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Students from George Green’s School raised £900 for the charity Foodbank in Tower Hamlets, following a visit to the Isle of Dogs Children’s Centre where they discovered the enormous difference that food parcels could make to families in crises. ... Full story P14 Issue: 01/01, 01 November 2013 Published by: Youth Gazette Email: Facebook: Twitter: Youtube: Web:

Outstanding students congratulated

Outstanding students receiving grades A-A* in their early GCSE or A-Levels joined the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman at a special ceremony to recognise their achievements on October 21. Over 80 students ...Full story P14


Local Assembly Member John Biggs welcomed pupils from St Mary and Michael primary school to City Hall as part of a Chrismas card design competition. ...Full story P14

YOUNGSTERS CREATE THEIR OWN FRESH SOUP Over 100 children and parents helped harvest fresh vegetables which were grown in the Mile End Park growing zone. Youngsters had the chance to learn about how to grow ... Full story P14

Bridget, 9 Years old



Friday 01 November 2013

Idea Store Whitechapel UNCOVERING OVER 100 hosts a dazzling variety YEARS OF HISTORY: of free events Work begins to catalogue the East London Mosque Archives The archive of the East London Mosque Trust (ELMT) is unique in the UK. It is one of a very few mosques listed on the National Register of Archives. The archive spans the twentieth century, starting in the early 1900s and includes photographs, correspondence, birth and death records, finance records, fundraising appeals, architectural and building records, press cuttings, as well as records of the Indigent Moslems Burial Fund. The Writeidea Festival, the council’s flagship reading event, is back for its fifth year and boasts a fantastic line up. Following the success of previous years, the festival continues to grow in popularity attracting a crop of distinguished writers and performers. In order to enrich and intensify the experience and create an even greater festival buzz the event will take place over the weekend of November 15-17 in the Idea Store Whitechapel. New for 2013, the weekend will host a fringe festival focusing on non-traditional forms of writing, alternative narratives and creativity in all shapes and sizes. The festival launches with the award winning Deborah Moggach who will present her latest novel ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ while her daughter Lottie Moggach will talk about her debut novel ‘Kiss Me First’. With a fusion of established and emerging new talent this year’s festival prides itself on having something to interest all residents. Locals can spend the evening with the legendary broadcaster and foreign correspondent, Andy Kershaw. Over his 25 year career he has visited 97 countries and worked with the likes of the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. As a rock and roll war correspondent he has reported insome of the world’s most perilous places including Iraq, North

Korea and Haiti whilst being one of the few journalists to be an eyewitness to the Rwanda genocide. Members of the Red Army Fiction, an East London based spoken word group will present their work celebrating diversity and individuality via a cornucopia of creative contrasting styles and genres. Other authors include Melanie Clegg, blogger and casual historian as well as the award winning comedian and science enthusiast, Robin Ince. Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “The Writeidea Festival has become one of our cultural highlights. The free festival is great way to inspire residents to take up reading with the full support of our Idea Stores.” All aspects of the festival are free, however booking is recommended as some events are extremely popular. Cabinet member for culture, Cllr Rania Khan, said: “Every year there is an interesting mix of talent and I encourage both active and non-active readers to make use of the festival.” The Writeidea festival is an integral part of the reading offer at the Idea Store – an innovative library, learning and information service created by Tower Hamlets Council. For full details of the Writeidea Festival programme or to book a place visit

ensuring their lasting preservation. A steering group of stakeholders including mosque historians, ELMT Trustees and professional archivists meets regularly to oversee the project.

Shaynul Khan, Assistant Director of the ELMT said: “We want to make this historical treasure accessible to all of our communities. This project will highlight some of the key contributors to the development of London’s East End. By the end of this project, The archive is currently stored at one can visit the archives at the the London Muslim Centre and is East London Mosque for research largely unsorted. However, all this and academic purposes.” is set to change with the launch of a project to catalogue and make James Travers, Cataloguing the archives accessible. The Grants Panel, secretary said: “This archive was generously awarded is strategic project which will crefunding from the National ate a national precedent for other Archives Cataloguing Grants Muslim institutions to invest in their archives and encourage the Programme. development an archival tradition Eilís McCarthy, an experienced within the various Muslim comarchivist, has begun work on the munities. The archive is a signifimosque’s archive project fulltime. cant source for the history and the The aim of the project is to make evolving identity of Britain’s access to and engagement with the Muslim community. Its research archive possible by cataloguing potential can only be unlocked if the archive. This will in turn allow fully catalogued to a professional the Muslim and wider community standard.” access to research and explore this Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower valuable historical resource. Hamlets, said: “I’m pleased that Tower Hamlets Local History and Tower Hamlets Local History Archive (THLHA) have also sup- Library & Archives is a key partported the ELMT in preserving its ner on this project. The East history, through providing valu- London Mosque has played a sigable advice in developing the nificant part in community and fundraising proposal, recruitment cultural life in the borough for and expertise in cataloguing and over a century. Our local history preservation. Furthermore, library & archives in Bancroft THLHA is also helping to draw up Road is well-placed to lend its plans for a dedicated room in the expertise in this way, helping local mosque, which will house all the institutions to preserve their herhistorical documents in a secure, itage and make it accessible to the environmentally controlled area public.”

Friday 01 November 2013

10 reasons why London is one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the world


A Season of Bangla Drama Dates: Sat 3 Nov 12 - Sun 25 Nov 12 For the 10th year running, Tower Hamlet Council is excited about announcing the arrival of 'A season of Bangla Drama' festival. The unique celebration is the only one of its type in the UK. The season hopes to celebrate the contributions of Bengali writers, local organisations and artists who are both developed and already reputable- with a diverse mixture of theatre on offer every weekend from 3-25 November 2012. These talents are rooted and breaded within our local community and this is the opportunity for them to show off their imbedded talents. The festival incorporates a range of contemporary themes that everyone from partakers to viewers can feel a gripping connection to. Such themes consist of topical notions of mental, physical and social health, women as victims of violence, racism and environmental issues. A range of emotions and character traits are also portrayed to educate us on what the factors are that contribute to certain behaviour types escalating– exploring the movement from love and gluttony to aspiration and hopelessness.

Diwali on the square

1. Over 300 languages spoken in London, that's more than in any other city in the world. 2. We have 3 of the top 10 museums and galleries in the world in London and a whopping 857 art galleries. 3. London has more than 800 bookshops and over 380 public libraries including British Library. 4. Over a fifth of all the UK’s cinema screens are based in London. There are more cinema screens in the capital (796) than in any other part of the UK. 5. We have 4 UNESCO world heritage sites: Maritime Greenwich, Tower of London, Westminster Palace which includes Westminster Abbey and others. 6. There are over 17,000 music performances a year across London's 300+ venues including The O2 arena - the

world's most popular music venue for the last five years running. 7. Approximately 250 festivals take place in London every year including London’s largest free festival - The Mayor’s Thames Festival and Europe's biggest street festival- The Notting Hill Carnival which attracts up to 1 million people. 8. The London Design Festival is now the world’s leading event of its kind, which attracted over 350,000 people in 2012. 9. London Fashion Week 2012 generated over £100m of orders, with over 2 million viewers tuning in from more than 100 countries to the live-streamed of Topshop's newest collection. 10. There are at least 200 shows to choose from every day across West End, with the first performance of Shakespeare at The Globe dating back to1599.

Entry cost: Free Festival date: Sunday 03 November 2013 (2pm-7pm) Eagerly celebrated by people of all races, nationalities and religions, Diwali, the festival of lights creates a magical world of enjoyment and festivity. Usually celebrated end of Oct- mid Nov, the celebration marks the conquering triumph of good over evil – and the beauty of light over darkness, a beam of hope over despair as well as symbolising reflection, resolution, forgiveness, light and knowledge. Diwali marks new beginnings and a renewal of commitment to family values. Every year, Trafalgar Square hosts a Diwali celebration that attracts thousands of people to central London. It’s a free community event, bringing together all walks of life, to collaborate in all their colours and spirits, which is what the festival itself symbolises. This year's packed programme of free entertainment includes music and dance from community groups and professional artists, food stalls and a range of activities for children. Smaller festivals and family events can be found across London, as well as unique menus in some London restaurants.

Winter Wonderland 2013 Entry cost: Free Festival Dates: Friday 22nd November- 5th January (10am- 10pm everyday excluding Christmas Day) The gates will open to Winter Wonderland on Friday 22nd November at 5pm! This year promises even more thrills, spectacle and Christmas magic at Hyde Park, As always Winter Wonderland is FREE to enter, so you can stroll through the park, basking in the festive atmosphere and enjoy all the free entertainment on offer. There’s something for everyone here, whether you want to taste the thrill of the rides, or give your child the perfect Christmas and making their wishes come true with a visit to Santa Land or simply take a back seat and enjoy the festive food and drink at one of the many eateries around the site, and simply soak up the incredible free live music. For you more daring ones, if you want to go Ice Skating, visit The Magical Ice Kingdom, ride in the Giant Observation Wheel or see a show at Zippos Circus you will need to buy tickets. Advance bookings are advised as these tickets sell out pretty quickly.




Friday 01 November 2013

Anti- NEET Scheme

Yay or Nay? T

he number of people classed as NEET – young people “Not in Employment, Education or Training” – is said to have decreased this year due to the pilot payment-by-results scheme introduced by the Government. While there have always been agencies working with NEET (such as Connections in Tower Hamlets), the difference now is that agencies working with NEET are only paid if they get a result, if the NEET is placed. The project aims to prevent 8/10 of these vulnerable youngsters from becoming NEET. How the scheme works is that if a young person achieves his or her targets, including GCSE results, antiNEET agencies will be paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for their work, with an extra bonus on top. Because the agency has to cover the cost of their work before they are paid for the

result, the agencies have been referred to by the Government as “social investors”. This incentive is said to have made the agencies work harder to place the young person in employment, education or training – but it has also been suggested that the agencies may cut corners and force young people into work schemes or courses which they do not really want to do and which will not help them in the long term. This experimental scheme was driven by the Government’s desire to cut back on the amount of taxpayers’ money spent in the public sector. Its critics say it is a better use of taxpayers’money to assess what is most effective in the long term and spend the money on that sort of scheme. The amount paid by the DWP at the end of the scheme has been estimated to be no more than £8,000-£8,500 per NEET over five years,

compared with an estimated £95,000-£100,000 cost to the taxpayer for each additional youngster who becomes NEET. However, it is not clear what happens to the NEET person once they finish the course or temporary employment in which they have been placed and for which the agency has been paid. The payment-by-results scheme was piloted for the first time this year. The pilot project consisted of over 300 teenagers across east and north London. Fifty-five per cent achieved five A*-C GCSEs, which is above the target of 30% of the at-risk young people reaching this benchmark. These results mean that these young people are less likely to drop out of education, continue to develop in further studies and/or increase their chances of employment, therefore resulting the chances of becoming NEET. What the Government has not done is to run an

alternative pilot scheme. If the same amount of taxpayers’ money was invested in schools, so teachers could help all pupils get better GCSE results, would vulnerable pupils do better or worse than on the pilot scheme? There also needs to be long term research on whether the extra 25% of young people in the pilot scheme who got their five A*-C GCSEs are able to convert these passes into jobs, given that there are fewer jobs around for school leavers. It should also be noted that while the Government is paying taxpayers’ money to private companies to train potential NEETS, it has cut funding such as the EMA, which used to be paid direct to young people to help them stay in further education. In Tower Hamlets, the Mayor has created a special award for young people in the Borough to make up for the loss of the national scheme, but not all young people are lucky enough to live in Tower Hamlets!

Friday 01 November 2013



Love is in the air for Zayn Malik and Perrie Edwards By Mahera Ahmed

1D Singer Zayn Malik, 20, was the first of the couple to discuss openly his engagement to his fiancée, Little Mix Singer Perrie Edwards, also 20. In August 2013, Zayn popped the question to his girlfriend. When asked by a BBC interviewer about this, his response was “it’s cool, we’re cool, everything’s cool”. Is he serious? Being cool is chilling with your 1D boys in the private plane as you set off to tour… when you propose to the girl you love, it should be more than cool. But we expect

nothing more from the hunky heartthrob young star, who we know is the wallpaper on every young girl’s phone. I, for one, though so happy for him to find the girl of his dreams, am so envious of Perrie right now. It is said that he has asked best friend and band mate Louis Tomlinson to be his best man. Louis was also the first to know of their engagement and was supportive of his friend’s happy decision. With Zayn being such a hot topic for young women, Perrie Edwards isn’t short of her male fan base either. Rumours, possibly aimed at starting trouble, have emerged since their engagement became public. Accusations of Zayn being involved in a “sexy skype chat” with a friend were released on the internet. In his defence, he said it was a chat that was, first, before his relationship with Perrie began and, second, consisted just of him waving “hey” – though you cannot physically see him in it. Finally, a member of his band said the clip was from a tour in Canada. Band mates have supported their friend and commented on the allegations against him with “he would never cheat on Perrie now, he even put a ring on her finger to prove that.” (Someone tell him he’s supposed to be marrying a partner, not branding one of his possessions!) So, we don’t actually know the truth – as is so often the case with celebrity gossip. One serious question which has not been answered is how this mixed marriage will work. There have been rumours that Perrie Edwards is converting to Islam and that the couple wish to proceed with an Islamic ceremony as part of their future and celebrations. Zayn’s mum Patricia converted to Islam when marrying Zayn’s father Yasser, so it’s not totally off the cards. Perrie hasn’t openly said she wants to convert for fiancé Zayn or for her own sake, but it has been reported that the couple plan to discuss their wedding further with a priest as well as a Muslim official. It would be nice to see Perrie possibly blow us away with a shocking outfit on her wedding day, embracing maybe an authentic Asian traditional red three piece, or an Arabian kaftan style dress… It would be a bonus if we could get a head piece, nose ring and henna all over. Who knows what the couple have in mind? A second serious question which has not been featured in the media discussion of this engagement is whether it is wise for people to marry at such a young age. There is comment along the lines of “will they, won’t they last?”, but that’s not the same as looking at how marriage is seen by young women and men. Pop stars can often be role models for young

people: what is this engagement saying? Should we be marrying for love before we’re out of uni? If we haven’t found love before we enter our third decade, are we losing out? Is there more to marriage than a sparkly ring and a nice dress (and I don’t just mean “and a head piece, nose ring and henna”!). It is an unfortunate reality that most couples in the music industry seem to have truths and untruths about their lives dissected in the media. Are they genuinely in love? Is the marriage working? Is the woman still as thin as on her wedding day? Has the man developed a roving eye? Sometimes these celebrities must feel like they are public property and long for a bit of privacy to develop their relationships. It seems that Zayn and Perrie have a genuine love and that they both see marriage as best for them and their best chance of ongoing happiness in a long term relationship. If things don’t work out for them, even if they have both tried to make their marriage work, so be it, For now, I think it’s endearing and inspirational to see such a hot young couple still value the traditional institutions of society, such as marriage. Whether celebrity or not, marriage is still a form of solidarity and marks a moving on to the next stages of life. Best wishes to the happy couple!



Friday 01 November 2013

Romeo and Juliet S

hakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet can never grow old on us. It’s just one of those ongoing theatricals that can be performed over and over again and theatres will be packed out. Romeo (of the Montague family) and Juliet (of the Capulet family) fall deeply in love. But these star crossed lovers are forbidden to be together due to ongoing conflicts between the two families, leading to the tragic loss of both their lives. Romeo and Juliet is still studied in most schools as part of the syllabus for English Literature GCSE. Its rich language, context and gripping story sail the reader through an enticing love story between two young hearts. It touches on a range of social issues such as family feuds, hate, love, motherhood, friendship, law, crime, murder, suicide… and much more. These issues, to which everyone can relate, mean that one can never get bored of the story: there is always a new angle to explore.

Of Mice and Men S

tudying Of Mice and Men for my GCSEs was one of the things I enjoyed most during my time at school. I think overall the story touched upon very delicate issues and represented well the ethics of the time in which it was set. The characters that John Steinbeck created in this piece of literature were all very distinct and unique characters, bringing to life people whom we come across daily as well as ones that we don’t usually meet. George is a realist, with a level head which is well screwed on (to mix my metaphors!). His small stature is a contrast to the frame of the oversized Lennie who, though big in physique, lacks understanding and is a dreamer. Most 15 and 16 year olds have studied the book for exams, so I won’t delve into the synopsis of the story. What I will highlight is some of the themes the book touches on such as the “American Dream”, friendship and foreshadowing. The emotions felt in this story start with a form of mystery and excitement we feel as we are introduced to George and Lennie. At this point, they are fleeing their previous jobs and

A film of Romeo and Juliet, starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Claire Danes, was released in 1996. It was a gripping telling of the story and was a box office hit. Now, in 2013, we again see the release of a film (on 13th October) – this time starring Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld and wait to see if this will, over time, become the new “must see” version. Though many of us have read the books, watched the dramas, probably have the 1996 version on DVD or under the movies tab on our laptop, it is likely that this release will still have huge numbers of viewings.

The viewer can only lose themselves in the iconic love story of Romeo and Juliet. Though set in a time far in the past, the story is based on what is still a contemporary ideology – that family loyalties are more important than romantic love. This allows film-makers to recreate this film over and over and still have an audience that will come back to see it again. Highlights of the film shown in trailers linger on the exchange of passionate kisses, soft emotive lines and other dramatic scenes, leaving one eager to see the whole film.

trying to find new jobs, and they meet a whole new set of people in the process. They have hopeful dreams, ambitious ones that George (the realist) knows, deep down, that are most unlikely to happen in reality. It is only his deep attachment to Lennie that keeps him repeating them, to give Lennie hope that life will get better. As other characters come into the story, there is a chance the dream could, after all, come true. While things are looking hopeful, the reader’s heart is lifted: you really can feel the happiness George must be feeling that all those years of grafting could finally be paying off. Lennie, too, is happy – though he always believed in the dream, which George would repeat as a bedtime story. The tale reaches its dramatic climax when Lennie accidently kills Curley’s wife. The reader experiences sorrow for the wife, whose own dreams of a better life have been dashed by the reality of her marriage, and anguish for Lennie, who did not understand what he was doing. At the beginning of the play, Lennie accidentally killed a mouse he was fond of – and this smaller, less significant, death foreshadows the loss of life in the middle of the story. One can’t help but feel sorry for the “giant pain in the ass” Lennie – and also for George, who has given up much of his freedom to look after Lennie. As the other workers on the rack and Curley decide punishment is needed, George must make that decision to save his friend from harm, as he has always done and promised to do. The

story finishes with the third loss of life: George saves Lennie from punishment in the only way he can, comforting Lennie with a final telling of the dream before shooting him in the back of the head. Readers know that though the victim here is Lennie, the real victim is George, because he always put Lennie’s wellbeing above his own. The friendship he showed here, with courage, was to save his friend from torment from Curley and the others…That “American Dream”, which so many have dreamed, so few have realised and so many have seen remain beyond their grasp, is back to being just a dream…this time a dream without Lennie. George has saved Lennie and he has saved himself from the burden of looking after Lennie: but will George ever enjoy the freedom he has finally found, given the terrible price it cost him?

Friday 01 November 2013



Nervous about going secondary school? By Raeesah Chowdhury Now that it is the beginning of a new school year I am fully settled in to my secondary school. But I do remember the anxieties I went through during the summer holidays before starting in year 7. I was worrying over things like not knowing my new teachers, whether they would like me. All the teachers were kind in primary so didn’t know if they would be the same in secondary. I was also very scared about meeting kids from other school and was worried about them not liking me. I was also very stressed about the work ahead in upper school. It’s a school for bigger kids so the work would be harder and tougher. All these things stressed me out to the point where I actually felt sick. If my young aunties and my parents who were not there to reassure and help me through it I wouldn’t have survived my first year at secondary, probably would have had a breakdown!! My aunt said why look at moving to secondary school in a negative way and instead of asking myself all the above questions and getting all upset over it, see said I should see it as a new beginning, opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. She told me it’s an opportunity to

start again and if not starting again to progress. My aunt also said if I do not give teachers or other kids’ reason to not like me then they won’t. She said be yourself and I shouldn’t overdo it to impress or shy away and become invisible – and that’s exactly what I did because I thought whether I like it or not I have to go to school so I should look for the positives. I was worried about losing some of my friends as they were going to different schools. My family reassured me that with that there’s so many ways to keep in touch. There is of course going around seeing each other on the weekends but also the phone, msn and other social network sites that we can stay in contact. So my advice to those who are moving to secondary school from primary is what my aunt said. Is that view it as a new beginning with opportunities to progress and make new friends and meet new experiences. All schools know how stressed we get about moving from one school to another so they are usually very helpful and supportive in helping you me if you struggled in Year 7 talk to your teacher . The fact is all of us feel this fearful it’s just that some show it a lot more and others don’t. Being yourself and knowing where

to go when you need support is important so make sure that if any issues comes to tell someone how you feel. Yes, it’s definitely different and more challenging than primary but remember that secondary schools lets you be a little more independent, which maybe hard at first but later you get to enjoy it. Below are some tips to follow to help you have a smooth start to secondary school: Start at night – Pack your bags at night and if needed make your breakfast and lunch items at night to save time on mornings so you can have that little extra snuggle in bed if you like....Also you now have no excuse to be late for school and skip breakfast....which is not good for you – remember breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Lunch – If you are not entitled to free school meals, then by making your own lunch, or at least getting family members to help with preparing your lunch in the mornings will save you you can buy

treats. It’s not difficult at all and it doesn’t have to be masterchef standard!! Just quick and simple things like sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs, mashed potatoes and the like are wonderful.....and don’t forget your five a day – fruit!.– Instead of buying soft drinks, crisps, chocolates and other snacks that give you no nutritional value, pack healthy juices and snacks to take to school. Homework and study – Always get your homework out the way, so do them as soon as you get home from school. This will free your time for later to catch up on TV and other stuff! Don’t waste time facebooking!! - Leave that for weekends or if you have time after you have finished your work. Bedtime – Getting a good sleep is vital so going to bed a reasonable time is important. 7-8 hrs sleep should be enough Hope you have a good and term at Secondary school, and remember, it is not about which school you attend; it is all about what you do and what impact you leave.

Being worth it . Appreciation. Life There is never a time in life where you should wish you had this or that. Life might not give us what we want, but it certainly gives us what we need and we must appreciate it. Look at people who don’t have arms or legs: they have a beautiful life without worries because they realise that you don’t need so much in life and they appreciate what they have. Life is short but we deserve to have a good life, although many of our lives are empty. By empty I mean…at least one parents absence, no friends, learning disabilities, low standard of life et cetera et cetera. It is amazing how many girls have eating disorders! It is amazing to know how many people are angry at their lives because of what happens in their homes, at others because of their result in life, its amazing to know how many people think their not worth it. Every girl that reads this article, I want you to know that you are beautiful, your gorgeous just the way you are, and boys-you da man! It’s hard to tell when there will be a storm in life, but no matter how long the storm might be, we should never regret it happened. From every one of those storms in life…you will learn something and benefit from it. Everything happens for a reason,

For teenagers with a life that involves parents’ separating, don’t think that your life is a waste. Yes, you might feel like you don’t want this life anymore, its too much for you, its not fair you cant be a normal teenager…but just remember that this is your chance in life to prove who you are, destiny is giving you a chance to prove it wrong. You should show the world that these matters don’t affect you, you should study and enjoy at the same time to your hearts extent. Give your self the opportunity to open up, to open up to yourself and the world. Be the great wind that picks up wisdom on its journey. We teenagers face difficult times in life but NEVER, NEVER, NEVER think you’re not worth it. WHY CAN’T WE LIVE LIFE HOW WE WANT TO? WHY CANT WE BE WHO WE WANT TO? WHY CANT WE BE HAPPY ALL THE TIME? WHY!?!?! The fact that we concentrate on what we want or what we wish we had is why we never have a decent life. Don’t you think its time to rectify mistakes in life, to make happy moments last, to cherish what we have and not to ask for more, and the most important thing is to follow your dreams! Dreams are not only what your heart


By Faizah Sharif

and that reason is a mystery and we don’t need to know why? You should at least know that it happened for the best.

desires but what our life waits for. You should follow your dreams with full determination. When you first try to make a dream come true, you would most likely not achieve it the first time, so do you give up??? It is your choice but just think. What do you do when you fail? You try again. What do you do when you fall? You get up again. What do you do when you cry? You wipe your tears. If you persevere in anything and everything then you will be the greatest achiever in the world. And I admit you will still be crying at that time when you remember your past life, except you will cry, wipe your tears and…smile! =D

When you read this article, especially those who might have similar problems as to those that I have mentioned, I know for a fact that you will cry when you read this but remember that there are many who feel the same agony, the same pain, and the same pressure. But when you cry…take those tears to be a motivation to your heart. A motivation that should change your perspective of life, it should make you happy and determined to make you a special person in life. Never underestimate your ability because you were born with a speciality that is waiting to show it’s self.



Friday 01 November 2013

A journey on an alien ship T

here was a boy called Zack. He lived in a big house full of statues, paintings and modern furniture. One afternoon, at 5pm, he was bored and had nothing to do. After a little while, Zack decided he would go on a little walk outside, even though it was getting dark. He crept cautiously outside without getting spotted by his parents. He closed the door slowly on his way out in case he made any noise. He went to a playground near his house and sat on the swing, looking at the sunset. After a while, the sun went gently down and the moon came up. He got off the swing and started walking through the streets. Suddenly, he saw a little green light almost like a shining diamond through the dark, creepy forest. He told himself he wasn’t afraid of anything. He kept walking and walking until he was next to the forest. Very quietly, he crept through the shadowy forest. The leaves on the trees glowed green in the night while he crept through the forest. A wolf dashed past. Zack was scared and worried. His heart beat twice as fast as usual and sweat dripped down his forehead. Weird sounds were in his head, calling his name. All of a sudden he saw a green eye! He rapidly hid behind a cracked tree. Zack felt as if he was going to have a bad panic attack. He slowly peered behind the tree to see what was happening. He saw an unknown creature with five arms and three legs, and the colour of the creature’s skin was green. He told himself to stay calm and quiet. He waited and waited. Eventually he peered out again and this time he saw another one of the same unknown creature: but this one had five arms and six legs. Now he could also see a round and silver space ship, which had smoke coming out of it. Zack sneezed. The two creatures turned back and walked slowly towards him. Zack was uncertain whether they would see him. The leaves crunched beneath them as the creatures walked to check the noise. Zack grew scared and wanted to run, but he thought to himself, “what if they had special weapons and teleported me somewhere else away from Earth?” When they saw Zack, the creatures scanned him with their green eyes. T|hen they said, “Hello human being what is your name?” Zack was confused and replied, “My name is Zack. What are your names and what are you?” The creature responded slowly “My name is Xof and my brother’s name is Spif. We are in the alien family.” Zack begged, “Please don’t hurt me. I will do anything, I promise.” Xof was the alien with the five arms and three legs and Spif was the alien with five arms and six legs. Xof replied, “Only

When the Aliens are stranded, lucky Zack is called upon to lend a hand. Will Zack work out what to do? And will he find a way to grasp a bright new future for himself? Young author Shakil Ahmed presents his latest story. if you try to fix the alien ship.” Zack looked at the alien ship with the smoke coming out. He replied, “OK, I will try to.” He walked over to the broken alien ship and looked at the buttons and pressed one. Deliberately more smoke started coming out, and the engine started rumbling for five seconds. Unfortunately the engine went off and didn’t come back on. He pressed the button again, but nothing happened.

After a while, Zack had an idea. He called Xof to crack open the whole alien ship to see if there were any ripped wires connected to the engine. After hours and hours, the space ship was finally open. There were several ripped wires which were supposed to connect the engine and the button of the alien ship. Zack thought for a moment and had another idea. He told the aliens he would be right back – he just needed something. He ran back to his front door but he had forgotten to keep the front door open and his parents always locked the door at night. Zack ran to the back of his garden. He climbed up the pipe and then jumped over the wooden fence. Zack went into his house through the back garden door. Zack’s parents never closed the garden door but kept it open, just for fresh air or in case there is a fire emergency. Zack cautiously crept into the clean, fresh and shiny kitchen and stole the super glue from the counter and ran back out. He was impressed and jumped over the fence and dashed back to the forest. Zack

saw the aliens waiting for him near the broken alien ship. Spif whispered to Xof, “What is that?” Xof replied, “I have no idea.” Zack bravely said it was super glue and it could fix broken parts or ripped wires. Zack sprinted up to the alien ship and excitedly showed them the super glue and how they could use it to fix the alien ship. Time crept on until it was midnight. The owls hooted, wolves howled and the wind blew past Zack while he was working on the alien ship. Zack was shivering with the cold but he didn’t care about anything but fixing the alien ship so the aliens could go home. Finally, at 3am, the alien ship was ready to go. There was one slight problem: Zack wanted to go with them! He didn’t want to stay at home, bored and with no one to play with. Bravely he asked if he could join them and go to their planet with them. Spif thought before he made up his mind. He told Zack he couldn’t stay on their planet. They told him they were not allowed to bring human beings back to it, or they would be exterminated from the whole planet and be sent to slime jail. Zack asked, “What’s slime jail?” Zof glumly responded, “it’s almost like a desert where you are all alone and there is only alien food and alien drink, nothing else. You have nowhere to go. It’s just a white room with a bench and a pillow.” Moments later... they were about to go, but Zack had a fantastic idea. He told them to wait there for two minutes, and the aliens told him to be quick. He jumped over his fence and went through the back door and very quietly and cautiously he went upstairs to his bedroom without waking up his brother and went through his closet and found an old, green, dusty alien costume. He took it and ran out of his house and as fast as he could he climbed over the fence and went back to the forest and showed the aliens the costume. “Will this work if I put this on? Will they spot I am a human being?” he asked insistently. Spif scanned the old alien costume and told Zack to put it on. The costume fitted him and he looked just like an alien and the aliens thought it would work. They let him enter the Alien Ship and they zoomed up into space and landed on an orange planet. There were houses made out of orange objects and the cars were made of green things like jelly, but amazingly Zack spotted, a mile away, a house that was perfectly made. It was owned by Spif and Xof. They invited him in and showed him to his bedroom. The wallpaper was patterned with stars and spaceships. There was a blue carpet that was very soft and a bed. Zack was very excited and wanted to stay forever. He never wanted to leave. He played lots of games with his aliens friends.

Friday 01 November 2013


Me and my teen By Katy Miller


y daughter is now 23. I love her to bits and I am so proud of the way she has turned out to be. She understands me very well and is so supportive as a daughter and as a friend. Though she believes she was like this throughout her life, my baby gave me a lot of trouble as a teen. I had the mood swings, the attitude, the moaning, the laziness, the repeatedly telling her to do a task without seeing it done and much more. I even had nights when I cried, thinking my

10 simple tips for parents Below are ten simple, easy ways for mums and teens to relate to each other better, keeping them both on the same page and overcoming certain boundaries. So, here goes to all my fellow mums! 1. Spoil them with LOVE. A mother’s love is unconditional and incomparable to any other. The same way a mother loves her newborn child, it will be that love that will continue all life long. That adolescent who now thinks she knows it all, can be lippy back and who wants to establish an identity for herself is still the one you loved before. It’s just that your love now cannot be shown with showers of kisses and the cutest little frock and tucking her into bed at night. At this stage of life, it needs to be expressed in a different way. You have to embrace with positivity her developing identity. Devote quality time to her – playing games, talking, shopping, eating out, praising her and her style and her achievements. Be a motivator and someone who smiles with positivity... and tell her verbally “I love you my darling”. 2. Spend quality time together. Life is busy for us all. After years of spending time together in the household, sometimes we become just mundane, unemotional beings who just pass each other over the breakfast table as we all head out of the house together. You need to plan into your timetable or set aside

daughter was a lost cause. Though she never told me, I knew she had the boy crazes. She had an inclination to want to hit the dance floor and spend money she didn’t have and which we couldn’t provide for her. I couldn’t force religious views on her which she viewed as innuendoes, but how I prayed she never crossed any boundaries in excess. Parenting teens is hard. On one hand, you want that little princess to whom you gave birth never to lose her innocence. You want to dictate her

every move, because to you, she’s still that fragile little girl you carried years back. However, the reality is that they did cut the cord when she was born and you just have to let her live to figure things out for herself. As a mother, you are always looking for ways to reduce the

conflicts between yourself and your daughter. Experts make suggestions and there are a lot of materials online and in other places where you can look for tips on parenting – or on conflict resolution! Another method you can adopt is conflict prevention: avoid falling into it in the first place.

time, either spontaneously or in a planned way. Walk to the station together if you are heading in the same direction. Meet for a late lunch when she finishes school or take her to watch a film. It’s those intimate times alone together which will make her feel secure and able to open up. 3. Be a positive role model for your daughter in your words and actions. This is the age when your daughter will see and notice everything you say and do. If you want your daughter to be the best, then you need to lead the way. I can guarantee daughters will be the mini version of you. If you are someone who swears and lies, then your daughter too will be someone who swears and lies also. Obversely, if you are someone who is loving and optimistic, she too will develop this skill. 4. Encourage self-expression and selfdiscovery, with limits. Encourage your daughter to follow her own passions and to find a path that is most pleasing to her. Do not force her to walk a path that you were once forced to or possibly even denied. Allow her to develop her own persona and style, but do keep it within reason. For example, I allowed my daughter to have male friends, but I reserved the right to tell her where and how she socialised with them outside the school setting. Discuss these things with her. 5. Keep technology within sight and limit its use. There's no need for your daughter to have a personal laptop or a private setting on a family desktop. Likewise pass locks on her phone. By keeping technology within your sight, applying reasonable parental controls over their use and controlling access,

you can monitor your daughter's use of these technological tools and hope to encourage safety and good habits along the way. Having a discussion about appropriate websites, social networking sites, phone apps, networking and other relevant technology issues will help your teenage daughter understand technology better and should help open up the lines of communications when and if problems occur. 6. Set limitations which are within reason As your teen develops, set the appropriate measures for restrictions as well as expectations. Do not be too harsh or strict, or else it will cause rebellion. These limits are there not only for maintaining a healthy relationship between you and your daughter, but also to prepare her for wider society, where sanctions and regulations are used. Praise her for her merits and be flexible when the need arises (maybe extra pocket money near a friend’s birthday). 7. Discuss discipline with your daughter beforehand and don’t overdo it at the time when a punishment needs to be exerted. Every teen breaks the rules or fails to meet what is expected, and your child will more than likely fall into that. Penalties also act as a deterrent, so it is good to communicate this with her beforehand to allow her to know what the cost of the action would be. DO NOT linger on an issue: get the apology and wipe the slate clean. She will realise that the punishment was for her own good and that mercy and gentleness overcome bitterness when you both revert back to normality. 8. Show fairness and flexibility with

consistency. You will be amazed at how much teens love consistency and structure. Try to ensure they do not become involved in other societal mishaps that could distract them from their journey, because this phase of life is about self-discovery more than about learning from others. Keep in communication with your daughter and be reliable at all costs. Keeping a flexible attitude leads to a healthy attitude, because if you are not, you’ll distance your daughter from you, and you yourself will feel a sense of unease. Just love them and be that positive impact in their life. 9. Sometimes, just listen. A teenage girl thinks she knows everything. She is full of opinions and full of her own reality, forgetting that you too went through that age and probably could teach her a few things. Just like you did then, she wants to be heard and not TOLD! Do that favour to her and just give her the attentive ear. Show an interest by giving reactions, asking questions, asking about her friends and showing you care. Do not dictate answers or interfere and definitely do not impose. Once the communication barrier is broken, the rapport and trust is increased and thereafter you can give opinions because she probably expects it now. 10. Please don’t judge. Teenage years are the delicate ones, especially for young girls who want to be accepted. Do not criticise them for the decisions they take on their behaviour style, choice of friends, fashion, etc. Just try to encourage them towards positivity. Make her feel safe and welcome regardless of the mistakes.




Friday 01 November 2013

Depression in Why are we children caused so put off reading? by screen overload By Sidra Khanom

Reports from a recent study claim that there is a link between children’s socio-emotional development and time spent in front of a screen. It is suggested that the child who spends more time in front of the computer screen or playing games is more likely to experience lower self esteem and poorer social interaction skills. The study, published by Public Health England, reports that excessive screen time, which is more than four hours a day, has a direct link to emotional issues such as depression and anxiety. Screen

nevertheless it is still not the same as having someone actually present to comfort, teach and guide you.

overload also limits one’s physical activity and social interaction. British children, in comparison to those in other countries in Europe, spend a disproportionately large amount of time in front of screens, either indulging in using various programmes or playing computer games. Though such social networking sites as Facebook, Twitter and chat rooms give room for social interaction and developing emotions and attachment,

well and that the child benefits from watching, playing as well as guided learning and interaction with the presence of people and groups. Public Health is also launching a back to school campaign supporting families in spending less time in front of screens, to eat more healthily and increase physical activity. It is a six week programme and details of joining and of the campaign can be found on

Some findings between 20062010 of children spending two hours or more in front of TV screens and Computer games. Further reports and statements by the professors of this research can be found on the nhs website. As regards the above, since there is a direct link between screen time and a child’s social and psychological development, adults must try to ensure time is utilised

With the development of technology, our poor paper books are left untouched and ignored. More often than not, people see reading as a chore that NEEDS to be done, as opposed to a HOBBY, something one likes to do and enjoys. Reading sometimes can be seen as a challenge we’d rather avoid trying to overcome due to a past experience or a sheer lack of motivation. If your problem with reading is something related to not being able to find a suitable book that is right for you and your interests, then there are several things you can try. It’s almost like trying to find the perfect outfit to suit you. If you’ve happened to pick the wrong one, it doesn’t put you off choosing another one – in fact it pushes you to go out and choose another one, fast! Try browsing a little more. There are many online blogs and people who post reviews of books they have read. If you see something that interests you, try to get hold of it through the local library or a local book store. There is a beauty behind reading as well as the benefits that it brings. If you are a student, especially of English at any level and/or English literature, then I suggest you introduce reading regularly into your lifestyle. Teenagers today are missing out so much on this stimulating gift. If you’re someone who is swayed by emotions or you are a creative thinker or have an analytical persona, then reading actually is for you more than you think. You

get to exercise your imagination and creativity to the maximum and build up vivid imagery and thoughts in your mind. If you enjoy watching TV and movies, where the action is presented in front of you, then reading a similar text can help you draw your own mental animation of how something should be acted out and also aid you in your own writing and performances. Further, reading will enhance your vocabulary and widen your understanding of society. It will help you see things in context and from other perspectives. It will be easier to understand how other people are thinking. Reading can also help you understand sociological or psychological issues, even complex ones, and other issues going on in society, now or back in history. These are just some of the benefits. I guess there is the assumption that reading is boring – but how is challenging your emotions and creating dramatic scenes in your head boring? What if what is in front of you just isn’t to the standard you would like? Then isn’t it actually more fun for you to read instead of just watching TV? The best thing about reading is you can jump in and out of your PJs, in the silence of the day and night, and cuddle up and lose yourself in your world of mystery, action and/or romance – and no one need ever know! Whatever your interests, there is a book out there that suits you... you just need to go find it!

Friday 01 November 2013


What is an arranged

marriage? T

he issue of arranged marriage remains as controversial as ever. Though it can be said the definition of what an arranged marriage is has changed dramatically over the years, the unfortunate reality is that the stereotype of it has remained the same. The institution of arranged marriages has existed for a long time, though it was initially more prevalent among the upper classes. It happens across many religions and regions of the globe, particularly in Asia, Africa and parts of the Arab world. Until the late 19th century, when people began moving in large numbers from rural areas to the cities, arranged marriages existed, in effect, across much of Europe too, as young people had few chances to meet people outside their own or a nearby village, so the pool of possible marriage partners was very small. Arranged marriages are said to help preserve the integrity of a

religion, lineage or caste and to prevent people from marrying outside of “their own” in a general sense. They are said to give parents a sense of security as their children are in safe hands, which is assessed by the parents knowing each other. However, there have been many examples of women being abused in arranged marriages over the years, so the parents knowing each other is not always a guarantee of personal safety. When put like this, there doesn’t seem such radical harm in the process of arranged marriage. However, one must really understand what a modern arranged marriage is and differentiate it from what the stereotype of an arranged marriage is. The old ways Years ago, arranged marriage was slightly different than it is nowadays. Parents would arrange a meeting with another family in the hope that their son or daughter would fall for the other parent’s son or daughter. The son and daughter would decide for themselves whether they wanted to get married or not. If they did, then the wedding would be arranged. If they didn’t, then the parents would say thank you and leave.

woman meet for the first time at their actual wedding – or the spouse to be is forced to accept the person that their family presents to them. Films such as East is East and books such as The Belonging, though they may reflect true stories that have occurred, do not represent the whole experience. As with any concept, you have the real and you have The stereotype Unfortunately, due to a lack of the exceptions and it can be hard understanding of how a marriage to differentiate them from the can be based on anything other stereotype. than the western notion of romantic love, arranged Today marriage has been criticised and Parents still organise meetings even pilloried in the western with other families, but the media as the practice of difference is that the man and backward nations or peoples. It woman get to know each other is often frowned upon by those for as long as they want and whose culture isn’t accustomed come to a decision in their own to such a practice. According to time as to whether they wish to this stereotype, the man and get married or not. It’s almost like authorised dating, except it

is to lead to marriage. Today many people do not mind an arranged marriage, according to the real meaning of arranged marriages and not the stereotypical view, because it has nothing oppressive about it but instead provides a safe context for a big decision to be taken. Even the emergence of online dating and matrimonial websites suggest some notion of filtering possible partners is a great help to someone looking for their soulmate. The future Unfortunately, while the media confuses matters and various lifestyle choices are derided while others are promoted, it is hard for young people to have a genuine choice about how they design their future and how they will find happiness.




Rolltop Laptop

Rolltop is a portable computer development concept for designer, architect and everyone, who would like to have a gadget, which, from an aesthetic standpoint alone, certainly hits the mark. By virtue of the OLED-Display technology and a multitouchscreen the utility of a laptop computer with its weight of a mini-notebook and screen size of 13 inch easily transforms into the graphics tablet, which with its 17-inch flat screen can be also used as a primary monitor due to the support attached to the back of the screen. Rolltop 2.0 is a further development of Rolltop with some visible and mostly invisible improvements (e.g. internal design, placement of certain components etc.)

Lip-syncing animation tool ready for download

So we’re in 2013 now, and we all want to take a quick snap shot of everything and anything these days. You go for a meal ‘snap’ you’ve just captured your menu, you walk along a park and see a bench, so you run up and take a quick mug shot of yourself, or you see your child smile for the first time ‘click click’… that’s all everyone seems to do…and before you know it, skype, facebook, twtitter, viber, what’sApp all have the picture uploaded on to display pictures, because we all love to share a special, fun or memorable moments online…but then…what about those hang over pictures from the party you snuck out to, but told your mum you’re at a mate’s slumber party, or those awful self portraits of you checking to see if there’s anything between your teeth, so you send them off to people, but later really regret it. SnapChat is a free and fun app for iphone and Anroid users. It allows you to privately share your pictures and video slips with those who you wish, and will disappear few seconds after viewing, that way, ensuring you can still capture and share your highlighted moment and not have it bite you on the bum later. It also warns the sender if the receiver tries to get a screen shot of what you send (because let’s face it- we all do it). What is out of your control is if they decide to take a photograph from another device of the picture, and that is no one’s control. Similarly, Apple has launched another app known as . This has

Friday 01 November 2013

Coming soon: 3D Skype calls Talking to loved ones around the world has been made easy with the development of technology and apps. Skype has allowed one to make virtual reality calls by being able to see the person who the calls are made to- making the distance seem invisible. Would you believe, they’ve outdone themselves with the latest developments and now wish to go 3D! How cool is that. In an exclusive interview with the BBC, one of the senior executives of Skype spoke of the development of ‘body doubles’ for those who couldn’t attend meetings physically, in mark of the 10th year anniversary for Skype. Though this is a work in progress and it’s only been unveiled to us as a project that is being investigated and thoroughly trying to develop and create, it is a considerable amount of time away before it is actually launched. However, there is a sad truth, that Skype has to work hard to bring them up in the market again, as leading mobile apps such as What’sApp and Viber are taking over. 3D animation and the notion of having screens come to life, isn’t a new trend anymore. Many people now purchase TV’s and computer screens of the kind. There is also a decline in the market as BBC has also cancelled a channel as well as leading department stores; like John Lewis who are getting rid of them for displays, so Skype really have to consider these factors in trying to launch such a device. They confidently discuss that though there are many 3D effects in place there are, there isn’t such a kind for ‘capture’ devices that are still not in place, which Skype team has and are developing. They are now just considering the ecosystem of devices and capabilities for bringing such a device to the market.

been designed for private sharing with Facebook friends, allowing images to be protected with an encrypted filter, preventing the pictures being seen (both phone and online) by anyone beyond your share scope. However, warnings that, unlike Snapchat, screen shorts can be taken of these photos and therefore further passed around beyond your knowledge and control. Twitter also has its set of fun way of doing things, but one up of them is Vizify, which automatically converts your interactions into a fun little movie. No effort, no artistic skill required with this app, simply have your friendly chats, and they’ll make the movie. You can share this with your friends with just one click…nothing else needed…now that’s quality! Another simple but fun animation tool is Crazy Talk. This app lets you record or upload a audio track, you then pick character of your choice, and automatically the voice is lip-synced, complete with different facial expressions and gestures… So you can see yourself as a granny or a toddler…told you it’s simple but fun! With the development of such apps, and knowing developers are designing apps to increase security makes it that much more trustworthy that they care for our choices! Though now I can use CrazyTalk for someone to represent me, and instaEdit my pictures and send them via SnapChat, I’m already half way to a fake and changeable identity!

Friday 01 November 2013


Lady Gaga should be known as Lady Copycat L

ady Gaga is one of a kind. She hits us with her meat dress, her high-wedged awfulness and other odd items that she tends to adorn herself in. The irony here is, though she is said to be unique in her choice of garments, then again she has faced ongoing accusations that she has also been copying pop icon Madonna over the years. Going further on this, she has also been said to emulate many stars as far as their wardrobe is concerned. We youngsters don’t care what Madonna’s latest look is – or Elizabeth Hurley’s: we’re more interested in what Selena Gomez is wearing. Now she’s the one to follow… but it seems we aren’t the only ones to iconize this young lady’s clothing. Lady Gaga too, has turned her head towards the young lady’s wardrobe. Just days earlier, Selena had worn a corset bra to the VMA Awards. The stunning young actress trailed across the red carpet with an elegant yet very funky outfit. Stepping out of her London hotel the next Thursday, Lady Gaga sported a near exact replica of the Versace corset bra Selena wore to the VMA Awards just days earlier on 25th August. That top sure looked familiar! Lady Gaga wore a black lace semi-bustier which Selena Gomez first wore to the VMA Awards just days earlier. The 27-year-old matched the black lace number with a shiny jet-black hook-studded pant suit that was fitted tightly to her thin frame, wheras Selena went down a more feminine route by having the corset peep through an opened royal blue dress that had a thigh high slit. The Love You Like a Love Song darling classed up her ensemble with oversized green earrings, red nails and pointy heels. Two pop stars, one look: Gaga chose to pair Selena's under garment with a black suit instead of a blue dress, and she also trimmed off the bottom of the corset, but the copy cat move is still unmistakable.

Chloe Grace Mortez: latest fashion guru


hloe Grace Moretz is London’s latest fashion guru, hitting us with her trendy studded jacket for the release of her movie Kick Ass 2. From retro to tomboy; from glossy red carpet wear to sheek London style… there hasn’t been an outfit that she hasn’t rocked out in full perfection. The beautiful actress, 16, flew into London in early August to promote her movie Kick-Ass 2 and has really painted the town “studded black” with her groovy looks and cool chic

glamour. She threw us aback with sharp stripes, but what we love is the studded bomber Chloe niched together with a pair of black skinnies, shades and elegant heels for an interview on Radio 1. Bomber jackets are hot news right now so we recommend snapping one up on your next shopping sensation. As for the stripes, you’ve gotta give it to her: she looked totally gorgeous with the smart, but cool look.



CONTINUATION Students support

Tower Hamlets Foodbank is an emergency support service for local people, providing three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced food to residents in need of urgent help. Last year the charity gave food to more than 1780 residents in Tower Hamlets. But demand for help from the charity is growing. In the first six months this year, the charity has already helped 1000 people who needed emergency food. The Isle of Dogs Children’s Centre supports Foodbank and provides a range of health, education, employment and financial related advice and services to families in Tower Hamlets. It is often the first place that residents turn when they need urgent help. George Green’s students were so impressed with the help provided by the children’s centre, they organised a non-uniform day to help raise funds for Tower Hamlets’ Foodbank. A grand total of £900 was raised from pupils paying just £1 each to participate on the day, whilst teachers contributed £2 each. The funds were split between buying food that the charity needed most – including jars of baby food, pasta, tea and sugar – and funds to contribute to the charity’s annual hamper appeal. Amy Kimbangi, Tower Hamlets Foodbank Project Co-ordinator, said: “We are stunned and extremely grateful for the wonderful donation from the Isle of Dogs Children’s Centre and George Green’s School. “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the residents of Tower Hamlets. Without the desire of so many local people to help their neighbours in need, we would simply be unable to do what we do.” Tower Hamlets Mayor, Lutfur Rahman, said: “This is an example of One Tower Hamlets at its best – communities coming together, supporting each other and caring for the most vulnerable in society. “Sadly, as a result of the government’s welfare reform measures, charities like Foodbank are seeing unprecedented numbers in urgent need of their services. “We will continue to do all that we can to protect the most vulnerable in our communities. From the council’s budget, I have

already allocated £2.2m to protect vulnerable residents in temporary accommodation from the impact of the government’s welfare reforms; free schools meals are now available for reception and Year 1 pupils in the borough and local grants are available for university students and those who want to stay on at school. “These are challenging times, but I am proud to see Tower Hamlets communities working so well together.”


fruit and vegetables before picking and preparing the ingredients for a healthy snack. The zone has become a regular attraction, churning out a range of edible products from jams to soups and salads, in a fun and creative environment. 11-year old Krystal said: “I thought the day was fun for me and my brothers and sisters. We all enjoyed making soup as a family and I had a giggle the whole time.” Krystal’s mum added: “Me and my children enjoyed the time spent today. My children enjoyed cooking and learning about the different vegetables and making a homemade soup.” The event gave young people the chance to lead on the creation of their final product - from chopping to blending their ingredients - whist in a safe and supervised environment. Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “The Mile End Park growing zone is a fantastic place for children to learn and experiment with fruit and vegetables. I’m really pleased the event has been popular amongst our families and I look forward to seeing more families take part in future events.” For more information or to register your interest for future events at the Mile End Park growing zone email

Outstanding students aged 11-14 undertook an early GCSE or A Level in Bengali, Chinese, Urdu or Arabic this year and the bright sparks achieved fantastic results, with a staggering 92% of the students obtaining a grade A*-C.

Friday 01 November 2013 An astonishing 100% of the students taking either GCSE or Alevel Chinese passed the subject along with a 97% pass rate in Bengali, 94% in Arabic and 75% in Urdu. The high performers were joined at the evening, at the Idea Store Whitechapel, by their parents and teachers. At the event, Mayor Rahman personally congratulated and handed the star students a certificate and small gift. Speaking to the audience he said: “I am delighted to be here to personally congratulate you all for your achievements. These fantastic results are down to the hard work of the children and all those who have supported them. “I am confident that we will continue to provide excellent support and resources to young people in order for them to achieve top marks.” The council supports children every year to learn a range of community languages, and participate in events to celebrate the diversity of the borough. Arabic tutor, Dunia Wasman, who delivers GCSE and A-Level classes through the council’s Idea Stores said: “All the young people are eager to study and are very interested in the language. They have been getting a lot of support and I am very proud of their grades. It is great that young people in the borough have the option to learn languages like Arabic.” Cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Oliur Rahman, said: “Learning a community language provides a strong foundation for further learning, I am very pleased with the top grades our young people attained.” For more information, please contact the council’s community languages service on 020 7364 6373 or email

Pupil from St Mary

Pupils from schools across London entered a competition run in conjunction with charity Magic Breakfast to design Christmas cards for London Assembly Members. The children designed Christmas cards and a winner was selected from the breakfast clubs. London Assembly members will be able to use the entries from each par-

ticipating primary school to send out their Christmas cards this year. Magic Breakfast delivers free, healthy breakfast foods to UK primary schools with more than 40% free school meals, and is working with 240 schools nationally, including 150 schools across the capital. The Charity invited children from its London breakfast clubs to participate in the competition. Local Labour London Assembly Member John Biggs said: “It was fantastic to meet pupils from St Mary and St Michael primary school at City Hall. I am delighted that St Mary and St Michael got involved and I am excited to use the winning design as my Christmas card this year. “Magic Breakfast run a great breakfast club for children which allows children to get a proper start to the day as well as allowing parents to get off to work. It was reported by the London Food Board this year that 74,000 children across London said they have gone to bed hungry and over-half of London parents have seen their ability to afford food worsen in the last year. We need to make sure that all children are provided for in the morning and Magic Breakfast do an excellent job in the 240 schools they support to provide the right fuel for learning.” Magic Breakfast spokesperson Mark Coussins said: “This Christmas card competition was great for the children and it’s great for the breakfast clubs as it not only shines a light on the clubs but will also spread the message about why they exist and why they are so important. Magic Breakfast believes that every school across London and across the country should have breakfast provision to ensure that no child starts the day too hungry to learn. “It’s great to be working with John Biggs AM. Schools tell us that breakfast clubs improve attendance, punctuality, behaviour and attainment – we would love to be able to feed more children in more schools and ensure they have the right start to the day.”

Friday 01 November 2013



Breathing the air of my parents’ roots Fatema Begum


chool’s out for summer! Mum and Dad have plans for us to visit the family in Bangladesh. At first, my reaction is “No way! Am I going there for the summer; I have a friend’s party after Eid.” My words and tantrums didn’t get me far, and the next thing I knew is that I was already hanging up the yellow Selwar Kameez (Asian dress wear: kaftan and trouser) I was to wear for the journey. With my bags packed, fasting (though I didn’t need to), sweating and with my make-up bag quite disorganised, we made our way to the airport. The strange thing was, my sister and I don’t usually go to the airport often, but every time we pass that boat shaped building on the way to Heathrow, it just feels like, “oh, we’re here again”. Finally we pass through the check outs and security. As you can imagine, Mum and Dad, with their over-packed suitcases, are trying to cheat the system by transferring things from one bag to the other, whilst I casually updated my whatsapp status to: “Argh! 5 weeks of torture ahead”. As we board the plane and finally get to our seats in the economy class of

Bangladesh Biman. It finally dawned on me: I’m going to Bangladesh! What a wasted summer. Aaargh! The ten hours, direct flight wasn’t hard at all, probably because I slept through most of it. There was this “Paan Kaowri” (one who chews on paan leaf & beetle nut) lady sitting a few seats away me who sat gawping at me. My initial reaction was, “honey, I’m too young and way too pretty for anyone in your family, so look away”, very portentous! I know. At that moment, a realization dawned on me; she sparked a flame in me that was to burn in me throughout my whole trip. Instead of getting angry, I just humbled myself and ignored her, trying to think what I would do if anyone tried suggesting marriage to me in Bangladesh. We landed in Sylhet, Bangladesh at 11am, Bangladesh time on 26th July. Immediately, I was engulfed and became breathless by heat and humidity. Sylhet airport was this dingy little place with only two runways. I was literally praying that it was actually an airport. The view from the window of the plane failed to excite me. What was I expecting? I knew Bangladesh was a poverty stricken country so to expect the picturesque

views like that on the glossy travel magazines was foolish. I remember waiting for my luggage and desperate for the toilet, but I was just so grossed out from my last journey to Bangladesh - two years ago, that I just avoided it and hoped it wasn’t a long journey back to the bari (villiage). Oh! the relief when I saw my Suto Sassa (youngest uncle on Dad’s side) and Boro Mama!(eldest uncle on Mum’s side). It was a bit of an awkward greet; I wasn’t sure whether a “salaam” sufficed or whether I was meant to hug them of give them“hoonga”, as Sassa says (touching of the noses, a traditional affectionate greeting by elders to minors). Instead, I followed Ayesha’s lead. Oh by the way, I forgot to mention my 12 years old sister, Ayesha was also on this trip with me. Ayesha said salaams to all and moved her head closer to them so they could give some sort of blessing over her hair but touching it. Weird! No way was I doing that. The journey home was nice with lots of chatter and laughter, but I was too shattered to join in on the jokes and catchups After driving through the overcrowded and disheveled city of Sylhet I was pleasantly surprised at the scenic views once we entered the suburbs and countryside.

It took the best part of two hours to get home due to broken roads. Once home, and to find at the entrance of the Bari (village), my four Sassis ( my Dad’s brother’s wives) and all the bari kids to welcome us was heartwarmingly overwhelming. It was like if I was a celebrity. I think, my cousin, Sadiq was trying to avoid coming out, because he wanted to remain “cool” but you could see him behind the curtained door, trying to find the best moment to come out and mark his presence. Sadiq, whom I last saw as a little boy in shorts, had shot up in height, developed an Adams apple and had this groovy hairstyle. As the weeks went on, I really started to settle in. I even began to drink the filtered water instead of relying on bottled water. A few people jokingly ask if I was here to get married while others pushed the joke to “Sadiq re kun din kushi kortai?” (when will you make Sadiq happy?) by interfering nuisance elders from across the area. I just brushed this off with “But Sadiq is my Bhai (brother), and I don’t agree in marrying my bother.” From my room, I had a perfect view of the front yard and the cow shed. Families

in the village breed cattle and my family bred 15 or so cattle. Every day I would see watch this childlike boy, come and tend to the cows; take them for walks, feed them, etc. It was almost like a daily ritual hearing him say “ay ay ay” as he herded the cattle, but each time I watched him I felt a sudden breath of gratitude. He wasn’t more than 12 or 13 years old: that’s Ayesha’s age! Knowing how spoilt and immature Ayesha is, and seeing a person her age work from dawn till dusk wearing what we would describe as rags, it really affected me raising feelings of guilt, gratitude and I began to feel humble. I was awestruck by the hosting of my very poor relatives, who bought and stored condensed milk in their house just to serve me tea especially. Drinking tea with condensed milk was considered a luxury and one they couldn’t afford to have everyday so they drank black tea. Hosting and welcoming a guest was very important in Bangladesh. Hosting and welcoming guests was a family affair and I felt really bad, because when guests come to our house in London, I used to leave mum or Bhabi (sister-in-law) to serve whilst I ‘chilled’ in my room with music. There’s no respect given to the people we host, and I really felt that here. Two days before we were returning to London, One of my Sassi (aunts) came to my room with some old and worn out photos. She showed me a picture of mum and dad when they were newlyweds. She then showed pictures of me when I was a baby and pictures of when I had been there in 2000, 2003 and 2010. She was

crying saying how much she misses us and she thinks of us often and makes Duaa (Prayer) for us to remain happy in London. She then asked the question “do you remember us?” When she asked that, I felt a tightness in my heart, because the honest truth was “no”. It really dawned on me that in our life in London, we really have neglected to remember my loved ones across the globe, who we still remain so dear to. From that moment, I vowed to myself that I will make more of an effort, both making time to call my family there, and also to remember them in my prayers. Experiencing the compassion, gratitude and respect from these people who have very little materialistically, but are rich in heart, love and humanity, I vowed to change my ignorant and spoilt attitudes but more importantly, it made me realise how lucky I was to be in a position to have all the luxuries and opportunities which I take for granted; the things that I have now started to value. The day of departure was emotional, My nana (Naan) came to our Bari to bid us farewell, and the hug between mum and her really broke my heart; I guess I’ve failed to remember mum is someone’s daughter. I said my goodbyes and added people’s number to my phone and waved my final goodbye looking into Suto Sasi’s eyes. When I got home, before even changing my clothes, I put back on my phone, and logged on to Whatsapp. I saw the status I updated before I left and just chuckled and happily I changed it to “best 5 weeks ever...”

Published by: Youth Gazette Email: Facebook: Twitter: Youtube: Web: Issue: 01/01, 01 November 2013


Muhammad Ismael

Due to the adverse weather conditions this showpiece game continued albeit with lots of changes in the team line ups. Many of the West Ham Academy team had to withdraw and it was left to the younger members of the team to fill in. Sporting veterans did well to take to the changing rooms at half time with the score at 0-0. The younger and fitter West Ham charges though scored

three second half goals to ensure a comfortable victory. Under 12's coach Ross Kleintfell, head of academy recruitment Dave Hunt and academy goalkeeper coach Billy Lepeen were the Hammers scorers. The moment of the match was when Sporting striker, Bangladesh Football Association Vice Chair and football presenter Imrul Gazi scored a stunning 25 yard pile driver to half the advantage after West Ham Academy had raced

into a 2-0 lead. He said: "We were not able to play against some ex Hammers legends due to the weather but nevertheless it was a good work out for our old legs! "Tonight was all about building relationships between both parties for future collaborations that can benefit the community and if we can play some competitive games in the process then that's a nice bonus." On his wonder goal Gazi added: "It sat up perfect and was

begging to be struck. I caught it perfectly, especially as I could have typically hit it into row Z. It's easily one of the best goals I have scored." Jamal Hussain from the BFA was at the game and described the goal as a "thunderbolt." The game was played in good spirits and was a great example of the steps West Ham United as a club are taking to foster sound working relationships with local grassroots organisations.