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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ego Maniac

Assalammualaikum.

I've come to realise that ego maniacs exist in our daily lives. I thought they are just rare people who rarely come into the the lives of rare types of people. Apparently, ego maniacs can just be that normal person who crashed into your life, making a normal appearance and constantly annoy you. :p

As one of my friends brilliantly described another friend, "Some people are good at listening, some people are good at listening... *****, is good at talking".

Throughout my after-school life (which has not been long), I noticed that some people like to correct other people. They correct petty stuff like the words usage in an sms, the words we used in talking to them. I know I am far from perfect but, must these people really see and pinpoint all the little flaws in me? As little as ........ (i'd better not say it here, that person might be reading this, then tomorrow I'll get another msg asking me not to do it again, heh...).

So yes, just be aware friends.
Egocentrics exist among us...
And if we do not realise their signs and symptoms, we'll have a hard time just by being around them.
To make myself feel better, I constantly reminded myself, "this person is an egocentric, take whatever is said with a pinch of salt."

Try it, and you'll feel better. :D

-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Monday, February 21, 2011

2 Dreams in a Night

Okay, I know it is quite irrelevant of me to write about my dreams but really, this is my blog so I'm gonna write what I want as long as it does not hurt any other people.

Last night, I had more than one dreams. I am sure of it. But I can only remember two of them clearly. The rest were so vague that I remember almost nothing.

Dream #1.

I got to Manchester Univ.

It was such a weird dream because I didn't actually board a plane there. I just got there.
And I didn't even know I was going there. Suddenly I find myself in my hostel room, with my senior and an officer. That officer was explaining the regulations of the hostel. And the room was huge, with a big study table, a queen sized bed, a single sized bed and few other bed frames that have not been assembled. So I was curious, with such a big room, will I be sleeping alone?

And to my surprise, the officer said yes. He instructed me to dismantle any beds I do not want to use, and organise + decorate the room myself. I got so excited since I like decorating rooms. My senior then told me she will get another room.

And weird enough, my family do not know I was there. I was transported there without their knowledge. But, I still have to pass my EOS5 in order to be accepted into the university. So this visit to Manchester really is just for me to have a sneak peek into my room, and the buildings there. Other than that, I do not know what is the purpose of this visit. What I know is, I'll be back in Malaysia after the visit.

I then ran to the nearest grocery shop to buy myself top up card to call back home and letting my mother know that I am in Manchester. Of course, I have only Malaysian Ringgit so when I asked for a $10 worth of top up, the shop owner had to convert RM to USD to (what currency do they use in UK? Euro? Pound? Whatever... ), and I had to pay RM20++.

And then, the dream ended.

*sigh*

People say we dream of what we think the most.
But I really did not think of anything about Manchester yesterday.
I always find dream amusing, and misleading.


Dream #2.

The Palestine awareness week in IMU had finally started.

A talk was going on in the seminar room, but there weren't enough audience!
The room was almost empty, only about 10 students turned up. The organisers were actually targeting at least 30 students.

It was so awkward to have renowned speakers talking to 10 people in a room that can fit more than 30 students. So I had to run to the atrium and driveway, and instructed all the volunteers that were volunteering at the exhibition stalls to go to the talk; to make up to the number.

It was a disaster, and I was very disappointed.

The talk wasn't so successful;it did not raise the awareness of IMU students since the audience of the talk were actually instructed to go, and they are all volunteers who have had some idea of what's happening in Palestine. Those people who really do not know what is happening aren't going to the talk.


And then the dream ended.

Now, that's a real nightmare.
It would be fair to say this is one of the things I thought about during the day, since I am quite worried of the response towards this event.

I can just think of the best way to publicise the campaign, and let the rest be in the hands of God.


With this, I end this post.
Happy dreaming friends!
I wonder what will I be dreaming about tonight.

And oh yea, I have had weirder dream. One on my batch mate. We were fighting so badly that I hated him like I've never before.

-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Green Hornet

I watched The Green Hornet with my family last Sunday. I’ve heard so much of the movie, and since Jay Chou is acting in it, I persuaded my family to watch it. Having watched Jay Chou’s movie; Secret, I thought this movie will be just as cool and amazing.

But I was wrong. It is a typical of an American movie, and Jay Chou was the only selling factor in it. Really really is. I wouldn't have watched this movie if Jay was not in it. However, I’m kinda disappointed that Jay Chou acted in this movie, since he’s the idol of many young kids all over Asia.



I don’t know how the original Green Hornet is, but this Green Hornet is surely not a hero to me. The gadgets, the cars that Kato (Jay) modified are cool. But, I don’t find much moral in the movie. In a car chase with the police, they destroyed the police car. And if that was real, I’m sure the body of the policeman driving can’t even be recognized. It was too violent. And they were proud of it, and find the car chasing cool.

Why did I say it’s a typical of American movie? Simply because there were just too many destructions. How many American movies do you know that involves car crashes, buildings destruction and people being killed? There are too many… Look at “Drive Angry”, “The House of Wax”, “Alien vs Predator” and “ Anaconda”, just to name a few. All of them involve too much of violence. A western horror movie is more violent than it is horrifying, while a Japanese horror movie is much more horrifying that I get a post-Japanese horror syndrome; not being able to sleep alone for a few days.



While writing this post, I stumbled upon an interesting research, done in 2000. It’s a research to evaluate the seriousness and frequeny of violence and the injury in 100 American films of 1994.

And the conclusion was:

Violent force in American films of 1994 was overwhelmingly intentional and in 4 of 5 cases was executed at levels likely to cause significant bodily injury.

Not only action films but movies of all genres contained scenes in which the intensity of the action was not matched by correspondingly severe injury consequences.

Many American films, regardless of genre, tend to minimize the consequences of violence to human beings.


And according to that study, the violence has already become a social debate. The injuries caused by all these violence in movies were depicted to be very minimal, justified and the violent actions go unpunished. Study source: Pub Med Central. (I forgot how am I supposed to write a proper reference format for a journal)

Same goes to this Green Hornet movie. All the violence go unpunished, they killed policemen, they killed gangsters violently, they crash into the building lift by car, crashed into the office, threw themselves together with the car out of the window, and many other scenes.
One of the actors I admired the most will be Jackie Chan. His movies come with moral, and less violence. I hope Jay Chou choose better movies next time. Not something too violent like this. Perhaps he should well stop acting in Hollywood movies.


p/s: I remembered that one of my friends actually threatened to throw me out of the library window, and we were on the 3rd floor. :p

-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Chinese New Year

Tonight is already the 15th night of the Chinese New Year, the Cap Goh Mei. And it marks the end of the New Year celebration. And I haven’t even written about my new year yet…

This year, like all the years before, I went to Penang for the New Year to be with my aunts. They’re unmarried hence there are only 2 of them in the house. So, our presence there means very much to them, since not only do we come with our noise and merriment but also, with an addition of 10 pairs of hands to help them spring clean the house, and to cook.

Few days before the New Year, my brother drove into a divider. Yes, that’s correct; he got himself into an accident on his own, without hurting anyone but the car. So, we can’t use that bigger car to go back Penang. And...my dad fell sick on the New Year’s eve, and he was with mum in KL while the rest of us are in Penang. And..there were not enough space to bring everyone back home from Penang and thus…we had to leave some to take two different buses. And since we did not buy the tickets earlier, my brother (who got all of us in this mess in the first place) had to take bus to Seremban b4 taking a train back to Serdang.

During the New Year itself, I noticed something, or perhaps more accurately, someone.
I noticed that he have been spreading bad untrue rumours whenever I see him; something I didn’t realise last yr or years b4.

Last year during his visit to my aunt’s hse, he told me that he read in the newspaper that if the government found any non-Muslims saying the words “Bismillah”, “Assalammualaikum” or even “Allah”, will be caught and jailed. Is that true? NO, I DON’T THINK SO. Our government may have their own weaknesses but I don’t think they are narrow minded enough to catch non-Muslims who speaks Arab.

And this year, he told me that if a non-Muslim was found to be eating in front of a Muslim at the same table in a fasting month, the non-Muslim will be caught and jailed. There you go, another untrue rumour from him. Or is it not? Is it true that the govt catch non-Muslims who eat in the fasting month just because their fasting Muslim friends are accompanying them? If that is so, Hui Fong would have been caught so many times. She ate in front of me a lot of times while I was fasting in Ramadhan.

And when he saw me wearing my tudung in the house, while setting up the table for lunch; he said I can’t get a Chinese guy now, I must get a Malay guy. Because if I get myself a Chinese, I can’t be Malay/Muslim anymore. It’s kinda hard to translate the conversation from Hokkien to English and explain it here, since the everyday word used for “Muslim” and “Malay” is the same in Hokkien. And he spoke to me in Hokkien + English while I replied in rojak English. My Hokkien is too baby-ish for anyone to understand.I tried explaining that Muslim does not equal to Malay, but he kept refusing to listen to me. He kept on saying “No way, no way! Muslims are Malays and Chinese is Chinese”. Grrrrr….
At last, giving face to my aunt; not wanting to drag the argument further, I kept quiet and let him eat.
And guess what, he is a father of 4.

I wasn’t sharp enough too, to reply that they are hundreds of thousands of Muslims in China, and they are Chinese. So what does he call them? Malays?

Anyway, I find myself more observant of people’s behavior this year. Could it be that I’m better in seeing people’s intention? Or am I getting more judgmental?

p/s: The author is from a mixed parentage; Minang father + Chinese mother. So that explains the CNY celebration. :)

-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mubarak Quits

I first realised the sufferings of the Palestinians when Op Cast Lead was on, when I was in my A Level years. At that time, I got to know that the Rafah crossing was closed by the Egyptian government. I thought Egypt closed it only during the Op, not knowing it has been closed way before the Op Cast Lead and will still be closed up to this very day.

Having known that Malaysian government sent a lot of our students to Egypt under scholarships, I asked my friends why didn't our government bring all the students back, as a sign of protest to the Egyptian government? If Venezuelan president can chase the Zionist ambassador out of his country, why can't Malaysian government, a Muslim country at the very least do something comparable?

May 19, 2008. Hosni Mubarak shaking hands with Zionist Defense Minister, Ehud Barak accompanied by Egypt Defense Minister, Mohammed Hussein Tantawi at Sharm el-Sheikh

But of course, no one can give an answer to that.
It might have been impossible too, who knows?
Seeing the amount of publicity given to the effort of taking Malaysian students back since the Egyptian uprise, it looked almost impossible.

So I wondered again, why didn't the Egyptians themselves protest against their government's inhumanity? Imagine Gaza is where Thailand is, and Malaysia refuse to open the border in Perlis, I'm sure there will be people uproars in Malaysia.

Husni Mubarak with Ronald Reagen, 40th US pres, for 2 terms.

Then I got to know that Egypt has been receiving financial aids from the States.
Now, that makes sense.
What more when Egypt blocked the humanitarian aid convoy from entering Gaza in December 2009 (I joined the crowd when VPM hand over the appeal letter to Egyptian Embassy, and proudly blogged about it). Back then, I was almost angrier with Egypt than I was with America.

In my eyes, Husni Mubarak had become another Kamal AtTartuk.

With Bush Sr for one term

So when I got to know that the Egyptians had started to protest to topple him, I was very happy.
I was happy that at last, at last the Egyptians speak out.

I have been wanting to write about the uprise since it started 18 days ago.
But time has been too jealous with me.
And only when Mubarak quits that I managed to force myself to write before the issue gets outdated.

Husni Mubarak and Bill Clinton, for two terms.

Anyway, back to this Egyptian uprise issue.

I received a lot of comments regarding it, what more when it happens during the CNY when I was in Penang, celebrating the festive season with my Chinese family.

Some complained that the people should not do that, because they are only putting themselves in trouble. It's enough if they can take care of themselves well, a lot better if the Egyptians do not meddle in and create a crisis. Because at the end of it, civilians will die while the upper class people enjoy their wealth.

Husni with Bush Jr for two terms

Some of them too, kept emphasising that no one is holy.
After Husni Mubarak, there will be another Husni Mubarak, who is greedy, power abusive, and inhumane. So since no one is holy, why the Egyptians even bother putting themselves in trouble?

But, when more than 80 million Egyptians are jobless, with the salary of a professor only RM 1k compared to Malaysian professors who earn RM 10k monthly, the people just have to do something, the best way.

Don't you think so?

With Obama

I hope the best for the Egyptians, may the next leader be someone who has conscience, care for the people, smart and not another American puppet.






Personally, in this state of my mind, I would prefer staying in Egypt to watch the uprise and be part of it (by just being in the country) than to be flown back home.
But of course, I was not there when the prisoners break out of prisons and people breaking into houses so I do not know the real situation.
Perhaps, if I were a guy, I'll stay.
:D

And my family now is, I think, getting more and more freaked out seeing me getting more aware of all these issues. After all, isn't ignorance a bliss?

An interesting statement from Hugo Chavez.

Footnote: The pictures are from Faisal Tehrani's blog and totallycoolpix.com.

-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Monday, February 7, 2011

Update 2 from Egypt

This is the continuation of update 1 I posted few seconds ago. :)

Dear Friends,

Yesterday I went to Tahrir square with my whole family, Mom, dad and my two younger sisters.
As we approached the square we watched thousands marching towards the square, many of whom carried bags with food for protesters.We got down and marched with them till we reached a long queue of people who were getting inspected by regular youth before entering the square, to make sure no weapons or any harmful material. The military was there as well and checked our ID's.

That day in Tahrir we numbered to at least 2 Million. Just observing the scene there seemed as if everyone had an unspoken determination to resist Mubarak's" divide and conquer" strategy.
Sunday was announced as the day of "martyrs" in commemoration of all the protesters who fell since the start of the revolution.
We witnessed the Sunday Coptic Mass and the Muslim Prayer, with both Father and Sheikh sending prayers of blessings for the people's uprising, and people marching and chanting with the Cross and the Qur'an.
Women and girls were hand in hand with men and boys who volunteered to clean up the square and run the field hospital.

Perhaps one of the most telling scenes was the marriage ceremony ( niqah) in the middle of the square between two people who allegedly met during the protests. The whole crowd joined in prayers for them. When the new bride spoke she said: "This square has turned into my home and all of you became my family, I will not find a people more precious than all of you to share my marriage happiness with than you".

I never felt safer in a crowd of 2 Million people in my life than yesterday.Sexual harrassment turned sadly into a reality that accompanied any public gathering in Egypt. This is the same Egypt where today I could stand alone in the middle of a crowd with men passing behind and in front of me without having the slightest fear and not even a single gaze or inappropriate remark.
A young man who accidentally was pushed slightly against my sister turned around and was extremely apologetic. When a group of us young women stood together ,young men gradually started forming a chain around us to protect us, as the masses of people increased.

Abdel-Halim Kandil, a famous political activist and coordinator of the Kefaya political pro-democracy movement, spoke to the crowds yesterday about the process of change, and that as we demand the change of the system we must change as well.
This change is already happening....

As I'm writing you this update, one of the Satellite TV channels is now posting the picture one by one of each martyrer who were killed in cold blood by the regime of Mubarak,most of them 16 and 17 year old, the youngest being killed is a 10 year old boy with two bullets in his body.Rest in piece my brothers and sisters...

Hadil


I am really touched reading this update.
Especially the part when Hadil mentioned that young men gradually started to form a chain around young women, protecting them. Better gentlemen than movies eh?!

-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Update 1 from Egypt

This is not one of the millions spams I received, this is one true writing from a real person in my YahooGroup who happens to be an Egyptian.

Just have a read, it's written from the heart. :)

Dear Friends

Today I flew back to Cairo to join family and friends in this historic uprising againts Mubarak's despotic regime. A few of us on the plane found ourselves in tears just laying our eyes on Cairo as its lights appeared from the sky.

Many of my friends have been camping in Tahrir square all night, while others have been arrested and beaten and humilated.

Yet the determination and strength of everyone is like an earthquake that shook Mubarak's system.

On my way from the airport I passed by at least 10 security checks, including neighborhood watches from ordinary people who sat up all night ,set up fire to warm themselves in the cold and arming themselves with whatever weapons they could find againt thugs and secret riot police who try to terrorize and intimidate people.

I stayed up all night chatting with friends who have been going regularly to tahrir square, sharing stories upon which we cracked up laughing and stories whch made us shed tears.Two of them had just been released from secret police who caught them bringing much needed medical aid and cotton to injured protestors at the square.These were a group of 16-19 year old teenagers, yet this didnt stop the police from terrorizing and assaulting them.

Muhamad Haeikal one of the prominent Egyptian thinkers summarized the whole situation in one beautifull sentence " the ugliest of what is in Egypt tried brutally to kill what is most noble in it".
It was eye opening to all of us, especially the pro-democracy opposition activist like us, that while the world, then UN, the various Human development reports, were telling us how uneducated, poor, corrupt, violent and racist we are, it was amazing to see a humane, noble, conscious and aware people that is humbling to say at least. It is incredible to see how when our ruthless dictators loose their ground, a nobility and love for one own's country emerges.

A picture in the front page on one of the newspaper here was showing a picture of an army solider who was shedding tears beacuse he could not protect the proestors from the violent thugs. The picture is showing one of the protestors whiping away his tears.

Coptic Christians formed human chains around Muslims protecting them while they are performing their friday prayers.

The stories of heroism are incredible, this is the first time in our history we witness riot police being inspected by neighbourhood watch people.
A doctor was sharing, on the funny side, how an old man with more than 30 bones broken still insisted on coming to the square every day! He was begging the man not to return so he can give medical aid to others.

In the middle of all of this, Egyptians did not loose their sense of humor, people chanting and dancing in the millions " Mubarak went crazy' as the tanks stand behind them and try to terrorize them.
There were the stories of Azhar scholars and students joining the protestors in their cloaks , even though the only slogans they knew were from the times of resistance to the british colonial rule, people embraced them laughingly and warmly while carrying them on thier shoulders and chanting.

I will head to the Tahrir square in an hour. Please do share the updates with your contacts and media.

Love,

Hadil



Do let me know if you want his email address. :)
Update 2 is coming real soon.

-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com