Many moments will stand out when I remember my trip through war-torn Syria, neighbouring Lebanon, and Turkey. But the gift of a little box crammed with children's dreams is a memory that will certainly stay with me. That's because the red and white box filled with poignant pencil sketches says so much about this five-year-old conflict.
Being single on Valentine's Day can be rough stuff. Since this is the time of year when the world conspires to tell you that there is something wrong with you if you are not happily paired, it may be tough to keep your spirits high. If you find yourself less-than-happily single, here are ten ways you can make Valentine's Day a little better this year, from someone who knows what she's talking about.
The film is, on the surface, about a botched space mission that leaves Matt Damon stranded on Mars. It's also a film for anyone who's found themselves thousands of miles away from the life they'd planned. If you've lost a child, lost a spouse, survived a crime, been disabled, been diagnosed with a critical illness, you likely have had moments when you feel alone on a strange planet with no guarantee of making it back home.
Amidst the carnage of a failed marriage, as your days become consumed with prying the broken shards of glass from the wounds of a shattered life, it is hard to conceive that anyone will ever be worth the risk of going through all of this again. But a life without love is incomplete -- Love is always worth it.
My children and I immigrated to Canada in 2010 as refugees. When we arrived, I was so happy that my kids were in a safe country. In Zimbabwe I remember not being able to cry or find comfort in anyone, because everyone was experiencing their own share of pain and shock. So in April of 2010, after being released from the most recent lock-up, I took my kids at midnight and headed for the border knowing that if I was caught I would be burned alive and killed. Even though I was living with the uncertainty of how my immigration hearing would pan out, watching my kids embrace Canadian culture strengthened me when I was at my weakest point.
Why can't we seek a world where we rise to the occasion and confront our failings as a society? Why can't we demand better of ourselves and of our communities to create a place where all life is respected? Why can't the ingenuity of the human brain -- and limitlessness of the human heart -- foster a world where hope triumphs over hopelessness?
As a 26-year-old business professional I face very typical problems on a day to day basis, ones that many of you may face. I have to deal with traffic, I have to find parking in downtown Toronto, I have to deal with deadlines. But it wasn't that long ago that any of these trivial issues were not a concern to me as my only burden was finding my next meal. For two years I battled homelessness and my hope was dependant on youth homes and the kindness of strangers.