Thursday, December 1, 2016

Racist video discussion on social media is a good thing, say community leaders

Racist video discussion on social media is a good thing, say community leaders

WARNING: 'Shocking' racial slurs and altercation captured on video

By Belle Puri, CBC News Posted: Oct 24, 2016 5:42 PM PT Last Updated: Oct 24, 2016 5:42 PM PT         
An unidentified man is captured on video shouting racial taunts in an Abbotsford parking lot, near a downtown area known as Five Corners.
An unidentified man is captured on video shouting racial taunts in an Abbotsford parking lot, near a downtown area known as Five Corners. (Vimeo)          

Abbotsford community leaders say it's a good thing people are talking about a video that shows a white man yelling racial slurs and offensive language in a downtown parking lot, because it's a good example of unacceptable behaviour
.
"I think the comments that are being generated are the best part, because it really shows peoples' overwhelming outrage for this type of behaviour," said Allan Asaph, the executive director of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.

"I think that's a very positive sign, that as a community, we are saying this is not acceptable."

Social media, said Asaph, is a good way to get out the message that opinions like those of the man in the video will not be tolerated.

Supportive community 

The vast majority of people in the Fraser Valley are supportive of diversity said Ken Herar, founder of the Cycle4Diversity campaign.

"People here in the Fraser Valley believe in diversity. Our community is built on diversity," said Herar.

"This kind of behaviour is not warranted here and that's the message I'm receiving on Facebook and social media."

An unidentified man is captured on video shouting racial taunts in an Abbotsford parking lot, near a downtown area known as Five Corners. (Vimeo)
       

Incidents not related 

Herar was among several Mission residents who earlier this month awoke to find a plastic bag with a flyer and some rice on their front lawns from the Ku Klux Klan, but he doesn't feel the incidents are connected.


"I asked that question on my Facebook page," said Herar.

"The vast majority of responses that I received from that post on Facebook are that people believe that these are isolated incidents."

Abbotsford police have contacted the hate crimes unit and Crown counsel in their investigation of the incident.  

Thanks to Radical Desi for featuring Cycling4Diversity in fighting racism in the Lower Mainland

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Parm Sidhu: Abbotsford Airport (YXX) expects growth to come in the near future



The Abbotsford Ariport (YXX) is the gateway to the Fraser Valley where diversity takes off and lands connecting Canadians from around our country. Half a million passengers use YXX and 2016 is proving to be the strongest year yet. It seems like whenever I look into the horizon there is a Westjet flight in the area.  Having traveled through the airport on many occasions my preference for most of my Canadian travel destination is YXX if the connections can be made.  Leading the way is Parm Sidhu, Airport General Manager, who has worked for the city for the past 21 years forecasts a bright future for our growing airport.
Sidhu, who is an Abbotsford Senior grad has worked in several jobs within the city since in 1995 like: Skate sharpener, Ice Man, Airport Duty Officer and Terminal Manager, just to name a few.  He explains, having a competitive business model is the key to the airport world, which is changing fast due to technology.  He said, “keeping up on general technology trends impacting airlines/passengers, airports and aerospace companies is a challenge, as what works in our industry today, may not work tomorrow.”

There is a growing diverse culture at YXX, which is a reflection of the 1,500 people that work on the airfield, 16 work directly for the airport and the balance for the partners on the field. Partnerships are the key as growth in the surrounding communities continues, especially in the Southern region of the Fraser, as Sidhu mentions.  Currently, they are three major carriers that workout of YXX to service travellers. 

Close to 75 million has been invested since 1997, and one of the short-term goals are to secure more daily domestic service to Ontario and then to attract more international service from YXX.
As the population continues to grow south of the Fraser, YXX is positioned well for growth, with goals to attract new flights including daily year-round service to Ontario as well as trans-border and international flights.   Also, if you ever get to visit or drop off travelers at YXX you’ll find the experience to be first class right from the ticket personal, security and the janitors.  Walking through the terminal you will also find a hidden gem located near the Westjet ticket office, the Water Clock that once was home at Sevenoaks from 1991 to 2000. Speaking about diversity, an interesting program is held every March out of YXX for young girls and women to meet outstanding females in the aviation and aerospace industry and free flights are offered for eligible candidates called: “The Skies No Limit- Girls Fly Too”.  The Abbotsford Airshow, will be held from August 11-13 next year  and is always a wonderful opportunity to meet experts in the field from across the globe.    

Sidhu said, “It’s been an amazing journey, it’s truly been a great partnership with the employer that has invested in me and allowed me to grow my career in the town I grew up in. It’s truly been a partnership.”

Monday, November 7, 2016

Is racism on the rise in Mission/Abbotsford?



Is racism on the rise in our community?



With all the recent events that have happened – with the KKK flyer distribution and the shocking racial altercation video from a parking incident in Abbotsford – people are talking on social media and around town. So I asked the question to my Facebook friends: Do you feel racism is on the rise in our communities or are these just isolated incidents?
Well, the vast majority of respondents felt these are isolated incidents and these kinds of behaviours are not welcomed. Yes, respondents were extremely disturbed and had lots to say – and so they should. 
These kinds of actions are not warranted in our communities and when we take a closer look around we’ll find diversity is what makes our community unique. It is  proven time and time again and we are better because of it.
My family, unfortunately, received a KKK flyer on our driveway a few short weeks ago. We are a pioneer South Asian family from Mission and are very proud of our hometown. This form of recruitment by this group is not what we need to further our discussion on diversity for future generations.  
Many have commented that the KKK flyer was unorganized, being tossed in the middle of the night at people’s driveways or possibly by teens. I say think again. 
Watching a few YouTube videos, it’s an old Klan tradition to throw flyers out at night at people’s driveways for recruitment purposes, calling it a “Night Ride.” I was correct when I first saw the flyer initially looking like some kind of recruitment drive.  The Klan has had activity in the past in Mission and this action should not be taken lightly. Whether they exist or not, we just don’t know for sure, but the divisive message can have long-term effects with people who may be vulnerable and who may gain an interest in other white supremacy groups that are active in the Lower Mainland.
In regards to the racial video that surfaced from Abbotsford, which went viral, it is something as a collective community that we are not proud of. Abbotsford/Mission being one of the most diverse regions in the country is something we can truly brag about. Diversity is a fragile concept and things can change quickly. Remaining calm and not encouraging further violence is essential in this matter. 

Good for the person doing the videoing to have the higher ground in this horrifying ordeal. I just can’t imagine what he went through and no one deserves this kind of treatment. Gugan Kaur Sidhu from the Fraser Valley Human Dignity Coalition said: “I want to emphasize the importance of reporting these incidences to the police and or the FV Human Dignity Coalition. Having a record of the discriminatory incidences taking place in the Fraser Valley helps secure funding for anti-oppression work and advocate appropriately.”  The Coalition encourages those that were negatively affected by this incident or any other discriminatory incident to contact the Fraser Valley Human Dignity Coalition. 604.859.7681 ext. 270 diversityeducation@abbotsfordcommunityservices.com

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Ku KLux Klan (KKK) strikes Mission residents with flyer


By Kevin Mills,
Mission City Record
Residents of Cherry Avenue woke up Monday morning to find a small package on their front lawns – from the Ku Klux Klan.
The package came in the form of a clear plastic bag containing a one page flyer and a small amount of rice.
The flyer indicates it is from the “Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan” and that “Yes! White Lives Do Matter.”
It contains more statements and includes a website and a “Klan Hotline” phone number.
Mission RCMP received many complaints regarding the hate literature and several files were opened.
One of the residents who received the flyer was Ken Herar, founder of the Cycling4Diversity campaign.
Herar said he was at work when he heard about the incident, but his 83-year-old dad, Tok, was at home and found the flyer. Tok immediately took the literature to the RCMP.
“As a person who has lived her for six decades, I think it was very disturbing for him,” said Herar about his father. “I could see his reaction and I could see his pain and his frustration that we are still battling this.”
He said his dad is proud of the community and feels it is a community built on diversity.
The KKK flyers were also dropped off at some homes in Abbotsford and, earlier this year, in Chilliwack. While it is unknown if this is a local group distributing the literature, Herar said this is not the first incident to occur in Mission.
‘The Ku Klux Klan has existed in Mission for a long time. We’ve had cross burning in Mission back in the ’70s,” said Herar. “Now it hasn’t happened in quite a number of decades.”
Herar said whoever it was they are making a statement and seeking attention.
“They want to create fear and dismantle our diversity.”
Herar is planing on organizing a ride in Mission an Abbotsford in the next few weeks to talk to students about the KKK incident.
“We want to counter-act this. This is not our community. This does not represent us.”
Mission Mayor Randy Hawes agrees that this is not a representation of Mission and said he is unaware of any organized Ku Klux Klan.
“The people of Mission can be assured that they are not going to see a horde of hooded people walking down the street lighting crosses on fire,” said Hawes, adding that the police are already looking for the people spreading this hate information around.
“I’m sure the individuals who did this are in hiding. They are that kind of people. The literature should be scrapped  and thrown away.”

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Diversity: Gentle, Equal and Balances

On the Spot by Ken Herar
I was recently told by someone after a brief discussion that I am an East Indian sympathizer in reference to my columns.
I don’t mind criticism as long as it’s accurate. The only thing that is correct about this statement is, yes, I am East Indian – actually South Asian is the proper term to use.
For me being a South Asian sympathizer is the furthest from the truth.
Over the past two decades, I worked tirelessly with many community members to create dialogue and find ways where we can encourage diverse activities and relationships.
It’s not about favouring one cultural group over another, but rather looking at our community as one diverse city.
Readers might sometimes automatically assume that when they see my South Asian face on this page that I am voicing something on East Indian topics or criticizing the mainstream community on racism issues. Get your facts correct on what is actually being discussed and the foundation that is being created.
In order for us to move forward, I discovered a formula that has assisted me on how we can be more interconnected. It is called: (GEB) Gentle, Equal and Balances. By being Gentle, we actually get to listen and respect each other. When it comes to the diversity family, everyone is Equal despite our obvious differences. In order to discover diversity we need to have Balances in terms of our friendships and activities.
Diversity can be a difficult term for some to understand, yet they claim to practice it. Then there are those who think it is just a word and never publicly admit they don’t believe in it. Whatever side of the fence you’re on, these three terms will provide an important self-guide, and it’s more than just about differences. Actually, we have more in common than you may believe.
My mother Kuldip shared a story with me that captures these three terms all in one package. When my mom came to Canada in the mid 1960s, her English was limited and it was the kind people of Mission and members from the Mission Rotary Club who stepped up and took her out to get groceries and assisted her with daily activities.
Mom always says: “I will never forget those people who welcomed me with open arms.”

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Muhammad Ali was more than a boxer

COLUMN: Muhammad Ali was more than a boxer

On the Spot by Ken Herar
It’s with great sadness that we learned last month about Muhammad Ali passing, one of the best boxers of all time. I recall listening to the radio on many occasions to legendary radio broadcaster Howard Cosell announcing the blow by blow actions.
Ali, who only lost 5 times in his career, was a controversial figure in and outside the boxing ring and never short of words. At the tender age of 12, Ali discovered his talent for boxing through a police officer after his bike was stolen. Ali told the police officer, that he wanted to beat up the thief. “Well, you better learn how to fight before you start challenging people”, said the officer.
Ali famous saying was, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” and he did just that and had tough words on diversity and social integration, which could be considered as racist to some. Aligning himself with the Nation of Islam and its leader Elijah Muhammad, he had tough words about the white folks.
Going through many YouTube videos and seeing his interviews during the civil rights movement in the 1960’s, Ali took a tough stance on how a black person should live their life and reject outside influences. Ali said, “We who follow the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, don’t want to be forced to integrate. Integration is wrong. We don’t want to live with the white man; that’s all.”
And in relation to inter-racial marriage: “No intelligent black man or black woman in his or her right black mind wants white boys and white girls coming to their homes to marry their black sons and daughters.”
But, let’s not lose perspective of the era that Ali was speaking. Many blacks were treated as “second class” citizens throughout the United States and the hard stance was sometimes needed to capture the attention. In 1960, he was turned away from a “whites-only” restaurant and in 1967 Ali refused induction into the US Armed Forces due to his religious beliefs and as a result, he was arrested and fined. Just recently, his hometown paper apologized 50 years later for continuing to refer to Ali in the press as Cassius Clay and not by his Muslim name.
He always wanted to more than a boxer and he proved to be more than just that. He devoted his time to helping charities, Special Olympics and creating world peace when he flew to Lebanon to secure the release of four hostages. He also made goodwill missions to Afghanistan and North Korea and delivered medical aid to Cuba and secured the release of 15 US hostages during the first Gulf War. In 1981, he helped save a man from jumping out of a ninth-floor building in Los Angeles. In 1985, he and his wife Lonnie opened the Muhammad Ali Center in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, which inspires with an educational and museum experience.
He leaves us with some special words, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

Friday, June 3, 2016

Cycling4Diversity team profiled in the Agassiz-Harrison Observer

COMMUNITY

Raising awareness one peddle at a time

Members of the Cycling4diversity group visited two schools in Agassiz and one in Harrison Hot Springs Wednesday, May 25. - Anne-Marie Sjoden/Special to The Observer
Members of the Cycling4diversity group visited two schools in Agassiz and one in Harrison Hot Springs Wednesday, May 25.
— Image Credit: Anne-Marie Sjoden/Special To The Observer
To mark a week of promoting diversity, not-for-profit group Cycling4Diversity visited three schools in the Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs area Wednesday, May 25.
The C4D team spent the morning traveling between Kent Elementary and Agassiz Secondary school and later cycled to Harrison Hot Springs and spoke at Harrison Elementary, where they received a wonderful response.
The cycling group's founder Ken Herar said students were very excited to hear the group speak on  diversity..
“We are extremely honoured to have received the support from the community and the schools we visited on the first leg of our three-day journey.”
The founder said when he asked if racism exists in the area, “many of the students expressed concerns much work remains.”
For the groups’s executive director Anne-Marie Sjoden, this was her third ride, although first in Agassiz and Harrison.
“It always brings joy to me, when I hear the stories on how we have been making a difference in the peoples life’s that we have touched.  And how amazing friendships have formed all because of asking the kids to do one simple task, introducing themselves to some they had not been friends with before today,” she said.
For more information about the group, visit cycling4diversity.ca.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Surrey Now: Encouraging South Asians to step outside their culture

By BEAU SIMPSON
June 2, 2016 · 8:28 AM


Cycling4Diversity founder Ken Herar talks to Khalsa school students in Surrey on May 26. / SUBMITTED
NEWTON — Students at two Khalsa schools in Surrey were asked to do one simple task on May 26 – make friends with someone outside their own culture.
It’s a simple, yet powerful request the Cycling4Diversity team has been making in schools throughout B.C. for the past six years, thanks to founder Ken Herar.
“Our team has always felt welcomed at the Khalsa schools in Surrey and students were really excited to have a conversation on diversity related topics,” he said.
Herar founded the group  in 2010 after he found out he was not welcome at a certain Christmas party because he was South Asian.
He said despite the community support and the incredible response from the schools he visits, much work remains to be done.
“When the question was asked if racism still exists in the area, many of the students expressed concerns,” he said.
Anne-Marie Sjoden is Cycling4Diversity executive director. This was her third ride.
“It always brings joy to me, when I hear the stories on how we have been making a difference in the peoples lives that we have touched,” she said. “And how amazing friendships have formed all because of asking the kids to do one simple task, introducing themselves to some they had not been friends with before today.”

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cycling4Diversity will be visiting Burnaby Schools on May 25th, 2016

CAYLEY DOBIE | BURNABY NOW 
MAY 20, 2016 01:50 PM





Cyclists will be riding into Burnaby on Thursday to promote inclusiveness.
For the sixth year in a row, riders with the Cycling4Diversity Foundation are travelling around the Lower Mainland for three days in support of Cycling4Diversity Week, born out of the United Nations’ World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, which aims to promote cultural diversity through understanding and inclusion.
Riders will be stopping at Burnaby South Secondary and Byrne Creek Secondary schools for a brief presentation on May 26, said Ken Herar, one of the organizers.
“It’s a half-an-hour kind of thing just to listen to what the kids have to say about (diversity) and how can we make our communities more inclusive and interactive with each other,” he said.
Herar said the purpose of the event is to connect with kids and help them think critically about racism and what biases they may have.
“People have biases, so we need to reflect on those things to make our communities a better place,” he said. “Racism has changed and it’s still out there, but people do it in different ways. Let’s be real, it’s not just the white people as people may think, it’s everyone. Everyone has biases.”
Cycling4Diversity will be at Burnaby South Secondary at 9:30 a.m. and at Byrne Creek Secondary at 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit www.cycling4diversity.ca.

© 2016 Burnaby Now
- See more at: http://www.burnabynow.com/community/cyclists-coming-to-burnaby-high-schools-1.2260365#sthash.liyCF8sP.dpuf

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Cycling4Diversity Week in the District of Mission May 22nd - May 28th, 2016

Cycling4Diversity week in Mission

The District of Mission has proclaimed May 22-28 as Cycling4Diversity week. Riders will head out beginning May 25. - Kevin Mills Photo
The District of Mission has proclaimed May 22-28 as Cycling4Diversity week. Riders will head out beginning May 25.
— Image Credit: Kevin Mills Photo
It’s Cycling4Diversity week from May 22-28 in Mission and throughout the province.
This year, riders will be taking to the streets on a three-day tour of the Fraser Valley/Lower Mainland area.
On May 25, cyclists will ride through Hope, Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs, stopping at schools and other community buildings to share stories about diversity.
Riders will go again on May 26, this time from Burnaby to Surrey and will wrap up the tour on May 27 in Mission and Abbotsford.
“We are trying to encourage people in the community to reach out to people they may not know in their neighbourhood or in their workplace and schools, to bridge the culture gaps that we still face,” said Ken Herar, founder of the event.
This year marks the sixth annual Cycling4Diversity event. Since it began, cyclists have visited more than 100 schools in the area.
“We’ve done all the schools in Mission already (except for one),” said Herar.
While it has yet to be confirmed, riders are hoping to visit Dewdney Elementary this year.
There are usually six to 10 riders at a time taking part in the event.
“It’s better with a smaller group because it gives everybody a chance to speak at the school and share their experiences. It’s not about how many people, it’s about the message,” said Herar.
Students are encouraged to share their stories as well.
“We want people to hear about the challenges, but about the positive stories as well.”

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Dawn Haig of Mission shares her work-related experiences on culture and diversity







We would like to thank Save on Foods of Abbotsford store manager Dawn Haig for the gift cards, Cineplex for the movie tickets and Cycling4Diversity for the shirts.  Haig shared her experience in relation to the question: "Diversity has affected my life in many ways. Working for a company that promotes diversity has provided me with many opportunities of growth in my career. In my position I have been fortunate to work with many diverse communities. Promoting diversity gives me the tools to provide great customer service in all the communities we serve. It is a joy to be supporting our local diverse communities. "
View-From-Valley-archive8By Ken Herar
The Cycling4Diversity team is ready to put the pedal to the medal and deliver the message of diversity and inclusivity from May 22nd – 28th during Cycling4Diversity Week in BC.  The focus this year will on rural communities visiting Hope, Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs during the first portion of our journey.  I am excited to lead the team through this corridor and during our planning the communities have welcomed us with open arms.  Sometimes smaller communities get missed in the equation and the message of diversity needs to be planted. I was at a crossroads this year if I wanted to plan the ride having visited over 100 schools in the past five year, but the encouragement of the community and  Executive Director Anne Marie Sjoden, we are more passionate than ever to do this again.
Reflecting, on what most impresses me the most on this initiative, having only planning on doing this once back in 2011, has been the support of the community. Where ever we have knocked to get support to assist us organizations and members from the community have stepped up and made our work much easier. This is more of the reflection that should be displayed is that we live in a great community that believes in respect and continuing to make it better.  The team is tremendously honoured to deliver this message and excited about finishing in Abbotsford at Robert Bateman Secondary on May 27th.
We are always looking for new members and if you want to part of our C4D team this year do send us a message. Sjoden said, “This is my 3rd year with the organization and I always enjoy meeting new people and being able to share my message about diversity. I would like to put an invite out to the public that we are always looking for new team members. The best way to reach us is by sending us an email cycling4diversity@gmail.com or you can send us a message on our Facebook Like page.”
The Abbotsford News and Cycling4Diversity finished our Short Message Contest and we have some wonderful messages.
The question was: How has diversity impacted you life? 
First of all, we would like to thank store manager Dawn Haig from Save on Foods of Abbotsford for the gift cards, Cineplex for the movie tickets and Cycling4Diversity for the shirts.  Haig shared her experience in relation to the question: "Diversity has affected my life in many ways. Working for a company that promotes diversity has provided me with many opportunities of growth in my career. In my position I have been fortunate to work with many diverse communities. Promoting diversity gives me the tools to provide great customer service in all the communities we serve. It is a joy to be supporting our local diverse communities. "
The winners for the short message contest were: Reena Sekhon, Jessica Rebagliati and Susan Merry Baker.
Sekhon said: “My kids are Indo Canadian French immersion students. Diversity of learning another language has taught them and us to celebrate we are all Canadian regardless of the colour of our skin or the language we speak.”
Rebagliati said: About a year ago, I started a new job with an program that is dedicated to helping newcomers to Canada. In this position, I have met people from all over the world. It's amazing to learn about different cultures and meet people with such interesting backgrounds. I love the diversity in my job and I think it's really opened my eyes to the rest of the world. I've also met some really great people along the way.”
 Baker:” I'm so thankful that my parents married in 1949 Aboriginal-English taught diversity by their own example.”

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Abbotsford News & Cycling4Diveristy present: The Diversity Challenge

February 24, 2016 · 9:48 AM

Back by popular demand The Abbotsford News and Cycling4Diversity will be hosting The Diversity Challenge, giving you the readers the opportunity to provide your input on the diversity question.
Having organized this contest for many years, I have always enjoyed working with our readers and the public to create a discussion that will make people think and provide their valuable input. In that time this opportunity has allowed for some amazing responses that I have shared with all of you over the years and with some of the schools.
In this year’s Diversity Challenge there will be a question that respondents can answer in 140 characters, which the top three winners will have their answers posted on all of The News  social media sites, including others prizes.
The question is: How has diversity impacted your life? Please, leave the hashtags #DiversityRocks #Cycling4Diversity, along with your response. In past years the question has been age restricted, but this year we’ve opened it to all ages and hopefully we will get an outstanding response before the March 31st deadline.
There will also be a colouring contest for children ages (five to 10), which parents can pick up at The News front desk, which is popular with young kids and usually get a entire class at schools participating vying for the top three spots.  If you are a teacher and would like me to come to your class to speak to the kids about The Diversity Challenge, send me an email at my address below and I would be more than happy to come for a visit.
Whether it is the diversity question or the colouring contest, I think it’s a fabulous idea for schools to participate and it’s really exciting for me as an organizer to witness young minds in action tackling this opportunity in a positive way. There are ten cute characters that need to coloured in and diversified for our judges to inspect.
On a topic such as diversity, we at The Abbotsford News feel it’s an asset to be engaging with the public with our contest creating an understanding that diversity is our strength that will guide us into the future and build our community even stronger.
News publisher Andrew Franklin said, "The News is excited to partner with Cycling4Diversity in this awareness campaign. Our city reflects a true multicultural community and this campaign allows us to engage like-minded people to share a positive message in social media. A huge thank you to Ken Herar for spearheading this important message of an inclusive community."
As an example, here is my response to the question: It is our diversity that has allowed me the opportunity to meet and speak with so many people through this column and in so many other ways on topics and issues that affect us all. It is our diversity that always brings us together with an open mind.
Contact Ken Herar at kenherar@gmail.com

Friday, January 29, 2016

We're different on the outside, same on the inside

January 28, 2016 · Updated 9:01 AM


Abbotsford News columnist Ken Herar / FILE PHOTO
I have never forgotten the first time I experienced racism and came to the realization that I was a bit different than the rest.
Reflecting on a moment growing in our hometown of Mission where our family encountered racism for the first time to my knowledge.
Back in the 1970's people (kids) unfortunately threw eggs at homes if they were from immigrant families. Diversity wasn't a concept that was really spoken about, but it was a learning experience we had to go through.
I recall, eating supper at our dinner table one evening when a bunch of kids threw eggs, which sounded like rocks at our door and yelled, " Paki's Go Home". A bit scared and never really understanding the situation, we asked our father what do they mean. Dad replies, " We are a little different than the rest, son."
Looking back at it now he was trying to shelter us from the hate. Trying to comprehend all of this, we sucked it up and realized we had to be a bit stronger than the rest.  You don't really understand it, until you know you are different.
I don't believe this happens anymore at least I hope not. We still love our town of Mission and they're are no hard feelings from our family. You move forward, but you don't really forget the lasting imprint it leaves on your conscience. You just hope it doesn't happen again to anyone else. Actually, the kids that used to do this apologized indirectly to us many years later. Even some of those eggs may have been different on the outside, they all looked the same on the inside when they were scrambled at our doorstep.
This ordeal had been on my mind for the past year to share on what some immigrant families had to go through many decades ago and reminded that we were different and had to work a little harder than the rest
I recently reached out to the three men, who were being sought after for suspicious behaviour ( Middle Eastern men) at Pacific Centre in Vancouver a few weeks ago and provided them with encouragement and shared a little what we do with Cycling4Diversity. I also gave them C4D shirts as gifts before they headed back home to England to showcase our true diverse spirit as Canadians. The first thing I said as I walked through the door to shake Mohammed Sharaz is, " I am sorry for what happened" and he responded, " Don't be sorry". The three of them, including his son and a friend were taking pictures at the downtown mall and alarms bells were raised by their behaviour by security staff, while two of them suffer from vision issues and were here for treatment. The three men turned themselves in after they found the story accidentally and images of themselves when Goggling Vancouver. During, our talk they didn't have a ill faded word to say and loved Vancouver and all the kind people who stepped forward to assist and clear the air. As Mohammed said police and security staff have a responsibility to keep people safe. But, he added it could of been handled better by some of the media outlets to protect them and their safety.
kenherar@gmail.com