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All of us are getting older. From the time we are born, we are moving toward the final journey. How does this make you feel? How do you feel about aging in general?

We do have a choice in how we approach aging, but we do not have a choice when it comes to aging itself.


Today, 28 November 2018, my wife and I watched a fascinating, inspiring and beautiful life stories of a group of retirees in Morocco and Lebanon, in a programme on Al Jazeera. It seems it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, the retirement stories, dreams, hopes, fears and anxieties are all the same.

I believe, all retirees, as well as those planning to retire soon, and indeed, all those who will be retiring in years to come, should try and watch this inspiring programme, full of gems for a better life in older age.

Thus, it is my pleasure to share these beautiful stories with you. Please try and watch it. It is so beautiful.

A New Lease of Life: Growing Old in the Arab World- Al Jazeera

Lebanese and Moroccans reflect on life after retirement, as they pursue their passions in art, music, and literature.

‘In 2015, the World Health Organization published 'Healthy Ageing'*, its assessment of and vision for the elderly, between now and the year 2030. It talks about retirement ideally being "the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age". It defines functional ability as "having the capabilities that enable all people to be and do what they have reason to value".

The five men and women from Morocco and Lebanon in this film have met both of these challenges head on - and in quite different but inspiring ways.

When older people in the Arab world approach retirement, their greatest worries are often financial - but also to do with exactly what they'll do with their time once they stop working. Their image of retirement is often as some kind of death sentence, a period of inertia, boredom, physical weakness and sometimes depression. But as people in many parts of the world are now living longer, is this stereotype starting to change?

For the five retirees in A New Lease Of Life, life after work is all about continuing to be mentally and physically able, of devoting their life to relationships, to the arts - and to their own health and well-being.

...Abulsalam Sulaiman lives deep in the Moroccan countryside and used to work in tourism. When the work dried up, he took up the flute and now plays solo as well as in a band - and his music is a big part of his spiritual life. "All I can think about is the flute", he says. "It helps me in reverence to God".

All five of these inspiring characters share Ahmed Onaisi's conviction that "a retiree who has no hobby lives a huge void as if he's counting the days until he dies" - and collectively defy retirement and old age by pursuing passions that have given them all a new lease of life…’

Watch the video: A New Lease of Life: Growing Old in the Arab World

*'Healthy Ageing': The World Health Organization

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...And finally, Lest We Forget: We Can All Make a Difference at any Age

‘If proof were ever needed that it is never too late to make a major impact, Harry Leslie Smith, who has died aged 95, surely offers it. He was 91 when his bestselling memoir-cum-polemic in defence of the welfare state, Harry’s Last Stand (2014), was published, winning him a mass following in Britain’s ascendant left and beyond.

Following the book’s publication, he was invited to address that year’s Labour party conference before a speech by the then shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham. His passionate denunciation of benefits cuts and austerity – including the line “Mr Cameron, keep your mitts off my NHS!” – made headline news…’

Continue to read: Harry Leslie Smith-Writer, campaigner and passionate critic of austerity who found fame late in life with his bestselling book Harry’s Last Stand

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