In the Czech Republic democracy is threatened more than ever as the latest elections opened far too much space for those who propagate xenophobia, racism and intolerance and those who actively disrespect basic principles of liberal democracy. In the Canton Bern the welfare state is threatened as again the parliament has approved measures to reduce expenses that affect directly the most vulnerable among us.

These are just two examples of many. This planet needs us all more than ever to transform our collective existence into a more empathic, altruistic, respectful and sustainable one.

Ein Buch für Weihnachten – A book for Christmas – Un libro per Natale

un libro per natale

Dieses Buch ist sehr empfehlenswert. Es ist ein sehr persönlicher, empathischer Blick auf die Flüchtlingskrise. Am liebsten würde ich es all denen unter den Weihnachtsbaum legen, die gegen Flüchtlinge hetzen oder Abschiebungen in Länder wie Afghanistan befürworten.

I’d really like to recommend you this book. It is a very personal, empathic view on what we call the refugee crisis. If I could, I would put this beneath the Cristmas tree of all those who spread hatred towards refugees or are in favor of deportations to countries such as Afghanistan.

Oggi vorrei raccomandarvi questo libro. È un punto di vista molto personale ed empatico su ciò che chiamiamo la crisi dei rifugiati. Se potessi, mi piacerebbe metterlo sotto l’albero di Natale di ciascuno che incita odio contro i rifugiati o è in favore a deportazioni in paesi come è Afghanistan.


Titolo originale: Nel mare ci sono i coccodrilli. Storia vera di Enaiatollah Akbari

English title: In The Sea There Are Crocodiles

Dezember 2018

A call to action

Let’s not forget Raif Badawi…

otium satis

Those who keep track of the fate of the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, most especially his brave family, will know that this year is marked by a special kind of sad anniversary: on 17 June Raif Badawi will have completed his fifth year in prison.

Five years at the hand of a spiteful regime that does not seem to know the difference between concerns about overdue reforms and blasphemy. Five years of isolation from his beloved family, from all that might sustain his spirit during his imprisonment. And on top of all this Raif Badawi has suffered a cruel public flogging – 50 out of the inhuman total of 1000 lashes. As far as we know he has not been subjected to another flogging. But the threat, that his horrible punishment might be resumed, keeps hovering like Damocles’ sword that might fall again anytime.

All this has happened, because Raif…

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Václav Havel about hope

​Hope is a state of mind, not a state of the world. Either we have hope within us or we don’t.Hope is not a prognostication—it’s an orientation of the spirit. You can’t delegate that to anyone else.

Hope in this deep and powerful sense is not the same as joy when things are going well, or the willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather an ability to work for something to succeed.

Hope is definitely NOT the same as optimism. It’s not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

It is hope, above all, that gives us strength to live and to continually try new things, even in conditions that seem as hopeless as ours do, here and now.In the face of this absurdity, life is too precious a thing to permit its devaluation by living pointlessly, emptily, without meaning, without love, and, finally, without hope.