Unsung Bay Ridge: Working for peace


At this time of the year when “peace on earth, good will toward men” is the universal message, I have chosen to highlight a Bay Ridge resident whose work throughout the years exemplifies that sentiment.

Dr. Ahmed Jaber is one of the founding members of the Unity Task Force in Bay Ridge. Many residents of this peaceful community do not realize that it is not by chance that we have been able to maintain peace and a good quality of life in our neighborhood. Dr. Jaber and other members of the Unity Task Force plan and execute programs that foster peace among Muslim, Jewish and Christian residents.

In 2000, he founded the Arab American Association at 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue, as a social service to help educate, feed and provide help to anyone who walked through the doors, without regard to racial or religious orientation. He funded many of the services from his pocket, and this social service facility grew until it served 4,500 people last year.

Dr. Jaber is also an imam, and serves as the president of the Brooklyn Heights Clergy Association. In addition to his work as a pediatrician, he is a husband and father. I admire his energy and dedication to the cause of peace, in and beyond the boundaries of Bay Ridge.

I am happy to hear that Shirley Behlen, a Bay Ridge community activist who was always involved in community projects with her late husband, Michael, is feeling much better. We are praying for her total recovery, as she is anxious to be back at her community meetings and AARP events.

Happy Birthday to Peter Killen, president of the Bay Ridge AARP Chapter, and executive director of the Consumer Federation. Peter celebrates his New Year’s Day birthday with his lovely wife, Patricia. We wish him many more happy and healthy ones.

UNSUNG FOLK REMEDIES: Coughs, colds and sore throat.
This week I met so many people who were sick with sore throats and cold symptoms that I thought it might be best to post some folk remedies for such discomforts. Flax Seed Tea: For dry coughs that are annoying because they do not go away easily. Hacking coughs can sometimes be a side effect of blood pressure medication or the common cold. Take whole (dark) flax seeds and place one tablespoon into two cups of water. Boil until it begins to thicken. Remove from the heat the moment it begins to thicken. Add lemon juice and honey to taste.

Please consult your doctor if you have any health concerns, or are on any medication.

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