How do you build a lifeboat in the middle of a stormy sea?

By the end of my first week my family drives to the Longano Resort, which is on a volcanic lake. We plan to stay for four days through the Western Christmas Day. Our second day in Longano we drive through a string of towns southward to explore the area which includes land donated by Haile Salassie to Jamaicans and African Americans for their support during the war with the Italians. The villages are: Dole, Arsinegelle, Kuyera, Melka Oda, Shashamene, Tikur Wusha, & Awasa. Our end point was a resort hotel on another lake two hours from Longano called Lewi where we had a fantastic lunch.


"Open," don't close the conversation on Israel

Over the past year my passion for Israel and my interest in the Middle East has taken a sharp decline. My political conversations in the past frequently centered this issue but I have taken a step away from the topic. Perhaps it is because I feel hopeless in the future of the region or maybe I have simply found other issues that I feel more powerful working on. Something snapped recently though, I was pulled in once again as into the spotlight comes a dispute between Swarthmore Hillel and Hillel International over what perspectives on Israel-Palestine are welcomed in Hillel institutions.


First impressions: Addis Ababa and Ethiopia

December 21-25 — If Cincinnati and Los Angeles gave birth to an African metropolis with hills and palm trees it could be this place. Until now, the only places I have been outside of the United States are Mexico and Canada. In my mind this beautiful and complex location has more in common with Mexico than with Canada.


Recent Anti-LGBTI laws violate human rights

Anti-LGBTI laws passed last week by the governments of Nigeria and Uganda threaten the lives and human rights of people living, working, and visiting those countries. Not only are the lives of LGBTI persons at stake, but their friends, family, teachers, colleagues, health practitioners, and human rights defenders could face fines or imprisonment for failure to report homosexual conduct to authorities.


A dizzying sabaidee from Laos

They say you can get lost in Laos. Mentally and physically, I agree. I’ve been away from the pages of LLOTP as editor to do so, but I’ve been away from writing for longer than I have liked. For good reasons, of course.


Babalou arrives from Paris to Addis

Remembering my encounter with Kifle Selassie, I am hearing whispering waters from an ancient African well. It’s full of a history and cultural wisdom from deep in the Earth. Its waters are those which the African Diaspora is urgently and, too often unconsciously, hungry for and of which the larger Western world is oblivious, contemptuous or covetous. It’s a water whose element connects all the human species... another kind of “Holy Water” sometimes full of fire, ultimately healing... come to the river. The best of who we are is often manifested in those waters. That is where our souls touch in that blinding universal force and we kiss the sky and water all at once, full moon and countless constellations shimmering, swirling and turning. Come to the river people.


Rights to water and sanitation now legally binding

On November 21, the U.N. General Assembly’s Third Committee (The Committee) adopted a resolution on “The human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.” All U.N. member states agreed that the rights to water and sanitation are derived from the right to an adequate standard of living. As a result, these rights are now implicitly recognized as being part of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).


Draft deal lays groundwork for future negotiations on exempting food security programs from WTO disputes

The WTO’s “Bali Package” was supposed to have been adopted this early morning of December 7 after trade diplomats rolled in for a final meeting at midnight. Earlier in the evening, at 8:00 p.m. on December 6, the WTO secretariat had shared a set of decisions proposed by the chair that comprise the Bali Package. The meeting was originally scheduled to close by 5:00 p.m.. However, at the time of this writing, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua have said to have blocked consensus and the meeting has been adjourned. Cuba’s major issue has been language in the Trade Facilitation decision on “freedom of transit” that fails to address the problems it faces with the U.S. embargo against Cuba. The meeting has been adjourned to reconvene sometime in the next hours.


Workers, unions mourn death of Mandela

Just months after being released from prison in 1990, Nelson Mandela addressed a conference of the International Labor Organization. (Photo courtesy of the ILO)

Workers around the world whose activism helped topple the brutal system of apartheid are mourning the death of Nelson Mandela.

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