Ukraine’s Fight is for Self-Determination

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Darwin Nunez Goes from Adversity to Glory

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Rafael Grossi: The Argentine Director-General of IAEA

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Editorial June 24 will mark four months since Russia’s unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine began. In the cover story, Maia Otarashvili wrote that a negotiated settlement looks like a faraway concept for the onlookers who are concerned not only by the war itself, but also its extreme regional and global ripple effects. The Russia-Ukraine war took a new turn in early April as the evidence of Russian war crimes started to mount. Moscow began to pull its troops out of the Kyiv oblast after suffering continuous defeats and deciding to refocus its war efforts on eastern and south-eastern Ukraine. But as the Russian troops retreated, they left behind devastated towns and villages. Images of Russian war crimes from the town of Bucha were particularly disturbing. Civilians had been tortured and murdered, buried in mass graves, or just left in the street in front of their homes. In the economy section, Mohamed Ali Salih writes about the soaring inflation rates in the US. Recently, many editorials of leading American newspapers criticized President Joe Biden for his repeated claims that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was the main cause for the staggering inflation that has hit the US for the first time since the 1970’s. Biden has been personal by putting the burden on Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him names like “criminal”. In the movie review section, Salma Adham writes about Costa Brava, Lebanon which is about the griefs of a place no longer like what it used to be and about the existential and inner struggle to resist. The story takes the audience on a very complicated journey to find out what this struggle will lead the protagonists of the story. Costa Brava depicts the life of the Badri family, who moved to live in the mountains to escape the polluted air and other political problems in Beirut. Amidst the tensions the family is experiencing because of being isolated, a garbage dump is suddenly set up in front of their house. In the sports section, Sara Gamal writes about Darwin Nunez who was the talk of the world recently due to the high level of interest from English Premier League clubs before the Reds were able to secure his signature. Like many South American stars, the Reds› new striker endured great adversity before reaching the pinnacle of glory by donning the Liverpool shirt. Read these articles and more on our website eng.majalla.com. As always, we welcome and value our readers’ feedback and we invite you to take the opportunity to leave your comments on our website.

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A Weekly Political News Magazine


A Weekly Political News Magazine

20 A World of Power and Fear

Issue 1909- June- 17/06/2022

30 Inflation’s Cause: Putin or Biden

26 Is There Room in ‘New Kazakhstan’ For New Political Parties?

48 Naïve Art Looms at Wissa Center

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Brava, Lebanon’: Homelands 46 ‘Costa Deserve Us to Resist 5

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Why Apps Are Turning People on to Therapy

58 What to Do When Your Kids

Confront You About Your Health


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Britain Royals Britain’s Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive for the Order of the Garter service at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Monday, June 13, 2022. The Order of the Garter is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain, established by King Edward III nearly 700 years ago. /AP

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Dubai Strawberry Supermoon The Super Moon called the ‹Strawberry Supermoon› rises in the sky of the Gulf emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 14 June 2022. The Super moon is expecting to appear again on 13 July and 12 August 2022. EPA

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UAE and I Them on T

By Suzann

LEBANON

EGYPT An Egyptian court Saturday sentenced a man to die for the April stabbing death of a Coptic Christian priest in an attack that shocked the Arab world’s most populous nation. Nehru Tawfiq, 60, was convicted in Alexandria criminal court of murder for killing 56-year-old priest Arsanious Wadid and illegal possession of a knife. His lawyers had argued that the killing was not deliberate. Tawfiq can appeal the verdict. Wadid was killed at a popular seaside promenade in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in April.

U.S. energy envoy Amos Hochstein arrived in Beirut on Monday for talks with Lebanese officials on a maritime border dispute with Israel over the development of a gas field. Lebanon invited Hochstein to Beirut after objecting to the arrival of a vessel operated by London-based Energean (ENOG.L) off the coast on June 5 to develop a gas field known as Karish. Israel says Karish is part of its exclusive economic zone, but Lebanon says the field is in contested waters and should not be developed until the two countries conclude their indirect talks to delineate their maritime borders. Those talks fizzled out last year after Lebanon pushed its claim in the disputed zone from a boundary known as "Line 23" further south to "Line 29," adding around 1,400 square km (540 square miles) to its claim, including part of Karish.

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Israeli offic Jerusalem Emirates a bilateral tr Lior Haiat, the Abraha people of t “represent from dwel Haiat adde lives of ma of Israelis h now more countries, The senior about how years ago state- and signatory c recently by between Is year. This new a bilaterally covers a w UAE Emira Thani Al Ze build on th one of the emerging


PALESTINE

Israel Aim to Leave the Past Behind Trade

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cials have said relations between and Gulf states such as the United Arab are “moving away from the past” as rade continues to benefit all sides. , Israel’s foreign ministry spokesman, said am Accords are a turning point for the the region and that their signing ted a determined decision to move away lling on the past and moving forward”. ed that the agreement had “touched the any citizens”, with hundreds of thousands having already visited the UAE. There are e than a dozen flights daily between the he said. r Israeli official is not the first to talk w the Abraham Accords - signed two - are creating opportunities at both individual-level in the respective countries, a point underscored most y the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed srael and the UAE at the end of May this

IRAQ Hussam al-Aqouli remembers the exact spot along with southern Iraq’s Lake Sawa where his two daughters once dipped their feet into clear waters. Now he stands there two years on and the barren earth cracks beneath him. This year, for the first time in its centuries-long history, the lake dried up. A combination of mismanagement by local investors, government neglect, and climate change has ground down its azure shores to chunks of salt. Lake Sawa is only the latest casualty in this broad country-wide struggle with water shortages that experts say are induced by climate change, including record low rainfall and back-to-back drought.

IRAN

agreement exempts about 95 percent of traded goods from customs duties and wide variety of sectors. ates Minister of State for Foreign Trade eyoudi said: “This milestone deal will he historic Abraham Accords and cement e world’s most important and promising trading relationships.”

Iran and Venezuela, oil producers grappling with crippling U.S. sanctions, signed a 20-year cooperation plan in Tehran, with the Islamic Republic's supreme leader saying the allies would continue to resist pressure from Washington. The signing ceremony, carried by Iranian state TV, was overseen by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro and took place at the Saadabad Palace in north Tehran. The plan includes cooperation in the fields of oil, petrochemicals, defense, agriculture, tourism, and culture. It also includes the repair of Venezuelan refineries and the export of technical and engineering services.

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A WEEK ACROS MEXICO.

U.S. President Joe Biden told the largest federation of labor unions on Tuesday that he’s working to rebuild the U.S. economy around workers, an attempt to draw a contrast with Republicans who have increasingly attracted blue-collar votes. “We should encourage unions,” Biden said. “I’m not just saying that to be pro-union. I’m saying it because I’m pro-American.” The speech before the AFL-CIO convention in Philadelphia was the president’s attempt to reset the terms of the debate on the economy.

Mexico’s president slammed NATO’s policy on the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Monday, calling it “immoral.” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s did not mention NATO or the United States by name, but his comments were the latest example of his party’s ambiguous stance on the invasion. Mexico has voted to condemn the invasion, but refused to join in sanctions on Russia. López Obrador said Monday that the allies’ policy was equivalent to saying “I’ll supply the weapons, and you supply the dead. It is immoral.” “How easy it is to say, ’Here, I’ll send you this much money for weapons,” Lopez Obrador said. “Couldn’t the war in Ukraine have been avoided? Of course it could.”

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,

TUNISIA.

The leader of Tunisia's powerful UG union said on Thursday it was bein "targeted" by authorities after it refused to participate in talks on a new constitution called by Preside Kais Saied last month. UGTT leader Noureddine Taboubi gave no details but sources close t the union said there were fears tha Saied would use the judiciary to ta the union after he sacked dozens o judges last week in a move seen as aimed at consolidating his one-ma rule.


SS THE WORLD

GTT ng

UKRAINE. CHINA.

Russian forces cut off all routes for evacuating citizens from the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk by destroying the last bridge linking it to a Ukrainian held city on the other side of the river, a Ukrainian official said. Russian troops were "trying to gain a foothold in the central part of the city", the Ukrainian military said on Tuesday in its daily roundup of the conflict in various parts of the country. "The situation in Sievierodonetsk is extremely aggravated - the Russians are destroying high-rise buildings and Azot," Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the Luhansk region, said in a post on Telegram.

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INDIA. The leader of India's main opposition party, Sonia Gandhi, has been admitted to hospital in New Delhi with health issues related to COVID-19, her Congress party said. The party tweeted the announcement but gave no other details.

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stressed American support for Taiwan on Saturday, suggesting at Asia’s premier defense forum that recent Chinese military activity around the self-governing island threatens to change the status quo. Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Austin noted a “steady increase in provocative and destabilizing military activity near Taiwan,” including almost daily military flights near the island by the People’s Republic of China. “Our policy hasn’t changed, but unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be true for the PRC,” he said.


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Ukraine’s Fight is for Self-Determination Four Months Pass Since Russia’s War

By Maia Otarashvili

June 24 will mark four months since Russia’s unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine began. The war rages on without an end in sight. Both sides have new objectives now, to which they are staunchly committed. At least for now, a negotiated settlement looks like a faraway concept for the onlookers who are concerned not only by the war itself, but also its extreme regional and global ripple effects.

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The Russia-Ukraine war took a new turn in early April as the evidence of Russian war crimes started to mount. Moscow began to pull its troops out of the Kyiv oblast after suffering continuous defeats and deciding to refocus its war efforts on eastern and southeastern Ukraine. But as the Russian troops retreated, they left behind devastated towns and villages. Images of Russian war crimes from the town of Bucha were particularly disturbing. Civilians had been tortured and murdered, buried in mass graves, or just left in the street in front of their homes. The Bucha killings turned out to be that turning point, more than a month into the war, that would halt the ongoing settlement negotiations in Ankara, Turkey, and force the West to double down on its military support for Ukraine.

FILE - A Donetsk People’s Republic militia’s multiple rocket launcher fires from its position not far from Panteleimonivka, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People’s Republic, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, May 2022 ,28. Day after day, Russia is pounding the Donbas region of Ukraine with relentless artillery and air raids, making slow but steady progress to seize the industrial heartland of its neighbor. With the conflict now in its fourth month, it’s a high-stakes campaign that could dictate the course of the entire war. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov, file)

In early May President Joe Biden signed into law the «Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022.» The act allows the United States to provide Ukraine with billions of dollars in military aid, very quickly. The law received unanimous, bipartisan support from Congress, which is a rarity in the United States nowadays. It also marked an important shift in U.S. foreign policy towards Russia and Ukraine. “As Russia continues its illegal attack on Ukraine, resulting in the death of thousands of civilians, we must do everything we can to support the Ukrainian military and help Ukrainian society fight back,” said one senior lawmaker, Senator Tillis. “Authorization of a Lend-Lease agreement will allow the United States to provide additional equipment and resources to defend innocent civilians and show Putin the United States will not back down from this unprovoked invasion.” When the U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin announced the lend-lease act, he said «We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can›t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.» These words ultimately marked the beginning of a new

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The Russia-Ukraine war took a new turn in early April as the evidence of Russian war crimes started to mount. kind of war in Ukraine – a war of attrition. This is a grim, expensive, and deadly way to seek an end to a conflict. But after years of sticking to the politics of extreme appeasement with Russia, the West has finally learned that when it comes to fighting with Russia the rules are very primitive: whoever runs out of resources first, loses. Since January 2021, the United States has invested more than 5.3$ billion in security assistance to Ukraine. This includes more than 4.6$ billion since Russia launched the brutal war against Ukraine on February 24. This week the United States announced that it would provide Ukraine with an additional 1$ billion in military aid this summer. And it’s not just the United States who has stepped up its military support for Ukraine. All NATO allies remain staunchly supportive, even Germany pledging its military support (although still dragging its feet at the moment). This week representatives from more than 50 nations pledged to get more military capabilities into the hands of Ukrainian forces battling Russian invaders – a commitment announced by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III during his visit to Brussels this week. In contrast to the 5.3$ billion and counting spent by the United States on Ukraine military aid in the past four months, since 2014, in the eight years leading-up to the war, the United States provided around 7.3$ billion in security assistance to Ukraine. These were funds for training and equipment to help Ukraine preserve its territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve


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interoperability with NATO. These numbers tell a story of a long-reluctant United States to confront Russia for its aggression against other countries. Although Moscow annexed Crimea and started a war in Donbas back in 2014, as it essentially got away with mere slap on the wrist through sanctions. The United States has been famously reluctant to sell arms to Ukraine and only began to do so, on a smaller scale, during President Trump’s last year of presidency. Even at the outset of the February 2022 invasion one could hear conversations

We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.

in Washington, rather frequently, how important it was not to punish Russia so much that it would destabilize or collapse the country. It seemed that the West was supporting Ukraine, the obvious victim of Russia, but only to a certain extent as it prioritized Russia’s stability over the Ukrainian lives. The Bucha killings, and the overall unavoidable hard facts about Russia’s war crimes changed that longstanding policy of American appeasement towards Russia. The overwhelming Western support for Ukraine is not just based on political decisions, but also evidence of what has become a rarity in the West – democracy in action. There is continued, popular, overwhelming demand from citizens of the NATO member countries, and not only, to help Ukraine defend itself and its people. The US-Ukraine lend-lease terms and the overall volume of military aid currently pouring into Ukraine make some of the

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FILE - A Ukrainian serviceman patrols a village near the frontline in the Donetsk oblast region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, June 2022 ,2. Day after day, Russia is pounding the Donbas region of Ukraine with relentless artillery and air raids, making slow but steady progress to seize the industrial heartland of its neighbor. With the conflict now in its fourth month, it’s a high-stakes campaign that could dictate the course of the entire war. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, file)


FILE - In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center right, takes a selfie with servicemen close to front line in Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday, June 2022 ,5. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

observers ask whether or not this has become a proxy-war between Russia and NATO. But to ask this question is to perpetuate Moscow’s propaganda about this war since before it ever began. As Putin explained, Ukraine was becoming “highly militarized” by the West, the government unable to make its own decisions, and Moscow aimed to “demilitarize” Ukraine through this invasion. Meanwhile the real picture was very different; NATO remained reluctant to offer membership to Ukraine, and as mentioned above, the United States kept refusing to sell arms to Ukraine although Russia was waging a deadly war in Donbas since 2014.

to grade schools to universities have been damaged, including 180 completely ruined. Other infrastructure losses include 300 cars and 50 rail bridges, 500 factories and about 500 damaged hospitals, according to Ukrainian officials. There have been at least 296 attacks on hospitals, ambulances, and medical workers. According to President Zelensky, 60 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers are dying in combat every day, with about 500 more wounded.

After pulling out of central and western Ukraine, Russia resorted to scorched earth tactics in towns where it retained military During the first 100 days of the war the advantage. The three-month siege in Mariupol devastation in numbers looks just as at the Azovstal steel factory ended with astonishing as the corresponding images of Russian takeover of the city that technically human suffering. Ukraine›s parliamentary no longer exists. Over 21,000 civilians in commission on human rights has reported Mariupol are dead. Sievierodonetsk, a city in that Russia›s military has destroyed almost the eastern region of Luhansk, has seen over 38,000 residential buildings, nearly 1,900 1,500 casualties, according to the mayor. educational facilities from kindergartens

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According to the latest VOA reporting, Russian officials have said that 1,351 soldiers had been killed and 3,825 wounded. However, Ukraine and Western observers say the real number is much higher: the Ukrainians believe that at least 30,000 Russian servicemen have died, and the British government estimated Russian losses at 15,000. It is also estimated that 40,000 Russian troops have been wounded.

It seemed that the West was supporting Ukraine, the obvious victim of Russia, but only to a certain extent as it prioritized Russia’s stability over the Ukrainian lives.

Moscow’s actions in Ukraine have quickly amounted to a genocide. Putin’s decisions have made it impossible for the international community to look away. It has become impossible to expect the government of Ukraine to engage in settlement negotiations and offer concessions to the aggressor that has raped and murdered Ukraine’s civilians by the hundreds. Calling this a proxy war would dismiss Ukraine’s right to defend itself, and the rest of the world’s effort to simply help Ukraine maintain its independence and territorial integrity. Moscow is fighting hard to change the rules of the current global order and normalize dangerous precedent of one country invading and annexing another in the 21st century. * Maia Otarashvili is a Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the Eurasia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Her research is focused on geopolitics and security of the Black Sea-Caucasus region, Russian foreign policy, and the post-Soviet protracted conflicts.

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Police inspect a crater caused by a Russian rocket attack in Pokrovsk, in eastern Ukraine›s Donetsk region, on Wednesday. Efrem Lukatsky/AP



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A World of Power and Fear

What Critics of Realism Get Wrong By Paul Poast

tain influence in world politics. As such, realism appeared well suited for explaining the imperatives Among the collateral damage of the war in Ukraine and calculations behind the Russian invasion. Inis a school of thought: realism. This intellectual tra- stead, it found itself caught in the crossfire. After dition insists that the pursuit of national interests realist arguments seemed to excuse the Kremlin’s trumps higher ideals, such as the commitment to actions, critics in Europe and North America have open trade, the sanctity of international law, and the variously called prominent individuals associated virtues of democracy. Realists focus on how states, with realism—and realism itself as a doctrine—irparticularly major powers, seek to survive and re- relevant, callous, and even morally reprehensible.

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The political scientist John Mearsheimer drew much of the opprobrium for his claims about the origins of the war in Ukraine. An unabashed advocate of realism, Mearsheimer has insisted that the United States and its allies are at fault for encouraging NATO and EU expansion into what the Kremlin sees as its sphere of influence, thereby threatening Russia and provoking Russian aggression. Criticism of Mearsheimer mounted after the Russian Foreign Ministry itself promoted his ideas in the wake of the invasion. The urgings of another realist, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, exhorting Ukraine to give up territory in order to appease Putin have also led to a barrage of attacks on the tenets of realism.

Ukrainian soldiers in the Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine, April 2022. (Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters)

Realism can be used to explain the foreign policy choices of certain countries or why an event, such as a war, occurred.

own subvariants. For instance, structural realists are divided between a defensive camp (states seek security by preventing the hegemony of any single power) and an offensive camp (states must seek hegemony to achieve security). Some But realism’s critics should not throw out the realists would disavow the label altogether: the baby with the bath water. The invective directed work of the British historian E. H. Carr is clearly at realism misses an important distinction: real- realist in its leanings, but he would never have ism is both an analytical school of thought and identified himself as such. a policy position. The errors of the latter don’t Rather than being a strictly coherent theory, obviate the utility of the former. In explaining realism has always been defined not by what the war in Ukraine, realism, like any theoretical it prescribes but by what it deems impossible. framework, is neither good nor bad. But even It is the school of no hope, the curmudgeon of when its prescriptions can seem unsound, it re- international relations thought. The first work tains value as a prism through which analysts can of modern realist thought and the precursor to understand the motivations and actions of states Mearsheimer’s own work was The European in an inevitably complex world. Anarchy, a short book written by the British political scientist G. Lowes Dickinson in 1916. REALISM AND THEORY It emphasized that states, out of fear, will seek to dominate and, indeed, gain supremacy over From the 1960s to the 1990s, the field of interna- others. During the 1920s and 1930s, realists (altional relations was riven by the so-called para- though not yet referred to as such) pointed to the digm wars. Scholars feuded over the best way futility of arms control and disarmament treaties. to think about—and how to study—international politics. These debates were nuanced, but they In 1942, the American scholar Merze Tate pubessentially boiled down to a clash between those lished The Disarmament Illusion, a book that who held a realist view of international politics argued that states will inevitably seek to retain and those who did not. their arms and whose ideas fit well with the Realism comes in many hues. Some realist ap- claims made by the later realists Hans Morgenproaches emphasize the importance of individual thau and Kenneth Waltz. In the late 1940s and leaders, others stress the role of domestic insti- 1950s, Kissinger and Morgenthau pointed to tutions, and still others focus squarely on the the impracticality of hoping for a single world distribution of power among countries. There is government or even peaceful coexistence among classical realism (human nature compels states to countries. In the 1970s and 1980s, realists were pursue security), structural realism (the lack of a primarily identified (either by others or by themworld government compels states to pursue se- selves) as those who derided the hope that incurity), and neoclassical realism (a combination ternational regimes, such as the United Nations, of internal and external factors compels states to could solve global problems. By the 1990s, realpursue security). These approaches have their ists were criticizing the expectation that interna-

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tional institutions and the spread of democracy would usher in a golden age of global peace and prosperity troubled only by the occasional rogue state. Realism fared quite well compared with an alternative theory that gained prominence in the 1990s and continues to receive attention in policy circles: the notion that geopolitics would become a “clash of civilizations,” as advanced by the American political scientist Samuel Huntington. Like Mearsheimer’s core realist work, Huntington’s thesis was written in the wake of the Cold War, as analysts and scholars sought to anticipate what the end of superpower bipolarity would mean for the world. While Mearsheimer focused on the return of great-power politics, Huntington claimed that it would be cultural, largely religious, differences that would drive the conflicts of the future. Huntington was, in effect, rebutting the work of Mearsheimer. In contrast to the statist emphasis of realism, Huntington’s culture-based theory predicted peaceful relations between Ukraine and Russia, countries that in his view belonged to the same overarching civiliza- countries pursue their own interests. That is the framework that characterizes realist tion. That prediction has not aged well. thought, including the work of Mearsheimer. ReWhat ultimately unifies the branches of realism alism sees international politics as a tragic stage is the view that states bristling with arms are an in which the persistence, if not the prevalence, of inescapable fact of life and that international co- war means that governments must focus on guaroperation is not just difficult but fundamentally anteeing national security, even at the expense of futile. In essence, it is foolish to hope that co- liberties and prosperity. Tate captured this senoperation will provide lasting solutions to the timent well in The Disarmament Illusion: “Disintractable reality of conflict and competition as satisfied powers may not actually want war, may even dread it, and may be quite as unwilling to run the risk of an appeal to arms as the satisfied states; but in spite of this, they will not voluntarily shut off all possibility of obtaining a state of things which will be to them more acceptable than the present.”

Some realist approaches emphasize the importance of individual leaders, others stress the role of domestic institutions, and still others focus squarely on the distribution of power among countries.

REALISM AND POLICY Realism as a theory gains power by highlighting the mechanisms that constrain human agency, be they the innate nature of humans (as emphasized by Morgenthau) or the distribution of global power (the focus of Waltz). To draw an analogy,

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A Ukrainian refugee in Przemysl, Poland, February 2022. (Yara Nardi / Reuters)


Realism can explain why the United States finds itself in a particular geopolitical situation, but it doesn’t offer an obvious answer about how the United States should behave in that situation. claim was subsequently debated by those who, to put it simply, pointed out that the proliferation of nuclear weapons would make the world more dangerous. In making his arguments, Waltz took a descriptive and theoretically informed observation (the likelihood of war decreases as deterrent and defensive capabilities increase), applied this to nuclear weapons (nuclear weapons dramatically improve a country’s deterrent and defensive carealism’s role is to continually point to the grav- pabilities), and then deduced a recommendation ity that undercuts human attempts to fly. Realism for how policymakers should view the spread of can be used to explain the foreign policy choices nuclear weapons: that more should be welcomed, of certain countries or why an event, such as a not feared. war, occurred. As a theory, realism can be very effective in explaining relations among states. It is in this last step that Waltz goes from describBut it becomes something different when it jour- ing international politics (here is why states seek neys from the realm of description to that of pre- nuclear weapons) to prescribing international scription. When brought into policy, realist the- politics (here is why states should seek nuclear ory becomes realpolitik: the position that states weapons). One is a description, the other is a should balance against their adversaries and seek justification. They are both valid intellectual enrelative gains rather than accept supranational terprises, but they should not be confused. A parand institutional constraints on their freedom of ticular understanding of world events does not inevitably lead to a particular policy response. action in international affairs. In this case, the same factors that led Waltz to The distinction between realism as theory and justify the spread of nuclear weapons could have as policy appears in the historical debate over led him to offer the opposite prescription, in that nuclear proliferation. In the early 1980s, Waltz a state’s security goals could be achieved without argued that the spread of nuclear weapons would them (for instance, by sheltering under the nulead to greater peace. He cut against the con- clear umbrella of a major power). Realist theory ventional wisdom that insisted that only limit- helps describe the world, but such prescriptions ing the spread of these weapons would ensure a reflect the interpretations of individuals, not the safer world (the logic behind the creation of the overarching theory itself. Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1970). His Realism as policy also manifests itself in debates over restraint in U.S. foreign policy. Proponents

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of U.S. restraint aim to counter liberal internationalism, the view that the United States must be involved, militarily if necessary, in foreign arenas for the sake of promoting and maintaining a rules-based international order. By contrast, restraint calls for the United States to reduce its global footprint and avoid getting involved in issues that are marginal to U.S. national interests. As with the debate over nuclear proliferation, realism’s role in debates on how the United States should behave in international affairs must not be confused with using realism to describe U.S. foreign policy. Realism can explain why the United States finds itself in a particular geopolitical situation, but it doesn’t offer an obvious answer about how the United States should behave in that situation.

REALISM AND UKRAINE The debate regarding Ukraine has long featured realist voices. In 1993, Mearsheimer wrote in Foreign Affairs that Kyiv should retain the stockpile of nuclear weapons it inherited after the collapse of the Soviet Union because Moscow might one day seek to reconquer Ukraine. Some 20 years later, Mearsheimer wrote of how NATO enlargement and the promise of bringing Ukraine into the alliance provoked Russian aggression, namely the seizing of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. Both pieces were focused on policy prescription: rather than simply describing what Russia, Ukraine, the United States, the

Realism has always been defined not by what it prescribes but by what it deems impossible. It is the school of no hope, the curmudgeon of international relations thought.

European Union, and NATO were doing, they focused on what they should do. Although one can disagree with those arguments, it is worth pointing out that they reflect realism as policy, not realism as theory. Realism as theory would have limited itself to explaining why the crisis is happening, perhaps focusing on how the desire of major powers to dominate their region means that Russia would eventually

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Members of the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps fire with a howitzer, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, at a position in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine March 2022 ,28. Picture taken March 2022 ,28. (Stanislav Yurchenko/ Reuters)


seek to militarily coerce (or even invade) its neighbors, or that conditions were conducive to a former empire seeking to reestablish itself, or that in their search for security, states can act in ways that can be perceived incorrectly as being aggressive. None of this is to say that realism or any one theory offers the best explanation for the war in Ukraine. Alternative explanations abound, in-

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cluding the power of nationalism, the differences in regime types, and the traits (one might say, quirks) of particular leaders. But realism offers a useful frame for understanding this war’s onset. Indeed, the enduring power of realism is its ability to offer a clear baseline for coming to grips with why the world is and will likely remain a world full of pain and despair. This article was originally published by Foreign Affairs.


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Is There Room in ‘New Kazakhstan’ For New Political Parties?

Kazakh Authorities Have Little Interest in Genuine Political Competition By Catherine Putz In March, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev laid out his vision for a “New Kazakhstan” and the June 5 constitutional referendum saw many of his proposed reforms confirmed. One initiative mentioned in the March speech, however, hasn’t seen much

progress: The expansion of “opportunities for the development of the party system.” In his March speech, Tokayev stressed the need to create “a favorable environment for the institutional and organizational development of parties.” To that end he proposed the lowering of registration barriers from

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20,000 members to 5,000, among other things, including the number of individuals required for regional party offices and for a founding congress. As I noted at the time, initiatives in neighboring states — such as Uzbekistan — to lower registration requirements have not actually generated the space necessary for new political parties to emerge. While the required membership to register is one hurdle, the real hurdle is that ruling governments want the façade of political liberalization without the frustrating reality of dealing with opposition parties on an equal footing before the electorate.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev speaking during his appeal to the people of Kazakhstan on 7 January 2022. Credit: Kazakh President Press Service Handout/EPA

In his March speech, Tokayev stressed the need to create “a favorable environment for the institutional and organizational development of parties.” political party.

Mamai has been in detention since February, when he was initially sentenced to 15 Kazakhstan has no shortage of aspiration- days for organizing an unsanctioned vigil al parties, but as Euasianet’s Joanna Lil- in commemoration of those who died in lis explained last week, of the four parties the January violence. Kazakh officials are reportedly considering approving, “All have leaders who are, Kazakh officials have yet to publish a or once were, regime insiders.” full list of the 232 people the government says died in early January. Human Rights Regime outsiders, on the other hand, Watch criticized Nur-Sultan last month for stand little chance of receiving official ap- failing to properly investigate the deaths proval, which is necessary to operate le- of more than 200 people in early January. gally in Kazakhstan’s political arena, and RFE/RL’s Kazakh service, known as Raface risks if they keep trying to join the dio Azattyq, has worked to compile a list rat race. for those killed in January using reports from families. Zhanbolat Mamai is one notable example. Last week, Kazakh authorities filed new In March, when Mamai was due for recharges against the politician, who leads lease he was instead rearrested on new the unregistered Democratic Party. charges of insulting law enforcement officers and distributing “false informaMamai is a former journalist and no stran- tion” in September and December 2021, ger to trouble with the authorities. Back respectively. He was sentenced to pretrial in 2020, activists involved with the Dem- detention and that’s where he was when ocratic Party were arrested on their way additional charges were issued on June to take part in what was supposed to be 6. The latest charges are that Mamai orthe party’s founding congress. Mamai had ganized mass riots and disseminated false previously been arrested and convicted on information during the January 2022 promoney laundering charges. At the time, tests. If convicted, he could be sentenced Reporters Without Borders noted in a to 10 years in jail. statement that “the judge himself, in his conclusions, said he had found no evi- Human Rights Watch outlined the new aldence of money-laundering.” Mamai was legations against Mamai: barred from working as a journalist and has been trying for years to register his The indictment against Mamay refers to

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his participation in a peaceful rally on January 4. During the rally Mamay called for the dissolution of parliament and a more democratic government, open fair elections, political reforms, and registration of political parties. Mamay was detained on the evening of January 4 but released a few hours later. On January 5, unidentified men in civilian clothes attacked Mamay on his way to a second peaceful rally, after which his wife took him home and he stayed there receiving medical treatment.

Zhanbolat Mamai is one notable example. Last week, Kazakh authorities filed new charges against the politician, who leads the unregistered Democratic Party.

The protests in early January in Kazakhstan began on January 2 in Zhanaozen, before spreading to other cities. Tokayev declared a state of emergency on January 5 and the worst violence seems to have occurred between January 5 and 6. In calling for the charges against Mamai to be dropped, Human Rights Watch noted that while there has been a lack of progress on investigating the January deaths or allegations of torture by those arrested (something Eurasianet has reported deeply on), the Kazakh government has opened cases against activists for organizing “mass riots” and the “use of violence against a representative of the authorities.” This is hardly a political environment conducive to the creation of genuine political competition, which will cast a shadow over any new parties that may eventually be registered. We can be certain Mamai’s Democratic Party won’t be one of them. This article was originally published by The Diplo-

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Kazakh oppositionist Zhanbolat Mamai. (RFE/RL)



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Inflation’s Cause: Putin or Biden? How the US Media Sees Soaring Inflation Rates By Mohammad Ali Salih – Washington Recently, many editorials of leading American newspapers

criticized President Joe Biden for his repeated claims that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was the main cause for the staggering inflation that has hit the US for the first time since the 1970’s. Biden has been personal by putting the burden on Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him names like “criminal”. Curiously, “The Washington Post,” the most influential daily newspaper, sided with Biden, following a continuous support for other Biden’s agendas, like confronting Russia, confronting China, relaxing immigration rules and supporting Blacks’ racial complaints against Whites. “The New York Times,” also a liberal publication, has been less progressive, and has expressed doubts about

Biden’s confrontation with Russia. Needless to say, conservative major dailies, like “The Wall Street Journal”, have been strongly blaming Biden, not Putin, for the rapidly rising inflation. Last week, the US hit another uncomfortable milestone: $5 gas per gallon is now the norm. More than 20 states have prices above the $5 mark (California is above $6 a gallon). Inflation is at a four-decade high, and interest rates are rising at a pace not seen in two decades. A recent Associated Press poll showed that “Americans are becoming less supportive of punishing Russia for launching its invasion of Ukraine if it comes at the expense of the U.S. economy”. In the poll, 45 percent supported sanctioning Russia, while slightly more — 51 percent — said the sanctioning shouldn’t damage the U.S. economy.

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Two months earlier, “those figures were exactly reversed”, according to AP, and future polls are expected to lean further more towards curing the American economy than supporting Ukraine. “The (recent) poll shows low faith in Biden to handle the situation, and an overall approval rating that hit the lowest point of his presidency,” according to AP. Following are excerpts from editorials of a few leading American newspapers, including that of “The Washington Post”.

“New York Post”: “Biden’s Fault”:

US President Joe Biden is struggling to help ease surging prices hurting American familes and damaging his popularity. Credit: Jim WATSON (AFP)

“Hand it to President Joe Biden, he can still send the press corps haring off after an irrelevant comment, as he did by blaming inflation on Vladimir Putin’s ‘genocide’ in Ukraine. His statement, when he was visiting the state of Iowa, did what he was intended to do: made most of the media talk about ‘genocide’ in Ukraine, instead of his big lie that he shouldn’t be blamed for inflation … Biden is cynically using Putin to distract from his colossal domestic failures. Saying ‘genocide’ doesn’t change US policy on Russia’s war on Ukraine. And does not distract Americans from all the financial bills that are rising a lot faster than their takehome pay … That so much of the media fixated on the word ‘genocide’ is just another sign of how out of touch the nation’s ‘news’ industry has grown …”

“Wall Street Journal”: “Not Putin”

“White House aides were (recently) out in force warning that inflation report would be ugly and blaming it on Vladimir Putin. No doubt that beats blaming your own policies. But inflation didn’t wait to appear until the Ukraine invasion, and by now it will be hard to reduce … The inflation trend began in earnest a year ago at the onset of Biden›s Presidency. It has accelerated for most of the last 12 months … That was long before Mr. Putin decided to invade. The timing reflects too much money chasing too few goods, owing mainly to the combination of vast federal spending and easy monetary policy … Still, the overall price news is terrible for American workers and consumers. Real average weekly earnings have fallen nearly $18 during the Biden Presidency. If you want to know why Americans are sour about the economy even as jobs are plentiful, this is it. Their real wages are falling while the prices of everyday goods and services are rising fast …”

“The New York Times”: “Our Government”

“Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, has

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Biden has been personal by putting the burden on Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him names like “criminal”. often expressed admiration for the resolve exhibited by one of his predecessors, Paul Volcker, who was willing to crash the economy in the early 1980s to drive down inflation … There is a risk that by forgoing stronger measures now, the Fed will ultimately have to impose greater pain. But there are also good reasons to think that the Fed can succeed — not least because of the enduring legacy of Mr. Volcker’s achievement. It is time to raise rates. The economy has rebounded as Covid-19 has loosened its grip. Under Mr. Volcker, the rate hit 20 percent … Economists continue to debate the causes of the current inflation. Some place the blame primarily on the pandemic, which has caused sharp reductions in the availability of services and goods, and on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that has disrupted global markets for energy and wheat. Other economists, however, blame the government. The Congress has distributed trillions of dollars in aid. Despite widespread job losses, the average household had more money to spend, creating more demand for goods and services …”

“The Washington Post”: “Putin’s Fault”:

“This is largely Vladimir Putin’s fault. Gas prices are up nearly $2 in the past year, and 75 percent of that increase came since Putin’s Russian troops invaded Ukraine. The United States and many other countries rightly responded to this unjustified war by imposing heavy sanctions and halting purchases of Russian oil and grain. But that means supplies are down, and energy and food prices have soared to record highs around the world … Putin wants — and expects — the world to cave and lift the sanctions and cede parts of Ukraine to Russia in the face of these high prices. As hard as it is, we cannot let Putin win. In the short term, there’s not a lot President Biden can do. He already released the most oil ever from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a move we welcomed. To really drive a noticeable decline in prices will take more supply or a big drop in demand …”


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Deglobalization Is Not Inevitable How the WTO Can Shore Up the Global Economic Order

By Pascal Lamy, Nicolas Köhler-Suzuki As trade officials gather on the calm shores of Lake Geneva for the World Trade Organization’s long-delayed 12th ministerial conference, a perfect storm is brewing in the multilateral trading system. The cumulative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have led to prolonged supply chain disruptions, global food shortages, and skyrocketing energy prices. These breakdowns of international trade are causing some to proclaim the end of the era of globalization. Business and political leaders such as BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen are questioning the future of an integrated global economy. They predict that the steps that firms and governments are taking in response to the current crises will effectively “deglobalize” the world economy:

for instance, the business practice of “just-in-time” value chains that move materials across borders just before they are needed could shift to a “just-in-case” model that focuses on maintaining large inventories to safeguard against supply chain disruptions. This also means that the offshoring of production to the most cost-effective location could give way to so-called re-, near-, and friend-shoring: putting production in closer or friendlier destinations that align with the home country’s political values and lower a company’s exposure to external risks. But there are good reasons to be skeptical of the globalization doomsayers. Of course, it is still too early to evaluate the long-term effects of the recent disruptions. For now, though, evidence suggests that global economic integration continues, even if it is slowing and changing. This evolution also means that traditional measurements of global integration are becoming obsolete as value chains adapt to new realities. For

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At a port in Shanghai, April 2022. (China Out / Reuters)

instance, one historical metric of globalization is the ratio of merchandise trade to global GDP, which measures the relative importance of international trade of goods in an economy. That ratio has declined from its peak before the 2008 global financial crisis, suggesting that globalization is indeed on the retreat. Yet the ratio of services trade to global GDP, which measures the relative importance of international trade in services such as sales, marketing, management, administration, engineering, and education, has increased during the last 15 years, fueled by the rapid growth of cross-border digital networks. At the same time, the falling ratio of merchandise trade to global GDP should also come as no surprise: the economic integration of China, whose participation in global value chains was a key driver of globalization over recent decades, is facing diminishing returns. Moreover, China’s economy is now undergoing a structural shift toward domestic consumption and services. China’s weighty role in the world economy masks the fact that many other economies, such as Bangladesh and Vietnam, are continuing to integrate ever more deeply into global value chains. Other factors also indicate that global economic integration is here to stay. Global exports of goods and services, for example, are still growing steadily in absolute terms. Even bilateral trade between China and the United States, geopolitical rivals that are increasingly at odds, continues to reach record heights—in the face of a trade war and a pandemic, no less. Moreover, notwithstanding the political rhetoric of their governments, many European and U.S. firms are doubling down on their investments in China. Other indicators point in a similar direction: both the DHL Global Connectedness Index and the KOF Globalisation Index indicate that global integration is deepening in various economic, social, and political dimensions. In the short run, there is, therefore, a discrepancy between business realities and political objectives: for the most part, discussion of so-called decoupling is occurring in policy planning rooms, not corporate boardrooms. Such contradictions may expose the limits of economic statecraft. This is not to say that the political choice to curb further integration of the global economy will not have consequences, but for now, deglobalization is mostly a point of principle rather than of practice. Nonetheless, it is clear that the international trading system and the course of globalization are being put under pressure by new fault lines, namely, great-power competition, digital transformation, inequality, fallout from the pandemic, and climate change. Given these rising challenges, there are steps that the members of the World Trade Organization must take to prevent deglobalization talk from becoming a reality. RETHINKING TRADE The current upheavals certainly have the potential to transform the global economy. Perhaps most important, China’s rise and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are causing the geopolitical structure underpinning global trade to undergo a dramatic shift. Although Russia may soon be relegated to the sidelines, the rivalry between the United States and China will continue to be the most

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China’s rise and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are causing the geopolitical structure underpinning global trade to undergo a dramatic shift. defining feature of international politics for years to come. In the face of mounting tensions, Washington and Beijing are already trying to decouple sensitive segments of their economies to limit the availability of dual-use technology—designs that can be used for both peaceful and military aims—for the other side. Countries and regions that have deep economic ties with both the United States and China, such as the European Union, are increasingly caught in the middle. This rift, however, is mitigated by the fact that major global challenges such as climate change and public health will require global cooperation, so the two sides will have to keep talking to each other. What the former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd calls “managed strategic competition” will therefore predominantly play out in the economic domain, with significant implications for the trading system. For example, Beijing is pushing for greater internationalization of the renminbi to conduct more of its trade in a currency that is independent of the U.S. dollar, insulating it from U.S. economic weapons such as sanctions. Both countries are building more and more domestic capacity for critical supply chains in strategic sectors, such as semiconductors, to lessen their dependence on the other. In the digital sphere, they are advancing different, if not opposite, visions of data governance, with the United States advocating for the free flow of data and China seeking to stifle it. Recent technological developments are also changing the nature of trade itself. The digital transformation, for instance, is redefining how business is conducted across borders, and stay-at-home measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic have only accelerated this change. More parcels are crossing borders than ever before as a result of the wider use of online platforms to buy and sell goods, shifting the relationship between businesses and consumers toward digital mediation and driving new global markets for small and medium-sized businesses. The digital platform and app economies are creating international ecosystems with products such as social networks and media streaming that were inconceivable when WTO members began discussing the implications of electronic commerce in the mid-1990s. Artificial intelligence applications such as machine translation and image recognition are generating new efficiencies and value in cross-border exchanges. Telework is changing global travel patterns and allows service providers in developing countries to directly participate in the world’s largest consumer markets. These examples illustrate how digital trade across borders is


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changing so quickly that it is presenting the trading system with a range of thorny challenges, including consumer safety, cybersecurity, ethics, competition policy, and taxation. Although for many years the Internet was a self-regulated space, it has become subject to intergovernmental negotiations, such as the WTO’s Joint Statement on Electronic Commerce, which seeks to develop global rules on digital trade; digital trade chapters in regional trade agreements such as the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement; and new, stand-alone digital economy agreements, such as the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement between Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore. But the emergence of different models to govern the flow and storage of data, which is crucial for digital services and other forms of trade, also suggests we are entering a new era in which globalization occurs with firewalls. Amid growing socioeconomic dislocation and political upheaval in many parts of the world, countries will also need to reckon with the uneven distribution of the rewards of globalization— and come up with policies to address it. Increased trade boosts overall welfare but, by definition, produces winners and losers. To avoid social disruptions, many countries liberalizing their economies therefore implement trade adjustment programs that provide aid to workers adversely affected by increased imports or rely on social safety nets to compensate and retrain employees. Although there is evidence that countries with more robust social safety nets are also more open to trade, it is also clear that income inequality within many countries has increased during the last decades as economic integration has accelerated. What is less clear, however, is how much of this inequality can be attributed to exposure to foreign competition—the so-called China shock, in which rising Chinese exports led to a loss of manufacturing employment in high-income countries—and how much of it can be attributed to creative destruction from technological change,

The international trading system and the course of globalization are being put under pressure by new fault lines, namely, great-power competition, digital transformation, inequality, fallout from the pandemic, and climate change.

in which more efficient economic structures supersede old ones. Regardless of the causes, a growing segment of the public in many countries has come to view trade as the main culprit behind inequality, an assumption that has fueled anti-trade politicians, such as Donald Trump, who seek to reduce the exposure of their countries to the global economy. When the coronavirus sent the global economy into a tailspin, states took unprecedented steps to help their citizens and businesses weather the pandemic. G7 economies, for example, put in place support schemes amounting to $12 trillion, about one-third of their combined GDP. These were, without a doubt, necessary and timely steps to address the crisis. Some efforts, such as the EU’s State Aid Temporary Framework, were specifically designed to avoid distortions to international competition. Nonetheless, given the extraordinary size of the funds that governments disbursed quickly, these efforts are certain to tilt the playing field and have an impact on global trade, at least in the short to medium term. Finally, the climate crisis should compel governments and policy experts to fundamentally rethink how the trading system interacts with the environment. In the long run, the impact of climate change on food production and water-supply networks will dramatically alter the nature of agricultural trade. Moreover, the growing adoption by many governments of green energy production may well end by the middle of the century the iron grip that fossil fuels have long had over geopolitics, a transformation that has the potential to shift political alliances and reconfigure trade flows. In the shorter run, policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will not be contained by international borders, and climateconscious governments may increasingly resort to carbon border adjustment mechanisms—which impose a cost on carbon-intensive imports such as cement and steel—to avoid carbon leakage, where actors outsource greenhouse gas emissions to countries with lower production standards. The many vulnerabilities created by continued globalization require firms and governments to reprice the risks of international trade. They also pose new challenges for the trading system, which was primarily built to address the negative effects of protectionism. To survive in the twenty-first century, the multilateral order must learn to address the effects of precautionism—the desire by consumers, firms, and governments to limit their exposure to the risks from participation in the global economy. ESCAPING A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY This is where the members of the World Trade Organization can—and must—step in. The WTO is not a world government and cannot be expected to solve all problems. At the same time, the WTO has played a crucial role in forging and underpinning the rules-based trading system that sustained globalization over the last three decades, a time during which global per capita in-

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Shipping containers are loaded onto vessels at a port in Los Angeles, USA. (Unsplash/Barrett Ward)


come almost doubled. Although the challenges the world faces today may be unique, it is also important to recall that political leaders and policy experts have debated regionalization for as long as the WTO has existed. The proliferation of regional trade agreements, expanding from 55 in 1995 to 355 in 2022, seems to support the view that the system has been fragmenting for some time. However, at most one-third of world merchandise trade has preferential tariffs that go beyond the nondiscriminatory WTO rates, and even the degree to which firms use these trade preferences is an open question. As it stands, the multilateral trading system therefore remains the backbone of the globalized economy. Of course, if multilateral trade rules are not updated to address twenty-first-century challenges, countries could increasingly fall back on the expanded network of regional trade agreements. But the economic inefficiencies that such fragmentation entails would leave all WTO members worse off and hurt the poorest countries the most. Managing the new fault lines of globalization will be a challenge—one that WTO members must rise to meet. The 12th ministerial conference will focus on fisheries subsidies and vaccine equity, which are important issues in their own right. But tackling these issues will not resolve the deeper structural challenges facing the multilateral trading system. If WTO members want the current order to survive, they urgently need to forge a shared understanding of how geopolitics, technology, inequality, subsidies, and climate change are affecting international trade. Many things stand in the way of this goal: for one, it is an open question to what extent WTO members can weaponize trade in the name of security, as in the case of Western sanctions against Russia, without causing the system to implode on itself. Structural divisions between competing data-governance models present a challenge for a plurilateral agreement on electronic commerce and may shift the locus for regulating digital trade elsewhere. So-called worker-centered trade policies must not ignore the fate of work-

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ers in the developing world, or they could end up fueling populist movements in some developing countries that undermine the rules-based system even further. WTO members will also need to find an arrangement that accommodates the vastly expanded subsidies that many countries have been using to address the economic impact of the pandemic, or risk a harmful subsidy race. Finally, uneven emissions and the growing political support in many countries for efforts to address carbon leakage must induce reforms of the multilateral trading system to bring it in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. In the absence of meaningful reform, anti-trade political forces may eventually succeed at tearing the integrated global economy apart. But for now, fears about deglobalization have little grounding in economic reality, and the multilateral trading system continues to provide an important public good that delivers substantial benefits to people everywhere. At the same time, the current wave of inflation serves as a reminder that a less predictable and more volatile path of globalization would come at a high economic and political cost to all. Recognizing this, WTO members can take initial concrete steps that improve the governance of the institution and could help them to tackle the more complex issues facing the multilateral trading system. These include increased transparency; reform of the WTO’s appellate body, its main dispute-settlement mechanism; a right of initiative for the secretariat, which would empower WTO staff to develop constructive proposals; and more cooperation in plurilateral initiatives, such as the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions, to build momentum on collective initiatives that address the thorny issues facing the global economy. The consequences of inaction are dire: if WTO members fail to move quickly, deglobalization could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This article was originally published by Foreign Affairs.


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The Swiss Nirvana Where Mothers Get a Rough Deal That there are very few better places to live and bring up a family than Switzerland is a statement backed by innumerable polls, surveys, and studies over recent years. The alpine kingdom is regularly voted as one of the best places in the world to live, with Zürich and Geneva consistently listed among the best cities for quality of life.

By Luisa Markides

Some would say this hardly surprising. Switzerland is, after all, one of the world’s richest countries, attracting wealthy foreigners with its low taxes, financial stability, outstanding education, top healthcare system, and relatively low crime rate. And just as there is little danger of it taking any rash monetary decisions, nor is there a realistic prospect of the Swiss taking diplomatic or military risks. It has long declared itself ‘neutral’ in foreign affairs and was last involved in a war in 1505. The list of plaudits for this landlocked confederation goes on, not least for its tourist attractions, such as the legendary ski slopes, and its culinary prowess, with 400 cheeses and extraordinary chocolate.

Women in Switzerland still earn an average of about 18 percent less than men in the same position .

Everywhere you look, it tops the tables, for instance with its top-ranking universities, namely the ETH in Zurich and the EPFL in Lausanne. It even has space. Compare London, with its population density of 5,701 people per square kilometre, to Switzerland, where there are 219 people per square km. If all that weren’t enough, it hasn’t executed anyone since 1940, so it is liberal too. Idyllic, progressive, wealthy - Switzerland seems to have it all. Yet some of its 8.6 million citizens may still feel that they drew the short straw. Those with a grievance could be said to include mothers. With a relatively low birth rate (it is now roughly half the world’s average), the population has grown only marginally over the past ten years, so

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the numbers suggest they have a point. Is the system skewed against Swiss mums? To answer this, it helps to better understand the foundational structure and set-up of the country - a confederation composed of 26 small cantons, with four official languages, where German (spoken by 63 percent of the population) is heard alongside French, Italian, and Romansh. Most citizens are multilingual, and despite the differences between cantons, the Swiss typically live closely and peacefully with one another. The country is governed by a federal council, a seven-member collegial body whose decisions are made by consensus, with a three-tier government structure at the level of confederation, canton, and commune. Direct democracy thrives here. Citizens have their say on matters at all political levels.Yet despite this list of progressive achievements, it was only recently that women were allowed to vote. In 1971, men in Switzerland finally voted for women’s suffrage, almost 200 years after women were first given the vote in New Jersey. Even then, less than two thirds of Swiss men felt the vote should be extended to their womenfolk. Furthermore, the referendum threw up differences at the canton-level. Only in 1991 did Switzerland’s highest court force the last canton (Appenzell Innerrhoden) to allow women to vote. From politics to economics, the Swiss Federal Statistics Office has lighted an apparent lack of opportunity and/or advancement of women in the workplace. “Women are generally employed in lower position than men,” it said. “They are more often in non-management positions. Men are much more often self-employed or employed as director. These differences exist even between men and women with the same educational level.”


Some observers say this disparity flows from the traditional Swiss family structure. Most households in Switzerland still rely on the father’s income, and most Swiss-based fathers with children under the age of 25 are employed full-time. Conversely, the same polls show that far fewer mothers work full-time hours, only between 14-18.5 percent. This role distribution is familiar across the country. Put simply, some say, the woman is still expected to stay at home and raise the children. If this were true, one might expect there to be state incentives in this direction, but these seem absent. For instance, whereas in the UK women are legally entitled to 12 months’ maternity leave, in Switzerland this is a mere 14 weeks, the minimum period allowed under European legislation. Choices narrow for single mothers, up to 30 percent of whom work full-time, far more so than women in a relationship who have children under the age of 13. These mothers of younger children are statistically less likely to be employed than mothers of children aged between 13-25 years of age. The first small signs of change have been observed since 2010, with slightly more women working full-time, and slightly more men taking part-time hours, in a bid to support their partners at home. Yet In other spheres, differences remain stark, not least in terms of pay.

Women in Switzerland still earn an average of about 18 percent less than men in the same position. The higher one ascends the salary ladder, the more distinct the difference. Lower salaries have a knock-on effect in areas such as a woman’s pension. The division of labour at home can come down to popular perceptions, commentators argue. For example, Swiss mothers who work four days a week are seldom praised in a society that still expects her to look after the children at home for more than one day a week. Likewise, a father who chooses to work four days a week in order to help with the children for one day a week is seen as admirable. This inequality in societal viewpoints can hinder mothers who wish to return to the workplace. A common consequence is that women either give up their careers or reduce their hours to part-time, which can stymie their promotion prospects, and although mothers as housewives often find it a rewarding life, the 24/7 demands of childcare can prove overwhelming, with no time to rest. In summary, Switzerland remains a haven in many areas and fully deserves its high placement in the quality of life polls, but the lot of a Swiss woman who opts for motherhood can quickly become less favourable, with financial vulnerabilities and social stigmas to deal with. It is in this area that the Swiss government may seek to make changes.

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Skiers walk in the Alpine resort of Verbier, ,22 .Switzerland, Dec The destination is .2020 popular among British vacationers. Credit: AFP

In 1971, men in Switzerland finally voted for women’s suffrage, almost 200 years after women were first given the vote in New Jersey .


A Weekly Political News Magazine

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Rafael Grossi: The Argentine Director-General of IAEA www.majalla.com



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Screening Met with Support, Objection Chilling Horror of David Cronenberg’s Movies By Mohammed Rouda Hollywood - Even though “Crimes of the Future” was met with a critical failure (the movie’s fans equal the non-fans) and even worse commercial failure, the Western media (American, British and French mainly) still believe that the film deserves a high level of appreciation. The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis praised the method of Canadian director David Cronenberg in “slithering under the skin and directly into the head.” The Los Angeles Times’ Justin Chan wrote, “It’s marvelous to have Cronenberg back and to behold his undimmed, unparalleled skill.” On the other end, Rex Reed (who is older than most critics today) says, “This movie is a load of crap. I would like to find a more civil way to describe even a sick and depraved barf bag of a movie like this one, but it defeats every reasonable attempt to try.” Oddities “Crimes of the Future,” which was screened at the last edition of Cannes Film Festival and was distributed

worldwide for those who can withstand its violent scenes, is the director’s latest work. Cronenberg attempted through the film to return to a period in his career during which he was busy making horror films different from the wave films at the time. Those movies - like Cronenberg’s latest – were centered

around plots about objects distorting before the viewer’s eyes, ejecting foreign objects, or turning into a distorted collection of flesh and blood. For this reason, they are called biological horror films, which are about manipulating physical bodies to create other bodies out of them.

David Cronnenberg

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In fact, the second movie he made was also called “Crimes of the Future.” This was in 1970, and the young director then, who came from a Jewish family whose grandparents moved from Lithuania, wrote and directed a film on the subject of a virus outbreak resulting from the use of cosmetic chemicals. It was not a long film (about an hour), but it applied the approach that the director would opt for in his upcoming films. The idea and the result on the screen at the time are not far from the plot of his new movie. However, the most revealing part is that the director transferred his interests to many feature films in the seventies and after. Cronenberg’s first feature film was “Shivers” in 1975 that told the story of a virus transmitted through sexual practice, transforming the infected into sexobsessed creatures, not in a comic manner, but as per the laws of general horror cinema with the addition of those related to the language of the body mainly. In his second film, “Rabid” in 1977, the film’s heroine (Marilyn Chambers) wakes up to find a bump under her armpit extending outside the body to suck the blood of those she meets. But Cronenberg decided to break away from the genre in his third film, “Fast Company” (with William Smith, 1979) to return to his favorite school. In the same year, he directed “The Brood.” This film is one of the strangest he made because it was, as the director himself admitted, a reflection of a situation in his personal life when he decided to divorce his first wife. The dispute over who keeps their daughter was not easy and, in the end, Cronenberg lost the case in the courts. Accordingly, Cronenberg wrote “The Brood,” in which we find the heroine of the film (Samantha Eggar) giving birth to a monster in human form and entering into a struggle with her divorcee to keep it. The father (Oliver Reed) wins custody but discovers that the boy is not human and is responsible for killing

David Cronnenberg on location

anyone who gets close to him. The scene in which the director follows the birth of a monster is of the kind that not many people can keep their eyes open like in the case of “Videodrome” (starring James Woods, 1983) about a small TV station owner obsessed with snuff movies that he keeps watching until he discovers something in the form of a video is inhabiting his body. Metaphors In the eighties, Cronenberg became an icon in the horror film genre. However, while other good directors in this genre such as Wes Craven and George A. Romero maintained a pattern of making films full of conflict between two teams of humans (the good and the bad), Cronenberg delved more into the issues of physical deformities, a similar method used less famously by Larry Cohen, who also began directing in 1974). These deformities might cause brain explosion (“Scanners”, 1981)), or a man might turn into a giant fly (“The Fly”, 1986), and a mad scientist (Jeremy Irons) would turn women’s bodies

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into lab tests (“Dead Ringers”, 1988). ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Cronenberg’s career has continued in this way to this day, but it has witnessed some deviation from this path in four films in succession between 2005 and 2014 “A History of Violence,” “Eastern Promises,” “A Dangerous Method,” and “Maps to the Stars.” The aforementioned leads us once again to “Crimes of the Future” as presented by David Cronenberg, which differs from the “Crimes of the Future” seen by the director in 1970. The horror then was the result of cosmetic chemicals, as I mentioned, but the future itself seemed familiar. The world is either hibernating or living in perfect peace. It is only the film’s close characters under the director’s microscope that are suffering. Here, the director borrows from his first film the principle that science causes that suffering, but the events take place in a dark and insecure period of time. The city is empty because of the fear of walking the streets. Death is around the corner with several causes and motives, but Cronenberg is satisfied with the rea-


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Another scene from rimes of the Future

son in his hands: his star Saul Tenser (Vego Mortensen) realizes that there are “things” living inside him. These are not well-known things such as the heart, liver, guts, etc., but creatures with a bloody appearance sometimes and “android” forms other times. Surgeon Caprice (French actress Léa Seydoux) examines him as he reclines on a sofa in a black cocoon-like coat inspired by the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers (“Don Siegel”, 1956). What we see is not amusing and its horror flickers like the light of a “bulb” that is almost dying out. In fact, after about 20 minutes, the film finishes describing the situation and presenting it, and for the next hour and a half there is nothing left but to proceed with the current situation without actual developments. Between One Future and Another Cronenberg did not only borrow from

his first film; there are also scenes mentioned in some of his other films and the director quotes them in different scenes from this film. For example, that open wound horizontally in Saul’s abdomen is similar to the open wound in James Woods’ abdomen in the “Videodrome.” The addition here is that Caprice bends over and kisses the open wound and that Saul feels no pain. Two types of viewers, however, feel pain: those who watch the film after reading what The New York Times published about Cronenberg on the grounds that he is an influential director in the art of cinema, and others who love horror films but are not ready to follow Mortensen as he lies in that cocoon smiling with his wound. Mortensen is no stranger to Cronenberg’s work. He took part in the “A History of Violence” and “Eastern

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Promises.” However, the comparison between his two roles there and his role here reinforces the feeling that the problem in Mortensen is not in his body, but in his feeling that he should represent this role, perhaps coming out of a real admiration for Cronenberg. Not only does the film not evolve into a dramatic situation that can carry a translation of its intended meaning, there are also scenes that pass as if they were there to excite some senses for the viewers who would start questioning why they were watching this film (a large number of viewers of the film in Cannes left the screening hall is in groups and alone! The film did not grab any prizes either). An example of that is a scene in which two women enter a dark room and then start making love in the background. But the bigger question is how one can


Marilyn Chambers in Rabid

understand the relationship between a near future in which we find humans who have lost their human appearance (without pain) and what lies before us of scenes of vomiting and needles diving under the skin in order to draw blood to be used in theatrical performances since Saul is actually a theater actor. If the scene where a woman’s foot is chopped off is something from the future, then this is for sure an escape from reading that future correctly (in addition, it is an incomprehensible act). The movie is not made for entertainment, otherwise one wouldn’t care much if the movie said something useful about the future world or not. It is a film by a director who is considered by many to be a “master” of cinematography, which is clearly demonstrated in his films that do not revolve around the horror of the body. “Crimes of the Fu-

ture,” meanwhile, is an inconsistent set of scenes whose outcome means nothing to anyone. What unites most of Cronenberg’s films is the use of the idea that science (under various names but all deal with skin and what lies beneath) creates new creatures at different stages of life. But the use of science in his films remains blameless. The point is not to warn against science or criticize it, but to use it as a pretext for what we see. In horror films of the ‘70s and ‘80s, mutilation was limited to one person to terrify the film’s characters and the viewers: a cannibal in Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” a dreamappearing killer on Nightmare on Elm Street, a murderer who does not die in the “Halloween” franchise starring John Carpenter, or a serial killer in “Friday the 13th” film series. Even when direc-

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tor George A. Romero’s used hordes of cannibal villains after they were infected with an epidemic, he kept his heroines healthy, creating a conflict between the healthy and the infected. Each of these films carried a social critique: Romero criticized media and military policy. Wes Craven and Tobe Hooper addressed the Vietnam War and the collapse of the beautiful American dream. What could have given Cronenberg’s film some value was to associate what is going on with semantics to prevent the film from becoming a future crime targeting viewers’ tastes. * Mohammed Rouda is Asia World Film Festival consultant, programmer, and script writer. He wrote books on cinema. He’s also a member of: Fipresci (International Federation of Film Critics), London Film Circle MPAA (the media section, Hollywood), and Hollywood Foreign Press Association.


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NEW MOVIES

By Mohammed Rouda

[A weekly roundup of screenings at movie theatres around the world] Minions: The Rise of Gru ★★

limited importance, it seems that the organizers have made efforts to search for films of high artistic and moral value, and “Aisha” is one of these films. Actress Letitia Wright plays a Nigerian Muslim who is trying to settle in Ireland and obtain official residency. She faces bureaucracy, and the ill-treatment of her and immigrants in general. This is a smallsize production film from director Frank Berry that seriously addresses a social issue in all its aspects. ◆ Final judgement: It takes shape well as an exemplary film discussing immigrant’s issues.

◆ Genre: Animation [US] ◆ Showing worldwide

John Luther ★★

The protagonists of this movie are citrus fruits who decid- ◆ Genre: Police [India] ◆ Showing in the GCC ed to face the villain Gru. If this is not enough to ditch the movie, watching it is neither harmful nor useful but rather boring. There’s a villain named Gru and a Minions (voice of Steve Carell) who dreams of becoming the world’s most famous outlaw. He’s faced by Pierre Coffin, Taraji Henson, and Michelle Yeo, and there’s even, curiously enough, two roles for famous action actors, Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme. ◆ Final judgement: Average with some entertainment.

Aisha ★★★★

◆ Genre: Social Drama [UK] ◆ Screened at Tribeca Film Festival

With the return of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York to its heyday, after two years of screenings and participations of

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John Luther is a film about an Indian character, even if her name is American. In fact, it is an attempt to expand the scope of an Indian film that does not rely on comedy and colorful performances, but rather takes a serious path. This is good thing, even if borrowing a European or American name will not make any difference. Circle Inspector John (played by Jayasurya) searches for a missing professor only to find that there are other people missing. The film is directed by Abhijith Joseph. ◆ Final judgement: Average. The story is suitable for the genre fans. 17/06/22


My Imaginary Country ★★★

◆ Genre: Documentary ◆ Limited screenings

as a television host, arrives in a southern American state to search for the reasons for his girlfriend’s disappearance, only to discover that it is one of several cases. The film transfers the ambiance and provides some stand-up comedy at the same time. ◆ Final judgement: Novak is better a director than an actor.

Jim Button and the Wild 13 ★★

◆ Genre: Adventure [Germany] ◆ Showing in the GCC

A feature-length documentary film depicting the protests that took place between 2019 and 2021 in Chile, which led to the emergence of a young politician named Gabriel Borich, who took office until he reached the Republican elections (the youngest president of the Republic of Chile in the country’s history). The director is Patricio Guzmán (80 years old), who covers in his film all the details of the private and public life of that period. The film remains without outstanding artistic merits, but its subject matter is what interests researchers in political affairs. ◆ Final judgement: Important in terms of content and ordinary in terms of form.

Vengeance ★★★

◆ Genre: Police Thriller [US] ◆ Showing worldwide

This movie was produced in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic that forced the closure of movie theaters, resulted in its postponement. Had it remained postponed, no one would have missed it. This is the tale of a pirate in a bygone time full of talking animals (fluent in English since birth) and the different abilities of its heroines. The technical implementation is certainly good, but the plot does not have enough elements of interest or importance. “Vengeance” is new in most of its elements, except for its title used in dozens of investigation and action films. But this movie starring B.J. Novak starring and directed by him as well is different. This is the story of a young man who works

◆ Final judgement: Entertaining, nothing more.

Ratings: ★ Weak or average | ★★: Mediocre with merits| ★★★: Good | ★★★★: Excellent | ★★★★★: A masterpiece 45

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‘Costa Brava, Lebanon’: Homelands Deserve Us to Resist

A Story About Lebanon That Has Been Drained by Corruption By Salma Adham - Cairo When you are in the middle of the crisis, standing alone and seeing no hope, will you continue fighting? Or you will give up? If the concern is your country falling apart, will you stay or leave? A difficult question to answer because of the different conditions people may face de-

ciding the answer. Some people can start all over again, but others cannot do the same for many reasons; one of them is our existence which is somehow connected to our homelands Parting our place and starting again is not an easy path for many, but sometimes the infinite corruption and the people themselves who are corrupted and greedy spoil any

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Costa Brava, Lebanon (2021)

trial to make things better. Imagine escaping to a planted and grown place by yourself, far away from the city, to lead a calm life, leaving all pollution and political issues. Suddenly, the corruption comes to your doorstep and heralds another crisis! That is what happened with the Badri family in Costa Brava. The film was directed and co-written by Mounia Akl (together with Clara Roquet) and stars Lebanese Nadine Labaki, Palestinian Saleh Bakri, young actress Nadia Charbel, and twins Siana and Gianna Rostom. It was shot during the COVID19 pandemic after the explosion of the Beirut port. Costa Brava, Lebanon is about the griefs of a place no longer like what it used to be and about the existential and inner struggle to resist. The story takes us on a very complicated journey to find out what this struggle will lead the protagonists of the story? Costa Brava depicts the life of the Badri family, who moved to live in the mountains to escape the polluted air and other political problems in Beirut. Amidst the tensions the family is experiencing because of being isolated, a garbage dump is suddenly set up in front of their house. Simulating the dark truth, the film imitates a reality experienced by many families who were forced to evacuate their homes due to the garbage crisis that reached its peak in Lebanon in 2015 and sparked an angry protest movement in the Lebanese street. Tarek (Francois Nour), the environmental engineer, assures the family that everything is done with moral and international protections, no matter how they seem to have chosen the last green space in the district to blow up a giant crater and fill it with trash! Walid (Saleh Bakri) wants to sue them as soon as he sees that this landfill is as volatile and polluted as the last. Still, he knows it is out of reach, the certainty that will eventually push the family to the breaking point because they realize corruption is everywhere. They cannot live peacefully even in the mountain, and despite their isolation, the city’s problems will find them sooner or later.

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The plot reflects the battle that the Lebanese are fronting, which is the conflict between hope and despair and the struggle for change or surrender to reality. Soraya (Nadine Labaki) lived with Walid in the bleakness because she loved him and saw how frustrated he was to achieve a real change. They always agreed that they would come back if they became unhappy, and she reached a moment that could not hide the fact that she had become so. Tala (Nadia Charbel) is a teenage girl who yearns for love which made her fascinated by Tarek from first sight. Her mother, and her role model, Soraya was discovered to be great singer who wrote with passion has a stunning voice that one day was filling the city, making her hope she could do the same. Rim, the youngest daughter, is the polar opposite. She’s the daughter of her father, who brought her with a sense of entitlement at a young age. The daughter will take without hesitation the side of her father but also may be able to persuade him to change his mind. “All the scenes were filmed in the mountain by an excellent team in the field of visual effects from Jordan, Denmark, and France who helped the crew to create a huge garbage dump on the screen without harming the environment or getting close to a single tree, as the main goal of the film is to preserve the environment,” director Mounia Akl said to Reuters. The plot reflects the battle that the Lebanese are fronting, which is the conflict between hope and despair and the struggle for change or surrender to reality. The conflict is symbolized in the encounter between the mother (Labaki), who wants to return to the city to change it, and the father (Bakri), who seems depressed and has lost hope. 8 years of isolation were enough for Soraya to make precisely her choice. She will fight not only for Lebanon, but for herself, for the future of her daughters, and for the real inner desire to be among people inside the districts of Beirut, face corruption, and sing and raise her voice again. Costa Brava, Lebanon participated in many film festivals around the world, such as Venice International Film Festival. It won the NEPTAC (Network for the Advancement of Asian Cinema) Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, Audience Award at the BFI (British Film Institute) London Film Festival, and El Gouna Green Star Award at El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt.


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Naïve Art Looms at Wissa Center

Exhibit Highlights Ramses Wissa Wassef’s School of Instinctive Creativity

By Salwa Samir

summed up the philosophy of the art school which he founded in the 1940s to direct children to explore creativity in them through weaving.

Egyptian architect Ramses Wissa Wassef (1911 - 1974) once said, “I never took the young weavers to an art gallery or a museum.” This saying An exhibition entitled “Wissa Wassef - The

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school of Instinctive Creativity ‘’ is being held in Ubuntu Art Gallery in Zamalek, an upscale neighborhood on a cosmopolitan island in the Nile. “We display works of Wissa center in an attempt to place a spotlight on the concept and to present it to young generations who may be unaware of it and to emphasize that handicrafts are art and craftsmen are indeed artists,” said Ahmed ElDabaa, founder of Ubuntu Art Gallery. Wassef’s journey began in 1935, when he traveled to France to complete his studies at the Paris College of Art, at which he delved deep into French culture and learned all kinds of arts, including classic, art deco, Dadaism and surrealism.

Works are on display at “Wissa Wassef - The School of Instinctive Creativity” exhibition in Cairo. (Credit: Salwa Samir).

Although he had the opportunity to continue his life there, he preferred to return to Cairo and started teaching art and architecture at the Fine Arts College in Cairo. He adopted a unique style of architecture inspired by Coptic and Nubian heritage and dove deep into the architectural and artistic elements of his surroundings, rebelling against the mechanical monotonousness that lacks spontaneity and is restricted by pure materialism.

An exhibition entitled “Wissa Wassef - The school of Instinctive Creativity ‘’ is being held in Ubuntu Art Gallery in Zamalek, an upscale neighborhood on a cosmopolitan island in the Nile. if the opportunity arose to create something through learning a craft but without any direction or intervention. He selected weaving because he believed that transporting the picture from the imagination of the weaver to the loom fills the child with joy, gives them satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. This process reinforces their ability to be creative. He built his art center in the village of El Harraneya a stone’s throw away from the Pyramids of Giza. The center went on to gain international acclaim insofar as the viewer can take in the works woven by artists led by instinct.

“Wassef subscribed to the belief that the craftsman is indeed an artist, despite the title of ‘artist’ in Egypt being synonymous with an industry that is associated with fame and profit regardless of the content being produced by that ‘artist’ or whether it is of any benefit to society,” El-Dabaa said.

He kept teaching a generation of weavers and passed the baton to his family led by his wife Sophie, and his daughters Suzanne and Yolinda, who brought a second generation of weavers to light in the 1970s. Suzanne’s husband Ikram Nosshi functioned as both manager and patron of the center.

He added that the artist in this sense, creates what he is forced to digest and retain through formal education and by exposure to the different visual motifs to which they have been directed.

The exhibition, which runs until June 21, displays cotton and wool tapestries rich in colors from nature. Here are wool tapestries showing an underwater world of colorful fish and corals. Another shows lotus and papyrus. Cats, camels and gardens in spring with colorful flowers and flying birds are also featured there. One cotton weaving work shows an oasis with many details like houses, palm trees, denizens and animals all in motion.

“Wassef decided to take on a blank slate in the form of a child with a clean memory that has not been influenced by or exposed to any art style,” El-Dabaa explained. Wassef believed that inside every child lives an artist who is able to express himself creatively

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One of the striking works is entitled “Village Market.” The 225 x 325 cm wool tapestry is so


rich in people of different ages that the viewer may hear their voices while they are shopping or talking to sellers inside the market. “All these works came from the artists’ own imagination and creativity,” Wassef’s daughter, Suzanne, told Majalla.

doesn’t know exists,” she said. On display are 46 textile tapestries made by the first generation which were worked with Wassef, and the second generation whose ages are between 46 and 58.

“There are no differences between the works of “My father selected El Harraneya village two generations as the soul and concepts of the where there were no specialized crafts or works are from the same inspiration,” Suzanne specified arts to prove that the art is inside said, adding that the artistic style is based on the all people, not just those who study it, and person’s own creation, not imitation. that the person has creativity that he himself Indeed, the displayed works are free from pharaonic-shaped designs or any famous design that appeared before.

“My father cultivated seeds of plants dating back to the 4th century at the center’s garden. We are using it until today.”

She added that when we nurture a group of children to let them express themselves through weaving, “we follow up with them and devote our time to them to help them discover their talents.

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Works are on display at “Wissa Wassef - The School of Instinctive Creativity” exhibition in Cairo. (Credit: Salwa Samir).


Works are on display at “Wissa Wassef - The School of Instinctive Creativity” exhibition in Cairo. (Credit: Salwa Samir).

“We are not a school for certain ages nor do we have curricula. We try with every child to discover his own creativity and let him think what are the hidden talents that God grants to him.” All the needed materials are available at the center. They choose the colors themselves and dye the loom themselves. “My father cultivated seeds of plants dating back to the 4th century at the center’s garden. We are using it until today,” Suzanne said. Many international presidents and kings have visited the center. The center’s works also toured European countries and were exhibited in galleries there, one of which was inaugurated by Princess Diana. Many international museums displayed their works. “There are five museums in Britain that own some works, which they consider are based

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On display are 46 textile tapestries made by the first generation which were worked with Wassef, and the second generation whose ages are between 46 and 58. on a unique concept. In addition to collections in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the French Musée du Quai Branly, Jacques Chirac who owned eight masterpieces. “They have contacted me recently saying they will soon display the eight masterpieces in a separate hall highlighting textiles of Ramses Wissa Wassef. It is a great appreciation from them,” Suzanne said.


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Darwin Nunez Goes from Adversity to Glory As Front-line Evolves, Uruguayan Striker Offers New Dimension By Sarah Gamal Liverpool threw everything at the transfer market this summer, and they›re only getting started. Liverpool managed to kidnap Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez from Benfica in a historic deal regarded as the most expensive in the English club›s history. Darwin Nunez of Benfica is the most expensive signing in Reds history, with a total fee of more than 100 million euros, including bonuses. Liverpool will pay an initial fee of 75 million euros, which can be increased based on variables. The remaining 25 million euros will be derived from the achievement of objectives. The English team will pay Darwin five million euros if he plays 10 games, and another ten million euros if he plays 60 games. In 2021/22, he scored 34 goals in 41 games. Darwin Nunez was the talk of the world recently due to the high level of interest from English Premier League clubs before the Reds were able to secure his signature. Like many South American stars, the Reds› new striker endured great adversity before reaching the pinnacle of glory by donning the Liverpool shirt. Darwin Nunez and his family lived in Artigas›s poorest neighborhood. A city located just across the border from neighboring Brazil and the furthest away from Uruguay›s capital, Montevideo. His father was a construction worker, and his mother would collect and sell plastic bottles to put food on the table for Darwin and his brother. They would sometimes go to bed on an empty stomach, but his mother would prioritize her boys over herself if there wasn›t enough food. Aside from a lack of money and food, Darwin and his family had to deal with floods caused by heavy rainfall,

which damaged properties throughout the city. Darwin and his brother used to practice football every day after school and made it to the Peñarol youth team in Montevideo, which was thousands of miles away from their home. Football became more than just a hobby for both of them; it became an opportunity for their lives to change. Darwin Nunez went to take his first test in the Uruguayan club Peñarol in 2013, after being accompanied by a scout from Arteja to the capital, Montevideo, but he was unable to continue and returned to live with his parents. Life always gives you a second chance, so Nunez returned to take another test at the same club in order to get what he desired and secure his membership at the Uruguayan club of his dreams, Peñarol. Darwin Nunez›s dream nearly died again due to family issues that he never disclosed. However, his brother,

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Darwin Nunez pictured during Uruguay’s 0-0 draw


Darwin Nunez of SL Benfica celebrates after scoring a goal during the Portuguese League football match between SL Benfica and CD Santa Clara at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Portugal on February 2022 ,12. (Photo by Pedro Fiúza/ NurPhoto via Getty Images).

who was playing in the third division at the time, made a sacrifice for him so that Nunez could continue his experience with Peñarol. Liverpool-bound Nunez has never forgotten his brother›s sacrifice for him, dubbing him a «hero» for his selfless actions. Darwin was eventually able to repay his brother and parents for their efforts by moving them all to Montevideo with the assistance of his agent. The Uruguayan striker was settling in well in the capital and working his way up the footballing ladder. However, he encountered another difficulty while playing in the third division. Darwin was sidelined for months due to a torn ACL. Junior, his brother, was once again instrumental in getting him through a difficult period in his career. The 22-year-old played in pain for a while and had to seek medical attention to alleviate the pain so he could continue playing. The Benfica ex-forward made his debut as a substitute against River Plate, but he ended up injuring his knee again and leaving the field in tears. Nunez was sidelined for a while as a result of this setback, and he required surgery. Nunez›s career was at a crossroads at the time, and he felt it was time to call it quits. He was not going to be stopped, and he battled on as he had done his entire life. Despite the pain and effects of the injury, he rose to the challenge of securing a place in the Copa America for the first time in under 20 years in 2019. Beginnings are never easy, and Darwin Nunez did not deliver the expected performance in the Copa America, as he struggled to score goals and that he needed to see a psychologist to deal with the problem, to the point that he used the phone only to make calls only, to avoid entering

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“Liverpool managed to kidnap Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez from Benfica in a historic deal regarded as the most expensive in the English club’s history.” the Social Media. And because of his exceptional talent, he was able to immigrate to Europe to play for Almeria and then Benfica. Darwin Nunez drew the attention of European giants Benfica despite not being promoted with Almeria. The Portuguese club paid a club-record (at the time) €24 million for him. This would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. His first season with Benfica was difficult, but Nunez, being Nunez, was determined to be the best. In 2019, he made his first-team debut for Uruguay, where he was named the league›s best player alongside future Liverpool teammate Luis Diaz. Darwin Nunez›s journey to the top has come to an end with his record-breaking move to Liverpool. Nunez is now to join one of the world›s biggest clubs after finishing top goalscorer in the Portuguese league. Jürgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool, has already praised Darwin, describing him as a «top striker» from Uruguay with the ability to remain calm even in stressful situations. So far, the journey has been incredible and inspiring, but there is still much more to come.


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Rafael Grossi: The Argentine Director-General of IAEA By Majalla Illustration by Jeannette Khouri Rafael Mariano Grossi was introduced as the Argentine candidate for IAEA Director-General on August 2, 2019. The IAEA Board of Governors held its first vote to elect the new Director-General on October 28, 2019, but none of the candidates received the required two-thirds majority in the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors. The second voting round was held the following day, on October 29. Mr. Grossi received 24 of the 23 votes required for Director-General Appointment, becoming the organization’s first Latin American leader. He took office on December 3, 2019. Mr. Grossi is a diplomat with more than 35 years of experience in nonproliferation and disarmament. In 2013, he was appointed Argentina’s Ambassador to Austria, as well as the Argentine Representative to the IAEA and other Vienna-based international organizations. Mr. Grossi earned a BA in Political Sciences from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in 1983, and he joined the Argentine Foreign Service in 1985. He received his MA and PhD in International Relations, History, and International Politics from the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute

of International Studies in 1997. Mr. Grossi began working on the nuclear policy during a collaboration between the Argentine Foreign Service and INVAP. He served as President of the United Nations Group of Government Experts on the International Weapons Registry from 1997 to 2000. He later became a disarmament adviser to the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General. Mr. Grossi served as Chief of Staff of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons from 2002 to 2007. He visited North Korea’s nuclear facilities while working for the UN and took part in several meetings with Iranian representatives to reach an agreement to freeze the country’s nuclear program. During his work for the Argentine Foreign Service, he was the General Director of Political Coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Ambassador to Belgium, and the Argentine Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva. Mr. Grossi was the Deputy Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency from 2010 to 2013, and last year, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner appointed him as Ambassador to Austria and International Organizations based in Vienna, as well as concurrently in Slovakia and Slovenia. Mr. Grossi was nominated as a candidate

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for Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by the Argentine government in September 2015, with support from other Latin American and Caribbean countries. However, in 2016, Mauricio Macri’s government withdrew its support for Susana Malcorra’s candidacy for UN Secretary-General. He was President of the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2016. President Macri announced in 2017 that he would nominate Mr. Grossi to preside over the 2020 Review Conference of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Mr. Grossi had the idea of reviewing the records of the Comprehensive NuclearTest-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) hydro-acoustic stations as an alternative to obtaining clues about what happened with the submarine in November 2017, after the disappearance of ARA San Juan. He approached Lassina Zerbo, the CTBTO’s Executive Secretary, and persuaded her to conduct such reviews. His efforts were rewarded: the agency later reported on “an underwater impulse event” that occurred near the submarine’s last known position by the listening posts on Ascension and Crozet Islands at 46.12°S 59.69°W. The wreckage of the ill-fated ship was discovered a year later, about twenty kilometers from the estimated position based on the records cited.



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echnology

Why Apps Are Turning People on to Therapy Questions Persist About How Apps Are Regulated By Lauri Goldkind It might be surprising to think about browsing for therapists and ordering up mental health care the way you can peruse a menu on Grubhub or summon a car on Lyft. But over the last decade, digital access to therapy has become increasingly common, in some cases replacing the traditional model of in-person weekly sessions between a therapist and client. Apps for mental health and wellness range from mood trackers, meditation tools and journals to therapy apps that match users to a licensed professional. My team’s research focuses on therapy apps that work by matching clients to a licensed professional. As a social work researcher, I am interested in understanding how

these apps affect clients and practitioners. My research team has studied the care that app users receive. We have talked to therapists who use apps to reach new clients. We’ve also analyzed app contracts that mental health professionals sign, as well as the agreements clients accept by using the apps. Real questions persist about how apps are regulated, how to ensure user privacy and care quality and how remote therapy can be reimbursed by insurance. While those debates continue, people are regularly using apps to connect to therapists for help with emotional and mental struggles. And through these apps, therapists are interacting with people who may never have considered therapy before.

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A READY-MADE MARKET

Credit: (Stocksy United / Alina Hvostikova)

The apps promote flexibility, convenience and the potential to receive support with slogans like “You deserve to be happy” or “Feeling better starts with a single call.”

In the first year of the pandemic, rates of depression and anxiety increased by 25% worldwide. In a June 2020 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40.9% of respondents reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition, compared to only 19% in 2018. The old model of therapy, in which therapists and patients sat face to face, was already out of reach for many. In fact, mental health apps are a response to the demand from clients seeking more accessible therapy services. The COVID-19 pandemic turbocharged both trends – the growing need for mental health care and using technology to access it. For existing mental health clients, stay-at-home orders closed clinics and therapists’ offices to in-person visits, resulting in an unprecedented shift to online access to therapy.

operate under ever-evolving and localized regulations.

HOW MATCHING APPS WORK

WHO BENEFITS FROM THESE APPS?

Consumer mental health platforms like Better Help, Alma and TalkSpace match clients to licensed therapy providers. With advertising on television, across social media channels and on highway billboards, the apps promote flexibility, convenience and the potential to receive support with slogans like “You deserve to be happy” or “Feeling better starts with a single call.” When app users enter a platform’s online space, its proprietary software offers a digital dashboard and communication tools. These platforms also promise instant access to a professional therapist, immediate responsiveness from them as well as anonymity. App users choose a therapist by reviewing a list of providers accompanied by thumbnail photos, resume-like bios and consumer reviews. Users also choose how they’ll connect with therapists – phone or video calls, email, text or some combination. The apps also let clients change therapists at any time. As the client and their chosen therapist connect and communicate, behind the scenes the app collects and maintains records, later calculating the chosen therapist’s payment and billing the app user.

The social workers our team interviewed talked a lot about who can benefit from this kind of app-based therapy and – importantly – who can’t. For example, the platforms are not set up to treat people with serious mental illness or mental disorders that substantially interfere with a person’s life, activities and ability to function independently. Similarly, app-based psychotherapy is not suitable for those having suicidal thoughts. The platforms screen users for risk of selfharm when they sign up. If a client ever poses harm to themselves or someone else, user anonymity on the apps makes it almost impossible for a therapist to send a crisis response team. Appbased practitioners told our research team that they sometimes end up monitoring their clients for signs of crisis by contacting them through the app more frequently. It’s one reason app therapists, who also screen users, sometimes reject potential clients who may need a higher level of care. For those without severe mental illness, app-based therapy may be helpful in matching clients with a professional familiar with a range of problems and stressors. This makes apps attractive to those with anxiety and mild to moderate depression. They also appeal to people who wouldn’t ordinarily seek out office-based therapy, but who want help with life issues such as marital problems and work-related stress. The apps could also be practical and convenient for those who can’t or won’t get formal therapy, even remotely, from a mental health clinic or office. For instance, the anonymity of apps might appeal to people suffering from conditions like social anxiety or agoraphobia, or for those individuals who can’t or won’t appear on a video call. Therapy apps have helped to normalize the idea that it’s OK to pursue mental health treatment through nontraditional routes. And with high-profile people such as Michael Phelps and Ariana Grande partnering with these apps, they might even be on their way to making mental health treatment cool.

APPS AND THEIR RISKS Curiously, while mental health app platforms promote themselves as providers of mental health services, they actually don’t take responsibility for the counseling services they are providing. The apps consider therapists to be independent contractors, with the platform acting as a matching service. And the apps can help users find a more suitable fit if they request it. But no law or precedent protects consumers or clarifies app users’ rights. This differs from face-to-face therapy, in which practitioners work under the oversight of state licensing boards and federal law. Some of the major therapy apps have been accused of mining client data and being at risk for data breaches. Like other virtual spaces, online mental health service domains

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This article was originally published by Fast Company.


H

ealth

What to Do When Your Kids Confront You About Your Health How to Respond If You Agree They May Be on to Something

By Heidi Godman You’ve spent most of your life worrying about your children’s health and safety, and it can feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar when the roles are reversed. That may be the case if your adult children express concerns that you’re having a hard time walking, driving, or remembering details. How do you respond? Here’s advice and insight from Abby Altman, a geriatric psychologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Dr. Suzanne Salamon, associate chief of gerontology at ­Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. What should you keep in mind? “These conversations often come from a place of concern and love. Your children value your life and your being in this world as long as possible,” Altman says. “Also, your health and related treatment have an impact on the entire family unit. Ultimately, you are the one who makes the choices that can affect your health. But your children might have other perspectives on the best ways to keep you well. It’s worth listening to their ideas.” What if it feels intrusive? “In my work with families, I encourage parents to consider what is in their control in these interactions with their adult children and what is not. You cannot turn off the worries and feedback your children have about your health -- and truly, it’s nice that they care. But you always have the right to express

how concerns are communicated to you, and the right to take on the situation without their help,” Altman points out. How do most parents react? “It runs the entire gamut,” Dr. Salamon says. “You have some patients who are thrilled their kids want to be involved. But some don’t want that: just yesterday, I had an 88-year-old lady who left her adult child in the waiting room. She wanted me to speak only with her. Unfortunately, the people who don’t want their kids involved are often the ones who actually need the help and support of the kids.” What should you say if you disagree? “Responses to your adult children should express some appreciation for the feedback, like ‘thanks for thinking of me.’ Also, since your adult children might only see snapshots of your dayto-day life, you might be able to share your perspectives on the greater reality. For example, you could point out that one occasion of eating fast food or missing an appointment isn’t the norm,” Altman says. “At the end of the day, your adult children likely want to hear that you’re trying your best to stick around as long as possible. If you disagree with their concerns, it’s better to say that you’ll think about their concerns than to say their concerns aren’t valid. Also, offering your children some examples of what you are currently doing for health, such as trying a heart-healthy diet, might be helpful and decrease some of their concerns.” Do your kids’ concerns warrant a doctor visit? “If your child expresses a concern, don’t disregard it because you don’t like the sound of it. For example, if they notice that

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)Credit: (TNS

you’re out of breath when you walk, that your legs are swollen, or that you can’t hear as well as you used to, take these observations seriously. If you catch a condition early, you may be able to something about it,” Dr. Salamon says. “So write down the concerns and then mention them at your next doctor appointment, or call your doctor if you’re worried. Your doctor may say it’s nothing.” What if their concerns are about cognitive health? “These types of concerns can feel more sensitive due to the fears we have about a loss of independence. But certain symptoms are not part of age-related memory loss: frequent bouts of forgetfulness, difficulty communicating or finding words, difficulty keeping track of what happens within a day, not being sure where you are, having difficulty planning, organizing, or handling complex tasks. If those things are making it more challenging to do your day-to-day tasks -- such as taking medications or managing finances -- a doctor visit is certainly warranted,” Altman says. How do you let your kids help you and still retain some privacy? “Unless your medical team has noted that your capacity to make medical decisions is significantly impaired, your doctor should speak to you first for all health decisions. If you want your medical team to be able to speak to your adult children directly, you can fill out a release of information form that specifies who your medical team can communicate with and which information is okay to share,” Altman says. “When these release forms are signed, I will often call fam-

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“These conversations often come from a place of concern and love. Your children value your life and your being in this world as long as possible.” ily members during a patient’s appointment so that nothing is hidden from the patient. You can request similar setups with all of your doctors. Also, with your permission, adult children can be granted access to your electronic medical record, and also allowed to send your health care providers messages about you.” How much should you allow your kids to help? “Be frank about asking them to do whatever you need,” Dr. Salamon says, “You may not realize that you need any help. But there are times when you may. For example, if you’re not taking medications as you’re supposed to, or you can’t open pill bottles, or if you notice that you’re not getting refills, that’s a good time to ask your child to set up a pillbox. Don’t feel that you’re bothering your kids. You’ve been trying to stay as independent as possible. You’ll be healthier if everything is in order, and your kids will likely be willing and happy to assist you.” This article was originally published by Harvard Health.