Soon on Shout! News: #FreeThe20

#FreeThe20: Extended Coverage On Shout! News

In 2015, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, announced the #FreeThe20 campaign, with the goal of freeing twenty female political prisoners abroad. Shout! News wants to see where they are now. These women's stories are coming soon. Get ready to be inspired. Sign up for our newsletter on the top right of this page to be notified when our stories are released.

Today, #WorldDayofSocialJustice, Remember One Of The World's Oldest Social Justice Warriors

You cannot explain Mexican culture without referencing Our Lady of Guadalupe. For Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, it is by far the most powerful symbol of identity.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Roman Catholic apparition of the Virgin Mary. And to millions it's not only a symbol of faith, her image is associated with anything from motherhood, to feminism to social justice."We grew up with her, we are used to seeing her. And as the Mexican-American population grows, the power of her image grows with it." said Latina author Pat Mora in an interview for NBC.

"She is used as a symbol of justice," she added, " she holds an appeal to the poor, to marginalized people. In the modern day, we can see her as representing people standing against oppression, declaring their independence."

To Eileen Truax, a Mexican journalist and author, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a chance for Mexican-American immigrants to embrace their heritage without being perceived as un-American: "To Mexican-Americans, it's an opportunity to be proud of their heritage."

But why? What's her story and how did it become such an important symbol?

Who is Our Lady of Guadalupe?

Our Virgin of Guadalupe is one of the few Marian apparitions that the Catholic Church considers "worthy of belief."

According to the church, the Virgin Mary appeared several times in Mexico before a 57-year old peasant named Juan Diego, who was walking near what is now Mexico City and came upon an apparition of the Virgin Mary. She told Juan Diego that she was the mother of Jesus and that she wanted a church on the Tepeyac Hill.

After he tried to convince the archbishop of what he had seen, Juan Diego was asked for proof.

He then returned to share the request with Mary and she instructed him to climb to the top of the Tepeyac Hill to gather flowers and bring them to the archbishop. At the top of the hill, Juan Diego found Castillian roses which were not native to the region.

The Castillian roses were arranged in Juan's tilma (a type of outer garment) and the Virgin instructed him to open the cloak in front of the archbishop.

When Juan Diego arrived back at the bishop's residence and opened his cloak, the flowers fell to the floor and on the surface of the tilma was the image that's come to be known as "Our Lady of Guadalupe".

Today the Basilica of Guadalupe stands on the site where the apparition is said to have taken place. The Basilica of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world and the third most-visited sacred place, according to Travel Leisure. One of the reasons is that the tilma bearing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is on display.

Pope John Paul II, who canonized Juan Diego in 2002, declared the Virgin of Guadalupe "Queen of the Americas."

Why Is She A Social Justice Warrior?

Lady of Guadalupe chose to appear to a peasant, Juan Diego. She appeared to him and not a more senior member of the church. She also spoke his language, the language of the indigenous Mexican people. By appearing to a poor man and speaking in this way, Lady of Guadalupe showed that she was willing to show the indigenous people that they were welcome in the church and loved by God. Her inclusivity helped spread Catholicism to all people in Mexico.

Dr. Kazemi's Experience In A Refugee Camp

Remember Dr. Kazemi who volunteered at a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan? We edited together a video about his experience! Enjoy, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and share the video!

Read the full article here:

The Chinese Government Is Helping The Gambia Develop, But At What Cost?

Bijilo National Park

Yukiba Travel Community

The Gambia is the smallest country in Africa, but what it lacks in geography, it makes up with good food, friendly people and beautiful nature. One attraction there is the Bijilo National Park, a forest that holds a variety of species of monkeys, birds and plants. In September 2017, the Chinese and Gambian governments announced that China is helping build an International Conference Center in the park to be finished in 2019.

Will The Conference Center Actually Help With Employment?

Bijilo Forest Park


The theory behind this is that building a conference center will help with youth employment in the Gambia. While youth employment is something that every developing nation needs, including the Gambia, what is the price of removing hundreds of species of wildlife from their homes? While activists tried to prevent the conference center, their efforts were ultimately rendered useless in favor of the center.

How Should Countries Develop?

This ultimately brings up the question of how countries should develop. Should the Gambia develop with the help of another nation essentially paying for a supposed economic improvement? This will theoretically allow them to develop more quickly. Or should the Gambia focus on developing their own tourism industry and not take much help from other countries? This would mean much slower development, but the preservation of some of the elements that make the country special. What do you think?

About The Author

Allison Goulden is a junior at Juniata College majoring in Political Communication. She is the spring intern at Shout! News.

Rent Your Home To People In Need Through EmergencyBnB

​Are you wondering how exactly you can help refugees and others in need? Have you heard of EmergencyBnB yet?

EmergencyBnB is a platform like AirBnB but aimed at refugees, human trafficking victims, people who were impacted by natural disasters, and victims of domestic violence. The website was founded by Amr Arafa, an Egyptian immigrant living in Washington D.C. He wanted to "build a site that makes us a more solid society."

But How Does It Work?

If you have a space to share, you can register on the website as a host. If you are in need of a place to stay for a couple of days for free, you can register and get in contact with hosts. The website is mostly aimed at people who have to be away from home for, for example, asylum hearings, refugees, victims of human trafficking or people running away from abusive relationships.

To prevent people from taking advantage of the situation, you have to show documentation to the host: a refugee passport, a police report or a restraining order. EmergencyBnB has currently 13,000 users in the world.

A Success Story

Andrea Powell is the founder and executive director of Fair Girls DC. Fair Girls works with the victims of human trafficking. Fair Girls identifies victims, helps them out of their situations, helps them learn skills to be independent, and finally finds them places to live. Fair Girls recently used Emergency BnB to find two girls a home and the girls are now safe and happy.

How You Can Help

The world needs more stories like Andrea's. Sign up to host someone who needs a place to stay at

About the Author

Allison Goulden is a junior at Juniata College where she is majoring in Political Communication. She is the spring intern at Shout! News.

International Day Of Women and Girls in Science: An Interview With Dr. Janet Iwasa

February 11th is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. According to, a study conducted in 14 countries shows that the "probability for female students of graduating with a Bachelor's degree, Master's degree and Doctor's degree in science-related field are 18%, 8% and 2% respectively, while the percentages of male students are 37%, 18% and 6%." This means that throughout the scientific field, women are underrepresented worldwide. Thankfully, Dr. Janet Iwasa, who we had the pleasure of interviewing, has experienced a diverse, equal environment in which she conducts her research- primarily in molecular animation. Dr. Iwasa says that while she has never felt that she faced any road blocks in her field due to her gender, she has felt an absence of role models in the field and wishes that there were more role models of women in science who had families and were also running labs. Luckily, we get to see ladies like Dr. Iwasa doing amazing things every day.

What's it like to be a TED Fellow?

Dr. Iwasa's accomplishments in molecular animation have led her to becoming a TED Fellow, where she has gotten to see a diverse range of research, not only in science, but in dance, art and entrepreneurism. She says that she is inspired by all these different individuals working to make a change in their respective fields. In molecular biology, Dr. Iwasa has made big changes. From her start with learning about the protein kinesin and being inspired by its eventual animation, Dr. Iwasa used that inspiration to use animation as a tool to better understand molecular biology, specifically in research. Up until this point, animation was used primarily for undergraduate education and public outreach. Dr. Iwasa found that animation and research fit very naturally together. Since then, she has worked on animating HIV and animating some of the first life forms on Earth. She also has a website where she shows her animations,

What Advice Would You Give To Young Girls Who Are Interested In Science?

Dr. Iwasa wants young girls to know that the biology they learn in schools is so different from what studying biology is like in the real world. She says that it is important for people to not get intimidated by the rote memorization that students might experience in classes. She encourages students to try and visit or intern at a lab where they could explore more practical applications of biology. Dr. Iwasa also mentioned that she has been extremely impressed by her colleagues in the scientific community as of late. She has been inspired by scientists working to improve the public's understanding of science and maybe even running for office. When we asked if she was planning to run for president, unfortunately she said no! Hopefully one day she reconsiders.

A Great Role Model

Politics aside, young women worldwide are lucky to have a role model like Dr. Iwasa. She is an inspiring woman who has achieved so much in a field where women are overall underrepresented. Hopefully in the future there will be more work environments like Dr. Iwasa's graduate school lab, with equal representation between men and women. Until then, hopefully scientists will continue their mission for more transparency in the sciences and making information more accessible, as well as continuing to promote equal opportunities for women in the field.

Thank You, Dr. Iwasa

I am incredibly thankful to have gotten the opportunity to speak with Dr. Iwasa about her work and views on gender in science.

Allison Goulden is a Political Communication major at Juniata College. She is the spring semester intern at Shout! News.

Getting to America: The Struggles of Undocumented and Unaccompanied Kids

The Journey Through Central America And Its Dangers

Photo by Pablo Garcia Saldano

The continuous human flow of undocumented children mostly from Central America into the US is concerning issue. However, I want to clarify that my focus on this issue is not the politics related to it. Although important to understand the constant flow of unauthorized immigrants, I want to focus on the struggles and stories of these children that have made the dangerous journey in search for a better life or in some cases the chance to survived.

It is not an exaggeration to say many children escaped and embark on the dangerous journey, because staying in their neighborhoods, cities, or country is just as dangerous or more. This is exactly what undocumented parents in the US said to Prensa Libre, a prestigious newspaper in Guatemala, to justify paying coyotes to bring their children to the US.

What this government (US) still has not understood is that if we risk bringing our children is because there is no other option. Is either send money to bring our children or for the funeral

(Jose A., in an interview with Prensa Libre, prensa_libre on Twitter)

The political instability, corruption, and gang violence in the Northern triangle (Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala) countries and Mexico does not affect the people at the top making decisions behind a desk, but the people at the bottom, living their lives in fear. In the case of these kids there is a thin line between undocumented immigrants and refugees. This is why the stories of Jose and others need to be heard! He was lucky enough to have his two children reach the US safely, but others are not. Even though coyotes promised to deliver the children safely this does not always happens. Many boys are given to gangs and many women are raped or sold as sex slaves. In the case of Leticia Argentina Gonzales, her two daughters (one 12 and the other 10) got lost in the desert along with Leticia's sister-in-law. It was year later that Federal authorities found the remains after the coyotes abandoned them.

Unchanging Extreme Poverty In Central America Throughout The Years (Graphic by

In The Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave?

Photo by Andrew Schultz

Once the children have been captured by immigration agents they are sent to detention centers. These detention centers are scattered all over the country's states and cities. The conditions in the centers are not perfect, they are cramped, kids sleep on sleeping bags, and the children are not allowed outside except for 45 minutes for exercise. However, considering the conditions they are used to living in back in their home countries and the dangers they faced on their journeys, these facilities are more than ideal. My criticism is not on the facilities or on the treatment of children, but on the fact that the kids are not provided legal representation and are forced to represent themselves in front of a judge. According to an article in the New York times, thousand of children are not represented by any lawyer or attorney. They are expected to plead for asylum or any other immigration status by themselves in legal systems they do not understand. A 15 year old kid from El Salvador said,

I was afraid I was going to make a mistake [...] When the judge asked me questions, I just shook my head yes and no. I didn't want to say the wrong thing

(In an interview with The New York Times)

At the same time accused killers, rapists, and kidnappers do get representation even if they cannot afford it. Undocumented children accused of breaking immigration law do not get the same legal and human rights that all people deserve!

5 Different Types Of Veils Worn In The Middle East

The use of the Islamic veil is inscribed in traditions of the Middle East, including among the main precepts of Islamic law, the so-called dress patterns are established. In the case of women, it is mandatory to wear veils, although it depends on the type, here we will show you the top 5 in the Middle East, which varies in all types of veils, which decorates only part of the face, which covers the head and the body, but it reveals the face and that covers completely face, head, hands and body.

1. Ayaba

Abaya is typically used in the Gulf states, such as Saudi Arabia, while women from other predominantly Muslim countries may use a different type of streetwear or wear none at all, however, the most commonly used garment in the Middle East is the abaya. While some women meet the other conditions by only wearing clothes that fit well and that completely covers the arms and legs, some women can wear a garment over these for additional coverage.

In Iran, women can wear a loose raincoat, called manteau or a chador, which is a large piece of cloth draped over the head and body. Women from other countries can carry a jilbab, which is a long coat-dress that often the front buttons, or the abaya, so we present the most used clothes in the Middle East.

2. Burka

The strictest veils of the Middle East are the burqa and niqab. The first consists of a long veil that completely covers the head and body to have a certain vision without showing the face.

The Burka is the traditional dress of the Pashtun tribes in Afghanistan. Even the extremist current of the Taliban mandated its use and from this, from the vision of the West associated with this veil with the terrorist regime of the Taliban.

That is why certain regions have proposed to prevent its use, especially in schools and hospitals. An initiative that in each case has faced criticism from various human rights groups.

France, Spain, Holland and Belgium, among others, are some of the countries where the prohibition of burka was proposed. In many countries in the Middle East, the burqa is seen as a demonstration of faith in Islam.

3. Niqab

The niqab is a long robe that completely covers the body and head, barely exposes the woman's eyes. This is the only difference he has with the burka.

The etymological root of this word is in the Arabic term "naqaba", which means "to pierce" because it has only two holes for the eyes. In the Muslim world, the use of this veil predominates in regions of Wahhabist influence, Saudi Arabia, that Islamic wave of Wahhabism stands out for its rigorous application of sharia.

4. Chador

The chador is another veil that covers the woman from the head to the feet, but exposes the face and hands.

The chador is usually black and contains a long robe (abaya, in Arabic) to hide the shape of the body and a veil to cover the hair and neck.

It is used mostly in communities of Shiite women, mainly in countries like Iran or Iraq. Even the term comes from the Persian "chaddar".

5. Shayla

The shayla is a long rectangular veil that is used to wrap the head and fixes on the shoulders. It does not allow the woman to exhibit the hair, but the face, it is currently used in the countries of Persian Gulf, normally have different colors and may even have gauze-type prints or transparencies.

About Omar

Omar Gallegos Moreno es un periodista que vive en San Luis Potosí, gerente comunitario de diversas páginas sociales y fotógrafo en México. Twitter @0marGamo & Instagram @0marGamo.

About Heyam

Heyam Abdulrahman is an Intern at the International Civil Society Action Network through the Washington Center program. She is a Yemeni Canadian majoring in International Relations at the University of Calgary in Canada. Instagram @heyamm.k.

About Allison

Alison is an intern at Shout! News for the Spring 2018 semester. She is a Political Communication major at Juniata College in Pennsylvania.

What It's Like To Volunteer As A Dentist In A Refugee Camp

This post is part of a #BeABetterVolunteer series of posts and testimonies from professionals, young and old, who are taking time off to conduct humanitarian work. They share what they've learned, what they wished to accomplish and what they did and saw, while traveling abroad and serving those most in needs.

On September 7th, I flew to Jordan on a mission to volunteer as a dentist in a Syrian refugee camp called Al Azraq. I am an oral surgeon and the CEO of Kazemi Oral Surgery & Dental Implants in Bethesda, Maryland, and I took a leave of absence from my work.

There was rampant need for dental care in the refugee camp. My camp's young and old patients presented horrible rampant dental caries.

It was heartbreaking to see so many people in such difficult living conditions: their willingness to be here in the camp reflected how bad things must have been back home to escape.

This was my first dental mission and, frankly, I had little idea what to expect. Once we arrived there and toured the camps, I quickly understood the depth of this humanitarian disaster affecting thousands of lives. From little kids to the elderly- people with broken dreams and lives.

Watch A Video About Dr. Kazemi's Experience!

How Did It All Start?

A few months ago, I was invited to join a group of dentists from Washington DC to support Project Turquoise and the famous charity, Relief international, to provide desperately needed dental care to Syrian refugees in several of the camps in Jordan.

As we treated patients over a 4-day period, I saw the sadness and loss of hope among many people. Some have been there for 4 years with no end in sight. A difficult way of life- nothing to do, nowhere to go, and little to get excited about.

People walk around endlessly in the heat of the desert with little or no emotions on their face. But all are hoping to get back to their country, family, and lives.

We Still Need More Help

Collectively, we treated over 200 patients and reached out to hundreds of children to teach them basic oral hygiene and care.One week of work will not be enough to answer the needs for dental and medical care amongst the Syrian refugee population. It will require additional, regular and consistent provision of care for my patient in Al Azraq and beyond.

If you are an oral surgeon and would like to volunteer, please contact me on Instagram @kazemioralsurgery or Facebook @bethesdaoralsurgery.

About Dr. Hamid Kazemi

Dr. Hamid Ryan Kazemi is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He is the founder and CEO of Kazemi Oral Surgery & Dental Implants and maintains a full-time oral and maxillofacial surgery practice in Bethesda, Maryland since 1997, providing full spectrum oral and maxillofacial surgery procedures with emphasis on extractions, dental implants, bone grafting, and corrective jaw surgery. He is also the founder of Facialart Dental Forum, a dental educational platform, that helps clinicians from around the globe reach mastery level in dentistry.

Dr. Kazemi received his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1990. Following a one-year internship at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, he pursued surgical training at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, where he completed his formal training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

He has served as the founder and president of several dental and implant study clubs in the Washington DC area. Dr. Kazemi regularly lectures on dental implants, bone grafting, and practice management. He regularly publishes podcasts, videos, blogs, e-newsletters, and online articles. His newsletter, To-The-Point, is read by more than 10000 dentists every month. He is an active member of American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Academy of Osseointegration, Academy of Sports Dentistry, American Dental Association, Entrepreneur Organization (EO), Institute for dental implant awareness, and many other professional dental organizations. He is also a contributor for DentalXP and Vumedi.

Dr. Kazemi is the team oral and maxillofacial surgeon and dentist for D.C. United and Washington Freedom, the major soccer league teams in Washington, DC, as well as the US national soccer team for the care of their athletes. He is a passionate triathlete having completed more than 150 races, including five Ironman competitions.

Follow Dr. Kazemi on Instagram at @kazemioralsurgery.