Pas de photos post !!!

Okay let me just spurt it .. I am very upset today .Actually , I have no words to describe my apprehension and let me tell you why. Let’s begin this sob story…

Case 1:

Somebody today at one of the many hundreds of face book groups I have joined, posted her melancholy. Her young child who just started primary  at a very expensive private school got bashed at school by the class teacher for reasons so trivial like asking for frequent toilet breaks and the child’s hair got pulled when the teacher saw a wet floor and intelligently  ” assumed ” that it was a mishap done by that innocent child…. Can anyone believe this ??? Is this really happening ?? Can the teachers be that cruel ???

Things just don’t end there… the desperate mother looking for support and advice, also described how difficult it is to communicate with the teacher apart from Parent Teacher Conferences which is actually invitation sent by school. The poor mother worries about the cost of school fee lost incase they withdraw the pupil and high probability of the child not getting admission for current term in any other reputed school.

This happened in an expensive school in Dubai …………………………………………..

 

Case 2:

The second event was faced by another mom, whose 3 year old just started off nursery and has started refusing to go in the morning . The little child resists in whichever way he deems to detach from mommy. Her post portrayed as if parents have done their best but still failing to send of their kid to school without fuss. The teachers say , like always, the child was fine after you left ; stopped crying and started playing with other kids….

Now I know some of us may shun it by considering it a benign separation anxiety issue and there are legitimate ways to deal with it. But what if we are missing something?

This phrase ” don’t worry , your child was fine after you left; stopped crying and started playing with other kids” somehow feels austocious … My reasons are as under:

 

a)  If the kid really enjoys  school’s /nursery’s environment why he is not happy to go there ?

b) Even if the parent accepts that , they are committing some mistake in handling the anxiety at home, why the highly competent staff are unable to alleviate it even for a mere 1%??

 

I am not here going to bullet point the do’s and don’ts in these situations as anyone can easily find it on the internet . I told the lady to follow her motherly instincts . And that moms are correct 99.99% of the times in their gut instincts. I knew I hit the right cords, still her adamancy to recognition didn’t let her to use her analytics . She was still finding excuses to believe it was nothing else but just a phase.

So when I sat down today to write my blog, my mind was speculating my pictures. I needed a picture that could easily comprehend a mother and a child’s connection. Something that I can pin point and say , ” here you go folks ! I described it all ” . NO I CANNOT ! and no one can . I have no shame to openly accept that there is no such word or expression or phrase ever written to describe maternal love as it can only be felt . Not captured ; not written ; not recorded in any way. Then WHY ? Why we ignore it ? Why this powerful connection bows in front of system and circumstances? We know the system fails and circumstances can change . They are all modifiable . But our connection to our kids is real , is solid , it’s unmodifiable.

My mind and my heart has been contemplating at many levels for these two cases. They not only justifies a failing modern educational system but also unveils socio-cultural complexities. In some cultures, it is OKAY to hit a child in order to maintain ”discipline”. Parents growing up in such cultures worry not about the physical abuse and emotional trauma  of their children but for everything else and most importantly child not going to school. Now , here , I would also like to point out this misconception that bricks and mortar schools are the only place for children to get education and socialize. I may look deeply into it in my next post. I mean I am totally speechless at this perception. Clearly, shows how much humans are bounded by chains of tradition and peer pressure.

I would leave this blog with a question for  my readers…

Are your chains of tradition and peer pressure are stronger than the love for your child?your own flesh and blood  ????

 

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Enroute to Dibba ….

Enroute to dibba with masafi mountains in the view ….

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Dibba Beach ….

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Fisherman waiting for a last catch of the day ….

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         UAE has given us numerous experiences…. moments to laugh and cry, feeling welcomed and yet isolated, intrepid yet prudent . It’s a place where the magic of it’s golden sand can push your limits of everything and anything , anywhere. What a place to be !

Among many of the blessings that we enjoy here, long days of sunshine are something nobody can miss. Remember my formative years in Karachi, where hot & humid sunny days felt so draining .. May be it was just a moment in time, as time is a relative thing and depends largely as how we perceive it . Shining sun which looks very smily now , was a torturous, ferocious, uncanny foe who was doing nothing much than frying us on our way to school, college and university. When we siblings started visiting London initially for holidays back in 2000s , cloudy grey skies were delirious ! We would go for long , unhurried walks, exploring the vicinities and figuring out how to reach back home…Fast forward, Al Ain, the sun shines with all its glory for good 11-12 hours ! too much of everything is boring and so now we are bored with clear blue skies and buckets of sunshine every day .

Also being surrounded by a desert, we cherish every single drop of water in our natural surroundings. We have learnt to cherish rain, lakes, beaches, ponds, even puddles and the aquarium in our house 🙂

Since in Al Ain we are surrounded by tall and handsome , somewhat reddish colored sand dunes, often the natural, instinctive and primitive urge for a change of scenery emanates from the deepest cringes of our soul . Hence we drive for 2, 3, 4 sometimes 5 hours in scorching sun with irritated and exhausted kids only to wet our feet under setting sun. If we are lucky we get , 20 minutes to 45 minutes to spend in naturally lit waters. We are still grateful for this… After all , we are humans and change is what our hearts desire….

 

 

Camping at Al Aqah Beach , Fujairah .

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After our first camping experience at Bassa Beach , Oman as mentioned in my previous blog , we decided to give it a go again .This time we opted for Fujairah , a location within UAE.  We are those people whose idea of vacation is finding solitude but now with the added responsibility of our toddler , I make sure that we remain within safe limits which at this time came with a cost . We had to compromise on the location which was a crowded one as per our standards.

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Fujairah is one the big tourist attracting places in UAE with numerous chains of hotels and resorts which has made practically near to impossible for campers in search of a quite night. There is a single camping site for families and for the bachelors. The family was massively over crowded with large tents . At first i thought that there were some wedding going on at the beach side by looking at the generators, fancy lights and decorations. Secondly , it was over littered. The municipality has provided litter bins at various locations but still the litter was floating around everywhere. We immediately decided that this place was too unhygienic and noisy for us .

We then searched the area around and found another camping site near Le Meridian Resorts known as Al Aqah Beach . This beach was for bachelors but there were few families as well . It was much cleaner and the camps were a little bit further from each other that everyone can enjoy their privacy.  The practical , campers looking camps also generated an atmosphere of a proper camping site. So we parked our car , took out our luggage and nailed the burners .

I used  long exposure time to minimize too many city lights and to create a flow:

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Night sky was beautiful and when we turned our backs to the city behind and just looked at the sea , it was the same feeling of solitude.

Day and night views with our chairs : I am sure we all can guess which one belongs to whom 🙂

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Unlike Bassa Beach, the night that we spent here was mostly spent awake. Yes, we could not sleep a single second as there were Quad bikers invading us from everywhere . My son got very scared and started crying because of continuous  rumbling of the engines and they were too rude to drive past our camp barely inches away. My husband first asked them politely . Telling them to kindly drive away from the camp in the long stretch of sand behind but despite of that , the teasing increased. Too scared of all that, I dialed police for help. I still regret why I phoned them. First of all, there were atleast four people who switched the phone from one another to ask in detail what happened and then said ” No English ”. The last one was smart enough to say ” Come here ”.

At that moment, with a crying child, frustrated husband and my own thumping heart, I really felt helpless and angry. I got my first lesson of unfair treatment by the police here . Fujairah police does not understand english and wasted half an hour of my call just to tell me ” No English ” ?? I wonder what the western expats do here in case of emergency . Its not my fault that i dont speak Arabic but i cannot understand how the police can help anyone who doesnt speak Arabic ? is this fair policy ?

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Anyhow ,we waited till dawn . My plan was to take some shots of the starry sky but because of the bikers who were hiding their faces , i was unable to even stand outside our camp . So on my husband’s instructions i chose to stay in as there was a possibility that my action would have attracted more of their unwanted attraction.

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However, when the sun rose, we forgave every one and everything . We enjoyed the sun, sand and sea and later went for sight seeing . I guess , we may not want to camp there again .

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Camping in Mussandam Khasab, Oman

Spending the night under a starry sky has always been one of the standards of romance. Here in UAE though there are many desginated camping sites according to an individual preference but we opted to go a little bit further. We opted for Mussandam as our first ever experience to spend the night under starry sky.. Here is the view of the Bassa Beach in Khasab just when the sun was about to rise…

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The route to this camping site from Oman post is full of adventure and breath taking beauty. Its a 65 km long Khasab Coastal road with plenty of jaw dropping , heart throbbing bends both in ascending and descending manners that is certainly there to give you one of the best driving experiences provided that you are satisfied on the performance of your vehicle and your own driving skills.

When we reached Oman border post it was past supper .. I drove on that road and all i could see was mountain ranges on my right hand and pitch black darkness on the left with numerous boards of land sliding at every few meters. At that time I was only enjoying with my steering control skills. But then in the morning , we decided to drive back and we were utterly astonished to see the beautiful coast line with  blue sea, white beaches , small , medium and large vessels .Believe you me ,  we loved it so much that we drove thrice on the road alone ! only this time my husband was behind the wheels as i was enjoying my other interest i.e capturing the beauty. I could only make a video with my phone as it was not possible to take pictures on a sharply twisting roads however i did whenever i can and the pictures are shared below .

Children’s playing area at Bassa Beach.

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The residence of local fishermen

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Changing trends…

 

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I use Face Book very frequently. There is nothing special about it as every one of us usually do this besides twitter, whatsapp , viber e.t.c. Its a life away from life. its a solution to our loneliness, despair and frustrations. its a point of exchange of ideas, products, knowledge and everything you know and everything you are ! 

We as humans often fail to realize what we are giving back to the world. Each of us is so occupied in completing his daily cycle of work, sleep, eat , kids , studies that the element of inner soul , soulful life has gone out of window. And in all that chaos, many of us lost themselves. Lost being humans; lost being closer to earth; lost to breathe ; lost to harmonize . Then suddenly, one day , something shake your senses and you realize that its too late . I was shaken again when I noticed something couple of days back on Face book . It was the language used by our teenagers in their daily language . I was appalled by a conversation that you get access to read on your friend’s comments window . the language was abusive , foul and disrespectful. The pictures of ” friends ” and ” classmates” were objectionable. 

I recalled my times when I was myself a student. Went to co-ed school and then to university and then worked with of course males colleagues. NEVER and i repeat NEVER in my whole life I have ever used or seen any such behavior in any institution or private life. I cannot recall a single of my acquaintances having such issues . Then why young adults  in the age group of 15 – 25 years have this habit ? 

Who to blame here ? Bollywood culture ? Hollywood culture ? I think NONE of them ! In my opinion its our own homes that are producing such masses of adults who have lost all ethics in trying to be ” Normal ” . We as parents are solely responsible for raising such bizarre minds and soul. Its a social storm and bigger and more devastating than any natural calamity. We are loosing our young generation. We are producing such individuals who may be far more smarter than us but they lack soul, insight and morals. When i look at the pictures of friends hanging out together In Pakistan , i cannot recognize if we they are Muslims or not. Change of appearances have changed the minds.People like me who cannot help but to point out about such moral and social derogations are asked not to interfere in ” friends and friendship matters” .

 

 

 

 

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Our own society is going through a time when its hard to make ends meet by the parents and their only focus of life is live through the day . In such circumstances, family life, family time to teach children ways of spending life doesnt happen. But this is no excuse. Our children are our biggest test from Allah SWT. Whatever good or bad they do , we as parents are mainly  responsible for it as they learnt it from us  what they watched us doing and what they watched us allowing them to do .

It is understood from verses 33-37 of the Chapter Al-i-Imran and verse 28 of Chapter  Maryam that man’s development and perfection depend upon the following four factors. 
1. A believing father 
2. A believing mother 
3. A good and sympathetic teacher 
4. Lawfully obtained food.

So where do we stand here ? Alhumdulillah and May Allah SWT bless my parents for this that they first set the examples themselves for true believers, My earliest childhood memories were of my parents discussions on Islam and its practice in our daily lives. They did it while doing their daily chores and just like a routine conversation.Then they both worked immensely hard to make sure that each bite that goes into our mouth was halal food obtained from halal resources and kept repeating even till date the hadith that one haram bite ruins everything. I qoute a Hadith here :

On the authority of Abu ‘Abdullah al-Nu’man bin Bashir (ra) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah(sas) say:

“The halal is clear and the haram is clear, and between them are matters unclear that are unknown to most people. Whoever is wary of these unclear matters has absolved his religion and honor. And whoever indulges in them has indulged in the haram. It is like a shepherd who herds his sheep too close to preserved sanctuary, and they will eventually graze in it. Every king has a sanctuary, and the sanctuary of Allah is what He has made haram. There lies within the body a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the whole body is sound; and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Verily this piece is the heart.”

[Bukhari & Muslim]

 

The Prophet says in another hadith,

”A person’s iman will not be upright until their heart is upright and strong. The heart will not be upright and strong until the tongue is upright and strong.”

 

Then they chose to send us siblings in such a school whose motto was to make you a good Muslim first then a good citizen. There were hundreds of kids in the school but we were one of the most respected and loved students of our teachers because our parents and our teachers were always on the same page. Standing together at every step of our character building. Now i truely understand why my parents put the whole world aside for us . why they limited their own social gatherings and means of relaxation as they would interfere with our studies schedule. Why our school projects , competitions , every minor and major class test was their only life outside their own work. Now i know it . Now i see the difference. I am so so very much grateful to them to cross every boundary to save us from harsh society and to sculpture our personalities in such a different way. May Allah SWT bless both of them and give them a healthy and happy long life together ameen … sumameen .. And this is I believe the solution to the problem of rude behavior and abusive language in our generation.. Iman in our hearts can only be transferred to our children by means of Halal way of life . 

 

 

The Lamp Post

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It was a lazy weekend in the mid of the month when we decided that perhaps we should have some fun with the camera around our residence premises. At about 4 o’ clock in the afternoon , we set off for a stroll in the weather which is considered as pleasant by the local Emiratis though for us , it  was still hot and humid.

Having nothing else on our minds but just to collect memorabilia of Tawam Residence ,  I took more than 200 pictures of every nook and corner we could walk up to. Here it is important to mention that still we were unable to cover the whole hospital as it was the only short time between Asar and Maghrib prayers and it takes time to see, think and compose a shot (hehehehe) . When we reached back home and I  started editing and uploading the pictures to share with family , there was a sudden realization to me . I noticed that most of the pictures had a lamp Post visible in it . What? A Lamp Post ?  Does that mean I have a natural love for Lamp Post ? Oh I don’t think so . But I guess its mainly because we spent a good amount of time of our lives in London and Lamp Posts are a very prominent part of European Architecture. Nevertheless, I never took any notice of lamp Posts back in London where they were present  in ample amounts on various places and in their full glory.Whether it was Piccadilly Circus or a Government office in  East London , the Brits knows very well how to inculcate the seeds of their culture and history in everyone slowly yet effectively.

Anyways, whatever may be the reason, it is quite evident that I am in love with Lamp Post these days.. Whether its short lived or a long term , only time can tell .

Till then , Cheers !