The other side of LA

This week all I have been listening to is Immortal Technique, Jedi Mind Tricks, Lowkey, and Eminem. It's my way of releasing anger. 

There are about 2,500 homeless people on Skid Row every night. 12% of Los Angeles is homeless. These are the times where I can think of nothing to say but Alhumdulilah. 
The other day I was talking to someone from NY about LA vs NY (classic icebreaker) and he said, "LA is so segregated. Theres a place here for every race." He's right. How much you make will decide where you live. Cities like Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Silver Lake, Studio City, South Pasadena are full of white people because they have the highest income. Then we have Central LA and Downtown (on its way to becoming gentrified), East LA, Compton, aka "ghetto areas" full of Latinos and Blacks. And the rest are usually lower middle class mixed in there some where. 
It's a sad reality. This city isn't all glamor and glitz. 

Hello from the other sideeee.... of LA.
Sorry, I can't stop. 

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This is Ali, a muslim who just wanted me to send the message of peace to you all. He said, "God Bless to the world, because the whole world needs peace and blessings not only America." Don't forget to send it back. 

 Blocks and blocks of just this. 

Blocks and blocks of just this. 

 Wings of Africa - Collete Miller

Wings of Africa - Collete Miller

 A lady's pet turtle who travels with her on her bike. 

A lady's pet turtle who travels with her on her bike. 

 A sweet lady who knew quite a bit about islam and politics. 

A sweet lady who knew quite a bit about islam and politics. 

 Robert and Lana's dog. 

Robert and Lana's dog. 

 There's plenty of organizations/people passing out food and water. Lana got this little surprise in one of her bags. 

There's plenty of organizations/people passing out food and water. Lana got this little surprise in one of her bags. 

I was taking picture of the street art below, when a guy sitting with his wife asked me, "do you even know what that says?" I tried reading it but come on... I had no clue. I said no quite awkwardly, and he asked, "well, then why are you taking a picture of it?" (good point) When I  asked him to tell me he said it took him two months to figure it out. It says, Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. 
The couple then invited me to sit with them and offered me food and water. Lana, the wife, a happy, always looking at the bright side type of lady, told me they had been on the streets for 5 months. "The hardest 5 months of their life." When I asked her about drug use on the streets, she said, "I can't say anything because it's hard out here. We do it so it can be a little more bearable." 

I asked her what happens when it rains, and she said well... it rains. Last time their whole tent was flooded. 

Robert, the cautious and collected one told me they use the people on the streets as guinea pigs. People are always coming around and conducting tests, but never coming back to give medicine. We talked about the problems of LA and the rest of the world for some time and when I asked him where do you even begin to change things. He said, "from within."

   “ Blessed are the meek, for they shall  inherit the earth”

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”

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If you would like to do something, there are hundreds of shelters/organizations who can use volunteers daily. Find one you like and donate some of your time. These people are extremely grateful for all the help they get. Spread a little love.

God Bless,
Bukhtawer

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