Wednesday, 9 November 2016

President Trump - The Greater Evil's Win

Who would have thought that the man we all made fun of and laughed at memes of would be selected as the 45th President of the United States today? Not me.

Although I graduated from j-school and have done journalism work, I've never been one to be get involved in discussions of politics. But when the time comes that the president-elect is one who is against race, women, minorities, muslims, and the LGBTQ, I have no choice but to. As a woman, Muslim, and minority (Afghan-Canadian), I was hurt and disappointed by hearing the results of the election last night. Yes, I'm not American, but who the president of the U.S. is affects ALL of us. Especially Canada. Some of those reasons can be seen on Toronto Star's recent article. Just this summer I was in LA and I absolutely loved it there. I felt so comfortable and didn't even think twice about being a minority, but if I go there or anywhere in the States again in the next four years, I have a feeling my experience will be a little different, if people actually get influenced by Trump.

Yes, Hillary Clinton wasn't a great choice for President either. And because of this many people took the route of not voting at all instead of voting for the lesser evil or voting for Harambe (the dead gorilla - 11,000 people voted for this). Yes, Hillary is a liar, but aren't all politicians? Well, I certainly hope Trump is and has been lying about most of the ridiculous things he will do as president. I would rather have a liar (amongst other things) as a president than a racist, hot-headed, misogynist, rich white man who has no prior political experience.

The next four years is going to be rough, but unfortunately there's not much we can do to change who the president is. What we can do, is stand together and fight his policies as hard as we can and treat people with kindness. Racists are on a high right now and think it's a little more okay to be public about being racist now that their president is one, but if we see those around us being bullied by these kinds of people, we need to stand up for them. The only way we can get through this is by helping those around us and fighting against the hate. The protests that are happening now and public figures that are speaking out are one of the steps towards doing that.

The good news is, his presidency will only last 4 years. The following is how the future voted. This is what people 18-25 years of age said in casting their votes. At least we know that the youth are smarter than people think. We have to keep the flame alive and look towards a better future.
18-25 years of age - voters choices
This election revealed a fundamental problem with not just the U.S., but the world. People are surprised and wondering how Trump was elected, but what they fail to recognize is that there were millions of people there who actually voted for him. Those are the people you should be scared of. The problem begins with them. The only thing we can do is spread love and hope that it spreads to them and changes their hearts. Trump has promised and said a lot of things during his campaign. Once he takes office in January, I guess we will see what he really does. All we can do is hope and pray for the best. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Life After Graduation: What It's Really Like

Hi everyone! Can you believe it's been almost two years since I've posted something on here? Terrible, I know. But this last year and a half has been a crazy ride - in a good way. My last post was about Charlie Hebdo, which was a serious one and something I really wanted to write about. This one will be very different, and much more personal.

As my friends and family know, I recently graduated from both university and college! I graduated in June from University of Toronto with a Honours Bachelor of Arts and from Centennial College with an Ontario College Advanced Diploma, both specialising in Journalism. Super exciting! This all took me five years in total but it was well worth it. If you are wondering how this was possible, I was in the joint journalism program offered at the University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus. It was a pretty good program, but would I do it again? Well that's a whole other blog post.

What I really want to talk about here is life AFTER graduation. It's now officially been four months since I graduated. I'm going to be real though, it doesn't feel like I've graduated. But I think it's slowly starting to hit me. The other day, when I was filling out a form at a hospital and they asked for my occupation, I have always wrote "student" but then realized I can no longer tick that option.

CTV Internship

After finishing classes in April, I began my internship with CTV - one of Canada's leading national television programs and stayed with them till mid July. It was an amazing experience and something I would do again in a heartbeat. Ideally, what I wanted to happen at the end of it was to stay on and get offered some kind of position. Unfortunately that did not happen. While I did work my butt off at the internship, I think one of the main reasons I did not get hired on was due to a switch-a-roo. I was first interning at CTV's morning show, Canada AM, until it was cancelled three weeks into my internship.
Canada AM team on the last day of the show

Once that happened, I was moved over to their 24 hour news show, CTV News Channel. I was here for a total of five weeks. The people I had worked with at AM, moved here too, but eventually left after a few weeks to start at the morning show replacing AM, now called "Your Morning." I loved it at Canada AM, and I was the only intern there so I was given a lot of work and it was appreciated once I was done with it. However, over at News Channel, I was one of three interns, and they had been there for over a month before I came along, thus the supervisors were more familiar with their work than they were with mine. My work was never seen to its full extent by just one supervisor who could have potentially offered me a position. While I was sad about this the first few weeks after I finished the internship, I realised that there is probably more to it than just that and I have always believed everything happens for a reason. While I would love to work for CTV again, I think there is so many more options out there and that is what I am looking for now. After CTV, I took a quick, much-needed, grad trip to Los Angeles with my cute, younger sister, who also graduated, but from high school. LA was beautiful, amazing, and full of adventures. But once I was back from LA, it was time to look for a job.
In Los Angeles, surrounded by palm trees

What now?

I was always afraid of graduating because everyone told me how hard it was to find a full-time job in your field once you did. And I can see why they said that, now that I am sitting here on the couch in the middle of the afternoon on Tuesday. It is so hard. Many times, it's about luck or who you know. While I am lucky enough to have a part-time job while I look for jobs, unfortunately I don't get many hours there. I know lots of students don't have jobs after they graduate and are more desperate to find a job right away so at least I don't have to worry about income too much. But still, I can't help but wonder how long it will take before I land a good entry-level job in my field. I am so ready for it! I hate having too many days off because then I become lazy and unproductive and feel useless. I always have this tendency to feel like I should be doing something more and working harder. I think it has something to do with social media and seeing so many people my age doing bigger and better things. But what I've also come to realise is that I will never get this free time back when I eventually do have a full-time job and will be super busy, so why not enjoy what I have right now? It will never be this exact same way again anyway. I have my entire life ahead of me!

So what am I doing right now? Well, on my days off, to be "productive", I am looking and applying for jobs, working on my website - which you should totally check out by the way, making YouTube videos for fun, and networking. I know this won't be forever, so I am enjoying the time off I have right now to hang out with the people I love as much as I can, go on many adventures, and watch all the Netflix I can. So, if you're in the same boat as I am, don't stress out. Everyone comes to this point at one time or another and you should make the most of it while you still can. Have some ice cream, swim in oceans, and go on dates. Life is short.

There is always something out there waiting for you, and I can't wait to see what that next something is for me.

Friday, 9 January 2015

What Charlie Hebdo Means For Muslims

Almost five months ago, I went to Paris, France for the first time after dreaming about it for the past 20 years of my life. I was only there for a day but if there really is such a thing as love at first sight for a city, then that was it.

Flash forward to two days ago, and the city I had fallen in love with was/is all over the news. Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper in France was attacked by three gunmen. They are known for making fun of all kinds of sensitive topics, including politics, race, culture, and of course, religion. One of the religions they make fun of is Islam.

Previous trouble with the newspaper:

The attack by the three gunmen that happened two days ago on January 7, 2015 was only one of the retaliations on Charlie Hebdo.

In 2011, their office was fire-bombed because Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was called the "editor-in-chief" of an edition titled "Charia Hebdo." Their website was later hacked because a cartoon depicted the Prophet as gay. The text in the first bubble translates to "100 lashes if you don't die of laughter." Here are the two illustrations:


They were in the media again in 2012, when the newspaper published cartoons of the Prophet, this time also having nude caricatures of him. After much criticism, the newspaper's editor said, "We do caricatures of everyone, and above all every week, and when we do it with the Prophet, it's called provocation."

And now we are here in 2015, where their deadliest attack killed 12: Charb (editor), Boisseau (maintenance worker), Renaud (guest), police officers Brinsolaro and Merabet, and staff members Cabut, Cayat, Honoré, Maris, Ourrad, Tignous, and Wolinski. The shooting was done by three gunmen, one who turned himself in and the two others who have now been killed.

What does this mean for Muslims?

Ever since the attack, the phrase "Je Suis Charlie" has been all over the place to show support for what happened. While these cartoonists did make fun of Islam a lot, their newspaper is entirely satirical.

Satire, according to the Oxford dictionary is defined as:
The use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
What happened to them was cruel and an act of terrorism. In recent updates, an Al Qaeda member in Yemen said the attack was done "as revenge for the honour" of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Keep in mind that one of the founders of Al Qaeda was Osama bin Laden, one of the biggest terrorists in history. And while the gunmen did act in the name of Islam after shouting "Allahu Akbar" before they fired shots, that is not what Islam teaches. In no religion is murder okay or encouraged. Although Charlie Hebdo did a lot of offensive material on Islam and the Prophet, they did not deserve this. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression is what they thought they had, but it was taken away from them. I do not condemn the work they did and believe they should have stopped or been less aggressive after the first sign of danger in 2011. They kept pushing it because it was working and giving them more publicity.

What the world needs to know is that muslims were not involved in this attack, terrorists were. But for some ignorant people, those two words seem to be interchangeable. Already, since the shooting, a kebab shop has been bombed in Villefranche-sur-Saone, three grenades thrown at a mosque in Le Mars, France, and shots fired at a Muslim prayer hall in Port-la-Nouvelle. What else is coming for muslims? Ever since the ban of the burqa and niqab in 2010, things just seem to be getting worse for muslims not just in France, but all over the world.

Ahmed Merabet, one of the victims, was a Muslim police officer who died fighting the gunmen outside of Charlie Hebdo. Even though this newspaper mocked his religion, he did what any true Muslim would do, and that is not playing God and doing his own job in this world. I'll end my first blog post with a quote a friend of mine tweeted to me regarding the whole situation:

"Murder cannot be justified no matter who the individual is."