Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"There are Only Two Ways To Live Your Life...

...One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." (A. Einstein)

Having written and erased too many preambles, I'm giving up and just jumping into the middle of this post.

December 10 marks the 60th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights that drafted this declaration, which lists the basic rights and protections guaranteed to all people, regardless of "race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." The American Civil Liberties Union has drafted a petition affirming our recommitment to these principles and calling upon the next U.S. president also to reaffirm that the U.S. endorses and upholds the declaration. (The same website also includes a video contest for activist youth. The winner will receive a trip to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly session on 12/10, celebrating the UDHR.) Given our state-endorsed actions over the past eight years, I think we could do with a recommitment ceremony.

Did you know that in Afghanistan a woman dies in childbirth every 28 minutes? Midwifery training is making a difference. And speaking of education, if you're still putting off reading Three Cups of Tea, time to put off the procrastination! Greg Mortenson is proof that change happens not because we're perfect or superhuman, but when we care enough to just keep Showing Up.

Speaking of showing up, they're packing 'em in at the Baghdad National Theater right now, the first time in four years they've had evening performances. Playing is "Bring the King. Bring Him" by Haider Munathir, a political satire of current Iraq. BBC News quotes him: ""A true artist must be a mirror to the people...and we must not be afraid of the authorities."

Apropos standing out, women in Guinea are agitating for change. In a country in which only 20% of women can read, activists are fighting for better educational opportunities and fuller inclusion in the political system. I'm the National Network of Young Women Leaders of Guinea's newest fan.

(Cross-Posted at Relaxed Politics)


Sami said...

Dear Laura, "Bring the King, Bring him" title is based on a song title, a very famous song which went out last year to encourage our football team in Asia Cup entitled "bring the cup, bring it". In arabic "Jeeb il cas jeeba".

One other thing Laura, that Air in G major of Bach was played at the Iraqi TV in the 1980s and 1990s when they show us Saddam seeing the gifts sent to him by his lovers and fans.

You helped me to heal that wrong sarcastuc linkage. You freed Bach's violenes in my mind from a great deal cognitive dissonace.

Now Bach is in the sky, in the universe....

Thank you Laura.

Laura said...

Thank you for the info about Bring the King, Sami. And I am so glad Bach has been liberated for you.

I hope you have a chance to see the play. I am very curious about it and would love to hear your impressions....

sami said...

Dear Laura, I hope I can go one day to that theatre. I hope a friend can come with me. I hope it would be in the morning. Baghdad night is still not a friend of mine.