Although he was born free, Biram Dah Abeid and his family know well the pain of slavery. Dah Abeid and his family are from the West African country of Mauritania.
Those sad truths about slavery in Mauritania were floating out there on the Internet and in newspaper archives before Edythe McNamee and I set out to document the practice for a CNN Digital story that would win the Livingston Award.
It is one of the most stunning films in the Cannes Competition this year: Abderrahmane Sissako's Timbuktu, about individuals in Mali trying to maintain dignity and freedom despite the oppressive rules of the Jihadists invading their country.
If this terrible scourge is finally to be eradicated, much remains to be done to promote the work of anti-slavery activists and protect and support survivors.
Saudi Arabia's declared intention to pivot away from the U.S. in foreign policy implies a shift toward Beijing, which predates both the Obama presidency and the Arab Awakening.
For fans of the coast, the end of summer doesn't necessarily mean the end of beach trips. The world is full of spectacular coastlines, many of which are more famous for their breathtaking views, cultural heritage and unique geography than for their hazy beach-bum appeal.
Hedge funds allocated funds to Africa significantly last decade and continue to do so. However, capital markets, with one or two exceptions, are as yet undeveloped in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), so the ability of companies to raise capital by means of public offerings is limited.
The UN Human Rights Council begins its annual session in Geneva today by once again disgracing itself by appointing the West African nation of Mauritania as its Vice-President for the next 12 months.
Whilst equipment, intelligence, training and support from American, British and French special forces will add steel to the operation, it will nevertheless involve difficult desert fighting conditions against a well-armed enemy.
In July of 2012, the Islamic Society of North America convened a small multilateral forum of scholars in Mauritania to discuss challenges faced by religious minorities in Muslim-majority communities around the world.
I was recently in Mauritania, and I have rarely seen anything that has left me as frustrated and saddened as what I saw there. There's a severe drought in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa that is putting more than one million children's lives at risk.
Typically, the patterned coverage about Africa includes grim statistics about starving children coupled with archetypical images of sullen young faces and swollen bellies. We're not going to focus on painting that dire portrait this time.
Mauritania -- with 700,000 people battling food insecurity out of a population of 3.5 million -- faces a food crisis three times worse than the one which struck the West African nation two years ago.
CNN recently published a piece on Mauritania, a Saharan nation with a large population considered enslaved. Many Americans are unaware of the continued practice of slavery in foreign lands such as Mauritania.
Some 13 million people are at severe risk from a food crisis which is set to escalate into a full scale humanitarian emergency in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa if urgent action is not taken.