- A mental health condition which has an impact on the way you think.
A condition in which you may experience hallucinations (the experience of things that are not real), or having beliefs that are very unusual.
- This condition affects 1 in 100 people.
Some of the symptoms include:
- A change in sleep pattern
- Disturbed emotions.
- A decreased interest in social activities As a writer, I wish to spread awareness on such topics, which lack awareness in society. I feel extremely disappointed at the level of acknowledgement and acceptance someone with a mental health issue gets and how it is still a stigma in many societies. Like many other health issues, Schizophrenia is treatable and manageable. The key is to get the right diagnosis and not to hide anything about the way you feel or behave. If you suffer or know anyone who suffers from such symptoms, please ensure you seek medical help. Medication and therapies are available by the Doctor after an assessment by the mental health team.
It is an extremely hard situation to be in, where one is unable to distinguish their own thoughts and ideas from reality.
The person who experiences all these strange emotions is already on a plunge of vulnerability and stress can trigger it even more. As a responsible citizen of society, we need to act in the best interest of the vulnerable people around us. Acceptance is the first thing that we need to give and the rest just flows in. Please, it is a humble request to everyone, to be empathetic towards others.
This world needs a little more kindness. Please play your part in supporting anyone you come across with any such condition and try to bring some positivity in their life.
@Words can heal will continue to encourage people to look a little above and beyond the norms, and appreciate the differently abled souls, who are without a doubt, an integral part of our society. Let us spread hope, light and positivity. In this swift race of life, please pause for a while, reflect and take time out to uplift others. I assure you that every time you do so, you will find yourself a level up in accomplishing contentment for yourself and for others. After all, what do we live for?
Thank you for your time.
– Fatima Ali
Under The Moonlight…
Under the moonlight…
I glisten and Glow
I fall into the puddles gently and slow
Under the moonlight…
I wail and cry
Everything will be ok I whisper and sigh
Under the moonlight…
I feel peace and tranquility
And ponder over every possibility
Under the moonlight…
I take a deep breath
And wonder what lies between life and death
– Fatima Ali
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙄𝙧𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙘𝙪𝙧𝙨𝙚
Her glasses fogged up as she tottered, totally bewildered by the ear-piercing screeches of something nearby.
The strange gusts of wind fought against her, freezing her to the core. Emily’s noro-striped scarf was doing little to keep her warm at this point.
She felt a sudden crackle under the sole of her boot and instantly looked down. Scattered around her feet were these beautiful plum-coloured maple tree leaves.
Unable to resist, she lifted a leaf off of the ground and almost immediately
her fingers turned extraordinarily blue, her airways clogged and she started to choke.
Struggling to breathe, Emily wafted her arms around in utter desperation and with no energy left she fell to the ground almost instantaneously.
The glamorous maple leaf was a curse…
Something so beautiful, yet so destructive.
– Fatima Ali
With rain trickling down the window pane, and the dimmed street lights reflecting onto the droplets of rain, I sat on an old, squeaky wooden chair sipping on my tea.
Glaring unintentionally, my eyes caught sight of what looked like the most unusual thing I’d ever seen. I wasn’t too sure at that point, whether I was dreaming, or if it was exactly what my eyes had witnessed. The shadows grew taller, and I could feel this sudden gust of air surround me, and at this point I wanted to scream. A shiver ran down my spine and I could feel my heart pounding outside of my body. I cannot recall what had happened next, I collapsed I suppose. The last thing I can remember is lying on the cold vinyl flooring with spilled tea and broken pieces of the cup scattered around me.
By Fatima Ali
The Red Rose Has Lost Its Colour…
Opened the keepsake of your memories this evening.
The red rose you gave me has lost its colour and meaning.
People change, feelings change, colours fade,
What doesn’t change are memories.
They stay lull and still,
So many unanswered questions that they drill.
What we had within us is lost and gone forever,
The red colour of our love that you promised will stay as bright as ever.
– Fatima Ali
It was a gloomy autumn morning as she walked over towards the lonesome damson tree in her garden. The sky was a rusty grey engulfed in mist.
A faint crackle was heard as she crushed the fatigued autumn leaves, which were slowly withering away…
– Fatima Ali
A story of true resilience
Throwback to the days when the highlight of summers involved watching the cricket season!
Yuvraj Singh has always inspired me as an outstanding cricketer, but it was only when I met him that I got to know how much of a wonderful person he is inside out.
Extremely humble and jolly, he is exactly what his personality depicts as.
His book “The test of my life” is a heart-rending and inspirational tale giving an insight into the most traumatic period of his life. With so many emotions flowing in, I would recommend everyone to read it as it is a perfect reflection of how sudden tests in life can emerge out of no where, however they have the power to turn you into a valiant survivor if you cling onto hope.
His NGO, Youwecan is working for a wonderful cause and helping countless cancer patients.
With a little hope, an extraordinary supportive mother by your side, a great vision, and the will power to fight amongst the odd circumstances, you can grow so much as a person and rise from the darkest shadows.
– Fatima Ali
Your eyes, a mysterious kind of beauty,
Irresistably, I gaze into a world so delicately tranquil,
The sounds of the waves echoing throughout my soul,
It is within your eyes I dream to take a little stroll,
Your eyes, a different shade of blue,
The sky dreams of being admired by you,
The calm blue waters reside in your eyes, and the shells long for your gentle touch,
They say you are a peculiar kind of existence,
When we say we want to live in you, are we asking for too much?
You close your eyes,
The curtains close,
The lights are dimmed,
Our dreams left hanging in a silent abode.
– Fatima Ali
You are truly blessed if you have that someone special in your life, who believes in you more than your ownself.
Someone who thinks you that are are capable of achieving the impossible, someone who will be there for you when you fall, someone who will give you a hand to walk through an unstable rocky path… It could be anyone in your life, who puts your happiness first!
– Fatima Ali
Drifting into the dark – Depression, a silent killer
“The biggest difficulty is feeling closure and extremely lonely, and that loneliness is your worst enemy. You feel trapped in a dark place. You feel worthless and helpless. It’s terrible, it’s like you’re in a different zone of thoughts. You find happiness in nothing, nor do you try searching for happiness. You don’t want to be happy. The world seems like a gloomy, miserable and haunting place. You are your own enemy, you blame yourself, you hate yourself. You don’t want to do anything; life stands still for you. You just want to sleep with the hope that you will never wake up again.”
These very personal thoughts and feelings were shared with me by an individual, who once suffered depression.
Upon hearing their experiences, there was a considerable amount I could relate to and I wanted to partially fulfil the aim of my writing. Initially, when I stepped into the world of writing, I had a distinct image in mind. A vision with a clear purpose to benefit others, and not to merely fabricate words to impress others.
The concept “Words Can Heal” involves reaching out to heal and mend souls.
Many people I have come across focus on the outer image of a person and do not care to take an insight into what is stirring up inside them. They place their concern in the outward image they choose to display to the world as they sense a fear of being judged!
Hence, today I penned down my thoughts and I aim to encourage those individuals suffering in silence to be more open about their mental health.
The National Health service UK defines clinical depression as more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. According to the health line, depression is defined as a mood disorder. It may be described as feelings of sadness, loss or anger that interfere with a person’s everyday activities. Whatever the definition may be, it certainly has a distinct and more personalised meaning for each individual.
Depression differs from the usual mood swings we experience, and the symptoms vary from being short term, to average, or even long term. Depending on its intensity level, it can cause the affected person to suffer to varying degrees. This psychological state can significantly disrupt your daily routine, impact your social life, personal life, and negatively impact your work life. The symptoms vary from person to person sometimes being psychological, physical or sometimes can be anxiety triggers.
I want to bring attention to the real-life experiences as they are the ones that we can relate to. Most of the people I encountered to gather an insight, reflected the same dilemma, and that is, that they do have happy moments in their lives, but they are always tinged in sadness.
Someone poured their heart out and said:
“Whenever somebody talks to me about depression, the first thing I always suggest is to seek professional help. I’ve been seeking therapy on and off since years. I’ve seen seven different therapists. Some have been good and some not that useful. Personally, I’ve never been told anything by a therapist that I haven’t already thought or read about myself. Apart from professional help, I have tried speaking to family as well but always regretted it afterwards because of their reactions. I think what a lot of people who suffer from depression want is empathy when we talk to someone. We want people to understand how we feel and not just have sympathy for us.”
As we see mental health issues escalating around us, it is essential we explore remedies that can help us grow out of this misery. Therapies, antidepressant medications, exercise, nutritional changes in diet, praying, contemplation, yoga, music, reading etc, all have proved to assist people in one way or the other to a certain extent. But the final rescue is at your own disposal. It is your own will power, which determines how you battle with this distress. There are two paths that you can choose from when you are drowning in depressing thoughts. There is a very fine line in between the two directions, in which you often find yourself hanging. While you are juggling and trying your best to maintain your balance, the real test lies in your resilience. Either you will break down completely or you will rise again. The choice is for you to make and the deciding force is your inner strength. Easier said than done, but that is what the process of recovery is, perpetual, and patience is the key to go with the flow.
Even if you detach and overcome this temporarily, I personally feel that depression takes a seat in the back of your minds somewhere and it never really goes away. It is a part of you, so embrace it with fortitude.
I once read somewhere that depression is feeling like you have lost something but having no clue when or where you last had it. Then one day, it comes to your realisation that what you actually lost is yourself.
I hope I don’t get to that point because the image above of the woman reflecting on life is me. I want to break this social stigma by saying that I have been suffering from mild depression on and off lately too. I try to be as positive as I can, however we all have our emotional breakdowns at some points in life. This is one of the many human traits and we simply cannot escape it, and we should not even try to do so. When we suffer from a physical health issue, we run off to seek immediate medical assistance as we fear the consequences. But why is it that when we suffer from a psychological disorder, we tend to hide it? Our outlook on depression is something I feel strongly about. Depression is like any other ailment, yet if you say to someone that you are feeling depressed, they tend to make an instant assumption that you are facing some problem in your life. Can one not be depressed without having a valid reason? Depression does not occur on a particular day and it can be triggered by anything. Sometimes, events build up and lead to depression, sometimes you don’t have any reason at all and you have no explanation for why you feel so dreadful. You simply do not find answers to these peculiar questions, which life throws at you.
Stephen Fry rightly said: “If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.
Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”
I firmly believe that if the people around you are kind and understanding then your journey, no matter how long and arduous it is, it becomes a little easier. A little kindness, a companion to whom you can pour your heart out, a group of sincere friends, an understanding family and a non-judgemental society, all these are little saviours from the dark thoughts that prevent people from seeing the light. Many lives have been lost in the dark dungeons of depression and it is high time that we highlight and exchange our views about it on a wider scale.
It’s just the perception that needs to change so people don’t hold it back and share without the fear of being judged. If you are suffering from depression, speak it out and make sure your voice is heard! Please do not suffer in silence. There is always help available. Make sure you reach out in time before it is too late to travel out of the dark shadows.
I have played my part today, are you ready to do yours?
– Fatima Ali
Waves in the water
Problems are like waves in the water. They come with their own force and go away with their own flow. What’s important is your steadiness in the equilibrium.
When the sky is dark, I will look for you in the stars,
When the sun is out, i will embrace the warmth and hide my scars.
When the nights will be unbearable and long ,
I will talk to your pictures and stay strong.
When my days will be incomplete without you,
I will remember your voice when I’m feeling blue.
When the moon will arrogantly reflect in the sky,
I will console my heart that you live somewhere nearby.
– Fatima Ali
Planning and hosting a themed party!
Hosting a super fun paw patrol themed birthday pawty!
Last year, I hosted a very exciting paw patrol themed birthday party for my son, who turned 7 last year!
I know planning a birthday party can be super stressful and it’s a real struggle trying to make it all close to perfect and at the same time enjoyable and entertaining for your guests! With all the social media extravagant birthday celebrations we see day in day out, we want ours to be just as great if not better!
Luckily, we have family and friends who help out in the organisation and prepping of the whole event and it makes the personalisation of the event so much more flexible and easier.
Now let’s get into the nitty gritty of prior planning.
It’s always a good idea to have a theme in mind which you can work around, it just makes the shopping part so much easier!
Therefore, for me, I knew I was going for a paw patrol themed party, so I had searched where to find different pieces of decor and luckily party delights had the majority of it, so to save time I went there. Party Delights is an absolute heaven for decorators. It has all the themes you can think of! They do themed goody bags, bunting, balloons, complementary tableware and basically everything you really need for the perfect party!
Before I ramble on about the menu, I have to mention how tasty ‘Rubbles chicken nuggets’ were!
Now, getting back to the point, the menu… It is a great idea to let your creativity run wild by personalising your menu card to suit your chosen birthday theme!
The children absolutely loved having a super cool paw patrol themed menu and it definitely brought a great hype along with it when the food was served! Just imagine seeing your favourite character’s dishes on display, I mean how could you possibly resist Skye’s stuffed veg samosas and Zuma’s zesty spring rolls! You have to admit the menu card is super cool. I personalised this for my son’s paw patrol themed party!
Now, obviously ensure your menu is well-suited to your guests. As this was a children’s party, I kept the menu simple with little snacks that the kids could easily indulge in!
On top of the menu, we also had a very unique desserts menu, accompanied with fancy paw patrol themed menu cards for each dish and dessert!
Hosting and entertaining!
I’ve highlighted the planning and having a fancy themed menu in my previous posts.
Now, for the entertainment part.
My child is obsessed with bouncy castles and I’ve seen children obsess over them too!
Some of the best advantages of having a bouncy castle is that the children remain well occupied and happy! Then we have the usual party games, musical chairs, musical statues etc. but they can get a little repetitive, so it is always a good idea to do something a little different. Why not have a face painter? Change the games around. Add a little twist to them, the children love it!
I usually hire a popcorn and slush machine, even at my big age I cannot get enough of both, never mind the little ones! Ofcourse, I could not stop myself from personalising those either, I attached little posters to the carts which you can see in the images! ‘Pupcorn’ and ‘pause for a puppy slushy’. Oh so exciting!
There are numerous ways to keep your guests entertained and remember if you have parents attending, make sure there is a surprise game for them too, get them up on their toes playing a game of musical chairs or doing a raffle!
The main item has to be the cake on a birthday as it enhances your theme and completes the decor.
The cake in the picture above was made by my favourite cake lady who never fails to amaze with her great work!
That’s it for now folks. I hope you had fun reading about my birthday planning and hosting experience! Feel free to incorporate these ideas into your future paw-ties! 🐾😉
– Fatima Ali
A little thought on appearances…
I came across this image as I was scrolling through my camera roll this morning. Quite instantly, this red flower caught my attention and I started to gaze at it in awe. It was evidently more noticeable infront of the ‘ordinary’ green grass, and the least I took notice of was the green weed!
I realised how selfishly, or let’s say naturally we are attracted to things that look ‘good’ to us on the outside and therefore we give them all great deal of attention, we pick out the weeds from our beautifully grown gardens thinking they look unattractive, whilst totally ignoring the many benefits they bring to our gardens!
We don’t even stop to consider them, take notice of them, or to even to research their purposes.
Just imagine the feeling of being unnoticed and unwanted by everyone merely due to your appearance, which you have no control over. Just like plants or flowers have no control over their outward appearance, similarly, we humans cannot choose the colour of our hair, the colour of our skin, and our appearance. However, what we do have a choice over is our character, our morals, our values and the ways in which we decide to help and benefit the people around us. These are the important things, not appearance!
It’s rightly said “looks fade, but a good heart keeps you beautiful forever”.
– Fatima Ali
Words can heal? Why I chose this name for my blog
A lot of people asked me why I chose this name for my blog.
I firmly believe, there are many things in our lives that do not have a cure, but I have a strong belief that even if there is no cure, there is the potential to heal and the power of healing is through words. Therefore, if any words can reach out to someone and it can make a positive impact on someone’s life then I believe that my purpose of writing has been fulfilled and hence I chose this title ‘words can heal’.
– Fatima Ali
Early morning positivity
If only, you have the ability to close the door to a few thoughts, you will pave way for happiness 💛
– Fatima Ali
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”
This famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi makes me delve deeply into the person I am.
When I look around, there are certain things that leave me pondering. It takes a second to nitpick different things going on around you.
If we see something we don’t like and want it to be different, why don’t we try to bring about that change? We often make excuses such as “my input will not make a difference, one person cannot change anything”.
Now, just imagine if every single person feels their role has no significance, will we ever be able to move forward, will we ever be able to bring about a change? This question answers for itself. No, we cannot bring about a change if no one is willing to bring that change within themselves.
It is time we all start being that ‘change’. If we disagree with something around us, we should do something about it, each one of us should, even if you are the first to speak out.
We can change the world if we all make that vital decision to “be the change you wish to see in the world”.
– Fatima Ali
Quick Tip For Weight Loss!
🍋 – After you wake up in the morning, on an empty stomach, squeeze half a lemon into half a glass of warm water and drink it! This hugely aids in weight loss! Continue doing this each morning and you will definitely see positive results!
🍋 – It is also very important to incorporate lemon into your diet. You can use them on salads as a dressing.
Lemons are rich in vitamin C and have numerous health benefits!
– Fatima Ali
It is not always the care and love that can make the flower grow and bloom. Sometimes even a single look of attention can be enough to be a reason behind its blossom.
– Fatima Ali
Believe in yourself
✏️ Holding a firm belief in your capabilities is vital in gaining success.
✏️ Believing in yourself involves trusting your ability to achieve the goals you have set.
✏️ Do not allow fear to stop you!
✏️ Self-empowerment is key – find out what you are good at and let it be one of the many reasons to build your inner strength.
✏️ Be optimistic, as a negative attitude will only drown you!
✏️ Mingle with friends who uplift you.
Being in the right company is so important!
✏️ Know that not everyone will accept you, but remember to be ok with that!
✏️ Know it is absolutely ok to make mistakes!
✏️ Keep your chin up, establish a positive mindset, have faith and keep believing in yourself.
– Fatima Ali
How To Cope With Anxiety
🌻 – Think about what is making you worried or stressed? Challenge your thoughts. Ask yourself questions and try to take control of your feelings and thoughts.
🌻 – Establish a form of meditation in your routine to help you relax and calm your mind.
🌻 – Planning ahead is essential. Pen down what you are intending to do and what to do during each step, in order to ease yourself in and keep yourself calm.
🌻 – Excercise regularly. Keep yourself happy and busy.
🌻 – Eat healthy meals.
🌻 – Get plentiful sleep!
🌻 – If you suffer from severe anxiety, a visit to a therapist would be largely beneficial! They will be able to assist you with tackling the triggers which are causing your anxiety.
🌻 – Remain connected to people who care about you. They will really help you take control of your symptoms!
Please remember you are not alone, anxiety is a very common mental health disorder which affects a large number of the population worldwide. There are people and professionals out there to help you!
– Fatima Ali
A moment of happiness and a flashback into my childhood
A Moment of Happiness ♥️
I came across some jottings on the roadside yesterday and these unimportant, trivial drawings on the roadside immediately caught my attention. You may think they are insignificant-looking scribbles, but for me, like the significant pieces of a jigsaw, a thousand precious memories of my childhood came flooding back in.
A time when there was no social media, no smart phones, or IPads. Life was so simple back then, yet so enjoyable and worth-living. I vividly remember how we largely invested our leisure time in participating in outdoor activities, which we enjoyed greatly, regardless of the scorching temperatures and being drenched in our own sweat!
A sudden rainfall was something we always looked forward to, and when the sky wept its happy tears we splashed carelessly in the puddles until we were fully dripping in water. The least of our concerns were bruised knees (from falling off our bicycles) and our clothes smothered in mud.
We set ourselves free in our own imaginative world of play. Collecting pocket money in our not-so fancy looking money boxes, waiting impatiently until we had enough to treat ourselves with something we had wished for and it was such a great privilege.
There was an essence of dreaming followed by the willingness to achieve. Unfortunately, nowadays children spend most of their free time glued to the TV or technology, hence why they lack the appreciation of the little things that life has to offer. My joy was heightened when I witnessed these precious recollections from my childhood. I assume, children are sick and tired of staying indoors and are consequently attracted to playing outside and experimenting with nature, scribbling with stones, just like we used to back in the days.
Chalk, pavements, long walks and a group of friends, I just felt awfully nostalgic about it and lost in the most enjoyable time of my life. So, I stood there, gazing at these ‘scribbles’ relishing those days, I took out my fancy phone, like they do these days and took a snapshot and moved on with a beaming countenance.
I still don’t know fully why…But it gave me a peculiar kind of happiness, and I will continue to take pleasure in these captivating images.
– Fatima Ali
Quick Tips On How To Stay Motivated!
▪️ Ensure you have good company. People who will encourage you!
▪️Set realistic, achievable goals. Take small steps and pen down your goals in a creative way (you could create a fancy chart or a tick off list).
▪️Set yourself with rewards for accomplishing your smaller goals!
▪️Make sure you take some time to give your body a rest, the last thing you want is to end up overworking yourself!
▪️Be prepared to take on challenges! Without a doubt, there will be many obstacles on your journey, remain calm and overcome these!
▪️Most importantly be determined and stay positive!
Remember when you believe in yourself, remain positive and determined to achieve, you are already ten steps closer to your target!
– Fatima Ali
What is happiness?
We all have our own versions that define happiness.
For me, happiness is not about achieving a desire as this is only temporary.
Perpetual happiness lies in the fulfilment of a true promise. It dwells in the contentment of the heart. True happiness is having a heartfelt conversation with your best friend after the longest time.
Happiness is seeing your sister smile, hearing her warm laughter, watching her eyes glow with joy, knowing her inner fears and being able to spread your wings to comfort her.
Happiness blossoms from the eyes when you’ve been eagerly watching a plant grow and you finally see a flower bloom with the most vibrant colours.
Happiness is opening a book to read and to your luck finding an old letter residing in it from a very dear friend.
Happiness is sleeping with a grieving heart, but waking up with sudden positivity all around.
Pure happiness is travelling to unknown, quiet destinations and upon returning home, realising that a part of you has been left behind there.
A moment of utter happiness also dwells in the tranquility of petrichor after a long awaited rainfall.
Happiness is found in good well-being and health. Happiness is caring for your elders and gathering their much needed blessings. Happiness is reaching out to someone in the time of need. It is also found in success and fame.
Utmost joy is in the acceptance of a prayer that is close to your heart. Happiness is missing someone terribly but holding back your tears, knowing that they are happy in their life.
Happiness is seeing other people grow in life and achieve their goals. Happiness is in sound sleep after long nights of restlessness.
Happiness is secretively making a sincere prayer for a loved one.
But most importantly, happiness is knowing that someone is there by your side to make you believe in your dreams, no matter how imaginary and impossible they seem. ❤
– Fatima Ali
Penniless Tycoon – The Man behind the vision of fight for zero Thalassemia
A local boy deriving from a poor background believed in the power of his dreams ever since he was a child. There was a strange spark in him, which kept him going despite the financial struggles he faced being the son of a shepherd. Starting his education in a dilapidated government school in a village.
This ordinary boy studied his early early education in a basic government school. He then went on to study grades 3-4 in a local sub standard school. Then to his luck, he was given a chance to gain an education at the then-prime Minister’s school, ‘Sharif Educational Complex’ on scholarship till O-level. He achieved the highest results in the school’s history and as a result, he was given a scholarship for his A-levels at Lahore Grammar School, where he aced all the academic and extra curricular subjects. He gained a partial scholarship for for his university degree. By gaining a partial scholarship and gathering finances over two years, he began his journey in pursuing an electrical engineering degree at the University of Central Punjab, Lahore.
It was back in those days in the year 2010, when an idea changed his life forever. The Fatmid Foundation’s representatives visited his university on a basic practise of an awareness campaign in regards with thalassemia. Sometimes, it is a little thought that can connect to someone’s mind and heart, and that is exactly what happened at the time, which initiated the idea in the mind of the students for running their own awareness drive on thalassemia in their university.
The journey of JZT (Jehad For Zero Thalassemia) started and Ghulam Dastgir, who is now a full-time teacher says “It really took off. I remember a lot of students at the university wanting to donate blood, whilst others wanted to raise money for kids battling with Thalassemia. It was meaningful work and it resonated with all of us.”
From a small group of friends with very limited resources, a dream launched to visualise a battle against thalassemia.
Thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder in which the body produces an abnormal form of haemoglobin is vividly present in Pakistan with more than 100,000 thalassemia major patients. Almost 6500 inflicted are born each year, and there is a major lack of awareness in the society which is affected by this disease. The fundamental difficulty faced by Dastgir and his team involved conveying the message out to families that their daughters must be tested before marriage to rule out the chance of being a carrier. Families would take this offensively and feel disrespected. It is vital that carriers of thalassemia minor do not have biological children together, however very few people are concerned about this fact.
So, JZT was formed with the purpose to create awareness about this disease and the crucial need of getting premarital testing. This foundation is also managing their free blood donor database all over Pakistan. They have accomplished to arrange more than 50,000 blood bags over a decade. They have built a vast network to reach out to people even in Fata, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
From a small group of peers to a network of over 7000 volunteers, JZT is serving the affected people all over Pakistan with utmost courage and humanity. Totally funded by its alumni and the generous volunteers, JZT has been able to launch the first ever ambulance service in Fata to provide free pick and drop services to the thalassemia patients. The organization has a child adoption program named “Each one Ease one” in which the volunteers have adopted over 500 kids, and their blood, medication and in some cases, the educational expenses are managed by the foundation. This programme has benefitted numerous families, who were suffering alone. Now, JZT is a part of their journey. Recognising the efforts of the JZT, Punjab Thalassemia Prevention Programme (PIPP), has signed MOU with JZT for free extended family screening all over Punjab.
Today, on World Thalassemia Day, I would like to acknowledge the sincerest efforts of JZT and its force. A story of passion with perseverance, Dastgir is a great example for any person who thinks they are not capable enough of doing something big in their life. All you need is a goal and the right measures to steer your ambitions in the right directions. It also gives a very beautiful message that one doesn’t always need money to be rich. His profound investments for the sake of humanity are his assets and the respect, blessings and prayers that he has earned, amount to the best wealth in the world.
While he wishes for a thalassemia-free Pakistan, he knows there is a long way to go. The man behind the idea of JZT, Dastgir, is an inspiration for all the youth out there. He showcases the power of true determination, self-belief and channelizing your energies for the betterment of your country. We all want our county to prosper, but very few people will actually step ahead to bring about a change. Let us all pray and hope for a healthy, disease-free Pakistan.
The team of JZT have also contributed to the organisation of a variety of events, which can be seen below.
A fantastic team and organisation. I hope we can all support such great causes and aid them by doing our bit by spreading awareness!
– Fatima Ali
The Little Smiles That Won My Heart – Laughter Galore With The Poverty Stricken
Last year during the summer vacations, I was lucky enough to visit my homeland, Pakistan. Touristing different regions of Pakistan, this district in particular won my heart.
Those who reside in Pakistan, or anyone who has visited Murree previously will tell you just how captivating this place truly is! Murree is a mountain resort town possessing the most attractive sceneries!
I better not go into the details of how mesmeric this place is, and rather tell you what happened that day and how those very specific smiles enraptured my heart.
There was a slight breeze that evening, I vividly remember. I was strolling down the desolate streets of Murree, admiring the ways in which the brown fronted woodpeckers (a common bird species found in this hilly region) were fluttering around ever so carelessly flaunting their beautiful wings, and they quite evidently seemed so hassle-free.
A momentous feeling of envy and I closed my eyes to fantasise being able to spread my wings and fly away and with a very heavy heart, I imagined the wind blowing away all of my worries as I flew away.
My fantasies were disrupted with a faint sound of giggling. I opened my eyes in curiosity and to my surprise, there were a group of local girls, who instantly caught my attention. They were laughing around playfully and having the time of their lives! I couldn’t stop myself and rushed over in excitement to initiate a conversation with them, which I will never be able to forget!
Sometimes, conversations with strangers become so meaningful!
They told me so many things about themselves, the local area and the hardships they suffer in their daily lives. Their eyes were shining with glee and their faces were beaming with utter joy.
Their positive attitude despite the hardships they faced left a huge imprint on my heart and they gave me the much needed realisation of how blessed I am in every way. Their little smiles which spoke a thousand unsaid words of gratitude, their angelic hearts and glistening eyes, rather magically diminished my worries.
We always complain about our little issues and do not see the bigger problems other people face in their lives. These innocent girls taught me such a great lesson in life – that you do not need a reason to be happy. I had this picture clicked back then and have preserved it for a lifetime. Whenever I am feeling distressed, I take a look at this picture and remind myself that happiness is not dependent on the length of purpose. Happiness is to fill your heart with gratitude, only then we will begin to appreciate the blessings around us.
When you support a small business you’re supporting a dream
We live in a world where people’s dreams matter to them more than anything else. We, human beings all share one thing in common, and that is the eagerness to achieve a set goal. It takes a single moment to visualise a dream of your life, but it takes a long while to turn that dream into a reality. No matter how big or small, bizarre or absurd, everyone has that one ambition in their life, which is always etched in their hearts forever. To reflect that engraving on your heart, it requires that one impulsion, and you are ready to set off on the journey of finding a way to fulfil those dreams.
Today, I aim to honour each and every small business around the world, those who have dared to live the dream of their life. Through this platform, I intend to acknowledge their countless efforts, dedication and resilience.
A maiden venture is always experimental, and entrepreneurs are not always sure whether they will be able to take that first step or not. There is a slight reluctance, indecisiveness, hesitation and anxiousness around them. They have an idea of what they want to do, but they are unsure whether they will be able to affiliate their vision with their clients. Success, fame, profit, and so on, are all secondary concerns, in contrast to the main one they seek for, which is growth. When they begin their journey, they have to start from scratch. So, when these entrepreneurs think of a venture, the planning involves a great amount of uncertainty.
The fear that strikes them is not to prove to people that they can do it, but first to prove to themselves that they have that level of competence to step into the vast business world. From a shaky start to a slow growth, they strive to make their mark in today’s competitive business industry. The struggle becomes real as there are plentiful businesses out there offering similar types of services or products as theirs, and in the midst of all that crowd, they have to make their presence felt and honoured. Trials, obstacles and setbacks are a part of their journey, but what they learn from these vital experiences are the key to their success, as nothing substitutes experience. What keeps them going is persistent hard work and patience, as they lack basic resources to advertise and market themselves as the larger companies tend to do.
They literally run on word of mouth and they rely solely on social media for depicting their work. They closely aim on building rapport with their customers, who they sometimes know personally, and they try their very best to accommodate to their needs in every possible way. With every order they receive and cater for, they anticipate a message of appreciation, which gives them a boost, as well as the encouragement to build on their work with a feeling of contentment. Despite a limited clientele and inadequate profits, they still float on the surface amidst these struggles. It is the endurance and courage that saves them from sinking.
Hence proven, all you need in order to transform your vision into a reality is a skill and a strong belief in your capabilities. Do not let anyone put you down and make you feel as though you cannot make it through.
Paulo Coelho rightly states: “Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world.”
I am so proud of all the entrepreneurs that I know, and those I don’t know. I would like to extend my best acknowledgement to each and every one of them.
Whether you are baking a fancy themed cake for a child’s first birthday, or you are capturing someone’s fairy-tale wedding through the lens of a camera, you are preserving someone’s jubilations, as memories for a lifetime! While you carefully design bespoke hampers or are decorating and adorning a banqueting hall for someone’s special day, you must take pride in beautifying and embellishing one’s most awaited occasion, and the joy you bring to the hearts of those involved will always be cherished. As a caterer, when you fill your grocery cart and get ready to spice up an event with your mouth-watering dishes, or as you sell clothing and other products online, you must know that you are meeting someone’s requirements, whilst they sit in the comfort of their own homes! Whether you are a talented make-up artist, who is glamming someone up on a particular day, or you are a DJ, who creates the celebratory ambience to make everyone rejoice on your electrifying tunes on someone’s big day, each and every small business has its own significance in our lives. Thank you to each and every one of you for adding a great deal of worth to our community!
We are all aware of these unprecedented times, and the predicament due to Covid-19, and how people from the small local entrepreneurs to the enormous multinational companies, how everyone has been affected. While this dilemma has put the sturdiest businesses on the brink of being as vulnerable as the frailest ones, let’s ensure that the small businesses in our respective communities are recognised and supported, so that their hard-earned names and laurels never fade away. Please, let’s take a moment to applaud each business entrepreneur you know, or any small businesses you have ever come across. Let us acknowledge their true essence and bring a positive change in the great world of business. Let’s pledge to offer our utmost support and respect to these very hard-working, dedicated and inspiring entrepreneurs.
Let’s encourage and promote the small businesses around us. While we are all fond of tagging the big designer brands when we use any of their products, consider giving a recognition to any local products or services that you have used. Follow them on social media, give them truthful reviews, and support them by appreciating their work. Remember, when you purchase from the “big labels”, you do not have the option to negotiate with the prices. You simply pay what they demand. Therefore, I urge you, when dealing with these small-scaled businesses, try not to adapt penny-pinching to bargain with them, as they already have reduced profit margins. Last but not the least, let them know that they are valued!
The Dusk will disperse and the Dawn will arise
The sole matter that is entrenched everywhere is about the chronograph that has paused the world with perplexity, Covid-19. We have been shifted into these strange and unprecedented times only under a small fraction of time.
Through this medium, I aim to dust some hope in these tough times. Sometimes a national catastrophe comes at a specific country but this Coronavirus is a pandemic.
It’s not only you and people around you who are affected. It’s affecting everyone globally. People from all classes, businesses from the small local entrepreneurs to the gigantic multinational companies, everyone is impacted. From the scale of a personal household to the strong economies, everyone is influenced by its severe consequences. This dilemma has put the sturdiest countries on the brink of being as vulnerable as the frailest countries. The long-term effects are yet to follow economically, socially and mentally.
So, what can one do about it? Well, no one can give a precise response on that as uncertainty prevails across. All one can do is to just sit back, breathe, reflect, pray and patiently wait for things to drive back in the right direction. It is not as convenient as it sounds but while the mental health issues are on an upsurge, one must gather the sanity in place and maintain composure. Stressing about it and how it will affect one’s life and work will only make things worse.
Even if not brighter than what it depicts in reality, let us look at the optimistic side of the picture.
These crises are going to teach you lifelong gratitude. Being thankful for being privileged enough to be in the comfort of your own home with adequate facilities. Holding the contentment of a basic plan to run your house expenses and having a stockpile of staple food to last for some days. Being able to carry out your favourite hobbies with your family in the isolation period. Having the approach to maintain hygiene and to have awareness about this ailment. But then there are people who do not even have access to clean water and safe surroundings leave apart food or basic commodities. While many of you are moaning about working from home, take a moment to think about the plight of a daily wager who relies on a day-to-day income. He has no idea about what tomorrow will unfold for him and his family. Does life stop for them? No. Do their struggles ever end? Never. These people should be our inspiration through these times as they strive to endure the hard circumstances.
So many of them do not even have the prerogative to prepare themselves for such a catastrophe. Now it is our moral duty to acknowledge the blessings we have and wholeheartedly support everyone who is in need at this time. Communities have shown great support to help each other and we must make this a permanent thing in our respective societies.
These crises will also show us how to seek positivity from others. China is one such example that suffered the first and the major outbreak with this virus. They joined together and with the right directives they pulled out of this predicament giving a hope to the entire world that with responsible measures you can fight it off too. Now China is supporting other nations by sending them the protective gear and medical teams for assistance to combat the Coronavirus.
Most importantly, this arduous period will edify us to recognise our true dynamisms.
We human beings have been born with the tremendous energy to bounce back from situations. We tend to break, we cry, we sulk but then we exhibit our ability to put our shattered pieces back together and perform. This is indeed human resilience. We must instil positivity and believe in our strength to overcome this squall.
The catastrophe and fright this virus have brought all over the world will only bring out the best side of people and make this world a better place to live in.
The only thing which is disturbing and yet assuring is that everyone in the world is under the same consternation so more or less we are all sailing in the same boat. We can look up to each other for motivation, support and guidance.
Through this channel I also want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the amazing people who are working at the frontline in these times of crisis. Once we all overcome this, history will narrate the definition of heroes as Doctors, Nurses, health care workers, carers, teachers, public safety and national security forces. Please let us also acknowledge the delivery drivers, postmen, utility and transport workers, essential shops staff etc who are all playing a vital role in keeping the life rolling. Thoughts and prayers are with everyone.
I remember something that Mr. Junaid Jamshed once tweeted about the uncertain situations and it etched somewhere deep in my heart. I hope it gives hope to everyone.
“What is faith? Faith is seeing Light with your heart when all your eyes can see is darkness. It’s the Greatest gift.”
I would like to request everyone to recognize this beautiful gift that is faith which is indeed the driving force in the fiercest of tempests. Keep the spirits high as we all will pull through this storm together. While we live to perceive that a sunrise has to follow every sunset, good times will unfold and we will only be stronger and humbler than ever, just believe.
Hi! I am Fatima Ali …
I am based in Manchester. I pen down my thoughts in an effort to create a safe space to explore what we talk/think about.
I started blogging as I have a passion for writing. I love to pen down my thoughts and feelings!
I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and your feedback is very welcome!