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Author Archives: Guest Author

Designing Change: The Rise of Humanitarian Architecture

by Aleksis Oreschnikoff – an independent writer interested in living better As Europe faces an unprecedented influx of refugees fleeing conflict in Syria, international organizations, and international humanitarian development look for solutions both in- and outside of the Union. In many European capitals, housing and redevelopment schemes are recreated to meet current demand. However, much needs to be done in the ... Read More »

Why a Beheading in Saudi Arabia Threatens the Whole Middle East

Written by André Harris Beheadings are not uncommon in Saudi Arabia – but one carried out this week has the potential to destabilise the whole Middle East. Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr, a Shi’a cleric from the east of the kingdom, was sentenced to death in 2014 for his activism on behalf of Saudi Arabia’s Shi’a minority. According to the government ... Read More »

A Venezuelan Spring: Undermined by Fragmentation and Geopolitical Stakes?

By José-Manuel Heinze Power cuts, shortages of goods, staggering inflation, corruption and crime rates ranking among the highest on the continent, have become common features in the record of Venezuela. As of recently, domestic turmoil that has been the largest in a decade and have thrown the country into a serious domestic crisis, can be added to this record. The ... Read More »

The Perks of an Exchange

The road towards a career constitutes a never-ending story and is imbued with making choices. One of these is whether or not to step out of your comfort zone, and take on the challenge to study abroad. After careful consideration, overwhelming amounts of paperwork and endless procedures I decided to go on an exchange, and here I am, studying at ... Read More »

Just in Time: US Fiscal Cliff

On the 17th of October 2013, the USA could advert the bankruptcy of the state but the ideological raptures remain. By Derya Bischoff A few hours after insolvency, President Obama warned the 535 members of Congress that the way how Washington is doing business has to change. But this is wishful thinking. The polarization of society and the political elite ... Read More »

Juggling poor thinking

By Victor Kuijpens What do you tell your friends when you come back from Africa? To be frank, I tell the same stories about poverty, corruption and rhythmic African music as everyone else does. In order to break the cliché, I will close off this blog series with a story about a remarkable man called Segun Ola, and his philosophy ... Read More »

No Beer, No Rape?

By Huub Brand Borren Say you are the head of police in one of the most criminal areas in the world. Every day about 1000 women are being raped, of which 30 percent are under age. The percentage of women that are raped is the highest in the whole world (33 percent). What do you do? Andy Mashaile, head of ... Read More »

Love Letter to Pope Francis

by Victor Kuijpens Dear Holy Father, Having followed your first papal appearance from Africa, I was happy to see a South-American successor to Saint Peter. We wished for a black pope, but anyone from the global south is welcome. From what the newspapers say, you have a strong reputation in poverty reduction in Buenos Aires, and you are attached to ... Read More »

Colonial Cloth or Cosmopolitan Creativity?

Did you know that Holland’s most famous export product in Africa is fashion? Although the average Beninese earns two dollars a day, many buy quality tissues of Wax hollandaise for as much as fifteen euros per meter. At the end of the 19th century, Dutch merchants industrialized these age-old Javanese patterns, known there as batik. Bypassing merchants and returning mercenaries ... Read More »

South Africa: Riot or Revolution?

Many problems are awaiting Zuma’s second term of presidency this year. The killing of protesting mineworkers in the Rustenburg area in August 2012 has brought to the surface what has been boiling below South Africa’s political landscape for a while: an explosive mix of governmental failures at the municipal level, endemic corruption and nepotism, combined with high unemployment rates and ... Read More »