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Sunday Mornings With Rania: Love Wins

Rania Mankarious
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Rania Mankarious

Rania Mankarious is executive director of Crime Stoppers of Houston(Photo: lawellphoto.com)

Doesn’t it seem like the last few weeks have been overwhelmingly sad? We’ve dealt with an active shooter in Houston; the details of a horrific rape at Stanford; the tragic killing of rising star and The Voice alum Christina Grimmie; and woke up last Sunday morning to the devastating news out of Orlando that claimed the lives of 50 and injured 50 more. In between, there were other stories that shook us, hurt us and left us shaking our heads wondering what was going on with our world and our society? 

There is so much we could discuss if we focused on any one of those tragedies but this weekend, Sunday Mornings with Rania isn’t going to do that. Instead, I’m offering doses of purely happy news that reminds us just how much goodness there is in our city, in this world and in humanity. 

Take a look with me and share this uplifting news with others, will you? 

The horrific tragedy in Orlando will never be forgotten, nor will the outpouring of love that has followed. Here’s a snapshot of this outpouring: 

  • A grandmother who lost her grandson at the Pulse nightclub rampage took a free JetBlue flight to be with her family. Knowing the reason for her trip, the flight attendants cared for this grandmother from check-in through the entire flight to landing. Additionally, they quietly asked passengers if they wanted to “sign their names” on a piece of paper in an effort to share love with this grieving woman. By the time the plane landed, that one piece of paper turned into pages and pages and pages of notes, words of encouragement, and messages of peace, love and more. In addition to collecting unsolicited monetary donations, while the plane de-boarded, passenger after passenger stopped at this woman’s feet to share their condolences, cry, offer hugs and prayers. An outpouring of love towards a woman unknown to these passengers that reminds us we are all in this together and at the end of the day, when it really counts, we share each other’s pain. 
  • Vigils took place across the globe in support of Orlando. Our own Mayor Sylvester Turner held a moving and beautiful ceremony in Houston this past week. Hundreds of Houstonians joined along with Houston City Council and other elected officials. 
  • Across the pond, The London Gay Men’s Choir sang a beautiful tribute “We Stand with Orlando” in a busy London square. Thousands took to the streets in peaceful harmony and to join and sing with the choir. 
  • Mavericks Owner and “shark” on popular show Shark Tank Mark Cuban is donating $1 million to fund the Dallas Police Departments presence in the city’s LGBT most populous areas. Working to preemptively thwart violence against each other is one of the best tools we have to keep each other safe. 

Extremists not welcome
This is pretty neat. Next week, tens of thousands of young people from across the Middle East will participate in an online peace conference. The YaLa Young Leaders program, a Facebook group, has grown to approximately 1 million members. At their conference next week, actress Sharon Stone, former NBA Commissioner David Stern, EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini and more than 20 other foreign ministers are scheduled to speak. YaLa’s founder, Uri Savir, says that more and more young people across the Arab world detest extremism and want to work harder towards a simple, peaceful and normal life. Through dialogue and community building, they are taking steps to get there.  

Three friends at a bar stop a rapist with a plan 
About two weeks ago, three women were having drinks at Fig and Fairmont in Santa Monica. Across the bar, they admired a young couple, talking, laughing, and having a great time. It was sweet to see until the young woman got up to use the restroom and her date discretely poured something out of a vial into his date’s drink. Upon returning from the bathroom, the three friends got the attention of the young woman and shared what they saw; they also informed the bartender who called the police.

The young woman went back to her date, ate for a bit but never sipped on her drink despite her date’s repeated coaxing and attempts to “cheers”. When police arrived, to the young man’s dismay, they were able to determine that he did, in fact, drug her drink. He was immediately arrested. 

When police asked where this young woman’s car was she explained that it was at her date’s apartment. “He thought it would be better if we met there and rode back and forth together in his car.” He had a plan (drug her and bring her back to his place) but it was foiled thanks to the three friends and their love for this young woman, totally unknown to them, but valued and worth their efforts to keep safe. After his arrest, other women in the bar came to say thank you and share their personal stories. What a great thing . . . women helping women, people protecting each other, simply because it’s the right thing to do. 

We love our Dads!

And in closing, here’s some information about this special day, Father’s Day. Did you know that Father’s Day is the fourth-largest card-sending holiday with 74 million cards given every year? According to the US Census Bureau estimate gathered around the same time, there were 70 million fathers in the United States. Most recently, we have seen dads adapt to changing times. As of 2015, there were an estimated 199,000 stay-at-home dads, men who make the choice to stay home, care for the house and kids while their spouses work. 

Thank you to all Dads for being there, for loving your families and meaning so much to all of us! Of course, I give a special shout out to my own father, Onsy Makar, and husband, Ramy Mankarious, two men I love more than anything else in the world. 

As you and your loved ones gather together this weekend, take the time to celebrate love, family, life, peace, health, happiness and safety. We have good lives, we are blessed, and we are going to be there for each other. Nothing will ever change that. 

For more information on Crime Stoppers of Houston, go to crime-stoppers.org and follow Crime Stoppers on Facebook. Have topics in mind that you’d like Rania to write about? Email her directly at [email protected]. Read past Sundays with Rania posts here.

Editor's Note: Views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Buzz Magazines.

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