Over 250 youths were gathered at Singapore Islamic Hub by 10am on the 15th of August 2010. They were joined by asatizah from different mosques as they sat through a sexuality presentation, briefings and motivational talks.
Ustaz Fairus, Chairman of RYC, spoke on length regarding abstinence, love and BGR (boy-girl relationships). A volunteer by the name of Mohamed Alfi Bin Abdul Rahman, 23, later shared with me that the presenters were interactive and that “makes the lecture not a lecture” and was more of a sharing session.
The sexuality presentation was also the highlight of the day of another participant and volunteer, Ameera, 19 as she commented at how it was meaningful as they learnt not only about love for people around you but also to cultivate love for Allah.
RYC Ambassador Didicazli added to the topic by talking about abortion and enjoined the youths to practice abstinence. He also explained that abstinence is not at the moment of temptation but to close the doors towards temptation and to avoid getting into relationships altogether.
The presentation seemed well-received by the youths who then sat for a motivational talk. Ustaz Muhammad Zahid Muhammad Zin seemed to be popular with the youths as his talk received eruptions of laughter from the crowd every now and then. Volunteer Nur Hidayah, 18, and Ameera, 19, expressed their admiration of Ustaz Md Zahid’s approachability and sensibility and said that his humour was not only for entertainment but had lessons packed in them as well.
I asked about Didicazli’s involvement and most were pleased that he was the RYC ambassador adding that his sharing of experiences had been inspirational. They also added, “Didi being ambassador is really good. I mean, despite his busy schedule being a singer and all, he can still help out.” A participant did joke, “Maybe they can get Taufik Batisah next time”, inviting a round of approval and giggles by a group of girls I spoke to.
After Zuhur prayers and a briefing on ‘My Ramadan’ Video Competition, everyone boarded the buses provided and headed towards Geylang. Armed with a big smile, their larnyards and the bright-coloured aLive bags, the youths approached other youths and families to distribute the Ramadan kits.
By 530pm, most of the youths had reported back at Masjid Darul Aman, their final destination for the day. Some were sitting around talking while others propped themselves against the walls and rested after their long day.
I managed to sit down for a quick chat with the 2 lady ambassadors of RYC, Syahira and Zahira, both 18.
Ramadan.sg: What is your personal pledge for this Ramadan?
Zahira: I want to get rid of this islamophobia that I have. When I’m in school and tell my friends I want to go pray or that I’m involved in mosque activities, they suddenly become silent and that makes me feel awkward. But I’ve met a lot of people who are Muslim and are proud to be so and I aspire to be like that. I don’t want to be shy to portray my Muslim-ness.
Syahira: I want to make full use of this Ramadan, especially since it comes only once a year. Its only been a few days of fasting and already I’ve had to face a lot of tests. I hope to be more patient and steadfast insyaAllah.
Ramadan.sg: I understand this is your first time being the RYC ambassador. How has that experience been?
Zahira: I was very intimidated when I first got the call. I look at the rest of the ambassadors and they were Ustaz Zahid and Didicazli or people who had achieved great things. I asked myself if I even deserved to be an ambassador. I had never been in the spotlight before but this experience has opened my eyes and also made me more open about Islam. Being a youth is important because other youths can then see that they too can make a difference and they don’t have to be an Ustaz or a celebrity before doing so.
Syahira: I also asked myself the same question, if I was good enough to be an ambassador. Like Zahira said, this experience has been a good one. Being visible makes your deeds and actions more visible too. I am more conscious of how I do things because I feel responsible now that I am an ambassador. If I did anything wrong, I don’t want people to be asking “Eh, isn’t that the RYC ambassador? What is she doing?”. That has made me more aware and its been good for me.
Ramadan.sg: I see, alhamdulillah. How did the distribution go then? Any memorable experience?
Shahirah: I’m not sure if this is counted as memorable haha. But we were going around with Didicazli and had to wait for him for quite a bit because a lot of people wanted to take pictures with him. We’d walk a few steps and would turn around to see him being approached by another group of people. Also there was one time we wanted to pass the goodie bag to a youth but her mother asked if it was free and if she could have it instead. We couldn’t say no.
Ramadan.sg: I guess you couldn’t help it. So is it safe to say that you’ve enjoyed being the RYC ambassador? Would you do it again if they ask you to next Ramadan?
Zahira: I hope to see new faces. That way, I know that I’ve managed to inspire other youths and they will be taking my place.
Syahira: Its not important if we are ambassadors or volunteers, as long as we continue to participate and contribute in whatever way we can.
Ramadan.sg: Its been a pleasure talking to both of you. Congratulations on being good role models and thank you very much for your time.
Here’s a recording of Hype Ramadan appearing on Suria News last night:
View original articles @ www.ramadan.sg.