March 28, 2013

Dearest Sri Lanka

Filed under: Sociopolitics — by Zuhair @ 1:28 pm


Dearest Sri Lanka,

I am terribly disappointed in you. Have you not fought long enough? Wasn’t 30 years of civil war enough for you? Why must you start another?

Sri Lanka, you were once known as Serendib, named after serendipity, meaning a pleasant surprise. You can proudly boast to be one of the most desired holiday destinations because of your beautiful scenery. More than this though, you can boast a friendly population.

You have come a long way, freeing yourself from British imperialism and rebirthing yourself in 1948. You have all sorts of people that call you their mother country and their home; people from India, Arabia and Southeast Asia. While countries like America and those of the Middle East can also boast an ethnic diversity, you, Sri Lanka know that these races are not foreign to you but are a part of your culture and identity.

I know Sri Lanka that I am not the only Sri Lankan who took pride in you but now I am embarrassed. I wish you would be what I expect you to be; the tiny island with a soul as large as the ocean on which it sits.


I am not oblivious to the fact that unrest is a part of your history, Sri Lanka. I am also aware that you might at times have felt the need to be forceful, to be heard. But Sri Lanka, there are always political forces within any nation and, assuming you still have the heart that bred the heart I have, I humbly request that you not build barriers between your citizens but that, if you are to build anything, let it be walls between true citizens of Sri Lanka and those with higher political motives.

Is this too much to ask for? Let’s face it! Sri Lanka, you will accuse and protest and demonstrate but will you really benefit from it? If so, what have you benefited from past conflicts? All that has come of your history of violence is more violence. When will you stop to think that violence is not the answer?

I walk the streets of Sri Lanka and see children walking to school with smiles on their faces. I see them buying candy from smiling shopkeepers. I see a young girl helping an old man cross the street. I see neighbors lending a hand. Are not those of other religions your neighbors too? Are they not the children of your soil? Sri Lanka, your simple man knows where his heart is. Guide him and let not corruption seep through the back door of his home, his temple, his mosque or his church.

Yes, the back door. Do not all religions preach peace? If so, intolerance will not enter through the front door because intolerance knows he is not welcome. But Sri Lanka, you have let it come to the point that you invite conflict through your front doors and your windows. Why? What will you gain from it? Are you really willing to lose another brother, another son? And I don’t just mean your brother by blood but also your brother who was born of your nation.

To be Continued….

Image: Retrieved on 12/06/2013 from


March 25, 2013

Modern Slavery

Filed under: Sociopolitics — by Zuhair @ 6:19 am

I found this video on YouTube:

The abuse of migrant workers is not something that can be ignored any further. Although a number of newspapers are covering the issue, the situation is far from changing. The video on YouTube is only a piece of the story. The most common abuse is suffered by housemaids who have been raped, stabbed, and murdered.

Firstly though, in response to the video, all I can say is that it is madness. A child is beating up an older man. Is that what the world has come to? The fact that it is a child makes it even scarier than if it was an adult. All innocence is lost.

But is it really the child’s fault? Sure, the child is holding what looks like a whip, the child is doing the whipping and seems happy about it. But let’s face it! This is a child. I blame the parents. Where does this kind of attitude come from? From society and from upbringing.

We live in a cruel world, a world where newspapers talk about abuse and governments do nothing about it, a world where countries take land like they’re taking candy and people can’t do anything about it. Although watching something like this breaks the heart of anyone who has humanity in them, I at least cannot be entirely surprised. After all, it is only a matter of time.

If parents are hostile and racist, how could one expect the children to be different? The situation is very much similar to the early racism that plagued American society all through its history of slavery and segregation. Except in this case, it’s more global than that. Racism is a disease and all the laws in the world may not be able to stop it at the end of the day.

This does not however, mean that we should give up trying to remedy the situation because if laws cannot cure racism, they can fight against it. This is what the world lacks.  The fighting spirit exists only when it is personal and migrant workers are too weak to fight, so it is our duty to fight for them. Furthermore, fighting against it will reduce it and hence, the psychology of the racist changes as generations come and go.

But do we see that happening? No, because instead of addressing problems close to home, on a socio political level, enactors of laws are addressing other problems, which may be just as important, but one is not more important than the other. Before deciding which country you want to ally with before World War III begins, solve your current problems at home. This has always been the attitude of those in power. One example of this is British imperialism

Of course this was a very long time ago. But perhaps we can apply the same situation. Here’s an interesting thought. .. Monarchies and governments, instead of thinking about how allying with the world’s superpowers will benefit you, think about how saving migrant workers from your people will make your nation better.

March 23, 2013

This way

Filed under: Poetry — by Zuhair @ 8:09 am

It’ll never happen, will it?

It will always be this way.

You will spend more than you need to,

and you will never have anything useful to say.

You will trod on noisily,

and think, ‘I hope he notices me.’

You will paint your face without fail,

even if it turns your face stale.

Your mind will think of trivial things,

and you will listen to whoever sings.

It’ll never happen, will it?

It will always be this way.

They will have nothing at all,

and when they try to speak, you will ignore their call.

They will suffer silently

and think, ‘When will the world see me?’

They don’t even have cloth to wear,

they can’t afford to think of pretty and fair.

Their mind will think of survival, if not death.

They’re the ones who pay your debt.

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Rich Harris Poetry Blog Contact via Twitter (@richie_rich77).

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Women in Islam

Amal Ahmed Albaz

Journalist; Poet; Speaker. Superman’s got his cape around his neck; I've got my hijab around my head.

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