April 17, 2016 |
When Chris Cotter set out to make his documentary about human-rights atrocities in Eritrea, his goal was for it to have an impact. Now it appears it is. This week, the West Chester filmmaker screened his work, Refugee: The Eritrean Exodus , for employees at the State Department, who he hopes will use it to spread the word. The film has also aired or has scheduled showings in New York, California, London, and Barcelona. But the most heartening news might have come from an advocate for an Eritrean who had fled his homeland and was seeking asylum in Europe.
April 10, 2016
By Edna O'Brien Little, Brown. 320 pp. $27 Reviewed by Mike Fischer Edna O'Brien's latest novel begins where O'Brien always eventually returns: a remote town in western Ireland, filled with lonely souls and limited opportunities. But then a handsome stranger from Montenegro calling himself Dr. Vladimir Dragan shows up, advertising his services as a practitioner of alternative medicine. The women fall hard. One moons that "maybe he'll bring a bit of romance into our lives.
March 25, 2016 |
In the wake of the ISIS atrocity in Brussels, it's time to reflect on the meaning of John Kerry's recent statement that the group has committed a genocide against Yazidis. It is certainly true that ISIS has done its best to wipe out members of the ancient monotheistic religion, killing thousands of men, enslaving women and children, and creating roughly 400,000 refugees. But what good does a State Department declaration do for women and girls who escaped ISIS captivity after months of being raped daily, or the thousands who remain enslaved?
March 14, 2016 |
German Chancellor Angela Merkel cited a "gratifying" drop in the number of refugees entering Germany and defended her efforts to reach a deal with Turkey on migration as she made a final effort to win votes ahead of three state elections Sunday. With polls showing support for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union slipping, the chancellor placed her open-border refugee policy front and center on Saturday as voters in Baden- Wuerttemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt prepared to go to the polls.
February 25, 2016 |
Some of the grown-ups in a classroom at Catholic Charities in Camden may have been tired, and a few might have been poor. And that gaggle of wide-eyed children clustered on the floor Tuesday afternoon might qualify as "huddled masses. " But for the next half-hour, these 120 refugees from Iraq, Myanmar, and other places would forget the struggles that had forced them from their native countries. They were in America, the land of opportunity, and of soap bubbles and erupting plaster volcanoes.
February 12, 2016 |
AAT A Berlin Film Festival press conference for his new movie, "Hail, Caesar," George Clooney lost his cool when a reporter questioned his commitment to the refugee crisis affecting Germany and much of Europe. The Hollywood Reporter reported that Clooney, one of the most activist of actors, was understandably miffed. "I spend a lot of time working on these things, and it's an odd thing to have someone stand up and say, 'What do you do?' That's fine, knock yourself out," Clooney said.
January 18, 2016
ISSUE | REFUGEES Compassion, not pain A humanitarian crisis in Central America has driven hundreds of thousands of refugees - including more than 115,000 unaccompanied children - to the United States since 2014. In the last quarter of last year, more than 10,000 Central American children crossed into this country. This situation demands compassionate and sensible approaches. Instead, inhumane federal deportation practices are tearing apart these refugees' communities ("Deportation controversy," Jan. 10)
January 8, 2016
By Huda Al-Marashi My uncles wanted to accompany my grandfather's body back to Iraq, but my mother refused. It was 2006, and the insurgency was at its height. "Isn't it enough that I am burying my father?" she said. "Do I have extra brothers to lose?" We buried my grandfather in the Muslim portion of a sprawling, green-lawned cemetery about an hour from my parents' Monterey, Calif., home. Because of state regulations, his shrouded body was placed inside a plain wooden box, not directly in the ground as Islamic custom requires.
January 5, 2016 |
Here is a 2016 "calendar" to keep you up at night. Don't hold me to the dates, but if the next 12 months pass without our witnessing these unsettling moments, then America will be truly blessed. January. We know the date, for sure: Jan. 12. That's when President Obama will deliver his last State of the Union Address. What's not known is whether he'll have anything new to say about America's place in the world and how he'll deal with ongoing challenges such as ISIS, Syria, Iran, Russia, North Korea, and China.
December 25, 2015 |
Just three months ago, the world was shocked by heart-wrenching photos of a 3-year boy who drowned and was found face down in the surf on a Turkish beach. The images of his lifeless, innocent body pricked the world's conscience and prompted widespread calls to do more to help those fleeing the widespread violence engulfing Syria and other countries. Then came the massacres committed by Islamic jihadists in Paris and San Bernardino. Empathy evaporated, and voices clamored to shut our nation's door to those fleeing massacres and brutality in the Middle East.