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Last Sunday, Alam Akademik Sdn. Bhd. (my grandmother’s bookstore which is also known as Keda Pok Loh Yunang) organized a program at Sekolah Kebangsaan Padang Hiliran in Kuala Terengganu. The program started at 9 a.m. and ended at 11.20 a.m. It was held at the school hall. The program was attended by students from Year 3,4,5 and 6.

The kids listening to our little presentations

The kids listening to our little presentations

We hope to share our experiences in Public Speaking with all of our friends at Sekolah Kebangsaan Padang Hiliran. We had a real good time at the school. The students are really brave and smart. They came forward to read and answer questions. I’m so proud of them. We hope our friends in Sekolah Kebangsaan Padang Hiliran will enjoy learning English for we need to learn other languages to be smart and knowledgeable.

Syazaliana, the first person brave enough to raise up her hand

Syazaliana, the first person brave enough to raise up her hand.

I did a book reading and spoke about ‘The Creation Of Universe’ based on the book by the same tittle written by Prof Muhammad Al-Mahdi. I read a chapter of Growing Up In Terengganu by Awang Goneng titled ‘Budu Spell’ which is very interesting and funny at the same time. My little sister Aeshah did what she does best… STORYTELLING!!! And Anisah sang a butterfly song. My little blogging brother Ahmad Ali, read a post from his famous blog entitled ‘Swine Flu’.

A photo of me delivering my speech

A photo of me delivering my speech

We ended the program by singing the Khalifah Song and Guantanamera. Guantanamera is the most popular song in Cuba and is an unofficial national anthem of Cuba. This Spanish Song is so beautiful and I can never be tired of hearing it.

The Sandpipers singing Guantanamera

The Sandpipers singing Guantanamera

I really had a good time too. I hope we can inspire them to learn English and other languages and be good oriaters… I wish to thank the headmaster and the teachers for inviting us to the school and for the token given to us by the school. I would also like to thank Syaza and all those from SK Padang Hiliran who had been reading my blog.

My little brother, Ahmad Ali, made new friends at the school. The girl in the middle (beside the boy) is Syazaliana. Perhaps she would name the rest of her friends for me...

My little brother, Ahmad Ali, made new friends at the school. The second boy is Izzat. The other two boys beside him are from Year 4 (if anyone know their names please inform me). The girls from left are Syazaliana, Hazirah, Adlin and Puteri. The boy in front... I don't think I need to tell you but just in case, AHMAD ALI himself!

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One of the first things that may come to our minds when coming across the word Guantanamo, is the nasty prison in Guantanamo Bay. But fortunately, not everything about Guantanamo is ugly and nasty;  in fact Guantanamo may also reminds us of something as sweet and beautiful as the song. ‘Guantanamera’ or in English it means ‘a girl from Guantanamo’.

I’ve been hearing the chorus of this beautiful song ever since I can remember; for mum loves to sing it to herself every now and then. And since mum only sang very few songs to herself, I’ve been asking mum about the song for years. Anyway mum could only remember the chorus for it was an old, old song that mum used to hear ever since she was a baby. And since she was only about 2 or 3 years old when she started to sing the song, the chorus is all that mum can remember about it’s lyrics. So, what I heard was only:

‘Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera,

Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera…’

And a few days ago I was really thrilled when I heard a very sweet song from dad’s laptop. To my surprise, it was the song that I’ve been longing to listen to all these years – GUANTANAMERA! The song is so sweet and beautiful and the lyrics are as beautiful as the song that I just want to hear it again and again. Even my 5 years old little brother Ahmad Ali was attracted to the song. The very moment he heard the lyrics he knew that it is a Spanish song and now he always sing the song and even surfed the internet for the lyrics to write in his blog.

Dad played a few video clips for us but the one sang by Sandpipers is the best even though Pete Seeger’s was quite nice too. Some others’ sound so weird and the changed in its music arrangements made the music sounded so different and not as melodious as the music in the video clip that was sang by Sandpipers.

Impressed by this lovely song, I surfed the internet to find out more about the song.  In fact the history behind the song is as amazing as the song itself! It is perhaps the best known Cuban song and is the most noted patriotic song in Cuba. The song was written in 1929 by Jose Fernandez Diaz or also known as Joserto Fernandez. Anyway the beter known official lyrics are based on Jose Marti’s poem (‘Yo so un hombre sincero’ – written in 1895) as adapted by Julian Orbon. As Jose was Cuba’s nationalist poet and independance hero, the use of his poem as the lyrics virtually elevated the song to an unofficial anthem status in the country!

Note: For more information on the song including it’s lyrics, please visit this link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guantanamera).

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Assalamu Alaikum, Dearest Atuk,

We are really sad to see Atuk so weak and not as cheerful as Atuk used to be. It was only 3 months ago when Atuk was still very healthy and active.

Atuk, do you still remember the games we played when Aiman was a little girl? Atuk would be reading the newspapers while playing all sorts of games with me and suddenly he would declared ‘ Atuk menang!’ (atuk wins!), and I would scream ‘mana achi! (Unfair!) and would ran away sulking, but after a while came back asking Atuk to play another game. Atuk would never say no whenever Aiman asked Atuk to play; it doesn’t matter if Atuk doesn’t knows the rules of the game… in fact Atuk never bothers about the rules! We played congkak, chess, checkers and a lot more…

Whenever Atuk came for a visit, Atuk buys roti canai and lontong from a restaurant nearby for breakfast. On the last day, before atuk would be going home to Kuala Terengganu, Atuk would buy extra roti canai and mama would heat them up for our breakfast with cold sardine straight from the fridge. When we finished the roti canai, we would be asking Atuk to come back to KL for more roti canai!

Today, Atuk hardly speaks to Aiman. To make it worst, Aiman do not know how and what to say to Atuk. Aiman wish to make Atuk happy and hear the laughter when Atuk tease us. Atuk, please get better. We miss Atuk’s jokes and funny ‘magic’ tricks. We love you very much, Atuk!

Love, Aiman and adik-adik.

Atuk after the operation

Note: My Grandfather is a wonderful man. He studied in Egypt and England; and worked (as the then Prime Minister’s personal representative to UNHCR) in Europe mainly in London, Geneva and Vienna. Apart from Bahasa Malaysia (Malay Language) and English, he speaks Arabic and German and a little Japanese. I’m so proud of him and I hope to be able to write about him one day.

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