Global Voices The Blog of American Jewish World Service

The AJWS community has a lot to say about what's happening in the world. Read our insights about the struggle for justice and human rights around the globe.


Remembering the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Being a Jewish advocate for human rights is especially poignant for me on April 19th, the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. This was the largest act of Jewish resistance in the face of German-occupied Poland during World War II. The uprising began 73 years ago today when Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto decided to …Read More

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Witnessing History in Burma

We are literally witnessing history being made in Burma. I was in Burma last week with a small team—an award-winning photojournalist, a wonderful colleague from American Jewish World Service (AJWS)’s communications team, and our local consultant and our translator—to document the ongoing, hard-fought work of some of the advocates for women, ethnic minorities and human rights whom …Read More

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Honoring Liberia’s Ebola Fighters: How a Group of Imams Helped Save Their Community

The recent reports of three new Ebola cases in Liberia—including a woman who died on March 31—remind us of the difficulty of fully eradicating the virus from West Africa. They also remind us of the human impact of Ebola, which has killed over 11,000 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone since December 2013. This photo essay offers a look at how the National Imam Council of Liberia (NICOL) mobilized imams around the country to educate Liberians about Ebola and how to protect themselves from it.

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Imam Harouna Kabbah

Honoring Liberia’s Ebola Fighters: A look back at the role of AJWS grantees in curbing a historic outbreak

In June 2014, a well-known doctor in Banjor, a community near the Liberian capital of Monrovia, died suddenly of a mysterious illness. A devout Muslim, the doctor was buried in the traditional way: imams washed and blessed his body then carried it to a site near the local mosque for burial. Within days, all five of the imams who bathed the doctor’s body were dead. One by one, those who came into contact with them also fell ill—and one by one, they died. In a country where malaria, typhoid and a slew of other sicknesses kill thousands of people each year, it was difficult to determine what was happening. But one thing was abundantly clear: something was killing people in Banjor at an alarming rate, and Muslims were getting hit the hardest.

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AJWS Staff Joins Rally Demanding Justice for Murdered Honduran Activist

On March 3rd, unknown assailants murdered Berta Cáceres, a Honduran human rights defender and environmental activist who dedicated her life to protecting the land and human rights of indigenous people. Berta and the organization she founded and directed, AJWS grantee Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indigenas de Honduras (COPINH), had received violent threats in recent months because of its work to resist the construction of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam, which was threatening the survival of the indigenous Lenca people.

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