Friday, June 16, 2006

A MISSION OF HOPE AND HUMILITY

As some of you are aware, iKelah had gone on a relief mission with Global Peace Malaysia to quake-stricken Jogja last week. Hence the vigil mode in my previous entry. Yes, each time he goes on a relief mission I am rendered apprehensive with all the 'what if' questions. This time, my worries had doubled as Jogja was down with two calamities, the earth-quake and the on-going eruption of Merapi. And further tremors were also felt, albeit less in intensity, on and off.

This entry is about his mission, in my perspective. It's contents would be a mixture of facts derived from the few phone calls, sms and from the narration he gave me till the wee hours of the morning upon his return. (my eyes were shut but my ears were listening!)

On his arrival, the local liaison group, Dewan Dakwah Indonesia (DDI)'s leader, Pak Rafaii, a physician himself, had requested that ikelah ran a clinic at Merapi instead . You see, the quake had diverted the people's attention towards the quake victims and the Merapi evacuees were left in the lurch. Ikelah obliged and prepared himself to stay there. Another doctor on the mission, Dr Lee, an orthopedician, had ealier on, confided in ikelah, his fear of going too near the active and ferocious Merapi and quietly pleaded to work away from it. Thus, it was decided that the rest of the group would head for Jogja town, leaving ikelah to manage a clinic with the help of the local villagers. This village is actually 7 km from Merapi's peak and one can view the majestic volcano spewing out its lava, distinctly, from here.



On the first day of running clinic, news of renewed Merapi's fiery activities spread and ikelah was adviced by GPM's people to join the rest down the mountain. But after looking at the crowd of villagers thronging his clinic in need of medical treatment, he requested to continue being up there. But this was after being assured by several factors. Firstly, Pak Suharto's (the host) house was only 50 m away from the seismology observation post which was on 24 hr alert of Merapi's activity and would blare out sirence to warn the people. Secondly, they have a well calculated plan to evacuate the place in seconds. Thirdly, Pak Suharto, himself has a mini seismic gadget which was constantly reading seismic tremors and beeping out signals.



Ikelah stayed up Merapi for 4 days, running clinics, attending to sick evacuees who camped out in several 'posko's. Many were suffering from anxiety neurosis. They were unhappy of having to leave their homes and farms unattended and forced to idle each day in cramped, stuffy and hot tents with limited amenities. Ikelah truly felt for these poor people and was sad to leave them at day 4.

All through out the days he was there, I had no inkling whatsoever that Ikelah was so near to Merapi and at risk especially of the ferocious 'wedhus gembel' or hot clouds! If I knew of it, I'd probably protest and asked him to leave the place ASAP!! ALhamdulillah all went well...

The last 2 days were spent on management tasks, making plans and reports for future missions. He made visits to the Malaysian's Angkatan Tentera base and reported on their activities. He also managed to make contacts with the OIC Humanitarian Platform and held informal discussions.


Most importantly, he caught hold of Anang who came over. Anang, whose house was reduced into rubbles, was truly grateful of the donations given by 3 bloggers and another friend. He was touched by the generosity of these kind people and was sad that he couldn't reciprocate with any sort of gifts whatsoever. To all those who had donated or planned to donate but couldn't (due to circumstances), we thank you all, on behalf of Anang!



It was truly a mission filled with love and compassion towards aiding those facing calamities. A satisfying life-journey permitted by Allah swt. May Allah swt reward him, what good deeds he had performed there with increased iman and 'amal. Ameen!

19 comments:

crimsonskye said...

Reading something like this is always a balm for me, with so many horrors that are happening around the world. There are still a lot of people who genuinely care and who are willing to give themselves for others.

crimsonskye said...

btw do you happen to know any BCB accounts for the relief fund?

ayumi_of_mirkwood said...

Salaam..

Reading something like this is always a balm for me, with so many horrors that are happening around the world. There are still a lot of people who genuinely care and who are willing to give themselves for others. --> Agree :)

May Allah bless them all for their efforts.

Mama Sarah said...

Reading something like this is always a balm for me, with so many horrors that are happening around the world. There are still a lot of people who genuinely care and who are willing to give themselves for others. --> I agree too!


p/s: glad to see Anang still managing a smile in the last photo.

neemo said...

Hats off to ikelah!

mynn said...

truly inspiring

Panglima said...

in the usa, they passed a law stating relief workers/volunteers are entitled to paid leave (unrecorded leave) from their respective employers, and protected against any discriminatory acts for being away from work.

wonder when malaysia is going to pass a similar law? we need to lobby for this!

pycnogenol said...

Dont tell me you had to take leave Ikelah (deducted from your annual leave) just to be there in Jogja for voluntary work?

All of us are relieved and happy to have you back in Malaysia, safe and sound. Syukur Alhamdulillah semuanya selamat.

I'm particularly happy to see the serene look on Anang's face seated next to you. I'm sure your relationship with him now goes beyond the tourist and the guide. That's the beauty of Ukhuwwah.

dr in the house said...

Crimson- Let's pray for more 'balms' in this world! :p . I dont know of BCB accounts, GPM uses Maybank (Mebeng- Pang5's term)

Ayumi and MS- How convenient eh! Copy and paste. Anang sebenarnya letih tu baru balik kerja transport orang.

Neemo- You mean tudung off? hehe

Mynn- Nak join?

Panglima- In Malaysia, they'd only consider and pass a bill that will bring 'income'/revenue, otherwise they'd just mention in speeches making empty promises and shove it aside!

Pycno- Yes his employer only allow unrecorded leave for half of the duration. The rest pakai annual leave. When queried they say they dont want to encourage such 'activities'!!

Mama Sarah said...

panglima & DITH little things like that yang buat malaysian yang bekerja dia obersi liat nak balik malaysia.

easylady said...

Alhamdulillah all went well.Aiyoo I cannot imagine how tensed ikelah being mobbed by locals.It must be very tiring for him to handle them single-handedly.Balik terus kerjake?

Paul Moss said...

Forth reason why Ikelah agreed to staying near Merapi is Merapi itself. He`s a photographer, he`d never miss the opportunity. Well I wouldn`t even if there`s not first, second or third reason. But of course the wives...

Boogey said...

Kawe nampok bendera turki tu. memang sah la kalau misai cam tu. Member kawe ada gak ke sana minggu lepas dan on the way balik, dia ada singgah jumpa kawe di KL.

anggerik merah said...

Really inspiring to read this.

Em said...

Salaams.Thanks for putting up a post on Ikelah's mission at Merapi.It was both inspiring and comforting.

Sherin Almashor said...

Very inspiring post. May Allah protect him in his noble mission.

:)

kenakelayan said...

Alhamdulillah all went well. :) I admire people who go out of their way to help others, and also those who are truly patient in the face of adversity.

afie911 said...

I read the same entry on Ikelah's. May your family be blessed with joy n happiness now and in the hereafter for such sacrifices made and difficulties faced at the time Ikelah was there. =)

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