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Showing posts from November, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving: Alas My Turkey Friend

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Thanksgiving is here. Tomorrow, millions of Americans will go to their family homes to eat, drink and feast together, happy to be alive, grateful for another year and thankful for being part of this great nation of immigrants.
Alas, the joy of thanksgiving will not extend to those poor big neighborly birds, the Turkeys. Tomorrow at least 45 million of these poor birds will be stuffed, polished and baked, ready for the table of even the laziest cooks in the land.
Benjamin Franklin once called these great birds the "true American originals." Tomorrow, many will end their lives journey on the table of some family already to full from dinner rolls to even eat a full leg. Most of these majestic critters will end up in the neighborhood dumpster or head for the family fridge, to adorn the insides of cold sandwiches for the rest of the month.

Even the Segbwema blogger has joined the turkey craze, but with the Sierra Leone taste, we have found truly patentable ways to ensure that…

President Obama Provides Deportation Relief to Immigrant Families

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In a prime time address tonight, US President Barack Obama announced an executive decision that would delay deportation of millions of illegal immigrants who have stayed in the country for more than 5 years, have not engaged in any illegal activity and have children who are US citizens or permanent residents.

Contrary to rumors of a unilateral action to change the immigration status of illegal immigrants in the country, the order just provides deportation relief to millions of families who are in the country working underground, giving congress the chance to work on comprehensive immigration reform.
This measure announced today by the President was delayed due to appeals by endangered Southern Democratic politicians in the last election, an act many blame for the failure of many of the democratic faithful to turn up at the polls on November 4th.
The relief measure will be very popular in the immigrant community, but will of course not be welcome by Republicans and their Tea Party sup…

Answering Some Questions on Ebola

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A good friend of mine pondered the mystery of Ebola on Facebook the other day. She asked why it was that some people were infected with the virus had people living with them, touching them, yet somehow these other people sometimes never got infected.

There is the popular case of the family that Thomas Eric Duncan, America's first Ebola patient lived with when he came to America.  Mr. Duncan came to America and lived with his host family consisting of his fiancée and her children for some time before he developed symptoms of Ebola. After he developed the Ebola symptoms, he was taken to the Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and was prescribed antibiotics and sent back home. He again lived with his fiancée and family for approximately three days before he was rushed the second time to the emergency room, at which time his Ebola disease was well advanced. The copious diarrhea and vomiting had started while he was living with his host family and he had had ample time and opportunity to …

Labor of Love: Sierra Leoneans Mourn Dr. Martin Salia

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When,as Sierra Leoneans in USA, we received news that our latest medical doctor infected with the Ebola virus, Dr. Martin Salia, was being flown into Nebraska, USA for treatment, we were besides ourselves with Joy. In a country with very few doctors per unit of the population, the fact that the first five doctors infected with the virus had all lost their lives to the disease after being treated inside the country, had made us think that Dr. Salia's treatment at a world class facility, famous for the treatment of the toughest infections, would lead to a better outcome. Over the weekend, we have been either glued to our TV screens or organizing prayer sessions for him,wishing and praying that he will miraculously pull through.

Unfortunately, it was with the saddest heart I learnt this morning that this wonderful example of human altruism has lost his life to the horrible Ebola plague. Many of us never had the chance to met this man, but we are devastated, as his life history, his …

Thinking About the Ebola Orphans in Sierra Leone

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I  was born and raised in Sierra Leone. Though we grew up in the best of times, things were still tough. Parents had to scrape to make ends meet. Parents had to go without food to ensure their children had some. Those were the best of times in Sierra Leone, before the horrible war, before the displaced camps, before the great diaspora migration.
Then the war came in 1991, things fell  apart in Sierra Leone and anarchy was set loose upon our country. Things never became the same again. No, never.
When the war was over, the devastation in our rural localities was visible. The grief was palpable, the desolation ubiquitous. The hopelessness was omnipresent.
Our farms lay fallow, schools closed,  our young amputated,  our hopes displaced. Our family houses piles of rubble. Our family heirlooms piles of ash. Yet through all this we survived, fractured but not totally broken.
We had plans. Yes we had dream. We had plans to be scientists,  economists, lawyers, professors. We all wanted to…

Major Snow Storm Hits Minnesota Tomorrow: Advice for New Immigrants

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Tomorrow here in Minnesota, we will be hit very hard, as the first weather event of the winter comes in the shape a major snowstorm that is expected to wallop us with significant amounts of the wet stuff from Monday morning to late Tuesday. Between Wisconsin and Minnesota, we are expecting to be hit with anywhere from 12 to 18 inches of cold biting snow. The Canadians have done it to us again!

Tomorrow morning, the snow will start in parts of Western Minnesota and is forecast to spread outwards very rapidly and fall very heavily. The late morning drive will not be pretty as we are expected to receive a constant snowfall rate between 1 to 2 inches per hour.

 A major snowstorm on two of the busiest days of the workweek is bound to be bad, and all we can hope and pray is that the impatient and reckless drivers will pick the next two days to stay at home.

To my Sierra Leone relatives here in Minnesota you know the drill. To those who are just coming from Sierra Leone and have not been he…

Rumors of David Tam Baryoh's Release Refuted by Sierra Leone Government Spokesman

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Abdulai Bayraytay, a spokesman for the government of Sierra Leone has refuted rumors that the detained radio journalist David Tam Baryoh has been released in Freetown.
David Tam Baryoh who has recently been very critical of some of the actions of the government was picked up a few days ago and locked up in the country's maximum security prison Pademba  with notorious criminals he helped to apprehend.
The Sierra Leone Association of journalists (SLAJ) has been critical of the detention of David Tam Baryoh and expressed fears over the condition of his health. David Tam Baryoh is described as being hypertensive and those who saw him at the Pademba Road detention facility when he was arrested described him as looking visibly sick, constantly clutching at his knees in apparent pain. There are reports in the British Guardian that he was allegedly beaten up upon his arrest.
Government spokesman Bayraytay, speaking this morning on Radio Democracy in Freetown, stated that Tam Baryoh's d…

Rumors of David Tam Baryoh's Release

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It seems as if the Sierra Leone government of President Ernest Bai Koroma has caved under mounting domestic and international condemnation and quietly ordered the release of radio journalist David Tam Baryoh, a journalist who was once close to the authorities in Freetown, but had recently fallen out of favor due to his close association with the country's Vice President, a man who the President now considers a pariah.

Like a thief in the night, David Tam Baryoh was reportedly quietly released under the cover of darkness. With an intention of hanging on to power beyond his constitutional mandate, President Koroma has over the past two years elevated those brave enough to go against public opinion and openly advocated for the change of the constitution to extend his mandate and quietly dismissed or marginalized those in his party who he views as not dancing to his tune or may be harboring Presidential ambitions of their own.

If the release of David Tam Baryoh is true, it may not be…

Vice President's Relatives Hunted Like Stray Animals in Sierra Leone,

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These days in Sierra Leone, the friends and relatives of Sierra Leone's Vice President Chief Sam Sumana, live in mortal fear of their lives as they are pursued and hounded down like stray animals by security forces acting on the orders of another Kono Minster, Karamoh Kabbah, the deputy Minister of Political and Public Affairs. Vice President Sam Sumana whi is currently seen as  one of the main obstacles between President Koroma and his third term agenda, the President's cronies have decided on a campaign of intimidation of the Vice President's relatives, using the fight against Ebola as a political prop.

Before appearing on the political scene in 2007, Sam Sumana was a Minnesota Metropolitan State University business major graduate who convinced some business men in Minnesota to invest in diamond mining in his home district of Kono, with him in charge.  When he got back home, Sam Sumana established his diamond business and had to opportunity to meet an ambitious politician…

A fifth Doctor Dies in Sierra Leone: How is Politics Guiding the Ebola Response?

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Yesterday, Sierra Leoneans received the sad news that the fifth local doctor infected with the Ebola Virus in the country passed away in Freetown. Dr. Godfrey George was in charge of the Kambia Government Hospital in the north of the country, a region of the country that was relatively free from the infection in the early stages, but is now the hotbed of the infection together with the Western Area. Dr. George felt sick in Kambia, came to Freetown and lost his life to Ebola.

Many Sierra Leones at home and abroad are wondering why all the doctors in the country who have been infected with the virus have died from the infection, while doctors and some health care workers in countries like America infected with the same virus have largely survived. All the American doctors who have been infected with the virus, including all the nurses have survived, while all five Sierra Leonean doctors have died.
The loss of these top doctors are a severe blow to a country like Sierra Leone which has …

Political Unrest in Sierra Leone's Kono District.

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Vultures feeding on Vultures in Sierra Leone

Those who hail from Kono district in Eastern Sierra Leone are no strangers to the name Adamu Ezei

A country with a long history of political thuggery, Adamu is a notorious brutal political thug loyal to Sierra Leone's ruling All  Peoples Congress (APC) party who in the past was given free rein to harass and intimidate members of the political opposition in the diamond rich Kono district. With the support of the country's top politicians, he was only willing to carry out is campaign of violence with ruthless efficiency.
From leading attacks on innocent civilians, to throwing human excrement on perceived enemies, there has been no act of wanton cruelty too small for Adamu to perform, with the full backing of the Kono big bosses. All complaints against this notorious thug have been summarily dismissed as he was seen as a prime government asset in a district whose loyalty was equally divided between the ruling party and the opposition.…