Thursday, September 30, 2010


Testing jugak..

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010



Hopefully, reminiscing on happy days will keep me at bay from this unhappiness about how my research turned out. For one whole day I have been mourning about this, may be it’s time to dissect the whole thing up and think about what I can learn from this horrible experience.

It turns out that I am not very good at sharing my feelings. I can write thousands of words describing how awful I feel but I can never talk about it to anyone. Although I know I am some what introvert, I never knew that I am also introvert in this “area”. Sometimes I pity those people around me that wish I could share more of my problems with them. But what can I say? I was so used to be sharing happy positive things with people, I guess sharing sad and painful things made me uneasy. And as a result of keeping it all in, I had a headache today. just a short one that I easily shook off by a 10-minute-nap.guildhall

Another random thing that I am going to share with you guys today is about mourning for a passing friend who is also a non-Muslim. I have always wondered if I could go to one. Will it be against my faith? Because 2 weeks after completing our professional medical examination back then in 2006, a colleague passed away from leukaemia. He was a very bright and hard working Chinese boy. It is funny with someone that no longer with you, you tend to always recall the last time that you talked to them. And my last conversation with him was about 3 weeks before his death, when I inquire about his sudden significant weight loss. and he casually denied me, saying that it was all the stress of exam that hindered his appetite. I wished I talked longer. Though we are not really close, he had always been very nice and helpful, naturally I would want my last memory with him was a bit more significant than just that. And when we talk about death and passing, suddenly everything seemed very eerily quite.

And when we were informed that he passed, Siew Wah, Xin Ting and Vindhu asked me if I were going to his memorial service. unfortunately I didn’t know whether I should go or not or what is Islam’s point of view on going to a non-Muslim funeral. I am going to check about it and report it back to you guys soon.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why are you wearing that?
A common question from 2 different perspectives
Today I attended a meeting with my sponsor, University of Malaya in UWA Business School. This meeting was meant to remind us on our research progress and our responsibility to return back to our home country, Malaysia as soon as possible once we have finished. Being the 5th person on the waiting list of 6, I knew that it would take a lot of time before it was my turn, so I engaged in some chit chat to pass the time. Well, it was after all a rare occasion that we, UM lecturers to actually meet up and get to know one another... So I joined in the fun. Mostly listening than talking.
There were a lot of topics being discussed, but one that most interesting to me was about Muslim women feeling discriminated by the non-Muslims when they are living in a foreign country. Intriguing heh? I have always thought that the current general idea is Muslim women are being discriminated by their own religion and that it is the non-Muslim female organisations that are fighting for these women's right ( be it to free them from the discrimination of polygamy, or the right to wear anything that they want, etc).
So why would these women still feel discriminated when all that the westerns are trying to do is to "free" them so that they have equal rights just like any other non-Muslim women in this world?
aween seyumA very passionate lady said, a woman's right is to be free to do what she'd want to do with her life and to be allowed reach her highest potential. Another said that a woman's right is to be given the freedom of speech, and to be heard and be taken seriously in the community. Well, they are right! And that is exactly what all these female movements are doing all over the world. To give them all these things that they want. But why do they still think that they are being discriminated by the very society that wants to help them.
Well, I now know why.
Western people look at these women wearing layers of clothing covering up from head to toe, showing only their faces and hands as a symbol of male domination over women and a violation against free will.
As a consequence to that, Islam is seen as a cruel religion that oppresses it's female follower and a woman who is also a Muslim is therefore a sad little tortured creature that needs to be freed.
How so narrow and how so wrong these perceptions are.
We, Muslims women, that opted to follow the religion by the book, want our right to be given fair and square. If women from other religion is allowed to wear just as they please, why should we not being given the same right if this is what we choose to wear?
We are not covering our body because it is what our men asked us to do, we are covering up our body because it is what our God asks us to do. It has nothing to do with the husbands. It is purely an act of surrendering to Allah's will. When the nuns do it for God, they are identified as pure because they'd surrender the fun of dressing ups and looking pretty; for HIM, the almighty. But when we do the same thing on a daily basis, (giving up this worldly fun of expressing our femininity to the world) you look at us as if we are discriminated, oppressed and depress.
You judge us "why are you wearing that?" because what we wear looked out of the ordinary to you, but have we ever judge you, "why are you wearing that?" because for all you know, what you wear (or does not wear for that matter) is equally out of the ordinary to us. We never judge, because what you choose to wear is your right, so please do give our right back and let us wear our hijabs, our burqas, our jilbabs and our abayas as we please.
It is fine if some Muslim women do not want to dress up as Muslims, it is their call. May be they want to enjoy life first and only start covering up when they are a little bit older, or when they get married and have kids, or after they have retired from work... But for the majority of us that do want to follow the original Islamic dress code, please give us our right back.
What we want is to let Muslim school girl to be allowed to wear her hijab at public schools and not being forced to enter expensive private schools just so that she can practice her religion properly. What we want is to be treated fairly, based on our knowledge and abilities at tertiary institutions and at work and not stigmatized as conservative and stupid based on the piece of cloth we use to cover our head, neck and breasts. And what we want is that you would see pass this thin veil that there is a person, a girl and a lady who also wanted to make her mark in this world.
After listening to all these conversations, I just realize how lucky I am. Malaysia is a Muslim country, so we have almost total freedom on choosing what we want to wear or to practice the religion as much as we want. And I am now studying in Australia, one of the most diverse country in the world. It is liberal and very open to accepting the rights of Muslim women. But for other Muslim women out there that are not as lucky, I dedicate this entry to them and hope that I could get this message across, by one way or another.

Friday, September 24, 2010


For a Muslim girl studying in a foreign country, it is important that I keep familiar faces around. So that I will not lose track of my origin, and to not forget where I rooted from. This helps to keep me in check. But there is no point to be studying in a foreign country but not to make new friends, learn new culture, and improve oneself as an individual by observing the diversity in human life. So I made the initiative to have a balance on who are the people that I keep as my companies.
PICTURE: Eleanor and Anil, enjoying a good laugh at the Club when we were celebrating Maria’s thesis submission..
PICTURE: Maria looking like a million bucks having submitted her thesis not long ago. She is currently touring the world and will settle down in Switzerland.
PICTURE: MJ and Jess L chilling out at the airport after a scientific convention that we attended in Adelaide last year..
PICTURE: Me, looking relieved after successfully given a talk in front of so many people!
PICTURE: Jess T, clearly enjoying the Champange. Being Muslim, I was only allowed to enjoy the bouquet.. =^.^=

There is Suhaili, Rasheeda, Hatice, Faizah, Alene and many other Muslim ladies that I meet once a week or so. we mostly discuss about our PhD, writing skills, keep each other in check on our religious practices, give advice on improving ways to remember Allah by etc, etc, etc… But there is also Megan, Jess T, Jess L, Hannah, Eleanor, Maria, Leonie, Tahmina, Pearl, Ruth and Anil that I meet everyday, talk to everyday about science, life, PCR, animal works, tutorials and hymens (LOL!).

I have always been the person who keeps each of my Muslim friends in check with their PhD progress. I am always nagging like a mother reminding them on the importance of writing your thesis from a very early stage, ensuring them that writing is not as difficult or as scary as most non-native English speakers like us thought and that every single baby step counts towards producing that thick stack of A4 papers we happily called the PhD thesis. But who always keeps me on the track?

It is my friend Ell, or Eleanor as I usually call her that plays a significant role in my PhD life. Today, Ell asked about my PhD progress again (most probably from having not seen me in the office for few days this week…in my defence,  I was having a viral bronchitis, and couldn’t even get up from bed on Monday). But I appreciated all her kind gestures.

high spirited, very energetic, boot camp addict, Eleanor is my PhD motivator. I learned a lot from my Muslim friends, but I also learned just as much from my Aussie friends too. To Allah, I pray and be ever so grateful for giving me this chance to meet all these wonderful people. Ultimately I aim to be a good Muslim and an all rounder & compassionate Human Being..

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Malaysians in Perth: Eid 2010

Location: Swanborne, Western Australia
Date: 19/09/2010

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