Trapped in an Elevator

A young boy is trapped in a building that’s on fire; you are safely outside waiting for the firemen who don’t seem to be coming. Do you try to save the boy? Or, someone is being verbally abused on the bus; do you stand up and defend the person from the bullies?

Has a self-centered culture – the norm in many countries around the world – created a world where intervening when others need help is seen as foolish instead of courageous?

Social experiments concerning civil courage can be found on YouTube by the dozens. For example, a video posted last year of a young couple (who, as it turned out, were actors) in an elevator, where the boyfriend began to verbally and physically abuse the woman with him stirred up some serious debate. According to the experiment, only one person in fifty three would have stepped in to help the girl. Is this acceptable?

Even though these types of social experiments do show some sad flaws in our society, we have to remember that they often are problematic. 74% of Americans know someone that has been a victim of abuse. To many of the people who take part in these experiments, abusive situations are not new. Seeing someone go through abuse publically could conjure personal memories from similar situations, which can elicit a fear response. Fear, in turn, can be paralyzing, and a person can suffer tremendously from these situations. “Imagine being trapped in an elevator” – these words alone can create a feeling of anxiety due to a person’s similar experiences with abuse. Do we expect a person in this state to help the victim? An individual might say that her own life story of abuse would make her more prone to step in because she knows what it is like to be in an abusive situation and have no one lifting a finger to help them. For others, the opposite reaction might occur.

Civil courage looks different depending on where you are in the world. Some countries have laws making it a crime to refrain from helping a person in danger, while other countries – such as Sweden – do not. The way we see people risking their own lives to save someone else’s becomes a question of bravery versus foolishness, depending on where you are.

The issue about civil courage is a lot deeper than what one would initially expect. At first, you might think that there is only one possible answer; it´s always the right reaction to step in and help someone in danger, and always the wrong reaction to look the other way. Or you might think that we do not have responsibility for other people and should only mind our own business.

Perhaps the truth lies in between these two perspectives. There may be a balance in being brave and risking more than your own life when you enter a situation you do not have the capability of handling. When we have the capability we should always do our best to help our fellow human beings in this world full of hardships and abuse.

Perhaps, most importantly, before judging others for their action or inaction, we should remind ourselves that we just don’t know what other people have lived through.


A Kenyan Coachella? Yes Please!

For two weekends every April, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes over the small desert town of Indio, California. The word ‘festival’ may conjure up images of sodden fields and mud-splattered boots, but over at Coachella, it’s a classier affair. The two three-day weekends of the festival (this year it spanned April 15-24) consist of flower crowns, daisy dukes, non-stop music, fashion and fun.

For those who missed it this year – because they were busy with school, work, or live on the opposite side of the world – the highlights included: Guns N’ Roses performing with AC/DC’s Angus Young; Halsey hosting a mini Panic! At the Disco show; Lorde and Sam Smith singing with Disclosure; and “Sia’s concert performance of a generation.” Not to mention the surprise appearances by Kanye West, Rihanna, Kesha and even Bernie Sanders.

Off-stage, the fashion and revelry are as much a part of the festival as the sounds. Most celebrities and supermodels attend Coachella, so the chances of meeting your favorite famous people are pretty high. Gabriella Opagi, a student in Kenya and a fan of the festival said, “I love the idea of the celebrities mingling with non-famous people without it being a big deal, it’s like an unspoken word to not freak out-as everyone is trying to have a good time. It would be cool to have that in other places”.

So far, it all seems pretty glamorous, right? But how much does it cost? For the 2016 festival, general admission tickets were $399, or $459 with a shuttle pass included. VIP admission is $899, and VIP parking is $150. But scoring tickets to the festival is only the beginning of the challenges that await potential Coachellers. Essentials like travel to the festival, lodging, and dining during the weekend usually command the larger part of a festival-goer’s budget. “By the time you get into the show, you’re broke,” says Ross Gerber, CEO of LA-based financial firm Gerber Kawasaki and a long-time festival attendee.

When we think Music Festival, we might imagine non-stop music and partying with thousands of strangers crowded together, like at Coachella, Tomorrowland or Lollapalooza. We also might think of the “West” (i.e. America or Europe). We do not often connect music festivals to Asia, Africa or even Australia, unless they are focused on traditional or cultural music. But, there are non-cultural music festivals that take place in countries like Kenya, for example, they are just not as popular and publicized.

“Sunglasses At Night” is the brainchild of 6:AM Entertainment Kenya Ltd. It’s the one party of the year where the venue is washed in some of the most sophisticated lighting ever seen on the Kenyan scene. The bright lights make the sunglasses necessary for the ravers as they enjoy the colorful effects of the professional light installation. Other music festivals in Kenya include –Beach Life, Kikoy Culture and Earth Dance. All cost around 1,500/- 3,500/, which is about 15-35 USD. Relatively cheap, right? However, there is a slight problem. To be able to attend, you have to be over 18 or 21. This is a problem, as teenagers want to go, and as they can’t, they get fake IDs and get in illegally. It is actually sad that kids have to go to such lengths to have a fun night out, as there aren’t any “teen-friendly” non-cultural music festivals for them to attend.

What would it be like to have a “Coachella” in Kenya? Opagi, on the benefits of a music festival becoming a reality in Kenya said, “If you would Africanize Coachella, because not many Africans listen to all-American music per se, people would go and have fun, and learn more about American music. It would also be a great opportunity to showcase Kenyan talent for all ages”.

Promoters out there: are you listening?

Senior Sem: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The thought of doing this major assignment was daunting. As a practicing procrastinator, I can testify that I was not looking forward to delving into this work. Unfortunately, I did not have a choice in the matter, and I had to complete my senior seminar – and earn a passing grade – in order to graduate. If you have ever had a conversation with me that lasts more than ten minutes, you would know that graduating from high school is a priority of mine. I have wanted this distinction since my freshman year, but having started my senior year at a new high school where graduation and senior seminar were linked, I was having my doubts; things were not looking up for me.

Senior Seminar at Rosslyn Academy is a three thousand two hundred and fifty word research paper, coupled with a forty-five minute presentation; all seniors that want to graduate must do this and pass. Just the mere thought of it made me want to cry, and watch several episodes of a TV show to distract myself (which I did, many times). Even writing this article upon completion of my Senior Sem was a struggle.  As the various deadlines approached (thesis, bibliography, rough draft), I would find myself neglecting my other academic responsibilities. During one of my study halls, as I was stressing over my paper, Joanne Ngotho, a fellow student stated that, “[The teachers] put too much emphasis on it.” So much unnecessary importance is placed on this seminar that my whole world literally stopped so that I could finish it – it had grown in my mind to be important enough to justify the devotion of all my waking moments.

When Senior Seminar is being described by the teachers in charge of this task, it is made seem like nothing else matters, and the worst part is that I somehow fell into that trap. I know that other things matter, and that life moves on after the seminar is over. Even though my life is moving on as Senior Seminar is now behind me, in the moments leading up to it, I felt caught between a rock and a hard place.

This outburst is not to discourage you from working hard on your assignments. I worked really hard on my seminar, but I wish that I could have known that it was going to be okay and I was going to pass. By that I mean, I wish I believed that eventually I would be done and I would graduate; but that never stopped me from obsessing over this one assignment.

In my future, perhaps in university, I see how this seminar could be helpful. Ngotho also said, “It is beneficial in the long run because it prepares you for university.” The seminar will probably prepare me for university where I will face hundreds of these types of trials. Although I’ll most likely still be worried about them because I am constantly overwhelmed by the pressure put on me – by me – I might look back and appreciate the experience I had in my senior year. Then again, I might not.

Making sure that different obstacles in life do not take over your whole life is important. Life is too valuable for one to be constantly stressed about everything. All stages of life are full of all sorts of difficulties. The important thing is to make sure that one’s mind stays focused on what is important – whatever that may be for you.

Chase Bank: Is There Still Hope?

Bankruptcy, debt, poverty, and dying dreams. These are a few consequences following the closing of a bank. Recently, Chase bank – a major bank in Kenya – closed down due to poor governance. The directors of Chase bank had apparently loaned themselves too much money, and were not able pay it back. Chase bank also lent money without proper security, which also contributed to its downfall. Once the news of the bank’s unreliability was leaked, Chase bank customers lost faith in their bank and started to withdraw money. The withdrawal of so much money forced the Central Bank of Kenya to shut Chase bank down, and place it under receivership for 12 months. The Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation has been appointed as receiver manager, in order to control and supervise the affairs and business of Chase Bank and advise the Central Bank of Kenya on an appropriate resolution strategy.

But for the people who placed their trust, and money in the care of Chase Bank, the repercussions will last a lot longer than 12 months. In it’s relatively short history, Kenya has never reopened a Bank. Because of this, even though the CBK says that Chase will reopen in the near future, people aren’t counting on it. Despite the tremendous amount of withdrawals, Chase bank still closed, leaving 55,000 of their clients in the position of not being able to access their money. Some of these people will be okay. But for others who had trusted Chase Bank with life savings, or are in debt, or had all their business money in Chase, a 12 month receivership – or the possibility of Chase Bank never opening again – is devastating.

The closure of a major bank such as Chase is not only detrimental to individuals, but also negatively affects the economy and the country as a whole. Judy Thuo, owner of the bus company City Hoppa, and a supplies business called Redline Limited, said that “the closing down of Chase bank creates a run on the industry, it makes us lose confidence in our financial industry which is very bad for our business, and very bad for the economy.” However there is still hope. Chase Bank has a few interested buyers, due to their good profile among small and medium enterprises. And of the banks of that have failed in the past (and have not reopened), none have had the outstanding customer profile, or the amount of resources Chase Bank has. So there is still hope.

The future of Chase Bank now lies in the hands of KCB (Kenya Commercial Bank) – the biggest bank in Kenya – since they have bought a majority stake in Chase. KCB hopes that Chase will improve its access to small and medium sized enterprises. To the public, this financial tragedy should emphasize the importance of choosing the institutions with which we trust our money very carefully. Chase Bank was known for its excellent service, and for reasonable interest rates. Chase was a great choice for a bank, especially for a lot of middle-class citizens who couldn’t afford to be a part of larger banks such as Barclays. The loss of such a bank is an important reminder of how prudent we need to be when it comes to money.  Our hope now lies in KCB.

Who Writes History? The Gender Gap

Is the significance of women’s roles throughout the course of history diminished in education? Some people claim that history was written primarily by men and for men. Few of the textbooks used in history education are written or edited by women. And yet, there are groups that still disagree with the opinion that there is gender bias in today’s history classrooms. They hold to the opinion that many of the leaders in the past were men and it is therefore natural for these curricula to focus more attention on men than women.

It is important to remember that written history is not based only on facts, but also on the views of those who write it. Furthermore, our perception of what has happened in our past is important because it is reflected in how we experience the present. The way we see the role of women in history, therefore, does matter in the current debates concerning gender equality.

In speaking with some students at my school, Rosslyn Academy, opinions varied on the perception (or lack thereof) regarding gender bias in history education. I posed the question “In your experience, do you believe that there is gender bias in history education?” to ten girls and ten boys. Interestingly, seven out of the ten girls thought that the history education they receive shows gender bias, whereas only two out of the ten boys think so. Boys, generally, did not seem to see anything problematic in the history they’ve been taught, while girls answered very differently.

Johanna French, a history teacher at Rosslyn Academy in Nairobi, says that her history teachers and professors of both genders were intentional in talking about women in history. I asked her about the books she uses in her classes, which I have noticed to contain quite a few documents and statements made by women, and she said “The books are good and also [intentionally] include women, but sometimes you still need other sources and documentaries that shed more light on women’s perspectives and experiences.”

Textbooks used in schools are not always the most recently updated versions, and the process for bringing in new research findings to the school education seems to be a slow process. Ms. French also says that “so much of history has been written by men that sometimes little attention is given to women acknowledging what they have done [throughout history] – including being some of the first writers and scribes in ancient Sumer and Mesopotamia. An interesting event in the US this week was about the idea of putting women on the new US dollar bills – like Harriet Tubman and Eleanor Roosevelt.” Evidently, people are opening their eyes to the roles that women have played throughout recorded history, and their importance in the stories we tell. However, a large part of history seems to be seen through men’s eyes.

What are some possible effects of a skewed perception of history? Perhaps there is a fine line between historical accuracy (because human history is dominated by men) and the diminishing of women’s roles. What we can hope for is further development of history education, and a greater diversity among the people working with it. Only then, perhaps, can the stories of our world’s women be told.

Pride vs. Pride: Lions in Nairobi

The continent of Africa is known for its diverse wildlife, and among this wildlife roam the kings of the jungle – the lions. However, the lion population in Africa has declined by more than 40 percent in the last two decades, according to the African Wildlife Foundation.

On the 19th of February 2016, six lions caused panic on the streets of Nairobi after escaping from the Nairobi National Wildlife Park the previous night. It wasn’t clear what path they took to sneak out of the park and enter residential areas. The lions were first spotted at 4 a.m. Friday near a hospital in Langata, and later near Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum, Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Udoto said. Officials urged vigilance and warned residents to call a toll-free number if they spotted the big cats. The rangers scoured the bush and agricultural land searching for the pride on the loose to return them to the park, but the big cats were later spotted back in the park, having made their own way “home”. 

On March 18th, another stray lion clawed and injured a 63-year-old man on Nairobi’s Mombasa Road. The man has since been discharged from hospital, and the lion has been captured safely.

Then, on March 30th, things took a turn for the worse, as Kenyan rangers killed a lion that pounced on a man in a crowd after it escaped the park. The man, who was hospitalized with deep lacerations, had joined hundreds of noisy bystanders surrounding the animal. In order to save lives, as the “last resort”, rangers shot it to death as the animal was considered a “threat to human life” before veterinarians arrived with tranquilizers. The death of Mohawk, a majestic 13-year-old big cat – so named because of the shape of his black mane – sparked an outcry among Kenyans. I am glad I got to see Mohawk several times, but am saddened by the fact that I will not see him again. Did he deserve this brutal, bloody end? Who was at fault? Bansri Joshi, a student in Nairobi, spoke the words that so many witnesses thought, “I expected the rangers to have tranquilizers to protect and disable him not kill him.” The death of an African lion is always a tragedy. Could this have been avoided?

The next morning, a 2½-year-old lion known as Lemek also found his way through the fence. Later, wildlife rangers discovered Lemek’s speared body “under a large thicket beside a dry riverbed” – evidently killed by Maasai tribesmen 12 miles south of Nairobi, the service said in a statement.

Why are lions trying to escape all of a sudden?

There are many factors that may have been contributors to this clash between humans and lions in Nairobi, but is obviously connected to the encroachment of human settlement on lion habitats, and a sharp decrease in their natural prey. The government has also started building a highway through a section of the park, agitating the animals with constant noise, affecting their behavior and leading more big cats to attempt to break free in search of quieter hunting grounds.

But wildlife tourism is also an essential foreign revenue earner for Kenya. Instead of protecting our animals that tourists come to admire, it seems like we are intruding into their habitats and homes. And as we are more powerful with our machine guns and weapons, and always put ourselves first, we will get what we want, but at the expense of possibly losing our animals. Is our own pride worth the deaths of prides of lions?

Kenyan wildlife officials, and many Kenyan citizens, enjoy the fact that Nairobi National Park is the world’s only urban wildlife range, connoting the idea that a satisfactory arrangement has been made between man and animal. But is that still true? 

The Wealth Gap: Should the Rich Be Taxed More?

The rich stay rich. In the past, those with great amounts of wealth have been able to stay at the top and increase their influence as well as financial stability. This continues to be true in our world today. Those at the bottom have been able to accumulate wealth, but at a far slower rate. This is supported by various economical statistics, including the fact that “the top 3,000 (income) taxpayers pay more annually than the the bottom 9 million people,” according to HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in the UK). This goes to show how great of a wealth gap there is in our modern world.

This begs the question: should the rich be taxed more? We hear different arguments on why we should or should not tax the rich more. “ The rich should be taxed more to bring society to a more equalized state,” states Urim Byen, a student at Rosslyn Academy.  But would that tactic really work? “The way to get more out of the rich is not actually to increase the tax rate. You need to keep it around the premium level of 50%”, said John Ashcroft the former Governor of Missouri. While there is bias in this statement, due to the former governor’s republican values and economic perspective, there is also logic.

The highest paying people in society already pay 39.6% on individual income tax, which is an all-time high. Interestingly, even with the increase in taxes, there has not been any real change in the wealth gap, so should the rich be taxed more and more?  Another reason  why the rich shouldn’t be taxed more is that, with the increase in taxation, there would not be as much room and flexibility for the rich to spend money and to create jobs that were not there before. As a result, there would be quite a large drop in youth employment and potentially another crash in the economy, such as the great crash of 192, due to people’s reluctance to spend money.

On the other hand, if the rich were taxed more the government would be able to significantly deduct the tax taken from those in society who are working hard to escape the poverty line. With this increase of taxes on the rich and reduction of taxes for the poor there would be a larger middle class in society which would be the best and most comfortable type of society for most people. With a larger and more healthy middle class, everyone would be able to spend money and contribute to the growth and success of the nation.

With such a controversial topic there is not one right or wrong answer. The only thing we can do now is speculate what the right move is and wait for our governments to act in order to affect the people in a positive manner that brings success to the people.

A Head of Half-Dreads

What do you do to feel empowered?

To some people, empowerment can take the form of metaphysical expression. As aspects of distinct cultures uncoil and fade away in the modern world, individuals still ascribe to physical expressions of culture. Ideally, these echo the spirituality of the cultures they descend from, but, more often than not, they simply become a “hipster” trend.

If you’re like Amanda Daggett, you may feel empowered by wearing your hair in dreadlocks. She views her mane of blonde dreads as a “unique journey” that is different from those of others who decide to also experiment with hair traditional to mystics, warriors, and sailors in many cultures. Amanda Daggett states that her dreads are not a cultural statement, but rather a method of self – empowerment.

On the other hand, Tessah Schoenrock, a blogger on Thought Catalog, describes Caucasian dreads as “frizzy pieces of dog ****” that present a cultural offense. While caustic, her article stems from a topic that needs more awareness in the West: cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation occurs when elements of minority culture are adopted by a dominant, oppressive culture for materialistic reasons. The societal, and, in some cases, spiritual roots of these elements are ignored or manipulated in order to make one appear more “interesting.” As members of a dominant society, it seems as if young Caucasians want to disassociate with oppression. We hardly have any cultural or physical identity that lies beyond the favored territory of the West. We want to be more “ethnic,” and this desire navigates to the broken record of Western materialism. In a context of racial discrimination, “white” dreadlocks sometimes are tokens to buy societal ground under capitalistic regulations.

I’ve thought a lot about committing to dreads for a cultural statement. What if I decide to bear dreadlocks in order to diminish my own white privilege? By choosing to promote a non – Caucasian trend, won’t I revolutionize society? And, because so many white men and women already sport dreadlocks, won’t my dreadlocks reflect both “ethnic” culture and mainstream culture?

The hard truth is that I am still classified in the Caucasian range. No matter if I mold my embryonic dreadlocks into a head of glorious Medusa snakes or how many times I am told I could pass as “Romani,” I still breathe the tacit privileges of a white woman. That is where the boundary of cultural appropriation lies.

Sanjana Sharma and Stephanie Mithika recognize cultural appropriation as a valid issue. Mithika says that cultural appropriation stems from “deeply rooted stereotypes that bleed into everything” while simultaneously questioning as to “who has the right to cultural artifacts?” Similarly, Sharma questions that, while “we listen to ‘black’ music,  what makes it ‘black?’ Isn’t [imitation] a mark of respect?”

I don’t think it’s wrong for people to empower themselves for the right reasons. Forms of physical expression, removed from cultural shackles, echo the spiritual pursuits of the ancient. When they succeed in doing so, are they transcendent of the laws of cultural appropriation? Does cultural appropriation crystallize the fluidity of culture?

And, the fundamental question: is it always appropriate to culturally appropriate?


The warm, golden glow over the savanna at sunset may have been one of the most beautiful moments I have experienced in my (short) life. The beautiful peaceful moment when the engine of the van stopped, leaving radiant waves of silence and a warm wind that stroked my face was a peculiar, yet wonderful, feeling.  I remember my first time in the Maasai Mara – more specifically the first sunset I witnessed there – and how the grace of the place washed over me. I remember seeing a giraffe sitting under a bush tree and looking out over the savanna. Lions were near and if they would have decided to attack the giraffe herd, the one sitting down would be an easy target. The giraffe, however, was completely calm. Everything was how it was supposed to be. It was a beautiful vision in gold, and I will never forget it.

Last week, during my Kiswahili class, I was describing to my teacher my most recent safari to Amboseli in Kenya. Amboseli National Park is known for its large herds of elephants, so of course I talked mostly about them. He said that my experience sounded beautiful and that he had never seen elephants in the wild. I was quite shocked; I could not understand how that could be true. This man, a Kenyan who had lived here in Kenya for most of his life, had never seen the animals that his country is so famous for, while I had only arrived about eight months ago, and since then have been on multiple safaris.

To see such an untouched and natural place on earth was a great contrast from the city life I am so used to. The true beauty I was privileged to see made me realize how important it is to respect nature, and how we must work hard to preserve the environment. Seeing the elephants slowly walk in a line against the orange blazing sun, and the lions lying in the high grass, made me understand that this is the beautiful essence of the world.

All of Kenya is beautiful in my opinion. From the crowded, noisy streets downtown to the open landscapes of the grasslands. From the colorful shops and fruit stands to the cascading waterfalls in lush forests. But, above all, the national parks still stand out – the way you can truly see the beautiful essence of nature. It’s magical. Some of us have the privilege to just ride in, in our safari vans, with our cameras and curious eyes. We need to remember that a large part of the Kenyan population may never see what we see on safari.

Nature does not belong to anyone – or any group of people. But, it seems that we are born with different opportunities in life. Some of us will get to view beautiful landscapes that others may never see, even within the borders of their own countries. Sometimes, even Nature is a privilege.

Gambling in Kenya: Are the Chinese to Blame?

One afternoon as my family was driving towards the Westlands roundabout in cosmopolitan Nairobi, we stopped by the Shell petrol station for gas. I looked out from the car window at an advertisement board right beside the station. Its florid designs emphatically communicated the opening of a casino, promising a great fun experience, and a chance to win what we all need more of: money. As I looked closer at the advertisement, I noticed a line written in Mandarin at the bottom of the billboard, and it stated – “this will be the luckiest place for you.” At first I was amazed that my language had been written on an ad in Kenya, a country where many languages are common, but Mandarin is very rare. Why advertise in Chinese? I was unsettled by the statement that this advertisement was making: the Chinese people are perpetuating the increase of the gambling industry in Kenya.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), a professional service network working in Kenya, there are thirteen licensed Casinos currently operating within Kenya . These casinos are usually situated in hotels such as the Intercontinental Hotel or The Safari Park Hotel, popular Chinese rendezvous points. Many of these Chinese citizens are here in Kenya because they are construction managers or workers, and the view these casinos as perfect places to have some fun and relieve the stress of daily work. Mr. Zhang, a Chinese Construction manager working in Nairobi, says, “Looking around the casinos, all you see is Chinese and all you hear is Mandarin.” Many of these Chinese workers enjoy the sensation of sudden monetary loss or gain, and fail to the see the detrimental effect that casinos and gambling can bring to their lives.

Mr. Shen, a Chinese business man in Kenya, says that “Gambling in Casinos is just like playing games.” To most Chinese who are working in Kenya, gambling is not an affront to any of their moral standards. They enjoy the thrill of winning and losing, just like many people around the world enjoy board games. But to many others, gambling can be classified as a heinous act. Sarah, a student at a local Nairobi school, states “My Christian background is what determines my view of what’s right and what’s wrong.” Often, our beliefs and our cultures determine what we believe as right or wrong. If the Chinese men and women in Kenya believe gambling isn’t wrong, what’s the ptoblem?

Is culture the only thing that is provoking the Chinese to gamble in Kenya? Kenya, as a country, tolerates gambling. Along with Nigeria and South Africa, Kenya is one of the countries in Africa where gambling is allowed by law. The PWC projects that the revenue generated by the gambling industry in Kenya will reach 29 million dollars (USD) by 2019. This can be seen as a boon for business. Is it cause for concern? Some would say that this money is filtering through the economy through the weakness of  human nature. The government, by allowing gambling, is manipulating human nature to generate more money for its own use. It is using the people that it is governing. A government should make rules that restrict the people from making poor choices, and should never make money as a result of the poor choices that people make.

The Chinese, due to a surrounding culture and their own value systems, take the bane of gambling lightly. But the Kenya government takes advantage of this to further boost the gambling industry in this poverty–stricken country. It uses the weakness of others to increase its own revenue. This needs to change.

Bill Yang (photograph and article)