Goodbye Harry Potter…Hello ALI POTTER!

SURPRISE…MR ALI POTTER IN THE HOUSE, YO!

Today, me and my little sister Fatimah brought a special guest onto our show! Ali enjoys role playing, and this time around, he decided to dress up as none other than…Mr ALI POTTER! Harry Potter is one of Ali’s favourite characters, and he loves to dress up as him. However, Mr Ali Potter is a wizard in training and his magic is still a bit rusty, so #TheStruggleWasReal when we tried to interview him! If you love magic, make sure you watch the whole video coz there’s a BIG SURPRISE waiting for you at the end of the show! And if you want to see more of our videos, don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe to our YouTube channel THE FAMILY UK – more vlogs coming your way very soon!

p/s: DISCLAIMER: No people were hurt by magic during the making of this video!

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World Book Day

Charles Dickens.jpg

Today is World Book Day! As I see Mr Dad busy preparing costumes for Fatimah and Ali, I can’t help but miss those days in primary school when I dressed up myself. The most memorable costume would have to be the one for World Book Day 2017! I always preferred to be different from other people. I hated those ready-made shop-bought costumes because most of them were Disney cartoon characters. So in 2017, instead of dressing up as a character from a book, I came as…an author! Yes, that’s right, an author! I always believed that I had an author in me somewhere, screaming to get out!

As a big fan of Charles Dickens, I chose to dress up as him during his childhood, the darkest hours of his life, when his family was in debt and his father was sent to prison. He was only 12 years old but he was forced to take up a job in a shoe-shine factory to earn money for his family at this time of his life.

I can clearly remember the night before the big day…

Mrs Mom was really ill at the time, and Mr Dad had his hands full not only looking after her, but Fatimah and Ali too. So there I was, still no costume ready – but I guess I was lucky! If Cinderella has her own fairy godmother to prepare her outfit to the ball, then I too have a fairy god-uncle who came to the rescue! My Mamajee was the one who saved World Book Day! He searched through my wardrobe, looking for something he could work his magic on. He stayed up all night preparing the costume. He even went as far as cutting up gloves and sewing on patches for my trousers one by one!

So here it is, my costume for World Book Day 2017, handmade specially by my PAWSOME uncle! And it’s not just handmade, but handmade with love. It may seem like a normal costume, but really, the love, care, time and effort that has gone into it is what makes it so valuable and heartfelt! And that’s what made this World Book Day one of the most memorable ones!

Sentimental mode on,

Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion

#The12YearOldAuthor

#BornToWrite

#WorldBookDay

p/s: Since it’s World Book Day, I can’t help but think that if Mamajee was a book character, he would definitely be Gandalf from ‘Lord Of The Rings’ because he is kind, wise and he always has magic up his sleeves! What about you? If you were a book character, who would you choose to be?

Happy Namesake Day!

namesake day

When I was born, some people from Malaysia laughed at my parents for naming me ‘Omar Mukhtar’. According to them, it was a backdated name. They said, “You live in England, why would you give him a name like that?”. The funny thing is that living in England, none of the local people who lived here ever made fun of my name, even at school, students and teachers alike. My parents call me by my full name ‘Omar Mukhtar’, or ‘Mukhtar’ for short. I did choose to be called ‘Mukhtar’ at school too, because ‘Omar’ is also my father’s name and it could get confusing. Even though my friends and teachers found it hard in the beginning to pronounce the name ‘Mukhtar’, they didn’t choose to call me ‘Omar’ just because it was easier for them. They all respected my decision and tried their best to pronounce it. They never call me anything I didn’t want to be called.

I love how my parents named all three of us – Omar Mukhtar, Fatimah and Ali. They didn’t simply just say, “Ooh, ‘Omar Mukhtar’ sounds like a nice name, I’m going to call my son that” no, they named us after the owners of the names, hoping that one day, we might become as great a person as they are – Omar Mukhtar, after the famous Lion Of The Desert; Fatimah, after the beloved Prophet’s daughter; and Ali, after the 4th Caliph. Our parents always reminded us how important our names are and that we must live up to them. They also told us to be proud of our names and never be ashamed of them, even though some people say they are old-school.

Truthfully, I am proud to be named Omar Mukhtar and I respect my parents for naming me and my siblings with such great names – I owe it to them!

Happy Namesake Day,

Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion

#The12YearOldAuthor

#BornToWrite

#NamesakeDay

p/s: If you can learn to pronounce Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Louboutin and many other brand names correctly…then I’m pretty sure you can easily pronounce Omar Mukhtar, FATIMAH and Ali correctly too!!

The Lemon & Banana Boy!

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!

Officially A King Edward’s Boy!

harrypotterTPL.jpg

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

Dear God,

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…

p/s: Feeling:

  • Blessed 😇
  • Grateful 🙏
  • Excited 😜

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My Last Parents’ Meeting…

ms patrick

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!

Dear God,
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

Happy Birthday Dadijee!

dadijee birthday

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!

Love,

Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion

A Message From A Brother…

When I was born, people from Malaysia laughed at my parents for naming me ‘Omar Mukhtar’. According to them, it was a backdated name. They said, “You live in England, why would you give him a name like that?”. The funny thing is that living in England, none of the local people who lived here ever made fun of my name, even at school, students and teachers alike. My parents call me by my full name ‘Omar Mukhtar’, or ‘Mukhtar’ for short. I did choose to be called ‘Mukhtar’ at school too, because ‘Omar’ is also my father’s name and it could get confusing. Even though my friends and teachers found it hard in the beginning to pronounce the name ‘Mukhtar’, they didn’t choose to call me ‘Omar’ just because it was easier for them. They all respected my decision and tried their best to pronounce it. They never call me anything I didn’t want to be called.

I love how my parents named all three of us – Omar Mukhtar, Fatimah and Ali. They didn’t simply just say, “Ooh, ‘Omar Mukhtar’ sounds like a nice name, I’m going to call my son that” no, they named us after the owners of the names, hoping that one day, we might become as great a person as they are – Omar Mukhtar, after the famous Lion Of The Desert; Fatimah, after the beloved Prophet’s daughter; and Ali, after the 4th Khalifa in Islam. Our parents always reminded us how important our names are and that we must live up to them. They also told us to be proud of our names and never be ashamed of them, even though some people say they are old-school.

Whenever we go out and people ask all three of our names, they praise our parents for giving us such great names. There is even a teacher from my school who, whenever I pass him, tells me how much he loves my name. He tells me this on a daily basis without fail!

Now, the same thing that happened to me is happening to Fatimah too. People called her ‘Timoh’ and made fun of her name. It made her really upset! She gets annoyed whenever people call her anything other than her full name because at home and at school, everyone always calls her Fatimah. Sadly, the only people who make fun of our names are Malaysian. Some people simply label those who call Fatimah as ‘Timoh’ only from Kelantan or Terengganu. They’re not! They’re actually from all over Malaysia, which has spread to Singapore and Brunei too!

My parents have been telling people for years to call Fatimah properly but they never stopped calling her ‘Timoh’ until my aunt decided that she too has had enough with all this name calling, so she wrote a post about why we called her Fatimah. After this was posted, we received floods of messages from people who went through the same experience as us. It was truly shocking reading their stories and thinking about what effect it must have had on their lives! But sadly, after that, still, there were many who kept on calling her ‘Timoh’ because they say it’s ‘cute and funny’. How rude!

Name-calling is an act of insult and is a form of bullying. I’m surprised how with all this anti-bullying awareness around the world, people still don’t realise that name-calling is an act of bullying! Don’t take name-calling lightly because it’s a very serious matter! It can affect the person really badly on the inside, even though you can’t see it. They may lose their confidence, for example, and that may affect their life in the long run.

They may blame themselves for their problems, which can also lead to loss of confidence. I could go on and on with this list of effects.

As the Head Boy of my school, if anything like this happened, I would strongly go against it as bullying cannot be tolerated in any situation whatsoever! I would also plead to parents and teachers out there to take this matter seriously and do as much as they can to play their role and prevent things like this from repeatedly happening!

Imagine that every day for a week, you went up to a mirror and called yourself something you don’t like being called. It wouldn’t make you feel too good about yourself, would it? That’s exactly how Fatimah feels when she’s called ‘Timoh’, and how I felt when people made fun of my name. Sure, some people don’t do it intentionally, but we’ve been telling them how to call Fatimah correctly, and still, when she’s now already 4 years old, they continue to mock her name!

Honestly, I’m curious why some Malaysians, who are from the same religion as us, mock our names, whereas people from different religions praise them.

So all in all, name-calling? It’s an act of bullying. It’s something that needs to be stopped and together, we can make that happen. Let us build a world where we can feel safe and happy, a world where bullying is a thing of the past! I am an 11-year-old boy in Year 6 whose sister has experienced bad name-calling, so I’m speaking for her and for those who have suffered and are still suffering from the same issue. If we all act as one then maybe, just maybe TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

p/s: STOP calling my sister TIMOH. Her name is FATIMAH! She has me on her right and Ali on her left. As for me, I’m not bothered if you don’t like my name because I am OMAR MUKHTAR THE PAWSOME LION!

11 Fun Facts About Fatimah & Ali!

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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!

  1. Bread is their favourite, but Fatimah prefers toast (she calls it ‘roti keras’) whereas Ali likes soft bread.
  2. Fatimah is more fond of Malaysia but Ali is all about Thailand.
  3. They both love animals so much!
  4. Fatimah is more mature and serious, but Ali is a jolly kind of person and likes to crack a joke and make people laugh!
  5. Fatimah prefers hot weather, but Ali can’t stand the heat at all! Winter is like summer for him!
  6. Fatimah has always spoken her own mind from a very early age, while Ali is the master imitator – he mimics Fatimah most of the time!
  7. They love reading a lot – we have to read them 4-5 books (or more) every day! The library has become their new favourite place!
  8. Both Fatimah and Ali enjoy swimming.
  9. Meat is a must-have for Ali, while he does like eating his greens. However, Fatimah prefers vegetables more than meat.
  10. Yoga is something Fatimah can’t live without! She also likes to do kickboxing with Mr Dad.
  11. Ali is CRAZY about elephants! He even calls himself ‘Ali Chang’ (‘chang’ means ‘elephant’ in Thai)!

#my11things