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Microfinancing, Lending vs donating

Posted in Internet, Me, Politics by Homam Hosseini on November 29, 2009

I want to talk about what the brilliant idea microfinancing is.

I grew up in an Islamic family – however in my childhood they were not as conservative as they are now. It’s a tradition in Iran and I think it is also an Islamic rule to donate some portion of your surplus to poor people; usually the people you know from your work, or in the neighborhood. Currently in Iran there is a well systematic Islamic donation process, and I think people are obliged to donate one fifth of their yearly surplus to this system. And no matter where you are, we are all used to see charities everywhere and in different occasions (like thanks giving or new year). Just a disclaimer that I’m by far not an expert in this area, but I’ve always believed charities are not a solution to poverty, they make it worse, they distribute poverty. They keep poor people poor. If the poor person is jobless, donations don’t help him in getting hired, and if the poor person is receiving a very low wage, the charity doesn’t urge the employer to pay more.

During the past months there were times that I was finding myself dangerously inclined toward social ideas and then I was swinging back to ‘prosperity’ and capitalism. But this issue that you have to always start form some place bigger than zero to have a life in a capitalistic society had been bothering me. Now I think microfinancing is a reasonable solution for this problem.

Why do you want to donate to somebody and loose some money? Why don’t you lend him the money so he can start a business and pay you back? I understand that charities might be vital for some regions of the world, but I’m sure most of the donations that my family is doing in Iran will not be used in those regions.

‘Carlos needs $1,100 to buy some pigs’ he will return the loan in a year, but no bank is lending him, simply because the cost of processing the loan is higher than the profit. But this website: www.kiva.org is making it possible for Carlos to raise the money in a matter of a week. Carlos will not be another homeless beggar, he is starting his own business and his future depends on how hard he works and how well he manages the business. He will not need charity and in a few months he should be able to even hire employees and extend his business.

I was impressed that my like-minded people are among the top lenders of Kiva. Yeah! I think superstitious people have a hard time digesting this idea that they, not God, can help people to stand on their own two feet and overcome poverty. And of course the LGBT community that are helping their entrepreneurs to achieve their own equality.
That’s pretty all I wanted to say, I have something beautiful to think about tonight.

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When was the last time somebody told you that destiny is not determined by forces beyond our control

Posted in Me, Politics by Homam Hosseini on June 6, 2009

Human destiny is not determined by forces beyond our control. You remind us that our future is not shaped by mere chance or circumstance. Our history has always been the sum total of the choices made and the actions taken by each individual man or woman. It has always been up to us.

Can it come out of an atheist mouth?

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Protected: They kill people like us

Posted in Politics by Homam Hosseini on May 4, 2009

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US-China

Posted in Politics by Homam Hosseini on February 21, 2009

I think my friends have no doubt how I wanted to see Hillary Clinton as the president of the US. Anyway I’m happy to see her in this position, traveling round the world and spreading a better image of the US. I was supporting her because I thought she would be a better president in pursuing human rights and civil rights in comparison with Barack Obama. For nearly two decades people like me, have considered Clinton as a civil rights icon. By the way what she is doing in China, putting aside human right concerns in the sake of economic goals, will not change my view. It is just another indication of how deep this crisis is, that makes Clinton to retreat from the usual powerful position US diplomats take and even technically asks China not to withdraw its investments in US treasury.

I don’t feel good about all these events, I used to and wish to see a strong United States that is a symbol of hope and dreams to all the world. On the other hand, to be optimistic (something that it seems Obama has been missed), it seems that this crisis has created some new opportunities for traditionally different west and east to cooperate on something, and I would call it a victory if the west emerge as the more powerful, more influential part. I will say that people in the more liberal west,x create and resolve their problems. Here is something to follow that confirms my statement that all the people of the US are taking part in recovering from the problem. Even if it seems they are not contributing or they are swimming in the wrong direction, but at least they have a chance to express and examine their ideas.