ExxonMobil, El Dorado Offshore recruit 12 Guyanese

first_imgThe new trainees who will be introduced to the oil industry as rig clerksEl Dorado Offshore and Ramps Logistics has partnered once again with US oil giant ExxonMobil to recruit 12 rig clerk trainees for the emergent oil and gas industry.Recruitment Director Natasha Jairam-Abai explained that this was the third batch of individuals to benefit from this type of training, but this year, the number of women increased.“El Dorado Offshore and Ramps Logistics is collaborating with Exxon and we’re launching our third batch of rig clerk trainees within our programme. This batch consists of 12 candidates, six of those are females and we don’t have much rig clerks that are female within the oil and gas industry, so we’re proud of that at this moment,” she explained.The candidates will undergo 10 weeks of training, both theoretical and practical, at four different locations. From Guyana, they will move to Trinidad and Tobago and one of the drill ships as part of the exercise to forge their skills in all areas.Jairam-Abai reiterated that local content development was essential in the industry and their agencies have pledged to do what was necessary to fill that gap.“We’re committed to local content development for Guyana. As such, this programme has been rolled out with Exxon’s support. Over the progression of the next 10 weeks, these candidates will go from four different locations, which is the Guyana office; GYSBI (Guyana Shore Base Incorporated), our Trinidad office, and the Noble Bob Douglas drillship,” she expressed.Guyana Times spoke to a few recruits who were eager to take a leap into this new sector. Anna Lane explained that she had applied for a different position, but opted for this role since it provided more opportunity.“This is something completely new for me, something that I was not expecting and it wasn’t what I came in the office for, but it was a better opportunity and so I decided to take it … I don’t think we were expecting for it to be such a big deal,” she explained.El Dorado Offshore sent its first batch of recruits back in 2017, in an effort to meet the human resources demands of the oil industry. Presently, it has deployed many persons to serve the industry. Some are stationed right here in Guyana while others have been placed on supply vessels as well as in countries as far as Singapore.“We have persons at the onshore which is at GYSBI, the supply vessels, the drill ships, and we have persons on the FPSO (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel) right now in Singapore that will be coming back with the vessel,” the Director informed.Guyana is expected to extract first oil in late 2019 or early 2020. In April, principal explorer ExxonMobil made its 13th discovery offshore Guyana at the Yellowtail-1 well.It was only two months ago that the US supermajor made double oil discoveries at the Tilapia-1 and Haimara-1 wells in the South-west section of the Stabroek Block.Approximately 292 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir was found at Yellowtail-1, which is located some six miles North-west of the Tilapia discovery.According to ExxonMobil, it was drilled to a depth of 18,445 feet (5622 metres) in 6046 feet (1843 meters) of water.The Noble Tom Madden began drilling the Yellowtail well on March 27 and it will next drill the Hammerhead-2 well.This latest discovery adds to the previously announced estimated recoverable resource of approximately 5.5 billion oil-equivalent barrels on the Stabroek Block. Yellowtail-1 is the fifth discovery in the Turbot area, which ExxonMobil expects to become a major development hub.last_img read more

Inter Milan join Arsenal and Liverpool in race for Marseille striker

first_img Andre-Pierre Gignac 1 Inter Milan have joined Arsenal and Liverpool in the race for Marseille striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, according to reports in Italy.The France international’s current contract expires at the end of the season, meaning he is available on a free in the summer.That has sparked interest from clubs all over Europe, with Arsenal and Liverpool both monitoring the 29-year-old’s situation.However, according to Tuttosport, Inter Milan have now joined the Premier League pair in the race to sign Gignac in the summer.The Serie A club have been impressed by the striker’s form this season, which has seen him hit 15 goals in 22 appearances.Marseille are still hoping to persuade the former Toulouse man to sign a new deal but they are aware they cannot compete with the wages on offer from other clubs.last_img read more


first_imgLiam & Ann Foy, Foy’s Letterkenny, Herdsmans Retail Park & Main Street Ballybofey  would like to wish Jim and the Donegal Team every success for All Ireland Final.Liam and Ann have paid €100 for this advertisement with all of that money going to the Players Fund of the county team.All monies from adverts supporting the Donegal squad go directly to the team.  BEST WISHES TO JIM McGUINNESS AND THE DONEGAL TEAM – FROM EVERYONE AT FOY’S was last modified: September 10th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BEST WISHES TO JIM McGUINNESS AND THE DONEGAL TEAM – FROM EVERYONE AT FOY’Slast_img read more


first_imgLetterkenny 24/7 Club News:Firmus Energy City of Derry Triathlon was held on Sunday morning past. 26 Letterkenny Triathlon club members joined nearly 500 other triathletes on the banks of The Foyle for this increasingly popular race. The race was a National Series Sprint race comprising of a 750m swim in The Foyle, 20k bike around the city taking in the two road bridges and finally a 5k run along The Foyle and across the iconic Peace Bridge.Siobhan Gallagher ,who was using the race as a test for an upcoming international race, was first woman across the line in 1.11.22. Sean McFadden was first club male to finish in a time of 1.08.06. There was some very impressive results with four members picking up firsts in their respective age groups. Well done to all those who raced, results below. On the 11th July ’15 Letterkenny 24/7 Triathlon Club are holding a Sprint & Olympic distance triathlon at Gartan Lough, Churchill in County Donegal.Our race comprises of a lake swim, bike routes with both flat and challenging climb sections and an amended flat and faster run course. More details of this race to follow.Sean McFadden  1.08.06 2nd Age GroupHugh Gallagher 1.11.12 1st Age Group Siobhan Gallagher 1.11.22Paul Dillon 1.14.34Triona McMenamin 1.15.40 1st Age GroupJack Brennan 1.15.40Martin Donnelly 1.18.35 Paul Lynch 1.18.51Donagh O’Sullivan 1.20.13Clara Quigley 1.20.44 1st Age GroupJohn McCarron 1.21.15 Brian Sweeney 1.22.05Karl Sweeney 1.23.34Niall Mulrine 1.23.35Killian Nulty 1.25.20Jarlath Duffy 1.25.22Barry McLaughlin 1.25.49Fin Begley 1.25.50Stephen Sweeney 1.31.11Johnny Duffy 1.37.24Patrick Nulty 1.46.53Sean McAuliffe 1.52.36Paul Kelly 1.54.44Stephen McFarland 2.08.10Please see clubs Facebook or the website, www.letterkenny247.com for club training sessions.ATHLETICS NEWS: SEAN MCFADDEN PERFORMS SUPERBLY AT DERRY TRIATHLON was last modified: June 16th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:athleticsletterkenny 24/7Noticessean mcfaddenlast_img read more

Fabinho, Keita and unwanted players report for Liverpool training

first_img RANKED REVEALED Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Premier League clubs are already beginning their preparations for the 2018/19 season.With the World Cup continuing, many players won’t return for club duty until later in July, but those not in Russia are going to be hard at work this week.Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp welcomed back the majority of his squad to Melwood on Monday as he looks to get the Reds gunning for glory domestically and in Europe. Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Daniel Sturridge is back at Liverpool – but for how long? Liverpool’s first match of pre-season will come against Chester at Swansway Chester Stadium on July 7 before they take on Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park four days later.They will play another two friendlies in England, against Bury and Blackburn Rovers, before heading to the US to take part in the International Champions Cup. smart causal Jurgen Klopp has got the majority of his Liverpool squad back for pre-season training predicted England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won possible standings Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? center_img How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures silverware The Merseysiders were an exciting side to watch last season and reached the Champions League final, where they lost 3-1 to Real Madrid.And Klopp will be determined to bring silverware success to the club as he approaches his third year in the hotseat.A total of 26 players reported back for the start of pre-season training with Liverpool on Monday, among them new signings Naby Keita and Fabinho.Keita’s long-awaited move to Anfield was finally made official on Sunday [July 1], the Guinean central midfielder having agreed to join from RB Leipzig in a £52million deal last summer. How Liverpool could line up at Leicester with midfielder set for lengthy absence First day for Naby Keïta. 👋#LFCPreSeason pic.twitter.com/btjDUAbTCB— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 2, 2018Fabinho joined in a £40m deal from Monaco in May and the Brazilian will form part of a new-look midfield alongside Keita, with Emre Can having departed for Juventus.They were joined at Liverpool training by a number of players whose futures are uncertain.Daniel Sturridge, who spent last season on loan at West Brom, was among the players present, as was Divock Origi, who was at Wolfsburg last season.Lazar Markovic, another who doesn’t appear to have a future at the club under Klopp after spending last season on loan at Anderlecht, also returned, while Loris Karius was back at Melwood as he looks to rebuild his reputation following his disastrous performance in the Champions League final. 2 Latest Liverpool News REVEALED 2 huge blow Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury A number of Liverpool stars won’t return for a while yet.Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino, Marko Grujic, Jordan Henderson, Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet are all still involved in the World Cup with their respective countries, while Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have been given a break following their exploits in Russia.Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum have also been given extra time off having played in post-season friendly matches for the Netherlands, who failed to qualify for the World Cup.Here’s the full list of players who returned to Liverpool training on Monday:Goalkeepers: Grabara, Karius, Kelleher, Ward. Defenders: Clyne, Gomez, Klavan, Moreno, Phillips, Robertson. Midfielders: Chirivella, Keita, Fabinho, Milner, Lallana, Woodburn. Forwards: Camacho, Ings, Kent, Markovic, Ojo, Origi, Solanke, Sturridge, Wilson.last_img read more


first_imgAs we head for a summer of sport, Donegal will also have their very own ‘festival of sport.’Active Donegal – ‘Just Try It’ which runs during the month of June will provide loads of opportunities for people to get out and take part in some sort of physical activity or sport.Donegal Sports Partnership who are coordinating the programme had targeted fifty events for year one of the campaign however the response for the sporting community has been that the campaign already has eighty events registered with some still due to be registered. Donegal Sports Partnership Coordinator Myles Sweeney explains “Active Donegal Just Try It was established to provide opportunities for people to get involved in some sort of activity and also to showcase the levels and the wide range of activities taking place across the county.“It is a simple concept of using June as a month to highlight this activity and the response from the Donegal community has been excellent,” he said.The events schedule has been wide ranging with a clear focus on events of a recreational nature using the ‘Just Try It’ theme. The programme will include walking, running, cycle and rowing events, sports days, bowling, general fitness classes and basketball.The response from the clubs and communities for the campaign has been excellent with a wide variety of events due to take place; the challenge now is to get as many people of all abilities taking part as possible. Myles admits that they have been delighted with the response so far in what year is one of the campaigns, he hopes that Donegal Sports Partnership can build on the programme for future years and that it can also be used as an added attraction to showcase Co Donegal as a real Active County.For more details check the Active Donegal Month Facebook page www.facebook.com/ActiveDonegalJustTryIt or www.activedonegal.com calendar of events  EIGHTY AND CLIMBING FOR ACTIVE DONEGAL MONTH! was last modified: May 30th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Active Donegal Monthlast_img read more

HSU AD search narrowed to four

first_imgHumboldt State University announced four finalists in its search for an Athletic Director.In a release issued Tuesday morning, the university named four individuals — Cliff Dochterman, Ronald Prettyman, Melissa Ringhausen and Bill Macriss — as still being in consideration for the role which has been filled by interim administrators (most notably Duncan Robins for past two years) since former AD Dan Collen retired in May of 2016.HSU will have four separate open forums to allot the candidates …last_img read more

Social participation key to efficient cities

first_imgJohannesburg’s population grew by 1.2-million people in the decade between 2001 and 2011. (Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free images, visit the image gallery) Former finance minister and now minister in the Presidency, Trevor Manuel, says that Johannesburg is South Africa’s fastest growing metropolis in terms of population growth.(Image: Shamin Chibba) Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau is also looking abroad for inspiration on how to make the city more liveable.(Image: Romaana Naidoo) MEDIA CONTACTS • Jean Robertson  Vuma Reputation Management  +27 87 941 3497 or +27 82 994 7744 RELATED ARTICLES • Revamping Gauteng’s freeways • Making democracy work for all • Joburg – from mining camp to big city • Nelson Mandela Bay is smartShamin ChibbaCaring cities take responsibility, and social participation is needed in order for cities to function efficiently. This was the message Johannesburg’s mayor, Parks Tau, punted at the 2013 Metropolis Annual Meeting in Sandton on Wednesday, 17 July. The event, which takes place between 16 and 18 July, brought together more than 80 mayors from around the world to discuss ways of overcoming challenges such as poverty, informal housing, transit and communications infrastructure, and public services. Keeping in line with the conference’s theme of Caring Cities, Tau said a city with the ability to care is also able to act and take responsibility. “This theme is underpinned by the profound philosophy of ubuntu. We are bound by accountability.”According to Metropolis secretary-general Alain Le Saux, the organisation was established in 1984 as an international forum for major cities to gather and discuss common issues and goals. Usually, such topics involve water supply, transport and sanitation. But, according to Le Saux, Tau wanted this year’s discussion to be about putting citizens first. “We are not looking at the transport company but at the people inside the bus.”More active citizen participationFor cities to become more resourceful, Tau said their citizens would have to actively participate in the way they are run. He urged citizens to look at public participation beyond the transactional framework and bring their expertise to provide local solutions to problems. “If you go to Soweto on a Wednesday, to an area where waste is collected; after the trucks have moved there are a group of young people who sanitise the bins and send them back to the houses. The households then give them some money. Now that is community involvement. They have found a solution to a problem.”Tau looked abroad for innovative ways of making Johannesburg more liveable. He spoke of how Brazilian cities came to regularise informal settlements in its major cities, which subsequently gave inhabitants a degree of security. “It gave people the ability to [interact] with the city because they are not living in temporary environments.”He spoke of the Lula Movement in Brazil, which involved citizens in the development of communities. Former president Luiz Inácio “Lula” Da Silva put in place measures which would make citizens more responsible. For instance, one of the objectives was the provision of education to children. Citizens would be given free basic services if they continued sending their children to school. However, if their children were not at school, the government would stop the free services. “This is building a different relationship as opposed to people just being passive recipients of municipal services,” said Tau.Nádia Campeão, the vice-mayor of São Paulo in Brazil, said public participation requires access to information to ensure social control. “To us, social participation is about taking care of the city. It is only through this that we can reach our goals.”Johannesburg to be centre of urban innovationAccording to Trevor Manuel, minister in the Presidency, Johannesburg is South Africa’s fastest growing metropolis in terms of population growth. In his address, Manuel said between 2001 and 2011, the city grew by 1.2-million people. As a reaction to this growth, he announced the establishment of the Centre for Urban Innovation, which will be used by the Johannesburg City Council to track innovative practices of cities from around the world. The centre will also bring stakeholders together to deal with urban issues, said Manuel. “Part of what it will do is to convene and stream ideas.”In Manuel’s opinion, stakeholders do not use enough of the ideas urban planners are publishing. “I am staggered by the amount of information and how little we are using to implement and drive change.”Manuel believed Johannesburg and other major South African cities are still dealing with the vestiges of the Group Areas Act, an apartheid law which assigned racial groups to specific residential and business zones in urban areas. He suggested an efficient land use management initiative that would maximise the value of land and improve the efficiency of a city’s function. “Unless we do this early, people will settle where they move to and it will become harder to [relocate] them. The idea that the poor settle on the most marginal land because it is cheaper actually disadvantages them.”International cooperation and challengesTau suggested that cities around the world should co-operate to learn from each other. He said as the world comes closer together, new forms of communication between metropolitan areas will take place. “We as large cities need to embrace closer collaboration with each other.”Campeão agreed that international cooperation is one of the best ways to capture good practices and solutions for cities. And with this in mind, São Paulo is already making an effort to increase its global relations. The city will be one of the major venues of the 2014 Fifa World Cup and it is hosting the World Expo in 2020.Current challengesAntonio Balmón, the executive vice-president of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area in Spain, said cities are facing three challenges, namely demographic growth and urban concentration, climate change and the transformation of economic dynamics. He said new policies need to be drawn up to deal with rising temperatures and sea levels, food security, globalisation and the liberalisation of financial markets. Cities, he added, should also accept their new roles as economic promoters, cultural transformers of economic policies, and co-operative centres for national and supranational economic policies.MegacitiesLe Saux spoke about the transformation to megacities and the challenges this poses. One of the major problems, he said, is access to land. He recommended that land be prepared in a way that would provide people with the ability to help themselves. “We have to believe in the capacity of the people to organise their lives. But for that to occur, the local authorities need to give them what they need; land, public water, energy and other basic services.”Le Saux said cities should stop building outward. “When the city is 100 kilometres long then the water supply has to be 100 kilometres long.”He proposed that development be refocused on the city centre, which would force urban planners to build upward. “In the past the network was very big. But today, we have to see if it is possible to create small networks and to make a conjunction between these networks. That could probably be less expensive and easier to organise.”He said current building technology allows us to recycle water, generate electricity and develop an internal heating system, which could save cities a lot of money. “If we can do this to all parts of the city, then we would have found our solution.”last_img read more

Nelson Mandela Bay pupils to receive new school uniforms

first_imgChinese automotive company, First Automotive Works (FAW), launched its Port Elizabeth plant in Zone 2 of the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) on 10 July Pupils in and around Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth will receive much-needed school uniforms after Chinese automotive company, First Automotive Works (FAW), donated R200 000 to their schools on 31 July 2014.Around 300 pupils from Fumisikoma Primary, Melisizwe Primary, Imbasa Primary, Empumalanga Primary, Mdengentonga Primary, and Coega Primary School in Wells Estate will benefit from the donation.Xolile Mpati, principal at Coega Primary School, said, “Some of the children come to school without shoes, torn uniforms or no jerseys.”Mpati said that while the uniforms will benefit the pupils, the investment will also provide some relief for their parents.Mpati added that “The children who were identified are those who are desperately in need of school uniforms. Most of the learners have to walk 20km to school and most people from the area are unemployed.“We are very excited about the donation and are grateful to FAW.”Mluleki Mayekiso, principal at Imbasa Primary School, said there are 1 722 children at the school in Motherwell; more than 80% of their parents are unemployed.“An opportunity like this only comes along once in a while and when it does you grab it with open arms,” Mayekiso said.“Some of the children wear torn jerseys to school, or have one shirt or a pair of trousers which they wear for the week. The children were identified by the class teachers as those who are in desperate need of uniforms.”Principal at Fumisikoma Primary School, Ntsikelelo Vena, said the school highly appreciated the donation.She said, “The poorest of the poor were identified for the donation. Some of the children do not have school uniforms, others wear torn uniforms.”Vena added that the new school uniforms will boost the children’s morale and help them feel like they’re part of a collective.“Now that they will look like their fellow classmates it could have a positive effect on their school work.”Nomathamsanqa George, deputy principal at Melisizwe Primary School said, “This donation means so much to us. Our children are from very poor communities.“The area is in dire need of assistance and the school further needs help with renovating the building as well.”last_img read more

Hate Crimes Against Indians

first_img“Unfortunately… he died few minutes ago. (4:55 pm).”Just six words, but what a world of tragedy they enfold.Nabeel Siddiqui, 24, a computer science major who graduated from New Jersey Institute of Technology this summer, suffered brutal neurological injuries and trauma when three juveniles attacked him with a baseball bat on his head at Haxtun Avenue in Orange, NJ, as he got out of his car to deliver a pizza. The three, a 16-year-old from Woodbridge and a 16-year-old and 17-year-old from Orange, have been charged with aggravated assault, robbery, carjacking, and possession of a weapon. Baseball and pizza.Such quintessentially all-American, joyful symbols. Yet why is it that a baseball bat, which one associates with sportsmanship, Little League innocence and camaraderie, turns into a killing machine when bigots see skin of a different hue? Pizza, that ubiquitous fast food, turns deadly when the deliveryman has an accent or comes from another culture.Back in July, a young Indian graduate student, Saurabh Bhalerao of University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, became a victim of a hate crime in New Bedford, viciously beaten by four men, as he delivered pizza.Another one of just too many tragedies with victimized blue-collar workers.Syed Asif Alam, a New Jersey based systems architect, is a family friend who put up Nabeel Siddiqui when he first came to the United States five years ago. He recalls: “He was a very witty guy, he always had good stories. He was a big fan of music. The last time I talked to him –a day before the attack – he was very excited because he had some job interviews lined up. He had just graduated with a computer science degree and he had a lot of questions.”After the attack, Alam kept the community apprised of Siddiqui’s situation via Internet list serves. The young man never awoke from the coma; never saw the mother who rushed from Pakistan to be by his side. Alam says, “She was totally heartbroken.”It is the fabric of nightmares, to send your only son to America to earn a degree and to have to bring him back in a body bag.“The death of this young man is very symbolic of the violence that immigrant workers face in this country,” says Bhairavi Desai, director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.She cites a survey of 581 drivers in which 24 percent experienced some kind of vandalism of their vehicle, 15 percent were physically threatened, 9 percent were physically harmed and 34 percent were verbally harassed. She adds, “These are extremely high numbers out of just 581 drivers; so imagine the number of incidents given that there are 24,000 active drivers in the industry.”Hate crimes are surely on the rise. The National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium (NAPALC), based in Washington, conducts an annual audit, a comprehensive, non-governmental compilation and analysis of hate crimes nationwide. It is currently preparing its 2002 report. The 2001 figures are telling: 507 bias-motivated hate crimes against Asian-Americans, a 23 percent increase over 2000. NAPALC reported that a large number of hate crimes in the aftermath of Sept. 11, targeted South Asian Americans, and more particularly Sikh Americans, because many wear turbans and beards, similar to the widely publicized image of Osama Bin Laden. According to the FBI, there were 36 victims of anti-Islamic bias in 2000. In 2001, the FBI figure jumped to 554 victims.According to NAPALC, the real figures could be very much higher than the FBI figures because law enforcement agencies do not classify a crime or incident as bias-motivated when there’s only an account from a victim, the perpetrator has not been caught or there are no witnesses.The report sites language barriers, fear of police, fear of retaliation and fear of the INS as other causes of under-reporting hate crimes. Despite the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, not all hate crimes are counted and documented.In the 1980’s, it was a baseball bat that had shattered the skull of a young Indian, Navroze Mody, as he walked down a street in Jersey City. Have things got better or worse in the past 20 years? “How do you quantify human rights?” asks Desai. “The right to be safe in your society is a matter of a human right. It’s really working class South Asians who get attacked. I know there’s talk about jealousy of the Indians who are upwardly mobile, but it’s the downwardly mobile Indians who face the attacks.”She points out that taxi drivers are 60 times more likely to be killed on the job than any other worker, according to department of labor, followed by store clerks. Gas attendants, construction workers, and delivery persons – these are all professions dominated by black and brown immigrants, who often don’t have the luxury of choice, when it comes to choosing a livelihood: “They are perceived to lack political power so they are seen as more vulnerable.”Desai notes that historically the taxi occupation was far less dangerous when the industry was dominated by Whites: “Before the taxi industry became predominantly composed of immigrants of color, the taxi drivers earned better money, had health benefits and had safer conditions.”The problem of hate crimes is not limited to blue collar professions. Racists do not differentiate between rich and poor immigrants; they are driven – like raging bulls – solely by color? Deepa Iyer, a co-founder of SALT, who was earlier a civil rights attorney with the Department of Justice in Washington, says, “I think it’s a lot of anti-immigrant sentiment, where people say ‘Go back to your country, you don’t belong in our neighborhood.’ So a lot of it has to do with a perception of who’s American, who belongs in this country.” And as anyone living in America today or even flipping through an American newspaper knows, the situation has deteriorated markedly since 9/11 when the World Trade Center attacks created so many new enemies, some real, some perceived. You could be born and brought up in America, may have pledged allegiance to the flag since you were old enough to recite the words, but if you are of a certain color or if your features look remotely Middle Eastern, then all bets are off. You could be Sikh, Hindu or Muslim, but suddenly you are Osama, you are a terrorist and don’t you dare deny it.The aftermath of 9/11 saw a larger tragedy unfold, of Americans turning against Americans, simply because of their skin color or the way they looked. Amardeep Singh Bhalla, one of the founders and legal director of the Sikh Coalition, a civil rights advocacy group, says, “Earlier, the biggest issue the community faced was employment discrimination. After 9/11 that changed in a much-accelerated manner and we’ve had about 300 reports of bias against Sikhs ranging from hate crime to bias-motivated harassment on the street.”Desai too has seen the violence against taxi drivers increase dramatically after 9/11. Her organziation has received scores of incident reports where drivers’ tires were slashed, profanities were carved into their back seats, and cars even set afire. Even though hate crime laws are in the book, according to Desai, prosecutors in New York have almost never brought a case using these laws.“There are many more hate crimes, particularly against South Asians, Muslims and Arabs after 9/11,” says Partha Banerjee, community organizer of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE): “According to governmental statistics, there was a 1,600 percent rise in hate crime incidents right after 9/11. After that, the incidents came down, but once again have gone up. Most importantly, many hate crimes are not being reported because people are so afraid.”Since 9/11, the newspapers have been replete with stories of violent crimes against people of South Asian descent. Recently a Sikh family returning home in Woodside, NY, was attacked by a group of men yelling “Bin Laden, go back to your home country!” According to Banerjee, NICE put together a strong responsive emergency meeting at which community members showed up and the incident got media attention.He says, “We were able to provide some kind of space of security for the Sikh community in Woodside. Both criminals are at large and in more than two months there has not been a single arrest, which makes the victim communities even more apprehensive about reporting hate crimes and that’s why the numbers reported or given out by the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force or the Mayor’s Office are not correct.”A survey of Muslims, Arabs and South Asians in New York recently released by the New York City Commission on Human Rights found that 69 percent of respondents reported perceived discrimination and bias-related harassment. Almost one-third of incidents involved religious and ethnic insults or physical assaults. Almost a quarter of the respondents reported employment discrimination, alleging that they had been taunted as “Bin Laden” “terroprist” or “Taliban” in the workplace. According to the report very few reported the discrimination, the majority because they felt either that nothing would be done, or because were afraid or uncomfortable reporting the incident.The report found that almost b4 in 5 respondents reported that the events of 9/11 had adversely affected their lives, noting: “A large number of individuals noted that they had altered their behavior or manner od dress so as not to attract notice. For example, they would speak only English in public, cut their hair, shave their beards, wear hats instead of the hijab, or Americanize their names. Many said they were afraid to be in public places, and some said they no longer go out as much or only go out with friends and relatives. … Many spoke of being scared, stared at, initimdated, fearful, alienated, depressed, uncomfortable, cautious, hurt, uneasy, ridiculed, shamed, misunderstood, sad, blamed, insecure, scrutinized and emotionally stress.”As these bashings occur, one realizes that there are many baseball bats – literal and symbolic. Violence pervades our lives and as Desai points out, it includes physical attacks, verbal abuse, political disenfranchisement and economic impoverishment. We are living in violent times, an age of pre-emptive strikes and a seemingly endless war against terror.She questions, “When the President of the United States can bomb a country because he perceives it to be a threat, then what moral authority does that government have to tell the bully on the street that he cannot beat on somebody because he perceives a threat? So we are living in generally very violent times and of course, all the Muslim-bashing and immigrant bashing has created an atmosphere of violence and terror.”Indeed, sometimes it is hard to separate the bias crimes of ignorant bigots and those propogated by governmental policy, such as the mass detentions, raids at work, racial profiling and deportations that have plagued the Muslim community. Says Desai, “People in authority set the standard. The myth is that wealth trickles down, but the reality is that violence trickles down.” The NAPALC audit points out the harsh facts of post 9/11 America, as the Bush Administration targeted Arab and Muslim Americans in the name of homeland security. For example, it notes that the U.S. Department of Justice rounded up and imprisoned over 1,000 individuals of Arab and Muslim backgrounds without charge or allowing them access to attorneys.The Department of Justice also publicly demanded that local police help them pressure 5000 Arab and Muslim immigrants to submit to interrogations and asked universities to turn over confidential files of students with Arab names.Various advocacy and human rights groups have protested these violation of personal rights, and The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) points to the Special Registration program as the worst in a series of counter-productive and increasingly draconian policies implemented in the name of national security.The group cites official figures that over 82,000 people have been interrogated under oath, fingerprinted, and photographed under Special Registration and the government is now trying to deport 13,000 of those individuals.According to AALDEF staff attorney Sin Yen Ling, “I have personally represented scores of individuals and families who are among the thousands whose lives have been destroyed because of Special Registration. It’s been implemented as policy as of last year and there are no signs from the Bush Administration that they are going to end it.” Meanwhile, a fresh batch of individuals face the dread of Special Registration on November 6, 2003, to be photographed, fingerprinted, interrogated, detained and possibly deported.Many of them will have known no other home but America, others will be leaving behind wives, children, jobs, lives left dangling on the Pause button.Yet, isn’t it a Catch-22? Doesn’t the government have an obligation to protect its citizens against what happened on 9/11, to prevent it from ever happening again?Says Desai, “No evidence was ever found. It’s the idea of pre-emptive strikes. It sets moral and political standards that allow for a more violent society. It’s racism. Silence is complicity; when you don’t have people in authority saying this is a crisis, then it’s almost as good as condoning it.” So where do the solutions lie? Says Desai: “The solution lies among the people and it lies in the grassroots because while violence trickles down, change rises up. It’s up to the grassroots organizing to change the balance of power and create safer streets for everybody.”The good news is that scores of organizations have arisen to meet the need and victims can find support. As Iyer observes, “Unfortunate as it was, 9/11 has provided an opportunity for the South Asian community to become a little bit more vocal and visible when it comes to furthering civil rights and human right issues. I don’t think we’ve got to the point where there is a ‘South Asian-American’ consciousness in our community but I think we’re getting there slowly.”There are now many more organizations for victims to turn to from the older organizations such as AALDEF, CAAV and SMART to newer ones like NICE and SALT, organizations where their language is spoken, their point of view embraced. Victims are encouraged not to take bias lying down. Recently Hansdip S. Bindra, a Sikh, filed a landmark lawsuit against Delta Airlines for racial profiling and harassment. He was aided by SMART, founded in 1996, the oldest national Sikh American civil rights organization.While many of the advocacy groups are composed of second generation Asians or South Asians, others are collaboration between second and first generation groups. “Hate crimes are an issue which affects pretty much everybody and one is not insulated from these sorts of incidents just because of one’s economic status or where one lives,” says Iyer.“Although poorer immigrants seem to get the brunt of it, it affects people from across economic lines and class lines because all of us have come from somewhere, all South Asians will feel some identification with ‘Go back where you came from!’ So it’s an argument for people of all economic backgrounds to work together on this issue.”Iyer is currently teaching a class at Columbia University on how South Asian communities have been impacted by 9/11. She says of her students, “It’s a pretty diverse mix and there’s definitely a lot of interest and it’s to Columbia’s credit that they were open to something like that. I think it’s important to have as much discussion and debate over these issues as possible in a variety of contexts.”While many second generation South Asians may be more outspoken because of the security that comes from having American citizenship, they also do have a stronger sense of civic responsibility and civic engagement than the first generation. Says Iyer: “The students that I have are very well versed already in a lot of the issues. They want to engage in these issues and they feel like they have a stake in the country’s future and they want to be a part of that.”The second generationers certainly don’t believe in sitting on their hands: they are willing to march and rally; volunteer with activist organizations; write articles, reports and plays and make videos and films about hate crimes and discrimination.One such film was made recently by Pia Sawhney and Sanjna Singh, graduates of Bryn Mawr College. Out of Status is a short film exploring how in this new world, Muslims have fallen out of status in America, with selective enforcement of existing immigration laws and tough new measures to keep tabs on this community. While making the documentary about detentions, the filmmakers visited several organizations that were working closely with South Asian communities. “We found that not only were South Asians who were victim to new hard line government policies afraid to speak to us on camera,” observes Sawhney, “but the South Asian activists working to counsel them and provide them with legal help and guidance were afraid to speak to us on camera as well! It was telling how the desire to make voices heard was constrained by the fear about how speaking out might jeopardize their own credibility, or perhaps even their own immigration status in the long run.”Yet, slowly, the fear is being overcome as organizations reach out to the victims. NICE, for example, had a very successful town hall meeting in Jackson Heights, NY, and for the first time immigrants came out and spoke about their problems. “People are slowly coming out but it will take a lot more time to provide more confidence to them so that they can come out in larger numbers,” says Banerjee. ” We are very concerned about governmental access and accountability and we try to hold our government officials accountable for the actions that have direct impact on the immigrant community.”One organization that handles cases of bias is The Sikh Coalition. Says Bhalla, “Actually in terms of statistics from January 2001 to Sept 11, 2003 we had a 93 percent increase in the number of complaints we received about discrimination and we believe the reason for that is the ongoing tensions in the Middle East and people assuming that Sikhs are from the Middle East.” He has also noted that about half the cases this year occurred during active hostilities or combat operations in the Persian Gulf.Recently the Sikh Coalition received a call from Harjit Singh Sandu, a cab driver in Seattle who was stopped at a corner when people started yelling, ‘Osama go back to your country!’ and ‘We don’t want you here!’ He tried explaining he was a Sikh, but when he attempted to leave they followed him and started kicking and denting his cab.“Our concern was that the police officers had not noted any of the epithets in the police report,” says Bhalla, “So we wrote to the Bias Crime Co-coordinator of the police department, asking it to be investigated as a bias crime, and the criminals be charged with a bias crime. “We take in complaints of discrimination, document them so that there is a record kept of them and then take appropriate action. We make sure that the offenders are complying with the law, and if they don’t, in the worst-case scenario we file suit.” In fact the Coalition has an ongoing lawsuit against the New York City Police Department because it fired a Sikh who hrefused to remove his turban.Asked if he’s hopeful about the future, Bhalla says, “My bottom line belief and the experience I’ve had since 9/11 is that this is a country that’s pretty good with dealing with discrimination issues. I think government agencies are responsive, it’s just incumbent upon the South Asian communities to collectively present our concerns to police, to government and policy makers. We’ve been pretty happy with the bias crime prosecutions that have occurred here. Generally, I think there’s reason to be optimistic as long as on our part we are organizing and presenting our concerns.”The anti-violence mantra has to be organizing, organizing and then some more organizing. As Bhairavi Desai says, “So many drivers said that after the strike was the best interactions they had with the passengers; for the first time the public saw that this was an organized workforce that can fight, that can defend itself. I think it automatically led to greater respect.”But, like a multi-headed hydra, hate crimes have many faces and the newest wrinkle is violence against South Asians by other people of color, often in the schoolyard where young Bangladeshis have been attacked by groups of Latinos or other minorities. It makes one wonder whether one has to start sensitivity training in the crib.Tamina Davar, a young activist, has seen the change in the past decade. “I’m sure that if you ask most South Asians activists, they will agree with me that 10, or even 6 years ago, the rising tide of Asian-American and within that, South-Asian American hate crime was so upsetting and stressful, in part because the media generally hrefused to cover it as important; law enforcement and the judicial system hrefused to believe it often, and because besides AALDEF and CAAAV, no one else was dealing with it.”Now with many more organizations and the added weapons of email, cell-phones and the Internet, things are better and as Davar says, “Especially since 9/11, the media does understand the concept; and there are so many infrastructures and groups that deal with the issues. So now, whenever I hear of a hate crime, whether in Arizona or here, I know and am comfortable that some really wonderful, strong organizations and infrastructures are dealing with it.”“There’s more awareness,” concedes Bhairavi Desai, ” I do think all this organizing, and the civil rights movement of the 60’s and just the different movements down the decades have had an impact. And that’s why fighting the current war is so important because their actions of the past few years are an attempt to take back everything that people have fought for over the past 40 years.” Have you been the victim of a bias incident? Support is at hand from the following non-profit organizations that offer legal advice and community organizing. Organizational ResourcesSMART (Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force)P.O. Box 1761, Germantown, MD 20875Tel: 877-917-4547http://www.sikhmediawatch.com/(SMART’s Know What to Do pocket guide detailing steps that should b taken in the event of a discrimination, police profiling, and airport security issues can be downloaded from the website).The Sikh CoalitionP.O.Box 7132New York, NY 10150-7132Email:info@sikhcoalition.orgNew Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE)71-34 Roosevelt Avenue, Lower LevelJackson Heights, NY 11372Tel: 718-205-8796South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow1429 G Street, NWPMB 299Washington, DC 20005mailto:saalt@saalt.org(South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow is a national non-profit organization dedicated to building leadership and civic engagement from within the South Asian American community.)South Asian Network (SAN)18173 S. Pioneer BlvdSuite I, 2nd FloorArtesia, CA 90701Tel: 562.403.0488Fax: 562.403.0487Email: mailto:saninfo@southasiannetwork.orgAsian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)99 Hudson Street, 12th FloorNew York, NY 10013Phone: 212-966-5932http://www.aaldef.org/National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium1140 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Suite 1200Washington, D.C. 20036Phone: 202-296-2300CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities (Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence) 191 East 3rd StNew York NY 10009Phone: 212-473-6485http://www.caaav.org/DRUM (Desis Rising Up & Moving)72-26 Broadway 4th FlJackson Heights, NY 11372718-205-3036http://www.drumnation.org/  Related Itemslast_img read more