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In Search of a Better World: A Human Rights…
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In Search of a Better World: A Human Rights Odyssey (CBC Massey Lectures) (edition 2017)

by Payam Akhavan (Author)

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In February of 2017, Amnesty International released their Annual Report for 2016 to 2017, concluding that the "us versus them" rhetoric increasingly employed by politicians is endangering human rights the world over. Renowned UN prosecutor and human rights scholar Payam Akhavan has encountered the grim realities of contemporary genocide throughout his life and career. He argues that deceptive utopias, political cynicism, and public apathy have given rise to major human rights abuses: from the religious persecution of Iranian Bahá'ís that shaped his personal life, to the horrors of ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, the genocide in Rwanda, and the rise of contemporary phenomena such as the Islamic State. He also reflects on the inspiring resilience of the human spirit and the reality of our inextricable interdependence to liberate us, whether from hateful ideologies that deny the humanity of others or an empty consumerist culture that worships greed and self-indulgence. A timely, essential, and passionate work of memoir and history, In Search of a Better World is a tour de force by an internationally renowned human rights lawyer.… (more)
Member:AliG3
Title:In Search of a Better World: A Human Rights Odyssey (CBC Massey Lectures)
Authors:Payam Akhavan (Author)
Info:House of Anansi Press (2017), 304 pages
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In Search of A Better World: A Human Rights Odyssey (CBC Massey Lecture) by Payam Akhavan

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Chilling personal account of humanity’s darkest moments including his own journey as a child from exile in Iran to Canada because of his Baha’i faith. Payam sees up close the worst of Humanity as a Human rights lawyer with the UN including Bosnian crisis, Rwanda genocide, And conflicts in the Middle East that result in the deadly ISIS group. Incredible book that leaves you with goosebumps as you empathize with the victims of these atrocities that I never really understood or realized just how horrific they were. Payam also gives hope as to how we can move forward as an entire human race rather than individualistic parties looking to move themselves further ahead while leaving everyone else behind. Another book I happened across when someone left it behind.. thank you to whoever that was! 5 stars! Also you can listen to his lectures on CBC ideas.. ( )
  sjh4255 | May 4, 2021 |
In Search of A Better World: A Human Rights Odyssey by Payam Akhavan is a study of human rights violations in the last few decades. Akhavan is an international lawyer and a professor at McGill University in Montreal. He is a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. He has since played a leading role as a pioneer of international criminal law and global justice, is regarded as a leading scholar and practitioner of international law and human rights, and an important figure in the Iranian human rights movement.

Akhavan was born in Iran and fled with his immediate family to Canada in 1979. He spent his teen years on in Canada. He mentions the problems he had fitting in and common problems kids face growing up in the West. He then tells of his family and friends who were not so lucky and remained in Iran. His uncle was tortured, killed, and left out on the street. Iran moved from an open, capitalist/consumerist country to a strict religious state. Akhavan’s family was persecuted for their Bahai faith and he realized his problems were quite small. He went on and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Harvard with a dissertation titled Reducing Genocide to Law: Definition, Meaning, and the Ultimate Crime.

Akhavan starts with his involvement in the prosecuting war criminals in the Bosnia and Herzegovina conflict and the rebirth of the UN’s enforcement of human rights. Several modern genocides are given with a detailed account of the Rwandan conflict. The history of the Hutu and Tutsi grievances are covered in detail. There was also a peacekeeping mission that received little support and remained toothless. Afghanistan’s Taliban and the rise of ISIS are also covered. These conflicts received much mover coverage and involvement because of its threat to the West. The pledge of “never again” has been ignored by most of the world. Akhavan has worked to enforce human rights violations around the world and in Iran.

Akhavan waits until he establishes the horrors of modern genocide before he asks a simple question about getting rid of lice. Would anyone oppose ridding the world of lice? It seems like a simple question with an easy answer, but that seems to be the problem. The Hutu referred to the Tutsis in Rwanda as cockroaches. It is a typical tactic in many wars to dehumanize the enemy. The Germans became Huns. In Vietnam it was the gooks. Ragheads and Hadjis are our enemies in our wars the Middle East. It is difficult to convince a person to take another’s life if they are viewed as equals. Make them less than human, insects or vermin, and suddenly it is easier to kill.

In Search of A Better World, part history and part biography, show how much mankind has left to grow. For the most part, the West tends to ignore or not think genocide in a far off country is a good use of resources. While the genocide in Rwanda was being executed, the United States ignored it and concentrated on Haitian refugees landing on American shores. Human Rights only becomes an issue when it lands on your shores. A better world will only come about when we all care about stopping the killing rather than taking sides in the conflict. A well written and educational book.
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
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In February of 2017, Amnesty International released their Annual Report for 2016 to 2017, concluding that the "us versus them" rhetoric increasingly employed by politicians is endangering human rights the world over. Renowned UN prosecutor and human rights scholar Payam Akhavan has encountered the grim realities of contemporary genocide throughout his life and career. He argues that deceptive utopias, political cynicism, and public apathy have given rise to major human rights abuses: from the religious persecution of Iranian Bahá'ís that shaped his personal life, to the horrors of ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, the genocide in Rwanda, and the rise of contemporary phenomena such as the Islamic State. He also reflects on the inspiring resilience of the human spirit and the reality of our inextricable interdependence to liberate us, whether from hateful ideologies that deny the humanity of others or an empty consumerist culture that worships greed and self-indulgence. A timely, essential, and passionate work of memoir and history, In Search of a Better World is a tour de force by an internationally renowned human rights lawyer.

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