Tag Archives: Poor

Let’s sincerely reflect, care, and change how the Other-Half lives:

Standard

gareth-bryant-eid-pics-23.jpg

Author’s-Note:
Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), said: “None of you believe, unless he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”.(an-Nawawi) This particular Prophetic-Statement is often unfairly translated as to only apply to people whom are Muslims. However, when taken into greater context, this actually applies to anyone/everyone whom is a Human being, because by virtue of the fact that we are all the Children of Adam (Peace be upon him), that makes us all Humans, and it makes us all equal, valuable, valid, important, within the sight of Allah.

Have any of us really taken a step back, from our very own comfortable bubbles of our lives, to reflect upon how others actually exist, around the World? Of course we haven’t, because, if we had, the realities of what they go through would shake us to our very cores to such an extent, that as People of Conscious, we would compel ourselves to actually make real changes in these peoples’ lives, to help enhance their Humanity & by default of helping them, enhance our own Humanity as well. Because, when we help enhance others, we’re really help enhance ourselves; likewise, when we degrade others, we’re really degrading ourselves.

I’m going to give some examples of exactly what I mean:

1. Most of us, who just stop by & drink from any Water-Fountain that we choose, or just stop at any store/supermarket & buy some bottled-water with ease, really have no idea what it’s like to live in a place where the water is so contaminated that it can literally kill you on the spot, within days, if not hours, if you were to drink it.

2. Most of us go into our refrigerators, at will, to get whatever we want to eat, while in places around our cities, our nations, our planet, their are Human beings, just like us, who literally die from starvation, and this occurs by the day, by the hour, by the minute, by the second.

3. Most of us just go where ever we want, without even thinking that we could potentially be sold into Human-Trafficking style Slavery, or that our female loved-ones could quite possibly/probably be systematically gang-raped, just for stepping outside of their homes.

4. Most of us shop wherever we want, however we want, buying whatever our money can afford, while either not knowing or not caring that most of the clothes, computers, phones, etc., which we purchase, are produced in places where those who assemble, make, these products which we spend untold hundreds, thousands, millions, upon will probably never be able to afford one single thing that they’ve ever produced with their own hardworking hands.

5. Most of us just turn on the heat in the Winter & the A/C in the Summer, in such a very carefree manner, without knowing/caring that there are millions of people around the World, who suffer from heat-exhaustion when it’s hot, because they can’t afford A/C’s & freeze to death, because they can’t afford Heat, and/or whom don’t even have homes to even live in, to protect them from the Elements.

6. Most of us have no idea how easy it is to look into the sky & watch an Airplane go by, and just think nothing of it, while there are people whom are so afraid of anything flying over their heads, because they don’t know whether it’s just another  (Military) Airstrike/Drone-Strike, terrorizing their neighborhood, their city, their country.

7. Most of us complain about everything, from not having the “right-job”, to not having the “ideal-house”, while we, as an industrialized-society, especially those of us who live within the United States and/or other G-20 or G-8 nations are wealthier than about 80% of the rest of our Human family, in regards to just owning stuff.

8. Most of us watch the News & tolerate the Media to influence what we think & how we feel about, “Extremism”, “Totalitarianism” “Terrorism”, etc. & have no problem rallying behind Islamophobic/Xenophobic concepts, yet we tolerate the Western-World supporting governments that would, according to unbiased standards, be in fact classified as “Rogue-States” or “Totalitarian-Regimes”, “Extremists”, or “Terrorists”, who condemn their Citizenry to the exact same atrocities which were imposed upon millions of Human beings, in both Europe & North-Africa, during the reign of the 3rd-Reich, during the 1930’s & 1940’s.

Now, one may very well ask, “What’s really the exact point in all this?”…Good-Question…here’s the answer: we, as Humans, have often forgotten what it truly means to be a true Human being. Being a Human being is not only what’s in our DNA, it’s within our demeanor, our decorum, our character, all of the positive things which we can/should exert towards all the Creation of Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe are what make us truly Humans; however, when not in line, in sync with positivity, we’re really just as savage, and brutal as any wild beast in any natural environment.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.7, V.179)

We must all, as Humans, actually care for one another, because, we’re all cut from the same exact Human-Cloth, patterned by Allah, sewn together by Adam & Eve, the Parents of Humanity (Peace be upon them both).(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.49, V.13) Then, we’re really no better, superior than anyone else: it’s only because of our possessions of power, wealth, privilege, etc., that clouds our better-judgement, and with the deception of ash-Shaytan/the Devil, inspires our egos, converting pure humility & confidence into malicious arrogance & narcissism.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.114, V.4-6) But, if/when stripped of all of that, then, we’re really exactly the same with the same wants/needs, desires, good-nature, pride, hopes & dreams, as any other Human being out there in our World. So, in closing, let’s truly change, improve the way we view members of our Human family, because we are them & they are us.

Gareth Bryant/2013

Advertisements

My thoughts on Yusef Ramelize & his amazing project: “Homeless For One Week”

Standard

Author’s note:
It’s very ironic how in a place like New York City, by far, the wealthiest city on the planet, in Human history, can actually have a significant homeless population. What’s also just as sadly amazing is how so many of us do nothing about it. I mean, sure there’s various organizations & food-banks. But, the real cure to homelessness is through the individual efforts of you & I, regular, everyday, nine-to-five kind of people, who see something within our society that’s a serious problem, and set out to do something about it. Well, fortunately, a very near & dear good Muslim brother of mine has taken on this mighty task, and has been doing something about it, for quite some time. His name, Yusef Ramelize, his efforts, going homeless, for one whole week, to get a serious, authentic sense of how the other half truly lives, in a place like New York City. Every year, during the annual, Islamic, fasting month of Ramadhan, he’s out on the streets, attempting to expose the realities of homelessness, to do his part in helping others whom have been abandoned in many ways, or have gone completely unnoticed by most of us, which is very easy, since many of us get caught in the matrix, of our mundane, nine-to-five lives. However, Mr. Ramelize takes off time from his job, to help expose the need to help people whom he’s never even met, and will probably never meet. With that being said, it is so very important that we support this man’s efforts, because he is truly doing a great thing, for his city, for his country, for his Humanity.

Yusef Ramelize: A great Muslim, a great Human being, with a great mission:

Going above & beyond passionate emotionally soothing talk, of wanting to make a difference, Mr. Ramelize has taken a very honest, pragmatic action, as the Founder and Project Director of the “Homeless For One Week” project, an annual initiative that he had began in 2009, to raise awareness about homelessness in New York City. His plan is to be homeless for one week, every year, during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadhan, while raising money and awareness about homelessness, through video-blogs and interviews.

His amazing humanitarian project, “Homeless For One Week”:

To Mr. Ramelize, the preparation for this particular project is mostly spiritual. The reason is not to mock the homeless; but, rather, it is an excuse to become closer to Allah, in obedience, via reflection about the other, especially during the month of Ramadhan, when reflection, as well as internal & external purification are typically at an all-time high anyway. This project focuses on reflection of how the other half truly lives & is forced to live. Over the past four years, money has been raised, for various Tri-State area based organizations, like, CAMBA (Church Avenue Merchants Block Association), Coalition for the Homeless, as well as Food Bank for New York City, to help spread awareness about the need to help the homeless.
Every year, the money that he has raised, as a result of his amazing efforts, goes to one, or more different charities, that work exclusively to help end homelessness & hunger. This year, he is raising monies for “Muslims Against Hunger”, based in the Tri-State area. Each year, he does something unique, as well, to really encapsulate the homeless-experience, not to patronize or mock the homeless, but, to rather truly know how it feels to have to go day-to-day, without the simplest luxuries, that so many of us either take completely for granted, waste, or both. For instance, last year, he did his “Homeless For One Week” project, without any footwear. The main reason for this was for him to sacrifice simple things, that so many people take for granted, far too often. This project is essentially geared toward consciousness & gratitude for all that we have & to help inspire others to help those who have less and/or nothing in comparison.

One of the main themes that he wants to face head-on are the very unfair & cruel “Stereotypes of the Homeless”: Lazy, shiftless, unskilled, jaded, poor work-ethic, scam-artists, etc. This year, he’s planning to make more of an effort to interact with homeless persons. Weather plays a very significant part in the effectiveness of this project. People don’t realize how weather affects people, who don’t have proper access to food, clothing and shelter. And, as Muslims, we owe it to Allah, then to our fellow man to make the lives of others better.

The positive results yielded thus far:

As a result of Mr. Ramelize’s extraordinary work, for this most noble project, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer had honored him, with a proclamation, as “Artist and Activist against Homelessness” and was also nominated as NY1 News’ “Queens, NY Person of The Week”, for his charitable spirit and promotion of awareness through his “Homeless For One Week” project. The “Homeless For One Week” project has been featured in the NYDaily News, NY Post, RT News, The Village Voice, ELAN Magazine, Arabnews.com, America.gov and DNAinfo.com.

Yusef Ramelize’s bio:
Currently working as the Production and Creative Manager
of Informa plc, one of the largest publishing companies in the world.
He holds a BFA in Electronic Design and Multimedia from the City College of New York. In his spare time, Ramelize does freelance marketing projects ranging from print ads for pop culture magazines, catalogs to business logos. In addition, Yusef Ramelize also works on various community projects, such as being the Community Outreach Director for CAMP (Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals), and as a Creative Consultant for Elan Online Magazine (A Muslim lifestyle online magazine).

So, in conclusion, if you are at all inspired by the great work, of such a great Human being, then, by all means, please support his noble efforts.

You can help him make a difference, by first visiting his website:

http://www.homelessforoneweek.com