Monday, August 21, 2017

Nation brands and the case study of Ukraine

Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska image from

Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska

Head of the Institutional Cooperation Unit, Department of Foreign Policy Strategy, Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs [entry contains a video slide presentation]

Today I am uploading a presentation with a clear marketing and PR angle. This one is devoted particularly to nation/national brands, where several examples are analyzed and where various benchmarks are taken into account. The biggest case study is Ukraine. A big number of my students were coming from this country, so I thought it would be quite interesting for them - and their peers, too - to analyze, how the complicated situation of UA is represented in various international studies and surveys. What all of my students, not only the Ukrainian ones, took away from these classes what the fact that no matter the "hard" statistics on infrastructure, corruption, governance etc., the biggest potential of UA lies in its people, especially the young ones - including/especially the ones like my students and that the future of tchem and their country depends on them.


Contents of the video:

Nation brands and the case study of ukraine

  1. 1. Nation brands and the case study of Ukraine Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska Course on Public Diplomacy 2017
  2. 2. Nations continue to shape and reshape their identities/to rebrand themselves, because their reality changes they need to project this real change symbolically to all the audiences with whom they relate They want, as far as they can, to align perception with reality For example: The Dutch East Indies became Indonesia, its capital Batavia became Jakarta, a new language, Bahasa Indonesia, was constructed. There is a need to build a national consensus around language, presumed ethnicity, religion (sometimes), culture, etc. Some countires have a long but interrupted history, like Georgia, while others, such as Tajikistan, have been carved out of the former imperium and therefore have difficulties in establishing legitimacy. Wally Olins Source: The New Public Diplomacy. Soft Power in International Relations. Edited by Jan Melissen, palgrave macmillan 2005. Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  3. 3. Brand export: Mercedes, Audi, BMW, VW are Germany and Germany is cars – it is: advantageous – everything connected with engineering and efficiency gets credit Siemens, Bosch, Braun, Miele Disadavantageous – other brands do not underline their German origins Jil Sander, Hugo Boss, Nivea, Allianz If the nation’s leadong brands are based around too narrow a sphere of activity, those flagship brands in the secotr may flourish, but the orher brands may find it more difficult Contradictory examples: Gucci and Ferrari come from Italy; Jaguar, Burberry and Scotch whisky come from Britain, France had Aribus, Dior and Hennessy. Wally Olins – three areas of the competition of the nations Source: The New Public Diplomacy. Soft Power in International Relations. Edited by Jan Melissen, palgrave macmillan 2005. Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  4. 4. Foreign direct investments, influeced by local legislation, tax breaks, regional funding, education level of employees, government attitues, transport infrastructure – but being fashinable as well Tourism – competition over tourists, but the danger of gettinhg large numbers of tourists that a countiry cannot effectively cope with and who spend very little money per head is visible Wally Olins – three areas of the competition of the nations Source: The New Public Diplomacy. Soft Power in International Relations. Edited by Jan Melissen, palgrave macmillan 2005. Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  5. 5. Launching and managing a national branding programme is inifinitely more complex, sohpisticated, difficult and long term than managing a similar activity for a commercial organization It takes years, and the pay-off is slow + not readily measurable/tangible Politicians like quick, measurable results that get them votes – that is one of the reasons why so many national branding programmes are taken up enthusiastically and then dropped. Wally Olins - summary Source: The New Public Diplomacy. Soft Power in International Relations. Edited by Jan Melissen, palgrave macmillan 2005. Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  6. 6. Nation Brand hexagon Source: b/trcopy/files/Anholt_3939.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  7. 7. Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska The Nation Brand Index - Influencers State/national brands
  8. 8. There were changes – everyone loses Source: anholt-gfk-nation-brands-index-2016/ Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  9. 9. Brand Finance – Nation Brands 2016 Source: 16_report.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  10. 10. Brand Finance – Nation Brands 2016 Source: load/nation_brands_2016_report.p df Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  11. 11. The best and the worst performing nation brands Source: 16_report.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  12. 12. The strongest national brands Source: s/upload/nation_brands_2016_ report.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  13. 13. Country Brand Index 2014-2015 (Future Brand) Source: 14_15-LR.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  14. 14. Examples Source: 14_15-LR.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  15. 15. Examples Source: 14_15-LR.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  16. 16. Examples Source: 14_15-LR.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  17. 17. Examples Source: 14_15-LR.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  18. 18. Examples Source: 14_15-LR.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  19. 19. Examples Source: 14_15-LR.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  20. 20. Ones to watch Source: 14_15-LR.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  21. 21. Ukraine Source: ukraine-annual-rating-places-ukraine-among-best- performing-nation-brands ds_2016_report.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  22. 22. Ukraine – Global Competitiveness Index Source: 2017/05FullReport/TheGlobalCompetitivenessReport20 16-2017_FINAL.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  23. 23. Ukraine – Global Competitiveness Index Source: 2017/05FullReport/TheGlobalCompetitivenessReport20 16-2017_FINAL.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  24. 24. Ukraine Source: news/feature/europe_and_ce ntral_asia_an_overall_stagnati on Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  25. 25. Ukraine in Country Risk Report 2017 Source: Ukraine Country Risk Report - Q2 2017 BMI Risk Reports; London. (Second Quarter 2017). Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  26. 26. Ukraine in the Index of Economic Freedom Source: pdf/2017/book/index_2017.pdf Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  27. 27. Ukraine in Freedom Index Source: https://freedomhou m- world/2017/ukraine Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  28. 28. Ukraine in Fragile States Index Source: Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  29. 29. Ukraine in Fragile States Index Source: Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  30. 30. Ukraine in Global Innovation Index Source: https://www.globalinnovationind Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  31. 31. Ukraine in Global Innovation Index Source: https://www.globalinnovationind Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  32. 32. Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska Ukraine in Human Development Report 2016 Source: an_development_report.pdf
  33. 33. Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska Ukraine in Human Development Report 2016 Source: an_development_report.pdf
  34. 34. Which country has the best and the most stable brand? Why – and will this change? Which country has the worst nation brand? Why – and will this change? What kind of a role does the national identity play in forming the nation brand? How can a nation brand contribute to security of a nation/country? Which fields play a role in nation branding? What is more important: politics or economy? politics or people-to- people contacts? What role do the international rankings play? Do political leaders care about them? Should they or should they not? In which fields should Ukraine and your respective countries work harder and harder to improve their international images? Questions to students Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska
  35. 35. Thank you very much for your attention! Let’s stay in touch: a-rybka-iwa%C5%84ska-08856b133/ Katarzyna Rybka-Iwańska

Kurdish Women On the Front Lines of Battle

Image from, under the headline "Kurdish Women Fighters"

Out of the Syrian war there have been a plethora of political developments worthy of academic study, including human migration, non-state actors and their role in inter and intra state legitimacy, the rise of radical Islam, etc. An additional noteworthy development, that has yet to garner academic exploration, is the rumored phenomenon of Kurdish female fighters creating a deterrent effect against Islamic State fighters due to the women’s sex. It is purported that Islamic fighters are fearful to engage the women in battle due to a religious aversion. They assumedly believe that if they suffer a mortal defeat at the hands of a female, they will in turn be denied the rewards they believe they are to receive in the afterlife for their actions acting as a shahid, or martyr for Jihad and greater Islam.

The Kurdish Project states that “The YPJ [Kurdish female fighting force] is also thought to be feared by ISIS, who believes that if a female kills them in battle, it will be a disgrace and dishonor, and will prohibit them from entering paradise”(YPJ, 2015). It is arguably imperative that this claim be explored. Although this case makes a specific example of Kurdish female fighters, the larger phenomenon of a possible deterrent effect against radical Islamic fighters could be a breakthrough in counterterrorism and strategic studies. If this is indeed a real phenomenon, then it provides a new tactic that counter terrorism practitioners can utilize accordingly.

Interestingly, leading international experts appear to disagree about the efficacy of this deterrence affect. Some Kurdish specialists, such as Eliezer Tsafrir (2016), advance that this is a real phenomenon and even explains the tactics behind the deterrent effect. Other Kurdish scholars, such as Ofra Bengio (2016), disagree and advocate that this is only a perceived phenomenon, yet maintains that it has positive ramifications. Finally, some academics such as Emanuela Del Rey (2015) suspect that the phenomenon is being promoted for entirely ulterior motives, such as public diplomacy opportunities.

This paper will explore the broad subject of women in war and focus on the validity of the claim that there is a deterrent effect stemming from Kurdish female fighters due to their sex. As of yet, there are few instances of the supposed deterrent effect being recorded in academia. This paper is intended to serve as a foundational article so that future academics can utilize the findings to build upon. Beyond providing a credible confirmation or declination of the supposed deterrence effect, this paper will work to highlight alternate explanations for the perception and promotion of the tactics. Without strong academic sources available, this paper will analyze the abundance of media reports that document the event. A generic internet search of Kurdish female fighters and ISIS yields hundreds of interviews with YPG and YPJ fighters who confirm the occurrence of this deterrence tactic. Combining select interviews and reputable documentaries with expert assessments of the YPG and ISIS, this paper will deliver on the aforementioned topics surrounding this claim. Finally, the end of the paper presents next steps for further academic inquiry into this important topic.

How a humanitarian naval mission is boosting China’s global ambitions

The presence of the PLA Navy’s Peace Ark hospital ship in Djibouti is part of an investment in soft power

In a few days, the PLA Navy’s hospital ship Peace Ark will arrive in Djibouti as part of a ritual charm offensive of the Chinese military. This will be the PLA’s sixth “harmonious mission”, an operation during which a ship initially built to treat wounded soldiers in wartime provides free medical services to citizens in developing countries. 
Since the first harmonious mission in 2010, the activity has been the flagship of the Chinese navy’s public diplomacy. It projects an image of benign power dedicated to human security, peace and development. Djibouti was a stop on the first mission, during which it provided medical services to the navy’s anti-piracy personnel deployed in the Gulf of Aden and 1,500 people free of charge.
This year, after Sri Lanka and Djibouti, two important stops along China’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the Peace Ark will visit Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Tanzania during a soft-power journey through eight countries and lasting more than 150 days.

But it is only in Djibouti that the Peace Ark will receive attention beyond the local media. On August 1, on the 90th anniversary of the PLA’s founding, the Chinese military inaugurated its first overseas base. It is highly possible that the Peace Ark will not berth at the military facility, as the docks have yet to be built. And that makes more sense, given the mission’s purpose is for the ship to be easily accessed by the local population at a civilian port. Nevertheless, sending the Peace Ark less than a month after the inauguration sends the unmistakable signal that the PLA Navy’s presence in Djibouti is about making positive contributions to the world.
Indeed, having the Peace Ark in Djibouti underlines the official point that the base is being built to perform three tasks: support the Chinese navy’s anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden with logistics and maintenance, provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to neighbouring countries, and facilitate peacekeeping deployments in Africa, where China has more than 2,500 troops in UN operations.
China’s communication about Djibouti systematically seeks to downplay the strategic significance of what is a major break in the country’s military posture. The PLA refuses to describe the facility as a naval base. It has long insisted on the term “logistical support facility”. It is only at the inauguration ceremony that a new official term appeared – “support base”. This suggests an acknowledgement that functions other than logistics are part of the toolbox.

The Peace Ark’s Djibouti mission shows that the PLA wants to be taken seriously as a credible actor in humanitarian missions. This is an opportunity that should be seized by other powers with a presence in Djibouti. Given that the PLA is the newcomer under scrutiny, a Chinese multilateral humanitarian assistance initiative would be welcome but the record shows that the PLA has a very strong preference for bilateral settings.
China’s naval diplomacy will continue to be an important element of the country’s effort to give substance to the new Maritime Silk Road.
But as public diplomacy and concrete contributions increase the credibility and the reputation of the PLA as an international security provider, they are unlikely to successfully dispel the questions that remain about the future role of Djibouti. Is the PLA considering using Djibouti as a platform for force projection in future counterterror missions?
The airstrip is too short for landing fixed-wing aircraft but there are other ways in which military power could be used in operations to protect overseas nationals. Is there a role for the new facilities as part of the PLA Navy’s future submarine operations? These are only two of a list of legitimate questions that Chinese official communication is not directly tackling, preferring to keep future options open.

Sceptics of China’s low-profile Djibouti narrative usually point to three facts: the large housing facilities, capable of hosting up to 10,000 troops (by comparison with 4,000 US troops at nearby Camp Lemonnier); the underground facilities and the fortifications, clearly counter-intelligence measures; and the fact that Djibouti is rather a new beginning than an exception, as it is part of China’s new security posture to stress the right to build overseas facilities when required to protect the country’s global interests.
Looking ahead, China’s naval diplomacy will continue to be an important element of the country’s effort to give substance to the new Maritime Silk Road. Concretely, the project is about ensuring secure and fast shipping along sea lanes that already exist, but where traffic will intensify. Hence direct investment, including often through mergers and acquisitions, focus on port infrastructure, shipping and logistics companies.
One of the navy’s roles is that of an armed insurance company. When in 2008 China decided to dispatch its navy flotillas in the Gulf of Aden to escort container and cargo ships, one of the arguments put forward was that the cost of insurance policies was becoming prohibitive given the high risk of piracy.
The presence of the Peace Ark in Djibouti is a reminder that the PLA Navy is also trying to invest in soft power to gain support from local populations for China’s global ambitions.
Mathieu Duchâtel is deputy director of the Asia and China programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations

Diplomacy and public relations

Bong R. Osorio,

Image from article, with caption: Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright displays her characteristic wit and wisdom in an open forum as she answers questions during the ANC Leadership Forum on Global Governance and World Economy, held recently in Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel.

FORMER US Secretary of State Dr. Madeleine Albright delivered a stimulating talk and sharply answered questions in an open forum in the hugely successful ANC Leadership Forum on Global Governance and World Economy, held recently in Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel. ...

Come to think of it: Public diplomacy and public relations have commonalities. Both use communication that convinces. Both tap information and persuasion to influence the opinions and positions of their defined publics or stakeholders, and both build proper pressure on the policy-makers to influence the decisions and activities certain groups in accordance with identified goals and interests. And important, both activities are meant for the advancement of expressed interests, pushed by our persuasive abilities. ...

Brooches make statements. Albright has a renowned practice of wearing symbolic pins and brooches to portend her dispositions and opinions on certain issues or on world leaders of the same stature as hers that she will sit in a table with. It’s a PR gesture. In 1993 when she was the US ambassador to the UN, Albright wore an antique snake brooch in answer to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein who described her “an unparalleled serpent”. Whenever she delivered a speech about the Middle East, she would wear a peace-dove ornament. For the ANC forum, she wore a brooch shaped like the sun and made of Philippine indigenous materials. “To show my respect”, she averred. She would wear a pin of a “very active man with a loud speaker” if she gets to meet President Duterte. ...

Albright told her Philippine audience that she’s “an optimist who worries a lot”. Indeed, both diplomacy and PR use the art and science of optimism. Diplomats and PR professionals can’t always have power over what the universe brings their way; they’re free to direct their ideas and dispositions. This gives them the opportunity to rise above trials and tribulations. They live with a shifting assortment of experiences, things that run from good to bad to uncertain.

PR Matters is a roundtable column by members of the local chapter of the UK-based International Public Relations Association (Ipra), the world’s premier organization for PR professionals around the world. Bong R. Osorio is a communications consultant of ABS-CBN Corp., SkyCable, Dentsu-Aegis Network and government projects, among others, after retiring as vice president and head of the corporate Communications Division of ABS-CBN.

USC Center on Public Diplomacy - PD News Weekly (August 18)

PD News Logo

Aug 18, 2017

In partnership with ProPublica, Google News Lab is launching a new tool to track hate crimes across America. Powered by machine learning, the Documenting Hate News Index will track reported hate crimes across all 50 states, collecting data from February 2017 onward. Read More...
In a week of renewed national attention to organized white supremacy, the music-streaming platform Spotify has removed a number of bands alleged to be associated with neo-Nazism. Read More...
J-Day is an annual nationwide celebration for international students who work and study in America on J-1 visas. [...] Cape May County is home to about 3,000 international students this summer. Read More...
At the USC Center on Public Diplomacy (CPD) we research and analyze the ways organizations use social media and digital tools. In our efforts and collaborations, we’ve identified some top tactics that can benefit any organization. [...] How can you sustain your expanded network and leverage social media to maximum benefit in building a stronger and more engaged community? Read More...
Australian high commissioner to India Harinder Sidhu feels that when two nations are forging a relationship they usually talk about political, diplomatic or economical tie-ups but what matters most is the link between people. Sidhu says Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop emphasizes on creating bonds through “fashion diplomacy” and India is one of the countries that tops the chart. Read More...
Marriyum Aurangzeb said that Pakistan was keen to encourage cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts to enhance and deepen the religious and cultural bonds which already existed between the two neighboring countries. She said that Pakistan would welcome any initiative by the Iranian government for further expansion in the cultural ties and shall take every possible step to introduce each other's culture to the people of both the countries. Read More...
During their visit to Rostov-on-Don, students from China will communicate with their Russian peers on internet media technologies and together they will produce a video clip on the city landscape, which will be broadcast at the opening ceremony of the 2017 China-Russia Media Forum, following the China-Russia Youth Innovation Union. Read More...

Aug 17, 2017

Apple, LinkedIn, Spotify and Twitter have joined a growing chorus of technology companies to hit out at the far right and Donald Trump's attempt to put white supremacists and leftwing counter-demonstrators at Saturday’s Charlottesville protest on the same moral plane. [...] Apple also pledged to match two-for-one employee donations to human rights groups until 30 September, and said it would roll out donation systems for the SPLC through its iTunes store. Read More...
A new project aims to promote co-operation between biodiversity researchers across the UK and six Latin American countries. Funded by the British Council’s Newton Fund and in partnership with the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), Researcher Links aims to enhance scientific collaboration by promoting an international exchange of researchers between universities in UK, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Argentina and Brazil. Read More...
Egypt could become one of the world’s top Bitcoin trading hubs within weeks thanks to the launch of the country’s first cryptocurrency exchange. [...] The project is the brainchild of Alexandrian entrepreneurs Rami Khalil and Omar Abdelrasoul, who seized the opportunity to capitalize on the country’s growing demand for Bitcoin. Read More...
The "What's Up!" Luxembourg app was released in November last year for Apple and Android, and since then has grown substantially to become an app chock-a-block of events throughout Luxembourg and beyond. [...] A good feature of the app is that once the user has signed in, they are able to create their own events for all to see. A free way of publicizing what's going on in the region. Read More...
Within 24 hours of of hearing from the country’s national security adviser that Sierra Leone needed food for survivors, Israel had sent supplies expected to provide nourishment for three days. [...] The ambassador emphasized the importance of getting the aid into the country quickly, in order to illustrate to desperate citizens that help was on its way and there was reason for hope. Read More...
Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday that it is reopening its border with Qatar to allow Qataris to attend the hajj, despite a monthslong rift between Doha and four Arab countries led by Riyadh that prompted both sides to trade accusations of politicizing the pilgrimage. Read More...

Aug 16, 2017

America does not have a regional problem, it has a national one. It is less about which statues stay up in the South than which prejudices fall nationwide. And that will, in turn, determine how we deserve to be seen in the world. Read More...
Thousands of Russians have paid homage to Vladimir Putin, some with tongue in cheek, after the Russian president was photographed topless enjoying the Siberian summer. [...] Men, women and children across Russia and elsewhere answered the call from Durov, who is reported to be living abroad after repeated clashes with the authorities. Read More...
On Tuesday (August 15), Lionsgate announced that it will be opening its first branded outdoor theme park at Jeju Shinhwa World, South Korea. [...] In a statement, Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer said: "We're pleased to partner with our friends at Landing International, one of Asia's premier developers, on our first branded outdoor theme park and one of our largest and most exciting location-based entertainment destinations. Read More...
Rouble Nagi Art Foundation and Kaneka Sabharwal are teaming up to showcase a first of its kind art initiative supported by the Government Of India, welcoming international contemporary artists and connecting creative enthusiasts from India and Bahrain through an unparalleled exchange programme of artist interventions. Read More...
Syrians’ Hajj pilgrimage to the sacred Islamic cities of Madinah and Makkah in Saudi Arabia has begun via Turkey. [...] “Seemingly small, people-centric policies will create big impacts for Turkey’s long-term engagement in the region.” Read More...
“Eid gifts, clothes, sacrificial meat, and cash and gift vouchers will be distributed to families of the Yemeni martyrs and the injured, as part of the UAE’s initiatives to bring joy to the Yemeni people,” Dr Mohammad Atiq Al Falahi, secretary-general of the Emirates Red Crescent, told a news conference. Read More...
Leading Armenian health and education NGOs are driving forward a progressive educational technology strategy to rethink development in this lower middle-income, south Caucasus country: Infuse creative, technology-centered education into the classroom to provide youth with adaptable work and life skillsets, and boost their chances of finding jobs in their hometowns, or within Armenia. Read More...

Aug 15, 2017

Digital Radio Mondiale will be exhibiting at this year’s International Broadcasting Convention happening in Amsterdam, Sept. 15–19. IBC is a leading global tradeshow for broadcasters and media professionals, typically attracting 150,000 visitors every year from over 160 countries worldwide. Read More...
The meeting of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, with influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr is an important step towards reaching out to the leadership in Iraq. It is the second such trip in as many months for Al Sadr, who commands a huge following among Iraq’s urban population. Read More...
There was no ceremonial meeting between officers of the Indian and Chinese armies on the Independence Day today at the strategic Nathula border amid the continued standoff at Doklam, but personnel from two sides exchanged sweets. Read More...
As escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula occupy center stage, a team of South Korean pop singers, a Grammy award-winning songwriting duo, and internationally known recording artists want to steal the limelight away from missile threats. Read More...
Based in New Zealand, the project began in March this year and so far has gained pledges from around 450 people based all around the world. In the first month, 15,000 trees were pledged - that's now gone past 120,000. Some people have paid for trees to be planted in forest restoration projects in Madagascar, Haiti, Ethiopia, and Nepal. Others have simply bought and planted a tree themselves and sent a copy of the receipt to the project. Read More...
Aid for Trade (AfT) is one of programmes guiding foreign aid for developing countries. AfT programme has helped in the establishment of supply-side and trade-related infrastructure in developing countries to enhance their trade performance. Read More...

Aug 14, 2017

Because of ASTP, not the Watergate scandal, Nixon’s name is well remembered in Russia where everything related to space technology and reaching space is a matter of national pride. During the Cold War, the mutual demonization of both major powers towards one another was transformed into friendship and partnership, even for a short time. Read More...
Hiroyoshi Takeda is not a typical Japanese man. Instead of a suit and tie, the 39-year-old Tokyoite wears T-shirts with technicolour caricatures of a mustachioed south Indian movie star. Rather than bowing, he dances. He doesn’t ride the metro, but travels the streets in a gaudily adorned autorickshaw imported from Tamil Nadu. Read More...
Doha-based beIN Sports, a succes­sor to the Al Jazeera Sports network, has been a mainstay in the homes of many football-loving Arabs. [...] However, the political dispute be­tween Qatar and Egypt, Saudi Ara­bia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in June opened the door for other Arab networks to chal­lenge beIN’s stranglehold on sports broadcasts. Read More...
When Australian director Sam Voutas saw pirated copies of his first Chinese feature film Red Light Revolution on the streets of Beijing, he used the experience as a source of inspiration for his newest venture. Read More...
African nations have entered the space race, with Ghana as the most recent example of this bold technological achievement. [...] Other nations of the world have utilized space technology as a means of scientific advancement and socioeconomic progress. Ghana and other nations of the African Union and are no exception, as they become players in the global space race, and seek leadership status in the frontiers beyond Earth. Read More...
The Indonesian province of East Kalimantan has a history of disasters, including severe storms, floods, landslides and fires. [...] Since 2015, Australian volunteers have been working with BPBD East Kalimantan to strengthen their community-based disaster risk reduction program. Read More...
When Shadi Shiha arrived at the Israeli-Jordanian border and saw the armed Israeli soldiers and the Israeli flag, he almost turned around and went home. [...] That was almost a year ago. Shiha, who is also a serious break-dancer, spent two semesters at the Arava Institute at Kibbutz Ketura in southern Israel and he says it changed his world view. Read More...