Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Feature: A hungry boy inspires

By Samita Gutoc-Tomawis, Assemblywoman, Sectoral Representative, Regional Legislative Assembly

Marawi - Yesterday at the Northwest District graduation in Marawi City, I met a Grade 6 graduate , a boy who has studied under challenge. Coming from a poor family, he could go to school at times without breakfast and makes up with it by going to school on time everyday (so that he forget hunger).

He reminds us in Government of the whole value and virtue of sacrifice, and why we are working, why we need to fight vote-buying and save up on public resources, so that the 5 pesos or 5000 pesos bought for a vote can instead go to a chalk or a classroom construction .

During the speech, I shared this story of an Iranian brother and sister in an Academy Award film-nominated CHILDREN OF HEAVEN who shared one shoe:

"The film starts with Ali (Amir Farrokh Hashemian) fetching his little sister Zahra's (Bahare Seddiqi), pink shoes after a cobbler has repaired them. He leaves them unattended to buy some potatoes. While he is pre-occupied, a garbageman accidentally picks up the shoes, hidden in a bag, and takes them away. Frantic to find them, the young boy knocks over crates of vegetables and is chased away by the grocer.

For photo source, please click here ...
Ali's family lives in a poor South Tehran neighbourhood, and are having financial trouble, so he fears to tell his parents about the mishap. The landlord argues with Ali's mother (Fereshte Sarabandi) because she is five months behind on the rent, and the grocer has not been paid in a while either. Ali tells Zahra about the shoes and begs her not to tell their mother; she agrees. That night, Ali's father (Reza Naji) scolds him for not helping his ill mother when she asked. While the siblings were doing their homework, they passed notes to each other discussing what to do. They devise a scheme to share Ali's Converse sneakers: Zahra will wear them to school in the morning and return them to Ali at midday so he can attend afternoon classes. Ali does well on a test and his teacher (Dariush Mokhtari) awards him a gold-colored pen; he gives it to Zahra to partially make up for losing her shoes. However, the uncomfortable arrangement between him and his sister leads to Ali being late three times in a row, no matter how hard he runs; the first time the principal ignores him, the second time he gives him a warning, the third time he tells Ali to leave and return with his father. Ali's teacher (Dariush Mokhtari) persuades the principal to give the boy one more chance and let him back into class.

One day, Zahra notices her missing pink shoes on another student, Roya's (Nafise Jafar-Mohammadi), feet. After class, Zahra secretly follows Roya home. She later brings Ali with her for a confrontation, but from hiding, they discover that Roya's father (Mohammed-Hasan Hosseinian), the garbageman, is blind, so they decide to leave. When Roya does well in her studies, her father buys her new purple shoes and throws away Zahra's. Zahra is dismayed when she finds out from her new friend.

Ali's father, anxious to earn more money, borrows some gardening equipment and heads off with Ali to the rich suburbs of North Tehran to find some gardening work. They try many places without success, though Ali proves to be a great help to his tongue-tied father. Finally, they come upon a mansion in which a six-year-old boy named Alireza (Mohammed-Hossein Shahidi) lives under the care of his grandfather (Kazem Asqarpoor). While Ali plays with Alireza, his father works. When he is finished, Ali's father is surprised and elated by how generous the grandfather is. On the way home, Ali mentions in passing that Zahra could use a new pair of shoes; his father says that new shoes for his children is a good idea, however, their elation is short lived as their bicycle's brakes fail and the father is slightly injured in the resulting crash.

Finally, Ali learns of a high-profile children's long distance footrace involving many schools; the third prize is one week at a vacation camp and a pair of sneakers. To his bitter disappointment, in a hard-fought dash to the finish, he accidentally places first instead. Ali returns home where Zahra is waiting for him. However, before he can reveal to his sister his disappointment in his placement in the race, she is called away by their mother. In a separate scene, there is a quick shot of the children's father's bicycle as he's riding home, showing a pair of white and a pair of pink shoes among his purchases. In the final shot, Ali is dejected as his sneakers are torn from the race—he is then shown dipping his bare blistered feet in a pool. Some versions include an epilogue revealing that Ali eventually achieves success in a racing career."

"Moral Governance"

English - "Good governance for a progressive and peaceful BARMM."

Sinama - "Hap pamarinta tudju BARMM na sambu maka salamat"

Bahasa Sug - "Dan mabuntul tudju pa BARMM masambu iban mahatul"

Meranaw - "Mathitu a kandatu sa BARMM ko katagompiya go kalilintad"


"Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE)"