Salena Tramel

Salena Tramel is a journalist, international policy and development consultant, and PhD researcher.

Articles by this author

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Thursday, October 13, 2011
Haitian Movements Branch Out
Away from the televised and broken streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti hosts some scenic worlds. Down south, there are remnants of cloud forests that fade into blue skies, and in the north cacti twist out of rust desert soil. The eye takes in lime green rice fields in the central valleys that give way to steep rings of mountains. Most of the people who live there are counting on humble rural livelihoods. They find an enormous source of dignity in their peasant identities. Little by little, their work breathes life back into a country that they vow to make self-sustaining once more.
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Saturday, August 20, 2011
Latest Attacks Bring Fire and Fear to Gaza
Soon after shameful attacks killed six in southern Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that militants would pay “a very heavy price.” And then his warplanes proceeded to pound civilian areas with missiles. So far nine Palestinians—including two children—have been killed, and dozens injured. Retaliatory strikes have not always been limited to sought-after militants but have also affected the more vulnerable and punishable civilian population.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010
Gaza, Then and Now
Year before last, I was sitting in the living room of my childhood home sharing a cup of morning coffee with my mother and musing over the holidays. We laughed over kitschy Christmas gifts from well-meaning relatives before deciding to turn on the news for five minutes on the brink of another vacation day. Those five minutes would turn out to be one of those times like 9/11-when you never forget exactly where you were when you found out. "Oh no," gasped my mother, tears welling up immediately in her eyes.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010
Working to Keep Hope Alive in Haiti’s Forgotten Frontiers
Nestled between Haiti’s turquoise Caribbean waters and the foothills of the northern mountains, is a large plot of land close to the town of Limonade. Here at the height of planting season a group of peasants is hard at work. Claudelle Sensmyr, 36, quietly sprinkles handfuls of seeds down row after row of prepped soil. "I just started farming a few months ago," she told me, brushing off her hands and looking up. "I’m from Port-au-Prince," she added shyly and then motioned to the other farmers, "Many of us are."
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Thursday, November 05, 2009
Congress, Accountability, and the Goldstone Report
I have been to the Gaza Strip twice and southern Israel once since the 2008-09 war, where I had the opportunity to listen to accounts from both people about what had happened to them during that time. Israelis showed me thickly walled rooms that act as bomb shelters and explained air raid siren systems in Sderot and Ashqelon. As difficult as their situation was, nothing could have prepared me for the level of destruction I found in Gaza.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Why Food Sovereignty Is the New Food Security
Most of us would agree that there is a serious problem vis-a-vis access to food in the developing world. According to the UN food agency, there are now more than one billion undernourished people worldwide. The need to do something about the broken food system is especially apparent in Haiti, where I have been on a working assignment with Grassroots International for the past few weeks.
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Friday, May 22, 2009
Windows Into Gaza
Two years ago, I lived and worked in the West Bank. My time there was certainly a window to understanding the occupation, but one that I could open and shut at my own convenience. Because of that, I never really understood. I could go to the beach in Israel while my Palestinian friends had never seen the sea. I promised myself that I would not go, but one hot summer day got the better of me. The idea of swimming in the turquoise Mediterranean waters was so appealing that I disappeared one Friday to join my Israeli friends in Tel Aviv.
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