Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Two children killed by 'Christmas Street' blaze
by NILUFER ATIK, Daily Mail
Two children died and a third was fighting for his life last night after a fire thought to have been started by Christmas tree lights.
Five-year-old Jade Goddard and her brother Alex, six, died after their fibreoptic tree burst into flames, destroying the family home.
Their four-year-old brother, Nathan, is on a life support machine, his devastated parents at his side.
The tragedy happened in a neighbourhood known as Christmas Street because of the effort families make to celebrate the festive season.
Thousands of visitors arrive each year to experience the atmosphere and see decorations.
The Goddard house
Last night, however, the lights were switched off in John Street, Thurnscoe, South Yorkshire with the neighbourhood in mourning.
Only hours before the tragedy on Monday, the children's parents - Andrew, 38, and his disabled wife, Mandy, 30 - had joined celebrations for the completion of the street's annual Christmas lights display.
At 10.30pm, a group of neighbours walking home after giving visitors a guided tour saw smoke pouring from the Goddards' semi-detached house.
They smashed down the front door and managed to rescue Mr and Mrs Goddard and Nathan, but when they went back in to save Jade and Alex the intense flames forced them back.
Gary Rhodes, 38, one of the first at the scene, said: 'We managed to find a couple of ladders, but we could see how thick and intense the smoke was.
'Some of the lads started throwing bricks at the windows to try and get some air in so they could breathe and to let smoke out.
'I went up a ladder and the window popped. Andrew was at the window and he couldn't breathe. I grabbed him, pulled him out and I jumped, holding on to him. We both landed on the bonnet of his car.
Another neighbour, Carl McLean, managed to grab Nathan and drag him out.
'We went back in for the other two, but by that time the fire was so intense we couldn't get in. We kept trying and trying. We could hear the kids screaming. It was terrible.
'We did our best but our best wasn't good enough.'
Firemen found Alex and Jade unconscious in separate bedrooms. They died later in hospital. Their parents had minor injuries.
Every year, the residents of John Street build a grotto and hold street parties.
The display attracts 400 visitors a night who, through donations, help raise money for charities. The Goddards had decorated their home inside and out in keeping with the local tradition. Mr Rhodes said: 'The whole street is devastated.
'To think that there was so much joy and happiness just a couple of hours before, and then this happens. It has destroyed Christmas for us.'
South Yorkshire police said the cause of the fire was not certain. A spokesman warned that Christmas lights should always be switched off when unattended.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
I would like to extend my gratitude to dear friends David & Jamak Mc Nair for inviting friends and their son Daniel's kindergarden friends and parents to celebrate daniel's birthday. This was not just another child's birthday in palm Beach. Captain Ken Brack of Riviera Beach Fire Rescue and his team members Paul Wright, T.J. Wagner and Jeff Woltjer were invited. They all came prepared with full gears and two fire trucks to demonstrate the importance of early warning detection. Today was all about fire safety education children and their parents were very attentive. Jasmine's Fire Safety Foundation brochures and flash light were distributed. It is never too early for fire safety. Together we can save innocent lives.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
We are proud to be here with all the Gators at the UF tonight.
Tomorrow we will introduce J.U.S.T.I.C.E & Jasmine's firesafetyfoundation at the UF study abroad fair to the students and staff. I would like to thank the UF staff and the Justice team for making this happen. Together we will save lives. Thank you Shahrzad my dear sister and Nadia wonderful niece to travel with me to Gainesville to cooperate.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
BOSTON -- Forty residents, most college students, were forced out of their apartment early Monday morning by a three-alarm fire.The fire started in the basement of a six-story building on Hemenway Street and Westland Avenue in the Fenway area of Boston just before 3 a.m.
"We just woke up to alarms and smoke. As we all ran as fast as we possibly could. It just kept getting bigger and bigger, so we ran down the street," one displaced student said.
The flames spread through the building and shot through the roof. Investigators said the fire started in the duct work.
"This building is one of the safest in the city. It has smoke detectors; it has sprinklers; emergency lights -- with all that stuff in place, the upper floors were still filling up with smoke. The kids were lucky they left when they were supposed to. So that worked out well, and nobody got hurt," said Boston Fire Deputy Chief Joseph Fleming.
Berklee College confirmed that three of the displaced residents are students at school. The college said it will work with the students to help find alternative housing. Boston's Office of Neighborhood Services and the YMCA is also working with students to find housing."I don't know what to do as far as living. We start classes tomorrow," one student said.The fire caused about $400,000 in damage. No one was hurt.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Table at your Study Abroad Fair!
Many colleges and universities host study abroad fairs in the month of September. Find out when your study abroad fair is or find a public space on campus where you can promote JUSTICE. Send us an e-mail letting us know how many volunteers you have, approximately how many students you will encounter in a day, and when you will be tabling, and JUSTICE will send you brochures, posters, mini-flashlights, and t-shirts for the volunteers. Please be sure to take lots of pictures.
Campus Fire Safety Art Contest
To spread fire safety awareness this September, JUSTICE is holding a fire safety tip art contest! Submit an illustrated version of a fire safety tip, from the list below, from the Make a Plan section on our website, or any fire safety tip you know. It can be beautiful, it can be silly…as long as it is clear and instructional. Be creative!
Submit your illustration with a caption stating the fire safety tip by emailing it as a PDF to firesafetyartcontest@gmail
The best drawings will be distributed on participating campuses during the month of September. They will also be posted on the JUSTICE website and blog to encourage others to distribute them on their campuses! We will be accepting submissions through the end of September, but submit by September 15th for a higher chance of getting your drawing distributed. Winners receive a JUSTICE t-shirt.
Fire safety tip examples:
-Plan two ways out of every room
-Stop, drop, and roll
-Keep space heaters at least 3 feet from anything flammable
-Do not open a door that is warm to the touch (test it with the BACK of your hand)
-Stay low to prevent being overcome by smoke as quickly
-Test your smoke alarm
-Install a smoke alarm in your bedroom
-Before you throw out butts and ashes, make sure they are out by dowsing in water or sand.
-Never smoke in bed
-Keep an eye on your cooking and stay in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of
-Extinguish food fires with baking soda. Never use water or flour on cooking fires
-Keep the oven door shut and turn off the heat to smother an oven or broiler fire.
-Slide a pan lid over flames to smother a grease or oil fire, then turn off the heat and leave the lid in
place until the pan cools. Never carry the pan outside
-Do not overload electrical outlets or power strips
-Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately
-Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights
-Do not add lighter fluid to an already lit fire because the flame can flashback up into the container and
-Dispose of hot coals properly - douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is
out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers
-Do not open the hood or trunk of a car if you suspect a fire under it. Air could rush in, enlarging the fire, leading to injury. Move away from the car and call 911
-Don’t live in / stay above the 7th floor. Fire fighters may not be able to rescue you!
Distributing Fire Safety Tips on Your Campus!
A simple way to include your University for Campus Fire Safety Month is to print out and distribute the winning illustrations on your campus (we will post them). Send us your info and we'll include you on the list:
Florida State University
University of California, Berkeley
University of Florida
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Dear UCEAP Campus and Systemwide Office Staff:
I am honored to announce the recipients of the inaugural Jasmine Jahanshahi Scholarships. Those were established to honor the memory of Jasmine Jahanshahi, a stellar UC Berkeley student who died tragically while participating in UCEAP’s Sciences Po Program in Paris.
I was pleased to see the extraordinary response to this first call. Over 130 applications were received, many documenting high academic achievement and a strong commitment to global issues. This is the standard of excellence, global awareness and engagement that Jasmine Jahanshahi exemplified.
I determined that for the inaugural year of this scholarship, UCEAP will allocate an additional $16,500 to the initial pool of $5,000, for a total of $21,500. The two Jasmine Jahanshahi Scholarships of $2,500 have been awarded as well as an additional 17 scholarships ($1,500, $1,000, and $500) for the 2011-12 year.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
- On average in the United States in 2009, someone died in a fire every 175 minutes, and someone was injured every 31 minutes (Karter 2010).
- About 85% of all U.S. fire deaths in 2009 occurred in homes (Karter 2010).
- In 2009, fire departments responded to 377,000 home fires in the United States, which claimed the lives of 2,565 people (not including firefighters) and injured another 13,050, not including firefighters (Karter 2010).
- Most victims of fires die from smoke or toxic gases and not from burns (Hall 2001).
- Smoking is the leading cause of fire-related deaths (Ahrens 2010).
- Cooking is the primary cause of residential fires (Ahrens 2010).
Monday, July 25, 2011
New Jersey Legislators Introduce Bill Aimed at Providing Fire Safety Education and Training to College Students
WASHINGTON – After collaborating to get legislation passed that requires disclosure of fire safety records of college student housing, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) and U.S. Sen. Frank L. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today introduced a bill that would provide college students with fire safety education and training. Both legislative efforts were inspired by the tragic fire at a Seton Hall University dormitory more than 10 years ago.
“We know that sprinkler systems and fire alarm systems save lives when a fire breaks out and are necessary. However, preventing a fire from happening is the most effective tool of all. Education is the key. Even the brightest students can make a costly mistake in their dorms or off-campus housing that can result in a fire,” said Congressman Pascrell, a member of the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees. “With this legislation were providing resources to colleges and universities to help make sure students have the knowledge and training that can save their lives.”
“Increasing fire safety awareness on our college campuses will help to save lives and allow students to focus on their education,” Senator Lautenberg said. “We made great strides with enactment of the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know law, which gives students and families information about the fire safety records of colleges and universities. Now it's time to ensure that schools have the resources to educate the campus community about fire safety and prevent tragedies.”
"Fire has a huge impact on our society and our economy. Each year, over 3,000 people are killed and more than $12 billion in damage is caused by fires,” said Ed Comeau, publisher of Campus Firewatch. “By educating students about how to prevent one from breaking out in the first place we can build a fire-safe generation that will save lives, now and for the future."
The Campus Fire Safety Education Act of 2011, which creates a new competitive Campus Fire Safety Education Grant Program at institutions of higher education, will increase fire safety awareness among college students, help improve their fire training, and save lives.
"Even the brightest students can make a costly mistake in their dorms or off-campus housing that can result in a fire,” said Congressman Pascrell.
Funding may be used to initiate, expand, or improve a fire safety education program on their campus. Schools can apply on their own or in collaboration with a nonprofit fire safety organization or public safety department, and may include a fraternity and sorority. Since a high proportion of student fires occur off-campus, schools will be encouraged to use these funds to educate students living both on- and off-campus.
It is endorsed by a number of fire safety and campus organizations, including Campus Firewatch, the International Code Council, the International Fire Marshals Association, the National Association of State Fire Marshals, the National Fire Protection Association, the National Fire Sprinkler Association, the Association of College and University Housing Officers International, the Congressional Fire Services Institute, the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
In 2008, the Higher Education Opportunity Act became law with provisions from the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know Act introduced by Rep. Pascrell and Sen. Lautenberg. The provisions aim to address concerns relating to fires in college dormitories and off-campus student housing by requiring schools to report fire safety statistics to the Department of Education and making this information publicly available to students and parents.
Congressman Pascrell introduced the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know Act in the 106th Congress following Seton Hall University’s tragic fire on January 19, 2000, which killed 3 students and injured over 50 others.
On July 24, 2007, Senator Lautenberg led the U.S. Senate in passing the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know Act of 2007 as part of the Higher Education Act.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
IMPACT ON EMERGENCY SERVICES
The issues in this article are many and broad: proper inspections, required maintenance and adequate preventive measures are key issues. However, this article also points out the impact that social policy can have on emergency services. This apartment house was home to families who lived in overcrowded conditions, with some citing 12 individuals living in three rooms. The wiring was said to be faulty by some residents, and the structure itself was of questionable integrity.
Less overcrowding would have lessened the number of dead, but emergency workers are also of the opinion that most of the dead died from asphyxiation in their sleep, not from burns. Better safety equipment might have awoken these individuals, but without adequate escape routes and fire safety measures, it is not clear if additional lives would have actually been saved.
At the heart of this tragedy is the issue of how to provide adequate and safe housing for the poor. Although this fire took place in France, the issue is one that confounds municipalities in the United States, as well. According to the article, Paris provides "social" (subsidized) housing for approximately 12,000 families, but more than 100,000 families�primarily immigrants�are in need of such housing. In these situations, it is not surprising that overcrowding results as multiple families end up living together out of necessity.
The same is true in the United States, where multiple families will live in small apartments or even homes resulting in overcrowding. This results in unsanitary conditions as well as dangerous fire conditions. Landlords are often unmotivated to provide more than just enough fire safety equipment to meet local codes, and in many cases, landlords are willing to risks fines and do not even provide the most basic equipment.
EMS personnel cannot bring about social change, but they can be aware of those neighborhoods and structures that are subject to overcrowding and which may not meet local codes. In addition, inspections can be stepped up to ensure that buildings are brought up to code, or that violations are expensive to landlords so that it becomes more economical to provide a safe living environment than not. Finally, EMS personnel can engage in community outreach programs and educational programs to provide information about how to survive fire and other disasters to mitigate casualties.
Fickling, D. (2005, August 26). Paris apartment fire kills 17. Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 27 Aug 2005 from: .
Monday, July 18, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
On Saturday July 16th, despite the typical hot and humid weather in South Florida, many friends and families joined us in PGA Park for a fund raising event to benefit families of Josh Burch and Brett Fulton, the two forest rangers who lost their lives to a forest fire in Florida in June 2011. Once again, our friends and families came to us with open arms and heavy hearts and because of their generosity, we collected $1640.00 and our foundation will add another $500.00 to the collection and deposit to “SunState Frederal Credit Union” in name of the survivors of the families. On Saturday, there was plenty of food and drink to go around and surrounded by a group of loving and compassionate friends and families, it was truly a birthday that Jasmine would have approved of. Thank you for everyone’s participation and donations.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- Smoke alarms save lives, but those who are deaf or hard of hearing cannot depend on the sound of a regular smoke detector to alert them to a fire.
That is why Palm Beach County fire rescue will soon be installing special smoke alarms for hundreds of people. This week the department was awarded a $949,000 grant by the Department of Homeland Security to provide about 15,000 special smoke detectors to people who are deaf.
The Lifetone alarms not only wake people with hearing loss, they also shake the bed while they are sleeping.
"It will interpret the sound of smoke alarm plus it will flash fire so they know there's a fire in the house and that will help them get out quickly," said Gerri Penney, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.
The grant also provides money for a sleep study to find out what wakes someone who is deaf or hard of hearing.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Since 2005, Campus Firewatch has requested that governors across the U.S. proclaim September as Campus Fire Safety Month in order to encourage universities to teach their students about fire safety. Here is a link to the letter they sent to the governors this year and a link to their page about this movement.
Check the map to see if your state has proclaimed September as Campus Fire Safety Month. If not, you can start the campaign at SignOn.org!
Please share this cause with your friends and include the following message:
On April 14, 2011, Jasmine Jahanshahi lost her life in an apartment fire while studying abroad; at least 6 college students affiliated with American universities have perished in fires this academic year. Join JUSTICE and Campus Firewatch in requesting that governors across the U.S. proclaim September as Campus Fire Safety Month in his or her home state in order to "raise awareness and encourage schools to provide fire prevention and safety education". If we can inspire university officials to make fire safety a part of the curriculum at freshmen orientations and at study abroad orientations, we can help young adults learn to protect themselves. Please visit firesafetyfoundation.org for fire safety tips and for more information about JUSTICE, the foundation we have established in Jasmine's memory.
So I signed a petition to United States Governors, which says:
"Formally proclaim September as Campus Fire Safety Month in your home state."
Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name:
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Burch, 31, was a Forest Ranger who lived in Lake City with his wife and two children. He worked with the Division of Forestry for more than ten years. Fulton, 52, began as a professional welder with the Division twelve years ago. He has been a Forest Ranger with the Department for more than nine years. Fulton leaves behind a wife and two grown children in White Springs.
On Saturday, July 16th from 4:00 to 8:00 PM, please bring a dish and join Jasmine’s family at PGA National Park for a potluck picnic to celebrate Jasmine’s life and share our strength with others who need it now. We will be collecting donations for the families of Josh Burch and Brett Fulton, and Jasmine’s Fire Safety Memorial Fund will match the donations up to $500.00 and send them to the two memorial funds. A crape myrtle tree will be planted in the park in Jasmine’s memory.
Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun: Pastor Howard Thomas says a prayer during a memorial service for Brett Fulton and Josh Burch in Lake City, Fla., on Wednesday, June 22, 2011.
Soon, we will be posting information on how to donate in advance for those who cannot attend. If you would like to offer support in words, the Department’s Division of Forestry is accepting letters of condolence on behalf of the families of Josh Burch and Brett Fulton. Please mail correspondence to:
c/o Director Jim Karels, Division of Forestry
3125 Conner Boulevard
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Your words gave us strength when we needed it, and expressing our gratitude for Burch and Fulton’s dedication and sacrifice to fire safety is a beautiful way to share strength with their families.
To RSVP on Facebook, click here!
See the response post.
Monday, June 27, 2011
The University of California Education Abroad Program is honored to announce the Jasmine Jahanshahi Scholarship Award. Recipients of the award will be undergraduate students enrolled at the University of California, who have been accepted to a semester- or year-long immersion program of the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), and who have demonstrated academic excellence and a strong commitment to global issues.
The scholarship is being established in memory of Jasmine Jahanshahi, a UCEAP and UC Berkeley student who participated in the 2010-2011 program at Sciences Po, in Paris, France with a goal to foster deeper global connections. Two scholarship awards in the amount of $2,500 each will be made available yearly, starting in the 2011-12 academic year. Details will be made public as soon as possible. Contact Andrea Delap, Sr. Analyst email@example.com if you have any questions.
“To truly understand a country – its social tensions, linguistic subtleties, culture, one must have a first hand account; one must spend a significant amount of time in the country.”
- Jasmine Jahanshahi
Friday, June 24, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
I said, "Let me change it out for a new one," and they happily accepted my offer. It took me only 10 minutes to do it. Imagine how many buildings have a similar problem. Please remember a building is only as safe and strong as it's weakest link.
Friday, June 10, 2011
There is a law requiring every home in France to be equipped with a smoke alarm by year 2015- that is too late!
Around 800 people die each year from domestic fires in France and it is estimated that only 1% to 3% of homes in France are currently equipped with a smoke alarm. This compares with 98% in Norway and 89% in the UK, where they have been a legal requirement since 1997.
The difficulty with any new law is going to be the practicalities of ensuring compliance, unless the government was to employ an army of 'smoke alarm inspectors', which seems unlikely! It could well be that pressure will be exerted through French home insurance companies to make it a condition of insurance policies. However, even then there remains the difficulty of ensuring the alarms are installed and maintained properly. We shall have to await the outcome of the passage of the law, and the no doubt voluminous decrees that will subsequently be published on the subject.
According to an article in The Connexion, even when the law is enforced, the responsibility for buying the alarm and regularly checking it falls on the person living in the home, except in holiday homes and furnished flats where it is the landlord's job. A law to make installation of the smoke alarms in France compulsory was passed in 2009 but was ruled unconstitutional. The revised version was backed by the majority of MPs except the Communist party, which argued the responsibility should always fall with the landlord and not the tenant.
If you or your loved ones are interested to rent a property in France or anywhere in the world where the Fire Safety Law is not enforced, there is not any law to stop you making it a Condition of the Contract that your rental shall be equipped with smoke detectors, fire extinguisher, and Escape Ladder, even though it is not yet enforced.
Monday, June 6, 2011
One of Jasmine's favorite mottoes was: Work Hard. Play Harder. I remember she told me that after we took the last final exam of our sophomore year at Dreyfoos. And with a devilish laugh, and a Missy Elliot dance move, she said to me, having not slept in days due to studying: "It's party time." A perfect balance of steadfast, unshakable work ethic and fresh, indefatigable playfulness, Jasmine knew when it was the right time to be serious and when it was the right time to let everything go.
A true night-owl, I knew that if I called Jasmine after midnight, chances were good that she would still be wide awake. "Sleep is for the weak", she would say. I remember there would be times where I would call and she would be at the gym--in the middle of the night--on a treadmill, reading for AP world history and somehow still had the time to talk about our unusual but strikingly-parallel infatuations with goofy, long-haired music-majors. Jasmine's sense of humor was the first thing that I noticed about her. Her bold, frequently sarcastic jokes made it easy for us to get a long right from the start. I remember when I first started to spend time with Jasmine, I picked up on her eclectic, Persian beauty-bohemian meets M.I.A. gangster--meets indi- foreign film fusion-taste in things.
To me, anything Jasmine suggested was cool; even Kava. I remember it was Jasmine's bright idea to walk over to the Purple Lotus after school one day to drink some. So we 15 year olds made the trek with our oversized backpacks--some of us still in braces-- into the shady area of Clematis…
"This tastes like a mix of shit water and turpentine, Jasmine" someone said.
"Just wait. It's very relaxing--you will see," she said. And so we listened. Yes, Jasmine could even make overpriced brown water cool. I remember so clearly the sleepovers we had at her house--all of us girls would try so hard to be quiet so that we didn't wake up Jasmine's parents who slept in the next room. Trying to stay quiet was one of the most difficult things to do when Jasmine was around because we would be too busy laughing hysterically. When we would actually try to fall asleep, Jasmine would only have to say one word to break the silence and send us cracking up all over again.
I think it's fair to say that my relationship with Jasmine was mostly a silly one--but sometimes, it would go the other way too and we would end up having the most profound discussions about life, meaning, the future, our mothers, literature, and our fears. I remember laying in bed with her on some nights, being moved as I would listen to the way that she would talk about things. She told me about her Outward Bound experience and about the night she spent a lone in the woods. That night ended up falling on her sixteenth birthday. When I asked her to tell me what happened that night a lone amongst the trees she said "you know, I don't know what it was- i just sat there and cried. I cried for hours out there. I just cried simply because I was in awe of the beauty of nature; the beauty of everything. I was at such peace out there". That was the thing about Jasmine, as tough as she was--she could really FEEL. I always felt that she knew something about life--a secret--a recipe--to life…that I did not. And this was something that fascinated me so much about her character.
We receive this news and our hearts stop. It's as if time comes to a halt and the world stops spinning. Suddenly, flashbacks, images and memories start surging to the forefront of our minds. I am sure that if we were all to get up here and list the most beloved and intimate experiences we have shared with Jasmine, we would be here for a very, very long time.
As these memories start to come back, I recall one--quite simple--that stands out.
One summer evening, before a sweet-sixteen that would require bikinis, Jasmine suggested that we go for a several-mile run heading south on the beach until we couldn't run anymore.
"Our abs have to look good tonight, Losh," she said. And despite the fact that i hated running with a passion, i agreed. Naturally, Jasmine never felt that it was necessary to start to warmup much, but rather she charged ahead right from the start. I didn't want to admit it to her, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep up. I could already tell because she was much too enthusiastic for a run. But not wanting to look weak in front of her, I kept up my posture and ignored the fact that my thighs were screaming at me.
"Come on, Losh. you can do it. You can do it," she said…stop holding your breath. You can do it..". She wasn't showing any sign of slowing down; if anything, she started to pick up the pace a little. Just when i felt like i was going to collapse, she said,
"Alright, let's go a little faster now". And I had to laugh because she was singing a rap song at the same time that she was essentially sprinting.
"You are crazy", I told her. "Just don't give up, Losh. We can rest at the yellow sign." Relieved, I looked for the yellow sign ahead and i instantly became disillusioned when I noticed that that yellow sign she spoke of seemed to be million miles away. Finally, I gave up.
"Seriously, girl…you go. I think I am going to throw up. "
"Come on, just another 2 minutes," said Jasmine.
"No, seriously, Jasmine…you go." And I dropped to my knees and crawled towards the water. She hesitated but then said to me, "Okay, i'll be back in a bit".
I sat and found a comfortable spot next to the shoreline and as the sun started to fade into the west, I watched my friend Jasmine run off into the distance. Watching her from the back, I remember admiring the way she ran. She was so strong. Disciplined. Purposeful. Resolute. I watched her legs moving at a consistent pace. I was imagining the drum beat that was going on in her mind to keep her focused on the end. I was watching her get smaller and smaller--the whole time, I imagined Jasmine as the warrior. I imagined Jasmine as a hero that was sent off for a mission--and that she couldn't stop running until she got to her destination. I had a lot of thoughts going through my head as I watched Jasmine fade off into the distance and I remember thinking--you are so cool, Jasmine Jahanshahi. I remember thinking to myself, I wish I could be more like that. I remember thinking--that girl will never give up. And as I watched Jasmine's silhouette fade as she moved further and further away from me, I had a thought. I thought--this is how Jasmine is. She will never stop running. And she will ask you to run with her. She will stop, but only to motivate you--not to pity you. But she would still ask you to run with her. Because she believed in you. Because she believed in everyone. Her momentum in life was always fueled by her desire for progression and stopping was not an option.
Jasmine lived the way she ran. She lived with such an intensity that often, it would have been difficult for any average person to keep up. Beautiful lives cannot be reduced by the brevity of time. The love and influence that Jasmine has brought to the world is everlasting. May we not only learn from Jasmine's limitless passions, but also carry with us forever the meaning of her life.
Though my heart aches that I will never be able to embrace you again, it occurred to me the other night that you are very much a part of who I am--you have bound us all together forever. You are nestled in the heart and soul of everyone who has ever known and loved you. All that you are, Jasmine, is right here today and it will be that way always. And next time I ever feel like stopping the run, I will think of you, my beautiful friend, dust the sand off my legs, and move forward into the direction of all that you are.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
A few days ago, we received news of a very generous donation that has allowed us to rethink the scope of our goals. After hearing Jasmine’s story and reading about JUSTICE on our website, Helen Rosburg pledged to make a donation of $10,000. We are so grateful to Mrs. Rosburg for her tremendous generosity and dedication to fire safety.
We are in the process of compiling a list of all those who attended Jasmine’s memorial and all of you who have donated to JUSTICE. In all of the rush to get the foundation up and running, we have not paid sufficient tribute to our donors. You all mean a lot to us, and we hope you accept our sincere thank you.
Finally, all donors will receive a card in the mail that will encourage you to sign up for our mailing list so that we can keep you informed about JUSTICE’s new campaigns.
Co-treasurer of the Jasmine Jahanshahi Fire Safety Foundation