Sunday, February 14, 2016

Condolence to My Country's Reversing Progress.

Sorry for the unpleasing title of this post, but that is how I myself personally interpret the current situation in my country, Indonesia. 
Earlier today, I saw a post shared by a friend of mine in Facebook telling about the Indonesian authorities' decision to ban the 'homosexual' emojis in messaging apps like Whatsapp, LINE, Facebook, etc. WOOF! Getting stormed, I believe this growing issue of LGBT community's rejection is worth a post.
Read more here
Read more here
Read more here

This is the umpteenth time I get so overwhelmed by my people's conservative exaggeration. You have far more crucial things to handle and keep your eyes on, my dear government! These two recent weeks, you have exaggerated too much. Last time it was the authorities' uproar and campaign against the celebration of Valentine's Day. And now, a ban on messaging apps' homosexual emojis. Just because we live in a Muslim-majority country, that does not mean we can run everything with basis on Islamic Laws. This is an oppression of human rights, and I see that this country I have taken so much pride in has faced a setback.
There is no law saying homosexual illegal in Indonesia, then how dare they oppress its existence?
Instead of focusing on these things, why don't you halt the prolonged oppression that our fellow Indonesians in West Papua have to live under from time to time and start to treat them humanely as how they are supposedly treated? Or why don't you fight to ban the multinational companies, which have exploited our richness in natural & mineral resources, polluted every aspect of our environment, earned as much profit as they possibly could and taken away the rights of the native community? How about the thousands of corruptors that this country sadly has. Have their cases been justly judged? My fellow students in the rural areas of Borneo, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua have also faced a struggle of survival to keep their hopes alive by getting good education. Sadly, their spirit of progression has not been fully supported with the sufficient facility and infrastructure. I believe that those are just smattering of epitomes that my government should have focused on and fixed long ago. Then why concerning so much on such trivial things?

If the educational institutions, which are supposed to embrace the students for education and carry out the understanding approach, build up a fence of barbed-wire against them - then how could the general public even understand and accept them? 

And this saddening law. Read more here
To my fellow Indonesians, instead of discriminating against the LGBT community, you better praise to God for being created 'normally' as how you consider the majority is. But not everyone is like you. Try to listen and understand. It is just the matter of understanding.
P.S. I'm muslim and heterosexual, but I don't believe it allows me to be intolerant.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Middle Eastern & Asian Cultural Week '15

Ciao readers!

As written above, I'd like to share with you our latest event at UWCAd.

As a biennial event organized at UWC Adriatic, our majestic and intriguing Middle Eastern and Asian (MEA) Cultural Week took place last month starting from 23 'till 29 March. Woohoo! Everyone who regionally comes from Middle East and Asia or is culturally engaged to MEA was welcome to take part as the organizers of the week while the rest of the students took part as the participants. 

Here is the trailer of our week adopting the theme of epic rap battles!

Lasting for 7 days, this cultural week was filled by numerous events, shows, workshops and movie projections. Some of these are as follows:

Henna Workshop:
Yes, while we saw the Middle Eastern and South Asian girls sharing the importance and origins of henna, we got our hands painted beautifully with it!

Special thanks to my Palestinian fellow, Nataly, who did this intricate drawing on my hand!
Rice Dumplings Workshop:
This is the making session of dumpling using glutinous rice flour and red bean that is usually eaten during the Lantern Festival in China. Reputedly, its round shape symbolizes union and in Chinese the name is actually a homophone for union. 

Kibbutz Focus:
It's a talk of an Israeli community that is based largely on agriculture and upholds similar values to UWC's. 

The Story of Coffee:
A talk about the journey of coffee from its origin and its spread through the Ottoman Empire as well as its consumption through the ages. In this workshop, a first hand experience to taste Turkish coffee was also offered!

Arabic Magical Night:
A mystical evening filled with the famous folklore-telling and poetry-reading by the Arabs in UWCAd.

Arab Springs:
A talk of and discussion about the revolutionary event that has come to be known as the Arab Spring, from the very beginning to the present time.

Mainland China and Hong Kong:
In recent years, especially after the handover of Hong Kong to China, there have been many conflicts between mainland Chinese and Hongkongers. This event serves to give the space for other students to understand the points of view of the students from both sides.

Roti Canai and Teh Tarik:
Culinary workshop by the Malaysians about the making of Roti Canai and Teh Tarik that quite exaggeratively needs special physical preparation.

Yes, this Japanese-originated entertainment allows everyone to sing amateurishly with the minus one musical accompaniment. 

While the movies we projected were namely Waltz with Bashir (Israeli movie), Oldeboi (Korean movie), 3 Idiots (Indian movie), A Separation (Iranian movie), Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (Hong Kong movie) and Laskar Pelangi. Yes, the last one is Indonesian movie that I proposed to show. It is an inspiring movie, set in 1970s, based on the true story of how 10 students and their 2 inspirational teachers in one of Indonesia's rural islands strive for education and struggle with the poverty. Their journeys aim second-to-none just to keep the hopes alive for the future of the tin mining island of Belitong, where children like them were considered to have no bright future.

Here is a little more about it:

On Saturday, 28 March we had the final show of our week that we had rehearsed for two weeks! In this show, I and my Malaysian fellows organized a collaborated dance of Tari Jaipong (Indonesian dance) and Malaysian Bamboo Dance. Unfortunately, I haven't got the video of it in my hand so i'll upload it later. 

On the last day of week, it was sorta pinnacle of the whole series of events. Yash, we had a Taster Session where the organizers from each country or region cooked their delish local delicacies to be tasted by all members of the college. 

Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice), Mie Godhog (Soup Noodle), and Pisang Coklat (ChocoBanana)
Well, yes. I chose to cook simple dishes as they are more practical to be made.

Holi, ancient Hindu religious festival of colors that now has become outspread and celebrated in almost every corner of the world in the spring followed afterwards to bring the joy as well as to close this cultural week. 

Painted red to fit right in! 

with the homies!!! #ignoremygrumpyface
United Asians
 A selfie with my Malaysian fellow, Marina, right after the show ended.
Well, as Asians, we love to take millions of selfie. So here we go!
and here the crews come! bad quality photo, high quality memories

'till next post, 


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Adriatic Model United Nations Conference '15

Ciao, readers!

Publishing a kinda late post, I'd like to share one of our latest annual events in UWC Adriatic which was organized and held on 20 'till 21 March 2015 by all members of AdMUN which serves as one of the creative activities here. The event itself was named as stated above, Adriatic Model United Nations Conference '15 (AdMUN Conference '15). Sounds cool, huh?

I was chosen as the delegate of Saudi Arabia in UNEP Council that stands for United Nations Environment Programme. In two days of conference, we discussed the sustainable approaches of regulating the exploration of petrol and its circulation among the exporting and importing countries, the UN's financial investment in promoting the renewable energies and the mandatory educational contribution that nations shall provide to promote and start up the use of renewable energy, such as geothermal, hydroelectric, and solar energy.

So here are some pictures capturing the moment!

Suguru (Japan), Ariel (Timor Leste), Tahmeed (Bangladesh), Jolene (Singapore), petite me, and Agim (Kosovo)

Representing Saudi Arabia was not at all easy as it takes a major role as one of the biggest oil exporting countries
Despite the fact that it was very challenging to speak in a formal forum and stand up in the shoes of another nation's delegate, MUN is indeed a very enjoyable way to deeply get to know other countries' current issues and world's current environmental crisis as well as to figure out the best resolution that must be made to make world as better place to live in.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Project Week '15 - Amsterdam #day1

Ciao, readers!
Hereby after a little while hadn't updated my blog, I'm coming with bunches of story about my recent activities during the Project Week.

Let's start by giving you clear idea of the terms 'Project Week'!

Project Week is an annual event held by all United World Colleges that aims to give students opportunity in carrying out the community service, physical activity, and creative activity in the bigger scope of community outside the campus. By means, we were all spread into small groups consisting of 4-15 students to mainly European countries, namely Croatia, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Romania, Macedonia, Portugal, Spain, Norway, France, Greece, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Morocco. This event takes place during the beginning of spring and this year it lasted from Friday, 27 Feb 'till compulsorily Wednesday, 4 March 2015. Then, it is up to the organizers whether they would like to extend the project until the long-weekend that follows afterwards or to go back to Duino as soon as the project's done.

I got the project whose theme is "A look behind the scenes of illegal refugees in Amsterdam" and the group consists of 5 students including my Dutch friend as the organizer. Geez, no wonder how lucky I am to get my first choice of project and visit the marvelous city where i've been dreaming to be in since long time ago. Woohoo!

Day 1 - Saturday, 28 Feb

We started the journey by leaving Duino on Saturday, 28 Feb in the early morning to Venice Marco Polo Airport and took the first flight to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The flight was only about an hour and a half long but it was extraordinarily pleasant witnessing the sunrise thru the plane's window.

I know taking this kind of picture is way too mainstream, but why should I care?
We arrived at Schipol Airport at around 8.30 and directly took the train to Duivendrecht station, the nearest stop to our destination.

We're ready to rock!
After we continued walking for about 5 minutes, we eventually arrived at my friend's apartment where her family live together with the community consisting of more or less 20 people. The community itself is named Jeannette Noelhuis ( and it belongs to the Catholic Worker's movements. They came across the different countries all over the world, either as the immigrants who intend to make better living in Amsterdam or even as the refugees who seek for the better place to live in, but don't have enough proofs to be legally considered as the immigrants. This then results in difficulties to find the job and even to go back to their home country. However, it's my friend's dad who has been super kind by accommodating them, helping them in affording the daily necessities thru the fundraising, as well as actively initiating and participating in any act of solidarity towards the arrested and considered-illegal immigrants and refugees.

This project is apparently inspired by the blooming issues of how the Dutch government treats the illegal immigrants and refugees. Mr. Frits, my friend's dad, said that they usually get arrested right after they land on Schiphol Airport and thus detained in various periods of time, from two weeks even until six years in a huge jail near the Schiphol Airport. Besides, the worst thing is that they might then be sent to another country which has even worse living conditions.

It was very nice to be warmly welcome by the community inside the house. After having a nice talk with them accompanied by the cups of tea, we decided to unpack and take a rest for a while. The activity was followed by having lunch and then starting to make the banner for our main activity on the following day. Yes, making the banner to show our solidarity towards the arrested immigrants.

After working for 3 hours, here we proudly present the banner that we made by ourselves!

In the evening after having dinner together, we decided to go to the Nieuwmarkt (one of the city centers where you can find almost every single piece of amusement in Amsterdam) by taking the subway. We bought the subway tickets which can be used unlimitedly for the whole 4 days. It only costs € 21 per person; far cheaper compared to buying a ticket for each trip.

From left to right: Me, Jia Jia (Netherlands), Roshni (England), Melania (Spain), and Camelia (Morocco)
Oh my Goddess, the further I walked around this city, it somehow strengthens the feeling as if I was in the whole different world. Amsterdam is just superbly fabulous! Highly advanced technologies, eco-friendly society's lifestyle, classic buildings, glamorous night-life, beautiful canal side views, busy yet well-ordered highways.. Everything is just so damn extraordinary!

We walked around the city centre and thousands of bars, cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, department store line up along the road. We then split into two groups, Me and Jia Jia while the other three were together. We passed through Jia Jia's school, hung around the Museumplein (Museum Square), took some photos in I Am Amsterdam sign, and ended up having cups of hot chocolate in a cafe around Leidseplein. It was very cold (colder than Duino) and sadly the strong wind made it so damn colder, as well as messed up my hair. Nevertheless, the atmosphere's so lively as it was Saturday night.

Poffertjes (typical Dutch snack) can be found in the street vendors along the Niewmarkt 
Cups of Hete Chocolade as our companions
Now, could you feel the romantic sense of canal side view?
At about 11 PM, we took the tram to get back to our meeting point with the other group's members and soon afterwards we went back to Jia Jia's apartment as we were kind of exhausted by today's intense agenda.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Project Week '15 in Amsterdam #day2

Day 2 - Sunday, 1 March 

On the second day, we had our main activity that is the solidarity act towards the illegalised immigrants and refugees. After we arrived at the prison yard, Jia Jia's father and some other participants from Catholic Workers gave some short speeches. Then, we began marching along the prison while showing our banners and blowing the whistles so that they could hear we're giving them spirit and support from the outside. The most exhilarating moment was when we could see them waving and beaming to us as we're prohibited to enter the prison.

Before marching against the very strong wind
The place where they are all detained

Indonesia, Morocco, The Netherlands, England, Spain

In the afternoon, 5 of us decided to have typical Dutch cuisines in our lunch time. We went to a restaurant whose name is De Carousel hence ordered Poffertjes and Pannenkoeken.

Poffertjes are baby pancakes sprinkled with the icing sugar. Super gurih, lembut, creamy, bikin nagih!
Roshni's pancake with mushroom, mozzarella, and ham as its topping.
Dutch pancake is quite different in its shape and size. Thinner yet wider. 
Keramaian kota Amsterdam
The trip's continued by our visit to Anne Frank's house, Prinsengracht. It used to be Anne's and her family's hiding place during the World War II from the German Nazi military. Anne was young Jewish girl who's very well-known of her wartime diary during her hiding in the Secret Annexe. That place is now opened to public as a museum from 09.00 AM - 07.00 PM. The entrance ticket is quite reasonable, 4.5 for <18 years old visitor and 9.0 for over 18 y.o. However, in order to prevent any damage of the conserved items inside, visitors are not allowed to take any photograph inside the museum.

Such a glory of finally being able to visit this historical site

Friday, March 6, 2015

Project Week '15 in Amsterdam #day3

Day 3 - Monday, 2 March

We started the day by waking up a bit earlier, having breakfast together, and preparing for our next activity that is painting the wall of the corridor of the house where the community lives in. Before painting the wall, we needed to cleanse the wall from any smudge by using the diluted ammonia. Then, we taped some parts that should not be painted, such as the door frames and the switches.


Then, we had to rush to Rijksmuseum to see the Late Rembrandt exhibition there. The entrance fee is free at the moment, but we had the schedule of entering the museum from 09.00 'till 11.00. It was 10.04 when we completely finished cleansing the wall. We took the subway to Amstel Station and continued the journey by taking the trams to Museumplein. It was 10.55 when we got off the tram, hence we had to run to the Rijksmuseum. Wooh! Fortunately, we could still enter the museum and use our online tickets. 

Off to Rijksmuseum

Our typical touristic photograph at I Am Amsterdam Sign.   
I was overjoyed!
The next agenda's to meet our UWCAd alumna, Hester, who comes from and lives in Amsterdam. I really have to admit that Project Week was such a truly nice chance to get to know people we'd never met as well as people we'd never talked to before. Together with Hester, we spend the afternoon after the light drizzle to walk around the Albert Cuypstraat Market, which is only about 2 km from Hester's house. There we can find loads of stalls which sell almost everything we might look for, such as clothes, cheese, vegetables, fruits, bags, Dutch snacks, and many more. Jia Jia and Hester suggested us to taste the Stroopwafel (two thin layers of waffle filled with the caramel syrup) which can be bought at one of the street vendors there. I bought the big-sized one with chocolate topping as addition. Its price range varies from 1.5-2.0. This typical Dutch snack is really worth a try!

photo source:
As we had known a bit of how to get to somewhere in Amsterdam, we decided to split again. Four of us decided to go to the commercial centre and stroll around the city while Jia Jia decided to visit her former school and meet some friends. Leidseplein and Niewmarkt are the two main districts which full of shopping centre and sort of being the centers of the crowd. 

After that, we met up again during the dinner time in Bazaar Amsterdam, Albert Cuypstraat. It's a middle-eastern restaurant which sells multitude of fancy and tasty foods. Woohoo, I just realized how much I've longed for eating tasty foods. So, you could guess that it was kinda feast for us!

Ready for the feast, everyone? 
El Couscous with Meat
Right after dinner, me and Jia Jia went back home directly while others chose to hang around for a bit more in the city centre.