Friday, September 01, 2006

Exclusives, SEP 06

KASHMIR - From Waterfront to Gypsy Camp
Houseboating and mountain trekking in a land little-traveled
by GILAD CHUDLER, staff writer
Mountain trekking in Kashmir was one of the most difficult but at the same time one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. My girlfriend and I were under the impression that we would take a pleasant stroll through the mountains with a trusty guide, but we were sadly mistaken. Mountain trekking in Kashmir is really mountain trekking. Our supplies included a transportable gas stove, pressure cooker, two bottles of oil, water, two tents, some basic food and vegetables, and two live chickens (that’s right two live chickens).

TOHU - "Happy Confusion" in a Town that a Circus Built
Humanity, environment, the arts... and the Circus that supports them
by HABEEB SALLOUM, senior global correspondent
As an ecological project with a social conscience, the transformation of this former dump is revitalizing the Saint-Michel district, which has since been the home for many poor immigrants. TOHU is currently transforming the area into a vibrant centre for the community, and for cultural and economic development. Today, TOHU, which is being built through a combination of public and private funding, hums with activity. The area now carries an aura of circus magic – as the former dumpsite is transformed into a gem.

MINE AND SEEK - Hidden Killers
For children in Afghanistan and Cambodia, land mines bring death long after the war is over
by NOOSHIN SHABANI, staff writer
Landmines are the hidden killers that linger in fields, roads, and schoolyards. They sit silently without preference as to who is the victim. They come in different disguises, depending on their power. The placement of leftover landmines is a problem which is not greatly exposed too the public. We see war on the news nearly every day but what is missing is the coverage of the continuous war that the local people are forced to face.

AFRICA - Breast Ironing in Cameroon
Women in Africa bear a painful tradition
by ROXY VARZA, assistant editor

Breast ironing, a practice that involves pressing heated objects – most commonly spatulas (24%) and stones (20%) – onto a girl’s developing breasts, is believed to be an efficient means of delaying pregnancy; by “removing” signs of puberty, these girls are thought to no longer appear sexually attractive to men.

The practice, which was initially thought to improve a mother’s breast-milk, is now inflicted upon 24% of all Cameroonian women as young as the age of nine. While the practice is commonly performed by family members, 58% of the time by the mother, these young and naïve girls buy into its reasoning and often continue inflicting the practice upon their own bodies.

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