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north_malaysian
06-25-2007, 05:13 AM
BUILT ON FAITH AND FRIENDSHIP
By: Choi Tuck Ho

Rising above the quiet neighbourhood in Nova Breka district in Sarajevo, Masjid Malaysia is a living symbol of the friendship between two countries.

WHEN Elvedin Klisura temporarily set aside his religious books and took up arms instead, his only thought were to defend his faith and country.

Like most peace-loving people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the 30-year-old imam hated the civil war that devastated much of the country between 1992 and 1995.

Twelve years on, Klisura still has vivid memories of the Bosnian War where Sarajevo underwent what was recorded as the longest siege in modern military history.

"I don't like war. Nobody likes it," said the clean-shaven, smart-looking imam who often surfs the internet like any youth his age to keep abreast of the latest developments around the world.

Minus his modest Islamic robes and headgear, he could have been easily mistaken for one of those Blackberry-carrying young executives caught up in the rat race.

Indeed, Klisura is not your run-of-the-mill imam; he's one of the youngest around in Bosnia Herzegovina and looks after the Masjid Malaysia (Malaysia Mosque) in Nova Breka district, which is part of the Sarajevo old town.

Seen as a gentle, soft-spoken religious leader, he is hardly the type you would imagine carrying a machine-gun and battling the enemy on the front line.

Yet that's exactly what Klisura did during the first two years of his service when he fought alongside his comrades before he was pulled back to help restore the faith of the younger soldiers.

"My commander told me to move back and help inspire the soldiers with greater faith in their religion to fight for the country," he recalled.

MASJID MALAYSIA

Klisura admitted he never expected to become a soldier as he was still studying in a "madrassah" (religious school) when the war broke out just before the end of Ramadan in 1992. It came all of sudden; he felt an overwhelming sense of faith and patriotic duty to defend his religion and country and decided to join the army.

Upon reflection, he said, the war had helped to forge greater unity among the ummah (Muslim community) and renewed their faith in their religion.

"But the war is the past, we want to look for future," he said, his eyes glistening with pride as he spoke abouth the RM 1.8mil Masjid Malaysia, which was funded by the Malaysian government.

On Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi opened the mosque and joined Malaysian and Bosnian Muslims in performing prayers on the last day of his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Being the only Malaysian mosque in Sarajevo - there's reportedly another one in in Turbe, Travnik, about 90km from the capital - the building attracted considerable interest from the Malaysian delegation.

Klisura said he felt proud and honoured to have played host to the prime ministers and other Malaysian VIPs during the opening ceremony.

In fact the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the King of Malaysia) and former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad also visited the mosque last year.

Rising above the quiet neighbourhood, away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, the mosque, which was completed in 2002, is a living symbol of the friendship and solidarity between the two countries.

"Even the intricately-carved teak wood of the mosque's front door was specially flown in from Malaysia," Klisura said.

HUMAN CAPITAL

And since becoming the mosque's imam in 2004, Klisura has been increasingly drawn towards Malaysia; he visited the country last year and was impressed with the Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower.

"Your country is very beautiful," he said, adding that many Bosnians now know more about Malaysia after praying in the mosque.

He said the mosque served the over 5,000 Muslim community in the district, with Friday prayers attracting crowds of up to 500.

The mosque also organises religious classes for about 40 children every weekend.

Klisura said he would like to extend his "salam" (greetings) to the people around the world, especially to Malaysians, and to thank them for what they had done to help the Bosnians.

And the imam is not alone in expressing his gratitude to Malaysia; his countryman Amel Kovacevic is equally thankful for the opportunity given to Bosnians to pursue their higher education in Malaysia.

"That (opportunity) is the biggest and the most significant direct foreign investment given to us," said Kovacevic, who is president of Malaysia's International Islamic University, alumni chapter of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Unlike one-off investments in construction projects, he said, those placed in human capital and resources development would benefit many generations to come.

To further illustrate his point, he said most of the alumni's 186 members had returned home and become successful professionals, including bank executives and financial investors.

Undoubtedly, the alumni can consider themselves as the bridge between the two nations, not just culturally and acedamically but also economically.

Source:

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...7563&sec=focus
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smile
06-25-2007, 09:59 AM
nice article!
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north_malaysian
06-26-2007, 08:17 AM
Yeap..... wealthy Muslim nations should help their poorer and disadvantages brethren in other countries.

But from my observation, Malaysian government is so helpful when it comes to Bosnia and Herzegovina.... I wonder why?:rollseyes
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Tania
06-27-2007, 06:16 AM
I think its a noble gesture:) I never thought Malaysia is helping other countries:-[
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north_malaysian
06-28-2007, 06:09 AM
Originally Posted by Tania
I think its a noble gesture:) I never thought Malaysia is helping other countries:-[
We helped lots of countries worldwide.... mostly on humanitarian and Islamic missionary basis. There are lots of NGOs in Malaysia giving opportunity for Malaysians to help other people in other countries like Mercy Malaysia and Aman Malaysia.

The best of all NGOs, it has to be Mercy Malaysia. Mercy Malaysia missions worldwide:

* KOSOVA *
- since year 1999
- operated mobile medical clinics (1999)
- offered post traumatic psychological counselling (1999)

* TURKEY *
- since year 1999
- 3 specialist doctor dispatched for relief in Central Turkey quake (1999)

*AFGHANISTAN*
- since year 2000
- established "Mother and Child Health Centre" in Kandahar (2003).
- established "Kandahar Vocational Training Centre for Women" (2003).
- established a kindergarten called "MERCY Little Caliphs" in Kandahar (2004).
- established "Kandahar Well Water Project" (2004).
- "Ramadhan Food Distribution" among the poors and internally displaced ppl.

* INDONESIA *
- since year 2000
- provided mobile medical services in islands of Ambon and Ternate (2000)
- provided medical relief to victims of landslides in Nias Island (2001)
- the first humanitarian team to arrive in Aceh, after the tsunami hit (2004)
- established "Emergency Medical Relief" in Aceh (2004)
- established "Mental Health Support" in Aceh (2004)
- established "Humanitarian Support" in Aceh (2004)
- established "Rehabilitation and Reconstruction" in Aceh (2004)
- established "Psychological Support & Education" in Aceh (2004)
- rebuilding of Health Centres and Shelters in Aceh (2004)
- provided "Emergency Medical Relief" in Jogjakarta quake (2006)
- established "Mobile Clinics" in Jogjakarta (2006)
- established "School Psychosocial Support Program" in Jogjakarta (2006)

*CAMBODIA*
- since year 2002
- Medical aid in Mekong river affected by floods (2002)
- provides medical assistance to Angkor Hospital for Children (2004)
- established Oral Rehydration Therapy Corner in Siem Reap (2005)

* IRAN *
- since year 2003
- established "Emergency Medical Relief in Bam quake (2003)
- established "Mental Health Support" in Bam (2003)
- reconstruction of Bam Health Centre (2004)

* IRAQ *
- since year 2003
- provided medical assistance in Jordan-Iraq border refugee camps (2003)
- delivered RM62,000.00 of surgical supplies to 2 hospitals in Baghdad (2003)
- delivered RM300,000.00 of medical supplies to 1 hospital in Baghdad (2003)
- established major rehabilitation projects for Al Quff & Al Mansur hospitals (2003)
- rehabilitated three fuel tanks in Medical City Complex, Baghdad (2006)
- currently rehabilitating of Al Mansur Hospital in Baghdad (2007)

* PALESTINE *
- since year 2003
- "A Gift of Hope Project" where Malaysian kids will sponsor school bags which carry message of hope and friendship written on booklets and postcards and would be packed on individual bags before sending it to Palestine. The pilot project started in Al Adni Islamic School, Malaysia. The first batch of 250 bags arrived safely in Palestine (2004)

* SRI LANKA *
- since year 2003
- Mobile Clinics set up in Ratnapura, Galle and Hambantota during floods (2003)
- Rebuilding a primary school in Akuressa (2003)
- built a bridge in Deniyaya (2003)

* NORTH KOREA *
- since year 2004
- delivered medical supplies for Ryongchong Train Tragedy (2004)
- conducted assessment on Korea-Malaysia Friendship Farm in Sunchon (2004)
- donated soft toys for childrens treated in hospitals of Ryongchon and Sinuiji (2004)

* THE PHILIPPINES *
- since year 2004
- provided Emergency Medical Response for victims of Typhoon Winnie (2004)
- provided Mental Health Support in Eastern Luzon (2004)
- rehabilitation of Emergency Room, Claro M. Recto Memorial Hospital (2004)

* SUDAN*
- since year 2004
- Mobile clinics provided in Darfur (2004)
- Rehabilitated El Geneina Hospital's kitchen in Darfur (2004)
- extended Maternity ward and constructed new Reproductive Health Unit in El Geneina Hospital, Darfur (2004)
- established a kindergarten in Kerinding refugee camp (2004)

* PAKISTAN *
- since year 2005
- provided medical assistance in Bagh during South Asian Quake (2005)
- established mobile clinics assisting up to 400 people per day (2005)
- established semi-permanent warehouse for hospital in Bagh (2006)
- established Mother and Child Health Center in Bagh (2006)
- provided semi-permanent shelters for winters in Balakot and Kaghan Valley (2006)


* LEBANON *
- since year 2006
- providing medical assistance and 4 volunteers (2006)


Source: http://www.mercy.org.my/
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Tania
06-28-2007, 11:59 AM
Each project its very well thought but i liked they will make the water pipelines in Kandahar. I saw a few short report from there and the people really need to have water:)

I can't understand why are you helping Pakistan when their economy its good and i read some where they are one from the rich countries in Asia. :-[
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MuhammadRizan
06-28-2007, 12:22 PM
[BANANA]God Bless Malaysia![/BANANA]
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north_malaysian
06-29-2007, 03:09 AM
Originally Posted by Tania
Each project its very well thought but i liked they will make the water pipelines in Kandahar. I saw a few short report from there and the people really need to have water:)

I can't understand why are you helping Pakistan when their economy its good and i read some where they are one from the rich countries in Asia. :-[
We just helping the 2005 earthquake victim...
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north_malaysian
06-29-2007, 03:10 AM
Originally Posted by MuhammadRizan
[BANANA]God Bless Malaysia![/BANANA]
Yeah.... God bless Malaysia and all her sons and daughters.
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Tania
06-29-2007, 05:08 AM
I am sorry then for what i wrote.:-[
When your country is making so many humanitarian actions and Islamic i am not surprised they build the mosque:)
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north_malaysian
06-29-2007, 08:36 AM
Malaysia is just a small country with a BIG heart....:D
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