I got Toronto on my mind

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

I’ve still got Toronto on my mind, even after a few days back to the city of a thousand church bells, Montreal.

It wasn’t my first time in the Tdot, but it was my first time alone as an adult in the city. A few days disconnecting with my usual non-orthodox routine, that is – my crazy life, and without speaking the Molière language was interesting.

Montreal does have a special European charm and a certain je ne sais quoi, but Toronto is more a cosmopolitan city, with hidden treasures to be found every few streets.

I was in Toronto especially to listen to a nice conversation.

This conversation was insightful, funny, charming and so authentic. I’m really happy to have been part of it as a listener. Especially since part of this dynamic duo is my ultimate favorite journalist and person I try to emulate the most in this kind of journalism.

He is one of the most respected men in this field.

Nick Clooney is the journalist I am talking about. I won’t deny, listening to him gave me chills. Listening to him talk about Hazim “Haz’ Avdal, a young Yazidi Iraki refugee who is like a second son to him, I saw the pride of a father whose son gave him hope to believe in goodness in people again.

Both Amal and Nick were proud family members when they spoke about Az, as well as with Nadia Murad. Nadia is a young Yazidi woman that was captured by Isis. She escaped with some scars, but that hasn’t stopped her from being the sister, the mother and the ultimate superwoman to all the Yazidis.

She is proudly fighting the good fight with her secret weapon, Amal Clooney.

Amal is more than the woman who married one of the biggest movie stars in the world and one heck of a director (come on, Good Night and Good Luck was a masterpiece).

Yes, the media talks about her latest look. I do have to admit, she mixes fun and sassiness in her look like the majority of us women in this world aim to do.

There is even a blog dedicated to her fashion sense, but my point is that even the blog dedicated to her fashion sense talks about the cause that she cherishes. I definitely have more respect for a blog like the one I’m talking about over the TMZs of the world.

Why she is more than a celebrity?

It’s because, like Audrey Hepburn, her main focus is to shine light on causes that may not been known or talked about much. It’s not be easy to have this growth in attention when only 6 years ago, she could go to eat at her favorite Italian restaurant in Notting Hill without being mobbed by a hundred photographers.

But she has a good co-pilot in George and a good family unit that will continue to be her fortress.

I came back to Montreal with a refreshing perspective on life and the act of compassion.

I didn’t think that the city of Toronto would be the type to remind me to continue being compassionate and to keep up the good fight.

Speaking of keeping up the good fight, the best boxing trainer is in Toronto! Go check him out, Jorge Blanco. If you are in Montreal, you are not forgotten. You can train here in Montreal as well.

I’m so overdue that I will give my coach a call.

In the end, Toronto and Montreal are the perfect couple (except in the NHL). They are complementary to each other.

Can we take this as an example and be more complementary to each other as human beings, especially with regard to compassion and human decency?

I did see it last weekend in the Tdot!

http://spaniard.ca

Clooney Foundation For Justice official website

Advertisements

Humbolt is on our mind

During the whole weekend, every hour, every minute and every second, I was thinking about the pain of the family members and friends must be living at this exact moment wondering if their son, their brother, their friend, their father are among the victims of the horrific accident that happened Friday late in the afternoon in Saskatchewan.

My heart is broken but when I saw this picture, my spirit regain some faith.

Brothers Broncos

The strong power of brotherhood.

They were all brothers. And that bond will never be broken.

Humboldt Broncos

https://www.gofundme.com/darcy-haugan-humboldt-broncos

https://ca.gofundme.com/funds-for-humboldt-broncos

Hoops

Monday, March 26th, 2018; I got back into elementary school mode. I grabbed my backpack and instead of textbooks, I filled it up with camera gear. As I walked down the elementary school hallway, I realized how small the locker seemed compared to 26 years earlier. I was all excited like I was 5 years old again.

March 26th 2018 Westmount Park Elementary School

When I opened the gym door, I saw the 15th woman to become a player on one of the oldest basketball team of all time shooting hoops.

As I sat on the bench preparing my stuff, Brianna “Hoops” Green gave me a quick “Wassup!” as we exchange some funny comments on Instagram.

Hoops and The Chronicle

She is, no doubt, an influencer with 90.7 K followers on Instagram alone!

In Westmount Park Elementary School, she was greeted like a rock star. I saw the stars in some of the students’ eyes. I remember that reaction perfectly as a long time ago, I was one of those kids.

Hoops Green and the Westmount Park kids

“Hoops”, as we call her, is a Harlem Globetrotters player. She is living her dream, doing the thing she liked the most since she was four years old. On top of that, she is an inspiration, putting smiles on those sweet little faces from all around the world.

Briana ''Hoops'' Green

Since I am becoming older and not necessarily wiser, I have a preconception that young men and women in their late teens and early twenties all have this “Kardashian” attitude and selfishness.

 

Yes, I may encounter an of few of them, but I’m realizing that there is an army of inspiring young men and women that have the desire to give back to society by being a good person. Some are hoping for and working toward a better future.

One that is not about the best selfie and how many likes they get on social media, but about compassion, kindness, and hard work.

Hope Green is certainly one of them!

Westmount Park Elementary School with Brianna Green
Written by Sabine Demosthenes

Briana Green on Instagram

http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/hoops

Free as a bird

Did you ever feel, for a moment, so free?

Free; like the weight of the world is off your shoulders because you finally decided to accept who you are, your flaws and your strengths?

I got that feeling yesterday.

This incredible gentleman realized it.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Ralph Jusma for the very first Facebook Live “Raw” interview.

Ralph is a well-known event promoter in Montreal within the Haitian community.

His contagious smile and spirit is palpable.

He is a true showman. He is always up to bringing a festive attitude where ever he goes.

I sat down with him to have a real conversation. He shared a lot. A thousand viewers were standing still last night, listening to his every word.

We started with his formal name, then navigated to his struggles as a teenager.

We talked about his mistakes and the pain to have lost both his parents and then to finding love again.

I woke this morning feeling such honour to have had this moment with Ralph.

You can check it out on Ralph Jusma’s Facebook account.

He is a real force of nature and a little something tells me, he will continue to fly higher and higher.

Like a bird.

Ralph Jusma Facebook

Ralph Jusma Twitter

Written by Sab Demosthenes

Haiti is not a shit holes

It’s not that often that I talk about politics but with what that person, the one representing the United States of America, said about (sorry about my language) shit holes such as Haiti is a total disgrace.

Why should we all be surprised by his remarks? It’s been one year of unintelligent comments, first class stupidity and embarrassment from this human being.

Haiti is such a beautiful country, which unfortunately has been unlucky lately.

Sometimes, the media only puts the spotlight on the misery and the poverty, but that’s not all Haiti is.

Like every country, we have some neighbourhoods that are struggling and others that are prospering.

The Haitians are a very resilient population.

My parents came to Canada in the 70s to have better opportunities during the Duvalier didacticism. Similar to many others that instead went to the United States, they had hoped for a better future for their future children in terms of the freedom to be educated and in some way, living the Canadian and American dream.

I was raised to love everyone and that we are all citizens of the same world. Yes, our world is not perfect but, come on, saying this type of comment and afterwards, denying it like an entitled child is unthinkable.

The saddest part is that he may not be the only one thinking like this. With that in mind, the future seems a little less optimistic.

Today marks the anniversary of the earthquake. It was such a devastating event. My thoughts go to the victims and their families.

I remember when George Clooney, in a very short time, organized the Hope for Haiti telethon. I was so moved by this initiative and I saw through my parents eyes the gratitude and a feeling of we (the Haitian population all around the world) were not forgotten.

I want to take this moment to reflect on this positivity even through this very dark cloud.

Let’s be grateful that the majority of people all around the world thought the comment of that person, the one representing the United States of America, was mean, cold-hearted, stupid, dumb and full of shit holes.

We are all better than that!

Right?

Kanpe Website

The Clooney Foundation Website

Not on our Watch Website

Written by Sab Demosthenes

Formula E for Life!

I was disappointed that the city of Montreal won’t be the host of the 2018 Formula E Championship.

Yes, I’m a very proud Montrealer and yes, I do understand why the Montrealers are mad for the lack of transparency from the previous mayor of the city.

But this race is the future of the racing world. The scenery was perfect (I do understand the fact it wasn’t really a perfect situation for the people leaving near by), the competition on the track was so intense and let’s face it, it’s time to encourage a more ecological attitude in every aspect of life including in sports.

I still hope there could be a solution. Maybe moving the race in the suburbs like in Tremblant. I think it’s pity that we are letting go this beautiful race.

I will still cover the Formula E with the same passion and enthusiasm attitude as last year.

2018 will be more dramatic on the track field than before. The rivalry between Di Grassi and Buemi will be on full mode in 2018. Sam Bird, Nico Prost, Jean-Eric Vergne are making waves too. This season will be epic.

Another year of having fun with the boys.

Formula E Website

The Chronicle photo

On se souviendra toujours du 6 décembre 1989

Le 6 décembre 1988 était une journée typique pour moi quand j’étais enfant, venant de ma journée à la garderie.

La vie semblait plutôt bonne, amusante et paisible. Mais ce jour était celui de la peur, de l’anxiété et de la profonde tristesse. Ces émotions négatives ont fait une entrée dans ma vie et je pense, beaucoup de Canadiens, de Québécois et surtout de Montréalais.

J’étais à l’âge préscolaire à ce moment-là, mais je me souviens exactement, venant après ce soi-disant «jour typique» pour ma famille et des milliers de familles. Le visage de ma mère a changé quand elle a vu ce qui se passait en regardant les nouvelles. Mon frère était aussi silencieux que ma mère.

 

Pour moi, ce silence était inhabituel. Le silence fut bientôt suivi par mon téléphone qui sonnait à la maison.

Le chemin

Les vagues de chocs ont commencé.

 

Je ne comprenais toujours pas pourquoi je voyais la lumière rouge clignotante des ambulances à la télé ou pourquoi je n’arrêtais pas d’entendre le mot «Polytechnique». J’ai demandé à mon frère ce qui se passait et il m’a calmement expliqué que nous ne le savions pas encore, mais il y avait eu une fusillade.

Une fusillade?

C’était ma réaction.

J’avais si peur. Nous avions tous tellement peur. Les minutes ont passé et petit à petit, nous avons appris les noms des victimes. J’ai réalisé très tôt, ce sont les noms des femmes. J’ai entendu “Maryse”, “Barbara” …

Je pensais “OMG, je ne comprends pas ce qui se passe”. Notre monde a changé. Je suis allé me ​​coucher, ramper avec ma mère pour dormir. Je ne voulais pas perdre ma maman! Elle était (et est toujours) la femme la plus importante de ma vie. Je pensais que peut-être une jeune fille, comme moi, n’était pas capable de ramper dans les bras de sa mère cette nuit-là.

Avec le 7 décembre 1989, nous avons réalisé que ce n’était pas un mauvais rêve. C’était une réalité qui ne pourrait jamais être effacée de nos esprits et de nos âmes.

À ce moment-là, nous en savions plus sur ce qui s’était passé. Je me souviens que mon frère me disait que la vie ne serait pas facile pour moi en tant que fille ou, plus tard, en tant que femme, mais je devais continuer à me battre pour mon rôle dans la société et être invincible.

Mais pendant qu’il me disait ces mots de sagesse, comme il le faisait toujours, ses yeux avaient peur. Je n’ai jamais vu mon grand frère, mon héros, aussi effrayé. Il était si triste. Il ne pouvait pas comprendre ce qui s’était passé. C’était un garçon intelligent de 11 ans qui a été élevé pour être respectueux envers les femmes et pour les admirer pour leurs accomplissements. Il m’a toujours fait sentir que je pouvais être ce que je voulais, même si cela exigeait de marcher dans le monde d’un homme.

Mais le 7 décembre 1989, il semblait perdu et effrayé.

 

J’ai grandi étant être une fille qui à un côté princesse à petite dose (Barbie, My Little Pony, chantant des chansons de Nathalie Simard et regardant sa série religieusement) avec une grosse dose de garçon manqué (matchs de catch avec mon frère, de façon ‘’hardcore’’, jouant au football et au hockey, peur de se salir avec ma belle robe).

 

Quand j’ai appris ce qui était arrivé à ces quatorze femmes, dont douze étudiaient l’ingénierie, à mes yeux, elles représentaient ce que je rêvais devenir ou te conquérir. Elles ont brisé les barrières en entrant dans un monde dominé par les hommes.  À l’époque, les paroles de sagesse de mon frère la veille semblaient irréalistes.

The Chronicle photo

Le 6 décembre 1990, je me suis fait une promesse.

Ma promesse était de ne jamais oublier ce qui s’était passé en 1989 et de croire vraiment qu’une société pacifique serait quelque chose qui serait réalisable un jour.

La violence n’est pas la réponse.

Ces femmes, comme beaucoup d’autres avant et après cette tragédie, ont perdu la vie de la façon la plus horrible simplement parce qu’elles étaient des femmes. Ceci est un appel de réveil.

Trop c’est trop.

The Chronicle picture