When I went to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s I recall seeing what I can only term comfort boys with the fighters. 
Today I read an article about Afghanistan's "dancing boys", or bacha bazi.  Why doesn't the media diverge a bit from coverage of the Taliban and US forces in Afghanistan and talk about this horrendous issue?  Why?
And it's not the Americans doing the abusing!
Link here.
 
 
Fidel Castro spends 5 hours talking with Jeffrey Goldberg, criticizes Ahmedinejad.  Read what he had to say here
 
 
8-9-10, in the dd-mm-yy format of course!
 
 

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A couple of weeks ago my son came home from school with Maths homework that included links to online resources.  And that's how I discovered Free Rice.  I can't recommend this website enough.  For every correct answer http://www.freerice.com/ donates 10 grains of rice to the World Food Program.
Spread the word.  Click the link.  Feed the Poor.

 
 
Here is the Zain Eid video with English subtitles. 
 
 
The Zein cellular network Eid al-Fitr video promo.  I will try to upload a subtitled version soon for non-Arabic speakers. 
The slogan is along the lines of "The joy of Eid, share it and spread the happiness." 
Unfortunately this video is being criticized by some of those in the "anti-happiness" brigade...  More soon.
 
 
Torture, but not the usual fare  in the dungeons of the security services of the Arab world...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11094968
 
 
Lebanon's Parliament passes a law granting Palestinian refugees the right to work.  Sort of.  And falls short of  the refugees' expectations.
BBC report here.
I wrote about this issue for Al Jazeera's website over a year ago.  Story here.
 
 
I don't write about TV shows, but tonight I watched a very impressive episode of the Saudi comedy Tash ma Tash
In a nutshell the episode, Uncle Boutros (Peter), tells the story of 2 brothers told by their father on his deathbed that their maternal family hails from Lebanon and that they should seek out their uncle in Lebanon.  They duly travel to Lebanon and discover that their mother's side of the family is Christian.  To top it all of f  their uncle, Boutros (Peter) is a priest!
 The 2 attend a wedding in a church and join in the celebration.  Meanwhile the brothers engage in dialectic soul-searching, wondering how their impressive uncle is a kafir (infidel) as they'd been taught of non-Muslims.  They gift him a copy of the the Quran hoping to guide him to the path of Islam and he displays to them a profound knowledge of Islam as well as respect for and belief in all religions while maintaining his own religious convictions.


I'm very impressed with the courage and treatment of this very delicate subject.  The two stars, Abdullah al-Sadhan and Nasser al-Qasabi, deserve a lot of credit and support.  This is the program's 17th season.  More about Tash here.
 
 
Open minds, honesty, tolerance, multiculturalism, respect for and enjoyment of  life, freedom of thought, mind and expression...  The dream continues and so does the quest.