Monday, 27 May 2013

OOTD: little yellow house on the prairie

Gosh, I've been loving the color yellow lately so when I saw this cute little yellow house, I knew it was meant to be. So even though people stopped and stare, wondering what on earth is this girl doing, I didn't care. I'm sorry, the venue is too pretty, I couldn't resist.

I haven't been wearing skirts as often as I used to cos during practicum, I had to climb stairs all the time and I kept stepping on my skirt T.T and boy, was it irritating. Bottomline is, I miss wearing skirts. They're so easy to pair with simple blouses and so modest as well!

I really love this one in particular cos of the floral prints. It exudes a certain vintage feel through the tiny tiny flowers and the cut is just, so simple. When I first wore it, my mother thought it was a kain from my baju kurung! Haha!

Anyways, if you like it, its from Nushee Nurra (search them on Facebook!)
Thank you talented girls, I love it very much! (:

mustard shawl; shopsghijabgirl
floral maxi skirt; nushee nurra
yellow weaved clutch; mitju
loafers; tod's

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Much love,

Sunday, 26 May 2013

personal entry: the maarif girl

When I tell someone I'm from a Madrasah, there are two most common reactions I get. One, “That’s really amazing, tell me about it!” and two, “Huh? You mean the weekend kind at the mosque?” The latter does not offend me at all because I know that only recently the media started to shed light on local Madrasahs. 

However, I won’t lie. There were numerous times I dread admitting I was a Madrasah graduate. During orientation camps in JC or even in Uni, I dread the question “So, which secondary school were you from?” I was tired of answering the multitude of subsequent questions that came along with my answer; I was slightly embarassed that I wasn’t like the normal students who went to X Primary School followed by Y Secondary School. I don’t even know why I felt the need to cover up the fact that I went to a Madrasah but I’m telling you now, I am proud to be a Madrasah graduate.

So let me tell you my story.

I remember my parents ripping the envelope with Maarif's logo open. They were so overjoyed when I got accepted and I can still remember their happy faces and how they pinned the acceptance letter up on a board. 

Sadly, my parents received no support the minute they decided to announce they’re sending their only daughter to Al-Maarif. Immediately, they received comments of all sorts; “Are you sure?”, “Can she get a job?” and then there were the blatant, straight to the point ones, “You’re making a wrong decision, she’ll never enter any university”.

(mother if you're reading this, I tried finding a picture of me in uniform with you but there were none!!! really!!! heh!)

I don’t blame them. Majority of the local Muslim community back then had no clue about Madrasahs due to the lack of information and no form of awareness was created by the mass media. How different it is today. You see Madrasah students gracing the news headlines every now and then, emerging as top students in polytechnics, making it to universities and occasionally our Asatizahs appearing on the local news attending courses offered to them from MUIS.

In fact, I thank the people who gave those comments. I am where I am today because of them. Maybe their words weren’t exactly words of support but they pushed me, hard. They made me want to prove myself and that it isn’t impossible to dream big. This year, I’m going to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and I’d like to believe that I’ve made my parents proud. They have never placed extremely high expectations on me but I’ve always felt the need to study hard and give them the best life possible because I can never truly repay them for everything they have done for me. 

With their full support, it made the journey less difficult. I have to say that I was sheltered in Madrasah. In an all-Malay, Islamic environment, it was like a cocoon, a safe haven. Nobody spewed vulgarities, the teachings of Islam were always reminded, you do daily prayers together as a school and it was perfectly possible to have full trust in everyone around you. The minute I decided to enter Junior College, everything changed. I was introduced to this totally new environment and I felt like I was walking on frozen river. For the first time, I had to work with boys (my Madrasah was an all girls school), I had to speak English all the time (we were so used to speaking in Malay and Arabic), I had to cope with subjects I’ve never ever done before. I get this question all the time “So was it easy?” Lillahi taala, it was not.

The first time I wore a skirt in school, I hid in the toilet cubicle and cried. It was so difficult to give up my long baju kurung kain for a much shorter one and to expose the hair you’ve been covering for as long as you can remember. How do you get used to doing something you’ve never ever done before? I dreaded going to school, always being absent, went home during lunchtime and I never, ever hung out with my JC classmates. But one of the greatest things Allah made about human beings is our ability to adapt. It took some time for me to adapt but by my 2nd year, I felt belonged in a way. I made good friends who constantly reminded me of prayer times and we did our prayers together at the stairwell.

It wasn’t a smooth sailing ride though. I did get influenced negatively albeit slightly and I feel that if not for the fact for my parents, my Madrasah friends and my 10 years of Madrasah education which anchored me, maybe I could have drifted away. I’d like to say that I was stronger but I am human and we make mistakes. I’m just glad that I realised my mistakes early and I managed to not succumb to temptations. 10 years of being in an all-Islamic environment, you learn about your responsibilities and you always have the aim at the back of your mind, to strive to be the best Muslimah possible. 

With the rising number of programs created by tertiary institutions such as AAM (Achieve and Aim through Mentorship) and APEX (Ace PSLE Examinations), I see a future where not only the studying facilities in Madrasahs will vastly improve, the number of hours these mentors clock teaching these kids, I genuinely believe in a future where there’ll be more Madrasah graduates making it into local universities and I sincerely respect and admire all these individuals who take their time every Saturday to come down to the Madrasahs and teach these kids. I pray that Allah will reward your great work in helping our little brothers and sisters with the best you deserve.

I’m not saying it’s a small climb to reach here. We studied in small kampung houses with floorboards that creak (yes, creaks) with every move you make, we had to travel to another Madrasah every Friday just so that we can have our practical science lessons so really, it wasn’t easy. I’m just saying, its challenging but pressure makes diamonds and I’m telling you, the view up here is pretty amazing.

Most of my Madrasah friends currently are doing great, if not awesome in University of Al-Azhar, Islamic International University of Malaysia and local universities such as NUS and NTU. We each have our own dreams; achievements and our fair share of struggles but our thirst for knowledge will push us further, if not, harder. So if you’re a current Madrasah student reading this, I’m urging you, spur on, dream big, believe that it isn’t impossible, that it’s a race and you’ll emerge victorious at the end of the finish line. If like me, you’re currently studying for a degree, I sincerely congratulate you my friend. For we have come this far and I hope we never stop seeking ‘ilm for the love of Allah and to never forget where we came from, how we got here and to always give back to our little brothers and sisters studying in Madrasahs when we can.

"Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have been granted knowledge to high ranks."

More importantly, have full faith in Allah and always seek His help and insyAllah everything will fall into place. 

If you ask me, I wouldn't trade my Madrasah education for the world. I learnt deeply about my religion and until today, my friends and I will always discuss about our religion, dalils, laws and rules, every now and then. I find joy in hearing verses from the Quraan and understanding the meaning. I met the greatest teachers and ustazahs I will never forget. I have a group of girlfriends I love so dearly and I know I can always count on. I made friends from other madrasahs because we always had intermadrasah events. I met the person I will marry one day insyAllah and most importantly, it has shaped and mould me into who I am today. I am still learning, still far from being the ideal Muslimah but each and everyday, I am trying. 

One day, when I have a daughter, I already know which school I'll send her to. Without a doubt :)

maarif girl, always have been, always will be,
Nadya Abd
(alumni of Madrasah Al-Maarif Al Islamiah)

Thursday, 23 May 2013

not exactly a day in my life entry.

As you can see, I'm trying to blog frequently! HAHA!

So psyched to blog now cos I've been receiving so many emails from you guys asking for more entries and entries beyond just outfit of the day ones heheheh, you sure you want to hear about my not so exciting life? :D

Today was the last day of our BT orientation programme so right after, we went to JCube to have our lunch at Old Town White Coffee! The asam laksa is to die for @.@ We then went to B1 to get our dessert and I tried the strawberry ice cream stick! It was so goooood and refreshing. Go go get it if you're at JCube!

My simple outfit of the day to Ikea.
I should probably stay away from Ikea these days cos they have tonnes of new and nice items!!!! I need to stop buying bedsheets. Need to constantly remind myself I only have one bed and I can't possibly layer on so many bedsheets at one go. Sigh. 

peach shawl; shopsghijabgirl
denim jacket; topshop

Currently reading bringing up bebe. I have no idea why I'm reading a parenting book but its certainly fascinating to read how French mothers educate their kids. Or maybe I'm just biased. Anything to do with french people, macarons, eiffel tower, paris, I'm easily fascinated by it haha!

Late lunch the other day in town. This is the only item I will order from the Coffee Bean menu. I admit I'm not an adventurous person when it comes to food/drinks. If I love what I've tried the first time, I will continue to order the same thing, most likely, forever. HAHA!

I don't know if its just me but every single time, I order something new, the something new will taste bleargh so the entire meal, I will be mentally scolding myself "Hello? Why you never stick to the usual? You see la, now we have to finish this. "

I'm sorry. I cannot put myself through the mental torture so I play safe and stick to the food I know will confirm taste good hurhurhur. 

Went to ITE College Central during our orientation. All of us were so fascinated and in awe the entire time! ITE People, you guys are so lucky!!! 

During the entire tour, we were quite embarrassing to be honest. We kept going oooh and aaah at every single thing! I mean, hello, which school has an airplane in the middle of your campus you tell me? 

The campus was so high tech and cool compared to ours, if my school was like that, I'd probably stay all day to study and never miss a single lecture. 

 Ok gtg, family time!

Much love,

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

adayinmylife: last day of school.

I figured before I get super swamped with work, I better update my blog with my long overdue, a day in my life entry - Last Day of School

Back then, I blogged tonnes of a day in my life entries. I had a lot of free time and I was always walking around with my tiny Canon digicam. Now that I've moved on to a dslr, its so troublesome to take it out and it just feels super awkward. People look at you like you're crazy. I'm serious. 

So anyways, I documented my last day in uni because I just wanted to remember my last moments of being a student. 

If you're a student and you're reading this, its really true what they say when you've started working, all you want to do is go back to school. I used to think, aiyer I know you're just trying to make me work hard and like school but seriously guys, I really miss being a student. 

So here goes.

On my last day of school, I had only one class and it started at 8.30. 
I really need to say this.
I hate 8.30 classes.

The journey to school is just pure madness, sandwiched between tonnes of people and having to wake up so so so early.

The only good thing is your day ends early. Yes, that's about it. The only good thing I can think of about 8.30 classes. Haha!

I get ready with my usual make-up thingies. 
Yikes, I hate how dirty they look. 

I try not to be late and dash out of the house by 7.

I walk to the train while nom nom-ing on my lemon blueberry cupcake. 

Dig around for my ez link. My wallet is a warzone, every single time. I stash all my cash, cards, whatever in one compartment when there's so many slots waiting to be filled. Hehe. Once in awhile, I get cracking and organize everything back into its own place. 

It was a Friday so yes, surah Al Kahfi time!

I reach Boon Lay and walk to the bus interchange.

Soon after, I reach school! 

Hi, schooooool. You're looking pretty todaaaay.

Oh my, look at the amount of steps I need to climb.

 Sun rays, sun rays.

I reach the third floor or is it second? Haha I can't remember! I peeked into the GIS lab to see my friends printing our assignment. 

Afi tells me Yati's bag strap broke while she was on the way to school. We had a good laugh about it hehe. 

Afi bought for us Mcbreakfast so we ate in class while waiting for the rest of the people to arrive.

Signed my last attendance sheet woop woop!

During break, I sneaked into the lab next door and talked to my friend, Daniel. 

The rest of the people remained in class.

I see my favourite teacher! 

Whee class ends. Sometimes I forget how beautiful the view from the campus is. 

I walk to the other block to submit my assignment. Last assignment people! :D

Then I wait for my friends.

We took nonsense shots on campus grounds. 

We said byebye to each other so off I went to Somerset to meet my bestfriends. They were late so I got myself something. I really shouldn't be left alone in a shopping centre. 

Made our way to Al Falah for zuhur prayers.

Walked all the way to Far East for our favourite food stall only to find it closed. Boooooooo. So upset! If you guys ever go there, try the hokkien mee/prawn noodle.

HAHA inside joke. 

Asar timeeeeeee. 

Accessorize was having a sale so we got ourselves some tiny tiny things hehe.

After shopping around town, we made our way back. 

I reach home, check my mail, reply emails. 

Watch the week's episode of Grey's Anatomy (BEST SHOW EVER) and went to sleep. 

It was such a simple day but I knew I wanted to document it because it was the last day of my uni education, as a student. The past 4 years of my life whizzed by so quickly, I remember the first day of entering school, making new friends, getting used to churning out 2000-3000 word essays every now and then and hanging out with my friends in the library. I could go on and on and this entry will probably take up 10 pages. Hehe. 

The most important thing is that, I'm going to graduate soon.

Back then, when my mother decided to send me to Maarif, lots of people were telling her that I will never make it to university, that Madrasah education will not give me a future.

I studied really hard (ok at times maybe not that hard hehe) to prove them wrong and ultimately, to make my parents proud. I will never get to repay my parents' sacrifices all these years but I hope this is a start. 

The best part of my education was being in Maarif. 
and thank you, for bringing me this far. 

I'll save this Madrasah topic for another entry hehe.

Much love friends,