Tuition fees, visa requirements hurdles for foreigners
If the large tuition fees were not enough of a deterrent, fingerprint requirements and high visa fees are keeping some accepted students out of Sweden…
Here is the third in a series of reflections by Mohamad Zakaria, a student of Palestinian origin who was born and raised in Lebanon. Mohamad has a background in environmental science, international relations, peace and conflict studies, and is currently a Master student in the Lund University Master Program in Public Health. He has also previously worked at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies. In these articles, he offers his views on current events in the Middle East. Read on!
by Mohamad Zakaria
No matter what the real story about the fate of Osama Bin Laden, there is one reality that is already clear by now, which is that he is not anymore a living leader of Al Qaida and its network. His role as a spiritual and military leader that is followed and hunted is over since the Al Qaida leadership has announced he has been killed. However, an organization like Al Qaida that is mature, has strong culture, and has branches in many countries around the world cannot be dismantled by only the death of its founder. Therefore Al Qaida is not destroyed by the death Bin Laden, but obviously it has been badly shaken. The one(s) who will lead the organization may be more radical and less rational than Osama. If any country wants to deal with the Al Qaida ideology, they need to understand the real causes that have led to the very existence of the radical ideology of Al Qaida.
It is known that many of the first generations of Al Qaida leaders and also many of their followers were initially members of moderate (or some may like to say “less radical”) Islamist movements in the Muslim world. One of the main organizations that the Al Qaida founders were member of is the Muslim Brotherhood Movement. The governing regimes (i.e. dictatorships) in the Muslim world have cracked down on the movements’ members because of the fear that such movements may succeed in gaining significant political power if they are allowed and formally recognised as national political parties and thus gain legal permission to freely be politically active within the boundary of national laws. Thousands of Islamic movements’ followers were put in jails, tortured to death; most of them did not have fair trial, and were sentenced with extremely long time of imprisonment for suspicion of memberships of Islamist organizations. Continue reading
Here is the second in a series of reflections by Mohamad Zakaria, a student of Palestinian origin who was born and raised in Lebanon. Mohamad has a background in environmental science, international relations, peace and conflict studies, and is currently a Master student in the Lund University Master Program in Public Health. He has also previously worked at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies. In these articles, he offers his views on current events in the Middle East. Read on!
by Mohamad Zakaria
Recently, the Security Council (SC) has decided to escalate its efforts and has imposed a “no-fly zone” over Libya ordering the Ghathafi regime to announce and comply with an immediate cease fire. Moreover, SC has warned Ghathfi forces not to re-enter the Libyan city of Benghazi. The reason is there have been strong reasons to believe that Gathafi forces were to commit atrocities in this city had they managed to get back the control of. On 19 March 2011, French, UK, and USA launched a military operation using air force and sea warship missiles to bomb Ghathafi military targets.
The Rwanda genocide experience has taught the humanity not to allow and accept another Rwanda to be committed again and make all efforts available to prevent such atrocities from happening. The grave mistake that happened in Rwanda by not protecting the civilians there from the atrocities that happened to them then must not be an excuse to let a Rwandan-like genocide happen again in other parts of the world, including in Libya and Yemen. Let’s agree that all human lives are precious, equally valuable, and that it is our human responsibility to protect human lives when we can. Continue reading
In the coming days, The Dynamo will share with you a series of reflections by Mohamad Zakaria, a student of Palestinian origin who was born and raised in Lebanon. Mohamad has a background in environmental science, international relations, peace and conflict studies, and is currently a Master student in the Lund University Master Program in Public Health. He has also previously worked at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies. In these articles, he offers his views on current events in the Middle East. Read on!
by Mohamad Zakaria
A policewoman confiscated the unlicensed vegetable cart of 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi, a university graduate who was the breadwinner for his family and the only financial supporter of his sister’s university education. He begged the officer to return the cart with its $200 of goods to him but he failed to convince her in doing so. The policewoman slapped him, spat in his face, insulted his dead father, and confiscated the goods. The man stood in front of a Tunisian municipality building, doused himself in fuel, and lit the match on 17 December 2010. That fire has ignited a revolution in Tunisia and spread the fire across the Arab region.
That sad story was just the direct reason. There are, however, many indirect reasons that are the real causes behind these revolts. I am just mentioning a few of them in this essay. Most countries in this region have been ruled by autocrats since their independence. Basic democratic and transparent political practices have not been allowed freely by any Arab state (Lebanon is an exception). Most of the Arab autocrats (call them Sheikhs, kings, Princes, etc…) have not given the well-deserved value for the lives and dignities of their citizens. They have created cultures of corruption and bad management. In most countries across the region (with some exclusion of the oil-rich Gulf states), a skilful graduate usually faces difficulties in getting a well-deserved job if he/she does not have the “proper contacts” with people from within the governments and also without being a member in the governing political parties. Moreover, freedom of expression and the right of free, transparent election are among the basic human rights that most Arab countries do not guarantee to their citizens at all. Continue reading
25,000 are estimated to have come to Stadsparken yesterday. Authorities report that the park is dirty, but that nothing too bad happened. You can read more and see more at Sydsvenskan (Google translated).
Today is the actual holiday, the May 1 Labour Day, and a few marches are planned by groups and political parties to mark the occasion. And the famous choir concert takes places at 6 PM on the main university building steps in Lundagård (more info and links here on Facebook – and if you’re too hungover to drag yourself to town, you can watch it on TV4, possibly also on their website).
Monday night there was a gathering at Stortorget, organized by Hållbart Universitet – Lund Students for Sustainability with the purpose of showing solidarity with the Japanese people and raise awareness regarding the nuclear risk they are facing. The Dynamo‘s Mark Wong was there.
“It was touching to see so many people attending the candlelight vigil at Stortorget last night even when it was drizzling. In addition to the many Swedish students there, there were also students from Japan, China, and also Europeans. It was a great show of solidarity by all who were there as we all took the time to talk to and pray together with the Japanese hoping that everything will be alright from now onwards. We pray and hope that the Japanese spirit will continue to live on and that they will have the strength to rebuild the country in the aftermath of the worst ever earthquake and tsunami to hit their country.
The Japanese students are also compiling pictures of students with messages which will be turned into a video. This video will then be sent to Japan to show that we are with them and supporting them. There will be another session at the SOL ( Språk och litteraturcentrum of Lund University) today at 11:00am – 3:00pm.You can find the Facebook event link here.
There were no details at the moment about how to donate to the Red Cross or directly to Japan. However, any news about this will be appreciated.”
(Good question, Mark! Sweden’s Röda Korset has info here (in Swedish only, un-Google-translateable!), but people can probably find information on their home countries’ aid agencies’ sites too.)
Mark recommends the following link, Japan Quake as seen from twitter, for insight into what people are saying about the catastrophe.
Once again, The Dynamo wishes to express its deepest sympathy and support for those affected by the events in Japan.
All photos ©Mark Wong.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Women’s Day. How is the date marked in Sweden, a country generally recognized for its feminism and gender equality?
DN.se has this general history of Women’s Day and this Q&A with some Swedish female public figures (SvD.se, for their part, speak to EU parlementarian Eva-Britt Svensson). Some are saying that Sweden is no longer a model of fighting for women’s rights and recognition, however – you can read some of those criticisms here from Sverige Radio. (All links Google translated.)
In Lund, a few activities are taking place: there is the documentary Pink Saris at Mejeriet, the Law Students’ Association is having a combined semlordagen and Women’s Day event, Smålands’ feminist Ronja Cafe is having a special celebration – this last link is timed to follow the large city-wide event at Stortorget, which will begin at 5:30PM (all Facebook events).
Wishing all Women and those who love them a great day!
In reponse to recent shootings of immigrants in Malmö (discussed here in The Local, but also here by the BBC), local organization Malmö hjärta mångfald (literally, ‘Malmo heart Diversity’) is putting on a demonstration tomorrow Monday (October 25), from 6-8pm.
Here is the Google-translated text from the Facebook event invitation:
“Stop shooting – together, we are bulletproof!
Social injustice insecurity, we want a safe Malmo – for everyone!
Together we are bulletproof, come to Gustav Adolf Square on Monday 18:00 and show your disgust with the recent shootings.
We light the torches, listening to music and speeches, showing what kind of Malmö we want.
Important to all is, now it has gone too far, bring your friends and family, Malmo belong to us!
List of speakers and performers updated continuously.”
The invitation links to this (always Google-translated!) Sydsvenskan article for reflection.
There were anti-racism demonstrations all across Sweden following the entry into Parliament of the anti-immigration Sverige Demokraterna in September, including in Lund (as reported here by The Dynamo‘s Mark Wong). To read a bit more about the current political climate in Sweden, you can read our October issue.