Sunday, April 24, 2011


Jane Aronson: The Guardian Angel

Women of the year 2009

She is a Woman of the Year because: “She has a heart the size of Texas and a drive like Tiger Woods, and she has made a huge difference to countless children and their families.”

Hugh Jackman, actor and longtime supporter of Worldwide Orphans Foundation

November 3, 2009

............“What got to me most was the smell,” says pediatrician Jane Aronson of her years touring overseas orphanages in the nineties, “that terrible odor of filth and illness and neglect.”

Once home, she couldn’t shake the sights she’d seen: famished, sore-covered babies in Romania; glassy-eyed AIDS-doomed kids in Vietnam. “I couldn’t take it anymore,” says Aronson. “There was no way I was going to continue practicing medicine without helping the kids left behind.”

Her solution: Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO), which she started in 1997.  “A lot of people give lip service to wanting to make the world better for children. She actually does it.” ...........

“Too many orphans? Actually, there are probably far more than 133 million, anyway. The question is: How do we, in a thoughtful way, organize ourselves to be able to work collaboratively to create models - 'tool kits' - to make orphan care culturally appropriate and replicable?" Jane's goal - through therapy, education, and enrichment - is "to transform orphaned children into our world's future Thought Leaders."

She is a recipient of the Congressional Angel of Adoption Award in September 2000.

As a child advocate, Jane has decided to become more public in her thoughtfulness, producing policy papers on orphans, their care and future. "President Obama rose from grassroots advocacy," she noted. "The old-fashioned way is efficient and can be modernized with Web 2.0 applications. The field of child advocacy needs to be modernized."

    Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs are as important to Head Start and No Child Left Behind as to orphanages in Ethiopia, Bulgaria, and Viet Vietnam. Early intervention is key, says Jane. "To hire 'grannies' - retired school teachers and child care professionals - to come into our orphanages, helps to increase developmental skills, to move our kids from 'outcast' into general society."  She is the adoptive mom of two sweet  boys, Ben, from Viet Nam and Desalegn, from Ethiopia

Since 1997, she has conducted research and provided education in orphanages abroad through her 501(3) (c) foundation, Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO). WWO documents the medical and developmental conditions of children living in orphanages abroad in order to identify their immediate health care needs and to advocate for their well-being through the Orphan Ranger Program.

This program acts as a “peace corps” for orphanages by commissioning university students and health care professionals to live and work in orphanages. They are proficient in the native tongue and work in conjunction with staff to improve the nutritional and emotional health of abandoned children.

Since 1997, Dr. Aronson has funded Orphan Rangers in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, India, Ecuador, Viet Nam, China, Serbia, Montenegro, and Ethiopia. WWO has been granted NGO status in Viet Nam and Ethiopia and has embarked on training programs for physicians in both countries to care for HIV-infected orphans.WWO currently treats orphans with HIV/AIDS in both countries.

Since July 2000, Dr. Aronson has been in private practice as Director of International Pediatric Health Services, in New York City. She is Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and had evaluated well over 4,000 children adopted from abroad as an adoption medicine specialist; she has travelled to orphanages in Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, China, Vietnam, Ethiopia, and Latin America.  

People Magazine October 26, 2005  

One thing Angelina Jolie has realized since becoming a mom to Maddox, 4, and Zahara, 9 months is that she wants to adopt again.

At the gala event, which Jolie attended with brother James Haven (beau Brad Pitt was in Winnipeg filming), the actress announced she is partnering with Dr. Jane Aronson, the foundation's founder, to build a pediatric AIDS center in Ethiopia, where Zahara was born.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Heroic, Female and Muslim - HAWA ABDI - Women of the year

Heroic, Female and Muslim
HAWA ABDI - Women of the Year
i am woman

Hawa was born in Mogadishu in 1947. With her mother dying in childbirth when she was 12, Hawa's father supported her to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. At 17, she won a scholarship to study gynecological medicine in Kiev, Ukraine, during the 1960s. 

After completing her studies, Dr. Abdi returned to Somalia in 1983 to open her own clinic in the outskirts of Mogadishu between Mogadishu and Afgoye. She focused on the treatment of women from non-urban areas, soon the practice drew clients from all over the country, and even abroad.

The article below will give you a brief insight of her contributions towards the plights welfare of the women in her country - submitted by a reader commenting on the sad case of Aisha Ibrahim.

Heroic, Female and Muslim

What’s the ugliest side of Islam? Maybe it’s the Somali Muslim militias that engage in atrocities like the execution of a 13-year-old girl named Aisha Ibrahim. Three men raped Aisha, and when she reported the crime she was charged with illicit sex, half-buried in the ground before a crowd of 1,000 and then stoned to death.

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.

That’s the extremist side of Islam that drives Islamophobia in the United States, including Congressional hearings on American Muslims that House Republicans are planning for next year.

But there’s another side of Islam as well, represented by an extraordinary Somali Muslim woman named Dr. Hawa Abdi who has confronted the armed militias. Amazingly, she forced them to back down — and even submit a written apology. Glamour magazine, which named Dr. Hawa a Women of the year got it exactly right when it called her “equal parts Mother Teresa and Rambo.”

Dr. Hawa, a 63-year-old ob-gyn who earned a law degree on the side, is visiting the United States to raise money for her health work back home. A member of Somalia’s elite, she founded a one-room clinic in 1983, but then the Somalian government collapsed, famine struck, and aid groups fled. So today Dr. Hawa is running a 400-bed hospital.

Over the years, the hospital became the core of something even grander. Thousands and thousands of people displaced by civil war came to shelter on Dr. Hawa’s 1,300 acres of farmland around the hospital. Today her home and hospital have been overtaken by a vast camp that she says numbers about 90,000 displaced people.

Dr. Hawa supplies these 90,000 people with drinking water and struggles to find ways to feed them. She worries that handouts breed dependency (and in any case, United Nations agencies can’t safely reach her now to distribute food), so she is training formerly nomadic herding families to farm and even to fish in the sea.

She’s also pushing education. An American freelance journalist, Eliza Griswold, visited Dr. Hawa’s encampment in 2007 and 2008 and was stunned that an unarmed woman had managed to create a secure, functioning oasis surrounded by a chaotic land of hunger and warlords. 

Ms. Griswold helped Dr. Hawa start a school for 850 children, mostly girls. It’s only a tiny fraction of the children in the camp, but it’s a start. (Ms. Griswold also wrote movingly about Dr. Hawa in her book “The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam.”)

In addition, Dr. Hawa runs literacy and health classes for women, as well as programs to discourage female genital mutilation. And she operates a tiny jail — for men who beat their wives.

“We are trying an experiment,” she told me. “We women in Somalia are trying to be leaders in our community.”
So Dr. Hawa had her hands full already — and then in May a hard-line militia, Hizb al-Islam, or Party of Islam, decided that a woman shouldn’t run anything substantial

The militia ordered her to hand over operations, and she refused — and pointedly added: “I may be a woman, but I’m a doctor. What have you done for society?”

The Party of Islam then attacked with 750 soldiers and seized the hospital. The world’s Somalis reacted with outrage, and the militia backed down and ordered Dr. Hawa to run the hospital, but under its direction.

She refused. For a week there were daily negotiations, but Dr. Hawa refused to budge. She demanded that the militia not only withdraw entirely but also submit a written apology.

"I was begging her, ‘Just give in,’ ” recalled Deqo Mohamed, her daughter, a doctor in Atlanta who spoke regularly to her mother by telephone. “She was saying, ‘No! I will die with dignity.’ ”

It didn’t come to that. The Party of Islam tired of being denounced by Somalis at home and around the world, so it slinked off and handed over an apology — but also left behind a wrecked hospital. The operating theater still isn’t functional, and that’s why Dr. Hawa is here, appealing for money (especially from ethnic Somalis). She has worked out an arrangement with Vital Voices, a group that helps to empower female leaders, to channel tax-deductible contributions to her hospital.

What a woman! And what a Muslim! It’s because of people like her that sweeping denunciations of Islam, or the “Muslim hearings” planned in Congress, rile me — and seem profoundly misguided.

The greatest religious battles are often not between faiths, but within faiths. The widest gulfs are often not those that divide one religion from the next, but those between extremists and progressives within a single faith. And in this religious season, there’s something that we can all learn from the courage, compassion and tolerance of Dr. Hawa Abdi.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The famous bust of Nefertiti

 The famous bust of Nefertiti

The bust of Nefertiti has become "one of the most admired, and most copied, images from ancient Egypt", and the star exhibit used to market Berlin's museums.

It is described as the most famous bust of ancient art, comparable only to the mask of Tutankhamun. Nefertiti has become an icon of Berlin's culture. Some 500,000 visitors see Nefertiti every year. The bust is described as "the best-known work of art from ancient Egypt, arguably from all antiquity.

It is seen as an "icon of international beauty. Showing a woman with a long neck, elegantly arched brows, high cheekbones, a slender nose and an enigmatic smile played about red lips, the bust has established Nefertiti as one of the most beautiful faces of antiquity. 

After Cleopatra she is the second most famous "Queen" of Ancient Egypt in the Western imagination and influenced through photographs that changed standards of feminine beauty of the 20th century, and is often referred to as "the most beautiful woman in the world”. The famous bust of Nefertiti survives the centuries to prove the queen's magnificent beauty.

Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile - is a 1961 Italian Sword-and-sandal historical drama written and directed by Fernando Cherchio and produced for MAX Film by Ottavio Poggi. The film stars Jeanne Crain, Edmund Purdom, and Vincent Price.

Her face is on postcards of Berlin and 1989 German postage stamps.

In 1999, Nefertiti appeared on an election poster for the green political party Bündis 90/Die Grünen as a promise for cosmopolitan and multi-cultural environment with the slogan "Strong Women for Berlin!"

Egypt is officially requesting the return of the famous 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti, which has been in Berlin for decades. It tops Egypt's wish list of artifacts the country hopes to bring back as part of a campaign to retrieve thousands of antiquities spirited out during the colonial period and afterward.

References :
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. More…



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