Sunday, February 12, 2017

AS-SALAMU ALAYKUM

Islamic Center of the Tri-Cities

The sun seemed to shine extra bright on Saturday afternoon 
as a dozen or more Walla Wallans traveled to West Richland, about 45 west of Walla Walla,
 to join an overflow crowd to celebrate diversity and unity at the Islamic Center of Tri-Cities. 
Men, women and children gathered to listen to a variety of speakers of different faiths 
express similar messages of peace, love, and community. 


Imam Mohamed ElSehmawy greeted the hundreds of guests crowded into the center 
with the standard Muslim salutation--as-salamu alaykum, or "peace be upon you." 
The response was an enthusiastic wa-alaykumu s-salam, "and upon you peace."


"I am a proud American. I am also a proud immigrant," the Venezuelan native said, her voice breaking.
Applause filled the room. "I am also a proud Latina. I am also a proud woman of color.
I am also a proud Muslim. I guess you could say
I am the prototype of everything that has become fashionable to hate.

Among the long list of speakers, these two women represented not just the diversity of their own ethnic and cultural backgrounds 
but more importantly the commonality of purpose which was the focus of the event -- 
it is the things we share in common as human beings that unite us.



The Islamic Center was established in 1979 by the tiny Islamic community that existed at the time in the Tri-Cities. 
Currently, hundreds of Muslim families live in the greater Tri-Cities, 
with the ICTC supporting the ever increasing Muslim population of the area.


The present mosque facility was built in 1996 and features a prayer hall, classrooms, library, and a general purpose hall. 
The ICTC conducts congregational Friday prayers, a weekly Sunday school, community service events, 
as well as a variety of on-going social and religious community activities.


For more information about the Islamic Center, click here.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

TAKING ACTION

A Good Day For a Visit

On Wednesday, January 25, three constituents of the Fifth District, Washington 
gathered at the Walla Walla Office of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers 
to express our concern about the immigration policy President Trump has signed as an Executive Order.


 We were greeted by the Deputy District Director who gave us time to relate our concerns
 which included the "extreme vetting" proposed by President Trump 
as well as the failure of Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers 
to comment on the arson on January 14, of the Islamic Center of Eastside in Bellevue, Washington. 
While not located in the fifth district of Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers, 
we felt the act was a violation of basic human rights and freedom of religion 
and should have been publicly acknowledged as intolerable 
by our representative, regardless of her stance on immigration.





26 E. Main St., Suite 2
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 529-9358
CELL: (202) 531-3677

203 Cannon HOB
Washington D.C. 20515
(202(225-2006
FAX: (202) 225-3392






Tuesday, January 24, 2017

THE CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE

Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you.
--H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

On Saturday, January 21, 2017, more than 2,400 women, men and children of the Walla Walla Valley participated in a peaceful March 
in solidarity with the Women's March in Washington D.C. and other cites around the nation and the world. 

We all marched in support of the ideal that 
Women's Rights are Human Rights. 

And while I took many photos of the signs and of the adult sign holders, 
it is the faces of the children that struck me most. 





It is for my children's generation 
and the generation of my grandchildren 
that I marched.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream.
It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
--Ronald Reagan



Friday, January 6, 2017

KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE & YOUR FARMERS CLOSER

The Ox and Cart

This is one of several new restaurants to open in Walla Walla in the last six months. 
As described on its website, the Ox and Cart "is a local ranch and 
farm-focused restaurant that showcases regionally grown 
and harvested specialties ranging from organically raised, 
in-house aged meats to fresh seasonal produce." 
AKA farm-to-table.


The Speakeasy Hour from 3-6 offers an abbreviated menu 
of small plates and Prohibition-style craft cocktails and local wines.


The interior decor is clean and sparse with dark wood tables and floors 
and sparkling glassware. 


Large black and white photos of farm animals and produce 
line the wall opposite the red-brick bar wall.






END OF THE ROAD


In an otherwise grey winter day, a little bit of color stands out.


As for the title, that refers to the snow-covered dirt road at right. Just over the hill in the distance, 
the road takes a sharp turn to the right. Suddenly the snow is much deeper 
as it is clear no vehicles had dared to venture further up the hill. 
So I carefully backed down into what appeared to be a flat pull out, 
only to have the rear of my SUV become stuck on an unseen hump along the shoulder. 

Hmmm . . . what now? 

Fortunately, only minutes later another adventuresome person came upon me 
and helped guide me in my vehicle further back past the hump. 
The idea was to have room to get up speed to send me up and over the hump. 
It worked! 







Wednesday, January 4, 2017