Peace pigeon

Justice brings peace, freedom brings democracy

understanding is the way

Peace pigeon

 

 

 

HUMAN-BUTTONS

This campaign is about Human beings, Democracy, UNHCR, Refugees, The Iraqis, Islam, Kurds, Human rights, Respect, Money, Donations, Angelina Jolie, Pavarotti, Giorgio Armani, Donors, Peace, History, Campaigns and about you if you care about these words.

Hi there,

I am SAM, an Iraqi refugee living in Lebanon at the moment; I have spent the last 10 years of my life as a refugee registered with the UNHCR in Beirut. The last 4 years, I have spent as an activist for peace and human rights (especially refugees and asylum seekers) on the Internet; I'm also books author and ebooks publisher. I have launched many campaigns to improve our situation as refugees in Lebanon and hopefully bring more understanding to our problems worldwide. I helped make many changes and improvements at the UNHCR office in Beirut; I used the Internet as the field for my activities (you can read more about that in my free ebook 'MY CAMPAIGNS').

This is my newest campaign, it’s about the illegal and humiliating actions of the UNHCR, who using photos of refugees as banners and human-buttons to collect money. This is an abuse of the dignity and humanity of the refugees and must stop immediately and a clear public apology present by The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. My friends, I am talking about the pictures you can see here: http://www.unhcr.ch 

   

 

Notice how they used the same human-button with different colors to fit the background of their pages! For them it’s artwork and for us it’s humiliation.

 

 

There is an Arabic song for an Egyptian singer, she sings: “With all the languages in the world, I’m loving you”.

The UNHCR singing for refugees: “With all the languages in the world, I’m humiliating you”.

Arabic song

Bulgarian song

Chinese song

Japanese song

Czech song

Korean song

German song

Greek song

Swedish song

French song

Danish song

2d Japanese song

Italian song

For those who don’t see song in their native language, please contact the UNHCR and demand for song in your native language. It’s national pride, don’t miss it!

Korean

Russian1

Russian2

Japanese

Chinese

German

French1

French2

French3

French4

Austrian

Sweden

Greek

Greek

Danish

Italian1

Italian2

Italian3

As I’m a refugee and an activist for human rights, I feel that the problems of refugees are not being solved by the UNHCR in fact their policies are worsening them. I have been saying this since the first day I started my activities and I said then that “If we want to improve the situation of the refugees in the world we must start with changing the policies of the UNHCR,” I even wrote this in my books.

The people of the UNHCR have used these pictures as banners and buttons to collect money from donors. As a human being and a refugee, I felt these pictures represent a bad and offensive example of the disrespect for our humanity as refugees and asylum seekers. It does nothing to represent the meaning and the principles that were mentioned in the UN51 convention. It fills me with pain and sorrow to see this disrespect to our dignity and humanity and also how they are deceiving the community with these pictures.

Unfortunately, the people who work at the UNHCR are working hard to present to you a portrait of a refugee as a poor human being who's problem will end when you donate a few $$$. Please look at their websites (just google for the unhcr) and look at the pictures there. Everywhere on the site you'll just see pictures about poor people!

They have worked hard to establish a deep-rooted connection between poverty and refugees. Everywhere in the world now if you ask anyone what the word 'refugee' means the answer will be "a poor person who has lost his home" does any one of you know another meaning for the word?

They have showed you just one thing: poor people as refugees and they made it clear that by paying some money to them, the problem will be solved; all it needs is financial resources! When you look directly at their websites, the pictures of poor people will grab your attention straight away! For UNHCR, the problem is money only! We all as humans need money, but not only money! There are many things in the life not only money, for example things like what you could read in my free ebook ‘REFUGEES FARM’.

When I started to post in Yahoo groups mentioning I’m a refugee, many people didn’t believe me, and they asked, “how it was possible for me to have access to the Internet?” I was astonished at the beginning but afterwards I understood the reality of what they were saying and started to post messages telling the truth and because of this the UNHCR declared war on me and prosecuted me. So then I started to call myself “The Truth Warrior” because I am struggling to tell you the truth. I was the first refugee who wrote and published an e-book on the net and the first refugee who wrote and published an e-book about the UNHCR and the first who used the Internet as a weapon in his struggle to survive and to make changes in real life.

The people of the UNHCR emphasized the connection between the refugees and poverty and they drew a foggy picture of refugees, creating a strong impression about their poverty, more than the fact they were stateless refugees. They also put forward the idea it was the poverty creating the reality of them being refugees in the first place. Now it is an accepted idea in the world community that a refugee is just a poor person looking for a better life, well this is just not true! The majority of the world doesn't even realize that it is even possible for a millionaire to flee his home and be a refugee.

Article 1 of the Convention defines a refugee as: "A person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution."

There is no mention made of the financial situation of the refugee or the degree of poverty he is experiencing, in plain simple words ‘poverty does not make someone a refugee’. As I said before “the link between poverty and being a refugee is another thing entirely”. Most of the time the situation of the refugees is bad because they have no security, no opportunities to get work and this then does create poverty! Its clear that giving money will not solve the problem, what's needed is real understanding for the problems that refugees are facing and they need global co-operation to solve these problems. This inspired me to adopt  motto:

Justice brings peace, freedom brings democracy

understanding is the way

 

Let me share with you some figures published by the UNHCR itself.

2003 Private Donors to UNHCR over US$ 100,000 as of 20 February 2004

Donor

Amount in USD

Italy

Private donors Italy

3,068,858.00

Pavarotti & Friends

2,336,932.00

Giorgio Armani, Italy

356,295.00

Total Private donors Italy

5,762,085.00

Spain

Espana con ACNUR

4,486,112.00

Private donors Spain

1,254.00

Total Private donors Spain

4,487,366.00

Netherlands

Dutch Postcode Lottery (NPL), Netherlands

1,076,426.00

Stichting Vluchteling

800,921.00

Breesaap B.V., Netherlands

300,000.00

Private donors Netherlands

2,444.00

Total Private donors Netherlands

2,179,791.00

Japan

Japan Association for UNHCR

1,550,162.00

Private donors Japan

271,605.00

Shin-Nyo-En Foundation

109,244.00

Total Private donors Japan

1,931,011.00

Germany

Deutsche Stiftung fur UNO-Fluchtlingshilfe E.V.

1,296,044.00

Private donors Germany

2,390.00

Total Private donors Germany

1,298,434.00

United States of America

USA for UNHCR

412,758.00

World Conference on Religion and Peace, USA

300,000.00

UNF/UNFIP (Ted Turner )

177,737.00

Private donors United States of America

35,658.00

Total Private donors United States of America

926,153.00

France

Association Francaise de soutien a l'UNHCR.

661,144.00

Private donors France

143.00

Total Private donors France

661,287.00

Kuwait

Kuwait Red Crescent Society

441,705.00

Private donors Kuwait

29,995.00

Total Private donors Kuwait

471,700.00

Australia

Australia for UNHCR

437,607.00

Total Private donors Australia

437,607.00

Switzerland

Florindon Foundation, Switzerland

234,742.00

Private donors Switzerland

146,391.00

Total Private donors Switzerland

381,133.00

Oman

Oman Charitable Organization , Oman

366,902.00

Total Private donors Oman

366,902.00

United Kingdom

United Kingdom for UNHCR

303,519.00

Private donors United Kingdom

818.00

Total Private donors United Kingdom

304,337.00

Norway

STATOIL

275,458.00

Total Private donors Norway

275,458.00

Greece

Private donors Greece

232,915.00

Total Private donors Greece

232,915.00

Canada

Private donors Canada

207,535.00

Total Private donors Canada

207,535.00

 

Other Private donors

148,133.54

Total Contributions from private donors

20,072,010

 You can download this table from UNHCR's website here: 2003 Private Donors to UNHCR

From that table, we can see the total private donations in year 2003 were US$ 20,072,010. Now let’s analyze that number, Anyway if we consider the total numbers of asylum seekers and refugees and others of concern to the UNHCR which was 20,556,781 persons published on their table on the 1st of August 2003. Now we need to divide that amount on the number of refugees 20,072,010/20,556,781 guess what? It’s equals $0.97!

So then each refugee will have a grand sum of $0.97 every year from these donations!!! Yes my friend, they humiliated us for less than $1 a year. Now let me think what I can do with this amount of money in one-year m’mmmm, maybe I can buy 2 bars of Lebanese candy! 

I registered with UNHCR more than 8 years ago now and until this day I have not received one cent from them! So according to that table they owe me $7.80, a fortune!!! I declare now that I don’t want this money ($7.80) I just want them to remove these humiliating pictures and make a public apology. You can ask the UNHCR in Beirut about that point via their email: lebbe@unhcr.ch and please ask them also about the amount of the money that they give for the refugees in Lebanon now. I hope they’ll answer you! Don’t you think it’s strange that it’s hard to get answers from the UNHCR! You’ll see if you’re interesting to know the truth!

The big question is: Does all this money come from these human-buttons asking for donations on the UNHCR'S site? Does Pavarotti or Giorgio Armani need these human buttons to make donations? If they need these buttons and it's a good way for collecting money for the UNHCR, so why don't they use their own pictures this way to bring more money in for the UNHCR. Also about Angelina Jolie, she is a goodwill Ambassador for the UNHCR and she has worked hard to collect money for the UNHCR, she is pretty and attractive and her picture would make an excellent human-button. They could write on the Angelina Jolie button "make a donation and be like Angelina" or Send a donation to receive thanks from Angelina" do you think that would offend her or the others we spoke about? Why would it does you think??? Her pictures are everywhere so let them use these as a human-button to collect money if they feel it is inoffensive and not dishonorable to her.

Pavarotti in one of his concerts. Many human-buttons around him!!!

The last thing about these numbers is the percentage of the amount that different governments contribution to the UNHCR. I read in one table the total is $928,865,984. So what will happen if the UNHCR loses the 20 million that comes from private donors, if they remove the human-buttons of refugees? OK, they will have $908,865,984, but they would be giving respect to the refugees of the world, do you think they care?

$0.97 a year makes no difference to a human being but if we divide the same amount between the number of people working for the UNHCR, I believe they have about 5000 employees… so 20,072,010/5000=$4014.40 more than $4000 a year don't you think that makes a difference?

I have finished now about the numbers, let us continue about the pictures, and the idea of using the Angelina Jolie, maybe you will say that her picture is already being used on the site of the UNHCR and you would be right! But there are a few differences between her picture and the pictures of the refugees. Angelina’s picture isn’t used to collect money; it’s used to show how much she cares about people and her help for the UNHCR. When you click on her picture, you read about Angelina, but when you click on the human-button of the refugees you find a form to donate money.

The important difference being this, Angelina’s picture gives you her name, dates and history. The human-buttons, say nothing about the people on them, no names, no dates, nothing! This pushed me to find out more about these human-buttons. I found out the truth about the picture on the Iraqi banner in the page about Iraq, and the button on this page to donate money. I wrote about it in my book “THE TRUTH WARRIOR” I could tell you quickly about it now, for more details please look in the book.

      

This is a picture of a Kurdish family, and it was taken in 1991! So that was 13 year ago!!! The funny thing is that they used it to illustrate and draw attention to an event that happened last year, writing on it “IRAQ EMERGENCY” strange to speak about an emergency and use a 13 year old picture don’t you think? Look here please: www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/gallery/staffphoto/thumbs.asp

http://www.unhcr.ch/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/iraq 

Do you know why they used that picture? Because it was easy… they had it already, no new refugee crisis happened during the last war with the USA on Iraq in 2003! Guess what? This picture shows a Kurdish family fleeing by crossing the border near Suleymaniye in the north of Iraq! The problem now, of course is the returning of refugees who left during Saddam's rule. The age of the picture and the fact it was taken for a different reason, it's deceptive and dishonest act.

I would have thought that a big organization like the UNHCR would be able to get a more modern picture of what is happening. They receive information daily and I am sure they don't need to resort to 13-year-old pictures; this information is from the last century!!! Maybe now there are not any pictures of Iraqi refugees to encourage donors to click the human-button! What a pity for the people of the UNHCR and for the refugees, especially the Iraqis. I wonder, how old the other pictures?

Do you feel that the picture shows the real situation of Iraqi refugees now? Are the Iraqis still fleeing and seeking refuge outside Iraq? The truth is always painful. The UNHCR has stopped receiving new applications form Iraqis seeking help, and when an Iraqi goes to the UNHCR in Beirut to ask for assistance they are told that the only help they can get is repatriation to Iraq. At the moment Iraqi refugees are scattered around the world, Many countries are offering to help return Iraqis home. These countries governments mostly finance these plans. For example in England the government has offered $1000 plus the cost of their flight home to each refugee.

In Lebanon, we are not sure about the amount of financial support for those wishing to return home, but someone who had gone home told me that it was about $40, the source of the money was also unclear. Some people are saying that this money is from unknown Iraqi parties and some say the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut. I am currently looking for more information on this matter.

Anyway I don’t feel the $40 dollars given to refugees in Lebanon is worth anything. Especially when viewed against the $1000 given by most European countries. The question is this: If there is no refugees crisis in Iraq and the financial support is being paid for by the governments where these people are, why is the UNHCR still asking for money using pictures of Iraqi refugees?

One more important question about that picture, do you think that the people who work for the UNHCR know anything about this woman or her family? Are they registered refugees? What is her name and where are they all now? Do you think she agreed to have her picture put on the web and used as a human-button?

I would love to know the answers to these questions, but unfortunately I can’t ask the people at the UNHCR even though I tried many times over the years. They never answer any question! Instead they have tried to hurt me and even tried to get my ISP to cut my connection! I hope one day you get the chance to ask them, and that maybe they will answer you. They didn’t answer any of my friends who sent them messages. So please if you like, let us play their game and be a little cheeky. I hope that one of you can contact them and tell them you want to donate money to help the family they showed in the picture. Not telling them of course that you know the picture is old. Just tell them you want to sponsor that family. Notice that they wrote on it ‘Emergency’ so it’s good to help them out! I’ll wait with baited breath to hear their answers.

What do you think the answer will be? What do you think she would feel like if she see her picture used like that, and what if her family sees her like this or someone in her village? She is a Moslem woman and to expose herself like this is a sin in Islam. Did you notice she uses two pieces of cloth to cover her head? The UNHCR using picture of Moslem woman on the net as a banner and as a human-button to collect money where millions of men could see her!!! That is a very big sin in Islam.

As I’m a Moslem and I am sure the UNHCR haven’t asked the woman’s permission to display her picture publicly like they are doing now, I am asking them to respect the Islamic religion and apologize to the woman and remove her picture immediately. Also I am asking each Moslem person reading this article to express their concern about this sin, which is being committed by the UNHCR for the sake of this woman and her family. Every Moslem knows what sin is, and it is also a sin to be silent when you see a wrong being committed. I am asking each Moslem to contact the UNHCR and express your opinion as we are guided to do by Islam. I’m asking Moslems particularly and all members of other religions generally, to express concern about the abuse of refugees because all religions are based on respect for the dignity of all humanity.

There is a legal point of view for this subject:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established by the U.N. General Assembly in 1950. According to the UN51 convention and the Statute of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (G.A. res. 428 (V), annex, 5 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 20) at 46, U.N. Doc. A/1775 (1950)).

“CHAPTER II. - FUNCTIONS OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER

10. The High Commissioner shall administer any funds, public or private, which he receives for assistance to refugees, and shall distribute them among the private and, as appropriate, public agencies which he deems best qualified to administer such assistance.

The High Commissioner may reject any offers which he does not consider appropriate or which cannot be utilized.

The High Commissioner shall not appeal to governments for funds or make a general appeal, without the prior approval of the General Assembly.

The High Commissioner shall include in his annual report a statement of his activities in this field.”

As you can see the UNHCR must have permission from the General assembly for any general appeal for money. The question is: Did the General Assembly agree to use these pictures to appeal for funds?

I would sincerely love to receive an answer, I am a refugee and I feel it is an abuse of our humanity as refugees in this world. Its not just abuse of our humanity as refugees but for the humanity of all humans.

We appeal to you to support this campaign to remove these abuses and to provide more respect for all refugees worldwide. Our situation in the world worsens day after day without any new polices to help or improve our situation. The UNHCR uses us as human-buttons and baits to collect money! Our problem is not only because of poverty it's because the general abuse of the meaning and the principles of UN51 convention because of these money collectors in UNHCR and other organizations.

This abuse must stop immediately. If UNHCR needs money so badly, there must be other respectable and honorable ways to make general and public appeals for money. For example using buttons like paypal provides for donation without any humiliating pictures of humans at all.

I'm not saying that the people of UNHCR are all bad, they're just part of a system and they have their procedures and regulations. I just wanted to explain some of our feelings as refugees. To offer my understanding of the relationship between the refugees and the UNHCR. I'm an eyewitness to that relationship, trying hard to improve the relationship using my campaigns, my books and my unanswered questions.

I feel sad because the UNHCR has failed in the past 3 years to answer my questions. Until this day they failed to answer even one question! I'm not asking for the impossible. I just want some answers, as I'm a refugee, as I'm a human and as I'm an activist for human rights. All that gives me the right to ask and to have my questions answered.

I invite you as fellow humans and members of the world community to support my mission by asking the UNHCR to remove these abuses and to provide some reasonable answers for the questions that you have read in this article.

This invitation is a very important as part of the collective efforts to enhance respect for human rights, and for global peace. The UNHCR represent an important constituent of our community, as humans and any failure in its performance will weaken the harmony and peace of the world.

We're living in a time where wars are declared to liberate people from despotism and further democracy and human rights. Blood is being shed now to improve democracy and respect for human rights. Do we need wars and to shed blood every time we face disregard for human rights and democracy?! Isn't there any peaceful way?

I have heard many people claim that they're working to help the refugees and human rights activists and some of them are collecting money also. I'm asking these people: What are you doing to help refugees and enhance human rights and respect our humanity? I'd like to know, and if you have nothing to do now, you can start work and help refugees by working to remove these abuses and humiliations for all humans. Contact the UNHCR and ask them about these pictures and tell them that these pictures are an abuse of refugees’ dignity and humanity, when you can do this then we can see that you really care about refugees.

I don’t have any money to pay you but if you would like to help us in our struggle and you respect our humanity as refugees in the world, then we would be very thankful for this help. I’m an E-book publisher and I will be publishing many more E-books in the future. I would like to have answers to the questions in this article and since the people at the UNHCR refused to answer my questions, I declare now that I’ll give free access to all of the E-books I will write in my lifetime to the first person who will find the answers to my many questions concerning the UNHCR. He/she will be a hero of all refugees and I’ll write about them what they would like. I can’t give them a medal now, but we will give them our love and our thanks as refugees.

   

Please, if you think this issue is important and needs acts, you can send messages to the UNHCR and your government to speak your opinions according to your rights and the democracy. Here are some emails: ecu@un.org,inquiries@un.org,Hqpr00@Unhcr.Ch,tb-petitions@ohchr.org,info@usaforunhcr.org

 

Notice that you can find more emails here: http://www.umacr.org/truth/emails.htm or you can brows for more on the net or to find more ways for contact them like phones or faxes.

 

Together we will build better world.

 

Thanks

 

THE TRUTH WARRIOR

OSAM ALTAEE

 

My home page

 

My organization

 

 

Update 1

With my continuous research about human rights and how the UNHCR deals with the refugees, I’m writing some new points about the UNHCR and the donations.

On the UNHCR’s page in Italy, I found this picture. They represent this picture as part of a campaign to collect money for the UNHCR under the name “Angels of the UNHCR.” The page was written in Italian, so I translated it with AltaVista online translation.  The translation began with:

“Distribution of rice to shelters to you afghani in a field profughi in Pakistan © UNHCR/L.Boscardi”.

Above the same picture they wrote: “And’ sufficient to pour one small prestabilita sum beginning from every month a minimum of 8 euro. Enough this in order to guarantee the survival to’an entire family of shelters to you. Your constant and regular contribution in the time us consentira’ to improve the life of the families of shelters to you guaranteeing they protection and attendance.”

I found all this strange. Eight euros every month is enough to provide shelter to a family. What kind of shelters are they providing to refugees? Yeas, barn-like shelters. That is what I felt the first time I saw this picture! Why do those children live behind a wooden fence? Why have they been fed that way? If they were refugees, why wouldn’t the people of UNHCR mix with them?  Does that shelter have doors and rooms where refugees can sit to eat? Do those children belong to one family? Does each family have a barn-shelter, or does each barn-shelter contain more than one family? If so, how many families are in each barn-shelter?

I felt sick to see refugee children treated this way, and more sick to see that the people that work for the UNHCR are happy about this view. Please look at these children and see how happy they are for some rice! I wonder how many days they have gone hungry. If they had meals on a regular basis, it would be normal and they wouldn’t smile so much about it.  But only hungry humans would smile from seeing a little rice! I hope those in the picture acting as jailors didn’t keep these children without food for many days so they would smile for the picture. I want, as a human rights activist, a full investigation of these barn-shelters that look like concentration camps at the time of Hitler and the Nazi.

I’m aware of the barriers between the UNHCR and the refugees. I spoke before about this subject before in my campaigns. The people of UNHCR referred to that for security reasons, but what about the children? How could a child be a threat to UNHCR workers? These are another pictures about the same subject. 

I took this photos in front of the UNHCR’s office in Beirut, in 2002. It was during one of my campaigns. That was the situation in that office for many years, but after my campaigns this view disappeared.  Today, I invite you to join this campaign to change the ways that the UNHCR is using to deal with refugees. This is not a way that any human could accept as a way to deal with the refugees, especially children.  Please, stop this humiliation of our humanity. Please, send messages to those who work for the UNHCR, ask them my questions, and tell them to stop this humiliation.

Those refugees are standing in the main street in front the office of UNHCR in Beirut!

 

Update 2

I visited the office of the UNHCR in Beirut for the first time in more than a year with my lawyer.  I read this notice on the bulletin board inside the office:

Beirut 15/7/2004

The regional office of The United Nations High Commission for Refugees would like to notify the refugees who have accepted for resettlement and have entered Lebanon legally to arrange their legal situation with the Ministry of labor and the general security of Lebanon, and to pay all the mulcts (financial penalty) that made their travel possible.

Refugees must be aware that the regional office [UNHCR] will not pay the fees of residency or the penalties for the delay imposed on refugees that broke the residency and migration laws in Lebanon.

Thanks

That was the declaration.  In simple words, the UNHCR wants the refugees to pay the financial penalties to the government of Lebanon.  These financial penalties could reach thousands of dollars.  I’m just asking, how can these refugees be expected to provide these monies?  Is the UNHCR working as a tourist agency?  Or maybe a migration department!

One of my colleagues (a refugee) gave me the booklet that had been distributed among the refugees that had been accepted for resettlement programs in America. That booklet is designed to prepare the refugees for the life in the USA. I read this in the Arabic version of that booklet on page 13:

“If the agency that overlooks your travel arrangements buys your travel ticket (airfare), you will be required to repay the price of the ticket.  Before you travel to the USA, you must sign an agreement to pay back the expenses of your travel.  Three to six months after you arrive in the USA, you’ll start receiving monthly bills that will allow you to pay back this loan within a period of three years.”

The refugees have brilliant future in America since they’ll start their life with a loan. I heard all Americans have many loans!

That booklet can be obtained in various languages from the nearest branch of the UNHCR or this address:

Refugee Service Center

Center for Applied Linguistics

1118 – 22nd street NW

Washington, DC 20037-1214

(202) 429-9292

Fax (202) 659-5641

USA

 

I have one question.  If we, the refugees, need to pay for our food and shelter, and pay the government all the penalties, and pay back our resettlement expenses, where are all the donated funds? ! Thanks to the donors and taxpayers that support the UNHCR!!

Read small examples:

The refugees allege that UNHCR staff are selling most of the food items they are supposed to be supplied. "They aren't supplying sufficient food to us because they sell most of the food items," they allege.

Blames UNHCR for his suffering, Iraqi in Yemen feels abandoned

More info in my ebook ‘Refugees farm’.

 

 

 




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