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Rebecca Conway

Islamabad, Pakistan
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About Rebecca
Rebecca Conway is a journalist based in Pakistan. She is available for broadcast, print and photography assignments.
Feature Stories Content Writing Risk Analysis
Politics Current Affairs Natural Disasters

Those who are lucky die in Varanasi

04 Apr 2024  |  nzz.ch
The article explores the city of Varanasi, India, delving into its relationship with life and death. Varanasi, also known as Kashi, is considered the holiest city in Hinduism, where death is openly embraced and the cycle of life and rebirth is believed to end for those who die there. The Mukti Bhawan hospice is highlighted, where the dying come to find salvation, and the rituals surrounding death are described in detail. The article also touches on the daily life of the city's inhabitants, the mourning practices at the Ganges, and the cremation process at the Manikarnika Ghat. Personal stories of individuals like Kalikant Dubey, a priest at Mukti Bhawan, and Hanumat Pathak, who is mourning his mother, provide a human element to the narrative. The piece concludes with the story of Nakul Kumar, a child who dresses as the god Shiva for tourists, and Sagar Chaudhary, a Dom responsible for burning bodies at the ghat.

Student artists lead a new modern movement in Lahore

04 Apr 2024  |  caravanmagazine.in
The article discusses the burgeoning art scene in Lahore, Pakistan, focusing on the Drawing Room gallery in the Gulberg district. Owned and curated by Sanam Taseer, the gallery showcases a diverse range of artwork, including Impressionist-style paintings, graphic prints, wooden sculptures, and watercolours of Pakistani landscapes. Lahore is described as Pakistan's 'capital of culture,' with a thriving art scene that includes galleries, exhibitions, and events. The city's art scene is characterized by a blend of traditional and contemporary influences, with a strong student art movement and a growing contemporary gallery scene that explores various art forms such as Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism, and Cubism.

Is it still possible to live here? A journey through Pakistan, where climate change is already having catastrophic effect

04 Apr 2024  |  nzz.ch
The article explores the severe impacts of climate change in Pakistan, focusing on the melting of the Passu Glacier and the drying up of the Indus River, which is crucial for the country's agriculture and livelihood. Amanullah Khan, a local villager, observes the glacier's retreat and the changing weather patterns. The article discusses the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves and floods, and their devastating effects on the population. It highlights the challenges faced by engineers like Amir Taimoor at the Taunsa Barrage, who struggle to manage water flow amid changing river dynamics. The piece also touches on the historical and cultural significance of the Indus, the geopolitical tensions with India over water, and the plight of people like Heer Munir Chandio, who lost her home to floods. The article concludes in Karachi, where many displaced families, such as the Jiskanis, have sought refuge after losing everything to climate-induced disasters.

Gefangen auf der einsamsten Insel der Welt: Vor Sri Lanka warten die letzten zwei Aussätzigen auf den Tod

04 Apr 2024  |  nzz.ch
Der Artikel beschreibt die Situation der letzten zwei Leprapatienten, Sena und Poniah, auf der Insel Mantheevu vor Sri Lanka. Obwohl Lepra als Krankheit weitgehend besiegt ist, leben diese beiden Männer immer noch in einer verfallenen Leprakolonie, isoliert von der Gesellschaft. Sena lebt seit über 40 Jahren auf der Insel, während Poniah seit 2014 dort ist. Die Insel war einst eine Zuflucht für Leprakranke, aber heute sind die Einrichtungen größtenteils Ruinen. Die Weltgesundheitsorganisation empfiehlt eine Behandlung mit drei Medikamenten, die die Krankheit effektiv bekämpfen, und die Zahl der Neuerkrankungen sinkt jährlich. Trotzdem sind Sena und Poniah auf der Insel gefangen, da ein Gesetz aus dem Jahr 1901 es erlaubt, Leprakranke zwangsweise zu isolieren. Der Artikel beleuchtet die menschlichen Aspekte ihrer Situation, ihre Einsamkeit und den Umgang mit der Krankheit, sowie die bürokratischen Hürden, die eine Umsiedlung auf das Festland verhindern.

Trapped on the loneliest island in the world: Off the coast of Sri Lanka, the last two leprosy patients wait for death

04 Apr 2024  |  nzz.ch
The article tells the poignant story of the last two leprosy patients, Sena and Poniah, living on the isolated island of Mantheevu off the coast of Sri Lanka. Once a leprosy colony housing over 150 patients, the island now stands largely forgotten, with its infrastructure in decay. Despite leprosy being almost eradicated globally and in Sri Lanka, these two men remain on the island, cured but bearing the physical scars of the disease. The article describes their daily lives, the island's history, and the uncertain future of Mantheevu. It also touches on the broader issue of leprosy-related stigma and the outdated laws that still permit segregation of leprosy patients in some parts of the world.

The Long-Term Project: Documenting Mental Health in Kashmir

04 Apr 2024  |  timesofindia.indiatimes.com
The article is a personal account of a photojournalist's long-term project in Kashmir, focusing on the mental health issues faced by the local population due to decades of unrest. The journalist has visited Kashmir over a dozen times, developing a close relationship with the community and exploring the high levels of PTSD and depression in the region. The article discusses the impact of violence, including the use of pellet guns by security forces, and the emotional toll on families who have lost loved ones or are dealing with the disappearance of family members. The journalist also spent time in Srinagar's mental health facilities, witnessing the overwhelming demand for psychiatric help. The narrative is interwoven with personal stories, including that of an 11-year-old boy who was blinded in one eye by pellet injuries. The journalist's work aims to convey the deep-seated pain and resilience of the Kashmiri people.

Less than 3% of homeowners belonging to shared ownership schemes staircase each year…

04 Apr 2024  |  lexology.com
The article discusses the UK government's new plan to allow leaseholders in shared ownership schemes to staircase, or increase their ownership stake, by a minimum of 1% instead of the current 10%. This change aims to make staircasing more affordable, as it significantly reduces the amount leaseholders need to raise to buy additional shares. However, the article raises concerns about the potential impact on housing associations, including increased legal and administrative costs, the need for frequent valuations, and adjustments to the association's asset log. While the change could reduce rental liability and the risk of unpaid rent for associations, it is unclear whether it will significantly increase the number of leaseholders choosing to staircase, given the additional fees they still face from surveyors, lenders, and solicitors.

The strategic chief of staff role, explained

04 Apr 2024  |  charlesaris.com
The article discusses the evolving role of the chief of staff in organizations, particularly focusing on the 'strategic chief of staff' position. This role differs from the traditional administrative chief of staff by requiring experience in top strategy consulting firms and playing a key part in strategic decision-making alongside C-suite executives. The strategic chief of staff acts as a thought partner, communicator, and flexible leader capable of adapting to various strategic roles within an organization. The position is increasingly popular in private equity firms and serves as a pathway to senior strategic roles such as chief strategy officer. The article also mentions Charles Aris Strategy Practice's observation of the rise in this role and invites strategy consultants to participate in an anonymous compensation survey, which will contribute to charity for each completed response.

The story of a Nepali housekeeper working for a Swiss journalist in Delhi

25 Jan 2024  |  nzz.ch
The article narrates the story of Sunita, a Nepali housekeeper working for a Swiss journalist in Delhi. It explores their relationship, Sunita's personal history, and her experiences as a domestic worker in India and the Middle East. The journalist reflects on the social and economic dynamics of their interactions, the cultural exchange, and the personal bonds formed. The story also delves into Sunita's past hardships, her dreams, and her resilience. It culminates with a trip to her home village in Nepal for a wedding, providing a glimpse into her life and the lives of those in her community.

The Rocking Horse Shop: Keeping Tradition Alive in Fangfoss

04 Oct 2023  |  independent.co.uk
The Rocking Horse Shop, located in Fangfoss near York, UK, specializes in designing, making, and restoring rocking horses. With nearly 50 years of experience, the company prides itself on its team of 10 craftspeople who create unique, custom rocking horses for a variety of budgets. They offer a range of products from chair horses for infants to larger models for adults. A recent project involved crafting a horse from a fallen cherry tree, replicating the customer's real horse. The Rocking Horse Shop also provides restoration services for old rocking horses, using traditional techniques. Additionally, they offer carving courses and DIY kits for those interested in making their own rocking horses. The company recently celebrated the creation of over 50,000 rocking horses from their plans worldwide, emphasizing their commitment to maintaining traditional craftsmanship and high customer service standards.

Disparities in Diabetes Technology Use and Glycemic Control Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the US

02 Aug 2023  |  dovepress.com
The article discusses a study examining the use of diabetes management technologies among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, focusing on patients with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) treated at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes. It highlights disparities in the use of Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM), Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII), and Automated Insulin Delivery Systems (AID), with African American and Hispanic patients being less likely to use these technologies. The study also explores the association between technology use and glycemic control, as well as the impact of health insurance status on technology adoption. Results indicate that technology use is associated with lower HbA1c levels across all racial groups, with the most significant improvement seen in Black adults. However, Black youth showed minimal association between technology use and HbA1c improvement. The study suggests that medical insurance factors and potential provider bias may contribute to the racial disparities in technology use, despite Medicaid covering diabetes technology in Colorado. The study concludes that increasing the utilization of diabetes management technologies among minority populations could reduce the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and improve glycemic control.

Independent EPA: The cornerstone of a quality apprenticeship

05 Apr 2023  |  fenews.co.uk
The article discusses the significant changes in England's apprenticeship system, particularly the shift from apprenticeship frameworks to a standard-based model with a focus on end-point assessment (EPA). The Federation of Awarding Bodies supports these reforms, emphasizing the importance of EPA in ensuring apprentices meet industry standards. The report 'Quality in Apprenticeships' highlights the benefits of EPA and includes case studies from employers like PepsiCo UK and BT, who value the independent verification of skills. The article also addresses the adaptations made to EPA during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as remote invigilation, and looks forward to further improvements in the apprenticeship system, including a streamlined external quality assurance system and the potential inclusion of competency tests for certain professions.

India, Life and Death: Those Lucky Die in Varanasi

09 Dec 2022  |  nzz.ch
Varanasi, a city in northern India, is as chaotic as it is sacred, with a precise order to its daily life and death. The city is a pilgrimage site for the dying, mourners, and sinners from all over India, seeking liberation from the cycle of rebirth. The Mukti Bhawan hospice offers a place for the dying, where families care for their loved ones in their final days. Daily rituals, from morning prayers to evening baths in the Ganges, are integral to the city's fabric. The article narrates personal stories of individuals like Kalikant Dubey, a priest at Mukti Bhawan; Hanumat Pathak, who performs rituals for his deceased mother; and Nakul Kumar, a child impersonating the god Shiva for a living. It also touches on the cremation practices at Manikarnika Ghat, where the Doms, a community tasked with burning bodies, work. The city's residents, steeped in tradition and belief, find solace in the rituals that promise liberation and a final escape from the cycle of life and death.

Icelandic Government Responds to Terror Plot with Consideration of Pre-emptive Police Powers

23 Sep 2022  |  grapevine.is
The article reports on the arrest of four Icelandic men suspected of plotting a terrorist act, with two still in custody. The suspects were allegedly manufacturing firearms using 3D printing technology and had been under investigation for weeks. The police seized numerous firearms and ammunition and are investigating potential ties to extremist groups abroad. The government has responded by considering the reintroduction of 'pre-emptive investigation' powers for the police, a controversial measure previously rejected by Parliament. The Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister praised the police's actions and emphasized the importance of supporting law enforcement. The national commissioner of the police stated that there is currently no imminent danger of another terrorist plot, but the situation is being monitored closely.

Diary: Leprosy Colony in Sri Lanka

11 Sep 2022  |  nzz.ch
A journalist recounts their experience attempting to visit a leprosy colony on Mantheevu Island, Sri Lanka, which still exists despite leprosy being curable since the 1980s. Initially barred by the Health Ministry's Director-General, persistence and a bit of luck eventually granted access. The island is home to two men, Sena and Poniah, who live in isolation, forgotten by the world and unable to communicate with each other due to language barriers.

Blog: The curious incident of the dog and the bite crime

04 Apr 2022  |  postonline.co.uk
Rebecca Conway, the chief legal officer at Arc Legal Assistance, discusses the rise in pet ownership in the UK during the Covid-19 lockdown and the subsequent increase in legal expenses insurance claims. She highlights the specific issue of dog bites from pets that may not have been adequately trained or socialized due to the restrictions. The article suggests that policyholders may seek legal routes in such instances, implying a rise in claims related to employment disputes, property disputes, and clinical negligence as well.

Petra Ecclestone's fiancé 'terrorised by knifeman' while pushing his baby daughter's pram

25 Sep 2021  |  Mail Online
Sam Palmer, fiancé of Petra Ecclestone, was confronted by a man wielding a ten-inch knife while pushing his 18-month-old daughter Minnie in a pram in St Luke's Gardens, Chelsea. Palmer feared it might be a terrorist attack but was able to escape with his daughter when their security intervened. The incident caused panic on King's Road, and the police arrested the knifeman shortly after. Petra Ecclestone, daughter of former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, was not present during the incident. Scotland Yard confirmed the arrest of a man for possession of a prohibited offensive weapon, with no injuries reported.

A Green Industrial Revolution

21 Jun 2021  |  fenews.co.uk
The article discusses the UK government's Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It highlights the need for a transformation in industry, particularly in construction, energy, and transportation, and the shift towards electric vehicles and clean energies like offshore wind, nuclear, and hydrogen. The article emphasizes the importance of collaboration in meeting skills needs and the role of awarding and assessment organizations in developing quality qualifications and apprenticeships. It also addresses the challenges of funding qualifications, the need for upskilling and reskilling the workforce, and the importance of integrating net zero goals into the curriculum. The article includes recommendations for the government to support agile development of curricula and qualifications, provide funding incentives for training, and ensure net zero is reflected across the post-16 curriculum.

Welcoming a New Year at an Ancient Festival in Pakistan

27 Dec 2020  |  nytimes.com
The article explores the unique religious practices and beliefs of the Kalash people, whose origins are shrouded in mystery. Some speculate they are descendants of Alexander the Great's army, while others suggest they migrated from Afghanistan. Their religion includes animistic elements and a pantheon of gods, with Balumain being the chief deity. The Kalash associate cleanliness with holiness, maintaining 'pure' areas in their villages. Gender and ritual baths can determine access to these areas. Women follow specific cleanliness rituals, especially during menstruation and childbirth, using community menstruation huts. The Chawmos festival, dedicated to Balumain, involves a purification ritual where women hold bread baked by male relatives.

In Lockdown, Delhi Is Frozen in Fear and the Present Tense

01 May 2020  |  nytimes.com
The article describes the effects of the coronavirus lockdown in India, particularly in cities like New Delhi. It highlights the gradual disappearance of everyday sounds and sights, such as construction noise, newspapers, fruit sellers, taxis, rickshaws, and chicken. The author notes that life has been increasingly restricted, with the country nearly six weeks into the lockdown and much of it still at a standstill. People are staying indoors, with only essential services like food shops, pharmacies, and banks operating. The banks are particularly busy, with lines of customers standing six feet apart on spray-painted red circles. The lockdown has grounded all airlines and closed schools and offices, significantly impacting public life and the economy.

India Savors a Rare Upside to Coronavirus: Clean Air

08 Apr 2020  |  nytimes.com
The article discusses the unexpected environmental benefit in New Delhi, one of the world's most polluted cities, due to the coronavirus lockdown. With significantly reduced human activity, such as minimal vehicular traffic, decreased industrial emissions, and halted construction work, the city has experienced a dramatic drop in pollution levels. This has led to clearer skies, the visibility of stars at night, and cleaner air that is free from its usual smoky metallic taste. The author notes the irony of residents being unable to enjoy the outdoors during this period of improved air quality due to the strict lockdown measures in place.

As Himalayas Warm, Nepal’s Climate Migrants Struggle to Survive

05 Apr 2020  |  nytimes.com
The article discusses the impact of climate change on the Himalayan region, particularly focusing on the village of Dhye in Nepal. Due to the severe effects of climate change, such as water scarcity and crop failure, residents of Dhye are being forced to leave their homes and become climate-change migrants. The article highlights the broader implications for South Asia, as millions depend on the water resources of the Himalayas, and emphasizes the increasing number of people who must relocate due to environmental changes. Sonam Chhiring Gurung, a 76-year-old resident, expresses his attachment to the village but acknowledges the impossibility of continuing to live there.

For India’s labourers, coronavirus lockdown is an order to starve

31 Mar 2020  |  bdnews24.com
The article discusses the personal account of an individual named Chauhan, who has experienced a significant reduction in daily earnings since the lockdown was imposed. His income has been halved from about $8 to $4 a day. Chauhan faces challenges in reaching his customers due to police interventions that have included preventing him from making deliveries and subjecting him to beatings, despite the fact that the delivery of essential items like medicine and water is permitted under the lockdown rules.

For India’s Laborers, Coronavirus Lockdown Is an Order to Starve

30 Mar 2020  |  nytimes.com
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has implemented a lockdown for India's 1.3 billion residents to combat the coronavirus outbreak. He has encouraged the population to practice social distancing and work from home. However, this directive poses a significant challenge for the vast majority of India's workforce, which relies on manual labor and lives on a day-to-day income. Approximately 80% of India's 470 million workers are part of the informal sector and do not have the protection of labor laws or contracts, making social distancing a difficult, if not impossible, task for many.

For India’s Laborers, Coronavirus Lockdown Is an Order to Starve

30 Mar 2020  |  nytimes.com
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has implemented a nationwide lockdown in India, affecting 1.3 billion citizens, as a measure to combat the spread of coronavirus. The lockdown includes a call for social distancing and for people to work from home. However, this poses a significant challenge for the vast majority of India's workforce, which is comprised of informal sector workers. These workers, who make up about 80 percent of the country's 470 million workers, often rely on daily wages from manual labor and do not have the luxury of working from home, leading to potential hunger and hardship.

Nepal Makes Yoga Mandatory for Schoolchildren

16 Mar 2020  |  nytimes.com
Nepal is introducing a new curriculum for elementary and junior high students that includes a weekly yoga course. The course will cover the history of yoga, Ayurveda, and naturopathy. Nepal's Education Minister, Giriraj Mani Pokhrel, expressed the importance of yoga as an ancient science and believes it is the right time to integrate it into education. While yoga programs are becoming popular in schools globally, including in the United States and India, Nepal's decision has faced criticism. Critics argue that yoga carries religious and ideological connotations, especially in the context of the rise of Hindu nationalism in the region.

As India’s Economy Sags, Even the Trump Brand Is Struggling

23 Feb 2020  |  nytimes.com
The Trump Towers in Pune, India, are facing a downturn with many of the luxury apartments remaining vacant. Despite the grandeur of the twin 23-story buildings, the economic slump in India has led to slowed sales and a lack of buyers. The Trump brand, which was once a draw for investors in the Indian real estate market, is now struggling to attract interest amidst one of the country's worst economic downturns in recent years. Pankaj Kapoor, the managing director of Liases Foras, an Indian real estate research company, suggests that the allure of the Trump name has faded in the current economic climate.

Trump’s Brand Tarnished by Weakness of India’s Luxury Real Estate Market

11 Feb 2019  |  forbesindia.com
The article discusses the challenges faced by Trump-branded luxury real estate projects in India, particularly in Pune, amid the country's economic slowdown. Despite the Trump name's initial appeal to Indian developers, sales have been sluggish, with many luxury apartments remaining vacant. The Trump Organization, which licenses its name for these projects, has seen a significant drop in revenue from its Indian ventures. The article also touches on the potential conflict of interest with President Trump's official visit to India and his family's business dealings. Real estate experts and buyers express their views on the market, with some reassessing their investments due to the downturn. The broader context of India's real estate market is also explored, highlighting issues such as funding challenges, government clearances, and construction delays.

Health for sale; very good price for you today, my friend!

06 Jan 2016  |  grapevine.is
The article is a personal account of an American expatriate's experience with the Icelandic healthcare system, contrasting it with the US healthcare system. The author appreciates the affordability and quality of healthcare in Iceland, citing personal experiences with childbirth and children's medical care. The article also discusses the potential privatization of Iceland's healthcare system, with references to the Independence Party and Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson's intentions to increase private sector involvement. The author warns against privatization, using the US as an example of inefficiency and inequality in a privatized healthcare system. The article also touches on the recent strikes by Icelandic healthcare professionals and the potential consequences of privatization on society.

From Iceland — Do Not Praise That POS Bjartur: Independent People, Reviewed

31 Dec 2015  |  grapevine.is
The article discusses the Nobel Prize-winning Icelandic author Halldór Laxness and his work 'Independent People', particularly how it has been received and interpreted in different historical and political contexts. The author argues that Laxness' portrayal of the protagonist, Bjartur, as a rugged individualist and a deeply flawed character, has been misunderstood or misrepresented in the United States, possibly due to the political climate of McCarthyism and the Cold War. The article suggests that the political views of Laxness, a leftist, and the themes of class struggle in his work, have been downplayed or ignored in favor of more palatable interpretations that align with capitalist ideology. The author criticizes the analyses of Swedish Academy member Elias Wessén and author Brad Leithauser for lacking class consciousness and for failing to acknowledge the social and political critiques inherent in Laxness' work. The article also touches on the broader issue of how leftist literature has historically been appropriated or misinterpreted by Western establishments.

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