Book Review: I am Malala

Before starting my next read, I really wanted to reflect back on the book I just recently completed called “I am Malala” by Patricia McCormick and Malala Yousafzai. I must say that I was truly inspired, motivated and moved by this beautiful story of a young courageous girl and her family.

Malala Yousafzai as some of us already know is a brave gril from Swat, Pakistan who was shot by Taliban in face/ head while she was returning from her school with her classmates and friends in a mini bus. In this attack, Malala was a prime target yet two of other girls also got shot as they were sitting close to her on the bus when Taliban decided to show no mercy on this little girl. What did she do to get a bullet from an adult? Her crime was that she wanted to study and continue her journey to acquire education not only for herself but she also wanted her school to remain open so other young girls can also continue their studies.

In this well written memoir , an author takes the readers back in Malala’s life and introduce the readers to her beautiful and supportive parents, two young brothers and her friends not to forget her blessed relationship with her very understanding best friend.

The story revolves around how Malala and her supportive father didn’t held back when they saw wrong was happening in Swat, Pakistan. The author has provided brief political background too throughout the book to help the readers paint an image themselves about the situation Malala and the other young girls had to face while they wanted to continue their dream of keeping up with their education and schooling.

Having my background from Pakistan, I can relate to some parts of the book especially the comparison of teaching style in Pakistan and one in the West.

Till this day and after going through a tough and threatening journey back in Swat, Pakistan, Malala is still fighting for her campaign of girls education now on global level. “Malala’s Fund” is still ongoing and helping those areas and communities across the globe to set up education facilities for young generation.

I encourage young readers and everyone else to read this inspiring, uplifting true memoir of Malala.

It is not just a story of Malala and her journey in life, it is a story of survival and hope. It is a story of a how one girl used her “Magic Pencil” like a fairy with a magic wand to bring change in the world. As Malala herself has said, “Let us remember, one book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world”. A must read.

Noor Reflection

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How can I help?

I decided to do this blog post as I get asked how can one help in supporting a humanitarian cause be it helping Rohingya Refugees, victims of terrorists attacks, natural disaster, violence, health matters, importance of education, or any number of other issues that are happening around the globe. I myself used to struggle around thinking of ways of giving my best back to humanity. However, we all have limitations. Our limitations are around unable to travel to those parts of the world and physically helping those who are in great need of financial and medical aid. This does not mean that we should get disheartened and give up.  Take some time and read the following steps one can take and make a difference around the world even from their electronic devices. Always remember change is a constant process and does not happen overnight. One single step, even a thought of making a difference around the globe and reaching out starts the cycle of change and creates vibrations in the universe that overtime reaches out and affects everyone.

  1. Do your research by following and reading about various humanitarian projects, NGOs, Local Charities, Global Charities, Activists of peace promotion. Your research should include becoming aware of their global agenda, their mission, values and how do they acquire and spend funds.
  2. Make sure that the charity you wanted to support is a registered charity and abide by their countries rules and regulations.
  3. Your research should also include getting to know their partners and how they operate.
  4. Write to them and find out how you can contribute and volunteer. Most NGOs and charities are running programs, which they need help create awareness, raise donations, and assist them in setting up charitable events, creating posters, sometimes even picking up the phone and making a call to reach out to the public.
  5. Connect with their volunteer program, start by getting yourself registered, and complete the screening.
  6. If you have a social media account, actively promote their campaign by writing about it, retweeting their tweets, liking and sharing their posts on your timeline.
  7. Participate and do active networking among other volunteers.
  8. If you have your own blog, you can create a section on your blog to highlight important missions, raise awareness around their event or donation campaign.
  9. Find a local shelter or a food bank who in certain months connect with Global charities to raise funds, medical aid supplies, perishable items, household items from blankets to coats to get donated to under privileged countries.
  10. Motivate a family member or a friend and bring them along to the food drives. More hands – better results.
  11. Start your tag and contribute to it. Tags helps in long run to consolidate information on the net. Share and promote your tag for others to do the same.
  12. Talk to your doctor or specialist and inquire about if they are working on any WHO initiatives make yourself available to them if they need volunteers to organize a walk and create awareness.
  13. If you spot a young kid selling boxes of cookies other items to raise funds for local charities, support them if you can.
  14. If you have a special talent in writing, painting other forms on art, create awareness with your words and arts.
  15. Above all, take pride in what you do and remember one man has a power to make a change.

 

This blog post is evergreen and I will be adding more ways one can use towards helping humanity. Please do add your comments or thoughts, as it will help others to find their path.

 

Noor Reflection

Success

From last few days I have been reflecting upon this word “Success”.  I guess my anxiety flared up with a fast approaching change in my work place and new job positions opening up with tough criteria and assessment exams involved.  It will be total wrong of me to not accept that yes I got nervous, anxious of losing out.

One day, as per my usual practice in the morning, I was reading my affirmations from “Motivational Moments” by Mufti Menk who is a famous Muslim scholar from Zimbabwe and the following quote gave me much mental clarity and helped me change my thought process around the dictionary definition of the word success which means, ”

a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors.”

Rather I found total relief in the following words,

“Don’t be frustrated when you see no results after trying. There’s a lesson there. You may be struggling but it doesn’t mean you are failing. “

After reading this I must admit I felt lighter knowing that even trying out for something new and going through a selection process is also a success in itself. After gaining this understanding, I was able to cope up with my feeling of anxiety and nervousness and was able to develop a plan to follow to achieve a positive experience.

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Noor Reflection

http://www.reflectionsinateacup.com

@rinateacup

 

Book review – Far Away Friends

Far Away Friends

Written By Baljit Ghuman.

Books cast a mystic spell over me that is hard to explain at times. For me buying a book, reading a book even holding a book in my hands drifts me away for few minutes and serves to be very relaxing.

I recently got a beautiful book on poetry called Far Away Friends written by Baljit Ghuman. As always I like to hold the book in my hands and feel the cover, the pages, the texture, the print, the weight. I must say I was thrilled to hold this book in my hands. What caught my eyes and attention was the title “Far Away Friends” printed on red background with white font. After the title there is a total white space followed by the author’s name again on the red background with white font. For some of us, this would be just a matter of picking up a simple design but for me it held more meaning than just a design layout. It gave me a hint of some one remembering their friends, memories associated with them from the realm of their thoughts, searching in the deep corners of their brain thus the white space signified  the quietness and stillness to get those memories out to share with the world.

The cover was inspiring enough for me to read the book, so I made a cup of tea this time not coffee and started to read it on my comfy couch. 🙂 I must say I was right about my predictions earlier. Each and every poem in the book was very relate-able with one’s life personal experience. What inspired me to keep on reading without lifting my mug of tea, was the layout of the poem on each page. The poems, thoughts and words are organized in a unique but very interesting, searchable way I must say, that tempts the reader to keep reading, searching, and relating to themselves. After some poems, there is a white page that I say is added for a reason – to self reflect, to remember, to take a break, to breathe and then to move on.

I thought of adding my personal favorite poem and inspiring words but I couldn’t narrow it down to just one poem or saying. The whole book and all the words are inspiring thus eliminating the need to pin point to just one personal favorite.

I can strongly recommend this beautiful, enlightening, inspiring collection of poetry around friendship, love, loss, freedom, wisdom, nature, divine light to my friends and followers and I can certainly see myself going back to this book for inspirational thoughts, motivation and courage later in coming years.

For all my followers who are also interested in exploring this book. It can be found easily at Amazon.

Far Away Friends by Baljit Ghuman https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1530385393/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_7nWoybEQMWZ37 via @amazon

#Friendship #love #nature #poetry #poems #goodreads #bookreview #inspiringreads #writing #literature

For more interesting reads please visit the author’s blog listed below:

http://www.baljitghuman.com

 

 

 

 

Book review by Noor Reflection

 

 

Book Review – Emotionally strong and have thick skin. By Nicolla Trilliby

When I was browsing books on Amazon for my Kindle download, this specific title caught my attention. I looked at my computer screen for few seconds before downloading this book on my device. Why did I take only a few seconds to buy this title? What was so special about this book? Questions like these came in my mind and faded away but some part of me knew the answer to these questions and similar to them that often arise in my mind.

What caught my attention was the second part of the title “Have thick skin”. Before I proceed with this article, I must clarify that I am not a psychologist; however, once in a while I like to read self-help books as a reminder, to heal myself, to learn new techniques or to revisit the old ones just to strengthen my skills of dealing with various emotions that each one of us encounters  throughout the day.

The book “How to be emotionally strong and have thick skin” written by Nicolla Trilliby is  about 38 pages long that took me as around 30 – 45 minutes to read. I first thought to myself that what will this 5 chapter book deliver that will be effective but can also be practically applied in day-to-day life. To my surprise, this short book offered lot more than that I anticipated. To be accurate, this books offers strong reminders in a very firm tone required to develop emotional strength and deliver ideas of developing a thick skin.  It also highlights pros and cons of each skin type in a short, simple manner.

Thick Skin VS Thin Skin is a very popular topic among self-help guides. What exactly is Thick Skin Vs Thin Skin? Do we classify ourselves as thick skin all the time? Is there any phenomenon between these two words like Medium Skin? 🙂 I am sure these questions cross everyone’s mind occasionally. The understanding I got after reading the first chapter of this books was that “thin-skinned” people are highly sensitive to the chaos of outside world and their emotions can be easily triggered by any rude, unexpected, hurtful, unfair gesture. At times they are stuck trying to understand and answer the question, “WHY ME”? This doesn’t mean that thin-skinned people are not strong or they are not of positive nature. The book highlights that thin skinned people are always in need of seeking approval of others, yet at times focusing the major part of their energies in proving themselves. In doing this, they at time give their power away to other person, thus making them vulnerable. On the contrary , “thick-skinned” people retains their emotional stability by holding on to their inner peace and not caring what others really think of them. They work in their own medium and have the ability to slide off the negativity around them. Mastering this special trait allows them to find themselves less in conflict situations thus maintaining their emotional strength and energy.

The book offers steps to those who like to master the trait of being thick skinned. The message I got after completing this book was to find happiness among yourself and accept difficult people as they are. Most importantly, by developing this trait of letting go of what others think about oneself makes a huge impact on ones overall emotional and mental health.

I would definitely give this book 5 stars and would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for some techniques to strengthen their emotional control and develop understanding around being too sensitive and maintaining a balanced personality.

Review written by N. Reflection

 

emotionallystrong