“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.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Ghana's amputee footballers strive for international glory

Yahoo – AFP, Chris Stein, 11 July 2014

Amputee footballers jostle for control of the ball during a practice match
on May 7 in Accra (AFP Photo)

Accra (AFP) - On a field scattered with rubbish, ripe with the smell of urine and criss-crossed by commuters and the occasional truck, a group of Ghanaian footballers practise drills, the early morning sun glinting off their metal crutches.

While footballers around the globe have their eyes on Brazil, Ghana's national amputee football team is gearing up to compete in a world cup of its own in Mexico later this year.

But standing between the Black Challenge side and victory in the 2014 Amputee Football World Cup are not just old foes such as Argentina and Liberia.

An amputee footballer kicks the ball
 during a practice on May 10 in
Accra (AFP Photo/Chris Stein)
The team's ability to attract support for their unique brand of football is also in the balance, and unless they can raise the money needed to fund the trip, they may not go at all.

That hasn't stopped them preparing.

"We don't have much time, so we have to train hard," said one of the team's coaches, Benjamin Armah, as he watched his veteran players trickle in for an early practice session on a warm May morning in the capital, Accra.

The Black Challenge started officially in 2007 -- the same year the team won the first Cup of African Nations for Amputee Football, said Theodore Viwotor, administrative secretary for the Ghana Amputee Football Association.

The team came in sixth in the 2012 World Cup held in Russia, after Argentina eliminated the Ghanaians in the preliminary round.

In last year's cup of nations in Nairobi, the team was placed third after being knocked out by Liberia in the semi-finals.

Black Challenge coaches will hold trials in Ghana's two largest cities in August, choosing a squad from new recruits and returning team members for the tournament in November.

Poles apart

The rules in amputee football are much the same as in regular soccer, albeit adapted to take into account what the World Amputee Football Federation calls its "abbreviated" players.

International matches are played with seven on each side for two 25 minute periods, there is no offside and kick-ins replace throw-ins.

On the pitch, the movements stand out.

Outfield players -- all of them missing either an entire single lower limb or part of one -- dash across the field on metal crutches, using them for support as they jostle for the ball and kick goals home.

People with one missing or malformed arm are enlisted as goalkeepers.

While the ranks of Angola and Sierra Leone's amputee football teams are made up of those who lost limbs in brutal conflict, most of Ghana's players were victims of accidents or illness.

"I knew I could still play because I was already a footballer," said Mubarak Ademu, a striker who lost his leg in a car accident when he was aged six.

The Black Challenge's returning players say they are less worried about their fitness to compete than they are about paying their way to the world cup.

The team's practice pitch is a patch of dirt near Accra's shoreline that doubles as a car park, a garbage dump and an open-air toilet for a nearby shantytown.

Just down the street from the amputees' lot, Ghana's national football team, the Black Stars, practise in a monolithic stadium.

The Black Stars came home from Brazil early after failing to advance from the so-called "Group of Death" in the qualifying round, which included Germany, United States and Portugal.

The team's performance was a disappointment to many Ghanaians, as was the drama that occurred behind the scenes in the team's camp.

The players demanded that $3 million (2.2 million euros) in appearance fees be flown to them in Brazil on a charter flight in advance of what ended up being their final game against Portugal.

This ultimatum grated on many in Ghana, which is fighting the fallout from a depreciating currency, a yawning deficit due to falling commodities prices such as gold, plus slower-than-expected growth in its nascent oil sector.

Ghana's John Boye (C) reacts to scoring an own goal with Jonathan Mensah (R)
 during the match between Portugal and Ghana in Brasilia on June 26, 2014
(AFP Photo/Gabriel Bouys)

"It's at times very painful that virtually everything is pushed to the Black Stars," Viwotor said. "Government should appreciate that every sport that represents the nation should be given attention."

Money troubles

Going to Mexico will cost about $200,000, Viwotor said. So far, only $22,500 has been raised, from private sponsors.

Without the team, Viwotor wonders what would become of the club's players.

Local governments in Ghana are required to give part of their budget to support people with disabilities.

But the bureaucracy required to access the money is daunting. At traffic lights in Accra, legless men on skateboards appear at the windows of waiting drivers, asking for spare change.

"Many of these people would probably be beggars or have lost hope in life," Viwotor said. "When you watch a one-legged person playing, it gives a sort of hope."

Days after their early morning practice, the Black Challenge arrived at a sports complex in an upscale suburb of Accra, where they split into two squads and played against each other.

Players with cerebral palsy joined in, showing little advantage over the crutch-wielding footballers, despite having use of both of their legs.

Frank Wilson, a non-disabled footballer who watched the Black Challenge play from the side-lines, was impressed by the rigours of the adapted game.

"They put in a lot of effort to play their game," he said.

Hundreds of Ghanaian football fans travelled to Brazil 
to follow their team in the World Cup

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