Ramadan is not a freedom shared by all… By Noura Abughris

IICulture Asia, Culture and Arts

In a move by the Chinese government to crack down on ‘religious extremism’ and maintain ‘social stability’, China has officially banned Ramadan in the Muslim majority district of Xinjiang. Civil servants, teachers and students are being banned from fasting, entering mosques or attending any form of religious activity during the Islamic holy month. The education bureau of Tarbaghatay city in the Xinjiang district has ordered schools to communicate to students that ‘during Ramadan students (should) not fast, enter mosques or attend religious activities’. Meanwhile, local restaurants are being encouraged to stay open while state run media outlets are running editorials on the health dangers of fasting.

Opinion: Sony runs from N. Korea

Nora Hamdi Asia, Korean Peninsula

From a satellite in Space, North Korea is merely a black spot, an anomaly compared to its bright technophile neighbours China and South Korea. Often called the most dangerous place on Earth, the Stalin-like state isolates itself and its 24 million inhabitants every day, making only feeble attempts to hide its dire economic situation and extreme human rights violations. North …

North Korea: The Inside Story

Nora Hamdi Asia, Korean Peninsula, World Politics

When Jihyun Park, a North Korean defector, agreed to conduct an interview with me, I could not believe my luck. It was an opportunity to speak with someone born and raised in one of the most mysterious and top secret countries in the world, and I was both curious and excited as to what she might share. Yet, I do …