California’s Bold Stand Against Islamophobia

Muslims pray while celebrating Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of fasting during the month-long Ramadan, at the Baitul Hameed Mosque in Chino, California on July 6, 2016. The Pew Research center estimated earlier this year there were about 3.3 million Muslims of all ages living in the United States in 2015. / AFP / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

California’s State Assembly has taken a strong stand against a rising climate of Islamophobia in America.

On Monday, the Assembly passed a resolution that declared August 2016 as Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month, as part of an effort to acknowledge the “myriad invaluable contributions of Muslim Americans in California and across the country.”

The resolution (HR-59) was introduced by Assemblymember Bill Quirk and passed with bipartisan support, according to NBC.

The writers of the resolution pointed out that California is home to over 240 mosques, more than any other state in the country. The resolution also decried the discrimination that Muslim Americans have had to endure in the years following the September 11 attacks.

“Muslim Americans have made contributions to education, science, entertainment and medicine both nationally and globally,” Quirk told NBC News. “Unfortunately, the Muslim community has been, and continues to be, the target of harassment, discrimination and assaults.” read more –>…

America’s Castles – Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. is the largest home in America. (Image: timeless_toys/Flickr)

Biltmore is considered America’s largest home, boasting 250 rooms and 125,000 acres. Modeled after a 16th-century French chateau, the home is made of more than 11 million bricks.

Owner George Vanderbilt hired Fredrick Law Olmstead, the creator of New York’s Central Park, to design the grounds. The land was had been cleared for farming and timber before Vanderbilt purchased it, but Olmstead worked with foremen to remove damaged trees, allowing the strong ones to flourish. He also planted 300 white pines, and talked Vanderbilt into hiring a trained forester to manage the land. The forest at Biltmore became America’s first managed forest.

Sustainability efforts continue today. Vanderbilt’s descendants recently installed solar panels that supply more than 25 percent of the energy that powers the estate. Biltmore also sets an example for farm-to-table eating, harvesting eggs, fruits and veggies, and beef and lamb from its own farming operation.

courtesy of:

America’s Castles – Lyndhurst

Lyndhurst sits along the Hudson River in Tarrytown, NY. (Image: Urban/Wikipedia)

Lyndhurst sits beside the Hudson River in Tarrytown, N.Y. Originally built in 1938, Lyndhurst was home to people who shaped generations, from New York City Mayor William Paulding to railroad tycoon Jay Gould. When the home was built, surrounding swamps were drained to create the rolling landscape that still surrounds the home today. The castle is now a National Historic Landmark, and according to its website, the grounds still display “sweeping lawns accented with shrubs and specimen trees, the curving entrance drive revealing ‘surprise’ views, the angular repetition of the Gothic roofline in the evergreens, and the nation’s first steel-framed conservatory.”

courtesy of:

America’s Castles – The Breakers

The Breakers in Newport, R.I. withstood the Hurricane of 1938. (Image: Itub/Wikipedia)

The Breakers was originally built between 1893 and 1895 as a summer house for Cornelius Vanderbilt II. At the time, the home cost $12 million to build, a price tag that translates to more than $330 million today.

Although the price seems ridiculously high, the high-end materials were worth their salt. They survived the great New England Hurricane of 1938.

courtesy of:


America’s Castles – Joslyn Castle

A tornado damaged parts of the Joslyn Castle in Omaha, Neb. in 1913. (Image: Ammodramus/Wikipedia)

In a region known more for its farming and tornadoes than for lavish architecture stands Joslyn Castle, also known as Lynhurst.  The 35-room mansion and sprawling estate was built between 1893 and 1903 on the edge of Omaha. Owners George and Sarah Joslyn imported rare trees and plants from around the world to feature in their greenhouse.

On Easter Sunday 1913, a large tornado swept through Omaha. The greenhouse and part of the home at Joslyn was damaged. A hard freeze that followed destroyed the orchids that survived the twister. The Joslyns replaced the greenhouse with a summer house, and added a grape arbor and bird and squirrel feeding stations.

courtesy of:

for more, see:

America’s Castles – Hearst Castle


The Hearst Castle in California. (Image: ArtBrom/Flickr)

Get a glimpse of the land at Sam Simeon, Calif., and it’s no wonder publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst called the area “La Cuesta Encantada” – Spanish for Enchanted Hill. The land was originally owned by his father, George, and the family vacationed and camped on the land while William grew up. When he inherited the retreat in 1919, he knew he wanted to build something magnificent. By 1947, he worked with architect Julia Morgan to create the estate of his dreams: 127 acres filled with gardens, sparkling pools, terraces, priceless art and, of course, Hearst Castle.

courtesy of:

America’s Castles – Downes Memorial Clock Tower Castle


img source:

Located on the campus of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut is the Downes Memorial Clock Tower Castle.

courtesy of: