Very late sleep, a messy house and mind imbalance accompanying myself these past 4,5 days. Tomorrow the CPU will be packed, the monitor will find its way to skip and the modem will be put into sleep. These future events left me posting a blog post. A post that is very special.
Oh. Yes, I'm going back to Malaysia for good. How soon? Very soon.
Surprisingly, the date I'll be taking my flight is the same as the date I landed on this land making my period of stay in the UK exactly 4 years. At that time, I just turned 14 from 13 and now I'm 18! *glup*
'Experience makes you strong'
I can't deny the fact that I get 'butterflies in the stomach' thinking about going back for good. I'm scared thinking the crime rates, price inflation, social of young people, new place of study...ahh, everything! But then I came across an advise that reads "You'll be fine. Experience makes you strong"...Subhanallah that means so much. Its from Ms Spiller. Then I stacked it on my mind "I am strong!"
Living abroad, hundred thousands miles far from your country, strange environment, keeping an Islamic upbringing are a whole lot experience. There are times I feel like I learn things more than when I was in Malaysia which perfectly matches a Malay saying 'Jauh perjalanan, luas pemandangan' (Longer journey gives broader views). I remember someone said how Imam Bukhari (R.A) traveled a great deal in order to expand his knowledge as well as sharing his knowledge with others. Travelling indeed is an opener to eyes, mind and heart.
(continued on Wednesday 27/10. London)
Presents to my teachers. I just realized that all my subject teachers are male! LOL
The place that keeps 1001 memories of me either happiness or sadness. It was a very strange place when I first came in (with an additional hatred) but it changed dramatically - I just love the teachers, collegaues, friends and Bishop Gore community. I started in Year 9 then Year 10, Year 11, Year 12 and senior, Year 13! I chose to do A-levels in school as well as college but school remains the best.
Spending a quatre of a day in school, it is clearly a big influence to oneself. You don’t only learn in a classroom, you learn a whole lot things outside classrooms through socializing and working. Some of my Malaysia friends wish that they’d be in my place without bearing in mind the challenge they’d face. I was, in fact, in that place before I came.
It was challenging to practise Islam in a western school – trying to fit prayer times in school timetable, finding way to take ablution (wudu’), saying No when boy friends want a high-5 (skin contact), keeping the barrier, avoiding from being influenced by swearing people, matching school uniforms with aurah (coverings) etc etc et cetera. But alhamdulillah luckily, I happened to have such good best friends, friends that are well-mannered though some of them are not of the same faith. Furthermore, I can’t thank God enough for putting me in a school where the admin is concerned about the 5-times prayers. We had a prayer room fitted with carpet and a toilet to take ablution (wudu')..how awesome is that? The period of time to pray is obviously not compulsory on school timetable as in evening-school-session in Malaysia – thus, it depends on the students whether they want to perform the prayer or not.
Despite the challenge, I regard that as a course of learning and building confidence and strength. Learning to adapt, to socialize and to be grateful. I met many wonderful people throughout my years of whom are my close friends – Carol, Emma, Claire, Rachel, Jasmin, Celina, Mette, Lianne and others…too long to be listed!
(continued on Thursday 28/10. Rome)
I am not sure whether there are no many opportunities for young people to get involved in the community during my times in Malaysia or age factor that made me less involved with my community. Wider opportunities let myself to socialize with bigger range of people with various social strata and background – from park caretakers, halaqah sisters, Red cross, Swansea Uni students/society, asylum seekers and refugees, Socialists, Islamic NGO’s volunteers to Malaysian community and a lot more.
Swansea is not quite a big city leaving the spirit of unity high. I once read on a magazine about the ranking of the most friendly UK city and Swansea was ranked 2nd after York and 1st in Wales! Ain’t easy to get that. It says that you still can see many people saying Hello and smile to each other eventhough they have no idea who they are when bumping in the park, along the road side, cycling and so on. This is true. Sometimes they even stop and talk to you about random things like weather, travelling and future/past events. This is certainly what I'll miss about Swansea...its beautiful people and content.
(continued on Friday 29/10. Mu'tah, Jordan)
JemaahThere are quite many different jemaah's in the UK and being part of a jemaah is such an experience. You'd be able to expand your contacts, to help meet the jemaah's goal as well as to do it for the sake of Allah as the main reason. There are times when you think its not gonna make much difference but then when you think again, you've been chosen by Allah to be there and only few people got the chance. So why not making the most of it? I met a number of jemaah people ranging from undergraduates, postgraduates and professionals which let me socialize with them and take what is good, leave what is the otherwise.
Joining it taught me a lot as the programs held never missed to supply food for thoughts and hearts. Will miss the usrah and everyone in it!
I was a wayfarer in the UK but I remain a wayfarer in this world, the borrow one from God. I hope I'll survive the jetlag. Survive more flights. And Malaysia 'nice' weather too. Do make a dua'/pray for me and my family, for our trip. May Allah eases it for us!
p.s. This post is written in different places due to limited time and access to finish it. Peace!
The land of Syam.
22 Zulkaedah 1431