Point of View

Controversy Surrounding “American Sniper”

UNITED STATES—If you haven’t seen the movie “American Sniper” you might want to run to the theaters to catch the flick about Iraq war veteran and famed sniper Chris Kyle. In the recent weeks, the movie has taken the box-office by storm and along the way controversy has risen. As a critic who has seen the flick, “American Sniper” was...

Cultural Secret #3: Girls Should Stay Pure

BEVERLY HILLS—My mother once said, "When you keep your heart and thoughts pure, God will protect you from temptation." She was right. Some might criticize her parenting as harsh, strict, or even inhumane, but this was part of my cultural conditioning. Without these lessons, experiences, and boundaries, I wouldn't be as secure as I am with my sexuality. It started...

Cultural Secret: Girls Should Be Pure

BEL AIR—It started on a sunny afternoon in our Los Angeles home when I was four. My dad, brother and I went outside to play basketball. Mid-game, my dad took off his shirt. My brother, copying my dad to be as cool as him, took off his. Finally, to act cool like both of them, I took off mine. My...

Tribute To Drew Bernstein

LAUREL CANYON—For those of you who may not already know, we recently lost our long-time Laurel Hills resident, neighbor and friend, Drew Bernstein.  His body was discovered on a path in Laurel Canyon, which he had frequented for so many years.  The police determined that he had taken his own life.  He was fifty-one years old. Drew’s passing is too...

A Colorblind Culture

UNITED STATES—In honor of the great teachings of Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I only found it fitting this week to write a column highlighting what Mr. King hoped for one day in America. He was petulant in his message about not judging people by the color of their skin, but by the content of their...

Sherman Oaks Now Home To Yasiel Puig

SHERMAN OAKS—Yasiel Puig Valdés (known simply as Yasiel Puig), a 24-year-old Cuban outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, has reportedly purchased a $1.8 million home in a gated Sherman Oaks community. The two-story, 4,663-square-foot home sits behind tall Palm trees and a privacy wall. At the entrance of the Mediterranean-style residence is a stone-floored domed skylight foyer with a wrought iron...

President Obama Unveils His Agenda

UNITED STATES—The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama held his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 20. There was quite a bit that the President had on his agenda that he wanted to express to Congress and America, with only two more years left on his term. Did we learn anything that we didn’t expect...

Cultural Secret #2 Boys Are Better

LOS ANGELES—Freedom and opportunity led my parents to America. Once they arrived, they built an American Dream upon a foundation of their native cultural beliefs and ideals, loads of love, and a sense of liberal freedom. My mother valued the freedom she never experienced in Lebanon. And yet, she remained tied to her cultural secrets. She firmly believed the...

Cultural Secret #1: What’s My Identity?

What trials face the young Lebanese woman and strapping Irish lad who find themselves in love in the heart of Los Angeles? Born the youngest of four first-generation American children, my siblings and I shared parents with strong, independent cultural values. But in spite of our biracial heritage, my mother's Lebanese values reigned supreme in our upbringing. Cultural clash was commonplace,...

Cultural Secret: Boys Are Better

BEL AIR—Freedom and opportunity led my parents to America. Once they arrived, they built an American Dream upon a foundation of their native cultural beliefs and ideals, loads of love, and a sense of liberal freedom. My mother valued the freedom she never experienced in Lebanon. And yet, she remained tied to her cultural secrets. She firmly believed the...
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