Letters to the editor (07/31/14)


Hope for Ghana people
The West African nation of Ghana ― the first African nation to achieve independence from colonial rule in 1957 ― is in the news. Unfortunately, a United States citizen is being tested there for the 90 percent fatal Ebola virus.
Ghana may join the ranks of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the West African countries struggling with an Ebola outbreak, in the setting of inadequate health systems. Of the 1,201 people recently infected in West Africa ― including an American doctor ― 672 have already died.
Fortunately, at least one Ghanaian citizen is being trained in health right here in Valencia County. Mr. Nuhu Alhassan, who was featured in “Fulfilling a dream in Valencia County” in the News Bulletin, is being sponsored by Peralta resident Paul Sanchez to pursue a degree in nursing at the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus.
I would point out that there is free public education in Ghana, but the cost of primary school uniforms and supplies make attendance difficult for many Ghanaian families who earn less than $1,000 per year. Furthermore, in a population of 25.4 million, having only 18 public universities or institutions of higher learning effectively means that university studies are mere dreams for the majority of Ghana’s youth.
Your feature states that Ghana is one of two Anglophone African countries, but, in the continent, English is an official language in more than 25 nations, including South Africa, where I completed part of my training in infectious disease and HIV medicine.
I hope that our visitor from Ghana can visit schools and civic groups as a guest speaker so that more people in Valencia County can learn about the challenges and hopes of African youth.  Thank you for your feature story and great example of Paul Sanchez, whose reaching out promises to touch far more than one student’s life.

Teresa Smith de Cherif, M.D.
El Cerro

Where is America?
I know this is an opinion page, but what is an opinion? Perception of the individual most often has nothing to do with reality.
We have a 1,500-year religious war being conducting against Judaism that has extended to the Western way of life.
What is a common thread of resentment (if you can call it that) of the countries controlled by this thought? How much they hate the Western way of living. After all, Israel is the little Satan and America is the big Satan.
Just like in 1933, it was a European problem and didn’t concern us. Right? It didn’t concern us until all of Europe was conquered, then we became the target.
I know few of us are alive that went through that, and if it didn’t happen to you, it’s no big deal.
We hear all about 800 that have been killed in this war between their religion and Judaism. It’s of great concern to our administration.
We hear all about the children who have (at first) escaped from gangs and drug lords but later admit to only wanting to illegally enter our country to join relatives that are illegally here.
The administration and the Democratic Party makes a large issue of this as a humanitarian problem and went as far as saying they are refugees. Refugees are supposed to be a population or person that if in their country would be killed or harmed because of their religion, nationality, political affiliation, etc. Does that ring a bell to anyone? (1933)
Now we have a leader of a terrorist group who is claiming to be a leader of a country that has announced that’s exactly what is going to happen to more than 200,000 people because of their religion.
Perception: To see what anyone was going to do or say about it. Apparently, nothing. Why? Because it’s not happening to us … yet.
Where is the true humanitarian problem? Where is America?

Thomas L. Ward Sr.
Los Lunas