Abu Bakr Al Rabeeah with Winnie Yeung
I was given this book a few days ago, I have already read it. That speaks for itself. And when I put it down I felt a sadness, let into the life of this Child and his family, I did not want to leave them.
I must also say , as I was nearing the end of the book, I became frightful, I was panicked, and saying to myself, please, let them make it, let this not be a sad story.
I will post some exerpts from other sites, but needless to say this book was one of the most heart warming books I have read in a long time. If only we looked through the eyes of a child, how different this world would be.
The book is a refugee story through the eyes of a child, and about the war torn region of Syria. First and foremost I am happy that he and his family have made it to Canada, and proud that in this instance Canada acted so well bringing in so many from Syria. It is something close to my heart having been to the region and also never being able to grasp such horrors that children are made to suffer.
The book was written in English by Winnie Yeung, and you can feel right away she has captured the essence and spirit of Abu Bakr and his family, and had a very good understanding of the background of the stories told. I smiled at the end of the book to note what great research she did. Need I say, the compassion and her kindness shines through out here too.
Now, we all come from different places, different cultures, different religions, and we can chose to be divided or find a common human bond. When I read beautiful stories like this I will tell you, I find a common thread in all stories of war, divisions and terror. It crosses all the divides.
It is very simple. When one can retain a smile or laughter, one is reminded that its not for our own humanity that we do it, but to remain kind to all.Through this book, one will note the smiles and laughter have become part of the story. What a joy to read of Abu Bakr's father, who focused on love and smile's and laughter and less preaching, more the guidance of love. All of this through the horror of war.
To Abu Bakr's father and all the elder people who surrounded the children with love and protection, You are all Heroes! Every single one of you!
For anyone at all, this book is a gem, a must read!
Abu Bakr al Rabeeah: "When people heard that I was moving from Syria to Canada, they said, 'Don't forget about us and how life is here.' When I met my ESL teacher Ms. Yeung, I got the lucky chance to share my life story with her. We had nice conversations at lunchtime and after school. We spent three months talking about my life. We used Google Translator a lot, looked at a lot of pictures and researched a lot of stuff. I felt happy sharing my life because I feel like I'm helping people back home and I'm helping newcomers here in Canada."
Abu Bakr al Rabeeah: "I hope readers [walk away] knowing how similar we are, how we have the same things, even though we are from countries far apart. When I first came to school [in Canada], some of my friends asked me, 'Do you guys have chairs back in Syria? Do you have schools?' These kinds of question led me to telling my story. The other thing [I hope people learn from the book] is that, yes we went through a lot of bad stuff, a lot of problems. But we still had a good life there. There are still people who are happy living in Syria.
"Once, after a speech, people came to talk to me. They said, 'We have some new Syrian refugees in the school and now I understand how to connect with them.' That's one of the things that I love."
- from CBC Canada
There is enough said about Donald Trump, he is a Traitor for one, a self centered, narcissist son of a bitch to be blunt. He has the education of cockroach with a lobotomy, on crack. Ask me how I really feel? He is also without any doubt a criminal, who has robbed and defrauded many, he just hasn't been convicted yet. A conman without any doubt. However his racism, his abuse of women, his abuse of the weak and his abuse of veterans and mentally handicapped is beyond the pail. Not to mention his anti-gay gender views.
How does a man become the man he is? The age old debate, of environment verses genetics. Whatever the answer, lets take a peek into his fathers history.
Now this is never an excuse, but once you read, is it no wonder the dummy turned out as he did?
Although this was photo shopped, it was about Donald Trump giving the KKK special permissions to hold a rally.
Here are exerts from an article by Marie Loveland
Trump’s Dad Was So Racist, Woody Guthrie Wrote A Song About It
In 1950, Woody Guthrie signed a lease for an apartment in Brooklyn; his landlord was Fred C. Trump
By Mariel Loveland
In 2015, future President Donald Trump issued a seemingly innocuous-but increasingly portentous when put into context-statement: “My legacy has roots in my father’s legacy.” But it might be more than business acumen that has trickled down from the top of the gold-encrusted Trump family tree. Trump’s dad Fred had an unexpected occupant in one of his New York properties in the early 1950s: American singer-songwriter and social justice warrior Woody Guthrie. And guess what? Guthrie was no fan of “Old Man Trump.”
While contemporary musicians like Adele, Miley Cyrus, and Waka Flocka Flame have all taken to social media in order to criticize Donald Trump’s ideals, this was merely round two of musicians coming for the Trumps. Over 60 years ago, Guthrie was feverishly penning tunes lambasting Fred Trump for racist behavior. “Old Man Trump,” Guthrie’s song about Fred, exposed a dark world where the landlord and rumored KKK affiliate profited from an apartment complex that housed only white families. It included the scathing lines, “I suppose that Old Man Trump knows just how much racial hate/He stirred up in that bloodpot of human hearts/When he drawed that color line.”
FRED TRUMP ARRESTED AT KKK RALLY
In May of 1927, a 21-year-old Fred Trump was arrested in the melee surrounding a Klan rally in Jamaica, Queens. A New York Times article from the incident describes the scene as “1,000 Klansmen and 100 policemen [staging] a free-for-all.” For his part, Donald Trump vehemently denied that his father was ever arrested at a Klan rally, and he urged New York Times reporter Jason Horowitz to drop the subject in an interview, stating, “It shouldn’t be written because it never happened, number one. And number two, there was nobody charged.”
Trump did get one thing right: his father was never charged. Out of the seven people arrested, Trump’s father was the only one who got off completely free. According to a clipping from the now defunct Daily Star, four of those arrested were expected to go to court, and two were paroled. One, Fred Trump, was not held on charges. However, this doesn’t negate his standing as a member of the Klan. According to newspaper clip obtained by VICE, all the people arrested were wearing Klan attire, which VICE contends likely would have included Fred Trump.
Guthrie’s lyrics went as follows:
Old Man Trump knows
Just how much
he stirred up
In the bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed
That color line
Here at his
Eighteen hundred family project.
What Guthrie didn’t know was that the FHA had specific racial guidelines
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I even managed to finds some historical photos, for me photos help to bring stories to life!
I have written many poems on famous woman, and hope to do more blog's on the topic as well!
Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate)
Cecilia Payne completed her studies, but Cambridge wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman, so she said fuck that and moved to the United States to work at Harvard.
Not only did Cecilia Payne discover what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne—after telling her not to publish).
Cecilia Payne was the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within Harvard, and is often credited with breaking the glass ceiling for women in the Harvard science department and in astronomy, as well as inspiring entire generations of women to take up science.
Cecilia Payne is awesome and everyone should know her.
And so is Arthur Vaso!!!!
Yes I know I have not posted a blog in a long time, for anyone who blogs this is a Major crime, like Abba I have simply been away for a long time. Many projects are in the works, so stay tuned, more to come!
Now look to the right! Dancing Queens!!!!!
Yes after 35 years they have recorded two new songs! Now we will all wonder the same magic or not, however I have to wish for the magic! They have been offered over 1 billion dollars in the past to perform and turned it down. ( I have turned down 2 billion so no big deal there)
And a huge thanks to the models here, you know who you are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Smiles
Although the story is fiction, its based on a "maybe this happened" and is loosely based on real events during World War 2. The book was of course a GREAT READ, and I love when the author provides notes at the end, explaining or giving the book more context. In fact I will post the notes and research references here, this one book can lead to so many areas of interest!.
Reposted from the authors web site
The Paris Spy
(Bantam Dell/Random House, August 8, 2017)
Maggie Hope has come a long way since serving as a typist for Winston Churchill. Now she’s working undercover for the Special Operations Executive in the elegant but eerily silent city of Paris, where SS officers prowl the streets in their Mercedes and the Ritz is draped with swastika banners. Walking among the enemy is tense and terrifying, and even though she’s disguised in chic Chanel, Maggie can’t help longing for home.
But her missions come first. Maggie’s half sister, Elise, has disappeared after being saved from a concentration camp, and Maggie is desperate to find her — that is, if Elise even wants to be found. Equally urgent, Churchill is planning the Allied invasion of France, and SOE agent Erica Calvert has been captured, the whereabouts of her vital research regarding Normandy unknown. Maggie must risk her life to penetrate powerful circles and employ all her talents for deception and spycraft to root out a traitor, find her sister, and locate the reports crucial to planning D-Day in a deadly game of wits with the Nazi intelligence elite.
Now, I will say there are many people who confound science of all stripes, and I certainly will not say everything is black or white, as an example, I am all for the Oil Pipeline in North America as the alternatives are simply not there now , nor practical. Working in an industry of innovation, I know that we have already replaced fossil fuels; we are simply in the stage of transforming to new technologies.
Normally, I feature books I have read, and enjoyed, however today will be an exception. I have just bought two books, in French, that I am looking forward to reading. Yes they have a lot of pictures in them too!
The first is a book called Paris Rive Droite, Petite Histoires & Grand Secrets which translates too, the right bank, a little history and the big secrets!
The second is really a magazine of sorts, and this is a series on biographies, this one on the French poet Charles Baudelaire, a poet that has inspired me, so how could I resist this fine selection.
And remember these wise words, two heads are better than one! Just like two books are better than one! ( photo taken and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts )
The first was Darren’s Garden of Eden and the second Gideon’s Law
Links to pages
I have received such a huge response and literally hundreds of emails, and I was very pleased people dropped by to read, however I was more than pleased only to know Darren appreciated the pages. So many people wished to add a little of their own garden, and so I decided to do so here.
With his permission, I will provide a little background that may help explain my admiration, of such a fine poet and humble young man. Darren is paralyzed from the waist down, he is autistic, and from various injuries is often in pain. Yet here he is, a radiant smile to all who approach him, a man who battles each day, to be here with us. I know he thinks I may be the wise one, but it is he who teaches me, each and every day. Now I have spoken of his ailments, only because they are persistent. However one is not defined by ones illness or predicaments.
Photos and paintings by
Arthur the Great Vaso
and many more to come!
In the year of 1859, bridge workers working on the Victoria bridge uncovered the mass grave, many of them, themselves Irish. At the time they erected a memorial, so that future generations would not forget. Officially named the Irish Commemorative Stone, it is more commonly known as the Black Rock and also has been referred to as the Ship Fever Monument.
Today, the Irish community has been lobbying for a more substantial monument and better preservation of the "Irish Commemorative Stone" As the land has been purchased by Hydro Quebec, lets hope that the Quebec Government cares about preserving its patrimony and the telling of this important historical event, so that the story is never forgotten.
This is however, not just an Irish Story. Sickness Sheds had been erected to take care of and segregate those who contracted the fever. Many people helped and cared for the sick, even knowing how contagious and how dangerous this was. John Easton Mills, the then Mayor on Montreal tended to the sick and he himself caught the fever and died.
Notes: As this was in today's newspaper here, I read up on the topic, from various sources. Any errors in fact are mine, and if anyone wishes to either correct or provide more detailed accounts of any part of this narrative, I would love to hear from you.
A smile won and a frown lost
Moderate Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, won a decisive second term against a decidedly extremist and intolerant candidate, Ebrahim Raisi. It is my sincerest wish that Rouhani winning a second term will be a turning point for Iran. What is of great joy is that huge numbers of Iranians came out to vote, and in Tehran the number of voters was double that of the last election. Even the executive branch in Iran has limited powers; it was the only area in which the hardliners did not control. It is of course also the only area in which the people have somewhat of a true say in matters. Never the less, the people have spoken and hopefully this will lead to a more open and free society!
I must remind Westerners that as a moderate, he spoke up and made direct accusations towards the torture and oppression, jailings and killings by Ebrahim Raisi. In Iran, no matter how high the status of an individual, it is always a risk to be so direct in exposing and opposing the hardliners. This is a fine line that always has to be balanced.
If you doubt me just look at Egypt. Changes must be made in small steps so that the extremists can not make excuses to simply annul democracy ad seize back power!
It is with great irony that when Iran has made such a progressive choice, Donald Trump has chosen to visit Saudi Arabia and provide such an extremist kingdom with even more weapons.
If only Persian poets could rule the world!
Below are a few beautiful images from Iran!
First, let me say, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and the author Dalia Sofer, enchants the reader from beginning to end. Lovely poetry, one can not help but be enticed by any story taking place in Persia.
Knowing so many Iranians, who have told me of the beauty of their country and culture, I have to say my dream, is to be able to visit there, to see today, and to see the ancient history told by art and poetry, both then and now.
Below you will also find a beautiful poem by Hafiz!
During the first months after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, wealthy Jewish Iranian gemologist Isaac Amin is suddenly arrested at his office in Tehran by the Revolutionary Guards who take him to prison. During his prison days, he meets fellow prisoners of different backgrounds, who are tortured and finally prosecuted. In interrogation sessions, his interrogator Mohsen, once torturing him with a lit cigarette and having him lashed, refers to the injustice of being affluent and to the justice that the revolution is bringing to the oppressed. After the guards scare him by putting him before a firing squad and shooting around his body, he says to Mohsen that he has realized the truth and is ready to pay all his savings as his debt to the revolution. After emptying his bank account, Mohsen declares him free and leaves him alone in the street.
Poems from the Divan of Hafiz, by Getrude Lowthian Bell, 1897
I CEASE not from desire till my desire
Is satisfied; or let my mouth attain
My love's red mouth, or let my soul expire,
Sighed from those lips that sought her lips in vain.
Others may find another love as fair;
Upon her threshold I have laid my head,
The dust shall cover me, still lying there,
When from my body life and love have fled.
My soul is on my lips ready to fly,
But grief beats in my heart and will not cease,
Because not once, not once before I die,
Will her sweet lips give all my longing peace.
My breath is narrowed down to one long sigh
For a red mouth that burns my thoughts like fire;
When will that mouth draw near and make reply
To one whose life is straitened with desire?
When I am dead, open my grave and see
The cloud of smoke that rises round thy feet:
In my dead heart the fire still burns for thee;
Yea, the smoke rises from my winding-sheet!
Ah, come, Beloved! for the meadows wait
Thy coming, and the thorn bears flowers instead
Of thorns, the cypress fruit, and desolate
Bare winter from before thy steps has fled.
Hoping within some garden ground to find
A red rose soft and sweet as thy soft cheek,
Through every meadow blows the western wind,
Through every garden he is fain to seek.
Reveal thy face! that the whole world may be
Bewildered by thy radiant loveliness;
The cry of man and woman comes to thee,
Open thy lips and comfort their distress!
Each curling lock of thy luxuriant hair
Breaks into barbèd hooks to catch my heart,
My broken heart is wounded everywhere
With countless wounds from which the red drops start.
Yet when sad lovers meet and tell their sighs,
Not without praise shall Hafiz’ name be said,
Not without tears, in those pale companies
Where joy has been forgot and hope has fled.
This blog was written while tasting a wonderful Shiraz wine, Sonovino from Sicily!
The Falklands War
I found this book in a used book store in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia! I was surprised and intrigued as to the connections with France and New France. The book is very detailed and thus may be boring to some; however, I found this to be a unique and interesting part of history. The devil is in the details, and this book certainly takes a reader through the war, day by day. I think what is also interesting is no one at the time thought such a small insignificant peace of land would cause such a conflict. Argentina learned this the hard way.
Now, I know most will not have the time to read the book and may not be interested in that moment in history. However, one of the things I try to do when writing poetry is to see things from the human element, or a particular person's point of view. I think humanizing these events helps us to create empathy and understanding of all things, not in terms of right or wrong, but in terms of realizing that humans inflicting pain on humans is a terrible thing. And by no means do I have any answers, only by viewing problems with lots of empathy, may one soften his thoughts towards any perceived enemy.
The Welsh Guards came into existence on 26 February 1915 by Royal Warrant of George V in order to include Wales in the national component to the Foot Guards, "..though the order to raise the regiment had been given by the King to Earl Kitchener, Secretary of State for War, on 6 February 1915." They were the last of the Guards to be created, with the Irish Guards coming into being in 1900. Just three days later the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards mounted its first King's Guard at Buckingham Palace on 1 March 1915 – St David's Day.
One can feel the sincerity in her voice, and she took hold of a personal tragic event and transformed into such a positive force to be reckoned with.
She is now an honorary citizen of Canada, only the sixth one to awarded this honor, and I am proud as a Canadian, she has been chosen.
I have posted a poem dedicated to her visit here in Canada this month as well as an old poem I had written in 2013.
You have no more reason for fear
For the world now holds you dear
Your humble voice, speaking of others
You too a pearl, adored by worldly mothers
Touching the spirit of kindred souls
You have shown our senior leaders
A child can lead even the elders
You have paved that way
Humble of heart
Joyous towards mankind
Your smile is infectious
I, a simple poet, applause you
You have infected me too!
You are Malala
From a small village
She wore a pink dress to look pretty
While she studied, the passion of knowledge
Her heart shines in her quest of learning
This child has the wisdom
Of eleven kingdoms
For this, they seek to destroy her
Talibani bombs to most seem strong
Only evil, attempts a child’s life
Only Angels saved her very soul
As she becomes a soldier
Of learning, a burning light
Is there a man to stand up to evil?
To shine a light upon heinous crimes?
Who of us has this will?
I ask you fourteen times, who will save us?
From a small village
They tried to send her to heaven
God sent us one angel back
So that may we learn yet again
The innocence of love
She has become the soul
She has become the princess
Of knowledge seekers
In candle light we may prey
That her heart shall remain and stay
So that we may learn and grow
And fight evil, by simply saying NO
They shot a child in the head
For going to school you should be dead
The world wept at this cowardly act
Who would save us from such evil deeds?
From a small village
With the wisdom of many Kings
A Princess with a heart of gold
Who has blessed us all
From velvet skies
A smile to behold
Dedicated to the Female Poets featured here on this site thus far.
Jan Allison Isle of Women
Casarah Nance United States
Lucilla Carillo United States
Charmaine Chircop Malta
Eileen Manassian Lebanon
Andrea Dietrich United States
Seren Roberts Wales
So this blog is dedicated to all the female Poets and Artists featured here on this site thus far. And…. Yes I have a small gift for you! At first I was going to write a poem, then I thought, who is one of the most romantic poets on PoetrySoup? It is most certainly not me!
So here below is a poem written by none other than Tim Smith. Thanks Tim, and its always fun to work on projects and ideas together!
(by Tim Smith)
Woman, you take my breath away
Not in what radiates off your precious skin
But what lies deep inside of you
Head held high
Not letting one moment
Of life slip on by
Strength more than a conviction
Capturing every ounce
Of my begging heart
Mother to many, daughter to all
Let me be your comfort
The harbor in your shore
Be the answer to my prayers
Walk beside me
In the waning of our years
moments that take our breath away"
Also I guess the subtext here is never judge a book by the cover!
Enjoy and Listen!
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Now strictly speaking, I will broaden the topic a wee bit to include a few more songs, but I was inspired by the music of yesteryear's. I found the 1920’s era, both romantic, musical and more than that a common thread between both France and the USA as many musicians traveled back and forth between the two countries.
For me a poetic time, and a period very romanticized, by many including of course myself.
This blog is very much about music, and carries a few small subtexts, both “Then and now” as well as inclusion. Ironic that from Prohibition came more integration of races and the sexes. All I can say is music itself is a great uniter of the human spirit!
I added one song at the end, bring both the past and present together!
A speakeasy is an illicit establishment that sells alcoholic beverages. Such establishments came into prominence in the United States during the Prohibition era (1920–1933, longer in some states). During that time, the sale, manufacture, and transportation (bootlegging) of alcoholic beverages was illegal throughout the United States.
Speakeasies largely disappeared after Prohibition was ended in 1933, and the term is now used to describe some retro style bars.
Speakeasies were numerous and popular during the Prohibition years. Some of them were operated by people who were part of organized crime. Even though police and agents of the Bureau of Prohibition would often raid them and arrest their owners and patrons, they were so profitable that they continued to flourish. The speakeasy soon became one of the biggest parts of American culture during this time. Several changes happened as speakeasies formed; one was with integration. With "black and tans", people of all races, black or white, would gather together and even mingle. People would mix together and have few or no problems.
Another change that occurred was more participation from women. Many businesses would set up their speakeasies to attract women to get more profits.Women also began to insert themselves into the business of speakeasies. Texas Guinan, a former screen and stage actress, opened many speakeasies during Prohibition such as the 300 Club and the El Fey. Guinan greeted customers with "Hey Suckers" and admitted she'd be nothing without Prohibition. Her two biggest competitors were Helen Morgan and Belle Livingston.
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Sometimes that bell rings in your head and for some reason I thought of this song! I said for me this is poetry. Not only for the lyrics themselves, but because having watched this video, well I envisioned the underdog, the frog and the prince so to speak, and he sings with such powerful , ok I will say it, poetic emotion.
Now any fashion blog, must, I say must start with the image of a beautiful woman!
Who ever would have thought! A Fashion blog!!!! However those who know me know that when it comes to fashion, I am FASHION! I know most think of me as a poet, but each and every season, you have no idea how many fashion houses and boutiques, come to me and say, Arthur, what’s the new trend going to be?
Of course this happens so often, than when I go out now, I have to be in disguise and dress as unfashionably as possible, I mean like to the MAX!!!!!
Do not let my Wal-Mart disguise fool you! Anyone who knows hair knows I am trendy! Ask anyone, Vidal Sassoon, Atiqa Odho or Bechir!
Now as most artists and creative people are, I believe in building bridges not fences, and fashion can be one of those bridges.
So who would have thought the latest trends, the latest fashion news would come from Iraq? Well of course I know all, and have discovered the latest FASHIONISTAS of fashion!!!!
Iraqi Kurdish fashionistas make a splash
Conflict and militancy may be first things that occur to many about Iraq, but a group of young fashion-conscious Kurds are hoping to help project a brighter, more optimistic image - and perhaps effect social change along the way.
The group calls itself Mr Erbil, after the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq that has been at the frontline of the struggle against the militants of the Islamic State (IS) group.
The pictures of the 20 men posing in latest Western men's fashion - specifically, the style recently associated with hipsters, replete with the trademark sharp suits, tight trousers and lovingly trimmed beards - became wildly popular on via Arthur Vaso’s instagram!!!!
Mr Erbil sees itself as something almost akin to a movement representing young Iraqi Kurds who are looking for a better life and want to promote Kurdish culture to the world.
The Mr Erbil account frequently posts pictures and musings about women's issues in Kurdistan, Iraq and the world.
This non-fiction book is without a doubt a GREAT READ! This basically covers the build up of Nazi Germany and you get the perspective and views from inside the country. What I liked about this book, as it covers not only the historical context and content, but it’s basically from a personal point of view and describes the day to day life people had to live under. You get to see both the he right and wrong assumptions of someone who is living the period without the benefit of hindsight. I found the book very refreshing and a stark reminder of how this could come to be, even in our times.
Berlin Diary (1934–1941) is a first-hand account of the rise of Nazi Germany and its road to war, as witnessed by the American journalist William L. Shirer. He was a radio reporter for CBS, covered Germany for several years until the Nazi press censors made it impossible for him to report objectively to his listeners in the United States; feeling increasingly uncomfortable, he left the country. The identities of many of Shirer's German sources were disguised to protect these people from retaliation by the German secret police, the Gestapo. The contents of this book provided much of the material for his landmark book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
In 1947, End of a Berlin Diary continued and finished the story of the Third Reich, from July 20, 1944, to the Nuremberg Trials.
William Shrier (left)
Hi there, the blog has been running for almost a year, and as you can see I try to keep up a few posts a month. More about poetry and fellow poets, but also about current events, social issues as well as art and music. I look forward to any suggestions from readers and fellow poets!