SW Daily

  • The Plight of Children in Burma
    The Plight of Children in Burma

    Burma’s children are in danger. Across the country, the government has forced its people to move to new areas as they confiscate land, inciting ethnic violence, and squash opposition. These relocations threaten the health, security, education, and environment of Burmese children.


  • A Classroom After Nargis
    Education in Burma

    While researching my article on the Burmese refugee community in Pittsburgh, I heard time and again that the refugees struggle with adapting to the American education system. They are used to a pedagogy based almost entirely on rote memorization. This is to ensure that the students won’t develop the kind of critical thinking skills that would enable to them to criticize the government or organize opposition. The government also strictly controls what information is available to students, leading to a skewed perspective on history and politics.


  • A Flawed Election Day
    A Flawed Election Day

    In 1990, a parliamentary government was fairly elected by the Burmese people with Aung San Suu Kyi at its head. Burma’s military junta ignored the election and placed Suu Kyi under house arrest. Since then, the military and its generals have ruled Burma with little regard for the freedoms its people deserve.

    This flawed election day will be the first held in Burma in the last 20 years, but under the nation’s constitution and electoral laws there seems to be little hope for change.


  • Khet Mar
    Immigration and Oppression: Readings with Amnesty International and American Shorts

    City of Asylum/Pittsburgh writer-in-residence Khet Mar will be reading on Tuesday at the Shadow Lounge at an event sponsored by COA/P, Pittsburgh Human Rights Network, and Amnesty International.

    She will speak on the deplorable state of human rights in Burma and the repression of journalists. After the reading Khet Mar will take questions from the audience and there will be a film screening and an opportunity to participate in an Amnesty International letter writing campaign.


  • Map of a Shooting Gallery Protestors of March 1988
    Map of a Shooting Gallery: Protestors of March 1988

    In explaining the horrors he experienced in Burma, words are not always enough for Than What. He witness the violence of the 8888 Uprising during which Burmese officials gunned down students who had gathered to protest the economic policies of the government. After witnessing the death of friends and classmates, Than What made fifty photocopies of a publication telling the history of the student protest movement and help distribute the unofficial newspaper. In 2002, he was forced to flee Burma because of his political involvement and currently lives in Pittsburgh.


  • Gade Tsering’s New Poem from High Peaks Pure Earth

    Gade Tsering, a Tibetan blogger, writer, and poet, was one of the most recent contributors to High Peaks Pure Earth because of his outspoken voice in all his writings. He runs a widely popular Chinese language blog called Tibet, or After the Last Sky. Tsering aims to spread awareness about issues going on throughout the Tibetan region through his poetry


  • Soheil-Najm-Translates-Iraqi-Poetry
    Soheil Najm Translates Iraqi Poetry

    For the Iraqi translator and poet Soheil Najm, poetry offers an opportunity to start a conversation across cultural barriers. Najm is the co-editor of Flowers of Flame: Unheard Voices of Iraq, an anthology of Iraqi poets in translation. He has also translated selections of work by Nikos Kazantzakis, Alasdair Gray, Ted Hughes, and Jose Saramago. Soheil Najm presents Ra’ad Zamil’s poem, offering a glimpse into the struggles of a generation of Iraqis who have survived Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and are trying to make a life in Iraqi’s nascent democracy.