Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hasheem Thabeet.

Hasheem Thabeet (born Hashim Thabit Manka on February 16, 1987 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) Name is pronounced Ha-SHEEM Tha-BEET. Name in Arabic means “destroyer of evil”. Son of Mr. Thabit Manka (deceased) and Rukia Manka Hasheem Has one sister, Sham, and one brother, Akbar. After growing up as a soccer player, he began playing organized basketball when he was 15 years old.

He is the first Tanzanian-born player to be drafted by an NBA team. When first recruited from Tanzania, Thabeet was fluent in Swahili and French but knew little English.

The tallest player in UConn and Memphis Grizzlies history… Earned money for his family as a runway model in Dar Es Salaam… Facilitated his own college recruitment by finding and emailing college coaches through Google… His iPod is engraved with his nickname and number, “Hasheem the Dream 34,

He once memorized the preamble to the United States Constitution in high school in Swahili before memorizing it in English

Currently Hasheem is a Tanzanian professional basketball player who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder. At 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m), the tallest active player in the NBA.

Monday, August 5, 2013

To My Worthy Friend

Last Tuesday was International Day of Friendship. While the rhetoric is wrapped in high sounding ideals like promoting better understanding among peoples and cultures for world peace, individually, we need to celebrate these “imperfect” friends who bring balance to our lives.

First on the list should be the friends-with-benefits. Contrary to popular belief, it is not always about sex with no strings attached. These are friends we keep for the benefits we derive from that relationship, for instance, a lawyer friend whom you can call for legal advice without paying for it, the accounts assistant who will update you when your cheque is signed, that messenger in a government office who will help you navigate the red tape. Looking at it, most of our friendships are with benefits, the only question is whether they are mutually beneficial.

Or even merely for the convenience. That is where the category of friends-with-benefits that is popular comes in. As adults, there are those times when we just need to be physical without the encumbrances of relationships, getting into one or in transition from one amid society expectations. And it works whether one is married or not. No strings attached, no unrealistic expectations, and the need satisfied.

Some have argued that there are some people we consider friends who are not worth keeping and should be dropped faster than a hot potato. These are toxic friends. One scenario that we have probably heard about is a woman upon getting married is advised to let go of her single friends. Really? I think this is the worst advice in marriage counseling. How will one appreciate joys of marriage if she does not have single friends to look back at her life? Likewise, the singles will need the married friends to look up to. How will one appreciate her husband if she is only surrounded by people who have and not by some who do not have?

Toxic friends also include those who are always asking us for something or the other, those who criticise or put us down, those who only sing our praises—fan friends as well as fun friends—who only make it seem like good times will last forever.

Instead of cutting them off, we should hug them harder; they add the balance in our lives. How will we be generous if we do not help out a friend in need? How will we be aware of our ordinary selves if there is no one to burst that bubble? How will we understand achievement if there is no one to pat us on the back or enjoy life if there is no one to bring the party into it?

Talking of life, with its twists and turns, we find ourselves in different situations all the time.
Friends come and go, some remain and others change. It is not to say they become enemies but just former friends. We need these ones in our orbit to remind us of how things change.

But like life is unpredictable, some situations are a bit of both. Just like there are crossbreeds, the “frienemy” is the cross pollination of friendship and enmity. One who smiles in your face and laughs behind your back. In life, many things are not what they seem; the frienemy brings that reality to our doorsteps.

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. On the next Friendship Day, we should reach out to all friends and thank them for making our lives complete.

Prepare early and make Idd special

This year, why not make your Idd celebration different with these ideas from some of our readers.

Plan in advance
Aidah Nase, a caterer Uhuru Restaurant, suggests a family meeting a week before to plan for Idd Day. “Talk about the menu and delegate responsibilities instead of dumping the whole workload on the mother.”

Clean and decorate the home
“Get everyone involved. Make the house as sparkling clean as you can. If there is enough time, consider painting the house and putting mattresses and bedding outside to air out,” she adds.
Once the house is organised and decorated with balloons, lights, banners and streamers, then get the younger children to make decorative signs saying “Idd Mubarak” and post these around the house.
Play some Islamic songs related to Idd as the work is being done.

Prepare food
Make something special for the family to eat. “Idd is special, and the food we eat on this day should be better and different from our usual meals,” Nase says.

Make dessert, “something simple that everyone likes, like chocolate cake” and “write up a short definition about Idd on a decorative card or small poster board. Share this with your neighbours,” Joseph Mugalu, a gift maker at William Street says.

Arrange a family gift exchange

“Put each family member’s name in a box and have each person pick one out,” suggests Mugalu. One will then buy or make a gift for the person named in the paper. One catch: “babies have to get gifts from everyone.”

Buy new clothes
Muga says children will not feel the magic of Idd if they are donning the same outfit they wore on Idd for the last two years. Get them something new. Or at least get everyone to set out nice clothes for Idd by washing or getting them dry cleaned.
Wash the car
He adds that no wants to go to Idd prayers in dirty car. “Think about what will happen to everyone’s nice clothes sitting in a vehicle like that. Get the car clean and ready,” says Mugalu.

Invite the needy
Sheikh Haruna Jaafer, the Imam at Arusha Mosque, says the place where prayers for Idd are said, many believers hug each other, but you will see some Muslims standing alone. They are either new Muslims or needy ones. Hug and greet them too. “If possible invite them to your home for a meal. Also inform them of any planned Idd celebrations at any community centre.”

Record the events
Nas says from the time everyone wakes up in the morning till they breakoff happily at the end of the day; record this Idd on video or audio and take photographs to make it memorable. “It will probably make a memorable piece of family history as well.”

Visit relatives and friends
Sheikh Jaafer emphasises visiting, especially those far away. “There is almost no better time than Idd. It is also a great way to acquaint the children with their relatives near and far,” he says.

My most memorable Idd

Muhammad Affan, businessman
On a big day like Idd, I often take my family for an outing no matter the challenges. At least, I let my family wear a smile the whole day.

Madinah Kayemba, businesswoman
I remember two Idd days that have been memorable to me, one when I had just got married and the other which my husband’s family and mine spent together. This Idd, I will be with my family.

Sheikh Umar Kimuli, Imam
I have enjoyed many special Idd days and I treat each one differently. So, I cannot say which one in particular has been more memorable. But at least one thing I don’t forget on that day is visiting the sick.

Madinah Ahmad, hotelier
Any Idd is a special one. The most memorable Idd is the one when I was about 15 years old and it was my first time to celebrate it in Kampala. Everything was new to me in the city.

Suleiman Bu, trader
My Idd is more enjoyable when I’m in the village and indeed I take my family upcountry for a different environment. I will do the same thing for this Idd, if God allows us reach there.