A Letter to Jimmy Wales – Point one (Extract)

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Amnesty International – Urgent action: Raif faces another 950 lashes.

Raif BadawiRaif Badawi was publicly flogged, receiving 50 lashes after Friday prayers on 9 January. Raif was escorted from a bus and placed in the middle of the crowd, guarded by eight or nine officers in front of the al-Jafali mosque in Jeddah. He was handcuffed and shackled but his face was not covered – everyone could see his face. Read More

A letter from Israel after the terror attack at Jerusalem Synagogue

Bill_Clinton,_Yitzhak_Rabin,_Yasser_Arafat_at_the_White_House_1993-09-13

Forward: Canadian-born Janice Weizman has lived in Israel for the past 30 years. She is the author of The Wayward Moon, a historical novel set in the 9th century Middle East, which came out in 2012 with Yotzeret Publishing. The novel won both a gold medal in the Independent Publisher awards, and a second gold medal in the Midwest Book Awards. Her writing has appeared in Lilith, Jewish Fiction, The Jerusalem Report, and other publications. She is the founder and managing editor of The Ilanot Review, an online literary journal affiliated with Bar-Ilan university. After my first interview to Janice – the occasion was the awarding of Literature Nobel Prize 2013 to Canadian writer Alice Munro – we kept in touch and we hear from each other from time to time. Here below I am publishing my last email-exchange with her, following the dramatic attack of yesterday on Jerusalems’ Synagogue, a dreadful blast in which 4 rabbis have lost their lives “Aryeh Kopinsky, 43 years old, Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68 years old, Calman Levine, 55 years old , and Moshe Twersky, 59 years old.
Rina Brundu, in Dublin, 19th November 2014

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The Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to Stephen King: WHEN?

I do not believe there would be any science at all without intuition.

(Rita Levi Montalcini, 1902-2012, 1986 Nobel Prize in Phisiology or Medicine) Read More

Does Castro’s Cuba still exist? An interview with writer Gordiano Lupi

by Rina Brundu. Gordiano Lupi, Italian writer and publisher, has been for several years the Italian translator of the Spanish language blog Generation Y, a blog owned by a Cuban dissident of Castro politics, Yoani Sanchez. Following their recent artistic break up – I have asked Gordiano a few questions about the actual motives that led their friendship to such an unhappy end as well as about the political status quo of modern Cuba. Read More

The Dead Cities of Syria

by Nancy Penrose. They are living in the Dead Cities of Syria. In Serjilla, amid the abandoned ruins of ancient Roman villas, refugees now shelter from war. I saw this in a news video, recognized the place where, a few years ago, I took a happy tourist stroll.

The reporter crouches beside a wall of stone as shells explode above him. Below, in rooms where animals once lived, families huddle. The camera pans the faces of children. Their eyes stare with naked blankness. A woman squats beside a fire: “What am I, a terrorist? What’s my little child, a terrorist?” she asks through the translator. The camera finds another woman as she thumbs away tears. Read More

My father Giovannino: an exclusive interview with Mr Alberto Guareschi

by Rina Brundu. There are no more than two statements which we can regard as true: 1) we are all doomed to die, 2) Italy has never been the birthplace of great writers. But while the first has been disproved (even if it took three days before resurrection and it has been costing us almost 2000 years of tithes to be paid to the “family”!), the latter lives on unchallenged and as true as ever. This is because in Italy the title of Great Writer MUST be DESERVED. Bluntly said, it is not enough for a literary author – in order to be crowned as such – to have been one who has successfully created a few immortal characters, who has managed to model a language, who has given a substantial hand in helping his/her nations’ cultural growth, who has succeeded in transforming his/her most inspired moments into some sort of shared experience with million of readers; on the contrary, it is a STRICT requirement that he/she also befriends the “right” people, that he/she gets the approval of the intellectual caste, that he/she grows fond of pseudo-artistic snobberies and that he/she grows a taste…  for butt-kissing.   Read More