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Plot: At mid-thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert seeems to have everything that a woman can ever desire: a successful carrer, a loving husband, a beautiful house and wonderful charm and beauty. However, she is not happy with her life. Suffering depression from a recent nasty divorce and disastrous relationship, Liz decides to travel abroad to Italy, India and Indonesia for a year. The memoir is divided into three sections based on the three country she visited. In Italy, she found all the possible worldly pleasure and expressions of beauty with its rich culture of arts, philosophy, languages and cuisine. In India, she found the true expression of happiness and a spiritual relationship with God. In Bali of Indonesia, she finds a balance between enjoying worldly pleasures and spiritual serenity. Through this year of travel, she is able to rediscover and refine her identity.

Why read? With its exotic description of each country and the author’s intriguing experiences, it is hard to believe that it is a non-fiction work. The explicit description of different cultures are very alluring and interesting. Besides, the author also talks about her change of feelings as she learn about how to deal with her life’s ups an downs, which makes you want to laugh and cry with her.

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The UMMA Community Clinic is the first free standing Muslim Free Clinic in America. The mission is to promote the well-being of the underserved by providing access to high quality healthcare for all regardless of ability to pay.

Background

The University Muslim Medical Association was started in 1990 by UCLA graduate and medical students in collaboration with Charles R. Drew University. From the start, the goal of the organization was to establish a free clinic in medically underserved South Central Los Angeles. With the administrative and logistical support of UCLA, Drew School of Medicine and L.A. City Councilperson, Rita Walters, the UMMA secured $1,383,000 in grants to make its vision into a reality.

The clinic, which has been operational since 1996, was established by the UMMA as a vehicle for the Muslim community, as well as people from all backgrounds, to provide community service to the public at large. The organization, which has achieved federal non-profit tax exempt status, works in tandem with a multitude of institutions and organizations to achieve its noble goals.

Ninety-percent of the UMMA Community Clinic’s patients are from a three mile radius around the clinic. The clinic sees an average of 170 patients weekly and has a patient population of nearly 15,000 individuals who have logged about 21,000 visits.

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This story touched me… I hope that it has an effect on you too…

“My mom only had one eye. I hated her… She was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students & teachers to support the family. There was this one day during elementary school and my mom came. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I threw her a hateful look and ran out.

The next day at school: “Your mom only has one eye?!?!”…eeeee said a friend. I wished my mom would just disappear from this world. So I said to my mom, “Mom… Why don’t you have the other eye?! If you’re only gonna make me a laughing stock, why don’t you just die?!!!”

My mom did not respond. I guess I felt a little bad, but at the same time, it felt good to think that I had said what I’d wanted to say all this time. Maybe it was because my mom hadn’t punished me, but I didn’t think that I had hurt her feelings very badly.

That night, I woke up, and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. My mom was crying there, so quietly, as if she was afraid that she might wake me. I took a look at her, and then turned away. Because of the thing I had said to her earlier, there was something pinching at me in the corner of my heart. Even so, I hated my mother who was crying out of her one eye. So I told myself that I would grow up and become successful.

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