‘Spoiled’ Ateneans prove naysayers wrong with village for displaced folk

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When a group of seven millennials decided to create a non-profit organization from scratch, a consultant warned them that they might be perceived as “snotty-nosed, spoiled Ateneans” – those who stand for a cause while relying on their parents’ affluence to finance what they believe in.

Others doubt their level of commitment. With so many years ahead of them, why rush into making the world a better place? Family and friends cannot help but ask why can’t they just focus on their chosen career paths and excel in their own fields.

Their generation, some might think, are such lost dreamers.

But after two years since Taguyod Bayan Foundation Inc.’s (TBFI) establishment, the group has managed to build eight disaster-resilient duplexes for the residents of Sara, Iloilo with their own hands.

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Is this Eid?

“Is this Eid? Every year we celebrate. Is this our Eid? Is this our Eid? Is this the Eid we should celebrate?”

With hands to his eyes, in his struggle to speak between bouts of tears, an Iraqi from a video posted by The Guardian asks, after more than 200 people were killed by an Isis bombing in Karada, Baghdad, on the eve of Eid al Fitr.

Terrorism is not new to the country of Iraq, but this is considered as one of the deadliest attacks the country must endure in more than a decade of war, in a time where Islamic belief is highly commemorated and celebrated.

The number of bodies being retrieved from the rubble has not ceased from climbing as of this writing, and families continue to mourn. But in spite of it all, not everyone is sympathetic to their plight. Since what happened to Paris, Indonesia, and Florida, Muslims suffer from the stigma of terrorism and violence. I hope we continue to understand that the sins of their brothers are not exactly theirs.

I extend my respect, not pity, to the victims of the tragedy who hold on to their topis and their hijabs. May you continue to grow in your faith, and remain steadfast in your stand for peace.

At a time where disparity among nations and religions continue to grow, let us not allow solidarity to escape our hands like sand. In our prayers, despite calling to different gods, let us all hope for peace. Eid Mubarak.