Jan 31, 2011
Jan 30, 2011
The protest started in Tunisia, then: Libya, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Albania, Lebanon and Egypt. You can find more detailed information in the article “A region in upheaval”. The world is now concentrated, for the geopolitical and strategic importance, on Egypt. One thing is sure, for the first time in decades the theme at stake is not religion, terrorism or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some interpret the protest as “Yearning for Respect, Arabs Find a Voice”. Internet (Facebook and Twitter in particular) are playing a key role in spreading the voice and articulating the protest. Some commentators describe the chain of upheavals as “Tunisian's Domino Effect”, some other call it the “North Africa 1989”. The unspoken rule “Better a loyal dictator (who serves my interests) than an unstable (not so easy controllable) democracy” is trembling.
Jan 29, 2011
Jan 17, 2011
This is the only occasion I have to share a treasure with all of you. I have many thoughtful autobiographical essays written by my students over the years. And, of course, I keep them all for myself, enshrined. Danielle, who was enrolled in my class Identity and Culture: A Narrative Approach, in the Research Master in Social Sciences (University of Helsinki) published the autobiographical essay in her blog. At the end of the story she writes: “I would like to add a special thanks to Professor Pierluca Birindelli. It was his assignment to write this autobiographical essay. Thank you, it was better than therapy”. There are many important themes she faces with her beautiful English: self-identity, achievement, cultural differences, etc. I’ve talked and wrote her back, but this is going to remain between the two of us. Let me just say: thank you Danielle! And here you can find her autobiographical essay: Surviving Finland: Confessions of an Underachiever.
What’s the top news in Italy this week? The economical crisis? The unemployment rate (30% among young people)? The ongoing Tunisia revolution (30 minutes fly from Sicily)? No. Everybody is, again, talking about Berlusconi. And, again, is a sex scandal. Our prime minister is facing an investigation in a prostitution case involving an under-age nightclub dancer. You can read about this in the New York Times Global Edition. In November Berlusconi denied doing anything improper during one of his parties at his house, and defended himself saying: “It’s better to like beautiful girls than to be gay”.