Aljazeera - Hamza al-Khateeb used to love it when the rains came to his small corner of southern Syria, filling up the farmers' irrigation channels enough so that he and the other children could jump in and swim. But the drought of the last few years had left the 13-year-old without the fun of his favourite pool.
Instead, he'd taken to raising homing pigeons, standing on the roof of his family's simple breeze-block home, craning his neck back to see the birds circling above the wide horizon of fields, where wheat and tomatoes were grown from the tough, scrubby soils.
Though not from a wealthy family himself, Hamza was always aware of others less fortunate than himself, said a cousin who spoke to Al Jazeera. "He would often ask his parents for money to give to the poor. I remember once he wanted to give someone 100 Syrian Pounds ($2), and his family said it was too much. But Hamza said, 'I have a bed and food while that guy has nothing.' And so he persuaded his parents to give the poor man the 100."
In the hands of President Bashar al-Assad's security forces, however, Hamza found no such compassion, his humanity degraded to nothing more than a lump of flesh to beat, burn, torture and defile, until the screaming stopped at last. Arrested during a protest in Saida, 10km east of Daraa, on April 29, Hamza's body was returned to his family on Tuesday 24th May, horribly mutilated.
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HTC is proud to present the third annual Rhizome Seven on Seven Conference. Seven on Seven will pair seven leading artists with seven influential technologists in teams of two, and challenges them to develop something new be it an application, social media, artwork, product, or whatever they imagine over the course of a single day. The seven teams will work together at locations around New York City on Friday, April 13th and then unveil their ideas at a not to be missed, one-day event at the New Museum on April 14th, 2012 from 12-6pm.
Participating technologists are Jeremy Ashkenas, Blaine Cook, Michael Herf, Marissa Mayer, Aaron Swartz, Khoi Vinh, and Anthony Volodkin. Artists are Aram Bartholl, Xavier Cha, Latoya Ruby Frazier, Naeem Mohaiemen, Jon Rafman, Taryn Simon, and Stephanie Syjuco.
Celebrating the best in online video, the 2012 Vimeo Festival + Awards, June 7th through the 9th, are jam-packed with new judges, new categories, and new $5,000 grants for category winners and one $25,000 grand prize.
Entrants can submit any original work that premiered anywhere online between July 31, 2010 and February 20, 2012 or any original work that has never been premiered before. Filmmakers can enter their works for consideration in one of 13 different judged categories. An independent jury will judge entries, which includes all of the category winners from 2010 as well as two industry luminaries/experts per category.
“Since our inaugural event, we have watched online video explode into a primary medium for new talent discovery,” said Jeremy Boxer, Director of the Vimeo Festival + Awards. “More and more creators earn visibility, credibility and, ultimately, work by showcasing their videos online. We created the Vimeo Festival + Awards to celebrate the best of the best of these videos.”