Among the Uighurs in Xinjiang Province

In the spring of 1985, my friend Nichole wrote me, “I’m sitting in the square of this town selling shoes. Hundreds of people have come to look at me. Business is brisk.” When she returned we talked about her trip in my sitting room at Xiamen University. At the time, Nichole was a forty-something student of Chinese who spoke with a French accent.

It was common for foreign students to pack a bag or two and head out on their own, often to the minority areas. The government wanted foreign journalists and tourists to travel as part of a Read More

A Look at Drug Rehabs in the Philippines

In order to find out what treatment was available for addicts in the Philippines, I talked with a friend who went through treatment himself, became a member of a 12-step fellowship, worked in rehabilitation centers and got his second college degree in social work in order to help others. We spoke in person at a restaurant in Cavite Province.

Jessie’s story

Congratulations on finishing your degree. I understand this is not your first.

No, my first one was in business management. But then I got the call to get into social work. I wanted to be able to do more … Read More

Escape from China

“Two American Teachers in China, Part 2” is Amy’s story about teaching art to little children at Peking University Experimental School in Jiaxing.  a small city outside of Shanghai. What follows here is the story of her departure from China. In the next post, she gets engaged in Bali and married in Thailand under the most romantic circumstances.

Amy and I talked on Skype while she was in Ohio and I was in the Philippines. Her voice was strained, she was clearly still congested, and she coughed frequently.

 Amy’s story

When we left off, I was talking about moving to … Read More

Author Interview: Human Rights Violations in North Korea, Part 3

Recently, Dr. Sandra Fahy and I had three interviews about her second book,  Dying for Rights: Putting North Korea’s Human Rights Abuses on the Record. Our first interview deals with four categories of human rights abuses (Link), our second with the history of the development of the DPRK police state (Link), and this final one with the international dimensions of rights violations: overseas workers, treatment of foreign nationals and state representatives and rhetoric. Her first book was based on her interviews with North Korean famine refugees. (Link)

We spoke over Skype when Sandra Read More

Author Interview: Human Rights Violations in North Korea, Part 2

Dr. Sandra Fahy holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of London and is now teaching at Sophia University in Tokyo. In our first interview she discussed the North Korean famine of the 1990s, the subject of her first book. (Link) Recently we talked about various human rights abuses treated in her second, forthcoming book, Dying for Rights: Putting North Korea’s Human Rights Abuses on the Record (Link) Here she provides a historical context for the development of the DPRK police state.  

We spoke over Skype while Sandra was in Japan and I was in Read More