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On March 14, New York City Muslims were putting their families to bed when details emerged of a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, about 15,000 kilometers away. A white supremacist had targeted Friday prayer. Fifty were dead, including refugees, women and children; one as young as three.
Brooklyn residents Mohammad Khan and Nazrul Islam were returning from a leadership dinner when they heard.
“We stopped our car, we parked, and we were just in tears,” Khan said. “Me and the imam — we were just devastated.”
For months, Khan and Islam, an imam and a Quranic school principal, had been working on the rollout of an all volunteer-led civilian patrol organization, Muslim Community Patrol & Services (MCPS). “MCPS is aimed at protecting members of the local community from escalating quality-of-life nuisance crimes,” its website says.
Its mission took on added relevance after the attack in New Zealand.
Traumatized members of the community, who had seen video of the attack on social media, sought help from MCPS at local vigils and rallies. The organization responded with trained counselors and chaplains.
‘Here for everyone’
On a white-and-blue emblazoned Ford Taurus, a seal matching the style and color scheme of the New York Police Department (NYPD) identifies the MCP volunteer unit. Above it, the words “Assalamu alaikum” are inscribed in Arabic. “Peace be upon you.”
Patrolling the streets is just one aspect of the group’s mission. Its guiding principle is mentorship, said Khan, MCPS’ director of community affairs. Mentorship can be provided in person or by phone, 24/7, with the aim of bridging the community across religious, ethnic and language divides. New York is one of the most diverse cities in the world.
“If an immigrant came to this country from an Arabic-speaking country — and they might be in trouble or they need help — and they see Assalamu alaikum,” Islam, 28, explained, “they’ll definitely know there are Muslim people in that car, so they can come and they can ask us if they need anything.”
MCPS’ 50-plus volunteers are never armed, and they are trained to deal with crises including drug abuse, financial woes, depression and suicide prevention. They are trained in first aid, mental health, chaplaincy and basic security. Every Friday they deliver meals to the homeless in midtown Manhattan. Serving both Muslims and non-Muslims, they speak English, Arabic, Bangla, Urdu, Hindi and “some Polish.”
Vital to their success, they work in collaboration with NYPD, whose off-duty officers led a recent training in Sunset Park.
“Once people see our work, [they’ll see that] we’re here to help,” said Mahwish Fathma, MCPS’ director of operations. “We’re here to give. That’s all.”
Fathma, a 22-year-old Muslim-American of mixed Pakistani and Cambodian heritage, remembers earlier patrols, the 1970s-established Shomrim, a volunteer Hasidic Jewish civilian patrol, and the more recently formed Brooklyn Asian Civilian Observation Patrol (BACOP) — both based in Brooklyn.
“I always thought, ‘Why don’t Muslims have that? Everyone should have this,’” Fathma said. “Dealing with your own families or your own communities, it’s different. It’s always different.”
Lessons from their counterparts
Four avenues across from MCPS’ makeshift office, a cohort of Mandarin-language volunteers don “Brooklyn Asian COP” jackets at the group’s headquarters, a red-walled basement that contains a bar, gym, ping-pong table and wicker lawn chairs.
Hongmiao Yu, a local pharmacy owner, joined BACOP after a burglary at his business left employees shaken. On days, he volunteers, he doesn’t return home until after 2 a.m. To avoid waking his young children on the second floor, he sleeps downstairs.
“We’re all Chinese immigrants, so I wanted to do something for this community,” Yu said.
“The more civilian patrols we have, the more beneficial it is for the communities,” said BACOP’s chairman, Louie Liu. “As long as we are serious and sincere in our cooperation with local law enforcement, we’re confident that crimes will go down, [and] our living conditions will improve.”
Getting past the language barrier has been essential for the group. Members speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Fujianese and “Spanish-Chinese,” according to Liu. Over the past five years, he says Brooklyn’s Chinatown, home to more than 200,000 ethnic Chinese residents, has made strides in its relationship with law enforcement as a result of BACOP.
“We enable immigrants to express themselves without any fear or concern, and law enforcement has confidence in the role that we’re playing,” Liu said.
Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) Intelligence Project, sees the potential for law enforcement to restore trust among immigrant and Muslim communities, which are increasingly the targets of U.S. hate crimes, the majority of which are not reported to the police.
“If the cops take hate crime seriously and work with the community, it can show those communities that they care about them, and that they really exist to protect them,” Beirich told VOA.
According to FBI statistics, 59.6 percent of hate crime victims in 2017 were targeted because of race, ethnicity or ancestry bias, while an additional 20.6 percent were targeted based on their religion.
“Realistically, it’s impossible to eliminate racism, so there has to be an organization speaking on our behalf,” said Tony Jiang, a fish market owner in Sunset Park.
Down the street, MCPS members brush off the accusations and name-calling the group has received on social media: “Sharia Patrol,” “an Islamic invasion on the West,” “the worst-case scenario of multiculturalism,” coupled with slurs and death threats.
Islam, who was born in Bangladesh but moved to East New York when he was 10, recalls the bullying of his Brooklyn childhood. Headed home from mosque as a young boy, he says children would throw eggs at him and others. Once they removed his brother’s taqiyah (cap) and beat him up, sending him to the hospital.
“I’ve seen a lot of hate growing up, and it’s ugly,” Islam said.
The Sunset Park community in Brooklyn he adds, has thrown its weight behind them today: “they see us and they know who we are.”
Adds Khan, “Our actions speak louder than our words.” (VOA)
Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself." Earlier this month, the world's largest producer of ketchup announced the Packet Roller, a ketchup bottle-shaped gadget that allows users to squeeze the most out of a condiment packet, CNN reported.
"Do not click 'purchase' unless you are prepared to change everything about the way you sauce," the Heinz Packet Roller website says. The roller goes for $5.70. The roller is pocket-sized, can be added to a keychain, and features a packet corner cutter.
Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself | Flickr
This announcement could be part of the fast-tracked, "future-focused culinary and packaging innovations" that Steve Cornell, president of Kraft Heinz's US grocery business unit, hinted at earlier this year amid a shortage of ketchup. A surge in takeout and delivery food orders during the pandemic led to a scarcity of ketchup packets, the report said.
In April, Heinz pledged to increase production of ketchup by 25 per cent to 12 billion packets annually. "Gone are the days of fumbling with ketchup packets, pants ruined by mustard disasters, and minutes taken off your life trying to get to the bottom of that mayo packet. With the patent-pending Heinz Packet Roller, what was once taxing becomes simple -- just snip and roll to squeeze out every drop of your sauce of choice," the website says
Keywords: Heinz, Packet roller, sauce, company, ketchup
Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer, who is recovering from a right-knee surgery he underwent last month, said on Sunday that it was a difficult process to decide whether to undergo a third right-knee surgery after having two last year. But following Wimbledon, where he was "really unhappy" with his performance in reaching the quarterfinals, Federer opted to go through with it.
Federer, who made a late decision to attend this year's Laver Cup in Boston -- a tournament held between teams from Europe and the rest of the world -- said on the sidelines of the event that the recovery and rehabilitation are "going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year". "The reception I've received, everybody is so upbeat that I'm here. They wish me all the best and they don't even see the crutches. They just want me to be good again and enjoy the weekend," Federer said in an interview for the event with former world No. 1 Jim Courier.
"I've seen some incredible tennis, some great matches and it's been wonderful. I'm really happy I made the trip," the winner of 20 majors was quoted as saying by atptour.com. On why he opted for a third surgery, the tennis ace said, "I was just nowhere near where I wanted to be to play at the top, top level. But I tried my best and at the end... too much is too much. Now I've just got to take it step by step," Federer said.
Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. | Wikimedia Commons
"I've got to first walk again properly, run properly and then do the sidesteps and all the agility work and then eventually I've got to be back on the tennis court. But it's going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year. "I've got to take my time. I don't want to rush into anything at this point. This is also for my life. I want to make sure I can do everything I want to do later on. There's no rush with anything, so I'm actually in a really good place. I think the worst is behind me. I took the time and, I don't know, I'm just really in a good place. I'm really happy."
Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. The former world No. 1 has played in the first three editions of the Laver Cup. "I think Boston is a great city. The stadium is wonderful, the crowds have been incredible. Both teams are stacked with absolute quality and top players," Federer said. "That's what the idea was behind it: that everybody could come together, have the most incredible weekend, learn from one another and then hopefully that's going to inspire them, motivate them and get them going for the rest of this year, next year." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Roger Federer, tennish, player, sports, knee, surgery
By Hitesh Rathi
Cleopatra, was regarded as a great beauty, to preserve her skin, she took her daily bath in donkey milk. Besides, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed donkey milk for various diseases including fever, wounds, etc. To add to these benefits, donkey milk has four times the amount of Vitamin C than cow's milk has. So, it's no secret that donkey milk is a powerhouse of nutrients for both the skin and body.
Used for Anti-Ageing and Healing
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties. These fatty acids blur the wrinkles on the skin and help to regenerate damaged skin. Plus, donkey milk also contains anti-bacterial properties which are effective in healing skin irritation and redness.
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties.| Flickr
Antioxidant and Nutrient-Rich
Known as a "natural elixir of youth", donkey milk is packed with antioxidants and nutrients. It contains vitamin E, amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B6, C, E, Omega 3, and 6. These properties together make it a rich ingredient when it comes to skin treatment. Moreover, vitamin D is another important ingredient for human skin, and the primary source to get it is through UV exposure. At the same time, too much of that leaves an adverse effect on the skin. Here is when donkey milk acts as a great substitute as it naturally contains vitamin D. All in all, if this milk is applied frequently, it brings a glowing effect while making the skin look brighter.
Known as a "natural elixir of youth", donkey milk is packed with antioxidants and nutrients.| Photo by Jernej Graj on Unsplash
Moisturizer and Softener
By now it's a well-known fact that this milk works as a powerful moisturizer for the skin. Besides, if donkey milk is used consistently, it acts as a great cleanser as well as helps in keeping the skin healthy, hydrated, and soft.
If donkey milk is used consistently, it acts as a great cleanser as well as helps in keeping the skin healthy, hydrated, and soft. | Photo by febri sym on Unsplash
Therefore, donkey milk with its healing, nutritional and rejuvenating properties for the skin is rapidly emerging as a key ingredient for skincare. These are also driving several leading players to roll out personal care products such as soap, cream, etc. manufactured using donkey milk. Moreover, the global donkey milk market is expanding rapidly with the market value projected to reach $68,139.0 thousand by 2027, registering a CAGR of 9.4 per cent from 2021 to 2027. And the growing use of donkey milk as an ingredient in cosmetic and personal care products will significantly contribute toward the growth of this market in the years to come. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Skin, donkey milk, skincare, anti-ageing, soft skin, hydrate, antioxidant, healing