Diary of a rising eagle [Archives:2003/675/Opinion]

October 9 2003

By Adam Taha
[email protected]
For Yemen Times

I wish I could go home to Yemen, to a place called Aden. I dream of it everyday, I dream of the friends I left there and I dream of so much that many will not understand in England.
Yes, there is work here, there is money if you are willing to educate yourself, work hard in your studies and then get a job. There is business here, if you have new ideas, have courage and go beyond many businessmen and women, and have integrity, respect and not lie, but be the best businessperson.
But when you walk out of your home there is no greeting of Islam. When you go to work there is no Arabic language. When you go home your brothers are busy at work or your sisters running their business or looking at their accounts. When you visit friends they are too busy watching TV or playing on Play Station.
The world is like a game here, like a race, everyone running against each other. Neighbours competing with their wealth, children and showing off with the latest number plate, with new trainers, the new TV, the new hi-fi music system.
The only place I find peace from such a world is the mosque and my home. In mosque, I pray, then I sit, staring into space for a long time, and I hear the laughter of the Yemeni children. I hear the words of my friend Khalid who I haven't seen for 19 years and I have no contact of.
I sit and wonder of my life in this country; for father walks by not giving salaam, bitter has the heart grown due to suffering and working so many years in the steel industry and maybe I am blamed for things I done as a child, which I can't remember or things that were out of my control due to family divorce.
I walk home which takes me an hour instead of walking on bus to even give the opportunity of Yemeni's giving salaam, that beautiful greeting, those beautiful words that fill my heart and soul with brotherhood, to find saddened faces, worried faces, burdened by the world's illusion. Far too busy worrying over the trap they entered through mortgages that causes interest they will have to work all their lives to pay.
I find home to enter and embrace peace; where I have thrown away my Television not because of haram or anything like that but to replace it with books on Yemen, Islamic history, the stories of the companions and the messenger of Allah Muhammad (SAW).
I make a cup of tea and it sits there while I stand in the kitchen wondering how I got here, the journey that took me away from Yemen and knowing that I have lived here for years, and still young, and to know if I went back, sadly, I wont have such money to live there but struggle, maybe starve, maybe my writing, my art, my poetry will never, ever be appreciated because its in English and I lost my mother tongue language Arabic.
I sit in the living to hold only one photograph; the only photograph of our family together. I stare at it to see none of us are together anymore. No mother, father, brothers and sisters and tears fall. Such a price has been paid to come to England for what is called 'a brighter future,' a price to pay, which I had no choice to say no to because I was so young.
Yemen? I love Yemen with all my heart. I love her people, the city, and what it gave me years ago; true love, true friendship, true family, true dreams, true community and most of all my religion called Islam that I fight for everyday, to not believe in the illusions so many fall for.
My people in Yemen; you are brave, very brave souls. Braver than I. To live in life with such struggle, to bring your children up in such hard times, to stay in Yemen, to even dream at such hard times, to believe in hope while leaders give non, to pray and hold onto Islam and Allah's rope. I wish I were as brave as you O mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters of Yemen. I give you the salaam, 'Assalaamu alaikum Wa Rahmat Allah Wa Barakatu.' Peace and the blessings and mercy of Allah are to you.
Once a young Eagle landed in England and no one taught him to fly. The day I learn to fly is the day I come back home to Yemen. My birth place, my home, my village, living with so many rising Eagles and hear the call of the prayer five times day, every day. Insha-Allah.