A Letter to my Bestfriend

Today is probably one of the most important days of my life. It’s a day I get to celebrate the most amazing, humble and wholesome man I know–my father.

Words cannot express the relationship I share with my father; he’s more than just a dad, he’s my best friend, my confidant, my sparring partner and practically anything I’ve ever needed him to be.

Growing up, my dad has been my biggest supporter. My backbone. And I know I’ve already said it, but I can’t emphasize it enough — my best friend.

He did more than he ever needed to. He did more than just be a dad.

He raised me to be considerate of those around me.

He taught me to always say thank you when a car gives you way. He taught me to always hold the door for people. He taught me to ask my servers what their name was and how their day was going. But most of all – more than teaching me, he led by example.

The little trip we took to Niagra Falls when my dad came to drop me off to university.

I can say with the utmost confidence that I’ve never met a person like my dad.

He’s a man that isn’t afraid to admit when he’s wrong. He’s a man that isn’t afraid to say sorry. He’s a man that will always hold himself accountable for anything he says or does.

And now, I try to do the same.

Growing up, sometimes I felt dumb. Or at least like the dumber sibling. My brother was the smartest kid on the block, straight A’s and all. And although he broke his back over school, he could just as well cruise through it with his eyes closed.

But here’s the thing – my dad NEVER let me feel dumb. In fact, he made me feel like a whole damn prodigy! He’d praise every piece of writing I ever wrote and read drafts and drafts and drafts.

He’d always tell me, “you’re going to be huge one day!”

“You’re going to be a writer, I know it!”

And today, I can proudly say I’m on that path, but I probably never would be if my dad never saw that passion inside of me and egged me on to pursue it.

He taught me that life isn’t black and white. There’s not just one way to do things, there are a million different roads you could take to the top and just because your journey is different than someone else’s or less typical — doesn’t make it any less of a journey.

My dad travelled the world at a young age, so now if you hear him speak, you’ll think he’s lived a hundred lives. Hell, if I knew any better – I’d think that too. He’s a man far more wise beyond his years, and he always will be – because no matter how old he may get, it will never match how far ahead his heart, brain and soul are.

So as I sit halfway across the world, more upset than I imagined that I couldn’t celebrate today with the most important man in my life; I have to do what I do best to ensure he knows how much I love him: write.

So Baba, thank you.

Thank you for always reading EVERYTHING I’ve ever written. But moreso, supporting me and praising all of it.


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Thank you for taking me to get my favouriteΒ chai whenever we’re in the car together.

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Chai runs at my favourite spot in Dubai.

Thank you for teaching me the importance of visiting museums, and learning about art and history. More importantly, thank you for always giving me company and tagging along.

The Met, New York. (I think!)

Thank you for giving me the chance to visit places that hold so much meaning for you.

Upanga, Dar-es-Salaam, circa 2015.

Thank you for always surprising Mama, Ali and I with flowers whenever you get the chance. Be it after a flight back home or on Valentine’s day.

My dad picking me up from the airport this winter break.

Thank you for being the most fun, silly and friendly Dad you could’ve ever been. You will forever be my best friend.

Dessert post-breakfast at our favourite spot: IKEA!

Thank you for taking me on the most fun trips around the world.

Transporting the donut we won at Santa Monica Pier from LAX to Dubai.

Here’s to a million more food runs, car rides and Netflix nights, Baba.

& please don’t worry! I’m not too sad because I know we’ll paint the town red when I’m back. Can’t wait to watch movies every night (please let me pick them, no way I’m watching an action movie!) and stuff our faces with junk food. Love, love, love you always. Happy birthday, big man!


5 Replies to “A Letter to my Bestfriend”

  1. Totally blown away with accolades

    Thanks Z

    You n your brother are my Inspiration n Mentors who teach me day in day out

    Merci Gracias Shukran
    Domo Aligato




  2. You make us proud Zainab! loved it to bits am so teary right now , very well written even I said you will make it big one day and become a writer ❀️❀️😘


  3. Happy Bday to your “BigMan”πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚
    I am onebig fan of your family and a proud teacher of Ali and you. Continue to pursue and aim high.
    Love teacher Tazette hereπŸ’œπŸ’Ÿ


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