Humanizing The Refugee Crisis

Humanizing The Refugee Crisis

Why I'll be supporting the refugee team during the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
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The summer 2016 Olympics is a big first in many categories: Rio de Janeiro will be the first South American city to host the Olympics. And for the first time in the history of the Olympics, a refugee team not representing any one country is competing.

The refugee crisis stems from civilians trying to escape the escalating violence from political unrest in Syria and other countries in the Middle East and Africa by any means possible. The athletes on the refugee team are from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Republic of the Congo. These athletes have endured unspeakable horrors and hardships including separation from and the deaths of family and friends, life in refugee camps with little to no personal belongings, escaping in crowded unsafe boats and by hiding in the wilderness, the possibility of being recruited as a child soldier, and arguably the most difficult, starting their lives over again in a foreign country. Their names are Popole Misenga (judo), Yolande Bukasa Mabika (judo), Anjelina Lohalith (1,500 meter run), Yonas Kinde (marathon), Paulo Lokoro (1,500 meter run), Yiech Pur Biel (800 meter run), James Chiengjiek (400 meter run), Yusra Mardini (100 meter freestyle and 100 meter butterfly), Rose Lokonyen (800 meter run), and Rami Anis (100 meter butterfly).

The presence of the refugee team in Rio de Janeiro is monumental and an inspiration to us all. These athletes went from escaping with their lives and little else to competing in the most prestigious international sports competition. They prove that anything is possible. When asked for what advice she would give other refugees, Yusra Mardini from Syria said,

“I want them (the refugees) to not give up. I want everyone to think of their dreams because a lot of people there forgot their dreams. A lot of things happened, and it was really bad. You remember that life will not stop for you. At some point, you have to move on."

Yursa and the rest of the team represent the plight and the experiences of the more than 4.7 million displaced refugees and civilians in Syria and elsewhere. The visibility the Olympic refugee team has earned is crucial to understanding the refugee crisis and humanitarian issues civilians in Syria and other affected countries face. This team of people who have escaped and rebuilt their lives will be in the Olympic opening ceremony. They will compete and possibly win their respective events. They are becoming household names due to their bravery and accomplishments. For example, swimmer Yursa Mardini is hailed as a hero for helping push her boat full of refugees to shore and save them all from drowning. The media coverage of the refugee team humanizes the struggles associated with being a refugee and will hopefully lead to countries to be more accepting of refugees who want nothing other than stability and the opportunity to rebuild their lives. The coverage gives faces to the refugee crisis and highlights stories that have occurred time and time again over the past 5 years. Therefore, I will be rooting for the refugee team during this historic summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. For their resilience in the face of difficulty and their commitment to athleticism despite many roadblocks, the refugee team is truly admirable. They represent the international community in a way that no single country can and they espouse the ideals needed to be a world-class Olympian.



Cover Image Credit: SuperUber

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Giannis Antetokounmpo And Christian Yelich Have Put Milwaukee Back On The Map

Two small market teams making sure the world knows who they are

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"MVP" is currently being chanted around the city of Milwaukee and the people of Milwaukee aren't just talking about one person. Giannis Antetokounmpo, a forward for the Milwaukee Bucks and Christian Yelich, an outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. Giannis is on the path to winning this year's NBA MVP and Yelich, who happened to win the NL MVP last year, is showing no doubts on potentially becoming this year's MVP as well.

Both the Bucks and the Brewers have struggled in the past few years. The Bucks finished their 2013-2014 season with a record of 15-67. On top of that, they have been playing in the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the past couple of decades. The Bradley Center was intentionally built for hockey and not basketball so attending games for the Bucks sometimes had you in the nosebleeds barely seeing what was going on on the court. The Bucks struggled after their 2013-2014 season with records of 41-41 (2014-2015) and 33-49 (2015-2016). Now, the Bucks have recently finished their regular season and moved to the playoffs. From 15-67 just five years ago, to now 60-22 which gave them the best record in the NBA, the number one seed in the East and home-court advantage, Giannis has proved himself as potentially one of the greatest players the NBA and the Bucks franchise will ever see.

The Bucks now have a new arena that opened this season, Fiserv Forum, which is built specifically for the Bucks (and Marquette) instead of hockey. Looking back on the Bucks in their previous years compared to now, the Bucks have sold out every single game this season. Something Milwaukee never thought they would see from being a small market team. From my experience, while working for the Bucks, you can see the difference in the crowd and feel their enthusiasm and excitement radiating off of the fans. And this is all thanks to Mr. Antetokounmpo who is making his mark here in Milwaukee. Giannis has won Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October/November, December, February and March/April and even earned his spot as Eastern Conference captain for the All-Star game this year. Giannis may be considered in his prime right now, but he is only 24-years-old which means he has plenty of time to only make himself better.

The Brewers had won the NL Central Divison back in 2011 but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. After that, they struggled a bit and haven't won the title since until last year in 2018. He brought the Brewers to the NLCS last season, but unfortunately, they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yelich had 36 home runs last season and already has eight (as of 4/16/19) this season. He happens to be a great right fielder as well. In last night's (4/15/19) game against the Cardinals, Yelich alone scored three home runs.

Miller Park has been filling up more and more each game of Brewers fans. Being a small market team like their cross-city friends, the Bucks, bringing home an MVP title as well as a division title, it makes everyone aware of their greatness and dedication. The season may have just started back up again, but there is no doubt, if Yelich and his teammates keep playing like they are right now, they will have another shot of making it to the World Series.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Christian Yelich have brought and will continue to bring excitement and greatness to Milwaukee which is something the city hasn't seen in a while. This era of sports will surely be remembered for a long time by the people of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

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