My Son.

Today I shall talk about my son.

When he was growing up, he was the talk of the town and the tri-state, for his tennis prowess. He was a fantastic tennis player and the various schools in the area still talk to their tennis teams about him and his focused and dedicated way he won the tournaments and his games at the State every single year of his high school career. He excelled in the game as a college student and won the championship for the college after a lapse of almost twenty dry years without a trophy for that institution.
As a teenager, he was like all the others, cocky, (not arrogant), just sort of cocky, and knew that he “could do anything he wanted!” Didn’t have much money sense… thought money grew on the trees that mom was tending to.

This same kid, when he went away to college, developed such a phenomenal sense of money management, that he wowed us all. After working for Wells Fargo in Chicago for about seven or eight years he came back home and developed his own independent wealth management firm. And by God’s grace he is doing very well.

The local school board was getting ready for elections about four years back,and along with two other guys he ran for the membership. Got elected with great outcome of votes in his favor. One year later the Board unanimously voted to make him the president of the school board. He is the youngest guy in the school Board and he has done amazing work for the school district. In the first year as a member he initiated the referendum to improve the physical appearance of schools by building five new schools. The community was asked to vote for this referendum, which was to the tune of $80,000,000. I didn’t think it would pass. But Sayeed was on the news urging the community to make Quincy a great educational city where there would be great teachers, and teaching in great buildings. All the previous buildings were run down and the ,space was limited in the classrooms. The referendum passed with flying colors. The first elementary school was opened this September, and it is a State of the Art Building.

Now, why am I touting all this about Sayeed? Not just because he is my son, but because he is a genuinely decent human being who has a sound head on his shoulders and who is compassionate and caring for his community and for education.

Last year the Union started getting itchy and demanded a lot of different things for the teachers and for every single person who worked in the school district, ie: bus drivers, janitors, cooks, groundskeepers, you name it and they were all represented by the Union and it was demanding more pay and more pay and more health insurance. I don’t know if you all know about the state of our state (Illinois) and in what desperate rut we are into with regards to budget. Sayeed and the superintendent worked with the Union as much as possible, but like the saying goes, “you cannot get milk out of a turnip!” So the Union said, “we don’t care, we are going to strike!”

This was such a blow to Sayeed and the entire school Board. Over the last year the meetings were held where Sayeed negotiated with brilliance. The community was so amazed at this young man who could talk the way he did and, let me tell you, he was so sincere; and with every ounce of faith and conviction he tried reason with the union. It was no use. So the community was told that the schools would be shut down because of the strike as of November 20th. (Next Monday!) We were all so unhappy. I felt so bad for my baby. He had worked so hard to make Quincy a learning center with great educational system and fine physical institutions.

He told the Union, “go ahead! Strike if you must. Remember the consequences. The children are the victims. You are taking them as hostages. All of us need more money and more insurance coverages. We have to learn to sacrifice so we can improve the quality of life of our children. When I was a fifth grader, there was strike and the schools were closed for almost three weeks. There was such disruption to the lives of all people here. Young working mothers had to find baby sitters for their little children, or let go of their jobs so they could be with their children. Family lives became difficult, money was not coming into the homes as their pay checks.” And he gave such excellent examples of what happens when people become selfish and greedy to gain importance by the wrong intentions and misplaced convictions of “helping” the household!

There were so many meetings between Sayeed and the Union. SO FRIKKING MANY! Every day he was in the news, and on the front page of the newspaper. Yesterday the union asked all it members to come and vote, to see how many wanted to strike and those that didn’t want to!

The overwhelming majority voted against striking!!! The community sat with their jaws to the floor, amazed that the strike was averted. Sayeed was in Chicago yesterday, and the local TV channels contacted him and got his views about the success of his mission. Anyone interested can read about all this on, and or go to KHQA news from yesterday at,, and you will hear my prince.


So, I am happy; it will be a great thanksgiving. Thank you for reading this. I am sorry I made this such a long post.


About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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22 Responses to My Son.

  1. mrswrangler says:

    Sounds like he truly cares for the students. For a couple years the school board was ran by someone who wanted the social statement and not worry about the kids. Now the board is ran by a father of four who was a ag teacher until he took over the farm so he sees many sides

  2. slmret says:

    No need to apologize for such a long post — you are very proud of your son, deservedly so! It is rare that strikes are averted overwhelmingly these days, and Sayeed has done an excellent job in negotiations with the Union! Congratulations to him!

    • Zakiah says:

      I know , right?? Everyone in town thought that the strike will take place. Saadi and I wanted to write letters in the Herald Whig, but Sayeed had made us promise that we wouldn’t do any such thing, because he didn’t want people to say that I was being negative about the union and that perhaps Sayeed had asked us to write. So, for almost a whole year, I was rolling on flames, trying to keep my mouth shut. Every one I meet in the stores or, places of meetings or parties. they come up to me and tell me how proud they are of the way Sayeed is (was) handling the situation, and how they think that he is an asset to the community.

  3. He is a caring, wise, and compassionate man. It’s good you are so proud of your son.

  4. Thank you for sharing this! I clicked on the link and saw the photo of your son! Your son is indeed quite young to be on the board! I listened to his words and he is so positive about the whole situation! Very happy to see someone so optimistic with such a difficult role!!!! I can see why you are so proud!!!! Thank you for the happy news!

    • Zakiah says:

      Hi love, so good to see you here. You know how it is with the school systems and what teachers go through and how the unions take them and the students as hostages. I am so glad you have watched the video and read about Sayeed. He turns 39 this December. Has such a wise brain sitting in his head!! Love him with my soul.

  5. murisopsis says:

    Yikes! I responded via my phone and the message doesn’t show up here! Now I know why Michel hasn’t been getting my responses to his blog posts! Anyway – I said it in my message and I’ll say it again – Your son is wonderful and has a heart of gold. You have every right to be proud!! I’m sure it was a lot of hard work but the end result speaks volumes about the leadership he provides and the goodness of the Quincy community!

    • Zakiah says:

      It sure was a lot of work. So much stress in his young life. THAT I disliked!! Some nights the dang meetings would go on late and not be done till almost midnight or later. I am just happy that Quincy appreciates his work and has rallied around him.

  6. This is wonderful! You have every reason to be so proud of him. You’re a wonderful mother. 🙂

    • Zakiah says:

      Aww! Thank you for that compliment Matt. Sayeed and I are like peas in a pod. We are too much alike. He adores me and I hold him in my soul with all the love I can possess. Every time he is speaking to a group like at the graduation ceremony etc. he talks about family life and how important it is to for kids to be respectful to the parents, and always, ALWAYS, says, “I am a mama’s boy,” and always compliments me in front of the thousand or more spectators.

  7. Not long when a post is interesting,Zakiah.You can be proud of Sayed because he is doing a fantastic job for the cause of the education and he is a true leader. Bravo !
    Love ❤

    • Zakiah says:

      Thank you Michel. The town of Quincy and we, his family, think that he is doing a great job. I pray for his health and strength and happiness and peace in his heart always. I come from a family of scholars… my grandfather, his father, my uncle, my father, all my cousins were all in education. I am so glad that Sayeed is so interested in education and has made a name for himself.

  8. As an educator and a mom/grandma, I care about children and their education.
    I say thank you to Sayeed for the wonderful leadership he is giving and the work he is doing!
    You should be proud and honored mother, SweetZ! Your son is a reflection of you…intelligent, kind, caring, compassionate, willing to stand up for what is right/best, etc! 🙂
    Such good news to read in a world where the news has not be good.
    (((HUGS))) to you and (((HUGS))) to Sayeed! 🙂

    • Zakiah says:

      Thank you Carolyn. As I told to swtspontaneous, above, good teachers and caring teachers always understand the pitfalls of the striking unions. Thank you for understanding. Love and hugs to you.

      • Yes, as a teacher I OFTEN stayed pass the time I was getting paid for. I OFTEN bought supplies out of my own money. Etc.
        But, it was worth it. The kids were my #1 priority.

        As Sayeed said…the children are the victims in the situation. 😦

  9. rushmorejudd says:

    I’m not surprised that both your children have become exceptional citizens. You brought them up well.

  10. r_hsw says:

    i’m glad to hear the trike got canceled. may the community continues to be on his side more than on the union.

  11. Zakiah says:

    Even though it has been a couple of months, i continue to see people who come up to me to congratulate me on the way he handled the situation. I am so proud of him.

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