The Global Human: Social Comments

Remembering Tiananmen Square 1989

Posted in In the News by Solveig Hansen on 2017/06/04

The Tank Man, standing right in front of a column of tanks. With one shopping bag in each hand, he moved to the left and the right and back again to prevent the tanks from advancing. Iconic images illustrating the very act of bravery.

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Rosa Parks

Posted in In the News by Solveig Hansen on 2015/12/02

60 years ago today, ‎Rosa Parks‬ refused to give up her seat to a white male passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. She was arrested and fined. Parks’ actions ignited a bus boycott and protests to abolish segregation.

USA. Atlanta, Georgia. 1995. Rosa Parks. © Eli Reed/Magnum Photos.


A growing partnership: Parents span Israeli-Palestinian divide

Posted in In the News by Solveig Hansen on 2015/10/19

Parents Circle is a group of Palestinian and Israeli families who have lost children to violence and now works together for peace. On Saturday night, they set up a tent of reconciliation in the Israeli city of Jaffa. The idea is to establish a place where Israelis and Palestinians can talk with each other.

An unwilling symbol of Israel’s identity complex

Posted in In the News by Solveig Hansen on 2015/10/18

Motorcycle diaries: A brief moment of humanity with an Israeli policeman

Posted in In the News by Solveig Hansen on 2015/10/09

TED Talk: How I stopped the Taliban from shutting down my school

Posted in In the News, TED talks by Solveig Hansen on 2015/09/22

“When the Taliban closed all the girls’ schools in Afghanistan, Sakena Yacoobi set up new schools, in secret, educating thousands of women and men. In this fierce, funny talk, she tells the jaw-dropping story of two times when she was threatened to stop teaching — and shares her vision for rebuilding her beloved country.”

Yom Kippur and Eid al Adcha 2015

Posted in In the News by Solveig Hansen on 2015/09/16

This year, the most holy day of the Jews – Yom Kippur and of the Muslims – Eid al Adcha will again be celebrated around the same time. This is a timely video:

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Saudi Author Turki Al-Hamad: Our Youth Are Brainwashed

Posted in In the News by Solveig Hansen on 2015/07/23

MEMRI (The Middle East Media Research Institute) posted this clip from an interview with Saudi author Turki Al-Hamad on Rotana Khalijiyya TV, Saudi Arabia, aired July 13-14, 2015. He talked about the extremist discourse prevalent in Saudi Arabia, leading many of its youth to join ISIS, and said, “In order to stop ISIS, you must first dry up this ideology at the source.”

“Why I, a Muslim, am going to a synagogue”

Posted in In the News by Solveig Hansen on 2015/02/20

Saturday, February 21, following the Shabbat service, young Norwegian Muslims will form a human shield around the synagogue in Oslo. They call it the “ring of peace.” One of the eight organizers, 17-year-old Hajrah Arshad, told a Norwegian newspaper:

We have taken this initiative not just as fellow human beings but also as Muslims to show that Muslims are opposed to the hatred Jews have to face.

2,000 have said they will attend. One of them is Waqas Sarwar. He wrote this blog post in The Times of Israel:

It has been one week since the terrorist attack in Copenhagen that killed Dan Uzan, a Danish Jew. He was standing guard outside the city’s synagogue during a Bar Mitzvah gathering when a terrorist shot him dead in an act of unprovoked and blind killing for no other reason than Uzan being a Jew.

A week later and just across the sea, in Oslo, the Shabbat will be marked in a rather unusual way. A group of Norwegian Muslims have decided to take upon themselves the task of organizing a human “chain of peace” around the synagogue in an act of solidarity. The gesture will be carried out on Saturday on the completion of Shabbat.

Read the whole post: Why I, a Muslim, am going to a synagogue – the comments are interesting, too

See also:
The offical Facebook page for the Ring of Peace event
Norwegian Muslims will form a human shield around an Oslo synagogue (Washington Post)

Oslo Synagogue

Oslo Synagogue

Open Letter to President Abbas: Strengthen your status as a reliable partner for peace

Posted in In the News by Solveig Hansen on 2015/02/13


With the Israeli elections coming up in March 2015, IFLAC has sent an open letter to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, appealing to him to use his authority to have Hamas revise their Charter and delete the conspiracy clauses and the clauses calling for the destruction of Israel. The Preamble to the Charter states that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam invalidates it.” In another statement, we read that the Jews “aim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam.”

Statements like these are counterproductive to the peace process. “The way is to come to the peace table with an open heart and mind and not with false negative conceptions and fixed defamation of the partner. Only in this way can the negotiations between two open, honest and willing partners reach a successful result, accepted by both sides,” IFLAC writes.

The letter…

View original post 1,520 more words

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Posted in In the News by Solveig Hansen on 2015/01/14

Cartoonists all over the world reacted quickly to the despicable terror attack at the Charlie Hebdo offices. The slideshow below shows some of their cartoons illustrating that the Pen is indeed Mightier than the sword. Always has been, always will be.

The slideshow also includes the cover of the first Charlie Hebdo issue following the attack. It depicts the Prophet Muhammad shedding a tear and holding up a placard that reads “Je suis Charlie” and “Tout est pardonné” (All is forgiven).

Feel free to leave tips on other cartoons in the comments field.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

International Day of the Girl Child 2014

Posted in In the News by Solveig Hansen on 2014/10/11

Thea did not say yes. Clever stunt by Plan.

Every day, 39,000 young girls are forced into marriage; that means 14 million child brides every year. In a campaign to raise awareness of child marriage, Plan Norway launched a fictitious blog (English machine translation) by Norwegian Thea, age 12, announcing her wedding to Geir, 37, on the International Day of the Girl. In the blog, she writes about the wedding preparations, counting down the days and posting selfies. Plan celebrity ambassadors were asked to tweet about the blog, and the story went viral.



“Thea,” Norway’s first child bride. A Plan campaign to put focus on child marriage.

Today is the International Girls Day, and Thea walked up the aisle to meet the man she did not want. The priest talked about God and love and the sanctity of marriage and asked, do you take this man? Thea did not answer, just shook her head. The priest went on, THEA? Thea turned around and walked away while the people shouted, THEA SAY NO.

Thankfully, Thea was not a real child bride, but 39,000 are on this International Day of the Girl.

Read more about the Plan campaign:
Norway child bride blog goes global
Plan Norway provokes globally


Gaza-Israel Conflict: Civilian Losses and Responsibility

Posted in In the News, Social Comments by Solveig Hansen on 2014/07/20

“It’s not our fault. They started it.”

I don’t believe any of the parties can relinquish responsibility for the loss of civilian lives as easily as they do.

In times of crisis, it is easy to rally around one’s own tribe and accept things that we would never accept in any other countries. It is so easy to fall into the trap of one-sidedness, to the point that the loss of civilian lives is not even worth mentioning because their deaths are at the hands of the other even if they were killed by our weapons.

When there are two sides in a conflict, both claiming the moral high ground, each convinced that they have justice on their side, the civilians become easily dispensable. If the outside world did not raise concern about this, what would that say about us as human beings?

Frightened civilians are not objects that can be remotely controlled to react rationally in a chaotic moment, to run exactly in the right direction, exactly at the right time – in many instances they don’t know where to go. Children easily slip away, and in the heat of the battle, tragedies happen. Spokespersons shrug their shoulders and say, “it is not our fault, they use the civilians as shields” or, “they occupy us and kill our people, we have the right to defend ourselves.” So the attacks and killings go on, and no one is big enough to talk to the other.

60 years and no solution. So many atrocities, so much bullying and humiliation of the other, suicide bombings and evictions. So much self-righteousness and yesterday’s thinking. Enough responsibility for both parties to take.

I truly believe we are better than this.

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Street Art Separation Wall

Posted in In the News by Solveig Hansen on 2014/04/28

Take a walk along the Separation Wall from Checkpoint 300 to Äida Camp in Bethlehem.

Watch on YouTube.
See also Street Art on the Separation Wall on Facebook.


Happy Peace Day!

Posted in In the News by Solveig Hansen on 2011/09/21

September 21 is the International Day of Peace. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982.


International Peace Day


International Day of Peace is also a Day of Ceasefire – personal or political. Take this opportunity to make peace in your own relationships as well as impact the larger conflicts of our time. Imagine what a whole Day of Ceasefire would mean to humankind.



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