Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack Obama's Inauguration

Today January 20th 2009 will down in history as
as one on the most important days in the history of the United States of America.

At about 12.10pm EST, Barack Hussein Obama, an African American was sworn in as the first black president of the United States of America. At 46 years, he is also amongst the youngest presidents in US history. His election and ultimate inauguration marks a momentous shift in the history of USA and marks a significant advance for blacks in this country. From the days of slavery to abolition, from the civil rights movement of the 60s to the appointment of Colin Powell as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff and later Secretary of state, African Americans have been slowly fighting for their rights to be treated as equal citizens of this country.

The founding fathers of the USA stated that they wanted to create a nation where all men were equal. Even as they wrote this, they kept blacks in slavery and bondage and refused to grant them the rights enshrined in the founding documents of the nation. Blacks were not allowed to go to certain places, they were not allowed to vote, they worked for little or no pay, and in short were systematically dehumanized.

Over the century, certain noble people who recognized that truly, every man regardless of the color of the skin, was made in the image of God, and they had the same aspirations like everyone else, fought hard to reverse the injustice meted out to blacks and see them gain their rightful place as equal citizens of this country. Their efforts have culminated today in the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the USA.

About 2 million people braved the bitter cold to go to the national mall and witness this momentous occasion. News networks reported that all over the world people were glued to television sets also trying to catch a glimpse of history. Thousands more lined the streets of Washington to view the parade.

President Obama was pragmatic about the problems facing the country but promised to start addressing these issues right away. He warned the enemies of USA that they would be defeated, and told muslim nations that a new moment of mutual respect and cooperation was at hand. We all wish the new president well and would do our best in our own little ways to see that his aims are met

Monday, January 5, 2009

Haja Kadiatu Kamara's Hajj Celebrations

On Sunday 4th January, 2009, a large cross section of the Sierra Leone community gathered at the Center for Families in Minneapolis to welcome Haja Kadiatu Kamara, the mother of Hassan Kamara, who had just concluded a successful trip to Mecca in fulfilment of the Islamic Hajj obligations.

In an emotional speech, Hassan Kamara outlined the strong role his mother had always played in their lives and said that at the demise of their dad, his mother had single-handedly sent both him and his brother to University at Njala and made sure that they never had to drop out of college because of adversity. He also emphasized the support of his wife throughout their marriage and said that she had conceived the idea of sending both of their mothers to Mecca at the same time.

Safiatu also made a short statement about the relationships between parents and their children and said that in this relationship, the parent was the rock and the child was an egg. Whenever the two come together, the egg would be the one that will break, meaning that at most times we have to defer to our parents. There was a lot of food and the Jabbie family made a beautiful Hajj cake.

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