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London Eye looks closely at your flight

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Hamid Ismailov Hamid Ismailov | 16:36 UK time, Friday, 22 June 2012

I was planning to write this week's entry about the event called 'World Poets at the World Service', but as often happens in the life of a journalist another story took place and I'll start by telling you that other story.

I had known for a while that on Tuesday 19 June Aung San Suu Kyi - a leader of the Burmese opposition - was coming to the World Service to meet the Burmese Service and thank them for their work.

On that morning I had many other engagements, and, coming back from the recording of Bush House Writers for Radio 4, I noticed on my way a Lebanese take-away restaurant.

I looked at the clock and saw that I had another 20 minutes to make my way to New Broadcasting House, where the meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi was taking place, so I decided to order a quick chicken wrap.

When you are in a hurry the world around you obviously slows down: the cook was extra meticulous, grilling all sides of the chicken kebab, sharing a joke with another customer, going on to discuss the forthcoming match between England and Ukraine with a third one and so on. It was quite evident that I'd be missing the meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi.

When the wrap was ready the clock was showing five to one and I charged towards New Broadcasting House.

In five minutes, sweaty but happy, I discovered that she hadn't yet arrived at the piazza in front of Broadcasting House and momentarily thought: 'At least I'll get a picture of her!'

I took the closest unoccupied position to the glass doors and prepared my handheld device.

A minute later our Director of BBC Global News Peter Horrocks came through the door and then Aung San Suu Kyi appeared behind him.

I pressed a button. The job was done.

But all of a sudden I realised that Peter was taking her towards me and was introducing me to her...

You can see in that picture I am holding an utterly inappropriate kebab in front of me just like a journalist's microphone.


Hamid holding a kebab and speaking to Aung San Suu Kyi

That isn't a microphone I'm holding


I must say that she was extremely gracious to me. She asked where I was from and when I said that I was from Uzbekistan - a country very similar to Burma - she sincerely said that she had never met any Uzbeks in her life.

I expressed my admiration for what she did and continues to do to bring freedom to Burma and she said that we must continue supporting her in that.

I will leave you to draw your own conclusions from this and let us return to the initial theme of 'World Poetry at the World Service'.

In one of my recent blogs I announced an event to which you could also contribute by sending your poems to me. Some readers have done that already and here are some of the poems I've received...

Dolapo Aina from Lagos, Nigeria:
A gathering of the world beginning with the touch and the golden flame,
Every athlete, prepared and eager to excel in every game,
And all wanting to succeed, not just for the money and fame.

Different people, diverse cultures, historical statistics all found at the Olympics,
Everyone is interested in volleyball and athletics to football and gymnastics,
For once, the world is abuzz with healthy hostilities devoid of politics.

While you see accomplished feats, celebrated by citizens of the concerned nation,
And I witness near-misses accompanied with contestants' groans of varied frustration,
The sheer human willpower is applauded by us, with a boisterous standing ovation.


Azam Abidov is from Tashkent, Uzbekistan:
You shifted from my soul, can you seize

On my spirit through volcanic stroke?

If slumber lulling grant us ticket-fees,

Can you - with me - fly to The Big Smoke?

The Millennium Dome would long for us,

It wishes we touched it gently with our hands,

That our love would light up and caress

The lives of over tens of lover friends.

If London Eye looks closely at your flight,

And Albert Hall embraces as a host,

Will at least retreat your sacred smart,

Will you feel so joyous at the most?

Say the lanterns on the Abbey Road

Summon you to the Olympic Games,

Aromatic blossoms will be thrown

At your feet to grace the blessed aims.

As Sherlock Holmes, when I disclose your mind,

Will you enliven the whole body of mine?

Will you settle down in my heart

Always treating as your timeless shrine?!

So you still have until next week to send me your poems to take part in the tournament of poets. Either send them to me here in the comments or to my Facebook page.

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