Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pray for Aniket

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Last year, around spring time or so, I was still living in Bridgewater, NJ.  And at the time, my friends and I were fighting for a mosque to be built there– Al Falah.  I asked quite a few people at my school to come and support, as the final town hearing was in my high school auditorium, and three of my friends (none of them very close to me) showed up.  None of them were Muslim.  One of them was Aniket.

About a week ago before I left for a trip to see my uncle in Fremont, California (it’s my last night here), I noticed a video on my Facebook live feed of Aniket with a shaved head titled ‘Update’ that had a lot of likes and comments. I froze. Unknown to any of us, for the past few months, Aniket had been going through chemotherapy and God knows what after being diagnosed with Stage IV cancer.  And I was amazed, although nowhere near surprised, at what he had to say.  The video, posted below, says it all.

Aniket had his surgery on this morning (or yesterday, rather) and is currently recovering and said to be up and talking and doing well.  The video has almost 40,000 hits on Youtube, and so I hope Aniket does not mind that I’m blogging about him on here.  I just feel that people should know and should see not only this very strong and very brave kid, but learn of this extremely insightful perspective. It takes a very strong and very intelligent person to take what Aniket has from all of this… And from what I’ve come to know of him in the past few years, I’m not surprised at all.

Ab imo pectore,

Syjil.

Here’s the link, if the embedding didn’t work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qkIJ4lGlnQ

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Elmo’s dunya

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Why hello lovelies,

It’s been a pleasant week, apart from an article in the Targum that was published on Monday and which has lead me to really want to do some damage to one of the editors… I’d rather not even address it.  I might later, though.

I’m just keeping it short and simple… I posted this on Facebook (and my Twitter, I think) right when they released the info that they had this idea, and they’re finally going to run with it.

Sesame Street hits Lahore.

I love this. I’m from a family and area in Karachi where I really haven’t been exposed to the illiteracy and extreme conservatism of Pakistan, but I do know that, as my mother often says, what Pakistan needs more than anything is education. And the main Pakistani character is a girl. Love, love, love it.

Kind of wondering why Big Bird isn’t there though. Would have been nice to see him spit some Urdu.

Ab imo pectore,

Syjil.

The link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16078217

It’s a girl thing

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Yesterday (or rather, day before) saw my 2nd article in the Daily Targum.  I haven’t posted about it until now, because… well. Exams. Kind of hard to be an awesome blogger chick when you’ve got your education thing going.

Dr. Brumfield of Rutgers University, along with Akdeniz University and a photojournalist by the name of Mick Minard (a woman, by the way), has started this project in Turkey that teaches this group of women farmers business skills that will help them to make a profit off of their livelihood in an efficient manner, making their lives easier.  You can find my article here.

I had difficulty writing this.  Brumfield is all the way in Turkey and Minard’s power went out what with all the snow… I couldn’t get more sources seeing as I was too busy chasing these two down, and literally got my article in at (after) last minute.  It’s just an okay piece for me… I wish I had more.

I wish I could have spoken to them in person.  I would have gotten a different angle out of them.  There’s another project by CARE USA that this reminded me of… Simply put, women’s disadvantages and lack of opportunity has led to one of our biggest epidemics: poverty.  I won’t say too much, because this video says it all for me.

Ab imo pectore,

Syjil.

As always, if the links don’t work:

http://www.dailytargum.com/news/university/faculty-cultivates-turkish-women-s-agricultural-skills/article_5c14eec2-08f7-11e1-8bf9-0019bb30f31a.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kxysX4MmOU

Ten thousand thundering typhoons!

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Now, some oldies may be surprised at my mentioning this, and most– if not all– readers my age will be wondering what the hell I’m talking about, but I have been waiting for this for a few years now… Since whenever it was that Spielberg announced he would be doing it.

Tintin is hitting the big-screen.

For those of you who have NO IDEA what I’m talking about… Tintin is a series of comic books by Belgian artist Georges Rémi that ran from 1907 to 1983. Tintin is a young reporter with a cute, white terrier named Snowy and sometimes accompanied by his good, grumpy friend Captain Haddock (my favorite character) and the nearly-deaf Professor Calculus… and often times having to deal with the moronic detective twins Thomson and Thompson (with a ‘p’ as in ‘Philadelphia’).

The comics are GREAT. Back when I used to spend summers with my dad, I hit up Zebulon Library in North Carolina with him a lot, and he was the one who spotted them and was immediately immersed into his childhood back in Nigeria.  And so, he passed it onto me.  I was around 8 or 9, and my dad was in his late 30s and ten years later we’d both still enjoy it (if we had the time).

But it gets better.

The movie’s in 3D. Why? Apparently so that this comic icon, this character that has lived on through the ages, can be introduced to the kids of this generation– particularly in the U.S., where Tintin hasn’t made as much of a lasting impact– in a way they’ll understand, a way they’ll be able to connect.

I think the new, younger generation is not being given enough credit.  Part of being a CHILD is using your imagination… No matter how you tell the story, as long as it’s a good one, kids will eat it up.  But hey, 3D is awesome, so I’m interested.

I highly recommend to those who haven’t read Tintin to find a copy and delve into his many hilarious and intriguing adventures.  My favorites were The Castafiore Emerald and Tintin in Tibet. And come December 21, when it hits US cinemas (come on, really, that’s so unfair… Spielberg is one of us!), join me in ranting about how the movie just didn’t compare.

Ab imo pectore,

Syjil

P.S. In case the link doesn’t work: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15371733