PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




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TIPS MEMILIH AC / SPAREPART AC YANG BAIK

Air Conditioner( AC ) Bagi masyarakat Jakarta sepertinya sudah telah menjadi kebutuhan wajib.

Bagaimana tidak,suhu udara yang begitu panas setiap hari telah membuat suasana ruangan menjadi gerah. Apalagi tingkat populasi udara luar ruangan yang begitu tinggi. Kehadiran AC telah menjadi solusi yang tepat untuk kedua problem ini.

Apabila saat anda berencana membeli perangkat AC untuk dirumah,mungkin beberapa tips ini bisa membantu anda :

Pilih AC yang telah mempunyai converter ( sparepart ac sebagai penghemat listrik )

Converter pada AC berfungsi untuk dapat mengatur beban listrik,secara otomatis AC akan dapat mengurangi beban pendinginan tetapi masih dalam posisi menyala (on).Seperti yang kita ketahui daya listrik terbesar pada saat start.

Perhatikan bagian kipasnya

Semakin lebar kipas,semakin kencang angin yang di hembuskan. Selain itu,AC yang telah memiliki sparepart ac yang ber kipas lebar tidak akan memiliki suara berisik. Evapator yang lebar pada AC juga menandakan kipas pada blower External lebih besar. Ini diperlukan untuk keseimbangan kinerja mesin .Dan akan lebih baik lagi bila kipas tersebut bergerigi karena dapat turbulansi menjadi tidak berisik.

Pertimbangan fitur-fitur tambahan yang berguna untuk kesehatan

Saat ini sudah ada AC dengan fitur yang mampu membasmi kuman. Bahkan ada juga yang mampu menyaring debu yang sangat halus termasuk bakteri. Jadi AC tidak lagi hanya menyejukan ruangan,tapi juga menyehatkan.

Sesuaikan dengan interior rumah

Jika anda seseorang yang peduli terhadap interior rumah,maka pilih AC yang mendukung nuansa interior rumah anda.

> TIPS MEMILIH AC / SPAREPART AC YANG BAIK

BAJU UNTUK UMRAH

UMRAH DENGAN PAKAIAN BIASA

Oleh
Al-Lajnah Ad-Daimah Lil Ifta

Pertanyaan
Al-Lajnah Ad-Daimah Lil Ifta ditanya : Saya melaksanakan umrah pada awal Ramadhan tahun ini dan saya mukim di Mekkah selama 15 hari. Lalu saya melaksanakan umrah lagi dengan baju saya dan penutup kepala. Ketika saya pertama kali sampai di Masjidil Haram, saya shalat dua raka'at dengan niat shalat Tahiyatul Masjid, lalu saya thawaf di Ka'bah tujuh kali putaran kemudian shalat dua raka'at di maqam Ibrahim 'Alaihis Salam, lalu sa'i tujuh kali putaran dan kemudian memotong rambut. Apakah yang saya lakukan benar ?

Jawaban
Apa yang anda sebutkan dalam pertanyaan bahwa yang dilakukan dalam umrah adalah suatu yang wajib dari umrah dan anda tidak wajib mengeluarkan sesuatu jika ihram dari miqat yang wajib. Hanya saja shalat dua raka'at yang dilakukan ketika masuk Masjidil Haram adalah menyalahi sunnah bagi orang yang masuk Masjidil Haram (untuk melaksanakan umrah), yaitu memulai dengan thawaf.

Adapun yang anda sebutkan bahwa anda ihram dengan memakai baju, jika yang dimaksudkan itu baju ihram, yaitu kain dan selendang yang telah digunakan dalam umrah sebelum umrah, maka tiada mengapa dalam hal tersebut, karena boleh menggunakannya berulang kali dalam haji atau umrah atau memberikan kepada orang lain untuk digunakan haji dan umrah. Tapi jika yang anda maksudkan bahwa ihram dengan baju biasa yang dipakai selain ketika ihram, maka anda salah dalam hal itu dan anda telah melakukan dua larangan dalam umrah, yaitu memakai pakaian berjahit dan menutup kepala. Jika anda mengetahui bahwa demikian itu tidak boleh, maka wajib dua fidyah, yaitu karena pakaian dan menutup kepala. Dan untuk masing-masing anda boleh menyembelih kambing yang mencukupi syarat kurban, atau memberi makan enam orang miskin masing-masing orang setengah sha' berupa kurma atau yang lain dari makanan pokok suatu daerah, atau puasa tiga hari. Dan kedua kambing atau makanan untuk 12 orang miskin diberikan kepada orang-orang miskin Mekkah dan kamu tidak boleh makan sebagian dari keduanya dan juga tidak boleh anda hadiahkan. Sedangkan untuk berpuasa boleh dilakukan di tempat dan waktu kapanpun.

Namun jika yang anda lakukan tersebut karena tidak mengetahui hukum syar'i atau karena lupa, maka tidak wajib fidyah, hanya harus taubat dan mohon ampun kepada Allah atas dua hal tersebut serta tidak akan mengulangi pekerjaan yang menafikan kewajiban-kewajiban dalam ihram seperti kedua hal tersebut. Kepada Allah kita bermohon taufiq kepada kebenaran. Dan shalawat serta salam kepada Nabi kita Muhammad Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam.

MEMAKAI CELANA KETIKA IHRAM KARENA TIDAK TAHU

Oleh
Syaikh Abdullah bin Abdurrahman Al-Jibrin

Pertanyaan
Syaikh Abdullah bin Abdurrahman Al-Jibrin ditanya : Tahun lalu saya pergi umrah dan saya tidak mengetahui sebagian syarat-syaratnya. Ketika saya ihram dari miqat saya memakai celana pendek dan saya tidak mengetahui hukum masalah ini. Lalu setelah saya kembali, sebagian orang memberitahukan kepada saya bahwa yang saya lakukan tersebut tidak boleh. Dan tahun ini saya umrah lagi ketika saya mengetahui bahwa memakai pakaian berjahit tidak boleh ketika ihram. Apakah saya wajib membayar kifarat sebab masalah tersebut ?

Jawaban
Tidak wajib membayar fidyah karena anda tidak mengetahui hukum tersebut. Sebab seseorang dimaafkan ketika melakukan larangan tersebut karena ketidaktahuan tentang hukum. Sesungguhnya fidyah hanya wajib atas orang yang melakukan hal tersebut jika dia mengetahui dan sengaja melakukannya. Maka anda tidak wajib mengulangi umrah karena tidak melakukan apa yang merusakkan umrah. Jadi umrah anda yang kedua adalah umrah sunnah.

IHRAM DENGAN MEMAKAI CELANA KARENA SENGAJA

Oleh
Syaikh Abdullah bin Abdurrahman Al-Jibrin

Pertanyaan
Syaikh Abdullah bin Abdurrhman Al-JIbrin ditanya : Ketika di miqat saya niat ihram umrah tamattu' kepada haji, tapi saya tidak melepas celana dalam saja. Dan demikian itu disebabkan malu yang menyertai saya pada waktu itu. Sehingga saya melaksanakan umrah dengan memakai celana. Dan ketika saya ihram haji, saya mengerti bahwa saya salah ketika memakai celana dalam ihram. Maka saya melepas celana ketika ihram untuk melaksanakan haji.

Pertanyaannya, apakah saya wajib membayar kifarat karena tidak melepas celana ketika umrah saja, sebab saya melepasnya ketika melakukan haji ? Padahal saat itu saya mengetahui bahwa memakai pakaian berjahit membatalkan ihram, tapi saya melakukan itu karena sangat malu seperti saya sebutkan. Perlu diketahui bahwa umrah dan haji saya tersebut adalah yang pertama kali dan telah saya lakukan beberapa tahun lalu. Mohon penjelasan

Jawaban
Anda wajib membayar fidyah apabila sengaja tetap dalam pakaian tersebut. Sebab anda telah mengetahui bahwa demikian itu termasuk larangan dalam ihram, bukan yang membatalkannya. Adapun fidyahnya adalah puasa tiga hari, atau memberi makan enam orang miskin, atau memotong kambing. Mana saja yang anda lakukan diantara ketiga hal tersebut, maka telah cukup. Tapi menyembelih atau memberikan makan enam orang miskin tersebut harus di Mekkah dan untuk orang-orang miskin tanah haram. Sedangkan berpuasa dapat dilakukan di mana saja. Dan anda tidak berdosa karena terlambat melaksanakan kifarat, hanya saja anda lengah karena bertanya dalam tempo yang lama.

BATASAN PAKAIAN BERJAHIT DALAM IHRAM


Oleh
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz

Pertanyaan
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz ditanya : Apakah batasan pakaian berjahit dan apa hukum memakai celana yang digunakan sekarang ini ketika ihram ?

Jawaban
Tidak boleh bagi orang yang sedang ihram haji atau umrah memakai celana dan lainnya dari pakaian yang berjahit dalam bentuk badan seutuhnya, seperti qamis, atau bagian atas badan saja, seperti kaos dan lain-lain, atau badan bagian bawah seperti celana. Sebab ketika Nabi Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam ditanya tentang pakaian orang yang sedang berihram maka beliau bersabda.

"Artinya : Ia tidak boleh memakai qamis, surban, celana, tudung kepala dan khuf, kecuali orang yang tidak mendapatkan sandal, maka dia boleh memakai khuf (sepatu but). Dan hendaklah dia memotong khuf sampai bawah mata kaki" [Muttafaqun 'alaih dari hadits Ibnu Umar Radhiallahu 'anhu]

Dengan demikian penanya harus mengetahui pakaian berjahit yang dilarang bagi orang yang sedang ihram.

Dari hadits tersebut nampak jelas bahwa yang dimaksud pakaian berjahit adalah setiap pakaian yang dijahit dengan ukuran seluruh badan seperti qamis, atau setengah badan pada bagian atas seperti kaos, atau setengah badan bagian bawah seperti celana. Dari hal tersebut dapat disamakan pakaian yang dijahit atau disulam seukuran tangan seperti kaos tangan, atau seukuran kaki seperti khuf (sepatu but). Tapi orang ihram diperbolehkan memakai khuf jika tidak mendapatkan sandal. Sebab terdapat hadits shahih dari Ibnu Abbas Radhiallahu 'anhu, bahwa ketika Nabi Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam menyampaikan khutbah kepada manusia di Arafah beliau bersabda.

"Artinya : Barangsiapa yang tidak mendapatkan kain maka hendaklah dia memakai celana, dan siapa yang tidak mendapatkan sandal maka hendaklah dai memakai khuf" [Muttafaqun 'alaih]

Dalam hadits ini Nabi Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam tidak menyebutkan perintah memotong khuf, maka menunjukkan tidak wajib memotong khuf. Jadi perintah memotong khuf yang terdapat dalam hadits pertama yang juga diriwayatkan Ibnu Abbas Radhiallahu anhu dihapuskan (mansukh) dengan hadits tersebut.

Demikian itu berkaitan dengan laki-laki. Sedangkan bagi wanita yang ihram, baik ihram haji maupun ihram umrah maka dia boleh memakai celana dan sepatu secara mutlak, tapi dialarang memakai cadar dan kaos tangan. Sebab Nabi Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam melarang dari kedua hal tersebut dalam hadits yang diriwayatkan Ibnu Umar Radhiallahu 'anhu. Namun wanita boleh menutup mukanya dengan selain cadar dan menutup kedua tanganya dengan selain kaos tangan ketika dia di hadapan laki-laki yang bukan mahramnya, seperti dengan kerudung dan lain-lain. Dan Allah adalah Dzat yang memberikan pertolongan kepada kebenaran.

MENCUKUR RAMBUT SETELAH IHRAM KARENA TIDAK TAHU

Oleh
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz

Pertanyaan
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz ditanya : Seseorang telah melakukan ihram umrah. Setelah itu dia ingat bahwa mencukur rambut ketiak wajib ketika ihram lalu dia mencukurnya setelah ihram, kemudian pergi umrah. Mohon penjelasan hukum tentang hal tersebut ?

Jawaban
Mencukur rambut ketiak tidak wajib dalam ihram, demikian pula mencabutnya. Namun menurut sunnah adalah mencabut atau membersihkan rambut ketiak dengan sesuatu yang dapat menghilangkan dari bahan yang suci ketika sebelum ihram. Sebagaimana disunnahkannya memotong kumis, memotong kuku, dan mencukur rambut kemaluan ketika masing-masing telah siap untuk itu ketika sebelum ihram, seperti ketika di rumahnya. Dan demikian itu sudah cukup. Sebab hal-hal tersebut tidak wajib dilakukan ketika ihram, dan bagi orang yang kamu sebutkan itu tidak wajib membayar fidyah karena mencukur rambut ketiaknya disebabkan dia tidak tahu tentang hukum syar'i. Seperti itu juga jika seseorang melakukan sesuatu yang telah kami sebutkan setelah dia ihram karena lupa. Sebab Allah berfirman tentang do'a orang-orang mukmin.

"Artinya : Ya Rabb kami, janganlah Engkau hukum kami jika kami lupa atau kami bersalah" [Al-Baqarah : 286]

Dan dalam hadits hahih disebutkan bahwa Allah mengabulkan do'a tersebut seraya berfirman : "Sunnguh telah Aku lakukan".

MEMOTONG RAMBUT SEBELUM NIAT IHRAM

Oleh
Syaikh Abdullah bin Abdurrahman Al-Jibrin

Pertanyaan
Syaikh Abdullah bin Abdurrahman Al-Jibrin ditanya : Istri saya berihram untuk umrah. Dan sebelum keluar dari kamar mandi dan memakai bajunya dia menggunting rambutnya sedikit. Apa yang wajib dia lakukan ?

Jawaban
Tiada dosa atas dia dalam hal tersebut dan juga tidak wajib membayar fidyah. Sebab yang dilarang memotong rambut adalah setelah niat ihram sedangkan dia belum niat dan belum memakai bajunya. Bahkan seandainya dia melakukan seperti itu ketika dia telah ihram tapi karena tidak tahu atau lupa maka dia tidak wajib membayar fidyah. Wallahu a'lam.

JENIS PAKAIAN WANITA KETIKA IHRAM

Oleh
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz

Pertanyaan
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz ditanya : Apakah wanita boleh ihram dengan pakaian apa saja yang dia kehendaki ?

Jawaban
Ya, wanita berihram dengan pakaian yang dia mau. Sebab bagi wanita tidak ada pakaian khusus ketika ihram sebagai mana anggapan orang-orang awam. Tapi yang utama adalah dia ihram dengan pakaian yang tidak menarik pandangan laki-laki sebab dia bercampur dengan banyak manusia. Maka seyogianya bila wanita ketika ihram memakai pakaian yang wajar dan tidak mengundang fitnah. Adapun bagi laki-laki maka yang utama adalah ihram dengan baju ihram putih, yakni selendang dan kain. Tapi jika tidak ada berwarna putih maka tidak apa-apa. Sebab terdapat riwayat dari Rasulullah Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam bahwa beliau ihram dengan baju hijau. Kesimpulannya, tidak mengapa jika laki-laki ihram dengan pakaian yang tidak berwarna putih.


MASIH DALAM PAKAIAN IHRAM DALAM TEMPO YANG LAMA

Oleh
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz

Pertanyaan
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz ditanya : Saya pergi umrah pada bulan Ramadhan bersama ibu saya. Kami berdua ihram di kapal terbang ketika di atas Bi'r Ali dan turun di Jeddah lalu istirahat. Dan setelah kami berbuka puasa maka kami pergi pada sore harinya ke Mekkah untuk melaksanakan umrah dan kami tidak melepas pakaian ihram hingga selesai umrah. Apakah kami terkena sangsi sebab kami istirahat di Jeddah dalam keadaan berpakaian ihram. Mohon penjelasan, semoga Allah memberikan kepada Anda balasan kebaikan.

Jawaban
Jika kondisi seperti yang anda sebutkan, maka tidak ada kewajiban membayar dam atas anda dan juga ibu. Sebab kalian berdua muqim di Jeddah masih dalam keadaan ihram, dan orang yang sedang ihram tidak wajib menyambung perjalanannya hingga melaksanakan umrah. Bahkan dia boleh istirahat di jalan dan muqim di mana saja yang dia kehendaki untuk melaksanakan kebutuhannya dan dia sedang ihram. Semoga Allah memberikan taufiq kepada semua kaum muslimin.

IHRAM MEMAKAI KAOS KAKI DAN KAOS TANGAN

Oleh
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz

Pertanyaan
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz ditanya : Apa hukum ihram dengan memakai kaos kaki dan kaos tangan ? Dan apa dalilnya tentang hal tersebut ?

Jawaban
Bagi laki-laki ketika ihram tidak boleh memakai kaos kaki dan khuf (sepatu slop) kecuali jika tidak mendapatkan sandal berdasarkan sabda Nabi Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam.

"Artinya : Dan barangsiapa yang tidak mendapatkan sandal, maka dia boleh memakai khuf, dan siapa yang tidak mendapatkan kain, maka dia memakai celana panjang" [Muttafaqun 'Alaih]

Adapun bagi wanita, maka diperbolehkan memakai kaos kaki dan sepatu khuf, karena kaki wanita adalah aurat. Dan jika seorang wanita menjulurkan bajunya hingga menutup kedua kakinya maka cukup baginya dari kaos kaki dan khuf dalam shalat dan yang lainnya. Adapaun kaos tangan maka bagi laki-laki mupun perempuan tidak diperbolehkan memakainya ketika sedang ihram. Sebab Nabi Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam bersabda tentang wanita yang sedang ihram.

"Artinya : Janganlah wanita bercadar, dan janganlah dia memakai kaos tangan" [Hadits Riwayat Bukhari dalam shahihnya]

Jika memakai kaos tangan, maka haram bagi perempuan, lebih-lebih lagi bagi laki-laki. Karena itu Nabi Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam bersabda tentang laki-laki yang meninggal ketika dia sedang ihram.

"Artinya : Mandikanlah dia dengan air dan bidara, kafankan dia dengan dua baju (ihram)nya, jangan kamu berikan dia parfum, dan jangan kamu tutup kepala dan mukanya, sebab dia akan dibangkitkan pada hari kiamat dalam keadaan berihram" [Muttafaqun 'alaih dan redaksinya bagi Muslim]

Adapun sebagai ganti cadar bagi wanita ketika sedang ihram adalah dia dapat menutup wajahnya dengan kerudung dan yang sepertinya ketika dia berhadapan laki-laki. Demikian ini berdasarkan riwayat dari Aisyah Radhiallahu 'anha, ia berkata.

"Artinya : Adalah rombongan laki-laki melewati kami dan kami bersama Rasulullah Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam. Ketika mereka berpapasan dengan kami. setiap orang diantara kami mejulurkan jilbabnya dari kepala ke mukanya, dan jika mereka telah melewati kami, maka kami membukanya" [Hadits Riwayat Abu Dawud dan Ibnu Majah]

CARA MEMAKAI BAJU IHRAM

Oleh
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz

Pertanyaan
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz ditanya : Apakah yang utama bagi orang yang sedang ihram menutup kedua pundaknya ataukah membuka salah satunya ?

Jawaban
Adapun yang sunnah bagi orang yang ihram adalah menjadikan selendang pada kedua pundak dan kedua ujungnya di dada. Ini adalah yang sunnah dan yang dilakukan Nabi Shallahu 'alaihi wa sallam. Maka jika seseorang berihram ingin thawaf qudum, ia menjadikan tengah selendangnya di bawa ketiak kanan dan kedua ujung selendang pada pundaknya yang kiri dan membuka pundaknya yang kanan. Tapi ini khusus dalam thawaf Qudum. Maksudnya ketika pertama datang ke Mekkah untuk haji atau umrah. Lalu ketika telah rampung thawaf Qudum memindahkan selendangnya dan dijadikannya pada kedua pundaknya lalu shalat dua raka'at thawaf. Maka orang yang selalu membuka salah satu pundaknya adalah menyalahi Sunnah Nabi Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam. Demikian pula orang yang membuka dua pundaknya. Sesungguhnya yang sesuai Sunnah Nabi Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam adalah menutupi kedua pundak dengan selendang ketika sedang ihram kecuali dalam thawaf qudum seperti telah disebutkan. Dan jika seseorang meletakkan selendangnya tidak menutup kedua pundaknya pada waktu dia duduk atau ketika makan atau ketika berbincang-bincang bersama kawan-kawannya maka tidak mengapa. Tapi yang sesuai sunnah jika dia memakai selendang maka dengan menutup kedua pundak dan ujung-ujung selendang berada pada dadanya.

MEMAKAI SABUK KETIKA SEDANG IHRAM


Oleh
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz

Pertanyaan
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz ditanya : Apa hukum memakai ikat pinggang bagi orang yang sedang berihram karena untuk menjaga uangnya ? Apakah demikian itu diperbolehkan baginya, ataukah dinilai pakaian yang berjahit yang tidak boleh dipakai ?

Jawaban
Memakai ikat pinggang dan yang sepertinya tidak dilarang bagi orang yang sedang ihram. Demikian pula sapu tangan untuk mengikat kainnya atau untuk menjaga uang dan lain-lain.

GANTI PAKAIAN IHRAM

Oleh
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz

Pertanyaan
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz ditanya : Apakah boleh berganti baju ihram karena di cuci ?

Jawaban
Tidak mengapa bila pakaian ihram di cuci, dan tidak mengapa juga bila berganti pakaian ihram dengan baju ihram yang baru atau baju yang telah di cuci.


MENGOLESKAN PARFUM KE PAKAIAN IHRAM


Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz

Pertanyaan
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz ditanya : Apa hukum mengoleskan parfum kepada baju ihram sebelum niat dan talbiyah ?

Jawaban
Tidak seyogianya mengoleskan parfum pada selendang dan kain ihram, tetapi yang sunnah adalah mengoleskan parfum ke anggota badan, seperti kepala, jenggot, ketiak, dan lain-lain. Adapun pakaian maka tidak boleh diberikan parfum ketika berihram. Sebab Nabi Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam bersabda : "Janganlah (orang yang ihram) memakai baju yang tersentuh za'faran dan kasturi".

Jadi menurut sunnah adalah mengoleskan parfum ke badan saja, sedangkan pakaian ihram tidak boleh diberikan parfum, dan jika diberikan parfum maka tidak boleh dipakai hingga di cuci atau dibersihkan.


TIDAK MAMPU MEMAKAI BAJU IHRAM


Oleh
Syaikh Muhammad bin Shalih Al-Utsaimin

Pertanyaan
Syaikh Muhammad bin Shalih Al-Utsaimin ditanya : Seseorang ingin umrah pada bulan Ramadhan, tapi dia tidak mampu berpakaian ihram sebab dia sakit dan jimpe. Apakah dia dapat umrah dengan bajunya biasa dan wajib membayar kifarat ?

Jawaban
Jika seseorang tidak mampu berpakaian ihram maka dia memakai pakaian lain yang sesuai dan dia wajib membayar kifarat, boleh memotong seekor kambing yang dibagikan kepada orang-orang miskin, atau memberi makan enam orang miskin masing-masing orang miskin setengah sha', atau puasa tiga hari. Demikianlah yang dikatakan ulama karena mengqiyaskan terhadap ketentuan mencukur rambut yang dijelaskan dalam firman Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala.

"Artinya : Dan jangan kamu mencukur kepalamu, sebelum kurban sampai di tempat penyembelihannya. Jika ada di antaramu sakit atau ada ganguan di kepalanya (lalu dia bercukur), maka wajiblah atasnya berfidyah, yaitu ; berpuasa, atau bersedekah, atau berkurban" [ Al-Baqarah : 196]

Nabi Shallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam menjelaskan, bahwa berpuasa adalah tiga hari, dan sedekah adalah memberi makan enam orang miskin masing-masing orang miskin setengah sha', dan berkurban adalah menyembelih kambing.


[Disalin dari buku Fatwa-Fatwa Haji dan Umrah oleh Ulama-Ulama Besar Saudi Arabia, penysusun Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Musnad, terbitan Pustaka Imam Asy-Syafi'i, hal. 123-130, penerjemah H.Asmuni Solihan Zamaksyari Lc.]

Baca Artikel Lainnya : BERSENGGAMA DALAM HAJI, BOLEH KAH?

> BAJU UNTUK UMRAH

HIJAU DAUN SUARA ( KU BERHARAP )

    saco-indonesia.com,

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    Editor : dian sukmawati

 

> HIJAU DAUN SUARA ( KU BERHARAP )

Bila Anda Membersihkan Rumah Sama dengan Berolahraga Satu Jam di Pusat Kebugaran!

Saco-Indonesia.com - Semuanya tidak ada kata sia-sia dari upaya Anda merapikan dan membersihkan rumah, sekecil apapun upaya itu. Meskipun suatu saat rumah Anda akan kembali kotor atau berantakan, ternyata kegiatan membersihkan rumah membuat tubuh sehat dan bugar.

Kontributor apartmenttherapy.com, Alysha Findley mengatakan, hasil studi mengungkapkan bahwa pekerjaan rumah mampu memberikan hasil serupa dengan menghabiskan satu jam berolah raga di pusat kebugaran. Sementara hasil studi lain mengungkapkan, mengubah perspektif Anda mengenai pekerjaan rumah mampu membuat Anda lebih fokus mengerjakannya, dan lebih banyak membakar kalori.

Penelitian tersebut melibatkan satu kelompok yang terdiri dari 84 pekerja hotel. Setengah dari kelompok tersebut diberi tahu bahwa beberapa bagian otot mereka akan terbentuk dan mereka akan membakar beberapa ratus kalori dengan hanya mengerjakan pekerjaan rumah. Setengahnya lagi tidak diberi tahun.

Hasilnya, kelompok yang diberi tahu ternyata memiliki berat badan, tekanan darah, lemak tubuh, rasio pinggang-ke-pinggul, dan indeks massa tubuh lebih rendah. Jadi, tunggu apa lagi, berikut ini beberapa kegiatan dan jumlah kalori yang bisa Anda "bakar"!

Menurut hasil studi yang dipublikasikan dalam apartmenttherapy.com, Calorie Lab, dan dailymail.co.uk, kegiatan membersihkan rumah terdiri dari beberapa jenis. Menyapu, mengepel, membersihkan lampu, dan berbagai kegiatan lainnya, masing-masing mampu membakar sejumlah kalori di tubuh Anda. Misalnya, Anda melakukan kegiatan seperti menyedot debu atau menyapu lantai. Rata-rata, Anda bisa membakar hingga 240 kalori perjam. Anda bisa mendengarkan musik dan gerakkan tubuh Anda sembari melakukan kegiatan ini. Hasil studi mengatakan, orang yang mendengarkan musik akan melakukan kegiatannya dengan lebih cepat.

Menggosok lantai bahkan bisa membuat Anda membakar 325 kalori per jam. Gosoklah lantai sembari berlutut dan kerahkan tenaga Anda.

Naik-turun tangga pun mampu membakar hingga 250 kalori per jam. Namun, sekali lagi, tanamkan di otak Anda bahwa ketika melakukan berbagai hal ini, Anda tengah berolah raga dan bukan melakukan pekerjaan rumah pada umumnya.

Menjaga anak yang tengah bermain, mengikuti permainannya dengan ikut berlari-lari, menggendong, dan mengangkatnya tinggi-tinggi sepuluh kali juga mampu membakar hingga 205 kalori per jam.

Kegiatan memasak mampu membakar 150 kalori per jam. Namun, usahakan Anda memotong, mencacah, mengulek, menumbuk, dan mencampurkan berbagai bahan masakan dengan tangan Anda sendiri. Minimalisir penggunaan alat elektronik untuk hasil lebih maksimal.

Mencuci baju mampu membuat Anda kehilangan 260 kalori per jam. Pastikan Anda menaruh keranjang cucian di lantai agar Anda terus-menerus membungkuk. Sementara itu, mencuci piring pun mampu membuat Anda kehilangan 200 kalori per jam.

Data lebih detil bahkan disediakan oleh Calorie Lab. Menurut Calorie Lab, kegiatan lain, seperti menyajikan makanan (102 kalori/jam), memberi makan binatang peliharaan (102 kalori/jam), membawa belanjaan (442 kalori/jam), menyetrika (88 kalori/jam), membereskan tempat tidur (68 kalori/jam), memindahkan perabot (340 kalori/jam), menyiram tanaman (102 kalori/jam), bahkan merawat orang tua Anda yang sudah sepuh pun mampu membuat Anda kehilangan hingga 204 kalori per jam.

Nah, Anda pilih yang mana?

Sumber :http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/kompas.com
Editor : Maulana Lee
> Bila Anda Membersihkan Rumah Sama dengan Berolahraga Satu Jam di Pusat Kebugaran!

SBY TINJAU PABRIK TAHU DAN RSUD DI SUMEDANG

saco-indonesia.com, Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono pagi ini akan meninjau pabrik pembuatan tahu di Sumedang, Jawa Barat. Dengan didampingi Ibu Negara, Ani Yudhoyono, SBY juga akan meninjau ke lokasi pabrik tahu Palasari pukul 09.00 pagi WIB.

"Peninjauan rencananya akan dilakukan mulai pukul 09.00 pagi WIB ," seperti yang telah tertulis di website www.presidenri.go.id, Senin (3/2).

Selain meninjau pabrik tahu, SBY juga direncanakan akan meninjau RSUD Sumedang. Peninjauan itu untuk dapat melihat langsung penerapan BPJS Kesehatan yang telah diluncurkan.

Rangkaian kegiatan ini juga merupakan kunjungan kerja SBY ke Jawa Barat dan Jawa Tengah. Sejak Minggu pagi (2/2) kemarin , SBY bersama rombongan telah berada di Jatinangor, dan kunker ini akan berlangsung hingga Rabu (4/2) siang.

Berdasarkan situs www.presidenri.go.id, SBY diagendakan menuju kompleks Makam Cut Nyak Dien, Gunung Puyuh, Sumedang Selatan. Kemudian dilanjutkan dengan peninjauan ke PT Sinjaraga Santika Sport.

Sore harinya, SBY juga akan melakukan kunjungan ke Kabupaten Majalengka. SBY juga akan menerima laporan dri Gubernur Jawa Barat Ahmad Heryawan terkait dalam pembangunan megaproyek infrastruktur di antaranya, pembangunan Bandar Udara Internasional Kertajati dan pembangunan jalan Tol Cisumdawu (Cileunyi-Sumedang-Dawuan). Dan juga, Jalan Tol Cikapali (Cikampek-Palimanan).

Usai dalam melakukan kegiatan tersebut, SBY dan Bu Ani juga akan menanam pohon di Alun-alun Majalengka. Kemudian, SBY beserta rombongan menginap dan berkantor di Kuningan Jawa Barat.

Rombongan yang ikut dalam kunker kali ini yakni Menko Perekonomian Hatta Rajasa, Menteri Koperasi dan UKM Syarief Hasan, Mendikbud M Nuh, Menkes Nafsiah Mboi, Menteri PU Djoko Kirmanto, Menko Kesra Agung Laksono, Mensesneg Sudi Silalahi, Wakil Menteri Perindustrian Alex Retraubun dan Dirut Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

> SBY TINJAU PABRIK TAHU DAN RSUD DI SUMEDANG

Suzanne Crough, Actress in ‘The Partridge Family,’ Dies at 52

Ms. Crough played the youngest daughter on the hit ’70s sitcom starring David Cassidy and Shirley Jones.

Suzanne Crough, Actress in ‘The Partridge Family,’ Dies at 52 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Ex-C.I.A. Official Rebuts Republican Claims on Benghazi Attack in ‘The Great War of Our Time’

WASHINGTON — The former deputy director of the C.I.A. asserts in a forthcoming book that Republicans, in their eagerness to politicize the killing of the American ambassador to Libya, repeatedly distorted the agency’s analysis of events. But he also argues that the C.I.A. should get out of the business of providing “talking points” for administration officials in national security events that quickly become partisan, as happened after the Benghazi attack in 2012.

The official, Michael J. Morell, dismisses the allegation that the United States military and C.I.A. officers “were ordered to stand down and not come to the rescue of their comrades,” and he says there is “no evidence” to support the charge that “there was a conspiracy between C.I.A. and the White House to spin the Benghazi story in a way that would protect the political interests of the president and Secretary Clinton,” referring to the secretary of state at the time, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But he also concludes that the White House itself embellished some of the talking points provided by the Central Intelligence Agency and had blocked him from sending an internal study of agency conclusions to Congress.

Photo
 
Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

“I finally did so without asking,” just before leaving government, he writes, and after the White House released internal emails to a committee investigating the State Department’s handling of the issue.

A lengthy congressional investigation remains underway, one that many Republicans hope to use against Mrs. Clinton in the 2016 election cycle.

In parts of the book, “The Great War of Our Time” (Twelve), Mr. Morell praises his C.I.A. colleagues for many successes in stopping terrorist attacks, but he is surprisingly critical of other C.I.A. failings — and those of the National Security Agency.

Soon after Mr. Morell retired in 2013 after 33 years in the agency, President Obama appointed him to a commission reviewing the actions of the National Security Agency after the disclosures of Edward J. Snowden, a former intelligence contractor who released classified documents about the government’s eavesdropping abilities. Mr. Morell writes that he was surprised by what he found.

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“You would have thought that of all the government entities on the planet, the one least vulnerable to such grand theft would have been the N.S.A.,” he writes. “But it turned out that the N.S.A. had left itself vulnerable.”

He concludes that most Wall Street firms had better cybersecurity than the N.S.A. had when Mr. Snowden swept information from its systems in 2013. While he said he found himself “chagrined by how well the N.S.A. was doing” compared with the C.I.A. in stepping up its collection of data on intelligence targets, he also sensed that the N.S.A., which specializes in electronic spying, was operating without considering the implications of its methods.

“The N.S.A. had largely been collecting information because it could, not necessarily in all cases because it should,” he says.

The book is to be released next week.

Mr. Morell was a career analyst who rose through the ranks of the agency, and he ended up in the No. 2 post. He served as President George W. Bush’s personal intelligence briefer in the first months of his presidency — in those days, he could often be spotted at the Starbucks in Waco, Tex., catching up on his reading — and was with him in the schoolhouse in Florida on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the Bush presidency changed in an instant.

Mr. Morell twice took over as acting C.I.A. director, first when Leon E. Panetta was appointed secretary of defense and then when retired Gen. David H. Petraeus resigned over an extramarital affair with his biographer, a relationship that included his handing her classified notes of his time as America’s best-known military commander.

Mr. Morell says he first learned of the affair from Mr. Petraeus only the night before he resigned, and just as the Benghazi events were turning into a political firestorm. While praising Mr. Petraeus, who had told his deputy “I am very lucky” to run the C.I.A., Mr. Morell writes that “the organization did not feel the same way about him.” The former general “created the impression through the tone of his voice and his body language that he did not want people to disagree with him (which was not true in my own interaction with him),” he says.

But it is his account of the Benghazi attacks — and how the C.I.A. was drawn into the debate over whether the Obama White House deliberately distorted its account of the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens — that is bound to attract attention, at least partly because of its relevance to the coming presidential election. The initial assessments that the C.I.A. gave to the White House said demonstrations had preceded the attack. By the time analysts reversed their opinion, Susan E. Rice, now the national security adviser, had made a series of statements on Sunday talk shows describing the initial assessment. The controversy and other comments Ms. Rice made derailed Mr. Obama’s plan to appoint her as secretary of state.

The experience prompted Mr. Morell to write that the C.I.A. should stay out of the business of preparing talking points — especially on issues that are being seized upon for “political purposes.” He is critical of the State Department for not beefing up security in Libya for its diplomats, as the C.I.A., he said, did for its employees.

But he concludes that the assault in which the ambassador was killed took place “with little or no advance planning” and “was not well organized.” He says the attackers “did not appear to be looking for Americans to harm. They appeared intent on looting and conducting some vandalism,” setting fires that killed Mr. Stevens and a security official, Sean Smith.

Mr. Morell paints a picture of an agency that was struggling, largely unsuccessfully, to understand dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa when the Arab Spring broke out in late 2011 in Tunisia. The agency’s analysts failed to see the forces of revolution coming — and then failed again, he writes, when they told Mr. Obama that the uprisings would undercut Al Qaeda by showing there was a democratic pathway to change.

“There is no good explanation for our not being able to see the pressures growing to dangerous levels across the region,” he writes. The agency had again relied too heavily “on a handful of strong leaders in the countries of concern to help us understand what was going on in the Arab street,” he says, and those leaders themselves were clueless.

Moreover, an agency that has always overvalued secretly gathered intelligence and undervalued “open source” material “was not doing enough to mine the wealth of information available through social media,” he writes. “We thought and told policy makers that this outburst of popular revolt would damage Al Qaeda by undermining the group’s narrative,” he writes.

Instead, weak governments in Egypt, and the absence of governance from Libya to Yemen, were “a boon to Islamic extremists across both the Middle East and North Africa.”

Mr. Morell is gentle about most of the politicians he dealt with — he expresses admiration for both Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama, though he accuses former Vice President Dick Cheney of deliberately implying a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq that the C.I.A. had concluded probably did not exist. But when it comes to the events leading up to the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq, he is critical of his own agency.

Mr. Morell concludes that the Bush White House did not have to twist intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s alleged effort to rekindle the country’s work on weapons of mass destruction.

“The view that hard-liners in the Bush administration forced the intelligence community into its position on W.M.D. is just flat wrong,” he writes. “No one pushed. The analysts were already there and they had been there for years, long before Bush came to office.”

Ex-C.I.A. Official Rebuts Republican Claims on Benghazi Attack in ‘The Great War of Our Time’ | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Taiwan party leader affirms eventual reunion with China

BEIJING (AP) — The head of Taiwan's Nationalists reaffirmed the party's support for eventual unification with the mainland when he met Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of continuing rapprochement between the former bitter enemies.

Nationalist Party Chairman Eric Chu, a likely presidential candidate next year, also affirmed Taiwan's desire to join the proposed Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank during the meeting in Beijing. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and doesn't want the island to join using a name that might imply it is an independent country.

Chu's comments during his meeting with Xi were carried live on Hong Kong-based broadcaster Phoenix Television.

The Nationalists were driven to Taiwan by Mao Zedong's Communists during the Chinese civil war in 1949, leading to decades of hostility between the sides. Chu, who took over as party leader in January, is the third Nationalist chairman to visit the mainland and the first since 2009.

Relations between the communist-ruled mainland and the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan began to warm in the 1990s, partly out of their common opposition to Taiwan's formal independence from China, a position advocated by the island's Democratic Progressive Party.

Despite increasingly close economic ties, the prospect of political unification has grown increasingly unpopular on Taiwan, especially with younger voters. Opposition to the Nationalists' pro-China policies was seen as a driver behind heavy local electoral defeats for the party last year that led to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou resigning as party chairman.

Taiwan party leader affirms eventual reunion with China | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

With Iran Talks, a Tangled Path to Ending Syria’s War

UNITED NATIONS — Wearing pinstripes and a pince-nez, Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations envoy for Syria, arrived at the Security Council one Tuesday afternoon in February and announced that President Bashar al-Assad had agreed to halt airstrikes over Aleppo. Would the rebels, Mr. de Mistura suggested, agree to halt their shelling?

What he did not announce, but everyone knew by then, was that the Assad government had begun a military offensive to encircle opposition-held enclaves in Aleppo and that fierce fighting was underway. It would take only a few days for rebel leaders, having pushed back Syrian government forces, to outright reject Mr. de Mistura’s proposed freeze in the fighting, dooming the latest diplomatic overture on Syria.

Diplomacy is often about appearing to be doing something until the time is ripe for a deal to be done.

 

 

Now, with Mr. Assad’s forces having suffered a string of losses on the battlefield and the United States reaching at least a partial rapprochement with Mr. Assad’s main backer, Iran, Mr. de Mistura is changing course. Starting Monday, he is set to hold a series of closed talks in Geneva with the warring sides and their main supporters. Iran will be among them.

In an interview at United Nations headquarters last week, Mr. de Mistura hinted that the changing circumstances, both military and diplomatic, may have prompted various backers of the war to question how much longer the bloodshed could go on.

“Will that have an impact in accelerating the willingness for a political solution? We need to test it,” he said. “The Geneva consultations may be a good umbrella for testing that. It’s an occasion for asking everyone, including the government, if there is any new way that they are looking at a political solution, as they too claim they want.”

He said he would have a better assessment at the end of June, when he expects to wrap up his consultations. That coincides with the deadline for a final agreement in the Iran nuclear talks.

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Whether a nuclear deal with Iran will pave the way for a new opening on peace talks in Syria remains to be seen. Increasingly, though, world leaders are explicitly linking the two, with the European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, suggesting last week that a nuclear agreement could spur Tehran to play “a major but positive role in Syria.”

It could hardly come soon enough. Now in its fifth year, the Syrian war has claimed 220,000 lives, prompted an exodus of more than three million refugees and unleashed jihadist groups across the region. “This conflict is producing a question mark in many — where is it leading and whether this can be sustained,” Mr. de Mistura said.

Part Italian, part Swedish, Mr. de Mistura has worked with the United Nations for more than 40 years, but he is more widely known for his dapper style than for any diplomatic coups. Syria is by far the toughest assignment of his career — indeed, two of the organization’s most seasoned diplomats, Lakhdar Brahimi and Kofi Annan, tried to do the job and gave up — and critics have wondered aloud whether Mr. de Mistura is up to the task.

He served as a United Nations envoy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and before that in Lebanon, where a former minister recalled, with some scorn, that he spent many hours sunbathing at a private club in the hills above Beirut. Those who know him say he has a taste for fine suits and can sometimes speak too soon and too much, just as they point to his diplomatic missteps and hyperbole.

They cite, for instance, a news conference in October, when he raised the specter of Srebrenica, where thousands of Muslims were massacred in 1995 during the Balkans war, in warning that the Syrian border town of Kobani could fall to the Islamic State. In February, he was photographed at a party in Damascus, the Syrian capital, celebrating the anniversary of the Iranian revolution just as Syrian forces, aided by Iran, were pummeling rebel-held suburbs of Damascus; critics seized on that as evidence of his coziness with the government.

Mouin Rabbani, who served briefly as the head of Mr. de Mistura’s political affairs unit and has since emerged as one of his most outspoken critics, said Mr. de Mistura did not have the background necessary for the job. “This isn’t someone well known for his political vision or political imagination, and his closest confidants lack the requisite knowledge and experience,” Mr. Rabbani said.

As a deputy foreign minister in the Italian government, Mr. de Mistura was tasked in 2012 with freeing two Italian marines detained in India for shooting at Indian fishermen. He made 19 trips to India, to little effect. One marine was allowed to return to Italy for medical reasons; the other remains in India.

He said he initially turned down the Syria job when the United Nations secretary general approached him last August, only to change his mind the next day, after a sleepless, guilt-ridden night.

Mr. de Mistura compared his role in Syria to that of a doctor faced with a terminally ill patient. His goal in brokering a freeze in the fighting, he said, was to alleviate suffering. He settled on Aleppo as the location for its “fame,” he said, a decision that some questioned, considering that Aleppo was far trickier than the many other lesser-known towns where activists had negotiated temporary local cease-fires.

“Everybody, at least in Europe, are very familiar with the value of Aleppo,” Mr. de Mistura said. “So I was using that as an icebreaker.”

The cease-fire negotiations, to which he had devoted six months, fell apart quickly because of the government’s military offensive in Aleppo the very day of his announcement at the Security Council. Privately, United Nations diplomats said Mr. de Mistura had been manipulated. To this, Mr. de Mistura said only that he was “disappointed and concerned.”

Tarek Fares, a former rebel fighter, said after a recent visit to Aleppo that no Syrian would admit publicly to supporting Mr. de Mistura’s cease-fire proposal. “If anyone said they went to a de Mistura meeting in Gaziantep, they would be arrested,” is how he put it, referring to the Turkish city where negotiations between the two sides were held.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remains staunchly behind Mr. de Mistura’s efforts. His defenders point out that he is at the center of one of the world’s toughest diplomatic problems, charged with mediating a conflict in which two of the world’s most powerful nations — Russia, which supports Mr. Assad, and the United States, which has called for his ouster — remain deadlocked.

R. Nicholas Burns, a former State Department official who now teaches at Harvard, credited Mr. de Mistura for trying to negotiate a cease-fire even when the chances of success were exceedingly small — and the chances of a political deal even smaller. For his efforts to work, Professor Burns argued, the world powers will first have to come to an agreement of their own.

“He needs the help of outside powers,” he said. “It starts with backers of Assad. That’s Russia and Iran. De Mistura is there, waiting.”

With Iran Talks, a Tangled Path to Ending Syria’s War | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, Dies at 64

Ms. Pryor, who served more than two decades in the State Department, was the author of well-regarded biographies of the founder of the American Red Cross and the Confederate commander.

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, Dies at 64 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Ben E. King, Soulful Singer of ‘Stand by Me,’ Dies at 76

Mr. King sang for the Drifters and found success as a solo performer with hits like “Spanish Harlem.”

Ben E. King, Soulful Singer of ‘Stand by Me,’ Dies at 76 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Maya Plisetskaya, Ballerina Who Embodied Bolshoi, Dies at 89

Ms. Plisetskaya, renowned for her fluidity of movement, expressive acting and willful personality, danced on the Bolshoi stage well into her 60s, but her life was shadowed by Stalinism.

Maya Plisetskaya, Ballerina Who Embodied Bolshoi, Dies at 89 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters

Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.

Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.

Many of them were, at least, at one elite consulting firm studied by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. It’s impossible to know if what she learned at that unidentified consulting firm applies across the world of work more broadly. But her research, published in the academic journal Organization Science, offers a way to understand how the professional world differs between men and women, and some of the ways a hard-charging culture that emphasizes long hours above all can make some companies worse off.

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Credit Peter Arkle

Ms. Reid interviewed more than 100 people in the American offices of a global consulting firm and had access to performance reviews and internal human resources documents. At the firm there was a strong culture around long hours and responding to clients promptly.

“When the client needs me to be somewhere, I just have to be there,” said one of the consultants Ms. Reid interviewed. “And if you can’t be there, it’s probably because you’ve got another client meeting at the same time. You know it’s tough to say I can’t be there because my son had a Cub Scout meeting.”

Some people fully embraced this culture and put in the long hours, and they tended to be top performers. Others openly pushed back against it, insisting upon lighter and more flexible work hours, or less travel; they were punished in their performance reviews.

The third group is most interesting. Some 31 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women whose records Ms. Reid examined managed to achieve the benefits of a more moderate work schedule without explicitly asking for it.

They made an effort to line up clients who were local, reducing the need for travel. When they skipped work to spend time with their children or spouse, they didn’t call attention to it. One team on which several members had small children agreed among themselves to cover for one another so that everyone could have more flexible hours.

A male junior manager described working to have repeat consulting engagements with a company near enough to his home that he could take care of it with day trips. “I try to head out by 5, get home at 5:30, have dinner, play with my daughter,” he said, adding that he generally kept weekend work down to two hours of catching up on email.

Despite the limited hours, he said: “I know what clients are expecting. So I deliver above that.” He received a high performance review and a promotion.

What is fascinating about the firm Ms. Reid studied is that these people, who in her terminology were “passing” as workaholics, received performance reviews that were as strong as their hyper-ambitious colleagues. For people who were good at faking it, there was no real damage done by their lighter workloads.

It calls to mind the episode of “Seinfeld” in which George Costanza leaves his car in the parking lot at Yankee Stadium, where he works, and gets a promotion because his boss sees the car and thinks he is getting to work earlier and staying later than anyone else. (The strategy goes awry for him, and is not recommended for any aspiring partners in a consulting firm.)

A second finding is that women, particularly those with young children, were much more likely to request greater flexibility through more formal means, such as returning from maternity leave with an explicitly reduced schedule. Men who requested a paternity leave seemed to be punished come review time, and so may have felt more need to take time to spend with their families through those unofficial methods.

The result of this is easy to see: Those specifically requesting a lighter workload, who were disproportionately women, suffered in their performance reviews; those who took a lighter workload more discreetly didn’t suffer. The maxim of “ask forgiveness, not permission” seemed to apply.

It would be dangerous to extrapolate too much from a study at one firm, but Ms. Reid said in an interview that since publishing a summary of her research in Harvard Business Review she has heard from people in a variety of industries describing the same dynamic.

High-octane professional service firms are that way for a reason, and no one would doubt that insane hours and lots of travel can be necessary if you’re a lawyer on the verge of a big trial, an accountant right before tax day or an investment banker advising on a huge merger.

But the fact that the consultants who quietly lightened their workload did just as well in their performance reviews as those who were truly working 80 or more hours a week suggests that in normal times, heavy workloads may be more about signaling devotion to a firm than really being more productive. The person working 80 hours isn’t necessarily serving clients any better than the person working 50.

In other words, maybe the real problem isn’t men faking greater devotion to their jobs. Maybe it’s that too many companies reward the wrong things, favoring the illusion of extraordinary effort over actual productivity.

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Review: ‘Frontline’ Looks at Missteps During the Ebola Outbreak

Frontline  An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.
Frontline

Frontline An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.

The program traces the outbreak to its origin, thought to be a tree full of bats in Guinea.

Review: ‘9-Man’ Is More Than a Game for Chinese-Americans

A variation of volleyball with nine men on each side is profiled Tuesday night on the World Channel in an absorbing documentary called “9-Man.”

Television

‘Hard Earned’ Documents the Plight of the Working Poor

“Hard Earned,” an Al Jazeera America series, follows five working-class families scrambling to stay ahead on limited incomes.

Review: ‘Frontline’ Looks at Missteps During the Ebola Outbreak | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

From T Magazine: Street Lit’s Power Couple

THE WRITERS ASHLEY AND JAQUAVIS COLEMAN know the value of a good curtain-raiser. The couple have co-authored dozens of novels, and they like to start them with a bang: a headlong action sequence, a blast of violence or sex that rocks readers back on their heels. But the Colemans concede they would be hard-pressed to dream up anything more gripping than their own real-life opening scene.

In the summer of 2001, JaQuavis Coleman was a 16-year-old foster child in Flint, Mich., the former auto-manufacturing mecca that had devolved, in the wake of General Motors’ plant closures, into one of the country’s most dangerous cities, with a decimated economy and a violent crime rate more than three times the national average. When JaQuavis was 8, social services had removed him from his mother’s home. He spent years bouncing between foster families. At 16, JaQuavis was also a businessman: a crack dealer with a network of street-corner peddlers in his employ.

One day that summer, JaQuavis met a fellow dealer in a parking lot on Flint’s west side. He was there to make a bulk sale of a quarter-brick, or “nine-piece” — a nine-ounce parcel of cocaine, with a street value of about $11,000. In the middle of the transaction, JaQuavis heard the telltale chirp of a walkie-talkie. His customer, he now realized, was an undercover policeman. JaQuavis jumped into his car and spun out onto the road, with two unmarked police cars in pursuit. He didn’t want to get into a high-speed chase, so he whipped his car into a church parking lot and made a run for it, darting into an alleyway behind a row of small houses, where he tossed the quarter-brick into some bushes. When JaQuavis reached the small residential street on the other side of the houses, he was greeted by the police, who handcuffed him and went to search behind the houses where, they told him, they were certain he had ditched the drugs. JaQuavis had been dealing since he was 12, had amassed more than $100,000 and had never been arrested. Now, he thought: It’s over.

But when the police looked in the bushes, they couldn’t find any cocaine. They interrogated JaQuavis, who denied having ever possessed or sold drugs. They combed the backyard alley some more. After an hour of fruitless efforts, the police were forced to unlock the handcuffs and release their suspect.

JaQuavis was baffled by the turn of events until the next day, when he received a phone call. The previous afternoon, a 15-year-old girl had been sitting in her home on the west side of Flint when she heard sirens. She looked out of the window of her bedroom, and watched a young man throw a package in the bushes behind her house. She recognized him. He was a high school classmate — a handsome, charismatic boy whom she had admired from afar. The girl crept outside and grabbed the bundle, which she hid in her basement. “I have something that belongs to you,” Ashley Snell told JaQuavis Coleman when she reached him by phone. “You wanna come over here and pick it up?”

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Three of the nearly 50 works of urban fiction published by the Colemans over the last decade, often featuring drug deals, violence, sex and a brash kind of feminism.Credit Marko Metzinger

In the Colemans’ first novel, “Dirty Money” (2005), they told a version of this story. The outline was the same: the drug deal gone bad, the dope chucked in the bushes, the fateful phone call. To the extent that the authors took poetic license, it was to tone down the meet-cute improbability of the true-life events. In “Dirty Money,” the girl, Anari, and the crack dealer, Maurice, circle each other warily for a year or so before coupling up. But the facts of Ashley and JaQuavis’s romance outstripped pulp fiction. They fell in love more or less at first sight, moved into their own apartment while still in high school and were married in 2008. “We were together from the day we met,” Ashley says. “I don’t think we’ve spent more than a week apart in total over the past 14 years.”

That partnership turned out to be creative and entrepreneurial as well as romantic. Over the past decade, the Colemans have published nearly 50 books, sometimes as solo writers, sometimes under pseudonyms, but usually as collaborators with a byline that has become a trusted brand: “Ashley & JaQuavis.” They are marquee stars of urban fiction, or street lit, a genre whose inner-city settings and lurid mix of crime, sex and sensationalism have earned it comparisons to gangsta rap. The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned. Street lit is subject to a kind of triple snobbery: scorned by literati who look down on genre fiction generally, ignored by a white publishing establishment that remains largely indifferent to black books and disparaged by African-American intellectuals for poor writing, coarse values and trafficking in racial stereotypes.

But if a certain kind of cultural prestige is shut off to the Colemans, they have reaped other rewards. They’ve built a large and loyal fan base, which gobbles up the new Ashley & JaQuavis titles that arrive every few months. Many of those books are sold at street-corner stands and other off-the-grid venues in African-American neighborhoods, a literary gray market that doesn’t register a blip on best-seller tallies. Yet the Colemans’ most popular series now regularly crack the trade fiction best-seller lists of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. For years, the pair had no literary agent; they sold hundreds of thousands of books without banking a penny in royalties. Still, they have earned millions of dollars, almost exclusively from cash-for-manuscript deals negotiated directly with independent publishing houses. In short, though little known outside of the world of urban fiction, the Colemans are one of America’s most successful literary couples, a distinction they’ve achieved, they insist, because of their work’s gritty authenticity and their devotion to a primal literary virtue: the power of the ripping yarn.

“When you read our books, you’re gonna realize: ‘Ashley & JaQuavis are storytellers,’ ” says Ashley. “Our tales will get your heart pounding.”

THE COLEMANS’ HOME BASE — the cottage from which they operate their cottage industry — is a spacious four-bedroom house in a genteel suburb about 35 miles north of downtown Detroit. The house is plush, but when I visited this past winter, it was sparsely appointed. The couple had just recently moved in, and had only had time to fully furnish the bedroom of their 4-year-old son, Quaye.

In conversation, Ashley and JaQuavis exude both modesty and bravado: gratitude for their good fortune and bootstrappers’ pride in having made their own luck. They talk a lot about their time in the trenches, the years they spent as a drug dealer and “ride-or-die girl” tandem. In Flint they learned to “grind hard.” Writing, they say, is merely a more elevated kind of grind.

“Instead of hitting the block like we used to, we hit the laptops,” says Ashley. “I know what every word is worth. So while I’m writing, I’m like: ‘Okay, there’s a hundred dollars. There’s a thousand dollars. There’s five thousand dollars.’ ”

They maintain a rigorous regimen. They each try to write 5,000 words per day, five days a week. The writers stagger their shifts: JaQuavis goes to bed at 7 p.m. and wakes up early, around 3 or 4 in the morning, to work while his wife and child sleep. Ashley writes during the day, often in libraries or at Starbucks.

They divide the labor in other ways. Chapters are divvied up more or less equally, with tasks assigned according to individual strengths. (JaQuavis typically handles character development. Ashley loves writing murder scenes.) The results are stitched together, with no editorial interference from one author in the other’s text. The real work, they contend, is the brainstorming. The Colemans spend weeks mapping out their plot-driven books — long conversations that turn into elaborate diagrams on dry-erase boards. “JaQuavis and I are so close, it makes the process real easy,” says Ashley. “Sometimes when I’m thinking of something, a plot point, he’ll say it out loud, and I’m like: ‘Wait — did I say that?’ ”

Their collaboration developed by accident, and on the fly. Both were bookish teenagers. Ashley read lots of Judy Blume and John Grisham; JaQuavis liked Shakespeare, Richard Wright and “Atlas Shrugged.” (Their first official date was at a Borders bookstore, where Ashley bought “The Coldest Winter Ever,” the Sister Souljah novel often credited with kick-starting the contemporary street-lit movement.) In 2003, Ashley, then 17, was forced to terminate an ectopic pregnancy. She was bedridden for three weeks, and to provide distraction and boost her spirits, JaQuavis challenged his girlfriend to a writing contest. “She just wasn’t talking. She was laying in bed. I said, ‘You know what? I bet you I could write a better book than you.’ My wife is real competitive. So I said, ‘Yo, all right, $500 bet.’ And I saw her eyes spark, like, ‘What?! You can’t write no better book than me!’ So I wrote about three chapters. She wrote about three chapters. Two days later, we switched.”

The result, hammered out in a few days, would become “Dirty Money.” Two years later, when Ashley and JaQuavis were students at Ferris State University in Western Michigan, they sold the manuscript to Urban Books, a street-lit imprint founded by the best-selling author Carl Weber. At the time, JaQuavis was still making his living selling drugs. When Ashley got the phone call informing her that their book had been bought, she assumed they’d hit it big, and flushed more than $10,000 worth of cocaine down the toilet. Their advance was a mere $4,000.

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The roots of street lit, found in the midcentury detective novels of Chester Himes and the ‘60s and ‘70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines.Credit Marko Metzinger

Those advances would soon increase, eventually reaching five and six figures. The Colemans built their career, JaQuavis says, in a manner that made sense to him as a veteran dope peddler: by flooding the street with product. From the start, they were prolific, churning out books at a rate of four or five a year. Their novels made their way into stores; the now-defunct chain Waldenbooks, which had stores in urban areas typically bypassed by booksellers, was a major engine of the street-lit market. But Ashley and JaQuavis took advantage of distribution channels established by pioneering urban fiction authors such as Teri Woods and Vickie Stringer, and a network of street-corner tables, magazine stands, corner shops and bodegas. Like rappers who establish their bona fides with gray-market mixtapes, street-lit authors use this system to circumnavigate industry gatekeepers, bringing their work straight to the genre’s core readership. But urban fiction has other aficionados, in less likely places. “Our books are so popular in the prison system,” JaQuavis says. “We’re banned in certain penitentiaries. Inmates fight over the books — there are incidents, you know? I have loved ones in jail, and they’re like: ‘Yo, your books can’t come in here. It’s against the rules.’ ”

The appeal of the Colemans’ work is not hard to fathom. The books are formulaic and taut; they deliver the expected goods efficiently and exuberantly. The titles telegraph the contents: “Diary of a Street Diva,” “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” “Murderville.” The novels serve up a stream of explicit sex and violence in a slangy, tangy, profane voice. In Ashley & JaQuavis’s books people don’t get killed: they get “popped,” “laid out,” get their “cap twisted back.” The smut is constant, with emphasis on the earthy, sticky, olfactory particulars. Romance novel clichés — shuddering orgasms, heroic carnal feats, superlative sexual skill sets — are rendered in the Colemans’ punchy patois.

Subtlety, in other words, isn’t Ashley & JaQuavis’s forte. But their books do have a grainy specificity. In “The Cartel” (2008), the first novel in the Colemans’ best-selling saga of a Miami drug syndicate, they catch the sights and smells of a crack workshop in a housing project: the nostril-stinging scent of cocaine and baking soda bubbling on stovetops; the teams of women, stripped naked except for hospital masks so they can’t pilfer the merchandise, “cutting up the cooked coke on the round wood table.” The subject matter is dark, but the Colemans’ tone is not quite noir. Even in the grimmest scenes, the mood is high-spirited, with the writers palpably relishing the lewd and gory details: the bodies writhing in boudoirs and crumpling under volleys of bullets, the geysers of blood and other bodily fluids.

The luridness of street lit has made it a flashpoint, inciting controversy reminiscent of the hip-hop culture wars of the 1980s and ’90s. But the street-lit debate touches deeper historical roots, reviving decades-old arguments in black literary circles about the mandate to uplift the race and present wholesome images of African-Americans. In 1928, W. E. B. Du Bois slammed the “licentiousness” of “Home to Harlem,” Claude McKay’s rollicking novel of Harlem nightlife. McKay’s book, Du Bois wrote, “for the most part nauseates me, and after the dirtier parts of its filth I feel distinctly like taking a bath.” Similar sentiments have greeted 21st-century street lit. In a 2006 New York Times Op-Ed essay, the journalist and author Nick Chiles decried “the sexualization and degradation of black fiction.” African-American bookstores, Chiles complained, are “overrun with novels that . . . appeal exclusively to our most prurient natures — as if these nasty books were pairing off back in the stockrooms like little paperback rabbits and churning out even more graphic offspring that make Ralph Ellison books cringe into a dusty corner.”

Copulating paperbacks aside, it’s clear that the street-lit debate is about more than literature, touching on questions of paternalism versus populism, and on middle-class anxieties about the black underclass. “It’s part and parcel of black elites’ efforts to define not only a literary tradition, but a racial politics,” said Kinohi Nishikawa, an assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University. “There has always been a sense that because African-Americans’ opportunities to represent themselves are so limited in the first place, any hint of criminality or salaciousness would necessarily be a knock on the entire racial politics. One of the pressing debates about African-American literature today is: If we can’t include writers like Ashley & JaQuavis, to what extent is the foundation of our thinking about black literature faulty? Is it just a literature for elites? Or can it be inclusive, bringing urban fiction under the purview of our umbrella term ‘African-American literature’?”

Defenders of street lit note that the genre has a pedigree: a tradition of black pulp fiction that stretches from Chester Himes, the midcentury author of hardboiled Harlem detective stories, to the 1960s and ’70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, to the current wave of urban fiction authors. Others argue for street lit as a social good, noting that it attracts a large audience that might otherwise never read at all. Scholars like Nishikawa link street lit to recent studies showing increased reading among African-Americans. A 2014 Pew Research Center report found that a greater percentage of black Americans are book readers than whites or Latinos.

For their part, the Colemans place their work in the broader black literary tradition. “You have Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, James Baldwin — all of these traditional black writers, who wrote about the struggles of racism, injustice, inequality,” says Ashley. “We’re writing about the struggle as it happens now. It’s just a different struggle. I’m telling my story. I’m telling the struggle of a black girl from Flint, Michigan, who grew up on welfare.”

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The Colemans in their new four-bedroom house in the northern suburbs of Detroit.Credit Courtesy of Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman

Perhaps there is a high-minded case to be made for street lit. But the virtues of Ashley & JaQuavis’s work are more basic. Their novels do lack literary polish. The writing is not graceful; there are passages of clunky exposition and sex scenes that induce guffaws and eye rolls. But the pleasure quotient is high. The books flaunt a garish brand of feminism, with women characters cast not just as vixens, but also as gangsters — cold-blooded killers, “murder mamas.” The stories are exceptionally well-plotted. “The Cartel” opens by introducing its hero, the crime boss Carter Diamond; on page 9, a gunshot spatters Diamond’s brain across the interior of a police cruiser. The book then flashes back seven years and begins to hurtle forward again — a bullet train, whizzing readers through shifting alliances, romantic entanglements and betrayals, kidnappings, shootouts with Haitian and Dominican gangsters, and a cliffhanger closing scene that leaves the novel’s heroine tied to a chair in a basement, gruesomely tortured to the edge of death. Ashley & JaQuavis’s books are not Ralph Ellison, certainly, but they build up quite a head of steam. They move.

The Colemans are moving themselves these days. They recently signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press, which will bring out the next installment in the “Cartel” series as well as new solo series by both writers. The St. Martin’s deal is both lucrative and legitimizing — a validation of Ashley and JaQuavis’s work by one of publishing’s most venerable houses. The Colemans’ ambitions have grown, as well. A recent trilogy, “Murderville,” tackles human trafficking and the blood-diamond industry in West Africa, with storylines that sweep from Sierra Leone to Mexico to Los Angeles. Increasingly, Ashley & JaQuavis are leaning on research — traveling to far-flung settings and hitting the books in the libraries — and spending less time mining their own rough-and-tumble past.

But Flint remains a source of inspiration. One evening not long ago, JaQuavis led me on a tour of his hometown: a popular roadside bar; the parking lot where he met the undercover cop for the ill-fated drug deal; Ashley’s old house, the site of his almost-arrest. He took me to a ramshackle vehicle repair shop on Flint’s west side, where he worked as a kid, washing cars. He showed me a bathroom at the rear of the garage, where, at age 12, he sneaked away to inspect the first “boulder” of crack that he ever sold. A spray-painted sign on the garage wall, which JaQuavis remembered from his time at the car wash, offered words of warning:

WHAT EVERY YOUNG MAN SHOULD KNOW
ABOUT USING A GUN:
MURDER . . . 30 Years
ARMED ROBBERY . . . 15 Years
ASSAULT . . . 15 Years
RAPE . . . 20 Years
POSSESSION . . . 5 Years
JACKING . . . 20 YEARS

“We still love Flint, Michigan,” JaQuavis says. “It’s so seedy, so treacherous. But there’s some heart in this city. This is where it all started, selling books out the box. In the days when we would get those little $40,000 advances, they’d send us a couple boxes of books for free. We would hit the streets to sell our books, right out of the car trunk. It was a hustle. It still is.”

One old neighborhood asset that the Colemans have not shaken off is swagger. “My wife is the best female writer in the game,” JaQuavis told me. “I believe I’m the best male writer in the game. I’m sleeping next to the best writer in the world. And she’s doing the same.”

 
From T Magazine: Street Lit’s Power Couple | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Advertisement Politics Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues

As he reflected on the festering wounds deepened by race and grievance that have been on painful display in America’s cities lately, President Obama on Monday found himself thinking about a young man he had just met named Malachi.

A few minutes before, in a closed-door round-table discussion at Lehman College in the Bronx, Mr. Obama had asked a group of black and Hispanic students from disadvantaged backgrounds what could be done to help them reach their goals. Several talked about counseling and guidance programs.

“Malachi, he just talked about — we should talk about love,” Mr. Obama told a crowd afterward, drifting away from his prepared remarks. “Because Malachi and I shared the fact that our dad wasn’t around and that sometimes we wondered why he wasn’t around and what had happened. But really, that’s what this comes down to is: Do we love these kids?”

Many presidents have governed during times of racial tension, but Mr. Obama is the first to see in the mirror a face that looks like those on the other side of history’s ledger. While his first term was consumed with the economy, war and health care, his second keeps coming back to the societal divide that was not bridged by his election. A president who eschewed focusing on race now seems to have found his voice again as he thinks about how to use his remaining time in office and beyond.

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Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

At an event announcing the creation of a nonprofit focusing on young minority men, President Obama talked about the underlying reasons for recent protests in Baltimore and other cities.

By Associated Press on Publish Date May 4, 2015. Photo by Stephen Crowley/The New York Times.

In the aftermath of racially charged unrest in places like Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and New York, Mr. Obama came to the Bronx on Monday for the announcement of a new nonprofit organization that is being spun off from his White House initiative called My Brother’s Keeper. Staked by more than $80 million in commitments from corporations and other donors, the new group, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, will in effect provide the nucleus for Mr. Obama’s post-presidency, which will begin in January 2017.

“This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency but for the rest of my life,” Mr. Obama said. “And the reason is simple,” he added. Referring to some of the youths he had just met, he said: “We see ourselves in these young men. I grew up without a dad. I grew up lost sometimes and adrift, not having a sense of a clear path. The only difference between me and a lot of other young men in this neighborhood and all across the country is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving.”

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Organizers said the new alliance already had financial pledges from companies like American Express, Deloitte, Discovery Communications and News Corporation. The money will be used to help companies address obstacles facing young black and Hispanic men, provide grants to programs for disadvantaged youths, and help communities aid their populations.

Joe Echevarria, a former chief executive of Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, will lead the alliance, and among those on its leadership team or advisory group are executives at PepsiCo, News Corporation, Sprint, BET and Prudential Group Insurance; former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell; Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey; former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; the music star John Legend; the retired athletes Alonzo Mourning, Jerome Bettis and Shaquille O’Neal; and the mayors of Indianapolis, Sacramento and Philadelphia.

The alliance, while nominally independent of the White House, may face some of the same questions confronting former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she begins another presidential campaign. Some of those donating to the alliance may have interests in government action, and skeptics may wonder whether they are trying to curry favor with the president by contributing.

“The Obama administration will have no role in deciding how donations are screened and what criteria they’ll set at the alliance for donor policies, because it’s an entirely separate entity,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Air Force One en route to New York. But he added, “I’m confident that the members of the board are well aware of the president’s commitment to transparency.”

The alliance was in the works before the disturbances last week after the death of Freddie Gray, the black man who suffered fatal injuries while in police custody in Baltimore, but it reflected the evolution of Mr. Obama’s presidency. For him, in a way, it is coming back to issues that animated him as a young community organizer and politician. It was his own struggle with race and identity, captured in his youthful memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” that stood him apart from other presidential aspirants.

But that was a side of him that he kept largely to himself through the first years of his presidency while he focused on other priorities like turning the economy around, expanding government-subsidized health care and avoiding electoral land mines en route to re-election.

After securing a second term, Mr. Obama appeared more emboldened. Just a month after his 2013 inauguration, he talked passionately about opportunity and race with a group of teenage boys in Chicago, a moment aides point to as perhaps the first time he had spoken about these issues in such a personal, powerful way as president. A few months later, he publicly lamented the death of Trayvon Martin, a black Florida teenager, saying that “could have been me 35 years ago.”

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President Obama on Monday with Darinel Montero, a student at Bronx International High School who introduced him before remarks at Lehman College in the Bronx. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

That case, along with public ruptures of anger over police shootings in Ferguson and elsewhere, have pushed the issue of race and law enforcement onto the public agenda. Aides said they imagined that with his presidency in its final stages, Mr. Obama might be thinking more about what comes next and causes he can advance as a private citizen.

That is not to say that his public discussion of these issues has been universally welcomed. Some conservatives said he had made matters worse by seeming in their view to blame police officers in some of the disputed cases.

“President Obama, when he was elected, could have been a unifying leader,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican candidate for president, said at a forum last week. “He has made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions.”

On the other side of the ideological spectrum, some liberal African-American activists have complained that Mr. Obama has not done enough to help downtrodden communities. While he is speaking out more, these critics argue, he has hardly used the power of the presidency to make the sort of radical change they say is necessary.

The line Mr. Obama has tried to straddle has been a serrated one. He condemns police brutality as he defends most officers as honorable. He condemns “criminals and thugs” who looted in Baltimore while expressing empathy with those trapped in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness.

In the Bronx on Monday, Mr. Obama bemoaned the death of Brian Moore, a plainclothes New York police officer who had died earlier in the day after being shot in the head Saturday on a Queens street. Most police officers are “good and honest and fair and care deeply about their communities,” even as they put their lives on the line, Mr. Obama said.

“Which is why in addressing the issues in Baltimore or Ferguson or New York, the point I made was that if we’re just looking at policing, we’re looking at it too narrowly,” he added. “If we ask the police to simply contain and control problems that we ourselves have been unwilling to invest and solve, that’s not fair to the communities, it’s not fair to the police.”

Moreover, if society writes off some people, he said, “that’s not the kind of country I want to live in; that’s not what America is about.”

His message to young men like Malachi Hernandez, who attends Boston Latin Academy in Massachusetts, is not to give up.

“I want you to know you matter,” he said. “You matter to us.”

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Ghostly Voices From Thomas Edison’s Dolls Can Now Be Heard

Though Robin and Joan Rolfs owned two rare talking dolls manufactured by Thomas Edison’s phonograph company in 1890, they did not dare play the wax cylinder records tucked inside each one.

The Rolfses, longtime collectors of Edison phonographs, knew that if they turned the cranks on the dolls’ backs, the steel phonograph needle might damage or destroy the grooves of the hollow, ring-shaped cylinder. And so for years, the dolls sat side by side inside a display cabinet, bearers of a message from the dawn of sound recording that nobody could hear.

In 1890, Edison’s dolls were a flop; production lasted only six weeks. Children found them difficult to operate and more scary than cuddly. The recordings inside, which featured snippets of nursery rhymes, wore out quickly.

Yet sound historians say the cylinders were the first entertainment records ever made, and the young girls hired to recite the rhymes were the world’s first recording artists.

Year after year, the Rolfses asked experts if there might be a safe way to play the recordings. Then a government laboratory developed a method to play fragile records without touching them.

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The technique relies on a microscope to create images of the grooves in exquisite detail. A computer approximates — with great accuracy — the sounds that would have been created by a needle moving through those grooves.

In 2014, the technology was made available for the first time outside the laboratory.

“The fear all along is that we don’t want to damage these records. We don’t want to put a stylus on them,” said Jerry Fabris, the curator of the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, N.J. “Now we have the technology to play them safely.”

Last month, the Historical Park posted online three never-before-heard Edison doll recordings, including the two from the Rolfses’ collection. “There are probably more out there, and we’re hoping people will now get them digitized,” Mr. Fabris said.

The technology, which is known as Irene (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.), was developed by the particle physicist Carl Haber and the engineer Earl Cornell at Lawrence Berkeley. Irene extracts sound from cylinder and disk records. It can also reconstruct audio from recordings so badly damaged they were deemed unplayable.

“We are now hearing sounds from history that I did not expect to hear in my lifetime,” Mr. Fabris said.

The Rolfses said they were not sure what to expect in August when they carefully packed their two Edison doll cylinders, still attached to their motors, and drove from their home in Hortonville, Wis., to the National Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass. The center had recently acquired Irene technology.

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Cylinders carry sound in a spiral groove cut by a phonograph recording needle that vibrates up and down, creating a surface made of tiny hills and valleys. In the Irene set-up, a microscope perched above the shaft takes thousands of high-resolution images of small sections of the grooves.

Stitched together, the images provide a topographic map of the cylinder’s surface, charting changes in depth as small as one five-hundredth the thickness of a human hair. Pitch, volume and timbre are all encoded in the hills and valleys and the speed at which the record is played.

At the conservation center, the preservation specialist Mason Vander Lugt attached one of the cylinders to the end of a rotating shaft. Huddled around a computer screen, the Rolfses first saw the wiggly waveform generated by Irene. Then came the digital audio. The words were at first indistinct, but as Mr. Lugt filtered out more of the noise, the rhyme became clearer.

“That was the Eureka moment,” Mr. Rolfs said.

In 1890, a girl in Edison’s laboratory had recited:

There was a little girl,

And she had a little curl

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Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good,

She was very, very good.

But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Recently, the conservation center turned up another surprise.

In 2010, the Woody Guthrie Foundation received 18 oversize phonograph disks from an anonymous donor. No one knew if any of the dirt-stained recordings featured Guthrie, but Tiffany Colannino, then the foundation’s archivist, had stored them unplayed until she heard about Irene.

Last fall, the center extracted audio from one of the records, labeled “Jam Session 9” and emailed the digital file to Ms. Colannino.

“I was just sitting in my dining room, and the next thing I know, I’m hearing Woody,” she said. In between solo performances of “Ladies Auxiliary,” “Jesus Christ,” and “Dead or Alive,” Guthrie tells jokes, offers some back story, and makes the audience laugh. “It is quintessential Guthrie,” Ms. Colannino said.

The Rolfses’ dolls are back in the display cabinet in Wisconsin. But with audio stored on several computers, they now have a permanent voice.

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