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Editor Saquib Malik

Middle East Gloria de Waal - Montgomery

Deputy Editor Peter Moore

Sports Amit Singh

Africa Mark Anderson

To get in touch, editorial staff should be contacted at

The Americas Joseph Buckley

JAKE THURSTON Year Abroad By sheer conindence as the editors of The SOAS Spirit sat down to discuss some technical difficulties in establishing a brand new paper, an eavesdropping voice interupted our conversation to help - and the rest is history. Jake quickly became one of the most important members of the editorial team last year as shown by his computer know-how, technical wizardry and above all, patience with the rest of us. Without Jake and his consitent dedication it is highly probable that this paper never would have been born and you would not be reading this. Have fun in China Jake and come back soon, we miss you already!


LILY HE Graduated 2011 Lily brought an critical and creative eye that The SOAS Spirit so desperately needed last year. The layout and design of the paper improved dramatically when Lily joined the editorial team. Under-valued, she worked tirelessly through travelling continents and essay deadlines to ensure that the paper was always ready on time. We’ll always remember the day in the JCR when she devasted to lose 6 hours worth of work towards to the paper, only to come back the next day with with it all re-done, having worked through the night. You contributed more to the paper than people realised Lily, as we all learned from you stylistic skills to improve visual aspects of the paper. You are the biggest loss to the paper and you will be sorely missed. We truly wish you the best for whatever you chose to do next in life.



Know Your Union...........................................................3 Freshers forghtnight calender........................................4 New Pizza Machine + Yurt.............................................6 Basketball, Graduation Blunder + SOAS Abroad..........7 Israeli Apartheid + SOAS EGM......................................8 London Cleaners, The Rustle + Competition.................9 OVERHEAD AT SOAS...................................................10 Middle East...................................................................12 Africa.............................................................................14 The Americas................................................................15 London Life...................................................................16 Sports............................................................................17







GREETINGS, FELLOW SOASIAN! As your Co-President of Finance and Communications for 2011-2012, it gives me great joy and honour to welcome you all to the wonder, the delight, the bundle of sheer unabashed pride that is SOAS! Having spent nigh on five years here, I can safely say that there is nothing like this place. The content you study, the manner in which you study it, the debates you have, the societies you partake in, the sports teams you sweat for, everything here is tinged with a SOASian spice of the rarest and most valued flavours. Many of you will know about SOAS before coming, but it is safe to say that many of you may not know as much as you would have liked before arriving at this place you’re about to call home. The best way to feel at home straight away is by getting involved; whether it be in the form of a student rep for

your course, or as a sportsman, or as an avid campaigner, or all of the above, there is nothing stopping you from adding your effort to the legacy that is the SOAS Student’s Union. As Co-Pres for Fin/Com, my responsibilities range from organising the Union’s finances and keeping them public and transparent, to being a point of contact between SOAS and the outside world, whilst trying to improve internal communications between the union and the school, and with the SU itself. But the main responsibility is making sure that Union members feel as if they are having the best time possible whilst at SOAS, and whether that involves a cup of tea and chat, or looking to set up the next world-changing student-led project, I’m always there primarily to help. Contact me on or ring me on 020 7898 4995.

WELFARE & EDUCATION OFFICER: ARRIANA TASSINARI My job is to ensure that the students’ opinions and issues regarding the educational provision at SOAS are represented within the School, and that your welfare needs are adequately catered for. I work behind the scenes and campaign to get improvements on the many education issues that affect your student experience at SOAS. Defending our education against the destructive government education policies is also, I believe, a fundamental part of my role. As I was elected to do, I’ll make sure SOAS SU stays at the forefront of the struggle this year to fight the marketisation and privatisation of universities and all course cuts here at SOAS and beyond. My welfare role means that I am here to provide support and guidance for any issues you

might have whilst at SOAS, so get in touch and I’ll be here to advise you! This year I aim to make the SU welfare campaigns more visible, paying special attention to issues that have been neglected before, like mental and sexual health, as well as to the challenges faced by students with disabilities and by student parents. I also work with the Liberation officers (Black, Students with disabilities, LGBT, Women) to ensure that equality and diversity are truly celebrated and respected within SOAS. There’s lots more to my role, but only limited space here... If you have questions or need any support, come see me or drop me an email at Looking forward to meeting you all in this new year!

SPORTS AND SOCIETIES OFFICER: CHUCK MADEKWE “You do not choose SOAS. SOAS chooses YOU” and it is in the spirit of that old saying that we welcome you to SOAS Student Union. This is one of the most active unions in the country and we owe that accolade to over 150 societies and Sports clubs who go beyond the line of duty to represent SOAS and mastermind the most creative events. We have been working over the summer to ensure a more diverse inclusive union which is truly representative of the general student body. My first task as your Co President for Sports and Societies was ensuring Freshers Fortnight gets off to a flying start and after a few months of toiling, we are set to go and the events diary is one of the most diverse of recent times. We have enlisted the help of some of our most active societies to create a well rounded fortnight so whether it’s your first week at SOAS or your fourth year there is something for everyone. Your time as a student here will fly and as much as the Union is here to enhance your student experience it is also up to you to get involved and get the most out of the Union. Extracurricular activities within the union are what creates an un-

forgettable experience as well as give you ownership over your university. Do not live on the fringes! Join the rejuvenated SU Crew team if you’re a final year student strapped for time or a fresher keen to gain a wider insight on the workings of the union. A full list of our Societies and Sports clubs will be published on after the Freshers Fayre Festival This year, we hope to keep the union at the forefront of student activism with the introduction of SOAS in the community projects aimed at creating student led volunteer schemes in London actively engaging you with the city you study in. Over the past year the Friday Night Live music sessions in SOAS became legendary but our biggest challenge as a union is to fund and maintain the quality of the nights while having as many FREE events as possible. The Peel Centre, the new home for all SOAS indoor sports is now fully functional. Located just behind the Vernon Square campus it makes SOAS Sports accessible and will provide many opportunities to increase our recreational sports as well as enhance our competitive ones. There are so many new and wonder-

ful changes at the Union this year and we hope that you’re equally as excited as we are. A great example is the SU website which is getting more attention and updates than ever before. Check it out for more news on Sports and Societies and if you have any suggestions on how we can serve you better then contact me at or even better pop into the Student Union office (G8)

[Meet @]

MAIN EVENT - £10: 22:00-02:00 SOAS WARRIORS RFC present: GAME ON, FRESHERS @


18:00-20:00 DEBATING SOC ARAB DEMOCRACIES & THE WEST SOAS‟s most successful debaters in action! [JCR]

17:00-18:00 SU WELCOME TALK [BGLT]

16:00-18:00 SOAS GO KARTING TROCADERO TRIP TGI Friday meal and Bumper Cars at London Trocadero £10-£15 for Meal and £3 for Bumper Cars [Meet @ SOAS STEPS]

14:00-16:00 FRIENDS OF AFRICA SOC TASTER WORKSHOPS African drumming and dancing workshops with Food and African Inspired Cocktails/ Mojitos [JCR]

12:00-13:30 GYM INDUCTION Want to join a gym? We‟ve got a great deal with Bloomsbury Gym this year. Take a look. [Meet @ SOAS Steps]

11:00-14:00 GAMING SOC ENROLMENT CELEBRATION GAMES From Playstation to checkers, twister and poker. [JCR]

10:00-11:00 ASHTANGA YOGA [IOE - S16 Opposite Bar]




Ceilidh, Rebetiko, Iranian Music Soc African Drum Soc present LUCAS LIVE [G2]

MAIN EVENT - FREE: 19:00-23:30 Bollywood Soc /SAPA JAM present BOLLYWOOD NIGHT [JCR]

17:00-19:00 DIdNtWIDDY Speed-date meet‟n‟greet for all those who don‟t live in Dinwiddy [BAR]

17:00-19:00 SOCIALIST WORKERS SOC INTRODUCTION MEETING Get to know the ins and outs of the Socialist Workers Soc and their campaigns this year. [MAIN BUILDING - 4421]

16:30-18:00 CHRISTIAN MUSLIM DIALOGUE SOC CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM & THE BRITISH MUSEUM Exploring significant historical moments of Christianity and Islam in the British Museum [Meet @ SOAS STEPS]

16:30-18:30 ATTAC : SOAS FILMSCREENING - “DEBTOCRACY” A documentary produced by the audience, DEBTOCRACY seeks the causes of the debt crisis and proposes solutions [B111]

15:00-17:00 LONDON CITIZENS COMMUNITY ORGANISATION WORKSHOPS How to get involved with community organising in London [JCR]

14:30-17:00 CHRISTIAN UNION SOC ULTIMATE FRISBEE & CAKE Fun and frolic in Regents Park [Meet @ SOAS STEPS]

10:00-11:15 14:00-15:15 11:45-13:00 15:45-17:00 ALI KHAN‟s BIG BUS TOUR Your Co-Pres Fin/Com is also a London tour guide. Get onboard and ask him ridiculous questions about London, with AFRICA DRUM SOC playing onboard - £4 [RUSSELL SQ]

TUE 27/09


21:00-22:00 CYCLING SOC GUIDED TOUR Rent-a-bike Guided tour to the MAIN EVENT [Meet @ SOAS STEPS]

16:00-18:00 SOAS VENTURES BIRTHDAY PARTY Come and celebrate SOAS VENTURES‟ 1st Birthday, with cake and ice-cream, awww... [YURT]

16:00-17:00 FIRST AID SOC FRESHERS FIRST AID TRAINING SESSION Learn how to save a life! [B104]

15:00-16:00 SU WELCOME TALK [BGLT]

14:00-15:00 JAMES JACOB‟S LONDON WALKING TOUR JJ‟s whirlwind adventure around London. [Meet @ SOAS STEPS]

14:00-15:00 ALEX ETCHART, UNION SECRETARY REBEL CLOWN WORKSHOP Max 15 people, signup beforehand by emailing for location and confirmation.

13:00-14:00 SOAS SU INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOP TOUR Steph Chan will take you to the best independent bookshops in town. [Meet @ BRUNEI STEPS]

13:00-15:00 SPIRTIUAL DIALOGUE SOCIETY HERBAL MEDECINE WORKSHOP An introduction into alternative medicine [YURT]


10:00-13:00 LEARNING & TEACHING UNIT LEARNING STYLES WORKSHOP Carol John, Learning Advisor, will be on hand to help you develop more effective studying methods. [L62]

WED 28/09

AFTERPARTY 22:30 03:00 SOAS Palestine Society Present: ARABIAN NIGHTS @ BAR RHUMBA (£5 on its own)


18:30-20:00 DRAMA SOC REVIEW SHOWCASE A series of shorts from SOAS DRAMA Soc. [JCR]

17:00-18:30 SOAS ANTI-CUTS Where Next for the Student Movement?

18:00-20:00 SPIRITUAL DIALOGUE SOCIETY FILMSCREENING - “THE SACRED TREE” A film highlighting the spiritual practices of the greater global community [4418]

16:30-17:30 LGBTQ SOC MEET N GREET PICNIC Come and meet members of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer Liberation Group [YURT]

15:45-18:00 CHRISTIAN UNION A VERY ENGLISH TEA PARTY International Students, come and see a piece of English culture „at its highest‟. [Meet @ SOAS STEPS]


13:00-14:30 GYM INDUCTION Want to join a gym? We‟ve got a great deal with Bloomsbury Gym this year. Take a look. [Meet @ SOAS Steps]

THUR 29/09


MAIN EVENT - FREE: 11:00-02:00 ULU FRESHERS FAYRE FESTIVAL Visit ULU, Malet Street, from 11:00 - 16:00 to see demonstrations of clubs and societies of our University of London Union. For more information about UoL, or ULU, consult the FRESHERS‟ HANDBOOK - p13.

18.00-22:00 SOAS POKER LEAGUE £5 „DOUBLE CHANCE‟ POKER TOURNAMENT Tuition from 6pm, tournament starts 6.45pm [PGCR– Room 238]

19:00-21:00 AFRICAN & CARIBBEAN SOC (ACS) POETRY NIGHT Poetry and spoken word provided by the ACS. [JCR]

18:30-22:00 WOMEN ONLY EVENT AN EVENING OF DHIKR Prayer and Recital with the Boutchichi Sufis of Morocco. [B104]



10:00-11:00 HATHA YOGA [IOE - S16]

FRI 30/09




£8 BEFORE 10pm, £12 after

21:00-04:00 SOAS SDS presents RELEASE X



16:00-17:00 SOAS BIG PHOTO Get yourself to the Lawn by the Brunei to be part of the FRESHERS 2011 BIG PHOTO.



08:00 - 10:00 SOAS WARRIORS RFC ENGLAND v SCOTLAND @ WALKABOUT £10 For Full English and a seat to watch the RUGBY WORLD CUP . Only 25 spaces available. First come first serve. Contact

SAT 01/10

For more info on any of the events visit:

EVENTS ARE FREE UNLESS ADVERTISED NOT. Tickets all available at soas su: Russell square


4D presents



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19:30-20:30 POOL SOC -

19:00-21:00 AFRICAN & CARIBBEAN SOC NOLLYWOOD MOVIE SCREENING Come and see a film from Nigeria‟s growing film industry. [G50]

17:30-19:30 THE SU BIG QUESTION DEBATE A five member guest panel discussion on The Riots of 2011 [JCR]

17:30-20:00 INTRODUCTION TO YELP Interested in teaching in the local community? Come and meet one of the most successful volunteering societies at SOAS. [MAIN BUILDING - 403]

10:00-11:00 ASHTANGA YOGA [IOE - S16]

MON 03/10

16:00-22:30 DEBATING SOCIETY PUB CRAWL Our Debate team will take you on a crawl around Bloomsbury [Meet @ SOAS STEPS]

14:00-16:00 MAMA ARI‟S WONDERFUL ITALIAN COOKING WORKSHOP Our Co-Pres for Welfare and Education conducts a lesson in culinary excellence. [DINWIDDY - A5:C]

12:00-17:00 SOAS COMMON GROUND COMMUNITY GARDEN OPEN DAY [Behind Dinwiddy, opposite Vernon Square]


10:00-17:00 AFRICAN & CARRIBBEAN SOC (ACS) BLACK HISTORY LIVE Seminars, workshops and performances galore involving Black History. Contact Lateef for tickets [WEMBLEY STADIUM]

SUN 02/10


A feast taking place in the JCR, with societies providing foods from across Asia and Africa. Expect dishes from the famous SOAS RECIPE BOOK. Pop down for a truly SOASian culinary spectacle.


19:00-22:00 PALESTINE SOC FILMSCREENING - “THE KILLING ZONE” Documentary on violence in Gaza, not only on civilians, but on international aid workers too. [B104]


18:00-22:00 KOREA SOC WINE & DINE, FOLLOWED BY CLUBNIGHT Korea Soc are holding a wine & dine dinner @ SOJU in Soho, and then joining the UNIVERSITY OF LONDON KOREA SOC clubnight @ STUDIO VALBONNE, Soho. Email Yiji on for more info. [Meet @ SOAS STEPS]

18:30-19:30 SOCIALIST WORKERS SOC INTRODUCTION MEETING Get to know the ins and outs of the Socialist Workers Soc and their campaigns this year. [MAIN BUILDING - 443]

18:00-20:00 STUDENTS FOR SENSIBILE DRUG POLICY DRUG WAR TEA PARTY Believe in a more nuanced approach to drugs? Come and meet like minded people for tea. [MAIN BUILDING - 445]


17:00-18:30 SOAS STUDENTS UNION UNION GENERAL MEETING (UGM) THE DEMOCRATIC HEART OF SOAS SU. Come and be part of your Students‟ Union and vote on policies and issues that affect your student life at SOAS. See p9 of the SU handbook 2011 for more info.

16:00-17:00 FOOTBALL BEYOND BORDERS REPORT ON 2011 TOUR TO MIDDLE EAST Jasper Kain reports on the 2011 Beyond Borders tour to Egypt, Palestine & Jordan [JCR]

TUES 04/10


21:00-23:00 One of the most incredible creations of last year turns into a legacy. Bring yourselves, your mates and your instruments down to SOAS and JAM. Come and see the home-grown talent that makes us famous!

MAIN EVENT - FREE: 19:00-23:00 THE FAMOUS SOAS PUB QUIZ Come down to the bar and take part in one of SOAS‟ most treasured traditions.

19:00-21:00 PAKISTAN SOC Q&A WITH ASMA JAHANGIR The President of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and Human Rights Activist holds a question and answer session. [KLT]

18:00-19:30 POLITICS SOC WHY THE F**K IS THE WORLD COMING APART? A meet n greet with a twist. Come and meet the society that embodies the SOAS experience. Contact for more info. [MAIN BUILDING - 116]

17:00-20:00 KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS SOC RADHANATH SWAMI TALK Join Radhanath Maharaja, world renowned swami and leader of the spiritual community of Radha Gopinath Ashram in Chowpatty, Mumbai, as he gives a rare and enlightening talk. [JCR]

16:00-17:00 EDUCATION AND THE FIGHT AGAINST HIV Guido Manfrini, BSc Economics and Development student, discusses the role of education in the fight against HIV with particular reference to his experience in Andra Pradesh. [JCR]

12:30-17:00 SOAS WARRIORS RFC RUGBY TASTER A taster session in Regents‟ Park for all those looking to play, or just support SOAS Rugby this year. For more information, email [Meet @ SOAS STEPS]

11:00-18:00 WEDNESDAY BAZAAR In true SOAS SU tradition, the JCR turns into a marketplace full of stalls selling food, to books, to trinkets of all shapes and sizes from across the world. [JCR]

WED 05/10

MAIN EVENT - £8: 19:30-02:30 BACK TO SCHOOL Whether you‟re new to the School of Oriental and African Studies, or you really are coming „back to school‟, get yourself down to WALKABOUT TEMPLE for a good old-fashioned back to school night.

19:00-21:00 ACTIVISTS GATHERING A meeting to discuss the direction and scope that activism at SOAS is to take this year. [B104]

19:00-20:00 DEBATE SOC WORKSHOP A workshop designed to improve and hone your debating skills. [B102]

17:00-21:00 GOOD BEER SOC PUB CRAWL Good Beer. Good Times. Take a pub by pub tour around Bloomsbury and find your favourite. [Meet @ BRUNEI Steps]

17:00-19:00 CAMDEN NHS SEXUAL HEALTH WORKSHOP Sex is good. But keeping it healthy is important. Come and learn how and why. [JCR]

15:30-18:30 SOAS CRITICAL MASS RADICAL BIKE TOUR Bring your bike and come along to discover the most radical places in London [Meet @ SOAS Steps]

THURS 06/10

MAIN EVENT - FREE: 20:00-01:00 FRESHERS FINALE This is it. The night to top it all off. Get on down to SOAS to see the extravaganza that is SOAS on a Friday night. With DELE SOSIMI and the backing band from FELA THE MUSICAL playing live in the JCR, as well as BEATSOC NEON CIRCUS, it‟s going to be a night to remember.

18:30-20:00 SPIRITUAL DIALOGUE SOC SALAAM CAFÉ Peace is the word. Come and take some time to talk it all out. [YURT]

17:30-20:30 BOLLYWOOD SOC FILMSCREENING Come and chill out watching some of the world‟s most popular film culture. [B102]

17:00-19:00 PUBLIC SPEAKING SOC WORKSHOP Come and improve your public speaking through this fantastic workshop hosted by SOAS Public Speaking Soc. [MAIN BUILDING - G51]

16:00-18:00 BEAT SOC BEATMAKERS A workshop held by SOAS BEAT SOC on mixing and creating electronic music. [JCR]

10:00-11:00 HATHA YOGA [IOE - S16]

FRI 07/10



11:00 - 15:00 SUNDAY MARKET CRAWL One of the best things to do in London on a Sunday is to crawl through one of the many markets around the city. Whether it‟s the hotdog stall at Borough Market, or the Sushi stand at Greenwich Market, you will find your favourite. [Meet @ SOAS Steps]

[Meet @ SOAS Steps]


SUN 0/10


Based on the famous game show, SOAS contestants will have to travel around London getting to know the city, arriving at pitstops, and aiming to get back to the white steps first.

12:00 - 18:00 SOAS: THE AMAZING RACE

SAT 08/10

For more info on any of the events visit:

EVENTS ARE FREE UNLESS ADVERTISED NOT. Tickets all available at soas su: Russell square









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Normally when students at SOAS are angered or annoyed it is usually directed


at some distant location in the world at some either abstract or actual violation of justice. However over the last 12 months we seen that anger directed at the footsteps of SOAS – at a small structure known as ‘The Yurt’. Originally proposed by Sebilo Uribe and seconded by Becca Bond in the November Union General Meeting (UGM) in 2009, the motion for a ‘Yurt’ passed with a near unanimous vote, with no complaints from students. According to a recent interview with Sebilio, he claimed the Yurt was meant to solve the problem where the Student Union would be situated during the recent refurbishment. However a reluctance from the SOAS exec to invest caused to official deal to be delayed to as late as March 2010. The delay meant the Yurt, which was bought of a group of Nomads in Kazakhstan, did not even arrive till June 2010, by which time the SU had been relocated to a temporary location till the refurb was over. It was when the Yurt was officially displayed and ready for use in October 2010 that the rage of some SOAS students turned on the Yurt and anyone responsible for its encroachment on the SOAS shores. The essence of the annoyance seemed to be directed at the ‘waste of money’ these students felt the Yurt, however few of those same students could name the amount spent on it. It was £7,400 by the way. Since then the Yurt has turned into a free and almost autonomous space for SOAS students. So far at least 5 different societies have used the Yurt, including the Hitchhiking, Yoga and Iranian societies. Teachers used it as a classroom during the occupation and it has been used as a venue for SOAS parties. It was also rented out to the Music Department for £400. Highly doubtful that any of the fiscal responsibility warriors complaining about the Yurt bothered to look into any of these facts. Neither is it likely that they looked into the much larger wastage of funds that occurs regularly at SOAS. The refurbishment for example, which cost us a whooping £300,000 but now has caused cracks in the SU office. Or the fact the company responsible for the refurb was planning on using lamp-shades that cost £1,000 each, until they were dissuaded by Sebilo. How about our brand-new Audio-Visual lab, smartly built right on top of our Music Practise room in G50 so the two can never be used at the same time. And you can bet your bottom dollar they spent much more than Yurt’s worth on that. This is not to say two wrongs make a right. There were significant failures in the deal the Union got for the Yurt. Firstly, the farcical time it took for the exec to pass something the student body voted on 6 months earlier. Secondly, incompetence meant that the size was half of what it should’ve been. This was because there were translation problems when dealing with the Kazakhstani nomands, supposedly planned for this potential problem. Driving a hard bargain against a group of nomads may be against the ethos of the SOAS student union however it should not be the students who are short-changed so the union can deal with these groups. But essentially is a very small expenditure in the grand scheme of things, and as it rented out to more groups, any money spent on it will be recouped. If people genuinely cared about irresponsible spending they would investigate much deeper than the hut they can see from the JCR. POTENTIAL LOSERS:

NEW PIZZA MACHINE AT SOAS! From a potential waste of union funds to an undeniable stroke of genius as SOAS unveils its first ever ‘Fresh Pizza Machine’, is now ready to use just outside the downstairs computer room of RB01. For countless untold years now SOAS students have been crying out for a source of hot food that would be cheap and available around-the-clock. For too long hard working students were forced to leave the SOAS premises in the hunt for hot food, if they were working late nights. The detour from the library would often eat up valuable chunks of their time as they venture as far out as Tottenham Court road in the search of some suitable snacks. The SOAS canteen has always been a viable option however not modestly priced and being closed for significant portion of the day rendered itself redundant to the majority of the SOAS populace. Especially for anyone that wants hot food after 20:30. With SOASians seemingly stuck in this perpetual cycle, it seems the new catering company took the initiative to feed the hungry students. The installation of the new Pizza machine, which lets you watch as it ‘kneads’ the dough, means that SOAS finally have a 24-hour source of hot food which is close by. And at £3.50 a pizza is affordable by all. (Some of the more religious amongst us may scoff at the 3 of the 4 pizza options having pork in them however) So congratulations SOAS, we as students rarely ever praise you for all the good that you do, as we love to complain, however this truly is a great deal for students all round. Early reports suggest that the pizza taste good as well, so else could you ask for!

One group that stands to lose a great

The new Pizza machine offers 4 choice of pizzas deal in this move, who have yet to be 1) Margherita 2) Pepperoni 3) Ham 4) Bacon

mentioned, is the well known pizza chain near SOAS called Icco. The store had an near monoply on providing SOAS students with high quality yet low priced food. The effect this machinewill have on their business remains to be seen.




MYSTERY OF BASKETBALL BEYOND BORDERS CONTINUES Summer 2011 was set to be a grand stage for To settle any concerns about the safety and integSOAS Sport, with three teams claiming to be conducting the now famous Beyond Borders tour. This began with the SOAS mens football team creating and spear heading the idea for the last two years. This year the mens cricket team and basketball team had jumped aboard too, claiming they too would embark on tours to India and East Africa respectively. As summer as been and gone only of these three teams has thus far lived up to their promise and it has been the same team as the previous two years. The football team embarked on an audacious tour to the Middle East, including Palestine and Gaza. Unfortunately, for another year, the Cricket and Basketball team have been left sitting at home. The cricket team, in recognition of this failure are set to announce a deadline shortly by which if sufficient plans are not in place to proceed with a tour they will be donating the £3000 to charity. The basketball team however have no such plans. In a recent interview with tour manager ‘Samson’, he was adamant that despite their failure to go on tour this past summer they are still committed to a tour in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. The date of this tour he claimed will be revealed in ‘a few months time’. When asked if the basketball team would follow the cricket teams example by donating the money raised to charity, he stated no such back up plans were in place as he was ‘completely committed’ to a tour in near future.

rity of the money raised by the team, Samson has declared a website will be going online in the ‘next few months’ detailing exactly how much money they have raised and when. To what extent the SOAS student body accept this explanation, remains to be seen. It is true that Union General manager Peter Baran expressed concerns about the way in which money had been collected by sports teams this past year. Therefore this leaves the SOAS students and indeed the SOAS Spirit very much in the same place that we were before: wondering what exactly is happening with the Basketball tour. At least time round Samson himself has given his personal assurance that a tour will be taking place in the near future. Details of which will be revealed in the coming months. Whilst it all sounds quite vague and hazy, if in 5 months there has been no progression there will be much more serious questions posed. Until then, we will all have to sit tight and wait to see the details of Basketball Beyond borders v2. Left: Samson explains about Basketball Beyond Borders

MANAGMENT LEFT RED-FACED AFTER GRADUATION BLUNDER SOAS Management was left redfaced this past July as it emerged that in fact they had failed to book a hall big enough to seat all those graduating this past year with their families. As SOAS had become accustomed to last minute cancellations, they decided to save

themselves some money by renting out a smaller room this year. However this shrewd move quickly backfired as the hall became over subscribed and graduates who had booked their tickets before the deadline were being pleaded to accept a refund for their ticket and their guests would have the

When SOASians go abroad its often to destinations

from Addis Ababa to Andra Pradesh. Perhaps not your typical summer holiday destinations but at SOAS going to Zante or Kos is almost unthinkable. There is of course nothing wrong about wanting to find out about other cultures and embrace different ways of living however it all goes wrong when I look at Facebook and see middle (often upper-middle) class people who apparently now ‘live’ in India or ‘live’ in Palestine according to their ‘location’ and ‘address’ on their information section. These people of course don’t really live there, they are just middle-class kids on holiday. ‘Living’ in India does not constitute smoking weed in Manali or taking photos of yourself sitting cross legged by the Ganges. I don’t think many Indians take photos of themselves engaging in either of these activities to be quite honest. I myself certainly do not... What all this shows is how ridiculously middle class SOAS has become as well as SOAS activism. Nothing highlights this better than those who go to Palestine over the summer and post photos of themselves posing with bright signs that have Martin Luther King quotes written on that presumably most of the locals don’t understand. Who during a political rally has time to pose for such a photo? Your typical SOASian abroad of course. Desperate to show off to their friends how cool and alternative they are, how left wing and inspirational they are. Really I’m sure the people of Palestine are eternally grateful for your

pleasure of watching their son or daughters most prestigious academic moment through a live internet stream next door. This sham continued right until the beginning of the ceremony where some parents were given extra seating on stage.


Gap Yah Star Matt Lacey filmed the Sequel to his viral hit on the steps of SOAS

brilliant sign making and photography skills. The case of Africa is also an excellent example. It is almost as if SOAS demand photo’s of applicants with African babies as a prerequisite for getting in. Probably half of the

SOASians with such photos dumped the kids back on the street after they’d got their wonderful Kodak moment. Boasting about all the wonderful ‘NGO work’ they did to ‘save the kids’ from the social injustices of African life.



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OVER-USE OF ‘APARTHEID’ HAS BEEN COUNTER PRODUCTIVE TO PALESTINIAN CAUSE PETER MOORE Condemnation of Israeli Apartheid has become so commonplace in SOAS as to make it unremarkable. Many in our community loudly and proudly condemn the terrible atrocities of the Zionists as the product of a warped and racist world view. Israel, from this perspective, is no better than the Apartheid regime of South Africa. Israel is focused on ethnic domination and the control of Arabs. This comparison is not just mistaken, it is intellectually lazy at best and manipulative at worst. To be sure, this is not pulled out of thin air: to be a Jew in Israel is to be a privileged citizen. The Apartheid analogy does, however, obscure the complexity of Israeli life and relegates the true cause of Israel’s criminality to the status of mood music. What occurs in Israel and the Occupied Territories is not a product of racism but greed. This, as Jimmy Carter has repeatedly emphasised, is not Apartheid but is a land grab. This doesn’t alter the reality of widespread bigotry in Israel. Just under half of current Israeli high school students and future soldiers say that Arabs do not deserve equal rights, according to Haaretz. 46%

of their parents do not want Arab neighbours. In the occupied territories Palestinians are blocked from entering Israel proper whilst their Jewish neighbours have sleek motorways built to give them a fifty minute commute to Tel Aviv. These same neighbours living, of course, on land confiscated from Palestinians.

‘This comparison is not just mistaken, it is intellectually lazy at best and manipulative at worst’ Yet the further one moves from the business end of the occupation and theft of the land, the more one sees the side of Israel which its apologists push. The Israel where an Arab Supreme Court judge sits in judgement of a former President of the State and Israeli Arabs on the local ‘Big Brother’ win popularity. A country where Arabs advocating the end of Israel as a specifically Jewish state enter parliament and talk on state television. And most crucially, a place where the state takes action to enforce the legal equality which is routinely threatened by bigotry and hostility. It may be true that so many feet are dragged on these issues that the carpets of

Israeli ministries are threadbare, but nevertheless the head of land management will eventually force an unusually closed-minded community to accept an Arab family and the Defence Ministry will stop its soldiers from committing terrible crimes in the territories. This is as much a part of the reality as the oppression. To deny Israeli Apartheid is not to be an apologist for the actions of the state and occupation. Nor is denial an obscure academic quibble, a mere debate over the nature of Israeli wrongdoing whilst accepting wholeheartedly its very existence. It is a recognition that the major problems at the heart of this conflict are not ethnic, but national-territorial and that Israel is perfectly capable of acting decently when the issue of land is not at stake. It is only by supporting and not boycotting this decency that we, as peripheral players, can play a constructive role.

UNEASY CALM IN GAZA AFTER SOAS EGM VOTE Fighting has ended in Gaza after an urgent vote at the SOAS Student Union’s Extraordinary General Meeting condemned the ‘aggression’ of the Israeli government. Forty Palestinians, most of whom are believed to be civilians, died in the week-long fighting which also killed two Israeli soldiers. Clashes began after a number of rockets launched from Gaza hit a warehouse near the town of Sderot, injuring one worker. Uri Dotan, the official spokesman for Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has said that the Israeli government rejected the accusations of aggression, stating that it was legitimate action to ‘dismantle Hamas’s infrastructure of terror in Gaza’. Senior Israeli officials have said, however, that Netanyahu was keen to avoid a repeat of the diplomatic and political ‘gallery crisis’ caused when SOAS students occupied the Brunei Gallery in 2009. The events caused a major rift in the Israeli Labor Party, isolating

Defence Minister Ehud Barak and cutting the coalition government’s majority after the pro-SOAS faction of the party joined opposition ranks. In Gaza, the news of the vote was met with jubilant celebrations on the streets, as the people of the blockaded enclave took to the streets to express their support for the SOAS union’s decision. Omar al-Hiya, a Gaza resident and restaurant owner, thanked the union ‘for their brave declaration of solidarity, which has stopped the Israeli aggression against our people’. The decision has not been universally welcomed, however, with Hamas Legislative Council member Ahmad Bahar stating that ‘whilst we are thankful to SOAS for ending the violence, it is indicative of the corrosive effects of the occupation for our people that a Western body would become the shining light of our resistance to the Zionists’.

Cabinet photographer captures moment SOAS vote result arrives




University of London cleaners continue fight for fair pay Arianna Tassinari

SOAS Students’ Union has a long tradition of campaigning for just, equal and dignifying working conditions for anyone employed within SOAS, and beyond. In 2008, after a long struggle conducted alongside UNISON and the SOAS cleaners, SOAS agreed to pay all of its subcontracted cleaning, catering and security staff the London Living Wage (LLW), bringing many families above the poverty line. After a wave of campaigns and public attention, many other colleges and universities in London do now pay all their employees the London Living Wage. This, however, shockingly enough, is still

not the case when it comes to the University of London directly employed staff. Workers that work at Senate House and at the University of London halls of residence, such as Commonwealth or International Hall, are still only paid £6.15 per hour, an hourly rate that the cleaners describe as “poverty pay” and that forces most of them to work insanely long hours just to manage to survive in London and provide for their families. Most of the workers are migrant workers of Latin American, with limited command of English and thus particularly vulnerable to exploitation on part of the sub-contractors, the multinational company Balfour Beatty. To tackle the low pay scandal, UNISON, the main union representing the workers at Senate House, has launched in July a high profile Living Wage Campaign to push University of London to implement the living wage for all its employees immediately. Whilst having a “principled commitment” to the Living Wage, the Vice-Chancellor of UoL Geoffrey Crossick is delaying implementation of the LLW until July 2012, for apparently bureaucratic reasons. But the cleaners who rely on the money to survive simply cannot wait any longer, and the delay in the schedule of implementation sheds shadows of doubts on the real commitment of UoL to its supposedly high ethical principles. During the summer, when the calm was still reigning over Bloomsbury, UNISON and the workers organized two successful and noisy protests outside Senate House to push for the immediate implementation of the Living Wage, and were promptly joined by many students from SOAS and many

other UoL constituent colleges. The last one, held on 14th September, took place on the same day as the University of London Undergraduate Open Day, and gave the campaign great visibility with prospective students and their families, who were shocked to hear that cleaning staff is still paid poverty wages even within such a prestigious institution. The solidarity between the Senate House and UoL halls and the students from adjacent universities has been very inspiring and has given the workers great confidence to pursue their campaign. The struggle, however, is still not over: for this reason, another protest has been called by the Senate House cleaners on Monday 3rd October, between 12 noon and 2pm, in front of Senate House. SOAS Students’ Union will be taking part in the demonstration, as pressures from students is fundamental for the success of the campaign. We invite you all to come along, and to put in practice the principles of social justice and solidarity that form such an important part of the SOAS spirit!

INTERESTED IN RADIO? GET INVOLVED WITH THE RUSTLE! If you have any interest in Radio or just talking your mouth off! Get involved with the flagship radio program ‘The Rustle’. Headed up last year by Joe Buckley, SOAS radio last year won the award for most prestigious media outlet and this year has been continued by Austin Cooper. Have look at their website and get involved!


Prove it.

Seen the logo of The SOAS Spirit on the front page, like it? Neither do we, that’s why we’re having a competition to design a new one, the best entries will be featured in the next edition and the winner gets to be the logo of The SOAS Spirit! Email entires to, the closing deadline is October 24th



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Bahrain: The Silenced Revolution needs a voice.

Raeesah Akhtar

The beginning of the month saw to the release of 20 Bahraini doctors, whom, since March have been imprisoned for charges related to overthrowing the countries ruling monarchy. As it’s been announced that their verdict will be given on 29th September, the world waits patiently (least, the people of Bahrain do) to see what sentences this ruling family have in store for professionals who were merely doing their job. When a state of emergency was called in early March as pro-democracy protestors took to street, Salmaniya Hospital became swept with unrest. Once known to be a safe place, this institution which lies in the heart of Manama, became a hotspot for the military to punish the participants of the protests. Amongst those were medics; 50 were arrested, both doctors and nurses, who later have claimed to be submitted to torture. Their crime; saving people’s lives. In helping dying men, women and children, doctors and nurses have been accused of conspiring to abolish the monarchy. Little attention must have been paid to the fact that they were saving the lives of both protestors and policemen, be they Sunni or Shia. The divide in sect appears to be an ongoing issue in Bahrain, as today it stands as the only country to have a majority Shi’ite population ruled by a Sunni minority. However, this factor seems to have worked in the favour of the government, who have been able to portray the unrest as sectarian violence, hence justify their immediate introduction of the Shield Forces from Saudi Arabia. As shown by their sharp reaction of involving the military, it’s evident

that the Arabian Peninsula won’t allow the wave of revolution to hit their region and who is to stop them? Sadly Obama’s words on the Egyptians don’t seem to apply to that of the Bahraini’s, as he said ‘the Unites States will continue to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people and work with their government in pursuit of a future that is more just, more free and more hopeful’. If only the United States hadn’t their own interests in Bahrain; their fifth fleet of course being based there, then perhaps the worldwide media would have taken more of an interest in reporting the daily atrocities and human rights violations that continue to take place. The release of the medics on bail is most surely positive news to have come out of the country in weeks, however it’s merely not enough to overshadow the crimes of Bahrain’s King and his government. In a matter of days the future of these medics shall be decided, let’s hope the media is there to tell their story and more importantly, the world is ready to listen.

IRAN OUTLAWS EDUCATION FOR THOUSANDS: Young People Denied Higher Education in the Islamic Republic.

Amy Fehilly University students across the UK, including at SOAS, are launching a national campaign for young Iranians barred from higher education. The Islamic Republic of Iran, one of the world’s most egregious human rights abusers, oppresses and discriminates against its own population. But education is a fundamental right – as essential as breathing. The CAN YOU SOLVE THIS? human rights campaign seeks to mobilise large numbers of individuals and groups in support of thousands of Iranian youth. Students are invited to visit the website; and watch a video that explains the issue. The website has a template letter that can be sent by students to the Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon William Hague,

and the Iranian minister responsible for higher education, the Hon Kamran Daneshjoo. Many young Iranians are forced to endure the denial of their higher education. They are barred from universities and institutions of higher learning because they have political views, social affiliations or religious convictions rejected by the Iranian government. Human rights defenders, women’s rights activists, and members of ethnic or religious minorities are often excluded. The treatment of the Bahá’í community, Iran’s largest religious minority, is a stark example of this injustice. They are subject to government policies that systematically prevent them from accessing higher education. Their informal initiative to provide higher education, the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education, has been attacked by the government. In other words, their efforts to acquire knowledge for themselves have been declared illegal. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that everyone has the right to education. Article 13 of the International Covenant

on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – to which Iran is a state party – explicitly codifies the right, by stating that, “higher education shall be made equally accessible to all”. The youth of Iran urgently need popular support. CAN YOU SOLVE THIS? calls on UK students to respond as members of a global community, to ensure that the right to higher education in Iran is respected. Through raising public awareness and enlisting support, the campaign will demand an end to these unjust and oppressive practices. Iran is strangling itself and its future by strangling its youth. Give a voice to the voiceless of Iran.





lands a long time ago. I spoke to a man last night through iron bars. He sat with about six other men. It was three o'clock in the morning; they had been sitting there since the previous evening waiting to be let through to Jerusalem where they would proceed to build themselves out of existence. These men are builders. They wait at the checkpoints connecting the West Bank to Israel. They wait until dawn when they will either be let through to build the homes of the ever-growing Jewish population, or they will be sent back in vain.

Gabriela Gutierrez Fickling Standing on the edge of a cliff in Beit Jala, I look out on the purple hills of the Holy Land. I understand now why these lands are stained with blood; these lands of honey where sunflowers are denied sun and droop down with plastic bags tied around their heads like a million prisoners of innocence stolen from their homes. I understand now why the sunlit skies are the colour of a thousand tears and why the nights are darker than the depths of the tombs that hold more children than a whole American primary school. But we turn a blind eye, you and I. Our cries, the cries of our country, are heard throughout the green and blue patches of the globe. But the cries of these defeated mothers, these doomed children, the voiceless teenagers, the fathers who have failed as protectors… These cries have ascended to the heavens and have been silenced by a God that left these

Gloria de Waal-Montgomery

This man looked about my father’s age. His hopes, nightmares, memories and sense of humour were probably not that different either. I bet he feels shy when he tries to speak in a language that is not his own. I bet his world changed the first time he lay eyes on the woman of his dreams, I bet his heart dropped to his feet and shot up to the skies like a shooting star. I bet he tries to hide his lack of will to live when faced with his children's growing depression. My heart felt dry and swollen as we made it to the end of the checkpoint. The only reason we got through so easily was because we waved our foreign passports. We sat in silence, each lost inside ourselves. After about twenty minutes we walked into Bethlehem. The Wall followed loyally by our sides. I stroked the colours and the freedom slogans as I walked. Nick broke down. Then, when his tears were dry, we kept walking. Everyone keeps walking.


Egypt’s revolution has inspired a great many people to help build up their nation so as to enable Egypt to become an key economic player worldwide. This has ranged from engaging in community projects such as street painting to improve poverty-struck areas to opening up new shops to revitalise their country and economy. One organisation that has been at the forefront of this kind of work is the Nebny Foundation; an Egyptian organisiton formed by a group of youths who were active participants in the revolution. Nebny seeks to provide help to those who have been suffered economically as a result of the recent protests e.g. through

the provision of jobs and by providing assistance to with interested in setting up their own businesses. During their current Beyond Borders tour of the Middle East, the football team worked with the Nebny Foundation in promoting communty interaction and participation through the medium of football. It is hoped that this can bridge the gap between people from different races and religions and therefore provide a greater degree of community cohesion to allow to Egypt to flourish. For further information of the non-governmental organisation please visit:



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Let Melaku In

Switzerland have granted Melaku so many Schengen visas that he’s used up all the pages in three different passports. Even the US, notorious for denying visa applications, has given three visas to Melaku. And after every trip he has returned to Addis to manage his traditional nightclub, Fendika, never breaking immigration laws. Mark Anderson Francis Falceto, producer of the legendary Ethiopiques series, has encountered the African flight risk before, “I once organised a tour once where three Ethiopian mem The UK won’t let a talented and inspiring dancer into the country – be- bers of our group disappeared, never to be seen again. We called and called but no answer.” He goes on to tell me about Congolese soukous star Papa Wemba, whose ‘Affaire cause he’s from Ethiopia. We’re sitting in an auditorium on the outskirts of Paris awaiting the start Ngulu’, or visa fraud conviction, has made life miserable for western music promoters of the Africolor festival. Melaku Belay, a traditional Ethiopian dancer from Addis and African performers alike. In 2003, French authorities convicted Papa Wemba of overseeing a people trafAbaba, pokes his head out from behind the curtain and surveys the crowd with a calm confidence. This is his territory; there are no visa requirements, borders ficking ring in which he issued false artist’s visas to Congolese immigrants posing as or bureaucratic loopholes here. He charges onto the stage and mesmerizes the members of his band, charging up to $3,500 for each visa. He spent three and a half months in a French prison before eventually audience with his hypnotic shoulder shaking and being released on €30,000 bail. Le Monstre, out-of-this-world gyration. another Congolese artist, was also convict But back in Addis it’s a different story. A ed of people smuggling in 2004 in a Belgian dejected looking Melaku tells me that he won’t be court. But as he was in DRC at the time, he touring with Ethio-jazz legend Getatchew Mekurya was quoted as saying, “I don’t care much and Dutch punk band the Ex this December beabout Belgium, it’s a small country - 40 cause they are stopping off in London, a place he times smaller than the Congo. Who cares?” can’t quite seem to visit. And this coming from the SOAS should care. After all, Melaku has hospitable star who let me spend my first night in a simple dream: to nourish and promote Ethiopia on his couch. That’s just not cricket, is it? Ethiopian music and dance at a local level, Apparently, the UK does not like inaccurate “I want a community of musicians supporting and encouraging each other; music is freevisa forms. Melaku has seen his last application, in 2009, denied because he failed to state on a recent visa form that the UK had in fact rejected a past visa dom.” His trips abroad to Europe and North America are an important source of income, going towards running Fendika. Besides, the people who pay to watch Melaku are never request. He explains, “I’m a liar to them. I asked for a transit visa in 2007 because I wanted to get a cheap flight from Heathrow to France. They said no, you disappointed. Melaku is in the process of applying for another UK visa, but given his past applishould just go straight there. I didn’t even want to leave the airport – how does cations, he is expecting to be turned down again. If you think Melaku should be allowed that count as a previous application?” Since 2007, Melaku has been traveling across the world, preforming at into the UK to preform please e-mail uk and politely urge that Melaku’s application be reconsidered. Melaku has promised a over 50 concerts abroad. He has travelled across eastern and western Africa special performance at SOAS once he is allowed to visit. and given stellar shows. The governments of France, Holland, Germany and

“The UK won’t let a talented and inspiring dancer into the country because he’s from Ethiopia.”





Gloria de Waal-Montgomery


We are entering an era of mass uprisings throughout the globe chance. The result? Those that are left with any motivation (and finances) to spanning from the corners of the Middle East to Europe and the Americas. overcome the barriers put in front of them are forced to take a year out to Chile has recently witnessed mass student protests that have been onstudy in a pre-university institute. The cost of these varies hugely (between going for months, with periodic marches against what started with Pino750 to over 1000) and depend on which institute, and what subjects are chet’s privatisation of education to President Bachelet continuous taken. Often the institutes will offer discounts according to income, school educational reforms that both reflect and perpetuate inequality marks and but tend to select students most likely to achieve high in Chile. Large numbers of students and ordinary scores on the PSU - causing the best performing stucitizens have taken to the streets in an attempt to credents (who tend to come from private schools) to be ‘Students not clients’, and ate a healthier and fairer educational system and to selected. For example, Pontificia Universidad Catolica ‘no mas lucro’ or ‘no more overhaul the Pinochet-era divisions between rich and - the most prestigious university in Chile -, derives over poor families. ‘Students not clients’, and ‘no mas lucro’ or 70 percent of its students from private schools, 14.3 percent profit’ are two of the main ral‘no more profit’ are two of the main rallying cries which have lying cries which have fea- from subsidized private schools, and only 15.1 percent from featured extensively throughout these protests. So what are municipal schools. tured extensively throughou these students protesting about exactly? Chilean Students Free public education is an intrinsic human right and have taken to the streets in protests over the rising student should be provided by the state to ensure a brighter future debt, and the privatization of education. Chilean students are for the children of this country. Anything less than this is an demanding revisions to be made to the country’s constitution which would assault on Chileans ability to explore their potential to the fullest. guarantee free education, equal access and a state funded university system. Chile has one of the most privately-funded higher education systems in the world and Chilean university fees are among the world’s highest as compared to per capita gross domestic product (GDP). Indeed, families finance 73% of higher education in Chile, a figure that greatly exceeds the average (16%) for OECD countries. What this has meant is that poorer students are effectively denied access to a quality education whilst those who were lucky enough to have been born into better-off households are able to benefit from highly qualified teachers and extra resources of the private schools and universities. At the same time, government funded schools are forced to settle for inadequate supplies and inferior teachers. A study conducted by the Center for the Study of Wealth and Inequality at Columbia University found that only 30 percent of children from the poorest income bracket completed secondary school - compared with 95 percent of children in the wealthiest income group that same year. Chile works in a similar manner to the USA: Chileans graduate from high school with a diploma, but have to sit the equivalent of SATs to attend university (known as the University Selection Test (PSU)). Whilst students in private schools are taught to pass this and although those from public schools do receive training to pass it, the latter realistically have no

BUSH LEGACY OF DIVSION LIVES ON IN OBAMA ERA Since the election of Barack Obama in the United States of America, the world has watch as record numbers of Americans have taken to the local armouries to stock up on weapons. Tensions arose after his election in 2008 as sections of the American populace had what seemed to be an exaggerated fear of the president. Since then Obama has seen himself be subject to (at times surreal) criticism. . From his fiscal stimulus package, healthcare, raising of the debt ceiling to the now absurd birth movement, he dealt with fierce partisan opposition. Jimmy Carter famously

claimed that much of this criticism came from the fact that some Americans still could not accept that they had an AfricanAmerican president. (Despite the fact Obama is not African-America, but mixed race) The argument that this tension has a racial aspect to it is very much valid but it does not tell the whole story. In reality America was divided much earlier than when Obama was elected. Former President George W. Bush divided the country by what many saw as a fraudulent election in 2000 and a war they didn’t want in 2003. On top of that he convinced his base that the ‘War on Terror’ was actually a cosmic battle between good and

evil. Thus the ‘soft’ democratic approach to foreign policy became more than just a political difference. After years of convincing themselves they were deadlocked in an apocalyptic showdown, a soft approach to tackling ‘terrorism’ was never going to be accepted quietly by an already divided population. There is no doubt that there are strong racial elements of the criticism directed towards Barack Obama, this was seen particularly with the ‘birther movement’ however it is true that America, as a country, was divided much earlier. Obama has felt the full effect of that division in his first term in office.



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Peter Moore, reviews the pubs and eateries around Russell Square Despite what the letters page of the Daily Mail might say, it’s tough being a student. Yes, not feeling terrible at waking up after midday is nice, but how do you combine a lack of money with empty evenings? With little cash and (for the unlucky among us) no dreamy spouse to share lusty looks with over a bottle of wine, options are often limited in London. This is doubly true for us given that the SOAS bar often closes at an hour more usually associated with shoe shops than drinking spots. Luckily, though, our little university is just a few minutes walk from two good value establishments. The first, just up from Tottenham Court road is ICCo, a long-time favourite of students where pizzas begin at £3.50. Unlike many places where pizzas are priced like pints, these pizzas are both large and tasty. My particular favourite, being the edgy experimental bloke that I am, is the pepperoni which costs £4.50. One problem

with the place is that it can get very busy at peak eating hours, meaning that seating can be difficult at the times you’re most likely to want to go there. Given its proximity to three deliciously cheap pubs, the low prices are useful. My particular favourite is the Bricklayers’ Arms, which is on Percy Street a few minutes from ICCo. The pub is run by the Samuel Smith’s brewery which does nice beers at even nicer prices. All the beers are their own and a round of three of the nicer lagers come in at just over £7. The Fitzroy Tavern on Charlotte Street is also a Sammy Smith’s, though it is often busier than the Bricklayers’ Arms and lacks the soft sofas upstairs. As far as I’m concerned there isn’t really any downside to these places – they’re not exactly showy, but what do you expect for two pound something a pint? They keep a sense of character, which makes them a damn site better than the similarly priced but shamelessly crap Wetherspoons’.

So the next time the SOAS bar stops selling drinks and you don’t fancy waiting at a rainy bus stop to go home and pretend you’re about to do some course reading, head to ICCo for a decent pizza and one of the Sammy Smith’s for a few cheap pints. How often can you do that in London for around a tenner? And for those you like to dine on the more expensive side, the Hare and Tortoise chain in Bloomsbury provides ample opportunity for fine dining. Unlike the modest prices of Icco, dishes usually start at around £5 however the meal is well worth the hit to your wallet

FASTED ROUTE BETWEEN VERNON & RUSSELL REVEALED! OK freshers, lets just settle this now before it gets out of hand For too long I’ve had to listen to my uniformed friends suggestions as to which way to walk over to Russell after my class in Vernon. Everytime they make me go their non-sensical route, which I know is longer than mine. Every one knows that you should wait till the College before you swing a right. Harrison Street or Cromer street are school boy errors. You’ll find yourself losing valuble minutes on your journey if you make this rookie mistake. So here it is, literally drawn out for you. You can do this in 15 minutes for those of you with more impressive strides. 21 -22 minutes, for those of you who like your leisurely walks. Here we go: - Turn right onto Acton Street (Not Swinton Street) - The walk down Grays Inn until the college then turn right onto Sidmouth Street (Don’t turn too early onto Cromer street or Harrison Street - you’ll end up going back on yourself) - Keep going till you hit Generator Hostel then spot Marchmont Street on the left - Walk down you’ll end up at Russell Square then you’re home and dry So next time someone tries to lead you astray you can tell them where to go.




TEAM OF THE YEAR 2010-2011: MENS FOOTBALL 2 nds Despite having been promoted the SOAS Men’s 2nd team were left with no players at the start of the 09/10 season with all of the previous crop of players having graduated. Every position was filled by a new player and yet the 2nds managed unrivalled success comprehensively winning their respective league by 6 points and being promoted to the ULU Division 1. Having only lost 2 games the 2nds had by far the best goal difference with 67 goals scored in 20 games and only conceding 26 which made them the tightest defence and the best attack in the league. SOAS’ most memorable victory coming away against arch Rivals Royal Holloway in a 7-3 romp. Their success could have been even greater had they not been controversially knocked out of the ULU Cup after a disgraceful ULU ruling which hand-

ed LSE the victory by forfeit after SOAS’ pitch was deemed, harshly ‘unplayable.’ This is in spite of the fact that SOAS comfortably beat LSE both home and away during the league. These back to back promotions are a sign of the sides quality and SOAS’ strength in depth within the football squads. Stand out players included top goal scorer Daniel Gayle as well as Jan Fox, Filipo Di Cellerre amongst others. One potential problem for the 2s this season could be that with a mass exodus of players from SOAS 1st team such as captain Joseph Watfa, creative midfielder Alex Skinner and powerhouse strker Toib Olemwewe, as well as losing the centre back pairing of Erhan Sanhak and Nick Rodrigo SOAS 1sts may end up poaching the 2s best talent such as Jan Fox and Filipo Di Cellere term. who made sporadic appearances Thus the 2s will be on the look-out for new for the 1s towards the end of last talent with trials set to take place on Sun-

day the 2nd of October. Get involved as no doubt the new skippers will be itching to discover fresh ballers.

LSE PLAY DIRTY Last season SOAS 2s looked unstoppable winning their league with 3 games to spare and topping the goal scoring charts in the process. The only blotch on the 2s record was failure to record victory in the ULU cup. SOAS 2s were drawn against our local and more right wing rivals the LSE. SOAS were of course the overwhelming favourites but on meeting at our home ground the LSE captain tried to claim that

the pitch was unplayable. The future Goldman Sachs CEO said 'this pitch is a disgrace, the goal's don't even have nets' and despite his team mates wishing to play on the captain refused in an outrageous display of poor sportsmanship. SOAS, being the gentlmanly side that they are offered to play a rematch at LSE, but LSE declined and refused to play altogether appeal-

ing to ULU for a walkover (a victory given without playing due to mitigating circumstances) and were unbelievably successful in this appeal! This season the 2s are desperate for success in the ULU cup as a result of this grave sporting injustice, the biggest sporting injustice since Luis Garcaia's 'ghost goal' in the semi-final of the Champions League all those years ago...

WOMENS HOCKEY AT SOAS After countless failed attempts SOAS finally has a hockey team for the 2011/2012 season. SOAS women’s hockey team will compete in the ULU 4th division. In the last three years there have been, to my knowledge, three failed hockey teams that did not even enter a league, so finally having a side registered to compete in ULU is a real sign of progress for SOAS and SOAS hockey. Previously SOAS best hockey players have been forced to look elsewhere to play such as with rivals UCL. One of the major stumbling blocks to forming a team was previously a lack of goalkeeping equipment but captain Alexandra San MiguelBrathwaite herself a goalkeeper will be

providing the kit. Alexandra has high hopes for the season despite it being SOAS’ maiden appearance in a competitive hockey league stating ‘I’m really looking forward to the season ahead. I was almost put off from coming to SOAS because they didn’t have a hockey club so I’m delighted this has finally taken off... so far we’ve had a lot of interest and with a few quality fresher’s I see no reason why we cant push for promotion straight away.’ Clearly optimism is high with SOAS hockey who will be training on the 3rd of October for the first time with all levels welcome to participate. It is of course unfortunate that there is still no men’s hockey side, although anyone is welcome to start it up.



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WHO WERE THE BIGGEST WINNERS & LOSERS OF SUMMER 2011? LEFT: The Mens Basketball Team pose in their new jackets





Summer 2011 was mean to be one where history would be made for mens Basketball team, their first ever Beyond Borders tour to East Africa, modelled upon the Mens Football team tour, however the summer has been mostly broken promises and shattered dreams. After countless fundraisers throughout 2010 and 2011, including some that became infamous for their

malpractise, you’d be forgiven for thinking that organising a trip to Ethiopia with such financial clout would be relavity simple. However with only hazy promises about a possible make-shift tour in at a later date (if at all) Mens Basketball are truely this summers ‘Biggest Losers’ as their tour lies seemingly in ruins. Sorry boys but you really earned this one.


Right: Some of the Mens Football team with Turkish Adnan Menderes Üniversitesi after Beyond Borders: London 2011


Unlike their basketball counterparts, SOAS football has focused on substance over style and as a result their hard work paid huge dividends this summer, with them currently being on their 3rd tour in 3 months. July saw the team go for a cultural exchange in Finland & a beach football tournament. Next came Beyond Borders: London 2011, playing host to teams from Turkey, Egypt,


Finland and Uruguay. The climax of the tournament was a great success with attendance in the hundreds. Finally, for their third project this summer sees them heading to the Middle East, including a daring attempt to access Gaza. Congratulations boys, you are truly setting the example for your fellow sports teams at SOAS and stay safe out there!

At the beginning of the 09/10 Netball season

the netball side was without a captain, with the old one going AWOL, and without anywhere to play. Things did not look bright as the team were forced to forfeit the first two games of the season. However when Anna Wrigley took over as captain she transformed the sides fortunes leading them to a very impressive 3rd place league finish. SOAS missed out on promotion by 3 points and missed out on top spot by 6, as Anna herself said ‘if the old captain hadn’t forfeited the games... you never know perhaps we could have won the league.’ There is however no time to dwell on this and the SOAS netball side will look to crack on this season and hopefully gain promotion. New captain Kathryn Randall Curtis is positive that her side can push on this season both on and off the field commenting ‘I’m hoping we can put together a group of committed girls and build on last year’s success.’ The Netball team are also to take SOAS’ Beyond Borders project to South Africa next summer to help empower women through playing netball as well as coming to terms with some of the social and cultural problems that exist there. One thing Kathryn really wants to do through the tour and on the court is get more attention for the women’s teams with men’s basketball and football in particular often taking all the plaudits. Stating ‘Its about time Women’s teams got a bit more active and involved.’ Contact Kathryn on for more information about the netball side.




SPORTS EDITOR SINGH’S ANNUAL SEASON REVIEW For students who came to university expecting beautiful playing surfaces, state of the art gyms or grand sports initiations you should have applied to UCL (or worked harder to get in). In 2006 SOAS only had 4 sports teams and no pitches to play on. However over 5 years there has been a rapid expansion and SOAS now boasts 15 sports teams playing in both BUCS and ULU competitions. Organisation is still a problem and despite receiving a bigger funding grant from the school this year SOAS sports team are still drastically underfunded. For example in 2010 SOAS Football 1st team finished above UCL in the top ULU league despite working on a budget of £750 in comparison to UCL’s £90,000 football budget. Despite meagre finances, our smaller size to most neighbouring universities and our obvious emphasis on politics rather than sports SOAS still manages to produce some very competitive teams especially within ULU. Last season was one of

SOAS’ most successful yet with three teams winning silverware, Men’s Squash, Men’s Football 1sts and football 2nds. As well as this the basketball team broke league records, scoring over 100 points against Goldsmiths and finished second in the top ULU division and in their BUCS league, narrowly missing out on promotion.

stated had an excellent season, just two seasons after their birth winning every single game to be promoted to the 2nd ULU division. A women’s squash team under the guidance of Joanna Raymond has also been established after a solid maiden season. There were some lower points however, Rugby unfortunately after back to back promotions were relegated from their respective BUCS league. Cricket never really got going, hampered by the fact the season begins during exam time, but there are few excuses for being bowled out for 21 against Westminster. Women’s tennis also struggled losing the majority of their games but will be hoping to strengthen this year with the intake of some good fresher talent, as will women’s basketball, who not so long ago won the ULU top division

“SOAS Football 1st team finished above UCL in the top ULU league despite working on a budget of £750 in comparison to UCL’s £90,000 football budget” SOAS netball team also flourished with an impressive third place finish. The Men’s tennis team managed to avoid relegation from the BUCS 2nd division, which is the highest division any SOAS team plays in. The Women’s team was in the hunt for the title until late on but unfortunately faded away towards the end of the season. The SOAS squash team as

A LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2011-2012 SEASON SOAS was ranked the worst university in the country for sporting facilities in a student satisfaction survey last year. With no home pitches in the 10/11 season and with many teams training at rival universities training grounds. SOAS squash for example played ‘home’ games at UCL. After this dismal showing in the student

survey the school and the union have been actively trying to improve the condition of SOAS sports especially in the context of the imminent fee hike which will mean students will demand much more for their money. The SU presidents are reportedly quick to quote figures from the survey when trying to coerce money from the school and thus far it

league double. There is also good news for hockey lovers as after many failed attempts SOAS should finally have a team up and running this team to play in the ULU mixed league. For more information about any sports teams see the union website and email the respective captains, or alternatively just head down to Freshers Fayre on Saturday the 1st of October.

has worked to great success. The university have finally secured a home ground for all indoor sports. Sports and Societies President Chuck Madekwe has kept to his manifesto pledges by ensuring that SOAS secured a deal for the Peel Centre, a sports club near Dinwiddy House and SOAS’ Vernon Square campus. The Peel Cetnre will host Basketball, Netball, Badminton and Volleyball. There is also talk that SOAS are close to securing a home pitch for field sports such as Rugby and Football, which will save a great deal of money for the university as well as a great deal of hassle for captains forced to struggle to find pitches often at last minute. As well as this the SUPresidents have also done incredibly well in finally securing a compromise regarding Wednesday afternoons which will please Rugby in particular, first year students and masters students will have no classes on Wednesdays from this year on.

For the first time ever there are also more female sports teams than men’s, with the emergence of the afformentioned volleyball side as well as a new hockey team. All in all its been an incredibly productive summer for SOAS’ SU-Presidents, Ali Khan, Chuck Madekwe and Arianna Tassinari with regards to improving SOAS sports. The purchase of the Peel Centre has to be regarded as a landmark in SOAS sporting history.

TOP: Men’s Squash team ABOVE A sneak preview at the new Peel Centrre



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SOAS WARRIORS AIMING TO BOUNCE BACK Last season was undoubtedly a

disappointing one for SOAS Rugby (pictured above) who were relegated from their BUCS division. Especially in the context that the side had previously experienced back to back promotions. However, after losing almost every single one of the players who were part of the promotion team captain Bradley Hopkins and President Lewis Elliot had a rebuilding job on their hands that was not ideal for a side competition in such a competitive league. SOAS Rugby experienced many difficulties last year and one

key contributing factor to their relegation was the fact that BUCS games fall on a Wednesday and SOAS, unlike almost every other university in the country do not give Wednesday afternoons off for students, yet. Masters students & the more studious undergrad students were at times unprepared to miss classes to travel hours on end to get to places such as Winchester or Reading. New captain Timothy Henderson said of last season ‘we are obviously disappointed with going down, but we are still proud of all the players, sometimes we were 20 points down and had only 13 players but nobody ever

Organising a tour can be a difficult task, especially when its your first time, unfortunately this year, for SOAS Cricket (pictured below), their attempt failed. However in a bid to salvage something from this failure, last years captain Pravin Wadhwani, nobaly-proposed donating the funds raised to charity, in the area they had planned to visit. However at the charity’s insistence the team have retained the money and have been urged to carry on fundraising this year and try visiting at a later date. This view is shared by the incoming skipper Mayank Verma, who wants to continue raising money till a set date. If a tour is still unlikely by the cut-off date then Verma will concede to giving the cash to charity. When this deadline will be is still unknown. The move might upset some who feel they donated money to a cause that seems to have been squandered by incompetency. To add to the frustrations there seems to be confusion over what to do now. Whatever the captains decide is the best way to deal with the situation, the £3000 of charity money stored in Peter Baran’s treasure chest in G7, will be watched very closely to see it given to a worthy cause.

gave up. We have a similar squad to last year and with some new additions from fresher’s we’ll be looking to bounce back with promotion.’ Games at Regents Park were also always well supported due to its locality to SOAS and represents a decent Wednesday afternoon or Sunday day out. There are talks that Wednesday afternoons could be freed up for sports this year, at least partially which would no doubt benefit the Rugby side. In the mean time if anyone is interested in playing look out for information on trials or email Timothy at

FOOTBALL TOUR DENIED ENTRY TO GAZA As SOAS Football attempt their ground-breaking tour to the Middle East, including Palestine, unconfirmed reports suggest they will be barred from entry to war-torn Gaza. The concept of Beyond Borders was first concieved in 2009 as the team travelled to Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. Now with a tour to Ghana in 2010 and hosting a tournament earlier this summer for teams from Egypt to Urguay (pictured left), the

team have decided this was not enough and have marched on to the Middle East, to add their already impressive record. Propsed by the ever ambitious captain Joseph Watfa, access to the ‘prision camp’ of Gaza was never going to be an easy feat. We can only wish the boys safe trip and if they don’t make it to all their destinations, the attempt alone is something to be admired.

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