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I Am Wide Awake

Farewell to a diva of journalism

When I heard about the passing of Cokie Roberts, a long-time political reporter, a correspondent for CBS and a congressional correspondent for NPR, I felt I had lost a family member. It was like losing an older sister or an aunt who for decades, with her solacing voice, assured me and all her listeners that although political events in the United States and around the world at times can go haywire, at the end, her sharp-edged yet tender reporting and graceful style brought clarification to the events. 

Praise given to modern medicine

It was five years ago and after a long and intensive surgery. The surgeon approached me to tell me that the result of the biopsy of the tumor between my vertebrates was, indeed, multiple myeloma. Since I had never heard that term, I innocently asked him if that was a form of cancer. “Yes it is,” he responded and with an assuring smile he added, “Don’t worry. This is a type of cancer that has been extensively researched and there are many treatments available, and I will assure you that you will live a long and healthy life.”

‘Go back’ to your country

Although I’ve lived in this great country of the United States of America for 40 years as a legal and law-abiding citizen and have no fear of being deported, the latest tweet by President Donald Trump, “Go back” to your country, brought chills down my spine.

What difference does it make?

I don’t know about you, but each time I am at the supermarket and have placed my items on the counter to check out, when the cashier asks if I will need plastic or paper, my immediate response always is: “What difference does it make?” But I never say it aloud. That is partly because I don’t want to be seen as a heartless and uncaring person toward our Mother Earth, who provides all the goodness I’m actually shopping for at this very moment. 

Revisiting the dream

We live in a time when principles, values and profits are so interchangeable that I would assume that there was a correlation between the timing of the showcasing the recent movie, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” and the recent commemoration day of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Revisiting the dream of Dr. King

We live in a time when principles, values and profits are so interchangeable that I would assume that there was a correlation between the timing of the showcasing the recent movie, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” and the recent commemoration day of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

What have I learned so far?

I remember when I was a very young child, every summer my family vacationed at the beach and visited a friend of my father’s who lived there. He was a fisherman delivering seafood for the local restaurants. And as soon as he saw me, he would ask the same question he had asked every summer: “Hey kid, tell me, what did you learn in the school this year?”

Something in the air: empowering women

When recently, and out of nowhere, I received a text from my daughter with the following message: “Hey Dad, check this out, I signed up for a class to learn Arabic,” I thought this was just another line of newsfeed on my Facebook page. 

Remembering Anthony Bourdain

Was it a dream or did it actually happen? Nowadays, it is amazing to realize how news stories, whether happy or sad, are originated and evaporated faster than the blink of an eye. On June 8, we heard that Anthony Bourdain, the famous food critic, flamboyant chef, a man of a unique sense of delivery and the creator of the CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” had committed suicide in his hotel room in Paris. 

In search of common ground

No. This is not yet another self-help manual on how to find harmony and peace in life. It is not a guideline on how despite ongoing uncertainties — which have become integral parts of our everyday lives — we may achieve serenity. This is instead an effort to find that emotional balance between events that fill our hearts with joy and those that cause immense discomfort.