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The Trials of 2014

This year has been a year of many challenges and rude awakenings not only for myself personally but also for my country. Almost immediately as the year began, on March 8, we were shocked by the big tragedy and mystery of the missing aircraft MH370. There are still no clear evidence of the plane ever to be found, but on the somber evening of March 24, satellite signals and data have indicated, as the Prime Minister puts it, "...flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."

Immediately a dark cloud loomed over us as hopes of survival dissipates in the depths of the ocean...

As we were just trying to go on with our lives after such tragedy, scrutiny, criticism and emotion worldwide, on July 17 in the wee small hours of the morning, the social media was bursting at the seams with the news of a commercial aircraft which had been shot down as it flew over the Ukrainian-Russian border airspace. I remembered I was just drifting off to sleep when I received the news through Whatsapp groups saying that the aircraft was Malaysia Airlines. As if by a cruel twist of fate, the doomed flight number was also MH17, as though to coincide with yet another dark day in our history. Twice in a year and within the span of less than 4 months... It had to be a nightmare!

I recalled not wanting to read more about the news that very night. I recalled turning my phone off and drifting off to a fitful slumber in hopes that it was just a hoax... a disgusting joke by some insensitive lot of people in the world. I recalled thinking, how can it even be possible to shoot down a commercial airline - warzone or not?

But as it turned out, it was all true. The plane was allegedly shot down apparently by mistake because our vessel had the same colours as the Russian Presidential plane, which the rebels were targeting. Astaghfirullah... and right in the middle of the holy month of Ramadhan. Who knew that the war that was happening halfway across the world could impact us so devastatingly. We all went into mourning collectively after that. Syawal came and we are still grieving. Investigations are still underway. But of course no one is owning up to anything as it would only incarcerate them. We're left picking up the pieces.

It wasn't enough to grieve for our home country, the world grieved over the horrors of the war in Palestine against the Zionists that plagued the Palestinians all throughout Ramadhan.

But only Allah s.w.t knows what this all is to us. Perhaps it is a test of our devotion and beliefs. Perhaps it is His punishment for our wrongs. Perhaps we need to relearn the concept of humanity. Perhaps we need  to be thankful and say Alhamdulillah even in the midst of hardship. Regardless, I felt small and realized just how great Allah is. Simply put, we need to remember Allah who is our creator, sustainer and protector.

It is only August.

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