The View from Here: August 2011 Archives

How To Fix A Football Match

Several years ago, longtime Dispatches contributor Declan Hill was vilified in some quarters for his book How To Fix A  Football Match. It outlined the way graft was part of the beautiful game in many parts of the world.  It's becoming clearer all the time how right he was. What started as his Oxford University post graduate thesis has put Declan at the centre of efforts to expose and fix situation.  He writes to us and sends a link to his blog:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It has been a long, hot summer of soccer scandals. I have been working with a number of sports agencies trying to fight against match-fixing, so have not had time to comment before now. Starting today at -http://bit.ly/72Ztbk - I will be posting a three-part series into corruption in international football.

- What I believe FIFA is actually doing about the problem

- What sports associations should be doing about corruption

- What ordinary fans should do to properly protect sports from corruption

I am also on twitter at Declan_hill.

All best wishes to all,

Declan Hill

Pakistan's untold stories

Dispatches contributor Naheed Mustafa has reported to us from Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

 Her article in the recent Foreign Policy magazine calls on western media to pay a lot more attention to the ongoing Taliban terrorism in Pakistan, especially around Peshawar.  Her story, and the continuing comments, paint the ironic picture of The War On Terrorism's biggest ally in the region as the "epicentre of terrorism" itself.

Some of Naheed's work for Dispatches is below. (or click read more)

The current Dispaches program    Your Dispatches, from our listeners around the world

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Urumqi, China's underground 6 City

Musicians among China's Uyghur Muslims have their backs to China and their ears to the west -- which to them are the Islamic nations of Central Asia and beyond. Sameer Farooq met performers who agree they have to sound independent -- but differ on whether pop or traditional music does that best. He went underground in Urumqi to meet a rap collective called 6 City.

Sameer's full documentary, from the Aug 11 Dispatches program  

A Soundtrax experience of a Dispatches listener in Uyghur Xinjiang 

Your Dispatches from our listeners around the world


Uyghur Thriller Soundtrax

Bryan Tudor of Regina offers his musical travel experience to Soundtrax.

About a decade ago I was in Xinjiang, Western China, working with Uygur women on a micro-finance project.  One evening in Hotan, a remote small city where the Kunlun Mountains meet the Takla Makan desert, we heard through our translators (one from Uygur to Mandarin another from Mandarin to English!) that one of the women had a son who wanted to dance for us.  "Great," I thought, "We'll see some traditional Uygur dancing to the sound of traditional Uygur music."  But not so! 

The boy set up his boom box, played a Michael Jackson CD (I think it was Billie Jean!) and did Michael Jackson's dance moves that he had learned from watching the video.  He was really good! 

It was then that I realized just how much western pop culture had permeated the entire world, even to places I had thought to be relatively remote and untouched.  Now whenever I hear Billie Jean, that's the time and place that comes to my mind. 

Sameer Farooq's documentary on pop vs. traditional music among Uyghur perfformers is in the August 11 Dispatches program.  

 More Soundtrax letters from listeners

U.S. Ramadan Road Trip

The Jamia Mosque - Las Vegas (Photo/30Mosques.com)

Thirty days. Thirty mosques.  

This is Islam's holy month of Ramadan.  A year ago, two young American-born Muslims completed an eye-opening road trip, crossing the U.S. in a quest to worship at 30 mosques, in 30 states, in the 30 days of Ramadan. 

The previous year, in a kind of rehearsal, they broke their 30 daily fasts at 30 different mosques in New York City.  Both times, they reported their progress on Dispatches.

  Here's Aman Ali -- with what he learned about Islam in Oklahoma last August.

This week on Dispatches (Aug 4) -- more of the Ramadan adventures of Aman and his travelling companion Bassam Tariq from their 2010 20,000-kilometre Ramadan roadtrip through 30 American states. This year, by the way, they're doing the other 20 states.

  Here's a sampling of tales from their 2010 roadtrip, starting with Aman followed by Bassam Tariq

  Here's what happened to Aman and Bassam in the Deep South on the highways of Alabama last year.

  Their original Dispatches piece from New York (starts at 17:22 of the Sep 24, 2009 program)

You can find more in their online blog, 30mosques.com