Saturday, October 18, 2014

Missed that Voice

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Write On


can see every bit of stillness or existence… An element to inspire us to write... What hold us is ourselves… So carry on writing for  a reason each thing is a word that can create the beginning of a verse… Write  on my soul… Today no one hear you.. But maybe one person you might inspire... That you move them beyond you can imagine ..

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

~Managing with a Hug~


By: Nasra Al Adawi 

It a study (art) and it’s a science… countless articles talk about the art of managing people. However, what resonated in me was a event held by The Achievement Centre: Lunch and Learn where they hosted Oman LNG CEO, Harib Al Kittani. He simply talked about managing people in a simplest way. In a nut shell he advocated using  human touch.

Harib Al Kittani, used a metaphor that I will always remember which is hug or rather  embrace. He said embrace your people, your client, your community and his list went on and on . The emphasis was irrespective of  ones managing style one has to remember managing people does not work from being in your office it’s about reaching out to people. Human touch is a key element which  begins caring about your people in a genuine way, and it’s  about communicate,  communicate and communicate.

So what is Harib Al Kittani view of his hugging tips:
1-      Hug your people
As a manager, keep your door open for those who want to reach you. Keep constant communication with your people and be constantly engaged with them.  For those who fall behind, we hold them through their falls and understand their stumbles and give them a hand so they can stand again to join the team in the race.

2-      Hug your customer
Only when one get close to customer.. it enables you to reach out to them and serve them better. Customers are people and it takes another human to make them feel special…Human element is what it takes to make the difference

3-      Hug your supplier
Caring for suppliers is another factor that needs to be taken highly. It’s not a vendor relationship its partnership to encourage them to serve you better. It’s not about just receiving supplies from them but also how to deliver our promises to them. Rewarding efficient suppliers, through timely paying their dues will encourage them to want to partner with you more.

4-      Hug your community
It’s essential that hugging need to be extended to the community where live in. Love is never selfish, it needs to spread to the maximum reach. The best way is to give back to community through corporate social responsibly for organization and as a leader of an organization. Best way is to set example 

A hug is a simple human formula that can be applied in different way that suit one’s individual style. If you are managing people, think how your hugging human touch can be unique to you to positively impact the organization that you are working in.
It worked for Harib Al Kittani, because his charming leadership style made him closer to his people and empowered him to create a high performance organization.  Al Kittani contributes the idea of embracing a  hugging style to Jack Mitchell, an author of Hug Your People: The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire, and Recognize Your Employees and Achieve Remarkable Results.
What a thought provoking idea?! Just think on broader sense how a hug can be applied a bit in your individual life.  As Jack Mitchell stated  "A hug is not just a physical embrace. It can be different things for different people at different times. "
Go ahead and do it and it will surely eliminate the communication barriers and pave the way to the power of trust. Thank you Harib for such an empowering lesson.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Unforgettable Woman

The challenge began for me.. “how would I ever   write about women with cancer”… to reflect their life in living beyond cancer. In 2002, I was just beginner poet, who had just collection of poetry for children touched by cancer.
I was in an ambiguous situation ….. I was tasked to portray stories of Omani women conquered cancer. For me cancer was about loosing my Dad and poetry was a therapy to overcome my grief of losing my father.
I thought it is easy, collection of poem. Donate them to Oman Cancer group that was back in 2003. My task was over, the group will make a book and proceeds will be a contribution for the group. However the people of behind the group they worked for a cause to spread cancer awareness and educate people about cancer. They did this passionately and I guess they wanted me to truly learn and it was not just making about. It was making the difference in others.
I was set to a journey to find out more about breast cancer and how it changes women life ..Omani women..Their stories were essential to inspire others who are battling cancer. There I was heading to Al Khodh to one of the ladies to capture her story …Naela Al Marhoobi.. Her house had a sense of serenity, and there I was seated near the window. When she came greeted me in a smile, had radiant glow on her face.
I was nervous, I thought to myself this is easy. What’s so difficult in taking a story, I planned that I will approach it in telling her my side of story and how I understand her and connect with her through my loss.. my father and what cancer means to me.
As Naela narrated her story, on the  first instance to receive the news that she has cancer. She told the Doctor “Al Hamdullillah (Thank God)”. The doctor was foreign doctor so he called a nurse to explain to her thinking that she did not understand and she replied back “ Al Humdilliah”. Al Humiddliilah for good and for the calamity she explained to the doctor. The same happened when she arrived home to receive a call from her husband on how the check up went. She replied “ Al Humdilliah”, when he arrived home he started to panic when she broke the whole news to him. For her it was Al Hudllilah the acceptance of whatever Allah gave her whether good or bad news. Her faith and believe was the strength in coping and over coming cancer.   She continued to tell me all about her journey to be a survivor, so calm and with no single tear. As I was noting down, I started breaking down and cried. I could not take it, she was beautiful person having a mountain of faith.
I will not forget as she told about chemo and its effect. I could still imagine her standing there in the bathroom shaving her head due to chemo. Her 9 years old daughter came in and asked “why Mama you are shaving your”. Naela explained to her and without a word her daughter started to help. It was magical to hear her daughter telling her how beautiful she was being bold.
After a year I accomplished printing the book, unfortunately, Naela was admitted in hospital, another battle with cancer. I went to see her , I was like an old friend and was proud of me that I was able to accomplish.
Togather with her husband ..she battled cancer furiously and was able to see her first son get married.  With another battle with cancer, we lost Naela . Al Humdillah for I was lucky enough to meet her as she touched me and taught me in no matter how much ones calamity. Take it to Allah, your path will be smooth.
Last year, in middle of business meeting I was stopped by a young man. Who asked me if I was the same person who wrote a book on cancer. It happened to be her son , he asked for a copy of the book. After 10 years, I step in to the same house sat next to the window facing two glowing faces, Naela son and daughter and there I was telling how their mother was to me.   “Unforgettable Woman”
Though I barely knew her she was symbol of strength and I hope those who read her story will be inspired just like me.
Naela was among people who inspired me to write poem on cancer   titled So You are

So You are the famous Cancer…
You came in without invitation
Invaded my life without my permission
All this time your were invisible from my sight
Now you have declared your existence-giving me a fright
Expecting me to fall……
Without even fighting or having any role
Changed the process of my life in a storm
I cannot let you take over my body-my home
I just can not live in fear……
You fill me with pain that I can not steer
So much pain to endure…..
I will prevail beyond any strike- never falter
I'm a survivor

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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Radiant



A Light within you 
Shimmering pale 
If it happens 
To touch others
You Twinkle 
Radiantly 



Nasra Al Adawi 2014 

Monday, July 07, 2014

~Adnan~


Have you ever been handed over a baby and was given a task to take care of it at young age. Well 20 for me was young age and there I was an assistant teacher in Al Noor Centre for children with Disability.

There he was glittering eyes angelic face , tiny body with of weight of a leaf. So tiny in size, his body age was 1 year child. He was 7 years old. That is Adnan when he arrived the first time at school a child with cerebral palsy. He was born with a physical disability, all I knew back then Adnan has physical disability that you could not even put him in a wheelchair. His bone were so stiff and the first day with his posture he was kept on mattress as at the time no special chair was available for him.

I thought to myself when I saw him what can we do with Adnan yes it was a special class for children of various disability but we had most the children where mental disability. Most of the kids were physically able kids who go out and play. Adanan we could not put him in wheel chair. He also could not be tested on the level of his mental disability. Adnan came from a very modest Pakistani family and it was first time ever for him to be sent to special school.

His mother insisted that Adanan needs to be accepted in school, she insisted that he is far off better than any child in the class  in terms of mental alertness.  We as teachers we had doubts what can be done with child who do not have no sort of communication. However out of persistence of his mother Adan was accepted for few week in the class.
First day, he was only approached to be taken care in terms of food, changed his diapers.  Then 2nd day we had a visit of physiotherapist. There was a new door opened, Adan can have a special chair looks like baby car chair that can be used during class.  Adnan will able to participate in class.    3 days the mother came, she insisted that Adnan communicate through his eyes, she pleaded us to speak to him and watch his eyes.      
That was a miracle for me, Adnan was able to talk to us through his eyes and mouth. He does not produce any sort of sound but he uses his eyes to say no and open his mouth to say yes. That had opened many doors to work with him and with the chair he was so happy to take part even as little as possible.

The best moment for me with Adnan during first day in Rmadhan with Adnan with us, there his food was packed for him as usual. Adan on break time not his usual self refused to eat his food. No one knew why the reason, then out of curiosity I asked him if he is fasting and amazingly the answer was yes..

I’m wondering where is Adnan now, but wherever he is: Thank you Adnan you had taught me best lessons of life. True happiness, begin with just little things, as child you were aware others are playing and you are not able to take part but still you had great smile by just being there to watch other kids play. Thank you for your radiant smile, you were my greatest role model for reminding me that whatever bad it is I can keep on smiling…  


Nasra Al Adawi 2014 

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Clenched

The pain is tangled
Clenched so tight
Releasing is a dream
This pain resists
Dwelling within pettiness
Yet to unlet go
Takes hands of your soul
To safely untie
What once has been forgotten
Simple Happiness

When Literature Heals: Nasra Al Adawi’s

Book Review When Literature Heals: Nasra Al Adawi’s Brave Faces Nasra Al Adawi, Brave Faces: The Daring Stand Against Cancer. Muscat: Oman Printers, 2007. Unlike many writers who define literary creativity as a mere outlet for détente and self-indulgence, or perhaps an escape from the self and its unbearable limitations and frustrations, Nasra Al Adawi, an emerging poet from the Sultanate of Oman, can be confidently ranked among engaged writers who use their literary talent as a vehicle for altruistic expression and as an effective inspirational conduit for reaching out to those who need writing for its healing and “debrutalizing” power. She conceives of the act of writing as complementary therapy, by no means a substitute for mainstream medical treatment—a healing force that should not be ignored in dealing particularly with cancer patients. Al Adawi’s Brave Faces: The Daring Stand Against Cancer is a welcome addition to a literature that transcends generic fixity and the clichés of academic exigency, embracing universal values which cancer patients share irrespective of their geographical, ideological, cultural, and linguistic differences. In addition to its remarkable and commanding poetical sensibility, Al Adawi’s work proves that writing is a unifying agent, a rare accomplishment in a fast disintegrating world that pays little attention to spiritual values. Despite the adversity and agony of suffering, the poet proves that writing is capable of bringing her subjects together, thus empowering them against ailment and a life fraught with angst and despair. Brave Faces is a collection of poems of survival and hope corroborated by a few prosaic statements from experts in the medical field, political figures, and cancer patients, thus reinforcing the work’s central thesis that the essence of life is both physical and spiritual. The idea of the collection is inspired by two equally significant components: the mother’s “womb and breast milk” and the faith, courage, and hope which are inextricably linked to womanhood. In achieving her aims in the book, Al Adawi is primarily helped by the fact that she is a woman writing about other women and also by her keenness and familiarity with the terrain she is exploring, i.e. the uncanny disease she is endeavoring to understand. In fact, the women she converses with in the hospitals do not merely appear as patients but rather as close friends with whom the author/visitor/healer shares values that language per se fails to articulate convincingly. As a matter of fact, the gender factor, notwithstanding its sensitivity and ideological dimensions in the overall context of writing, does really matter here as Al Adawi explores the relationship between femininity and pain. One should also note the cohesive and smooth interplay of gender and language in the poems at the level of diction and the metaphorical associations of words. For instance, in the poem “Bosom Buddies” Rebecca Musi, a South African breast cancer survivor, resorts to an apostrophic feat to depict how the sufferer comes to terms with the disease, eventually becoming more resilient: Breast cancer you have caused me to fight and flight Breast cancer you clouded my vision with your venom Breast cancer you have turned me from hero to zero Breast cancer you took away my courage and gave me confusion But now no more, no more The Bosom Buddies Chuchumakgala stopped and picked me up Bosom Buddies understands a silent cry of a woman in distress and cries with her Bosom Buddies knows how to use her smile and charm with a frightened husband or child Bosom Buddies has been through thick and thin and walked back again the same route with a friend who needs her Now I have a vision Now I am a hero Now I am courageous Now I am not afraid I have conquered Now I am a victor
In this poem, the speaker opts for a confrontational, defiant style and tone to prove her resilience and bravery in dealing with her fate. While admitting the devastating physical erosion caused by the disease, she does not allow herself to succumb to it. She has a “vision,” a powerful stimulus that makes courage and perseverance possible. Unlike ordinary people, the speaker/patient sees in physical pain a challenge that should be overcome through valor and self-assertion. Though the subject matter depicted in Brave Faces might appear grim, given the agonizing, excruciating, and stigmatizing reality of cancer and its social and cultural implications, especially in developing countries, Al Adawi’s poetry demythologizes the disease, particularly the endemic stereotypical beliefs associated with cancer among patients and society at large. In many respects, the poems help reinstate the sense of humanity to the cancer patients by recognizing their valor and stoicism and, as a token of philanthropy and compassion, by offering them “ribbons of strength”—literally and metaphorically. Visiting patients in a Tanzanian hospital, the poet felt humbled and delighted on account of their positive response to the pink ribbons she offered them. Running out of gifts, she had initially thought the pink ribbons would be inappropriate only to discover the delight and gratitude of the patients who appreciated the caring faces. Brave Faces is written in Swahili as well as in English, which helps the poet communicate with readers from East Africa and beyond, making sure her readers/subjects who are not proficient in the English language are not excluded. The Swahili version of Nyuso Jasiri: Msimamo Shupavu Dhidi Ya Saratani reinforces spontaneity as a merit in poetical composition. It can also be considered an empowerment tool and a tribute to the very women—many of whom do not master English—whose testimonies form the crux of the book. Inspiring and illuminating, these testimonies provide Al Adawi with an impetus to learn about cancer. In writing the book, she sought the advice of medical experts in the field of oncology in order to first understand the rudiments of the disease and then to corroborate her impressions and those of the brave women who inspired the author and whose conditions she witnessed in Tanzania. Moreover, she acknowledges the input of the patients themselves in the making of the collection, finding in their testimonies both grace and admiration. “Brave Faces,” she writes, “is nothing less than the collective work of many hands; and as you turn the pages of this book, know that each page represents a fingerprint of those helping hands offered so lovingly.” Immersing oneself in poetics and aesthetics should not make us oblivious to plain factuality. Al Adawi’s journey to Tanzania is both a quest for the “potion” and a desire to come to grips with the uncanny world of disease as inspired by her family experience, particularly the loss of her father to cancer: “Going back to Tanzania opened some of the old doors of agony stemming from the time of my father’s death. All this still plagues me.” The journey seems also like a homecoming for Al Adawi who is deeply rooted in Tanzania and who is lauded for having kept the country of origin “within [her] mind.” So, basically the physical journey served as a platform for the metaphorical one, i.e. the journey within. In fact, one of the poems in the collection, entitled “The Journeys,” reflects the poet’s desire to embrace the inner self, to unleash its repressed whims and constraints and eventually conquer the world from within—that which makes the smile possible and empowers the poet to “face life.” It is interesting to note that the journey motif becomes the collection’s main raison d’être. Besides reflecting the travails and painful memories associated with the undertaking, such words as “route,” “path,” and “direction” betray that sense of inexorable determination and longing of the traveler to dig and explore, to break through and demystify. After all, it is the indefatigable persistence of the poet-explorer that stimulates the patient’s stoical resistance and the yearning for life and hope. Dr. Jamal En-nehas Assistant Professor of English Department of English Language and Literature College of Arts and Social Sciences Sultan Qaboos University