Blog

on the road for human rights

Reverse culture shock


I just experienced how it feels when no clean water comes out of the tap for a day. And I know how it feels to shower with water I boiled and stored in bottles because tap water was so contaminated that I got rashes, for months. And here, we flush the toilet with water clean enough to drink.

Precious Water


Precious water in the desert. (Jordan Valley, Palestine 08/04/2014)

Nuba Mountains: "I have never left the war zone"

Reblog from Nuba Reports.

Reblog: Stranded at the Swiss Border


In August, I travelled to Como, at the Swiss-Italian border where people seeking refuge strand as Swiss authorities don't let them through. On this occasion, I did some research for an NGO and wrote a testimonial (in German) which was now published on their campaign website for humane asylum politics Farbe bekennen.


Stranded in Como: "Behind us the sea, before us this huge invisible wall"

No Agreement, No Ceasefire, No Aid

Humanitarian access to the war zones in Sudan, namely to Dar-Fur, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State, has been a thorny issue for a while, and negotiations between the conflicting parties have failed again and again in the past. It therefore was not much of a surprise when the most recent attempt, organised under the umbrella of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, did not lead to any substantial result either.

Ramadan Kareem!

Ramadan started last night, and the way people present their wishes, Ramadan Kareem, means generous Ramadan. The way I experienced this time of the year in Palestine, I would compare it to Christmas time in our part of the world. The streets in Al-Quds were all decorated with lights and colourful coffee stalls had sprouted everywhere. After Iftar, the fast breaking, people would gather with friends and family to spend a good time together. The ambiance was generally cheerful and festive.

Shebab dancing Dabke


Shebab at As-Sawyia secondary school dancing the traditional Palestinian Dabke. (As-Sawyia, April 2014, image credit: C. Neves)


How We Talk About Things

I just had an online discussion with a blogger I usually appreciate for her sharp sense and her critical mind. She posted a picture of a far right politician dressed up as a Bedouin and related Bedouins to Israel among others. I contacted her and asked her not to describe Bedouins of that region as Israelis, but as Palestinians, which they are. It was her right to consider my critics as small minded. Maybe it is.

Playing Humanitarian - Hypocrisy in Refugee Politics

How many times have I tried to put down these lines. And started over and over again? There is too much to write about Nuba people when you are blogging about human rights. You just can't tell the story in only 3000 characters. But finally, I managed to focus on one specific issue. More to come.

Flashback

Croatian TV also reported on our action. I wish I understood what they say.

Internet Without Borders for Europe Without Borders

As things do improve slightly every day in the camp; as police is behaving way less aggressive; as the transfer to the buses is much more humanely organised and people do no longer wait in lines for hours; as even the Red Cross has started giving out blankets; as now, there is place for everyone to sleep in a tent; as more and more other organisations are establishing their presence in the camp, and as our team is shrinking because people have to travel home, decision has been taken to fade out. This means that we are handing over our activities to other organisations on the ground to ensure the charging station and internet access remain available, as well as tea distribution, which is the only hot thing people receive in days.


Internet without borders for Europe without borders.


Internet without borders for Europe without borders. (Opatovac 30/09/2015)

Rain

Working in the camp is like working in a different world. While outside everybody is talking of the super moon, inside, we have no time to watch the sky. As most volunteers have travelled home during the weekend, we are operating in a reduced team.

The refugees are assigned to one sector inside the camp and are not allowed to leave it without specific authorisation from the police. Tonight, they are all being brought to the same sector, which is by now overcrowded. No buses are leaving for the moment, but more and more people arrive. The tents are full, so people sleep outside on the ground.

As the tents in the sector are overcrowded, people sleep on the ground outdoors.


As the tents in the sector are overcrowded, people sleep on the ground outdoors. (Opatovac 28/09/2015)