Tag Archives: seven for peace

Obama Talks Peace to Iran, But Dishes Out Violence


Obama Talks Peace to Iran, But Dishes Out Violence

by Jamasb Madani, April 09, 2013


Four years ago, President Barack Obama quoted the beloved 13th century Persian poet Sa’di in his first Nowruz message to the Iranian people. The address, with its veneer of peace and diplomacy, was a well-received gesture to both civil society and the leadership in Tehran, recognizing the Islamic Republic and celebrating the country’s ancient culture and history.

In this year’s Nowruz message, on March 18, 2013, President Obama recited more medieval Persian poetry, this time a famous 14th century poem from Hafez about friendship.

An informal and casual survey of public opinion on the heels of this address suggest that Obama’s renewed efforts to tap the well of goodwill failed to resonate with many Iranians. This time around, Obama’s speech has been received a somewhat negative response.

Over the past few years, U.S. hostility and pressure toward Iran has reached a critical level. As a result of draconian sanctions and a resulting drastic drop in oil revenues, Iran’s economy, currency, and people are hurting.

Many essential and non-essential goods have been subject to sanctions, both old and new. Measures preventing the sale of spare airplane parts to Iran have long made air travel unsafe, threatening the well-being of civilian passengers. More recently, unilateral sanctions imposed by certain Western countries have cut Iran off from the international banking industry, resulting in severe shortages in medicines and rising food prices that place the lives of millions of Iranians at risk.

While Obama’s Nowruz messages represent an attempt to achieve a sort of ‘cultural connectedness’ between Americans and Iranians, the U.S. government seems unaware of how its policies and actions toward Iran cut against these efforts.

During Iran’s post-reform years in late 1990′s, certain key terms became central to the Reformist discourse. Concepts such as ‘pluralism’, ‘tolerance’ (tasahol/tasamoh), and especially the term “violence” (khoshoonat’garaee) took on a deeper and more comprehensive meaning.

Based on a wider reading of the concept of violence, Iranian civil society has not only viewed the assassination of its scientists as a direct form of violence, but has also considered unilateral and crippling sanctions to be instruments of violence against the Iranian people.

These and other similar measures undermine the administration’s attempts to appeal to Iranians’ cultural sensibilities. Ironically, as President Obama delivered his first Nowruz message in 2009, urging Iran’s government to “unclench” its fists, his administration was accelerating a covert, cyber warfare initiative launched by the Bush administration, codenamed “Olympic Games.”

In the years that followed, as Obama delivered other Nowruz messages, the United States conspired with Israel to develop and launch additional attacks of cyber-terrorism against Iran, such as Stuxnet and Flame.

In the Iranian public psyche, cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities are not mere technological sabotage, but rather instill collective fear and anxiety about damage to nuclear installations that threaten the safety of the Iranian population.

And let’s not forget the looming threat of direct military attack. With each passing year, and with every Nowruz message, the level of both real and potential American violence against Iran and Iranians has escalated.

As the targets of these threats, victims of collective punishment and the bearers of U.S.-imposed hardship, Iranians feel that Obama’s actions coupled with his recitation of the poetry of Sa’di or Hafez make for a disturbing juxtaposition.

In Hafez’s poetry and ethos, duplicity, hypocrisy, and pretense are considered major sins. It is fitting then that a group of democracy activists in Iran, in conversation with this writer, have suggested Obama reflect on the message of another Hafez poem:

Preachers who lecture others in the pulpit
in private, away from the public gaze, they do otherwise.
I have a concern; ask this question from the wise one in the group
those who order us to repent; they, themselves don’t consider any repentance?

Daryoush Mohammad Poor, an opposition activist who has translated the statements of former Iranian presidential candidate and reformist politician Mir Hossein Mousavi into English, was similarly offended by Obama’s Nowruz message this year.

In a critical essay posted in both Persian and English on his website, “Malakoot,” Mohammad Poor writes that the American-Iranian impasse is not binary. For instance, as he explains, just because he is connected with the Iranian opposition, does not mean he will be silent about the devastating and lethal effects of Obama’s policies on the people of Iran.

Mohammad Poor addresses Obama directly, writing, “Remember, Hafez was – and still is – a great social critic of the conditions of his time. His strength lay in his being outside the circle of power. He was the voice of the powerless. He was never a two-term president of a superpower nation. If he lived today, he would probably be highly critical of you, too, as he would be critical of the leaders of Iran.”

With few exceptions, the opposition in and outside Iran explicitly opposes both unilateral and UN Security Council sanctions against the country. The anti-imperial legacy of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq, who was ousted during a CIA-led coup in 1953, still permeates the present Zeitgeist and ethos in Iran. As such, despite economic hardships and the relative popularity of Voice of America among some opposition members, so far the American/French/British axis has failed to cultivate any notable support for either foreign intervention or collaboration. As things currently stand, Iranians across the political spectrum blame the United States, and less, their own government, for their economic woes.

U.S. hegemonic domination has its internal contradictions and cannot avoid double standards, inconsistencies, and half-truths. But Hafez, the ‘elder of kharbat’, is precisely the antithesis of duplicity (riya). The term kharabat in Hafez’s poetry symbolizes a tavern, a gathering place where there is no pretense (tazvir), only the opportunity to be true to one another.

Those who threaten others with military aggression and destruction, those who unleash economic war and hardship and instill fear in the hearts of their victims, those who manipulate international organizations for their own ends, and make life difficult for so many people should not reference Hafez. In fact, Hafez is perhaps the last poet they should invoke, since his central message is to condemn hubris and selfishness (a’een khod’parasti).

A substantial number of Iranians believe that Barack Obama, who has relatives in Kenya and Indonesia, studied progressive politics at Columbia University and broke bread with public intellectuals like Edward Said, is a worldly, decent and dignified person.

But in the context of American hegemony, as the executor of oppressive policies toward Iran, Obama has become a perplexing puzzle for Iranians. For four years, Obama’s Nowruz messages have led the Iranian collective psyche to compartmentalize his various actions. The orchestrated hostility of the “American Regime,” the pain and suffering directed by the United States toward Iran are all changing this approach.

At the same time, the symbolism and dichotomy of Obama’s Nowruz messages, coupled with the history of U.S. structural violence against Iranian society, may provide a glimpse into the bigger picture behind Obama’s inconsistencies. In his capacity as president, Obama may have no choice but to bow to long-term American policies toward Iran. Many Iranians, in fact, maintain that the real culprit is not Obama, but rather an institutional form of thinking and worldview to which Obama himself is bound.

Unfortunately, it seems the president’s ideals are also victims of this power structure.

Rather than trying to appropriate Persian poetry to blunt American aggression, Obama would do well to heed the words of Hafez himself. Only then may he truly begin to pursue peace instead of issuing ultimatums. As Hafez poignantly observed,

Engage in love (of humanity) before it is too late; or the life-purpose given to you by the world will be wasted.

*Jamasb Madani is an architect and writer. His grandfather was an activist and strong supporter of Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq.

This piece was originally published at Mufta.org




A refuge for Myanmar refugee kids


A refuge for Myanmar refugee kids




Volunteers Heidy Quah and Khoo Ghee Ken (right) make lessons fun and interactive for the refugee kids.
Volunteers Heidy Quah and Khoo Ghee Ken (right) make lessons fun and interactive for the refugee kids.

A group of 18-year-olds take on the responsibility of providing education for over 70 Myanmar refugee kids.

IT is way after midnight and college student Heidy Quah is hunched over her desk, her brows furrowed in concentration.

Instead of surfing the Net, watching her favourite drama series or rushing to finish up some last-minute assignments like most of her peers, Quah is busy drawing and cutting out caricatures of various shapes and sizes.

“Sometimes I stay up till 4am to prepare my teaching materials,” says Quah.

The Diploma in Business student at a local college is a committed volunteer teacher at a refugee school where she conducts art and craft lessons, among others.

At just 18, Quah is the founder of a registered non-government organisation, Persatuan Kebajikan Perlindungan Kanak-kanak Pelarian (Refuge For The Refugees), which aims to provide education for Myanmar refugee children.

As of October last year, 91,520 Myanmar refugees and asylum seekers who are hoping to build a better life for themselves in First World countries like Australia, Canada and the United States, are temporarily placed in Malaysia. The immigration process usually takes up to several years before they are finally resettled in their designated countries.

Meanwhile, precious time goes by as children of these refugees – at the height of their formative years – have no access to the local education system due to their refugee status. The United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR) has teamed up with various NGOs to set up learning centres for them but out of 13,800 children who are of school-going age, only 40% of them have access to education.

Chin Children’s Education Centre (CCEC) is one such school. Over 70 Myanmar refugee children from ages four to 16 fill the dilapidated community hall of a low-cost flat in Kuala Lumpur, for five hours every weekday. The learning environment is far from conducive as the classes, which are separated by sheets of cloth, are all held in the small hall.

Five teachers – two sponsored by UNHCR while three are hired – work tirelessly to help the children learn English, Mathematics and Science. Due to the overwhelming number of students, the teachers are often unable to step into every class, leaving many of them unattended.

Ten-year-old Pari’s favourite subject is Science and she names Heidy her favourite teacher.
Ten-year-old Pari’s favourite subject is Science and she names Heidy her favourite teacher.

Early last year, Quah had just finished secondary school and was waiting to start college. After hearing about a volunteer opportunity at a school camp, she roped in her friends Andrea Prisha, Chan Weili and Khoo Ghee Ken to volunteer as teachers at CCEC on a weekly basis.

As time went by, the youths established a bond with the refugee kids and were devastated when they heard that the school had to close down in a matter of months.

“CCEC was funded by UNHCR for two years under the Social Protection Fund. The contract expired in July 2012 and was not renewed,” explains Quah.

With college just around the corner, the group was faced with the difficult decision of whether they should continue helping the school.

Eventually, Quah and her friends made the bold choice of not only continuing to teach the students every week but to take on the school’s financial burden as well.

Refuge For The Refugees came into the picture when Quah realised that corporations were sceptical about providing funding to an unregistered NGO. Apart from a few phone calls from apprehensive officials of the Registrar of Societies, the application process went smoothly and before they knew it, RFTR was up and running.

Six months have passed since its inception and Quah confesses that running the NGO has not been easy. They need about RM1,200 a month to keep the school going. This sum covers the rental, utility bills and stationery for the kids.

Sponsorships are hard to come by at times.

A curtain separates one class from another due to space constraints.
A curtain separates one class from another due to space constraints.


“When we e-mail companies for sponsorships and they find out that we are a bunch of 18-year-olds, many people think that we are up to no good,” says Quah. Thankfully, some sponsors are willing to keep an open mind. Quah recalls a man who wanted to see the school for himself before making a donation.

Online volunteer portals Do Good. Volunteer. and Do Something Good have also served as effective avenues for them to get the word out, fetching sizeable donations from the public. In times of financial drought, they manage to get by, raising small sums through fundraisers like bake sales.

When it comes to ensuring quality education for every child, the youths have to work doubly hard as they are not formally trained teachers. They even come up with their own educational materials to supplement those provided by UNHCR.

Quah and her friends sure know how to make lessons fun for the kids. Sweets are used to help the younger kids learn how to count, while art and craft lessons provide an avenue for the students to develop their creativity.

“RFTR is compiling a proper syllabus for the year, so volunteers can start teaching immediately without having to prepare any material,” shares Quah.

“To get round the language barrier, we carry an English to Chin (dialect) dictionary,” Khoo adds.

The team volunteers for two hours on Wednesdays but every visit to CCEC takes a whopping three hours for the team to travel to and fro, as they rely on public transport. On top of that, they have to allocate time to plan for the day’s lesson besides finding ways to raise funds.

Andrea, a Foundation in Arts student at a local university, asserts that volunteering does not affect her studies.

“College is a priority for me, but these kids mean a lot to me as well. If I have assignments, I will finish them first to make time to volunteer; it is workable,” says Andrea.

Although Khoo, an A-Level student, is unable to teach during weekdays, he helps out with events on weekends, drafts proposals and letters, and updates their Facebook page.


Chan, an Australian Matriculation student, does not mind turning down movie outings and skipping teh tarik sessions with friends, just so she can find time for her volunteer work. “Sacrifices have to be made from time to time if I am to teach at the centre,” says Chan.

It helps that the parents of these dedicated and committed youths are supportive of their activities.

Quah and her team of enthusiastic volunteers dispel the common perception that young people just want to have fun and take little interest in the plight of the less fortunate. Khoo points out that many of his peers are not involved in volunteer work because the avenues just aren’t presented to them.

Quah believes parents play an important role in instilling compassion for the underprivileged, in their children. “My parents exposed me to people who were less fortunate from a very young age. We used to celebrate Chinese New Year in orphanages where we would play and sing songs with the kids,” she recalls.

“When I don’t see them for a week and they tell me they miss me, that makes me happy,” says Andrea.

Quah finds great satisfaction in charting the children’s progress. “There was this boy in my class who used to be very destructive. He would hit other kids for no apparent reason. I later learned that his dad is an alcoholic who physically abuses him. I decided to pay more attention to him and appointed him as class monitor. So instead of starting fights, he is now the one who stops fights,” says Quah, who is proud to note a change in the boy’s behaviour.

Indeed, it is positive changes like these which keep the youths going. Quah is driven by a vision to take RFTR to a new level and reach out to more refugee children so that they can also enjoy the gift of education.

To make a donation or find out more about volunteer opportunities at Refuge For The Refugees, call Heidy Quah (012-307 3714) or visit facebook.com/refugefortherefugees or e-mail refugefortherefugees@gmail.com.


Top 10 Major Environmental Issues.


Top 10 Major Environmental Issues.

* Not necessarily in precise order of importance:

No.1 Global Warming & Climate Change.

Global warming threatens to melt polar ice caps, displace people from coastal cities and tropical islands, and may be reaching a critical tipping point that could affect the ultimate survival of the human race.




No.2 Creating Clean Renewable Energy.

The challenge for the human race in the 21st century is to clean up or replace the burning of “dirty” fossil fuels that fired up the Industrial Revolution which began in the late 18th century.

Unless “clean” renewable energy alternatives are found and introduced quickly our planet risks being turned into an inhospitable, possibly uninhabitable environment.



No.3 Preventing Ocean Systems Collapse.

Oceans are an essential part Earth’s life support systems providing a huge sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. Over 1 billion people around the globe rely them as a source of food.

Some oceans have been over exploited leading to a complete collapse of fishing industries.

In African Somalia this may have been a factor in the regional stability which has led to a food shortages, a break down in law and order, terrorism, and piracy.

Acid rain from industrial pollution is acidifying the seas and killing coral reefs threatening tourism in some areas. Oil spills, ocean dumping and urban chemical runoff are degrading our oceans.




In 1998 a spike up in ocean temperatures killed 70-90% of the Indian Ocean’s and one quarter of the world’s coral.

In his book “Ocean of Life: How Our Seas are Changing” Callum Roberts writes… The world is living on borrowed time. We can’t cheat nature by taking more than is produced indefinitely… at some point, fish stocks will collapse… and there will be no fish to be had at any price.”

No.4 Electronic & Nuclear Waste.

Electronic or “e-waste” is causing massive pollution and health problems as millions of computers, laptops, mobile phones, and TV sets are discarded each year in developed societies and dumped in Third World countries.

The crude recovery processes in these countries are releasing hazardous mercury, lead, heavy metals, and other toxic substances that are killing the workers exposed to them and polluting the environment.



The disposal of nuclear waste from the world’s 435 nuclear reactors www.euronuclear.org (62 more are currently under construction) will continue to pose a daunting risk well into the future.

Nuclear waste like plutonium-239 remains hazardous for hundreds or thousands of years. Some isotopes remain hazardous for millions of years. The amount of High-Level Waste worldwide is currently increasing at the rate of 12,000 metric tons per year (ref: Wikipedia).

31 countries currently have nuclear reactors. The USA leads with 104, then come France with 58, Japan with 50, Russia with 33, India with 20, South Korea with 23, China/Taiwan with 16/6, and Canada with 18.



No.5 Inland Water Degradation.

In some developing countries water quality is under threat from rapidly increasing population growth.

Untreated sewage, dumped industrial and chemical waste, residues from medicines, as well as chemical runoff of herbicides and fertilizers are ruining inland waterways.


No.6 Resulting Forced Migration.

The United Nations estimated that over 20 million people were displaced in 2008 due to “climate induced sudden-onset natural disasters”… and that there may be up to 200 million forced “environmental migrants” by 2050.

Uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on Oct 8, 2009.
“While diplomats bicker over global warming, the people of Sudan are bracing themselves for more severe droughts. When they come, agriculture collapses, forcing mass migrations, and conflict over dwindling food and water supplies. Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Vall travelled to a village in Northern Darfur to take a closer look at the problem”.



Uploaded by AlJazeera

English on Jul 12, 2011.
“Somali refugees have become the victims of the worst drought to hit the Horn of Africa in nearly sixty years. Faced with starvation and caught in conflict, thousands of Somalis are fleeing their country and heading for Kenya. They have traveled through harsh conditions with little food or water, and no humanitarian assistance. Many head across the border to northern Kenya into Dadaab refugee camp expecting help. But drought has hit almost every country in the Horn of Africa. Somalis have been fleeing from war for years now, but this is a different kind of exodus. The refugees are forced to leave their land because they risk dying of starvation at home. Nazanine Moshiri reports from Dobley, Somalia”.


No.7 The New Land Rush.

The United Nations estimates the world population will reach 9 billion by 2050.

With an estimated 861 million “food-insecure” people in 2011 (ref: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) a new land rush is occurring as nations scramble to secure food supplies and land to grow bio-energy crops for cheaper fuel.

“Slash and burn” practices are devastating forests in some areas at frightening speeds leading to a loss of biodiversity, land degradation and loss of ecosystems.

All that on top of the up to 5 million hectares of productive land lost annually through land degradation and soil erosion (ref: UNEP 2011).



No.8 Risks from New Technologies.

Uploaded by UFOTV

studios on Oct 26, 2010.

“In the last thirty years global demand for food has doubled. In a race to feed the planet, scientists have discovered how to manipulate DNA, the blueprint of life, and produce what they claim are stronger, more disease-resistant crops.

However, fears that Genetically Modified Food may not be safe for humans or the environment has sparked violent protest. Are we participating in a dangerous global nutritional experiment?

This informative film helps the viewer decide if the production of genetically modified food is a panacea for world hunger or a global poison”.


Published on Jul 23, 2012 by TheBigPictureRT…
“Jeffrey Smith, Executive Director-Institute for Responsible Technology, leading spokesperson on the health dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), author of the books “Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating” and “Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods”.

No.9 Conservation of Bio-Diversity.

“Biodiversity also plays an important role in a whole range of other ecosystem services, such as the production of food, the control of disease, flood regulation, coastal protection, crop pollination, and recreational benefits”…. United Nations Environment Progamme 2011.

Currently protected areas (with varying degrees of protection) only cover around 14% of Earth’s land area, and only about 6% of the seas and oceans.



No.10 Connecting Science & Policy.

Policy makers need to have a high level of confidence in the science presented to them before acting on decisions that may be costly and unpopular with some sections of the community.

Politicians, government officials, and many of the general public are more likely to act out of self interest rather than worry about major environmental issues affecting their planet. Much easier to let future generations worry about the problem… something they most certainly won’t thank us for.

Politicians are more focused on getting re-elected at the end of their term rather than difficult long term ecological or environmental issues.

And unfortunately, too many people aren’t ready to face such unpalatable issues unless they themselves are affected. Too many prefer to go about their daily business with the attitude that the plain speaking Australians describe as… “bugger you Jack, I’m alright!”




The burning issue


The burning issue

Paper Recycling Facts


Paper Recycling Facts

Bullet To produce each week’s Sunday newspapers, 500,000 trees must be cut down.
Bullet Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
Bullet If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!
Bullet If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.
Bullet If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you’d get about 700 of them. A busy supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags! Imagine how many supermarkets there are just in the United States!!!
Bullet The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 trees per year!
Bullet The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
Bullet Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.
Bullet Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person.
Bullet The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.
Bullet In 1993, U.S. paper recovery saved more than 90,000,000 cubic yards of landfill space.
Bullet Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!
Bullet The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Bullet The construction costs of a paper mill designed to use waste paper is 50 to 80% less than the cost of a mill using new pulp.


Helping a Domestic Violence Victim


Helping a Domestic Violence Victim

by Focus Ministries
  • Listen to her story and validate her feelings. Even if you know her husband and can’t believe he would do what she is telling you, keep an open mind and give her an opportunity to tell her story.
  • Be aware that she may not see herself as an “abused woman.” Let her know that abuse of any kind is wrong, and name the behavior for what it is without verbally attacking the abuser.
  • Acknowledge her bravery and courage in breaking the silence and seeking help. Realize that she may feel like she is betraying her husband by talking about the abuse. Help her understand she has done the right thing for the whole family to seek help.
  • Assess her level of safety by asking questions about what is currently going on and what abuse has taken place in the past. Ask her to describe her husband’s behavior in various scenarios.
  • Be supportive, but do not tell her what to do. Give her options that will help her make decisions for herself. If she decides to go to a shelter, call a crisis hotline, or make other arrangements to leave, give her the phone number and let her make the call herself. This allows her to be responsible for her own decisions. Exception: In a crisis when she is in danger, take action to help her get to safety.
  • Keep your conversation confidential, and DO NOT contact the abuser to tell him you have been talking to his wife (unless she gives you permission to do so). If he contacts you, DO NOT divulge any information, especially if she has been taken to a safe location. You could endanger her life!
  • Never advise a woman to return home to work things out with her abuser if she has been physically battered or if her life has been threatened. You will place her in greater harm!
  • If the victim chooses to return home against your advice, make sure she knows how to contact you if she needs help. Find out when it would be okay for you to call and find out how she is doing. Don’t try to force her into making a decision she is not ready to make.
  • Realize that you have only heard a part of the story. Don’t minimize the seriousness of the situation just because the victim appears to be strong and brave, or because you can’t believe her husband would act that way. Ask questions and be an attentive listener as the story unfolds.
  • Don’t spend much time deciding who provoked whom. When you see dynamics of fear and control at work in the marriage, it is the abusive behavior that must be confronted.
  • Never counsel the abuser and victim together. It puts the victim in more danger and gives the abuser more power. Most victims will not feel free to talk about what is really going on in the home if the abuser is sitting next to her. He will try to control the conversation and intimidate the victim with words or a look that lets her know she should keep her mouth shut if she knows what’s good for her.
  • Marriage counseling does not work in domestic violence situations.
  • Anger management classes do not work in domestic violence situations. The abuser may learn how to divert his anger from physical abuse to verbal or emotional abuse, but unless his opinions about women and feelings of entitlement are changed, he will repeat his behavior.
  • If the abuser is a member of your church and wants to meet with you, do so in a location where he will not come into contact with his wife.
  • Do not expect him to admit being abusive. He may suggest his wife is mentally unstable and demonstrate a false concern about her mental health. He will minimize his behavior or blame his actions on his wife’s behavior.
  • Refer the victim and abuser to professionals who are experienced with domestic violence issues. Don’t try to deal with the problem alone.
  • Don’t fall for the abuser’s claim that he has changed, even if he does admit being abusive. He may claim a conversion experience, and even if it is real, he should still be held accountable for his actions. An apology, tears, promises, or a religious experience does not eliminate the need for maintaining safety until the change can be verified by time and professional counselors.
  • Do not encourage reconciliation too soon. In the case of physical abuse, safety is the priority. If the abuser has truly changed and wants to do whatever is necessary to restore the marriage, he will be willing to wait as long as it takes to prove himself and rebuild trust.

Ask Questions!

  • When the two of you argue or have a very bad fight, what happens?
  • Do you ever feel frightened of him?
  • Are you free to speak freely to him? What happens when you express an opinion that is different from his?
  • Does he ever throw things or punch holes with his fist?
  • How does he speak to you when he is angry or frustrated?
  • Does he pressure you to have sex when you don’t want to?
  • How does he react when you want to go out with friends or family?
  • Has he ever slapped or pushed you, hit you or threatened you?
  • Have you told anyone?

A woman is in imminent danger if . . .

  • He has threatened her life. Take it seriously!
  • He has weapons in the house or has recently bought a gun.
  • He has locked her in the house.
  • He has killed or injured her pet.
  • She sustained multiple injuries each time he battered her in the past.
  • She has threatened to leave, and he has threatened to hurt or kill himself, the children, and her if she leaves.
  • He talks about dreams involving murder (either hers or his).

Wrong Things To Say To A Battered Woman:

  • What did you do to provoke him?
  • Pray harder—prayer changes things.
  • Go home and cook your husband his favorite meal, put on your best dress, and give him a little more attention.
  • You must do whatever you can to hold your marriage together, even if it means suffering for Jesus.
  • The Bible says your husband is the head of your household. If you submit to him and become more obedient, he will not resort to violence.
  • Your children need a father, so it is up to you to keep the family together

Statements of Affirmation To The Victim:

  • You are not alone.
  • Abuse is wrong. It is not your fault.
  • You did not deserve being hit.
  • You are not responsible for his behavior.
  • You have a right to see your family.
  • No one deserves to be talked to that way.
  • Your first responsibility is to protect yourself and your children.
  • God does not condone abuse. He wants you to be safe.
  • God will not abandon you regardless of your choices.

Statements to Confront the Abuser:

  • I am here to support you, but I want you to know that I think it is wrong to hit or hurt another person.
  • I will not desert you, but I will not excuse your behavior either.
  • As long as you choose to be violent, I will not provide joint counseling. We cannot discuss relationship issues until you stop being violent.
  • By not stopping the abuse, you may go to jail or lose your family. If you want to stop the abuse, you must join a group treatment program where you will learn to value your wife’s freedom and worth as a person more than your need to control.
Originally appeared on http://www.focusministries1.org. Copyright © 2004 Focus Ministries, Inc. Used with permission.

World War I


World War I



Though color photography was around prior to 1903, the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, patented the process in 1903 and developed the first color film in 1907.  The French army was the primary source of color photos during the course of World War One.