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Abeer Seikaly is a Canadian-born architect and designer. In 2013 she won the Lexus Design Award for an amazing tent-like structure that has the potential to change millions of lives. People are constantly battling with their environments, especially in places where they cannot afford Western housing with an insulated roof and walls. Based on this fact, Seikaly has created a simple design that can close out the cold and rain, and also allows cool air to flow and provide shade in hot weather. These multipurpose tents could hold the key for the survival of millions of displaced people. She says her design was inspired by elements of nature and traditional cultural aspects like weaving, tented communities and people following the nomadic life. The top of the tent is covered in solar panels which store the sun’s energy and turns it into electricity to be used at night. There are pockets in the sides which collect rainwater for bathing and drinking. All in all, this is an amazing design that shows a deep understanding of the environmental conditions that many people are forced to live in following natural disasters, civil wars and the effects of climate change. Seikaly designed these tents with refugees in mind—people that can set it up anywhere and feel some kind of protection from their surroundings.
As the Republican debates and campaigns have been taking place, a lot of the candidates’ claims have *thankfully* been called out as utter shit. Despite the slight differences in their campaigns, the candidates were able to agree on one thing—that abortion in America should be illegal and that the candidates will take measures to ensure this happens if they win. We have seen Republican presidential candidates vow to give full constitutional rights to a fertilised egg, and have pledged to use their power if elected to ban abortion in all circumstances, including rape, incest, or to save a woman’s life. There have been all kinds of claims made against pro-choice groups, including the claim that they sell on the tissue from aborted foetuses (in fact this was done as part of a research programme on stem cells and was done at the patient’s request). The idea of the state having the power to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to full term at the risk of her life or wellbeing is abhorrent and should never have been mentioned, let alone discussed as a potential law. The topic of abortion deserves respect, sensitivity and most of all, empathy. It should not be thrown around in campaigns to gain the vote of like-minded bigots. This anti-abortion hysteria has become the norm for Republican candidates and it threatens American women’s physical and mental wellbeing, as well as their human rights.