Annual Peace Service 2020
Youth contribution from Leeds Street Team Ambassadors and friends.

A video created by Zhainab Suleman (aged 14), as part of the QuaranTEENS Covid diaries project in Harehills, over the lockdown,withthe help of young ambassadors from the Leeds street Team Project.

The group explores the effects of lockdown, exploring the challenges to their inner peace and wellbeing, Covid has had.
Hi I’m Zhainab. The past year has been extremely challenging for all of us. Before we start, I’d like to introduce you to a few friends of mine from the Leeds Street Team.(Introducing the team)

-Hi I’m Muhammadou, I’m 14 and from Harehills, this is my Covid diary.

-HI, My name’s Horia, I go to Wetherby High school, I’m 14 and this is my Covid diary.

-Hi I’m Idris, I’m 19 and this is my Covid 19 Diary.

-My Name’s Amir Bahrami, I’m from Harehills, and I’m part of the QuaranTEENS project.

(Back to Zhainab) There’s a Japanese saying that roughly translates to‘Those who are free to choose, always choose peace.’ But how are we supposed to‘choose’ when the environment around us is constantly changing? And we don’t have any control over it. That’s how the majority of the youth have been feeling over the course of this pandemic. Many things about our lives have been changing and we seem to have no control over it. Many people have had to go through so much because of this pandemic and the youth are struggling to balance and control their inner peace. Let’s take a look a look at what some of them had to go through.(Over to the team)
Covid 19 has impacted people in various ways. In some aspects it has affected me negatively because I am unable to attend school, which has caused difficulty to my studies. In my opinion, staying at home has been a bad thing because I’m unable to concentrate more on colleague work,(family distractions) and unable to go out with friends. In January when schools started to realise that this was serious, parents started to realise that they needed to use more hand sanitizers and clean everything more. There was a point when everyone was panic buying. Everyone would go to get their groceries and get all the essentials that they needed but they were overusing everything. The elders couldn’t go out to shop and they didn’t have enough supplies at home, so due to that they had to order stuff online, even though they didn’t necessarily know how to use the ‘Queues’ of this online generation. I was a bit surprised .It was a bit of a shock. No one (in living memory) has ever been in a lockdown. No one really knew how to really deal with this situation we are now in. And school being closed, everyone thought it would be good, but I think some people actually wanted to go back to school because, you know, them being so bored in the house that school was the only option for them to have a bit of fun. We were more cautious and didn’t even touch each other as much. So, when we would go to school, you wouldn’t hug your friends like you would do on a normal basis. You’d just be like, cautious. In early November, I had a friend who explained (the origins of) the Corona virus. He explained that there was infected meat in Wuhan China. And he told me that it was going to arrive in England. However, I was like naah. That’s not going to happen. And then, little did I know, it had arrived in the UK. A lot of people were out of work or told to work at home. However, there was my brother in law who was told to stay at home for two weeks and he was really eager to get back into work.
I had a couple of family member who died from the Coronavirus and that is quiet. That gets to me. Right now, they have found a drug that could help. And it’s kind of upset me that they didn’t find that drug earlier so that maybe my family members could still be alive. We couldn’t have a funeral. because they wouldn’t let you go near the body. So that is really something that is important to us as Muslims but also just as human beings. Being able to just grieve for your loved ones but you can’t do that cause of this stupid virus!

Zoom out to quote of Maulana Rumi;” Maybe you are searching among the branches for what only appears in the roots”.

(Back to Zhainab)
It’s no secret that throughout this pandemic, cases of domestic abuse and other sorts of domestic crimes have been on the rise. This is a clear sign of people’s inner peace and general peace being toyed with. Due to all the negative penned up emotions over this virus. Let’s look at some of the positive things that have come out of this. Many people have been able to spend more time with their family and learn new skills. I for one, have started learning knitting and I’ve learned so much about my family from my grandmother and other members of my family, that we have been able to connect with because we had so much time at home.

(Back to the team)
So, managing to get closer to my family, because I wasn’t going out as much. I managed to start doing boxing in my garage. Painting and doing DIY with my mother really brought back a lot of old memories. As we were sat painting up and down on the wall, my mum was literally there speaking to me, telling me old stories about our family, about where she grew up. The funny thing is that where she grew up is actually where I now play football, in that area. It was just nice to listen to my mum’s stories and nice to learn a bit more about her. Because of Lockdown, I got more closer to my family, and we spent more quality time together. I made my own dumbbells out of concrete. And it was kind of fun, when I thought about it. Idid DIY and a lot of painting with my mother. I managed to cook my family’s traditional recipes with my aunt. Another thing I manged to do was to learn a new skill, which was gardening. And I managed to do that by helping my uncle to grow vegetables. On the other hand, the lockdown affected me in a good way, by improving my skin care, because I’m able to take more care of myself more. Watching more series on Netflix like for example vampire diaries, I started to watch more movies. Imagine being in a family of 8 and I remember watching the Fulham game vs Leeds united football club. I was just in the living room by myself and suddenly everyone came into the living room and it was very weird because usually everyone would be out doing their own things. And it was just a really nice time to share with the family, it was really great.

(Back to Zhainab)
Today we have seen both positive and negative effects of this pandemic. This is something that both children and adults can learn from. We’ve learned that anything can happen at any point in our lives. I’m sure if you told my mother or grandmother that ten years ago, that something like this would have happened, they would have laughed in your face and carried on with their day. No one would have ever believed that something like this would happen in their lifetime. And that its insane to think about it.

Thanks for listening.
End quote: Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.
Edited by Zhainab