Ahmed-bhai, his two girls and their forty camels

Made in Kachchh —

It is the sunny season in Kachchh and the air is dry as ever. In the middle of the dryland somewhere in Western Kachchh, there lies a big pond where camels, we are told, stop for their mid-day drink. It is here that we wait for Ahmed-bhai to arrive with his herd of camels, and to my amusement, his two little girls!
Ahmed-bhai is a “maldhari”, a herder who breeds and looks after camels. A nomadic lifestyle keeps him and his family constantly on the move both within and outside of Kachchh. His family belongs to the Jat community whose forefathers are believed to have fled from Haleb in Baluchistan about 500 years ago. Following a feud with the King, the Jats sold all their other animals and replaced them with camels to prepare for their long journey traversing Sindh to eventually settle in Kachchh.
Mainland Kachchh has always lacked…

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Mutti Merkel

The Slog

askangelaAsk Angela – Europe’s most prolific agony Aunt

An occasional series in which the good Frau Doktor allays the fears of the Ünterleute

Dear Angela

Can you give me any tips please on how I can grow some balance sheets on my allotment here in Sverdlosk? Vladimir.

Well Vladimir, there’s nothing like a lot of oil on your food to make things taste better, and turn you into a lardarse. What I tend to do with my balance sheets is plant them as deeply as possible in the soil so that they only ever surface after a long time. Then I cook them vigorously to make them vaguely palateable.

Dear Angela

Do you think Europe is headed for a double-dip recession? Chrissie x

Chrissie, I sincerely hope not, as I never ever start a meal without a double portion of dips. Luckily, I still have custody of my 1968 Moskva…

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All Eyes Soon to Turn to Egypt

Beyond the Cusp

The Arab Spring’s tide of change hit a breakwater in Syria and has been on hold awaiting the resolution of the Syrian Civil War before continuing to wash across the Middle East after sweeping across North Africa. The world placed their attentions initially on Tunisia which experienced change so rapidly that many missed and only caught up when change then came to Egypt. In Egypt it took slightly longer to extract change which also required some external pressures of which the most pronounced was the support from President Obama in the White House went from hot to cold in supporting Mubarak. President Obama finally chose to support change, demand that Mubarak step down and warmed to the Muslim Brotherhood who promised they had no interest in taking power in Egypt. When that promise proved to be less than totally truthful President Obama and those in his Administration showed little concern…

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Why the world loves Palestinians


Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, described the special situation of Palestinian refugees on the recent World Refugee Day:

Unlike other refugees, the Palestinians have their own set of rules, their own funding and even their own international agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency or UNRWA. To paraphrase George Orwell, all refugees are equal, but some refugees are more equal than others.

In 2012, the United Nations spent six times more on every Palestinian refugee as compared to all other refugees. Like a favored child, the Palestinians have been on the UN’s permanent payroll for over 60 years and are entitled to every service from healthcare to housing and from food rations to education. When it comes to refugees from Syria or Somalia, responsibility falls to the host country to provide basic assistance.

While UNHCR’s approach teaches independence, UNRWA’s approach prepares the Palestinians to be lifelong dependents…

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