GOLDENROOM August 2014

It is delightful to return to GOLDENROOM after a short break to reward our readers, partners and stakeholders with a fresh new issue of GOLDENROOM Online Journal for Cross Cultural Relations

With our focus on people of Mixed heritage or in Cross Cultural Relationships, GOLDENROOM is a thoughtful departure from other movements which might seek to exoticise our readers or endow them with some sort of hybrid superiority. We know our readers are ordinary people living extraordinary experiences across cultures, who want better relationships, the latest health info, and food that reflects their Multi heritage, for instance. Yet simultaneously, it cannot be denied, that even in our ordinary lives, those of us of Mixed heritage or in Cross Cultural Relationships have a unique role to play in this world, demonstrating that not only can people of different faiths, ‘races’/ ethnicities, abilities and cultures live together, but they can love each other and build lives together.  It is for this reason,  that our 31st issue of GOLDENROOM Online Journal for Cross Cultural Relations, takes as its theme, ‘Monarchy’ to look at the exemplary roles of some leading  individuals in crossing and transcending cultural differences.

This month’s cover story features Len and Libby Traubman, who whilst they might not be royalty, are widely regarded as the doyennes of cross cultural dialogue. Their amazing 47 year inter faith marriage, which they call, ‘the gymnasium of the spirit’, has been the cornerstone of their learning and resources, which they have generously shared with all of us here at GOLDENROOM.  The story, one’s own personal narrative is critical to building dialogue between people of conflicted cultures, as they explain  that ‘ an enemy is one whose story you have not heard.’ and so we are especially honoured that Libby and Len Traubman have chosen to share their story with GOLDENROOM this month.

Veteran contributor John Nedham has worked through sleepless nights to bring us his moving account of welcoming his own little prince into the world. In so doing he shines a light on the particular prejudices and ignorance faced by Disabled parents. He asks, ‘why shouldn’t people with Disabilities become parents?’ Picking up that torch, our new Disability Affairs Expert, Victoria Richards brings all of her post graduate expertise in the field to GOLDENROOM and with a pointed analytical piece asks: Why do they mythical qualities of leadership persist in influencing us today, to the point where they  exclude women and people with disabilities?

On the international affairs front, Andrea di Carlo, illuminates on the current debate to reform the Italian Senate and  drawing on a parallel with the House of Lords in the UK and the Senate in the USA, why that will jeopardise democracy.

You can’t miss the shiningly beautiful couple sharing our cover story. It is none other, than Merriam Ibrahim and her husband David Wani, who finally, via an act of extraordinary diplomacy by Italy and the Vatican, were freed from a prison in Sudan. You will have heard about her case; Merriam, who was born to a Christian mother and a Muslim father, was raised as a Christian and married a Christian. She was subsequently found guilty of apostasy and adultery and sentenced to death.  Contrary to popular media reports, our GOLDENROOM analysis reveals that bigotry was not the cause of Merriam’s close call, but rather astonishingly it was simply greed.

Equally beautiful and heroic, our GOLDENROOM ICON this month is Princess Alice. Despite being born deaf, Princess Alice learned to lip read in English, French, German and Greek and it seemed nothing could hold her back from taking her place in the world. That was until conflict, dislocation and the stigma of mental illness destabilised the princess, but she would inevitably conquer these afflictions too, in order to live a life of heroic service to humanity.  This moving story of a cross cultural royal is complemented by our book recommendation, ‘White Moghuls’ by William Dalrymple’ ; a spellbindingly tense true life account of a British soldier and Indian princess turned lovers and spies.

If you would like to be an out and proud Cross Cultural couple like Libby and Len Traubman or Merriam Ibrahim and David Wani, but you dare not, then Chalkboard TV would love to hear from you. The pioneering documentary makers are looking for people in Cross Cultural Relationships, be this, Mixed ‘race’/ ethnicity, Mixed faith, inter sectarian, Dual national, etc. who can share their story. They are especially interested in hearing from those who are keeping  their relationship a secret as well as those couples who are trying to plan a Cross Cultural Wedding. Get in touch with the Creative Director at Chalkboard TV Mike Benson at:

It’s only August, so don’t put the barbecue away yet until you have sampled our Veggie Grills, inspired from cultures around the world, or take advantage of the bounty of fruit by creating a Fruit Soup, from our GOLDENROOM recipes.

Thank you for staying with us and for being part of GOLDENROOM. More than just a demographic, it is in the lives of our readers and contributors that we believe will be leading cross cultural relations towards a bright future.

Kind regards,

Dr. W.J.Tuinstra

Editor in Chief


Online Journal for Cross Cultural Relations


A richer relationship is yours for FREE with GOLDENROOM DatingNEWDATE

Conversion for Community

‘I left my faith for my marriage, and when I left my marriage, I left my faith again. And now…well, nothing.’

Rehana explains to Goldenroom the sensitive and thorny issues of converting for the sake of marriage, family and community.

The Butterfly and The Wolf

In the United Kingdom one Black African-Caribbean woman in 625 will develop Lupus, with particular consequences for people of Mixed heritage as model and presenter Terri Seymour discovered. Despite this seeming overt targeting of certain ethnic groups and women, Lupus is a complex and poorly understood condition.From causes to symptoms to new treatments, Goldenroom lifts the lid on this mysterious illness.

Christian Muslim Encounters Research Symposium

These people pray to Allah’ explained one Christian, ‘how can we possibly pray with them?’ she asked of an inter faith prayer event

‘These people pray to three gods.’ is how one Muslim described his Christian neighbours.

The name and nature of the divine is arguably one of the most hotly contested theological issues between Christians and Muslims today. Yet, it is not just the concern of theologians and clergy men, but as these comments above indicate, are of seminal significance to lay believers as well. As over half of the world’s population is either Christian or Muslim the importance of bringing members of the two communities together has never been more pressing.

In response to this, Christian Muslim encounters in Lancashire was launched in March, this unique research symposium on May 7th  2014 brought together academics, faith leaders, activists, organisations and members of the community.

The Irish Diaspora in Scotland by Alasdair McKillip

In the run up to Scotland’s big decision, the electoral platform remains under a deluge of questions about the future of the nation. In as much as people want to know what will happen with independence and how, embedded in some of these queries and debates is the questions of Scottish identity itself. Last month we published an in depth analysis about Multicultural Scotland, so following on from that theme, Goldenroom revisits, Alasdair McKillip’s analysis on Scotland’s largest immigrant community, The Irish

TAAM. A Taste Of Heaven

Upon entering this brightly coloured, Middle Eastern theme, kosher café and takeaway in Manchester’s Jewish quarter many visitors are taken aback. Taam- meaning ‘taste’ in Hebrew- gleams with cleanliness and there is an absence of the greasy film that accompanies most convenience food establishments. And then what really hits the hungry visitor that Taam is an eatery far apart and above all others, is that they are greeted warmly by Imran.

TAAM a kosher deli with Muslim staff providing a taste of heaven in Manchester