Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kuih Keria Antarabangsa,Chiangmai,Thailand

Kredit Foto: Eating Asia

Saya amat berterima kasih kepada Robyn dari Eatingasia kerana memperkenalkan kuih keria antarabangsa di Kg Limbungan, Melaka.

Hujung minggu lepas, adik saya dan kaum keluarganya dari Masjid Tanah telah menamatkan riwayat 20 biji kuih keria. 10 biji telah meninggal kelemasan serta merta di gerai berkenaan.Manakala 10 biji lagi 'mati' dalam perjalanan pulang ke Masjid Tanah.

Sekali lagi, teruja dengan entri terbaru di blognya yang tersenarai di dalam "The Times London's 50 of the world's best food blogs", saya sedang menyimpan niat untuk meneruskan pencarian kuih keria tersedap di dunia ke Chiang Mai kelak untuk menamatkan riwayat kuih keria yang dibuat daripada tepung pulut hitam dan disira dengan air gula seperti yang diceritakan oleh Robyn di dalam blognya.

Ada sesiapa nak ikut?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Perpustakaan J.B. Priestley

Foto: arca keamanan di hadapan J.B. Priestley Library

Tiba-tiba saya terkenangkan perpustakaan J.B. Priestley di University of Bradford.

Inilah tempat saya mencari buku.Bukan teks Coulson & Richardson (buku teks tebal wajib bagi kuliah kejuruteraan kimia!) yang saya cari. Tetapi sibuk menyelongkar rak buku mencari Sonnet 18 karya Pablo Neruda!

Nasib baik saya tak jadi 'chemical engineer'!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Sunday's reflection

Photo: Islamic Relief/Jenny Matthews

I revisited my old entry to reflect on the 'lomba-lomba' of local NGOs championing the Gaza's cause. I decided to repost again the philosophy below.

Go to the People
Live with the People
Learn from the People
Plan with the People
Work with the People
Start with what they know
Build on what they have
Teach by showing, learn by doing
Not a showcase, but a pattern
Not piecemeal, but integrated
Not odds and ends, but a system
Not to conform, but to transform
Not relief, but release

- Yen Yangchu, 20th century community-based development pioneer from Sichuan, China

Frankly, I could not help to be sceptical on the current scenario. Now everybody in the third sectors says "Give us the funds as we are the first,the best and the bla bla bla".

I don't really mind who gets what,the most or what not. The questions is whether we are ready to commit wholeheartedly for the cause for a long period of time?Would we commit until they are able to stand on their feet again?Would you still be there with the people even when your funds has run out?

For us, the answer is very clear. We have been there in Gaza with the people for 10 years and whatever we have built destroyed in just 3 weeks.Do you think that we will pack our bag and quit?It will take us for another 10 years to ensure that the people will be able to stand on their feet again.

I have always believe; help others to change their life.The calls to change life goes beyond charity.It requires commitment.COMMITMENT!

I remember asking our international fundraising director not so long ago,

"What makes us different from the rest?"

His answer was,

"We do it with our own hands because we have pledge to deliver the trust of the people".

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Diary of an aid worker in Gaza

Photo by: Jenny Matthews/Islamic Relief

Hatem Shurrab wrotes again.

GAZA 12 February

For the first time in seven weeks, I had a break. I slept a lot.

While I was awake I decided to sit back and think about what had happened to Gaza and its people during the war.

I went to the beach to look at the sea, something I did in the past to help me relax, but this time my mind kept replaying images of children, mothers and the elders in our communities who died.

I drew lines in the sand with my fingers and wrote the word "war". Maybe it was something I did subconsciously - I quickly wiped it out.

Yes, the bombing has stopped, but the fear that it may return is still here.
I saw two boys running and playing on beach. As they passed by me they both looked at me. I began to ask them about their schools and hobbies. We talked for a while but we didn't mention the carnage in Gaza. They were full of high spirits - absorbed in the act of play. Its seeing children like this which motivates me and helps energise me.

After my brief rest I returned to work the next day. I went to one of the psycho-social support sessions that Islamic Relief is holding for thousands of families and children who had their homes totally destroyed.

I saw children drawing flowers, sea, rain and beautiful scenes. Unfortunately many children drew warplanes, guns and destroyed homes. There is a lot of work to do with these children - they have been severely psychologically affected by what they have experienced. Our psycho-social support specialists are helping these poor children and others - I hope they make a difference soon.

Many people are sleeping in tents - they have no homes left to return to. The weather is cold and it is raining and the tents cannot protect them from the weather. What will become of them?

Every day, Islamic Relief teams have been distributing food and equipment for hospitals. Desperate and deprived people still need and deserve hope and have the right to believe that they have a future.

I have been writing this diary in sometimes very difficult circumstances - sometimes literally whilst bombing was going on around me, other times as I was seeking safety in the basement with my family.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I was not killed or injured. I didn't lose family members and my house wasn't destroyed. Because I'm an aid worker I am in a position to help people. Writing these diary entries has given me the opportunity to tell the world about what Gazans were and are going through - to humanise our experiences.

I have seen how humanitarian agencies and aid workers can make a real difference to people's lives - in some cases even saving them. But it's the strength of the people of Gaza and their ability to keep going amongst the horror and devastation that has humbled me.

This year Islamic Relief marks its 25th anniversary as an international humanitarian organisation - 25 years from now I pray that Gaza is a place where people are no longer forced to exist, but a place where they can flourish and live.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Islamic Relief implements Psychosocial Support Project in Gaza

"Let's move on!" is the motto of Islamic Relief's Psychosocial Support Project for the most affected families and children after the war on Gaza.

Child Welfare Programme is implementing this project to alleviate the psychological pressures facing people in the Gaza Strip. The project helps them forget the hard times people have passed through and provide them with information and skills in order to act the best way in times of danger and crisis.

The project targets 8,300 children living in devastated areas in the north, Rafah and Gaza, especially in the areas that pass through heavy military incursions like Jabalia, Beit Lahiya, Zaytoun and Tal El Hawa.

The project is implemented in partnership with the local NGO El Wedad Association for Rehabilitation and other partners in the affected areas in order to ease continuation of activities. Free drawing, depriving and intervention are some of the project's activities in order to decrease the level of tension and rebuild the thoughts and behaviour of children to be more positive and normal.

The project also includes home visits to the tents and the destroyed homes for people in the areas that witnessed severe military actions. This is to determine the psychological and social needs, then providing them with the suitable individual and group counseling through distributing gifts and toys in addition to recreational activities to let them communicate with the society.

Mahmoud Abu Draz, Manager of Child Welfare Programme, said, "This project needs intervenes urgently for the children who passed through traumas reflecting on their behaviors. For this reason, our intervention is important to provide them with better life."

It is worthy mentioning that the project activities will continue for the coming two months in dividing the children into groups. Each group is having six sessions.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Voice of Hope

A Palestinian girl in Gaza
Photo by: Islamic Relief Worldwide

As I travel these days I could not help to ponder:

The voices I have heard are mostly associated with hatred and anger.

Anger and hatred will poison our soul.

Anger and hatred will blind our eyes.

Anger and hatred will not bring solutions.

Hardly I hear the voices of humanity and most of importantly the voices of hope.

And it's a pity that these voices championing the cause took the easier route by choosing to profess anger and hatred instead of hope and humanity.

I have always believe that, 'Hope is a good thing.Maybe the best of things,and no good thing ever dies'*.

* Shawshank Redemption 1994 Andy Dufresne: [in letter to Red]

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Kuih Keria Antarabangsa,Kg Limbungan, Melaka

Akhirnya kami dapat merasa keenakan Kuih Keria Antarabangsa yang terkenal di Kg. Limbongan,Melaka. Kuih keria di sini lain daripada yang lain kerana ia bersalut gula melaka.Kalau berkunjung ke Melaka, jangan lepaskan peluang untuk merasa kesedapan kuih keria ini.Gerai kecil ini terletak di Jalan Pantai Klebang.Kedudukannya betul-betul di batu tanda Kg.Limbongan,Melaka. Gerai di buka daripada pukul 2.30 petang.Kalau sampai di sana sekitar 5.00 petang - melepaslah jawabnya!

Menggoreng keria.

Menyira keria.

Keria bersira gula melaka.

Kuih keria yang sudah siap dibungkus.Jumlah yang selesai 'dibaham' di gerai ialah 6 biji.