Mecca

By   Ibrahim Al Radi, Saudi Arabia

  It is in the west of Saudi Arabia. It is a city in the Hejaz Area in Saudi Arabia. It is the capital city of the Mecca region.

            Mecca has two million people. It has many of the features of the Islamic holy Grand Mosque.

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          The Grand Mosque is the holiest place on earth for Muslims because it houses the Kaaba that Muslims kiss in prayer 5 times a day for more than (1.5) billion Muslims in the world. Many Muslims visit Mecca during the Hajj and Umrah seasons.

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             The prophet Muhammad communicated his messages to all people in the world from Mecca.

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           All Muslims enjoy traveling to places in Mecca. Saudi Arabia is making great efforts to serve them by increasing service and creating large developed areas in Mecca.

Autism as a Unique World

by Klaudia Lubczuk, Poland

Today’s world is full of people whose behavior is difficult for us to understand. Seldom are we drawing attention to these people who, despite having specific disabilities, are unique. One of these disabilities is autism, which is invisible to the eyes. Autism is one of the major issues affecting children nowadays. Although, do we know for sure what the condition involves? Autistic children with language and cognitive abilities is the topic which I would like to raise. This subject is close to my heart, because in the future I would like to work with autistic children, helping them with everyday reality.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disorder that can cause problems with thinking, feeling, language and the ability to relate to others. To the main symptoms of ASD we can include limited ability to initiate and sustain social contacts, deficits in verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as repetitive, stereotyped forms of activity and behavior. Cognition deficits of autistic people relate to deficits in the development of the theory of mind.

“By THE TIME I’d returned to my old school, I was so withdrawn that I had little idea of what was going on around me.  As I gradually emerged, it was once again into a world of things. I became fascinated with words and books, and making outside order out of inner chaos.”

Donna Williams, “Nobody Nowhere”

Helen Tager-Flusberg in 1995 carried out research based on detailed studies of autistic children’s narrative story-telling abilities by PhD Loveland and her colleagues. Loveland asked autistic children to tell the story that they were watching in the form of a puppet show. She found out that autistic children weren’t able to retell the story. Furthermore, some of them in this research failed to understand the events. Thus, we can speak about the lack of cultural perspective, imagination of others intentions, desires or the ways of thinking. These deficits can have a strong impact on fundamental aspects of autism, for instance, participation in social interactions.

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Hinging on the foregoing research, Helen Tager-Flusberg wanted to verify autistic children narrative abilities. She asked 10 autistic and 10 developmentally typical children to narrate a story from a wordless picture book. The book was telling the story about a boy, whose lovely frog ran away at night. This is a typical task for examining the theory of mind. In narrative stories, it was difficult to identify the character’s emotions, and only 4 of the 10 children reported a solution to the character’s situation. Autistic children were using very expressive language, they were minimally narrating picture stories, not describing the main characters. In their stories there was lack of cause-effect relationships. Henceforth, we can see the deficits in understanding others intentions and mental states. The empathy level of autistic children’s is relatively low.

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Whenever we are raising the narrative abilities issue, we need to remember how big an impact it has on the theory of mind. Autistic children’s stories represent particular deficits in understanding both mental states and other’s emotions. Deficits in emphatic behaviors can be broaden by usage of strong expressive language which, widely considered, is inadequate to socially agreed standards. Furthermore, deficits in the theory of mind can bring many complications. In 1992, Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues had put forward a hypothesis that autistic children have problems with understanding other’s desires, beliefs and intentions. These elements concur to support the theory of mind which is indispensable to understanding and predicting other’s behaviors. Baron-Cohen mentioned as well that autistic people can perceive the world as chaotic or even intimidating. Not only social contacts but also attempts to understand them will end up in failure. The motivation to begin social interactions is very common for autistic children, nonetheless, the biggest barrier is misunderstanding the function of communicating, as well as their limited skills in people-to-people contacts.

In essence, autistic children have many difficulties with everyday reality. Despite having motivation to communicate with others, they cannot understand the process of communication. Perceiving the world as chaotic or even intimidating should not affect autistic people. Our duty is to make their life easier, because they see the world  in different colors than we do.

Zero Waste Lifestyle – Why and how to reduce your waste

By Luara Garcia

Understand the importance of reducing waste

First thing: waste doesn’t start in your trash can. It starts before arriving at your home: at the markets, stores, shops, wherever you are shopping.

We are using too much stuff and to have all of these things we are using many resources and quickly running out of them. In the past five decades, more than 1/3 of the planet’s resource base has been consumed. 80% of the world’s original forests are gone.

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The United States takes up 5% of the world’s population, and uses 30% of the world’s resources and also produces 30% of the world’s waste. If everybody consumed at the U.S. rates, we would need 3 to 5 planets.

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In the production process, industries mix toxic chemicals to make our products, and also create a lot of pollution. When we discard our trash, it is dumped in a landfill, which is a big hole in the ground, and most of the time, it is burned and then dumped in a landfill.

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When toxics chemicals (contained in the trash products) are burned, they turn into new toxics, like dioxin, the most toxic man-made substance known to science. Both of the discard processes pollute the air, land, water and change the climate.
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A funny thing to think about is that about 1% of total materials we buy are still in use 6 months after the date of sale. That means that 99% of the stuff we buy is trashed within 6 months.

Each person in the United States produces 41/2 pounds of garbage a day.

These are just some of the reasons why we should stop producing so much waste.

 

Zero waste life style

Zero waste means not producing any trash, not sending anything to landfills, not throwing anything in a trash can.

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This girl in the picture is Lauren Singer. She lives a Zero Waste life in New York. That jar in her hand is all the trash she produced in 3 years.

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She decided to start living like this when she was an Environmental Studies major in college, where she saw this girl taking all her food in a lot of plastic bags and trashing it every day, which made Lauren feel frustrated. Then one day when she got home, she opened her refrigerator and looked at all that plastic. She felt like she was that girl and so decided to cut out plastic from her life.

This was the beginning. Today she composts and recycles; she produces her own tooth paste and other products. She goes into organic markets and places where you can use your own jars and bags to “package” things.

 

Kamikatsu, Japan, is a Zero Waste town. Is it possible?

Well, they are nearly.

Kamikatsu has no garbage trucks, so residents need to compost their kitchen scraps at home. They also have to wash and sort the rest of their trash into 34 different categories, and bring it to the recycling center themselves where workers make sure that the waste goes into the correct bins.

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The town has a store where people can leave their old clothing and stuff and exchange them for others that other people have left.

They also have a factory where women make products from discarded products, like teddy bears from old kimonos, or new kimonos from old flags.

With a population just over 1,700, Kamikatsu recycles about 80 percent of its trash and only 20 percent goes to landfills.

The residents of this city take recycling very seriously. They started in 2003 and actually hope to become the nation’s first zero-waste community by 2020.

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Tips to start reducing your waste

(These tips are not to become a zero waste lifestyle person; they are little things you can do that will make a big difference, but it is not that hard to change your lifestyle. There will be some links at the end of the article where you can find out more about how to become a zero waste lifestyle person)

 

  • Have your own reusable water bottle; bring it with you everywhere so your not going to need to buy one which you are going to trash after the water is gone.
  • Have your own reusable bag for shopping; use it in the markets, stores, so you’re not going to need a plastic or paper one.
  • Only buy things you really need, try to use them until they can’t do their job any longer.23
  • Choose to buy things with less packaging.
  • Recycle.18
  • Reutilize as much as you can.19
  • Prefer to buy organic products when you can; they don’t harm the environment to be produced and you have less to be discarded.
  • Remember: you awlays can do something more.22

 

To know more about Lauren Singer and her lifestyle, here are some links that you might like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYDQcBQUDpw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF72px2R3Hg

http://www.trashisfortossers.com/p/about.html

To know more about Kamikatisu and its plans:

http://www.odditycentral.com/news/kamikatsu-japans-aspiring-zero-waste-town.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eym10GGidQU#action=share

http://www.techinsider.io/kamikatsu-japan-is-a-zero-waste-town-2016-1

To know more about the world’s situation and production process (all 21 minutes worth it):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GorqroigqM

“Acceptance”

Cenet Durak, Switzerland

Let’ say, you are a teenager who is searching for something in his or her life, something that would make you happy once in your life. A lot of teenagers are searching for kindness in people, others are searching for love and comfort, and others are traveling all around the world to find true friends.

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Holden Caulfield (pg.17) is one example out of 348 million (33,6%) teenagers . I read the book with an unbiased mind. I think, what the author of “The catcher in rye” (J.D.Salinger) tries to explain is that sometimes you can go through trouble, but at the end you end up being in the place you should be. Call me naive, but I think everything we go through in our lives prepares us somehow for something bigger in the future.
Holden Caulfield was in the beginning at a school called Pencey and felt like he did not belong over there. While he was in Pencey, he often talked about his little brother Allie who died at a young age. Holden also described himself as corny, old, and strange, because of his grey hair at early age and his solitary. When Holden left Pencey, he did not go home until Wednesday. Therefore, he went to a payphone and called some of his crushes, friends and frenemies. He did not like to be solitary. It was compulsory for him to have someone to care about.1*UMEB_E073nhNH7e1bXg-jw

The whole story is about the people, he cares about and the ones, he likes to care about, but he does not know how because there is a missing link in knowing them and being friends with them. Generally, his siblings are the most important people for him. His friends. Allie who is dead and Phoebe who relies on him.Catcher-in-the-Rye
Already at a young age Holden saw a lot of bad things. One of his classmates, who lived next door committed suicide in Pencey. His interactions with his teachers and bad grades caused him to drop out of school, which led to the story of the book : ”The catcher in the rye”. Shortly after, he dropped out of Pencey, he took a taxi undecided where he wanted to go. Inside he was thinking to go to New York and he did. In his hurry he changed his mind and told the taxi driver to take him to Central Park, New York. While the taxi driver was trying to figure out, where he could possibly turn. Holden asked him : ”Do you know where the ducks are in the winter, when the lake freezes? I mean, I see them in the summer in the central park, all the time”. The taxi driver is baffled and answered : ”I don’t know where the goddam ducks are.” The rest of the time, while being in the taxi, the driver kept talking and kind of getting sore. All of sudden, he claimed :”They have to be somewhere, God would not let them die“. Holden stayed silent in that moment. I think in moments like these Holden was thinking that, what the taxi driver responded could be true. Subsequently, he arrived at the central park because he wanted to check on the ducks.

Afterwards, he went to a motel or hotel, where he met some hookers (prostitutes) and decided to stay with one of them, at her room, who was possibly his age or younger. Throughout the time in the room with the young girl, he only wanted to talk and someone who would like to listen to him, but in his bad luck, she did not listen at all. Again Holden felt misunderstood and behaved badly after he left the motel or hotel wounded because of the money battle about the five dollars, he should have given to the hooker.002e8026956178ece11c192eab2c9832

Throughout the story, he kept calling some girls out of a payphone like old Sally. He also toyed with the idea of running away with her somewhere into the woods. He slept in a subway in New York for a night, which he had to leave because of the people. Then he saw his old teacher who offered him his couch to sleep on, and at the end he ended up being with his sister who was his true friend. After experiencing all of these in around three days. Holden found comfort in his unusual life situation and decided to stay, where he was.
Finally, I can say Holden Caulfield you are a great guy. I do not know why J.D. Salinger wrote “The catcher in the rye”, but I am glad he did. “The catcher in the rye” is an incredible masterpiece. The book does not describe a life of a teenager, it describes what happens at the end of every story. The people and the things that belong together come together. We end up where we should have been the entire time, but we needed a bit longer to arrive and that is the only bad luck.

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racism

~Johannes Enz von Leitner, Hannover/Germany

ˈrāˌsizəm/

noun

  1. the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
    • prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

“a program to combat racism”

synonyms: racial discrimination, racialism, racial prejudice, xenophobia,chauvinismbigotrycasteism

“Aborigines are the main victims of racism in Australia

 

Racism is commonly known by everybody as insulting minorities with prejudice in dumb and silly ways often executed by people with lower education levels and from a more isolated social background. But why do we have to think about racism daily and why do we have to read about racism and racial crimes so often in the newspapers?

Nowadays racism should be outdated and should not exist anymore, because the world today is globalized and modern and should know better. Of course, there are differences in different ethnicities by culture, religion, or certain habits in educating or raising of children and the youth, which we cannot be erased, but do we have to judge people over these simple criterions, like origin and religion? Racism is often against black people, or Muslims, Jews, Turkish people, or even people from other larger countries.People in Europe are prejudiced against people from the USA or from Asia as they have different views and expectations of us European nations and people originating there.

Maybe we can’t change racism because it is deeply rooted in the world’s history,racism2but we have to work harder to make a difference, at least for our children. We shouldn’t have to have racism in a modern and connected world. The internet has a big impact fighting racism by providing everybody with the same rights and possibilities, the ‘judge’ in the internet is the computer, and it doesn’t care if you are black or white, if you are Mexican or American, or about your language. That is the bright side.The opposite of this is that you can simply be very racist and hide yourself through anonymity and not recieve any punishment. It is like many parts in the modern world, on the one side we try to improve our political correctness, but on the other side, I had a lesson yesterday making jokes about political correctness and how people possibly can only screw it up, being “pc”. You cannot say one sentence without hurting someone if you are talking to overly sensitive people or there can be groups who are amused by racist jokes, whilst of course not meaning any harm by laughing about, “the Negro thief”, or “the banker Jew”…

There is a difference between racism and discrimination, in the way that discrimination is gong even further. Racism is a mindset and often can’t be changed easily. Discrimination occurs if a person with that mindset is in control/in charge and has the opportunity to lead or influence the group. Discriminating people is the act of excluding people because of their origin or because of certain customs or appearance.

In sports, they guard against racism, in the German Bundesliga (soccer league) they do advertisements against racism and stand together with the whole European soccer bound to fight racism, because in soccer or in sports in total there is no racism. You get rated by your skills and talent so you can get anywhere with hardworking! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ-63TwoL1g racism3

There are two sides to the whole racism debate and there are many people being overly sensitive and easily offended by any slightest overtone, but they have a point in talking about it and you have to tell people if their insulting comments are too much, otherwise they will never learn. So at every opportunity avoid sticky situations by not making jokes or hints in this direction, but don’t forget about bias by not talking about it! In any circumstance do not forget to talk about racism with your friends or your family; people won’t know if you never tell them! And ignorance is not the right cure, talk openly and tell them when you feel offended, otherwise nothing will change.

We all have to work together to eliminate racism in our future and world!racism4