Thursday, January 8, 2009

Parenting is an International Language: Relevant Diplomatic Relations

Meanwhile, catching up with the world at large:
  • As the sides square off in Gaza, the children suffer. No side is blameless in this crisis, but one thing is clear, it is horrific what is happening to helpless victims on both sides of this divide.
  • Chinese parents have confirmed that they have filed a lawsuit against the companies responsible for the contamination of the country's milk and formula supply, that caused thousands of children to become ill, and unconfirmed numbers to pass away. The Chinese government has in the past tried to minimize and quiet the outcry, quickly demolishing the collapsed schools and offering parents what amounted to a payoff for their silence. Some are stubbornly resisting the continued efforts of the government to sweep the incident under the rug, and the government has allegedly detained parents in an effort to prevent them from speaking to the press.
  • One of the things that has so saddened many Americans is how the actions of a few has degraded the regard that the world holds for us. But the actions of a few also can show the spirit of the American people as well. Read about a pair of passionate men who have created a non-profit to bring much needed medical care to Iraqi children.
  • Sure it is a cultural tradition, but it's pretty difficult to understand one which allows for eight year old girls to be married period, let alone to much older men. A young Muslim girl was denied a divorce from a recent marriage, which had been arranged by her father against her mother's wishes. The little girl is not aware that she is married. Traditionally the young girls will continue to live at home until they are of age, and then go to their husband's home.
  • There are amazing female voices in the Middle East that advocate for human rights, despite grave risks. One such voice is Ms. Shirin Ebadi who is a lawyer and the first Muslim woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Get to know this remarkable woman.
  • One interesting place that Muslim women are finding a measure of liberation is as flight attendants. Yes, flight attendants.
  • Parental rights are being fiercely debated in Belgium, where if a parent fails to, among other things, vaccinate, they are subject to jailing.
Despite our differences in the world, perhaps our diplomatic voices ought to find common ground in our love for, and struggle to, protect our children.

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