Archive for: January 2013

Freezing Weather All over the US

The schools were keen in watching for the weather forecast in some parts of the United States. There was a subzero temperature in the upper Midwest and Northeast that is forecasted to bring freezing rain to the South and Mid-Atlantic states in the US on Friday.

The US weather forecasters at the National Weather Service predict 4 inches of snow in the areas of Ohio and the Mid-Atlantic regions on Friday. Both, North and South Carolina and Tennessee Valley would be expecting a freezing rain early in the morning of Friday. One of the schools in Raleigh, North Carolina will be closing early due to the bad weather forecast, according to a spokesman from the Wake County schools.

The spokesman in a statement also told WRAL, one of CNN’s affiliate, “We’re going to make sure we put a plan in place so that the buses are rolling while it’s still safe and the students are back home before weather becomes an issue.” A dozen of schools in Tennessee and Northern Georgia also said that they will be closing.

Not only the schools were affected by the weather condition but also inbound flights in some airports in the US like the Nashville International Airport which has cancelled its American Airlines flights since Thursday night and until Friday morning, according to a spokeswoman from the airport, Emily Richard.

Meanwhile, in the Salt Lake City the freezing rain made all the runways of the city’s International Airport closed, according to a statement released by the Federal; Aviation Administration. The Kentucky Department of Transportation also said, “Rest assured, our team is monitoring the winter weather and have been pre treating roadways across the Commonwealth.”A number of states in the US has been preparing for the forecasted precipitation.

Youth Initiative: Easing the Lebanese Syrian Tension

Now, there is hope in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.  The Youth Initiatives Program called “Rainbow of Hope” funded by the United States is bringing students together in an effort to minimize prejudice and build friendships. Syrian refugees stream into Lebanon, tensions between Lebanese and Syrians are growing daily.

The said program, gathers the youth once a week, students convene for activities such as basketball, puppet shows, plays, films and cultural excursions. The program provides leadership skills and the chance to build conflict resolution skills through extracurricular activities. Director of the Youth Initiative Program, Nidal Khaled said, “The Syrian army’s former presence in Lebanon is one reason for the tensions, but there are others. The Lebanese media is playing a negative role by making Lebanese scared of the Syrian refugees. The media too are also imposing some ideas that the Lebanese are of a higher class. In addition, most of the refugees are really poor, so their lifestyles are different from the Lebanese.”

Different testimonials from students and a teacher under the program were given.  Asma Harouk, a Lebanese student, said: “When the Syrians first came, I didn’t know them, I didn’t interact with them. Now I feel there’s a friendship between us because of these activities.”

Syrian student Rama Salib said:”I didn’t understand them because they speak Lebanese dialect,” Salib said. One of the teachers for the program, Lilianne Hamzeh said, “With war in Syria raging just over these hills, it is hard not to think about the hardships some of the children have been through. We are trying our best to make them equal, but sometimes you are finding yourself feeling with the Syrians much more because of what they faced before.”

Despite a history of tensions between their two countries, these students are learning to respect each other through the program.