Sunday, August 16, 2009

COMPLETE Boycott Israel Walkabout

Assalammualaikum.
Yesterday i went for a boycott Israel campaign organised by COMPLETE Malaysia.
I paid RM10 for my boycott Israel tshirt (because i took a long one) while my brother got his for free because i used my stdnt card to get his. Student get a free tshirt each.



The campaign was held at Menara DBKL, Jln Raja Laut.
The event started off with tshirt distribution to participants and at 10am, a press conference started.
The tshirt was written "Boycott Israel" and the logo of the 4 companies being boycotted were on it too. The 4 companies are: McDonald, Nestle, Loreal and Coca Cola.





Various speakers were invited to give their speech and a Palestinian young man, Mohammed Moussa Al-Hajj from the Rashideya refugee campin Lebanon also gave a speech. He was one of the millions ppl suffering from the atrucity by the Israelis.
He lost both of his legs and was brought to Malaysia by Malaysia Relief Agency to undergo a surgery to give him a new pair of legs. He spoke in Arabic (i guess) and there was a translator beside him on the stage. He told abt how he lost his legs, and he thanked Malaysians for the support for him. All this while i have been writing abt Palestinians but i've yet to see a real suffering Palestinian in front of me. Though i saw Dr Azzam And Dr Muhsen Soleh during the PWTC Convention but as both of them looked very well kempt and (rich i suppose?), it didnt give me the same feeling i had when i saw Mohammed Moussa (i'm not saying Mohammed Moussa looked very unkempt, no no no that's not what i meant).
He is a living proof of the occupation, standing before me.

Mohammed Moussa and his translator


One of the speakers was KK Tan, a journalist from The Sun and a writer (i didnt know abt him at all until yesterday). And one speaker that caught my attention was Louisa Chong! She started her speech with an "Assalammualaikum" and greeted in English and Mandarin. She was very passionate, speaking like debater, fighting passionately for justice to be given to the Palestinians. When i first saw her sitting on the VIP seat, i thought she was just an invited celebrity to make the cmpaign more lively. Never did i expect that she's gonna be very firm and fierce on the stage, condemning what the Israelis are doing and hv been doing to the Palestinians. She insisted that as human being, we shd never do what the Israelis are doing to another human being (indirectly she's saying that the Zionists are inhumane, for those who hvnt notice that). So, a big round of applause to Louisa Chong for proving that she's not merely a celebrity who only knows how to act and get famous!

Louisa Chong in action!

Mr KK Tan


Signing the banner session



Before the invited guests deliver their speech, there was a video screening session.
One of the videos showed were very heart-wrenching. I dont have the video but these are some of the content of the video (in words).

A man was interviewed in the video and he said during the Cast Lead early this year, an Israeli tanker stopped abt 50m from his hse. So his whole family; mother, wife and children got out of the hse, waving a white flag. There were two soldiers standing in front of the tanker; one was eating chocolate and another was eating (sorry i cant remember what). So they stayed there, not moving because the soldiers did not ask them to come forward or to go back into their house. He was surprised when suddenly a third soldier came out of the tank and aimed an M-16 to one of his children. M-16 to a child??? In a fraction of a second, he saw his 2 year old daughter lying on the floor with her stomach bursted out. She was holding a stuffed teddy bear and the bullet went thru the toy and his daughter. He showed the bloody teddy bear in the video.

Free Gaza Movement, an organisation formed in 2006 has been trying to send humanity aid to the ppl in Gaza by boats as governments failed to act. But their boats have been capsized by the Israeli soldiers and was attacked and abducted. I didnt know there is such a news, why arent Malaysian media publicising these kind of news like they publicised the divorce of celebrities? Why arent they publicising these kind of news like they publicise the dirty politics in Malaysia?? Huwaida Arraf, the chairperson of Free Gaza movement is one lady i just got to know abt yesterday. And she's very good. When attacked by the Israeli army boats, she emphasised "You are threatening to attack unarmed civilians". In the video, the Israeli army were very fierce and inhuman! How could they stop a boat carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza? Who in the world gave them such an authority?

After the press conference, participants were given a bungkus of nasi lemak and we set off to our destinations. The destinations were KLCC, KL Sentral, MidValley Megamall, Bangsar, One Utama, The Curve, Cineleisure and IKANO Power Centre.
The first four destinations were for students as these places are reachable by public transport while the other 4 were for families.




Before continuing to tell what happened during the walkabout, i think i shd tell abt the participants first.
UTAR sent the most student, 78 ppl! So congrats to UTAR! Their presence certainly rocked the campaign. Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS) sent abt 40 ppl.
Other universities include USIM and UM. There were only 4 ppl in my group; me, my brother, Diana ex-INTEC and Eka frm INTEC. All 4 of us are from different institutions so we cant represent any school. The UTARians are to go to KLCC, i forgot where CUCMS and USIM were supposed to go but UM stdnts were supposed to go to MidValley. Since i went for Air Mata Gaza campaign in UM, i decided to join the stdnts frm UM. And off we go to MidValley by KTM. We were given money to buy the tickets.



In the KTM, we grabbed the passengers' attention. Well of course, a group of nearly 40 students wearing the same tshirts with a very big Boycott Israel logo on the shirt, who wont be curious?
And when we reached Midvalley, we headed to the Lower Ground floor where all the fastfood restaurants are (including McD). We were instructed by our leader not to do anything weird, just pretend like nothing happened and walk in group. Then we decided to go into Carrefour and this is when the fun (or was it heat?) started. The guards at the entrance were shocked seeing us and panicked as no bags are supposed to be brought in but almost all of us brought bags. And they did not have enough hands to tie all the bags so they let us in. And they let us in grudgingly. A security came (he wasnt wearing a uniform but he looked as if he has power so i guess he's the supervisor of the guards) and he held his walkie talkie tightly in his hand as if the walkie talkie can fly out if he hold it loosely. I asked my brother to stand in front of a Nescafe booth and snapped his picture. He came out of nowehere and scolded me. He said "I TOLD U NO CAMERA IS ALLOWED!! NO CAMERA!! WHERE IS YOUR LEADER?? I WANT TO SEE YOUR LEADER!!" I was surprised and said i didnt know that he said no camera is allowed, i really2 didnt know. And i didnt want the leader to be in trouble because of me so i quickly apologised and kept my camera in my bag. I managed to snap only one pic. Haha!

All 4 of us at Bank Negara KTM Station

From left: Eka, my bro and Diana in the KTM. (I'm telling the names in case u dont know which one is Eka, which one is Diana) =P

In MidValley. See the McD in background? Haha


The only pic i get to snap before the freaked out guard scolded me.

And then, holding his walkie talkie he gave a msg to his colleague "Control, control!"
I laughed quietly. It's not like we are holding an M-16 or even a banner or a pamphlete. We were just walking into Carrefour in peace. I repeat, in peace. We didnt even make noise. They made the noise. It's as if we are the demonstrators and they are the ISA ppl.

But we continued walking and they followed us. I think there are 3 of them. At one point in the store, we split into few groups walking everywhere. They became more panicked as they couldnt be following all of us around. The shoppers started looking at us and stopped doing what they were doing. I felt proud =P.

When we almost reach the exit, the same man came and asked to see our leader. He brought another man with him, who i guess is the Store Manager. As Kak Jannah, our leader approached them, we made a smaller circle around them to hear what they told her. And i had a "back-our-leader-up" instinct. But what they told her is unintelligible. But my brother said that the manager told Kak Jannah that they are not trying to chase us out, but they DO NOT want us to be here. Well, what's that supposed to mean? And they asked for a letter approving what we were doing.
Not wanting to spark any fight or lead to any trouble, Kak Jannah brought us out of Carrefour. We split in front of Carrefour and we were instructed to walk around MidValley and make ourselves visible. The UM students are to gather at 1.45pm but since me and friends are not going back to UM, we decided to say goodbye for good and we walked on our own.

Yesterday was also a surprising day for me.
At MidValley I met one of ex-INTECians. I've nvr talked to him but only saw him few times in the library. He looked surprised seeing me in the huge group.
After MidValley i went to Sogo to pray and had our post-lunch pre-tea and i met Ain, my roommate in the surau.
Upon walking out of Sogo on my way to the lrt station, i met my IMU senior.
It's kinda surprising to accidentally meet a lot of ppl in one day.
KL is not so big it seems.

8 comments:

  1. kecoh gile pakgad tuh.erm.arent u guys suppose to ksk pamplete ntok public ppl?

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  2. Salam dearest AkMaR.

    Thanks for writing about this. Nice to meet your brother. No doubt he's just like his big sister, InsyaAllah. I know Millions of Palestinians will appreciate what you, your bro and all your friends did that day as well as those that suppored us, but couldn't take part.

    May Allah bless you and may He help us all in the struggle to bring Justice to the horribly oppressed people of Palestine.

    I will give you the videos that were shown on that day. The Free Gaza Movement came from the two HERO's who came to our meeting on Wednesday: Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Araff (also of the International Solidarity Movement). They are the ones who statred the boats to Gaza idea and inspired the viva Palestina convoys. May Allah reward these most excellent and inspiriring people.

    Ms. Chong is, I think, a revert to Islam (so my wife says). she was great and KK Tan was great and admirable man too.

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  3. *orkeD*
    nope, no pamphlete... jln2 je..
    kecoh gler kn pakcik tuh?
    tp best... haha.. rasa rebellious..
    haha...

    *intechemistry*
    Wkslm sir. =)
    I forgot to mention in the post abt Ms Chong being a revert.
    And yes KK Tan is admirable. He started writing when he was still studying. That's great.

    Thanks, i'll appreciate the video u're giving me. Huwaida Araff is a cool lady too. Am admiring her too.
    =)

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  4. "started writing when he was still studying" - ground is ripe for U to be the next KK Tan ??? (Ms. of course)

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  5. Published: Monday August 17, 2009 MYT 3:53:00 PM

    http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/8/17/nation/20090817155542&sec=nation

    ‘Help break Gaza siege,’ MPs urged
    By IZATUN SHARI

    KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Members of Parliament (MPs) have been invited to join a mid-October mission to “break Israel’s siege” and transport humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza to rebuild their homes.

    International voluntary human rights movement Free Gaza Movement has called on Barisan Nasional and Opposition MPs to consider joining an international parliamentarian delegation in its next mission to send aid -- mainly building materials and school supplies -- to Gaza.

    The movement’s leader Huwaida Arraf made the call at a meeting with 11 MPs in Parliament here Monday.

    “We hope to get as many parliamentarians as possible to come with us so that it will be harder for Israel to refuse lifting its siege. Our aim is not just to send aid but also to break the siege,” she said.

    She said having greater participation of high profile people and international organisations in the mission would ensure that Israel would give in and lift the illegal blockade of the Gaza strip, which has cut off supplies of humanitarian aid from the international community.

    “Since Malaysia doesn’t have a formal relationship with Israel, boycotting its products won’t be necessary -- but by joining Free Gaza’s mission, supplying cargo ships, passenger boats and supplies in defiance of Israel’s policy... that’s a big step,” she said.

    Asked what Malaysian civilians could do to show their support, Huwaida said one of the ways would be to join a concerted campaign to boycott international companies doing business with Israel, such as those supplying bulldozers to abolish Palestinian homes and communications materials for Israeli occupation.

    On the progress of fund raising initiative, Fund for Gaza, she said enough money had been raised to obtain the cargo ships and now more funds needed to be raised to buy at least two passengers ships.
    She said Free Gaza also planned to approach parliamentarians in the Arab world and in Western countries.

    Meanwhile, Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee said it would be up to the MPs to consider joining the mission in their personal capacity.

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  6. I really really hope Malaysian govt is gonna act on this.
    Hope they wont show lack-of-interest or frightened-of-the-so-called-big-power in the world.

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  7. "What a wonderful account by Akmar." - Proffessor Zahurin Mohamed UM, COMPLETE member.

    "great reading" - J. Mustapha (COMPLETE secretary)

    "Very streetwise! I love the account at carrefour." - Azra Banu. 'Senior member' of COMPLETE

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  8. Whoa...!
    Thanks sir!
    I really really appreciate this..
    Too bad i cant frame it up and put it up on my wall. =P

    ReplyDelete