Category Archives: East/West

Make that change…..

For a minute there I was rather bewitched by my son – how he was swaying and entralled by one of Michael Jackson’s loved songs – singing along with the King of Pop and captivating each meaning of the verse whole-heartedly.

Inspiration

`Who am I to be blind… pretending not to see their needs…´

`If you want to make the world a better place… take a look at yourself and then make a change.´

Bless his soul for having such a caring heart! Bless his heart for having such a sensitive spot! It’s not usually common to find a little person such as himself – carrying that sort of personality and charisma at that tender age. My son has something most adults are lacking of in this modern world. My son has empathy.

I have a strong admiration for such charisma and powerfully drawn to his compassion and kindness toward others. Looking through a child’s lense make me realise how they don’t differ much from us adults apart from our mindset. They might be smaller in size but their capability to feel and love are no different from any of us. It’s miraculously flabbergasting to see how a child thinks even beyond our limited boundaries – pass the wall of segregation and hate, pass the painted coloured skins, pass the diversity in languages. I am, in fact, infatuated by his sense of innocence – wanting to ‘fix’ things if he is given the opportunity – even by means of heavy duty work after a few brainstorming.

I want it done

His passion and dedication drive him to want to give and keep on giving. Knowing how the world is not as perfect as most people portray them to be, his mind has a plan of its own. For him, no is simply not the answer, nor maybe. ‘I want it, and I want it done’ is usually his motto whenever determination kicks in. Stubborn as he is impatient, he longs for speedy results – which his lack of sense of the true picture of reality – being the child as he is, tends to frustrates him sometimes. Having to reassure the little one that sometimes good things come to those who wait and hard work does pay off at the end, seems not to be penetrating much through his skull. He doesn’t want to understand that not everybody feels and thinks the way he does. Such petit personage full of perseverance, he urges and urges if I can lean a hand. Not wanting to disappoint the little fellow, I just follow his instinct instead.

Such powerful drive pushes him to start his first collection of donations to the orphans. I have been participating – by carrying all shipment back to Malaysia on my own – twice (once with my husband!) last year. Our partner Hotel Abadi, Melaka has kindly enough volunteered to distribute this handful of collections to the needy.

Keep on going

This year is a different story. Since this is an on-going project, the little one – with the help of his older sister – keeps piling more stuff.. more toys, more clothing, more enthusiasm..! He wants to send more.. and more to the orphans. “I want them to have what I have, mom…” It’s disgraceful to see how an innocent child is able to open his heart endlessly to share to other children whom he has never seen in his life across the globe, whilst grown ups such as ourselves refuse to even share a half piece of bread with a starving neighbour next door…

Accumulating more than 110kg in the garage and up in the attic, I feel I am rather stuck in the gut – how on earth will I ever bring them all to Malaysia? Having the same determination and enthusiasm as my son, I keep on looking for sponsorships. Somehow along the dotted line, my best friend Norashikin Afifuddin (also the owner of Hotel Abadi Melaka) connects me to a circle of people who, at the end, produce an enormous pleasing result!!

A miracle….

With great honour, I am so pleased to announce that AirAsia Cargo has spread its wings and heart to sponsoring the shipment back to Malaysia this year!! However, their generosity goes beyond that. Not only they are sponsoring the shipment to be sent directly to Malaysia, they also arrange transportation for the donations to be picked up personally from our doorsteps to Schiphol airport for screening and re-packing. All this free of charge!

I am still overwhelmed by their prompt reply! Amazing how amaranthine determination can bring you a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

The shipment of donation will be in Malaysia in time for Eidul Fitr 2011


THANK YOU kind individuals who participated in this Project. Without you, this project will not be a success!!!

The 99 : when superheroes spread positive Islamic values !

 In a preview post, I published a video of Shereen El Feki speaking in a TED conference, video that I translated into French a couple of months ago.  In this conference, Shereen was talking about the Ninety Nine, a group of superheroes inspired by islamic values.

Now, it is Dr Naif Al-Mutawa himself who is the invited speaker of a new TED talk about his own creation.

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Safety Net Project Seminar in KL : fun and informative !

Fun and informative : these are the two words that come most frequently in the participants feedback of the seminar.

During the seminar itself, some participants called the Safety Net Project an Eye-Opener !  We are very honored to be perceived as such !      

But what is it about ? 

  

Event before we created the Lingua Franca Foundation, we were worried about the fate of some Asian women we saw in dire strait around us, in the Netherland.  Some of them divorced in the most desperate – and more often then not – violent conditions.    We decided to react and to create a specific project to help these women : the Safety Net Project (more details about this project in these pages).      

 This project in multidimensional, we aim to contribute to :      

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We will be… in MALAYSIA this August 2010 !

it’s time for us to reveal

 The Safety Net Project is a program associated between Lingua  Lingua Franca Foundation and Hotel Abadi Sdn Bhd (Hotel Abadi Melaka) to promote safe and harmonious ‘win-win’ international exchanges as well as diversity between nations. This project aims to deal with domestic violence against women from abroad and to help them to integrate in the welcoming country or to go back safely to their country of origin and to inform local authority, potential partners and contributors of the current situation and what plans for improvement. It is also a discussion platform for future collaboration from both sides to promote and maintain the durability of the project.

 ”  Somebody you know may need these information badly. The speakers are people with first hand experience on the subject, and have worked with people with similar predicaments. The lesson from their experience is that some problems can be prevented, and it is best if you are prepared before making that big decision! Read the brochure to find out more! “

    

 

 

REGISTER NOW TO SECURE YOUR SEAT

Click here if you wish to pay with the credit card

  

   

The Bridge

To enable you to be from where you are  to where you want to be, you have move. Yes! Move. Move from one side to another, and one place to another. Just, literally…move.

Making contact is like building a bridge. It connects you from one end to the other. Once you cross the bridge, there is no turning back. Along the way, you will encounter little stops that either help you build a bigger picture of what you want to construct or just simply destroy what you hope to build. It’s as simple as that. If your journey helps you to build and contruct, then once you implement all the information, you are able to lay down some structure later. These structures will help you re-build your global-view plans so that you can narrow them down to more concrete measures and whence, you manage to see what you can and cannot accomplish.

Using this concept, I decided to extend the Foundation’s bridge to another continent; initiating new projects so that the Foundation can continue to pursue and develop its goals. Knowing I will find new territories, I packed my bags; along with the toys donated by the kids4kids club for the needy children, off I went to the country with the oldest rain forest in the world. The moment I touched down at the international airport, I realised that this country has a lot of potential. Upholding their slogan, Truly Asia; Malaysia is not only enriched with multinationals and culture, but also considered as one of the well-developed countries in the Asian continent.

During my stay in Kuala Lumpur, I have engaged with several types of crowd; from business to politics, and  journalists to hotel management. Between us, I could see that we have one thing in common: to make contact and to expand our bridges. We share the same vision: to expand our horizons and to globalize our mission. We want to reach out beyond our borders and we want (and hope) to do it together.

One of the main cores of the Foundation is education.  The Foundation wishes to establish an international learning network to connect and get the best out of both worlds. The Foundation strongly believes that education plays an enormous role in stripping the veil of ignorance and naivety, thus assist our evolving mind to be more responsible and productive. Connecting two worlds by creating a bridge and a platform would be a big project for the Foundation – such project can only be achievable through constant networking and getting international partners for full-time involvement.

Another project is to introduce one of our activities to the Asian audience – The Safety Net Project. This special project has been under experimental in the Netherlands since the middle of 2009 and we are hoping to launch it officially somewhere in Kuala Lumpur. The Foundation hopes that the meeting with a few relevant and motivated people will be fruitful and the project will be introduced to the public in the up coming months. The project is targeted mostly for women audience and how to exercise prevention and educating women their rights, responsibilities and capacity. The Foundation is promoting safe international exchanges between the West and East; and by trying to connect both worlds, women from all over are able to participate in a programme to learn to grow out of naivety and being motivated at the same time.  

Besides trying to make proper introduction about the Foundation’s activities, I have taken the opportunity to launch our first international exchange project. Kids4kids club (a club formed by the Foundation) has been active in collecting toys for the needy children since January 2010 and my journey to Malaysia has enable me to deliver the hard work the children have poured into to make this charity project a success. I have brought more than 20 kilos worth of toys to be distributed to several needy children from everywhere in West Malaysia.

Doing charity work is part of the Foundation’s establishment. I wish that this charity project will always exist and continue throughout the existance of Lingua Franca Foundation.

The Marriage Trap – episode one

This is based on a true story.  I truly hope that many women will open their eyes after reading this article to whoever is out there pouring his manly heart out to them. Sincerity is not something transparent, although sometimes we think it is. You will never know you have swallowed poison until it is officially flowing in your very veins!

I sincerely hope that after reading this article, many women take serious action in protecting themselves and those who they love and care, and also informing and alerting other women to be more aware of what is truly out there…


Men may say that marriage is a trap. But sometimes it is the woman who is trapped. NOOR AZURA AHMAD (writer for Her World) uncovers the emotional angst of a repressed wife.

heart in chains

Elisa*, 37, snuggles contentedly against Giovanni*, her husband of two months, and declares, “I SO love this man… NOW I understand what love is all about.” Looking up coyly at her husband, she admits to  spritzing on perfume and dolling herself up just before he arrives home. “I’m smitten.” She manages to look sheepish while grinning from ear to ear. Giovanni laughs heartily, evidently pleased with her confession. Squeezing Elisa gently, Giovanni, or Khalid* as he is also known, gives her an affectionate peck before leaving us to this interview. Knowing that we would be delving into a painful period in her life, Elisa braces herself for the inevitable.

“It all began when I was studying in the UK. I met Pieter* through a pen pal programme organised by a student’s association. He was studying in the Netherlands, working on his doctorate. We actually wrote to each other the old fashioned way – using pen, paper and stamps.” Elisa always thought of him as a friend, but Pieter’s writing became increasingly personal. Friends pointed out that Pieter was definitely interested but Elisa played it cool.

Coming from a troubled family, Elisa did not witness much affection between her own parents. After they divorced, Elisa stayed with her mother but she understood her father better. Her mother opposed her relationship with Pieter but Elisa didn’t care. She had no interest in the rich boys her mother kept throwing her way.

Elisa and Pieter finally met in person when a friend dragged her along on a trip to Amsterdam. Pieter put them up in his apartment and accompanied them sightseeing. The very next day, he took Elisa to meet his parents. After that, they visited each other occasionally and kept in touch via telephone. Soon, both of them graduated and started working. Two years later, he asked her to marry him and she accepted.

“The truth is, I never really loved him. But he was there and it was the logical next step, so I said yes. Three days before the wedding, I left town. Somewhere deep inside, I didn’t want to marry him. But when I came back, he begged, and I relented. I think my father saw Pieter’s true nature. After the wedding, he specifically asked Pieter to take care of me.” His promise was just words, however.

Shereen El Feki : creating a gathering place for Arabic people and the rest of the World

Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations showed the war between civilization as unavoidable, something engraved in the core of geopolitics since the beginning of times…  A lucid examination of history shows something rather different : cultures and civilizations always exchange, giving to and borrowing from each other, excluding some elements and integrating some others according to the proper dynamics of their own evolutions.  The Arabic and Muslim world is no exception to this rule and is re-interpreting elements from modernity according to local needs and conditions, “to produce novelties which are neither conventionally Western nor traditionally Arab“.

Shereen El Feki, half Egyptian, half Welsh, is observing these side effects of globalization. “Her passion lies in the many projects in which she is involved which aim to better understand, and surmount, the social challenges facing Arabs, particularly young people”.

In this video, published by Ted India, she is showing some examples of these borrowings.

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