Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Teaching for Peace and Change in the World’s Biggest War Zones

Republished from the New Indian Express


Published: 30th May 2016 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 28th May 2016 01:51 PM

Gun shots, bloodshed, refugee camps, hatred, basically anything that says ‘war’ – would probably scare away millions of us who have never seen that side of life. Except maybe for a few like Siraj Davis. An American citizen of Japanese origin, Siraj made one of the biggest decisions of his life six years ago, when he entered Syria, determined to do everything he could to remove refugees from their misery. It would come at a huge price, of course. And he was ready for it.

Six years without departure, witnessing war first hand, and even being deported for his pursuit of refugee rights, Siraj has seen it all. Syria to Jordan and Jordan to Erbil, Kurdistan, Siraj has spent the last six years researching, documenting and helping Iraqi, Palestinian and Syrian refugees in the Middle East.

He has taught at numerous international private schools and language institutes and now teaches at the American International School in Erbil, Kurdistan apart from teaching Permerga fighters and fighting for the rights of Yezidi refugees.

Ask him why he loves teaching so much and he emphatically replies, “because that’s the only way out”. For Siraj, education is the door to peace in the Middle East. “It is absolutely necessary to employ and uplift education to deter a trajectory of violent struggle derived from alternative ideologies  surrounding our youth outside of the schools, as opposed to non-violent resistance and tolerant meaningful dialogue,” he says.

He believes that it is the responsibility of teachers to introduce students to the acceptable  rhetoric, to be more forthcoming in the dialogue with the ‘other’ society that teaches them to repel, and to do away with the negative intolerant impediments.

When injustice and violence have become the cultural norm, when you’re constantly told to flee your home to avoid being mistakenly bombed as a terrorist, when you’re separated from loving families for prolonged periods of duration, endure second to third class citizenship, experience languishing penury and cruel abuse and merciless exploitation in your own region and specific nation of refuge, and desperately await a visa to a developed nation which is the only pathway to a real life for them, so often, the young are led to believe that it’s hopeless to even attempt to change things.  That, according to Siraj, is the worst form of submission in any human, to attempt nothing and feel content at such hypnosis. “I have taught students that simple things such as viewing or liking a video about humanity can improve the world. Sending a thank you letter to those who fight for our rights is a step. Making a blog can make a difference. But the first and most exigent step is getting the students to believe in themselves. If it takes an entire school year to convince them of this,  it is absolutely worth it,” he says with conviction.

Deeply inspired by his mother’s compassion for the downtrodden, Siraj has made it his life’s mission too. Little wonder then that the legend Noam Chomsky penned a note of appreciation for Siraj, something that will remain safe in his treasure box.

The Davis Docu

His first book was Religious Fanaticism and Abolition: Early 19th Century Marginalization of David Walker and Nat Turner. In it, he researched the application of religion by the abolitionist movement to justify violence at slave rebellions

He did something never done before in the historiography of the abolition movement by taking prolific author Herbert Aptheker’s record of slave rebellions in America and analyzing it statistically, which demonstrated the phenomena that every 20 years, the level and frequency of violence of rebellious groups tends to increase in a struggle, as it did in abolitionism

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An Open Letter to His Majesty King Abdullah and Her Majesty Queen Rania

Luma Mufleh


Your Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania,

Jumana Salti and I grew up together. We played together on our school’s soccer, basketball, and volleyball teams, and we shared the unbreakable bond of teammates ever since, until her untimely death on Friday, November 6th. My heart aches. Jumana’s spirit, her generosity, her playfulness and her goodness will live on, but she is gone. I have been trying to write a tribute, honoring Jumana’s life. But I can’t because I need closure. Her friends need closure, her family needs closure and most importantly the citizens of your country need closure. And it is for that reason I am writing you.

Like so many people who knew Jumana and Soraya Salti, I believe from the bottom of my heart that they did not commit suicide. This is not denial or wishful thinking; it is a tragedy no matter how it happened, and nothing…

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Categories: Uncategorized

Appeal for Donations: Nofal Hamdan Musa: 300 JDs Stolen from Syrian in Jordan

Abdul Hamid Faruki, Exploitation of Syrian refugees, Jamal Albes, Refugees, Refugees in Amman Jordan, Siraj Davis, Stealing fro Syrian refugees, Syrian refugee, Syrian refugee child labor, Syrian widow, Zaatari Camp

Source: Appeal for Donations: Nofal Hamdan Musa: 300 JDs Stolen from Syrian in Jordan

Corruption Continues To Plague Jordan, And 5 Steps To Fighting It

April 23, 2016 Leave a comment

Republished from Black Iris POSTED ON JANUARY 16, 2011 The Heritage Foundation’s economic freedom report for 2010 has come out and Jordan has actually improved. Jordan’s economic freedom score is 6…

Source: Corruption Continues To Plague Jordan, And 5 Steps To Fighting It

GSK Investigating Claims of Bribery in Jordan

April 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Republished from Reuters The GlaxoSmithKline logo is seen at the entrance of a building in Luxembourg, September 10, 2013. Picture taken September 10, 2013 REUTERS/YVES HERMAN GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.…

Source: GSK Investigating Claims of Bribery in Jordan

The Grim Conditions of Jordan’s Immigration Detention Camps. Blatant Human Rights Violations

April 21, 2016 Leave a comment

The following elucidates the grim conditions of immigration detention camps and the defective process of deportation existing within Jordan, which innocent migrant workers have endured for so long,…

Source: The Grim Conditions of Jordan’s Immigration Detention Camps. Blatant Human Rights Violations

The Grim Conditions of Jordan’s Immigration Detention Camps. Blatant Human Rights Violations An Expat’s Perspective

April 21, 2016 Leave a comment

Source: The Grim Conditions of Jordan’s Immigration Detention Camps. Blatant Human Rights Violations An Expat’s Perspective

The palpable testimonies from the casualties of King Abdullah II’s obtuse immigration laws and detention camps touched my heart deeply in an indescribably sad manner. Some of these twice-victimized prisoners-forgotten and unloved,-were under the callous sponsorship of abusive employers who discreetly beat and pugnaciously locked them in tiny apartments, after illegally confiscating their passports. Silence was demanded by employers via threatening their employees with endless imprisonment. Others were capriciously sold off as property or sheep to a different employer without consent, separating dear friends and family. Others were reprimanded with imprisonment and deportation after complaining that their salaries were unpaid for months and even years. Many were refused the very labor contracts assured to them by employers, which inevitably resulted in their imprisonment. One Egyptian was incarcerated because he equally traded insult with insult, against a single Jordanian antagonist.

These were not criminals! They were the indigent all of the real prophets of old respected and defended. They were innocent victims crushed within a cold machinery of corruption in Jordan! They were innocuous victims without the heroes and heroines of today, to grant them real justice.

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