The Broken Bolivar

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By: Farhah Aziz

Turn on your TV channels today or browse through your daily newspaper articles, stories about Venezuela’s crippling economy is omnipresent. There is no war or intense political conflict in Venezuela. Well, then why do we see miles-long queue of people purchasing basic goods or why thousands of Venezuelans are taking the risk of crossing the borders to seek a better life in neighboring Colombia or even the Portuguese-speaking Brazil? WHY IS THERE AN ECONOMIC COLLAPSE IN VENEZUELA?

Just a few years ago, Venezuela was cited to be one of the economic miracles of the Andean region. It essentially has the largest oil reserves in the world, even bigger than the one in Saudi Arabia. It was doing rather ok politically with the late socialist revolutionary strongman Hugo Chavez’s intense grip on power keeping everyone happy with stable and often soaring petrol price which helped lift many Venezuelans out of poverty.  Life was generally good. Even during the 2008 economic crisis plaguing the West, Venezuela was untouched.

Death by oil and other thing

Then, 2012 arrived and Venezuela just did not see it coming. The commodity market especially that of oil had to experience a rude awakening. The oil price dropped phenomenally by half from $100 barrel to a mere $50 a barrel. For an economy that was relying enormously (almost 96%) on petrol money and foreign debt to finance its colossal public spending, that was a huge blow financially to the state’s coffers. Plus, the passing of Chavez as well as the corruption legacies that he left behind for his protégé, Nicholas Maduro to inherit also did not help with the economic health of the South American country.

Apart from that, Chavez’s contempt towards capitalism which was manifested in his nationalization policy of almost 1200 private companies has left some of the financially-sound industries such as that of the profitable cane sugar to go bust. The once-richest country in South America also experienced a major trust deficit among investors and global lending institutions for its infamous reckless public spending, making it a high-risk debtor and cutting its access to international capitals.

With all of these miseries, one would ask how worse can it get? Well, a whole lot worse!

Hyperinflationary Tale of Woes

So, one would assume that Venezuela would have learnt

the lesson the hard way by taking the necessary measures of imposing austerity in the form of cutting the public spending, led by example perhaps first and foremost by the presidential palace. But, no!

Famous for its historical fiscal mismanagement, the government of Maduro had taken the path every legit economist and financial analyst had warned of coming close to especially if your financial track record has been patchy in the past.  It decided to print more Bolivars in order to pay off its mountains of debt and to boost domestic consumption.  Thus, the price levels skyrocketed and the same tale of hyperinflation ensued.

One would not expect Venezuela under Maduro out of all countries to be consistently transparent in publicly releasing its inflation rate. According to the IMF, the inflation level is expected to rise to 1,642 per cent this year while others predicted a spike of up to 2,200 per cent this year. Yes, that’s 4 digits in an inflation percentage.

To add insult to injury, Venezuela topped the misery index of 2013, a metric that summed up a country’s inflation and unemployment rate.

The Consequences

Just with any fiscal mismanagement at the hands of the government, the real payers of those bad policies are again the ordinary Venezuelans just wanting to survive another day. If just a few years ago, an ordinary middle-class Venezuelan family have the common financial concerns on how to pay off car or house loans, now they have to think of a way of how to get first in line to grab the highly-priced basic commodities such as sugar and rice rationed by the government and protected by armed guards.

Venezuela is a classic example of a nation that suffers no war or any real political instability but can simply shift from boom to bust because the government simply has too much say when it actually has very little relevant expertise. The story of Venezuela also demonstrates the volatility of the fiat monetary system that is not backed with any real store of value, thus rendering it worthless papers once, the public’s confidence has wavered. And boy how easily those Bolivars wavered eh?

Sources:

Venezuela releases new banknotes in cash crisis.

http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/world-economy/venezuela-releases-new-banknotes-in-cash-crisis/news-story/29a3a193148226ad841621a0a9549a7c

Hunger and panic.

https://news.vice.com/story/venezuelas-continuing-currency-crisis-pushes-country-to-brink-of-collapse

Entering a ‘world of economic chaos,’ Venezuela struggles with hyperinflation.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article120451593.html

 

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The Chaos of Zimbabwean Currency Regime

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By: Farhah Aziz

January 20th, 2017

Zimbabwe; a landlocked country known for Victoria Falls, Robert Mugabe and indeed the hyperinflation crisis. Who hasn’t heard of the infamous phase of hyperinflation crisis plaguing the country in the late ‘90s stretching into early 2000s? The annual inflation rate was indeed extremely staggering with a record high, 500 billion per cent as of 2009, ranked the highest in the world.

So, what has caused this economic chaos to happen in the first place and where is this southern African economy heading to in the future?

“Indigenization” Policy of Mugabe

Zimbabwe is a relatively young nation, earning its independence from Great Britain in 1980. Formerly known as Rhodesia, the southern African nation bordering South Africa and Botswana is rich in mineral resources such as gold, copper and iron. At the time of independence, the country experienced rapid and healthy economic growth with 1 ZWD (Zimbabwean Dollar) being equal to 1 USD by emphasizing on export of its highly-prized natural commodities; particularly its thriving tobacco industry.

However, 1980 also saw the ascent of the then 56 year old, Robert Mugabe into power which has continuously ruled the country ever since. Mugabe was among many other negative adjectives associated to him, nonetheless a visionary man. He envisioned an independent Zimbabwe that possess an economy that is inclusive of all, most especially the majority Black population which was historically heavily marginalized economically under the British colonial policy which strongly favored the white population. The white population was granted farmlands and equipped with technical skills to run the Zimbabwean economy. Hence, Mugabe embarked on a wealth-distribution policy, by indigenizing the economy, something similar to the affirmative action policy of Malaysia, though very much a symbolic feature of Mugabe’s style.

The redistribution which took place in 2000 was marred by heavy violence, with forceful farmlands grabs and eviction policy imposed upon the white population by the authorities. Farmlands were then redistributed to the black population which was ill-equipped with technical skills necessary to maintain the productivity of the farms. As a result, the tobacco industry dwindled and the economy consequently stagnated, verging on the point of collapse.

Printing Money in Paying-off Debt

To remedy this, Robert Mugabe demanded the conventional financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund, therefore signing up to the subsequent Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP), having to exercise fiscal prudence by cutting public spending and increasing tax rate. However, Mugabe’s government which was heavily riddled with corruption scandals coupled with the costly business venture in the neighboring DR Congo as well as the reluctance to adhere to ESAP has only dramatically reduced Zimbabwe’s capacity to pay off its debt that is only accumulating by the day. As of 2016, Zimbabwe owes the IMF, World Bank and Africa Development Bank a total of 9 billion USD.  This has resulted in an economic collapse in the form of chronic unemployment – 80% of its adult population is unemployed, a shrinking manufacturing sector and almost half of its population in dire need of food aid to survive.

Its non-compliance with the ESAP, delayed resettlement of its debt as well as the alleged corruptions scandal and violation of human rights, through the excess use of violence on peaceful protests were deemed sufficient for the imposition of economic sanctions by Western nations and financial institutions upon the nation.

To counter the economic impacts the sanctions had, Mugabe took a step that every decent economist warns of coming close to: printing more money. Lacking basic economic knowledge of such a step and perhaps fueled by his own ego, the increased amount of money in circulation meant that prices of goods and commodities dramatically spiked, causing hyperinflation. Take this, at one point; a single egg may cost you more than 1 billion ZWD.

Multi-currency Regime

Zimbabwe’s long-standing ruling party, the Zanu-PF, realized the magnitude of insane hyperinflation suffered by Zimbabwe and decided in 2009 that it’s time to call ZWD a day, although not definitely. A multicurrency system reigned with 9 currencies in circulation, the most popular being American dollar, South African Rand, the Euro as well as Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen and Indian Rupee slowly gaining ground.

The multicurrency regime did not start in 2009. In fact, it has been used simultaneously with ZWD, predominantly in the black market even before the abandonment of ZWD due to their stabilities that tremendously help with import activities. However, there is a limited supply of them and before they knew it, they were running out of them.

Today, however, in a bid to ease the economic pressure and to boost exports, the Mugabe government has introduced another currency; the bond notes with an official exchange rate of 1:1 to the 1 USD.  The reaction of the population is somehow rather mixed with some of them applauding the government’s move to increase liquidity in the currency market while some are a bit more doubtful of the longevity of the currency and feared of the same hyperinflation chaos ravaging the country just a couple of years ago.

The Future of Zimbabwean Economy

Monetarists asserted that the worth of a currency relies primarily in the value and the faith that the people put in them. It is a bit like a belief system. Constructed out of thin air and not pegged to any mineral commodities as previously done with gold and silver, the value of money can fluctuate and can occur wildly so too, as demonstrated by the hyperinflation crisis of Zimbabwe.

The hyperinflation crisis suffered by the country shall serve to us a lesson that no, printing more money cannot solve your problem. In fact, it might only exacerbate it, again as exemplified by the economic collapse of Zimbabwean economy.

The real cost however is not paid by elitists such as Mugabe and his business mogul friends, but, by average hardworking citizen of Zimbabwe who might have to go by a day not eating, simply because they cannot afford the rise in price every 5 hours. This chaotic state of economy which stems from economic mismanagement and lack of fiscal discipline only creates more social and political instability in the form of street protests, anarchy and to some extent, may breed conflicts and wars.

The future of Zimbabwean economy essentially lies in its leaders taking more responsibilities in sorting out the mess that they’re in, rather than introducing a new currency or printing more money. And perhaps, it is about time that we see someone else holding the presidential post and unless real democracy is installed into the long-suffering country, the future of this country shall remain bleak and unpredictable.

Sources

ZIMBABWE’S NEW ‘CURRENCY’: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BOND NOTES. http://europe.newsweek.com/what-you-should-know-about-bond-notes-zimbabwes-new-currency-526003?rm=eu

How Bad Is Inflation in Zimbabwe? http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/02/world/africa/02zimbabwe.html

Zimbabwe swaps hyperinflation for deflation with the use of US Dollar. https://www.ft.com/content/9eb1c2d8-c341-11e5-b3b1-7b2481276e45

New Zimbabwe Notes Stir Memory of 500,000,000,000% Inflation. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-21/new-zimbabwe-currency-stirs-memory-of-500-000-000-000-inflation

Mugabe launches new currency in ‘last gamble’ for Zimbabwe https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/28/mugabe-launches-new-currency-in-last-gamble-for-zimbabwe

A worthless currency. http://www.economist.com/node/11751346?story_id=E1_TTSVTPQG

Bitterness and unease in bankrupt Zimbabwe. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/8551616.stm

Mugabe’s costly Congo venture. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/611898.stm

Zimbabwe inflation hits new high. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7660569.stm

Zimbabwe’s multi-currency confusion. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-26034078

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 in review!

Sunrise running woman

Things are moving way too fast. Too fast to allow your brain and especially your heart to fathom them. To internalize them as you usually do.

Relationships fade and sprout in oblivion. Some presumed eternally-kept bonds slowly disappeared before your mental sight, but you feel like just with any law of nature, they just do with time. There’s nothing that you can do to salvage them. You have no time to neither reflect nor pause for sigh.

Crisis are piled up and lumped together with no sense of order in an internal invisible bubble that is carefully stored deep deep inside your heart so that you may find some “convenient” time to sort them out. But you know deep down that there is no greater fallacy than this. You underestimate the nature of bubbles. Bubbles pop when they become too big. Perhaps, the piling has to be done in small little bubbles. Hmm.

Everyday, just as you put on a physical mask with layers of primer, foundation and powder, you also put on an internal mask; a mask of confidence, elegance and firmness.  You’re supposed to walk, look, sit a certain way. A showcase of emotional bulletproofness is necessary for you to be taken seriously. Your emotion is your weakness and weaknesses should never be on display. Thus, in tense times, you find yourself tucked behind closed doors, sobbing silently, wailing with a muffled voice so as not to be heard and quickly touch up your tears-soaked face with tissues once you tell yourself that you’re done being weak.

Distractions. Those are the tools that you have improvised so systematically in your system once things do not go according to your plan or people are not living up to your expectations. You do away with distracting yourself. You put on your running shoes, plug in your headphones and off you go running. Running away from your problems and other complications in life. You grab a car key and turn on the music and drive yourself away from people that break your heart.  You get on an LRT and watch the sceneries outside the window or observe diverse commuters’ characters on board. You watch life unfolding to distract from sorting out your own messy troubled life.

Things are much better done alone you thought. You’ve grown weary of waiting for people to either share the same passion as you do or even find time to answer your messages.  Hence, you’d rather tread those paths alone nursing your heart along the way.

Things are running fast. They’re practically sprinting. Work, relationships, friendships are bundled together. You’re living a modern 21st century life you thought. But just with any bundling of things, a bundled life is guaranteed to be a messy life.

What do you actually seek in life?

You wanted to rise. To rise from the ashes of your more-bitter than sweet past. You wanted to break free from the fortress of rigidity that you have meticulously built to suit your past circumstances. You are working yourself to frequent gastric attacks and sleepless nights to extract all the juice of potentials that bubbled and fermented in yourself. You wanted to convince yourself that YES you can do it all!

But, perhaps it’s all an illusion. What you’re going after, what you put on display. They’re all simply tainted in layers and layers of subtle hypocrisy. Hypocrisies that shove themselves on your mental and moral consciousness, every time you look at yourself in the mirror, but those that you choose to ignore and walk away  from out of the need to sprint fast to achieve your goals, however ambiguous they’re becoming every day.

Can we possibly change without entirely losing our sense of ourselves in the past?

The world has a convenient way of telling us that you’re supposed to act and be in a certain way once you’re moving up and down life’s numerous and complicated phases.  But, in truth, the perceived weaknesses are weaknesses ONLY in their eyes. Your natural tenderness, sense of compassion and an abundant love for others should never be compromised. Because losing those means that you’re losing a real sense of being a human. In the world of rigidity where are you are treated like a productive subject (read: a machine) to satisfy the economy’s needs for efficiency and productivity, it’s rare to find people that would be bold enough to wear their hearts on their sleeves. To love others unconditionally. To cross the sea of fires for others. To serve others and not your own whims and desires. Embrace your inner loving self and sure, do put on a mask but be sure that you’re comfortable when you have to take it off too!

2016, you have been one colorful, wonderful, flavorful, emotional-filled year!

May 2017 be a year that allows all of us to grow into more tolerant, loving, dynamic human beings and servants of the Most-High. May we never lose track of why we are here and where we are going. May we fill it with an abundance of good deeds for whatever life that we have left on this earth. May it be a year that is filled with constant prosperity not just in the form of materials but most importantly happiness and inner serenity.

 

 

Selected from a Divine Palette

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You just like me, looked at yourself in the mirror today. Just like mine, maybe, that’s your daily routine first thing in the morning. “Hmm, I look a little tan today, tanner than usual. (read: that’s apparently not ok in our twisted, brainwashed minds) Urghh, really?! Spots? I thought I have washed my face like a million times in a day. Arghh! My waist? Did I gain a few more pounds? It must have been that burger last night at 12!” *sigh and more sigh*

The sad truth is that’s not only time that we sigh in a day thinking and ruminating about our looks. We sigh silently and enviously when we meet our friends, when we meet the friends of our friends. When we watch TV, when we see billboards and when we scroll down our Instagram feeds that is annoyingly filled with selfies of girls with flawless fair (read: white) skin, strange contouring technique (to actually achieve natural looks *smh*) posing with full pretension as if “Hey, I didn’t know I’m gonna look this good, I was just giving my normal poker face -.-)

We have become obsessed with looks. Someone’s worth before your eyes are instantaneously judged and filtered by what they offer to you visually. Our first reaction to meeting someone, “OmG, she’s so pretty! MashaAllah, she’s really beautiful.” And you haven’t even talked to them and seen their personalities. Look, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong in appreciating God’s gifts to someone by praising them, but I feel that our “natural” reaction to beauty is not that natural after all. It’s been influenced by our surrounding and environment which dictates what is the accepted standard of beauty. And that standard of judgement, hate to break it to you, is not very accommodating  and inclusive of every type apparently, my friends!

Well, first of all, let’s take this whole weird where-does-it-come-from obsession with white and fair skin, in Asia and Africa, places where pigmentation is a product of evolution inherited from our ancestors in order for us to survive. This phenomenon baffles me that I had even written an assignment on it. Why do we yearn for fair and white skin when the majority of the population are naturally tan or dark in complexion? Why are Bollywood celebrities busy at work promoting, the latest whitening products, even for guys? Why are all, yes all, Korean make up stores sell BB creams and products that help you to achieve a lighter and a whiter skin tone? Why is skin bleaching products, one of the number one bestselling cosmetic products in Africa? Why does Malaysian TV is annoyingly filled with skin whitening ads mocking darker complexion and patting yourself at the back if you are pale as ghosts? Why? Have you ever asked why? I’ve been asking why since I was a little girl. Then, I learned that it’s a product of colonisation, coupled with the mentality that white is right, white is pure, white is heavenly, white is good behaviour, white is high status and wealth and white is the ultimate rare form of beauty told by our ancestors and advanced by the modern means of advertisement.

As little girls, we were admonished for playing under the sun. Because, hey you don’t wanna get darker, do you? Our natural ancestral remedies are full of beauty secrets for a healthy, white and fair skin. From turmeric, lemon juice to apple cider vinegar. And who’s never heard of Fair & Lovely. A product with many of its clones today that tells you that being fair will land you your dream job and your dream man. And as older girls, you would face the offence of not possessing the right complexion when shopping for foundations or compact powder. Nothing comes close to your skin complexion. Sometimes the punishing complexion palette does make you feel as if you belong in the wrong continent. You see, how they play with our minds and hearts?

Look. Just because I’m preaching to you all this does not mean that I’m immune from feeling bad about my looks either. I, too, most of the times are sucked into this tight bubble of what is beautiful created by the society when I gaze at myself in the mirror. And it does not matter whether you live in the West or the East, no one is forgiving about the way you look, the way God has intended to create you.

And for whenever I am down just overthinking about my look, this verse from the Holy Quran, empowers me:

“We have certainly created man in the best of stature;” (95:4)

God tells us that we are beautiful the way we are because He created us. And nothing is wrong with God’s creations. Any flaws or blemishes are deemed as such because of our blindness to see beyond the apparent.

You are beautiful because you were designed by the Divine. Every single one of you; dark, tan, fair and many other in-betweens are masterpieces of the Divine. Your complexion is unique and ultimately beautiful because they were selected from a Divine palette. What’s a MAC’s foundation palette compared to His palette?

The truth is, we are all seeking some form of validation. Some of us seek validation in our works, some of us in our relationships and some of us in our looks. Seeking the validation and approval of others chain and enslave us. As we draw closer to almost 6 decades of independence, let us start with unchaining ourselves from our enslavement to the conception of beauty.

And God knows best….

 

What is the remedy to Unprofessionalism?

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What is the remedy to unprofessionalism? *sigh*

Yes I am annoying when it comes to working. People who have worked with me in a team would testify to how much of a backpain I was in the course of working with me. This and that question. This and that suggestion. That’s why I usually would prefer to work alone.

Professionalism is key. Period. When there’s a meeting, you attend a meeting. Give you 100% in working. Plan your schedule. Essentially planning helps you to prioritize. You have a million things to do and only 24 hours in a day. Plan your working hours and your chillaxing hours. Communication is key in working with others. Communication breakdown can cause not only work stagnation but also demotivation among your team members.

Professionalism has to be cultivated from an early age. We have to create a culture of professionalism in all of our workplaces be it paid or voluntary in nature. The failure to do this often leads to us witnessing those at the top positions often times do not have the level of professionalism expected of them. How can you expect an institution and ultimately a nation to move forward when this culture is absent?

Development and progress are not only measured by the awesomeness of the end result but ultimately in the smoothness of the journey that they take.

‪#‎EndOfRant‬ ‪#‎ToThoseOfYouWhoWork‬

This is taken from a previous Facebook post dated August 17th, 2016.

It Will Come At The Right Time

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When you’re single, you dream of being married. And once you’re married, you reminisce the freedom of being a singleton. *sigh*

Focus. Focus on what you have at any given time. And be grateful for whatever status you have at any given time. If you’re single, that’s not the end of the world. Don’t get all depressed viewing wedding photos of your friends or their honeymoon snaps. God is giving you a golden opportunity now to maximise your potential on your own. To seek yourself. To contribute and spend time with your near and dear. And it has been proven times and times again that just when you’re not thinking about it, it will come. The moment and the right person will come because 50,000 years before the creation of the heavens and seas, all those have been divinely decided. And don’t get angry when your aunties and your mom’s friends teasingly queried, “When are you getting married?” Because to be honest, that’s just by default what they like to ask everyone 😛 Once you’re married, they’ll ask, “when are you getting a baby?” I mean that’s just an auntie-ly thing to ask 😉

Now, stop over thinking and get on the road of progress. And please for the love of God, I hate to break it to you, ‪#‎relationshipgoals‬ are superficial! And things seen on Instagram are what not what they seem in real life. Instead, make dua. Make dua for a pious partner.

And, Allah knows best

This post is taken from a previous Facebook post dated July 25th, 2016.

Experiences are a Two-edged Sword

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Why do I say this? That’s because experiences certainly usher change(s) in you. You’ll feel it. Gradually rather than immediately.

Look, a change is good. Its always good to go through changes. Changes mean that you’re alive, and not stagnant. And in order to move forward, one has to go through changes.

But, what I realized is that, some experiences work in 2 different ways. Not only that now, you’re positively changed, with a healthy mindset, perhaps, becoming more realistic than ever due to the experiences, thinking about the future, rather than the past, smiling and laughing more than crying, BUT, it has also robbed you of some of your endearing qualities. In other words, some important qualities of yourself were also lost along the changes. There’s no more of those enduring optimism. Idealism is snatched from your imagination. You’ve becoming numb to certain emotions and feelings. A lot of things now sound rather like clichés and rhetorics rather than possible realities. You have, dare I say, become less than a human that you used to be.

Your near and dear commented positively on your new self. And that’s because they’re not you. They don’t see that mountain of dilemma that you’re sitting on. But that mountain of dilemma is real.

You realized that you have changed. Actually, earlier than other people did. But, in having a new self, you’re also deeply missing your old self that has been snatched unconsciously from you. And perhaps, that’s just how it’s meant to be: “You get some and you lose some”.

‪#‎TheStruggleIsReal‬ ‪#‎ExperienceIsTheBestSchool‬

#Brexit

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Britain has voted to LEAVE the EU. Watching how it all unfolds to this shocking and unexpected result, Britain will need your much-needed prayer to steer through times of economic and political uncertainties in the near future. This ‪#‎Brexit‬ signifies something greater though. It signifies the real potent force that right-wing nationalist politics can have on a society. It demonstrates clearly where fearmongering of others can lead a nation to. It can lead you to dehumanize others as mere statistics. ‪#‎Immigration‬ And when Donald Trump has praised you for this kinda move, you know you’re in for a real treat! Ah, the liberal Labour me!

This post is taken from a previous Facebook post dated June 24th, 2016.

To A Very Special Man

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Here is to a man that I run immediately to every time I get a problem. This is a man that I call immediately after receiving any good news. This is a man that can spend hours patiently listening to the talkative me blabbing about things that don’t even actually excite him. This is a man that taught me how to ride a bicycle and also taught me how to drive a car. This is a man that saw me in my struggling phase during my teenage years. This is a man who dealt patiently with the tantrums of my hormone-filled teenage self. This is a man who spent sleepless nights pushing me hard so that I can pass my A-Level Additional Maths. This is a man that console me every time he sees tears coming out of my eyes. This is a man that I run to for Fiqh questions growing up. This is a man that taught me Quran and in turn makes me fall in love with anything related to it, especially the recitation of it. This is a man that would fetch me and drive me anywhere for anything.

Ayah,
You revolutionised the definition of manhood. You don’t shy from cooking, doing the dishes, laundry and the many other so-called “feminine” chores. You even know how to sew for goodness’ sake that you even offered me if I wanna learn from you. (Sewing is like engineering to me 😐) You taught me that this world is limitless and constantly motivates me to pursue my passion and give my best in it. You taught me and the rest to have a compassion for other living beings by taking in a couple of stray kittens in the past. You and mak taught me and the rest the value of money by your awesome spending and saving fashion. (Well, they were both Accounting graduates you see 😏)

Ayah,
Thank you for all of your sacrifices, working so tirelessly in order to give us a better life than what you used to have.
Thank you for your over-protectiveness that I usually fail to appreciate its benefits.
Thank you for being an advisor to me on money, religion, health, relationships and LOVE.
Thank you for your awesome genes that I inherited from you such as your adventurous nature when it comes to foods (we both eat everything and are not scared to try anything 😎), your fondness for other cultures and languages, your love for cats, passion for Quranic recitations and our strange nerd habit of watching documentaries among many others😂

People that have known you would often be charmed by your gentleness and soft-spoken way of talking. You are also ever so helpful of anyone for anything reminding us that it will inshaAllah get paid by Allah. If Mak taught us the values of perseverance and patience, you taught us how to be gentle and compassionate.

Again, thank you ayah for teaching me that tiaras don’t make you a princess. Its your values and principles that do.

‪#‎EverydayIsAFathersDay‬

This post is taken from a previous Facebook post dated June 20th, 2016.

Building Strength through Difficulties

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Earlier in the day today, I was greeted with a frustrating news. All of my planning and efforts yielded only in disappointment, or so I thought. And for those of you who know me well, I am big on planning and scheduling my time where I don’t do well when things do not run according to my earlier made plans, something that I believe I inherited from my mother. (perfectionist mother-daughter duo :P) I have always held and would still continuously hold that, that’s just basic organizational skill that everyone is supposed to have.

So, this morning something that I’ve been planning for like months and dreamt of ages ago did not happen. And there I was crushed. And while I was pondering (read: crying. Yes, I’m that vulnerable), something was knocking hard on my senses, trying to wake me up. I realized that growing up, I was not spoilt with material luxuries or any of that sort, but I was well protected by my protective parents. I saw the difficulties that my parents had growing up, but I was never had to face the same difficulties that they had to go through. Yes, I have worked, but it was never to support my family. It was simply for my own experience and for my own pocket money.Then, I remembered how others who are in my age, perhaps not in a very lucky situation would have reacted to the disappointing news that I received if they were in my shoes this morning? Would they have time to over think about it and cry? Absolutely not.

Sometimes, we whine and cry over things that we do not receive that we forget to be grateful for things that we did receive. Sometimes, this world deceives us by making us see those who get everything as a standard and not those who make do with little things.
Sometimes, we forget that getting out of comfort zones is not detrimental to us but fundamental in making us stronger.
And sometimes, you might think, why am I ranting over this thing when it’s a given but sometimes, experiences are the most powerful teachers.
And sometimes, the best reply that one needs to give to oneself in facing any difficulty, small or big is, “Khair, inshaAllah”.

‪#‎RamadanReflection‬

p/s: Kudos to Michelle Obama because honestly I got all inspired through her commencement speech on the same topic the other day.

This post was taken from a Facebook post dated June 9th 2016.