Officially A TEDx Speaker!

Alhamdulillah, all praise is due to Allah for the endless blessings He has showered upon me and my family. After a long wait, I am finally able to unveil my #SECRETPROJECT with all of you who have been kindly praying and patiently waiting…

I AM OFFICIALLY A TEDx SPEAKER!

Yes, I have been blessed yet again with another amazing opportunity! I received this blessed news on the same day I received my double award way back on 8th October. But, since this event was strictly for KES students, parents, teachers, school governors, and Old Edwardians (alumni) only, I was not allowed to announce it until after the event.

I had to go through several stages before even getting selected as one of the speakers. First, I had to write a proposal about the topic of my talk, and fortunately, they were interested in my topic, so they called me in for the next stage, which was an interview. At this stage, I wasn’t putting much hope into getting this, as the possibility to get selected was very narrow, cos the competition was high. But, all praise is due to Allah and only Allah…I passed the interview! And the best part was that I was the only student – out of hundreds of KES students – who had been selected.

I can’t describe how proud I am to have the honour of giving a talk alongside 7 other adults – a Professor Emeritus from London, a Deputy Medical Director who recently won an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), an actor who has also worked in large-scale science communication, a Physics and Philosophy student from the University of Oxford, an engineering graduate from Durham University, a fourth-year medical student from the University of Birmingham, and the chief executive of Wildlife & Countryside Link.

The main theme for the whole event was ‘The Future Of Everything’, and my chosen topic was ‘Do You Speak The Future?’, a talk discussing the future of language and how we can predict it. I’ll discuss about my topic in the next post. For now, allow me to personally thank each and every one of you who has been supporting me and praying for me tirelessly. May The Almighty reward all of you abundantly…

Over the moon,

O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis

#theomarmukhtar

#officiallyaTEDxspeaker

School Of The Decade!

I arrived at King Edward’s School in 2018 – stepping through the front gates, it was like I was Harry Potter stepping into Hogwarts! But the history of KES stretches back much earlier than that! The school was founded in 1552, and after almost 500 years of educating, as well as producing many notable alumni along the way, such as J.R.R. Tolkien, author of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord Of The Rings’, and picking up countless awards along the way, the school has been awarded the title ‘SCHOOL OF THE DECADE’!🎖Not just in Birmingham, but in the whole of the West Midlands! This award is in recognition of the fact that KES is one of the most accessible, diverse and successful independent secondary schools in the country, and to highlight its excellent academic performance in the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2021 made the announcement on Sunday, and everyone was over the moon to hear the news. I am very proud of the school for this amazing achievement, and I’m beyond blessed to be able to have stepped through those front gates two years ago and become a part of this community.

And of course, this isn’t just the work of one person, but all of us as a whole: the students for creating such an honourable establishment, but of course, most importantly, the teachers and staff for being the leaders of everything! May this be the start of much more prestige to come…

Proud KES boy,

O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis

#theomarmukhtar

#SchoolOfTheDecade🏆

Golden Blessings 🏆

Kicking off the week with more blessed news! A couple of weeks ago, I handed in my work for a book review that my English teacher had assigned us. I had written my review on a book called ‘Mother Tongue’ by Bill Bryson, a book about the journey of the English language. Today, I got my grade back for it…and it turns out that not only did I get an A+ for it, but I was also awarded an entry into the school’s Golden Book – Alhamdulillah! Can’t wait to go back to school to sign my name in the Golden Book. It’ll be my very first entry of this academic year 2020/2021. But throughout my whole time at KES, this will be about the 9th Golden Book entry in total…as far as I can remember – I’ve lost count!

Golden Blessings,

O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis

#theomarmukhtar

#GoldenBlessings 🏆

Remote Learning Tips

Ever since the first time I had online classes at the beginning of Lockdown 1 way back in March right up until this second round of e-learning, I have always chosen the same spot as my new classroom. And no, it’s not a desk in my bedroom! I find that it gets me in the wrong mood – it’s the place where I sleep, so my brain automatically feels sleepy and I can’t work properly. Plus, not being able to go out of the house is bad enough, so not even going outside my bedroom just adds to it!

So instead, I chose the dining room as my classroom away from school, not only because it’s someplace other than my bedroom, but also because it has a nice view – it faces directly into the garden. And Alhamdulillah, I have a very understanding family who happily cooperate during my live classes. They make sure to make no noise…even Fatimah and Ali!

Of course, the right spot is not the only thing you need to make the most of your online classes. Make sure you wake up early and don’t sleep too late so you’re fresh for e-learning, wear the right clothes (which aren’t PJs!), take a shower, eat a full breakfast and all in all, just follow your normal morning routine before school – except school is now in the comfort of your own home!

Happy learning,

O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis

#theomarmukhtar

#RemoteLearningTips

Melancholy Mode On…

Ever since I first arrived at King Edward’s School, one of the things I always did other than find opportunities for writing, art and languages was get involved with anything to do with drama, be it Drama Club, competitions…you name it! Eventually, I found the biggest outlet for my interest in theatre – the school’s Junior Production.

For two years in a row, I was part of the Junior Production, a joint project between the King Edward’s boys’ and King Edward’s girls’ school to put on a theatre production. A lot of people have compared it to West End London, but nestled right in Birmingham! The shows are always big scale, big on quality, and a great way to explore all the aspects of drama.

In my first year at KES, I acted in ‘Around The World In 80 Days’, a play about a man who is given a bet to travel across the globe in just 80 days. I played the Parsee, an elephant owner who helps the man complete part of the journey on the back of an elephant. Oh boy, I can still remember the amount of work it took for me to master the Indian accent…but I got there in the end! I also took part in a Bollywood dance routine – one of the roles that I am most famous for. On top of that, I played the extra role of a dancing octopus too! Yes, you read that right, I gladly took on the role of an eight-legged groovy sea creature!

The second year brought the play ‘An Awfully Big Adventure’, inspired by the story of Peter Pan. I was a grumpy old Park Keeper…who magically turned into a pirate on the trips to Neverland! This time around, not only did I have to practise a Northern pirate accent (an amalgamation of Scottish and Irish), but I also grew my hair out to sport a pirate look. Apart from chasing after Peter Pan, we also got the chance to show off our ‘beautiful singing voices’ with a few sea shanties. It seems there’s an ocean theme running through all of the productions, huh?

Unfortunately, with all the obstacles and restrictions that Covid-19 has brought, it was not possible to organise a Junior Production this year. This was a huge disappointment to everyone, since we were looking forward to this year’s production. My year group was especially saddened since this would have been our last year to experience the Junior Production – next year, we’d have to take part in the Senior Production, which has a much more serious and professional atmosphere.

But we weren’t going to let the coronavirus get in the way of things, and we were determined to have a production in some form! So instead, this year, we’re putting on individual plays for each year group. That way, we can enjoy the experience of a Junior Production, but still be safe in our own bubbles! The play we’re doing is called ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 and 3/4″. Yep, very long title. But it’s a really interesting and funny play, and people in our age group can relate to it as well.

I’m playing Nigel, the best friend of Adrian Mole, the main character. We’re still in the early stages of rehearsal, but so far it’s turning out great. Yet again, we’ll have to put it on hold since we’re in isolation for two weeks now. But hopefully, everything will be back in action next month. Stay tuned to see what the finished product is like!

Melancholy mode on,

Mukhtar O. Mukhlis

#theomarmukhtar

p/s: Have you ever taken part in a play or theatre production?

BREAKING NEWS!

BREAKING NEWS‼️ I was at school yesterday, and we were just about to finish our French lesson and head off to lunch when our Head of Year came in through the door and told us all to go to grab all our stuff, head to a specific room, and do nothing else. He didn’t tell us anything else, so we were all pretty confused, but we did as we were told. It wasn’t until everyone – along with a few other classes – had been herded into that one classroom that our Head of Year told us…one of our schoolmates had tested positive for coronavirus!

My year group has had to go into two weeks of isolation! Since a pupil has tested positive for coronavirus, to take the necessary precautions, we had to be sent home straight away at lunchtime yesterday. We’ll be keeping a close eye on ourselves and those around us, but luckily, none of us have developed any worrying symptoms – Alhamdullilah.

Of course, now that we have to stay at home for two weeks, we’ll be having online classes again, like the ones we had before the summer holidays. Nobody’s really looking forward to going back to all that, but now that we’ve had experience with online classes, we’ll be able to cope better.

Thinking back on it, it seems like every cloud has a silver lining, since now I’ll be able to spend more time at home and keep an eye on Mrs Mom, especially after that recent bad episode of hers.

All I can do now is go with the flow and wait patiently until we are able to go back to school. Until then, may God keep us all safe and protect us from any harm that comes our way…

Stay safe,

Mukhtar O. Mukhlis

#theomarmukhtar

#BreakingNews 😱

Blossoms – A Poem For My Second Mother’s Birthday…

My mothers came in a package of two,

One from whom’s womb I came from,

Was nurtured by, raised,

And the other, a second mother,

Though not lesser, for she

Carried me in her womb of love,

Nurtured me alongside my mother,

Stood beside me as I grew,

Like some great big proud tree

I could take shelter under,

With spreading branches bearing

Blossoms that I could look up to

Taking everything around her

Into her ever-protecting arms

And giving light from her

Ever-loving heart,

I thank her for embracing me

With those arms,

For giving me light

With that heart,

For being there for me

To be a monument I could look up to,

To idolise,

To adore

A poem #Blossoms 🌸

Written by @drauntie.uk’s first nephew,

Mukhtar O. Mukhlis #theomarmukhtar

For her birthday – 14th November 2020 🎂

p/s: Happy birthday to my second mother, @drauntie.uk! May Allah shower you with abundant blessings and reserve you a special place in Jannatul-Firdaus…💖

A Prayer For My Parents…

Ya Rabb,

Out of all the blessings that You have bestowed upon me, I am the most grateful for the biggest blessing of them all: my parents. Inspire me to always be thankful for them, for they are my idols! Hold out Your hands of mercy to them, as they had mercy on me when they raised me. Open Your heart of forgiveness for them, as they were forgiving to me when they raised me. And love them, as they loved me dearly when they raised me – and still do! May You admit them into the ranks of Your righteous servants and grant them a special place in the highest level of Jannah. I certainly would not be able to repay them for everything they have done for me, but I pray that You will reward them abundantly in return for having such pure, loving souls…Aameen ♥️

Blessed,

Mukhtar O. Mukhlis

#theomarmukhtar

#APrayerForMyParents

Apart…

1 year, 5 months, and 23 days

From that one fateful day

A seemingly mountainous distance from

One important date to another

For us lowly hearts, it seems

Both eternal and negligible

Aching for the other heart

Lost to the sands of time

But having seen two cycles pass

And this heart age twice more

And seeing how these memories are steadfast

And how smiles still crack through the ashes

I have faith in that heart

Looking down from its perch

Smiling back to us ashen hearts

Keeping us forever close

And on a day like this

When no troubles should trouble us

No pests should pester us

And the irksome shadow of sorrow

Should no longer loom over us

It becomes oh so apparent

That stood next to all that love,

All those memories, all that faith

It’s not much more than just a number, is it?

Just apart for

1 year, 5 months, and 23 days

A poem #Apart 💔

Written by Mamajee’s first nephew,

Mukhtar O. Mukhlis #theomarmukhtar

In loving memory of Muhammad Adam bin Mahamed Ismail @adamdidam for his birthday – 10th November 2020 🎂

p/s: Today is Mamajee’s birthday. Please kindly recite Surah Al-Fatihah as a gift for him. May The Almighty bless and reward you all abundantly…🤍

You Ask…I Answer: Study Tips

One of the most common questions I receive is, “Do you have a study timetable or routine?”. Well, to be honest, I don’t study too much at home, other than doing my homework. Instead, I give 200% effort at school to make it easier in the long run.

But if I do decide to do some home studying, personally, I don’t like having a rigid timetable that I have to follow every single day, no exceptions! My way of organising my studying is very fluid, and based on one single factor: what I NEED to study. I look at the areas I need to revise, that I need to improve on or build upon, and I start from there. Because if you think about it, there’s no point looking over French vocabulary when you have a Biology test coming up and you haven’t looked at the material in weeks!

And the other thing I always tell myself is not to spend hours studying and revising. That will eventually get boring, and that does no good when you’re trying to study. Instead, I study in sessions that are small and regular.

So in answer to the question, “Do you have a study timetable?” I would say that no, I don’t. I find that going with the flow in the moment is the most effective way of studying, and it suits me the most!

You ask…I answer,

Mukhtar O. Mukhlis

#theomarmukhtar

#StudyTips