"Only God knows how we are surviving," said 16-year-old Ahmed, as he looked up at me from his creaky hospital bed.
We met Ahmed on the outskirts of the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, in a hospital set up to treat wounded Syrian refugees. He is one of the many hundreds of Syrians who fled to Tripoli to escape the ongoing violence across the border.
Before they first took to the streets, the stateless bidoun community in Kuwait thought extensively about how best to claim their rights to identity, education, and health care (among other concerns). They had studied campaigns from other countries and other periods of history.
Inspired by the U.S. civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr., they decided to take a peaceful and non-confrontational approach.
I am listening to the call to morning prayer in Kuwait City. It is beautiful, and one example of the widespread expression of faith in Kuwait. Yet despite the kind and generous gestures of the people I've met here, the bidoun, a stateless population in Kuwait, are afforded no hospitality.
This week, the Washington Post published a poll showing that the U.S. Congress has set a new record for disapproval. A whopping 84 percent of Americans do not approve of the way Congress is doing its job. Media coverage of the House and Senate highlights the brinksmanship and polarized politicking that seems to surround every piece of legislation – and now, even routine nominations and confirmations.
Yesterday, RI warned that stateless protesters in Kuwait faced a renewed threat of violence from the country's security forces. In our statement, we explained that:
Happy New Year, from all of us at Refugees International! Before we start tackling the challenges of 2012 – and there will be many – we bring you a brief wrap-up of all things RI from the year gone by.
First, "RI in 2011: By the Numbers":
For the last two weeks, my colleagues have reflected on global efforts to combat violence against women and girls, as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. Today, I want to examine a vital and practical solution to the problem of gender violence: the engagement of men and boys.