Iranian Child Soldiers In The Iran-Iraq War

January 11, 2014

Iranian Child Soldiers Iran Iraq War

Following the political and social turmoil that was the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Iraq was on the opportunistic offensive. Fearful that its own oppressed Shia population might rise up against the state and desirous of achieving the status of premier Persian Gulf state, Iraq attacked Iran without any warning on September 22, 1980.

Iran retaliated quickly–and unconventionally–and even used child soldiers in the process. While the minimum fighting age was 16, it was not uncommon to see 12 year olds engaged in battle, donning “keys to paradise” distributed by the Ayatollah for use in heaven upon their virtually assured death. Often used as human mine clearers, estimated death tolls of these children soldiers are as high as 100,000.

Mapping The Forced Removal Of Native Americans

January 9, 2014

Native American Forceful Removal

The question of how Native American tribes might “fit in” to the newly-formed United States had been on the minds of US political leaders since its infancy. Up until Andrew Jackson’s presidency, it was Thomas Jefferson’s view–that, as long as these tribes assimilated or became “civilized”, they would be permitted to remain east of the Mississippi River–reigned supreme.

In 1830, however, Jackson adopted a much harsher stance and primarily forced the big five “civilized” tribes that had all resided east of the Mississippi for thousands of years–the Chocktaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek and Seminole–west of the Mississippi River in his genocidal and jingoistic Indian Removal Act. Over 25,000 Native Americans died as a result.

Nelson Mandela Following His Life Sentence In 1964

January 5, 2014

Nelson Mandela After Life Sentencing

On June 12, 1964, Nelson Mandela and other members of the African National Congress were sentenced to life in prison for sabotage against the state. While Mandela’s attorney said that the “accused represent the struggle of their people for equal rights”, the judge remained unfazed.

Responding to the court’s decision to condemn Mandela and his cohorts to life behind bars, Mandela invoked the following defense: “I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites.”

In 1990, Mandela was released from prison, and went on to serve as the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

Rome, The Super City

January 3, 2014

Rome Super City

Shopping malls, apartment buildings, running water and more: Rome was the height of prosperity, power and decadence for ages, but eventually such splendor was their very undoing.

Googie Architecture, An Art Form Worth Saving

January 3, 2014
Googie Architecture Stardust

Source: Flickr

It was almost utopian: an architectural form with a vocabulary all its own, including its moniker—Googie. Named after the Los Angeles coffee shop, Googies, and designed by architect John Lautner in the late 1940s, the style expressed society’s burgeoning fascination with space flight as well as its recent understanding of the Atomic Age and its power.

Unfortunately for us architecture buffs, many of the Googie-style buildings have been demolished over the years, including its namesake coffeehouse, which succumbed to new development in 1989.

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Five Fascinating Lost Civilizations

December 31, 2013
Lost Civilizations Mada In Saleh

Source: Wikipedia

Lost Civilizations: The Nabataeans

Straight out of an Indiana Jones movie, the ancient Nabatean Treasury of Al-Khazneh played host to the final scene of “The Last Crusade” and it’s easy to see why. The mysterious people who occupied Jordan in the sixth century BC are responsible for carving one of the most breathtaking stone cities in the world. Remarkably, their buildings have stood the test of time.

Initially travelers by tradethat moved miles across the desert in their caravans, the sudden settlement of the Nabateans has puzzled historians. As if overnight, they crafted one of the most intricate stone cities, hidden away and accessed only via a 1200 meter long crack in the rock. However, it’s not just the secret city which the Nabateans left historians and anthropologists to unravel. Their history was never recorded and it is here where the biggest mystery lies.

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