The Globe as you know it is changing.
Coming June 2019

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To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

Fighter to minister / Philippine Muslim rebel’s new ‘struggle’

By: Ayee Macaraig / AFP - Posted on: February 25, 2019 | Current Affairs

Murad Ebrahim’s life as the Philippines’ top Muslim rebel led him into fierce jungle combat and to meet with Osama bin Laden, but a very different challenge now awaits him: governing

Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebel group chairman Murad Ebrahim handles a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher during a firearms decommissioning ceremony in Sultan Kudarat in 2015 Photo: Mark Navales / AFP

Ebrahim has been tapped to lead the majority-Catholic nation’s brand new territory in the restive south where Muslims have won new powers and an influx of cash in a push for peace.

After decades as a rebel, Ebrahim will need to become a bureaucrat and complete complex projects as chief minister of the body that will steer the new Bangsamoro region until elections in 2022.

“We also see the difficult challenge we will be facing ahead. To us, the struggle is not yet over,” the 70-year-old Ebrahim told AFP. “This is only another level of the struggle.”

Once a feared commander, Ebrahim is chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which signed a landmark pact with the government in 2014 to end a separatist insurgency that killed some 150,000 people since the 1970s.

That deal led to the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which is based on the southern island of Mindanao and was overwhelmingly approved in a January vote.

The MILF is the largest of several rebel groups fighting for independence or autonomy in Mindanao, the ancestral homeland of the nation’s roughly six million-strong Muslim minority.

Rebels and the government hope the new region, which is getting an influx of cash, will be able to bring sorely needed development to the violence-plagued area.

Dropout to commander

The son of an Islamic preacher, Ebrahim was orphaned early on as he lost his mother when he was only one and his father at 13.

He studied civil engineering at the Catholic-run Notre Dame University in southern Cotabato city, where he learned fluent English.

But in his senior year, he dropped out to join an underground movement that he said defended Muslims targeted by Christian paramilitary groups and security forces under former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

He joined the armed struggle first with the rebel group Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) but internal differences led him and Cairo-trained scholar Salamat Hashim to split and form the MILF.

In the 1980s Ebrahim said he was in Afghanistan to visit Filipino rebels who joined anti-Soviet forces but he denied fighting alongside them. It was there where he met future Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

“Osama bin Laden was very soft spoken. I did not think he would eventually be declared a world enemy because he was a very refined person,” Ebrahim told AFP.

“Walking a tightrope”

Ebrahim became MILF’s military chief, known as a calm but sharp tactician. He led a difficult life in jungles and marshlands, with his two sons born at the height of the fighting.

During his years as commander, Ebrahim led battles not from afar but joined his men at the frontlines, said presidential peace adviser and former military chief Carlito Galvez.

“We did not see him committing any abuses,” Galvez told AFP. “He fought not because of an urge to kill. He saw that fighting is not between people but between ideologies, to correct an injustice.”

After Salamat’s death in 2003, Ebrahim took over as leader and earned the respect of colleagues for building consensus, observers said.

“He is the best, if not the only real choice (for Bangsamoro chief minister),” former presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles told AFP. “He has never been one to think power is all his.”

Security experts say Ebrahim and the MILF will be hard-pressed to govern for the first time while facing threats from pro-Islamic State groups in Mindanao.

Ebrahim will also have to deal with resentment from families of civilians and soldiers killed or affected by previous battles, according to Julkipli Wadi, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of the Philippines.

“Ebrahim should extend a hand of reconciliation even to (non-Muslims) so he would be able to extract himself from the ghosts of the past,” Wadi told AFP.

“He is walking a tightrope where he has to juggle a lot of sensitive issues.”

But the guerrilla leader has lived through too many wars to give up. For Ebrahim, his nine grandchildren are a reminder that there is no alternative to peace.

“I never had a normal life. My dream is for them to experience and enjoy it,” he said.

© Agence France-Presse