15th August, 2015 was a very big day for me, sickle cell supporters, well wishers, friends and family of Maryam Awaisu and Maryam Awaisu herself as she launched her very first novel on sickle cell titled Burning Bright. It is a fictional but extremely real and accurate story on the life of Nadia Habeeb who was born with sickle cell anemia, how she struggled with it, how her academics, work, social, family and even her love life were affected both negatively and positively by this genetically inherited disease. But, I'm not here to tell you, my dear readers, of the story but to celebrate Maryam whom I'm so very honestly proud of. Words can't, but will have to suffice in expressing my joy, love, respect and appreciation of this amazing, young, talented and humble lady.
I met Maryam Awaisu on line (Twitter; @Ice131Queen) when I was in Egypt in 2012 and I'm guessing it was under some sickle cell awareness campaign (very bad memory, I have). She was so excited by this blog and had apparently mentioned me to every family, friend and colleague who was willing to listen. And when I returned I was, still am being, overwhelmed by the degree of welcome, love and hospitality Mommy Awaisu showed me. I can say anywhere, no strangers (except in-law's) became family faster than myself and the Awaisu's. Now anytime I have to be in Kaduna, I have a home with no worries or stress. And it's all thanks to the way, amazing Maryam or rather, Maryamazing presented me to her family.
Now, I can't really tell you this or that particular thing about Maryam but on that day, 15th August, I discovered a lot of things I never knew with the exception of one thing I've always known about her; she is a kind, compassionate girl. So many people tend to disagree with me on that saying she's mean and evil but hey, who isn't? Anyways, all of us who were present on the book launch of #BurningBright and watched the slide show of her very young and very fruitful life were taken unawares, not really, but I was stunned, to say the least! All the good work she's done to help the needy and sick and how she's never bragged about them. For a person to organize an event to raise money for others is simply godly. It requires strength, patience, understanding and most of all very good health... Don't forget Maryamazing is a sickle cell patient and doesn't need stress... But she stresses herself so those less fortunate than her can have a day of hope or even weeks or years, when she can help it. We saw she's been her class valedictorian since secondary school days, even securing a scholarship to study in the United States of America which at this point, permit to say "Ahn Ahn, Wow!" How can you not be impressed by her?!
So much about her and so little I can tell you, but I'm not worried for good work gets its publicity by itself without much hassle and those whose lives she has touched and will still touch are forever never forgetting Maryamazing! As for me, I am eternally thankful for the day Allah pushed her in my direction so I could be a part of the first of many more special days to come, in shaa Allah and I know many people have said it but I am really very honestly and sincerely proud of her. And it is such a great honor to have been part of her special guests at the event and a part of her family.
I celebrate you, Maryam Awaisu. I love you and I am completely inspired by you!
PS: We're out of stock on hard copies of #BurningBright by Maryam Awaisu but you can order online for your digital copy on Amazon amzn.to/1Jj3ZBI. Thank you for the support