Transforming ‘Sahara Desert’ into ‘Amazon Forest’

The words ‘spreading kindness’ have turned into such a melodiously sound.

Initially I thought (you may think the same too) it is shameful to tell others about our kindness. Let it be a hidden secret which only Allah The Almighty and we ourselves know it. And never let others know it. I,  however, couldn’t stand not to tell you how this miracle is real. 

I can’t mention countless miracles have come into my life without I realize it. One of the miracles I can remember is this simple but meaningful evidence.


It occurred around 3 years ago.

One day some residents in my neighborhood asked my permission to chop down my very well-grown guava tree planted for years in front of the fence of my house. I gasped and was  astounded to notice it. I asked them the reason why. They told me such ridiculous reason. The local authority was going to construct the road in our residential area. They were going to replace the old blocked pavement with permanent concrete construction. They added that the tree was a disturbance as its roots were going to destroy the new road. What?? (I was more baffled). It didn’t make sense at all. How about the array of trees intentionally planted kilometers long along the city streets? Aren’t they naturally decorative stuff beautifying the view?


I argued with them that the real concept of new development was not destroying the other beneficial objects which had existed. The tree was not only shelter and shield  for us from the heat of  the direct sunlight and its hazardous ultra violet and torrential downpour but It could also  be a reservoir of water supply too. In addition to it, it gave us more benefits for its endless sweet and fresh fruits produced. My neighbors, kids, and unknown passers by were happy too as they could  enjoy the benefits by tasting the freshness. Even my neighbor’s kids used it as their playground. Isn’t it lovely?


It was useless to argue with these stubborn people. Finally the life of my guava tree ended up in their axe. Since then, it was like a jacuzzi or a desert in my house. Indescribable hot. Sad ending.


years later, I made up my mind on how to turn this ‘Sahara desert’ in my house into an ‘Amazon forest’.

Twice to thrice a week I visited green nursery nearby. I purchased 3 to 5 houseplants every single week. I have been doing it repeatedly for the last six months. To my surprise I have had around 150 or 200 collections of plants. From the collection of houseplants there are Sansevieria, Dieffenbachia ,Philodendron Lime Lemon, Philodendron Domesticum, Ficus Lyrata (Fiddle Leaf Fig), Alocasia, Anthurium, Dracaena, Peace Lily, Spider Plants, Bird of Paradise, Calathea, Aglonaema, Crotons, Palm, Zamicalcus Zamifolia and many more which I can’t mention the name.


Well, I’ve  never felt satisfied with these collections. I have added more. I have grown edible trees as well such as Avocados, Jamaican Guava, Kiojay Mangos (imported from Thailand), Squash (pumpkins), rambutans, oranges, lemons, papayas, sweet potatoes (failed), longan (failed), starfruit, lemon grass, shallots, betel vine and spinach.

Believe it or not I’ve been practicing DIY (Do It Yourself). I’ve grown them from the seeds. I even seldom waste my kitchen scraps like onion peels, veggies stems, egg shells as I make use of them as fertilizers to my plants.

How I profoundly enjoy each process of growing and nourishing them from germination, planting them in soil, watering, fertilizing, pruning, repotting, propagating.

Wow, the ‘Amazon Forest’ of my version is real.

It’s beyond my expectation. How these baby plants of mine have been growing densely green and healthy. They have been thriving amazingly, growing taller, trailing beautifully. I always find surprising thing every single day to figure out the progress  of these plants such as the avocado seed I dipped in water for 12 weeks starting to  produce roots and sprouts or the dieffenbachia and ficus lyrata (my favorite) new baby leaf popping up from between the stems.


Due to the lack of space I located the poly bags and pots of plants outside of my fence. I intentionally did it in order for the passers by, mostly my neighbors, interested to have it  can take it, for free. Even when relatives of mine paid me a home visit they showed their desire how they were eager to have ones.

It’s my pleasure to hand them their most favorite plants as a gift. We made it. We turned these lips into gentle smile.

I have always been ecstatic at the moment when I am deeply  indulged in nourishing these green thumbs then my neighbors passing by expressing their admiration. Having been so mesmerized, they keep telling me how cozy, how soul-relaxing, how mind-calming, how peaceful to stare at these green things. Furthermore, butterflies nowadays keep flying and perching on the branches of each plant. Ahh…what a little piece of heaven on earth.


All praises to Allah. The Most Gracious, The Most Compassionate. I thank Him for bestowing this encouragement upon me to do this little but beneficial and meaningful  thing not only for myself but also for others. It’s effortless to create our own happiness by making little things for a great change to save this globe.   God is Good. (Arifah Hilyati)

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