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Monday, January 28, 2008

When an Act of Sympathy for mankind is Considered Political

As ESPN reported, Egyptian midfielder, Mohamed Aboutrika was warned by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for displaying a slogan in support of Gaza at the African Nations Cup finals in Ghana.

According to ESPN, "Aboutrika lifted his strip to reveal a tee-shirt with the slogan 'Sympathy with Gaza' as he celebrated scoring in the 3-0 win over Sudan in Friday's Group C match in Kumasi."

He was also booked by the referee for his actions.

"CAF officials said Aboutrika had been warned after the incident for breaching regulations by displaying political slogans."

Wow. Since when was a support for human rights, a support for freedom, a support for equal rights to survive, and a support for anti-terrorism considered to be political? It's not like his shirt was saying something like 'Sympathy for Hammas" or anything of that matter.

I remembered many soccer individuals had voiced their support for the Israeli cause. Why can't it be the other way around?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Natasha Hudson Crime

So they say she's got the looks. There's no doubt about that. But some say she's got the brains as well. Well, no hard feelings Natasha, but that's quite debatable, at least not to an extent that she's able to produce her own poetry.

This entry is about the one and only Natasha Hudson. Just one of the many people that color Malaysia oh so brightly! Sure many have talked about her, but on this issue, I really don't want to be left out!!

Just for a heads up, Natasha Hudson is a Malaysian model and actress of Malay and Anglo-Australian parentage. She is best known for her role as Nazrin Aziz in the Malaysian horror movie Chermin. I got that from Wikipedia.

So the story goes. Like any average kid, Natasha was so interested in poetry during her childhood days that she decided to write some of her own. Not until recently, she was encouraged by families and friends to publish the poems. And so she did. These are just some from the poetry book, 'Puisi Indah Si Pari-Pari'.

Kek Coklat

Saya mahu satu kehidupan
Kamu mahu sesuatu yang lain
Kita tidak dapat makan kek coklat
Jadi kita makan sesama sendiri

Surprisingly though,
it turned out there was another poem, in English, that had all the exact same words as this poem. Check it out:

(By Roger McGough)

I wanted one life
You wanted another
We couldn't have our cake
So we ate each other

Here's another one of Natasha's poem:

Si Kura-Kura Kecil

Ada seekor kura-kura kecil
tinggal di dalam kotak
berenang di tepi tasik
memanjat di atas batu

dia cuba menggigit nyamuk
dia cuba menggigit kutu

dia cuba menggigit berudu
dia cuba menggigit aku

dia berjaya menangkap nyamuk
dia berjaya menangkap kutu

dia berjaya menangkap berudu
tetapi dia tidak berjaya menangkap aku

And just as surprisingly, there's also a poem in English with the same words! How absurd?!!

I Have a Little Turtle
(By Nicholas Vachel Lindsay)

There was a little turtle.
He lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn't catch me.

Hold on, I've got more.

Mentega kuning, jelly ungu, jam merah, roti hitam

Mentega kuning, jelly ungu, jam merah, roti hitam
ratakan tebal
katakan cepat

ratakan tebal
katakan cepat

sekarang ulang
sambil kamu makan

sekarang ulang
sambil kamu makan

janganlah bercakap
bila mulut kamu penuh

Yup, you guessed it! There's also an English version!

Things We Like to Eat
(By Mary Ann Hoberman)

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread.
Spread it thick,
Say it quick.

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread
Spread it thicker,
Say it quicker.

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread
Now repeat it,
While you eat it.

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread
Don't talk
With your mouth full!

You do the judging!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ever Continuation of Discrimination

Discrimination has been in existence for so long, all over the world. Even during the great Islamic Empires, there were traces of discrimination, where as some Arabs believed themselves to be more superior than non-Arabs. Then there's always the African-American conflict during the early 20th century and the Apartheid in South Africa. In Malaysia, whether it be Malays, Chinese, Indias, Bumi's and non-Bumi's are all discriminating against one another.

Recently I was shown by a friend news regarding this one Muslim student track runner who was disqualified from a meet. The reason: Her custom-made outfit she wears to conform to her Muslim faith violated competition rules. Fuh... Fact is, she has been wearing that same uniform 'for three seasons while running for Theodore Roosevelt's cross-country and track teams. '

'Meet director Tom Rogers said Kelly's uniform violated rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations, which sanctioned the event. Uniforms are required to be "a single-solid color and unadorned, except for a single school name or insignia no more than 2 1/4 inches," he said.'

Read more of this nonsense here.

More recently, we Malays in Vanderbilt were about to play a game of volleyball at the rec center last weekend. So we waited until one of the courts were cleared of people playing basketball and then set up the net. Upon setting up the net, another group of Americans came to the court and asked us whether we had the court reserved. We said no. But since we were there first, common sense says we get to play first. And so the Americans obliged. But then came along this janitor, mind you, a JANITOR, and for some reason he thought he had authority to tell us to leave because the 2nd court (which we were about to use) was given priority to those who wants to play basketball.

We didn't budge without a fight. So this janitor took us to see the lady at the front desk and another big fuss erupted. But being tolerant as we are, we gave in and left the court. She then mentioned that the third court was prioritized for sports other than basketball.

For crying out loud, for all I could remember, we've always been fussing with the rec officials regarding what court to use. A few months back, I remember the same rules regarding the courts usage were applied. Then later, the same lady worker (if I'm not mistaken) said first come first serve. That was when we had an issue with some Chinese who wanted to play basketball. Then now, when some Americans want to play basketball, the rules are changed again.

So from what I understand, for disputes involving asian-asian the rules that apply are first come first serve. For asian-americans, the rules are the first two courts are for basketball and the third one is for other sports.

Fact is, we've never asked others to leave courts, whether it be the first, second or third court. We've always waited until they finish whatever their playing before we take over. That's how it should actually be.

And in Prophet Muhammad's final sermon, he said," All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white - except by piety and good action."

Let us all learn from this.

Me and my life so far

Ok, first and foremost, this is not about me being narcissist. I figured out of the billions of people out there, there should be some who would be interested with my whereabouts and so, my family for instance.

Well, tomorrow marks the second full week of class. I'm now in my junior spring semester. I have more less than a year and a half to graduate and get my CGPA up. Classes are getting tougher and tougher everyday. If Prof Jennings was out of this world hard, Prof Laibinis was even harder. Just unbelievable. But as of the second week, Alhamdulillah, I'm still hanging in there.

Other than that, I'm now working in the science and engineering library down in SC. It's quite a good experience. Basically, I check in check out books, shelve books, and fetch books from the central library. BOOKS, BOOKS, and more BOOKS. Five hours a week. The pay is quite good though.

And finally, I'm planning to go back to Malaysia in May. Early May. Which means, I would miss the senior commencement day, and more, the Midwest games. It's quite a bummer, since the games would be held in near Carbondale, merely over a three hour drive from here. But heck, what could be better than going back to Malaysia?

That's about it. Till whenever I update again, wassalam!!