Monday, May 9, 2016



Assalamualaikum w.b.t,

I am walking into adulthood. I have worries for my future. I want to settle down with a nice job, a comfortable house, a dream car and a family of my own. But I am still clueless. Sometimes I feel helpless. I have my fears. All I seek at the moment is some understanding and support. Understanding that even though I may look like I don’t care, I actually care. I actually try. I need support that even though it is hard in the beginning, I can do this. I will survive this.

Don’t rush me, I might give up. I might break. Support me. Believe in me. Give me time. Give me trust. Believe that I will pass all the hurdles. I am starting to run. I might fall. You don’t have to pick me up. Just tell me that I CAN get up. Then, I WILL get up. I WILL run and I WILL get to the point you wish I should be.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016



Assalamualaikum w.b t,

Along. I am called that way by people closest to me. In our community, Along is a nickname usually given to firstborns.

Being firstborns come with responsibilities. My head is always filled with those responsibilities. Especially now that I am in my twenties, the responsibilities seemed to have increased. I am graduating soon. Though my parents never really express their expectations, I always knew that they had their expectations of what I could achieve.  
Firstborns are always the one to set the bars for the younger siblings. Achieve or not, the firstborns will go through it first. There are other responsibilities of firstborns - being second parent to the younger siblings. I don't know about others but that is what I have been doing in these past few years.

I am naturally protective. I am very concerned about my younger siblings's friends and activities. Sometimes I felt that I am being a little nosy but I have been doing that for years now. If my younger siblings are in some kind of trouble, I would make sure to at least reduce the magnitude of trouble before the issue reach our parents.

With things going on these days, my fear of taking up responsibilities as a parent is increasing. I know my younger siblings are growing up, they are teens now. But I can't help but to worry. I talk to them. They listened, yes. But at some point, they do it all over again. Call me a worrywart but hey, in this age, you don't know what can happen. Anything is possible.

My younger siblings are my responsibility to protect and unless I am sure they are safe and sound to conduct themselves where ever they are, I don't think I will be able to peacefully settle down. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

International Women's Day


Assalamualaikum w.b.t,

I grew up in a society where women are deemed to be subordinates of men. In my society, women are supposed to fit in their roles as mothers and wives. In some places, true existence of women are to be married, bear children and be her husband’s wife. Higher educations are not much encouraged in women. Thankfully, women in the society I grew up in are not denied with their rights to education. I am completing my degree and most of my classmates are women. Though so, there are always words like, “no matter how highly educated women are, they will always belong to the kitchen.” As I grew up, I never really care about these ‘gender roles’. However, when I seriously joined debate four years ago, the issues we debated on really opened my eyes. I went to Gender debate for a few times whilst being a part of UniSZA debate team. As the name suggested, gender equality, women’s rights and women empowerment issues are debated extensively during the competitions. Being particularly passionate when debatiing about women's right and empowerment, I realized – “Maybe I am a feminist.”

Sure enough, many would still misunderstand feminism as a movement to spread hate on men and fight on the ideas that women can do what men can and thus, women should be treated equally or perhaps superior than men. Feminism is not about that. The ideology of feminism is to believe that both genders, men and women should have equal opportunities and rights in four dominating aspects : education, economy, politics and society. Feminists believe that women and men are created different. Biologically, there are things women can do that men cannot. Those are the natural gender roles that none of us should controvert. Yes, there is no denial that men and women are not created equal and never they will be equal in all sense. Men are physically stronger than women but I’ve never seen a man who can naturally undergo the painful process of giving birth. The equal chances that feminists are striving for are in terms of economy, education, politics and social. The four dominating aspects that most women's rights are being denied in many countries.

It is a fact that for so many years, women are denied from their rights to go to schools, to voice their opinions in politics, to equally stand a chance in economic growth and to be equally respected in society. Realizing that these denials of rights are a form of oppression, feminist movements started. Women begin to demand for equality though many still misunderstood. It is imperative to understand the definition of feminists before judging and condemning.  Like it or not, women are a half of the population in any countries. It is good to see how much opportunities are given to women these days, we can see more women are involved in various fields. There are women who became doctors, engineers, architects, teachers, and even prime ministers. However, it is still heartbreaking to see in some third world countries, women are still being oppressed. We know about Malala Yousafzai who was shot for wanting to go to school. In some Arab countries, women are not allowed to take driving license and go to work. Not only that, in some other places, women are not allowed to vote. Their rights as a part of the society are being denied and for so many years, they grow up with that kind of beliefs. Up to the point that some women are against the empowerment of women since it is going against the social norms whatsoever. 

In many years I casually spoke about feminism with my friends, I’ve always heard that – “men are created as leaders to women, defying that is defying what God had created.” Though I have said this so many times before, some of my friends are still misunderstanding the ideology that feminists brought upon the society. We are not demanding for women to be leaders. We are not demanding for men to be our subordinates. We are not demanding for men to step down and let women rule. What we are demanding are equal chances. If boys are allowed to go to school, girls should be allowed with the same opportunity. If men are allowed in politics, then women should also be allowed to do so. If you say giving equal chances to women are defying what God has created for us, think again. In the days of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), women are given those rights for education, economy, social and politics. Prophet’s wife, Siti Khadijah is a successful businesswoman, she supported her husband, become a wonderful wife to him but at the same time she is also enhancing the economy of her society. Siti Aisyah is another wife of our Prophet Muhammad’s. She is intellectually brilliant. She memorized thousands of hadith and contributed to the recording of the hadiths. Khaulah binti Azur and Nusaibah binti Ka’ab went to war and fought alongside their husbands and sons to protect Islam from its enemies.
Equality is not giving the same thing to everyone. It is giving what they deserve. Women deserve to be involved in society as much as men. They should not be hiding in the kitchen all day. I am not saying being a housemaker is an oppression to women. Some educated women choose to be housewives and I respect these women. I believe that both men and women should be treated as what they are. They should be allowed to achieve what they want in life. They should be encouraged to contribute in the overall growth of the society.  We are all unique. We should be celebrated and appreciated for what we are and what we want to become.Though men and women will never be equally same in all aspects, they should be viewed as a synergy instead of two opposing units. The world would be a better place is yin (women) and yang (men) are balanced. Never let yourself be defined by your gender. Never let your potentials be limited by your gender. Be proud your true self. Be you. Happy International Women's Day. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2016



Assalamualaikum w.b.t,

Last night, I found the film online while downloading ‘Deadpool’, as requested by my youngest brother. Since I enjoyed the book, I can’t help but to download ‘Room’ and watch the movie the very moment the download completed. The movie was released on 4th September 2015, directed by Lenny Abrahamson. The 2 hours length movie gained 8.3/10 rating from IMDb, 95% from Rotten Tomatoes and 86% from Metacritic.

‘Room’ was written by Emma Donoghue and it is a different kind of story. It is not a typical romance, thriller or heroic journey. It is an overwhelming journey of discovering the world, patching up relationships, finding one self and becoming an adult. It is an incredible story of a boy named Jack and his Ma. Jack is a brilliant boy who thinks a leap further than boys of his age though he had never seen the world. The story begins on the day Jack turned five, he tells us how he is living in ‘Room’, a 10 x 10 shed in which Jack and his Ma are held confined by Old Nick. 

Ma was actually abducted when she was 17 and she was held in ‘Room’ since. Two years after the abduction and constant rape, she had Jack. Jack had never set foot outside ‘Room’ or seen the world, apart from seeing the blue sky or the snow fallen on the skylight of ‘Room’. Ma told him that everything inside ‘Room’ is real and the outside is not. He learned various things from his Ma’s stories, TV and books that Ma read to him. After he turned five, Jack keeps on asking more questions and Ma realized that they need to escape. Jack is growing up and he needed more space and his world should be more than just in the ‘Room’. They managed to escape but the life in ‘world’ is not easy for Jack and neither it is for Ma. 

The first time I picked up the book (it was borrowed), I couldn’t stop reading it. I finished ‘Room’ in one go and decided to visit the pages again. The story sticks in my head and I decided to buy a copy for myself - which I treasure dearly. Perhaps I’ve read over ‘Room’ more than 20 times but I still find the journey that Jack and Ma had inspiring and overwhelming. The film was exactly how I imagined it to be. The screenplay was written  by the author herself so the details that are mentioned in the book are included in the film. (I still have a little grudge on how some important details in Harry Potter books are neglected in the films and some unnecessary scenes are added). Though the movie is great in essence, I’m afraid the pace of the film is a little slow and thus, those who have never read the book would probably find it boring. The colours and lighting of the first half of the film is dark and dull, which is perfect because it shows the reality of being confined in 10x10 shed. The general pace of the story is a little slow but the performances of the actors balanced the pace and made us indulge in the subtle growth of the characters' emotions.

As I read the book, I wondered who could portray Jack and Ma. The two characters seem so simple but there are underlying complexities of emotions and internal struggle within both characters. Ma is a strong willed young woman who would do anything to keep her son safe. Ma seems strong on the outside but being a victim of abduction, she is emotionally depressed and traumatized. Upon returning to her home, she found out that her parents are divorced after she was kidnapped. Her life had changed tremendously after the kidnapping, the home she returned to was not the same home when she left, her friends are leading a perfectly normal life when she missed seven years of her youth and the media are paying too much attention to her and keeps on pressing on the point that she raised her son in a confined room which led her son to be deprived in so many ways. The emotional shock and pressure led her to attempting suicide. 

Jack on the other hand is a smart five year old boy. He enjoys reading and is very curious of everything around him. He loves asking questions and listening to Ma’s stories. Jack showed bravery when he helped to save his mother from Old Nick. After he was saved from ‘Room’, Jack was astonished by the ‘world’ that he had never seen before. He was scared of people and the enormous space before him. Lights and sounds around him scared him. So, he seeks comfort in the small wardrobe of his mother’s old room. He hides behind his Ma and speaks to no one but his Ma. Even when his grandmother asked him questions, he would whisper to Ma, and Ma would answer the questions for him.  After Ma’s attempted suicide, Jack was left to the care of his grandmother and her new partner, Leo.  His grandmother’s warmth helped him to open up more to people. Jack finds comfort talking to his grandmother and helping her with the chores, like he did with Ma in the ‘Room’. He even went out of the house and helped his grandmother to buy groceries. He warmly greets the neighbor and even played with Aaron, a boy of his age. 

The actors, Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay who played Ma and Jack are critically acclaimed for their performances in ‘Room’. ‘Room’ may not collected as much as other mainstream movies packed with action and romance but ‘Room’ is a special film that makes you think of life, reflect how you have led your life and probably question the true meaning of bonds, acceptance and living life to the fullest. ‘Room’ took me to such an incredible journey and perhaps not just anyone would find ‘Room’ enjoyable but it is a movie worth the watch.