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Dia…

memporakporandakan setiap skema yang tercipta karena riwayat cinta

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  General Information

Daisy Khan (formerly known as Farhat Khan) a native of Kashmir-India, moved to Long Island-New York at the age of sixteen. She was not the first person in her heir to have stepped their foot in the United States — in fact grand father Ghulam Hassan Khan had studied engineering in Harvard School. Daisy arrived in NY with her aunt and uncle and was enrolled to a school dominated by Jewish students. During the first years in the US she struggled to fit in with her classmates and seemed out of place. Fortunately, later on she won their hearts by being a star in field hockey as well as proving her talents in art and playing guitar.

Daisy continued higher-education in arts and later on became an architechural designer to some of the most important business offices in the disctrict. She was known to be a workaholic and had very little time to think about faith. Diasy abandoned Islam in her 20’s, reasoning that it was painful to fight for people that hardly relate. Her career as an architect continued to rocket, and before she knew it, she was already on the top floor of the World Trade Center working for Shearson Lehman Brothers. On lunch hours Daisy would take a walk to Masjid al-Farah, where she then met a liberal Imam – Mr. Abdul Rauf. Thetwo became close but never once did the imam don Daisy to wear a Hijab or fight over her choices, though he did ask her to speak out for Islam. She then reconciled her relgious Identity of being a Muslim and left the job later on for this very reason.

Mr. Rauf and Ms. Khan married in 1996, where they then has always been known as the couple who fought for the advancement of Islam. Together, they has built a nonprofit organization now known as American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), aiming to promote a more progressive Islam (or modern Islam, as they would say). Daisy has been known as a leader to one of the most biggest Islamic controversies in the states: the construction of a community center – known as Cordoba Initiatives (Park51) on ground Zero. She has been agressive and tenacious in fund-raising as well as looking of support to friends and asking for a signature. She is until this very day a great icon of Islam in the United States of America.

(rewritten from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/fashion/14khan.html?pagewanted=1)

The Meeting

On June 29, 2011 delegations of the US-Indonesia Partnership Program received the honor to meet with Daisy Khan. We arrived at her office on the Upper-West Side of New York and was warmly greeted by her assistants and internees. To be frank, at first I didn’t have the slightest idea to why Daisy Khan was such a prominent figure. I had only read a short passage about her earlier that day. So I didn’t really know what to expect when meeting her…

The discussion started off with an introduction about Daisy Khan herself, more or less (well definitely less detailed) like the general information I have written above. An addition to the informatin NYtimes has given above, she explained a little difference in what I like to call “sub-faith” with her husband, meaning that she flows in a stream not quite the same as her husband. Unfortunately, the 6 months I have postponed in writing this article has created somewhat a short-term-memory loss and this brain couldn’t quite remember the names of the streams. What I do remember is that Daisy is more “modern” than Mr. Rauf.

The discussion continued to Daisy’s short presentation of her non-profit organization, ASMA. There were three focuses that she mentioned. The first concerning Interfaith Dialogue. The monthly (or is it weekly?) dialogue with leaders and prominent figures of various religion has brought an understanding that though they are different in faith and belief, the similarity as a human being possessing rights of being treated equally should be a standard priority. Afterall they are all citizens of the United States. Daisy Khan mentioned that these forums has increased tolerance amongst them through unexpected ways. One of the most basic reason is food. Whoever holds meetings must be aware of dietary restrictions for each religion. For example the Jewish must follow kosher, and Muslim only consumes Halal food. Though very simple, this builds better understanding of eachother.

The second is Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow: “cultivating the next generation of Muslim leaders….the spokespersons and activists for peace and tolerance around the globe today”. MLT empowers young Muslim to become citizens who are sensitive towards one another and are tolerant towards differences that exist. Their figures are to be a role model to other Muslims as well as a face that represents Muslim in general. MLT holds annual conferences of which their members meet up and have debates and free-speeches concerning issues of interest. Each and every member are encouraged to speak up and boost their fellows in becoming a better leader.

The third activity is WISE (Women Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality). The program encourages Muslim woman to take part in their society and not “hide” behind their cultures. It also aims to teach Muslim women to segregate between Islam as a religion and the local custom of Saudi Arabia, hence giving somewhat more room for them to move around.

The discussion was continued with a question and answer session, which like all other USIPP sessions, were the most interesting. Daisy was asked about the 9/11 attack and her role after. She explained that after 9/11 Daisy and Imam Rauf received calls to attend University lectures, Television talkshows and school discussions  regarding what happened. To them, Daisy will say that Islam is a religion of tolerance and never intends to hurt someone that is not a Muslim as long as they do no harm. The people who were suspected as terrorists are definitely not a general Muslim. These people are out of the normal curve and really take it to the extreme. The attack they are doing under the name of Islam is considered wrong in Islam. Slowly but surely, Muslim regained its trust in the American society.

Daisy Khan has shown the world what it really means to be a Muslim. She is a strong women who stands high and firm for what she believes. One of the most memorable lines she said during the discussion is: “Alla Ta’ala gave us Aql, Koran, and Hadits, so we can decide for ourselves: what is right and what is wrong”

Thoughts and Comments

Allah Ta’ala Explained in the Koran And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful” [Ali Imran 3: 104]. My conclusion is that Daisy and Mr. Rauf had just done exactly that. Though I have to be honest and say that a few of her understandings of Islam is not the same as my paradigm, that does not mean I cannot appreciate what she has done for Islam and the world. She has exclaimed that Islam can do no harm, a peaceful religion that strives for tolerance and equality.

I came out from Daisy’s office with tears in my eyes. Knowing from that day on, I had someone to look up to. Daisy Khan is a remarkable person, from her I learnt how to represent Islam and be accepted as one. That sometimes, we have to fight. That sometimes, the hate and anger from other people is a sign they care… and a sign that we can do better.

Additional Notes

The meeting actually reminded me how hard it was to be a Muslim in a western country. I was in Australia during the first Bali Bombing. Right after the bomb, the Australian federal police came to my house (at 8 in the morning, right before school) to take my dad away. Of course, my dad was flawless and he was (going-to-be) arrested just for being the head of an Islamic Association in Perth (PPI-P). Fortunately the order to arrest wa aborted, but his name was still broadcasted in a national television station in Indonesia (RCTI) as a wanted person. Our telephone line was bugged for the next couple of months, until (I guess) my father was proven innocent. After the Bali Bombing, I decided to wear hijab. My mother thought it was a bad idea, she said I should wait until going back to Indonesia. I didn’t listen and proceeded to my elementary school headmaster who said it was fine. The reason behind this hijab is simple: I wanted to prove that (again) Muslim is areligion of peace and can do no harm. Not to boast, but I thought I was a fine representative, remembering that I was a 10-year-old tomboy who is love with sports. This of course gave a new new perspective to my environment that a hijab doesn’t always mean radicalism, but it simply means protection and belief. Though my circle understood, the general society didn’t and I often received unethical treatment, such as being swore on or spat on. Nevertheless, I have never been more proud of being a Muslim.

tulisan ini adalah bagian dari rangkaian cerita perjalanan USIPP 2011, soon to be a book :) amin

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The Rouge Ford Factory

The Rouge Ford Factory

June 21, 2011. It is still the third day of USIPP in USA. After leaving the Charles H. Wright Museum and having lunch along the beautiful Detroit River (and across Canada!), we headed to the Ford Rouge Factory in Dearborn.

The Tour of the Ford Rouge Factory consists of five parts. Since we arrived a little late in the afternoon, we only did four of the five:

  1. The legacy Theater

Here, we learned the history of the factory: the strive of Henry Ford in maintaining the human resources and creating it into something worthwhile; the ups and downs it went through (repeatedly changing name of the factory), right up until the peak of its success; how then it became one of the main source of economy in Detroit; how the people of Detroit really depended on this one industry and the withdrawal of the city when the factory went bankrupt.

  1. Art of Manufacturing Theatre

This theatre is, to me, the most exciting. It is a 14 minute film explaining the process of car making. What makes it special is the 3D effect and loud noises. The room is shaped like a dome and screens go all the way around it. It was actually quite fun.

  1. Assembly Plant Walking Tour

This part of the tour is the longest, but the most interesting. During the half-an-hour walk, we saw the real process of building the newest Ford car. It was really my first time in a car factory, let alone seeing it being assembled.

  1. Legacy Gallery

I consider the Legacy Gallery as the icon of the Factory. The five antique ford cars exhibited attracted many of the visitors, including me of course. We took nearly a whole hour looking at them!

From this tour I did not only have fun, but I also learned what one person, Henry Ford, and his one industry can contribute to. His dreams of making automotive affordable to the public came true and without planning it, itbecame the main source of economy for decades. The decline of its “power” has such a big effect on the city, which I saw through my own eyes the next following days in Detorit. Detroit is now like an abandoned city, schools are closing down, and people are moving out. I never thought I would see anything like it in the US. Maybe because the condition exposed to the general public, worldwide, is not as explicit. Still, however and whatever, the name of the ford factory will always be comemmorated for it’s contribution for Detroit and the United States.

 

 

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Where Do We Go From Here

“Where Do We Go From Here?”, The famous speech from Martin Luther King. No, we did not go to his memorial, neither did we learn about the philosophy of his speech. But we did go to the place that recognizes one of the thigs he is the most devoted to: Equality for African-Americans.  

African-American Museum

June 21, 2011, the third day of the USIPP program in USA. It was sprinkling and chilly outside, which made it perfect to have an indoor activity. We had all our usual routine of trying to wake up early in the morning, and then have breakfast. We then drove over to The Charles Wright Museum of African American History, located in Detroit. This museum is founded in 1965 and is said to be the world’s largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. Our half-day at the museum was devided into 3 parts: the introduction, the tour, and the discussion.

The introduction in which we went through a series of art work that described very briefly the comming and protesting of African-Americans in Detroit in very early days. We saw many art works done by Guyton, who decided that the “black and white” city needed more color, and so he goes around painting the city, he also put hangings on people’s houses (I actually got to see a street which still had stuff puppets hanging all over the outsides of a house later that day)

After the Introdoctuion came the tour: And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture. We playing out scenes of the story of the African-American history: from when the journey begins in the prehistoric days of Africa, the forcing of civilians through the door of no return, it’s shipping right up until how they become an integrated part of the community. It was a very interesting journey. Our tour guide made it very exciting, since he went into “character’.

The last parts is the one i consider most loaded with information. It was the dicussion and lecturing by Yolanda Jack. In the discussion, we received further explanation of what we saw during the tour. Also the current condition of how African-Americans are living  today. Though the racial discrimination has died down, conflicts do still errupt every now and then. Then there is also the debate amongst the African-Americans regarding their identity and where to bring their future. It is still questionized wether they have responsibilty to go back to their homeland, or are they to stay put. It was a very intereseting discussion, and I really learned a lot. Though I previously understood that the African-Americans had a rough time in the US during their earlier years of settlement, the experience of going through the story and seeing of “what really happened” is a great joy and very eye-opening.

-Fira

 

 

 


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Learning new things everyday! Today we went to the Ginsberg Center, watched Malcolm X at the Center, and went to the Library. As always, it was full of excitement. We started off with a very American breakfast at Espresso Royale. I had my first hot chocolate and bagels! They were so delicious. We then headed for Ginsberg Center, which was actually only a short walk from the Cambridge House.

The Ginsberg Center is center that engage students in the University of Michigan to learn through community services. The Ginsberg Center has many programs and the program that became our focus is the Interfaith Action (IA). When we arrived at the Center we were received very welcomingly by the coordinator of IA, Rachel. We then had a short introduction followed by a discussion of what IA is all about. So IA, as Rachel explained, is formed in the means of bringing students from diverse cultural, religious and non-religious backgrounds together. The IA started in 2006 when the ford company gave grant. Since there was no group or activity that accomodated interfaith dialogue, it was then decided that the money would go to IA. Now the funding is split into two parts: 40% by the University; 60% by the government. The IA is also given full support by the Association of Religious Counselors (ARC), the Vice President for Student Affairs’ Religious Trust Fund, the Ecumenical Center and International Residence (ECIR), The Program on Intergroup Relations, the Michigan Community Scholars Program (MCSP), and the Ginsberg Center’s Michigan AmeriCorps Partnership.

Many sorts of activities are done at IA. The one most often held is the interfaith dialoge in which each religious organization at campus has a representative (plus anyone else who wants to come), and they will have a discussion over many issues going on in the world. This helps them understand each other better and seeing things from different perspectives. Other programs include regular classes, volunteering at the soup kitchen, and many more!

One major thing I learned from our discussion is that the freedom of choice,religion in this context, is very wide in the USA. Any believe will be tolerated as long as it tolerates others. Others do not have the right to intimidate, even if they do not agree with the presence of that certain sect or religion.

 

The next thing we did was watch a Malcolm X movie. It was a long movie and we only got to half of it. But really, half way was enough to make me understand so many things that I have never even thought of. Like how the Nation of Islam actually started in the US, how Elijah Mohamed had a very big influence on African-Americans at the time, etc.

By three n the afternoon, we were already at the Graduate School Library to see archives of protests. The seeing of this archive was very interesting as we had a discussion with the currator of the protest section. Many intereseting questions came up, such as how does the archive work when people aren’t reading newspaper anymore?. One of my favorite parts was seeing the Indonesian archive of protests. We saw books and posters so delicate and precious, yet never been seen by ourselves in Indonesia. Such as the writings of Multatuli, which was I knew from Elementary School books. It was really a great experience.

So there goes the second day! Stay tuned for more stories!

-Fira

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The Islamic Center of America located in Dearborn was the second destination of today’s agenda. Arriving approximately at 2 PM, we were greeted warmly by Eid, one of its committees. Eid is American, but his father was Syrian. His father came to America in the 1910’s as an attempt to run away from the violence towards Syiah (which he was) by the Sunni. Eid himself practices Syiah but admits that he is more of a Sushi, which is the comming together of the two groups. Eid is the very few people who lives with high respect and tolerance yet still is passionate of Islam. People like Eid is very hard to be found even in wider scopes of religion, which is sad. Eid believes that Islam is one thing, and muslim is another; Christian is one thing and Christianity is another; and the two cannot be combined and seen as one.

Eid explained that the Dearborn Mosque is one of the biggest mosque through out the United States of America. It does not belong to a certain group of people, though most who come are Syiah. Even so, the Mosque provides all instruments needed for the two different sects, such as the pebble or clay for sujud by the Syiah. The most common ethnic seen around the Mosque is the Arabic people, but some also come from Asia and Africa. The Mosque is not only used for praying but for holy ceremonials like weddings. The weddings held are done according to the Syariat of Islam, in which music cannot be played and Men and Women are somewhat kept in a certain distance. Some settings may require women to be in a different kind of room to men, in which the woman may take off her hijab and can dance (etc.) once she gets inside the auditorium where the wedding’s held, and men will be escorted to another room for a chat and coffee. During the holidays (such as this summer holiday) the Mosque is packed with little children (approximately 1400), both playing and being part of some learning activity. So basically it is busy all year around.

The people that go this mosque is taught of high tolerance and respect. At Christmas and Hanukkah (and any other possible religious holidays), some delegations are sent to attend the Churches and synagogues to wish a happy holiday, or give a gift as a sign of respect. This way the relations and trust of one religion to another becomes stronger and better, and this is what Eid considers to be something very important as an American. Even though America does not formally recognize religion, the presence of religious communities makes one community stronger, and they all may protect each other when one’s in harm. So they actually gain power by having faith, though the faith itself varies.

During our hour-long conversation, Eid dominated his part of the discussion by talking about how Sunni and syiah takes a big part in the islamic world of America. He described that the two groups were very different and how very little things can create such a big conflict. However, nowadays some parts of the Islamic community are forming what is known as Sushi, which is the comming together of the two groups. The comming together comes from marriage of individuals from the two groups, by more activities held together, etc. Eid then asked wether there was any Sushi in Indonesia. We then explained that the presence of the two groups are not as common as in the States, but there are other islamic organization that creates a similiar divide in the Indonesian Islamic community.

The conversation, to me, was very interesting. The way Eid delivered his sentences and how he described the American Islamic way of living so passionate. My interpretation of his passion is that the muslim in America really chooses to be Islam and are very sincere in living according to the Qur’an and Hadits. This is something that I may find slightly different from my home country, where there are still people (though maybe not much) that live under the name of Islam but only uses it as a formal Identification and not actually living it.

Our day ended with a tour of the insides of the Mosque, where Eid explained that he calligraphy on the walls are painted by A catholic young man who did not wanted to be paid even a penny. He also explained why there was only one door and why there was no dividing between men and women. Again, his explanation was very interesting and I was in awe of everything he was talking about.

So that was the end of USIPP’s first day in America. Stay tuned for more stories!

-Fira

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The Pentecostal Church

Hello everyone! This is my first post since arriving in the US, and my first days has been a blast. Today we went to two main destinations, which are The Pineview Pentecostal Church in Ypsilanti and also the Islamic Center in Dearborn. This post will focus more on the Pentecostal and later on there will be a separate post discussing the Islamic Center, since there’s so many things that needs to be said. So here it goes…

I am going to start off with a short description of my understanding about the Pentecostals. Pentecostalism is one of the Sects of Christianity that emphasizes on a direct personal experience of God. The Pentecostals believe in the one God, which is Jesus, who came to the world and put on flesh. They do not believe in the trinity, but rather Jesus as the one God. This belief is seen through the settings of the service in which we cannot see the figure of Jesus, but rather just a cross. This Christianity is built around the Book of Acts, though still uses the other books of the bible. They also consider themselves the Apostle movement. The History of traditional Pentecostal started right after the death of Jesus, but the acts of modern Pentecostals only just came in the 1900s in California. It started out as an organization made up out of different Christianity, such as Catholics and Methodists. Then it grew into a movement and into what it is today.

The Pineview Church itself is a very multicultural church. It was clarified later that Pentecostals really is a church of diverse ethnics and races. This is different from most common churches, in which African-Americans would go to a different church from a Hispanic. It is said that Pineview in the early days was dominated by the African-Americans, but as time changed people felt welcomed enough to come and join. The people of this church were very welcoming, which was nearly the opposite of what I expected, what with Annisia and I wearing Hijab. Everyone came swarming to greet us and ask how we were and who we came from. We were even mentioned in some part of the service, and sure did feel great to be involved.

I would say that nearly everything done before, during, and after the service is quite unfamiliar with what I understood of a Christian. The service was different from what I had in mind, because i thought it was going to be all formal. But came out that everything was somewhat “informal”. There were a lot of dancing around and singing, and people getting into trance. It was breathtaking, and was hard to take everything all in at the same time. A lot of affection was being shown; everyone was hugging everyone else trying to give support. Lively music was sung and kept being repeated, supposably to let the meaning of each song penetrate inside the body and soul. The service consisted of a couple of parts, starting with the recital of some parts of the bible, personal prayers (in which an individual would come up front and approach a pastor and ask for support in their prayers, then the pastor would put some oil on their foreheads and they pray together), more choir singing, the sermon for approximately an hour, and the closing choir. It was explained to me by the US participants that Catholic, Protestant, and even Baptist Church isn’t that lively, and nearly every ritual was done differently despite the fact that all are sects of Christianity.

Later after the service ended we had the Chance to meet Nathan Nix, who is a senior pastor in Pineview. Nat has been a senior pastor for the last 11 years. He is the fifth generation of pastor in his family, and the third generation of the family of dedicates to Pineview. Nat confesses that he is known to be radical in the community and often gets into trouble for what he says, especially his belief of anti-religion. Nat believes that there is no use in religion, human are only to worship the one God without having to do with religion. Though seen as a quite radical person there are things said by Nat that made sense to whoever hears his words. During the service, he was telling a story of how he went for a drive with his son and saw an airplane and how in awe he was with it. He stated that the law of aerodynamics are greater than the law of gravity, thus the chunk of metal can still suspend in the air and fight gravity. This is like the law of goods and bad and human are to believe that the power of the goods is much greater than the bad, and no matter what, human will survive. Some other things that he said was more universal and would be found in every religion or faith: everyone is created equal; life is short, and so on, so forth. Nat has also been all around the world for service and has actually been in Indonesia. So one thing I would be brave enough to say is that no matter what you believe in, and how you believe it, people should spend some time serving for those in need, and finding what else there is to up with in this “crazy” world, as he put it.

This really was a great experience, and a great opening to the Summer Program in America. Thank you everyone!

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