Hong Kong Update

October 10, 2019

An ISR Member Asks:  Can ISR subscribers offer some first-hand information on the current situation for expat teachers living in Hong Kong? 

I’ve been following the protests and looking at all the Hong Kong-based teaching positions flooding job sites. It’s looking like teachers are leaving Hong Kong in droves…

Would it be foolish to accept a position there for the next school year, or has the media made the situation look far worse than it really is?

Any first-hand information would be well appreciated by me and, I’m sure, other educators contemplating Hong Kong for a career move.

Many Thanks in advance.

Please scroll to participate in this Discussion


Has America Become TOO Dangerous for Me?

August 15, 2019

Dear Team ISR,

I’ve been struggling with the idea of accepting a position at a French International School in the United States of America. What’s stopping me? I’m afraid America has become far too dangerous.

I attended university in America and cherish the opportunity to return. However, following the Dayton and El Paso mass shootings, which brings the total number of such incidents in America up to 255 this year (by August 5th), I’m thinking that returning to America could be a fatal mistake, especially for a foreigner woman of color, like me.

When I think about the tragic school shootings at Sandy Hook, Parkland and Charlotte (to name a few), I know I would never feel truly safe at school. My friends say I must be crazy to even think about living in America these days. My parents point out that it appears the police have taken a “shoot first, ask questions later” approach when it comes to black folks in America. They emphasize they also see little consequences (if any) for police brutality against minorities. Add to that a renewed presence of the KKK along with their open support of the current American president, and life seems too treacherous in the U.S. right now.

Maybe I’m overthinking this! Maybe I’m overreacting! Perhaps I’ve fallen victim to sensationalist news reporting? I’ve seen incidents in other countries grossly misinterpreted as reported by news networks with “an agenda.” I sadly don’t think this is the case in America at this time.

If you would distribute my comments in your weekly newsletter and open up this topic to your readers, I would sincerely appreciate it. Hearing their perspective and advice would be of benefit to me and other educators of color who have America on their radar for an overseas teaching position.

My Best Regards to the staff at ISR,
Joan

PS. Thank you for your good work. Keep it up. So many of us depend on you!


Teaching Candidate in Hijab Claims Discrimination by Kuwaiti School

October 19, 2017
Fouzia Khatun on Instagram

..When Fouzia Khatun applied to teach at the English Playgroup, Kuwait, she thought wearing a hijab and sharing common religious beliefs would help her to be a good fit for the job. To her complete dismay, she later received an email from Caroline Brooks of the HR department, saying her employment depended on a willingness to remove her hijab while teaching: “…parents do not want their children taught by covered teachers, this is an English school.” 

..On her Instagram page Fouzia displays the email from Caroline Brooks. The school denies the allegations, saying Caroline Brooks was not in their employ. Later, however, they changed their statement reporting, Caroline Brooks has been “disciplined.” The school asserts that Fouzia’s application for employment was not accepted due to her use of social media and that action has been taken against her for “slanderous comments.”

..…The English Playgroup issued the following statement:
“The English Playgroup and Primary Schools employ qualified teachers from all nationalities, religions and backgrounds who serve students as excellent and caring teachers. Allegations of discrimination against hijab-wearing staff are untrue. Our schools proudly employ many hijab wearing teachers and administrators across our schools. The allegations against the school have been disseminated by an unsuccessful overseas job applicant who was refused employment because of inappropriate behavior as illustrated on her social media platform. The opinions expressed by a new employee in the HR department are against company policy and necessary disciplinary action has been taken.”

..Fouzia is quoted as saying that her Instagram page was private before this incident, so a claim of “inappropriate behavior” on social media is unfounded. The English Playgroup later released photos on Instagram of teachers wearing a hijab while on the job. Fouzia is suing the English playgroup.

..ISR Asks: Is this an isolated incident? Was it simply a mistake on the part of an HR employee? To your knowledge, do Muslim women experience this type of discrimination in Kuwait and other Islamic countries when applying for jobs in Western-oriented schools and companies?

Please scroll down to participate in this conversation

 


7 Nations Close Borders with Qatar

June 8, 2017

A sudden turn of events may adversely affect International Educators planning to, or currently working in Qatar and the surrounding region:

Monday, June 5 – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Yemen and the Maldives collectively cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. Citizens of these countries have been banned from traveling to Qatar, living there, or traveling through the country. Citizens of the aforementioned countries have 14 days to leave. The UAE and Egypt gave Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave. Middle Eastern airlines are canceling all routes to Qatar. The participating 7 nations have closed their airspace, along with land and sea borders with Qatar.

Qatar has long been accused of backing militant groups, including so-called Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda, which Qatar denies. It is believed that wealthy individuals in Qatar have made donations to terrorists and the government has given money and weapons to hard-line Islamic groups in Syria. Qatar is also accused of having links to a group formerly known as the Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate. The countries closing their borders with Qatar say they are doing so for security reasons.

While the US, UK and other Western nations have not levied actions against Qatar, the consequences of the 7 participating nations is sure to have an effect on teachers from every nation working in the region.

To discuss the significance of these events in relation to living/teaching in Qatar & the Gulf region in general, please Scroll down to participate.

For more information:
BBC  News
Aljazeera News
The Hill

 


Escape Plan in Place?

May 18, 2017

..  Do you have an evacuation plan ready to implement should it become necessary to make a quick escape due to political or social upheaval in your current country of residence? Many International Educators I know are under the impression their school will take charge in such a situation and fly them to safety. Disconcertingly, a majority of international schools have no such evacuation plan in place–it’s every man for himself.

Believing your embassy will take care of you if an emergency exit becomes necessary can lead to a false sense of security. At least, that’s been my experience as an American living abroad. Following 9/11, the entire staff of the American embassy in Lahore, Pakistan was the very first to jump ship. The same was true in Guatemala after a military overthrow of the government. In the D.R. Congo, military/rebels could easily shut down the only road to the airport, requiring a seriously strong Plan B.

The American embassy serves primarily as an information and advisory body. Its recommendation is that if a crisis arises, US citizens should make plans to leave on a commercial carrier. In the event it does becomes necessary for the US embassy to organize an evacuation, Americans are required to sign a promissory note saying they will cover the of cost their flight “on a reimbursable basis to the maximum extent practicable.” So much for putting my US tax money to good use!

My school in Pakistan took responsibility for getting us out soon after 9/11. They set the staff up with a travel agent and covered the cost of our exit flights. In Guatemala, with military tanks in the streets, helicopters patrolling and radio/TV/phone communication shut down, we were on our own. This school had previously offered no support for anything, so we had no reason to believe things would change in an emergency. The director lived just doors from me. He was unavailable.

The speed and regularity at which the global-political climate is changing can suddenly make a country that was relatively safe when you arrived a hot-spot to be avoided. Believing/hoping that your school or embassy is willing/able to take care of you in an emergency could be putting all your ‘safety’ eggs in one basket. A good question for a director while recruiting could be: “What’s your plan, if necessary, for an emergency evacuation?”

ISR Asks: Does your school have an emergency evacuation plan in place? If so, how practical is it, and is there a solid Plan B? Have you created a personal plan for yourself and your family just in case you find yourself on your own?


The International Political Climate vs. You

February 2, 2017

political-77252429
..Major developments in international political climates are highlighted on news stations daily, along with scenes of millions marching in protest against seemingly rash changes and unrealistic restrictions toward others. The citizens of Earth seem united in the demand to have their leaders represent each and every one of us fairly, whether it’s for the rights of immigrants, equality for women, non-discrimination towards LGBT folks, equitable international trade agreements, access to reproductive choices, protection of environmental/ocean concerns, or compassionate treatment of disabled and/or impoverished citizens. The world is speaking up and taking names! Yet, despite the revolts, some national leaders seem intent upon a future path of xenophobic laws and harsh edicts.

..America and Europe have long been seen by the world as a refuge for democracy. As such, Westerners have enjoyed a certain sense of security/status that ordinarily makes us welcomed guests while traveling in foreign lands. But, that may be changing. If you’re a Westerner living in a foreign land, you could become the target of people who now see you as a representative of an ideology they dislike, or even hate — an ideology that has derailed the course of their lives.

..No wonder International Educators are questioning the potential effects of the current international political unrest on our safety and the future of our careers. ISR asks: As an International Educator, has the sudden change in the political climate of America and Europe given you reason to change your future recruiting/travel plans? Are you aware of any change in attitude towards Westerners in your current location? 

ISR invites to Share your views


Foreign Students in Trump’s America

January 12, 2017


..
As International Educators, many of our students will be affected by American President-elect Trump’s threat to enact a ban on Muslims entering the US, and to further impose strict vetting standards on immigrants from countries he considers “exporters of terrorism.”

..Early in his campaign, Trump called for the elimination of the J-1 Exchange Visa program through which foreign students can work in the US. It is not known if he was referring to the J-1 program as a whole or only to the jobs portion. It should be noted that colleges also use the J-1 Visa to bring in visiting foreign scholars.

..Philip Altbach, a research professor and founding director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, believes the new President will deter foreign students from considering US schools and that it will be more difficult for students who do apply. Mr. Altbach goes on to say he believes the outcome will be that Australia, Canada and other countries, where English is the medium of instruction, will benefit as students direct their applications to countries other than the US. He said the UK is “likely to be in the same situation as the US as it is seen as unwelcoming to foreigners.”

..The number of international students in US colleges is calculated to be more than one million. The Middle East alone sends more than 100,000 students to US universities.  A foreign student applying to universities in California said: “In his campaign, he’s discriminating against Muslim and other brown and black people ….. I’m thinking of applying to Canada“. Another student is quoted: “It’s the main topic of conversation among my friends, ….. They don’t want to apply to the US under Trump“.

ISR Asks: If your students, apprehensive to apply to a US university, asked for your advice, what would  you say to them? Has your school/colleagues met to discuss this topic? If so, what was concluded?

 


Watching From a Distance

January 5, 2017

overseas-away-from-politics-146833220-newesletter
..When you live overseas for extended periods of time, events in your home country tend to impact you differently than if you were actually living there. Immersed in an exotic culture quite different from your own, it’s not uncommon to feel buffered, even exempt, from consequences of political events currently shaping your homeland.

  For example, recent US elections and BREXIT rocked the world. For better or worse, for or against, watching these events unfold from a distant land most likely lessened their immediate impact on Americans and Europeans living abroad. In some ways it’s natural to feel exempt from the current political goings-on back home as the people and landscapes that surround us envelop our lives in a different reality entirely.

  Without debating, boosting or bashing the merits of the US election or BREXIT, ISR asks: How do you, as an expat, respond emotionally to major political events back home? Are you glad to be far away from their impact and living a (hopefully) less stressful life, or are you frustrated you can’t be there experiencing and vociferously participating in person? Although you may be thousands of miles from home, do such events have noticeable consequences on your overseas career? How do YOU feel about watching events unfold in your home country from a distance?

Please scroll down to participate in this conversation


Will Taking That Photo Land You in Prison?

May 19, 2016

Mugshot-Dog-44085748

..As Westerners residing & teaching overseas it’s easy to slip into believing we are somehow exempt from many of the realities to which host nationals are subject. In some instances this is most definitely true. But when it comes to the laws of the land, we are deceiving ourselves if we think we’re exempt.

Teachers will say they are law-abiding citizens. Overseas, however, one may not be aware of what’s considered an offense & quite innocently find yourself imprisoned. Something as benign as snapping a photo of a public building or making an angry hand gesture may be all it takes. In some countries, for example, just one drink is considered “under the influence” & punishable by law (as the bartender/police work in tandem to report your actions). Ignorance of local law is never an excuse…at least not one that carries any weight in a courtroom!

We’re all aware chewing gum in public in Singapore is a criminal offense, but did you know in Thailand it’s an offense to step on money (which no doubt has something to do with the fact the King’s picture appears on the currency)? So, the question becomes: What other little-known offenses might lead to a jail term throughout the world?

Be aware — If you are a U.S. citizen, for example, there’s little your government can do to help should you get into trouble overseas. Here’s what you can expect in the way of help from the U.S. government:

– An insistence on prompt access to you
– Provide you with information on the foreign country’s legal system
– Provide a list of attorneys
– Contact your family/friends
– Protest mistreatment, monitor jail conditions, provide dietary supplements
– Keep the Department of State informed as to your situation

If this doesn’t sound like much help, it isn’t!

Citizens of countries other than the U.S. can expect to receive more-or-less the same level of help from their governments. In any case, the legal systems of foreign countries can/do function in ways that may seem archaic by our standards. Yet, as guests in foreign lands we are not exempt from prosecution & our governments do not have the power to have charges against us dropped. ISR hosts Reviews & Articles from teachers detained overseas. The experiences are understandably frightening.

ISR recommends you learn the unique laws of your host country by consulting the Country Information web site of the U.S. Government or a web site from your home nation.

If you have personal anecdotal experiences to Share we invite you to inform your colleagues, below.


How Will the U.S. Elections Affect International Educators?

May 12, 2016


.capital-hill16063499..
From experience I’ve come to realize that people around the globe know more about U.S. politics than most Americans. It’s truly embarrassing when my Romanian neighbor quotes unfamiliar events in U.S.-international politics and then waits to hear the ‘special’ insights and opinions of a ‘real’ American. No matter where I travel in the world I meet people preoccupied with American policies and as I’ve learned, what America does at home extends far beyond its borders and into the lives of even our most distant neighbors.

...As the U.S. primary elections progress, each of the potential candidates, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, look to be solidly in the running and yet extremely polarized in their views. No one knows what surprises lie ahead, and in the words of Bob Dylan, “He who is first may later be last.”

As one of these candidates becomes the next supposed ‘leader of the free world,’ I am concerned. How will a new U.S. President’s political outlook on world affairs affect International Educators living and working as guests in foreign countries? I’d love to hear what the international teaching community is thinking.

Keep up the good work, ISR!

Signed: (name withheld)


Would You Still Teach in Western Europe?

April 7, 2016

brussels123244052-big
The world as we knew it just a few years ago has drastically changed. Locations once considered tourist destinations and desirable haunts for expats now top the list of places to avoid. That is, if you value your safety.

In light of the tragic attacks that recently took place in Paris and Brussels, ISR asks: Would you accept a teaching position in this area of the world if it was offered? For educators currently teaching in Western Europe: Will the threat of continued terrorism deter you from renewing your contract when it expires?

The staff at ISR concur that there are locations in the world where we once felt far safer teaching and living than if we had been in our home cities of the West. We agree we would be hard-pressed to return to some of these once tranquil areas of the world due to the current and ever-present threat of terrorism, war and/or political revolution.

As a long time, highly desirable International Teaching destination, is Western Europe making its way onto the list of places to avoid? Take our short Survey  below:

Comments?


INDONESIA, Where International Teachers are imprisoned on insufficient evidence and convicted terrorists are set free for ‘good behavior’

April 30, 2015

  The high profile case of Jakarta International School teacher, Neil Bantleman, is a prime example of Indonesia’s current corrupt “legal” system and apparent growing disdain for Westerners. Without entering into a discussion of guilt or innocence in regards to the claim of child abuse, the trial of Neil Bantleman, if you can stretch your imagination to call it that, points to a judge and jury with an unobscured agenda: “Find him guilty!” even in the face of clear evidence to the contrary. See: Thirty-Things You Should Know About the JIS Case

  Neil Bantleman was ultimately sentenced to 10 years in prison on insufficient evidence for an alleged crime against the child of a parent now pursuing a $125-million lawsuit against Jakarta International School. This, after Indonesia released convicted terrorist Muhammad Cholili from prison on ‘good behavior.’ Even Cholili was surprised by his release. He had been convicted for helping to assemble more than 20 backpack and motorcycle bombs, some of which were used in the October, 2005 attacks in Bali, killing 20 people and leaving more than 120 others injured at the well-populated tourist areas of Kuta & Jimbaran Beach. He served less than half of his 18-year sentence.

  We are speechless. A foreign teacher is imprisoned for 10 years on inconclusive evidence and a known terrorist convicted of killing and maiming tourists is set free because he was behaving himself in prison? Based on this model, Bantleman should have already been freed. The question is, were deals cut in both cases? Is each case an example of a corrupt system where money in the right pocket gets the desired results? Is Indonesia sending a message that Westerners are not welcome? We all like to think it can’t happen to us…at least until it does. Comments?


Is America Safe for International Educators?

April 23, 2015

flag22588370Cher Monsieur, I have been offered a job at a French International School in California but I am worried about my safety in the United States. Every time I see BBC TV the United States looks like a country of civil unrest and a people divided. Is this true?

I’m a French national with advanced degrees in science. I am teaching in my home country of France. I’m French/English bilingual. Coming to the United States to teach will be an international experience but I am concerned it could turn out to be a bad one.

When I watch the News I see police shooting and beating people in America, and especially men of color like myself. A woman is raped on the beach in broad daylight in Florida and people do nothing but stand and watch. The Boston Marathon is bombed. Everyone has a gun, there are lots of shootings. Racism looks strong. I have read school reviews that criticize the Middle East for human rights violations but there is not much written on your web site about American hatred for each other and for foreigners.

If you would be so kind and display this letter to your readers for comments it would be quite helpful to me so I can decide if I should accept this job. 

Cordialement,
(name withheld)

ISR invites readers to respond to this letter with pertinent information


Are YOU Cut Out for This?

April 9, 2015

Problem And SolutionDear ISR: I’ve been an ISR member for several years now. Based on what I’ve read, I’ve concluded that a percentage of reviewers go overseas with preconceived ideas and expectations. When reality doesn’t meet the fantasy, it seems they became frustrated and embittered, and then the next step is that they post awful reviews about their experience.

Let’s be honest — International teaching is not for everyone. For educators who think life overseas is going to be a typical teaching job similar to theirs back home, but transposed into a wildly exotic setting, there are some harsh realities to face. For the benefit of those of us who love the challenge of teaching internationally, I would ask teachers to consider the following before recruiting….

I often hear the phrase, “You need to be flexible to teach overseas.” This is true, yet I would say most people already consider themselves perfectly “flexible.” However, to make it as an international teacher you must truly be capable of accepting different ways of doing nearly everything, even when you know there is a better way. You must be “flexible” enough to remember you’ve been invited to educate students, not bend a culture to fit your ingrained ideas of how things should be. Real change starts from within an organization and until you accept what IS, you are not in a position to effect changes. If you can’t accept this philosophy and think everyone should jump to institute what, you, the great educator from the West is proposing, the answer to Am I cut out for this? is a resounding NO!

I hear teachers complain that their opinions are not taken into account when administrators make decisions. They feel belittled, unappreciated. The bottom line is this: Teachers are hired to teach. If I, as an administrator, wanted a mentor I would find one. I do listen to my teachers but anyone just coming into my school has little understanding of the community we serve. Their perception of what needs to be done, while appropriate and valid in their home country, may be completely out of place here. My job is to administer to the overall needs of my school, making decisions that take into account elements of a situation to which teachers are not privy. Again, if your ego tells you that you, as a teaching “professional,” should be consulted on every decision made at the school, the answer to Am I cut out for this? is a resounding NO!

Finally, I want to mention that housing, roads, school materials, transportation, communication, water/air/electricity quality, level of corruption, construction quality, and just about every other facet of life internationally may never, ever be like it is back home. If you are going overseas for an international experience, let it be what it is and experience it with all its ups and downs, its occasional discomforts and daily delights. No one suggests you have to like everything about it, but if you feel the need to reshape your school and community to conform to your perception of what’s “best”, you’re plainly not going to enjoy it overseas. Ask yourself the hard question and be honest: Am I cut out for this? Hopefully, the answer will be, for YOU, a resounding YES!

Comments? Scroll down to post

Also see the sequel to this topic: I’m Not Cut Out for THIS


Playing for Change

September 4, 2014

playing-for-change3
With the school year now on a steady course, we thought we’d take a step back from our regular editorials and introduce you to a promising organization focused on promoting world peace through music. We were introduced to Playing for Change by an ISR Member. Read more in this week’s ISR Newsletter.


Word From Teachers in Ukraine

March 6, 2014

Dr. Spilchuk (ISR On Line Teacher Consultant) normally hears from teachers living in countries that fall into conflict. The British International School Kyiv, Kiev International School & Pechersk School, among others, employ expats. Unfortunately, the situation in Ukraine appears to be escalating yet Dr. Spilchuk reports she has received no correspondences & worries for the safety of expats in the area. If you are currently in Ukraine, or have heard from friends of family teaching in the country, please visit the Ukraine Blog to share information with colleagues.


A Story of Deportation – by Dr. Spilchuk

February 27, 2014

tourist-visa44486779..Dr. Spilchuk, International Schools Review On Line Teacher Advisor, periodically publicizes her interactions with teachers.  She does this so other International Educators can learn from their colleagues experiences and thus make informed decisions along their career paths. Dr. Spilchuk counseled the “deported” teacher in this article. She has omitted the teacher’s name and the name of the school for the teacher’s security.

This is my story:

“I was placed in the detention area of immigration in the Kuwaiti airport and questioned by immigration officials. I was then placed in the hands of ground services. About 9 hours later, ground services  Read more…

Scroll down to comment


ReConsidering Your Possibilities

January 23, 2014

comfortzone57074936Being an International Educator is all about putting yourself “out there” beyond your comfort zone, embracing new & different experiences. This is, after all, how we grow as individuals & as educators. In light of that, limiting your recruiting focus to just one or two locations seems contrary to the expansive spirit of the profession. Why not take a chance? I did & am I ever glad!

A couple of examples: I certainly had never considered Pakistan for a career move & when out of the blue I was offered a position, everyone tried to convince me not to go. I went to Lahore & loved it! The Pakistani people were gracious, the food & culture were outstanding, the students were a good group & with India less than an hour away (for example) the travel opportunities were spectacular. Although Pakistan was not originally on my limited, safety-zone list of places to go, in retrospect it should have been at the very top!

The Democratic Republic of Congo was not on my list either, but when I found a note in my recruiting folder at an ISS conference I decided to follow up, if for no other reason than to hone my interviewing skills. I did sign the contract & found the Congo to be quite a challenging experience, particularly since the school & location were grossly misrepresented by the director & his professionally-made video that painted Kinshasa to be a delightful tourist destination (this was Pre-ISR). Although the Congolese were warm & welcoming & I had fun resurrecting my high school French, the extreme poverty & complete lack of infrastructure at the school were horrendous. Looking back, I realize that the Congo changed my perspective on the world & international teaching in a profound way. Would I go back? Probably not knowing the situation as I now do. But it was a deeply enlightening period in my life, one that I’m glad I did not miss.

I don’t recommend you completely throw caution to the wind. There are most definitely some political hot spots best avoided. What I am recommending is that instead of limiting yourself to just a few possibilities, why not step out of your comfort zone, reconsider your possibilities & let the real adventures of your career begin!?!

Have YOU ever accepted a position at a school that was not on your list of desired places to live & teach? How did the experience turn out for you? Were you wonderfully surprised or shell shocked? We invite you to share your experiences with colleagues.  Please scroll down to comment.


Censorship in U.S. Schools?

August 15, 2013

nomorewar3310920bigDuring the past weeks ISR has featured articles focused on schools that don’t stand up for teachers who are confronted by wealthy/powerful parents and/or over–privileged children. Of the many teachers who commented on this topic via our ISR Blogs, most were in agreement that living and teaching in the Middle East could leave one open to unforeseen problems due to cultural differences. See: Schools That Throw Teachers Under the Bus and Guilty Until Proven Innocent.

To our surprise, it looks like the United States school system, at least in Washington state, has engaged in censorship that resonates loudly of the modus operandi so many international educators find objectionable about the Middle East.  Mary McNeil, a music teacher in the Seattle school system, asked students to create lyrics for a song. The last few lines of the song go: We are children of love…We are the children of the world… We don’t want war anymore. It was this last line of the song that the school principal wanted removed from the song.

Interestingly, the line in question was actually contributed by one of her students. To Mary’s credit, rather than compromise her principles for the principal, she resigned her position to the dismay of parents and students alike.

One could argue that teachers should leave their political views at home. As educators, however, are we not charged with teaching children to use their intellect rather than brawn? What could be more in line with the philosophy of education than singing We don’t want war anymore? We invite you to comment on this topic. We should add that this event took place some ten years ago, but the fact that it did take place is reason to give pause.

Scroll Down to Comment


Guilty Until Proven Innocent – by Dorje Gurung

August 8, 2013

dorje-medium“On May 2 they paraded me, in handcuffs, in front of five different prosecutors  in different rooms at the Public Prosecution office. I don’t know what the first four prosecutors and the guy taking me around exchanged between them – everything  was in Arabic. But, with the fifth one, they provided an English interpreter on my insistence. Otherwise it would have been Hindi or Urdu.

“The second trip to the Public Prosecution office on Sunday, May 5, I faced a prosecutor who spoke English. Again we had the same exchanges I had had the previous visit but with one important difference. I would have to produce witnesses in court to prove my innocence, he informed me. In other words, I was guilty unless I proved myself innocent.” Read more