As 11-11-11 nears, THAAKAT board members have taken to their notepads, ipads and papers to express their feelings on our fight against hunger in East Africa.
Hear their rage, hear their heartbreak- here.
By: Denish Ghayal / Creative Director / Thaakat Foundation
All over the world I see hungry kids’ faces
Malnourished bodies fading
Until they’ve been erased
It’s time to reverse this process
Before it’s too late
We can do this with Plumpy’nut
A peanut based paste
Thaakat Foundation has a vision
To treat severe malnutrition
Join the cause to raise money
It takes no more than 11 dollars
From 11 of your friends
To heckle the heck out of hunger
And bring it closer to an end
Other ways to participate
Is to help raise awareness
Everyday kids die
Yet hunger denies its fairness
In a world where hunger reigns
We can do it together
But we can’t wait much longer
Let’s feed these kids some Plumpy’nut
And watch them grow stronger
By: Denish Ghayal/Creative Director/Thaakat Foundation
On the evening of August 11, 2011, Thaakat Foundation gathered a passionate group of over 200 individuals at Reza’s Restaurant in Lombard ready to break bread and help rebuild the lives of the unfortunate suffering in Sierra Leone, Africa and Kachra Kundi, Pakistan. The evening commenced with ‘iftar’, which refers to the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Iftar is one of the religious observances of Ramadan and is often done as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together. Iftar is done right after Maghrib (sunset) time.
It was time to eat, and the sweet scent of dates filled the air, as they are the first thing to be consumed when the fast is broken. “Oohs and Ahhs,” could be heard throughout the room as the beef and chicken sizzled on the hot plates that were being served. Hunger from those fasting for Ramadan was quickly pacified as the savory tender meat and cool raita (a yogurt sauce) was consumed. Fasting the whole day can give someone perspective as to what it’s like to go without a meal in other underprivileged parts of the world. No food item was taken for granted and all that was left were empty plates and stomachs filled with satisfaction.
While many Muslims were in attendance, I was pleased to see participation from people of a different religious and cultural background, which included myself, as I am a Hindu. This was not an event focused around religion, but more importantly, hope and compassion; the hope of getting closer to an unequivocally fair lifestyle for those suffering all around the world and the compassion of those in attendance who support the Thaakat projects and mission. With the huge success of the iftar dinner from the prior year, this year’s iftar proved to be an even bigger event with an abundance of volunteers. Support showed its face in many ways; while it important to donate money and other items such as food and clothing, it is also imperative to get involved hands on through volunteering, which really helps you to understand and truly invest yourself in projects that you choose to support.
For this iftaar event, two major projects were of focus as well as a local project. The first project is in Sierra Leone, Africa, where Thaakat funds will be used to help build a Maternity Center for the impoverished village and for residents in surrounding communities. Given that the hospitals in the area are miles away, many women are left to give birth in unsanitary conditions. This new Center will help to protect women and their newborns from any complications during birth.
Another project underway is in Kachra Kundi, Pakistan, where Thaakat Funds will be use to improve an educational facility for 250 students, which will be minutes away from the village. Via a partnership with Em[POWER] Energy Group and Al Khair Foundation the we are hoping to provide residents with a renewed sense of hope and future. The people in Kachra Kundi are not only faced with a lack of education, but also deprived of simple necessities such as electricity and clean water.
The local project was issued to help struggling families during the time or Ramadan by supplying them with a one-month supply basket filled with non-perishable food and other useful household supplies. The Thaakat basket project was a success with having sold 13+ to date at a sponsorship cost of $100. The Thaakat baskets made it easy for anyone willing to donate; a group of four people could donate a basket to a family at $25 each.
Thanks to all in attendance who donated and those contributing through our website, we have raised a total of $10,000+ within a month. The iftaar dinner was truly a night to remember with speeches, a video, delicious food, and most of all, avid supporters.
Nine Facts about Tuberculosis
Fact 1 Tuberculosis (TB) is contagious and spreads through the air. If not treated, each person with active TB can infect on average 10 to 15 people a year.
Fact 2 More than two billion people, equal to one third of the world’s total population, are infected with TB bacilli, the microbes that cause TB. One in every 10 of those people will become sick with active TB in his or her lifetime. People living with HIV are at a much greater risk.
Fact 3 A total of 1.7 million people died from TB in 2009 (including 380 000 people with HIV), equal to about 4700 deaths a day. TB is a disease of poverty, affecting mostly young adults in their most productive years. The vast majority of TB deaths are in the developing world, with more than half occurring in Asia.
Fact 4 TB is a leading killer among people living with HIV, who have weakened immune systems.
Fact 5 There were 9.4 million new TB cases in 2009, of which 80% were in just 22 countries. Per capita, the global TB incidence rate is falling, but the rate of decline is very slow – less than 1%.
Fact 6 TB is a worldwide pandemic. Among the 15 countries with the highest estimated TB incidence rates, 13 are in Africa, while a third of all new cases are in India and China.
Fact 7 Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is a form of TB that does not respond to the standard treatments using first-line drugs. MDR-TB is present in virtually all countries surveyed by WHO and its partners.
Fact 8 There were an estimated 440 000 new MDR-TB cases in 2008 with three countries accounting for over 50% of all cases globally: China, India and the Russian Federation. Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) occurs when resistance to second-line drugs develops. It is extremely difficult to treat and cases have been confirmed in more than 58 countries.
Fact 9 Operation ASHA is providing tuberculosis treatment and education services in 1,412 slums spread over six states in India. It is the exclusive provider of treatment to some 3.5 million Indian citizens.
View More about info on Operation ASHA and their goals by visiting this link:
Alright guys, this is my second article regarding predictions for the next UFC event featuring one of my favorite fighters with matrix like abilities who has never lost a single fight in his UFC career verses a very strong, quick, and vicious Vitor Belfort.
While Anderson Silva in my opinion is probably number 2 when it comes to being elusive, in my opinion (Machida being number 1), I would consider him to be number 1 when it comes to precision with his striking and agility. I know a lot of people don’t like him for his behavior and egoism from his previous matches, however, I believe some it has to do with conning fighters into being sloppy and aggressive when they retaliate to his condescending behavior. Although I am not a fan of such display, you have to give the man credit for his amazing abilities.
If Vitor Belfort is to win this fight, I believe that it will be due to a KO and not a submission. The KO will only result if Silva takes this fight lightly and does not fight the way he has in his initial fights in the UFC. You must remember that Silva has an amazing sense of distance. Many times you will notice that Silva drop his hands and dodge punches when he senses that his opponent is weak and gets a good feel for their reach. This is why, it always takes a little while for Silva to begin fighting his opponents, so that he can feel them out and gauge distance. I believe that Belfort will instantly try to close the distance before catching any of Silva’s punches or kicks, however, Silva will be weary and try to keep his distance at all times.
Vitor has an advantage over Silva only in terms of power; however, I must discredit his ability to strike with precision. Although I have noticed improvement from Vitor from his earlier fight days when he would unleash a fury of punches until he knocked out his opponents, I do not think this will be a good way to deal with Anderson. If Vitor tries this on Silva, he will get caught into a submission trap. In order for Vitor to win, he must be aggressive in closing the distance and go for the KO via ground and pound. Being on the ground can serve as an advantage to Vitor as he is stronger than Silva and will keep him at bay with any striking/kick attempts he would have standing up.
I don’t think this fight will go to the ground as Anderson Silva has a great sense of timing and figuring out his opponents combinations. He will not allow for Vitor to close in on him to drag him down. Although Vitor may seem devastatingly overwhelming to other fighters, I believe that Silva will have figured out Victor’s style and technique and put an end to this fight.
My Prediction: Silva will def. Vitor in the 2nd Round by KO.
By: Denish Ghayal
By: Denish Ghayal
Tonight (10/23/10), a special fight is going to take place. Two monsters will meet in an all out war to claim the number one spot for Heavyweight Champion of the world. I have long awaited this match. Not because I just want to see knees, elbows, punches flying around everywhere, but because this is that good old story about the little engine that could. Brock Lesnar (former WWE superstar, who holds a record of 5-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC, will defend against top contender Cain Velasquez (8-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC).
Lesnar, who is currently expected to win by a small spread will be out to prove once more why he is the man. Cain is out to prove that he has what it takes and wants to become the first Mexican Heavyweight champion in the UCF. Not too long ago, Lesnar was out for about a year due to a near-death experience, however, returned to fight Carwin and won the match. Velasques earned his title shot against Lesnar due to an impressive knockout of all-time great Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 110. Velasques has waited ever since while awaiting the outcome against the Lesnar-Carwin mathup.
So the question is, who will win? I predict that Velasques will win against Lesnar due to technical knockout. I believe that, while Lesnar is powerfull and bigger than Cain, he will be too slow to handle the technique, speed, and cardio of Cain. Cain has fought many prominent opponents much bigger than him and quicker than him and has defeated them still looking unscathed at the end of the fight. If Brock handles Cain properly from the beginning, it could be a fast end to Cain’s undefeated record streak. However, if Cain can keep up, he will certainly have more gas in the tank to keep the pressure on and keep Brock busy. I suspect that this will be the case and we will have a brand new UFC Champion who will defend his title for a very long time. See you guys there!
By: Denish Ghayal
I recently had the displeasure of dining at Al-Habib restaurant on Devon street this past Friday night. The huge sign lodged in front of the building can’t be missed by anyone, colored in a vibrant orange and yellow. Unfortunately, the inviting bright colors and decorated menu proposed foreshadowing that was complete opposite of what I could imagine.
My company and I were not welcomed from the moment we walked in. No one at the door, no one in sight, we wandering around like nomads. Finally, we saw an “uncle” dressed in the typical half un-tucked dress shirt, pleated pants, and of course white gym shoes, New Balance to be specific. I could tell we were all going to be in for a real treat. My spider senses warned me of the danger that lurked ahead, but my curiosity to try a new place was unscathed.
We were finally seated. The owner/waiter/person who did everything, providing for a lack of better service, brought us three stacked glasses and a jug of water and placed it in front of us. It was soon apparent that our water was not going to serve itself. Before we knew it, we were serving ourselves, with no tip to look forward to. Again, menus were placed under our noses, with a bit of variety offered. From chicken, lamb, biriyani, and other veggie dishes to choose from my hope was falsely raised once again. I convinced myself that if the food was great, I wouldn’t really mind the service as much.
As we begin to place our order, the waiter decides to leave mid-sentence of me ordering, and quickly attends another crowd waiting to be seated. My temper was being tested, but never fear, the food has yet been tested. Either this man is very rude, or he is so confident that his food will truly blow our mind, relieving him of any customer complaints.
As I begin to finish placing our order, he decides to recommend a chicken biriyani dish over the mutton biriyani that we were craving. I told him that I really was in the mood for mutton biriyani, however, he insisted trying the chicken. Then, as frustration in my eyes began to show, he admitted that the mutton was old. BINGO. What did we get ourselves into? Should we flee? Should we be upset? We didn’t know what to do. We felt upset, angry, and felt sorry for him at the same time. Chicken biriyani it is.
Our food took an eternity…Perhaps because he was cooking it himself, while handling every other task. When the food arrived, a huge disappointment was the overall census. Dry, with no flavor, and lack of ingredients. The chicken dish, which was supposed to have a gravy was watery, and had a puddle of oil on the bottom. I was paying $7.95 for this? The chicken pieces, which were served to us, I believe could’ve been the type they use to make chicken hotdogs. The biriyani had no taste. There were no onions and the chicken was dry. The chicken boti, was surprisingly better of the other two dishes. Although it was also dry, it had some flavor. I couldn’t believe that this place has remained open for about 3 months, or at least that’s when I first noticed it. I really have no other comments on the food. The texture, flavor, and smells all were an insult to what Indian cuisine should be.
The total tab was $30 plus tip (close the restaurant) for 3 people. Not too bad, but I felt ripped off. In all honesty, I wouldn’t dine here for free. Think I’m being too harsh? Well try for yourself, but just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
When you use the word “so” is a sentence, it is typically used as a coordinating conjunction, a part of speech that connects two different parts of a sentence. But do you ever notice it being used in other ways? The next time you are having a conversation with someone, notice when they drop the “so” word. You wouldn’t think of it at first, but linguistic professionals have discovered that is has become a way to boast without superficially bragging.
When people want to tell the world about their accomplishments without actually saying how great they are, they will typically says like, “I’m going on vacation to Florida with a month of paid time off, so…”
Linguistics have coined a term for this type of verbal construction and they call it “the dangling ‘so’” and say it’s very effective when it comes to bragging. They say that a “so” followed by that expectant silence gives an automatic cue to the listener to offer a flattering response such as “oh that’s so nice” or other ego-boosting response.
This seems like a great way for ego-seekers to operate when they converse because they themselves don’t have to say the self-congratulatory bit, for example, “hey, I just got a full scholarship ride to DePaul, so…”. Oh, please.
Linguistics specialists say that the accent in which the “so” is said can also alter what is expected to come next. “So” said with a downward, final-sounding pitch tells listeners they don’t have to respond, while an upward or rising pitch is expectant of a response.
The professionals also say that the “so” or the “dangling so” is also tied to the lack of confidence. So even though they are looking for an ego-boost, or trying to one-up someone, it still shows that they are not confident enough to congratulate themselves.
I hope this helps the next time you run into some egotistical jerks. Anyway, I’ve got to run for now, I have to get to the mall so I can purchase these brand new Jordan’s that just came out, so…
By: Denish Ghayal
1. Chances are that you have a three button suit in their closet, but now is the time to change it up. From now on, purchase a two button suit. It will give you a slimmer, more streamlined look, and it will better show off your shirt and tie. Say goodbye to the thee-button suit, and start a two-button revolution.
2. A lot of people think that their suits fit perfectly, but chances are that you are wearing a suit that is too big for you. A way to tell is to see where the shoulder of the suit lies. If it surpasses the end of your shoulder, it’s too big. Also, people also tend to measure the sleeves near the middle of the thumb; however, it should stop at waist. Another problem is when the dress pants bunch up at the bottom. Your pants should only have one break.
3. Put toe taps on your leather-soled dress shoes. They will significantly increase the shoes’ life span.
4. A black belt works with khakis, jeans, suits, everything. It is the one belt every man should own.
5. Buy a dark, slim tie. It will instantly give any ensemble a cooler feel. And unlike wider ties, it looks as good with a jean jacket as with a suit jacket.
6. Your raincoat should be as trim and tailored as your suits. Either a black or a khaki colored one will do. I bought one from H&M for only $80 and it fits like a glove. I would recommend getting it perhaps one suit size bigger so it fits perfectly when you wear a suit underneath.
7. Invest in a classic one- or two-button tuxedo with peak or notch lapels. It makes no sense (stylistically or fiscally) to rent a tuxedo each time you attend a black-tie event.
8. Don’t waste money on a fancy lint remover. Buy a tape roller instead at your local drugstore—it works better.
9. Learn how to tie a bow tie. At the end of a wedding, you want to be the guy with an untied bow tie hanging around his collar, not a clip-on stuffed in his pocket.
10. Get a long, dark scarf and don’t wait till the temperature plunges below zero to wear it. Skip the parka and pair it with a suit or a sport coat and jeans.
11. Learn how to form a dimple in your tie. It’s the little things that make a gentleman.
12. Do not dry clean your suits frequently if you want them to survive. Instead, have them steam-pressed when they need shaping up.
13. Invest in a great shoulder bag. If you carry a cheap one with a nice suit, it kills your outfit. I got a Perry Ellis one from Marshals. Cheap, yet sophisticated.
14. When you wear your trim two-button suit, leave the belt in the closet – you don’t need one. Going belt less lends the suit a clean, confident look.
15. When wearing sunglasses with a suit or sport coat, wire-rimmed aviators are your most refined and understated option. Leave those athletic wraparound shades for beach-volleyball players and center fielders.
What is up with these TV ads on the Indian dish network? You know the ones with Ajmeri Baba, Peer Syed Sahib, and Pundit Maharaj, just to name a few. You will notice these ads running at all hours of the day on Zee TV, Sony, and whatever other channels you have. It’s amazing to me that these individuals who seem to be almost 100 years old are still out there trying to scam people out of their money.
What’s sad to me is that there are people out there, and I mean desperate people who must be calling into them as they feel like they have no where else to turn and these scam artists are taking advantage of them. How do I figure that people are calling in? Well, it takes money to run ads constantly on an international television network, and that means they are getting their money somehow right?
I don’t know about you guys, but I am very skeptical when it comes to these types of things. Am I not discounting that all of this numerology/psychic stuff is fake, but people that claim they can fix all of your problems with a single phone call are frauds. No, no, I am incorrect; they want you to call in several times so that they can milk you for all you’ve got. Some of these commercials even say “100% Guaranteed Results!” Some commercials even show a “Suffering vs. Time” graph. They show that as time passes, suffering increases. Really?! I thought that time heals all. I guess you have failed already.
From what I have heard, they charge you a consultation fee of $300 initially for checking out your “case.” Then they want to charge you $2,000 for getting rid of your problems, not all of them, but some, because they want you to call back again to charge you another $2,000 to completely get rid of your problems. I guess if they can’t fix your problem, you now have debt as another problem. Perhaps one of Ajmeri Baba’s pals can help you with your troubles next.
The best commercial I have seen so far is of a younger guy who is wearing a business suit with his nicely pressed dress shirt and top shirt buttons open trying to solicit himself as one of these miracle workers. To add to this ridiculous commercial, the guy has no shame speaking into the camera while he is standing in what looks like a mansion which is all fashionably furnished in white. He has no shame in standing in a house trying to sell to the hopeless people that have helped pay down his mortgage.
This is all a big shame for the people who have troubles in their lives whether its family issues, marriage issues, or just problems brought on by current economic times. It doesn’t take a psychic or a baba or a raja or a maharaja, to see that these guys just don’t care and will not mind kicking you while you’re down.