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Friday, April 27, 2007

Girls Day Out : Sudak - Nature's Whisper


Silence. Dullness. Of all words, only these can describe the day's atmosphere. It was a normal, sunny day of the spring season; classes and lectures ran as scheduled, and the birds were still chirping softly amidst the tree branches. Simply implying, no road accidents or thunderstorms could render the day odd. If Malay folks would put it into words, the class would seem 'senyap macam malaikat tengah lalu'. Until a voice dared squeak out.

"Eh, korang. Esok lecture takde. Kelas pun batal sebab Faculty Day. Cikgu kite kena attend Conference Path Anat. Satu hari kita free. Ape kite nak buat? Tak mau keluar pegi mana-mana ke?".

"Ha'ah kan. Lepas nie every weekend kita busy; ade macam-macam aktivitilah..dengan preparation untuk examnya. Esok jelah ade untuk kite keluar ramai-ramai. Sebelum perikse. Tapi...nak pegi mane?".

( At this moment, you may see fingers on top of hijabs, scratching non-itchy heads).

"Haa..kite pergila satu tempat yang semua orang belum pergi. Tempat yang tak perlu shopping, tapi boleh tenangkan fikiran..tengok alam sekitar..".

(What kind of a place..?)

"Sudaaakkkk!!!" cried a voice, second by the other.

Hence, on 8 am the following day, with food-filled-backpacks hunched along, we paced the university allies to the nearest bus station. Alhamdulillah, the clouds that day treated us nicely, for the predicted windy and rainy weather miraculously emerged into a sunny day; the temperature soothing our skin as warm and tender as could be. The mashrutka (translated : taxi van) driver volunteered to navigate our trip around Sudak; we felt thankful ever.

SUDAK; pashli!!!

Our main destination was Novi Svet (translated : New Color), somewhat a tourist spot where picturesque seashores, huge stones and hiker-mountains marveled the panorama.

Stumbling in front of an entrance at the left end of the shore, we discovered a hiking route map. Well, it did not state any treasure buries or jewelery findings of course; but it did say that we may encounter a cave.

A cave? Would there be bats and sarang-burungs? Hmmm...

Curious, we trailed along the path. Somehow we felt like Doraemon encountering a secret entrance through his 'pintu-suka-hati'. *wink*wink*

At last!!We found the cave..Subhanallah..goodness! Our eyes stared with awe; our jaws hung wide - our sympatoadrenal systems instantly clicked themselves on.

This well seemed shallow from above - tapi dalam sebenar Allah saja yang tahu.

Cave already found - so the journey continues.

Believe my words - the color of the sea water was pure aqua-turquoise, alike painting colors.

Climbing up...

...descending down...

..steep and hollow, you may see...

The clock struck 1 pm. We made a stop at the huge stones along the seashore, and performed our ablution and solah. Sangat tenang bila menunaikan ibadah di tempat-tempat sunyi seperti ini; being aborigine-like, we were practically using pure sea water for wudhu', and stones, the sand and pebbles being the ground for us to pray on. Masa ni memang betul-betul terasa kebesaran Allah; Maha Suci Allah, yang menciptakan segala sesuatu bermanfaat, berasbab, cantik dan sempurna...beautiful are His creations, as the Creator of all beings...

Halfway through the journey, an hour later, we stopped at the edge of the cliffs and unpacked our bag, for our li'l tummies were starting to grumble. By this moment we were already soaking wet, hence the trench-removing. Perhaps because of being too in a hustle, lunch merely consisted of steamed rice, cookies, wafers, ice lemon tea and...SAKIEY'S MOM'S HOME-MADE SERUNDING. Wowwiiee~~

As all stomaches were full and bodies energetically-fueled, we proceeded trailing downwards. Initially we did get lost - no tourists or passers-by were seen around to associate us towards the end, for the track led us to three different paths, and no evident landmarks could tell us which of them was the 'road not taken'. As the day was seeking its dawn, we had no choice, but to return towards the initial entrance.

Our next stop..the SUDAK FORTRESS MUSEUM, which in a way resembles China's Great Wall (except that it isn't THAT massive and long).

Stepping inside...

Our version of..Tugu Negara..?Erk..

Having been strolling along the green hills of the fortress museum, it signaled our final stopping-place; the city centre. Awkwardly, despite its name, the place connoted a vice-versa like vista; it was more of a country side, and way too far detailed from the city centres that dwelled on our motherland. Many hotels could be seen standing high, and huge bungalows prettified the lawns and hills too. And yes, the place was very, very, quiet; it was even hard to see the citizen folks in sight, be it to shop or for work; only a few cars could be heard roaring by.

A desert-characteristic-like restaurant, (which was not open) as you may see the hay being the roof, and twigs and branches stalked together, being the gate. If it does open, I wonder how much profit would they earn a day.

We found out later by a citizen that Sudak's peak time of flooding tourist-visits is during summer - which implicitly explains the scarce emptiness. Nevertheless, I would say it is a rather perfect spot for nature-enthusiasts and environmentalists. And also for newlyweds planning for low budget hassle free honeymoons. Wooo... :P

I leave with you the number of the taxi driver who guided our trip; just so if these pictures might tempt any readers to come and have a stop-by.

Vladimir Sergeevich :+380505894920.

Be sure to have proficiency in Russian Language, or else ask a student to hitch along. And a Russian dictionary might come in handy too.

Excursions..anyone? :)

ps: saya dedicate post ni khas untuk kak Aisyah..terima kasih untuk gambar-gambar itu..kirim salam pada Daffodils of Dundee ya.. :)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Jelajah Benua...ape tuu??


This post was supposed to be submitted 3 weeks ago, however bundles of assignments and tonnes of tasks procrastinated my desire, and the pictures were just loaded. So here comes the entry...

Jelajah benua..ape tu..?

This is another great job well done by ISIM aka Islamic Student Movement of Ukraine
(translated:Pergerakan Usrah Ukraine). For the curious lot, usrah (defined:family - an arabic term) is somewhat a society that runs in small groups of 5 to 8, commandeered by a naqib/naqibah (leader) and sets its purpose as a modus operandi to spread and teach Islam bilhikmah. Rasa-rasanya bagi yang pernah belajar di SBP dan tinggal di asrama, dah serasi dengan pergerakan usrah. Cuma melekat di hati atau tidak je.

Initially it was to be held at Stroganovska Mosque, but later the venue was changed to Tyanitskaya Mosque, Eskissarai, that sat at the suburbs of Simferopol.

The bus departed at 0730am, and upon arriving, we devoured breakfast with our usrahs' accordingly. Previously each usrah had to memorize a verse from the Quran to be tasmi'ed later by the respected naqibahs' ; mine was verse 19-20 from Surah AsSajdah :

" Adapun org2 yg beriman dan beramal saleh, maka bagi mereka syurga2 tempat kediaman, sbg pahala terhadap apa yg telah mereka kerjakan (19)"

"Dan adapun org2 yg fasik (kafir), maka tempat mereka adalah neraka. Setiap kali mereka hendak keluar daripadanya, mereka dikembalikan (lagi) ke dalamnya dan dikatakan kepada mereka: "Rasakanlah siksa neraka yg dahulu kamu mendustakannya".(20)"

Next, questions were posed regarding the verses. All thinking caps were switched on, and we had to solve the problem posed by Brother Ali to all usrahs. Our task problem : Kenapa masih ramai yang segan untuk turun masjid dengar ceramah?Penyelesaiannya?


2)Hasutan nafsu
3)"Hasutan" kawan
4)Merasakan ilmu tak masuk
5)Berpendapat ceramah tak menarik
6)Merasakan "masjid bukan tempat untuk saya"

Our suggestions:

1) Memvariasikan cara dakwah
2)Basahkan lidah dengan zikir - santapan rohani
3)Lembutkan telinga dengar nasyid berbentuk nasihat
4)Iltizam yang kuat - jangan malas!!
5)Laksanakan kursus khas agar penceramah memperbaiki cara penyampaian (selitkan lawak etc.)
6)Berhati-hati dan pandai memilih sahabat
7)Pelbagaikan aktiviti menarik semasa ceramah

Then, Brother Muizzuddin delivered a speech : Feqah : Puasa dan Bersuci. We were reminded about the basics, and strengthened about the vitals. We are His servant - insan, derived from the arabic word naasiya (defined:lupa), mudah lupa bila leka, jadi sentiasa perlukan peringatan..which is what ceramahs, usrahs are purposely for.

Masa untuk main!!Terdapat dua acara sukaneka :

1)Tv rosak - each member has to memorize and describe a picture shown earlier to the 1st member, to be drawn by the last member. The picture of the usrah that resembles the real picture the most, wins. (banyaknye the...)

2)Bulatan teguh - each usrah is required to walk/run within a loop of thin thread without holding it. The usrah that reaches the finishing line the earliest without breaking the loop, wins.

Dah penat-penat main, mase untuk makan!!!Nyum..nyum..nyum..

This is what we call "Nasi Ayam" aka Chicken Fried Rice (ape..ingat kat Ukraine tak boleh makan nasi ayam?Hehe)

After performing the Asar prayers, there was a talk from the Imam of the Masjid : Sheikh (alamak lupelah ape name beliau..)

What mesmerized me was, regardless of being a Tartarian and a novicer to Arabic Language, he managed to put his words in the lughah grammatically-error-free. Even me, after 9 years of studying, am not able to master it as fluent as him. Saya ambil Subjek Bahasa Arab Tinggi untuk SPM juga; tapi dapat A2 jelah :P

He released his sincere gratitude and happiness upon seeing the Mosque full of Muslims - it was so hard to see such a phenomenon, he says. He told about his past - about his grandfather, Ramzan, whom was once an Imam in Ukraine too.

His past - retold:

A century ago, mosques mushroomed the earth of Ukraine. The 2nd World War stroke, massive destruction eroded many a buildings into pieces - it was a catastrophe. Muslims, mostly Tartarians, inevitably became refugees of their own land, and had to seek shelter at the Ukrainian borderland. To return was to seek danger - it was like the kafirs overruled their hometown, and maneouvred their rights and freedom. His Grandpa kept on crying - when may we be able to return home?

Decades later, the violation ceased - however, not many dared return. And that tells why only a minority remain - until now.

His story was touching and meaningful simultaneously. It reflected the struggle of these people, although a minority, to regain victory and power that was once theirs. Adakah kau lupa, kita pernah berkuasa..memayungi 2/3 dunia..

Eventually, that lead us to the final event - the prize-giving ceremony. For the 2nd time in a row, our usrah champed the games!! Yippee!! Alhamdulillah..

Congratulations to the crew who made this event a success. Looking forward for more!

ps: maaf kalau ada kesilapan info..almaklumlah, saya manusia biasa, kadang-kadang terlupa, silap sini-sana..