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I read this poem some years ago written by Khalil Gibran from Lebanon. I liked it as it had something different to say. Here’ an extract from the poem:

Your thought urges you to marry wealth and notability. Mine commands self-reliance. Your thought advocates fame and show, mine cousels me and implores me to cast aside notoriety and treat it like a grain of sand cast upon the shore of etnernity. You thought instills in your heart arrogance and superiority. Mine plants within me love for peace and the desire for independence. Your thought begets dreams of palaces with furniture of sandalwood studded with jewels and beds made of twisted silk threads. My thoughts speak softly in my ears: ‘Be clean of body and spirit even if you have nowhere to lay your head.’ Your thought makes you aspire to tittles and offices. Mine exhorts me to humble services. You have your thought and I have mine.

Najma Aijaz, 25th April 2012

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During the time when I was studying for CAT (Certified Accounting Technician) I came across one sir’s style of teaching which kind of impressed me.  The reason why I observe all my teachers’ style of teaching is because I personally enjoy teaching.

Sir Shahid taught us Management Accountancy and I wasn’t surprised when 90% of the students passed at his subject while at the other classes, the ratio was 70%.

And I am not exaggerating.

Firstly, he gave us a test after every chapter. (Not a big deal, I know.. read on.)

Sir Shahid divided the class into equal numbers and so two groups were hence formed. The test used to be 10 marks each and whoever got below 7 had to attempt a retest the following week together with the test of that week.  This was the first way he urged students to pass the test in the first attempt to avoid the burden of two tests. And this worked with the lazy students: 

Secondly, the group which had the most number of failed students (below 7) in a month had to give another group a party. So there was a tea party every month. And per person it didn’t cost a lot.  Everyone tried not to get below 7 and even urged the procrastinators of the group to get above 7. Gradually, the number of students with below 7 marks, became really very less. And somehow the students who may have failed other subjects, passed Mr. Shahid’s subject of Management Accountancy. 🙂

I miss the ambiance, the enthusiasm he generated in his class. He actually made his subject a lot more interesting than it would have been without him. 

Najma Aijaz, 21st March 2012

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The main reason why I always wanted to leave Pakistan was that I didn’t like the way daily life moved. In Fact, I was trying to find excuses to speak bad things. I was a famous unpatriotic person among my friends. I used to get annoyed by the honking bikes and polluted traffic.

I remember clearly that I never thought for a single moment to improve things, at least to keep a positive attitude and optimistic approach towards things. All I did was I ran away. 

Today I realize that the efforts that I put and the money that I spent in order to get aboard and leave the country; If I could just spend a half of it over making something better, I would have been something. At least I would have been able to visualize the future, which I can’t see it here in Kuala Lumpur.

It’s been 64 years since Pakistan got freedom. Wait a minute: What is Freedom? I don’t know. They never taught me in school. All I remember from school is that Pakistan was freed by Jinnah on 14th August 1947 from The Great Britain via dialogues.

So what is freedom? When Pakistan was a part of India, still things would’ve been the same. People with families trying to find work to feed them. Parents would be thinking about their children’s future and education.

Ambitious people would have been running after money, sex and fame. People would hardy get the justice out of the government offices unless they have certain sources. Scared of political and racist activities with in the towns. The Mothers would send their children to the schools like they send young men for war, hoping for their safe return. So where are we now? What we have lost and achieved in the 64 years? Freedom?

Dictionary defines Freedom as the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. These words seem quite simple but holds massive power and importance. It is human psychology that we always realize the importance of something once we lose it.

Every family has a black sheep you would never realize the importance of something if you haven’t seen the opposite. I have not experienced but seen, the captivity and hence I realize the importance of Freedom. It really brings hell of feelings in my mind when A police officer on a road block stops me and asks me” What are you doing in my country”? Or when a proud citizen yells out that” This is My country and I would do what I want”.

This is when I realized how free we used to be; the freedom of making choices. See your friends whenever you want to, stay late night out and no one would ask a question. No police officer will question about your appearance in that country, for, that is your home, the paradise within. The country is our body, and if any part of our body is aching, we don’t cut it, we work on it, try to improve it and bring it back to music. The fact is, I think, that we are too busy in criticizing our country’s problems that we have lost the notion of thinking it optimistically to make things better. If the system is corrupt, let it me. But corruption doesn’t work officially. You are citizen, you have the rights. You should know the rights and you should use them.

I’m the active user of Facebook and I have seen many people/pages that post mainly the pictures which exposes the bad side of the country. And I feel sad and sorry. Why don’t they post the good things to show the worlds how good we are or how good we want to be. Yesterday tells us that the nation it used to be, but today and tomorrow, this is what matters. We can make it happen. The tomorrow might be ours. Miracles do happen and we have ability to make one happen.

The security concerns might be an issue but when your emotional self is satisfied and like hell we care about anything else. Besides that you are close to your family and your traditions and cultures. You are surrounded by the people who look alike you and you have the liberty of expressing your emotions in your own language.

So now this comes with the technology and modern things. So tell me, Should I not love Pakistan because it doesn’t have metro train systems, huge shopping malls and branded coffee shops? That’s not enough reason not to love your nation. Let’s, for instance, look at education. I am enrolled in one of the leading industries of this country, Hotel Management.

I don’t say I’m super talented and hard-working student but I don’t find any competition. Most of the times I tell my teachers what to do. I rather felt sad when I was the only student in my first semester to pass my exams out ta 23 students. I wish badly that I could have invested my money in any of the leading Alma mater of Pakistan, such as CBM or SZABIST. I could have some competition and luxury of being taught by the quality and highly qualified teachers rather than high school graduates. 

Most of the people say Pakistan doesn’t have the opportunities but that is not true. Where there is will there is a way. I would put it like this. If you have courage of doing things you do, no mater what circumstances be, or you become coward, and run away. After completion of my studies I wish to comeback and work in my own country and something tells me I’m going to do it hell lot more better that anywhere else in this world. 

First important tier of Islam is Touheed; which means “I believe in ALLAH the Exalted, in His Angels, His Scriptures, His Prophets, the Day of Judgement, and in the fact that every thing good or bad (in the world) is pre-destined by ALL resurrection after death.” Every Muslim in the world believes so. So the primary belief of Islam is not only to believe what you see but believe what you don’t see; Allah. This belief differentiates from other religions of the world. So the point is, Why don’t we keep such belief for our future; That, Allah has set up the destiny and you would never know what’s coming on your way. The question arises here in my mind that does Allah pre-destined the life and future of communities, cities, states and countries. The only answer that comes to my mind is that all those worldly things are run my man and faith ans self belief is what is going to take them to the finish point.

Awais Rehman,  A Hotelier

in Kuala Lampur

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that it makes the world an interesting place to be, and full of interesting and different people.

I have spent my school years at Our Own English High School Fujairah, U.A.E. Since kindergarden I had classmates from various different nationalities. I had friends from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Phillipines, Sudan, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, India, China, Lebanon and of course Pakistan (my home country). There were even third generation kids. Like a girl named Sophie had her mom from U.S.A. and dad from Saudi Arabia. There was a guy in our school who’se dad was from U.K. and mom from Korea. And ofcourse many of my friends had one of their parents as Pakistan and the other as Indian/Bangladeshi.

Since I was brought up in this environment I didn’t notice the diversity much until I realised at my senior years that the environment that I have grown up in is somehow unique (than the other schools else where).

How this has made me as a person is also something special that I see in myself. I don’t judge a person by his/her nationality, language or color. I understand that there can be good or bad people in any nation or there can be good as well as bad qualities in a person.

There are some common attributes that I noticed in the students of various countries, for example:

Chinese: are truly hard working. My friend Siwen Zhu never used to sit idle. Either she used to be studying or making bracelets or even doing mathematics for fun!

Pakistanis: yearn for praise and appreciation for their work. They used to exceptionally work well when appreciated and rewarded and used to take part mainly in sports (usually no other activity)

Bangladeshis were exceptionally brilliant at mathematics. I am impressed. I mean I found in every class there used to be atleast one Bangladeshi topping the class in mathematics. I even found students who weren’t as studious or brilliant in other subjects but were toppers in mathematics.

Students from Phillipines were creative and neat. By this I mean neat and creative in every thing that they did.. from their appearance to the work that they presented in class. Many teachers used to select Filipino students to make charts for the class.

Indian students worked hard to be all-rounders. Mostly they were the ones that used to participate in extra curricular activites be it dancing, karate, singing, acting in a play, debate competitions. Most of the time it was the Indian students working hard for our school concerts and annual days. They used to be among the dancers, singers, actors, hosts.

I should also mention Sudanese students. All the sudanese students that I met were friendly and had some charm in them when they talked.. politeness, decency and friendliness was natural to them. Plus their English language skills were good.

Sri Lankan students displayed great care in avoiding conflicts and maintaining balance in everything they did. Almost all of the students that I knew wanted to be independent. And they used to work for that.

Wonder if similar attributes exist in the overall people of these nations as well?

I think they do. 🙂

Najma Aijaz, 7th March 2012

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Lesley Carter shares her teaching experience:

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I want to share a couple of websites that students across the globe may find useful:

http://www.freevideolectures.com  My sir told me about this site in class. He said it’s for people who like to learn. The lectures are of really good standard and quality. I usually watch the workshop or presentations related to Entrepreneurship from Stanford University, but there are many other subjects too.

http://www.opentuition.com (specially for accounting students).

http://www.theexpgroup.com

Najma Aijaz 25/02/2012

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