The teaching of any foreign languages in kindergartens and primary schools, including English and Arabic, has been outlawed in Iran with immediate effect. "The ban on the teaching of foreign languages does not only concern English, but also other languages, including Arabic," underlined Tehrani-Farjad. The only official language of Iran, Persian, is heavily influenced by Arabic but also incorporates French and English vocabulary. In order to "eliminate the monopoly of the English language," the ministry of education had hinted in June 2022 that it intended to start a "trial to teach French" in schools all across the nation.
Top EU prize for Mahsa Amini of Iran
Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who died in police custody in Iran last year, sparking worldwide protests against the country’s conservative Islamic theocracy, was awarded the European Union’s top human rights prize. The award, named for Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, was created in 1988 to honour individuals or groups who defend human rights and fundamental freedoms. Other finalists included Vilma Núñez de Escorcia and Roman Catholic Bishop Rolando Álvarez - two emblematic figures in the fight for the defense of human rights in Nicaragua - and a trio of women from Poland, El Salvador and the US leading a fight for “free, safe and legal abortion.”
Myanmar junta orders airstrikes
Myanmar’s ruling junta ordered air strikes and troop reinforcements as it tried to recover lost outposts near the Chinese border from rebels, the military said. The toppling of Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government in a 2021 coup sparked a huge backlash and the military junta is now battling opponents across swaths of the country. The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) attacked Myanmar military positions around Muse district in northern Shan state and near the remote town of Laiza in Kachin state. The military was forced to retreat and ordered air strikes, as well as artillery and troop reinforcements, the junta said in a statement.
Hijab-less Iranian teen ‘brain dead’
A teenage Iranian girl who fell into a coma earlier this month following an alleged encounter with officers over violating the country’s hijab law is said to be “brain dead”, Iranian state media reported. Right groups such as Kurdish-Iranian Hengaw were the first to make Armita Geravand’s hospitalisation public, publishing photos of the 16-year-old girl on social media that showed her unconscious with a respiratory tube and bandage over her head, visibly on life support. “Follow-ups on the latest health condition of Geravand indicate that her condition of being brain dead seems certain despite the efforts of the medical staff,” state media reported. There have been concerns that Geravand might face the same fate as Mahsa Amini, whose death in the custody of morality police sparked months of nationwide anti-government protests.
Israelis get Oct 7 tattooed on their bodies
The date October 7 will be forever etched in Israeli history, marking the day Hamas gunmen rampaged through southern communities, killing 1,400 people, in the country’s deadliest attack since its founding in 1948. Now, many Israelis are getting the date tattooed on their bodies to commemorate the dead and missing, and bear witness to the collective tragedy. “It was a very difficult date for the whole state of Israel, including for those who weren’t in the affected areas,” said tattoo artist Roey Benezri-Levy, who works in the seaside resort of Eilat, far from where Hamas attacked.