MALAYSIAN TRIP – I-GSN JAMBOREE 2017
Al-Taqwa College tour group set out for the trip to Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Malaysia, on Sunday 26 March 2017. There were 6 students – Asmaa Mhamad, Shaza Illyaas, Fazeela Cassim, Shuaib Hersi, Nooh Osman and Adnan Krpo accompanied by Rahany Osman and Obayda Kannouj. The group was led by Mr Omar Hallak (Principal) and Mr Mohammad Hallak (Vice Principal).
We were joined by another Indonesian school, Darunnajah from Tangerang, Indonesia, with whom our students exchanged cultural experiences with and fostered good relationships whilst at USIM. We have invited them to our school for an exchange program and camping experience in Melbourne.
A group of high school students exited their daily routines to embark upon an 8 day cultural experience in another country, which would play a role in building their character and developing their understanding of the world. It provided an opportunity of seeing life from a different lens and learning about another country and culture through first-hand experience, giving life to what they read or hear.
Our group was the perfect mix for this endeavour into another’s shoes, consisting of student displaying strong leadership, compassion, charisma, patience and kindness. They built friendships with the Malaysian students through the daily interactions and the various learning activities and excursions organised by USIM. One of these activities required our students to lead a circle time discussion with the Indonesian visitors, the highlight of which was far beyond the questions asked and answered, but rather the genuine smiles shared and the bonds formed.
Our expedition allowed us an insight into the strong Islamic values which the Malaysian people implement within their lives, and the kindness, respect and polite manners that came in accordance with this- traits we genuinely admired. We at Al-Taqwa, aim to provide our students with more cultural experiences, to establish diverse perspectives within them, and encourage them to spread the knowledge they amass.
The memory each will possess of this trip will differ, but one thing that will surely remain unanimous is the value it holds in each of our hearts, and the contribution it made to constructing and expanding our worldview. Obayda Kannouj, Chaperon (Education)
GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY AT USIM
During the trip, we were honoured to have been invited by Prof Datuk Dr Musa Ahmad, the Vice Chancellor of USIM, to the ground-breaking ceremony of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (FPSK) building. The ceremony took place in Nilai (university area) on the morning of 30 March 2017 and was officiated by the Honourable Tan Sri Dr. Noorul Ainur Mohd. Nur, the Chief Secretary of Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE).
Witnessing the ceremony were the Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Musa Ahmad and other officials from USIM, the Department of Public Works and MOHE. Prof Musa said the building would be built on more than 26 acres of land with a cost of RM80 million, and the completion of project is expected to be in 2019. He also said that with the establishment of the building, other projects like the Faculty of Dentistry and USIM Hospital will also be in the pipeline.
MashaAllah, it’s a huge project and a huge educational enhancement for the Ummah at large! We wish USIM all the best for this remarkable Building project. Our deep appreciation and big thank you to the International department of USIM and staff/graduates for the warm Malaysian hospitality during our stay in Nilai for i-GSN (Islamic – Global School Network) Jamboree 2017. Our group certainly gained cultural experience including a deeper insight of USIM’s activities after visiting the various faculties during the visit. Our students have been very impressed with USIM and expressed keenness to enroll for the graduates and post-graduates courses therein. Rahany Osman, Chaperon (Admin)
The purpose of our trip to USIM, was to expand our knowledge on different faculties and fields at University level. It also gave us an insight of what USIM offers, and we were provided with more knowledge on other campuses linked with USIM. We had the experience to speak with many students during the trip, mainly about their careers, and the pathways to get to them. It was also more than an educational experience and we learnt many Islamic Values through the leaders of USIM and students. Through the peers of USIM we learnt the importance of balancing our religion/connection with Allah swt as well as maintaining a focus towards our education. For instance, USIMs uniqueness is based on the integration of Naqli and Aqli, which is knowledge from the Quran and Sunnah, as well as conventional knowledge. Fazeela Cassim, 12A
The University Sains Islam Malaysia is known as the regional leader in the integration of Naqli and Aqli knowledge which is balance of conventional/modern studies with Islamic studies and the Sunnah as shown with each of the 9 faculties offered including the Faculty of Economics and Muamalat. It aims to become the global leader of Naqli/Aqli knowledge and to provide the leaders of tomorrow with the essential skills for western society without abandoning their religious values. Evidentially the university offers the next generation high level of etiquette and discipline where their students can hold great pride of being known as Muslim’s of the 21st century. Adnan Krpo, 12D
Our trip to the USIM campus in Malaysia began by taking a tour of the Central Campus. We were introduced to the senior students at the university that were in charge of the i-GSN Jamboree 2017 program, they took us to about 4 of USIM’s faculties (campus) in which we were given a tour and even attended one of their classes. The university also provided us with trips to Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur (cities) to do some sightseeing, we visited the national museum in Kuala Lumpur where the Malaysian history and culture were displayed, we also took a trip to the Iron Mosque in Putrajaya in which we learnt that majority of the mosque is made out of iron and that it can hold up to 16 000 people, the entrance to the main prayer hall is adorned with verse 80 of Surat Al-isra from the holy Quran. This trip was a very fun and knowledgeable experience where I learnt many life lessons and experienced an enjoyable journey. Nuh Osman, 12E
The Grand Dinner at USIM
On this night, the Al-Taqwa and Indonesian staff and students were all invited along to enjoy a night full of inspiring speeches by significant leaders, cultural knowledge, and cultural performances. We were also provided with a spectacular Malaysian dinner which consisted of many delicious cuisines and sweets. Throughout the night, each group were invited to the stage to share some knowledge on their culture and country. We the Al-Taqwa students shared our knowledge on some facts and background information about Australia which was then followed by Islamic poem recitals by both the girls and boys. Through our performance we were able to combine both our religion and culture together as both make up a huge part of who we are. Post our performance, we viewed a lovely cultural dance by the Indonesian students which brought a great energy to the night. We also enjoyed some cultural music by the Malaysian students. Overall, it was a night to remember and truly a night where knowledge was shed upon all. Asmaa Mhamad, 12A
The Malaysian culture and lifestyle is very vibrant and diverse; people of different religions and backgrounds mix easily, respect and live with each other peacefully. Its multicultural society makes it a great place to visit as everyone is so welcoming and helpful. Through socializing with many Malaysians, we got to explore the Malaysian culture in depth by seeing their traditional clothing, performances and food. The country’s multiculturalism is most evident in terms of food; there are a va riety of Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines, it had everything to offer for the perfect gastronomic experience. The shops in Malaysia also presented a multicultural aura, as they sold traditional Malaysian kebayas, Indian salwars and even simple western shirts and skirts. All in all, from my experiences, I can confidently say that Malaysia is a culture-rich society that everyone will feel welcome in. Shaza Illiyas, 11
USIM encourage their students to memorize the Quran, learn Arabic, English and Malay. They also want their students to learn the Sunnah sports, which consists of horse riding, swimming and archery. The idea behind this all is that when a, for example, doctor, graduates, USIM has not only produced a doctor that is able to perform surgery or clinical work, it is a doctor that can lead the prayer, it is a doctor that can use dua as a form of healing and a doctor that has been enriched in Islamic knowledge.
This made us all think straight away and ponder on the kind of university students we as future Al-taqwa graduates want to be. USIM has taught us how to achieve the best of both worlds of Islam and your education but rather how the two can be so tightly interconnected, also teaching us to be the best version of ourselves. The university is also focused on producing global leaders and leaders of Islam.
Speaking on behalf of the 6 of us, I believe that we all came back in a goal-achieving mindset to be the best Muslims possible and now have a clear idea on the type of university students we want to be. We are the leaders of Islam, we are the future, we are Muslims and we also love USIM! Thank you. Shuaib Hersi ,12E