Sunday, 20 December 2015

Muslim Hands: All Girls Paintball

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!!

This is not going to be an experience sharing about paintball, because well, nothing much can be said. It was fun overall of course! But this is a review of the event itself organized by Muslim Hands, a charity here in UK. 


The organizer had given me a reply and we've sort out any misunderstanding. This'll be the edited version of the review. 

Through this paintball event they were able to raise £870 for orphans worldwide. That was their main objective behind this event - to fundraise for Orphans. The £30 registration fee paid by each of the participants went directly towards their orphan fund and InshaAllah will support nearly 3 orphans for a whole year! Kudos to them.

I found out about this event from another event held by Muslim Hands: a talk with Yasmin Mogahed. I was so intrigued and eager to join when I first saw the flyer and registered immediately.

If you see this flyer, what would you think? Waa...£30 for 12-14 games! That's a bargain isn't it. 

I opened the website to get further information and to register.

So the details said the event will start at 8.30am, gave the address of the place and all that.

They have highlights of the event, basically mentioning what have already stated in the flyer.

There's FAQs that mention what the registration fee will get you: free entry, body gear, paintballs (no number) and 12-14 games, and lunch.

They also mention you can buy extra paintballs for a certain price. 

Right...done with all the details, let's move on to the review. 

1. No mentioning of how to get there
At first, I was fine with this because you can just google. We don't have a car, so of course we will go by public transportation. It's simple enough when you google it, take a train to Upminster, then a bus to Corbets Tey, then walk for about 14 minutes. Little did we know, the walk bit, there's No footpath along the way. the roads were narrow and the cars were fast. It is very dangerous for anyone, especially girls to walk there. My thoughts on this, the organizer didn't know the place well themselves. My friend and I were lucky as when we were on our way, there were a big group of guys going to the same place. So a larger group is more noticeable by the oncoming traffic. My advice to the organizer: Please make sure the condition to go to the event place is safe and make sure to mention the best mode of transport. If this were mentioned earlier, we could have taken a cab. 

3. Disappointed by a false hope
In the flyer and web that I've shown earlier, it mentioned from the registration fee, you'll get a certain things. What it failed to mention, that participants will only get 100 balls!!! This is for the whole game. If this was mentioned earlier, I would've prepared extra money to buy more paintballs, or might even considered not to join because to me this is pricey (I can find a better deal elsewhere). I felt lied to and cheated. 100 balls can only last you for 1 game, not for the whole day. 

Furthermore, there weren't 12-14 games as promised by the organizers. When the marshalls explained, there were only 6 games, that'll last until late afternoon. This was not mentioned as well. I know that the organizer might not be familiar, but to me, when you are organizing something, you should get all the information and you should be the one who knows more. When we were there, the organizers know the same or might be less than the rest of us. 

So because I've paid £30 and I felt it'll be a waste to just play one game, My friends and I bought some more balls for £10, so total we paid £40 that lasted for 4 games. A number of us went back after the first game because they don't want to spend anymore money. 

I mentioned this to someone (not the committee in charge) and she said ever so confidently that it is mentioned in the web and flyers. Can you see them there now???!! They even said that I should've asked for more information. My thoughts on this is: If you expect your participants to ask, then clearly you are not providing enough information on your web and flyers. 

The organizers told me that they themselves were not informed regarding this. All information on the flyer were received from the centre's website. 

4. Bad time management
When we were there, there were no effort made by the organizer to round up everyone and give a little briefing. They were given paintballs, but they didn't hand them out properly. We needed to find them (going back and forth) to find them and get the balls. Some of the girls even took extra and made it not enough for others. Really honest there. I know who you are.

Even when others have settled in their gears and the marshalls have called many times, the organizers kept waiting around for god knows what. So a lot of us decided to just go in without them. We get to play the first game without them and it was fun. 

After the game, we went out the war zone to the safe zone for a break. But everytime the marshalls round up and called, only a few turned up. So why don't the organizers play their role here? Don't just sit around and be like one of the participants. You should take charge!

They did apologize on this. The organizer had already did as much as she could to gather everyone on time. She also told me that she was the only one in charge on the day of the event, so it was difficult for one person to handle. I hope in the future they can get more volunteers to help out. I can be one of them if I have the chance.

5. Just plain bad blood 
As I said, I have fun overall, because my main purpose is to have fun and make new friends. But for some, I guess their reason is to be hateful and annoying. I don't really mind if someone were shot and they didn't go to the dead zone. We want to have fun. But some of us kept pointing fingers and saying this team is cheating. That just ruined the atmosphere for all of us because not all of us in that team cheated. Where's your akhlaq sister. Even the marshall felt uneasy of this behavior. Even she mentioned you don't need to be so competitive because everyone is there to have fun.

So what's the big deal who won and who lost? The organizer should stress this (especially those with bad blood is their friends). The first game, I was in a different team because there weren't a lot of people in that team (because most of them were the organizers). We won the first game, but after we got out to the safe zone, we changed teams again and most of us (whose in the winning team before) changed to the losing team. 

As I said, I don't mind. The marshalls saw this transition and put the points in our new team because most of us changed teams. But these bad blood people (who either didn't even play or were in the losing team before) asked the marshalls to change the points. Really? Did you get a present in the end? Choi! They kept mentioning to purify our intention. Good. I like it. But why don't you do as you preach as well? It's embarassing to see muslim girls who are well covered to have such bad hearts. It shows to all. Everyone can sense it and it's not a beautiful sight to see.

In the end, the girls mentioned did apologize and that's what counts. So for the next event, I hope this thing don't happen again. Yes, the main purpose is to help orphans, but we need to preserve the ukhuwah between us too. 

Lastly, I hope the organizers can make muhasabah from this and not just simply cross it as a well organized event, because it wasn't. I love going to events held by Muslim hands and this was the only bad one I had so far. So I hope you do improve on this.

I really appreciate the way they responded to my comments. It just takes all the anger away. I will definitely keep supporting their work and event and pray much success to them. 

Until next time..

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Post ESA: A Night Out!

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!!

Alhamdulillah, this week, both my bestie and I officially upgraded to PhD!! Wuuhuuuu!!!! For those who don't know, in Imperial College (I presume a lot of unis are the same), as you enroll, your title would be mPhil. After 9months, there'll be a first assessment (ESA=Early Stage Assessment). Some unis call it as proposal defense, or maybe something else entirely. Alhamdulillah, both of us managed to pass this stage. So we thought to go out and celebrate.

Because Saturday I had to go to the lab (yes I know..even on weekends) and today, a friend was kind enough to help and look after my 'babies', we decided to go out. 

We first went to Westminster, solely for this purpose. hahahaha...I'm helping to advertise those that sell these cookies. They're too good that you have to stay away! Or else you'll surely get hooked. Everytime there's someone coming to London, we would ask them to bring some. You have my permission to use this pic for your adverts. huhu...I'm a happy customer. I kept myself from eating this just so that I could get this pics.

Of course we need to take photos of ourselves too. Not tired of it at all...not one bit. =P

A satisfied and happy customer!

After that, we went to Leidenhall Market. 

It's located near Monument tube station. Just a 5 minute walk. 

This market is gorgeous.

These building has been here since the 14th century. 

There are various vendors here. 

Because it's Christmas. There were actually a different purpose that we came here.

We searched...

...and searched...

Until we got dizzy

Finally we found it!!! You don't know the significant of this place?

Do you know now? hahaha...Potterheads must know this! The Leaky Cauldron anyone?

I love the lights at this market.

I forgot to take this angle though...sigh..this guy made it.

After that, we wanted to go to the Christmas Market nearby which located alongside Thames River from London Bridge to Tower Bridge. 

London Bridge: famous for Jack the Ripper. You should try the London Bridge Tomb experience. Not for the faint hearts. Ira...what's behind you~~

Tadaa...the market. Just the sign..duh~

Information, if you need them, even if you can't really read them. =P

Picture first before you step on it.

The market is quite scattered. This is a small part of the market. We stood and watched a magic show. No particular reason, just to entertain ourselves. The guy was amazing! There's halal food here, so don't worry of getting hungry. I saw two stalls selling halal food, but wraps, there's rice and falafel, of course. To keep warm, you can buy some hot chocolate too. 

After maghrib prayer at the St. Thomas Hospital, we walked to Waterloo to go to Chinatown. This scene never cease to amaze me. Love it!

We went to Chinatown just to fill our cravings of chatime. hahaha...Met some new people, talked and shared some stuff, then bought 100plus at the oriental shop, and went home. 

That's about it from our night out. There were a few other places that we went to, but I'm too tired already to type. Until next time...

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Another big news + Trick or treat run + Daddy's visit

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!!

This'll be a 3 in 1 entry. huhu...sorry it took so long to update.
This post had been postponed for so long, this isn't a new and hot news anymore. My sister recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on the 26th of October. 

It's been a long time since this family had a boy, the last was my cousin who is already 18 yo. My other cousin recently gave birth to a baby boy too, just a few months before. It's the year of boys I guess in my family. huhu...

I won't be able to meet and play with this little baby until he's 4...tsk..tsk..

Anyway...on a different note, during the weekend after Halloween, my bestie and I went for a run at Richmond Park. Richmond Park is a beautiful and huge park where you can actually see and be close to a lot of deers. It's highly known for it.

Yup. This is the type of pictures that you'll get in Richmond Park. 

The event said to start at 10am. We were a bit late, but when we arrive only to find out that our session (the 2km run) will only start at 11.40am. Fuh...lucky!

First we went to register because my bestie didn't receive her runner's package (it includes bag tags and the runner's number). There weren't a lot of people registering anymore because the 10km run had already started. 

The 10km and 5km run are the most exciting one because it'll go around half of the park and they had set up these great horrifying obstacles that the runners had to go through. 

There were zombies...

Dark tunnel

The pumpkin zone signifies the halfway point. 

Due to my asthma, my bestie and I only signed up for the 2km run. You could see that this run are mostly children and families with little kids. Even during the 10km run there were a bunch of kids. We felt a little matter. A run is a run.

These kids were so quick though 


 It took us 20 minutes to finish the whole course. Even that took a lot of my energy. I felt like fainting most of the time.
The day of the event, there were heavy fog, it just adds up to the halloween effect. So we couldn't see any deers roaming nearby. 

At the finish line, the runners can choose to go through the trick or treat gate. 

My bestie flipped a coin to decide which one will go through which gate. I got the trick. The treat is fairly straight forwards, they'll give you treats at the end..of course. The trick however, you have to pick these coins from a tub of green goo....uuuuuuu

After that, they'll sanitize you before you go out to get rid of all the's basically sprinkled water. =P
Those who went through the trick gate will get their tricks too...they'll hand out the medals on the way out as well. 

This is definitely a great experience. We had a great fun especially seeing all those different costumes. 

I hope we can enter a next running event. But surely have to do a little bit of training beforehand. 
Met this cute little pony on our way out of the park. Outside the park was actually a stable. This little cutie is called Snow White. She's gorgeous, and that girl right there is her owner.  
Later on that week, my dad came to visit. He had a conference in Vienna so he thought to drop by for a couple of days. Vienna to London took about an hour and a half by flight, and the flight tix were quite decent too.
The day that he arrived, I took him for a surprise. My dad has always been a Liverpool fan since he studied in Liverpool during his undergrad more than 20 years ago. So I bought tickets to meet the team legends which happened to be when he was in London. Lucky!!
Three huge legends came to the event ( John Aldridge, John Barnes, Ian Rush)
He said he had a blast and that it was great seeing those guys again up close and personal. Sadly there were no signing or photography session, so we didn't get a chance to meet them personally. Though, this was close enough.
Usually when someone come here, of course there'll be a lot of orders from back home. Especially when my cuz is getting married (he's actually married now already). So my aunt wanted us to buy Clarks shoes for him to wear during his wedding. The cheap and near place to go of course to London Outlet Centre at Wembley.
When we arrived, there were a lot of people, so we were wondering what exactly is going on. Then I saw this.
It's the BBC Teen Awards!! My bestie even googled who would be there, some of the celebrities said to come are One Direction, Taylor Swift, JB and much more. Everytime there's a celebrity walked by the red carpet, the teens would scream their lungs out. We could only get a glimpse of what's going on.

The next day, my dad heads back to KL. It seemed too soon. Come again daddy please!!
I'm smiling but felt like crying inside...wuhuhu...
Until next time...