Friday, October 30, 2009

Dhubaa Bint Amer

Dhubaa Bint Amer est une arabe et Islamique poète, qui est la femme de Hisham Ibn Al-Mugheera. Elle est devenu une muslumans dans le commencement de L’Islam.

Samar Al Ansari
Grade 7C

Wednesday, October 28, 2009



The marimba is an instrument developed around the year 1910. People say that the marimba got it’s name by a goddess called Marimba, who made an instrument by hanging gourds below wooden bars. It is sometimes referred to as the source of the instrument’s name. The marimba started off as wooden bars laid over a whole in the ground struck with sticks. The Africans brought the instrument to South America and it was improved there. The early model of the marimba was called the marimbaphone. Europeans called it kaffir piano, while the Natives call it the malimba.


The marimba has thin bars, pipes, and it consists of strips of wood. It belongs to the percussion family like the drums. Large models of the marimba are called xylorimbas. The marimba can be played by four players. It is a modern instrument unlike the piano. It is played like the xylophone, and it is very similar to one. The marimba is a very popular instrument which many people like to play.


The marimba sound like a xylophone, but it has a deeper sound; many people call it the deeper version of the xylophone. It has a loud sound which is achieved by it’s pipes. Many people describe it’s sound as a joyful sound, which is enjoyed by many.

How It Is Made:

Marimbas are made with rosewood bars. It’s bars are made with man made material which has characteristics of wood. It’s resonators are usually made of metal, but when they run out of metal it is sometimes made of paper tubes. Marimbas are easy instruments to build, and that is why people sometimes make their own.



3. The New Oxford Companion to Music pg.1129

4. Musical Instruments of the World pg.267

Done By:
Samar Al-Ansari

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Visitor

He climsbs inside my head,

Whispering stories from the past,

Sifting through my memories

With fingers cold as night.

All there in words and pictures,

The times he filled my senses,

As he once filled my womb.

He dwells still deep inside of me,

His light shines on unceasingly,

My pearl within an oyster,

His soul entwined in mine,

Two rivers join,two stars collide,

Two hearts still beat in perfect time.

Not even death could cut the cord

And seperate his world from mine.

By Joan Hirst

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dear Nieces

Dear nieces,

I know how much you try
To hold your tears and not cry.

I feel the sadness that you try to hide
And the heartache you keep deep inside.

In our looks, her memory we embrace
And we see her in each other’s faces.

I am writing this to let you know
That I recognize the pain you try not to show.

I want to thank you and express my love
Along with that sent to you from heaven above.

Summer Rays Copyright© 2009
by Randah Ribhi Hamadeh
Written in loving memory of my daughter
Samar Ahmed Al Ansari (4/4/1988-4/9/2006)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Number 4

It was a very painful feeling to carry my gown and go to the university this morning as we had the 25th silver anniversary celebration and the graduation ceremony. There was this heaviness and throbbing pain in my chest that I had to carry with me along with my Oxford gown, the bag that had my shoes, and other things. I had first worn the Doctorate gown in Oxford for taking pictures after I completed my viva on March 1st, 1988. I had to rent a gown then as Ahmed insisted that I should take pictures for the sake of memory and since I will be unable to come for the graduation because of the new baby who was arriving soon, Omar and Qadar . I was not so much keen to take pictures before the results were out but agreed as it was my only chance to have a picture in the Oxford Gown. At that time in March 1988, I was carrying SAMAR inside me as I am carrying her now. I was then 8 months pregnant.

As faculty we were asked to park in the agricultural land of the university and not in our usual parking area which was allocated for dignitaries. As a chair of department, I was given a ticket for the parking and it read parking number 4. I went and parked in the agricultural land and carried my stuff and walked in the sand and dirt until I reached the entrance after walking for a while. As I arrived flushed, with my shoes completely covered with sand, I suddenly saw in the nearby park next to the Accident and Emergency (A/E) entrance, a big sign with number 4 on it. I was amazed and for a moment got confused. Although I knew that we were to park in the agricultural land but at that moment I thought that I had done a mistake. I went into the building, left my clothes with the security men and told them that I should have parked in the A/E area and that I will go and get my car. No one seemed to disagree or correct me!! I went back and drove the car to the A/E parking lot but the security man stopped me. He told me that I was in the wrong place and parking number 4 was in the agricultural land where I parked earlier. I felt frustrated, explained to the man that I saw the number 4 sign but he insisted that I was wrong. I then said “Oh my God, I have to go back again. What a morning!” He smiled and said “You are a very special and dear person; I will not allow myself to make you do that.” He then opened the gate for me to enter. As I parked I saw again the number 4 sign and realized that it is the blessings of SAMAR . She wanted to help me. I do believe that she knew what I was going through this morning and wanted to make it easier on me by indicating that she is with me on this difficult day. She as well did not want me to walk at night in this dark area where the heels of the shoes go deep into the sand and the possibility of falling is high.

I then went up to my office which overlooks the A/E and I told Nawal, my friend and secretary the story. She laughed at first and then she rushed to the window. She said “Oh my God, it is number 4!” We then realized that all the signs for the parking spaces were on a small truck with number 4 being the first and the other numbers were behind it. I did not see the other numbers before when I was in the parking space. However, but we could see them now from my office on the 2nd floor. Nawal commented that this is very strange indeed! An hour later the truck moved with the signs and placed sign number 4 in the allocated place.

I stayed all morning thinking of SAMAR and number 4. The heaviness in my chest was lighter and the ceremony was not as bad as I thought. Somehow the circumstances did not allow the graduates to interact a lot with faculty which suited me well. As I left in the evening before the ceremony ended around 7:30 pm, I saw Nawal calling her driver to be picked up. He was unable to come as he was with her kids so I offered to take her home. It was a good feeling for both of us to get out of the building and find my car so close. I guess I was looked after today!

Um Samar

April 30th,2008

Sunday, October 18, 2009

There's an Elephant in the Room

There's an elephant in the room,
It's large and squatting ,so it's hard to get around it,
Yet we squeeze by with ' how are you? and ' I'm fine'
And a thousand other forms of a trivial chatter.
We talk about the weather,
We talk about work,
We talk about everything,except the elephant in the room.

There's an elephant in the room.
We all know it's there.
We're thinking of the elephant as we talk together.
It is constantly in our minds,
For,you see, it is a very big elephant.
It has hurt us all.
But we do not talk about the elephant in the room.

Oh, please say her name.
Oh, please say Barbara again.

Oh, please let's talk about the elephant in the room,
For if we talk about her death,
Perhaps we can talk about her life?
Can I say 'Barbara' to you and not have you look away?
For if I cannot,then you are leaving me
In a room
With an elephant.
Terry Kettering, 'Bereavement Magazine'

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Mother’s Diary

Nothing makes a mother happier than her daughter’s happiness, and nothing makes a mother unhappy than her daughter’s unhappiness. But what about the mother’s own personal happiness? It is too late for me now. I live through my daughter, some might say that it is wrong, but my life is over. There is no hope for me. I just had a fight with my dear daughter, her words hurt like a knife to the heart. As I remember those harsh words, I can’t stop my flowing tears. Why doesn’t my daughter love me? Is God punishing me, because I left two daughters behind in China? Not a day goes by when I don’t think about them .I’m trying to do it right with Jing-mei, but there is no hope for us anymore.

Samar Al Ansari 10.3
Sep. 14, ‘03

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

هنيئا لك يا ابنتي سمر

هنيئا لك يا ابنتي سمر لما لديك من محبين
.بالحياة والممات والأحلام، لديك معجبين
كم من الأحباب من أجلك في بيتنا مجتمعين
،بالحب والحنان يا حبيبتي سمر حولنا ملتفين
.أحلى الكلام عنك قالوا وأجمل الصفات بك ناعتين

كم من الأهل و الأصدقاء على فراقك متأثرين
ومن الأغراب على عدم فرصة لفائك نادمين
.فرحيلك يا حياتي جعلهم جميعا من الفاقدين

!ليتك تعلمين كم من الخلق اسمك مرددين
فهنيئا لي كأم بأنك دوما تذكرين
نعمة ورضا لك ولنا من رب العالمين
إنك مميزة أكثر من بعض الحاضرين
.لما جمعت من محبة وإعجاب خالدين

رحلت تاركة لي إرثا من الحب ولقب أم الغاليين
رضا الله عليك وهو بإذنه تعالى من المستجيبين
ورحمة من السماء ومغفرة يا أول السابقين
.وصبر جميل لنا... حتى نصبح من اللاحقين

رنده ربحي حماده
(أم سمر)
جميع الحقوق محفوظة للمؤلفة© 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Dear Mr. Brown,

I don’t even know if I should be sending you such a letter, but I can’t seem to stop thinking about your ‘ways’. The religion you preach seems to come from love, and that is what truly captivated me. Christianity seems to answer a lot of questions that have been lingering in my mind, unlike my own religion which discourages any questioning.

As you see, this is quite a sensitive subject. I have been thinking these thoughts for some time now, I tried to push them aside, but now that I see such an alternative, these thoughts come rushing back. An alternative based on love, when my own religion is based on fear. I am tired of being afraid; I am tired of living this life. I want to learn more about Christianity. I feel as if I’m living incorrectly, I feel as if everything I’ve been taught is based on silly assumptions. I never believed I would find happiness doing the things my father wanted me to do, but up until now, I had no alternative. To explore your religion, I risk losing everything. You must be thinking, ‘he is clearly unhappy, so what does losing his life matter?’. It does matter, I have never known anything but the Ibo ways, and thought I may not agree with them, they are all that I’ve been taught.

By writing such a letter, I am putting myself in danger. My father, Okonkwo, might cut off my hand to prevent me from writing you in the future; he is that violent. You might have heard of my father, for he is quite respected in Mbanta. But I don’t respect him at all. I want to escape my father’s world, for one of two things might happen. We might argue to the point where he kills me, or even worse…I might become like him. Oh Mr. Brown, he is an awful person! Please save me from his fatal hands, please be my saviour!

While listening to you preach the other day, one thing put my heart at ease, the concept of hell. I hope there is such an awful place, a place made specifically for sinners, because then my father would be the first one to enter! My father is a despicable being, he is too powerful. He has the power to hurt you both physically and emotionally, and people that powerful should be sent to ‘hell’.

My brother was murdered. I remember it as if it was yesterday, I was so young then, so naïve, so innocent. I was sitting with Ikemfuna one day, and then my father entered saying that Ikemfuna had to return to his homeland. You see, Ikemfuna is not my real brother, but I considered him a brother because he meant so much to me. I burst into tears when I heard this, because Ikemfuna was the sole reason for my happiness. Ikemfuna left, and later on that day my father returned that night alone; I knew Ikemfuna was dead. I could not understand why my father would do such thing! For years I was angry at my father, but now I am not only angry at him, I am angry at the society in which I live. How could a society promote the killing of an innocent child? I know Ikemfuna more than anybody else and I know that he would never harm anyone! Why did they kill him? Why do I live in a society in which the innocent are murdered and the guilty are respected?

As you see Mr. Brown, I can no longer live this way. I need to get away, and I want you to help me. I do not want to live in a place where things are done without explanations. When I was younger, even before I knew Ikemfuna, I began to doubt my tribe’s ideals. Something happened when I was younger that I will carry with me to my death, the cries of the infants still haunts me sometimes. I could not have been more than six or seven years old when I heard infants crying in the evil forest, finding out later that they were twins left in the forest to die. For years I tried to figure out what the infants did that made them deserve such a death, but now I know that it is not something that the infants did, it is something that my tribe believes in. Infants, a few days old left to die! How can my people be that heartless?

I have made my unhappiness with my religion and society quite clear, but I am still confused. At this point, I am not sure of what I want. I just want answers, and possibly someone to talk to. I want to live my life doing things I see as right. I want to live in peace and not fear. I want to be proud of who I am and what I believe in.

I liked what I heard from you the other day, but I need more than that. I want to be sure that the religion you preach does not promote ideals I feel so strongly against. Over the years, my heart has endured so much; I do not think I will be able to handle much more. I truly hope that your religion will soothe me like the drops of frozen rain melting on the dry palate.

I would like to meet you and discuss some things, and hopefully you will be able to answer more of my questions. I do not want to meet in a public place, for if we are seen together, we might both be in danger. I know I sound like a coward- my father Okonkwo constantly refers to me as a woman- but hopefully, under your guidance I will become more brave.

Hopefully, you have learned more about me. I want you to know that I am extremely interested Mr. Brown. I plan to seek eternal comfort with your teachings.


I have chosen to write a letter from Nwoye to the Mr. Brown to convey Nwoye’s apparent unhappiness with the customs and traditions of the Ibo Society. I felt that the letter was one of the few tasks that could manage to convey such emotion. In this letter, I write about Nwoye’s skepticism on Ibo traditions, and his search for answers. This links to one of the themes of the novel, which is that people continue to do things in ignorance just because they are part of tradition. I also wanted to show that the reason Nwoye eventually converted was because he was unhappy with his current situation; I do not think that Nwoye converted because he was so captivated by the Christian ways. I chose to write in a formal register, because I felt that the issue the letter talked about was a relatively serious topic. Also, while reading the book, I felt as if the Ibo people spoke formally to one another. The excessive amount of proverbs in the book gave off the impression that they speak to one another formally.

Samar Al Ansari 11.5

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Account for the rise and fall of Benito Mussolini

The post World War I period, was a period of both economic and political instability in Europe. This was no different in the case of Italy, for it was suffering from the Great Depression as well as many other post-war effects. Italy’s short-lived ministries seemed incapable of providing strong leadership and stability. Thus, when Benito Mussolini’s fascist movement unleashed, it received overwhelming support. Mussolini preached strong leadership which spoke a double language, it talked of revolution and social leveling, and it also preached national revival and emphasized the importance of martial ardor, hierarchy, and discipline. As a result, Italian conservatives fully supported Mussolini.

In Italy, there was a fear of communism. Economic stability would not be present with communism, and the Italians had had enough. Being a capitalist nation, communism would completely destruct their already suffering economy. Thus when fascism emerged, it received extensive support due to their anti communist leadership. King Victor Emanuel II of Italy appointed Mussolini prime minister in 1922, because he preferred giving leadership to Mussolini’s party over other communist parties. Therefore there was no need for the “March on Rome”, Mussolini’s plan to seize power by force. Mussolini did not need to overthrow the government, his anti communist feeling was enough.

As many other dictators, Mussolini used force as a weapon to inspire terror within the Italians. The Matteotti Affair of 1924 exhibits the brutality of the Mussolini perfectly. Socialist Deputy, Giacomo Matteotii, spoke out against Fascist acts of terror. He disappeared suddenly, and later it was found out that the he was killed by Fascist orders. The fascist leader then resorted to press censorship to cover up his ruthless act, but it was too late, the truth was out. He then accepted responsibility and crushed every opponent of his regime. Terrorized by his force, people either kept quiet or emigrated. Mussolini’s Black Shirts worked similarly to Hitler’s Storm Troopers, they both did their dictators’ dirty work. The Black Shirts would beat up opponents of the party, especially communists. This force on communists, led to an increase of support by Italian businessmen and conservatives. Also, in 1924, Mussolini obtained a massive majority in the Chamber of Deputies through a rigged election in which violence and terror were used.

After World War I, the Italians were both angry and embittered. They entered the war on the side of the Allies, because they were promised land. When the War Ended in 1919, no new land was acquired. Thus leading to an overwhelming feeling of betrayal. The Treaty of Versailles, only added to the frustration and betrayal of the Italians. They felt that their government betrayed them; they felt it failed to obtain the full price of Italy’s entrance into the war. Naturally, when Mussolini’s regime emerged promising revived glory, it received overwhelming support.

Mussolini was an incredibly good public speaker. His persuasive language helped him gain support in Italy. His regime also censored any anti-fascist talk, as exhibited in the Matteotti Affair. By not allowing people to listen to what his opponents were saying, Fascism had a monopoly over other political parties. He used propaganda to create a new image of himself as the strong leader (Il Duce). The persuasiveness of Il Duce alone is a clear example of how propaganda was used. He placed giant posters of himself everywhere with slogans saying, “Mussolini is Always Right”. Many newspapers and magazines talked about his greatness, talent, and genius. Indoctrination of Italian youth was also occurring at a fast pace, for they were brainwashing preached fanatic loyalty to the fascist party. They were taught to set the fascist regime as their uttermost top priority.

The agreements conducted by Mussolini also helped him gain vast support. In 1925, he signed the “Corporate State” Agreement, which essentially, gave organized Italian Industry freedom to what they see fit in return for its implied promise to support the Fascist regime. Theoretically, the Confuindustria (Federation of Italian Industrialists), would give their unconditional support to Mussolini’s regime. Through the Lateran Treaty and the Concordat that accompanied it, Mussolini was able to settle an ongoing dispute between the Church and Italy. Mussolini was an atheist, but he fully understood the importance of Catholicism in Italian life, thus he saw it to be in his best interest to improve the relationship between the two. In 1929, Pope Pius XI, and Mussolini were able to reach an agreement on issues that have been a source of debate for over sixty years, in the Lateran Treaty. The pope was given a few acres of land around the basilica of St. Peter’s and the Vatican, thus securing the church’s independence from the state. He also obtained a position for the Church in public education and assurance that Italian marriage law would not contradict with Catholic teaching. Through this treaty, Mussolini was able to obtain the support of the Pope as well as devout Catholics.

During the Great Depression of 1929, Mussolini distracted Italians by invading Abyssinia in 1935. He also signed the Rome-Berlin Axis in 1936 which gave him political power. His inclusion in the Spanish Civil War also strengthened his ideological aims. He was gaining more power globally by invading Abyssinia and by helping out in the Spanish Civil War without the help of the Allies or the League of Nations.

With the wide support Mussolini was receiving, no one would’ve predicted his people would soon turn against him. Mussolini often bragged about Italy’s amazing military strength, but these were hollow boasts. When Hitler invaded Poland, Mussolini did not help Hitler due to the lack of military strength. When France was about to be defeated by Germany, Mussolini saw this as an easy opportunity to grab land. But the Italians managed to advance only a few kilometers before France surrendered, thus there was no real gain. In 1940, Britain was under German attack, so Mussolini saw this as another easy opportunity for victory, so he invaded British colonies in Africa. A month later, he ordered an attack on his old enemy, Greece. Both invasions failed, and Mussolini had to ask for Hitler’s help. Hitler sent troops both to Libya and Italy, making Italy look like an occupied territory than a partner. 1941 was an extremely disastrous year for Italy, for they were defeated by the British at Tobruk, Egypt. Also, they were defeated at the Battle of Alamein. Italians were fed up. Italy was unsuccessful in all the wars it took part in under Mussolini, and for that Italians had to pay the price. For example in the invasion of Abyssinia, the Italians had to sell their jewellery to help pay for the invasion. The various invasions were a waste of resources; Italians were fed up. They disliked food rationing and they disliked German armies which were flooding into their country. More than anything, they disliked Mussolini who had brought all these disasters upon them. Mussolini had lied to them about their nation’s strength and readiness for war; once again the Italians felt betrayed. Due to public pressure, King Victor Emanuel II dismissed and imprisoned him.

Mussolini received overwhelming support at first because he offered strong leadership at a time of weakness and instability. He knew how to please the people by displaying his anti communist attitude openly and his longing for restoration of national pride. He took Italy into WWII while it was not ready, and lost battle after battle, losing support along the way, till finally his own people killed him.
Samar Al-Ansari

Sunday, October 04, 2009

How Many Children?

“How many children do you have?” I am asked
My answer to them will never be masked

I have a boy and two girls, a total of three
Two on earth and one whose soul has gone free

Two my hand can reach and embrace
And one left us all with an empty space

She was so eager to meet the Lord
Perhaps, from this senseless life, she got bored

The person is speechless and in shock
It seems like I have hit her with a rock

But what else can I answer, if I may ask?
To make it easier on people is a difficult task!

“But you have two then, am I right?”
No! I have three even though she is out of sight

Don’t you count your child when he is away?
Then why are you so surprised, if I may say?

Didn’t I carry all the three in my womb
And in my life and heart gave each one equal room?

Then how can I now this fact deny
To save you the shock? Do you want me to lie?

Summer Rays Copyright© 2009
by Randah Ribhi Hamadeh
Written in loving memory of my daughter
Samar Ahmed Al Ansari (4/4/1988-4/9/2006)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Secondary Losses

Secondary losses exacerbate the pain
When our children die,leave us adrift,
struggling to stay sane.

Secondary losses -the world ,as a safe place
where they would thrive,we'd watch them grow,
now fearful,desolate.

Secondary losses-a friend (or friends) shut off,
can't look at death this closely-
the fear is tempest tossed.

Secondary losses-the ability to cope
with anything and everything
in a world deprived of hope.

Secondary losses-the good things that we held
have lost their importance
when misery shrouds our cells.

Secondary losses-our laughter,free from care.
The times we see its reason,
delightful,now so rare.

Secondary losses-the ability to deny
that terrible things do happen-
invulnerability,a lie.

Secondary losses-the self -confidence we knew.
Our world view so shattered,
can any part be true?

Secondary losses-the lovely lives we had.
That sunshine that could fill our days,
when rarely we were sad.

Secondary losses
may,transformed,in time come back.
But our children aren't returning.
Nothing,no one,can change that.

By Genesse Bourdeau Gentry
Stars in the Deepest Night

Thursday, October 01, 2009