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

 

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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

 

life, Writing

Do you argue?

 

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An old man was asked; how you enjoyed such good health at your old age.

He said; I’ve never argued, and I leave when people start arguing.

Peace. That’s the word to describe that old man’s life.

Argument is not just to defend your point of view, or to prove what is right; I’ve read it’s also a threat response; maybe our pride, our reputation, our family, our future, our position,  and many other things that we ague to protect or conceal or even to gain others’ respect.

As a mother, I learned from my children that nothing would change when we kept arguing. The more we argue, the less we would reach compromises, but the less we argue, the more we agree to compromise.

My recent argument was on the way home with my daughter; she wants to buy a hairspray to colour her hair like her friends for the charity in need fundraising activity at school. In the beginning, I refused and insisted; and she cried and insisted. I explained that it might be harmful and she explained that it’s suitable for children. I told her there are other ways to have crazy hair and she explained that without colours it would be the dullest idea ever. I remembered the old man and said no more, and in the morning, she suggested to colour her plait and not all of her hair as a compromise.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

parents, Writing

Parents’ evening

Parents’ evening is a good opportunity to know about your children progress at school and to know what their teachers and friends see and tell about them away from their parents’ eyes.

Academic achievements is always the main concern of most parents. Most of us would probably ask; how far my son or daughter is doing in Math, science, English and other subjects? what does he/ she need to get better? However, as well as children’s reports would be different, also parents’ attitudes towards these evenings are different. Actually, this is very interesting for me.

One of my friends told me once that her parents had never attended any parents’ evenings; they were more concerned about the end of year results or the marks she got at any exam and because she was doing well; they had never attended any of those evenings. This does not mean that they didn’t care but their point of view is that everything will be reflected in their school reports.

Other parents, would never miss out any parents’ evenings. They get their golden opportunity  to explode with all those negative thoughts about their children or the school. This group usually take more than the expected time for a meeting. Last year, my husband told me that one of the parents kept arguing and arguing; apparently he was complaining either about his child’s performance or the school in general. Those parents also care about their children but this is their way to complain to make sure that their children get the best of everything even if this was not possible either from the perspective of a school or the abilities of children.

Is there other group? Yes there is those parents always happy to attend and to meet with the teachers; they might be a bit late but it does not matter, they come any way. For them everything is positive and wonderful and they can not wait to spread the good news about their children’s wonderful performance at school ignoring that there was a tiny missing part of the story about their children being a bit behind or any other educational issue. They also care but they have their special way!

Who else do I see? Actually , I see us, and there are many like us, who also would try to attend all meetings as far as we can, but who also do not talk too much. We usually finish within the time or may be earlier. We listen more than we talk and this is why I think we usually finish early. We, and many other parents, believe that the academic performance is important but we also believe that the way teachers talk, and the expressions they show about our children is important too. I feel happy when I see their teachers’ big smile and feel the affection and joy in their voices while talking about my children which is the best thing any parent should be proud of.

Next time when you have a parents’ evening at your children’s school, remember to watch how parents would act while waiting for your turn.

Parents have different philosophies, haven’t they?

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Arabic, langauge, Personal, Writing

Our names

When we meet with new people, we sometimes ask them about the meaning of their names especially if their names sound new or odd. I am sure that my mother did not know the meaning of my name but she told me that she named me after a famous person that she admired at the time I was born.  My name was not that common at school or among our relatives and friends. There usually would be a maximum of two girls whose name was Nahla in any year group. Then, when I was in year 8 or 10, I had got my own Arabic dictionary from my school and the first thing all the girls checked was the meaning of their names.  It was the first time to know that my name means the first drop/sip of water one gets when drinking. I like it but I did not think that it has that special significance that others’ names have, e.g. beautiful, princess, night, morning, moon, etc. Then and after many years, when I was doing my Quran recitation exam, there was a lady registering our names. She looked very simple, old and funny all at once. She started giving every student a special prayer according to her name. And as soon as she knew my name, she said: “May Allah make you a fount of Knowledge!” I was a mother having two little boys at that time, and it was the first time to notice that my name is actually derived from the word ‘fountain’ usually of water but it can also be used in a reference to knowledge; It’s never late to learn! Before that incident, I used to like my name but after that lady’s prayer, I began loving it.

In the Arab world, we usually say that everyone has a share of his name. This means that your personality would probably reflect the meaning of your name. It’s just a saying! But why not thinking about it?

What about you? What is the meaning of your name?

Let me hear from you,

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Family, parents, Personal, Writing

School is Tomorrow!

 

 

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”Have a nice holiday!”

” We should arrange to meet up one day during the holidays.”

This was how the summer holiday started when parents usually exchange their best wishes at school gate. But; can you believe that this was a month and a half ago! Time really flies!

Time goes too fast as if we are getting the fastest high speed train in the world where we get on and off according to the different stages that we experience in our life. A month and a half ago, we got off at “School holiday” . Soon, we were getting on again to continue our life express train journey and to get off again but this time at “Back to school.”

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In between these two stops; wouldn’t it be great to close our eyes for a while and think! What can we see? What thoughts do we have? Holidays are wonderful opportunity for family time and taking photos to save those happy moments but please don’t forget to think about them too!

Let’s think about the last stop” School holiday”:

For me;

I can see how my children though have become more independent but also become closer to us (their parents).

I can see how it made my day when I met with new people or received kind words from old or new acquaintances even if it was online.

I can see how kindness is always rewarded by more kindness even if it’s just a swing!

I can see how happiness is so simple! even if there is No Internet Zone

I can see how if you think you know everything, you know nothing! A lesson from Penguins!

I can see how celebrations are not merely to have new stuff, go out, and pay more. We can not fully enjoy our celebrations without understanding their significance! This is Why do we celebrate Eid?

I can see that most of the time when reading other’s thoughts, I realise how we do share lots of common things. Actually, similarities are more than differences!

I can see lots of other things but that would be too much for You; my readers.

What about you? What can you see?

Now we are approaching a new Stop: ” Back to school.”

Let’s see how fast it would go and what thoughts would inspire us this year?

I wish all of our children a pleasant and successful school year!

With my best wishes,

Nahla