Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Kili adventure countdown

Its coming. My biggie for this year. In 3 days time I'll be flying off to another of my gila trips.
Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 metres or 19,341 feet above sea level (the Uhuru Peak/Kibo Peak).

"Kilimanjaro one of the world’s greatest natural wonders: a snow covered mountain on the equator, an ocean of green forest surrounded by dry savannah. Climbing Kilimanjaro is like walking from the equator to the North Pole in a week, providing dramatic changes in vegetation and animal life day by day. Kilimanjaro is also a sky island. Its high altitudes have created habitat for strange and unique life forms found only on a few other peaks on the planet, such as the delicate elephant flower and the bizarre Kilimanjaro tree"
We have planned this trip for a year and insha allah i will fulfill my responsibility again to take care of my team members. Deeno will be our guide and I am sure he has planned something really exciting for us.
My only worry is the risk of AMS. I have felt it before and it is definitely not something you want to experience. 
As they say in Swahili.. "Pole..Pole.." which means.. 'Slow..slow.."

Gaza mission KP1M, Mercy, MAPIM.. only 3..

I think the whole of Malaysia knows by now that only 3 succeeded in crossing the Rafah border to Gaza.
Its a shame that the medical team was refused entry. It is mind boggling the games that the egyptian army is playing. Im sure my friends are as dissapointed as I was when it happened to me. Insha Allah, there must be a good reason for this.
The Gaza mission is postponed.. not cancelled.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Gaza Mission Chronicles: The other teams.. Praying the best for them to Gaza

It has been almost 2 weeks since i came back. The withdrawal feeling is there, so near yet so far. Of course i do feel dissapointed with our mission not fully accomplished. Its a kind of feeling in malay we say "terkilan". However, it is because of our faith and belief that we resort to redha.. a feeling of giving yourself to god as he knows bad, the planner the almighty. As much as team I-Medik wanted to enter Gaza, it was not meant to be this time around. I do appreciate the new friendships i have made. Patience is definitely the word to ponder and really dwell into deeply. 
Today, quite a number of my friends are on their way to Egypt with the ultimate attempt route through Rafah to Gaza. It is a respectful deed by my colleagues and I am really proud of them. To know that the group of friends that you grew up with, be it university or during our trainingship days, it is such a special thought to know that in a way we have a common zest and aspirations. Dato Azeez of KP1M is the team leader, bringing with him an entourage with 40 tonne metric of help and goods for the Gazans. Despite what people may think and say, they are trying their best to show how helpful we Malaysians are.
Zaqrul, Syariz, Nawar, Izzat and Jaseem are with the Kp1M team. Zaqrul (Paediatrician), Syariz (Paediatric Surgeon), Nawar ( Orthopods), Izzat (ED physician) and Dato Jaseem (senior anaesthetist and the person i locum for in DEMC haha)  I am proud of them and their enthusiasm. In fact, I do have stories with each of them; working together in multiple scenarios which had made us who we are today. It can be funny, scary yet entertaining and perhaps the stories that i can write for people to know what we felt when we had the crisis on our hands. There were a few others who initially registered but due to unforeseen circumstances, they had to withdraw. It is not easy making decisions such as this and i do truly understand.
 Pak Ngah and Dr Zol is in the Mercy Malaysia team. Very low profile i must say because there was no media frenzy as the one in KLIA tonight. A team being assembled by Pak Azam, the ever strong man of Mercy Malaysia. Pak Ngah is a neurosurgeon in HUKM and used to be my BUX batch mate and uni mate. Dr Zol is a fellow anaesthetist, well i should say a senior anaesthetist in Sg Petani who had produced a number of excellent MOs that went on to be a Super Specialist.
Seeing them rekindled my experience the other day. My du'a for the teams to be able to enter gaza and do what we all wanted to do from the start. Insha allah.

Monday, August 04, 2014

After FIFA World Cup, E-bola worries..

"The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is spreading faster than efforts to control it, World Health Organization (WHO) head Margaret Chan has said.
She told a summit of regional leaders that failure to contain Ebola could be "catastrophic" in terms of lives lost.But she said the virus, which has claimed 728 lives in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since February, could be stopped if well managed.
Ebola kills up to 90% of those infected."

Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa is very worrying. On top of all the misery bad news we have been hearing, now this devastating potential biological warfare tool is loose and causing Sierra Leone and Liberia to declare emergency. It is a serious threat to the world and the vision of homo sapiens wipe out becomes possible. If you have watched Planet of the Apes recently, you can imagine how the flight of a particular virus can wipeout the human population in an exponential manner. 
What worries me most is the death of Dr Sheik Umar Khan, the leading treating physician and Scientist who has been dealing with this deadly virus since its introduction to West Africa few years ago. I am sure he is an expert and would apply his precautions in handling these cases. He has handled thousands of these cases and now he got infected and died of it. Would not it be suspicious of how he may have contracted the disease? Numerous health care workers caught it within the past week and the famous 2 Americans who were brought back to be treated in their facility at home. 
There are a lot of theories floating around (Mind you..this year our imaginative mind has been stimulated many times!)  Having the virus to be potentially airborne is very worrying and a nightmare to all in this world. Even if it is true, do you reckon WHO would announce it now? hmmmm... Lets see how the epidemic progresses because this can be a real super issue to deal with.

Gaza Mission Chronicles: From a volunteer to another

I thought the excerpt is well written and summarised by my Gaza mission team mate Dr Zairul. I have shared this in facebook and I am sharing it here again for my own reference.
"Saya banyak juga menerima pertanyaan orang ramai bagaimana untuk menjadi seorang sukarelawan di bumi Palestin. Disini saya ingin memberi beberapa pendapat saya:

1. Mula-mula niat yang benar-benar tulus untuk menolong saudara seagama kita. Ini nampak mudah - tetapi percayalah, kerap kali saya sendiri terpaksa menyelami dan memperbetulkan niat agar berlandaskan jalan Allah. Hadis yang pertama dibincangkan dalam 40 hadis Rasullullah SAW karangan Imam Nawawi adalah berkenaan niat. Jangan gunakan penyertaan anda untuk mendapatkan bilangan like FB yang semaksimum mungkin.

2. Daftarlah diri dengan mana-mana NGO bertauliah. Anda tak semestinya perlu menjadi seorang doktor seperti saya untuk menjadi sukarelawan. Antara aktiviti Aman Palestin (AP) adalah didalam bidang perubatan. Disitulah keperluan kedoktoran diperlukan. Namun, terdapat banyak lagi aktiviti yang sedang dirancang oleh AP yang memerlukan kepakaran lain. Jadi, daftarlah diri dengan apa jua kepakaran yang ada.

3. Kita berkhidmat dibumi Palestin bukan untuk kepentingan diri sendiri. Ada yang menyatakan bahawa mereka nak ke bumi Palestin untuk menentang Zionis dan syaheed disana. Subhanallah... Gaza sudah mempunyai lebih dari cukup pejuang yang bertugas melawan musuh dan mempertahankan bumi Palestin. Tujuan kita adalah untuk membantu saudara seIslam kita. Andaikata kita dengan saja menempah maut, maka kita bukannya menjadi aset, malah sudah menjadi liabiliti. Sekiranya dalam membantu itu kita terkorban atau cedera, maka itulah perancangan Allah.

4. Andaikata tidak terpilih menjadi sukarelawan ke sana, kita masih lagi boleh membantu saudara kita dari sini dengan pelbagai cara. Kita boleh boikot barangan Israel, menjana kesedaran melalui penulisan, karikatur dan sebagainya, mengutip derma, melobi dipihak atasan dan Kerajaan... Memang banyak yang boleh dilakukan. Percayalah, setiap saat kita gunakan untuk tujuan ini akan dibalas berlipat ganda di akhirat kelak dan akan menjadi saksi untuk kita.

5. Kita perlu belajar dan faham mengenai konflik ini. Bila maklumat kita tepat, barulah kita dengan jayanya mematahkan pelbagai tipu daya dan sandiwara Yahudi. Cahaya akan sentiasa menerangi kegelapan. Ilmu akan sentiasa mematahkan penipuan. Jadilah jurucakap Palestin yang cekap - sedarkan masyarakat Malaysia dan dunia. Paling penting, anda perlu faham perbezaan antara Yahudi, Zionis, dan Israel.

6. Anda sudahpun menjadi sukarelawan Palestin setiap kali anda berdoa dan bermunajat untuk saudara kita. Jangan terlalu sibuk membenci dan mengutuk Yahudi sehingga tak sempat berdoa untuk saudara kita. Rasullullah SAW, betapa Baginda dikerjakan oleh kaum musyrikin, tidak pernah membenci mereka.

Tahniah bagi yang berminat. Saya kerapkali katakan: isu Palestin bukan isu penduduk Palestin semata-mata. Janganlah kita paling muka dari masalah saudara kita; nanti di akhirat kelak, kita pula dipaling oleh Allah dan Rasulnya.

Selamat berjuang,
Allah bless Gaza
Dr. Zairul Nizam"

Gaza Mission Chronicles 7: Mission postponed not cancelled

It was with a heavy heart when the team decided to postpone our attempts to enter Gaza. It is almost impossible and Aman Palestin had used all their resources to get us in. Despite having 18 missions into Gaza previously, this thime around the ball has changed courts and I guess it is unrealistic to keep on hoping. The situation between Israel and Hamas is not improving, the bombardment has if not intensified and the killing is nearing 2000. I am sure it would surpass that number within this week. The inhumane attack on civilians is almost unheard off in this centruy but nobody can stop Israel to continue their genocide agenda. 
I was really optimistic on our last attempt, that we would be celebrating Aidilfitri in Gaza. It was not meant to be. It is ironic that the person who signed our letter to enter Gaza from Egypt was the authority reinforming us we cannot enter Gaza. It is frustrating, it is dissappointing.How can one not be when we were so hyped up to be involved in a crisis where the world is just watching cruelty happening again and again.
Ustaz Anas and Kamarul decided to stay for another few days, looking for thst window that they be able to enter Gaza. The rest decided to leave for home, but with a strong resolution that we would be coming back to fulfill our promise to Gazans. It was not an easy decision but i guess sometimes we have to be practical. Besides that, the 14 day on arrival visa is due and to avoid overstay, we need to get out ofthe country anyway.
We left Cairo last Thursday 31 July 2014 with a heavy heart. I was sad but at the same time more determined. The Palestine conflict is not an easy one. What is happening at the moment is a backlash of an unresovled conflict which was denied its solution for decades.. since 1948. And when the bubble burst, the destruction that the whole world is seeing now is not a surprise. 
Insha Allah, Allah has promised victory to us all. we just need to keep our faith and be patient.