Golden Press

Diary Entry: Team Gabby Douglas

When I first began my blog it was about women achieving greatness and international news. Today a story brought me back to that vision of what Golden Press was intended to be.

I was not in London to witness her performance nor have I ever met Gabby Douglas. But at 16 she has two olympic medals and today she was the first Black woman to win the women’s all-around title. Now, I don’t know if she knows what this means at the age of 16. Maybe she is a little smarter than I was at her age. I know it is saying a lot for young women in the U.S. who are black. It is saying a lot to black mothers in the U.S. And it surely means a hell of a lot to Black/African-American/Negro communities in the United States.

I say today, well done Gabby Douglas. And I thank your mother for hanging in there to make sure that you could grab such a title for the United States and uplift an entire community.

If I ever have a child. And it happens to be a girl. We will first try her out in gymnastics and move on to other things like dance.

Have a see at “The Flying Squirrel.”

Associated Press Copy Right

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August 2, 2012 Posted by | Fun Topics, International | Leave a comment

Some Arab Spring Countries Transistion with New Governments

November 29, 2011

By Jarondakie Patrick

Arab Spring: Egypt’s Elections

Egyptians formed lines as early as 9 a.m. on Monday to participate in its first parliamentary elections. It had been over 10 months since riots broke out and former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted.

November 23 thru 27, embassies reported about 70% of Egyptians abroad voted. In the meantime, Cairo’s Tahrir Square remained occupied by protesters who believed the polls should have been postponed.

The military says Egypt’s economy is at stake and holding elections will help the populous country – in Africa and the Middle East with over 81 million citizens – rise.

Egypt joins Libya, which worn in a new government on November 24, 2011.

Libya’s Government Recovery

Just weeks after the death of Muammar Qaddafi, Libya put into place a new government last week. Libya’s interim Prime Minister Abedel Rahim al-Kib and National Transitional Council chairman, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, were joined with a new cabinet in Tripoli last week.

Abdel Hakim Belhadj, commander of Libya’s most powerful militias, said on Monday he will back the interim national government. Hundreds of Berbers have warned against the new government saying their community was excluded from the cabinet.

The ministers have vowed to remain faithful to the objectives of the Feb. 17, 2011 revolution, preserve independence along with the country’s security and unity.

The interim government will meet the challenge of establishing elections for June 2012. Voters will than select a legislation to write the new constitution.

January 23, 2012 Posted by | International, Politics | Leave a comment

World Overpopulated

On Halloween while most parents were out with their children and other adults prepared for the next day, the world sprouted 7 billion. The United States Bureau says the world’s population is a little over 6 billion. But the United Nations reports otherwise.

The world reached its first billion people in 1804 and 2 billion more a century later. The population hit a boom afterward with 3 billion in 1959, 4 billion in 1974, 5 billion in 1987, and 6 billion in 1998.

The top ten countries with the highest populations are: China, India, United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Russia, Bangladesh, and Japan.

Today, the U.N. says the world population will reach 8 billion by 2025 and 10 billion by 2083.

As the population increases experts are apprehensive and so is the governments in the most populated countries around the world.

China with a population over 1 billion and ranking at no.1 as the most populous country in the world says it will continue to enforce its one-child policy. For the past three decades the policy has limited most urban families to one child and rural families to only two.

The Capital of China, Beijing, says its strict family planning policy has helped to push the country’s growing economy.

But problems have still risen from the population existing in many countries today.

Sex-selective abortions have increased in China and India causing an estimated 43 million fewer girls than boys. More young girls have ended up homeless or orphans and has impacted the martial system. Many women are single or divorced by their husbands because they cannot produce a male child.

“Overpopulation remains one of the major challenges to social and economic development,” Li Bin, director of the State Population and Family Planning Commission, told the official Xinhua News Agency. He said the population of China would hit 1.45 billion in 2020.

November 22, 2011 Posted by | Fun, International | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The West Taken Heed to Somalia’s Condition

By Jarondakie Patrick

September 16, 2011

Twenty Canadians will walk eight days and 400 km — approximately 248 miles — from Toronto to Ottawa for one goal. They have decided something needs to be done to assist Somalia and bring awareness to the famine.

“We are walking for the countless mothers, fathers, children and elderly whose voices and pleas have been silenced for far too long,” Muna Ismail, Walk For Somalia Team Member said.

Since the drought has hit the East horn, Somalia has been one of the countries that has taken a heavy hit. An ineffective government since 1991 along with Somalians of al-Shabab, it has disrupted the country’s economic stability.

According to the United Nations 4 million Somalis — more than half the population — are in a crisis.

From the media videos and photos distributed to the Western Hemisphere, many have become sympathetic and have found ways to take action.

“It is wrong for the innocent and weak to suffer in such conditions when something can be done,” Ismail said.

The Walk for Somalia organized by twenty Canadians is a non-political, non-sectarian initiative. Walk for Somalia was established in 2009 and has raised $30,000 for two camps. This time the organization wants to raise $1 million by their Walk for Somalia initative  beginning on Sept. 18 and ending Sept. 26.

The Canadians are asking the federal government to extend the donation matching period and  be accountable for delivering the aid.

Data released by the United Nations Inter-agency group for Child Mortality Estimation reports the east Africa country has the world’s highest mortality rate for children under the age of five.

September 16, 2011 Posted by | AFRICA and its countries, International | Leave a comment

U.S. Policy Examines Somalia

WASHINGTON — Somalia is still in the pits.

At a congressional hearing experts, said 2.85 million Somalis are in need of humanitarian aid. This year’s drought in Somalia is the worst the Horn of Africa or East Africa has seen since the 1950s.

And things are not looking up said experts.

“Our experts at FEWSNET and FSNAU have studied the most recent data they have collected, and they expect the perilous situation in the Horn of Africa to worsen through the end of the year,” Nancy E. Lindborg, assistant administrator for Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian said.

The data examines the limited labor opportunities, the dwindling food stocks, and sky-high cereal prices, which is causing households to go hungry.

Many Somalis have left their country in hope of better assistance and food in refugee camps spread throughout East Africa: Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia.

These camps have been experiencing their own wave from the drought. Malnutrition is at an all time high in Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya and Boqolmayo refugee camp in Ethiopia.

“One out of every two Somalis now arriving in Ethiopia is acutely malnourished, and one out of three arriving in Kenya is acutely malnourished,” Lindborg said.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Reuben Brigety, II of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration said the camps are so over filled with refugees from Somalia that Ethiopia opened a 6th camp and has announced an opening of a 7th camp along with Djibouti.

Is it because there hasn’t been an existing government since the 1991 or terrorists groups funded by al-Qaida?

Experts debate that both have been the reason for the flux in the country.

“The increasing piracy problem off the coast of Somalia stems from years of instability, lack of governance, and economic fragility on land,” Yamamoto said. He added, the U.S.plans to work closely with the Transitional Federal Government Parliament Prime Minister Abdiweli M. Ali for the next 12 months.

For the 2011 Fiscal Year, the proposed level is about $21 million to support the Dual Track Policy.

The Dual Track Policy developed by the State Department has two paths. One path is to continue support of the Djibouti Peace Process, the Transitional Federal Government, its National Security Forces, and the African Union Mission in Somalia. Path two is outreach. Don Yamamoto, assistant secretary bureau of African Affairs, said this path broadens the U.S. engagement to include communication with Somaliland, Puntland, and regional and local anti-al-Shabaab groups throughout central Somalia.

With this Dual Track Policy set in place additional funds will also be given to Somalia this year and Somalia refugees.

“The U.S. Government is also providing $48 million in humanitarian assistance to help those in Somalia, as well as over $76 million in humanitarian assistance for those who have fled Somalia,” Yamamoto said.

This will be the first time in two years the UN has delivered aid to south central Somalia, an area controlled by the group al-Shabab.

To Learn More About the issues discussed in this article refer to links below:

Huff Post World – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timothy-a-ridout/somalia-is-not-a-state_b_894734.html

BBC News Africa http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14144893

Sunatimes.com – http://www.sunatimes.com/view.php?id=1178

*I also encourage you to do your own research on current events happening in Africa as well as past events.

July 13, 2011 Posted by | AFRICA and its countries, Health, International, Life In DC, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 2: Kyoto, Japan

Golden Pavilion 2011 © Jarondakie Patrick

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It seems I finally have gotten use to the time different in Japan, but still manage to go to bed earlier than all of the other reporters here. In Washington, DC  it is Saturday and night-time. But in Japan it’s 8 a.m. Today I woke up early to prepare to be a tour guide for the rest of the Roy W. Howard 2011 Group. Were going to Kyoto to visit the Golden Pavilion and Zen Rock gardens at Ryoan-ji.

Kyoto, Japan 2011 © Jarondakie Patrick

When thinking about the history of Kyoto it is amazing.

Kyoto once was the largest city in Japan and for 1,000 years was the capital city. Now it holds antique buildings and great history for the Japanese people. The population is very dense compared to other cities like Tokyo and Osaka. But its the third city to make up the metropolitan area with Osaka and Kobe. There are 11 wards in Kyoto and one of Japan’s highest ranked universities is here, Kyoto University.

At the Gold Pavilion we met several people who wanted to take pictures with Americans and students wanting to practice their English on us. It wasn’t the best, but a few members of the group gave them their email addresses to keep in touch.

At the Zen Rock Garden, Brad, our chaperone pointed out that many Japanese are fascinated with blonde hair and blue eye humans. In Japan you rarely see someone with blonde hair or blue eyes. When they do, most of the time the Japanese pull out their cameras or chat among themselves about the rare humans they see. Other times they’re laughing, not at Americans or rare creatures, but out of curiosity. (At least I hope)

All the students were dressed in uniforms. Most girls had their skirts rolled up so the hem hung high above their knees. It seemed pretty odd to see students on field trips from other Japanese cities and China because in America most kids are out of school for a 2-3 month summer. Japanese students attend school all year round except for August when they are out for the summer, which happens to be the hottest month of the year in Japan.

One thing about Kyoto that amazed everyone was the famous street that dates back. It is the home of Geisha, the women that we could not get a look at. But we tried our hardest as we walked down the entire block hoping to spot one. We even ran down one of the alleys thinking the lady exiting a car was a Geisha. I guess we run too slow because before we knew it, it was as if she vanished.

Before stalking the block of  ‘Geisha Land’ we stopped for ice cream. The waffle cone was amazing, but I could not get over the overdose of green tea products.

Green tea is a staple in Japanese culture. It is served with every meal and you can find it everywhere. I have seen green tea Kit Kat, ice cream, cake, and candy. But the taste of green tea is not of a sweet taste, which sometimes makes it unbearable to drink. The taste is tart and often taste like dirt when not sweetened.

Kyoto sparked an interest in me; much about foreign relations. Even in a large city like Kyoto with over 1 million residents the streets are clean. Where there is traffic, there is no chaos of honking horns. The people cruise on their bicycles with no hesitation of screeching brakes from a car. The drivers have so much respect for the bikers and for the people. Should I say, the taxi drivers do not take tips.

© Jarondakie Patrick

Today lunch was a disappointment. Probably because we waited so long to eat, but mainly I have already became weiry of raw foods. This had to be the most disappointing thing for me so far on the trip. I am very open-minded, but certain things I refuse to eat, no matter where I am.  

I did not enjoy looking at baby shrimps fried with everything still attached and labeled as “Cajun shrimp”. I am from Louisiana (home to Cajun food and seafood) and nothing seemed delicious about eating a shrimp with eyes and a tail, so I did not. I have tried calamari and find squid to be gummy. So I waited for a visitor to tell me what everything was before I put it on my lips. I did happen to try some fried potatoes and strange white fish (that no one knew the name of , even when they looked it up). I tip my hat off to the rest of the group that ate all of the goodies delivered to the table.

I did enjoy the restaurant.

I must not forget the Kyoto Train Station. You have seen nothing like it with its multiple stairs that lead to the top of a roof. On the roof lies amazing flowers, benches, and a view of Kyoto hidden through see-through plastic. The gigantic architecture criss-crosses above the opening of the train station leading outdoors and up to the roof.  I must say the Japanese are really into sophisticated artwork, but little color. Many of their buildings are made with glass and the colors are: black, grey, or silver.

Kyoto Train Station 2011©Jarondakie Patrick

We added Nijo Castle into our visit and Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto. I think the Shimogamo Shrine was the most color I had seen, since being in Japan.

Very peaceful at the Zen Rock Gardens in Japan. If you look really hard you may notice there are 15 rocks. ©Jarondakie Patrick

Today was a long day!

July 13, 2011 Posted by | International, JAPAN | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Saudi Arabia: Why are women considered to be driving illegally?

The women of Saudi Arabia are humming the sweet words “we are equal”. The Saudi women have begun to protest and secretly drive in the cities of Saudi Arabia in the hopes of not being arrested. Woman protester, Manal al-Sharif was not so lucky. She was recently released on bail, but the police returned to her home to arrest her again for a video she posted on YouTube of herself driving.

Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive vehicles.

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Fun Topics, International | Leave a comment

Day 1 Osaka, Japan

Sunday, June 18, 2011  11:00 p.m.

The culture of Japan has already revealed itself in small acts and large scenery.

A bow between one person and another, which indicates respect as well as greeting. Things I’ve learned in this short period of my 24 hour adventure travelling and brief exploration of the country has been priceless. Japan has main highways while the other streets are called by numbers.

 The restaurants and driver services do not take tips. Tonight 10 people ate for $90.00 in a moderate restaurant that displayed their dishes in a glass window. The dishes were made of wax and can be seen outside of all restaurants before dining. The restaurant was located underground in the Whity Mall. Japan underground malls have many levels. Some levels include dining, grocery store, shopping malls, and convenience stores. 

I should say that my day with Japanese culture began yesterday in Chicago. I watched as two businessmen exchanged cards and bowed several times after the business cards were accepted with both hands. This is something that is custom in Japanese culture. While boarding Japan Airlines I reached my passport to the airline workers with both hands. She scanned my boarding pass and returned my passport to me the same.

The 13 hour flight to Tokyo was long and exhausting. It probably would have been miserable if I was on the plane by myself, but lucky for me and the rest of the Roy W. Howard group we had other students to chat with in between movies, games, and sleep. Actually the flight was one of luxury. We watched recently released movies on mini screens installed in the back of the seats head rest in front of us and did not have to pay for them. We also were given two meals and snacks. This was the first time I received ice cream on an airplane.

As the flight went on, it seemed like the flight attendants never set down. They always had smiles and bowed as we exited the plane in Tokyo.

While staying at the Crown Plaza in Osaka. I noticed that the Japanese take pride in technology and are far more creative.

Important Words I learned today:

“Sumimasen” (excuse-me)

July 8, 2011 Posted by | JAPAN | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Longest Bridge is located in China

Nagged this link from the Washington Post Twitter Account and wordpress blog. This is why I have a travel bug because things like this amaze me!

http://washingtonpoststyle.tumblr.com/post/7088762289/the-longest-bridge-in-the-world-just-opened-in

July 1, 2011 Posted by | Fun, International | Leave a comment

Judgement from thy African Communities!

As a collective there are still certain things that are unacceptable in the minority community. For example thy should not set their beliefs to the side for family, friends, and love ones. This is all relevant when it comes to the African-American communities and African communities. As much as we try to relate by wearing African prints, West African symbols as tattoos, head wraps, and take African classes we are very much similar in many ways. One way is African-American families and African families are not very accepting of homosexuals.

Homosexuality has become a homophobia among the communities bringing judgement and harassment within African countries. Human Rights organizations have come together to form alliances so that people can exercise the right to marry and not be harassed by political figures. There was a time when churches came together so that the community could lean on them, but the generations are much different and church leaders have changed.

African bishops have condemned the practice of homosexuality in the church. This condemning has taken place in countries like Uganda, South Africa, Malawi, and Zambia. Not only do bishops disagree with the lifestyle of homosexuals, but it continues to be illegal in over 20 African countries.

With the Church always being comfort for advice, counseling, and love it may be the last place many who are “out” about their sexual preference would like to go. Now that Church is not an option where can humans that have been beaten, raped, and punished turn to.

The Family is another “backbone” to African and African-American communities. Many family members are still not accepting of  their children or spouse coming out about who they truly are. 

Africans in Uganda have decided to turn to the internet, play writing, and organizations so that their human rights can be heard beyond the borders of the Africa continent.

South African, Juilet Vuyiseka Rozani’s play Broken Dream is an example of advocating. It brings issues to the forefront that derive from the LGBT community in African countries everyday. Rozani uses her play to tap into various issues about lesbian women and their experiences in the South African society.

Rozani described her play as one for Broadway. She stated that it relates to people in the United States that also have the rights to choose their sexuality openly.

The play was showcased at the Jobury Theatre in the last week of August.

*

Some argue that people are born Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or wanting to change their sex (transgender) and others argue that it is a choice. Choices are decisions that each individual can make and genetics are uncontrollable.

September 11, 2010 Posted by | International | Leave a comment