Saturday, October 11, 2008

The First Aidil Fitri

My journey in "The Promised Land" started more than half year ago in February 2008 when I started my journey to Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, as a Compro student for February 2008 intake. I should have written this journal by that time but I didn't have time. Anyway I think it is good to start the journal in this blessed month of Syawal 1430. After all, Aidil Fitri is the chief of the days in a year. I'll do flashback to write my stories about my life in Fairfield, Iowa, when time comes.

It was Syawal 5th 1430, equivalent to October 5th 2008, just before dusk, I was with a few Malaysian students here in Southern California and a few officials from Malaysian Student Department, Los Angeles. The place is called Rosemead, perhaps around 5 miles from downtown Los Angeles. It was Aidil Fitri gathering organized by MSD.

The busiest hours had passed, so I'm left with a few that came late. It was good, though, because I think if I came during peak hours, I won't be able to chat closely with Mdm Hamidah Abd Karim, the Education Vice-Consul of MSD LA - the lady standing in the picture. Sitting in front of her was Omar, from USC, and another student was Nazmi whose head was blocked by Mr David, a local at the housing area. Omar and Nazmi happens to be Kelantanese. Coincidence?

Another photo of me, Omar and Mdm. Hamidah...

The day before at Lakewood

There was another Aidil Fitri celebration the day before at Lakewood, near Long Beach and nearer to my place, Garden Grove. This was organized by MIFNA (Malaysian Islamic Foundation of North America). There were more and tastier food.

There were more people too. Not only Malays, but also non-Muslim Malaysians. Here's another picture of people I meet. There are some non-Malaysians including invited VIPs.

The actual 1st of Syawal

On the actual Syawal 1st (October 1st), I took my chance to do the Aidil Fitri prayer in Los Angeles because there is almost no Malaysian other than me in Garden Grove area. I went to Los Angeles Convention Center in my baju Melayu, hoping if someone from Malaysia recognize the attire would greet me for Aidil Fitri. But obviously there was no Malaysian there too. I only meet an Indonesian couple.

The journey was: I left home at around 4.30am, took the first OCTA bus to Long Beach, then took the MetroRail Blue Line to Los Angeles. I was just on time to join the prayer at 7.30am; luckily the Blue Line stops close enough to the Convention Center. I performed Subuh on the train!!! Take a look at some pictures at the Convention Center. Los Angeles mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, gave a speech after the khutbah.

And the picture after...


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