Of Arrivals & Departures

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always long to return.” -Leonardo da Vinci

And oh, I so dearly long to return.

To be suspended in flight, far above the earth.

To cross oceans and cities, people and memories.

In search of new stories,

to behold.

-From the song “Try” (by Pink)

As they say, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” When we aspire for great things, we start expecting and hoping for certain outcomes. We work hard and dedicate so much just to achieve what our heart desires.

Then again, with many aspirations–especially the really big ones–the risk of falling is also too great. The more desire you have, the greater the flame you create. Successfully reaching your desire would raise you in a pedestal but failing to achieve it would burn you down.

Thus, in every great endeavor, remember to STAY strong. Do not let the fear of getting burned stop you from dreaming big. Work towards your life goal and do not back down. If you incur scars, then let those heal and serve as a reminder of the battles you’ve survived. Be proactive and keep moving forward!

For as you see, the greatest victories are EARNED by the strongest and most enduring ones.

So hold on, my fellow sojourner. Hold on.

Humility

In a society where even the most mundane things in life are shown and boasted, humility–as a virtue–becomes even more so elusive. Vanity, egoism and narcissism are heightened all the more by technology and the virtual world.

Indeed, to be humble–and to constantly strive for such virtue–takes so much discipline, courage and wisdom.

I hope it was easier to liberate ourselves from the inessential–to realize the things that really matter, and to be able to walk the fields of the earth in such humble and kind fashion.

I love it when I find harmony in both the Bible and Qur’an. The passage above is taken from Isaiah 46:4. It evokes one of God’s 99 Names in Islam which is: “The Sustainer” – الرزاق (pronounced as: “Ar Razzaq”)

Why, dear God, are You so generous and kind? I yearn for Your comfort and rescue.

“American Muslims”

The US State Department Bureau of International Information Programs published and uploaded a 100 page report on the American Muslim community. The photos look amazing and the stories are quite intriguing.

Enjoy browsing through this piece of intercultural and inter-religious understanding! (:

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You can view or download the file here: http://photos.state.gov/libraries/amgov/30145/publications-english/American_Muslims.pdf

Dream Unlocked

Hey there, my fellow sojourner!

I’ve been busy the past few weeks and I just came back home. I flew to the other side of the world, after being given an opportunity to do so. I grabbed the chance and got more than what I expected. (Truly, Alhamdullilah!)

All I aspired for then was to seek funding and support for a socio-civic project that I had in mind. What I received though was far more than that. I had the chance to unlock one of my childhood dreams which is to visit the United Nations Headquarters in New York . I never thought that I would be able to do just that at this very moment–when I’m still fresh from college and as young as now. I never thought that I, along with a few other amazing youth, would be recognized in such a distinguished venue while in front of various leaders and humanitarians. I really never imagined that happening–not now, definitely not as early as now.

Yet, it did happen. It happened for real. 

At the United Nations HQ, New York, USA

At the United Nations HQ, New York, USA

Of course, there are many other notable events that happened right after (such as being awarded by a New York State Senator–whoa!) but that–the visit to the U.N. and the Recognition Ceremony that happened–is perhaps the most vivid memory that I would keep dearly cherished in my heart. It would serve as constant reminder for me to consistently take on greater heights and conquer new obstacles in life–all in the style of honor and excellence.

As such, for all that has happened, my heart is now bursting with immense gratitude.

Gratitude

And

Desire

Desire to be better in life. To be stronger. To be more capable and qualified to both lead and serve.

I feel like I owe so much to God and the world that I have to work harder and more passionately in giving back hope, growth and opportunity to the people around me–especially those who are in need. A great leader is one who also paves the way for other people to achieve greatness themselves. As I once said, in a speech I gave out during the gala ceremony, “I am but an INSTRUMENT of change.” I am an agent who ought to share, deliver and maximize all opportunities, as well as successes seized, for the betterment of others. 

All these achievements are not for me. They are for my fellow people, my nation, the world and for God. I hope that I may continuously move forward–always seeking for honor and excellence in everything that I do. This is just the start of many more things to come.

From one dream to another, let us carry on.