Stunted growth is a reduced growth rate in human development. It is a primary manifestation of malnutrition in early childhood, including malnutrition during fetal development brought on by the malnourished mother.
I got there listening to British-Pakistani historian and novelist Tariq Ali in the following discussion with Harry Kreisler, host of Conversations with History – Institute of International Studies; University of California, Berkeley.
Tariq Ali places the present crisis in its historical context exploring the origins of the Pakistani state, the failure to forge a national identity, the inability and unwillingness of Pakistani leaders to address the country’s poverty and inequality, and the role of the military in the country’s spiral toward violence and disunity. In this context, Tariq Ali highlights the significance of the U.S. relationship throughout Pakistan’s history and he analyzes current US policy and it implications for stability in the region. See P U L S E for commentary
Check this summary of the Moderation and Militancy in Islam series.
“Babies born in Fallujah are showing illnesses and deformities on a scale never seen before, doctors and residents say.
The new cases, and the number of deaths among children, have risen after “special weaponry” was used in the two massive bombing campaigns in Fallujah in 2004…” read more
After various attempts since the 40’s, in 1966 the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults created mobile libraries to serve the rural population of Iran.
In the beginning the mobile libraries consisted of convoys brought to the villages on the back of animals and later motorcycles replaced the mules. Two libraries also migrated with the nomadic tribes thanks to the jeeps supplied by the army.
Many remember the substantial impact of this project on their early life in rural Iran. Kids were encouraged to write stories and, during the 70’s, the Institute published a selection from 7000 stories written by youngsters of all over Iran.
Today each mobile library provides to over 50 villages. About 50 cars, mini-buses, and buses – a few with audiovisual equipment – are active: Obviously far from enough to reach the whole country.
According to the staff, kids are always very enthusiastic. In addition to lending books, the educators tell stories, read poetry and conduct discussion sessions. They also provide children with materials and instructions for various crafts.
The appearance of the mobile library always means a great day to the kids.
Unfortunately, this project does not receive appropriate political and economical support, nor does it enjoy the attention of citizens, the press or the bloggers.
For more information and/or to make a contribution contact Kian, whose great weblog reports on various educational projects in rural Iran.
The following is written by Mohamed:
“This is a house in Govandi – a slum area in Mumbai that is competing with Dharavi, another slum area for the title of the largest slum in Asia (and probably the world). I have never, ever seen poverty and squalor as I did in these slums and the only redeeming thing was the innocent children who exuded carefree happiness and a naive ambiguity about the state of affairs that they seem to be in. They obviously know no better and they are happy playing in the dirt pools and running around bare feet and naked.
This boy’s name is Mohamed Ali and he lives in that room with his five siblings and parents. The garlands on the top right of the picture is what they produce. The whole family chips in and after a full day of work, they make 60 rupees for them. That’s a dollar and twenty five cents and that is supposed to feed the whole family. However, the little boy just kept smiling at us unaware of the struggles he will have to undertake in the not so distant future. I hope he keeps smiling..
The NGO that I am accompanying has contributed towards better housing which you can see in the picture within the slums and also provide for schooling for a lucky few.”
… and we are here … debating!
Update:Kilroy has fallen in love with this picture, and he “sees things” 🙂 – comment below
As soon as Youtube was unblocked, I spent a day to find some interesting things for blogging purposes.
My connection is awfully slow and the whole process is very time consuming. Among different material about Iran I came across a series of short movies taken by an American group while traveling in Iran during June 2006; from there I was lead to CultureKicks:
What We Do
Focusing on one country at a time, American kids are introduced to the people of a particular country while building positive perspectives about their culture.
To offer young American kids the opportunity to understand, accept, and appreciate people from other cultures in preparation for a global future.
To build global unity for the next generation.
The website had a link to a travel blog which ended abruptly. It made me wonder what had happened to this group. Were they arrested, had disappeared or taken hostage, one never knows what can happen in those countries.
I sent an email and I was relieved to receive an answer a day or two after: the writer was back in the USA, alive, safe and sound. We exchanged a few emails and shared a few long distance laughs.
For the time being this organization focuses on Iran, here you can find videos, pictures and some facts about Iran. CultureKicks provides a 45 minute of presentation to the kids age 6 to 18 anywhere in the United States, by request. Via this site, kids can also connect to the Iran program and exchange letters, draw pictures, or create a work of art for the kids at English-speaking schools in Tehran.
I wish all the success to the initiators of CultureKicks and Sian-Jan in particular. Movafagh bashid 🙂