Africa

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29 November 2009

Against All Odds: Jim MacLaren & Emmanuel Yeboah

From Karmatube comes this inspiring video of Jim MacLaren and Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah. Jim MacLaren was an All-American athlete with a future that knew no bounds. At 22, his life was changed dramatically when he was hit by a bus and lost a leg. He overcame his physical limitations and become a top Ironman triathlete. Eight years later, Jim had another accident. Where was the meaning in all this suffering? Jim later finds this meaning in the story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah in faraway Ghana. Watch the joint story of these two remarkably courageous men and the incredible connection they share despite being continents apart.



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24 October 2009

Manicurist Builds School

From our friends at KarmaTube comes this wonderful example of how one person with modest resources can make a difference:

Lidia is not a millionaire. She is not a famous movie star. She does not head a large charity. She is a manicurist from Washington D.C. with big heart and big determination. Lidia is changing lives in Ethiopia (a country with some of the lowest literacy rates in the world) by building an 8-building school system in a rural village. Lidia sold her car and house to fund the project. But as she says, "... it's ok. As long as I'm still kickin', I have a roof over my head, and I'm working, I'm able to work...those things are just things. It's about the children; it's not about me."



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23 September 2008

Jacqueline Novogratz on Investing in Poverty

Jacqueline Novogratz shares stories of how "patient capital" can bring sustainable jobs, goods, services -- and dignity -- to the world's poorest.



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6 July 2008

The Fudus

"Birds of a feather should flock together" is what many people think - even when they profess to be open-minded and progressive. This too, is what many people thought of Hailey and Malibongwe, when they were getting married. Can this work? Different colors, different races, different cultures?

The Fudus and their gorgeous babies with their Persio-Arabic names, Tajalli & Dayyan, managed to melt the hearts of even the toughest of skeptics, proving that theirs is a bond deeper and truer than those of most other marriages. The Fudus share a culture that all humans have in common: the spiritual one.

Also available with Persian subtitles

CREDITS:
A Film by - Leyla & Ryan Haidarian

MUSIC:
"Exegesis" & "Time Machine" by DR ATOMIC
from the cd HALLUCIGNOSIS

"Folk Rift"
by RYAN HAIDARIAN

"Happy People"
by AMAL MA'ANI from the cd SHAMAL



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6 July 2008

The Fudus

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"Birds of a feather should flock together" is what many people think - even when they profess to be open-minded and progressive. This too, is what many people thought of Hailey and Malibongwe, when they were getting married. Can this work? Different colors, different races, different cultures?

The Fudus and their gorgeous babies with their Persio-Arabic names, Tajalli & Dayyan, managed to melt the hearts of even the toughest of skeptics, proving that theirs is a bond deeper and truer than those of most other marriages. The Fudus share a culture that all humans have in common: the spiritual one.

CREDITS:
A Film by - Leyla & Ryan Haidarian

MUSIC:
"Exegesis" & "Time Machine" by DR ATOMIC
from the cd HALLUCIGNOSIS

"Folk Rift"
by RYAN HAIDARIAN

"Happy People"
by AMAL MA'ANI from the cd SHAMAL



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2 December 2007

Gems of Inestimable Value

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A recurring theme on our doubletake website has become the importance of holistic education and of loving and raising children. This video uses quotes from many of the world's religions and constitutes a medley of footage from some of our existing doubletake videos. Its title, "Gems of Inestimable Value", is inspired by the quote: "Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value.

Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures." (Baha'i Writings). This video precedes next month's brand new release, which explores the implications of this very quote in redefining the meaning of education and introduces an exciting and entirely new approach to the theme. So stay tuned!

CREDITS
A Film by: Leyla & Ryan Haidarian
Music by: Amal Ma'ani & The African Children's Choir



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Africanize globalization
Added: Friday, 13 July 2007

watch original V-Blog in Persian

When you look at the world, it's very easy to get depressed. You see chaos and disintegration everywhere and it appears as though this planet has become the home of extremes: whether it's the extremes of fundamentalism versus the absence of morality, or the extremes of wealth and poverty, it is difficult not to get disheartened. A paradigm that seems to emerge from this chaos is 'the individual at the center of the universe' – everyone seems to believe that at the end of the day, they are the most important force in their own life and it is up to them to compete, survive and attain a state of wealth and comfort.

I've been living in Africa for over 4 years now and in my faith I'm told that Africa has an important contribution to make to world civilization! It is "like unto the pupil of the eye, which is dark in color, yet it is the revealer of the contingent world" (Abdu'l Baha).

If I look at Africa through the paradigm of the individual at the center of the universe, I see a place of misery, poverty and corruption. A place that has many minerals which it can't safeguard from the clutches of selfish forces from all over the world. Africa is a needy place, because my measuring-stick only measures material prosperity and individual freedom and comfort.

Now if I change my yard-stick and my paradigm, immediately things change. If what I'm measuring and valuing is not the individual at the center of the universe but rather the collective wellbeing of any people and ultimately of the world as a family, then Africa is a place of great wealth. I learn that Africa is rich in spiritual values that the world needs in order to heal its downward spiral of exploitation. In Africa we learn that survival is a collective endeavor. We learn that "I am because you are", we learn that if you're doomed, I'm doomed. In other words, the collective is the center of the universe. This collective is no segment of humanity; this collective is the human race.

When we look at the world through those eyes, we understand what valuable contribution Africa needs to make to business, industry, media and all strata of the modern, rapidly globalizing world. When we look at the world through those eyes, we see in the chaos around us, sheer order! Because the chaos is like a construction site. It's full of rubble and dust and dirt. Old buildings are being shattered and crumble down – much as the paradigm of the individual is crumbling down. And we see in this construction site the beginnings of a new building and we can visualize and we can be part of building this new edifice with the materials we have; the belief in our collective wellbeing. No country, race, religion, gender or other man-made denomination can be left out if any of us are to see a brighter future. We will be, because we will be together.

"The wellbeing of mankind, its peace and security is unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established." (Baha'u'llah)

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2 May 2007

Remembering the Beginnings

Cover image3 successful, shining young adults remember their beginnings: Before they became confident, educated and productive members of society, our protagonists were vulnerable children from world's most destitute areas. Jarusa of Masaai land, Ben from Kenya's Kibera slum and Joseph, an orphan of the Rwanda genocide were each fortunate enough to be embraced and supported by the African Children's Choir, a non-for-profit organization changing the lives of hundreds of children all over Africa.

CREDITS:
A film by: Ryan & Leyla Haidarian

Contribute to the African Children's Choir.



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Let deeds not words be your adorning
Added: Saturday, 24 February 2007

watch original V-Blog in Persian

When you live in a country like South Africa you come across many NGOs and community projects that try to help society in various ways. But I've seen few that achieve lasting changes and it's easy to get disillusioned. The desire to help and uplift others is often corrupted by the budding selfish inclinations of people who see opportunities for themselves.

But one organization has certainly stood out for me: the African Children's Choir. What they do might seem to explain why, but there's more that blesses this endeavor than meets the eye. The way it works is, they go into destitute areas around Africa, identify a village that is most needy and create a boot camp for the orphans/children in the region. From those children they will pick the 25 most promising performers and turn them into a choir, by adopting those who have no parents and getting permission for those who do. The children are trained in singing and performing, live in a boarding-school type environment and get all the benefits of love, food and education. They tour the world, raising money with their heart-warming songs and return home with the prospect of tertiary education and support for their home communities.

It is absolutely breath-taking to see the changes in these children, as they go from weak, dazed and dirty tadpoles to flowering, strong, confident and loving individuals who are willing to give back to society.

But there is one component that makes all the difference: faith. These children's hearts and souls are transformed by faith and the people who help transform them are motivated purely by faith. It is in their love for God that they are able to render selfless service.

Now some will role their eyes and say 'well faith seems to do more damage than good these days' – and I can't blame them for thinking that. But remember that people who preach faith but act with hatred are the poison of society, wolves in sheep's guise. All they're doing is using religion as a front for their deep Godlessness.

True faith manifests itself in actions – not words. And this is what the children truly witness and give testimony to. This organization is run by Born-Again Christians. No matter what religion motivates people, it can be the cause of the greatest good. It is only when we put ourselves and our selfish needs above those of others that we manipulate religion, or science or any other God given gift.

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20 January 2007

Kerry Ann

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[amazon cover B00005YXW7] In the hustle and bustle of London lives a young woman named Kerry-Ann. On the outside she's just as bubbly and energetic as the city she lives in. An actress by calling, one of her appearances is a curious role in PlayStation's THE GETAWAY.

Kerry-Ann's accessible nature shines through in her humor and humility. In this piece she reveals a little bit of her calm, spiritual side and talks about the things that inspire and ground her.

CREDITS:
Directed & Edited by: Ryan Haidarian
Written by: Leyla Haidarian
Produced by: Ryan & Leyla Haidarian
Executive Produced by: Naysan Naraqi
"Battlefields" by Matu
Beats by Benny Cassette



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