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Posts Tagged ‘Usman Awang’


Mom came across an interesting article titled “Posh, Becks ‘bad example for kids'” and said that I should read it. (a similar one from the Guardian UK)

The article started by ‘LONDON: David and Victoria Beckham are the leading icons in a damaging celebrity culture that encourages children to believe they can become rich and successful without working hard at school, teachers warn. Pupils who dream of being pop stars and footballers are neglecting their studies and emulating the worst excesses of their idol’s language, behaviour and raunchy clothing, they claimed.’

It also stated that ‘Members who responded to the survey warn that a growing celebrity culture is contributing to underage drinking and anti-social behaviour, because some teen idols are foul-mouthed and yobbish. They also say provocative behaviour by scantily clad celebrities is increasingly robbing young girls of their innocence.’

The findings were released as members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers prepare to gather for their annual conference. The findings did not suprise me at all since both of my parents and Allahyarham Prof Muhammad Al-Mahdi had be warning me and my siblings about all these problems (and more) all the time. Prof Muhammad‘s favourite example was Christina Aguilera but I can’t remember other names since I’m not familiar with pop/film stars. When I asked Prof who she is, he said that it is better if I do not know who she is. And after I saw her on TV not very long ago, I understood what he meant.

Reading the article, first I have to ask mum who are Posh, Becks, David and Victoria Beckham. Weird? Not for me because there are more important people worth to be admired like William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, A Samad Said (Pak Samad), Usman Awang and of course Awang Goneng (Uncle Awang Goneng Siput?). Mum ‘introduced me to Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare and Usman Awang. Even Pak Samad too adviced me to read Usman Awang’s works (refer to Launching of Gemuruh Alam At RA Gallery). Mum stressed that even though I do not fancy literature, I have to know the works of at least a few famous writers (not only Enid Blyton who is my favourite) and I ended up enjoying their works.

My parents are not ‘old fashioned’, out of date or against modern civilisation. We started to use the computer since we were one year old but there are rules of what can/cannot be done on computer. The same goes to the internet. We sing and watch TV but we have to be smart in choosing the programs. We enjoy singing nursery ryhmes and songs with good messages such as nasheeds in both English and Malay. We do not watch Akademi Fantasia, American Idols, Gang Stars and those kind of reality shows (refer to A Trip To Taiping), Mr Bean, Senario, High School Musical and some others. But there are movies that we can watch and sometimes dad would even use the projector to make the movies more enjoyable. Dad once took us to a cinema (MBO Cineplex) to watch Shrek The Third and we really enjoyed ourselves especially eating the popcorns!

Dad introduced us to the beauty of poem readings and I love the way Pak Samad and Prof Rahman Shaari reading sajak (a type of Malay poem) Book reading is also beautiful; I even tried it once at Yang Mulia Raja Ahmad’s RA Gallery (refer to Launching of Gemuruh Alam at RA Gallery). I only wish that I’ll be good enough to read sajak one day.

Alhamdulillah my siblings and I do not adore or fancy celebrities and having them as our role models is the last thing that we want; even for the fact that we enjoy Yusof Islam’s songs. Of course I’ve heard of Siti Nurhaliza and Mawi but I do not know any of their songs or recognise their voice if I heard one. I pray to Allah to protect us from all these influences and guide us to the right path, Insya Allah.

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As I was reading (a poem) “Kemanusiaan” by Usman Awang (from ‘Sasterawan Negara: Usman Awang Edisi Kedua’ by Zurinah Hassan, DBP), I came across a word ‘Air Terjun Niagara’ or The Niagara Falls. All at once, I was transported back to the most magnificent place I’ve ever been to!

The Niagara Falls (consists of The Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls) are massive waterfalls on the Niagara River, shared by the USA and Canada. Famed as one of the world’s most famous spectacles, the Niagara Falls are unmatched for their sheer vastness and volume of water; not even by the Victoria Falls!

We drove from Chicago (Illinois) to the Niagara Falls (New York). Along the way we stopped at beautiful parks, lakes and scenic small towns. We spent a night in Holland, Michigan.

We reached the Niagara Falls just in time to watch the Falls Fireworks and Illumination Show. It was an awe-inspiring sight to see the massive falls illuminated in coloured lights over the darkness of night added by the thundering sound of water pounding down the falls.

Just in time for the fireworks at Niagara

Early the next morning we headed to the Prospect Point to see the American Falls. We saw the Rainbow Bridge over the Niagara River and also Canada across the river.

Then we drove across a bridge over the rapids to the scenic Goat Island. The whole area is under Niagara State Park. The park is so clean and beautiful, flowers blooming in flower beds and in the trees, leaves had started to change colour since autumn is just a few weeks ahead.

From the car park, we were greeted by the sound of the falls. Walking towards the Terrapin Point, I was speechless for I’ve never seen such a spectacular sight in my whole life. My little brother, Ahmad Ali was so excited to see a few full rainbows all at once in the morning mist below us over the Horseshoe Falls.

One of the many rainbows forming over the Horseshoe Falls

We walked to Luna Island across a beautiful bridge to have a close look at the Bridal Veil Falls. Along the way, we saw the Cave of the Winds; but it was too dangerous for us to go down to the cave for Ali was just 3 years old at the time. And for the same reason we couldn’t go aboard the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour of the American and Horseshoe Falls.

Crossing the bridge to Luna Island to have a close view of the Bridal Veils Falls

Connected by bridge to Goat Island are three small islands named Three Sisters Island. Next to the third Sister Island is an even smaller island named Brother Island. Three sisters and a little brother – just like me and my siblings! What a coincidence.

The Three Sisters Island

Subhanallah. Allah is the Greatest as only Him can create such a great creation. No rides on theme parks could ever match the feelings of standing by the Niagara Falls. And no words can ever justify the awe-inspiring sight and sound of the Niagara’s water, plunging into the their turbulent rapids! [It can fill up one million bathtubs in one second!!!]

I pray to Allah that I can visit Grandpa Jan in Toronto and have a chance to visit the Niagara Falls from the other side of the river – Ontario, Canada.

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On 7 June 2008 (Saturday), I attend a launching of Mustapa Haji Ibrahim’s poetry book ‘Gemuruh Alam’ at RA Fine Arts Gallery owned by YM Raja Ahmad Aminullah. The book was launched by Pak A. Samad Said (Sasterawan Negara/ National Laureate). Among others, the occasion had introduced me to ‘Anak Alam’ group and ‘Asas 50’.

Pak Samad launching \'Gemuruh Alam\' at RA Fine Arts Gallery

I was really impressed by Prof Rahman Shaari’s style of reading sajak. I was never interested in ‘sajak’ ( a type of Malay poem) until the day I heard Pak Samad recite one of his sajaks at RA Fine Arts Gallery on 19 January 2008. It really open my eyes to the beauty of poetry. I was honoured to speak to Pak Samad when he gave good remarks on my reading (please click here).

Thank you Pak Engku Raja Ahmad for giving me the chance to experience the wonderful world of literature and art.

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