Corey Black (Jagaran Media Center – JMC): Corey holds an undergraduate degree in political studies from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He then obtained a Masters degree in International Politics from the University of Edinburgh. After returning to Canada, Corey conducted environmental and energy policy research for Gerard Kennedy, a Canadian federal Member of Parliament, and worked as part of Mr Kennedy’s communications and outreach team during the 2011 federal election. Corey’s AP fellowship was supported by the Human Rights Internet in Ottawa. After his fellowship Corey wrote: “If I do decide to pursue [a PhD], this experience will surely influence my research and critique of schools of thought.”
So, foreign aid flaps its altruistic wings on one side of the ocean, and causes a hurricane on the other, with the wreckage only beginning to be cleared. The innocence of eradicating one deadly disease leads to the robbery and enslavement of an indigenous people on their own land. Our grand actions from afar, schooled in our detached and isolated institutions, can often have disastrous unintended local consequences in foreign lands.
Yesterday’s newspaper is not unique, and most Nepali news outlets follow a similar pattern of allegiance to the political hierarchy and pay little attention to on the ground and behind the scene stories. Understanding ordinary Nepalese struggles, concerns, and views is difficult to find in Nepali news pages, as is a contextual framework from which to analyze the news and compare contrasting views.
Kathmandu’s madness is in its loudness, speed, smell, and lack of formal coordination. But somehow, synchronicity flourishes in its people, and all is taken in stride – epitomized by the Nepali saying “khe garne?”, or “what is there to do?”. Like a Jackson Pollock painting, there is flow and beauty in the discord. It all works, and is wondrous.
So time to depart the heavy rains of Toronto’s spring, and arrive as monsoon season prepares it’s lashing of Kathmandu. Suitcases are packed, preparations have been made, but my mind and body remain in Toronto. The work of past Peace Fellows at the JMC helps serve me as a mental guide, but it can only be that.