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Archive for September, 2012

Imagine being a new mother on a cold winter’s night in a third world country. Imagine giving birth to a premature baby and being told that 9 out of the 11 incubators in the neo natal care word are malfunctioning. Imagine being told that your precious newborn baby is now in line behind twenty other precious newborns waiting for two incubators. Imagine 24 new born babies dying because there were not enough incubators. This is no surreal imagining. It is the harsh reality of one night at Dhaka Medical College in Bangladesh. A reality Probasy is striving to change.

Probasy is a not for profit organisation founded and run by girls in the Sydney area who have a passion to give back to their community. Probasy is currently in its 11th year of operation with a total collection of approx. AU$45,000.00 (approx. TK. 37 lakh) to date. It has had a successful run of campaigns and projects and consistent energetic effort from its members. Previous projects successfully completed include raising AU10K for the Queensland flood appeal and AU5K to fund 28 fistula operations in Bangladesh among other smaller fundraising efforts focused on Australian events and charities and abroad.

Probasy is working to create a society free of exploitation, discrimination and gender based violence that supports the disadvantaged in achieving their full potential. We were saddened to hear that while we enjoy the luxuries of a first world country, innocent lives are taken due to the lack of neonatal care and awareness in Bangladesh. We resolved to raise awareness of neonatal care and malfunctioning equipment and focus our attention on providing a feasible solution which will have continued effects long after our project is complete.

To this end Probasy held several events throughout the year to fundraise and spread awareness. We held a stall at the annual Bengali book fair in Ashfield. We held a walkathon titled ‘walk 4 a cause’ in Glenfield in which many adults participated as a way of improving their fitness as well as donating to the cause. We were joined by our local MP Laurie Ferguson as well as the Mayor of Campbelltown. Probasy then held a mother’s day movie screening event for which they played an iconic Bangla film (deya neya) and raised over $1000 in ticket and snack sales. Mid year Probasy had reached the halfway mark and were looking for ideas to fundraise. A charity BBQ at Parramatta Park raised another $1,000 and suddenly the team was only $1,000 away from their goal.

At this time, I happened to be speaking to a friend’s father about Probasy and he in turn told his friend. Together they are members of the Bangladeshi Australian Welfare Society and they encouraged the society to donated $1,000 to Probasy to help us reach our goal. We are really grateful for all the love and support we have received from friend’s family and well wishers. We now have sufficient funds to purchase two open incubators (warmers) and two phototherapy units to donate to Bongobondhu Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh. We will continue to fundraise for and raise awareness of social and wellness issues affecting those in need. If you have any ideas or initiatives we can help with please let us know.

Probasy aims to provide support and empowerment to disadvantaged women and children in Bangladesh with special emphasis on their health and wellbeing. Please feel free to contact the Project Manager Shafeen Mustaq, or any Probasy member via email or our FB page.
Email: probasy.incorporated@gmail.com
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/groups/6994762074/
Visit
our website www.probasy.com to keep up to date on our events, projects and how you can help

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I saw a picture on instagram and I fell in love. It was of a chocolate cake with chocolate icing topped with m&ms and fenced with kit kats. I wanted it and I wanted it badly. So I made it myself for Eid. It’s impractical and fattening but easy to make and oh so yummy. If the latter trumps the former for you like it did for me, here’s what you do:

Ingredients:

  1. Chocolate cake mix (you can make it from scratch but why reinvent the wheel?)
  2. Chocolate icing (1 cup icicng sugar, 1 tsp cocoa, 1tbsp butter or margarine and 1 tbsp milk
  3. 1 pack of 350g m&ms
  4. 1 pack of 12 kit kats

Method:

  1. Make your cake as per the instructions on the pack
  2. Leave to cool on a wire rack
  3. Transfer to a serving dish and ice the top and sides evenly
  4. Before the icing sets quickly but evenly dress the top with m&ms starting from the outside with each circle in a different colour
  5. Work your way to the middle in concentric circles of m&ms in different colours
  6. Fence the sides with kit kats
  7. Leave to set and then serve

Serves 12 (don’t hold me to that because you will be tempted to eat the whole thing!)

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Is it old age when, no matter how catchy a new song is, when you are feeling down you go back to the songs of your childhood? I needed a mood lift the other night and started sifting through the songs that defined my childhood and wanted to share them so here they are in no particular order but grouped by language!

English

Growing up watching video hits surreptiously with my sis and flicking back to saturday disney when the parents walked in was an integral part of my satruday mornings. This was before saturday disney became almost as bad as video hits and video hits became the trash it is today. So many songs made it to our school lunch time dramas, our bus and train rides, our school graduation and our final prom or graduation dinner. There were songs that we latched onto at first crush, songs that got us through highschool dramas and ‘heartbreak’, songs that were so silly we laughed out loud in class long after we had sung them at the top of our voices in the playground. Here are just a few of my favourites.

My taste has matured somewhat and now I like:

Hindi

I will always remember my first hindi film and the irrepairable damage it has done to my life. ‘Dilwalre Dulhania Le Jayenge’ turned a tomboy into a dreamer. A hopeless romantic waiting for her prince charming who would come along in his cheeky boisterous manner and sweep her away. Well that didn’t happen but I did become hopelessly addicted to the music and the meldrama of Indian cinema and Indian pop. There were songs to dream to, songs to cry to, songs to dance to, songs to laugh to.. songs we heard with cousins, songs we played at weddings, songs for amost every memory.  Here are just a very few:

Bangla

I was never a big fan of Bangla music, it always sounded so old and boring and sad. But it is a testament to some of the rare talent now that I like some of the songs coming from the Rock and Pop scene in Bangaldesh. Below are a few I grew up with and a few that grew on me.

Korean

I cannot have a post about music without mentioning my love for korean dramas and movies which have some really good OSTs. Here are a few that I really enjoy:

And ofcourse a tribute to the current rage about an oppa (man) who loves a yoja (woman) who likes her Kopi (coffee) PSY – GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V 

Enjoy! 🙂

 

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Can you Cannellini?

I love pasta. I absolutely LOVE it. I know it’s eating a bowlful of carbs and its usual partner in crime is stringy soft yummy melted cheese which isn’t that great for you either but when it comes to Cannellini I can’t help myself! So here is a quick and easy recipe for you to try at home and enjoy all those carbs and cheese! (In moderation… )

Ingredients:

  • 500ml tomato paste or pasta sauce
  • 600g ricotta (low-fat, if desired)
  • 250g cooked mince
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • Salt & cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated low fat mozzarella
  • San Remo ready made Cannellini
  • Green salad, to serve

 Method:

  • Preheat oven to 190°C. Lightly grease a 20cm x 28cm x 4cm-high ovenproof dish.
  • Pour in ¼ of the tomato paste, spreading evenly over base.
  • Place ricotta, mince, parsley, basil, parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a large bowl, and mix to combine.
  • Stuff each tube with the ricotta mixture
  • Lay tubes side by side in the dish.
  • Spoon over extra tomato paste to coat (amount of paste is to suit your preference)
  • Sprinkle with mozzarella cheeses and bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
  • Serve with salad.

 Serves 6

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The past few days have been a riot for Muslims (pun intended). I don’t have more to add to the matter because most of what I have been reading has been voicing my exact concerns but I wanted to consolidate them in one blog article. For me it started with this public shaming. I have never been a fan of Tanveer Ahmed primarily because he speaks crap about Islam but also because he is a hypocrite. I am stating facts when I say Tanveer Ahmed is a Bengali and a Muslim who has rejected both those identities in order to pander to his need to be accepted by ‘white people’ and be their ‘yes’ man. Yes Muslims are evil. Yes Bangladesh is corrupt and poor. Yes Bangladesh should be a secular country and so on and so forth. He sprouted crap. And he annoyed a majority of Bengali Muslims who had to say ‘No Tanveer Ahmed does not speak for us and no we don’t agree with what he is saying’.

 The SMH have removed his articles off their website which is a shame because then you could have seen for yourselves that the comments made by readers were more intelligent and well researched than the article. And what did the man have to say to all of this? Media watch quoted him as saying, “’you have identified several instances where I have failed to do this appropriately. I recognise this as careless and lazy, but as my overall output I believe demonstrates, those instances are uncharacteristic and out of character. I sincerely apologise to my readers, editors and my publisher Fairfax Media’.— ‘Dr’ Tanveer Ahmed, 10th September, 2012″. His petty ‘lazy’ excuse only reinforces my belief that PHD = Permanent Head Damage. His public dressing down was testament to the fact that when you try to be Icarus and fly to close to the sun you will burn your wings and fall. “They who taunt those of the faithful who give their alms freely, and those who give to the extent of their earnings and scoff at them; Allah will pay them back their scoffings and they shall have a painful chastisement.” – (Surah at-Tawba …9: 79). Tanveer Ahmed to me is a prime example of how hubris becomes burning shame.

But what does this have to do with the wider context of the blog? Well to me this event was an omen of what was to occur in the coming days. A man whose claim to fame was bagging out Muslims and Islam has a great fall and so starts the media domino effect of Muslim coverage which deals a blow to all the interfaith understanding and dialogue in the aftermath of 9/11 in a desperate attempt by Muslims to defend themselves and separate us from the actions of a misguided few. The story to me is a simple one. A man makes a ‘controversial’ film and realises it’s such a bad piece of work that if he doesn’t get it hyped by mindless sheep then it will fail to make so much as a ripple in the murky waters of global media. And so it was that men and women the world over who had not watched the film themselves nor paid heed to common sense got together to ‘protest’ (read publicise) a movie that to them symbolised much more. It symbolised Islamophobia and oppression and the ensuing ‘catharsis’ which no matter how justified in the CONTEXT of the bigger picture did a world of damage.

The one GOOD thing that came out of all this was that the people that stepped out and spoke up were no old fuddy duddy Islamic ‘representatives’ but people like Waleed Aly whose article made me SO proud. Even more so were the comments made under the article which really brought home how misguided the claims are that Australians are a racist lot. Australians out of all the western countries are laid back and easy going and intelligent. Yes. Intelligent. We realise that a small few ruin it for the bigger community and we are willing to forgive forget and forge new friendships. An opinion that is finally making headlines. That is what mateship is all about. And I am so proud to be living in a country where mateship is foremost on our agenda despite all the ruckus.

So yes. Muslims are on the back foot again. We do have people like Tanveer Ahmed who singlehandedly cause mischief, misunderstandings and bring shame to our community. We have Muslim youth who ‘feel’ so strongly for their fellow brothers and sisters around the world that they forget to ‘feel’ for their mothers and sisters and wives who wear hijabs and face the aftermath of their thoughtless rioting. But we also have strong Muslim roles models in people like Waleed Aly and Amal Awad who speak out in defence of the majority of Muslims who beg to differ and distance themselves from such heedless fury and urge you to give us a fair go in the name of fair dinkum Aussie mateship.

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