Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Orang lain sibuk pasal kisah persandingan artis, dan pertembungan artis dan bekas tunangnya.

Aku pula masih lagi tersentak dengan kisah Natascha Kampusch dari Austria yang dapat melarikan diri daripada penculiknya setelah 8 tahun tinggal di bilik bawah tanah lelaki tersebut. Berita ini menjadi world headline tetapi orang kita masih tak tahu tentang kejayaan Natascha terselamat dari hidup yang menyeksakan. Ramai menganggap dia sudah mati. Pertama kali bertemu ayahnya, dia meminta kereta mainan kesayangannya.

It is believed Natascha Kampusch was held by Wolfgang Priklopil

Bila melihat muka si lelaki, sehingga kini masyarakat Austria masih menyatakan rasa terkejut kerana sikapnya yang pendiam dan tidak banyak bercakap. Si penculik membunuh diri beberapa jam selepas Natascha melarikan diri.

Hari ini, kes tahun 1996 JonBenet Ramsey temui jalan buntu. Suspek utama, John Mark Karr terlepas kerana DNA tidak sama seperti di tempat kejadian. Tetapi suspek mengaku bahawa dia seorang yang gila.

Apalah nak jadi dengan masyarakat kita.

Tuesday, 29 August 2006

Breathe in, out, in, out

I am at home doing my work. I went back at 2 a.m. yesterday. Straight from a meeting and went for the system cutover at one of the outlet. OK, I am shocked. I was not prepared and suddenly everyone was rushing to go back, some were even from Kuala Kubu Bharu and had to rush back as fast as possible. Since my colleague asked for my help in assisting her staff, I had been teaching the staff to do everything from A to Z.

Bilik Gerakan called at 12.45 a.m. and bising-bising that we have not done our Start of Day yet. I got to know the other 5 outlets has done their start up, but ours still run the data migration for 4 hours.

The counters opened at 1 a.m. and finished everything around 1.40 a.m.

Ahoi, my boyfriend watched the Ina-Mawi interlude yesterday.. hohoho

Thursday, 24 August 2006

Ustaz Khoiron

Ustaz Khoirun with Suparti and Titin, photo by Rama Surya, Surabaya

He is an ordinary man with an extraordinary mission.

Published on August 20, 2002

The Holy Koran opens with the words "Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim" - "In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, The Compassionate." The immortal phrase follows you wherever you are in the Islamic world - it's inscribed on the walls of mosques and homes and yet very few people, let alone believers actually stop to consider its meaning.

Clearly, forgiveness is an integral part of Islam's timeless message and the prominence with which these two qualities - mercy and compassion have been singled out from the Ninety-nine names of Allah has, over the centuries provided a source of reassurance and solace for believers.

But man is flawed and all too often practitioners have been anything but 'forgiving'. Instead, faith and belief is reduced to little more than a list of 'dos' and 'don'ts'. In fact, contemporary Islamic practices in the Middle East (and especially the vein associated with Wahabism) appear to have sidelined the idea of forgiveness. Public debate - the Friday khutbah or sermon concentrates almost exclusively on transgression, on sin and on the suitability of punishment. Ritual has become all-important, assuming precedence along with a series of nasty 'fire and brimstone' lectures delivered by men (and occasionally women) who have no comprehension of humanity or a capacity for compassion.

However, the capacity to forgive and to be compassionate has not been entirely forsaken. Faith - true faith - can and does flourish in adversity, manifesting itself in the strangest places. Last month, in the heart Surabaya's grimy, red-light district of Bangunsari - just ten minutes away from the bustling port of Tanjung Priok, I came across an understated couple who showed me - without realizing it themselves, that man hadn't entirely failed to live up to the powerful and persuasive message.

Ustaz Khoiron and his wife Roudatul possess the quiet confidence of those who are truly religious. They are comfortable in themselves, they know that actions spoke louder than words: they don't need to show off or pontificate.

I knew they were unusual even before I'd met them. I'd heard about the work they were doing in the lokalasasi (a designated area set aside for prostitution) - about the two schools they'd set up, the prayer classes and the ceramahs they organized as well as the impressive thirty-three meter high minaret that Khoiron had recently added to the local mosque. Located at the entrance to the lokalasasi, on the lane that brought many of the clients and 'johns' to Bangunsari, the Masjid al-Fatah's striking minaret was an indication of the area's growing sobriety: the encroaching world of the middle classes. Khoiron had also pointed out and proudly the small library alongside the mosque. In the evenings the building was as lively as one of the whorehouses, crammed with youngsters who had nowhere else to go.

Still, it took a simple and unexpected gesture by the forty-one year old Khoiron before I really sat up and took notice. At the time, I was observing a ceramah that Khoiron and a local community leader, Gusrianto arranged every Friday afternoon for the neighbourhood’s prostitutes. One of the girls (Linda, a 29-year old from Jember) had just completed a heart-felt, if halting recitation from al-Nisar, (The Women) the fourth Surah of the Holy Koran. Her voice was hoarse and her throat was obviously dry. Just then, Khoiron leant forward to offer her a small plastic container of water.

It was ingenuous act. However, given the woman's profession his thoughtfulness was almost shocking. Most ustaz's I knew would have been disgusted and appalled to have been in the presence of so many prostitutes even though all fifty of women were dressed demurely. But, for Khoiron, the women were a challenge. They were his challenge. Somehow, they gave him justification: they were his target - his objective: he wanted to win them over.

Later when I talked to Roudatul at their small home, I began to get a sense of the passion that had propelled the couple. Roudatul was thirty-three years old and despite the seedy environment she was always generous with her smiles. She wore a hejab, albeit casually. Still, the plain, white material couldn't quite hide the beauty of her warm, guileless face. She cradled her youngest son in her arms as we talked.

"Khoiron and I had an arranged marriage. I was a pesantren girl - ten years studying at Bangil. I certainly didn't know I was going to end up living in an area like this! I was so upset when I first arrived: I was angry and embarrassed. The prostitutes were right outside the house! They were everywhere. But later I realized that this is 'my' battle. I wouldn't move anywhere else now: you must help people and we - Khoiron and I - must help these women to change their ways.”

The forty-one year old, Nahdatul Ullama ustaz Khoiron laughs when I ask him about his work in the lokalasasi. He's a handsome man: darker than his wife and well built. He has a firm handshake and an easy manner: like a businessman. As we talk, there are moments when he looks slightly Arabic. This is not altogether surprising given the Pesisir's (the north coast of Java's) strong historical and cultural links with the Arab peninsular and the Hadramaut in particular.

"Can you imagine how bored I'd be if I was living in a quiet little community surrounded by santri (or religious students)? When I first started here, twenty-five years ago there were three thousand girls. Now there are only 900. You ask anyone about Bangunsari! It's so close to the port and full of seamen. It was notorious!

"From a philosophical viewpoint we must remember that Allah is very loving. He gives food and drink to all men and women: good and bad. Who am I to judge? Who am I to say you're evil or you're good? My responsibility is straightforward: I must win the people over. Besides, if everyone was good I'd have nothing to do!"

Living in a tiny house along a narrow gang (or lane) in the middle of Bangunsari, Khoiron's home is little different from the girlie bars that surround him, except that there is mushollah (a small prayer hall) on the first floor. The family is clearly industrious and hardworking. His mother who still wears a tightly wrapped traditional Javanese baju kebaya every day runs a small warung and his wife supplements her income with a Wartel (a telephone store). Otherwise the ustaz's home is essentially as simple as his neighbours'.

The Nahdatul Ullama does not support individual ustaz's: the families are on their own. Essentially, they depend on the surrounding communities for their livelihood. As a result Khoiron earns his income by giving ceramahs, officiating at weddings and even accompanying pilgrims to Mecca. His wife also organizes religious classes for over six hundred children every week: the parents pay Rp2,000 (RM1) per child per month. The house shudders when the kids dash up the external staircase to reach the mushollah. Their shrieking is almost deafening but Roudatul is so used to it she's says she'd miss the commotion if it were to stop.

Every Friday afternoon, Khoiron and the local community leader arrange a small ceramah for the prostitutes. The location is neutral: the hall nearby - not the mosque. Having followed Khoiron as he walks through the lanes of the lokalasasi and watched him talking to the women I know the ceramah will be interesting. He is polite with them, respectful even. He smiles and says hello. He doesn't treat them disdainfully and they respond positively to his manner.

As M'bak Yah a prostitute in her forties says of Khoiron: "He's a good man. He treats us decently. I like his ceramahs - lots of us go. He isn't proud or haughty. He encourages us to go home to our families."


Imagine constant instruction when I drove from the house to the nursery yesterday in heavy rain.

"Hah depan ni ada simpang, jangan laju sangat"
"Tengok kanan dulu sebelum masuk simpang"
"Kenapa tak pasang wiper kuat-kuat?"
"Ada bumper kat depan"

And she can starts a long time ago story about my mistakes during the car ride.
It seemed like I have never driven the car and I can't forget her shocked face when I told her I had been constantly driving the car to Subang Jaya.

I am a mother of 2 ok, not an 18-year-old anymore. She still treated me as a small child with constant scolding.

Told dh about it and he just shook his head. He knows about my driving skill and he said I do not need to hear the constant bickering from her.

And before any of you had a wrong idea, I love her very much.. but sometimes it's just too much.


Monday, 21 August 2006

First match, and...

Manchester United wins!

In style of course. 5-1 over Fulham.

I counted his shouting last night. He shouted goals 4 times, and 3 are like within minutes from each other.

Second half was spent with misery, since Amni puked and we had to do the cleaning. It's bye bye for a moment with the game. But I know he will be smiling from ear to ear about the win eventhough we had to do some home cleaning.

Isn't it weird that life has changed when the EPL season started?

During my pregnancies, I had to tell him beforehand that if I am to give birth at night, he is not going to watch the football but rushed to the hospital. He agreed to that.

If not, I think I had to request the hospital to put a TV in the labour room.


Oh yes, did I tell you, being a good girl as she was, even though her mother shouted to her when she puked yesterday (minta maaf Amni, I am going to hug you today for the misunderstanding), Amni dah tak bangun malam! Almost a week had passed since that remarkable achievement.

It's a relief to my sweetheart.. nearly entering 3 years, and she decided to sleep till morning. Next on the list would be toilet training, but she seemed not prepared yet. Patience is virtue :)

Friday, 18 August 2006

Back from training

First time I attended a course at a hotel.
Makan SEDAPPPP memanjang..

The funny part is, there are 16 participants in the workshop, but 12 are from MMU. So it become some sort of reunion for us.. Kelakar tak? Macam Jejak Kasih pula bila ramai-ramai attend course.

Oh, BTW, the course was '7 Habits of Highly Effective People'. Very effective course. Actually, I did learned about it during pre-university, but it seemed boring since we had to read the book. And after 3 days of training, and it can be applied for our work, then I would say it is a very good course. They give lots of supplements for us, including the book, organiser, summary notes, notepad and personal planner.

Nice eh?

So today I am trying to figure out on how to use all the things. I would say the course is more like enforcing our belief in Islam. We actullay have learned these 7-Steps in Islam. And yes, the instructor is a Muslim, so he relates with lots of stories of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) during the course.

Sunday, 13 August 2006

Mega Sale

Due to extensive retail therapy done this month, I am officially BROKE!

And no, Kak Elin, I beg to differ, I am not cash cow as what you said during our meeting about the handbags last week (this month budget lari sikit kalau nak beli beg, but still you can save the best for me eh? *wink*)

I shopped like there is no tomorrow! Got some new clothes for the kid, bought a new kain from Euromoda last month, and went to beauty counter TWICE! Ok, so I consider this month as our last minute preparation for Hari Raya which is due in 2 months. I usually shopped for the kids' Raya clothes during the April Mega Sale, but this year, I find myself rummaging through the piled new clothes with other parents due to my lateness in Raya preparation.

And after those shoppings for the kids, I had to go the beauty counter and bought the whole set in a blink of an eye *trial set, ok?*

After being broke, I had the nerve to buy Nona with TZ and her children posing on the front cover of the mag. That mag costed me RM 12! (It was selling like hot cakes, mind you!). The Gang of 4 are rummaging over it like crazy (Tini and Aini, especially) since we had a soft spot for TZ because her ex-husband ditch her for a 'pop princess' and a wedding in the garden. I hoped it rains! <-bah, that showed how much we don't like her, and everytime we met, we will be joking and gossiping about her.

So, tonight was spent on pitying TZ over the Internet. Ops, not pity (I apologise) but envying her, she had a nice bod! And she is 40+ ok?

was watching Ali Baba Bujang Lapok right now and I think I am going to join him. I had a soft spot on that film.

Thursday, 10 August 2006

BP time

Remember my mumblings last Friday?
I hardly had enough sleep, my head hurts etc.
I finally finished everything by Friday, and consolidate the State BP.
Imagine having to look at 5 cost centres, and I had to do for all of them from scratch. No helpful executives to help me. I broke down last time.

Met my old staff this week at Men@r@ and she told me she (the non exec) had to the BP for her unit. I said to her I shared the same fate, and people still take for granted about BP.

Told the boss, if I am doing this again next year (which is not in my job scope and people still does not appreciate it yet), I will be resigning or asked for transfer of division.

Next year I will be sitting next to the executive who ran away during the BP period and go for her training. Imagine that..

On the other hand, I went to Sogo during lunch time just now. Bought some beauty treatment (thanks to Kak Elin's rave review through the co's e-mail.. tsk tsk). Bought some new pants for Fawwaz (he had outgrown his three quarter pant, which he inherited from Amni) and forgot to survey some wedding gifts for my friends who will get hitched this weekend.

Nampaknya musim mendirikan masjid sudah tiba! And I already had 2 kids.. hmmm

Tuesday, 8 August 2006

A request to Kak Elin

I met the ever famous person behind the-kek yesterday.

She looked cute! And yes, she is one hot mama *ini sesi membodek untuk mendapatkan harga beg dari kak Elin with very cheap price*

Herewith, I would like to request that this bag (refer to the left pic, ok?), if it reached the Malaysian shore, shall be reserved for me (this is my dying request). Oh please kak Elin, pretty please!

P/S: Kak Elin pandai jual beg, macam nak melayang je duit aku semalam tengok beg yang dia jual. Aini pun dah angkut satu on the spot :P

Monday, 7 August 2006

Terima kasih Fawwaz

Sebab temankan ibu dari jam 11.30 pagi sampai 4.30 petang di tempat projek.
Sebab tak menangis bila ibu hilang tengok sistem yang dipasang.
Sebab pandai main sendiri-sendiri.
Sebab pandai makan sendiri-sendiri.
Sebab peluk papan tanda the Incredibles Celcom (berangan la tu dapat jadi Mr. Incredible).
Sebab orang lain dukung, Fawwaz tak kisahhh (baca dengan gaya 'Aiman tak kisahhh').

Terima kasih abang, sebab tunggu Aida siapkan kerja.

Malam ni balik jam 9 malam.. huhuhu

Friday, 4 August 2006

Mind crammed

Berpinar mata tengok Excel. Tengkuk dah sakit-sakit.
Nak bercakap dengan staff pun tak sempat.
Aku jadi baik, Firefox pun tak sempat jenguk.
Bukan kata Firefox, e-mel sendiri pun tak sempat tengok.

Jangan tanya kenapa, aku menyumpah orang yang melarikan diri itu.
Dia sudah lupa tanggungjawab. Tidak apa, itu hal dia dengan Allah.

Kurang pahala puasa aku.

Baru siap kerja pejabat di malam buta.

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

Lost clues

The cliffhanger was WAY too much for me to absorb it.

I was like, why?

Why did Michael betrayed his friends?
Why the others choose Sawyer, Jake and Kate?
How was Penn connected to this Dharma thing?
Did John and Mr Eko survived?
How was the others connected to Dharma?

I am sick of Dharma. What is this Dharma thing?

When I read this blog, I got all the more confused. So many theories.

The Misfits Here

P/S: This is strictly for Lost fans. If you do not watch Lost, you will get lost in the clues.