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Posts Tagged ‘europe’

Creating a Third Choice

Sihem HabchiIt all started with a nation wide march across 23 cities, in 2002- in response to an epidemic of violent crimes against young Muslim women that were perpetrated by Muslim male gangs in the infamous Parisian suburbs called Cites- low cost housing projects.(Pronounced See-tay).
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Colours of Compassion

The greatest lesson I’ve learnt on this journey is to never again doubt the ability of a single inspired person to change the world. Meeting Jos Ruijs reinforced my faith further. Jos is a dreamer and a doer and runs an organisation called Colour4kids. They work on projects all over the world, simply adding a little colour to the lives of underprivileged children.
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The Hero In Everyone

I’ve been on the move for a half a year and the past week has been the slowest I’ve spent in all that time. It took an immense effort to keep my foul mood and despair in check. I hadn’t just been robbed of my bag; I had been robbed of my freedom to move. So what does one do with time to spare in Paris- with no form of ID and almost no money?
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Penniless in Paris

paris
I love Paris. Even when someone steals my bag. True story. My second morning in Paris- it was cold, grey and raining. I didn’t care. I was in a great mood; I was alive in the moment- blissfully aware that I was in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, nearing the end of 6 months of traveling across three continents solo. Drifting only to consider who out of all the amazing people in this city of lights would I meet next.
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Passive Houses, Proactive People: Hansen’s story

Meinhard HansenHe has a glimmer in his eyes and the enthusiasm of a young child. “I like working with my hands”, he says and holds up his right hand with two missing fingers. Before becoming the leading authority on ‘Passive Houses’ in Europe, Meinhard Hansen used to be a carpenter. His missing digits are proof of the occupational hazard, but that’s not what turned him to a career in architecture.
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When the Greenie Sees Red

Zsolt SzegfalviA few weeks ago- Hungary faced its most daunting ecological disaster till date. A reservoir at an aluminum refinery ruptured, sending a wave of toxic sludge across three counties, and into the Danube River.
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A Home For Gypsies: Gabrile’s Story

In the middle of prosperous cosmopolitan Europe I saw beggars whose destitution was shocking. I was warned by several locals to not give them any money and to watch my belongings when I was around them. It was the same story from Dublin to Berlin to Warsaw and now in Prague in the Czech Republic. They are the Romas and Gypsies- Europe’s dirty little secret.
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A question of choice: Wanda’s story

As I arrive in Poland, the temperature is one degree and dropping. I feel I’m turning blue and I could swear my backpack was several kilos lighter in the morning. The thirty-minute walk to my hostel feels never ending.
I trek up the winding staircase and I’m greeted by three beautiful smiling faces at the reception — one grabs my backpack, another girl takes my coat and the third offers to bring me a cup of tea.
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Finding My Blind Faith

Fintan O DonnellIreland is a beautiful country. I would never tire of gazing at the lush green landscape. Dotted with castles with tall tales of giants and leprechauns. The Irish are quick to a laugh, often going out of their way to lend a helping hand and yes, they do love their Guinness. While in Dublin, I was part of a free-walking tour with a lovely Irish tour guide. She took us to hidden gems you’d never find on a map and told us stories about Irish history that us gasp.
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High-tech Hitchhiking: Sean’s Story

Live in New Delhi? Work in Gurgaon? Live in Vasai and work in Nariman Point? You’re probably spending upwards of ten hours a week driving to work and back. You’re most likely alone in the car. As are thousands of others lined bonnet to bumper on the jammed roads.
The faces of your co-commuters reflecting the despair and angst you feel yourself. The odd road rage incident aside, most seem to have resigned to their fate. That’s the way things are, you see.

If folks like Sean O’Sullivan have their way, things can and will change for the better.
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