“On Friendship” by Ayesha F. Hamid

I have had friends from every walk of life whether they be working class, academics, business owners, baby boomers, or millenials, the beautiful, the angelic, the damned, all interesting and unique in their own right.

Life by its very nature though, puts our friendships to the test because living life is, by its nature chaotic and mutable. The act of befriending another is, in itself, an effort to give support to that person, in what is sometimes a difficult journey. If life always continued quietly and serenely, like a slow stream, then it would be easy to maintain all the relationships we’ve ever made.

So, from all the different friendships I’ve experienced, I’ve come to understand what true friendship is. True friendship, like any type of real realationship, requires tenacity and faith where it would be easier to succumb to lack of care and abandon. There will always be events, people, stressors, etc, who will tempt the less tenacious to drop friends like dead weights. There will be ugly moments and unbelievable or hurtful things said. Some friends will choose to work through this rough time together and forgive. Others will give up and flee.

I am proud to say that I am not one of the less than tenacious friend. Very rarely have I given up on another human being whatever the circumstances. I have fought for friendships that often left others confused – why was I fighting for something that the other person did not necessarily care that much about. I would say that I always fight to maintain the relationships I have because, to me, there has never been a point to having friendships if they were not “true friendships.”

Though fighting for others does not always guarantee that friendships will be saved, it does show us who values us more and who values us less. When you give others a friendship of faith, love, and tenacity, it is sometimes given back tenfold, and that makes one’s efforts to be a true friend, to others, more than meaningful.

“Love on the Street” by Ayesha F. Hamid

I look up crookedly, just a bum on the street,
but I can still see the things you don’t think
I can see – the steps you take, the role you play
the stride with which you walk
makes its way deep into the recesses of my heart,
out through every tear, every drop,
the liquid filled with lore and longing,

and as long as I have eyes, which can offer
love at first sight, the greatest gift
a human soul can give, even when crouched
down on the ground, staring without a sound,
I give you the only thing I have to give – LOVE.

A Book Review of “I Am Terezin” by Ayesha F. Hamid

Immutable rules govern our world such as the law that no matter the time or space in which it occurs, evil committed by humans against other human beings leaves its mark, and that regardless of the amount of time it takes, the truth will always surface. These ideas, as well as others, are explored in depth in Richard D. Bank’s I Am Terezin.

With meticulous historical research and great care, Bank has painted a vivid picture of the people and personalities associated with the events that took place at Theresienstadt during the Nazi Holocaust. I Am Terezin is a revolutionary memoir – unlike others, it is written from the point of view, not of a person but, of a physical entity, the camp itself – an omniscient narrator. The voice of the camp comes alive to relay the ominous reality of itself, and it tells the reader what Theresienstadt really was, a concentration camp and not the paradise ghetto for elderly Jews the Nazis claimed it was.

The changing tone and perspective of the omniscient voice is compelling. The voice of the camp takes on many roles – a caretaker in one moment, a silent observer in another. It can be argued that the voice of the camp is none other than that of a lamenting God, unable to intercede in the world of human atrocities and forced to watch insidious actions play out. No matter the tone or perspective, the abuse, injustice, and crime which occurred at Theresienstadt is resurrected for the reader, and the reader comes to learn intimately about the lives of innocents who were forced to be bound within the walls of Terezin. Each word and sentence of I Am Terezin is written with great care, paying homage to the many who lost their lives at Theresienstadt. In taking part in the arduous undertaking of researching and telling the story of those at Terezin, Bank has completed the ultimate labor of love in tribute to his grandparents, Ludwig and Sophie Frank, who were imprisoned at but subsequently survived Theresienstadt.

Bank is masterful in his knowledge of the history of Theresienstadt, and I Am Terezin is a must read for scholars of the Holocaust, as well as those interested in bettering the human condition. Reading this book will help the vigilant to reaffirm the oath of never again. Never again should sadism be allowed to hide behind laws and systems meant to dehumanize. Never again should humanity allow the atrocities of genocide to occur. Never again should any people be persecuted for the faith they follow or for the way in which they worship the Divine.

I Am Terezin is published by Auctus Publishers (www.auctuspublishers.com) and available at Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.