Friday, July 11, 2008


A young couple now residing in Mekkah constitutes the new brand of Malaysian youth who dares to take the challenge and be away from home irrespective of the new countries or territories they are in. Working in Saudi Arabia is not any body's piece of cake what with the hot climate and the imposing traditions. Yet Azam and Anis graduates of our Malaysian Universities, dare to venture forth and set sail in a foreign land. Azam has been in Saudi Arabia much longer and Anis has joined him only after their marriage.

We have known the couple since their university days at UUM and attended their wedding ceremonies. Both are like our own sons and daughters. So it was a homecoming of a sort when we were invited to lunch at their new home in one suburb of Mekkah. Though we have been to Mekkah for the umrah several times, this was our first opportunity to be outside the city and it was certainly an opportune one, able to see the city outside the normal Al Haram sector and to have a personal rundown of the city and its new development from a kinsman himself. I had a marvelous view of Mekkah city when Azam drove up a hill to present the panoramic view of Mekkah city.

We learn a few things, one especially about house-renting in Mekkah. You don't find advertisement in the local paper. So you have to scout around the new housing areas and look for houses that are fully lighted at night. These would be for rent. In the daytime houses without air-conditioning units would be a sure guess too. A two-bedroom house with family rooms etc would go for RM 18,000-RM 20,000 a year. All of course depended on the choice of locality.

Having a car is a must of course to get you from place to place, but as traffic is heavy in the Mekkah city area most residents would leave their vehicles just outside the city and take taxis into the city and especially into the Al Haram zone. Like most cosmopolitan cities, parking area is hard to find but parking offences is easier to acquire, so avoiding driving into the city is about the best alternative.

Anis the young wife has for the moment to play the full housewife role, unable to take any job but is opened to attend classes and what more especially to learn Arabic. She has of course the recourse to get to know many Malaysian; students who are studying in the country and Mekkah being the centre point, many visitors who come to the Holy City. This especially open a wide door to meeting and knowing people.

Our visit to their home remind us of our student days decades ago, when family homes gave us respite to home-sickness and Malaysian cooking. It is now obvious that their home is now a pull to the Malaysian students in Mekkah. Obviously too Anis has graduated her culinary skills proven by the curry and other dishes she served including petai sambal and 'pudding' during lunch. Though they have not been blessed by a 'cenderamata' yet other bigger foot seemed to walk the floor of their home craving for home cooking. Insya Allah not too long soon they will be meet their fervent hopes.

Having entertained our group of fifteen for lunch and an opportunity for an Asar jemaah prayer we took leave, though without Azam and a friend having to cart us back to our hotel in the city. At their home, we realised they are not distanced away as the TV programs from Malaysia are on their tv screens too.

Azam a graduate in information technology, epitomised the strength of new faculties and the venture-some of our youth to get out , accepting new offers beyond our shores. Our telecommunication infra-structures have set the course for persons like Azam to occupy positions in Saudi Arabia as an example. We understand that he has been offered a new position in New Zealand but wishes to remain in the Holy Land for the moment. We pray and wish all the best to them and hopefully we will meet them when they return for the Raya holidays late this year. Being where they are now opportunities are opened for them to visit the nearby countries or even venture to Europe when opportunities come by. Nearby Africa is also a choice not to be missed. Earnestly the great opportunity to be at Mekkah and Madinah Islam two great cities is a wish millions would envy. Both of them are blessed by being there 'menerima rezeki' sebaik-baiknya, receiving all the goodness of life.

Strangely or by calculated optimism, we met another Malaysian on the flight home. Being perhaps a few years older than Azam, Rizal was on the way home after successfully completing his assignment at Jeddah. He was in automation and commute to Saudi Arabia and the African countries to attend to motor vehicle services especially for Toyota group. We never thought to see Malays or Malaysian in this sector before, moving around as if you would between Kuala Lumpur and Seremban, Penang or Johor Baharu for a similar job specification. Job done, then back home for another assignment again. It seems not only James Bond has such assignment.
To Azam , Rizal and many such like personalities we wish them all the best in their career.Only hoping our generation had such opportunities before. Still we had our days.

Azam in red and next to his wife Anis at their home offering hospitality to our group of fifteen. Rice with the favorite curry, prawn dishes, ulam and sambal were the menu for the day. Though some of the ladies offered to help, Anis managed everything on her own. Obviously graduating with high honors.

We drove up a hill, overlooking the City of Mekkah and had a grand view. Here in the distance could be seen 'Gua Thur' and the outer distict of Mekkah.

1 comment:

Nur Azam said...

Thanks a lot daddy for this entry. It's a privilege to have everyone in our house. Indeed, it's been an unforgettable moment. Do visit us and haram again, Insyaallah. Salam sayang untuk semua.