‘sheikh’ is an honorific term in the arabic language, that literally means, ‘elder’. well, the ‘old’ boys of the malay college kuala kangsar (mckk) living in dubai are making yet another appearance in my blog – this time for their annual berbuka puasa session.
yes, i’m in malaysia, and no, obviously i did not join the berbuka puasa held in dubai – however, having this blog, i have become some sort of a journalist, reporting on my husband’s travels and activities. i enjoy every bit of it, even when writing about these ‘sheikhs’ from mckk, because both mr. khairul and my abah are from that school.
mr. khairul 96, bro faisal 84, bro zaim 82, and uncle dzul 66!
just like the previous iftar and dubai old boy weekend, mr. khairul organized this year’s iftar too, by ‘special request’ from an old timer – more on that later. he usually picked my favorite mandi restaurant al-tawasol as venue – but this year they decided to have the mcob iftar at a pakistani restaurant, ‘najaf’.
thanks honey, for NOT going to tawasol! hihi. well, najaf is not that far from al-tawasol, anyway - both restaurants are just across the street from each other!
why najaf? mr. khairul had just been told that this pakistani restaurant serves the best dry fried lamb dish! what better time to check out if it’s true!
mr. khairul, bro rashdan, bro zaim in red and bro nizalman in cream shirt
5 other mcobs (malay college old boys) joined in - faisal shon ‘84, zaim ‘82, rashdan ‘89, nizalman ‘90, and dzul ‘66. yeap, they were actually ‘graced’ by the presence of a real old timer (just a year younger than my abah!) whom i came to know as uncle dzul, from batch 66.
he wanted to meet the rest of the mcobs living in uae, that’s why he suggested to mr. khairul to arrange this iftar.
uncle dzul is actually working in yemen. he dropped by dubai every now and then, on his way to or from malaysia. during this particular visit, he made it worth while berbuka puasa with his mckk juniors.
i found him to be a refined man who has seen most of the world. he is soft spoken, but spoke animatedly about his only grandchild. he’s always a pleasant company, and i wish that one day i could come visit him in yemen so that i can try the authentic yemeni mandi rice that i’m already addicted to!
from left : bro nizalman & wife, mr. khairul in black, bro zaim in red and uncle dzul in white
while mr. khairul, bro faisal and bro zaim are ‘regulars’ in any mcobs dubai meet, rashdan and nizalman finally had the time to be a part of this dubai brotherhood meet.
turns out that bro nizalman ran on a tight schedule, having to travel abroad at least twice a month, sometimes every week! each time mr. khairul arrange an mckk dubai gathering, he was either about to board a plane, or just came back from a long business trip. in fact, he just came back from pakistan, but made an effort not to miss this iftar for a change! that’s the spirit, bro!
also, i was surprised when told that he was already in dubai for about 10 years now. wow! it made our measly 2 years look like tiny pebbles in the sands of time!
the chatty nizalman shared his stories of dubai, 10 years back where there were no malls, no sky scrapers and nothing that stood out except for the desert. bummer!
bro rashdan, meanwhile was described by mr. khairul as ‘diam-diam ubi berisi’. he’s been in dubai for the past 5 years – single, but not available! his wife and kids resides in malaysia.
i’ve never been to this pakistani restaurant najaf, so i can’t share any personal opinion. however, from the looks of it in the picture above – everything seemed delicious!
according to mr. khairul, the food was quite lavish – they ordered a couple of dishes and they all came in pretty huge servings.
they had fish briyani, a couple of lauk pauk like ayam merah and veggie dalca, steamed white rice, and their signature dish – the fried mutton.
the all-time famous fried mutton
mr. khairul said, what surprised him most was the steamed white rice. he said, it looked like it’s been sitting for a while, and probably not steaming hot anymore. however, a mouthful of that rice proved otherwise.
he said it’s warm and the rice has a distinct taste to it. a delicious, buttery taste that made the rice ‘enak dimakan begitu saja!’
now i’m REALLY looking forward to eat here at najaf. i’m a lamb-mutton fan and i’m sure the ‘suspiciously buttered’ steamed rice and the fried mutton would pair up just nicely…
ingat tau, bawak i makan sini bila kita balik dubai!
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what always fascinates me about these mcob gatherings is that the juniors and seniors (plus super-seniors!) - some 20-30 years apart, some meeting for the first time - can still sit down and have meaningful conversations, just because they shared an alma mater.
i guess it's truly the *tie* that binds!
kay '96, faisal shon '84, zaim '82, dzul '66
the mckk sheikhs of the middle east had another great time reminiscing the past – well, as they always say – the malay college old boys never really left school…
click here to read about last year's mckk dubai iftar.