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I am a 4 year old boy who loves to talk. Actually my birthday is coming in November but I like to say that I’m 4 years old in advance.
I love reading about the Big Bad Wolf and Jack and the Beanstalk and even Cinderella. I can make up my own stories too. That’s the most fun. Today I was telling my Mama the story about a girl called Cinderella and her pet cat that was also called Cinderella. Mama seemed most interested.
Yesterday I took my new book “My Favorite Fairy Tales” with me to school for Show and Tell. I love telling the story of the evil giant who followed Jack with a club when he was running away with the magic harp. The best part is when the giant comes in and says “Fee Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman”.
I was supposed to tell the story to my classmates but when Ms. Faiza told me to come in the front of the class I was just not in the mood. So I refused. Yassin the boy with the curly brown hair had been bothering me when I was trying to draw a dinosaur with a spiky back and I was very cross. After that Noura the girl with the long hair and the Dora bag kept crying during story time and I couldn’t hear properly. To add to my troubles, my Mama had given me something new to try in snack time when I just wanted to eat cookies.
So when it was time for Show and Tell I was just in no mood to entertain anyone. And anyway Mia the cute girl with blue eyes hadn’t come that day so there was nobody to impress.
When I got home I told my Mama that I didn’t “read” the story like she had wanted me to. She told me I could try again another day.
Well, we’ll see about that.
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- Expressed |
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A middle aged man with a tired looking face and old clothes stood in the scorching sun and waited for the lights to turn red. The family in the Land Cruiser watched as he approached their car. When he came close they looked away. But the child at the back was curious.
“What does he want?” asked the little boy snuggled safely in the car seat and holding a Barney that talked when a button was pressed.
“He wants money,” replied his mother as she put down her fashionable Prada sunglasses from her head to cover her eyes and looked in the other direction at the bright shops on the side of the road.
“Can I give him my cookies?” the little boy suggested. His parents exchanged looks and didn’t say anything.
The man on the road looked at the boy in the car and thought of his own son back home. His heart ached. He wished he could send him money like he had promised, but here he was without a job and a visa and begging on the road so he would not starve. He trudged to the next car that stopped.
It was a red sports car with a young man at the wheel listening to loud music. He drummed on his steering and didn’t even notice the man on the road. His mind was too occupied with his lunch meeting at a five star hotel with the girl of his dreams. He checked himself in the mirror, adjusted his spikes, and then continued drumming.
“There’s no hope here”, thought the man on the road as he again took his position on the divider. The lights turned green and the cars sped off leaving him standing alone, the perspiration beginning to drench his faded shirt.
He had come to the country on a visit visa hoping to find work as an electrician. His family of 8 had many expectations of him and had believed that better days were coming. But his visa expired and he still hadn’t found any work. He was willing to do any kind of work but there were hundreds like him in the city and not enough jobs. He had no money left and was forced to beg. Sometimes a kind soul would hand him a few dirhams and he would eat that day. At night he slept at the bus stand.
He would stand at different places each day. He didn’t want to get noticed. He would keep walking if he saw a police car patrolling the area. He didn’t want them to stop him and ask for papers he didn’t have.
He waited for the next batch of cars to stop at the red light. A grey Mercedes slowed down and the driver of the car, an elderly Emirati recognized the man on the road from the day before. He remembered how guilty he had felt for not doing something. After all he had been blessed in every way and it was his duty to share those blessings with those less fortunate than him. He opened his window and signaled to the man on the road.
“Do you want work? Can you work as a gardener?”
The man nodded.
“Here is my address. Come tomorrow morning.”
The man on the road could hardly believe it. He had heard of the generosity of the locals. Was his luck finally changing?
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What if you could create a clone? Would you do it and if so what would you make your clone do that you don’t want to? What if your clone ends up better at doing things than you are?
If I had a clone I would make her do the groceries for me. Oh, you said clone and not servant. I see, but still come on surely she could help out. I mean I HATE doing the groceries.
First of all you don’t find parking; you have to hang around until somebody leaves. Once you’re inside you have this long jumbled up list that you have to go through. Vegetables and fruit first, stand in queue to have them weighed. Then bakery stuff, then on to the meat section. The meat! I have the chicken cut up, “Skin off, 16 pieces and 4 equal packets”, I tell them. How hard is that, but they always get it wrong. Next is the frozen stuff which is usually out of stock. And then comes the hundreds of cans of diet coke which my husband has added to the list. Then on to everything else, well, you get the picture.
I’m sure my clone would be better than me at getting the groceries; I always seem to go in each aisle twice. But wait! I need to get the stuff for my son’s snack/lunch myself; she wouldn’t know the right things to get. I guess I better do it myself.
How about the driving? I could ask her to chauffeur my son around. Since she’s my clone she would obviously be careful. But that would mean that I wouldn’t be picking up my son from school and I do love hearing his stories on the way back. So, maybe not.
Maybe I could make her go to tiresome parties I get invited to. But what if she doesn’t have my diplomacy and answers back to one of those meddlesome aunties? It will be even more awkward for me the next time I meet them. No, that won’t work out either.
OK I know. I could ask her to watch over my son while my husband and I go out for a late night dinner and movie. That would be fun. But what if she wants to go the next time with my husband? Would my husband even know the difference? No that is NOT fun! That would be so weird.
Actually the whole concept is weird. Having a clone. What would it be like? Hearing what you sound like and seeing your mannerisms. And what would she be to my son? Would my son consider her his mother too? Or his aunt? No, No this is too weird, I don’t like it at all.
After all, who needs a clone anyway?
“The hills are alive with the sound of music..”, the music of birds chirping and the gentle swishing of the fresh air. This is Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, built on the foothills of the Margalla hills. I miss the beautiful scenery of Islamabad, my hometown. It’s called “Islamabad The Beautiful” and with reason. Its natural greenery still leaves you in awe, though it has diminished over the years as new residential colonies and highways were built.
My favorite places are the Trail 3 hiking trail in the Margalla hills and the Monal Tree house restaurant. I have seen many places around the world, but this restaurant is the most beautiful place you can sit and eat and enjoy the atmosphere. The view is breathtaking and the food isn’t bad either.
I find the hiking trail tough to climb but once you reach the top the view is really worth it. I like that they have not tampered with the natural beauty of the place.
Just two hours from Islamabad is a hill station made famous for a big hotel constructed there, Bhurban. Further on comes Ayubia and Nathiagali. I miss the snow and the freezing cold of Nathiagali and the spectacular scenery all the way through.
Living in Dubai, they have everything, they built the tallest tower of the world, artificial islands, they even have ski slopes in one of the malls, but they can’t match the beauty of natural landscape. And they can’t build mountains. At least not yet.
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I love wearing bright colors. It makes me happy. I have all colors as long as they are bright. I don’t wear white or brown.
So for this challenge I looked up the relation between colors and personality types.
Pink symbolizes love and affection, Red is the color of vitality and strength, people who like Purple are are highly individual, fastidious, witty and sensitive, Blue is for soft, soothing, compassionate and caring, Yellow is the color of happiness, wisdom and imagination, Green is the color of harmony and balance, Orange is the color of youth, strength, fearlessness, curiosity and restlessness.
These are probably too many traits for one person to have, maybe I have some of them, but the colors I don’t like to wear are White (symbolic of purity, innocence and naivete) and Brown (stamina and patience). The patience bit seems to be true.
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After the engagement he would come to visit me at home as I had not agreed to talk on the phone. I felt that unreserved phone conversations could lead to misunderstanding between two people who hardly knew each other. After all we had all our lives to get to know each other.
It may sound bizarre that two very educated people in this day and age agreed to get married without knowing each other. But ten years down the road we have found love and respect for each other, the ability to be comfortable with each other and let each other be comfortable in our own spaces. We have been together in sickness and in health. We trust each other and look after each other. We are independent people and yet we depend on each other. We may not hold hands in public but we share an intense attraction for each other.
We have got on each other’s nerves and got into arguments but I never remember having stopped talking to each other. There have been bad times too but we never gave up on each other. We just worked things out.
We both have a fondness for travel and discovering new places. Together we have seen 8 countries from the Far East to Europe to the United States. Not only were we learning about new cultures and people but also little by little of each other. It has been an exciting journey.
Yesterday we had gone out at night because my husband wanted to buy a screen protector for his new phone. It was out of stock and we decided to go home but stop for coffee on the way back. As we reached near the coffee place my husband asked me if I was up for it and I told him I was too tired and that we should just head home. We had stopped on the red light when a car apparently out of control crashed through the divider and towards us. It stopped just in front of us. The driver and the passenger were unhurt but if we had decided to go to the coffee place we would have been in the left most lane and surely would have been hit.
It was a scary experience and when I saw that car coming towards us I called out to my husband. That was my first reaction. After a while we both realized how close we had come to being hurt badly. We could have been in the hospital on our anniversary.
Instead, by the Grace of God we will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary tomorrow night with our amazing son and close family next to the beautiful Dubai fountains.
A journey of ten years,
Around the world and with each other,
Are marriages made in heaven?
Yes maybe. For beyond us it is rather,
The factors that come into play
That bring two people together.
But then it’s up to us two
To make things work face to face
Never giving up on each other,
And forever praying for God’s grace.
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28th May 2010: In nearly simultaneous attacks against two mosques in Lahore, Pakistan of the minority Ahmadiyya Community during Friday prayers, 94 people were killed and more than 120 were injured
16th February 2013: At least 84 people were killed and 190 injured after a bomb hidden in a water tank exploded at a market on the outskirts of Quetta, Pakistan; the victims being of the predominantly Shia Hazara community
22nd September 2013: A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a 130-year-old Anglican church in Peshawar, Pakistan after Sunday Mass, killing at least 78 people in the deadliest attack on Christians.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human rights defines Human rights as follows: “Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status.”
However the minorities of Pakistan are even denied the right to live.
Belonging to one of the most hated minority communities in Pakistan, the news coming out from our bleeding homeland just strengthens our decision: We are not going back.
Things are just going from bad to worse. Who can turn the flow around?
We have been living in Dubai for the last 3 years now. After my son was born, my husband made the decision of applying abroad for a job. He was offered an excellent opportunity and we wasted no time to avail it.
We live in peace and without fear. My son cycles every day to the park nearby and I don’t fear that someday he might not come back.
I worry that he doesn’t eat as much as he should, I worry that he still doesn’t know his phonics, I worry that he doesn’t hold the pen correctly when he writes, but I don’t worry for his life.
It is still true that there are people here as well who spread hatred but they are a few and do not wield the power they have back home. They will not greet us like they would greet others but it is OK. I will teach my son that where there might be some who hate him, there are far more who will love him. Love him for his actions and not worry about his faith.
May God bless every child no matter where he comes from or what his beliefs are. And may God have mercy on my homeland.
“The Human Rights Watch has accused the government of having failed to act against abuses committed by security and intelligence agencies which are letting extremist groups to attack religious minorities….Pakistan’s human rights crisis worsened markedly in 2012 with religious minorities bearing the brunt of killings and repression,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan Director of Human Rights Watch.”
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8th October 2005 8:27am
An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 strikes near the city of Muzaffarabad in Pakistan administered Kashmir. International donors estimate the death toll at about 100,000, with an additional 138,000 seriously injured, and 3.5 million displaced.
Abdullah and his younger brother Farooq walked to their school clutching their bags early in the morning as they did every week day. Abdullah was the oldest of 4 siblings and the pride of his father. He loved learning at school and his favorite subject was English. Every year he would get a special prize from his teacher for getting outstanding marks in this subject. He could fluently read the English newspaper to his father who couldn’t understand a word his son was saying but would listen with great pride. His father had only studied till grade 5 and Abdullah was very grateful for the opportunity that he was getting.
His mother used to call him Shahzada (prince) and would sit with him and his younger brother while they ate their breakfast. His sister had not yet started school and the youngest brother was just a baby. Their father worked as a guard in one of the nearby offices and made enough for the family to get by. Abdullah’s schooling was being paid by a government scholarship and they were hoping the other children would follow suit.
The two boys joined their class fellows in the morning assembly. They said their prayers to start the day and some important announcements were made. Then they were escorted to their respective classes by their teachers.
They were halfway through their first class that the ground began to shake. Abdullah was jolted out of his seat and on the floor. The blackboard fell down and the children started screaming. Along with the screaming and the crying was a strange humming sound. The sound of the earth cracking open. A few minutes passed like an eternity. The ground shook as if a giant hand had got it in its grasp and would not let go. The whole building of the school collapsed.
The screaming and crying stopped and was replaced by an eerie silence more terrifying than even the humming. The silence of death.
Abdullah had crawled under the teacher’s desk and when the walls collapsed around him something fell on his leg trapping him there. It was actually a blessing since if he had moved from there he would surely have been killed. There were no survivors from his class. He drifted into unconsciousness.
When he awoke he was in pitch darkness and he could hear the muffled sounds of people calling out. He tried to answer but his throat was so dry he could hardly utter a sound. Hours passed. He could not feel his leg anymore. He started dreaming. His mother was calling him “Shahzada, Shahzada wake up”.
He woke up with a start. Someone was pulling him out. They put him on a stretcher and carried him to a army helicopter. A man was asking him his name and his address. He couldn’t answer. He didn’t have the strength.
This time when he gained consciousness he was in a hospital. His leg was bandaged at least what had been left of it. Looking around he didn’t Continue reading
Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing, or event from the last month of your life into the glistening marble of immortality. What’s the statue and what makes it so significant?
Personal sculptor? My, how vain we are!
As we approach Eid-ul-Adha we are reminded of the willingness of the Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as a demonstration of his obedience to and his complete submission to God until God intervened and allowed him to sacrifice a lamb instead.
Muslims have been commanded to emulate this sacrifice of an animal (lamb, goat, cow or even camel) every year on Eid-ul-Adha. When they make this sacrifice and see how these animals are at the mercy of us humans we are reminded how we are at the mercy of God.
So when a month passes by with good health for my family and me and without any misfortune I would rather say thanks to the Almighty than have statues made!
It is the good works that you do that makes you immortal and even though I did not do anything big like saving a life, I do feel I did all my duties as a mother, wife, daughter, sister and aunt. I gave away my usual donations to charity and did not (I hope) indulge in any sins. (Although I may have transgressed and done some backbiting, but some people really deserve it don’t they? OK maybe not)
Marble is just a rock and it feels cold. My good works would be in the form of a smile on someone’s face or warmth in their hearts and their willingness to pay forward that good.
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