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March 2016 Vol. 11 Issue 2 $4.95







FROM THE PUBLISHER we’ve received. Aaj readers, you make my midnight oil worthwhile!

li Suki Panga a


As an active community member. we at Aaj Magazine believe we have collectively initiated a cultural forum for authentic expression that grows and facilitates ideas while recognizing the excellence of cultural diversity and pluralism’s.


Happy Holi, and welcome to another issue of Aaj Magazine! I’m pleased to say that over the last few months, we have been receiving letters and messages thanking us for providing a progressive, personable and informative publication. What joy it brings to me when I receive these words of encouragement, and to know that Aaj magazine is truly on a path to make a worthwhile difference in our community. I am awestruck by the feedback and divergent input

Together we are giving voice to a unique creative expression and creating paved, shared & sustainable cultural pathways through a common bond weaving yesterdays, today & tomorrows commonality. This month, we celebrate ‘Shakti’ for International Women’s Day, we raise our Hands against Racism and we take every opportunity to embrace a rainbow of colours in all that we pursue. This March, in the spirit of Holi, we also bring you Aaj Arts, our keyhole into the multifaceted artistic excellence that is cultivating for an exciting future in BC.

In the months to come, Aaj Arts will bring you a weave of the rich threads that tie our cultural tapestries with profiles of artists, musicians, poets, heritage researchers, writers and abstract creators. We intend to open a dialogue with the many Canadian artists who learn, practice and carry forward historic torch of historic arts. We invite classical artists, students, teachers & mentors to join Aaj Arts and shine the spotlight on our lush cultural landscape of heritage arts, we invite you to share your work and projects. As we indulge in the creative tête-àtête, the impermanence of visual arts, classical music, traditional dance form, poetry, expressive arts and creative convergence is indeed certain to awaken the artist in you! With sincere gratitude and excitement, yours, Suki Pangalia.

THE TEAM Publishers Suki Pangalia Goldy Pataria Steve Sandhu Editors Jessie Marwaha Matt WIlliams Investigative Journalist Salim Jiwa Editorial Harvey Kooner Bavan Arora Amar Kaila Jordan Bateman RJ Singh Laura Fitzpatrick Nerinder Bains Amrendra Kumar Kamal Dhillon


Sasha Ramnarine Arsheen Vishash Bal Uppal Jahnavi Singh Kris Kaila Rupii Kaur Sunny Mangat Rupert Whiting Sofia Janmohammed Ofir Vaisman Salima Diani Sonal Bawa-Bakshi Design & Layout Brugge Design Adrian Brugge - Principle Designer Tina Thure - Graphic Designer Katrina Lowther - Graphic Designer

Advertising & Sales Paul Baraich Lovedeep Samra AJ Demaflix Kelly Uppal Public Relations/ Photography Neelu Garcha Thank You! Harvey Kooner Sandiya Prasad Sasha Ramnarine Dr. Paramjit Bhui Nalini Bhui Dr. Raj Bhui Special Thanks Kharé Communications Shakti Awards Sonia Andhi

Sandhya Prasad Rita Ramen Mukesh Prasad Images Credits Google Freepik 123RF Pixabay

AAJ Magazine is published by AAJ Media Group, doing business as AAJ Magazine Inc. AAJ is a magazine that is published every two months. Any reproduction of the magazine, editorial content, images or advertisements cannot be reproduced or reprinted in any form, without written permission of the Publishers. The views expressed by the writers in this publication are not the views of the Publishers or AAJ Media Group. The Publishers assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Copyright 2015 AAJ Magazine Incorporated. All rights reserved.

IN THIS ISSUE FITNESS Slow Down, To Run Faster The Ultimate Post-Workout Smoothie FOOD Yorkshire Puddings Restaurant Review: Bua Thai Cuisine HEALTH Take A Hike Vitamin C: The Anti-Ageing Ingredient You Can’t Live Without The CourageTo Heal South Asians & Cardiovascular Risk. Women Smoking “Why?” Ellebox Revolutionizing Women’s Self Care And Self Awareness COVER STORY The Kharés Storytelling In The Digital Age FEATURE ARTICLE Kamal Dhillon’s Story Watch Out For Face Time BUSINESS RRSP’s Explained · Why Do We Network? Because It Helps Due Diligence For Business Investors Property Transfer Tax Credits For Couples Lower Taxes, Not New Ones, The Way To Housing Affordability

8 10 16 18 20 24 28 30 32 34 36 42 47 49 54 57

Are you Lost?

FEATURE ARTICLE The Colour Of Terror: False Alarm At Pacific Centre Mall 62 CULTURE 2016'S Bollywood Preview 68 Quiet: Book Review 71 FASHION Chiryan Da Chamba Who Is Athena? 72 WORLD The Cologne Attacks Revealed An Ugly Truth 75 The Need For A Cohesive Strategy In Syria 78 POST–SECONDARY Advice For Applying To Post–Secondary 80 Financing Your Education Using Other People's Money 81 FAMILY Free Play For Free? Encouraging Creativity For Children 84 What Is Couples, Marriage & Relationship Counselling? 90 Life With My Mum 92 Building Self-Esteem In Children 94 AUTOMOTIVE Who Pays For Insurance Fraud COMMUNITY AAJ Community & On Location 97

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Although the science behind the use of Heart Rate Monitors (HRM's) for cardiovascular training has been around for over 40 years there can be an overwhelming tendency amongst runners to believe that in order to run faster, that one must train harder. And while it is true that in order to achieve increased strength and speed that athletes do need to push themselves beyond their comfort zone, there are significant benefits to be



had using an HRM to ensure that your body really is getting the maximum benefit from the time that you spend training.

So what is an HRM, what does it do and how does it work? An HRM is a device that is typically built into a watch that gives accurate and reliable up to the minute data on the wearers heart rate. Effectively it gives a reading of the wearers heart rate at that moment meaning that there is no lag in timing.

How Will it Help my Training? Whilst it is true that in order to improve the performance of any part of the body such as the heart, lungs, muscles or the brain it is necessary to put that part of the body under an amount of strain, for cardiovascular performance it is also important to


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establish a cardiovascular base. To do so the vast majority of your cardio training needs to be conducted in your 'cardio zone.'

What is my Cardio Zone? Your cardio zone is a range of heart rate within which your body will gain the maximum benefit is building a strong cardiovascular base. Everyone's cardio zone will be different and is based on their maximum heart rate (when under extreme strain) and their resting or sleeping heart rate. There are several rules of thumb that can give a reasonable accurate approximation of your cardio zone but most HRM's have a feature that can accurately calculate your zone for you.

What are the Benefits of Training in my Cardio Zone? When trying to improve speed, strength or overall performance it can appear counter intuitive to train at a lower intensity, training in your cardio zone can and will provide tangible and noticeable benefits within a relatively short period of time. By staying in your zone your body is able to gain the maximum benefit from your training sessions without experiencing any unnecessary stress or strain. As a result many athletes that use an HRM report much lower incidences of injuries including tendonitis or joint and ligament damage.


Where Can I Get a Heart Rate Monitor? As with all purchases it is well worth doing some research before you spend your money on a new device. HRM's can vary in price from under $100 to over $500 with a vast range of features and applications. Traditionally HRM's are built in to purpose made watches but are also available as stand-alone devices and even cell phone apps. They can be purchased online from a range of suppliers, from sport stores or from dedicated running and fitness retailers.

Which Heart Rate Monitor is the Best? Which HRM is best for you will

depend on a number of factors such as what you want to achieve and how much money do you have to spend. Although much information is available such as online reviews and magazine articles most retailers should be able to answer your questions and help you to find the device that best suits your needs.

Are Heart Rate Monitors Really Worth the Money? Heart Rate Monitors can be an excellent tool in improving your c a r d i o va s c u l a r p e r f o r m a n c e . Whether or not they are worth the money will really depend on what it is that you want to achieve. One thing that is for sure though, is that if you do use one and that you train

regularly you will see some real benefits from using one. Aaj Writer and Editor Matt Williams is a recreational runner who can often be found pounding pavements, paths and laneways of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. Disclaimer: Before commencing or changing any fitness training program please ensure that you are healthy enough to do so, seeking medical advice guidance necessary.






You are an urban warrior. When you are done tackling business deals and deadlines during the day, the gym becomes your battleground. Whether you choose to sweat it out on the treadmill, or to break PRs on the bench press, proper nutrition is a key ally in ensuring your fitness success. Long after you have left the gym, your body continues to repair, replenish, and grow, so what you put in your body after your workout is as crucial as what you put in before.

minute window after an intense workout. This gives your body the proper material to rebuild damaged muscle tissue and to revive energy. Smoothies are ideal as a post-workout meal because in addition to having the macronutrients that the body needs for replenishment (i.e. carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), they also can contain nutrient-rich ingredients that can minimize your recovery time.

Although there is no wrong way to make a smoothie, below is a basic formula you can General guidelines in post-workout nutrition are use to create a personalized post-workout to have a light, protein-rich meal within a 15-20 smoothie.


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THE FORMULA • Makes 2 smoothies • 1 soft fruit (base) • 2 small handfuls frozen or fresh fruit • 2-4 teaspoons protein powder • 2 tablespoons binder • 1.5 tablespoons oil • 1.5 cups liquid • Optional: superfoods, greens, other ingredients • 1/3 cup ice cubes Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend on medium-high for 1 minute or until smooth.



An excellent source of potassium, a mineral that is likely sapped from an intense workout session. Potassium, alongside other minerals such as sodium and calcium play an important role in muscular energy. Its texture and sweet taste makes any protein shake feel more decadent.

Avocados are loaded with monounsaturated fats for muscle repair and B-vitamins to enhance your metabolism.



Small fruits, such as berries, are full of antioxidants and other nutrients. They neutralize disease causing free radicles and ultimately speed up muscle recover. An added bonus is that they add a touch of sweetness to the smoothie. My favorite berries for smoothies are blueberries, blackberries, and cherries; however, don’t be afraid to experiment with other types of berries that may catch your eye.

If berries are not your style, opt for fruits such as pineapples, mangoes, and citrus fruits for a tropical flair. Pineapples offer potassium for enhanced muscle recovery, while the high content of vitamin C in citrus fruits is crucial for strengthening collagen. While mangoes have many key vitamins and minerals, they tend to have a lot more sugar as well, so they are better used as an occasional treat.



MORE ADD–ONS CLEAN PROTEIN For a clean source of protein, look for dairy-free, plantbased protein powders that are made from hemp, sprouted brown rice, or pea protein. One of my favorite choices is Vega Sport Performance Protein, which has 25 grams of premium plant-based proteins and 5000 mg of BCAAs and glutamine. The flavor of protein powder that you choose is completely dependent on your own preference, but in my opinion, vanilla is a good base for fruit-flavored smoothies. Other good choices include Sun Warrior Classic Protein, Progressive Nutritional Therapies Harmonized Vegan Protein, and Thorne Research VegaLite. As always, aim for organic and non-GMO products.

OIL Adding oils such as flaxseed oil and coconut oil to your post-workout smoothie is a delicious way to get in your daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids (the “healthy” fat) and keeps you full until your next meal. Key words to look out for shopping for oils are “extra-virgin”, “cold-pressed”, and “non-GMO”. When adding oils, make sure that they fit within your daily macros so that you do not over-consume healthy fats. Generally speaking, the American Heart Association recommends that 25-35% of your daily calories should come from healthy sources of fats.

BINDER If you know that you will not be eating a meal any time soon, add a binder such as ground flaxseed (a good source of omega-3 fatty acids), raw almond butter or flaked almonds (high in Vitamin E). Not only do they help keep you fuller longer, but they also provide many vitamins and minerals that are involved in muscle repair.



Calorie-free and hydrating - water is an excellent choice as a liquid when you are looking for a light smoothie in between meals.

Chock-full of electrolytes, raw coconut water replenishes the sodium and potassium that you may have lost through a serious sweat-session.

ALMOND MILK or other alternative milk beverage If you know that your next meal won’t be for a while and are looking for something a bit more substantial, use almond milk or other alternative milk beverage, such as cashew milk, hemp milk, or coconut milk. Aim to use the unsweetened variety to reduce the amount of sugars in your smoothie.


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SUPERFOODS COCOA POWDER 1-2 TSP Cocoa powder is full of flavonoids, a naturally occurring chemical compound that helps with wound repair and disease protection. Aside from imparting a delicious chocolate flavour, cocoa has been associated with a lowering of blood pressure without weight gain or other adverse effects.

GROUND ORGANIC CINNAMON 1-2 TEASPOONS Aromatic cinnamon not only tastes delicious, but it has also been found to balance blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity, and boost immunity.

CHIA SEEDS 1-2 TABLESPOONS Chia is a tiny seed that packs a punch. This little superfood is made up 20% protein, and is also rich in fibre, antioxidants, and heart-healthy omega-3s.



Spirulina a nutrition powerhouse! This edible form of algae is 65% protein, and contains B-complex vitamins, vitamin E, beta-carotene and zeaxanthine. Other noteworthy nutrients include iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc.

Kale is synonymous with good health, and for good reason! Dark leafy greens, such as kale, Swiss Chard, and collard greens, are rich sources of antioxidants and are key in reducing inflammation. The high fibre content in these greens help to bind and eliminate excess toxins in the body, enhancing your ability to recover faster.

Maximize your energy and minimize your recovery time by drinking a nutrient-loaded post-workout smoothie. Not only will you feel great after your workout, but you will also be primed to conquer another day!

ESHA SINGH, ND CAND. 2017 is a student of naturopathic medicine,a classically trained Bharatanatyam dancer and has worked for many years in the fitness industry, focusing on women’s and geriatric fitness.



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Yorkshire Puddings Traditionally made in Northern England, Yorkshire puddings are often served with roast or ground beef and gravy but they are actually quite versatile and can be served with a range of dishes such as Rogan Josh, Mutter Paneer or any dish that has a rich sauce that will pair well with the light fluffy batter. Although often considered difficult to make they are actually quite simple with 4 ingredients but the key to making excellent, light, fluffy Yorkshire puddings is more science than art. The secret to making sure the puddings rise is in the rapid expansion of air caused by a sudden increase in temperature in the batter. To achieve this, it is best that the ingredients are all at room temperature before you start.

Ingredients 3 Eggs 1 Cup of all purpose flour 1 Cup of milk or half milk / half water 2 Tablespoons of butter

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 375F and divide the butter between 12 muffin pans (or 1 large baking pan). 2. Place the muffin or baking pan in the hot oven. 3. Lightly beat the eggs and then beat in the flour until it is all combined. 4. Next, gently beat in the milk until the batter is smooth and is about the consistency of half and half. 5. To create the rapid increase in temperature it is important to transfer the batter to the baking pan quite quickly (but safely). Once the batter has been placed in the pan, return the pan to the oven and after 5 minutes reduce the temperature to 350F and bake for another 25 minutes until light and golden. It is quite important at this stage to resist the temptation to open door of the oven to take a look so as not to cause a drop in temperature.


March 2016



Restaurant Review


Commercial Drive At Bua Thai Cuisine on Vancouver's Commercial Drive the sound of woks sizzling in the background whets the appetite of hungry patrons. The chef, Bualom (Lynne) Boudreau, has been up since dawn prepping her kitchen, an exercise in exacting perfection that has resulted in a loyal customer base. Bualom means “Lotus Flower” in the Thai language, is an apt description of the food, the chef, and her story.

Lynne grew up in Northern Thailand, in a small rural village with five other siblings nearly 30 years ago. With less than 5,000 people, she worked long hours in the rice fields, and later helped her mother prepare food for the family. She is used to the steady rhythm, long hours, and enjoys the purposeful ebb and flow of her kitchen. She learned the craft from her mother, another great chef, specializing in the Northern Thai cuisine. After she became adept at the fast pace, preparing dishes with fresh local ingredients, as the family’s culinary wonder kid, she was inspired to open her own restaurant, Bua Thai Cuisine in Canada.

Her specialty is the “country style” cooking of Northern Thailand, known for local fresh ingredient and highly flavored curries, and stir-fries. Her day starts with visits to Vancouver's markets, selecting the best fresh produce, and sourcing unique Thai specialties that can be hard to find in the West before returning to the restaurant to prepare the daily specials and menu items. Making all of her lunch specials with hand selected and fresh local ingredients Lynne provides great value for her loyal customers. Bua has some of the best pad Thai in the city and is famous for her 'jungle curry.'

A highly seasoned dish made with any protein and local vegetables. Adding to the welcoming atmosphere Lynne often serves the dinners herself. The other famous specialty is the Salmon Curry, served with coconut rice and a side salad, my personal favorite. However, dinner is not complete without trying the papaya salad a fresh mix of green beans, papaya, and a light dressing and a final treat would the deep fried banana ice cream with all the flavors of a tropical paradise.

RJ Singh 20

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I sit, flipping through the current issue of BACKPACKER magazine, dreaming of future adventures and mentally making additions to my bucket-list. I love learning of new hikes and outdoor activities. I am energized by them and cannot fathom the idea that there are people out there who don't

Recent studies by European researchers suggest that as little as 15 minutes of daily outdoor activity can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and mild depressive disorders. It also increases our potential for natural Vitamin D absorption which is extremely limited in our northern latitude for several months of the year. Vitamin D is important to our immune system, hormonal balance and prevention of inflammatory


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want to go on extended hiking trips or seek out new adventures exploring the various facets, near and far of this amazing world in which we live. But seriously, I understand, one does not have to go to such an extreme to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors.

conditions and obesity. Among other things, getting out in the great outdoors will aid in promoting better sleep and more generally, encourage a greater sense of well-being. 15 minutes a day is all it takes. How easy is that? 15 minutes to walk around the block or meet up with a friend and once you get talking, those 15 minutes can turn into 30 minutes or an hour! Do you have a dog? Walk your dog through the park, dogs love

and need exercise just as their humankeepers do, in keeping them healthy and happy you are positively affecting your own well-being. If you prefer not to walk, then perhaps you are more inclined to work in your garden. It truly does not matter what you do, just get outside and back to nature! Spend some time in silence, turn off the electronics or better yet leave them inside and take notice of what is around you; what do you see, hear, aajmag.ca

Photo credit: Dieter Stein

feel and smell? Â Becoming aware of your surroundings will help you to become more present in the moment. This is a good exercise to help free yourself from the attachment to your daily stressors and is very much a form of meditation.

are also introduced and are allowed to develop a connection of their own. Let them learn, explore, imagine and play - without the rules of sports and structured programs. Please see for yourself, you can find this article at childrenandnature.org.

I believe the sense of peace and serenity that accumulates in us when we take the time to enjoy the more natural settings proves how nature is inherently a part of us. We require it for balance and clarity. I came upon a website that offers a deeper look at the connection between man and nature and it delves into the importance of ensuring our children

I'll finish by quoting University of Michigan Psychologist, Richard Kaplin, 'Nature matters to people, big trees and small trees, glistening water, chirping birds, budding bushes, colourful flowers - these are important ingredients in a good life.' Now, go out and enjoy!

Photo credit: Laura Fitzpatrick

LAURA FITZPATRICK, RMT, is a Registered Massage Therapist who is passionate about her work and understanding the human body and preventative care. aajmag.ca



March 2016





Vitamin C: The Anti-Ageing Ingredient You Can’t Live Without

Primping with makeup and hair care is one thing, but if you really want to glow, you need to go deeper, and take care of the skin you are in. The condition of our facial skin is a reflection of our general health and wellness, inside and out. When I’m stressed out, travelling, and eating out all the time, my skin takes a turn for the worse. On the other hand, when I take time to meditate, have a regular sleep pattern, and drink and eat a lot of greens, my skin glows. Before I understood all the ins and outs of skincare formulations, and the fact that beautiful skin begins on the inside - I have to admit that I wasted too much money on completely useless 26

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products with empty promises. It’s so hard not to fall for the quick fix thing. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to lasting beauty and skin that looks gorgeous with or without makeup.

Fortunately, there is so much we can now do to smooth skin texture and even out the tone - and to protect from these key signs of ageing, even if we haven’t yet started to experience them.

When I reached my thirties, I decided I wanted to get a little more proactive about my skin. I began to notice quite a bit of sun damage (brown spots suddenly appeared on the top of my cheeks), coarser texture in and around my t zone, not mention an almost overnight appearance of fine wrinkles.

There are only a handfull of active ingredients that have proven effective in this respect. The important thing to realize is that no one ingredient on its own is a miracle worker. I look for products that contain a carefully formulated blend of specific ingredients. aajmag.ca

I only recommend active ingredients that have been published, peer reviewed and have double blind, placebo controlled studies backing them up. I am a stickler for this kind of scientific research because there are so many bogus marketing claims out there, and I don’t want you to waste your hard-earned money on something that really doesn’t work.

an inch of my life up until my thirties, and like I had said before, that’s when the brown spots began to appear. Aside from helping with sunspots, this is what else vitamin C can do for you:

One of these active ingredients, and the one I am the most obsessed with is vitamin C.

• Build collagen

Vitamin C is one of the few skincare ingredients that has substantiated evidence proving that it significantly helps improve the look and texture of your skin. A groundbreaking study found that vitamin C considerably reduces the visible signs of sun damage on the back of hairless pigs. If it can do that for a little piggy, trust me, it can do it for you too! And yes, we have the studies to show it works on human skin as well. Needless to say, I’m obsessed with this stuff because I have slathered myself in zero-SPF and roasted myself within

The most stable forms of vitamin C are: ascorbyl palmitate, l’ascorbic acid (in powder form), sodium ascorbyl phosphate, retinyl ascorbate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.

• Protect your skin from UV damage • Strengthen your skin’s barrier response • Reduce inflammation • Lessen hyperpigmentation • Boost efficacy of sunscreen actives

Choose a serum that contains a proven-stable form of vitamin C and use it every night. Depending on the formulation and percentage of this active ingredient, it may have a contraindication to the sun. As well, our skin does most of its

r e g e n e r a t i ve w o r k a t n i g h t , so finding a great vitamin c serum for night time use will help protect your skin. Don’t forget to apply it directly to your face, neck and back of your hands after cleansing and exfoliating. Vitamin C oxidizes quickly, so finding a product with an expiration date or date of manufacturing will help determine the potency of the serum you are using. The rule of thumb is, when no expiration date is present, make sure to use your vitamin c serum within 6 months, and then replenish with a new bottle. If your skin is broken and/or super sensitive, you need to be cautious and you may want to consider one of the more gentler forms of vitamin C: ascorbyl palmitate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, retinal ascorbate and stay away from the heavy hitter, l’ascorbic acid.

JESSIE MARWAHA is a skincare educator and blogger who educates established institutions, practitioners, and the public on the efficacy of natural beauty care products.



About Us Some of our innovative initiatives are introducing new innovative health management systems such as rapid blood test by HealthTab, which is the first pharmacy in Canada to use this system to measure and monitor lab accurate 21 key health markers for chronic diseases. We are there to lead these initiatives and increase awareness to out patients through our work. PharmacyBC.com was the first in Canada to offer Point-Of-Care Rapid HIV test in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care. Our locations were the first nationally to pilot Chronic Kidney Disease screening in partnership with BC Branch of Kidney Foundation and funded by the BC Ministry of Health. Ministry of Health and BC Pharmacy Association have recognized our work as the first few pharmacies picked for the Medication Management Project. We have been selected to participate in a pilot program with UBC for Genome Sequencing and INR. We are one of eight pharmacies selected in a partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health to provide in-home medication adherence monitoring services to mental health and addiction patients.

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The Courage to HEAL Imagine waking up to the real you after 20 years of depression and anxiety. As far as I can remember from my child-hood, I had a large list of symptoms that were causing havoc in my life. This changed in 2008, when I started to take control of my life. I discovered the reasons behind my symptoms, and why my life was out of control. I was emotionally disconnected from the REAL ME and my spiritual body. I had never learned to feel and understand my emotions. We are emotional beings and without this, we are lost to the world of fear and ego. We have the power to change, become free, and live the lives we want. To become emotionally free and fearless we have to look at our emotions on a deeper level and start the healing process. The emotions are that voice inside of ourselves that tells us what we think about a certain situation, and if it’s something that resonates with our intentions. Learning to listen and

trusting this voice takes getting used to, as it’s a process many of us aren’t used to connecting with. We have been told to live a life full of fear, and not to listen to that inner voice. We are used to listening to the noises of the external world. Your emotions, if suppressed, can cause awful symptoms in your body; such as anxiety, depression and stomach upset and many more. The symptoms will continue to get worse until you learn to listen to them, and take action. By learning to connect to your emotions, you can correct the symptoms. This is the challenge that many of us face. How do we learn to gain control and balance in our lives? This takes dedication, discipline and courage. It takes looking at the dysfunction, and

working through these problems on a daily basis. There is no quick fix. Self-growth work is a journey. I found with my healing journey, my childhood upbringing was causing the symptoms. That, and not addressing the key issues in my life. We take on our parent’s belief systems and cultural values, but these do not serve who we really are on a deeper soul level. These beliefs and values get so deeply embedded in us that we learn a program, and we don’t know how to reverse this. I learned to change my programming by reconnecting with my emotions, and listening to what I wanted in life. As well, I changed my thought patterns, and retrained my mind to think positively no matter what the situation. Where there is a will, there is a way.

NERINDER BAINS is a Master Empowerment Coach in British Columbia. Certified through The Swat Institute (Simply Women Accredited Trainer) an international coaching certification designed for women 30

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South Asians & Cardiovascular Risk Almost 1 million South Asians live in Canada representing about 3% of the Canadian population as one of the country’s fastest growing ethnic groups. They also have a noticeably higher burden of certain cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular disease (CVD) when compared with the wider population. Of the approximately 70% born outside Canada, 75% immigrated to Canada in the last 20 years. Remarkable progress has been made tackling cardiovascular disease in Canada over the past 60 years with mortality rates declining by more than 75 per cent. This has largely been due to research, advances

Cardiovascular diseases includes a number of conditions affecting the structures or function of the heart and the circulatory system. They can include: Coronary artery disease (narrowing of the arteries) • Heart attack • Abnormal heart rhythms • Heart failure • Heart valve disease • Blood vessel disease


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in surgical procedures, drug therapies and prevention efforts. Yet despite our progress, heart disease and stroke remain leading causes of death and hospitalization and the biggest driver of prescription drug use in Canada. Heart diseases and stroke costs a lot to the Canadian economy every year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages and decreased productivity. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in south Asian men and women. Indians have a  50-400% higher rate of heart disease and diabetes than other populations, regardless of geographic location.

Some of the Bbiological and metabolic factors which increase the risk for cardiovascular disease are: 1. Overweight and obesity: Being overweight or having fat stored around the abdomen can increase blood pressure, blood lipid levels and interfere with your ability to use insulin effectively. Our bodies use insulin to process glucose from food which is the body’s primary fuel. The inability use insulin effectively is a risk factor

for cardiovascular disease. The traditional South Asian diet uses high levels of fat to cook food such as deep fried vegetables and meat which can lead to higher body weights and obesity. 2. H i g h b l o o d p r e s s u r e : Hypertension is the most prevalent cardiovascular risk factor among Indian adults. Stress levels can also be high in migrants which may contribute to high blood pressure.


3. High Cholesterol: Cholesterol problems are very common among South Asians due to genetic risk, lock of physical activity and dietary habits. Cholesterol is a fat like substance found in all cells in the body. The most important contributor of elevated cholesterol is processed carbohydrates such as white rice and bread products like naan or puri. 4. Diabetes: Cardiovascular disease is a major complications for diabetes which also account for 50% of mortality among diabetic patients. 5. Physical inactivity: The increasing urbanization and mechanization of world have reduced our levels of physical activity. Many South Asians have little or no physical activity leading largely sedentary life styles. Studies have shown 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily can reduce risk of coronary heart disease about 30%. 6. Low intake of fruit and vegetables: Many South Asians have a vegetarian diet but new younger generation are eating fast

foods and unhealthy foods and beverages containing high levels of fat and sodium. Busy working lives also add up reducing the time available to cook food . Also working long shifts or antisocial hours along with and sitting for prolonged periods of time can prevent the absorption of enough essential nutrients. 7. Smoking/Alcohol intake: smoking is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke deaths in Canada. Smoking rates are very high in South Asian community and South Asians often smoke cigarettes, bidis or a hookah, or chew tobacco in paan or gutka. Many families enjoy smoking cigarettes or chewing paan at home, it promotes ritual and young kids sometimes start smoking at an early age. Drinking alcohol daily to unwind or kill boredom can also raise the heart health risk. 8. Stress: Increased levels of stress caused by work, family issues, debt or just over thinking can create irregular heartbeats, particularly

when experienced for prolonged periods of time. Stress also raises blood pressure increasing the risk of heart attacks or strokes. 9. Excess sugar consumption: Indian foods can be very high in sugar. Every celebration starts with sugar and ends with desert. Too much sugar can increase the risk of heart decease or stroke. In addition to sugary foods, sugar loaded beverages significantly increase our sugar intake. 10. Prevention: Avoiding exposure to the risk factors listed above can significantly reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease. Maintaining five or more healthy behaviours (not smoking; maintaining a healthy weight, regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet; and keeping normal blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol levels in control) are associated with the reduction in the risk of death from heart disease or stroke and promote all round better health.





Women Smoking

“WHY?” asks the author Nalini Bhui On a recent trip to India, on certain days, high pollution levels caused great discomfort. However, greatly compounding the problem was the open, unrestricted smoking. The result was that I simply could not breathe! Reading the headlines – ‘A documented unprecedented increase in the number of Indian women smokers.’ made me think of someone little. Here are my thoughts. You would not give a cigarette to a twoyear-old child then, why would you give it to the unborn one growing at two months inside the womb? A good question to ask dads who smoke around their pregnant wives. 34

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Sure. But an even better question I say would be to ask the pregnant mother who smokes. We are proud of India’s progress as being number one in so many fields. On the other hand, number two globally with over 12.1 million women smokers is hardly an achievement that can be celebrated. Ladies and gentlemen, what is wrong with this aajmag.ca

picture??? The Indian woman Kalpana Chawla, lived in space for a whole month & Mary Kom was a six times boxing World Champion. What proud achievements! Education levels are at an all time high at 90-98 percent in several states. Advances in medicine, law, aviation, banking, finance, science, technology, modelling, film writing, acting, direction & production and the success of many small & large businesses are to a great extent attributed to contributions made by Indian women. Mumbai now has its own brood of proud women taxi drivers and owners. India has a rich cultural heritage that gives a special place for mothers and spiritually, the female divinity i.e. the Indian woman

home? Whatever may be the reason, hopefully all, but at least pregnant Indian women who smoke will work on this problem and nip it in the bud! Don’t wait for the authorities ladies. You are smart enough to figure out the solution to what sounds like a recently escalated problem. More than ever, there is plenty of information and When education help for quitting – can lead you to please use it.

economic progress, then why not to social progress?

Why then is there a lack of understanding of the addictive and dangerous effects of smoking?

What is the driving force behind this troubling development of increasing numbers? Is it a general trend for boredom and a lack of discipline? Or, is it the affluent, permissive part of society - maybe a fashion statement? Or, is it simply role reversal as several of the top large businesses in the country are now run by women? Or, is it a fad to stay slim since obesity is such a major issue especially with sedentary, intellectual work coupled with the stresses and demands of job and

NALINI BHUI is a philanthropist, radio host, actress, public speaker and scientist who has a keen interest in a wide variety of topics.





Revolutionizing Women’s Self Care and Self Awareness Through A Subscription Box Ellebox is a BC startup that officially launched in January 2016, and was recently voted in the top 5 for The Best Concept category at the Small Business BC Awards. So what is Ellebox? It’s a monthly subscription box that caters to women during their monthly cycle, all while giving back to women. Ellebox is the brainchild of two sisters, Taran and Bunny Ghatrora and their friend, Jessica Bilmer, who created this box to shift the way women think about their monthly cycle. As well as give the necessities to be able to deal with this once a month ordeal, and yes it can be an ordeal for some of us. The response has been overwhelming; women across Canada cannot seem to get enough of this subscription box.

different packages available: the comfort box, necessities box, organic necessities, and organic comfort, because one package definitely does not fit all. The price ranges from $12.00 - $37.00 with a flat shipping rate. The best part of it, for every package that is purchased, partial proceeds go back into supporting local women’s initiative in Vancouver.

This is definitely more than a monthly subscription box, this is tool to empower women to take the time out for self care, when they may need it the most. Some of the packages include facial care products, teas, candles, and other self care items, which are primarily from local Canadian companies.

Once a month, and you get to pick the date of shipping to correlate to your time of the month, you get a package shipped directly to your door with all the essentials you require. They have four JESSIE MARWAHA is a skincare educator and blogger who educates established institutions, practitioners, and the public on the efficacy of natural beauty care products. 36

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March 2016


Psychologists argue that of all the things that make us human, it is our ability to communicate that truly sets us apart from all other animals. While many animals communicate through bark or calls, through growls and roars, and even through songs, none have the same ability to convey complex meaning quite like we do. Through speech we can express emotions, declare love, share ideas and even develop concepts and philosophies. Through speech we literally have the ability for minds to meet, to learn from each other and to further our understanding of all subjects. It can even be said that the human race's greatest successes, such as medical break-throughs and increased understanding, have only been made possible through effective communication while our greatest failures, such as war and conflict, are the result of a failure to communicate. But more important than speech alone, is our ability to record our speech in many formats. To make it available to others, separated by both time and distance even beyond the grave, making words from previous generations available for the benefit of future generations. As technology advances so do our mediums of communication, from

ancient hieroglyphics to written text to modern emoticons. Just as the printing press revolutionized communications so has digital technology with streaming and perhaps more importantly, our ability to record such vast quantities of data that were once thought incomprehensible. And just as the ability to communicate through speech makes us human, it is our ability to record and share our words and thoughts that makes us civilized as we have evolved. An idea or concept developed in Frankfurt can be applied in Nairobi and knowledge and wisdom from one culture can be shared across the globe for the benefit of all. And it is here, facilitating the sharing of knowledge across the world that Vancouver couple Sharad and Nisha KharĂŠ have carved out their professional niche. As co-founders of KharĂŠ Communications, Sharad and Nisha spend their working hours interviewing and recording some of the world's most prominent figures and helping leading organizations develop their own message to further their success through video. In the corporate world the KharĂŠ's have a truly impressive list of both public and private sector clients including several leading non-profits. They have worked with some of the biggest and the most innovative including Microsoft, MAQ software, Pharmacy BC and Blast Radius to name a few. Their non-profits range from the Vancouver Art Gallery to the

Robert Fogarty

Photo Left: Photographer: Aaron Aubrey Producer & Stylist: Crystal Carson of Stylist Mindset Hair & Makeup: Sara Rose Assistant Stylist: Nicole Jonzon Location: Adam Becker Design Wardrobe credit: Sharad: Diesel Jacket (Holt Renfrew), Diesel Denim (Holt Renfrew) /Diesel Shirt (Holt Renfrew) Soran: Pants & Top (Redfish Kids) Nisha: Rag & Bone Denim Pants (Holt Renfrew), Pearl Necklace & Bracelet (Nordstrom), Oscar de la Renta top (Nordstrom), Manolo Blahnik shoes (Nordstrom) Nola: Kimono (Redfish Kids)



Humanitarian Innovation Forum, the United Nations and the Curators of TEDx Vancouver. For their corporate clients, they handle all aspects of their communications strategy. From initial concept creation and interviewing to photography and finished video distribution through exclusive social media channels, the Kharé's run a full service shop including content video creation and editing.

Brian Noppe

…their lives has seen them document spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama and interview meditation teacher Bob Roth and leading philanthropist Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk amongst others.


March 2016

But perhaps their most significant contribution is as legacy journalists. Facilitating and spreading the message of some of the world's most prominent figures and visionaries and the personal legacies of their private clients. This aspect of their lives has seen them document spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama and interview meditation teacher Bob Roth and leading philanthropist Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk amongst others. In this aspect of their work, rather than create and shape the message as they would with a corporate communications strategy, they facilitate the sharing of the message. In doing so they make a mass of information available to all. And by facilitating rather than creating the message, the message is delivered in its' purest form creating a true legacy directly from the message's creator as they tell their story. So who are the Kharés? Both equally accomplished across many fields, the Kharés are an impressive duo. With over 20 years of experience in video journalism

Sharad is the agency's Creative Director. Building on years of experience at a range of media outlets including, The Huffington Post and the Curation Team at TEDx Vancouver, Sharad has produced over 300 journalist interview profiles of the world's elite and conducted many legacy interviews. Having documented the Prime Minister of India, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the CEO of Google, interviewed, Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson and conducted a Questions and Answers session with Deepak Chopra it is certainly an interesting life, not least given that the interviews are conducted across the world from Los Angeles to Dublin to Hyderabad and all points in between. Whereas Sharad is a journalist by trade and education, completed a Masters of Arts Degree in Professional Communications at Royal Roads University, Nisha brings an entirely different set of skills to the table. It is often said that the best partnerships are created when different yet complimentary people come together and that is what has happened in Kharé Communications. A qualified Clinical Counselor, Nisha has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, a Bachelor of Education Degree and a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology, all from the University of British Columbia. And in addition to her education is an incredibly diverse professional profile. Starting out as a Power Boiler Fireman, aajmag.ca

Nisha has been a Social Worker, an Elementary and High School Teacher, a Counselor and a TV Host. However, some of her other experience is even more remarkable. As a producer, a comedian and a model, Nisha really has been there and done that. She has interviewed Olympian Ashleigh McIvor and facilitates and moderates dialogue. As a public speaker, Nisha has been asked to address audiences to raise awareness of a broad range of both light hearted and gritty issues. Able to speak on subjects as diverse as change management, personality types, leadership, generations in the workplace and having addressed the United Nations on Women's Entrepreneurship Day and Powerful Partnerships, Nisha is able to relate to all manner of audiences giving her the ability to guide Kharé Communications in creating digital media that resonates with its' target audience. Outside of Kharé Communications Nisha has several other noteworthy achievements. As a Career and Learning Consultant with Health Canada, Nisha unlocks and maximizes people’s full potential in a one-on-one counseling program. In recognition of her contribution the wider community Nisha was recognized as an outstanding achiever by the International Honor Society and was awarded the University of British Columbia's Golden Key. Other Honorees include Former US President, Bill Clinton, South Africa's Bishop Desmond Tutu and Canada's first female astronaut, Roberta Bondar.

As with many couples that work together, there is no work life balance. But there is life and it is one that they are both passionate about. Sharad and Nisha started their agency in search of fulfillment. They both had separate careers, working in good companies but they both felt that they wanted more. Something more fulfilling, something that would enable them to make a difference and to create a legacy. And to do that, they created their own opportunity, Kharé Communications. Now, working together in their own company they get to set their schedules and create their own boundaries around raising their media savvy children, Soran and Nola, both of whom are already working in the video media industry. Nola and Nisha recently did an international Johnson and Johnson's Baby Wash advertisement. Busy days creating world leading legacy media are often punctuated by and arranged around the school run and other family needs such as visiting their parents who are also based in Vancouver. And when the children are in bed, it's back to the laptops. Photo: Erich Saide Makeup: by Atefeh Shojaie Stylist: Skye Epp



But what might sound like a punishing schedule, worthy of the harshest of employers, it is far from that for a couple that truly love what they do. Legacy journalism isn't just what Nisha and Sharad do, it is what inspires and fulfills them, it is their legacy. In giving their all to their own business, the Kharé's are literally following their dream. It's a choice they made, and although being entrepreneurs gives them many freedoms it also comes with great risk and accountability. There is no safety net and Kharé Communications can only succeed through their own efforts. It is here that the couple's dynamic truly comes into play. Having first met in their younger days in Prince George, their paths crossed several times over the years before realizing that they were each other's natural match on many levels.

Jonathan Evans


March 2016

As with all small companies and organizations there is no clearly defined division of labour and no formalized job descriptions written by an all seeing HR department. Instead both Nisha and Sharad gravitate to the roles that they are more naturally suited to whilst still being able to deputize for each other. While Nisha's visionary and goal oriented approach sees her focusing on the horizon, Sharad is more process oriented. As Nisha looks to the future asking where should we go, what should we be, Sharad puts the wheels in motion and maps out the route to get

Kharé Communications to where it needs to be at the leading edge of digital media. In true boutique fashion, the Kharé's are involved in every aspect of their business with Sharad even doing some of his own camera work whilst ensuring that the interviewees are always comfortable and relaxed. And it can be hard work. Despite their passion and love for their work. There is no manual or online course for how to create a world leading legacy communications agency. With each project both Nisha and Sharad strive to do better than they did on previous assignments. What worked well, what could have been better and what hit the ball out of the park? Which parts do we keep and what do we develop? It's the ultimate ongoing, continuous improvement process, always seeking perfection while achieving excellence as they do. While many married couples will find that both living and working together can be far more challenging than they initially anticipated, the Kharé's have found quite the opposite. Rather than struggling to find their own space or their own bolt-hole, through working together both Sharad and Nisha have found that their relationship has been strengthened quite considerably. Although they often have no idea what each week will hold, Nisha says that working together has enabled them to get to know each other in ways that otherwise they would not have been able to. She also adds that the extra time


spent together has added an extra dimension to their marriage and creates a level of energy that keeps not just them going, but also those around them. Through sharing common goals across all areas of their lives, both personal and professional, they have both gained a more in depth understanding of each other and a greater appreciation for each other. And in addition to what they get from each other, through working with some of the world's most gifted and knowledgeable visionaries and influencers, Nisha and Sharad are able to learn and draw from not just one role model or mentor but many, taking advice and inspiration from each of them, applying it where it is most appropriate. As Sharad remarks, 'One of the great things about being an entrepreneur, especially in our line of work, is that it naturally enables you to build a network of advisors and role models. Over the years, Nisha and I have been able to assemble quite a village and we take learnings from each person in that community.' With all of the challenges associated with building their own business, none can outweigh the rewards that come with building something incredible. While Kharé Communications is a Vancouver based boutique agency, it truly has global reach and is a world leader in its field. As they build their company around their family, Nisha and Sharad Kharé are making a significant contribution to furthering human understanding and developing knowledge and wisdom across time and distance and beyond borders as legacy journalists. And with not just working together but also having their children with them and their parents nearby, the Kharé's really have gone beyond achieving the work life balance that so many of us aspire to and have built a life that provides both tangible and emotional benefits on many levels, not just for them but also across the world.

While many married couples will find that both living and working together can be far more challenging than they initially anticipated, the Kharé's have found quite the opposite.

MATT WILLIAMS is a Geopolitical Analyst, Military Veteran, Law Graduate and a Co-Founder of Global Intelligence Solutions.





Over the years I found the courage to speak out against domestic violence and to bring awareness to this epidemic. I broke many barriers and became the author of my first book, Black and Blue Sari. These days I educate and train social service workers, police officers, schools members of the Immigration Parliamentary Committee and other sectors on what abuse looks and feels like. I suffered so you don’t have too. I paid a hefty price for survival – so you would have Hope. I speak out so parents can go to sleep knowing that their daughter’s are safe. Before I truly begin my domestic abuse story, let me tell how my life was before I met the most evil person I have ever known. I was 18, full of hope and great passions. I was content with life, I made friends easily and pretty much lived a normal life. I had plans to go to college and get my nursing degree. That’s until I met Raj (not his real name) – Raj the demon. 44

March 2016

Like most Indo-Canadian families, my marriage was arranged. I didn’t know him but he looked smart, he was handsome, and extremely charming. He seemed kind, attentive and friendly and I soon fell for him.

Raj was older than me by 7 years, but it didn't bother me. He was a smoker, but that didn’t bother me either. There was just something about him that was controlling, manipulative and scary.

To describe the words 'hurt' and 'betrayed' is beyond what I endured, beyond what any victim of abuse endures.

The violence I endured was verbal, physical, and constant threats, but also sexual abuse, though I did not recognize it as such at the time. Maybe aajmag.ca

I was just too naïve. It all started on my wedding night. What a fright – I was brutally raped. The beatings began soon after that. The result of his first beating left me with a broken nose. The abuse quickly escalated into torture. He would tie my hands and my feet then beat me without mercy – mostly on my face and head. If I fell then I would endure kicks. His reasoning, you can’t do anything right. I guess I could never do anything right according to him. I never was good enough! I was never enough. My life which once was carefree and fun completely changed the day I got married. I became his prisoner. My life was shattered beyond repair; I no longer had a voice. He silenced me with his constant threats. He also silenced me by breaking my jaw. Day by day all I had left was a little strength to cry in silence. I had stopped looking at myself in the mirror. The mirror only reflected a wounded and a very broken woman who was no longer recognizable. The abuse was getting worse and worse. He would insult my family, my friends or anyone that would stand up for me and for everything I loved. What hurt me the most was the fact I had no control over my house or my body or my children. Instead he assumed that it was his right to control every aspect of my life. I had to ask for permission to go to the bathroom, he monitored when and how much I ate. He chose when and where I would sleep. Every punch and every kick was like a stone shattering glass. He slapped, punched, kicked, raped and threatened to kill me more times

than I can remember. Many nights, I would feel his cold hands around my neck choking me – I can’t remember when I had a decent night's sleep in all those years he tortured me. The few times I tried to run from him to save my life, he would run after me and drag me back. The beatings kept getting worse. I wondered when that dreadful day would come when I would take my final breath. My hope was that it wouldn’t happen in front of my children - He had every intention of killing me. In brief, some of the awful things I l i ve d t h r o u g h we r e , b e i n g electrocuted by his arc welder, doused with kerosene and given a match to lite my body on fire and, hung by my sari. People often ask me why I stayed so long if it was that bad? Because he controlled me and instilled so much fear in me. To leave him would mean more pain - even death. I had nowhere to go, no money, no clothes, no support, nothing at all. All I had was my 4 little children and the clothes on our backs. I was terrified of him and didn't know what to do. I kept hoping for a better tomorrow. Now I tell them, he was the monster none of you ever saw. Besides no one was ever there during the most difficult moments of my life.



No one wanted to believe, no one wanted to get involved. I often heard things like, “it’s a private matter and we don’t want to get involved”. No one knew this monster called me such slanderous names, No one knew how he made me feel ashamed, by asking me to do things, no wife should ever do. You weren’t there to hear the horrible things he yelled at me. You didn't see how badly he hurt our little innocent children and me. They suffered in silence. To avoid seeing the violence, they would often hide under their beds – where they made a secret bed. I ask that you avoid blaming the victim. Years later I would find out that he broke my jaw. One jaw surgery led to 10 surgeries. To the people outside, all you saw was the monster smiling at you and you just assumed that he was a nice, caring guy. Some of


March 2016

you would remind me how lucky I was to be married into such a wealthy and influential family. Finally the day came, almost 12 years later when I found enough strength to flee. I never thought I would be able to cope without him. Oh, I was so wrong. I keep thinking back to see if I would've seen the signs of an abusive and controlling man – would I have sought help sooner? But of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing. All I saw was a good looking, sweet and loving man whom I was lucky to be getting married too. He never showed any remorse for his behavior. I also question myself as to why I chose to stay in this dysfunctional marriage for so long when it brought no honor to either side of the family or to me.

I was stuck in a place of pain, torment and the fear of the unknown. After fleeing, I managed to get all 4 of my children back within a couple of years. Despite the financial hardship, we were happy – best of all – no more daily abuse. He can't hurt us anymore. He can no longer suffocate me. Because, he died the same way he was trying to kill me. A few years later he was found dead around the same waters where he tried unsuccessfully to push me into. Remember that box of matches he handed me after he had doused me with kerosene, well this time I did light it - at his funeral to cremate his body. My life began the day his ended. My hope is that my story will help save someone's life and it is well worth it.


I have chosen to be silent no more. I have become a champion for all who have suffered and are suffering. There is no shame in admitting and seeking help whether you’re a victim or the perpetrator. My story has reached touched the lives of so many around the world. It is my desire to see that no one else suffers. My past may inform me but it does not conform me. It may inform me but it no longer controls me – it does

not dictate me. I chose to forgive him for all the rage, anger, and bitterness. The forgiveness freed me from his stronghold. I humbly ask that you partner with me and help me to reach as many victims as I can. I echo Hillary Clinton’s words, "If there is one message that echoes from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.

This International Women’s Day, I join women around the globe in solidarity for human rights, dignity and equality. I dedicate this article to all the victims of domestic violence and to those we have lost over the years. Let’s make everyday a celebration to all the women all across the world. To our moms, our sisters, our daughters, I salute you! May you shine brightly!

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Mark MacDonald is a busy guy, and he always has been. Although he is now retired he lives a life where is often giving his time to one cause or another just as he did in his earlier years, and as we all know time is precious, it's limited and once it's gone, it's gone for good.



Born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Mark's working life was given to public service, serving and building that same community as a firefighter and a councilor. After 25 years a firefighter Mark followed his lifelong passion for democracy and ran elected office himself resulting in 10 years of service as a councilor for the City of Cornwall and one shot running for Mayor. During his time in council Mark took a special interest in social issues that are often overlooked; parks and recreation, social housing and seniors seeing a need and an opportunity to make a positive impact in each cause. After retiring for a second time one might think it was time for Mark to quite justifiably put his feet up. But no, not Mark. Having time on his hands meant he had time to give and he immersed himself in a range of volunteer activities following on from the work he did as a councilor with seniors. And as Canada's population ages Mark has found much demand for his services as a musician hosting sing-a-longs for seniors groups. Whether he is performing at a seniors' home or for 424 Wing, Royal Canadian Air Force Association, where he is 1st Vice President, Mark puts on quite a show. With a repertoire of old time music including waltzes, spiritual pieces and sing-a-long songs including old favourites such as You Are My Sunshine and Que Sera Sera and a range of instruments including the fiddle, the mandolin, the ukulele, the guitar, the accordion and the concertina the shows are always well received.

And as a man with demands on his time, Mark, like you and I frequently has to be in a given place at a given time. As a result we often find ourselves checking the time. We're looking at the clock on the wall or the clock in the car. Maybe it's the clock in the corner of the computer screen or perhaps it's the watch on our wrist. But whichever it is, as we go through our day we're continually looking at the time to make sure that we make it to this appointment or that appointment. That we hit that deadline or that

wearing his 'watch out', as he calls it, he gets to enjoy his day pick the kids up. Is it time for lunch? What time is my bus? Do I have time to grab a coffee? So much so that we even look at our watch out of habit, turning our wrist and glancing at the time even when we don't necessarily need to know the time. Now what if we had something better to look at than the time for those occasions when we can be more relaxed and our lives are not governed by a schedule.

Well Mark has something just like that. Some time back, Mark dropped his watch, and it broke beyond the point that it could be repaired. As it hit the ground the entire mechanism fell out leaving just the strap, the case and the glass. But rather than discard what was left Mark had an idea, so instead he put a picture in place of the dial. So now, at the times when time is less important, such as when he is at a sing-a-long, or on vacation as he looks at his 'watch' he isn't faced with the minutes ticking away, but he is greeted by the smiling face of a family member or a piece of his one of grand children's artwork. He isn't looking at a device that governs him, he's looking at a picture that pleases him. Rather than miss appointments and fall behind in his schedule while wearing his 'watch out', as he calls it, he gets to enjoy his day being continually reminded of those that are special to him. After all, as Mark says, 'I eat when I'm hungry and I sleep when I'm tired.' And there is a lesson for all of us here. It's while it is often important for us to be at a given place at a given time, it is also important for us to step back, to give ourselves time and to think about those that are special to us and who bring happiness to our lives. What we all need to do is to Watch Out for some Face Time.

MATT WILLIAMS is a Geopolitical Analyst, Military Veteran, Law Graduate and a Co-Founder of Global Intelligence Solutions.


March 2016




· EXPLAINED · Come the post-Christmas financial crunch, many Canadians begin to plan out their spending so as not to end up in a pickle at the end of the year. A repeated goal is “saving for retirement” yet I’m always amazed to see how little people know about RRSPs and how useful they can be, especially since they have been in existence since 1957. Essentially a savings plan for Canadians, a Registered Retirement Savings Plan, or an RRSP, can help you establish a nest egg of savings for yourself during your retirement years. This will supplement income you will receive from government benefits, employment benefits, or any other retirement sources of income you are planning on. The growth of your investment within an RRSP is tax sheltered, which is a huge advantage to many people in

their working years. Canadians are living longer, but they are also retiring younger. The earlier you begin your contributions to your RRSP, the longer the nest egg of money will have time to enjoy market growth and the larger your retirement nest egg will be. There are several misconceptions about RRSPs. One of the most important ones is that you can, in fact, hold several separate RRSP accounts, even at different institutions. Whether or not this is advisable is a

different issue, but as long as your overall contribution is within the limit provided to you on your Notice of Assessment, you are golden. Another common misconception about RRSPs is that they are tax free. When you initially make an RRSP contribution, you get a tax refund depending on your tax bracket. If for some reason you have to dip into your pool of money before retirement, you will be taxed on a graduated basis, and may be included in income in the



year you withdraw it. The idea is to wait until you retire to withdraw the RRSP money (again on a graduated basis) so that you have income for those years. As you generally are not earning as much money (if any at all) in your retirement years, your overall tax bill should be lower than if you had not purchased RRSPs in your higher income earning years. A third and potentially dangerous misconception is that you can only invest in Guaranteed Income Certificates (GICs) or other

guaranteed investment vehicles. This misconception is dangerous because at too low of a rate of return, you may as well have your money in a bag under your mattress, as the growth won’t even keep up with the rate of inflation, especially over a long time horizon. The vast majority of investments such as most mutual funds, stocks, bonds and ETFs are allowed under the RRSP umbrella as prescribed by the CRA. A detailed assessment of your risk tolerance by a financial professional will help them to build a portfolio suited to your needs, which may

do better for you in the long run as compared to a guaranteed vehicle. Everyone’s personal financial situation is unique. It’s important you understand why you are contributing to an RRSP and what you are buying within it. Consider sitting down with a qualified financial advisor to help you with your decision making.

ARSHEEN VISHASH is a financial consultant


March 2016


The Canadian government made some recent changes to the minimum down payment needed for insured mortgages as of February 2016. The visual below is to help you and your clients better understand these changes and their effects. From February 15, 2016, the minimum down payment will be increased from 5% to 10% for any portion of the purchase price that is above $500,000, but less than $1,000,000. These changes will apply to: (1) All new insurance applications received on or after February 15, 2016. (2) Insurance applications received between December 11, 2015 and February 14, 2016 (inclusively) with a purchase closing date of July 1, 2016 or later. Please visit the link below for the government announcement of these changes: http://www.fin.gc.ca/n15/15-088-eng.asp

MINIMUM DOWN PAYMENT REQUIREMENTS: Details of new guidlines for insured mortgages HOME PURCHASE PRICE


$500,000 (AND BELOW)




5% ON FIRST 500K

$25,000 TOTAL $35,000



5% ON FIRST 500K

$25,000 TOTAL $45,000



5% ON FIRST 500K

$25,000 TOTAL $55,000



$700,000 $800,000


Bal Uppal Mortgage Specialist Cell: 604.309.7412

E-mail: bal.uppal@rbc.com



BECAUSE IT HELPS It is well understood that there are many advantages to having a strong and diverse network. By having many contacts in many industries we can share opinions, share leads and opportunities and cooperate on projects. We can also provide and receive referrals and benefit from being part of a larger community leading to greater collective knowledge and we can lean on each other during tough times and help each other find business and even jobs. There is little doubt that there are many benefits of having a good network. But why do we really network? In modern business most activities have a quantifiable and tangible cost and that cost must be understood. They will also have a value, which may be less tangible and difficult to quantify which must also be understood. Where as many activities such as attending a trade show or running an advertising campaign have measurable costs that can be tied to measurable benefits such as orders placed, what about networking? When we attend a networking event, or join a networking group we can know the direct costs but what about the benefits. Very often the benefits of networking will be impossible to measure, so why do 56

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we do it when the cost and the value cannot be easily correlated? One of the best networkers I ever met was my late Step-Father. He worked as an industrial chemist and his network spanned the UK and many other countries. Always meeting people he got to know them and willingly connected others where he saw an opportunity, not just for himself, but most often for them. And his network was not restricted to his own industry, it spanned many industries and often the connections he made provided no tangible benefit to him, his business or even his industry, but he still did it. In fact, it was an industry entirely

disconnected to his own that his greatest networking success occurred and we only learnt of it by accident. One evening my Mother was walking their Jack Russell / Cocker Spaniel cross , Sam, along the shoreline in West Kirby, the Northern English town where I grew up. And as dog owners will know, when we walk our dogs we meet and converse with other dog owners and to a degree we get know them and a little about their lives. In effect, we network. On this particular evening my Mother encountered another dog owner who knew Sam and they started a brief conversation. After the initial aajmag.ca

greetings the other dog owner said, 'Do you know, that your husband saved my business?' A little surprised, she replied that she didn't know as he had never mentioned it. He then went on to explain that one evening over a year previously he had been sat on a bench, not far from where they were, looking out to sea in utter despair. He had lost a major contract through no fault of his own and that, in conjunction with a number of other unfortunate events his business was now facing ruin. He was all out of ideas and was at a loss for what to do. Sensing that all was not well, my StepFather asked him if he was OK to

which he replied that he wasn't and he alluded to the dire straits that he was facing. Always one to help, my StepFather enquired as to what business he was in and was instantly able to offer a referral to a contact of his. He gave his details and advised him to call. The call led to a meeting, which led to an order, which led to an ongoing business relationship, which took the business through its challenges and enabled it to return to viability. The business the guy was in was not remotely related to the chemical industry and my Step-Father had not conducted any business with the contact that he had provided, but

through having a genuine interest in people and what they do, along with an inbuilt desire to help he was able to make a connection that saved a business. While it's likely that whatever activity it was that he was doing that led to him getting to know the contact had a cost, that cost is lost in time and it was absorbed as he went about his business. But the value, well the value lives on in the countless altruistic acts and the connections made by a man who networked, not for tangible benefits, but because it is good.

MATT WILLIAMS is a Geopolitical Analyst, Military Veteran, Law Graduate and a Co-Founder of Global Intelligence Solutions.

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At this time home purchases in BC priced $475,000 and below are exempt from property transfer tax also referred to land transfer tax. There is a sliding scale for home prices from $475000 to $490000: you will pay a reduced amount. If a couple (married/ common law) buys a home together in most cases the majority of financial institutions allow one of the spouses to be on title while the other is on as a “guarantor” (in other words not on

title but still equally responsible for the mortgage). The awkward question of: “what if we separate or what if one of us dies and we are not on title?” has come up or at least someone wants to ask but understandably does not. In BC at this time a marital home is considered 50/50, so regardless who is on title both parties are equally protected. If both parties want to be on title the next time round however want to save the tax again, then the

person who was on title the first time can go on title 1% and the person who was not on title before goes on title 99% and you are able to save 99% of the land transfer tax (given the price of the home is within the exemption guidelines). ***Please note the writer is not a lawyer and this is not intended for legal advice purposes.***

Bal Uppal Mortgage Specialist, RBC Royal Bank aajmag.ca



DUE DILIGENCE For Business Investors It is important that all investors and acquirers of small to medium/large businesses conduct proper due diligence prior to advancing funds or committing to make investments. Due diligence reviews are critical. We have always recommended that a qualified independent professional be engaged to conduct due diligence, separate and apart from any salesperson involved. Below, we have outlined the preliminary documents, questions and issues that you must review with the target company (the “Company�) prior to discussing the investment or project with your lawyer or accountant. Please note that further research and investigation, beyond the 10 items listed below, is required.


March 2016



FIRST 10 THINGS YOU MUST DO: 1. Obtain a current business plan (3-5 year) and a current marketing/ sales plan; 2. Do searches of the Company and its directors at the Court Registry, Land Title Office, Corporate Registry and all relevant government bodies; 3. Obtain four complete sets of all standard marketing materials that are currently used. For example: product brochures, testimonials, information sheets, slide presentations, electronic presentations, videos, demos, etc.; 4. Obtain audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the last five years, including the Management Discussion and Analysis (the “MD&A”) that accompanied each year’s performance, as presented to the board of directors and company. The MD&A should discuss each year’s actual performance to budget and should provide particular focus on occurrences outside the normal course of business, trends that have been experienced in the business and industry, margins by product, sales force productivity, and timing of new production introductions;

5. Obtain the quarterly financial statement for the previous eight years, including the MD&A that accompanied each quarter’s performance as presented to the board of directors of the Company the MD&A should discuss each quarter’s actual performance to budget; 6. Obtain Forecast Financial Statements for the next three years, including, specifically, the next eight quarters. Forecasts should include income statements, balance sheets and statements of changes in financial position. This forecast should have two versions: (1) a version assuming the completion of the contemplated financing, and (ii) a version assuming no financing is completed; 7. Ask that the Company provide any recent, or relevant, internal or third party studies or research that they may have on the industry in which the Company operates and the markets for the Company’s products. Are you aware of any other studies or research that you should seek to obtain for your due diligence?

8. Contact certain external parties to discuss their experience with the Company. Ask that they provide contact names and telephone numbers for the following: a. Auditors b. Bankers c. Five of the most significant customers d. Significant suppliers e. Companies/firms with whom they have significant strategic relationships 9. Describe the Company’s products or services in detail. Have the Company consider how the Company distinguishes its products or services from that of its competitors? Do research. 10.You will need to interview the senior management personnel of the Company. Each interview will centre on that individual’s scope or responsibilities within the Company and how he/she contributes to the Company’s success.

To learn more regarding this, contact Sasha Ramnarine at sramnarine@remedios.lawyer or visit www.remedios.lawyer

SASHA RAMNARINE Lawyer at Remedios & Company & formerly the Member of Parliament Candidate, New West-Burnaby, Liberal Party of Canada aajmag.ca




It seems like every day, British Columbians open the newspaper and find another proposal for new taxes on housing. Politicians, pundits and professors spend hours and hours dreaming up new ways to tax housing. They claim they have the magic way to tax us to affordability – their new tax will somehow, magically, reduce the cost of housing in the Lower Mainland. These “experts” know one thing: Nothing is quite as popular as a tax on someone else. 62

March 2016

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson knows this, and that’s why he is pitching tax hikes on overseas property buyers. This is despite a notable lack of information as to what impact such a tax would have on home prices, and what consequences it might have for the rest of us. When Mayor Robertson’s proposal went nowhere, three professors suggested a tax on vacant homes – as if a few thousand dollars will matter to billionaire property owners. A few hundred dollars in the pockets of young people will not get them into the real estate market.

It is all classic political deflection. When the public gets upset about something – in this case, high housing prices and vacant homes – the political playbook calls for politicians to blame someone else. Instead of inventing another new tax, our leaders should take a hard look in the mirror and understand their own contribution to high housing prices, and how over-regulation and slow city hall processes curb the supply. Want cheaper housing? Build more of it – quickly and as low of a cost as possible. When demand causes prices to go through the roof, only a new supply of homes can bring it


back down. Adding taxes does the opposite – it just makes housing more expensive. We know this first hand in British Columbia. In the 1980s, the Property Transfer Tax was brought in with a premier’s promise that it would only apply to the wealthiest of people buying the most elite of properties. We all know what happened: now it applies to every property, driving up housing prices. These days, new housing is taxed at outrageous levels. There is federal GST. There’s that property transfer tax just noted, which not only applies to everyone, but is also charged every time a property is sold and embedded each time into the price of a house Building a new home or buying one built in the past decade? Either directly or indirectly, you’re paying federal income tax on every subtrade’s work; the employer’s share of Employment Insurance, the employer’s share of Canada Pension Plan, and federal duties and tariffs on building materials. You’re also paying provincial WorkSafeBC levies, carbon and fuel taxes to move materials to the build site, provincial income tax, and sales tax on everything from the studs to the carpet to the doorbell. But wait, there’s more: a leaky condo levy if you’re buying a condo, and added costs from BC’s new energy efficiency regulations. Then there is city hall with their municipal, regional, school and TransLink property taxes, plus utility

charges, development permit fees, subdivision fees, building permit fees, business license fees, rezoning fees, landscaping review fees, offsite servicing charges, storm water management charges, school site acquisition charges, local development cost charges, regional sewer and drainage development cost charges, community amenity contributions, and affordable housing fund contributions. Plus, there are the added costs from all the regulations. The more cumbersome a process, the more time it takes. And when you’re paying people by the hour to build your home, time equals money. When a city is micromanaging a house to the level of banning doorknobs and ordering showers be installed on floors that don’t have bedrooms, it means more expense for builders and, ultimately, buyers. Don’t believe me? Ask someone who is actually building a home in Vancouver. Keith Roy launched www. buildinginvancouver.com to chronicle his efforts to build a house near Main and 41st. He started the process on Feb. 20, 2015, which he says made him the first person in Vancouver that year to apply to build a home. (Want more affordable housing in Vancouver? We’re going to need more people building than just Keith.)

Despite the relative simplicity of a project consisting of one home, Roy didn’t get his permits until October 5. Eight months. That’s 228 days, while Roy continued to pay carrying costs, property taxes and other monthly bills for a property he couldn’t even build on. Why does government make building homes so expensive and difficult? And how do politicians not understand that this translates into higher costs for developers and higher prices for residents? Roy’s story should be required reading for every politician across the Lower Mainland who has ever complained about high housing costs. We can’t tax our way to housing affordability. If we could, we would already be there, with a couple dozen different taxes and umpteen expensive regulations. We already tax housing to the max and that clearly hasn’t worked. It’s time for Mayor Robertson to forget about deflecting blame and instead lead by example and conduct a full review of the City of Vancouver’s housing tax and regulation scheme. We already know what adding taxes on housing does – it makes buying a new home more expensive. Let’s try the opposite tact: cutting taxes on housing and increasing the supply of new homes to bring prices down.

The costs quickly piled up. Among many other questionable requirements, the City required him to hire a “Certified Energy Advisor.” Thousands and thousands of dollars were wasted on bureaucratic red tape.

JORDAN BATEMAN iB.C. Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation







Global terrorism has a specific purpose, particularly when it targets the Western world where there is often coexistence between people of various ethnic backgrounds. Terrorists of the calibre of Al Qaeda and ISIS are aware of this, and they see that as a vulnerability of Western societies. When dozens were killed in Paris, ISIS did not expect to conquer France, but it aimed to create suspicion among the large Muslim population of France and the mainstream French community. The daily media coverage of terror, the interactions of people on social media and the vast ignorance of Islam create a poisonous environment that terrorists love to exploit.


March 2016


It was this backdrop of fear that caused public panic when an online medium received a leaked internal police memo depicting three people as scouting out a local mall. The memo said police were interested in finding three MiddleEastern-looking people who had apparently carried out surveillance at the popular Pacific Centre Mall and taken photos of exits and entries along with 360-degree panoramic shots. The memo said that these three had spent quite a bit of time at the Dunsmuir exit. These were loaded words, playing up the most stereotypical fears concealed within society. What this implied was that these men were likely terrorists and they were potentially figuring out how to come in, kill and then figure out which way to make a getaway. Almost immediately, mainstream media were left in a predicament because a small-time website had carried what looked like a major terrorism scoop. As they scrambled to follow-up the story, many used the same photos that had been leaked. No attempt was made to cover the faces of the three, or to blur the images – just in case they were completely innocent. Normally, mainstream media are reluctant to carry such pictures for ethical reasons. We’ve all seen CCTV images, often of bank robbery suspects or people perpetrating crime in apartment lobbies or elsewhere. These pictures leave an impression in our minds that only real crooks get photographed. But today cameras are everywhere. In malls and in public places such as SkyTrain stations and even hotel lobbies and stores. Thousands of photos of innocent people are taken everywhere from gas stations to bank machines.

Police Chief Adam Palmer turned up personally to address the issue of three suspicious men taking pictures of Pacific Centre Mall – ostensibly for a terrorist attack. He nonchalantly declared that what was leaked was an internal police information bulletin meant for the eyes of law enforcement and it’d be tough to track down which cop leaked it. Great. The big question is: How is it that police are not able to safeguard secret internal documents and allow the leak of a highly sensitive memo that could have easily engendered the three people? And what about the term MiddleEastern-looking? It’s just one of the descriptions police routinely use to describe people, he said.

How is it that police are not able to safeguard secret internal documents

“Around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12th, police received information that three suspicious men, described as looking Middle Eastern, were seen inside Pacific Centre Mall taking numerous photographs, including photos of the entrances and exits,” said Palmer. “There is no information to believe that these men have committed a crime. Nor do we have information to believe that the public is currently at risk,” he added. At the same time, he announced the police were assembling a task force to track the trio down. Middle Eastern looking men; taking pictures of entrances and exits at a popular mall – that alone was enough to create a buzz around Vancouver that something terrible was imminent. The original story had been shared more than 66,000 times and social media and text messages were buzzing about an imminent terrorist attack. The paranoia train was running amok as people whipped themselves into a fear.



For those of us who are veteran terrorism investigators the smell of a fake alarm was all over this story and I began sending tweets to VPD on Twitter questioning their wisdom and questioning their fearmongering. In a series of tweets, I told police they were being silly and all they had was

I received a text-message from a relative: “So a terrorist attack is imminent.”

I am one of the 3 men, the other two are visually impaired hence the photography. Thank you for being logical. ”

“Calm down, there is no terrorist attack,” I wrote back. VPD did not respond to my tweets. I had not expected them to. They generally don’t get into a debate online. But the victim of this racial profiling incident was also reading my tweets. I had no idea he was reading what I was posting until I received a message from a man who was not someone I had known before.

“suspected Muslims.” In another tweet I said: “You’re creating public paranoia for no reason. Stooping too low VPD.” I was looking at the pictures of the trio of people standing in the middle of the mall, and one man was pointing a cell phone camera. These


March 2016

folks did not look Middle-Eastern to me; and their photography made no attempt to avoid security cameras. It just didn’t add up to being an unfolding terrorism event. I realized at once that an entry and an exit is really just a door! When people enter it’s an entry, when they leave, it’s an exit. The press release, the leak, the Chief at the press conference – that added to the fear the public had.

“I am one of the 3 men,” said the public Twitter message. “The other two are visually impaired hence the photography. Thank you for being logical.” I responded saying I had no doubt about his innocence and subsequently he sent me a private message. We arranged to meet at Oak and West King Edward at around 10.30 p.m. on the night of January 15.


Mohammed Sharaz, a man with a three-inch beard, his 14-year-old son Salahuddin, and friend Mohammed Haroon Kareem, who wore a closely cropped beard, were standing next to my car as I sat waiting for them. I rolled down the window and greeted them. The parking lot at Safeway was nearly empty at that time. I asked them to get into the car but they were reluctant, explaining later that they’d lived in fear since their pictures appeared publicly and didn’t know if some vigilante would shoot them and or try to capture them. So I came out of my car and accompanied them into Safeway. We spoke for a few minutes and soon they began to feel at ease and we went to their nearby rental accommodation. Mohammed Sharaz explained that his son suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease in which the retina of the eye becomes pigmented, ultimately narrowing the vision of the affected person to a narrow tunnel with the absence of peripheral vision. Medical science has no known cure for this and the chances that his son would go blind forced him to search for non-

traditional medicine. During his search on the Internet he found a Chinese doctor in Vancouver who claims to be able to make a difference. So they first came here in August, father and son. Sharaz said there is a noticeable difference in his son’s ability to see. On his next trip he came with his son and a friend, Mohammed Kareem, who suffers from severe near sightedness and can’t read large letters just five feet away. When the two were not in treatment with acupuncture and herbals medicines, the trio roamed around the city using SkyTrain. On that day when they were spotted on surveillance cameras at the mall, they had disembarked and walked in. “My son and my friend take pictures of everything,” Sharaz explained. “They take pictures with their cell phone so they can zoom in and later view where they had been and to show their friends at home.” Sharaz, who was born in England, speaks with a distinctive English accent and so does his son. They are both British citizens. Mohammed Kareem was born in Pakistan but is a citizen of the U.K. Sharaz owns three pizza joints in

Manchester while Kareem runs a furniture manufacturing and sales outfit. It was by accident that they f o u n d o u t Va n c o u ve r P o l i c e thought they were up to no good. On the second morning after the publication of the story and photos by the online publication, Sharaz wondered whether their home city of Manchester was larger than Vancouver. He typed in ‘Vancouver’ on google search and the first item that came up was news that police were searching for them and to his horror he also saw the pictures of himself and his friend and his teenaged son. Fear set in, said Sharaz. What if they were outside and someone mistook them for terrorists wanted by police. What if someone grabbed them and wanted to become a Canadian hero. His young son was petrified, asking his father to close the drapes in case someone saw them. He was also afraid that if accosted by police his son would not understand their commands since he’s also hard of hearing



and has a cochlear implant. “What if he misunderstood and did something like not raise his hands?” They fearfully walked to the medical centre near their rental laneway home. This is where they were receiving treatment for several hours per day. There, they asked a woman to call police for them.

their motive. They kept asking; why did they come here for treatment? The short answer was that a desperate father was trying to prevent his son going blind. “My son is only 14. This could hound him for his whole life,” said Sharaz during the 15 or so hours that I spent with them over the next few days. “The photos will be on the

up and Sharaz began to breathe a little easier. At least the public now knew they’d done nothing wrong. Every reporter who interviewed them left feeling badly for them and all of them said sorry to them as visitors who had been treated so badly in our country which we claim is a model of tolerance.

The next day they had breakfast with Mayor Gregor Robertson who apologized for the mistake. The police chief also met with them and said sorry It wasn’t exactly like that movie “My name is Khan and I’m not a terrorist” but something similar. Two cops showed up. They talked. A few minutes later the cops went away but came to their home and picked them up, searched them and took them in for questioning. A short time later, it was all over. The police made a statement that their photography at the mall was for a “logical reason” and the public had nothing to fear. But the cops failed to state the “logical reason” the men were taking pictures leaving social media folks to continue to speculate about 68

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Internet forever.” “I am not concerned with what the cops did but I’m very concerned that this online publication used our pictures without obscuring our faces,” said Sharaz. “What if someone hasn’t read the whole story and someone attacks us.” By 11 p.m. on the night I first me them, I had been contact by CBC and I immediately put Sharaz on to a reporter so they could clarify the situation. The next day a horde or reporters from Global, CTV, CBC, Province, Zee TV and Aaj showed

After that the VPD went out of their way to make things better for the visitors. Two officers from crime intelligence who’d first interviewed them took them on a tour of the city, buying them lunch and then heading out to a 3-D show, Stanley Park and back to the Pacific centre Mall! The next day they had breakfast with Mayor Gregor Robertson who apologized for the mistake. The police chief also met with them and said sorry. “The Chief said to me he’s never met a man with such a positive aajmag.ca

attitude,” said Sharaz. “He asked about terrorism, and I said look, one of your cops was bad – he leaked information; but that doesn’t mean I’m going to say all of you are bad.” And Sharaz also told the chief that while police were forming the team to hunt them down, Sharaz, Kareem and Salahuddin were outside the Cambie Street police station admiring police cars for about a half hour. That caused a roar of laughter. Yes, sometimes the answer is right under your nose! And residents breathed a sigh of relief with an outpouring of sympathy and support coming from many organizations and members of the public. Aaj Magazine hosted dinner for them, twice. And publisher Suki Pangalia and public relations specialist Neelu Garcha even bought a camcorder for the youngster as a gift. Ken Herar, of Cycling for diversity, came to present T-shirts. Their Chinese-Canadian doctor took them to dinner and offers poured in from people who felt sorry for what had happened. One wealthy city executive texted me and offered to have them at dinner at his place with his wife and children and a ride in their boat to see the harbor. Sharaz and his son and friend were now feeling much better. VPD then drove them to the airport when it came time to say goodbye to the city that had caused them such torment. They were also given a letter from the chief that cleared them of any wrongdoing and they thought their troubles were over.

MORE TROUBLE AT HOME Their arrival at Heathrow airport near London was uneventful. But when they took their second flight to their home in Manchester three cops were waiting for them at the gate and told them they had been selected for a “random” check. “They questioned us for three hours brother,” said Sharaz. “They searched everything, every piece of paper, everything in our bags and even wanted our cell phones. We told them we had a letter from Vancouver police chief and we showed it to them. “They said their only information was what they had read in the media. So they asked us all sorts of questions. Why did we go to Canada for medical treatment? What did we think about terrorism? What mosque do we go to, what’s the name of the Imam at the mosque – I said I go to pray every Friday and I only know the Imam’s first name? I asked them how long they’d be with my cell phone and they said another hour so I said keep it.”

The next day police returned their cell phones. Apparently human rights have also gone out of the window in the UK as the fear of terrorism brings with it unprecedented police power of detention without a warrant and a search without a warrant. The whole unfortunate incident could have been avoided if mall security was doing its job. It appears the tourists were in the mall for some time, taking pictures, visiting stores. If mall security people were wideawake they’d have approached them and asked for an explanation. And it would have ended there. Instead, photos were handed over to the police who felt compelled to investigate. And then strangely, the photos were leaked by a cop. That was the part that hurts Mohammed Sharaz – how long will his son’s photos be online and how much trouble will they have traveling in the future? No one knows.

Salim Jiwa is an award winning journalist and author of two books on terrorism. He spent 25 years with The Province as a senior crime and terrorism reporter and currently freelances for ABC News.





BOLLYWOOD PREVIEW 2015 was an incredible year for Bollywood. With hits like Bajirao Mastani and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, 2016 has its work cut out to compete. But fret not! The year ahead of us looks promising. Here are ten movies you might want to check out this year.


I hope I wasn’t the only one both terrified and intrigued by the trailer for Fan. From the prosthetics on SRK’s face, to the strange reverence his character has with the star version of himself, it looks like Shahrukh Khan is trying something new (and creepy) with Fan. Produced by Aditya Chopra and directed by Maneesh Sharma, this thriller is highly anticipated by all of King Khan’s fans. Proposed release date: April 15, 2016

source: www.indianexpress.com


March 2016

Housefull 3

A t h i r d installment in this incre-dibly successful franchise, Akshay Kumar and Ritesh Deshmukh return in this light-hearted comedy, joined by Abhishek Bachchan. Jacqueline Fernandes, Nargis Fakhri, and Lisa Haydon join the cast as the female leads. Proposed release date: June 3, 2016

source: www.dailymotion.com


Udta Punjab

It’s not all sunshine and sports movies in Bollywood this year. Udta Punjab offers an edgier film, taking a look at drug abuse among the youth of Punjab. With stars like Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, and Diljit Dosanjh, this film is a must see this summer. Proposed released date: June 17, 2016 source: ww w.troublel ess.com


Set during Gujarat’s Prohibition in the 1980s, Shahrukh Khan makes the list once again with this crime drama. SRK plays the role of a shrewd bootlegger, opposite to Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a police officer. This film will also be Pakistani actress, Mahira Khan’s debut into Bollywood. Proposed release date: July 8, 2016

e.com w.deadlin source: ww

Jagga Jasoos

Jagga Jasoos is an upcoming comedy drama with a star-studded cast. Featuring Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Adah Sharma, and Govinda in lead roles; it tells the story of a teen detective searching for his missing father. Proposed release date: Summer 2016

source: ww w.movies.u pcomingd ate.com


It definitely seems to be Akshay Kumar’s year, as this is his third movie out in 2016. Following Airlift and Housefull 3, Kumar is expected to release a romantic murder mystery. Rustom is inspired by real life events, and is being co-produced by Friday Filmworks, Zee Studios, and KriArj Entertainment. Proposed release date: August 12, 2016

ss.in w.hellobo source: ww



Mohenjo Daro

Hrithik Roshan and Pooja Hegde transport us to the ancient city of Mohenjo-Daro in this epic adventure-romance. Director and producer, Ashuthosh Gowariker is using this Hrithik Roshan starrer with music by A.R. Rahman to try to break his dry spell after not having a hit since his 2008 epic, Jodha Akbar. Proposed release date: August 12, 2016 source: ww w.mohenjo daromovie .com


Leads Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma star in this sports drama, alongside Randeep Hooda and American MMA fighter Tyron Woodley. Produced by Aditya Chopra under Yash Raj Films, fans are looking forward to Salman’s next hit. Proposed release date: Diwali 2016

w.9music.in source: ww


Directed by and starring Ajay Devgn, Shivay is said to be Bollywood’s most anticipated action films of the year. The film focuses on the human aspects of the Hindu God, Shiva. Introducing Sayesha Saigal as the female lead, Devgn hopes to impress the masses with his modern take on the well-known mythology. Proposed release date: Diwali 2016 source: ww w.koimoi.co m


It seems to be the year of sports movies in Bollywood. Aamir Khan stars in this wrestling drama as Mahavir Singh Phogat, a wrestler famous for teaching his daughters, Babita Kumari and Geeta Phogat (played by Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh), how to wrestle. Both of his daughters went on to become award winning female wrestlers. Aamir fans are hoping he can wrestle a hit out of this film. Proposed release date: December 23, 2016

.com w.dnaindia source: ww

JAHNAVI SINGH is a Advertising Manager with Ash & Grove and studied at UBC


March 2016




The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking Written by SUSAN CAIN 2012, 352 Pages HHH

Do you prefer to stay at home and read rather than go out and party? Does public speaking sound like your worst nightmare? Do you find yourself doing better working on your own versus teamwork? To unwind do you need your alone time? If you have said yes to a few or all of the above you are probably an introvert another word for someone who is quiet. Yet, these "quiet" people are equally successful in their lives as extroverts are. Some even break out of their introvert "shell" to be public speakers, but recharge by being in their own solitude right after. Susan Cain demonstrates this in her book, Quiet. Through examples of real people, historical and contemporary, she shows how introverts can be underestimated by others and themselves. Extroverts are seen

as better candidates for success in North America as they seem more motivated. If we continue to use this as a measurement of a person's ability we as a society will be losing out. Quiet is a good look at the psychology, history and sociology behind introverts. I enjoyed the first and last quarter of the book as that seemed to sum up Cain's ideas. The middle sections just seemed like more of the same but told in another way. I would

recommend that you don't read this whole book in one setting like I did. While I agreed with Cain and liked some of the case studies of historical characters, I found the book a bit dry at times. I felt like what could have been a shorter book was filled with some repeated ideas. I think if you read it a chunk at a time the repeated elements would not be so glaring. After saying all that I would recommend this book as it does put a good spotlight on being an introvert.

KRIS KAILA is a book lover and a Librarian Assistant aajmag.ca


Fashion & Beauty

Chiryan Da Chamba Who is Athena? Athena is a woman who lives a life of style, passion and leisure. She is a young woman, who free and determined, flows like a river, to embrace her freedoms. She passionately remembers her childhood experiences and blissfully grows to embrace her dreams and her culture. Athena is a story of all of us who have departed a long lost piece of our beginning.


March 2016


tere e k n a h k h ic v i n e Ve Kangna mutiyare oiye Kotye te baithe h Jagde ho taare

Chiriyan da Chamba a thread of inspiration that rises from all reminders of who we are, what we have become and where we shall lead the next generation. To see how far we have come. To continue the thirst to stay connected to our roots. To embrace our language. To listen to the stories that bring us home.



Athena is my story. AT H E N A b r i n g s a

Vadiye majaajan e majaaj bhul ga yi Gidhiyan di rani fashionaan ch ru l gayi Ghaghre vi gaye phulkariyan vi g aiyaan Kaan na vich kok ru te waliyan vi g aiyaan

piece of inspiration from the depths of my soul. The little thoughts wandering in the minds of young girls, growing up in the small villages of Punjab.

Credits: Jewelry: Athena | shopmyathena.com Photography: Flashing Lights Photography Wardrobe: Thagasuits Make-up & Hair: Girlfriendz Studio 7 Models: Rupi, Ikjot , Simran, Rubeena Quotes are from: Gurdas Mann & Diljit's song "Duniya da ki banu"

RUPII KAUR is the owner of online-based statement jewelry, Athena. Her work of art involves putting together concepts and story lines


March 2016



The Cologne Attacks revealed an ugly truth: Violence against women is a horrendous and barbaric act that continues to take a second seat to politics. As the women of Cologne, Germany were setting to out to celebrate and ring in the New Year, hundreds of other women were robbed, attacked, molested and raped. What made this horrific attack even more horrifying was that those deemed responsible included asylum seekers from the Middle East (Algeria, Morocco, Iran and Syria). As a feminist, humanist, and supporter of refugees, these mass rapes had me stunned and angry. According to Urich Bremer, the spokesman for the Cologne prosecutor’s office, many of the men had a mixed immigration status whether illegal, pending or granted asylum. These attacks have fuelled an intense debate in Germany about how to integrate the newly arrived asylumseekers, and the potential push-back on their acceptance. This concern has extended to all other countries that are also receiving such refugees.

Many conservative right wings have argued that the liberal left have largely ignored the mass attacks against women, in the hope that it will be forgotten or go unnoticed. I am not going to do that. Instead, I am going to try my best to create an open and healthy discussion. While sexual violence against women itself is not a specific cultural phenomenon, the response towards survivors of sexual violence can be placed within a cultural narrative. If we look at statistics, sexual violence exists globally; it is not solely an eastern phenomenon. The targets of sexual aajmag.ca


violence or rape may differ from country to country, but it exists in all countries. Part of me wants to focus solely on women and the barbarity of the sexual violence, as it appears the attacks in Cologne have surpassed The fact is sexual violence is a crime women and have moved directly to the political that has existed for hundreds of front, and the issue of years, it has been used as a weapon ofsexual violence against women has been lost war in almost every major war. within that debate. The fact is sexual violence is a crime that has existed for hundreds of years, it has been used as a weapon of war in almost every major war: Bosnia, Bangladesh, Sudan, India, Congo, Columbia, Vietnam, Rwanda etc. Sexual violence is also high in many countries such as USA, United 78

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Kingdom, Germany and Canada. In Canada, First Nations women have higher rates of sexual abuse than any other group. In the U.S.A. the highest rate of sexual violence is towards Native American women, and then followed by black women. The women of Germany have also been demanding stronger police presence for years during festivals. During, Oktoberfest in 2013, a large number of sexual assaults had occurred and women started the hashtag #aufschrei #outcry in reference to the sexual assaults. Sexual violence is not a new phenomenon, and those condemning feminists for apparently being ‘silent’ on Cologne, Germany, are wrong. Feminists are not silent on the issues of sexual violence. However this time sexual violence has been coupled with an intense debate of immigration. aajmag.ca

Let me be clear, first and foremost the topic of discussion should be on the women who have endured the brutality of these crimes. The main goal is to find the perpetrators of these crimes and for them to be punished swiftly, harshly and to prevent further attacks in the future. To bring this discussion in full circle, in reference to the perpetrators who have been identified as asylum seekers. The simple fact is we cannot ignore that in part these attacks included other factors such as ethnicity, class, and culture in addition to gender. For the most part I think we need to not shy away from the difference between the eastern and western cultural expectations for women. I am in no way saying or insinuating these acts were justified based on culture. What I am saying is that the expectation for women in many eastern cultures typically includes chastity, purity and modesty etc. Do I think these men sexually assaulted these women simply due to their cultural upbringing - no I don’t, but it did play a part. In Canada, we have seen many brutal crimes against Indian women, honor killings, domestic abuse and murder. Let us not forget Navreet Waraich who was stabbed to death by her husband, Amanpreet Bahia who was also stabbed to death by her husband, or the death of Manjit Panghali and her unborn child at the hands of her husband. We have also seen many brutal crimes against First Nations women. Let us not forget the 1200 missing and murdered First Nations women that the United Nations has called Canada out to solve.

We have also seen brutal crimes against Caucasian women. Let us not forget the countless victims of serial killer and rapist Paul Bernardo and his wife Karla Homolka. These are just a few of the many cases that have occurred over the years in Canada. However, let us also not forget in light of the Cologne attacks, that violence against women is not only perpetrated by Muslim men, because it is not. However, the east versus west cultural factor is absolutely and undeniably an issue that needs to be addressed. The truth is I wish it was simple to say “that causes sexual violence” or “those are the perpetrators of violence against women,” it would be much easier to solve. But I know and I know most of you know that violence against women exists in all of our communities, whether we want to openly say it or not. I am not ashamed to admit in my community the disparity between men and women exists, because if we do not acknowledge it, then we cannot fix it. In the Cologne attacks, the solution does not lay in stopping refugees from coming into safe countries because not all male refugees are rapists. The solution is in integration and education. The refugees that are coming into Canada are being carefully vetted and going through extensive procedures and the government has taken added caution by only allowing men who are accompanied with families to enter Canada - meaning no single males are being allowed entrance.

But that doesn’t mean that they are all going to be the perfect and forever grateful citizen that we expect them to be, because they are human. In the words of British journalist and author of India Dishonoured Sunny Hundal “In light of the Cologne attacks we need to face the facts – not all refugees are saints.” Sunny Hundal also discusses the inclusion of ‘integration policies’ which includes different methods of integration such as education, language, and anything that will help the asylum seekers to understand the country they will be living in. In Norway, there is the inclusion of an education program within the asylum centers. Nina Machibya of Norway runs a course that helps immigrant men to understand the norms and behaviors of Scandinavian women and to help them adapt to their new culture. The Cologne attacks revealed an ugly truth: sexual violence is a horrendous and barbaric act that continues to take a second seat to politics.

The simple truth is irrespective of race, religion, gender, class or culture, violence is violence, and each state has a responsibility to uphold the rights of their citizens. The men who have been convicted of these assaults need to be punished swiftly and harshly and deported back to their respective country. But we must maintain a united stand against any types of violence against all women, regardless of who is committing the crime.

SUNNY MANGAT, M.A. (International Politics & Human Rights), B.A. (Psychology) , a Vancouver Islander who was raised in Surrey,is a full-time PhD student at Roehampton University in London, U.K., researching sexual violence in India.




The Need for a COHESIVE STRATEGY in Syria (And Elsewhere)

Before we start any process, or tackle any problem, big or small, we need to do two things. We need to understand the problem and as many of the contributory factors as we can and we need to decide how we want things

to look when we're finished. If we don't we run a real risk that we will fail to solve the problem completely, possibly making things worse, or that at best we will be inefficient in doing so, wasting time and resources as we do. If we understand these two things, not only can we be confident that we will make things better, but we can also know as we tackle each of the components and parts of the problem whether our actions are actually contributing to the solution we set out to create. We need to start with the end in mind.


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Before we try to understand what created the problem, it is often best to decide what we want to achieve over all. And this is particularly true for complex problems. So if we take a very complex problem, like the geopolitical situation in Syria we need to envision what we would like the situation to look like after we've solved it. Sounds aajmag.ca

complicated doesn't it, but it isn't, it's actually the simple part.

A sustainable solution for Syria might sound something like this; to create the conditions necessary for Syria to succeed economically and politically through the creation of stable and effective government. And anything other than that will only be a band-aid solution. Once we have decided what we want to achieve we can decide what we need to do to get there and how we are going to do it. Now this part isn't simple, particularly with a situation as complex as the one that we are facing in Syria, but we still need to do it. The most important thing we need to do here is understand the problem, in all of its' complexity, and what caused it. And given that the situation in Syria is so incredibly complex, the causes won't be discussed here other than to say that if we don't understand them, we won't be able to deliver a sustainable complete solution that will enable Syria to succeed. In understanding the problem we need to look at all of the inputs, historical, contemporary, political, economic, cultural and otherwise and we need to understand how they contribute. Then we need to consider what parts of Syria work, and there

are some, and what parts need to be fixed and we need to look at these in the same context as we do for the contributory factors. Once we have done this we can see what we need to do, what we need to fix and what we need to maintain. For example, ISIS is clearly preventing Syria from succeeding and ISIS' activity and existence in Syria cannot be tolerated so we need to take action that address that by addressing the conditions that enabled ISIS to exist and those that allow it to exist. At another level, there are regions of Syria that trade with other regions and elements of this will have continued despite the fighting. They have done so over time, they will need to continue to do so and we need to make sure that can continue to do so. And while we are addressing these diverse problems and others we need to ensure that we are creating the conditions necessary for stable government and economic activity to succeed after the conflict and we need to make sure that a solution for one problem does not create a new problem or compound an existing one. If we address one part of the problem, without considering the others we run a very significant risk that we could make things worse. Now, while we cannot always reliably predict the consequences of our actions we must do all that we can to anticipate them, and taking a strategic approach, that

considers the whole problem can help us to do that. By anticipating the consequences we can be ready for them. If we take an entirely or predominantly military approach we may damage infrastructure that is necessary for economic activity so we need to either preserve the infrastructure or be ready to rebuild it. Conversely, efforts to build the economy while there is no human security will be futile and if we don't respect cultural and political factors we may be actually feeding the fire rather than fighting it. In taking a piecemeal, shortsighted approach our successes and victories will be short lived or tactical at best. As a result we will likely solve the same problem again and again and much of our effort will be wasted without providing any lasting benefit.

This might sound simple, and understanding the entire geopolitical situation in Syria certainly isn't simple but fixing only part of the problem certainly won't make things better. Only by taking a holistic approach that addresses all of the contributory factors, while remaining focused on a viable end state can we deliver a complete and sustainable solution. Not just in Syria, but elsewhere also.

MATT WILLIAMS is a Geopolitical Analyst, Military Veteran, Law Graduate and a Co-Founder of Global Intelligence Solutions.




ADVICE FOR APPLYING TO POST SECONDARY It's that time again when grade eleven students will start to think about applying to colleges and universities in the summer or fall. Deciding what school is best for your chosen program or area of interest is only one obstacle to cross. Then there is the actual application you must fill out. As a former Admissions Coordinator the first thing I would stress is that every school has their own way of doing things. Please read all that is required for that school AND program you are interested in; doing your research will pay off. There are no stupid questions but there is a bad time to ask questions... the day of the deadlines. At this point most things are out of their hands. Make sure you know when

things are due and how they should be sent in. Asking for clarification is something we are always happy to help with. Grades are also important. There I said it. The main courses like Math, English, Science, etc. are where you want to showcase your excellence. Some schools are starting to look at your extracurricular activities to see what kind of student you will be in the future. Please note if extracurricular activities are not a requirement or suggested do not include them in your application. This is the one time sending in extra information is not

a good idea as they won't be considered and could actually waste the panels time. Another tip is to call the admissions department on your own behalf. Go over questions with your parents but it is always best to call yourself and get familiar with post-secondary environment. They know how stressed out you must be and want an answer as soon as possible and will work their hardest and quickest to get you an admissions decision. Good luck with your application process and here's to getting an acceptance letter.

KRIS KAILA is a book lover and a Librarian Assistant and is experienced with university admissions


FINANCING YOUR EDUCATION USING OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY The cost of a post secondary education has steadily increased over the last two decades and is expected to continue to rise. The financial burden of debt that many students are graduating with can be stifling. With that being said, millions of dollars in scholarships, bursaries and awards are available in private funding each year, in addition to the funds allocated by the post secondary institution or government. Private funding refers to funds that the university has received through alumni, faculty, staff, local businesses, corporations, foundations, or other friends of school. A common myth I hear from students is that they think they have to be the most academically gifted or be involved in dozens of activities to qualify for private aid. Here are some tips, I would like to share to help you begin your funding journey‌

Understand the different types of funds available The term scholarship is often used to describe all types of funding or it can refer to funds available based on academic excellence. You don’t always have to have the highest grade in your class. Bursaries are available to those that can demonstrate financial need. Awards can be for anything including leadership, community service, overcoming challenges, varsity sports, and even participating in specific clubs. There is quite literally something for everyone.

Search for external scholarships offered in your community There are hundreds of scholarships, bursaries and awards offered by foundations, companies and social groups for post secondary students, in addition to those that your school may provide directly.

Know application deadlines and requirements Check the financial aid and awards application deadlines for your particular school and get a sense of what kind of funding is available. Visit institution’s Financial Aid website often.

Update your resume and line up a few references in senior positions Teachers, professors, coaches, advisors, employers or other leaders in your community – that would be wiling to write you a letter of recommendation. Most awards require only one letter so

if you have several people identified you won’t be burdening one person to write you supporting letters.

receive the same awards for a few years because they were the only applicant or eligible student multiple times.

Prepare a 250 to 500 word summary statement about yourself, your achievements and your goals

Always say thank you.

Some scholarships and awards require this as part of the application. Having a statement ready will allow you to quickly tailor it to each award or scholarship that you are applying for. Rather than simply listing everything you’ve done and when, focus on telling stories about why you chose that particular volunteer opportunity, leadership opportunity or how the challenge you overcame has made you a stronger person. Talk about what you learned, how you evolved or how you’ve helped someone or your community become better. Focus on impact and results.

Start as early as possible but know it’s never too late Whether you’re in high school or entering the last year of your studies, it’s never too late to start applying for funding.

Take the opportunity to thank the donor who provided you with the funding either directly or through the institutions. Someone cared enough about supporting students like you through their education. It only takes a couple of minutes to write a note about how much their support has helped you and what a difference they have made. Sofia Janmohamed holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Master of Business Administration degree. She’s been a professional fundraiser, educator and trainer for high school and post secondary students for almost 15 years. Currently she manages Simon Fraser University’s annual scholarships, bursaries and awards program and has supported hundreds of students over her professional and volunteer career achieve their educational and career goals.

Apply for as many funds as you can - even if you only think you meet some of the criteria. Don’t self-screen – that’s what adjudication committees are for. In many cases, you might be one of a few applicants, or even the only one. If you don’t try, you can’t win. If you apply and don’t receive it the first time, keep applying. I’ve seen many students

SOFA JANMOHAMED is a professional fundraiser, educator and trainer for high school and post secondary students for almost 15 years and has a BA in Communication and MA of Business Admin.


March 2016



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Free Play‌ For Free?

ENCOURAGING CREATIVITY FOR CHILDREN The challenges that the world is facing right now are unfamiliar and complex and therefore require creative solutions. Resources are

becoming increasingly scarce, the cost of living is increasing and the multicultural landscape is becoming even more diverse.

The children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow and therefore have a responsibility to pay attention to the world in a careful and thoughtful manner. They must find solutions to new problems, create ways to sustain life, live in a way that minimizes our environmental footprint and learn to cooperate with people with differing belief systems. As parents and educators, this poses an equally complex challenge: How do we 86

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nurture and prepare the leaders of tomorrow for this new and unfamiliar world? Many of the roles and responsibilities in this transforming world will require minds of people with a keen sense of awareness, patience, collaborative thinking and creativity. aajmag.ca


Stated simply, creativity is the process through which new ideas and value are generated. New ideas are generated and develop based on one’s personal experiences, understandings and collaborative ideas (ideas that build and evolve over time). Creativity develops at different stages in our lives and for varying purposes. The development of creativity assists in the development of a critical mind. There are several ways to develop the creative mind, but one of the fundamental ways to build creativity is through free play.

the use of the senses to explore the world outside (e.g. smelling flowers, collecting rocks, playing in natural areas such as forests or beaches). There are also open-ended materials that can be used to encourage independent thinking such as building blocks, Lego or dolls. Using these materials children are encouraged to create and translate their ideas from thoughts to reality without the structure of a predetermined storyline or idea. These materials have the potential to encourage children to build language: when they are proud of what they

challenges and issues that may arise either in their planning, execution of thoughts and ideas or inability to translate their thoughts into visible illustrations. There are other ways to encourage creativity for children without the use of store bought materials. Many of the materials can be found in your home. Using these materials will not only exercise your child’s ability to shift their perspective, but also use their senses and curiosity to explore materials in different ways (e.g. rip, break, bend, paint, glue). Children


There is a wealth of research and information, examples and books about free play; nevertheless, free play is simply unstructured play. It is time for people to explore, to look closely, to discover, imagine and build thoughts and ideas. Free play is essential to the development of creative ideas because it offers the mind and the body time to engage the senses, interpret information (both existing and new), draw conclusions, make observations and form connections between ideas. Through this thinking process, the mind has the opportunity to create value (for self and/or others) and essentially, new ideas.


There are simple ways to support free play, such as encouraging children to play with a soccer ball in an open space versus following the instructions of a coach. Promoting

create, then tend to want to share their thinking about their work! They also have the potential to naturally build storylines, engage others in their play, build on their ideas and take risks. They may learn to take ownership for their learning and work through

can also use the materials again and again, if they choose. Not only will they be exercising their creativity, but also minimizing their impact on the environment, while keeping cash in your pocket!




There are many gems that are perfect for free play right in your very own home! It’s easy to get started: 1. Gather some of the following materials in your home. 2. After you have cleaned the materials, find a place in your home to sort and organize them.

3. Encourage your child to think about what connections they make to the materials. How can they use the materials to illustrate their thoughts and ideas?

4. Encourage them to think about how they could use the materials more than once! The possibilities are endless‌


Rolls (paper towel, foil wrap, saran wrap)

Egg Cartons


CONNECTIONS Something to look through

Bug bodies, hills or mountains

Wheels, planets, faces

ILLUSTRATION Create a pair of binoculars using two rolls.

Cut the egg carton into individual sections. Paint the egg carton and add twist ties or pipe cleaners for legs. Add googly eyes and create a bug colony!

Buttons can also be added to boxes to create cars! Perhaps a car that can fly and does not use gas.

MULTI-USE EXAMPLE Use scrapbook paper, newspaper or construction paper to decorate roll and use as a science scope.

Use the egg cartons to stack and create imaginary worlds for toys to play around and on.

Encourage children to use the buttons to create patterns, designs, or sort them to explore math concepts.

Children can also use the egg cartons to plant a mini garden!

There are many other materials that can be used such as Kleenex boxes, extra fabric, bubble wrap, cereal boxes, cords, tubes or anything else that can sorted, cleaned and are safe for children. They key is to ensure that the


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materials are sorted and easily accessible. Big Ziplock bags and clear bins from the dollar store are easy to use to organize materials.


LITERATURE CONNECTIONS: Antoinette Porti’s book Not a Box is a clever illustration of how a box can be something other than just “a box” (e.g., a rabbit, a rocket ship or something else…). (Available on Amazon.ca)

Perfect Square by Michael Hall is another creative example of how we can change our perspective and encourage creative thinking. This author uses a square and transforms it in mind-bending ways! This is another great example of how to see the power of possibility. (Available on amazon.ca)

BAVAN ARORA is lifelong learner, explorer, educator, author and lover of all things unique and beautiful.




March 2016


Saving for your child’s education is one of the most important things you’ll ever do. Education savings plans from Knowledge First Financial* have helped thousands of Canadian parents make the most of their education savings – creating a world of possibilities for their children.

Get started today. Call Shashi Kumar Branch Director Knowledge First Financial 604-873-9619 shashi.kumar@kff.ca

Knowledge First Financial is a registered trademark of Knowledge First Financial Inc.





WHAT IS COUPLES, MARRIAGE & RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLING? Before addressing the question of what is couples' counselling, it may be helpful to begin by answering the question of what is counselling? Counselling, also known as psychotherapy, is a therapeutic relationship that is usually engaged in by two people; the client, who is seeking support or assistance with a challenge in their life, and the therapist or counsellor, who is there to provide the process in which the therapeutic relationship is established. The goal of therapy is to help the client meet their individual goals, whatever they may be. Individual counselling can be beneficial for anyone, and is not just for people that have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, although that is typically who gets referred for counselling. Common reasons to seek counselling include, but are not limited to: self-growth, feeling


March 2016

stuck, trouble dealing with stress, difficulty connecting to emotions, not feeling yourself, physical or emotional trauma, any suffering that you are experiencing, and relationship issues.

‌I am amazed and inspired by the couples that courageously come in to see me." Couples counselling is a form of therapy that concentrates on meeting the relational goals of a couple, so the relationship of the couple is what is being explored. It is for couples that are struggling in some way; distress,

escalation, or lots of arguments; infidelity or betrayal; disconnection or disengagement; one or both partners struggling with some form of addiction; or a couple just wanting to increase the already good bond that they have by connecting in a deeper way. It can be very scary to think of coming in for couples counselling. Common fears include: the relationship getting worse; finding out things about your partner that you do not want to know; opening up to your partner and to a stranger; that what is talked about will not be kept confidential; that the therapist will judge any part of you; that you will be in therapy forever; that it will cost a fortune; or simply, that it does not work and you will remain stuck in your current situation. When you come in for couples


counselling, everything that is shared remains completely confidential. Counsellors are trained to fully accept everyone that they come across. They are here to help you in your relationship, and their only goal is to help your relationship thrive. Therapists that use evidencebased approaches have a 75% success rate to fully rehabilitate relationships in only 8-12 sessions, which is considered a short term therapy. This change is not limited to a few days, weeks, or even years, but for a lifetime, because the shifts that happen, change who you are at a deep level. You will be rewired and even how you remember and experience your childhood will be transformed. Confronting the couples issue(s) in therapy is usually a scary task, which

is why I am amazed and inspired by the couples that courageously come in to see me. What is often scarier, is sweeping the problem under the rug. This usually results in the problem continuously coming up in repetitive conversations that seem to go nowhere. Eventually, living in a relationship where you feel alone or trapped or continually running into cycles and escalations that keep occurring is not sustainable and may lead to a lifeless relationship or an unfortunate end. The costs of this are so high, with suffering on both sides, and there is never a winner, especially when kids are involved.

understanding; from the dance of pursue and withdrawal to reaching vulnerably and being met with compassion and support. Reaching out to your partner in a vulnerable way takes a lot of courage, and together, we work to increase safety on both sides, so that we can truly see and hear what is under the anger, the criticism, the shutting down, the defensiveness and the withdrawing. Through the process of understanding the cycles you currently get lost in and risking to share what is underneath the behavior, you can have the safety, connection, and love that you had always wished for.

The goal of couples counselling is to experience a shift in the dynamic of the relationship from blaming to

OFIR VAISMAN is a registered clinical counsellor #11281

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Life with my Mum My sister, Mum, and I

What would happen if two head strong and stubborn people were forced to live together despite not wanting to? The result is obvious; irritable and grumpy humans. While this combination is usually found in long-time couples, it can also include other family members. 94

March 2016

Never once did it cross my mind that one day I too would have a relationship like that. I am not an 80 something woman nor have I been married for over half a century. On the contrary, I am a young 30 something girl married for 10 years. This post is about my relationship with my mother. aajmag.ca

Well in almost nine years, for the first time, my stay with mum is way longer than it normally is. Mum, I must say has changed a lot after my father’s passing away three years ago and I don’t blame her for it after a 40 year marriage. I, on the other hand, with an impulsive nature, am a difficult person to live with. Initially it was like a fairy tale romance between us, where mum would make my favourite dishes and take care of everything. But this “Honeymoon Period” soon ended. While I grew accustomed to being pampered, my mom raged at me one day “This has to stop. High time you got off your ass and did some work around here” Feeling remorseful, I scampered about doing household chores. Following that incident, our little tiffs became more frequent. It was my younger sister who saved us. She was like a marriage counsellor, but usually taking my mother’s side.

For our audience, we had the maid who would look at us as if we were crazy. One Sunday she even said “you guys fight like an old couple tired of each other. Even I don’t fight that much with my husband.” This came as a shock but put me into action. Here I was, doing what I had been dreaming of for past nine years – living with mum, getting enough time to spend with her, creating memories to cherish. Instead of making the most of it, I was ruining it by constantly bickering. I was very ashamed of myself and promised to change from that very moment. But old habits die hard and I have thrown in the towel.

While I try to control my comments, I do try to score my own points too. The difference, I do it with a smile.

The two or more months that I stayed with mother were like a Grand Slam Tennis match between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, but a match of words instead of rackets, each trying to score a point.

SONAL BAWA-BAKSHI is a freelance writer that lives in Vancouver




Building SELF-ESTEEM in Children Growing up, I was a lot different than I am today. As an adult, I would now say that I am a happy, confident and outgoing woman. However, as a child, except when I was with my family, I was a shy, quiet girl with self-esteem and self-confidence issues. As I grew up, I worked through those issues and became the person I am today. That’s not to say I don’t have my moments of regression, but it’s not who I am anymore. Since it’s something that I went through, I worry about self-esteem issues for my children. I want to help them grow up with a strong foundation of happiness, strength, self-worth and self-esteem, something I’m sure we all want for our kids. I’ve been reading different articles and different sites for more ideas on how to make sure I am doing this.

I found a lot of great tips and resources and I wanted to share them.


that we ourselves have a positive selfimage. If we put ourselves down, our children will learn to do that from us. If we are proud of ourselves, on the inside and out, then that’s how our children will more likely feel about themselves.

And constantly complimenting can erode self-esteem by telling them they are perfect or have to be perfect, an impossible standard. Plus, beware of the fact that you might be creating an egomaniac. (www.todaysparent.com)


2. I LOVED THIS IDEA FROM DR. SEARS: THE WALL OF FAME. Have 5. AND OF COURSE, PAY ATTENTION a wall in your house to display TO YOUR CHILD AND GIVE THEM your child’s achievements. It can be UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Make sure anything from sports ribbons, to a great picture they drew to a certificate from a program they are in, showcase it! (www.askdrsears.com)


to take some time out to give your little one some undivided attention and give them hugs and kisses. Both of these will go a long way in making your child feel important, valuable and unconditionally loved. (BabyCenter.com)

kids, you’re lowering the bar for them, saying they are already amazing at this and don’t need to try anymore.


March 2016



r o f s y a Who p

e c n a r u s n i ? d u a fr Insurance industry estimates say that 10 to 20 per cent of auto insurance claims contain an element of fraud or exaggeration. Our province would not be immune to that trend. If we were to apply that to our province, that would mean fraudulent claims cost B.C. up to $600 million each year. Insurance fraud increases claims costs, which leads to higher premiums for every British Columbian needing auto insurance. So insurance fraud is not a victimless crime – it affects you, your neighbour, and anyone else you know that drives a car in B.C. These claims tack on more than an extra $100 on every driver’s insurance policy – every year. While the vast majority of ICBC’s customers are honest, there are some people who have tried to get more than they deserved. Here are

a couple examples taken from our 2015 fraud files:

Dirty Dishes From headaches to back pain, a man complained to ICBC that his injuries are so severe after his MVA that he couldn’t even help his wife with simple household chores, like washing the dishes. Shortly after his crash, our investigators collected footage of him lifting box after box of heavy floor tiles at his work site. For his attempt to falsify his injuries, he was convicted of fraud, fined $1500, and is likely back on dish duty. aajmag.ca


Double Dipping A Vancouver woman involved in a collision claimed she was unable to return to work because of her injuries. After receiving an anonymous tip, our investigators obtained evidence confirming that she had been working since the crash – effectively collecting two paycheques at once – one from her employer, and another from ICBC. For exaggerating the extent of her injuries, she was convicted and served with a one-year driving suspension as well as a $1750 fine. In 2015, ICBC opened approximately 7500 fraud investigations, which includes almost 5000 claims investigations. The work of our

Special Investigations Unit led to a 98% conviction rate on all charges laid, resulting in approximately 550 fraud convictions from 2010 to 2015. Convictions can limit a person’s career options, prevent one from crossing the border and applying for credit. Thousands of fraudsters faced other penalties, including a complete denial of their claim, asset seizure, denial of optional insurance coverage, and other civil remedies. With so much on the line, it simply isn’t worth it to try to submit a false claim. In response, ICBC has stepped up its efforts in combatting fraud in order to keep costs down. In addition to our anti-fraud campaign, we’ve

Harvey Kooner – ICBC road safety coordinator




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enhanced our Special Investigations Unit to include cyber probes and training frontline staff to detect fraud. Later this year, ICBC will purchase special fraud software that will help to quickly flag patterns and high predictors of fraud at the beginning of the claims process.

You can help protect your wallet by reporting suspicious activities related to insurance fraud to ICBC’s toll-free tips line at 1-800-661-6844. Tip information is confidential and callers can remain anonymous. For more information, visit icbc.com/fraud.


The Valentine’s Royal Ball held on Friday, February 12, 2016 at Royal Palace Banquet Hall in Burnaby, BC was presented by Royal Palace Banquet Hall and DJ Sham. It was a mind-blowing event featuring live entertainment by local singers: Nishant Sharma and Jyotika Jasuja with guest singer, Karishma Deo, plus special dance performances by Nancy Bhullar, Aneeqa Kanji and Jasman Jasuja and a rockin’ dance party by DJ Sham. Royal Palace Banquet Hall totally impressed all with their beautiful decor, deliciously mouthwatering food and superb service. The entertainment portion of the event was a musical production featuring story telling through singing and dancing. Something never seen before in the Lower Mainland. All artists were absolutely amazing!

Partial proceeds of the Valentine’s Royal Ball were donated to the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation Cardiac Care campaign. The event organizers, Royal Palace Banquet Hall and DJ Sham, chose this fundraising campaign as it is close to their hearts and to many in the community too. Research has shown that people of South Asian descent are at greater risk of developing heart disease and stroke – and at a much earlier age – compared with other ethnic groups. The event organizers expressed that every little bit counts and donations to the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation Cardiac Care campaign will help to bring the latest, most advanced technology to the hospital and help save more lives.

Let’s meet the main artists for Valentine’s Royal Ball Nishant Sharma is a full package entertainer, an experienced actor, singer, dancer and model. His singing, stage presence, style and charisma will definitely steal your hearts. Jyotika Jasuja is a dentist by profession and a very popular playback singer in Punjab. She immigrated to Canada over 5 years ago and pursued her singing career here as well. Her popularity has also extended to Canada, and Jyotika is recognized as one of the top female vocalists in the local Bollywood entertainment scene. Last year, Jyotika released her first album in Canada called Shades of Love. Her songs have been continuously broadcasted on local Indo-Canadian radio stations and on social media.

Karishma Deo is a Canadian singer from Va n c o u v e r. Karishma has received I n d i a n Classical and Western Vocal Training. She is ready to melt hearts with her soft, soothing voice.

Aneeqa Kanji and Jasman Jasuja are young actors and dancers making their mark in the local Bollywood entertainment scene in Vancouver. Audiences have been extremely impressed with their performances.

N a n c y Bhullar has been dancing on stage since the age of 4. Under Shiamak, she has learned various dance forms. She has done multiple stage shows and concerts, as well as been a part of the BC Lions half time show during football games for the past 2 years. Her moves, and style are surely inspiring.

DJ Sham is the first female Bollywood DJ in the Lower Mainland. She has been making audiences dance to her rocking beats for years. DJ Sham has been an inspiration to local Indo-Canadian girls to enter in the once male-dominated DJ industry. Moreover, DJ Sham has been involved in the organization of many successful South Asian community events over the past years.

Stay tuned for more events in the future featuring these talented artists. aajmag.ca


DFSIN Richmond South Excellence Awards 2016

Congratulations Perminder Chohan on a successful event 100



Armaan Fashion Show

Bal Realty opening

Bali Dhaliwal


March 2016


Interview with Jazzy–B

Chano Movie Release


Vancouver South Community Policing Chinese New Year Gala

Gujarati Society of BC Presents Laadki


OFFICE: 604.584.1444 CELL: 604.328.5511


BHANDARI Jag Bhandari (JB), is the dynamic leader of Coldwell Banker Universe Realty with over 270 Realtors. JB has trained over 2,000 Realtors, Mortgage Brokers and Insurance Brokers who graduated through his ‘Helping Hands’ and JBC Institute of Learning.


JB has built over 20 companies, some of which include: Coldwell Banker Universe Realty, ODF Realty, Jollywood Productions, Helping Hands, JBC Institute of Learning, Top Brass Renovation and Restoration and several others. JB and his Coldwell Banker team are proud sponsors of the Vancouver Whitecaps Team.


JB and his Coldwell Banker Team of Realtors provides clients first time home buying services, and also specialize in buying and selling luxury homes and commercial properties. They are active in property development services, as well as providing E-services and more. In 2015, JB was ranked #2 Leader of the President Club Medallion Group, which is an exclusive club of realtors who are the top 10% producers among 13,000 realtors in the Lower Mainland.


JB is the leader of his political party ‘BC Vision’ and he is looking for dynamic candidates by the first week of April 2016 in the following age categories: Ages18-30 =25 candidates Ages 30-50 =30 candidates and additional candidates age 50+ Call JB today!


OFFICE: 604.503.2222 CELL: 604.724.0570


Faiyaz Khan is the proud owner of Mortgage Alliance AAA Canadian Lending which is one of the largest independent brokerges in Canada that specializes in all aspects of commercial and residential financing. Faiyaz has extensive experience in all aspects of real estate such as buying, selling, financing, management, etc.

Mortgage Alliance AAA Canadian Lending provides professional financing services and offers the best rates and terms which are tailored to meet the client’s needs. His company has access to over 30 lenders from major banks, broker only lenders, credit unions and private lenders where clients only need to fill out one simple application. Some of his Mortgage Company services include: Pre-Approvals, Purchases, Refinances, Renewals, Investment Properties, 2nd Mortgages, Bridge Financing, Renovation, Self Employed and New to Canada services. In addition, Mortgage Alliance AAA Canadian Lending offers clients a chance to win a $100,000 every year in the Mortgage Alliance Minimize Your Mortgage Sweepstakes! See contest rules for all the details at the website: www.aaacanadianlending.com Faiyaz’s success in business has inspired him to help others succeed as well. Part of his team is, Varsha Sharma, who is Managing Broker and Chandra Sharma. They have extensive experience and welcome any new brokers to the team and are willing to train them as well. Faiyaz encourages all individuals who aspire wto be a mortgage broker or realtor to join his team. Faiyaz offers effective courses in how to become a real estate agent or mortgage broker and invites anyone interested in this field of work to start their career with his established growing company. Faiyaz’s goal is to provide professional training and support to help others achieve success! Call Faiyaz today for all your Real Estate needs!

Surrey Mayor’s Breakfast presented by the Surrey Board of Trade

Mayor Hepner being recognized for 30 years of civic service

Nana’s Kitchen wins 2015 British Columbia Multicultural Award. This year’s award recipients reached out to people over the airwaves, in the classroom, at community centres, through work and on the web; providing training where it was needed and attracting people of all cultural affiliations to their cross-cultural events and outreach activities. The 2015 British Columbia Multicultural Award recipients: Business: Nana’s Kitchen & Hot Sauces Ltd. Source: Voice Online

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Valentine’s 2016

Here are the deserving recipients of the 14th Annual Shakti Awards. What a delight it was meeting everyone at today’s announcement party at Sapphire Bistro. We look forward to honoring these women for their hardwork and dedication on March 5th.

Academic Achievement

Resilience Award

Shakti Award of Excellence: Jessie Kaur

Shakti Award of Excellence: Jaspal Kaur Sangha

Shakti Award: Naina Grewal

Shakti Award: Surinder Pangalia

Business and Entrepreneur

Artistic Achievement

The 14th Annual Shakti Awa rd s w i l l b e h e l d o n Saturday, March 5th, 2016 at Bollywood Banquet Hall , 8166 128 St, Surrey. Doors open at 5:30 pm.

Shakti Award of Excellence: Mona Matta

Shakti Award of Excellence: Amika Kushwaha

Keynote speaker is Award Winning Journalist Belle Puri

Shakti Award: Avneet Gill-Dhaliwal

Shakti Award: Taslim Samji

Public Service Award

Athletic Achievement

Shakti Award of Excellence: Nalini Bhui

Shakti Award of Exellence: Women’\s SFC Rangers

Shakti Award: Kiran Toor

Shakti Award for Valour Alison MacLean


the 2015 annual awards gala was held at Taj Banquet Hall on December 16 2015. About 600 people attended to the Unveiling of Coldwell Banker Real Estate. The MC for the nite was Shabnam Narayan.

Vancouver Board of Trade & an evening with the Hon. Amarjeet Sohi at the Sheraton Guildford

Profile for AAJ Magazine

AAJ Magazine March 2016 - Volume 11, Issue 5  

In this issue, the Kharés share their story of what it is about family, work and sharing stories, Salim Jiwa looks into the Colour of Terror...

AAJ Magazine March 2016 - Volume 11, Issue 5  

In this issue, the Kharés share their story of what it is about family, work and sharing stories, Salim Jiwa looks into the Colour of Terror...