Author Archives

Amtul Q Farhat

A Retired Asst Professor of Pediatrics currently working in Canada.

If These Walls Could Speak

In Muntok, Bangka-Belitung, there is an old colonial-style building with an Indonesian flag waving out front. Set in a modest neighborhood, the building is clean, reasonably well-maintained, but quite unremarkable. Inside, you’ll find a few framed photos of Sukarno, the country’s first president. Those photos are the only indication of […]

Is this the Asian century?

Last month, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released a report in its annual meeting held in Vietnam entitled “Asia 2050 — realising the Asian century.” In a breath-taking sweep of economic trends and visions it describes two possible scenarios — first an “Asian century,” which is expected, and the other […]

Seculars: Religious education intolerant

Ynet-Yesodot survey reveals state religious schools praised for moral education but perceived as segregating themselves from Israeli public The state religious education is perceived as segregating itself from the Israeli public, although it “teaches tolerance towards fellowmen,” a Ynet-Yesodot survey reveals. The survey was conducted by the Panels research institute […]

I’m not going home today

As a Palestinian who lives in the Old City of Jerusalem, I must admit, I am so glad I’m not going home today. Instead of making my usual journey back to Jerusalem via the miserable Qalandiya checkpoint, I will be staying on this side of the wall. Today, of all […]

One in four Tel Aviv couples divorces

Statistics show one in four Tel Aviv couples divorces, and 20 percent of the city’s families are single-parent households, a rate considerably higher than the national average. The Tel Aviv municipality is giving serious consideration to a proposal meant to facilitate divorces in the city. According to the Central Bureau […]

Indonesia’s Democracy

Readers of last Friday’s edition of The Australian may have been struck by the juxtaposition between an opinion piece by Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, in which he described Indonesia’s democracy as going ‘from strength to strength’, and the headline on the very next page: ‘SBY urged to back UN on […]

Banning Jewish practices

Two traditions that have been mainstays of Judaism are under attack in different parts of the world these days for the same reason: people who feel morally superior have decided that circumcision and Jewish dietary requirements for animal slaughter are cruel and inhumane. As a political progressive, as a member […]