Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Painful memories of the years gone by
Haunt me every single night,
And as I try so hard to hold on to,
Everything I cherish to be dear and true,
The memories keep haunting me,
And I face each day
Not with rays of hope and faith,
But only with sorrow and heartache.
I yearn so much for the peace and tranquility
That will help fulfill my destiny and ease my pain.

I wrote this poem,
in the year of 1985,
when I was only 16
and at an age,
when I was struggling to find my true identityin a world,
which greatly confused me.
Little did I realize,
the impact those words
written by me
at such a tender age
would have on my life.
Most women
go through life
without knowing the importance of their existence in this world
because of certain actions and words of others
that affect us
which lead us to believe
that the knowledge and in born talents we possess
is of limited use.
Confusion sets in
distracting us,
and our true potential which we use
to overcome our problems,
becomes nothing but
continuous failures.

We end up
wasting the few years we have left in this world
struggling to find new ways
of overcoming our failures
while missing out on the wonderful opportunities life has to offer us.
Some of us succeed
but some of us are not so fortunate.

I, Rain,am one of those women,
who were fortunate enough to succeed,
after struggling for years
to achieve what I have now.

Death will come to us all when we least expect it.
We must live life to the fullest
so that we may find true happiness
before our time is up in this world.

Have you found that true happiness?


Female Circumcision

Yes, unbelievable as it may seem to some, female circumcision or what I prefer to call it, Genital Mutilation, exists and has been around for over 1000 years and happens to be an age old tradition in many parts of Africa and even Asia.

In 1998, it was estimated that around 126 million women in 28 countries were circumcised in the name of tradition. 6000 girls fall victim to this ancient traditional practice everyday.

The ritual is performed on girls who are sometimes as young as 2 years old.

The child is first tied to a chair and her legs are spread apart. The cutter, an elderly woman, grips the skin of the clitoris and begins cutting it until there is no longer a clitoris left. This ritual is performed without any anesthetic. As I write, I can imagine the horrifying screams coming out of those little girls and their tiny bodies writhing in pain. There are instances where all the genitals are removed. Once they finishing cutting off the clitoris and removing the organs, the wound is stuffed with herbs and raw eggs and “sewn together with catgut or thorns”.

I personally find it hard to believe that this age old tradition of female circumcision is practiced to “preserve virginity before marriage and to enhance a woman’s beauty”. But what I did find to be true was that a child who has been a victim of female circumcision will be “re-cut with a razor again when she gets married “to make intercourse possible”. And her first-born usually dies “because the labia minora that stretches and aids in the baby’s birth has been cut off, the labor is therefore prolonged and the baby is starved of oxygen”.

Here is another valuable piece of information I came across on female circumcision:

“Just a few generations ago, some physicians in the United States suggested that a woman who showed “excessive’ interest in sex should have her clitoris removed. Such a procedure, it was argued would keep her sexual behavior under control (Hyde, 1994).


A closer look at Racism

The hatred that dwells in their hearts
For those who are of a different race,
Is not hatred they were born with,
For as they were born
their heart was pure
and filled with no hate.

The hatred that dwells in their hearts
For those who are of another race
Is hatred that they were taughtby their parents and peers,
who feel the world would be a better place
if people of their own kind
were the only ones who exist.

No other race,
No other religion,
No other skin color
Except that of their own
Is what they crave.
Does this same hatred dwell within your heart,
For if it does,
We sincerely hope
that you will soon find the knowledge and wisdom
to accept human beings
for who they truly are
irrespective of their race, religion,
the color of their skin.

Racism has always been a part of society since historical times. But in my opinion, the overwhelming flow of illegal immigrants and refugees into western countries and lets not forget the terrorists, have to take part of the blame for the racism that prevails in the world today.

I strongly believe that there is way to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and terrorists. And that is by teaching the children of these western countries that they have a responsibilty to their country. And one of those reposibilities is to stay in school and complete their education. Because it is the education that they receive and their ideas and beliefs that will help their country to prosper and be strong. Not the ideas and beliefs of immigrants, refugees and terrorists.

A country which is weak is one which is economically weak. And it’s economically weak because the majority of the present generation has taken things for granted thus not paving the way for the future generation to succeed.And we all know what happens to a country which has a weak economy (especially if the country’s a western one). It becomes susceptible to terrorist attacks.

As I was writing this blog, I came across a few factual excerpts on racism which I thought of sharing with you:

1) In 1931, President Herbert Hoover’s exact words to New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, a son of Italian immigrants-You should go back where you belong and advise Mussolini how to make good honest citizens in Italy. The Italians are preponderantly our murderers and bootleggers………… Like a lot of other foreign spawn, you do not appreciate the country that supports and tolerates you.

2) With the fall of communism and dismantling of the Berlin Wall, the ensuing reunification of East and West Germany has sparked a revival of Nazi-style intolerance and hatred of foreign immigrants within that country.

3) As Yugoslavia dissolved into individual republics, Serbians who were the dominant ethnic group, used their greater military force to grab huge portions of the territory of the other ethnic groups in Bosnia and Croatia. Serb soldiers had raped more than 20,000 Muslim women as part of an organized terrorist campaign to drive them from their homes.

4) In certain real estate businesses, agents will show their African-American clients only houses located in Black or racially mixed neighborhoods because of their belief that property values will be lowered by residential integration. This institutional practice is known as redlining. Redlining, an illegal real estate practice of showing minority clients only houses located in minority or racially mixed neighborhoods.

5) The White settlers of the New World used their superior weapons to dominate and conquer the indigenous people of North America. Europeans were also capturing and buying Africans and transporting them to the colonies as slaves. They justified the inhuman exploitation that took place by stigmatizing both Native Americans and Africans as inferior races who needed civilizing.

The whites told only one side.
Told it to please themselves.
Told much that is not true.
Only his own best deeds,
Only the worst deeds of the Indians,
Has the white man told.
- Yellow Wolf of the Nez Perces, 1940 –

6) In 1982, two unemployed White Detroit autoworkers used a baseball bat to kill Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, whom they mistook for a Japanese. They were hostile towards the Japanese because they perceived that Americans’ fondness for Japanese foreign car imports resulted in lower sales of American-made cars and their own subsequent unemployment.


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