Tag Archives: Culture

“No St. Patrick’s Day during Genocide” places focus on Palestine

A group of local Irish community members is asking the public to support and advocate for Palestinians this St Patrick’s Day. The group hopes to draw attention to the current deteriorating situation in Palestine.

Justine Rogers Basan, an organizer of the event, explains how the day will highlight the genocide in Gaza and the historical solidarity between the Irish and Palestinian people and draw parallels between the oppression experienced by both communities. The organizers of the event have called for a ceasefire, a Canadian arms embargo, and an end to the occupation in Palestine.

“No St. Patrick’s Day during Genocide” will take place at Waterloo Town Square on March 17 at 11 am.

Irish Real Live Festival focuses on alternative ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up — and with it, a whole bunch of stereotypes about Irish culture. The organizers of the Irish Real Life Festival in Kitchener wants to move beyond the usual narrative towards a deeper understanding of Irish culture in the broader world.

The eight-day festival is in its 9th year and celebrates all elements of Irish culture and not just those which, in 2019, led to a party that at its peak saw 33,000 students converge on Ezra St in Waterloo.

The Festival kicked off last weekend in Kitchener amidst local and international tensions. Organizers of the Irish Life Festival spoke with CKMS News about how they are working to expand people’s understanding of the Irish story by, if not detaching it from the association with heavy drinking, at least showcasing another side of Irish culture.

Within this year’s program, various events draw on Irish storytelling, spirituality and history to demonstrate similarities between different cultures and how, even in the face of war, peace is possible.

Maria Almhana & Mac-Anne – In Conversation with Rashmi

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Maria Almhana, arrived in Canada in November 2017 from Syria. She was confused, depressed, was not sure what to do. In January 2018 she applied to get “the 100 Syrian Women, 10,000 Syrian Lives Scholarship” from Jusoor organisation which had partnership with student-funded humanitarian initiative, International Student Overcoming War(ISOW), at Wilfrid Laurier University.
As the Syrian conflict escalated, she maintained hope and began to apply her education and skills toward those who were increasingly vulnerable. Currently, she is among 13 students coming from conflict zones at WLU who get the support from ISO. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in International Public Policy at Balsillie School of International Affairs.
She shared her story is of losses and some wins as a young Syrian in a time of war. Her experiences before arriving in Canada from Syria is something that her new friends in Canada may never understand. Even as she settles in this place of peace, with its quiet nights, its houses and streets intact, in her mind, she is building a bridge back to her home.

Mac-Anne loves her country and is so proud of her culture and the religious freedom, my next guest comes all the way from Ghana. Mac-Anne , her friends call her Mac, is an International student from Ghana, who completed her undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. Mac is in her final semester of her Masters Program in Civil Engineering at University of Waterloo, she is focused on structures and construction and is also a climate change activist. I sit down with Mac-Anne as we talked about her experiences here in Canada. What it is like as an International student to adjust to life here. What life is like back in Ghana, food, culture and so much more.

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