Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What makes us different

What makes different? education? economical life? ethnic? face? parents?Many people asked about my life. They thought that my parents earn a good money so i can be like this. But basically, people know nothing.

i grew up in a normal family, not rich, just grateful of what we have. When i was in elementary kids, my parents were a small medicine seller. We dont have much. My mom was a lecturer but she stopped and start to be a merchant, like a Minang suppose to I went to regular school near by my house. Until 6th grade, i wanted to have a Smart Book (buku pintar). But i don't have money to buy it, nor my parents. Well they have money but they just have to reconsider everything in order to buy something cause there might be something else more important than a that book to buy. All my friends have the book, i don't. But i don't wanna ask my parents either. Cause i know what their condition were like. So i just borrowed my friend's book and start reading it.Then it continued till i my junior high. Things are getting better with our economy. My parents started to have the 2nd (small) store in different place. For a merchant, it's good cause you'll have a second 'money' from other place. But for merchant, the money is not like when you work to a company. But it's like when you're having a business. You gotta pay for check, credits, and other stuff that you have to sell back at the end. So it's basically a 'circle' money. You still have to manage everything so you wont get broke.

On junior high, i was a kinda nerd girl who didn't have a lot friends. To be honest, i sometimes got jealous with them. They could go shopping, went to the mall, watched movies whenever they like. I was actually tried to be fitted in by been someone else, which at the end, it didn't work. I started to be fake. Pretend that i had money and could buy anything. It's a shame, i know. But it was me, a 13 years old girl who tried to fit in girls click.Going to high school, it was pretty good. i started to realize that there's no use of being someone else that we don't wanted to. i started to being just myself. i wasn't smart. My family economy was settled. we're not rich, but we had enough. Being with my family makes me realize that i have to understand about the situation. Be grateful of what i have and stop pretending to be anything. it teaches me, if i wanna get something, then i have to try to get it with my own efforts. i knew my parents worked really hard to make my brother and i feel enough. For me, i don't like to ask money for my parents. I would worked if i could, but i was thinking, what can i do in this 15 years old age?

Then there was a selection to be an exchange student. Then Alhamdulillah i got the scholarship. Then my life changed after that. I got a full scholarship to go to USA. I paid nothing. Even the scholarship paid for Visa, plane tickets, and the government even gave me money every month. But of course i had job there, to tell Americans what Indonesia is and what Islam is. I did many presentations in every school in USA and they even sent me to Disney World, Florida to be in a world conference :) For a year, i didn't ask my parents to send me some money. i worked as a cleaning service in there so i could buy my own laptop without asking my parents to buy me one. All i want is just buy things with my own money, which i finally did. I bought my own laptop, my own clothes, shoes, dresses, and alhamdulillah i could sent my families some stuff. but of course my lovely host parents helped me to do that. That was my biggest happiness, to make my parents happy and proud :')

When i got back to Indonesia, everything's changed. My life changed. i became more mature and i think that i could make change. I worked as a English private teacher when i was in 3rd grade Senior High School. And Alhamdulillah i got a full scholarship again in University when i am in now and working as a course consultant in English First Pejaten.
What i want to tell you is not a story about my life. But i want to tell you that we can do everything that we wanna do. I went to a Pesantren in Pondok Cabe for doing some community service. I talked with the kids in there and they said,
"Kak, you're so lucky for being you. Look at us, we're poor, we cant do much things like you did. We don't have that much money to do that"

Then i said, "Dek, don't try to find any kind of excuses. The excuses that you just said were created because you think so. I have a friend, his mother is a tukang pecel keliling which just earned a small amount of money, it's not enough to feed him and his sisters and brothers. Because of his efforts and his brain, he got scholarship to USA with me and now he became the smartest student in his college and got another scholarship for that"
Mingling with Pesantren kids :')

YES Students doing community services in Pesantren

After Iftar with US Embassy and unprivileged children.

Appreciation after Ramadan Outreach 2010

Better World for Better Future Conference, Disney World, FL

IYAA Indonesia Conference, Jogjakarta, Indonesia

Presentation about Islam in Southern Columbia Area High School, PA, USA

Sometimes i think that people poor because they just don't have money to pay education. But in fact, it's not true. Yes we do need some money to go to school in order to have a high education. But if the person do have a willingness to be in the school and to be success, it will all come towards the goal. There are so many people in our country becoming poor because they think so. they think they can't do much because of the excuses that they create by themselves. Those excuses are just going to create boundaries in life. It will stop you from getting your dreams.
Any people with any kind of economy, ethnics, and education will get their dream if they stop to make excuses in life. I believe there's nothing we can't do (except God's will).
Pray and effort will do some much in this life.

Stop whining, stop making excuses, start working and do the best we can do while we can. If we combine those things, it will create a huge thing that coming up next in our life. We'll see.

I start on nothing, running everything. If i can, i'm sure you can too :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Memory of 9/11

September 11th, 2001. Everybody remember that day. The day that terrorists hijacked two plains and hit it to the two gigantic building in Washington DC.Yes, people were shocked by that disaster. Many people were killed. Christians, Moslems, Jewish, any type of people that were on that building, killed.

Today, it's been nine years since the tragedy happened. The place is now called Ground Zero.
Many Americans think that the Moslem are the terrorists. Moslem did that. That thought reminds me of my exchange year on 2007-2008. When i was trying to do some presentations about Indonesia and Islam. I remember there was a friend who asked me, "Ghina, you are a moslem, are you a terrorist??" That was the strangest question i've ever heard in my life, besides people were asking why i knew Eminem, Rihanna, and Hollywood actors, simply because they thought that Indonesian don't watch TV and MTV (-. -")a. The question about terrorist wasn't like a joking question. It was a serious question. Here are the conversation..
Me: I can't eat pork and Ham because i am Moslem.
D : What?! You are a Moslem??
Me: Yea.. Why?
D : OMG, so are you a terrorist?

Me: ...

D : Isn't your religion taught you to kill people and hit people?

Me: D, Logically, If i am a terrorist, you must be dead by now. But you're alive! So you still think that i am a terrorist afterwards?
D : Umm, no.. But That's what i heard and what i see. Moslems do that..

Me: Here's the thing. I know it's not easy to believe. But i just want you to know
and i
hope you will understand and let you friends know this. Islam itself
literally means "Peace". There is no religion in this world teach their people to
kill the others. In my life, i've never been taught by anyone or anything to kill
people. So do you. In the terrorist-bombing-things, those people are just using
Moslems name as a thing to be blamed. If we remember the tragedy in Georgia
(if i'm not mistaken), was done by Christians. KKK's are Catholics/Christians.
Is it fair if we also say that those people are taught by their religion to kill other
Yea. that was basically my conversation with my friend. Stereotype. That's the big word. Maybe some of us don't realize when we say, "Americans are fat." or "Padang itu pelit". Small things aren't they? But it becomes big thing when we say about big thing as in my conversation above.

My question will be, Why people can think that Moslem are terrorists? the reason is simple. Because we show them that we are. Yeah, some of you will screw around, but it's true.. Let's see what 'a community' in our country does. Radical demonstration, destroying churches, hitting people, yes, that's what they (we) showed them.

I never blame American for hating Moslem. i don't blame Moslem either. But it simply because the Americans don't know what Islam is. They just know bad things that they see. Same with us. We only see bad things that come up in front of TV without buffer it first right? Now, why don't we just show them that Islam is full of peace? Islam is the best thing in the world. Show them what we've been taught since we were kid. Show them that we, as Moslem never kill people without any reason. Show them!

Somehow i think Americans are more open-minded than some Indonesians. But it simply because some of Indonesians are just don't know either. If i can do one thing for this world, i would switch Americans to live in Indonesia and Indonesians live in America for just a month. And we'll see how it turns. I wanna see that 'radical community' in Indonesia to live in America as a Moslem major and see how it ends. I wish i could tell them how it feels to a minority as a Moslem in America. I wish i could show them how hard it is to live on people's thought about terrorist. I wish.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Story of Parkit

Somebody just sent me a message through my facebook. i know that person. i really know him.
He sent me these words and a story about "parkit" and sangkarnya. I know, he knows who's the parkit and sangkarnya.

Sang sangkar dulu memiliki seekor burung parkit di dalamnya.
Namun sekarang sang sangkar kebingungan mencari kemana burung parkit yg dahulu ada di dalamnya.
dia pikir burung parkit tersebut telah kabur mencari sangkar lain yg lebih megah daripada sangkar ini.
Sang sangkar sedih dan memutuskan untuk terus menanti sang parkit sampai dia kembali.
Walaupun pada akhirnya jika sang parkit tidak akan kembali lagi, sang sangkar tetap akan menunggu dan menunggu hingga waktu sendiri yang akan mengikis tempatnya.

Begitulah pengakuan sang sangkar.
Namun ia sebenarnya tidak sadar.. mengapa parkit kesayangannya tiba-tiba menghilang.
Ia tidak tahu, bahwa sebenarnya burung parkit yang paling dicintainya itu telah mati, dibunuh oleh dirinya sendiri.

Sang parkit tidak pernah meninggalkan sangkar yang teramat dicintainya itu.
Walaupun sang sangkar terus menghimpitnya sedemikian hebatnya.. namun tak sedikitpun ada niat dari sang parkit untuk meninggalkan sang sangkar.. apalagi untuk mencari sangkar baru yang lebih megah..
"aku sudah teramat mencintai sangkar ini. walaupun nafasku sudah sesak, aku tidak akan meninggalkannya", pikirnya.
Namun sang sangkar bahkan tidak pernah menggubris dan memperdulikan apa yang diutarakan sang parkit.
Ia terlalu sibuk mengatur peraturan untuk sang parkit.
Sang parkit tidak memperdulikan suara hatinya sendiri. dia tetap akan menaati peraturan tersebut.

Sudah berulang kali sang sangkar bahkan pernah mengusir paksa sang parkit.
Sehelai kain yang tadinya diberikan untuk melindungi sang parkit dari kedinginan pun dimintanya dengan paksa.
"Kau sudah tidak pantas lagi memakainya!", sumpah sang sangkar.
Sang parkit dengan menangis memohon kepada sang sangkar agar tidak mengusirnya. Sudah bertahun-tahun aku di dalam sangkar mu, pintanya.
Namun sang sangkar tidak mendengar melainkan terus menghimpit sang parkit yang tadinya sudah sakit,
Hingga akhirnya meninggal di dalam sangkar yang paling dicintainya itu..

Sangkar pun masih tidak sadar bahwa sang parkit terus telah mati.
Dia baru sadar setelah tubuh sang parkit yang telah kurus lunglai dibawa angin entah kemana.
Hanya meninggalkan sehelai bulu putih bekas pesakitannya.

Penyesalan akhirnya menimpa sang sangkar.
Namun ia tetap tidak sadar, bahwa ia lah yang telah membunuh sang parkit..
Sang parkit sekarang hanya bisa melihat dari balik awan..
Menangisi penyesalan yang dirasakan sang sangkar..
yang secara tak langsung suka menyakiti sang parkit dengan melihat sangkar yang amat dicintainya dahulu, meratapi kepergian sang parkit, tanpa tau kesalahannya..

That wasn't the message that he gave me. at the beginning it was. But i wrote the rest of it.