Julian Assange: The Political Prophet

Julian Assange“True information does good” was once said by Julian Assange in his interview (Tea with The Economist). Assange concluded this quote after he unveiled WikiLeaks; a whistleblower’s website that publishes restricted material (Wikileaks Gains Spotlight). The concealed message broadcasted in his passage is that a fully-true story establishes virtue. Julian Assange shocked the world by leaking circumscribed governmental documents; sharing what he calls “true information” (Tea with The Economist). Assange is generating a huge impact on today’s democratic and republican societies globally, and this is just the start.

Julian Paul Assange is an Australian internet activist and journalist best known for his involvement with Wikileaks. Born on 3 July 1971 in Queensland, Australia; he was a hacker and a computer programmer before taking on his current role (Julian Assange Public Biography). The BBC News article (WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange) states that “Julian Assange has been reluctant to talk about his background, but media interest since the emergence of WikiLeaks has given some insight into his influences”. Mr. Assange led a nomadic childhood while his parents ran a touring theatre; consequently, the development of the internet gave him a chance to use his early promise at math and with an exceptional ability to crack computer codes (WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange). He used to shift temporary locations running WikiLeaks until he was sentenced on what Assange called “high-tech house arrest” in an English mansion on a Swedish warrant issued in connection with alleged sex offenses (Julian Assange – The NY Times). According to Raffi Khatchadourian, a reporter for the New Yorker magazine who spent several weeks travelling with him, he states that “He can go long stretches without eating, and focus on work with very little sleep. He creates this atmosphere around him where the people who are close to him want to care for him to help keep him going.” (Julian Assange – The NY Times). Here we can see that Assange’s life has gained valiant fame due to his charisma, talent and constructive hard work. This makes him a profound example of a gifted virtuoso.

Julian Assange displays heroic and altruistic characteristics by sharing classified governmental records to the public through WikiLeaks. In 2006, Julian Assange launched his whistleblower’s website, WikiLeaks; it issues “classified, censored, or otherwise restricted material of political, diplomatic, or ethical significance” (WikiLeaks) Over 500,000 raw, furtive and parliamentary files were published on the site giving the community an option to view them, to support or oppose a specific authority (Tea with The Economist). In fact, a Time Magazine’s article (A Wiki for Whistle-Blowers) stated that WikiLeaks “could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act.” Major popularity increased after WikiLeaks posted Collateral Murder on April 3, 2010. The footage is classified as a U.S. military video, shot in Iraq in 2007. U.S. Apache helicopters were shown firing at a group of people alleged to be enemy insurgents. Afterward a dozen people, including a Reuter’s photographer and his assistant were found to have been killed and two children were seriously injured (WikiLeaks). Collateral Murder “caused widespread shock” (Wikileaks founder Julian Assange). Mr. Assange established a revolutionary, non-profit organization that refers itself as “the first intelligence agency of the people” (WikiLeaks). For instance, by having the public know about any administration’s secrets such as its war crimes, it can “empower citizens to bring feared and corrupt governments and corporations to justice” (Tea with The Economist).

By having Assange supporting the truth through operating WikiLeaks, he has furnished the world with a colossus repercussion. During the Doha Debates, a debate topic was whether WikiLeaks is helping or destroying our political world. Arab youth have overwhelmingly embraced WikiLeaks and told their governments to stop lying to them.  Carne Ross stated at the event: “If governments told the truth we wouldn’t need WikiLeaks. We still don’t know the real reason why the US and the UK went to war in Iraq.” I personally believe that WikiLeaks fuelled the protests in Egypt and Tunisia since during the protests, WikiLeaks released clandestine diplomatic cables that revealed Egypt and Tunisia’s government’s confidential, atrocious files which thus, inclined Tunisians and Egyptians to strike.  Following WikiLeaks’ Twitter account, on 28 January 2011, just three days after the Egyptian protests embarked; it stated that “We will soon release numerous cables on Egypt.” The next day, it was followed by tweets concerning the promised secret cables and a confession, admitting WikiLeaks “has helped Tunisia and Egypt” in their protests (Twitter,com/WikiLeaks). We can conclude from this, that WikiLeaks shares private files for the public intended at any purpose and occasion.  The Norwegian lawmaker, Snorre Valen has nominated Julian Assange for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, stating that his secret-spilling website is one of the most important contributors to freedom of speech in the 21st century. (WikiLeaks Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize)  Having WikiLeaks disclosing information about corruption, human rights abuses and war crimes; it revealed truths which caused people to question the government much as the same way as reformers of the enlightenment challenged the monarchs.

In conclusion, Julian Assange has fulfilled his company’s slogan to “open governments”, share hidden truth and fought for the proliferation of freedom of speech. Assange stops bureaus from ensconcing information from the community and plants seeds of integrity for the future.  His life as a hero is displayed from his attitude and creates a bond to sanction politics by cleaning the dirty lies corrupt governments have polluted it with.  As Sir Richard Dalton once said, “The world is better off with WikiLeaks because it has exposed many wrong-doings; we want a government that does not abuse its power.” And if Julian Assange stands, our future potentially-beneficial governments will transpire.

The Camp

July 22, 2010. Khalid Hassan, my 14 year-old cousin, and I were in my bedroom watching a controversial movie. A scene popped up of a badly maintained place filled with decrepit grey buildings. At that moment, Khalid instantly interjected “Oh my God, it’s Ein El-Helwa!” and I suddenly stopped the movie. “It’s like the most ghetto Palestinian refugee camp ever and it’s right here in Lebanon” said Khalid. I nodded in agreement, but I lost interest and tried changing the conversation’s topic. “It’s getting late and I’m hungry. Let’s go get some sandwiches.” I said.

Later on, Khalid and I communicated over the couple of days; planning a trip to Ein El-Helwa. I thought entering a refugee camp was almost effortless, but as the days passed, and the planning enhanced, I began stressing on constant obstructions.  The first impediment was the demobilization passes. These permits are required when entering a restricted area like Ein El-Helwa and having one made, due to security reasons, took days. Meanwhile I invited my companion and next-door neighbor, Talal Soufan, to join me on this excursion.  After he agreed, the following Thursday was the commencement of the expedition.

Due to the repellent, recent heat wave, on the cloudy Thursday afternoon, the majority of the Lebanese population vacated indoors. Talal and I sojourned to Khalid’s in order pick him up along with our demobilization passes. The deeper we travelled south to the refugee camp, the cloudier and filthier our sights appeared of dirtier buildings and roads. When I switched my sight from the side-view window to the one ahead; I saw rusted barbwire tangled all along a cracked wall.

I knew I was at Ein El-Helwa. Khalid, Talal and I entered the camp, but were strictly searched before entering the district and scanned for valid demobilization passes. It stunk of raw sewage since there was never a sewage system ever implanted in the camp along with no external source of electricity connected and police security. Skinny children wearing clothes as thin as parchment caught my eye first, but what drove my attention to the souk, was the loud noise it produced. I knew I was at the souk when I reached a narrow pathway filled with small stores selling homemade and imported items. I found it ironic that Ein El-Helwa means ‘eye of the beautiful’ when the place was filthy. At the souk, butchering was performed publicly and the smell of fresh fish and sheep manufactured an epidemic odor. Once I began feeling sick, I left the souk and continued touring the camp.

Sweat began forming on my forehead as I grew thirstier. I looked for a store, selling any available soft drink. And as I kept searching, I grew sicker and felt dizzier until I noticed something wonderful.  It was a lit light bulb.

“A lit light bulb, how? I questioned one of the store clerks.

“Look…” said the store clerk pointing at a small generator, “…we had them smuggled in”

I was impressed by their cleverness. Although, I continued walking and finally bought Coca-Cola bottle, and before I opened the cap, I witnessed the logo on the side of the bottle. It was the exact logo I used to see when I was a child. “How do they still have these bottles?” I thought to myself. I later found out when the store owner asked me to return the bottle. They’re reused. No recycling center is in the camp, let alone the city it’s in, so I figured that Ein El-Helwa reutilized their goods themselves.

One refugee greeted and “welcomed” me kindly, his name was Ahmad. From the way he spoke, I could tell he was very educated, however he was unemployed. I just wish that that the Lebanese will one day employ these poor refugees. Khalid, Talal and I witnessed enough for one day, it was time to go back home.

As I went back home and saw the buildings and roads cleaner, the further I travelled, I realized that the things we own shouldn’t be taken for granted. And when I came to my bedroom, it looked better than I left it that morning. I was grateful.  “Poverty is not natural, it is manmade.” Was the quote by Nelson Mandela I heard a long before the trip, but I never fully understood it until after voyage. A trip to Ein El-Helwa shaped my perception of the world and encouraged me to educate myself. However I do feel bitter against the imperial world we live in today.

Me (Right) at the camp.

Me (Right) at the camp.

Blogging Reflection

Reading the Blogs For the Right Job

Reading the Blogs For the Right Job

I believe Ms. Rumford introduced blogging to the students so they may be more aware about the technology around them. I also think Ms. Rumford added blogging into the syllabus so it would add more onto the learning experience Ms. Rumford was trying distribute. I assume that the purpose of the use of blogs is to introduce something fresh and contemporary, and abate the use of the old technique consisting of paper and pen. In my opinion, Ms. Rumford put a lot of time and effort into blogging seeing as her students will learn more about the online technology used for cyber-writing to an audience. This would be a similar to the case on why Mr. Collett (An 8th & 7th grade U.S History teacher) uses a virtual gadget called Dropbox to hand in assignments and projects. Since both Ms. Rumford and Mr. Collett wanted to try something new, they searched for the latest mechanism on the internet. If I were to reflect through literature on both teachers, I would inform the reader that both the tutors are enlightened and liberal since they began to omit tradition and replace it with new ways of thinking. As Mr. Collett once said, “Papers have been going on for around 2,000 years. Now we have computers”

I can assure you that I accomplished a lot of learning. While working on blogs, I exercised my mind and fingers. When writing I would think about topics to write about and my development of ideas increased dramatically. As well as typing, some of my working skills enhanced and I learned more about better manners of working. When blogging, the topic the students would write about is anything appropriate for Middle School. It isn’t as easy as it sounds since you would take time to sit back, relax and think about what to write. Personally, writing about what the teachers want their students to write about is easier than the blogging method. When given a non-blogging assignment, you would write about the topic easily with the help of research. However, my ideas for topics to write about in blogs sometimes took days of long thinking to develop. I studied to be more aware about what I’m saying, since my blogs would be posted for millions to see, I would endeavor to make sure I wouldn’t be offending anyone or disrespecting my school values. My school vales were what I followed and kept in my blogs they are: Respect, Honesty, Responsibility and Compassion.

I learned that writing can improve over time. I have read my first and latest blog and I witnessed a massive change in punctuation, grammar, and spelling. The change was obviously positive and it showed me the true essence of, “Practice makes perfect.” I learned to be more aware and cautious of my words. I was always worried if I would offend anybody by race, religion or perspective. I learned that I’m not just writing to my teacher and myself, but to the thousands of bloggers that search the internet for my current subject, I even send my older sister a link to my blogs so she may read them with pride. I ascertained more about the technology being used lately for the public to write; blogs. Before blogs were familiarized to me by Ms. Rumford, I knew nothing about it; now I learned something new. I also learned that thousands of people are active on Edublogs which was a sudden surprise to me. It also drove me to ask questions such as, “Why would someone spend hours of time working on blogs?” I learned lots from blogging and I am deeply grateful.

Well, I wasn’t writing the same thing every weekend. The weekly requirements introduced to different strategies and styles of writing. All the weekly necessities educated me separately in different ways. For example, when obliged to research I found great websites, learned more and invented a technique on searching (I wouldn’t want to reveal it to anyone). I am going to be honest and admit that I disliked the requirements but I learned to put up with them since failing a blog sabotages your grade severely and that is the last thing I desire. I think the hardest requirement was highlighting different sentences, but surprisingly, it wasn’t as difficult as I expected it to be. Research was the most beneficial requirement since it allowed me to explore the internet which also permitted to learn more.

Since blogging introduced me to a new way of writing for many readers, I believe I will use it in the future because I enjoyed blogging. I remember those stressful nights trying to get my blogs in on time so they wouldn’t be counted as late on Power School, but the summer would give me more time to practice my writing skills for High School in the summer vacation. Without blogging, I wouldn’t find a reason to write. Blogging will benefit me in the future allowing me fill in requirements needed to be a good writer. I also think that it gave me confidence to do more and from all the work I put in and developing strategies, it might even impress my future teachers. Next time a blog is required to write I can officially say, “Not a problem” And possibly, instead of rapping with music, blogs will be my way of sending out a message.

Late Nights in the Work Time

Late Nights in the Work Time

Walter Disney

Walter Disney (1901 - 1966)

Walter Disney (1901 - 1966)

You may have heard the term ‘Disney’ from Disney Channel on T.V, Disneyland theme park in California or the Disney World studios all around the world.  But did you ever know that Disney is surname of a man that created these specific things listed previously. His name is Walter Disney. Walter Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon and philanthropist. The many jobs never existed by chance. Disney was an immigrant. Migrants were viewed as inferior by other Native Americans, or the early Colonists that established what is commonly known as the United States of America in the 1800’s and early 1900s.  Disney worked hard and that shows my many readers that “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger” through learning from mistakes and dealing with the suffering taking place around him. Disney offered a lot to the world. In my opinion, I believe that Disney brought the world closer together, it’s a shame that his death struck too soon in a terrible manner and how difficult is previous life was.

Walt Disney’s first step to success began when he drew political comic strips in newspapers as a career. However, later on in his life, not a soul in America would hire Disney as an immigrant. Weeks passed by and Walter was unemployed, and was struggling to survive on his latest wage. His days of life would worsen by time and Walter began looking for a solution to end the abysmal situation. The formula to vanish the problem was an idea to unite with his older brother, Roy Disney. Very soon after the discovery of Walter’s idea, he began working his older brother, in the same bank temporarily. Despite the conscientious work deposited into their career, an expiration date ended both the Disney brothers’ jobs. Immigrants like the Disney’s, would never have a permanent job unless it were their own business; Walt and Roy were both without a job. The Disney’s conjointly searched for professions but jobs were difficult to contract for migrates. When jobs were found, the work would end and the Disney brothers would hunt for new vacancies in conglomerates; the siblings decided that they living in this manner is too risky and difficult.  Walter’s clever resolutions entered a conversation between the brothers and the solution was taken into action and used. Roy and Walt invested all their money into film producing by setting up cartoon studios. Nevertheless, the studio failed dramatically since they both didn’t benefit from the company. That would be a second time Walt had his life devastate him. Now it all began to change. And it all initiated on a train ride, Walter Disney quoted: “Mickey Mouse popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner.” Walt Disney went back to drawing cartoons, but this time he was more aware and cautions since he didn’t want his work to crash. By time, he had his own company with his brother as a co-worker and his wealth began pouring in. His simple Mickey Mouse animations transformed to massive Hollywood cartoon films such as Alice in Wonderland and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. When he created Disneyland in California on 1955, I began to question the reason on why he constructed the beautiful theme park. Was he trying to bring people from many cultures together? One fact to support my unanswered question is the one of the rides in Disneyland. The ride is called “It’s a Small World” and it brings many diverse cultures together by having robotic puppets sing about the similarities in the world. And possibly that is why he constructed his theme parks, movies and smiles on young children’s faces.

Disney with his own characters.

Disney with his own characters.

Walt Disney offered a lot to the world and he shared the dissimilar cultures exiting in the world from the different periods of time in his life. He knew that a poor immigrant would create a lot from nonentity. He’s bad times in life were only displaying to the many readers that “What doesn’t destroy me, makes me stronger”. I learned a lot businesswise, from his history and specific quote: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Walter Disney is truly remarkable; no wonder is loved by millions.

Inside the "It's A Small World" park ride.

Inside the "It's A Small World" park ride.

Sing Along Songs- It’s A Small World

Bill Gates

Bill Gates attending the World Economic Forum held in Switzerland.

Bill Gates attending the World Economic Forum held in Switzerland.

Now I want you to slowly shut your eyes after reading this sentence, and envision yourself as the famous chairman of Microsoft, Bill Gates. All right, if you’re reading this path, then that shows me that you have your eyes open, splendid! Nowadays the present day Bill Gates seems rather extraordinary due to the vast wealth and ownership of an immense corporation that is commonly recognized as Microsoft. At the moment, I want you to repeat the first instruction commanded, however, I want you to imagine yourself as Bill Gates in the early 1970’s. If you witnessed the same sight observed in the first order, then you are erroneous. Yes, Bill Gates’ life was extremely different when comparing the beginning of his life to the present day, middle age one. Well, I may entitle hundreds of diverse dissimilarities, but most are not in my topic of “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger”. Nevertheless, there are a few I may name that are perfectly suitable to match the subject. In any case, the echelon between peers, family members, and colleagues was very different, as matter of fact; Gates was usually demoralized by other classmates in his school. In my opinion, the time he faced in school was not a happy era he would refer back to. Obviously when you contrast it by the life Gates is living in now. The wealth wasn’t as high as the opportunities along with the amount of friends Bill had. Despite the treatment in school, it didn’t stop him from sticking his nose in books. In consequence, it essentially forced Gates to work harder. And prove to the many the doubted him, that he can gain power through knowledge and hard work.

Multiple reasons of why I selected Bill Gates as my theme of this week’s blog flood my brain like an overflowing sink. And one of them is because he illustrates: “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger” via strength produced by factors annihilating him. It amazes me that the second, richest man alive is a dropout from Harvard University. Although, the verity that he was a class-nerd in his younger years balances the shock from expectations. Bill Gates has established a lot from nothing. And in epochs, when Gates is losing wealth rapidly, specifically as a stock market crash or a lack of sales in a specific country, or location; he never surrenders to the power destroying him. He always elucidates: “Life is not fair; get used to it.” And I believe this quote relates to the billions of lives on earth. Furthermore, I have faith that this passage will end the constant complaining from immature juveniles immediately once they perceive it from Bill Gates. Well, that’s life I deduce. The second most prosperous man in the world even admits that his life is not rational. Gates’ life experience proves “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger”, this is by what means, how he assembled his affluence from basically nonentity. Bill Gates launched his way into becoming my dear role model for me. I dream of resembling him. I wish I may perhaps work in this financial disaster taking place in Southern Europe, North America, and western parts of Middle East. I fancy a time where I could work with men and use my acquaintance to inaugurate a lofty way of solving problems. I contemplate that it is possible, and I thank Bill Gates for inspiring and educating me on “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger”, and the only hope I have at the moment; is that you gained the same comprehension I contracted.

Shaza Khalil

Shaza Khalil recording in a rap studio.

Shaza Khalil recording in a rap studio.

Shaza Khalil, an enlightened young female

Lives in Yarmouk, a land where she’d regale

Via rap, only, for the love her land

Her occupied origin increases demand

For a territory, for her people, with no war at all

But unfortunately she lives in a place O so small

Her skin is fair like the white winter snow

It’s a bright, shinning light produced by her glow

Her beautiful smile consists of gloss, pink lips

But it can easily break once her happiness slips

She is Shaza Khalil

Shaza Khalil plans and aims high for her perfection in rap music

And her lyrics would be outstanding and exceeds, on a rap rubric

However, most of her friends and family, disagree with-her

Their diverse reasons and excuses are simply the mixture

Of a confusing recipe that is destroying this juvenile girl

As she dreams and desires to be like vast western world

She admires great some rappers, such as Young Jeezy

She wished to be replicate them, but it is not easy

Since she lives in Yarmouk where men rule, and women have little rights

It is torture to her, but she copes, cries and tries to be polite

She is Shaza Khalil

Shaza Khalil faces multiple problems in her life

Her expectancy is to be a lovely wedded wife

From her guardians and family

One of her problems are brambly

Since she is a girl at the age of sixteen

And the sights she observed are obscene

But she is that is the reason I chose her for my blog

Seeing as her power leaps high like a large hyper frog

Shaza Khalil sings rap for the love of her but it is not wronger

Because she shows “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger”

She is Shaza Khalil

Syrian School – Part 2 – Rap Refugees from Yazan Badran on Vimeo.

One Challenge That We Face In School.

"After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb." - Nelson Mandela

"After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb." - Nelson Mandela

Life as we know it is not easy and it requires a lot of strength and courage. The strength and courage exists within you and only you can control and use the power. We all are going through life and we all want to taste success, but the only way you can make it to the top is if you conquer the bottom. There will be challenges in life whether you’re a student in school, an employee at work or within the comfort of your own home, but these obstacles will only make you stronger. There are students facing challenges in school nowadays. The smart students notice the idiocy surrounding them by watching most students respecting the “toughest” or the most good-looking. The students that achieve high grades and respect their teachers are bullied and neglected by other students. Yet, the challenges that these clever students face don’t last forever; the students become stronger since it doesn’t destroy them. A great example would be Bill Gates. Gates was bullied and treated brutally by his classmates when he attended his school since he was considered a “nerd”, however, Gates is the proud owner of the Microsoft Corporation; which makes 60 billion dollars per year. Gates is a great figure that became stronger from his time at school because now Bill Gates is one of the most powerful men in the world. Bill Gates also elucidates great advice to people seeing as he informs others that they should not bully nerds. I can support my statement from his following quote, “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.” School is a gift that students should be grateful for, since they are receiving the greatest instrument ever taught; education. As Nelson Mandela once quoted, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” From Mandela’s quote, coming from a great leader, I would never doubt the great tool that I call education. There will be bullies that you will find in every school, yet I believe of it as God’s obstacle to test the intelligent and foolish. These “nerds” such as Bill Gates, that study hard and graduate from prestigious universities, become tougher from the fact that they are being criticized by people their own age. But they only become tougher if they never not pursuing their dreams. The influential people will show people exactly that “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger”.

KEY: Simple Sentences

Compound Sentences

Complex Sentences

Compound-complex Sentences

Osama Hadid

Osama Hadid (1956 - )

Osama Hadid (1956 – )

When learning from your mistakes, there are different ways of learning from them. There is an easy way with no suffering, and there is manner that might kill you, but if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. Now the people I wrote about in my recent blogs are known worldwide. Yet, this blog is different. The man I’m writing about is not as famous as the previous men I wrote about, but he had events is his life that show you “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. Osama Hadid, an ordinary Palestinian businessman that lives in Doha, Qatar with a loving wife and four gifted children is great example. Osama did have critical stages in his life from unexpected occurrences that seemed unnatural in his life. One shocking event changed Osama’s life and it took place in a land that he once, knew none of. This first stage all began many years ago when he first travelled to Kansas City, Missouri. Osama had been accepted to a university in Kansas City that prepared high school graduates to be civil engineers. First of all, Osama travelled to Kansas City to complete his education. When Osama wasn’t studying, he would either be at his job in Burger King or socializing with his friends. Osama worked in Burger King since his father; Rida Hadid was not wealthy enough to pay for Osama’s full tuition. Osama believed he was doing fine balancing his jobs with his studies until he was called into the dean’s office on a sunny morning. While Osama was chatting with the dean, he was receiving the terrible news that he was failing university with a GPA of 1.9. The dean told Osama that he was expelled from the university and that he must return home. Hadid begged the dean for he could complete university, and in addition, he informed the dean that he was balancing his job with his studies. At the end of the conversation, the dean was compassioned enough to give Osama one last chance to prove the he cared about his education and that he can pass. Osama had to get a good GPA by the next semester in order to complete his education. Osama studied and worked hard in his dorm, at the times when he wasn’t working at Burger King. His grades were almost perfect. The next semester he found out that his GPA wasn’t a lousy 1.9, but a 3.8! The dean let Osama finish his education at university after he saw his good grades. Osama completed his education and graduated. Nowadays, Hadid is a successful Managing Director in the Middle East. Osama shows that “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, since the time with the dean didn’t kill him, it made him ‘stronger’.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking (1942 - )

Stephen Hawking (1942 - )

One day you’re an ordinary person, the next day you’re at the hospital uncovering the truth that you have Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or ALS for short). What would you do if you found out that you had ALS? Would and feel sorry for yourself, or overcome the disease and get on with life? ALS doesn’t kill you; it paralyzes you. Yet, for Stephen Hawking, it made him stronger. He learned that you can get on with life, even if you’re completely paralyzed. Stephen Hawking developed ALS when he was young, but since the disease didn’t kill him, he was able to get on with life using an important part of his body, his brain. This is why Stephen Hawking is known as “The Genius”, but you don’t need ALS to become a Stephen Hawking; all you need is to use your brain in the right way. Stephen Hawking surprisingly proves that “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”.

Stephen Hawking is mainly known for his Theoretical cosmology, and his Black holes and Quantum gravity theories. When Stephen Hawking was 21 years old, ALS was developing in his body. Now Stephen Hawking was an ordinary person before he contracted ALS, but after he developed the incurable disease, he conquered it and got on with life. This fact shows that Stephen Hawking became mentally stronger after his disease. The disease did not kill him, and Hawking eventually became a smarter man later on. He did a lot of good for the world but it all started when he was sitting in his chair thinking of what he can do to achieve what he wanted.

Stephen Hawking had his goals set after ALS was progressed in his body. Hawking once said, “My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.“, from his quote, I can say that he is trying to help the world figure out the reason behind the secret of life. Yet, his goals need a lot of hard work. The hard work involves traveling to different places and studying unique cultures. But how can Stephen Hawking create and produce so much when he can’t speak or move? There is no answer to this question but I can say that he found a way and it definitely made him stronger since it didn’t kill him. Stephen Hawking had many hard, painful times in his life because of his disability. Whether it would be figuring why the world exists, or not being  able to fit in as a normal person.

I really learned a lot from Stephen Hawking, and I will share what I learned with my fellow leaders for they may learn as well. To be honest, the first time I saw Stephen Hawking, was on  T.V when he was giving a lecture on Discovery Channel.  Once I observed the silent, motionless man; I didn’t take the lecture seriously, yet, as I heard his thoughts come out from his voice box, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. Hawking, a man with an IQ of 160, would sit on his wheel chair like a baby on its carriage, but would express his enlightened ideas to the world. Tears ran down my cheeks from the pity I felt for him. I realized that anything is possible for anyone, that is why Hawking is a great role model for me. From that day, I truly learned to never judge a book by its cover. In addition to this subject, I became more open minded towards others.

I want my readers to know that next time when you’re sitting down in a boring class, keep your brain alive. As Tupac Shakur once said “Keep your head up, and your mind strong”. Since that was what Stephen Hawking always does. Hawking was a normal boy, but when he was a child, he was slow to learn and read. But ever since his disease struck him, he became smarter. Hawking became brighter and more intelligent. And because if that, he truly shows that “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. As BBC news once said “He is a role model for ALS patients” and I can extend that quote because he is also a role model for non-ALS patients as well. He learned that life will not wait for you, you have to make what you have of it. A man like the British Stephen Hawking is a great example of “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”

Nelson Mandela

Acknowledging your mistakes may take days, years or even decades! When you make a wrong decision and do something bad; it doesn’t’ automatically make you a bad person. When you are treated harshly due to your skin color, you take action to stop it, but not in violence. Always be in the middle, never act too extreme or too insignificant. All these small random sentences are a big part of Nelson Mandela‘s life lesson. Mandela was a very peaceful man, but somehow he believed that violence was the answer after he observed his peaceful protests lead to nothing. He had been in jail for a few times, and the last time he was in prison, he was released with more knowledge of “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. The time Nelson Mandela used in a maximum security prison did not go to waste, in fact, Mandela became a stronger person. He learned from his mistakes the hard way, he had no psychologist talk to him in jail, (Even though he was not a psychopath) but at least he is now a strong leader that got what he wanted by dialogue instead of violence.

The things Mr. Mandela did, that led to making him stronger all starts from one problem; the apartheid. It saddens Nelson Mandela to see his people struggling for freedom; he wanted all people, especially in South Africa to be equal. At Mandela’s time in South Africa, blacks faced major criticism from whites, since blacks were seen as trifling. Nelson Mandela despised this racial fact; this is when he started taking his actions and climbed the hill to end the apartheid. As Mandela observed these ponderous, controversial problems take their place in South Africa, he started his plan. A plan that would end apartheid once and for all, yet, his plan involved a fight. Nelson Mandela conducted his fight in a non-violent manner with peaceful protests and dialogue. However, after he found out a group of peaceful demonstrators were killed in Sharpeville; he declared war on the South African government.

It was ironic for a peacemaker to become a peace breaker over a violent occurrence. Once Nelson Mandela launched the guerrilla warfare against the government in 1960, violence occurred. Violent, boisterous protests were happening in the streets of Johannesburg against the apartheid, and white people were threatened from this in South Africa. Mandela’s protests made the government look bad, so the government wanted to end this once for all. Nelson Mandela was seen as ominous from the South African government’s point-of-view, so they sentenced Mandela to life in prison on charges of sabotage.

Nelson Mandela was taken away from his family and friends and was imprisoned on Robben Island. Mandela stayed in Robben Island for 18 years out of his 27 years in prison. While in jail, Mandela’s reputation grew and he became widely known as the most significant black leader in South Africa. Prisoners were segregated by race, with black prisoners receiving the fewest rations. This condition that he lived in didn’t kill him, but it made him stronger. While he was in jail having remorse for what he did against his government, he was acknowledging his mistakes, which were the first signs to becoming a strong, wise man. Even though he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in 1982, he continued to inspire the fight against apartheid.

Fortunately in 1990, President de Klerk released Mandela from jail. The man that was once seen as infamous and misanthrope for many people, was freed, which gave many others a joyful mirth. Yet, once Nelson Mandela was released, he continued his fight to end apartheid; this time with dialogue. Mandela would give peaceful lectures and attend conferences to end apartheid. By time, Mandela succeeded in his goal and he freed millions of Africans and gave them dignity as well. Mandela also took a bigger step in his life and became president of South Africa. Once Mandela was president, the people in his country had equality; something that was scantly before.

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Nelson Mandela (1918 - )