Posted in Books & Stories, Personal & Opinion

My Author Interview In Book Reader Magazine

Book Reader Magazine recently published their ‘Featured Authors’ interview with, of course, me! You can read the original post (and get interviewed yourself) by clicking here or just read the copied text below. If you have any questions head over to my ‘Ask the Author’ page on Goodreads or email me for an interview!

0img-2855_orig

Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
My name is Jamila Mikhail, I’m 21 years old and I’m a Canadian writer. I was born in British Columbia but lived here and there, even moving seven times in five years at one point! Finally, now that I’m an adult I came to settle in Ottawa, the capital and also the city of my dreams. We aren’t quite halfway through 2018 yet and I’ve already accomplished most of the dreams I’ve had for the last ten years! I share this dream with my cat Squeaker who has been my number one buddy for the last three years. She doesn’t meow, she literally squeaks the sissiest noise I’ve ever heard come out of a cat, and I’ve had cats my whole life.

I’m currently a student in law and human rights, which is my other passion aside from writing. The two merge more often than not though, because somewhere in my stories there will always be a character or situation that deals with real life contemporary social issues. Aside from this I’m a lover of snail mail letters, a postcard collector, a real foodie and a maker of toy soldiers. I’ve made myself a little army with old and recycled parts and they keep me in line in my writing!

At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. Growing up I didn’t have cable TV or anything like that (I didn’t get my own until I was 19 years old actually) so books, and also the newspaper, were my connection to the rest of the world. Nowadays I love books both to escape reality for a little while, and to educate myself about pertinent and important topics in my society and the world at large. You can learn anything from a book, that I believe.

I’ve also loved writing for just as long. I first began steadily writing in 2004 (I was seven years old) and actually still have all the old notebooks with my scribbles and two-page stories in them. It wasn’t long before writing became my way to cope with life, but most importantly it was the only socially acceptable way to express myself and my grand ideas. I tend to be bold and writing enabled me to make that side of myself shine.

I began writing on a serious basis in 2011 on the advice of my therapist who was treating me for PTSD at the time, and my first completed manuscript “The Distant Factory” was born. It’s actually available for free on my website along with several other books. I didn’t publish anything until this year though, because it is no small task and I had to get my $#!& together before venturing out into that. It turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
This is probably the hardest question for me to answer because I literally drive all over the road here (and often drive all over the real road in my car too). I particularly love reading non-fiction about the Second World War and the Korean War since my own grandfather served in both of them and that’s also what inspired me to get into the human rights field. My favorites are definitely the autobiographies of the people who lived through the darkest days in humanity, these otherwise ordinary men and women are not only my favorite authors but also my heroes.

I also love reading true crime and psychological books that seek to explain why people turn into war criminals or serial killers and other things like that. I am fascinated by people and love being able to observe both the humanity in them and the horror in them.

My grandmother has inspired many of my writings through the years and was always pushing me to write some more. Sadly she passed away on March 11th of this year and writing is what has probably kept me alive since she’s been gone. Otherwise, my own life and the things I witness and hear about happening around me are generally what inspire me to write. That’s also what makes my stories easy to relate to.

Tell us a little about your latest book?
My latest book is called “Don’t Let Me Go” and it is young adult fiction, geared towards readers from age 13 to adults. It actually began as a short story writing prompt in 2014 and turned into a novel-length manuscript by 2015 (the original short story can be found on my website) but it didn’t go much further than that. It remained dormant on my computer until National Novel Writing Month last year. I knew that I wanted to revive it, but also rewrite it because it was pretty awful in the beginning. I won’t lie, I totally flunked out during NaNoWriMo after rewriting only about 10 000 words. The manuscript remained dormant again for several months until my grandmother’s passing.

After that it only took me about a week and a half to complete the final draft of 78 000 words. It wasn’t hard for me to sit in front of my computer and type thousands upon thousands of words during the worst time in my life because it made me feel better and gave me purpose. Getting the whole thing ‘publication pretty’ so to speak took another two months but I’m very satisfied with how everything turned out. I think my grandma would be very proud of me even though she wouldn’t be able to read the book either way because she only spoke French.

“Don’t Let Me Go” mixes contemporary issues and situations (in this case, a teenage girl named Joanie who is reeling from her parents’ bitter divorce and struggles with school) with a little bit of fantasy, history and science. Joanie decides to pass the time by making military action figures and much to her surprise, one of them comes to life! Adler is a soldier straight out of the Second World War (but Joanie is the only person who can see him) and helps Joanie navigate rough waters that include depression, domestic violence and bullying but what she doesn’t know is that Adler also hides a secret…

Advertisements
Posted in Everything Else, Personal & Opinion

Quora Top Writer 2018

Remember my Quora Year In Review post a few weeks ago? Well, I was recently one of the people awarded the title of Top Writer for the year 2018 and I could not be happier and more humbled by this! The best part was winning a one year subscription to the New York Times which is one of my favorite newspapers! 😀 I also now have this permanent neat badge on my Quora profile for my valuable contributions to the community.

qupra

I was very surprised to see a message in my inbox from Johnathan Brill saying that I’d been awarded this because I’ve been a member of the community for less than a year, I have less than 200 answers posted and only 36 followers. I’m a total nobody, a complete unknown on there, but obviously I still caught the attention of the admins and they love what I have to write!

At first I actually thought it was spam since I disabled receiving messages from other users because I kept getting spam including flirty/dirty messages and even a marriage proposal but then I looked on my profile and sure enough my little badge was there! 🙂

john1john2

Once I can return to my regular quiet life I hope that I can continue to make valuable contributions to the Quora community and get a second Top Writer badge for 2019. Wish me luck!

Posted in Everything Else, Personal & Opinion

My Quora Year In Review 2017

Earlier this year I signed up for Quora on a whim and ended up enjoying it quite a bit. I wrote 165 answers, got 32 followers and a combined total of 903 upvotes. That’s not bad for somebody who is a complete nobody and is unknown to just about the entire world. This list is my top 10 most upvoted answers on Quora this year, and the wide range of topics had made it for an interesting compilation for me to create! 😀

#10 — Is there any advice on for a PTSD survivor?

At number ten, my answer to this question got 10 upvotes. It’s not the first time I’ve answered questions about PTSD in fact. I myself was diagnosed with PTSD in 2012 and I’ve had so-so success with various different treatments. Certainly, as life progresses I will write more about this topic.

#9 — Would you rather have sex or pizza?

I picked the pizza on this one, and 12 people apparently also wanted the pizza. Me being asexual was the reason I picked the pizza but I mean seriously, you never run the chance of getting pregnant or catching an STD from eating pizza. But then again you probably won’t get food poisoning from sex either 😛

main-qimg-55e092de925e8828f04019adf529f8e3-c

#8 — Since Stalin was ethnically Georgian and Georgians were among the ethnic groups the Nazis considered “Eastern Aryans,” would Stalin have been considered racially “pure” by the Nazis?

With two more upvotes than my asexual pizza, at 14 total upvotes, Joseph Stalin gets the 8th spot. Nazis hated communists and Bolsheviks. A person’s ethnicity wasn’t the only thing factored into whether or not a person was worthy of life so to speak under Nazi doctrine. That little tyrant with the big mustache would’ve gone to the gulag.

#7 — Can Muhammad be called the symbolic father of all evil?

Holding at 15 upvotes, another one of those Islamophobic questions on Quora. That website tends to be quite friendly to bigots of all types, including Nazis (I’ve also answered a great deal of anti-Semitic questions) and no matter how many times you actually prove them wrong, people still seem to have their heads stuck up their asses. This one got particularly awkward when the link provided with the question led to an Islamophobic page on the website of Daniel Pipes who wishes to say he does not endorse certain content yet has no qualms about putting it up there for the world to see and does nothing to counter it.

Or so it seems. Ironically on his Wikipedia page there are several quotes where he has positive things to say about Islam taken from public interviews. So which one is the real Daniel Pipes? Or maybe there are two? Muslims are not terrorists and Muhammad (pbuh) is not the symbolic father of all evil. I’ve made that clear in my answer to that very stupid question.

#6 — Is it bad to be sexually active at 13?

Yes it is! And having the most upvoted answer on the question, at 17 upvotes total, shows that people with a head on their shoulders agree. This is quite an interesting thing to contemplate though, because throughout history it was not considered too young to be sexually active at 13. The age of consent laws and similar legislation are a fairly modern phenomenon. I most certainly stand by my opinion that it’s bad to be sexually active at 13. I even think that the modern age of consent laws are often set too low. Up until just a couple of years ago you only needed to be 14 to get married in Canada.

#5 — Who was the most repentant Nazi?

At 30 upvotes, this answer was my first one to get quite a bit of attention. Nazis were not known to be repentant and in fact I can count on the fingers of one hand those whom I know of who apologized publicly. Another interesting thing about this one though, is the fact that Rudolf Höss wasn’t just some random Nazi, he was the commandant of Auschwitz and is believed to have created the largest installation for the continuous annihilation of human beings ever known.

main-qimg-c5854e785ddfbc96fe572ff62420a817-c

#4 — What are some opinions of Sikh people? I have only just started discovering more about them as an American, but all the people I have spoken to say that Sikhs are trustworthy, kind, and honorable people.

Indeed they are! This question spikes in upvotes again, having 55 in total. This question actually appeared randomly in my feed and I decided to answer it on a whim. It was nice to be able to both read and say something positive about a certain group of people instead of just having to see and deal with ignorance and bigotry. ❤

# 3 — What do you get when you add “with a chainsaw” to the title of the last book you read?

Another funny and quirky question with an answer that got a total of 57 upvotes. I posted the book An Uncommon Journey which I recommend everyone here to read, and “with a chainsaw” at the end of the complete title it comes out “An Uncommon Journey: From Vienna To Shanghai To America, A Brother and Sister Escape the Nazis with a Chainsaw.” The part that I think people liked the most was “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared With a Chainsaw.” Yep, that sounds really badass 😛

main-qimg-c398496a02e06b19991ae47bab209e48-c

#2 — Were there any good Nazis?

Coming in at number 2 with 81 upvotes is probably my favorite of my answers. I got to tell the story of my favorite historical figure, Heinz Heydrich. I’ve posted about him before on here and a few more times on Quora as well, but that answer is the only one that got any notable attention. For those of you who do not know the story of Heinz Heydrich, in short he was a Nazi who saved Jews. He helped many Jews escape the Holocaust and yes, he was also the little brother of the evil Gestapo chief Reinhard Heydrich. It’s crazy how different two brothers can be.

main-qimg-d078ef85235bc12474e26a677fc7c32a-c

#1 — Can you show me a picture of your cat?

Stealing the show with 86 upvotes, my cat Squeaker wins my 2017 Quora year in review. People like cats more than pizza and good Nazis but hey I’m not going to complain because I’m indeed a crazy cat lady myself. Below are the original photos I posted in my answer. Squeaker is indeed the best buddy I ever could have asked for!

I will be back on Quora in 2018 once again to talk about cats, Nazis, pizza and sex. 😛 Happy New Year everyone! I will see you all next year! 😉

Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects, News & Relevant Topics, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

Nobody’s Asking

Are you tired of hearing me say that I hate the modern practice of the death penalty because it’s now used to reap nothing than injustice, the exact opposite of what it was supposed to serve? Well, I’m not done. There’s just one more rant I want to post before I close this chapter for good.

oxymoron

“But it’s changing the Sharia law!”

I can’t tell you how much I hate hearing those words. People, the word Sharia does not mean penal code. Yes, aspects of justice and the penal code do fall in with the concept of Sharia but you cannot confound Islamic law, the moral code Muslims are called to live by, and the laws of your country enforced by the government. If you look at Wikipedia written in Simple English (apparently people are too stupid to understand regular English) you’ll see that “Sharia” isn’t a penal code set in stone. Very few aspects of it are set in stone in the Quran. I prefer to call the penal code part of it a principle of law instead since Islamic values such as equality and justice are set in stone, but social issues change from culture to culture, nation to nation, year to year and thinking that 7th century customs could solve modern issues is just insane. On the other hand, God’s timeless principles present throughout revelation can, but only if we can find a way to apply them properly under specific circumstances.

simpleenglish

Let there be no question that Islam allows (that is allows, not mandates) the death penalty for certain crimes, it’s an ancient prescription that has been around since the beginning of time, but where people go wrong is that they justify its modern practice by saying “well, it’s in the books.” Yeah it’s in the books, just the Word of God is more than just ink on a page isn’t it? People also think that the justice system today is the same as it was in the 7th century but that could not be more erroneous. So what was the death penalty for back then exactly? Primarily a deterrent, and used really only as a last resort to keep the community safe and free from crime. Today the statistics prove that it’s not a deterrent (the exact opposite actually) and we have very safe and advanced, albeit far from perfect, criminal justice and rehabilitation programs. In a nutshell, the death penalty was prescribed to uphold justice, but in modern society it does nothing but reap injustice.

Take a look at the death penalty in Islam page on ProCon.org. I don’t believe that apostasy is punishable by death in Islam but that’s another story, but you’ll see that the death penalty was reserved for very serious offenses and not taken lightly at all. I must add that Sheikh Ahmad Ash-Sharabasi’s comments were laughable though. How is the modern death penalty self-defense? That’s completely beside the point. Sure, the ancient death penalty served to destroy the threat but do you think that the American terrorists in Supermax are still a threat? Self-defense isn’t even an issue. It’s misguided and erroneous. On the other hand, let’s take a look at what we do with the death penalty in modern society. Firstly, take what Rabia Terri Harris had to say:

An Islamic opposition to the death penalty must begin by acknowledging that the Qur’an may clearly be read as giving special exemption (from the general prohibition on killing) to the taking of a murderer’s life…

Those who favor the death penalty therefore cannot be considered as beyond the pale: we must accept the faithfulness and validity of their opinion…

[T]he responsibility of a Muslim is justice. Will the killing of a murderer produce justice…

[W]e can measure whether it does or not by examining the state of public trust. In the US, the following facts have been established…Nearly 90% of persons executed for murder were convicted of killing whites, although people of color make up over half of all homicide victims nationally…[and] 90% of the people US government prosecutors currently seek to execute are black or Latino…

There is no justice here. No needs are met, no fear is alleviated. This idea does not work. The hallmark of truth is that it works…

It is a far more serious error of Islamic ethics to demand a human death in circumstances when there are doubts about guilt or innocence, where the bereaved are not consulted about their wishes, and when the penalty is selectively applied based on the pernicious fantasy that some lives have more value than others.

Islamic law, and Islamic taqwa, demand that we dissent from such a travesty of justice.

Nobody’s telling you that the death penalty is not part of Islam, and nobody’s asking you to remove those verses from the book. What I am asking is that we stop allowing injustice in the name of “Sharia.” You run your mouth saying that Sharia upholds justice but congratulations, your beloved Sharia law has turned into an oxymoron because the exact opposite is all it’s accomplishing! Tariq Ramadan also echoes this sentiment:

[W]e launch today a call for an immediate international moratorium on corporal punishment, stoning and the death penalty in all Muslim majority countries. Considering that the opinions of most scholars, regarding the comprehension of the texts and the application of hudud, are neither explicit nor unanimous (indeed there is not even a clear majority), and bearing in mind that political systems and the state of the majority Muslim societies do not guarantee a just and equal treatment of individuals before the law, it is our moral obligation and religious responsibility to demand for the immediate suspension of the application of the hudud which is inaccurately accepted as an application of ‘Islamic sharia’.

Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl also wrote that you’d basically have to be God himself to properly carry out a sentence of the death penalty. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan had this to say about the position of contemporary Judaism about capital punishment, which I believes echoes the sentiments of contemporary Islam in the face of the issues surrounding the modern death penalty:

In practice, however, these punishments were almost never invoked, and existed mainly as a deterrent and to indicate the seriousness of the sins for which they were prescribed. The rules of evidence and other safeguards that the Torah provides to protect the accused made it all but impossible to actually invoke these penalties… the system of judicial punishments could become brutal and barbaric unless administered in an atmosphere of the highest morality and piety. When these standards declined among the Jewish people, the Sanhedrin… voluntarily abolished this system of penalties.

We are closer to Andromeda than we are to a fair and equitable justice system. I don’t believe that reform will do it because peoples’ standards only keep declining, serving their own interests and disregarding the rest. How many times have I heard of dirty cops, corrupt law enforcement officials, cover ups, set ups, and downright gross injustice. So do we stop the oppressor from committing oppression? By removing the means of oppression, a.k.a. the death penalty.

When you sentence someone to life in prison it’s a very harsh sentence of reconciling with yourself looking at a concrete wall for every single day of your life but such a sentence can easily be overturned, after all the person is still alive and can still speak for themselves. On the other hand an execution is permanent and you can’t take it back. As I’ve written about in my previous published articles about this issue An Argument Against Capital Punishment (Part 1 of 2) and An Argument Against Capital Punishment (Part 2 of 2) among others, there is a scary amount of innocent people awaiting execution. And then we execute them in inhumane ways. Even if you wholeheartedly still believe in capital punishment after everything, you must also agree that there is no executing people in inhumane manners. That is not Islamic.

tariqexecution

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/152252551516/the-social-cost-of-solitary-confinement

Lastly, I want you to contemplate a couple of things before everybody loses their minds over this…

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/152252641306/we-need-to-realise-that-we-should-be-on-the-side

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/152252650276/youre-faithful-to-the-text-when-you-understand

Is the modern practice of capital punishment faithful to the text? Not even close! Consider this next time you go on blabbing about that “it’s scripture” or that you care about human rights. The two must go together.

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/152252926786/certain-verses-leave-no-scope-for-interpretation

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/152252967471/please-please-could-you-show-some-heart-some

Posted in Books & Stories, Personal & Opinion

I’m On My Way To Getting Published!

Indeed, I am. I’m still incredibly early in the publishing process and I still have so much to learn and to get done before my first book comes out but we’ll be getting there soon enough! A while back I was cleaning out old files on my computer and discovered a ton of my old poetry and since I’ve wanted to publish something of my very own for an eternity I decided, why not?

It might give me the motivation and the confidence to finish up some old stories that were also discovered on my computer to also be published sometime in the future. I’m already off to a good start in getting the first draft of one together so this is definitely something I look forward to getting done and that I’m actively working on right now. Below is what the cover of the poetry book looks like so far.

InnermostBookCoverPreview.do

I gave myself a big pat on the back for creating that all by myself, albeit that I had tons of help from Canva and online tutorials. 😉 There are no words to say just how much I’ve wanted this for so long and it looks like 2018 will finally be the year in which all of my dreams (or one of them at the very least) will come true!

Stay tuned for some more updates as I make more progress. Right now I don’t actually have much of a timeline and much less of a plan so I guess we’ll just find out when we get there. This is also be a good learning tool for me when it comes to the world of publishing so hopefully everything will be as great as I imagine it!

Posted in Everything Else, Personal & Opinion

LiveJournal: It’s Been Awhile | July 20th 2017

Reading over this entry one again I’m happy to let you know that I indeed plan on posting about some of the places I’ve been and the things I’ve done in the near future once I get other things out of the way. I have two dozen half-written articles just waiting for me to have the time and do something about them so hand in there, I’ll get to them eventually.


Date originally posted: July 20th 2017 (9:37 a.m.)

Mood: contemplative

Well, it’s been over a month since I’ve posted on here now. Honestly, there’s just been so much on my plate that I haven’t been into doing anything online these days except shopping when necessary. There’s just that amazing convenience with Amazon and eBay where you can get even basic necessities sent straight to your door. It’s especially great when you live in an isolated rural area and things are often inaccessible or unavailable. For me it’s been a lifeline ever since I got the internet. A whole new world opened up in ways that I never thought possible.

So much for relaxing and just hanging out this summer. So much has happened and I still need to do so much more. Hopefully next month I can take a few road trips with my friends because big changes are also looming around here. I’ve set things up to move out and change regions completely. That won’t be happening in the immediate future because I have things like breaking leases to get done and a bunch of other jargon that needs to happen first before I can just get up and go and of course there’s the issue of money. I haven’t figured out all of the costs yet, but so far so good for the budget. I only have to save up a little more and by the end of the year (provided I don’t need the money for emergencies) all should be in order. After that, I haven’t decided yet.

I’ve also finally managed to terminate some friendships gone sour. It’s never pleasant to do, but I’m glad it’s done now. First of all it’s hard for me to get close to people and once I manage that, it’s also hard to leave them even after things get sour. I don’t find it hard to be sociable or to interact with people in general, but opening up and getting close to another person is a completely different story. Writing these bogus blogs online have helped me with that though.

My communication skills have never been very good. When I was growing up I was not allowed to express my feelings and now when they come out it’s like an explosion sometimes. That’s not good and neither is keeping them bottled up inside so I’m kind of still figuring out the grey area in the middle and finding out where I stand in regards to that. I’m not gone though, just because I’m more silent than usual and my pages might not have much activity for a while, I’m still very much around. Once I come back from my road trips I would love to post a mini series about discovering the region I traveled to. I’ve been doing some digging to find stuff ahead of time too so I’m even more looking forward to this now.

I’m gonna quit here for now, until I have something better to share.

Posted in Everything Else, Islam & Interfaith Subjects, News & Relevant Topics, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics, The World Wars

LiveJournal: Today | June 14th 2017

This is an old post from my LiveJournal account that I’ve recently cleaned up but didn’t want to completely get rid of everything and I’m glad that I’ve preserved my about half dozen entries or so because this is a very important one. Anti-Semitism (and racism and discrimination in general) is rampant and never seems to go away. Did you look at CNN or any other American news outlet recently? The entire country is going crazy. Up here in Canada it’s not nearly as bad, but we certainly aren’t free from the monster. In the near future I want to continue posting about this topic because I can’t just sit here and do nothing anymore, despite that I’ve never felt so powerless in my life before.


Date originally posted: June 14th 2017 (7:23 p.m.)

Mood: anxious

Not much to add today, just my roommates driving me crazy for the millionth time. The more this goes on the more I want to live alone. Of course many things need to happen in order for that to happen before I’m able to do that, but I might just get that process started. I think it would do me some good to get away from all of this. Of course there are many advantages to having a roommate or two, the biggest one being that things like rent are far less expensive. When they were all gone a few weeks ago I stayed home alone with my cat just watching TV and it got really lonely after the first week, but it was nice to just unwind after so much tension everywhere. I usually don’t go far or do much, but the two of them bring a lot of drama home and unfortunately I can’t exactly escape. We all share the same apartment.

Otherwise tomorrow it’s my birthday. At last! I was really getting hungry for my cake and other junk food today. I wasn’t sure I wanted one this year because my mind is elsewhere but I ended up deciding to invite some people over and just take the day to relax and regroup. I’m no fan of conventional birthday parties, I much prefer a relaxing day spent in good company and thinking about things than matter than going crazy. I might wanna go to the park and read the Quran or something, that is if the weather holds up for an outdoor adventure. I haven’t checked the weather forecast yet today but most of the time it’s not accurate in this region. Things change way too fast and the best way to determine the weather is to look outside the window.

I finally got back to going on WordPress and Tumblr regularly after not really being there for a while and only posting a few minor things. I changed most of my names (not username, just public name) on my social media to 42375 which is the number I picked for my tattoo, which was my grandpa’s service number during WWII. Honestly it makes me sad to see all the rampant anti-Semitism all over the place, from right here down the street to governments and institutions spreading it around across a good chunk of the Middle East. It’s truly unfortunate that many Muslims are systematically taught to hate Jews despite that the two communities have lived in peace for over a thousand years until just very recently the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Personally, I believe in a two-state solution. Each person and each nation has the right to be itself and to live in peace. Peace, isn’t that what we all want?

After all of these years there’s no way to have peace if you give the whole land to only one side. The other will rise up and cause another conflict because there has been way too much meddling from all sides including the outside for this to ever end peacefully because each person believes that the place is rightfully theirs (I won’t get into that right now) and unless there’s a compromise with each side getting something equal, tensions are only going to rise more and more. You cannot blame the entire Jewish population for what an oppressive regime is doing and you can’t blame the entire Muslim population for what a few radical Palestinians are doing either. Everything about this situation seems to have been tainted by everybody meddling in it without ever bringing about a resolution.

I hate it how Islam is often portrayed as being some anti-Semitic cult because of that ongoing conflict. We are supposed to maintain good relations with Jews (and all others for that matter), not hate them or want them gone from the face of the Earth. Plenty of Muslims perished during the Holocaust too, as well as Polish and Slavic people, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Gypsies, communists and endless others despite that the number of Jews was much greater than any of the other “unwanted minorities.” We also forget the stories of the Muslims who saved Jews during the Holocaust, the most famous stories being the ones of the Albanian Muslims. Muslim-majority Albania was the only European country that had more Jews after the war ended than before it started.

Have we forgotten about all the imams (not to mention countless other individual Muslims) who visited Auschwitz on more than one occasion? The photo below is from a trip in 2013 and there was another one in 2010. Undoubtedly in moments of anger we’ve all wanted to figuratively send someone to Auschwitz, but emotional reactions during a conflict are completely different than the horrors that actually happend there and all the other camps like it. If I can take any lesson from this it’s that we must stop making issues and conflicts all about ourselves and instead focus on humanity, because the world needs a whole lot more of that right now.

1278_900

Muslim leaders from across the globe paid tribute Holocaust victims this week during a visit to Auschwitz, the former Nazi concentration camp, where they prayed at the Wall of Death for those who were killed by genocide and suffered under violent anti-Semitism.

The imams, who hailed from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bosnia, Palestine, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey and the United States, performed Islamic prayers while facing Mecca as part of a Holocaust awareness visit organized in part by the International Religious Freedom office of the U.S. State Department.

“What can you say? You’re speechless. What you have seen is beyond human imagination,” Imam Mohamed Magid, President of the U.S.-based Islamic Society of North America, told Agence France-Presse.

“Whether in Europe today or in the Muslim world, my call to humanity: End racism for God’s sake, end anti-Semitism for God’s sake, end Islamophobia for God’s sake, end sexism for God’s sake… Enough is enough,” said Magid, who leads the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Northern Virginia.

Posted in Everything Else, Personal & Opinion

LiveJournal: Thirteen Reasons Why | May 23rd 2017

Here’s yet another deleted LiveJournal entry. Note that this one deals with topics of suicide. If this is something you are not comfortable with please do not proceed.


Date originally posted: May 23rd 2017 (10:30 a.m.)

Mood: groggy

I’m currently sitting here watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. I’ve been working on finishing this series for the last four days now. I’ll be done today if everything goes according to plan. I read the French edition of the book “Treize Raisons” around 2013 or 2014 and enjoyed it quite a bit but I must also admit that I’ve forgotten much of the smaller details of the story since then. Back then I too was a depressed and destitute teenager, in 2014 I was homeless at 18, so it comforted me considerably in my time of need. I understand that there’s some controversy surrounding it, fears of it triggering suicidal people or glorifying teenage suicide, but for me it validated my emotions. I felt like I wasn’t alone for one of the first times in my life, despite that this comfort came in the form of a story that is entirely fictional.

Unfortunately suicide isn’t just fiction to me. In 2012 there was a girl, her name was Amanda and if she were still alive today we would be the same age. But she’s forever 15, and I’m about to turn 21. I have a tattoo on my arm in memory of her but most of the time it’s just another piece of artwork that blends into the paysage of all my other tattoos on that same arm. There’s a broken heart, an original piece by another person who also took his own life. He was 17. This year he’s been dead as long as he’s been alive. Next to that there’s a yellow semi-colon, which is of course a Semicolon Project tattoo. Many of us get those tattooed after experiencing traumatic events in our lives and I’m unfortunately no stranger to those. I generally don’t want to talk about it, in fact I never want to talk about it face to face with another person and if it wasn’t for the TV series I wouldn’t be writing this either.

I don’t really know what I’m trying to say, maybe I’m just trying to make sense of emotions that have lingered inside for far too long and I don’t know what to do with them. Growing up I was never allowed to open up about my feelings and now as an adult I struggle a lot with dealing with emotions, regardless of whether they are new or in the past. It’s something I’m constantly working on and I hope that this page will help me in doing that or at least taking a step in the right direction. One day I hope to walk among the rest of them, just a regular civilian.

Posted in Everything Else, Personal & Opinion

LiveJournal: Quiet At Last | May 17th 2017

Here’s another one of my deleted LiveJournal entries. I’m currently making some room on that blog to host different content. Enjoy 🙂


Date originally posted: May 17th 2017 (1:18 p.m.)

Mood: accomplished

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything anywhere, but for once this time it will be something far more positive than any of my previous entries. The situation with the neighbor is far better. I’m not sure I could use the word “resolved” because my idea of resolution would be to be friends with the guy like I was with my previous neighbor but there’s no way in hell that’s gonna happen that’s for sure. Anyway, the housing board’s big boss paid us a visit in person and I don’t know what kind of dealings he had with the nightmare next door afterwards, but there hasn’t been a single sound out of that place in almost two weeks! It’s seriously weird to have such peace and quiet in this place but I’m definitely not going to complain!

The most I’ve heard was the dude puking in his car. Yup, I had the window open and I heard whatever was in his stomach come back up. Then I looked outside and saw that he was dragging a disgusting vomit-soaked towel out of his car. Later that afternoon he washed the entire vehicle both inside and outside so he must’ve made quite the mess. My grandmother said she heard him puking in the bathroom again last night. Aside from his excessive noise (which we haven’t heard of for a while thankfully) you don’t hear any noises coming from next door unless we are both in the bathroom. My grandmother was taking a sponge bath while he was vomiting his brains out next door. In the past he took one nasty cocktail or drugs and alcohol which landed himself in the hospital. I remember when the ambulance came that evening the lights were flashing all over our unit and we first thought the ambulance was picking up a different neighbor, who has passed away since then.

Otherwise yesterday my roommate and I went on an epic garbage run. The municipality is doing the annual spring cleanup event where you put large trash objects at the end of your driveway and municipal workers will pick them up for free over two weeks in mid-May. I’m telling you that the municipality doesn’t pick up much by the time the townspeople are done sorting through the trashy treasures! I really appreciate the fact that they let us pick up garbage like this because I’ve found so many good things like you would not believe!

My biggest find is a Horizon treadmill. On their website these treadmills sell for over a thousand dollars! And yep, I picked one up right there on the side of the road. It’s fully functional, it just needs a good cleaning because it rained and the person’s dirt driveway turned into mud before I picked it up. Another epic piece I found is a beautiful little white cabinet ditched along with other junk on a different street. It only has three legs, it’s missing a leg in the back but it stands up straight just fine and if you shove it in a corner you won’t even see that there’s a leg missing. Alternatively I could just put a makeshift one and paint it white. Since it’s in the back and the front legs are wide you probably won’t even see it.

I’ve collected so much more and I fully plan on calling down some other garbage collector friends when they are off of work this weekend to pick up more. It’s unbelievable how much good stuff is discarded like that. All the things I picked up are not items I would simply put in the trash like that. I collected almost $3000 worth of things on the side of the road for $0 and all of it is in excellent working condition, minus needing to be cleaned. In past years that I lived in places where they did things like this I also picked up amazing things. Half of the town collects on the side of the road like this and I simply cannot wait to do it again!

One last thing before I go, I got a tattoo appointment for the end of August to get my Holocaust tattoo that I contemplated getting last time. I’m probably going to get multiple tattoos done at once because it’s usually more cost-effective that way and I haven’t been inked in two years so it’s time. That’s all for now but I’ll be back to tap on the keyboard more later.

Posted in Everything Else, Personal & Opinion

LiveJournal: Bogus Thoughts | April 13th 2017

Since I’ve decided to clear my LiveJournal page and didn’t want to permanently delete all of the entries, I’ve decided to post them here in order to preserve them. I’ve kept them completely intact, in case somebody needs entertainment and stumbles upon them 😛


Date originally posted: April 13th 2017 (9:16 p.m.)

Mood: apathetic

I’ll say it right off the bat… I have no clue what I’m doing here. I guess maybe I’m looking for an outlet, a personal space to share my deepest inner thoughts away from my social issues rants on WordPress and my obsession with 20th century history on Tumblr, among other things. I’ve become rather disillusioned with writing pen to paper because these endless journals only seem to pile up and gather dust under my bed or somewhere else in my room. At least here I’ll be able to discover something new and interesting every day, and maybe somebody will even think the same about my own profile. Yeah, I guess that’s what I’m doing here.

I also wanna practice writing because I aspire to publish a book someday. I’ve already decided to go ahead with CreateSpace as I’ve heard nothing but positive comments from some of my author friends who have published with them. I also have two great ideas for two separate novels. Really, I only need to get a move on with it. Staying motivated to expand my creativity is probably the hardest part because I’ve been struggling with my emotions and when this happens I would just rather bury them deep inside of me. I know, I know that’s not good, but it’s exceptionally hard for me to do it any other way.

I also hesitate to open up to others because most of the time all they do is invalidate my emotions and do me more harm than good. Growing up I was never allowed to express myself. I was not allowed to cry, to complain or even to ask for help. I know that has contributed a lot to how I am today with not being able (or wanting) to open up to other people. I also hope that coming here will help me with that down the line. I know I’ll need to get out of my asocial comfort zone if I’m going to be an author. I suppose that this is the first step. I suppose that the most I can do is see where this goes.