The good stuff

I have decided to put up a weekly collection of links of blog posts, articles, or other stuff that caught my attention or of interesting blogs I discovered. I keep running into things that I find interesting or want to post about, but I somehow don’t get around to doing that. So I decided to collect all the good stuff I find on the net and post it about once a week. All in rather random order.

First up is Sanne‘s post on her experiences as a volunteer in Armenia. She continues writing interesting and thought-provoking posts. Well worth a read for those interested in the views of a non-Armenian with no previous ties to the country. She really hits some things spot on in my opinion. Her post can be read here.

As for noteworthy news in Armenia, there was the meeting this weekend in France between president Robert Kocharian of Armenia and president Ilham Aliev of Azerbaijan about the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. In the past week, Onnik at One World has posted several posts; ArmYouth Blog, Notes from Hairenik each have posted on this as well. The Artyom Reader and Voch me Ban (good to see he’s back!) have posts on the results (if there were any…). I am pretty sure Onnik will soon post as well on the results.
[Update 1: he just did.]

Then there is of course the much talked about visit of Jermaine Jackson to Armenia. Yes, the Jermaine Jackson of Jackson Five and brother-of fame.

On another note, as it turned out this week, if you are too critical about football in this country, your car might be put on fire. Someone once said that football is war. I guess this gives a whole new meaning to that statement… By the way, a friend told me that this in my opinion rather newsworthy item was not covered on TV at all.

I found Sean’s Russia Blog this week through a link on Global Voices to a post he wrote on the hazing scandal that has captured headlines in Russia over the last few weeks. Briefly, the sick story goes like this: a 19-year old guy fulfilling his two year service in the Russian army was beaten up so badly by other soldiers and /or officers that his legs, genitals and a finger had to be amputated. More about this here. I found the rest on Sean’s Russia Blog well worth reading as well. The blog contains “[c]ommentary, analysis and news on Russian politics, society, history, and culture” and can be found here.

Open Democracy this week published an article on a proposal for a law to ban the burqa from all public spaces in my native country Holland. The article goes on to discuss why Holland over the last couple of years has turned into probably the most anti-Islamic country in the West. The reasons for this lie in part in Holland’s past of “pillarisation”, described as

“the late nineteenth-century institutionalisation of separate socio-politico-religious worlds in the interests of egalitarian social relations. The country was divided along essentially four “pillars” – Protestant, Catholic, Socialist, Liberal – that lived radically segregated lives from each other, deeply loyal to their community, and subject to its norms and values.”

Finally, Dutch public TV (its third channel) will air a program on the Armenian Genocide todaySundaydy February 12) at 20:40 Dutch time. This will be followed by a discussion about the Armenian Genocide two days later in Amsterdam. More info on both events here.

[edited to delete dead links]

8 thoughts on “The good stuff

  1. Vontsess?
    I have been visiting armenia and georgia in 2004 for four months. A tour by myself from nagorno to batumi/gori etc. I have seen many beautiful places. I conducted a study for a private investor in the tourism industry. Off course I enjoyed the time being there and I have still close contact with my armenian friends. Fortunately holland identified the oppportunties of both countries by organising a delegation for commercial purposes in april/may 2006(check: http://www.evd.nl). Hopefully the trade relations will have some spin off. all the best. groetjes

  2. Funny you are writing about the program on the Armenian genocide, broadcasted by Dutch TV. I have seen the program and was a bit disappointed about it. I had expected to hear the opinions of some people from Armenia and Turkey, but they just interviewed people from the diaspora, both turkish and armenian diaspora. I was more interested in the complete picture, so also what people currently living in Armenia and Turkey think about it and what position this whole issue has in these societies.
    Anyway. It was good to hear some Armenian again 🙂

  3. I don’t know much about the programming of Dutch Public TV, but it is kind of hypocritical of Dutch society to acknowledge Armenian Genocide and Jewish Holocaust, and at the same time marginalize and discriminate its own Muslim population.

  4. Vahan, I am not sure what one has to do with the other. Also, I don’t think Holland is the only country where muslims are to a bigger or lesser extent marginalized.

    Sanne, thanks for your opinion on the program. Obviously, I didn’t watch it (duhuh…) and so far I only heard from my parents about it so I am interested in what people who watched it have to say about it. By “Turkish Diaspora”, do you mean the Turkish “guestworker”-immigrants, who came to Europe in the 60s and 70s?

    Thijs, it sounds like an interesting trip you had traveling around Georgia, Armenia and NK! I will definitely try to find out more about the upcoming trade delegation (thanks for the link). Wasn’t there something like this in 2005 as well? At least I remember Minister Zalm paid a visit to Armenia then, but I am not sure that was really a trade mission. It’s sure be interesting to see the results of the upcoming trade delegation.

    Oh and Jeff, thanks for the kind words! 😉

  5. Thanks for the links! I haven’t seen all of your recommendations, but so far I’m enjoying the blogs with my tea.

  6. Muslims discriminated against in Holland??? How ridiculous. They must thank Allah for living in Holland. If they don’t like freedom, progress and respect for human dignity and other Western values they should move to places like Afghanistan or Pakistan.

  7. Yeah with diaspora I meant the guestworker-immigrants from the 60s and 70s, at least thats what I presumed they are..They are living in the Netherlands now anyway.

    Today there was a very interesting documentary about Chechnya on Dutch Television. see: (ok i dont know how to make a link here)..http://www.vpro.nl/programma/tegenlicht/afleveringen/26732888/) It was a very shocking and impressive documentary. Well, I am a bit late in announcing it, since it’s over, but i wanted to mention it anyway. On the site is some more information about the situation in the nothern Caucasus as well, though in Dutch only.

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