World War I German and British soldiers stand together on the battlefield near Ploegsteert, Belgium, December 1914. Photo: The Imperial War Museum / Washington Post / Cyril Drummond/AP

Christmas this year is unprecedentedly different. Unlike past Christmases, the warmth, togetherness, and festive nature of what made the Holidays isn’t present this year for many. This year, many people won’t be able to see their families, or visit their loved ones to sit and share a warm Christmas meal together. Many children and grandparents won’t be able to share gifts and smiles together under the same roof. Some may say that this is the worst Christmas of all time. This isn’t just something that’s true only in a handful of homes and places here and there…this is worldwide.

But…


The Conjunction. Observed on December 19, 2020. Photo by: Raman Madhira

On December 21st, 2020, a rare occurrence in the sky above us can be witnessed by the likes of you and me. NASA calls it the “Great Conjunction” event, wherein Saturn and Jupiter will be so close in alignment that it will appear as a single star in the sky.

This is very significant because the last time this happened was in 1623, 397 years ago. But it wasn’t as visible then, so the last time it was fully observable during nighttime was in 1226. That was 794 years ago.

I wonder what my ultra-great ancestors were doing back then.


Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia. 1996.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a father. I know a version of what I think it’s like to work hard, or what a father entails, but to really know what it is truly like…I really have no idea. I wonder how it’s like to behold your first newborn child in your hands; to see your own flesh and blood that God has made through you. I wonder how it’s like to have that joy and happiness to see your child walk for the first time, and say their first word. I wonder how it’s like to have…


Me and Milagros, my mom. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 1993.

As the world enters a brand new way to spend Mother’s Day this year, I am able to find time and go back in time and reminisce about the good old days — days when I was still a young lamb that spent many a days with my family — with my mother.

My Mamang.

In a way, these quiet times have given me the opportunity to go back to those nostalgic days; days when I would just tag along with my Momski and just go wherever she would go, listen to her stories, and to just simply spend time…


Photo by: Erika Giraud

Grace.

It seems like that word can no longer be seen in anything these days, with so much finger-pointing, blaming and hate being thrown around a lot more than ever with everyone so in edge.

Grace.

However, that word has been in my vocabulary this past few months, but more than ever during the past few weeks that many call Passion week that lead up to Jesus’ death on the cross and His victorious resurrection over death, which I have written from my heart about.

It is because, for the last week, I have been meditating and thinking about how…


Photo by: Fatima Wahab

One of my favourite things when it comes to snacking is an unconventional one. While many love to snack on fruits, nuts and chips (including myself), I love to snack on pita bread. Especially with hummus (with olive oil). I love having it on any time of the day. I love having it after dinner while watching TV or even during dinner with my family. If you haven’t gotten the memo yet, I love pita and hummus.

It definitely can be attributed to my upbringing. I grew up in Saudi Arabia in the Middle East —sometimes called Khubz, where Mediterranean…


Photo by Natalya Zaritskaya

It has been many weeks since “normal” has changed. To some, it has been a blessing; time with family, with their spouses, and time to rest and reset. But to others, it has been turbulent. It could be rough mentally, physically or both. Thoughts of what the future holds can’t escape their minds. They have businesses and jobs on the line — or sometimes, even lost. Some have families to sustain and support. Others feel alone…or even threatened.

I’ve written more in detail my thoughts of the situation that we are all in on my last post, so this won’t…


Photo: Patrick Hendry

I’ve spent the past several days writing, but for some reason, I cannot finish what I try to write.

The past several weeks of being away from the things that I was clinging to for normalcy has finally been given to me. I say ‘finally’ because for the longest time, I have been postponing the things that truly matter — some for many, many…many years, and one of them is what I will be talking about right now.

As many people use this time for many things like catching up with friends and family, catching up with the latest season…


It has also been about a month and 12 days since the legendary Kobe Bryant’s passing, as well as his daughter Gianna and the seven other souls on board that were with them that fateful January day.

Within my laptop, I pretty much have an essay of my thoughts on Kobe and the personal stories on how he has impacted on my life — as well as millions others — growing up. The legendary good times and how he has deepened my love for basketball, as well as the unfortunate dark times. …

Jemuel Datiles

I like stories.

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