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After much discussion, we decided to send the kids for swimming lessons.


My boss introduced me to the instructor(s) – there is actually two of them, a male and a female – and the classes run on Sundays from 9.00 till 10.30 at Ipoh’s Public Swimming Pool.


I was quite surprised because both of them were a bit hesitant to go for the classes – takut mati lemas lah, takut cikgu garang lah – all kinds of reasons. So we reassured them, and told them that everything will be alright.


And just as expected. Within 10 minutes, they were already enjoying themselves and laughing at each other because the instructor was teaching them how to properly breathe in the water.


After some time, mom and I felt hungry so we decided to join dad and husband, who were enjoying themselves over breakfast across the road with my boss’ husband. We came back slightly after 10.30 and by the time we got to the pool, kakak was already crying while my boss’ husband was trying to console her. Kakak got really upset because we left although earlier, she said “takpe mak, pergilah makan.. “


It took me some time to console her, but all in all, I am glad they had fun and they are now looking forward to next Sunday!.


Once in awhile, when I really think about my kids’ behavior, I cannot help but agree with the opinion that the first twin that comes out is actually the adik. Orang tua-tua kata kakak mengalah, so kakak would let adik come out first. Syakirah, who came out one minute before Syahirah – is a typical adik – who would cry for no reason, always wanting to be hugged, and consoled, and kissed – manja! But Syahirah, who is the younger twin by birth – is much more independent and matured. Maybe, it is true that Syahirah is the kakak!.

One of the magic rules of communication is to be a good listener.

 

Basically, you have to actually listen to what the other person is saying to you. Listen, and digest. Pay attention. Even if you do not understand what the other person is trying to say, pretend as if you do. And if possible, try and summarize or repeat, in your own words, what you have understood from his words.

 

Seek first to understand, then to be understood – that is Habit No 5 according to Covey in his famous “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” book.

 

Have empathy.

 

But then again, listening to the same person again and again is not an easy thing to do. Some people just like to talk and talk and talk… non-stop… on and on… on and on…

 

Once in awhile, I do get tired… and bored, of course. Especially when the topic is something that has got nothing to do with me. Plus, it is something that I can never be interested in (e.g. why this football team won… like, who cares?). It gets even worse when the other person tries to be philosophical and you just don’t have a clue on what the topic is all about. And the worst part is that, when you hint that the person needs to stop, that person ignores the sign (or pretends to ignore, I am not too sure).

 

Please, have empathy on me. 

I can listen, but I too, have limitations! I need some space!

Kembara Sufi

Seni Islami, Wadah Kontemporari

 

That was the theme of this year’s Kembara Sufi, an annual Islamic concert organized by the students of the university.

 

This year, Kembara Sufi was held on Saturday night, 24th of April 2010 with three guest artistes namely Azhan Atan, Rabbani and Shoutul Harokah, a group from Indonesia.

 

I brought the whole family to the concert, including mom and dad since they are also fans of Azhan Atan.

 

The concert started off with performances from the university’s nasyid group and also a group from Yayasan Anak Yatim An Nur. Then, Azhan first performed four songs, followed by Rabbani and finally Shoutul Harokah.

 

Azhan’s powerful voice was almost magic when he first sang Ku Milik Mu. In fact, I felt as if the entire hall went so silent when he sang that song. And he was also remarkably entertaining on stage with his ‘santai’ concept. Surprisingly, he could also play the keyboard very well!

 

Rabbani was also great despite the fact that Ustaz Asri is no longer with us. When they started off with the song Intifada, I felt a tinge of sadness because a few years back, Rabbani was singing the same song at the same stage but with Ustaz Asri. You could almost feel and see him standing right there! Zulkifli is now the new vocalist, and he has a superb voice as well… because there will never be another Ustaz Asri!

 

The final performance was by Shoutul Harokah, a group from Indonesia. I have heard their songs before, and their performance was equally entertaining. Their songs are unlike Malaysian nasyeeds yang mendayu, but more ‘bersemangat’ in nature, that it makes you want to stand up and march!

 

Congratulations to the committee members for a very-well organized concert!

Datuk Zaid lost

And so it is official that Datuk Zaid Ibrahim lost the by-election by 1725 votes.

 

Even though this did not come as a surprise to me, considering that all three DUNs under Hulu Selangor belong to BN, I still find it sad that we could not send to Parliament someone as charismatic as him.

 

On the other hand, I guess this comes as a wake-up call for Pakatan Rakyat to polish up its services and strengthen its policies, considering how close the next general election is.

 

Nevertheless, I hope that Datuk Zaid would continue to fight for the people. This is just the beginning, insya Allah.

I was bloghopping just now, and read an entry about Khalifah Umar Al Khattab here.

 

 The author was relating a story about how Khalifah Umar used to drink alcoholic drinks (arak) before he became a Muslim. And we all know the famous story about how Khalifah Umar buried his newborn daughter alive during jahilliyah times.

 

I find it quite interesting the way he hopes Zaid Ibrahim will follow the footsteps of Khalifah Umar – and reform himself to be a better person. Because when Khalifah Umar declared his syahadah, he completely became a new person – an extremely pious and God-fearing man. When he became the khalifah, he made so many changes and reformed the Islamic world. And Allah accepted his repentance because Khalifah Umar is one of Rasulullah’s sahabahs who has been promised Jannah. And he used to be an alcoholic!!!

 

Seriously, I think that the character assassination attempt by BN (i.e. by portraying the doctored photo of Zaid drinking a bottle of beer) has done more good to Zaid than damage his reputation! I should thank UMNO for this because people are now more openly admitting that they know our UMNO ‘leaders’ drink and gamble!

 

 

Anyway, we took the kids to watch How To Train Your Dragon in 3D last Sunday night. No, not in Ipoh of course, but in Midvalley KL since I was on official duties last weekend – 3D is still alien to the people living in Ipoh!

 

Not only were the kids excited, so were we! 

It was a cute story. It was worth paying RM56 for the tickets – RM17 for adults and RM11 for kids because the 3D effect was just fantastic. You could almost feel the dragon’s sharp tail piercing through the screen right into your face!

I am watching the Hulu Selangor by-election closely.

 

The fight between PKR’s Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and BN’s Kamalanathan is getting intense, with only four days left for campaigning.

 

It would be interesting to see the sentiments of the people of Hulu Selangor, which may or may not be a reflection of the overall support towards Pakatan Rakyat. The general elections are coming up real soon, maybe in less than two years time, so it would be a platform for Pakatan Rakyat to reassess its position. What makes it more interesting is the fact that all three DUNs under Hulu Selangor are under BN.. but Arwah Datuk Zainal still won, although by a small majority. 

 

On a personal note, putting aside the politics and regardless of the final outcome of this by-election, I think I learnt one major lesson from this by-election. That it is never a shameful thing to admit your past mistakes, and get on with life. Seriously, despite the fact that it was a big sin, I was quite impressed by the way Datuk Zaid admitted that he used to drink alcohol in the past. Yes, as human beings, we all make mistakes. What is important is for us to admit that we have done it, repent and seek forgiveness from Allah, afterall isn’t Allah the Most Forgiving and the Most Merciful?

 

Allah has said in Surah Taha, verse 82: “And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes in My oneness, and associates none in worship with Me and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them till his death”.

 

Believe in Allah. Have trust in Him. If you sin, repent and continue doing good deeds. Because Allah is the Most Forgiving! 

How often do I really, really seek forgiveness from Him for all my sins??

Tagged by Mynie

Sis Mynie tagged me by awarding me this Beautiful Blogger Award. 

 

Thank you mynie (she described me as ‘berazam nak kurangkan baca buku cerita sebab kena baca buku akademik’ – something that I have still not completely achieved!)… although it means revealing more things about me!

 

I haven’t done tags for some time… and I have done 7 tags about me so I am not sure if I can find new things to tell… so here goes 7 things about me and my family:

 

My favourite movie of all time is Pendekar Bujang Lapuk. I would watch this movie again and again especially when I am down – simply to have a good laugh.

 

I love to travel. But neither my husband nor my kids like traveling. They simply love to stay at home! In fact, my kids even hate going to the shopping mall.

 

I once had an accident while driving in Melbourne. I was going down a slippery hill, lost my balance, skidded and hit another car. The driver was kind enough not to ask me to pay for it since his car was not too badly damaged. We became friends thereafter.

 

My husband is four years younger than I am (well, three and a half to be exact) and he was actually my student. (Someone once said to me, ‘selalunya cikgu lelaki kahwin dengan anak murid perempuan, ni terbalik.’ How true!)

 

My twins are Nur Syakirah and Nur Syahirah. The original intention was to name the first one who came out Nur Syahirah (because H comes before K) but it turned out the other way around.

 

Once in a while, I still get confused between kakak and adik, especially from the back and especially when they put on their tudungs. And of course, when they get really, really naughty, I always scold the wrong twin!

 

My husband and I got married on National Day. 31st August 2000. We chose that date because we wanted to avoid forgetting our anniversary and more importantly, tak payah ambil cuti to celebrate our anniversary!

 

Mynie, cukup tak? :)

 

I would like to tag my good friend, Capri (a person I find really mysterious) and of course, Famygirl who recently delivered a beautiful baby boy (well, not too recently).