Am I cultured?

3 December, 2008 at 1:22 pm (rant) (, )

I took a quiz to test my knowledge about Britney Spears from  the website. (

I score 5 out of 10.

I don’t know if that’s good or if that’s bad ….

Hm. Maybe I’ll just get back to work.


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Laws in Québec

28 October, 2008 at 10:16 am (Uncategorized)

So I’ve been researching about name change in Quebec.

 Since 1981, in a vague of feminist movement and in an attempt to put man and woman on an equal stand vis à vis the legal system, it became unlawful  in Québec for a newly wed woman to take on the name of her husband. And there does not seem to be a way around it either.

By law, you can proceed in two ways if you want to have a name change. One  is through a legal course of action. This mainly applies to a child ‘in the event of abandonment by the father or mother, loss of parental authority or change of filiation upon adoption, for example.’ Understandable so far.

The other one is a change of name through administrative course of action. In this instance, The Directeur de l’état civil (Registrar of civil status) has to approve all name changes. However your application for a name change has to be based on serious reasons:

– You are now using, and have been continously using for a minimum of five years, a surname or given name that is not the same as that appearing on your act of birth. It must be a surname or give name that you use in all your personal, professional and social activites.

– Your name is of foreign origin or is too difficult to promounce or write in its orginal form. 

– Your name lends itself to ridicule or has become infamous.

– The registrar may also examine a name change application for any other serious reason that you present.

So if you want to take on the name of your husband for example you would have to wait 5 years, use his name consistently in ever sphere of your life even though legally it is not your name, confuse your friends, your bank, your doctor, your coworkers, Huamn Resource during 5 years, apply for the change, confuse everyone all over again. Oh and there is also an application fee of $300 à $400.  
Then you have to go to each governmental agency to present your name change paper (if accepted) and get them to change your name on your new cards for which, of course, you would have to pay a fee.

Would it not have been simpler to have a choice like in every other Province in Canada?

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15 October, 2008 at 7:15 pm (Uncategorized)

”Also, did you know that if you yell for nine years, you’ll produce enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee ? ”

” I didn’t.”

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In an instant

12 October, 2008 at 2:53 am (Uncategorized)

I’m sorry  but don’t you think I am too young too die? I have not see my sister since sheleft for school last year. My cousin’s birthday is actually in two days, today was just a little pre celebration.
We were not driving fast, atleast I don’t think so, … were we?

I was not the one driving, it’s not fair – what did he have to say?
Oh but my mother, what about my mother… i did not clean my room, … my father

I think I’m afraid. Come on I promise I”ll, sigh
Wait what are those? hey hold on a sec, where? how?

This is it.

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New eeW

12 October, 2008 at 2:21 am (reflections)

New surroundings, new clothes, new job, new rules, new status, new decisions,

New acquaintances, new families, new colleagues, new flatmate

New understandings, new challenges, new goals, new aspirations, new feelings, new shoes

…and friendships?

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15 May, 2008 at 6:34 pm (Uncategorized)

It seems that I have become very sensitive to what is going on around me these days. It maybe due to leaving this special place in two weeks. I know I have mentioned this before but that’s the word that comes to mind when people ask me how I am feeling so close to my departure from the Holy Land: Grateful, grateful for being able to practice my faith without any fear of retribution.

I was intently staring at some email on my screen when Colleen said that more Baha’is in Iran have been arrested. My heart just stopped for a sec and I had this very uneasy feeling.

In my last year of Uni one of my assignments for my media class was to make a video about an issue of social justice – famine, poverty, racism… My friends and I decided to do it about the situation in Iran and how Baha’i students of our age were denied education simply based on their beliefs. We collected a lot of information from the net, from various documents that had already been prepared to raise awareness and we interviewed students. From the information obtained, was a very poignant picture of a man who had been martyred. I remember that picture pretty well because of some Farsi words that had been inscribed on him after his death. The video would then be screened for all the students at Uni and a special screening would take place with General Romeo Dallaire as the guest of honour. Coincidentally, he was also the one who drew parallels between the Genocide in Rwanda and the alarming situation of the Baha’is in Iran.

A few months ago, I went to a talk given by a certain lady that had lived in Iran and who had also faced persecution for being a baha’i. As she was about to depart the Holy Land a last talk was organised so that the friends could hear of her story and of her courage in the face of trials and thus inspire us youth. Her story was very moving and many of us cried that night – for me it was the first time that I was hearing someone speaking firsthand about the persecution that the Bahais undergo in Iran. After telling her story, part of which was about her husband who had been imprisoned and later executed she showed us pictures of him before and after being executed and of her house after it had been searched. Of the pictures of her husband was the picture that I had used for my video project.

Yesterday again six of them were arrested in early-morning raids at their homes in Teheran, Iran.

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Welcome to the Tenth International Baha’i Convention

3 May, 2008 at 10:27 pm (Uncategorized) ()

So this is what has been happening in Haifa for the last week or so. This is also why I haven’t responded much to anyone’s emails, or facebook messages or sms in the last couple of weeks. Tomorrow is already the last day of an event that has been in preparation for a very long time now. I think in some ways it makes a great conclusion to my service here at the Baha’i world centre where I have been serving for the last 11 months. As I am preparing myself to leave Haifa, I can’t help but feel grateful, grateful to have had the bounty to be surrounded by so much beauty, grateful for all the learning living at the Baha’i World Centre brings, grateful to have been allowed to serve a Cause so dear to me.

I’m digressing…Convention was another AMAZING experience:

In a global procession, ballots are cast for the Universal House of Justice

29 April 2008

In a ceremony that combined spiritual dignity with global diversity, a thousand Bahá’ís from 153 countries cast ballots today in an election to choose the nine members of the Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the Bahá’í Faith.

For nearly three hours, delegates to the 10th International Bahá’í Convention filed decorously, one by one, onto a majestically adorned stage, each dropping a ballot into a simple wooden box.

The votes will be tallied overnight and the results announced here tomorrow.

The event was a study in globalism, a hallmark of the Bahá’í Faith, which has some five million followers and is established in virtually every nation.

Delegates were called by name, in alphabetical order by country. Many proudly wore traditional or native dress, an acknowledgment of their belief in the concept of unity in diversity.

The result was colorful and joyous, as women in bright ethnic dresses or simple pantsuits mixed with men in Western business suits or gaily decorated tribal costumes.

The balloting process began with prayers, followed by brief remarks from Penny Walker, chairman of the convention.

  • Members of 166 National Spiritual Assemblies submitted ballots, with 153 countries represented in person at the convention. Delegates from Canada are pictured… »

  • Dr. Penny Walker, an International Counsellor of the Baha’i Faith and chairman of the convention, opens the convention and begins giving instructions for voting.

  • At the front of the stage where delegates voted were red roses sent by the Baha’is of Iran, who face persecution in their country because of their religion and… »

  • Head chief teller Thelma Khelghati of Guinea reads the names of each delegate as they bring their ballots forward.

  • Those casting ballots were the members of the Baha’i National Spiritual Assemblies of the world.

  • About a thousand delegates out of the 1,494 members of National Spiritual Assemblies around the world were in attendance for the election. The others had sent… »

“We gather together here with hearts full of excitement at the achievements of the Bahá’í world in the last year, and with hearts full of gratitude to Bahá’u’lláh for making it possible that this extraordinary assembly of His followers, from every corner of the earth, could come together in the Holy Land, to elect the Universal House of Justice, the supreme body of our Faith,” said Dr. Walker.

Dr. Walker, who holds the position of International Counsellor in the Bahá’í Faith, outlined the voting procedure, in which the delegates write down the names of nine men they feel are most qualified to serve on the Universal House of Justice.

“As you know, the Bahá’í electoral process is finally spiritual in character, a unique feature of our divinely ordained administration,” she said. “Let us remember the words of Shoghi Effendi, which urged us to approach this task of election with selflessness and detachment, … ‘with a purity of motive, a freedom of spirit and a sanctity of heart.’”

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6 March, 2008 at 3:05 pm (reflections) ()

… we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
-Paul Bowles

Events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order the continuous thread of revelation.
-Eudora Welty

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The History of Love

13 February, 2008 at 10:24 am (Uncategorized)

History of Love

I just finished reading  ‘The History of Love’ and its one of the best books I’ve read so far. The style is interesting, using multiple narrators to tell seemingly different stories.  Don’t let the title fool you either, its more interesting than that.

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Community life

7 February, 2008 at 10:29 am (Uncategorized)

A couple of days after starting my service in the Holy Land, I received an email inviting people over  for a devotional meeting that is held regularly every 19 days. I have always been meaning to attend but life always seem to get in the way (or rather….). But last night, 8 months after receiving that invitation and 4 months before leaving this place, I finally made it!

I’m really glad I went, the atmosphere was convivial and welcoming and we had readings and prayers alternated with a few songs. I suddenly felt as if I was part of a small Baha’i community again. Afterwards some of us shared news of our respective communities, or of the ones we had recently visited. We heard of the success of IPGs and of the very warm community in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, of the exciting new developments in a town not far from Rio, Brazil and of the teaching efforts of the friends in Huntsville Alabama, USA.

Then I suddenly felt sad. I was talking to a friend of mine earlier this week and his community had recently been faced with a crisis. Children classes and juniour youth empowerment programs had stopped since then. It was then very clear to me that the concept of crisis and victory is constantly in operation. Last week was rich in event for the Baha’i community with the news from Egypt and Iran. Although in some parts of the world things seems to be difficult and without hope, in other parts victories are being registered everyday.

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