IYEP Revisited: Part 2

17th of June-Let the Program Begin

We had our breakfast with the participants we fetch yesterday at Bangi Lanai. And suddenly, the waiter comes to me and said that Naveed and Bilal had not paid for the dinner they had last night. The waiter was telling me that both of them are eating and left the table as if it was juts like a hotel restaurants with free meals packages with the stay there. I was laughing and calming the waiter. I told him, “Relaks lah… Kita orang tak lari punya. Ini pun sempat sarapan lagi…”

And I left Bangi Lanai with my task mate and leaving behind another of my task mate to entertain them there. We were on pur way to LCCT to fetch a Thai guy by the name of Ratawit. I think it’s easier in LCCT compared to KLIA. Bacause tehres not so many people are waiting and I don’t have to fir myself just to be in front of the line to wait for the arrivals. Ratawit recognized me with the tags I had and smoothing our task bringing him direct to Residence Hotel.

Ratawit is a Spritual Education Movement (SEM) activist being assigned to Laos to give and organize socio-training courses for the community to prepared and born new leaders to be able to handle their own community. He is quite shy and most of the time in the car on our way to the hotel, he just listen and just answer when being ask. No question being asks to us, well for me, its better rather then talking nonsense.

While on the noon, we were off again to KLIA to fetch Eleanor from Washington. There is an incident while waiting for her. Actually, we were quite late. Her plane landed at 1300. Although I have calculated the time that the procedural arrival would take, we arrived at 1350 and there we were running to the arrival hall. I was waiting and then a girl with brown shirt comes out. I don’t know that I have such a strong hunch that it was her. But I am quite unsure whether it is ok for me to just run into her. I just hope that she would just see me with the welcoming sign I hold on to. But, I guess the ushers for the taxis and hotel there were unstoppable. They managed to usher her away. I run to get her and cannot find her anywhere and start to have a feeling that she was really the one and she had take the taxi to the hotel. I cannot think what I was going to do except for messaging the JUST secretariat to phone her and to confirm where she is.

Then suddenly my phone rang and it was an unfamiliar numbers. He starts asking where I am. I have a strong hunch that I was talking to a guy from a Taxi counter which is opposite me as I saw him holding the phone and the words he uttered suit the words I hear. I just run into he and he lead me to Eleanor. There she was smiling. She had no idea, what a relief it is. It would cause me a great deal I fail to fetch and deliver her to the hotel.

Enough of that dramatic act. Eleanor was the same age as me. But, she has a really different background compared to me especially in terms of academics. As I was struggling to finish my first degree studies, she had actually obtained her Masters and now is a candidate of Ph. D. studies. I have nothing more to say.

And the last overseas participant to be fetched is James Davis Massey which I forgot from which part of USA he was. He should be arriving the night before but I learned form him that his China Airlines from USA to China has been delayed and due to that, he missed the flight from China to KLIA. For him, it’s a once a life time opportunity to be stranded at the Beijing airport. As he has the chance to went to the Forbidden City and showed to us the pictures he had taken there and share some extraordinary experience of his visit there. Jamie is an undergraduate student in Religious Studies. His act and words are more matured from his looks. But quite friendly though. I had been silent most of the time in the car on the way to the hotel and just hear the conversation between him and my task mate. I would really congratulate my task mates for a JOB WELL DONE!

As the first day gone by, I had only the chance to have a glance thorough the registration period of the program at Residence hotel. I met many familiar faces from IIUM which happens to be joining the program also. Not to be mentioned also many new faces from all around Malaysia and as well as other countries. I was told that there were participants from 12 different countries.

Br. Azril (Vice President of ABIM) advice me as well as my fellow task mates to take the chance to get along with the participants and take part in the program although in the same time we are also the committees. I in the spirit of that advice had motivated myself to be brave to get along with the participants. It was really hard to start it, and most of the time after I said hello or hi or assalammualaikum, I would just shake hand and tell my name and then keep silent. I really don’t know where and when to get into their discussion. It is not that their conversations are too high level or to low for me to interrupt. But, I feel that the topic of the chit chat really is not in me.

They are talking about how wonderful Malaysia is, and I start wondering, is it true? Don’t they know that we have corrupted leaders in here? Don’t they know we have a serious problem of polarization? Don’t they even know that behind the beauty, there must be a hidden ugly truth that is not revealed?

And the IIUM Palestinians students are talking about the current situation in Palestine and start to lecture us about the politics of Fatah and Hamas and so many others. Don’t they know that while we were talking, most probably one of the Palestinian had died? Don’t they know that we are only havoc talking about them while in conference, seminars and demonstration but there had not been any strong resolution yet to be passed for the sake of peace? I don’t see any of us working…

And some others are talking about life style, hometown and what not, that I really don’t have to explain why I cannot be in it. Well, I think I managed to know and have a short introduction with some of them. I think so. Being in the mass of the participants really makes me too small among all the giants with their big ideas and talks. With their mastery of English, it would make me out of their list of favorites. They had such wonderful perception of life or would I call it as idealism. But, honestly speaking most of them are lacking of activism. I’m not telling that I am good in activism, but at least I could say that I had involved my self in a ground works of achieving what I believe in. Anyway, my first perception of the participants, that they are really great in making their high profiled status that makes me, second class.


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