From two years to two months to two days… This is Bambi’s “systemically” welcoming Canada

When Bambi immigrated to Montreal, Québec, Canada in 1990 (at age 17), it took her two years to adjust completely to her new Canadian life and feel she is a Montrealer and a Québecker. This became her new home. Thanks to her dad who loved to explore places with his family, she had the chance to visit almost all of Québec’s beautiful regions. She fell even more in love with her Québec. It was natural for her to partly dedicate her PhD dissertation to her adoptive country and her country of birth.

Fifteen years later, when she moved to Toronto, Ontario, it took her two weeks to feel Torontonian (thus Ontarian). She felt home. When she left this charming city, she took the time to say good-bye to all those familiar faces she used to see daily (i.e, in the subway stores, on her street, etc.). Among those kind faces, there was a man whom she had the chance to meet again when she returned to Toronto many years later. She dropped by his store in the subway, despite the huge number of people he sees daily, he recognized her, imagine. He even asked about her spouse and if he found a job in New Brunswick (NB).

Bambi spent four years in Toronto. When she left the latter to accept her now suspended position, if took her two days to feel Sackvillian. She easily became a proud New Brunswicker. Even the bad cook she is managed to cook a seafood chowder (when her spouse, the king of their kitchen, was away!). She was told by her friends that she was officially a Maritimer 😊. Well, Canadians are notoriously known to be kind and good-hearted. Maritimers perhaps even the most! For instance, when Bambi walks in the street of her university town, she is moved to see/hear the town’s cab drivers honk their horns and wave hello 😊. It always reminds her of her childhood neighbourhood in Beirut.

When she visits NB beautiful beaches, villages, and cities, she meets good-hearted people who talk to strangers and make them feel welcome. Local people in her town used to ask her spouse: “Are you from far away?” And when she opens her mouth, they ask her” “Are you from very far away”? Is there anything more cute and accurate than that? She is indeed originally from very far away… and yet she feels so rooted, connected, and welcomed.

Of course, there are funny stories like when she was working once until perhaps 1:00 AM in her office preparing the next lecture and writing a grant. She finished and decided to take a cab instead of walking. Her spouse and her did not have the time to chat as he was rushing to return home fast and she was swamped. She learned from the cab driver that he was on the airplane on his way home. In how many cities does this happen? Only in our cute Sackville… She thanked him for reassuring her 😊.

Once, a senior man asked her in a Tim Horton’s in Moncton if he can touch her hair (it is curly and most people have straight hair around here). She said: “Of course, why not? Go ahead sir!”. Her spouse was amused by the scene. When Bambi was visiting the village of Bouctouche, once, she bumped into a group of men speaking Chiac (the latter language is based on Acadian French mixed with English… like Yiddish or Creole), she was fascinated! She asked them if she can tape them to share with her sister in Lebanon (a French writer and a journalist). They generously accepted. Her spouse and her sat with them and chatted comparing the French of Québec versus the one of Lebanon and the one of NB.

Year after year, she has sent a number of touristic videos to her loved ones in Lebanon and abroad to show them NB and the Maritimes. At one point, a cousin joked, asking whether she was being paid by her government to promote NB 😊? She said: “no, I just love it“!

A clever description of NB came from her smart spouse when they initially moved here. He said NB is like a mini-Canada. You have First nations, English-speaking, and French-speaking groups. You also have immigrants as well semi-rural areas. NB is a mini-Canada indeed.

Canada has opened its arms to welcome Bambi and her family, offering them safety, dignity, and democracy… at least up until now. After two years in Canada, Bambi lucidly made the decision to stay and root herself in Canada. She kept her loyal love to her Lebanon whilst increasingly falling in love with her Canada.

To conclude this post on a philosophical note, when she moved to Sackville, Bambi was asked the classical question: You come from a bigger place, how would you adjust to the smaller? She replied: Although I lived in bigger places like Toronto, Montreal, or Beirut, I come from a tiny country originally… plus I am small myself 😊.

Seriously now, when Bambi’ sister asked her if the smallness of her new town (5000 people when full) bothers her. Bambi replied that it is not the smallness of a place that would bother me, it is the small mindedness. She said it in French, mind you: «Ce n’est pas la petitesse d’un endroit qui me dérangerait, c’est plutôt la petitesse d’esprit».     

Intolerance of different opinions is not just a sign of small-mindedness. It is a cheeky attack to academic freedom/free expression. Bambi is the target today. Tomorrow whom, across our universities or country? The double educational and democratic tragedy is the same: Fear. Silencing someone scares others. When fear is reinforced, democracy is diminished. No one should be gagged in life, neither Bambi nor any other human being.

Happy Eid el Fitr!

It is almost Thursday (midnight) in Sackville, NB. Yes, Eid is here :)!

Bambi would like to send her best wishes to all her fellow Canadian citizens celebrating the Eid (end of Ramadan fast during an entire month). She sends her best wishes to friends and some relatives too, here and abroad. May they all be safe and happy! Under normal circumstances, Bambi touches base with you, one by one. If you do not hear from her this year, it is because she is too busy.To ask for forgiveness, she sends you a picture of food (yes you can eat now :)!). Please imagine that we are together, eating and dancing!

Mmm, Shawarma!

Talking about dancing, here is a song for you! It is called “c’est la vie… on va s’aimer, on va danser” by Cheb Khaled. Every time Bambi hears it, she feels like dancing. She hopes you will enjoy it :)!

A song from Bambi’s childhood to all the children caught in the middle of war

Bambi just took a quick tour of the news of the world. She did not have the time to do so for a week. She learned about the tragic news from the Middle East (in addition to the sad news from India…). When will children stop being caught in the middle of armed conflicts?

All the children of the world deserve to live in peace. For them and their families, she will allow herself to offer them a symbolic song by Rémi Bandali.

Those of you who come from Lebanon and experienced the civil war of 1975-1990, you surely know the unforgettable Rémi Bandali. How can we forget about her?! She was four years old when she sang this famous song. She repeated it over and over, year after year. Not just in Lebanon, but also abroad. It was her way of coping with the absurdity of war by asking the world to give her fellow children the chance to simply be kids (living their childhood instead of seeing it being stolen from them).

The song is in three languages: Arabic, French, and English. Bambi was curious about this young singer from her past. She just googled her. She seems to be living in England now (after Sweden)… and she is still enjoying singing. Below you can see her picture as an adult woman.

To conclude this post with a wish, may music keep on entertaining us and making us dream of brighter days for all!

Ms. Rémi Bandali!

Bambi thanks Mr. Richard Martineau & Mr. Jérôme Blanchet Gravel for defending academic freedom in our Canadian universities!

Thank you to Mr. Martineau and Blachet-Gravel for supporting academic freedom in our Canadian universities!

Merci Messieurs Richard Martineau et Jérôme Blanchet-Gravel pour appuyer la liberté d’expression dans les universités du Canada et par extension dans la société en général!

Merci QUB radio:

ps://www.qub.radio/balado/richard-martineau/episode/un-nouveau-cas-de-censure-woke-dans-une-universit

Bambi is pleased to see a movement to support academic freedom, with the Université Laval (Québec city) taking the lead on this with a statement to protect academic freedom:

https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/education/2021-03-03/universite-laval/un-enonce-pour-proteger-la-liberte-d-expression.php

Google translate into English:

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/education/2021-03-03/universite-laval/un-enonce-pour-proteger-la-liberte-d-expression.php

To conclude this post, and to answer Mr. Fred Klein’s question about French media (in one of the earlier comments), yes they reported the story as per this post. The real issue is the following: Do we still want our universities to remain what they are supposed to be: a place to learn and debate ideas, to learn how to think (not what to think in a dogmatic way), to be critical, tolerant of different ideas, and to accept all points of views, regardless of the idea in question?

Yes or no. If yes, this is a golden opportunity to re-commit to academic freedom/free expression.

From the bottom of Bambi’s heart: Thank you! Merci!

From the bottom of her heart, Bambi thanks everyone for the overwhelming support!!

She thanks all those who are supporting her in one way or another!!

First and foremost, she is grateful to her amazing (and busy!) union!!! What a GREAT team!!

Bambi is also eager to continue her list of thanks to each of the donors and future donors, etc.! Bambi’s heart is filled with gratitude– beyond words!!! THANK YOU! MERCI! Please forgive Bambi if you have not heard from her yet. You will for sure!

Many caring people are sending positive vibes. Some are even kindly praying. She reassures them all that she is doing VERY well, despite the surrealistic circumstances!

To conclude this post on a funny note, here are two songs, one in English and one in French. They are meant for each one of you :).

So, Mr. Steven Guilbeault, are you hinting that your Bill C-10 can be used against Bambi now?

We learned from the CTV article below that Mr. Stephen Guilbeault has said that “the Canadian Radio-television and telecommunications Commission (CRTC) could impose regulations on accounts that have a large enough following or are making enough money off of it“:

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/minister-suggests-with-bill-c-10-regulations-could-apply-to-accounts-with-a-large-enough-following-1.5419170

Why is our federal Minister of Canadian Heritage interested in bills that can potentially silence Bambi? Or silence other Canadian citizens whether they agree with Bambi or not on this or that topic? Why doesn’t he see its danger on our country? Can he explain this to us in both English and French, please?

Silencing one of us (anyone of us) is silencing us all. No one should be worried about being silenced in a democracy. No one should be silenced in our town, province, country… and hopefully not in Bambi’s birth country.

No to this Bill C-10… at least in its proposed form!

Dr. Rima Azar’s blog: Thank you to The Epoch Times and Dr. Mark Mercer for supporting academic freedom!

https://www.theepochtimes.com/mount-allison-university-signals-its-social-justice-commitments-loud-and-clear-in-the-rima-azar-case_3808214.html

Bambi thanks you Dr. Mark Mercer for publicly and vocally standing up for Dr. Rima Azar!!! She thanks the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship from the bottom of her heart!!

Bravo and thanks to The Epoch Times for standing up for academic freedom and free expression!!!

What kind of universities and societies we want for ourselves, for our children, and grand-children? Why this intolerance of different opinions in our beautiful campuses and country? Why are we doing this to our universities and societies? Why can’t we exchange ideas and enjoy debating them anymore? Why aren’t we allowed to freely think and write anymore? For God’s sake, this is supposed to be a place of higher education, learning, and of discovery!

Make no mistake: Today, it is Dr. Rima Azar who is the target of a cancel culture (since February 22, 2021). Tomorrow, it can be anyone of you/us anywhere, not just at Mount Allison University.

If you cannot read the above article, you may wish to check the PDF file below. You may also wish to keep a copy of it. Food for thought :)!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Bambi is thinking of her mom (earlier post for her below on March 21, 2021) as well as her mother-in-law (it is her day!!)! Her sisters, friends, and fellow citizens and colleagues, etc. This post will be short and sweet until the next one :). May everyone have peace of mind in knowing that they and their loved ones are not the target of any unjust ideological wave of any kind, whether religious or political or whatever else. May none of their loved ones find themselves in the crossfire of bloodless wars that can erode our societies.

Euronews: “Beirut blast victims with 204 portraits”

On August 4, 2020, a surrealistic Beirut port explosion destroyed half of the city, killing 204 innocent people, including two young children. It injured 6000+ people (some kids lost an eye). It left from 300,000 to 700,000 homeless.

Below is a video by Euronews showing artists honouring the victims by painting their faces on the city’s walls. May they all rest in peace. Will their loved ones find the truth? Will justice be finally served? It has been 9 months already.

To conclude this post, Bambi’s heart goes to the families of the victims. If she may, she would like to offer them Ms. Ginette Reno’s beautiful song about “those who leave us“. Deep inside of herself, perhaps today more than ever (in those absurd times), she remains grateful because her parents’ faces are not among the paintings, despite their destroyed apartment. Same for her brother-in-law, niece, and childhood friend. The latter is her hero as she is currently recovering from a surgery related to the explosion!

A song to Bambi’s friend… May his dad rest in peace

This post is dedicated to the memory of the dad of Bambi’s childhood friend.

His funeral took place today and it is hard to say good-bye across the miles.

Mr. Sabbagha raised a beautiful family! Bambi is blessed to have a friend (or rather a brother) like his son since age 13. So many great memories together, from the Lebanese Red Cross, to immigration to our beautiful Canada, one to Ontario and the other to Québec. Then vice versa. Bambi had the chance to spend some time with Mr. Sabbagha in all places. He was a man of dignity, integrity, and devoted love to his family. May his memory be eternal…

Upon his return to his birth country more recently, he experienced Lebanon’s sagas one crisis to the other. The financial crash. the pandemic. The Beirut explosion that destroyed his neighbourhood. The political deadlock, etc. He faced all this with the same dignity he always had. When it was his time to leave our world, he went with serenity. May he rest in peace and may his children (and grand-children) find increased peace in their hearts with every passing day.

To conclude this post with a musical note honouring Mr. Sabbagha, here is a song by Ms. Céline Dion to her dad… Bambi dedicates it to her friend and to his siblings.