Thursday, November 22, 2007


We all need reminding all the time...

"And remind, for verily, the reminding profits the believers" (Adh-Dhariyat: 55)

I love watching the "In the Shade of Ramadan" videos on YouTube. The videos are made by MAS Youth, a division of the Muslim American Society for young people.

The short videos are actually made for Ramadan. There is a video for each of the 30 days of Ramadan - so they serve like daily reminders.

There are about 60 videos in all. 30 videos from Season 1 and another 30 from Season 2. I've watched until Day 13 of Season 1. All of the videos are great. The messages are conveyed in a simple, appealing fashion.

Among the topics they tackled are:
-Taqwa, Good Deeds and Character
-Different Types of Fasting
-Keeping the End in Mind (i.e. Jannah)
-The Value of Ramadan
-Purification of the Heart
-Victories of Ramadan
-The Flip-Flop Phenomenon
-Prayer (Salah)
-Du'a (Supplication)

So, although the series is called "In the Shade of Ramadan", it is still a relevant viewing post-Ramadan :)

These 2 videos are among my favourites: Patience (As-Sabr) Part I and Part II.
Both are by Dr Imad Bayoon.

Happy viewing :)

Gorgeous Photos

After my exam the other day, I went to the library to check out the photo exhibition that I've been meaning to see. The exhibition is titled: The Mosaic Middle East. It is located at the Macquarie University Library Exhibition Area (next to the borrowing counter). The exhibition is on from Nov 16 until Dec 14.

The photographs are taken by Alex Marlow, a recent graduate from Macquarie University in Political Science. He took the pictures in 2005 and 2007. The photos feature 5 countries: Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria & Egypt.

I really like the photos. They are absolutely beautiful!! Among my favourites are the photos of the separation wall in Palestine and the photos of Petra in Jordan.

The photos of the separation wall are moving. There is one which features a graffiti asking "W H Y ?". It was a simple image yet so powerful.

The ones of Petra are magnificent. I'm reminded of the story in Quran of the Thamud people who are skilled in carving out dwellings in the mountains.

So, even if you had no reason to go to the library now that the exam is over, do pop in for a while to check out the exhibition :)

Friday, November 16, 2007

1 month countdown

I turned 22 yesterday.


dah tua tu.

old enough to ditch childish behaviours.
yet young enough to feel that my whole life lies right in front of me. (kalau panjang umur la)

In 1-month time, I'll be back in Malaysia (iA). Most of my friends don't want to come back. Actually, they do but they wish that it's only for a holiday and they'll get to come back to Australia again.

I guess I'm pretty neutral about it.

I'm excited to see my family again. I can just picture the exhilaration of seeing Mama, Papa, Kak Yom, Abewan + Kak Lin + Damia, Abafan & Kakak at the airport.

I especially long to give Damia a big hug since I had only seen her in pictures so far.

I'm excited to see my friends again, many of whom are graduating this year. I want to catch up and know what they're up to now.

And then?? Then...
I dunno...

I definitely want to spend more time with my family - my parents especially. During calls to home, I often get the feeling that our house feels "empty". With my siblings flying out of the nest, I guess it's my responsibility to keep my parents company and do the other stuffs like:
-prepare meals
-do the laundry
-go to the post office to settle the bills
-visit Nenek regularly
-accompany Mama & Papa on family gatherings
-feed the cats
-do the groceries
-ferry Kak Yom and Kakak to the LRT station

Basically, be an exemplary daughter that I've never really been ... heh

Looking at the above list, I realize that going back to Malaysia equals assuming back the responsibility I've temporarily been excused off.

It's such a big, intimidating word isn't it?
oh well, I'm 22 now; life is no longer about me, me, me.

So I have to say goodbye to my carefree life here. I'm sOo going to miss:
-my own private room with an en suite bathroom
-life which is often spent chillin' with friends and housemates
-the opportunity to go travelling with like-minded friends - and with no chaperons in sight

Putting aside assignments, I can easily say how relaxed my life has been here.
May be I'm glossing over the bad parts.
Or may be I just have a short memory to remember them all.

Oh, there's definitely the not-so-nice things I've experienced here. A flick through my journal can attest to that.

But I can sincerely say that, overall, it has been a very positive experience.

It's a cliche but living overseas does make you a different person; a more wiser, mature and confident person.
You also learn to be more socially-engaged with world issues. And most importantly, you start to recognise what's culture and what's Islam.

So I guess the conclusion that I've come to after writing this is: I don't dread going back.
I love Macquarie Uni,
I love Sydney, and
I love Australia

I love going to Auburn & Lakemba
I love browsing at Macquarie Centre's BORDERS
I love eating Krispy Kreme's original glazed, chocolate glazed and iced chocolate with custard fill
I love drinking Easyway on a hot day
I love the cold autumn and winter weather
and I love that people are so much more environmentally-friendly here. Recycling things aren't a hassle at all. And you save water with the dual flushing system. (I'm getting off track here so I'll stop).

But despite all the fantastic things about Australia, Malaysia is still home.
Taman Sri Keramat is still home.
I have a family there and there's nothing that could compete with that.

I hope that I have made the best out of my stay here. My former classmate remarked recently that "I've changed the most". I didn't press for him to elaborate further but deep down I hope that the change had been for the better.

I'm 22 now.

"Ingatlah masa muda sebelum masa tua... hidup sebelum mati"

“Pada hari kiamat tidak seorangpun hamba diperkenankan meninggalkan posisinya kecuali ditanya lima perkara: Tentang penggunaan umurnya, masa mudanya, kekayaannya dari mana dia peroleh dan untuk apa digunakan dan apa yang dilakukan terhadap ilmunya.” (HR Tirmidzi :2416)