Monday, August 28, 2006

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

FOSTERING NAO AND NOZUMI






Nao and Nozomi are Karate black belters. They are amongst the group of students of a renowned karate school in Gunma, Japan who are currently in Malaysia to visit the Karate schools here. The Gi Tokku Kai branch in Kuantan serves as the headquarters for the South East Asia region where my children Sofi, Aliah and Luqman are its students (although Sofi has long stopped attending its classes for obvious reasons.)

They stayed in my house for 3 days and my family and I, tried our best to make their stay a comfortable and memorable one. They managed to taste the local delicacies like Nasi Lemak, Nasi Dagang, Keropok Lekor and also the regular Thai spread which has also become part of our food culture. Needless to say, they enjoyed them albeit unable to withstand the hot and spicy ones, fanning their 'burnt' mouths with their hands!

I was excited to bring them to Cherating to meet Catherine Firdhaus Aoki, our Japanese-Hawaiian friend. It also doubled up as our 'compulsory' visit each time my girls are back here. We bought the girls some batik blouse and sarong from Cath's souvenir shop. And when they tried them on, they look splendid! Later that night we had a family barbeque and we enjoyed the balmy evening outside in the lawn.

The previous night we attended Sensei's Clarence's daughter's wedding at Vistana Hotel. Sensei Clarence leads the Gi Tokku Kai here and is a very respected Sensei. His daughter, Michele, got married to a malay and has converted to Islam and now uses the name Fatihaton Najah, I think. The wedding was an interesting melting-pot of Malay, Chinese and Westeren culture, blended together. Both the bride and groom wore traditional malay attires in resplendent dark red and marched into the hall to the sound of the wedding march. On entrance, they were greeted
by a girl executing the silat dance in a rather intriguing style, marked with head shakes and body writhes, which I thought resembled a bit like bollywood choreographed dance!

The wedding ceremony got more unique when several karate students belonging to the centre, performed their Kata. When the bride and groom were asked to conduct the 'champagne-pouring' ceremony, the lady opposite me, who happened to be the groom's aunt, stared at me with widened eyes and raised eyebrows! Quickly I reassured her that I am sure it wasn't champagne as Sensei Clarence should know better! True enough, the next minute, the emcee cleared the air by informing the guests that it was only sparkling water! It was a splendid night and the group of Japanese students had a fun time observing our Malaysian culture.

Communication with the girls is the biggest hurdle and our hands, legs and body language worked full-force to convey and extract information from them. Perhaps Mynn would have made a perfect interpreter with his 'polished' anime vocabulary! At least we have Aliah who is also a Japanese enthusiast to ease things out as she converses with them in fragmented Japanese phrases which include Japanese pop-stars and icons.

Sunday morning we sent them off at the Karate school. Nao was the sentimental one and she almost cried the river, along with Aliah who is also an emotional gal. I wish them both all the best and hope to be able to see them again in years to come, insyallah!


*Below is another video of them. The background song is sung by them- the Japanese national anthem, 'Kimigayo'. We wanted our kids to reciprocate by singing our national anthem but iFos quickly opposed as she feared the contrast of vocals! hehe*



Let's pray for a total cure.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Israk Mikraj (27 th Rejab)


THE ISRAK MIKRAJ

Upon the wings of the Burak
on lofty currents of winds divine
rode the prophet Muhammad
on the journey of all time

from Mecca to Jerusalem
in the blinking of an eye
to Al-Aqsa the sacred mosque
to the golden dome of the rock

from hence into the clouds
across the seven layers of sky
from the base realms of mortal ken
to celestial precints of Al-Arash

there on to face the prophets before
to learn their wisdom, lessons and lore
then on to God in receipt of grace
the final commandments for beings of faith

into heaven was then arranged
a tour of Eden the penultimate domain
tales and visions of God's abundance
the gifts and rewards of absolute devotion

a glimpse of hell's fiery domain
a reminder for the faithful to keep in mind
oh! the horrors that lie within
for infidels and those who have sinned

in the space of one night
this journey begins and ends
reminding us of God's might
the infinite the most divine.

By Baronhawk

(A description of events as I remember it from my religous readings of texts, sermons and educational training.Copyright © Baronhawk ... [2004-03-15 15:38:46] )

Friday, August 18, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

ALLURING BEKELAH



This is probably our 3rd time to Bekelah Waterfall as a family. I don't know why but each time when we plan such excursions, each one of us will have our individual perception of the planned agendas and get ourselves prepared according to our own whims and fancies, much to iKelah's chagrin, hehe. This time, most of us thought that we were only going to wade and splash in the shallow river upfront and not up the waterfall as before. Thus we went with no extra attires to change when wet, wearing only our flip-flops. A certain 'someone' was even unaware of the planned outing till half an hour before the take-off! She was so furious that everyone conveniently forgot to inform her and thus went so unprepared and was especially annoyed because she had no time to charge the batteries of her camera! Huhuhu!

Our flip-flops were so inappropriate for jungle-trekking and rock-climbing but we managed fine nevertheless! ALhamdulillah! In the video, we may not look like seasoned jungle trekkers nor rock-climbers, with flip-flops and carrying 'jabe'(s) in each hand. But don't be duped! Indeed it was an arduous challenge and we were drenched with pouring sweat. The sweet satisfaction at the end was worth it, definitely! By the way, our hands were full as we took the liberty to carry back our rubbish home and not litter the place.

I am still in the midst of editing the video and might add extras clips later on. Hope you'll enjoy watching it and censor whatever that needs censored! :p

And whilst we're in the mood of video clips, care for another? Click here

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

THE LEAST WE COULD DO!

The following is an excerpt from brother Ku Keng's latest entry:

*Mel pertama dari Pucuk Manis, amat menarik kerana di samping mengandungi senarai barangan yang ada kaitan dengan Yahudi, juga mengandungi satu pengajaran tentang seekor burung yang cuba memadamkan api yang begitu menyemarak sewaktu Namrud mencampakkan Nabi Allah Ibrahim ke dalam api.

Jadikan kisah si burung kecil yang cuba untuk memadamkan api yang dinyalakan untuk membakar Nabi Ibrahim sebagai iktibar. Burung ini telah cuba memadamkan api tersebut dengan mengambil dan mencurahkan air hanya dengan menggunakan paruhnya yang kecil. Tetapi apabila ditanya malaikat kenapa dia berbuat begitu, burung itu menjawab bahawa (di akhirat nanti, bila di tanya Allah S.W.T kelak), dia (walaupun mengerjakan perkara yang mustahil untuk memadamkan api), sekurang-kurangnya telah melakukan sesuatu untuk menolong seseorang yang mempercayai Allah, sewaktu ianya dalam keadaan bahaya!!!

Alangkah malunya kita di akhirat nanti sekiranya tidak dapat menjawab sama ada kita pernah melakukan ikhtiar sebegitu. Sedangkan burung yang tak berupaya itu, seakan-akan mempunyai banyak keupayaan dan kelebihan cuba membuat sesuatu. Amat berbeza sikapnya jika di bandingkan kita yang masih berdiam diri...

Masihkah kita akan berdiam diri?
Masihkah?



e-Mel kedua dari Ku Kelak Klang ("KKK") pula mengandungi makalah Case for Boycotting Israel, yang ditulis oleh Virginia Tilley. Virginia Tilley pula bukanlah beragama Islam!:

It is finally time. After years of internal arguments, confusion, and dithering, the time has come for a full-fledged international boycott of Israel. Good cause for a boycott has, of course, been in place for decades, as a raft of initiatives already attests. But Israel's war crimes are now so shocking, its extremism so clear, the suffering so great, the UN so helpless, and the international community's need to contain Israel's behavior so urgent and compelling, that the time for global action has matured. Read more...

What to Target

Fortunately, from the South African experience, we know how to go forward, and strategies are proliferating. The basic methods of an international boycott campaign are familiar. First, each person works in his or her own immediate orbit. People might urge (1)divestment from companies investing in Israel by their colleges and universities, corporations, clubs, and churches. (2)Boycott any sports event that hosts an Israeli team, and work with planners to exclude them. Participate in, and visit, no Israeli cultural events - films, plays, music, art exhibits. Avoid collaborating with Israeli professional colleagues, except on anti-racist activism. (3)Don't invite any Israeli academic or writer to contribute to any conference or research and don't attend their panels or buy their books, unless their work is engaged directly in anti-racist activism. (4)Don't visit Israel except for purposes of anti-racist activism. (5)Buy nothing made in Israel: start looking at labels on olive oil, oranges, and clothing. (6)Tell people what you are doing and why. Set up discussion groups everywhere to explain why.

For ideas and allies, try Googling the "boycott Israel" and "sanctions against Israel" campaigns springing up around the world. Know those allies, like the major churches, and tell people about them. For more ideas, read about the history of the boycott of South Africa.

Second, don't be confused by liberal Zionist alternatives that argue against a boycott in favor of "dialogue". If we can draw any conclusion from the last half-century, it is that, without the boycott, dialogue will go nowhere. And don't be confused by liberal-Zionist arguments that Israel will allow Palestinians a state if they only do this or that. Israel is already the only sovereign power in Palestine: what fragments are left to Palestinians cannot make a state. The question now is not whether there is one state, but what kind of state it comprises. The present version is apartheid, and it must change. However difficult to achieve, and however frightening to Jewish Israelis, the only just and stable solution is full democracy.

Third, be prepared for the boycott's opposition, which will be much louder, more vicious, and more dangerous than it was in the boycott of South Africa. Read and assemble solid documentable facts. Support each other loudly and publicly against the inevitable charges of anti-Semitism. And support your media against the same charges. Write to news media and explain just who the "Israel media teams" actually are. Most pro-Israeli activism draws directly from the Israeli government's propaganda outreach programs. Spotlight this fact. Team up to counter their pressure on newspapers, radio stations, and television news forums. Don't let them capture or intimidate public debate. By insisting loudly (and it must be sincere) that the goal is the full equality of dignity and rights of everyone in Israel-Palestine, including the millions of Jewish citizens of Israel, demolish their specious claims of anti-Semitism.

Finally, hold true to the principles that drive the boycott's mission. Don't tolerate the slightest whiff of anti-Semitism in your own group or movement. Anti-Jewish racists are certainly out there, and they are attracted to these campaigns like roaches. They will distract and absorb your energies, while undermining, degrading, and destroying the boycott movement. Some are Zionist plants, who will do so deliberately. If you can't change their minds (and don't spend much time trying, because they will use your efforts to drain your time and distract your energies), denounce them, expel them, ignore them, have no truck with them. They are the enemy of a peaceful future, not its allies - part of the problem, not the solution.

Boycott the Hegemon

This is the moment to turn international pressure on the complicit US, too. It's impossible, today, to exert an effective boycott on the United States, as its products are far too ubiquitous in our lives. But it's quick and easy to launch a boycott of emblematic US products, upsetting its major corporations. It's especially easy to boycott the great global consumables, like Coca-Cola, MacDonald's, Burger King, and KFC, whose leverage has brought anti-democratic pressures on governments the world over. (Through ugly monopoly practices, Coke is a nasty player in developing countries anyway: see, for example, http://www.killercoke.org.) Think you'll miss these foods too much? Is consuming something else for a while too much of a sacrifice, given what is happening to people in Lebanon? And think of the local products you'll be supporting! (And how healthy you will get).

In the US, the impact of these measures may be small. But in Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the Arab and Muslim worlds, boycotting these famous brands can gain national scope and the impact on corporate profits will be enormous. Never underestimate the power of US corporations to leverage US foreign policy. They are the one force that consistently does so.

But always, always, remember the goal and vision. Anger and hatred, arising from the Lebanon debacle, must be channelled not into retaliation and vengeance but into principled action. Armed struggle against occupation remains legitimate and, if properly handled (no killing of civilians), is a key tool. But the goal of all efforts, of every stamp, must be to secure security for everyone, toward building a new peaceful future. It's very hard, in the midst of our moral outrage, to stay on the high road. That challenge is, however, well-known to human rights campaigns as it is to all three monotheistic faiths. It is what Islam knows as the "great jihad" - the struggle of the heart. It must remain the guiding torch of this effort, which we must defend together.

Virginia Tilley is a professor of political science, a US citizen working in South Africa, and author of The One-State Solution: A Breakthrough for Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Deadlock

Dan KKK berpesan:
Please pass it on.
But please don't read while drinking in Starbucks
pretending to be cool,
or shopping in Tesco's trying to be that too.
There's nothing cool about drinking or shopping for Israel...

Well, while you're at it,
boycott Nestle too.
They're as Israel as you can be.
Will we be dead from that?
Not likely,
but the Palestinians and the Lebanese people would thank you.*

List of products to be boycotted:

Nestle
Nokia
McDonald
Loreal
intel
IBM
Estee Lauder
Danone
Johnson-Johnson
Revlon
Coca-Cola
Sara-Lee
Timberland
Starbucks
Mark & Spencer
Kimberly-Clark

Sunday, August 06, 2006

.....9 Years Ago

This is an old pic of Maman when he was around 4 years old, I think, during my sister Ita's wedding. He was one of the bride's 'flower boy', :). He was taken unwell after that and developed bouts of vomiting and had to lie down. This prone position must have alleviated much of his tummy discomfort!

Sofi found this old pic whilst doing her 'reminiscing through old albums' and going down memory lane session. We all went 'oohs' and 'aaahs' looking at the cute boy lying on his tummy looking all so forlorn! We can't remember who took that photo and with what camera and the quality is pretty bad but the adorable subject with his desolated pose makes this a truly priceless memento.

Each time I see old pics of my kids when they were small, cute and so huggable, I'd tell them in jest, "I remember this kid. He/she was so good and obedient back then!"

I love looking Maman in this photo thus I'll place it here as a treasured pic!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A BIRTHDAY WISH FOR YOU, KKL!

4th August 2006

Happy Birthday dear Kenakelayan who will be celebrating her:

24th birthday (the age that she acts)
21st birthday (the age that she feels)
27th birthday (her biological age?)

Anyway whatever age you are celebrating, to quote Pycno, you'll still
be a year younger next year!

We pray that Allah swt bestows His blessings in abundance upon you and that
things will settle accordingly once you're back here with us, Ameen!
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