My Funny Valentine

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(First posted on my blog on Feb 15, 2016.) Yesterday, I took my friend Cherie to lunch at the local diner. I first met Cherie 3 or 4 years ago when she began to appear on the benches in the mezzanine level of my subway station. One morning I sat down beside her and instead of dropping a dollar into …

Pamela Brown-PetersideMy Funny Valentine

What’s in a Name?

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(First posted to my blog on Feb 13, 2016.) For someone with a Nigerian father, I have an unusual surname. Not only is my family name unAfrican and all together British but it’s also hyphenated. Hyphenated names, somewhat unusual in the U.S., are usually formed from the surnames of both parents. From time to time, people who know my background …

Pamela Brown-PetersideWhat’s in a Name?

Football Madness

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(First added to my blog on Feb 7, 2016). I love most sports. And I love sports movies though I don’t find myself going to movies much anymore. However, 10 days ago, when I heard that ‘Concussion’ was about a Nigerian pathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu, (played by Will Smith – who never did sound anything like a Nigerian/couldn’t Hollywood have …

Pamela Brown-PetersideFootball Madness

Remembering Arthur Ashe

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(First published on my blog on Feb 6, 2016). Arthur Ashe died 23 years ago today at the age of 49. If he were still alive, he’d be 72. The cause of death was pneumonia, an opportunistic infection his immune system developed, ravaged by the HIV virus. He received HIV from a blood transfusion that he was given during heart …

Pamela Brown-PetersideRemembering Arthur Ashe

A Treat, a Tweet & a Highlight

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Saturday: On account of the blizzard pummeling the east coast of the US, the city which never sleeps has ground to a standstill — and that includes Broadway. Yes, all matinees and evening performances were cancelled earlier today. The hope is that by tomorrow afternoon, the storm will have blown away, and the city will re-awaken, the subways and buses …

Pamela Brown-PetersideA Treat, a Tweet & a Highlight

Look for the Signs

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January 6th, is called the Day of Epiphany in the Christian calendar. It is marked by the visit of the magi in search of the baby Jesus. Matthew tells us that magi came from the east to Jerusalem looking for the king of the Jews. They had seen his star and had come to worship him. The star was a …

Pamela Brown-PetersideLook for the Signs

Encountering Europe

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This summer, I listened to a number of disturbing stories on the BBC about migrants, many of them African, undertaking horrific journeys filled with risk and terror. If they get far enough, their efforts usually culminate in a Mediterranean crossing, the result of a desperate attempt to reach Europe. Many are fleeing war-torn lives and economic hardship or both with …

Pamela Brown-PetersideEncountering Europe

Surviving Ebola: One Nigerian Doctor’s Terrifying Experience

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I continue to find myself gripped by the events surrounding the Ebola outbreak that continues to devastate Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. As 2015 begins, there are now 20,000 reported cases and 8,000 deaths – and counting. I also keep reflecting on how thankful I am that the disease was successfully contained (at least so far) in Nigeria, Africa’s most …

Pamela Brown-PetersideSurviving Ebola: One Nigerian Doctor’s Terrifying Experience

Nigeria’s Successful Response to Ebola

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Described as a “spectacular success story,” the World Health Organization declared Nigeria to be Ebola free on Monday October 20, three months after the disease arrived in Lagos, a vast city of 21 million. It was the first time Ebola had been contained in an urban context. Four days later, New York City confirmed its first case of Ebola. Ebola …

Pamela Brown-PetersideNigeria’s Successful Response to Ebola

“Failure to contain the [Ebola] virus now will be cataclysmic”

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Sobering words coming from Dr. Pardis Sabeti, an infectious disease researcher at Harvard in a forthcoming OpEd to appear in the NY Times on Sept 7. Take a look: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/opinion/sunday/studying-ebola-then-dying-from-it.html?mabReward=RI%3A7&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&region=Footer&module=Recommendation&src=recg&pgtype=article The time to act – by praying, giving money to MSF or WHO, and sending health care experts is now… Ebola may be in West Africa today but it could …

Pamela Brown-Peterside“Failure to contain the [Ebola] virus now will be cataclysmic”

Ebola Knows No Boundaries

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This weekend, the first case of Ebola was confirmed in Senegal, the fifth African nation to report a case in this latest and largest horrific outbreak. He is a Guinean man who’s been placed under observation. When a country knows exactly who the index case is for this disease, and are able to track the spread of the outbreak from …

Pamela Brown-PetersideEbola Knows No Boundaries

Hazards of Travel in Mid-2014

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I just returned from a very full 3 weeks of road and air travel that took me to London, Uganda and Kenya. Yesterday as I was about to enter my apartment building in New York with my luggage, a neighbor who held the door open for me seemed relieved to see me. I recognized her but don’t know her personally. …

Pamela Brown-PetersideHazards of Travel in Mid-2014

Nigerians Don’t Get Depressed…oh really?

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The details came out in pieces. First I learned that a young woman in an elite public high school in Manhattan had taken her life. She was a junior (15 or 16 perhaps?) and the inciting incident appeared to have been that a teacher caught her cheating on an exam. The press had vilified the teacher, publishing both her name …

Pamela Brown-PetersideNigerians Don’t Get Depressed…oh really?

How I Wish My Father Were(n’t) Alive

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A week ago today in Jos, at a gathering where people were watching the Champion’s League Final, a hotly contested soccer match between Real Madrid and Club Atletico de Madrid, another bomb went off. This time only 3 people were killed. Tragic, but fortunately the loss of life wasn’t significantly greater. It was the third bomb in Jos in a …

Pamela Brown-PetersideHow I Wish My Father Were(n’t) Alive

Lead Us Through This Crisis

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Nigeria, where I was born, is in crisis. In the space of a few weeks, 200+ secondary (high) girls have been kidnapped and abducted from a school in the northeast of the country (by men dressed as soldiers) and this unprecedented horror has been sandwiched by two bombs in Abuja the capital, which have killed almost 100 people between them. …

Pamela Brown-PetersideLead Us Through This Crisis