Khamis, 25 Mac 2010

a long way gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

This is a true story written by Ishmael Beah about his experience of being a boy soldier. The experience was truly cannot being explained from the outsider. After reading the book, I am still not understand why did the refugee became such a cruel person even to their own people?

Ishmael start the book by telling us about himself, his village (Mogbwemo), his friend and how much they were into hip hop music which lead them to leave the village where there is an attack taken place after they were leaving to Mattru Jong.

When the refugee had come to the village they just keep on running from them, afraid of being killed, being shot or being recruited. He describe it this way..
" But we had no choice, we had to make it across the clearing because, as young boys, the risk of staying in town was greater for us than trying to escape. Young boys were immediately recruited, and the initials RUF were carved where ever it pleased the rebels, with a hot bayonet. This not only meant that you could never escape from them, because escaping with the carving of the rebels' initials was asking for death, as soldiers would kill you without any questions and militant civilians would do the same."

Then, when they were hidden in the swamp, Ishmael do not want to keep hiding and wait for death so he decided to go somewhere else. Alone, 5 days and not a single human found. The sad thing was he did finally found a bunch of people, a family but they seem to be not trusting him at all.. He wrote..

"It was glad to see other faces and at the same time disappointed that the war had destroyed the enjoyment of the very experience of meeting people. Even a twelve-year-old couldn't be trusted anymore.."

Can you feel and describe the experience of the war through this? For me, it is an absolute YES..

He continued the journey, live in the jungle alone for a few days and met 6 other children that he know. He join them and then they were known as 'the seven boys' . Here the journey continues and a lot of tragedy happen along the way. They live by helping each other and sometimes they quarrelling and they shared their past memories with their families together. Here, the character grow.

Then, one of them die and they settle down at a village live with the army. When a war begin near the village they are forced to joined the soldiers. This is the important point where Ishmael who is only a very good boy had been recruited to become such a cruel person.

They are brainwashed to become cruel due to their bad experience with the rebels. They were trained to killed and not a normal type of killing but killing without humanity. They had been brainwashed, for this he wrote..
" Over and over in our training he (lieutenant) would say that same sentences:
Visualize the enemy, the rebels who killed your parents, your family, and those who are responsible for everything that has happened to you"

After 2 years in the army, they were taken away by the UNICEF. However, now they are not a regular kids. They are kids who killed and consume marijuana as they were their meal. Ishmael and their friends were dengerous little fellow. From here he gradually changed and began schooled again and now the stories had become part of his life..

Here I put some of my favorite part of the books:

1. In the first chapter, Ishmael told us about his childhood at his grandmother village. The story for me was inspiring.

"We must strive to be like the moon." An old man in Kabati repeated this sentence often to people who walked past his house on their way to the river to fetch water, to hunt, to tap palm wine; and to their farms.

I remember asking my grandmother what the old man meant. She explained that the adage served to remind people to always be on their best behavior and to be good to others.

She said that people complain when there is too much sun and it gets unbearably hot, and also when it rains too much or when it is cold. But, she said, no one grumbles when the moon shines.

Everyone becomes happy and appreciates the moon in their own special way. Children watch their shadows and play in its light, people gather at the square to tell stories and dance through the night. a lot of happy things happen when the moon shines. These are some of the reasons why we should want to be like the moon."

2. The way he describe loneliness..

" One thing about being lonesome is that you think too much, especially when
there isnt much else you can do"

3. The spirit keep him going..

" When I was very little, my father used to say. "If you are alive, there is
hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good
left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die." I thought about these
words during my journey, and they kept me moving even I didnt know where I was
going. Those words became the vehicle that drove my spirit forward and made it
stay alive."

A little introduction about the author..

Ishmael Beah was born in Sierra Leone in1980. At the age of twelve , he fled attacking rebels in Sierra Leone and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence.

By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.

At sixteen, he was removed from fighting by UNICEF, and through the help of the staff at his rehabilitation center, he learned how to forgive himself, to regain his humanity, and finally to heal.

He moved to the united states in 1998 and finished his last two years of high school at the United Nations International School in New York. He graduated from Oberlin College in 2004. Now he is member of various NGO's helping children affected by war and many more.

Overall, this is a good reading options for those who like this kind of story. If you want to watch a movie that best describe the war you can try watch a movie entitled "Blood diamond". The movie describe how the rebels recruited young boys and feed them with drugs.. It is a worth movie to watch..

Selasa, 23 Mac 2010

Visiting Library to release Stress..

Haha.. I am in the library and writing this..

Stress and unhappy always bring me here..

I was hoping to become a librarian in my future.. maybe when I'm in my late 50's..

Hmm.. or maybe I can just build a library, a huge library in my own house and fill it with lots of books...

It just me and the books..

Books and me.. We live together happily ever after..

p/s- what am I writing about? This is just not me.. haha
pp/s- Stress? Stress? Stress?

Isnin, 22 Mac 2010

Singing for mrs Pettigrew: a story-maker’s journey

This is an interesting book contains a few short stories and the writers own experience. Michael Morpurgo for me does have a broad view about the world and his stories do touch my heart. His stories creates tears, creates fear, make me laugh and do have the soul in it. He writes the stories with simple words but it is written beautifully and smart.

Few stories that really stick in my head are The Giant’s Necklace; I believe in Unicorns; The Mozart question; and many more.

The best part of his book is it bring us inside the story.. I am moves together with the stories.

The Giant’s necklace make me scared at the middle of the story then I am crying at the end of it when the girl know and understand that she is a ghost and cannot speak to her mother. I can say that the story does have some kind of similarity with the sixth sense but it is different! I just cannot explain it to you by myself, you have to read it.

Michael Morpurgo also put himself as part of the book itself. He describe how did he can write such all the stories that had been written before and the stories written inside the book. He such a clever writer.. He really wanted people to understand that children hate reading but they love stories. From telling them stories, they will begin the reading part by themselves, and I agree with him.

The stories of Morpurgo also describe a lot about war. He writes about the war itself, the effect of war on an ex-soldier and effect of war on a person life. To be truth it do show that he do support humanity and peace.

Come on guys, read this stuff. This is an art and believe me that I am amaze with the writer’s talent.

Isnin, 15 Mac 2010

We are What we Read?

People always said that we are what we read and I am agree with the statement. However, for me the most accurate statement is "We are What We Write"..

When we read something it does become our knowledge but to be sure who we are is what is our own stand about what we read and here comes the writing part.

To know the person mind is trough what they are writing about. The topics that they being written for. What is their opinion about something. What they are believe in on any issue. The point is someone writings does represent the writers toughts. That explain why there are a lot of politician were involved in writing, whether they were writing through blogging, writing in newspaper, even books it doesn't matter.

I kind of person that love to observed and explore politician thoughts and mind. Here explains the genre of book being read by me. However, you can explore what are my stands about any issue were trough my writing.

Even though I believe that most of the politician did not write all the articles by themselves, for me they are doing the right thing by expressing their thought trough writing.

Back to the topic, I am encouraging peoples to write more and write from their heart. Do not save your ideas without telling them to peoples. We are in a century where we are free to voice out. Is it true? Ops, I don't think this is accepted here.

Ok, Malaysia do not support the freedom of media, however we as Malaysian must keep on changing and speak up! We are what we write...

Ahad, 14 Mac 2010

My Brain was a Mess

Leading my way to the phytolab with everything being strangled in my brain..

The messy brain just make certain of my memory being deleted or being a hidden file..

Argh.. I am having this whole day to clear everything! InsyaAllah..

Aja! Aja! Fighting!

Khamis, 11 Mac 2010

Apa makna Biasiswa?

Setiap kali keputusan SPM dan STPM kita akan teruja dengan betapa ramainya pelajar yang mendapat keputusan cemerlang dengan mencapai keseluruhan subjek mendapat A. Malah terdapat juga di kalangan pelajar-pelajar ini dijulang kerana mendapat tempat di antara 10 pelajar berkeputusan terbaik seluruh negara. Pelajar-pelajar ini kemudiannya ditawarkan dengan pelbagai jenis biasiswa daripada pelbagai individu malah pihak kerajaan sendiri.

Namun begitu sedarkah ataupun tidak terkadang kita terabai melihat nilai sebenar sebuah biasiswa yang diberikan. Saya berpendapat sistem pemberian biasiswa yang berlaku sekarang telah mengabaikan pelbagai perkara yang sepatutnya menjadi kriteria pemilihan seseorang sebagai penerimanya. seseorang yang cemerlang didalam pelajaran dan mendapat tempat terbaik seluruh negara memang sewajarnya mendapat perhatian tetapi adakah dia memang tidak mampu untuk menampung biaya pendidikannya? Sekiranya anak kepada seorang yang paling kaya di Malaysia mendapat keputusan SPM terbaik, adakah wajar dia diberikan biasiswa?

Biasiswa merupakan salah satu cara terbaik untuk membantu golongna yang tidak berkemampuan dan mempunyai rekod pembelajaran yang cemerlang untuk meneruskan pendidikan. walaubagaimanapun sistem JPA yang menggunakan borang secara online tidak menjadikan sistem itu mesra kepada rakyat di luar bandar yang tidak mudah untuk mendapat akses internet.

Untuk dibandingkan antara pelajar yang mendapat 8A 3B di luar bandar dengan pelajar bandar yang mendapt keseluruhan subjek A adalah tidak wajar. Pelajar luar bandar menghadapi suasana yang tidak sekondusif seperti pelajar di bandar. Malah kebanyakan pelajar luar bandar hanya menggunakan buku teks sahaja sebagai panduan belajar berbanding pelajar bandar yang mudah mendapat akses internet dan sebagainya. Oleh itu sewajarnya teknik pemberian biasiswa dikalangan pelajar yang bakal memasuki universiti dikaji semula agar yang benar-benar layak sahaja yang mendapat biasiswa tersebut.

Sebagai seorang mahasiswa saya sendiri berpengalaman mengenali golongan yang mendapat biasiswa JPA. Untuk pengetahuan anda terdapat juga dikalangan mereka merupakan anak tunggal, memiliki kereta sendiri sejak berada di tahun pertama, mempunyai laptop sejak berada di matrik dan merupakan golongan yang 'loaded'. Sebagai mahasiswa, kita akan terfikir bagaimakah sistem pemilihan penerima biasiswa dijalankan sehingga golonggan yang benar-benar kaya ini boleh terpilih sebagai penerima wang kerajaan sebanyak RM 5000 semester.

Alangkah sedih lagi apabila mengetahui sahabat saya sendiri yang tidak berkemampuan tidak mendapat biasiswa kerana tidak mempunyai akses internet di rumah. Jika kerajaan amat memikirkan rakyat dan mementingkan mereka saya berharap sistem pemberian biasiswa yang lebih telus dapat dijalankan dengan mengambil kira tahap kewangan penerima dengan serius.

Family is the key for good society.

In Islam, the family was ordained by Allah as the right way for us to live with and care for each other. Maintaining a family needs constant work, compassion, a sense of duty and order and a willingness to sacrifice freedom and selfish enjoyment. It is thus the basis of the moral and social values of society at large. However, lately the social values of our society seems to be lacking instead it is seem to be neglected.

Father usually refuse to show their love to his children when they are older..

The most important person in a family is the parents. Father is the leader of a family which also carry along him the responsibility for support the household that is intended as the safe heaven for those in his care. He has to be the role model for their children and guide along their wife to the right way. Father must lead the prayer in the house and teach his children good virtues.

Despite of it, mother is the heart of a family. If the heart is not functioning the whole house will considered as dying. A home that is sanctum of a good mother is a blessed home. The Prophet taught that paradise lay at the feet of mothers, and they should always be treasured. To be truth, what kinds of mother that the prophet means are? Mothers who neglecting their children, are they considered as one of them? Mother who killed their own babies? Who does the prophet means?
Nowadays we are loss in the questions. This is what exactly happens to our real world which showed us that mothers are not functioning their role. A mother should know the condition of her children and listen to them. Without listening and lacking of communication are one of the main cause of the social problems that happen lately. Besides of lack of love, children nowadays also faced lack of understanding in their own religion. Those who involved in social problems usually have low Islamic education which leads them into the wrong pathway.

We have to admit that we are live in the modern world that for most of the children now, it is the screen that rules. The television, the video, the DVD, internet and the computer are being enjoyed by our children freely. With or without our control the children had been exposed too much information which can be negative or positive. Lately, I learn that my youngest sister seems to have a more mature mind compared to the other siblings when they are at the same age like her. She’s been using vocabulary that usually being used by the elders. Without our controls the children nowadays are fast forwarding and we have to catch up on them. Here comes the solution that we have to make use of technologies to educate our family.

What happen actually in the family is the lack of communication and too much of individual time compare of family time. Modern parents tend to let their children to do their own activities in their own room with computers and the internet in their hand. The parents also actually wanted the time of them to be alone because of their stacks of works to be done. The technologies now rule the children and we are helping it to happen. We should spend qualities time together by watching good movies and shared our view together with them. By sharing thought we can learn and understand our own children. We can understand what are their passions, personal view, the persons that influence them the most and gradually make them believes and shared with us their problems.

After all, the most important point that we should understand is the family is a unit from the society. If the society is build up with good families it will lead the society to the good pathway. Bad family bring about bad society. Be prepared and change now for a better tomorrow.

Karate Kid?

I watch a kind of old movie called Karate Kid 2. As we all know that karate film always showed us the discipline within the martial art. I am learning the language through the movie because they have a very good line.

In the film they showed us the flashback of karate kid 1, which tell us how the kid hero accidentally is being introduced with the sensei and how he have winning a trophy against the bad group.

Here comes karate Kid 2, the sensei receive a letter from her ex-girlfriend telling him that his father was very sick. The sensei actually fall in love with a girl that had been force to have a marriage arrangement by her parents. The broom is the sensei comrade and this triangle love made them have a grudge with one another. The comrade wanted a fight and he refuse to by went overseas to America. He left her girlfriend to prevent a fight.

Hehe this is the line that I like, the boy ask his sensei why he do not fight for her girl. The sensei answer:

“Never put passion before principle. Even if win, you lose.”

It is quit interesting to learn that discipline do affect our own decision, this explain how good people prevent themselves from receiving bribes, this also explains why we need religion and believes.

On the other hand, the boy do really respect his sensei and this is one of the discipline that student nowadays should learn and practice. Recently we have to agree that students are lacking of attitude and not respecting their teachers and lecturer. Without respect the knowledge that they gain also lack of soul since they will not really put the knowledge in their heart.

Another scene that touch my heart is when the sensei and the boy meet the ex-girlfriend at Okinawa, he ask her when did she know his address. Then she said she know it a quit long time ago. Follow the conversation:

Sensei: Why you never write?

Ex- Girlfriend: I respect your silence..

How come she can say something like that? After watching it, it is a kind of custom that being teaches by the martial art followers to respect other people decision. If they want to go far away from the martial art world, their decision is respected and they do not contact each other without the one who go is the first to start it.

Finally, hehe I am not finishing the movie after all, maybe after writing this I will continue watching...

What so ever, sharing is caring...