Thursday, March 27, 2003

Chat conversations (or chats, as we like to call them) have obvious limitations - no body language or tone of voice to help interpret meaning, for example. And then there's spelling, acronyms and the limitations of typing while you eat, laugh, drink and otherwise be merry, or try to stay awake/wake up. Hence our discussion of Saddam Hussein suddenly turned to conflict in Sudan (go phonetic, mix up an 'N for Nelly' with an 'M for Mary' and there you are). Which found me searching for information on Sudan and finding information at this site, courtesy the United States Institute of Peace. Oh. Independent, non-profit group, maybe?? I thought hopefully. Here's some information from there About page:

"The mission of the United States Institute of Peace is to strengthen the nation's capabilities to promote the peaceful resolution of international conflicts.

The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan federal institution created and funded by Congress to..."

Regardless, the site did provide useful resources to check out. Frustrating that a search of Google for 'Sudan conflict' ranks a US government site first instead of a site more local to the action. Then again, Google is mostly catering for US citizens so perhaps sites most local to most searchers is appropriate.

Checked out Arabic News but not a great deal of news from Sudan - no news from Djibouti or Oman and that's as much as I checked out. Foreign Correspondent (23/03/03 - ABCTV) showed a report on Al Jazeera TV, which I missed. I've just read a summary of the report, 'Battle Station – Al Jazeera TV', and a search for Al Jazeera English returned the following Sydney Morning Herald article 'Al-Jazeera website attacked'. The url given for the English version of Al-Jazeera's site does not work.

While searching for it using Google, and after wishing for a Babel fish, I came across an Arabic-English Translation Site from Ajeeb. Free registration, so I registered - only to find that to translate Arabic into English I need to pay a subscription fee. Just great. Did learn that after Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail and Yahoo!, the most translated page is that of FIFA. No response from the Arabic Al-Jazeera Web site either.

So much easier for me to read information on the Internet than read the contents of the West's wraparound war coverage - easier to shake the wraparound off and read about what's happening here. Easier not to think about it at all.

At this rate, the extra Internet hours we've arranged aren't going to last long...

Walked round to Colour Patch tonight for some pumpkin soup. Used my cane for some of the way home - whenever it hits something I startle, forgetting that carrying it does not mean that my mind can drift off somewhere else.

More information about Sudan can be found at Human Rights Watch at

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