Guest Voices

Iraqi Kurds Aiming For Independence

Filed in Guest Voices by on September 17, 2017 0 Comments
Iraqi Kurds Aiming For Independence

In 2004, I co-edited a book, De Facto States: The Quest for Sovereignty, that was to include a chapter on Iraqi Kurdistan. The person asked to write it didn’t come through, though, so it wasn’t included. Today such an article would be an absolute necessity. It’s been a long time coming, but on September 25 […]

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Yemen’s War a Humanitarian Crisis

Filed in Guest Voices by on September 14, 2017 0 Comments
Yemen’s War a Humanitarian Crisis

For two and a half years, Yemen has been torn by a civil war in which its internationally-recognized government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, backed by a coalition supported by the United States and Britain, is trying to roll back the Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels who control most of northern Yemen, including the capital Sana’a. […]

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Attacks Against Rohingya May Lead To Wider Conflict

Filed in Guest Voices by on September 7, 2017 0 Comments
Attacks Against Rohingya May Lead To Wider Conflict

In Myanmar (Burma), Buddhist animosity toward an ethno-religious Bengali Muslim minority, the Rohingya, has led to massive violence. The Rohingya, who number some 1.3 million people, less than five percent of the country’s population, live mainly in Myanmar’s far western Rakhine State, adjacent to neighboring Muslim Bangladesh. Most were stripped of their citizenship under a […]

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Stalin’s Warsaw “Wedding Cake”

Filed in Guest Voices by on August 2, 2017 0 Comments
Stalin’s Warsaw “Wedding Cake”

Some Varsovians call it, caustically, “Stalin’s wedding cake.” Others have wanted it razed to the ground. It sits plopped in the middle of the city, looking like a 1930s-era building, and is now surrounded by modern office towers. In its own way it looks sort of kooky. It was Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s “gift to […]

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In Krakow, One Of The Righteous Among The Nations

Filed in Guest Voices by on July 31, 2017 0 Comments
In Krakow, One Of The Righteous Among The Nations

Thanks to the popularity of the 1993 movie Schindler’s List, as well as the success of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, many people assume that the Kazimierz neighborhood, where most of the city’s Jews lived prior to the Holocaust, served as the Jewish ghetto during the war. Elsewhere in Poland, a Jewish district typically […]

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The Polish City Where Communism Died

Filed in Guest Voices by on July 29, 2017 0 Comments
The Polish City Where Communism Died

The left-wing American journalist Lincoln Steffens, after a three-week visit to the new Soviet state in March 1919, famously proclaimed, “I have seen the future and it works.” However, during my visit to the model Polish Communist city of Nowa Huta, created after World War II, I can confidently declare that I have seen the […]

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Cultural Appropriation — or antisemitism — in Krakow?

Filed in Guest Voices by on July 27, 2017 0 Comments
Cultural Appropriation — or antisemitism — in Krakow?

The last few months have seen major debates across Canada regarding the cultural appropriation of indigenous art and literature by non-natives. The same issue has also emerged in Poland, especially in the southern city of Krakow, which I’m currently visiting. As most readers know, Krakow is an incredibly beautiful and well-preserved medieval city, and the […]

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In Czestochowa, A Return To The Past

Filed in Guest Voices by on July 23, 2017 0 Comments
In Czestochowa, A Return To The Past

I’m writing this from Czestochowa, Poland, where I was born 72 years ago. The city is best known for the Jasna Gora monastery. Visited by around four million pilgrims per year, it is a shrine to the Virgin Mary. The cloister houses the Black Madonna, one of the holiest icons of the Catholic Church. My […]

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Two ‘Must-See’ Warsaw Museums

Filed in Guest Voices by on July 17, 2017 0 Comments
Two ‘Must-See’ Warsaw Museums

Warsaw, Poland’s capital city, is truly a phoenix. It was almost totally destroyed during World War II while under Nazi German occupation, which was followed by almost five decades of dreary Soviet-imposed Communist rule. Since the fall of Communism, Warsaw has risen from the ashes to become a vibrant, modern, efficient, clean, and beautiful city. […]

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Has Qatar Overplayed Its Hand?

Filed in Guest Voices by on July 11, 2017 0 Comments
Has Qatar Overplayed Its Hand?

The tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, with just over 300,000 citizens, has been described as punching above its weight, and has sought to parlay the financial muscle it derives from its enormous oil and natural gas reserves into a diplomatic status otherwise undeserved by its size. To carry that metaphor a little further, is […]

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