Dr Amjad Mohamed-Saleem

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So we are 20 years from that infamous day 9/11 when lives were turned upside down all over the world. The reverberations across the world over the last two decades are simply too enormous to recount, and the tragic pictures coming out of Afghanistan in the last few weeks a testimony that 20 years on, not much has changed. The world is not any more safer than it was 20 years ago, in fact it is perhaps more unsafe. Identities are more polarised as the “us vs them” has become more institutionalised. Much is to be discussed there on how…

Xxx has been feeling a little frustrated. Normally every year, she and her family head out to Europe from Sri Lanka for the summer vacation. However due to covid 19 lockdowns she was unable to travel in 2020. 2021 was also looking like a washout until things seemed to open up with the vaccinations in Sri Lanka and In Europe. It seems vaccinated people will be let into some parts of Europe with minial quarantine needed. When the vaccination process started in Sri Lanka in about May, xxx was able to use her family contacts with government ministers and be…

Image from the Daily Sabah (https://www.dailysabah.com/world/mid-east/saudi-arabia-sets-covid-19-vaccination-as-requirement-for-2021-hajj)

The 20th of July 2021, for most Muslims will be the celebration of the Feast (or Eid ul Adha) symbolizing the culmination of the pilgrimage by Muslims to Mecca (the Hajj is one of the five fundamental pillars of Islam). These few days of light and love characterise prayer, reflection, symbolize meditation, a return to the Creator and prayers for peace, for happiness, for justice.

anti racism message

The Hajj serves as a symbol of unity in diversity as Malcolm X wrote

“…we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood…. I have never…

Keeping the Dream Alive

Last year, I wrote about needing to dare to dream in remembrance of Martin Luther King (MLK) in the midst of isolationism and racism. Reading back on that piece, I am struck that this was written pre pandemic lockdown, pre George Floyd, pre Washington DC attacks. So one year on, standing as we do on an annual basis to remember and rededicate our struggle for justice, equality and equity, what would MLK make of today’s environment.

We have seen the best and worst of humanity over the last year. We have seen the inequities brought about…

Sunset on Indian Ocean (amjad saleem 2008)

So there it is, we come to the end of 2020. To say that it has been a memorable year is perhaps an understatement. It is certainly one for the history books and once in a life time, where the globalisation of fragility was completely experienced and understood. For the first time in a long time, we globally collectively felt that connection, with some one else in the other part of the world. That connection of not being able to move out freely and having to physically distance. We truly felt that connection, when we heard stories of people dealing…

I had a conversation with a friend from Sri Lanka recently. Both of us being from the Muslim minority community we were reflecting on the current state of things with regards the cremation of COVID-19 burials enforced by the Sri Lankan government despite no substantiated technical or scientific evidence, going against all of international guidance from the World Health Organisation and the International Committee of the Red Cross. He told me of the heartbreaking discussion he had with his family just in case of his untimely death. In the event if there was any suspicion that he had died from…

Image taken from Initiatives of Change International

A couple of friends asked me to reflect from a peace building perspective what should the new US administration be looking at in the immediate aftermath of the elections. Ironically this is something one would be doing in a country going through post conflict rebuilding. I never thought it would be as applicable in the US and other similar contexts as it is in post conflict contexts. …

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

8 months since the world went into an unprecedented lock down on normalcy. Working from home amidst kids and partners and other life priorities has put an additional hurdle for people to overcome. The pandemic fatigue is very real, trying to keep a sense of normalcy, optimism and hope amidst abnormal circumstances. This fatigue is exhausting especially if you are in a period of leadership, in your family, with friends or with co workers. The pressure on managers and leaders during this time is intense, to deal with your own personal difficulties, but to provide hope to others.

This fatigue…

Photo from Yahoo India

Mention Non- Violence and you get mixed reactions. There are those who reflect on the legacies of Mahatma Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jr whilst there are those who mistakenly perceive non violence as something fluffy or weak. In the current global narratives, it is attributed to being passive. There needs to be a de-bunking of the concept of non-violence. It is important to start from an understanding of violence.

There needs to be a de-bunking of the concept of non-violence

Violence is a global catastrophe and one of today’s greatest humanitarian challenges. Violence is a health, social, justice, legal…

This year’s International Youth Day is historic. For the first time, it will be commemorated largely virtually as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to stricter physical distancing. It is also the first one this century where the world collectively is at a crossroads for the future and where the world collectively has to take a step forward. Whilst International Youth Day is often used as a stepping stone to reaffirm commitments towards engaging young people, it would be remiss not to use this opportunity to understand and reimagine what a post pandemic youth engagement can and should look like.

COVID-19…

Dr Amjad Mohamed-Saleem

is an analyst writing on decolonisation,peacebuilding,humanitarian,interfaith,Islam, Sri Lanka & other issues of interest. Have a PhD on ethno politics

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