Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gaza Mission Chronicles 4: the brink of eternal confrontation

I never thought I will be following the current Hamas-Gaza-Israel genocide crisis this close and with a role to play. I am closely monitoring news from various sources be it general or social media. John Kerry arrived in Cairo earlier and now we are waiting for his joint statement with UN Sec Gen. The main reason for this perhaps has to do a lot with our possibility of coming to Gaza for medical aid if a truce or a cooling period is pronounced. This will be the window that we have been waiting for.
The bombastic killings has certainly raised a lot of eyebrows around the world. We all know how the super powers are with the Israelis but the uncontrolled beserk killing which is obvious became too obvious to a lot of people who has the right conscious mind. How dare of irrespectable Netanyahu to declare that the civilians are not their target when more than 90% out of the current 560 (current count) are civilians with mostly  women and children! Simply absurd and crap bull! We were sad but at the same time praying shaheed for the family members of Aman Palestin's contact Omar Seyem on the martyr of 9 family members.
The situation is serious and what makes it more is the dual crisis of Russians against the rest of the world. Its unfortunate for Malaysia MH 17 to be the victim of an international feud which i would reckon can lead to a world war which is long due.
 It is a bitter pill to swallow that behind the so called democracy and call for justice, none of these values which the western superpowers proclaim bearing are practiced. Pure hypocracy crap at its best if the world has not realize. Again.. it is sad that despite the advances of knowledge and wisdom we all claim we have, its back to basics human nature survival of the fittest is prevailing. Making all of us wonder, is humankind in self denial as how i can quote Caesar (Dawn of the planet of the apes) telling his son,:
" I thought we (apes) were different.. but in the end, ape and man are the same after all (killing each other)".
*being philosophical

Monday, July 21, 2014

Gaza Mission Chronicles: the Gaza Strip stripped

The current morbidity and mortality in Gaza after 14 days of genocide:
510 Syaheeds  3150 injuries

Gaza Mission Chronicles 3: New friends new companions

It has been 4 days since we left Malaysia, we have tried to cross to Gaza thrice and now back in Cairo. Despite not being able to achieve our second objective which is to cross the border, i certainly have learnt a lot of things. That is why i have always enjoyed travelling. Either for leisure or fulfilling a specific objective,  i will always pick up something new. Meeting new people, new group is always a pleasure. People with various personalities, traits and of course their gifts. Everybody will always have a special talent which makes them stand out from another individual.We have yet to work professionally as a team but the indications on this past four days of crisis has been good.
Dr Hasbe, the only lady in our team  is my senior (both age and Masters Anaesthesia).I have always enjoyed a good working relationship with her. She is definitely a brave lady for volunteering in this project. Knowing her personality, i am sure she is an asset to our team! She is very straight forward no holds barred and never hesitant to voice out her opinion!haha I have always enjoyed her scoldings.
Our team leader, Dr Mohd Nor Sundari an orthopaedic surgeon in Kuantan Medical Centre. A senior surgeon i haven ever met him in my lifetime until on the day of departure. We did not even talk on the phone because i only communicated with him via the whatsapp! (wonders of technology) 
Dr Zairul Nizam is a spine surgeon whom i have met via locum before. I am sure he would not have recognize and remember as young anaesthetists doing locums are invisible haha However, he is the husband to my Intensivist in HKL when i was an MO, Dr Airini. Both Dr Zairul and Mohd Nor has been in Gaza before so it is much desired that they lead this group. Besides that, both are active member of I-Medik, a muslim doctors NGO which was recently formed. Having to lead this mission is certainly a big publicity to the NGO.
Last but not least would be Dr Kamarul Haq, my room mate. He is an orthopaedic surgeon whose sub specialisation would be trauma.It is not difficult to recognize him because he looks and has Van Diesel's persona haha Even few people thought he was a member of the military escorting us! Maybe i don't know hmmm...
Insha Allah, we have come with a mission. The suffering of our brothers and sisters in Gaza is unbearable. Imagine us.. being nearer to them than to you guys. The again, with the barakah of the last 10 days of ramadhan insha Allah. The invasion inhumane casualties are increasing by every minute. Israelis are not reducing the magnitude of their attack. I pray to Allah to make things easy for us.

Gaza Mission Chronicles 2: virtue of patience

Its a very gloomy day today. We have yet to receive any news from Dr Essam our team leader regarding our movement. The attacks in Gaza is at its worst for the past two days.Masya Allah.. the visuals we saw on tv is horrendous.Not just the gruesome bodies but the bombings which is visualised from a far every minute. A total attack from the Israeli forces.
 Together with my team member Dr Haq, we are restless at the moment. The mind runs around in looking for alternatives of how we can cross the border. However, somehow the gesture of Dr Essam looking at our expression during the past two days comes into mind.
"Patience my brothers.. we need to have a lot of patience with du'a insha Allah" and patting our shoulders.

Definitely a lone calm figure everytime the nervousness arrived amongst his delegate members. Dr Essam introduced himself as a nephrologist with a Jordanian background. Everytime before we start our trip to the checkpoint border, he will recite du'a with conviction and leads our prayers. Certainly a figure well respected amongst the group members. Even a "lone ranger" (perhaps i will introduce him in another entry) who i made friends with told me that if there was anybody who could bring doctors into the Gaza trip at this moment, it will be Dr Essam. Who is this Dr Essam? Obviously from the perspective of our group, we were not briefed on the background of the group we were together with.
Dr Essam Mustafa or also known as Dr Essam Yusof is the managing trustee of Interpal, Interpal is a British charity which was founded in 1994 and its official name is Palestinians Relief and Development Fund.Of course it has been controversial because of allegations of its link in funding terrorism. Looking at the internet resources over all these years, i have yet to find any legal sanction against this charity as obviously they could not prove their allegations. Dr Essam seemed to have a very strong connection with the HAMAS leaders, proven in various pictures and activities organized together with the ruling government of the Gaza strip.

Dr Essam is the key figure in the "Miles of Smiles" convoy, a programme where he would lead a group of medical consultants from Europe and around the world to visit Palestine ad in particular the Gaza strip. Looking at the internet resources in his name reference, I am certainly impressed with his commitment towards the charity and medical aid for palestinians in the gaza strip. 
It is certainly a priviledge to be with his group and insha Allah i do hope that we will be successful in our current mission to cross the border. 

"Patience brother..patience.."
                                          with I-Medik team leader, Dr Mohd Nor Sundari

Gaza Mission Chronicles 1 : Access Denied

We have just returned to Cairo from the Al Arisy border which is just another stop before Rafah. We were ednied not one,twice but thrice in two days! Subhanallah.. I cannot believe its the Egyptian side giving us problems rather than the actual bombings in Gaza.It is the 13th day of war.. the longest in the current millenium. An unresolved conflict getting out of hands all of a sudden.
I could not update earlier because of internet inavailability. I was only thinking of getting a local sim card upon arriving in Gaza itself but it was not our rezq yet. Besides that, i guess it would be inappropriate to tell exactly where and what our plans are.. as in a way intel is at its priority at the moment. The situation in Gaza was gone from bad to worst. Unfortunately till date, no medical teams are allowed to enter GAZA for humanitarian purposes. Masya Allah!
Our mission started as planned on the Saturday morning. We then moved from our base to where the EU delegates were; a group of Clinical Consultants from US, UK and Germany. All of them with Arabic roots. We were led by Dr Esam, a well known Gaza activist and had a good track record of getting medical personnels into Gaza in the past 2 short wars. (2009 and 2012).
On a normal day, it would take us about 2-3 hours to Rafah. With the current checkpoints, it can take up to 7 hours! Because of Aman Palestin and our contacts with the current government, we have managed to gather all documentations required to cross the border. Officially there was no way we can be denied. However, from past experience, the letters can never be a guarantee. We were soon to find out about it. We were very strict about picture taking as a sight of us doing so can cause us to be turned back that very moment. And being part of the mission, i had to refrain myself from taking pics as how i would like to.
The journey made me felt a bit jittery. Dr Esam explained to us about the background and to make du'a all the way praying for our success. It was an emotional journey and the palpitations everytime we were on a checkpoint. Alhamdulillah, the first few checkpoints were smooth sailing. When we arrived at the Suez canal, (we were not on the movable bridge but another crossing using ferry) it can be a turning point. the Egyptian army can decide not to allow us through. We had to wait for about half an hour and we were allowed to cross! Everybody was optimistic about the pass.
 When we arrived at the Al Arisy gate, we saw a lot of busses lining up and loads of people flocking the small terminal road towards Sinai. A demonstration was going on! And giving this as an excuse we were denied entry for the first time. We took it in a positive way as we went to a nearby town for iftar and the night. It was a nervous night when waiting for dawn. At this point, everybody was optimistic with our chances and we were to du'a for success. The GAZA bombing got worse and the casulaties were piling up. Even As Shifa doctors made a press release requesting for our assistance.
We were up early and by 715am we were off to the point where we were stopped yesterday. Again.. within a whisker, the army personnel denied our entry to the dissatisfaction of the team in the bus! We then returned to the village we spent our night and discussed what were the options available. The Egyptian army were giving security excuses for not allowing us to enter. The longer we wait, the more civilians are being massacred! A lively discussion exploded and you would expect nonetheless from the Arab group. 
We made a last try when we heard a truce was being called by the Red Cross to collect dead bodies but unfortunately it was not honoured. Again we were denied and Dr Esam as the group leader made the decision for the whole team to return to Cairo. In a way it was frustrating but this is Ramadhan especialy the last 10 nights of ramadhan. I am sure Allah has his plans on not allowing to enter Gaza at this very moment.
The Gaza mission is getting more dangerous as no guarantee of any security level. Until date, I have not received any news for any plans for entering Gaza tomorrow. We can only hope and pray. It is unfair to let innocent people suffer the consequences of a conflict. It is so sad to see the world not reacting to this as urgently as it should.

GAZA mission live feed

For the latest and most reliable information on our mission, do browse:

Live feed of Misi Perubatan to Gaza.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Do what we can-#prayforgaza

The Gaza mission - prelude

Its 2pm now.. 4 hours before the team will be assembled in KLIA.In waiting, i guess better for me to start blogging about what all this is about. Insha Allah, it is something that i want to do but at the same time, i would not know whether it will be possible for me to continue blogging from today.
The world was again being showcased the brutality of the Israel regime with their unprecedented "self defense" attack towards the civilians in Gaza. This was not the first time and to note the bombings were done for the past 10 days in Ramadhan. Of course the battle for the holy land has been an outstanding issue but this act is simply non human. With the widespread of social media, it was obvious on what the west were trying to deflect and hide. The sad and tragic pictures with families losing their loved ones are certainly heart breaking. 
When I-Medik and Aman Palestin circulated on the social media for the first line medical volunteer, i did not hesitate to sign up for it.What i did not expect was the whatsapp reply from the team leader, Dr Mohd Nor to me.. asking am i really sure that i want to join as then I am in. I startled and of course doubt came into the mind. It became an emotional moment for me to decide. I never expected it to be such, and with my own prayers and istikharah, i said Yes.. i am totally sure.
Again.. this is a different kind of mission. Not the charity ones that i have been involved in earlier. This is in the open fire. If Israelis have been simply bombing the city why not us? Open fire situation and i guess it took a bit of my realization what am i up to.
However, i guess it is very ironic of my previous post in me questioning, what do i really want... what am i looking for? And i guess my prayers in ramadhan has been answered with this challenge and its uncertainties. 
Allah has given me lots till date, from that moment i nearly did not continue my medical studies to the opportunity i had in Perth just last year. He has given me so much and has equipped me with the knowledge and skills. These sets of skills are needed now, in the heart of all battles. Subhanallah. It is my calling. It is my duty. To perform what i do best in the war torn situation which is happening at this very moment.
This is a test of my faith, my thankfulness and how i show it to the almighty. I am at risk of meeting my death during this time but then again death is not for me to decide the timing. It is all up to him and even in the law of probability, i can die anywhere and at anytime. A simple look down on the stairs may cause me to tumble and meet my death in a shopping complex. Thus.. if it is my fate to die in my line of duty in this holy month of Ramadhan, why not? Why not? Why not? Honestly, i don't want to die any other way.
Now i have to steadfast to my niat (intentions) so that it be of pure sincerity. With the current social media role, it is overwhelming when people without stop motivating and encouraging what i have decided. And it is this spirit which have brought all of us together. Subhanallah. 

If the internet is a possibility, i do hope to continue my daily chronicles of the happenings at ground zero.Insha Allah my dear brothers and sisters.

Du;a for Palestin.Du'a for Gaza.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Questions in us

When i joined UiTM as a trainee, there has always been one thing in mind. To prove myself and to show that UITM can. Alhamdulullah, it has been almost 8 years and i am where i am at the moment.Things that i envision for the department is progressing well, of course at a smaller scale with CTC but it is definitely better than nothing or perhaps better than our other colleagues out of the elder 3 (which are UM/UKM/USM).Of course the goal would be our own full fledge teaching hospital but looking at how things are going on now, it will be at least 4 years from now.
In a way, how i have projected my future 10 years ago Alhamdulillah have been reached. I wanted to be a specialist and via the acedemia I've managed to garner my masters. My Australian stint was indeed rezeki and i thank Allah for his blessings for that. I guess now would be the time to project my next 20-30 years. What do i want and what do i want to achieve. This puts me in a dilemma as i am in a crossroad and i need to decide which will be me ultimate pathway.What are my goals in UiTM ? to become an academician cum professor? A leadership role as into the deanery or higher authority leadership?
I am asking myself hard at the moment what would I like to achieve. Of course, this is the material gains and of course i should not forget the spiritual line which is more important. I am getting older by the day and the sight of white hair certainly shakles me everytime i see myself in the mirror.
Decisions.. decisions.. not easy to decide. In the end, i have to ask myself, and been reflecting this for the past one week.. What do i really want?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ramadhan Al Mubarak

Its that time of the year again. The holy month of Ramadhan, the most celebrated month for total devotion and reflection. A month where Allah encourage all muslims to do good deeds, qiam and the search for that one night which is better than a thousand nights.
Ramadhan kareem brothers and sisters!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

365 days in perspective: heart team in UiTM 26 June 2014

On top of everything that was going on.. i was put in charge of this exhibition to celebrate our 1st year anniversary of services in CTC UiTM.This is definitely my comeback of organizing things after a very long hiatus! I used to be good at this and to get back into the mood needed a bit of adjustment.
The one year celebration was supposed to be a simple affair, an event to just attract the students and staff about things that we do everyday on Level 4. That was the only objective.. Of course, when presented to MPF, everybody was excited and Walah.. hence the VC invite.
And when the VC's office mentioned interest of attending the programme, the whole affair became SUPER SERIOUS.. and my position as Pengarah Program became a hot seat hahaha
All this with the hectic schedule of what i had to endure, Sabah-Penang.. my CABGs and i even had a remote meeting without my physical presence with the Deputy Dean. I guess it was not too bad because the exhibition part was settled even from the first meeting.The opening ceremony was a headache because of protocols and ensuring perfection. I volunteered for the montage as i know only i can do and envision what i want to be up there. If i was to give it to someone else, it would be not to my taste. This nearly backfired as the montage was only completed at 3am on that day.. haha
 We had a simple team dinner the night before, and the food in Chiang Mai Restaurant was fitted the occasion. Thank you for Ms Betty (our strong supporter) for organizing it and being with us this one year.
 I guess what made the event looked grand was the KRS who were invited to do their rhythmic march and it was something new to the faculty! Never had i felt event organized by the faculty to be happening and the buzz was clear of the excitement. I felt glad that things went according to plan, right from the montage which suited all forms of intellectuals.. haha the Registrar mentioned her worry in her email after congratulating me for the event.

I must thank all who were involved with the whole programme. The admins of CTC, Nurses and the disciplines for the cooperation and first class contribution. I am certainly happy of how things turned out. Prof NorSaadah was visibly impressed and happy to see how we have done it; the one year achievement of cardiac programmes that we have been doing.
To greater years.. Insha Allah..

"Teenzania" a day with the heart team in UiTM

The idea came spontaneously.. as we were doing the group whatsapp chat about career and motivation for students via the Alumni. I have always wanted to do something in this line and this was a good opportunity that i reckon will go a long way to motivate te kids who aspire to be in this field.
6 students were selected based on their essay which we gave them time to write. Mafiz was the keen organizer thus the operational thing went on smoothly.
 They were in CTC grounds early as all cardiac team will always have an early start. After a short briefing by myself, i had Pak Lah (Cathlab) and Adli (surgeon) to do the talking and motivation. After that the group was divided into two where one went to OT and the other to the cathlab to have a look on whats going on in our lives everyday.

 The kids were superbly excited and i can see it in their eyes.Having to witness the procedures first hand was out of this world and i guess an opportunity i wished i had during my school days. It is not difficult to organize but at times i do need to make my run ins because of the nature of my job.
Thank you SMKTTDI and hopefully we will have more collaborations in the future.

Crazy fortnite: CPB Penang

My flight to Penang was a bit delayed and i arrived in Penang at 11pm. A quick taxi ride brought me to my hotel called Georgetown City which was previously known as Berjaya Hotel. Azman at this moment in time was still without accommodation and was waiting for me to arrive so that we can have dinner. I have to salute Azman for his perseverence as his car went overheat a few times during his journey from KL to Penang.
When we met for late dinner and check in to his hotel (Apple or something liek that) just beside my hotel i thought that was it for him. Unfortunately.. ada "gangguan" and he had to leave the hotel in mid morning! He tried to call me but i was in my deep sleep.. haha
 We had 4 posters for this Conference. What made ours became very obvious was because where it was positioned; together and smack on the highway. We had lots of remarks about ohh.. UiTM a number of posters etc.. and that is the exact reason why we did this!
I was involved in the oral presentation whilst my other team members in the poster presentation. Eventhough none of us won but the impact of telling the fraternity of our arrival was obvious. Alhamdulillah, as network is an important feature of going far in this field. Make friends not foes and i hope that this will be to better establishment in the future.

It was a hectic weekend.. and i survived it. tired of course but satisfied.

Crazy fortnite: BAICPC Kota Kinabalu

Pre Ramadhan post; therefore recapping on what has been happening in the last 2 weeks. I can tell you that it was the craziest fortnight Ive ever had in my life. The hecticness and things just going on one after another made me really exhausted now. Just nice in celebrating ramadhan.. satisfied!
SIGRA was invited to the first Borneo Anaesthesia Intensive Care and Pain Conference (BAICPC) 13-15 June 2014 to run their pre congress workshop of USGRA. Me Azrin and AMir took up the challenge to be the facilitators for thier first ever conference. I was excited to be back in KK after 5 years but it was in fact the beginning of a hectic weekend!
 I flew off from KL on Thursday and that was in the midst of our Annual Curriculum Review Workshop in UiTM! Luckily i have done my part to MC the first day and on the 2nd day I am off to KK. KK has certainly changed and the progress was imminent. Had my short walk along Promenade and i guess that was it in my hectic schedule in TH Hotel. We were placed in Mings Garden but i did not really have time to fully utilize the facilities. 
 It was a simple beginners workshop and the participants were superbly inquisitive. The MOs in Borneo usually have more independence and liberty to do things they want to do. Im sure with right guidance, they can do more blocks than we could have ever done.We had 3 US machines and i guess the hands on session was excellent to involve most of them.
                                          With BK reps who brought us to KK

 Thank you Sabah and i certainly enjoyed the short trip. Guess what.. by 5pm i was off to the airport to catch a flight to Penang....

Monday, June 16, 2014

Its back.. and sebulan bola!

Yup.. the fever is back.. the excitement is back.. the event that all footie fans wait for every four years!

FIFA World Cup!! The ultimate football prize and the most celebrated event in the world! This year it is being held in Brazil, too far for many of us but so far since the opening game it has been exhilarating. Surprisingly all games played so far has been exciting and no draws as yet (till 16/6). It is not like the world cups in the past few editions where there can be boredom but this time around, the teams are all exciting and gung-ho persona!
Of course, my favourite game so far would be Holland's trashing over Spain, the reigning world champion! The dutch masterfully played their trade and came out handsomely walloping the current champion!
Even the Switzerland Equador game gave heart attacks when the Swiss scored during the 3rd minute of injury time after 90 minutes had been played. Simply wonderful!
The games are mostly played after midnight in Malaysia and i do foresee certain days where i will be groggy in the morning :)
Viva World Cup! Hup Holland!!!