9 May 2011

The Invisible Wheelchair

Cuts seem to have become a major issue for everyone in the UK. Also Organisations supporting disabled people are facing cutbacks. 

But what does this really mean? We take a look at one organisation and at the group they support. 

26 Mar 2011

The boat race

1829 the idea of a rowing race between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge was born. 

Two friends - Charles Merivala, a Cambridge University student and his Harrow school friend Charles Wordsworth, who was a student at Oxford came up with the idea.

On 12 March 1829 Cambridge sent a challenge to Oxford - the tradition was born which has continued to the present day - the loser of the previous year's race challenges the opposition to a re-match.

The race still runs along the same lines from Putney to Mortlake, but has now become a major international sporting occasion, drawing millions of viewers from around the world.

This year Oxford was the lucky winner. But Cambridge still leads the serience by 80-76. The 157th Boat Race takes place on Saturday, 26 March 2011 at 17:00.

Watch finish line moments 2011:

Apple's iPad 2 launch, London

Yesterday Apple released the iPad 2, the next generation of its device for browsing the web, reading and sending emails, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading ebooks and more.

Whooping, clapping and cheering by the mass of blue t-shirt wearing staff inside greeted the first customer through the door at 17:00.

Starting outside the store the queue stretched the entire length of Hanover Street, then as far as the eye could see down St. George Street.

Those nearer to the front of the queue have been in place since the day before.

Does Apple turn human beings into maniacs?

Being a huge Apple fan myself, I understand that being one of the lucky iPad 2 owners must be magical. But why do people have to be first holding the new device in their arms?

Does it make a difference to wait a few days and then just go into a shop and get one? Isn't it so much easier?

I talked to a guy waiting in the queue: "It is not about being first. It is about being here, enjoying a fantastic, sunny day with friends - doesn't it look more like a festival to you too?"

Well, I must admit, it was a great day and the atmosphere was incredible. Is Apple the new culture?

11 Mar 2011

Under construction

www.london-performers.co.uk  is what 7 journalism students, including me, have been working on the last couple of weeks.

London Performers is a multimedia website, showcasing the distinguished talent in London. It incorporates informative writing, photography and multimedia content to reveal the unknown side of cult and popular culture.

Our aim is to encapsulate the trends of London's current entertainment scene through publishing issues focussed on certain groups of performers.

It is a website aimed at anyone interested in performing and anyone visiting or living in London.

We hope to expose entertainers who may be beginning their career, or those who have never had the right coverage before.

We want to expose London's entertainment in all its glamour and grime.

We will look at specific groups of performers in London, each aiming to take the theme of 'performing' in a literal and abstract sense.

Every story aims to explain what these performers do, why they do it and how they are doing it.
We are a team of seven international journalists working together to produce a truly original take on what London has to offer.

Check it out: www.london-performers.co.uk

18 Feb 2011

The Jasmine Revolution

Today Francis Ghilès from the Centre for International Relations & Development Studies spoke amongst others at the Chatham House event on Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution.  
After Ben Ali’s resignation, who is currently in coma after a stroke, the media quickly moved on to other countries like Egypt, Bahrain and Algeria – where the action is. But what is happening to a country after its leader has left? Let's go back to where it all started.

Ghilès reminds of the islamic revolution of 1979 but says today it is different. The people are more individuals than 30 years ago. They have changed and the political Islam no longer finds affection. 

What fascinates the people in the Maghreb region is Turkey, Ghilès says, the combination of Islam and democracy is interesting to them. The revolution in Tunisia and also Egypt is a question of dignity. Under the repressive regime there was no room for dignity.

Ghilès tries to explain the differences between Tunisia and Egypt. As example he states that the birth rate collapsed in Tunisia and in Egypt not. Also north Africa is much more influenced by France and Europe; this is a huge difference to the Middle East.

Domino effect

Ghilès doesn’t like the idea of a domino effect. He thinks Algeria and Morocco are more stabile countries than Tunisia and Egypt. Still corruption and unemployment can be found there too. 

He says the biggest problem here in Europe is that people don’t know enough about North Africa and the Middle East and their history. In France the Middle East studies have collapsed. Journalists don’t have the knowledge to report about the whole picture. Inland Tunisia is poor. Where can we find that in the media?

Ghilès carries on and talks about the differences between Tunisia and Algeria with its revolts they have over and over again. Algeria has a diminished middle class and lost many people in the civil war. Tunisia doesn’t have those problems.

Karama stands for dignity

The rebelling all over the Maghreb region is because people want to be respected – Karama – it is all about dignity, Ghilès explains. He adds democracy won’t make things easier. And he thinks an election in Tunisia in six month time is simply not possible. It takes much longer to build political parties and to "clean up the police" that still has the old pictures in their heads.

Ghilès speaks about the demonstrations in Algeria last Saturday and is asking who is manipulation whom? 

Ghilès knows for sure the future generation of Tunisia became into being when the Tunisians lost their fear of the police. Fearless and with dignity – that’s the new Tunisia. 

Let's see what the future might hold for Tunisia.

17 Feb 2011

Three protestors killed in Bahrain

Dozens of armor-cased vehicles drove against Pearl Square Thursday morning in the capital Manama, where protestors have built up their base.

Encouraged of what happened in Egypt and Tunisia also in Bahrain members of the opposition called for a “day of anger”. In the last couple of days protests in countries throughout North Africa und the Middle East took place.

The square where the night before about 2000 protestors have camped was deserted on Thursday morning and littered with abandoned tents and blankets. Since the beginning of the protests three days ago five people have been killed at riots. 

The changes of power in Tunisia and Egypt have encouraged thousands of protestors in the last couple of days to demand the resignation of the Sunnite family. 

The Shiite majority of population moans about being excluded from housing market, health system and governmental place of employment in the archipelagic state of Saudi-Arabia.