bucket list.

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.

For some reason I am feeling super-ambitious this week. I decided to compile myself a bucket list, career-wise.

a) Attend international forums, and as the years go by, speak at international forums.

b) Do an internship or get an actual job at a major company in the creative industry. Adobe? 

c) Make my Grandma’s original keropok bawang a national delicacy.

d) Become fluent in Arabic.

e) Do humanitarian work.

f) Indulge in the arts. Design. Advertising. Film. Poetry. Spoken word poetry.Etc. Integrate Islamic values in my work.

g) Get a Master’s degree or a PhD and become a lecturer at a national university.

h) Start a publishing company concentrating on contemporary Islamic fiction.

Deep down inside, I am sure that Malaysians are worth much more than novels beginning with ‘Suamiku ………….’.

Please, guys. I really want to believe that, in the near future, there will be novels about:

  • Detectives and thrillers. How about ‘Misteri di Makkah’?
  • Science fiction — how about someone accidentally using a time machine to travel to the years before the end of the world?
  • How an orang Asli discovered Islam and convinced his whole family to revert.
  • The memoir of a Malaysian Muslim who lived in New York during 9/11 and had to deal with the aftermath of it.
  • Young adult literature. Like a coming-of-age story about a girl who decides to wear hijab.
  • Someone who lives a conflicted double-life as a student of religious knowledge and a prostitute.
  • DECENT romance novels. Have you ever read anything by Hlovate?

i) Launch a Malaysia-based Islamic multi-author blog with articles exclusively in English (think ProductiveMuslim, MuslimMatters, etc!).

I have known two types of Muslim youth in this country, Type A and Type B.

Traits of a typical type A: lives in an urban area, has experience living overseas, isn’t fluent in Malay, sees Bahasa Melayu and Pendidikan Islam as weak subjects in school, speaks English at home, is scared of religious authorities, has negative opinions of people wearing tudung labuh, often comes from wealthy background, sees Islamic rulings as petty and irrelevant, sees nothing wrong with touching/holding/hugging opposite sex, has very liberal opinions, looks down on Type B, etc.

Traits of a typical type B: lives in non-urban area, is scared and/or hesitant to speak English, the words ‘amboi’, ‘omputeh’, ‘kafir’, and ‘bajet’ comes to mind when thinking of English-speaking Malays, thinks all Christians and Jews are out to get Muslims, believes that studying in Western countries will corrupt Muslim minds, is horrified by thick English reading materials, tends to be unambitious, has very conservative opinions, looks down on Type A, etc.

I want to launch this blog in order to help Type A, Type B, and everyone in between. In the hope that Type A will become more interested in Islam and see how beautiful it is. So that Type B will not see English as an evil, demonic language and open more doors for them to see the world.


Well, I might die tomorrow. I may not ever achieve any of these goals – especially the huge, huge dreams. I’m just putting it out there in the hope that somebody will. But before that, I will make sure that I have the intention to achieve them, and that I will work hard.

Workshop IMpossible

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.

Last Saturday, Sarah and I went to IACT College in Jaya One to attend their creative workshop. We had a scrumptious breakfast at Wendy’s (Morning Sausage! Yum!). I’m endlessly thankful that Sarah agreed to go, because I couldn’t find anybody else as they were all busy or uninterested in artsy stuff. It was a relief that Sarah was all for going to Workshop IMpossible even though she wants to be an engineer. Everyone else there wanted to be journalists and illustrators and filmmakers.

We listened to a talk on the importance of the creative industry (which was really inspiring and made me see things in a new light), and then Reuben Kang from JinnyBoyTV arrived to share his success story. He used to be a sweeper! And now he’s a famous YouTuber.

After lunch, we divided into groups based on our ‘interest’ that we selected from a drop-down list when we registered online. I told Sarah to pick Graphic Design but she accidentally picked Mass Communication instead. Sigh. Oh well. You have to meet new people once in a while, I guess.

The task? We had to market Reuben Kang.

For example, the mass communication group had to interview him and write articles.

The filmmaking group had to come up with videos of him.

The marketing group (I think) had to create a restaurant based on him. And I really liked their idea – a movie-themed restaurant where they’d have movie screenings every Saturday… with COSTUME THEMES (e.g. Star Wars). Also, they’d sell food like Titanic Burger. The presenter for their group was also remarkable at public speaking and persuasion. Except he talked for too long, and said ‘thank you for putting up with ME’ instead of ‘US’. The judges made sure to comment on that.

My group, the graphic design group, were the only ones who worked individually. We worked in the Mac Lab on Adobe Illustrator, and our job was to personalise cameras based on Reuben Kang. We didn’t draw or anything. It was more like an online doll dress-up game. We picked the lens, flash light, buttons, camera skin, background designs, colour scheme and et cetera. The essential part was presenting: what was so special about our cameras and how does it reflect Reuben Kang?

My design, signed by Reuben Kang.

I chose to go last. I said that my camera was a Polaroid camera, but not just ANY Polaroid camera. Instead of printing static pictures, it would print VIDEOS. That’s right, people. VIDEOS. You can keep videos in your wallet, take them out, press play and it would be just like in Harry Potter! I chose red, black and white for the camera skin to represent YouTube.

And well, the camera buttons are supposed to represent Reuben’s sepet eyes and the sun/beach background was to stand for energy and fun, but I didn’t talk about that because my mind just went blank at one point. But I think my presentation was okay. Fifteen times better than it would have been if I had to present two years ago.

The workshop ended with monopod giveaways to those who answered questions. I answered the one from Reuben himself (mostly because I wanted a selfie stick), “Other than creativity, what is something that you have learned today?. And I rambled something along the lines of, “Well, it doesn’t matter if you’re the most artistic person in the world, if you don’t have the ability to present to crowds or market your products, you’ll never get compensation for your creativity”. One of the lecturers, Miss Nat, said, “Like a pro!” and I got my monopod. Heh.

Aaanyway, I now want to emphasise on the best part of the workshop; the company I had.

I felt like after eighteen years, I finally found my planet, with my kind of people. The enthusiasts who have a deep interest in analysing movie plots, music videos and lyrics! The misfits who could go on for hours about The Hunger Games or LOTR! The weirdos who would gladly converse with you about stop-motion animation and the process behind the making of Frozen! The geeks who actually know what terms like ‘vector imaging’ means!

I mean, sure, I tend to find these people a lot since birds of a feather flock together, but they’re scattered all over the universe. In this context, we were all in the same room and undoubtedly burning with fiery passion.

It was like Tumblr in real life.

For example, I sort of used to talk a lot to this girl on social media. Let’s call her A. I don’t keep in touch anymore but I regularly stalk her because her life seems interesting because she’s a person who thinks out of the box and makes good art and travels a lot. A girl in my group (we’ll call her B) was from her school. I know a lot of people from her school so I just asked B some general questions. A while later, she mentioned that she was the editor of the school magazine last year. THEN I got excited, because I knew the editor of the previous year was A.

So I talked about how pretty the design for the yearbook was, blah blah blah, A designed it didn’t she,  the colour scheme was beautiful, blah blah blah. Then B got as excited as I was, because apparently she was the one who coloured it!!! I was just like… wow.


Well, for me.

Anyway, yeah, Workshop IMpossible was a thrilling experience and has awakened my eagerness even more to venture into the creative industry.