Friday, September 28, 2007

16 Ramadan dah

Last night, Unit 38 held iftar jamie. Thank you guys!! The food was delicious. The menu was:

-Kari Ayam
-Daging Masak Merah
-Puding Roti
-Shepherd's Pie
-Sarawak Telur (I hope I got the name right...)

urm... tak berapa nak dapat praktikkan "Increase Faith, Not Weight" tu... *sheepish*

Tonight, it'll be our turn (unit 82) to host the terawikh and witr prayers. Durra cleaned the house inside out this morning. Jazakillah Durra! Sorry we weren't much of a help.

Today is already the 16th of Ramadan. Time does fly huh?
I've been feeling a bit under the weather this past few days. Have been troubled by the:

-yet-to-be completed assignments,
-feelings of homesickness, and
-the unaccomplished Ramadan Resolutions :(

14 more days to go. Hopefully, I'll get my act together in that space of time, iA...

On another note, while waiting to break fast the other day, we discussed about Raya preparations. We have set the menu as well as the Raya cookies we are going to make. We are to pool together some money to buy the things we'll need. Thus, Nisa volunteered to be the treasurer.

Then someone said (identiti dirahsiakan): "Mana boleh Nisa je yg ada jawatan. Kitaorang pun nak jawatan jugak".

So, after much lively debate, here are the full list of the committee:

Bendahari: Khairun Nisa
Setiausaha: Majidah
AJK Makanan & Tatarias: Syajaratuddurrah
AJK Logistik, Peralatan & Hiburan: Ana Shirin
AJK Teksi & Kebersihan: Rosyada

I don't mean to sound power-hungry... but AJK Teksi???


That, ladies and gentlemen, is a short snippet of life in Unit 82 :)

Apa-apapun, kita puasa dulu ek?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Selamat Berpuasa

Ramadan is finally here :)

Semoga kita semua dapat memanfaatkan bulan ini dgn sebaik-baiknya. Amin...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Ramadan Reruns & Seasonal Muslims

Ayat-ayat Cinta

I received the book from my sister through post three days ago. I made up my mind to read it ONLY after I’ve finished my two assignments. Both assignments are due next week. But I succumbed to temptations and started reading it yesterday. And I’ve finished reading it today. I’ve done little else but read the book all day long.

Ayat-ayat Cinta.

The book that I first heard of last July. I saw my friend reading it. The title piqued my interest. The title sounds like a chick lit. A chick lit of the Malay kind of course :p

“Why is she reading this book?” I thought.
It’s just so uncharacteristic of her to read such books.

Turns out, Ayat-ayat Cinta is NOT a chick lit. It’s of a completely different genre. In its cover, the novel proclaims itself to be: “Sebuah Novel Pembangun Jiwa” (!)

The book was a phenomenal success in Indonesia. It was reprinted 11 times as of 2006. Malaysia soon caught on the hype. It was first released in Malaysia in 2006 and has since been reprinted three times.

With lots of excitement surrounding the book, I naturally had high expectations of it. The author, Habiburrahman El-Shirazy was even coined “HAMKA kecil”. I, being a huge fan of HAMKA’s classics, just had to read the book and judge for myself how true the comparison is.

My verdict? I personally think that HAMKA is still unsurpassed. His works evoked much stronger emotions in me. But this is not to say that Ayat-ayat Cinta is not good. It is - just not in the same mould as HAMKA.

In the introduction, Hadi Susanto posts a question: “Ayat-ayat Cinta: Novel Budaya, Novel Keagamaan, atau Novel Cinta?” I think that Habiburrahman El-Shirazy manages to make the book serve all three purposes.

It’s a Novel Budaya because it convincingly depicts Egypt - its climate, people, customs and mores. It also realistically depicts the lives of the Indonesians students there. Like what A. Samad Said commented: “Maka itu, tidak membacanya seperti sengaja melepaskan peluang untuk mencium bau, merasa iklim dan memahami gerak hidup insan Indonesia baru di luar dan di dalam negaranya”.

So true. There were times while reading the book when I wished I was a student studying in Egypt as well. That’s highly unlikely. So I fervently hope that one day, I would at least be able to set foot in Egypt.

It’s also a Novel Keagamaan. There are numerous references to Quranic verses, hadiths and Islamic teachings. But these references were inserted judiciously which prevented the book from being too ‘preachy’.

Lastly, it is also a Novel Cinta. The protagonist (Fahri) is in a quandary; he has to choose amongst four women. Yes: FOUR. A friend of mine has a problem with this. To quote her: “Mana ada lelaki yang semua perempuan suka kat dia”

She has a point but Fahri’s character is believable to me. So, I have no difficulty imagining four (or more) women vying for his affections.

My measure of how a good book is how long and deep I think and mull over it after I’ve finished reading it. And also how strongly my emotions were evoked while reading it - how drawn I was by the story.

My writing this review with such diligence should give you an idea of how good I think this book is.

What struck me the most is Fahri’s character. It’s truly exemplary how determined and devoted he is to his commitments. He would strive hard to achieve what he promised himself/others to do - even if it means toiling through an unbearably hot weather (40 degree Celsius) or even when his health does not permit him to do so. He’s also super organised. He actually carries out what he plans to do (unlike me... huhu). No procrastinations nor a lazy attitude.

He’s also ambitious and forward thinking. He has a 10-year plan of his life. I think I should have that too instead of going through the motions day by day and aimlessly go where the winds pushed me.

I think I also need to be more ambitious. Unlike most people that I know, I don't have a plan to do my Masters and Ph. D. I just think that I’m a lousy student. I love going to lectures and learn from my brilliant lecturers but I HATE doing my assignments. 2000-word essay pun susah nak buat… inikan pula 10,000-word dissertation???

But, I need to change that mentality.

Acquire knowledge because doing so is good
Seeking it is worship
Reviewing it is glorifying Allah
Researching it is Jihad
Teaching it to the ignorant is charity

Further, I cut out a picture from the SMH last Saturday. The picture is of the Palestinian students celebrating their graduation from the An-Najah National University in the West Bank City of Nablus. The picture is titled “Degrees of Pride”. It’s truly inspirational how these people managed to graduate even under extremely difficult and challenging circumstances. What's preventing me from achieving doing as well?

So, that’s what I got from Ayat-ayat Cinta.
Those who haven't read it are welcomed to borrow it. Tapi make sure assignments dah siap ye...