A glance through the eyes of a pencil

I appreciate…

"I appreciate my dish even though it aint hot...For i have seen families with an empty pot" Mogadishu, Somalia 2011

Mogadishu, Somalia 2011

I appreciate…

I appreciate dry bread
For millions forgot how it feels to be fed

I appreciate that slice of tomato
 For its value only the hungry will know

I appreciate that bowl of rice
For a hungry child, even a lil will suffice

I appreciate that dish with less salt
For babies die of hunger, and its not their fault

I appreciate yesterday’s lunch
For poverty in Africa, has caused my brothers to walk hunchd

I appreciate my dish even though it aint hot
For I have seen families with an empty pot

O Allah, i appreciate your provision despite  my sins
For i have seen children search in bins

~Yusuf Omar~


The problem

Baffled, surprised and confused, the headmaster spent the entire morning trying to figure out why there still remained a striking difference in the behavior of his classes. Some classes brought excellent results coupled with immaculate behavior. Other classes displayed pathetic behavior to say the least, and as a result of the chaos, the standard of education declined with each passing day. With the results of the assessment in one hand, and his head in the other, he instructed his secretary to schedule a teachers meeting after school. Even if it took the entire afternoon, this headmaster had to get to the bottom of this otherwise the beautiful summer night that the moon promises might be sleepless.

‘They will appear in court’

Not wasting anytime with intros and ‘hellos’, the headmaster dived straight into questioning while the teachers were still getting settled. The worst of the lot were called up first. Amongst them, Mr. Mayanmar, Mrs. North Korea and yip…you guessed it…Mr. South Africa. Mr. South Africa has been experiencing a lot of problems recently in his class particularly with the class’s public fund. As the students funded towards end-of-year braais, better stationery etc., the class captain and a few others in charge ‘reaped the benefits’. Eventually a lack of funds led to poor facilities which in turn led to the students having to pay more. When Mr. South Africa was asked what happens to those caught in the act, he simply replied “they sit in detention” aka “they will appear in court” –  A statement that is found in every news article that deals with bribery and corruption in South Africa.

A brief comparison

Swallowing his anger, the headmaster then called the educators that were showing impressive results. Ms. Finland, Mr. China and Mr. New Zealand were called up. Mr. New Zealand was quick to express his shock at the way Mr. South Africa handled his students.

“Well i don’t believe in detention. Depending on the crime, my students are expelled, suspended or stripped of the captaincy and made to sit in the back of the class” he said.

“I have realized that when other students see the consequences of corruption, it forces them to stay away from such acts” added Mr. New Zealand.

Mr. China then nodded in approval and remarked “I agree with him. Remember that girl from Mr. South Africa’s class that once brought drugs into my class (Janice Bronwyn – Google it), i made sure she gets expelled but ever since she left, the students think twice before entering my class.”

At this point of the meeting, the headmaster was intelligent enough to identify the problem. The meeting was dismissed and Mr. South Africa was called for a private discussion in his office the next day.

 The solution

It was a lengthy discussion with a cup of tea and a pack of biscuits. The summary of the discussion was as follows

“Mr. South Africa, the chaos in your class is due to the fact that you fail to set an example. When those seated in the front row are caught pocketing the public’s funds or accepting bribes to demand an easier lesson, you cannot simply seat them in detention/allow them a court appearance. What happens in court? A few words are exchanged, a fine that amounts to a fraction of what was stolen is issued or perhaps a few days absent but eventually the student is back in class. Some of your students act sick and avoid the courts. Remember! The students sitting in the back rows are watching. They know very well when they take the front seats they can fill their pockets and if they get caught it’s just a few hours of detention. Your class will never find discipline until and unless serious action is taken. Other classes are showing brilliant results because they are not shy to expel or suspend their culprits. Get rid of the scum in the front row and those seated at the back won’t try their tricks when they get a front seat. Mr. South Africa, you have forgotten rule no. 1 in the teacher’s handbook…

 ‘You have to be cruel to be kind’.

~Yusuf Omar~

That Yellow Rock

As friends and folk go on and make fun
I raise my gaze to the smiling sun
Its silent whisper brings forth a frown
For in its rays, inspiration I found

It never replies when mockery would call
Critics and haters would never make it fall
Evil as a witch or stubborn as a wall
It happily gives light to one and all

People complain of heat, but it never talks
When its time to go home it packs and walks
As morning comes in, without a whine
Its back to serve all of mankind

There are critics and those that speak bad
There are those that try to make it sad
But never did he lose his anger and go mad
never did he fail, always cared

We will always find those that speak behind our back
Those who, in intelligence will lack
But even if they take every opportunity to mock
I will follow this amazing yellow rock

I will serve each man the friendship seed
And burn the fire, for my guests I will feed
The methods of my enemies I will indeed shun
And adopt the method of the humble sun

I look up and think there can be nothing greater
Then I realize surely it must have a Creator
And if this rock’s qualities are the best I have seen
Imagine the qualities of that superior being

~Yusuf Omar~

According to recent research, American scientists established that those capable of forgiveness are healthier in both mind and body. Dr. Frederic Luskin, who holds a Ph.D. in Counselling and Health Psychology from Stanford University, and his team, studied 259 people living in the city of San Francisco. The scientists invited the subjects to attend six one-and-a-half-hour sessions, and aimed to instruct the subjects in forgiveness during their conversations.

The subjects of the experiments stated that they suffered less after forgiving people who had wronged them. The research showed that people who learned to forgive feel much better, not only emotionally but also physically. For example, it was established that after the experiment psychological and physical symptoms such as stress-related backache, insomnia and stomachaches were significantly reduced in these individuals.

In his book, Forgive for Good, Dr. Frederic Luskin describes forgiveness as a proven recipe for health and happiness. The book describes how forgiveness promotes such positive states of mind as hope, patience and self-confidence by reducing anger, suffering, depression and stress. According to Dr. Luskin, harboured anger causes observable physical effects in the individual. He goes on to say that:

The thing about long-term or unresolved anger, is we’ve seen it resets the internal thermostat. When you get used to a low level of anger all the time, you don’t recognize what’s normal. It creates a kind of adrenaline rush that people get used to. It burns out the body and makes it difficult to think clearly-making the situation worse.

In addition, Dr. Luskin says, when the body releases certain enzymes during anger and stress, cholesterol and blood pressure levels go up-not a good long-term disposition to maintain the body in.

An article called “Forgiveness,” published in the September-October 1996 edition of Healing Currents Magazine, stated that anger towards an individual or an event led to negative emotions in people, and harmed their emotional balance and even their physical health. The article also states that people realise after a while that the anger is a nuisance to them, and wish to repair the damage to the relationship. So, they take steps to forgive. It is also stated that, despite all they endure, people do not want to waste the precious moments of their life in anger and anxiety, and prefer to forgive themselves and others.

There’s a physiology of forgiveness… When you do not forgive, it will chew you up.

According to an article titled, “Anger is Hostile To Your Heart,” published in the Harvard Gazette, anger is extremely harmful to the heart. Ichiro Kawachi, an assistant professor of medicine, and his team scientifically demonstrated this with various tests and measurements. As a result of their research, they established that grumpy old men had three times the risk of heart disease than their more tempered peers. “The tripling of risk,” Kawachi says, “involves high levels of anger, explosive anger that includes smashing things and wanting to hurt someone in a fight.”

Researchers believe that release of stress hormones, increased oxygen demand by the heart’s muscle cells, and added stickiness of blood platelets, which leads to clots explain how anger increases the chance of a heart attack. Furthermore, at times of anger, the pulse rises above its normal level, and leads to increased blood pressure in the arteries, and thus to a greater risk of heart attack.

One of the moral traits recommended in the Qur’an is forgiveness:

“Hold to forgiveness, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant.” (Qur’an, 7: 199)

In another verse Allah commands: “… They should rather pardon and overlook. Would you not love Allah to forgive you? Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 24:22)

Those who do not abide by the moral values of the Qur’an find it very difficult to forgive others. Because, they are easily angered by any error committed. However, Allah has advised the faithful that forgiveness is more proper:“The repayment of a bad action is one equivalent to it. But if someone pardons and puts things right, his reward is with Allah…” (Qur’an, 42:40)

“…. But if you pardon and exonerate and forgive, Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 64: 14)


If i were to mock your mum or dad
You would break inside all hurt and sad

If i had to ridicule your husband or wife
The decision would be made that i have no place in your life

If i insulted your beloved daughter or son
Your emotions would be stirred whilst i have fun

If i speak against those that are dear
Its waves of emotions that i will have to fear

Muhammad (SAW) is more dear to me than my own blood
When you insult my Prophet, you asking for emotions to flood

Its nothing extreme, it all makes sense
You hurt my feelings and i take offence

I dont justify killings or violence
But dont expect me to sit back in silence

If you dont agree with the man, at least lets live like brothers
I might not share your beliefs, but i will never mock others

So please my friend, i love you for you are my fellow being
Just don’t insult Muhammad (SAW), i believe he is the greatest this world has ever seen

~Yusuf Omar~

I Have Learnt

I have learnt that he who at night finds tears
Dawns a new day to find abundant cheers

I have learnt that whatever life throws down our path
There is a supreme being that holds our heart

I have learnt that sometimes we stand with tears dropping on the floor
Not realizing behind us lies another door

I have learnt of a mercy that lies with my Creator
With that I realized there can be nothing greater

I have learnt that The Most Merciful wants the best for me
Though Sometimes I insist for I cannot see

I have learnt that no matter what your concern or fear
Lift your hands, shed a tear, and you will find him to be near

I have learnt that life must go on, for if its meant, it will be
So move on, enjoy the journey, and time will allow us to see

~Yusuf Omar~

The World I See…

ImageThe world I see…

I see a world that oppresses the young boy
Being forced to hold a weapon rather than a toy #Palestine

I see a world with houses made of tin
A last resort for the heartbroken orphan #Syria

I see a world that boasts of what they did
Yet sitting on the pavement cries that young kid #Burma

I see a world  with millions in need
Yet the wealthy few refuse to feed #Somalia

I see a world that has destroyed mankind
A world that has lost its once brilliant shine

I see a world that brought technology to its peak
But in the process turned brotherhood weak

I see a world that succumbs to peer pressure

As a result the masses celebrate with the oppressor

I see a world and wonder what has become
Billions present but happiness for some

~Yusuf Omar~

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