“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.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Dutch 'Iron Lady' destroying Syria's chemicals

Yahoo – AFP, Jennie Matthew, 7 June 2014

Sigrid Kaag, the head of the international mission overseeing the destruction of
 Syria's chemical weapons at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, on
June 4, 2014 (AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - The diplomat ridding the world of Syria's chemical weapons is Sigrid Kaag, a statuesque and impeccably dressed mother of four who speaks six languages and is fearless in a war zone.

For nine months she has led the international mission to destroy Damascus's declared chemical agents, braving mortar fire, jetting between the Middle East, Europe and New York, and liaising with Moscow, Washington and maritime fleets.

Syria may have missed deadlines but with 93 percent of its declared chemical arsenal out of the country, Kaag is responsible for the only glimmer of good news to emerge from the horror of a war that has killed more than 160,000.

Her star is in the ascendancy at UN headquarters, abuzz with praise for the woman who at UNICEF worked with Jordan's Queen Rania and once dreamed of becoming a singer.

'Never stops working'

The 52-year-old Kaag speaks fluent Arabic and diplomats say she has done an excellent job. She is respected too in Damascus, where some have dubbed her the "Iron Lady."

"She never stops working and practically never sleeps," one of her local employees confided to AFP.

What seems certain is another big job after her mission concludes in the coming months.

The media has touted her a possible successor to Lakhdar Brahimi as mediator on the stalled Syrian peace process although others tip her for a different post in the region.

She quashes any suggestion that a Western woman should find it difficult in the Arab world, saying she has always been treated with respect and never in a derogatory way.

"I think in many negotiations women have great assets," she told AFP in an interview, dressed in a black trouser suit, red top and high heels.

"You can bring different component parts -- be as strong and on message and negotiate, but I think we have a wider skill set available."

Her husband is a Palestinian former diplomat and having children who are half Arab can also be an asset, she said.

"You're one foot in, one foot out. But I think ultimately people judge you on the basis of what you bring, if you're sincere, if you're committed and if you're up to the task," she added.

'Keep your calm'

As head of the joint UN-Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons mission, she manages a staff of 110.

In Damascus she said mortars have fallen around the hotel where they live and work, and that she sent away some staff who were unable to cope.

"You've got to keep your composure, you've got to keep your calm and you've got to be in the moment," she said.

"The fact that you don't get hit, you feel blessed but you know that you're in an active war zone."

Sigrid Kaag, the head of the international mission overseeing the destruction
of Syria's chemical weapons at the United Nations Headquarters in New York,
on June 4, 2014 (AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)

It has been a stratospheric rise for the daughter of a music professor who moved to Egypt to study at the American University in Cairo as an undergraduate.

She has a masters degree from Oxford and worked in the private sector for oil giant Shell in London for two years before joining the Dutch foreign ministry.

Kaag decided to quit the job after meeting her husband in Jerusalem, signing up instead to the UN Relief and Works Agency which looks after the plight of Palestinian refugees.

In the last 20 years, she has lived in Jerusalem, Jordan, New York, Sudan and Switzerland, adopting one child and giving birth to three more, juggling marriage with a career.

She was previously number three in the UN Development Programme and UNICEF director in the Middle East and North Africa, during which she met Syria's first lady Asma Assad.

In her current job she has hardly taken a break. Her mother died since she moved to Damascus and she admits it is "very difficult" to see her children, aged 11 to 19.

Home is currently in east Jerusalem, where the family moved last year. Do they worry about her living in a war zone?

"They've been very impressed by my close protection, that gave them an immediate sense of safety," she smiled.

"They cope but they know it's finite and I've underlined that."

She describes herself as "results oriented" and with nerves of steel.

"I don't panic easily," she said. The rare exception being during a near crash on a tiny charter plane years ago.

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