story, Writing

The Tortoise and the Hare

Yesterday I asked my daughter:

If there is a second part to the tortoise and the hare story in which they will decide to go for another competition, who do you think will win?

While she was thinking, i said in my head the Hare. Surely he would have learned the lesson. He would never think to have a nap under the same tree. No way.

The tortoise, my daughter said and i looked at her surprised.

How? I asked believing the hare would never repeat the same mistake.

The Hare will copy the tortoise and crawl all the way next to her.

Why? I asked still surprised

Because she had won the first race and he thought if he followed her pace, he would too

Any why do you think it did not work with him?

Because his legs hurt. He got different legs to those of the tortoise. So he became very very tired and had some rest under the tree and fell asleep again.

Oh poor hare! Surely he was very disappointed, i said

No, he was not, my daughter said

Why? I asked.

Because he wasn’t himself in the race this time, my daughter said

Don’t understand, i said

He was pretending to be the tortoise but this can’t be. He should be himself, the hare, to win, my daughter said.

Good point! I smiled

Children will always give us wonderful lessons.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Writing

Bildungsroman

 

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Have you ever come to this word in literature?

I have learned about it, recently. I didn’t even know how to pronounce it. I practised several times, but it’s hard. When I looked it up, I found it’s a German word, more precisely a combination of two German words; Bildung and Roman.

Bildungsroman is a genre of a novel that shows the moral and psychological journey of the protagonist throughout the development of the story. This genre is also known as Coming-of-age which is popular in English literature.

Today I found out that many of the books I like are classified as bildungsroman; for example; Jane Eyre, To kill a mockingbird, Ann of Green Gables, and The secret life of Bees, Bridge to Terabithia, and the Alchemist.

This topic is worth investigating, especially if you are interested in postgraduate studies.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

life, Writing

2+2

 

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I was just sitting, thinking about something to write when 2+2 just came to my mind.

2+2= 4, and this answer will never be different, but these days things seem more confusing.

A person might pop on on TV, social media, or anywhere and argue for hours, for example about Cain and Abel, and says that Cain was not evil and didn’t intend to murder his brother. He will explain the psychological, philosophical, or whatever, and the interviewer will keep nodding.  But, the story in the holy books will never change; Cain was evil, jealous, and arrogant. He planned the first murder in the history of humanity and killed his brother.  So, no matter what s/he talks, Truth can never change and 2+2 will always = 4

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

Writing

Names in fiction

 

 

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The more I read, the more I realise that the characters’ names play an important role in stories. There is a special moment when characters introduce themselves, and when others respond. When the name has a significance, this moment becomes exceptional and impressive.

In real life, we, sometimes, pause and stare at the person introducing himself or herself, and feel something special, real, or odd about them.

One day, a friend was telling me about her sister’s newborn baby;

‘Shadow was doing so and so,’ she said, and I asked whether her sister is living in the Uk?

‘No,’ she said.

‘What’s the baby’s name again?’ I asked.

‘Shadow,’ she said.

‘Why your sister gave her baby an English name?’ I asked.

‘It’s Shadow, the Arabic name,’ she replied.

I couldn’t help laughing because Shadow in Arabic means the birds’ singing, the pronunciation is different, slightly, but it spells the same as the shadow in English.

It is interesting to play with this similarity of names in Fiction, isn’t it?

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

 

life

Leave it at home!

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I read this post today on facebook, and remembered a simple lesson I had learned years ago at school; it was a hadith by Prophet Muhammad; when giving a charity, your left hand shouldn’t know what the right had already given.

But today not just the left-hand knows about you giving charity but the entire globe. Why is that? Why should people in need be humiliated, and be pictured crying and begging for money? Why those benevolent hands intend to show off rather than be thoughtful and grateful?

Some said that this motivates others, reminds others, helps others to take part and help the poor, but I, and I’m sure there are others, have learned the lesson, without a practical demonstration; I mean the teacher didn’t open her purse and invite the most miserable in the class to give her some money.

I’m not against giving details or making people aware of others’ suffering, and I believe many people are having good intentions, but I’m just wondering what if those in need object, and refuse to be pictured, would they still receive any charity? Would those benevolent hands turn their cameras off and give charity? Would it be better to be humane rather than popular?

Please think before taking pictures.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

Education, Writing

Marva Collins

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Teaching is a talent.

Would we go back a bit to recall those special memories about teachers that had really taught us something special, something we still remember? Are there any? Or Your teachers had that traditional style that gives students no more than what’s already been in books.

Marva Collins was a talented teacher, believing that every child has a right to learn and can learn. She hasn’t got a certificate in Education; her degree was in secretarial science, but her teaching methods became far better than many of those highly qualified teachers. So what was special about her?

Collins resigned from the teaching position at Chicago public school because she didn’t believe in the system that teaches to the test and eliminates children with learning disabilities. She launched Westside Preparatory School which was a one-room school with eighteen students of different abilities. There, she cared for every single student in the class. She gave good quality and quantity of education, she gave love and respect, and her students learned how to be themselves and to choose a better way of living.

These are some of her phrases which she used to inspire her students;

‘’You have the choice, the right to choose what kind of person you want to be.’’

‘’This is my life to use or to throw away.’’

‘’You are not in school for your parents, for your teachers, or for anyone else. You are here for yourselves.’’

There is a movie available on Youtube about her story. It’s great, why not watching?

Happy New Year!

With all best wishes,

Nahla

 

Faith, Writing

Noah Ark

 

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People at the time of Noah, laughed at him building a ship in a city where there was no sea, not even a river. Why you are wasting your time? They mocked; gathering all the children to laugh at their wise who for them had lost his mind. Noah didn’t give up; he kept building and building. One day the ship was ready; apparently, it was the most amazing ship at that time. That day, something much more awful, much more destructive, much more terrifying happened. Was it something like a Tsunami, something like any of those torrential hurricanes, or was it an earthquake with a magnitude of 10 or more? Whatever it was, something unbelievable, unexpected, did happen. But now ship floated saving those believing souls.

It’s the story of faith, hope, and reward.

Do you know that Noah Ark has become such an inspiration that a group of people have already constructed a similar craft to remind people all over the globe of the story of Noah’s unthinkable and unsinkable ship?

I hope you would enjoy watching this video; it’s very interesting.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

 

life, Writing

Alchemist

 

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They said; ‘the moment you think to give up is the perfect timing for winning.’ Is this true? Sometimes we think that’s it, I have been trying more than enough and there would be no way to succeed or win this or get that. But at the same time, things become different and a silver lining is shown up not just to give us hope but to help us see those other routes, to think of those other possibilities and to perceive the hidden wisdom behind all of these changes and stages in our life.

When writing this blog I remembered Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Have you heard about it? Did you read it? It’s really good. If you did, you would agree that the moment Santiago believed he had lost everything and he should give up, was the moment when he won; when his dream came true.

I believe if we write our own stories, we would definitely find lots of those perfect timing moments.

PS,  I bribed my son to read it. He did but he liked it so much.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

Writing

Handwriting or typing

 

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Typing is much easier, especially when writing a long essay, dissertation or an assignment. It is also easier for editing and word counting and so on. When I was an undergraduate student (hmm many years ago), it was possible to make a handwriting submission for essays. Typing was allowed but was not compulsory. At that time, I did not have my own PC, so I used to have them all handwriting. I discovered the difference when I started my postgraduate studies, and I will never think or recommend handwriting for long writing tasks.

But Handwriting is so special. To give a birthday card, a thank you note or even lecture notes to your friend in handwriting is different. It becomes not only about words but also the person who wrote them. I read once that handwriting, even scribbles have a significance. Your handwriting tells more about your personality. It is also known that our handwriting is unique; even twins have different styles of writing.

Today my son asked me to write a note for his PE teacher because his legs are so stiff after his boxing club. These days everything is computerised. I usually send emails, text or call the school; to write a note sounds a bit weird today. I was in a hurry, morning time! when I found the paper, I could not find the pen, and when I found both I forgot why he can not do it but I wrote it anyway. When my son saw the note, he said;

‘Mama, am I unwell?’ he asked and laughed

‘No,’ I replied and remembered the main reason, ‘ but you can explain more to your teacher.’ I laughed too.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Family

Five pound

 

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Though our dinner time always start peacefully, it has become my son’s habit to start teasing his little sister just before he finishes eating. There is 8 years gap between them but he always finds it funny to annoy her though he is not doing the same with his brother who is just 2 years older. How is this related to the 5 pound note? This is what I am going to explain now:

Yesterday, when having our dinner, I was not in that good mood and I did not expect to be that patient when watching one laughing and the other screaming. So I thought about discussing something and I started telling them something that though had happened last week but had just came to mind at that moment. I said:

“Last week when I was waiting for the bus to pick up Mariam (my daughter) from school, I saw a young man quickened his pace as if he was going to catch the bus though no bus at the bus stop. But he suddenly bend over and snatched a £5 note from the ground. He really picked it up so quickly as if he was snatching it and hid it in his pocket. He then walked more quickly and disappeared.”

My sons said: “What did you expect mama?”

I said: “Well, since it was not a clear scene, I expected that he would ask me or ask the old man that was just a few steps ahead if it was ours but he didn’t! I thought that the old man probably had dropped it as I was there for about a few minutes and I was totally sure there was nothing on the ground.  Also, it was not mine as I had not got any on that day.” I then asked: “What about you? What would you do?”

My older son kept quiet which was really the best thing to do at that time. It was my middle son who started arguing explaining everybody would do the same and nobody is going to ask; “Is this yours?” “It was just a £5 not £1000 mama”, he said.  Then he started questioning me:  if it was you or the other man seeing it first, wouldn’t you take it? Why did anyone leave it? It did not belong to any one.”

I replied:”Yes it did not belong to anyone and I just guessed that it was the other man’s. And yes it was not a classroom or a school so you know where to ask. But I just wondered why he did not even look round and pretend that he wouldn’t take it.”

Before my son say anything, my daughter decided to join in giving her own opinion which would definitely oppose her brother’s and make him wrong: “No we do not take it. It’s not ours”, she said. And this was the straw that broke the camel’s back as they remembered they had not practiced their everyday habit and they started all over again.

Was it better if we did not discuss any topic at dinner time?

All the best,

Nahla