UNESCO Courier

Articles from April

A Cuban Mix of Muscle and Ideology
Sport, a mainstay of Cuba's socialist Government, seeks to affirm 'patriotic values and national identity' "We owe 38 years of sporting achievement to the unconditional backing Cuban sport has received from the revolutionary Government and especially...
Alexandria, from Papyrus to the Internet
The Library of Alexandria was Antiquity's most prestigious centre of learning. Its rebirth may bring a new beacon of knowledge to the Arab world In the centre of Alexandria, between the eastern port and the university, a thousand labourers are working...
All Together!
Being in a football stadium means you can sing, shout, jeer, swear and leap around - working off feelings you repress elsewhere. Even better, you're in a crowd It's a modern phenomenon, which only developed at the end of the 1930s, when football,...
A Star That Never Rose
Sporting stardom beckons to talented young athletes all over the world, but only very few reach the top. Jean-Jacques Diodan's story is one of many "They used to tell me sport was just for hooligans. They deceived me." Who did? "Everyone." Jean-Jacques...
Ayacucho: An Uneasy Calm
Festive traditions are reviving in the Peruvian highlands where the Shining Path guerrillas once held sway. But 20 years of civil war have left lasting wounds Ayacucho, capital of the Peruvian department of the same name, still lives on edge nearly...
Basketball at Midnight
Midnight Basketball is giving thousands of young males in poor neighbourhoods of U.S. cities an opportunity to play the game and keep out of trouble Anthony Carter, a 22-year-old African-American, is a star player in the University of Hawaii Basketball...
Batting for the Nation
How far has political acrimony between India and Pakistan spilled over onto the cricket field? The British novelist Alan Sillitoe once wrote that "sport is a means of keeping the national spirit alive during a time of so-called peace. It prepares...
Going for Glory
A promising 12-year-old Korean tennis-player who seems to be relishing the pressure as he quests for athletic perfection and international acclaim Under the mid-morning sun at Chungnam National University in Taejon, South Korea, 12-year-old Dong-whee...
Hidden Hurdles of Colour
Black sprinters are dominating the sport in troubling questions belie what some see as a triumph against racism Monkey-hoots and banana peels fire down on the black British footballer who commits the sin of missing a goal. Reprehensibly racist behaviour,...
Indigenous Peoples Take on Big Business
Transnational companies which mine and harvest raw materials on the rich lands of indigenous peoples no longer 'have it all their own way' "It's hard to explain what's happened to us. All we have left is our name: Amungme. The mountains, the rivers,...
Iranian Women Put on Their Running Shoes
Sportswomen are slowly making headway in Iran even if men aren't allowed to watch them perform and vice versa The day - 22 August 1998 - is engraved in Iranian history as a victory for women. Forty of them took part in an amateur football training...
Latin America's Endangered Frequencies
A champion of community radio stations warns of threats to their existence in Latin America Alongside state-run radio and large-scale private broadcasting networks there is another world of community radio stations, owned, run and editorially controlled...
Leila Shahid: The Resolve of a Palestinian Envoy
Since her high-school days she has embraced the Palestinian cause. Now, as the Palestinian Authority's representative in France, Leila Shahid is continuing the fight for the creation of a Palestinian state, for women's rights and peaceful coexistence...
May the Betting Man Win
Thai boxing fans are hooked on gambling as much as the niceties of their favourite sport For the past 20 years, Sialek Chanarak, a 53-year-old shop-owner, has spent nearly every Friday night at Bangkok's Lumpini Stadium, one of Thailand's two top...
New Players, Same Game
The USSR used its mighty, gold medal-winning sports machine to help build patriotism. Now, the new republics of the former Soviet empire are trying the same trick. So far, to no avail The former Soviet Union today is a land of overgrown pitches,...
No Farewell to Arms
The great powers might have cut down on military expenditure, but low- and middle-income countries have boosted their spending. In Asian countries alone, arms purchases have doubled in four years. Judging purely by the figures, the "disarmament...
Peace without Victory
We live in a world where the gap between rich and poor keeps on growing. On the sports field, or failing that, in streets, courtyards, or fields, such differences disappear like magic. Unesco's approach to sport is summed up in its 1978 International...
Pretending for Real
Simulation games are gaining popularity as educational tools in fields ranging from humanitarian action to business management and accident prevention The policeman checks Sonia's passport and then directs her to the prison door with the barrel...
The Agony and the Ecstasy
The build-up for an international sporting event can create a tremendous sense of national unity. But there's always a danger of such powerful emotions turning sour A sudden roar surged from the throats of the thousands of spectators packed in the...
The Oil Flows, and the Forest Bleeds
A group of Ecuadorian Indians are suing the oil company Texaco for 'ecocide' in the U.S. courts One and a half billion dollars - that's how much compensation 75 Cofan, Secoya and Quechua Indians living in Ecuador's Amazon region want from Texaco....
Training for Life
Disabled Norwegian student Stig Morten Sandvik has won medals as a swimmer. But sport has above all helped him achieve confidence and self-respect "It's thanks to sport that I'm so independent in life. Sport has meant everything to me," says Stig...
What's in a Game?
Does sport create harmony or foment division? Or both at once? Basketballer Michael Jordan's announcement on January 13 that he was retiring made headlines all around the world. He was up there with Pele, they said. The American superstar's skill...