Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Wedding in Terengganu

 Last Saturday we were invited to a wedding feast. We were actually invited to be part of the 'entourage' of the groom’s to attend the wedding feast at the bride’s family home. It’s the tradition that after the religious part of the wedding is solemnised (the 'akad nikah); the groom and his family (plus extended family and maybe close friends) descend on the wedding feast at the bride’s home. Well, this particular groom is the son of the contractor of the project that the hubby works at. And he (the father) happens to be the hubby’s uncle’s wife’s sister’s son-in-law (*breathless*...extended family, right?). Well, anyway, there we were, part of the special guests and I must say, quite a large number of us, too. Maybe the host didn’t expect such a large turn up and some of us were feeling rather neglected but hey, we're family now...! (even though we didn’t get goody bags..*sigh*)

The 'green' Groom
The wedding banner and groom's party
King and Queen for the day
Welcoming bouquets
Real flowers, mind.. carpet..
Just look at the elaborate centre-piece (not real flower, though)
And the 'chandelier' above..
We actually thought we were going to be served.. (the Datuk - - and his lovely daughter)
..and after getting hungrier by the minute, we decided to hit the buffet table..
Surprisingly modest menu. (Not surprisingly typical at most Terengganu weddings)
Bride and Groom having their 'stately lunch' with close family members
Not to forget the (outdoor) kitchen folk 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Spring in Syria

It wasn't spring but winter when we were in Syria end of 2008 - when the country was seemingly peaceful.. unfortunately we didn't see much of the country as we were just passing through. At the time, the hubby was working in Tehran and we took the opportunity to travel overland to Egypt to visit Adik. It was certainly an adventure of a lifetime (at least for us). We (hubby, daughter and I) actually travelled by bus from Tehran to Damascus, a journey which took two days, going through part of Turkey (avoiding troubled Iraq at the time). Apparently, the Shia people of Iran make regular pilgrimages to Damascus to visit shrines of their faith (I'm sorry but I don't consider them to be Muslims.. ). All of the passengers  in the bus were making their journey there and we were the only non-Iranians (our co-passengers were nice, though undisputedly, misled people). From Damascus, we travelled to Amman, Jordan, then to the port of Aqaba. There, we sailed on a ferry to the port of Nuweiba in Egypt. And from Nuweiba, a half-day journey to Cairo... Below are a few pictures of the places we passed through in Syria:

Can't exactly remember where this is (just ignore the horribly misleading date at the bottom - 2218? honestly!)
The daughter posing in front of a building - probably in Aleppo
Taken at the hotel where we stayed for the night in Damascus (eerie sort of place..)
On a street in Damascus (it wasn't Jan 2007 but Dec 2008 - crazy camera)
Anyway, what I'd like to highlight here is what is happening in Syria these days. Since what had happened to Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, (Arab Spring..) Syria is still in a turmoil and that's putting it mildly.. Hundreds of people are being slain; men, women and children and the one responsible is their own country's leader, Bashar Al-Assad. He is just like his father before him, Hafez Al-Assad, who was as many may recall, responsible for the massacre at Sabra and Shatilla way back in the 80s (I remembered as students in the UK, we hit the streets in London to protest against the atrocities). What kind of a leader who would do this kind of crimes to his own people? I have no doubt in my mind that his fate will be similar to that of Gaddafi, InsyAllah! In the meantime, I'd like to ask everyone who reads this to make a special prayer for the people of Syria: May 'Spring' comes early to their country this year.. my heart goes to you my brothers and sisters!
Here's a video of the pledge the people made (gives me goose pimples every-time)

And here's a lovely song in support for the revolution:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Farewell Dinner

 A couple of nights ago we attended a small farewell dinner party for our friend and his family. They weren't moving very far actually - Besut. It was at an Arab restaurant at Gong Badak (El Edrus). The menu was naturally 'nasi mandy' (or whatever 'mandy' - with chicken and mutton) I bet people always imagine that it’s something to do with a bath ('mandi' being 'bathe' in Malay – I do, anyway..) The meal was not bad... but I couldn’t eat that much as usual as night time is not meal time for me. And even the others couldn't manage to finish and we had to pack the leftovers to take home. Arab restaurants seem to have sprung up (err..reminds me of Arab Spring..but hmm..that’s another entry..) like wild mushrooms in Malaysia. Even in Kuala Terengganu – way out of the way from KL, is no exception. But I supposed it’s the quality that matters. Like our friend, Kak Pah, an Arab descendent; she didn’t care much for the food, said the rice not soft enough.. and frankly you may not want to order 2 servings if there’re 2 of you eating because one serving is way..too much, for the hubby and I anyway. Well, here're some pictures of the dinner:

All those for 9 people
Should eat more of this..
Guests digging in..
After dinner speech
More speeches..
Farewell gift for Hamidah - happened to be her birthday that day

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Kampong Wedding

The 5th of February being the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace and Blessings be upon him), the hubby had a day off work (plus Friday and Saturday) and so off we went back home to Meru. There was also to be a wedding of the daughter of our neighbour and friend. Like the first wedding that they had for their first son, it was to be kampong-style; no caterers, just relatives, friends and kampong folk turning up and helping with the cooking, serving, cleaning up etc. So, there we were chipping in (I was immediately given the task of 'liaising' between the hostess and the kampong ladies and then became the unofficial 'receptionist' - greeting the guests which became almost tearful as I met up with old friends I haven't been seeing a lot since moving to Kuala Terengganu). We were ready to drop at the end of the day but the hubby had to work the next day (people in Selangor had another 2 days off but we, in Terengganu had to start work on Monday..*sigh*..) so by 10 pm that night we started off for Kuala Terengganu.. The hubby drove, of course (I was nursing a headache..) and no amount of coffee would keep us awake on the journey, thus, we slept in the car until subh at the Temerloh R & R.. And Alhamdulillah, we arrived home around 11 am! (a 13-hour journey..) Anyway here are some pics of the wedding:

The outdoor, makeshift kitchen where the men rule..
"All right men, why is this dalcha not done yet? People are hungry out there!"
The kampong ladies having their breakfast before helping with the cooking
Peeling onions..sob sob..
..and the vegetables
Packing the 'berkat' - food to take home for the people who come to help (Javanese tradition)
Making sure the table for the special guests are ready (the Groom's family)
The buffet table
The dishwashers all men dish-washing team..
The servers posing for the camera (an ustazah, a pharmacist and a lecturer)

Mom of the Bride greeting guests
The bridal suite
The 'hantaran' (gifts for the Groom)
After the 'nikah' ceremony (Groom looking rather..scared..unnerved..panic-stricken..petrified?..)
The Bride and Groom
With parents from both sides
As I was taking this shot, Maziah was asking me.."could we have white rice..quick, my hubby wants white rice!" (actually the last part I made up myself..because she looks so panicky..haha)

Congratulations Maziah and Nizam! May Allah grants both of you happiness for the rest of you lives together..