Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye, 2010


I still remember the night of December 31st, 2009.

I was with my sister and some friends celebrating all night, eating, making fools of ourselves, playing games.

It feels like it was only yesterday.

Time passed by, too fast.

As I put this year in retrospect, I see that I have emerged in to a different young man.

2010 was a year of growth. 2010 was a year of experience. 2010 was a year of change. 2010 was a year, that I will never forget.

I wish I documented it all, but for some reason, once I began to TRULY change- I stopped my journal entries. My last entry was on March 18th, 2010, and the last sentence read: "What if I don't want this to be my destiny?"

It's as if that night of March 18th was when I changed, as if I felt something THAT night, felt an urge for wisdom, maturity, change. This feeling of urgency, that I don't remember, but have my journal to remember it for me.

EXACTLY ONE MONTH later, I started this blog, Truth from a Teen, on April 18th, 2010. I began to develop strong opinions and a will to strive for my voice, and therefore my teacher recommended I start a blog- and thanks to him, I did. This blog has made me realize what I want from this world.

Soon, I decided I would run for President of my school's Student Body. Of course, it was quite a challenge, as it was my freshman year of high school and I was running against two seniors. The decision was a tough one to make - I would either make a fool of myself or make myself known to the entire school.

Thankfully, I won.

The moment I stepped in front of the podium in front of hundreds of students and said my first words of my speech, "Who is Aadil Malik?", everyone to my astonishment began to cheer, jump, yell with astonishment of their own. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life so far.

I went from being a shy, dull kid to a self-confident, willing young man. A will, inspired by something I was too afraid to recognize back then. A will, inspired by time. The aspect of time had baffled me- I had experienced over a dozen deaths, over a dozen car accidents, yet amidst it all, I didn't realize how quick life was going. Every day went by quicker and quicker, more struggles, more experiences, more mistakes to learn from.

Yet, I lived through every moment of it.

This blog has taught me so much about myself and the world I am living in, and the years that make me realize how long I have left to fulfill my will.

2010 was a year that changed who I am, who I want to be, and made me realize that I didn't need to change my destiny on the night of March 18th, but my willpower.


You know, they say a new year means a new beginning. 

But...

I just wish this beginning, never ends.

-That's the TFAT. Happy New Year!

I would like to thank some people in particular this New Year:
Thank you, Mama and Daddy, for always giving me support and motivating me to become who I am and who I want to be in the future.
Thank you, Mr. Schneider, for influencing me to create Truth from a Teen.
Thank you, Faisal and Arslan, for being my best friends and keeping me sane.
Thank you, Facebook fans, because without your support I would be lost today.
Thank you, "Fikiriatu" (lol), for your support and the idea to do this blog post.
Thank you, Jacob "Yacoob (lol)"L., Erik, Sidra, Carrie, Jeana, Julia, Ian, Hassan, Ursalla, Uncle Jamal, Amier, Rabia, Umara, Madie, Amina, Megan, Dan, Ahson-- everyone who has showed even an atom's weight of support in what I do. 
Thank you, Boonaa Mohammed, Uncle Zia Rahman, Zain Bhikha, and more for your inspiration.

And last, but definitely not least, Thank you, ALLAH, for granting me knowledge when I asked for it, wisdom when I needed it, and experience when I went astray.

Goodbye, 2010!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

UPDATE: Boot Islam: A Blog Preaching Violence

UPDATE: The blog that I sent WordPress an email about has been immediately deleted. I am very happy with the immediate response by WP, if only Facebook had done the same thing with the Burn Koran situation...


I guess WordPress is simply smarter. Congrats, and I thank all those who joined in the effort to end it!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Boot Islam": A Blog Preaching to Kill Innocent Muslims

Recently, I read a Facebook "note" regarding CAIR's Action Alert about a hostile blog post advocating KILLING innocent Muslims, so I decided to send a letter to WordPress, the hosting site of the blog:
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Aadil Malik, and I'm a fifteen-year old blogger in Pennsylvania.
Recently, I have been alerted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations regarding a blog hosted using WordPress.com, that violates your Terms of Service, as it "incites violence towards individuals or entities".
The blog contains posts that advocate burning mosques, making false bomb threats implicating Muslims, desecrating Muslim graves, and recommending the “proper way to shoot a muslim [sic]".
The blog is located at: http://bootislam.wordpress.com/.
I personally host a blog on Blogspot called Truth from a Teen (www.truthfromateen.blogspot.com) and know several WordPress bloggers. As a matter of fact, they have claimed that they will delete their WordPress accounts if this matter doesn't get settled.
I understand that you do not delete "generally offensive" posts- however, this particular blog is hosting a hostile environment. In fact, In a post headlined “Burning Mosques – A lovely idea,” the blog’s author writes: “What else could an infidel want? Watching your local mosque, or, any mosque for that matter burning should gladden our hearts. I sincerely hope the 911 mosque joins that parade. Maybe we should get stickers ‘Beautify America – Burn a mosque!’”
One comment on that post states: “There was a nice attempt to burn a mosque in Oregon – after the FBI sting. Perhaps we will see more of this in the future. Let us pray.”
Now, you also state in the Abuse section of your site that we should contact the Blogger directly- which I will do maybe tomorrow. I will possibly even email you the results.
There is no simpler way to put it, than to say that this blog needs to be deleted immediately, as it is a direct call for violence- and should be treated with no bias and/or prejudice. The blogger is simply violating your Terms of Service to a hostile extent.
Please review this subject immediately.
Thank you,
Aadil Malik
www.truthfromateen.blogspot.com

I'll keep you all updated on my efforts.

Learning Patience

Patience (n.)
1. good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence
2. solitaire: a card game played by one person



Religiously, I was taught patience by reading the Holy Qur'an and praying Salah (daily prayer). The Qur'an's meaning isn't the only thing that contributes to this education, but the pace at which I read it. I read it in Arabic, a language that I am slow-paced at reading, as well as ignorant of it's meaning. After reading it, I often read the translation of it.

The process of reading the Qur'an for me personally is often frustrating (because of the fact that I'm slow and don't understand it)- but once I understand why I'm doing it, I learn to be patient. I make a mistake with pronouncing almost every other word or so, but have learned to continue.

This has led ME to be patient. Although I still haven't finished reading the entire Qur'an, and although my sisters finished it at a way younger age then I envision I will - I have STILL benefited from it.

We are a society of many different cultures and religions, and patience is a virtue we MUST all portray. Patience is the mother to tolerance, [self] respect, and wisdom. However, it is an aspect of life that is learned by everybody in a unique way.

The only solution to learning it that I can possibly give you is through inspiring you.

My Dad told me a story when I was younger, of a Muslim couple who inspired me to become more patient. I thought I would share it to you all as well. I don't know where it's referenced from, or word from word, but here it is:

It was a hot day, and the Dad was tired of doing so much work throughout the entire day. He laid down for a rest, and called his wife over to ask her for water. The wife immediately came to his call. He said, "Wife, will you please get me a glass of water?" The wife replied, "Yes." She went to get some water, and came back some minutes later to see her husband had suddenly fallen asleep. She didn't want to wake him up, nor did she want him to remain thirsty. So, she waited, and stood there for several long hours, with the glass of water in hand, patiently. The husband awoke after a very long nap, to see his wife in front of him with a glass of water in hand. "What are you doing here, wife?", he asked. She replied, "I waited and didn't want to disturb you, here's your glass of water."

This story teaches us that patience is the key to wisdom, knowledge, respect, tolerance, happiness- and every other virtue known to man. Whether it's through experience or sorrow, one must learn how and when to be patient.

Brothers and sisters, elders and kids, please - learn to be patient. It is the key solution, to almost all of our society's problems.

I personally will continue to strive for it, and believe you should to.

-That's the TFAT.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Fictional Truth




Is there such thing as fictional truth?

The concept of fictional truth is indeed paradoxical and/or contradictory, however, this doesn't mean that it does not exist. It is a concept tackled by many, but recognized by only some.

Gregory Currie, a Professor of Philosophy and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Nottingham wrote a paper about the evaluation and interpretation of fictional truth in literary works (1985-New Zealand). He describes fictional truth in the notion of how truth can be derived from fictional works.

Dimitria Electra Gatzia, an assistant professor of Philosophy at the University of Akron is in progress of writing a paper about the concept of fictional truth, using Currie's claims:
"Anyone who has read Pride and Prejudice would agree that Mr. Darcy asks Elizabeth to marry him. The statement ‘Mr. Darcy proposes to Elisabeth’ is thus true in Jane Austen’s story. The relevant passages in the book confirm this. It is a simple matter to apply the notion of truth to fictional statements. It is not so simple, however, to explain what makes something fictionally true. Is something true, for example, if it is not stated explicitly in the story? The best way to settle this question is to attempt to give truth conditions for statements of the form ‘In F, P’. Currie (1986) offers a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for statements of this form. His account is motivated by the fact that to “say that P is fictionally true is just to say that it is part of some story F, that P” (p. 196). In “Truth and Inference in Fiction”, Phillips (1997) argues that Currie’s (1986) account of fictional truth is inadequate because it requires that we posit a fictional author. He then proposes an account of fictional truth that resembles Currie’s but which does not require positing a fictional author. We agree with Phillips that Currie’s proposal is problematic, but argue that Phillips’ is too. We then propose another variation of Currie’s account that avoids the problems his own version faces and which fares better than Phillips’."
"It is a simple matter to apply the notion of truth to fictional statements." This sentence defines applying truth to fiction.

Now, obviously, being a fifteen-year old student in High School, I am not as accountable or reliable as someone like Gatzia, who holds a PhD degree. Albeit I do render my own opinions, they are reinforced by more accountable sources.

Therefore, in my poem Truth/from/a/Teen, I stated in the first stanza:
Truth/using fact and fiction.
One can find truth using fiction. It's just one of those things that is said easier, than done.

In my perception, the concept of fictional truth is an allegory of how one can not reach perfection- and that even the truth, can be derived from the lie.

EDIT
It was pointed out to me by the person this post was dedicated to, that indeed, I failed to describe in detail my OWN opinion. I left a comment back to the person in the comments section, but I decided it needed to be posted in the post itself. Here it is:

"...I do appreciate your remarks, as they made me realize that in fact- I did not fully describe MY OWN opinion. You are most definitely right. 
A main reason I didn't state my opinion first as a matter of fact was because my senses were telling me that no one would believe me. That's why I relied on more accountable sources. Yet, my voice was hidden by the majority of them. 
The last sentence of your comment is something I should say: I wish I had time to write more. In the last sentence of my blog, I state my opinion. However, I fail to describe it [in detail]. 
At first, I used to fail to reinforce my opinions using sources, and with this post, I failed to describe MY opinion. You have made me realize that I need to balance these out.
With that said, here is MY opinion DESCRIBED IN DETAIL, about fictional truth:
Fictional truth can exist, but only in literary terms. This means, that fictional truth may not exist in actions, but in words. It is yet another aspect that makes words unique. In order to show HOW it exists, one can only give examples. In my case, I derive the truth from lies/fictional work. For example, John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is a piece of fictional work, but I can find an aspect of truth from it. The truth is Lennie is killed by George. This is fictional truth, because it is the truth derived from a work of fiction. 
Fiction, in essence, does not mean fake. The term fiction in my context, is what it truly means- a literary work using imagination. 
Also, fact is not the same thing as truth, although similar. Truth is a fact that can be verified. Verified by what? Fact can be verified by fact OR fiction. And how? Using words. 
Fictional truth proves that contradiction and paradox, allows one to realize that perfection is out of reach, because even the FACT, relies on fiction..."


You tell me.
-That's the TFAT



Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Reason for Change

As we near a new year, I am deciding to change my blog. 

After studying your comments and reviews, I have realized that I have been hosting to some: an arrogant and wrongly-biased tone, and to others- truthful and honest. 

I have made a mission to spread truth to ALL. And I will continue to fight for the success of that mission.

Arrogant is a harsh word, and even though I've never been called it- I understand why some of you leave the comments the way you do. Now, you do exercise your right to freedom of speech, as harsh or argumentative as you can be, but I want you all to understand that words on a screen the way I read them, are different than the way YOU read them. Many of you know me personally and maybe know my tone. But for the others who view my blog from different states, continents, cities, and countries- you have not yet CAPTURED my tone. My intent cannot be summed up in a sentence, nor can my tone/emotion. 

The reason I am deciding to change the way I blog is because, well, change is sometimes a good thing.

I will report my sources- not because of the risk of plagiarism, but to reinforce my opinions with factual information.

I will continue talk about a broad topic- but using more specifics. 

I will make an even bigger effort to include other voices.

I will not only state a problem, but state a proposed solution.

I will continue to spread words of truth, but at a less harmful bias than I have possibly portrayed in the past.

And most of all- I will make sure my point makes the best of sense, to all audiences.

Thank you all for your constant support.





Truth/from/a/Teen



Truth
Using fact and fiction.
Using wisdom and knowledge,
Coupled with opinions.
Not reality,
Actuality.


From
A confused source,
yet reliable.
Societal.
Capable of change,
through voice.


A
One,
Unique, yet
Irrelevant and common
Just like the rest.
Own.


Teen
Struggling in a troublesome American society,
Fighting hypocrisy 
With himself,
Through himself,
By himself.


This is not your average blog, this is something different.


*On a side note, Happy Holidays everybody!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Solution: A "Found" Poem

In my Writing class, we are drafting "Found" poetry derived from our journals. Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry by making changes in spacing and/or lines (and consequently meaning), or by altering the text by additions and/or deletions.

I decided to take phrases from my blog and rearrange them to create a poem. The result, is this, my mission of TFAT, what TFAT was created for - something really deep. I hope you find your own meaning from this poem.

Solution
There is a way to be good.
It's true.
It's about something bigger.
Understand, understand, understand.
This fact has been forgotten.

You can do it.
Opportunity is in your hands, plan your life, and I promise it will be worth it.
Just stop. Enjoy your life, don't ruin it.

I aspire to inspire you: to create a graceful and wise generation, willing to fight for the straight path to success.
And I will.
But that makes me wonder.
I don't understand how ruining your life is cool.
I'm promoting respect for humanity.


It’s the epitome of absurdity, seeds of utter, inhumane STUPIDITY.
A criminal is a criminal.
A murderer is a murderer.
A terrorist is a terrorist.

They are claiming that these are acts of love.
What will their acts of hatred come out to be?

Because of their ignorance, I am forced to fight bigotry.
An eye for an eye makes the entire world blind.
Lunacy will always exist even if unity is more apparent.

There is an evident problem with our current society, and it's being pessimistic.
Smile.
Leave it at that.
You shouldn't only dream, because they will lead you to become overconfident; instead set goals, because they will leave you successful.
Continue to seek the truth.

Please, just find a better solution.

Maybe you should realize that in today's troubled society, it is the easiest answer.
I know.



Sunday, December 5, 2010

Do actions speak louder than words?


Actions may speak louder than words, but words speak STRONGER than actions.

A wise man once told me, that whoever is in an altercation, and the other person speaks louder than you do, you have won the fight. Once a person begins to yell, he has lost his mind, and his intelligence.

Does loudness matter? I understand it's an idiom, but let's think of the statement LITERALLY. Does loudness win a fight? Are fights determined by whoever is the loudest? No. Just like people say, "I'm so tired, it's not even funny", when was it funny in the first place? When people tell you that actions speak louder than words, ask them, "When does loudness determine a winner in a fight?"

It's true. The quietest one is the winner, because he isn't tense, and in the end, he always gets it his way. This is because knowledge talks. But wisdom? Wisdom listens.

The strength of ones words aren't dependent on sound, but dependent on three things:

Vocabulary
Wisdom
Self-Confidence

The one who punches, is the one who gives up. The one who uses vocabulary, proves a point. Our society, our youth needs to understand this fact. It isn't only about ending violence - we've heard that too much. It's about something bigger. It's about being wise, and intelligent. If we fought with words and wisdom, we will be helping one another, and coming to a solution.

What does punching someone in the face prove? What does "jumping" someone prove? 

The answer is not because: "Actions speak louder than words".

There is no answer, because it doesn't prove ANYTHING. Words prove solutions. 

You might be asking, "What about good actions?". Good actions ARE WORDS. Think about it. Everything relies on WORDS. Actually, EVERYTHING IS A WORD! 

Understand, understand, understand. Words.

-That's the TFAT.