By Azher Quaider
It was a year that many will remember as the year of the Arab Spring.
The year when military might confronted people power. The year when a man in Tunisia who died in flames became a trailblazer for freedom, inspiring millions to stand up against oppression. The year when Ossama died, Qaddafi fell and Mubarak left.
Some will remember it as the year of political rage, when the insanity of hate left two politicians fighting for their lives, half the globe apart, one in Hyderabad, India, the other in Arizona, USA.
Some will remember it as the year of public protests against the greed of Wall Street that wrecked economies both at home and abroad.
Some will remember it for the rallies in Wisconsin, upholding the rights of workers to unions and collective bargaining against the selfish interests of giant corporations.
Some will remember it as the year of the tsunami that hit Japan leaving it to deal with the worst nuclear disaster in its history, the second deadliest the world had ever known, since Chernobyl.
Some will remember it as the year they finally convicted Blago for trying to sell Obamaâ€™s senate seat and all the corrupt fund raising schemes he conducted as Illinoisâ€™ greedy and boastful governor.
We will remember 2011 however for a different reason. For two lives that impacted us in two very different ways: Steve Jobs and Mary Ali.
One we knew up close and personal. The other we admired only from a distance. One was consumed with a passion for perfection; to create, to innovate. The other was overtaken with the passion for service; to teach non Muslims, to inspire young Muslims. One showed us the marvels of technology. The other showed us the warmth of touch. One enchanted us with his genius. The other amazed us with her simplicity. One was a master performer, a king of the stage. The other was a shy hijabi, shunning the glare. One was rich and famous. The other was adored and private. One denied his dad. The other was mother to many. Two very different people. Two different lives. One thing in common they had.
The passion to inspire. The passion to make a difference. The passion to go where few will go.
2011 will linger in our memory, reminding us of Steve and Mary who taught us the way to live. Taught us to excel and not settle for mediocrity. Taught us to rise after every fall. Taught us to ignore the noise of the crowd and listen to the voice within. Taught us to persevere through adversities and keep dreaming big. To give what we have so others may benefit. For in giving they taught us is truly our salvation.
Dayare ishq main apna muqaam paida kar
naya zamana nayey subha shaam paida kar
Create your special place in the realm of love and passion (and through it)
Create new realities, new possibilities, new mornings and new evenings (in your life)
Have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012
Community Builders Chicago