#SquareTale by O. Mukhtar
#SquareTale by O. Mukhtar
Lemons are sour but this boy is sweet,
Ali’s his name, his cuteness can’t be beat!
Ali’s so sweet he makes sour lemons,
Sweeter than sugar, as sweet as a melon!
Ali love bananas, he loves them a lot!
He finds them so tasty, you should give them a shot!
This cute little boy just can’t live without
A banana a day, without it he’ll pout!
Bananas and lemons, both yellow in colour,
One is sweet, though, and the other’s sour…
But look what Ali’s done, it’s such a wonder!
He’s totally rocking this stylish T-shirt,
(the fruits are making me hungry for dessert!)
Bananas and lemons, who’d have thought,
Somebody could flaunt such a style?
The sweet with the sour, it just doesn’t click,
But Ali can make anything fit!
Ali, of course! His cuteness is great!
That and his new look, impossible to hate!
Bananas and lemons, sour and sweet,
Ali is WEARING them – isn’t that neat?
A poem by Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion
Written for my little brother Ali!
It’s official! I am finally a King Edward’s boy! 😆 I’m going to go to King Edward’s School (KES), my dream school! I am more than over the moon right now, and all the hard work and sacrifices that led up to this moment have paid off!
When I was in Year 5, my class teacher, Mr Webster, said I had the potential to apply for a grammar school. At the time, I was clueless as to what a grammar school was. I had never heard of it. All I knew was that after Year 6, I’d be going to a normal secondary school. Mr Webster then gave me a leaflet for an open day at King Edward’s School. I went home and did some research, and I found out that KES was one of the best schools in the UK and one of its famous alumni was the author of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’, J.R.R. Tolkien himself! That’s when I decided that I had to attend their open day!
It was 18th March 2017 when I first set foot into my dream school for their open day. It was like I was Harry Potter stepping into Hogwarts! The building looked old and grand, and almost castle-like – just the way I like it! I felt that connection between us as soon as I stepped through the front doors. KES was the only grammar school I visited, and I didn’t want to go anywhere else. Whenever people asked me what my school choices were, I always said KES and only KES! Everybody was surprised because the other students had at least 3 choices of schools that they wanted to go to…but not me! I couldn’t see myself going anywhere else other than KES!
The entry requirements to join a grammar school were not easy! First, I had to take and pass a test called the 11+ to be considered for a place at any of the grammar schools, and a separate entrance test for KES. And I couldn’t just pass the test! The results had to be outstanding because there were thousands of students like me sitting for it too! However, Mrs Mom was gravely ill at the time and Mr Dad had his hands full with taking care of Mrs Mom and Fatimah and Ali, so, unlike the many other people who started preparing many years back, I had to start a few days into the summer holidays when the 11+ was less than one month away in September (2017)! 😰
Preparing for the 11+ was hard enough as the things I had to learn were not covered in school, but the search for someone to become my tutor was FRANTIC. Almost everybody turned me down because it was seemingly impossible when everyone had started two or three years back when I had to cover everything in less than a month, but one person had gone beyond the act of kindness and took me as a student of her own – Auntie Shaheen. We didn’t even know her. She was a complete stranger to us but she was like a God-sent angel! She was willing to give me some guidance and support so that I could do the test! I couldn’t have done it without her and I will never be able to thank her enough! Not only that, she also guided Mrs Mom and Mr Dad and told them what they could do to teach me from home!
The whole family was super supportive too! Dadajee and Dadijee flew all the way from Malaysia to help us! Mrs Mom and Mr Dad taught me all they knew, Dadajee always sat by my side every day to help me and time my practice tests, and also made sure that I had enough rest, Dadijee took over the kitchen and made sure all the food was ready and everybody else encouraged me to keep on working hard! Dr Auntie and Mamajee also played their part in assisting me in my studies! I studied from morning to evening and we didn’t go on holiday anywhere during that summer! But I think that the hardest thing I had to sacrifice was reading! I have Obsessive Reading Disorder😁, and giving up my books was like TORTURE!!! There were days when I found myself reading the back of cereal boxes at breakfast time – that was how desperate I was to find something, ANYTHING to read! 😂
After plenty of preparation, the day of the 11+ finally arrived, and I wouldn’t say I whizzed through it with ease, but I was feeling pretty confident! Soon, it was over, and there was nothing I could do other than pray and wait for the KES test. That came in a matter of a couple of weeks, too, and the anxiety was getting to me. 😞
Then, one fateful day, I was at school when I was unexpectedly called out of class by Mrs Chesney-Ly, my school’s English Leader. She told me that Mrs Mom had called. I wasn’t that sure about why. Maybe something serious had happened at home. But then, I put the phone to my ear and when the conversation ended, I was speechless. I had passed the 11+ – with flying colours! I nearly burst into tears of joy! This was basically a dream come true! Now I could go to any grammar school I wanted to! I can still remember that moment when I broke the news to Miss Patrick, my class teacher, she jumped up, waving her hands in the air, and shouted my results out to the whole class!
I thought that this was the last of God’s blessings because this was much, much more than I asked for! I quote what Auntie Shaheen said: “Now you don’t have to worry about anything! No school will reject you!” I had hoped to just pass the 11+, but I had excelled! But later on, we got a phone call from none other than King Edward’s School…my dream school! Apparently, I had done extremely good in their entrance test, and had been offered a school place with a chance to get a scholarship out of the 125 students! In order to actually get the scholarship, I would have to attend a separate interview at the school. The funny thing is that the results for the 11+ were released on Mrs Mom’s birthday (10th October 2017), the call was on Mamajee’s birthday (10th November 2017), and the interview was scheduled on Dr Auntie’s birthday (14th November 2017)! I had a good feeling about this, and when the interview was over and done with, I was glad that I had done my best. But deep inside, only God knew how anxious I was about not being able to get the scholarship because the yearly school fees for KES were extremely high! 😳
Then, the awaited day came when we were all waiting for a letter from King Edward’s School. It was the day before the deadline date for the outcome of the scholarship interviews. The night before, me, Mrs Mom and Mr Dad were discussing that it was fine if I didn’t get the place, even if it did break my heart 💔. KES seemed far out of my reach, and we were grateful that we wouldn’t have a problem to secure a place at any normal grammar school. I was restless, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Then when I came home from school that day (Thursday 7th December 2017), I found a letter on the fireplace addressed to me and it had a KES stamp on it. Both Mrs Mom and Mr Dad were there too. They were both waiting for me to open it. I opened it nervously…and I couldn’t believe my eyes! Suddenly all the tension melted away, as if a weight had been lifted off my back. I had been awarded the full scholarship! It was one of the happiest days of my life – I burst into tears of joy! I was going to be able to go to my dream school, where one of my idol authors studied, where I would be able to do great things! I am truly blessed!
So only a few days ago, on Thursday 28th of June, me and the family were invited to the Admissions Ceremony, where I was formally welcomed into the school! Walking up onto the stage to shake the Chief Master’s hand – Dr Mark Fenton – feelings of nervousness overwhelmed by excitement passed through me. I couldn’t believe that this was actually happening, that I actually had the chance to go to my dream school and make my family proud! 😊
Dear Future Pawsome Lion,
You may be reading this in 10 years or so from today, Sunday 1st July 2018, and if you are, then never forget all the people who sacrificed things for you! Remember what your family has done for you, what Mrs Mom and Mr Dad have been through, what Fatimah and Ali have had to sacrifice for you, all the prayers family, friends and teachers have sent for you, and all the hard work everybody has done for you, because without everything, you wouldn’t be who you are today! And most importantly, please remember to stay humble, be thankful to God as He has given you more than you wished for, and be a great person in this world so that hopefully one day…YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!
From The 11-year-old Pawsome Lion
Sunday 1st July 2018
Thank you for all the blessings You have bestowed on me and my family. I can’t thank You enough! Please restore all world peace so children across the world can have happy moments like this too and can grow into wonderful people who can make a good difference in this world and SHINE…
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Yesterday, we went to my last parents’ meeting at my primary school. Wow! I can’t believe how fast time has gone! In a few weeks’ time, I will be finishing school, and in September, I will start my new journey in secondary school! Since my Reception days, my parents never missed any parents’ meetings! No matter how busy they are, they always make sure they both attend. Bless them, they’re very supportive to me, Fatimah and Ali!
This is Miss Patrick, my current class teacher. The same like my previous teachers, Miss Patrick is great! Me and my classmates are so lucky to have such a dedicated teacher! She’s the type of teacher who brings the best out of her students! She’s fun, knowledgeable and always there to help! I will definitely miss not just her, but all my primary school teachers when I go to secondary school as they have done so much for me! Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today! Thank you!
Please guide me on the right path and let me remember the kindness of my teachers and all the things I have learnt from them. Allow me to stay humble and know that they were the ones who helped me get to this point in life! Allow me to stay not just humble, but also lead me on the right path so that I can set a good example to my little brother and sister…and also inspire others so that TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William A. Ward
It was Dadijee’s birthday on Friday 8th June 2018, and it was a very special day indeed! Dadijee is an amazing grandma to all three of us – me, Fatimah and Ali – and a brilliant mother to Mrs Mom! She’s an ideal role model: she’s kind, considerate, and loving! She’s always there to help us and support us in bad times. She is willing to spare her time to listen to us, and she will always have some handy words of wisdom to share! And of course, her cooking is PAWSOME! But most of all, she’s loving! She’ll always be there to comfort us, as a grandma, mother and friend!
So today, I wish Dadijee a very Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday Dadijee! May God bestow all the greatest of blessings upon you! And what could be better than celebrating her birthday than when we’re all here together? Yes, that’s right, Dadijee and all the family just arrived on Thursday, right on time for her birthday! It’s so nice to have the family together for this special occasion! And as my gift as a grandson to a grandma, a special poem specially for one of the amazing people in my life!
A Brilliant Grandma
A Poem By Omar Mukhtar, The Pawsome Lion
She is a brilliant grandma,
With special qualities,
She’s kind, unique and sweet,
And puts up with my frivolities!
She is a brilliant grandma,
A brilliant cook too,
And so much food upon the plates,
It’s more than I can chew!
She is a brilliant grandma,
And on her birthday,
A thank you
Is the least I could do
For all she’s done for me
But I think I’ll start with that
Thank You and Happy Birthday!
p/s: Dear God,
Please shower my grandma with the greatest of blessings and reserve her the best place in Heaven – she really deserves it!
Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion
Fatimah and Ali are two cute, lovable kiddies, and an interesting brother and sister! Their charm just gets to everyone, and they are full of personality. There is so much to know about them, but here, I’ve listed the 11 fun facts that you probably didn’t know about Fatimah and Ali!
2017 has passed, and as it steps off the stage, 2018 greets us warmly by the hand! At the start of every year, people set ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, their own personal goals that they wish to achieve in the year. From my humble point of view, I personally think it is more like a trend that everyone is taking part in to be the same as others, and after a few days, they will forget everything! Don’t you think life resolutions should come more regularly than once a year? I believe we should be setting our own personal goals everyday, not waiting a whole year to choose them and working on them for another year to achieve only a few of them! Some of the most popular resolutions are:
These are almost never stuck to – and they’re things we should be doing every day! Don’t you think that our resolutions are mostly too self-centred? I feel they are quite selfish as we are mostly thinking about ourselves, and not the other people who have helped us a lot, or who are in need! So, this year, why not break the stereotypical trend and put our faith in God to help us achieve what we want. Whilst we help others and continue what we are already doing, doubling the effort, God always has the best plan for us, and if we do good things, we will surely be rewarded in return!
To start the New Year, I pray to God to put my parents on the top of His list for 2018 so I can continue making them happy as they are my main priority in life. How I will do this is:
I have full faith in God that He has the best plan for me because no matter how much trials I am put through in life, things always work out perfectly in the end with His countless blessings! He is indeed Al-Wahhab (The Supreme Bestower) as He has continuously gifted us no matter what!
And one thing we can all do to start the year on a good note is to give out to those who give to us, starting at home. Surprise our parents by doing something small around the house! Keep a good attitude and volunteer to help our parents. Don’t think of household tasks as chores where we’re wanting a reward in return, think of them as our responsibility as a member of the family. Of course, always be kind to our siblings too and avoid jealousy, or arguments – after all, siblings are some of God’s greatest gifts! Then reach out to the outside world, like the neighbours, and maybe even local community! From small things, like a smile, to big things, like donating money for a good cause, and all the stuff in between, everything can help and each little thing counts towards a better future! So, come on! If each and every one of us does this, then TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!
p/s: …HELLO 2018!
There are two dates in November that are special to my family: the 10th and the 14th.
Mrs Mom always told us that me, Fatimah and Ali were lucky to have a second mother.
Fatimah and Ali used to ask who that other mother was, but I knew just the person Mrs Mom was talking about. Dr Auntie, Mrs Mom’s elder sister, was someone who had been there for us right from the start. She’s not just your average auntie! Out of everybody on Earth, I haven’t met anybody that could replace her! She’s loving and understanding, and it seems that her heart is made of pure gold.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a day go by without Mrs Mom and Dr Auntie talking to each other, and by that, I don’t mean just once, I mean at least 10 times (or 100, I lose count)! Mrs Mom and Dr Auntie are tightly knit and are very close sisters; I think we only ever need to make a phone call if we’re in urgent need of help! Sometimes, Mrs Mom doesn’t break any good news to us until Dr Auntie is tuned in and listening! And that is how important she is to the family!
Another great trait that makes Dr Auntie ‘Dr Auntie’ is that she’ll never say no, and will do anything to fulfil our needs. I think that if I asked her for £1,000,000, she’d rob a bank just for me (although, of course, she’s an honest and kind person, so I highly doubt that she’ll do anything of the sort. I really need to read those T’s and C’s.)!
I can still remember how she used to always find a way to make me happy when I was little. She knew I was the kind of kid that absolutely LOVED opening presents, so, on top all the other presents she’d got for my birthday, she’d take the wrapping paper and wrap anything she could find – literally. Books, socks, pens, plates. In fact, I still recall one account where I was surprised with a biscuit! Isn’t she sweet?
There’s many other qualities that make her probably the best auntie ever (subject to prejudice and sheer adoration!), so it’s no wonder nobody was like her! She’s my biggest inspiration and is somebody that always tries hard! She won’t give up and will not stop at anything to help her family! She’s definitely the role model to follow! Now, coming back to those two special dates in November, the 14th marks Dr Auntie’s birthday! The whole family looks forward to this day, because it’s that time of the year when we can really thank her for everything she’s done for us!
Dr Auntie has, of course, done many favours for me too, so I have specially dedicated a poem to her, which, I must admit, is small compared to what she has done for me, but is my way of saying thank you. Dr Auntie, this is for you!
Simply The Best!
By The Pawsome Lion
Dedicated to Dr Auntie
There’s millions of people in the world,
But none of them are quite like you,
You’re funny, loving, you’ve got a heart of gold!
And you make us feel like “YAY!” when we’re blue
You’re always there when we need help,
We can just give you a yelp!
A mother you are similar to,
It seems there’s nothing you can’t do!
You’re always by our side,
In the dark, you’re our brightening guide!
And I’d gladly go on and on,
Because when you’re around, no hope is gone!
But it is somebody’s special day,
And it’s a reason for you to shout HOORAY!
Because HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
It’s YOUR special day!
Happy birthday, Dr Auntie! May God make this the best birthday ever!
p/s: Dear Dr Auntie, please pray for my interview, so I can bring back the biggest birthday present of all!
Your favourite nephew (self-claimed! 😁),
Omar Mukhtar – The Pawsome Lion
The wait is finally over! The Family’s very own TV show is going to be aired on British Muslim UK TV. Believe it or not, it’s not just 1 episode, but 12! It is like having our very own reality show, but with added fun family activities! It’s also educational, packed with quizzes and trivia. It’s kinda like Fear Factor, fuelled with plenty of gruesome foods and smells! When Mr Dad broke the news to me, I was overjoyed to hear that they were inviting me to host our own family TV show! I was extremely honoured, but of course, none of this would have been possible without the help of everyone who put in every effort to make this happen!
First of all, I would like to thank Mr Dad! Normally, he doesn’t like to be in the limelight, but this time, he insisted on doing it to support me. I see him as a wonderful dad who won’t put his preferences before helping his son! He is a yes man, and can do anything for his children! He doesn’t mind to get his hands dirty, he just does it to support us! How much more caring can a father get? I hope he will be an inspiration to other dads out there!
I would also like to give thanks to Mamajee @adamdidam for his huge help too! When BMTV invited him to be part of the show, despite his busy schedule, he flew all the way to the UK from Malaysia and gave his full support! Mamajee has taught me a lot about the experience of being in front of a camera, and it has benefited me by having him in the show!
Of course, we can’t forget Fatimah! She has been exceptionally brilliant during the shooting and was very brave to talk in front of loads of cameras and people! Those of you who follow our Instagram will know that Fatimah was born to talk! However, shooting for TV is a whole new thing for a three-year-old like her! On some days, she was having a bad skin day due to the fact that she is lactose intolerant and is allergic to dairy products, but she was still able to continue shooting! I am very proud of her and how she has managed to be a featuring star in the show!
Another person who is prominent in the process of creating the show is Dr Auntie! She has been a massive help and sacrificed her time by coming all the way from Manchester to aid us! I don’t know what we would have done without her! She’s been great support to all of us!
Ali also deserves some thanks! He was extremely well-behaved whilst we were away shooting. He was not crying at all, even though him and Fatimah cannot be separated!
I would also like to express my gratitude to Mrs Mom! All throughout the making of the show, she has constantly supported us, telling us her thoughts about it and being really encouraging for us, even though she wasn’t feeling well at the time! She’s like a wonder woman!
And lastly, I would like to say a humungous thank you to Zainab, Yousra and the whole British Muslim TV team! They have taken us as their guests and have done millions of things for us! They are a great team to work with, being professional yet friendly! It’s like working with one big family! They accommodated us with all our needs right from the beginning! The original shooting location was meant to be in Manchester, but they brought the whole team to Birmingham just to make it more convenient for us! During the shooting, they looked after us, giving us appropriate breaks, providing us with food and cheering us on! They have also pampered Fatimah, making sure she has enough rest, making her food and even feeding her! Their love for us really shines through! It was such an amazing experience!
I have had so much fun making this show! The experience has helped me a lot in terms of developing my confidence and polishing my communication skills! And of course, be sure to tune in to British Muslim TV today from 4pm UK time (12am Malaysia time) on Sky 845 to watch the show! For those outside the UK, don’t worry! You can still watch us live from anywhere in the world through their website: http://www.britishmuslim.tv
p/s: Thank you once again BMTV! Can’t wait for our next project together!