IRAQ AND IRAN
Letter to Ascot local press
Sir / Madam,
Amazingly, I witnessed the demo outside my hospital window, at Frimley Park Hospital this week. Recovering from surgery…pretty rough and in pain…there was a great hullabaloo outside. Tottered to window. There were my long-time mates from SHH ( Save Heatherwood Hospital), together with members of UNITE & UNISON.
I was so hugely touched to see them: comrades of some 11 years campaigning for Heatherwood and the NHS.
Spent all day speaking to everyone who came into the Ward…20 or so,including a Matron. Checked that they knew what the demo was about and understood implications of the imminent WOS : Wholly Owned Subsidiary for 800 or so workers.
Back in bed, I cried. So full of love and appreciation for the demonstrators.
Such LONG TERM, STEADFAST, FOCUSED ACTION.
Member Voluntary group Save Heatherwood Hospital for 16 or so years.
- Two in five trans people (41 per cent) and three in ten non-binary people (31 per cent) have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months.
- More than a quarter of trans people (28 per cent) in a relationship in the last year have faced domestic abuse from a partner.
- One in four trans people (25 per cent) have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.
- One in eight trans employees (12 per cent) have been physically attacked by colleagues or customers in the last year.
- More than a third of trans university students (36 per cent) in higher education have experienced negative comments or behaviour from staff in the last year
- Two in five trans people (40 per cent) adjust the way they dress because they fear discrimination or harassment. This number increases significantly to half of non-binary people (52 per cent).
- Two in five trans people (41 per cent) said that healthcare staff lacked understanding of specific trans health needs when accessing general healthcare services in the last year.
- Three in five trans people (62 per cent) who have undergone, or are currently undergoing, medical intervention for their transition are unsatisfied with the time it took to get an appointment.
- More than one in ten trans people (11 per cent) have gone abroad for medical treatment to alter their physical appearance, including buying hormones over the internet from other countries, with many citing the barriers they currently face in accessing medical treatment in the UK.
Cos what is love – a word, the feeling of you ?
Something we dream or the things that we do ?
And who am I – these thoughts, this feeling, my views
A fragile form or a dreamer like you ?
Are we so different, defined ?
Where is the borderline ?
When we are like water, like trees
We have a name, an illusion of identity
Of boundaries, of borderlines
But my dreams are yours and your fears are mine
I hope we wake up from this dream of being different, defined
When we are only space and time
Emily Maguire (https://emilymaguire.com/biog/) is a singer-song writer, poet and composer. The International Society for Bipolar Disorders awarded her the 2019 Mogens Schou Award for Public Service and Advocacy.
In the Dalai Lama’s most recent writing, A Call For Revolution published in 2018, he says
“I am calling on you to bring on a cultural revolution of compassion!”
“When I call on you to bring on the Revolution of Compassion, I am calling for the mother of all uprisings to begin.”
Speaking to all humans as Citizens of the Earth, he says,
“The problems facing you, whether to do with climate change, violence in general and terrorism in particular, were not created by God, Buddha or extra-terrestrials. They did not fall from the sky, or rise up from the ground. Humanity is entirely responsible for being at the root of the problems that have caused these crises. Which is good news. Because if we have created these problems, it is logical to believe we have the means to resolve them.”
On March 15th 2019, in 25 countries around the world, an uprising of people from all walks of life began taking non-violent direct action in a bid to save our planet from catastrophe. In London, Waterloo Bridge was turned into a garden, Marble Arch became a campsite and learning centre, Parliament Square an information centre, Oxford Circus a speaker’s platform, Piccadilly Circus a youth centre. Songs from the soul, rhymes of reason, music of love and hope, theatre of passionate pleas were played out through the streets of our capital city.
This rebellion was a culmination of many years of the peaceful work of many individuals and small groups of citizens of this earth, who wish to see her beauty and nature thrive for future generations.
We do not all wish to be rebels, activists or protesters. There are many ways to quietly join with those of like-mind and create change……..
Since time immemorial, people worldwide, including those from our own native wisdom traditions, have held water to be sacrosanct. Humans have long held pilgrimages to sources of streams, doused themselves in holy lakes, made offerings on riverbanks and shores of oceans.
These were not wanton acts of blind worship but reverence to a deeply-known recognition of humanity’s dependence on water and a keenly-felt gratitude for nature’s benevolence. Until quite recently these habits have been forgotten and almost lost.
By resuming these rites, we can start to re-kindle a sense of intimacy with the natural world and an appreciation of the interconnectedness of all life. By deeply caring for and paying attention to our waterways, we grow motivated to defend and protect their right to flow, unimpeded by pollution.
“The way we see our world shapes the way we treat it….if a river is one of the veins of the land, not potential irrigation water…if the planet is our mother, not an opportunity – then we will treat each other with greater respect.”
Our Gallery displays paintings and photos suggested from our Story contributors:-
IRAQ – Ban Hikmat, Retired Community Dentist
IRAN – Ziba Zarei, Post Mistress, local community shop
IRAQ – Zainab Khan, Events Coordinator, RISC Development Education Centre, Reading
Together with a selection of images of wonderful Iranian and Iraqi architecture and art.
Other interesting links :-
Jiddoo Mohammad Salih Zaki – Zainab Hikmat, Exhibition in Melbourne, Australia November 2018 – HERE
British Museum Blog ‘Sparking the imagination: the rediscovery of Assyria’s great lost city’ – HERE
Modern and Contemporary Iraqi and Iranian Artists – more information on artists displayed in the Gallery – HERE
after a thousand and one nights,
someone will talk to someone else.
Markets will open
for regular customers.
Small feet will tickle
the giant feet of the Tigris.
Gulls will spread their wings
and no one will fire at them.
Women will walk the streets
without looking back in fear.
Men will give their real names
without putting their lives at risk.
Children will go to school
and come home again.
Chickens in the villages
won’t peck at human flesh
on the grass.
Disputes will take place
without any explosives.
A cloud will pass over cars
heading to work as usual.
A hand will wave
to someone leaving
The sunrise will be the same
for those who wake
and those who never will.
And every moment
under the sun.
- Oil reserves in the world 2017 – Iran 4th largest 157.8 billion barrels; Iraq 5th largest 144.2 billion barrels.
- At the end of the war of invasion 2003 the US formerly ended the occupation of Iraq. Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell remain.
- Biwater Wood Hybrid scheme for Basra, Southern Iraq includes delivery of potable water for local population and the oil industry. Funded from U.K. by JP Morgan and U.K. Overseas Development investment Fund . §1.45 billion – SEE HERE
- Iranian economy shrunk by 1.5% 2019 …by 3% 2020. Before President Trump extended trade sanctions, IMF predicted 4%.current growth .
- Brain drain from Iran estimated by IMF to 91 developed & developing countries of educated individuals- 150,000 to 180,000,every year.
- Iraqi emigres to UK include: Jim Al-Khalili,Professor Theoretic Physics, Charles and Maurice Saatchi, Alan Yentob formerly BBC, architect Zaha Hamid.
OUR GALLERY PRESENTS INSPIRING WORDS AND IMAGES
CALL TO THE WILD: Images that inspire Kesty
Paintings and photos which inspire Kesty and shown in the GALLERY come from –
– Snowdonia – where the Vision Quest took place
– Young foxes in meadow at Sladebank Woods, the day after Kesty’s return from the mountain
– Quantock Hills – painting by David Macfarlane 1990, Kesty’s father
– Wolf & Moon lino cut by Kesty, Sacred Arts Camp May 2018
– Artwork by local artist, Jaine Rose
– Rosa Davis, sculptor – ‘ This sculpture was gifted to me by Rosa Davis. I love her, she sings of stone & moss & deep wild nature. Rosa is an inspiring local artist in Stroud who has made figures from a young child’.
– ‘I have been inspired by Carolyn Hillyer’s writing and songs for many years. Her book ‘Sacred House’ is a great treasure to me.’
– Sladebank Woods – photos from the beautiful woods
– Sleepout Event poster for the Gloucestershire Deaf Association; a fundraising sleepout on 16 March at Sladebank Woods as part of their 100th anniversary celebrations.
– ‘Mute Appeal’ is Kesty’s journey to find a dog – Remy is her new rescue companion who inspired this poem :-
Dog Kills Cat
Snapped up in a chase.
Lengthy strides catch in a flash,
silent paws too slow.
Claw pierces dogs ear.
The cat clung on for dear life,
stolen in moments.
It was not gory,
just brutally quick, savage,
leaving me shaking.
Nature kills easy.
Instinct drives, animal quick.
We think we can tame.