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The Last 10 Nights of Ramadan

Omar Aftab Throughout the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast, aim to do good deeds and try their best to return to their roots and religion as much as possible. However, even within the month itself, the last 10 nights are an extremely special time. One of these nights, in the Islamic tradition, is said to be Laylat-ul-Qadr, the night of destiny. During this night, everyone’s destiny for the year is decided upon. Furthermore, the night is said to be worth 1,000 months, or roughly 83 years, in terms of good deeds. Therefore, many Muslims spend the last 10 nights “searching” …

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The Rich History of the Ritz

Jay Mafela Located in LaVilla, the Ritz Theatre and Museum is not only a gorgeous venue for concerts and theatrical productions but also serves as a tribute to the lives and contributions of local African-Americans. The Ritz stands on the same spot as the movie theater of the same name built in 1929. At the time, LaVilla was considered by many to be the “Harlem of the South,” attracting performers including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and a young Ray Charles. The original building was eventually torn down with the new Ritz opening in 1999. Today, it …

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The Garden Club of Jax

Lily Snowden The Garden Club of Jacksonville turned 100 years old on March 25, 2022. The Garden Club of Jacksonville is one of Florida’s oldest and most established garden clubs. Ninah May Holden Cummer founded the club on March 25, 1922 in her home in Riverside. The club was originally comprised of 17 of Cummer’s friends. Within months, the club grew to over 100 members. The Garden Club of Jacksonville was one of the original four clubs in the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs. The club continued to grow over the years, and eventually broke ground on a clubhouse. The …

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A New School for the Beaches

Susan Gold, Archives & Collections Manager, Beaches Museum Duncan U. Fletcher High School was built through a federal grant secured with the assistance of Senator Duncan Fletcher, who the school is named for. The location was chosen so the school would be in the center of the school district, and the 22-acre site cost $5,750. The building itself was to cost $69,000 to build. The cornerstone was laid Sept. 25, 1936, and the doors opened on Sept. 20, 1937. Principal Frank Doggett recalled it was hard at first to convince the students to attend, with many wanting to continue attending …

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Understanding Ramadan: the Holiest Month in Islam

Omar Aftab Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting, begins April 1. The month is packed with traditions, both religious and cultural, and for many Muslims, it is the highlight of each year. During Ramadan, Muslims give up all food, drink and sex from sunrise to sunset. However, this is just the bare minimum. Muslims are also expected not to sin, tell lies, swear or get angry, and they are supposed to dedicate as much time as possible toward worship.  During the day, Muslims still pray the daily prayers, and they often increase worship at night. After sunset and breaking the …

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Take It from the Mathews Bridge

Finally, Jacksonville to replace Andrew Jackson statue with a lot of Nu-Metal.  By: Glenn Michael Van Dyke As Floridians, we’re all used to the long, straight, and unchanging drive from Jacksonville to Miami, from hot to hotter, an apt metaphor for Florida’s place among our current political climate. The terrain is all too familiar. It would be “very Florida” to simply crack a beer and watch the scene unfold. But that doesn’t really seem to be working in our favor.  For anyone who believes in progress, it’s easy to feel as though we’re held hostage on this here penisula. A …

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Regally ANASTASIA at the Times Union

Anastasia is based on the long-held myth that Grand Duchess Anastasia and her younger brother, Tsarevich Alexei, escaped the family’s assassination in 1918.  In the mass grave that held the parents, only three of the four sisters were found.  Spoilers!  The fourth sister and Alexei were found in 2007, ten years after the animated movie release.  Although the mystic Rasputin (in the movie, but not the play) makes for a great bad guy, he was actually assassinated two years before the Romanovs.  Last, but not least, the Dowager Empress never lived in Paris.  She traveled to England to live with …

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NFAN

Jay Mafela Ever since COVID-19 hit the nation two years ago, our world was changed forever under a global pandemic. What people forget is the other pandemic that plagues our lives even to this day: HIV. That’s why NFAN is there for us.  Located in Riverside, the Northeast Florida AIDS Network (NFAN) is the largest AIDS service organization in the region. For over 30 years, they have worked to prevent the spread of HIV or treat and assist those who have it. The group serves about 1,500 people every year and offers a large number of services. The main purpose …

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