Saturday, March 29, 2008

So True!

A friend forwarded me a video entitled Sleep is Better than Prayer. It was a good video (and so true!) - I went on to watch the other videos related to it. My favourite is the one entitled: Don't Wear Hijab, You Will Look Ugly.

I can easily identify with the girl in the video. Oftentimes, I hesitate to go out thinking 'Am I dressed up to the occasion?', 'Is what I am wearing ok? or does it look too prudish?'.

Instead of asking 'Am I covering my aurat properly?', I sometimes ask 'Do I look fashionable enough?'

Who am I trying to impress here?

Friday, March 28, 2008


I became a fan of Iranian films ever since I saw Majid Majidi's Children of Heaven.

Thus, I was very excited to find out that there is an Iranian Film Festival in Kuala Lumpur from March 20 - April 2.

I grew more pleased when I found out that 'Saint Mary' (also known as Maryam Al-Muqaddasah) is one of 10 movies shown. When I was in Macquarie, I was shown a snippet of the movie and I've always wanted to see the full film.

The snippet was shown during a talk by Affinity Club entitled 'Who is Jesus Christ in Islam?'. Muslims do believe that Isa (Jesus) is the Messiah and that he was born miraculously. We also believe that Maryam (Saint Mary) is one of the most pious and purest women ever. So, the talk and the movie served to show the similarity between the Islam and Christianity.

The film is actually a condensed version of a television series of the same title.

I feel that it is a very beautiful movie. The most powerful scene has got to be the ending, where Mary returned with her newborn to Jerusalem. A big crowd has gathered to see whether the rumours surrounding her disappearance are true. When they saw the baby, they hurled insults and accusations at her. Maryam just kept quiet and gestured to her baby.

This scene is taken from Surah Maryam, verses 27-33:

27. Then she brought him (the baby) to her people, carrying him. They said: "O Maryam! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariyy (a mighty thing)."

28. "O sister of Harun! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman."

29. Then she pointed to him. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?"

30. He [Isa] said: "Verily I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;"

31. "And He has made me blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me Salat (prayer), and Zakat, as long as I live."

32. "And dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblest."

33. "And Salam (peace) be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!"

The movie is in Persian with English subtitles. Its running time is 114 minutes. Oh yeah, the ticket costs only RM5!

For showtimes and the synopsis of the other movies, go to

*Nisa kata dia nak tengok SEMUA

Sharing is Caring

A few weeks ago, I loaned my book, 'Does My Head Look Big in This?' to a friend in college. After she has finished reading it, she passed it to another friend, and that friend passed it to another, and another and another.

By the time it reached the ?th person, I got to know that a section of the book had fallen out.I was crestfallen... It was after all, a book that I adore.

Some time later, I read what Paulo Coelho has to say about books and libraries (in his book, Like the Flowing River - Thoughts and Reflections).

He said that despite of his love for reading, he doesn't own a lot of books. He only keeps his favourites ones and donates the rest to public libraries or gives them to other people.

He believes that "a book has its own journey to make, and should not be condemned to being stuck on a shelf".

He also says that he loves it when, "at a book signing, a reader comes up to [him] clutching a battered copy of one of [his] books that has been passed from friend to friend dozens of times".

After thinking about it, I now subscribe to his point of view. I would rather have my books become battered through much sharing than to have them looking brand new, on the shelf.

Sharing is Caring.


The book is about Amal, a Palestinian-Australian Muslim girl. She decides to wear the hijab "full-time". The book details the reactions she got from her classmates. The book also deals with issues like
* the stereotypes people have of minority groups,
* the common perception that Muslim women are "oppressed",
* culture vs. religion,
* etc.

The book is actually for young adults but older readers will enjoy it as well.

The author, Randa Abdel-Fattah (an Australian-Muslim herself), has another book entitled '10 Things I Hate about Me'.

*Image taken from

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sirah Junjungan

It was touted as the first ever Islamic musical theater in Malaysia.

I didn't plan on watching it but Nada, Fa & Zue strongly recommended that I do. They said that it was really touching (especially towards the end).

So I went with my sister. We were expecting a small crowd, like the one on Wednesday. Nada, Fa & Zue got upgraded to better seats since the audience was so small.

But on Friday, the place was packed. We had trouble finding a vacant parking space. There were bus loads of people. We were hoping that there are still tickets left (fat chance of being upgraded though).

Thankfully, there were tickets still. The RM50 ticket placed us on the upper circle of the Panggung Sari. Unlike Nada, I didn't get to see Jamal Abdillah "depan mata" (qoute, unqoute) :p

The show was around 2 hours' long. At times, I felt that it was a bit draggy.

On the whole, I was a bit disappointed. I was kind of expecting more. I wasn't "touched" as Fa promised I would.

But there are two parts in the show that I felt a lump in my throat:
Firstly, when Jamal Abdillah sang the song right after Rasulullah became an orphan.
Secondly, when the people of Madinah sang joyously to mark the arrival of the Prophet.

The most annoying part has got to be the "Latta Uzza" song. Hind's high pitch cackle is a close second.

When I told my mom that I didn't like the show, my sister reproached me: "Jangan la kata tak best... cakapla it was a commendable effort. After all, it was the first theater of its kind in Malaysia"

*terkedu seketika*

Saturday, March 15, 2008

We're Just Friends


This is a sensitive issue but an important one to be clear on.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Learning Arabic

I started learning Arabic recently. I joined the IIUM Arabic course for the public.

I was interested to learn the language since last year.

Before this, I recite the Quran without reading its translation. After I started reading the Quran hand-in-hand with is translation, I began to realize the importance of learning the language.

Knowing the meaning makes reading the Quran more "powerful" (it's a bit hard to describe its effect). But translations are only poor substitutes of the real thing. They could never convey the true essence of the message.

So, I enrol with my sister to learn the language. Classes are held every Monday and Wednesday, 8-10pm. There are 25 sessions in all. There is an examination at the end of the course and if you passed, you may proceed to the next level.

There are 20+ students in my class. Most of them are working adults or retirees. Only a handful are still studying. I like the ustaz who's teaching my class. He is so funny. But he scares me a bit since he often bombards us with tough questions. You really have to be alert and do your homework!

I also like going to IIUM at night. The buildings look so majestic. You also see people of various ethnic backgrounds. It's so multi-cultural that it reminds me of the Musolla at Macquarie University.

I think I would like very much to further my study at IIUM one day.

2 years ago, I learnt French and German as part of the B. Ed. (TESL) Foundation requirement.

And now, I could only remember bits and pieces of the language:

J'taime, Au revoir, Oui, Bonjour, Merci

Hopefully, my foray into Arabic won't suffer a similar fate.


From Marianne's handout:

Learners learn a language best when:
  • they are treated as individuals with their own needs and interests
  • they are provided with opportunities to participate in communicative use of the target language in a wide range of activities
  • they are exposed to communicative data which is comprehensible and relevant to their own needs and interests
  • they focus deliberately on various language forms, skills, and strategies in order to support the process of language acquisition
  • they are exposed to sociocultural data and direct experience of the culture(s) embedded within the target language
  • they become aware of the role and nature of language and culture
  • they are provided with appropriate feedback about their progress
  • they are provided with opportunities to manage their own learning
Taken from:
Pocket ALL: a user's guide to the teaching of languages and ESL
David Vale, Angela Scarino & Panny McKay


From Jill Murray's handout:

A good language learner:
  • attends to whether his/her performance meets the standards he/she has learnt
  • enjoys grammar exercises
  • begins learning in childhood
  • has an above average IQ
  • has good academic skills
  • has a good self-image and lots of confidence
  • is a willing and accurate guesser
  • tries to get a message across, even if specific language knowledge is lacking
  • is willing to make mistakes
  • constantly looks for patterns in the language
  • practices as often as possible
  • analyses his/her own speech and the speech of others.
(Spada & Lightbown, 2001)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Election Day!

I cast my first vote today! :)

Kak Yom, Abafan, Kakak and I walked to our polling station: Dewan Serbaguna Taman Keramat at 9am.

Someone in a PAS-decorated car offered us a ride but since the Dewan is just a short distance away, we politely declined.

After checking our names, we joined the long queue. I met three of my former schoolmates there! They all have finished their study and are now working.

After about 30 minutes, our turn finally came. Kak Yom went in first, followed by Kakak. Both of them took a short time to cast their vote. I guess they made up their mind long ago.

Then, came my turn. After ticking off my name, the SPR officer said loudly: "ROS-YA-DA Sulaiman". I grimaced. Boy, I do hate people mispronouncing my name like that.

Surprisingly, being the fence sitter that I am, I also took a short time. I looked at the candidates' names, took a deep breath, proclaimed Bismillah, and ticked. Went to the boxes to slot my voting slips and then it was over.


So that's how voting feels like.

Leaving the Dewan, a Keadilan man casually asked: "Dah pangkah dah apa2 yang patut dipangkah?".

My sisters just smiled *undi adalah rahsia* in response

When we arrived home, Mama & Papa have not left home to vote yet. They are supposed to vote in Sek. Ren. Agama Taman Keramat.

Then Mama dropped the bombshell. They haven't left home yet because Papa decided NOT to vote in this election.

*G A S P*

Papa?? Not Voting??

That's so unlikely. Papa & politics go hand in hand. He's like the most "politically and socially engaged" person in the house - He devours the newspapers daily - He keeps tracks of all the latest election news...

What's happening here?

Braving myself, I asked Papa why he's not voting.

He replied that he has no confidence in the present leadership and yet he did not believe the opposition either.

Oh. I see.

I guess Papa feels the same way as me. I guess a lot of people feel the same way as well.

If they did vote for the opposition, it's not due to the opposition's capabilities, but more of a protest aimed at the government.

The list is rather long isn't it?
-The indelible ink fiasco
-The V. K. Lingam video
-The whole Khairy controversy
-The biased media
-Widespread corruption

Will the opposition make a better government? I have my doubts. But I do think that we need a strong opposition in the Parliament. Otherwise, there's no check and balance system in place.

We shall see how Malaysians vote tonight. Whatever the results, to quote Malaysiakini, "Those elected, please get down to work tomorrow!"