“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Migrants tell of perilous journey that ended in tragedy at sea

Survivors who were rescued off Lampedusa had escaped war-torn Eritrea through the Sahara and endured hardship in Libya before their boat was ravaged by fire

The Guardian, The Observer, Tom Kington in Rome, Sunday 6 October 2013

A bunch of flowers reading 'Dead at sea' marks the disaster at sea off
 Lampedusa, with 300 African asylum-seekers feared dead. Photograph:
Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

For the young Eritrean, the reason he is still alive is very simple. "I know how to swim," he said. "My friends on the other hand had never been in the sea."

The teenager, who gave his name as David Villa, was among the 155 migrants pulled out of the water alive off the Italian island of Lampedusa on Thursday after their vessel – with around 440 packed on board – caught fire and sank, taking hundreds to their deaths and making it among the worst tragedies on a route where around 6,000 migrants have perished in the last 20 years.

In the first accounts given to Italian newspapers, Villa, 18, and other survivors described their hellish journey from war-ravaged Eritrea through the Sahara and across the Mediterranean, and claimed a second ship was sailing alongside them to Italy.

"They had given us a bottle of five litres of water for every three people, there were terrible waves and we couldn't move on the boat," said Villa, as he huddled in nothing but his underpants and a heat-retaining blanket at the packed and fetid migrant centre on Lampedusa, the holiday island that sits just 70 miles from the African mainland.

When, after a two-day voyage from Libya, the boat came within view of Lampedusa, hearts on board lifted and trouble started, he recounted.

"We started burning shirts and T-shirts," he told Corriere della Sera. "We waved them in the air, then the boat started to burn and there was an explosion. We knew there was another ship close to us which had left Misurata, which had almost always been next to ours. Many jumped in the water, but they didn't find it."

After locating just 111 bodies in the sea, authorities were forced by bad weather to call off their search on Saturday for more than 200 migrants – mainly Eritreans – who may still be packed like sardines into the hold of the vessel, now resting on its side at a depth of 40 metres.

On Saturday morning a fishing boat flotilla threw a single bouquet of yellow flowers into the sea at the site, after Italy held a national day of mourning for the disaster on Friday.

Lampedusa, a tiny speck in the Mediterranean, has long been a promised land for thousands of Africans fleeing war and poverty who aspire to new lives, usually in northern Europe. "The rules are you get asylum in the country you are identified in, and since many don't want to stay in Italy, they refuse to be fingerprinted here," said a UN official who declined to be named.

Villa, who was likely using the name of the Atlético Madrid footballer to conceal his identity, said his horrific sea voyage was just another chapter in a months-long odyssey that started in the spring of 2012, in a village near Keren in the Eritrean desert, where he was the oldest of eight children. Paying over his parents' $3,000 in savings he boarded a truck heading across the Sahara to Libya.

"We couldn't breathe, there were people crying and coughing," he said. "By day, when we stopped, they tied us up, and I was convinced I would die, I wouldn't make it."

In Libya, Villa and a friend, Kijwa, who also made it to Lampedusa with him, worked for months as painters, sleeping in their employer's shack alongside their tins of paint. "Beatings, many beatings," said Kijwa. "The Libyans are bad," he added. "Mafia, mafia," Villa told La Stampa. "They treated me like a slave."

The pair were lucky not to be locked up in one of the 22 detention centres set up in Libya and run by corrupt officials where inmates are beaten up, where they must pay up to $1,000 to be released and where the UN has limited access.

"We have a small office in Libya which is not recognised by the government," said Federico Fossi, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "We are tolerated, not recognised," he added.

Italian police are meanwhile holding a Tunisian man who has been identified by passengers as the ship's navigator, who insisted on being called "the Doctor" and was part of a trafficking gang that made about €500,000 from the crossing.

After surviving the desert, Libya and the crossing, Villa and Kijwa were rubbing shoulders this weekend with Syrians who have fled the war in their own country. At the holding centre, which is fit for 250 people and where more than 1,000 are now sleeping, Syrian and Eritrean children were playing football and together sketching pictures of boats being tossed by waves.

"We like the same teams, Juventus, Real Madrid, Inter," one child told La Stampa.

"The Syrians have been sailing from Egypt, but now embark in Libya too," said Fossi. "They tend to be middle class and relatives are often at the port ready to pick them up and take them out of Italy."

As for the hundreds of Africans whose journey ended for ever half a mile from Lampedusa, they are now lined up, nameless, in a hangar at the island's airport, where a specialist team of medics formed in Italy after the Sri Lankan tsunami has been taking DNA samples in a bid to identify them.

Meanwhile, local people have long been finding photographs carried by the migrants washed up on the shore or left aboard wrecks – heartbreaking images showing them, or their families back home, dressed in their Sunday best or posing like rappers in front of backdrops featuring a Mercedes or Hollywood-style mansions, an image of the new world they hoped to reach.

"Lampedusa is the new Checkpoint Charlie between the northern and southern hemispheres," said Italy's interior minister, Angelino Alfano, after the disaster.

Cecile Kyenge, Italy's first black minister, who has pushed for looser immigration laws, said migrant boats needed better monitoring at sea while asylum seekers from Africa's warzones merited better treatment.

"Lawmakers need to imagine that it could have been them on the other side," she told the Observer.

Having made it across alive, Villa said he was now heading for Switzerland. "I want to study, I want to become a nurse," he said. And he had a message for his parents. "Mum and Dad, I want to tell you that there was wind, a huge wave and I fell in the sea. But don't worry about me, I'm fine."

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