Tag: Accra

This cardiologist travelled to Ghana to save the life of a man he had never met

The hospital he arrived at didn’t even have a place for doctors to scrub their hands.

A cardiologist from Cardiff dropped everything to travel to Ghana to save the life of a man he had never met before.

Cardiologist Professor Nick Gerning at the airport with and his friend, Dawid Konotey-Ahulu

Cardiologist Professor Nick Gerning (right) at the airport with and his friend, Dawid Konotey-Ahulu

Professor Nick Gerning works at the University Hospital of Wales. A mutual friend showed 52-year-old David’s angiogram pictures to him after David fell ill with a major heart condition.

When Prof Gerning saw the pictures he said he couldn’t believe the patient was still alive.

“His arteries were a shocker,” he said. “How he was still alive with the extent and severity of the disease, I don’t know.”

Prof Gerning arranged for David to go to the Heath hospital but his visa application was refused by the UK Home Office. So, the cardiologist flew out to Accra in Ghana to insert a stent.

Prof Gerning, who is originally from Ghana, explained: “I really thought he wasn’t going to survive. The clock was ticking.

“When I got to the intensive care unit there he had only been given aspirin.

“When they opened the lab I looked around and thought ‘what am I supposed to do here’. I asked for somewhere to scrub my hands and they said there was no such thing so I sprayed alcohol on my hands. I started the procedure and it was much worse than I thought. I had no backup and there wasn’t event a resuscitation trolley.

“The screening was terrible and it was the most complex thing I have done in my whole career, under the worst conditions.”

After almost four hours Prof Gerning successfully inserted the stent and following the experience

After a successful operation

After a successful operation

he was unable to speak for the entire evening due to the intensity of the procedure and circumstances.

And while he did not even have the right tools for the surgery he said he didn’t allow negative thoughts to cross his mind.

He said: “I’m trained to think I’m going to win the fight and I kept thinking I would get out of it with a live patient. David has two young children who are the same age as my children and when it all ended successfully it was a great sense of relief.”

David’s family were waiting outside the hospital, praying as the surgery was taking place.

“I didn’t think twice about going,” Prof Gerning added. “I just had to do everything I could to save his life.”

Uber Launches In Ghana!

trotroGhana is a wonderful country. And one of the biggest parts of Ghanaian life is transport. You can find anecdotes about practically any mode of transport, from car, to boat, to the humble tro-tro which has been a loyal medium for many. The landscape of Ghanaian transport has been changing over the past few years, with work underway to drag Kotoka International Airport into the 21st Century, as well as the much-acclaimed ‘made-in-Ghana- cars manufactured by Kantanka and work all across the nation to improve the roads and travel infrastructure.

Now, one of the biggest travel sensations in the world is finally arriving on the shores of Ghana. 0c838fdf-fbd8-44d4-942b-039b7cbe577bAt midday on Thursday 9th June 2016, Uber finally arrives in Ghana as Accra becomes the 8th sub-Saharan African city to utilise the acclaimed ride service! The cab-hailing behemoth will commence operations with immediate availability of its UberX cars, and hopes to expand its fleet nationwide just as we have seen time and again in territories all across the world.

Uber is a cab-hailing smartphone app which allows passengers to summon cars at real time and at affordable prices. It’s rating system, easy-to-use app and good service has taken the world by storm, allowing Uber to have a presence in more than 460 cities worldwide. Already, Uber’s research has seen that there is a great demand for its service in Ghana. Uber Technologies Inc. have moved their focus onto Africa in recent times and are steadily expanding their services across the continent. Ghana is the 5th sub-Sharan African country it has added to its global network, with Tanzania hoping to follow later in June.

uber-750x400Uber has seen the demand for its services on Ghana’s shores, and the increasing way technology is being embraced to help improve living. Accra has been selected to be the starting point for Uber in Ghana, with its thriving population of 2.27 million having access to efficient transport through its ride-sharing platform from June 9th. “We see Accra as a natural fit!” proclaimed Alon Lits, who is Uber’s general manager for the Sub-Sahara territory. “Accra is a bustling, connected city that Uber is proud to be launching in. Its people are willing to embrace innovation and technology, and love products that are cool, exclusive and offer a new experience. We are able to deliver just that – safely, reliably and affordability”

So if you’re in Accra, download the Uber app now and await launch. Follow @Uber_Ghana on zvfasfatwitter for more details!

*Note: Uber are offering 6 free weekend rides (up to the value of GHS 20 each) on launch weekend, from midday on Thursday 9th June to midnight on Sunday 12th June. Here’s how to redeem the free rides:

  1. Visit m.uber.com or download the free ‘Uber’ app on your SMART phone ( iPhone, Android, Blackberry 7, Windows Phone)
  2. Sign up and activate your 6 free rides with the promo code: MoveGHANA
  3. Request your ride

By Dr. Jermaine Bamfo

Ghana teen beats the odds: advances to the finals of the Spelling Bee

After it was announced on Wednesday evening that she was one of the 45 finalists for the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee, 14-year-old Afua Ansah basked in the spotlight.

In front of the stage, holding her nation’s flag, she politely answered questions from reporters after being crowned as Ghana’s first ever finalist. Afua, a native of the Ghanaian capital of Accra, is experiencing America for the first time, just as the Spelling Bee is experiencing a Ghanaian finalist for the first time.

“It felt incredibly exciting, it was beyond my wildest dreams, to finally make it on my first try,” Afua said. “It has been quite intense because we have been working on the word list for quite some time.”

Joined by friends, coaches and her sponsor, Afua relished the attention as her home nation will be watching and cheering her on.

“I am feeling very proud to be doing this on behalf of my country,” Afua said. “I feel like an ambassador of Ghana so I am proud to carry the flag of my country at the finals.”

What Afua has already been able to accomplish has been against the odds. Ghana has one of the worst female literacy rates in the world at 71.4 percent. Afua’s coach Emmanual Afful hopes that Afua’s success in the Bee is something that can inspire their African nation.

“It is a very proud moment for me and I believe it has happened because of the years of hard work and determination,” Afful said. “I can’t explain how happy I am, but I am very proud.

“The thing I told her is that, ‘Children in America are no different than children around the world,’” he continued. “The only difference is we are poorer at reading and writing. And so I posed a challenge to her to read, study, ask question and be curious and you’ll be there and that is exactly what happened.”

After nearly acing her written exam on Tuesday, Afua easily spelled “hauberk” and “senescent” on Wednesday. She was one of 177 to spell both words correctly Wednesday, but based on examination of spellers on Tuesday, she earned the second-highest score going into Wednesday.

“I’ve already seen them, they are familiar words to me,” Afua said of senescent and hauberk.

Afua, and the other 44 finalists, will take the stage at 10 a.m. Eastern, or 2 p.m. Ghana Time, on Thursday. The beginning of the finals will be televised on ESPN2 and continued at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Afua said when she returns the Ghana, she looks forward to sharing the experience with her friends and family.

During her time in Washington, Afua said she has gotten to visit a number of monuments and the Smithsonian Zoo. Another thing that awed Afua was the Capital Wheel; a large Ferris wheel along the Potomac, just outside the Spelling Bee’s hotel.

“We don’t have those in Ghana,” she said. “We tried it and it was awesome.”

It was an experience that needed the help of sponsors, and Afua said she’s appreciative to them.

“In Ghana doesn’t have much of sponsorship as it does here, so people don’t consider it so much so making it here is a big thing already,” Afua said. “I have gotten some calls from my country, we see you here, we see you on the website.”

One thing Afua has in common with many other spellers is her love of music. Afua said her favorite artists are Adele, Beyonce and Taylor Swift. According to a survey of spellers, Taylor Swift and Adele are the two most popular artists among spellers.

Article taken from here

Turkish Airlines, Why?

Turkish Airlines. Many things have been said about the airline. It is commonly known that transit in Istanbul sometimes took about 24 hours and passengers had to spend a night in a hotel. I also felt that Turkey was so close to Iraq, and that the long standing dispute between Iraq and the Turkish Kurds could suddenly spark off terrorism which could affect planes flying from Turkey. All these things frightened me and I always said to myself never to fly Turkish Airlines. This year, at the time I was about to travel to Ghana, Turkish Airlines happened to have the cheapest rates of all the airlines I checked. I was tempted and decided to give them a try.

A bit of facts about Turkey: They have been trying hard to be counted among the developed countries of Europe and want to join the EU. They hype their achievements and one of their prides is Turkish Airlines. They have advertisements

Turkish Airlines ad featuring Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi

Turkish Airlines ad featuring Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi

in major international media saying how good the Airline is and the awards they have received. Some major footballers in the world have appeared on some of these ads. One popular and funny one pits Drogba against Messi in an epic food battle featuring many exotic dishes served on the airline which you are not likely to get on the Accra journey. It is evident in my personal opinion that what they say in these ads did not meet up with their services as I experienced when I travelled in their aircraft to Ghana. I get the impression that they have different and better services to the developed world but poorer services to the third world.

Through inefficient management of the Airline or absolute and deliberate corruption, Ghana Airways collapsed never to rise again. Ghanaians have been travelling very much with airlines which are better known to them, and these are: British Airways, KLM and Lufthansa. These companies use huge aircrafts for long distance journeys. These are wide-bodied passenger jet airliners.

The article will mainly be talking about Turkish Airlines and the uncomfortable treatment meted out to passengers travelling to Ghana. In July there was an urgent need for me to travel to Ghana. Since their rates were some thirty percent lower than the next cheapest airline, I chose to travel with them for the first time despite the mixed feelings and suspicions I have for the airline. The plane left very early in the morning and we were to transit in Istanbul. The immigration process was simple and waiting period to board another plane to Accra was just three hours.

Thy_fcb_new_aircraft_borakWhen I entered the plane I realized it was not a Boeing aircraft. This plane had two seats on the left and two on the right with a tiny aisle. It was a long and boring direct flight from Istanbul to Accra since the tiny plane had no facilities for the passengers to listen to music or watch films in a flight that took seven hours. This was a far cry from the service I’m used to on the bigger airlines doing the Accra journey. I was all the time hoping that my regular luggage and the one extra I had paid for, would all arrive with me in the plane. It was a smooth journey. We arrived on schedule at 20:15 at the Kotoka International Airport.

Like all other foreign aircrafts coming to Ghana, the passengers in the plane were predominantly Ghanaians. There were only six white persons. We went through immigration procedure which was very transparent and smooth. I hurried to the luggage belt. My people were waiting outside to take me home. We were all becoming nervous, impatient and angry. All the luggage that came were transported to a special area. What was happening? News came after nearly forty five minutes of waiting that our luggage would arrive the following day and that the luggage we were seeing were for those who had arrived on the same flight the day before. They pleaded with us to leave and come for our luggage the next day.

My anger knew no bounds. It was the first time I was going home without my luggage. The worst thing was that I had my daily medicines in one of the bags. I kept wondering why they could not announce this to us in the plane. This clearly shows a total lack of respect for Africans. As I turned to go, I bumped into a white man who sat right behind me in the plane. I asked him if he knew anyone in Accra. He told me he was visiting a Ghanaian friend in Takoradi. He added that his friend did not know he was coming. He wanted to surprise him. He said that this was not the first time he was coming to Ghana. I asked him if he knew anyone in Accra. He said no, and that since his luggage did not come, he requested a card that would enable him to spend the night in a hotel. Really?

He took me to the officer who gave the card to him. He left to find a taxi to the hotel. I told the officer to also give me a card to stay in a hotel since I didn’t know anyone in Accra. He looked at me and smiled. “You are a Ghanaian and you don’t know anyone in Accra? I don’t believe you,” he said. I told him I was taken to Europe when I was five years. I gave this lie just to check how he would react. He asked for my passport. I gave it to him. “But there is no visa in your passport.” He said. I showed him my dual citizenship card. He took it, took a furtive look at it and pushed both passport and card in my hands. “Sorry I cannot help you.” He was very indifferent. This is pure discrimination, I hollered at him.

The following day when I collected my luggage, I went to the office of Turkish Airlines and complained bitterly about theGhana_Airways_DC-10-30_9G-ANE_JFK_2004-4-10 attitude of their staff member. The man apologized and assured me it will never happen again.

Dear reader, probably what happened to us was not frequent but a single incident. However, if you have had such an experience with Turkish Airlines, do share it with us. You may note that the officer who treated me that way was not a Turk but a Ghanaian.

This article is to indict Turkish Airlines for its poor services and the harsh and unwelcome treatment meted out to Ghanaian travellers by fellow Ghanaian officers at the airport. Don’t you think it is time to resurrect Ghana Airways? I weep for Ghana.

By Stephen Atta Owusu

Article taken from here

From Ghana with Love

Portrait of a Ghanaian woman, Eva, in London, 1960s. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Portrait of a Ghanaian woman, Eva, in London, 1960s. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

In 1957, after over a century of colonization, Ghana gained independence from Britain. Just 30 years prior, in 1929, photographer James Barnor was born in the country’s capital Accra — then the Gold Coast colony — and over the course of a career that spanned more than six decades would become one of Ghana’s leading and most well-known photographers. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Barnor created a definitive portfolio of street and studio portraiture depicting societies in transition: images of a burgeoning sub-Saharan African nation moving toward independence, and a European capital city becoming a multicultural metropolis.

Jim Bailey and friends at a Drum party, Chorkor beach, Accra, 1950s. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Jim Bailey and friends at a Drum party, Chorkor beach, Accra, 1950s. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Ghana in the 1950s was experiencing a radiance of post-colonization as well as its “heyday of Highlife,” a fusion of traditional African rhythms, Latin calypso and jazz influences that would soon spread across Ghana’s borders to West Africa and beyond. Its rising cosmopolitan class in the capital of Accra was breathing energy into a multitude of areas — from fashion to food to art — and was a vivid reflection of the country’s post-independent attitude. Barnor captured all of this energy, playing at once artist, director, photographer and technician, by offering a well-rounded portrait of Ghanian life from many walks of life.

On Oct. 8, Autograph ABP and the gallery Clementine de la Feronniere will release the book “Ever Young” showcasing Barnor’s extensive archive, followed by a corresponding photo exhibition in Paris through Nov. 21.

In 1953, after completing his apprenticeship and running an open-air mobile studio for several years, Barnor opened his own studio called Ever Young, which transformed into one of Accra’s leading photographic studios. Six years later he moved to London in 1959, just in time to witness first-hand the cool Swinging London of the 1960s, and where he would begin to experiment with color photography. It was through this transition that Barnor would become, uniquely perhaps, the only African studio photographer to leave the continent prior to 1960 to study and practice in Europe.

Mike Eghan at Piccadilly Circus, London, 1967. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP

Mike Eghan at Piccadilly Circus, London, 1967. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP

Whether in Ghana or Britain, Barnor documented cultures in transformation, new identities coming into being — the fragmented experience of modernity and diaspora, the shaping of cosmopolitan societies and selves, and the changing representation of blackness, desire and beauty across time and space. His archive constitutes not only a rare document of the black experience in post-war Britain during the Swinging Sixties, but also provides an important frame of reference, overlapping and stitching together questions of the post-colonial in relation to diasporic perspectives in 20th-century photography.

Article taken from Washington Post. Full article and pictures can be found here

Remembering the Accra flood and fire victims

Ghana High Commission to hold memorial service for fire and flood victims

The tragic events of last week Wednesday night in Accra, in which heavy floods and an explosion at a goil fuel station resulted in the loss of nearly 200 lives will never be forgotten. We’ve all seen the horrific images and videos of the aftermath and together, the whole of Ghana have, and still mourn all those who lost their lives. Ghanaians have never come together as we have these past few days in recent memory.


And it is in solidarity with our brothers and sister back home, that the Ghana High Commission, in collaboration with the Ghana Christian Council in the UK, have invited all Ghanaians in the UK  and sympathizers to a memorial service for all those who unfortunately lost their lives in the fire and floods. The details for the service are as follows:


Venue: Methodist Central Hall, Storeys Gate, London, SW1H 9NH
Date: Sunday 14thh June
Time: 2:00pm

Let us all come together to pay our respects and remember those who are no longer with us.

Touring Ghana – Part 10…

Greater Accra Region


Finally we get to the Greater Accra Region. The gateway to the motherland and of course home to the capital Accra, the Greater Accra region is the perfect blend of Ghana’s past and present and old and new, offering historical landmarks and locations all in the backdrop of a teeming metropolitan city.

Getting there

As the capital is located in this region, getting here from other parts of Ghana is fairly easy whether you’re coming from by coach, bus or air. Best way to travel around the region is by trotro or taxi (but can be quite expensive)

Where to stay


Accra has a mixture of luxury and budget accommodation to suit all pockets. Among these are Labadi Beach Hotel, Villa Monticello, Hotel Elegance, Bojo Beach Resort, Mahogany Lodge, Osdahouse Home Lodge, La Paradise Inn among others.

Things to do

For such a small region there’s quite a lot to do in the Greater Accra region. Let’s start with historical sites one can visit. Independence Square is a must – the second largest square in the world after Tiananmen Square in China, it was built by Dr Kwame Nkrumah to honour the visit of Queen Elizabeth II. Also known as the Black Star Square, it has two monuments: the Independence Arch and the Black Star Monument. Another historic place worth visiting is No.22 First Circular Road in Cantoments, where the remains of the ‘father of Pan African’ movement W.E.B Du Bois rests in peace. Also known as the Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan-Africa Culture, the house is now a research library and a manuscripts gallery and was where Du Bois spent the last days of his life.

Now one cannot visit Accra without paying respects to the first president of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Head to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, which also houses a museum that contains the personal belongings of Nkrumah. Another place not to miss is Osu Castle or Fort Christiansborg which served as the government house in the 19th and 20th century. Built by the Swedish in the 17th century, it has served as the seat of government and still is today. Other places also worth a visit are the National Museum which houses a collection of Ghana’s historical treasures and the Centre for Natural Culture in Accra.


If you’ve had enough of sightseeing, why not relax in one of many of Accra’s beaches? Accra’s beaches are popular with tourists and local alike. Ada Paradise Beach, Krokrobite Beach Resort, La Pleasure Beach, Cocoloco Beach, Ningo-Prampram Beach and Next Door Beach all have activities ranging from polo and water sports to game fishing, music and art performances and bird watching among other things.

Now to get a feel of Ghanaian culture its worth visiting the National Theatre, where the resident theatre groups put on various performances on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. The International Conference Centre is also one to look out for: there’re always arts, drama and musical performances as well as fashion shows taking place. And the Krokrobite Academy of African Music and Art offers a combination of beach, music, dance and art with performances every Saturday and Sunday.

Next if you’re up for a bit of retail therapy, you can grab a bargain at the numerous markets and shopping malls in the region. Oxford Street (yes Ghana has her own Oxford Street!) in Accra is the perfect location for any shop addict, with numerous boutiques and restaurants, ice-cream parlours, handicrafts stores and tech stores. Oxford Street also serves as a night market for the night owls among you. For a more local shopping experience head to Mokola or Agbogbloshie markets for beautiful textiles, traditional clothes, shoes, beads, straw hats, woven baskets and traditional jewellery. For carvings and paintings, head to the Loom Art Gallery which sells spectacular carvings, paintings by local artists and textiles.


Like any metropolitan city Accra well and truly comes alive at night, offering a variety of bars, lounges and nightclubs for your entertainment. Osu is by far the best place to head to, but also the priciest, so be prepared to spend. Other neighbourhoods with good night life are Adabraka, Abeka La Paz, Asylum Down, Teshie-Nungua, and Bukom. Citizen Kofi, Firely, Rhapsody’s, Bella Roma and Venus are some of the best night spots in Accra, whether you want to relax or party. Weekends are extremely busy and crowded as locals and tourists alike are all out to let their hair down. Abrantie Spot is great for live bands playing local music, and Rockstone’s Office is the perfect place for hiplife lovers – the spot is also well known for their chicken and beer parties.

Finally as you travel around Accra, make sure you tuck into some of the delicious traditional and street food the region has to offer. The main dish eaten in Accra is kenkey with hot pepper and fried fish, banku with pepper and fish and red red or yo-ko gari (bean stew) with tatale (fried plantain). Also equally popular are fried yam with chofi (turkey tails) with pepper or shito (hot spicy sauce) and grilled meat or liver covered in hot kebab powder. Wash these meals down with asana (maize beer), palm wine or coconut juice (straight from the tree!) and you’ll never want to come back!

Hope you enjoy your time in the motherland! Happy travelling!

Yaa Nyarko (@Yaayaa_89)

Itz Tiffany ‘Dance’ review

Itz Tiffany – Dance (Neke Neke)


Our girl Itz Tiffany is back with a brand new video and we at Me Firi Ghana want to say we liiiiikkkeee!

Entitled ‘Dance’ (Neke Neke) and produced by Killbeatz, Ghana’s premier female rapper Itz Tiffany is back to doing what she does best, this time accompanied by a wicked azonto video. I’m not too crazy about the lyrics (I think Itz Tiffany can do better), but the video makes up for it.

Directed by ever brilliant Nana Kofi Asihene, the video features azonto dancers on the various streets of Accra. So if by now you still don’t know how to azonto (you should be ashamed of yourself!), then this video should serve as the perfect tutorial. Watch out for the boy in the red shirt and shorts and the one in the green top – they killed it!

Check out the video below

By Yaa Nyarko

Chemphe for peace


Ghanaian RnB singer Chemphe

Ghana’s King of RnB Chemphe, after a successful launch of his Double P (campaign for Peace and Against Poverty) project in Accra some months ago has also been successful in educating beneficiaries at Tema Newtown and Hasuodzi village in effective management of resources and anger management.

Chemphe who also started the development of a KVIP at the Hasuodzi village mentioned that he has made immense progress with the project mentioned above. The project which is solely sponsored by E-Jam Records also saw the commercial release of another hit single from Chemphe, “Global Citizens” which is getting good airplay in Ghana and other parts of the world.

Over the weekend Chemphe had an online communication with his fans all over the country to administer the other hand of the “Double P”, project which involves campaign for peace. Chemphe indicated that peace is a necessary condition to a nation’s development and not just a sufficient condition.

He indicated that his “New Day’’ album is currently in stores and is getting very good response for the “Global Citizens” track. E-Jam Records has built a very strong team for administering the project and is well supported by various media people in the country. He indicated that he will be online again on Wednesday 5th December 2012, a day after his birthday to communicate with fans all around the world about peace strategies and resource management. He requested fans need to follow him on twitter @chemphe, facebook at Chemphe sings or Henry sings or BB 2291ac96.

Environmental Awareness in Ghana…

Ghana’s plastic waste menace


Should you travel through down many streets in any town, city, or village in Ghana, you can see plastic floating in rivers, clogging drains, hanging on trees, or being strung upon power lines. This is the menace Ghana faces and on the evidence of reports from environmental groups and my visit there last year, this is an issue which shows no signs of going away just yet.

While waste collection is slowly improving in Accra, recycling is still a new concept to many people and landfills are inadequate. Since plastic is not biodegradable, it takes many years for it to decompose. When people throw plastic into the street, it almost always ends up in sewer drains, which is a major cause for flooding in and around the capital Accra.

Earlier this year the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology (MEST), in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), launched the Plastic Waste Management Awareness Creation and Public Education programme in Accra. The purpose of the program is to educate Ghanaians about the harmful effects plastic litter has on personal health and the environment.

Ghana produces 13000 tons of waste daily, but lacks waste management infrastructure to ensure it is adequately disposed of. The poor mangement of landfill sites and refuse dumps is also another problem which puts residents’ health at risk as well as weak enforcement of environmental regulations – which allows local authorities to flout environmental regulations without any sanctions. Though putting aside the authorities responsibility for a moment, if people indiscriminately and irresponsibly dump waste in street corners, in between houses, in gutters and drains it only makes the authorities job harder.

The Ghanaian government admitted that they have considered banning the use non-degradable plastic to stem the problem. However they have recently backtracked by saying it they hope they would not have to introduce such a ban.  It is hoped the Plastic Waste Management Awareness Creation and Public Education programme will be the answer. I for one do not think it is as simple as that…

What are your thoughts on this issue – Do you think the resolution lies with citizens to be more proactive in disposing of their plastic waste? Or is it down to the government/ local authorities to provide appropriate infrastructure for waste disposal and enforcement?

Leave your comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)