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Q. Article: You have recently visited a war riddled country. You have been asked to write an article for your school and magazine relating your experiences. Include the following What you saw What were your emotions What you learnt. Name: Syed Fasih-ul-Hassan Taqvi Class: 10B



“Blood, Sweat and Tears”

The writer talks about their life changing experiences as they visit a country troubled by war

By: Fasih Taqvi

Date: 28 October 2019


How? Why? That’s what I thought to myself as I crossed the once shanty towns that had now burned to the ground. War I knew, was something not to take something lightly. But what I saw was something I could never prepare myself for. Horrors of such sorts that I thought never existed. Sights that have forever etched itself in my mind. But moving on, I will now tell you what I saw and how it changed my overall attitude towards life itself.

When I entered what was once the country’s capital all I saw were hundreds of lean, hungry, terrified faces all betrayed by their country and government. There was no life to be found. Yet if there was, it would be wound festering bodies, laying their helplessly, struggling with every breath they took. To weak to find food, to weak to find help. Despite how sick it sounds, the need for shocking material is like a another hit of morphine, each more nerve racking and brain shattering than before.

Conversely, there was a small village in the middle of nowhere, a place we had yet to reach. After a tedious 2 hour journey our group of journalists reached. The roads surrounding the area were unpaved dirt roads, untouched by mankind, preserved by nature. The first thing I saw there were a group of small girls huddled together. Their bodies were as thin as a stick, their skin as sunken in as a raisin. Death was around the corner for them. You could see it in their yellow eyes, you could detect it in the putrid air that surrounded them. But there was nothing that could be done, nothing you could do. These young girls, so fragile, had been robbed of all the happiness in the world only to pass away with a small whimper.

My reaction and attitude to everything that day was a mixture of fear, disgust and sorrow. I mean, without a doubt who wouldn’t be sickened by such terrors. Right? The revulsion to see nature taking it heed to themselves to decide the fate of others. Having to see living bodies slowly fading away is painful to watch. How could someone be so cruel? Who could treat another person in such a manner? That’s what I constantly thought to myself; and to see no international organization or source of foreign aid made me angry. You would be too.

Furthermore, to see humanity being lowered to such standards is appalling. To see that; along with the old woman I met, who had been unfortunately shot in the leg. It shook me to my core. It really illustrated how horrific war is. We can all go back to the comfort of our homes, whilst their suffering never ends. I felt pity, sympathy for them. From hearing the death of two young teens, Habiba and Ayesha, to the young man shot dead right dead in front of my eyes, those emotions never left my side. What was it that caused these feelings? That is something I might never answer.

As a result, this brings me to my final point. What did I learn? Well as one wise man said,” Life has so many great opportunities for everyone to experience and to learn in the best of ways.” Indeed, it reflected how if anything manifests itself in its purest form, whether it be war or peace, can change our perspective to life. Moreover, being there helped me to understand not everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouth, not everyone gets the same opportunities I got. Finally, war taught me that actions has consequences; and as one person said, “Every action has a reaction.”

It connoted to me how careless actions of certain people can ruin the lives of others around them. So, what I observed there convinced me that I would share my story with all the purpose and power I had. War was a seminal, climatic moment for me as a journalist. To make the known unknown. To make sure that you guys, my dear audience, know what’s happening. So, I end my story on a high note and I hope you have been inspired by what has been said.


(words 702)





Article Writing: Visiting a War-Riddled Country. By Areeha Fatima


Article Writing

  1. You have recently visited a war-riddled country with your family. You have been asked to write an article for your school magazine relating your experiences. In your article include the following:
  • What you saw
  • What were your emotions
  • What you learnt


War Writers


The most tragic experience of visiting a war-riddled country, Alasiah.

By: Areesha Fatima

October 28th, 2019.

Have you ever visited a war-riddled country? I am sure a very few number of people have. So, you cannot even imagine the pain and emotions of the people living there. I will make sure that you will be able to feel their pain and hopefully visit a war-riddled country in the future after reading my article (my experience).

I saw thousands of hungry, frightened and betrayed faces as I made my way through the tiny huts made out of straws. As I entered one of them, I saw three girls lying on the dirt floor of their hut. They were helpless. Their teary faces could bring tears on any or everyone’s face.

Moreover, Alasiah had been under attack in a war since as long as I can remember. I had always wanted to visit a war-riddled country so I could help them in any way.

Seeing broken families was really breaking me. There was this old woman who laid in her hut, abandoned by relations who were too weak to carry her. I could see every other person struggling, struggling to survive.

I was extremely sad when an unexpected thing caught my attention. I saw a feeble smile. An old man quietly sitting outside, leaning on a tree and smiling. What was it about that smile? How could he smile? It was not a smile of greeting or a smile of happiness. It was neither a smile of any sort of sadness or sympathy. This smile moved me in a way that was unexplainable. It touched me.

This was the face that I will never forget.

My reaction to everyone and everything else I met and saw that day was a mixture of disgust and sympathy. There was utter despair. The feelings of disgust came from the extreme degeneration of the human body, people suffering from kwashiorkor (lack of protein, body mass). The twin evils of hunger and disease had taken over the whole of Alasiah.

A heartbreaking incident occurred when I saw a five-year-old child with two small pieces of bread. I came to him for a photograph as I had to inform and provide my school with every detail of Alasiah. So, as soon as I went to him, he immediately put his hand forward with one piece of bread and offered it to me with the most innocent expression I had ever seen. In no time, my teary eyes made an eye contact with his pure and innocent eyes (as his eyes spoke for him). I held his hand and took out a granola bar and any other treat from my backpack and handed it over to him. He quickly hugged me.

It was the most satisfying hug, ever!

This hug reminded me of the smiling old man, who was no longer there when I saw him. I knew before my visit that I will definitely see and learn a great deal of things but this smile only brought one word to my mind again and again, grateful.


Despite going through so many hardships, that old man was smiling. It made me regret everything I did when I was ungrateful. This man had not uttered a single word but had left me with so many questions to think about.

Alasiah has my heart!

It has made me into a stronger and a better person. That is why I have decided to publish this article in the school magazine so that you guys will be able to learn from my experience. I hope this article motivated you to be as grateful as possible.

One thing I really want to do is, is to meet that old man again and thank him for how without even talking to me, he has changed me.

Stop being ungrateful!


Web contribution:Working part time – After school treatment or torture? by Nooh Adnan


The Student Room

Working part time – After school treatment or torture?

An overlook to tell whether working part is helpful or just another weight to carry?

Nooh Adnan


So, you’ve had some free time in your after-school hours and need to pay rent. You are probably thinking to start working at your local grocery store to earn a few dollars. You also might be hesitant to take such a big step, after all what’s more important than ensuring that you get a good grade, right? Well, you’ve come to the right place, as we have compiled the remarks and opinions of other college students to once and for all decide whether you should accept that part-time job, or put your time in something more worthwhile.

Now, it really all depends on the type of person you are. If you are well organized and are not intimidated by prospect of working, then perhaps you could combat against the responsibilities of having a job and still be able to maintain a consistent grade. It also depends on the kind of job you are willing to take. Try to get a good deal from your employers, to extract a reasonable balance between the labor you put in, and the fruit that it bears. That said, it’s time to compare the Pros and Cons of having an after-school job.

  1. The Pro’s:
  2. Financial Support:

Working at a job gets you paid. That’s the gist of it. You could earn money to take care of all the numerous taxes or bills that is long overdue, not to mention the plague that is college debt. Or you could savor your hard-earned cash, and use your little fortune to enjoy some of the luxuries in life. Perhaps you want that new laptop that you saw gleaming at you from the store window, or dine at the fancy new restaurant that opened across the street.


  1. Experience:

If you have already decided which field and company you want to work for when you settle in for a permanent job, then you could consider getting an internship at said company. A lot of the biggest companies offer internships to new workers who require experience for a job, or just need college credit.


A job like this could go very far if you want to ensure a place at a company. It lets you observe the inner workings of the company, as well as its office environment. Being an apprentice also means that instead of working full time at more advanced stations, you get to save time for yourself (not to forget those long pages of homework) and learn the ins and outs of the place.


It even gives you an insight on how your higher-ups handle their daily tasks, which could help you out in the long run.


  1. Socialising:

Usually a lot of your fellow co-workers are working for the same reasons you are. This gives you a lot to relate with and discuss about with fellow interns. Bonding with people who share common interests with you, is a superb formula to gain a few extra friends.


If you that’s far-fetched, a study in 2015 showed that around 75% of college students mostly made friends at after-study workplaces rather than the college itself. Researchers claim this to be because the average college student barely takes time to get to know their classmates, but spends multiple hours together in a workplace.


  • The Cons:
  1. Competition:

Job security is an important part of keeping a job. Making sure that you don’t lose your job from the sea of applicants that managers are forced to choose from. Some will have better resumes than you, so in order to maintain your job, you need to be working consistently.

This may lead in you losing time handling the menial aspects of a part-time job.


  1. Work-Study-Life Balance:

Having a job means that you need to be dedicated to it and invest time in order to make it fruitful and worthwhile. You need to be able to balance and divide your time between working, and having a life; that’s without accounting the time you actually need to spend studying. It is tough for those who have a job and also need to study, which means you have to be organised to make it work.


  1. Working hours:

Some jobs require you to be up and working, even at the dead of night. You need to make sure that you can handle the stress and tension that accompanies such a responsibility.  Not to mention the implied security concerns and sleep deprivation that it brings up. You need to make sure that you can handle a suitable time-table offered by your workplace, otherwise perhaps you are not set up to handle a job so early.


  1. Responsibility:

With great power comes great responsibility. You need to make sure that you are up to take the task and become responsible and handle the work. Otherwise, it could become a burden for you, and the others working around you if you aren’t able to keep up and stay organized.


  • What can you learn at the end of the day?
  1. Management:
    You need to be able to manage yourself before you manage a department. That is why it is great idea to be able to manage a small group or watch someone else do the managing and learning tips from them
  2. Life skills and extra credit:

Some places can teach skills to workers can be used long after you stop working at the place as well as those that can come in handy if you apply for a full-time job. Banks can teach accounting that can come in handy calculating your own taxes. Bakeries can teach you how to cook those delicious cakes that they serve to customers on a daily basis. Depending on what you job you choose, you could learn a thing or two from these huge corporations and implement them in you own life.


  1. Budgeting:

If you are working to maximise your monthly income then you may pick up a thing or two about budgeting. A study shows that over 75% of students who work part-time benefit tenfold in terms of budgeting  by learning how to balance their budget from discounts that they get from their workplaces as well as implementing techniques that their won workplace implements, such as calculattinf tax. This means that depsit financially struggling workers learn how to save money an when best to spend it.


To conclude, working has many benefits. However to truly gain an advantage from it you need to be responsible enough to carry your own load and be able to manage your time, to keep a balance in your life before you take such a step.


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Write an online magazine/blog article about the life and dreams of an ordinary boy, Youssef, living in the slums of Hay An Najat, Casablanca. In your article, include the following: • how he survives from day-to-day • what he does every week (watches movies at the Star Cinema) • why he never misses a show Think carefully about the purpose of your article, and the audience for whom it is intended. By Jibraeil Aatif Anwar


Escapism via movies: possible or not?

The story of an ordinary boy, Youssef, who dreams of big things in his life.

Jibraeil Aatif Anwar

November 5, 2016


Who would’ve thought that even people, with the smallest of lives, had big dreams? Many people can relate to this, from Walt Disney to Steve Jobs. All of them were small in standing, yet their big dreams got them where they are today (or, in these two men’s cases, were). We are here to talk about such a situation, about the story of a little boy named Youssef, who didn’t exactly have it easy. He was poor, and doing his best to live his life in the slums of Hay An Najat, Casablanca, Morocco. And yet, Youssef was an escapist, who lived through movies, and dreamt of being the greatest actor (and football player) ever.  What exactly was his life like, though? Let’s find out….


You see, Youssef lived in his house with his mother, and he didn’t exactly have the best living conditions. The roof was made of corrugated tin, and had to be held down by rocks for it to stay put. His house was down a narrow dirt path, surrounded by many other houses in similar conditions. There was only one room, and it didn’t have any windows, either! The question still remains, though: could Youssef be able to survive these terrible living conditions? The answer is yes, and he did have some things to be grateful about. For one, his neighbourhood didn’t have to suffer from a great drought like the others had to. Second of all, he and his mother were able to handle the bad living conditions considerably well, utilizing methods to keep their house intact, trying their best to keep their things away from outside conditions, and keeping a good sense of optimism along the way. Thirdly, Youssef had… the movies. Movie is only one word, but it had a lot of meaning for Youssef. Movies were his passion, a way of escaping the hardships brought about by real life, but also his ambition (his lifelong dream was to be an actor). The adventure, the wonder, the action, the intrigue, the romance, the drama, the humour — without these seven things, a movie can never be enjoyable, let alone interesting. Yet, thanks to these seven things present in these delightful delicacies, Youssef successfully navigated the treacherous waters of that giant cesspool known as real life.


Youssef, along with being a poor boy, was also an ordinary boy. He did what every child usually does: go to school, play sports, have a dream, and do the best one can to survive. He ate, just like any good boy should, and he took care of his mother, like any good child should. Acting and football were his passions, and he fought very hard in order to get a prestigious career in acting, as well as gain the necessary physique (via football) in order to be considered qualified enough for his job. Youssef also preferred to live an independent life, and always felt bothered by his mother always treating him like an eight year-old, rather than the eighteen year-old he knew he was, and indeed was! But most importantly, however, he did something every week when he felt bored; he took a coin from his mother’s purse, went to the nearby Star Cinema, and watched a movie that played for the week, intending to watch whatever movie would come next week. This routine, this never-ending cycle of doom and gloom (of the best kind), brightened every area of Youssef’s body until you could see the sunlight radiating from him; he loved it that much. What did he watch, you may ask? Maybe a little Hong Kong action films? Perhaps a smidgen of Bollywood romances? How about Egyptian dramas? And is it possible for anyone to forget those world-famous, awe-inspiring American blockbusters? Whatever movie it was, Youssef watched them all — and he loved them. They were his life-blood, his driving force — the force that kept him alive, that lived in very cell of his body (much like the Force in Star Wars). It is especially because of this, that Youssef so passionately acted in the only play his school had, pursued acting with a passion, and played football to develop an actor’s physique. Isn’t it amazing how much movies can change people’s lives, when adults are always claiming that they’re bad for your health, and that they waste too much time? It does beg the question, though: why and how does Youssef benefit from these movies?


It’s pretty simple to articulate: Youssef is miserable. He’s lonely. He yearns for bigger things. What else is a little boy to do? What else is he to pursue? Should he go onto the streets and dance like a monkey for money? No, because times are tough for the lad. Should he read books like the smart kids do? No, because it’s clear that Youssef is not as obsessed with his studies as they are. Movies are his escapism, because they are boundless. They perfectly capture your imagination in the form of moving pictures, making you pleased until you faint of happiness… though, that certainly isn’t the case for Youssef, who is able to remain in one piece after observing these colourful escapades across the desert, sea and whatnot. When you’ve lost your father, your mother is trying her best to make a living for the both of you, and you are struggling to survive, it isn’t hard for you to latch onto the closest hobby you can find, and call it “escapism” from real life. Do you ever think to yourself and wonder, “Why does my life have so many restrictions?” If so, then the exact same case is presented here, where, above all else, Youssef adores the fantasy of the movies, how unreal all of it is; yet, so charming. They do sometimes portray worlds that have their own sufferings taking place in them, but they also portray a sense of resolve over these issues, a triumph of good over evil. Youssef relates to this, because he, too, wishes that his life were like these movies, that he could be the brave, dashing hero who fights the evil dragon (real life) to rescue the princess in the castle (freedom). And, so, he watches these movies, and he’s surely having the time of his life watching them, latching onto them like they’re his stuffed animals.


And, so, this is the story of a humble, ordinary boy by the name of Youssef, who lives with his mother in the slums of Hay An Najat, Casablanca, Morocco. He lives in the poorest of conditions, but that never deters him from being hopeful, and keeping an iron resolve. He lives life as he can, remains a good, obedient boy towards his mother, wants to pursue a career in acting (as well as footballing), and escapes real life via movies, whenever he’s feeling stressed out. Is this interesting to hear about? To pitch in the editors’ opinions, they would say yes, but we’ll leave your opinions to be decided by you. We’ll also leave you to wonder about what this story might teach you; is real life really as bad as it’s been presented? Is escapism the best way out? Would you feel persistence in surviving a life with such sparse conditions? The things people wonder… and this quote by Neil Gaiman might help you better decide your opinion:  “People talk about escapism as if it’s a bad thing… Once you’ve escaped, once you come back, the world is not the same as when you left it. You come back to it with skills, weapons, knowledge you didn’t have before. Then, you are better equipped to deal with your current reality”.