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New York City that never sleeps

It was our third week in the U.S.A. On July 13, the most awaited trip of the whole program took place among high zeal and enthusiasm. As we boarded the luxury coach to start our four hour long journey to the New York City, our bright faces and eyes revealed the excitement of visiting the world's business hub and the place of the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, U.N. Headquarters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge, Carnegie Hall, Yankee Stadium, Central Park, Broadway...
Our tour in the NYC started with a 2-hour long Circle Line cruise to enjoy the most famous skyline of the world. The tour started from Pier 83 at 42nd Street on the Hudson River. As the ship sailed we enjoyed the magnificent vistas of the Lady Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridge. We had a free evening on that day which we utilized wisely by visiting the bustling Times Square and get the feel of the busy NY life. Some of us paid a quick visit to the Chinatown and Queens. The South Asian restaurants of NY satiated our desire to savour some truly spicy deshi food after a long while. In NY, it wouldn't take you much time to travel from one county to another if you have a subway ticket with you. The night view of the Brooklyn Bridge was a gorgeous one. The construction of the bridge started in 1869 and took 14 years to complete. This magnificent bridge which extends for about 1.5 km, remains as one of the greatest engineering masterpieces of the 19th century.
On July 14, we boarded on to the ferry that took us to the Statue of Liberty at first and then to Ellis Island. Ellis Island is a symbol of America's immigrant heritage. For more than six decades, immigrants had entered the U.S.A. through this Island. Around 12 million people landed here during the period of 1892 to 1954.
In the afternoon, we visited Ground Zero. Many of us were moved to tears as we thought about the 3,000 innocent people, who died a tragic death here on September 11, 2001. Every day hundreds of local people and tourists visit this historical place. From Ground Zero, we paid a visit to the U.N. Headquarters. The U.N. Headquarters consists of a complex with 4 buildings: the Secretariat building, the General Assembly building, the Conference building and the Dag Hammarskjold Library. It was an extraordinary opportunity for all of us to pay a visit to this place, which is vital to preserving world peace.
We have actually had a chance to step inside the conference halls where the world leaders take major economic and political decisions…undoubtedly this visit to the U.N. Headquarters would remain as one of best memories of my life.
July 15 was a very busy day for us all. Our second morning in NY was spent visiting the Museum of Television and Radio and the New York Times office. First published in 1851, today New York Times is ranked the number 1 daily newspaper of the U.S.A. It was a lifetime experience for many of us to get this rare opportunity to visit the New York Times office and get a picture of how this giant media company operates.
Our next stop was at the MTV studio where we got an extraordinary opportunity to look around their studios, editing chambers and greenrooms. The every thought of being in a place where the superstars of the world work sent a shiver down our spine. Our trip ended with a discussion and a Q/A session with Kathleen Scheier, Vice President, Network Standards of MTV.
In the evening we enjoyed a live concert at the Village Vanguard. Known as NY's most prestigious jazz club, Village Vanguard is one of the most important venues of American music. July 16 was our last day in New York. In the morning we visited the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art. Founded in 1870 by a group of American businessmen, today more than 5 million people visit this museum each year. This outstanding museum is an epitome of world's
rich history, arts and crafts.
Although four days is never enough to look around the New York City, but we truly enjoyed every moment we spent in this splendid city that never sleeps.

By Wara Karim

Selma Lagerlöf
First Female Nobel Laureate

First Female Nobel Laureate: Selma Lagerlöf Swedish novelist (1858-1940), in 1909 became the first woman writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature
Selma Ottiliana Lovisa Lagerlöf was born in Mårbacka in 1858, in the province of Värmland in southern Sweden. Her father was a retired army officer. Lagerlö
f was tutored at home. She grew up largely apart from other children in the little family estate. In the care of her paternal grandmother she heard fairy tales and legends, stories about the glorious past of the great estates in the Värmland region, a world of cavaliers, sleighing parties, and superstitions.

Schooling and First Efforts: Lagerlöf studied at the Royal Women's Superior Training Academy in Stockholm, graduating as a teacher in 1882. She worked at a girl's school at Landskrona for ten years, from 1885 to 1895. During that time she began writing a novel, the first chapters of The Story of Gö
sta Berling, which she sent to a literary contest, sponsored by the magazine Idun. Lagerlöf was awarded a prize, and was offered a publishing contract for the whole book. Gösta Berlings Saga was published in 1891, but went unnoticed until its Danish translation received wide critical acclaim and paved the way for the book's lasting success in Sweden and elsewhere.

Roots and Inspiration: Lagerlöf's work is deeply rooted in Nordic legends and history. She turned away from the dominating realistic movement and wrote in a romantic and imaginative manner about the peasant life and landscape of Northern Sweden. Lagerlöf's short stories showed the influence of fairy tales and she sometimes borrowed elements from Victorian supernatural stories. Her works are based on Swedish folktales and are characterized by natural spontaneity. Her characters are simple in thought and action, and goodness usually triumphs over evil. In narrative skill, she is unsurpassed in Swedish literature. Lagerlö was awarded the 1909 Nobel Prize in literature and in 1914 became a member of the Swedish Academy.

Touch of Supernatural: In the short story 'Old Agneta' a woman lives alone in a cottage on the edge of a broad glacier. In the solitude of the mountains she starts to talk to herself. She feels that she is already frozen with the cold and her empty solitude, and wants to die because nobody needs her. A monk comes to her and shows that she is not alone - the mist and fog of the snow-covered mountain are in reality a host of lost souls. Agneta burns candles in her cottage for the ghosts, who are attracted by their light and warmth. "Where would the souls of the departed find a refuge from the boundless cold of Death, if the old ones here on earth did not throw open their hearts to them?" She is happy because she knows that she is needed. After she dies the mountain is lit by the ghosts with tiny yellow flames.

Honored in Banknotes: The Swedish 20 kronor banknote features a portrait of Selma Lagerlöf. You can read more about this on the web site of Riksbanken, Sweden's central bank, Apart from the portrait, the banknote also features a short text from the beginning of Gösta Berlings and an illustration to Adventure of Nils. Two celebrated works of Miss Lagerlöf.

Selfless to the End: As World War II approached, Lagerlöf helped German intellectuals and artists to escape Nazi persecution. She managed to arrange a Swedish visa for the poet Nelly Sachs, and saved her from a death camp. When Finland fought against the Soviet aggression during the Winter War, Lagerlö
f donated her gold Nobel Prize medal for fund-raising to help the struggling country. In the midst of her efforts to provide war relief to the blockaded population of Finland, she died of a stroke at her home on March 16, 1940.

By M. Abdullah Muhiuddin

Self-made Envelopes

Near the start of every year we all bring down the old date-trackers hanging on the walls and replace them with new ones for that year. Instead of throwing away the picture adorned pages of the old calendars we can easily put them to our own uses. Probably the most common use of old calendar pages in the household is to place them in closets, cabinets and drawers, before keeping things in them. Many people also cut out the pictures and frame them to decorate the walls of their house just like any other painting. However calendar pages can be have some uncommon but creative uses.
You will require:
Calendars with bright pictures on them make great envelopes.
Old calendar pictures
Craft glue
Lace, appliqué decorations, etc.
First take apart an envelope you would like to use as a sample and take accurate measurements of the length and width. Cut out a part of the picture from the calendar using the same measurements. Fold the three sides and glue them down.
Now insert your card or letter and fold down flap and seal with glue. You can trim the flap edge with a strip of glued on lace for decoration and add any other type of decorations of your choice. Affix a plain label to front for addressing.

By Nusrat


Do you know me?
A small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand in a trial -- a grandmotherly, elderly woman.
He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"
She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a rising big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you will never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."
The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Williams, do you know the defense attorney?"
She replied, "Why, yes I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. I used to baby-sit him for his parents. And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. The man can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes, I know him."
At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counselors to the bench.
In a very quiet voice, he said with menace, "If either of you asks her if she knows me, you'll be jailed for contempt!"

The Most Attractive Wives
Morty was in his usual place in the morning sitting at the table, reading the paper after breakfast. He came across an article about a beautiful actress that was about to marry a football player who was known primarily for his lack of IQ and common knowledge.
He turned to his wife with a look of question on his face. "I'll never understand why the biggest jerks get the most attractive wives."
His wife replies, "Why thank you, dear!"


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