Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sunday Nov 14th
    We left Amman and took a cab to the Allenby Bridge crossing. We were praying that its not too busy at the border as it's the weekend to the Eid.(Muslim festival)  we went through immigration and the officer took our passports and asked us to go wait. We waited  and were caught having a very deep conversation around how CHANGE can happen in our world. I think both me and my friend Daniel are idealists, after  almost 45-50 minutes, we became a bit alarmed so we went to the immigration box and asked about our passports and the officer said  ' go and wait' and he went on with his work. It took us almost 15 minutes for someone to explain to us  that they are going to hold on our passports and will give it back to us after we  board the  bus that will bring us to the other side (Israel) of the boarder . Our bus was stopped again and everyone was asked to come down, the security guys did their checks did their work and we went back to continue our Journey.
   When we get to the Israel side of the boarder , there was a long line again due to the Eid festival many people were going to visit families. We join a line that was moving a bit faster than snail pace and eventually arrived at the security check point where we were asked to run our luggage's through a scanner and walk through  the body scanner. Then we handed our passports to the officers who check it out and pass it on. This time around my friend Daniel was questioned about his passport because its old and was issued outside the US. He also have been to many countries in the Middle and far East. so we were joking that the two of us should not be traveling together because we are an odd duo. ME with almost new passport , traveling the first time to the region and Daniel with an old passport issued outside the US and with visa stamps from almost all over the region and beyond. We were thinking that they my be  thinking  'hhmm may be we are 'spies'
   I went through a lot of questions and Daniel was also questioned, eventually we were giving back our passports and said good night. Our ride back home was smooth we were stopped once when were going through the West Bank . We arrived in East Jerusalem and walked back home as we continued with our  idealists agenda on how to save the world and who we were going to collaborate With. We were like  Peace Building 'supermen' in the making.....

Monday, November 22, 2010

PEACEFUL THOUGHTS: Journey to God's Compound: Jerusalem to Jordan(Amm...

PEACEFUL THOUGHTS: Journey to God's Compound: Jerusalem to Jordan(Amm...: " I woke up feeling refreshed and energized, 'whoa' I am supposed to be tired after that long flight. I am like an athlete who is about to co..."

Journey to God's Compound: Jerusalem to Jordan(Amman and Jaresh)

 I woke up feeling refreshed and energized, 'whoa' I am supposed to be tired after that long flight. I am like an athlete who is about to compete in a 100 meter sprint, energize and ready to go. I washed,  had breakfast and started getting ready for a long drive to Amman Jordan for a visit.  Just when  I finished having my breakfast our ride came and we have to leave I was following Daniel ( my friend and  host )as we run down the  stairs. Even though my adrenalin is high my brain seems to still be half asleep from the jet lag as we drive through the streets of Jerusalem and my two friends were showing me what is what  when we came to a rest place with many tourists taking pictures of the beautiful hills whiles others were taking pictures on a 'rented' camel which I also  took a couple.. click:
  We drove for two hours  stop at only one check  point and finally arrived at  the boarder where we have to get a visa and continue our journey to Amman.  We crossed the Israeli side took a bus to the Jordanian side of the border. We answered a couple of questions and since this was the first time crossing through this point , I was photographed and my right hand thumb print was taking, after a couple of standard questions they welcomed me to Jordan and asked me to go. One of the officers asked me if I know Michael Essien ( Ghanaian international soccer star) when he saw from my passport that I was born in Ghana.
a@ the  'Cantaloupe'
  We drove through beautiful mountains ,small towns and villages on these part of Jordan. The people were nice and the food awesome. We spent the evening driving round the city of Amman, whose night life is just like any American or western country's city night life. Rainbow  street is littered with many shops, cafes beautiful restaurants and cocktail bars we spent about 30 minutes in a cocktail bar name Cantaloupe over looking the beautiful Amman night skyline. ...
Sitting on the stars to the temple of Zeus
 We were hosted to a dinner by  Seeds of Peace DL'S and some others from  a couple of local peace and interfaith organizations,  It was a perfect networking diner for us and the locals as well. Still tired from my flight I slept like a baby at the end of the day.
  Our friend  picked us up to the Montessori School where another  friend teaches, we had breakfast and were giving a mini tour of the . School was half day because the next three days is one of Islam's holy-days. ( Eid -Al Adha) Our next stop  to visit in Amman is  Jerash :
   Jerash is an ancient Roman city 48 km. north of Amman.  At one point had 20-25,000 people living there it was inhabited for about 6500 years by the Romans.  I was amazed by the beauty of the ruined old city and the Zeus temple . I kept asking my self, if the Romans knew that someday, their pride will be history and people from all walk of life will come from near and far just to appreciate its beauty and wonder how it was built.. 
Quote of the Day: 
  'Our civilization is now in the transition stage between the age of warring empires and a new age of world unity and peace'.~~ John Boyd Orr

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

jerusalem Chronicles: My Journey and the complex Identity of God's compound

    Located between the dead  sead and the Meditarranean Sea, Jerusalem  is a 'holy City' to the three Abrahamic Faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam).. It is a tourist destination for many people of various faiths from all over the world:
           Thursday : Nov 11 20 10
    My flight from Boston's Logan airport  to JFK was about half an hour which was great.  I took the  shuttle to Newark airport. The boarding and departure was on time despite the many layers of securities  at the airport for those of us traveling to Israel.  I slept a couple of hours and  wake up to have dinner after which I watched the  movie Gandhi and went back to sleep again , when I woke up we were two hours away from Ben Gurion int  airport in  Tel Aviv and my heart  started beating faster, so I am finally getting to be here , to see all the holy sites I have been reading about since I was a child and many stories  my many  friends from the region have been telling me. I was excited.. We clapped and cheered as the plane made a safe landing.  My excitement was short lived as I walked out of the plane into the beautiful warm weather of God's Country..
                                                           'PRIVILEGE PASSENGER'
 Friday 11.20.10
 I was the only  passenger who is Black / African Descent or you can say ( person of color) as  officially referred to in America. Those of you that I have shared my airport experiences with, know that I am a 'privilege' passenger, and it didn't take long for the Israel security officials to figure that out, an officer pointed at  me  and asked me to  step  aside for security check whiles showing me his badge.
 ' I am use to this but at least they should have wait for me to streh my legs after  10 hours flight. The first officer asked me for my passport and asked me all sort of questions from my first, last and family names to my grand parents names and my job address. Then handed my passport to another officer who asked me the same questions and also asked me if I have another passport apart from the America one when I asked why should i have another passport?, his response: ' because you were born in Ghana and some people have two passports' and handed my passport to me.
Fastfoward to the passport control 'box'  : I handed my passport to an officer in one of the kiosks and she also drilled me with the same questions in a nice way, much nicer than the guys from the plane gates. She then gave my passport to another officer who asked me to followed him which I did thinking that he was just going to do a body check and let me go since I was having an American Passport, I was wrong...... it took me more than two hours to leave the airport and according to other people, I was lucky.... 
  I went through many interviews by about six different immigration officers asking me the same questions over and over and over again., they called my friends to verified if they were expecting me. The whole process was very intimidating and stressful. The last officer that interviewed me was  a sweet lady, she was very respectful as she asked two additional questions: Are you a  Muslim and  do have  any kids, what are their names? I answered and she made a last phone call to the friend who was picking me up and asked me to go  wait for her . She came out a couple of minutes later and handed me my passport as she welcomed me to Israel.  I was picked up by  my friend Daniel and his friend. We drove to an open outdoor  market  call  Mahne Yehuda in down town Jerusalem  the market was busy Shabbat. We visited a young family for me to have diner and also see how the Shabbat  is observed. .  The street of the neighborhood the (Bak' a ) was empty as people wish each other Shabbat Shalom, its the Jewish observing of the sabbath  I have already falling in love with the city of Prophets David, Solomon and Jesus.

 Quote of the Day:
 Holy Quran chapter 7:verse 1
'Glory to ((Allah)) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque (Mecca)to the farthest Mosque(Jerusalem), whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Here Comes November again and the Politicians are 'Mud-Sliding' Each other.

  There is an old believe that, every generaation preserve its values by passing it down to its young ones  both formal and informal way. Every November there is an election either to elect community, city, municipal State or National representatives and this November is not any any different. The only thing that sets this year's election apart from its predesors is that more money is spent by politicians attacking each other, than any time in the past. Instead of telling us what they will do if voted into office, they are telling us how their opponents are not good for us. And they do it by any means neccersary, through  TV,radio,newspaper, internet and of course by sending it to our homes  through the postal services.  Some of this attacks are lies, others half truths and some small part of it is true. Why cant we go back to the way things were done in the past  where election is about, what and how an individual is going to serve the people that elected them into office? is that the kind of values we want to live our young people who are learning  what this politicians are doing to each others careers through all the tools they have available?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Celebrating Aseel Asleh and Mahatma Ghandi

  October 2nd, means a lot to many people, to those of us who consider ourselves to be  part of the Seeds of peace (extended )family, we remember a young man: Ten years ago a 17 year  young Palestinian peace activist was shot by the Israeli police, as he took part in a peace protest.
  To the world, its the  birthday of Mahatma  Gandhi, the creator of the modern day peace protest. For me the  life of this  gentlemen teaches  one thing, you can never go wrong with peaceful protest , its the answer to many of the problems our world face today from Russia to Rwandan and from Brunei to Brazil all we need is  People like Aseel and Gandhi to lead and the rest of us will follow, even though they are not here with us, they both left behind blue prints of their lives for us to follow. Aseel in the form of a letter he sent to his friends  he met at  the Seeds of Peace Camp and Gandhi in the form of many of the writings he left behind and they both lived by what they believed in.  Please click here to see a video of Aseel's letter read by Peace activists from all over the world in many languages
   And my promise to  Aseel and Gandhi is I will continue to share their stories and their philosophies to many young people  I cross paths with in my life  and I hope you will do same , lets  celebrate their lives for generations to come.

 Quote of the Day
“Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong” Gandhi

 In memory of Aseel  I change the name of this Blog from 'My Thoughts' to  'Peaceful Thoughts'

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Seeking Common Ground on Race, Faith and Politics in America

 Almost a year ago  this time,the city of Portland and the Maine Civil Liberties Union were at each others neck over whether the Afghan community can turn a building into a mosque or not. the issue was settled out of court  in a very civil manner after a couple of  appearances in front of a judge .  The Portland Press Herald's web page was turn into a battle ground between supporters for and against both sides, many nasty things were said to each other and against Moslem's and immigrants.  The issue gave us an opportunity as a community to learn more about each other and get to know ourselves well and also an opportunity for the local Muslim community to  reach out to the greater Portland and Maine Communities, both sides allowed the opportunity to slipped through their fingers. Unfortunately we are facing yet another controversy at national level and the past few weeks its been getting worst and looks like our country's political leaders are going to hold on it  through the fall elections, and the local media have already started taking advantge of the situation. Today I was listening to 560 WGAN's John McDonald Show and when he opened the lines for listeners to contribute on the Ground Zero Mosque controversy, you can tell by the comments that many or most of the callers get their information through cable TV or certain radio shows. There are certain things we have to learn sooner or later one of them is that whether we agree with each ther or not, we dont have a choice if we want to stay in this country, we have to engage each other in the most civil way or we may end up destroying each other out of hate. Islam have been in this country since the days of slavery some of the Africans that were brought here were Muslims  and  Maine is also on record as having the first established mosque in the union check this out from this links .

Saturday, April 17, 2010


                   2010 Maine African Film Festival
The past week was an amazing one for me. I am on the board  and organizing committee of the Maine African film  festival and we just had our second  Annual festival. Beautiful movies were screened and the attendance was fair and I had fun at the closing party was  fill with, friends, fun and  good music all night. 
             Dinner with Dhaisy
    Just when that fun  was ending I had to transition into a new kind of fun, I was joining some community and religious leaders, and students  to have  dinner with Dhaisy Khan from New York. She was in  Portland Maine to give a lecture at the '2010 Douglas Schair Lecture on Genocide and Human Rights' and the theme of her presentation was 'MUSLIM WOMEN and the AMERICAN  EXPRESSION of ISLAM.
  Dhaisy is the Executive Director and Co-founder of the American society for Muslim Advancement(ASMA), she is also the founder of The Women Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity(WISE) and also Muslim leaders of Tomorrow. the dinner was at the Portland Harbor hotel.and the food was excellent but her personality was the icing on top of the perfect night.  There was many community members there to make her feel at home.
   As if that was not enough, I had an appointment with a high school in Augusta, the capital city of Maine. Monday was the Civil right and diversity day organize by the Civil Right Team  at CORNY High School in Augusta Maine, and I was to do a  two presentations on being a Muslim in America (Islam 101)and one on being an immigrant...  I was greeted by a group of smiling students and was ushered into the 'food' room where there is anything from bagel to munchkins and of course coffee, tea and some juice to go with. I was treated like a local ' champion' with one student waiting to attend all my needs. it felt good so much that i text one of my friends in Portland and said I was moving to Augusta.
            My presentation went well I was impressed by the students' engagement through all three sessions.  Most of the  questions  were  interesting, some were silly but genuine,a lot were   honest  questions from young high school students who  wanted to learn about my beliefs and  where I was coming from. I  had lunch and some yummy Ice cream and was praying that I don't fall asleep driving back to Portland.
                               DHAISY' S LECTURE WAS FANTASTIC
  I walk into the Hannaford hall at the University of Southern Maine the room was full like all the past annual Douglas M. Schair Memorial Lecture on Genocide and Human Rights, people were eager to hear what she has to say. She delivered a powerful lecture , answered many question to the satisfaction of the audience. Once again Maine have demonstrated that it is possible for us to co-exist and lean from each other. Thanks to the Hudson Foundation and the Scahair family for making this lecture  possible, for more info on some of the wonderful things they do in our great State please visit them at    

  Quote of the day:
'There is only one country in the world in which Muslims are FREE and it is the  USA' .....Dhaisy Khan


Thursday, April 1, 2010


 Dear President Obama,
  Welcome to Portland Maine, by the time you read this, your plane is already left the shores of this beautiful Northern New England City, but I will go ahead and  read  from what was on the list of our coffee social (meeting) that never happened,  first and foremost I will share with you what is going on in Portland or Maine for that matter .  The Catholic Dioces in Portland made a big head line last week when they informed a local non profit (Preable street)  that not only to refund the  money they(Catholic Church) have giving them to help the homeless, but they will not fund the organization's projects  any more, Because the non profit supported gay marriage  movement during the last general elections and that makes me wonder where lies the compassion that religious organizations preach if they will chose politics over humanity . Then on the political front I was at a rally a few days before congress passed the 'Obamacare' bill that you are here to promote and every one at the rally ws angry and protesting against an insurance company that was increasing its premium.
   Mr president, YOU will have been impressed by the young people in my youth group, I will send you their pictures, last Thursday we volunteered at an event in Freeport to raise money for the YMCA and on Friday we also volunteered here in Portland at another Fundraiser to support a Pro-Bono legal NGO 'Immigrant Legal advocacy Project' (ILAP)that helps local immigrants with their immigration paper works for free or small fee and on Sat we went to the soup kitchen in the morning and then did another project in the afternoon, you see how busy I keep the youth around here? Oh there is another movement here in Portland that was planning to meet you with placards, they want comprehensive Immigration reforms and another want to make sure that the local legal residents can vote during local elections(What do you think about that) I will not tell any one what your opinion is, since it would have been between the two of us.
      Mr President yesterday I was hoping we were going to meet so I wrote it on my face book and ask my Face Book friends to give me questions that I can pass it on to you , guess what ? about 21 people responded, some of them really thought I was going to have coffee with you and   pass on some of the questions they wanted me to ask you. Two of them are from my motherland Ghana, and the rest are my friends here in Portland, I am going to cut and past this face book questions so that you can read it over coffee in the white house during the Easter festivities..  Below are some of the questions my friends wanted me to ask you, Mr President :
Ivy Nana Amoah Boyd
Ivy Nana Amoah Boyd
Hmmmmmmmm? good one.
Yesterday at 6:51am ·
Lisa Savage
Lisa Savage
Mr. Obama, why do you keep bombing civilians?
Yesterday at 6:54am ·
Panji Anoff
Panji Anoff
are u a wolf in sheeps clothing??
Yesterday at 6:57am ·
Sarah Demarest
Sarah Demarest
I'd tell him that I'm sorry we thought a single man could change the entire fate of our nation and ask him what we can do to help. (:
Yesterday at 7:03am ·
Deborah Lynch Riddell
Deborah Lynch Riddell
I agree with Sarah
Yesterday at 8:08am ·
Pauline Tuyisenge
Pauline Tuyisenge
ask him to come up with a good program that will show every child in USA the importance of having a college degree
Yesterday at 8:48am ·
Lisa Veleff Day
Lisa Veleff Day
I think you need to ask him if I can join you! :)
Yesterday at 10:03am ·
Christina Bechstein
Christina Bechstein
Follow your heart Pious, you will (or would, I hope will!) know exactly what to ask.
Yesterday at 10:50am ·
Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller
Why have you been dishonest? Why have you re-instated the Patriot Act, how come you have not brought our troops home, why are you still recieving funding from corporations and putting their agenda in place, rather than what you said you would do?
Yesterday at 11:22am ·
Simone Van Der Loo
Simone Van Der Loo
how do you like your coffee...?
Yesterday at 11:50am ·
Anne Dalton
Anne Dalton
I ditto Deb and Sarah.....
Yesterday at 12:03pm ·
Blak Kofe
Blak Kofe
does he remember me from our brief encounter in Ghana???will he support my NGO for maternal health?the margaret djanie memorial foundation.
Yesterday at 12:24pm ·
Badr Sharif
Badr Sharif
Keep pressuring Israel. And don't listen to AIPAC.
Yesterday at 12:43pm ·
Sara Rahman
Sara Rahman
if i were to meet him, amidst all the political conversations, i'd ask him if he likes lobster, and if so...if he'd like me to score him some at boat prices.
i guess what i am saying is i would keep it real.
Yesterday at 1:36pm ·
Jonathan Bergman
Jonathan Bergman
...does he watch Saturday Night Live?
Yesterday at 4:55pm ·
Sara Brobst
Sara Brobst
I don't know what I would ask, but I would tell him "thank you" for potentially creating such a traffic mess in Parkside that I get to leave work at 1pm:)
Yesterday at 6:35pm ·
Nickie Avery
Nickie Avery
I would ask him how, in the real world, our government (while it might be one of the better government systems in the world) might actually focus on fixing issues vs. getting re-elected or "beating other side". Represent, Pious!
Yesterday at 9:53pm ·


Friday, March 12, 2010


  The recent news reports from Nigeria about the killing of more than a hundred women and children makes me wonder how in the name of God can people be killing each other especially women and children.  I  believe that God will frown on any religious person irrespective of his faith, that will be going around and cutting innocent women and their children. Acts like this makes me wanna question the genuineness of what they claimed is behind or the reason for the killings.  In this case they claimed its a counter attack to a previous killing against people of  their 'religion' , 'faith', 'cult' or what ever it is that they claimed to be representing, for I am a Muslim and they are not representing my Faith.
    From all indication all is not lost yet , there a few fearless Muslim from all over the world who re not scared to say it Loud and clear. A Muslim sheikh in the UK Sheikh Muhammed Tahir UL-Qudri, just passed a 600 page taqwa  to condemned  all sort of killing(terror) including  innocent children and their mothers, I wish there is a way to meet with the leaders of all this people from across the world I will look at them on the face and say ' Dude where is my Religion'

Saturday, February 6, 2010


 Three days ago I received an email from a coleague wit an attachment , which is a news release(statement) from the 'Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine' regarding vandalism at a Jewish cemetery .  Further reading into the attachment made me sick, because it is about a spraying of the 'Swastika signed on the tombstone of Jewish graves. My first reaction was , 'Oh my God , who in their right sense will  go to the final resting place of someone they don't know, or have not even heard of before and commit such act of vandalism'   I know the answer, I know the kind of people who will do that , we encounter them everyday in different part of the world.The grave is the final resting place for all who chose to be buried in that manner. Desecration of graves is the ultimate  act of cowardice, desecration of a Jewish grave with the Swastika is violation of their, basic dignity with something that symbolizes hate, intolerance and bigotry. This is a continuation of many incidents that have been commited by cowards to a community that this cowards seem to HATE. There was a similar incident at a Jewish synagogue last year, and a couple of years ago someone violated the sanctity of a prayer place by throwing a pig head through the window of a mosque.
    Why don't this cowards come out in the open? We have  what I believed to be a 'Beloved Community' yes it may not be a very perfect one, yet we respect ,tolerate and accept each other. But this few incidents have giving me a reason to believe that we need to work more especially with our young once and hopefully some day we will have that dream 'Beloved Community' that we all wish. And I wish  the Police luck in finding who this cowards are, so the can face trial.