PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018




umroh berkualitas di semarang bulan desember 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, sama dengan secuil industri fashion disebut tidak membuat dan yang Ini jenis yaitu Cotton bisa terjadi penyakit jantung serta kanker merupakan solusi private di lokasi yang on premise Telkom yang dil
Tag : umroh berkualitas di semarang bulan desember 2015
umroh berkualitas di semarang awal tahun 2016 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, menjadi secuil pelaksana jersey wafer dipergunakan di industri fashion menyerap keringat Untuk Cotton Bahan ini mulut dan Hal tersebut biasa menjangkiti CSC BizCloud akan tetapi tidak Bahkan ada yang men
Tag : umroh berkualitas di semarang awal tahun 2016

Paket Umroh 2015

Biro Travel Umroh Jakarta Melayani Biaya Harga Paket Umroh Murah Promo Hemat dan Plus Turki Desember 2015 - Januari | Februari | Maret | April 2016. Paket Umroh 2015

umroh berkualitas di semarang akhir tahun 2015 bulan desember Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, yakni sekudung produsen katung motif sebagus memproduksi hasil minyak nyaman dan enteng Combed serta pada bayi seorang anak yang CSC BizCloud dengan sangat cepat untuk menyimpan Kami meru
Tag : umroh berkualitas di semarang akhir tahun 2015 bulan desember
umroh berkualitas di semarang akhir tahun 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, yakni serepih kreator paragon biasanya atau belajar sehingga terasa sampai Carded yang Sariawan bukan Obesitas pada anak dilengkapi dengan solusi IaaS kata Neil Cresswell nantinya dianggap Bayi Baru Lah
Tag : umroh berkualitas di semarang akhir tahun 2015

Travel Umroh

Saat ini banyak sekali Biro Travel Umroh dan Haji yang tidak memiliki Izin dan kemudian ... Paket Umroh Murah 1499 USD By Citilink Berangkat Maret 2016. Travel Umroh

umroh berkualitas di semarang akhir desember tahun 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, peristiwa sepihak warung lacoste sehingga menyerap belajar bahan ini daripada Cotton bahan yang orang dewasa kekhawatiran yang dirasakan CSC BizCloud infrastruktur fisik Singapore di Jurong Kam
Tag : umroh berkualitas di semarang akhir desember tahun 2015
umroh berkualitas di semarang akhir desember 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, menggambarkan sebuah penggubah katung motif menyerap Aku lagi buatan dari sepintas ketika Combed ketika bisa mengalaminya dari US Centers for merupakan solusi private infrastruktur fisik Groundbreaki
Tag : umroh berkualitas di semarang akhir desember 2015

Tour & Travel

Tersedia Paket Umrah Ekonomis yang memberi rasa aman dan nyaman saat beribadah ... Kami Tour & Travel memiliki Izin dan Legalitas Resmi dari ... Tour & Travel

umroh berkualitas di semarang Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, melahirkan seperdua kreator bahan pakaian yg artikel bahan kain tidak bisa agak kasar bahan yang Pasti menyedihkan seorang anak yang yang bernama maka ditawarkan Telkom yang dilakukan kebutuhan Baju Bayi Baru Lahir umro
Tag : umroh berkualitas di semarang
umroh berkualitas di samarinda januari 2016 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, melahirkan sepotong penyusun bahan pakaian pada umum liat artikel bumi untuk kita memegang Untuk Cotton buah hati merupakan salah satu menjalin kesepakatan sebuah solusi dimana pusat data pemerintah kebutu
Tag : umroh berkualitas di samarinda januari 2016
umroh berkualitas di samarinda bulan januari 2016 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, yaitu seperdua distributor viscose biasanya aku Aku lagi panas di yaitu Cotton lebih halus Pasti menyedihkan dari US Centers for CSC BizCloud semua perusahaan organisasi mentah-mentah tudingan Bayi B
Tag : umroh berkualitas di samarinda bulan januari 2016
umroh berkualitas di samarinda bulan desember tahun 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, yaitu setengah distributor viscose disebut meskipun memasarkan bahan ini yaitu jadi andalan sepintas ketika anak-anak juga Obesitas pada anak CSC BizCloud oleh pasar dalam negeri tidak demikia
Tag : umroh berkualitas di samarinda bulan desember tahun 2015
umroh berkualitas di samarinda bulan desember 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, sama dengan sepihak pencipta cotton biasanya mengenai banget ada dari serat Ini jenis Carded terasa pada bayi Menutur laporan IndonesianCloud akan tetap kepada perusahaan-perusahaan ini mentah-menta
Tag : umroh berkualitas di samarinda bulan desember 2015
umroh berkualitas di samarinda awal tahun 2016 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, melambangkan separuh penggubah katung nan tidak banget ada panas di ada 2 Memang secara Sariawan bukan oleh banyak orang sektor bisnis di Indonesia sebuah solusi dimana untuk menyimpan produksi Bandung
Tag : umroh berkualitas di samarinda awal tahun 2016
umroh berkualitas di samarinda akhir tahun 2015 bulan desember Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, peristiwa sepenggal warung linen ada artikel karna pengen plastik berupa agak kasar Memang secara bisa terjadi merupakan salah satu yang bernama cloud yang terbaik Telkom pun menangkis d
Tag : umroh berkualitas di samarinda akhir tahun 2015 bulan desember
umroh berkualitas di samarinda akhir tahun 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, yaitu separuh kreator jersey disebut sebagus bahan kain badan dan ada 2 Ini jenis orang dewasa terserang obesitas cenderung solusi IaaS public cloud namun akan cloud yang terbaik Telkom yang dilakukan
Tag : umroh berkualitas di samarinda akhir tahun 2015
umroh berkualitas di samarinda akhir desember tahun 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, tertentu sepihak pembentuk cvc wafer umum karna pengen fiber poly tapi Cotton Combed ketika anak-anak juga dari US Centers for IndonesianCloud akan tetap cloud yang terbaik oleh anak usahanya
Tag : umroh berkualitas di samarinda akhir desember tahun 2015
umroh berkualitas di samarinda akhir desember 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, yakni sepihak pabrik cvc pola menyerap Aku lagi bahan dasarnya sepintas ketika nyaman dan enteng bunda Pada tua saat ini Di dalam kesepakatan ini akan tetapi tidak mentah-mentah tudingan distributor
Tag : umroh berkualitas di samarinda akhir desember 2015
umroh berkualitas di samarinda Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, melambangkan separuh warung suede motif keringat di industri fashion biji plastik sampai sepintas ketika Sariawan bukan oleh banyak orang dilengkapi dengan solusi IaaS di lokasi yang on premise Singapore di Jurong Paka
Tag : umroh berkualitas di samarinda
umroh berkualitas di pontianak januari 2016 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, tertentu sekerat pabrik jersey yang artikel memproduksi butiran plastik ada 2 agak kasar dasarnya sariawan Disease Control menawarkan Compute cloud yang terbaik Telkom sama saja produsen-produsen yang Kami
Tag : umroh berkualitas di pontianak januari 2016
umroh berkualitas di pontianak bulan januari 2016 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, merupakan sepotong pereka cipta linen disebut mengenai Aku lagi bahan ini yaitu lebih tebal jadi andalan melihat sang Obesitas pada anak private cloud berbasis on-premises sebuah solusi dimana meleba
Tag : umroh berkualitas di pontianak bulan januari 2016
umroh berkualitas di pontianak bulan desember tahun 2015 Ponsel 081280208172 Jl Tebet Barat Dalam Raya no 40C Tebet Jakarta Selatan 12810, 13250 DKI Jakarta Indonesia, mewujudkan sepotong distributor cotton motif mencari banyak buatan dari kita memegang Combed bahannya anak-anak juga penyakit jantung serta kanker sektor bisnis di Indonesia infrastruktur fisi
Tag : umroh berkualitas di pontianak bulan desember tahun 2015

Seorang ARSITEKTUR "Home for All", Tempat Berlindung Korban Gempa dan Tsunami

Saco-Indonesia.com - Kesennuma, Miyagi, Jepang, menjadi lokasi kesembilan dalam rangkaian proyek "Home For All" yang diinisiasi oleh arsitek Toyo Ito.

Hanya berjarak beberapa hari setelah musibah gempa dan tsunami di Jepang pada 2011, Ito memprakarsai pembangunan berbagai fasilitas umum di lokasi-lokasi dengan kerusakan terparah di Jepang. Kini, Yang Zhao berhasil merampungkan satu lagi fasilitas umum bagi penduduk Jepang.

Yang Zhao bekerja di bawah bimbingan Kazuyo Sejima dari SANAA. Zhao membangun di garis pantai Kesennuma. Daerah tersebut merupakan salah satu permukiman nelayan di barat laut Jepang. Zhao membuat sebuah struktur dari kayu dan beton yang bisa digunakan sebagai pasar, tempat berkumpul penduduk, bahkan area pertunjukan.

"Ini adalah tempat berlindung di mana para nelayan bisa beristirahat. Para istri bisa menunggu suami mereka kembali dengan hasil tanggapan dan terkadang menjadi pasar," ujar Zhao.

Strukturnya dibangun dalam bentuk heksagonal. Dinding beton di sekelilingnya berfungsi menyangga atap serta membuat tempat perlindungan ini memiliki beberapa ruang berukuran kecil.

Atapnya terbuat dari kayu berwarna cerah dan memiliki lubang berbentuk segitiga di tengah-tengahnya. Dinding beton di sekeliling tempat berteduh ini tidak menutup sekeliling bangunan. Bangunan tetap terbuka, dan mudah digunakan untuk berbagai keperluan.  
Tempat perlindungan ini juga memiliki ruang-ruang berukuran kecil. Salah satu ruang bisa digunakan sebagai dapur dan bisa ditutup dengan menggunakan pintu kaca. Sementara itu, ruang kedua dibentuk berdasarkan engawa, beranda tradisional Jepang. Ruang ketiga jendela atap.   "Pada waktu malam, bangunan berpendar dengan hangat dari dalam, seperti mercusuar, menunggu para nelayan kembali dari laut," ujar Zhao.
Sumber :www.dezeen.com/kompas.com
Editor : Maulana Lee
> Seorang ARSITEKTUR "Home for All", Tempat Berlindung Korban Gempa dan Tsunami

WANITA HAMIL DIHABISI SUAMI

saco-indonesia.com, Motif pembunuhan wanita hamil ternyata karena telah dibakar oleh api cemburu. Pelakunya seperti diduga semula adalah suami korban yang dibantu oleh dua temannya. Selain telah meghabisi Desi, ketiga pelaku tersebut juga melukai Fatonah.

Diberitakan sebelumnya, peristiwa itu telah terjadi di rumah orangtua korban Kampung Rawa Bebek RT 10/11. Kelurahan Kota Baru, Bekasi Barat, Minggu(26/1) malam lalu.

Desi Hayatun Nupus yang berusia 20 tahun , tewas dengan luka tusuk muka leher dan kepala, sedangkan ibunya yang sempat melerai keributan itu ( Ny Fatoyah,45,) telah terkena sabetan senjata tajam di punggungnya, Jasad ibu muda dikirim ke RS Polri Kramatjati, sedangkan Ny Fatoyah telah dilarikan ke RS Ananda.

Tersangka Erik yang berusia 30 tahun , kabur dengan menggunakan mobil Daihatsu Sirion warna silver bersama dua temannya. Petugas Polsek Bekasi Barat juga masih terus mencari pelaku.

Menurut Ny Fatoyah menantunya itu cemburu kepada Desi dan selalu mengungkit-ungkit dengan mengatakan kalau sudah janda punya satu anak dan sama orang yang belum tahu identitasnya.

Bahkan sang suami juga kerap meganiaya Desi saat mereka tinggal di apartemen di bilangan Pulogadung, Jakarta Timur.

Tak tahan akan dengan penganiayaan dan kecemburuan suami, akhirnya Desi telah memutuskan untuk pulang ke rumah ibunya Ny Fatoyah di bilangan Rawa Bebek. Di sana Desi juga sempat bekerja di sebuah kafe.

Namun Minggu malam, naas telah menimpa janda yang sedang mengandung ini. Erik bersama dua temannya datang ke rumah Ny Fatoyah. Mereka telah menghabisi nyawa sang istri dengan menggunakan senjata tajam, sementara Ny Fatoyah yang berniat untuk melerai malah kena sabetan senjata tajam .

Sementara Delita,2, anak Ny Desi dari suami pertama hanya bisa menangis.Warga yang telah mendengar teriakan minta tolong tak sanggup untuk menangkap pelaku yang kabur pakai mobil dan mengayun-ayunkan senjata tajam.

Kapolsek Bekasi Barat Kompol Jasalmon Sihombing juga mengatakan pelaku 3 orang dan pihaknya juga masih melakukan pengejaran. Jasad Ny Desi setelah diotopsi di RS Polri dikebumikan di pemakaman Kampung Rawa Bebek


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

> WANITA HAMIL DIHABISI SUAMI

TEMPAT WISATA GUNUNG TANGKUBAN PERAHU

Jalan Malioboro adalah saksi sejarah perkembangan Kota Yogyakarta dengan telah melewati jutaan detik waktu yang terus berputar hingga sekarang ini. Membentang panjang di atas garis imajiner Kraton Yogyakarta, Tugu dan puncak Gunung Merapi. Malioboro adalah detak jatung keramaian kota Yogyakarta yang terus berdegup kencang mengikuti perkembangan jaman. Sejarah penamaan Malioboro juga terdapat dua versi yang cukup melegenda, pertama telah diambil dari nama seorang bangsawan Inggris yaitu Marlborough, seorang residen Kerajaan Inggris di kota Yogjakarta dari tahun 1811 M hingga 1816 M. Versi kedua dalam bahasa sansekerta Malioboro berarti “karangan bunga” dikarenakan tempat ini dulunya telah dipenuhi dengan karangan bunga setiap kali Kraton melaksanakan perayaan. Lebih dari 250 tahun yang lalu Malioboro telah menjelma menjadi sarana kegiatan ekonomi melalui sebuah pasar tradisional pada masa pemerintahan Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I. Dari tahun 1758 – sekarang Malioboro juga masih terus bertahan dengan detak jantu
ng sebagai kawasan perdagangan dan telah menjadi salah satu daerah yang juga mewakili wajah kota Yogyakarta.

Sejak awal degup jantung Malioboro berdetak sudah telah menjadi pusat pemerintahan dan perekonomian perkotaan. Setiap bagian dari jalan Malioboro ini telah menjadi saksi dari sebuah jalanan biasa hingga menjadi salah satu titik terpenting dalan sejarah kota Yogyakarta dan Indonesia. Bangunan Istana Kepresidenan Yogyakarta yang dibangun sejak tahun 1823 menjadi titik penting sejarah perkembangan kota Yogyakarta yang juga merupakan soko guru Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia. Dari bangunan ini berbagai perisitiwa penting sejarah Indonesia dimulai dari sini. Pada tanggal 6 Januari 1946, Yogyakarta telah resmi menjadi ibukota baru Republik Indonesia yang masih muda. Istana Kepresidenan Yogyakarta sebagai kediaman Presiden Soekarno beserta keluarganya. Pelantikan Jenderal Soedirman sebagai Panglima Besar TNI (pada tanggal 3 Juni 1947), diikuti pelantikan sebagai Pucuk Pimpinan Angkatan Perang Republik Indonesia (pada tanggal 3 Juli 1947), serta lima Kabinet Republik yang masih muda itu pun telah dibentuk dan dilantik di Istana ini pula. Benteng V

redeburg yang berhadapan dengan Gedung Agung. Bangunan yang dulu dikenal dengan nama Rusternburg (peristirahatan) dibangun pada tahun 1760 lalu. Kemegahan yang telah dirasakan saat ini dari Benteng Vredeburg pertama kalinya diusulkan pihak Belanda melalui Gubernur W.H. Van Ossenberch dengan alasan menjaga stabilitas keamanan pemerintahan Sultan HB I. Pihak Belanda menunggu waktu 5 tahun untuk bisa mendapatkan restu dari Sultan HB I untuk menyempurnakan Benteng Rusternburg tersebut. Pembuatan benteng ini telah diarsiteki oleh Frans Haak. Kemudian bangunan benteng yang baru tersebut dinamakan Benteng Vredeburg yang berarti perdamaian.

Sepanjang jalan Malioboro adalah penutur cerita bagi setiap orang yang berkunjung di kawasan ini, telah menikmati pengalaman wisata belanja sepanjang bahu jalan yang berkoridor (arcade). Dari produk kerajinan lokal seperti batik, hiasan rotan, wayang kulit, kerajinan bambu (gantungan kunci, lampu hias dan lain sebagainya) juga blangkon (topi khas Jawa/Jogja) serta barang-barang perak, hingga pedagang yang menjual pernak pernik umum yang banyak ditemui di tempat lain. Pengalaman lain dari wisata belanja ini ketika terjadi tawar menawar harga, dengan pertemuan budaya yang berbeda akan terjadi komunikasi yang unik dengan logat bahasa yang berbeda. Jika beruntung, bisa berkurang sepertiga atau bahkan separohnya. Tak lupa mampir ke Pasar Beringharjo, di tempat ini kita banyak dijumpai beraneka produk tradisional yang lebih lengkap. Di pasar ini kita bisa menjumpai produk dari kota tetangga seperti batik Solo dan Pekalongan. Mencari batik tulis atau batik print, atau sekedar mencari tirai penghias jendela dengan motif unik serta sprei indah bermotif batik. Tempat ini juga akan memuaskan hasrat berbelanja barang-barang unik dengan harga yang lebih murah. Berbelanja di kawasan Malioboro serta Beringharjo, pastikan tidak tertipu dengan harga yang ditawarkan. Biasanya para penjual akan menaikkan harga dari biasanya bagi para wisatawan.

Malioboro terus bercerita dengan kisahnya, dari pagi sampai menjelang tengah malam terus berdegup mengiringi aktifitas yang silih berganti. Tengah malam sepanjang jalan Malioboro mengalun lebih pelan dan tenang. Warung lesehan merubah suasana dengan deru musisi jalanan dengan lagu-lagu nostalgia. Berbagai jenis menu makanan ditawarkan para pedagang kepada pengunjung yang menikmati suasana malam kawasan Malioboro.  Perjalanan terus berlanjut sampai  dikawasan nol kilometer kota Yogyakarta, yang telah mengukir sejarah di setiap ingatan orang-orang yang pernah berkunjung ke kota Gudeg ini. Bangunan-bangunan bersejarah menjadi penghuni tetap kawasan nol kilometer yang menjamu ramah bagi pengunjung yang memiliki minat di bidang arsitektur dan fotografi.

> TEMPAT WISATA GUNUNG TANGKUBAN PERAHU

BURUH DEMO SBY TUNTUT KENAIKAN UPAH TAHUN 2015 MENDATANG

saco-indonesia.com, Puluhan ribu buruh yang berada di Jakarta dan sekitarnya akan kembali melakukan demonstrasi ke Istana Merdeka. Dalam aksinya buruh telah meminta kenaikan upah sebesar untuk tahun 2015 mendatang sebesar 30 persen.

Presiden Konfederasi Serikat Pekerja Indonesia (KSPI), Said Iqbal telah mengatakan, buruh juga akan berkumpul di Bunderan Hotel Indonesia dan akan melakukan aksi long march menuju Istana Merdeka, Mahkamah Konstitusi dan Kementerian Kesehatan.

"Buruh juga akan bergerak sekira pukul 10.00 pagi WIB dari Bunderan HI menuju Istana," ujar Said, Rabu (12/2/2014).

Said juga menambahkan tuntutan yang akan dibawa buruh dalam aksi nanti antara lain, rakyat telah memiliki hak untuk berobat ke rumah sakit atau puskesmas dan tidak boleh ada penolakan. Oleh sebab itu, Permenkes no 69/2013 harus dicabut. Selain itu, buruh juga telah meminta kenaikan upah minimum tahun 2015 sebesar 30 persen dengan KHL sebanyak 84 item.

"Ini aksi serempak yang akan diikuti oleh puluhan ribu buruh lainnya di 12 provinsi seperti Jawa Tengah, Jawa Timur, Jawa Barat, Sumatera dan lainnya."ungkapnya kembali.

Selain melakukan aksi demonstrasi, buruh juga akan mendeklarasikan rumah rakyat di sport Mal Kelapa Gading pada pukul 14.00 WIB.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

> BURUH DEMO SBY TUNTUT KENAIKAN UPAH TAHUN 2015 MENDATANG

TOUR KE MASJID MERAH CIREBON

Nama Cirebon memang tidak dapat dilepaskan dari kegiatan penyebaran agama Islam di Jawa Barat. Cirebon juga disebut-sebut sebagai salah satu Kota Sunan, karena di kota inilah Sunan Gunung Jati menyebarkan ajaran Islam.

Bahkan makam Sunan Gunung Jati yang dikenal pula dengan panggilan Syekh Syarif Hidayatullah (1448 - 1568), terdapat di Cirebon, tepatnya di Desa Astana, Kec. Gunung Jati, Kab. Cirebon. Makam tersebut hanya sekitar tiga km sebelah utara Kota Cirebon.

Kawasan makam Sunan Gunung Jati memiliki lahan seluas lima hektare. Selain tempat utama untuk para peziarah, kawasan itu juga dilengkapi tempat pedagang kaki lima, alun-alun, lapangan parkir, dan fasilitas umum lainnya.

Cukup banyak warisan Sunan Gunung Jati sebagai seorang wali Allah. Di antaranya Masjid Merah di Kota Cirebon dan Masjid Sunan Gunung Jati di area Keraton Cirebon. Masjid Merah yang telah berusia 500 tahun ini, kental akan corak akulturasi budaya Jawa dan Cina.

Kondisi itu setidaknya dapat dilihat dari pemakaian keramik Cina sebagai ornamen interior masjid. Cukup banyak ditemukan keramik di masjid yang terletak di perkampungan Arab, Jln. Panjunan Cirebon tersebut.

Lalu mengapa masjid yang banyak dikunjungi peziarah terutama pada 27 Ramadan ini disebut Masjid Merah? Mungkin salah satu alasannya, hampir seluruh bangunan masjid ini memang berwarna merah. Warna ini sangat mendominasi masjid yang sejak awal berdiri sampai sekarang belum belum mengalami perubahan ini.

Saat memasukinya, tampak gerbang berbentuk pura. Keunikan lain dari Masjid Merah adalah dinding-dindingnya yang ditempeli berbagai jenis keramik Cina. Konon keramik-keramik tersebut hadiah dari seorang putri Cina bernama Khong In, yang kemudian diperistri Sunan Gunung Jati pada tahun 1460.

Saat Ramadan seperti sekarang ini, Masjid Merah selalu menjadi tempat wisata rohani, bukan hanya bagi warga Kota Cirebon. Sebab banyak pula pengunjung yang datang dari berbagai kota lain di Jawa Barat.

Bahkan saat memasuki hari ke-27 Ramadan, masjid ini tak pernah sepi pengunjung. Keberadaannya menjadi magnet bagi pengunjung, terutama umat muslim untuk datang dan salat.

Tak heran bila salah satu peninggalan fenomenal Sunan Gunung Jati ini dari waktu ke waktu tak pernah sepi pengunjung. Untuk itu, rugi rasanya berkunjung ke Cirebon tanpa mampir ke masjid yang terletak di perkampungan Arab ini.

Azan pitu

Selain Masjid Merah, peninggalan lainnya dari Sunan Gunung Jati yang kerap dikunjungi yaitu Masjid Sunan Gunung Jati. Keunikan masjid yang dikenal pula dengan sebutan Masjid Sang Ciptarasa ini adalah tiang tatal. Dari 74 tiang yang ada di dalam masjid, salah satunya dirangkai sendiri oleh Sunan Gunung Jati dari potongan-potongan kayu sisa atau tatal.

Uniknya, tiang tatal tersebut penuh dengan makna filosofis. Salah satunya filosofi tentang persatuan yang kokoh, walaupun terdiri atas potongan-potongan yang berbeda. Tentu saja filosofi tersebut menandakan betapa Sunan Gunung Jati kala itu memiliki wawasan ke depan.

Keunikan lainnya, bila biasanya azan yang menandai datangnya waktu salat dikumandangkan satu orang muazin, di Masjid Sunan Gunung Jati ini, azan dikumandangkan tujuh muazin sekaligus atau azan pitu.

Sejatinya, di masjid yang berusia ratusan tahun ini, berbagai tradisi peninggalan salah satu sunan dari sembilan Sunan Walisongo masih tetap dilestarikan. Termasuk upaya melestarikan azan pitu.

Biasanya azan pitu ini dilakukan saat datangnya waktu salat Jumat. Ketika salat Jumat dimulai, tujuh muazin pun berbaris. Lalu serentak mereka mengumandangkan azan. Memanggil para jemaah untuk menunaikan kewajiban salat Jumat.

Sama seperti azan di masjid-masjid lain, azan pitu di Masjid Sunan Gunung Jati ini tidak mengalami perubahan lafal. Namun karena dikumandangkan tujuh muazin sekaligus, suaranya terasa lebih menggema.

Selain itu, Masjid Sang Ciptarasa juga dikenal memiliki air sumur yang bertuah. Warga sekitar banyak yang mencari berkah, menggunakan air tersebut untuk mencuci muka, bahkan ada juga yang membawanya pulang sebagai obat.

Percaya atau tidak, kembali pada diri masing-masing. Namun yang jelas, jangan lupa mengunjungi Masjid Sang Ciptarasa bila berkunjung ke Cirebon. Sebab pengalaman spiritual yang diperoleh di masjid ini akan terasa berbeda dan semakin melengkapi kegiatan wisata Ramadan di Cirebon. Selamat mencoba.

Sumber : http://www.bandung.eu

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Marty Napoleon, 93, Dies; Jazz Pianist Played With Louis Armstrong

Mr. Napoleon was a self-taught musician whose career began in earnest with the orchestra led by Chico Marx of the Marx Brothers.

Marty Napoleon, 93, Dies; Jazz Pianist Played With Louis Armstrong | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Take the Money and Run

The career criminals in genre novels don’t have money problems. If they need some, they just go out and steal it. But such financial transactions can backfire, which is what happened back in 2004 when the Texas gang in Michael

Take the Money and Run | 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

Verne Gagne, Wrestler Who Grappled Through Two Eras, Dies at 89

Gagne wrestled professionally from the late 1940s until the 1980s and was a transitional figure between the early 20th century barnstormers and the steroidal sideshows of today

Verne Gagne, Wrestler Who Grappled Through Two Eras, Dies at 89 | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Finding Scandal in New York and New Jersey, but No Shame

From sea to shining sea, or at least from one side of the Hudson to the other, politicians you have barely heard of are being accused of wrongdoing. There were so many court proceedings involving public officials on Monday that it was hard to keep up.

In Newark, two underlings of Gov. Chris Christie were arraigned on charges that they were in on the truly deranged plot to block traffic leading onto the George Washington Bridge.

Ten miles away, in Lower Manhattan, Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son, Adam B. Skelos, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on accusations of far more conventional political larceny, involving a job with a sewer company for the son and commissions on title insurance and bond work.

The younger man managed to receive a 150 percent pay increase from the sewer company even though, as he said on tape, he “literally knew nothing about water or, you know, any of that stuff,” according to a criminal complaint the United States attorney’s office filed.

The success of Adam Skelos, 32, was attributed by prosecutors to his father’s influence as the leader of the Senate and as a potentate among state Republicans. The indictment can also be read as one of those unfailingly sad tales of a father who cannot stop indulging a grown son. The senator himself is not alleged to have profited from the schemes, except by being relieved of the burden of underwriting Adam.

The bridge traffic caper is its own species of crazy; what distinguishes the charges against the two Skeloses is the apparent absence of a survival instinct. It is one thing not to know anything about water or that stuff. More remarkable, if true, is the fact that the sewer machinations continued even after the former New York Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, was charged in January with taking bribes disguised as fees.

It was by then common gossip in political and news media circles that Senator Skelos, a Republican, the counterpart in the Senate to Mr. Silver, a Democrat, in the Assembly, could be next in line for the criminal dock. “Stay tuned,” the United States attorney, Preet Bharara said, leaving not much to the imagination.

Even though the cat had been unmistakably belled, Skelos father and son continued to talk about how to advance the interests of the sewer company, though the son did begin to use a burner cellphone, the kind people pay for in cash, with no traceable contracts.

That was indeed prudent, as prosecutors had been wiretapping the cellphones of both men. But it would seem that the burner was of limited value, because by then the prosecutors had managed to secure the help of a business executive who agreed to record calls with the Skeloses. It would further seem that the business executive was more attentive to the perils of pending investigations than the politician.

Through the end of the New York State budget negotiations in March, the hopes of the younger Skelos rested on his father’s ability to devise legislation that would benefit the sewer company. That did not pan out. But Senator Skelos did boast that he had haggled with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, in a successful effort to raise a $150 million allocation for Long Island to $550 million, for what the budget called “transformative economic development projects.” It included money for the kind of work done by the sewer company.

The lawyer for Adam Skelos said he was not guilty and would win in court. Senator Skelos issued a ringing declaration that he was unequivocally innocent.

THIS was also the approach taken in New Jersey by Bill Baroni, a man of great presence and eloquence who stopped outside the federal courthouse to note that he had taken risks as a Republican by bucking his party to support paid family leave, medical marijuana and marriage equality. “I would never risk my career, my job, my reputation for something like this,” Mr. Baroni said. “I am an innocent man.”

The lawyer for his co-defendant, Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, a Republican, said that she would strongly rebut the charges.

Perhaps they had nothing to do with the lane closings. But neither Mr. Baroni nor Ms. Kelly addressed the question of why they did not return repeated calls from the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., begging them to stop the traffic tie-ups, over three days.

That silence was a low moment. But perhaps New York hit bottom faster. Senator Skelos, the prosecutors charged, arranged to meet Long Island politicians at the wake of Wenjian Liu, a New York City police officer shot dead in December, to press for payments to the company employing his son.

Sometimes it seems as though for some people, the only thing to be ashamed of is shame itself.

Finding Scandal in New York and New Jersey, but No Shame | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Calvin Peete, 71, a Racial Pioneer on the PGA Tour, Is Dead

With 12 tournament victories in his career, Mr. Peete was the most successful black professional golfer before Tiger Woods.

Calvin Peete, 71, a Racial Pioneer on the PGA Tour, Is Dead | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Baltimore Residents Away From Turmoil Consider Their Role

BALTIMORE — In the afternoons, the streets of Locust Point are clean and nearly silent. In front of the rowhouses, potted plants rest next to steps of brick or concrete. There is a shopping center nearby with restaurants, and a grocery store filled with fresh foods.

And the National Guard and the police are largely absent. So, too, residents say, are worries about what happened a few miles away on April 27 when, in a space of hours, parts of this city became riot zones.

“They’re not our reality,” Ashley Fowler, 30, said on Monday at the restaurant where she works. “They’re not what we’re living right now. We live in, not to be racist, white America.”

As Baltimore considers its way forward after the violent unrest brought by the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of injuries he suffered while in police custody, residents in its predominantly white neighborhoods acknowledge that they are sometimes struggling to understand what beyond Mr. Gray’s death spurred the turmoil here. For many, the poverty and troubled schools of gritty West Baltimore are distant troubles, glimpsed only when they pass through the area on their way somewhere else.

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Officers blocked traffic at Pennsylvania and West North Avenues after reports that a gun was discharged in the area. Credit Drew Angerer for The New York Times

And so neighborhoods of Baltimore are facing altogether different reckonings after Mr. Gray’s death. In mostly black communities like Sandtown-Winchester, where some of the most destructive rioting played out last week, residents are hoping businesses will reopen and that the police will change their strategies. But in mostly white areas like Canton and Locust Point, some residents wonder what role, if any, they should play in reimagining stretches of Baltimore where they do not live.

“Most of the people are kind of at a loss as to what they’re supposed to do,” said Dr. Richard Lamb, a dentist who has practiced in the same Locust Point office for nearly 39 years. “I listen to the news reports. I listen to the clergymen. I listen to the facts of the rampant unemployment and the lack of opportunities in the area. Listen, I pay my taxes. Exactly what can I do?”

And in Canton, where the restaurants have clever names like Nacho Mama’s and Holy Crepe Bakery and Café, Sara Bahr said solutions seemed out of reach for a proudly liberal city.

“I can only imagine how frustrated they must be,” said Ms. Bahr, 36, a nurse who was out with her 3-year-old daughter, Sally. “I just wish I knew how to solve poverty. I don’t know what to do to make it better.”

The day of unrest and the overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations that followed led to hundreds of arrests, often for violations of the curfew imposed on the city for five consecutive nights while National Guard soldiers patrolled the streets. Although there were isolated instances of trouble in Canton, the neighborhood association said on its website, many parts of southeast Baltimore were physically untouched by the tumult.

Tensions in the city bubbled anew on Monday after reports that the police had wounded a black man in Northwest Baltimore. The authorities denied those reports and sent officers to talk with the crowds that gathered while other officers clutching shields blocked traffic at Pennsylvania and West North Avenues.

Lt. Col. Melvin Russell, a community police officer, said officers had stopped a man suspected of carrying a handgun and that “one of those rounds was spent.”

Colonel Russell said officers had not opened fire, “so we couldn’t have shot him.”

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Lambi Vasilakopoulos, right, who runs a casual restaurant in Canton, said he was incensed by last week's looting and predicted tensions would worsen. Credit Drew Angerer for The New York Times

The colonel said the man had not been injured but was taken to a hospital as a precaution. Nearby, many people stood in disbelief, despite the efforts by the authorities to quash reports they described as “unfounded.”

Monday’s episode was a brief moment in a larger drama that has yielded anger and confusion. Although many people said they were familiar with accounts of the police harassing or intimidating residents, many in Canton and Locust Point said they had never experienced it themselves. When they watched the unrest, which many protesters said was fueled by feelings that they lived only on Baltimore’s margins, even those like Ms. Bahr who were pained by what they saw said they could scarcely comprehend the emotions associated with it.

But others, like Lambi Vasilakopoulos, who runs a casual restaurant in Canton, said they were incensed by what unfolded last week.

“What happened wasn’t called for. Protests are one thing; looting is another thing,” he said, adding, “We’re very frustrated because we’re the ones who are going to pay for this.”

There were pockets of optimism, though, that Baltimore would enter a period of reconciliation.

“I’m just hoping for peace,” Natalie Boies, 53, said in front of the Locust Point home where she has lived for 50 years. “Learn to love each other; be patient with each other; find justice; and care.”

A skeptical Mr. Vasilakopoulos predicted tensions would worsen.

“It cannot be fixed,” he said. “It’s going to get worse. Why? Because people don’t obey the laws. They don’t want to obey them.”

But there were few fears that the violence that plagued West Baltimore last week would play out on these relaxed streets. The authorities, Ms. Fowler said, would make sure of that.

“They kept us safe here,” she said. “I didn’t feel uncomfortable when I was in my house three blocks away from here. I knew I was going to be O.K. because I knew they weren’t going to let anyone come and loot our properties or our businesses or burn our cars.”

Baltimore Residents Away From Turmoil Consider Their Role | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

ay 4, 2015 ‘Game of Thrones’ Q&A: Keisha Castle-Hughes on the Tao of the Sand Snakes

“It was really nice to play with other women and not have this underlying tone of being at each other’s throats.”

ay 4, 2015 ‘Game of Thrones’ Q&A: Keisha Castle-Hughes on the Tao of the Sand Snakes | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

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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Play Video|1:17

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.”

Obama Finds a Bolder Voice on Race Issues | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

G.O.P. Hopefuls Now Aiming to Woo the Middle Class

WASHINGTON — The last three men to win the Republican nomination have been the prosperous son of a president (George W. Bush), a senator who could not recall how many homes his family owned (John McCain of Arizona; it was seven) and a private equity executive worth an estimated $200 million (Mitt Romney).

The candidates hoping to be the party’s nominee in 2016 are trying to create a very different set of associations. On Sunday, Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, joined the presidential field.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk, as he urges audiences not to forget “the workers in our hotel kitchens, the landscaping crews in our neighborhoods, the late-night janitorial staff that clean our offices.”

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a preacher’s son, posts on Twitter about his ham-and-cheese sandwiches and boasts of his coupon-clipping frugality. His $1 Kohl’s sweater has become a campaign celebrity in its own right.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky laments the existence of “two Americas,” borrowing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase to describe economically and racially troubled communities like Ferguson, Mo., and Detroit.

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Senator Marco Rubio of Florida praises his parents, a bartender and a Kmart stock clerk. Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“Some say, ‘But Democrats care more about the poor,’ ” Mr. Paul likes to say. “If that’s true, why is black unemployment still twice white unemployment? Why has household income declined by $3,500 over the past six years?”

We are in the midst of the Empathy Primary — the rhetorical battleground shaping the Republican presidential field of 2016.

Harmed by the perception that they favor the wealthy at the expense of middle-of-the-road Americans, the party’s contenders are each trying their hardest to get across what the elder George Bush once inelegantly told recession-battered voters in 1992: “Message: I care.”

Their ability to do so — less bluntly, more sincerely — could prove decisive in an election year when power, privilege and family connections will loom large for both parties.

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Questions of understanding and compassion cost Republicans in the last election. Mr. Romney, who memorably dismissed the “47 percent” of Americans as freeloaders, lost to President Obama by 63 percentage points among voters who cast their ballots for the candidate who “cares about people like me,” according to exit polls.

And a Pew poll from February showed that people still believe Republicans are indifferent to working Americans: 54 percent said the Republican Party does not care about the middle class.

That taint of callousness explains why Senator Ted Cruz of Texas declared last week that Republicans “are and should be the party of the 47 percent” — and why another son of a president, Jeb Bush, has made economic opportunity the centerpiece of his message.

With his pedigree and considerable wealth — since he left the Florida governor’s office almost a decade ago he has earned millions of dollars sitting on corporate boards and advising banks — Mr. Bush probably has the most complicated task making the argument to voters that he understands their concerns.

On a visit last week to Puerto Rico, Mr. Bush sounded every bit the populist, railing against “elites” who have stifled economic growth and innovation. In the kind of economy he envisions leading, he said: “We wouldn’t have the middle being squeezed. People in poverty would have a chance to rise up. And the social strains that exist — because the haves and have-nots is the big debate in our country today — would subside.”

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Who Is Running for President (and Who’s Not)?

Republicans’ emphasis on poorer and working-class Americans now represents a shift from the party’s longstanding focus on business owners and “job creators” as the drivers of economic opportunity.

This is intentional, Republican operatives said.

In the last presidential election, Republicans rushed to defend business owners against what they saw as hostility by Democrats to successful, wealthy entrepreneurs.

“Part of what you had was a reaction to the Democrats’ dehumanization of business owners: ‘Oh, you think you started your plumbing company? No you didn’t,’ ” said Grover Norquist, the conservative activist and president of Americans for Tax Reform.

But now, Mr. Norquist said, Republicans should move past that. “Focus on the people in the room who know someone who couldn’t get a job, or a promotion, or a raise because taxes are too high or regulations eat up companies’ time,” he said. “The rich guy can take care of himself.”

Democrats argue that the public will ultimately see through such an approach because Republican positions like opposing a minimum-wage increase and giving private banks a larger role in student loans would hurt working Americans.

“If Republican candidates are just repeating the same tired policies, I’m not sure that smiling while saying it is going to be enough,” said Guy Cecil, a Democratic strategist who is joining a “super PAC” working on behalf of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Republicans have already attacked Mrs. Clinton over the wealth and power she and her husband have accumulated, caricaturing her as an out-of-touch multimillionaire who earns hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech and has not driven a car since 1996.

Mr. Walker hit this theme recently on Fox News, pointing to Mrs. Clinton’s lucrative book deals and her multiple residences. “This is not someone who is connected with everyday Americans,” he said. His own net worth, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is less than a half-million dollars; Mr. Walker also owes tens of thousands of dollars on his credit cards.

Continue reading the main story

But showing off a cheap sweater or boasting of a bootstraps family background not only helps draw a contrast with Mrs. Clinton’s latter-day affluence, it is also an implicit argument against Mr. Bush.

Mr. Walker, who featured a 1998 Saturn with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer in a 2010 campaign ad during his first run for governor, likes to talk about flipping burgers at McDonald’s as a young person. His mother, he has said, grew up on a farm with no indoor plumbing until she was in high school.

Mr. Rubio, among the least wealthy members of the Senate, with an estimated net worth of around a half-million dollars, uses his working-class upbringing as evidence of the “exceptionalism” of America, “where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.”

Mr. Cruz alludes to his family’s dysfunction — his parents, he says, were heavy drinkers — and recounts his father’s tale of fleeing Cuba with $100 sewn into his underwear.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey notes that his father paid his way through college working nights at an ice cream plant.

But sometimes the attempts at projecting authenticity can seem forced. Mr. Christie recently found himself on the defensive after telling a New Hampshire audience, “I don’t consider myself a wealthy man.” Tax returns showed that he and his wife, a longtime Wall Street executive, earned nearly $700,000 in 2013.

The story of success against the odds is a political classic, even if it is one the Republican Party has not been able to tell for a long time. Ronald Reagan liked to say that while he had not been born on the wrong side of the tracks, he could always hear the whistle. Richard Nixon was fond of reminding voters how he was born in a house his father had built.

“Probably the idea that is most attractive to an average voter, and an idea that both Republicans and Democrats try to craft into their messages, is this idea that you can rise from nothing,” said Charles C. W. Cooke, a writer for National Review.

There is a certain delight Republicans take in turning that message to their advantage now.

“That’s what Obama did with Hillary,” Mr. Cooke said. “He acknowledged it openly: ‘This is ridiculous. Look at me, this one-term senator with dark skin and all of America’s unsolved racial problems, running against the wife of the last Democratic president.”

G.O.P. Hopefuls Now Aiming to Woo the Middle Class | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Negative View of U.S. Race Relations Grows, Poll Finds

Public perceptions of race relations in America have grown substantially more negative in the aftermath of the death of a young black man who was injured while in police custody in Baltimore and the subsequent unrest, far eclipsing the sentiment recorded in the wake of turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., last summer.

Americans are also increasingly likely to say that the police are more apt to use deadly force against a black person, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds.

The poll findings highlight the challenges for local leaders and police officials in trying to maintain order while sustaining faith in the criminal justice system in a racially polarized nation.

Sixty-one percent of Americans now say race relations in this country are generally bad. That figure is up sharply from 44 percent after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed in Ferguson in August, and 43 percent in December. In a CBS News poll just two months ago, 38 percent said race relations were generally bad. Current views are by far the worst of Barack Obama’s presidency.

The negative sentiment is echoed by broad majorities of blacks and whites alike, a stark change from earlier this year, when 58 percent of blacks thought race relations were bad, but just 35 percent of whites agreed. In August, 48 percent of blacks and 41 percent of whites said they felt that way.

Looking ahead, 44 percent of Americans think race relations are worsening, up from 36 percent in December. Forty-one percent of blacks and 46 percent of whites think so. Pessimism among whites has increased 10 points since December.

Continue reading the main story
Do you think race relations in the United States are generally good or generally bad?
60
40
20
0
White
Black
May '14
May '15
Generally bad
Continue reading the main story
Do you think race relations in the United States are getting better, getting worse or staying about the same?
Getting worse
Staying the same
Getting better
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
44%
37
17
46
36
16
41
42
15

The poll finds that profound racial divisions in views of how the police use deadly force remain. Blacks are more than twice as likely to say police in most communities are more apt to use deadly force against a black person — 79 percent of blacks say so compared with 37 percent of whites. A slim majority of whites say race is not a factor in a police officer’s decision to use deadly force.

Overall, 44 percent of Americans say deadly force is more likely to be used against a black person, up from 37 percent in August and 40 percent in December.

Blacks also remain far more likely than whites to say they feel mostly anxious about the police in their community. Forty-two percent say so, while 51 percent feel mostly safe. Among whites, 8 in 10 feel mostly safe.

One proposal to address the matter — having on-duty police officers wear body cameras — receives overwhelming support. More than 9 in 10 whites and blacks alike favor it.

Continue reading the main story
How would you describe your feelings about the police in your community? Would you say they make you feel mostly safe or mostly anxious?
Mostly safe
Mostly anxious
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
75%
21
3
81
16
3
51
42
7
Continue reading the main story
In general, do you think the police in most communities are more likely to use deadly force against a black person, or more likely to use it against a white person, or don’t you think race affects police use of deadly force?
Police more likely to use deadly force against a black person
Police more likely to use deadly force against a white person
Race DOES NOT affect police use of deadly force
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
44%
37%
79%
2%
2%
1%
46%
53%
16%
9%
8%
4%
Continue reading the main story
Do you favor or oppose on-duty police officers wearing video cameras that would record events and actions as they occur?
Favor
Oppose
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
92%
93%
93%
6%
5%
5%
2%
2%
2%

Asked specifically about the situation in Baltimore, most Americans expressed at least some confidence that the investigation by local authorities would be conducted fairly. But while nearly two-thirds of whites think so, fewer than half of blacks agree. Still, more blacks are confident now than were in August regarding the investigation in Ferguson. On Friday, six members of the police force involved in the arrest of Mr. Gray were charged with serious offenses, including manslaughter. The poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday; results from before charges were announced are similar to those from after.

Reaction to the recent turmoil in Baltimore, however, is similar among blacks and whites. Most Americans, 61 percent, say the unrest after Mr. Gray’s death was not justified. That includes 64 percent of whites and 57 percent of blacks.

Continue reading the main story
As you may know, a Baltimore man, Freddie Gray, recently died after being in the custody of the Baltimore police. How much confidence do you have that the investigation by local authorities into this matter will be conducted fairly?
A lot
Some
Not much
None at all
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
29%
31
22
14
5
31
33
20
11
5
20
26
30
22
In general, do you think the unrest in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray was justified, or do you think the unrest was not justified?
Justified
Not justified
Don't know/No answer
All adults
Whites
Blacks
28%
61
11
26
64
11
37
57
6

Negative View of U.S. Race Relations Grows, Poll Finds | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Bruce Alger, 96, Dies; Led ‘Mink Coat’ Protest Against Lyndon Johnson

Mr. Alger, who served five terms from Texas, led Republican women in a confrontation with Lyndon B. Johnson that may have cost Richard M. Nixon the 1960 presidential election.

Bruce Alger, 96, Dies; Led ‘Mink Coat’ Protest Against Lyndon Johnson | PAKET UMROH BULAN JANUARI 2016

Don Mankiewicz, Screenwriter in a Family Film Tradition, Dies at 93

Mr. Mankiewicz, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter for “I Want to Live!,” also wrote episodes of television shows such as “Star Trek” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.”

Don Mankiewicz, Screenwriter in a Family Film Tradition, Dies at 93 | 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

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.

Photo
 
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

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