Thursday, January 31, 2008

My Parents are coming

Alhamdulillah, after about a month 'struggling' in the process of 'inviting' my parents coming to Yanbu, my application has been approved.
'Struggling' here is referring to all the difficulties I need to face during the application process. 'Invite' means that my company allows me to bring over my parents using visit visa (visa ziarah). Here are the steps ...

1. I need to fill-up 2 forms. First form is an online application from the Mofa (Ministry of Foreign Affair) website - http://visa.mofa.gov.sa. Second form is a hard copy form taken from my office.
After filing-up the online form (in Arabic!!), I need to print it and submit together with copies of my education certificate, birth certificate, marriage certificate (all translated into Arabic), iqama (something like a residence card) and parents' passports.

2. Company will provide one letter certifying that I work here, together with instruction to fill-up the second form (which is actually similar to the first one)

3. Forms submitted to the Mofa. Wait until they approved the application.

4. Once approved, parents need to submit their visa application together with the approved visit-document to Saudi Embassy in KL.

Looks like it was very easy... but it's not....

Problem 1 - all forms are in Arabic and need to be filled in Arabic too. I need to find someone who can translate the form into English (so that I can understand the form!! daaaa...). Then, use the same person again to translate my particular from English to Arabic.. Next, need to find a computer that has the Arabic character so that I can filled-up the forms in Arabic.

Problem 2 - It was written clearly on the form to write only my parents name using roman spelling. But after submitting the form, they asked for Arabic spelling. Luckily I don't need to resubmit the form.

Problem 3 - The first form, was not accepted because I put 90 days for the duration. The approved duration is only 14 days. So, need to resubmit the form just because of that one change!


All I need is patience and it worth.. Now, I'm counting the days for my parents' arrival. Their flight insya-allah on 7 February 2008 - Thursday.

.: Mood - Luluh :.

Luluh

Saat terindah saat bersamamu

Begitu lelapnya aku pun terbuai
Sebenarnya aku tlah berharap
Ku kan memiliki dirimu selamanya

Segenap hatiku luluh lantak
Mengiringi dukaku yang kehilangan dirimu
Sungguh ku tak mampu tuk meredam
Kepedihan hatiku untuk merelakan kepergianmu

Ingin kuyakini cinta tak kan berakhir
Namun takdir menuliskan kita harus berakhir


Ku tak sanggup tuk merelakanmu


Ini adalah lirik lagu sebenarnya... nyanyian sebuah kumpulan dari Indonesia.. Kalau dilihat maksud yang tersurat, lirik mengisahkan kisah cinta yang terputus.... Namun, cuba lihat maksud yang tersirat, maknanya lebih mendalam lagi dari hanya kisah cinta yang terputus itu... Itulah yang saya rasai sejak akhir-akhir ini.. Kenapa yaa..? emmm... entahlah.. hanya yang tahu akan mengerti...


Monday, January 28, 2008

Mencari POSITIF bagi sesuatu yang NEGATIF

Saya dapat ini melalui e-mail.. menarik untuk dikongsi bersama..

1. utk suami/isteri yg tidur berdengkur di waktu malam, krn beliau tidur disisi kita bukan dengan orang lain.
2. utk anak/adik perempuan kita yg mengomel apabila mencuci pinggan, krn itu bermakna dia berada di rumah, bukan di jalanan berpeleseran.
3. utk cukai pendapatan yg kita kena bayar, krn itu bermakna kita masih mempunyai pekerjaan.
4. utk pakaian kita yang dah tak muat, krn itu bermakna kita cukup makan.
5. utk lantai yg perlu dimop, tingkap yg perlu dilap dan rumah yg perlu dikemas, krn itu bermakna kita mempunyai tempat tinggal.
6. utk bunyi bising jiran-jiran, krn itu bermakna kita masih lagi boleh mendengar.
7. utk timbunan pakaian yg perlu dicuci/digosok krn itu bermakna kita ada pakaian untuk dipakai.
8. utk keletihan/kesakitan otot selepas seharian bekerja, krn itu bermakna kita masih berupaya utk kerja kuat.
9. utk tempat letak kereta yg jauh drpd lif, krn itu bermakna kita masih berupaya utk berjalan.
10.utk jam loceng yg berdering pd waktu pagi, krn itu bermakna kita masih hidup untuk meneruskan hari tersebut...
"Jika tak dapat apa yang kita suka, belajarlah menyukai apa yang kita dapat...dan bersyukurlah dengan apa yang kita ada"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Weekend in Madinah Al Munawarah

Last weekend, me and family spend our weekend in Madinah.. One of the reason is to meet a friend there... remember in previous entry I mentioned about seeing her in Jeddah. It's her again.... but this time with extra something.. :-) we made her brought some food and gadgets from Malaysia... THANK YOU so much to Ila and Koff... (iklan khas: terima kasih tidak terhingga kerana sanggup bersusah-payah untuk kami.. tak sangka banyak betul barang yang dikirim sampai penuh bonet kereta). Thursday morning, we started our journey to Madinah. After about one hour of the journey, we've stopped by the road side to enjoy the scenery of sandy mountain (bukit pasir).


Next stop, Badr - the site of Badar War. Everything is written in arabic,

so I don't even know what that sign board says... Here's something on Battle of Badr...
The first battle between the believers of truth (Islam) and the forces of evil was fought on the battle field of Badar, 60 miles from Madinah towards Makkah. On one side stood a small group of 313 men of whom merely 60 of them

wore armour, while facing them was arranged an army of one thousand warriors well armed and equipped. The believers had the strength of their Faith in Allah and His Prophet. They knew that Truth must prevail and falsehood must be destroyed. Thus it was this very Faith which brought about the Miracle and Truth did triumph.

Then we continue our journey heading to Madinah and arrived there before Zohor prayer. After Asar prayer, we begin our ziarah to Qiblatain Mosque.

"We decreed your former Qiblah only so that We may know the Prophet's true followers and those who were to deny him. It was indeed a hard test, but not for those who Allah guided." Surah Al-Baqarah.
Nearby to this mosque, we found Jarir Bookstore. Shopping for books again... here, there are more choices of pre-school books and even books for my 2-year daughter.. at least she can learn something.. again, hundreds of riyals spend for those books... sabar je lah.. From Jarir, we went to Quba' Mosque. By the time, we arrived here, the kids has fallen asleep. So, only hubby went in to the mosque to pray. Later, we bought some dates, raisins, apricots, fiqs and chocolates too in a shop behind the mosque. The shopkeeper is an Indonesian guy, who seemed to be very happy to see us Malaysian. I think, that must be because he can speak his language where we do understand...

Finally, about 11pm, I called Ila and she had just check-in in her hotel. We decided to meet in front of Nabawi Mosque in half an hour. It was sooo ccccooolllldddd out there. We were told that the temperature has dropped until 7'C that night. No wonder we're freezing...

Next morning, about 7.30 am, after checked-out from hotel, we followed Ila and her crew friends tour Madinah for ziarah by bus. Here are the places that we visited...

1. Jabal Uhod - 3 miles to the north of Madinah is the mountain about which the Mesenger of Allah said "Uhad is a mountain that loves us and we love it." The "Ghazwah Uhud" (war) took place here in the year 3 A.H.

2. Qiblatain Mosque - situated to the north-west near the valley Aqiq. In this mosque, Allah directed Prophet Muhammad , who was in the middle of a salaat along with "sahaba karam", to turn his face from Islam's first qibla, "Bait-ul-Muqqadis", (Masjid Alaqs in Jerusalem) to "Ka'ba" in "Masjid al-Haram" in Makka.

3. Quba' Mosque - two miles south-west from Masjid Nabawi. This is the very first mosque of the muslims. The Prophet Muhammad and his companions built it with their own hands. This is the first mosque in the history of Islam whose foundation stone was laid down by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself on his migration to Madinah. To offer 2 rakaats of nafl in it is equal to one Umrah.


4. Dates farm - unfortunately it was close to public before Friday prayer. Have a look at tamar tree - view from the bus.

5. Dates market - lots and lots of dates..







End of the day, we left Madinah after Maghrib with such a wonderful feelings.. happy and enjoyed..

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Yanbu nan Dingin

Sekarang barulah terasa makna 'winter' di KSA... suhu dah semakin turun... Yanbu semakin dingin.
Waktu pagi di Yanbu amat terasa kedinginannya... suhu turun mencecah ke 15'C, ditambah dengan angin sepoi-sepoi bahasa, silap gaya menggigil la jugak... Tengahari, terik mentari masih ada cuma angin yang dingin amat mendamaikan... suhu naik sedikit dalam 24'C.. Petang hingga ke malam kembali dingin... tak perlu khidmat air-con sekarang... just need the fan with low speed.. sekadar menggerakkan udara di dalam rumah supaya tidak melemaskan.
Lupa nak disebut, Khamis lepas (semasa kami masih di Jeddah), hubby mendapat sms dari Shah mengatakan Yanbu dirahmati hujan (http://kembaraksa.blogspot.com/2008/01/raining-in-yanbu.html). Dalam 10 minit katanya, lebat tak lebat air bertakungan la juga... terlepaslah kami satu nikmat KSA.. :-)
tapi kalau ikut forecast, akan hujan lagi di sini... tunggulah, mana tau ada rezeki bertembung dengan hujan..

Monday, January 14, 2008

'Cold' News

Believe it or not, it's snowing in KSA... not all part of KSA but in Tabuk.. Read the story from Arab News.
Kingdom Finds Itself in Icebox (Raid Qusti, Arab News)

RIYADH, 13 January 2008 — Go outside this week and you are likely to hear the sound of knees knocking and teeth chattering because it is c-c-c-cold out there.
Riyadh, typically one of the world’s warmest capital cities, is not so hot now with temperatures plummeting to near-record lows. Even though temperatures during daytime in the capital last week hovered around 13 degrees Celsius; during the evening it was another story when the city officially reached the freezing point: 0 degrees Celsius (32 Fahrenheit).
And just when people all over the Kingdom thought this year’s winter could not get worse, meteorologists are saying even colder weather is on the way.
Hassan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson for the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment’s Central Forecast Office, said the cold spell, which has gripped the Kingdom for the past month, would continue through next week.
Al-Qahtani attributed the cold spell to high pressure in northern Saudi Arabia, which is unleashing northwesterly winds flowing toward lower pressure. The holy city of Makkah was inundated on Friday by heavy rains, and showers are expected to continue in many cities, particularly in the Eastern Province.
“Many media reports are saying that this is the worst cold spell that had ever hit the Kingdom in the past four decades,” Al-Qahtani said. “That is not true.”
The capital, according to him, has had colder days. In 1992, Riyadh recorded its coldest temperature ever: Minus 4 degrees Celsius. Jeddah also has had colder days; it recorded 11 degrees Celsius in the evenings in 1992. The coldest temperature for Madinah was minus 1 in 1973. As for the Qassim region, the coldest temperature recorded was minus 4 in 1992.
The Central Forecast Office reports that the coldest recorded temperature in Saudi Arabia in the past 40 years was in Turaif, where in 1973, it was minus 11 degrees Celsius.
Northern parts of the Kingdom have been worst hit by this winter’s cold snap. The cities of Tabuk, Arar and Hail witnessed snowfall for the first time in many years. Several schools in those cities halted youngsters’ morning exercise, according to local reports. Some mosques also combined prayers due to the cold weather.
The chilly weather, however, has had no adverse effect on the enthusiasm of Internet users, many of whom took the opportunity to record the images of northern cities covered in snow on YouTube.com.
So bundle up; stay warm, and have a good laugh about it next July.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Weekend in Jeddah

Minggu lepas [read: khamis and jumaat], kami sekeluarga pergi ke Jeddah. Last minute decision - decided on Wednesday after work. Tujuan utamanya untuk berjumpa dengan seorang kenalan yang bertugas mengambil jemaah haji Malaysia. Kami tahu dia ke sini dalam hari Isnin, Selasa bercadang nak ke Jeddah berjumpa, Rabu petang baru buat keputusan.. :-) Sudahnya, lepas kerja Rabu, kelam-kabut la kemas beg apa yang patut untuk dibawa. Lepas maghrib jugak bertolak dari sini...
Sampai ke Jeddah lebih kurang 10 malam tanpa hotel!! satu cubaan berani meredah Jeddah tanpa tempat tinggal, lebih best lagi tak tau pun kat mana nak cari... yang pernah dituju, di tempat bernam Balad, tapi tempat tu jauh dari pusat bandar. So, make that as last choice.. kalau tak jumpa hotel kat pusat bandar, going bck to Balad. Kami tujui tempat yang menjadi target utama - Al Amir Mohamed Abdul Aziz Road. Dengan hanya tertoleh-toleh, tertengok-tengok, teragak-agak membaca Arabic, kami mencari hotel. Dalam agakan itu, macam tak jumpa jek yang bertulis Hotel (in Arabic - fundo'). Yang kami nampak, one arabic word being used here and there. I interpreted that as apartment (many told me there are lots of apartment in Jeddah). So, I've asked hubby to just stop at any one of the apartment and asked. Binggo, tepat sekali tekaanku... memang apartment.. yang menariknya, apartment ni baru dibuka seminggu. masih cantik perabot di dalamnya...
Nice pink purplish bed set:
Laluan dari pintu :
Kids enjoying themselves (even though it was already midnite):

Paling menarik - curtain yang dilubangkan untuk laluan air-con:

Pagi khamis, breakfast roti prata. Rasa macam roti canai. Siap dengan kuah kari kacang kuda. Lepas la jugak rindu pada roti canai. Air teh susu. Yang dalam botol kaca tu gula bawak sendiri. Kakak makan dengan roti, kuahnya pedas katanya. Anyway, we enjoyed so much..
Then, kami hubungi kenalan untuk bertemu. Dengan hanya berbekalkan nama apartmentnya dan nama jalan, kami meredah Jeddah sekali lagi... macam terror jek... tapi sebelum keluar dari apartment, sempat bertanya pada receptionist. Bagaikan ayam dan itik bercakap, sorang bercakap Arab sorang bercakap English. Bolehlah dapat tangkap sepatah-sepatah perkataan utama - terus, kiri, kanan, traffic light
Kalau dah namanya Jeddah, kalau tak sesat tak sah... besar oooooooo Jeddah ni rupanya... kena berhenti 2 kali untuk bertanya... rupanya bila dah jumpa apartmentnya, baru perasan yang kami dah lalu sebelum bertanya orang - but we were on the other side of the road... Anyway, we really enjoyed this meeting, macam seronok sangat dapat jumpa orang Malaysia (lain dari yang bekerja bersama..). She told us that she'll be coming again another 2 weeks to Madinah.. wahh.. lagi dekat dengan Yanbu.. ok, we meet again then... the best part is, boleh kirim makanan/barang dari Malaysia... best... best..
Percaya tak, untuk keluar dari tempat ni kembali ke apartment kami pun masih sesat lagi.. haha.. memang buto jalan betul... berapa kali patah balik nak cuba dapatkan balik jalan yang sama datang... penat dok memikirkan jalan jek...
Akhirnya, bila berjaya jumpa jalan balik, we decided balik tidurlah dulu.. penatttt... malam nanti lepas isya' baru keluar semula ke tempat-tempat target. Mesti keluar juga malam tu sebab Jumaat almost semua kedai tutup dari pagi sampailah ke asar. So, Jumaat hanya untuk bergerak balik ke Yanbu.
Bercerita tentang tempat-tempat target, yang ingin sangat ditujui adalah ke Jarir Bookshop - kedai buku dan alatulis (do you know that there is no bookshop in Yanbu? there's only stationary shops), Toy 'r' us, Aziz Mall and Ikea. Tapi Ikea tak sempat pun pegi, semua dah keletihan...
We spent like 1 hour at the book shop.. belikan buku-buku bacaan untuk anak-anak, 1 sidney sheldon novel for my self (dah tak kesah bila punya publishing, janji ada) and maps of Jeddah, Madinah, Mekah and Yanbu - penting ni supaya tak sesat lagi in the next trip. English books are quite expensive here.. tapi beli juga dah takde pilihan... habis beratus jugak kat Jarir.
In Toy 'r' us, kakak and adik pilih mainan sorang satu... saja nak belikan mainan yang rasanya boleh tahan lama.. kat sini kan banyak made-in-china-toys, sekejap jek main, dah takde rupa.. So, for kakak she picked a play house - this will be her coming birthday present...
for adik - a set of pizza cookery set
Last place, Aziz Mall - lagi lama nak cari tempat parking dari berada di dalam mall. Ingatkan nak beli baju for myself and hubby... tapi tak kesampaian, orang ramai, kids pun dah letih.. sempat capai cekak rambut jek for my self... jadilah...
Jumaat pagi around 10 am, bertolak balik ke Yanbu.. slow and steady, jalan tak sebuk pagi jumaat nih...

Salam Tahun Baru 1429

Selamat tinggal 1428 dan selamat datang 1429. Seeloknya dibaca doa akhir tahun dan awal tahun. Alhamdulillah kami sekeluarga sudah membacanya bersama-sama..
Menginjak ke tahun yang baru bermakna bertambah setahun lagi umur kita, bertambah matang setahun lagi. Di samping berazam baru, jenguklah sama apa yang telah ditinggalkan setahun lalu. Analisakan apa yang telah dibuat, tinggalkan perangai yang buruk, baiki kekurangan yang ada, perelokkan lagi kebaikan kita. Semoga tahun baru lebih bermakna.