Month: August 2014

Living Under Fire: My Experiences Living in a War Zone

*Note from the author – In this article I only tell my personal experiences living and traveling in the Middle East. I do not discuss Gaza because I have no firsthand experience traveling in Gaza. Also, the portrayal of life in Israel is unique to my situation and does not represent the experiences of other individuals living and traveling within Israel. I arrived in Israel on June 5th during a period of relative quiet. Only four rockets were fired into Israel during the month of May and Israel’s tourist industry was gearing up to experience a record high summer....

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What is a Toilet?

One of the greatest things about working in a tight knit community lies in the stories and friendships that you develop with the community members. Perhaps for me, an even greater part is having a colleague who speaks Hindi and can translate these stories while I am in rural India. We talked with the laborers when construction was ongoing, we talk with the community members who come and relax at the site in the afternoon, and we talk with our staff members as they count the users and maintain the facility. Naturally our conversations lead to sanitation, public health,...

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Peace and Victims: An Interview with Christian Voelkel of the International Crisis Group

Peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) resume next week in Havana, and the highly anticipated round on the issue of victims is up for negotiations. At the table, 15 delegates will represent over 4,000 victims’ organizations and more than 6 million victims of murder, kidnapping, sexual violence and forced displacement. Reaching an agreement that meets victims’ calls for justice will be the most challenging test of the national process thus far. The current peace process has progressed further than all previous attempts at ending the decades-long armed conflict. The current success...

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