Seven Favourite World Music Albums of 2017

It’s been a long time since the last Pine Tree Republic post – over eight months, to be exact! I’ve experienced lots of exciting changes over that time, including travelling to China in the spring, and starting on my PhD this fall. Admittedly, I’ve let those changes knock me off course in terms of keeping a regular…

Bombs over Syria and the Changing Global Power Dynamics

The Story – A Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria During the afternoon of April 4, news broke in North America of an apparent chemical agent attack in Idlib, Syria. Within hours, news agencies and social media streamed horrific videos of adults and children gasping for air and being rushed to hospitals for treatment, where they were…

The Sahara Circle of Life: Imarhan and Tinariwen’s “Elwan”

Sixteen years ago, a group called Tinariwen (the word for “deserts” in the Tamashek language) burst onto the world music scene with a performance at Mali’s Festival au Désert and subsequent performances in Europe. Since that time, the group has served as the unofficial musical ambassadors of the nomadic Touareg people and the “desert blues”, or assouf, music of the…

Canada’s Border Problem – Fixing Legacy Mistakes

The Story After the U.S. elections last November, many Canadians half-jokingly prepared for an influx of disaffected liberal Americans fleeing the new Trump regime. And while the Canadian immigration website crashed on the night of the election, it seems that few American political refugees have indeed crossed the border. Rather, Canada now faces a much more…

The View from Kenya: One Social Entrepreneur’s Quest to Revolutionize the Agricultural Sector

Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Calgary Chapter hosted a visit from Samuel Wachieni, a Kenyan social entrepreneur. Samuel’s visit was part of EWB’s Kumvana Program – an annual exchange in which top entrepreneurs and leaders from sub-Saharan Africa visit Canada to learn from and share their own experiences with Canadian…