AUGUST 2019 | ISSUE 02
WS MAGAZINE MAGAZINE August 2019 Issue #02
PUBLISHER WomanScape, LLC.
FOUNDER & EDITOR IN CHIEF Rose McInerney
ART DIRECTOR Alex Hilton
CONTRIBUTORS Rose McInerney Alex Hilton Mona Zhang Yara Zgheib Denise Benson
CONTACT INFORMATION info@WomanScape.com sales@WomanScape.com
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“You can never leave footprints if you are always walking on tip-toe.” – Leymad GBowee
EDITORS NOTE Einstein feared technology would surpass human interaction.
to reflect on life. Stepping back physically doesn’t hurt either –as we climb New York’s new Vessel aka A Stairway to Heaven!
WS Magazine is in the business of inspiration. But to truly inspire goodness and meaningful conversation that advances real progress, protects the world and ensures fairness, we must have open and meaningful discourse. It’s that simple. Welcome to our second issue of WS Magazine. This month’s theme is provocative and smart. It forces us to examine the role of PARADOX in our lives. We zoom in on technology in this context and travel through time and people who have changed the world. Grace Hopper and Marie Tharp help us appreciate how they paved the way for democratized coding and harnessed data in progressive ways. But modern day changemakers like Jean Liu and Alexandra Velvakan are a different story. Both women shed light on the increasing complexities and ethical ramifications of technology. Company obligations surface when we meet Jean Liu who works with Didi Chuxing – the largest Uber ride sharing company in China. Jean shows us the critical role of safety, privacy of information and protection of data when they aren’t addressed. Our feature article on Alexandra offers a particularly challenging issue. Alex Hilton writes about her heroic efforts to democratize our access to and dissemination of scientific information. Unfortunately, Alexandra’s work now has her running from the law.
As we build conversations around inspiration, it’s tremendously exciting to rethink Einstein’s concerns in our modern age. We are connected to people, products, and services, faster and easier than ever before. But we must also be vigilant: companies are tracking our movements, selling our data, and gathering personal information. Is it really okay to “hey google” our way into the future or think beyond the evolution of our advancements? WS Magazine knows tech improvements must never lose sight of people like Ching Tien and her work in rural China. As part of WS Cares, we’ll include stories like these and donate 20% of our new $10 magazine cover price to organizations like Ching’s Educating Girls in Rural China. It’s a small way to build meaningful change. Together, let’s lift each other up. So start reading, and we’ll see you next month when we head to the movies! Grateful and ever-inspired,
Rose McInerney Editor
And never fear, as always, there’s fun to be had in other artfully told stories. Visit the kitchen of Canadian Abbey Sharp. Her tantalizing Donuts Without A Hole are a summer must! And wait til you feast your eyes on the gorgeous jewelry collections of British entrepreneur, Pippa Small. Be transported into a lifestyle of inspiration, be it mind or body. We’ve added philosophical musings by Yara Zgheib in her Rooh Afrza series; reminder
TABLE OF CONTENTS CHANGEMAKERS 18........... Feature spotlight on Alexandria Velvakyan, The Library of Alexandra (Alex Hilton) 44........... Grace Hopper, The Queen of Code (Yara Zgheib) 32........... Jean Liu, A Road Less Traveled (Mona Zhang) 8...............Marie Tharp, Mapping Oceanic History (Rose McInerney)
THE POWER OF PARADOX 70.............Dr. Keith Kent, The Power of Love and Paradox
ARTSCAPE 52........... Emma Franks, The Quiet Power of Art and The Inner World of Emma Franks
ENTREPRENEURSHIP 15........... Pippa Small, Ethical Jewelry That Changes Lives
FOODSCAPE 36........... Abbey Sharp’s Vegan Pineapple Chocolate Donuts
THE ART OF TRAVEL 24..........New York’s Stairway to Heaven (Rose McInerney)
REEL TALK 48........... Late Night Women Figthing Each Other
SIPPING ROOH AFZA 66...........On a Chestnut Tree
WS CARES 58 ........... Introducing Ching Tien and Educating Girls in Rural China (Yara Zgheib)
CONTACT US 72............Contact Information
Cartographer Marie Tharp Mapping Oceanic History By: Rose McInerney
Like many good stories in history, Marie Tharp’s reads like a fascinating cocktail mix: one part destiny, two parts perseverance, with a few rare garnishes that make for a hell of a brilliant tale.
imagine most people have never heard of Marie Tharp. She was an oceanic cartographer who mapped the world’s oceans and changed our understanding of its floor.
returned to school to pursue a degree in mathematics. Again, an uncommon choice in the late forties. She landed a job at Columbia University in New York City working as a research assistant alongside scientist, Bruce Heezen.
No big deal, right? Nothing could be farther from the truth. Marie’s revolutionary research in the study of earth sciences was much more than mapping what appeared to be an unquantifiable series of underwater geographical plot points.
Their partnership was entirely platonic and but they shared an 18-year love affair with the data points they gathered about the sea, hoping to recreate the topography of the ocean floor. There was just one problem for Marie. While she could work in the office building mathematical models, she was not allowed to board a naval ship where the actual data was gathered.
Her research produced a complete paradigm shift in the scientific community by proving the existence of a great continental drift in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and the theory of shifting tectonic plates.
Before the 1970’s, women could not participate in seafaring expeditions. Ironically, Marie could map the ocean floor and build a model that ships wanted for security and navigation, but she wasn’t allowed to gather the data.
If that wasn’t grand enough, Marie did this while battling challenging social and gender barriers. Admittedly, I struggled in high school science class so I’m hardly the best person to communicate the significance of Marie’s achievements. But what I do know is her story is an inspirational roadmap and journey that illustrates a few poignant points.
Remember this was a time period in American history when women couldn’t take out a mortgage for a new home and they could be legally fired from their job for getting pregnant. Like Katherine Johnson and Mary Jackson, two women featured in the Hollywood blockbuster, Hidden Figures, Marie’s name was not given any credit for the research or work she produced with Heezen from 1957 to 1963.
Things aren’t always what they appear to be and when you are driven like she was, just about anything is possible. After graduating from Ohio University in 1943, Marie was recruited to study geology as one of only a few students who had taken a course in this subject. Despite her degree in English and Music, Marie found herself using her skillset to locate downed aircrafts during WWII and by 1948, she was one of only 4% of all women working in a scientific field.
But this didn’t stop Marie who continued to gather and interpret other data sources and seismographic information from undersea earthquakes. She went beyond the research that Heezen considered and soon realized the evidence supported the existence of a mid-Atlantic Ridge. This range was unknown at the time
After the war, Marie secured a job at Standard Oil but
Itâ€™s imperative that we maximize our brainpower to help solve the myriad of pressing concerns in the earth sciences.
and covered an area of the floor bed with a tectonic plate and an underwater mountain range and moving continents. What Marie’s theorized has already been suggested back in the early twentieth century but it had been dismissed for lack of any hard data or definitive evidence. Heezen also dismissed Marie’s findings, going so far as to label it “girl talk.” Marie persisted and her theory was finally validated in 1977. Together, Marie and Heezen published a map of the entire ocean floor and stunned the scientific world. Their findings were captured in a beautiful map by landscape painter Heinrich Berann even though the years of hard work and extraordinary persistence of Marie were not fully appreciated. Marie Tharp’s leadership and willingness to contribute her work with little to no recognition for so many years is further underscored by her ability to circumvent the gender bias that existed at the time. Can you imagine how much the annals of history and research in earth sciences might be different if more women like Marie were afforded the same opportunities as men? It’s imperative that we maximize our brainpower to help solve the myriad of pressing concerns in the earth sciences. Data and research to issues like water scarcity, deforestation, dwindling biodiversity and climate change are just a few of the many forces reshaping the way we live and the sustainability of our planet. Today, Marie is considered one of the greatest cartographers of the 20th century. After retiring from her work at Columbia University in 1983, Marie donated the body of her maps and notes to the Map and Geography Division of the Library of Congress in 1995. After her death, the historical map she created was also posthumously added to Google Earth in 2009. Paying credit to Marie’s remarkable work, Columbia University established a competitive fellowship award for visiting women to work with researchers at their Columbia Earth Institute. More focused efforts like this, and the formation of the Earth Sciences Women’s Network (ESWN) and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) groups, are needed to provide real opportunities and legitimacy for women to work in the scientific community.
Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics. Jane Addams
Ethical Jewelry that Changes Lives
he oldest piece of jewelry in the world is 90,000 years old. Even back then, it was used as a symbol of status or rank.
Today: wealth. From shells, rocks, bones, wood, feathers, to precious and rare metals and stones, jewelry has evolved in sophistication, diversified in style and meaning, but its appeal remains universal:
By: Yara Zgheib
Jewelry is beauty and value. To Pippa Small, though, it is more: “Jewelry is a door opening into other lives.” It can empower and transform them. The world-renowned designer creates unique pieces that dazzle in London, New York, L.A., and boost local economies in Mogok, Nairobi, Kabul. Small works with women from disadvantaged communities around the world – Afghanistan, Burma, Myanmar, India, Kenya, Central, and South America. Using their traditional techniques and designs, and local, sustainably sourced materials, she and they craft bracelets, necklaces, and earrings that capture the souls of these places. Diamonds, deep turquoise, fair mined gold, mother of pearl. Long before all of that, though, Pippa’s story began with plastic beads, string, seashells, and pebbles. She grew up among artists and travelers and fell in love with art and travel. The cultures she encountered fed her growing collection of bracelets. She strung more and more keepsakes on her arm as she studied medical anthropology and worked with human rights organizations in Borneo, Thailand, and India. She learned about the people, their practices, and nature. She saw all three were disappearing. There had to be a way to preserve and honor this heritage. Pippa found it: jewelry. In 2006, with Turquoise Mountain, an initiative founded by his Royal Highness
“Luxury, hand-crafted, ethically sourced jewelry” that changes lives
Prince Charles and former President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, Pippa Small traveled to Kabul to seek young jewelry artisans. With the goal of reviving Afghan crafts and the tattered economy, they created the first Pippa Small Turquoise Mountain collection. Eleven years, eleven independent businesses, sixty-eight artisans, and 4,600 sold pieces later, the ateliers release two collections a year, in spite of the instability in this region. Turquoise Mountain has since spread to Myanmar, where it works with local artists to capture the essence of Buddhist art in collections of flowing flowers.
“[Jewelry is] one of the few luxuries we have which are utterly pointless – you can’t drive it or eat it, it doesn’t keep you warm, and yet every culture in the world has created it since the stone age.” She calls it “emotional and primal,” this human connection to beauty. Pippa has worked with the Batwa Pygmies in Rwanda, the Kuna in Panama, the slummers of Kibera in Kenya. In every place, she found inspiration. “Luxury, hand-crafted, ethically sourced jewelry” that changes lives. That is her work, and she loves it. More than twenty years on, Pippa Small is still adding bracelets to her forearm.
In Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and soon with Syrian refugees, Pippa has been focusing on the revival of the craft of goldsmithery. “Our projects give communities re-found respect for traditional design and a sense of self-confidence, pride in their creations and a path towards economic independence.” “Ethical” jewelry values the artisan, the craft, and the material. The gold Pippa uses is sourced, for instance, from the first registered Fair Trade mine in Bolivia. She has also worked with other Fair Trade groups in Africa and South America, bringing their creations into the luxury world and their history into the present.
“Ethics, decency and morality are the real soldiers.” Kiran Bedi
The Library of
Alexandra By: Alex Hilton
Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. - Kofi Annan
eet Alexandra Elbakyan, founder of the highly controversial website, Sci-Hub. She is a neuroscience researcher and an outlaw on the run. Sci-Hub, is the first website in the world to provide mass and free public access to research papers that traditionally incur a pay per view.
Consider a library budget and the small fortune they pay for bundled journals. Those buying outside of the university system pay prices in the realm of $20-50 per article. Keep in mind that this practice and the consolidation of the scientific publishing industry has been the topic of much debate within and outside the scientific community for years.
So why is this young woman an outlaw on the run? Simply put, Alexandra is fighting for the public’s right to access scientific information for free. This does not sit well with the five major corporations who own the lion’s share of academia’s publishing space.
This is especially relevant with the astoundingly high profit margins that major publishers receive. Yet, as the years keep passing, the oligarchy of scientific publishing keeps tipping in the balance of the five largest publishers.
To date, Sci-Hub houses about 60 million scientific research papers and is under constant attack from various governments and ISPs (Internet Service Providers), and faces a myriad of lawsuits for copyright violations from all the big five publishers.
That is, until Alexandra and Sci-Hub came along and demolished the complicated corporate structure for accessing this information. While Alexandra was an undergraduate student in 2009 at Kazakh National Tech University, she ran into problems accessing research papers she needed for her project.
While academic publishing might sound like a boring business model, it happens to be one of the most monopolized and lucrative industries in the world.
The Kazakhstan government was censoring access to a system called LiveJournal, which is an online blogging platform where anyone can write their articles or ideas. In order to access the information she wanted, she had to use the ‘anonymizer’ web-service, commonly known as a proxy server or a VPN.
Annual profits rival companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft, and the research papers published by these companies influence pivotal legislation on topics ranging from climate science to new methods for fighting diseases like cancer.
This planted a seed that she would harvest two years later. It may very well be the scientific community’s greatest achievement and perhaps the best thing since sliced bread.
Over HALF of the world’s research is published by five companies. Reed Elsevier, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Wiley-Blackwell and the American Chemical Society account for over half of all published research papers. In many cases, they have a complete monopoly in specific fields.
While it took only two to three days of computer coding, Alexandra launched the first release of Sci-Hub in September of 2011. Since its release, it may be the most controversial website since the launch of The Pirate Bay, an online index of digital content of entertainment media and software.
My research in this area demonstrates how troublesome and agregious this business practice really is.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” Marie Curie
Sci-Hub is a search system and associated repository which contains legal and illegal copyrighted materials. Users can insert either a URL to access an article or a text search or DOI (Digital Object Identifier). Once you input either of these protocols, the pdf article appears and can be downloaded for free by the user. As you can imagine, this did not sit well with the five publishing giants and four short years later, in 2015, Alexandra was sued by Elsevier. Elsevier won the court case and was awarded $15 million in damages for copyright infringement. This happened again in 2017 when the American Chemical Society sued and won a case for $4.8 million. Alexandra, who operates Sci-Hub from abroad is outside US court jurisdiction, has publicly stated that she plans to ignore the court orders. In 2015, a US court demanded that Sci-Hub be shut down, but Alexandra was not deterred. SciHub has continually resurfaced using different web domains and while she has reportedly lost three of the domains, Sci-Hub continues to operate. What’s so troubling about this situation is who has paid for the research done by these companies. A great majority of them have been funded by taxpayer dollars!
If taxpayers are funding these reports, why should they pay for them a second time? This is the basis for Alexandria’s mission – to democratize what we already own. The irony of the situation baffles my mind; that a public asset, paid for by public funds can be repackaged and sold back to the public for outrageous fees. Essentially, taxpayers pay twice, first for the research and then again to see the work they just paid to have completed. While scientific papers are published in a similar manner as we would publish the WS Magazine, there are a few drastic differences. Scientists create work under their own direction, funded largely by governments and paid for with taxpayer monies. The completed work is given to publishers free of charge. The publisher will have some costs like paying for scientific editors, and these editors decide what work is even worth publishing. The bulk of the editorial burden however, such as checking scientific validity and evaluating the experiments in a process known as peer review, is done by scientists on a volunteer basis. The publishers then sell the product back to government-funded institutional and university libraries, to then be read by academics. In a 2008 essay, Dr. Neal Young of the National Institute of Health (NIH), which funds and conducts medical research for the US government, said, given the importance of scientific innovation to
society, “there is a moral imperative to reconsider how scientific data is judged and disseminated”.
It has also pushed many publishers to allow scientists to upload their research to Open Access repositories like Arxiv.org - currently the largest legal source of Open Access papers.
A 2013 study, for example, reported that half of all clinical trials in the US are never published in any journal. This means information is not available to other practitioners; information which could add value to ongoing studies.
Alexandra’s project has even the US government showing signs of supporting it.
If there’s a political agenda to holding research back, this has a negative effect on efforts that might save lives or improve the world in a tangible way.
For example, in 2013, the Obama administration mandated that copies of research conducted through federal agencies must be uploaded to free repositories within 12 months of publishing.
Like many of the women we’ve written about on WS, Alexandra risks her safety and her reputation for her vision and what she believes is right.
Alexandra continues her fight despite receiving very little understanding or support from the big publishing agencies.
Because of her and the Sci-Hub platform, libraries and scientists are empowered to confront the big publishing oligarchy.
She has literally put her life on the line to allow everyone on this planet to have free access to knowledge.
The stranglehold over scientific studies these five companies once had is waning as libraries and users overcome the paywalls and are no longer as beholden to exorbitant pricing and prohibitive access to data.
All this while her legal bills continue to rise. She is liable for between $750 and $150,000 for each paper on her site and if arrested, could face serious time in a penitentiary for what these private corporations and governments consider to be a crime.
And, how about the win for advancing human knowledge? Alexandra’s movement has inspired people to create thousands of Open Access journals including PLOS (the Public Library of Sciences).
Is she a criminal? Alexandra does not see herself as one and stands behind the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. It reads that:
A 2013 study, for example, reported that half of all clinical trials in the US are never published in any journal.
“Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.” Sci-Hub has already won the moral war in my eyes, by giving many academics and researchers the tools to free themselves from the oppression of big privately-owned publishing houses. Soon after Sci-Hub was launched, nearly 9,000 academics determined not to peer-review or participate in editorial work for Elsevier journals. In Germany well over 200 institutions have refused to renew their Elsevier subscriptions until the company drastically reduced their steep rates. With the battle raging against open access to information online growing ever-so brightly, Alexandra and Sci-Hub’s war matters all that much more. One woman has brought the entire scientific publishing industry to its knees and, despite all their efforts, has continued to share knowledge for free with the entire world. This begs one central question we should all be asking: is knowledge a basic human right, or do taxpayer monies to fund research give privatized corporate interests the right to pad their bottom lines and control what knowledge is shared? I know what WS’s environmental activist Rachel Carson would say.
David Yarrow Judge and Jury Rwanda, 2019
716 N Wells, Chicago IL 60654 www.Hilton-Asmus.com AUGUST 2019
THE ART OF TRAVEL
“There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold, And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.” (LYRICS FROM LED ZEPPLIN’S, STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN)
New York’s Stairway to Heaven By: Rose McInerney
s travel articles go, this one’s a rock and roll, New York style, ode to the moving, pulsating, ever-electric New York City. It’s where anything is possible and and all that glitters is gold in America’s Big Apple and home to more than 8 million people. Lucky for me, New York is my backyard playground. It has been for nearly 20 years, and is a short train-ride from Connecticut. When the kids were growing up, we loved Broadway plays and inventive restaurants. So I was understandably excited to learn about this latest addition to New York’s landscape – a $25 billion Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project that opened in March of 2019. Ooh it made me wonder. This massive, mixed-use, private real estate space is a complex consisting of four skyscraper residences built to house more than 125,000 residents. There’s a seven-story shopping mall and crazy-looking cultural center with a massive white bubble ceiling. Aptly named the Shed, it is strange with sporty, oversized side-wheels that suggest it might roll past the West Side Highway and billow into the Hudson River. This mega-neighborhood is a city within a city, with a population larger than West Palm Beach Florida or Green Bay Wisconsin. Rising up from the middle is a 150 foot, honeycomb-shaped, copper structure. Maybe a contemporary-cousin to the ancient vestal virgins or Lady Liberty?
For now, she is the vision of British designer Thomas Heatherwick who aptly named her “Vessel”. The sculpture is an homage to the people of New York with its open-air architecture. It invites communion and shared ownership. There’s even an official website for suggesting and voting on a name for the Vessel. The leading contender is “The Shawrama”, a cone-shaped Middle Eastern meat sold by street vendors. “There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure” I purchased my open ticket for $10 ahead of my visit, so I could skip the lines and tackle the 16 story-stairway (154 flights in total), 2,500 steps, and 80 landings after lunch. When I started my trek up, it felt easy and roomy despite the many groups of families and friends traveling up or down, or across the circular pathway. Lifting my arms ever-so gently, I took in the sights and welcomed a cool breeze.
The air smelled like freedom from the sweltering summer heat and the dead space between the city skyscrapers. Excited children scrambled under the watchful eyes of parents who seemed as taken as I was with the views. Like worker bees in a hive, everyone was bent on moving higher and getting to the top. “There’s a feeling I get, when I look to the West, and my spirit is crying for leaving.” The steps are smartly designed to gradually be flatter and shorter in height. Confidence and energy are buoyed, which made the climb seem much easier than anticipated. Thankfully, I took time to stop and look out, and I soon found myself humming the Stairway to Heaven song. From the top, you could see the rows of trains in the bus yard to the west, a swimming pool in the sky to the north,
and a large garden area and water fountain taking shape in the east. I was saddened by the swarm of people going into the Neiman Marcus store next door to the Vessel until I remembered where I was. In the silence in my heart and this peaceful getaway, I heard the winds as they blew my hair on its end and made a wild fool of me. But I sucked them in and instinctively turned to the south, towards Battery Park and the land where the Twin Towers once stood. “Yes there are two paths you can go by in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.” I liked this garden of steel with its big blocks and pieces forged in Montfalcone, Italy. Each was shipped to New York and floated down the Hudson River to be reassembled in the Yards.
They are, like the Vessel, an extension and collection of each other. The Vessel starts where the High Line ends, stretching the 2 km path of reimaged railroad ties and a nature walk filled with wildflowers, trees and popup refreshments. The city keeps on moving, moving, moving. And, my “head is humming and won’t let go.” When I “listen very hard, [I know] she’s buying the stairway to heaven.” New York doesn’t care that the Vessel costs between $150-200 million. It is public art. Art matters and it belongs to everyone. The owners of the redevelopment project learned that when they tried to tell people they couldn’t take photos of the Vessel. They lost this battle when the people won the right to be and make memories in this public space. After all, “[This] stairway lies on the whispering wind.”
Note: The Vessel in New York City at 34th Street between 10th and 11th Avenue. Play Led Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven song before you go, especially the Lincoln Memorial. This version is performed by Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart in 2012 and has 14 million views. There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold And she’s buying a stairway to heaven. When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed With a word she can get what she came for. Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart” Confucius
Jean Liu A Road Less Traveled By: Mona Zhang
The President of Didi Chuxing, the world’s largest ride-hailing and mobile transportation platform, is based in Beijing, China. Sometime in the Fall of 2017, against a jet-black background at Bloomberg Network’s studio, Liu Qing walked in wearing a crew-neck t-shirt covered with an off-white softly-fitting blazer. Her bangs were swept to one side and blended into the loose curls around her jawline, gently touching her shoulders. Liu, also known as Jean Liu, is President of Didi Chuxing and sets some pretty ambitious goals: “I joined the company three years ago...to solve the world-class dilemma of moving 800 million urban Chinese”, Liu says. She has a tender tone, “[There are] 800 million Chinese that ride 1.4 billion times every day; the accident
rate is high. This industry we are in is so impactful that there [must be] something we can do to help solve the issue.” Liu went on to describe the growing megacities of China and how Didi’s mobile transportation platform had eased the lives of everyday commuters, alluding to the immense promise of Didi. Persuaded by the passion in her words, one almost forgets patriarchal China and its history of unbridled gender bias. Born in Beijing, Liu’s parents gave her the name Qing Liu, which translates to “green willow.” It was inspired by a well-known Chinese classical poem called “A Love Song” by Liu Yuxi: “The willows are green, The rivers smoothly flow; Singing over there on the waters, Is the girl I love.”
Traditionally, Chinese parents are careful to choose names that will create bliss and success in in the future. From Liu’s name, it’s apparent she brought happiness to her parents. Indeed, Jean Liu not only grew up to be a lovely young lady but also an excellent student, enrolling in arguably the best high school in Beijing, the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Peking University, before heading overseas to earn a master’s degree from Harvard in the same discipline. Looking back on her school days, Liu attributes her most significant strength to her drive for perfection. To this day, she still remembers the number of squat jumps she did every day in high school to get full marks in class.
Armed with a strong work ethic and a perfectionist attitude, Liu landed her first job as a Junior Analyst at Goldman Sachs, a top tier investment bank notorious for its rigorous recruiting process. Working 18 hours a day, seven days a week, she felt stuck on the corporate ladder despite producing high-quality work. “I usually sat in the corner and didn’t want to speak up just in case I said something stupid,” she lamented. Liu later learned that success in Corporate America comes from speaking up and fighting for your place where corporate decisions are made. By pursuing a professional career with such fervor, Jean Liu soon learned the cost it would have on her personal life. Liu grew up during a transitional era in China. Despite the monumental economic transformations that have occurred since then, the cultural nuances and social expectations around women in business have been slow to change. “Persistent stereotypes suggest women should act more gently, speak more softly, and carry most of the family responsibilities; I constantly felt regret when it came to my family, especially after I had children.” Liu felt she had betrayed her loved ones and was selfish for putting her personal aspirations ahead of family obligations. “The guilt was the biggest obstacle I needed to overcome in my career.”
In the three subsequent years that followed, Liu was instrumental in cementing Didi’s position as a market leader. Liu joined Didi in the fall of 2014, when the company was in the midst of a head-to-head battle with domestic rival Kuai Di; it was a company backed by the deep-pocketed Alibaba. In the realm of online platforms, market leaders benefit tremendously from network effects. This is a phenomenon where a growing user base is accompanied by decreasing operational costs, with the two trends reinforcing each other and creating a monopolistic market structure. Essentially, it’s a winner takes all dynamic. So in December 2014, Liu raised USD 700M from four global investors, including Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek and venture capital firm DST Global. The capital ensured Didi’s ability to attract more users through subsidies and expand the network effect, shifting market share toward Didi. Two months later, Didi merged with Kuai Di, with Didi management taking over.
So, she adapted, little by little, overcoming her guilt and the rigors to be perfect. Eight years after joining the investment bank, Liu became a highly respected industry professional and one of the youngest Managing Directors in Goldman Sachs’ history.
Almost immediately, this was followed by Uber announcing an aggressive venture into China, hoping to dominate the market. Liu didn’t hesitate to fight back, bringing her management team to Apple’s headquarters in April 2015. A month later,
However, her journey had just begun.
Apple made its most substantial investment in China, USD 1B in Didi. Eleven months later, after incurring more than USD 1B in losses, Uber sold its China business to Didi and exited the market. Didi is now owns the ride-hailing market in China.
In the summer of 2014, Liu sat down for lunch with Didi’s founder Wei Cheng and had a conversation that changed her life. Liu managed the Goldman Sachs account and was keen to invest in the up-and-coming ride-hailing company. But she disagreed with Cheng on the valuation of the business. Amid this stalemate, Liu jokingly said she would not leave their meeting unless they reached an agreement. Seizing the moment, Cheng responded, “then don’t leave. Join Didi and work with us.” Awed by Liu’s industry insight and character, Cheng had been waiting a long time for the opportune moment to recruit Liu. Understandably, Liu was caught off-guard. She AUGUST 2019
had mixed feelings of unease and excitement. She later recalled: “I had a successful career so joining a mobile internet company would be a huge transition with no guarantee for success. However, I thought life is ultimately about the experience. And joining Didi meant unlimited possibility.” Liu left Goldman Sachs for that reason and followed the call to adventure.
By 2018, Didi grew to be the largest ride-hailing and mobile transportation platform in the world, carrying 450 million passengers and routing 25 million rides daily. However, as the platform expanded to an unprecedented scale, so did the complexity of the business. In August 2018, a young woman was raped and murdered by a Didi driver. Similar incidents had occurred before, but that culminated in massive public outrage. Didi was accused of negligence, having not scrutinized MAGAZINE
their recruitment and onboarding processes enough to protect its customers. Overnight, as the face of Didi changed, Liu was no longer a celebrated business leader.
support. Frequent updates now appear on Weibo (a blogging site in China) about safety and direct dialogue with the public has demonstrated Liu’s determination to change the public’s perception of Didi.
It was a dark time for Liu. But together, Liu and CEO Wei Cheng assumed responsibility and publicly apologized. Despite providing financial assistance to the victim’s family, this incident revealed a more pressing and perplexing issue. What social responsibilities existed? What are the responsibilities today’s of today’s tech giants?
Recently, Liu arranged a unique corporate off-site in a TV studio. The event mimicked “Comedy Central Roast,” where Didi employees were invited to go on stage to offer their humorous criticism of senior management. On the show, Didi staff gave entertaining and honest feedback to Liu and CEO Wei Cheng, critiquing them for everything from lengthy meetings to personnel redundancy to managerial inefficiency. It is Liu’s way to promote transparency and encourage self-improvement: “We roast with love, we confront obstacles with love.”
As the market leader, how can Didi achieve its financial targets while still ensuring fairness and protection to their user base? Moreover, Didi had revolutionized the way people transit by connecting millions of strangers on its platform that matched ride requests. There are inherent risks in managing this business and protecting users’ privacy and safety.
It has been five years since Liu embarked on this unusual journey, The road has been far from smooth. Despite enjoying a successful career, her personal life has also been turbulent. During Jean Liu’s time at Didi, she fought off early-stage breast cancer, suffered a divorce, and became a single mother of three young children. Yet, Liu emerged stronger than ever. Embracing a more profound sense of life, she marches on with love and determination.
In the aftermath, Didi prioritized safety over growth and launched several safety initiatives. Liu sent out an open letter via Weibo, inviting the public to provide feedback on Didi’s safety reform. Tens of thousands commented. In 2019, Didi started to release quarterly safety reports on all complaints and criminal acts that occurred on their platform.
Jean Liu once said, “Besides death, everything else is a gravy; being real is better than being perfect.”
In the first such report for the first quarter of 2019, 111 criminal charges were filed to the authorities, and the police solved all the cases with the help of Didi’s
Photo Credit: FastCompany.com
“The best way to predict the future is to craft it.”
- Abraham Lincoln
EXECUTIVE, LEADERSHIP AND CAREER COACHING Helping leaders enjoy happier & more successful careers Free consultations | www.terrybmcdougall.com AUGUST 2019
Abbeyâ€™s Kitchen and a Delicious Summer Recipe
Abbey Sharp is a Media Registered Dietitian (RD), national spokesperson, TV and radio personality, YouTuber, food blogger, author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc. Abbey is a regular contributor to the Marilyn Denis Show, Healthlist, her popular Youtube channel and acclaimed food blog, Abbey’s Kitchen. She is the author of the Mindful Glow Cookbook, a non-diet cookbook designed to help inspire women to rekindle their relationship with food. Abbey also runs a media training business for nutrition and health professionals called Sharper Edge Media, and has recently launched a parenting Facebook group called the Millennial Mom’s Guide to Mindful Meal Planning. Abbey’s recipes are naturally nourishing, colourful, satisfying, and overwhelmingly crave-worthy. They celebrate the inherent goodness in nutrient-rich foods, while playing up some of your favourite comfort food flavours. Forget deprivation, these recipes make you feel good, emotionally and physically, so that you’re glowing from the inside out.
For other great recipes and information check out Abbey’s website at www.AbbeysKitchen.com
Abbey’s Thoughts; Okay, I don’t want to get cocky, but I think I’ve struck gold with this dessert. Picture a chocolate covered donut, but when you go in to take a bite, you get hit with the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. You’re getting a sneak peak into what my vegan pineapple chocolate donuts taste like. The greatest thing about this dessert is that it literally takes minutes to prepare and before you know it, you’re sitting in the backyard with your feet kicked up eating one of these pineapple donuts. I bet you want to know how to make these now, eh? Let’s get into it! We’re not messing around when it comes to dessert. It’s summer time, and in Canada that means it’s short and sweet so to take advantage the last place you want to be is stuck in the kitchen. To make these vegan pineapple chocolate donuts, start by melting your chocolate in the microwave with some coconut oil. While that’s melting, get your station ready. Have your sliced pineapple nearby, your bowl of melted chocolate, your tajin, fleur de sel and crushed toasted cashews.
Vegan Pineapple Chocolate Donuts Make your summer a little sweeter with these easy vegan pineapple chocolate donuts topped with tajin, cashews and fleur de sel. INGREDIENTS • • • • • •
1 pineapple cored and sliced into 1/4” slices 300 grams dairy free dark chocolate 4 tsp coconut oil Tajin seasoning 3 tbsp crushed toasted cashews Fleur de sel
OVERVIEW Course Cuisine
Dessert American, Tropical
INSTRUCTIONS 1. In a microwave safe bowl, add dark chocolate and coconut oil. Melt in the microwave and mix with a spoon every thirty seconds until fully melted. 2. Using a fork, dip a pineapple slice in the bowl of melted chocolate. When fully covered in chocolate lay the pineapple slice on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 3. Moving quickly, sprinkle pineapple slice with tajin, crushed cashews and fleur de sel. Repeat with the remaining pineapple slices. 4. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for five to ten minutes until the chocolate hardens.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 416mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 5mg www.AbbeysKitchen.com
Programming is the art of algorithm design and the craft of debugging errant code. Ellen Ullman
Grace Hopper The Queen of Code By: Yara Zgheib
Grace Hopper knew that computers would evolutionize human life.
So she fought conventional wisdom to make them accessible to everyone.
mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists.
how they worked. It took seven of them, but she got it.
These days, it’s easy to take so much for granted.
Predominantly men, but one woman stood out among them. Her name was Grace Hopper.
When she grew up and became one of the first programmers – among whom hardly any were women -, she was part of the team that developed the Harvard Mark 1 computer during World War II.
Children learn basic coding skills as early as elementary school. Smartphones have become extensions of people’s hands. Apps; extensions of their thoughts. Computers have integrated almost every aspect of life. Not too long ago, however, to most, they were a foreign and scary concept. Computers were once enormous fiveton machines few people had ever seen, fewer could understand, and barely a handful could operate. The
Hopper was an American computer scientist, a United States Rear Admiral, and one of the programmers who developed the first large computer in the U.S. Most importantly, she was the first person to invent the compiler, a program that converted human language into computer code. By doing so, she democratized the use of computers. Grace was the sort of seven-year-old who would dismantle alarm clocks because she wanted to understand
She believed computers should be accessible to all, not just programmers. For that to be possible, programming languages had to be as easy to understand as English. But that view was not popular among her peers who “regarded themselves as ‘high priests,’ jealously guarding their status as intermediaries between ordinary people and the occult computer brain.”
But Grace said:
harnessed the power of computers for all and for practically any purpose.
“The most dangerous phrase […] is, ‘We’ve always done it this way.” Just as with the alarm clock, she questioned the way things worked. She broke down that thinking, found fault in it, challenged it.
That it was developed by a woman at that time is even more inspiring. It is a testament to the place that women will always have in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
In 1951, she developed the compiler, a software that transformed source code from language written by a human to one a computer could process.
Grace Hopper coined the word “bug” when she and her team found a glitch in a computer that was caused … by a bug in an electrical switch.
FLOW-MATIC, this English-language-based computer language, would eventually become COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language), which remains one of the most widely used languages today.
She “debugged” the first computer, but also a limiting mindset: the gender gap in STEM is closing and computers are changing the world because of her contributions.
The magnitude of that invention is difficult to overstate. COBOL is one of the most important programming languages of the twentieth century.
Her nickname, Amazing Grace, is well deserved.
A simple equation that took three people hours to create took Hopper’s Compiler less than one hour to do the same job with only one person. It made coding easy for anyone, and with that
“There are so many doors to open and I’m not afraid to look behind them.” (Elizabeth Taylor, 1932-2011) AUGUST 2019
Late Night Women Fighting Each Other By: Rose McInerney This time women aren’t fighting men to climb to the top or even to keep their place when they get there. They’re fighting each other because there’s only so much room, right? If I have to hear this one more time, I’m going to boycott popcorn until we women get together and straighten things out. But the sad truth is that, while I found myself screaming at the flagrantly stereotypical typecasting and blatantly manipulated scenes in Mindy Kalig’s Late Night, I still enjoyed it. Photo Credit: Indie Wire
Perhaps, it’s because I’m a sucker for Emma Thompson who plays Kathryn Newberry, a late night comedic talk show host struggling to save her long-running show. The network has announced her contract won’t be renewed because she’s out of touch with audiences. It’s true, of course. Kathryn is out of touch with audiences, she’s invisible on social media, and she’s so insular that she refuses to hire a woman or a person of color to write material for her show. Poised to lose it all, she indulges her manager who reluctantly hires a Photo credit: JustJared.com
warehouse manager named Molly Patel (played by writer, producer and actor, Mindy Kalig) to change things up.
YouTube comic – are so despicable. Nevertheless, the tension fuels the fire in predicable ways. There’s girl-type screaming matches, near hairpulling fights and Kathryn’s masculine persona (short haircut and men’s suits) that all play into the stereotypes we’ve all come to know and hate.
Hiring Molly, an Indian woman with no experience in the comedy or writing business, certainly pushes the plausibility envelope. It’s convenient for advancing the plot, even though most people realize comedy shows have a horrible hiring record for women, let alone women of color.
So when Kathryn starts to climb back up the charts after attending an unplanned appearance at a club where her impromptu routine bombs (something Joan River did frequently to test her chops), it takes something bigger like a dormant past affair with an intern to move her to act (reminiscent of David Letterman’s sexual tryst).
As a writer, producer and actress, Mindy Kalig speaks from experience when she wrote this screenplay directed by Nisha Ganatra.
The highs and lows of Kathryn’s career comeback are just too predictable because they have happened to many hosts.
The story is entertaining but we know from real life that even superstar Tina Fey has stepped up to call out institutionalized sexism in shows like SNL (Saturday Night Live). When Vanessa Middleton became the first Black female writer at SNL in 1992, she lasted only one season.
But I still say, who cares. I found myself laughing and cheering for Molly and Kathryn and the very predictable outcome.
In Late Night, Kathryn is a success because she’s ignored women and is a nasty, unappreciative boss. She doesn’t give a flying you-know-what about women even though she reluctantly lets Mindy occupy space in the writers’ editorial meetings.
SPOILER ALERT: Of course, we can expect Molly to be offered a job at a rival station and Kathryn will have to come begging her to come back. But I know I will always root for women even whether they’re behaving badly or not. I think most women do, although this may be it’s different at the top. I hope not but like any pedestal, it’s crowded no mattered who you are.
Not even the chopping block is enough to push her queen-size ego over the edge until Molly saves her from repeated media disasters. All this from Molly who is confident one day and breaks down the next sobbing uncontrollably while hiding under her desk after a nasty verbal attack by Kathryn.
I’ve never been there so I’ll never know. But as Canadian Lily Singh heads to NBC as the first female Late Night talk show host in its history, we’ll see who’s fighting who as I snuggle up with my bowl of popcorn.
Still, it’s hard to believe that Kathryn doesn’t realize her old jokes are too safe and boring, or that her moral high ground includes avoiding political potshots (don’t know if that’s even possible anymore in the comedic world) when her treatment of other women - the show’s producer and a guest
Interview with Emma Franks
The Quiet Power of Art: The Inner World of Emma Franks By: Yara Zgheib
he women in Emma Franks’ paintings are introspective, ethereal, “alone but selfcontained, possessors of a quiet power.” Through hues of foggy colour and light, they command the viewer’s attention. These paintings are a window into Emma’s world, where one can find peace and calm.
continually pushed into being a woman whose only purpose was servitude. This made me want to paint powerful women who had presence.” Emma’s latest series, for instance, depicts asylum women, silenced and locked away, “stripped of their dignity and voice” because they were different. Basing herself on portraits of actual patients of the Surrey County Asylum between 1848 and 1858, she casts a different light, a female one, on these nonconformist women and challenges society’s norms of behavior.
“When I was a child, I would mix leaves and mud in the garden, believing I was making magical potions.” When she turned sixteen, she first mixed paint and put it to a canvas: magic! “I really don’t know why I chose painting, not sculpture or printmaking, I just fell in love with the medium.” Emma had found her voice. Now for what to say:
Emma first realized art had power, when, at eighteen, “I went to see a retrospective of Egon Shiele and a painting by Mark Rothko. When I saw both of their artworks, I understood why one makes art.
“I was brought up in a very traditional Jewish home with very traditional values. This was at odds with how I think and feel about the world. I am a feminist, and it was difficult for me to be
I realized that art was not there to be decorative; it was there to express something deep inside of us, to stir emotion and feel that anything is possible.”
Emma says art changed her life:
She painted imaginary landscapes first, then when she became pregnant, she started painting imaginary women – loosely autobiographical:
“It frightens me to think of how my life would be if I didn’t have art. It gives inspiration, hope, love, wonder and joy.”
“A figure appeared. The figure was small and has grown larger and larger until it now dominates the canvas. I am a feminist and a woman so it also makes complete sense to paint women. I am celebrating women.
Art also has the power to heal. As an art therapist, Emma believes art can make people feel better, and help them express deep, perhaps painful emotions, just like music and writing.
As for the ethereal and dreamlike quality of the paintings, I am definitely drawn to themes of reverie, isolation and escapism. The women are thinking and feeling many things, just as we do. I also want people to project their own feelings onto the women. I think that’s part of their power.”
Emma, herself, thinks and feels deeply: “I am passionate about many things: Art, the environment, nature, music, and world peace. What makes me sad is witnessing human destruction of the natural world, the UK government drastically reducing the arts in education, and people’s intolerance and lack of compassion for each other.”
Emma’s art is an invitation into her world, a calmer, kinder one than ours. She offers an escape to peace “in salmon pink and emerald green, and the color of a cloudless sky.”
If she could define happiness, it would be world peace. Perhaps that is why her paintings are an effort “to recapture the feeling I have when I look and experience a stunning view, utter calm and inner peace.”
Donâ€™t follow the path. Go where there is no path and begin the trail. When you start a new trail equipped with courage, strength and conviction, the only thing that can stop you is you!
We Are All Made For Greatness AUGUST 2019
Opportunity through Education: Ching Tien - Educating Girls of Rural China By: Yara Zgheib Educating Girls of Rural China (EGRC) empowers women in rural regions of Western China to escape poverty through education. Its founder, Ching Tien, believes every girl deserves opportunity. “Women hold up half the sky,” Mao Zedong once declared. In China today, they certainly are a valuable resource, comprising 49% of the population and 46% of the labor force. “Educated women also have educated children,” believes Ching Tien, founder of Educating Girls of Rural China. The organization is built on the premise that an educated woman is empowered; she can lift herself and her family out of poverty and have an impact on society. When Ching was a child in China in the 1960s and 70s, she had dreams of becoming a dancer. She loved music and theatre. She also wanted to be a journalist and a writer.
Her grandfather had told her that with a good education, anything was possible. Education opened doors, so she studied hard at an elite Beijing school. The Cultural Revolution changed everything, though; Ching’s father was jailed and her mother sent to work in Gansu Province, the poorest in China. Ching herself was pulled out of school and sent to work in a factory. In her eight years there, she witnessed dire poverty; people living in caves with few possessions and no access to running water or electricity. Boys were also favored over girls; they were the ones sent to school. Women actually had the added burden of supporting them. Ching refused this reality, and to give up on her education. Thus, in 1983, she left China for Canada. She built a life there: “From that point of my life every decision I made was my choice. I owned and ran an art gallery and exhibited works by top Canadian artists. I raised a son and a daughter on my own.”
But she never forgot the girls who stayed behind in Gansu province. “I thought of the meaning of “Opportunity.” Don’t they deserve an opportunity?” She wondered what these women could do if empowered with education.
decisions that will improve her life and ultimately improve her society.” In the 14 years since the foundation of EGRC, Ching’s girls have achieved a graduation rate of over 99%. Also, with the income they are earning after completing their education, all have been able to lift their families out of poverty. The impact of this program has spread beyond the girls and their families, to their communities where many more are taking on leadership roles. These girls are also giving back to the organization; ensuring EGRC’s sustainability. That is because they want to give other girls the same opportunity. Ching never returned to school, but she has no regrets. Her greatest pride is in each of the girls, with whom she has a personal connection. She mentors and guides them, she listens, and now she is focusing on providing further opportunities for their development after graduating. Her advice to any young woman who wants a future for herself: “Find your passion. Define realistic goals. Stick to them, impact oriented. Adjust your approach to evolving circumstances.” Last but not least: “Be Yourself.”
She returned to Gansu after more than twenty years. She met with the government officials and visited schools. Back in Canada, she raised $27,000 dollars through an art auction and concert. By 2005, she had founded EGRC and was able to sponsor 24 university and 130 elementary school students. Since then, EGRC has sponsored the high school and university education of over 1,000 young girls. It now has a high school sponsorship program, a vocational training school sponsorship program, and future leader scholarship program. Beyond offering them money, Ching keeps close contact with the girls; she visits them every summer, provides online and in person training on career and personal development, as well as intern and employment opportunities. “Education gives a woman the ability to make
MEDIA RELEASE HEATHER ELLIS
Timeless On The Silk Road An Odyssey from London to Hanoi Heather Ellis
As well as battling with endless bad roads and, often worse, endless bad bureaucracy, Heather is also fighting a killer disease. That in the end she overcomes them all-roads, bureaucrats and the killer disease feels like a miracle in all sorts of ways. Tony Wheeler, author, travel writer and co-founder of Lonely Planet The road may be silken but it’s far from smooth. Heather Ellis delivers a devastating punch and that’s even before the going gets tough. Ted Simon, author of Jupiter’s Travels An extraordinary journey. Astounding, inspiring, a testament to the human spirit. After riding her motorcycle across Africa, Heather Ellis is diagnosed with HIV in London when she has the test for a Russian visa. She is thirty years old and is given five years to live. It is 1995 when death from AIDS is inevitable. Timeless On The Silk Road is the story of what happens next.
What unfolds is a journey of courage, hardship and immense natural beauty as she rides along the fabled Silk Roads of antiquity to Australia. Believing this is her last adventure, her one last search for meaning, Heather’s journey ultimately becomes one of destiny. Infused with a deep spiritual power, it is also a story that leaves the reader considering their own ‘time less’ journey called life. Heather travels into Central Asia after the fall of the Soviet Union where she crosses deserts and is touched by the ancient world of Islam. She rides into the land of the heavenly mountains and discovers the ancient traditions of the nomads. She ventures into the vastness of Siberia’s Altai mountains where she is welcomed into the homes of Kazakhs and Russians alike. And in China, she is repeatedly told there will soon be a new world order. Timeless on the Silk Road (Phonte Publishing, April 2019), is Heather’s eagerly anticipated second book and follows Ubuntu: One Woman’s Motorcycle Odyssey Across Africa (Nero/Black Inc. 2016, Illuminatio 2017 Poland), a travel memoir about a life-changing adventure into the soul of Africa. Ubuntu received many positive reviews and continues to be listed as a bestseller in travel on Amazon. And was endorsed by Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild. Heather has worked as a radiation safety technician, a motorcycle courier in London, a journalist with News Ltd and in communications in international development. She was diagnosed with HIV in London in 1995 and nearly died from AIDS in Australia in 1997 after her motorcycle ride across Central Asia. Heather is the current chair of Positive Women Victoria, Australia’s only fully funded community organisation for women living with HIV. Heather is also a motivational speaker and lives in the Yarra Valley, Australia with her three children, where she is writing her next book, a novel. And she still rides motorcycles. ISBN: 978-0-6484969-0-8 RRP: $29.99 *244 pages RELEASED: 8 April 2019 Contact: Heather Ellis p: 0425 720 193 e: email@example.com To buy the book visit: www.heather-ellis.com www.phontepublishing.com
Sipping Rooh Afza â€˜It was a wonderfully cooling drink but it also made you feel magical, like you were drinking something secret. Secrecy is steeped in the flavour of the drink, memory-vignettes, and most of all the dreams of burgundy roses blooming in the dusk that followed.â€™
Rooh Afza is a monthly column of vignettes of the past and present, flavoured with rose petals and some philosophy. Rooh Afza (noun) Rose syrup. Meaning: that which nourishes the soul. Rooh Afzah is a non-alcoholic syrup that can be added to water or milk to make a refreshing drink. The main ingredient is rose petals, along with cinnamon, kewra, sandalwood, lemon and orange rind, and other herbs and fruits.
On a Chestnut Tree By: Yara Zgheib They both remember that August evening, that walk on a dirt and rock path, in a forest of chestnut trees,
the oven. Thirty minutes later, the house had smelled of chestnuts and the promise of October. Papa had cracked and peeled them for her, her sister, her mother.
“Well, it was not really a forest,”
Dinner had followed and it had been grand: chicken nuggets and fries, her favourite. After those, a bowl of ice cream with sprinkles, and some cartoons before bed! “Do you remember that afternoon?”
says the father, the first - and older and taller - of the story’s narrators.
“A glade rather, thicket at most,”
The difference in height between them is not so dramatic now, but in that story, back then, he had hunched over to hold her hand. He would have had to stoop to his knees to see the trees she had.
asks the former five-year-old, she and her father on the same walk, years later, in the same forest. This time around, though, pushing a stroller among trees that seem smaller, sparser. The two of them take turns hunching over to peer at the sleeping face.
“It was a forest!”
His daughter’s voice objects.
“Of course I remember,”
says the father, his finger and heart captive in a little fist. He does not fill the gaps in that memory she had been too young to see.
“And the chestnut trees were giant!”
They had been, from where she stood, at that open and wondrous five-year-old height. As well as the hills soaking in peach light, the sunflowers on their flanks, her father and the quiet joy of that walk on a nondescript weekday.
Like the fear that had frozen his chest as he watched her climb up the tree. That had almost stopped him from letting her go. That he still had to conceal. Like the fact that the chestnuts she had picked had been green. That they had tried to roast them, nonetheless. A poor decision; they had smoked up the oven. The kitchen had stunk for days. That he had snuck out of the house to buy more while her mother distracted her with cartoons and ice cream – two impossibly rare treats on a weekday.
The air had smelled rich of nut, rain, and wood. Chestnuts carpeting the ground. The trees so daunting, but Papa had said she could climb them if she tried. He had hoisted her on his shoulders, held her up just long enough for her to grab onto the first branch, then forced himself to let go. He had stood guard silently as she climbed higher and higher, unafraid. He must have been terrified, from where he stood at that life-weary parent’s height. From the top, “ Papa, I still wish you could have seen it “
He had only bought a few - chestnuts were costly. His wife and he had given them all to their daughters. Dinner had been a microwave meal.
The view had been spectacular. He smiles: “I know it well. I used to come here with your grandfather.”
More cartoons, ice cream. A story.
He looks at his daughter cradle her daughter. One day, she too will climb trees, and see the world from that sunkissed top and never fear the dark or gravity. He recalls a time when everything had seemed giant and wondrous to him too. In a forest of chestnut trees with his father, one mild August evening go.
She had stuffed her pockets with
“How about the time grandfather and I …”
“hundreds of chestnuts!”
She beams as she remembers. They had taken them home. Mother had been proud and had popped them in
Dr. Keith Kent The Paradoxical Commandments By: Rose McInerney
Love people, do good, succeed anyway, be honest, think big, build, help others and give the best you have to the world. You may fail at all of these things, but do them anyway. These are the intentions in The Paradoxical Commandments, written by Dr. Keith Kent. You’ve probably read them before without even knowing it. WS reached out to Dr. Kent for permission to reprint them without any success, so we’re sharing the essence of them, anyway. This intention echoes what Dr. Kent’s intended and also underscores this issue’s theme, paradox. What we write about on WomanScape mirrors the challenges that Dr. Kent identified more than 50 years ago as a student growing up in the Hippie era of the 1960s. The genesis for writing the Paradoxical Commandments came from Keith’s studies at Harvard College when student activists were protesting in demonstrations and vocal condemnations. Keith saw their well-intentioned fight but offered a different way of seeing the world. Instead, Keith believed that even if people didn’t find all the answers they were looking for and couldn’t successfully change what they set out to do, the very act of trying would bring peace and satisfaction. For Keith, love was the answer. Keith recorded The Paradoxical Commandments for high school leaders in a booklet entitled, The Silent Revolution. It’s been rewritten since then and is part of a collection of videos, books and other related items that Dr. Keith Kent shares on his website, Paradoxical Commandments. His message of love and doing what is right seems more relevant than ever, today. We must navigate complex problems and build bridges with people, organizations and countries we may not trust, but staying focused on positively changing the world is what matters most. Talk about the perfect marketing message for WS Magazine? It could be the secret to solving some of the world’s most pressing issues - from environmental sustainability to the ethical use of artificial intelligence and democratized information – start with intentions and love. Visit Dr. Kent’s website to learn more about how these Commandments are connected to the teachings of Mother Theresa and to listen to his video messages.
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PARADOX - ISSUE 02 THE LIVING LIBRARY OF PEOPLE CHANGING THE WORLD www.WomanScape.com