24 December 2012

Karya

Jujur, atas sebab jumlah buku yang siap aku khatam boleh dibilang dengan hanya tangan kiri, aku terima kenyataan pahit bahawa aku bukanlah penulis walaupun kalau diberi peluang untuk pulang ke zaman selepas SPM, aku akan memilih untuk mengambil degree bahasa.

Senang lagi dari medik, dengan frasa-frasa latin yang entah apa-apa.

Dengan penguasaan bahasa yang terbatas, aku gagahkan diri untuk cuba berkarya, ketawa kecil. Merah pipi hitam menyebutnya. Terembes-rembes hormon menderas darah, mengepam jantung. Tapi aku ucap arigatou pada Abang besar POSED, sebab usaha abang besar mendekatkan semula aku pada minatku. Walaupun aku mediocre, minatku pada menulis. Bagi manusia yang merendahkan kepentingan bahasa dalam kehidupan seharian, mereka memandang rendah tentang kepentingan peradaban manusia yang berusia ribuan tahun.

Kita di sini hari ini, kerana bahasa.

Dunia penulisan ibarat pintu sukahati agar aku dapat menghilang ke dunia fantasi, aku lupa sejenak dunia yang haru, kata orang.

Haha, karut. Konon di bawah ni cubaan sulung. Mungkin kerana temanya yang aku rasa dekat, mudah untuk aku menguis keyboard.

Regrets,
I have a few.


But hey! I am just a man
Whose words have pierced through the hearts of countless friends
Whose actions have hurt my loved ones more than once
Whose decisions have given me sleepless nights
As the memories of stupid choices I have ever made came in like synchronized waves
Inching towards land bit by bit
Just as I close my eyes, resting my head on my pillow.

Regrets,
I have a few.

But hey! I am just a man
You, or you might be mine
And likewise, I am yours
Should if time can be reversed, those regrets be corrected?
A question that is full of bull, I might say
Because You today are a perfect chemistry of the past
Of taught lessons, of wisdom gained
And You shall suffer more in the future
To make a man as perfect
As the Prophet once be.

"Setiap yang berlaku kepada seorang mukmin itu adalah baik untuk dirinya; jika musibah dia bersabar, jika baik dia bersyukur."

20 December 2012

Sour joke

Today I learned a very important lesson.

Cultural differences don't stop only on matters involving spesific cultural rituals and practices, cultural differences also include daily social interactions. Apparently, my seemingly innocent way to joke with an Arab of my class was seen as rude, I think because I used the word 'slap', although I clearly stated the intended gesture for it to be read funnily (is this a word? haha)

As an example, in Egypt, it is rude to cross your legs in front of an older person, which is a kind of taboo around here. I was scolded once for innocently listening to my MP3 with my leg being on top of the other. In Malaysia, although frowned upon, it was never considered such a big deal.

In Malaysia, it is rude to even raise your voice to someone older, although you are arguing for the truth. An older man should be respected in every way possible, even if they are wrong. That's why we bow when we walk in front of them, we kissed their hands when we shake hands, and we show respect. In Egypt, they argue about every little damn thing with anyone.

Another classic example was here the men often seen together holding hands, in Malaysia people whisper and question your sexuality if you do so. 

So, before doing anything, we should always consider the social consequences that would follow. Meh.

11 December 2012

A smile

Heba was in her mid-twenties. She grew up like every other little girl in the world, playing and imagining herself to sleep in the arms of her future loving husband. Heba was married and as time went, she was pregnant and she was honored with a beautiful child. 

But life was not as smooth as she once imagined it to be. She was married to an abusing partner, often scolded and bruised by the one she trusted the most. And as she gave birth, post-partum depression finally hit her. She became a person nobody recognized anymore.

She stopped talking. The times they heard her voice were the times where Heba talked to herself, and exclusively to herself. She began to put on her niqab, and she never took it off ever since. She refused to eat and sleep, she stared out of the window for hours every day, and nobody was able to help her.

She was a classic case of schizophrenia.

She was brought to the psychiatric department by her family, and accompanied by her sister she began her treatment. As Dr Salwa brought her into the lecture room, her mood was infectious. I felt silence began to creep across the room. We tried to engage her with a simple conversation, but she was not answering. She slumped in her chair, her head bowed, her eyes were expressionless.

Trying to understand her became a drive for myself to continue focusing on the case at hand. 

But two days ago, Dr Salwa brought her back to the lecture room after less than a week of treatment. She was different this time. The room wasn't as sulky as it was the last time she was here. She was answering questions, her sister didn't have to answer for her this time around. We asked her why was she sad, she didn't remember, but it didn't matter as hearing her voice was a miracle itself.

Dr Salwa asked her to lift her niqab. She refused at first because of her religious belief. Dr Salwa insisted, and she obliged. She lifted her niqab for a mere second, and I saw the most beautiful smile I have ever seen in years. 

I saw God in her smile, masha Allah.

24 November 2012

Tahyul moden

Bayangkan, kiranya untuk score dalam peperiksaan itu hanya perlu sekali imbas saja bacanya, tanpa perlu duduk difahami dan dihadam.

Bayangkan, kiranya untuk mendapatkan badan yang cantik dan sihat itu hanya dengan makan dan tidur tanpa usaha untuk bersukan dan penjagaan kebersihan.

Bayangkan, kiranya kalau mahu kaya itu hanya perlu duduk dirumah melepak tanpa tujuan dari pagi hingga pagi yang satu lagi.

Enaknya hidup, bukan?

Betul, tak ada antara kita yang percaya dengan tahyul seperti di atas. Setiap yang baik itu perlu kepada usaha, dan setiap usaha itu perlu kepada kerahan tenaga dan fikiran.

Dr. Kelso dari Scrubs menyebut,"Nothing in life that's worth having comes easy."

Tapi kau tahu apa yang kelakarnya?

Kita terbayangkan syurga itu hanya dengan beramal ala kadar sahaja. Tiba waktu ibadat, maka aku pun beribadat. Tapi ala kadar saja, jangan lama-lama. Amal tak boleh dipaksa. Hehs, satu lagi tahyul zaman moden. Tapi bahagian melambatkan solat boleh pula lama-lama. "Tak apa, bukannya tak solat," kita kata. Oh, itu baru bahagian solat. Entah berapa banyak lagi maksiat yang kita halalkan, tak apa, tak apa.

Hidup kalau sekali tak apa, kawan. Isunya, lepas kita mati, Allah panggil kita kembali menghadap zat-Nya.

Kau tahu kan cerita ahli ibadat yang kufur beberapa ketika sebelum maut menjemputnya, yang akhirnya diletakkan di neraka oleh Tuhan? 

Nak ditegur, kena lembut. Tak boleh keras-keras, teguran keras bukan cara Nabi. Oh macam tu pula? Manja. Teguran biar seimbang, kadang-kadang perlu berlembut, kadang-kadang perlu disebat juga.  Iman kita meningkat dan merudum, peringatan berkala itu sangat, sangat perlu. Dan berkala bukan ertinya sekali seminggu, atau sekali sebulan. Peringatan perlu setiap hari, jam dan saat. Kalimah insaan, asalnya nasiya, ertinya lupa. Semacam adamantium yang perlu dipanaskan supaya tidak terus mengeras, begitu juga iman perlu kepada cahaya supaya tidak terus menghitam.

Sebab itu kita perlu pada suasana "duduklah bersama kami, mari kita beriman sebentar".

Sedangkan baginda Rasul pun solat taubat setiap malam, sedangkan baginda pun tak pernah tinggal tahajjud, dan baginda adalah makhluk kesayangan Allah. Kita di mana?

Sekularisme, mungkin. Pengajarannya, iman bukan untuk jam-jam tertentu, iman itu sehingga lepas mati pun perlu. Allah sebut, masuklah kedalam Islam secara menyeluruh. Klise bunyinya, dan yang ini juga klise: Islam adalah cara hidup dan budaya kita. Tapi kadang-kadang yang klise itulah yang benar.

Ya Allah, aku yang serba lemah meminta padaMu agar kau peliharalah hatiku supaya sentiasa dekat dengan-Mu.

Mereka suci, kita tidak lagi.

09 October 2012

Mediocrity

Loh, dah nak exam rupanya. Kejap je habis satu rotation.

It's already 10th October, exactly four days before the end rotation exam. Baru lebih separuh bulan menjejakkan kaki ke Mansurah sebagai abang senpai tahun 5. Jujurnya entah apa yang aku baca sejak tiga minggu lepas.

A lame-ass picture of different parts of the brain with its specific function, be it cognitive or mechanical.
Honestly, the brain is one hell of a fascinating organ. Berlapis-lapis neurons, cortices, areas, dan tracts yang mengawal badan dari niat kepada memulakan kerja dan bekerja. Sejak empat hari lepas doktor bagi peluang untuk kita diagnose sendiri empat jenis pesakit; ataxia, Parkinson disease, hemiplegia, dan apa entah lagi satu, panjang sangat case sampai tak terikut.

Bila dapat lihat depan mata jenis-jenis jalan (gait) yang berbeza dan bila dapat cuba sendiri menggunakan tukul refleks pada pesakit. Sebelum ni mungkin sudah takjub dengan jantung dan paru-paru, tapi rasanya neurology lebih menarik. Mungkin sebab neurology lebih mekanikal, rupa-rupanya tubuh badan kita ni serupa mesin canggih yang bernyawa dan mampu beriman. 

Okeh, mau consider neurology (selain dari pulmonology dan nephrology) sebagai salah satu pilihan bila nak sambung master nanti. Yay!

Bagaimana sakit yang hanya berbeza kedudukan seinci antara satu sama lain boleh menyebabkan presentasi yang berbeza. Presentasi pula melibatkan pergerakan, mata, hidung, mulut, memori, perasaan, bahasa mahupun personaliti. Betapa halus dan telitinya ciptaan Allah yang membuatkan kita dapat hidup dengan selesa dan begitu fleksibel!

Konklusinya, aku adalah seorang yang kufur nikmat sekiranya :

  1. aku hidup dalam keadaan dormant dan pasif.
  2. aku tak minat bersukan - sama ada bola, futsal, jogging, badminton, gym (lol)
  3. aku tak menjaga pemakanan dengan baik dan membiarkan perut memboroi sebelum kahwin.
  4. aku tak berani mencuba.
  5. aku malas membaca.
  6. aku tak menggunakan tenaga yang ada untuk keluar melihat dunia (lol niat ada, duit tak)
  7. aku malas berfikir.
  8. aku tak excel dalam apa-apa perkara yang aku buat.

So it's all up to me to be better. Step out of mediocrity, be bold Fikri!

03 October 2012

Canadian Niqab




 











Hebat.

Ada lebih seribu rakyat Malaysia di bumi Mansurah, tapi yang berniqab boleh dikira dengan jari. Sedangkan kita di bumi Anbiya', bumi Azhar, tanah Muslim. Apa pun kita tak boleh menghukum membabi buta. Masing-masing ada sebabnya sendiri.

1. Mungkin bumi Mesir terlalu panas.
2. Mesir tak sebahaya Kanada, yang penuh dengan mat-mat saleh yang (maaf) tak berpegangan agama.
3. Hukum berniqab itu sendiri yang berbeza menurut tempat dan hujah.
4. Sedangkan orang Mesir sendiri majoritinya baju ketat, baik yang kurus dan yang, erm. Faham-fahamlah.
5. Persekitaran Mesir yang tak menggalakkan kita untuk keluar rumah, lebih-lebih lagi akhwat.

Masing-masing ada pegangan sendiri. Sama ada pegangan kita tu betul atau tidak, itu terpulang untuk diri sendiri untuk mencabar ego masing-masing. Life is a journey of lessons. Kerana hidayah itu milik Allah. Kita lelaki pun pergi masjid sekali seminggu juga kan? (okay tak semualah)

Apa-apa pun mabruk! Walaupun sebenarnya video ni dah berusia setahun agaknya, 'kekecalan' (kecekalan versi dewi) kawan sekolah lama yang bersuara annoying sangat saya kagumi. Semoga terus tsabat dalam perjuangan. :)

26 September 2012

Adequate

This post it a little too late, but anyways, a good advice is a good advice no matter where or when. Yay!

The recent 'movie' called 'Innocence of Muslims' has received worldwide attention recently and naturally, it sparked a violent outrage across the Muslim world. From this point forward, I will refer the 'movie' as Thing because the directing itself and the storyline is an insult to the average human intellect. Thing's quality as a film was so disgustingly poor that I felt stupider for every second that I spent watching a small portion of it.

So basically, Thing tried to paint a non-realistic picture of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h)'s life. It was clear that whatever the purpose of producing Thing might be, it was definitely not to educate. A very distorted understanding of history coupled with a heart full with hatred towards the great man came out with this idea of a movie. Nevertheless, it should not, in the first place, received such attention from the international community. Simply because it's quality was so poor.

My condolences goes to the embassy of U.S.A for the death of her ambassador. It was not America's fault that there are bigots in their 300 million population nor it was Islam's fault if in our community there are extremists. Those who understand the teachings of Islam will never commit such act.

"Be angry for the Prophet (pbuh), but with the etiquette and manners of the Prophet (pbuh)."
As usual, every time such insult were thrown to Islam, Muslims all around the world will come out in massive demonstrations in every corner of the Muslim world showing to the world how angry we are. We will demand the perpetrator(s) be executed, and we will demand the destruction of America. It was the same script all over again.

And there will be douchebags who will defend the act under the name of freedom of speech.

We muslims should be reminded that the enemies of Islam do not fear the burning tyres, they fear the crowded mosques.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w was a noble man who empathize, who thinks before he act, who loves others for the sake of Allah. These are the characters that should exist in every man in the 21st century. Not burning tyres, not angry mobs and definitely not killing senselessly, these are definitely NOT the teachings of Islam.

Thank you, random Muslim NGOs in the UK for distributing books explaining to the people the real story, the real personality of our beloved Prophet. Thank you, various contemporary Muslim celebrities and scholars who voiced out against the injustice that was carried out in Libya. Thank you, amazing Muslims all around the world who think rationally and reminded everyone that it doesn't matter how many times we demonstrated our anger, the most important thing is that we ourselves practice the teachings of Islam to the heart.

Before we take our anger to them (i.e. they who do not understand Islam) we should look into ourselves, are we adequate to call ourselves a Muslim? 

12 September 2012

Cuti

It's a week before my departure to reality. A week to do whatever I like whenever I like, without to worry about anything. Still, this year's summer has been excellent. Although after raya I was booked on every weekends, it was worth it. It seems everything is not as hectic as in should be when you just try to take things less seriously. Go with the flow you might say!

From Melaka to Negri Sembilan to rural parts of Selangor to random parts of the northern states, it was all about traveling, and those visits has cracked open a huge window in my closed of world. Imagine, what a trip, just withing West Malaysia. This year's summer is all about three things, Raya, weddings, and travel.

Raya, like I posted before is extra special as this year we welcome a new member of the family, my new sister-in-law. Everyone was home in KL this year as it was our turn to gather, and for a long time since ever, we had a colored theme baju raya, which is purple.

I remembered my brothers used to be these hot-headed scums who will never admit that they were wrong and will not miss a chance to shoot others down. Apparently, marriage (or maybe the new women in their lives) has everything to do with it, because they are now happier and much less cranky. Obviously, the one you love can do that to a person.

A tiring trip to the north for my cousin's wedding, of which if I had the power back then I would insist of not going, but it turned out to be not as wasting as I expected. A trip to the north, although indeed tiring (I almost fell asleep while driving) could be the start of a new relation. May Allah ease our path.

Note to self : If I have enough money to buy a car, I would install a radio with a USB port, because stupid Malay radio kept playing the same raya songs over and over again for over a week. It's depressing in one hand, and it's tiring on the other.

And then we had my brother's wedding, nothing much to say here, same ol' same ol' like the previous functions we had before, only on larger scale and more people, only this time I got that exciting feeling that it's gonna be MY wedding next time. Yay! Oh Congrats Apito for his wedding :)


A trip to Melaka and Negri Sembilan, a two-day trip that ended up to be three, because KL had a heavy downpour and the train tracks were severely damaged, which left me stranded in Nilai. Thank God I have super rich friends. Melaka was amazing, even without Mahkota Parate, Dataran Pahlawan or the A'Famosa.


Jeram Toi was also amazing, worth every second as we got stuck in traffic in the middle of Seremban. Thanks to Husni's new DSLR, we got amazing shots indeed. A great conversation we had with this idiot.

H: Kamera nak pakai kamera siapa?
Aiman: Kamera Olympus kau la kan?
H: *Sengih* *Took out a brand new Nikon DSLR*
Me: Bau kedai!

And then we went to Rohingya School in Cheras, paintaing murals in their devastated-looking 'school' of a three-storey shop-lot building. I was given the opportunity to handle a slot on ice-breaking. What a experience that was, my throat went sore for a few days as I screamed my lungs out haha. We played games, we got to know each other. A lot to say here, maybe next time.


Learned a lot during those two days, especially about the issue on hand. The number of Muslims in Myanmar is about 4% of total population, and the Rohingyas made up less than 1% of it. What do you say about that?

May Allah bless them, May Allah clear up their path and made them fully-functioning human beings.

Amazing summer, I can't wait for next year's :)

12 August 2012

Bumpy

As I boarded the train from KL Sentral to Sri Rampai after a four-day pre-departure program for future medical slaves, I remembered the day I registered at Kolej Rahim Kajai, UKM more than four years ago. And as I ventured further into my memory, I remembered the day I showed to my mother the GMN brochure I got from the Edu Fair my friends and I went to. It was a blur, but the significant processes were permanently jotted down in my brain.

And until this day, I'm still not sure whether my decision back then were rock solid, or pudding bouncy, whatever that means anyway.

I am at the beginning of my fifth year medical school and with Allah as my bear witness I have lots and lots to do before I can become a competent enough doctor. Looking back to those four short years I have went through, it's very hard to believe that I am in the verge of graduation, because honestly if I am to be put in a hospital, I would have kill every patient I touch. Yes, I am a little bit pessimistic when it comes to my future.

Those four years were full of vague teachers in semi-solid appearance. I would not say that I have went through hell, but if anything is to be put in comparison with eternal damnation, the medical school is a perfect candidate. 

The books that I had to cover.
The smell of ammonia that had seeped into my brain.
The medical knowledge that I had memorized, and forgotten, and memorized for the hundredth of time.
The unstable days as exam was just around the corner when whatever I do, I can't process whatever I read.
The hollow feeling when I have no one to count on as I crashed down the road of uncertainty.
The friends I made and lost, caused by the silliest of reasons to the worst.
The clingy feeling that made me want to just run away because sometimes my best is just not enough.
The mortal challenges that everyone went through, but somehow it becomes such a big deal for me.
The insecurity that dragged me down as I made mistakes and mistakes, over and over again.

Sure, one would say that I am too hard on myself. Because somehow, I have made it, although barely, to my fifth year. So that means I must have done something right, yes? Please approve. Dear God, come to think of it, it's a miracle that I have gone this far. These pains I have went through have become my best teachers. 

I learned to take things easy, but fight like a lioness protecting her cubs.
I learned to let things go, and to put my trust in Allah's greater plan.
I learned to keep myself sane as every single thing around me is collapsing.
I learned to prioritize my concerns, my goals, my every day life.
And most important of all, I learned to become a better human being, a better muslim, a better person.

And that's how Egypt has changed me. To see these kids going to embark on this painful, but remarkable journey that was once my journey, I wish them all the best. The formula of life is not as hard to portray, it's basically the same thing all over again. The only difference is the pace. Some of us is faster or slower than others. In the end, we will end up with generally the same lessons, the same experience.

They will go through the same mind-blowing  scenes of life that is greeted with the usual 'WTFrick' in the first encounter that will become the stepping stone for them to understand things beyond our comfortable heaven we all called home. They will meet people that will change the way they view the world permanently. They will end up in a situation where their mind can't possibly comprehend the stupidity/illogical/jack-assery of a certain group of people.

Brace yourself, it's gonna be one hell of a bumpy ride. Will you survive Egypt? Many have failed, but don't worry, unlike them, we will be there to guide you through.

03 August 2012

Ramadan

It's been a while since my last rant. Rumah dekat Egypt tak ada internet, terpaksa menumpang kasih rumah orang untuk guna internet. And it doesn't feel right writing in somebody else's computer, it's like wearing another man's underwear, or something like that, the point is it doesn't feel right.

I've spent 10 days of Ramadan in Egypt, and 'spectacular' might probably a little too quirky to describe the experience, but it doesn't express it well either. But again, you get the point. Life in Egypt surely is messy to say the least, but somehow Ramadan in Egypt was the simplest Ramadan I have ever experienced.

There were no bazaar, so as a red-blooded bachelor in his twenties my friends and I had to prepare our own food, and naturally it is minimal; a serving of rice with curry/masak lemak/rendang/masak merah/sambal ayam. Sometimes we added some zestiness in it with some fried eggs. And even though it was simple, we enjoyed every minute of it.

Masak sendiri beb.

The tarawih was the least ritual-like. Eight rakaats of total servitude towards Allah, without any selawat in between. The imams were top-notch, I tell you. It was tiring to stand still for more than five minutes per rakaat, but it was a meaningful five minutes and regret not a minute of it. This time, I've tried to understand the meanings of the Quran recited by the imam, which was a great way to keep yourself from wandering.

All eight rakaats took usually about an hour or so. But like Malaysians, the Egyptians worn out too. So after four rakaat, they will stop and had some tazkirah session for about five to ten minutes. So, we are no different than the Egyptians I guess. Some mosques added a twist during these tazkirahs and had quizzes, both for the children and adults. I remembered the questions were not easy, if my rusty Arabic doesn't get the best of me that is, haha.

"In section XX in surah XX, which verse explains about what to do when a man and his wife quarrel?"

"Who was the first woman the Prophet s.a.w married to after the death of Khadija?"

And the children were eager to answer, seriously, excited gila eventhough the prizes were not very compelling. And during the tazkirah someone will walk around the mosque offering drinks. Somewhere in the middle of town a free feast will be held for the less fortunate called 'maaidatul rahman' which means 'hidangan kasih sayang'. Kot. A real true blue spirit of 'fastabiqul khairat'!

Fanoos, a type of Arabic tanglung. Kalaulah size dia tak sampai anak orang, dah bawak balik dah satu.

Hundreds of fanoos were lit in celebration of the holy month. Yes, unlike Malaysia, the Egyptians celebrate hari raya during the holy month of Ramadan as it should be, not in Shawal. And don't let me start on the discipline those Arabs get when it comes to praying. Saf rapat-rapat semua and the children were not treated as second-class muslims. 

Orang Mesir ni baran tak ingat dunia, bulan puasa pun bergaduh. Kalau naik teksi tu tak sah kalau tak marah-marah. But when it comes to prayers, they were surprisingly disciplined.

18 July 2012

Futur

It's been a little over a week as the final exam ended. Allah Akbar, let's just pray for the worst semester so far, Allah has made it clear that my field will not be either with babies or pregnant mothers. After one day of short break, I headed to Cairo to attend a daurah. Here's the thing about our daurahs, it is usually prepared badly, there were no prior schedule set up so we usually keep a leveled head and keep with the flow without knowing what will we do next.

It's not about following schedules anyway, it's about committing yourself to a self-improvement classes for the greater good. The key is to keep an open mind.

Anyway, after a few days in Cairo, we went home after a marvelous three days with the brothers, we gained a lot and let's just hope those days were not wasted. As I arrived home I found the house to be empty as all my roommates has gone back to Malaysia.

Allah, I have never felt so empty. It's very awkward to find myself in a position where I just got home from a daurah, yet I felt so vulnerable. The thing is that my apartment wasn't that crazy anyway, each of us usually do our own stuff. But knowing that there are someone in the other room is assuring in a way that I cannot put in words, and I will never let this little nikmah to be underappreciated again.

It's also funny to find myself on the bottom of the roller coaster, or 'futur' in jamaie slang, just right after a daurah, which to be fair I wasn't really excited to go in the first place. With all that has been going on, I have never felt so lonely. And it has been like this ever since I got back from Cairo, the littlest things tick me off and no matter what I do I can't seem to keep a cheery note. Possibly the scorching weather might be a contributor, naudzubillah. You need to bathe at least three times a day to keep yourself from overheating.

Yep, futur and I am not ashamed to admit it. I have not recite the Quran for at least four days, I didn't go to the mosque like I used to, and don't get me start on the other things. Astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah.

Great philosophers once said that those who knows himself knows God. So here I am making a crappy post trying to figure out what caused me to be this way. One, I can't be alone because then I would procrastinate, yeah that word would do. Two, I need to find a way to keep myself cool for another eleven days, or I will go crazy. Three, I need to improve my relations with my friends. Four, I need my own plan because depending on others will lead to disappointment as they can never understand your standard. Haha

Allah, please help me.

p/s: Result keluar hari ni. Doakan yang terbaik. (Nervous like hell)

06 July 2012

Hopeless

Have you ever felt hopeless? 

As you are in a moment where it makes you feel like everything is against you, where nobody living or dead can relieve you from this...burden. Yeah we've all been through the same crap everyday. And in times like today, when exam, among other things, is just around the corner and 'unprepared' is a very, very enormous understatement. And as a boy barely out of his teenage angst the melodramatic trait is still there being a huge part of my life.

But then I saw this man.
Near my house there is a man around his mid twenties who suffered from a type of neurological condition that caused him his control of his body. Every day after Asr until late night, his relatives will leave him in front of the mattress store they work in. And he will sit there, talking (or mumbling, more like) to himself and those patient enough to be around him about God knows what. At the end of the day his brothers will bring him back home until tomorrow starts again, where the cycle will repeat itself.

I doubt he has ever left Mansoura, as he can barely walk by his own.

His condition made me think what a crybaby I was, so the lesson here is that I should man up and celebrate my perfect life, because there are a lot of people out there who settle for far less than what I have and they are happy. :) 

After all, Allah is the nearest to us when we're down, isn't He?

A true man's character is revealed in times of crisis. 

11 June 2012

Attitude

As usual, there will be reminiscing the past in my posts. :D

In the old days, I remembered cramping outside of my local surau for tarawih prayer during ramadan. I remembered, as I counted the minutes to finish all the eight rakaat so that my friends and I can go and play with firecrackers. Back then the surau was very small, and there were more people attending the prayers unlike today. So, as a boy in a traditional Malay community, I wasn't mature enough to pray in the carpeted, air-conditioned main hall and I was shoved to pray outside, with possibly twenty other kids around my age in an area no bigger than the bathroom at home.

With this kind of logic in mind, as you can imagine no kid with little knowledge of his faith can pray obediently, let alone twenty of them together in a crowded porch. Therefore, chaos entailed. Time after time an old man, with his white kopiah and baju melayu and kain pelikat will scold us, went berserk upon clueless eight year olds. I still remembered the yelling; it was the same every time.

"Kalau taknak sembahyang, baliklah!"

Or

"Ni orang Islam ke hindu ni?"

Or sometimes,

"Bodoh punya budak-budak, orang nak sembahyang dia pergi bising-bising kat belakang."

Sometimes the pakciks will use other more colorful vocabularies, and yes all of them were wearing either songkok or kopiah, sometimes with a rosary in one hand.

There were also these kind of pakciks in other mosques as well. In a bigger mosque nearby, where I used to attend Friday prayers to, there was this one old man carrying bags (for donation) all around the mosque during the khutbah, and he will play the disciplinarian, ordering misbehaving schoolchildren to shut up.

And in my early teens, in another mosque another old man also played the disciplinarian around the mosque, but he took it to the next level; he bought a cane with him and we naturally were scared to death of him.

The mosque was never a friendly place for me to visit as a young boy. There will always be a haunting figure in each mosque deterring not only me, but the majority of young Muslims in Malaysia to stay away from them. The children were put in a separate row at the back, because apparently having them praying properly in a line together with adults will make the rest of the prayers rejected by Allah.

In Malaysia, older men will always act as a holier figure in mosques as if trying to prove to God that they are the most pious among the uber pious to come to the mosque for prayers. Pfft, as if God didn't see you outside the mosque, dah lah sebelum Ramadan tak pernah nampak pun dekat masjid.

In Egypt, they have ten mosques in a five minute walking distance. The mosques are so aplenty you have a mosque beside a mosque. Children are free to come and go and no man will scold them. After Asar prayer,  Qur'an memorizing classes will be held for boys and girls; they have no former curriculum but they still learn and memorize loads. Me? I still can't recite surah an-Nazi'at properly.

They will bring their children to the mosque, some of them are not old enough to understand but with a ball in their hands, they will run around those in the saff and nobody will yell at them. Instead others will come at them and kiss their cheeks, their foreheads, their hands. And this is done by those Arabs that look like they cannot understand why you are still breathing.

Children will be children. While they lack the knowledge, we as adult should teach them, but not by yelling to them and demeaning them, because we need the younger generation to familiarise themselves with the mosque. That is how we create a strong muslim identity, by first creating a friendly and conducive Islamic environment. 

Obviously children need to learn discipline and respect the mosque, but we must do it properly so that the right message is conveyed.

31 May 2012

Drama

Storyline A
Ahmed goes to the grocery store to buy some snacks.

Storyline B
Ahmed, a legendary war general from the south, while wearing a full-set of a starship troopers costume went on a journey to The Promised Land despite all the warnings, but he was fore-warned! He defeated the dragons on the Silk Path, he heroically broke down the Golden Gate, and with such bravery he managed to bring food to his people.

Now, what can we see from the first story line? Before we go deep into the differences let us indulge ourselves with the similarities. 

Both stories used the same character, Ahmed.
Both characters went on a journey.
Both characters are looking for food.

These are the essence of the story, the main idea that the writer is trying to convey. Other riff-raffs are only magnifications and extravagant choice of colorful vocabularies to make the story more appealing to the readers. And voila, Harry Potter series was born, Game of Thrones became a #1 New York Bestseller, The Hunger Games went from one pair of hands to another. Why though?

Because no one wants to read a story about a boy who lived in the cupboard under the stairs and dies insignificantly. No one wants to know who ended up on the throne between a cookie-loving family of accountants. And who cares whether a girl marries her dream guy or not, but if you add sparkly toothless vampires and sexy werewolves to the mix, now that's a book worth dying for.

Life is a stage where we make up stories and adventures to make it more interesting. Remember when we were kids, when we went with our parents to the mall, and we pretended the aisles were dark path filled with demons, or the tiles were step of stones crossing a bowl of hot boiling lava? Just as we were imaginative when we were eight years old, we are still as such, after fifteen years of growing up.

Life is just not as interesting without the drama, isn't it?

The only difference is that in the adult world we make-up stories that is directly related to our daily lives. And by doing so the people around us are victimised, so the simplest of problem can be exaggerated as the third world war. Imagine, some dirty dishes can become 'his lazy ass not doing any work in the house'. Or someone trying to hang his clothes to dry on an inappropriate time can be 'a very rude gesture worthy of eternal damnation'. 

This is what we do, instead of fixating on the truth, we exaggerate. We prefer to focus on the ugly side of life, and make it real instead of reminiscing on the beautiful parts which of course are aplenty to look for. Of course, sometimes our problems are real but our reactions are usually over-the-top. The existence of certain technology doesn't help the case. The abundant availability of chick flicks picturing a non-existing perfect man in a non-existing perfect world, the easy-access Twitter which provide an endless space to bitch, and the non-stop sad and dramatic supply of love songs. 

Because sometimes, overreaction is the source of the problem itself.

22 May 2012

Trapped

Experience is indeed the best teacher. Experience taught us to be critical, to feel, to judge. So far the wisest of friends I have met during this barely twenty-two years of life are those who have went through a lot, have learned a lot, have suffered a lot.

There are also a psychological condition called scotoma, where the eye sees what it wishes to see. In love, we prefer to create a make-believe world to live in where the sky has always been blue, and pearl-white winged unicorns give us a ride to the medical school every time the heart wishes. In life, as anger build up within we see the things that magnify the rage, instead of the opposite to lax the heart.

Basically, we are naturally bias.

In medicine, a wise paediatrician once said that the first diagnosis that comes to mind is always the wrong one. Throughout the years as a medical student, I was taught to consider every possibility from every angle of a situation. In short, anything can be everything, and nothing is absolute. Thousands of years of civilisation, we are still lack of understanding the causes of certain diseases to occur. For instance, just today we learned about eclampsia, the etiology is generally unknown.

So as we go through the clues of a case, we will include and exclude information to reach a single, correct diagnosis. The only problem is that our mind must always be free before we make any conclusion because if we are set on a disease, our mind will pave the way into that specific direction, we will subconsciously create certain condition to prove our theory.

Yes, men are bias. 

Men are bias towards the things they understand more. We are leaning a little towards the things that we are more familiar. This is a natural trait of every human being, to side with something we feel more comfortable with. In turn, this trait will cloud our judgment.

What makes the matter worse is that most of us will jump to conclusion before we consider every end of the problem. For instance, when two friends go through a falling out, a third party will usually fail to hear both sides of the story, which will lead to the third party to side with a specific friend instead of mending the broken relationship.

Another example, in general men in this side of the world are fanatical towards football. When there is a big match on TV, hundreds of updates about said match flood my facebook's newsfeed. from the silliest to the most vulgar. This is not seen as 'taksub'. This is seen as a logical sense of sportmanship.

But when a few friends talk passionately about politics, here comes the 'taksub' argument. Suddenly, they are 'taksub' just because they prefer to talk about politics rather than other less important things. For the record 'taksub' is implied to those who went overboard towards others who disagree with them.

Ah men. We act mature when deep inside we are just toddlers trapped inside a grown man's body.

15 May 2012

Caesarean

Yesterday I went to the emergency labor room at the University Hospital. After two failed visits, alhamdulillah this time we managed to follow through a caesarean operation up to the end. Yay!

The baby was in perfect shape, albeit the slime and the overcrowded operating room. We smiled as she cried her lungs out. She was well! The operation took less than two hours, barely over an hour. It was a beautiful, beautiful thing. 


When the surgeon pulled her out from the womb, she was quiet. She was, to a certain extent blue. Her palms were blue, her chest was blue. For an inexperienced fella like myself, this was worrisome. So then I followed the nurse who took her to the incubator, where the baby was given oxygen, she was bathed and evaluated. Within seconds, as pure oxygen entered her lungs she turned into a beautiful shade of pink. Yay again! 

My first caesarian section was not a disappointing one. So this is how I was delivered into this world. Makes you think, doesn't it?

In the next room, another mother was not as lucky. Her pregnancy was complicated with a hematoma forming behind the placental formation up to more than 50%, which in turn lead to placental separation. Placental separation, which means the oxygen and blood supply is cut and eventually stopped. The baby was delivered dead, an intra-uterine fetal death. Innalillah.

In one night, I managed to see two cases, both involving pregnancy and labor, both involving beautiful children, but only one survived the night's ordeal. To think of the mother who carried the child for almost nine long months, enduring all the nauseating, heaviness and that exciting feeling to meet this little guy; and in the end not able to hold her child in her arms. Only Allah understood her feelings.

Let us pray for all the mothers in the world.

To understand that life and death are not separate entities, but they shared the same essence. Birth, which generally symbolises life doesn't necessarily mean that way as birth, in one or another occasions can result in death. This young child is not blessed to be among us, but surely he is there when Allah granted us His blessings to enter heaven.

Apparently, life and death is not that far apart from each other, don't you think? A matter of seconds could make the difference between life and death.

Imagine two separate person who took the same journey, with the same goal, using the same equipment but nothing promises them that they will end up with the same result. Sometimes we ask God why He put things in a certain way? We ask God, why did He take away something we love? Why does He put us in certain situation, when we see other people, happy and joyful with their lives?

Allah knows best. Right?

Untuk kita, semoga Allah memperbaiki akhlaq kita bersama. Sebelum laknat menimpa.

27 April 2012

Aqsa Sharif dan Saya

Jumuah mubarakah.

Perkiraan yang dibuat, keputusan yang diambil. Ayuh! Kita mengorak langkah memacu perubahan yang diimpikan. Ayuh! Kita tukar mimpi menjadi realiti. Ayuh! Kita mengerah segala keringat diri meninggalkan dunia yang hanya, sementara.

Cara kita mungkin berbeza, bayangan kita mungkin tak sama. Tapi sekiranya shahadah itu menjadi titik pertemuan kita, maka berusahalah! Kita berada di jalan yang sama.

 Kerja itu adalah kerja, memerlukan masa, tenaga, dan harta. Tajdid niat, ikhlaskan hati. Sesungguhnya Allah bersama kita yang berusaha menegakkan kalimah tauhid di atas muka bumi. Maka adakah hasil yang kita inginkan itu setimpal dengan usaha yang akan kita lakukan?

Tentu sekali tidak! Sekiranya usaha kita hanya separuh hati. Usaha ala kadar maka hasilnya juga ala kadar.

Semoga Allah memberkati Usaha kita

22 April 2012

Lame

It is funny how two people who appear to have nothing much in common, after a few sittings together swapping manly stories about life and family, you found out that this particular person, has more than meets the eye.

"Hey, I did that too!" I screamed inside.

The people around me will see me as the quiet one, the good boy, the manja, the nerd, the one who knows little about life. Most of them, sadly were true. I am not easy with the tongue, I have been living inside my comfort zone for too long that I am appalled by the idea of doing something out of the ordinary. I don't have many stories depicted me as a boy who has little self control, most of the memories I had as a kid was the one with me sitting quietly in my desk at school doing schoolwork.

That's how lame I was.

I envied those people with their cute little stories doing stupid stuff as a kid not caring about any sort of consequences. Ack! I was always the snobby kid who focused on doing what my parents think was 'good'. Anyway, I regret nothing even though it sickens me knowing that there are people who painted me with this innocent image. Believe you me, I have done my share of stupid things, the only difference was I am clever enough to cover my tracks and I am very good in acting innocent.

O mankind, what has deceived you concerning your Lord, the Generous, Who created you, proportioned you, and balanced you? In whatever form He willed has He assembled you.
[82 : 6-8]
 
But that was not the point of this rant. I believe in the power of God knowing what is best for me. Some people have been 'bad' all their lives, and some have been a noble example for others since they were born. None of us know how we will die. There are stories depicting noble men and women who were obedient to Allah since the very beginning but ended up converting to christianity. You can google Aisyah Bukhari yourselves.

There are also, plenty of men and women who were once 'bad' in the eye of sharia; UAI, Yusuf Islam, Maher Zain, Sham Kamikaze, Abu Sufyan, to name a few but have made a greater impact to global society than any of us 'good muslims'. The only difference was that while some make effort to become a better man, others succumbed to their sins.  

Some of us are born to privileges that make us different to one another. Different backgrounds spurt out different personalities, different ways on dealing with things. For a person to deal with something differently from you doesn't mean he is wrong and you are right, because empathy is an amazing tool to be used to understand another person's point of views. Maybe at the end we will find that we have much more in common that we think. The world is beautiful, if is still within the limit of sharia why do we limit the beauty that we can enjoy?

Allah's grand design of this world include how He resembles each and everyone of us uniquely balanced out so that we can get closer to Him. We are a perfect blend of blessings and weaknesses that positions us perfectly to best serve Him. Besides, Allah says that He never burdens us with something we cannot bear.

So the points I am trying to convey are;
  1. Hidayah is Allah's to give and we are not in the position to judge whether one's place is either heaven or hell. The best we can do is to conform with the sunnatullah Allah has put upon this world, that's it.
  2. Si miskin mungkin akan lebih cepat kufur kalau dia diberi kekayaan. Si kurang cantik mungkin akan lebih mudah kufur kalau dia diberi kecantikan. 

When my heart was hardened
and my courses constrained
I made my hope a stairway
to Your forgiveness
My sin burdened me heavily,
but when I measured it
by Your forgiveness
Lord,
Your forgiveness was the greater.

14 April 2012

Penggerak

Jauh sekali. Aku bukanlah yang terbaik. Kurangku banyak, baik dari sudut ilmu, agama atau medikal, juga sosial. Aku juga bukan antara yang indah mata memandang, bukan juga yang rajin turun padang. Entah apa yang ada pada diri ini yang mereka nampak lebihnya.

Tapi aku diberi peluang.

Kenapa ya? Kenapa dalam banyak-banyak manusia yang lebih ahsan di luar sana, aku yang diangkat untuk menjadi tenteraNya? 

Sungguh, banyak yang membuatkan aku terasa seperti mahu berhenti. Berhenti kerana bimbang kehadiranku hanya membawa mudarat; dan ya, ini sudah pun terbukti. Kehadiranku telahpun menimbulkan kudis. Akulah kudis itu. Terus-terusan aku menggaru, terus-menerus mereka menyapu ubat.

Walaupun hakikatnya, masih banyak yang aku belum mampu gadaikan.

Mungkin, sedikit-sedikit aku mengalah pada ketentuan-Nya, maka inilah jalan yang akan aku tempuhi.

Despite thousands of my wrongdoings, my weaknesses, my stink. Allah keeps pulling me. And I am yet to find the answer on how to become an asset for the deen. Kehadiranku, adakah membawa berkat atau mudarat?

08 April 2012

Tanah tumpah

 Oreo dan susu. Classic :)

Yesterday, Dr N made a brave statement about how she admired Malaysia, and I quote, as a 'real Islamic country' and actually wanted to change her citizenship and live in Malaysia permanently. Not once, but on several occasions did she make such statement.

Alhamdulillah, Malaysia is a majority-Muslim country and we are heading towards becoming an Islamic country.

Now, I understand her disappointment o Egypt; how the country is yet to achieve peace after  14 months of revolution, on how the political backstabbing and the ridiculous quarrels between even the Muslim politicians, on how the country is yet to stabilize either economically, politically, socially. She's been living here longer, and even those like me who have only been living here for merely three to four years can't stand the rubbish and basically the messed up administration running Egypt.

Last time I blogged about how ridiculously bad Egypt was, an anonymous wished me dead. I believe he or she doesn't live in Egypt, because his or her English was perfect. Grammar aku pulak, tunggang langgang.

But here's the truth; even a hardworking professional like Dr N declared her dissatisfaction with her blood-soaked country.

On the other hand, there are also Dr Nd, a young brilliant pediatrician on his way to becoming an assistant professor at the university, who once had his masters degree in Canada, chose to come back to his run-down country and made a living here instead of living in heavenly Canada. He sees the best of his country, for his children and he looks forward for a better future for Egypt, even if it takes 10-20 years to happen. 

So you see, like 90% of the world's population, I have always see the glass as half-empty instead of the other way around. But I am trying to change that. To Dr N, my country has her own problems. Our government is a corruption away from being just like the Mobarak regime. We are facing economical crisis, we have to deal with humiliating political bickering, incompetent ministers (Yes, I am talking about you, you dumbass Nazri), racial slurs, not to mention the degrading standard of Muslim's morals. Itu tak sebut kes-kes murtad, sekularisme, perkembangan pesat mazhab syiah.

Selagi Karbala menjadi tempat perkumpulan terbesar Muslim di dunia mengatasi Mekah dan Madinah, selagi itu aku akan sangsi dengan Syiah.

To me, there will always be another place better to live. The grass is always greener on the other side, isn't it? But would I change my citizenship and live in other country? No ma'am. I wish the best for my country and I present my body and soul to be used to make Malaysia a better place to live in.

Manusia ada dua jenis; yang suka mengomel dan yang berusaha memperbaiki masalah yang ada.

p/s : Besok exam end-round pediatrik. Doakan yang terbaik.:)

19 March 2012

15-year old

The brilliance behind the whole idea of Facebook is that now you can keep in contact with all the people you've once, still is or probably will be affiliated to.

The problem is some people that fall in either one of those categories are either d-bags, weirdos or trolls. We also sometimes befriend a family member, and he or she does something that you don't ever wants to know, but the image/memory lingers still. And when we meet said person, we can't help but purse our lips and pray to God to make time flies faster so that the awkward encounter to end soon.

Just like everybody else, I too have cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers and parents in my friendlist. I myself have this cousin in his teens, fifteen to be exact. He kept posting statuses that suits those girls who by choice made their account a diary for all to see.


So every hour I could see in my newsfeed his rant about people hating him, him being lonely, you get the jizz. To use the technical word, bitching. The statuses made me want to tear my foot off and throw it at him. Seriously.

He reminds me that once, maybe I was too a bitchy teen who likes to make emo statuses for everyone to see. Urgh.

He made me feel old. Now this guy, who once I played tricks on him just because I am much older than him. Now he too have the same problems I once had as a teen. Now he too is going through the rough years of not being sure who you are and where you should be. Now I can give advice, like one of those old people!

Sabda baginda Rasul s.a.w,

 ان الله ليعجب من الشاب الذي ليست له صبوه
Maksudnya; Sesungguhnya Allah sangat kagum dengan pemuda yang padanya tiada sifat kebudak-budakan.

I guess as every body else is growing up, I am also growing old. I can no longer pamper myself so much and start stepping outside my comfort zone because, in order to be great I must start today. Time is a luxury that I can no longer afford. So I probably need to start thinking like an adult then :)

06 March 2012

Mural

Salam

Dulu time di sekolah rendah sepuluh tahun yang lepas, ada mural dekat blok Wira yang tertulis 'bertangguh itu mencuri masa. Masa tu ayat-ayat macam tu biasa akan teringat masa nak buat karangan je. Tapi bila masa asyik terbuang sia-sia je, kata-kata itu terngiang-ngiang kat telinga aku.

Hidup sangat serabut sekarang, jadual yang macam penuh macam tak, slot-slot yang banyak kosong tapi kalau isi macam pack sangat pula, kalau tak isi kosong sangat pula. As a muslim and a medical student, it is very, very important to manage my time well. You need to create time when there is none, you need to create activity where there is none.

Ciri-ciri mukmin cemerlang itu antaranya ialah yang tersusun waktunya. Ingat tu ya. :)

Dan untuk setakat ini, ada aktiviti-aktivit yang aku letak on-hold sebab nampak life itu sangatlah pack. Kalau banyak masa kosong, kan lagi senang hidup, tak gitu? Of course. Tapi akal yang dibiar berhabuk akan berkarat nanti, dan umur aku baru nak masuk 22 tahun, dalam keadaan aku masih banyak benda yang perlu aku hadam, I need all the brain cells I could get my hands on.

Especially, when you have an amazing plan ahead for life. Kahwin, anak, dakwah, kerja, doktor pakar respiratori, hospital sendiri, rumah amal, ladang sendiri(nak bela kuda banyak-banyak, sunnah tu menunggang kuda), hafal quran, fasih bahasa arab, power main pool badan macam Chris Evans etc. Cita-cita biar tinggi melangit, setidak-tidaknya kalau tak dapat semua nanti dapatlah banyak, kan?

Time management is a worthy skill that each and every one of us needs to have and understand like the back of his or her own hand. And if we speak about time, you need to have a few principles buried deep in your head; 

  1. 24 hour is not enough which is why you need to use the ones that you have wisely and as efficient as you can; 
  2. You need to set a target of which at a certain age you will accomplish something in your life that will make people remember your name; and 
  3. Death is closer to you than anything else you could imagine.

AND the best way to manage time is to have a timetable.



Cliche gila kan. Tapi nak tak nak kita kena terima yang sebenarnya, benda-benda cliche ni la yang betul. Cliche adalah solusi sebenarnya. Timetable bukan untuk menjadi skema, tapi timetable adalah untuk kita nampak apa benda lah yang kita dan buat selama seminggu ni contohnya. Kalau ada planner lagi bagus, tapi itu dah macam pak menteri je. 

Dalam membuat timetable peribadi kita, target itu perlu. For myself I have a weekly and monthly target. Such as, this month I need to finish reading two books, Maza Yakni and The Nature of Man and The Psychology of the Human Soul. Aku kena hafal surah An-Nazi'at dan surah 'Abasa. Bentuk timetable itu bergantung kepada kita lah, cuma yang penting, jadual yang efektif itu adalah jadual yang di luar comfort zone. 

Tujuan post ini dibuat bukanlah untuk menunjuk-nunjuk, mahu dipuji jauh sekali mahu disanjung. This is done as a motivation to myself to start appreciating time. Semoga Allah memberkati usaha kita :)

01 March 2012

Winter Travelogue : Philae Temple

The last temple we visited before we went back to civilisation was Philae Temple. It was like Abu Simbel, it was also relocated before the dam was built. Philae temple was different from other temple, it was built by non-Egyptians. The architecture was said to be a combination of three great civilisation of the time, the Greeks, the Romans and the Egyptians hence the Greeco-Roman-Egyptian architecture.

Oh. Orang sini ada yang tak cakap arab. Mungkin bahasa Ethiopia, mungkin bahasa Nubia, yang penting peliklah.

As we entered the temple by boat, we found that the temple was not symmetrical. Unlike the ones in Luxor, you cannot see a straight line from the entrance to the end of the temple. The hieroglyphs on the walls were mostly copied and pasted from existing ones in other temples. According to our guide, this temple was built when the Greeks came and conquered Egypt hence ending the thousands of years reign of the Kings. And the Greeks killed all the priests and the educated small groups of people.

At the time only certain groups of people were given the right to learn hieroglyphs so commoners cannot read. The Greeks, in order to claim the rightful ruler of Egypt adopted their religion but since they killed the priests, they couldn't make an authentic temple. Which is why the hieroglyphs were not genuine and a little exaggerated in a way they made the body figures too pornographic, unlike the real Egyptian hieroglyphs.

At the end of our tour, our guide explained about their latest effort to rewrite the history of the great civilisation. According to him, today they can calculate at which era did the Prophet Joseph lived and ruled Egypt as a minister. They can calculate the times when Moses and Aaron were alive, and they even found a temple that was written in it, a phrase which said 'Allah, the One God' or something like that which showed us in a certain part of the old Egyptian history, there were kings who practiced monotheism.

Thank you Mohamed, what a brilliant way to end an amazing trip. Mohamed was not a regular guide, he was an Egyptologist and is currently doing his masters degree after twelve years of digging. Just when we thought we have figured out everything about history. 

Here was our last temple (excluding the worthless Unfinished Obelisk site) before we began our painful 14 hours journey to Cairo.

Terima kasih kepada yang semangat membaca hehe. Aku minat sejarah, aku minat ketamadunan jadi aku suka baca tentang benda-benda ni. Some people asked, 'penting ke nak kena tau benda-benda ni?'

To those people, I would like to say, why shouldn't it be if it helps to strengthen my faith?

25 February 2012

Winter Travelogue : Abu Simbel

Salam

I forgot to mention that on the way back from Queen Hapshetshut's temple, we took a quick stop to King Imhotep's unfinished temple. Nothing major here, just a couple of erected statues and some broken walls and stuff. 

Before we began our journey to Aswan via train, we went on a fallouka (a yacht) in the Nile river. Again, nothing special here, we made a pointless stop to a small island in the middle of the river, took a few photos and rushed our ways to the train station. Yes we did, we actually ran back to the hotel, quickly took our bags and hopped on the bus because the fallouka thing took too much time. All in all, we managed to arrive at the train station on time.

Unlike the train from Cairo, this train was disgusting. The floor was full with plastic bags, nutshells and bottles, I even found a junkie needle. It was embarrassing just to be on board. More embarrassing when we met with a Korean guy backpacking across Egypt with his mother, I was embarrassed because Egypt is a celebrated muslim country, and a public transportation such as the train could taint the image of the muslims.

I hope he understand that just like any other country, Egypt has her rural village part, along with its people. 

At first we were unsure how to begin a conversation with him, but in the end as we found out that he speaks fluent English, we started to get to know each other. His name was Im, he was fresh from his two-year military training. Her mother assumed us to be non-Egyptians because we looked 'smart'. It was very flattering, thank you omma. She even invited us to Korea, so according to the 'alims, when you got an invitation, you must fulfill it so here I come South Korea :)


Anyway, when we arrived in Aswan, we found out that the guide was not as good as the one in Luxor, he was very, very unfriendly. We were brought to a restaurant which served us bad food, and we were taken to a motel that from the outside could be mistaken as a brothel. Maybe it was just me, but for a tourist spot Aswan was not tourist-friendly.

We took a short rest in the hotel because we need to be travel by bus to Abu Simbel for three hours before subuh. Now, Abu Simbel is that temple that has statues of King Ramses II and his wife (Queen Nefertari?) sitting at the temple's entrance. There were two temples each for the king and queen. It is surprisingly cold here, even though we were just before Sudan. 

The temple was built according to the solstice, where the sun was supposed to shine straight to the holy shrine located at the end of the temple complex. This is a brilliant feat of careful engineering, especially since it was done three thousands years ago with no satellites or telescopes, they were able to map the stars and to understand to the sun's yearly position.


By the way, here was not the original location of the temple, it was moved here by pieces because the original location was now sunk in the water of Nasser Dam, along with most of the Nubian civilisation. It was really sad to know that hundreds of temples are now deep in the artificial lake.

Oh well, until next time :)

13 February 2012

An-Nasr for Syria

Tuhan kata, Dia tak bebankan hamba-Nya dengan perkara yang tak mampu mereka tanggung. 

Nabi Daud 'alaihissalam, baginda diberi ujian sakit selama berpuluh--malah beratus tahun, dan baginda berjaya mengatasinya. Nabi Ibrahim, diperintah menyembelih anaknya, disuruh meninggalkan isterinya di tengah padang pasir. Sedikit pun, baginda tidak kufur. Nabi Nuh, sembilan ratus tahun baginda berdakwah kepada kaumnya, walaupun gagal baginda tidak pernah 'menyalahkan takdir'.

Ya, aku bukan mereka, aku tidak sekuat mereka. Tapi takkan aku tak mengambil iktibar?

Adakah patut kamu menyangka bahawa kamu akan masuk syurga, padahal belum sampai kepada kamu (ujian dan cubaan) seperti yang telah berlaku kepada orang-orang yang terdahulu daripada kamu? Mereka telah ditimpa kepapaan (kemusnahan hartabenda) dan serangan penyakit, serta digoncangkan (oleh ancaman bahaya musuh), sehingga berkatalah Rasul dan orang-orang yang beriman yang ada bersamanya: Bilakah (datangnya) pertolongan Allah?" Ketahuilah sesungguhnya pertolongan Allah itu dekat (asalkan kamu bersabar dan berpegang teguh kepada agama Allah). [2:214]

Ya kita juga sedang diuji. Kita diuji secara senyap terpampang untuk kita oleh ahli sihir-ahli shir moden. Kita diuji dengan makwe-pakwe, masak tak sedap, duit tak cukup, laptop tak elok, telefon Iphone 3g, muzik, filem. Kita diuji dengan dunia yang berpura-pura kekal. Aduhai, ringannya ujian kita.

As we bleed our hearts out because of our silly teenage problems, Syria is under siege. Our brothers and sisters are being tortured, raped and killed as we speak and here we are, in the comfort of the blankets and saratogas covering our bodies, the internet that we use for the wrong purposes, the fresh food we make in the kitchen we called our own using clean water without fear of hearing the sound of bullets being fired or bombs dropped or wall collapsed.


And tomorrow, life goes on as usual, peaceful as the day have always been. Allah Akbar. Ah, if only we have enough body fluids we could produce and all the time in the world; because the list goes on. Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan.

Should we care, yes. Because a muslim who does not concern about the wellbeing of his brother, is not a part of our community. This was not me saying, this was the Prophet's (p.b.u.h).
And only Allah who shall grant victory.

08 February 2012

Winter Travelogue : Luxor

Salam. This is going to be a boring post. Bear with me, and you shall succeed (finishing reading it)

A few days ago I went on a trip to Old Egypt, a few hundred kilometers south of Mansoura. It was eight hours by train with no thermostat, so the whole ride was cold as hell. In Luxor, we went to visit a few temples and tombs like Karnak and Luxor Temples, Valley of the Kings and Queen Hatshepsut's temple. 

Luxor was a small city south od Egypt. It was unlike Cairo, Luxor was a lot more calmer with less people living in it. Other than that was fairly similar, the entrance fee for non-Egyptians were ridiculously expensive, the food was koshary and takmeya in the Delta, and it was the same here. The people and the language, however was different.

Egyptians in Luxor were mostly have darker skin than their brothers up north, and their dialect was a little smoother with several deiffent ways of pronounciations. Orang utara sebut jim jadi ga, orang Luxor sebut qaf jadi ga, jim jadi jim.

Gambar ditangkap menggunakan Sony Xperia X10i *winkwink*

The trip was mind blowing. The massive architecture, the perfect symmetry, the detailed writings, the strong materials, the existing colors on the walls after at least 3000 years. The gods, the holy animals like cobra, dogs, baboons and cows to name a few. It was hard to imagine such an advanced civilisation with such primitive or pagan beliefs, but there's the truth (or is it?) Still there are mysteries shrouding the temples that needs to be revealed.

Imagine, as we thought most of the mysteries have been found, Egyptologists have just recently unearthed a path that stretched  three kilometers between Karnak and Luxor temple with thousands of sphinx on each side which was before buried under roads and buildings of modern day Luxor. Could it be just a pagan belief? Or was those ingenious designs were a product of some sort of heavenly guidance? Where was the Prophets of the times whose names have been mentioned in the holy Quran? At which point in those 3000 years worth of civilisation were Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Aaron (p.b.u.t) alive?

We may never know, but that doesn't mean we should stop digging, does it? For all we know, the written history was a lie haha. Of course, although the trip was fairly educational (well it was), some of the stories were also damn funny and ridiculous. Of all the places I've been to, in Luxor I've learnt a few things.

One, new kings usually smashed older kings' statues and temples. Apparently, out of jealousy because you don't want to be overshadowed by the greatness of a dead person.

Two, even though they were thought to be a few thousand steps behind us in technology, they really do took their religion serious even if it is pagan to a point of stupidity. I mean, baboons guarding hell, seriously? Even so, what they believed made those structures still standing today, and that is saying something.

Anyway, all in all it was a great vacation.The only regret I got from the first half of the trip was not able to visit other sites such as Medinet Habu and Valley of the Queens. :( At least now I could cross out one of my bucket list yay
 
 
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