“I’m human at first
And always will be human till the last” – excerpt from “Arising” by Iyad
The author behind the poem is cheerful and bright Iyad, currently a Police NSF who is completing his NS journey this August. Iyad is also an active volunteer in the community and an avid lover of the performing Arts.
Being part of audience who watched the poem performed live and applauded at how well-written it was, I decided to ask him how the poem was birthed.
“You could say that I’m artistic and autistic.”
When approached to share about autism during The Hidden Good’s monthly social gathering, he thought “Why not write a poem about it?” After all, he was also invited to perform at two other spoken word events that month (which also happened to be his birthday month!), so it seemed like a perfect idea.
“To be honest, that was my first craft of mine expressing about autism. It was unprecedented for me to write a poem about me having autism knowing that it’s a personal thing. I was freaking nervous to share it out as well.”
“How I even came up with the title is kind of lame haha. “
Iyad says sheepishly. He picked the word ‘Arising’ because it starts with the same letter as autism – “A”, and also because he sees himself as still arising and growing despite facing the symptoms of asperger’s syndrome.
He also sincerely thanks his spoken word buddy Jedidiah for helping him work through the initial drafts and polish it to what it is today.
Reflection of His Experiences
The poem is an intimate insight into Iyad’s experience with autism, and contains his anecdotes as well as his thoughts. He draws attention to a specific stanza:
“ I stack
Until it reveals a very neat display
This describes a very common behaviour of Iyad’s to arrange objects until it looks organised. Though it’s unconventional and may often draw unwanted attention, Iyad fondly recounts a memory when he spotted kids’ shampoo bottles on the shelf of a provision shop that were not neatly arranged and naturally went over to sort it out. “Just like how it was placed nicely on the TV adverts.” he added. The response he got was amusing, he described, telling us how the shopkeeper even wanted to hire him for arranging the items in such an organised manner.
His Thoughts on Autism
Iyad is quick to commend his parents’ resilience, and appreciates how they treat him equally despite his differences.
“Without them, I wouldn’t be here now.”
But nothing is perfect, and Iyad tells us how not all his friends know it and even those who do, might not care. He shares many of these personal stories on his own Youtube Channel. At the end of the day, Iyad just hopes he is treated fairly.
“I don’t need special treatment, just acceptance from all.”
As part of the audience who watched Iyad use a small space to bring his poem to life, I felt how genuine and emotionally immersive it was. It evoked concern, laughter and understanding to everyone in the room as he pulled us into his life for those few minutes.
Iyad is an outspoken, creative and courageous performer who I look up to as an avid lover of the Arts myself. He is brave to have brought his personal story to the stage, and to have continuously promote the message that autism is not a hindrance to one’s potential.
If you’d like to learn more about Iyad’s life journey and experiences, or even watch a video of him reciting the poem, you can check out his Youtube Channel right here!
When asked what else he wanted to add, Iyad joyfully said
“I wish for a harmonious society to live together, I wish that my family and friends are more understanding and I wish myself great health, wealth and happiness. Cheers!”