Posts by Saqib Sheikh
Malaysia-- Saqib Sheikh is a media trainer by profession and freelance writer by passion. He is a team member of the Urban Hijau farm project and co-organiser of the UNRIBA riba-awareness campaign. He writes at www.blessedstranger.blogspot.com.

Has Ramadan Become Too Commercialised?...

The holy month has become the opposite of what it should be.

Ramadan is upon us. As with every Ramadan that comes, we should feel a sense of anticipation towards spiritual renewal. The dust and dirt of that has sullied our souls during the course of a year have a chance to be cleansed in this month of forgiveness. For any Muslim,...
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My Encounter With A Refugee In Malaysia...

Despite losing his entire family and being lost in a new country, his will to survive was not broken.

I have written previously on the current global crisis with refugees. I shared some alarming numbers of the refugees suffering worldwide, the numbers of migrants, etc. Yes, those numbers should be alarming, except that I realize that often these numbers are cold and don’t capture the essence of the humanity...
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In Defense of New Year’s Resolutions...

Happy New Year! May 2017 be a year full of blessings, happiness, love and adventure for all my dear readers. We all realise, on a conscious or subconscious level, that a year is a mere subjectively defined duration of time that has been set by the Gregorian calendar and set by...
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Tragedy Unfolding in Aleppo...

The devastation in Syria, which I have written about previously, continues unabated. In recent weeks, the Assad regime, with full military backing by Russia, Iran and some Iraqi militias, has laid a brutal siege over Aleppo. Aleppo is considered one of the last major bastions of major support and supplies for...
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The 3 Big Reasons Why Hillary Lost and Trump Won...

This may potentially be the biggest political news of your lifetime.

Unless you are living in a cave on a remote island, you must have heard by now what may potentially be the biggest political news of your lifetime: the election of businessman Mr Donald J. Trump as President of the United States of America, the most powerful country in the...
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Thoughts On The Olympics In Rio...

This year’s Olympics have sadly been overshadowed by events off the field of play.

Unlike the usual pomp and buzz, the Olympics this August has just slipped on us almost unexpectedly. In theory, the Olympics are supposed to be an exhibition of the finest in atheltics and physicals skills among all the countries of the world. It also acts as a showcase for different...
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Father’s Day Special: The Ways Of Fatherhood...

Being a father is not an event to be cataloged but to be immersed in fully.

My daughter and first child was born in January this year. Now it has reached 19 June, Father’s Day, which is as good a time for reflection on the experience of fatherhood in this rollercoaster we call life. In a few months, a new person has entered my life and is...
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The Death Of Muhammad Ali: The Passing Of A Legend...

Legend is a term that would certainly do him justice.

The word ‘legend’ gets bandied around pretty commonly nowadays. Sadly, the word is often used to describe movie stars and musicians whose lives revolve around entertainment of the masses. Just recently, we witnessed the passing away of Muhammad Ali (rahimullah) at the ripe age of 74. Entertainer though he was, he...
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5 Great Things About Small Businesses...

Bigger isn't always better

Since 1963, the USA has celebrated 1 to 7 May as National Small Business Week. Some of us may question the need to dedicate an entire week to businesses who don’t come near to the brand recognition of Nike, Walmart or Coke. In an age of giant multinational corporations (MNCs), opening...
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Diabetes – Simple Changes Matter a Lot...

For the past several years, I have made a end-of-the-year habit of going to the clinic and having my blood and cholesterol levels checked. Not that I am a hypochondriac; I just have a curiosity to see the damage report after a year of consumption and restraint.The last December checkup...
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Of Race and Racism...

In America, there is a prevalent belief that the worst accusation you can receive is to be called a racist. It is such a charged term that it can instantly tar a person who gets the label. Given the sordid history of racism in the US, the sensitivities behind the...
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Water Waste is a Global Sin...

When I was growing up, my aunt taught me the phrase, “water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink”. It was actually from the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The line captures the desperation of a thirsty sailor on a ship who is surrounded...
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Truce In Syria: Hope Or Illusion?...

While on the surface, this truce may seem like a positive step,the reality on the ground is fairly depressing.

Among the 2016 year trends I wrote about earlier, I indicated that the Syrian civil war conflict may be heading towards some sort of resolution. Recent events on the ground may be bearing this out. In February, Russia and the US announced a fragile truce for the first time since the...
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Why Muslim Environmentalism Has Not Really Taken Off...

While Allah's sbt blessings are infinite, mankind's desires should be restrained, in opposition to the current view of scare resources and unlimited growth.

As pointed out in a previous article, there is a conspicuous absence of action from Muslim religious leaders on one of the great issues of our time, climate change. Critics may point to an even deeper problem: a lack of Muslim environmental awareness and activism in general. I think there...
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The Global Extinction And Death of Languages...

The threat of vanishing for languages is unlikely to get the same form of attention we will see for a cute furry creature.

In the small town of Kuşköy on the coast of Turkey, visitors experience a form of the Turkish language they will likely never experience anywhere else. Known as kuş dili, or “bird language,” this language consists entirely of whistling to each other. Each whistle stands for a particular syllable in the Turkish...
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Muslims And Climate Change: So Much Work Needs To Be Done...

The only solution may be for us to recover our love for the environment as a creation of the Divine.

In August of last year, an event took place in Istanbul that didn’t quite dominate the headlines but carried a significance nonetheless. This was the first International Islamic Climate Change Symposium and was attended by Islamic scholars and academic figures from 20 Muslim countries. A product of this conference was a...
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Remembering Basant: The Punjabi Kite-Flying Festival...

Families would be on their rooftops as the kites would be dancing and weaving in the sky.

Childhood nostalgia can be like an intoxicating brew that can stimulate certain senses but distort our overall perception of reality.  The colors, sounds and tastes we experience as a child are inevitably more vivid, louder and zestier in thought than when revisited in person in our latter years. Our romanticism-tinged...
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Martin, Malcolm And What Could Have Been...

Historians can only speculate on what they could have achieved as a united front.

January 15 is celebrated every year as Martin Luther King Junior Day in the United States in honor of the famous civil rights activist. While King is venerated throughout the country as a major voice for peace and justice in the 1960s, the other major figure of the civil rights...
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The Need For Political Literacy...

How many of us can tell the difference between a rightist or leftist party, and what do these terms even mean?

In terms of international politics, 2015 was a roller-coaster year. The Syrian civil war, refugees, ISIS and Trump were a few phrases frequenting the headlines. The political landscapes in the EU, the US and several other countries went through massive shifts. Each bit of political news should generate a responsive emotion,...
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What 2016 May Hold for Us...

The good and not-so-good about the upcoming year.

2016 is almost upon us. 2015 buzzed by. Many people like to plan the new year by compiling a list of resolutions for certain self-improvement goals they wish to work on by the end of the year. My problems with this idea is that my resolutions would likely be forgotten...
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The Tricky Business Of Interfaith Debates...

I don't try and seek to impose my particular viewpoint through argumentation or poke holes in their religious views.

People who know me well know that I love to engage in long, meandering debates. There is an instinct in me that loves the challenge of defending an intellectual position on a topic and giving a fiery riposte, particularly when the combatant is as keen for the fight as myself. Of...
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If You’ve Just Tuned In, Here’s Three Things You Should Know about Donald Trump...

It is not impossible to see President Trump taking the podium.

American citizen Saqib Sheikh tells us what to take not of regarding the presidential nominee. (Please note: This article should not be taken as an endorsement of any particular candidate or party. For those unfamiliar, presidential elections in the US are normally fought between two main parties, Democrats and Republicans)....
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3 Ways To Not Get Too Stressed About Stress...

Stress is highly contextual. Most of the time, stress tends to increase incrementally. Bills, overdue assignments, meetings with friends, and a host of other stuff will pile on slowly, before it reaches a tipping point when the minor inconveniences are converted into raw stress. I would assume this is the...
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Avoiding Solidarity Burnout...

Online activism has its place in this digital age, but it can’t beat field work on the ground.

In the summer of last year, most of our eyes were glued to the television to hear some report about Gaza, the world’s largest open-air prison. Israel had started their latest round of carnage, under the mission name ‘Protective Edge’. Gaza, already under an illegal and inhuman blockade, was reduced...
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5 Great Reasons To Grow Your Own Food...

It's time to get your hands in the dirt and soil.

In a previous article, I discussed the rise of urban agriculture, particularly in the context of Malaysia. While the imperative to adopt urban farming comes largely from global concerns like food security, there are still many compelling reasons why individually and on a family level, growing your own food is...
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Theories Behind The Beard: My Scruff Story...

'I faced some concerns about ‘Talibanization’ from family members.'

‘Pogonophobia’ is a word most of us would be unfamiliar with. It refers to the (oftentimes irrational) fear of beards. It’s an affliction all too common nowadays, depending on where you live of course. The Fear Is Real Much of the US suffers from it post-9/11, though there are glorious...
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5 Common Sense Saving Tips For Young Couples...

How to manage your combined finances

If couples invested as much time and resources in marriage planning as they do in wedding planning, would the world look much different? Perhaps the excitement and nervousness that come with the expectation of matrimonial may cloud the judgment of many regarding the ground realities of life. Marriage is more...
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3 Easy Ways You Can Help A Refugee...

You can make a difference.

In my article “What You Need To Know About The Current Refugee Crisis“, I outlined the scale of the refugee crisis the world is currently facing. My purpose of describing the sheer magnitude of the crisis is not to depress us or deflate us. Rather, I felt it was critical to...
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What’s Wrong with our Economy…and Why We Need to UNRIBA...

The financial crisis resulted in millions losing their jobs and savings.

September 2008 seems like a long time ago. Few now remember the panic that hit the streets and headlines across the world as several major banking institutions in the US, such as Meryll Lynch, Lehman Brother and AIG, went into failure, threatening to take down the entire global economy. Trillions...
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5 Ways to Know You’re a Screen Junkie...

We consume over 15 hours a day, what?

If I were to ask a random question to passersby on the street in any metropolitan city, “Do you feel 24 hours is enough time in the day?”, I’m willing to wager that upwards of 60 percent of respondents would shake their head in the negative. The reasons why are...
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The Muslim-flavored American...

American is a land of flavors. This is evident to any airline traveler once they get a glance at the confectionary stall upon arrival at a US airport. While variety may be lacking in the political and economic spheres, it certainly isn’t when it comes to tastes. Maybe that’s why...
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