Friday, June 16, 2006

Being A UNESCO Workshop Participant

I must say the two-day conference + workshop I attended on 12th - 13th June in PWTC is an eye-opener for me. Though the title is ‘War Against Terrorism: People’s Response”, and intended to be regional, it mostly inclined towards Malaysian context. Honestly, I was quite disappointed initially since I expected this event to be something which would touch upon global issues such as suicide bombings, 911, etc. Of course, speaking of terrorism, thanks to the relentless exposure and portrayal by the western media particularly the US; the mentioning of Islam could not be avoided.
Approaching the second day, the issues started focusing more and more about interracial relationship and interaction in Malaysia. Even though I found this intimidating and out of context at first, eventually I realize that this issue is the root cause in ensuring a harmonious, terrorism-free country, specifically Malaysia. May 13th, 1969 had witnessed the result of misunderstanding among various communities with diverse ethnicities. Most of the Malaysian speakers repeatedly stressing the importance of racial unity, the need for more dialogues, open discussions, forums, etc. I do not deny their views, yet I myself personally think there should be a balanced approach with regards to this matter. Instead of only the Muslims (and any party which is labeled with terrorism) taking the effort of explaining the real situation, the West should also struggle to be more understanding. Still, the problem arises when it comes to selecting the right people to be involved in the dialogues, conferences whatsoever. Certainly you don’t expect Bush, Blair or Sharon, do you?

The most awaited moment for me throughout the workshop is definitely the Q & A session. It is really nice to know that there are many people from various religions and ethnics who really want the idea of racial unity to be realized effectively. Honestly I never had any contact with the non-Muslims. My primary school is located in a Malay village. Then I entered a religious secondary school. After finishing school, I joined IIUM (International Islamic University Malaysia). Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the opportunity of becoming a member in my alma matters. The only regret I had is the lack of interaction with the non-Muslims resulting to my ignorance in dealing with them. I really hope I could improve on this aspect, Insya Allah.

Apart from the presentations, speeches and forums, there was also a movie screening: Paradise Now from Palestine. Paradise Now won a Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Movie and a nominee for Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Movie. This movie succeeded in making me to ponder about suicide bombing issues as well as other terrorism-related matters through a different angle. There’s no doubt I like this movie and I would love to give reviews @ comments about it. But that requires another entry! :D
Note: I want to upload my picture with Dr. Chandra Muzaffar who is one of the speakers for the workshop , but it seems there's something wrong with my Blogger. Anyway, I hope my readers are satisfied with my writing.

5 comments:

RR2 said...

I pray an entry on review of Paradise Now will come very soon!

ibah said...

ida, kat ner boleh beli cd prdise

ida_zy said...

ibah,
saya pun tatau kat mana leh beli
n surprisingly, saya check kat site imdb tadi
filem ini rupanya di'ban' di malaysia
i wonder why... hmm...

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