Purge of politics

game-of-politics

(Written as part of the Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Truth Serum: You’ve come into possession of one vial of truth serum. Who would you give it to (with the person’s consent, of course) — and what questions would you ask?)

 

Keeping this short but sweet – World Politicians.

Though I would never wish to force a truth from someone, as I’d hope that everyone would speak the truth themselves, there are some lies that have blinded nations worth of people all around the globe.

The emergence of truth from all of the world politicians would most likely shake the planet in ways that we couldn’t imagine; however, in time, I’d hope that we’d all learn to better ourselves and work by honesty.
If it just leads to extreme chaos, then we as humans would need to face that storm as a species due to the faults of some of our own. Hopefully, after the storm passes, we could learn to move on after having learned an important lesson.
There isn’t one governmental system on this planet that doesn’t have some form of corruption in it (no matter how small or big).

Pass out the serum, sit back and watch the unravelling of millennia worth of lies… then start again on a more ‘informed’ note.

Maybe I’m just having one of those “fed up” days when you get sick of the amount of false reporting, bias, misreporting and such on news channels, but this is what my mood would want right now.

 

 

(Image taken from livinginmyownworld.com )

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Making or Breaking

masks

 

(Written for the Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Handle with Care: How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty?)

 

If you wish to go far, expect a few bumps along the way.

I’d like to think that I am the kind of person who can appreciate some good ‘constructive criticism’, as I’d hope that the intentions behind the feedback sprout from genuine concern and care.
It is something I’d hope to learn from, as feedback can help us to improve ourselves.

It is the equivalent of a mother telling her child “You can’t go to school wearing that muddy shirt”.
It is a wife telling her husband “Dear, I think the other tie would look better”.
It is a teacher telling his student “Well done, you did well, but maybe if you worked a bit on your grammar you’d get a higher mark”.

Intentions.
The difference between what can be Constructive Criticism, and what can become Destructive Criticism.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you can tell that the person giving you their ‘opinion’ or ‘feedback’ is doing so purely out of spite or to feed their own ego?

“Your poem was awful, because I don’t agree with it. You’ll never be good enough”.
Words that can, eventually, break a person as opposed to helping them.

I personally would like to hope that I could take on some negative feedback in order to better myself and my skills, however if I was to find that someone was doing so purely to put me down… well… I’d think that their words would say more about them than me.

If you wish to go far, expect a few bumps along the way.
There will always be critics ready to fire from behind the safety of their computer screens, but if you want to be something, expect them along the way… It would be a rather quiet journey without one or two, no!?

“To avoid criticism – do nothing, say nothing, BE nothing” Elbert Hubbard

Nahhhh… I think I chose to be ‘something’.

 

 

© Naziyah Mahmood, 2014
(Image taken from hqdesktop.net)

Whispers of the Sunrise

salah

Deepest slumbers, gently nudged, by the softest voices of my travelling conscience;
“Awaken, my sweet, come to prayer, come to salvation”
The words rolling through the skies, over the hills of atonement.

Fading moon, rising sun, light kisses on their mutual passage through time;
“Cleanse your soul, illuminate your being, I am waiting”
A gap in the dawn, veiled by the radiance of His Majesty and Grace.

Silent struggle, standing tall, ascending towards self purification;
“Spiritual cleansing, physical ablution, absolved from worldly bounds”
An incandescent aura, emanating from every limb and every motion.

Open soul, intimate words, a liberation through prostration;
“Free yourself, share your tears, I am here”
An elevated state, reached through the humbling gestures of adoration.

Rising up, heart content, facing the day with a reinforced hope;
“I am with you, I have always been with you, and always will be”
Sweet whispers of the sunrise that ready me for my lifelong journey.

“…I am here”

© Naziyah Mahmood, 2014
(Image taken from road2jannah.com)

 

(It’s a bit late, but this is written as part of the Daily Post: Daily Prompt – New Dawn: How often do you get to (or have to) be awake for sunrise? Tell us about what happened the last time you were up so early (or late…).)

Elegantly Dangerous?!

(Written as part of The Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Why, thank you?: What’s the best (or rather, worst) backhanded compliment you’ve ever received? If you can’t think of any — when’s the last time someone paid you a compliment you didn’t actually deserve?)


Naziyah sword 3

(Photograph of Naziyah Mahmood by Fiona Brims)

pic 3

(Photograph of Naziyah Mahmood by Fiona Brims)

Naziyah sword 2

(Photograph of Naziyah Mahmood by Linda MacPherson)

Naziyah sword 1

(Photograph of Naziyah Mahmood by Linda MacPherson)

Recently, I was invited by two photographers to have a photo-shoot with my martial arts weapons, which was lots of fun as the two of them are such wonderful ladies!
I’ve modelled before in the past, however it was usually to help out friends or at the request of photographers, but I honestly don’t see why anyone would want my face as a subject!

Nevertheless, these phenomenal ladies were able to transform me from my usual alien-like self, into a somewhat presentable human being – a rare feat.

Knowing my love for martial arts, and especially my swords, we combined my several cultural backgrounds with that of my martial arts passion to produce the above photographs (amongst many).
I received, to my own surprise, many lovely and sweet compliments from my friends on social media, however one that stuck out was about looking “elegant, yet also dangerous”, which apparently (according to my friends) summed me up.
Clearly they haven’t seen my clumsy ways! Thank goodness!
Although I feel I don’t deserve any of their lovely compliments, my heart melted from the warmth of their affections.

Recently I had just been feeling a little down about myself, but these wonderful ladies managed to cheer me up, for which I could never be thankful enough.

(Props used were my own- antique lotus Katana and Steel Chinese fighting fan)

Celestial Sails

celestial_boat

Magical gate, before my eyes, of golden beams appears,
Lighting the path to my next destination, a distance covering years.

I stumble forward into a mystic haze, where time and space collapse,
A realm of intangible nothingness, with no compass and no maps.

Up is down, and left is right, yet directions don’t exist,
All around, homogeneous substance, a moving purple mist.

Should I walk, fly or swim, and which way should I go?
A familiar taste consoles my senses, telling me that I know.

With strength of mind I conjure forth a majestic vessel, my ship,
And take my place at its bow, for this cosmic travelling trip.

I steer my way through unseen perils, observing from the helm,
The awe-inspiring wonderment of this secret spiritual realm.

I float, I glide, I dance along a stream of iridescent rain,
A shimmering-prismatic pathway in this kaleidoscopic plane.

An eternity later, of shortest moments, the anchor is then thrown,
I disembark from my flying carpet, to explore my ethereal home.

Gracefully I make my way through a maze of dark branched grass,
Then run my hand over a motionless sand dune that I’m about to pass.

Then I reach a twin oasis, long palms upon their centres,
And ready myself for the soft rimmed cave that I’m about to enter.

Back, I look, at the soft terrain that has led me to this place,
And realise with a gasp of breath that it was my own face.

Down I fall into a dark abyss, with mountains of teeth that gleam,
And soon awaken with a shocking jolt from my journey to the land of dreams.

 © Naziyah Mahmood, 2014.
(Image taken from hqwallbase.com)

(Also shared on http://poetreecreations.org/2014/08/28/celestial-sails-promote-yourself/ )

(Written as pasrt of the Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Tunnel Vision: You’ve been given the ability to build a magical tunnel that will quickly and secretly connect your home with the location of your choice — anywhere on Earth. Where’s the other end of your tunnel?)

It’s a Girl!

(Written as part of The Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Adult Visions: As a kid, you must have imagined what it was like to be an adult. Now that you’re a grownup (or becoming one), how far off was your idea of adult life?)

 

It's a girl!
I would like to announce the birth of my beautiful baby niece, born Tuesday 22nd July, to all of my fellow bloggers and readers!
This is the first grandchild on our side of the family, and so my family and I are incredibly excited and full of joy!
(My sister and brother in law are still at the hospital, and so I am yet to hear all of the details; possible name choice, weight, time of birth etc.)

As I sit here in my sister’s house, waiting for my new niece and her parents to return home from the hospital (I’ve secretly decorated the house in anticipation of their arrival!) I found it almost ironic that the question posted in today’s Daily Prompt was to do with childhood.

In reflection of the current moment of joy, I’d like to address the question in the most fitting manner possible, as a quick letter to my niece.
I will most likely write a longer and more meaningful letter in the near future for her (maybe even a quick video!?), but this will have to do for now!

 

To my beautiful, my beloved, my darling,

As I sit here in your future home, anxiously awaiting your arrival from the hospital; I find my mind to be a complete jumble of things I’d like to tell you. Where could I even begin!?

You, my precious, have been born into a world that has many faces; many beautiful, some terrifying, and others confusing.
Just as I discovered through my own growth and years, the steps you now take will be instrumental in shaping the beautiful woman you will become, and I have no doubt that you will blossom into the most beautiful of flowers.

God has blessed you with wonderful parents who have loved you long before you were born today, and I know that you will be surrounded by the safety of their love and compassion for the rest of your life.
Your mother – my older sister – can be a little demanding! So you must learn patience, my sweet. However, I have seldom met anyone as caring, loving and thoughtful as she, and so I know you will cherish one another, even in those moments of naughtiness and yelling!
She will be the arms that give you warmth.
Your father – who is truly like a brother to me – can, at times, be somewhat abrupt! So you must learn compassion and empathy, my dear. He is a man of strong values and virtues with a heart of gold, and I am proud that he was the one to have taken my sister’s hand in marriage.
He will be the guardian that protects you.

You have loving grandparents from both sides, who are all so very happy to have you with us, and many proud aunties and uncles.

Your mother and I have always had a special bond, one that went beyond just sisterly love. She was my best friend, my confidante, my shoulder to lean on and was always like a mother to me.
For this reason, my dear, I will not only be your embarrassingly proud Aunty Naz, but I will be your sister, I will be your friend, and I will be your partner in crime!
(To be honest, I’ll probably be the one hiding behind you every time we do something naughty! At least I now have a side-kick!)

Unlike many children around the world, you have been blessed to be born into the safety and warmth of a loving and secure home. No matter how bad a circumstance may be, always remember that you are so very blessed, and very deeply loved.

I hope to see you grow into a wonderful and inspiring woman, one who will always stand by the truth and what she believes to be right.

No matter how many people stand against you, always stand by the truth, my love.
No matter how many people stand with you, always remain humble in your actions and words.
No matter how much the World may try to pull you down, always stand by what is true and just.
No matter how much the World gives you, always strive to become better than yesterday.

Hold strong to faith and frequently remember your blessings, for you are wonderful.
Hold dear the morals and teachings that make us better humans, for you will shine bright.
Stand strong in your convictions and adhere to righteousness, and you will defeat the doubts.
Stand strong in your love and devotion, my sweet, for you will conquer fear.

You have been born into a warrior cast, so always fight for justice but spread only love and peace.
As you grow, open your mind to all the beauties of this universe, and travel through its wonders and marvels on the wings of your imagination, for it is a powerful tool.

This is a world in which people can often give in to the pressures of society and their peers, and it can often happen without us even realising. Do not ever be afraid to be yourself, my darling, because there is only one of you on this planet, and as such needs to be known.
You are amazing just as you are, so just be you.

Always remember, my darling, that you are loved. You are loved by Allah, by your wonderful parents, by your loving grandparents, and by many who would happily cross the world to be by your side.

You are loved by this crazy, sugar-addicted, sword swinging, cosmic travelling, over-talkative, and embarrassingly proud Aunty Naz.
Our family has always been small, but our bonds have always been tenfold as strong for that reason.

In ten to fifteen years from now, when you read and understand these words, I pray that we will be so close that you will be reading the words aloud to me as I brush your hair or paint your nails.
(Keep in mind that I’m the cool aunt!)

Enjoy every moment of your childhood, and should you ever need someone to turn to, always know that He (the Almighty) will be with you always, and that I will always be looking over you.

You are beautiful.
You are exquisite.
You are blessed.
You are sensational.
You are truly unique, my sweet.

… You are loved…
I love you, and you are always in my heart.

Your crazy Aunty Naz.

Oliver Twisted

(Written for The Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Can’t Watch This: When was the last time you watched something so scary, cringe-worthy, or unbelievably tacky — in a movie, on TV, or in real life — you had to cover your eyes?)

child behind bars

“Please, sir, I want some more”

The short but winning line of a world renowned classic novel.
However, what is to follow will not be concentrating on the works of Dickens, but on the subject of oppression, including of that upon children.

Although I may not be the kind of person who tears up every five seconds, I have painfully wept and find my heart crying upon witnessing any forms of oppression, suffering, or pain on others – especially children, the elderly and the vulnerable.

Nobody wants to believe that pain, suffering and oppression exist within this world, and as such many also turn a blind eye to it. However, I personally feel that it is a duty upon each and every one of us to try to look out for our human brothers and sisters, even if that is simply through ‘recognizing them as human’, and praying for them.

More recently, the excruciatingly painful and horrific images and videos that have been coming out of the conflict in Gaza, and many other places in the world, have been tearing my heart to shreds.
As a British and proud Scottish citizen, I myself admit the presence of a strong media bias in our news channels, which is terribly unfortunate.
However, it’s not hard to find out the truth when we search for ourselves. The truth may be a matter of perspective, and I understand that the pendulum swings both ways, but some things are just inexcusable.

Babies and young children, targeted and being torn to shreds by ‘soldiers’; how were those innocent children a threat?
Disability centres and hospitals being blown to pieces; how are those vulnerable people any danger to you?
Innocent civilian homes being raided, destroyed and burned to the ground with the families still in them; that could have been your home and family.
Schools, places of worship, water systems and sewage systems being destroyed; leaving a horrible gash in life for the future generations.

I look around and see the many beautiful colours of the World, and its many faces and languages. Appreciation of diversity is so very important, but we must also look to see how, ultimately, we are all one and the same. One universal family called Humanity.

Unfortunately, we live in a world that is being consumed by demons who take human form.
To think that ‘any’ child deserves such torture is a crime upon the soul.
To attest that ‘any’ person shouldn’t be allowed basic human rights is a tear upon the spirit.
To believe that ‘any’ pregnant woman should have her belly torn apart is a wound upon the heart.
To say that ‘any’ form of oppression is allowed, or permitted, is a stain upon the mind.

I am not here to try to upset anyone, however, if we find ourselves spending all our time pondering over the latest ‘gadget’ trends and celebrity gossip, yet completely ignoring the reality that millions upon millions go through… we know that humanity is failing.

We do not require to sit and cry all day in order to truly connect with the bigger picture, however, recognizing the existence of the suffering (and as such, the existence and value of each and every person who faces oppression in this world) will be the difference between being a hollow human vessel and a truly connected soul.

I am known as a ‘foolish optimist’, but I truly do believe that even a prayer, a well wish or a simple hope for a better world can make a difference.

As Mother Teresa once said:

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

When all that many oppressed people have to protect themselves are sticks and stones, when faced by the world’s most powerful and advanced tanks and technology, then why haven’t we been feeling those many ripples?

It’s time to open our eyes.
We don’t need to be from any religion, colour, culture or race to condemn oppression; we just need to be ‘human’.
A child received a beating from a so called ‘war hero’, bleeding from head to toe, and begs “Please, sir, let me go”. However, just as in the case of Oliver, he doesn’t receive.
Bang…

…Wake up….

© Naziyah Mahmood, 2014.

(Image taken from http://animalnewyork.com/2011/palestinian-kids-art-exhibit-censored-too-violent-for-kids/
A drawing made by a child for an art exhibition that was censored)