life rattle show no. 1317

Presented on THURSDAY, october 2, 2014


hosted by laurie kallis


"Eid-ul-Adha" by
Waffa Saleem

"Electricity" by
Daniel Ignacio

"The Chinese Carpet" by
Zeenat Mohamed

"Our First Time" by
Kimmy Vu



tonight's Show

Life Rattle No. 1317 features four new stories by four Life Rattle Writers.

It is quite the challenge to write from the point of view of a child in a manner that both presents the magical aspects of a child’s perspective and engages an adult reader. All four of tonight’s writers do exactly that. Through their eyes and their words, we experience, once again, that feeling of being somewhat lost in the inexplicable world of adults. And tonight’s stories, set in Kenya, the Philippines, Pakistan and Canada, bring home the universal nature of that experience.

Our first reader, Waffa Saleem, was born on February 2, 1992, in Lahore, Pakistan, to Muhammad Saleem and Shagufta Hameed. After spending the first four years of her life in Saudi Arabia, Waffa, her parents, her older sister and younger brother, immigrated to Canada. In 2003, they moved to Mississauga, where they currently reside. Waffa Saleem studied sociology and writing at university and enjoys taking walks when it snows.

Waffa writes in a simple, gentle way that captures both the innocence of make-believe and the weightiness of reality in the world of a child.

Tomorrow, Friday, October 3rd, is the beginning of Eid ul-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, an Islamic religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide each year.

In "Eid ul-Adha" Waffa shows us a child’s experience of her first, real, Eid ul Adha feast in Pakistan.


Our second reader, Daniel Ignacio, was born in 1992 in the province of Tarlac, known for its vast farms of rice, corn and sugarcane, in the Philippines. His family moved to Canada in early 2006. Daniel is the second of three children, sandwiched between two sisters. His father, an electrical engineer, has a rich vegetable garden in their backyard, while his mother, a nanny, has developed a versatile approach to cooking.

Daniel comes from a family of musicians and singers. He plays the piano, guitar and drums, and has been a musician in a local church in Scarborough, Ontario, for the past seven years. Daniel Ignacio is also a web and graphic designer and is currently honing his skills in digital/concept art.

Daniel rolls rich details of setting into his very matter-of-fact approach to documenting the novel experiences of a child.

In "Electricity" we watch, with a slight grimace, as a young boy experiments with electricity, and discovers why his dad no longer uses one of his tools of the trade.


Our third reader, Zeenat Mohamed, was born in 1963, in Nairobi, Kenya, the eldest of three children. Zeenat immigrated to Toronto to complete her last year of high school. After graduating from university in Montreal, Zeenat worked for the airline industry as a customer service agent. She now teaches English as a Second Language to adults. Zeenat Mohamed has travelled to twenty-two countries, speaks seven languages, and has developed a passion for community gardening.

Zeenat bestows her characters with a rumbling low key humour and lively dialogue that brings a quirky freshness to her observations.

In "The Chinese Carpet," we discover her father’s attachment to an antique carpet, as well as other collectibles that he purchases at auctions, much to the chagrin of his wife.


Our final reader, Kimmy Vu, is the youngest child and only daughter to two Vietnam refugees. Her parents were separated for two years before they reunited in Canada. After reuniting, they gave birth to Kimmy in 1994 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto.

Kimmy tells us that her mom always reminds Kimmy of how much of a headache she was as a child and that there was never a year when she didn’t get phone calls from teachers or principals. That didn’t change even when the family moved to Mississauga, to four different homes and Kimmy attended seven different schools.

Most of Kimmy’s family members were convinced that Kimmy was going to be a high school drop-out. With the exception of her grandma—she was certain that Kimmy was going to be pregnant at sixteen. But Kimmy graduated from high school with honours, achieved the second highest grade in her biology class and has had one long-term relationship.

After discovering her love for biology, Kimmy Vu decided to attend university, where she pursues a degree that will take her one step closer to a career that helps save people’s lives. Other than studying, Kimmy loves to swim and getting lost on long adventures. She jumps at any opportunity to experience something new.

Kimmy Vu writes with vivid details that perfectly portray the open-eyed fascination of her young narrator.

In "Our First Time," we see a young girl astonished by the not-quite-legal actions of her mother while they are on a shopping trip, and the embarrassing outcome.