My Hospital Intiative and being in Miss Earth Canada

Here is my Miss Earth specific blog The official site for Miss Earth Canada is

Check out the Borama Fistula Hospital, Amoud University Medical School and the nursing programme at Borama General Hospital @ : why I am started this!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Hi, for those of you that don't know, I am recovering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Phew, I said it.

I saw a lot of violence growing up. My father wasn't the best. I lived through a lot as a kid. Years later, I faced pyschological violence in the workplace in Canada, and the combined effect was a disaster.

In military combat, 4% of soldiers having PTSD is the norm, but in Afghanistan its as high as 12%. With sexual assault victims, it's almost have. The incidence of trauma is higher when done to or in front of a child.

January, February, 2009, I got my life back together, started my own company. Before that, I attempted suicide twice, experienced depression, fury, shock, denial and a full range of symptoms. I would just sleep all day, as I was too tired to do anything else, and hoped, one day I'd die.

Post-traumatic stress is a normal human reaction for an abnormal situation. It doesn't mean than a person is crazy, unhealthy that they are seeing a psychiatrist. Rather, their mind is over-whelmed and over-stimulated. The best thing you can do is show kindness to a PTSD sufferer or survivor. Constantly tell them that their life means something, that you'll miss them if they are gone, and say a few kind words. You have fits of anger, sadness, etc. If they are angry, which is a normal symptom of PTSD, no matter what they say, give them a hug, and say that you understand they are upset, but you won't abandon them. The worst fear most PTSD suffferers have is the subconscious fear of abandonment. Reassure them that you won't abandon them and they will feel better. Even the most vicious anger of a PTSD sufferer ends quickly if you assure that you won't abandon them.

In this interview with CBC Radio's Michael Enright, an emotionally fragile Dallaire talks about his ongoing therapy, his suicide attempts, his faith in God and the weeks he spent "just crying, and yelling, and brooding."

The ghosts of Rwanda
• This clip from June 11, 2000, finds an audibly worn Dallaire at one of his lowest points in his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
• He describes obsessively eating junk food and working long hours without sleep.
• "You spend a lot of time just crying, and yelling, and brooding," he says of his syndrome. "It envelopes you."
• He also admits to attempting to suicide at least twice — adding that the only thing that stopped him from being successful was his own "incompetence." In addition to his attempt to crash his car on a highway he has also admitted to drunkenly trying to slash his wrists with a razorblade.

• With his 36-year military career having come to an end, Dallaire was telling people that he felt like school was finally out and he was enjoying a much-delayed summer vacation. But behind the scenes he was coping with an array of problems, from violent outbursts brought on by his memories of Rwanda, to several suicide attempts.
• In this interview he opens up about his troubles with PTSD, explaining how he lost his self-control and discipline after returning home.
• To hear Dallaire discuss the ongoing impact of PTSD on himself and his soldiers, listen to this additional clip.
• A heavily medicated Dallaire began the long process of psychiatric therapy in 1997, which helped him deal with the misunderstood condition of PTSD.
• "Shell shock" or "battle fatigue" was first diagnosed by British military doctors in 1914. Some thought it was brain damage caused by artillery shells bursting overhead; others thought it was simply cowardice.
• Today, the same condition is called post-traumatic stress disorder: when a witness or victim of something distressing is mentally or physically affected by their ordeal.
• To learn more about the effects of PTSD, watch this clip, "Veterans and post-traumatic stress."
• A week after this interview Dallaire, haunted by his failure in Rwanda, spiralled into a deep depression. On the night of June 20 he was found partially clothed, drunk and unconscious under a park bench in Hull, Que.
• A man who was walking through Jacques Cartier Park told a reporter that Dallaire was sitting on the bench for a while staring at the river. "You could see his eyes were glazed over, like he was somewhere else."
• Suffering from a reaction between his anti-depressants and the alcohol, Dallaire was rushed to a hospital where he nearly fell into a coma. The incident gained national headlines and generated a debate over PTSD.

• Dallaire said the event convinced him to start writing Shake Hands With The Devil, which marked the first step on his road to recovery.
• The bond between Enright and Dallaire stretches back to the early days of the Rwandan genocide, when the two would talk live on CBC Radio's As It Happens. Dallaire later joked that he made the show's producer read out the latest hockey scores before he would grant his interviews.

• In Shake Hands With The Devil Dallaire wrote "in our conversations, Enright became the voice of home to me."
The ghosts of Rwanda
Medium: Radio
Program: This Morning Sunday
Broadcast Date: June 11, 2000
Guest(s): Roméo Dallaire

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

TV appearances

 Some TV appearances.

 Photo by Ernesto 

So here are the latest television appearances. I am wearing my Ottawa Sens shirt for good luck, so that my team wins a game! CAPCA, my Arab Community Associations says some amazing things in video 2.

Why I am doing this: Borama Fistula Hospital.

The hospital website should be live any moment!!!! This is the most exciting time in the pageant for me because this is what I am here for.

There are three institutions linked: the Borama Fistula Hospital, Amoud University Medical School, and The Borama General Hospital (they have a maternity ward). I am working hard to save mother's lives and restore dignity back to young women. 

The Liberal bill for giving young mothers dignified access to medical attention in a respectful non-paternalistic manner failed by only 6 votes in the House of Commons of Canada yesterday!!!! I am chagrined, but I`ll work hard, see what I can do to get that Bill pass. My father tried to marry me off when I was 14. If he succeeded, and I was in the village, nor abortion nor contraception,  I would have died in childbirth. My body wasn`t ready for that at fourteen and the village the future husband was from was too far for medical access for me to have delivered it safely. I am alive, and every day I am alive, I know there is a teenage girl who was in my situation who is dying right now. One woman dies each minute giving birth, most of whom are young mothers.

Here is a preview of the site and some photos of the hospital. When it`s up, it will move you. One of the operations of Dr. Qaws was mentioned in half the sky. Since these women are outcasts that are regarded in a humiliating manner by fellow patients, he decided, along with Dr. Walhad to keep them in one hospital, where the only patients are fistula patients. In Borama, Somalia, that was how the Borama Fistula hospital got started. Oprah and Nicholas Kristof`s Half the Sky only discuss the operation in Edna`s hospital Dr. Qaws preformed on the girl who married her cousin, who tried to slice off her head with a knife when he found out that she had fistula. She survived and escaped to Edna`s hospital, where Dr. Qaws treated her. The fistula hospital is a referral hospital, with skills training, literacy, and micro-finance programmes to reintegrate these women into society as a whole person. After the hospital was opened, World Vision Kenya takes a bus and brings patients from places like, Mogadishu through Punt-land, through the horn of Africa, until they get to Borama, two hours away from the Eritrean border. They are treated there. Some even become nurses.

Oprah and Nicholas Kristoff did an commendable report on Dr. Qaw`s early operation before he opened the fistula hospital. My main goal, as a contestant for Miss Universe Canada is to get these Oprah Winfrey and Nicholas Kristof to follow up with the doctor and find out what happened years after the operation.

The university medical school was found with $8,000!!! The hospital only treats 50-100 women from across Somalia, due to limited capacity and supplies, but they need to treat 700 women. Why is this crucial?

What is fistula:

Click on Fistula Hospital the left corner.
From Fistula Foundation:

"What is a fistula?

A: A fistula is a hole. An obstetric fistula of the kind that occurs in many developing countries is a hole between a woman's birth passage and one or more of her internal organs. This hole develops over many days of obstructed labour, when the pressure of the baby's head against the mother's pelvis cuts off blood supply to delicate tissues in the region. The dead tissue falls away and the woman is left with a hole between her vagina and her bladder (called a vesicovaginal fistula or VVF) and sometimes between her vagina and rectum (rectovaginal fistula, RVF). This hole results in permanent incontinence of urine and/or feces. A majority of women who develop fistulas are abandoned by their husbands and ostracized by their communities because of their inability to have children and their foul smell. Traumatic fistula is the result of sexual violence. The injury can occur through rape or women being butchered from the inside with bayonets, wood or even rifles. The aim is to destroy the women and the community within which the sufferer lives. Once committed the survivor, her husband, children and extended family become traumatized and humiliated. The Panzi Hospital in Congo is a pioneer in treating victims of traumatic fistula.

Q: Can fistula be "cured"?

A: Yes. An obstetric fistula can be closed with intravaginal surgery. If her surgery is performed by a skilled surgeon, a fistula patient has a good chance of returning to a normal life with full control of her bodily functions.

The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 2 million women have untreated fistula and that approximately 100,000 women develop fistula each year. Fistula is most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

There are an estimated 100,000 women suffering with untreated fistula, and another 9,000 women who develop fistula each year.

Less than 6 in 10 women in developing countries give birth with any trained professional, such as a midwife or a doctor. When complications arise, as they do in approximately 15% of all births, there is no one available to treat the woman, leading to disabling injuries like fistula, and even death.
The root causes of fistula are grinding poverty and the low status of women and girls.
In developing countries, the poverty and malnutrition in children contributes to the condition of stunting, where the girl skeleton, and therefore pelvis as well, do not fully mature. This stunted condition can contribute to obstructed labour, and therefore fistula."

Let's all work together to eradicate fistula today!!!!!
Act now!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I disagree with Einstein's definition of insanity

Einstein says insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting different results. I think its the over-reaction my press release is getting while I strive hard to get attention for alternative dispute resolution and the Borama Fistula Hospital. I was within three days on CBC, the John Oakley show, National Post, cover of 24 hours.

I just had an interview, where a couple of the callers were so touching, saying that I made them are proud to be Canadian!!!

Last interview, they said I had a Westernized view of Islam. Well, of course, since Canada is my home. If I lived in Saudi Arabia all my life, I may have had different views.

There are many Western Muslims and Sufis. They are both Westerners and Muslims. They are not Muslim Alien Invaders from Outer Space that William Smith neutralizes with sunglasses and a special laser-gun.

I don't think a Canadian should apologize for being Muslim or Hindu. I don't think a Muslim or Hindu should apologize for being Canadian. They are one and the same. This is truely a Sufi country.

An Arab poet wrote: I don't know any religion or colour, but I know you are my brother, brother in humanity.

We are just human beings. Tolstoy said all we have in common is each other.

-Much Love,


Hi, I am Maria Al-Masani and this is the craziest thing that has happened to me, forget surviving war and bungee jumping. I will take you all along with me through this insane journey in this blog.

Much Love! -Maria