And today’s acronym is …

UNESCO, of course.

I thought it was fake news when I saw the news alert last night. Here are a few things to watch and read, to help you talk about the organization and the news about it.

The statement by the director about the U.S. withdrawal

A little background about how this isn’t the first time the U.S. has withdrawn or refused to help fund it:

“Why the U.S. Has Such a Rocky Relationship With UNESCO” from Slate

And a recent addition to UNESCO’s World Heritage list: the island off Fukuoka called Okinoshima, which apparently does not allow women (from The Guardian):

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Why would anyone want to ban that?

This short video is about a temporary display in Germany of books that have been banned in the past. The goal is to get people thinking and talking about censorship.

More information about this exhibit here

I’m reminded of the controversy about the Harry Potter books. Some religious zealots wanted to (and continue to want to, according to this more recent article) ban these books in classrooms and libraries because they claim the stories contain “occult/Satanic and anti-family themes, and violence”.

Here’s another list of “20 banned books that may surprise you”. Included in the list:

  • “Little Red Riding Hood” — because she has wine in her basket (!)
  • “Where’s Waldo” — because of some of the people depicted in the crowds surrounding Waldo
  • “The Wizard of Oz” — because Oz was too socialist and because it depicts one witch as good
  • “The Diary of Anne Frank” — for two reasons (read them here)

And …

  • The dictionary. Can you guess why? (It’s #13 on the list if you want to check.)

99%

According to this short article from PRI, 99% of the refugees seeking asylum in Japan are rejected. Here’s the story of one who wasn’t. (You can listen to the audio, though it’s not the same as the written text. I suggest reading first and then listening, after you have a good idea about the story).

It’s a good story to learn about the people behind the statistics.

“Meet one of the handful of Syrians granted asylum in Japan”

 

 

A mile in their shoes

The idiom “to walk a mile in someone’s shoes” means …

Can you guess?

Here’s a short article that will help: about an artist who has depicted various world leaders as refugees: “This Syrian Artist Wants World Leaders to┬áTo Know What It Feels Like To Be Refugees” (from BuzzFeed). Here are three. There are several more in the article, and more pictures and a couple of videos on the artist’s website.

“Vlad”

“Donald”

“The Queue”

If you’d like a detailed definition of the idiom, here’s one with examples, from Grammarist.