June 16, 2017

Why I broke my promise to you

Filed under: Poetry,Society,Uncategorized — by Zuhair @ 6:50 pm


We had a few hours to go before I would board that plane for a short flight back home, leaving you and the life we made for ourselves behind. You asked me if I would be back and I said I would. In fact, I promised that I would. The fact of the matter is when I made that promise; I meant it with every particle of my being, and with every breath I took. It was only after I had arrived home that I realized I didn’t mean that promise. I realized that I hadn’t meant any of the things I ever said to you.

I never meant it when I said ‘I love you’ or when I told you that I would be forever yours. Those were just things everyone said when they were in a relationship. I never meant it when I said I forgave you and I most certainly never meant it when I let you hold me after one of our fights. That was just something people do in a relationship to make things work. Sometimes, all one needs is to step outside to be able to see how horrible it was inside, and from the outside, things were looking pretty dark and scary. I am certain that if you had also stepped outside and seen what I had seen, you would have left too.

Remember when we fought about the way you were with other women, the way you did not respect what I wanted, and the way you did not want to give me what I needed? The fight was only about having to do extra housework because you wouldn’t buy me what I needed, or about you standing too close to another woman, or about you not understanding and not attempting to see things from my perspective. That’s what I thought they were about and that’s what you thought they were about.

When I stepped outside our life, left you and went back to my old life, I saw that it was about much more than that. It was about me not being able to be myself in your company because I was afraid you would judge me, it was about the way you agreed with everything I said and did before you married me but turned out to be a totally different person after we married, it was about you counting how many calories I consumed with every serving I ate, even if it was a cup of yogurt, and about you commenting on my stretch marks, and belly flab. Imagine being married to someone you can’t be yourself with. Imagine spending the rest of your life that way.

That’s what it was really about and that was what hurt me, built a wall between us and eventually drove me away. I was not beautiful to you because you had seen so many other beautiful women you could not have, and I was not intelligent to you because you had your Western education to brag about. You made me feel little and that was the littlest I had ever felt in my life. Was a promise going to change that, when even the promise of marriage and companionship did not?

When I made that promise to you, I wanted to keep it. Because that was the ideal, that’s what everyone thinks should happen; the fairy tale. We fight. We make up, right? But we didn’t and the marriage was ruining both of us. Sure, we had good times. We may have been good friends in another world but this marriage in this world was making me angry and making you bitter.

There is no such thing as the ideal although there can be such a thing as a compromise in a relationship, but we weren’t headed that way. We got married so young, because we had no reason not to, because society declared 21 the right age for a girl to marry and 26 the right age for a boy to marry; we settled for a standard that was not our own and we paid the price for it, while society, having made no promises, sat back and watched us, judged us and chose a side.


July 22, 2016

The Game

Filed under: Poetry,Society — by Zuhair @ 7:46 am


They took the youth
and sliced their heads off.
It was Zinki? What’re they made of?
Funds from around the world?

19 girls, they put in iron cages
as punishment for dignity. He throws
them into agony, while the masses witness the throes
of the fire and smoke that engulf them.

Are these just stories?
Can we believe what we hear?
They are so far away from here.
Truth is biased.

You leave a home that you have,
and come to a land like you are its heir,
But complain about the humid air.
It’s a home you do not need, but you steal it still.

Innocents are dying because of you;
children, women, men. They are our pearls.
But you keep sewing your ‘home’ with blood stained purls.
All for the sake of a political agenda in religious clothing.

And when ‘terrorism’ knocks on your door,
your uninformed women take your children in their arms,
and uninformed men take up their arms
in the form of media-polished loss and grief.

You take your moments of silence,
so the world forgets those who have been bred
in war, with not even a morsel of bread.
They weep for you, because they understand.

It is everywhere now, the disease of war;
Africa, Syria, America, Nice …
The world has been brought down to its knees.
We are all but pawns in a greater world.

How aware are we? How much do we really know?
We listen; we watch them die.
We watch as their blood becomes dye
to their earth and their soil.

The players watch each other move their Knights.
When threatened, protected, they run,
and hide, forgetting how they have wrung
the earth of the blood of the brave, that spills into the universe.

While a bomb goes off, homes come down
and a little boy prays,
for the absence of humanity, there is no praise.
But there is no condemnation either.

Not from the men in sharp suits,
seated in security, oblivious to the groan
of the countries that have not grown,
but have been murdered by their own.

We can protest, and we can shout
but the pain will not lessen.
We shall forever be haunted by the lesson,
that our leaders have failed us. They are not human.

August 15, 2015

A few lines of hate

Filed under: Poetry,Society — by Zuhair @ 7:29 pm
Tags: , ,

So great an energy travels through me,

defying you, you vile establishment,

plagued with stereotype,

designed to control, seeking punishment;

greedy to determine right from wrong

yet ignorant of the value of good things,

and oh! How I have yearned for so long

to escape you. Me, you sting.

So great a hope travels through me,

in rebellion against you,

in search of my spirit,

that you so hungrily sought to destroy

through deprivation of love;

through seizure

of happiness

and destruction of adventure.

So great a life possesses me

in my shunning away

of you and your wickedness –

Oh! Every day long owing to this, every day-

against you, you vile creature,

and your hunger for sadness

and your impatience with emotion,

and your allergies to happiness.

And no. The fault is not yours.

It is theirs, those loathsome beasts.

It is they who poison you,

so we blister too.

November 20, 2014


Filed under: Poetry,Society — by Zuhair @ 3:17 pm

He cut us up and stuck our feet

on to our legs

and lightened our knees

and darkened our skin

and took our arms

and stuck them on our shoulders

and took our palms

and stuck them on our fingers

and painted our nails

and polished our lips

and tucked our tummy in

and tightened our hips

and they were all mine

except for what was hers

but he used them

like they were all his own.

So we must take him

and cut him up

and remove his skin,

slice his flesh and hang it up

for all the world to see

his disgusting insides

as they are too blind

to see

the dirtiness of his mind.

January 2, 2014


Filed under: Poetry,Society — by Zuhair @ 3:58 pm

In a meadow, not so green

Spotted with flowers few

Was a lamb with a feisty soul

And a spirit, everyday rekindled anew.

It would play like wild

And frolic gay

While those who followed

Would, its spirit try to slay.

Frantically, it once searched for flowers fresh

In its meadow brown and dry

And all the while, the sheep that followed

Would watch it fail and despair as they followed by.

Come with us, they bleated

When it was ready to be sheared

But, still with its feisty spirit,

‘No!’ It cried. ‘And succumb to my deepest fears?’

They laughed and laughed

At the thought of its rebellion,

And so shunning and condemning

They put it into a disgraced situation.

And until now, it remains as it almost feared.

To be an unsheared sheep

Forced to follow the sheared.


September 16, 2013


Filed under: Poetry,Society — by Zuhair @ 5:15 pm

Hard, grey walls

Grew upon me,

Stifling my spirit

And punishing me.

Hard, grey walls

Laughed at my helplessness,

Seducingly and intoxicatingly

Tricking me into a false bliss.

Hard, grey walls

Called out my name,

When I tried to walk away

And nothing was ever the same.

Hard, grey walls

Built themselves upon me,

Until I became one with them

And no one could recognize me.

Hard, grey walls

Nurtured me and fed

Me soil and worms and dust

And tucked me in an ill bed.

Hard, grey walls

Came to me and stole

What was my own

My destiny, my soul.


And nothing was ever the same,

Not even my name.


August 29, 2013

What are your children looking at?

Filed under: Society — by Zuhair @ 8:45 am

Miley Cyrus dances provocatively while the world looks on. Are they applauding her or repulsively turning away? Either way, they are talking about her and her fans, especially the ones that have grown up with her, are listening. Do they follow in her footsteps or decide that what she’s doing is just wrong and ugly?

This is the situation the world is in. Celebrity hood has become a misused privilege and fame has become an abused desire! Cyrus is not the first celebrity to ‘set such an example’! Many times, news channels explode with news about celebrities ‘misbehaving’, covering too little and acting out too much.

Most responses are severe judgment or even worse, severe idolizing! Few stop to think about the effect such ‘societal nuisance’ is having on society’s future – the children!

We used to know her as Hannah Montana, celebrity singer keeping her identity private so she could have a normal life. That is how your little children used to know her too. Now, we know her as an out of control teenager, who loves to show skin and does not care how she presents herself. But what about your children? They know her as a very famous singer/actress, loved by them and possibly everyone else despite her inappropriateness. They also know her as becoming successful because of her inappropriateness!

Is this the future we want for our children? The fault here is mainly in celebrity hood. Modern celebrities have stopped thinking about their fans. All they want is popularity. As a well known celebrity, who has grown up with her fans from a very young age, Cyrus has a responsibility upon her shoulders.

Miley Cyrus has innocent eyes upon her that she needs to think about. She has a responsibility to her society and her fans not to corrupt them. As someone who is idolized by many, she has the responsibility of setting a good example and dancing around provocatively in a skin tight, half covered outfit is not setting a good example. By doing so, she is telling all those little Hannah Montana fans that it is okay to misrepresent and demean oneself in public by misbehaving.

Finally, the responsibility is not hers alone. The same principle should apply to all celebrities, who may have troubles and insecurities of their own that might lead them to ugly, horrendous and disgusting behavior.  Despite difficulties, they need to embrace the responsibilities and appreciate the difficulties that come with being in the spotlight. It is necessary for the welfare of their society, without which they would not survive to do so.



Images: Retrieved from and on 29/08/2013

August 25, 2013


Filed under: Poetry,Society — by Zuhair @ 1:11 pm

We are victims of this world;

victims each in his own way.

Weakened we are, and tired of sinning,

hungry to fulfill yesterday’s worthless desires again today.

We are silently aware of the poisons

that cause us to be falsely nurtured;

but craving beings are we

and so we remain victims, submittingly.

We are beings with the power to nourish our own

and the power to destroy the same.

Pathetic we are, as we seek happiness

in vices that cause our souls to cower in shame.

We are beings, knowingly aware.

Ignorant we choose to remain

for we are lost; a lost existence

in pursuit of what is insane.


Image retrieved from on 25/08/2013.

June 22, 2013

For our Children

Filed under: Society — by Zuhair @ 6:40 am

‘What are you teaching them?’

It has come to my attention that our children are in a very difficult position. I believe it is about time something was done about it.

A friend of a friend had a little boy who was quite recently admitted to a private school. It happened that one day, the little child wanting to go to the bathroom, told the teacher so. The teacher directed him with the result that the child, unable to find the bathroom, and unable to hold it in, relieved himself on his clothes, soiling his trousers.

The teacher, having found out about it, removed the child’s trousers and undergarments, leaving him with only his school shirt on and took him back to his classroom.

The poor child was forced to sit in such a situation among the children, both boys and girls. But that was not all. He was harassed by the other little children who kept lifting his shirt to expose him to them. This incident, I was told happened more than once to the point where the child is now traumatized psychologically and refuses to go to school; not just the particular school but any school for that matter.

Teachers, is this how you behave in the school? Are you this incompetent and cruel? Is it normal for you to place a child in such an embarrassing position? Did it not occur to you to take the child away or discipline the other children on witnessing your mistake?

Parents, is this the type of children you are raising, the type who would have so little innocence and modesty so as to abuse another child? Do you not discipline your child and teach them right from wrong? Do you allow them to act so freely at home too? Are you even at home with them when they are? Or is this normal for you? Teachers, parents, is this how it is supposed to be? The parent of that particular child disagrees.  And this particular parent has the support of many other parents.

Finally, principal, do you know about this? Do you care enough to know about it? Are you going to let it go? Will you let it happen again? Do you even disapprove of what the teacher did or would you have done the same?

Adults, we have a problem; a problem that is going to, if it has not already, affect our children tremendously. We are creating a society where not only pedophiles harm children but where other children innocently harass children, a society where parents cannot trust teachers anymore and a society where the teacher is just the woman in the classroom not the woman who moulds the future of the children so the nation may be brighter.

If the incident I have related and the questions I have posed fail to affect you, the reader, you are cruel and heartless or have forgotten what is right and wrong because even society does not know the difference anymore. If it has affected you, I am not asking for a war, all I ask is that you be aware and create awareness because if there is no hope with the teachers, there is hope for your child with you.

Do something before it is too late. Speak up and that will take you a long way.


Image: Retrieved 22/06/2013 from

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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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