People and Events

Barack Obama in Traditional Somali Dress Stirs Debate

The photo was taken in 2006 and shows Obama dressed as a Somali Elder, during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya.

The picture of U.S. Senator Barack Obama wearing some traditional Somali dress, has the Senator angry at his rival, Hilary Clinton and her campaign staff.

The picture started circulating over the weekend and has caused a stir in many political circulates.

According to the Drudge Report, the photo was taken in 2006 and shows Obama who is dressed as a Somali Elder, during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya.

In a statement, Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, accused the Clinton campaign Monday of ’shameful offensive fear-mongering’ for circulating the photo.

“On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election. This is part of a disturbing pattern that led her county chairs to resign in Iowa, her campaign chairman to resign in New Hampshire, and it’s exactly the kind of divisive politics that turns away Americans of all parties and diminishes respect for America in the world,” read the statement.

Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams responded in a statement saying: “Enough,” Williams said in the statement.

“If Barack Obama’s campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.

“This is nothing more than an obvious and transparent attempt to distract from the serious issues confronting our country today and to attempt to create the very divisions they claim to decry. We will not be distracted.”

Police Stops Ecstasy Trafficking Ring

Windsor and Toronto area residents were charged for trafficking in ecstasy and marihuana.

On Wednesday October 11, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Drug Section executed search warrants on two residences in Windsor and arrested ten persons.

During the investigations police identified an alleged conspiracy between
Windsor residents and Toronto area residents to traffic in Cannabis Marihuana. Among the charged are Mazin ODISH, Jimis ODISH, Steven ODISH, Adil ODISH, Suad ODISH, Ahmad HABHAB, Kemel HAZIME, Jason KIM, Maher AMROU, Ahmad AMROU, Ibrahim ALAWIEH, Rabih OSMAN and many more.

Law enforcement officials intercepted approximately 55,000 Ecstasy
tablets during the course of the investigation. Analysis of the tablets seized revealed that the Ecstasy tablets contained both Ecstasy and Methamphetamine.

The investigation identified a criminal organization that was allegedly
distributing Ecstasy tablets from the Greater Toronto Area to Windsor. Once the tablets were in Windsor, couriers would export the tablets across the border into the U.S. Personal vehicles and concealment methods were used.

One Windsor man and one Toronto man arrested as a result of the
investigation were also charged with conspiracy to traffic in firearms.

The search warrants were a result of a six month joint investigation
conducted by the RCMP and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in
Michigan. Canada Border Services Agency and the Sterling Heights Police
Department also assisted in the investigation.

Jump Start Spring with Green Tea at Haru Matsuri Festival

Toronto’s popular annual spring festival at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre energizes the mind and spirit.
On Saturday March 3rd and Sunday March 4th, Haru Matsuri (Spring Festival) will fill the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) with the fragile fragrance of tea, restrained beauty of Ikebana arrangements and the music of the koto, the delicate movements of odori dancers, the rhythm of the powerful Taiko drummers and the clash of Kendo swords.

This year’s Festival focuses on “Ocha – The Essence of Green Tea”. Visitors may explore more deeply the growing popularity of green tea by
participating in tea ceremonies lead by the sensei from the Urasenke Tea Society. This ancient ceremony reflects many aspects of Japanese culture including pottery, poetry and calligraphy.
In addition to the cultural components, the festival also focuses on the numerous health benefits of green tea. Various types of Ocha and tea-based beverages and foods will be offered through tea tastings.

Haru Matsuri features many demonstrations by masters and students of Japanese arts and crafts including traditional arts such as Ikebana (flower arranging), Bunka Shishu (embroidery), Origami (paper folding) and Sumi-e (brush painting), Shodo (Calligraphy)

Martial artists will demonstrate the techniques of “The Way of the Warrior” through Aikido, Judo, Karate, Iaido, Naginata, and Kendo.

Guests will enjoy Japanese entertainment – odori (traditional Japanese dancing) by JCCC traditional dance groups Ayame-Kai and Sakura-Kai, and music of the Taiko (Japanese drumming), Koto and Shamisen.

Japanese cuisine will also be available in the Centre’s food court.

Haru Matsuri will take place in Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court on Saturday March 3, and Sunday March 4, 2007 between 12:00-5:00pm.