International Organizations: A Series of Posts

Hello my dearest readers,

It has been a while since I took the time to sit and write something for my blog, but I promise you that 2011 will be more abundant in posts than 2010 and I will do my best to keep the posts at as good a quality as they have been and better! 🙂

After asking around and checking the posts I have on my blog, I realized there has been a good vibe in general towards the series of posts on “International Clubs & Secret Societies” and many raised questions to know better about those clubs and societies.

In this context, and to take things one step further, I will be posting a series of posts on International Organizations. I will be selecting those that have been affecting our lives more than others, in one way or another. From UN related organizations (being a majority) to health organizations to Human Rights Organizations to Technical/IT/Engineering/Education…etc.

My aim in doing research and preparing for those posts is to provide an easy and quick way for people to get to know better about International Organizations all in one place without having to do much readying or researching. Yet by far it wont be a comprehensive list of organizations so your input and requests are highly welcomed if you would like me to post about any specific organization of interest.

Some of the organizations I have already in mind are World Bank, IMF, FCC, IEEE, FAO, ILO, Amnesty International, International Red Cross, UNDP, ITU, ESCWA, UNRWA…etc

Stay tuned for those quick-bite posts and I’m looking forward for your feedback, just tell me when you like’m and tell me when you don’t! 😀

Afif

WikiLeaks… or is it?

WikiLeaks: A not-for-profit media organization founded in December 2006. Our goal is to bring important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for sources to leak information to our journalists (our electronic drop box). One of our most important activities is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth.

Atleast that is what they state on their website. This NPO, has been founded by Julian Assange, an Australian publisher and internet activist born in 1971.

So far they have been publishing “confidential” leaked documents from all walks of life and most notably the documents from the US Army about the war in Iraq, war in  Afghanistan, Congressional reports, Intelligence reports, Diplomatic letters between foreign ministries, embassies and so on and so forth…

Those “leaked” documents are not few…they are in the thousands…and hundreds of thousands..

Yet what I don’t understand is that with all this kind information “leaked” and published about the “most powerful nation in the world” along with its communication with its allies, its secrets, its embassies, armies…etc. How come the website, organization and founder is still there?

How come such a person with all those are working with him haven’t been silenced? How come all those documents are being leaked? Are the US governmental offices, army, congress, pentagon, corporations…so easy to hack? Or to get those thousands of documents leaked from? Is it like all saved on a single hard drive where someone can just pass by the data center of a Ministry/Congress/Pentagon and copy the files on his “flash disk” and simple go upload them online for the world to see?

How come so many confidential letters, documents, and reports can find their way out to the public…whether “anonymously” or not…it is just illogical. We’d be too naïve to accept things as they are…as is.

It gets me worried about what kind of world are we living in…though this NPO/Website is of great journalistic importance…of great value to freedom of speech and transparency…yet it gets me thinking about the meaning of “confidential” of “freedom of speech”  of “activism” …and the list goes on.

I salute Julian Assange for all his effort, time and guts to make it happen…yet I doubt he did this single-handed. Even if he has a troop of lawyers and volunteers to assist, if this was not “allowed” to happen I doubt it would’ve still been in existence…

Don’t get me wrong, I find the information extremely useful, important and eye-opening in a world full of deception and hidden agendas…But still things can’t be this easy…something feels cheesy (that rhymes hehe)

These are my two cents …but don’t take my word for it…tell me what you think! 😀

International Clubs: Toastmasters


Name of Organization:
Toastmasters International

Date of Origin
: 1924

Motto
: Become the speaker and leader you want to be

Founder
: Ralph C. Smedley

Origin
: Smedley began working as director of education for a Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) after he graduated from college. He observed that many of the young patrons needed “training in the art of public speaking and in presiding over meetings” and Smedley wanted to help them. He decided the training format would be similar to a social club. During the early 1900s the word “toastmaster” referred to a person who proposed the toasts and introduced the speakers at a banquet. Smedley named his group “The Toastmasters Club” because he thought it suggested a pleasant, social atmosphere appealing to young men.

Work
: Public speaking sessions, tournaments and workshops.

International Clubs: JCI – Junior Chamber International

Name of Organization: Junior Chamber International (JCI) (originally called Young Men’s Progressive Civic Association (YMPCA))

Date of Origin:  October 13, 1915.

Motto: Be Better

Founder: Henry “Hy” Giessenbier, Jr.

Origin: It is a worldwide federation of young leaders and entrepreneurs. Members contribute to the advancement of the global community by creating positive change worldwide.

Work: Members work on business, individual, community and international development through projects, meetings, seminars, and events.

International Clubs: Kiwanis

           
Name of Organization: Kiwanis International

Date of Origin: 1915 AD

Motto: To Serve Children of the World

Founders: Allen S. Browne & Joseph C. Prance

Origin: Kiwanis = We Share our Talent (American Indian expression: Nunc Kee-wanis). Volunteering to change the world through service to children and communities.

Work: Shelter, Hunger, Mentoring the Underprivileged, Health Care, Youth Leadership, Reconstruction.

Sub-Categories: Kiwanis University, Key Club International, Builders Club, Aktion Club, Kiwanis International Foundation, Circle K International, Key Leader, Kiwanis Kids, Kiwanis Junior.

International Clubs: Lions

Name of Organization: Lions International


Date of Origin:
June 7,1917 AD

Motto: We Serve

Founder: Melvin Jones

Origin: Melvin Jones suggested in a business convention to put the talents of some businessmen and friends to improve their communities. The suggestion by Melvin was answered back by some interested individuals and funding from his own money and theirs. Lions as a symbol, as the founders put it, represents strength, courage, fidelity and vital action. After few meetings between the founders, that symbol was chosen by a secret ballot.


Work:
Eye-sight, Disabled, Healthcare, Building Schools, Natural Disaster Relief, Reconstruction. Lions had a role in drafting the constitution of the UN, and still have members observing some of its meetings till today. They focus on doing service projects in their communities that are mainly health related and with some emphasis on social issues on religious or national occasions.

Sub-categories:
Lions Clubs, Leos Clubs, Lions Leadership Program.

International Clubs: Rotary

Name of Organization: Rotary International

Date of Origin:
February 23,1905 AD

Founder:
Attorney Paul P. Harris

Motto:
Service Above Self

Origin:
Businessmen where invited to join to both serve each other and capture the goodwill spirit amongst the club members. The habit of rotating meeting venue in offices of members gave the organization its name “Rotary”.

Work
: Rotary members had a big role in Europe since the WWII in relief and humanitarian aid, and had an impact on the initiation of the UN.  Post WWII, Rotaray called for a conference to promote education adn cultural exchange which inspired the fouding of UNESCO. Many UN committees and departments till this day have Rotary observers present in their meetings.A major campaign they worked on was Polio+. Most clubs now work on local service projects and on sponsoring Rotaract Clubs to do similar projects and campaigns.

Sub-categories:
Rotary Clubs, Rotary Fellows, InnerWheel Clubs, Rotary Scholarship Grants, Rotaract Clubs, Interact Clubs.

Secret Societies: Free Masons

Name of Organization: Free Masons (also known as Free & Accepted Masons, Masonry, Masonic Brothers, Mason Fraternity)

Date of Origin:
Late 16th Century – Present (though claims itself to be more than 6,000 years old which is explained bellow).

Historic Significance:
Diminishing of religious dominance in Europe and shift to secularism and philosophy of the origin of the universe,  of the self and of the living beings.

Origin:
A hierarchical fraternity (male brotherhood organization) that provides a space for members to meet, network, learn, discuss and push forward the collective ideas into action while keeping all the inner goings of the organization in secret. The Dominance of Britain and France over major parts of the world through colonies assisted in the wide spread of the fraternity. This lead to the transfer of the Fraternity to the United States, other European countries and the colonies world-wide.

Founders:
Politically/Socially Involved Figures, Philosophers,  Royal Counselors, Financiers, Traders, Army men.  Mostly which had financial/social power and ambitions to go beyond the grip of the religious figures and kings as the representatives of God on Earth.

Work:
  • Researches, studies, books, press and media publishing. This aims at pushing forward their ideas/plans through all kinds of academic material, novels, researches, business magazines, media, press…etc.
  • Rituals, ceremonies, handshakes and symbols involving allegory to actual masonry(building & construction), Geometry, the Zodiac, Judaism and myths. Due to linking to those myths, geometry and old building skills(art of masonry) the fraternity gives itself a mythical start date of 4,000 years before Christ. This aims at creating a spiritual/intellectual attachment, discipline, commitment and loyalty of the members to the organization as something of an older presence than any other organization/state/country.
  • Charity, social services (home shelters, educational scholarships, medical assistance, philanthropy through public organizations) this aims at both helping the community and gaining the public’s support and sympathy as people of good heart and intentions.

Organizations Directly Related or Allied to Masonry:
Shriners, Order of DeMolay, Job’s Daughter, Tall Cedars of Lebanon, Grotto Movper, Rainbow Girls,  Daughters of the Nile, AAONMS, Knights of Columbus, Order Militia Crucifica, Order of the Eastern Star, Order of the Solar Temple, Order Templi Orientis, Rosicrucians, Knights of Solomon , amongst others.

Secret Societies: Jesuits

Name of Organization: Jesuits ( Society of Jesus)

Date of Origin: August 12, 1534 AD – Present

Motto
: Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam (For the greater glory of God)

Historic Significance:
Diminishing of religious dominance in Europe and major shift of power to finance and military.  Dominance of Britain and France over major parts of the world through colonies. The Vatican was searching for ways to get back in power.

Founder:
Ignatius of Loyola

Origin & History:
Male Catholic Religious Order that does missionary work in Jerusalem or wherever the Pope requests after noticing the decrease of enthusiasm and commitment to religion in Europe. Started work in Italy and spread throughout Europe and the world. Currently headed by a religious figure, called the Black Pope for several reason one of which is that they grew strong enough to be as strong as the Vatican itself in terms of finances and affiliated institutions. It was suppressed by the Vatican on 1773 and restored on 1814. Currently has its biggest membership and power in India, surprisingly the biggest Islamic groups are also currently situated in India.

Current Work
:
– Education(Colleges, Secondary Schools, Seminaries, Research Centers…)
– Missionaries (Transforming non Christians into Catholics, preventing the spread of Protestantism)

Secret Societies: Knights Templar

Name of Organization: Knights Templar

Date of Origin: 1199 AD – 1314

Historic Significance: Crusades from 1095 – 1314

Motto: Not for self, but for God

Founders: Christian French knight Hugues de Payens & his relative Godfrey de Saint-Omer

Work: Western Christian military order said to be nine in number at the beginning– had the mandate of protecting Christian pilgrims who were en route to the Holy Land to visit the shrines sacred to their faith.

Somewhere between the years of AD 1118 – 1120, King Baldwin II granted the group quarters in a wing of the Royal Palace on the Temple Mount (the Al Aqsa Mosque).

End: King Philip IV had the Templars arrested on October 13, 1307 for becoming corrupt, misusing their wealth and power, and for blasphemy.

In 1312 the Templars were officially dissolved by Pope Clement V at the Council of Vienne. Although the Templars were not found guilty of the crimes they were charged with, it was felt that the reputation of the Order had fallen to so low a state as to warrant dissolving the Order.

On March 18th, 1314 the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay, was burned at the stake, for having recanted his earlier confessions of guilt.

The remaining Knights Templar after the suppression joined the Hospitallers and changed the naming to Knights of Rhodes or also known as Knights of Malta* which still exist until today as a philanthropic organization that focuses on medical assistance.

(*) Information about the Knights of Malta are given in a previous post.