‘I will never let anyone destroy me’ | Sunday Observer

‘I will never let anyone destroy me’

4 December, 2022
Fathoum Issadeen
Fathoum Issadeen

Don’t try anything silly with Sri Lanka’s number one squash player Fathoum Issadeen. She’s a lot smarter than anyone thinks and it was just a crying shame that vested interests and politics had to stand in the way of her missing out on a legitimate place to represent Sri Lanka at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

The fact that the people or person who was responsible for her omission from the Sri Lankan Games contingent was not taken to task only goes to show the rotten sports system that has taken root in the country. Fathoum was not the first victim and she will not be the last.

“I thought it was best to give up after everything that happened. I felt like it didn’t matter anymore, like no matter what I did, politics would take over. If a person’s judgment affects you, then you’re giving them the power to destroy you, so just leave it to God”, said Fathoum in an interview with the Sunday Observer.

Excerpts of the interview:

Q: Describe yourself in one word?

Q: Any words or phrases you overuse?
I always use the spiritual phrase that says with every hardship comes ease and God is with you everywhere you are

Q: What is your foremost characteristic?

It would be my left eyebrow. I have a huge slit, which a lot of people mistake and think that I did that for fashion, but actually I had a very bad fall when I was like five years old where I banged my head onto a wall very badly. I was playing tag with my brothers and they chased me and without looking I ran into a room that was completely dark and banged my head on to a wall. I had like a massive amount of stitches. That is like my main physical characteristic—the left eyebrow slit

Q:If you could edit your past what would you change?

I wouldn’t change a thing because I believe that whatever happened in the past, no matter how painful, shocking, or otherwise, I always had some benefit for the future. Even though some of it contained very painful, hurtful and shocking moments in my life, I find it interesting for some reason and I believe it shaped me into something

Q: What is the most important thing in your life?

I wouldn’t say anything, but it would be God and my beloved parents

Q: Who has influenced you the most?

I’m quite spiritual so it would be the influence of my final prophet Muhammad and also after him my parents. They have a massive influence in my life

Q: Are you fashionable?

I’m not obsessed with fashion in the way that, you know, I keep up with all the fancy trends. I like to dress appropriately and decently wherever I go, but as I said, I’m not obsessed with trends. I just like to be decent and appropriate wherever I go

Q: If you had access to a time machine what would you change?

I would put an end to all wars. I would try to make peace wherever I went and whatever was stolen I would make sure it was returned to the rightful places, rightful countries and so on

Q: What motivates you in life?

My biggest motivation would be to ensure that whatever I do has a positive impact. I personally don’t like impressing people. I just want to impress God, so that’s a massive motivation for me because impressing God is by far easier than impressing people because people would at some stage, point out a flaw, but when you’re trying to impress the One above, there’s no such thing as a flaw.

Being honest is my biggest motivation in life. If I wanted something and I didn’t get it, it motivates me to know that as a firm believer and a spiritual person I will get something better than what I wanted

Q: If you could choose any career right now what would it be?

I enjoy crafting. If there was a 9-to-5 job where you could craft and organize things, I would definitely take it

Q: What’s your best school sporting achievement?

We won the under-17 tennis team championships and it was amazing because we played against a school that had more than two or three national players who were playing international tennis. So it was amazing to win that. It was just pure team effort and hard work. I have another and that would be at my school Holy Family Convent Bambalapitiya where there is an award for the most outstanding athlete of the year and I got it. That was a very nice way of my school appreciating everything

Q: What is your idea of happiness?

When I am genuinely smiling from my heart. It could be a moment, it could be with a person, it could be doing something I enjoy, like crafting or cooking and for me, it’s the little things like spending time with family, being around my pet cat and being around my brother’s children that make me happy

Q: What is the trait you most deploy in others?

It would definitely be jealousy, unfairness and dishonesty. I completely dislike them

Q: What has been your biggest disappointment?

When it comes to disappointment I would say I think it’s a part and parcel of life where people might hurt you sometimes so that disappoints you of course

Q: Most important lesson life has taught you?

It would be to never give up, no matter what, because sometimes you just feel like there’s no point, you know, but trust me; keep going is what I’ve learned. About three months ago, I thought it was best to give up squash after everything that happened. I felt like it didn’t matter anymore, like no matter what I did, politics would take over. But I’m so glad I kept going because I didn’t want to quit. People’s judgments shouldn’t affect you no matter how difficult it is. If a person’s judgment affects you, then you’re giving them the power to destroy you, so just leave it to God and let Him handle it because He’s never going to destroy you