Hurricanes, tropical storms, earthquakes … More people are being affected by more natural disasters. But life’s challenges do not only come in the form of natural disasters – individuals have to face all sorts of disasters in their personal lives. Sometimes it’s the loss of a loved one or a job, a first gray hair, a failed class, getting passed over for a promotion. These challenges make up the theme of this year’s essay contest: How to Face a Disaster?

Tell us how you survive difficult times. Give us your best advice. Share your greatest life lesson. For details, go to our website: www.fountainmagazine.com/essaycontest.

As a highly competitive and commodified industry, sport is not only a weekend, sit-on-the-couch pastime, but is also a political arena where ideologies fight. The recent “take a knee” protest in the US is not a standalone incident. From the ancient Olympic Games to modern-day World Cups, sports have been a means of national pride, and the athletes are considered heroes. Their lifestyles, opinions, and choices are always newsworthy, even if these choices mainly relate to their home countries thousands of miles away.  

One striking recent case is that of Enes Kanter, NBA’s Turkish star, who is at odds with the current Turkish government. Kanter (25) has been an open critic of the government’s corruption. After the July 2016 coup attempt, he started speaking up even more loudly to protest the government’s persecution of tens of thousands of innocent citizens. Justin Pahl talked with Kanter on his life as a devout Muslim in the NBA and on his struggle as an advocate for the oppressed in his home country.

As a follow-up to the story of Abraham (pbuh) in the previous issue, here comes the story of Joseph (pbuh). Two authors, one Muslim and the other Christian, shares their respective scripture’s narratives about the fantastic life of one of the most well-known figures of human history. Joseph (pbuh) is not only a common name in the Abrahamic traditions; his story is filled with many morals to reflect upon, even if they are not Muslim, Christian, or Jewish.

Air, water, bread, and yes, social media – these are some of life’s essentials. No one seems to be unhappy because they are able to tweet or post on Facebook. But, Sage Chen thinks social media is no different than an authoritarian state. With all the data we freely share on social media, we are allowing the platforms we use to have access to an extraordinary amount of our personal information, much of which we would not normally share with others. Chen discusses the many implications of widespread social media use on security, commerce, and privacy.

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