The Awesome Power of Forgiveness

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

I have just finished watching a BBC documentary that featured the attached family (L-R) Rizqy Setiawan, Iwan Setiawan and Sarah Setiawan flanking Ahmad Hassan (2nd from L) Iwan is the father of Rizqy and Sarah.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Hassan is on death row. He was one of the conspirators of a bomb attack that killed Iwan’s wife, the mother of Rizqy and Sarah. The program put together by the maverick BBC reporter Rebecca Henschke was such a profound experience for me. It is a poignant reminder that the best way to fight against evil is through forgiveness. As Abraham Lincoln famously asked;

“Do I not destroy my enemies by making them my friends?”

“Setiawan was on his motorbike, speeding past the Australian embassy in Jakarta. His mind was on his wife, whose arms were around his chest and whose pregnant belly he could feel pressing against his back. Their second child was due within weeks and they were on their way to hospital for a check-up. Suddenly there was this incredibly loud sound and we were thrown into the air,” he remembers. Iwan didn’t know till much later that it was a suicide bomb, planted by a militant group a responsible for a series of attacks in Indonesia, including the Bali bombing in 2002 that killed 202 people from around the world. “I saw blood. Lots of blood. Metal went flying into one of my eyes, destroying it. His wife was thrown from the bike, landing metres away. Both were rushed to hospital and, in a state of shock, a badly injured Halila Seroja Daulay went into labour.

She was rushed into the operating room after getting contractions. But praise be to Allah, somehow she was still able to give birth naturally,” Iwan says. That night Rizqy was born. His name means “blessing”
According to Setiawan “I lost my best friend, my soul mate, the person who completed me. It’s so painful to talk about it,”. At first, he was filled with a desire for revenge. “I wanted the arrested conspirators to die, but I didn’t want them to die quickly,” he says. “I wanted them to be tortured first. I wanted their skin to be cut and salt put in the wounds so that they had some idea of the pain their bombing caused, both physically and mentally. My children and I have struggled so incredibly hard just to keep living.”

The car bomb attack that killed Mrs Setiawan went off at 10.30 am Jakarta time on September 9, 2004. It killed the suicide bomber that triggered it, 8 others, injured 150 and destroyed not just the Australian embassy but that of Greece and China shattering glass windows up to half a kilometer away. 6 persons were eventually arrested and sentenced to death. They are currently cooling off their heels in a maximum security prison on a jungle covered island that the surviving Setiawan family members met Ahmad Hassan including the mastermind of the bomb attack Darmawan Munto Rois. Setiawan senior had all previously met them before bringing his children along. Who by way of introduction started;
“I have invited my children to meet you, I want them to understand too why you did the bombing that killed their mother and caused me to lose one of my eyes. They have to know because they lost their mother when they were so young” Ahmad Hassan nods solemnly and replies;
“I never wanted to hurt your father, he just happened to be passing by, and my friend who was carrying the bomb blew it up at that time. I hope that you, the children of Iwan, can forgive me.” His voice starts to break.

“I am a flawed human. I have made many mistakes. My friends and I were given the wrong education and learning. I wish that we hadn’t acted before we had really gained knowledge and understood what we were doing,” he continued.
Sarah summons up courage and says; “I would always ask my dad when I was little, ‘Where is my mum?’ and he told me she was at Allah’s house. I asked where that was, and he said it was the mosque. So I ran away to the mosque. My grandmother was looking for me, and when she found me I told her that I was waiting for my mum. I was waiting for my mum to come home. But she has never come home.”

“Hassan closes his eyes and opens his hands in prayer. Over and over he mumbles a prayer seeking forgiveness from Allah. “Allah wanted me to have to meet you and be forced to try and explain,” he finally manages to say. “But I can’t explain to you my child, I am sorry. “I can’t hold back my tears. I take Sarah as my own child. Please, please forgive me. It’s in your hands.” Everyone in this tiny room is crying – except the mastermind and financier of the bomb attack who on his part stated; “I have a child, too. I haven’t seen my wife or child for years. I really miss them. I am even worse off than you. You’re still with your children. My child doesn’t even know me.” Darmawan continued “I didn’t do what they said I did. Why did I admit to it? Maybe when you are older you will understand” he said directly to the Setiawan children but added

“All humans have made mistakes. If I have wronged you in any way I apologise. I feel pain. I really do”

The entire meeting is part of a De-radicalisation program by the Indonesian government that brings captured terrorists and their victims face to face many of which have found healing and moved on with their lives without bitterness. Quite a number of the terrorists have also recanted because they are kept in isolation. Without their death sentences carried out and group solidarity they break down. Can the same template be applied in Nigeria? Will one day Shekau pose for a photograph holding hands with the Sharibu family? Are terrorists not actually pawns on a chessboard they neither understand nor have real control over? Truth is the real terrorist grandmasters never blow up themselves or get in any harms way.

They always pose as good guys because terrorism is the continuation of politics by other means. That not withstanding there is power in forgiveness.

The various aftermaths of the Nigerian Civil War during the Oil Boom 70s, the emergence of a Rainbow Nation after dismantling of Apartheid in South Africa and the current soaring of Rwanda after the Hutu genocide against Tutsis are all examples of that awesome power.

WEDDED WITS

You will love this COPIED Story

A woman went shopping. At the cash counter, she opened her purse to pay.

The cashier noticed a TV remote in her purse.

He could not control his curiosity and asked

“Do you always carry your TV remote with you?”

She replied “No, not always, but my husband refused to accompany me shopping today because of football match, so I took the remote.”

Moral: Accompany and support your wife in her hobbies….

The story continues…

The cashier laughed and then returned all the items that lady had purchased.

Shocked at this act, she asked the cashier what he was doing.

He said, “Your husband has blocked your credit card.”

MORAL: Always respect the hobbies of your husband.

Story continues….

Wife took out her husband’s credit card from purse and swiped it. Unfortunately he didn’t block his own card.

Moral: Don’t underestimate the power and wisdom of your WIFE..

Story continues…

After swiping, the machine indicated, ‘ENTER THE PIN SENT TO YOUR MOBILE PHONE’

Moral: When a man tends to lose, the machine is smart enough to save him!

Story continues….

She smiled to herself and reached out for the mobile which rang in her purse.

It was her husband’s phone showing the forwarded SMS.

She had taken it with the remote control so he doesn’t call her during her shopping.

She bought her items and returned home happily.

Moral: Don’t underestimate a desperate woman!

Story continues….

On getting home, his car was gone.

A note was pasted on the door

“Couldn’t find the remote. Gone out with the boys to watch the premiership match. Will be home late. Call me on my phone if you need something”.

Damn… He left with the house key too.

*Moral: Don’t try to control your husband.
You will always lose.

THE REASON MOST MEN MARRY

simpsons-6

Most grown men were previously of the opinion that they should always have the major say in their romantic relationships. They realized too late that they had succumbed to female charms unconsciously. Like most people they discovered they aren’t built outwardly as they are inwardly. They lead themselves on with the false hope that they could blunt the sharpness that heralds the things they covet the most, like most women so pitifully do. Majority of men love the attributes of the women they end up with, not the women and that is their undoing.

Women aren’t on the same level playing field with men. A woman yields for the man to thrust himself into her life. When she momentarily refuses to yield and he persists forcibly, that is defined as rape. When she is coerced into giving in unwillingly, it hurts hers and she ensures it would practically displease him too in the long run. The woman wants favours and still wants equality, leaving her man with the vague decisions of what are actually his strengths, choices, rights and his initiated ideas. His admonitions and inclinations are shredded with all the belated unexpected outpouring that follows the subsequent sense of abandonment dimly registering in his complicated thoughts, when she gets her way as always.

Yet she will still hurl varied insults at his person, distorting and trampling facts. When the fragrance of the truth is confronted, it will always smell quite feminine. There are no legal statutes governing the woman’s natural strength sapping and ego violating antecedents, that always ends with a fuming fretted man.
strenght-of-a-woman
Strenght of a Woman
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Exclusive — Eyes + Words

Written by Jacob Ibrag I don’t strive to be different. Those who desperately swim against the current usually find themselves out of breath and lack the will to break free above the surface. Think snowflakes, short lifespans carrying unique purpose. Each inherently obsolete and exclusive. No identity crisis, no contempt for each others progressions. Rare and perfect in their imperfections. I don’t care about […]

via Exclusive — Eyes + Words

MARRIAGE IS THE WOMAN’S

charge-your-man
Women can not but accept that they make a marriage work. The nature of the man is too proud, independent and selfish to make all the compromises a marriage needs to work. In the most traditional setting the onus is on the woman to do all the work for a marriage. She would think that she couldn’t do much of it without the male’s maintained cooperation, but really most men never had actually cooperated from the onset.

It is clear that the more independent the woman seeks to be and the more independence she attains over time and exercises in her personalized wishes in a marriage and in life in general, the more the marital proverbially boat rocks, hit the rocks and sinks. Then only the woman really loses out because the marriage institution best personifies her. The man would only instantly lose the joys of the woman’s attributes, all those many attachments that were always only really beneficial to him. The woman loses the marriage she was wooed into. It will hurt the man’s pride, take away the brightness in the pleasures he enjoys for the while. Then his face would beam, his eyes gleam with delight and his lips blossom into the fresh smile of yet another blissful union. Women mostly seek face value like their much belittled gender, racial and regional orientation expects of them.

Truly black women are practically more racists in their preferences. Though they are very hospitable and more selfless, they are collectively personal and quite tribal, and trivial in their general choices; preferring outward values above all others. The twisting effect of religion doesn’t change this trend as much as culture has affected it over time, it actually worsens it. Civilization merely inserted a dent in the trend but not altered in fully. A whooping resounding domineering majority of religious people aren’t adult converts but are actually circumstantially religious by some original orientation. Thus it has never been the quest of religious people to seek the rightfulness of another faith ahead of theirs. They are always schooled in the desires of their immediate needs and desire to put other faith’s principle on a logical pedestal. To remotely glorify different teachings is not even entertained.

They would ordinarily consider all others faiths quite inferior to theirs and oddly that poorly or wrongly conceives subjective ideologies but not guide any sacred insight like theirs would. In this line of thought they linger in, their need of it engulfs their bias reasoning, which is to belong firmly and remain so in their tight fitting world of faithful make-belief. Their near misses are actually searches and they are never real losers in the end, but endless winners that out number their victories. It is in these all too familiar marriages that the lingering incompatibility of each separate union comes true and freedom from that inner human loneliness couples look for is ever elusive, endlessly so. Freedom from humanly imposed regulations is the spelled out thought that holds them captive with its one tracked biasness. Then as the birds of marital prey are spotted and stopped from perching over human heads, they stay out of reach and fly over head with their very own intensions in mind and never that of another. The presence of freedom has the propensity to be quite harmful eventually too, just as does the absence of it. The case in favour of true freedom is that it allows choice, and choice makes the man. It is the main difference in humanity’s tangible essence over its adopted civility.

WILL YOU MARRY ME?
These intimate songs we sing
Blend aged dreams into a ring
That weds our gendered stew
In matrimonial oneness not new.

strenght of a woman
Strenght of a woman
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The Poet in the Poem
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CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT

she loves me not

The settings might differ from one case to another but generally speaking women are really like birds when hurt. They fall off the so many trees of their painful romantic memories and just any well placed fellow can pick up their flightless form, hold them, toss them, strip and grill them the way he wants before devouring them to his heart’s desire.

It is feminine’s most natural need to be loved always. It is the most vulnerable nature of a woman, one she does not really succeed in doing anything about. On the part of the man, he can only hope that he can belittle the strength of the woman by making it appear less the issue in his pretence that it is. The strength of the woman is always that very visible influence she has, but the man never appreciates and respect but habitually needs. The might of the naturally endowed woman is ironically most telling in the young lady, still growing and inexperienced, than in the much older, already experienced women. As soon as a girl first experiences the subtle gains in the influential might of her unique feminine attributes and realizes that she could literally downsize, cut and render worthless, to near non-existent, any age difference between her and much older lustful men with a little effort, she instantly ages further than them and momentarily own their emotions, repeatedly.
thinker
She grows not in age but in the more worldly rewarding craft of simply being a human being, that sole complex entity that personifies both men and women in the naturally naïve, emotionally weak but capably strong nature of humanity.

STRENGTH OF A WOMAN

Where is the bird that hatched this egg?
Flying above the world, up so very high.
And the monkey the farmer wouldn’t beg?
Laughing up a branch, he threatens not near.
Will they ever marry their ideas, so very big?
As always they steal, flock, eat and do share.

Flying above the world, up so very High,
The bird still returns down to hatch its egg.
Laughing away harmless threats if not near,
The monkey’s hunger for the farm will beg.
Their ideas created their world and it is clear,
That strength of the woman gave marriage a leg.

Strength of a Woman
strenght of a woman
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/383812

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https://www.createspace.com/5252496
http://okadabooks.com/book/about/8963

The Poet in the Poem
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Exotic Female Tennis

maria 1
(Excerpts from ‘Sporting Chance’ in ‘Everyone hates the English’)

Vijay had always been quite fond of lawn tennis and he played it sparingly sometimes. Only he was helplessly useless with the racquet in his favorite right hand and even worse with the netted large batting instrument in his naturally less dexterous left hand. His aged tennis instructor would encourage him with poetry.

“I guess if you stick around long enough, nothing ever is but always was.”

Vijay was just horrible with his hands and had always wondered what good is human ingenuity if people had no fingers? Vijay was good with his legs, but then maybe he just had good football instructors and terrible ones for tennis. Vijay never saw the old man win a single game and had since concluded the old man had only managed to be a top seeded player in a grand slam tourney, when the game of tennis was played with eloquent words. But Vijay reserved his fondest interest for female tennis and there were loads of reasons for this. Chief amongst these are firstly, the girls’ rallies lasted longer, making scored points longer in coming. That however is the only technical reason for his preference, though he claims there are other technical reasons, all his other reasons were quite feminine ones. These include the cute umbrella shaped skirts the ladies wore when they played tennis.
mirza 1
As the female tennis server descends from a ballerina toed posture, the lift of her skirt exposes robustly fleshy or firm slim exotic thighs with is swerve, shuffle and swing. This presents the pleasant brief view that makes even keener spectators of most male followers of female tennis. At momentarily inactive rest periods, live spectators get to rest their stiff necks from the prolonged following of the furry small ball across the center net, from player to player. Yet male spectator wolfishly enjoy watching the resting players, sitting in their low stages like actresses, as they mop their skimpy clad bodies with thick towels at some green coloured pool side, seemingly oblivious that they are still a viewing delight for the casual on-lookers.
serena 1

Then there is the buzz of watching the girls stretch out fully to return difficult low line-edged balls, to save a point. The regular flash of their finely tightened buttocks, which is a generous meaty picture beneath those umbrella shaped skirts doing more of a good job in covering their bellies and lower backs than they do anything lower. Vijay’s ultimate high are the moans, groans and shrill screaming, such that with ears plugged, shut eyed or reading an adult magazine as the ladies play, the sound effect would pass for the next door pervert loudly watching X-rated channels. With little imagination, the athleticism of the playing ladies could easily revert to a high stage performance, with handled vertical fixed stainless pole instead of racquets and with half drunk hooting men, swinging crisp money notes at the entertaining girls, encouragingly them to whack some furry balls.

EVERYONE HATES THE ENGLISH - Small
EVERYONE HATES THE ENGLISH (LC67V)

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FRIENDLY FOES: Another must read

A World of Sentiments
Friendly Foes

Strangest explosion rocks the Karachi international airport just as a massive deployment of US marines arrived the busy airport. Stories of the victims and their relatives, responders and their purpose, perpetrators and their reasons, unfolds a tale of current resolutions based on old conceptions. The narrative tells of the most diverse colorful global characters surrounded with a good mix of friends and foes.
2014_09_band-of-brothers-53
There is David Holden, the English Doctor who loves humanity more than his origins. His idea of getting use to scarcity in the midst of plenty paid off in his later years as a charitable medical doctor with the United Nations, WHO and Red Cross, while working with refugees all around the world.
GB Flag - Copy
Abdul Kazaar Ali is Doctor Holden’s opportunistic aged patient who lives out his perception of Muslim norms like he desires. In Karachi, bearded old men must daily demand the honourable respect only reserved for them after death. Only the living can tell the honour bestowed on them and the dead, the judgment they spent a life-time waiting for. Abdul Kazzar wanted his reward on earth and his son; Umar Ali, held much promise after he ran off to England and started working in London to learn the lucrative wisdom of the English.

Aaamu and her mother Rael are Kenyans with Somalian origins. They live by their wits as their circumstances allow. Ladies always come first in typical English fashion and Rael Amu is obsessed with being first but there are very few things in which a young Muslim maiden gets to be first in. Rael passed on her obsession to her daughter and gave her all the tools she needs to be first.

Then there is Fatima, who is smart enough to outwit her sexuality but too human to resist normalcy. From a tender age Fatima figured out that she only got a better deal when she isn’t identified as Arab or Muslim. In America the distinction between the two is inconsequential. Fatima only had to behave ideally in the care of her uncle, Suleiman.

Suleiman’s wife is a delightful gentle half-literate girl named Khadija. She is younger than Fatima and imported from Yemen especially for marriage. Khadija came to Suleiman untarnished by western ways and speaking some English, just enough. Partially caged-in, according to Suleiman’s mildly liberal interpretations of Islamic rites, who ensured Khadija isn’t more exposed than her elbows. But Khadija discovered a lot more than Suleiman cared for.

Ruth is the young Israeli genius whose Jewish father; Avi Jonah, gave her a lot more than just his name. She was born in Tel Aviv and grew up there into a strong healthy industrious lady. Ruth had a pleasant childhood, unlike her controvertial nation’s. All through history every true super power took its turn in bullying the proud Jews.
Peace
Avi Jonah is more Hebrew than he is Jewish, that comes across in his lessons to Ruth and her siblings. It is the Hebrews forte to be proficient in history and like everybody else, their history is always opinionated.

Lee is Ruth’s Chinese boyfriend and school-mate in London, who is trying out his fantasies alongside his opinions. Lee didn’t talk much and hated talking about himself to anyone, Ruth was the only exception. Lee spent most of his leisure time, while growing up in main land China, learning what most enlightened minds in the world had to say about things. His brilliant mind was full of information about diverse cultures from every part of the world.

Professor Henry Benjamin is Lee’s octogenarian landlord, a world renown, multiple award winning, retired academician with many reputable publications to his credit. The steady presence of Lee and his equally excellent girlfriend was a big plus for the aged man with a very weak heart.

Then there is Sean Samuel, the Irish-American reporter with a huge reputation he constantly seeks to live up to, like his proud American nation. Sean wasn’t ever much of a fighter, with his uncles’ tough reputation he never had cause to prove he is a descendant of an Irish gangster from Dublin who migrated to New York city to continue being a crook.

A MUST READ

FRIENDLY FOES
Friendly Foes - Copy
A World of Sentiments
https://www.createspace.com/6131298
http://authl.it/B01CUVBCSU