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Community News

By Baaqia Uqdah

If you think domestic violence has no impact on an unborn child, think again. When a woman is battered during her pregnancy, she and the child are both harmed.
For example, when a pregnant woman gets frightened because she is being battered or about to become battered, she and her unborn child experience negative emotions, such as helplessness, terror, fear and rage. The stress of being battered and a seeming inability to escape the violence may cause the woman to think she is “losing her mind.”
She may therefore display symptoms similar to someone who has a mental health disorder.
The unborn child is having similar experiences, because the human brain begins to develop 16 days after conception. Studies have shown that the repeated stressful event of a mother being battered during her pregnancy produces a level of stress in the unborn child that is damaging to early brain development.
If the mother becomes depressed during her pregnancy her adrenal gland produces cortisol. In some periods during pregnancy cortisol can be a benefit to the unborn child. At other times cortisol can be harmful to the fetus’s developing emotional system because it is a potent stress hormone.
The stress of a mom being battered during her pregnancy can also have negative effects on the unborn child’s developing respiratory system. This could cause the child to be born with asthma. The physical impact of the beating could result in the pregnant woman having broken bones.
Likewise, the unborn child may suffer from broken bones, birth defects, or other injuries.
In 1955 Dorothy Law Nolte, a Family Life Educator (1924 – 2005) published what became a very famous poem titled Children Learn What They Live. In remembrance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October) I would like to share the complete version of that poem:
Children Learn What They Live
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
As a reminder, if you or someone you know is victim of domestic violence, seek help by calling the national domestic violence hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 800- 787-3224 (TTY).
If you are in immediate danger, call 911. For additional information about the impact of domestic violence on the pregnant mom, the unborn fetus, or the young child visit or telephone Sisters in Sync at 862-520-4492.

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Community News

By Dr. Anna E. Lightfoot-Ward
MIAMI, Fla. –- With the right zeal and a heart of great expectations, the Miami Veterans Administration, Bruce W. Carter Medical Center played host recently to a celebration of Ramadan through the efforts and encouragement of brothers Imam Arnold A. Jones-Sharif, Imam Leon Wilson, and Brothers Dwight S. Garmon and Autley F. Salahud Din.
These brothers approached the director of Chaplain Services, Rev. Dr. Phillip Bennie, who embraced and walked the idea through the Miami VA’s approval process.
The Iftar celebration of Ramadan was a first at this federal government hospital and its presence attests to the Creator’s hand in bringing diverse groups together in a spirit of appreciation and celebration.
Also, Believers from many different Masajid and people from all walks of life came together to enjoy a short program and a delicious meal.
With opening remarks and a welcome from Bro. Dwight, the affair started with the call for the Maghrib Prayer, then there was the breaking of the fast, then there was the prayer, as an eastern breeze cooled the hearts of all who believe.
After the Maghrib Prayer was observed there was the serving of food by Bro. Sharif, Prentice Rasheed and Bro. John El-Amin, who gave everyone healthy portions catered by Mohamed Halaal Market, of 3810 S. State Road 7, Miramar, Fla. 33023; phone 954-963-9154.
And if that was not enough, Imam Usamah Salahuddin presented a short talk that defined Muslim and the meaning of Ramadan and its universal significance. The presentation was divine, as the crowd asked questions and listened intently to concise answers given by Imam Salahuddin.
After about two hours, the event drew to a close and one person remarked, “Al-Islam is a beautiful religion, and we thank you so much for introducing your faith belief in such a loving way.”
Truly this was a “night of power” as the diverse crowd of several nationalities, religions and customs came to meet, mingle and enjoy a meal prepared for no less than 500 people.
Mary D. Berrocal is director of the Miami VA Medical Center. It is the parent facility of the Miami VA Healthcare System, which serves military veterans in three South Florida counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe, with an estimated population of over 285,000 veterans.

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Muslim Journal Business Category
Busiiness In Our Lives

By Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.,
NNPA Columnist
             Black Americans should always strive to know and understand not only the realities of our long struggle for freedom, justice and equality in the United States, but also we have to keep ourselves better abreast of what is happening across the continent of Africa and throughout the Pan African world. 
Too often we only get the negative information about Africa's sufferings, yet we get only sparingly the information about the positive success stories from our motherland.
              Young people who are raised up in the African American community in particular should be made more aware of the contemporary triumphs of African people as well as the prolonged challenges and problems that we all face throughout the world. 
I am writing this column for the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) from China.  My partner in business and social justice, Russell Simmons, and I are here in Hong Kong for the Diamond Empowerment Fund.   
Diamonds in the Sky Hong Kong just raised over $2 million to benefit education and empowerment in Africa and China. 
It is so important for all of us to understand the changing dynamics of the global economy and how we should be more active and involved internationally as well as locally to support the best education and development for our children and communities. 
This is why I am always stressing the importance of the Black Press.  If we do not let our people know what is happening more consistently throughout the Black World, utilizing our own media outlets, then we will often find ourselves missing the opportunities to make greater overall progress for our families and communities.
              I completely understand why news organs like Bloomberg, The Economist, Forbes Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times regularly focus media attention on economic development opportunities in Africa. 
I want Black-owned publications to do more on Africa and to stay focused on the emergence of a new generation of young African scholars, entrepreneurs, political and diverse leaders.  Just recently, Forbes released its list of the "10 Youngest Power Men in Africa" who are 40 years old and younger. 
The interesting thing about this list is that Forbes was made aware about these young African leaders not because they had been conformists to past inequities, but because they have already earned the admiration of African people as a result of the effectiveness of their leadership and self-empowerment work at a relatively young age. 
              The following are the names and a brief annotation about four of the 10 young African leaders today who were both on the Forbes' list of emerging leaders and who have been independently verified as some of the most trend setting innovators and geniuses across Africa. 
Please share this with other youth leaders and young adults in your community.  Hopefully, this information will also broaden the horizon of our consciousness and awareness as African Americans.
               Since the age of 29, Joseph Kabila has been the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that is today the largest land-based nation in Africa and the third largest producer of diamonds in Africa as well as other precious minerals and natural resources. 
President Kabila was the first democratically elected President of the DRC in 2006.  President Kabila has been President of the Congo for 11 years and is credited for his effective leadership in ending a terrible civil war in 2002. 
His father, former President Laurent Kabila was assassinated in a failed coup attempt during the height of the DRC civil war in 2000.   President Joseph Kabila is someone all Black people and other progressive people should know more about. 
The DRC has great potential economically and culturally under the able leadership of President Joseph Kabila.  His intention is to help transform the quality of life and productivity of the people of the DRC into one of highest standards in the world.   
China has the largest current investment in the DRC.   As President Kabila faces re-election in November 2011, I believe he deserves our support.
                  Julius Malema is the 30 year-old President of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League that represents the political interests and aspirations of millions of youth and young adults in South Africa. 
As we should know the African National Congress (ANC) is the ruling political party today in South Africa.  The ANC is one of the oldest African freedom fighting political and empowerment organizations in the world.  The ANC is the party of former Presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. 
The South African Stock Exchange is one of the top 10 stock markets in the world and South Africa's economy is emerging with serious economic strength for the entire region and continent.  On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 as the strongest indicator of intellectual prowess, leadership, insightful global vision and activism, Julius Malema would rank a strong 10-plus. 
The ANC Youth League continues to be an effective crucible for the development of new young leaders in South Africa.  Back in the day, 30 years ago, I proudly wrote articles for the publication of the ANC Youth League - "The Spear."
It is also a fact that the youth vote in South Africa has determined the election and will determine the re-election of Jacob Zuma, the current President of South Africa.   But, it was the resourceful leadership of Julius Malema that helped President Zuma to be elected. 
African Americans youth leaders should reach out to Malema, as he continues to emerge on the global stage that will determine the future leadership of Africa.
               Thirty-four year-old Fred Swaniker, a native of Ghana, is the Founder of the African Leadership Academy (ALA) that is a residential secondary, college preparatory boarding school located in Johannesburg, South African.  
The ALA is a beneficiary of the Diamond Empowerment Fund and has established an amazingly successful track record of academically preparing the next generation of young leaders from throughout Africa.  
                  Acha Leke, 38 years old,  is a native of Cameroon and is one of the most sought after business leaders and authors across the globe.  Acha Leke is a Partner at Mckinsey & Company, the renowned international consultant and research firm.  Leke is also a co-founder of the African Leadership Academy.   In 2009, the World Economic Forum recognized Leke as a "Young Global Leader."
             All of these young leaders and many more are helping to reshape Africa and the world.  Of course there are many emerging African American youth leaders as well.  We all should encourage the ongoing education and development of all our youth to reach their true leadership potentials.  We cannot afford to do less.
  [Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. is Senior Advisor to the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF), and is President of Education Online Services Corporation and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN).]

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Muslim Journal Business Category
Busiiness In Our Lives

By Halimah Mohammed Ali

FORT VALLEY, Ga. – An old vision of this community’s leadership has reappeared in Fort Valley, Georgia. The legacy of both the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and his son, Imam W. Deen Mohammed – for economic growth and independence – has emerged in the spirit and heart of Fareed Shakir.
While incarcerated in the Milan, Michigan, prison for draft evasion, a round table discussion among the Muslim men inmates and their leader, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, led to an accreted effort to purchase a 140-acre farm and some cattle in White Cloud, Michigan.
A little over a year ago, Fareed Shakir went to investigate a property that was recommended to him for purchase. Bro. Fareed is a builder and farming was the last thing on his mind. But, with Allah’s Decree, he would purchase a 140-acre farm in Fort Valley.
Without any training, Fareed took up his calling and with Prayer and Perseverance, he literally bought the farm and is determined to produce Organic Halal Meats.
He completely revived the land and uses only organic fertilizer and grass seeds. Once the grass began to grow, he immediately sought out for the finest quality of Black Angus cows – a total of 11 – within less than nine months of the purchase of the farm. Those cows have produced six calves to date.
The journey for Fareed has been hard yet miraculous! Allah blessed him to acquire farm equipment, tools and the local support of his neighbors.
Last spring, he related how anxious the cattle were to graze in the freshly grown grass. He observed them poking their heads out of the pen, constantly peering at the tall grass.
Although they were being feed hay, the cattle became disinterested once the grass appeared. Fareed finally released them into the field and expressed the delight of the cows as doing a “Happy Dance.”
The road to developing the farm is far from complete; nonetheless, the small group of men and Farmer Fareed are on the job daily. He shared with his visitors that he could feel the spirit of the late leaders as he worked and tilled the soil.
So what’s next for the farm? There are three structures up to house chickens.
The Atlanta community encourages everyone to pay a visit to Fort Valley and the farm and lend your support for this brave and noble effort.
Keep our brother, Fareed, and his staff in our dua’s. It’s our time, and we must get busy doing all we can to please Allah and to serve humanity.
This is a an October Tribute “From Father to Son: Let Our Works Be Our Tribute….”


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By Nusayba Hammad, Communications Director, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights ( WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an act unprecedented in recent history, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand...