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Showing posts from February, 2012

Irfah Aden: Whoomp, there she is! The Somali National Women's Basketball Team

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By Irfah Aden

I would not call myself a sports enthusiast. And lord knows I’ve never broken a sweat intentionally. But I feel compelled to share this story. I’d like to introduce you to the Somali National Women’s Basketball Team.

While this image may appear to depict a run-of-the-mill basketball team, the Somali National Women’s Basketball Team is anything but ordinary. They recently competed at the Arab Games, where they won two thrilling matches against Kuwait and the host nation, Qatar.

This was no small feat, and while they did not win any other matches, they will return to Somalia as national heroes. Somalis all over the globe have been inspired by the team’s perseverance and courage against challenges that would make the most confident daredevil faint-hearted. In fact, these women have sparked a pride in our people and a renewed hope in the possibility of a peaceful and prosperous Somalia.

Engineering medical miracles: Ephrem Takele Zewdie helps patients upgrade their own spines to regain the ability to walk

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Ephrem Takele Zewdie is nothing short of amazing. Still only 25 years old, Zewdie is fundamentally transforming people’s lives by performing electro-medical miracles. And yet he’s so humble and down-to-earth that he chats about his results with the casualness most people would reserve for discussing how they mowed the lawn. Zewdie’s a doctoral student in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Alberta. And six years after arriving in Edmonton by way of Hong Kong and Ethiopia, he’s devoted himself to helping people overcome incomplete spinal cord breaks.  When asked if he might, one day, help someone walk again, he responds calmly, “Actually, we’ve already helped a couple of people walk again. No, wait… three people.” According to a study from the Rick Hansen Institute, about 4200 Canadians experience spinal cord injuries each year—about 42 per cent of which result from car accidents—and currently more than 85,000 Canadians live with the results. Aside from …