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Exhibition of over 100 artworks of Timurid Empire in Afghanistan

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The American Institute of Afghanistan studies put on a show over 100 pictures of artworks in Herat on Saturday that date back to Timurid Empire in Herat.

The pictures of the artworks were collected by Michael Berry, an American researcher, during the past 40 years from the museums located on three continents. They were kept in important countries’ museums including the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Egypt, France, Portugal and a few others.

Berry recognized the artworks in the museums, photographed them and brought the high-resolution pictures of the artworks to Afghanistan and was on show in Herat on Saturday.

“These are pictures of the artworks that are part of Afghanistan honors and have been in museums of the world’s important countries. I tried to bring pictures of these artworks to Herat and that Afghan people should remember their honored past,” said Berry.

Justices wary of terror victims’ pleas to seize Iran objects

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According to Fox News, The Supreme Court is indicating it could prevent survivors of a 1997 terrorist attack from seizing Persian artifacts at Chicago museums to help pay a $71.5 million default judgment against Iran.

The justices heard arguments Monday in an appeal from U.S. victims of a Jerusalem suicide bombing. They want to go after artifacts at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History and the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute.

Several justices sounded skeptical that the survivors could invoke a provision of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act in their quest. That federal law generally protects foreign countries’ property in the U.S. but makes exceptions when countries provide support to extremist groups.

The victims say Iran provided training and support to Hamas, which carried out the attack. Iran refuses to pay the court judgment.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70

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Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt of the United States, chair of the drafting committee, holding a Universal Declaration of Human Rights poster in English. UN Photo (1949)

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. […] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70

Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.

Drafted by representatives of diverse legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration sets out universal values and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. It establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person. Thanks to the Declaration, and States’ commitments to its principles, the dignity of millions has been uplifted and the foundation for a more just world has been laid. While its promise is yet to be fully realized, the very fact that it has stood the test of time is testament to the enduring universality of its perennial values of equality, justice and human dignity.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.  

#StandUp4HumanRights

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all.
  • Human rights are relevant to all of us, every day.
  • Our shared humanity is rooted in these universal values.
  • Equality, justice and freedom prevent violence and sustain peace.
  • Whenever and wherever humanity’s values are abandoned, we all are at greater risk.
  • We need to stand up for our rights and those of others.

Human Rights Day

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December 10 is Human Rights Day, a United Nations (UN) campaign that calls for people to know and push for their rights no matter where they are in the world.

 Protecting Our Rights

Human rights are our basic rights or freedoms. They include our right to live, our right to health, education, freedom of speech and thoughts, and equal rights. Some groups organize protests on Human Rights Day to alert people of circumstances in parts of the world where human rights are not recognized or respected, or where these rights are not considered to be important.

Cultural events and photo exhibitions are also held to inform people, especially today’s youth, of their rights and why it’s important to hold on to them.

About Human Rights Day

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted between January 1947 and December 1948. It aimed to form a basis for human rights all over the world and represented a significant change of direction from events during World War II and the continuing colonialism that was rife in the world at the time. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is considered as the most translated document in modern history. It is available in more than 360 languages and new translations are still being added.

The UN General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France, on the December 10, 1948. All states and interested organizations were invited to mark December 10 as Human Rights Day at a UN meeting on December 4, 1950. It was first observed on December 10 that year and has been observed each year on the same date. Each year Human Rights Day has a theme. Some of these themes have focused on people knowing their human rights or the importance of human rights education.

Discovery of 7000-year-old city in Egypt

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Temple of Seti

By: Akil Soyinka

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered the ruins of an ancient city and an adjoining cemetery that date back 7000 years to 5,316 BCE. According to a statement by the antiquities ministry, the site can be traced back to Egypt’s First Dynasty.

The discovery was made by a mission associated with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities just 400 meters away from the temple of Seti I, an Egyptian pharaoh who reigned in the 13th century BCE, across the River Nile from the southern city of Luxor, the Egypt Independent reported.

The ministry said that the unearthed city could provide more information about Abydos, one of ancient Egypt’s oldest cities

Conservationists Criticize Possible Lifting of the Ban on Import of Elephant Trophies

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Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced that they will reverse an Obama-era ban on the importation of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia after determining that sport hunting in those countries will help conserve the species. However, a day later, in a tweet by President Trump himself, he stated that he would delay his administration’s decision to allow the importing of elephant body parts from Zimbabwe “until such time as I review all conservation facts”.

It is interesting to note that the first announcement was made public not by a federal agency but via a celebratory news release by the Safari Club International, a trophy hunting advocacy group that, along with the National Rifle Association, sued to block the 2014 ban. In fact, Greg Sheehan, principal deputy director of the FWS, broke the news to the hunting organization during the African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) in Tanzania.

While it is still not clear what happened during the twenty four hours that made the Trump administration to change course or at least put a pause on the decision, it is quite obvious that the administration and federal agencies received many criticisms from around the world. Many conservationists and wild life experts opposed the decision and talked about vocally on the social media and through press releases arguing that the Trump administration was pandering to big-game hunters. According to the Guardian Newspaper (UK), one of the vocal critics was the primatologist Jane Goodall who told the Guardian on Friday, before Trump’s announcement of the postponement that she “was shocked and horrified, but this is the road this administration is taking,” and that “One by one, they are undoing every protection for the environment that was put in place by their predecessors.” In fact, she added that, “It’s very rare that money raised by legal trade in ivory or rhino husks gets out to protect the animals,” Goodall added. “It goes into the pockets of the safari outfits that take the clients, or goes into the hands of corrupt government officials.” According to the Guardian.

Another big name celebrity who made public statements was actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio who said he “could not believe” the Trump administration had taken the step and called the move by the Trump administration as “reprehensible.”

African elephants have been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1978. A provision of the law, however, allows for sport-hunted trophies to be imported if government determines that hunting will help safeguard the population. However, it is a fact that the number of Savanna elephants continues to dwindle. From 2007 to 2014, the population dropped by 30 percent, or about 144,000 animals, across 18 African countries, according to the 2016 Great Elephant Census. In Zimbabwe, it fell 6 percent. And “substantial declines” have been recorded along the Zambezi River in Zambia, although the population elsewhere in the country remained stable. 

Most conservationists believe that one of the reasons for the recent changes and for the actions being taken by the Trump administration is because the Interior Department is led by Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is an avid hunter and has moved to increase opportunities for hunting and fishing. Earlier this month as reported by several news outlets, Zinke announced the creation of a so-called International Wildlife Conservation Council to advise him on “the benefits that international recreational hunting has on foreign wildlife and habitat conservation, anti-poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking programs.” In addition, President Donald Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, are also avid big game hunters. In a photo that surfaced in 2012, Trump Jr. was seen holding the tail of an elephant he had shot and killed in Africa. 

 

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

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The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is annually held on December 2 to raise awareness of the atrocities of modern slavery. It’s not to be confused with another UN day, the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery reminds people that modern slavery works against human rights.©iStockphoto.com/milansys

What Do People Do?

Many people use the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery as an opportunity to share their perspective in writings through poetry, opinion pieces, interviews, feature articles, short stories and other published material. Classrooms may review the history of slave trade, its evolution and changes it has undergone through to modern times. Students may also learn about the negative impacts of slavery on society.

Online, print and broadcast media promote the day through news, debates, forums, and talks about modern day slave trade and why it is a serious human rights issue. Political leaders, including senators and those with ministerial responsibilities, also take the time to urge the public to work together in eradicating any form of slavery in modern society. Flyers, posters, leaflets, newsletters about abolishing slavery and slave trade are also distributed throughout universities and in public areas on this day.

Background

The United Nations is committed to fighting against slavery and considers bonded labour, forced labour, the worst forms of child labour and trafficking people as modern forms of slavery. Some sources day that more than one million children are trafficked each year for cheap labour or sexual exploitation. These types of slavery are global problems and go against article four of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “no one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms”.

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery recalls the adoption of the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) of December 2, 1949). To remember the convention, a UN report of the Working Group on Slavery recommended in 1985 that December 2 be proclaimed the World Day for the Abolition of Slavery in all its forms. By 1995, the day was known as the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

On December 18, 2002, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 2004 the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition. On November 28, 2006, the assembly designated March 25, 2007, as the International Day for the Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The UN also annually observes the UN’s International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition on August 23.

Pizza Could Earn UNESCO World Heritage Status

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In early December UNESCO’s committee on cultural heritage will meet in Seoul, South Korea, to discuss many different submissions by countries around the world for recognition and designation by UNESCO. During that meeting Neapolitan pizza will be a topic of discussion and whether it should be on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

In 2006, UNESCO started its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list which recognizes traditional practices and activities around the globe. The list includes music, food, dance and things that shape national identities around the world. The list over the last few years have included additions such as Turkish coffee, Croatian gingerbread, Japanese washoku, the Mediterranean diet, and the cuisines of Mexico and France. UNESCO’s goal has been to honor and preserve traditional cooking methods, as well as food, and other intangible things that basically that are recognized around the world as being representations of the countries of origins.

We all love pizza and have our favorite pizza. If you have never travelled to Italy, you still know pizza, perhaps from your favorite Italian restaurant and not so Italian restaurant in New York City, Los Angeles, London….. People all around the world love pizza, even if they have never ate it in Italy. However, Italians have argued that Pizza has special significance for their people and country and that is why more than two million Italians have petitioned for pizza to be given UNESCO World Heritage status.

In addition, the Italians or specifically the city of Naples argue that Neapolitan pizza was born in that city and they have to ensure that the traditional form of the pizza which does not include all the latest creative toppings survive the changing times.

Whatever the outcome of the discussions and the decision of the UNESCO committee will be, it is our wish and hope that we all continue being able to eat pizza anywhere in the world.

 

Digital exploration of the Sculptor’s Cave

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During the late Bronze Age, the cave appears to have been a repository for precious objects, with finds ranging from bronze bracelets via pottery to a swan’s neck pin. Large quantities of human remains have also been discovered – especially those of children – suggesting that the cave may have been a centre for funerary rites. Intriguingly, on the frontal bone of one child, there is evidence suggestive of deliberate defleshing. Some of the cave’s most important features, however, are the Pictish symbols that can be found on the walls of its entrance passages.

Problematically, the cave is only accessible at low tide, making investigation of the interior time-sensitive. A new project, funded by Historic Environment Scotland and carried out by Professor Ian Armit and Dr Lindsey Büster at the University of Bradford, has created a high-resolution animated model of the cave.

Stunning 1500-year-old mosaic discovered in Israeli Port City

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The well-preserved remains of a 1,500-year-old colored mosaic floor from a Georgian church or monastery was unearthed during an excavation in the coastal city of Ashdod, the Antiquities Authority announced this week.

The mosaic was discovered in August at the ancient tel, or archeological mound, of Ashdod- Yam, under the direction of Dr. Alexander Fantalkin of Tel Aviv University’s Archeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations Department, and Prof. Angelika Berlejung of Leipzig University.
According to the authority, the mosaic includes a fourline Greek commemorative inscription dedicated to the structure’s builder, Bishop Procopius, as well as the year of its construction, based on the Georgian calendar.

“[By the grace of God (or Jesus)], this work was done from the foundation under Procopius, our most saintly and most holy bishop, in the month Dios of the 3rd indiction, year 292,” it states.
“This was many years before it was used in Georgia itself,” Segni said.