By Issa A. Mansaray
As fear grips West Africa with an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus wreaking havoc in unprepared countries — Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria — the Minnesota Department of Health is in a race to calm fears of a possible Ebola outbreak in the Twin Cities. At a public information meeting hosted by MDH in Brooklyn Center on Wednesday, Aug. 3, more than 150 people attended to hear various speakers and officials about the current Ebola situation from the four affected African nations and how MDH is monitoring it here. Both Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park are homes to thousands of West Africans that include about 30,000 Liberians and reportedly 6,000 Sierra Leoneans. “Like the community back home, there is a group psychology of fear going on in the West African region,” said Wynfred Russell, director of African Career, Education and Resources Inc., stressing that the task now in the African
community in Minnesota is to provide accurate and scientifically based facts about Ebola. Continue Reading →
The mall bombing/attack in Kenya is not just frightening and alarming because of its apparent senselessness. It’s also alarming because it will give an opening to U.S. and European anti-Muslim — and to some extent anti-African — propaganda, which will in turn cause folks to turn a blind eye to U.S. and European meddling in African affairs. Don’t, if tempted to, write off the attack on the Nairobi, Kenya mall by Al Shabaab as just another fanatical instance of terrorism. While it is an insane and almost hapless effort to get revenge or make a political point, the attack on the mall was motivated by past events. Kenya did in fact invade Somalia in 2011 and kicked Al Shabaab out of southern Somalia with the help of the U.S. and France. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
In spite of criticism and skepticism, President Barack Obama’s recent Africa trip has the potential to reap benefits for both this country and the African continent. Prior to the trip, U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, during a June 21 conference call in which the MSR participated, briefly addressed the criticism that the trip was too costly. “The costs for these types of trips, as well as any presidential trip” is determined by the Secret Service and the White House Military Office, explained Rhodes. “That’s been the case no matter who is president. “We take this [African] region very seriously,” added Rhodes. Continue Reading →
By James L. Stroud, Jr.
If you read, write or know anything about fiction, then you know first of all that by definition it means to fabricate. Therefore, when it comes to getting published, one common assumption is that having a vivid imagination to conjure up a fictitious story might be all that one would need to write a book. That’s not how it happened for author/business owner/philanthropist Lynnette A. Murray-Gibson, who would probably disagree with that assumption, mainly because her two award-winning fiction books for children (Clara Meets Mr. Twiddles and The Hottest Day) were written from her personal true-life experiences in Minnesota. According to Murray-Gibson, she had no intentions of becoming a writer of any books, but it was fate and God’s will that made it happen. In 1999, Gibson-Murray, who is originally from Monrovia, Liberia in West Africa, was living in New Jersey recovering from a heart condition and looking for a different place to live and relax. Continue Reading →