Domingo, 25 de diciembre de 2011

It is oddly poetic that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il’s death fell in the days leading up to Christmas, one of the most family-centered times of the year. While the abuses under Kim and his father’s regime have been mainly directed at their own people, the far-reaching consequences have touched many more, even my own family in the U.S.

Speculations abound about what Kim’s death portends for international relations. Only a few voices, however, are heard of the millions who have suffered most directly from the dictatorships of the Dear and Eternal Leaders. It is no secret that North Korea routinely violates human rights.…  Seguir leyendo »

I had traveled a lot in the Middle East, but never before to Beirut, the «Paris of the Orient.» I went just before Christmas last year, to interview a famous, beautiful woman, and I had a half-day to see the sights.

Out on the Corniche, beyond the ruined art deco beachfront high-rises — lodging rats now, not VIPs — you can rent a bike. No one seemed to have a map, but the mid-December sun was warm and it seemed a shame not to pedal along the seashore on my free afternoon.

Seeking the bike shop, I encountered two boys on a bench by the sea.…  Seguir leyendo »