Pope Francis arrived in Baghdad on Friday for a historic visit amid concerns over security and the spread of the coronavirus. "This is an emblematic trip and it is a duty towards a land that has been martyred for so many years," Francis told reporters. "I am happy to be making trips again." The pontiff's trip to Iraq is his first outside of Italy since November 2019. Pope Francis' visit to Iraq's biblical sites Banished from paradise In biblical times, paradise was where Adam and Eve lived, supposedly the area between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers — until God banished them from the Garden of Eden because they nibbled on the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. There are still lush oases on the banks of the river, but people's lives there today are anything but paradisiacal. Pope Francis' visit to Iraq's biblical sites River baptism John the Baptist baptized people, including Jesus of Nazareth, in the waters of the Jordan … [Read more...] about Pope Francis arrives in Iraq amid security fears
Capital in the twentyfirst century
Kindly Share This Story: By Owei Lakemfa THE Nobel Peace Prize, perhaps the most prestigious annual award in the world, suffers from a chronic illness: the inability of the award committee to define what is peace. It is like one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. The loose framework; that the prize be awarded to those who have “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses” has not helped much. If it did, Adolf Hitler might not have been nominated in 1939. Nor would a warmonger like Donald Trump who actively promoted the wars in Yemen and Syria and tore up the Iran Nuclear agreement have been nominated in 2021. Even for constituting a serious obstacle to the war against COVID-19 by campaigning that the pandemic was a ruse, refusing to allow countries like Iran and Venezuela access to COVID-19 drugs and withdrawing America from … [Read more...] about Nobel Prize for peacemakers and warmongers
Bhutan's recognition of Bangladesh without waiting for Indian advice was a clever move. It was a calculated gamble to assert its independence, says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan. T himphu, the capital of Bhutan had very few comforts in 1971. For us, who went to Bhutan from Tokyo, with a nine-month old baby 42 years ago, the feeling was that we had walked backwards in time by about half a century. The first motorable road was opened only in 1968 and there were no commercial flights into Bhutan. The drive from the border town of Phuntsholing in India to Thimphu took the whole day, with a lunch break at Chukha, a small rivulet at that time, but a gigantic hydro-electric project now. Electricity was a rarity and we had to huddle around a bukhari , which burns wood to provide a level of comfort in the bitter cold. Life did not, however, stand still in Thimphu. 1971 was an exciting year in Bhutan and as the only diplomatic mission in the country, India was very much a partner in … [Read more...] about Who recognised Bangladesh first?
JAKARTA: Diaz Nawaksara grew up during the rise of the Internet and telecommunications. When the 30-year-old went to college, he decided to study information management, focusing on storing information through computational methods. But as modern as his educational qualification sounds, his job nowadays involves something very ancient: preserving Indonesian scripts that are as old as 500 years. “I started in 2012 by studying the Javanese script first,” Nawaksara recounted, referring to the native language of those from Indonesia’s and the world’s most populated island of Java. Today, he can read and write over 30 ancient Indonesian scripts. He understands fluently about half of the languages associated with these scripts. It is a rare ability considering that most Indonesians can only read one or two scripts. Most Indonesians can read Latin, the script used for the national language Bahasa Indonesia as well as English. Others also know Arabic for reading the Koran … [Read more...] about This man can read and write 30 ancient Indonesian scripts, some as old as 500 years