Showing posts from 2017

Story Time: The Spirit of Freedom

Baber was playing cricket with his friends in the street. His family had recently moved into this neighbourhood. Every evening, the children would come out to play cricket, ride bicycles or just get together for a chat. Babar was a very well-mannered boy and a good cricketer. He soon made many friends.

As they played, a small boy ran up to them carrying the ball which Babar had hit for a six. The boy was small and dressed in old, stained clothes. His plastic slippers were too big for him and his hands were dusty. Baber smiled at him and stretched his hand forward to accept the ball.

“Hey you! How dare you touch my ball?” Umar said in a furious tone.

“Here, give it to me. You have made it dirty,” Umer snatched the ball from the young boy’s hand and pushed him away aggressively. The boy ran away with a frightened look in his eyes.

Babar was stunned for a minute. He could not understand Umer’s anger.

“Why were you so rude to him Umer?” Babar asked. “He was only returning the ball.”

“You are ne…

Book review: The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, by Roald Dahl

“The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me” is a delightful book about a young boy named Billy who meets three amazing animals, a giraffe, a monkey and a pelican and together they get up to some thrilling adventures. Billy often stood outside a queer, old building and wondered about its past and the shops it used to hold. One day strange things begin to happen inside the building. Billy then meets the Giraffe, Pelly and the Monkey who were the new owners. They were no ordinary animals and had started the Ladderless Window Cleaning Company. They wanted a job and some food. The Duke of Hampshire sends his chauffeur to hire them as he needed someone to clean 677 windows of his sprawling Hampshire House The crew of the Ladderless Window Cleaning Company does a sterling job in cleaning windows that had not been cleaned for forty years. While working on the top floors, Pelly captures a notorious cat burglar Cobra who was stealing the diamonds which belonged to the Duchess of Hampshire.
The Duke was …

An Unwelcome Guest

“Fahd, have you brushed your teeth?” “Yes mom.” Fahd yelled back from his bedroom.
“Okay, son, then good night.” “Good night mom,” Fahd replied slipping into bed, grinning.
He had fooled his mom again. He hadn't brushed his teeth. In fact, he hadn't brushed them in the morning either. He had got up rather late and instead of bothering to clean his teeth properly with toothbrush and toothpaste , he had just rinsed his mouth and rushed out of the bathroom. Not bothering to brush his teeth had become a habit now and while his toothbrush looked new and shiny in the blue ceramic mug on the bathroom shelf, his teeth looked yellow and slightly stained.
Sometime around midnight, Fahd woke up with a start. What had just happened?? He saw a small impish creature looming in front of his eyes. It was holding a spear like thing in his hand. The tiny creature pointed his spear towards Fahd, and the frightened boy felt a sharp jabbing pain on the side of his head and cheek.
“Ow, Ow!! Stop that!”…

The essence of patriotism

We all love to celebrate August 14 with great enthusiasm, on individual as well as national levels. We decorate our homes, streets and cars with green and white Pakistan flags. All day long, there are television shows celebrating Independence Day, and TV and radio channels air patriotic songs.
Everyone’s on a holiday and there are many cultural activities as well as picnics in the park.
Many daredevils take to the streets on their motorbikes and indulge in dangerous one-wheeling and create a nuisance for everyone. There are splendid fireworks, and feasts and banquets in our favourite restaurants as many eateries offer special Independence Day deals and discounts.
The next day, however, everything is back to normal and the only sign of our patriotic fervour is seen in the thousands of torn and ragged paper flags that are left carelessly on roads and streets.
Do you ever wonder if this is enough to show our gratitude to our forefathers and our cognisance of the fact that we live in a free c…

Ramadan 2017

Ramadan is the blessed month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslims all over the world observe fasting from dawn to dusk. During this time, Muslims do not eat or drink anything, nor do they indulge in physical relationship. 
This year, Ramadan is expected to start on 26th May depending on the sighting of the moon.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, the five daily prayers, giving charity to the poor and the needy, and performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

The day starts with a pre-dawn meal called suhoor or sehri and ends with the evening meal called iftar. It is very hard to describe this month. People who read about it or hear about it on media might think it is very hard but even children have no trouble fasting as long as they have a good sehri.
Dates are eaten in abundance in Ramadan. People go to mosques to pray in congregation, give food to the poor, have community meals, read the holy book Quran and try to sp…

25 Tips for a Great Childhood

You might think it is boring to be a child with endless schoolwork, tests, exams, home chores and every grownup. bossing you around but remember that childhood is a short season. These beautiful, carefree days will pass and how you turn out as an adult depends on the things you learn and experience in your early childhood. 
During your childhood, you will probably form many habits, many of which you will find harder to change later in life. Therefore it is very important that you choose a lifestyle that will help you to become a happy, healthy and responsible adult. 
Let us look at some key areas which affect you physically, emotionally and socially and learn which pitfalls to avoid and which values help you become a better person.

Relationships:1.Be polite. Good manners help you get along with other children as well as with adults. Remember to say Thank you, Sorry, Please and You’re welcome whenever an occasion arises requiring these magic words. 
2.Be true to your word. Take time to thi…

Book review: Goodbye Mr. Chips, by James Hilton

Cover of the UK first edition

Once in a while you come across a book which you read with tears in your eyes and a smile upon your lips. Among its pages, you meet characters so memorable and warm that their memories stay with you long after the last pages have been turned and the book placed back upon the shelf.
One such book that I have read is "Goodbye Mr Chips" by James Hilton.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips is a short novella about a school teacher affectionately called Mr Chips and chronicles his life. Mr Chips is not just a teacher but an institute and an era in his personality. 
As the teacher of classics at Brookfield School since 1870, he sees many changes in the British society, the Franco-Prussian War, the First World War and survives many headmasters at the school. 

His wife Katherine appears in just a couple of chapters but her vivacious character is as unforgettable as her memories are poignant. She had a great deal of influence on him and changes him into a mellow, gentler crea…

Series review: Guided Through the Qur'an

“Guided through the Quran” (Bil Quran ihtadayt in Arabic) is a very inspirational series that shows brief interviews of people who have accepted Islam as their religion and their way of life.

The host, Shaykh Fahad AlKandari, has travelled to many countries like Brazil, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, UK, USA and Spain to interview people about their journey to Islam.
The videos are brief, about 20-25 minutes long. They are in Arabic and English with English subtitles and usually the following questions have been asked:
The life of the person before accepting IslamWhat prompted his or her journey towards IslamThe time and place of Shahada (testimony of faith declaring belief in the oneness of God (monotheism) and the acceptance of Muhammad ﷺ as Allah’s Messenger) and what the person felt at that time.The reaction from family, friends etc and problems faced after accepting IslamAnd last, the verses of the Quran or the surah that affected the person most.
Guided Through the Qur'an


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