For some reason I am feeling super-ambitious this week. I decided to compile myself a bucket list, career-wise.
a) Attend international forums, and as the years go by, speak at international forums.
b) Do an internship or get an actual job at a major company in the creative industry. Adobe?
c) Make my Grandma’s original keropok bawang a national delicacy.
d) Become fluent in Arabic.
e) Do humanitarian work.
f) Indulge in the arts. Design. Advertising. Film. Poetry. Spoken word poetry.Etc. Integrate Islamic values in my work.
g) Get a Master’s degree or a PhD and become a lecturer at a national university.
h) Start a publishing company concentrating on contemporary Islamic fiction.
Deep down inside, I am sure that Malaysians are worth much more than novels beginning with ‘Suamiku ………….’.
Please, guys. I really want to believe that, in the near future, there will be novels about:
- Detectives and thrillers. How about ‘Misteri di Makkah’?
- Science fiction — how about someone accidentally using a time machine to travel to the years before the end of the world?
- How an orang Asli discovered Islam and convinced his whole family to revert.
- The memoir of a Malaysian Muslim who lived in New York during 9/11 and had to deal with the aftermath of it.
- Young adult literature. Like a coming-of-age story about a girl who decides to wear hijab.
- Someone who lives a conflicted double-life as a student of religious knowledge and a prostitute.
- DECENT romance novels. Have you ever read anything by Hlovate?
i) Launch a Malaysia-based Islamic multi-author blog with articles exclusively in English (think ProductiveMuslim, MuslimMatters, etc!).
I have known two types of Muslim youth in this country, Type A and Type B.
Traits of a typical type A: lives in an urban area, has experience living overseas, isn’t fluent in Malay, sees Bahasa Melayu and Pendidikan Islam as weak subjects in school, speaks English at home, is scared of religious authorities, has negative opinions of people wearing tudung labuh, often comes from wealthy background, sees Islamic rulings as petty and irrelevant, sees nothing wrong with touching/holding/hugging opposite sex, has very liberal opinions, looks down on Type B, etc.
Traits of a typical type B: lives in non-urban area, is scared and/or hesitant to speak English, the words ‘amboi’, ‘omputeh’, ‘kafir’, and ‘bajet’ comes to mind when thinking of English-speaking Malays, thinks all Christians and Jews are out to get Muslims, believes that studying in Western countries will corrupt Muslim minds, is horrified by thick English reading materials, tends to be unambitious, has very conservative opinions, looks down on Type A, etc.
I want to launch this blog in order to help Type A, Type B, and everyone in between. In the hope that Type A will become more interested in Islam and see how beautiful it is. So that Type B will not see English as an evil, demonic language and open more doors for them to see the world.
Well, I might die tomorrow. I may not ever achieve any of these goals – especially the huge, huge dreams. I’m just putting it out there in the hope that somebody will. But before that, I will make sure that I have the intention to achieve them, and that I will work hard.