Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jack Can Swim

I remembered writing in the blog about sending the kids to swim last two summers. But then we had ramadhan and we went back to Malaysia and then come winter, I didn't continue with the class.

I enrolled them again last summer. They went for one month. Then we had Ramadhan and we went back to Malaysia and wehei now is winter. But this time, I wasa bit more serious. I have committed themselves (and me as the driver) to continue their swimming class and paid in advance last summer. This is in line with my mission and vision for them this year, Insya Allah.

So I have been spending some of my evenings ferrying them to their swimming class. And had to spend more time at the pool watching them.

Sya was doing very well. She seems to have flair in swimming. She looks very graceful in the water. Well done Sya! In three months she has jumped from Level 1 to Level 5. Allahuma Bareek.

Now jack is a different story. I have been watching him flapping his hands in the water and kicking wrongly or not kicking enough, holding on to the wall with one hand and pretending to swim with the other, cheating laps. Basically he just didn't get it. Even with the aid of the board he could half drown himself. Panas aje gua tengok.

Ferrying them home I would tell him what he did wrong, "You didn't raise your hips enough, you must put your head in the water, your hand must be straight. you didn't kick enough." And at home we practiced it on the bed. And in the car going to class, remember hips up, kick kick kick, head in water."

Months and months I am watching him in agony thinking how expensive the class is and wondering when will he get it.

Jack swimmong janBut this year, he showed changes. Masya Allah. Like alot! He knows how to kick, raise his hips. I only corrected the way he raised his head to get some air. And for now, I didn't have to pay attention and watch him like a hawk anymore. I could actually read a book.

And he is now kept chosen to be the exemplary swimmer for his class. Allahuma Bareek.

Ya ya makcik sangat gembira.

Remember children, when we do something we do excellent all the way. This is IHSAN. The outcome is up to Allah. But try the best you must!

In the mean time, ketahuilah ibu membebel sebab ibu sayang.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kasi Ibu Encouragement Sikit

With rusty brain like mine, I do find learning difficult and memorisation hard to enter, very easy to leave the memory.

Haziq and I started memorising together because I made it into a friendly competition. I had a head start but he has now leapt so far from me. Allahuma Bareek. May Allah make him (and my children) among the people of the Quran. Those who memorise the words of Allah. Those who understand it and apply. And Quran will be for them and not against them in yaumul akhirah and that Quran will only increase their status in yaumul akhirah. And that Quran is their intercessor in yaumul akhirah.

Saying out loud, "Boleh ke Ibu ni Haziq?"

Ibu, he said, nenek yang umur 82 tahun pun can do it, Insya Allah you can. Allah al Musta'an!

Umm Saalih, A Grandmother Who Completed Memorizing the Qur‘aan at 82 yeas Old.

O Allah bless him.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ladies First

No men allowedI went to the bank to open an account. We finally found a bank which allows joint account and also account for women who does not work (not that we have been dilligent enough to look for it though). Because lover works, we went after office hours. If I need to go to the bank during the office hours, I can chose to go to the lady's section of the bank.

There will be no men in the ladies' section. No man allowed. No male workers. Niqabis can take off their niqabs and women staff are usually very glamorous. In Arab world, glamour means GLAMOUR with a capital G.

So we went to the normal bank where they serve all genders. Women have the privilege for an all woman's place but if they want to, they can go to the all gender place.

After sometime sitting there, more people came in and more women came in too. The manager of the bank (male) quickly came to us women, and asked our needs and if your needs are easy, they quickly entertain you. He didn't ask from any of the men. Thus as it goes in this country, many women skip queue.

Really, this is a normal scene in this country. The women get served first. The women, even she is last on the queue will be called up to the front. Not in all sectors though.

They don't do it when you queue for fast food in Qatar. Unlike Saudi, where almost all places are a total segregation between man and woman. If you are in Saudi, I suggest you tell the women to buy if there is a woman's section. It is way faster.

In Qatar, if you need to make car inspection or car insurance, it is much faster to ask the wife to do it. It'll be done in a jiff while the men might have to queue for hours. Even if you had an accident, they will give priority if the one who called is a woman. Men will be treated with double standard and maybe harshness.

When a woman wants to cross the road, the locals would press brake even if they are speeding. You can tell where they are from if they don't stop for the women - usually the Asians. When man wants to cross the road, pandai-pandai engkaulah.

Not because they are miang but they really do not want to leave women in distress for long. Well there are some cases of miangness, but most of the time is the respect for women and the idea that women should not be distressed for long.

For now, in this country, the woman are treated like queens. I suppose, when woman demands total equality, they will get it. And by then, do not expect anyone to hold the door for you anymore.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

While I am At That

While I am lamenting about my arabic class, I would like to share bits here and there of some arabic words that I learned in the Quran (from my teachers). My knowledge is limited though, I am just sharing what I learned so perhaps it may give you benefit Insya Allah.

Referring to Surah Baqarah verse 23

وَإِن ڪُنتُمۡ فِى رَيۡبٍ۬ مِّمَّا نَزَّلۡنَا عَلَىٰ عَبۡدِنَا فَأۡتُواْ بِسُورَةٍ۬ مِّن مِّثۡلِهِۦ وَٱدۡعُواْ شُهَدَآءَكُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَـٰدِقِينَ

And if you (Arab pagans, Jews, and Christians) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur'ân) to Our slave (Muhammad Peace be upon him ), then produce a Sûrah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allâh, if you are truthful.

The word that I would like to bring your attention to is ROYB. In the english quran translation it is translated as doubt.

The arabic word for doubt is also syak. Yeah like the malay word - syak wasangka. But Allah choses the word ROYB for doubt.

Royb means doubt but that which causes turmoil and unrest in the heart. The kind of doubt that will shake a person and causes confusion and anxiety. According to scholars of tafseer (We used Sheikh Saadi and Sheikh Uthaymeen) why Allah uses roib?
Because the doubt they are having is doubt to their own creator. These doubts that they have causes much turmoil in their heart and also fear.

Among the meaning of the Quran that are lost in translation.

Mari kita belajar bahasa arab.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Progress Kelas Bahasa Arab

This is my fourth year learning arabic and without shame I have to say it is getting harder. T__T.

The articles they gave us gets longer with smaller font and difficult words. The comprehension gets trickier too. What is worse is, they have changed they teaching style too. All these while, we have been paying attention mostly in the grammatical aspect of arabic. Why fathah, why kasrah and why dommah. When we say muslimun, when we say muslimin and when do we say musliman for example. Thisis easy (relative) for me because it is like maths. This and this and this become these.

However this year, they changed the system and force us to make impromptu paragraphs or conversation or stories. In short they force us to speak and write. This is hard for me because I do not possess many vocabularies at all and when I do need these words, i cannot use it in proper context because to write a sentence you cannot just have a knowledge of the root word but you need to know how to apply all the grammatical knowledge correctly into the position of the word in a sentence.

To add to my already blurness, is, all my original classmates are all gone. ALL of them. There are new ones who have been studying ARABIC in the university, DIPLOMA in arabic. Who were senior students who decided to lepak in the class because there are no more arabic class for them, who speak arabic as their mother tongue language.

They have no problem whatsoever to understand article, or make conversation or write paragraphs.

Just last week, we were going through a particularly difficult article (for me). Everyone understood it at one go. I kept having to ask the teacher, what does this mean, what is this and this and this. I kept interrupting the class because I do not know anything. This has been going on for each arabic class but I felt last week was the max of it.

That day also we had to read out a paragraph that we wrote at home and mine was just b a d. The sentences were weak and didnt make sense. You can partly blame it on google translate. (poke eyes)

My ears began to turned red and my cheeks became birat out of flushness. My head felt like it was boiling to burst. It was so overwhelming that I felt like crying. Tears were already welling in my ears. I didnt by the way.

I went home feeling frustrated with myself. Frustrated. Stupid. Slowest.

Each morning before going to arabic class was a heavy chore to me. And the same as today. I am toying the idea of quitting this class and go back to the lower level. They are also doing conversation and writing but in short sentences. Perhaps I can pick up more vocabularies there. The only thing that is stopping me is I really do not want to kecikkan hati my current teacher.


Today was another arabic class day. Drag my fat arse out of the house and fight shaytan who keep telling me to quit altogether so I would have time to do other things that are also important.

Drag drag drag.

Oh another new long article today with new words.

But today I decided, you know what, to hell if I sound stupid or feel stupid. I decided I want to take advantage of being the slowest student in the class. To ask and ask ask. The advantage of being the one who knows the least is the teacher kept talking to me and speaking slowly for me. Eyes contact and all. So I am just going to bulldoze this and take the opportunity of being the limelight in the class.

We had to write a short paragraph today. Impromptu one. Oh no! I need the Google translate thing. And we were supposed to write about our opinion on globalisation because that was what the article was about.

Oh well. I decided to write a three sentence paragraph in english and translate what I can.

.في رأيي، لا نستطيع أن دفع العولمة إلى الأبد
.العولمة تدخل الى بيتنا مع الشبكة الدولية والتلفاز والصحف
.هذا الوقت لكل المسلم لتقوية ايمانهم لفصل بين الحق والباطل

In engish it is SUPPOSED to sound like this

"In my opinion we cannot push away globalisation forever. It is coming to our house through the internet and television and the newspapers. However, it is the time for each Muslim to strengthen their eemaan to (be able to ) separate the truth and false."

I wanted to write further that we should take the opportunity to spread islam and introduce Islam as a beautiful religion and not the religion of terror. But I forgot the word "Opportunity" in arabic. LOL.

I know the arabic work I did is actually entah apa-apa lah. The arrangement of words are weak. But I am feeling elated still because I didnt use Google Translate (poke eyes poke eyes) and it is somewhat understandable.

After weeks of feeling down and stupid, today I felt great. The sun is shining and I can see clearly now. After asking Allah to make it easy for me and to decide whether to quit or not, I am deciding to remain in this level for longer.

In the words of my lover, "kayuh perlahan-lahan, you'll get there."