Category Archives: Jihad

Book About Hurricane Katrina

From Taneya:  I’ve created an account on the blog for Jihad now so he can be a guest author.  Below is his first post. 🙂

I am reading a book called Ninth Ward.  It is about a girl named Lanesha who has a grandma named MaMa Ya-Ya.  Well Lanesha is a 12-year old girl that lives in New Orleans.  Lanesha has been seeing ghosts since she was an itty bitty baby.  But Lanesha has been having hard times at school because she has been seeing ghosts everywhere at her school.  She says they all look sad.  MaMA Ya-Ya is a very nice lady who raised Lanesha and took extra care of her.

The reason I am reading this book is because it is educational and tells you how bad Hurricane Katrina was when it hit New Orleans and how it killed a lot of people and flooded homes.  I am also reading this book cause when you read it it actually tells you in the book how people were in Hurricane Katrina and died or drowned.  My schoolteacher has the whole class reading this book because the author of the book, Jewell Parker Rhodes, is coming to our school, LEAD Academy, tomorrow to read to us and my teacher wants us to be prepared.

The book is great so far because I like how they descibe the ghost in the book cause I always wanted to know how ghost look.  I also think about this book so far how Lanesha survies Hurricane Katrina and saves Spot (the dog).



Let’s Play Chess

Last night, we took the family over to the Nashville Chess Center.  Why were we there you ask?  Well, Kalonji went to meet the administrative staff at the center to discuss potential collaborations for Kalonji’s non-profit.   Admittedly, I know absolutely nothing about chess,  but Kalonji has been teaching Kaleya & Jihad how to play.   They were having their Holiday Party and there were at least 50 or so people there.

It is located in a gorgeous old home on Belmont Avenue.

Picture of the Chess Center building

And, the space is divided into areas for play, for learning, and they even have a small library.  It was fun to watch some of the regulars play even though I couldn’t follow along.   One of the members set Kaleya & Jihad up on a computer to do a chess tutorial.  Kaleya knows how a few of the pieces move so she was actually explaining them to me.  Jihad was doing his own thing – he didn’t need me at all 🙂

Jihad snacks
Jihad and Kaleya play

You know me…I had to take some pictures in their library.

a view in the libraray
cool chessboard
my librarian self loves the classification

The  club is open two nights a week and a few hours on Sunday afternoon so we will likely join after the holidays.  Kalonji wants the kids in his mentoring program to understand the rules and ways of the game as a way to further stimulate strategic thinking skills.   There may be more chess reported here on the blog in the near future  :-).

Scenes from a Bar Mitzvah

On Saturday, we went to the Bar Mitzvah of a good friend of Jihad’s.  Having never been to a Bar Mitzvah before we were especially looking forward to it.  Jihad’s friend, who we’ll refer to as ID, did a great job going through the ceremony and seeing as that he is autistic, we know it meant just that much more to the family.  I was so touched, I even cried some.  🙂

The Rabbi explained all the parts of the ceremony well and we were able to follow along.  The passage that ID read was  Genesis 37 where it’s described that Jacob was loved more than his other brothers by their father, Joseph (Israel).  We learned that the Torah is read in syncrhonization by all synagogues during their weekly service and that the reading of the Torah is measured out precisely.

Here’s ID afterwards with his Rabbi and the Torah scroll

Here’s a picture of one of the hand-written Torah scrolls on display

Kaleya was off and on during the service, by the time it was over, she was so ready to go

she perked up though during lunch and of course getting to take balloons home made her day.

The Temple was very nice and I especially appreciated the sense of history present in the service and in the actual building.  At the end of the service, the names of those who had anniversaries of their passing during this season were read.  Also, there were pictures of all the graduating classes of the temple going back to the 1890s.  Here is an example of one of the class photos – this one from 1932.  Can you imagine seeing your ancestors back several generations if they too had been members?

We had a great time seeing ID again (he goes to Jihad’s former school) and meeting more of his extended family. Of interest to my genealogy interests, we learned that ID’s grandfather is the founder of an African-American newspaper in North Carolina and the family has ties to the city where I grew up.  Small world!

Catching Horus

Over the weekend, our cat Horus escaped the house as we were doing a lot of moving.  Well, the kids went to go get him several times but he kept running off.  Finally, Jihad was able to catch him and fortunately, though Horus put up a fight, Jihad came out unscratched.  Check it out.

After Jihad manages to get him, Kaleya and their friend jump in celebration!