Showing posts from December, 2004

The Year the Earth Fought Back

The Year the Earth Fought Back By SIMON WINCHESTER ondon — LIKE two bookends of calamity, earthquakes at Bam in Iran and off Sumatra in Indonesia have delineated a year of unusual seismic ferocity - a year, one might say, of living dangerously. Twelve months, almost to the very hour, before Sunday's extraordinary release of stress at the India-Burma tectonic plate boundary, a similar jolt at the boundary of the Arabian and the Eurasian Plates devastated one of the most celebrated of Persian caravan cities. The televised images of Bam's collapsed citadel and the sight of thousands of bodies being carried from the desert ruins haunted the world then just as the images of the drowned around the shores of the Bay of Bengal do today. But that has not been the half of it. True, these two disasters were, in terms of their numbers of casualties, by far the most lethal. But in the 12 months that separated them, there have been many other ruinous and seismically

Unceremonious Tsunami

Sometimes, the words just dry up, like the severe droughts. Sometimes, painful images of natural disasters, wars and violence, make one cringing or exhaling indomitable sigh, amidst the barren eyes and the choking lungs. Earth wobbled around its axis of rotation as that devastating earthquake and the following tsunami ripped apart and washed away thousands and thousands of human beings and other animals, the counting is still climbing up with an all knowing alarm. This time around last year’s earthquake in Bam, Iran unfolded, as if replaying its previous cruel destruction this year, but in grandeur stage with leaping ferocity. For a person with little or no faith in any religion or divine being, this catastrophic episode is a random event, a natural phenomenon, and a small blip in the geological time scale. Seismologists and the geophysicists explain that the Indian plate dived below the Burma plate and lifted it up, causing the colossal tectonic plate fracture that created tre

Will Her Voice Ever Be Heard?

Common Sense dictates promoting freedom in nations where the dissidents mostly pay heavy price for just speaking out against the rigid theocracy, blatant or hidden injustices and all forms of suppressions. Shirn Ebadi has been a valiant fighter for many decades of her life, even when she was not in the lime light as she is now after receiving the prestigeous Nobel Prize for peace, she was one of the forefront women in the struggle for human rights in Iran. Preventing Ms. Ebadi from publishing her book in the United States is a major blunder and it should be corrected without any delay. Regards, Sohel Will Her Voice Ever Be Heard? By Ellen Goodman Saturday, December 11, 2004; Page A23 BOSTON -- Ever wonder what happened to the State Department's chief of propaganda? The head of public diplomacy was supposed to win the hearts and minds of the Muslim street. After all that fanfare, the PR seat has been empty lo these many months. Is it possible

The Pictures of Resistance

"To quote the words of Shahidul Alam, the man who established Drik and who remains its driving force, "Resistance has been there in different forms and against various established norms -- political organisations, religious zeal, media propaganda and commercialism to name a few." "And throughout this resistance, pioneer photographers have continued their struggles amidst adversities to create an identity for professional photography in Bangladesh," continues Alam. His reference is to the struggle that led to independent Bangladesh and to the people's resistance to oppressive regimes." Read the full article with excellent photos from this The Daily Star Link .