Jehan Harney is a journalist and filmmaker of Egyptian-American extraction. Over the last year, she has lived in Prague and taught journalism at the city's New Anglo-American College. During her time in the Czech Republic, Mrs. Harney developed an interest in the issues surrounding the enforced sterilization of Romany women. Subsequently, she made a documentary on just that theme, titled 'Sterile Dreams'. Jehan Harney is now back in the United States, but I caught up with her just before she left to ask her why she decided to make such a film:
In Business News this week: the EC recommends Czechs to slash deficit in public finances; Ceske Aerolinie records loss of 175 million crowns in the first half of this year; the Czech government launches privatisation of Letiste Praha; the energy power giant CEZ is to build power station in Vietnam in deal worth 3 billion dollars; and the number of Vietnamese doing business in Czech Republic is on the rise.
Adriana Basovska, a former diplomat at the Czech Embassy in Libya has won a court dispute with the Foreign Ministry over gender discrimination. Under the breakthrough verdict the state has been ordered to pay her one million crowns in compensation. In January of 2002 Basovska was summoned to Prague over a security directives violation and stripped of access to classified information without which she could no longer work as a diplomat. A male diplomat working in Kazakhstan found himself in a similar situation. Unlike Basovska though he was not stripped of access to classified information and could get on with his career. Women's rights groups have welcomed the verdict as a big milestone on the road to gender equality at the workplace.
This week saw the opening of "A Vanished World" a unique photo exhibition at the National Gallery's Veletrzni Palac in Prague. The show is based solely on never before publicly viewed photographs of Roma and Sinti families who once lived in the Czech lands. The show represents lives and a way of life, destroyed in the Romani Holocaust.
Czech football has seen some great results in recent years. The Czech national team has been doing fairly well on the international scene and Slavia Prague made it into the prestigious Champions League this year. But all this could fade into the background if one issue is not addressed. In this week's Panorama, we look at the problem of racism at Czech football stadiums.
You might be familiar with touring photo exhibitions like 'the Earth from the Air' pitching up in your town, but what about a touring refugee-camp? On Tuesday, Prague's Namesti Miru was transformed into a tent city as Medecins Sans Frontieres came to town. The humanitarian organization is in Prague until Sunday, exhibiting a model replica of an African refugee camp. On display are typical living quarters, hospital tents, a communal kitchen, and latrines.
The police have charged a doctor with negligence resulting in death after she failed to treat a homeless man in an Olomouc hospital. The man came into the emergency ward complaining of stomach and chest pains and was briefly examined by the doctor and sent away on the grounds that it was nothing serious. The man died outside the hospital gates a few hours later. An autopsy revealed that he had died of double pneumonia and medical experts reviewing the case say he should have been hospitalized right away.
Some 20 members and followers of the Czech extreme right National Corporativism group staged a demonstration on Saturday afternoon at the Moravian town of Holesov. The group marched from the railway station to the local square, being shadowed by anti-fascist supporters, but no violence was reported. The event was monitored by the police.
The spokesman for the Sparta Prague football club has responded to an open letter sent by the head of the Prague Jewish Community, Frantisek Banyai, and the director of the Prague Jewish Museum, Leo Pavlat expressing concern over some fans' anti-Semitic behaviour at Sparta stadium. According to the senders, anti-Semitic chants could be heard during a Sparta-Arsenal game this week. Some in the audience reportedly yelled the slogan "Jude Slavia" referring to Sparta's city rival, playing on the same day. Sparta's spokesman has made clear the incident will be investigated; he also indicated the club will take a tough stance on anyone guilty of committing racist acts at the club's stadium.
The story of Faust, the doctor who makes a pact with the devil in his pursuit of knowledge, has captured the imagination of some of the great Czech dramatists. In 1985, Vaclav Havel tackled the legend in his play Temptation, or Pokouseni, as it is known in Czech. Just under a decade later, animator Jan Svankmajer tried his hand at the story, producing a grotesque feature-film called Lekce Faust.
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March 25, 1945 – the day the Americans bombed Prague deliberately