September 25, 2017

A Journey Through Arctic Alaska

Walker Lake, Alaska. (Photo by Bruce and Letty, Creative Commons License)

Forward a few paddles…” Joe says in a soft but urgent voice. Three of us—Joe Riis, Neal Conan, and I—are paddling 92 miles down the Kobuk River through the northernmost boreal forest in Arctic Alaska. Five rapids are looming. We can hear them, and because we’ve been cold and wet for the previous three days, we want to make sure ... Read More »

Interfaith Monologues

(Photo by reway2007)

Abrahamic religions have a patrimony of persecution. Over millennia, Judaism has been persecuted by history, Christianity by the Romans, and Islam by Samuel Huntington. Victimisation has been not simply the cost of difference. It has been the price exacted for faith.   The 20th century has seen a change that would have been unthinkable 100 years ago. Religionists have moved ... Read More »

Violence Against Women is Systemic in Nicaragua

(Photo by Amnesty International)

The 2013 Global Gender Gap Report, released Oct. 25 by the World Economic Forum (WEF), ranked Nicaragua 10th in the world in gender equality — a move the women´s movement in the country criticized, stating publicly Nicaraguan women are facing a double standard when it comes to their rights. Although there is equal representation of women in government institutions at ... Read More »

Afghan Professor Takes in Campus Culture

Muzghan Hamraz (left), a professor from Afghanistan, and Suzanne Bott (right), discuss the heritage conservation program involving the UA and Kabul University on Wednesday. Bott is the director of the program, which aims to help build Kabul’s heritage conservation program in Afghanistan. (Photo by Michaela Kane via The Daily Wildcat)

A visiting professor from Afghanistan is learning about cultural conservation in order to take what she learns back to her country. Muzhgan Hamraz, is a professor from Kabul University in Afghanistan who came to Arizona through the UA’s Heritage Conservation Program. Hamraz said she’s hoping the knowledge she gains here will allow her to expand the class options at her ... Read More »

Few Pakistanis Know About Torwali Language

Torwali script. (Photo by Danial Shah via Himal Southasian)

After years of war between militants and the Pakistani Army, Swat (a picturesque mountainous district in northern parts of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province)  is now considered safe to travel to, and is open for domestic tourism. To explore the culture of Swat, I embarked on a short journey this summer, taking a bus from Rawalpindi to Mingora, the main town in ... Read More »

Tugging At The Heart Strings

(Photo via

  About half a kilometer (.3 miles) from Karachi’s famous Banaras Chowk, to the left side of Banaras Nullah, stands a tiny old shop. The exterior is far from impressive; the interior even less so. A small space has been cleared out on the floor to provide seating; two old exhaust fans are tied to the roof in place of ... Read More »

Pakistan: And Extremism Spread, Not That Silently!

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  Film: Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters) Genre: Drama Written and directed by Sabiha Sumar This film is set in a Pakistani village, which is shown as a microcosm of the pangs of separation that Sikh families had to bear when India was divided in 1947 to create Pakistan as a separate Muslim country in South Asia. This is also the ... Read More »

A Language That Built A Nation

(Photo by J.P. Esperança, Creative Commons License)

For newly independent nations, the choice of an official, national language was crucial, and often controversial, made especially so in the context of polyphonic and geographically diverse countries like China, India, and Indonesia. In China, the Communist Party, opted for Putonghua, or Mandarin, the language of the capital, Beijing. In India, the initial intention of the postcolonial state — to ... Read More »