A Belly-Dancer Unlike Others

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At a Manhattan Bridal Garden, Customers Purchase Wedding Gowns for Charity

One bridal store in Manhattan sells designer gowns for half the price. It sounds like a bride’s dream- almost too good be to true.
Reporting by Eleonore Hamelin and Olivia Smith, for The New York Torch.

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Introducing “The New York Torch

Reporting on the ethnic communities of New York.

The New York Torch’s front page on http://newyorktorch.com

Most “RW1” (Reporting and Writing) classes at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism cover  beats. I believe it is one of the best part of our program. It allows every students to face the realities of reporting: we have to “get out there”, talk to people, network, and become modest experts of our beats. This is how journalism should be taught – and exercised.

I have studied at one of the best Journalism Schools in France, L’Ecole de Journalisme de Sciences Poand I also attended Honk Kong University’s Journalism Media and Study Center for a few monthsBoth of these programs were great, but didn’t require the students to cover specific beats.

Now, not only do I have the chance to cover a beat in New York City… Our RW1 class is different from the others. Most of the J-schoolers cover geographical beats: the bronx, brooklyn, any neighborhood. But Goldman’s and Lipton’s (our professors) beats are ethnic communities.
The 18 of us are covering different communities in the City.
As a new comer, I couldn’t enjoy it more. It is impressive to discover New York through its incredible diversity.
I cover the Senegalese community. Being a French native speaker helps – a lot of them do speak a little bit a French in addition to Wolof, Senegal’s most spoken language, and English. It is a great beat, very lively and colorful. When I write a story, I just have to go there, and I always find people to talk to, great characters and great material. They have this incredible community nest, on 116th street, called the Association of the Senegalese of America. The entire street, actually, is known as Little Senegal because of the numerous shops, restaurants and… Senegalese people there!

Long story short, make sure to check out or new website. All the best stories of our class are there.

And I hope you like the design! I drew the headline and the torch by hand.

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The secrets of Sabar Dance

About 50 dancers gathered on the green lawn of Governors Island – children, men, women, beginners and professionals…
…and Eleonore Hamelin reports from this Senegalese SABAR DANCE lesson taught by the choreographer Babakar Mbayé.

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9/11 Interfaith service

A reverend, a rabbi and an imam joined together yesterday at a Harlem church to honor the 9/11 victims on the 10th anniversary of the terror strikes.

The Rev. Nigel Pearce, Rabbi Jo David and Imam Souleimane Konate urged their communities to come together and learn more about each other in a moving ceremony at the Trinity Church on W. 139 St.

“We are one,” Konate told the crowd of around 30 people. “We are in this together.”

The ceremony featured prayers and songs, led by a chorus of six women in yellow silk-robes.

The three religious leaders sat on bar stools in front of the altar as they commented on the burning bush.

“We chose this text from the Book of the Exodus because it exists in a very similar version in the Koran,” said the rabbi, “and it is particularly appropriate to talk about 9/11, because it says the flames destroy everything but they do not destroy God.”

The three religious leaders have all been personally affected by the 9/11 attacks.

Ten years ago, Pearce was a banker who, by his own admission, was primarily driven by the desire to make money.

“It all came crumbling down,” he said. “It made me question this world, God, and my faith.”

Pearce said he was moved by the biographies of some of history’s most decisive figures, namely Martin Luther King and Gandhi.

“I began to see my faith in the eyes of others,” he added, “I gave up Wall Street, and here I am.”

After the terrorist attacks, David had post-traumatic symptoms for years. She said she was ashamed of telling anyone about it until she started blogging a year ago.

“I realized that many Americans were in the same situation: they were sad and depressed, but they hadn’t realize it was due to the Sept. 11 shock,” she said.

Konate, wearing a dark blue robe and a white turban, looked back on the problems Muslims faced after 9/11.

“If your name was Mohamed or Aboubakar, you had big problems,” Konate said.

On Sept. 11, 2001, the imam lost his cousin, a Muslim. But after that date, he said he was “blessed.” He joined the Interfaith center and started spreading the message in temples and churches that the religion of Islam is against terrorism.

“There are Christians, Muslims and Jews everywhere,” Konate said. “If we come together, we will change the world.”

David – also a guest of the Interfaith Center on the Upper West side – said she began to open her world to other religions too.

While she almost only had Jewish friends, she got to meet many Christians and Muslims. She now works with interfaith and multi-cultural couples and families. Her husband – filming the event from the audience – got up and played a poignant clarinet piece.

After a minute of silence, the three leaders said “Amen” to the assembly of Jews, Muslim and a majority of Christians – regulars.

At the end of the service, many of the people in the assembly took pictures of the unusual scene: a reverend, an imam and a rabbi, wearing their own traditional robes and singing “God Bless America.”

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“If you can make [tartines] in New York …”

Stephan is part of the trio of Frenchmen who own the Tartinery Restaurant in Nolita.

Running since march 2010, this French restaurant is specialized in Tartines, open-faced sandwiches.
Their concept? Show an authentic face of the French cuisine. Their dream? Expand to the US, and more.

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