International meeting of expats to discuss Catalan independence question
"An event is to be held on October 1 at 7:30pm at the Fabrica Moritz in Barcelona: a discussion among the expat community about the independence of Catalonia and how it affects them in particular, followed by a networking session to relax and chat more informally.
The panel discussion will include Maarten de Jongh, Corporate Finance Advisor, originally from the Netherlands; Krys Schreiber, International Press and Communication Consultant, originally from Germany; Martha Moreo, Business Administration and Musician, originally from Argentina of Italian origin and it will be chaired by Liz Castro, editor of What’s up with Catalonia?, originally from the United States.
There is a $5 cover charge at the door which includes two beers, and covers the expenses of the hall.
See flyer poster above for more general information."
Homeless in Barcelona
My translation of Matthew Tree's beautiful, simple opinion piece in El Punt Avui on the weekend...
"Yolanda Aguila lives on the street - on my street, in fact. I started talking to her a week ago. (For seventeen weeks she has had no home).
She did live in an apartment with other people until the council made an inspection and the owner - instead of doing the renovations necessary to get a new certificate of habitability - made them all move out.
Therefore, Yolanda is newly homeless. In fact, when you talk to her, if not for the fact that the conversation takes place on a piece of sidewalk occupied by her and her only suitcase, you would not guess that she has no fixed address.
Despite a difficult past (taking antidepressants) and poor health (suffering from fibromyalgia and calcification of the bones) she is doing (very) well, mentally.
She is 45 years old, likes historical novels (now for example, she is reading Victus by Albert Sánchez Piñol) and eats regularly, thanks to a bar that gives her unsold sandwiches every day.
Yolanda tries to give some of this food to other people who are living in her area without a roof over their heads, but most of them do not want to eat, only to drink, in an attempt, she guesses, to kill themselves slowly.
She has tried every charity, but most just offer a meal or clothes when what you really need back, above anything else, is a room to rent.
Life on the street for her is especially uncomfortable because she suffers from diseases. The last time I saw her, she was crying in frustration.
How is it that this woman is on the street when it costs so little to get her off the street?
If Alícia Sánchez-Camacho [the leader of the Catalan branch of Spain's ruling Popular Party] - who says that we must confront the real problems of the people - sold one of her black crocodile skin handbags, there would be enough money to get a room for Yolanda Aguila.
Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions please contact me through El Pinu/Avui at firstname.lastname@example.org "
Season of free Australian films in Barcelona
This week is the start of an Australian Film Season, hosted by Barcelona's RMIT in conjunction with ASBA (the Australia Spain Business Association.)
The season comprises 10 films. There will be one film each week, on Thursdays at 7.30pm, with the exception of 2 October.
The premiere will take place this Thursday 18 September at 7.30pm, and will be attended by the Australian Ambassador to Spain, Ms Jane Hardy. The screening will be followed by a cocktail reception.
The screenings will take place at RMIT in C/Minerva 2. This street runs off Diagonal and is very close to Passeig de Gracia.
Admission is free to all screenings.
The list of films and their dates appear below...
18/9 Priscilla Queen of the Desert
25/9 Picnic at Hanging Rock
9/10 The Year of Living Dangerously
23/10 Rabbit Proof Fence
6/11 The Lighthorsemen
13/11 Wake in Fright
20/11 Breaker Morant
27/11 Animal Kingdom
Personally, I highly recommend Lantana. Though I haven't seen Rabbit Proof Fence or Wake in Fright they are many other people's favourites.
Leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, visits Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
The trip was made [last weekend] by a group made up of Spanish political parties, Izquierda Plural (with six Euro deputies) and Podemos (with five).
They visited Ramala after Israel had denied the delegation entry to Gaza two days earlier.
The delegation held meetings with Palestinian leaders, among them the Prime Minister of the United Nation Transitional Government, Rami Hamdala, and with the top Palestinian diplomat, Raid al Malki.
The group also met with Israeli pacifists and left-wing groups such as Rabbis for Democracy, and they visited the old city of Jerusalem.
More from original source here.
Down syndrome, Dawkins and doubt
Even the greatest have intellectual blind spots...
I regard Richard Dawkins as having one of the greatest minds of our time but I think he was wrong to say what he did this week. He has given a kind of apology/clarification but I'm still unconvinced about his key point. His most recent statement argued that...
"...if your morality is based, as mine is, on a desire to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering, the decision to deliberately give birth to a Down baby, when you have the choice to abort it early in the pregnancy, might actually be immoral from the point of view of the child’s own welfare."
I've spent time around teenagers with Down syndrome and they certainly did not strike me as being especially unhappy, and often seemed quite a bit more happy than many others their age.
I worked with some teenage students with the syndrome during my teacher training in the 1990's and have very fond memories of two kids in particular. Jason was a big, quiet guy who loved soccer. His favoured response to most questions was "Nuh. Nothin'..."
Mary was a lively and flirtatious girl who had a huge crush on Australian game-show host Larry Emdur. She always insisted that I sit next to her because she believed I looked like her idol.
Here is one woman's beautiful and moving account of the joys of having a brother with Down's syndrome.