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Jika terpaksa harus kalah, maka jadilah pecundang terhormat daripada kalah sebelum berjuang. padahal sebenarnya, sahabat berhak menjadi pemenang mulia.


Jangan meremehkan kesempatan kecil yang muncul di hadapan kita. Ingat, seringkali kesempatan kecil merupakan awal dari kesuksesan yang besar.
 

Makin banyak kita membuang waktu untuk merasa iri pada bakat ataupun kesuksesan orang lain, maka semakin sulit pula kita berkembang maju. Buang sikap negatif itu!


Jadilah seperti yang kamu inginkan, karena kamu hanya memiliki satu kehidupan dan kesempatan untuk melakukan hal yang ingin kamu inginkan.
 

Kita dilahirkan dengan 2 buah telinga di kanan dan di kiri, supaya kita dapat mendengarkan semuanya dari dua buah sisi. Untuk berupaya mengumpulkan pujian dan kritikan dan memilih mana yang benar dan mana yang salah.
Kesuksesan diraih dari karja keras kita bukan hanya dari doa yang kita panjatkan


Jangan takut akan kesulitan dalam kehidupanmu, karena itu awal perbaikan dari usaha yang kamu lakukan untuk melewati hal itu
 

Kesempurnaan dirasakan dgn ketulusan dan keikhlasan menerima apa adanya.


Kehilangan orang yg kita sayangi adalah tempat kita belajar, belajar untuk kuat tanpa dirinya.
 

Tuhan memuliakan mereka yang mau bekerja keras. Dan modal utama untuk keberhasilan adalah kerja keras yang diiringi doa.

 

Kata Kata Indah Tentang Cinta

Cinta tidak menyedari kedalamannya dan terasa pada saat perpisahan pun tiba. Dan saat tangan laki-laki menyentuh tangan seorang perempuan mereka berdua telah menyentuh hati keabadian.
 

Cinta adalah satu-satunya kebebasan di dunia kerana cinta itu membangkitkan semangat, hukum-hukum kemanusiaan dan gejala alami pun tak mampu mengubah perjalanannya.


Cinta sejati tak datang begitu saja. Banyak proses yang harus dilalui bersama, menderita, menangis, dan tertawa bersama.
 

Pria dan wanita adalah kesatuan abadi dua gender berbasiskan mawaddah (cinta) dan Rahmah (kasih sayang).


Semuanya bisa ditaklukan, dikalahkan, dan diwujudkan dengan cinta karena cinta tidak pernah kehabisan tenaga.
 

Cinta merupakan kekuatan paling tinggi yang selalu berhasil mengubah hidup ke arah yang lebih baik....selengkap nya klik di sini
by yandre pramana putra
KATA KATA KEHIDUPAN YANG INDAH

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saco-indonesia.com, Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) berencana akan memanggil Calon Presiden yang akan bertarung dalam pemilu presiden (Pilpres) 2014 mendatang.

"Rencananya kami juga akan memanggil semua Capres, sebelum mereka mendatangi KPU untuk dapat menyampaikan visi misi," kata Wakil Ketua KPK, Adnan Pandu Praja dalam acara penyampaian hasil capaian kinerja KPK di tahun 2013, di Gedung KPK, Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan.

Pemanggilan para Capres itu, sambung Adnan, karena KPK juga ingin mengetahui rencana strategisnya ketika terpilih menjadi Presiden. Diantaranya akan diberikan penekanan menyangkut beberapa hal menyangkut pertambangan, kehutanan, dan lainnya.

Kendati demikian, tutur Adnan, KPK juga tidak akan memaksa para Capres itu untuk dapat memenuhi panggilan KPK karena ini tidak bersifat wajib dan tidak ada sanksi."Ini memang tidak bersifat wajib, tapi Capres yang berkomitmen memberantas korupsi dan menciptakan sistem kenegaraan yang bersih pasti akan datang," pungkasnya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

KPK AKAN PANGGIL CAPRES

saco-indonesia.com, Banyak orang yang telah bingung ketika saat menghidupkan mesin kendaraannya tiba-tiba ngadat. Hal ini bisa telah terjadi karena berbagai hal, salah satunya adalah karena aki yang sudah tidak berfungsi dengan baik. Aki juga merupakan sumber energi yang biasanya digunakan untuk alat-alat elektronik, kendaraan dan lain sebagainya. Aki itu sendiri telah terbagi menjadi dua yaitu aki basah dan aki kering. Tentunya keduanya juga telah memiliki kelebihan dan kekurangannya sendiri-sendiri. Jika Aki basah dibutuhkan perawatan yang lebih telaten dibandingkan dengan aki kering, tetapi jika kita tahu cara merawat aki basah, maka aki basah akan mempunyai umur yang lebih lama jika dibandingkan aki kering.

Sebagai salah satu sumber kelistrikan pada kendaraan, tentunya kita juga tidak ingin aki kendaraan kita gampang mati. Karena itu disini kita akan mengulas salah satunya saja, yaitu bagaimana cara untuk merawat aki basah agar awet dan bisa dipakai dalam kurun waktu yang lama.
Cara Merawat Aki Basah Yang Benar

Langkah-langkah cara merawat aki basah :

    Anda jangan malas untuk selalu memeriksa air aki. Pemeriksaan juga bisa dilakukan secara berkala, dan air aki juga harus lebih tinggi dari batas Low dan juga berada di bawah batas Upper Level.
    Tambah air aki jika air aki sudah berkurang dan berada di bawah level Low. Gunakan air aki biasa, jangan menggunakan air aki zuur, karena air aki zuur telah digunakan saat pertama saja.
    Penambahan air aki sebaiknya pada pagi hari sebelum mesin dinyalakan.
    Penggunaan arus listrik Aki juga harus sewajarnya. Anda juga harus membatasi pemakaian arus sesuai kapasitas dari aki yang digunakan, karena jika over maka aki akan mudah mati.
    Hati-hati terhadap hubungan pendek antara kutub positif dan negatif, karena hal tersebut juga bisa menyebabkan kerusakan pada sel aki.
    Periksa katup krem yang ada di aki, jika Anda telah mendapati dalam keadaan longgar maka segera kencangkan.
    Aki yang telah mendapat goncangan terlalu keras juga dapat mempengaruhi umur aki tersebut, maka pastikan aki terlindungi dengan memperhatikan penjepit aki/braket aki tetap kokoh.
    Bersihkan aki dari debu dan berikan sedikit gemuk pada kutupnya agar tidak mudah berkarat atau berjamur.
    Periksa secara keseluruhan fisik aki, apakah ada keretakan pada fisik, plug aki yang tidak tertutup dengan baik dan juga jangan lupa memperhatikan bagian ventplug, mampet atau tidaknya.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

CARA MERAWAT AKI BASAH

Terletak di Timur Tengah, Mesir merupakan negara dengan dinasti tertua di dunia. Sebelum ada bangsa China dan bangsa lainnya. Peradaban Mesir telah dimulai sejak 7.000 tahun yang lalu sehingga banyak orang yang mengatakan bahwa setiap jengkal tanah di Mesir menyimpan peristiwa sejarah tersendiri.

"Mesir adalah negara yang sangat penting bagi tiga agama yakni Islam, Kristen dan Yahudi karena memiliki sejarah ketiga agama tersebut sehingga banyak umatnya yang melakukan wisata rohani ke Mesir," ucap Alaa Elkasaas, seorang pemandu tur dari agen perjalanan Sito Tours Egypt yang ditemui VIVAlife di kantor ANTV, Jumat, 27 September 2013.

Pria kelahiran Mesir yang kala itu sedang mengunjungi Jakarta untuk pertama kalinya bercerita mengenai beberapa objek wisata rohani di Mesir yang populer dikunjungi umat muslim. Elkasaas yang mahir berbahasa Indonesia karena sering memandu pelancong asal Tanah Air yang berkunjung ke Mesir juga mengatakan mayoritas objek wisata tersebut adalah masjid serta makam tokoh-tokoh Islam. Berikut lima di antaranya.

1. Masjid Imam Syafi'i
Menurut Alaa Elkasaas, masjid yang satu ini banyak dikunjungi umat Islam di dunia terutama dari Indonesia karena banyak muslim Indonesia yang menganut Islam aliran Syafi'i. Masjid dengan kubah besar yang terbuat dari kayu tersebut merupakan salah satu masjid tua di Kairo. Di dalamnya terdapat makam Imam Syafi'i.

2. Benteng Salahuddin Ayyubi
Di benteng ini tersimpan banyak peninggalan sejarah seperti Masjid Alabaster, Masjid Sulaiman Pasha dan Dinding Yosep. Benteng tersebut dibangun pada tahun 1183 M oleh Shalahuddin Ayubi untuk mengawasi kota Kairo dari bukit Mukattam.

3. Masjid Mohamed Ali
Masjid ini sering disebut sebagai masjid pualam karena dindingnya yang memang dilapisi dengan pualam. Terletak di Benteng Salahuddin Ayyubi, masjid ini dibangun pada tahun 1830 M mengadaptasi model Ottoman dengan kubah megan setinggi 52 meter. Dua menara yang takl kalah tinggi yaitu 82 meter terletak di halamannya pun menghiasi masjid tersebut. Dari tempat ini, Anda dapat menikmati keindahan kota Kairo, Sungai Nil, bahkan piramida.

4. Masjid Al-Azhar
Terletak di tengah-tengah kota Kairo, masjid yang berada di depan Universitas Al-Azhar ini adalah masjid pertama yang dibangun oleh Dinasti Fathimiyyah. Kesan pertama saat melihat Masjid Al-Azhar pastilah megah karena bangunan dan menaranya yang indah. Di sini banyak terdapat benda-benda kuno berusia ratusan tahun.

5. Masjid Al-Hussein
Masjid terluas di Kairo ini juga merupakan monumen Islam sehingga banyak umat Islam dari seluruh penjuru dunia menyempatkan datang ke sini saat berkunjung ke Mesir. Masjid Al-Hussein sejak lama telah dinobatkan sebagai masjid negara.

Sumber : http://life.viva.co.id

Baca Artikel Lainnya : MENJELAJAHI MASJID AGUNG BRUSSEL DI BELGIA

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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
Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”
Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

WASHINGTON — During a training course on defending against knife attacks, a young Salt Lake City police officer asked a question: “How close can somebody get to me before I’m justified in using deadly force?”

Dennis Tueller, the instructor in that class more than three decades ago, decided to find out. In the fall of 1982, he performed a rudimentary series of tests and concluded that an armed attacker who bolted toward an officer could clear 21 feet in the time it took most officers to draw, aim and fire their weapon.

The next spring, Mr. Tueller published his findings in SWAT magazine and transformed police training in the United States. The “21-foot rule” became dogma. It has been taught in police academies around the country, accepted by courts and cited by officers to justify countless shootings, including recent episodes involving a homeless woodcarver in Seattle and a schizophrenic woman in San Francisco.

Now, amid the largest national debate over policing since the 1991 beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, a small but vocal set of law enforcement officials are calling for a rethinking of the 21-foot rule and other axioms that have emphasized how to use force, not how to avoid it. Several big-city police departments are already re-examining when officers should chase people or draw their guns and when they should back away, wait or try to defuse the situation

Police Rethink Long Tradition on Using Force

The live music at the Vice Media party on Friday shook the room. Shane Smith, Vice’s chief executive, was standing near the stage — with a drink in his hand, pants sagging, tattoos showing — watching the rapper-cum-chef Action Bronson make pizzas.

The event was an after-party, a happy-hour bacchanal for the hundreds of guests who had come for Vice’s annual presentation to advertisers and agencies that afternoon, part of the annual frenzy for ad dollars called the Digital Content NewFronts. Mr. Smith had spoken there for all of five minutes before running a slam-bang highlight reel of the company’s shows that had titles like “Weediquette” and “Gaycation.”

In the last year, Vice has secured $500 million in financing and signed deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars with established media companies like HBO that are eager to engage the young viewers Vice attracts. Vice said it was now worth at least $4 billion, with nearly $1 billion in projected revenue for 2015. It is a long way from Vice’s humble start as a free magazine in 1994.

Photo
 
At the Vice after-party, the rapper Action Bronson, a host of a Vice show, made a pizza. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

But even as cash flows freely in Vice’s direction, the company is trying to keep its brash, insurgent image. At the party on Friday, it plied guests with beers and cocktails. Its apparently unrehearsed presentation to advertisers was peppered with expletives. At one point, the director Spike Jonze, a longtime Vice collaborator, asked on stage if Mr. Smith had been drinking.

“My assistant tried to cut me off,” Mr. Smith replied. “I’m on buzz control.”

Now, Vice is on the verge of getting its own cable channel, which would give the company a traditional outlet for its slate of non-news programming. If all goes as planned, A&E Networks, the television group owned by Hearst and Disney, will turn over its History Channel spinoff, H2, to Vice.

The deal’s announcement was expected last week, but not all of A&E’s distribution partners — the cable and satellite TV companies that carry the network’s channels — have signed off on the change, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks were private.

A cable channel would be a further step in a transformation for Vice, from bad-boy digital upstart to mainstream media company.

Keen for the core audience of young men who come to Vice, media giants like 21st Century Fox, Time Warner and Disney all showed interest in the company last year. Vice ultimately secured $500 million in financing from A&E Networks and Technology Crossover Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has invested in Facebook and Netflix.

Those investments valued Vice at more than $2.5 billion. (In 2013, Fox bought a 5 percent stake for $70 million.)

Then in March, HBO announced that it had signed a multiyear deal to broadcast a daily half-hour Vice newscast. Vice already produces a weekly newsmagazine show, called “Vice,” for the network. That show will extend its run through 2018, with an increase to 35 episodes a year, from 14.

Michael Lombardo, HBO’s president for programming, said when the deal was announced that it was “certainly one of our biggest investments with hours on the air.”

Vice, based in Brooklyn, also recently signed a multiyear $100 million deal with Rogers Communications, a Canadian media conglomerate, to produce original content for TV, smartphone and desktop viewers.

Vice’s finances are private, but according to an internal document reviewed by The New York Times and verified by a person familiar with the company’s financials, the company is on track to make about $915 million in revenue this year.

Photo
 
Vice showed a highlight reel of its TV series at the NewFronts last week in New York. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

It brought in $545 million in a strong first quarter, which included portions of the new HBO deal and the Rogers deal, according to the document. More of its revenue now comes from these types of content partnerships, compared with the branded content deals that made up much of its revenue a year ago, the company said.

Mr. Smith said the company was worth at least $4 billion. If the valuation gets much higher, he said he would consider taking the company public.

“I don’t care about money; we have plenty of money,” Mr. Smith, who is Vice’s biggest shareholder, said in an interview after the presentation on Friday. “I care about strategic deals.”

In the United States, Vice Media had 35.2 million unique visitors across its sites in March, according to comScore.

The third season of Vice’s weekly HBO show has averaged 1.8 million viewers per episode, including reruns, through April 12, according to Brad Adgate, the director of research at Horizon Media. (Vice said the show attracted three million weekly viewers when repeat broadcasts, online and on-demand viewings were included.)

For years, Mr. Smith has criticized traditional TV, calling it slow and unable to draw younger viewers. But if all the deals Vice has struck are to work out, Mr. Smith may have to play more by the rules of traditional media. James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s son and a member of Vice’s board, was at the company’s presentation on Friday, as were other top media executives.

“They know they need people like me to help them, but they can’t get out of their own way,” Mr. Smith said in the interview Friday. “My only real frustration is we’re used to being incredibly dynamic, and they’re not incredibly dynamic.”

With its own television channel in the United States, Vice would have something it has long coveted even as traditional media companies are looking beyond TV. Last year, Vice’s deal with Time Warner failed in part because the two companies could not agree on how much control Vice would have over a 24-hour television network.

Vice said it intended to fill its new channel with non-news programming. The company plans to have sports shows, fashion shows, food shows and the “Gaycation” travel show with the actress Ellen Page. It is also in talks with Kanye West about a show.

It remains to be seen whether Vice’s audience will watch a traditional cable channel. Still, Vice has effectively presold all of the ad spots to two of the biggest advertising agencies for the first three years, Mr. Smith said.

In the meantime, Mr. Smith is enjoying Vice’s newfound role as a potential savior of traditional media companies.

“I’m a C.E.O. of a content company,” Mr. Smith said before he caught a flight to Las Vegas for the boxing match on Saturday between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. “If it stops being fun, then why are you doing it?”

As Vice Moves More to TV, It Tries to Keep Brash Voice
Frontline  An installment of this PBS program looks at the effects of Ebola on Liberia and other countries, as well as the origins of the outbreak.
Frontline

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

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

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

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

Television

‘Hard Earned’ Documents the Plight of the Working Poor

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

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

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
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paket promo umroh desember di Kebon Pala jakarta
biaya paket umrah maret di Cakung jakarta
biaya berangkat umrah desember di Klender jakarta
paket promo umroh maret di Cipayung jakarta
biaya umrah juni di Matraman jakarta
biaya umrah maret di Cipinang Muara jakarta
paket berangkat umrah januari di Cipinang Muara jakarta
paket promo berangkat umrah akhir tahun di Munjul jakarta
biaya paket umrah maret di Cipinang jakarta
paket promo umrah desember di Kayu Manis jakarta
harga umrah akhir tahun di Kramat Jati jakarta
promo berangkat umrah april di Pondok Ranggon jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umroh april di Kalisari jakarta
paket berangkat umrah desember di Cipayung jakarta
promo berangkat umroh april di Cipinang Melayu jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umroh mei di Klender jakarta
paket promo berangkat umroh awal tahun di Penggilingan jakarta
paket promo berangkat umroh akhir tahun di Klender jakarta
harga umrah awal tahun di Kayu Putih jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh akhir tahun di Lubang Buaya jakarta
promo berangkat umrah ramadhan di Ceger jakarta
biaya paket umroh januari di Rawa Bunga jakarta
promo berangkat umroh desember di Pasar Rebo jakarta
harga paket umrah februari bekasi utara
paket promo berangkat umrah februari di Makasar jakarta
biaya umroh juni di Cakung Barat jakarta
paket umroh februari di Jati jakarta
promo umrah maret di Kampung Melayu jakarta
biaya berangkat umrah mei di Penggilingan jakarta
biaya umrah april bekasi utara
promo umroh januari di Kampung Gedong,Cijantung jakarta
harga umroh ramadhan di Cipinang Cempedak jakarta
paket umrah februari di Kramat Jati jakarta
promo umrah awal tahun di Susukan jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh maret di Kramat Jati jakarta
promo umroh mei di Cibubur jakarta
paket promo umroh januari di Lubang Buaya jakarta
promo berangkat umrah ramadhan di Kampung Melayu jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umrah mei di Cipayung jakarta
biaya umrah juni di Ciracas jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh januari di Jatinegara Kaum jakarta
promo umrah ramadhan di Munjul jakarta
harga paket umrah awal tahun di Bali Mester jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umroh awal tahun di Cilangkap jakarta
paket umrah februari di Jati jakarta
promo umroh februari di Kampung Gedong,Cijantung jakarta
paket berangkat umroh juni di Bali Mester jakarta
biaya berangkat umrah akhir tahun di Kampung Gedong,Cijantung jakarta
paket promo berangkat umrah juni di Malaka Jaya jakarta
harga berangkat umroh awal tahun di Cipinang jakarta
harga berangkat umroh juni di Pekayon jakarta
promo berangkat umroh april di Rawa Terate jakarta
harga berangkat umroh april di Cilangkap jakarta
harga umroh januari di Cakung Timur jakarta
paket umrah april di Pulo Gadung jakarta
harga berangkat umroh akhir tahun di Halim Perdanakusuma jakarta
harga umrah januari di Kampung Tengah jakarta
biaya paket berangkat umroh mei di Pal Meriam jakarta
biaya berangkat umroh maret di Cakung jakarta
paket umrah desember di Cilangkap jakarta
biaya umroh januari di Rawa Bunga jakarta
biaya umroh april di Cipinang Melayu jakarta
harga paket berangkat umrah juni di Rawa Bunga jakarta
paket promo umrah april di Matraman jakarta
paket berangkat umrah januari di Pal Meriam jakarta
paket promo umrah februari di Jatinegara Kaum jakarta
biaya berangkat umrah juni di Susukan jakarta
biaya paket umrah awal tahun di Pinang Ranti jakarta
paket berangkat umrah desember di Matraman jakarta
paket umrah januari di Jatinegara jakarta
harga paket berangkat umroh akhir tahun di Kampung Gedong,Cijantung jakarta
harga berangkat umroh april di Jatinegara jakarta