Omar and Hassan entered Ali’s house, fuming at him. Ali followed shortly with a grim face. Dad was setting out for some work. Sensing the tension among the friends, he casually offered: “Guys! I need some help with hardware shopping! Come along.”
The boys exchanged uneasy looks. Ali faintly murmured: “Okay, Dad.”
Hassan and Omar stepped out and silently climbed into the back seat of Ali’s Corolla, still glaring at him. Ali quietly sat next to his Dad, looking ahead and ignoring his two buddies.
“Ali, we need to get some wooden planks, nails, hammer, paint and other stuff to build the chicken coop.” Dad glanced in his rearview mirror to address the boys at the back: “Boys, you are welcome to help. But there seems to be some bad blood here. What’s wrong?”
Omar blurted out: “Ali was nominated as the school’s football team’s goalie, but he has been neglecting his practice every Saturday, which can cost the football team.”
“Yeah! He needs to focus on his goal keeping!” Hassan piped in.
Dad nodded towards Ali: “Well… have you explained your reasons to your friends for not attending the practice?”
Ali replied demurely: “I would, if they give me a chance.”
Dad smiled as he drove into town. “Boys, who knows Saeed ibn Amir al-Jumahi (rtam)?”
The boys shrugged their shoulders ignorantly, wondering why Dad was telling a story all of a sudden.
This is an excerpt from the print issue.
Order the print issues today or subscribe to the magazine
Click here for more subscription bundles