Tuesday October 24, 2017
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Google Fortunetelling website creates awareness on refugee crisis

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syrian crisis facts
source: http://ec.europa.eu/

It was since March 2011 that Syria has been slowly sinking into the turmoil of civil war. Millions have been rendered homeless in the largest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. The estimated number of the displaced is 11 million. A part of this population has fled to Europe and to other parts of the world, primarily to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

But they are not home.

Families have been separated and left to make perilous journeys without adequate resources. An entire generation of children has been irrevocably scarred with the ravages of war. They have no access to proper basic necessities, protection and education.

As the entire planet stands on shaky grounds with the epicenter of the Syrian crisis, we are staring at a big blank space regarding the collective future of humanity.

The Google fortunetelling website seems a fun thing to try out till you realise the true motive behind it.

Google 3

The link takes you to a Google lookalike page where you are asked to “Type here a question about your future” and hit the “Predict my future button”.

However, when you attempt to write anything, the page automatically writes “Where can I find a safe place?” in the search box. Among similar searches comes up questions such as “Will I be reunited with my family?” and “Is there a place where I can give my children a safe future?”

The website betagoogle.com, which is actually not connected to Google, was created to generate awareness on the condition of the Syrian refugees and makes us open our eyes to the fact that in a time when millions aren’t sure of their future, we click on a site thinking it will give some fun fortunetelling experience.

The site then takes us to a separate page and pleads us to “take a moment to think of their future” and do whatever little was possible for them.

google fortuneteller screenshot“With this project we want to create awareness. We need structural solutions on political level for this growing European problem. Please feel free to donate your time, money or love and spread the word,” the webpage reads.

The page gives us the options to share the campaign on Facebook and Twitter and also provides links to images and videos of refugees. You can even donate to charity or check out local initiatives on the issue.

A ‘crystal ball’ on the right shows the number of refugees increasing the more time you spend on the site to emphasize how horrifying the present situation is.

[socialpoll id=”2310685″]

 

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Civil War, Cholera and Severe Food Shortage Make Yemen World’s Largest Humanitarian Crisis ; UN calls it ‘Man-made Catastrophe’

Un Human Rights' Agency report asserts that the catastrophe is entirely man-made and a direct result of the behavior of the parties to the conflict.

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People inspect the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition targeted Yemen's capital early on Friday, hitting at least three houses in Sanaa and killing at least 14 civilians, including women and children, residents and eyewitnesses said. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) (VOA)
  • UN report asserts that the sufferings of people after years of civil war in Yemen are man-made
  • The report asserts that Yemen is in the grip of conflict, cholera and severe food shortages
  • According to the U.N. Human Rights Agency, more than 10 million people are in acute need of health care

Geneva, September 6, 2017 : The United Nations calls suffering endured by millions of people after more than two years of civil war in Yemen an entirely man-made catastrophe.

The world body reports there have been more than 11,700 civilians killed or injured in the civil war in Yemen, since the Saudi Arabian coalition began airstrikes against Houthi rebels in support of the government in March 2015. It blames more than 8,000 of the casualties on the coalition and more than 3,700 on the Houthis.

The report says conflict, cholera and severe food shortages have made Yemen the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

The U.N. Human Rights Agency’s Chief of Middle East and North Africa, Mohammad Ali Ainsour, says Yemen’s 18.8. million people need humanitarian aid and more than 10 million are in acute need of health care.

Civil war in Yemen
A woman helps her son as he lies on a bed at a cholera treatment center in Sanaa, Yemen. VOA

“The catastrophe is entirely man-made and a direct result of the behavior of the parties to the conflict, including indiscriminate attacks,” said Ainsour. “We have seen attacks on markets, residential areas, hospitals, schools, funeral gatherings and even fishermen and small civilian boats at sea.”

The report says civilians may have been directly targeted in some cases. The report documents a wide range of continuing human rights violations and abuses. It expresses concern at the increasing number of arbitrary or illegal detentions and forced disappearances of human rights defenders, religious leaders, journalists, and political opponents.

Ainsour says there are at least 1,700 cases of child recruitment, most by Houthi forces and 20 percent by pro-government forces.

“OHCHR [the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights] monitors frequently observed children as young as 10, who were armed and uniformed and manning Houthi … checkpoints,” said Ainsour.

U.N. Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein is repeating his call for an end to the fighting and for an independent, international investigation to be established. He says it is crucial to hold to account perpetrators of violations and abuse. (VOA)

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“The Little Picasso” : 10-Year-Old Afghan Boy Farhad Nuri Paints and Dreams in Serbian Refugee Camp

Every child has inbuilt talent, only some get the chance of polishing it

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Refugee Children
Farhad Nouri poses with a portrait of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in his room in the "Krnjaca" collective centre near Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, March 13, 2017. A 10-year-old boy from Afghanistan is known as Little Picasso among migrants in a Serbia asylum camp because of his artistic talent. Nouri, his parents and two younger brothers hope to move to Switzerland or the United States, but have been stuck in the Balkan country for months unable to cross the heavily guarded borders of the European Union. VOA

– by Surbhi Dhawan                                                               

June 21, 2017: With eyes bright lit, a 10-year-old Afghan Boy Farhad Nuri paints his own world of happiness and courage in a peaceful corner of the world away from his home where gunshots are loud enough to kill the child in him.

Hatred and terrorism are the villains of his life who are responsible for the abandoning the feeling of home in him. It’s not a story of a single child who is suffering and is not fortunate enough of carefree childhood; it’s a story of every child playing with the terror in plastic, tin, clothes and bamboo tents.

Every child has inbuilt talent, only some get the chance of polishing it. From poets to rappers, singers to dancers, painters to writers, name it and its present in the refugee tents. These children’s only fault is to be born at the wrong place.

Ten-year-old Farhad knows where he stands amidst the other world and his own world. He distinguishes his native country Afghanistan with other countries through his drawings. He shows Afghanistan as a lady covering and isolating his face from rest of the world and rest of the world is shown as a naked face with shining eyes and a gracious smile.

Farhad’s drawings are nothing less than of a professional artist. He has made the sketches and portraits of his heroes like Salvador Dali, the legendary artist who used to paint surrealism and Angela Merkel who opened the doors of Europe for refugees. Both these heroes are close to his heart as one describes his existing conflict between dreams and reality and other helped him in escaping terrorism.

Like every other child, Farhad too wants to excel through enhancing his talent. He wants to go to a place where his dreams can bloom without the sounds of terror and inability of refugee tents. Farhad’s family is one of the many who fled Taliban to save themselves. Farhad’s paintings clearly show that talent does not discriminate and it does not promote hatred. His paintings communicate what he and hundred others like him cannot. Don’t these children have a right to a naughty smile, a carefree play, free dreams and an assured future?

– by Surbhi Dhawan of NewsGram. Twitter @surbhi_dhawan

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Cholera Epidemic in War-torn Yemen: 1,00,000 Suspected Cases, 791 dead

The people of Yemen are threatened by the epidemic of Cholera which has already claimed 791 lives. UNICEF reports there are 1,00,000 cases of Cholera in the country.

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Cholera Epidemic in Yemen
Less than half of the healthcare centres in Yemen are functional. VOA
  • The unprecedented growth of Cholera Epidemic in Yemen has led to the serious humanitarian crisis in the country
  • The epidemic has already claimed 791 deaths in the country facing a lack of healthcare due to past two years of conflict
  • The WHO has estimated 1,00,000 cases of Cholera present in the country, particularly among children below 15 years of age

June 10, 2017: The Cholera epidemic is rising at unprecedented levels in the war-torn country Yemen. The disease has already claimed 791 lives while WHO reports that there still exist an estimated 1,00,000 cases of cholera.

Cholera is an infection caused by indigestion of food and water due to contamination by Vibrio Cholera bacterium. It can kill the individual in a matter of hours if the fluids inside the body are not replaced.

WHO recently stated that children below 15 years of age account for 46% of cholera cases. Most children of Yemen are also malnourished.

ALSO READ: Donald Trump and Saudi King Agree to Back Safe Zones in Syria and Yemen

The Oxfam charity organization estimates that cholera takes one life every hour in Yemen. 

The WHO report also stated that less than half of the medical centers are functional in Yemen. Most do not have access to clean water and the workers have not been paid since months.

Last month a state of emergency was announced by the Houthis who control most parts of Yemen. In addition to cholera, drought and food insecurity have led to the crisis situation in the country. In such conditions, epidemics have thrived on the population.

The epidemic is easily treatable with proper sanitations and healthcare systems but in Yemen’s case, these systems are on the verge of collapse.

Cholera epidemic in Yemen
The Saudi-led bombings have destroyed the important infrastructure of Yemen. VOA

For the past two years Saudi Arabia and its regional allies have carried out bombing campaigns on the Yemenese soil. Yemen has been bullied to misery. Saudi Arabia has put economic sanctions on Yemen in addition to blocking their air and sea ports which have restrained the import of food and medicines. The bombings have destroyed the important infrastructure of Yemen.

The real reason behind Saudi Arabia’s bombings is Iran. Iran supports the Houthis in Yemen which the Saudis perceive as a threat. The situation is kind of similar to Lebanon where

Cholera epidemic in Yemen
The Houthis are controlling certain parts of Yemen while the central government controls the other half with the support of Saudi Arabia and its allies. VOA

Yemen is facing humanitarian crisis and hopes for outside help in order to save its people. The WHO and UNICEF have initiated joint programmes for providing clean water to contain the epidemic and help Yemen, but stability in the region will only come when great powers decide to confront Saudi attacks.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394