This image via White African. Check out the google earth photo of Kibera Slum in Nairobi, Kenya which is the second largest slum in Africa (the largest being Soweto in South Africa). The area can be seen at the top part of the image. Its home to over a million people.
I saw this in the Times UK today and was stunned. 14 years after the official end of apartheid and there is a school, University of the Free State, that is just now integrating?? Just checked my calendar, and yup its still 2008. Amazing. What's even more shocking is that the is a disturbing video out showing white students forcing black workers to drink "contaminated" soap and eat dirty meat that is causing an uproar.
I have a question though, why would the janitors listen to the kids?? There must be an unbelievable sense of powerlessness on one side and privilege on the other for this equation to go down. Some of the workers were elderly. Sad. Here is a direct quote from a white student protesting the integration:
upon a time the boere (Afrikaners) lived peacefully here on Reitz Island,
until one day when the lessa dvantaged discovered the word ‘integration’ in
the dictionary,” a resident of the men’s hostel says."
Unbelievable. Again, this happened a few days ago, not in 1942.
Just added the ubiquitous "I blog for human rights
" e-sticker. So, I thought to back up that claim, I'd start advocating some of the issues on the Amnesty International blog. They explicitly encourage bloggers to help them campaign.
So this brings me to the case of 23 year old Karim Amer. Around the same age as me, blogger, African and voices dissent against the government (which I do on and off line). Seems pretty normal, right, his crime? "Criticizing religious authorities, President Husni Mubarak and Islam." (amnesty international)
Yikes. Specifically, these accusations turned into these charges:
"spreading information disruptive of public order and damaging to the
"incitement to hate Islam"
President of the Republic".
Karim Amer is the first Egyptian blogger to be tried for pretty much speaking out via his blog. His sentence is 4 years and he just finished a year on Friday. This is scary stuff and it lets me know that we in the "free world" so to speak, take a lot of our freedoms for granted. If Amnesty is doing a letter writing campaign on his behalf. There's more about his story and his treatment in prison here.