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December 31, 2008

Arab States Curb New Year Events

Several Arab countries have shelved New Year's Eve celebrations in solidarity with Palestinians in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip who have suffered a fifth straight day of Israeli bombardment.

Egypt, Jordan, Dubai and Syria have all cancelled festivities including concerts by popular Arab singers which had been billed for Wednesday night.

Egypt's state-owned Al-Ahram daily newspaper reported that official events planned for New Year's Eve had been called off.

"In solidarity with the painful events in the Palestinian territories and the massacres which Gazans are faced with ... the ministries of culture and information have decided to cancel New Year's festivities," it said.

Cancelled events include a special concert by Egyptian singer Mohammed Munir set for Cairo's Opera House, and a variety performance due to be broadcast on state television. Continue reading here

Atlanta inner-city school gets $365K from Oprah Winfrey

A letter from Oprah Winfrey last week seemed like the world's best Christmas present - until teacher Ron Clark noticed an extra piece of paper flutter out of the envelope.
That's when the Atlanta educator saw the $365,000 check for the innovative private school he opened in one of the city's poorest neighbourhoods in 2007. It was, quite literally, an answer to a prayer.
"We teach school all day and fundraise at night," said Clark, who finds private donors to pay most of the $14,000 annual tuition for each student. "To have an unsolicited gift come like that is incredible." Continue reading here

December 30, 2008

Cynthia McKinney says the aid ship she was on was rammed by an Israeli warship

Click here to watch video of Former Rep Cynthia Mckinney

Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney says the aid ship she was on was rammed by an Israeli warship, an allegation Israel denies.

An Israeli patrol boat struck a boat carrying medical volunteers and supplies to Gaza early Tuesday as it attempted to intercept the vessel in the Mediterranean Sea, witnesses and Israeli officials said.

The Dignity was carrying crew and 16 passengers -- physicians from Britain, Germany and Cyprus and human rights activists, including former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney -- who were trying to reach Gaza through an Israeli blockade of the territory. Continue reading here

First African Canadian NHL player among new members of Order of Canada

Willie O'Ree, the first black player to compete in the NHL, is one of 60 people named today to various ranks within the Order of Canada.
Two Canadian singing stars, Celine Dion and tenor Ben Heppner, were elevated to Companions of the Order, the highest of the three rankings. Also elevated to the Companion level were Barrick Gold founder and chairman Peter Munk and investment guru Stephen Jarislowsky of Montreal.

It was on Jan. 18, 1958 when O'Ree, a native of Fredericton, N.B., played for the Boston Bruins in a game against the Canadiens in Montreal.
O'Ree was playing senior hockey for the Quebec Aces when Boston called him up for a game in the Montreal Forum.

There were no racial slurs hurled at O'Ree that night. Jackie Robinson, the first black major-league baseball player, had been on a team in Montreal so seeing a black man in a major sport was nothing new to sports fans of the city, and O'Ree had previously skated in the city with the Aces.

O'Ree, 73, is now the director of youth development for the NHL's diversity program, which provides access to the sport for children throughout North America. It's a full-time job he took 10 years ago. Continue reading here

Jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard dies

Grammy-winning trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, a leading figure in jazz during a five-decade career, has died at age 70, about a month after suffering a heart attack, his publicist said Tuesday. Hubbard died Monday morning in Sherman Oaks, California, outside Los Angeles, after a long battle with heart disease, spokesman Don Lucoff told CNN. He had been hospitalized since suffering a heart attack the day before Thanksgiving and took a turn for the worse last week, Lucoff said.

"Freddie Hubbard, in terms of the advent of modern jazz, the birth of bebop, was probably among the five greatest trumpet players that has ever lived ... He's really right up there with Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, Roy Eldridge, an innovator and great composer," Lucoff said. Continue reading here

News Updates

December 29, 2008

Congrats to Eva and Lance

I'm so happy for them !!

"House of Payne" star and 2008 ESSENCE Do Right Man Lance Gross gave his girlfriend, actress and model Eva Marcille, the perfect Christmas present last week—a wedding proposal. On Wednesday, December 24, while vacationing with their families at the couple's favorite winter getaway spot—the Big Bear ski resort in the San Bernardino Mountains outside of Los Angeles—Marcille and Gross decided to open gifts after dinner in their rented cabin. When Marcille opened her gift—a pillow with a note attached that read: "Hope you like it. Give this pillow to the man you love and he will explain." After taking the pillow and using it as a cushion, Gross got on bended knee and popped the big question with a 3.36-carat 1895 Pave Cartier ring at 11:30 P.M. PST. Continue reading here.

"Your Blog is Fabulous"

Here are the rules when posting on receiving the award, make sure you include who gave you the award and link it back to them. Post five winners and link it back to them as well. Also, post five of your addictions. add the award image. Let the winners know you gave them an award by leaving them a comment on their blog.

I received this award from Kay over @ Apartment tbd , etc , Her blog is fabulous so please check it out daily.

My 5 addictions are.

1. My new laptop. I purchased a Dell Studio 15 about a month ago, because my CPU was on the edge of having a hard drive attack and is extremely slow.

2. Oatmeal Crisp Raisin Cereal. This is my all time favourite cereal, I go through at least 2 boxes a week. It's healthy and helps maintain a healthy weight.

3. Anything purple, my new laptop is plum purple, my wallet is purple, I ordered a passport holder from Victorias Secrets and its purple. And i've been searching for a purple handbag, which I found plenty but haven't found the right style yet.

4. Reading and learning. I love reading, i'm currently reading "Brother I'm Dying", and "Simple Kabbalah". I also really love learning about history all over the globe. I think its imporant for people to learn about history and events that have taken place in the past in order to understand a lot of the events that are taking place right now in our lifetime. And it's also very important to know your culture and heritage.

5. Going to the movies. I'm at the movie theater almost every weekend. I have a Scotia Scene Card , plus I live in between to movie theatres in Toronto (walking distance). I have enough points to get a free ticket weekly and I gain points everytime I use my debt card and when I use my scene card when I purchase a movie ticket.

I'm passing this award on to:

Long Hair Don't Care: I love the title of her blog, because this is how I feel about hair. All the hair war non-sense that folks continue on with is utterly foolish . People need to stop fearing that "black" women having long hair is bad thing, hair grows and this blog proves it does. If you don't belive that hair grows then don't shave your legs, bikini line for 2 months (HA)!!!

Glennisha Morgan: Glennisha is open , honesty and blunt about all the topics she talks about.

Alienated Conclusions: Shek has a great blog that talks about race, women/men, and everything in between.

Gorgeous Black Women: I love this blog because it shows the beauty and diversity of women of African descent all over the globe.

Hairlicious Inc: Another great blog on obtaining long healthy hair, great tutorials, and review oh hair products for all hair types.

Im adding more to this list so 8 people have won this award.

December 28, 2008

Tunisia celebrates the Sahara Festival

The International Festival of the Sahara in Douz is an annual festival in Tunisia.

History The very first festival, called the Camel festival, began in 1910 when Tunisia was under French rule. In 1967 it took on its modern identity according to the will of Habib Bourguiba, Tunisia's first president of the new republic, to become the country's oldest and best-known festival. M'hammed Marzougui, who dedicated his life to making people aware of and appreciate nomadic way of life and traditions, was mainly responsible for the festival's foundation. Since then, every year at the end of December for four days, thousands of people, mostly from all over Tunisia and other Maghrebien countries flock to Douz. source
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December 26, 2008

Hollywood Getaway Sweepstakes

Jonkonnu Parade

Jonkonnu, Junkanoo Jonkanoo, Jankunu, John Canoe or Johnkankus is a musical street masquerade, believed to be of West African origin, which occurs in many towns across the Caribbean every December 26 and New Year's Day. The largest parade, Junkanoo, happens in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.

The etymology is disputed, but the celebration may have been named for a West African chieftain or shaman among the Papaws or Popos tribes of West Africa in the early 1700's. Recorded names have included King John Conny, Prince Jean Konnu and dzon'ku nu (an African sorcerer persona plus "nu" meaning "man"). Brought to the Americas in the slave trade the tradition survived during the slave off days of Christmas night and New Years.

The practice bears great resemblance to Pre-Christian European animist or "mumming" traditions that survived into the 19th century as Christmas traditions. A notable survivor being the Celtic Wren day. Both the Jonkonnu traditions and the Mummer's involved covering the face in soot or ash, dressing in fanciful animal like garments such as the Cow Head and the Hobby Horse, and parading the streets with music before dawn on December 26th. The soot or ash has since been interpreted by many as representing race and has also been frowned upon in some cultures.
Source & More Info

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The Calabar Carnival

The Carnival Calabar formally started in the Millennium year 2000 and was initially listed as one of the events to mark the Cross River State Annual Christmas Festival. Featuring models of the major landmarks of Cross River State like the famous Export commodity - Cocoa pod, the low land Gorilla of the last rain forest of West Africa, the leopard of the Ekpe Cultural group, the Old Residency building which once served as seat of Government for the entire colonial Nigeria and presently hosting the museum of slave history, the Mary Slessor Caravan and many more.

The Carnival Parade as is today, is a direct result of progression of ideas and the gradual awareness that came with it. The truck floats had Band members on them gyrating through the city streets of Calabar. The years that followed saw Band members now adopting the drumming and singing style of the African in the Diaspora that was consistent with our village square band play form. source

Calabar is a city in southeastern Nigeria. The City is watered by the Calabar and Great Qua Rivers and creeks of the Cross River (from its inland delta). Calabar is the capital of Cross River State and has an estimated population of 1.2 million residents.
Calabar is the headquarters of the present south-south geopolitical region of Nigeria. For more info on Calabar click here

December 25, 2008

Singer, actress Eartha Kitt dies at 81

Singer and actress Eartha Kitt has died, her publicist, Patty Freedman, toKitt, 81, died in New York, where she was being treated for colon cancer, Freedman said. Her daughter, Kitt Shapiro, was by her side.
She was performing almost until the end, taping a PBS special six weeks ago in Chicago, Illinois. The show is set to air in February.
Her recording of the saucy Christmas song "Santa Baby" was certified gold last week.
Kitt was well known for her distinctive voice and made a name for herself in her portrayal of Catwoman in the television series "Batman." That role produced Kitt's recognizable sultry cat growl.
She worked in film, theater, cabaret, music and on television during her lengthy career. According to Kitt's official Web site, she was nominated for a Tony three times, a Grammy and Emmy twice.
According to the biography on that site, Kitt lived in Connecticut near her daughter and four grandchildren.ld CNN on Thursday. Continue reading

Happy Holidays !!

Wishing everyone a Happy Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Junkanoo, Hanukkah, Christmas.
Be safe and remember today is for the Children!!

Person tries to get close to pope

Security quickly subdued a person who tried to get close to the pope as he walked down the aisle of St. Peter's Basilica. The story
Pope Benedict XVI called for peace in the Middle East and an end to the exploitation of children in the homily he delivered early Thursday during the annual Christmas Eve Midnight Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

He later delivered the traditional Christmas address in St. Peter's Square, sending Christmas greetings in languages including English, Spanish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Slovak and many others. The address is known as "Urbi et Orbi" -- Latin for "To the City and the World."

Benedict, 81, called for the faithful to pray for peace to come to "the land in which Jesus lived, and which he loved so deeply."

December 24, 2008

Win a Trip to the 2009 Inauguration

ELIGIBILITY: Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older as of date of entry.

PRIZE & RANDOM DRAWING: Grand Prize (1): Two general single-admission tickets to the Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2009 in Washington D.C., 3 days 2 nights hotel accommodations (single standard room, double occupancy, room and room tax only) on Jan 19th and 20th at a hotel of Sponsor or its prize provider’s choice, round trip coach airfare for two from airport closest to winner’s home as determined by Sponsor or its prize provider. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of the Grand Prize is $2800. Grand Prize Winner will be selected in a random drawing, on or about January 3, 2009.

Kimberlee Clarke's Fundraising Page

Fundraising Page Image

Support my friend Kimberlee Clarke to help those in Kampala, Uganda.

Kimberlee Clarke's Fundraising Page
Page creator: Kimberlee Clarke
Page closes: 22nd Dec 2009

About the charity : The Great Generation is an international charity which works closely with local organisations to identify volunteer projects that are community-driven and tackle real needs. Projects last two weeks and involve a team of volunteers whose skills, experiences and enthusiasm enable them to achieve a huge amount in a short time.

Charity Registration No 1120349
Fundraising target:
Donations so far:
£ 60.00

Personal message from Kimberlee Clarke:

Thanks for visiting my fundraising page! I am excited about the opportunity to volunteer in Uganda. Your support, generosity and donation are very much appreciated. I will be part of a team of 10 international graduate students volunteering in Kampala, Uganda with a local NGO working on a capacity building project in July 2009. The local NGO runs a holistic HIV/AIDS outreach and treatment initiative involving a wide range of activities, including a savings and loans co-op, a medical clinic, a vocational training centre, a youth centre and more.

For this project, we will be working with the staff and management team of the vocational training centre, which provides training to HIV clients and other members of the community in trades such as catering, carpentry, sewing and so forth. Over the next 5 years, the local NGO would like to see the vocational training centre become a self-sustaining enterprise and no longer rely on the funding from the core organisation to maintain the centre and its activities. The aim of the project will therefore be to work with the vocational centre staff to see how they can make this vision come to fruition.

Donation through Justgiving is quick, easy and totally secure. It's also the most efficient way to sponsor us: The Great Generation gets your money faster and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in tax will be added to your gift at no cost to you.

Two 4,300-year-old Egyptian tombs have been unveiled near Cairo

A pair of 4,300-year-old pharaonic tombs discovered at Saqqara indicate that the sprawling necropolis south of Cairo is even larger than previously thought.

Egypt's top archaeologist says the rock-cut tombs were built for high officials.
One was responsible for the quarries used to build the nearby pyramids and another for a woman in charge of procuring entertainers for the pharaohs.

Zahi Hawass says the discovery indicates there's even more to the vast necropolis of Saqqara, located 20 kilometres south of the capital, Cairo.

In the past, excavations have focused on just one side of the two nearby pyramids - the Step Pyramid of King Djoser and that of Unas, the last king of the 5th Dynasty.
The area where the two tombs were found, to the southwest, has been largely untouched. Continue reading

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December 23, 2008

Beyonce Diva & Halo


Photo:Geoffrey Olisa, Creative Director BHF MAGAZINE Made in Nigeria.

Cross-Cultural Couture

Wafrica’s unique cross-cultural clothing line is comprised of traditional Japanese kimonos made from African fabrics. Wafrica is the brainchild of Serge Mouange, who is similarly well-traveled; Mouange was born in Cameroon, raised in Paris and now lives in Tokyo, according to the Wafrica website.

While the Wafrica kimonos retain every bit of their Japanese sensibilities, the bright traditional African patterns lend them a vibrance and energy that makes these stoic models come alive. Source

Smith's 'Seven Pound' Loses To Carrey's 'Yes Man' At Box Office

I went to see both of these movies over the weekend. I thought both of them were really good, Will Smith's character was very touching. Jim Carrey's movie was hilarious.

"With two giant superstars battling for the top prize at the box office, Jim Carrey's humorous film 'Yes Man' beat out Will Smith's depressing film 'Seven Pounds'. Carrey's film ended up with $18 million dollars from 3434 theaters while 'Seven Pounds' played in 2758 theaters and made out with $16 million dollars.

By coming in second place, Smith's streak of eight consecutive number one openings came to an end. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, who worked with Smith on 'The Pursuit of Happyness', the film received dismal reviews across the board. Yet, with a $55 million budget, the film should be able to make a profit despite the onslaught of films opening on Christmas Day. "

Guinea President Lansana Conte dies after illness

Guinea's President Lansana Conte, a diabetic, chain-smoking general who ruled the West African bauxite exporter for nearly a quarter of a century, has died after an illness, the government said on Tuesday.

The military's commander Diarra Camara ordered troops to protect strategic locations and the borders of the former French colony, which in the last two years had seen often violent protests against the rule of the reclusive president.

Conte, who was believed to be 74, died at 1800 GMT on Monday in the capital Conakry, government leaders announced on state television in the early hours of Tuesday.
National Assembly President Aboubacar Sompare asked the country's Supreme Court to name him president in line with the constitution.

"I have the heavy and difficult task to inform you with great sadness of the death of General Lansana Conte, President of the Republic of Guinea, after a long illness," Sompare said in the television broadcast. Continue reading here

Born in Moussayah Loumbaya (Dubréka), a member of the Susu people, Conté was educated at a local Koranic school and attended Dubréka primary school. He then went on to study at military preparatory schools in Bingerville, Côte d'Ivoire and Saint Louis, Senegal. More info click here

December 22, 2008

Quote of The Day

Nalukolekejaga sonda (ng'weli) walola lwala. (Sukuma)

Nilikuonyesha nyota (mwezi) na uliangalia kidole tu. (Swahili)

"I pointed out to you the stars (the moon) and all you saw was the tip of my finger." (English)

In the history of the Sukuma people in Tanzania in East Africa (and African people everywhere) there is a great richness and wealth in their culture, language, traditions and customs (like the vast richness of the stars). But people recognize, understand and use only a very small part of this treasure (like seeing only the tip of one's finger).

This Sukuma proverb also teaches that sometimes people can focus on the wrong part or point of a particular subject such as African culture, that is, look at the tip of the finger of the culture rather than its stars. The challenge of inculturation and contextualization is to go beyond the superficial changes in liturgy and religious symbols to an all-encompassing pastoral inculturation that has African flesh and blood.

Rev. Joseph G. Healey, M.M.

December 21, 2008

Book Lovers

If you shop at Indigo, Chapters, Coles or the World's Biggest Bookstore, Click here to download and print a coupon for 25% off any item.

December 20, 2008

Magical Realism: Jourdan Dunn & Chanel Iman Vogue 2009 Jan Issue

I bought a copy of Vogue Magazine for the 2nd time in about 5 years, because of this beautiful spread of Chanel Iman and Jourdan Dunn.

" Designers are focusing on subtle changes with clothes that pack personality. Who better than Chanel Iman and Jourdan Dunn, two models poised for eve greater heights in the new year, to adopt the season's understated attitude? Phtotgraphed by David Sims"

scans from :fashionjunkii

Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa of the Asante Doll

Inspirational, Educational, Collectible - GHANA Traditional Hair Style – Rooted Kanekalon Vinyl Head – Plastic Body Hand Painted Eyes & Applied Eyelashes Pose-Able 18 Points of Articulation Authentic Royal Fabric & Dress Design Lavish Gold Jewelry .

Learn, Explore, Enjoy
Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa’s Story
Illustrated Storybook
Audio CD narrative
Queen Mother Yaa Asentawaa’s remarkable life & leadership in “The War Of The Golden Stool”

Click here to order this beautiful doll and story book for your children.

Healthy Makes It Happen with Pantene Pro-V

New York City! Indulge in a dream getaway of a shopping spree and a hairstyle makeover.One Grand Prize winner and her guest will receive:

Hotel accommodations for a 3-day/2-night weekend
Round-trip transportation to New York City
$1,000 shopping spree ($500 per person)
Hair styling by a Pantene professional stylist

December 19, 2008

Canadian R&B Singer Selected to Play Aaliyah in Biopic

Canadian-born R&B singer Keisha Chante has reportedly been selected to play Aaliyah, the rising queen of R&B Hip Hop who died in a tragic 2001 plane crash.

The biopic, which will chronicle Aaliyah’s life from childhood to her career success and untimely death, is set to be released next year.

Aaliyah had a string of number one hits including the R&B anthem “One in a Million.” Working closely with Missy Elliott and Timbaland, she also sold 32 million albums worldwide and was nominated for five GRAMMY awards.

Chante doesn’t have an extensive acting resume but she has starred in a number of indie flicks, including the Canadian movie, the Cat's Cradle. She also has an R&B album titled “2U” released in 2006 and has another one on the way next year. Source


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