

theatlantic.com – I realized something about you earlier this summer, while we were both enjoying the scenery in that famed playground of the workingman, Aspen, Colorado. I was moderating an Ideas Festival debate di…

All Politics →

Husband bars Iranian footballer from Asian championships

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AmisIran

theguardian.com – The captain of an Iranian women’s football team is to miss a forthcoming Asian championships because her husband would not allow her to renew her passport. In a case highlighting Iran’s discriminat…

Iran’s Ayatollah Suggests He May Not Be Around in 10 Years

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AmisIran

Leader tells IRGC to guard against western influence

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AmisIran

Woman Ex-prisoner Speaks Out About Evin Prison

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AmisIran

Efforts to Bring the Guards and Government Closer

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AmisIran

New Human Rights Violations Exposed in Iran, in Time with UNHRC Session – Iran Press Watch

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AmisIran

All #iranelection →

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