Mohammed and following one’s dream. I am not talking about Mohammed the prophet – Peace Be Upon Him – who once promised a bounty hunter whilst being a fugitive to hand in King of Persia’s’ bracelets. Talk about a mission that was fulfilled and a vision that was lived!
I am also not talking about Mohammed al-Razi; a celebrated scholar known to be a chemist, an alchemist, a physicist and a polymath. Nor am I talking about Mohammed Igbal, a poet whose poems spread throughout the Indian subcontinent and sang for hundred times by great men such as Gandhi.
Those who enjoy fine music might be under the impression that I am writing about Mohammed Abd el Wahab, a famous Egyptian composer, whose tunes still play to remind us that music soothes the beast within. And do forgive my words that may have led you to think that I’ve meant Mohammed Ali; “Sportsman of the Century” Oh no I am not talking about any of these mohammeds.
The Mohammed I meant is none other than my friend, a 19 year old Qatari kid, who walked with me through the alleys of the Exhibition center on fine a day that I will always remember. On a day that I have decided to write about, to you..
yes, You .. the reader,
yes You.. Tomorrow’s leader.
“Mohammed sit down and tell me what is it that you enjoy?” I asked.
“I enjoy languages, yes helping those in need and being around kids too” he replied.
I looked around and “Well, there are no circuses here! So you are not becoming a clown today” I sarcastically said.
“Wait a minute..How about working at a hospital?”I asked again. It seemed like fate that we stood in front of a medical institute’s booth.
“You know Raed, I have always wanted to become a nurse, quiet uncommon I know, but to relief a pain and transform a sad face to happy one is what I always wanted” he revealed to me with somewhat a worry face that I would think that this is not manly enough. “
Well, a nurse you shall be then.” I smiled as I walked towards the booth. “Excuse us” I have looked around, happy that I will make a change in one’s life. “Someone’s dream will come true today, oh hurray!” Silly me to have ever thought that. There, from his throne he descended, and from his fine chair he departed to acknowledge our existence. The official in a white thobe, our countryman yes our angel and our hope.
“Allow me to introduce to you our sponsoring package and what a fine package it is.” He boastfully said.
A lucrative offer he made, one that Mohammed opened his jaws at and one that made me think, “perhaps it’s not too late to throw away years of engineering and pursue a medical career myself.”
“Pardon my naivety; can this young man enroll in your program?” I pointed at Mohammed.
“Well sure he can, have you taken the TOFEL?”
“Yes, sir and I did pass.” Mohammed replied with joy, it’s a step towards his dream.
“And, are you married?” “No…Not yet” to which I have interrupted “is that bad? I mean if you guys need only married people, we will get this young man married in no time!” The Hr personnel laughed, and we all did. It was a good atmosphere!
He went on and told us that it’s not a problem at all. “GREAT.. a step closer” I thought to myself. But I was thrown miles away by the following statement:”well then all he needs to do, is get us an admission letter of any of the universities listed by the Supreme Council of Education”
“Pardon me again, Mohammed has the TOFEL, he has all the papers you ask of him”
“Good for him, all he needs to do now is apply.”
“Mohammed, you go ahead and apply and once you get accepted I will personally guarantee your scholarship.”
“How am I to go about it?” Mohammed asked and was puzzled as I was.
“But he was not trained on how to write that essay, he does not how to apply!” My frustration grew at my fellow countryman. “YOU, of all people should know! Were you trained to apply to a western university? Is that why you fail to see?”
“I am offering thousands, future and better prospect and all I ask in return is an admission letter from a university”
“Kieta.. “ (Disappeared in Japanese) I heard Mohammed whisper with a smile, my giant friend whose eyes dazzled with hope a minute ago.
“You wait for a minute.” I commanded Mohammed in an irritated manner, and looked at my fellow countryman who handed out his business card in a “you have a good one, now leave” gesture .This person whose body was a punch away and whose mindset was far lost in dark ages. “Wait… Wait, how is it that you are taking any risk? And how much can this whole process cost your organization? Please don’t kill his dream. Give him a chance, you should… “I started rambling trying to hold on to any string of hope. “
Can we go, this is embarrassing” Mohammed looked at me with piercing eyes, and now that I remember this looked like a classical
“But even the dogs eat scraps that fall from their masters’ tables.” Scene. Unfortunately, the person whom we have ask these crumbs of hope was not as generous and never will be.
“It is your right to be given a chance, it isn’t a charity bestowed.” I angrily answered without missing a beat.
“close yet so far “he answered and that was how it ended as we faded away.
On that day I have learned how hopes can be crushed, how dreams can be destroyed and how spirits can be killed. And when thousands of Mohammeds lived to see their dreams come true, my friend Mohammed didn’t even get the chance to.
I am selfish, I have to admit for I thought of my unborn kids should they ever fall ill I just wanted the likes of Mohammed to look after them. Because I know they will look after them passionately and not as a mean to get their next paycheck. I do apologize, as I would like to come clean.
And to those of you who wonder what ever has become of my friend?
Well Mohammed now is an operator at a reputable petrochemical organization, where he has become part of a percentage that can impress officials and attract yet another citizen whose dreams were never meant to be.