Dear Congress – Sincerely, A Mass Shooting Survivor

I write you this letter so that you can see the face of a survivor. I write you this letter as someone who saw with my own eyes the horror of a mass shooting, a shooting that took the lives of my twin and younger sisters and injured my father in December 2007. And most importantly I write this letter to open a dialogue about the role that gun violence has played in our country.

Impressive letter and wake up call for the world!!!!


The Champs-Elysées in Zaatari Camp.

An impressive story and wonderful pictures about refugees in a camp in Syria, surviving and making the best of nothing. Very impressive!!

/photo by Toufic Beyhhum/ The photo pretty much says it all. The following is a photo-essay by Toufic Beyhum and Nadim Dimechkie. You must be wondering about the connection between one of the world’s largest refugee camps (which is gradually evolving into a permanent settlement) and the famous boulevard (the paradise for dead heroes) in […]

Friday September 11th

Reblogged from In remembrance of 14 years past nine eleven, thirteen books. 

Windows on the world (F. Beigbeder), in the shadows of no towers (A. Spiegelman),  saturday (I. McEwan) , and so ten more! Worthwile reading! 


Ter gelegenheid van de herdenking van veertien jaar Nine-Eleven dertien zogeheten elfseptemberromans.

Taking back the streets of Beirut

Photograph: Yazan Halwani’s ‘Fairuz’ in Gemmayze “There is an alternative voice rising,” says Yazan Halwani, the young Lebanese street artist. “I’m not going to say that what I do is going to free Lebanon or change the sectarian political system, or fix any regional problem, it’s far from that. But it tells people that you don’t […]


Imagine by John Lennon

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one


‘Smoky World’

Beautiful series of photos!! words too short for it! telling a hard, disgusting but true story.


The suffocation is unbearable in the dark. The smoke is so intense that you cannot breathe for a few seconds. When you will be able to see something then you will realize that hundreds of people are working attentively. Suddenly you will hear the sound of coughing by some small kids; very soon you will be discovering that half of the people working in the area are children, as young as they can be. The faster they work the more they get paid. But their production rarely increases and their payment remains in the same range: 100-150 taka daily for 12-16 hours of work. Still, all of them are continually trying to do the only job they know.

Tobaco fgactory (159)

Tobaco fgactory (124)

Tobaco fgactory (38)

Most of the poor villagers are dependent on this job. Small kids sometimes forget their surroundings and start to talk to each other. Parents swiftly scold them or punch them in their…

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your name is… my son

In honor to my son Jonah Jari Senna, a short history on meaning of his name. My son Jonah was born on Saint Joseph’s day in the year 2012 AD.


For  more about Jonah see piece I wrote before. [click here]


Jari is a Finnish name which means helmeted warrior, and a shorter version of Jalmari/Hjalmar.

It is also a biblical name, in Hebrew spelled as  יערי , found in 2 sam 21:19 where it says : And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jari-oregin, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. In Hebrew Jari means the one who will spread the light, who will plead for you.

The name Jari is also mentioned in an ancient (ca 1000 AD) Scandinavian poem and prose called Edda, which tells us about the creation of the world, addressed to Odin by a prophetess. Jari is one of the dwarfs who is created. In Germanic mythology, a dwarf is a being that dwells in mountains and in the earth, and is variously associated with wisdom, smithing, mining and crafting.

Besides the named above Jari is a river in Brasil, affluent from the Amazone river.



Senna is an originally Arabic name which means brightness or truth, and well known from the formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna. Senna is an old name and, besides Arabic, also found in inscriptions from Roman Britain (40-400 AD) and thought to be an ancient Celtic name.

Senna is a flowering bush common in the tropics, with bright yellow flowers. This plant has gained some notice in herbal medicine as the active ingredient in so-called “dieter’s teas”.

legends on hygiene and HACCP

Herewith I want to share a short story about what is the HACCP in food industry, because I come across two persistent fairy tales .

  • Legend number one: there is one HACCP law: Not true: each company has its own rules, lead by the guidelines of the trade unions and machine manufacturers.
  • Legend number two: The building or design of the building is the critical control point: Not true: in whatever building you can make good and safe food!

HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis of the Critical Control Points. That means that a food producer or a owner of a professional kitchen has to describe the critical points in his/her company to food safety, from the incoming raw materials (such as flour, sugar, butter) to the final product such as boxes with cakes or plates.

Common points in HACCP are controlling the temperature when storing products, good labeling of products, hygiene and good instructions to the employees how to process the materials, wash their hands, etc.  Mostly corporations or trade unions have guidelines to keep for member companies.

Designing a building you can at most support the hygienic rules of HACCP by using materials that are easy to clean or decontaminate, smooth detailing, separating clean and garbage streams in a functional way, sinks in the right places etc.

The company has to provide guidelines and training sessions for employees so they understand what they have to do to keep the food safe and clean.

specially for those who build: a short guideline:

  • Introduction

This summary is a brief introduction to HACCP for builders, architects and other designers of food linked spaces. It is important to realize HACCP is about food safety, prevent contamination and hygiene. As a matter of fact a building never can be a hazard for food. By designing a certain layout and details, and choose of materials, one can help to prevent possible risks.

HACCP and the scheduled process must be used for indentifying, assessing and controlling safety hazards and risks. Therefore HACCP study findings must be fully implemented and used, in conjunction with pre-requisites and the scheduled process. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point.

The format of HACCP studies must be based on Codex Alimentarius. HACCP systems and guidelines for its application can be found at

In order to minimize confusion, precise descriptions from next terms:

A practice that is mandatory in all operations, including contract manufacture.

A recommended practice that may become mandatory for all operations in the future and that is compulsory in new investments.

Desirable, optional, preferred or best practice, not mandatory to be implemented.

Stop from happening, target zero occurrence.

AVOID(passive  or reactive)         
The meaning of ’Avoid’ is often ambiguous and therefore it is not an acceptable principle of risk management.

A (micro) biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, food with the potential cause to an adverse health effect.

A function of the probability of an adverse health effect and the severity of that effect, consequential to hazard(s) in food.

A location, step or procedure in the supply chain, where study of a

conceptual line design, process design or plans and lay-outs indentifies the need for control and where there is a need for the hazard to be prevented, eliminated or reduced.

Many countries have a minimum, mandatory requirements covering the manufacture of low-acid, sterilized products (e.g. FDA regulations, 2.1 Part 11.3 CFR Title 21, Part 113 (14); The Council Directives in Europe; the UK Departement of Health).

  •  Builders guidline.

All personnel must cover or change from their ‘street’ clothes into clean protective clothing prior to entry into food processing areas. Maintenance personnel, contractors and visitors must adhere to the hygiene rules applicable to production personnel.

Critical steps (e.g. Critical Control Points (CCP) and pre-requisites) must be identified through a HACCP study and personnel responsible for each one must be trained, so that the HACCP plan is implemented. Also the suppliers must have HACCP based control systems in place.

Water used for cooling containers must be free of hazardous levels of micro-organisms while it can come in contact with product. It must receive a disinfection treatment; usually chlorination.

Storage of waste materials must be in such a way that cross-contamination as well as chemical, physical and microbiological contamination is prevented and the conditions must be in line with what is given in the specification or by the supplier. Prevent mix-up of processed and unprocessed packs. Use separation to minimize the chances of to cross-contamination by materials, operations, personnel and practices

Prevent damage to unfilled and filled packs, cross contamination and permit adequate maintenance, cleaning and, where necessary, disinfection of equipment and manufacturing areas

All floor drains must be trapped, kept clean and not situated directly below equipment handling open product or containers.

Use materials easy to maintain and clean

Attention to good hygienic design and construction, appropriate siting and layout, and the provision of adequate facilities us necessary for hazards to be effectively controlled.

The layout must ensure the safe movement of people, materials, packaging, product and equipment with minimum risks of damage or contamination. Equipment layout must ensure that services (e.g. steam, air or electricity) reach equipment within specifications and without interruption. Cross-flows of work in progress, final product, packaging materials and personnel should be minimized. A system (e.g. color coding or conspicuous labeling) should be in place to identify cleaning, or other portable, equipment dedicated for use in particular areas. The layout should have potential for extension and allow flexibility

There must be a dedicated (e.g. separated by distance or lines on the floor) area for the isolation of finished products that do not conform to specifications (e.g. have not met thermal processing or pack sealing requirements), or Regulatory requirements. Its layout must ensure such packs cannot be mixed with product ready for release.

Sufficient warehouse space must be available for quarantine and segregation of defective packs, products and materials. Storage and palletization or racking of materials and packs must prevent damage and respect the safe loading weights recommended by pack suppliers for finished products.