What is Debate???

Tuesday, December 29

The Ballistic Year of 2009 : Its Going to End

I'm typing this down on Dec 29th precisely at 10.46 am in the morning, on Tuesday. This is just some general notes for ending the year and beginning Our next journey of 2010. Before we take a peak on next year's journey, let us all take a recap of the ballistic year of 2009.

Starting the year of 2009, i was very reluctant to go to debate practice, and i noe by doing that i've hurt someone in between. it was a matter of my health, studies and MTQ to be exact (ive told this story many times to Iman). surpirsingly, Iman backed me up and said that i have my own life, and it was time to let me choose the way i want.

Things change when Iman got this offer to KISAS in March. by this time of the year i already passed the MTQ zone level, and was about to get through the district level. Again, the dilemma struck me when she had to leave. because that means someone here will be left alone from all the teammates he got last year. at first i thought it was for the best, that Iman is still here with him.. training the newbies together and somehow in the end it will be alright. But i was wrong. The day she left was the marking day of the beginning of this ballistic journey. I remembered how relieved he looked when i came for the debate training the day Iman left us for her better future. The same sentence rang by my ear each day, with the looks of a defeated person when he said "i lost my head (k.nafeesa), and now i lost my right arm (Iman)." (well it probably sounded funny when u read it rite now..LOL). but to have a funny imagination was a bliss at that time, for i imagined him as a person without a head and a right arm for REAL. and that very moment i told myself that even if i was like his small tips of his very end finger, i wouldnt want him to lose that. so to say, I stayed...

Now the journey begins, i met with Azizul, Arifuddin, k.Hafeeza, Amira, Raihan, Tasnim and Ulfah whom i hadnt really noticed back then. Each day i was given the long hours of lectures by him, and i had to tell myself to hang in there because the one thing i cant do is to focus on long hour lectures. it came to me that debate in real was tough. its not just talking, or showing off with your berserk language. its more than that. and at the same time i have this other hopes (MTQ) to fulfill. for all i could remember, it was a month of long and hard endurance that when i came home the only thing i could think of is sleep.

It was time, when we have to prove to ourselves that what we had learnt from him was worth fighting for: IIU debating championship 2009. The complication starts when i had to go to MTQ first, then right after had a fight with RMC as my first opponent of the year, then back again to MTQ to get it done (Alhamdulillah it ended with a victory), and soon finish the day of IIU before going to the hospitals to have my checkup not to mention the following week we would all have to sit for our mid-year exams. it all happened in a blink of an eye that when i opened my eyes again, everything went away...

before i knew it, i lost MTQ kebangsaan and my studies didnt go so well, Tasnim has her own problem and didnt come to the following debate practice, Amira and Raihan seemed like rivals rather than being sisters, k.Hafeeza having to focus on her spm, Azizul and Arifuddin with their inner self problem, and Fakhry seemingly having looks as though he just got out from a 360 degree over-heated oven. I couldnt help but think, just think, that the fight we had in IIU before wasnt worth fighting after all.

With all thats happening, A second chance came when a miscommunication brought my way to Musleh International Debating Championship. There, i was team up with a whole different team : Arif Hakimi, Laila and surprisingly a new Fakhry. Our goal was to try out new things, to experience, and to appreciate things ; anything else but winning. Even though in the end, we lost because of some silly and unrealisttic reason, the most important thing was we had Our moments. Because we were together, as a family, with those whom we care for.

The ending of the year for me was painful. After so much fun with the ones i care for, i was left with a puzzle. Will the F3's leave me one by one next year? Will i become a crazy frantic person having it all debate, hafazan, and spm in my head? What will happen to the family since we could see right now we are parting ways? so many questions aroused inside me that sometimes i got too tired thinking about it. that i dont think ill be able to handle it, because im just ME ; weak, selfless and hindered.....

A Peak of 2010:

Azizul, Arifuddin, Arif Hakimi, Amira, Raihan, Tasnim, Ulfah, and Laila : the Descendants of last year's journey. May Allah bless you no matter where you are.

Last year's debate was out of the order; it was nothing like the usual ones. because each and every one of u had make it different in each and every way u could.

But do u Really think u have seen it all Yet?

This year, the journey continues where you will delve into the Real meaning of Happiness, Pain, Victory, Independence, and what we would call The World.

Plan your own Maps carefully to start the journey to Your World next year, under the Guidance of Allah. I want to believe, and I Do believe.. that Sky is Not the Limit.

Everything will Change right From Here.

-Praise for the Soul, Credits for the Mind-

Nor Syazwani.

Saturday, December 26

Debate Journey, Untold Story: The Reality Of Life

Editors Note to ALL:
This Story was not unveil but only to the most prominent members, what you are about to read is filled with dread, curse and unhappiness, but if understood you WILL understand the real principles of life, it has changed my perspective over debate, and more importantly my life.

15th March 2009

Two elite debaters were sent to The STAR Headquarters, to take a chance for the next International Asian Debate Championship held in the Philippines. Surprisingly both were able to try the following round to become the next Malaysian champion. But, the elder one, the sister, couldn't follow his younger brother to the next round. The younger brother, Abdullah Fakhry aka KhaleeD had to go alone.

29th April 2009
Venue: STAR HQ, Petaling Jaya.

Abdullah Fakhry was in a fanatic climax. In the main hall, Diak, him, Sarta (Indian), Michael Chu (chinese) and Safiya was brutally trained by there mentor and debate trainer, Adam. Adam was a debate veteran, in his 20's going to thirty, my closest friend and mentor around here, although very strict. He will constantly ask us why Iraq was attacked, why the UN was formed, what was the conspiracy 1998, what was the Geneva treaty? all questions that required our capability to think to the max. And among them all, only me and Diak were still in school, maybe the youngest in the team.

I remembered this days training. We were thought how to execute powerful ways to talk, charismatic ways that would enable us to have total control over the stage. We learn to utilize it. Some of us become great debaters over night.

But some of us didn't.

"Fakhry what was it this time?" Adam asked. Adam was a little bit piss off with my recent performance as a second speaker, he said it didn't suite me in terms of this team. So he trained me for a first speaker. He said i understood faster than the others and would be able to clarify everything on the first speech.
Come on Fakhry!!! 5 years you have trained for something like this. DON'T blow it up again, no not again. I could hear it in my head, the laugh of Azri Asyraf, the anger of Nafeesa, and the sound of crying, my crying. I will not give up I told myself, not this time, never!!!

Somehow i hated it, but i was determined. I remembered the time when I lost IIU, that I vowed to myself I would make it up here, or else where else, would after 5 years of debate would it be a waste? No I said to myself. I knew this was my second chance the moment I was summoned. This was my next big chance, and I'm not going to bust it. I trained as hard as I could to be qualified for the Asian debate in Philippines.

23 May 2009

For a month I have trained with Adam, and some improvement has shown. I've made a new friend, Diak, we were the only still schooling students. Often we'll discuss about how horrible school is, the food, the exams, the people and the school mostly. What we were different in school background, we had a similar goal: another chance to debate.

Today, Adam was going to announce who would be the main speaker. Everyone was hoping a place in the main speaker slot because it meant much to all of us, not because it will bring us the title of Best Speaker, but also the pleasure of the 10 preliminary rounds. I crossed my fingers, praying to Allah that I would be chosen, First or second speaker, it doesn't matter much now when it will determine who the main speaker is.

"The three main speaker are, as third speaker Michael", everyone gave a loud applause. He deserved it of course, just like Azri Asyraf, he was a killer tongue.

"Second speaker, Safiya", Another greater applause, Although shorter than me, she has the voice of Nafeesa. I even laughed when we first met, as if she never met a "budak agama".

"And first speaker, Fakhry", the whole room gave even a louder applause. Diak pat my back in congratulate, as the youngest of all of them, I was deeply lucky with it all.

At some moment the feeling of proud I couldn't grasp. I should be feeling excited, joyful, happy, but neither of those when they called my name. I felt EMPTY. What was wrong with me???

Adam was distributing the tickets for the Singapore training before the real thing, we'll go to Singapore first for a getaway before the real thing. The training for today was finished. Everyone was already packing there tickets and hurrying outside to smell back the fresh air.

Until finally the only ones left was me and Adam. The feeling of unease was still in me that i accidentally dropped my papers.

"ohh let me help that", Adam said giving a hand to help.

We picked it all up, until i stumbled upon my IIU Debate certificate. Adam saw it.

"You've been to that competition?" He asked.

"Yeah, last year I went to finals"

"And this year?"

I just keep quiet with that question. Thinking now what I should do but there was something missing, some kind of empty feeling.

"And what the other three of your teammates from Maahad? I'm sure they would grab this chance if given"

"Nafeesa was going to Jordan, Iman had left me, and Wani had some errands"

"It must be great debating with them, as a team, the feeling of teamwork and friendship and all"

Then finally the realization came to me. There was something missing.

"Adam, I have something to tell you"

"And what would that be?" He sounded more like a friend or father than the strict veteran, did he somehow sensed my discomfort.

"I think I'm going to pass this chance of going to the Philippines and Singapore and all. It's just not that I feel something's not right with me, not now"

"I understand", Adam said.

You do? I saw the half chinese half Malayan face staring to me. Did he really understood what I'm going through? I could see in his eyes, like as if he has gone through the same thing all over, what became a brutal training, became a passion, then into a skill, then into a curse of destiny. All because we didn't understood what we doing. we were pursuing an objective we wanted in our whole life, but when we grasp it, we felt empty and the feeling of disappointment. Because the thing we were searching was actually right in front of our eyes the whole time.

I handed my ticket to Singapore to Adam and we gave our last good byes.

"Whatever you do, make sure it is because of you, and nothing else, but for your happiness,
good luck finding it"

That was his last piece of advise before I step out. I was running, down the stairs. The feeling of relief and joy and anticipation. I never felt it before, I felt FREE. Free. Free from the training, free from the burden of 5 years of debate!

As I step out into the open air of Petaling Jaya, I smelled the fresh air and sank down on a chair outside. It was raining. I sulk down with the rain.

How could it go so far? The realization came all to real. I remembered the time when wani said to me that what was important wasn't the experience or the certificate, but it was the feeling of joy and happiness and at home. And I didn't saw that!

Wani. I'm sorry.

I realized that from last years IIU debate when I lost at the finals, I became a fanatic towards debate. I hurt myself for the crimes I committed. From CFS Opens, to the Intraschool, to the Interschool Debate championship, I hurt myself.

And now finally I'm able to let it all go.

Whether I realized it or not, the joy and happiness of debate was there, right in front of me. I closed my eyes, and I saw Raihan making a brilliant speech, Ariffudin winning his first debate, Amira becoming one of the best 1st speakers, Azizul doing all sorts of laughter, Hafeeza trying hard to not disappoint me, and Wani's determination to come to IIU even though it might jeopardize her MTQ. I laughed at myself. it was all there. All the joy and spirit, all there but I didn't saw it.

So now is the time to let it go. Let all the burden go, let all the anger go. Let it go.................

A white Rexton drove across the road in front of Fakhry. Fakhry walk towards it, in his mind is to teach this to his juniors. he now has to make sure that they won't be obsess like he did. In his mind, he was thinking how he could say sorry to Arif, Raihan, Amira, Azizul, Tasnim, Hafeeza and most of all to Wani.

There was only one place he's heading now. Home.

Tuesday, December 22

Syariah Revealed: Even Muslims are Afraid of it

These days, Muslims have begun to ask how to overcome problems associated with changes in life and say we have to re-interpret some verses in the Quran. This is due to wrong teaching and misunderstanding, and this can be corrected by re-educating the Muslims properly, not by following the West.

EVERY rightly guided Muslim holds that he is obliged to follow the law of Allah, namely the Syariah. It is the revealed law, the path shown by Allah through His messenger, Muhammad.

To the mind of an unbeliever, perhaps, it is rather strange that the Muslims today still want to maintain and follow the law that was revealed more than one thousand years ago.

The command to follow the law is evident in this Quranic verse: “We made for you a law, so follow it, and not the fancies of those who have no knowledge.”

The Quran, which was revealed to Muhammad, is something very important to every Muslim, not just personal to the Prophet. No Muslim has the authority to add anything to it, or to make alteration, or to omit anything from it. They have the duty and responsibility to preserve the Book for the guidance of all mankind till the end of the day.

They are also constantly reminded of what the Jews and the Christians had done to their holy books and warned not to do the same to the Quran — “Have you any hope that they will be true to you when a party of them used to listen to the Word of Allah, then used to change it, after they have understood it knowingly?” (2: 75).

Unless the person accepts the authority of the Quran he will never understand why the Muslims are like that. What a Muslim can do is to convince that person that the Quran is the word of God for all mankind.

In the beginning, the Meccan Arabs also refused to accept the teaching of Muhammad, preferring instead the way of life they inherited from their forefathers. Their attitude is condemned by the Quran: “And when it is said unto them: Follow that which Allah has revealed, they say: We follow that wherein we found our fathers. What! Even though their fathers were wholly unintelligent and had no guidance?” (2:170). This argument is still relevant now.

Professor Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, founder and ex-director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), always reminds his students of the need to have a proper response and attitude towards the challenge of modernity.

Today, he said, among the Muslim intellectuals and leaders are those who are bringing the same problems as what the Christians are having. This is because there are a lot of changes happening, and the Muslims begin to ask how to overcome problems associated with those changes. That means, they say, we have to re-interpret some verses, otherwise the Muslims will refuse to accept the teaching of the Quran.

This is very dangerous and if we allow it to happen there will be no end to it.

When discussing the economic problems of the Muslims, for example, some Muslim scholars blame the Islamic law of inheritance, suggesting it to be changed to keep up with the time. But how are they going to change it when the Quran is very clear on it?

They, nevertheless, argued that in those days women did not work while today women work with some of them even getting higher income than their husbands, and because of that the provisions for inheritance should be made equal. This, they said, would help correct the economic imbalance among the Muslims.

We cannot simply accept the given reason without asking for proof that Islamic law of inheritance is the cause of Muslims’ economic problem. We are not going to accept it as if it is an undeniable fact, whereas it is just an unproven assumption.

Some others called upon the Muslims to look into the spirit of the verses about inheritance because now the situation has changed, and looking at the spirit of it now, they say, inheritance between male and female should be made equal.

That is not a correct argument, because regarding the verses of the Quran that are unambiguous one cannot say that one must look into the spirit of the matter. That is precisely the way Western people look at law, for their law is written by man and therefore they can always look into the spirit of the law.

Similarly, when confronted with the problem of women and gender equality, many Muslim thinkers do not realise that some of these problems are not actually relevant to the Muslims. Some of the problems about equality and demand for justice arose because of the early doctrines of Christianity on the position of women. The Muslims did not have such problems, but now they do have it, not due to something inherent in Islam, but due to the Muslims’ misunderstanding of their own religion.

Some of our modern ulama, according to al-Attas, are to be blamed for not teaching people properly, so sometimes there is injustice. They are often seen to be on the side of men in matters of law, for example in matters of divorce and polygamy, whereas women are not given clear understanding of their rights.

This is due to wrong teaching and misunderstanding, and this can be corrected by re-educating the Muslims properly, not by declaring equality and trying to follow the West. We can’t abolish any law that is clearly stated in the Quran.

This is, sadly, the state of affair of the Muslims, who have generally become ignorant and confused. As a result, false leaders thrive among them.

All these have to be changed, and in order to do that the Muslims have to look into themselves to find out what are they lacking, and whether they are thinking correctly. The real problem with the Muslims today is the corruption of knowledge which can be seen in the way we believe and the way we do things. At the same time our people are trying to follow the footsteps of the Western people including the way they observe religion.

We must be precise in our thinking, and be able to see how the logic goes. That is what we can learn from the science of kalam, which, unfortunately, people today do not care to learn any more. As a result they cannot think properly, nor can they argue or understand arguments.

-Taken From The Star 22/12/09-

Now this article is quite a read when you go through it, at first my thoughts go to like"what?" in utter confusion, then a "huh" in utter disbelief, then another "really?" in surprised, and finally a "ohh macam tu rupanya" in agreement.

Really you can't deny, that as much as you have to admitted it, there are still many Muslims whom are uneducated about the Islamic teachings, even more when it is about Syariah Court Law. Some Muslims even are afraid of it, who wouldn't when the law could decree that someone could be "stone to death" or "cut their hands off", what they don't understand in the first place is the reason why Islam chooses these methods and what effects it has towards the society as a whole. Really we shouldn't care how cruel the law is, who in the world ordered you to do the sin in the first place, if you're so afraid of it?

When a debate like this comes out, it is essential to understand that people don't actually understand what's going on. When you want to introduce something you firstly need to make sure the public understands what your doing, they need to be educated. In this type of motion about Syariah Court Law, the Muslims especially need to be educated about this movement.

"There is a problem in the solution", politicians used to say it. Everyone is afraid of a something they don't understand. If I would say that I was a cult that drank the blood during the seventh day of Ra. maybe you would be freak out. We, Muslims of all people need to be open minded on what Islam teaches us.

Understanding breeds empathy, and Empathy breeds tolerance, Tolerance breeds actions that would satisfy everyone.

Friday, December 18

Debating Is A Waste Of Time.....................NOT

Motion: Debating Is A Waste Of Time

Stand: As It not has reached it's real (true) objective

Yard - Stick: School Debating

  • Debating: Pointless Arguing
  • Waste: Unusable, Ignored, Useless
  • Time: Moment
Operational Definition/ Concept:
  1. Everything goes back to time indirectly, if you waste you're energy over something, you're wasting all that time eating, exercising and training.
  2. Debating even when it has benefits, it's very small in matters, metaphor: Junk Food has nutritional value but it is still junk and has more side effects.
  1. The Real Objective: Anonymous Solution, Implementing the Solution, getting the benefits. We see that in the debate that there is no such thing as an anonymous solution, because there are still two sides: opposition and government, whom in this case would never believe what the other sides says. When this happens you indirectly can't perform the solution because there is an opposing force or threat, and in this case you don't actually get the benefits of debating.
  2. Teenagers and their Immaturity: We all know how immature teenagers are, especially when it comes to finding their identity. They do things like taking a cigarette or go to debating for instances just because they like it, but they don't understand the real meaning towards it, their in a state of finding their identity and to understand themselves. When they don't really understand then indirectly they wouldn't get the benefits, because debate is a game of mental and intellect, unlike sports which would benefit physically even when you don't understand why you're doing it, debate requires you to understand the principles and technical why of thinking, if you don't understand why you're suppose to think in such a way then your brain wouldn't process it as useful and eventually you'll indirectly won't apply it in your debating life. That's why we could see a lot of politicians (grown - ups) who still talk like maniacs in the parliament, because they never understood the values of debating. When someone says that debate makes you think logic and rational, well duh, if you don't understand why you are coming to debate in the first place then it quickly shows that debate doesn't help you to think rational and logic.
    The Question right now is: What is so Special about debate that it's likely more better than other problem solving methods?
  3. The Debating Spirit (This is going to be long): ever wonder why in the world Malaysia choose the Asian type parliamentary debating style? it's no coincidence that we're not thought how to debate in world Style, American style, or British style, or Austral style debate (I know them all), even though almost all are for the same 3 objectives. Asian debating style brings out something this so called debating spirit into play, it's main difference point is that there are at most 5 to 3 debaters per team. unlike Austral which cap 3, American which has no cap at all but is individually base, or British which is two person per team fighting your own team, Asian debating style brings out the best of it.And you never realize it in the first place, duh. The Debating spirit is brought out when there are 8 main players in a room, not 6. 3 debaters on each side, government and opposition, and two other substitute speakers. now if you were an adult or grown - up you would say why in the world should there be a substitute debater, but for teenagers, it's actually a win or loose decision if you don't have that analyzer. Just like in Football (Soccer) there is a cheer - leading squad, and sometimes people think why in the world are they there in the first place. It's a simple manipulation of the mind actually, for teenagers, there is this spirit that adults don't tend to understand much, that teenagers NEED help, even small help if it is. it brings out the best of them. The debating spirit is literally a spirit of teamwork, cooperation, understanding one another, realizing leadership. It's the things you would find in grown up's debate. Why? because in debates like universities you won't be stuck with same teammate for the next 4 to 5 years, they'll change it. but in School's debate this doesn't actually happen much, you'll get stuck with the same person all year because that person might be the only one talented in debate. In these five years teenagers learn to understand their teammates, it's same kind of chemistry process, that in some way you don't need to listen what your friend is talking about because you think in the same way, indirectly you understand your friend better than your friend understand themselves, the problem comes when teenagers stupidly "migrate" to different schools or just don't want to debate because they don't understand their friends, in some sense your friends might not understand you either because there wasn't anytime for this chemistry to happen. It might be a year (it's possible, it happened to me) or 5 or never, but the determination of togetherness with the understanding of your teammates is one of the most superior forces on the planet, they say that if a bunch (2 is a pair, so three will suffice) thinks in the same exact way (thinking the same goal) then no one could stop them but only Allah himself, (I mean it), read: The Lost Symbol, Noe tics Science by Dan Brown. This is the so called the debating spirit, it's not actually a spirit but an elemental force so powerful, you wouldn't believe it could come from a bunch of teenagers.

My Dearest Family..................

So now do you understand what Sister Wani and I have been talking about? We are not coming to debate because we like to, or think because we'll be smart and all, we could think logic and rationalize (It's already in my brain) but because for the greater good, because there is a whole branch of things you don't understand and never will unless you put your feet back on to solid ground. And we are here to help you in that. The only thing we're asking is your determination in this so called debate. We will gladly help as long as you allow us to.

"NOTHING could stop a bunch of teenagers with the RIGHT MENTAL PROBLEM, yet Nothing could help the same bunch of teenagers with the WRONG MENTAL PROBLEM"

All we want is your determination, act it don't just say it. When there is a debate meeting whatsoever and your parents don't let you and you just simply just give up, really that's a stupid excuse. FYI I'm not trying to become proud of it (even when my name means "My Proudness") but to tell you the truth i went to 4 debate trainings with Wani during my SPM exams and i think SPM doesn't mean a thing to me if you guys couldn't stop gibbering about some unidentified flying problem, I came all the way to school by bus, can you imagine how much toxic fumes I inhaled just to get here? especially with lungs like mine.

"If you Dare to Dream it,
If you are willing to work hard on it,
Surely and truthfully, you WILL achieve it"

I'm sorry if I hurt anyone in this article, directly or not, but is for the better. Those of you whom have read this article, I want you to tell the others about it: Ariffuddin, Raihan, Amira, Tasnim, Azizul, Laila, Ulfah, Arif Hakimi, Madhihahm Aisyah, Haziq and Arif Ikmal. tell them all (my order)

PS: I wrote this when I was a little sick and disorientated so please ignore the wrong grammar and spelling.

Monday, December 14

Debate Journey 2, Chapter 3: The Debate Begins

25th April
"It's all your fault!" Azri Asyraf said.

"you trained in debate for 4 years and still your not good at it!"

"it's over Fakhry, I think you can't even go through the breaks"

He could hear the laughter, the sorrows from inside his head, and as much as he wanted to, he couldn't get it out. And then there was darkness, it's like the whole world turned upside down.
Fakhry woke from his momentarily sleep. tired. Another nightmare, although it wasn't actually night. It wasn't a good one.
He was in the auditorium at the Kuliyyah of Engineering. Much bigger than the previous years. It was huge, with five separate doors, two in front, three at the back, with at least 30 rows of chairs that stair cased till the back of the auditorium, if he wanted, he could fit the whole school in it. In front there was a stage, similar to the one back at school, a little smaller perhaps, with LCDs and a white screen. the room however is now being filled with people.

His team is now at the top row, close to the right back exit, it was a good spot, not that pack and people don't usually come from the back doors. They occupied three rows just for their team.

Me, Hafeeza, Azizul, Raihan, Ariffuddin, Amira, Tasnim, with our observers: Laila, Syazwani Jr and Ulfah. Wani was absent, she had her own battle at SBPI Gombak, better known as INTERGOM.

The Debate competition is about to begin, and firstly was the Mock Debate.
There going to teach us (remind, for me) about the debating rules and regulations and show a simple debate so we could see how a debate is actually. The newbies were listening intently. Either they already knew, didn't or just forgotten. It was the same like every year. The only thing they added was about the type of debates: policy and proof debates. Now usually I would be asleep, but not this time. For one, I had to stay awake if my juniors wanted to ask anything, secondly, it wouldn't actually be a good show in front of them (Ok, that might be the real reason).

After the power point and the speeches something great happened. Daniel who was holding the microphone said that due to some difficulties they couldn't get enough debaters for the mock debate, so they wanted some students to try it out. My luck.

The newbies, especially Arif wanted me to go and give an awesome demo. Teacher Maizatu said i should scare them by showing them how I debate. The idea was awesome, wished Wani was here.

I strode down the staircase and past Nafeesa. then an idea came to me. I asked Nafeesa to ask to Iman, whom was sitting a row behind her, if whether they wanted to try like the old days. Nafeesa thought it was a great idea, and quickly asked Iman, of course whether Iman didn't wanted to or her team didn't let her, I don't know, and so neither did Nafeesa wanted to try. So I "advertised" my name alone. Other students has already lined up and was already putting in their names, hopefully to debate. And for a sec, everyone actually knew me, maybe from last year. It's strange when people know you but you didn't know them. Hopefully their won't be any pride in it.

I wrote my name and sat back with Nafeesa. I quickly messaged Wani about this, she'll probably be mad at me for not getting some rest during this time.

"who are you talking to?" Nafeesa asked, trying to eye the text message I was writing.

I gave a small childish smile, trying to hide my excitement. I quickly placed back my had phone into my pocket.

Frantically, I was chosen to give the demo. Me, a form 3 from SMI Al- Amin Bangi and someone from MRSM Langkawi. Our opponents were Sis Afifah, Faiz, and Zamir. Mind you I've fought them before. The motion was totally awesome: THW Ban Violent Video Games.

We were given 15 minutes quarantine. I choose to be the third speaker because I didn't want to give a lot of points. You see the idea is to intermediate others at the same time conceal my strength for the next round.

I wanted to laugh at a moment during quarantine, because it's as if these guys can't cook up some case for this simple motion. They were discussing with me how a game is just a game, but even I knew that that wasn't a strong point. Brother Afiq came and helped explain us what the debate was all about. Technically, these people where amateurs, no offense. Then the debate began

It was held in the auditorium, with Sister Khalidah as the Mrs. Speaker. We were the opposition, the IIU team was government. And I was the 3rd Speaker.

The Debate Began..............

The IIU team was starting with the simple knowledge that it was the job of the government to make sure there wasn't any bad influence from the media.
I thought it was somewhat ridiculous, because of course it was the governments job to do that, duh.

There were more points about there way of making sure that there is a trustworthy board to supervise this mechanism. I passed that point towards my first speaker from SMI Al Amin.
Surprisingly he was hushing it, hopefully he understands it.

before long Sister Afifah has finished and now it was our turn to take the case. I knew that if our first speaker could point out there burden of proof, we could throw away there case. Disappointingly, that's not what he said. I felt like laughing and choking him.

What are you talking about!!!!! The second speaker didn't do what I wanted him to do either.
He was chastising my speech. Whatever he was talking about, IIU was rebutting them with ease. this meant if i speak something different from them I would be penalize. This will be complicated.

I stood up, making that glamorous smile I always make, then I started speaking.

"Mrs.Speaker, the Government has failed to prove us two things: the significance and the solvency of their motion. For instance if someone was playing GTA would he go and murder Sister Afifah or even rapped her"

The whole room laughed, sister Afifah blushed over that joke. I hope I didn't go through the line.
Like last year, I kept on babling making bad remarks about people, so Nafeesa had to control me, this time i had to control myself. I continued my speech by raising the main issue of debate which was " Why should it be ban?". stressing out that games are not the same like drugs and so on about it's significance.

By the time I finished, the whole crowd gave a wondeful applause. Maybe they were intermediate with the way I spoke and how between the three of us, I was the only one who understood the motion and issues.

"I think I don't need to give an introduction about our last speaker here, because i think you all knew him from last years Finalist, Abdullah Fakhry from Maahad Hamidiah" Sister Khalidah said. I just gave a humorless smile.

The debate was awesome, although I was penalize for adding some new substance in my speech in still was great. I sat by my other teammates and checked my watch, Wani should be finished with her MTQ by now. Brother Daniel was about to give a remark about the upcoming debate.

I watched him, but something caught my attention. A tall figure came in from the east front door. I thought I couldn't believed my eyes at first.
Wani, in a purple baju kurung was there.

To be Continued...............................

Thursday, December 10

Mendidik Jiwa Remaja: The Debaters Way......

I got this info mostly from the Solusi magazine, 9th issue. it's a great magazine, although its not like mellinia or Al Islam which goes into recent issues about the current Islamic civilization, it makes you think about this beautiful world you live in and it mostly discuss about things people wouldn't have thought about (e.g that the world you live in is actually all a matrix) . One issue I found intriguing is about "Teen Identity".

I know, i know, maybe some of you have already talk to me about it, maybe some are still finding it, but the majority "thinks" they know it. What do I mean you "think" you know your identity.

Well to make a simple experiment, think of some kind of habit you do everyday, e.g you like to comment people a lot, you are very loyal to your parents, you like to read fiction - type novels, you like to post things in you blog even though you don't understand why or what you are posting, or you just like to smile every moment in your life (my treat).

Now once you thought about this habit of yours (make sure it's a habit, not a hobby); give me a simple reason why you're doing it in the first place and why other people aren't. Maybe the usual answer would be because it's a charity (smiling IS charity) or maybe it's the right thing to do (of course you have to be loyal to your parents, duh), but that's not a concrete reason, the answer should be what's in for you!? (what will you get directly) in my survey (when I was half prefect half BADAR, that's when I was F4) I found out that many people can't actually give me a good enough reason.

Someone once asked me a very sinister question: why do you make Islam as your religion? The answer was a quick: because it's the right way of life, then the reply was: so you wouldn't be in Islam if you haven't been born in it?

Really, answer me: if you haven't been born in Islam would you think Islam is that right? I'm not trying to make you loose your fate in Islam or anything, it's just that many of us do weird things like take a cigarette, take drugs, or think bad of other people and become a Hypocrite. It's a simple case where you don't understand Islam, and in some sense you don't understand yourself neither. (And although I may have found part of the answer for this, I'm still looking for more)

So now it's time to play IDENTITY (yep the one in TV where you need to identify who is who, just this time it's for real). I like this movie because it gives us an idea how people identify you in the world.
  1. The first step is to understand your name, what people call you of course. In this game of IDENTITY, they firstly give out names for you to divide between the people you need to find. In some cases, just by knowing someones name you could already identify someone, without having to go through the details. In the early times of Islam, our prophet usually will rename those who have newly convert into Islam or give them nicknames, and he's best at naming people. The prophet once said, when someone converts into Islam or is born into Islam, you should give them a good name. The reason is because names, true names have power over people, if your trying to calm someone or someone is trying to kill you, the best thing to do is to say their name. Why? because it's their identity of course. that's what differentiate us from animals. Assassins are trained to not name their victims or else they'll have doubts (this is true, read: How to become an Assassin). it's no coincidence that someone is named Ariffudin, Syazwani , Rifqi or Muhammad. So first step is to understand why and what your name means.(seems hard? tell me about it)
  2. Secondly is to understand your habits, there is a saying:
    Watch your thoughts, it will become your words; watch your words, it will become your actions; watch your actions, it will become your habit; watch your habits, it'll become your character; watch your character, it'll become your identity; watch your identity it becomes your destiny.................
    Simple habits differentiate us from other people. society is able to identify because they know your character, your habits. Good habits, e.g drinking water everyday, praying Qiamullail every night or always reading the Qur'an is in a way good. while bad habits, are just bad. the key is to understand your habits and why you do it. If you don't know what's the reason, the real reason why you like to read Qur'an or coming to debate training, then it's just the same with you not doing it at all. To understand, you need to think for a second. just like the old saying, everything starts with your thoughts. So in some way, your identity is your way of looking into the world. In the early crusaders, when the Christian's still hold Jerusalem and Baitul Maqdis, the knights would tell their apprentice:
    "God only wants two things from you, your mind and your heart, the rest is just a tool"
    On the day of judgment , Allah will firstly see your intention's, your niat of doing some good deed, if it is not for the right reason then it's as good as useless.
So there you have it, it might not be pretty much, but it's a start. The journey of finding an Identity is one you have to go through, either you will find it now or then, hopefully not the day after tomorrow.

Celik Mata Hati:
Pandangan mata, sifatnya menipu,
Pandangan akal boleh keliru,
Pandangan nafsu boleh meluru,
Tetapi pandangan yang paling tepat dan hakiki
ialah Pandangan MATA HATI.

Thursday, December 3

Debate Journey 2, Chapter 2: Essence of Hope

In the Epics of Lord of the Rings, Gandalf once said:
Your fight will start, when all is lost on the third day look to the west, from there hope will come.

My Family........

If the sun has not rise from the west, then there is always hope, you just have to find it. There is power stronger than the weapons you have, wiser than all of your knowledge and greater than all the elements combine. It is given only to the human race, it differs us from the angels, demons and beast. it gives us a meaning to survive and live the worst. it is hope, determination, and belief. such things can not be thought from man to man, but must be learned through experience.

An old Chinese Scholar said: NOTHING could stop the man with the right mental problem, and yet NOTHING could stop the man with the wrong mental problem

Venue: International Islamic University Malaysia, Gombak Campus.

I’ve been in a day dreaming mood ever since in the bus. As I walked to CAC for our registration I met with Faiz, my trainer from the CFS Open Debate, whom was also our former judge from last years debate league.

I asked him what teams have already registered. KISAS hasn’t shown up yet. Looking up at the names of the KISAS debaters, there I saw Iman’s name, team B KISAS. Faiz was partially shocked to hear that we split up. He even knew that Nafeesa was the teacher for SRI Ayesha. I thought I wanted to smack his face for saying that in front of me. It’s hard going through all this; it’s even harder hearing people actually don’t care about saying it in your face.

But I’m not the type of person who’s that too emotional. Life has thought me that emotions do little but actions and words do a lot. Then Azizul came to me and said the most absurd thing of thinking that we could actually go to the finals. Insyaallah, I hope.

Once we registered our school’s team, I quickly nabbed the days ratio, frantically my picture as last years finalist was in there, and Alhamdullillah they finally got our school name right. I showed it to all the newbie, bragging whether they could make it to the finals like I did, frantically Azizul said he would plus being best speaker too, Hafeeza just stayed quiet, wonder what she’s thinking about, Amira and Raihan took the ratio to see my picture (plus Iman, Wani and Nafeesa, last year’s whole team to be precise) and Tasnim just smiled at the exclamation. I was so excited.

We got to our rooms and this time the rooms were brand new! Much, much more different than the ones four years ago. Ahh, how time flies. Surprisingly, the girls block was just on the other side of the road. We did our solat Jumaat at the blue mosque of IIU and I met up with Ustaz Zainaphi and Ustaz Mahathir, they were the judges for the MTQ Wani was competing in, which was only in SBPI Gombak, a block away from IIU.

It came to me that it was really by chance Wani could actually join us after her MTQ because it was situated there, any farther and we would be having a hard time picking up her that is if we were able to pick her up. Thank the One who created the Heavens and the Earth. I even thought of driving a car to get her, mind you I could drive now even though I don’t have a license, but after some discussion, she said she would find her own way to get to IIU without my help.

After Jumaat Prayers, I stumbled with my little brother. Last year I had to baby sit them but thankfully not this year. This time my senior, Muhammad is going to do that work for me. There was Syed from the previous year. Someone new this year: Rahman, I feel like I just want to whack him on the head. He keeps on questioning whatever I do even more than Syed. Fattah really had quite a team, all very talkative.

We went to Burger King which was across the road. The SRI Ayeshan’s could live without some junk food. “Anak- anak Kaya” my mom once said. There new teacher, which I just met, Brother Zaki. He was just 8 years older than me, so to me, he was more like a brother than a teacher, he even treats me like one. We went to Burger King by his car. On the way I got a glimpse of SBPI Gombak. It so close yet so far.

It was around 4.00 pm, I’ve just arrived back to my room, with some treats for my juniors. It was quiet, too quiet maybe. Where was everyone? The BM debaters were gone, maybe for their training or something, that’s what Afzal told me. Arif and Azizul were still inside the room, Azizul was sleeping of course, tired I presume.

Arif came rushing towards me; he wanted to do training to. He looked so excited, maybe too excited, just like the bm debaters were doing. We called the girls, and reluctantly for myself, we agreed to meet in the front. Arif told e that Amira brought a laptop, she got it from her mother, whom was a teacher for another type of school competing, hope we don’t stumble with them or else they’ll have a hard time with us.

We packed some debate equipment and went to the front gate, there I could already see Raihan and Amira under the wakaf, built next to the bus stop. Hafeeza hasn’t been seen yet.

We all gather up,Raihan, Amira and Arif started discussing what should they do for their training and what to expect tomorrow. Azizul was making a joke about how girls were always late, wearing makeup and all, I laughed at it of course.

A few minutes past, then came Hafeeza with our little juniors, Ulfah and Laila. Hafeeza was smiles always, while Ulfah was talking to Laila, wonder what they are talking about, rule number one about girls, never ask what they are thinking, this Nafeesa thought me. We regrouped and quickly planned on where we want to do our training. Azizul without hesitation quickly pointed that because I was the only one that knew IIU I should just take them to whatever place I knew would be great to train. Yeah right, when was the last time I came here, of course, a year ago. I just hope my memory won’t disappoint me.

We could wait for Tasnim because she was sick and Syazwani Jr. had to keep her company. We walk along the road, they followed me of course, I didn’t knew where I was going, I saw a tunnel going under the road, it looked familiar somehow, of course, my first time coming to IIU me and Asyraf went scavenging around the place during dark, we got caught by the committee members and was brought straight to our rooms. What a laugh. We got out at the faculty of Engineering, the place still look the same as two years ago. That was Iman’s first year competing in IIU debate. How I wished I could just turn back time.

I was leading the company till at one point, it seemed like I’ve just walk a mile. Where in the world was I? the others looked at me, they of course didn’t knew anything about this place. It was Raihan who acted quickly, accompanied by Amira, they asked some old guy where was the entrance to the faculty of Engineering. It wasn’t far, and to think I got lost. We met up with the BM debaters and saw Amarul training them outside one of the debate rooms.

We found this neat air-condition room which was in the shape of a class. And this is where the all the real fun starts, training. Hafeeza, Raihan and Amira wanted me to teach them how to find issues in a motion, it was crucial I thought for both Hafeeza and Amira, as they will be the first speaker, and for Raihan because she’ll be doing the reply speech. Azizul and Arif started opening the Amira’s laptop, they quickly jabbed the wireless broadband connecter, and before long was surfing the internet.

I thought them as much as I could; maybe I was too fast in explaining the theories involved. I gave them simple exercise, finding power words and stock issues, I hope they understand, especially Hafeeza, and I really hope Wani was here, she might be able to explain them more better. They were excited when some of the exercises I gave them, was right, it’s a step I thought, a step to history.

It was late, almost Maghrib. Tonight there will be the annual Grand Dinner at the IIU main hall. It was always exciting. We quickly dashed back to the hostels. By the time we made it in front of the gates, the ushers were hushing us so that we would be a little faster, red faced, embarrassing, there were already groups of students waiting for a ride on the bus, we had to move quick.

Grand Dinner, 7.30 pm

Alhamdullillah, we made it in time. As usual, this year we also had to wear our school baju batik. Ohh how I would love to wear anything other than this. The grand dinner was, well grand. I didn’t quite understand it much, but there seemed to be some technical difficulties, never had this like last year. Students were all crowding at the main entrance hall. Of course I didn’t want to waste my team, I did the nonly thing a guy with a camera could do, I took some pictures of course. These were memorable moments I knew, this was going to be the last time I’ll be representing Maahad in the IIU debate league. Some people said I was going to stay as a senior form 6, yeah like that’s going to happen.

By eight o’clock everyone was inside the main hall, we went about searching for our table, table number 24 and 23. It was in the middle, a perfect view, behind the VIP table. Everyone was pulling chairs and greeting the other school, everyone in their best outfit for tonight.

Suddenly out of nowhere Raihan and Amira stumbled upon Iman. She wore her green baju batik from KISAS, the little juniors were pulling her to come and meet the Hamidians debate team. She said hi to me then going to the part of how was our training. Raihan replied with a quick say on how great and how awesome debate was, she even told her about our friendly match with SSP Kuala Lumpur. Iman made a motherly look face at me, one that mothers would do to their child if they misbehave in a funny way.

“You bullied them”

“No I didn’t”, I replied.

“Did he bully you?” Iman ask towards Amira and Raihan.

They made a small childish smile, trying to answer that ridiculous question.

“There, there, there, he bullied you, I just left you for a month and you start bullying them”

The statement was so straight that I felt I wanted to murder her. Who was the one who left? Who was the one who dumped 13 newbie? Who was the one who said they could actually beat other SBP schools? It wasn’t me, that was sure, and now she was talking to me like this. I just gave back a faint smile.

Iman went back to her KISAS colleges, one thing I’m thankful is that Iman hasn’t been brainwashed by KISAS, she’s still the Iman I knew.

Back to the grand dinner, the food of course was hand- licking, I ate with my hands as usual, while all the people around us was eating with spoons and forks, that was a Maahad trend in coming here. Azri Asyraf then came here; he was one of the judges of the tournament. He came to have dinner himself, he didn’t standing all night while everyone was eating, that’s Asyraf. With some mocking words like “it’s hard”, “it’s hard” he sat at one of the empty chairs around our table and took his own share of food. He commented about my team and how in the world am I going to win. It was a laugh.

The slideshow was spectacular, although it made your

adrenaline rush; it was no match with last year’s. Last year’s slideshow made you fuel up with adrenaline that by the end of it someone actually shouted in excitement.

I looked at the top of the stage, there it was the Tun Sri Lanang championship cup, and this year the prize money was worth RM 3000. How much further could it go? The cup was worthless, what’s worth was the glory of debating in the finals.

The grand dinner has ended; the ushers were passing some sheets of paper to the contestants. Wonder what it is? I took one, and to my curiosity it was a new timetable for the championship. I was totally shocked when I saw it; base on this new timetable, there would be only 6 preliminary rounds with two double-octo rounds.

Back in my room I quickly called Wani telling her about this. If this timetable was true(which I think is) then Wani would not be able to debate during the preliminary rounds because for the next two days she would be at SBPI Gombak. I went frantic. What was it actually? Was I doomed to be like? Wani calmed me down; she said she’ll think up of something.

I sat by my bed thinking what in the world am I suppose to do. There is a slim chance that if I was able, I could train Hafeeza tonight and make sure she was well prepared for tomorrow. Slim idea, not to mention selfish, but

what other choice did I had?

Without long, the girls called me via Amira’s hand phone. They willingly wanted to do a training tonight. Loudspeaker I think was on because I could hear Raihan’s and Hafeeza’s voice beyond the hand phone. I was totally in relief. I quickly said to the others to pack whatever things that were necessary and met at the front gate as usual. Arif and Azizul was a bit tired so they ran late.

While I was walking towards the front gate, I called the girls. They were a bit surprise at how fast I was moving.

“Dah solat ke?”

The question was a rhetoric one, you shouldn’t ask these type of questions to girls Nafeesa once told me.

“No, why?”

“Well don’t you want to go and pray first?”

“After this”, I said. I was already half way towards the front gate.

Raihan made a quick talk that I should go and pray first, and that I should go and get some rest, what empathy I thought. But maybe there was truth in her words; I was pushing myself a little too hard this year, not just me, my teammates too. A split decision was made, get back to the room get some rest for tomorrow and train during the mock debate. The words of Raihan were still imbued with excitement.

I walk back to my room, hand phone in hand. Thinking back of what I just heard. I sat on a chair. I was a little confused with the way Raihan spoke, was it excitement, hope, empathy or fear. Among all of my teammates, Raihan was the most emotional; I knew there was something in her voice. Was she afraid of me? Was she afraid that I’ll do something bad or get angry if she didn’t win nor did her best tomorrow? Maybe, I thought, she still had the fears from the previous debate with SSP where she wasn’t able to deliver a full speech. Is she trying to pay back the debt I did for doing the reply speech?

I sat thinking, maybe I haven’t realized it before, but in the eyes of Hafeeza, Amira, Azizul, Arif, just like Raihan, there were those faint glows. Was it hope? Did they understand what I was going through and wanted to make up for me? Their behavior in IIU proved a lot, they weren’t themselves. By the moment we step on IIU, they were excited, willing to learn, risk taking and if I could interpret right, hopeful, but for what reasons I don’t know. I always wanted to know what was the reason, the real reason, people like Raihan, Hafeeza, Wani or Ariffudin could have an interest in English debate. That’s something that was different between me and them; I was forced into debate, brutally trained and then when I wanted to let go, debate suddenly became a passion then into a skill, and now it’s my destiny.

What was the reason………………….

Monday, November 30

Debate Journey 2

My Family..................

The road ahead of you is tough, tougher maybe than before especially when debate has become a national event where the whole country is committed towards it, except our own school. I'm afraid by the time I'm gone, you will not be able to see the world our prophet see, listen to it as he would listen and feel it as you never felt it.
My Family.......

Yes, these are hard times and thankfully I'm already used to it, but you aren't. Right now I want to tell you everything. How I felt, how I lived and how I survived in debate this year. The day you will see when there is no Fakhry is deeply close. I could feel my bones coat in frost just when I listen Wani asking about my health, Kimi wanting me to teach him how I think, Ariffuddin to train his english, Azizul to hear every laughter we make together, Amira to help her with her social problems, Raihan to give her motivation every round, Laila , to take out those fears and stand up to society, with the other members of my family Ulfah, Ikmal, Haziq, Madihah and Aishah whom all want my attention.

My Family..........

What sister Wani told you is true. Life is a game of give and take (and I understand why), because if you want something, you have to give something, sacrifice would be a better word. Whether its time, money, brain power, or your presents, you need to give something.

My Family..............

I want to tell you my journey in debate, the first chapter is already posted on my Blog (, hopefully you don't have to go through something like that. So to start this journey, hopefully you learn something from it, and most of all you don't do my mistakes, for what is a muslim if he fell into the same whole twice.

9th April 2009

Splitting up

How could it go so far?

Let’s recap. We were one of those teams that were victorious in debate. We were a team; we were improving, and most of all we were winning. We were beating every single team that got in our way and I improved dramatically after CFS Open’s. We tasted the finals! We were the first ever team from SMKA to go on stage bringing girls for the first time! Victory I saw was millimeters away.

And yet, all of that is now gone…………

I don’t believe it!

You got twenty people who wanted to enter debate and when you thought, you actually thought it was great until the unexpected happens. Iman was going to KISAS. For once I thought she wouldn’t be because she didn’t have the first intake, she even dumped me with 13 newbie that doesn’t even know how to debate, without even saying goodbye or some motivational words, no nothing! Then Wani said she had MTQ, on the 24 of April. That was during IIU league! Nafeesa was gone I could see that. She focused more to SRI Ayesha; she’s no longer helpful in this situation. No one is!!!! There all gone! I’m all alone. ALONE!!1

Azri Asyraf laughed at me. He thought it was a joke that if I even could manage to the breaks. I cried. I thought I wanted to quit. Leave forever; I don’t even know why I’m jeopardizing my SPM for something I don’t even know why I entered or something that I can’t benefit from. The teachers were furious. They asked why I haven’t been in class and got angry when I mentioned about debate.

The debate team was growing. There were 13 of us. I and Wani were the only debaters left, Raihan, Amira, Syazwani Jr., Ariffuddin, Tasnim, Ulfah, Laila, Nisa, Arif Ikmal and Tolin. All of them had to be thought from scratch. But then what?! There was no one to help, no dream, no hope.

Then Wani said to me: “Your not alone in this, were here, were a family.”

For someone with a life like mine, that was ridiculously cruel. Those words can change a lot of things. But for now Insyaallah, winning does not seem impossible, hope might be fragile but there is still hope.

I remember the time when I promised myself I would win this year. That I made a promise to myself: I will win………

24th April 2009

I woke up on the Friday morning. Base on my watch it was 5 o’clock. My dormitory was still asleep. But I wasn’t. Today’s a big day. It’s the day that shows whether or not Maahad could make history. It’s the day where the words victory means a lot. It’s the day where I will be leading my first ever team to the IIU league. I was ready, more than ready. I remembered the time when Nafeesa and I went to visit Iman at KISAS. I hated that moment. I really wanted to meet her, but our reunion was like it never existed at all. She only spoke to Nafeesa. And that made me more determined than ever to go to IIU and find her and show her how it feels to be tortured for five years in debate. Oh yes Iman, I’ll find you……

I sat by my bed. Remembering back the training I went through. Alhamdullillah, it was tough but thanks to my new twin Wanie, I was able to brainwash 13 newbie in just a month. Sight.

Hafeeza was great. Thankfully she could understand my language. She’ll be a great 1st speaker, hopefully able to match up against Iman and her KISAS team. Amira, Wanie took care of, she was great during the last debate. Raihan, I really hope she doesn’t go too emotional on this, but all in all she’s by far the best speaker among the form three’s. Tasnim on the other hand was sick. So I had to brainwash Arif in just two nights on how to become a third speaker. Then there was the case of Azizul. After much consideration I reluctantly had to make him a third speaker because Wanie won’t be here for some time so the only plan is to stall as long as I can.

It was enjoyable although it felt like a punishment. If this was the sacrifice for staying at Maahad Hamidiah and not going to KISAS, then so be it.

I got to my locker, there hanged my debaters T-shirt. It was the first time we made a T-shirt for the team. Dark blue, with the Voice of Islam logo, it was more than just a T-shirt, it was an identity.

It was 5.51 in the morning, the Subh azan could be heard from the school mosque. It was my voice after all. As the sun soars through the sky, I got this thrilling vision of me, Wanie, Azizul, and Hafeeza actually on the stage raising the trophy. Insyaallah, this is no mere dream, it is now reality.

I got to the usual daily assembly. Of course I wouldn’t want to be in it myself. It would be very embarrassing to be the only one wearing a T-shirt on a Friday morning. As I stood by the parking lot, teachers came and asked a dozen questions. I met teacher Pazilah and she came towards me, giving me cheers and motivational talks, saying that this year Maahad Hamidiah will win once I lead the team. My stomach growled in disagreement, I really hope there was more proof to it than just a lot of talk.

I saw Wanie in her peach prefect school uniform. As much as my emotions would object her going to MTQ, but still she has her own choice, I’ve got to use what I have, and what I have is me.

The others came in there dark blue debate T-shirt. Amira, Raihan, Ariffuddin, Azizul, Tasnim and Hafeeza. They’ll be representing Maahad and its there first time. We were even able to bring three observers: Laila, Ulfah and Syazwani Jr. All first- timers, all newbies.

We made our last goodbyes and good lucks to Wanie for her MTQ. And for the first time Maahad was going to use a bus to send us to IIU, Iman surely would love it. As I sat alone by the window, thoughts of me, Iman and Wanie debating in a team came rapidly. We never had a chance to debate as a team before, though.

What in the world will happen……..