Thursday, April 02, 2009

On the way to Datuk Dr Fadzilah Kamsah’s talk in Johor, organized by my company last Wednesday, I have many things in mind. So many things. This is one guy, I respect so much because exactly 1 decade ago, he came to my high-school and change a lot of us. I for one, got a great result in SPM, second best among my batch, and I got a PETRONAS scholarship to study abroad. I’m sure it is still a dream for many of our kids these days to get what I got.

The main question in my mind is, “Datuk, now that I’ve got what I want 10 years ago, how do I achieve my next goal.. Cause currently, I’m a bit stuck between career and family. My pregnant wife and my ill mother are in Sabah and I’m in Melaka. Please advice”.

To the miracle of God, I did not ask that question. I’m neither introvert, shy nor unmotivated. Time and opportunities were not against me and I have all the chance to ask that big question to him but I did not. He is still the same him ten years ago. With his cheerful approach and generous dua’s to all of us, he talked about a few important life reminders which I think very relevant to my life.

It was never about working sincerely for your boss or PETRONAS. Forget the company, and forget your boss. You do what you do each day for the sake of Allah to get His Blessings. Every ringgit that you get from the company, it’s not about enough or not enough, but being a good Muslim it really is about getting the Barakah from that one ringgit.

Before this, I have always thought that the company and the bosses were trying to deceive us to work sincerely for the company and the country.. but forget them cause we don’t work for them. We work sincerely for Allah, and we are forever hopeful that every dollar we make contains the Barakah that we seek. Alhamdulillah, I say to myself, insyaAllah from now on, I shall be very careful with the way I use company resources, including the time allocated for my work and my personal claims.

Datuk, just like 10 years ago, has given us some medicine or pills on how to be a better person and how to work better. We all know this, especially about the heart as the most important part of our body. He is also right on how the day starts at home and he gives us simple tips like being thankful, hugging the wife, forgive everyone before going to bed, ask forgiveness from Allah and do our small prayers in the morning. These simple things shall make you remember Allah always and live a life full with Barakah.

Yes, I shall be forever concern about the authenticity of the Hadiths and translation that he used, but some of these hadiths and Qur’anic verses, I know by heart. I step back a little and I say to myself, I know this.. Of course I know this. And yet again, with his magical ways, he reminds me of the simple prayers, about taking care of the heart, about being thankful with everyone and about continuously asking for Allah’s forgiveness. These small yet powerful tips insyaAllah, I plan to practice.

Finally, throughout the talk, he emphasized on the importance of change and how to change. His ways were simple, yet so powerful. He kept asking throughout the session for a pledge from everyone, to just do simple things like hugging your kids and wife, be thankful to everyone and do your small prayers. Not understanding this, I never raised my hand throughout the session. Now, upon reflecting the things that he said, I’ll be the first to raise my hand the next time.

It seems simple but these pledges were as pure as it can be. No bosses, no whoever to judge you cause even Datuk don’t know you. But our sincere small pledges shall insyaAllah be granted with a life full with happiness.

He did touch on how to know yourself starting by your name, your features, your signature, your handwriting.. Yes, these small changes in writing and signing too shall insyaAllah bring a positive change in all of us.

Alhamdulillah, for all the great things in life and just yesterday, I turn 27. Thanks to mom and dad and my family for all the love I get. Thank you to PETRONAS for this great job. Thank you everyone for being great friends, understanding my constraints and my strengths. Forgive all my wrong doing and insyaAllah, I forgive all. InsyaAllah, I plan to work harder in life to gain a very Barakah life. May Allah bring goodness and happiness for all of us and for PETRONAS, insyaAllah.

Sincerely,Lokman MN

- just read this in my mail that hubbi fwd masa accident 2 tahun lepas.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

When paradise turned to hell

Night after night for the past two weeks, Noordin Samouni wakes up screaming: “They shoot us. They kill us.”

Noordin is just six years old. He saw his father getting shot in the head at close range by Israeli soldiers. More than 30 shots were fired.

“We saw the blood and we saw him die. We couldn’t do anything. We were very scared,” said Noordin’s elder brother, Fahed.

His other brother, Muhammad, who is one-and-half years old, also witnessed the killing but he is too young to fathom it.

Haunted: Noordin saw his father shot in the head by Israeli soldiers.

Fahed said Noordin could only sleep for about two hours each night before the nightmare would come.

“How would you feel if it happened to you? If you saw your father shot in the head just like that?” Fahed, 19, asked me.

Newly married Hadil Samouni finds it hard to come back to what used to be her home in Zaitoon. Wherever she looks, the 21-year-old remembers the sight of her dead relatives lying on the streets and the Israeli soldiers who kept 120 of them confined in one house before bombing them.

“Before the war, this place was like paradise with so many trees,” she said softly, pointing to the flattened area and piles of rubble and destroyed homes.

“Now it’s like hell. It gives me nightmares. I am shaking all the time. I am afraid of everything. Even the sound of someone opening a door makes me jump.

I saw everything. The shootings, the bombings and the screams. And the dead people.”

“After I got out, I was deaf for a week as the explosions were so loud. I still can’t see with my left eye as some fragments got inside,” she said. The Samouni family story is a tragic one. And there are many like them in Gaza.

On Jan 4, Israeli tanks moved in and attacked the area the following day. Many were injured and people managed to telephone for help but the soldiers would not let ambulances come close.

It was only days later that ambulances were allowed in and they pulled out many dead bodies from the area.

The Samouni’s alone lost 29 of their extended family members — 11 of them children and six women. Hadil said she was in her house on that fateful Jan 4 morning, when the soldiers told them to come out and made them go into a house belonging to Wael Samouni.

Hadil tries to shake off the image of her dead relatives. Her left eyesight is impaired from fragments from the bomb.

“There were 120 of us. We stayed there until the next morning. There were children and women inside and they were getting hungry and thirsty as there was no food or water.”

“So four men decided to go out to bring in some water, food and wood for us. But the soldiers shot them. Two died and two were injured.

“We managed to get the injured inside and hoped the Israeli soldiers would leave. But about a minute later, they bombed the house twice. We were all screaming. There were about 20 dead.

“My husband decided to get out and I followed him and the rest of the people followed behind. We carried white flags and raised our hands and the Israelis let us go. But they wouldn’t let us take any of the injured. They said they would shoot us if we tried. So we had to leave them there,” she said.

Hadil is so terrified that she wants to leave Gaza for good. “Those people are barbarians. They lied when they said they do not attack civilians. We had no weapons but still they attacked us,” she said.

Majid Samouni said the women were not even allowed to scream. “One woman was so scared that she couldn’t stop screaming. The soldiers told her to stop but she couldn’t. So they shot her and her two-year-old child dead,” he said.

He said the Samouni family were all farmers and had nothing to do with Hamas.

In one of the homes still standing, Israeli soldiers had scribbled disturbing graffiti on the walls — “Arabs Need to Die,” “Die You All,” “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide,” “1 Down, 999,999 to Go” — these were just some of the scary ones.

On a tombstone, there was this chilling inscription: “Arabs 1948–2009.”