On the night of Feb. 7, 2005
, Hatun Surucu, 23, was killed on her way to a bus stop in Berlin-Tempelhof
by several shots to the head and upper body, fired at point-blank range.
The investigation revealed that months before, she reported one of her brothers to the police for threatening her. Now three of her five brothers
are on trial for murder. According to the prosecutor, the oldest of them (25) acquired the weapon, the middle brother (24) lured his sister to the scene of the crime and the youngest (18) shot her.
Evidently, in the eyes of her brothers, Hatun Surucu's capital crime was that, living in Germany
, she had begun living like a German. In a statement to the Turkish newspaper Zaman, one brother noted that she had stopped wearing her head scarf, that she refused to go back to her family and that she had declared her intent to "seek out her own circle of friends."
posted by The Jesse Helms
on Dec 4, 2005 -
In Europe, it's debated whether it's Suchowola
Poland, the village of Krahule near Kremnica
in western Ukraine, or Bernotai
Lithuania. In Asia, there are more disputes, but Kyzyl
put up an obelisk and stages tours. Various places claim that the Central African Republic
is at the geographical centre of Africa, but that seems more likely based on looking at a map than measuring anything. On January 9 1956, Admiral Byrd
over the geographical center of Antarctica. Alice Springs
is pretty close to the centre of Australia. The center of North America is at latitude 48°21'19" north, longitude 99°59' 57" west
in Rugby North Dakota
. South America's center is officially Chapada
in Cuiaba Brazil.
posted by Kickstart70
on Dec 1, 2005 -
The Big Cover-Up:
"Where once the sight of a fully hidden woman was restricted to a few traditionalist communities, nowadays it is not unusual to see the niqab on high streets throughout the major cities of England and in a number of smaller towns. Just a decade ago, this form of enshrouding was seen as an unambiguous sign of female oppression and feudal custom, but now it is frequently referred to as an expression of religious identity, individual rights and even, in some cases, female emancipation."
Veil: The view from the inside:
"I was in the same Metro carriage as a nun and I smiled at our similarity of dress. Hers was the symbol of her devotion to God, as is that of a Muslimah. I often wonder why people say nothing about the veil of the Catholic nun but criticize vehemently the veil of a Muslimah, regarding it as a symbol of` 'terrorism' and 'oppression.'"
Politics of the veil:
"Before I wore a headscarf I always slumped with my head looking down; now I walk straight and I look up at people. It's not that they accept me more than they did before, it's just that I don't care anymore how they regard me."
(Europe's Burqa Wars
, Niqabs in the Classroom?
posted by heatherann
on Nov 21, 2005 -
Life without Theo - one year on
. It's not that Holland's cherished troublemaker wasn't aware of the possibility - he had been threatened more than once. He just sincerely believed that no-one would harm the "village idiot
", as he liked to call himself (salon link)
. Today, the skilled polemicist who regarded it his constitutional right to insult anyone but would at the same time engage anyone in reasonable, friendly debate is remembered
in various ways
. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Nov 2, 2005 -
The Rift: The state of Islamic Alienation in Europe
and for that matter any Western nation. Do Muslims get to retain their complete identity, values, and customs unfettered by their residency in the West? I think not. Inversely, if 1-5% of the population in Saudi Arabia was western what could they expect of their adopted (i.e. a choice) Wahhabi nation... Where does this end?
posted by philmas
on Aug 14, 2005 -
The Dutch-Muslim Culture War
The backlash against Hirsi Ali has astonished and disappointed many Dutch feminists, who continue to count themselves among her biggest fans. Margreet Fogteloo, editor of the weekly De Groene Amsterdammer, said flatly that [historian Geert] Mak is crazy. "People like him feel guilty because they were closing their eyes for such a long time to what was going on," she said. In what appears to be a Europe-wide pattern, some feminists are aligning themselves with the anti-immigrant right against their former multiculturalist allies on the left. Joining them in this exodus to the right are gay activists, who blame Muslim immigrants for the rising number of attacks on gay couples. (Via PoliticalTheory.info)
posted by jenleigh
on Jun 15, 2005 -
Europe's oldest known civilization discovered.
Archaeologists have discovered an ancient civilization of temple builders that existed in central Europe between 4800BC and 4600BC -- over 2000 years before Egypt. They constructed over 150 geometrically, astronomically, and spiritually aligned temples
(translated) out of earth and wood, that had diameters of up to a half a mile
. They were built by a people who lived in villages centered around communal longhouses of up to 150 feet in length. Their civilization raised large herds of animals, gathered grain with primitive sickles, made tools out of of stone, bone, and wood, manufactured pottery decorated with geometric designs
(.pdf), and created small clay figurines of humans
and animals. Only one male figurine has been found so far
(.pdf) -- the rest have been of women with large breasts -- fertility symbols -- which suggests a fertility-based spirituality, and possibly a matriarchal society.
posted by insomnia_lj
on Jun 11, 2005 -
Red State/Blue state France
. Les résultats département par département
. Remarkable that the U.S. isn't the only country that's split down the geographic middle. No translation, but the picture speaks for itself.
posted by jfuller
on May 30, 2005 -
What Was True.
From the mid 1950s through the early 1980s, William Gedney (1932-1989) photographed
throughout the United States
, in India
, and in Europe
, and filling notebook after notebook
with his observations. From the commerce of the street outside his Brooklyn apartment to the daily chores
of unemployed coal miners
, from the lifestyle of hippies in Haight-Ashbury
to the sacred rituals of Hindu worshippers, Gedney was able to record the lives of others
with clarity and poignancy. Gedney's America
is a nation of averted eyes, and broken automobiles, and restlessness, a place Edward Hopper would recognize, but so, also, Walt Whitman.
posted by matteo
on Apr 27, 2005 -
Freedom on the Fence: The Polish Poster.
While we're at it: The history and culture of the Polish poster
and an analysis of American Films in Polish Posters
. Or, if you'd prefer, The Classic Polish Film Poster
database (where the Disney/Children's film posters
are quite lovely). Also, The Wallace Library
at the Rochester Institute of Technology has a fantastic searchable and browse-able database, with many hi-res images. Finally, some other Polish Poster Galleries. (What's that? You want more? You want artist-specific galleries? Okay. Here's work by Mieczyslaw Gorowski, Piotr Kunce, Wieslaw Walkuski, and Jan Sawka. Oh, you wanted Communist-era Polish propaganda posters? Fine. Here ya go.) [previous MeFi discussion on Polish film posters; also, some of the images from these links may be NSFW, depending on how S your W environment is.]
posted by .kobayashi.
on Mar 13, 2005 -
Ted Rall's posted his 1991 thesis
on the allied occupation of France during and after WWII. A nice jumping off point for the historically minded.
posted by alan
on Feb 16, 2005 -
You may have heard of the "McLibel Two
", the pair of Brits who, as part of a group called London Greenpeace (not affiliated with Greenpeace International, by the by), published a flier
decrying the nutritional and corporate values of McDonalds, and who subsequently lost a libel action brought against them by the corporation. It took a few years, but The European Court of Human Rights has overturned the decision
, based on the fact that the two did not receive legal aid assistance during the trial (where they represented themselves).
posted by PinkStainlessTail
on Feb 15, 2005 -
"Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) invites you to join one of our guided tours through Brussels, the corporate lobbying capital of Europe. The two-hour tour introduces you to the headquarters of industry lobby groups, think-tanks, public relations firms and other key players in EU-level corporate politics, all located conveniently close to the corridors of power." There's a nice little Lobby Planet
guide [PDF] with even more information.
One group has come back with some criticisms
about "factual errors", akin to our very own pantsgate
posted by gsb
on Feb 7, 2005 -
Instead of liquid water, Titan
has liquid methane. Instead of silicate rocks, Titan has frozen water ice. Instead of dirt, Titan has hydrocarbon particles settling out of the atmosphere, and instead of lava, Titanian volcanoes spew very cold ice.
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Jan 21, 2005 -
With all the talk about the emergence of Europe as an economic rival to the US, is there a more likely rival
emerging? A real strategic partnership between Russia
could be exactly the combination of nuclear power, boots on the ground, and economic momentum to truly create a new bipolarity. Apparently, there has been serious collaboration in military philosophy
between the two powers at least since the USSR broke up, and flash gamers
have known about it for at least a couple years, but now it is becoming very real
. Conventional wisdom says that there are longstanding disputes over trade and territory, but things generally seem to be warming up
. You want to know what the world will look like in 20 years? Look to Siberia.
posted by milkman
on Jan 20, 2005 -
CIA Predicts European Union Will Break Up Within 15 Years.
With all the attention focused on Iraq, this new CIA report seems to have slipped under the radar. Europe's dismal economic prospects and the continent's unfavorable demographics could have dire consequences for the EU, result in the dissolution of NATO and generally @#$?! up every post World War II/Cold War alliance that has been formed over the last half-century. Not that the CIA has ever been wrong...
posted by Heminator
on Jan 20, 2005 -
On the Great Atlantic Divide
Published on Sunday, October 26, 2003 by TomDispatch.com. By Susan Sontag.
I came across this piece at dailyKos
"Two weeks ago during the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Association of German Publishers and Booksellers awarded the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade) to Susan Sontag. She was cited for standing up for "the dignity of free thinking" and for her role as an "intellectual ambassador" between the United States and Europe. The association's director Dieter Schormann commented, "In a world of false images and distorted truths, she defends the honor of free thought." In its over half-century of existence, the Friedenspreis Prize has been awarded to Chinua Achebe, Max Frisch, Jurgen Habermas, Yehudi Menuhin, and Vaclav Havel among many others.
An excerpt from Susan Sontag's acceptance speech was published today in the Los Angeles Times Book Review section, but I thought the whole speech, which focuses on the increasingly embattled relationship between Europe and the United States, or rather between much of Europe, especially the various peoples of Europe, and the Bush administration, was well worth reproducing as a whole. Near its end is a rare moment in which Sontag considers an aspect of her early life in public. Her most recent book, by the way, is Regarding the Pain of Others. What follows then, with her kind permission, is her full acceptance speech. (The title and subheads are, however, mine.) Tom "
posted by Postroad
on Jan 5, 2005 -
Shut Up! "The EU has requested that member states come to a standstill at noon today to observe a three-minute silence for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Is this just a shallow, belated gesture - or the best way to show our solidarity?"
Blake Morrison of the Guardian asks. There's also an interesting "History of Silences" at the end of the article.
posted by The Ultimate Olympian
on Jan 5, 2005 -
Kurds are the Closest Relatives of Jews
Funny, They don't look Jewish:"Research has just begun into the ancient ties between Kurds and Jews. It would be interesting to see if the various Jewish groups have as strong a family tie to Kurds in the maternal lineages as they do in the paternal lineages. Preliminary studies indicate that Jewish populations in eastern Europe and Yemen have maternal origins that contain much more non-Israelite ancestry than their paternal origins. Despite this admixture with other groups, the Jewish Judean people ultimately began their existence in an area within or nearby Kurdistan, prior to migrating southwest to Israel. This exciting research showing that Kurds and Jews may have shared common fathers several millennia ago should, hopefully, encourage both Kurds and Jews to explore each others' cultures and to maintain the friendship that Kurds and Jews enjoyed in northern Iraq in recent times (as chronicled in Michael Rubin's recent article "The Other Iraq"). As Rubin indicates, the Kurdish leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani once visited Israel and met with Israeli government officials. Rubin refers to the Iraqi Kurds' "special affinity for Israel" and writes that "In the safe haven of Iraqi Kurdistan, the Jews and Israel are remembered fondly, if increasingly vaguely." Let us hope that this relationship can be renewed and strengthened."
posted by Postroad
on Dec 29, 2004 -
New Power for 'Old Europe'
"Since the fall of the Berlin wall, the European Union has been steadily transforming itself from a facilitator of trade to a sophisticated geopolitical power with the teeth to back up its policies... Over the past decade, EU member states have ceded governing and enforcement authority to Brussels in areas ranging from environmental regulation to food safety, accounting standards, telecommunications policy and oversight of corporate mergers."
posted by Irontom
on Dec 13, 2004 -
- OK, maybe there's some agreement not to post this here, but I wasn't part of the development, and it's already got some good links (especially the evolution of writing one). So here's Viewropa
- a community site started by members of MetaFilter who are attempting an experiment in multi-lingual, collaborative and Euro-focussed blogging. All are welcome here, no matter where you're from [...]
(beware the impossible Portuguese kill-the-snowman game) (and I get the impression a non-English link would be more than welcome).
posted by andrew cooke
on Oct 31, 2004 -
in the Low Countries. Since there's nothing interesting going on here in the US right now, let's enjoy a moment of EU fun. (y2-length post inside).
posted by jfuller
on Oct 3, 2004 -
The European Dream
Sure. They are doing better than the U.S. in so many aspects of living but we are number one with our military! Or perhaps that is why they do so well? Note: their view of religion does not come anywhere near the crazed attention religion plays in American life, in our politics, tax relief, social legislation etc....
posted by Postroad
on Oct 2, 2004 -
The World's Most Dangerous Ideas
: U.S. and European goals on most issues are quite similar. Both want a peaceful world free from terror, with open trade, growing freedom, and civilized codes of conduct. A Europe that charts its own course just to mark its differences from the United States threatens to fracture global efforts—whether on trade, proliferation, or the Middle East. Europe is too disunited to achieve its goals without the United States; it can only ensure that America’s plans don’t succeed. The result will be a world that muddles along, with the constant danger that unattended problems will flare up disastrously. Instead of win-win, it will be lose-lose—for Europe, for the United States, and for the world.
posted by gd779
on Sep 15, 2004 -
Canto do Brasil [Flash, sound, MiguelCardosoFilter]
is a street-level view of Brazil made by photographer Geoffrey Hiller, more precisely a view of Salvador Bahia, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo.
Another amazing project of his is Burma, Grace Under Pressure [Flash, sound]
, exposing Burma's beauty and sadness.
Also check Eastern Europe: Visions & Icons [Flash]
,where Hiller's post-Berlin Wall photographs are accompanied by Lev Liberman's moving text, New York City: After The Fall [Flash, sound]
, an elegy to New Yorkers affected by 9/11, and his journal from Vietnam
posted by Masi
on Sep 1, 2004 -