Friday, June 30, 2006

Dalia Ziada won honorable mention from HAMSA organization


I have just won an honorable mention from HAMSA (Hands Across the Mideast Alliance) organization which is the coordinator of the famous "Dream Deffered" Essay Contest. My name (Dalia Ziada) has become so popular now. Thanks God! My winning essay talks about Women Rights in Egypt through my own story with my Mom.
To read it go to this page search for my name "Dalia Ziada" in the honorable mentions list where you can rea my article in both English and Arabic. If you want to go directly to the English version click here and if you want the Arabic original go here
To know what does it mean for me to win such prize, I'd like to tell you that I am working in the field of Human Rights since only six months ago. That is one of my very first steps towards success in such great field. So can you see? Moreover, my essay is one of the best ten essays among 2500 essay. Read this:
Inspired by the Langston Hughes poem What Happens to a Dream Deferred?, this essay contest asked young Middle Easterners and young Americans to address civil rights repression in the Middle East. The essay questions (participants from each region had a choice of three) focused on the importance of individual rights, how grassroots reform efforts could challenge restrictions, and the possiblity of future reform. Rather than focus on US foreign policy, participants were encouraged to see themselves as agents of change.

2,500 people from 20 different countries submitted essays (in English, Arabic, French, and Farsi), which were in turn evaluated by a panel of celebrity judges. $10,000 in prize money was available for five winners each from the Middle East and the US (10 total), as well as book prizes for 50 outstanding essays.

Representing just 0.4% of the 2,500 essays submitted, the following essays were selected as prize winners after a lengthy evaluation process. From among hundreds of strong essays, these winners stood out for their bold ideas and compelling messages. Their varying approaches reflect the need for diverse responses to the problems posed by repression in the Middle East. Brief comments highlight the outstanding elements of each essay.
Actually, I feel more than happy right now. Thanks God! the next step is much greater. HAMSA initiative announced this:
The essay contest marked the inaugural program of the HAMSA initiative. Already plans are underway to mobilize and connect the hundreds of young people who participated in the contest and showed a commitment to taking action in defense of individual rights. We also hope soon to be able to run a follow-up essay contest.
So, let's do it now! let's forget all the pains of the past and launch some new bright future, wherein Dalia Ziada is a celebrity HR activist.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Muslim = Ambitiously Satisfied Human

The word Muslim refers to the person; male or female, who chooses the Islam to be his/her religion. That is the definition mostly used by academic studies and public. Yet, the word Muslim has more profound meanings, because Islam is not merely a religion that one should keep in his heart and practice in Masjid and no more. Islam is the religion who taught the human how to live, how to deal with his/her own self and how to interact with others. Therefore, I believe that the word Muslim has much thorough meaning.

My definition for the word Muslim may be summarized in the following sentence: "Muslim= An ambitiously satisfied human". I invented this definition upon my own experience for being a Muslim for almost 24 years (my lifetime). That is how I was taught to live. Frankly enough, not all Muslims practice their Islam in the same way. Some Muslims are still "ghafelin" [unaware of the fact of their lives] and some others are "motazamedien" [extremists]. i.e., the above definition may not be applied on all Muslims. However, the person who could reach this point and practice his/her religion as an ambitiously satisfied person will gain success in both current life and the after-life.

Can you see any contradiction in the above definition? Actually, there is no contradiction. Let's analyze the items of the definition to eliminate any misconceptions that might affect you as a reader. The definition contains only three words: "Muslim= An ambitiously satisfied human" [ambitiously, satisfied and human].

The first item "Ambitious" refers to the power that must overwhelm the Muslim in all his actions and reactions in life. For the Muslim to be ambitious means to have a certain goal in life. This goal must be derived from the ultimate goal that any Muslim seeks; which is to please Almighty Allah. That does not mean to pray all day and night. Allah created us to bring life to the Earth. So one may be ambitious in his/her work out of his/her ambition to please Allah.

The second word is "satisfied". Satisfaction means to accept and be pleased with all you have, because in fact this is granted to you by Almighty Allah. Allah is fair. If you do not have all the pleasures that the other person have, it does not mean that Allah disregarded you or does not love you. Allah is fair. As long as we believe that Allah is fair, we must accept all He is doing with our lives even if we do not like this thing to happen. For example, if Almighty Allah caused your dearest person to die, you have to be sure that Allah is hiding a better reward for you (only if you did not object).

Satisfaction does not contradict ambition. You might have a question: "if satisfaction means to accept what Allah grants me and ambition means to seek progress and do my best to have a better life, how could I apply this on myself to be a True Muslim (according to the above definition)!! Let me provide you with the answer. It is true that satisfaction means to be pleased with your statuesque and ambition means to seek the development of your statuesque. Yet, you did not notice the amplification of this. Ambition is to "SEEK"; i.e. to do your best and pray for Allah to help and support you. That is what makes our lives valuable enough to live. However, if after all the efforts you exerted to achieve your goal, Allah decided not to grant it to you never be unsatisfied. You have to be sure that Allah did this because He knows what is best for you. Allah the most Merciful loves us His servants. Just wait and you will see. After a few days, months or even years, you will find the reward of Allah for being satisfied with His decree.

The last word in the definition is "HUMAN". What a word!! It needs hundreds of pages to be clarified. The human is the inheritent of Almighty Allah on Earth. The Human is the supreme creature honored by Allah. You have an intellect, your body is straight, you look beautiful and you are decent and merciful. That is how Almighty Allah created you and wanted you to be. Now, please ask your self: "Am I truly a human? Do I deserve this title?" If you are, praise Allah and thank Him for this. If you are not, please try to change your self and pray for Allah to show you the right way. Be a human as Allah wants you to be, in order to be a true Muslim who shall gain success and love in this life and paradise and joy in the other life.This is how the Muslim should be; from my own point of view.

May Allah help me and you to be an ambitiously satisfied humans; a Muslim.