Friday, February 29, 2008

International Nite at MCA, San Jose

The San Jose M.C.A (Muslim Community Association) organised an International Nite at the Banquet Hall last Saturday 23rd February, featuring China and South East Asia. Frankly, I did not expect the turn out to be so great since I heard they have done it before a few years back. However, the large number of guests surprised me! First of all I must congratulate the organisers especially sister Michelle Lee and her committee for their tremendous efforts in running the event smoothly - filled with activities fun for kids and adults! Even the 'sampled' food were plenty to go around for the 300+ guests. Looking at the buffet table, one would think otherwise! Bringing food to guests instead of them 'attacking' the buffet table did the trick. Alhamdulillah, the committee was never short of volunteers that night to assist in putting 'samples' of food on paper plates and serving guests at their tables. As the request was only to prepare some 'kuih', the four of us ( Jina, Nani, Faridah & me ) came up with bengkang ubi (cassava) and agar-agar for Malaysia's contribution. Jina & Nani are the experts in making kuih-kuih Melayu so they made bengkang ubi and left the easier agar-agar for Faridah & me to tackle with. People say one can never go wrong with agar-agar .. Jina's words of " alah kalau tak jadi, masak balik jer Kak Ainal " kept ringing in my ears when I did just that! Though a bit on the sweet side, ( which I am told prefered by the Middle-easternes ) my 'agar-agar gula jawa berkepala santan' turned out quite okay in the end. Faridah came with the 'pandan' version. Rupa-rupa nya we are never far from our neighbours when it comes to food. The International Nite saw macam-macam warna of agar-agar... kuning, merah, jernih, berkepala, tak berkepala...! I am never good at making 'kuih' so I brought along a pail-full of 'air bandung' to make up for it. My two girls have become experts in making the delicious concoction which became the 'much sought after' drink of the night!. Anis says that the 'drink committee' had to hide the container for awhile upon seeing children coming for seconds, thirds & fourth rounds before the adults even got a taste of it. Mak - Mak Arab pulak asyik tanya jer resipi! We decided to name it Malaysian Rose Drink because we ourselves are 'confused' on its original name. Air Bandung...Bandung Drink.. no that cannot be! Maybe due to the short notice only China, Indonesia & Malaysia had items for the cultural & heritage display corner. Alhamdulillah, within a few hours we managed to grab - from walls & cabinets of our homes... :-) - quite a number of items to show: Sarong Batik & Pelikat (ensuring first that they're not from our neighbour across the straits!), Papan Rehal, Congkak, Recipe Book of Malaysian Cuisines, Miniature Twin Towers, Pewter Mugs, Wooden foot Massager, Pasu Sarawak, Fan of a painted kampung scenery, The Wau, and Paintings of our traditional houses. The paintings were from one of Telekom Malaysia's yearly calendars. I am glad I got them framed! Did I miss out anything!? Oh yes, and The Wau we borrowed from MPBA's ( Malaysian Professional & Business Association ) store. Thank you, Haniza! Display items from Indonesia & China pun tidak kurang hebat nya. I haven't seen that kind of angklung for quite some time now. It still makes good music though! All countries taking part that night had to do a presentation on Islam in their homeland. Thank you Amir for preparing the slides on " Islam in Malaysia " and by virtue of being the most 'veteran', my hubby did the presentation. I must say it went quite allright! :-)
The night continued with a cute " dragon dance " by 6 & 7 year olds from Granada Elementary School. Seronok tengok the teachers so involved in getting them ready for the act. I suppose an International Nite is not complete without a fashion show, to show-case traditional clothes and national costumes. Honestly, we weren't prepared for it but somehow things worked out our way when Sarah & Yunus, who are not siblings and from different parents, happened to be wearing 'sedondon' and after much persuasion the cute couple were willing to represent their mother-land. It only takes a step forward and a bit of courage. A pat on the back for both of them! The committee also arranged for a presentation on Tai-chi & Tae-kwon-do by a local martial arts operator. It would have been perfect if we got someone to do the 'silat' for us! I don't know what exactly is the role of Tourism Malaysia's office in L.A but I am told they did turn down request for assistance a few years back indicating this sort of event is too 'small' for them. Well, at least a tourism video or some brochures would be nice... Although not 'big', the International Nite at MCA last Saturday was very successful indeed. Guests had fun exploring the ancient traditions, the rich history, and the modern life of Muslims in the land of China and Southeast Asia!

Sarah Amani Amir and Yunus Chang courageously introducing themselves to audience.

Two fashion show participants from Indonesia...

A 'brother' from Russia who graduated UIA a few years back. Currently earning his living in San Jose. Appreciating his love for our 'Baju Melayu'.

Not surprising if the Martial Arts Center registered many customers that night...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Siti Nurhaliza & Brian Adams

I have updated my previous posting of CT in the making & CT in London with inserts of YouTube video clippings. And I've also renamed it. Bukan aper...I just learnt how to add on video clips in my blog so why not! I wanted to put in Celine Dion as well but hers couldn't be downloaded due to some violation. I guess her people knew better! Although the clips are outdated....enjoy! I'll try to find newer ones later... I am all excited just knowing how to do it.. it's sooo eaaassyy! Betul2 copy & paste actions ... he..he..

I have also added another singer favourite of mine ... Brian Adams

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Nadia's Song by Soheir Khashoggi

I have just finished reading a novel titled Nadia's Song by Soheir Khashoggi.... This book was first published in 1999 and recognised as an international bestseller. I didn't buy the book but borrowed it instead at the Cupertino Public Library last week. I have always wanted my children and me to sign up as library members - ahli perpustakaan - even kat Shah Alam lagi! But we never got the chance to do so. Forever having not enough TIME! Ia nya seperti MASA sentiasa mencemburui kita, sering kali kita memburu nya dan sentiasa juga kita terbiar leka di buai nya. Rasa rugi sangat tak dapat menjejaki tangga-tangga Perpustakaan Negara yang terletak di Jalan Tun Razak tu... or even melewati Perpustakaan Shah Alam yang berdekatan dengan M.P.S.A dan Quality Hotel di Seksyen 2, Shah Alam itu. Rugi bebenor gedung2 buku itu dibina dengan tersergam indah dan kita tidak berusaha menikmati khazanah ilmu di dalam nya. Walhal kita diberi MASA yang sama, samaada di sini mahupun di sana. So, I'll try to make the best out of TIME while I am here. Melalut pulak! Anyway, Cupertino Library has 2 floors with an elevator for the physically challenged and for those who finds it easier and faster not to take the stairs. Registration counter is on the ground floor and we only need our picture IDs to be registered. Even to borrow books is a breeze using the self check-in kiosks. Nadia's Song is about the life of a famous Egyptian singer Kamila, story about her love... her lost daughter (out of wed lock) named Nadia. Setting in Egypt, Italy, US and France in the era of the 40s till the 80s... tahun 40-an tu flashback laa.. A few famous names mentioned like Egypt's last Prince and her first President - Gamal Nasser. Rupa2 nya Hitler was believed to be a Muslim by the Egyptians back then. He goes by the name Muhamad Haider. Of course, Nadia's Song is fiction. Ada love story, a bit of politics, a bit of spy story but.... cerita tu betul2 tunjuk betapa tipisnya iman orang2 Islam di Mesir. Negara yang tergolong di dalam negara Arab. Kalau pengarangnya pun dari situ mungkin sedikit sebanyak ada kebenarannya. Soheir Khashoggi was born in Alexandria, Egypt but now living in New York City. She is the sister of Adnan Khashoggi (remember the million/billionaire who was once connected to Jackie Kennedy/Onassis) and Dodi Al Fayed's auntie. Her late sister Samira Khashoggi was Dodi's mother. I think there is not much of royalty in them but they're very2 rich! Their father Mohamed Khashoggi once worked with Marie Curie and was a physician to Saudi Arabia's royalty. She has produced 3 best sellers but the first titled Mirage is banned in Saudi Arabia. Soheir dedicated Nadia's Song to the memory of her dear nephew Dodi al Fayed. From the day he was born, she loved him as a precious baby brother. And he, as a gentle caring adult, always treated her with love and kindness. Although he is gone, in her heart he will live forever....