Friday, July 20, 2012

Lebanon - Beirut

Lebanon - Baalbeck

Another article I wrote for wanderlustinglife on Baalbeck Baalbeck:

Amazing Time-lapse video of Toronto

This is the city I live in. Enjoy!

Lagos: Center of Excellence

I wrote this on June 13, 2011, please visit the website link to see the full article with the pictures of Lagos.
History and Geography Lagos is the world’s fastest growing city with approximately 58 people moving there every hour. By mid-century, it will be the third largest city in the world and the largest in Africa, stealing the current title from Cairo, Egypt. As the economic powerhouse of West Africa, Lagos has long attracted immigrants from all parts of Nigeria, West Africa, and the rest of the world. Lagos was founded on the site of a Yoruba settlement built sometime before the 1540s on what would become Lagos Island, situated between the Atlantic coast of the Gulf of Guinea and the Lagoon, from which Lagos got its name from. The Yoruba name for Lagos is ‘Eko Ile‘ and to this day many Lagosians still refer to their city as ‘Eko’. Lagos was named after the Portuguese world for ‘Lakes’, as the first European power to explore and trade with the region were the Portuguese sailors who were sailing around the coast of Africa to get to their trading colonies in the Indian ocean. It was formally annexed to the British Empire around 1861 and it received protectorate status in 1896, in contrast to the rest of the British colony of Nigeria. Sometimes called the New York of West Africa, it is a city made up of many islands which are Lagos Island, Ikoyi Island, and Victoria Island and these are separated from the mainland by the main waterway draining the lagoon into the Atlantic forming Lagos Harbor. Lagos was first the capital of Nigeria before it was shorn of this label in 1993 when the Federal Capital Territory was made at the purpose-built city of Abuja in central Nigeria. The growth of Lagos was unprecedented in the latter half of the 20th century, growing from a town of approximately 200.000 people to a megalopolis with a total population of around 17 million (it is hard to verify the exact number and estimates range from 13 million to 19 million). It is by far the most important city in West Africa and I recommend anyone who wants to visit to research his/her trip properly. It is a city of surprises and organized chaos, many a Lagosian will tell you that if you manage to survive Lagos you can survive anywhere in the world.

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 2011

I have written this poem back in July, 2008.
First picture is a castle near Chekka, Lebanon built sometime after the Roman era but before the Arabs conquered Lebanon.
Second one is in Southwestern France.

The Kingdom Promised by

Sing the songs of Solomon,
Hear the winds blow
Know that the time has come.

A Glorious citadel gone
In suffering, in shambles.
The exile of the citadel

Like the exodus.
From Egypt they left
From Languedoc we fled

Into the Promised Land
Into the mountains
Like the hilltop siege of Megiddo.

The months of snow pass,
We sing the songs of Carcassona
Hear the stones thunder

Know the walls hold.
Fleeting moments pass
Pray, pray, no

Salvation or deliverance
From the sword
From the aching bones

Into the paradise promised
Into the fortress alive, fighting
Faith replenishes

For even the Host claims
With its corrupted eyes
Faith. They do not see

Faith. Land and riches
Power and Truth only

The claims only fool their beloved Pays
By the north, the army that is fed
Their hope is our souls

In their blind state saving us.
With our eyes the sun
In the dark night sky, we see

A reflection even in its absence
Lights up the sky
Our hope is life eternal

Truth, Truth
The word, in all
Humanity lives

The exiled citadel
In the mountains
In the fortress

Wait, wait, we do
For the steel
The promise, the Kingdom

False idols, false wars
For Humanity
Not humanity.

Snow covers us
Our bodies are left
Burnt, spread out

The claim is theirs
But our truth shall be truth
Life eternal shall be life anew.

Caption: Monts├ęgur Castle in Southwestern France

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Mile Ahead, One Life Saved

I'm training to participate in a full marathon event on June 5th in San Diego as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada’s Team In Training. I want to raise as much awareness as possible about this group that runs for a worthy cause. I’m completing this event in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers and their families or supporters.
There are people on our team who've never ran before and who have never even considered even running in a marathon. They only do it for the people they love and care about. They are the real heroes in this race and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - to find a cure! Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance LLSC’s mission. I hope you’ll visit my web site often.
Be sure to check back frequently to see my progress.

Thanks for your support.
Please follow this link for donations:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Siena memories

Dear Friends,

I am finally able to sit down and start typing away at my blog. Many of you might have been disappointed at the lack of entries this past month, but I couldn't imagine how busy I got while I was in Italy. Siena is a spectacular city and my class kept me waking up early in the morning to enjoy the early rays of the sunrise over this magnificent city.

I will keep updating my blog post over the next few days to write about the different activities and field trips we went on during the program. Week one was spent in Siena and biking through the Chianti region that surrounds the city. Week two was spent in Tuscany as I left for Florence and came back to Siena, only to have a blast with some friends over the weekend in Florence again; as well as Chianti wine tasting and heading to the San Giovanni hot springs. Week three was jam-packed as the Palio took place on that Monday and we had our first overnight field trip in Rome, while my weekend was spent in Cinque Terre (which Bea has recommended that I visit; in reality it was amazing). Week four was spent in Siena and Venice where I met up with my cousins on holiday; and then it was Elba for the weekend. Week five was my last week and it was mainly spent in Siena touring the Campo and Palazzo Publicco. Week five was short and it was the week where we had to hand in our papers and saying our goodbyes to each other, to the city, and to the country that has graciously hosted us University of Toronto students for 5 weeks. For now, I'll mention that it has been roughly a week since I left Italy and I can't help but wonder at the scenery that I experienced, the food I ate, and the people I met. Italy and Tuscany, in general, have left a lasting impression on my consciousness.