One in seven of the population of a third of the world countries NEED spectacles. The Lions Clubs International have been collecting used spectacles, and after sorting, repairing, cleaning and grading, they are sent to Lions Clubs in South America, Africa, India and many other countries where they are needed. The spectacles are always given free of charge to the recipient.
There are millions of life changing stories made possible by someone's old spectacles.
One such story concerns an 8 year old receiving her first pair of spectacles. Once the glasses were adjusted into position she ran, skipped, squealing with excitement, then stopped and looked to the right, to the left and finally at a large tree in front. She turned and ran directly to her parents and said with the greatest delight: "You know! Trees DO have leaves".
Mr. Faisel Essof is coordinating the collecting of recycled spectacles. If you have any to donate then contact him at 34230116 (home), 38007811 (bus), 0402575410 (mobile), or email@example.com and he will have them picked up. Alternately you can drop them off in his post box at Unit 51, Persse Villas, 20 Young Place, Runcorn.
Get It Off Your Chest!
With all the attention our communities are receiving from Government Ministers, the media and the shock jocks we are sure that you must get the urge every so often to want to put the record straight on a number of issues.
The following is a set of guidelines for helping you write that letter and to get it published:
Because if you have a strong opinion on a subject, and keep it to yourself or just discuss with family and friends, it will never come to the attention of the people who make policies or who peddle inaccuracies and misrepresentations. If an issue is important to you, it is worthwhile writing a letter to:
• Your local Member of Parliament
• The Government Minister responsible for the area you are concerned about eg health, education, foreign policy
• The Shadow Minister (opposition parliamentarian) responsible for that area
• The Editors of newspapers, if it is an issue of public importance
• The Radio Announcer via email or SMS
After all, is speaking our minds not one of the Australian "values" we are regularly being asked to adopt?
WHAT WILL THIS ACHIEVE?
• Through a Letter to the Editor or Radio Announcer, your message will reach a wide audience. Other people may write in agreeing (or disagreeing) with your opinions and this may give rise to a vigorous debate which will help publicize your cause.
• Writing a letter is an inexpensive and less intimidating way to get your opinions heard. A stamp costs 50c and email is virtually free.
• A letter carries authority, and if addressed to a Member of Parliament, requires an answer. Don’t be discouraged if you receive a form letter in reply. If the MP does not address the issues you have raised, write again asking that your concerns be properly addressed.
• The more people write letters, the more influence their views are likely to have. As someone recently said: Educate John Laws and you will have educated Middle Australia.
• Editors and politicians are influenced by the amount of mail they get on a given subject and pay close attention to public opinion.
Inspired by the "20,000 true stories" of children who are raped each year in South Africa, Newton’s award winning drama also draws from the much publicised rape in 2001 of a 9 month old girl who became known around the world as baby Tshepang, meaning Hope.
Set in a fictional town the story is told through the eyes of Simon (Mncedisi Shabangu), the man who has loved the baby's mother Ruth (Kholeka Qwabe) since childhood. Cutting a tragic-comic figure, Simon maps out the town's socio-economic landscape. Poverty and unemployment are rife; the only pastime is drinking. It is a recipe for violence and disaster.
Shabangu’s portrayal of Simon has garnered international praise and earned him numerous theatrical accolades including the 2004 Fleur De Cap award. Currently Associate Artistic Director at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, Shabangu’s performance has been variously lauded as “rich in emotional depth and psychological complexity”, “magnificent, utterly compelling” and “a triumphant realisation.”
When Tshepang premiered in Amsterdam in 2003 the entire audience waited outside the theatre to cheer the emerging actors. It has since toured South Africa, London, Sweden and Switzerland.
Although Tshepang deals with a confronting subject it also has been described as a story of love, forgiveness and eventually healing.
“If you only see one show this year, Tshepang demands to be the one ….. superbly written and performed” Sunday Independent (South Africa)
Study Concludes That Diverse Religious Practices Splitting Brisbane Muslim Communities
Ingrid Breivik Myhr has recently completed a Masters thesis at the University of Queensland entitled "Feelings of identity and belonging amongst Australian born Muslims".
In it she explores how Australian born Muslims identify themselves in religious, national and ethnic terms. She looks at some of their experiences of growing up in Australia and more specifically in Brisbane, and aims to understand how their feelings of identity and belonging may have been shaped by such experiences.
A review of the literature by leading scholars in the field shows that Islam in Australia has always been, and still is, formed in interaction with the wider society.
Mainstream trends are discussed, and the hypothesis of an emerging Australian Muslim identity that unifies the many diverse groups of Muslims in Australia is raised.
A series of in-depth interviews with a number of Australian born Muslims who have grown up in Brisbane shows that they are proud and very devout Muslims who place varying importance upon their ethnic backgrounds and identify themselves as Australians belonging in Australia.
A discussion of the findings regarding the participants’ perceptions and experiences shows how the salient features of their identities seem to reflect the context in which they have grown up. Whereas the participants’ Muslim identities are found to transcend ethnic lines, it is argued that varying levels of religious practice, more than any other factor, is a barrier for the unification of Australian Muslims.
A focus is placed upon experiences during teenage years and it is shown that although the participants had little sense of conflict due to their multiple identities, many felt very different to their peers; a feeling that sometimes resulted in loneliness and depression.
The experience of religious and cultural intolerance is also emphasized, and is shown to vary significantly amongst the participants, before as well as after the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001.
If you would like to read the 66-page thesis you can download it by clicking here.
"Allah Made Me Funny' Tour to Receive MPAC's 14th Annual Media Award
The Muslim Public Affairs Council announced that it would present its 14th annual Media Award to the creators of "Allah Made Me Funny: The Official Muslim Comedy Tour" on October 1st in Los Angeles.
"This project means people are coming out to not only be entertained, but also educated about the truths of Muslims and non-Muslims' existence in America following 9/11, but also preceding it," says Preacher Moss, co-founder and one of the featured comedians on the tour. "It involves the courage to step out of the shadows of silence, and fear and reach out and build bridges. We’re building these bridges through humor, and understanding to make that journey a little easier for all of us."
The tour features three of America’s top Muslim comedians. Preacher Moss is the tour's creator and a former writer for George Lopez, Saturday Night Live's Darrell Hammond and Damon Wayans, and Politically Incorrect's Bill Maher. He shares the stage with AzharUsman, whose comedic profile is on the rise at a rapid pace. Nicknamed the "Ayatollah of Comedy," Usman is a former lawyer turned stand-up comedian. He is quite possibly one of the most influential, newsworthy comedians in America today, having recently been profiled on ABC's "Nightline." Also on the tour's bill is Azeem, a nationally recognized stand-up comedian, social activist and founder of Azeem's Kids
Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping children who are in foster and juvenile care.
"Allah Made Me Funny: The Official Muslim Comedy Tour," which debuted in April 2004, has received international media attention from high-profile print and broadcast outlets, including the BBC, The Washington Post, The Chicago Sun-Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, LA Times Magazine, Time Magazine, Newsweek International and numerous NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX affiliates.
Since 1991, MPAC has honored artists, actors, authors, and activists for being voices of courage and conscience, and promoting positive and accurate portrayals of Islam and Muslims. Past recipients include Ted Koppel, Spike Lee, Morgan Freeman, Karen Armstrong, Hakim Olajuwan, Yusuf Islam and the producers of VH1's "Behind the Music," Michael Moore, and Alec Baldwin.
"The immensely talented comedians behind 'Allah Made Me Funny' are contributing immensely to the integration of Muslim Americans into mainstream life," said MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati. "They have been trailblazing in their efforts to enhance the national dialogue on Islam and Muslims."
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