Category Archives: Social affairs

# Epistle to my Twenties

In all cultures, one can find such a thing as a “transition celebration” in which one feels that one has reached a turning point with a “transition year”.

In many families on the Western European mainland, the 21st year used to be the year of coming of age. Young people hoped that once there was a 2 in front of their era, a new world would open up.
But after that 21st birthday, it seemed that they still had to work hard to live up to their potential or to be recognised. For many, that brought some disillusionment, while others quickly started looking forward to a 3 in the era.
….

just setting my foot in my 30’s and to be honest am very excited as well as sad as I bid my adieu to the most amazing years of my life that I will never get back -the 20’s.

Writo-holic

Twenties will always be special. Trust me it’s more special than your sixteen or what your Fifties will bring. Twenties brings you hopes and dreams and people start looking at you from a bigger perspective. It’s when you realise you were just an egg preparing to hatch and life begins now. It transforms you into this different being you never knew and you suddenly shed your skin and finally the wings have grown and ready or not you have to fly. The 20’s also have lots of expectations from you as it throws you new lights leading to a newer path. They are the most crucial age as it lingers the longest. Twenties steps unannounced- stealthily and silently while you feel like that small caterpillar which is still inside of you.

I wasn’t sure what to do with this sudden leap into a new journey that was paving my way…

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Man vs ‘Terminator’ – The Battle Of Covid 19 Rages Worldwide

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A couple of things caught my attention this week relating to the seemingly ever changing myriad of Covid-19 restrictions. First, the French Parliament passed a law that will require a health pass for access to restaurants, bars, trains and planes from the beginning of August. (In France, all venues accommodating more than 50 people already require proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test, including museums, cinemas and swimming pools.) Second, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance on wearing masks and now the agency recommends that some fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors if they live in areas with significant or high spread.

Those are only two of many examples of increased Covid-19 restrictions going into effect around the globe. The Delta Variant of SARS-CoV-2 is more transmissible and can cause worse health outcomes than other variants. Because Delta is more transmissible, it is fast becoming the dominant…

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Let South America come to you #2 For those with a good taste

When you can not go to South America, why do you not bring South America into your home?

For those with a good taste

From waterfalls to wines

South America is the continent that is home to a vast array of rich cultures, history, traditions, food, and once-in-a-lifetime places to visit.

Angel Falls, Venezuela | © David Kjelkerud / Flickr

When you would love to go exploring South America it would not be bad to prepare yourself and to get already some taste of it before you take the long voyage. A place you have to visit is the waterfall in the Guiana Highlands in Bolívar state, southeastern Venezuela, on the Churún River. Before you would like to fly over Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, coming in at over 3000 feet it would not be bad to feel a bit like an angel tasting all sorts of well-tasting goods from that continent, which will bring you to the seventh heaven.

You also do not have to go straight away, deep in the Amazonian rainforest to find a melting pot of indigenous traditions and a perfect place to see centuries of Peruvian history and culture coming together.

Before you would go to the Belén Market, the largest traditional market in the Peruvian Amazon, and a place where visitors can taste and see the food, textiles, and wares of the region, on the web there is a place where you already can have a peep-show of some handicrafts from the South American continent

Mendoza, Argentina

Wines

As state and local governments order people to stay home to limit the spread of the virus, toilet paper and canned goods are not the only items people are snapping up. Wine sales at wine shops are soaring and large, highly-distributed wine brands are struggling to keep wines on the shelf.

Meanwhile, small wineries that depend on restaurants and on-site sales are trying to figure out how to survive. The question on the mind of everyone in the wine business is what will things look like on the other side when they get the virus under control.

Having poached the Malbec grape from Europe and turned it into a roaring superstar, Argentina is rightly celebrated for its wine producers.

The Mendoza region, in the western central part of the country in the Cuyo region, dominates Argentina’s wine scene. It enjoys prestige for the wine produced on its vineyards. It also can be refreshing to see genuine contenders from elsewhere, such as the Bodegas Callia from the San Juan province.

In the Mendoza region, you may find one of the original Bordeaux grape varieties from the Bordeaux region of France, namely Malbec. Because grown on a higher altitude then in France the wines tend to have a higher level of acid, which makes them ideal to go with the Argentinian meat.

The Cabernet Sauvignon which was introduced in Argentina in the 19th century by the French agricultural engineer Michel Amié Pouget. He further introduced Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Malbec vines to Argentina and founded the first vine nursery and agricultural school in his new country.

Located in the Tulum Valley, Bodegas Callia aims to produce the best Shiraz in Argentina.

Since we cannot go to South America, we will have to bring the heat and sun here. And what better way to do so than with a few good bottles of wine? Certainly when those wines earn it to keep on the palate.

Navarro Correas Cabernet Sauvignon 2016The dry, hot climate of Argentina is really great for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes ripen very easily, so these Cabs are almost always filled with tons of blackberries, cherry, pepper and vanilla with a little bit of mint. If you like rich, full-bodied wines with dark fruit flavours, then you might want to try a Cabernet Sauvignon from Navarro Correas Private Collection which since a few moths you now easily can get over here in Europe by an excellent deliverer.

When you are looking for a nice rich tempting wine with a big, nutty, creamy nose or bitter cherry awash with orange peel and gravely splendour, you might find it at Pequeña SudAmerica.

As the second largest country in South America and the eighth largest in the world by land mass, Argentina could even offer much more in case the country would have been more organised and receiving more support from those in charge.

Beers

Beer Trial PackStylistically Argentina is perhaps the most European of Latin American countries, especially when it comes to cuisine. You can find the traditional wineries (the world’s fifth biggest wine producer) and you also may find the principal beer types which were based on central European styles of lager and wheat beer. It is impossible to taste every beer produced in South America, Pequeña Sudamerica offers a very good selection of 6 or 7 selected beers in a trial pack.

The historical influences in South America which have created a cuisine that offers a variety of delicacies has also brought some very, very tempting sweets around the corner. For diabetics is it not always so easy, because a lot of sweets and drinks are very sweet.
But nimble fingers and kitchen princesses can already prepare a lot for those who want a taste of that delicious South America.

Craftworks

It might not always be easy to bring Argentinian wines over to Europe, but for traditional artisans, it is even more difficult to get their goods over to Europe. Those craftsmen in particular have serious difficulties to virtuously market their products.

Carla Scalia

Carla Scalia

With corona-restrictions the Argentinian Carla Scalia, now living in Belgium, could only go twice to her home country to bring some beautiful handicrafts from her family and friends with her. Therefore those craft works are very limited. And because they are not made in a factory they are all individual pieces of art, which makes them special. This makes that when you might see some sculptures or drawing on the website, next time you come onto the website they already might be gone.

Mate Alados by Noelia Álvarez

All the South American accessories Pequeã SudAmerica is offering are hand made by local artists, and by selecting it properly at the artist’s workshop this is how they ensure to always offer you the best quality. As such they present mate cups of the best quality in an exclusive and unique design, hand painted and varnished for complete protection.

You also shall be able to find a selection of original accessories for your kitchen and table.

From the southern United States to northern South America the Lignum vitae, with its evergreen leaves can be found. As a source of a very hard and heavy wood that is brownish green in colour, the wood being relatively waterproof because of its high fat content, makes it ideal for making kitchen utilities. It is used to make pulleys, shafts, axles, and bowling balls, and Pequeña SudAmerica is offering the tropical wood in magnificent small objects, like food and toothpicks.

Argentinian artist Noelia Álvarez, who has performed incredible exhibitions in San Rafael, Mendoza and Buenos Aires in Argentina and Catalonia, Spain, is not only responsible for a great variety of mate cups with a unique design. Although her work focuses on paintings with incredible designs and details, Noelia has taken her passion to the limit and from painting large murals and paintings in acrylic on canvas, she designed very beautiful and exclusive wooden mate cups.

For sure, the founders of the webshop Pequeã Sudamerica took great risks to start their business to bring Sud American articles to the European continent, whilst there was and still is a Coronacrisis, limiting them going back and forth to Argentina to contact local traders, to support them and offer them a fair price for their goods. At the moment Carla Scalia her parent’s wines are not yet available, but perhaps this would be made possible in the future (when some good shipping arrangements could be organised).

Pequeña Sudamérica, or “Little South America”, has the goal to make South Americans in Europe taste home again, and get Europeans to experience their great specialities.
In addition to the best known mate tea brands, you shall be able to find a wide variety of drinks, delicacies and accessories.

We would say:

Enjoy some chocolate and dulce de leche products at your afternoon tea.

And enjoy South America at your home in our wet regions, so that the sun (at least) may shine in your house.

*

Please find the shop:  https://pequena-sudamerica.eu/en/

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Preceding

Let South America come to you #1 Reasons to stay away from South America

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Carving a friend out of stone


”“Like a sculptor, if necessary,
carve a friend out of stone.
Realize that your inner sight is blind
and try to see a treasure in everyone.”
~ Rumi”

 

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97-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor scoring high on TikTok

Tik Tok a youngster gadget

We know already of Hadassah Tirosh who has amassed over 2 million followers on TikTok, where she proudly and openly shares about her Jewishness. She is not only Jewish, but also a Mexican Israeli trans content creator. whose early content, which begins in December of 2019 was posted under her previous name, David, who she remembers fondly and has taken the time to thank for helping her become the person she is today — she’s seen proudly wearing different colourful kippahs, her Star of David necklace and being generally proud and open about her Jewishness.

In 2021 Tik Tok is the seventh most used in the world, with the majority of its users being millennial and Gen Z. But it might be a very high surprise to find a 97-year old lady being a “hipster”.
Lily Ebert isn’t your typical 97-year-old. In June, after only joining the platform earlier this year, Ebert reached 1 million followers on Tik Tok and has now amassed over 1.2 million in total.
How?
Ebert is a Holocaust survivor and, together with her great-grandson Dov Forman who runs her account, is teaching the internet about her remarkable life and experiences as a survivor of Auschwitz and how she made a life for herself after liberation.

Lily Ebert from the camps

Lily Ebert

Lily Ebert, born in Bonyhád, Hungary on 29th December 1923

Originally from Hungary, Lily Ebert, the eldest of six children in a happy and loving family. When the Nazis invaded Hungary in March 1944, her family got to face the worst nightmare one can wish for.

Shortly after Germany invaded Hungary, Lily, her mother and her siblings were sent to the ghetto, and soon after were put on a train, crammed into dark and almost airless cattle wagons, to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Lily at the age of about 4 or 5 had received from her mother a small gold pendant. Even then it wasn’t very expensive or unique but young Lily was very pleased with her present and now in the camp she did not want it to be taken by the Nazis. The small pendant had gone hiding, safe inside the heel of her mother’s shoe. Lily and her mother wore the same size of shoe and as they arrived at the camp her mother asked Lily to swap shoes with her.

Although this happened over 70 years ago Lily can still remember her arrival at the camp. After the long and terrible journey, ‘everyone was half-dead’. They were ordered to climb out of the train and stand together five in a row. There was a man with a stick in his hand. It was Dr Mengele, the notorious Nazi doctor who became known as the Angel of Death for his brutal experiments on inmates, though at the time Lily didn’t know who he was. With one movement of his hand Dr Mengele sealed the fate of the people before him. He sent people right or left — to life or to death. When they had arrived, Lily and her two sisters Renee and Piri were sent in one direction, while her mother Nina, brother Bela and sister Berta were sent to the left, the way to the gas chambers and crematorium. Lily never saw them again.

Lily had put on her mother’s shoes and was ordered to take a shower, whereafter her hair was cut, and their remaining belongings were stolen. It was her only remaining possession and a reminder of her happy childhood. It was a link to her murdered mother and a symbol of defiance. The Nazis would not be allowed to steal it! The Nazis left them with only their shoes, not having any idea of what was hidden in the heel of Lily’s shoe, the tiny pendant Lily’s last link with her mother. When the shoes wore out, she placed the pendant in her daily ration of bread. After about four months in Auschwitz, the sisters were transferred to an ammunition factory near Leipzig. The pendant went with them.

March to liberation after a human and a viral war

When the Front started closing in on the area, they were forced to leave Leipzig and sent on a two-day march. After seeing and suffering unimaginable horrors, on the second day of the march, April 13, 1945, they were finally liberated by Allied forces.

Lily tried to rebuild her life. She wore the pendant every day in memory of her murdered family. Eventually, she married and had children. In 1953 she was reunited with Imre, one of her brothers, who had been imprisoned in a Nazi labour camp. In 1967 she came to London with her husband and three children.

Having become a proud grandmother she came to face another life-threatening struggle: COVID-19. In January, she struggled with a brutal bout of the virus, but true to her nature, she fought through. For her it was her second chance to be alive.  It was then that her great-grandson Dov Forman decided to share a photo of his great-grandmother to Twitter celebrating her miraculous recovery.

Dov Forman

My 97-Year-old Great Grandma, Lily Ebert BEM – Auschwitz Survivor, has just recovered from Covid- 19. Today she went on her first walk in a month after making a miraculous recovery. A fighter and survivor

Image

The response was extraordinary; the photo has since been retweeted over 17,000 times and has received more than a quarter of a million likes, with people from all over the world responding to send their well-wishes and express their admiration for Lily’s strength and bravery.

Finding viral fame

On the back of this unexpected reaction, Dov set up a TikTok account for Lily. At first, their videos mainly consisted of Dov introducing his great-grandmother and encouraging people to follow the account in order to have her story reach as many people as possible. But once they started building up a following, people quickly began expressing an interest in the details of Lily’s extraordinary life.

Soon enough, the account became dedicated to answering followers’ questions about the Holocaust and Lily’s experiences of it, with questions ranging from asking what they ate in the camp, to what happened to babies that were born there, and what the sleeping conditions were like.

She also remembered some Hungarian poems and recites them on the application.

No human anymore, but just a number

Though it is not always easy to answer all the questions she gets, she finds it a necessary act:

“Of course it is hard but if I could survive it, I can talk about it. And for the future, to ensure that something similar [to the Holocaust] cannot happen again, I have to talk about it.”

Lily’s most viewed video, now with over 20 million views, shows her answering the question,

“How did it feel to get your number in Auschwitz?”

Revealing a faded tattoo on her left arm, Lily confidently tells her followers:

My number is A-10572. That is what I was, they did not call us by our name. We were no longer humans. We were only a number and we were treated like numbers.”

The video now has over 29,000 comments from people expressing their solidarity with Lily and gratitude for her honesty and strength.

Downsides of Tik Tok and Twitter, also platforms of hate talk

However, despite the overwhelmingly positive reactions and encouraging words of support, like all social media platforms, TikTok comes with its downsides, too. For Jewish creators on TikTok, the fun comes with a hefty dose of antisemitism.

It seems as if the kids on TikTok are churning out a new trend nearly every week. The never-ending scroll of the “For You Page” sends users on a twisting path of all sorts of niches and topics. The app truly has something for every interest, from sea shanty challenges to tortilla wrap hacks to — antisemitic caricatures?

In May, around the time when violence was escalating between Israel and Palestine, Ebert’s account received a slew of hateful antisemitic comments. In one particular instance, under a video of Lily simply wishing her followers “a lovely, peaceful weekend”, and by a repeated similar wish in Hungarian, her native language, she added “Shabbat Shalom,” despite the mundanity and kindness of this video, it quickly became the subject of a swarm of hateful comments. it went even so far that she was called to be responsible for the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Another said, “Happy Holocaust,” while another said,

“Ask her if she thinks the treatment of Palestinians reminds her [of] the treatment she got in the camp.”

Another response was

“Peace be upon Hitlar [sic]”

to one which asked if she believed the treatment of Palestinians reminded her of her treatment in the camps. All of this for a grandmother’s simple greeting. Sadly, this experience of antisemitic hate isn’t exactly unique.

Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert's TikTok account was hit with antisemitic messages. (Campaign Against Antisemitism via JTA)Although these comments were clearly abhorrent, unjustified and unacceptable, like everything else Lily and Dov handled them with the utmost dignity. Posting to Twitter, Dov wrote:

“Over the past few days my great Grandmother (Auschwitz survivor) and I have continued to receive messages of hate on Tiktok and Twitter… We will not allow this to stop us from educating about the horrors of the past, and what hatred can lead to. Hate only breeds hate.”

Hero Magnus, a university student and TikToker, explains how her Judaism-related content would often get slammed by offensive comments.

“The really vicious comments are usually from actual Nazis, and I just block and delete. When I was making a ton of Jewish content, I would get a couple of those on practically every video,”

she explains.

“I often also got casually mean stuff from Christians or culturally Christian atheists who wanted to tell me that Judaism is backwards, cultish or stupid.”

Additionally, Jews of Colour on TikTok experience vitriol both from outside the Jewish community and within.

Shekhiynah Larks, a Black Jewish TikTok creator, describes that, in fact, most of the antisemitism she experiences on the app comes from white Jews and Black non-Jews, not Neo-Nazis.

“When I do receive antisemitic comments, it’s more coded with anti-Blackness at the same time,”

Larks says.

“It’s more people posting ‘free Palestine’ on my page and asking me how I can be Black and a Jew, I’m being brainwashed by white Jews, and that I don’t care about Black people.”

She also notes that many white Jews comment on her videos asking her invasive questions that probe into her Jewish identity and conversion, showing they don’t really view her as Jewish enough.

Aviva Davis writes:

There are many white and white-passing Jews using their platforms to share information and educational resources about systemic racism and anti-Semitism and how one’s identities intersect and influence the way one is treated in society. This is great! Better yet, share resources created by Jews of Color (hint hint, nudge nudge).

Aviva Majerczyk remarks

While the invalidation of Jews of Color is rampant throughout the Jewish community in real life as well, on TikTok, these racist commenters may feel more empowered to voice their backwards views behind anonymous accounts.

Still going strong

Lily Ebert keeps going strong. She still wears the tiny gold pendant and shares its remarkable story with all those who have time to listen.

As part of their mission to teach people about the Holocaust and its devastating effects, Lily and Dov have now co-authored a book together called “Lily’s Promise: How I Survived Auschwitz and Found the Strength to Live.” to come out coming September.

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Making itself worthy of happiness


“If the entire world sought to make itself worthy of happiness
rather than make itself happy,
then the entire world would be happy.”
~ Criss Jami
.”

 

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The Iranian American Frieda Afary looking with (republican?) American eyes at Iran

We wonder where the Iranian American Frieda Afary  gets it from that it would be

leftists and so-called socialists around the world who support the Iranian regime as “anti-imperialist” or refuse to criticize it.

Lots of leftists and communists groups are totally against the Iranian regime and any form of oppression of citizens in general. We do know that there are several by Americans “so called leftists” or “communists” are doing good work to support people in Iran and Afghanistan and even are working hard to get them out of the hands of the Islamic murderers.

Frieda Afary should also wonder who is helping a lot of the protesters in Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq. the “leftists” and “communists” are bringing slogans on the streets like:

“Down with Dictatorship.”, “Down With Khamenei”, “We Don’t Want An Islamic Republic”, “The People Want the Regime to Fall.”

InIran: A New Wave of Mass Protests and StrikesFrieda Afary for the rest of her wrong remark (perhaps part of her American citizenship and paranoia for everything that seems “social”) seems to bring a very good overview of the terrible situation. She also seems to overlook that there are leftist groups who support the people and not the regime, even though she brings the words of a statement of solidarity by the Tehran Bus Workers’ Syndicate:

“The lack of water in Khuzestan today is rooted in the unprofessional, rapacious and profit-centered policies of the prior decades of capitalism in oil extraction and use of water for the steel industry, the income from which does not go to the people.  These insatiable policies have deprived the people of Khuzestan of safe drinking water.  Water is shut off for long hours and it is lacking for basic needs.  Farmers and cattle growers have also been damaged and lost their livelihoods.”  (https://www.akhbar-rooz.com/%d8%b3%d9%86%d8%af%db%8c%da%a9%d8%a7%db%8c-%d8%b4%d8%b1%da%a9%d8%aa-%d9%88%d8%a7%d8%ad%d8%af-%d8%b3%d8%b1%da%a9%d9%88%d8%a8-%d9%88-%da%a9%d8%b4%d8%aa%d8%a7%d8%b1-%d9%85%d8%b1%d8%af%d9%85-%d8%ac%d8%a7/)

She writes:

The latest protests have followed a series of nationwide strikes of temporary contract workers in Iran’s oil and gas industry which is also heavily based in Khuzestan. The strikes which began on June 19 and have spread to a hundred production sites, are demanding permanent employment status, a $500 monthly wage, safe working conditions and the right to organize and be free of police surveillance. Haft Tapeh sugar cane workers on strike in Khuzestan are also asking for COVID vaccination and expressing solidarity with protests against the lack of water.

In her interesting article she further looks at:

  • Economic Crisis and COVID Pandemic
  • Women Prisoners and Afghan Refugees
  • Iran’s Continuing Regional Ambitions and U.S. Imperialism’s “Solutions”
  • Needed Progressive Solidarity with Struggles inside Iran

Any effort to engage in solidarity with the struggles inside Iran begins not only with calling for the removal of U.S. sanctions and an end to Israel’s attacks, but also simultaneously holding the Iranian regime accountable for its repression and exploitation of the people and environment of the region.

Frieda Afary should know that several “leftist”, “socialists” and “communists” groups go against all the American interferences in the Middle East and urge for the immediate release of political prisoners, expressing solidarity with striking workers, feminist and environmental struggles, oppressed ethnic, sexual and religious minorities, and demanding Iran’s withdrawal from Syria, Iraq and an end to its interventions in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Yemen.

Please find the article to read > Iran: A New Wave of Mass Protests and Strikes

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NATO’s Apartheid toilets in Afghanistan

If this report is true, it is a huge embarrassment to NATO and our Western culture, where there should be no segregation and every human being is expected to be valued and treated equally regardless of colour or cultural background.

The government of Afghanistan and the international aid community says it has spent a lot of development money on projects that have improved access to drinking water, while sanitation issues have received little or no funding, according to the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development.

Dear Kitty. Some blog

Whites only sign in the USA

From the Globe and Mail in Canada:

NATO’s potty rules shut out Afghans

JOE FRIESEN

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN — Under a bizarre policy that echoes the days of segregation in the United States, Afghans who work at the NATO base at Kandahar Airfield must use separate toilets marked “local nationals only.”

Several Afghans told The Globe and Mail the practice is insulting, but they are dependent on NATO for their livelihoods and reluctant to speak out. …

“I don’t see any reason for separate bathrooms,” he said. “Everybody is human, so it should be one [toilet].”

NATO killing Afghan civilians: here.

Afghanistan: Poor sanitation, bad toilets cause deaths, misery: here.

AFGHANISTAN-US: Military Translators Risk Low Pay, Death: here.

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Envy

 

Flowers and Breezes

Why must people feel envious

Shouldn’t look at things with greed

They maybe blessed with many things

If only they took heed

Envy is a cursed thing

So purge it out your souls

And be happy with what you have

Cause envy we don’t need

(Sheen-March2016)
DAILY PROMPT

Envy

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/envy/

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A Notion of Belongingness

 

Nabiha Fatima

Picture credits: Marek Piwnicki

Belong anywhere or not,
at the moment what
remains is the company
encompassing who you are,
encapsulating what you become
near the stretches of aurora.

Nabiha Fatima

Day 351

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