Donnerstag, Dezember 27, 2007

enjoy a classic: Dinner For One!

the same procedure as last year?

the same procedure as every year!

I'm off to SF for a couple days - see you again around 7 January: e guete Rutsch!!

If you're going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you're going to San Francisco
You're gonna meet some gentle people there

For those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair

All across the nation such a strange vibration
People in motion
There's a whole generation with a new explanation
People in motion people in motion

Montag, Dezember 24, 2007

ooooohhhh this is MY xmas gift!!

I just found out - yesterday I went to see the musical MAMMA MIA! for the third time (yes, Sir, I am rather fond of your ABBA musical!) and today I find out they actually make a movie based on the musical, it'll come out in summer 2008!

watch the trailer!

with Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth... it's gonna be the same fun as in the musical, I guess :-)

my best wishes to my friends and colleagues in Herat, Afghanistan

making dreams come true

Little Jimmy wrote to Santa;

Dear Santa,
Please send me a baby brother.

Bad Santa wrote back:

Dear Jimmy,

Just send me your mother

Dienstag, Dezember 18, 2007

gspürsch mi?

I really put energy into this post. I went googling for the ü!!

once upon a time, I was member of AIESEC (am still an AIESECer at heart) - you can see from my facebook account that most of my links still stem from that glorious time! in AIESEC, we exchanged students worldwide, offering traineeships in companies and NGOs, and introducing our trainees to the life in our city, taking them out, organising events, and on a more serious note, organising permits and apartements and other official and basic life stuff. Every year we would elect an Executive Board to lead the Local Committee, and every year we would elect a National/Member Committee to lead the country, and all these events and elections and personal learning never went by without a lot of "thank you"s and "please"s and "you are all so lovely wonderful people"s and "my life would be different if"s.

though all of those statement certainly hold true, and AIESEC is a mind-blowing bloody fantastic experience that taught me much more than university and school and ordinary life together, still, along with a few also slightly cynically-minded friends we loved AIESEC + life-long learning + vision + hard work, but we started to despise the not-so-cool tearful touchy-whiney sessions. so, whenever somenbody glided into the ecstatic "u r all so wonderful" speech, we just grinned at each other, and with mimicking waves with our fingers would just whisper: gspürsch mi?? --- "can u feel me?"

gspürsch mi-sessions have a tendency to happen far too often, be far too emotional, are generally more annoying than solution- or forward-oriented, and should be replaced by one hug and a shared beer.

drama queens, go home!! watch the oscar shows and weep away...

so, in the spirit of the season that tends to be tacky - please stay on the line of "is there a santa claus - yes, Virginia", throw a snowball and eat the head of a gingerbread man.

there are enough tears in this world. let's add some laugh and bloody not take ourselves so damn seriously without a break!


Donnerstag, Dezember 13, 2007

one of my all-times favourite

Croatia, Albania somewhere near Romania
Each hero and NATO, why the hell do we go
Pristina blew up a head for Macedonia, I’ll race ya

Somewhere far overseas
There’s a place called Kosovo
That’s where you don’t want to go
If you’re Albanian at all

Protecting human rights
Air strikes and firefights
And we'll be dropping our bombs
Wherever Serbian bad guys hide
Just up from Kosovo

Somalia, Grenada or rescue in Kuwait-a
We screwed ya Rwanda, wish we could've helped ya
Iraqi embargo that’s the way we hustle
Rules are why we’re helping out in Kosovo
We’ll kick some ass and see how it goes
And then we really don’t know
Good luck to Kosovo

Milosevich you sorry son of a bitch

Every time we go
To little places like Kosovo
We never really know
What happens after we go
Tough luck for Kosovo

Croatia Albania somewhere near Romania
Each hero and NATO
Why the hell do we go
Pristina, blew up a head for Macedonia
We’ll kick their ass and then we’ll see how it goes
And then we really don’t know
That sucks for Kosovo

Somalia, Grenada or rescuing Kuwait-a
We screwed ya Rwanda
Wish we could of helped ya
Iraqi embargo
How it ends we don’t know…

how long have we women been kept waiting for a pix like this!

Mittwoch, Dezember 12, 2007


As Delivered today in the GA (12 December ) by video link from Bali (13 December)


Mr. President, and Distinguished Delegates,

It is close to midnight, here in Bali, but I feel compelled to most urgently address you in the wake of the terrorist attack on the United Nations offices in Algiers.

Words cannot express my sense of shock and outrage . This was a despicable strike against individuals serving humanity's highest ideals under the UN banner. One Head of Government speaking today in Bali said it well: those serving the UN serve us all and so this was an attack on all of us.

We are still counting the dead, tending to the wounded, and looking for the missing — not only from our own UN staff, but also innocent Algerians. My heart goes out to the victims. Their sacrifice cannot and shall not be forgotten.

I spoke to President Bouteflika this evening to express my deepest condolences to the people of Algeria and to the families of the victims. I asked the President to take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the UN personnel.

I have also asked the UNDP Administrator, Mr. Kemal Dervi and other senior officials, to proceed to Algiers immediately. They will determine how best to aid those injured in the attack and their families. The security and welfare of UN staff is paramount. We will take every measure to ensure their safety, in Algeria and elsewhere, beginning with an immediate review of our security precautions and policies.

Mr. President, and Distinguished Delegates,

We all remember the attack of August 19, 2003 against UN headquarters in Baghdad. It claimed the lives of some of our best and brightest, among them Sergio Vieira de Mello and many Iraqis. We have taken many measures since then to enhance the security of our staff and
premises around the world.

Meanwhile, our brave men and women continue their difficult and dangerous work. Our mission has been, and will always be, to help those most in need. The Baghdad attack will not deter us. Neither will this most recent attack. Our colleagues in Algiers would ask no less.

Mr. President, and Distinguished Delegates,

In Algiers, we have today one more ugly reminder that terrorism remains the scourge of our times. The international community must be resolute in opposing those who prey on the innocent and vulnerable and those, like the United Nations, who seek only to help them.

As Secretary-General, I wish to assure this august body that I will continue to work with you in meeting this ever-present danger.

Mr. President, and
Distinguished Delegates,

Let us salute our brave men and women. Let us know that this attack on the UN is an attack on us all and our highest ideals. I call on this General Assembly to stand united. We must all condemn this deed, just as we must work, together, to bring its vile perpetrators to justice.

Thank you very much.

sad day for the UN - another one.

The terrorist attacks yesterday in Algiers targeted the United Nations building and the UNHCR premises. They have claimed many innocent lives including at least 11 UN staff members so far confirmed to be among the victims. While many UN staff members have been injured and others still remain unaccounted for, UNHCR is known to have lost two colleagues: Karim Bentebal and Nabil Slimani.

As was the case in Afghanistan and Chad, the UNHCR colleagues who were killed yesterday were both drivers. Mr. Sadequllah, UNHCR driver in Kandahar, Afghanistan was killed while on his way to work on 8 May 2007; and Mr. Mahamat Mahamadou, UNHCR driver in Danamadji, Chad was killed on 6 December 2007 while returning from mission.

it seems like UN organizations regrettably become a soft target for terrorists. Especially local staff, in particular drivers, have become easy targets for the next terrorist attack - which is certain to happen.

in the line of fire. how can anyone be cruel enough to kill those who help the people that are in dire need of assistance? how can one think in black and white, without making differences between political work, humanitarian work, diplomatic undertakings, innocent bystanders - how can anyone be guilty by birth, by nationality, by race?

Montag, Dezember 10, 2007

is there a Santa Claus?

Is There a Santa Claus
by Francis Pharcellus Church
Published in the New York Sun, September 21, 1897

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so. Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and un-seeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus? Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Freitag, Dezember 07, 2007

apart from being 72% New Yorker, ....

You Are Very Happy Being Single

You're not anti-relationship. You just don't need one to be content.
You find plenty of happiness from your life as it is.
And if you find someone you love, then that's just icing on an already decadent cake!

Donnerstag, Dezember 06, 2007

quote of the day

“And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.”

guess who!!

Mittwoch, Dezember 05, 2007

money makes the world go round

UN refugee agency seeks 1.5 billion dollars in 2008
Story date: 04/12/2007

The UN refugee agency will ask donor countries for 1.5 billion dollars (1 billion euros) to support its global relief work in 2008.

The UNHCR's total budget amounted to 1.45 billion dollars in 2007.

The agency expects to launch appeals in January for programmes in Iraq, Darfur in Sudan and Somalia, as well as for repatriation programmes for Sudanese and Mauritanian refugees, and aid for internally displaced people in African countries from Chad to Uganda.

  • Africa accounts for 37.5 percent of the UNHCR's budget in 2008;
  • Middle East and North Africa 17.5 percent;
  • Asia-Pacific 9.9 percent;
  • Europe 5.9 percent;
  • 2.8 percent for the Americas.

Le HCR a rappelé dans un communiqué que son budget dépendait presque entièrement des contributions volontaires des pays.

L'organisation aide 32,9 millions de personnes dans le monde.

pumuckl comment: and this money is dearly needed... some is overhead costs, yes, but UNHCR is restructuring... so most of the money will go into the field, into advocacy, into protection of people.

I know, WFP and worldman have more sexy pictures because their mandate is straight-forward - but in the end, it needs durable solution for refugees. and going home in security and dignity is the preferred option. and after all, we are partners.

sadly enough, it is more likely that new crisis emerge than that Iraq, Somalia and Darfur are settled - not forgetting all the others. (and PLEASE, not Iran!!)

PEOPLE: forgotten crisis is not a term for Darfur!! forgotten crisis means what it says: forgotten crisis. everyone knows Darfur by now. forgotten crisis at the moment are Somalia, CAR, and those that might wake up in the aftermath of a Kosovo independence - like Nagorno-Karabakh.

HAFEZ: du hast dich mal wieder selber uebertroffen :-)

Dienstag, Dezember 04, 2007

jingle bell rocks

each of these following points/events in my life deserve a special post, but I just don't manage to come round to write it...

  • I got rid of my bed bugs - do it yourself (al hamdulillah)!!
  • I discovered the book series "the wheel of time" and am reading every free minute
  • I bought a radio and am now listening 102,7 - they call it fresh music. Bryan Adams? Enrique Iglesias? even me know dat's no fresh!
  • the beatings of the former post might have been catalytic. it is ALWAYS good to talk about it.
  • my friend M. who hosted me in my first days in NY, who had a kidney transplant later, who is again on the kidney transplantation list, is now in coma :-( the news every day since last Thursday are short: NSTR - nothing special to report
  • Kosovo contact group to report back to Secretary General on 10 December - unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo is possible
  • my parents are soon coming to visit me in NY!!!

well there would be some other headlines. I am happy, work is great, winter is nice, New York is fantastic, UN in NY not the most inspiring place but plenty to learn. see dilbert above. and just in terms of love life, the local life is pretty much in a vegetative state as well... hehe