Rice seeds are sown and
Smiles are harvested,
Families working in rows.
Led by a single man
With aged hands
And this is how his story goes:
The chandeliers’ glow, a glistening nemesis
Stealing the jewels of his dedication,
Windows streak-free as though no child stepped foot in the
Floors mirroring our reflections.
Sanitized stalls and swept halls
Carpets vacuumed before prayer is called,
Doors locked and peace in store
A pleasure of his and not a chore,
Only rewards sought to earn
Not a penny in return,
Serving the House of Allah
That he considered his own.
"Ahlan, Ahlan,” they greeted the man behind it all,
With rice-filled hands
was Abu Ayman.
Hands that held more than grains
Hands that continued to work despite his pain
Hands that left an imprint that will forever remain.
As his health deteriorated, so did our concern
We pass by piles of dirt without a second thought
Stains and splashes and we continue fluttering our lashes.
Coffee spilled and sugar involved
Wasted rice as neighboring brothers and sisters starve
He set the best example – sadly,
Little did we learn.
Little did we learn that this House is a responsibility
For each of us to hold,
Little did we learn that the moment we step into this House,
We are to be humbled and not bold
Little did we learn that growing rice is not one, not two, but the efforts of us all,
Little did we learn that no act of charity is considered small.
Little did we learn that it is with our actions and not our words that
A community paves its roads,
Little did we learn that it is with rice-filled hands
That we begin to grow.
- Angham Hussein