“The composition of the EMB (Electoral Members Board) should be representative of the society. . . Consideration should be given to appointing independent persons known within the society for their integrity. It is recommended that the chair of the commission should be a person who holds or has held high judicial office (a high court or supreme court judge). That is the practice in several countries. (Taken from the Southern African Development Community’s “Principles for Election Management, Monitoring, and Observation in the SADC Region”, as adopted by SADC in Johannesburg 2003.) Op-ed 

July 26 Independence Celebration: Liberia’s True Freedom?

By Jackie Sayegh I wrote this more than six years ago and I find that it is as relevant today as the day it was written. Happy Birthday, Liberia. I happily turned to my daughter Chris and said, “Today is Liberia’s independence day”, to which she replied, “independence from which country?” That stopped me dead in my steps. Yes, independence from which country? Perhaps this day than should be called our National Day. As a student of Professor J Pal Chadhuri, who taught Liberian history for many years at the…

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There is also the other side to FGC, that of the harmful health implications on women and the violation of their human rights. Undoubtedly, FGC is an impediment to the health and well-being of women who undergo such procedure and poses considerable health risks and even death. Op-ed 

Tradition and the New Liberia: Rite of Passage or Rightful Passage?

    By: Jackie Sayegh Traditional secret societies in Liberia have come under intense scrutiny in recent months especially when the discussion centers on female genital circumcision (FGC). On foreign news feeds and media outlets, Liberia has become the main course in this flavor-of-the- month buffet thanks to journalist Mae Azango and more recently, former Montserrado County Superintendent Grace Kpan. Kpan has gone further to label traditional secret societies in Liberia as “evil and demonizing.” Such societies, she claims, pose “threats” to national security and she called on the United…

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Op-ed Society Arts & Leisure 

The Shaft of the Arrow’s Bow: The “Negro Clause” and Liberia

Jackie N. Sayegh [After president Weah speech today,] I immediately thought of the Langston Hughes poem “I too sing America.” In it, Langston laments the discrimination faced by African-Americans as he penned the words: I, too, sing America. I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes, But I laugh, And eat well, And grow strong. Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table When company comes. Nobody’ll dare Say to me, “Eat in the kitchen,” Then. Besides, They’ll see how beautiful I am And…

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