Maldives, 11 July – Total of 20 third-year undergraduates of Islamic Science University of Malaysia (USIM) from Faculty of Major Languages Studies (FPBU) have organized the Global Islamic Students Outreach (GISO) to Maldives from 11th till 18th July 2019 supervised by FPUB lecturer Madam Suo Yan Ju.
The main objective of GISO to Maldives is to create and have a good connection with the Maldives communities. This objective really helps the volunteers in sharpening their leadership skill and softskills through interaction with the public, especially people from different cultural backgrounds. At the same time, it alo educate volunteers about the local Islamic culture.
The first destination at Rasfannu Beach involved Maldives local community through malaysian tranditional games such as ‘batu seremban’, ‘congkak’, ‘teng-teng’ to the Maldives local community to enhance their softskills . Having these supportive and happy-go-lucky local community really helped them a lot to run the programm smoothly and successfully. The local community also graciously shared their ways of playing our traditional games. Instead of using stones, Maldivians use marbles while playing ‘batu seremban’ and instead of using marbles, Maldivians using white shells while playing ‘congkak’. This cultural exchange programm has fueled up their program further with the excitement and warmth of the community.
They also have grabed the oppurtunity to get involved with local preschool society while visiting Maafannu Madharusa to bring happiness and joy to these Maldives children.They have organized explorace activities for them. These explorace activities was really different from the program organized at Rasfannu Beach. The explorace activities at preschool requried the volunteers to be more energetic, patient and posses the ability to explain instructions to preschool.This was really the biggest challenge for many of the volenteers. However, the volenteers handled all the activities very well, they all had great and fun time with little angles.
They also organised a program involving university students from Maldives National University (MNU) where they had a friendly match called ‘Fit USIM’ and ‘Malay Cultural Fiesta’ where they introduced the Malay culture thorugh food, games, language and tranditional Malay clothes. Interestingly, they also had dodgeball match and also went snorkelling with MNU students.
Apart of these, they also visited some of the historical and attractive places such as Old Friday Mosque (Hukuru Miskiiy), Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam Mosque and National Centre of Holy Quran. Old Friday Mosque is the first and oldest mosque in Male, Maldives. Eventhough, it has been considered as a museum for now but still, this mosque is still been used by Maldives residents to perform their prayers.
The uniqueness of Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam Mosque is that there are always people around the mosque at all time, either it is during the five prayers’ times or aside from the prayers’ times. In the evening and weekend, this mosque is visited by many as their recreation center.
Having the experience living within the 100% Muslim community is a very please and bliss moments in our lives. Seeing how they treated their guests with the best and warm gestures, lend their hands to people in need, and enlighten their mosques at all time with all kind of activities really give them a big impact and make them reflect on themselves.
Allah said in the Quran in Surah Al-Hajj, verse 46, : [So have they not traveled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts.] This verse clearly shows that Islam encourages people to travel because through travelling so they can strengthen their faith through the series of experiences and teachings they found throughout the journey. The eyes and the mind need to be opened widely in order to evaluate, understand and learn throughout the journey and bring them closer to Allah.
Ammy Roszafirra binti Mohd Amran