A glance through the eyes of a pencil



Whether black, white, red or brown
From a different country, a different town
Anger will produce the same sound
Dislike will put forth the same frown

Through the journey of life we walk the same mile
When happiness visits we share the same smile
In this life if we can’t stand by each other for such a short while
Then passing through our eyes, ought to flow the Nile

The zebra has been created a beautiful creature
For its clothed with a very unique feature
Black and white work hand in hand
To teach a lesson to the foolish man

The light of day and the darkness of night
Never started with each other a fight
Never mocked each other or pulled out a knife
For they understand their object in life

Even the bounty of sight
Teaches us not to fight
For the organ used to find light
Amazingly is made up of black and white

So whilst the rest of the world can fight, argue and mourn
In a place where love, happiness and peace is all but gone
In a place where the orphaned child cries innocently all alone
 Be the change, and regard every soul as your very own

Be a place of warmth for those out in the cold
A means of inspiration for those whose honour was sold
A shoulder to cry on for an orphaned brother
An encouragement to keep living for a heartbroken mother

Stand side by side for each others well being
And show the world what is meant by hearts being clean
Treat all equal whether slave or master
So that humanity is saved from a future disaster

So next time we see someone of a different race
We shouldn’t judge by looking at the face
But be at his side ready to aid
For never was there a beautiful picture with only one shade

~Yusuf Omar~

This poem was written in memory of those that lost their lives in the brutal xenophobic attacks that took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. Blood was spilt and lives were lost in  May 2008. Government statistics indicate that at least 62 people were killed during the violence and thousands more were displaced. Most of the victims were nationals of countries such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Indonesia and Malaysia. The attacks originated from a township in Johannesburg called Alexandra thus the name of the poem.

This poem was first published in the ‘Al Muballigh’ Newsletter. A newsletter prepared by the students of Madressa Arabia Islamia, an Islamic university based in Azaadville, Johannesburg. The poem won the Literature Award at the annual graduation ceremony (Jalsa) of that institution in 2008.

Most fights and feuds that occur around the globe are based on difference of country, race, religion or language. People have different opinions when asked the question “Can such differences ever be eradicated?” What do you think?


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