So here I am.
Blogging, writing. In this blog. Yes. Okay, in reality my face is more of a half-hearted but I am physically weak and unwell. Nothing to complain about, because there’s wisdom and blessings in everything, so I shall try to enjoy babbling away while the duvet warms my feet.
Before I forget, I have added Tumblr to my long list of Things-I-do-Online, so click and follow if you so please: aneesahs.tumblr.com
It is currently the winter holidays (yay!) but it hasn’t felt very relaxing or holiday-like or productive in terms of making crafts, at all. It has been a very very long, busy academic term, right till the final day, and one month doesn’t sound like enough of a break. We have been travelling, and though we’re home now, there’s a longer journey with a bigger group of peeps in less than a week. Pray for everything to go well, please, because things don’t always go as planned, do they?
My journey so far has taken me to a winter camp in Lancashire. In short, it is called FUIYO, which stands for Fun with ILuvIslam’s Youth Overseas. ILuvIslam is a well-known website/media company founded by Malaysian college students some years ago, and most students here know it for the articles posted and shared on Facebook. This camp was just one of the events they organised. (My housemate was part of the organising team, which is how I decided to join in the first place. I’ve been to various programmes back in Malaysia in my schooldays, but never in the UK, so it is a new experience despite my being in the final year of my degree.)
As always with motivational/Islamic camps and talks and programmes, I find that it is not essentially the content and event that gives me such a big impact, but the people involved. The ones you happen to meet, the ones giving the talks, the ones you hear about. And in FUIYO’s case, it was the beautiful venue as well. Waddow Hall is located on a hill by a river, which also had a little waterfall that was frozen! It even sounds awesome, doesn’t it? So even though I didn’t take many photos throughout the nine days that I was away, I had to capture the gorgeous scenes (you know I panoramas and landscapes and snow scenes).
River Ribble, Lancashire
The frozen waterfall
Other side of the river
Tree in front of the main hall
More photos here.
We also stayed in Manchester and York afterwards before coming back to Canterbury. Lots of sights seen and lessons learnt.
Things learnt include:
- How people tend to spell my name as Anisah or Anisa or Hanisah. (Or Aneesha if they’re not Malaysian.)
- The fact that I am not short anymore. Really, seriously, this is not a joke. Among other Malaysian Malay girls, I am at least average height, if not slightly taller than most of the 20-to-22-year-olds I met. You don’t know how enlightening this is to me. :shakefist:
- It’s super useful to have a phone that has internet abilities. (I purchased the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro sometime ago to replace my 4-year-old [read: ancient] HP iPAQ. Can’t be bothered to write a review or anything, but ask me if you have questions about the phone.) I now have Mobile Uploads, yo!
Waiting for food in York, with my phone (photo by Pura)
- I have a growing and intense respect for Muslims who dedicate their entire lives to spreading the word of Islam. They might not be the best speakers or have any super-interesting skills, but the time and effort they spent, their dilligence, is so inspiring to me.
My FUIYO group, plus Auni who took the pic (photo from Sab)
- I thought about how many things in life aren’t at all important when you know what you were created for. How each of us have a role to play, how each decision we make should be taking us (and others!) to the right path. I thought about all my online outlets — what good do they bring, really? Are my creations pointless, do they have anything to do with Islam? But I realised that being Muslim doesn’t necessarily mean that you must only post blog articles about verses from the Holy Qur’an or a Hadeeth or a significant person from Islamic history, that writings have to be formal and righteous and about sharing Islamic knowledge. Islam is a way of life — I believe even just bringing people to good things, or being a good example, or writing about positive lessons you’ve learnt — there is a role to be played there and God willing, little things can have big effects.
- Good health is so so precious.
- I do not find beauty in plucked/threaded/drawn/edited-in-any-way eyebrows. Nor in painted plastic fingernails, nor dyed and permed hair, coloured pouty lips, made-up face, or exposed skin/body shapes. It is saddening to see such displays not only in women but in girls. When will they see…?
- I love people who randomly write on your Facebook Wall, even if they don’t really have anything to say.
River half-frozen, half-flowing
Writing juices have run out. Hopefully I’ll find time (even after the holidays have ended) to make the stuff I’ve listed down in my phone (there are backlogged orders and requests and belated birthday gifts!). I pray that you’re all well and warm and happily welcoming the new year. Salaam!