"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Earth Day Is Every Day!! Memories of Samoens (2000)

Most of our students today live indoor, a sedentary lifestyle, filled with television, video games, i-pods, and other technology!!! Well, it is not surprising that NATURE DEFICIT DISORDER is a common diagnosis!

I love walking!! I love to tune in to the sound of hiking boots crunching on rocks, the feel of a cool breeze early in the morning, the sound of my hiking boots on the smooth sand, and the sound of a family conversation: sharing ideas, sharing thoughts, peppered with a good, hearty laugh!!! I miss hiking!! so much!

When I went hiking (2000) with my two sons and my husband in Sixt Fer a Cheval, Samoens, Haute Savoie, I was the happiest mother on earth. The French Alps (especially Samoens) is the perfect place to go hiking: the endless trails and peaks, a gentle stroll along the banks of the Giffre, offering uninterrupted views of Mont Blanc!!

Samoens is alive with activity in the summer, especially where we were staying, Le Berouze!! a beautiful place, wonderful people, and good food: especially their packed lunches...when we were planning a long day in the mountain.

In Samoens, I have observed beautiful flowers.

In the heart of France’s Haute Savoie, at the foot of the Grand Massif ski area, Samoens is probably one of France’s most picturesque mountain villages. A far cry from the purpose-built ski stations of recent years, Samoens is a beautiful old farming village steeped in history. It retains an authentic Savoyard charm and a family-friendly, intimate feel.

I have introduced my boys to the joy of hiking and I have introduced them to the deep reaches of the forest and to the highest mountain we can reach! I have introduced them to the joys of seeing wild creatures in their own habitat, colorful birds singing beautiful symphonies, to experience the deep peace that comes with a night on the mountains with a star-filled sky and the pure silence of nature.

I wanted to teach them the healing power of nature.

We also discovered beautiful flowers. We have walked through field of flowers in full bloom, medieval villages, the Giffre Valley in the Haute Savoie surrounded by crystal clear lakes, stunning waterfalls, the botanical garden...

I cannot forget these spring flowers!!! I cannot forget this charming alpine heritage village called Samoens! It was in 2000 but the memories are still so fresn in my mind!

Senegal protesters vow to block third term for president

"La rue sénégalaise a eu raison en quelques heures d’une réforme constitutionnelle perçue comme une «monarchisation» du pouvoir au profit du président Abdoulaye Wade et de son fils. La société civile sénégalaise a fait la preuve de sa maturité et montré la voie au reste du continent."

Yessssssss!! PEOPLE POWER forces Abdoulaye Wade to abandon constitutional changes smoothing his re-election path!

Un manifestant à Dakar, Sénégal, le 23 juin 2011, REUTERS/Finbarr O'ReillyAdd caption
The people power forced Wade to drop poll plans. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at thousands of protesters outside Dakar's parliament.

Abdoulaye Wade had wanted to reduce the proportion of votes needed to win a presidential election, and avoid a run-off, from more than 50% to 25%.

He had also wanted to create an elected post of vice-president.

Critics feared Abdoulaye Wade (l) will make his son (r) vice-president  
His son Karim can be candidate but his father cannot change the constitution in order to make sure that his son will be elected!

The opposition has established a coalition called "Don't touch My CONSTITUTION"

Mr Wade! You first came to power in democratic polls more than a decade ago! Then, please do not try to impose your candidacy in 2012! This would be illegal, illegitimate, innoportune and dangerous for the stability of Senegal! 

Do not try to foist a Dynasty on the Senegalese people!!! Please Papa Wade!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

International Day 2011

Every year we celebrate International Day. This special event is a time for us all to come together to share a little of our own cultural backgrounds with other members of the community, as well as the chance for us to learn lots of exciting and interesting things about the world!

 It is a whole family community event and a favourite amongst the students. This year I was taking care of the Americas. The students were directly involved with setting up a display for the Americas. They painted flags, made posters and recited sayings of Sa'ad and Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.

One of our students read the introduction:   

An International Day is an excellent way for students and parents to learn about our continent! We are celebrating the Americas! In the Americas, we aim to create a spirit of unity between the different countries at the same time not forgetting about our origin. This year, the Theme of our 2011 International Day is PEACE. Peace in the Americas, Peace in Asia, Peace in Africa, Peace in the Middle East, Peace in Europe, Peace in our heart. Thank you (now listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr! Listen to his Peace Message)

Then, the students presented a Capoeira show (Brasil)) followed by a rap song.  

They also read to the audience the following texts:

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain other members uneasy will remain." (I know!!! it is one of my favourite!!)

Then, they read...

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.... Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. " 
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We had set up a table in the classroom and we have displayed all kinf of food from the Americas (brownies, cupcakes, pancakes, cookies, popcorn,...) and of course I did not have the chance to taste the food because I was serving the drinks (iced tea and cool-aids!!!)

Most of the students and parents did not even look at our beautiful objects and posters!! They were too busy eating!! My students had many beautiful objects and posters for the students to enjoy looking at and from which to learn.

But!!!!! as I told you they were too busy eating!! and asking 
"Do you have plates?" 
"Oh, then how am I supposed to hold a cupcake, and a pancake, and a brownie, and some popcorn!!! all in one hand??"
"Well, pick up just one item, my dear then!!!"

Oh MY!! I would suggest an International Day WITHOUT FOOD!!!! for next year!

Ending Slavery

This article is about the sad story of a maid who had been held captive for many years. This article was written in the newspaper called Arab News.

"A Sri Lankan housemaid was kept against her will by her Saudi sponsor and not paid since she came to the Kingdom in 1997, sources from the Jazan governorate said on Tuesday." (http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article459099.ece).

The governor took prompt action in removing the woman from the home and arrested the employer. But not all stories of enslaved maids have such a happy ending. 

The Saudi government must show harsh punishment toward the wayward employer. He was in violation, not only of human rights, but of explicit Saudi law!! Islam abhors all types of injustice. God does not accept injustice, no matter who is the perpetrator!!

We must end slavery! Many people are sold like objects, forced to work for little or no pay and they are at the mercy of their employers. 

Discrimination is a pivotal part of slavery because it allows people to disengage their humanity and justify or tolerate the violation of other's people's human right.

Many people around the world hire people and then they do not pay them their wages, or their benefits or their compensation at the end of their employment. They manage to do so because they are in a stronger position!! 

To be guilty of any such breach is a very SERIOUS OFFENCE!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Teach me how to drive! Let’s all support the Saudi women basic rights

كلنا منال الشريف دعوه للتضامن مع حقوق المرأه السعوديه

"That is exactly the situation in Saudi Arabia where women are being denied the simplest of utilities - a mode of transportation - and where women are ready to give all they own to acquire the most basic of human rights - the right to drive a car. Women were traveling the deserts for thousands of years but we can't be trusted with a piece of metal." Reem Al Faisal

 Manal Alsharif منال الشريف

Many families in Saudi Arabia have at least one driver with an average salary of around 2,000 Saudi riyals ($533) per month. Those who cannot afford this assign a male member of family to drive its women, which often amounts to a time-consuming burden.

Thousands of Saudi men and women joined Facebook groups calling for Saudi driving rights to be extended to women.

Thousands of Saudi men and women joined Facebook groups calling for Saudi driving rights to be extended to women.

Authorities detained six women on Thursday for driving cars in the capital in defiance of laws allowing only male motorists on the kingdom’s roads.

"Women in the country are also required to have written approval from a designated guardian — a father, husband, brother or son — to emigrate, work or travel abroad." 
(By Jason Benham)