The Summer Holidays are finally over and it’s time to go back to school! So, I’ll be sharing with you guys all the latest updates about school in my new school vlog series. This is my first vlog, and I’ll be telling you all about the new school year and what changes there have been at school. Head over to our YouTube channel: The Family UK (link below) to watch the full vlog and hear all about my new curriculum, teachers and big events that I’m looking forward to. And of course, find out what the ICING ON THE CAKE at the end of the week was for me!
Happy new school year,
p/s: Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe! 😉
My name is Omar Mukhtar, #The12YearOldAuthor, and I’m a British-born Malaysian…
Even though I was born and bred in the UK, I am still proud of my parents’ birth country – MALAYSIA! I’ve always felt a strong connection to my roots, and from the very first time I set foot on its soil, I’ve experienced things I never would have experienced anywhere else!
When I was little, I used to think that there was no place better than England, and the mere thought of travelling abroad made me shiver! But my trip to Malaysia proved me wrong, and I’ve never been more proud of my Malaysian background! My first book, ‘My New Pair of Eyes’, documents all of Malaysia’s glory.
‘My New Pair of Eyes’ is not just a book…I wrote #MNPOE as a gift to Malaysia, and to show my appreciation for my roots. Through my humble writing, I wish to convey how proud I am of my heritage! My journey was truly unforgettable, and I just had to share how brilliant the culture, years-old traditions and kind, welcoming people were!
#MNPOE is not just a recount of my time in Malaysia; it’s the story of my unforgettable journey around a beautiful country with the power to change the way a little boy who didn’t even want to go to heaven looked at the world forever! It’s my homage to the amazing culture of the country and the people in it!
I don’t like to think of Malaysia as just one big chunk of land…I think of it more like a combination of different ‘kingdoms’, each one beautifully diverse and unique, with its own ethnicities, dialect, culture, historical background and cuisine! I’ve only explored a tiny part of Malaysia, but I’ll definitely be back for more!
In honour of 62 years of MERDEKA, I pray not only for the prosperity of Malaysia and Malaysians, but for the preservation – and CELEBRATION – of its heritage, because to me, that’s something that all Malaysians should definitely be proud of, and something we should all hold on to before it is lost forever!
When I started KES, one of the first things I was introduced to was the Liber Aureus (Golden Book). Huh? The “Liber Aureus”? The GOLDEN BOOK? That was my initial reaction. But to my surprise (and possibly disappointment), this mysterious-sounding, famous, fancy Latin-named tome of legend was not a book constructed from pure, 24-karat gold – now that I think of it, that would be quite impractical.
Apparently, this Golden Book was one of the highest achievements in the school. If you did an exceptional piece of work (like, REALLY exceptional) or gained a certain amount of credits (the school point system), your name would be written down in the Golden Book, so your achievement would be remembered even years on from now. Getting an entry in the Golden Book was the one thing everybody in school worked towards, and soon, I too joined the race.
Since then, I probably worked harder than I ever had. Like my classmates around me, I had the Golden Book in my sights. And so that was how I worked until December 2018, when I got my first Golden Book entry – a DOUBLE ENTRY too, if that wasn’t surprising enough. I couldn’t believe it! Up until then, being able to make my mark in the Golden Book seemed so out of reach to me. And here I was, holding the pen in my hand that would write down my name in the prestigious Golden Book! Little did I know that by the end of my first academic year, I would have a total of not 1, not 2, but 4 Golden Book entries, meaning that my name was carved into school history four times! What a great way to end the school year alongside my unexpected exam results! I don’t know how I did it, but it was indeed a miracle!
Alhamdulillah, I feel so blessed to earn such a great achievement. However, I cannot claim that this is just a product of my hard work. I would not have achieved this without my teachers. Their fruitful teachings have benefited me in countless ways, not just academically! My friends have also given me their support and encouragement. It’s true to say that a friend’s motivation is like no other!
Above all, a lot of the credit goes to my family, especially my parents, Mrs Mom and Mr Dad, without whom I would have never gotten this far. They are the ones who have been sacrificing a lot for me. Their unconditional love and endless support have motivated me to keep on working harder!
And how could I forget all of you wonderful people? You are our loving supporters! I may not know all of you, but your love, prayers, and kind words touch my heart. There is no way I could thank you all enough! May God shower you and your families with the best of blessings!
And of course, all praise is due to Allah, for He is the one who has seen all my struggles, and He is the one who has showered His endless blessings upon me. For now, all I can do is thank Allah and pray that next year will be as fruitful as this one.
I also know that somewhere, somehow, my Mamajee is watching over me. I just hope that I have done enough to make him proud of his nephew as he looks on. May Allah let us all be reunited in Jannah.
Last but not least, I would like to say goodbye to the Shells year. It has shaped me into the KES boy I am today!
It’s been 40 days since you left us, and those 40 days have been the most difficult for our family. I’ve been struggling to put my thoughts into words since you were gone. Yes, I finally lost it. Who would have thought that I, Omar Mukhtar, would meet a day when I couldn’t write? You took half of me away with you. I miss you, Mamajee. My sadness is beyond expression, though you may not see it. There’s no denying that I’m missing you so much. Like Fatimah, I wish I could talk to you again, just so I could hear your voice once again, even just for one minute. All I can do now, though, is pray that we are all reunited again in Jannah.
Mamajee, remember this day exactly one year ago – 28th June 2018? You were here with me to witness my dream of becoming a KES boy come true. It was my admission ceremony. I can still remember that proud look on your face. I’m glad that you were there to witness one of the most important days of my life. I’m glad that you were part of that memory. But I wish that you were still here to witness my achievements. I hope you are watching from above.
Mamajee, I promise that you will never be forgotten. I promise that you will always be part of us. I promise that I will keep on reminding Fatimah and Ali of how big your love was for all of us. Know that I’ll always love you, in this world and the next…
Your first nephew,
28th June 2019
p/s: Please kindly keep our beloved Mamajee in your prayers.
Alhamdulillah, what a great way to end the Spring Term! Other than my excellent end-of-term report, me and 3 other students from Year 7 were selected to go to the University of Birmingham to compete in Salter’s Chemistry Festival. And guess what? We won 1st Prize! We were competing against 16 other schools from the West Midlands in a chemistry forensics challenge. We managed to win and we were the only team to gain full marks for our final answers too. And that’s not all, we were among the youngest there! But above all, nothing could beat the proud smiles on my parents’ faces! I thank God for giving me the opportunity to not only represent my school, but to make my parents happy! May God guide me on the right path so that I can continue to make my parents proud and set a good example to my little brother and sister, Fatimah and Ali!
Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion
p/s: Don’t forget to pre-order my first book #MNPOE – buy now or cry later! 😎
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!
Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion
p/s: Like, comment and share this post to show your love for our friends who are rocking those extra chromosomes!
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!
Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion
#throwback 18th March 2017
It’s been 4 weeks since we launched our anti-bullying campaign #KeepCalmAndSayGAPOEVER and we’ve been flooded by DMs from the many victims of bullying, from children to adults. You can’t imagine how heartbreaking it was for us to read all of the stories, knowing that many are suffering so much. Some of them have been bullied to such an extent that it has led to attempted suicide. One of them is a girl from Malaysia who would like to be called Sara (not her real name), and people have been poisoning her mind into thinking that she is ugly!
Sara is a victim of serious bullying. She has been bullied since her childhood for having dark skin by her friends at school, her neighbours and everyone around her. Poor Sara, she has not only been a victim of verbal bullying, she is also physically abused by her friends at school almost every day. Not only that, they also threatened her not to tell anyone. The result of all this has affected her self-confidence so much that she started wearing a mask to school. She constantly feels that she is ugly because of her dark skin so she is more comfortable hiding her face behind a mask. Recently, she attempted suicide to end her suffering…
Sara could be your daughter, your sister, your mother, your best friend or you. Or even worse, you could be the one who is bullying another Sara! And why is this all happening? Because of our sick obsession with the ‘fair is lovely, dark is ugly’ beauty standard.
If white is beautiful & black is ugly…then why did God create us in many shades & colours? Does it mean that God is unfair? ABSOLUTELY NOT! God is Al-Musawwir – The Greatest Shaper of Beauty. We are all God’s creation. Who are you to say that one person is beautiful and the other is ugly? Don’t you realise that if you are insulting somebody, you are insulting God?! That is a SIN!! How can you face God on the day of judgement when you know that you have insulted His creation? It does not matter who we are, where we come from, what shape we are or what colour skin we have, we are all equal! We should all respect and love one another so that TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD…TO BE CONTINUED!
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!
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
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?