Saturday, July 22, 2006


I posted a few ago that everyone should continue to watch what is happening in Somalia.
To help everyone do that here are some links to the latest news:

Ethiopia 'seizes new Somali town'
Ethiopian troops in southern Somalia reportedly move into another town, two days after entering the country.

Q&A: Somali Islamist advance
Profile: Somalia's Islamist leader
Looming 'war on terror'?

Somalia edges closer to war as peace talks fail

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:36 PM   0 comments

Key Events in Lebanon-Israel Conflict



Key Events in Lebanon-Israel Conflict
by Associated Press, July 14, 2006 ·

A look at major events between Lebanon and Israel:

1978: Israeli forces invade south Lebanon to attack Palestinian guerrillas, retaliating for an attack on an Israeli bus that killed more than 35 people near Tel Aviv. U.N. Security Council calls for Israeli withdrawal and an international peacekeeping force for south Lebanon.

1982: Israel invades again, this time occupying part of Beirut. Israeli attacks leave up to 14,000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians dead. Shiite Muslims form the militant group Hezbollah, which becomes the main opposition to the Israeli occupation.

1982: In September, the Israeli army moves into Beirut a day after Lebanese president-elect Bashir Gemayel is killed in a bomb explosion. Israeli-allied Christian militiamen massacre hundreds of Palestinians in Beirut's Sabra and Chatila refugee camps.

1985: Israel retreats south, but sets up a border buffer zone in south Lebanon. Israel trades three Israeli soldiers captured by Palestinian guerrillas in 1982 for 1,150 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.

1986: Israeli warplane shot down in south Lebanon, navigator Ron Arad captured by Shiite guerrillas. His fate remains unclear, but he is presumed dead.

1992: Israeli jets kill Hezbollah leader Sheik Abbas Mussawi. The group chooses current leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah.

1993: In July, Israel launches its heaviest artillery and air assault on south Lebanon since 1982 in bid to eradicate Hezbollah and Palestinian guerrillas.

1994: Israeli troops abduct Lebanese guerrilla leader Mustafa Dirani, hoping to use him to get information about missing Israeli Ron Arad. Israeli aircraft strike a Hezbollah base, killing about 50 guerrillas.

1996: In April Israel launches an operation in another bid to end guerrilla attacks. Israeli jets also strike Lebanese power stations. Israeli artillery kills more than 100 Lebanese civilians sheltering at a U.N. base in Qana, south Lebanon.

1997: Twelve Israeli soldiers killed in commando raid on south Lebanon.

2000: In May, Israeli troops withdraw from buffer zone, ending 18 years of occupation. In October, Hezbollah captures three Israeli soldiers, later found dead, in a border attack. Later the group kidnaps an Israeli businessman.

2004: Hezbollah swaps the Israeli businessman and the remains of the three Israeli soldiers for 436 Arab prisoners, including Dirani, and the bodies of 59 Lebanese fighters. Israel still holds at least three Lebanese prisoners and Hezbollah vows to win their release.

2006: On July 12, Hezbollah kidnaps two Israeli soldiers in cross-border raid. Israel responds by sending in tanks and by bombing bridges and roads in south Lebanon to try to prevent the hostages from being taken north.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:24 PM   0 comments

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


For some people the world of music is reduced to the few songs they hear on their local radio station. If they get really adventerous they may actually purchase a CD! The sad part is there is an entire world out there of music and people seem to be unaware or unintrested. For the few who may be willing to explore I would like to point you to a very intresting and exciting musical project. It is called the Silk Road Project. The title was the first thing that caught my attention. It was 1985 when I purchased the Cd Silk Road by Kitaro:

You can learn more about his music at:

The second I hit play on my Cd player I was blown away. I still have the CD today and listen to it on a regualar basis. So when I heard of the Silk Road Project I was intrested.
The next thing that caught my attention was that Yo Yo Ma begain the project in 1998. If you know anything about music you know who Yo Yo Ma is! If for some reason you have been away from the planet earth for the last 20 years, let me introduce you to him:

Yo-Yo Ma (Chinese: (born October 7, 1955) is a French-born Chinese-American cellist, considered one of the finest in the world.

I discovered him in 1986 when I purchased the CD Dvorak: Cello Concerto; Silent Woods: Rondo
The minute you hear Yo Yo Ma play you are hooked!

So when I heard heard about the Silk Road project I was immideatly intrested.

The Silk Road Project is:

Silk Road Project, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization, initiated by acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998, promoting collaboration among artists and institutions, promoting multicultural artistic exchange, and studying the ebb and flow of ideas among different cultures along the Silk Road. The Project is an umbrella organization for a number of artistic, cultural and educational programs.
The organization has published a book, commissioned 20 new chamber music compositions, and created educational material entitled "Silk Road Encounters." The Silk Road Ensemble has produced three CDs.

You can learn more by following these links:
Silk Road Project, The

On the Silk Road with Yo-Yo Ma

Live at NPR: Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble

Yo-Yo Ma Continues His 'Silk Road Journey'

Yo-Yo Ma speaks about the innovative Silk Road Project in this special interview.

This project has produced three recordings:

Silk Road Journeys

The Silk Road Silk Road-a Musical Caravan

Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon

You may be asking why all this attention on the silk road and waht is it?

The "Silk Road" refers to a series of routes that crisscrossed Eurasia from the first millennium B.C. through the middle of the second millennium A.D. The best known segment of the Silk Road began in the Chinese capital of Chang'an (Xian), diverged into northern and southern routes that skirted the Central Asian Taklamakan Desert, converged to cross the Iranian plateau, and ended on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean in cities like Antioch and Tyre.By the 4th century B.C. when Alexander the Great crossed the Indus River into Central Asia, Chinese silk had already found its way to the Mediterranean. Important periods for the Silk Road were the Chinese Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), the Chinese Tang dynasty (A.D. 618-907), and the Mongol Khanate (13th and 14th centuries). The Mongols, who ruled a vast empire, safeguarded a northern Silk Road land route that crossed the Eurasian steppes.Sea routes, important for trade and for communication, may also be considered part of the Silk Road. During the Han dynasty, Chinese ships traded with Southeast Asian kingdoms. During the 7th and 8th centuries, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese ships crossing the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan brought continental goods to Japan. The 8th-century Shôsôin collection of objects, which originally belonged to a Japanese emperor, is the single most important group of Silk Road-related luxury items still in existence. This collection reflects the arts of the Mediterranean world, Persia, India, Central Asia, China, Korea, and Japan. Chinese ships also sailed to India and Persia, and even, in the 15th century, to Africa. Indians and Arabs traded along the southern sea routes, and in the 16th century Portuguese and other Europeans sailed to East Asia.Many important scientific and technological innovations migrated along the Silk Road to the West. Transfer of these innovations, including gunpowder, the magnetic compass, the printing press, silk, mathematics, ceramic and lacquer crafts, was gradual, so that the West had no clear idea as to their origins. Musical forms and instruments traveled the Silk Road. String, wind, and percussion instruments from both East and West influenced each other. A five-stringed lute from India and four-stringed lutes from Persia are found in the Shôsôin collection. The Persian mizmar, a reed instrument, seems to be an ancestor of the European oboe and clarinet. Cymbals were introduced into China from India and Chinese gongs traveled to Europe.

I hope all this information will be useful to you. I also hope this article will encourage you to explore some of the great music I have written about.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 11:09 AM   1 comments