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    From Ayoub Qanir
    From Ayoub Qanir
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.

    "Uncertainty, is where God lives."

    What do you get when you mix a finance manager, artist, industrial designer, and a nanotechnologist? A film writer and director that knows how to steal Time.

    We all do it. A little time here, some from over there . . . but what if we could steal all the Time in the World? Even then, ask anyone if they agree on what time it is, and you'll get different answers. Why steal Time if no one agrees on it?

    This is the motive behind a global effort to maintain some sanity about what Time it really is. At the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in France, they've been in charge of everyone's opinion since 1875.

    Physicists are in competition to invent a Time that's so accurate, it will knock out Relativity and the Uncertainty Principle, by replacing it with Certainty. And this is the plot in Ayoub Qanir's film Artificio Conceal.

    A genius invents the world's most precise clock. In no time it's stolen, when a hacker breaks the code of the inventor's brain and steals his memory of the entire project. Rather than breaking in and stealing his computer, he's tranced-out, his brain emptied, and a "false" memory planted. This results in a counter-scheme to hit the kill switch on the stolen project, because in Reality, Uncertainty is our favorite form of entertainment. . .

    Qanir, like most Indies, pays attention to the currency of information to feed his writing ideas. Even as a child, he'd hang out in his backyard with friends in Casablanca and watch Metropolis. He pursued film direction after attending the Lee Strasberg Film Institute, and is currently pursuing a graduate program in nanotechnology at Harvard.

    Someone noticed, because now Artificio Conceal is off to Festival de Cannes in May. The dimensional depth of Cannes has earned an elegant history that bridges back to 1939. Qanir's contemporary surroundings at the festival will be New Century Haute. In 2010, the Short Film program was introduced, an exclusive venue he will be part of in 2015.

    The Festival's neutral film environment has attracted gifted unknowns such as Ingmar Bergman, Terrence Malick, Jean Luc Godard, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Qanir won't attend without his own impressive credits. He was a nominee for the UK Music And Sound Awards, Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Festival, Boston Science Fiction Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival, and the Fort Myers Film Festival.

    Continue to Full Huffington Post Article: 
    Wed, Mar 25, 2015  Permanent link

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    Tue, Dec 30, 2014  Permanent link

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    Cerebral film director Ayoub Qanir delivers his most challenging and cunning psycho-thriller, Artificio Conceal, recently filmed in London and staring David Bailie and Simon Armstrong.

    Official Poster

    Black & White

    Tue, Jul 22, 2014  Permanent link

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    Based on his recent Theory of Consciousness, film director and science theorist Ayoub Qanir is pushing the cognitive boundaries yet again with his new ambitious project. A software company that mimics Human consciousness into computing.

    Ayoub Qanir in his own words: We are currently working on several ideas: The most profound is a program built through a pure random code generator (Like a digital selection, if you will). This program could start digital building blocks infinitely inside the computer's ecosystem on its own. Very much like the way mammalian life evolved from basic organic forms.

    The concept behind Logic Machine is that our programs would function as support mechanisms— improving Human computing systems without any Human intervention.

    Logic Machine will develop programs/softwares which by taking in (inputing) activity data would synthesize digital behavior to predict future correction patterns.

    Mon, Apr 21, 2014  Permanent link

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    Film director Ayoub Qanir hits us with yet another intellectual punch. His latest and most indulging uber-cerebral essay, We Are Meaning, pulls us into a deep cave of unknown to then bring us back with the simplest correction to the preconceived notion; We produce meaning as we look for it.

    Read Full Essay: here

    Tue, Feb 18, 2014  Permanent link

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    Barcelona-based opulence, Tilt Magazine, collaborates with futurist and mind-banging film director Ayoub Qanir on a visually piercing viral campaign— Tilt Your Perspective.
    The Neo-edgy campaign dusts off the cognitive infrastructure, known as reality, and challenges us to look at it from a different angle.

    Tue, Dec 24, 2013  Permanent link

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    Every year October comes with an increasing number of festivities, recognitions and exhibitions celebrating Hispanics in America — more so during an election year when polls and politicians devote so many resources to try to define what it means to be Hispanic.

    As we highlight the many complexities of our heritage it's also a time to dig into the stereotypes that surround us. We've been called many things, some that we embrace less than others — such as the stereotype that Latinos are homophobic by culture.

    We want to believe that the 21st century Latino is accepting and open-minded, especially after years of campaigns promoting tolerance, the emergence of openly-gay role models like Ricky Martin and of educational initiatives like this summer's "Familia es Familia" encouraging Latinos to accept LGBT family members.

    Today we can celebrate that we have indeed made enormous strides in the matter. A Pew Hispanic Research Center poll released earlier this year shows that 59 percent of Latinos in the U.S. say homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared to 58 percent of the general public. When it comes to second-generation Latinos, 68 percent agree. Other polls show that 74 percent of Latinos support gay marriage or similar legal recognitions.

    So, how is it that the words "pato," "puto," "marikita," "maricon" and "puñal" continue to find their way into our popular culture?

    Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar was banned from playing in three games this season after he wrote "tu ere' maricon," which translates into "you are a fa***t" on his eyeblack tape.

    At a recent press conference, the Cuban fielder, projected to make $5 million this year, apologized, saying the message was intended as a joke: "For us, (the word) doesn't have the significance to the way it's being interpreted now." He added, "It's a word without meaning."

    Despite Escobar's rationale, the $83,000 Escobar lost during his three-day suspension will be donated to two LGBT advocacy groups and he will participate in several outreach programs promoting tolerance.

    Perhaps Escobar's actions can be viewed as a concession to the truth, that the label is not without meaning to Spanish-speaking homosexuals who may feel disgraced by its utterance, regardless of how 'common' the colloquial use of this word.

    "The mere fact that you're using it in a negative way means: I think it's bad to be like you," says GLAAD spokesperson Aaron McQuade, who worked directly with MLB officials in the aftermath of the incident.

    "I think it's a matter of a lack of awareness of the way this word could weigh on somebody," he added. "I don't think Escobar thinks of the fact that there are kids in Toronto who hear this word thrown at them every day in school... and it's not joking."

    His is not the only case of homophobic expression from an influential figure in Latin pop culture that's grabbed headlines recently. Just last month in Colombia, a popular DJ at Las 40, one of the country's highest-rated radio stations among teenagers, prompted listeners via Twitter to denounce what they considered "gay behavior" from their peers at work, school, their neighborhood or within their own family.

    The tweet read: "Reporta ya mismo tu #AyMarikita de la oficina, de tu colegio, de tu barrio o de tu familia."

    LGBT activists and parent groups were quick to respond and both the station and the DJ tweeted apologies saying the they did not intend to promote discrimination. Nevertheless, Hector Contreras is now under investigation for possible violations of anti-discrimination laws. If convicted, he could face a three-year prison sentence.

    In August, after years of protests from LGBT groups, Liberman Broadcasting finally removed Jose Luis sin Censura from its Estrella TV stations across the US for airing what GLAAD officials called "virulent anti-gay, anti-Latino and anti-female" content. The talk show, which is produced in California and came across as a sort of Spanish-language "Jerry Springer Show," often featured audience members chanting anti-gay epithets at panel guests that they reportedly read off a teleprompter.

    Is it our deeply-rooted religious beliefs, our traditionally conservative culture or prevailing traces of "machismo" that allow for such clear-cut cases of homophobic expression to still infiltrate our culture?

    Monica Trasandes, who monitors Spanish-Language media for GLAAD, does not concede to the stereotype — but she agrees that the culture of "macho" in Latin American countries and how "being masculine is rewarded as opposed to being effeminate" may be a contributing factor to homophobic expression.

    While it would be hard to imagine Ryan Seacrest tweeting anything along the lines of Contreras' message, one of Escobar's teammates writing fa***t on his eyeblack or Springer's audience chanting it at a panelist (even at their raunchiest), the important question is not, "Are we homophobic?" but, "How are we making sure we are not?"

    The fact is that every one of the incidents above was met with some consequence after somebody spoke up against it. That's the best way to beat the stereotype, Trasendes says.

    "'No te dejes,'" she says. "Raise your voice and don't let anyone talk to you that way."

    Speaking up against homophobia on social networks, the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) recently launched a campaign that tracks the number of gay slurs used on Twitter and encourages the Twitterverse to counter those using the hashtag #nohomophobes. The tracker works in English, but it serves as an example of a simple yet effective tool to raise awareness.

    It is encouraging to see mechanisms are in place to scorn intolerance both in English and increasingly en Español, but there still is work to be done to prevent abusive speech from seeing the light of day.

    As America's youth, increasingly made up of Latinos, walks towards greater openness it's up to that next generation to denounce intolerance, promote respect and perhaps redefine the "macho" as a proud, unprejudiced and hardworking Latino... regardless of whom he or she falls in love with.
    Tue, Dec 24, 2013  Permanent link

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    On the eve of Oct. 11, 2012, the first United Nations International Day of the Girl Child, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed a group of Girl Scouts commemorating the organization's 100th anniversary.

    The celebration had been planned far in advance — but in light of recent events, Secretary Clinton initiated her speech dedicating the day to women fighting oppression all over the world, and one in particular: Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan.

    On Jan. 3 2009, 11 year-old Malala Yousafzai's blog read: "On my way from school to home I heard a man saying 'I will kill you'. I hastened my pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else over the phone."

    At the time, the Taliban were taking over her Swat district in Pakistan and implementing a ban on girl's education — that was when a fearless Malala took to blogging about her struggles, with her accounts published on BBC Urdu. In the months leading up to the post, over 150 schools had been destroyed.

    Nearly four years later, they did come for her. Last Tuesday, two Taliban gunmen stopped the bus she was traveling in and shot Malala in the head as she made her way to school. The brutal attack on a now 14-year-old Malala — celebrated around the world for her activism for girls' education — rang loud and sharp across the world at a time when we are collectively waking up from our slumber of conformity and the excuse of cultural sensitivity.

    Later in Secretary Clinton's speech, she went on to announce the launch of a series of initiatives particularly targeting the issue of child brides, declaring:

    "And I think we should be dedicating our efforts to brave young women, some of whose names we will know and some we will never know, who struggle against tradition and culture and even outright hostility and sometimes violence to pursue their hopes, their God-given potential to have a life of meaning and purpose and make contributions to their families, their communities, their countries, and the world."
    In countries from Mali to India to Bangladesh and across the globe 10 million girls younger than 18 become child brides, Clinton explained. She detailed a number of joint efforts by NGOs and various governments to aid in the Girls Not Brides initiative, a global partnership created by The Elders with the goal of ending child marriage by the year 2030.

    In their mission, Girls not Brides states that at least six of the eight UN's Millennium Development Goals are hindered by child marriage — including ending poverty and hunger; achieving universal education; gender equality; child and maternal health and fighting HIV/AIDS.

    Spearheading the initiative as a member of The Elders, Nobel Peace Price winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu joined Secretary Clinton in the address and described education as the only antidote against child marriage. "It is a great deal better letting those kids finish school — a child 15 years old going to have a child — the chances are she is going to die in childbirth. How can we want them to be what god had not intended them to be?" he said.

    The conversation on the rights of girls had been brought forth recently by a number of distinguished initiatives, including the launch of 10x10: Connect the Dots, Educate Girls, Change the World, a revolutionary film and global social campaign unveiled in September at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.

    Just two weeks ago, PBS aired Half the Sky, the groundbreaking four-hour documentary based on the 2009 book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, featuring a select group of Hollywood A-listers who travel the world meeting women and sharing their stories in order to raise awareness on the oppression of women around the globe. Likewise, CNN has chosen Girl Rising, a documentary promoting girls' education, as the first to air under the network's new film division.

    Would the world still react the same way to Malala's story if it were not placed in the context of what appears to be a global awakening and movement toward prioritizing women's rights? Or have technology and globalization enabled stories like Malala's to come to the fore and humanize larger issues, sparking greater interest in a collective effort to change a world where a teenage girl gets shot for simply wanting to go to school?

    Outrage at Malala's story is gaining momentum — a week after it made international headlines, Buzzfeed posted Monday a moving compilation of photos of women around the world publicly demonstrating their support for and solidarity with Malala's struggle.

    For those of us who woke up after Malala's attack, impatient to jump in the fight but may feel we are a world away, Wendy Lesko, executive director of the Youth Activism Project, says that's precisely why there needed to be an International Day of the Girl. Lesko heads a national Day of The Girl initiative that calls on girls across America to go beyond support, "that means going to our elected officials and demanding change."

    Following her lead, groups of girls and women across the nation assembled to hold Day of The Girl events and speak up against sex trafficking, child marriage, access to education, and all other issues that deprive the world of the full potential of women.

    Malala's fight is not hers or her family's, it's not the fight of a small group of defiant moderates 10 time zones away. Malala's fight — now literally between life and death — should serve as a wake-up for all of us to turn our focus into eradicating an ill that affects development, economy, human rights and even global mortality: gender inequality. "The Day of the Girl" should not exist in a vacuum — it is one step in a journey of many, a way of looking at the world that we can endeavor to uphold not just once a year, but every single day going forward.
    Tue, Dec 24, 2013  Permanent link

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    On November 6, as Americans voted President Obama into office for a second term, voters in Washington and Colorado also voted to legalize marijuana, signaling that Americans are slowly opening up to the idea of alternative drug policy. It will take however, a much broader mind-set from the public, more openness from policy-makers, along with increased foreign pressures for effective change to take place.

    The U.S. is a major player on both sides of the 41-year-old "war on drugs" — not only by way of designing and enforcing the prohibitionist blueprint to fight the war, but because it remains the largest consumer of illicit drugs in the world. Americans today spend approximately $150 billion in drugs each year with problem users occupying the largest share of the market.

    According to the Inter-American Dialogue, the U.S. has consistently spent on demand reduction only about two thirds of what it spends on reducing production and trafficking — even though many argue that focusing greater resources on treatment and prevention is a more effective strategy. Studies show federal funding for prevention programs has consistently decreased in the U.S.

    As we continue to resist new solutions and employ less-than-efficient tactics, the war on drugs has generated a number of "unintended consequences" — significantly affecting producer countries — which undermine security, development, governance, health and human rights. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, these include:

    (1) the creation of criminal black markets, which employ violence and terrorism to control and enforce their trade;
    (2) the allocation of resources away from health and treatment and into enforcement;
    (3) the geographical displacement or "balloon effect" of production into new regions;
    (4) the emergence of new harmful substances following the suppression of existing drugs;
    (5) the marginalization and stigmatization of drug users, treated by the systems in place as criminals rather than addicts — men and women at odds with the system who often find social reinsertion an impossible task.

    Not included are other region-specific consequences; such as the health and environmental effects of areal fumigations of coca-crops in Colombia. The practice — implemented under the U.S.-backed Plan Colombia to fight drug supply and violence — is the only one of its kind today since Colombia is the only country in the world that allows it.

    From enforcing mandatory minimum sentences at home to spraying herbicides abroad, U.S.-sponsored drug policies are under intense scrutiny for their high social, financial, and human costs; with many analysts pointing to decriminalization, legalization or regulation of drug markets around the world, particularly in consumer countries, as potential solutions to the ills surrounding the War on Drugs.

    Dr. Daniel Mejía, economist at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia and author of Políticas Antidroga en Colombia: Exitos, Fracasos y Extravíos says legalization would decrease the price and size of drug markets and ultimately remove the incentive for criminal organizations "... if the markets associated with [drug] production, traffic, etc. go down, who will want to run the risks of transporting drugs? No one, because the profit margins will go down."

    He stresses however that legalization, decriminalization and other alternative policies are not to be implemented in isolation, but rather come hand in hand with programs aimed at reducing demand in consumer countries, especially among drug addicts and problematic users in order to prevent a drug epidemic. This, Dr. Mejía claims was the difference between Oregon, where marijuana legalization did not pass, and Colorado and Washington — claiming the Oregon proposal lacked the proper policy framework to prevent an epidemic.

    "The legalization movement comes from the fact that the War on Drugs is costing much more than the damages of a potential legalization or decriminalization." Costs that under a prohibitionist model, Dr. Mejía and other advocates argue, are transferred from consumer countries like the U.S. to producer and transit countries like Colombia and Mexico:

    Under a complete legalization, who would bear the cost of the 'drug problem'? Consumer countries, through their health system and the policies they would have to implement to reduce consumption ... With prohibition, basically they push producer and transit countries to impose supply-reduction efforts to make the price of drugs higher and the availability of drugs in consumer countries lower... who pays the price? Producer and transit countries who see their homicide rates go up ...
    Furthermore, despite the tremendous resources spent in past decades, efforts simply haven't worked when you look at the large picture, says Dr. Bruce Bagley, University of Miami chair and professor and author of Drug Trafficking in The Americas. Dr. Bagley describes how every "partial victory" of the war on drugs, whether claimed by the U.S. or other governments in the region, has resulted in the emergence of both production and drug-related crime elsewhere — the aforementioned balloon effect of production and what he calls the cockroach effect of organized crime.

    "(Mine) is an argument about a whack-a-mole strategy that rather than suppressing the drug trade: it simply spreads it around, makes it more difficult to contain and contaminates one country after another. Once contaminated, it's very difficult to recover."

    This is why leaders throughout Latin America are increasingly demanding alternative solutions. Spearheading the cause for alternative drug policy, though not embracing legalization, is former Colombian President César Gaviria, whose administration (1990-1994) saw the bloodiest of times under the final reigning days of Pablo Escobar's Medellin Cartel. Joininghim are former president of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo, and Enrique Cardozo of Brazil.

    Sitting presidents across the region have also made their voices heard.

    In 2011, Bolivian President Evo Morales broke away from the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which bans coca leaves,and has since legalized the limited production of coca for traditional uses.

    Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina, seeing security crippled in his country by the emergence and empowerment of blood-thirsty gangs serving the Mexican cartels, has called out for international legalization of drugs.

    And perhaps one of the most audacious approaches to the drug war comes from Uruguay's Jose Mujica, a former leftist guerrilla, who has proposed legislation this year to create a government monopoly on marijuana in his country.

    Despite having embraced a change in tone, and switching the term "war on drugs" to more a health-focused approach, President Obama put his foot down on legalization at the federal level during this year's OAS Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia: "I personally, and my administration's position is that legalization is not the answer ... [legalization] could be just as corrupting if not more corrupting than the status quo."

    Still, this was before the election and before the Washington and Colorado votes, which seem to have rubbed salt on some regional wounds. During his last days in office as Mexico's president — with a tally of over 60,000 violent deaths under his militarized approach to the war on drugs — Felipe Calderón denounced the U.S. as lacking the "moral authority" to demand that other nations fight trafficking of substances that are becoming legal in some U.S. states.

    His successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, said in a meeting with President Obama that he opposes legalization but called for a "debate where countries in the hemisphere, and especially the U.S. should participate in this broad debate to redefine the way in which we fight drug trafficking."

    With all due pressures in place from abroad, it's up to us at home to demand policy reform. While there's no denying the personal and social harms of illicit drug consumption and the fact that people will continue to use and abuse them, it's time to dissolve taboos, to look beyond our borders and into our systems. It's time to do away with ideology and employ evidence-based strategies.

    It's time to carry our own burden, treat our own ills, and fight our own war.
    Tue, Dec 24, 2013  Permanent link

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    My mother's father was a quiet man, a stark contrast to his wife — my very opinionated grandmother — who, at 82, still makes sure her convictions are heard loud and clear. "Luchi," as his friends called him, spent most of his life in Puerto Rico working with horses and was the closest thing to a Puerto Rican "cowboy." He drank beer, proudly owned a gun, sported a tattoo and drove only Ford pick-up trucks.

    Despite his "tough guy" exterior, he defied the stereotype. One of my oldest and fondest memories of my "abuelo" Luchi is when he taught me how to braid my hair. He was also the best cook I've ever known.

    My grandmother was five days his senior and felt that empowered her to do anything she set her mind to, which was unusual for a woman in the 1950s. A hospital administrator with two small children, she finished her college degree at nights while Luchi stayed home, cooked dinner and watched the kids.

    I come from a line of strong women on both sides. My father's mother served 24 years in the Puerto Rican Senate. Her example influenced my dad to believe strongly in the power and potential of women, and he has always pushed and challenged my sister and me to work hard to achieve our greatest professional goals.

    I thought of my father and grandfather, two strong men who champion strong women, this week while speaking at the United Nations Foundation's Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington DC, where I met 16-year-old Angel Ortiz — the only boy in a sea of 100 teenage girls.

    Girl Up is a campaign dedicated to empowering girls in America to raise funds and awareness for United Nations programs that focus on helping women and girls in the world's hardest-to-reach places. Angel was inspired when he heard a woman from Guatemala speak during a Girl Up event at his East Los Angeles high school. "The way that her husband beat her... all the violence she went through," he said. "I was listening and I thought, I really want to do something, I wanted to get the message out there that women should be treated a lot better."

    Angel says he's already recruiting other young men at school to bring awareness to problems affecting girls globally. I told Angel that what he's doing as a boy takes a lot of guts. He credited his mother with instilling these values in him: "She's just a very strong woman," Angel said. "I grew up most of my life without a father and my mother has always been there because my dad was always out. I feel that I've learned strength of character from her."

    Some of the issues Angel focuses on include poverty, child marriage, early pregnancy, poor healthcare and nutrition, sexual violence and child labor — all of which deprive girls around the world of a proper education that would allow them to positively transform their families, communities and countries. Studies have shown that every additional year of schooling can increase a girl's future earnings by 10 to 20 percent, and that women invest 90 percent of their income in their families and their communities.

    His goal is to work at the White House so he can engage more people, especially men, in the fight for gender equality. "I know for males it's a lot harder to share their feelings and not really show their emotions," he said. "Most of the girls are facing [these issues] because of males," he said. "So I think that [males] should take responsibility and ultimately say... 'we messed up and we want to help make a change now.'"

    I found it insightful of Angel to pick up on one key truth: issues affecting women and girls impact everyone. When half the population of a country, and half of a potential workforce, isn't entitled to an education, the effects are monumental.

    It is noteworthy that CNN is airing the much talked about documentary Girl Rising at 9:00 p.m. on Father's Day this Sunday. A 10x10 and CNN Films production narrated by some of Hollywood's most influential actresses, Girl Rising follows nine remarkable girls from nine different countries as they overcome great obstacles to obtain an education. Two of the stories in Girl Rising celebrate the impact a father can have on his daughter.

    In the high altitudes of Peru's mining country, Senna says her father named her after "Xena, the Warrior Princess." Her story follows the teenager's discovery of poetry as she fulfills her father's dream of seeing her educated. In another story, Girl Rising takes us more than 10,000 miles away to the streets of Kolkata, India where Ruksana's father is determined to sacrifice everything he has to keep his three daughters in school.

    These stories made me realize how ahead of his time my grandfather was. When women were expected to stay at home (whether they wanted to or not), he blatantly ignored the gender norms of the time and supported his wife's professional ambitions. This is the story of today's America, with mothers now 40 percent of family "bread-earners" — but it is not the case in much of the developing world and, as young people like Angel Ortiz are realizing, it's time for more men at home and abroad to join in the fight.

    When girls are encouraged to dream big and are provided with the right tools, amazing things can happen. So, as I say Happy Father's Day to my grandfather, my father, and for the first time to my brother — and thank them for fueling my own personal journey — I also encourage every father and brother to join the brave men like Angel who are determined to see not just their daughters, but girls all over the world, gain access to the same opportunities.
    Tue, Dec 24, 2013  Permanent link

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