Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali Dies At 74

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Boxing legend Muhammad Ali

Former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, whose record-setting boxing career, flair for showmanship and political stands made him one of the best-known figures of the 20th century, died on Friday aged 74.

Ali , who had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome which impaired his speech and made the once-graceful athlete almost a prisoner in his own body, died a day after he was admitted to a Phoenix-area hospital with a respiratory ailment.

Even so,  Ali ‘s youthful proclamation of himself as “the greatest” rang true until the end for the millions of people worldwide who admired him for his courage both inside and outside the ring.

Along with a fearsome reputation as a fighter, he spoke out against racism, war and religious intolerance, while projecting an unshakeable confidence and humor that became a model for African-Americans at the height of the civil rights era.

“Muhammad  Ali was one of the greatest human beings I have ever met,” said George Foreman, who lost to  Ali  in Zaire in a classic 1974 bout known as the “Rumble in Jungle.”

“No doubt he was one of the best people to have lived in this day and age. To put him as a boxer is an injustice.”

Ali  enjoyed a popularity that transcended the world of sports, even though he rarely appeared in public in his later years.

“We lost an icon,” said Delson Dez, 28, a construction worker, who was holding up a poster of the fighter in Scottsdale, Arizona soon after  Ali ‘s death was confirmed in a statement issued by his family late Friday evening.

“He talked trash but he backed it up,” Dez said.

Few could argue with his athletic prowess at his peak in the 1960s. With his dancing feet and quick fists, he could—as he put it—float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. He was the first person to win the heavyweight championship three times.

But  Ali  became much more than a colorful and interesting athlete. He spoke boldly against racism in the ’60s, as well as the Vietnam War.

During and after his championship reign,  Ali  met scores of world leaders and for a time he was considered the most recognizable person on earth, known even in remote villages far from the United States.

Ali ‘s diagnosis of Parkinson’s came about three years after he retired from boxing in 1981.

His influence extended far beyond boxing. He became the unofficial spokesman for millions of blacks and oppressed people around the world because of his refusal to compromise his opinions and stand up to white authorities.

“We lost a giant today. Boxing benefited from Muhammad  Ali ‘s talents but not nearly as much as mankind benefited from his humanity,” said Manny Pacquiao, a boxer and politician in the Philippines, where  Ali fought arch rival Joe Frazier for a third time in a brutal 1975 match dubbed the “Thrilla in Manila.”

In a realm where athletes often battle inarticulateness as well as their opponents, Ali was known as the Louisville Lip and loved to talk, especially about himself.

“Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far,” he once told a reporter.

His taunts could be brutal. “Joe Frazier is so ugly that when he cries, the tears turn around and go down the back of his head,” he once said. He also dubbed Frazier a “gorilla” but later apologized and said it was all to promote the fight.

Once asked about his preferred legacy, Ali said: “I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him … who stood up for his beliefs … who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love.

“And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”

Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on Jan. 17, 1942, as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., a name shared with a 19th-century slavery abolitionist. He changed his name after his conversion to Islam.

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(Cassius Clay) Muhammad Ali and president Kwame Nkrumah in Accra-Ghana.

Ali  is survived by his wife, the former Lonnie Williams, who knew him when she was a child in Louisville, along with his nine children.

Article from NEWSWEEK: http://goo.gl/7343Vh

Africa: The Pursuit Of Happiness At The Backyard

Happiness 2

In the midst of poverty and medical crimes, Africans are naturally healthy and happy. A locally made clay pool board in a village.

It may be likely that many  doubt if at all there is happiness in Africa, because among all the continents, Africa has suffered all kinds of internal and external atrocities, including slavery, colonial aggression, wars, ethnic conflicts and medical crimes, such as Aids, Lassa fever and Ebola.

As a matter of fact, there is happiness in Africa probably more than any continent on the earth. Why would I make such an assumption when I haven’t carried out any research?

The reason is simple and logical. Among all the seven continents in the world, Africa is regarded as the poorest, but has the lowest suicide rate, compared to Europe and America. The challenges Africans face right from birth to adulthood, can be compared to the training  amateur soldiers have in the developed world.

Some rural students could walk over a mile to school. Some pupils carry their tables and chairs to school and bring them back home after classes. With such a hard daily life routine, Africans grow to be one of the toughest creatures able to withstand pressures and problems.

To pursuit their happiness, there are many ways African youths and children seek that happiness, to avoid depression and boredomness. Some craft football with local materials, make musical instruments out of wood and plastic materials while others invent many incredible things which never appear in the newspapers.

As technology takes its impact in development, Africa is also gradually influenced by technology, including remote and rural areas. Communication is now flexible due to mobile phones. Wells are giving way to projects of pipe borne water and digital or online marketing is improving.

The development of Africa is generally slow, but we have confidence that gradually we shall also reach the top of the mountain that many have already reached.

How Violence Takes Away Our Joy And Peace

Aiport 2Tighter airport security is necessary but are we free from terrorism?

Everyone wants to live a peaceful and happy life, instead many wake up in the morning with fear, because of constant violence erupting around us. Innocent victims, including children are caught up daily, in heinous crimes and violence, making living more difficult.

Many, including religious people, feel that violence is the right answer to provocation, in this way, they kill and praise God for that killing. It’s actually difficult to understand the reason some religious people praise God for killings.

I can understand why many have lost faith and even think God doesn’t exist, but the Bible teaches that violence originated with the archenemy of both God and man: Satan the Devil, whom Jesus Christ called “a murderer.” (John 8:44)

Apart from terrorism which continue to steal our happiness, most of our own misery comes from our homes. The world’s infatuation with media violence, games and unwholesome programs, influence children to indulge in crime. In America many children take gun to school.

The question people often ask is: Why is there so much suffering? Does God care about what humans are enduring? You can find answers to these questions when you read the Bible.

“Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” Matthew 11:11-20.

In the midst of fear, hopelessness and uncertainty, we need to ask, who are we to depend on for our deliverance or safety? Are we to depend on politicians or church of leaders?

To me politicians have ruined our society more than the terrorists terrorizing us. As for church leaders, some have signed contract with the devil to please them, the reason many have gone astray.

In our present generation, one shouldn’t count on politicians and or some church leaders. The only way we can live in peace is to find ways to make positive changes in our behavior. We should cultivate the habit to forgive and forget, because forgiveness brings relief and comfort.

Above all we should always remember the words of the great teacher, Jesus Christ: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39.

Choosing A Wholesome Entertainment For Children

 

Ban dangerous games on the television

The love for money has encouraged companies to manufacture dangerous games for children

Very often psychologists and psychiatrists trace the cause of our present day ailments to homes.  Homes have straightforward stories to tell. The set up of our homes, immediately convey the message to a visitor the nature and character of those dwelling there and the sort of training or life being acquired from it. 

Living in an unsafe community, low-quality child care, lack of resources, broken homes, divorces etc; are some of the causes affecting children. Even though entertainment is said to enhance children’s education, it is said to be one of the major factors which affect children’s behavior. What programs are children watching on the television or what kind of games are they playing?

Unsafe, violent and crime games, are yearly produced by ‘Games Manufacturing Companies’ for children. Those companies called them ‘entertainments’ for children. The strong desire for money prevents them to see the harm they are doing to children. Staying hours playing these violent games continue affecting and shaping the lives of these children.

When a child starts cursing, using bad words at home or school is the time the child needs admonition from parents or teachers. They often learn those bad words from the programs they watched on the television or the games they play. The next thing is asking for fake or toy guns for their birthdays. A mother who loves her child will do everything to make him or her happy.

However, buying a toy gun for your son on his birthday, because he wants it, is a way of training your child to be a gun lover. The reason in the United States of America, many children are involved in juvenile crimes, relating to shootings. Yes, some children indulge in entertainments that graphically portrays immoral behavior.

Think, for example, movie and radio stations. Some movie stations feature only violent movies and some radio stations play sadistic and demonic music. Violent hip-hop or rap music, become some children’s favorite music. They don’t only sing, but they do the violent things the songs preach. When violently erupts, it doesn’t only sweep along those that called for it, but also innocent victims. That’s the sad part of it.

People are confused about religion. Islam, they say means ‘Brotherhood, Togetherness, and Peace, but what we see now is terrorism engulfing our neighborhood, discouraging parents to speak to children about the Gospel or to embrace Bible principles. Religious violence shouldn’t prevent mothers to encourage children to adhere to educating and inspiring Biblical principles.

Education starts at home and what parents teach children from early childhood, become part of someone’s personality and characteristics. Therefore, the things kids learn from their parents have a lasting impression on people. Thus; parents should be careful about teaching their kids the moral values and responsibilities to the society.