Month: June 2009

Time

Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.  ~Dion Boucicault

But in my case, the time is not killing me quietly – I can feel it.

I am done traveling – there’s nowhere left visitable within my budget that can excite me, so cross this option out.

I am done shopping, most of it, and I’ve learnt long ago that this won’t give me much happiness, so this one is also out.

I have started reading, but focusing on one book at a time is too much, I strive on finishing it, and could not digest the input well (hence you see no entries on books I have read), so I am doing it slow and steady. I planned to visit the library- researching more on the part of history I am interested in, but when it is raining I just could not help but saying to myself ‘It’s gonna be nasty out there’ that I stay in the house.

But yes, I am not done packing, but this activity is not exciting enough.

I long to go studying religious classical texts, but so far all that I can get was the FOSIS Conference with Tariq Ramadan speaking (wohoo..he was fantastic!), iERA – a New Era in Dakwah yesterday. Will be in London this weekend for Tafseer Seminar with Sabeel institute for two days (going to be there for four days in fact, inshaAllah), and planning to attend an alKauthar course : Roadmap to Knowledge the weekend before my graduation. And yes, a talk by Imam Zia Ullah at MYF the weekend before that. That’s all I can get.

Oh yes, before you ask, I don’t work part time. It has become a myth now that you can easily get summer jobs in Manchester. It is not that wasy I am telling you. Plus, I chose not to because I could not bear the idea of waking up early every morning and have less time for interesting events. Or reading books. Or watching movies.

Talking about movies – Transformers 2 was all action – I do love it to a certain extent, but some parts are just lame. I don’t know why. I won’t watch it for the second time, despite having re-watch Transformers 1 for four times.

What else?

Will write something worth reading soon inshaAllah. Finished reading ‘Snoop: What your stuff says about you’ and continued with Tariq Ramadan’s books. Or maybe start being serious about reading environmental philosophy, or persistently be a John Ryland’s visitor to study history.

*Sigh*

What have I done to myself?

Things I will Miss : Viva Palestina

No, I am yet to burst into tears over leaving Manchester which has been my home for four years, but upon reading this message sent to my Facebook Inbox, I know for certain that this is one of the things that I would deeply miss once I get back to Malaysia.

To members of Manchester University Occupation – Solidarity with Gaza

Hey everyone,

Firstly i hope that all of ur exams have passed along smoothly.

During the occupation many people donated sleeping bags, heaters, and other items to us. This helped us keep the occupation going over the entire month. A massive thanks is deserved to all those who helped out like this 🙂

Since the occupation Jamie has been kindly keeping many of the donated items in his basement. He is moving out soon, and if anyone still needs to collect their stuff before it goes to the charity shop then please contact him ASAP. His number is 07970724441

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Secondly, we have had some huge steps forward regarding getting our demands. Here is a brief update on where we are at over the Manchester occupation’s demands:

Our demand that the University should contribute to an Aid Convoy to Gaza- agreed to! We are presently working out what we can send. So far the library has agreed to send books, and we are also trying to get computers sent over.

Our demand for a fundraising day- we raised thousands of pounds for the DEC appeal during this week. We also reached thousands of students and were able to tell them about the continuingly appalling conditions in Gaza. This week has also helped us build a even bigger Palestine campaign on campus ready for next year! Congrats to everyone who was involved!

Our demand for scholarships for Gazans has been met! We are now working out the practicalities of the relationship. It should be in place in the new academic year of 2010. Even the VC has said we made a strong proposal!

Our demand that the University should divest from the arms trade has been a little more harder. However, we are in talks with the University over who they invest in, who they buy from, and who they do research for. We need to keep up the pressure on this issue, making sure that we oppose any relationship between our Universitry and companies which give support to Israel.

Our demand for a module open for all students on the history of modern Palestine is still being worked on. We do need help on this issue however. Any ideas on favourable academics, of what should be taught, or how we can present this to the University would be much appreciated!

Lastly, we have working groups set up which look at each of our demands. If you would like to get involved (even if its only just a little bit) then please get in contact.

From the very first moments of the occupation everyone has had so many good ideas-lets keep this up and make sure that the Palestine campaign goes from strength to strength!

Sorry for the huge message, but i hope that it has brought people up2date with what has been achieved so far.

Take care, and Viva Viva Palestina!

I don’t know what was in their minds, but to ask and work for something like this would be unthought-of if it was me – I mean, you can really ask the university to provide a scholarship, and yes, interfere with whom and what the university is investing on. Hence I wonder, what makes my imagination so limited? Is it the ‘no, you can’t’ attitude or is it the environment I was brought up in which did not taught me to challenge the status quo?

I do think that somehow it comes back to knowing my rights – what I am entitled to, hence I know when to complain. And we have to admit, most of us Malaysians don’t understand this – I doubt if we have been properly educated on simple things like consumer rights. Let alone the fact that you have the right not to let anyone touch and take you IC without your consent, even if it is a policeman who is asking for it.

Way to go.

And I must bid good bye to this ‘everything is possible’ world of student activism.

London Demo
London Demo

Occupation- the very first day!
Occupation- the very first day!

City of Thieves

It has been a while since I last read a very enjoyable book, in the genre of fiction – though this book I am talking about is no true fiction, it was based on true events. City of Thieves by David Benioff

(http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/displayProductDetails.do?sku=6334338).

cityofthieves

I have to admit that without the offer strapped on the cover saying ‘We love this book so much we’ll give you two other great books for free if you don’t love it too‘ I would not even touch it, but I glad I did – it gives me a good laugh so many times, and the style of writing is my favourite – you know, the way Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis were written. Funny and sarcastic most of the time and yes, I love it to bits. And for the fact that it was not based solely on someone’s imagination makes it a better read for the summer. But I am still drowning in the thought of how wars have shaped our lives – thanks to the book.

Here’s the storyline, just in case you need to have a glimpse before reaching for the book:

A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won’t talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds. Lev Beniov considers himself “built for deprivation.” He’s small, smart, and insecure, a Jewish virgin too young for the army, who spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter with friends from his building. When a dead German paratrooper lands in his street, Lev is caught looting the body and dragged to jail, fearing for his life. He shares his cell with the charismatic and grandiose Kolya, a handsome young soldier arrested on desertion charges. Instead of the standard bullet in the back of the head, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt to find the impossible. A search that takes them through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and the devastated surrounding countryside creates an unlikely bond between this earnest, lust-filled teenager and an endearing lothario with the gifts of a conman. Set within the monumental events of history, City of Thieves is an intimate coming-of-age tale with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

Oh, just read this book please, it had me staying up late last night and hooked me up in bed for the whole day!

p.s. Next in line : The Silent Spring, the book which very much helped launching the environmental movement back then – gotta go through the shelves in Manchester Central Library finding this one.

Germany I

  1. Yes, I went to Germany and it was a really nice place though that is a conclusion after being in Essen, Dusseldorf, and Cologne only. But I need more courage to defeat my desire to watch Prison Break series to start writing about my trip to that Deustchland.
  2. OK,OK. I’ll write it this way, bullet points. Just like notes.
  3. I went to Germany two days after finishing my final exam ever. Two days – it really sounded like I hated Manchester so much.
  4. I went alone, and that freaked everyone out, before I told them that I have a friend over there waiting for me. Strangely, my mother is cool about that (for the fact that I did the way I always did, just told her what I want to do, not asking permission). What these people did not know is that I arrived in Dusseldorf -Weeze airport at 2320 hour, and had the flight delayed and I missed the last shuttle bus at 0030 to Essen (where my ex-schoolmate is), I would have to sleep in the airport. Again. The fourth time.SP_A0165
  5. Fortunately, the flight was even early – but I still have to wait for the shuttle bus departing at 0030. No, my friend did not wait at the airport for me, and I would not even want her to do so – that ‘loser’ airport (as my friend described it), though named Dusseldorf -Weeze airport, is 70km away from Dusseldorf , and 84 km away from my friend’s place. Very misleading indeed. Ryanair is definitely making lots of money out of this.
  6. The immigration officer was stern-looking – he checked my passport long enough to cause annoyance to those behind me in the line, finally asking what I was doing in the UK (I think he could not read it clearly from the UK Visa) and why I was there. Since he was somehow good looking (remind me of those in the WWII movies really), I forgave him for making me nervous.
  7. Funnily, the lady at the information kiosk thought I was a Moroccan. That’s the hijab, and maybe because on the same night there is an usual flight from Morocco. She showed me VCDs of songs and films in Arabic – ‘lost and found, I thought it would be a surprise for some Moroccans if I offer them this upon arrival)
  8. Stupidly (oh man, I am testing how many adverb I know now), for this trip I did not even bring a phrase book as those who are travelling to non-English speaking foreign lands would normally do, and I don’t even know even a single word in Germany. Even ‘thank you’ in Deustche. I am sorry to those who taught us Germany words during assemblies back in secondary school. All went in vain.
  9. So I waited for one hour before getting on the shuttle bus. There were all Germans in the bus, but since I sensed that the couple sitting behind me were able to speak English (target the young ones if you must), and asked them how far Essen is from Weeze : the answer is 50 minutes. Whoa. I will arrived there at 0130 more or less. My dad would be very worried if he knew that her girl is out-of-nowhere (Really, out-of-nowhere, since I didn’t bother to check where Essen is actually on the map at that time) in the middle of the night.SP_A0164
  10. I told my friend not to come and fetch me at Essen town (I don’t think it is a city anyway, correct me if I am wrong), so it is really me alone finding the way to my friend’s place, which is 20 minutes away from the town, probably by cab. Recall that I don’t speak the language, and strangely, my friend seemed not to receive my text – O2 is really unreliable when it comes to roaming. I only managed to tell her that I have arrived by getting online for a while in the airport (at the rate of 6 Euros per hour ) and just wait for me in her room.
  11. Back to the shuttle bus: the girl thought I was Syrian! That’s the hijab again, and it was dark they could not see my face.
  12. The cab driver thought I was a Turk. That’s the hijab again, and the darkness, I guess.
  13. The cab driver was indeed helpful, confirming that the building we stopped in front was the correct building, and there was me trying to figure out how to get in. No room number, and no connection whatsoever with my friend. O2 really *****.
  14. Call it luck, but the Germans do not seem to value privacy. They have this whole list of the occupiers of the building including their room numbers so it was just a matter of pushing the right button to get my friends to come downstairs to get me in.
  15. But the doorbell didn’t work really, and there was this guy who came by and let me in, help me finding the right floor, at gotcha, you should listen to how my friend screamed when I knocked on her door that morning at 0200 – ‘Afni, macam mana kau boleh sampai depan bilik aku dah?’
  16. OK, then the hugs. Twice. It was seven years ago when I last met her. My friend. Khairiah. But then, the seven-year gaps seems to vanish quite easily – I think that was the five years you spent together cursing the school quietly in your heart – she was a prefect and I was, err, in the Dakwah body back then, so you know how everyone actually wore masks in this two student bodies.
  17. Then the gossiping, until we finally slept. The next day : finding my way to Dusseldorf, 20 minutes away from Essen.

Women Rights: So much to stop fighting?

ARKIB : 05/06/2009

Derita isteri didera

Soalan
Saya telah berkahwin selama 10 tahun. Kami mempunyai tiga anak. Pada mulanya kehidupan kami bahagia, tetapi selepas kelahiran anak kedua, suami mula berubah sikap. Dia menjadi semakin kasar terhadap saya.

Asyik memukul dan menerajang saya. Tidak boleh salah sikit, saya ditamparnya. Walaupun dia tidak memukul anak-anak tetapi dia sering kali memukul saya di hadapan mereka menyebabkan anak-anak juga takut kepadanya. Saya pernah cuba melawan kata-katanya dan memberitahu suami saya mahu memohon penceraian tetapi suami mengugut akan membunuh saya jika saya berani membuat laporan polis atau ke mahkamah menuntut cerai. Keluarga sendiri tidak memberikan sokongan. Bantulah saya.

Jameelah Yassin, Kuala Lumpur

I don’t know why some of my male colleagues started to call myself feminist – I don’t even label myself that way. As I have always put it, I will always fight for womens’ rights. Of course, some of you might dismiss me by saying that what else is there to fight for, Islam has already liberated women long ago. Oh well, if that is so, then why do cases like the one I copied above keep coming on newspapers? Islam does show you the right way, but we have never tried to implement it fully, so is there any reason for me to stop fighting for this?

And fighting for something like this, must start from curing the root of the problems. I am yet to fully analyse this, but surely it comes from the mindset that we have among us (I have no heart to list them down here, later on maybe), it might be the system that is not helpful.

If you want to tell me that this is an anomaly – buy yourself a Mingguan Wanita or any women magazines and you’ll see cases like this.

And yet some of you have the heart to tell me that whatever that I am fighting for is not worth, that the change is too hard to make – and funnily that comes from someone who also fights against injustice.

What can I say? Our men regards this injustice as of lower level that what they are fighting against – the corruption of power and all.

Too bad I say.

Injustice is injustice, and you have to say no to it.