Friday, August 18, 2006

Finally, Its all over.. (and i dont just mean the war)

I know I haven’t written any entries in some time, but with almost a quarter of a million students in this country for the last couple of days, I was in anticipation of the unveiling of my fate, eagerly awaiting my A-level results on the 17th of august. I know that was just yesterday, but I needed this whole week to calm down and to prepare myself for all possible outcomes. I don’t understand the necessity of all that mental stress?? The night of the 16th I think was probably the worst night of my life. I couldn’t sleep, eat, drink, think nor even breathe properly. I don’t think I even need to inform you of my journey to college to collect my results, my mind took me places It’s never been before. Okay, I’ll bare you all the gruesome details, I got in to do the degree I wanted but not at my first choice university, but my insurance. Thankfully I have come to accept this, and all I can do now I guess, is look forward to my first year at university.

Reading the papers these past two days, I read many articles about the idea of introducing a new “A*” grade into the A-level system. One was an article in the independent titled “Results add to pressure for reform of A-levels”. Apparently, this move is necessary due to the large numbers of students achieving three straight A passes. Now universities want this new scheme introduced so that they can pick out the truly “talented” students. I found myself completely against this move, not only will it diminish and value of achieving A and B grades, but will place added pressure onto students to achieve the A* grade. Sometimes I just feel like, how much do they want to stretch our brains? Is it fair? Is it fair on students who work exceedingly hard to achieve B and A grades that are not necessarily easy to obtain, only to have their grades unrecognised and to be beaten to places at universities, by students gaining even higher unnecessary grades?? I mean, what will the new grade boundaries between an A and an A* be?? A difference of 5 marks??? It doesn’t make sense, no matter how you look at it, its unnecessary pressure, and unfair, as if A-levels and the whole shift to university wasn’t stressful, complicated and competitive enough.

Anyway, with this id like to say a huge “congratulations” to all my friends, and anyone reading this who got their results yesterday, be it AS or A-level, even if they have achieved the grades they wanted, exceeded them, or missed them. Its not the end of the world every problem has a solution, life does not necessarily revolve around education, there are bigger issues and opportunities in this vast world. Life itself is a huge university where one can exceed in any subject and be successful in their future. At the end of the day, we dont know what fate has waiting for us. Just getting through those two stressful, exhausting, nerve destroying years at college deserves the biggest applause. So Well done to everyone, and with that i wish all the best of luck for the future :)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Galloway on Lebanon..

This is truly a must see clip, its almost funny to see a british MP speak so passionately :D enjoy!

ps. Just wanted to say thanks to Mohammed hadi for showing it to me :) i got it from him .. his blog is also a must read i advise all to check it out :

i would put it as a link, but as you can probably tell, i dont know how...ive tried, but it just never seems to work?!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Todays World

(I writ this piece yesterday but unfortunately I didn’t have the time to post it, so please excuse the “time” phrases.)

I was planning to publish a post yesterday about my day, but I came home too exhausted to even switch on the computer, and with my last ounce of energy I just managed to get myself changed and off to sleep. Awake from 9 that day I left the house at 10 in order to attend the march against the war on Lebanon and the inhumane acts of injustice committed on the Lebanese people, which was taking place in central London. To be completely honest I had no idea this was taking place, but my friends organised the day so that we could go together, and I’m glad we did. However due to unforeseen circumstances !!! We arrived at the march at 1.30 even though they were due to start at 12, but we saw that they had just set off. There were thousands of people taking part; banners and flags of white, red and green were held with pride as far as the eye could see. Looking around me I saw people off different races, nationalities and religion united for the sake of one cause, it was a shame thought to know that the reason behind this unity was truly one of shame, but I was reassured by the fact that acts of evil are understood universally. My presence there felt like a tear in the sea, and with that I still felt that my presence made a difference and I was proud of everyone who had made the effort to attend, and wrote their name in history to condemn. (With this I'd like to give a HUGE shout out to my friends who are going to change the world: A*-Z-J-H-I-J J).

I know what I say next may be seen as an act of selfishness, it may rip away from me all the sensations I felt that day, and that warm feeling I gained by taking part, but I would be lying to myself if I tried to convince myself otherwise. Throughout the march I could not forget, not for one second the fact that I was an Iraqi the fact that my country was also being ripped apart by a stronger force and that now years have passed and people are beginning to practise their silence. What’s happening in Lebanon pierces my heart from the very bottom, but I’m scared that this shall be “today’s news” and tomorrow it shall be like Palestine and Iraq before it, and then a day will come when the Arab world will say “ukiltu yowm ukil al thawr al abyath”. I never thought the day would come when, car bombs killing innocent lives in Baghdad are seen as everyday normalities, because this has become the case. I feel peoples warm moist emotions have dried up in order to keep up with the harsh, heartless, ways of this time. At that moment I hated the world I lived in, and the reality, which forced me to accept the current state in the Middle East.

As we continued, passing the American embassy (which received harsh words from the crowds) we reached the final destination of what was a successful protest, the houses of parliament. Many guest speakers, peace activists and MP’s spoke to the people, repeating words we have heard so many times before, “Cease fire now”, “shame on Tony Blair”, “End the war”. Walking back we bumped into a journalist who was watching the events and seemed keen to interrogate us as a group of Muslim girls. After engaging in conversation, I noticed he stared long and hard at a friend of mine who had a sticker of Sayed Hassan NasrAllah on her, he questioned; Do you believe everything this man, who you have placed to close to you heart, says? Without hesitation we replied, yes. This seemed to worry him. He continued, so you agree with what he has said, and support it? Again we agreed. He then began expressing his main concerns and the reason to why he had initially stopped us. However he first explained that we was deeply delved in the concerns of the Middle East, in all its colours, and had spent most of his life “discovering it” he explained he even had a half brother who was Iranian. His main issue though was the fear growing inside him of the message being given out to Muslim youth. He seemed to condemn Hizballah, and their message of fighting. Why? He questioned, do Muslims place this great importance on death, and dying for Allah, this great urge you have to die as martyrs? If this is because of love for Allah, whey don’t we see this love you have for your God while you are alive, where is it, he asked? I am Jewish he revealed. We don’t feed this message of hate and jihad to our children. He seemed to be working towards peace; he wanted to see love between the enemies of time. Yet the only way he saw that this would be achieved is if we stop the barbarism, the ignorance, and the blind following behind those they see as terrorists. His words ran circles inside my head. After all this, he wanted to see Hizballah cease-fire?? What planet did this guy live on? I know there are those whom its in their best interest that the world be blind, but I did not know they were succeeding. He then asked if we watched “Al-Manar” news, relying yes, he ceased this opportunity to attack the Arab media, and condemn them for sending out messages of jihad to the youth. Wanting to get as far away from this conversation as possible I eventually succeeded, but he still made sure his message was clear to us; don’t support the movement in Lebanon, because apparently we have done so without thought, but instead we must question their motives and principles. I left the journalist behind, and instead picked up hatred and anger towards the Arab world that have allowed us to be the “chewing gum” (as they say) of the west, in the mouths of those who are somebody’s and even those who are nobodies.

Isn’t it funny though that the chewing gum seems to be the Shia? In Iraq we are silenced, and in Lebanon targeted? The reasons for this I believe have nothing to do with politics but instead are what we have inherited from history. Ever since the creation of the Shia, after the death of Imam Ali (a.s) his followers have been suppressed, oppressed, hidden and fought against. We seem to have inherited this “second seat” Ideology, and now in the case of Iraq when we are finally given the voice, this is new to us; therefore look at the consequence. So is it really a surprise that we are still targeted? Not really when you study the times of the Imam’s. Today was the birth date of Imam Ali (a.s), watching the celebrations on Iraqi TV, live from Najaf, Iraq; I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life, for so many reasons.

Final thought:

My neighbour’s cat died yesterday. Aged 18. I discovered his sad parting from this world as I strolled in the garden and found him lifeless, motionless on the neighbour’s lawn. As our neighbours came home from a day out, I told them the news from across the fence. The mother and daughter ran towards the cat, picking it up and stroking his fur as tears rolled down their checks. After some time as the skies got dark, I went outside in the garden to find that they had built the cat a shrine like feature?? The cat was placed inside a cardboard box with candles and flowers around. The young daughter informed me that they had done their prayers for the cat and were saying their final goodbyes before it was buried. The mother, sitting beside it with her glass of wine sat sobbing like a small child. After a while she called for me from across the fence. She wanted me to know that she knew it was silly for her to be crying over a cat when there were babies dying in Lebanon. She felt like she had to justify her tears to me by explaining she had bought the cat as a kitten even before the birth of her children. Yet she still thought her tears and hurt offended me because there were people dying everyday in Iraq and Lebanon a point she stressed over and over again. I found myself pitying her, and in the name of neighbourly love I found myself comforting her with the words, “the soul is precious no matter whom it belongs to” (at the time I meant the cat). …Now I find myself revising this statement. She carried on expressing her hate for Blair, Bush and the non-existent state of Israel, her confusion to why countries are unable to live in harmony despite differences in faith and opinion just as we Christians and Muslims were able to live wall to wall. As I walked away I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, laugh at death, laugh at the world, or cry for the cat.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The living dead

Existence is such a strange, incomprehensible thing,
Happy it can be, yet sorrow it may also bring,
Some watch it pass by, and others may strive,
But I still don’t understand the meaning of life.

Don’t get me wrong, careful, don’t jump to the end,
I don’t question God, or why on this earth us he did send,
I question man’s potential, his potential to be great,
And why we surrender so early, our lives to fate.

A human being has the will to be, to do, to see,
We breathe, the first step to begin to believe,
And if you believe, in you, in me, then you can achieve,
Be aware don’t betray your gift of life, waste it not.