Attempts against the violence after the Mashkey operation

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When we were celebrating Christmas horrible things took place in south-western Pakistan. The area has been inhabited for at least 7000 years and is the place of one of the first known civilizations on earth, The Indus or Harappan Civilization, with cities like Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, which had streets clad in a kind of asphalt e.g. Nevertheless this area also is a region of many conflicts. In south-western Pakistan we find the province Balochistan, which covers about 44% of Pakistan’s area where people live on fishing, gas, coal or other minerals, on mining or manufactured goods. The capital city of the region is Quetta. Balochistan is the home of mainly Balochs, Pashtuns and Brahais, but here we also find Iranians, Hazarajats, Kurds, Sindhis, Punjabis, Uzbeks, Turkmens, Sikhs and Hindus. This information I write mainly for those of you who don’t live in the region and who within the UN or EU might take some action and will try to put an end to the killings in the region of Balochistan. I implore all of you who read this to try and help stopping the on-going genocide. Pakistan as a nation came into existence in 1947-1948 alongside India, after the ending of the British Raj. It has though since the very beginning been a place of never-ending conflicts. That’s a great pity because of the richness of the many co-existing cultures in the region. Yesterday I was asked by people in Pakistan and India to make a contribution in the attempts to stop the violence and genocide. In Balochistan there’s also a guerrilla movement since the foundation of the Pakistani state. That guerrilla is now led by Dr Allah Nazer.

As in all violent conflicts killings are made on both sides and no party in a bloody feud is “innocent”. What happened in the Mashkey Operation? On Christmas Eve 2012 the Pakistan Frontier Corps launched a military operation in Balochistan’s city Mashkey which is the home town of BLF-leaders. The Pakistan Frontier Corps then attacked the city with bombs and gun shots from military helicopters. Troups went into the city, burning, killing people, going from house to house. During December 25th 2012 32 people were killed in the massacre. Women, children and men were slaughtered. Even Balochi politicians were killed as well as bloggers and exiles.

I now once more turn to the military, political and religious leaders in Pakistan, but also to the civilians. I implore you to put an end to this continous vicious circle of death, bloodshed and vengeance. I know that this massacre has to do with the strifes in Balochistan to get free of Pakistani rule, and that the government do not want to lose control of money, natural resources and status in eyes of the world. Nevertheless, the guerrilla warfare and the killing of civilians, here as in other parts of the world, only leads to even more hate, even more people longing for vengeance, and the loss of even more innocent lifes. Try to show the world that you can end this dirty bloodshed and accept each other instead; Sunni, Shi’ite, pro-Pakistani, Balochi local patriot, Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Zoroastrian or Jew. Try to see the brother and sister in someone not belonging to your own group. Stop the patronizing idea of this or that religion’s superiority over another. It’s precisely this attitude that exists within most faiths directed towards “the others” alongside suspicion and hate of other lifestyles than one’s own that contributes to the continous slaughter of men, women and children. If Balochistan wants to separate from Pakistan, then have serious referendums on the matter. Sit down by the negotiation table, civilian representatives, militaries, ordinary people from all social classes, Majlis. Try to remember what I say as a friendly outsider: Find a way forward for the benefit of everyone, men in power, listen in the voices of people who’re tired of atrocities and killings. Let the people in the region live in peace so that your area get a chance to flourish even more. Let your proud inhabitants be even more proud and be able to say to each other and the world: “We managed to end the killings. We mananged to rise and co-operate. We managed to end the enmity with India. We have now proven that we are dignified in our humanity. We can be role models.” Let Muslims of all forms, Jews, Christians, Zorastrians, Hindus and Sikhs also feel the same pride and belonging. Find that unison and acceptance for each other. Please!

Anders Moberg, January the 31st 2013

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Killed for wanting to live – The Verdict

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On April 23d 2012 a young woman, Maria Barin Aydin, who just had turned 19 was savagely murdered in her flat in Landskrona. She was killed with 107 stabs from two different kitchen knives and a pair of scissors. Maria Barin had as a child been kidnapped and forced to marry in Iraq, was raped there, but succeeded to flee and get back to Sweden. She couldn’t stand the forced marriage. Here she went to upper secondary school and had dreams of becoming a hair dresser. She was a pretty, lively girl, social and loving, but her family didn’t accept her wishes to live a life of her own choosing.

In the summer of 2011 Maria Barin turned up in Malmoe, at the association Tänk om! They are working against honor-related violence, crime and abuse. The organisation was started by Newroz Zeynep Ötünc, a Kurdish woman with her roots in Turkey, but who grew up here in Sweden. Maria Barin was frighetened and sensed that her family would hurt her or even kill her. For several months Maria travelled from Landskrona to Malmoe and recieved help from the company often several times a week. They tried to help the young woman getting a safe house/flat. She participated in the social events arranged by Tänk om!, or just threw herself on their sofa for a nap. She was funny and laughed a lot, but other times her anxiety and fear shone through. Finally she got a flat of her own in Landskrona… Not far away enough from her family. Just a few days before she was murdered she expressed her fear of her family, especially her mother and brother, in a taped interview. Maria Barin’s mother was arrested but released from lack of evidence. On November 15th 2012 Maria Barin Aydin’s 17-year old brother was charged in court for murdering his older sister. He denied the charges, but the taped interview, the background story and forensic evidence points to the brother. Yesterday on January the 29th 2013 he was sentenced to eight years in prison by Lund City Court. Maria’s sister has acted as plaintiff in the case, the Prosecutor and those who work against honour-related violence are satisfied. The Defence most likely will take the case to the Court of Appeal, but the verdict from yesterday may remain as a signal to those in society who continue to keep these values alive. Maria was brutally killed and won’t breathe again. But the memory of her, Maria’s smile and strong wish to live a life of her own choosing lives on!

In the beginning of May 2012 I was contacted by Tänk om! to participate in the arrangement of a peaceful commemoration event at Gustav Adolf Square in remembrance of Maria Barin and others who suffer from honour-related oppression and violence, and those who have been killed in the name of “honour”. It was a beautiful evening as well as a worthy and moving manifestation. I and the others helped building the stage and carry the signs and torches. During the manifestation some guys showed bullets in their hands as a silent intimidation and later people working for Tänk om! have recieved death threats. Another aspect is the xenophobic attitudes in society and when I was handing out information leaflets about the manifestation three ordinary Swedes in downtown Malmoe said: “Let them kill each other. Then we don’t have to”. That was a very cynical and cruel statement.

Sadly enough Maria Barin didn’t get a worthy burial, but a neglected one by her family. Newroz and many others want to see harder punishments for participating in honor killings and abuse in the name of “family honour”. The awareness is growing in the Swedish society and social authorities, schools and parts of the judicial system have improved their policies. Now we also must see a true acceptance from the families to agree to the choices of young women like Maria Barin, Fadime, Pela and all the others. Let them live, accept them for who they are and let them shape their own lifes!

Anders Moberg, January the 30th 2013

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Novel intentions again

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In November 2012 I wrote on this blog about my first two novels. This is what I said then.

In the beginning of 2004 I got the idea to a series of books that should be dealing with the society we live in today. To reach a wider audience I chose to write them as crime novels, since that is a genre that many people read and also is suitable for what I had to say. I wanted to describe the life in Malmoe, Sweden, and things that happen around the world. The stories are pure fiction with invented characters, but I base them on the actual reality. I wanted my books not only to be crime stories but to give the readers food for thought. My novels are also meant to be platforms for discussions among teenagers, young adults and grown-ups in all ages alike for how we treat each other. On November 6th 2012 I wrote an article on this blog more specifically about how I think when I write.

I wanted my novels to be used in lower- and upper secondary schools, in adult education, sfi, Swedish for immigrants, police education etc. I also wanted my stories to describe the multicultural society we have today with it’s pros and cons. Since I wanted to show that immigrants don’t have to be problems, but an asset, and have several characters in my books as positive role models, I invented the lawyers Rima Said and Elif Altundal who appear in my first three books. Rima is 33 years old in the first book, comes from Lebanon and wears hijab. Elif is 32 years old when we first meet her and is a Kurdic woman from Turkey.

My debut novel Dödande fakta, Killing facts, appeared on the market in April 2006 and quickly spread over Sweden. My second book Heder eller samvete?, Honour or conscience?, which deals with issues like honour-related murders and oppression, gender inequalities, social injustices and racism was released in it’s first version in April 2009. Then I decided that I should rewrite and extend it to make the novel better. The improved and extended edition of Heder eller samvete? was released together with a study booklet in November 2010. This book quickly spread over Sweden too and gladly enough for me the book is now used here and there all over Sweden as I had intended. On December 5th 2011 I recieved an e-mail from the education ministry, the Swedish government, that wished me good luck. Of course that made me glad.

My intentions are good and I hope that my books will contribute to making our society a little better place to live in. Our world is hard and cold enough as it is and we need a more humanitarian thinking and an acceptance for the value in human variety. We are different from each other and that’s wonderful, but we have the same common human value… Or at least we should have. What do you think? If you want to comment on this, you may do that here or e-mail me at anders.moberg676@gmail.comImage

Anders Moberg, January the 29th 2013

 

Global tensions, wars and clashes of ideologies, work for peace and love

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Here you see another one of my drawings showing Gaius Julius Caesar and the Egyptian queen Cleopatra in front of the lighthouse of Pharos in Alexandria Harbor, Egypt. Many of you know the story of how they met and what happened. Cleopatra was already entangled in a bloody family-feud and fight for power when she in her early 20’s called for help from the Roman military leader Gaius Julius Caesar. She had hid inside a rolled carpet to get to him. The 60-year old soldier was captivated by the young queen and soon they had a love affair. Cleopatra also had one of her sisters and her younger brother killed in the struggle for power and she begot a son with Caesar, Ptolemy XV, or Caesarion in 47 BCE. The year after she followed him to Rome, but the Romans didn’t like Caesar’s love affair with the Egyptian queen. He was also already married back home. In March 44 BCE, when Caesar had proclaimed himself imperator he was assassinated. Caesarion was also killed later and after another love affair with Mark Antony Cleopatra commited suicide in Egypt in the year 30 BCE.

In Egypt today the demonstrations against President Muhammed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood continues. Two years ago Hosni Mubarak was forced to denounce his presidency and leave the power after Egypt was caught in a democracy revolution, The Arab Spring, which we know have spread to several countries after Tunisia and Egypt. The Egyptians are a proud people with a long and rich history, which the story above only is a relatively late section of, (only 2000 years ago). Now they want bread, democracy, rights for both men and women, but the conservative forces have been strong in the power-struggle. In the two referendums held in December 2012 Muhammed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood decided to minimize the democracy and give themselves more power. The demonstrations have continued since then. A few days ago five were killed in Suez and 250 injured in the fights. Demonstations and protests have been held in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Port Said and more places, and this last Saturday 30 were killed and tens of thousands marched out in protest against the limitations of democracy. Mohammed El-Baradei, leader of the opposition said a few days ago: “Go out onto the squares, so that we finally reach our goal”. The Egyptians are not stupid, and I hope for their sake that they will succeed. Nevertheless, since the revolution started in 2011 also Egypt’s Christian Copts and the Jews in Egyptian Diaspora have been assaulted, threatened and killed. The Copts existed in Egypt some hundred years before the country mainly converted to Islam, and it’s an enormous shame that the religions will be used as tools of hate and intolerance. It has happened time and again through history, instead of focusing on the finer, more accepting aspects of the different convictions. This goes for all religions and secular belief systems, and seems to be based on human greed, envy and madness.

It is said that the satire film about the Prophet Muhammed was made by a Copt and produced in the States. The film has provoked many loud protests among muslims all over the world. Their anger is justified, but also their disrespect of other belief systems is just as wrong. Protests against the film has been held in Bangladesh with thousands in the streets, bricks thrown at the police and 40 activists arrested in Dhaka. Protests also have been held in Hong Kong and two days ago here in Malmoe. The march here in Malmoe against the foul presentations of the Prophet Muhammed and negative images of Muslims was a fairly peaceful one, even though a minor incident occured  between a man in the audience and one of the marching Muslims.

The Spanish satire paper El Jueves recently published a charicature of the Prophet Muhammed, showing Muslims infront of a police officer and the text: “But…does anybody know what Mohammed looks like?”. I believe that all belief systems develop from the inside if they can take constructive criticism. Every belief system, religious and secular, need criticism and debate to evolve and improve. All the big “prophets”, Moses, Kong Fu Tze, Siddharta Gautama, Zardosht (Zoroaster), Jesus Christ and Mohammed and all those afterwards were all ordinary men with flaws and everyday problems, but they had something inside them, (call it Divine inspiration or whatever you like) that made them special in a certain way, but it didn’t make them perfect. No one is. Haters of a certain ideology tend to attack flaws in the belief system and attack the leader. Instead I believe that we ought to try and see what connects us all, indepentent of religious faith or secular belief…Try to find the love and human affection. Also civil wars and domestic violence are proofs of that we can’t always blame some other people or belief system all the time.

The civil war in Syria rages on and new bomb-attacks and assaults have been made the last few days. The Syrian population is harshly divided for and against the Assad régime, and it’s a great tragedy that so many lifes will be ended, so many atrocities against women, children and men in that horrible civil war.

In Libya the tensions between the different clans continue after the fall and assassination of Muammar Al-Khaddafi in the autumn of 2011. Westerners have been attacked and a few days ago the US Ambassador was killed during an attack against the US Consulate. American troops have also been sent to Mali to support the French in the fight against Al-Qaeda militia, and yesterday a commemoration day was as usual held in memory of all the Jews, Gypsies, Socialists, Communists, dissidents and others who were killed in the awful Nazi genocide during World War II, 1939- 1945. Here in Malmoe it was held at the city library. Sometimes I wonder if we ever learn when I see all this fractionising, Neo-Nazi tendencies, sectarianism, genocides, wars and civil wars all over the globe? Difficult times tend to lure out the worst aspects of being human and we definitely need to reconsider our future path.

Barack Obama now has sworn his oath again as President of the United States. “Four more years” he wrote on Twitter the other day. Despite the financial problems and the problems with defence against political enemies I wish him good luck. I am a huge fan of Barack Obama and hope that the coming four years will be at least partly successful as much as possible considering the world situation. Despite all problems in the world there are positive forces, there are strifes for peace, there are consideration, understanding, mutual respect and love. I want to see more smiling faces. Like the beautiful smile in my drawing below. Have a nice day.

Anders Moberg, January the 28th 2013

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Hamlet in Rosengård

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Some week ago I recieved an invitation on Facebook from Yalla-trappan that they would have a theatre presentation yesterday evening called Hamlet in Rosengård. It would be a reading of a newly written play about a Hamlet progressive, based in part on the classical play from 1603 by William Shakespeare. It would be performed by the actors you see here above: Lia Sandberg, Thomas Hulterkrantz and Karin Bertling. The theatre project is new and meant to be the start of Rosengård Dramatical Theatre where they intend to perform classical dramas and modern variations of them. The three performing actors called the troup and project Hamlet in Rosengård. The original play by Shakespeare is based upon a story from Gesta Danorum, The Danish History by the archbishop clerk Saxo Grammaticus who lived at the end of the 12th century. He wrote a chronicle about Denmark’s history up to his own days, and in books four and five he tells the story of Amlet/Ambludhe, “The Fool”, the son of the high king Harvendil in Leyre on Zeeland. Harvendil is murdered by his envious brother Fenge who then marries Amlet’s mother Gerut and usurpate the throne. To avoid being killed himself Amlet pretends to be mad, but in secret prepares his revenge. Nevertheless Amlet is sent to England on a Viking ship with two of Fenge’s servants who have been given a wooden staff with a letter in runes with orders to the English king to kill Amlet when he arrives. Amlet changes the rune-letter during the voyage and after the arrival the servants are killed instead. Then he’s marrying a Scottish princess and after some battles returns home after a year. He takes his revenge and kills Fenge, burns his followers and becomes Leyre king himself. Many parts of Saxo Grammaticus’ story are the same as in Shakespeare’s play, but he moved the plot to a Danish renaissance court at Elsinore Castle, in Danish called Kronborg, and where “Hamlet” often still is performed.The picture below I made some years ago to an education paper about world literature history, where I wrote the texts and made the drawings in a compendium as extra material for my pupils in the ninth grade.

This newly written short-version of Hamlet progressive was highly modernized, but had lots of the higher, older language, was a bit unclear in its structure, but contained interesting connections to the present day. The three actors all had lots of experience, were highly qualified and interesting cv-stories to present as well. The idea now is to start a Drama Theatre in Rosengård. Yalla-trappan, the Yalla Staircase where we were yesterday, is a social company run by local women where they have a café, restaurant, an art gallery and sell handicraft material to contribute to their living. Social entrepreneurs in other words, which is a great thing. Yalla-trappan started in 2009 and is now thriving. The book Kryddor från Rosengård, Spices from Rosengård, has been another great success, a book and TV-series with recepies, cooking advice and spices from different parts of the world.

For those of you abroad who don’t know it. Rosengård is a suburb in eastern Malmoe, Sweden’s third largest city where I live, and which is very segregated. Rosengård was built in the 1960’s and since the late 1970’s and onwards it has become a suburb where 95-99% of the inhabitants have some form of immigrant background. Here you find people from Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Chile, Morocco, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Poland, Russia, Somalia, Israel you name it. The problem is that many are unemployed and not given honest chances to get into the Swedish society properly. Others have jobs, but are still treated with prejudiced notions. The collision between the stigmatizing media-picture and prejudiced idea among many Swedes and others about Rosengård contributes to an anger and frustration among people in this suburb and sometimes leads to clashes and violent outbursts. In Rosengård you find highly educated people, doctors, politicians, scientists, writers, poets, lawyers, surgeons, political refugees. Here you also find teachers, librarians, social entrepreneurs and people with little or no education. Some are illiterate and hardly know any Swedish. Here also many stereotyped and prejudiced ideas about Sweden, Swedish ways and Swedes flourish, which to some degree are true but very exagerated and generalised, just as the other way round. The clashes of ideas, social issues, ideologies and prejudiced notions in both directions is a society problem, which must be solved, even though it’s no easy matter. Most people here are good people, but here we also find hardened criminals, gangsters and people who create lots of problems for themselves, their families, other people in Rosengård and the Swedish society. The strict division between men and women is also common, and patriarch notions flourish in certain homes. All the same, people need to feel that they are accepted and respected, people need real jobs and chances to develop to avoid further problems and violent outbursts. Existential questions become vital here, or as Hamlet asks himself in his famous monologue: “To be or not to be? That is the question”. Therefore a social society like Yalla-trappan is such a good example of positive work. I hope they will continue being a positive force.

Anders Moberg, January the 26th 2013

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Don’t be afraid of learning

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When I was studying at Lund University I made this sketch. A university student being chased through the park Lundagård behind Lund Cathedral by the giant Finn, (or Fionn in Gaelic). The old legend said that the giant Finn helped a monk to build the cathedral, and a picture in the cathedral crypt is said to depict either Samson or the giant Finn. My drawing here may in this case represent the sometimes ambivalent attitude about knowledge and learning. As we all know there are different forms of learning and skills, different forms of intelligence and how that intelligence manifests itself. Schooling is important for some learning, especially if we want to learn more intricate things, theories, connections etc., but other forms of intelligence is more concrete, based on learning by doing. We learn how to walk, ride a bicycle, run, some learn the tricks of being street-smart, without going to school. Some intelligent entrepreneurs do not have that much higher education, but succeed nevertheless. You might become a cook, police, music producer, restaurant owner etc. Nevertheless, most trades need some form of education and skill, even though we might be skilled in very different ways. One talent doesn’t necessarily have to be better than the other, but knowledge and learning are essential for our very existence.

Most of us have at least some form of different talents, but are bad at other things. How we develop during our childhood and adolescence is nevertheless important. Depending on what values we grow up with, what kind of friends we have, what we learn in school, the experiences we make as we grow up and also our life experiences as adults, everything influence us. On top of all this there are various trends in the society we live in, different norms and values, which to some extent change over time. New technology is developed and new ways of communication with them. The mix of people from different backgrounds also influence new trends, but also clashes between ideas, ideologies and perceptions of what is true and what is not. We learn from each other, from our every-day lifes, our jobs and different forms of education.

Then again, some knowledge seem to be sneered at, or misunderstood. We thrive in different environments and clusters of people. The hateful attacks on people on the internet, evil gossip, slander, libel, and hate crimes in real life are worrying and unacceptable tendencies. Still we’re are different. If you’re an artist or a farmer you most likely won’t thrive among bankers. If you’re a doctor you may not feel comfortable among carpenters or kinder garden teachers. Then again, many of us also have different skills and education. You could for example be working as an IT technician during the days, and be a ballet dancer in the evenings. There are so many variations on our personalities and knowledges. The important thing is to keep and open mind, not to be afraid of different people, various ideas and backgrounds or to learn new things. Then again most of us also have our limits for what we’re able to learn. If you suffer from dyslexia e.g. you may not succeed as book editor  or if you suffer from dyscalcyly and have problems counting you shouldn’t become a banker. If you’re talented working with your hands, you may thrive as a carpenter or painter, but wouldn’t stand or cope working as an accountant.

The bottom line is that we shouldn’t be afraid of learning, but also to see the value in different forms of skills and not sneer at this knowledge or that. The diversity in our society is emperative and I hope that more of us will be able to get to know each other without blinkers for our eyes. We have different values, yes, we may dislike and disagree on many things, we may quarrel and dislike certain values and behaviour, but we shouldn’t go so far that we attack individuals, parties for their convictions, religion, ethnic background, sexuality or gender. Not in any direction. Be proud of who you are, develop, learn from others and develop as individual.

Anders Moberg, January the 25th 2013

 

Inner and outer beauty vs ugliness

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This young woman most people would consider beautiful. So do I. What you see here is a portrait I made some years ago, and partly this text will deal with different forms of beauty and ugliness respectively, but mostly about beauty and ugliness in human behaviour more than about looks. There are different forms of shallow beauty, and we’re attracted to different forms of looks. Maybe you’re attracted to the slender look, people who’re medium-sized, tall, short, voluptous bodies with curves, redheads, blondes, brunettes, brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Maybe you’re attracted to someone in your own age, someone older or younger. The important thing though is that, even though looks do influence us and are important for part of the attraction, we mustn’t forget the personality traits as well. For my own part I want to be able to speak with the woman I’m attracted to and if she has an uninteresting personality, beautiful or not, I quickly lose interest. Like most other people I have a beauty ideal and a sexual preference, but the looks of the women I’ve loved in my life have varied. The personal chemistry has been even more important to keep the mutual affection going.

As I explained in the beginning this is not meant to go on about sexual preferences or looks, but about beauty and ugliness in other ways. People who look good can sometimes be horrible, others are wonderful. Some plain ones have fantastic personality traits, and sometimes they’re horrendous. And this goes both for women and men alike. My point here is that things are not always what they seem to be. Beneath the surface lingers complex personalities molded through life by different upbringings, parents, friends, education, jobs and different experiences. Some people use their looks to make a career, others do not. Sometimes connections and the size of your wallet matters, other times the contacts you have prove only to be fair-weather-friends. The shallow contacts with acquaintences, colleagues etc might be good and useful in certain contexts, but the personality traits and skills ought many times to be just as important in the social life and careers we make.

These days are tough because of the restrained economy, financial problems for companies and the urban jungle of treachery and devious behaviour. In this kind of environment owners of and partners in rogue companies too often abuse the situation with shady businesses, internet scams, prostitution, job trafficking, slave contracts, arms- and drug deals. Criminals thrive and violent outbursts occur. Too many companies and authorities abuse the situation in the financial bubble, and the difficult situation that many people are in and who happen to be unemployed.

Yesterday there was this documentary on Swedish TV about a forest company that lured unemployed male workers from Kamerun in Africa to Sweden, and forced them to pay 6000 kronor each to the company owner’s private bank account to let them work for him. Then they discovered that he used shady tricks and lies in the contact with the Migration Authority and the Taxation authorities. He also neglected to pay the promised salary, but instead withheld much money, used two kinds of contracts and kept the Kamerun men in baracks as cheap labour. Modern Swedish slavery. I was so upset when I saw this. Luckily the police, media and the taxation authorities were given this information and now there’s a pending investigation of this rogue company and its owner. The men from Kamerun are now immigrants without papers and can’t go back to their families because of their debts, and the shame of having been fooled by this Swedish slave company.

The financial crisis have more serious effects. At the Children’s Ward for Intensive Care at Lund University Hospital 32 nurses out of 45 now leave their jobs in protest against how they are treated by the Hospital Board and Region Skåne. The Hospital Board recently introduced a new salary system that would reduce the nurses’ salary with 2000 kronor each month, and the union Vårdförbundet support the nurses in their demands that they should have their insurance contracts back. At the Children’s Ward for Intensive Care they recieve patients from all parts of Sweden who need new heart implantations. Mats Runsten, leader of the Scanian section of the union says: “We haven’t encouraged this mass leave of nurses, it’s simply a consequence of the employee policy.” The chief doctor of the ward Per Westrin is concerned. “The loss of two thirds of the working nurses would be a heavy reduction in care capacity. They do want to continue working, but their reduced salaries make them upset and that’s why they’ll leave”. Also in Malmoe reductions have been made and the staff at the hospitals here also say that the reduction in staff, equipment and rooms has made the situation dangerous for the patients who no longer are guaranteed a safe treatment. Already patients have died because of these reduced ward capacities. This is also how the financial crisis hit our societies in many countries. This is the ugly side of humanity, irrespective of looks.

The Malmoe Police now have presented their results from Operation Alfred. In 2011 and the beginning of 2012 Malmoe was mentioned in media time and again because of the many shootings where people got killed. Malmoe quickly got the reputation as a gangster city, a Swedish Al Capone Chicago. Some of it is true, other parts exaggerated. Malmoe like so many other larger cities have several faces. Good and bad, calm and violent, law-abiding and criminal, cultural and primitive, working class, middle class and upper class, and no class better or worse than the other. In 2011 and January 2012 ten people were shot dead, and the Malmoe Police and County Constabulary got 41 million kronor to deal with the murders. All in all 95 investigators were involved in trying to solve them. Operations Alfred and Selma were started. Five of the ten murders now have been solved. The killing of a 19-year old at Lönngatan, three sentenced to 15 years in prison each. The murder of a 48-year old man, one person sentenced to 15 years in prison. The killing of 49-year old illegal taxi driver with shady connections, one person sentenced to 18 years in prison. The murder of a 53-year old vegetable salesman killed on his farm, two people arrested. A 31-year old gang-leader shot dead, one person arrested. Five more murders remain unsolved, among them the murder of a 15-year-old school boy in Rosengård. The police have interrogated many, but don’t get many answers. The investigators say that they sense that some people know more about the shooting, but don’t dare to speak. Operation Alfred will continue during 2013, and I wish the police good luck!  They are needed.

The work that the police try to do is a service for us all, trying to keep some law and order at least, and are in my eyes mostly every-day heroes. So are the nurses, doctors, teachers, social workers and all others who try to make our society into a little more humane and better place despite all the various problems we see in society. Let’s bow in respect and admiration for all these wonderful people, men and women, born in Sweden or abroad. This is also part of the inner and outer beauty.

Anders Moberg, January the 24th 2013.