SO LONG A LETTER

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Written by award-winning African novelist Mariama Ba and translated from the original French, So Long a Letter has been recognized as one of Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century. The brief narrative, written as an extended letter, is a sequence of reminiscences—some wistful, some bitter—recounted by recently widowed Senegalese schoolteacher Ramatoulaye Fall. Addressed to a lifelong friend, Aissatou, it is a record of Ramatoulaye’s emotional struggle for survival after her husband betrayed their marriage by taking a second wife.

This semi-autobiographical account is a perceptive testimony to the plight of educated and articulate Muslim women. Angered by the traditions that allow polygyny, they inhabit a social milieu dominated by attitudes and values that deny them status equal to men. Ramatoulaye hopes for a world where the best of old customs and new freedom can be combined.

Considered a classic of contemporary African women’s literature, So Long a Letter is a must-read for anyone interested in African literature and the passage from colonialism to modernism in a Muslim country.

Winner of the prestigious Noma Award for Publishing in Africa.

The Author

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Mariama Bâ (April 17, 1929–August 17, 1981) was a Senegalese author and feminist, who wrote in French. Born in Dakar, she was raised a Muslim, but at an early age came to criticise what she perceived as inequalities between the sexes resulting from African traditions. Raised by her traditional grandparents, she had to struggle even to gain an education, because they did not believe that girls should be taught. Bâ later married a Senegalese member of Parliament, Obèye Diop, but divorced him and was left to care for their nine children.

Her frustration with the fate of African women—as well as her ultimate acceptance of it—is expressed in her first novel, So Long a Letter. In it she depicts the sorrow and resignation of a woman who must share the mourning for her late husband with his second, younger wife. Abiola Irele called it “the most deeply felt presentation of the female condition in African fiction.” This short book was awarded the first Noma Prize for Publishing in Africa in 1980.

Bâ died a year later after a protracted illness, before her second novel, Scarlet Song, which describes the hardships a woman faces when her husband abandons her for a younger woman he knew at youth, was published.

The historian Nzegwu has contended that Bâ’s life was rich in events. Bâ was born in Dakar, Senegal, in 1929, into an educated and well-to-do Senegalese family where she grew up. Her father was a career civil servant who became one of the first ministers of state. He was the Minister of Health in 1956 while her grand father was an interpreter in the French occupation regime.

After her mother’s death, Bâ was largely raised in the traditional manner by her maternal grandparents. She received her early education in French, while at the same time attending Koranic school.

Bâ was a prominent law student at school. During the colonial revolution period and later, girls faced numerous obstacles when they wanted to have a higher education. Bâ’s grandparents did not plan to educate her beyond primary school. However, her father’s insistence on giving her an opportunity to continue her studies eventually persuaded them.

In a teacher training college based in Rufisque (a suburb in Dakar), she won the first prize in the entrance examination and entered the École Normale. In this institution, she was prepared for later career as a school teacher. The school’s principal began to prepare her for the 1943 entrance examination to a teaching career after he noticed Bâ’s intellect and capacity. She taught from 1947 to 1959, before transferring to the Regional Inspectorate of teaching as an educational inspector.

Bâ was a novelist, teacher and feminist, active from 1979 to 1981 in Senegal, West Africa. Bâ’s source of determination and commitment to the feminist cause stemmed from her background, her parents’ life and her schooling. Indeed, her contribution is of absolute importance in modern African studies since she was among the first to illustrate the disadvantaged position of women in African society. Bâ’s work focused on the grandmother, the mother, the sister, the daughter, the cousin and the friend, how they all deserve the title “mother of Africa”, and how important they are for the society.

Mariama Bâ felt the failure of African liberation struggles and movements. Her earliest works were essays she wrote while at the École Normale. Some of her works have now been published. Her first work constitutes essentially a useful method of rejection of the “so-called French assimilationist policy”.

Bâ advocated urgent consideration and reinvigoration of African life.

This consideration and reinvigoration is essentially founded on the social construct of the relationship between man and woman. Indeed, there is an unequal and unbalanced power in the male/female relationship. According to her, these facts can help us become aware of Africa’s needs for societal change, a change more political than merely making speeches.

As a divorcee and “a modern Muslim woman” as she characterized herself, Bâ was active in women’s associations. She also ardently promoted education. She defended women’s rights, delivered speeches, and wrote articles in local newspapers. Thus, her contribution is significant because she explained and described the disadvantaged position of women in general and especially married women.

Bâ also had vision and determined commitment. She felt African people should reduce the deleterious impact of their culture. Women are plunged both psychologically and financially in a sensual indulgence and complete lack of regard for the consequences of men’s actions on families. They are completely blind. These facts led Bâ to believe in her mission to expose and critique the rationalisations employed to justify established power structures.

She thought that distortions of cultural thought and institutions are made to demonstrate masquerades as “tradition” and “culture”. Men and Women have been seduced into accepting the continuation of these “customs”. People should be “persuaded of the inevitable and necessary complementarity of man and woman”.

Bâ wrote many books openly sharing her thoughts and feelings, including: So Long a Letter (1981), Scarlet Songs (1986), and La fonction politique des littératures Africaines écrites (The Political Function of African Written Literatures) (1981).

http://www.amazon.com/Mariama-Ba/e/B000AP5I02

The Truth Behind The Shooting Down Of Malaysian Flight MH17 Unfolds

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Some of the Aids researchers that lost their lives in the Malaysia MH17 air disaster

By Johan Van Dongen and Joel Savage

Local residents battling HIV and AIDS are glued to the coverage of the crash involving Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 17.

At least 100 of those killed when Flight 17 went down were top AIDS research scientists heading to an international conference on HIV and AIDS.

“We probably took a step back in time,” said Doris Caroll, an AIDS prevention advocate in West Palm Beach.

A state licensed HIV and AIDS tester, Caroll said the ripples of losing all of those researchers will be felt around the world, including in her office.

“They mean the future of prevention, the future of treatment and maybe even eradicating HIV,” said Caroll.

Those infected with HIV are now worried if the death of the researchers will impact their future.

“It hurts my heart because they were going to do more work. And just the fact that they were doing something for me,” said Stephanie June, a West Palm Beach woman who’s HIV positive.

June has lived with HIV for more than six years. She has a husband, a little daughter and is living her life the way she wants to thanks to the researched done by scientists like the ones who were killed. June said she is indebted to the all the researchers and scientists who died.

“If I didn’t have the medication right away when I was diagnosed, who knows where I would be?” said June. “I probably wouldn’t be standing here. But the fact is, they changed my life.”

This is one of the hundreds of publications which appeared in the newspapers, shortly after the plane carrying passengers, including the Aids researchers went down, before reaching Australia. The story generated a lot of controversies and conspiracies.

Like other scientists, investigators and researchers trying to find the real reason which led to the murder of the scientists, Dutch’s Micro-Surgeon and Scientist Johan Van Dongen has also different reasons from what the media want the public to believe.

“There were scientists on board flight MH17, including specialists and associates of French Doctors. Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier, who were to reveal that Aids and Ebola were man-made viruses used as bio-weapons in Africa,” said Prof. Dongen.

In all the literature, it appears to me that scientists were doing a social thing by finding a solution for Africa… Once they could have succeeded, this means also that the depopulation of Africa, Asia, Latin America etc, would have come to an end.”

“I will not think of a conspiracy theory but I do think that those criminals who are responsible for the depopulation of Africa, made a party after the plane came down, because the threat of being exposed is finally quashed.” Said Prof. Dongen.

The Reason Beauty Contest Needs To Be Abolished

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The concept of life is a reality, thus, a woman’s creation is a symbol of crown, dignity, honour, and beauty. Women are therefore special. I believe the same way every woman see herself or feels. 

Worldwide, every year, young women are paraded on the podium to search for the most beautiful woman in the world. The question: “Is holding of yearly beauty contest necessary?” What is beauty? Is it the mind, from the heart or the face?

There are so many women physically disfigured, through some sort of illness or naturally born with deformity or handicap, that may feel somehow psychologically depressed or rejected in the society when they watch things like “Beauty Contests.” Besides ‘Beauty Contests’ lowers the confidence and self-esteem of many women facing obstacles in life.

The birth of modern technology and scientists have provided comfort for human beings, in different fields, including medical. Apart from incubators and other equipment that save lives, no doctor or scientist has been able to put breath in a dead man’s nostrils to bring him back to life. So why should a panel of judges sit down to classify one as beautiful and the other ugly? However a woman looks like, she needs respect and acceptance in the society.

In my own opinion “Beauty Contest” is meaningless. It should be abolished. The late Princess Diana was one of the prettiest women who ever lived, but according to British newspapers, she was a woman suffering in silence before her untimely death.

If beauty had played important role in her life and had given her all the happiness she was looking for, from her wayward husband, Prince Charles, she might be alive today. Because many hope to participate in such contests, they experience eating disorder, leading to anorexia.

In my opinion, a beauty contest is not necessary and needs to be abolished in our society.

WWE: The Authority Still Fear Ex-Members Of The Shield Without Seth Rollins

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Triple H and wife, Stephanie McMahon: Pride, ego and arrogant couple.

WWE  has been my best entertainment, not only because of my favourite wrestlers that sacrifice their bodies each week, to thrill fans but because of the stories behind it and what unfolds every week.

It’s good for a man to support his wife in running a business, but the pride of Stephanie McMahon, as the daughter of the Vince McMahon, the owner of WWE, has blinded Triple H, to follow his wife unwisely sometimes in running the affairs of WWE.

How many men or wrestlers, has Stephanie slapped across the face, including Daniel Bryan and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson? If she truly wants everyone to believe that she respects and loves her husband, Triple H, then she must give the same respect to wrestlers in and out of WWE.

Pride and ego have taken over her heart to the extent that, she thinks her father’s industry, feeds the entire American nation and all the wrestlers under the canopy of WWE, without realizing that there wouldn’t be any WWE today; if there are no fans or wrestlers.

They can run WWE at 9.99, but as a man dies, dry leaves fall and the mighty dollar falls sometimes, when the WWE fans begin to boycott the matches one day, they will understand that without them WWE is nothing and without the wrestlers, the company has no future.

The question everyone wants to ask Triple H is, why a sudden handshake request from Roman Reigns, after the injury of Seth Rollins? How does he want Reigns to react after masterminding the betrayal of  Dean Ambrose and him, by Seth Rollins? According to Triple H, for a very long time he has Roman Reigns in mind.

That’s a big lie. He lied, trying to build a good relationship with someone he feared. Surprisingly, WWE fans even knew he lied. Since Reigns didn’t cooperate, he has become Triple H’s enemy. Believe me, Triple H will do his underground work or everything to prevent Roman Reign getting hold of the world championship belt, but time will tell.

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Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns: The two biggest threats in WWE today.

The latest development on Monday Night Raw, 11/30/2015, evidently reveals the fear in the eyes of the authority, in regard to Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. At backstage, Reigns is talking to Dean Ambrose and The Usos when Triple H and Stephanie McMahon appear and asked Reigns to return the belt.

He laughs, and instead of Triple H, he gives it to Stephanie. He tells Triple H to tell Sheamus that he will take back the belt at TLC. Triple H replies, he already spoke to the champ, and he wants to put the belt on the line tonight. Roman is delighted, and Stephanie adds that he must win in 5:15. Why to defeat Sheamus within this short time? Since they can’t control Reigns, if he becomes world champion, they will do everything to prevent him from achieving his goals.

Later Triple H tells Dean Ambrose that if Reigns loses he match, then Ambrose loses his shot as number one contender to wrestle Kevin Owens for the Inter-Continental championship belt, because Reigns need to learn that his actions affect others. Why such harsh decisions? All come to the same answer, fear. The authority can’t deny that.

The authority may choose to manage WWE with iron fist, just  to dominate the wrestlers, but not everyone will yield to that domination. We have seen such wrestlers before in Randy Orton, CM Punk, John Cena etc;  now it’s Roman Reigns. He is not scared to hear “You’re firrrred.”

Montpelier Tomorrow

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Mid-life mom, Colleen Gallagher would do anything to protect her children from harm. When her daughter’s husband falls ill with ALS, Colleen rolls up her sleeves and moves in, juggling the multiple roles of grandma, cook, and caregiver, only to discover that even her superhuman efforts can’t fix what’s wrong.

 “Characters are vivid, relatable, and all too imperfectly human.” —Jewell Parker Rhodes

“Each time I have reread this novel, I have felt rewarded by the connection it offers to the central character, Colleen. I can think of no single page in which her voice is not an irreplaceable gift to the reader.–Kevin McIlvoy“An engrossing account of the impossible choices faced by caregivers…” –Kathryn Shonk

The Author
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Marylee MacDonald grew up in Redwood City, California and wanted to be a “lady” wrestler or skate for the Bay Area Bombers, a Roller Derby team. While her children were young, she worked as a carpenter in California and Illinois. Later, she wrote how-to articles for Old-House Journal, Carpenter, and Journal of Light Construction.

                                     Her short stories have won the Jeanne Leiby Chapbook Award, the Barry Hannah Prize, the Ron Rash Award, the Matt Clark Prize, and the ALR Fiction Award. She is widely published in literary magazines such as American Literary Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Folio, Blue Moon Literary & Art Review, Broad River Review, Folio, Four Quarters, New Delta Review, North Atlantic Review, Raven Chronicles, Reunion:

The Dallas Review, River Oak Review, Ruminate, Story Quarterly, The Briar Cliff Review, Yalobusha Review, and the anthologies ROLL and NEW SUN RISING: Stories for Japan.Her debut novel, MONTPELIER TOMORROW, was published in 2014 by All Things That Matter Press and was a Gold Medal winner in the Drama category for Readers Favorites 2015 Awards. The book was also a finalist for the 2015 Next Generation Indie Awards and the 2015 Eric Hoffer Award.

She has been a Writing Fellow at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, taught writing for River Oak Arts and the Desert Nights, Rising Stars writing conference, and received a Fellowship in Fiction from the Illinois Arts Council.

Find out at http://Find out more at: http://maryleemacdonald.org

Montpelier Tomorrow Book Trailer

Marylee MacDonald’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Marylee-MacDonald/e/B00MSA7KNK

Don’t Underestimate Prophecies In The Holy Bible: They Are Not Mere Stories

 

Anti-Christ forces against Christians

The persecution of Christians has increased in many countries including China

We are in an era many feel embarrassed or overpowered by shyness to speak about the Holy Bible. Once people begin to talk about the scriptures, they are seen by non-believers as those losing their mind. To be a Christian is not by force and it is not by force either for a Christian to convert to Islam.

You can be an atheist, no one cares, but woe unto the atheist who tries to take God’s children and believers to the path of destruction. And woe unto Muslims that kill Christians and say they are doing it for Allah because true God has no pleasure in wickedness.

The reason when Jesus sent out his twelve disciples he told “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” Many ignore the prophecies in the Bible, because they are spiritually blind and deaf, to hear and see the fulfillment of the scriptures taking place around the world today.

Jesus said, “They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Luke 5: 53. 

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” Matthew 10:21-23.

Those who have eyes can clearly see and those who have ears can clearly hear that all the prophecies in the Bible are gradually taking place. Christians are now being slaughtered like cows and those respondents say they are doing it for Allah, because ‘Allahu Akbar’-God is great. Give me a break, if the God you are worshiping is great, let that great God take his own actions. No one fights or kills for a great God, but only a weak God.

Domestic violence erupting daily as daughters fight against mothers and sons against fathers. There is no peace because everyone thinks he is right to do whatever is bad. The greed for money has increased violence and crime at every corner of the globe.

My father’s house of worship has become the den of thieves or drinking pubs, as churches are being converted to drinking place. Husband kills wife and wife kill husband for life insurance money. Father kills the baby and mother kill a baby. What a world of confusion enveloped by spiritual darkness?

Jesus spoke about love 13 times some of these occurrences are parallel scriptures such as someone asking Him what the greatest commandment of all. He preached some 190 times on hell, repentance, and judgment. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. Featured Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Books: Special Branch War- Slaughter in the Rhodesian Bush. Southern Matabeleland And Bitter Sweet

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This searing account primarily covers Ed Bird’s Special Branch (SB) service in the Beitbridge area of southern Matabeleland, 1976-1980, encompassing Operations Repulse and Tangent of the bitter Rhodesian ‘bush war’.

Joining the British South Africa Police (BSAP) in 1964, Bird cut his teeth on Selous Scouts ‘pseudo’ operations during Operation Hurricane in 1974-1976, so was well equipped to deal with the insidious escalation of the ZANLA and ZIPRA campaigns in the south of the country.

A meticulous recorder, Bird implemented and maintained the Beitbridge SB incident log, and it is this diary of terror and death upon which Bird’s account hangs, interspersed with detailed accounts of fire fights, ambushes, landmine blasts, ZANLA executions, traitors and assassinations, SB ‘dirty tricks’ and ‘turning’ terrorists.

Although first and foremost an intelligence-gatherer, Bird thrived on combat and against all protocol inveigled his way onto Fire Force operations and as an air mobile MAG machine-gunner on converted Police Reserve Air Wing aircraft. Decorated for bravery but overlooked for promotion, Bird’s BSAP career became victim to spurious political expedience.

http://www.amazon.com/Special-Branch-War-Slaughter-Matabeleland-ebook/dp/B00MZKAW2Y

 

BIRD 1Following the untimely death of his wife, Hilton Shire, a newly appointed private investigator, embarks on a quest for revenge. He enlists the help of his brothers-in-law, Jordan and Kyle to prove that Sabrina was murdered. Hilton and his comrades believe that Sabrina was killed because of her investigation into the demise of Julie Curl’s husband years before. They also believe that Sabrina was drawing close – too close – to the truth hence she met with unmitigated violence.

The case unfurls to something more sinister and complex as the investigators find themselves taken as far away as Barbados and into dangerous situations they never thought possible. Will Hilton get to the bottom of the mystery and avenge his wife before more killings take place? In this brilliantly orchestrated novel, E.D. Bird takes readers on a relentless cat and mouse chase across the unforgettable southern African nations and Barbados.

The unfolding adventure is menacing, perilous, intriguing and, in the end, it could possibly be Bitter Sweet…

http://www.amazon.com/Bitter-Sweet-E-D-Bird/dp/1517695732/

The Author

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E.D. Bird was born in Scotland on March 17, 1955, but has lived in Zimbabwe since 1957. The author was divorced in 1987 but remarried the same person on the 20th anniversary of their original wedding date and continue to live happily in Bulawayo with their two rescue dogs. E.D. Bird is an animal lover and, over the years, has had a variety of pets including horses, dogs and cats.

Bird has worked for a law firm for 13 years and also joined the family business, a gold mining enterprise. Growing up in a rural mining environment and working in the mining industry has given the author a sound basis for the situations created in this novel.”