Saturday, March 12, 2011

What I've Learnt


"Gaza, We Care!", a 4 day Palestine humanitarian campaign in IMU has just finished last Thursday 10th March.
And I've truly learnt a lot during the process of organising it.

The idea of this Palestine campaign came about in late 2009 (yeah, 2 yrs ago), but at that time it was still very vague. At last in July 2010, the "more serious" planning started. I was in semester 3 at that time, just about to take my semester 3 exam. Right after my exam, we started recruiting committee members, the vertebrae of the week (nerdy sentence, I know).

But due to lots and lots of "kerenah" of lots and lots of ppl, the awareness week had to be delayed and delayed, what more when it was not approved at first. Lucky enough, my friends who were also the committee members were very supportive and optimistic. We'll wait, we'll wait until we get the green light. We'll do what we can, so that it will be approved.

It wasn't approved due to some principles held tightly by some party, and to make matters worse, an internal war ALMOST happened. Luckily, things did not turn nastier. Sometimes, keeping silent is the best thing we can do.

Viva Palestina Malaysia has agreed to support even when the whole campaign was still an imagination, and in November 2008, MERCY Malaysia agreed to join. With that, "Gaza, We Care!" (GWC) got its approval and will be held on 7th to 10th March 2011.

The ball started rolling, emails were sent, calls were made, IPTs were invited, the drama script was written. And the rest, is history.

February 2011, my semester 5, final semester in IMU started, I found myself caught between a vry tight class schedule, "Gaza, We Care!" (GWC) and Community Medicine nutritional research. On top of that, a final exam that will determine whether or not I can graduate from IMU and continue to partner medical school is coming in 3 month time.

By then, Malaysian Social Research Institute (MSRI) agreed to help us too, thank God. The drama however, has not started their practice, and it was less than a month for GWC to kick off!

Then came the last week of February, one week before GWC. Even though everything was under control, I cant help but got tensed up. I was afraid things do not work out well. And I know, the committee members have the same feeling, but they were all bottled up inside, nobody dared to "explode" in public. Unavoidably, some final changes have to be made. From only exhibition, we added "VPM stall" in the tentative. Then came in "MERCY stall", and by the end of the week, we had "MSRI stall", "kuih stall" and "our stall". Lucky enough, the committee members swallowed all the changes with open hearts, we took the delegated tasks happily, being the bosses of the stalls.

Finally.....Monday , the 7th of March arrived.
Having class early in the morning restricted us from putting up the exhibition as early as planned. But due to the efficiency of the organising committee, by 11am, everything was fantastic. The opening ceremony which was scheduled at 12pm, was delayed due to some unexpected problems. I have to admit, Monday was an unexpected day. Fewer than expected number of students turned up for the volunteering talk by MERCY. It was a very good and interesting one, but too bad, people just found more interesting activities to do.

Tuesday and Wednesday went fine. There were only talks and stalls.
The stalls bosses; Nabilah, Diana, Farahin, Louis and Hisham were busy counting money and stock. Khomeini was busy with his own class and talks, food and gifts, and Mukhlis, was busy organising the closing ceremony.

Thursday came....the BIG day.
Atikah arrived, at last.
And I found myself constantly on my feet that day, running here and there. For what exactly? Ntah la, but time were very jealous of us, it flew too fast. Poor Atikah, had to follow me run everywhere.

8pm, guests started arriving.
The closing ceremony started, and ended nicely, Alhamdulillah.
Of course, we received lots of compliments but critics were a lot too.
But anyway, we've done our level best, and I'm extremely proud of my friends who never got tired and decided to pull out, like some people I met in the past.

Throughout the planning and execution of this awareness week, I've:

1) Learnt how to drive a manual van! I'm not sure which one is worse, the van or the manual gear but when combined, I found myself almost crying of joy when I finally reach my destination, with my hands cold, trembling. But I still can't drive well. I'm always unsure of which gear was I in. Was it gear 3 or 5? If I push it down, will i go to gear 4 or REVERSE? And I'm always afraid I might jump from gear 2 to 5. Sweat!

2) Learnt that some people just do not want to admit their mistakes. They'll keep finding other people's fault and picking on other people's weak points (in their eyes, those points are the weak ones).

3) Learnt that there are a lot of terrific people in IMU. :) They do not mind contributing their money, at all. I know one friend who bought 5 drama tickets for her alone! Because she knows the profit from the drama tickets will be channeled to Palestine cause. And despite selling all our 200 tickets, less than 200 people came to the closing night. Thus the hall looked not so full (it was quarter full) but that shows that some people prefer to buy, for the sake of charity.

4) Learnt that there are a lot of people who do not know what is Palestine and Gaza. And of course, I am not joking here.

5) Learnt how to communicate with people. Truly, this was a good training for me. I had to deal with a lot of people, to get things done, the way we want it to be.

6) Learnt to cut my sleeping time by half. Urghh.. I didnt even reduce my sleeping time for study!

7) Learnt a lot other interesting lessons!

And I'm very glad...
Though the awareness week has ended, I hope the awareness will not fade, or forgotten.

Oh yea! One of the students was actually sad that the awareness week is ending.
She asked one of the committee members not to bring down the exhibition panels yet, because she has not finished reading them. I was so touched!
And so, we left it there for one more day (another reason was because we ourselves do not hv the time to take them off, :p)

p/s: Someone told me we do not create awareness within 4 days by organising awareness program, as that's funny and unreachable.

Now, I beg to differ.

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu!



  1. 2) Learnt that some people just do not want to admit their mistakes. They'll keep finding other people's fault and picking on other people's weak points (in their eyes, those points are the weak ones).

    haha! :)

  2. Hahahahah!!
    orked kah?

    Kenapa comment gelak je? :D