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NJPW G1 Climax in Hamamatsu

NJPW G1 Climax 29 ring

Growing up, I’ve always watched American Pro Wrestling such as the WWF (now WWE) and WCW. When YouTube was invented, I started seeing my favourite North American wrestlers in a whole different setting: Japanese pro wrestling. Since then, I had dreamed of watching Japanese pro wrestling. My dream came true when I got tickets for the 15th night of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) G1 Climax 29 tournament in Hamamatsu on August 7th.   I could not help notice the differences between American and Japanese pro wrestling, and pro-wrestling on TV and live.

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Description of Japan: A New Series

Egypt and Japan: the two countries that stole my heart away. When I was hired against all odds as an ALT (Assistant Language

"Welcometo Japan" at Narita airport
“Welcome to Japan” at Narita airport

Teacher) via the JET Programme (Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme), my boyhood dream of going to Japan finally came true. Now that I’m there, I would like to do something  Napoleon did.

When Napoleon invaded Egypt, he wanted to know everything about this country to better dominate it. That is why he had his scholars write an encyclopedia called La description de l’Égypte (The Description of Egypt). It would be impossible for me to write an encyclopedia on my own but I will try to understand Japan and explain my discoveries to the best of my abilities.

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Canada: A Botched Mosaic (Part 6)

Editor’s note: This story about Canadian multiculturalism was originally a single 3,600 word article meant for a British magazine. I decided to turn it into a mini-series. It tells the story of Peter, a Lebanese-Canadian youth and his experience of Canadian multiculturalism. He meets different people through his life who influence his thoughts. Although this tale contains many true elements and anecdotes, it is a work of fiction. Read part 1 here, 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, and part 5 here

I finally get to the door of my apartment building. What a day! I had come across Didier, Saulo and Saeeda on my way back home. I hadn’t seen them in five years.

Didier complained a lot a year after I had originally met him. Now, he complains about the same things, but this time, even more. He complained about how white Canadians are cold and wary of black people. He complained about how he, a holder of a Master’s degree, could only find small part time jobs such as grocery store clerk or delivery boy. He complained about political corruption. He complained about

A Botched Mosaic

how hard it was to get Canadian citizenship. He complained about Canadian winter. He complained…and complained… But did he consider leaving Canada? No.

Saulo and I crossed paths in a metro[1] station. He was doing all right. Although he had to work some menial jobs to support his wife, he finally got a job as a programmer. His wife also gave birth to a baby girl. He was ambivalent about the fact that his daughter was born Canadian but he tried hard to look happy about it. He hasn’t been back to Brazil and doesn’t plan on returning. He said, with a bit of disappointment, that he doesn’t feel Brazilian anymore and that he doesn’t feel Canada is home. With the same disappointed tone, he said he had it good here in Montreal.

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Canada: A Botched Mosaic (part 5)

Editor’s note: This story about Canadian multiculturalism was originally a single 3,600 word article meant for a British magazine. I decided to turn it into a mini-series. It tells the story of Peter, a Lebanese-Canadian youth and his experience of Canadian multiculturalism. He meets different people through his life who influence his thoughts. Although this tale contains many true elements and anecdotes, it is a work of fiction. Read part 1 here, 2 here, part 3 here, and part 4 here.  

The Brazilians were very friendly. They easily opened their hearts to people who took a sincere interest

Flag of Brazil
Flag of Brazil

in Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language. Because I knew some Spanish, I could understand some of their conversations and I would try to answer them in Portuguese. Although I did plenty of mistakes, the Brazilians were very happy to correct me. They also taught me about their literature, their customs and even taught me some dirty jokes in Portuguese[1]. One of the Brazilians, Saulo, was very interested in learning French and kept asking me to explain to him some French words and French grammar. I recall one of our conversations:

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Is WWE Supporting Wahhabism?

On April 27th 2018, the WWE will hold its Greatest Royal Rumble event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Pro wrestling fans and online magazines expressed their outrage towards the WWE for removing all matches featuring female wrestlers from the event. The WWE even went as far as removing female ring announcers from the event to avoid offending the Saudi government. Could trying to please this government be a form of support towards Wahhabism?

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Easter in Egypt: One Year Later

Cartoon_Christians_Muslims_CarlosLatuff-Twitter
Cartoon by Carlos Latuff depicting the unity between Christians and Muslims during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution

I remember last year’s reports on the church bombings in Egypt on Palm Sunday. When I heard the news, my blood curdled. I was reminded on Christmas of the harm Salafism causes when I read on Mada Masr about the church attack. I was filled with rage. I was afraid friends and family might have been hurt. It’s as if Islamist terrorist way of celebrating Christmas and Easter was to kill people and bomb churches. I was fed up of hearing from friends and relatives “Don’t worry: the martyrs are in a better place now,” “Heaven needed another angel,” and words from the Coptic Orthodox Pope such as “The Church needs martyrs.” I have no idea as to why heaven has such a great demand for Egyptians.

However, I remembered something else. In Egyptian newspapers and social media, there were mentions of Muslims leaving candles, message of condolences, and flowers in front of Saint George’s church and Saint-Mark’s cathedral after the Palm Sunday attack in 2017. Should this be surprising?

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