Makan, who died on Thursday, was also a well known Gujarati leader in South Africa and spent his entire life in the service of the community in various capacities, including serving as chairman of the Hindu Seva Samaj of the old Transvaal province and on a number of religious, cultural and educational bodies of the community.He also played an instrumental role in attempts to revive the Tolstoy Farm, once a thriving commune near Johannesburg, started by Gandhi during his stay in the city.
If poetry was the literary form of the First World War, it was fiction that best expressed the reality of the Second. My next door neighbour for many years, Colonel Peter Peyman, was a veteran of Dunkirk. As a young subaltern he d fought in the rearguard and had been lucky to be evacuated. After his death his widow bequeathed me his small library of books on Dunkirk, all works of reputable military history. They are thick with marginalia: Rubbish , Never happened , Wrong I was there and so forth. One can read a sentence like, The 3rd battalion advanced under an artillery barrage and suffered many casualties and, while acknowledging that the 3rd Battalion must have indeed advanced, have no sense of what it was to undergo the actual experience of being part of that fatal manoeuvre. In writing about war and warfare, the subjective view always wins over the objective when it comes to answering the fundamental question: What Was It Really Like? And this is where the novel comes into its own. As if in response to this demand the Imperial War Museum has begun publishing a series of forgotten novels about the Second World War under the rubric of Imperial War Museum Classics (IWM). The criteria are fairly strict: the novels must have been written by people who directly experienced those aspects of the war they narrate and the books themselves must have literary merit . The first four titles were published last year and now we have numbers five and six: Fred Majdalany s Patrol (published in 1953) and Peter Elstob s Warriors for the Working Day (1960). Each novel, in its own way, makes for singular and compelling reading, and not just because of the authenticity of the experiences related. Fred Majdalany s short novel is set in the North African desert in 1943, after the Allied invasion of Operation Torch. As the title suggests it is the account of one particular patrol undertaken by a handful of men led by an officer called Major Tim Sheldon with the objective of scouting out one small strongpoint in the German lines. In fact the ordering and assembling of the patrol and the patrol itself bookend a long flashback where Sheldon remembers his convalescence in Algiers after sustaining an earlier wound. He visits a brothel. He becomes obsessed with one of his nurses and they have a brief affair before he returns to the front. Majdalany himself served in the Lancashire Fusiliers in North Africa and Italy and like all the IWM novels Patrol reeks with the details, textures and felt life of unrivalled autobiographical information. However, what sets his novel apart is the way he gives the context of this tiny local engagement its full import in the great scheme of the war. One can see how the individual soldier is the unwitting agent of a complexity of military decision making stretching further and further away, back to distant generals at a distant HQ. In this instance the mission of this particular patrol is arrived at almost by happenstance. Some sort of patrolling activity is mooted by a brigadier to keep the men on their toes. A place name on a map catches an adjutant s eye; he lazily suggests it as an objective for no specific strategic reason. Army wheels are set in motion and, on one particular night, Tim Sheldon and six soldiers creep out into the darkness of the African desert to meet their fate. This is how Majdalany sees the process, cast in a powerful metaphor: To have a spear point you had to have a spear, though at times it did seem to take an awful lot of shaft to support very little point; but that was a prejudiced notion usually confined to those who chanced to be attached to the point rather than the shaft. The tone of this passage is typical and it also applies to Elstob s novel, as well as the other four IWM Classics published in 2019. Together these novels produce a remarkable harmony of voice: a world weary cynicism and resigned stoicism. None relies on any kind of martial heroism or the language of that trope to make its point. War is deeply boring and uncomfortable, and intermittently utterly terrifying. You can hate your fellow soldiers as easily as like them. The officers commanding you may well be arrogant fools and idiots. You feel no great antagonism towards the enemy and a baleful eye is cast on those back home . The battlefield in Peter Elstob s Warriors for the Working Day is Normandy after the 1944 invasion. His alter ego is a young tank commander called Michael Brook. The Sherman tank that Brook commands has a crew of five and the novel is intimate with the relationships between the competing personalities on board. There is plenty of banter and the graveyard humour of men confined in a tiny shared space is underscored by the knowledge that the Sherman was outgunned and under armoured in comparison to the German tanks it was fighting. In his excellent introduction Alan Jeffreys reminds us that Shermans, susceptible to catching fire when hit, were nicknamed Ronsons after the advertising slogan used to pro mote Ronson cigarette lighters lighters that lit first time, every time . Beneath the coarse camaraderie is the knowledge that, when in action, the tank crew was in near permanent, acute, potentially fatal danger. It added a very dark edge to their wisecracks. Warriors for the Working Day is an exceptionally gripping account of what it must have been like to be a member of a tank crew as it fought its way through Normandy and across France towards the German frontier. It is a more conventional novel than Patrol, however. For all its pace and vivid colour Elstob has a tendency to reach for a clich rather too often and, like many novels of its era, relies on a kind of cor blimey demotic to convey character that hasn t aged well: They was windy that s what they was windy. They seen a few Jerry tanks and they said Oo la la we ve ad it and they scarpered orf ome. But the overall sensibility of Warriors is very similar to Patrol. Terms such as heroism, pluck, fighting spirit, derring do and the other indulgent euphemisms meant to spur on men at war are in short supply. Men do behave heroically but with little forethought, more as a matter of instinct and survival than with a view of anything legendary and glorious. Postwar, both Majdalany and Elstob had successful careers as writers. In addition to Patrol, Majdalany wrote a fine novel about the battle of Monte Cassino called The Monastery as well as writing military histories and working as a journalist for the Daily Mail. Elstob also wrote well received works of military history, but his progress after the war was altogether more rackety and unconventional. As an entrepreneur he and a partner made a fortune from a beauty product they invented called Yeast Pac. He was also a successful balloonist he almost made a transatlantic crossing in 1958 and for many years he was a stalwart vice president of the writers organisation English PEN. However, Warriors is his magnum opus, just as Patrol is for Fred Majdalany. But Patrol, I would argue, is more than just a grittily authentic voice from the front line; more than just a clear eyed, unromantic record of lived wartime experience. Majdalany is evidently aware of the many literary resources available to a novelist and his exploration of the mind of Tim Sheldon often verges on very cleverly handled, impressionistic stream of consciousness a stylistic choice not often found in war novels. Moreover, the book is shaped with deliberate knowingness, its structure carefully and cleverly coming full circle, allowing it to be ranked alongside that other great book about the North African campaign, Keith Douglas s remarkable memoir Alamein to Zem Zem (1946). One of the consequences of this Imperial War Museum series is that it permits us to see how the novel came to be the dominant literary form of the Second World War an intriguing contrast to the First World War, where poetry more or less reigned unchallenged as the way the imagination might engage with the conflict. Poetry was written by combatants between 1939 and 1945, but compared to the mass of excellent novels that were produced about the war it seems almost a pastime rather than a vocation. Perhaps this is to do with the fact that serious poetry after the First World War had become modern and difficult and therefore appealed to an intellectual minority, while the novel was democratic and flourishing. Also, the soldiers of the Second World War were better educated and better read throughout the ranks than their equivalents in 1914 18. Novel writing was not an elite pursuit. Confronted by the astonishing subject matter that they were living through, soldiers, sailors and aviators decided that the novel was the best medium to try to make sense of what they were experiencing the madness of a world at war as this superb series will no doubt continue to demonstrate. William Boyd s new novel, Trio , will be published in October this year Patrol By Fred MajdalanyImperial War Museum Classics, 192pp, 8.99 Warriors for the Working Day By Peter ElstobImperial War Museum Classics, 320pp, 8.99 Subscribe 1 per month This article appears in the 15 May 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Land of confusion
The African country of Sudan is winning an old battle for its women: against female genital mutilation (FGM). On April 22, 2020, the country;s transitional government passed a law criminalising the practice with a prison term of up to three years and a fine.Though the law is still to be approved by Sundan ''s sovereign council, UNICEF has already welcomed the decision and vowed to support it. The law, considered a huge victory of female rights in the country, is another step for Sudan from a dictatorial to a democratic form of government.
We definitely didn t have a standard family car while I was growing up. It was a miniscule Honda Acty camper van that my dad, who s a vet, had converted into an animal ambulance. I have two sisters, so there were three children, two golden retrievers and an African grey parrot to carry around. We all sat in the back around the operating table and played Monopoly. It was noisy and there were often bits of different animals splattered around in it or oxygen bottles on the floor, but it was great we d go on trips to France and travel down to Sussex at weekends. It even had a green flashing light on the top.
Pan African digital service provider inq. Holdings announced the conclusion of the 100% acquisition of Vodacom Business Africa s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d Ivoire with a further planned acquisition in Cameroon pending regulatory approvals. Pan African digital service provider inq. Holdings announced the conclusion of the 100% acquisition of Vodacom Business Africa s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d Ivoire with a further planned acquisition in Cameroon pending regulatory approvals.
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Off screen their lives ran a gambit from accusations of murder, learning to speak Hindustani, and helping invent a torpedo jamming system that laid the foundation for developing Bluetooth and other technologies. Elisabeth Bergner (1897 1986) Elisabeth Bergner. (United States Library of Congress;s Prints and Photographs division via JTA) The Austrian actress Elisabeth Bergner was nominated for a best actress Oscar in 1935 and even may have helped create the titular character in the film All About Eve. Bergner was one of Germany s most renowned theater and film actresses, known for her androgynous, pants wearing roles (something pretty unheard of at the time). After moving to London, she helped fellow actors escape Nazi Germany. During a screening of her movie The Rise of Catherine the Great in Berlin, Nazis staged a riot as part of their larger campaign to ban Jewish art. Bergner and her husband, director Paul Czinner, soon fled to the US, where she starred with Laurence Olivier in As You Like It (1936). She returned to Europe after the war, acting in the 1973 film Der Fu g nger ( The Pedestrian ), which was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe. A Berlin city park was named for Bergner. Libby Holman (1904 1971) Libby Holman. (Confetta Flickr via JTA) As an openly bisexual American actress who was charged with murdering her husband (inspiring three films), Libby Holman led a controversial life. Even though it was ruled a suicide, the death of Holman s husband, Zachary Smith Reynolds, tarnished her reputation and coverage of the incident was marred by anti Semitism. She was also the youngest woman to graduate from the University of Cincinnati and went against social standards by playing shows with African American musicians. Holman befriended Martin Luther King Jr. and helped pay for his 1959 trip to India to study the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. In addition to her involvement in the civil rights movement and taking part in the experimental film Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947), Holman is largely remembered as a stage actress. She has been credited as well for popularizing the strapless dress, which was her signature look. Ruby Myers (1907 1983) Ruby Myers. (Bollywoodirect Medium via JTA) Ruby Myers, who went by the stage name Sulochana, was an Indian actress of Middle Eastern origin who defied the social norms of her era by starring in early Hindi silent films. During the late 1700s, Jews from Iraq, Syria, and other parts of the Ottoman Empire came to India, establishing the Baghdadi Jewish community. Some of the first women to act in Indian movies came from this Jewish Diaspora.Myers, who was working as a telephone operator when she was discovered, was hesitant to pursue acting. But she went on to star in films including Typist Girl (1926) and Wildcat of Bombay (1927), in which she played eight characters. When talkies took over, she learned Hindustani.
;With Alfred Bauer, it is probably the case that certain voices raised (his Nazi links) at the time, but it was swept under the carpet and is only coming out again now,; IfZ director Andreas Wirsching told AFP. Whitewashing While the festival wrestles with its own history, a number of films on the program set out to challenge dominant narratives about the past. In ;Speer Goes To Hollywood,; which premiered in Berlin this week, Israeli director Vanessa Lapa documents the efforts of Nazi architect Albert Speer to whitewash his image after the war. The highest ranking Nazi not to be sentenced to death at the Nuremberg trials, Speer;s memoirs later became a best selling book and never made Hollywood film project. Using conversations between Speer and producer Andrew Birkin, Lapa subtly exposes the absurdity of the architect;s reputation as the ;Good Nazi.; ;Speer is a good example of how long an accepted Nazi perpetrator could tell his own story as if he and those in his milieu didn;t have so much to do with it,; IfZ director Wirsching told AFP. Whitewashing the past is also an issue in Brazil, according to director Marco Dutra, whose film ;All the Dead Ones; is up for the Golden Bear in Berlin. Brazil;s far right president Jair Bolsonaro has claimed racism is ;rare; in the country and recently appointed Sergio Camargo as head of the institute for Afro Brazilian culture #8212; a man who has said slavery was ;beneficial; to those of African descent.Dutra takes the opposite view with "All the Dead Ones, " which is set in late 19th century Sao Paulo, a decade on from the abolition of slavery.
Merck (NYSE:MRK) announced on Friday that four African countries had approved the use of the company''s Ebola vaccine, Ervebo. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, Zambia, and Burundi have all agreed to license the Ebola vaccine, with additional countries expected to approve the vaccine, as well, in the coming months.
Merck amp; Co MSD has won approval for its Ebola vaccine Ervebo in four African countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), one of the countries worst affected by the disease. Merck became the first drug developer to win approval for an Ebola vaccine last year, from both the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.
Swane van Wyk, 21, was performing her daily duties inside the lion enclosure in Zwartkloof Private Game Reserve near Bela Bela in Limpopo province when she was attacked by the big cats, according to SA People.Her screams alerted other staff members. She escaped the cage but was found collapsed by its gate with deep bite and claw wounds, the news outlet added.
The world is well into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and yet education systems have not kept pace. Young people are often not learning the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century and interact with their changing world, such as digital literacy, problem solving, and critical thinking. Despite widespread recognition of the importance of these skills for the future in education policies, very few education systems have adapted to this reality. On the African continent, where 60 percent of the population is under age 25, the teaching of 21st century skills will be necessary for Africa to transform itself into a continent of growth and opportunity. If young people do not learn how to use and create with technology, they are sure to fall further behind. Rebecca Winthrop Co director Center for Universal Education Senior Fellow Global Economy and Development Twitter @rebeccawinthrop Lauren Ziegler Project Director, Leapfrogging in Education Brookings Institution Twitter LaurenR Ziegler How can Africa harness the power of technology when only 24 percent of Africans have access to the internet? Despite gains in internet access over the last several years, the region lags behind the rest of world in internet usage. A Pew survey of six African countries finds that internet usage is high among youth, which is good news for schools as it will help them teach 21st century skills; however, the study also finds that internet users tend to be male and have higher incomes and more education, meaning that more needs to be done to ensure all young people, no matter their gender or socioeconomic status, develop skills that enable their future success.
The Cook County Complete Count Census Commission has approved grants to 69 organizations that will support the County in reaching hard to count (HTC) populations during the upcoming 2020 Census. These local municipalities and community based organizations (CBOs) will focus on community based education, outreach and assistance efforts for HTC communities. Over $1.5 million in funding has been allotted to organizations across all 17 districts in amounts ranging from $2,300 to $25,000. The grant funding process has prioritized an equitable allocation of funds amongst all HTC communities, with the first round of funding targeting African American, Latinx, Asian, Arabic, Native American, immigrants, children aged 0 - 5 years old, disabled
"Each year at COP we are told that the window of opportunity could close soon. The window of opportunity is closing now. My message is this. We need your decisions. We need your leadership. We are out of time." Warnings don t get clearer than this. Executive secretary Patricia Espinosa was referring to the apparent inability of member nations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to come to an agreement.The Conference of the Parties (COP) was set up as the supreme decision making body of the UNFCCC to review, evaluate and implement the convention and other legal and administrative arrangements. Basically, measures to tackle the climate crisis can t be implemented without it. At the summit in Madrid which ended on 13 December, the main order of business covered a range of subjects, from tackling the practicalities of climate finance, including carbon markets, to the transfer of technology and issues of loss and damages. Developing countries, especially African nations and small island states that are already battling climate change outcomes, have also been pushing for adaptation to be made the central point of negotiations.
DESPITE THE ideas of Julia Monk and her colleagues on the frequency and normality of same sex mating behaviour among animals (see article), some species do work hard to attract the opposite sex. That is why birdsong fills the air during the spring and summer breeding season. What has proved vexing to ornithologists is understanding why birds that migrate to warmer climes in winter often carry on singing even though there is no breeding to be done and no need to defend a territory. But a study just published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology by Abel Souriau of Charles University in Prague and Nicole Geberzahn of the University of Paris, Nanterre, casts light on the matter. Mr Souriau and Dr Geberzahn suggest that winter is a period of practice for the summer performance to come.Thrush nightingales are close kin to the common nightingale familiar in western Europe, but have a more easterly summer range. Males are innovative songsters, frequently plagiarising phrases from rivals and integrating them into their own tunes. They are also among the birds that carry on singing after they have migrated to Africa for the winter. So Mr Souriau and Dr Geberzahn decided to study the nature of their African songs.
The world knows late Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw as the man who, as the chief of the Indian army in the 1971 Indo Pakistan War following the Bangladesh Liberation War, made great contributions to the creation of Bangladesh. Sam also fought on the Burma front as a Captain of the 12th Frontier Force and was seriously wounded fighting the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. But the world is unaware that another Manekshaw Lt Jamshed Manekshaw (Jimmy) was also defending the Indian territory against the Japanese invasion in the Dohazari region of the Chittagong front during World War II. While Sam survived the bullet wounds, Jamshed died in action in Dohazari and he became an unsung martyr. Lt Jamshed Manekshaw died on May 14, 1944.Lt Jamshed belonged to Bulsar in Gujarat state of undivided India and he worked in Kabul in Afghanistan before he joined the Indian army as a commissioned officer. He was sent to fight against the Japanese Imperial forces in the northeast part of India and in the Chittagong s areas. These areas which were then part of the erstwhile East Bengal are now part of Bangladesh. A large number of Indians, British, Australian and Africans died in action fighting here. Based on their religion the last rites of these brave soldiers were performed in the various war cemeteries built by the British army in the region. They were designated military cemeteries where the martyrs were laid to rest with full military honours. Lt Jamshed Manekshaw belonged to the Parsi community in India; the Parsis are Zoroastrians who fled from Iran to settle down in India. The Parsis who settled down in Gujarat after escaping from Iran facing persecution later spread to various parts of India and excelled in business. They contributed to the economy of undivided India and a few families had businesses in Dhaka and Chittagong too. There was one businessman, Mr Merdhora, who lived in Chittagong then and the British took his help in performing the last rites of Lt Jamshed.
Arnold Vosloo is an actor with both South African citizenship and American citizenship. For a lot of people, he will be most familiar to them because of his role as Imhotep in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. However, Vosloo has played a wide range of characters in a wide range of other projects as well. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Arnold Vosloo:Vosloo was born in Pretoria, which is one of South Africa ''s three capital cities. For those who are curious, Pretoria is the administrative capital while Cape Town and Bloemfontein are the legislative and judicial capitals respectively. Sometimes, it is called the Jacaranda City because of the widespread presence of a sub tropical tree that bears beautiful, long lasting flowers that come in an incredible indigo hue.
WASP 62b is a giant gas, similar to Jupiter, and is so big that it could contain about 1,000 planet Earths. It orbits its star, WASP 62, every 4.4 days. The system is more than 570 light years away from us, and astronomers discovered it in 2012 using the SuperWASP telescope at the South African Astronomical Observatory ''s Sutherland site.SuperWASP, which stands for Wide Angle Search for Planets, is a consortium that operates two telescopes, one in South Africa and one in the Canary Islands.The ”Name an Exoplanet ” initiative has shortlisted four names for Wasp 62b and another four for its star, along with motivations for their suggestions.