The Bold And The Beautiful

Yasmeen was the eldest daughter of the Abdullah Hashim. He was a blacksmith by profession. She was the only surviving female in the Bin Hashimi tribe. The tragedy has struck the region in the Arabian Peninsula. It was an ill fated night which took its toll in an unprecedented manner in the century. The whole community has become the victim of the Haboob; a sand storm. What followed subsequent to the Haboob was the fire which burnt the entire dwelling in that region. The tragedy has left few survivors inclusive of human beings and animals. It has also unfolded many hurdles and tough tasks ahead for Yasmeen. It was the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Yasmeen. It will be the different world she will face alone all by herself.

Yasmeen's story has both melancholy and happiness, which subsequently become the part and parcel of her life. She was the only female child of her tribe who was gifted with beauty and the brain. She was a tall slim and proportionately built. Her big black dreamy eyes were the focal point on her face. Her eyes were totally intoxicating besides a powerful piercing look reflecting an authority unto her. Her ability to read, write and speak was conspicuous by her dealing with her father's clients. The business acumen inherited from her father at a young age speaks volumes of her negotiation skills. She progressively built a moderate business establishment and converted her father's black smith unit into a small scale reputable industry during her father's life time. Abdullah was proud of her remarkable feat at such a young age.

The weather subsided and everything settled and normality restored yet leaving behind devastation and misery in terms of men and material. She stood and examines the area. She started searching for survivors. She heard groaning sound and wilderness of animals. She located an elderly tribe chief Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saleh Al Hashimi and rendered all possible help. She managed to make him comfortable. He was lucky that he remained injury free during the turmoil. She then took charge of remaining few camels. She surveyed the entire region and realised that the long road to rehabilitation and recovery will be a marathon effort. She knew that if she remained foolish then she will remain hungry. She collected whatever possible quantity of dates and water prior to commencement of the journey. She did muster enough courage and took her first bold step on a lonely road towards to an uncertain future and rough road to her destiny.

It was almost evening and she was waiting for the clear sky and good visibility to establish the direction. She saw the pole star and set her course in the north westerly direction. She knew that the nearest village will be about fifty miles. The journey was comfortable for the night but day break was becoming uncomfortable and difficult, especially for the old tribal chief. The shock has caused trauma and uncertainties for him. The following day she decided to take a break and talk to the tribal chief. She talks with confidence and courage. The old man saw a renowned vigour and strength in her. He smiled and told her that together they will conquer the odds and Insha'Allah, they will be victorious. Their journey was reasonably rough yet their meticulous planning and her extrovert nature were showing signs of hopes. They continued their journey for few days and reached an oasis. Nearby they noticed a caravan with few people and their families. Sheikh Ahmed approached the head of the caravan and introduced self and Yasmeen. The caravan head welcome them and said that he is Sheikh Rashid Alkindi from Alkindi tribe. They were offered food and water. After exchanging pleasantries Sheikh Rashid advised them to follow him to his village; it is a developed place and provides many opportunities. Yasmeen asked, "Is there any facility available, which can provide material and financial help to set up her blacksmith small industry?"

Sheikh Rashid gave a puzzled look at Yasmeen and Sheikh Ahmed. He asked," Do you know what are you talking about?

Yasmeen replied, yes. I do.

Sheikh Rashid was still confused and bewildered. At this juncture, Sheikh Ahmed came to his rescue. He explained the synopsis of Abdullah's business and her contribution, besides highlighting her academic excellence and business acumen. He further explained her pious nature and kindheartedness. Sheikh Rashid was impressed immensely and was keen that they should settle down in his home town. Sheikh Rashid's wife Khateeja was equally eager and wanted them to be her guest until she established her business and find a place of her own. Sheikh Ahmed and Yasmeen agreed, and their journey continued. It was a new chapter in their life and appeared on a positive footing. Yasmeen thanked Allah for being kind and merciful.

They all reached Sheikh Rashid's domain and settled down for the night. The following morning Sheikh Rashid called the whole community and introduced Sheikh Ahmed and Yasmeen. He also informed them the devastation caused by Haboob and subsequent fire wiping out the entire village barring these two and few camels. He specifically mentioned Yasmeen and her capabilities. He also proudly highlighted her courage, valour and determination in fighting all odds by having faith in Allah. The entire village applauded her remarkable feat and volunteered to help her in setting up her blacksmith industry.

After a week's rest Yasmeen decided to discuss with Sheikh Rashid about setting up of a blacksmith workshop. Sheikh Rashid called some businessmen of repute and experience to advice and advance loan facility to Yasmeen. On the appointed evening, everybody attended the dinner and after the dinner formalities they settled down for business discussion. The businessmen suggested that she should go in for partnership at the initial stage until she learnt about the business. They also suggested that the loan amount can be paid back in five years at convenient installments. At this juncture, she asked Sheikh Rashid's permission to speak. He asked her to speak her mind. She thanked the members present and also expressed her gratitude for showing interest and encouraging her to start her business in a strange land. She said that she begged to disagree with the partnership idea and repayment of loan in five years at convenient installments. She said that she is capable and knew her job well and would like to go alone. She also emphasized that the terms and condition of loan agreement should be transparent and mutually agreeable. However, the five year term is acceptable to her. She wanted assurance from the business group and Sheikh Rashid that there will be no interference in her business activity. She said that she concluded at this juncture and will revert back in a week's time to finalise the deal. If members have anything to say then she will agree to listen to their views. There was absolute silence for few moments, and Sheikh Rashid said that it was her confidence and sheer determination, which were oozing out from her mouth. He further said that he is glad that at such a young age, he could see a successful and prosperous business icon in the making. The meeting was ended on a satisfactory note and they all agreed to meet again the following week.

In the night Yasmeen appraised Sheikh Ahmed her plans and finally returning to her devastated village. She vowed to turn it again into a prosperous and lively dwelling. She has a plan to reveal it in two years of time. She was also hopeful of collecting potential younger generation that would accompany her to her village. The following week, all the concerned parties assembled at Sheikh Rashid's home for final discussion. In the meeting, she has spelt out her terms and condition and also written down in a clear and comprehensive manner. It was circulated among all the members. They finally agreed and signed the document. The copies were distributed among concerned parties, and one copy was handed over to Sheikh Rashid. It was the beginning of a new era for Yasmeen and an awakening call for entire Clan of Sheikh Rashid.

The subsequent days every daybreak was bringing vigour and building extra strength in Yasmeen. She was navigating her new company through a path of confidence and success. Her disciplined nature and positive attitude claimed many applaud and appreciation from her staff. Her company was making inroads in new areas and making leaps and bounds towards success. The quality product at reasonable price was her hallmark. All the neighbouring dwellings placed orders for weapons and domestic products. By the end of year, she repaid the entire loan and distributed bonus among the workers. She asked volunteers who can accompany her to her devastated village and settled down, thus making a new beginning. She received reasonable response and viable work force willing to settle down with her in her village. She started collecting sufficient raw material and other necessary items, which are to be used in rebuilding the town from scratch. She meticulously planned and collected the required raw material prior to migration. At the end of the sixth year, she called for a meeting with Sheikh Rashid and explained her intentions. It was mutually agreed and all volunteers were briefed accordingly. Finally, a date was set for migration, and a warm sent off was arranged. She departed with her dedicated and determined group towards her village. Sheikh Rashid and Khadeeja and entire village have bid adieu and prayed for the success.

She arrived at the destination, and her emotions filled her heart. Tears rolled down her cheeks, yet she displayed firmness and authority unto herself. She unveiled her plan and asked the group to commence the job of rehabilitation and rebuilding on war footing. The work took a quantum leap and within the short span of time development has become visible distinctly. It took about a year when the village was reflecting the old glory. One of the migrants commented that the signs of devastation have vanished completely. She then interrupted him and said, "The foot prints and sand castles on the seashore may be washed away by the waves leaving only short memories. It was the heart and soul buried below the earth". She will always remember her past and the lives of the residents. The success and prosperity of her village reached the distance shores, and her village was recognized for its success both commercially and socially. She has achieved this remarkable feat within a short span of five years. The new settlers were immensely happy and understood the purpose of life. The faith and recognition of talents among workers and dwellers have paid rich dividends. The neighbouring villages and have expressed their will to form an alliance both commercially and socially. On Fridays, people prayed for a prince charming in her life. The thin population has urged Sheikh Ahmed to convince Yasmeen to tie a nuptial knot. Sheikh Ahmed was happy within the heart yet prefers Yasmeen to decide at the appropriate time.

Sheikh Rashid and Khadeeja called on Sheikh Ahmed, and they were delighted to see the transformation of the devastated village into a well developed town. The all-round progress and total satisfaction among the dwellers were conspicuous by the recognition it gained in the region. Sheikh Ahmed called for the meeting of all dwellers. In the gathering, he thanked Sheikh Rashid and his wife Khadeeja and showered praise for their magnanimity and kindness. He said their help and cooperation will remain in their heart and soul. They are indebted to the entire village for all the help and cooperation rendered by them. They held a dinner and everybody attended and enjoyed the food and cherished each other's company. After the dinner and social interaction, everybody has departed. Sheikh Rashid and Khadeeja requested Sheikh Ahmed and Yasmeen to sit down for personal discussion. They agreed and returned to their living room and settle down.

Sheikh Rashid started the conversation and put it in a very polite, sophisticated manner. He informed them that his eldest son Sheikh Hamadan, who is thirty years old lives in Cairo for studies. He was very scholar in his outlook and pursuing his studies under Sheikh Jamal Al Khamis, who is a renowned scholar. It is their desire to seek Yasmeen's alliance with Hamadan. He wanted if Sheikh Ahmed and Yasmeen agree to their proposal then he will arrange a meeting so that they can discuss and seek information about each other. Sheikh Ahmed said that Yasmeen is intelligent, matured and sensible hence she should put forward her views and give consent. Yasmeen thanked them for being very considerate and grateful for their yet another act of kindness. She said that in Islam marriage is a contract between the parties hence she would like certain conditions to be agreed and accepted in writing. She also offered Hamadan to put forward his condition in the same manner. Once they mutually agree to either party's condition then it can be incorporated in the Nikha document. Sheikh Rashid and Khadeeja agreed and promised to revert back in at his earliest convenience.

`As promised, Sheikh Rashid along with Khadeeja and Hamadan has arrived at Sheikh Ahmed's home. After the exchange of pleasantries, they had delicious and sumptuous dinner. Yasmeen and Hamadan were allowed to discuss their terms and conditions. They have put their points on the paper and discussed in depth. Once they finalised, they showed their agreement to Sheikh Ahmed and Sheikh Rashid. All the doubts have been cleared, and they all agreed for the alliance. Sheikh Rashid and Khadeeja asked Yasmeen why she was so particular regarding the prior agreement on terms and conditions. She replied in a polite and courteous manner that Islam is very clear with respect to laws and regulations. It is for the benefit of human beings. Once agreement is written, signed and witnessed then everything will fall in line. Hamadan said that she must be the few among the Arab female population that has paved the way for women's importance in the society.

They have decided to get married on the auspicious day and promised to set an example to others. The event was attended by the entire dwellers, and it became a memorable occasion. The couple had spent some time in Ahmed's home and then departed to Sheikh Rashid's home. She had appointed Jamal Nasser her assistant as in command. She decided to run the existing unit on a professional way and involved Hamadan in running of the unit. The two units were progressing satisfactorily and generated employment among the respective populations of the village. The units had made many people financially healthy and independent. They also opened schools for boys and girls. The small and once insignificant villages have become the destination of learning and knowledge, besides becoming reputable arms and domestic product industry. Yasmeen had become an icon and celebrity, yet she remained down earth simple and kindhearted. Yasmeen personality, character, conduct and positive attitude have left imprints on the mind and heart of many young girls of the region.

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