Good Bye Jack !

Thanks for inspiring so many of us: young & old, immigrants & natives, residents & citizens! You were an all inclusive politician and the out-pouring at your state funeral proved that…..


Olivia Chow, Jack’s wife leading the funeral procession, followed by his children Sara and Mike and their partners.

Good Bye Jack!! Rest In Peace !!

The CN Tower glowed orange, Jack’s NDP colour on his funeral day.


Please Spare A Moment And A Dollar…… …

……………..even if it is just a dollar, please, please, please spare it …….

A mother’s kiss

Halima Hassan holds her severely malnourished 7-month-old son, Abdulrahman Abshir, at the Banadir hospital on Aug. 14 in Mogadishu, Somalia. Britain says hundreds of thousands of children could starve to death in Somalia if the international community does not ramp up its response to the famine there.

Pic courtesy: MSNBC

You can donate through the following agencies.

UNICEF is among the most active charitable organizations supporting children in Somalia. They say as many 640,000 children are acutely malnourished in southern Somalia alone. Their programs support 16 stabilization centers, 201 outpatient therapeutic programs, and 325 supplementary feeding programs. To donate money to UNICEF, visit here. To learn how you can donate your time, visit here.

The U.N.’s World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization fighting hunger, and is funded entirely through donations. Their work in the Horn of Africa is extensive and crucial. To find out how to donate to the WFP, visit here.

The United States Association for UNHCR (USA for UNHCR) supports the UN Refugee Agency’s humanitarian work to protect and assist refugees around the world. Donations toward shelter, protection and other life-saving essentials for refugees can be made here.

Save the Children is one of the world’s leading independent nonprofit organizations. It has made an urgent call to donors to provide life-saving help to thousands of families in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. “Eighty percent of the refugees are children and the majority of the remainder are women,” says Duncan Harvey, Save the Children’s Deputy Country Director in Ethiopia. To find a list of the many ways to help Save the Children with their work in East Africa, visit here.

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. To support their work helping refugees in the famine, visit here.

Doctors without Borders, founded in 1971, provides independent, impartial medical assistance to those most in need in crisis zones throughout the world. They have been working actively with Somali refugees in northern Kenya since 2009. To find out about the many ways to support their medical mission, visit here.

CARE is a leading humanitarian organization that places special focus on working alongside poor women because, they say, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Their immediate efforts for Somalia refugees in Kenya include safe water, sanitation, and emergency aid to newly arrived refugees. Individuals, especially children, who are suffering from malnutrition and medical problems are referred to supplementary and therapeutic feeding programs and stabilization units. Families are provided with emergency rations while awaiting access to general food distributions. To donate to CARE’s East Africa program, visit here.

Mercy Corps is a global aid agency that works for long periods of time in areas that have experienced some kind of shock. They currently work with Somali refugees in Kenya, and plan on expanding their mission to alleviate the famine into Somalia and Ethiopia. To find out how to donate, visit here.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has operations in Kenya and parts of Somalia helping refugees. To donate to the Red Cross, visit here.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. They are currently undertaking famine relief operations in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. To donate to their effort, visit here.

American Jewish World Service is an international development organization that has a long-standing presence in East Africa and is working with humanitarian organizations already on the ground to provide critical aid to refugees, internally displaced persons and host communities, including food, water and sanitation, medical support and personal safety. To find out how to donate to AJWS’ effort in the region, visit their homepage here.

Islamic Relief USA is a legally separate and independent member of a global family of collaborating relief organizations that was awarded its sixth consecutive four-star rating by Charity Navigator in 2009. They already had relief projects in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia prior to the current crisis. To find out about volunteering with or donating to Islamic Relief USA, visit here.

Happy Independence Day To All Indians

Jai Hind!!

For my non-Indian friends:  The video above is the silent rendition of the Indian national anthem, called ‘Jana Gana Mana‘, by some lovely children of the School for the Deaf and Dumb in India.  Every year on January 26th (Republic Day) and  August 15th (Independence Day), all school children gather at their schools in the morning for the flag-raising, salutations, march past and some physical-exercises. No classes on these days of course.

The video below is the latest  rendition by famous Indian musicians with an English translation of the anthem.

Jaya Hey !!

Don’t Know Why…….

………………………………..I like these?

Is it because of Jane Austen (one of my favourites)  or the captivating  male voice or the fact that I could not make out any word ..? Bohoo hoo…(This also means that this song is now a challenge and it will keep bugging me until I become more proficient at understanding it).

and then came along this…

Is it the beat, is it the music, is it the folksy nature or….(drum roll please)….. is it the fact that I could make out ‘anta’ meaning ‘you’.… yeahhhhhhh to perseverance!!

So why am I doing this? Remember this post? In 2009, I took on a very ambitious project of learning a couple of international languages. My ultimate goal is to master Mandarin and Arabic, but to ease into the challenge, I chose French and Arabic. Of course it  is now 2011 and I have learnt a few Arabic words, reasonably fluent in written French and yet to master spoken French. But, I am enjoying my journey…!!

I Love Him Already

…whatever you may all say, this one has my name written all over it. Ideally, when he is mine, he would walk like this to the bus-stop and await my arrival and then we would both go for a stroll…what a sweetheart!!

H/T The Dependable Renegades