Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Muslim Women's Summit

It was a hectic 3-day event at PWTC.I was asked to moderate a couple of sessions.Initially, IMAN members were just helping with the moderating sessions at the Muslim women NGOs' meet which ran concurrently with the peacebuilding conference (yah..a bit confusing there and you have to be smart to figure out just which room you need to be in).

But we all had fun, connecting and networking with women from all over.A beautiful meeting with lots of actions to do post Summit.The ladies from Uzbek bought me something from Tashkent (sweet) and I met new friends from Saudi, Tunisia, Kosovo, Australia, NZ and it was nice listening to presentations from the UK, Yemen, Mynmar, Kashmir, the Philippines, etc. We shed many tears.And laughed much as well.

Post Summit, Prof Aziz called me to sit in a short meeting with a DG from OIC.We discussed future plans and events. It's going to be a hectic period next year with my two international conferences and the gals plan another rombongan Cik Kiah somewhere.Doakan I sihat cos' I thought seriously of retiring early in recent days as one by one of friends and family members got sick, died etc.I feel that I need to do more "real" ibadah...working for the surau etc.

We had our research findings presentation at the prison semalam. Che Noraini belanja satay kajang after that.Alhamdulillah.

Some lasting concerns from the Summit:

1. A study on 3 countries bordering Turkey found that although educated, 80% of Muslim women do not know their rights in Islam.

2. A pakar sakit puan from Turkey working with Syrian refugees esp women  said they needed other forms of expertise to help (money is not an issue) - something I'd take up with colleagues in KOM, KOS and ICT.

3. Yemen is under seige and children are dying of malnutrition, infection, etc.And yet, aids are not allowed.We cried in this session as a video clip by BBC was shown.

4. Rohingnyas, Kashmiris, Afghans, it's really endless folks.Sign up with Mercy or whatever international relief agencies, folks.We are really in a rut but western media won't highlight this.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Belated pics of CREAM 2016

We kept CREAM closing ceremony short and simple due to budget constraints. Some pics of pics I have not posted (yg nmpk comel sikit :D)

Orang nampak kita senyum...

Dr Wan and Dr Fauziah and I have started our research on the Rawas (Wan got the FRGS grant...I am her co-researcher) and as I was trying to get in touch with Dr. Talib Samat, found out that he had passed away in April this year.Al fatihah. I suka puisi dia. But I tried my luck calling his old number ..his wife took it. And we bonded immediately cos' I pun masih dalam kesedihan for losing Mek.I could relate to that cliche, "Orang nampak kita senyum...dalam hati siapalah tahu."

And in my first ENGL 4515 class (kids looked fine), as I told them about ayat Quran mentioning each place/civilisation had a lifespan ..mcm kita manusia juga...akan they would die jika terlalu banyak kemungkaran mcm manusia..panjang umur bila byk bersedekah, buat baik that orang doakan kita etc, I just had to go that route again..got really stuck as though there was a frog in my throat but saya berjaya kontrol macho. :) Pesan saya kpd anak2 gen y ini: if someone is sick, don't take him or her for granted cos' she/he might die. Sebak dadaku sebak.

And I got teary so early in the morning when Bibik told me that her 17 years old daughter was forced to marry bekas penjenayah and was kidnapped by her own dad (Bibik's ex hubby - as a form of domination over her absent ex wife). The family is intimidated by the ex husband and refused to lodge a police report.I just had to interfere.Called up my friend in Surabaya (closest city to my Bibik's kampong) to seek her help.She said kawasan itu memang terkenal suka kawinkan anak gadis di bawah umur (they would lie about their age through forged docos) and their women's groups could not do much despite awareness campaigns etc. I understood fully Prem's story on child marriage due to poverty and illiteracy which I used to teach in World Lit.He was going against this tradition.That was written in 1960s/1970s. This is 2016. I cried on the phone with my friend. She agreed to help where she could and agreed with me when I told her: if we do not help, who else because Allah gave us intelligence...what use is our intelligence ?

Hanya Allah yang akan tahu kesudahannya.

Saturday, September 03, 2016


Aida invited me to run an English workshop at her school in Penang (Guar Perahu, Seberang Prai).I roped in Pyan who roped in Khairol and I further roped in Maryam and Nadia based in USM. 110 students woi..tak terhandle kami berdua.

I slept at Aida's while the guys were at a homestay paid by the school.Kita sampai mlm cos' I had to work late at the uni.Terus tidur after berborak2 dgn Aida like zaman Bursary at Levin.Aida said I tertidur while still telling a story.:D

Besoknya we had breakfast at the school.And then met the kids (Form 1-3). Cikgu Muniandi said the students had fun and another teacher said the students told her, "Cikgu, lain kali buatlah aktiviti mcm ni lagi dan bukan suruh kami dengar orang bercakap sahaja". What a critical mind. Don't think they are stupid.We had fun too...Nadia and Maryam were the judges, I took a backseat but worked one on one during the drama preparations.It's nice to see my former students taking over now.

Then we crossed over to lunch at Nasi Padang at Jln Travers.Mcm makan daun ketum...felt high. :D Sedap giler.Took the ferry on the way back.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Stages of grief

I took leave till merdeka. I'm mentally, emotionally and physically tired. Tapi dalam hidup, macam-macam nak kena selesai. Yesterday I spent time shopping and doing facial (a form of therapy..the week Mek died, Z took me out to buy wedding gift for Kiah's son.She belanja me fruit juice and was shocked I asked for two glasses..tangan penuh pegang detox juice and energy juice.Then as we passed Italianies, I commented salmon pizza dia sedap.Z asked nak stop ke? And we ended up lunching there.In a recent lunch between Z and her cousin, Ummi..they said in my grieving, selera tak patah. :D)

Today I wanted to send my car to the service centre.No walk in this merdeka week.They said Sri Dsara branch ada walk in today.I put my waze on dia bwk pi Kepong.I thought my waze dah gila so I patah balik.Lucky ada jalan lain cos' MR2 was at a standstill). The service centre with a Sri Dsara add was really in Kepong (I found out later). Why can't people be honest with everything?

There you go...all signs of grief are still with me...denial, anger, guilt.Ni tengah anger and guilt stages. My advice is anyone going through grief is to get someone to talk to..verbalise your feelings..rationalise them...accept that ajal di tangan Allah no matter what...whether you gave your best or not...bila sampai masa, nothing can delay. I think it's a bad idea not going to work cos' I end up thinking, reflecting and remembering more.I slept but I woke up with this deep hole in my heart.
Zarida wrote to say 6 years after her sister died (also of cancer), she still cried. Zariani and her were close.

Here's a reminder: we do not own anyone. We cannot own anyone. We cannot even own ourselves. Dari Allah kita datang, kepadaNya kita kembali.

I need to internalise that and move on with life.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A day at Tengku Kudin

                                          Dibikin oleh Karim

It started as a casual conversation.My psychologist friend, Assoc. Prof Dr. Shukran (who promoted my blog to everyone - at a time when I was seriously thinking of shutting it down after Mek's death) read an article on Raub in a Firefly magazine while onboard going somewhere.He was mesmerised by the writing and pics of Raub. I said you better see and experience Raub yourself.And I arranged with Haji Lokman, Pengetua Sekolah Tengku Kudin (my alum at Mahmud, reintroduced by Sharida in Miri) for a career guidance workshop.Dr. S brought with him IIUM alums to assist.

And what a session it was! We all had fun.The kids were attentive and responsive (tiada paksa rela.They came out of their own will).As we stood listening to their school song, we thought how a day's caring could trigger so much motivation and semangat...not only for the students but us, the teachers. I hope this is just a beginning.If Dr. Shukran and Firdaus, Karim and Anwari are reading this: thank you, well done and kipidap! I'm glad you guys (including Haji Lokman and Cikgu Roslan) enjoyed Raub dinner with tempoyak-pucuk ubi-petai and sambal hitam dishes (and durian "organik" from my nephew's kebun).Please visit again!

Some pics:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Mek died at 6.05 am this morning.Sal and my youngest sister who slept over at the hospital yg mengadap and reciting Quran for her till her last breath.An easy,gentle passage.Alhamdulillah.Lucky,I slept at my niece's so I was at the hospital kejap tu.

The body was washed at the hospital then disolatkan oleh family members and close friends.Then we placed it at masjid Sg. Sempam.Another round of solat jenazah.Then Zohor.Then another round of solat jenazah.Uni mosque pun buat solat jenazah ghaib..which I'm.so grateful of.Mek told her twins dia nak ditempatkan whr our parents are.She got a fine spot by the road under a shady tree and Eishah said her face lit up and berseri2 as her jasad masuk liang lahad.Allahuakhbar! Moga Allah tempatkan aruah di tempat yang baik2 di seberang sana.

I feel fine after the funeral but we all miss her already.Friends of her uni days yg selalu by her side through joy and pain hantar sampai ke kubur.Such true friends!

Mek, forgive me for my roughness.Semoga kita bertemu kembali di alam akhirat di syurga firdaus.


Monday, August 15, 2016

A difficult time

...for all of us.Taufiq and siblings came down frm Kuantan, Eishah is on the way..kak de.I took the day off to be by Mek's side to recite yassin.Ustaz Adim said baca yassin diikuti oleh surah kahfi and ar ra'd..jika blm masa, Allah sembuhkan.Jika masa, Allah permudahkan.

Pak Din was fetched yesterday.He was confident Mek would be ok...the signs were good, he said.The family was called by the palliative doctor.Poor chap..kak ngah and I gave him a hard time saying the prob with the hospital and the docs was they had given up..the family had not and we cited incidences when they took things for granted..like wanting to leave my sis to die..not true but signal mcm tu la to the family.The young brave doc was criticised for not using his words carefully to a deeply grieving family..he said stage 4 when there wasn't any evidence it was.Mrk agak2 without showing us the fact.

But after kita dah suarakan hati kami, we made up.We know the docs are also doing their best...ikut cara dia.Semoga Allah beri kita sabar dan rahmah.I hv to read more Quran to come to terms with the inevitable.I think I feel guilty cos' I wasn't a graceful host to Mek while she was staying with me.I always marah whn she didn't want to eat or walk on her walker.She said tak daya. Now I believe her.

Wow..the feeling is different with losing someone you love.When my dad died tak sama rasa mcm mak I died or when my older sister died.I hope Mek won't die yet.

Saturday forum and what came after

I was invited about 2-3 weeks ago to be one of 3 panelists at a forum organised by a young research body headed by one of my old friends, Dina Zaman. A fantastic idea setting an org like that and Dinz has many young people of gen y working with her. I'm amazed.

I enjoyed the discussions only I could not linger longer after the forum. A little later, Sal rang to say Mek's condition worsened.We were all very exhausted but I got Faiz (Nik's Faiz..we both have nephews by the same name) to come with us in case Nik ngantuk to drive.True enough..masa balik, Faiz had to drive.This weekend, kami semua tak cukup tidur.In fact this week (for me, this month) has been a busy one for the household.Si Z pun boleh tahan with her 3 projects.Mek said all 3 of us worked very hard (masa dia boleh bercakap lagi). I said this is the standard lifestyle in KL.

I found out on Sunday that doc gave Mek on Saturday up to Sunday morning to live je.By will of Allah (cos' yang menghidupkan dan yang mematikan) hanya Allah.Ptg Ahad although sedated, Mek was still breathing.Visitors dtg tak putus2 dari jauh dan dekat.I broke down cos' sedih no one took proper care of her esp when she went back to the hospital on Wedn.We were all very tired and thought she'd be looked after by the nurses. Nurses bkn nurses private hospital.They even asked Kak Ngah to mandikan Mek sendiri. Mek had a fall.Lucky tak memudaratkan.Thursday or Friday, Kak Ngah slept over.We had applied for a maid but that might take 2-3 weeks more.Mek needs 24/7 care.Period.

So if you are reading this, say a little prayer for Mek.Semoga Allah sembuhkan dia dan menjaganya di dalam rahmatNya.