Europe divides Southern Africa

The Southern African Customs Union, SACU in short, originated in 1910. But even before its five members will be able to celebrate their centenary next year, three among them, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland namely, have signed an EPA in Brussels, a free trade agreement with the European Union. Did Europe just smash the world’s oldest customs union ...

Interview with Booker Prize laureate Ben Okri

“Within a week you will ask yourself whether this conversation really happened. Whether it wasn’t a dream.” Ben Okri (50) says it with a straight-faced expression. The interview with the British-Nigerian success writer is at moments hallucinatory indeed. But the man himself keeps his feet firmly on the ground. Whether that ground is European or Afr ...

The growing influence of a religious reform movement in Turkey

The Group of Muslims inspired by religious leader Fethullah Gülen is flourishing in Anatolia. For secular Turkey however, the Fethullahci are a source of deep worries. MO* travelled to Istanbul and Diyarbakir and talked with opponents and supporters of the Gülen movement.
Gie Goris


In Pakistan, an explosive cocktail of poverty, ethnic differences, religious fanaticism and international paranoia is being further shaken up by the endless war in neighboring Afghanistan and by the recklessness of the political and military elite. It’s unlikely that the Taliban would take over power in Islamabad, but it’s nearly impossible for Pak ...

Response to the supreme leader's sermon

The establishment i.e. Supreme leader and Ahmadinejad tried to put a stop to the ever growing demands for change as a result of the alleged election-fraud via the supreme leader’s Friday sermon. The regime tried to showcase that it still has broad support by drawing a large crowd to the sermon.

‘Time for a Green New Deal XXL’

In April, world leaders from the G-20 countries met in London. Trade unions, non-governmental and international organizations hoped they would consider Green New Deal XXL: a radical reform of the global system which also tackles economic, social and environmental problems.

Iranian blogosphere follows events

The uprising against the fraudulous elections in Iran is transmitted through web-based media. MO* asked an Iranian student to monitor the Farsi-language feeds. An overview.

Nuclear energy: booming business in the South

Due to climate change, nuclear power is hot again. Over 44 new nuclear plants are being build worldwide - mostly in Asia. Critics point out the risks of proliferation and say that nuclear energy is not a sustainable option for the South.

Art is not for cows

The European Commission organised an international colloquium about culture, creativity and development beginning of April. By coincidence a couple of Flemish culture houses and NGOs also planned a colloquium on culture and development the week before. Do Departments of Development Cooperation or NGOs focussing on development have to invest in arti ...

One year Medvedev

This May is the anniversary of Medvedev’s first year presidency. A moment for political analysts to evaluate his actions. Maria Ordzhonikidze, Secretary General of the EU-Russia centre, presented “Expectations of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev” on the 6th of May in Brussels. An interview about how far he has realized his presidential campaign pr ...

Crisis in Russian media

The financial crisis has severely affected Russian media. Both quality and quantity suffered, while several publishers were forced to suspend activities. At the same time there is a massive job cut of journalists all over the country.

Hello satellite

Ivan is the owner of the Russian shop in Mechelen. Originally he is Byelorussian, but being brought up in the USSR he absorbed the language and the culture of Russian people. He considers Russian language as an inevitable part of his education and wants his children to join this reach culture too.


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