Thursday December 14, 2017

Escape and Survival: Stories of Descendants of Holocaust Survivors

On the onset of World War II, many Jewish refugees and residents applied for exit visas via Japan to escape the genocide.

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Men striped off their pride. A group of some 25 naked, severely malnutritioned Soviet prisoners of war standing in three. Image source: Wikipedia

https://youtu.be/KyVi2Wsql3s

Coming just two decades after the last great global conflict, the Second World War was the most widespread and deadliest war in history, involving more than 30 countries and resulting in more than 50 million military and civilian deaths (with some estimates as high as 85 million dead). Sparked by Adolf Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939, the war went on for six deadly years until the final Allied defeat of both Nazi Germany and Japan in 1945.

“I am really lucky to be sheltered from war” says Arielle Salomon, a holocaust survivor descendant. When Germany invaded Poland, her grandfather Abram Salomon fled to Lithuania to escape the holocaust (extermination by the Nazis). “Whole family was murdered except him and his brother, and that survival was due to one man- Chiune Sugihara” she adds.

Night and fog (1955) is one such documentary that gives us a glimpse of the untold fear and unspoken suffering of the Jews  in the concentration camps.

Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese diplomat posted at the Japanese consulate in Lithuania. On the onset of World War II, many Jewish refugees and residents applied for exit visas via Japan to escape the genocide. Disobeying the government orders, Chiune Sugihara and his wife issued as many as 6000 visas in 1940 one of which was Arielle’s grandfather. They estimated around 40,000 descendants that are alive today because of this man. But after the war, when Sugihara returned home, he was ignored by the Japan government for his actions. He did not seek attention and rarely spoke about his experience.

This photo shows Germans hiding the dead bodies. Image source: Wikipedia
This photo shows Germans hiding the dead bodies. Image source: Wikipedia

“I think he really exemplified not doing it for the accolades but doing what he thought was right” says Shoshana Buchholz-Miller, Illinois Holocaust Museum.  He was given the Honor of The Righteous Among the Nations, one of Israel’s highest honors. “Hero? I think he doesn’t want to be a hero, he just did what needed to be done” Chihiro Sugihara (grandson of Chuine Sugihara)

“It is something very emotionally overwhelming” Arielle Salomon after meeting the grandson of Sugihara to express her gratitude directly.

After his heroic act, he came to be known as a ‘Japanese Schindler’.  Chuine Sugihara was a good grandfather to a few but a savior to many more.

-by Vrushali Mahajan

Vrushali is pursuing her graduation in Journalism and is an intern at NewsGram. You can reach the author at twitter- Vrushali Mahajan 

Related Articles:

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    This is really an amazing job done by Mr Sugihara. Going against the government and helping people out of sheer humanity is what he did and saved almost 40,000 lives

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Planning to move Abroad for Higher Education? Here is a list of 5 Most Affordable Destinations to Study Abroad

Here is a list of some of the most affordable destinations to study abroad!

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affordable destinations to study abroad
Choosing to study abroad can be a tough call, and you must consider all factors before you make a decision. Pixabay

Planning to move abroad for higher education?

Access to education is one of the most basic rights of people across the world. However, when it comes to pursuing higher education from international universities, it seems like there are only a few who can afford to study at a destination of your choice.

While the thought of moving abroad and living in a new place with people from different faiths and nationalities can be extremely exciting, there are a few things you must responsibly think about before you take a final decision. The cost of tuition fees, food bills, rent are some of the important aspects to think about and plan before making a call.

Still, living abroad doesn’t come cheap. Wondering about affordable destinations to study abroad? We have got you covered!

 1. GERMANY

With more than 350 universities and institutions offering over 800 courses to make a choice from, Germany makes one of the better and affordable destinations to study abroad. As an emerging education destination, Germany has witnessed an increasing trend of international students with as much as a 14 per cent increase between 2013 and 2015.

Germany is believed to have some of the best academic infrastructures in the world that focus not only on education, but holistic development of the student. The country is also considered to be the one of the top countries to attain specialization in disciplines relating to engineering and technology.

affordable destinations to study abroad
Flag of Germany. Pixabay

While knowing a new language is always a benefit, students need not know German for courses opted in English.

Despite being a nation in central-Europe, the cost of living in Germany is surprisingly low when compared to other European countries. According to data available on the internet, Germany has a lower cost of living than Denmark, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

As per information by the German Academic Exchange Service, international students are believed to spend about 725 Euros as part of their daily expenses while local students spend about 864 for their expenses.

Apart from low sustenance costs, German universities have little to no tuition fees which make them an attractive choice as one of the affordable destinations to study abroad.

 2. FINLAND

The Finnish education system has been ranked as one of the best in the world. The country offers a wide variety of courses to choose from and a student can go to Finland as a student for a complete academic degree, an exchange student or as a trainee.

affordable destinations to study abroad
Flag of Finland. Pixabay

Regardless of your nationality, students are exempted from paying tuition fees at Finnish Universities which makes the country a good choice for one of the most affordable destinations to study abroad. However, there are some exceptions in case of a few master’s degrees and programmes.

Since all education costs are born by the Finnish government, students going to the country for Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees do not have any scholarship. However, students joining Finnish universities for doctoral studies and research can avail certain scholarships.

The country has a reputation for a high cost of living in comparison to other countries but Helsinki is suggested as the most affordable city in the region.

 3. NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand has a lot to offer to international students. With cheaper cost of living than nearby places like Australia and reasonable tuition fees, New Zealand has emerged as one of the most affordable destinations to study abroad.

There are 8 universities in New Zealand that comprise a safe and welcoming community and offer high quality of education.

affordable destinations to study abroad
Flag of New Zealand. Pixabay

The country has an extremely flexible education system that can comfortably match the budget of students and offers great value for money. International students can further avail several scholarships that are provided by the New Zealand government, foreign governments, educational institutions, and private sources.

There is no stipulated figure for the annual living expenses incurred by international students as that can vary depending upon the university chosen by every individual student. However, the New Zealand government suggests having up to 15,000 dollars to comfortably cover expenses during the first year of study.

 4. SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa is next on our list of most affordable destinations to study abroad.

Tuition fees in South Africa depend upon your choice of university and the education programme.

affordable destinations to study abroad
Flag of South Africa. Pixabay

Nearly all higher education institutes in South Africa comprise of student support offices that help student find and settle into their chosen programmes and accommodations which are available both, on campus and within close proximity to the university campus.

The cost of living in South Africa is relatively low. As per data on the internet, students can estimate an expense of about 980 USD per month, which will include student’s accommodation, food expenses, bills and travel.

These lower costs mean students need not spend exorbitant prices during their student years, in comparison to expenses in other developed countries.

 5. CANADA

Canada has long been one of the preferred countries by people from all parts of the world, courtesy its warm and welcoming society. The country has fast emerged as a preferred location for international students too.

affordable destinations to study abroad
Flag of Canada. Pixabay

Apart from being extremely peaceful, safe and welcoming, Canada is known worldwide for its high standard of living and low cost of living for students.

Canada is known to have some of the cheapest tuition fees for international students when compared to other English-speaking universities. As per data available on the internet, international students bear an annual expense within the bracket of 20,000 to 30,000 Canadian dollars, which includes their tuition and living expenses.

Students enrolled in any Canadian university and aged between 18 and 25 can avail discounts when purchasing their monthly transport pass. Students need not spend much on food bills, either.

All these factors when combined together make Canada one of the most sought after and affordable destinations to study abroad.

Choosing to study abroad can be a tough call, and you must consider all factors before you make a decision. We wish you all the best!

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala

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World’s Oldest Board Game Backgammon Being Used by Jerusalem Double to unite Jews and Arabs

Backgammon is acting as a peace maker between Israelis and Palestinians. Every one in Middle-East irrespective of one's religion has an attachment with this game.

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Backgammon- An ancient board game that is acting as a bond to unify Jews and Arabs.
Backgammon- An ancient board game that is acting as a bond to unify Jews and Arabs. Pixabay.
  • An ancient game turning out to be a peace maker between Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem
  • Backgammon is a deeply rooted game in the Middle-East, which is uniting segregated neighbors
  • Backgammon is one of the oldest board games in the world

Jerusalem, September 11, 2017: No one had ever imagined the power of Backgammon. And about how this ancient game could act as a game changer in the Middle-East.

Backgammon is one of the world’s oldest board games that is currently being used to bring back peace in the Middle-East.

Jerusalem Double project is a series of Backgammon tournament that takes place in Jerusalem. It is an inter cultural initiative by Jerusalem Foundation to create more interaction between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel is the only Jewish state in the world which is located just at the east of Mediterranean Sea. Jew is a word used for those people who profess Judaism irrespective of the place they live in.

Palestinians consist of the Arab population that hails from the land which is now controlled by Israel. They want to establish a state by the name “Palestine” on all or part of the land, which is currently controlled by Israel.

“We wanted to bring Jews and Arabs together beyond the daily grind. We wanted to create a joint cultural event in which everyone can share and we wanted to create cross over between neighborhoods that for generations have been completely segregated”, believes Zaki Djemal from Jerusalem Foundation.

Jerusalem Double chose Backgammon as a medium to break the walls between the Jews and Arabs because Backgammon is deeply rooted in the Middle-east. It is highly accessible and inclusive.

Initially, the project Jerusalem Double had faced a lot of resistance from both the communities. But, they went against the wind and left no stone unturned to make this project work. As a result, the Backgammon proved to be a catalyst towards a positive change.

In 2106, when the first Backgammon championship had happened, only 150 people showed up. But this time, 250 people participated in the tournament and competed for a cash prize of 6,000 USD.

Play can create empathy between strangers and apparent enemies and it can give us the confidence that we need to trust in each other and in the world we have been slighted, even after we have experienced pain, suffering, and fear said Zaik Djemal.

Backgammon is an outstanding initiative towards a peaceful morning in the Middle-East.

-prepared by Shivani Chowdhary of NewsGram. Twitter handle: @cshivani31

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7 Tips that work wonders to make your house look more spacious

With these tips, you can make a small room look bigger

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Tips to make your house look more spacious
Tips to make your house look more spacious. Pixabay

New Delhi, September 10, 2017:  The festive season is around the corner, people all over India are filled with zeal and enthusiasm to celebrate festivities in a grand style.

Many people choose to host house parties during the festive season, inviting colleagues, friends, and family to share the joy with.  To make the celebrations and parties at home a memorable affair, the first thing on the list is how you choose to decorate your house? How to modify the space to make it appear more happening. Redecoration and renovation are a vital aspect of it.

There are many ways to do it, some people focus on minor details like putting up a captivating scenery or a beautiful painting on the wall, decorating the house with rare artifacts, and other such decorative pieces. Some people go for painting the house in bright colors to add a festive touch to the house. People are eager to transform their homes to bring in the festive season.

Another important aspect for an individual who wishes to style their house lies in the size of the place they are living in. Those people who reside in more spacious houses can do more in terms of experimentation as it gives them more scope to beautify their abode. But for those living in relatively smaller apartments or houses which is a reality most of the people living in our country, they wish if there were any tricks by which they can make their house appear much larger than it actually is. Don’t worry we are making  your wish come true with these creative tricks and tips:

  • De-clutter your house

 

The first and a vital rule of redecorating or redesigning small abode is by reducing clutter as much as you can. Start by removing all the unwanted items which haven’t been utilized in past few years. By getting rid of unused items will create space will create more room for more useful objects.Fewer objects in a room make it look neat and spacious than before.

  • Choose the right shades for walls

The next step is to go for the right shades for the wall. Go for light summery yet solid colors to paint the walls of your house as it allows more light to enter the room. You can also buy light colored decorative utilities as they create a bright ambiance.

  • Go for Drapes in bright hues or sheer ones

The current trend calls for adorning the room with bright colored drapes or curtains. Your house will look more spacious if you match the color of drapes with the paint on walls. Drapes in pastel colors are people favorite.

  • Pick the right furniture for your house

When you are redecorating your house for the festive season choose the right furniture that can compliments the overall theme of your house, without occupying too much space. It’s a smart move to invest in a multipurpose sofa which is sofa cum bed, in day time use it as a sofa and in night hours use it as a comfortable bed. Go for space saving furniture items like wall mounted beds, bunk beds, adjustable dining table sets etc. You can also find There are innovative dining cum pool tables in the market which is a functional  yet fun item to add to your house. To make your house look more spacious you can either go for small furniture or few larger pieces of furniture.

  • Use Decorative mirrors

Very few people know this but mirrors give an illusion of a spacious house. You can pick up either decorative mirrors in contemporary designs or antique mirrors to give an elegant touch. Apart from giving a vibe of a spacious room, decorative mirrors also give your house a trendy and chic look. The design you pick should blend with your home’s interior decor overall. These days people choose handmade macrame decorative mirrors.

  • Adorn the house with shelves

You can buy shelves for your house as it’s a useful item to invest in. Shelves saves space and decorate your walls at the same time.They come in various types like fiber glass, wood and also plastic. They can hold various objects like decorative items, books, antiques, pen stand, etc. You can also pick wooden corner wall shelves and place small decorative indoor plants to add greenery and save space.

  • Lastly, invest in wall mounted cabinets

You can explore the option of wall mounted cabinets to make your house look more spacious. It comes handy in utilizing space in small houses as you can store various objects without it occupying much space. You can use cabinets like a small pantry to store food stuff or other essentials. There are beautiful cabinets in wood and also hybrid wood in the market

Go ahead and use these creative ideas to make your house look more spacious and festive ready!


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