About eight years ago, Mustafa Hasan was stuck in Baghdad traffic when he heard an explosion. A car bomb had gone off somewhere behind him and a swarm of people came running past his car to get away from the burning vehicle. Before he had time to figure out what to do, another car exploded, this one fewer than 10 cars behind him. By now, his friend, the driver, had fled, leaving him sitting trapped, alone and confused in the passenger seat. He couldn't move, and he was dizzy and hurt from where his head had smashed into the windshield after the second blast.
The City of Burnaby and the Burnaby Rhododendron and Gardens Society held the annual Rhododendron Festival on Sunday, May 5 at Deer Lake Park. The festival included roving entertainers, workshops, nature and horticulture tours, kids' activities, a silent auction and pottery and plants for sale. The festival started as a contest in 1989 to choose a hybrid rhododendron for Burnaby's 1992 centennial and has since grown into an annual all-day affair. The festival promotes the city's rhododendron emblem by encouraging the planting and cultivating of the trumpet-shaped flower.