Modern Day Good Samaritan – A Random Act of Kindness

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There always seems to be depressing headlines in the news, but I heard a story this week about some good news. It’s the story of a modern day Good Samaritan (the original, in case you wanted to look it up, is in the book of Luke 10:30-37). The story comes from my mother, and it was too good not to share.

My mother is 90 years old. Unless I have a reason to be out of town, each week I take my mother to do her shopping, visit the doctor and provide company and transportation for any other errands that she needs done. During the week, however, she likes to as she says, “Walk up to my little store,” to buy odds and ends. My mother was born in London, England and she still has her wonderful British accent. One of the items she always buys at her store are bananas – or as she pronounces them, “Bah-nah-nah’s.”

Last week she walked up to the store, but when she went to pay for her groceries, she was short about three dollars. The only solution to pay for the groceries was to take off the items she could do without. With being a diabetic she needs rubbing alcohol to cleanse her skin before she takes her blood and her insulin. She still had some alcohol at home, so she put that back. She also put back a package of jambalaya. By taking off these items, she was able to bring the new total to the amount of cash she had with her.

At this store you check out then go off to the side to bag your own groceries. My mother was taking her groceries out of the cart and putting them into bags when a woman (a total stranger) came up to her and said, “Here are the items that you put back,” handing her the rubbing alcohol and the jambalaya. My mother, who is never speechless, was speechless. She asked for the woman’s name and address so that she could repay her. The woman wouldn’t have it. She told her it was her gift.

My mother was so touched by her gesture that she decided to go back to the store and give the cashier a five dollar bill to keep on hand just in case the same happened to someone else if they didn’t have enough money for all of their groceries.

So, whoever you are, thank you for the random act of kindness that not only helped my mother out, but made her day too. It was nice to hear some good news.

Have you been the recipient of a random act of kindness from a Good Samaritan?  How can you be a Good Samaritan to someone today?

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Source by Jackie Trottmann

Social Class in the United States

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There are not exact guidelines for classes in the United States and different theories try to make it classified. Most Americans believe in a three-class model. They are the rich, the middle class, and the poor. America is a diverse society considering its culture, economy, politics and ideology which make different levels of wealth, income, education, occupation and social behavior. It is not easy sometimes to classify certain groups or people in a certain class.

One approach which is more common is based on cultural and economic diversity of the people and defines more of them in middle class.

“Sociologist Dennis Gilbert, William Thompson and Joseph Hickey as well as James Henslin have proposed class systems with six distinct social classes. These class models feature an upper or capitalist class consisting of the rich and powerful, an upper middle class consisting of highly educated and well-paid professionals, a lower middle class consisting of semi-professionals, a working class constituted by clerical as well as blue collar employees whose work is highly routinized and a lower class which is according to Gilbert is divided between the working poor and underclass.”

“A stratified society is one marked by inequality, by differences among people that are regarded as being higher or lower… it is logically possible for a society to be stratified in a continuous gradation between high and low without any sharp lines… in reality… there is only a limited number of types of occupations… People in similar positions… grow similar in their thinking and lifestyle… they form a pattern, and this pattern creates social class.” -Dennis Gilbert, The American Class Structure, 1998

The nominal approach believes that American society is sociologically and economically fragmented and it causes no clear class distinctions.

There are also some who believe in certain classifications, but the most common idea points out the American society as a highly developed one which frames a complicated class system. Again those who put vast majority of Americans among the middle class are more.

Class in the US is more based on the personal income and educational attainment for the people age 25 or older. It results in the hierarchy in which individuals find themselves.The members of the society are distributed among positions of varying importance, influence, and prestige. It describes the positions a person may be regarded in the society. The positions are not equal some are more agreeable than the others regarding their essentiality to the well-being of the society as a whole. There are some positions which are rewarded with prestige and income. The positions can be occupation related or not, like the role of being a parent or being a member of a wealthy family. The job role itself remains one of the most important status features in the United States and that is why the promotion at work is so important. The positions and jobs create opportunities to enjoy different services and facilities of the society which are not provided equal to all. For example the more money a person has the better clothes he can buy and it is related to the class the very same person belongs.

“It is impossible to understand people’s behavior… without the concept of social stratification, because class position has a pervasive influence on almost everything… the clothes we wear… the television shows we watch… the colors we paint our homes in and the names we give our pets… Our position in the social hierarchy affects our health, happiness, and even how long we will live.” -William Thompson, Joseph Hickey, Society in Focus, 2005

The nature of American lifestyle which is based on capitalism produces classes as well.

“We are proud of those facts of American life that fit the pattern we are thought but somehow we are often ashamed of those equally important social facts which demonstrate the presence of social class. Consequently, we tend to deny them, or worse, denounce them and by doing so we tend to deny their existence and magically make them disappear from consciousness.” -W. Lloyd Warner, What Social Class Is In America

To study the class system in the US different elements must be considered, some of them will be followed briefly in this article.

1. Income which is one of the most prominent indicators of class status. It has total influence on the class of people.

“It should be stressed… that a position does not bring power and prestige because it draws a high income. Rather, it draws a high income because it is functionally important and the available personnel are for one reason or another scarce. It is therefore superficial and erroneous to regard high income as the cause of a man’s power and prestige, just as it is erroneous to think that a man’s fever is the cause of his disease… The economic source of power and prestige is not income primarily, but the ownership of capital goods (including patents, good will, and professional reputation). Such ownership should be distinguished from the possession of consumers’ goods, which is an index rather than a cause of social standing.’-Kingsley Davis and Wilbert E. Moore, Principles of Stratification

2. Education which is related to occupation and income. Higher education is required for many middle class jobs. Generally the better income provides better opportunities to study.

3. Culture which contains sub-cultures as well. It causes assimilation among people to be like the other classes maybe. As mentioned before US is a diverse country and it provides assimilation and generalization which will affect everything in people’s lives from the manner in which they raise their children, initiation and maintenance of romantic relationship to the color in which they paint their houses.

Also, agriculture and other industries are important studying about the class system in America.

The elements which mentioned and the others which were all studied by sociologists are used to define the social class in America as: upper class, corporate elite, middle class, upper middle, traditional middle class, lower middle class, working class and lower class.

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Source by Fatemeh Azimzadeh

Hibernating With the Bears

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Permanent evidence that keeps appearing in the news consistently bearing out the fact that bears are a carnivorous animals, which without warning can bite, maul, and kill humans the animal rights group still wants us to learn to cohabit with these wild animals. Now I do not have any problem with the animal right's folk if they love bears so much that they want to live with the bears, but I do draw the line when they try to force me to do likewise. I already got my opinion about the black bears brought into our area here at the Big South Fork right next to where I live in the mountains of Tennessee in another article, Living with the Bears.

Not only have the black bears multiplied faster than expected and roamed outside the boundaries of the Big South Fork in their hunt for food putting us local folk in danger, but we are by law not allowed to protect ourselves when one of these hungry bears comes lumbering onto our property. At least in the pioneer days when our area of ​​the Tennessee wilderness was being settled a man and his family was allowed the right to protect himself from the wild animals. Today these basic rights here in America have been stripped from us. I am totally against wanton killing, but there is a big difference between a group of hunters going out killing to gain trophies just to hang on their walls or game owners taming wild game on their property in order to guarantee hunters a kill, and defending a person's piece of property paid with hard earned money from wanton destruction.

What I oppose is forcing me- a law-abiding taxpaying citizen- to meekly sit by when a hungry bear comes onto my property marauding with his huge claws anything he so desires while having to wait for the overworked park and wildlife service, who has to daily overseas and take care of 125,000 acres here on the Cumberland Plateau, in order to get together a posse several hours later to come to my house and capture the starving bear and take it back where it belongs. Meanwhile under duress of a huge fine, I am supposed to dodge and try to protect myself and any of my young grandchildren, who happened to be visiting- not to mention the livestock that I have- from a flesh and meat-eating bear that can weigh up to 500 pounds and stand over six feet tall. I've never been a gun-toting woman always hanging onto my iron skillet, but I can promise you if a wild critter comes threatening me or mine this mountain woman will not sit idly by.

If we let the animal rights people (most that do not even live in an area with wild bears threatening their property) keep adding more wild animals on us and giving the critters more rights than us humans, I soon will not have the right to live in my own house. Instead I will be expected to move out into the woods and let a wild bear hibernate in my house or put up with a snoring bear in my bedroom- or where else it decides to flop down- until spring when it wakes up and decides to begin eating whatever is hand or go out into the woods once more where it belongs. Since I am the one paying the money for taxes on my land and house upkeep, I think it is only right that I have the say who comes and lives with me. The last I knew at the courthouse it is my husband's and my name on the deed to our property and not the bears!

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Source by Dorcas Annette Walker

How to Land an Interview on Radio and Television

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Interviews on radio and talk shows are probably the most coveted means of getting one's message out if you are in the business of talking. From a two-minute news story to a half hour talk show, interviews on broadcast are worth their weight in gold. Since radio and TV make their profit from SELLING time, if you can get that amount of FREE time, you are watching big!

But how do you get that interview?

The first step is to identify the stations and programs to go after. Start with the local stations in the community you will be having your speaking engagement in. Do a search on the Internet with the name of the town or city and the keywords "radio stations." Once you have a list, go to each of those stations' websites and find out their formats and any satellite programs that may broadcast.

The easiest place to obtain that coveted interview is with local talk shows or as a local news story. So start there.

Emails and phone calls are a good place to start, but since everyone else is sending to and calling the newsroom, you will want to make yourself stand out. First, find out what local stories are hot and when you write your email or call, refer to that story in the subject line of your email and when you first call the station. When possible, refer to the reporter who wrote or produced the piece. You will want to make them KNOW that you are aware of the local issues that they are covering at that time and how your message will apply to it: the more of a "local angle" you can have, the better.

When calling the station, be aware that they ARE BUSY !!! It is best to ask for a specific person, preferably the reporter who covered the local story you will be referring to. Name the local talk show you would like to appear on … do not just ask for an interview. The more specific and local you can be, the better. Make their job as easy as you can.

Refer to the local issue, tell them how your message fits in with that issue and how you can provide a unique angle to it. This may take a bit of creativity on your part. For example, if the issue is actually an increase in drug use at the school and you are a BUSINESS coach … how can you connect the dots?

The answer is … approach the problem identified in the issue as a business problem. How do you advise business professionals on problems that they may find with their companies? The same technique can be applied if you are a life coach or a marriage counselor. It can also be applied to just about any issue: a plant shutting down, a conflict with local city government, local historic preservation, etc. The common denominator in all local issues and with your message is PEOPLE.

Now, you have taken the first steps to getting that interview. You have sent emails and made contact by phone. What next?

Persistance! But remember … there is a fine line between being persistent and being a pest. That line with news reporters is if they feel you are telling them how to do their job. Do not do that! Instead, a follow up would include any updates on that local angle the station may have covered. If the topic is still hot, your NEW angle on it will be something those reporters are looking for. However, if that issue has cooled off, approaching the reporter with a new issue and how you relate to it will be the avenue you will want to take. This will not seem a desperate way to get an interview if you make it appear that you are relevant to many local issues … which is the reason they will want to interview you.

The key to landing that interview is making the reporters / producers or news directors' job as EASY as you can without telling them HOW to do their jobs. Identify what it is they want and then give that to them.

Here are some final tips in landing an interview:

Avoid using a cell phone for a phone interview. The quality is bad and you run the risk of losing a signal. If at all possible, do the interview in person. If you can not because of scheduling or location, then a land-line phone is your next best choice.

Be as flexible with time and scheduling as you can. Your first choice would be to schedule it to coincide with your speaking engagement, but that may not be possible. Sometimes, especially during busy times, talk shows are simply booked up. If a time is available AFTER your gig, still take it. It will serve as a reminder of the message you delivered at your speech and may open up new opportunities for future speaking engagements.

Remember that the station, the reporter, the producer and the news director are the ones in control of your HAVING the interview and how it will be conducted. You are only in control of what you say during the interview. Use the opportunity to your greatest advantage.

And finally, live talk shows are the only time you have control over what will be heard by the public. In a recorded interview, the producer, news director or reporter may have to EDIT for time's sake. And, in some cases, you can actually be misquoted because of the way they edit and write the story. You can not control this, but you CAN be prepared for it! Just know that it can happen and do not over-react. You do NOT want to make enemies with the media. Instead, as a follow-up, whether the interview went good or bad, send a thank you or follow up with a thank you phone call. Those stations just gave you free air-time, so no matter what, thank them for it!

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Source by Mandy Bass

What To Include In A Press Release

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By now I’m sure you know the marketing value of a good press release. However, it is important to write a press release properly to ensure it will be given the necessary attention. The following steps will give you an acceptable format and include what media outlets expect to see in a press release.

As a good start, the top of the page should include all contact information, name, phone, complete address, email, website etc. It should then say News Release in big bold letters. On the left side of the page at the top state a date for the release such as ‘For Release on June 1, 2008’.

If your release is written in such a way that it could be run at literally any time of the year, it is referred to as “evergreen”. If that is the case you would state the preferred time of release as ‘For Immediate Release.’ In this way no matter when someone comes across your release they will know that it is worth reading and that it has not passed its relevancy date.

The next line should be the headline of the press release. The headline needs to be catchy, factual, and the bottom line of what the press release is about. Give the reader a quick indication at a glance on what they are about to read. The headline is usually slightly bigger in font 14 pt. or 16 pt. and the body 12 pt. In some cases the headline is bolded.

Begin the press release with a dateline. This includes city, state/province, date and a dash, and then begins into your lead paragraph. The lead paragraph should be one or two sentences giving the reader basic details on the story and motivate the reader to keep reading. There are two types of lead paragraphs. A summary lead is a few sentences key to what the story is about. A feature lead creates a hook to keep the reader wanting more.

One rule of thumb for a press release is to keep it to four paragraphs, always keep it brief. The first paragraph should include the most important facts, attributions and essential information. The second paragraph could include background information and names of sources. The third paragraph could elaborate on the first paragraph giving the detailed information. The final paragraph should include the most important information in your press release, which would be to contact you for more information. Don’t save your best stuff, story wise, to the last. You want to fire your big guns first in order to keep them reading.

Many people think that the sole purpose of the press release is to have it run as the story. That is just not the case. It’s true that you want enough information in the release so that it can stand on its own if the reporter is in a hurry or on deadline.

Ideally, your real goal for a press release should be to get the reader to be interested enough to want to follow-up and do a full interview with you. This will usually result in a bigger article or feature story and will often include photos.

Releases are scanned quickly so make sure they don’t have too much information that would cause them to end up in the circular file. This is not an exact science, but these key points will give your next press release a fighting chance to stand out among all the others that are competing for attention.

To your success!

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Source by David Mason

Determine Your Bathroom Layout

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Because a toilet is packed with mandatory elements, a shoehorn might seem like an essential tool when reforging. But with a little original space preparation, it can not solely fit in necessities, it can also fit in a few (or more) luxuries. Think of the following functional and code prerequisites when developing your new-and-improved layout.

No matter what type of bathtub you're redoing, a functional floor plan is the key to a successful remodel. In order for a architect to develop the best lavatory for a customer, he or she will need to know who is applying the can, when they will be using it and how they are employing the quad. With this info in hand, your architect may surprise you with layout thoughts you might other than have overlooked.

While state and local codes utilize to every lav remodel, a with child privy ofttimes commands more than gathering the lower limit prerequisites. The International Residential Code (IRC) commands that the center line of a john be at least 15 ins from any other bathing tub fixing, wall or other obstacle. On the other hand, NKBA proffers similar maneuvering rules, although they recommend at least 18 column inches from the center line of a can to another repair, for amended comfortableness for the user.

When it comes to clear level space, the IRC mandates at least 21 column inches in front of a lavatory, potty, bidet and bathing tub, and the minimum amount of clear storage space in front of a shower is 24 ins. NKBA road maps call for a percipient story space of at least 30 column inches from the front edge of all fixes to any bathroom mend, wall or obstacle.

The NKBA road maps as well proffer proffers that are not called by the IRC, and like the other rules, are intended to better a lavatory's purpose and step up.

Universal pattern, which emphasizes roomier floor plans with wider thresholds, taller cans and turbless rain showers, has become much more unglamorous in recent years. "The beauty of universal figure is it's just that. It's not balk invention, it's universal, and all of us benefit from it," alleges Max Isley, proprietor of Hampton Kitchens, Raleigh, NC If the program is to stay in a dwelling house long term, a privy that contains universal figure rules can be a heady investment.

Universal design, which emphasizes roomier floor plans with wider doorways, taller toilets and awkward showers, has become much more commonplace in recent years. "The beauty of universal design is it's just that. It's not handicap design, it's universal, and all of us benefit from it," says Max Isley, owner of Hampton Kitchens, Raleigh, NC If the plan is to stay in a home long term, a bathroom that incorporates universal design principles can be a wise investment.

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Source by Dushan Ivanov

The Media’s Portrayal of Islam and the Hijab

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Time, people, culture, society, and the environment we are surrounded by, can produce the formation of many perspectives regarding an issue that we see in today’s society. One of many controversial topics is Islam and the Hijab. Many questions and generalisations are often formed in the minds of many non-Muslims in regards to the concepts behind the Hijab through the influence of the media.

Throughout the years of conflict between the “West” and “Islam”, the media has strongly altered the minds of non-Muslims by negative exploitation of Islam, and Muslims, in particular on Muslim women. Misconceptions such as, “Are you bald underneath” “Do you go to sleep with that on?” to the association of “terrorism” that contrasts to what Muslim women believe the Hijab represents.

A common misconception is “the Islamic Hijab is something cultural, not religious”. The use of the word “cultural” is faulty when describing the Hijab as it implies that it is a result of customs and practices that are something separate from Islam. The cultural dress is referred to the ancient Pre-Islamic Era (Jahiliyah). It is the veil from the Pre-Islamic Era that is considered as “traditional” which stops women from contributing in society. On the contrary, the Islamic Hijab is not considered as an informal tradition, nor does it lower her self-respect. The Hijab is aimed at presenting women with poise and equality in society. An example of Pre-Islamic era in our modern world is the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Taliban are a party who regard such activities un-Islamic for women, who are prohibited from exercising their primary rights. The Taliban have banned women from employment outside the home, apart from the health sector, and have terminated education for girls.

Prophet Mohammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said, “Seeking knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim”. Even Henry VIII forbid women to study the Bible when the first English translations began to appear. It’s an irony although the Taliban claim their guiding philosophy on women are in place to ensure the physical protection and self-respect of women, where as, many Afghan women have been killed, beaten and publicly hung. For many Afghan women fear of being severely punished by the Taliban is their main security concern.

Another misconception is “Muslim women have no right in Islam”. Islam gave women rights over 1400 years ago, which is still ignored by many Muslims and non-Muslims today. Firstly, Islam has given women the basic right to freedom of speech. In the early days of Islam, the leaders of the Islamic state regarding legal issues consulted women. Rights that were appointed to Muslim women since the beginning of time are only just surfacing for non-Muslims. In Islam, a woman is free to be whom she is inside, and protected from being portrayed as a sex symbol and lusted after. Islam praises the status of a woman by commanding that she “enjoys equal rights to those of man in everything, she stands on an equal footing with man” (Qur’an, Nadvi: 11) and both share mutual rights and obligations in all aspects of life.

Many women are treated in ways far from Islamic ideals, yet in the name of Islam. The Taliban is an example of a cultural and political name that has been branded with Islam. There is no freedom for women if they are imprisoned in their home in the name of the Hijab and Islam. Moreover, the veil of Islam is not associated with the veil of oppression.

Women that are regaining their identity and role in society, are now wearing the Hijab and are embracing its concept of liberation. They are taking their lawful places that Islam had awarded them fourteen hundred years ago. In fact, the western women had no rights nor did they have rights over their husband. Not only were woman the property of their husband but so were their possessions. In 1919 women in England fought for their rights to be elected to parliament. Because of their demands, they were imprisoned by the government and suffered greatly. It was not until the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when women were given these rights.

A quote from the Qur’an in Surah 2: 26 states:

“And for women has rights over men, similar to those of men over women.”

The background history between Islam and the West will shed some light as to why Muslims are portrayed so negatively in the media. Some strong contributing factors are the medieval western conflict, the crusades, the oil crisis of the 1970’s, the Lebanese civil war, the Iranian revolution, the Gulf war, and the explosive Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the September 11 bombings, the Bali Massacre and the London bombings. All these events have caused Islam to be consistently associated with violence and unresolved conflict. Furthermore, the view of Muslims as being violent typically explains why Muslims are seen to establish a threat to the West. One of the most effective ways the media attempts to somehow prevent Islam being seen in a positive frame is to develop propaganda against Muslims and Islam.

The media is able to use the Hijab as a means of exploiting Muslim women, and degrading them. The media assumes, in some cases, that the actions of one Muslim are representations of the general Muslim population. This is generalisation. This sets a example for members of society to abuse and degrade them.

An image of a Muslim woman wearing the chador was labelled as “like death out for a walk” in the Australian Magazine, 25-26 Jan. 1995 issue. The media implied to locate the position of women in Islamic society as dominated. The image also portrayed the difference between Muslim and Western Women in today’s society.

In current affair programs, people watching are bombarded with images of Muslims as savage terrorists, killing innocent people with no remorse. What results from this is the viewers of these programs, recognise and accept only the labels, and therefore with Islam immediately associating it with negative images.

I asked a resident from Parramatta, who wished to be kept anonymous if “the September 11th bombings altered their mind about Islam and Muslim women?” He said “I never knew Islam and the Qur’an preached terrorism. It has made me aware of Islam and the teachings. It increased my awareness of the complexities of Islam and politics in the Middle East including the veiling of Muslim women”. This answer shows how influential the media is towards its viewers.

Throughout the western society, the practice of Muslim women wearing the Hijab has resulted in extreme points of view towards their so-called “oppression” and lack of freedom. Despite the obvious portrayal of Muslim women and myths that surround it such as; “Muslim women are oppressed”, there continues to be an abundance of Western women reverting to Islam. What Islam uses to protect women is the Hijab. This is ironic because the Western media often portray the Muslim veil as a suppressive force in a woman’s life.

Every Muslim woman is required to wear a scarf or some sort of head covering and loose-fitting, modest attire. This is not a means of controlling a woman’s sexuality or suppressing her but rather, a means for protection. It implies by dressing this way she will not be seen as a mere sex symbol but will be appreciated for her intellect. Furthermore, it will not subject her to harassment. It is interesting to state the head covering for women is not an Islamic innovation but was also practiced by Judeo-Christian women centuries earlier, and yet is laughed at by the West today.

Naima Omar, a student of University of Western Sydney says “It is funny to say the same veil worn by catholic nuns for God is despised and presented as a symbol of subjection and domination when it is worn by Muslim women for the intention to protect themselves and devoting themself to God”.

The term Islam means “submission to the will of Allah” and “peace”. Muslims believe Islam is not a religion but a gift that has been awarded to them. They believe Islam is the way of life and that is harmonious however the media portrays the opposite.

Maria Moskovakis, 18, a Greek Orthodox says “yes of course Muslims are presented negatively in the news. An action by one Muslim is presented with so much bias. If one Muslim commits a crime, it is not the person but the religion presented that goes to trial. What we hear and see is all controlled.

As El-Gharib (1996-97) noted, television, books, newspapers, and magazines are used to present Islam as being a backward and barbaric religion. It has been seen as oppressive and unjust; and more than this, it is seen as being most oppressive to women. These various forms of media misrepresent Islam in different ways, however largely achieve the same negative result – the creation of a growing barrier of misunderstanding and hostility between Islam and it’s followers, and the West.

Muslims have an obligation to fulfil which is to educate themselves, their children to gain knowledge which is ordained upon them regardless of their race, gender and marital status etc.

A Hasan Hadith narrated by Ibn Majah in the Qur’an states:

“Seeking knowledge is a duty on every Muslim” and therefore gaining knowledge is regarded as an act of worship. Stopping any Muslim from gaining an education regardless of age and sex is not Islamic.

Dr Homer of Sweden was asked by the United Nations in 1975 to study the status of Women in the Arab countries and said: “It is the Swedish woman who should demand her freedom, as the women in the Arab countries has already reached the peak of her freedom under Islam.” From “Status Of Women In Islam” page 23.

Many have become used to believing the false information that they are spoon fed every time they turn on the screen, listen to the radio or open a newspaper.

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Source by Derya Goren

Career Building – Stage 1

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So what are employer's looking for, the finer points vary depending on the company, role and culture but the main points are generic –

· Positive attitude – I'm not suggesting that you agree with everything, but be able to back your rejections up with positive reasons. Most of all listened to their counter agreements

· A genuine interest in the company and position – this role will be the stepping stone to the next move, this maybe in a few years. Therefore you need to have an interest in what you are doing. If you are there for the 9-5 pay check, then that's all you will get. See id you can improve the position by added further responsibilities (do not take too much on and neglect your real duties). Take an interest in the company and if there are lunchtime or evening workshops / meetings attend some of them.

· Communication skills – Important for daily interaction with colleges as well as senior management, communicate in a professional way and try and stay away from office gossip will also set you apart from the crowd.

· High performance standards · Stable work history – If applying for a new role with a new company we need to look at your career history, why have you changed jobs (frequent job changes will concern potential employers) have a quick fire answer to the reasons . If you have changed careers again have a good reason. I have changed carers twice, the opportunities presented them and it felt natural progress at the time, so do not be afraid to say you have changed career.

For those currently within a role and looking for internal promotion (also applies to new applications) Have high standards within your ethics and performance, try and have some examples of your work (if available and relevant). Also look at the qualities needed fro the role and do you have them and can you highlight where you have used them in the past.

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Source by David Mortimer

14k, 22k Or 24k – What’s Gold Karat Mean For Your Jewelry?

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What is a gold karat, and what does it mean when your gold jewelry is 10K, 14K, 18K or 24K. What do all the 14K stamps and 18K stamps on your gold jewelry actually mean? Well for starters there are a couple things we need to define before we answer this actually pretty easy question.

For starters what is a “K”? We’re not talking special k, this isn’t a cereal! In this case “K” stands for Karat, not to be confused with carat abbreviated “ct” where the words originally originated from back around the sixteenth century. Karat is just a unit of measure for purity.

Example: A woman is said to be 24K! What does that mean? It means she is one hundred percent pure! If we said somebody was 12K we would be saying they are only 50% pure! You see when gold is mixed it comes out one hundred percent pure 24K. One of the reasons it’s believed that the number 24 was used versus lets just say one hundred (which would’ve made this a whole lot simpler) was the use of allocating twenty four hours in one complete day. So a whole day has twenty four hours a whole pure quality of gold has twenty hours parts being all gold.

Here’s the catch, gold when its pure is pretty soft, in fact very soft and doesn’t hold up very well to wear and tear. Think dog here. Most of the time a dog that is a “mutt” (mixed breed) is tougher then pure breed. If you attempt to use practically any product without cutting it with a hardener the product falls apart. Try making a hamburger patty without a little egg or a little bread crumbs! The patty will crumble the minute it hits the grill!

Gold Purity Chart

The easiest way to know the amount of pure metal in your ring is to look at the stamp that is inside the ring and divide by twenty four. Here is a gold purity chart to help:

  • 24K / 24 =100% pure
  • 18K / 24 = 75% pure
  • 14K / 24 = 58.33% pure
  • 10K / 24 = 41.66% pure

The question of course is which is the best to buy? Well it depends on your life style; if you are tough on jewelry 14K (which is mixed with copper, nickel, zinc, and other hardeners) can take a beating.

If you want a more valuable piece of jewelry then up the karat weight! 18K or in some parts of the world 22K! But know that you have to be more gentle with it since purity always needs more care!

Another question I get asked a lot is about white gold vs. yellow gold. Is one better than the other? Again it depends on our goal. One, white, gold is typically cut with only nickel, zinc, or in some cases palladium. These are much tougher hardeners than copper which is mixed with yellow gold. So if the goal is tough? White gold wins! Now always white metal is the color of choice because of the light it enhances the beauty of diamonds where yellow gold can cast a yellow tint on the rocks. I hope that clarifies a few of the questions regarding 10K, 14K, 18K and 24k gold jewelry!

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Source by Fred Cuellar

Stop Female Genital Mutilation

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What is FGM?

FGM stands for female genital mutilation – the mutilation or 'cutting' of a females genital parts. Despite this act having a negative impact on both the psychological and physical health of the woman experiencing this trauma, 3 million women a year worldwide are at risk. It involves the full or partial removal of the female genital parts (including clitoris and labia). Sometimes the 'hole' is sewn together to leave scar tissue and makes sexual intercourse and childbirth painful, and sometimes almost impossible.

Where and Why is FGM Practiced?

It is practiced in 29 countries across Africa, as well as some parts of Asia and the Middle East. Countries where the rate is 80% or more include Egypt, Sudan and Mali. Although many people claim that FGM is a religious practice, it is more to do with culture and tradition. It can happen to a girl or woman at any age, but the most common age group to experience this is 8-15.

No religious holy text interviews FGM. The main world religions would actually oppose it as it is seen as abuse and therefore a sin. Indeed, male circumcision is practiced in Judaism and Islam. However, male circumcision only involves the removal of a small piece of useless foreskin on the penis. Male circumcision does not involve removing the entire male sexual organ – it is not harmful or painful and is not, therefore, a form of abuse.

FGM in its traditional form was actually a way to control and oppress women. The idea behind it is to deprive a woman of her sexual enjoyment so that she can be 'controlled' and do her 'work'. As there is no legitimate cultural or religious explanation for this barbaric act, it should be stopped. However, some women may still have an enjoyable sexual relationship, and those living in more economically developed countries can have corrective surgery to help to improve health of survivors.

Are women in the UK and USA at risk of FGM?

Yes, even though female genital mutilation is illegal in these countries, many women in the UK and USA are at risk. These are mainly women from immigrant families who come from a country where FGM is practiced. In some villages, it is the cultural norm. In certain situations, girls from the UK and USA are sent on 'holiday' to their homeland during 'cutting season' where the operation will be performed, often without anesthetic and putting the girl's life in danger.

What are the Health Risks of FGM?

Female genital mutilation puts women's health and lives at risk. Women can bleed to death and also die of shock, pain or infection as a result of FGM. If a woman survives FGM, she will then suffer serious emotional and physical consequences. Many female survivors experience a lifetime of pain, flashbacks and infections. It can be difficult for a woman who has experienced FGM to fully enjoy a healthy sexual relationship. Many women who have survived may find it difficult to get pregnant. If they successfully become pregnant, childbirth may be extremely traumatic. Many women who have undergone FGM will need to be operated on during childbirth. The stress and trauma can result in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress disorder) or depression.

What can be done to Stop FGM?

It's a taboo subject. If people find it difficult to talk about female body parts, then of course, it is going to be difficult to discuss FGM. The more we can raise awareness about the issue, the more women will have the confidence to speak out about it.

Several charities are working to end this abuse including Action Aid, Plan and Comic Relief.

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Source by Amy Trumpeter