A BIG “Thank you” to you…

 

A BIG “Thank you” to you…

I received more than 60 birthday greetings (via Facebook, WhatsApp and emails) on my birthday yesterday (29 January 2017) from my relatives and friends. Some were accompanied by online birthday cards, the convenience of today’s internet facility.

In response to them, instead of thanking each of them individually for their greetings and blessings as and when received, I decided to list out their names together with their greetings. Perhaps, this is the first time someone is responding in such a way.  (I had the time to do it because I am not able to walk out of my home yet – I injured my right foot baby toe upon carelessly hitting hard against the leg of my dining table and dropped in great pain. My son and my wife took me to hospital and an x-ray showed that there is a serious fracture and the toe was bandaged to the next toe and oral medication given. And that is why, some of my relatives have wished me speedy recovery in their birthday greetings. There is no more pain now and it should be completely healed in a few weeks.)

The well-wishers’ names and messages are as follows (in the order of appearance):

  • Wandy Azley: Happy Birthday.
  • Zuraimi Abdul Basheer: Happy Birthday Encik Shaik Kadir!
  • Ayra Faisal: Semoga diberikan kesihatan, rezeki yang luas dan berbahagia disamping famili tersayang. Happiest Bday encik Kadir.
  • Eryka Adams: Happy birthday bro – may Allah bless you with good health
  • Beth Hickman Hage: (From USA) Have a wonderful birthday and may you enjoy many more.
  • Hairos CM: Slmt Hari Lahir uncle..semoga d pjgkn usia..kesihatan yg baik..kebahagiaan d dunia dan d akhirat..aamiin.
  • Zainab Marican: Happy Birthday to Sir Shaik Kadir. May Allah bless you with health & plenty Rezeki. Aamiin.
  • Zarin Kamisah: Selamat hari lahir buat mamu Shaik Kadir… Semoga sentiasa berbahagia di samping keluarga tersayang.
  • Noor Liah: Happy birthday Shaik Kadir semoga dipanjangkan umur dan murah rezeki in sya Allah Aamiin3…
  • Shamira Abdul Majeed: Advance birthday lunch for mamu Shaik Kadir ! We can’t bring you out so we bring food to you 😉 (With photo which she took at my home)
  • Sithi Junaidha: Speedy recovery to you uncle kader and a blessed Happy Birthday to you
  • Amir Gany Mohd Ali: Happy Birthday Mamu Shaik Kadir. May Allah bless you and your family. I respect Kadir as a kind, responsible n caring brother. Alhamdulillah.
  • Zainab Bee: Happy birthday baijan semuga cepat sembuh insyaAllah aamiin
  • Judd Gray Oyler: (From North Carolina, USA) HAPPY BIRTHDAY 🎉🎊
  • Moemi Takei: (From Japan) Happy birthday, papa! Hope you have a great day
  • At home with niece Shamira Abdul Majeed: “Happy birthday and speedy recovery Mamu. No worries about the makan. We can go when you’re well. Take care.”

    With niece Shamira Abdul Majeed at my home: “Happy birthday and speedy recovery Mamu. No worries about the makan. We can go when you’re well. Take care.”

  • Lina Koh: Happy Birthday 🎂 Shaik Kadir.
  • Endang Mulyati: Selamat Hari Lahir (Photo)
  • Khalid Khoso: Happy birthday dearest Shaik Kadir.may you have many more prospectus and healthy years to come ahead 😐
  • Anthony Chong: Selamat Hari Jadi, Cik Shaik.
  • Dick Yip: Blessed Birthday Shaik ! More to come….
  • Nurimuslima Abdullah: Happy Birthday
  • Lib Gray Dula: (From North Carolina, USA) Hope you have a wonderful day today Shaik Kadir
  • Suryani Nasiruddin: Happy birthday to shaik kadir may Allah bless you and happy always
  • Sofiah Chong: happy birthday bro. May Allah bless you & family!
  • Faz Gaffa-Marsh: Spending time with Mamu & Mami on Mamu’s “21st” birthday. 😉 (With photo which she took at my home)
  • Suhaila Ghaffar: Young at heart 😉
  • Rahmah Abdul Rahim: Happy Birthday Bang. Di doakan bahagia dunia akhirat
  • Indira Tabo: (From Philippines) Happy Birthday, papa Shaik! More blessings! Cheers to more travels! 😊
  • Fauziah Ali: Happy birthday abg Shaik Kadir. Semoga di beri kesehatan selalu.
  • Lee Samsudin Ibrahim: Happy birthday Shaik n many happy returns
  • Grandson Adam Rayan Dula (3 yrs 2 mths).

    Grandson Adam Rayan Dula (3 yrs 2 mths).

  • Hassan Abdullah: Selamat Hari Lahir Semoga di beri kesihatan, reziki yang banyak. Amiin
  • Fiona Qadijah Ng: Happy birthday
  • Yulia Indahri: happy birthday, Pak. many happy returns of the day!
  • Mohd Jefri Tek Abdullah: Selamat Hari Jadi dan sihat selalu
  • Riduan Shafique Abdullah Tok: Best Wishes to You On This Special Day of Yours. May Your Wishes Come True.
  • Ramli Hamid: Happy birthday my old Friend. May you be blessed with good health always, good fortune and many many birthdays ahead. In syaa Allah.
  • Karim Mastan: May Allah bless u with the best of health n happiness always Amin…
  • Syedah Qasim: Happy birthday to my brother, Shaik Kadir. May Allah s.w.t bless you with good health, wealth and be happy always with your loved ones. Ameen 🎂
  • Fuad Lew: Happy birthday
  • Evelyn Yap: Happy birthday Shaik Kadir 🎂
  • Mohd Safuan Abdullah: Sanah Helwah tuan
  • Iffa Rai: Happy birthday
  • Haida Anuar: Happy birthday uncle!😍
  • Khatijah Surattee: Many happy returns of the day.
  • James Seah: Happy Birthday, AbangShaik Kadir. Wishing you happiness, good health and success in everything you do with blessings on this special day today and always. Selamat Hari Lahir!
  • At home with niece Fazillah Abdul Gaffa: “Happy birthday my dearest Mamu! May Allah continue to shower you with His love and care, and may you continue to be surrounded with an abundance of love!”

    With niece Fazillah Abdul Gaffa at my home: “Happy birthday my dearest Mamu! May Allah continue to shower you with His love and care, and may you continue to be surrounded with an abundance of love!”

  • Zainab Bee: Happy birthday baijan.
  • Nabisah Yusope: Happy Birthday to Shaik Kadir
  • Fatimah Bee: “The best thing mom and dad have done, is to give me a brother like you…Happy Birthday”
  • CT Mariam Mahmood: Happy Birthday Abg Kadir
  • Muhammad Hafidz Zainal Abidin: May your birthday be full of happy hours and special moments to remember for a long long time! Happy Birthday
  • Peerbhai Bhai: Happy Birthday, Bhaijan. May Allah bless you. Stay healthy always.
  • Faz Gaffa-Marsh: Happy birthday my dearest Mamu! May Allah continue to shower you with His love and care, and may you continue to be surrounded with an abundance of love! ❤❤
  • Munirah Shaik Kadir: (Studying in Sydney) Dearest Abah, Happy Birthday to you 🎂  May Allah bless you with good health, happiness and murah rezeki always. Thank you for everything that you have done for us ❤️ We love you lots ❤Enjoy your birthday celebrations 🎉 Please take care 💐
  • Fie Ismun: (From Sydney, via WhatsApp) Asalamwalaikum Abang Kadir. I would like to wish you a happy birthday.  Semoga di panjangkan umor dan murahkan rezeki alhamdulillah. Aamin
  • Suhaila Ghaffar: Happy Birthday Uncle Kadir from all of us! May u be blessed with good health and in faith
  • Nor Ain Saleha: Happy belated birthday Kadir. Blessings!
  • Mohamed Othman: Happy birthday Shaik. Semoga murah rezeki dan sentiasa menikmati rahmat Allah SWT.
  • Dhini Aqila: Happy birthday bp sheikh kadir Allah give health and protect you always amiiin
  • Karim Mastan: Happy birthday my bro in law n hope your little toe recovered fast
  • Jamaliah A. Aziz: Happy birthday Bro Shaik Kadir
  • Granddaughter Nur Iffah Muhd Imran (2 yrs 7 mths).

    Granddaughter Nur Iffah Muhammad Imran (2 yrs 7 mths).

  • Khairon Mastan: May Allah bless you with health and contentment
  • Shuhaila Sidik: Happy Birthday, Abah!
  • Shamira Abdul Majeed: (via WhatsApp) Oh dear! Mine was a dislocation and it was already so painful. Cant imagine yours that is broken!  Happy birthday and speedy recovery Mamu. No worries about the makan. We can go when you’re well. Take care.
  • Muhammad Hafidz Abdullah: (via WhatsApp) Salam, Encik Shaik Kadir. Happy Birthday.
  • Fred & Edie Dula: (From North Carolina, USA, via online card) Hope you have a very Happy Birthday
  • John Vijayan, Jawahir Mohamed, Zakariah Shariff, Wan Shamsiah and Sri Zuraida (from SSEAYP Family chat group)wishing Happy Birthday.
  • Azri Tan: Happy Birthday
  • Muhammad Fadhlullah:Happy belated birthday bro Shaik Kadir! May Allah bless u always!
  • Faezah Jonit:Happy Birthday Mamu Jan.
  • Prince Ruudi: Happy birthday Mr. Kadir
  • Thilaga Balakerishnan:  Happy Birthday uncle.
  • Joy Ho: Happy belated birthday, Uncle Kadir! May you be blessed with good health and happiness always.
  • Anita Ismun: (From Sydney, via WhatsApp) 🎂Happy birthday. Semoga Allah sentiasa panjang kan usia, murahkan rezeki, sehat sentiasa dan di berkati Allah. Allahumma Aamiin 🎂

My thanks are also due to all those who had indirectly wished me by “Liking” the postings made by others.

I too wish all those who had sent the greetings and those who had liked the postings by others many happy returns. May God bless you with good health and happiness.

To my Chinese friends, many of whom in the above list are converts to Islam, I wish them Happy New Year.  Gong Xi Fa Cai.

Shaik Kadir

30 January 2017

 

Posted in General interest (Wide-ranging) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Writers, bloggers and story-tellers meet to strengthen friendship

Writers, bloggers and story-tellers meet to strengthen friendship

 

Friendship goes beyond race and religion.  The all-time boxing great Muhammad Ali once said: “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

A group of people with experiences in various fields of occupation, though busy in their own field of interest, meet at least once a year to chat of current affairs, and of old times, exchange heritage matters and eat together.

The group has met at various places, often at eateries but the preference is the studio of Sitting-in-pictures, a film production company, located at Syed Alwi Road.

Yes, this time, 3 December (2016), only 10 friends met at the studio; the rest were either overseas or were engaged with some unavoidable work.  The potluck food was varied but engaging, all halal; the most appetising being the fish curry and puttu piring. There were also other mouth-watering foodstuff like fruit rojak and minced-mutton stew cooked by my wife that morning. The mouth was busy, both in munching and talking.

The glorious makan.

The glorious food, sedap makan.

The friends

Soh Kiak, Wee Kiat, James Kwok and Dick...

Soh Kiak, Wee Kiat, James Kwok and Dick…

...and Dick, Kadir, Victor and James Seah...

…and Dick, Shaik, Victor and James Seah…

...and Lina, Daisie, Dick and Wee Kiat...

…and Lina, Daisie, Dick and Wee Kiat…with Dick doing a hand-disappearing trick…

The most well-known figure in the group was Ms Chang Soh Kiak, a documentary film maker.  With a degree in Economics and Political Science, she became a current affairs producer for the then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation and remained in the TV industry ever since.

Ms Chang Soh Kiak.

Ms Chang Soh Kiak.

Soh Kiak, who straddles between Singapore and Melbourne, Australia, where she resides, is a co-founder of “Sitting in Pictures”, a Singapore-based production company formed in 2000. The company produces various genre of documentaries, including factual lifestyle, travel and adventure as well as science and history, which have appeared in such networks as the National Geographic channels, Discovery Channel, AETN and FremantleMedia, UK.

She said: “Although I have lived through various technologies from 16mm film to ENG cameras, HDcams, Internet TV, Mobile video apps, my main interest has remained constant – story telling.”

And this interest – visual story telling – is her mission in life.  It drives her towards making her next project the best one.

Another member of the group is Mr Dick Yip who is an ukulele teacher, player and performer. The ukulele is a musical instrument that looks like a small guitar.

Mr Dick Yip

Mr Dick Yip.

Dick, a retired senior education officer, holds the world record for “The Longest Ukulele Solo Marathon” of 32 hours non-stop play set in 2015 at the Marina Bay Sands.

Leader of an active band, Dick Yip & his Minstrels, Dick loves listening to music and songs. “I also play badminton, do swimming and fishing and gardening,” he said.

But Dick’s main passion is playing the ukulele. When he comes to my house for Hari Raya, he wouldn’t fail to bring his ukulele along to entertain us with songs like Bangawan Solo.

Dick blogs at: http://uncledicko.blogspot.sg/2009/04/rip-off-at-newton-hawker-centre-latest.html

Dick’s wife, Daisie, also plays the ukulele and is the Admin Manager of Dick Yip & his Minstrels Band.

Mrs Daisie Yip

Mrs Daisie Yip.

A retired Principal and School Superintendent, Mrs Yip is currently a part-time Lecturer and School Adviser for the National Institute of Education and the Ministry of Education.

Apart from gardening and cooking, she involves herself as a heritage guide.

Another friend in the group is Mr Victor Koo who is a retired civil servant.   His blog of nostalgia is at:  victorkoo.blogspot.sg.  But he quickly shies away from its mention and says: “It is dormant.  I’m quite busy and have no time to write.”

Mr Victor Koo

Mr Victor Koo.

Indeed his blog has taken a long rest.  The last entry was about bottle caps, “Old bottle caps of Singapore”, posted three years ago, in August 2013.

“But, I want to revive it,” he assured me as he drove, giving me a lift home.  “I must find time to do it.”  He would as can be discerned from his soft voice.

A rough voice was heard coming from the table a couple of metres away at our meeting place.  It was the voice of Mr James Kwok who is a life-skills coach (semi-retired), working with schools and mental wellness clinics.

James was imitating the voice of his favourite singer, Louis Armstrong.  With clenched-

Mr James Kwok.

Mr James Kwok.

like lips he sang Louis’ famous song “What a wonderful world” as Dick strummed his uke, a short form for ukulele.

James’ hobbies include reading and writing, but he is currently inactive as he looks after his grandchild.

He said, “I once had a blog, but I am too busy to maintain it,” and then, with an assuring Louis voice, he added, “It’s time to blog, but I shall start a new one.”

There is another James in the group.  He is Mr James Seah.

James, a retiree, does nostalgic blogging as a hobby.  He is a Singapore Memory Project Memory Corp volunteer and ‘Friends of Yesterday’.

Mr James Seah.

Mr James Seah.

James shares his fond memories and stories of Singapore of old times at: www.blogtoexpress.blogspot.com and https://thoughtmoments.me

About the subjects he writes in his blog, he said: “I document my personal memories to remember what Singapore was like in the past.  I wish to pass on these memories to my children and others.  I enjoyed writing about nostalgic moments.”

There is also a stamp lover in the group.  He is Dr Tan Wee Kiat.

A retired NIE lecturer, Dr Tan loves physical activities.  He swims and plays the harmonica.  But his passion is in Singapore stamps.

“I have published several small books, based on stamps,” he said rather humbly.  “These books serve to promote Singapore history and heritage among schoolchildren.”

Some of Dr Tan Wee Kiat's books, and a feature of him by Shaik Kadir in Berita Harian (2013)

Some of Dr Tan Wee Kiat’s books, and a feature of him by Shaik Kadir in Berita Harian (Feb 2013).

Wee Kiat’s latest book, published last year and translated in Malay, “Ikrar Kita – Singapore: Our Pledge”, is for children.  But, his stamp stories are also good for adults and stamp collectors.

I had the privilege to write two articles about Wee Kiat’s stamp books – in inSing.com, an online commercial magazine, titled “The stories behind stamps: Retired lecturer releases stamp book for Total Defence” on 13 February 2013; and in Berita Harian, a Malay national newspaper, titled “Setem alat susur sejarah” (Stamps are tools for uncovering history) on 15 February 2013.

Talking about books, I too have written books, 14 in all, most of them being exposition of Islam.  This is because I want to relate Islam’s structure and concept so that people of other religions would appreciate it and not think that the tiny number who are ignorant of Islam and commit atrocities in its name are not really following Islam. My latest, “Allah: Understanding God in Islam”, was published in June this year.

Books written by Shaik Kadir: Fiction, heritage as well as Islamic.

Books written by Shaik Kadir:  Fiction, heritage as well as Islamic.

Initially, I wrote general articles for magazines and The Straits Times and have written over 300 articles thus far, which I indexed them in a 12-volume album.

My interest in writing made me write fiction as well as an autobiographical (heritage) novel, “A kite in the evening sky”, which was set in Geylang Serai in the late 1950s and the 1960s. It was published twice by different publishers and became a school literature textbook at one time.

A retired senior lecturer at ITE College in communication skills, I am now taking care of one of my two grandchildren and blog whenever I find time to spare.  Mine is a general blog: https://readnreap.wordpress.com  (Fb: https://www.facebook.com/shaik.kadir.3 )

The sound of coarse and soft voices accompanied by that of the ukulele and guitar reverberated through a part of the studio’s external hall.

Beautifully ghostly stance of the gang.

Had thought of not using this photo but don’t worry. No ghosts are around.

The Strong Ten who make the function lively. While the men sit comfortably, the ladies are happy to be "framed": Lina, Soh Kiak, Daisie,Victor, Shaik, Dick, Wee Kiat, James Seah, James Kwok and Hun Ping. (Lina's and Hun Ping's profiles are unavailable at publication time.)

The Strong Ten who made the function lively. While the men sit comfortably, the ladies are happy to be “framed” on the wall:  (From left) Lina, Soh Kiak, Daisie,Victor, Shaik, Dick, Wee Kiat, James Seah, James Kwok and Hun Ping. (Lina’s and Hun Ping’s profiles are unavailable at publication time.)

The friendship we have established with the members gets strengthened further as we age.  We look forward to the next meeting, and till then, have a time nice time, friends.

Shaik Kadir

17 December 2016

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“This (second) kid on the next blog”: Adam Rayan

“This (second) kid on the next blog”:  Adam Rayan 

Who is “this (second) kid on the next blog” named Adam Rayan?

Well, Adam Rayan is my grandson.  The “first” kid, Nur Iffah Muhammad Imran, daughter of my son, Muhammad Imran Shaik Kadir and his wife, Shuhaila Sidik, has been featured in this blog in November. She is two and a half years old.

This “second” kid is Adam Rayan Dula whose mother, Munirah Shaik Kadir, is my daughter.  My son-in-law, Allen Dula, is an American whose parents and relatives live in North Carolina, USA.

Adam and his parents stay in Werrington, a suburb of Sydney, as my daughter is pursuing her third-year PhD education at the Australian Catholic University (Strathfield Campus).

The family visited us for six weeks last year and we miss him since then.

Like other grandparents we love our grandchildren – Iffah and Adam.  They call my wife “Nani” (Grandmother) and me “Atok” (Grandfather).

Since we did not have any physical contact with Adam for a year now, we headed to Sydney to be with him and his parents, not for many moons but for just 12 days, from 21 November.

The meeting and contact with Adam was a joy. We even had the opportunity to celebrate his third-year birthday.

The following photos tell more about him:

This photo-slide, previously shown in my Facebook, without any indication of who he is, is used again here to start off this photo-story titled “This (second) kid on the next blog: Adam Rayan”.

The above photo-slide, previously posted in my Facebook as an announcement of  this forth-coming story, is used again here to start off this story about Adam.

Adam’s smile and laughter

Adam: Before his first birthday…

Adam: Before his first birthday…

Adam as a growing up baby…

…and he is growing up fast…

Always active…

…and is always active…

…and loves playing outdoors.

…and loves the outdoor…

...in his various moods.

…and expresses his various moods.

Adam’s parents and Singapore grandparents 

A)With Adam are his parents, Allen Dula and Munirah Shaik Kadir, and his grandparents, Khairon Mastan and Shaik Kadir.

With Adam are his parents and grandparents: (From left) my son-in-law, Allen Dula, my wife, Khairon Mastan (“Nani” to Adam), Shaik Kadir (“Atok” to Adam) and our daughter, Munirah Shaik Kadir.

Adam’s Singapore relatives 

With Adam are (from left) Rashima Sidik; my son, Imran Shaik Kadir, my daughter-in-law, Shuhaila Sidik; and at the bottom row are Shuhaila’s father, Mr Sidik, his son-in-law, Zuhal, husband of Rashima, Mr Sidik’s eldest daughter, and his youngest daughter, Nur’aini Sidik. (A photo of the three sisters’ mother carrying Adam is unavailable.)

With Adam are (from left) Rashima Sidik; my son, Imran Shaik Kadir, my daughter-in-law, Shuhaila Sidik; and at the bottom row are Shuhaila’s father, Mr Sidik, his son-in-law, Zuhal, husband of Rashima, Mr Sidik’s eldest daughter, and his youngest daughter, Nur’aini Sidik. (A photo of the three sisters’ mother carrying Adam is unavailable.)

With Adam are (from left) my sister, Fatimah; her husband, Abdul Gaffar, their daughter, Fazillah, and their son-in-law, John, who is American.

With Adam are (from left) my sister, Fatimah; her husband, Abdul Gaffar, their daughter, Fazillah, and their son-in-law, John, who is American.

With his Singapore relatives: With Adam are (from left) my sister, Zainab; her daughter, Shamira, her daughter-in-law, Suriani, and son, Hamid.

With Adam are (from left) my sister, Zainab; her daughter, Shamira, daughter-in-law, Suriani, and son, Hamid.

With Adam are (from left) my wife’s sister, Jaiton; her nephew, Faisal, and her brother, Habib.

With Adam are (from left) my wife’s sister, Jaiton; nephew, Faisal, and brother, Habib.

Adam’s USA relatives 

With Adam are (from left) Granddad Fred (two photos), Edie and Lib (Allen’s mother).

With Adam are (from left) Granddad Fred (two photos), Edie and Lib (Allen’s mother).

With Adam are (from left) Judd (Allen’s aunt), Alson (Allen’s sister) and her husband, John; and Page (Allen’s brother) and his wife, Alison.

With Adam are (from left) Judd (Allen’s aunt), Alson (Allen’s sister) and her husband, John; and Page (Allen’s brother) and his wife, Alison.

Adam’s birthday party

At Wellington Lake Park: Adam’s Birthday Party in full swing.

At Werrington Lake Park:  Adam’s Birthday Party in full swing.

Kids getting ready for the birthday song and cake-cutting

Kids getting ready for the birthday song and cake-cutting

Well, taking group photos are a must....Hey! Where is the birthday boy?

Well, taking group photos seems to a must…but, where is the birthday boy?

Yes, where’s Adam?  

There he is, ahem, with a pretty girl, while Mr Azrin, hiding in the bush, captures the romantic scene with his phone camera. Looks like Adam and Aaaliya are doing a Bollywood dance - squatting, turning and ready to chase each other around a tree!

There he is, ahem, with a pretty girl, Aaliya.  Mr Azrin, hiding in the bushes, managed to capture the scene with his phone camera. Looks like Adam and Aaliya are doing a Bollywood dance – squatting, turning and ready to chase each other around a tree!

Outing to the city

A)An outing to the city by train. (From left) with Adam at the Wellington Station; inside the double-decker train and in a two-carriage light train, and with the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in the background.

(From left) at the Werrington Station; inside the double-decker train to go to the  Central Station; in a two-carriage light rail to go to Paddy’s Haymarket and photos of us with the Opera House (from the ferry) and the Harbour Bridge in the background (from Darling Harbour area).

More kisses and hugs from grandparents

More kisses and hugs for “tomorrow we return to Singapore”.

More kisses and hugs from “Nani” and “Atok”  for “tomorrow we return to Singapore”.

A sad parting

Moment of parting has arrived: It’s sad to leave him as Adam has already become so attached to us, but, as always, my wife and I would talk to him via Facetime at least three times a week when we leave Sydney on 2 December after 12 days of fun and warmth with Adam and his parents.

The moment of parting arrives.  It’s sad to leave Adam as he has already become so attached to my wife and me.

The 12 days flew away fast, and soon we had to leave Adam.  It was sad indeed.  At the Sydney Airport, Adam cried when he sensed that we were leaving him, and his father had to distract him and leave us; only my daughter came with us right up to the gate of the departure hall.

Since we arrived in Singapore, as previously, we have been contacting Adam three or four times a week via Facetime to “be” with him, and, on seeing us, he would excitedly call us “Nani” and “Atok”.

Shaik Kadir

14 December 2016

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“Kid in the next blog”: Nur Iffah

“This kid on the next blog”:  Nur Iffah 

The following two slide photos, previously shown, are used again to start off the photo-article, “‘This kid on the next blog: Nur Iffah”.

Photos of the “Watch out for ‘This kid on the next blog’” announcement in my Facebook on 8 Nov 2016.

Photos of the “Watch out for ‘This kid on the next blog’” announcement in my Facebook on 8 November 2016.

Photos of the “Watch out for This kid on the next blog” announcement in my Facebook on 9 Nov 2016.

Photos of the “Watch out for This kid on the next blog” announcement in my Facebook on 9 November 2016.

For 11 days from Monday next week (21 November 2016), my wife and I are going to miss our grand-daughter, Nur Iffah Muhammad Imran, who is featured in this article.  We are going to Sydney to meet “Another kid in the next blog” and we are excited about it.  That kid is our grandson.

My wife, Khairon Mastan, and I look after Iffah in the day. Her parents are working.

Every morning, I take Iffah out for an educational tour while my wife cooks.  From my home, Iffah and I would make a circular route, often taking up to two hours, along which we would pass by two adult exercise areas and two children’s playgrounds.  Often we would stop in these areas for Iffah to play, play anything from swing to slide.  Along the way, we would stop to look at plants, flowers, birds, cats and butterflies and talk to friendly people. One of them, Denise, a mother of three children, who works in a renovation company, would come out of her office whenever Iffah passes by her office, to talk to Iffah for a few minutes.

More than half-way along the route, we would come to the shopping and market area, and we would stop at a fruit shop and I would point to the various fruits, from apples to jackfruit and starfruit, informing her to pronounce them in both English and Malay.

Once a month I would take her to Changi Airport; she loves to go there – the place is cool and has attractions for children.  I would also take her to shopping malls like Bedok Mall and Bugis Mall going by bus and train. Once we even went to the Singapore River area, taking the train and alighting at Raffles Place MRT Station.

Iffah is going to a two-hour play-school in January next year for five days a week.

Some photos of Iffah are shown below:

Iffah: Growing up with love and care.

Iffah growing up.

Iffah with Japanese visiting university students, Moemi Takei (on the slides) and Nao Kanda.

Iffah with visiting Japanese university students, Moemi Takei (on the slide) and Nao Kanda (on the swing).

On a costume parade? "No just posing happily for pictures of me to be taken."

On a fashion parade, Iffah?:  “No, just posing happily for pictures of me to be taken.”

"Wow! So many friends. "

“Wow! So many friends. “

Educational tours: Meeting people and seeing places

Educational tours:  Learning from the senses

Playway learning.

Playway learning.

Captain Siti Mariam: "If you want to join my netball team, throw this ball into the net first."

Captain Siti Mariam: “If you want to join my netball team, throw this ball into the net first.”

"Wow! What? Where?"

“Wow! What? Where? Volleyball?”

"Wow! She can do stunts, too!"

“Wow!  She can do stunts, too?”

"Wow! She also plays football."

“Wow!  She also plays football?”

She's also a fierce goalkeeper.

She’s also an excellent goalkeeper, say her teammates.

"Wow! What a perfect save!"

“Wow! What a fantastic save!”

With the paternal family: Imran SK, Shuhaila Sidik, Iffah Imran, Khairon Mastan and SK.

Iffah with her paternal family:  Imran SK, Shuhaila Sidik, Iffah Imran, Khairon Mastan and SK.

My wife and I often talk to our grandson on Facetime, but soon (21 Nov- 2 Dec), after 11 months of physical separation, we can cuddle and play with him though for a short while of 11 days. We are anxious to meet him, very anxious.

Shaik Kadir

17 November 2016

Posted in Iffah's Day | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Coming soon

See the Facebook introductory photos of the girl at (a) and (b) below: 

Coming soon

Coming soon in my next blog story

About a girl who’s a bit more than two

Sometimes she’s moody but then says sorry  

She’s very adorable, but no prize for guessing who 

(a)

a-iffah-1

(b)

a-iffah-2

More photos of this girl will appear in the next posting in this blog.  Watch out for them.

Shaik Kadir

8 November 2016

 

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Photos of supporters of book on God in Islam Part 3: All prophets taught about the same One God

Photos of supporters of book on God

in Islam

Part 3: All prophets taught about the same One God

 

With Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Mayor, South East District.

With Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Mayor, South East District.

According to the Islamic concept of God, God, known in Islam as Allah, is the same God of all human beings whether they believe in Him or not, and that all prophets, including the first prophet, Prophet Adam, Prophet Abraham, Prophet Moses, Prophet Jesus and the final prophet, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Them all), taught about the same God – that He is One and worship is due to Him only (Qur’an, 21:25).

This message is elaborated in a simple way in my latest book, “Allah: Understanding God in Islam”, a book that is being supported by my relatives and friends.

Mr Amir introducing the book to Haji Osman Aziz, bilal of the Takwa Mosque (left photo), and to his friends at the mosque after prayers.

Mr Amir introducing the book to Haji Osman Aziz, bilal of the Takwa Mosque (small photo), and to his friends at the mosque after prayers.

Retired school-teacher Amir Gany Mohd Ali, who goes to the Taqwa Mosque regularly as he lives a short walking-distance away, introduced the book to some of the committee members of the mosque, including its bilal (the man who makes the prayer call) of the mosque, Haji Osman Aziz.

Mr Amir first started reading the book in this mosque while waiting for the prayer to begin.  He has since completed reading the book, and said: “The book is interesting and so I introduced the book to many of my friends in the mosque.”

In Kuala Lumpur, Mr Hafidz presenting the book he bought for his friend, Ms Risa Mizuno, at the wedding ceremony of Ms Mizuno to Mr Alif Asraf.

Mr Hafidz presenting the book to the bride and bridegroom, Ms Risa Mizuno and Mr Alif Asraf, at their wedding ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

Mr Muhammad Hafidz Zainal Abidin bought two copies of the book, one for him and the other he brought it to Kuala Lumpur when he attended the wedding of his friend Ms Risa Mizuno to Mr Alif Asraf.

“I presented the book to Ms Mizuno who is Japanese and who converted to Islam in November last year (2015).  It is a valuable gift, one that would be good for her to get some in-depth knowledge about Allah from it,” he said.

In Sydney: Ms Munirah Shaik Kadir, who is studying in Sydney, introduced the book to Mr Shahrom Rabinkhah and Mdm Fie Ismun, who both live in Australia.

In Sydney: Ms Munirah Shaik Kadir, who is studying in Sydney, introduced the book to Mr Shahrom Rabinkhah and Mdm Fie Ismun, who both live in Australia.

The writer’s daughter, Ms Munirah Shaik Kadir, who is doing her third-year PhD program in Sydney, was glad that her two friends from separate families had bought the book. The friends, Ms Fie Ismun and Mr Shahrom Rabinkhah, who live in Sydney in separate districts wanted to read more about Islam and the book came in handy.

Mr Norman relaxing at home. The accompanying photo show he and his wife, Mdm Jaiton Mastan, during one of their holiday outings in the USA.

Mr Norman  Buchbinder relaxing at home. The accompanying photo show he and his wife, Mdm Jaiton Mastan, during one of their holiday outings in the USA.

The wife of Mr Norman Buchbinder Abdullah, Mdm Jaiton Mastan, bought five copies of the book, one for her husband and the others for giving away.  Her husband, who is American, converted to Islam upon their marriage.  They lived in Florida, USA, for over 20 years and are back in Singapore.  Mr Buchbinder was happy to understand more the concept of God in Islam.  “The concept of God in Islam is easy to understand,” he said, and added, “It would be good for people to know Islam’s simple concept of the One God only, and of worshipping Him only.”

With Mdm Shariffa M. Alsagoff and her husband, Mr Ismail A. Samad, in their office.

With Mdm Shariffa M. Alsagoff and her husband, Mr Ismail A. Samad, in their office. The books shown are among the 13 books authored by the writer of this article.

Mdm Shariffa, who also bought five copies of the book, felt that it would good for the younger general of Muslims who are more apt in the English language to read about Islam in English.  “This book in particular would be useful to my children and other youths to gain an in-depth knowledge of God from the Islamic perspective,” she said.

With Mr Samsudin at the second storey of the Kassim Mosque and Mr Ishak.

With Mr Samsudin Lee at the second storey of the Kassim Mosque and Mr Ishak.

Mr Samsudin Lee felt that this book is good for both Muslims and non-Muslims. He said: “People, both Muslims and non-Muslims, want to gather knowledge about God. For the Muslims it will be refreshing their knowledge and for the non-Muslims it will be new knowledge.”

Mr Ishak Abdul Rahman, who bought three copies of the book, was proud to say that he has my previous two books, “The Haj – the annual pilgrimage of Islam” (1995) and “Inside Islam – 101 Questions & Answers” (2004).  About the current book, he said: “People want to know God and be near to Him, but, at the same time, they are looking for logic in the concept of God.”

The concept of God, revealed by Allah Himself, appears in a concise, easy to memorise, 4-verse surah (chapter), Chapter 112, called Al-Ikhlas (Purity or Sincerity or Unity).  About this chapter, Aisha Stacey, BA, who embraced Islam in 2002 and was once the editor of an Australian Islamic newspaper, Crescent Times, says: “Surah Al-Ikhlas is one of the shortest chapters in the Qur’an, yet it is one of the most profound.  It is a chapter outlining the foundation of the Muslim’s faith.”

The 174-page book, published by Partridge Singapore, is available online only, at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.    To check it out, go to:

(1) Amazon.com  ( https://www.amazon.com/Allah-Shaik-Kadir/dp/1482865181/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=J3X6C4306MM1VGDZEJN4 )

(2) Barnes & Noble.com  ( http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/allah-shaik-kadir/1123811503?ean=9781482865189 )

In the Preface of the book, the author says: “This book is dedicated to anyone and everyone, irrespective of race, religion or culture, who reads it to gain an understanding of God in Islam.  Hopefully, the understanding would bring Muslims and non-Muslims closer, live harmoniously and work towards making the world a better and peaceful place to live in.”

Shaik Kadir

4 November 2016

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Meeting Sakura, strengthening friendship

Meeting Sakura, strengthening friendship

It all began when my wife received a surprise email.  It read: “I will be in Singapore for three days with the Japanese team to perform in the Singapore-Japan Friendship event. I missed you and Uncle and I hope we can meet if you and Uncle can come to Ngee Ann City.  I will be performing in a Japanese dance there.”

The writer of the email to my wife is a Japanese girl named after the famous national flower of Japan – Sakura.

Ms Sakura Tsutsumi is a university student who was with us (with another of her course friend, Ms Kaho Matsushita) for two nights earlier this year under the JENESYS homestay programme. To read more these two girls go to my article in this blog: https://readnreap.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/general-interest-an-educational-treat-for-japanese-students-relishing-the-sights-sounds-and-tastes-of-vibrant-singapore/

I also wrote about them in the Malay newspaper, Berita Harian. The actual article is available online at:  http://www.beritaharian.sg/setempat/sakura-jepun-segar-nikmati-homestay-di-singapura

Shaik Kadir’s article in Berita Harian relating Sakura’s and Kaho’s homestay experiences in Singapore in January 2016, and a computer screen-shot of the article in the Berita Harian website.

Shaik Kadir’s article in Berita Harian relating Sakura’s and Kaho’s homestay experiences in Singapore in January 2016, and a computer screen-shot of the article in the Berita Harian website.

My wife, Khairon Mastan, and I seized the opportunity of meeting Sakura and headed for Ngee Ann City, reaching there 10 minutes before 10 in the morning when the first item of the first day of the 2-day Japanese Tradition stage performance began.  The stage performance is part of a 2-day programme to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties between Singapore and Japan.  Called “50 years of Singapore-Japan Friendship” and referred to as “SJ50 Matsuri” (SJ50 Festival), the event was held on 29 and 30 October 2016.

Odori (festival dance) was the main attraction. The numerous performances for the two days include the ever-popular Awa Odori dance, Japanese Taiko drum, shamisen (three-stringed Japanese musical instrument), traditional Japanese songs and the Singapore-Japan Friendship Parade on Orchard Road (upon road closure) at 8 pm.

Some of my friends joined the parade for an evening of fun in celebrating the friendship event.  Many Singaporeans joined the 200 Japanese dancers on the traffic-free Orchard Road as they danced away with top Awa Odori dancers from Japan, using the road from Lucky Plaza to Paragon.

A section of the audience watching the stage show. Bottom photo shows some of my friends, including Mr Agus (sporting a neat beard), happy to take part in the the SJ50 Friendship Parade on Orchard Road, Singapore’s “Ginza” which is a popular shopping area of Tokyo.

A section of the audience watching the stage show. Bottom photo shows some of my friends, including Mr Agus (sporting a neat beard), happy to take part in the the SJ50 Friendship Parade on Orchard Road, Singapore’s Ginza which is a popular shopping area of Tokyo.

The first item was the well-known Awa Odori, a traditional dance item with the sound of Japanese drums and shamisen piercing into the air while the energetic presentation by both male and female dancers entranced the audience. Awa Odori (Awa dancing) is held across Japan along roads in mid-August.

“Awa” is the old feudal administration name of the Tokushima region. “Odori” means dance. Though the exuberant dance originated a few centuries ago, the term "Awa Odori" was used only since the 20th century.

“Awa” is the old feudal administration name of the Tokushima region (prefecture). “Odori” means dance. Though the exuberant dance originated some 400 years ago, the term “Awa Odori” was used only since the 20th century.

Awa Odori is a well-known festival dance in Japan, and is as famous as Bon Odori (summer festival dance) in which the writer of this blog had had the privilege to take part in 1974 when he was studying (engineering) in Tokyo for a year.

Awa Odori is a well-known festival dance in Japan, and is as famous as Bon Odori (summer festival dance) in which the writer of this blog had the privilege to take part in 1974 when he was studying (engineering) in Tokyo for a year.

Sakura appeared with a troupe of dancers in the third item at 11:30 am. The troupe performed another vigorous and lively dance item.

Ms Sakura Tsutsumi (front, middle) in a highly-spirited dance item.

Ms Sakura Tsutsumi (front, middle) in a highly-spirited dance item.

Sakura exhibiting exuberance and cheerfulness.

Sakura exhibiting exuberance and cheerfulness.

I was able to meet Sakura before her performance for a few minutes, and after her performance my wife and I had the opportunity to meet Sakura for another five minutes to talk and take some pictures.

With Sakura after her performance.

With Sakura after her performance.

We parted company soon, and we do not know if we would ever meet again. But, friendship remains, both between nations (Singapore and Japan) and between us and Sakura.

Shaik Kadir

30 October 2016

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