Just heartbreaking

CARAI felt physically sick and my eyes welled up immediately. It’s exactly the same every time I open it. “IT” is only a webpage. In fact, it is only a list of names. It’s a long list of Iraqi academics who died for their right to express their academic freedom. They were murdered for a freedom that I take for granted every single day. As I think at the way I sometimes complain about academia; the hours, the job-insecurity, the workload, I feel embarrassed and ashamed. These brave men and women stood up and faced disgusting oppression in the name of understanding and education and paid with their lives.

The problem is much more widespread than just one list of Iraqi names. The problem is Worldwide.


However, there is a slither of hope for the future. CARA is a UK charity that helps refugee academics who cannot return to their home country. The work they do to help these people is incredible, and yet they are desperately underfunded.

Why am I telling you this

Well just under a year ago, Literature Review HQ became my very first business. I was very uncertain about my academic future and I thought I’d take matters into my own hands. Since starting I didn’t really make any money until I launched my first course in October last year which was a huge hit.

The end of a year is always a great time for reflection and I was busy making plans. I knew that with my income from the site, I would like become an ambassador for a charity.

There are clearly many worthy causes out there, but I wanted to pick something that fit really well with Literature Review HQ and CARA is obviously perfect for that.

What does this mean?

It means that I will talk about CARA from time-to-time to help raise awareness. It means that a portion of the profits from the website this year will go to CARA. Hopefully, it will also mean that I’ll be able to do some more direct fund raising.

It also means that I’m going to be more determined than ever, both in business and in my academic career. I’m going to be working working hard to make sure that I don’t take anything I do for granted.

I really don’t want to preach. I hate it when people do that. I just felt so moved by this charity and I want to give it some attention. If you’d like to check it out, the link is here.

Thanks for reading. I hope that this post gives you a sense of perspective and motivation for the year ahead. We’ve got such a great opportunity that is afforded to so few, let’s make the most of it.


  1. David says

    Ben, This is your friend from the U.S. I want to clearly state how proud I am of you in this endeavor and your compassion for others. This
    passion moved me to think of myself and how I can become more involved with charities and more importantly finding my passion and purpose. Every since we met I always feel inspired when we speak with one another. I wish you well and I am sure I will be making a contribution to your cause. take care and let’s talk soon. David

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