When the Guggenheim Foundation announced its fellowship winners for 2021 last week, a name caught my eye. That’s Atif Rehman Mian, a Pakistani-American economics professor at Princeton.
Mr Mian, 45, has been in the spotlight before. In 2014, the International Monetary Fund named him one of 25 young economists “shaping the way we think about the global economy”. Then things got turbulent for this self-described “nerdy academic”. Imran Khan was elected prime minister of Pakistan in August 2018 and invited Mian to join his government’s Economic Advisory Council. The professor agreed.
“I like the economy,” said Mr. Mian to me. “This is a study of what is in our collective good. In essence, it’s about human well-being. “When Pakistan” asks for advice, “he is” naturally very happy to serve “the people of his homeland, whom he left at 18 on a full scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“It didn’t work, because of the religious discrimination I faced.”
Within days of Tuan Khan’s invitation, Mr Mian had resigned from the council. Mr Mian is an Ahmadi, from the Muslim sect called Ahmadiyya, which was founded as an Islamic revival movement in British India in the late 19th century. Pakistan currently officially considers the Ahmadiyya heretical. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a formerly liberal-looking prime minister, oversaw Pakistan’s 1974 constitutional amendment that classified Ahmadis as non-Muslim – not an enviable status in an Islamic state. Zia-ul-Haq, the military dictator who executed Bhutto in 1979, made Ahmadis a crime even calling themselves Muslims.
Tuan Khan did not seem to have realized that Mr Mian was an Ahmadi when he appointed him to his council. Sunni religious extremists waste no time in bringing this fact to their attention. Bad protests ensued, berating the prime minister for his decision to support a heretic who was reviled for public office. Mr Khan surrenders to the masses. “Anti-Ahmadi prejudice is one way Pakistan’s hardline religious groups are mobilizing support,” Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US, said in an email to me. “Islamist extremists attack all minorities, but Ahmadis are treated worse than others for insisting they are Muslim.”
Economic tension caused by the Covid-19 pandemic It will likely leave about 1.4 million New York City residents struggling to buy enough food this year, according to Feeding America, the national food bank chain.
Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, more than 1 million people were experiencing food insecurity, meaning a lack of access to sufficient nutritious food, the group said.
Food insecurity is closely linked to unemployment, and while many sectors of the city’s economy have reopened, the labor market is still hurt, especially for low-wage workers. New York City lost nearly 630,000 private sector jobs in February compared with a year earlier, according to the Labor Department, pushing the unemployment rate up nearly 10 percentage points, to 13%.
Registration of food stamp benefits among city residents has increased by nearly 12%, to 1.66 million recipients in January, compared with the same month last year, according to the city’s Social Service Human Resources Administration Department. The Food Bank for New York City, which distributes food and runs an anti-hunger program through 1,000 kitchens and other charities across the city, has provided nearly 100 million pounds of food since the start of the pandemic, an increase of 61% over the same period the previous year. , said Zac Hall, vice president of nonprofit programs.
“I don’t have a crystal ball, but I think the same level of response we have today will at least be needed for the next few years,” he said.
SYDNEY – To reach indigenous clans in northern Australia, vaccinators must pass through monsoon rains which can make airplanes and waterways infested with crocodiles. Once they reach the community, they face another formidable challenge in convincing the group to take fire.
First Nations like the people of East Arnhem Land – more than 600 miles by road from the nearby city of Darwin and bastions of traditional Aboriginal culture – are next in line Australian vaccination program which started last month and focuses on prioritizing health and other workers on the front lines to keep Covid-19 out of the country.
In many ways, vaccination programs are a litmus test for countries with large indigenous groups who feel marginalized and distrust government policies. Nearly 150,000 indigenous Australians lived in remote areas in 2016, according to the latest available government data. In East Arnhem Land, the life expectancy is around 50 years and half of Aboriginal children experience severe hearing, lung or other health problems by age 4.
“What we hear now is probably 50-75% going to say no,” said Eddie Mulholland, chief executive of Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corp., an indigenous community controlled primary health service for about 8,000 people across East Arnhem Land.
Concern rose among indigenous Australians after it was reported rare cases of blood clots in people in Europe who have received the Covid-19 injection developed by AstraZeneca PLC and the University of Oxford, although regulators have found no link between blood clots and vaccines and recommend continued use.
Home to less than 3% of the world’s population, Brazil currently accounts for nearly a third of daily global deaths from Covid-19, driven by a new variant. More than 300,000 have died, and daily deaths now top 3,000, a number only suffered by the far more populous US
“We are in the trenches here, at war,” said Andréia Cruz, a 42-year-old emergency ward nurse in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre. In the past three weeks alone, the surrounding state of Rio Grande do Sul has seen nearly 5,000 people die from Covid-19, more than in the last three months of last year.
The spread of the virus in Brazil is threatening this country of 213 million people to become a global public health hazard. The so-called P.1 strain, present in more than 20 countries and identified in New York last week, is up to 2.2 times more infectious and as much as 61% more capable of re-infecting people than previous versions of the coronavirus, according to recent research. .
P.1 is now responsible for most of the new infections in Brazil, with many doctors here saying they are seeing more young and healthy patients getting sick. About 30% of the people who died from Covid-19 are now under 60, compared with an average of around 26% during Brazil’s previous peak between June and August, according to official figures analyzed by The Wall Street Journal.
DURING SUMMER From a closing pandemic, fashion designer Phillip Lim moved his studio from anodyne Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan to the center of bustling Chinatown. For him, this was the right thing to do at a time when China’s historic environment was rocked by racism, violence and economic depression. Mr. Lim, whose Chinese family survived the Cambodian genocide and landed in Southern California when he was a child, wanted to be present in a community he said “felt at home.” Now she walks down Baxter Street every day, checks in with shop owners and eats chicken pho in Nha Trang One and pork in Bo Ky. He talks about the traditional goldsmiths at the New Top Jewelery shop. Speaking from his home near Soho, Mr Lim said, “Creativity still comes from here. Beauty is still born from here. “
It was a natural move for a respected designer who is increasingly recognized as an organizing force in the Asian-American community and beyond. “If you look at the last 20 posts on my Instagram, it looks like I’m an activist,” he said. “Looks like it has nothing to do with fashion anymore.”
Mr. Lim has been raising awareness about anti-Asian racism and xenophobia for more than a year. He first appeared on CNN to sound the alarm in February 2020 after being rocked by news that an elderly man in San Francisco was attacked while collecting cans. He returned to speaking on the network a year later, as violence against Asian-Americans continued to escalate. Then came this week the murder of eight people including six women of Asian descent in the Atlanta area, whose investigations are still ongoing. Mr. Lim described the news that rippled through “three different group chats about Asian excellence: ‘Asian Avengers’, ‘Slaysians’ and ‘Go Fund Good Stuff'” as “a blow to the gut.” “You can feel a collective sense of loss,” he said. “And we just got up and this means more than ever, this [activism] more important than our daily work. “
Just this week, Mr. Lim hosts and speaks at a virtual event called “Doing Something About It: Conversations about Our Culture, Community and Collective Strengths”. The Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Fund, which he co-founded with Go Fund’s head of marketing Me Musa Tariq, raised over $ 2 million in donations. The fund, which raises money and supports the grassroots organization AAPI, was developed over two weeks after organizers finished work. Because Go Fund Me is based in California, for Mr. Lim means coming in at 9pm to do the hard work of setting up a charity venture.
Often, those late evenings were followed by early morning gear for his line, 3.1 Phillip Lim. The name of the company, which he launched in 2005 with his friend and business partner Wen Zhou, shows the age of the two founders when they started: 31. The brand occupies a great place in American fashion: affordable yet low-key luxury; interesting but not very designed. Mr. Lim has won awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for women’s wear, men’s wear and accessories. Her most recent fall collection is typical of her approach to high-end sportswear: The finish is a combination of squishy, downy stitches and a sleek light blue cardigan.
Having found his plot creatively, over the years Mr. Lim remains on track and focused on growing his business. She explains, “When you work in fashion, people are always like, ‘Stick with fashion, just make beautiful things.’ … You can never mix business with politics because you become less neutral. . ” Now, she realizes, “I can’t separate the world of fashion from the reality of what happens to our people.”
On the ancient idea that clothes should speak for themselves, he said, “Hello, that customer has left the building. You have to speak up, you have to get up front and be the face of the brand because your customers need to know what your point of view is, what your values are, what you stand for. “Mr. Lim insists that her current brand is not about “physical beauty” and more about “beauty in shared values.” He continued, “I can no longer separate Phillip people from the Phillip Lim brand.”
One of these values-based fashion models is the conscious outdoor company Patagonia, which Mr. Lim to partner in “dream collaboration”. He explains, “Once you have that courage as a brand, it starts to automatically change your marketing and branding strategy. And in the end, your business will get better for it. ”
Mr. Lim has already started introducing causal driven clothing, with “New York, Tougher than Ever,” a project he launched last year with creative director Ruba Abu-Nimah. The initiative provides periodic T-shirts, T-shirts, tote bags and key chains decorated with slogans including “New York, Tougher than Ever” and “Stop Asian Hate,” with 100% of the net income going to various charities. The lines shift focus depending on what’s happening in the world; Last September they released “Beirut.” Tougher than Ever “hoodies in English and Arabic after a huge explosion occurred in Lebanon.
As the youngest of six children raised by refugees, Mr. Lim said, “I work hard to make sure I don’t forget where I came from.” When she was growing up, her mother, Hannah, was a full-time mother, but also a full-time tailor. Reflecting on her plate being too full, she remembers the plate and wonders how she arranged it. “I do this because I want to. He’s doing this because he has to. “