How It All Began


Any particular story could have multiple beginnings. I could say that the story of my blog began in a hospital the day I was born and my first thoughts began to form or perhaps in a hotel room in Penang when my dad sat me down at his computer with the ‘Start Your Free Blog’ button shining brightly on the screen. But I would choose the days leading up to the book launch of Growing Up In Trengganu as the start of this blog’s tale because that was the first time I was introduced to the term ‘weblog’.

Growing Up In Trengganu (GUIT) is a compilation of blog posts written by a ‘Trengganufolk’ Awang Goneng in a lovely and nostalgic book form and was launched at my grandmother’s bookstore ‘Alam Akademik’, also known by its former name ‘Kedai Pok Loh Yunang’. Since my parents organised the event, I was heavily involved in the preparations and witnessed the excitement they conjured in the comparatively quiet city of Kuala Terengganu. We even had little quips and blurbs pasted on our car windows that attracted so much attention that we even got stopped a few times by curious inquirers.

The book also introduced me to the use of language techniques with its broad vocabulary, uses of vivid imagery, metaphors and similes and good structure. It took me years to really digest how I could use them in my own writing but it was the first time I felt such a profound effect in a purely descriptive writing (as some of the chapters were) as narratives used to be my favourite read with their conflicts and heart wrenching drama.

So in the days that followed, I mused over the possibility of starting my own blog but I highly doubt that I would have created it if not for the support of my parents. The idea of giving the whole world a free pass to my thoughts for them to pry into and to judge was intimidating. However my parents saw it as a good way to build my confidence in my writing and have peer support as in the early days I interacted with a number of bloggers, both fellow readers of GUIT and those who stumbled upon my writing as well as loyal readers who until now still read my brother’s blog (since I had been much less careful in keeping mine active). It gave me an outlet to share my opinions, my perspectives and my own voice.

And I credit this blog to my good command of English, my writing capability as well as my recent A* grade in my CIE A level English Language and the Outstanding Learner Award I received for the paper. After all, my blog is also partly my collection of English assignments especially in my early blogging years. And I must thank my tireless mother who guided me, proofread my terrifying tenses during my early years and sitting through my relentless arguments on why my nonsensical analogy makes sense. And I must too thank my late father who introduced me to GUIT, the internet and from whom I have unknowingly inherited my narrative perspective.

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An Open Letter to Matt Mullenweg – A blog suspended unfairly with no clarification


UPDATE: WordPress has returned ahmadalikarim.wordpress.com on March 1st. Thank you all for the ongoing support and thanks to Jackie, from the WordPress team of Happiness Engineers and to WordPress for giving him a free custom design upgrade. Ahmad Ali is honoured and delighted at the quick response after his message was replied to.

(Dear readers, Ahmad Ali’s Weblog (the blog of my little brother, Ahmad Ali) has been suspended and later ‘archived’ for violation of WordPress’s Terms of Service (TOS) unfairly without any clarification. I hope that you would all continue to support him at his new blog HERE and to help him have his voice heard and for him to get the justice he rightfully deserves.)

Dear, Matt.

First of all, I’d like to say that this may take some amount of your time but I plead you to please, please finish this and to send a reply so that I know that it has been received. Secondly, I’d like to clarify that my blog is perfectly fine but it is my 10 years old brother’s blog that had been suspended. The URL to the blog os ahmadalikarim.wordpress.com. I would have asked at the forum but for two reasons, one is that since my brother had his blog suspended, he is no longer able to access to the forum. The other is that, he had tried to contact WordPress through the link at the top of the dashboard and also the contact forum here: http://en.support.wordpress.com/suspended-blogs/ numerous times to ask for clarification but we never ever get a reply.

When my brother received the first note that his blog was suspended after failing to write a post, all of us helped him to look for the ‘bad’ content which was against the TOS but none of us could find any. So we taught him how to fill in the contact form asking for clarification and to apologise if he had violated any TOS but he was not aware of it and he that is what he did. We waited and after not receiving any reply, we thought that perhaps they had probably lost or missed the note so he sent in a few more. Then we decided that you guys may have loads of complaints every day and decided to wait.

Unfortunately, he found out earlier today that his whole blog “has been archived or suspended for a violation of our (WordPress’s) Terms of Service.” We found that it was unfair because he didn’t violate any TOS unless by accident and when we asked for some clarification (and he would remove the content if he knew what was the bad content) we did not receive any reply. I find that this is against the freedom of speech and internet freedom which WordPress had been supporting all the while (please see: http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/join-our-censorship-protest/)

My brother had been brought up to think critically, express his opinions and thoughts and to ask questions should he had any. He is vocal and outgoing despite being sweet and polite, and would always try to express himself without hurting the other party. In fact, he started the blog because he wanted to share his ideas with the world. However, this situation had been affecting him greatly. He had begun another blog (URL: http://ahmadalijetplane.wordpress.com) and we had to convince him that it is still and had always been okay to express himself. And even so, he still firmly believes that his blog had been suspended because of his religious and political point of view (he has a great interest in politics) and would not write anything that touches that matter. Now that his blog had been ‘archived’, I fear that it may affect his confidence greatly to the extent that he would be unsure of himself and he would be scared to comment on anything that involves people of different views.

I plead you, since I am sure that you have a great influence in WordPress.com, to please, please have this all checked out and hopefully clear his blog from suspension. If he really did make a mistake which we fail to see; please give him a chance to fix it up as he never had the chance before. I hope that you could do him, an innocent boy of ten, the justice he deserves. It means a lot to him and to all of us.

Thank you so much for reading this and for your time.

Yours sincerely,
Aiman Amani Karim

 

Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee stamps launch in Malaysia


Aeshah found this post which had a photo of my mother pasting a miniature sheet onto the first day cover as my sister looked on.

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September 13th, 2012 by Shamsul Ismin Tumin (from Demotix.com)

Pos Malaysia launched its latest series of stamps in conjunction with Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and to commemorate the royal visit of Britain’s Prince William, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge to Malaysia from Sept 13 to 15, 2012.

The stamps feature two designs, both of which are bordered with silver ink.

One features a “stamp on stamp” design, with an older stamp released on June 2, 1953 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in the centre and the other features a photograph of Prince William and Kate Middleton to commemorate their visit. The stamps cost RM1.50 each.

Folders and first-day covers without stamps are sold at RM5.50 and 50 sen each, respectively.Full sheets of ten stamps each can be purchased for RM15 at all Pos Malaysia outlets while stocks last.Two first-day cover designs is available for sale, the first is at RM3.50 featuring the two stamps, while the other, with a miniature sheet of stamps, at RM2.50 each.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and his wife Catherine, arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here today to begin their four-day official visit. The royal couple are on their second stop of a nine-day tour of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee. Malaysia is their second destination after Singapore.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are also expected to have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah, and attend a royal dinner at Istana Negara.

They are scheduled to leave for Solomon Islands on Sunday, to proceed with their tour

My mother (in light blue hijab) trying to wet the glue on the stamps as Aeshah looked on

Ahmad Ali’s Great Moment


Josh Selig's comment on my brother's post '3rd & Bird'

My eight years old brother, Ahmad, had been receiving comments from a very special visitor. Guess who? Josh Selig, the creator of his favourite TV series ‘Wonderpets’ and ‘3rd & Bird’! Can you imagine, the founder and president of the Little Airplane Productions, had actually bothered to spend his time for my little brother who he does not even know?

3rd & Bird, a TV series by Little Airplane Productions

I truly admire my little brother’s success in blogging. He had been working very hard and is now a really good writer to be able to attract the attention of people like Josh Selig. Although I’m pleased and proud of his accomplishments, I can’t help feeling a little jealous. But then again, he had put a lot more effort in his writtings than I do; so he absolutely deserves the reward.

Josh Selig, the creator and founder of Little Airplane Productions

I’m also impressed with Josh Selig himself. Ahmad is no more than just one of the millions of fans of his wonderful creations and yet, he took the time to communicate with my little brother and made him very, very happy. He even revisited Ahmad’s blog a few more times and sent him more comments! It was very nice of him to do so and I hope that more ‘important’ and succesful people will also try to reach out to hard working kids to motivate them to be better kids. It does really make my little brother very proud and really motivates him to work harder. It even motivates me to write more posts!

Small Potatoes, the latest TV show by Little Airplane Productions

And to think that Ahmad knows who Josh Selig is…. Why, I had been a fan of Barney until my early teens and I had not even bothered to know who created it!

Barney & Friends