Current Affairs, Original Poetry

Aleppo’s Lost Children

The face paint of war:

Blood and ash.

We have simultaneously

Created a generation

Of

War children

Whilst condemning them

To a life of neglect.

We throw around the words

Blame

And shame,

Any kind of self-justification

For sitting by

And doing nothing.

500,000 lives lost,

and nothing to show for it

other than a

thousand-yard stare.

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Current Affairs

Eid Mubarak!

To all my Muslim friends and family around the world, Eid Mubarak! (A day late, I apologise, as I spent the entire day with family)

This year, Eid was particularly special for me; for one, my entire family spent it together for the first time in years, due to different mosques in different boroughs choosing to celebrate Eid a day after it’s announced by Saudi. I am still yet to understand why. Thus, this year, it was fantastic to spend the entire day with loved ones and not spread it over two days.

Secondly, this year more so than previously, I am reminded of how special family is, and how fortunate I am to be able to spend this year celebrating with them. I am constantly in awe of how exceptionally wonderful my parents are –  I truly feel so blessed to be surrounded by such love. I’m happiest when I’m with them. The events of Baghdad hang heavy in the air for many Muslims celebrating Eid around the world, and I can’t help but feel slightly guilty for enjoying it as much as I did today, knowing there are families around the world who’ve lost so much, so many at the hands of terror. Today allowed me to appreciate that life is unpredictable, and we ought to cherish our time on this earth with the people we love, who help us strive to be better versions of ourselves.

The war on Islam is ongoing, with ISIS claiming more Muslim lives than any other. During this holy month of Ramadan, we witnessed a terror attack on such a great scale, no comparison can be made with relation to lives lost. It’s believed to be one of the deadliest attacks on Iraq. What more can be said to emphasise the severity of this situation? One of the five pillars of Islam is Zakat – charity. I urge as many of you as possible to donate to charities which help cities like Baghdad recover, or at least begin the recovery process.

It appears the Western media only cares about terrorism claiming lives if the victims are Westerners. Muslim lives are worth much less comparatively, in their eyes, hence the substantial lack of media outcry against such an act of atrocity. The Baghdad bombing should serve as a shocking reminder to the ignorant that ISIS do not represent Islam in the slightest if they’re killing fellow Muslims –  they are not Muslims and lost the right to call themselves so when they decided to commit acts of senseless murder in the name of a religion they so clearly subverted.

Conclusively, I ask as many of you as possible to keep Iraq in your prayers. We cannot fathom what they’re experiencing, having to bury their loved ones, children and families on a day where the rest of the world is celebrating the end of a holy month. But we stand in solidarity against the Islamic State militants, and their fight against Muslims. Shia or Sunni, a Muslim is a Muslim. We are all one and equal in the eyes of God, and what matters the most is how we live our lives –  NOT how others live theirs. May God give those who lost their lives a peaceful resting, and those who’ve lost loved ones any kind of comfort to ease their pain.

God is not a creator of evil; evil is manmade.

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Original Writing

Christmas 2015!

It’s finally over. The anticipation, the tension and the stress approaching Christmas Day has all been brought to an abrupt end. All that’s left is aromatic reminder of the food eaten and the foot yet to be eaten; it’s safe to say we’ve all put on roughly 3 stone in one day.

As a Muslim, I don’t celebrate Christmas. However, my dad’s birthday falls on the 25th December, giving us a reason to celebrate the day! As far as Christmases go, this one has been the best yet, fundamentally thanks to my good health and being pain free. It’s the first Christmas in three years that I’m not ill, in pain or in hospital which is a huge, huge deal for me. I also had my loved ones around me, with food to last us into February and laughter which carried through to the late hours of the evening.

I have a lot to be grateful for, but nothing more so than having my parents. They’ve been incredibly supportive over this year and all the obstacles thrown in our direction, but we’ve come out the other end smiling and happy. Just sitting with my family was something special on Christmas Day.

I logged back on to Instagram this morning after turning my phone off to properly enjoy some family time yesterday and sadly found my feed littered with a handful of followers sharing pictures of their gifts. Of course, it is to be expected. But it reminded me of the selfishness in society, where Christmas has been commercialised to the extent that it primarily revolves around what we get. I’m not entirely sure as to what the exact intention is behind people displaying their gifts for all to see: boastfulness, hoping to get burgled or showing everyone how spoilt they are. Sure, I got gifts this year. But they weren’t just for the sake of giving.  They were more like gestures as opposed to gifts; things which meant a lot to each and every one of us in the family.

My thoughts were also with families and vulnerable citizens around the world not so fortunate this Christmas. Those who didn’t wake up to fresh dinners or presents or even a roof over their head. We tend to be consumed by what we love and do to the point of ignoring pressing matters suppressed by the media and authoritative powers.

Whilst enjoying this festive period, please take time to reflect on how fortunate we all are. Ultimately, celebrating Christmas each year is a luxury we dismiss all too quickly.

Happy Holidays! 🙂

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Current Affairs, Original Writing

Road Rage (Off the Roads)

It’s Christmas this week. Holy guacamole.

As I’m working right up until Christmas Eve, I most likely won’t be able to post closer to the big day (and my dad’s birthday which funnily enough falls on Christmas day!)

It’s a shame Christmas has become more of a commercial holiday and less of a festive period in which families come together. People are becoming increasingly angry and stressed in supermarkets and stores, as if there’s a possibility that the number of turkeys, crackers and sprouts might suddenly diminish into non-existence and we’ll be left with nothing on our table for Christmas lunch/dinner. (or ‘tea’ for you Northerners, hm) The vicious attitude of shoppers in the run up to the big day is simply incomprehensible. Getting angry with staff because they don’t have something in stock, or they can’t find something is beyond stupid. People shoving and pushing each other to get to products, using their shopping bags as weapons to get pass one another on pavements etc. It’s carnage. But for what reason? Greed and selfishness sets the foundation for most attitudes stated above.

It’s worth remembering that there are countless children, men and women who’ll be spending Christmas alone in war torn, poverty stricken countries with no presents under a tree or a turkey on the table. They don’t even have clean clothes to wear on a daily basis, a luxury we take for granted.

I hate to be cliche, but I’m trying to provide the ‘gift of giving’ this Christmas by sending a card to an orphan who tragically lost her family; ultimately, I don’t want her to feel lonely – I know it’s not a huge deal but it’s a gesture and I’m hoping it’ll go a long way for her. The prospect of spending a period like this alone is something I daren’t begin to think about but is a reality for so many across the world, and it’s heartbreaking to accept that vulnerable people will be on their own during a time where so many of us take for granted what we have around us.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, but please keep our vulnerable  war-children and victims in your hearts.

A x

 

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Current Affairs

Syria Air Strikes

The result of the Syria Vote has pretty much summed up David Cameron’s attitude towards terrorism, innocent war-torn victims and the general public, including those who stupidly elected him.

After signing a petition, with over 179,000 other members of the public against the Syrian air strikes, I was utterly disgusted to hear our government’s final decision. Cameron’s arrogance at going ahead with launching attacks on Syria is fundamentally fuelled by his ego; he doesn’t want to be seen doing nothing so he does the next best thing – bombing. In many ways, its hardly surprising. He’s following in the footsteps of Blair and Bush who caused a war in which the vacuum of terror expanded. I’m struggling to understand how Cameron came to this decision knowing that air strikes on Syria will furthermore put British society at risk of terror  attacks.

The decision also shows an utter disregard for human life. The blood of innocent Syrian men, women and children is already on his hands as recent footage has shown mass casualties. A river of blood running down an destroyed town, men crying “what is my fault” to cameramen and parents picking up their children’s lifeless bodies from rubble. It’s imperative to note how the airstrikes targeted civilians, with ISIS bases nowhere near casualty sites.

I’m ashamed to live in a country where a prime minister has made such a reckless decision which he believes is for our safety. We’ve let Syria down when they were most vulnerable and in need of our help. David Cameron’s exploitation of the vulnerable has reflected in his choices as Prime Minister, from the cuts to mental health care services and NHS funding, treatment of working class citizens and now this.

Sadly, we’re living in a society where people in power believe the answer to terrorism is more terrorism. And by doing so, we’ve increased the problem. The deaths of Syrian civilians is NOT collateral damage. Instead of fighting a war against terror, Cameron has opted to fight Syria. I hope he can live with the increased threat he’s introduced on our society as well as on innocent civilians in Syria.

Oh, and David? The fact that we’re supporting a country you’ve agreed to obliterate is not “terror sympathising” as you put it. It’s called humanitarian duty: to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

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Current Affairs, Uncategorized

Proud to be Brown

“Not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims.” 

The sad fact is today I’ve found myself yet again justifying my religion and faith in the religion. It appears Facebook is the social platform on which everyone believes they’re a politician when in fact, they’re ignorant, racist  members of society who use a tragic event such as the Paris Attacks of November 13th 2015 to reinforce their discriminatory ideologies and thoughts. From seeing a Facebook page named “Ban the Burqa” to hearing people wishing to bomb the entire Middle East including civilians, I almost reached wits end.

But then I realised something: I’m proud to be a Muslim. I’m proud to be brown. People have a glint of awkwardness in their eyes when they pass a Muslim such as myself since the events which unfolded in Paris and that inspires me to never lose faith in Islam. Islam does not promote violence as CNN once claimed. The main principles Islam advocates are peace and love amongst humanity. Where in the Qur’an does it allow the murder of innocent men, women and children? Where does it say that inciting terror will reveal the path to Paradise? Nowhere.

Furthermore, I am outraged and disgusted at people asking for all Muslims to apologise for the attacks in Paris. Yesterday, people began to unite against hideous sweeping accusations such as above. All Christians aren’t made to apologise for the existence of the terror organisation KKK. All Germans aren’t made to apologise for the Second World War. So why are all Muslims expected to apologise for acts of incomprehensible violence which they explicitly condemn, when IS and other terror organisations represent less than 1% of the 1.57 billion Muslims on this planet?

The Paris Attacks haunt Muslims as a reminder of what we’re being associated with. We, too, have shed tears for the French loss. Tears for the deceased. Tears for humanity.

Let’s pray for World Peace.

“Au nom de quoi?” 

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