Vlaamse Journalisten Vereniging (Flemish Journalists Association) Celebrates Golden Jubilee

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The Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever, delivering his speech yesterday. Standing close is the Chairman of the Flemish Journalists Association, Mr. Walter van den Branden. Photo copyright @ Joel Savage.

It’s an exciting time for the Vlaamse Journalisten Veregniging, as the association holds its end of year press conference on Saturday, December 5, 2015,  at the District House, the main official building of the mayor of Antwerp, Mr. Bart De Wever.  

The association, which continue to grow, remain always adaptable, motivated and responsive, end of year’s press conference coincided with the celebration of the association’s golden jubilee.

At 12.00 pm, the chairman of the Flemish Journalists Association, Mr. Walter Van Den Branden, welcome all the members of the association into the office. After a quick refreshment, Bart De Wever was received by the chairman.

After giving his speech, he gave the platform to the mayor. Like always he shows his experience as a powerful and motivational speaker. He sheds light on his work as a politician, that many are displeased which caused a little laughter.

Like every formidable association, the Flemish Journalists Association, in the past fifty years, works and maintains close relationship with its members, in the fields of freelancing, media entrepreneurs, cartoonists, newspapers and radio journalists.

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Members of the Flemish Journalists Association. Photo Copyright@ Joel Savage.

The Flemish Journalists Association, also maintains close contacts with local authorities, engages in training  and carry out essential qualities needed to journalists to maintain successful careers.

From the mayor’s office, further activities of the association and dinner, took place at the Hotel Ramadan in Antwerp. I have attended many end of year press conferences of the Flemish Journalists Association, but this year’s occasion was exceptional.

After dinner, some of the members retired to bed in the hotel and others left home with free parcels distributed by the association’s secretary Hilde Van Gool.

Love Conquers Everything If We Give Peace A Chance

Man 3Muslims praying in a Jewish Synagogue

After Mosque Arson, This Synagogue Opened Its Doors to Muslims in Need of a Place to Pray

by Rafi Schwartz : Original article published in ‘Good- A magazine for the Global Citizen

Sometimes it seems as if the world is full of nothing but sectarian violence and interfaith animosity. In Peterborough, Ontario, however, an act of hate intended to tear a city apart has instead brought it closer together.

The Masjid al-Salaam mosque serves a Muslim community of around 1,000. On November 14, that community suddenly found itself without a place to worship after a fire—believed to be deliberately set in what police are investigating as a “hate crime”—destroyed Peterborough’s only Muslim prayer space, causing a reported $80,000 in damages. It’s an attack that shocked the city, and drew immediate condemnation from Mayor Darryl Bennett, who called the arson “totally out of character” for his community, echoing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said he was “deeply disturbed,” reports CBC.ca.

In response to the attack, Peterborough’s Jewish community has stepped up and offered their prayer space to the temporarily displaced mosque members as place where they can worship. Larry Gillman, president of the city’s Beth Israel Synagogue, told The Canadian Jewish News: “I immediately sent an email to our board with the idea of sharing our space with the Muslim community, realizing that they were not going to have a place to pray in the meantime.”

Since extending their invitation, Beth Israel has hosted a number of prayer sessions for the mosque’s members, as well as an interfaith potluck dinner. Children from the synagogue greeted their guests with a large, handmade banner reading “Welcome Friends,” hung across the wall of the makeshift prayer space.

Canadian media outlet CityNews reported from the scene:

To that end, the synagogue also shares its space with the local Unitarian Fellowship.

Speaking with CBC.ca, Masjid al-Salaam president Kenzu Abdella described a sense of trepidation after receiving the synagogue’s offer, but “within 24 hours, that changed. [Synagogue representatives] walked to the mosque and told us that whatever we need, they will support us.”

Even though it came out of a tragedy,” he added, “we are working together.”

In addition to the temporary prayer space, a crowdfunding effort raised over $110,000 to cover the cost of the mosque’s reconstruction.

We’re so grateful to everyone,” Abdella told The Canadian Jewish News. “It’s not just the financial aspect that really makes us very proud to be Canadian and proud to be a part of the Peterborough community, but the comments we’ve received in support …

http://magazine.good.is/articles/peterborough-synagogue-mosque-arson-beth-israel-masjid-al-salaam