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Global Comment must-reads for the week

Blind journalist seeks out Palestine’s forgotten voices‘ (Al Jazeera English)

Disabled journalists can struggle in a media environment that isn’t always very accommodating. Budour Hassan seeks out the stories of lives that often go hidden in Palestine, and aims to travel abroad to do international reporting as well. The discussion of the adaptive equipment she uses to write while blind illustrates the tremendous applications of disability tech.

There have been so many cliches [written by journalists], especially about Palestinian mothers. There is no such thing as a Palestinian mother. Everyone handles grief and loss differently; of course, there are things that you can find in common, but you can’t just create this idea that there is a stereotypical Palestinian woman or man, Palestinian mother or father. It is important to talk to them and give them the right to say whatever they want.

How Nancy made Ronald Reagan better‘ (Politico)

In this obituary for Nancy Reagan, who died this weekend at age 94, Politico discusses her legacy and political role. First Ladies are often footnotes in history, but Ms. Reagan was a force in her own right, and an important player in US politics.

During Reagan’s time in office, she never sought credit for her role as sounding board. But in her post-White House memoir, My Turn, she allowed: ‘I make no apologies for telling Ronnie what I thought. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you have no right to express your opinions. For eight years I was sleeping with the president, and if that doesn’t give you special access, I don’t know what does.’

Volunteers help migrants at Greek crisis bottlenecks‘ (Ekathimerini)

Greece, scapegoated by the EU, is bearing much of the responsibility for handling the refugee crisis. While images of abandoned lifejackets and desperate refugees stream across the media, ordinary Greeks are opening their arms to those who are seeking assistance even as the country’s resources are stretched between managing the aftermath of an economic crisis and addressing the vital needs of refugees.

With Balkan borders progressively slamming shut, Piraeus has become a pressure valve between the Greek islands and the bottleneck on the country’s frontier with Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), where over 11,500 people are waiting to cross.

Eastern Christian leaders face ultra-conservative grumbles as they prepare for a summit‘ (The Economist)

The tangled politics of the Eastern Orthodox Church have been greatly complicated as it attempts to carve out a place for itself in a rapidly changing and liberalising world. As scions of the church prepare for critical discussions, a recent meeting with the Pope is raising hackles.

The Georgian Orthodox Church, one of the oldest and most traditional, has already raised a red flag: it has said that it will not sign the section of the proposed statement which refers to “relations of the Orthodox church with the rest of the world’s Christian churches”, or anything that implies that in order to achieve “Christian unity” the Orthodox must agree and combine with other bodies that follow Jesus Christ. From this purist point of view, there is only one Christian church worthy of the name and that is represented by the Orthodox. Meanwhile in the church of Cyprus, another ancient bastion of eastern Christianity, one of the island’s most charismatic bishops, Athanasios of Limassol, has made an identical objection. “The Orthodox Church of Christ…believes that the unity of those who believe in Christ already exists in the unity of her baptised children…in her correct faith,” he has insisted.

How Iran’s Moderates Triumphed‘ (Foreign Affairs)

The rise to prominence for Iran’s moderates reflects a changing political climate, and opens up the opportunity of improved foreign relations. The ripples of Arab Spring are still having a profound effect.

To be sure, some observers, such as former Speaker of the House John Boehner, have dismissed the elections as inconsequential. The Guardian Council, they point out, disqualified massive numbers of moderates before the vote. The naysayers, however, are wrong. Despite its profound flaws, the ballot box has been firmly established as the only game in town, and the outcome of this vote has placed Iran on the path to gradual and stable change while every other country around it is imploding.

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