You Will Understand If You Do It Yourself

Written by Mega Ai

Well, I don’t want to stop to write. My friend said that a writer never stop writing. Therefore, this article is created.
Anyway, I am still studying in a private university now. As a student, like the other students too, I always got busy with tasks and assignment which seems never ending. Besides attending the class, I also joined several organizations for my first two years in the university. But now, it seems that I am already too old being a part of an organization in my university. Therefore, I quit from all my organization. I will give the opportunity to the younger students to lead the organization. There are actually many reasons why I joined those organizations. One of the reasons is just because I realize that I will got bored if what I do in the university is just attending the class, studying, doing assignment, and alike. That’s why I joined an organization. I just don’t want to get bored while I am studying.
Now I still have few semesters that I have to face before graduating. InsyaAllah. I am not a part of organization anymore, and just like what I think before, I will get bored if I don’t have another activity. Therefore, I decided to work part time. Yeah, I got a part time job. Now it’s already six months I worked there. I enjoyed my part time job even sometimes it’s very hard.
What I am going to discuss in this article is not what my part time job is, but I want to tell you some valuable things I learned from this part time working. I worked online, but it does not mean that I can do it anytime that I want. I have to be ready with the job in the early morning and I have to finish the job at the certain time which is set by the manager. It goes every day. I only have one day holiday per week. In the first and the second month, I am still okay to do all the jobs by myself. But, as the time goes by, I am a bit bored with this job. Moreover, my university assignment is getting crazy and crazy; it’s getting a lot and difficult. And as a student, of course I have to give more attention toward my study. But, I can’t just quit from my part time job easily because of several reasons. Therefore, I hire an assistant to help me to do some of my jobs. And since I have an assistant, everything is going fine. I can still working and surely, I can be focus on my study.
You know, having a job is not always nice. Having a job it means that you have to be ready for all the consequences. I sometimes still not ready being complained by the manager. It is not that easy being an employer or having a position below the other people. But once again, this teaches me to be professional. And at least, this part time working gives me a description of the real working place. Sooner or later, I have to work.
Since I had a part time job, I had my own income. Since that time, I try to save my money (You know what, I always failed to save my money before I have my own income). Now I did it. I can save most of my money or the salary that I got. The salary that I got is not that big, but it’s more than I got from my parents per month. Since I have my own income, I never ask for the money from my parents to buy anything that I want. I bought books, novels, clothes, and anything else with my own money. Even it’s just a small thing, but for me, that is an achievement. I am proud of it anyway.
Besides saving the money, this part time working also teaches me to be more appreciating the money. At the past, I was easily asking for money from my mother to buy t-shirt or trouser, or other things. But since I have my own income, I always think at least twice to spend my salary. Since I worked, I realized that looking for money is very difficult. I spend many of my times, energy, thought, and so on for the salary. That is why sometimes I prefer to save my money rather than to use it for something which is not emergent. Even sometimes, I can’t deny if I remember that I have money in a bank, seems that I want to buy many things that I want. But thinking again about how hard I collect the money, makes me cancel my intention. I collect the money with many difficulties, so I just don’t want to spend that money easily. I will just use my money only for important things, not for fun.
The verse in the Qur’an which is stated about the thought of saving is in surat Al-Israa’ verse 26-27,
*وآت ذا القربى حقه والمسكين وابن السبيل ولا تبذر تبذيرا
*إن المبذرين كانوا إخوان الشياطين وكان الشيطان لربه كفورا
The meaning is: And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: But squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the Evil Ones; and the Evil One is to his Lord (himself) ungrateful.

Besides, in the Hadith of Muslim and Ahmad, it is stated that God will give grace to someone who is trying the good, simply spending money, and can spend extra to keep the poor and when he needed it.

However, if you are still student like me, I think it’s good for you to try to look for part time job. If you do not need the money, at least you can learn how hard the money is looked for. Then you will use your money wisely.

This article was published in http://www.voa-islam.com

The Life of Muslim in Cambodia

Written by Mega Ai

Several times ago, I involved in a warm conversation between my mother and my younger sister. Yeah, we were talking about Muslim Champa. My mother said that one of our Nine Ulama (in Indonesia it is called as ‘wali songo’) named Maulana Malik Ibrahim has a wife from the Kingdom of Champa. After the conversation end up, I searched some information from the internet about this. And it makes me more curious about Muslim Champa. I got the information that Muslim Champa is living and spreading in some districts in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia. That’s why I want to fly there to meet the Muslim minority there. I am curious about the real life of Muslim in other countries where the religion majority is non-Islam. Therefore, I decided to go to Cambodia. On October 2009, I had a chance to fly to Phnom Penh where there are some Muslim communities’ lives.
Why Cambodia? It’s a personal reason actually. I finally decided to go Phnom Penh because I have good friends there. Good friends that I’ve known from an international conference that I joined couple months ago. They are very nice Cambodian. They told me many things about their country. They helped me a lot. Thanks to them. I think this is one of the advantages of joining an international event. I got friends from many different countries. 
Well, arrived in the airport of Phnom Penh in the first day, it’s quite surprising to see Muslims there. Moreover I cannot say that only a few Muslims that I saw in the airport. It’s quite many actually, whereas we know that Muslim is minority in Cambodia.
I spent four days in Phnom Penh. I spent most of my time with my friends. But, there is one day where I was touring alone. Using motor taxi (in Indonesia, it is called ‘ojek’); I went around several Muslim villages. Luckily, the motor taxi driver could speak Malay. I talked a lot with the taxi driver about the Muslim villages. In a day, there are four Muslim villages that I’ve visited; three of the villages are located near along Mekong River (a historical river there). And the other one village is located in Phnom Penh km 8. There is always a masjid (mosque) in every Muslim village.
In my last day in Phnom Penh, I came back to one of the villages near Mekong River; the name of the village is Ekrangsey Darussalam. I went there with my friends. I met the leader of the village and had a conversation with him. The name of the leader is Mr. H. Lebsaleh. We talked a lot about the society’s occupation, children’s education and so on. Most of old generation in Cambodia could speak Malay instead of Khmer language (Cambodia language). From the conversation with Mr Lebsaleh, I understand that most of people in the village are living below the poverty line. The fact is there is only 2 % of the family who are able to send their children to study in university. There are around 400 families in that village; means there is only around 20 families who are able to send their children to study in university, while the other is not. Well, even not a few families who are not able to send their children to continue their study in senior high school. Many of the men in that village have occupation as the taxi driver or fisherman, while many of the women work as a labor in the convection factory. That condition is not really different with the other Muslim villages. I am sure that the government of Cambodia has done many efforts to develop their country. But, I understand it is not an easy job. Knowing the history of Red Khmer and genocide there makes me understand.
After having such a nice conversation with Mr Lebsaleh, I visited one of the madrasah (religion school) there. At that time, the students were studying about how to read Al-Qur’an. There is only one Ustdaz (unfortunately I forget the name of the ustadz) teaches them where there are around 50 or 60 students in that small class. The students there are still in the primary school. The Ustadz said that in the morning the students went to madrasah and in the afternoon they went to the government primary school. For the junior high student, they went to the government junior high school in the morning and they went to madrasah in the afternoon. Even though, not a few students who do not go to the government school because of economic problem.
That’s the fact happens there. Knowing the fact of Muslim life there, I do really hope people are willing to support and help them. I do really hope are willing to help the Muslim youth there. Giving a scholarship for studying to them could be a good way to help the Muslim youth for their development.
Well, there are still many things inside my head but I think I’ll end up my story here. Perhaps I will continue to share my experience in Cambodia with you in the next article. However, let’s together we find out the way to help other Muslim to get better life.

This article was published in http://www.voa-islam.com

Look How Cute the Children are

Written by Mega Ai

A couple months ago, I joined a work camp as a volunteer in Karimun Jawa Island. Karimun Jawa Island is a small and beautiful island in the north of Java Island in Indonesia. I spent two weeks there with some other volunteers from different countries. Two friends came from Japan and the other nine came from European countries. They are from Belgium, France, Dutch, Luxembourg, and Slovakia. There are also two Indonesian people as the camp and the co-camp leader. Many things I got and I learned there, that is for sure. I learned how to work in a team with sometimes extremely different point of view. I learned how to communicate with people in Karimun Jawa Island. I learned how to manage the garbage in other countries from my foreign friends. And the most valuable lesson I learned is how to appreciate the difference between us, European and Asia.
First of all, let me share something that I got from my foreign friends about their own countries.
Belgium
 The capital city of Belgium is Brussels
 There is one beach named “North Sea” in the north part of the country
 There are 3 languages used in this country: Dutch, French, and Germany
 People there say “Bonjour” as “Halo”
Dutch
 This country is famous with windmill, tulip flower, cow, cheese, and wooden shoes
 Everybody in Dutch has their own bicycle
 The country is under the sea level
 The people there say “Goedemorgen” as “Selamat Pagi”
Japan
 Origami: art of folding paper.
 We learn how to make candy box, star, balloon, and bird
 Traditional clothes: kimono and yukata
Slovakia
 The capital city is Bratislava
 Hello: Dobryden (to older people/more formal)
 Hi: Ahoj (to peer)
 There are many lakes, high mountains, and forests in this country
 Only 4 hours needed to travel around Slovakia
 Many popular games there, like ice skating, ice hockey, and skiing
Luxembourg
 The capital city is Luxembourg
 It’s the smallest country in Europe
 The size of this country is as well as Madura Island in Indonesia
 Only around 500.000 people live there
 There is no sea in this country
 There many castles above the rock. So it needs a bridge to cross by
 “Good morning”: “Gudde moien”
France
 The capital city is Paris
 This country is famous with wine, baked long bread called “baget”, cheese, and Eiffel tower
 “Hello”: “Bonjour”
Many voluntarily activities we’ve done there. Educate the people in the island about garbage management, cleaning the harbor, cleaning the school, painting the garbage bean, playing with children, planting the mangrove, and so on. We tell them about the important of separating the garbage. For the first time, we asked them to separate the garbage into two categories, plastic and non plastic. In the future, we want them to separate the garbage into several more. They are plastic, non-plastic, glasses, and paper. Well, that’s not an easy job to change the people habit. For most of the people there, separating garbage is still being a new thing to do. Besides, we did many cleaning activities, in the harbor, in the school, and in the street of the villages. We did it together with the children and the students. We also help the government of Karimun Jawa Island to plant the mangrove. And of course, we did it with the children and the students too. Mangrove plants have many advantages for the sea. One of them is it keeps the sea from the abrasion.
That’s all amazing for me. And I hope the advantages that the society will get from our voluntarily activities will be amazing too. There is one activity that I bet I’ll never forget, that is playing with children of the island. Mostly, they are students in kindergarten and elementary school while some others are student in junior high. We played traditional games together; we sang together, we made bracelets together, and so on. I loved the way the children speak, I loved the way they laugh, and I loved the way they smile. I loved every single behavior they did. They are human without sin. I was really having fun at that time, and the children too.
Another thing that I learned from this work camp is friendship. Until today, we are still keeping touch. Internet and the social networking helped us a lot to have a communication directly.
Until the day of farewell party came I just realized that two weeks were passed already. I had to leave the people there, I had to leave the children, and I had to leave all the things I loved in that island. I didn’t want to say goodbye. I didn’t want to leave all the body there. I’d really want to stay longer, but I knew I had to go. When we almost depart, some children gave me souvenirs. That’s surprised me. I was very happy and sad as well. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t give anything to them. I just wonder why they were so lovely. I said thank you and I promised them that I would come again in this island someday. I smiled, but they suddenly cried. I said to them, “Don’t cry, kids,”. But they even cried louder. Hey! Come on! Stop crying, kids! I talked to myself, “Don’t cry, please. If you want to cry, not in here, not in front of the people, and not in front the children,”. I didn’t want to cry. But my tears just fall.
Well, that’s one the most amazing experiences in my life. I feel great can help the society there. It is not a show off, I just want to share an experience that maybe able to support the other people to do the same thing. If we are able do good things for the other people in this world, so why not?

This article was published in http://www.voa-islam.com

We Have to Appreciate our Local Food

Written by Mega Ai

I have to write. That what comes up in my mind? I realize that I will never have time if I always wait to find the right time to write. Because actually, the right time to write is when there is something is in your mind, that’s the right time for you to write. Based on my experience, something that comes up in your mind, if you don’t write it down, you’ll forget it immediately. Really! That’s why; the habit to take notes is very necessary and important.
Anyway, now I am going to talk about the most pressing issues faced by our country. There are many big and complex problems which are faced by our beloved country Indonesia. One of them is about cultures. Maybe before we explore further about this problem, we to know the definition of culture itself. Culture is something _could be a thing and could be an activity_ that has value and characteristic of the nation that’s exist since long time ago. A little example of our cultural heritage is traditional dancing, music, art, sites, museum, and even some certain behaviors.
Now, why cultures? Because in my opinion, the sense of belonging toward the Indonesian cultures (it includes the local cultures) of the Indonesian people is getting fade and fade. It is especially the young generation. Most of the young generations do not really give attention toward our cultures. Some others even don’t appreciate our own cultures.
One of the examples that we can see clearly is about traditional cultures, such as traditional song and dance which is almost forgotten. Look at it my district in Yogyakarta, the traditional cultures studio is not existed anymore, and there is no passion about traditional cultures among the youth in Yogyakarta. Only few people visit the cultures studio and care about it. While in the other hand, we also can see it clearly that modern theater, bowling area, and billiard places are crowded with so many young people. Instead the traditional cultures, the food we consumed, the way we talked, and even our behavior is moving. For instance, many people prefer to buy pizza rather than local food, such as putu or alike. Many of my Javanese friends cannot speak or never Javanese anymore, whereas local language is part of our culture. One more experience, when I was attending workshop in Bangkok, some of my Malaysian people sang “Rasa sayange” song (traditional song from Maluku). I was shocked. How come they could sing that song fluently? Whereas, we as the owner of the song might couldn’t sing that song very well.
For me, that phenomenon is ironic. And I am sure; this phenomenon is not only happened in my district but also in many districts around Indonesia.
I didn’t say that listening western music, eating pizza, going to billiard, and all the things above is totally wrong. But it goes wrong if we do not pay attention and do not appreciate our own cultures.
I realize that the problem which is faced by our country must be a very complex problem which is very difficult to be solved. That is why, I want to be a writer in which through my writing, and everyone can get inspired to be more appreciate their own cultures. Hopefully.
Now I am going to talk about one of our cultures, which are food more specifically. It is not about recipe, it’s not about how to cook and so on, but it is about how we appreciate our local food. How many kinds of traditional or local food that we know? Can you mention it at least 10? Well, I cannot, to be honest.
Guys, you know what, I am crazy about burger. I like pizza badly. I love coke very much. And I am sure, you love it too. But I realize I should not. Why? Because when you are crazy about something, you will not notice the other things. That’s also applied in this case. When you are crazy about pizza for instance, you will always want to eat pizza; you will not eat putu (such kind of traditional food which is made by rice powder and coconut). When you are crazy about coke, you will always buy coke; you will not buy wedang jahe (such a warm drink made from ginger).
I wonder how if all the body buys pizza and coke, who will by the putu? Who will buy the wedang jahe? Old people? What’s going to happen if they’ve passed way? Our traditional food will pass away too. Who is going to keep our traditional food exists then? Who else if it’s not us?
We realize that sometimes or maybe often, we do not pay attention to our traditional food? We also do not pay attention to the body who sell the traditional food. If we see, most of the seller of traditional food is not the people who live in the middle up level of society. Most of them are living below the poverty line. Let’s try together to love our local food. Because when we eat local food, we help the seller, we help the traditional food exist as well. Nice things to do, right?
Once again, food is just one of the examples from many cultures that we almost forget. There are still many others that we need to appreciate more and more importantly, we need to preserve it better. Talking about preserving, it means that we need to keep our cultural heritage exist and make it as part of our life. Preserving our cultural heritage is extremely important. Why it is so important? There is only one answer for this question. Cultural heritage keeps the moral of the nation.

In short, realizing the important of our cultures as well as our cultures heritage, we should start to appreciate our cultures more than before and better than before. So when does the right time? The right time is today! Right now!

This article was published in http://www.voa-islam.com

We Have a Perfect Family

Written by Mega Ai

The closest people in the world for us are our family. So, this is a story about my family. I hope it can make you love your family more and more.
Well, I have a brilliant father. He is not a professor, doctor, master, or even a bachelor. He never finished his study. He stopped studying after he decided to marry a beautiful lady, my mother. He has no title in his name, at all. But I don’t think it’s important. He never finished his study in university, but he never stops to learn. He read newspaper every day. He watches news in television. He reads so many good books. One thing that he likes most is history. He always said to me, “Look back to the history and see what happen now, you will be able to predict the future,”. And I believe he’s right. He never makes an argument without any proof. He proves it through many ways.
I have a pretty mother. Not only pretty, she is a beautiful mother. She is also a genius. She could do many things that I cannot do. She could do everything I guess. She always teaches me to be strong, as strong as her. She also teaches me about patience, persistence, independence, brave, and many others. She always said to me, “Just hold on, no matter what the condition, Allah swt will be with you, always,”. I do believe in her. She is more than everything for me. She is my hero. I often wondering, could I be like my mother? I don’t know, but I wish I could.
I am proud to be my father and mother’s child.
***
I have a very tall and beautiful sister. She is my only sister and my only best friend. The best I have ever had in this world. I do many things with her. We share every joy, we share every sorrow. We share everything. My younger sister is a smart girl. She is studying in a medical faculty. She is going to be a doctor, a good doctor for everyone. She doesn’t talk much. She always stays calm and silent. She’s different. She’s a very good body. I am proud to have a sister like her.
I have an older brother and I have a little brother. Now let me talk about my little brother first. He’s a very cute and handsome boy. Sometimes, he looks so cool but sometimes he also can be so funny. He often makes me happy through of his jokes. Sometimes, he looks very childish like the other boys in his age. But sometimes, he looks so mature in certain cases. One thing that I really like from my little brother am is his sensitiveness. He gives high attention toward the environment, especially people who close to him. In my opinion, his sensitiveness is not a common for a boy in 10 years old. It’s amazing having a little brother like him.
Now it’s about my older brother. He is just two years above me. He is a handsome man. He’s not that smart like the other family. I think it just because he is lazy to study. . But he is very diligent to help my parent’s business. That’s a very good thing from him. Well, I don’t have a close relationship with him. I mean, not as close as with the other family. I sometimes think that my older brother has his own world. I don’t know what that is. I don’t know much about him. But what I know for sure is he is my brother and my affection toward him is just like my affection toward the other family.
I am proud to be their family.
***
You know, it’s a gift from Allah swt for being a part of this family.
Yeah, that’s a story about my family. What about yours?
The Qur’an verse which is talking about family is in surat Al-Israa verse 23-24:
وقضى ربك ألا تعبدوا إلا إياه وبالوالدين إحسانا إما يبلغن عندك الكبر أحدهما أو كلاهما فلا تقل لهما أف ولا *واخفض لهما جناح الذل من الرحمة وقل رب ارحمهما كما ربياني صغيرا * تنهرهما وقل لهما قولا كريما
The meaning is, “And the Lord commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) “Ugh” nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.”
Besides, there is also in surat Al-Ahqaaf verse 15:
ووصينا الإنسان بوالديه إحسانا حملته أمه كرها ووضعته كرها وحمله وفصاله ثلاثون شهرا حتى إذا بلغ أشده وبلغ أربعين سنة قال رب أوزعني أن أشكر نعمتك التي أنعمت علي وعلى والدي وأن أعمل صالحا *ترضاه *وأصلح لي في ذريتي إني تبت إليك وإني من المسلمين
The meaning is, We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says, “O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for They favor which Thou have bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as Thou mayest approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to Thee and truly do I bow (to Thee) in Islam.”
In this verse, it’s clear that we have to appreciate and love our family, especially our parents. They took care of us since we were born and grown up. Besides, our parents had done many things for us. So, the best ways to do to our parents is help them, listen to their advices, and do what they are ordered to us.
Talking about appreciation toward our parents, there is a hadith which is already popular among us about how we have to appreciate our mother more than anybody else. It is described by Abu Huraira, one day; a man once approached our prophet, Muhammad saw and asked:
“O Apostle of Allah, who has the most right to my companionship? To this our Nabi replied: “Your Mother.” Thrice the man asked the same question, and thrice our Nabi replied,”Your Mother”, until the fourth time when our Nabi replied, “Your Father”.
I hope we really understand about the verse and the hadith about family. Let’s do our best to our mother, father, and our other family.

This article was published in http://www.voa-islam.com

I Love my Country, Indonesia

Written by Mega Ai

It’s been a long time I didn’t write anything. There are too many things that I have to do. But I am trying not to make it as an alibi. I realize that I just need to learn again about time management that I’ve ever learned before. I also realize that I actually have plenty of time to do all my activities and my responsibilities. It is just a matter of management once again. Huff…
Alright, I don’t know for sure why I always interested to write about my beloved country, Indonesia. But again, I am going write about it. My country, Indonesia, is a very rich country. I am sure about that. And the world knows that. But I will not deny the fact that poverty is everywhere. Just take a look in every single corner of the city, beggar is everywhere. Even though there is a new regulation about prohibition of giving money to the beggar, they are still there. After the regulation, all I can do is just looking at them while saying “Poor them,” always like that, again and again. I hate myself because what I can do is nothing at this moment. I want to do something. Really! But, I will not lie myself that it’s quite difficult to respect them. Wait, I do respect the people, but I cannot respect their way to look for the money. It’s very difficult for me. It’s like a dilemma. Oh, people, please stop begging like that.
It’s an experience, bad experiences exactly; it’s related to the beggar. When I was stopped in the intersection of the street, a beggar comes to me and shows me his bottle as a place to receive the money. In front of the traffic light of this intersection, I saw a sign about the prohibition to give money to the beggar, so it’s easy for me to say no. You know, there is not only one beggar here. But there around three or four beggars. So, what’s the function of prohibition sign for? That’s ironic, right?
Anyway, In Indonesia, there is a difference term between beggar and the street singer (in Bahasa Indonesia, it is called as pengamen). For me, the essence of those two is the same; there is no difference between the one who don’t bring the music instrument and the one who brings music instrument in my perspective. They are the same beggar for me.
However, I will obey the rule, so I will not give any money to the beggar. Moreover, looking at them has a big body, I become surer not to give them money. Come on! They are still young, they are strong, and they must able to work. They are just lazy in my opinion. So, how can we help them if they do not want to help themselves? How can we struggle to help them if they don’t even want to do some efforts? Arrived home, you know what happened? I saw a scratch in the body of the car. Huff. Now it’s happened to me after couple days before it happened to my friends. Okay, it is not a negative thinking, but I am sure about it. The beggar scratches the body of the car. It’s often happened. Previously, I’ve already known that it’s going to happen to me someday. And today it is happened. I am very disappointed toward this phenomenon. I am very disappointed toward them.
Even though, sometimes I feel very bad looking at the very old beggar or defect beggar. I sometimes really want to help by giving them some money. But again, I am facing a dilemma. I always convince myself that it is not the right thing to do. I will not help them even I am giving money. Because what they need is actually a long life fulfillment.
Remember again about the beggar with big and strong body, sometimes makes me think that what a bad country it is. But today, I am sure that I wrong.
This is my story today. When I was going to go to somewhere, I saw a kid ride the “Andong”. “Andong” is the name of one of traditional transportations in Indonesia. It’s using horse power; usually it’s using one horse to pull the “Andong”. “Andong” can bring six people, include the driver or we called it “Kusir”. Yeah, like I said before, the “Kusir” of this Andong is a kid, maybe he is just 12 years old. Oh my God, he is too young to work. And I am sure that he helps his parents to look for the money.
And when I was going to go home, after taking care of my business, I decided to buy “serabi”. It is a traditional food, like a cake which is made by pulverizes rice. It is a very nice traditional food. With a little bit chocolate in the middle of this cake, makes it yummier. You know who seller of this traditional cake? The seller is a very beautiful and very old lady. I am sure that her age is above is 60 years. But look, she is working for her life.
Not only that, let’s take a look in every single day we passes. We saw many Indonesian people are struggling very hard for their life. Look at the public city bus driver, he is still doing his job even it’s hard. Look at the milk seller; he is still coming to one house to another house to offer the milk even it’s very tiring. Look at that old lady, she still walking around to offer the rice and the dishes for the breakfast even she has no much left energy. They are still struggling. They are still holding on in a very hard condition that our country faced nowadays.
I am disappointed toward few people, but I am proud toward many people in this country’s land. However, I love my country, Indonesia.

This article was published in http://www.voa-islam.com

Just a Story

Written by Mega Ai

Wow! That’s one word that maybe able to represent my feeling. That’s an amazing time in my life. I was attending an Asia youth climate workshop in Bangkok, Thailand. A very short time that told me many things about this life. Thanks God for this chance. Hopefully, having a good luck is not the only reason why I was there to gather with the other youth from all around Asia. This workshop was hold by an Environmental NGO.
As the name, this workshop is all about climate change. In general, there are seven sessions in this workshop. The first session is about climate crisis impact. The second session is about international policy of climate change. The third session is about how to do an event regarding to the climate action. The fourth session is doing an art build to do the climate change action. The fifth session is about how to build a network. The sixth session is about communications and media training. The last session is doing an art build again.
Overall, through the workshop, I know that every country in Asia more or less has the same problem regarding to the climate change. The impact of the climate change is such as flood, drought, eruption, storm, and so on. Based on the speaker in the first session, her name is Marj, there is only 20 % of forest that is still existed in the Philippine in 2009, while the other is lost. One of the big factors which cause the lost of forest is illegal logging. Can you imagine how bad the condition of forest in the Philippine is? Furthermore, the lost of forest becomes one the major reasons why the climate change is getting worse and worse. The same problem is also faced by our beloved country, Indonesia. Indonesia is also lost of many forests. The main reason is the same with the Philippine. It is because of illegal logging. Actually the case is the forest is the best tool to absorb carbon dioxide and other gases which cause climate change is getting worse in the earth. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to increase the number of forest; whereas the carbon dioxide on earth is increasing rapidly. The biggest carbon dioxide supplier in the world is industries and vehicles. And in the end, the one who feel most of the effect of climate change is the society in the grassroots or poor people. One of the real examples of the climate change impact is many farmers face harvest failure because of many natural reasons. Realize it or not, climate change will give impact to the economic growth of the country.
And you know what; one of the things that I like from this workshop is the speakers. The speakers are cute men. No, just kidding! The speakers are just like us. They are youth and brilliant. They deliver the material of the workshop in a very good way and with high spirit, youth spirit exactly. The coordinator of this workshop is Jamie, who is only 24 years old guy.
One of the speakers in this workshop named Kevin; he is the one who teaches us about art build. At the first time I come to the art build room, I thought, I couldn’t do that. I am totally bad in art. But then Kevin said, “Just do what you want to do. Let your imagination comes up,”. Okay, I would try to paint a poster. And finally, the result was amazing. I made a very nice poster only in 45 minutes. That’s cool. Kevin didn’t teach me how to paint a poster. But he taught me how to make myself free to express myself. And he also taught me how to convince myself that I actually can do all the things that I want.
Not only has that, Kevin, taught me another thing again. When my friend was going to buy in a flip-flop in the seven-eleven (24 hours shop based on United States), Kevin said, “Why don’t you just buy the flip-flop in the local shop?”. My friend was suddenly speechless. “If you buy the stuff in seven-eleven, you’ll support a giant company becomes more giant, right? If you buy in the local shop, you will help them to survive,” he added. Then my friend was going to the local shop directly. I wasn’t there where it was happened, my friend told me this. You know where he comes from? Yup! He comes from United States. I and my friends should be ashamed. And we do, we do really ashamed to him, to ourselves, and to the local people.
Okay that’s about social things that I learned from him. And now back again to the climate change workshop. Then the most important question regarding to the earth, can we Indonesian youth give a contribution to the earth, to the environment? Yes, I am sure we can do it. We can give the contribution to the earth. For instance, turn off the light, laptop, and other equipment if we do not need to use. Go to the shop by foot or bicycle if it is near. That’s just a simple thing to do, right? Look, we can do it. That’s just a small thing. But I am sure, if we do it together, it will be a big thing. It can give a big contribution to the earth.
Yeah. That’s all about climate change workshop in Bangkok. I am thinking of other things. Many scientists are thinking and experimenting about how to save the earth. Many environmental activists are doing many actions to save the earth. Now let’s ask ourselves, what we have done to give the contribution to the earth?
Well, actually there are still many things inside my head but I know it is impossible to tell everything. So, I think I’ll end up my story here. Every single thing happened and every single thing we’ve done is every single experience that we can learn.

This article was published in http://www.voa-islam.com