Zaineb Istrabadi is the associate director of Indiana University's Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program. Having grown up in both Iraq and Indiana (where she graduated from Bloomington North High School in 1973), Istrabadi jokingly describes herself as a "Baghdadi-Hoosier." A founding member of the Muslim Peace Fellowship, Dr. Istrabadi has emerged as one of the country's leading Iraqi-American commentators, and is a frequent guest on National Public Radio as well as other media outlets.
Istrabadi will be giving an address at the Indiana Council on World Affairs Distinguished Speakers Dinner on Sept. 10 at Butler University, in the Johnson Room in Robinson Hall. Her talk begins at 7:15 p.m. Members of the ICWA can attend for $3, non-members for $4. For more information about the Indiana Council on World Affairs, call 549-4159 or check ....
When Indianapolis Police Department officers approached Jason Snider in the early morning hours of May, the 24-year-old from the southwest side of Indianapolis had several things working against him. First of all, his eyes and nose were filled with disabling chemical spray. Snider and a female friend had just exited Tiki Bob's nightclub, only to walk right into the scene of a fight being broken up by IPD officers. Although neither Snider nor his friend was involved in the altercation, some of the spray used by the police to subdue the fight inadvertently drifted their way.
For more than a year and a half now, over 600 people — some as young as 13 years old — have been held at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The detainees have been denied access to lawyers, their families, or any advisement of charges that may be filed against them. President Bush says that any trials will be held by military tribunals, perhaps in secret. Officials are considering building an execution chamber right on the base.
If this Kafka-esque nightmare were happening to my next-door neighbor or my cousin, I would be outraged. I could see the fear in the family's eyes, hear them pour out their frustration and anger. But instead, Guantanamo is happening to people from half a world away, who speak different languages and have no connection to me. No way it could touch my life.
Ten public health workers and advocates from Haiti, along with a similar number of U.S. experts and researchers, are engaged in an intense weekday morning discussion at the Northside headquarters of Indianapolis' signature think tank.
"If someone had to put me on a continuum, I'd probably be placed on the far left," says Hudson Institute Senior Fellow John Clark. "No other conservative think tank would put up with me.""What is the HIV infection rate in Haiti?" asks the American public health expert, who has worked in humanitarian assistance with the United Nations in Bangladesh and for other relief agencies in Angola, Jordan and Rwanda.
It is a sweltering July morning at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds, but Erica White has to leave the shade of a large tent to change into the heavy formal uniform she wears when competing in horse shows. She is changing so that she can be photographed for a newspaper article. That means that, along with the heat, she has to endure the good-natured teasing of the other teen-agers sitting at picnic tables waiting for the day’s events at the Vigo County Fair to begin.
“Why are you just taking pictures of Erica?” one young man asks, smiling. “What about the rest of us?”
In a conference room on the 12th floor of the City-County Building, a group of lawyers, paralegals and mental health professionals talk through a series of sad vignettes. Women with major depression locked up for prostitution, men with schizophrenia caught shoplifting. A man diagnosed with bipolar disorder arrested for misdemeanor trespass.
These are the people who fall through the cracks of the U.S. criminal justice system. Their mental illness contributes to their law-breaking behavior, but the court’s cure of incarceration often worsens the disease.
The State of Indiana owes me some money.
When I walked into the town hall meeting last week on the future of the U.S. Supreme Court, a meeting sponsored by the Indiana Coalition on Judicial Nominees, I thought I was prepared. Way back in 1985, I had paid Indiana University good money — money I earned by washing dishes at a sorority house, among other jobs — to learn constitutional law. I know my commerce clause from my contract clause from my case-or-controversy requirement. If pressed, I could even break down the decisions in Marbury v. Madison and Lochner v. New York.
Theresa is going to die. She huddles under a thin blanket in a bed on Ward One of the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, a bed she must share with another woman whose feet lay by Theresa’s head. She looks up vacantly at the doctors and medical students surrounding her. Theresa is so thin — “wasted” is the term the Kenyan medical student uses when reading aloud from his examination notes — that her eyes seem to bulge out from above her sunken cheeks.
Theresa lay in her bed, which she had to share with another patient, at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya.The medical student reads on. Theresa has had a persistent cough for four years now. Her breathing is rapid but shallow. Her mouth and throat are choked with a white fungus that makes it appear Theresa has been chewing cotton. It is oral thrush, an indicator of late-stage HIV. Theresa’s breathing is so labored because she also has PCP (pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) one of the most common and serious infections for people with HIV.
A mid-summer check-up on some of this year's stories:
Twenty-year-old Indianapolis resident Charity Ryerson and Indianapolis native Jeremy John were both sentenced to six months in federal prison for their acts of civil disobedience at the U.S. Army's Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of Americas (SOA).
The two were convicted of destruction of federal property for cutting off a padlock blocking access to the grounds during the annual November demonstration calling for the closure of the Fort Benning, Ga.-based school.
When we left Michael Parrish two and a half years ago ("Michael and the Monster," Dec. 14. 2000), he was receiving heavy doses of psychotropic medications and confined to the Indiana Department of Correction's Secure Housing Unit at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. Parrish was held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day in a windowless 6-foot-by-10-foot cell. For the other hour, he was placed in shackles and walked to "rec," a 20-foot-by-10-foot area where - still alone - he could look up through mesh wiring at the sky.