Thursday, December 31, 2009

O Rei do Parque - Roberto Rivelino

Playing in gold, dictum to "live the dream"
Rivelino from Wimbledon District League
Homage to the son of Italian émigrés
Tribute to Moustachioed intrigue

Heralded for a formidable left-foot shot
Corinthians and Fluminese’s famed chap
Indestructible guided distant free kicks
Architect of the Elastico Flip Flap

Staggering free kick against the Czechs
Christened “Patada Atómica"
Succeding Dida as dead ball king
"O Rei do Parque," with the cigar

Number 7
(c) Emdad Rahman

"O Rei do Parque" - the King of the Park

Over 400,000 teachers not in teaching

The Conservatives have uncovered new figures showing that over 404,600 qualified teachers under the age of 60 are not teaching. 25,000 people who qualified as teachers since 2000 left full time teaching in the state sector without even entering the classroom.

The news comes after a survey revealed that over a third of UK teachers are actively seeking work abroad, citing working conditions as one of the major factors in their decision. Another survey found that two thirds of teachers have considered leaving the profession because of discipline problems, and evidence suggests that behaviour is increasingly becoming a greater problem. More than half of primary school teachers in a recent ATL survey said behaviour had got worse over the last five years.

Shadow Children’s Secretary, Michael Gove said:

“This is a tragic waste of talent that is costing the taxpayers millions of pounds every year. We are training thousands of new teachers every year only for many of them to leave within a few years of becoming qualified. But at the same time, there are literally hundreds of thousands who are qualified but have turned their backs on the profession.

“The Government must take responsibility for driving so many experienced professionals out of the classroom by tying their hands in red tape and watering down their powers to keep order. We need to strip away the unnecessary bureaucracy and allow teachers to crack down on bad behaviour so they can deal with discipline problems before they spiral out of control. That’s why we’ve outlined plans to give heads the final say over exclusions so that they do not have to put up with seriously disruptive or violent pupils.”

“These measures, coupled with raising the status of teaching by making the entry requirements more rigorous and allowing good teachers to get paid more, could start to attract highly skilled teachers back to the classroom where they can make a difference to children’s lives.”

A parliamentary question asked by Michael Gove revealed that:

Over 400,000 teachers are not in teaching. As of March 2008, ‘there were 404,600 teachers under the age of 60 with qualified teacher status in England or Wales who were not recorded in service.’

(Hansard, 5 October 2009, Col. 2314WA)

25,000 new teachers who have never taught

Since 2000, 25,100 newly qualified teachers have left the profession without ever entering the classroom.

Teachers under pressure

· Over a third of teachers are considering going abroad. A new survey by education recruitment firm Eteach has found that more than a third (34.6 per cent) of the UK's teachers are actively looking for work abroad. A similar proportion (31.8 per cent) are open to the idea of working overseas. Of the teachers who were considering a move abroad, almost a third had between six and ten years experience. Of those looking abroad, one of the biggest reasons given was better working conditions

(Eteach Press Release, 9 December 2008).

· Discipline problems driving teachers away. Two thirds of teachers have considered leaving the profession because of aggressive pupils, verbal abuse and threats of violence (ATL Press Release, 17 March 2008). Another survey, also by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, found that children are becoming more aggressive at a younger age. More than half of primary school teachers said behaviour had got worse over the last five years. The same poll reported three quarters of teachers saying their jobs are made more difficult by disruptive pupils and almost two thirds saying they had witnessed physical aggression from pupils (ATL Press Release, 30 November 2009).

2nd report

· Teaching is the most ‘highly stressed’ profession. A report by the Health and Safety Executive concluded that teaching is the most stressful occupation in the UK: 41.5 per cent of teachers reported themselves ‘highly stressed’ (Health and Safety Executive, The Scale of Occupational Stress: further analysis of the impact of demographic factors and type of job, 2000).

Bureaucracy strangling schools

· Drowning schools in guidance. The Department of Children, Schools and Families sends almost 4,000 pages of emailed guidance to schools each year. Between April 2008 and April 2009, the Department’s fortnightly guidance notes contained a total of 3,982 pages of documents. If all 3,982 pages were printed, the stack of papers would be 16 inches thick. The guidance contained 1,269,000 words - 1 and a half times as many as the King James Bible, or more than all the Harry Potter Books combined (Conservative Party Press Release, 16 August 2009).

· Statutory stranglehold. There are now 37 different statutory policies that schools in England and Wales have to follow. These include detailed policies on collective worship, community cohesion and ‘target setting’ (DCSF, The Guide to the Law for School Governors, April 2009).

Over £300m a year to train new teachers

The TDA’s Executive Directorate for Training spends over £300m a year on training new teachers - £253m on funding initial teacher training providers and £87m on funding employer-based routes (TDA, Annual Report and Accounts, 2009, p.61). Funding a one-year full-time initial teacher training course costs the TDA about £6,000 (TDA, Mainstream Initial Teacher Training Funding Manual, 2009, p.19-20).

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Activists turn up for Michael’s relaunch

Keith Vaz opens eaterie to the public
Emdad Rahman

Politicians and dignitaries turned up for the opening and relaunch of Michael’s Chinese Restaurant on Commercial Road, Tower Hamlets.

Guest of honour for the opening evening was Keith Vaz MP.

“Michael’s has been serving wholesome Chinese food for twenty years, and we will continue to maintain these high standards”, said jubilant managing partner Afsar Khan Sadek. The new management of Michael’s is now made up of Shah Fozlur Rob Suhel, Asif Khan and Afsar Khan Sadek.

Present at the opening were Council leader Lutfur Rahman, Councillors Asad, Ohid, Abdal Ullah, Community Activist Aminur Rashid Khan, BBCA President Muquim Ahmed, Conservative Shahagir Bakth Faruk, Shamsul Haque Liton from BTV, Channel S Chief reporter Jubair Ahmed, Habibur Rahman Moina, Alauddin, Lutfur Rahman Sayad and M A Khan Welfare Trust Chair Akhtar Hussain Khan Jahed.

Michael's: 378 Commercial Road London E1 0LB - (020) 7791 2828.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nando Claus - Villa 0-1 Liverpool

Trekking Kop regaled the Holte End
In the most torrid winter snow
Jagged bout with a Warnock assist
First-class Lucas bossing the show

Villa supplied scares by the bucket
Fierce close-range volley from Downing
Close eyed instinct from the man in the box
Drive met by Reina’s lissom spring

Agbonlahor failed with a tame shot
Central point of all post match slurs
Carew glanced staggeringly wide
Two behind Villa and three off Spurs

Third minute of stoppage time
Robust Richard Dunne outdone
Racing through the inside right channel
El Toro seized his half ton

Quickest ever Red to reach fifty
steered through the needle head
Sharp left past stretched out Friedal
His armband proved he was a red

Drilling low into the bottom left corner
Gutsy win on the road to success
“We’ll take that,” shout the Scouse
Anyday from Aston – ishing Torres


Number 7
(c) Emdad Rahman

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dancing with Wolves - Liverpool 2-0 Wolves

Big Mick ditched his Old Trafford team
Hoping Anfield would be short shrift
Cash in on the lack of confidence
But Rafa unwrapped his festive gift

For Aquilani at last the amphitheatre
On Boxing day he ran and ran
Reds laboured till Ward’s red card
Rafa booed for pointing the right man

Pepe too galloped sixty yards
Correct ref calls we want, don’t we?
Stevie calmed shot nerves Toshack style
Jumping to the top of the Christmas tree

We were top Boxing day last year
Boosted Reds released the clutch
Enthralled with Yossi’s deflection
Entranced with Pacheco’s touch


Number 7
© Emdad Rahman

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Meet my new sparring partner

He's just about keeping me on my toes...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

El Buitre – Emilio Butragueño

Centrepiece of the Vulture’s cohorts
As La Quinta del Buitre they would gel
Introduced by Alfredo Di Stefano
With Sanchis, Vazquez, Pardez, Michel

A minute to hammer past Pat Jennings
Four blitzed against the Dynamite Danes
Not since Eusebio, though could have been five
Had the Butcher of Bilbao let go the chains

Much-admired as one of Europe’s most potent
Never quite able to inspire Spain
Link up with Hugo Sanchez led to a Mexican sunset
Where the Gentleman of the pitch he became

Number 7
© Emdad Rahman

The snakeman - Rob Rensenbrink

Outsider from Anderlecht
Scored in all of three Euro finals
Underrated with all due respect

Inch away from World Cup hero
1000th world cup goal against the Scots
Golden boot snatched, utter zero

No matter a European pedigree
Stood ‘Royal Pair’ of Cruyff and Keizer
Positional change was the key

Stunning skill to play on the wing
Warned keepers which corner he’d shoot
High jinks from the spot kick king

Many tried hard to banish the ghost
It could have been so different
Had Fillol not deflected onto the post

Number 7
© Emdad Rahman

Mario Kempes: “If Rensenbrink hadn't hit the post in the Final, he would have been the top scorer”

A white Christmas from the BNP

Emdad Rahman

It’s 15 years since the famous Gossard Wonderbra ads bought London traffic to a standstill.

I hardly notice the ad boards on the A46 stretch between Barking and Beckton roundabout, but this one hit me like a fast paced boomerang.

I thought what a place to market your message, bang to the side of a busy stretch of dual carriageway. “Billboards on major roads kill,” I hear you opine. Having said that good old Nick is hardly likely to bring car bumpers to kiss, nor cause any traffic to come to a standstill.

Secondly, and more importantly, Nick Griffin is hardly Eva Herzigova. This is just my opinion, but I'm betting bottom dollar that Nasty Nick will never make it onto the cover of GQ.

Pic (c) Emdad Rahman

El Principe - Enzo Francescoli Uriarte

Willowy artistic offensive midfielder
Perfect visual rendering of elegance
Starred and skippered the Chárrua
72 times did the national dance

Marseille adopted Le prince
Montevideo to the famed French bay
Zizou Zidane watched awestruck
Dreaming of emulating the Prince one day

With serene poise he’d pass, hold, shoot
Francescoli simply footballing chic
Clarified why Uruguay once a force
Iconic status with a polished technique

Arriving from Montevideo Wanderers
Club de Racing Paris
Old Continent with Cagliari and Torino
River Plate swansong for his jubilee

Chilena at Mar del Plata
Four time Golden Boot winner
Cherished cycle kick against Polska
Hat trick with the Copa America

Young Enzo rejected by Penarol
For being too wiry and thin
Panache, finesse, élan, flamboyance
Orchestrated play with a violin

Number 7
© Emdad Rahman

"The truth is that I achieved much more than I ever thought I would when I turned professional. I played at two World Cup finals, and I'm proud to say that I gave my all every time I took to the field. I know I didn't play for clubs like Juventus or FC Barcelona, but it would be wrong of me to complain about that after everything football has given me."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Light Upon Light | 30th Dec | B'ham Uni

Kitaba and Deaf Dawah invite you to 'Light upon Light'

A journey of 'light upon light' will be lead by the Scholar Shaykh al-Habib Kazim al-Saqqaf of Yemen, a descendent of Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam).

He will help attendees take a glimpse into the inspirational lives of some of the great men and women around the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). He has selected a number of Companions who were either blind or deaf in order to understand the instrumental roles they played within the tradition and the contribution they can make to the community.

A BSL interpreter will be present throughout.

This event is aimed specially at the blind and deaf, although all are welcome.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Date: Wednesday 30th December
Time: 4:15pm - 6:30pm
Venue: University Chaplaincy, St.Francis Hall, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT

There are limited spaces - please register your interest now!
For further information or if you have any specific requests please contact:

text/call Deaf Dawah: 07974497568

Obituary – Belayet Ahmed Chowdhury

Emdad Rahman

We receive the sad news that community activist Belayet Ahmed Chowdhury of Bow passed away this month.

His family and the people of Tower Hamlets have lost a supreme family man, and a bold, resilient, assiduous and devoted campaigner for the rights of the community.
Belayet Bhai, who hailed from Gatotikor, Kadomtali, Sylhet, struggled with his health, namely Motor Neurone Disease for some time. He was aged 51 when he left us.

His commitment to the community, which became his other family was second to none. He became an activist during the 70’s and 80’s, a period when community activism was still unfashionable in many quarters, and not the buzzword it is today.

We became familiar with Belayet Bhai’s razor sharp and incisive humour, and I for one spent many humorous and insightful hours talking to and learning from him in my office.

His general mantra always was, 'I'm proud of you not because of your accomplishments but because you're a good person and do things for other people.' This typically sums up the man, who was a role model to many of the youth he met, worked and supported during the 80’s.

His ability to inspire, and his straight down the line opinions are legendary. Though he was involved in so many community initiatives, those close to him, knew he never asked too much, which is why when he did ask for something, it was granted or taken very seriously.

Buried on Tuesday 15th December, in Forest Gate Cemetary, Belayet Bhai leaves behind 3 sons and 4 daughters. His eldest son is on verge of completing his Quranic memorisation (Hifz) at a UK Institute, before commencing his Alimiyyah studies.
The family, including Belayet Bhai’s brothers Shefayet and Kefayet Chowdhury expressed their profound sentiments to the community.

“Words cannot express just how much we are thankful to all friends, family and wellwishers,” they said jointly.

“We hope that everyone will forgive our dear brother, and join us in praying for his soul,”they added.

We wish the family and pray they are granted the strength they need to overcome their great loss.

Santa meets Canaries

Children who attend the Canary Wharf Idea Store’s Little Canaries Rhyme Time had a special visit when Santa dropped by to say hello.

Over 60 children were at the Idea Store with their parents to catch a glimpse of the mysterious fellow, and they were not disappointed. Santa listened to what the children wanted for Christmas and gave them each a present. Santa said he was sorry he couldn’t stay to read a story because he has a lot of children to visit before Christmas, so the staff at the Idea Store read stories and sang songs with the children.

Neal Smith from Idea Store Canary Wharf said: “Idea Stores really know how to put on a party and it was great to see mum and dads from all over the world joining in the Hokey Cokey! We look forward to seeing them all again next year.”

Cracking down on haters

Tower Hamlets Partnership is cracking down on people who carry out hate crime, thanks to recent research carried out by Tower Hamlets Race and Hate Inter-agency Forum coordinated by Tower Hamlets Council.

Hate crimes are crimes against people just because of who they are. The perpetrators of hate crime target people based on no other reason other than hate for a specific group or community.

The first part of the Perpetrator Mapping report was launched last week (10 December), by Tower Hamlets Council and the launch coincided with World Human Rights Day. The event brought in over 70 people who have an interest in combating hate.

Groups came together to discuss the initial findings from the report so they can start to develop better ways of working together to reduce hate crime in the borough. They discussed the benefits of using early interventions such as warning letters, anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) and cautions. And the need to develop further the use of Restorative Justice – which is when the offender meets the victim of hate crime in order to get a better understanding how their behaviour has had a negative impact.

Councillor Abdal Ullah, who is the lead member for community safety in Tower Hamlets Council said: “Efforts to tackle hate crime in Tower Hamlets will be greatly improved because of the Hate Crime Perpetrators Research Mapping Project.

“We are one of the better boroughs in terms for dealing with hate crime. We’re relatively confident in the council’s response to victims and awareness raising activities to promote cohesion, but this report has highlighted the need for more joined-up work between the council, police and partner organisations when dealing with those who commit hate crimes.

“The final report will be completed in March 2010. It will help to develop next year’s Hate Crime Strategy and improving the way we work with perpetrators to reduce re-offending and hold more perpetrators accountable.”

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Residents Victory Over Troublesome Troxy

Emdad Rahman

The residents of the Pitsea Estate and Bromley Street are ecstatic after winning an epic battle with the management of the Troxy. As reported last week, an application to the council’s licensing sub-committee was made. Led by the Pitsea Tenant’s & Resident’s Association Secretary, Elaine King, the residents appeal was successful after a heated three hour hearing.

Nargis Nessa, a resident of the Pitsea estate for over 25 years, presented evidence, and told the committee that rowdy crowds attracted by Troxy events made the lives of local residents miserable. Nessa reminisced how peaceful the neighbourhood was when the venue was previously a Bingo hall.

Residents also testified that visitors were parking illegally due to lax parking enforcement and the noise pollution caused by traffic congestion kept residents awake at night. Haphazard management of the visitor queue also meant residents had to walk on the road, as the pavement was totally occupied by visitors to the Troxy. Miss King also recalled how she was abused by a member of the Troxy security team after she confronted them about their style of queue management.

Furthermore, allegations were made that visitors frequently urinated on walls and
littered the surrounding estates with no due care for the locals.

Objecting to the licence variation request of the applicants, the Troxy management team and their licensing consultant attempted to discredit anonymous evidence submitted by Miss King to the sub-committee. The operations director of the venue also accused residents of hurling marbles, stones and eggs at visitors. However, their trivial attitude towards incidents involving the police at the venue was met with criticism from the senior Councillors sitting on the committee.

Mr Sharma, the Managing Director of the holding company that owns the Troxy, admitted that there were many problems and that the venue’s management team were adequately addressing them, with the involvement of residents. He further admitted that for a period of time, residents were not informed in advance of big events that were to be hosted at the venue, in breach of the late hours licence granted to his company in 2007.

After twenty minutes of deliberation, the licensing sub-committee delivered a verdict to roaring applause from the thirty or so residents present at the hearing.
The Troxy management were ordered that events running from Monday to Thursday had to cease by 11pm and events held during the weekend had to cease by 2am. This variation of the Troxy’s late hours licence means that it will now be closing earlier than it currently does on event nights.

Mr Sharma was also told that a litter clean up was to be organised by his management team on the surrounding estates after big events. Signage was also to be put up around the venue to remind visitors that the venue is in the vicinity of a residential area, so that visitors were more considerate in their behaviour. Venue hirers are also to be explicitly told that there are no parking facilities around the venue.

Speaking after the hearing, prominent local activists Mahbub Mamun Alam, Abul Hussain and Shahar Ali Imran expressed their delight at the licensing sub-committee's decision.

They commented that their aim is not to see the Troxy close down as it was “a marvellous venue,” however, the public nuisance and anti-social elements attracted by events such as cage fighting had to come to an end.

The trio have confirmed that their next targets include enterprises exacerbating anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhood.

HRH The Prince of Wales praises Islamic Relief's work over the past 25 years

HRH The Prince of Wales praised international aid agency Islamic Relief for its "outstanding work in providing humanitarian aid to literally millions of the most vulnerable people over the past quarter of a century." The comments came as part of a speech made by the Prince of Wales at the charity’s 25th anniversary Gala Dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on 17th December 2009.

The celebratory event brought together Islamic Relief's supporters from around the world and also marked the contribution and achievements of the British Muslim community who have helped make Islamic Relief the global humanitarian operation it is today, working in over 30 countries.

As Guest of Honour, and in the presence of many other dignitaries, HRH The Prince of Wales, said: "Islamic Relief's fine achievements bear witness to the energy, dynamism and selflessness of our British Muslim community.

We hear rather too much misleading information about a small minority of your community and not nearly enough about the vastly more numerous acts of compassion and commitment which characterise the work of Islamic Relief and its supporters. That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why I was so happy and proud to come here this evening, to celebrate these achievements with you.”

The Prince of Wales also paid personal tribute to the “vision, passion, and sheer dedication of a truly extraordinary and remarkable man,” Dr Hany El Banna, co-founder of Islamic Relief.

The CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide, Saleh Saeed, said: "Back in 1984, setting-up an international NGO based upon Muslim principles and practice was not an entirely feasible proposition.

As a result, I am all the more proud of the thousands of dedicated staff, volunteers, supporters and donors who have enabled us to deliver emergency relief and sustainable development programmes in a working alliance with some of the world's most vulnerable communities."

The Gala Dinner comes at the end of a year of celebrations around the work marking the achievements of Islamic Relief over the past 25 years, thanking its many supporters and paying tribute to the strength and spirit of those it has been able to reach through its work.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Reds Gunwharfed – Portsmouth 2-0 Liverpool

Six hundred and still not out for Carra
Reds army at Pompey’s South Coast
Three points on a non naval engagement
Mission before the Christmas pot roast

White shirts added emphasis to surrender
Plumping a break from ritual Red
Avram two, Rafa nil
Could have read the score instead

Belhadj the Algerian’s flawed foot
With an acute angled screamer
Bull Masch saw Red in Fratton’s china shop
Swansong before joining Barcelona?

Defensive Dossena left of centre
Made cautious Rafa look a right wally
In reality the game was dead
Long before Piquionne’s volley


Number 7
(c) Emdad Rahman

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kids help park get a multi-million make-over

Year one pupils at Old Ford Primary School gave multi-million pound improvement plans for Victoria Park a boost as they drew colourful pictures of the much-loved open space.

Tower Hamlets Council has received more than 200 drawings from local primary schools including Cayley, Chisenhale and Old Ford primary schools, following a call from Councillor Abdal Ullah, Lead Member for Cleaner, Safer, Greener to back the Victoria Park funding bid.

Councillor Ullah said a big thank you to all the children and schools that sent in pictures of the park. The bright, colourful drawings highlighted the children’s favourite areas of the park or pictures of what they would like it to look like in the future.

He said: “These fantastic pictures will be used to support the Victoria Park funding bid. They will help to show how important the park is to future generations.”

More than 5,000 residents and visitors have had their say on the funding bid, which includes the Victoria Park masterplan. The bid will be submitted on Monday 21 December to much fanfare as a look-a-like Queen Victoria, along with horse and carriage will tour, the west side of the park between 10am and 1pm. Residents are being encouraged to come along and show their support.

Tower Hamlets Council is committed to investing in the project, and is hoping to gain additional funding through the Parks and People scheme – a £90 million joint project between the Big Lottery Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

If successful in gaining the funding, a total of £12 million would be invested in Victoria Park. This would represent the single biggest investment in the park since its creation in the 1840s.

The works would be completed in mid-2012, in time to showcase the very best of East London’s heritage on the world stage of the Olympic Games.

Quit and get match fit

Tower Hamlets women are leading the way to get match fit. The borough’s two women’s football clubs were the first in the country to take part in the Smokefree United Challenge that encourages footballers and fans to kick the habit.

Tower Hamlets WFC and East London Ladies faced the penalty-taking challenge on Wednesday at Mile End Stadium. The teams had to test their ball skills against a large Smokefree United goal board, having to score goals through a half-metre-wide circular hole from a twelve yard distance.

Councillor Rofique U Ahmed, Lead Member for Culture at Tower Hamlets, said: “We’re encouraging residents to live active and healthy lifestyles and that means quitting smoking. There are a host of health benefits, and it’s a great way to save money.

“I hope our residents that smoke sign up to Smokefree United to get the support that they need to quit.”

Tower Hamlets is the first stop for the six-foot high by eight-foot wide Smokefree United goal board, which will be going on tour around London clubs this December.

Smokefree United is a virtual club of quitters, that provides coaching and support to help football fans and players to stop smoking.

Captain of Tower Hamlets WFC, Lucy Mills, said: “We are proud to win the Challenge. We know that being part of a team, on and off the pitch, makes facing life’s challenges a lot easier and that’s why we think Smokefree United is a great idea!”

Danielle Towner, team manager of the East London Ladies said: “As athletes, we wanted to support Smokefree United to help spread the ‘stop smoking’ message. We do many events with women under the age of 16 to get them involved in football so that they have something positive to focus on. We’d like to think of ourselves as role models for younger women within the community.”

Football fans who would like to sign up to Smokefree United and improve their game will receive motivational emails and texts from football legend Ian Wright, enjoy banter in the Fanzone section and win incredible football prizes, like the chance to play at a Premier League club.

The campaign is supported by a number of London football clubs including: Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham, QPR, Millwall FC and Charlton FC.

UK viewers becoming addicted to TV

Emdad Rahman

Ofcom has published a survey that has worryingly listed the UK with the highest increase in TV watching.

The survey compared the UK with European neighbours such as Holland, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Italy, France, as well as the USA.

Data produced by the communications watchdog states that the increase in TV was up by up to 3.8 hours a day (3.2%).

The average was 3.5 hours per day, a little less than Poland and Spain.

In the States, viewers watched the most TV, with an average of 4.6 hours a day, an increase of 1.8% from 2007.

Even with an increase of 1.9%, the Swedes watch the least TV.

Newham resident Sufia Nessa based the findings on the recession; "people don't have the surplus cash to splash out at the moment," she said.

"Others I know have stopped eating out to save cash. This is why pizza consumption in front of the TV has increased."

This is a sad indication of us modern day humans," said Imam Ilyas from Al Aqsa Mosque. "It is indeed sad that adults and children miss out on so much because of hours spent in front of the TV.

"The loss to health is also crucial, as many become lazy, lethargic and turn into couch potatoes.

Imam Ilyas is calling on parents to spend more time with their children engaging in "ailing" activities such as board games, quizzes and reading.

"Old is gold, and our previous generations benefited so much, as we had no computers, and in some cases TV.

"We thus found entertainment in sport, and the activities I have mentioned. This benefited us in all aspects of our development," he added.

Bullish Rafa shines on Shanks night - Liverpool 2-1 Wigan

Lined in honour were the old guard
Amongst the fabled, Yeats and St John
Amazing grace echoed at half time
Night a legend much thought upon

Anfield nostalgia the centrepiece
Valiant Rafa ditched 442
Kirkland’s folly for Ngog’s sixth
Chitchat he’s still a Red untrue

At the death Nzogbia’s strike
But for a Jason Scotland volley
Sub Torres’ goal made certain
Not enough to spoil the party


Number 7
© Emdad Rahman

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rainbow nations - 2010 - World cup draw

Doe eyed nations wide awake
All barring dozing Wayne sleep

Did you feel the rapidity, the drum beats?
Uniting nations with the victory leap

Behold the routine ooh! aah!
Sunbeams from Charlize Theron
Glitter pageant all over in a blink
Flash! And then it was gone

Slovenia fiddles for old Uncle Sam
Cape Town for the English clan
Algeria will brawl and jinx so many
With Al Majid the Boughera man

Silky Uruguay far from Forlan
Joburg hosts the Bafana campaign
Mexico will enchant Rustenburg
Boo Blues wedged in Blomfontein

Argentina will keep things Messi
Diego Armando Maradona
Polowane Nigerians and Koreans relish
Juicy Greek Doners a goner

Serbia and Ghana on the prowl
Oz and Germans unite Pour Homme
This isn’t the Shepherd’s Bush Loftus
With not a whiff of a single Pom

Double Dutch Danes living it large
Liverpool will set loose Ryan
Japan look set to puncture the ball
Beware the indomitable lion

The all Blacks inhabit Cape Town
All rise for the grand Azurri
Skrtel’s Slovak snarl matched
By blood and glory from Roque

Brazil’s Copacabana outshone
Nelson Mandela’s Bay say’s hello
Korea a blip on Drogba’s Coast
Ronaldo will surpass Eusebio

Matadors grace Port Elizabeth
Fabregas will slay El Toro
Swiss may find play rather chile
Honduras to go home on the morrow
Shortly we’ll all be in Gold city
Rolling up from Alaska to Perth
World in Mandela’s banquet hall
Roll on the greatest show on earth

Number 7
© Emdad Rahman

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oh Arsh! – Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal

Xabi surveyed his heir from the executive stand
Reverence all round for the classy Aquaman

Bloodcurdling snarls from the guests change room
Tub thumping yell to lift the Gunners gloom

Did Monsieur turn green and split his pants?
Whatever, it sure curbed Anfield Road chants

Variation in play, Liverpool turned cagey
Kuyt’s icebreaker nulled by Snoop’s OG

Gerrard penalty appeal sparked a panel discussion
Instead a winner from the Pocket-sized Russian

Leningrad lad swivelled and hit a screamer
All beware the wrath of Master Wenger

On the title Professor said "mathematically”
“yes, and mentally certainly"

Rafa out thought by the incredible Hulk
"Difficult to explain” was the gaffer’s lone sulk

Premiership once again remains ornamental
But a raging Red machine could still prove instrumental

Squad still requires the power of the pound
Reds will bank with Benitez to turn it all around

Number 7
© Emdad Rahman

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hermitage Primary School Eid Party

Parents and Governors joined the community to celebrate Eid Al Adha during a reunion party at the school.

Delighted Headmistress Zoe Howe said; "this is an excellent way to communicate with the parents and to understand the values of these celebrations of different faiths."
The Head thanked all the parents, parents governor body and the Chair of Governors for putting this successful event together.

Special thanks were reserved for parents Jake, Rokeya, Ruksana and Mahbub.

Trees make Tower Hamlets greener

To celebrate National Tree Week, Tower Hamlets Council’s green cabinet representative planted a tree in Paradise Gardens, Bethnal Green.

Councillor Abdal Ullah, Lead Member for Cleaner, Safer, Greener at Tower Hamlets Council planted a London Plane tree and announced that the council is committed to planting 340 street trees in the coming months.

Cllr Ullah said: “We’re working hard to make Tower Hamlets a greener borough and trees are crucial to achieving this.

"They are packed with benefits - not only do they brighten up an area, but they also have a huge positive impact on the environment. They reduce carbon dioxide, produce oxygen, create wildlife habitats, provide shelter and shade and much more.”
Native trees, such as Birch and Crab Apple, and those with large leafy canopies, such as Sweet Chestnuts and Liquid Ambers, will be planted across the borough. The planting will focus on routes between parks and open spaces to create green corridors for wildlife, with locations being selected in consultation with local people.

The London Plane is one of the most popular trees in the borough, and was traditionally planted in the past due to its ability to cope with pollution. Whilst it is good to plant trees which have a historical connection to the borough, the council is aiming to diversify the species to benefit the borough’s wildlife.
A selection of exotic trees are being trialled in the area, as they may be better suited to the predicted climate change.

174 of the 340 trees that will be planted in the borough are being funded through the Mayor of London’s street tree programme, with the rest funded by the council.
Planting will take place between December and March, with new trees being nurtured and maintained by regular watering and pruning.

Football guru bags another award!

A Tower Hamlets football guru netted his second sporting trophy for helping football flourish in the borough.

Senior Football Development Officer at Tower Hamlets Council, Derek Bennett, attended the London Football Association 4th Annual Awards Night at Leyton Orient Football Club, where he received the Special Partners Award.

Derek was praised by the London FA for his work to support clubs to achieve the Charter Standard – the footballing benchmark of excellence, and for encouraging women's and girls football within the borough, offering advice, supporting grass roots football initiatives and generally raising awareness and participation. Derek's passion and 100 per cent dedication to the game was also acknowledged and praised by the regional governing body.

Derek, said: “It was a great honour and surprise to receive an award for the second year running. It gives me pride to serve the people of Tower Hamlets in my role promoting the world's greatest sport. The borough has a rich football tradition and the community although faced with many challenges are very passionate about the game.

There is never a dull moment because of all the dynamics that make this such an exciting borough to work for. Although this award was for me, I feel it also belongs to Tower Hamlets for the great strides we have made."

The awards are organised to pay tribute to those who have made a major input to the expansion of football in London. The night included presentations to Charter Standard clubs for a variety of awards including Development Club of the Year, Administrator and Coach of the year.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

England's number 5 - Turnbull Haiku

league championnat
turnbull in a china shop
stamford bridge meets ross

Number 7
© Emdad Rahman

USA first blood Haiku

thwart an englishman
Yank tim stretch dive at full length
Pray no june repeat

(c) Emdad Rahman

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Home made fairy cake

What a nice gesture from Hakim & Riyad :)

Mister Byrite :)

Saw this retro carrier bag in the Mosque yesterday and promptly took a trip back down memory lane. Remember Mr Byrite? A project of the famous Levy family and very much the Datsun 120Y of the fashion outlets.

I certainly do, and although some people may snigger and turn up their noses, at the time it was great for us. Fairly stylish clothes at drop dead prices, plus a bus ride down to Central London. What more could teenagers ask for for Eid clothes shopping.

Anyway, you lot would probably:

a: feign ignorance
b: swore you never shopped there
c: blame for me bad fashion sense

Well, after Byrite, Blue Inc rose from the Ashes and took over for their “urban concept” aimed at the sassy, young, rich British male consumer market. And we all know how well they're doing.

Reds visit Fortress Ewood - Blackburn 0-0 Liverpool

To make sure a win not be served on a plate
Rushed was the return of Big Sam Fergie’s mate

Grand Torres still out for a successive fifth
Powerless to help the Reds clamber up from sixth

Momentous for the skipper reaching 500 not out
There on the grim climate added to a drought

Rovers did once spring the trap with Blue Di Santo
Carra’s recovery added a little Christmas panto

So, in gratitude for the cordiality of the hosts
“Wash” fittingly shinned one onto the post

Clash was certainly not "Arte et labore"
Better celebrated as an annoying bore draw

Away Reds radiantly chanted where they stood
Benitez remained upbeat, we all knew Ewood

Handful call for Rafa to take sabbatical leave
The absolute majority still very much believe

Guess a point is better than leaving with nowt
Silver hunt this term still not Rover and out


Number 7
(c) Emdad Rahman