Friday, October 18, 2013

My Stay With The Cape Malays

I will never forget my pleasant stay in Cape Town with the Cape Malays of South Africa. The hospitality of Dr Fahmi and Madam Fareeda will be impossible to be repaid. The offer to stay in their house during my arrival, all the delicious Cape-Malay food that they cook, that I often laugh to how much similar the names are: "begedil, belacan, sambal, bubur, etc', the crash course tour around Cape Town, tracing back the Malay heritage. It is so interesting how they always refer to themselves as the Malays to me, like "We the Malay men are always like this, and Malay women tend to be...this and that", like hey, you're talking to a Malay as well. Haha. No words can describe how blessed my stay in Cape Town was with them hosting me. I am so touched to know that Dr Fahmi is suffering from cancer and is in chemotherapy, but his energy in taking me around Cape Town is admirable. To dear readers, please pray for his health and longevity. Even though it was just for 4 days, they pretty much are like my African grandparents! One of the days they took me for a walk along Boulder's Beach to see the penguins:

Uncle Fahmi was very helpful and enthusiastic towards my cause. He got me a live interview at a South African radio station, set me a meeting with the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa, and took me to the free health clinic their association built to provide health for the poor and needy.

One day they took me to the Bokaap area, the Cape-Malays settlements. It is interesting to know that the Cape Malays originated from the Malaysia-Indonesia region during the Dutch Colonial times. Many of them are descendants of freedom fighters, religious leaders and prominent people who are sent off by the Dutch into exile to Cape Town. Many of the Malay words are still used such as 'terimakasih', 'meninggal', 'lebaran' and such. Bokaap consists of very colorful houses, with the background of the magnificent Table Mountain. 

On the last day, I went to the top of the mountain. The view up there is absolutely beautiful, like I am on an island in a sea of clouds! I went there early morning and it is almost just me up there, having the mountain all to myself ;)

My stay in Cape Town has been most wonderful. I truely think Cape Town is a place that is largely unexplored by Malaysian tourists because I rarely hear Malaysian coming to South Africa or Cape Town for holidays when it is absolutely the perfect place to be! I would really recommend a visit, because if given another chance, I will be here again for sure!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The One Young World Summit, Johannesburg

One Young World has been the most eye-opening event I have ever been to. So many young people are doing amazing things across the world. I feel so small with the project that I am doing. But the good thing about feeling what you are doing is small as compared to others is that it feels more achievable. If other young people can do greater things than me, so then what is my excuse? The moment I stepped off the stage, streams of people came and told me words of hope, to continue what I am doing. But the best words came from the Father of social business himself: Professor Muhammad Yunus, whom I got to talk to backstage. He told me things will be tough, but to never lose faith in what you believe in. My speech can be viewed below at 14:44 minutes:

Living In My Dream House

I have always wanted to stay in a house over viewing the sea, with stables and green fields where horses graze, preferably set with a background of a huge majestic mountain. I never thought the dream came true for me, even though just for a 2 days stay. I  booked a hotel for my stay in Cape Town just through reviews on TripAdvisor, but little I know that it is actually a house, and as I am the only guest for the whole of my stay, I got the house all to myself! The house is situated in Noordhoek, a little bit far from the city centre of Cape Town, making it a very peaceful township. The best thing is that it overviews the sea on one side, and is surrounded by mountains on the other. So there is a horse on my backyard and I have no idea what to do with it. I think no amount of words can do justice towards how beautiful the place is, I'll let pictures do the talking, and this is the theme song for my stay here, Bic Runga's Listening For The Weather. For some reason the song reminds me of horse stables, haha and that is why it is the song of the day!:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Time of My Life

Longest itinerary I ever had
In a few hours time, I will be starting on what I think would be one of the best times of my life. It will be a 4 months journey across the globe from Kuala Lumpur to Johannesburg to deliver my One Young World speech in front of the likes of Kofi Annan, Richard Branson, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Jamie Oliver and Bob Geldolf. Then to Kruger National Park, staying INSIDE the safari for 3 days to catch sight of the Big 5: the lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros. Then flying off to Cape town for my 3 days stay hosted by the Malay-African Cape people, to marvel over the magnificent Table Mountain and observe the cute penguins at Boulder Beach

Afterwards, I am going to Norway to deliver a Keynote Lecture at the Global Health and Vaccination Research Conference 2013 at the University of Bergen, riding what is deemed the best train ride views in the world from Oslo to Bergen. Perhaps I will visit the Fjords of Norway afterwards, one of the great natural wonders of the world.

Once I'm done in Norway, I would make my way back to South-east Asia, to Cambodia for Hospitals Beyond Boundaries Health Screening Project for 3 days. Then coming back to Malaysia for my convocation. Then I would attend the Global Social Business Summit in Kuala Lumpur, 7th-9th November as one of the 6 youth ambassador selected across the world by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus' The Grameen Creative Lab

On 11th November, I will fly off to Geneva, Switzerland to start my work as an intern at the World Health Organization (WHO). What happens afterwards? Only Allah knows. I am very thankful for all these opportunities He gave me. I've never felt so blessed in my life. Thank you to all my family members who supported me and believed in what I do

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