Latest stats from the Israel-Gaza war August 2014

OCHA stats 

  • 1,922 people dead [OCHA]

  • 10,000 pregnant women in Gaza displaced [OCHA]

  • 373,000 children require psycho-social support [OCHA]

  • 448 children killed [OCHA]

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An Interview With Lady Sayeeda Warsi on the Conservative Party

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imgres-16This is how Lady Warsi announced her resignation from her position in the government this morning. For many this was a brave and morally-correct decision to make. For others, it was a self-indulgent move. According to sources close to Iain Dale, a presenter on the radio station LBC, Lady Warsi wanted to leave during David Cameron’s recent cabinet reshuffle, but was encouraged to stay by the prime minister. The government’s refusal to condemn Israel could have been the last straw.

Lady Warsi’s decision shows that she put her principles above her job. (The fact she would often wear traditional Asian clothes shows she was not in the job to fit in and be like everyone else, but to do what she believed was right). This raises some important questions, especially for journalists. Is the primary job of a journalist to tell the truth or to be impartial? According to the BBC’s Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, he was accused by John Pilger of being a “weasel, a disgrace to journalism – because I [Bowen] was trying to report impartially [about Gaza].” If, as a journalist, you see that one side in a conflict is clearly an aggressor, should you say it? Or should you just report on what is happening and let your audience decide? It’s a tough question – but perhaps that is what opinion and comment pieces are for, not news reporting. Continue reading

Music, The Bible, Rumi & The Brain

Music is universal, profound, stimulating, fundamental and something that seems to be rooted within our DNA. It can seem transcendent, reminding us of something heavenly, while connecting us to something deeper within us.

rumiIn the Bible, Revelations 14:2 talks about the sounds in heaven being like that of harps. While the Muslim poet and mystic Rumi wrote: “When I am silent, I fall into the place where everything is music.” Continue reading