Dear Friend

(First and foremost this post isn’t about one person specifically, its very general.)

They ask me why I wanted so badly to leave. Why I wanted to go back home and find my identity. Why I couldn’t stand being there a second longer. Why I couldn’t take being with them for further than that.

Because when we cry at night, we cry for very different reasons.
You’re crying about a lovers quarrel and puppy love or how your favorite fictional character from a t.v. show has just died.
I shed tears for all the cruel bloodshed that’s happening in many places around the world.
I cry because I am scared…I am terrified that I will never be good enough. That I will never be strong enough to make any sort of change or impact in this merciless world.

While you strut around taking photographs of a coffee at Starbuks, or a happy meal at McDonalds, my mind is too busy racing trying to plan a demonstration against these places and thinking of ways to convince people to stop spending even a penny towards weapons used against unarmed and innocent civilians in Palestine.

And though you have an Arabic background, you so proudly claim, “America is my home!” How? How can you admit to that when they are the reason that your ancestors have been robbed off of their true home?
And although I have never been to any one of the countries I am originally from, I will still proudly claim any day where I am from!

We speak so much about doing things and speaking out. And yet…when we are put in the situation and that position you left me and walked away choosing silence over virtue and basic morals.

Yes… I am sensitive and shed tears quite a lot but I will always have a sort of fierceness and pride that fuels my strength to continue doing whatever it is I can do.
But in my heart I have a sadness, that kind when you feel like something is squeezing your heart and you can’t seem to get rid of it. Because I know in the heart of my heart, that you could be wonderful and have a massive effect if you finally let yourself speak.

For too long….for too long I have been saying and using the excuse…. ‘But I’m only 15.’ ‘But I’m only 16’ ‘But I’m only 17.’ That’s not what the typical 11 year old of Syria nowadays and Gaza said when his parents were murdered and has to take upon raising his sibling alone.
When we were 12 we were too busy running around and having fun, creating good memories with our families completely oblivious to the fact that there is someone our age trying to run a family.

The thing is, I love you my friend, I really do. But I’m struggling to keep up on who is dating who and boybands and materialistic things. I’m struggling with finding more reasons to try and respect you when you won’t even spare a minute to look up a video on what is happening to your people rather than the latest mainstream song.

My friend, I am not trying to scold you, I am just trying to finally let yourself open your eyes.
That we’re as young right now in this moment as we will ever be. And our actions right now are what’s important. You underestimate how much effect you can cause if you take the initiative and first step towards helping those who need us.

It won’t always be easy. At even younger than I am now, I have been looked down upon from my own friends whenever I spoke of what is happening around the world and how we need to step up and raise our voices. I have been ridiculed and scoffed at when I spoke of revolutions.
I have made my opinions heard on any online site I could because it was the closest thing to taking action I could do from where I lived. And I have been humiliated publicly. I have been called the worst of names. But do you think that has stopped me?
Do you think that made me disappear and resort into becoming a ‘typical and ordinary teenager’?
I’m still here. I’m still writing. And I will continue on speaking my mind out and writing.

I have as far as I can remember loved speaking and saying the truth but I by no means am saying that I was always this way in specific. Growing up, I’ve had my share of rebel youth stages. It’s understandable.
And some might argue that even now, I have a sense of immaturity in me. But so what?
You can still hold on to both sides of your world.
You will still make jokes, and listen to music and watch the latest episode, but at least now you are also making a change.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sa) said:

“He who removes from a believer one of his difficulties of this world, Allah will remove one of his troubles on the Day of Resurrection; and he who finds relief for a hard-pressed person, Allah will make things easy for him on the Day of Resurrection; he who covers up (the faults and sins) of a Muslim, Allah will cover up (his faults and sins) in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah supports His slave as long as the slave is supportive of his brother…” [Muslim]

Change. Speak up. Do something….I dare you.

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Apologies and Overview

Okay, first i’d like to apologize that i havent written in over a month, i’ve just been super busy with alot of things!

A few things i have done:

 

In December 

In December, i ended up going to Spookers which is a haunted house in the middle of nowhere and it was terrifying. Basically you enter a house and have people chasing after you and its just altogether really scary. And then you enter a forest at night and the same thing happens and i could not stop yelling.
Heres a trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipw3Aqh6hqg and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyyGo_ZJiGE
I didnt even know we were going so imagine my shock when they stopped in front of it and they told me i had to go in. But i recommend it to everyone and i would definitely go again if i could!

During the late night we continued our way to Hamilton and stayed over for the night and the next day went to Hamilton gardens.
And this is no particular order now, we went berry picking at Julians Berry Farm in Whakatane (must go if you ever visit that area) and made delish smoothies. 

We visited Rotorua and rode the Swoop at Agroventures (You wont regret this!), we also went to Paradise Valley- an interactive zoo. The animals were adorable and super friendly. 
We visit the thermal areas in Rotorua and it was pretty scary. Actually put my hand in one of the water pools on the ground and it was boiling hot! 

Alot of fishing and bbquing! We did alot of fishing, even though we didnt catch anything, it was super fun!

In January, i rode the flying fox for the first time and could not stop yelling the whole time. 
I had to dress up as a devil and perform a skit in front of heaps of people i dont even know. 

And during the end of January, i visited the beautiful point wells for three days. Everyone must visit this beautiful place!

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And now its February and so a new post to follow up soon! 

Sorry for all the lost time. Busy busy busy 

Holiday

Well my friends,

Christmas Holidays are here, and I cant promise i’ll be writing anytime soon because i’m leaving town for a week and spending it with my sister and brother in law.

So today we’ll be driving for an hour and a half to a city and staying over and then tomorrow we’ll drive for another two hours to their town and stay for another 6 days.

I have no idea what they planned for me.

This is the text i got.

“Prepare yourself mentally, physically and emotionally.”

Looks like adventure time is near.

Happy Holidays,

An Excited Teen

 

Newtown Shooting

Its a tragedy what happened a few days ago in Newtown, Connecticut. I can’t imagine sending my daughter, son, niece, nephew,  sister, or brother to school only to get a call a few hours later that they have been killed.
My heart goes out to all the families of the adults and children who were murdered on this tragic day.

Here are the pictures of some of the children who were murdered (Pictures from Daily Mail):

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And I know that these beautiful children are all Angels now.
I cannot even begin to understand what sort of sick man would want to hurt such young people? What reason could he have possibly had? None, at all.
So, when the mainstream media informs us that he was “Depressed, Deeply disturbed, etc, etc.”. The usual excuses they seem to give these days. Things we’ve all heard over and over again.
And i dont wanna pull out the race card, but it has gotten so obvious what the media and government is doing.
So yes I’ll say what lots of other people are saying too, if the murderer was not white, things would have been dealt with in another way.
But instead, because he is white, he is ‘psychologically damaged’ and therefore needs to be treated. Excuse me?

Just not so along ago this year, James Holmes also entered a theater and killed at least 12 people and left almost 59 injured. And again, what card do they use?
“You guys, he’s seriously distressed.” Give me a break.

Let me tell you something, the Word TERRORIST by definition means:
A person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism or a person who terrorizes or frightens others.

So you tell me, do these people, and in specific this man, Adam Lanza, not deserve to be labelled as a Terrorist?
Because I am pretty sure when he walked in there, he caused terror to these people. I’m pretty sure, he didnt go in there and smile at all their pretty faces, and they all sang a nice Christmas song and then he shot them real quick. No. A teacher had to hide her students into a closet and took the bullet for them. And imagine the fear and terror they felt hiding in there not knowing if that gunshot would be the last noise they heard.
So spear me the Psychological excuses, he is a terrorist. No matter what race or ethnicity he is.

I am just so enraged at how this always seems to happen.

Another thing I’d really like to address is GUN CONTROL IN THE USA!
Completely unacceptable. We’ve stayed quite for too long but now our voices need to be heard because the gun control in the US has..wait what gun control? There is no gun control anymore.
Go on google right now and type in ‘buy guns in America’ and look at the links it provides you with.
The Gun law that was passed so many years ago in the US gave almost everybody the right to carry or own a gun. Times change, and when the USA sees that its gotten out of hand and it being a superpower country, wouldnt that mean that they know they are RESPONSIBLE to change the law?
What, they have to wait till the people speak? Thats not how a government is supposed to run when such issues are concerned.
LAWS need to change when they aren’t reasonable anymore. And when the children of your country are dying because of reckless terrorists then it is your duty, Mr. President, to change these rules!
Now, i dont live in the US, nor have i ever been and nor do i plan on going, and i know i am an outsider but this seriously doesnt need a genius to think the exact same thing. Its all common sense.
Actually, today i was having a talk with a fellow New-Zealander and we got to speaking about this event and she told me that her husband owns a gun and thats only because he was a former police officer. Not only that, she informed us that it was a long process of interviewing people he knew well individually to see if he is fit of carrying a gun.
And i got to thinking, that is so true, over here in New-Zealand you barely hear of anyone owning a gun, really. And thats the beautiful thing about it here. They try to make it as safe as they can.
You can own a gun, but after a very long process when they have made sure that the candidate is fit to own a gun and they come and check that it is stored safely inside the house.

If the small Island of New-Zealand could do this, then SURELY the US can, unless they want it to remain this way. For people, especially now, after so many recent attacks, to walk around in fear and terror.
The US NEEDS to renew its Gun Laws.

Now another thing, from my previous post, you may have figured out that i am a strong Justice for Palestine Supporter. Because really anyone who encourages peace would be too.
And I Stumbled upon this.

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Um What?
‘No experience with death can be likened to that of a parents’ loss of their child. No crime is more heinous than the killing of a child.’

I dont think i have ever seen so much hypocrisy as this letter right here. Coming from the source that has been targeting children for the past countless years.
I cant even take this anymore. What happened in Newtown is the everyday life of what is happening in Palestine (AND sadly Syria now, too.)
And i am completely upset about what has happened to these beautiful children and brave adults but also, i just want all of you to remember the children of Gaza and how everyday their childhood is stolen. How everyday they are stolen from the ones who love them most.

When will there ever be peace? When will the time come where everyone will want peace?
When will everyone be treated equally?

And when will everyone finally begin to care?

Rest In peace to the beautiful children of Palestine, Syria and Newtown, Connecticut,

Yours Truly,

A Deeply Upset Human Being.

Daily Prompt: Flawed. Stutters And Sensitivity

‘Its our imperfections that make us beautiful.’

To anyone writing about this specific topic, just remember that. That no matter what our flaws are, they are what make us unique.

Just to be clear before i begin pointing my own flaws, i wont be talking about my physical/ biological flaws( at least i dont think they go under that category), because if i had to talk about that then…well it wouldnt be such a good idea, to be honest.
Its more emotional/ psychological but in the non dramatic way.

Its exactly as my title reads. I have two flaws that I’m not a very big fan of: Stuttering and Being Overly Sensitive.
Now, you’re probably thinking that contradicts what i wrote at the beginning, but hear me out.
I dont mind being sensitive, everyone SHOULD be sensitive, but with me its like i see two minutes of a ten minute clip of war movie and you’ll find me crying my eyes out and thats not exactly going to help me out in the future.

So, lets go back a step, and let me start from scratch.
I have many flaws. But the two that i would prioritize to improve.
Now, i dont stutter prominently, thats not the case with me. This is probably the best way to explain it: Most of the time, if I’m in a heated argument and I’m debating something i truly believe in and am passionate about, i tend to stutter midway through the conversation.
Its happened many times, and well it ruins everything.

I remember i was debating against a a student representing France in the Human Rights Committee, and i was so into it and i was getting cheered on and then bam! The stuttering decides it wants to join in on the action. And well…the whole house begins to laugh. Now luckily at that time, i didnt storm out crying, i stood my ground and laughed with them, and continued my point.
Thats just one of many examples, and seeing as I’m entering Law, this could be a problem. I can just imagine myself standing in front of the high court, defending a serious HR case, and all of a sudden begin to stutter and i would hate it if that really happened.
But i guess some people find that cute? If I heard someone else stuttering in some situations, i would probably think so, too. But since its ME who this applies to, i find it rather annoying on my behalf.
Now dont get me wrong, I dont think stuttering is something to be ashamed of, my own little sister stutters alot, but it is something that holds everyone back and it would be wonderful if people go to speak without that little monster interrupting them.

Okay so my second flaw would be: Sensitivity.

I. Hate. Being. Overly. Sensitive.
I am not even kidding here, when i was 10, we were watching Oprah and she was talking about self harming and i went to my room and couldn’t stop crying. I cry about almost everything. Not because i want to, be sure thats not what i want, its just like this thing, where i feel strongly about everything.
And while its a beautiful thing to always sympathize with issues, it isnt the best thing in the world to show too much sympathy. And its happened in front of situations where i would cry in front of someone i was fighting with and it just overall isnt nice because it  shows your weakness.
I have gotten better within the last year though, swallowing hard at times seems to stop the tears from falling but i still need to work hard on not showing too much emotions, especially before i start Uni.

And just on a last note, something extremely funny i heard once when my teacher saw me crying that made me laugh in the midst of my pointless former highschool drama. I was crying and in the moment and i go to class and my teacher casually says, “You know, Shay, if someone were to ever propose to you, let your mum slap you a few times and go in there, you look prettier when you cry.”
That was probably the randomest thing i ever heard a teacher saying, i just stood there like. What?

Haha, it was funny though. But yeah, seriously, you’re all beautiful unless you’re simply a mean person on the inside (most polite way i can put it?)  So our flaws can be fixed, but its up to us, and if we choose not to fix them, thats alright, too, Because that it was makes us different and Brilliant 🙂

“I don’t know. Just because someone’s pretty doesn’t mean she’s decent. Or vice versa. I’m not into appearances. I like flaws, I think they make things interesting.” 
― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

 And there you have it =)

Embrace who you are Always,

Shay Arif. 

Achievements

Do you ever feel like you havent really done much in life?
No matter how young or old you may be, sometimes we get that feeling that, ‘Hey, all these years just flew by, and what have i really done that worth being proud of?’

For some, getting good grades in school or Uni isnt enough. Finally finding a job isnt as satisfying as they thought it would be.And we all need that push, that motivation to keep us going. So that, yeah, i may not be in the perfect school, i may not have the best friends, i may have a sucky job at the moment, but at least i know that for now…i have something i can be proud of.

Everybody needs that. Whether your 13, 18, 26, 85 (Well if you’re healthy enough but you’ve probably had something to be proud of anyways) .
What i’m talking about here is pretty simple things.

For instance, a ten year olds achievement could be to win the international spelling bee contest. And i’ll say this from now, it may seem small, but in the long run its these small things that could very well be our driving force.

A 13 year old might win the local skateboarding competition.

Now keep in mind, it doesnt always have to be about winning.
For example, the Muslims sacred book (The Holy Quran). For one to memorise the Quran or memorize just a few ‘Surahs’ is an achievement itself.

To write a book, maybe it wont get published, but who really cares, as long as youre satisfied with what you’ve written and even if its only read by your family and friends in the meantime, that itself is an achievement. Because lets face it, people can barely stick to a blog let alone finish writing a whole book.

My point is, I’ve realised this lately. That you really do need to start something worth doing in your life right now.
Its these stories that you’ll be telling your nephews/nieces/grandkids one day.
And its the stories you’ll look back on when your old and weak and still smile, because you’ve done something brilliant once upon a time.

Another thing is also, what these goals or achievements can do to you. The affect they can have on you.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” -Henry David Thoreau

Think about how this specific thing will impact your life and make you a better person. Focus on those positive things you can do in life.
Watch that movie ‘Pay it Forward‘. May it could inspire you, because maybe your achievement could be helping someone or many people.

And if you already have a goal, but are going through a rough patch, then heres a quote from the brilliant Chuck Norris.
“I’ve always found that anything worth achieving will always have obstacles in the way and you’ve got to have that drive and determination to overcome those obstacles on route to whatever it is that you want to accomplish. “

So be patient, be strong and it’ll be worth it.
Sometimes getting in touch with your religious side and gaining that extra faith is something to be extremely proud of.

So heres a hi-5 and badge for all of you out there who are achieving, have achieved or are thinking of achieving a goal in your life.

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Again, wishing you a brilliant day ahead of you :]

Missions and Matters

Have you ever had one of these phases in life where you have a mission?

Maybe its a mission to help someone for a period of time with something.
Maybe its a mission to  higher your grades.
Maybe its a mission to change.
Maybe its a mission to maintain a friendship.

The list goes on and on and on and on.
And in these moments, most of us find ourselves completely and utterly lost.
Lost in so many ways. Things arent going the way you expected, disrespect from colleagues/ friends/ family, too much pressure, and your mind cant thing clearly and you dont know how to react.

Again and again i’ll say this, no matter what age you are, we all deal with the same feelings, different situations- yes, but otherwise, our feelings are all there.
A 45 year old may look at a 35 year old and say, ‘thats the golden age, when everythings sorted, they have no idea what a problem really is.’ And a 35 year old may look at a 23 year old and think the same. And the same with a 17 year old to a 12 year old.

So yes, some problems may be more difficult than others, but we all have the same emotions to deal with.

Anyways, my point here is that, there will always be that person who builts a brick in front of you. And each day a brick is put, the higher the wall becomes. Im here to tell you, dont let it come to that, dont let that wall get too high that your standing there with no weapons in your hands, and no one to help you break that wall down.
What you need to do is shut everyone else out and focus on your goal, on your mission. Whether its short term or long term.

Many may think this is all so very corny, but this is the truth. I bet you every 10 seconds someone is frustrated and wanting to give up on whatever it is theyre going through or doing.

“It’s not the cards you’re dealt it’s how you play the game” via Chris Pardo

So that quote explains alot actually, who cares if there is something or someone in your life thats making everything a little harder for you, its up to you to decide what to prioritize.
Sort of like that very popular phrase, “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.” But instead of that, you can add your on twist. How bout making a Lemon Cheesecake?
Or maybe smear it all of your hair for a change! Make your very own lemon tea.

My point is, be creative! Think of ways to deal with the situation instead of giving up, because really, if we do think negatively, we’re really only hurting ourselves in the end.
Its our future, our choices, so lets choose them wisely.

And to end this, heres a little poem i came across recently, and i hope it will make you smile and inspire you a little bit more:

Just One
Unknown

One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.

One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal

One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey.
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what’s true,

One life can make a difference,
You see, it’s up to you!

Wishing you the best in life,

Another Teenager

Something New

So This is to me starting and beginning a new blog. I hope a follow through till forever. 

I hope i help you or allow you to understand me in some way. 

I’ll start blogging soon, hopefully.

 

Until then,

btyl. Image