Leave No One Behind…

WDSD 2019

Today, Thursday 21st March 2019, marks #WorldDownSyndromeDay, which aims to bring awareness to people about #DownSyndrome. By the way, did you know that #WDSD was chosen to be on the 21st day of the 3rd month to signify the tripling of the 21st chromosome that causes Down Syndrome? Clever, right?

Last year, I talked about my thoughts on labelling people, and how people with Down Syndrome should not be called ‘special’. The world calls people with Down Syndrome, autism, or other syndromes ‘SPECIAL’ and they are said to have ‘SPECIAL NEEDS’. They think sugar-coating ‘disabled’ will lighten the effect, but from my humble point of view, it only hurts even more. For a start, being labelled differently means that they will only be separated from the crowd. It makes them feel alone and puts them on a different path from us in life.

This year, the theme is #LeaveNoOneBehind. This is a call to action to people with Down Syndrome, and I am writing on behalf of all those with Down Syndrome. I strongly agree with this ideology, as I believe that we are no different from them. They are equal, and they deserve all the opportunities that we get! Just because they have Down Syndrome does not mean that they should be denied the right to have the same opportunities as us.

People need to stop having negative attitudes and discriminating others with any kind of disability, and we can’t underestimate them either, because they have the ability to do great things too, but only if they are given a chance. And I think that we all should join together and leave no one behind, so that TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

Written by,

Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion

#The12YearOldAuthor

#BornToWrite

#GeniusFreeZone

p/s: Like, comment and share this post to show your love for our friends who are rocking those extra chromosomes!

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Taking A Trip Down Memory Lane…

 

This was me exactly two years ago, when I first stepped foot in King Edward’s School for their open day – my ‘Harry Potter stepping into Hogwarts’ moment! I can still remember the 10-year old me, so wonderstruck and dreaming that I would one day be a KES boy…and two years later, by God’s grace, I’m one of the students studying here at KES! Obviously, my journey to become a KES boy wasn’t easy. There was a lot – and I mean a LOT – of hard work along the way. But of course, on top of all that, I could never have done it without the support and prayers of the two most important people in my life: Mrs Mom and Mr Dad! And above all, I am beyond grateful that my mother is still here to witness it all. May God grant both of my parents long, happy and healthy lives so that they can witness many more of my achievements to come…InshaAllah!

So guys, if you have a dream, wake up and run. Don’t run away. Run after it! Never stop chasing your dream!

Blessed,
Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion
#The12YearOldAuthor
#BornToWrite
#GeniusFreeZone
#throwback 18th March 2017

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 Case Of The Missing D🍩NUT…

The Case Of The Missing D🍩NUT…it’s no Sherlock Holmes mystery! Living by the 5-second rule certainly has its perks!

Good night from Birmingham,

Omar Mukhtar 😴

#The12YearOldAuthor

#BornToWrite

p/s: Anymore #POTTERHEADS out there? Make yourself heard in the comments below! 😉

R.I.P. D🍩NUT 😭

The wait is almost over…just a few more tweaks to make and my first book will finally be published! I’m so excited to be able to share this venture of mine with all of you. It’s been a long road, but with the guidance from my family and the support from everybody, I’ve been able to make it this far! Stay tuned for more updates on my book – COMING YOUR WAY VERY SOON!

Suko Do’oh,

Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion

#The12YearOldAuthor

#BornToWrite

p/s: Follow me on my family’s Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thefamily.uk/ for regular updates! 😉

Publishing My First Book!

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KING EDWARD’S SCHOOL STUDENT PUBLISHING HIS FIRST BOOK

Yes, you read that headline right…to those who didn’t know yet, I’m publishing my first book! It’s been a while since I shared my humble story with Ms Nenie Kairuman from Berita Harian Singapura 🇸🇬 I was so honoured to be featured in a very prestigious Singaporean newspaper – thank you for your PAWSOME support! So I guess it’s not really a secret anymore. Are you eager to know more about my first book? Stay tuned for more news and updates – COMING YOUR WAY VERY SOON!

The 12-year-old author,

Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion

#BornToWrite

p/s: Follow me on my family’s Instagram account @thefamily.uk for regular updates. Stay tuned for my new video tomorrow! 😉

Thank You Malaysian Digest!

This post is specially dedicated to Ms Hana Maher and the team at Malaysian Digest! Thank you so much Ms Hana for writing an EXCLUSIVE FEATURE about my humble self! Words can’t describe how much I appreciate it! Also, thank you so much for speaking so highly of me! I am very grateful! I’m so humbled by your kind words! As always, the write-up was very well-written and high-quality, and, just like your previous articles (some of which have been displayed in my school), it was written with great care and not a single detail was missed! I loved reading it, not because it was about me, but because Ms Hana’s style of writing is truly captivating! In fact, why don’t you give it a read? I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

Click the link below ⤵️ to read the full article:

http://www.malaysiandigest.com/frontpage/29-4-tile/747393-exclusive-meet-the-british-born-m-sian-who-was-offered-a-full-scholarship-at-top-uk-school.html

It’s not just Ms Hana who deserves thanks – the whole team does! I’d also like to say a special thank you to Ms Deza, the Editor of Malaysian Digest, for honouring me with this EXCLUSIVE FEATURE! Ms Hana, Ms Deza and the Malaysian Digest team are brilliant people who have been supporting not only me, but my whole family, and continue to do so! I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so many supportive people, including all of you, my beloved readers! On behalf of my family, I would like to again thank Ms Hana, Ms Deza and the team at Malaysian Digest for all your kindness! May God reward you handsomely! Not forgotten, to all my dearest readers, your PAWSOME support is highly appreciated! Please continue to keep me and my family in your prayers!

p/s: Stay tuned for another EXCLUSIVE FEATURE on Malaysian Digest where Mrs Mom and Mr Dad will share their parenting secrets very soon! 😉

Officially A King Edward’s Boy!

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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