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

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.

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.

A secret passageway has been discovered under a 1,000-year-old Mexican pyramid

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A secret passageway has been discovered under a 1,000-year-old Mexican pyramid.
It’s believed the previously undiscovered access could reveal the geography of the sacred site, as well as shed light on new details of the Mayans ancient beliefs.
Spanish explorers discovered the ancient Kukulkan pyramid in the 1500s.
The Kukulkan is a Mayan snake god, who legend has it, resembles a feathered serpent and emerged from a cave after an earthquake.
The new discovery of the underground passage is believed to lead to a cenote or water-filled cave at the Temple of Kikulkan in Mexico’s Chichen Itza.
Experts believe this passageway will reveal more about the Mayan ‘snake god’.

Sophisticated imagine technology revealed the passageway.

The discover should reveal more about the sacred structure (Picture: INAH/ GAM/ Youtube)
Reports suggest that the Mayans sacrificed people into cenotes – and this has been backed up by the discovery of human remains on past expeditions.
The passage was revealed by the Great Mayan Aquifer Project, led by underwater archaeologist Guillermo de Anda.
The group used sophisticated imagine techniques, including ground penetrating lidar to force electromagnetics signals through the ancient structure.

The passage is believed to lead to a water-filled cave (Picture: Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia

At present, they team have discovered the passage, although have not physically explored it yet as it’s currently blocked by a smaller burial chamber known as the Ossuary.
Dr de Anda told El Universal: ‘Through the Ossuary, we can enter the cave beneath the structure and there we found a blocked passageway, probably closed off by the ancient Mayans themselves.
‘We will enter again and this time we will try to open it to see if the passageway leads us to the entrance of the cenote beneath the pyramid.’
Exploration could prove perilous as researchers discovered a large sinkhole beneath the temple in 2015.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

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One of the most devastating human rights violations

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today.

Gender inequality persists worldwide. Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will require more vigorous efforts, including legal frameworks, to counter deeply rooted gender-based discrimination that often results from patriarchal attitudes and related social norms, as stated by the UN Secretary-General, in his latest report on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Some intolerable facts

Violence against women is the most extreme form of discrimination. According to the aforementioned report, on the basis of data from 2005 to 2016 for 87 countries, 19 per cent of women between 15 and 49 years of age said they had experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the 12 months prior to the survey. In the most extreme cases, such violence can lead to death. In 2012, almost half of all women who were victims of intentional homicide worldwide were killed by an intimate partner or family member, compared to 6 per cent of male victims.

Another extreme case of violence against women is female genital mutilation/cutting. This harmful practice has declined by 24 per cent since around 2000. Nevertheless, prevalence remains high in some of the 30 countries with representative data. In those countries, survey data from around 2015 indicate that more than 1 in 3 girls between 15 and 19 years of age have undergone the procedure compared to nearly 1 in 2 girls around 2000.

Moreover, only just over half (52 per cent) of women between 15 and 49 years of age who are married or in a relationship make their own decisions about consensual sexual relations and use of contraceptives and health services. That statistic is based on available data from around 2012 for 45 countries, 43 of which are in developing regions.

Research also shows that achieving gender equality helps in preventing conflict, and high rates of violence against women correlates with outbreaks of conflict. Despite the evidence, actions for women’s inclusion, leadership and protection remain inadequate. In some areas, there has even been a roll back on progress.

Lack of funds

One of the major challenges to efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls worldwide is the substantial funding shortfall. As a result, resources for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women and girls are severely lacking. Frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals, which include a specific target on ending violence against women and girls, offer huge promise, but must be adequately funded in order to bring real and significant changes in the lives of women and girls.

This year has brought some good news in this regard, as the European Union and the United Nations launched the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls.

Another initiative that has been helping to expose this scourge is the UNiTE to end violence against women initiative launched in 2008 by the then UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, which is also supported by his successor, António Guterres.

2017 Theme: Leave no one behind

UNiTE leads the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which aims to raise public awareness and mobilize people everywhere to bring about change. Those 16 days go from 25th November to 10th December, which is Human Rights Day. The theme of the campaign for 2017 is “Leave no one behind: end violence against women and girls.” This theme reinforces the UNiTE Campaign’s commitment to a world free from violence for all women and girls around the world, while reaching the most underserved and marginalized, including refugees, migrants, minorities, indigenous peoples, and populations affected by conflict and natural disasters, amongst others, first. As in previous years, the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign invites you to “Orange the world,” using the colour designated by the UNiTE campaign to symbolize a brighter future without violence. Organize events to orange streets, schools and landmarks!