A Minority within the Minority (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, North America, Earth)

What’s that written in the top right hand corner 17 years ago? Oh, right.

Childhood

On the day he passed out our Cobras jerseys (like the one Gretzky wore for the St. Louis Blues) he named the captain and assistants. The captain was no surprise. He named the only guy on the team who could take a slap shot and put it top corner. He was a French defenseman from Verdun. Then Flo – our coach – named one of the better, more passionate and passionate French Verdun forwards assistant-captain. The LaSalle guys were looking around at each other wondering if they were going to be represented in the leadership group, let alone with an English guy. I wasn’t thinking much of it at the time when Flo called my name out and handed me the patched “A” to be sewed onto my jersey.

I was so proud I was shocked. I couldn’t stop smiling. That point in my young 12 year young life – it was the greatest moment of life. Afterwards I realized that I was also a defenseman, and felt that it was rather exceptional that two defensemen would have letters on their jerseys.

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Mystical Nepal – A Trekker Haven

Day 11 Tilicho Lake 031

From my window seat, I looked out at the glacier melt streaming down from the Himalayas, running through Nepal’s natural colour palette: crystal-bluish ice and sparkling white snow on grey rock, descending into the brown, dusty land and vibrant green jungles on the border of India.

If you’re lucky your plane will circle above the Kathmandu Valley a second time before landing. Mine did, and it allowed me to absorb the landscape, but also to try and identify Mount Everest among the endlessly sprawling and majestic Himalayan summits.

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The Mountain People of Nepal: Culture in the Annapurna Circuit (Annapurna, Nepal)

Day 16 Muktinath to Kagbeni 016

Being completely absorbed in a majestic, large-scale natural environments for days on end can render man-made divides as petty in the grader picture. One gets this sense from travelling through the Annapurna region of the Nepalese Himalayas. The inspiring landscape of the Himalayas is well-documented, but what requires closer investigation is the diversity and multi-culturalism present among the towns scattered through the mountains and along the rivers. Continue reading

An Interview with Andrés Fontecilla of Québec Solidaire (Montreal, Canada)

Fontecilla

I want to start by speaking to you about your nomination as president of Québec Solidaire (QS), and what are you going to do to continue the development/growth of QS?

To begin with, I was elected a few weeks ago and I have only officially been holding the position for one week. I’m jumping on a train which is already rolling with several elements being developed, so yeah, I’m on board with the process and I intend to continue with the strategies which have been adopted and, if possible contribute in a positive way. In that sense, you know, we’re doing some excellent work at the parliamentary level, we are very present in the Assemblée Nationale, and my work is to continue, but that doesn’t depend on me, it’s mostly up to Françoise David and Amir Khadir as well as the parliamentary team. However, it’s very important that we support them and ensure that the party represents a strong foundation for our parliamentary team.

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Turkey Protests (Alternatives International)

Tukish Protests

I love Istanbul. It’s a city without comparison. A city spread across two continents, a grandeur that is fitting of its culture, history and mega metropolis geography.

I also love Turkey despite growing up with Armenians. It’s a fascinating and unique country, and I enjoy writing about it. A country that is difficult to simplify and deconstruct into neat categories, and declare that they’re just like someone else. If I had to, Turkey ends up resembling Russia the most, despite their glaring superficial contrasts.

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North Korea’s Nuclear Craze (Alternatives International)

I’m just going to come out and say it: North Korea is bad.

It’s true. They’re really bad. Like trouble making children.

ess_north_korean_130

But they’re not the bully in the playground. They’re much more like the child that tortures insects. The kid bullies avoid because they don’t want to encounter that world of strange and bizarre. Plus, who knows what kind of filth could be picked up?

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Jeep Trekking: The Consequences of a Road on the Annapurna Circuit (Nepal)

“The jeep road to Manang is no good for trekkers and no good for locals – no good for no one!” proclaims an exasperated Purna Gurung. He recently opened a guesthouse in Chame, Nepal, along the world’s most famous trek: the Annapurna Circuit. He blames the newly-built road as the source of his business struggles.

Day 9 Braka to Sheree Kharka 017

“I don’t know why they built the road, or who it benefits. The government decides, and that’s all.”

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Perpetual Acquiescence: A Reading of Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” (Canada)

When reading spirited texts written over 150 years ago about the goodness of individuals and the impeding role of government in their lives, the effect of romanticizing these words has an exceptional influence on the reader. Any reader with even a touch of activist will read Henry David Thoreau’s famous essay post-humorously titled “Civil Disobedience” and rhythmically nod their head concurring throughout.

Disobey

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Turkey’s Internal Issues Reflect Their Aggressive Posture with Syria: Capturing the Minds of Their People and the Respect of a Volatile Region (Istanbul, Turkey)

Turkey is one of the few complicated states in the word that is difficult to classify and force into a neat cultural and political grouping. Its land is the setting of Biblical stories, the birthplace of Western Civilization, and the spread of Islam.

Turkey Map

Turkey is far more than a bridge between Eastern and Western worlds; it is a land home to both. From an outsider’s perspective Turkey is difficult to classify. From within, Turkey struggles with a perpetual identity crisis.

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