Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spoken Word: Family

Listen I don't know how to say this but it's not going to be easy it sure ain't going to be hard I have one question that just about to start... What Is Family? Is it the blood that makes you related or even the friends that came from the same. Or together you've been raised? See its not just one question but these certainly rattle your minds because people of today are currently family blind. See you might feel as if no ones there friends won't always care so family may be all you got. Not everyone will listen they're just kind of mild, you can be in a huge family and still feel like the only child. Reliability is issues when trust has already been broken pick yourself up don't listen to what these people have spoken, learn to look after yourself before you have anyone else snack because you still carry your bag on yours. Yeah its great to help them but don't fall into their dirty chores, take your own advice it can really help you. No one knows you like you do and that is true. I'm happy for the loved ones in their life, that are there through any fight, carrying the loyalty with all their might, because it takes a strong person to get it right. I am Nadia not just anybody, individually is what I love and it helps being different. Into empowering underestimation because whether it bothers any of not nothing will stop into growing a higher elevation. Through any situation I smile because I'm still breathing and to be the best I can that is just another reason.

Watch it on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmbXGoErUhQ

By: Nadia Adow

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spoken Word: Muslim Girls

I am a Muslim Girl Modesty is my middle name

“Terrorist” and “dangerous” are carved in my blood

While side looks and shameless whispers get pierced to my earlobe

Though sincerity is written in my fingertips

No man shall ever see

The humanity hidden in my palms

Or the respect I carry within myself

I am a Muslim Girl

As innocent as can be

What have I ever done?

That only Allah can see

Do not judge me for who you think I am

You’re nowhere close to right

Quit harming the harmless

And watch me put up a fight

I am a warrior, built out of clay

I am a Muslim Girl

And will always be ‘till the last day

By: Sadia Islam

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Infinite Power of Guns

MarĂ­a Camila Navarro

Daniel McGee

Pre Degree III

The Infinite Power of Guns

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not feed, those who are cold and are not clothed”(Eisenhower). Nowadays the society is looking for joy but most of the times in the wrong way, where things are more important than people and people turned into tools for making things work. Those things are called guns and those people are called humans. Legalization of weapons in The United stated goes more than protection or power; it goes against people lives, safety, and armistice.

In the 21 century in the United States the use of guns is legal, every citizen of the USA according to the constitution has the right to own and bear an arm because it is part of their liberty and part of their culture; that is the main reason why guns can’t be banned and won’t be banned, according to them. The “right to keep and bear an arm” is a law created in the 18th century, at that time America was completely different compared to the present. First of all, it was estimated that hunting was needed considering that America was an agrarian society hence the main power supply were the animals that were hunted. In addition the government didn’t have enough budgets to maintain a full army therefore the citizens-soldier army were the responsible to protect their country and themselves. According to Stephen Halbrook, one of the vital person that influenced in the creation of the law, every man need to be armed since they are freemen and have the right to carry their own responsibility. As we can see is an outdated law due to in the present-day the circumstances are completely different in aspects such as economics, regimental and politics. Once the situation change the law became worthless, pointless and insignificant. Although government still think it will decrease violence in fact every day increased it a little bit more because of average people has the necessity of power and the easiest power to own are guns.

Many inhabitants in united states in order to defense themselves they have the following argument: “Gun don’t kill people, people kill people”, but the truth is guns give unnecessary power and someone can be killed in a second with a gun otherwise with another weapon for example knife it takes more than just a second decreasing homicides and increasing safety. The crux is guns won’t get rid of violence but It will help to lower it, smalls and tiny steps is what the society need and prohibition of guns is one of them.

Most United States citizens think that guns protect themselves for the impulsive government, criminals and maniacs. However analyzing United States history it can be seem that democracy has been in America since 1788. Even though it has been proven that USA inhabitants don’t trust in the government they choose as long as they continue “afraid” of the people that are in charge of leading them. At this point seems “protection” and “freedom” are just an abominable excuse in order to have what all of humans wants and what all humans fight for: Power.

Beside that there is other main point about protection such as self-defense from criminals ; if guns became illegal violence would increase and America would became an unsafety country as a result of this delinquents would get advantage of it and citizens would suffer all the disadvantages. Although according to FBI crime report in 2012 there were 14,173 homicides in USA, becoming the most violent country with the highest rate in Northern America despite that the constitution and the government still consider the law created three centuries ago is up to date.

Furthermore there are other countries for instance England that is illegal the use of guns, there approximately the 0.27 percent of population own a gun thence 147 people own a gun. In sharp contrast The United States almost the 10.2 percent or one per 10,000 people own guns which mean that 32,000 people bear a gun according to a poll in 2012 , this proved that guns don’t decrease violence, they develop, generate and create it.

Mass shootings in United States are well known worldwide as a result of the inhumanity, craziness, brutality and cruelness behind them. In the last 15 years there has been a certain amount of massacres, the first one in this period of time was in 1999 in the columbine high school with 15 death and 21 injuries follow by the mass shooting in a company in 2000 where a person murder his 6 coworkers claiming that he had traveled back in time and killed Hitler and the last 6 Naxis. After this in 2005 a member living of a church murder the pastor and his son, plus seven other people and himself. Later in 2005 five persons were killed by an 18 year old boy. Next becoming the side of the deadliest school shooting in 2007 a student gunned down 56 people killing 32 of them. One of the most recently and impactful shootings was in an elementary school in 2012 where 20 children between 6 or 7 years old and 6 adults were killed by a maniac after that he killed himself. Afterwards in the same year in July at the premiere of a movie a person killed 12 people and 70 were wounded, according to the murderer he was a character of the movie. As you can see most of the persons that are behind those massacres are not 100% normal, they have mental issues and they believe in the power the gun gave them; One common thing that almost of all them have are first they had a plan, they knew what they were going to do and the process that will lead them to do it, second they committed suicide, they knew the consequences of what they were planning to do but still they wanted to do it yet they didn’t want to pay for it so it was better if they ended with their lives too, the third thing they had in common are the weapons they used, most of them used military-style rifle, weapons that are too dangerous to handle; the last thing they had in common is nobody will ever know what was their purpose, the reason why they did that, this situations are incomprehensible and the worst thing no one can do anything about it because guns are still sell as milk. These attitudes are from maniacs and serial killers and it is unbelievable how this situation can’t be control. There have been a lot of massacres among years but the main point is not to apprized how many shootings have been, the key point is to know how many massacres could be prevented , how many lives could be safe, how many parents wouldn’t suffer, how many sons or daughters wouldn’t deteriorate and how peaceful the world could be.

According to the greedy capitalistic corporate profits controlled America has killed approximately 8 million people in the last 50 years most of them influenced in the majority by guns as a result of guns laws and the way the population of USA used them. Undoubtedly that is an overwhelming fact considering that 8 million of people are the actual population of Austria, consequently becoming one of the biggest amounts of death in the last 50 years.

One of the challenging but necessary matters that United States need to do is controlling the population with guns instead of letting the guns control the population; The United States government believed they are in charge of every concern internal and external worldwide but the thing is they are more aware of other countries business rather than their own business and it is impossible for them to realize that guns laws are not anymore on their hands they lost the control over the population, and provided them the freedom the population think they deserve whether is good or its bad.

The bottom line is there have to be a limit for everything even for freedom; humans can’t be totally free if they are they would be just as the chaos in United States, limits in liberty are needed in order to respect the rights of my neighbor, these one are especially needed in governmental regimen, one of the person that defense the most liberty and security was Benjamin Franklin, considered one of the founding father of United States, once said: “Any society that will give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both”(Franklin). There can’t be more wisdom in Franklin words like he said if a society provide the right liberty will also provide the right security and in a country the vital thing is provide safety to the population.

Most of America citizens are extremely selfish whereas they think that guns are a good way to enjoy their free time hunting because it is exciting, thrilling and full of adrenaline. However the use of guns goes more than just for hunt, they are weapons that threaten human life, therefore they have to be banned to average people; there are other ways to have fun and other ways to protect yourself, policemen are in charge of that, nowadays it is extremely irresponsible if someone play to be an hero with a gun, there can be more that someone injured or even killed someone and life is not a game to play with, human life deserve to be treated as they are and it is necessary they show respect between them. Despite the large number of victims aforementioned, in 2008 guns right activist celebrated the U.S Supreme Court decision on whether the constitution second amendment “right to keep and bear an arm” as a fundamental and individual right. The problem is the majority of America society is fascinated with guns, they need and have to own a gun and they are just looking for excuses as protection from the government or from themselves. Moreover their fascination is limitless, it is like they were addicted to use guns and if the government takes them away, there will be definitely an internal war in United States. America citizens love guns more than they love their neighbor, that’s why they killed them. Sarah Palin, a politician, said: “We say keep your change, we will keep our god, our guns, and our constitution”. American culture is obsessed with guns and in their tiny brains there is no option for a life without weapons, they need them more than need water, it is immerse in their DNA; nonetheless something must be done, for the idea of the ideal culture, 8 million of people have died, there are more disadvantages than advantages, and the need of a change is mandatory.

In conclusion guns in America is a problem that have to be solved as soon as possible, the government need to stop playing as they were blind and affront the reality, the reality that has been waiting to be affronted a long time ago. They are the authority and they need to behave in that way, provide safety to the country has to be the main goal and the only solution is the prohibition of guns. Facts prove it, statistics prove it, mass shootings prove it, wide amount of victims prove it, and so what America government and America society is waiting for? The world don’t want more breaking news, more maniacs behind the guns, more parents crying at their lost son or more sons crying at their lost parents, more hypocrites “sorry” from the government to the poor families while they are not doing anything about it, they need and must use their brains instead of using their guns otherwise everything would be lost and anything would survived.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Anti-Gay Laws in Russia

Some of the divas opinions about the Anti-Gay laws in Russia:

“I think that it is stupid! If someone wants to be gay they should be allowed to but like they shouldn’t be like thrown out of the country or put in jail for it. Maybe yeah it makes people uncomfortable when they see gay people outside but they should deal with it. Like if you’re that uncomfortable they why don’t you throw your self outta there. Who even made the anti-gay law? Was it the president or something? If it was, then like are they insecure or something that they go around throwing certain people out of the country. Also it’s stupid because if it’s just like your sister or something that you’re holding hands with then they should make sure before trying to throw you out.”

“First of all what kind of name is Puttin? I think this is an interesting topic. I think it’s an unfair choice because we are all human inside and outside. If they want to be homosexual, then let them be! Everyone has a right to speak! I think Puttin should be put in jail because he is trying to control everyone’s lives.”

“I feel like everyone can have the right to do whatever they want because I think it’s dumb for someone to get arrested just because of their interests. If I could write a letter to the president of Russia I would tell him that he sucks!”

“I think it’s unfair because if you’re gay you’re gay and there really isn’t anything wrong with that. Everyone has their rights and you can’t force them to be something they don’t want to be. So, I don’t think that the Russian rule is FAIR!”

“First and for most, It is ridiculous and simply inhumane. It is not fair that the government is putting these laws in act. A child or human should not be fired or even judged for simply being who they are. Just because the president is homophobic does not mean the whole country should suffer, and live in a form of anti-oppression. Lastly I believe that someone (preferably the UN) should step in and stop this stupidity.”

Monday, July 8, 2013

Western Muslim Identity: Embracing your Niqab and your Citizenship

In recent years western perceptions of Islamic practices such as forced marriage, extremism, sexism, terrorism, and most recently, 'honour' killing, have riled up quite a bit of controversy in Western media critics. For example, one of the most recent topics that have surfaced as problematic has been the niqab. A niqab is a veil that Muslim women use to cover their faces in order to be seen as who they are and not what they look like. To some, the niqab represents the Muslim population exercising their right to follow their religion, some individuals believe it is a security issue, and to others it signifies the Muslim minorities failing to integrate with Western society. Although the niqab is perceived by the many to be a practice that is oppressive to women wearing the niqab, but the woman wearing the niqab may think differently. Not only do many perceive the niqab as oppressive without even asking the woman directly, the person practicing her right to wear niqab has her own struggle of trying to properly function in society as a niqabi woman. In truth, the niqab is another excuse among many for the post 9/11 western media to generate stress among the Muslim minority.

What is Canadian identity?

Canada is often thought of as a country with a pluralistic and diverse society; therefore one assumes that Canada ought to be a mosaic of appreciated cultures. A place where all citizens are willing to understand and maybe even appreciate each others’ different belief and value systems. Malicious practices like ‘honor’ killing are depicted as prevalent in our culture that are used as excuses in effectively separating Canadian culture from the things that Muslims are depicted of doing.

Technically speaking, it’s simply Islamophobia disguised as biased sampling data; a few choice case studies cannot represent an entire community. Almost all Muslims, including myself know that there is no honor in killing, no matter what the situation, but sadly, our views aren’t the ones that are voiced on TV and printed in the papers. This oh-so-convenient ‘misunderstanding’ of Islamic culture is what creates the friction between the Islamic and Western worlds. As a young hijabi woman growing up between both worlds, I can see that there are many similarities between each cultures’ values, and often notice that Islamic practices are well mirrored to Western ideals. Like the west, Islam is egalitarian. Equality is always upheld in Islam; for example, there is no mosque for people of a certain country, financial status, or race, all mosques are open to all people, even non-Muslims (considering they are respectful). In mosques, people from completely different backgrounds pray shoulder to shoulder and worship the same God, because God doesn’t discriminate, so why should God’s worshipers? On the other hand, there are churches for certain countries, and races, there are Bulgarian churches and churches for black people, and even Chinese churches. Now how can the west eliminate racism if there is still segregation at a place as integral to spiritual life as the place of worship?

Fighting all kinds of oppression is on the forefront of Islamic values, and we have been doing an excellent job at adhering to these ideals, and have been waiting for the west to catch up to us.

So, what is Canadian identity?

Canadian identity is and always will be, to-be-determined. Canada is a country of immigrants. Whether 2nd generation or 13th generation, we are immigrants, and therefore the cumulative culture and identity of the people will be a constantly evolving idea that will depend on who are the active members of society at that time. If Muslims want Islamic culture to be an assimilated part of Canadian culture, we can make it happen, all we need to do is stop using our skin color, hijab, and other ‘differences’ as an excuse to why our people can’t integrate with society, instead just get outside and participate. This goes for people of all cultures, not only Muslims: the key to re-defining Canadian culture and getting this country to accept our values is to volunteer, work, and engage themselves with their country.

By – Saeema Sai

The Sargasso Exhibit

The Sargasso exhibit in the 2011 Luminato festival swallowed me like I was food. It reacted to my movement and seemed to acknowledge my presence. Vials containing cooking and olive oil, vinegars, and lemon juice hanged above, collecting toxins from the surroundings to transform and neutralize into a precipitate in the vial. Discrete speakers floated among the mesh-like body, emitting a subtle yet soothing melody. Balloon-like structures slowly inflated as I came under them, almost as if my movement was the oxygen for the lungs of this organism. Scent glands picked up material in the air and gained mass over time creating a soily mixture.

The question which Phillip Beesley, the chief architect of the Sargasso installation wanted to answer was a simple one: "Can architecture exhibit a sense of life?" After going through his piece, the answer to that question is definitely positive. The Sargasso structure is part of an evolving field called responsive architecture which attempts to have structures intelligently interact with their environments and change in response to them.

Is it possible of us to see an increase in architecture of this style in the near future? Only time will tell, but who wouldn't want to transform the dullness of a regular mall, school or office building into something as alive and interactive as Sargasso? I know I certainly would.

Breif Bio of Shuko Ebhara

Shuko Ebihara has started her career as an intern at IOM Helsinki participating the Culture Orientation project. From 2007, she has worked at the Japan Foundation as project officer where she has launched "Okubo Art Project" , an Art workshop targeted to the children and youth with migrant background. The workshop involved video-making, photography and contemporary art to provide children and youth an opportunity to feel their potential within. From 2012, the "Okubo Art Project" has developed to "Shinjuku Art Project" to conduct joint project with the Shinjuku-ward. Born in Japan, grew up in Peru and London, and lives in Japan.