Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Extended vacation…???



23rd June 2006

Excited, we departed pretty early for Queen Alia International Airport. Reached the airport 2 hours before the 0155 hours midnight flight, and after sometime of wandering around, we bid goodbye to those who sent us and headed for the check-in counter.

“Your ticket has been fully cancelled” said the man at the counter, and he asked us to refer to the Royal Jordanian reception.

“Your ticket has been fully cancelled” the other man at the Royal Jordanian reception printed. Cancellation dated somewhere in April, when we decided to change the return ticket to 23rd June instead of 12th.

Subhanallah, Ustaz Shahabuddeen was with us. He’s now a diplomat in Jordan, working for the Malaysian Embassy. He called some people and got the three of us into the waiting list. We waited for another 50 minutes. We prayed and prayed and prayed.
My already-6-hours headache lessens. That is what usually happens when I’m in deep stress, alhamdulillah… But after things settled, it’ll return and I couldn’t get up or even open my eyes. Telling myself to just be ready for that… Hope it’ll be during the flight back home, just like when we came…

I know I shouldn’t be blaming anyone. From Malaysia everything was okay, but some miscommunication happens somewhere – “a norm for RJ”, said Ust Shah – and I can do nothing but pray and pray…
But the stupidest thing is, if the ticket has been fully cancelled, why bother giving us a reference booking number! HXH2L RJ180 Amman-Bangkok. Back in April, I asked Ummi to ask the travel agent whether we should go to the local RJ office here, but they said no need. The travel agent even faxed the new itinerary home. So we didn’t went, despite the office was just steps away from the Markaz Lughoh.
A big lesson to be learnt: It would be much better anyway if you just reconfirm your ticket at the local airline office, you’ll have nothing to lose.

We didn’t get through anyway, as you know. Geneva Hotel, Seventh Circle, Amman is our next destination. Spent the remaining night in deep sleep, ate buffet breakfast this morning, topped-up our prepaid card, and now HERE I AM, TYPING THIS CRAP OUT OF MY HEAD!

I WANT TO ATTEND THE ALUMNI AGM!!!

But there’s always hikmah behind everything, no matter how much you hate things that happen. Allah knows best!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Udang kering! Oh udang kering!!

13th June 2006

It’s been more than two months living without shrimps, so we were really exited when we got some udang kering. Those ustaz following al-Bayan programme gave us a small bag of udang kering and ikan bilis before they returned to Malaysia. So, masaklah sayur campur dengan gembiranya… Kejap-kejap curi sikit, kejap-kejap curi sikit. Soon when we started the meal, my nose felt hot and painful. I soon remembered that I’m a little allergic to shrimps. Eyes went wet and good gracious we have some ice in the freezer. Ape lagi, jadi macam orang hidung berdarah lak, letak ais kat hidung. Kak Maziah said it’s resdung. I don’t know. Anyway, the main point is: I never felt so terrible with food. Harap-harap balik Malaysia nanti boleh makan udang!!! Huwaaaa!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Peluru Peringatan





20th May 2006

Assalamu’alaikum…

Subhanallah… Bertubi-tubi peluru peringatan dilepaskan dan terkena tepat pada saraf-saraf otak ana yang kurang berfungsi. Hidup di Jordan ni boleh dikatakan hibernating tahap tak boleh dimaafkan. Sepanjang masa hanya terfikirkan ’tekanan’ darjat peningkatan belajar bahasa arab yang masih amat tidak memuaskan.

Namun segala puji bagi Allah yang sentiasa mengingatkan hamba-hambaNya yang sering leka dan alpa dengan dunia, wujudnya seorang rakan baru yang sering mengingatkan bahawa diri ini pastinya akan kembali kepada Allah tanpa mengira masa dan usia. Walaupun sebenarnya cara penyampaiannya cukup menguji kesabaran, peringatan inilah antara nasihat yang paling berharga buatku.
Tapi aku pelik pada mereka yang terlalu ingin berkongsi ilmu dengan orang lain, sehinggakan dilayannya orang yang mendengar seperti orang yang amat nipis dan tipis ilmunya. Tapi diri sendiri tertanya-tanya juga, ”begitukah aku satu ketika dulu? Pernah dibenci dan dimaki oleh mereka yang tidak sefikrah apabila aku cuba untuk jadi ’malaikat’ diantara mereka”. Mungkin adalah balasan daripada Allah kepada orang yang tak sedar diri pada masa silamnya. Dan ini bukanlah kali pertama berhadapan dengan manusia sebegini.

.....
Semua yang berada di bumi Malaysia sudahpun melangkah ke hadapan untuk ROQ The World tahun ini. Banyak improvement yang aku dapat lihat dari bumi anbiya’ ini. Selamat berjuang semua! Aku juga akan berusaha sebaik mungkin di sini, buku kecik ROQ masih ade beberapa dalam fail. Mungkin boleh diterjemahkan ke bahasa arab, dicetak dan diedarkan di bumi Jordan dan Syria. Lukisan Kak Yam pun boleh tiru kot... Hehehe... Tapi rasenye lukisan Kak Yam lagi comel. Kak Yam, boleh ke? Ape-ape pun, akan diusahakan!
Sape-sape yg sudi bagi bantuan mahupun dari segi kewangan atau semangat sangat-sangat dialukan... Hehehe... Yallah syabab ul-islam!!! Al-Quds Yunaadeekum!

Semalam aku ke Irbid, sempadan Jordan-Israel. Kata orang boleh nampak al-Quds dari kawasan Umm Qays, tapi salah info kot... Amat terkilan... Lalu banyak checkpoint je lebih... Jadi hanya merenung tasik at-Tobari yg pernah menjadi rebutan kerajaan Jordan dan Israel dan mengikut riwayat akan menjadi tempat Ya’juj Ma’juj minum air sehingga kering. Tasik at-Tobari kini menjadi sumber air utama Israel dan dikelilingi oleh settlements Yahudi yg sangat tersusun – rumah-rumah, tanaman, saluran air, etc. Terbayang dan tertanya... Masa Islam dah berjaya liberate Palestine nnt,,, nak buang diorang (orang Yahudi) kat mana?

Sebulan dua minggu di bilad asy-syam ini, telahku menziarahi beberapa maqam sahabat dan lokasi-lokasi bersejarah. Antaranya adalah kota pemerintahan Salahuddin al-Ayyubi dan maqam baginda, maqam perawi hadith terkemuka Abu Hurairah, maqam Muadz ibn Jabal (ra), salah seorang sahabat yang sangat Rasulullah cintai dan ulama’ terkemuka semasa zaman kegemilangan Islam dahulu dan ramai lagi. Meremang bulu roma dan berair mata ketika mendengar syarah imam-imam masjid di hampir setiap maqam tentang mereka. Terlalu jauh kedudukanku, terasa diri ini tidak layak meminta tempat di sisi Rasulullah, dan tidak layak mendambakan syurga Ilahi. Ya Allah... Bantulah aku mengharungi kehidupan ini dan kehidupan nanti...

- Nihlah 20052006 1240 -
[Destinasi cinta yang ku cari sebenarnya terlalu hampir. Hanya kabur kerana dosa di dalam hati]

Saturday, June 10, 2006

3-days backpacking: Syria & Lubnan

- anyone can help me!!! how to eliminate that date?! -

11th, 12th & 13th May 2006

Cancelled all classes on Thursday ‘coz we’re going to Syria and Lubnan for the weekend. Were supposed to catch the bus at 10:30 a.m., but the bus left. Why? Because we stopped by to get something very important from a friend but nobody was punctual. Promised to meet at Baab Shimali of al-Jami’ah al-Urduniyyah at 9:45 a.m. We reached there couple of minutes before 10:00 a.m., but that friend was not there. Called, but the phone wasn’t answered. Waited and waited, tried to get her through her roommate, she finally gave us a call, informing us that she’d meet us at 11 and is still at home, unready.
I was furious, for that wasn’t the first time. Good gracious her apartment is just ‘a little walk away going up the hill’, we hiked to her home, and still had to wait a minute or two before the door was answered.
Alright, I’m not trying to backbite here, but the first lesson everyone, including me!, should learn from this is BE PUNTUAL AND TRAIN OTHERS TO BE PUNCTUAL. If you wish to be late, at least inform the one waiting so that s/he will expect to have to waste a little bit of time or try changing plans.

Ba’din (then), we took a cab to Mujamma’ al-Abdali and realised that we were 3 minutes late. Another bus will depart at 3 p.m., but who wants to wait? Alhamdulillah there’s a taxi waiting for 4 passengers to fill up the 8-seater car, we joined the group and started the 3-day backpacking officially.
The journey to Syria was quite dreadful. The car wasn’t comfortable (but at least we have a car alhamdulillah!), and what was worse was that the other men smoked in the car. Dah la takde tingkap kat belakang, and diorang tak biasa turunkan tingkap rasanya, turunkan tingkap pun brape inci je… Had very little oxygen supply and the air was really stuffy and pretty hot. Halfway to Syria, I realized that a fever is coming.
Agaknye sebab-sebab kurang selesa ni doa-doa orang musafir mudah dimakbulkan...


Reached Syria at about 14:30, and Miqdad and his friend welcomed us. We went to Kak Nusaibah and Ustaz Akmal’s house… Lunch was ready: masakan melayu [ade sambal belacan yg sangat-sangat-sangat pedas!]. After the very late lunch, we went to Suq Hamidi, near Umayyad Mosque. The Souq (market) has a long ‘main-road’ with small shops on its left and right and branches of small ‘roads’ in between them, linking the ‘main-road’ to other small shops. Man, sorry for the very bad explanation. And all the way before reaching Umayyad Mosque, the Souq is roofed, just like the one in Istanbul. It was beautiful indeed.

I was restless. The headache kept throbbing and my body temperature went up and up and worse: there’s no way of getting rid of it. I had no choice but to continue on because then I’d be wasting time and money going to Damascus if I stayed at home (Kak Nusaibah’s home). Went from shops to shops but I didn’t buy anything, oh I really wasn’t in the mood of looking around for jubahs or table-cloths. Ate very late dinner, and returned to Kak Nusaibah’s apartment near midnight.

The next day we took a bus to Lubnan and headed straight to Beirut. Went to Downtown and some historical sites but many were under maintenance so we couldn’t get in. That evening we went to the shore and witnessed sunset in Beirut. We traveled on foot to save money. I don’t know how far exactly, but I tell you it is very far from one place to another. By 9 p.m. we were exhausted. Plus, Beirut’s a city and we couldn’t figure out what else to do but rest. It’s very expensive there, by the way.

Early next morning, we checked-out early and headed to Sabra & Shatila Refugee camp. It’s really different from the city of Beirut. I just can’t describe how unsettling were their conditions. Even you can tell the difference when you look at the pictures, right? We couldn’t linger there longer ‘coz we have to catch the bus back to Syria. So yes, we returned to Syria.

As soon as we reach Syria, went to Kak Nusaibah’s (again) and had late lunch (again). Then we went to Souq Hamidi and Souq Towilah for more shopping. The nicest thing was that all went with us! Kak Nusaibah and her cute daughter Syifa’, Mashitah, Najihah, Zubaidah and Amal. Kak Maziah and Cik Nurul bought some lovely table-cloths and jubahs for their family, relatives and friends. And I- didn’t get anything. Coz Abah warned not to bring home many things. Uh-oh! Plus, I only had USD100 in pocket for the whole 3-days backpacking. Alhamdulillah I still have a mild remainder (enough for a week or two) when we returned to Amman.

Ah yes, I bought some postcards in Beirut. Two had been posted home by the friends in Syria and another two still in hand. Will post ‘em to Malaysia in few days nsyaAllah. I also ordered some name stamps (with Arabic fonts!) for myself, for my brother Yusuf and for someone special. I hope they’d like that for a birthday present.

Late that night we took a taxi back to Amman. Many said (alhamdulillah they said this after we returned or we would have to stay in Syria for another night and skip classes the next morning) that we shouldn’t take a cab especially in the middle of the night because it’s very dangerous – the Arabs could do anything to harm us. Alhamdulillah we reached home safe and sound – but really exhausted.
Lubnan (two pics below):

Shabra & Shatila Refugee Camp (four pics below):




Suq Hamidi:

Umayyad Mosque:

Friday, June 02, 2006

aj-Jaulah ila Jerash wa Ajloun






30th April 2006

This’s the only piece recorded for the day. It was written by that girl sitting at the roof-top of Ajloun Castle of pemerintahan Salahuddin al-Ayyubi. [referring to one of the pictures attached]

Eighteen and a half years of age
Taught me that I have been living in a cage
I knew nothing about the world outside
For I was not used to have strangers by my side
When I first stepped out into the real world
I learnt that I have no choice but to be bold
In order to survive through this life of tests
I have to believe that He always grant me the best
All pain endured are meant to make me stronger
'Coz the future will surely be much tougher
For patience and strength will I continuously pray
Oh Allah, lead me through every step of this worldly play