They say It Best...
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
They say It Best...
In early 2000, my family and I embarked on a long journey to freedom. My whole life has been about escaping terror. My family and I escaped from Pakistan when I was seven years old and walked through deserts, mountains and even crossed the border illegally. I have seen blood pouring out of a man, a noose on a tree with hair, and a gun pointed at my family and me. We never knew that we would become a target for the government if we were found. As we walked, rest was not an option, because if we were to get caught then we would be taken to the Taliban who would behead us for leaving Afghanistan.
In 2003, we came to the United States as refugees. Living in the promise land poses its own challenges. I remember my fifth grade class really well. As an Afghan and most importantly as a Middle Easterner, I always faced racial questions. Instead of a greeting I would be welcomed by questions such as "Is Bin Laden your father?" or "Why do you hate Americans? " Throughout middle school these questions prevented me from making friends and talking comfortably to people. I was always that kid. It felt like I was made to be alone all my life. Day in day out I was shy and nervous around people and their reactions. It would be a couple of years before I finally conquered that fear.
Through all those challenges I found a way to cope and live everyday with a smile on my face. With all the stress and problems in my home, I would walk ten minutes from my house to a field of green grass every Tuesday and Thursday. I found peace with a ball on my foot and the laughter of my teammates behind me. I played soccer for a team named the Fugees, a team of refugee kids with similar problems to mine. We are joined together by one woman: Coach Luma Mufleh. An inspirational, yet strict, coach who will stop at nothing to make sure her kids beat the obstacles set before them by those who don't believe in them. She has always reminded me to be who I am no matter who judges me. She has made it clear that I am a unique individual and that I should ignore the negative comments from others. Her inspirational words helped me deal with my life as a teenager every single day.
Since the day I joined the Fugees I have seen tremendous changes in my neighborhood. Coach Luma has turned strangers into a family. She turned kids who had hated their teammates because of their race into a group of disciplined, responsible, and open-minded individuals. I consider myself a lucky kid because even though I have faced a lot of challenges, I had the opportunity to be a Fugee and will always be thankful for that.
Now that I am in college, I've had the opportunity to give back to Fugees as an intern at summer camp. It makes me happy to be able to help the younger Fugees, and support them the way Coach Luma supported me. I know they, too, appreciate Fugees Family just as much as I do.
-Yusuf, 20, Afghanistan
"The Fugees is my favorite school so far. They teach me to become a better reader, writer, and to ask more questions. I made so much new friends that I feel like they are my second family. I really love this school because we become more healthier in practice and they taught me to become a better person."
"When I was in my old school, I only get C or F but when I came to Fugees they help me and Icould read better, write better, and learn English. I have changed since I came to Fugees. I have made new nice friends. The Fugees also help with our homework after school. In Fugees no one fight or bully. Fugees is the best thing that ever happened to me. We respect each other and we are trustworthy."
-Shekhar, 13, Nepal
"The Fugees to me is like a home that I can run to whenever I'm in trouble. A place where I have brothers and sisters treat me equally. At the Fugees I have helpers that make sure I'm doing my best at all times. It feels like home."
-Aoci, 16, Congo
Help Support The Fugees Family this Holiday Season
Posted by Bob Lundsten at 2:46 PM
Monday, December 9, 2013
A Speech Never Given 50 Years Ago, Is Relevant Today
I am a believer that there are strong political insights offered by political leaders regardless of what their party affiliation might be. It is possible to agree on some issues and disagree on others. It is through the political and personal skills of our great leaders that this Country has grown and prospered.
We have seemed to have lost that ability in Washington these days. Both parties are to blame.
We face the same issue here in Dunwoody. Here we have a group that believes that the entire system is corrupt. They complain but offer no real solutions except do nothing. Do not change. Ignore the changes of the communities around us. Believe that in some way that Dunwoody can stop time and return to the Dunwoody of the 70’s.
They vilify those that see the world differently.
JFK was assassinated on the day he was to give this speech. Never has it been more relevant then it is now in Dunwoody.
There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternative, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable.
But today other voices are heard in the land – voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality . . .
We cannot expect that everyone, to use the phrase of a decade ago, will "talk sense to the American people." But we can hope that fewer people will listen to nonsense.
Posted by Bob Lundsten at 5:15 PM
Posted by Bob Lundsten at 12:05 AM
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
Until Dunwoody makes a decision whether or not to form its own Fire Department, we will continue to be provided with Fire Service by DeKalb.
We are currently served by DCFD Stations 12. 18,and 21
We are currently served by DCFD Stations 12. 18,and 21
Forums Announced for New DeKalb Fire Chief
Public Invited to Submit Topics, Questions
DECATUR – DeKalb Interim CEO Lee May is asking the public for their input on the next DeKalb County Fire Rescue Chief. Interim CEO May announced two forums to afford both candidates an opportunity to address employees and the community and answer questions from a moderator. The two finalists are Gary, Indiana Fire Chief Teresa Everett and Fulton County Deputy Fire Chief Darnell Fullum.
DeKalb County Fire Rescue (DCFR) personnel are invited to attend a forum on Monday, Dec. 9, from 2 – 3:30 p.m. at Fire Rescue headquarters, 1950 West Exchange Place, Tucker, GA 30084.
The general public is invited to attend a forum on Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, GA 30030.
To ensure the forums are organized in a comprehensive and efficient manner, Interim CEO May is asking DCFR employees and the general public for topics and issues that pertain to the future leadership and operation of the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department. These questions will be compiled and utilized for both moderated forums. This ensures that both candidates have the opportunity to address the important issues and concerns of the front line employees and the community at large.
Fire Rescue personnel can submit questions to: FireRescueQuestions@
dekalbcountyga.gov , no later than Friday, Dec. 6. The public can submit questions to: AskTheFutureChief@ dekalbcountyga.gov. Questions should be emailed no later than Monday, Dec 9 at 12:00.
In August, DeKalb County began a national search for a new chief for DeKalb County Fire Rescue. Human Resources conducted interviews with all candidates deemed highly qualified for the job with a panel of subject matter experts from surrounding jurisdictions, a mayor from a city in DeKalb County and a representative from DeKalb County Board of Commissioners. The panel referred the top candidates to Interim CEO May who selected the two finalists, Everett and Fullum.
Posted by Bob Lundsten at 1:24 PM
Thursday, December 5, 2013
I attended Councilman -Elect's Town Hall meeting earlier this week.
I found it funny that that some folks in the meeting found it offensive when "bloggers" had previously labeled some of this group as disgruntled. They took it as a personal attack. Watch the video and see if the description fits. Other than John I was the only blogger in the room, but kept my giggles to myself.
I spoke with Jim after the meeting. I asked him a simple question; "what voice of the people are you going to represent?"
Campaigning is easy, governing, not so much. It is impossible to act and accomplish anything if you only consider the "voice of the people".
One needs look no further than the Dog Park. NO matter how Jim votes he is going to piss off a bunch of the people.
One lady got up and criticized the now shelved Roundabout and suggested traffic lights and turn lanes, while a large contingent in the group opposes turn lanes on Mt. Vernon. There are no easy decisions when you are elected to govern a city of 47,000 people.
The group was generally supportive of the idea that Government should not be in the development business, but a woman spoke for the need of a master plan so we could avoid piecemeal development and build in Dunwoody a nice complex like Cox is building in Sandy Springs. So while we should not be involved in development, we want to dictate what a private property owner has to build on his property. Confusing at best especially given the fact that Cox’s development is all private and is not subject to any “master plan”
The list of misinformation goes on.
Below is a post from Dunwoody Working Girl on her take of the meeting. Now we do not always agree on things (home occupation is always a start), but she has a strong opinion on this meeting that I happen to agree with.
We do not function well as a government or a community if we all take the attitude of "My way or the Highway”. Nobody can agree with everybody on every issue. The key is being able to disagree on one issue, but it behind us and work together on the next. This group seems to want nothing to do with that concept.
I am confident that with Jim we have a chance to remove some of the emotional outbursts and get back to doing the City’s business.
Posted by Bob Lundsten at 12:07 PM