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Saffin Alimamy

My Life


Patience Leads to Happiness

My Birth__________________________________________________________________3
Age 1_____________________________________________________________________4
Age 3_____________________________________________________________________5
Age 5_____________________________________________________________________5
Age 7_____________________________________________________________________8
Age 9_____________________________________________________________________9
Age 11___________________________________________________________________13
Age 13___________________________________________________________________14
Age 15___________________________________________________________________16
Age 17___________________________________________________________________22
Age 19___________________________________________________________________27
Age 21___________________________________________________________________30
Age 23___________________________________________________________________33

Bismillah Ar Rahman Al Raheem.

Assalmu Aleykum.

Hello there.

My name is Saffin Alimamy and today, you shall be introduced to the full story of my life. Why do I share my story with you? Because I care and I believe that my story can change and probably save other people’s lives. Like yourself; I am human as well and so far, I have lived long enough to experience and deal with the many situations that life can deliver. Let me start off by telling you how this book is going to be set. Every chapter shows a year of my life, what I went through, and what happened. I hope you enjoy this book as well as appreciate the hard work that I went through to write this all for you. Remember; whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are, I love you. I hope you can keep smiling and feel that special feeling throughout this entire book. Enjoy.

I would like to tell you in depth about my family background which isn't something that I usually do. My father comes from Mosul, a city which is situated in Iraq, making him fully Arab from my grandfather’s side and Iraqi-Kurdish from my grandmother’s side. My mother comes from Turkey. My grandfather was Turkish and my grandmother is Iraqi-Kurdish.

I was born in a city called Sana’a which the capital of Yemen and I am a citizen of New Zealand. I also have originality backgrounds coming back from Saudi Arabia due to my father’s side, which originates from The Prophet’s family. Many claim to be from ‘The Prophet’s family of Islam’, but not many are from there. A lot claim that they’re from there but do not have evidence, yet I do.


My Birth (1994)

I would like to start off by telling you the story of my birth. I am a very weird person by default, and that means everyone who is normal sees me different, weird. On the 23rd of October, 1994, I was born in a Russian Hospital that was called Amal, in Sana'a, Yemen. Sounds all normal to you, right? Well, my birth was delayed for around two weeks as I wouldn’t accept to leave my mother’s stomach. I just… had things going on differently with me. I was born through a caesarean operation. Yes, the doctors had to cut open my mother’s stomach. I came out very tiny and grey-looking. I wasn’t able to cry and babies have to cry in order to breathe. I was neither able to breathe nor move and the doctors just had to wiggle me like a dead body until they inserted some pipes into my nose and mouth. They kept shaking me until I started crying and started breathing that way, Elhamdulillah.

I was born and still am a proud Muslim. Now wait, hold on. I know you know that I come from Iraq and that I am a Muslim but let me explain myself. I am neither Shia nor a member of ISIS. I am a Sunni and I do not hate anyone at all! There are goods and bads in this world and we need to focus on each one individually, not through groups because I’m sure that there are good people everywhere, and of course, bad people as well.

I have two elder brothers, one who is seven years older and another who is ten years older than me. Unlike myself, my brothers do not dream of becoming famous which is the reason as to why I chose not bring their names into discussion throughout this entire book. They were raised differently than me, but I still love them because they are from my blood.


Age_1 (1995-1996)

When I was a one-year old, I moved to Auckland, New Zealand with my family. I then became a citizen of New Zealand. Surprisingly, a lot of people would ask me what my nationality was before I became a New Zealander. Well, I didn’t have one, haha! It’s weird, but that’s what happened. I had my name in my mother’s passport at that time and that’s how I travelled to New Zealand. I don’t remember much during this age so this is one of the shortest chapters of this book. I guess I had the longest flight in the very beginning of my life. In 1995, Saddam was ruling, therefore, there were problems going on. In Iraq, it was a very strict and hard life.

I have heard my mother telling me stories of my past. One day in New Zealand; when I was 1 and a half years old, I was playing in the garden of the neighborhood and when I came back home, I had a long worm rolling around my hand, which my mother was terrified from. My mum told me that she was very scared of it which led her to shout and that ended up with me dropping that worm and cry. I guess now I know how people become scared of things while they’re young. They’re too innocent to differentiate between what is dirty or scary looking and what is not.


Age_3 (1997-1998)

My earliest memory of this blessed life that I can recall was when I was 4 years old.  At that time, I enrolled to kindergarten. I went to kindergarten, what? Yes, I went to kindergarten very early, for fun. That was because my mother was a childcare teacher and well, I wasn’t able to go anywhere without her.

I remember that there was this one time when I got sick and I ended up having to stay at home. I remember spending my time at home playing a game called rider (I guess that’s what it’s called) on my PlayStation One. The game involved a girl who had a pocket gun and a knife running around in a jungle. I also remember that on that day, I ended up having marbles. I don’t know what exactly was going through my mind, but I inserted them in my nose and showed my father. Once he noticed the childish mistake that I made, he helped get them out for me.

There was this other time when I was in kindergarten and I remember that there was a huge gate that I couldn’t reach to open (it had a pull-button from the top of it, and I was too short). So, my father made a surprise visit to my kindergarten and took me out to eat at McDonalds. I was so happy. I enjoyed my time sliding down the slides in the playground inside McDonald's. Later on, he took me back to the kindergarten.


Age_5 (1999-2000)

I remember some good memories at this age. When I was five years old, I had this nice toy car that I was able to fit in and my brother would push the car, making it an enjoyable ride for myself. I used to live on very nice hill area which lead to a forest. Our house was right in front of the forest and you would hear beautiful birds singing every morning. I remember spending my morning with my brother taking me over the hill with my red car as it was our early playtime.

My routine of life back then was to wake up very early at 6:00 AM, go out to kindergarten with my mother which was on the other side of the city (we had to cross this huge bridge in order to reach the other side of the city). I would then spend the whole day at the kindergarten and go back home around 4 PM. After a while, I would watch TV with my brother who is 7 years elder than me. He used to watch dragon ball Z and I would wait for his show to finish so that I could watch Teletubbies. On the weekends, I would get the opportunity to watch Postman Pat and Thomas the Train in the early mornings. My favorite breakfast was sprinkles and butter on a piece of toast with orange juice.

In 2000, people thought the world would’ve ended due to a disaster taken upon technology. Well, I’m glad that didn’t happen or I wouldn't be able to explain to you how my life was back then.

At this year, I travelled to The United Arab Emirates for the very first time. My uncle was living there at that time and we visited him in Dubai. Dubai on the other hand, was a completely different city than today's. There were barely any buildings, it was mostly sandy, and life was quite poor for workers there (who weren’t citizens of the country). The majority of people I remember seeing back then were only Indians and Pakistanis. I remember we rented a very weird car at that time, it was a Mercedes, and the weird about was that it was green.

During that year, it was my very first time seeing someone who was related to my family. I never knew what a relative was until I met my uncle. He was really sweet to me and he would buy me a gift every single day when I used to live there. I used to wake up at around 10 AM and he would be awake since 6 AM, so when he would come back from work at around 2 PM or so, I would get a new gift. Compared to New Zealand, I remember that toys in The Middle East back then was very cheap. A pack of around 10 cars were only like 10 DHS (around $2.6 USD), while 1 car in New Zealand was around 30 DHS itself.

I also remember hearing the adhan for the first time. I was so scared because I didn’t know what it was or what was going on, which led me to ask my parents. Once I was introduced to it, I grew amazed yet curious of the different lifestyles that people had. There was this one time when we went to downtown Dubai and it is so different than the Dubai of today. It was exactly in the middle of Bur Dubai, where millions of people lived, and it was very crowded there. I really enjoyed the night shops that stayed awake until midnight. Life in Dubai was very beautiful especially knowing that there was no traffic there.

So, my parents and I enjoyed our time there but we had to go back to New Zealand. In New Zealand, we had an incident where a burglar came to our house and he stole a lot of items from our home. After that happened, I was really scared and I wasn't able to feel comfortable being home alone as I was before. At that time, I started my first year in school and I liked it a lot because in school, the teachers were able to teach their students through entertaining them.

In the end of year, my dad received a job in Muscat, the capital city of Oman, and we all flew there. In Oman, I wasn’t stabilized with the Arabian culture yet as I spent most of my childhood in New Zealand. My brothers and I used to study online where we would get our books and assignments from New Zealand that had to be completed within a month then sent back in order to get new ones. One day, a parrot flew past our apartment in Oman. My mother closed the window and we caught it. We were so happy. We got our parrot a huge cage and an additional parrot to mate with. I used to have so much fun with them. We taught our parrots how to talk and they started speaking but unfortunately, we had to let them go.

One day in Oman, I was very bored at home and decided that I wanted to go to a real school so I asked my dad to enroll me to an Omani school. He was worried for me because I was different from the people of culture there and he didn't want me to get hurt. So, we went there and as I was signing up, I was so surprised to see that people were dressed with white, long dresses called thobes. I learnt quickly about the cultural clothing and wanted to wear one of them myself.

During my time in Oman, life at home was fun but depressing at the same time. My brothers and I slept in one room and would play with our PlayStation together during the afternoons. My middle brother and I used to go down to the supermarket to buy Omani chips. During the late afternoons, my brothers would gather up and turn against me (as their ages were closer than mine). It was kind of sad but it was funny as well, like, they would lock doors and play alone without me.

I remember some good memories in Muscat, like Qurum center. It was a nice beach area with stones, spas, Jacuzzis and so on. I even remember thieves. We got robbed there. We went out to go shopping one day and realized that our car mirror was taken. We went back home and looked at every car’s mirror to match ours with it. We found one that had our car mirror (it was a different type of car that used one of our mirrors and we figured that because ours had some writings on it which were from the company) so we took it back from them. What was really funny was that the people who stole it were our neighbors and were watching from the window that we were the halal thieves, stealing our good back haha.


Age_7 (2001-2002)

At age seven, in the year of 2001, my dad got an offer to work in the UAE and so we went there. I was happy at that time because I had a better life experience in the Arabian culture. I felt like I belonged there. Everything was so simple, cheap, and calm. The weather was quite hot for me, but it was very good compared to the cold weather that we had back in New Zealand. Once we arrived to our new home in the UAE, I got my own room which was in front of a nice playground that was right in front of our home. I used to wake up at 6 AM in the morning to play there. I used to use small cars, toy soldiers, and would dig roads with mud by mixing water and sand. I used to also build castles and play with other kids.

At this time, I went to grade one again but I failed the year in that school. This was a very devastating moment in my life. I felt so bad because I repeated grade one for three times, once in New Zealand and twice in UAE. I was a year late and they taught students in an advanced setting of mathematics to which I had no idea of since the teachings in New Zealand consisted of entertainment settings rather than learning. So, the school decided that I repeat grade one the next year and so I did.

I was in a school called Sharjah American International School and the only reason why I went to it was because my brothers did. I hated it. My brother and I decided to go to a different school directly after I failed the year. On the next academic year, my brother and I decided to change schools to Wesgreen International School of Sharjah. I was happy at this school. Everyone was welcoming and friendly. I made some really nice friends there and I wonder where they’d be today but I hope they’re safe and blessed. I spent two years in this school and Elhamdulillah everything went well.

Also, at this age, I felt really lonely. I would see people playing outside together and I was too shy to join them. The reason why I felt so was because they seemed very confident. I hated to feel rejected and I intended not to give things a try, therefore, I was not able to communicate and become friends with them however, we did become friends eventually. I still remember that it was really hard to communicate with them because their first language was Arabic while my Arabic dialect was completely different from theirs which made me unable to talk to them. They did seem welcoming and friendly. I was so lonely at most of the times though, and I would end up sleeping on the pavement right in front of my home at times. This was very weird because I liked it. It was too warm and it felt good to sleep on. I wonder what others thought of me after seeing me lol.


Age_9 (2003-2004)

Once I reached grade three, my brother decided to go back to Sharjah International School of Sharjah which influenced me to decide to go back with him as well, although I didn’t want to. I used to be very lonely at school. During my break time, I would sleep under a tree and wake up from my nap whenever the school bell rung.  I remember trying my very best to make friends in that school but it was very difficult for me as most of the students were not the ideal people that I would choose to spend my time with.

In that school, the teachers didn’t like me very much. I remember that my teacher used to treat me very badly. She used to tell me that I would get a ‘big fat zero’ on my exam paper. She also smelt terrible because she would smoke a lot, even on school grounds. There was this one incident when she left the classroom and the students and I saw her smoking from the window which had unfortunately, influenced some of the students in my class to smoke as well.

At that time, it was quite difficult for me to understand subjects in education since I never had any idea of what was going on in school. I wasn’t able to read, write, or perform the simple mathematical functions. I was also getting insulted, mistreated, and having my reputation degraded during my time at that school which was a tough period in my life but I accepted it that way. I still hated school very much. I used to cry every morning because I didn’t want to go to it. I would sleep at 2 AM from the fear of going to school because it was just so hard.

At this age, I started to become friends with the neighbors that were in my neighborhood and I remember having a wonderful time with them. One of my best friends was called Yasmine; she was a Canadian-Egyptian girl, whose brother was friends with my brother. The time we spent when in each other’s’ company was amazing. I remember going to Dream-land, a water park in Sharjah, with her and her family. She was a really sweet girl and we had a lot of fun doing almost everything together. A weird fact is that she inspired me to learn how to sew bracelets. I am aware that this is some sort of a girly hobby but until this day, if I had 4 ropes, I might still be able to do a bracelet or even a necklace.

I remember that I was a somewhat bully back then as well. I used to be very mean, especially when my friends would come and knock or ring the doorbell at a time when I wouldn’t feel like going out. There was this one time when Yasmine was wearing skates and knocked on my door. I was so angry at that time which led me to push her off the steps once I opened my door. She started crying and honestly, I feel really bad right now looking back at those days. It’s a good thing that we still ended up remaining good friends in the end.

I had another friend called Munawar; he was an Australian-Bengali. He inspired me to not differentiate between one another. He didn’t do so by words, but by actions. I was so closely tied to him as we had a very strong friendship. I used to spend every hour of the day at his house. We would spend a lot of our time playing with the piano, playing games on his computer or PlayStation, and share each other’s home food. We used to ride our bicycles out for hours which helped me into becoming a professional when dealing with bicycles. For instance, if a situation occurred to which the tires became detached from the bicycle, I would know how to handle it.

Another friend of mine was called Omar, he was a Belgian-Palestinian, and was considered as one of the closest of friends that I ever had in the past. I remember that we used to wake up early in the morning at around 6 AM to go and play out in the park. We used to dig up holes from sand and made tracks for our little toy cars. We were really friendly with each other. He would invite me to his house to play on his computer or watch Tarzan. I also invited my friends to my house all the time, especially when it was my birthday, back when I used to celebrate it.

We were good friends until one day, we got in a fight. I don’t really remember what exactly happened but Omar started throwing heavy rocks at me while I was on my bicycle. After that incident, we stopped talking. I remember days after that fight, I was riding my bicycle on the pavement near all the houses in my neighborhood. To my surprise, I hear his father shouting at me, threatening that he’d hurt me if he ever saw me riding my bicycle near his home again.

Another day came when I had accidentally scratched his father’s car from length to length by my bicycle’s side bars. My intention was to attempt to park my bike near to his car. I wasn’t able to leave my house for three days after that incident because I was scared and I think his family figured out that I was the cause of the damage to his car. Everyone assumed that I had done it and it was true. In the end, nothing happened between me, Omar and his father, and his father eventually fixed it.

I also remember that one of our neighbors next door was an old woman. I think she was a Palestinian. Whenever she would come back from shopping, she would always need help in carrying her shopping bags from the car to her house and I would always volunteer to do so.

She used to give me a treat whenever I helped her. I loved her with all my heart until one day, the news broke down to all of us that she had passed away. I remember being really upset and since this incident, I have realized that even the best of people can die. May God make her rest in peace.

At this age, I also experienced one of the scariest of incidents that has ever happened to me in my entire life. It was when I travelled to Switzerland with my parents to enjoy our summer break. My brothers didn’t come with us as they had university and other errands to attend to. Basically, I ended up getting lost on our very first day. I will explain in depth of how this all occurred.

When it was 6:00 PM, my parents and I were on a double-deck train going from Zurich to Bern. It was a 3-hour journey and our estimated time to reach Bern was at 9:00 PM. I was extremely tired after having such an enjoyable day and asked my parents if they could wake me up if I decided to take a nap until we reached our destination as I did not want to be forgotten on the train. They both laughed and reassured me that they would wake me up if I took a nap, and so I did.

I had a nightmare of me going into a different train after arriving because I was following someone who I thought looked like my dad but actually wasn’t. I then realized once I entered the train that he wasn’t my dad and grew terrified. I tried to pull this red bar to open the doors again but wasn’t able to reach it because I was too short. I thought all this was a dream but in reality, I was sleepwalking and dreaming of a moment that actually happened in my life.

Suddenly, everything disappeared as if I was still sleeping. Later on, I woke up in the train and realized that it was a single-deck train and I wasn’t able to find neither of my parents. I was so scared, I even ended up jumping off from two train parts (meaning, I had to go out of a door while the train was moving in order to reach the other). I toured the whole train and I still couldn’t find them. I remember seeing an old woman on the train and telling her that my parents were lost and asked if she could help me. I cried so much until I ended up vomiting from fear. Whenever I took a breath, I felt like a large amount of cold, minty oxygen was going through my lungs.

The woman intended to help me and so, she told the train captain. The train captains in Switzerland are somewhat close to being police officers and they have some extent to have some sort of authority. Once the train captain was informed of the issue, he contacted the police. I told the train captain that I was traveling from Zurich to Bern and he told me that this train was going from Bern to Zurich. I then started to understand the story much better and figured out that the dream I had, was real. I had already reached Bern as intended but ended up going on a train which led to Zurich while sleepwalking.

The train captain told me that once they drop everyone down in Zurich, he would take me back to Bern. He was so sweet that he calmed me down by giving me free train tickets. He even offered a drink to me but I rejected it as it something that I didn’t recognize. I know you’re a bit confused as to why I have rejected it. I’ve only done so because on our way back to Bern; we stopped in some city where the captain met other captains at this bar/café and that’s when he offered that colorful drink to me of which I wasn’t sure of had contained.

After that, we continued our journey to Bern and it was very awkward being all alone with the captain on the train. When we finally arrived, there was a crowd of people waiting in front of the train as if I was some celebrity coming out of it. My parents and a female cop were the first ones I saw. Just when I left the train, I jumped into cuddling my mum and it felt so good. At 12:00 AM, the cop took us all together to the hotel and stayed with us until we all arrived safely.

My parents on the other hand, had a devastating time looking for me and contacting as much people as they could while they were in the train station. They left their bags on the floor to look for me and didn’t leave them to be attended to. They remembered our baggage once the policewoman asked about it after an hour of our arrival. Thankfully, our baggage was still there when we arrived to the train station. The policewoman was shocked as the risk of having unattended property stolen was high since there were a lot of thieves. My mother told me that she saw a Moroccan guy who she asked if she was ever going to find me again and he said that it was very hard for that to happen. I would’ve eventually, non-voluntarily, joined the SWISS mafia for sure.

Another frightening event happened in Switzerland but it wasn’t as scary as the train station incident. In this event, I saw a church while we were looking for a bus to take us above the mountain to go back to our hotel. At that time, I thought that we would find information if I went upstairs to where the church was, and so we did. I went upstairs first and to my surprise, I saw around a thousand of graveyards and got so scared. I then ran downstairs as quickly as I could.

When I started grade four at the age of 10, I asked my mother if she could enter the class with me so that she could meet the teacher and establish a good relationship with her so that everything could go well for me that year. Well, it didn’t go as well as I had planned for it to be. I thought she’d be a great teacher until I saw how angry she could get at times. This teacher hated me so much due to my inability of understanding the concepts which were taught in class which caused her to treat me badly. I might sound stupid to all of you, but I was just different from everyone else. Life was very difficult and depressing during those stages of my life back then but I kept continuing on with life, believing that something better was there for me. The sad thing was that, both of those teachers were friends, and I am sure that they talked about me.

As previously mentioned; I was very lonely and spent my time sleeping under a tree. I then became friends with someone who was weird like me, it was surprising. I used to sell my homemade sandwiches to students for 10 DHS and would use that money to buy more food from the school’s cafeteria. Sometimes I didn’t have enough money to buy juices from the vending machine which required coins to be put in. One day, my friend discovered that the coins drop down from the machine after being inserted, so we used them to get free drinks. I know the act itself is unethical but it was funny to me since I was a child.


Age_11 (2005-2006)

When I turned 11, life got difficult. This was because I have looked for many schools to transfer to since my brother graduated and I wanted a school which was less strict for me to attend. I was a very sensitive person at the time by the way. I used to get scared quite often due to having to sleep early only to wake up to another school day in the morning. I was lacking in school. I used to sleep at around 2 or 3:00 AM and wake up at 6:00 AM for school. It was a very difficult time in my life, especially since I didn’t want to go to school because I would be insulted by teachers.

I transferred to more than 12 schools in total of my primary and secondary school timeline. When I was 11 years old; I decided to go to a school called, Choeifat International School of Sharjah. The only reason why I wanted to go to that school was because two of my neighbors went to it and I thought that we would have a great time together. Well, enrolling to that school wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. This school was stricter than Sharjah American International School and was far worse than it as well. On the first day of school, I was forced to have a few language exams and you might have thought that it would be easy, right? Well, not really. I had to take exams in English, Arabic, and either French or Spanish. It was crazy. I really didn’t know what to write in Arabic or French as I was weak in both languages.

Knowing how strict the school was made me hate it so much. The duration of the school was from around 7 AM to 5 PM every day, 6 days a week. I remember that right behind the school was a graveyard. That made me only handle a week of being in that school after begging my parents to transfer me to another as I was extremely afraid of graveyards at the time. Knowing that a graveyard was in my view made me uncomfortable, especially when I needed to eat. I used to believe that if a breeze of wind from a graveyard came on my food and I ate it, I’d probably die.

Life became much better after transferring. This was because a new school which was closer to my house had just started operating and it was a school that I fitted in perfectly. It was called, Australian International School of Sharjah. As previously mentioned, I dealt with learning through being entertained early on when I had first joined school back in New Zealand and preferred it that way over having to be forced to learn something. When transferring to this school, I had the opportunity to return to learning as I have done so in New Zealand since the school was based under an Australian curriculum. I loved this school very much and one of my best moments of my life was in that school.

When I was 12 years old, I started to pray. The way I started to pray is very interesting. I hope that this inspires you to realize how important prayer actually is. Back when I got lost in Switzerland, I had a religious necklace on my neck which engraved ‘ALLAH’ on it and since then, I had the belief that God was always going to help me. That was the beginning of my start of my religious life. I was feeling quite lost one day and had a really strong feeling of fear inside of me. I was scared because it was late at night and I wasn’t able to sleep and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to wake up for school the next morning. I felt this feeling daily during the time that I have attended school and it annoyed me very much and scared me as well.

That day, I went to my father and I told him of how I felt. His advice was the best suggestion that I have ever received in my entire life. He told me to pray and said that it would make me feel much better. At that time, I knew how to pray due to Friday prayers but I wasn't a practicing Muslim at all. Later on, I prayed all my day prayers and I was able to sleep comfortably knowing that God was always with me. I then started praying all of my night prayers and that made me feel even better. I only stopped praying when I used to travel on vacation, having the excuse that I wouldn’t have the time and that I would be busy all day in order to have fun instead. After a while, I got rid of that awful habit of mine. I’ve always felt quite confused about life by not knowing its true purpose until I started becoming religious.

At this age, I also got my first phone which was one of those Nokias’ that would break the ground rather than the new ones that we have today that would become broken by the ground. I got a phone by force because of the incident that occurred back in Switzerland. Anyhow, I was really happy in my new school and made some great friends there. I also faced some challenges in this age as well. As a Muslim male, we need to be circumcised due to hygienic matters and the first time I got circumcised was in Yemen at birth, but by a Jew. As I got older, I realized that I wasn't circumcised properly and needed another operation which I ended up doing immediately later on. It was a very difficult moment of my life because it was very painful but thank God, I managed to do it at that time.


Age 13 (2007-2008)

When I was 13 years old, life got a little harder. I became a teenager and I started doing things that I wasn't supposed to be doing. I had an enormous crush on a girl in school and she was a Canadian-Palestinian. It was quite an embarrassment honestly because at that time, no one ever loved me and I wasn't expecting it anyways. I was too chubby and no one ever saw me more than just a friend. I was also lost at that time because as I was not really religious. What made me upset was that I looked up to her though she made fun of me. She told all her friends whom were both boys and girls, that I liked her. When I passed by them one day, they all made fun of me. Nowadays, the same girl gives me more respect than ever before but the values I once gave her are gone from my side. I just see her as a friend.

Looking back at it today, I am actually very thankful of whatever happened. I’m glad that I still had that innocent heart of a child in me which wanted to stay white, clean, and pure. God blessed me with so much that He didn't let me do anything that I would regret later on and that girl became a good friend of mine. A lesson that I learnt from this is that you should always treat people in the best manner of good that you could because showing off can lead you to degraded below their level one day and they would become the one you are inspired by rather than the opposite of the situation, as it should be.

At this age, depression was involved in my life since I grew into the beginning of my teenage years. The problem is, when you face a difficulty that's not easy to handle or attack, that condition can stay with you for a long time, especially if you pick it up at a young age. I have OCD and depression but I am who I am. God created me and I trust God. That's basically the only reason as to why I'm still alive, because of God, otherwise I would've not continued on with my life a long time ago. My religion has saved me from many things and you may not realize it but; the closer you become to God, the stronger the belief of you having a better life ahead of you is which would lead to you experiencing the ultimate joy of all of the world's worthiness.

When I was a child, it was challenging for me to notice the differences between right and wrong as everyone seemed comfortable with performing many sinful acts which had involved losing one’s virginity. Sometimes you think that something is good for you while it is actually bad for you and vice versa. A lot of people don't like to hear that you're still a virgin and would laugh at you for being so, making you believe that you should be ashamed of yourself. But not at all, in fact, they are actually already ashamed of themselves for losing theirs! No one in this world would want to be labeled as a player, cheater, or even a gold digger and the majority of people won’t even admit that they are, even if they are!

It's just as same as being drug dealer who won't tell custom securities who the leader of a particular business transaction was or a person who smokes cigarettes and would try their very best to convince others that cigarettes are great and that they should try it. They only wish that they could try it in order to make them become addicted to them. They already know that it is bad for them but their intention is for them to suffer as they have because they're selfish, greedy, and love themselves too much that they try to inspire others by doing wrong in order to make them feel less guilty of their themselves. Just because a majority of people indulge on a certain sin doesn't mean that this sin is permitted. Alcohol, smoking, and so on is dangerous for you and all of those things can make you end up in hell. Therefore, you should reconsider your choices and think twice before committing something, and I tell you truthfully with full honestly just for the sake of yourself, not mine.


Age_15 (2009-2010)

At this age, I was really spoiled. I didn't really like the life in UAE since I was raised in New Zealand and I just wanted to go back as soon as possible. I used to pray to God every day to go back to New Zealand but I didn't realize what I had. I had a great life in UAE, a life everyone would have wished for. I lived in a beautiful home which was in the middle of the UAE and acted as an easy means to visit anywhere else due to that. I used to travel a lot between Sharjah and RAK because my mother worked in Sharjah and my father worked in RAK. I used to live in Sharjah at first but then my father changed his job so we moved to RAK. As previously mentioned, I really did love my school so I travelled with my mother every day to meet the satisfaction of having to go to Sharjah and visit.

I was very spoiled and rude to people at this age, though I was slowly changing for the better. I was somewhat a bully who used to lock people in toilets early in the morning for the fun of it but it was hurtful after I started caring for others a lot. I don't know how I started to have feelings towards others but I guess it was by the impact religion had given me and feeling of empathy that I had towards others. I became close friends with a lot of Emiratis during my time there. I also had a small group of friends. Their names were Abdulla and Hani. Abdulla was from the UAE and Hani was from Iraq. I had the option to join a bigger group but they were much less practicing Muslims in comparison to my group of friends. Although they had more fun by going to different places, I didn’t feel right realizing that they used to hang out with girls and end up doing major sins.

I guess I was blessed from the beginning as I stayed innocent and remained pure. Even when I was asked by many girls to be their boyfriend, I rejected each and every one of them. It was funny because they ended up telling me that I was gay but I was actually proud of myself because I stayed true to never wanting to play with a girls’ heart or hurt myself.

I now want to be with someone who I'm serious about and to get married with in the future. What's the purpose of sharing something special with multiple people? It won't be special if everyone had the chance to use you but you know what's beautiful about this life? That we still have a chance. There are people who think that it it’s too late to change, to become a better person or to have the chance to be used by a person. The truth is, they aren't actually late because this life hasn't ended yet since this is nothing but a test from God.

If you are willing to change, you sure could but only if you believe in yourself. Don't let anything tell you that you can't change or are unable stop a bad habit because if you really have the intention to change, with all your heart, you could. God helps the one who helps themselves in something, that's part of our prayers. If you pray to pass an exam, you should study for it. And as you try your best to pass that exam by studying, God will do whatever He can to make it easier for you. Don't worry about those who are planning to cheat or who have the previous version of the exam paper from the same professor. There could be an incident where God helps you by making that professor change the version of the exam. God knows everything that's happening so why are you afraid if you know that God knows and is with you on everything since you satisfy God by doing what He wants you to do?

I remember being so in love with someone which led me to create a fake account on Facebook as a fake girlfriend. The thought of it all just ran through my mind and I left the idea once I realized that it wouldn’t work out as it would be quite difficult for me. However, there was this girl online who really loved me and thought that nothing could go wrong by me calling her a ‘girlfriend’. She was Turkish and was really kind to me. I wasn't as religious as I am now which is why I accepted her into my life that way and just for a while, everything was fine. It’s honestly embarrassing for me to explain this story; not that I did anything wrong, but the ending of it all didn’t go too well. I didn't really like her that much at first but as we kept on chatting, the interest grew. She was from my mother's country so I thought that it would be okay for me to carry on so I stayed with her for 2.3 years from the 28th of August, 2010 to the 4th of May, 2012 until she left by cheating on me. I felt really bad for around 2 years and moved on after a while.

In end of 2009, I had enough of being shy and embarrassed from everyone else. I knew that I was weird compared to others and thought to myself that being weird meant that I was special. Yes, I know I do and think differently than others and sometimes have personal life problems and OCD issues as well but I'm special because I'm myself and no one can ever be like me. I don't want to brag about this and call myself special. Everyone else is just normal and is special in their own ways but I noticed that I am a little bit different than others are. The majority of people to me are weird and they would see me weird as well but among them, they'd be calling each other normal. A lot of people say being weird makes you interesting, less boring and more special while normal people are just boring because you know what is expected of them.

It's not that easy to deal with people who are different than you. Majority of the people I knew would seem happy towards each other and would ignore me for being weird, that's what I’ve noticed. The problem I saw was that people like me are always silent and are too scared to express their feelings and thoughts because they think others won't accept them. Let me tell you, a lot won't accept you but those who do, will really value you and take everything you say into deep consideration. You're special by being you and you can change the world if you wanted to, but you have to take action. One of the very first steps into taking action in this regard is to stop being shy!

I remember telling my friend Abdulla that I wanted to go on the next talent show at school and said that I didn't know how I was going to able to manage it as I never put careful into it but I was just sick of being shy and being treated like a nobody to those whom I’ve cared about the most. Nowadays, you might notice that I am kind of famous online and that I am not shy at all but it was never easy to reach this place. I wasn't born like this. I just asked God to help me and I worked my way through it. That's how I want you to be to those who believe are like me in this regard.

My first talent show was very embarrassing. My friend decided that we’d sing, ‘We will rock you’ and I was shaking with a low voice while performing it that people were in shock. This experience was actually great for me as I went through the worse that I could so that I could build my confidence.

I started my own YouTube channel on the 8th of June 2010 and sung covers of songs by artists such as Justin Bieber and Jay Sean. A lot of people made fun of me at school after finding out that I was singing such covers, and they too, were embarrassing. But you know what's good? I dealt with it. I went through the hate and believed in myself. Looking back at it now, I would say I was nothing compared to a singer.

I was very weird. I used to always see the number ‘23’ multiple times in a day and would guess the time correctly most of the time. I don't believe in zodiac signs due to religious purposes but my birthdate has 2 zodiac signs - Libra and Scorpio. I have very strong interests in maps, geography, time zones, airplanes, and so on.

This was also the year where I had most of my fights in. I had so many fights in the past though I was innocent but I would like to keep them personal. Most of my fights that I had in this year were due to one person in particular and he was the eldest and the biggest at this school. This person was an American-Jordanian that was close friends with an American. At that time, I was still feeling insecure of myself due to my origins which lead to massive problems worldwide. Iraq was known as a bad country towards everyone at that time and everyone hated it, even Muslims. The problem is that people would judge you based on your country of origin, no matter what, even if you never lived there.

This American knew me since primary school and made fun of me ever since. I always kept quiet. One day, he sent me a message on Facebook calling me a terrorist and made fun of Islam. His message annoyed me so I responded to him saying that I will speak with him in person the next day. Upon receiving my response, he told me to prepare for a fight and I responded that I would never start a fight as I am not that type of person, I’d rather end it. The next day, he came to school demanding for a fight and I told him that I’d rather end than start. Suddenly, the other bully appeared out of nowhere and joined him against me, regardless of being aware of the situation. The bully approached me and pushed me towards the desks of the classroom which brought everyone’s attention towards the scene.

Luckily, I learnt how to box from my brother in the Martial Arts Club at his university. I thought to myself that if he pushes me one more time, I’m going to swing at him and it happened. He froze for about 5 seconds and I should’ve knocked him out at that time but I was worried about hurting him until he punched me back and that made me deaf for 5 hours. We didn’t talk to each other after that incident but he kept causing a lot of problems. There was a girl at school that he used to pick on and I went to help her because I hated seeing girls getting hurt from guys. I just couldn’t handle it because no matter what that girl was to him, she was crying. I went and we ended up having a fight again. I was so annoyed that I informed my brothers regarding this issue.

This boy lived next to my house at the time and once I told my brothers about him, they got up and drove to his house. They spoke to his father and settled things in a good manner instead of fighting about the issue. After that, we never got close to fighting at all. My brothers were only in the UAE for a vacation, they normally were in New Zealand. After a while, we finally travelled back to New Zealand and that was when I felt a strong sense of regret. There were no halal places to eat at, was really cold at most times, couldn’t hear the athan, and always heard music everywhere.

I first went to Dunedin, which is the city of education and the city of universities. I was enjoying my time there at first. I remember that in Ramadan I'd go out at around Asr time to go and walk in the gardens near my home. This is one of my favourite moments in my life so far because it's memorable. I wish that I could take my future wife there one day and tell her about all of the memories that I have there. I used to go above this mountain and it was like a different world up there. It had different types of colored flowers which I used to enjoy the smell of. I used to go up there to pray and would go down to have Iftar. It used to take around an hour to reach the top.

On other days; I would record covers. At that time, I had no other place to record music besides the car. I literally used to take my laptop and mic to the car and start recording, blocking myself inside with no wind at all, and it was hot. I changed from R&B to hip hop because I noticed that I wasn’t good at R&B. I used to listen to a lot of 2Pac’s music and I was inspired by him. I learnt a few of his songs and then decided to write my own. Later on, I successfully succeeded within recording hip hop music. I released a lot of my own songs on YouTube and became popular with around 3,000 views on my first one. At first, I didn’t know how to speak American English, only British and it was a struggle because I really wanted to rap like 2Pac. I decided to look for the different words and learn the dialect myself. For instance, I changed, ‘I’m going to’ to ‘I’m gonna’ and ‘I want to’ to ‘I wanna’ and so on. By time, I noticed that I had an American accent rather than a British one.

I was also influenced to learn how to dribble with a ball by my friend, Hani. I used to go to a garden on days where I wasn’t in a good mood to go up the mountain. I'd stay down and try to dribble the ball for hours. I used to watch the people who pass by every day and sometimes I’d see new and old faces. I started making friends that way. I actually started meeting new people and started to have time to play some football with them, which was pretty exciting. After all that; in end of 2010, I moved to a different city in New Zealand called Wellington. I enjoyed the opportunity of activities there more than the ones in Dunedin, because it was the capital city but on the other hand, things were quite tough. I noticed that people who originate from Wellington were very difficult to deal with.

Overall, Wellington was a much bigger city and so, the bigger the city you live in, the more problems are caused, naturally. I ended up joining a public school which was quite fun. Public schools in New Zealand are only for the citizens of New Zealand, whilst private schools were for everyone. The only reason why I didn't go to a private school was because I didn't want to learn Christianity as I am not a Christian. On the other hand, they were quite religious by following a segregated system between girls and boys.

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