Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What Would Fanon Say...

Currently, I'm taking HIST 279 which is basically History of Pan-African Slavery.

At first I kind of dreaded the class because there was so much readings that the Prof assigned. But as time passed, as he explained the major themes, I began to like the subject. I began to like it especialy because I see the reverberations of slavery and colonialism in the world today...and even when applied to Malaysian context.

A few months ago, we had to read an article by Fannon.

Fanon was born during the years of slavery. I can't remember whether he was a slave, but he grew up in that community. He was talking about how ex-slaves wanted to be like theh French really bad and they did it by trying to speak French. Many of them believed that by speaking French, you have more advancement in the society of Martinique. Some ex-slaves who were trying to master the language had an attitude change, or maybe even change of mentality. They thought and somehow felt that they were better than their peers because they acquired this langauge of power. Many of them worked abroad for the French, and unfortunately, they were not able to work the positions that they hoped for. Despite their attempt in speaking French, they were still discriminated againts because they were black and thus they were seen as inferior.

So these ex-slaves, when they returned home, they somehow felt displaced within their own society. Why? Because they already had a different mentality compared to their people in their hometown, and so they couldn't really mix well. Yeah, maybe their people were jealous of the fact that they had opportunities but Fanon was saying that their dislocation caused them to have an identity crisis. And these where the long-lasting psychological effects of colonialism...

When I was reading this all I was thinking about was Malaysia.

I was thinking about the whole debate about teaching Science and Math in English.

I love English and I'm not anti-Western or anything like that. Initially I thought wth would the government wanna abolish that policy and return kids to learn those two subjects in Malay? I thought learning that in English would improve their understanding of English as a whole....

But then my sime of my friends had told me that they had family members in rural schools and they did not understand simple English to begin with. In many cases, teachers themselves were not equipped enough in teaching Math and Science in English so when you don't understand the medium of instruction, how could you understand more complicated matters? I was told that some teachers just gave the answers to students and so actually the students didnt really learn anything.

That was one aspect of the debate.

The other aspect is that according to many scholars, replacing the Malay language with English is undermining its status as the national language. Ar first I thought nah, I don't think so...but when people say stuff like our country can't move forward because we still use Malay as a medium instruction is in itself, backwards. To me, it's like your saying that the only way for a country to be advance is if the country uses English in certain areas? Hmmm, I don't really think so. When I heard this I was thinking of France and Japan. Those are two countries that are very advance but yet they still use their own language. In fact, they are very proud of their cultural identity.

So in my head I was thinking, why can't we be like them?

Learning and mastering different languages isn't bad, but thinking we can't be advance because we use our language as the medium of instruction is to me, backwards.

Without realizing it I think many of us are still colonized--mentally.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Moment with Mat Kearney




Last weekend, I had the privilege of seeing Mat Kearney perform.

When I ask my friends whether they've heard of him, most say that they don't know him. But most of my American friends do. When i heard that he was going to perform in Madison, I was so excited. I started playing his songs back to back until my roommate becomes familiar with his songs.

His songs are very motivational. His lyrics has substance. When I'm sad or when I'm down, whenever I listen to his songs I feel like he's talking to me. It's like we're in the same boat.

You probably think I'm crazy and lame but sometimes life can be pretty challenging and at times, pretty lonely.

Sometimes you try really hard at something, and you wish so bad that you'd get it. You keep on trying and trying but sometimes trying hard seems pointless and you feel like giving up.



Of course, I tell myself that insyaAllah with good intentions, one day I will be rewarded. But just sometimes when you see how people who don't try hard often do so much better, they get what they want etc.

His songs somehow reflect that he's gone through all that too.

"If you find yourself lost out in this world, then i will find a way back to your side. No mountain is too high, no stone is too small I build a bridge through the fire, for you i would crawl from New York to California..."

From his song "From NY to California".

Okay, so by now you know I love him for his songs, and his music.

So last weekend my friend and I went to Overture Center and I was front row. It was nice because I was surrounded by girls so I felt safe and I didn't feel like I had to restrain myself.



Sometimes I felt like he was looking straight at me. LIKE REALLY STRAIGHT AT ME. I actually chose a bright colored hijab, hoping he'd notice me in the crowd. But then again I thought maybe I was just crazy.

As we were enjoying his performance, there was a group of 5-6 30 year-old women who just came in front of us and were making a racket, being all rowdy and stuff. They were rude, making so much noise when Mat was performing and talking. It was obvious that everyone didn't like them and how they were behaving. Some of them tried to go on stage 3 times. One of his staff had to tell them to get off the stage twice. And after that Mat KEarney had to tell her "Sorry, but you're gonna have to get off stage...".

All I can say is, "IN YOUR FACE!"

So after they left, I was just enjoying the music.

I think Mat was distracted by them, he probably didn't know how to deal with them because they were obviously his fans but they were being a nuisance.

After the concert was over, Liyana and I did our usual thing-- we waited for him at the back door.

HAHA.

After waiting in the cold, he finally came out.



"Hi, I'm Mat," he said.

"Sofiya", I blushed.

"You were in front where you?"

MOMENT OF MY LIFEEEEEEEEE. THERE YOU GO. I WAS NOTICED BY MAT KEARNEY.

Of course, how couldn't he? I was the only girl wearing a head scarf in the whole concert.

I was just so happy <3

Of course after that I felt like I had to say something to him so i said....



"You should come to Malaysia!"

At that moment I was like oh what a stupid thing to say....

"I would love to," he said.

I felt like running away. So stupid haha.

Oh well, it was a good concert :)

I love you Mat KEarney!

Oh moral of the story: when you wanna meet an artist, think ahead of what you wanna say.

AND IM GONNA UPLOAD THE PIC OF US TOGETHER <3

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Small Space



In between classes, I often need to find an appropriate place to pray.

When I say a place I don't mean a surau or a masjid, but a corner of an empty class or a place in between bookshelves.

A small clean place for us to pray--for only around 10 minutes.

Sometimes your heart beats fast because of the surrounding that you're in while your praying, God knows whether or not my prayers are accapted. I hope so.

But today when I prayed Zuhur at the third floor of the Red Gym, I felt a certain calmness that you can't really describe.

Being a good Muslim can be difficult at times regardless of where you are. But practising Islam in a country where the majority aren't Muslims has certainly opened my eyes. It has made me think and appreciate things which I have taken granted before.

It's funny how this small space can make some people content and happy.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Malaysia, where are we heading?



okay okay.

i know lately, i have been writing a lot about the enviornment and yadda yadda yadda. i know most people would laugh if they heard that i might wanna be an environmentalist because they can't imagine me without my dresses and being a serious person protecting the enviornment.

i think the issue is that most people think that environmentalists only protect the enviornment. when you hear 'enviornmentalist' you might imagine tree-hugging people.

but actually protecting the environment is more than just protecting the ecosystem.

we depend on these resources and how we value and manage them will determine how long we can use them. so if we don't manage this well, then we'll be in a lot of trouble.

coming from a developing country, trust me, i believe that we should thrive in this world and gain economic profit but at the same time i do believe that we should try to sustain what we have. people from certain countries believe that GDP is the real measurement of development but i think that's BS. the GDP doesn't really measure things like happiness. if we really hang on to that yardstick, then we'll be obsessed with making money, wanting to be "developed" like indsutrialized countries. their definition of "development" is different from what ours should be. i think most don't emphasize on spiritual growth and therefore in the race to increase wealth, we often lose our spirituality.

is there a model where we can grow economically and at the same time, sustain our environment? and of course, make sure that we also grow spiritually?

it seems like a lot to do.

trust me, I'm all for development but at the same time i care for the environment and the long term use that it provides.

so many questions, so many issues.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

No Worries

‎"Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by God’s decree. If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from you it cannot flee."-Umar [ibn al-Khattab] (R.A.)
all i feel like doing is to go home and not care about anything else. PLEASE?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Meet Chancellor Ward



I had just came back from Chancellor Ward's house. My departments gets invited every once in awhile and I think this is a good way to create some sort of relationship between students and the big people. It doesn't make us feel like we're in an institution, it's more than that. Students were happy when they met the Chancellor and his peers.

It was an interesting night for me.

I wonder we have something similar like this in Malaysia.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Black and White



nothing is really black and white.

things would be easier sometimes right? if there's a line that draws between right and wrong.

but let's face it, life is far more complex than that.

yesterday my friends and i were hanging out in the kitchen and we were suddenly talking about general stuff and then suddenly someone brought up this speaker on campus who seems "liberal" pertaining to her views on Islam.

one of my friends said "She's Islamic eh? I didn't know that, i thought she was liberal".

in my opinion, that lady may be more liberal compared to what Malaysians are used to but i got thrown off when some people didn't think she was islamic or even had islamic concerns.

i guess we still have a framework where we attach religiosity and appearance. yes, appearance does in some extent reflect who we are as individuals but i think we forget that Allah is the one and only who can truly judge the heart. we forget that sincerity and or niat is important in determining whether our actions are accepted.

we forget that there are many views pertaining certain issues. i'm not saying that there are many truths or many versions of Islam but if they do things based on valid reasonings that do not clash with Islamic teachings, then we shouldn't really say that he or she is unislamic or whatever.

i thnk we should be more open minded and listen to different perspectives and chose what is right. i don't think we should curb certain speakers from speakers just because we, as Malaysians think that he or she is liberal.

if we keep on doing that, then we will never be able to think for ourselves.

i know that many people have difficulty in explaining about our faiths because we often do as we were taught, and never really contemplating WHY we are doing it. and when a non-Muslim questions us, we often just keep quiet because we are shocked by what we hear and most importantly, we do not know how to defend ourselves.

im not saying that liberalism is all that good, but we shouldn't think that there is only one perspective out there. we shouldn't attach religiosity and appearance because often times is misleading.

im not trying to preach. I'm not in the position to preach. but i don't think we should really think of other people in that way either because without realizing it, we are marginalizing them.

and is that what we really want?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Really, What Do I Want to Be?




at this stage, i still don't know what i wanna be, the path i wanna take.

it looks like all my friends have figured things out. and as usual, i'm lost.

when i was young i wanted to be a policeman, then a fireman then...a singer.

apart of me wants to design clothes for muslim girls.

a whole part of me just wants to be a wife, and a mom.

but then as time passes by, the more time i spend doing readings for my 'environmental conservation' class, somehow i feel that malaysian environment needs to be protected.

and i'm not just talking about animal rights etc, going green etc.



of course that's important. but people often think that when we talk about the environment, humans aren't included.

but we very much are.

malaysia is a thriving developing country and iA we will continue to develop for the better.

however if we don't think about the important things such as the well being of our people and would rather gain economic gain, then in the long run, who will benefit?

somehow i think malaysians are generally not that environmental friendly.

am i wrong?

am i being too judgmental?

im not sure.

i just don't wanna malaysia to be one of those countries where the leaders are so keen on gaining economic gain that in reality, the people are suffering from different aspects such as health etc.

taking this course has opened my eyes.

i know many people think that malaysia might have other bigger problems but let's not forget that problems can arise from other aspects as well.

Monday, October 10, 2011

satisfaction



a few days ago, i called my dad through Skype and we were just catching up.

he was updating about his latest book that he has been working on and i was telling him about the courses that i am currently taking and why i love it so much.

despite taking 15 credits (in addition to 3rd semester arabic) and working 10 hours a week, i think i'm pretty much satisfied. Alhamdulillah, i am happy because for the first time in my life i actually feel like i'm independent. i know my dad can afford to give me money if i really needed it. in fact, he has told me to ask if i needed any but the the thing is, i was never really good at asking money from my parents especially because the US exchange rate is higher. ever since young. i was reluctant to ask but finally, i am making my own money so i don't have to depend on my parents all the time (financially that is).

i feel satisfied working, making my own money. it's not like i use to buy loads of stuff, i just like the idea that i have extra money whenever i need it. i'm still a frugal lil girl because i was never used to buying expensive stuff. i use most of my money to travel and nowadays, i think i don't think that much when I'm hungry huhuh.

more importantly, i am glad i found a part time job that suits me well. being an information guide makes me feel good because i'm able to assist people whenever they need help. as a parent program intern, I'm able to use my unique background as an international student to help parents of international students with quieries regarding school.

life is good, alhamdulilla :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Parent Program Intern



i love interning for Parent Program!

it feels good to be able to help people--international families to find their way in settling down/get through with school.

i've always wondered whether people can love what they're doing and now i finally do. honestly, i don't feel like i'm working. it just feels greaaaat.

i'm pretty bummed because i started working here only recently. i only have 2 semesters left...



shahir said i might be a workaholic like him and i think it might be true hehehehe.

when i leave wisconsin this is one of the many things that i'll truly miss :(

but still, i am so thankful that i am experiencing all of these great things <3

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Shopping Smart

by now i know you know i love fashion...

I've loved fashion ever since..whenever. but unfortunately, i don't have that much money. or wait, i just don't feel good about buying expensive things because i wanna save my money for something more like travel, a car HAHAHAHHAHA sigh only one day...

so, in the summer i decided to trade in my clothes that i can fit anymore/ the ones that I'm bored of to this vintage thrift store here on State Street called RETHREADS. i sold the hijabs that i know i will never wear again, my jeans that i can no longer fit and well, other things. and Alhamdulillah, i was able to get $50+ worth of coupon. I could get cash back but then I would get less in value. Might as well use the coupon to buy clothes there right hehehehe.

So recently I used up around $20 worth of coupon to buy these 3 amazing things....



my fall coat :)



working coat in the future :)



long tutup aurat baju :)

all of this under $20. hehehehehehee

oh yeah don't mind the creases because i just dumped everything in the bag hahaa.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Never Alone




sometimes trying to be adventerous comes with a price.

not everyone shares the same passion.

and because of that, you need to go on the adventure alone.

at times it can be a pretty lonely journey, because most of the time, you're wandering by yourself, wishing you could share the awesome experience with someone else.

but i guess we need to remind ourselves that we are not alone in spirit.

we need to remind ourselves that at times of loneliness, it allows you to reflect upon yourself and life in general.

today i went to 'Taste of MAdison' and it was a really awesome. it's basically a weekend where restaurant owners sell smaller portions of their intended menu, at a cheaper price. so this time, the food sold was not more then $4.



as i was walking, i noticed how there were so many families. kids, babies, parents, and also the elderly.

when i look at the elderly holding hands, sitting on the ground with their spouses, i wonder how i'll turn out to be.



i know, i know. i havent even figured out grad school and i'm already thinking of old age.

that's just me hehehee.

Alhamdulillah i was able to spend my Eid with yan in Michigan. i was happy that i was able to see where she studied and most importantly, i was happy i could spend 5 days with her.



Ann Arbor is a nice place. it's very similar to MAdison except i think it's slightly bigger. the buildings are older so it has a lot of 'harry potter-look' to it.

but of course, nothing beats madison hehehehe. we have a lake close by campus <3

i don't think i achieved a lot in Ramadhan. yes, i've made some goals but i dont really feel satisfied. well, i hope to improve on myself through out the year, insyaAllah.

i hope i get to figure out my future soon. im so clueless. as usual. sigh

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

UNDECIDED






These past few weeks i thought i was gonna take GRE and try to apply for grad school. i know...wth right? so random etc etc i totally made a mistake not thinking this through.

i just came back from my appointement with my advisor and i think my path of post-undergraduation totally took a 180 degree turn.

i see her like 2x a semester to guide me with my major and she has been such an amazing advisor.

when i mentioned that i wanted to do grad school, that surprised her because i guess i never mentioned this to her. i mean, to be honest i didnt plan to apply to grad school right after my undergrad. i didn't realize that time passed by so fast HAHA.

typical me. so blur. so dumb. sigh

anyway, when she heard that i wanted to apply to grad school, she asked me whether i knew i wanted to do and i said im not sure.

"you're not sure?" she frowned.

"uh-huh", i said.

"don't apply to grad school."

plain and simple.




she explained that grad school is totally different than undergrad. it doesn't open up doors, it closes doors. those were her exact words. she explained that if i didnt know what to do yet i should therefore consider waiting.

and i guess im not ready.

as usual.

she suggested that i could study for my GRE and take it in june next year. she also gave me tips or steps on things that i should be doing this year.

so this is how my academic year is going to look like:

1. GRE
2. Recommendation letters: i need 5. so i need to kiss my professors' a**es real well. the thing is, im not close to my professors. im only close to my arabic TAs since they are the ones teaching me, and maybe Dustin Cowell, who is the head of Arabic program. the other professor that I am close to is...no longer in this school-GREATTTTT.
3. Gotta keep good records of my papers. sigh.
4. Do independent study if possible.

Hmmm. i dont think my senior year is gonna look so erm...relaxed next year. AMAZING.

oh well, i guess i should be happy that i found out late than never.


She also suggested that I take a few years, (1 or 2) to explore what i wanna do. maybe i don;t need grad school after all. maybe i'll know what it is i really want by then.

my mom said that grad school is easier than undergrad. my advisor told me that it's actually the total opposite.

reallyyy???

jeez FREAKIN louiseeee

looks like i need to do a lot of research now....

good luck to me.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Peeling Off The Skin



i'm the kind of person who doesn't really like to hide who i am.

i try to let people know who i really am.

i'm a shy person at first, but as time passes by, i'm actually a little mental.

i want people to know who i am inside out-- despite where i may be.

it has been 2 years studying in the States now, and soon it will be three years.

i dont't have that many American friends, just because i guess i don't go to parties etc. but i do have American Muslim friends and i am thankful that i have met them.

being surrounded by people who are different, ethnicly and religiously can be a challenge. i guess it's the same anywhere-- whether i'd be at home in Malaysia or here.

but it's important to show them who you are, where you come from. slowly. it's a learning process-- for both parties.

my colleagues know that i am fasting. when we are behind the desk, some of them have asked me questions like what is the signifiace of fasting etc. i happily explain to them everything that i know, i everything i believe in.

some of them are really fascinated by it. i can also see that some of them can't really comprehend what i'm going through. well, i don't blame them. at least they respect my way of life and they understand that that is the main reason why i'm different.

there have been a few times where i had to excuse myself to pray. my supervisors have been very undertsanding. some probably don't know that Muslims need to pray 5 times a day, some probably were surprised that i randomly asked for a break to pray.i did have a supervisor who asked when do i pray 5 times a day and stuff, out of curiosity. and i enjoyed explaining that to him.

i guess in certain parts of the world religion isn't something they have faith in, that strongly...at least during this period of their lives.

but i'm fine with all that.

i want them to know what Islam is about--and how Muslims live.

maybe they haven't met a Muslim yet...or maybe they haven't met a practising Muslim.

they will know, insyaAllah.

at least, i hope they will...

...in time.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

From a Simple Question...




ok .

so remember how i thought that i'd never get a job here while studying, let alone getting this job as an information guide?

and of course going for an internship was totally not on my 'to-do list'. i wondered why my friends even tried getting an internship. i was always like 'ugh. gross. not for me. i'm just too lazy'.

i didn't even bother to apply to be a supervisor lately. that just didn't interest me.

but there was one particular field that sparked my interest.



there was one day where one of my upper colleagues approached me and asked whether i wanted to participate in a focus group of international students. she works with the parent program under visitor information programs (VIP) which is the division that i'm working for. so, in the focus group, they basically asked a number of questions about our concerns regarding student life which encompassed housing, tuition, safety, education etc. to me, it was fun.

it was fun because i remembered when i was so lost.

after having that discussion, i felt good. i felt that the discussion that we had was going somewhere. i also felt like i could help more.

so one day, i approached her. then i asked her whether they were going to hire another intern.

she said not til next year.

then i said i won't be here by then.

so she agreed that she'd talk to the higher people and that she'd get back to me on that.



amazingly, yesterday i got an email from her asking me to see her in her office.

as though i was on crack, my fingers started typing and i probably sounded like a maniac via e-mail.

so after a few minutes i went up to see her.

and she gave me the good news.

she told me that i'd be working as an intern in addition to an information guide.

and then not long after that, we were chatting for like ermmm...what seemed to be like 15 minutes that eventually actually turned to an hour.

as you can see, im so happy. thrilled. i cant even express my excitement.

from a simple question, there was a big fat opportunity. how awesome is that? i guess i didnt hurt my chances when i asked.

it doesn't hurt to ask ;)

let's not forget, im blessed too. Alhamdulillah. I have such a blessed life.

i never thought i'd do this well.

of course, i need to remind myself that this is because of Allah SWT and that this is just temporary.

in return, i need to do something for the society.

i really wanna contribute in my own way when i get back home. but i dont know how yet.

it's gonne be the bebmentoot way hahahahha.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Conversation With a Stranger



while i was sitting at the desk at union south, a guy with curly hair with glasses approached me.

"how can i help you?" i smiled.

"can you help me find where this place is?" he asked, while showing a piece of paper.

as i was looking it up on google map, he asked me another question.

"you're from....?"

"malaysia," i said.

"really? what made you come here?" he asked.

" oh i just like how it's a beautiful and safe place. plus, this school has an amaizng arabic program...and it has a lot of diversity," i replied.

"really?" he asked in partial amazement.

okay, so i dont really know how other universities are like, but according to what people say, this school has a lot of international students. well, you'll see mostly whites but there are a good amount of international students. plus, the fact that the school has so many diverse departments like south east asia departments, scandanavia dpts, i think kinda shows that they really want diversity to be implemented among the students in various ways.

"yeah, you just need to look in certain areas. if you join clubs liKE BRIDGE, you can be apart of the international community easily. you basically become an american host to international students", i added. by this point, he was writing all of this down.

"are you s prospective student?" i asked.

"yup, im a senior in highschool".

what the hell? he didnt look like it. he looked as old as me. 23 okay wth he's like 16 or 17? sheesh im tellin ya, kids here look like grown ups.

"well, i totally encourage you to apply to this school, you won't regret it".

"oh yeah, i totally will. i'm looking for diversity. i'm from northern minnesota, i go to a school where are there are mostly white arrogant narrow minded people. they say that college is the time that broadens your horizons and i need a different kind of school."

i laughed when he said that.

"well, i hope to see you when you get admitted (hopefully). if i'm still here, by then. hehe", i said.

"yeah i hope i see you too! i'm definitely gonna apply here!"

*********************

this is why i love my job so much. representing the university is just amazing although at time it can be stressful when we get difficult contacts. but having this conversation with this guy made my day. he wanted to be in a diverse environment and i really like that.

sometimes you can sense those who don't give a @#$ about you, eventhough you're trying to be friendly, trying to strike a conversation.

you need to know how to bring yourself about, who to approach and when not to care. making friends here is i guess, slightly different. sometimes you dont watch the same shows, and more fundamentally, you often have different values.

but it's okay.

being different is what makes you interesting, uniqe.

focus on the nice people around you, though it may not be a million people. i need to remind myself that totally fitting in isn't the most important part because i think that is just something difficult to achieve. for me, that is. because i am the way i am. im weird HAHHAHAA.

speaking of nice people, today i met one of my colleagues that previously interviewed me when i applied for this job. she is the sweetest girl (i swear!). she left for spain for a semester and now she's back. today she visited us and told us about her experience there. in just 10 minutes, i fell in love with her.

"i loved studying there, living in a totally different culture...i know what it's like to be..."

"different?" i finished her sentence for her.

"yeah," she smiled.

okay, but this may sound creepy but i think i really like this girl.

can't wait to work with her. i hope she becomes my supervisor hehehe.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Post-New York

it has been like FOREVER since i went on a holiday.

being in a foreign land, being a foreigner, can be pretty difficult. most of the time, things are awesome and i am greatful for that, Alhamdulillah. but when you don't have your family members around you, you'd do anything to create your own.



my holiday was phenomenal.

i loved it.



it really feels good when you're able to go on vacation with your closest friends.

i felt really rejuvinated after the trip. i was ready to get back on board.



but at the same time, i was sad that i had to leave.

i feel really blessed for everything that God has given me.

it was super hotttt in NYC. i went during the heat wave and yeah, that made us really tired. we left the house like early morning and came back around 6pm because we couldn't take it anymore. the heat was killing us and it was killing my mood.

i enjoyed the sightseeing, eating (of course).

it was diifficult to find a spot to pray in NYC because NYC was dirty and it smelled hancing alomst everywhere. we found spots like at parks like the Central Park to pray. it did feel uncomfortable because people who pass by can see what we're doing, but they dont understand what we're doing. but we had to do what we had to do...

going on vacation with friends has definitely taught me something.

your true colors will show.



it was obvious that the only thing i did was plan certain things like: where we are gonna pray, should we bring food, etc etc...bring water yadda2.

i was useless in reading maps, finding out how to go about. i depended on my friends. entirely.

geez, i can be so useless sometimes HAHA.

but nvm. i think when i really need to survive i guess i will, right? no?

whatever.

i was really happy <3

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bitter Sweet



last weekend i went camping in northern wisconsin. at apostle islands.

i know, i know. ME ON A FREAKIN CAMPING TRIP?

well, i have always wanted to try different things. my family has never been on a camping trip.we're not that adventerous. we rarely go out etc but we're happy as a family so i don't really complain.



but then when i get married i hope all of us (husband+bro in laws+kids+etc) go on family trips esp camping. i think that would be fun.

it was a one night trip. a short one. but it took awhile to get there. 6 hours drive. then we had to take a boat ride to the island.



the scenary was beautiful. it wasnt too hot or anything. it was raining a little, kinda cold too.



we made a fire and made smores. it was just like in tho movies hehehehe.

there were restrooms but there weren't any place to bathe so we bathed in the lake. it wasnt a small lake, it was a big arse lake. kinda like an ocean. it's called lake superior one of the biggest great lakes.



we took turns making breakfast and dinner.

we also went hiking!



on the last day, we went kayaking. and we saw sea caves! it was beautiful. i was worried because somehow i thought we were gonna capsize. but Alhamdulillah, we were all fine.



i was happy but kinda sad that some of my seniors will be leaving very soon. they're a great bunch. they make really good company. there were many things i learned from them, though to them they may see themselves as not-the-best example, but then again in todays world, who is? you take the good and leave the bad. their small contributions has made a different in huge ways. from giving advice, to showing good silent examples.

you dont need to help a person every single day.

sometimes even the smallest help make a difference.



yes, silent examples. if that even makes any sense.

i really appreciate your company and most importantly, your help :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Shining Star



this post is for my roommate, norihan omar.

i know i didnt write a card for your bday and maybe i havent been such a good roommate like how you are good to me.

i wanted to write this post for your bday.


but then i got distracted.

you may think people don't take you seriously, but i think you;re wrong.

people see you as a source of laughter.



i think you're the only person who can make a black and white picture colorful.

you give warmth to people.

people want you around because they like you making jokes, adding warmth and color to the environment.

you like to help people, you make everyone happy.

you always offer me help even if i dont ask you to.

like you sometimes fold my clothes when im busy and i come back late almost all the time last semester.



i remember when you made me bubur when i was sick.

and when you sapu minyak angin on my gross tummy and urut my kaki when i felt like i wanted to vomit.

thanks for keeping up with my crazy-ness. when i cry everytime i get stressed when i need to finish up my papers. or whenever i fight with you-know-who.

you;re such a good human being i wish i could be more like you.




you're very optimistic and you're not afraid to carve your own path now.

and im sorry if i havent been such a good friend to you like how good you are to me.

thank you for adding color to my life, noyan :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Are You Planning on Being a Terrorist?"

while i was working today, i received a chat on the chat system we use at work.

her first questions were mainly about the school. so yeah, i had to answer them.

she asked whether im a student and then i started to tell her about myself, where im from, what im studying.

then she asked.

"are you planning on being a terrorist?"

i was surprised, but i wasnt offended.

instead, i laughed.

why did i laugh?

then i told my workmate what she had said and he said that i dont need to answer her and just let her down nicely.

but then i said, 'No. many americans learn the same things that i do."

why wasnt i offended?

am i immune to the fact that people associate middle east/international students with terrorism?

is that a bad thing? the fact that im so...immune?

i don't know.

but she was a high school kid. not a very smart one, but still. i know that a lot of kids are ignorant and today the theory is actually proven.

but why am i not offended?

i'm puzzled.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why We Need to Go Home


these past few days i have months i have been thinking.

i know many malaysians are unhappy with what is happening in malaysia-- politically, especially.

our country may not be perfect, but we need to realize that it is normal for countries to go through development.




i wouldn't know what the solution is.

but i do know that condeming Malaysia and putting another supposedly democratic country on a pedastal won't solve anything. no matter how imperfect our lives may be in Malaysia, at least we don't trump other nations.

we need to focus on the bigger picture.

i dont't agree on running away from problems. i don't think working overseas would do much to help the situation back home.




yes, there are many changes that need to be done.

we need to go home to make a difference. though it may be slow.

if we run away to other countries then where will Malaysia be in the future?

we need to think rationally.

equality has a deeper definition than just dividing something into equal proportions.

it's about giving things to those who need it most.

we often watch movies and think that our country should follow a certain template of state government. but remember, if something changes too quickly, bad things can happen.

let's try not to be too selfish, and be a little more giving.

and make our home a better place.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Naseeb



I learned that you really need to give your all when you want something to work out.

Today I went out with my friends Aya and Meghan. We were talking about our lives as Muslims. Eventhough we are culturally different, Meghan is American and Aya is Egyptian by the way, we share the same values. It's amazing how we experience the same things in life. It's nice to see that we have the same dreams. It's nice to know that my values that my parents have taught me, the values that many people think of as backward are also someone else's.



I was never alone.

Being friends with different people broadens my horizons. These girls are good Muslims, alhamdulillah. They make me reflect on my own actions and motivate me to change to be a better person.

Of course, my housemates have contributed a lot in this process as well. I am very blessed to have such good housemates.

I might be running away from my topic.

Along the lines of trying to achieve something, we also need to have faith that our destiny is in God's hands. we can try and yes, we should, but at times we forget that our naseeb is determined by God and we can only be patient and wait to see what the outcome is. i know that as humans, we tend to worry, especially me. we tend to worry about the future. i know having faith that all will be well is difficult, but i guess that's when having faith is important. it gives you ease in the present situation so that you aren't overly worried about thing that you cannot see.