Walls Continue to Divide: East Berlin to the West Bank

In November of 2014 the world celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Across Europe and around the world celebrations occurred and tributes were given to the brave and passionate citizens who united to bring the wall down.

The Berlin Wall was representative of everything that the world was fighting against at that time; oppression, division, and conflict. For many it was the physical manifestation of the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union. A separation of worlds that drove friends and families apart and kept them divided for decades.

The tumbling of the Wall represented the dawn of a new era, or as Francis Fukuyuma prophecised, “the end of history”. It was hailed as the final, and permanent nail in the coffin of Communism. Neo-Liberal Democracy fuelled by its economic model of capitalism had triumphed as the reigning sole ideology in the world.

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World Cup Post Mortem

Do we look back at this World Cup and see the self-destruction of Brazil? The worst ever England performance at an international tournament? And another instance of Luis Suarez feeling peckish?

Not particularly positive messages to take from one of the best international tournaments that I can recall. Although the tournament had those aspects, it was also the stage for new stars to shine, James Rodriguez in particular, doing his reputation no harm. It was the moment when a decade and a half long project finally achieved its target, with Germany lifting an international trophy. It was the moment when Miroslav Klose became the greatest ever World Cup goalscorer. And it was also perhaps the moment when US Soccer fans finally fell in love with the game.

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The 11th Man

There is much talk in football about the 12th man. Whether that is the fans singing their hearts out on the Kop, the referee who appears to be giving everything to the opposition, or a rogue beach ball that has bounced on to the pitch and has yet to be removed. It is said, this 12th man gives you the advantage, but it is a strange term to use when the teams are not even utilising the 11 that they have on the pitch.

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The Brazilian Adventure Comes to an End

The sun has set on my time in Brazil, but these memories are undoubtedly going to last a lifetime.

Though the final whistle blew almost six hours ago, Rio is still in party atmosphere. The streets are buzzing, the bars are overflowing, and the traffic is at a standstill. The entire world has watched the action over the last month, and now it seems like the entire population of Brazil is out on the streets celebrating.

I would still be out there with them all were it not for a flight back to the UK in a few hours time- that’s if I can make it to the airport through the carnival outside.

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