My World

Saturday, February 10, 2007

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

Khlil Gibran

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Purple Hibiscus
Chimamanda Ngozi Aduchie

In this brilliant novel, Kambili is a very young Catholic girl who has been overpowered by his father’s rough behaviour. He beats her and Jaja, her brother, very badly. She is growing up in a very rich Nigerian family. They are strictly religious. She has been living in a fearful world, the fear of her father, and his violent punishments, which she justifies by saying to herself that her father wants the best for her. She knows that she shouldn’t commit sins otherwise her father will punish her for her sin, in order to not to do it again.

Kambili’s grandfather is a pagan. He worships his ancestors, and this is a cause for him and his son, Kambili’s father, to fall out and never visit each other.

This novel tells the story of three generations. One is Kambili’s grandfather who is not a Christian and follows his ancestor’s religion. He is a moderate person. He loves his children and grandchildren. He lives alone and his son- Kambili’s father- supports him financially. He prays for his children and rest of the family whenever he prays, and is kind to his grandchildren.

The second family in the novel is the story of Kambili’s family: her mum, dad and brother, Jaja. Her father is very aggressive towards them. For any small reason, he punishes them cruelly. He wants his kids not to make any mistake and be the best in everything. He tells them that God will punish them if they don’t do well, because He has given them everything they need to be successful! Kambili’s father is involved in politics and is a social reformist. He is on the opposition party. He is a very generous man and helps the poor when they are in need.

The third family are Kambili’s aunt. She is a university lecturer. They are a Catholic family too but very open minded and open to discussions with a broad understanding of different beliefs and customs. She is a lively woman who has lost her husband and lives with her three children. They are a low middle class family with enough income to live happily.

The book highlights the effect of education on religion and beliefs. It shows that narrow-mindedness eventually destroys one’s life, takes away the happiness, and throws one’s attention only on being careful of not committing any sins. It shows that being rigid in a religion make you tunnel visioned. It makes you to be cruel to people who you love and care for. Sometimes it goes too far until you hurt them physically and mentally without being aware of your doings. It shows that this might make a little different or a massive change in one’s behaviour or personality in surface, but it won’t become part of you. You will put it aside as soon as you have the opportunity. This reminds me of something that I have read somewhere, which says science has done more for the development of western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen hundred years!

It also emphasizes that wealth brings you happiness up to a certain level, after that if you get wealthier it won’t raise your happiness and satisfaction of your life.
The last issue that this book underlines is that you need education and religion together in a moderate way to make a success of your life. Albert Einstein says that, science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

“ Immensely powerful” The Times

“An intoxicating story that is at once distinctly feminine, African and universal” Observer

Monday, November 27, 2006

The water bearer

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water on his house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own perfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.” The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flow, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and everyday while we walk back, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Friday, November 17, 2006

Persistence pays always!

When my son was in primary school, he missed the chance of taking the entry exam for 11 plus exam, so he never knew that if he really could pass the exam and join the Grammar school in his secondary years. My initial unfamiliarity with the education system in the UK and uncertainty about the length of our stay took away this opportunity from him.

When he had to attend a state school, I was unhappy with myself and I tried to see if there was anything else I could do. But the resources I looked to for information were not the correct ones, and then I washed my hands of it.

He studied the first year in the school. It was not as bad as I thought. His teachers all realized that he is a clever and intelligent boy and in some subjects they tired to work with him more than the others. He did really well and in some subjects like maths and geography he won prizes.

One day I was on the Internet and comparing the different schools results on their GCSE exams that by accident I came across this website explaining about an entry exam for 12 plus. I immediately contacted the admin and asked for more information. I found out that my son still could attend the entry exam for grammar school. I wrote down what and when I needed to apply for the exam.

It was in March 2005 that I had all the necessary documents and my son’s school results to send to the education department and wait for their reply. It was end of May that I received a letter from them confirming a date for the exam.

The big day came and we went there. I wished him all the best and left him to do his exam while my heart was filled with hope for his success. In mid august we received the results, they were excellent and I couldn’t ask for more. He had scored higher that even selective ones. But the bad news was that unfortunately there was no free space on any grammar school in the borough I had applied for. We could appeal against the decision but I did not do it. I felt that there was no reason that he would be accepted if there were no vacancies. At this stage what made me happy was that my son had his confident back. He found out that he was capable of passing the exam with no problem at all. The exam was not an easy one. I knew lots of parents who cared about their children’s education had few private tutors teach them maths, science and few other subjects just to help their children to reach a level to pass the exam. And here we go, my son was intelligent enough to pass it with his own efforts only. I was very happy and proud of him, he was too- rightly so.

It was the first of November 2006 and I was on my team away day when my mobile rang around half past two. I couldn’t answer it as I was in a session and not able to answer it. It rang again around half four, I asked for permission and left the session to answer it. It was a lady from bexley admin telling me that there was a vacancy in the grammar school of his choice. I was over the moon. I did not know how to thank her for giving me this good news. After that I quickly called home and passed the good news to my son. His innocent voice became so delightful and said “ how great Mummy”.

I had to contact the school and arrange a day for pre- induction and 13th November was decided for him to start the new school.

Today is 15th November and he has gone to his new school for two days.

I knew that “persistence pays always” but I have my son to thank for all his hard work, commitment and his dedication to his education and being a real sweetie for me. I just want him to know that I will be there for him in every step of his life whenever he needs me. All my prayers and blessings will be with him all the way …

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Victims of tortures

I had a client yesterday. He was tortured so badly. I saw his pictures. The effect of whipping and lashes on his back, full of blood and wounds. I couldn’t watch them all. Only a few of them. It feels like they are still in front of me. After seeing him, I had other clients to see and I had to concentrate on my job. When I was coming home those pictures and the innocent looks of that man kept coming back into my mind. Obviously something was bothering me, but I did not know what it was. I came home, broke my fast, like any usual day I did some chores around the house and other usual business that I do everyday, and then I went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night. I was short of breath and sweating. I was dreaming, and I remembered what I was dreaming about. I realized why those pictures have been haunting me all day long. I have a bad memory of torture. The story is that when I was young about 15 years old, and was living in a small city where most people knew each other, a young boy roughly the same age as me, had done something wrong and they wanted to whip him. It was few years after the revolution. The government decided to punish him in our school in front of us. Maybe they thought that would be a lesson for other youngsters to behave themselves. Or any other reason which I can’t think of now. I remember it vividly now that our head teacher called us all into the playground and asked us to make a big circle. We were not aware what was happening. Then the main entrance of the school opened and three officials came in with a young boy whose hands were tied from behind and was blindfolded. They lay him down and opened his eyes. He looked up a bit and saw us all. The shame on his face is something that I would never forget. One of the officials announced that the boy will be punched and his punishment is to be whipped 80 times. I could see and hear but I couldn’t believe that it was happening. One of them started whipping the poor boy. They asked us all to watch. Some of us were horrified. The other official was counting them, one, two, three,.. The boy yelled with each one. I closed my eyes. I couldn’t watch anymore. I heard four, five, six… I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.. Seven, eight, nine. I opened my eyes and saw the boy in the floor and blood in his shirt. I felt sick and dizzy. Ten, eleven, twelve,.. I did not hear anymore, I had fainted. When I opened my eyes I was in head teacher’s office and she told me that I needed to be strong! Everyone gets what he or she deserves and I shouldn’t feel sorry for the boy. I was so scared to ask her about the boy and what happened to him. Was he still alive? I couldn’t wait to get out of her office. Everybody else had left the school and I told her that I was fine and I could go home by myself. I was feeling so weak and ill. I couldn’t eat for a few days and I had to stay in bed for a couple of days. The next time when I went back to school, I asked my friends about the boy and they said that his old mother took him to hospital as his father had passed away when he was very young. They told me that he was the breadwinner of the family and he had three young sisters and his old mother to look after.

Now that I am writing it I feel ill. It is like someone has punched me in the stomach again. What had he done to make anyone be able to punish him like that? Did anyone think while he was in hospital, who was going to look after the family? Even after he was discharged, was anyone going to give him a proper job? I hope that people grow to forget what he had done. He was too young to be punished like that.

All these came to my mind in the middle of the night and took away my sleep. I thought about these punishments and I couldn’t understand why should anyone be tortured physically or mentally?
I will just hope for a torture-free world.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Qadr Night

I wanted to wish you all a happy Shabe Qadr. They say that the doors of heaven are open today and we can ask Allah for anything we want. God will garnt us whatever we wish. May Allah make us all Aqebet be khayr..and grant us health, and taqwa.and open the door of paradise for us..
May God accepts all your fastings and prayers.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I have got a letter from my lawyer yesterday om 5th of October, saying that the Home Office has received my son's application and he had enclosed a copy of the aknowledgment letter from the Home Office.
The aknowledgment letter is saying that they can't tell us how long it will take them to make a decsion on this application and we shouldn't contact them to ask a bout the process of it, until they contact us. The again it says, until the time that they make a decsion we will have the same rights and conditions of our previous status. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. whatever God almight wishes for us.

God please look at us with more kindness. You know I have "put all my chickens in one basket" for this.