A lucky boy by Rosanna Bonci

Rosanna Bonci -chair Italy Global Goodwill Ambassadors

Rosanna Bonci – A lucky boy

I’m a lucky boy. Sure I am. Because as a ten-year-old, I’m allowed to travel to Europe! Happy and grateful I am, on the Lungotevere of Rome, the eternal city.

Today is a special day, March 20th, the start of spring. Dad and mom have organized a unique event: we are going to spend the day at the Orto Botanico. We walk along the Tiber river, smelling the Platani’s bunches and watching the water running toward the Mediterranean sea.

The way turns inwards, we step on the typical ancient Roman alley, made of sampietrini – cobblestones. We cross Trastevere, I take some pictures of some ancient building with lights hanging on its walls. Because of my passion for photography, I’m used to seeing those details.

In front of us suddenly is Largo Cristina di Svezia, 24; the gate is open, we enter the Orto Botanico. A fresh smell enters my nose, it must be mint.

Mom is reading a guide. She tells us we are in the Villa Corsini garden and today is the Equinox, which means it is the day of the year when daylight and night are equally long. In honor of the equinox, I take a picture of my parents near the rosemary bush.

As I turn around attracted by some happy voices laughing out loud, I see a group of maybe fifteen youngs in my age coming our way. Mom keeps telling the story. The Villa Corsini garden is 500 years old and it used to be the Vatican ‘Giardino dei semplici’, meaning simple people garden of medicinal plants. The kids pass by, they are loud, mom’s voice seems mute and I can only read her lips!

I learn there are three thousand plants in the garden. I take pictures in a sequence so that I can choose the best later on. Basilic, sage, pepper and many other spices catch my attention from far, they smell fresh and spicy!

As I look into my camera I suddenly see a pair of binoculars in front of a face with long hair, held up by three white thin fingers on each side. She can see my eyeballs from there, she is close enough and looking straight at me, I can tell.

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Richard DiPilla honored Ambassador of Peace

I founded Global Goodwill Ambassadors to honor people who provide humanitarian aid.
I am all the more astonished that I have now been honored myself.

– Richard DiPilla

International reputed think tank Institute of Peace and Development INSPAD announced renowned humanitarian and Peace Activist Honorable Mr. Richard DiPilla (USA) Founder Global Goodwill Ambassadors (GGA) as new Ambassador of Peace.


Link to original publication

Zubair Ahmad Khugyani about human rights situation in Afghanistan

Zubair Ahmad Khugyani contributes to the March Newsletter of Global Goodwill Ambassadors:
Good Morning Sir Richard. Hope you are doing well. This is Zubair Ahmad from Afghanistan. We are proud of you and see that you are working for peace and humanity globally.


Zubair Ahmad Khugyani is a humanitarian working for Human Rights and a peaceful Afghanistan - Global Goodwill Ambassadors (GGA)
Afghanistan concerning Girls Education, Democracy & Human Rights:

Afghanistan is a country that has suffered greatly and that after more than 30 years of war and conflict is characterized by deep poverty.

In recent decades Afghanistan has been hit by a series of wars. Since the fall of the communist regime in 1992, the country has been ruled by brutal warlords and the Taliban and bombed by the US and its allies.

The war is still part of everyday life. The number of civilian casualties has increased considerably in recent years. 2017 saw a 30 percent increase compared with 2015 & 2016.

Afghanistan is described as one of the most corrupt countries in the world and corruption is prevalent at all levels of society.

The human rights situation has improved markedly after the fall of the Taliban and the anarchy of the 1990s, especially when it comes to women’s and girls’ rights.

International Girls and Children days - very year we are taking Orphan girls and children from Orphanage house in Kabul - Photographer - Abid Ahmad - Zubair Ahmad Khugyani - GGA
However, there could be setbacks due to the aggravated conflict, the presence of warlords in political life, and the inability of the rulers to meet basic human rights.

The judicial system is weak with a limited range. Patriarchal customs and structures mean that women and girls are not seen as full citizens.

The widespread violence against women and girls is a fundamental obstacle to development in Afghanistan.

Nearly seven out of ten Afghans are under 25 years of age and the literacy rate is very low, particularly among women. The education system suffers from major shortcomings, particularly in terms of availability of trained teachers, classrooms, and textbooks.


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Interview with Michael Dickel

Interview with Michael Dickel


I am fortunate enough to be able to call the writer, poet, educator, artist and musician, Michael Dickel, “friend”. Yet while we’ve shared an equality through creative writing and also as human beings, I’ve never really delved into the life and journey of that friend…until now.


Michael has a book of poetry currently with the publishers titled “War Surrounds Us”, a book written during the 2014 Gaza conflict.


We, as people, have the bad habit of placing things on one side or the other, we don’t see the grey in our black and white worlds.  We put every man, every child, every woman, every situation into one category or the other in order for us to be able to label it, accept it and ultimately, fight for it.  We create a corner each for who is “right” and who is “wrong” and forget that squares actually have 4 corners, not just 2.


Michael’s book, for me at least, allows me to see the grey, to realise that we are all human, we all see, hear and feel and as with the US and the UK…we appoint a leader through the electorate – the people choose who lead them…and not every person is in agreeance, not every person is responsible for the decisions we make as a whole. And ultimately, not every person is complicit to the actions of their leaders.  We tend to reside within the buzz of mainstream media, learning “truth” from biased perspective instead of THE truth and then we judge based upon misinformation.  Divide and rule made easy because we, the people, make it so.


I have spent several hours in Michael’s company this week learning about the man behind the creative cloud:



  1. Tell me a little about the man Michael Dickel, your background…where you originate from, your family, your job.

The man, huh? As with most people, I suppose, the narrative threads of my background, or even a summary of my background, twist, turn, and diverge—some of them loose ends, some of them wild tangents, many broken and frayed, but most of them dull weaving in some wearable denim, albeit a bit faded and worn. Which doesn’t tell you much, does it?

Well, my family comes from the East Coast, Philadelphia area. My mother’s family went back generations in the U.S. My paternal grand-father immigrated with his parents around the turn of the 20th Century. While my brothers lived in Philadelphia, I was born in the Midwest, where my father moved to teach high school in the Chicago suburbs. A tension between East Coast and the Midwest, my father’s choice of teaching as a career and the more upscale hopes of my mother (who also taught most of my life) provided a sort of warp on the loom for the weft of my formative years.

To cut to the chase, or at least getting into the car, I ended up with a first degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota. After a decade working in various psych-related jobs, plus or minus some months, I returned for a second degree in creative writing and then my doctorate in literature. I began teaching in 1987, becoming a third-generation teacher (my maternal grandmother had taught in a one-room schoolhouse). That year, I also began publishing my poetry and not long afterward, some short fiction.

However, flash back, Friday or not: in grade school I wrote a couple of poems that I can still recall, not that I’m going to give them out in this interview. In Junior High I received a prize for poetry (and a school publication of it). In high school, my poems were included in the literary magazine and I became one of its editors as a junior. And I continued to write, off and on but mostly on, until those first publications in the late 1980s. So, in some sense, I’ve always been a writer.

I married at age 22, and we had two daughters some years later. They are now grown women. My first wife and I divorced in 1999. Some years after, I remarried, and we have two children now, a son and a daughter—a second family for me, a first for my wife, Aviva.

I’ve worked in higher education since 1987, teaching and directing writing centers. Most of my professional work has been administering writing (and learning) centers. I moved to Israel in 2007, and here, I teach, still in higher education. I’ve also branched into working with film production companies, writing English grants, treatments for films, and a screenplay—all for documentaries. Mostly, I piece together some paying gigs and I write, which doesn’t pay. Like crime. Except, I think crime pays more often than writing.

  1. “100 Thousand Poets for Change” – what exactly is this and what is your role?

My role in 100 Thousand Poets for Change is pretty small, actually. I have organized readings in Jerusalem the past two years, and am organizing one for this year. The first year, I put together the reading myself. Last year, I had help from several people. This year, more people have agreed to help with the organizing, and I have had conversations with a couple of NGO who might collaborate with the event. That’s it. It’s plenty, I suppose, but not so much in the scope of the whole.

So, what is the whole? In 2011, Terri Carrion and Michael Rothenberg started 100 Thousand Poets for Change. There simple, and huge, idea was to have a day when globally (at least) 100-thousand poets would read, give workshops, hold parades, or participate in some other event—all to demonstrate a commitment to activism in the areas of sustainability, peace, and social justice. The idea was to have poets and poetry noticed and recognized as powerful change agents within culture. Each local organizer / group determined how to do this, how to put it together, and what local issues needed attention or would be highlighted in some way. Some groups hold fund raisers, some hold a day or weekend or week of events, some—like me—do something more quiet and modest, an evening reading.

What is very cool is that this has really blossomed into a worldwide movement, and more than 100-thousand poets, artists, musicians, mimes (yes, there is a mime group!), actors, dancers, and others participate in these events worldwide each year.

  1. “100 Thousand Poets for Change” – 2015 schedule is?

The official date for 2015 is 26 September, a Saturday. In Jerusalem, we have adjusted our schedule because Saturday has problems related to public transit and the Jewish Sabbath, and late September also is when Jewish High Holy Days often fall. Other locations adjust their schedule for their own reasons. Some organizers have held fund raisers and other activities year round. In this way, the schedule is very much local. The website gives more information and information about events as they are planned around the world (http://www.100TPC.org).

A few days from now, an exciting first 100TPC World Conference will be held in Salerno, Italy. Many of us who organize these events around the world will converge on the West Coast of Italy to discuss our organizing efforts, our poetry, our local strategies and issues for six days. I’m very excited to attend. There are people coming from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, the Middle East…I don’t know for sure, but possibly Australia, as well. All over the world. It has also been eye opening, the bureaucracy and difficulties some of the organizers have encountered getting visas to Italy or permits to leave their own countries. Some have not succeeded and thus won’t be joining us, unfortunately.

  1. Why poetry? Some tell me that writing poetry is their “exhale” and others tell me that they write simply because they can. Why do you write? And why poetry?

I think the question for me is broader. I don’t only write poetry. I write prose (flash fiction and longer form fiction, essays). Recently I’ve been doing research and writing for documentary film. I’ve written a few songs, as I play guitar. I have painted, drawn, sculpted…perhaps it is why art? First, I have to write and to play music. Not doing either of these things is not possible for me. I’ve tried a few times to stop one or both. They come back and torment me until I dance with them again, like Uncle Walter and the bears in the song, Waltzing with Bears.

However, I have a deeper, philosophical answer. Art matters. While commercial commodification and capitalist exploitation tend to dilute and marginalize art in public discourse, the fact remains that art matters. What we call art, by which I mean all of the arts (writing, visual arts, theatre, music, dance, etc.) act as a sort of DNA of culture. It transmits to the living cells of society—us, individuals—information, but it also passes this information on to the future. It considers and is influenced by the past, but it takes that past and through recombination, creates a new organism that evolves. Physical DNA takes generations upon generations to achieve evolutionary change. Culture, through art, potentially could evolve in a generation or two.

This is why the wealthy and powerful want to control and horde it, even while at the same time saying pay no attention to it, it’s not important. It is important. It’s dangerous. It’s alive. And it has more of a hold on me than I ever will have a hold on it.

  1. I hear you have a book of poetry currently with the publishers titled “War Surrounds Us”, firstly, when is this book due to be released?

The printer’s proof has been accepted, and, if all goes well with shipping, I should have copies of it at the 100TPC conference in Salerno. As it is shipping internationally, that might not happen… the official publication date is mid-July, though. By then, it should be on Amazon, bookstores should be able to order it in the US and EU, and readers of this interview should be able to get a copy. Please do get a copy. Please. Thank you.

  1. Your book of poetry, what is the “theme” of the book?

Well, I think the title is the theme: War Surrounds Us. If you read through the international news each day online, say on BBC or AP, and take note, you will probably find in almost every region of the world some battle, suicide bombing, arson attack, or the like, in almost every region—labelled as terrorism, linked to various of the many, many active groups who claim credit for these things, or to nations, or to coalitions.

However, the poetry in my book is much more specific. The poems come from last summer (2014) and the period of the Israeli-Gaza conflagration. The first poem is largely a “found poem” of news updates coming up on my screen, showing the buildup to one of the series of rockets fired out of Gaza and airstrikes against Gaza from before the full-blown “operation” began. Inevitably, it seems, war comes.

The poems chronicle my observations, experiences, and concerns during the war—particularly observing effects on my young son, who was 3 at the time and turned 4 just after the ceasefire that finally held. While my perspective necessarily is that of who I am—an American-Israeli Jew living in West Jerusalem—I do try to imagine and to observe Palestinians in the poems, too. For example, I observe the strange surrealism of sitting in a forest eating ice creams next to an Arab family, both of us laughing at the mess our children are making, smiling at each other as neighbors will—while all the adults are also aware of the death and destruction only a few hours’ drive away.

The title poems comes from a trip we make to the north, out of the range of the rockets and air raid sirens. We go to pick apples at an orchard that is near a border crossing into Syria, the Quinetra Crossing that hit the news a few weeks later when insurgents captured UN soldier there. We hear the thudding of artillery just over the hills, first to the left, then to the right, then to the left… war surrounds us.

But, as I said at the start, it surrounds us all. We are in the midst of a giant conflict, worldwide, with a lot of different factions and a lot of different coalitions, armies here, rebels there, insurgents across the river, militants in the mountains. In the U.S., police shootings seem to be on the rise, there are riots, there are motorcycle gangs shooting each other one week and trying to provoke at a mosque the next. In the Ukraine, a battle rages with Russia. In Europe gun and bomb attacks rock the cities. In Asia there are insurgencies. It’s not just the Middle East. The violence is everywhere.

And we need to stop it.

  1. What instigated/compelled you to write it?

See question 6.

  1. In Israel, is the perception of man different to the perception of poet? And if so, in what way/s?

I honestly don’t know. When I first visited here, I was already a poet. I have only been a poet in Israel. I do feel that when people hear that I’m a poet, they have more respect here than in the U.S. However, I’m not sure that means much or is “real.” It’s just an impression, that people seem to think it’s meaningful. I hope it is. It’s not lucrative, but I’m not after lucre, I guess. If I were, I’d write for the business or banking worlds or not even write…do something with a better financial return on investment, as it were. If anyone wants to pay a little lucre for my poems, though, I’m happy to have it to pay the bills.

  1. If you were given the opportunity to meet with one person from History, who would you meet? Where? And what would you say to them?

I’m sure my answer would differ depending on when you asked me and what I was writing about or thinking about at the time. Today, the answer is that I’d like to meet one of the Anonymous poets. Anonymous is one of the most famous poets, she’s collected in almost every anthology. Who was she? I’d like to speak to one of them, to talk about the poems she wrote, those we know and those we don’t. I’d ask her why she thought her name didn’t travel down with them to us, and what were her motives for writing. I’d like to know what helped her continue to write anonymously. Of course, she might not have been anonymous in her own time (or mind). And I’d like to learn about that, too.

  1. Who are your favourite poets and why? (Modern Day and the “Greats”)

Which chapter of the book would you like me to use to answer this huge questions? LOL.

Why is probably too idiosyncratic or else too obviously general to answer meaningfully, but I trace my own influence-ancestry in poetry to these names (among others, and not in correct chronological order I suspect):

Walt Whitman, probably the first really American voice
Emily Dickinson
William Carlos Williams
e.e. cummings
Langston Hughes
Elizabeth Bishop
Allen Ginsberg
Jack Kerouac
Robinson Jeffers
Robert Duncan
Anne Sexton

Leonard Cohen
Lorna Dee Cervantes
Joy Harjo
Carolyn Forche
Gary Lundy
Adeena Karasick

The answer to why for any one would require an essay or three. In general, I like their poetry, they resonated for me, when I read them something changed, vibrated, sang out, generated in me new sparks and poems. I know that I left names out. They must be in another chapter.

  1. If you could make just one change to the world we live in, what would that change be? And why?

I think we need to have concern for, show, and act on our mutual humanity now more than ever. We cannot fall back to the old nationalistic family feuds and Xenophobia, we must see the divine spark of life and joy that each of us possesses as our human potential. Much more important than ideology, politics, even culture and art, is the need to treat each other as fully-human neighbors, people we choose to and want to figure out how to live alongside of in ways that promote what is best for everybody. We have to be less selfish, less concerned about winning, less interested in material gains and having power over. We have to figure out how to live together well. If not, we are going to destroy ourselves and likely the planet along with us.

  1. Given the opportunity, where in the world would you opt to reside and why?

I visited Croatia once and very much liked it, especially in the northwest. I also found Slovenia beautiful. But one place? Could it be a sailing cruiser, so I could travel around? I really want to explore more of the world. I don’t think I’ve seen enough to choose one place.

  1. What is your favourite poem of all time?

“One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop — that’s today’s answer. Come back tomorrow for a different answer.

  1. What are your aspirations for the future?

To get a regular gig as a poet-teacher, or poet-poet, for that matter…salary enough to keep afloat, part or all of the job expectation would be to write and create, create and write.

  1. If you could start your life over from the start, would you? And if so, what would you change and why?

There are so many things about which I could easily say, sure, change that. But wait…if that didn’t happen, would I have done some other thing… so, okay. I have scars and I have regrets. Yet start over? If I could take all I know along with me, maybe. What could I choose to change, though? It’s like chaos theory, if you change that butterfly’s wing flapping, the whole world is different. But what would it be? And would it be better? I wish I had made some different decisions, financially, some years back. But if I had, where would I be now? I wish I had gone straight down a certain street instead of turning off of it, but maybe a car would have hit me as I continued in that direction. It’s the life I have. I can’t re-start it, but if I could, I’m not sure I would. Probably not. I like most things about my life now, and what I don’t like—mostly working hard as adjunct faculty for little pay—isn’t that important, no matter how much it looms at times. Well, I don’t like violence, conflict, war…but starting my life over won’t do much about those.





The world has gone mad. Again.
And again, voices incite–the hoarse leaders
pretend to have been polite. They did not shout
fear and hatred to explosive tension, to a thin-
wire stretched, first sounding a note then cracking,
snapping in two, each piece twisted. The world goes
mad. Again. The leaders call for calm, like arsonists
who work in the fire department. The fires burn
in the streets at night. The checkpoints flow
with blood and tears. And most of us just want
to go to work, have coffee with friends, teach
our children something other than this craziness
in a world gone mad. Again. And most of us want
to turn away and not see the burning, the smoke,
the arsonists lining up toy soldiers at borders
ready to pounce, to attack, to burn. Again.

© Michael Dickel.




Michael’s book, “War Surrounds Us” will be available to purchase mid-July.  ISBN:  978-0-9896245-2-7

I will announce the book’s release, hopefully through official press release, on these pages and will include cover jpg’s etc. at the point of launch, so purchasing this amazing book will be made easier for all who wish to own it.



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Hans-Jürgen John ist Hans John (@rafaelofirst) auf Twitter und Hans.John.16 auf Facebook. Hans bloggt auf www.johntext.de und www.tage-bau.de

Just When You Thought I’d Vanished…


Up I pop with not very much to say, in honesty.

It’s been a while since I wrote here…not because I’ve ceased to have an opinion, nor because I don’t feel my voice has any importance, but because I’m taking time to observe the world and its people around me.  I’ve also been rather busy trying to secure a publisher for my 6th book of prose and poetry titled “Memoirs of a Messed-Up Mum.”

There has also been the issue of my broken gas meter and a whole week of having no gas to cook with, no ability to heat my home and consequently, myself and my children and of course, no hot water, so feeling unclean, the last thing I wanted to do was sit at the computer and write.

I had emailed EDF several months ago (3 to be precise) and informed them that the battery on my pre-payment meter was low and needed replacing.  Their response email advised me that it wasn’t an emergency complaint and thus, I had to wait until the battery died and then contact them again.  When this happened, AFTER crediting the meter with £15 gas, my daughter telephoned them on my behalf and they agreed to send an engineer out within 8 hours to replace the battery.  An engineer arrived 4 hours later, took one look at the meter and said he couldn’t fix it, that it was apparently a recent common problem with similar meters and that we’d have to phone the emergency number again and request another engineer be called out to repair it. So, again, my daughter phoned them and was told an engineer would visit us within 8 hours.

The second engineer came around midnight, the house was stone-cold freezing and he replaced our meter with a new one, but only put £5 credit on it.  I put the heating on straight away, but that credit lasted only 2 hours. We phoned EDF the next day, a Saturday, and were informed that without a new top-up card we were unable to credit the new meter, but that when we were in receipt of it, it would have my £15 credit on it. We were told our situation wasn’t an emergency and that the card would arrive with us in due course.  The children and I spent the weekend in our respective beds attempting to keep warm.  On the Monday morning my daughter phoned them again and was told the payment card would be sent that day by 2nd Class post and that it would arrive with us by Wednesday at the latest and that in the meantime, we should just sit tight. I spent those 2 days crying my eyes out…it was so cold that my bones physically hurt.

Wednesday arrived but the card didn’t, so my daughter phoned EDF again and was told that an engineer would come out and put £5 credit on our meter.  The engineer never arrived. The lack of hot food and inability to get clean and warm was taking its toll and our complaints were seemingly falling on deaf ears – we were told that a lot of people were in the same position and that EDF were fixing it to the best of their ability.  By Thursday, even my daughter was losing patience…she phoned them again and 2 hours later an engineer arrived and put £5 on our meter…we were told that £5 was the maximum amount that the engineers were allowed to credit the meters with.  That evening 2 of us managed to have a lukewarm bath each and a hot dinner…then the gas was all gone.

On Friday my daughter phoned them again to ask where our payment card was and was informed that it hadn’t been sent out due to 2 things:- apparently they use business class and can only post things out on certain days of the week – our meter had been broken a week earlier, yet no day within that week was a business class day? When my daughter said this to them she was told that their systems were down, hence the delay. So my daughter told them I was threatening to go to the press – I am disabled and the cold causes me no end of suffering. That evening an engineer came and put £10 on our meter and the next morning the pre-payment top-up card arrived by First Class post. EDF telephoned me for 4 consecutive days to make sure our gas was working all right.

I just think it’s a shame that normal people are forced to suffer as a result of a company’s inability to provide an adequate service to its customers.  With all of that money from tax evasion that these fuel companies get away with under our current government, one would think they’d spend a little money training their staff and improving their services.

I’d be interested to hear stories from others regards to their dealings with the fuel companies…so do feel free to comment this post.

Last week I was fortunate enough to watch a live-stream of the Occupy protest outside the BBC in London, calling for the BBC to tell the truth in its news programs instead of fobbing us off with what the government think we should be able to watch.  Too many people pay an annual TV License Fee to hear bullshit propaganda fed to us by the Tories and their over-inflated egos.  The BBC bigwigs sit with fat pockets and apparently no conscience.  It forced me to be realistic – we are paying to be lied to and for the most part, the great British public are content with that so long as they get to watch Eastenders and similar shows. That, in my honest opinion, is ignorance at its finest.

I’ll leave you with your thoughts and also with this:



Until next time…


The Potential Costs of Farting in Public…


“Totally Insane” would adequately describe the Tory government and its legislative proposals.  I’m astounded at what I’ve just read – that farting in a public place can be considered as an “annoyance” and thus, under potentially new measures, can be deemed punishable under the new replacement for the dreaded ASBO, the IPNA (Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance).  This Bill will apply to anyone aged 10 and over.  Just think, if your neighbour’s son or daughter blinks too many times or the binmen don’t put your wheelie bin back in the exact spot in which they found it and it annoys you, they could get locked up for it and potentially lose their home.

God only help you if the cat from 4 doors down shits all over your garden and you complain to its owner and they deem you confrontational and annoying…you could quite well end up with a substantial fine and a shitty garden.

If this Bill applies to all of us in the UK, then does it apply to IDS, George Osbourne and David Cameron too? Because, quite frankly, I find the privatization of the NHS annoying. So too the treatment of our disabled and most vulnerable of society.  I also find the whole “Workfare” scheme and its new spin-offs annoying. And what of MPs pay increase? And their expenses???  Under new proposals, the unemployed will be forced to work a 40-hour week for their £56.80 Unemployment Benefit (the new Universal Credit), doing millions of jobs magicked up by this government…jobs that apparently don’t exist with a living wage attached.  Not only do I find this annoying but totally preposterous too.  Expecting the unemployed to work a whole week for less money than each individual MP claims for just 1 days’ dinner voucher?

The following articles are both factual and very interesting and surely worth the read:




Now to find a solution for my poor garden…I’ve suddenly become allergic to cats.


Press Release: A Toynbee to Remember by Joy Travers

Joy Travers tells the story of WWI Toynbee family through their own letters

Author announces release of ‘A Toynbee to Remember’

BRIGHTON, England – In “A Toynbee to Remember” (published by AuthorHouse), Joy Travers’ new book, readers take a look into the lives of the Toynbee family during WWI, exploring their involvement with the Christian Brotherhood movement, the political problems they encountered and their unique perspective on the war.


Travers spent many years researching 500 Toynbee family letters sent between the United Kingdom and Egypt during WW1. The letters describe how the family at home feels about the war and their part in it. The son in Egypt does the same about the entirely new experience for him away from home and the people he knows and loves.


An excerpt from “A Toynbee to Remember”:


“The Brotherhood teaching laid particular emphasis on personal development and getting the most out of any situation in order to increase one’s awareness of other people. Thus, knowing that Stan would most probably never be in the hell of trench warfare, Will was already leading him into stretching himself with new experiences. This exchange with a non-combatant relatively far from the battlefield, allows us to look at an aspect of the First World War from a little-recorded angle.”


Travers says there is no other book like hers. “Most of the contents will be unknown to anyone under 75 because political history has not been taught in schools as a scientific subject.”


“A Toynbee to Remember”

By Joy Travers

Softcover | 8.25 x 11 in | 296 pages | ISBN 9781481796187

E-Book | ISBN 9781481796194

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble


About the Author

London-born Joy Travers has a long career in secretarial work. She holds a master’s degree from Kent University, Canterbury, and she spent 20 years researching the background to the 500 letters exchanged between members of a London working-class Toynbee family from 1915-1919. Those letters form the main part of her book “A Toynbee to Remember”.



They’re at it again!!


Remember the row over the Iraq war? How we swore blind that we, as the people, wanted no part in it? And still, the then Prime minister Tony Blair stroked US ass and entered into an illegal war anyway?

Remember all of that bad press afterwards and the leaders that went unpunished for their crimes? Yes, their CRIMES…including using banned chemical weapons to murder innocent people.

I was looking through the posts at Facebook today and happened upon a very interesting and informative post by Keith Ordinary Guy titled “A letter a day to No 10”.  I shall post it here in full for you to read, share and copy/paste onto your own paper so you too can send it to Downing Street.

First though, follow the links and read what you find there…know that they accuse Syria of using banned chemical weapons in order to justify seeking to bypass the UN in order to kiss Bilderberg butts and allow the corporate world to profit again illegally from the deaths of innocent people.

Are we really prepared, as a nation, to stand by and shake our heads whilst allowing our government to represent us in this manner so we can complain afterwards because we seemingly enjoy a good topic of conversation?  This isn’t a Soap Opera, this is REALITY and unless we unite, it’ll just go from bad to worse.

The National Sleep Out Protest against the Bedroom Tax, homelessness and Benefit Cuts that took place in over 50 towns and cities across the UK on Saturday 24th August 2013 has proven that we really can make a difference, as the first article in Keith’s Facebook status proves.  So take heed people and more importantly, TAKE ACTION.

Kieth’s status is as follows:


Letter to number 10. No 497.Wednesday 28 August 2013. Syria, another disaster waiting to happen.Shares are encouraged and welcomed. If this letter speaks for you and you wish to send your own copy please feel free to copy and paste the text for your own letter.

Website updated, letters and replies plus bonus material featuring Mr Suggs, Eeyore and Ribbit.

Also on the website, download the support compilation three album set from Atona. Not to be missed.


Dear Mr Cameron,

For a government that has lied to and wilfully deceived the country and brought chaos and despair to so many of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the country such that a UN Watchdog is due to arrive today to investigate the bedroom tax and people being driven to suicide, you are not fit to make any decisions on another sovereign nation. Nor, of course, is Obama, whose troops have used Depleted Uranium weapons in Iraq with devastating consequences for the lives of the Iraqi people. Britain and America are not fit to make decisions about Syria especially as it seems that the debate is to be about an armed response as a first resort and not, as it always should be, a last resort.

Of course, we cannot know who is pulling strings behind the scenes as you are at great pains to avoid declaring corporate interests which we know dominate government decisions and the last people you listen to is us. There is also the matter that the last people to suffer in any armed conflict are those who make the decisions to pursue it. If, as is likely, you create a situation of spreading yet more hatred against the West in the Middle East, it is not you who will suffer the consequences of your actions and we’ll be at risk from yet more rhetoric about extremists and more draconian measures to suppress it and us into the bargain.

Gung ho western interests with more testosterone than brains are doubtless champing at the bit to have a go in Syria and are ready to make vast profits on the proceeds of war. The world is an ever increasingly fragile place, driven by the neoliberal agenda. Given the dominance of neoliberalism in UK politics now, it is unlikely that we’ll see restraint or from you tomorrow. No good will be served by precipitous decisions and whatever the truth is of the situation in Syria, striking first and asking questions later is not a solution. The history of war in recent times does not inspire confidence that civilians will not suffer and the military industrial war machine is not to be trusted any more than you are.




A letter a day to Number 10 Downing Street. The government get all sorts of free media time to have their say, now I am having mine, with the help of friends and supporters who have kindly donated stamps and stationary. My thanks to you all. There is also a website with all the letters and replies, featuring Mr Suggs, Eeyore and Ribbit plus bonus material.  http://www.keithordinaryguy.org.uk/

We have a voice…NOW is the time to exercise our rights as civil human beings.