A letter to Rio Mikaela binti Kevin Zahri

Its been a lil over 2 years since my son Rafael Zahri blessed my wife and I with his cheeky presence. And now, we couldn’t be happier but to welcome another addition to our small family.

On the 9th January 2013, god blessed us with the birth of our daughter, Rio Mikaela binti Kevin Zahri

Dearest Mikaela,

Just like I did for your brother Rafa, this letter is for you.

Why write this letter now? Cause in life, you never know what will happen tomorrow. Wallahualam, I will not be around to see you grow, to guide you along your journey of life, to see you become a strong, dignified, and beautiful Muslimah lady. So I hope that these humble words help you through life.


Your mum and I were overjoyed when mummy’s pregnancy was confirmed. But we immediately looked at your brother. At that point, he was just about 16month old and he was the center of everything. We did not want him feeling neglected once you arrived. Hence we constantly remind ourselves to give you both equal attention.

You are a lady. A beautiful gentle soul in a sometimes cruel world. Now, we will treat you and your brother with equal respect, provide you with the best opportunities, education, and religion possible but … we can’t give you the same freedom as you may see us giving to Rafa.

You may not understand it at first but as you grow and someday have kids on your own, you will see and understand why. But if there is a time, any time, that you feel that we treat you unfairly, please talk to us.

“But if there is a time, any time, that you feel that we treat you unfairly, please talk to us.

Since we are at the subject of equality and just as I told Rafa, always treat people around you with respect. It does not matter if they are rich, poor, famous, old or young, do not look down on people and if you are in the position to help, reach out to those in need.

It’s a tough world for women.

It’s 2013 now and I not sure how the world will evolve but for 1000s of years … well let’s just say that the world can be a cruel place for a lady. No matter what, always be dignified. Hold on to your cultural and religious values. Learn to be aware of your surroundings and identify the potentially dangerous situations.

Define your own success. Never let people pull you down. Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do something just because you are a woman. Trust in the things that you believe in. Reach for the sky. Be as ambitious as you like. There is no limit to what you can achieve. But success does not come easy. Be focused and smart about executing your dreams.

Always have a plan, consult with the people who know and love you. Never let success change you as a person. Stay grounded and let success humble you as a person.

“…There is no limit to what you can achieve. But success does not come easy. Be focused and smart about executing your dreams…

Look beyond the material.

When choosing a man, don’t evaluate a man by how much money he or his family has. Look beyond the material. Now I know that when you are young, looks will play an obvious role but as you mature, you will realize that looks 1) don’t last and 2) that there is so much more than the exterior.

Choose a partner in life who respects you, treats you as his equal, holds religion in his heart, and guides you to be a better person. A man who can lead but at the same time allows you be your own self. Don’t look for perfection – there is no such thing. Look for someone who completes you.

That said, I can 100% guarantee you that I won’t be to kind to boyfriends who mistreat my lil princess or whom I think are not worthy. Please chose wisely.

Listen to mummy.

Over the years, your mum will nag a lot. At times you may hate it … hate her, but trust me that she means the absolute best for you. We both do. She sacrificed everything to get you into this world. She would give her life in a heartbeat to save yours. Just like we told you brother, never raise your voice to her. Never disrespect her. Tell her that you love her and keep always her in your prayers. Remember that if you should fall into a hole, no matter how deep it is, we will always always be there for you.

Stick together.

No matter what happens to your mum and I. Insyallah you will always have your brother. Stick together. Don’t move abroad and create distances in your life. Again, the one thing in life you must hold onto is family. Make plans together. Share your ups, downs and make this life an adventure together.

I could not be more humbled to be your father. I can’t wait to see you grow into a beautiful strong woman. Enjoy your journey Mika and remember, whatever happens, I will always live through you.

Love, Your Father.
17th January 2013 at Wondermilk, Publika.

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