Atle Hetland

  • The World Economic Forum is today concluding its weeklong annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. This year, WEF has been celebrating its 50th anniversary. Professor Klaus Schwab, was only thirty three when he took the bold initiative of founding WEF, after he had authored his book about stakeholder ...

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  • Modern societies and modern people, living either in tradition societies, or more often, in melting pots, as immigrants, or recipients of immigrants, and in societies under change, as per capitalism’s rules, have different challenges than before. People have to find new moral and existential ...

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  • Be as you are and feel happy with that. Even now early in year 2020, with all the New Year’s resolutions we may have made, we should remember the main message: be as you are, it is always good enough. I hope others see how good you are, and more importantly, I hope that you realize it ...

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  • First, Dear Readers, may I wish you a Happy New Year 2020 and a New Decade, a clean slate full of opportunities and new beginnings – founded on the luggage we carry, for good and for bad. The good, we must carry on with and even do more of and become better at. We now have a chance to do what ...

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  • Today, just as the Christmas and Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s birthday anniversary have been celebrated, I shall reflect on some serious issues, notably faith and moral issues in our time. Not that the birthday celebrations are not serious, but we can also reflect on lighter issues, ...

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  • It is the week before Christmas. Let me refer to the famous poem, ‘It was the Night before Christmas’, which was first published anonymously in 1823. And a few years later, Clement Clark More claimed its authorship. It had great impact in America and beyond as regards the tradition of ...

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  • Usually, we say: Do you understand what I mean, or maybe: Do you see what I see? But I thought I should turn it, and ask if I can be able to see what you see, what you mean. The demand should not only be on you, it should also be on me. We can all learn new things; we can try to see things from ...

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  • Today, I shall reflect on some aspects about how we talk about faith, and also how we must not behave towards others even if we disagree with them religiously or otherwise. This is accentuated by last week’s sad case in Kristiansand, Norway, where a small extremist group, which calls itself ...

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  • It was sad to learn about the anti-Islamic public gathering and attempted burning of the Holy Quran at a central city square in the southern Norwegian city of Kristiasand last week. The police interfered immediately and stopped the desecration of the holy book. A few members of a small extremist ...

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  • People learn from meeting other people. Yes, we also learn from listen stories, from reading books and newspapers. Today, I shall tell something about Norway’s emigration history, about Norwegian sailors and missionaries, and a bit more. I shall be able to tell much about the nine million ...

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  • Who is happiest in this world? Not the Norwegians, Danes or Icelanders, said a senior Pakistani social scientist, having carried out surveys and analyzed what people say, including in the so-called ‘happiness surveys’. If those Nordics were so happy, they would be more optimistic about ...

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  • In a few recent articles, I have written about ‘unequal relations’, with reference to a book by Lisa Halliday, who the media and literacy critics in USA have said is a ‘literary phenomenon’ after her first novel, ‘Asymmetry’ was released a year ago. She writes ...

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  • Today, I shall begin my article by writing about author Lisa Halliday (42), who the media and literacy critics in her home country USA have said is a ‘literary phenomenon’ after her first novel was released a year ago. She has written other books and worked in publishing for many years, ...

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  • Autumn must be the best season for everyone who wants to discuss books and authors. The world’s largest book fair in Frankfurt has just ended, and the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded a couple of weeks ago, this year with two prizes since last year’s prize was postponed due to a ...

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  • The Global Dignity Day was celebrated yesterday. In Islamabad, I had the pleasure of attending an event a few days earlier, with Irfan Wahab Khan, Telenor Pakistan’s CEO and leader of the company’s Emerging Asia Cluster; Right to Play country representative, Iqbal Jatoi, whose chair is ...

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  • A Norwegian friend told me in an email recently that although it is important to discuss multiculturalism in our time, and be welcoming towards immigrants and refugees, it is also important not to forget the variations and diversity within one’s own country. The retired sociologist and ...

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  • Today, I will write more about the value of multiculturalism in our time and the future. In my article last week, I stressed the value of multiculturalism, and that it would be good for Pakistan to receive more foreigners for far. It is important to take part in cultural exchange; it is important ...

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  • Developing countries are less multicultural and diverse than the rich Western countries. Pakistan has not yet become multicultural. Well, it has a colonial history, and that resulted in English becoming the main language in the country, with cultural dimensions, and especially the upper classes ...

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  • A few days ago, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad. It was about climate change and, for a change, there were more female than male speakers. They spoke well and so did many participants, too, having ideas for ...

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  • As Muharram, the first month of the Muslim calendar began Muslims marked Ashura on the ninth and tenth day of the month earlier this week. The grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was martyred in the Battle at Karbala, and the event is commemorated by all Muslims, indeed by Shiite Muslims. I believe ...

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  • Last Sunday, in the Chapel of the Royal Castle in Oslo, the Norwegian Princess Ingrid Alexandra (15) was confirmed in the Church of Norway, where she became a member at the baptism as a baby of a few months. According tradition in the Evangelical-Lutheran denomination of the Protestant Church, and ...

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  • Last week, I said in my article that a new school year is meant to be a happy time. Today, I will say that the first day of the new school at the opening of the SSPSS school on Kuri Road in Islamabad was indeed happy. The full name of the school in the new sector of the capital is ‘Sir Syed ...

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  • A new school year is meant to be a happy time for students, parents, teachers, local communities and the whole nation. In Pakistan, many children are not enrolled and do not have the chance to go to school, and others drop out early before the full primary school cycle has been completed. Parents ...

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  • As the new school year begins, education becomes a concern for all of us, if not directly then indirectly. I had planned write about the education sector today, especially aspects concerning private and government schools. But since other important events took place, I will only be able to write a ...

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  • In my home country Norway people say that ‘Norway Cup’ is the world’s largest football tournament for children and youth. That’s half fake news, say others. The Swedish ‘Gothia Cup’ in Gothenburg, and also the Danish ‘Dana Cup’ in Hjørring in ...

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  • In my articles last week and the week before, I have looked at some aspects of the calibre and work of Western diplomats in developing countries, mostly related to development aid. I have also said that their jobs, especially those who are heading an embassy or government aid agency, but also those ...

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  • When I last week wrote about Western diplomats in developing countries, I just touched upon issues related to the difficult jobs, which I said belong to the group of ‘impossible professions’, along with doctors, pastors, teachers, and others, which I did not name. To be an envoy to a ...

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  • There are several impossible professions in this world, they say. To be a doctor or a pastor are such professions, or a teacher. They are certainly rewarding, too, at times, but one always feels one should do better and more. I have been a teacher, and I know how much more I should have done, and ...

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  • Democracy is a form of government that is just about one hundred years old, and in many countries, much younger. There was no democracy in any of the British, French, Spanish, or Dutch colonies. When the Brits left their crown colony and India and Pakistan were created in 1947, after long suffering ...

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  • Good people are good people – and they can easily be identified wherever they are. Not so good people can also be identified, but often it is not their fault but the structures around them that make them less good. It can be that we don’t want to see reality. It can be that we ...

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