Still here

Hey, sojourner! (: It’s been months since I last posted anything. Actually, there are lots of updates that are long overdue. For instance, I haven’t written yet about my experience in the National Youth Parliament (was elected as President despite being the only minority candidate! :’) Truly, alhamdullilah!) or in this outreach I did in a minority community down south my country. It’s crazy how the first seven months of 2014 was just filled with so many opportunities to grow and reach out. Sure, it was tiring but… It was also gratifying at the same time. Though I wasn’t able to spend those months pursuing “leisure” activities (ex: learning how to bake, mastering a language etc), I still spent those months developing and engaging in worthwhile endeavors with other young leaders, national organizations and socio-civic groups. I’ve met so many people (from here and abroad), gained new friends, expanded my network and just traveled more. So far, 2014 has been truly blessed (thank you, God!)

Then, August came… Specifically, mid-August, when law school finally started! (: Yup, you read that right! I’m back to full-time studying, sojourner!!! (: Even if school’s challenging and I get lots of sleepless nights, I still am so thankful to be studying in here, in the premiere law school in my country. Lots of leaders–both good and bad–have graduated from my college. This institution is just filled with so much history and opportunity. Opportunity to grow and become better as both a scholar and servant-leader. A law degree, for me, is a means to further long-term goals of servant-leadership to a wider constituency. I pray that by being a good law student, I may further gain skills and knowledge that’ll enable me to be more critical, ingenuous and skilled in the fields that I would want to pursue in the future. We can do this, right? (: EACH DAY COUNTS!

Aaaaah, sojourner! Let’s do this! Let’s keep the drive and passion burning. Don’t EVER lose hope.

Keep moving forward! (Okay, back to working. (: PS: I wish all of you reading this are well! Peace and blessings!)

Helpless

I feel so helpless, fellow sojourner… )': Whenever I see so much injustice going on, I can’t help but feel so little and incapable. I feel weak because I couldn’t do anything strong enough to end such atrocities. It hurts me, really, to know that I can only do *this much* right now. It pains me to see hundreds of people die from greedy wars. But somehow… It pains me more that I couldn’t do anything to stop it.

If only I had more power–be this political, economic or social–I would go out and be dauntless in defending those who are severely persecuted. If only I were in a position of great influence, I would honorably maximize every connection possible so as to deliver a stronger blow against large forces that continue to abuse, harm and dehumanize people. I would not be afraid to speak up and go against the Goliaths of this generation. Let the David rise up against the oppressor.

Oh God… May you help me help other people better.

Radical Reality

After suhoor, I saw this documentary about Gideon Levy, an Israeli journalist who writes about Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. Lots of Israelis dislike him because they think that Levy is betraying his own country by “siding” with the Palestinians. Levy doesn’t side with the Palestinians, he sides with the truth. He writes what happens, as it happens. If the truth is radical, then so are his writings. Thus, why hate the journalist who reports such realities? Hate the system that perpetuates such atrocities.

Reality is radical, and this is what Levy writes. He bursts the isolated bubble people live in and shatters it with the INCONVENIENT truth—truth that takes away bliss from ignorance; truth that brings forth guilt and dissonance.

Life is unfair because people make it so. We say that all human beings–regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, etc.–are equal and have the same basic rights. And yet, why is it that “fate” still dictates the fortune of our lives? I am safe here, writing this down, because I happen to be born in this condition. But what about the others? What if I were born in the occupied territories and soldiers just bullied me… Or shot my parents head on? Where is this sense of security–security and assurance–that no matter where a person is born, he or she will live as a DIGNIFIED human being, free from harassment, injustice and abuse?

Indeed, may God help us as we help ourselves.

 

4:22 AM

So much has happened in the past few weeks, my fellow sojourner. I would love to blog about it but I’m currently too consumed with a pile of new tasks. Allow me to just log-in here and share this momentary feeling.

It’s 4:22 am, sojourner and I can hear the adhanThe adhan sounds beautiful, sojourner. I’m reminded of Ramadhan.

I haven’t slept yet, you know? I’ve been working until now. I’ll make this last post, after which I’ll pray. Then, I’ll go to bed. Perhaps, I’ll get the mat and pray in our terrace. What do you think? No one would see me anyway. It’s pitch-dark outside. Do you think I’d still see any stars? Maybe not.

I’ll just listen instead. Listen to the chirping birds (who are already awake at this time. Can you tell me why? They sound beautiful too, though). I’ll listen to the plane’s engine hovering over the morning sky. I’ll listen to the cars I hear driving a couple of meters away. I’ll lie down. Rest. Imagine. Reflect and pray.

Then, I’ll go to bed (that is, if I even still feel sleepy).