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May 2009

World Bank 2009 Essay Competition

Saptarshi Pal's picture

Dear Readers,

This year the World Bank Essay Competition attracted 2,469 submissions from over 150 countries, which certainly reflects the popularity of this competition. The overall theme for this year is Climate Change and the role the youth can play, keeping in mind the importance of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC), Copenhagen, December 2009.  

Decisions, decisions

Christine Sedky's picture

My first 6 weeks of officially working for Ayadi Organization I did on-the-ground research of various crafts around Egypt.  I was looking to find a craft that has been passed down for hundreds of years and that would benefit from working with Ayadi.  My vision was not to create something new.  I didn’t want something redundant or to recreate the wheel if it had already been created and spinning, but rather to build on others' work and make more impact. 

The Gender Perspective

Stacy Alcantara's picture

Today’s global financial crisis is very much reminiscent of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.  With the exports and labor-intensive industries being hit harder than Banda Aceh was with the tsunami that swept through its coasts, women were the most adversely affected.  This was because of the strong gender composition of many of the most vulnerable industries today.

Hey Youthink! Readers: What Do YOU Think About the Financial Crisis?

Saadia Iqbal's picture

I recently Facebooked (is it a verb yet?) my friends in Pakistan to ask what effects of the financial crisis they’re seeing around them: are people complaining more? Are there more beggars on the streets? Are taxi drivers sprouting even more gloom-and-doom philosophy than usual? Is there a general sense of malaise and fear? 

microfinance? maybe not in the traditional sense....

Christine Sedky's picture

When I arrived in Egypt I had a plan to retain traditional craftsmanship through the empowering development of microfinance.  I was in love with microfinance.  I loved that it was not a handout, that it was partnering with poor people to launch their own initiatives and that it seemed so empowering and dignifying.  So I had this vision that I was going to use microfinance, but I wasn’t sure which artisan skill I was going to focus on (initially I was leaning towards much of the beautiful mother of pearl work and copper work that is done in Egypt…) 

Stop stealing from your kids!

Saptarshi Pal's picture

In a recent commercial on oil conservation in India, a kid stuck in traffic jam with his father, notices how none of the vehicles are turning off their engines even though they have been stuck for several minutes. With a very worried look, he turns to his father to remark, “The way all of you are wasting oil, I fear there will be none left when I grow up!

Hate thy neighbor?

Saptarshi Pal's picture

It is no secret that some South Asian countries are hostile towards each other. Political leaders repeatedly exploit this issue for rallying their nation in order to achieve their vested interests. It is an inevitable issue in every Indian election, and undoubtedly, the situation is the same across the border. Several other forces also fuel this feeling of hatred and hence three generations have grown up with a feeling of ill-will towards ALL citizens of the neighboring country! Needless to say, this is not unique to South Asia.


what i do...and who i am...

Christine Sedky's picture

For many years I had this dream that I would be working to retain traditional craftsmanship among poor artisans in Egypt. I decided to make a leap and see if I as one individual could make a difference in the country where I was born, Egypt.  I created a nonprofit, Ayadi (which means many hands in Arabic) and am now in Cairo trying to retain traditional craftsmanship in Cairo.