Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opah Khaleef, Kahfi & Kazim, Thanks!

the last guest for the first half of 2011 just left. really, from january till now, we’ve had 7 guests who came and went – non-stop, without a day-break in between.

  • early january, we had my abah and umi as guests for about 10 days.
  • immediately a day after, we received a ‘refugee’ from cairo – mr. khairul’s sister teh. she planned to stay for a month, but extended her stay for another month because of the unrest in egypt at that time.
  • a week before she went back to cairo, mr. khairul’s mom and younger brother arrived with his family, to stay for about 15 days.
  • mr. khairul’s younger bro went back to malaysia after 2 weeks, but his mom stayed on for a month. to quote from her anak manja; “mak kalau nak datang dubai seminggu je, takyah. kalau mak datang, stay sampai sebulan!”

and so she did!


at the airport : puan norazian with her most manja kid; the eldest son!


now a month had passed, and we just sent her on her flight back to malaysia just two days ago. including this trip, it’s the 4th time she’s been to dubai in all our nearly 3 years here.

  1. she came when i had kahfi to take care of me during pantang.
  2. she came for cuti-cuti dubai with mr. khairul’s dad and siblings.
  3. then she came again when i had kazim, again for my confinement.
  4. and now she came to see teh and make sure everything is fine with her.


she’s been on the abra (water taxi) countless times – alone, walked along naif road all day, all by herself, and shops at the souq single-handedly. she sometimes takes the bus from dubai marina to deira; takes the metro from jlt to burjuman all on her own.

without a doubt, she would know the dubai roads – every nook and crannie – better than i do!


with her youngest cucu; kazim. thanks for taking care of him when we need a time out on a date hihi


with her eldest cucu, khaleef. thanks for sending khaleef down to his bus every morning, and picking him up every noon after school. for all his breakfast and bekal for school. thanks!


her most mischievous cucu, kahfi. thanks for putting up with his aggressive antics – from feeding him medicine to tucking him in at night.



for me, and yes – i speak for both of us – our special thanks is definitely for that wonderful night with stevie wonder. it was made possible since mr. khairul’s mom was here to take care of the boys. there was also one night where we were able to join a friend’s housewarming party without the hassle of bringing the boys.

a rare opportunity that’s greatly appreciated!

* * *

thanks again! i was telling my mom-in-law, the way she speaks of the roads and places; also her experiences using all the public transportations in dubai – from the red bus, metro to the abra, i bet one day someone would ask her, “berapa tahun dah duduk dubai?” haha. come again, please! (preferably during the next big must-see concert! *wink wink*)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Welcoming Dr. Safira to Dubai

it’s a small world after all!

safira was my schoolmate back in MGS ipoh, and her husband was mr. khairul’s classmate back in penang free school. and here we all are, 2-3 kids after – in dubai!

they were here on transit from london, meeting another ‘gang member’ of ours; niraku!


us in front of atlantis


after a hearty nasi mandi meal at my place, we brought them jalan-jalan at the usual places in dubai; burj al-arab, jumeirah mosque and of course – the palm jumeirah – world’s biggest man-made island. we took pictures in front of the atlantis, where paklah stayed during his visit here in dubai.


penang free boys – ashraf & khairul (..or acap and kay!) catching up

with dr safira, her eldest ainul mardiah, and my 2nd kahfi in front of burj al-arab


* * *


our eldest kiddos – ainul mardiah & khaleef khairul


and of course, a trip to dubai is incomplete without seeing for yourself the world’s tallest building – the burj khalifa! we took pictures, had ice-cream (thanks safira for the treat!) and visited dubai aquarium as well.


ice-cream time! courtesy of dr. safira. the last lower right photo is of safira & her youngest daughter ainul munirah


us @ the dubai aquarium – yes, one of the biggest!


* * *




interesting fact #1 : my eldest boy khaleef, and safira’s girl ainul are of the same age.

interesting fact #2 : they were both born on the exact same date : 15th november.

interesting fact #3 : they were born just 1 hour apart.

*smile* safira, if they’re both not married by the age of 40, we just hook them up lah! hahaha.


* * *


it’s so nice when a girlfriend drops by, and not just any friend – and old friend from school. hope you guys had fun! next time stay longer ok! and suruh niraku join sekali from london!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kazim’s Early Birthday Bash

kazim is turning ONE! but not yet okay. his birthday is 1st april actually but we’re having an advanced birthday bash to include mr. khairul’s mom. her flight back to malaysia is in a few days time so she can’t make it if we did it on the 1st.

happy be-early birthday, special agent kazim!

* * *

here’s 10 fun-facts happening during kazim’s birthday bash :

fun fact #1 : first guest to arrive was fauziah and hubby fairoz. i think during a raya makan-makan, they’re the ones to arrive first too! i was very glad because she’s a close gal pal here in dubai and it’s nice to warm things up with chit chats with the lovely couple; someone i can consider a sister rather that ‘just’ guests.

take it as a compliment, fauziah dear!


with fauziah and the kiddos singing the ‘happy birthday song’


* * *

fun fact #2 : what’s with the ‘special agent kazim’ nick? special agent oso is kazim’s favorite cartoon! when he was much younger, he naturally joined his brothers in watching whatever’s on at disney channel or cartoon network. we noticed he only reacts when ‘special agent oso’ is on!

he boogies to the catchy theme song. and watched with mouth open the rest of the ‘spy’ show. ouuuuttttstanding!




fun fact #3 : as usual we ordered a ‘special agent oso’ cake from our regular dubai baker, fida! what flavor? nothing else – it has always been carrot almond cake with cream cheese! we requested for simple deco fit for a boy and she delivered it perfectly!

well done, fida! click here to see her other creativity, and order your own cake from her homemade bakery.

* * *


fun fact #4 : we ordered delicious briyani from najaf, together with its signature dish, the mutton dry fry. excellent.

mr. khairul’s mom made a yummy bubur kacang, and the green agar-agar. yum!




mutton dry fry – a big hit of the day!


complimentary veggies


bubur kacang


green jellies


* * *


fun fact #5 : there were more than 50 guests who came, and we appreciate it very much. nothing gives us joy than watching empty tummies filled with yummies we served, and hearty conversations with loud laughter filling the air. the best quote i heard from a guest was :

lady 1 : eh, lama tak jumpa kan? bila last time kita jumpa ye?

lady 2 : kat sini lah. kat rumah khairul la. mana lagi kita jumpa kan. khairul kan suka buat makan-makan.

that alone made me smile. it just gives me a warm feeling knowing that this humble home is a meeting place for old friends. *smile*.



* * *


fun fact #6 : cendol? in dubai? well, thanks to the popular kelantanese couple abe nik and eiyda, our guests enjoyed cool cendol that day! so sweet of them to bring their homemade cendol all the way from their sharjah home to dubai marina.

it was really a sweet surprise, and we welcome more in the future! haha. we can never thank them enough!



yes, the green cendol bits? they made it from scratch! impressive!


* * *


fun fact #7 : mr. khairul’s most amusing story for his guests that day had to be his story about being in iraq, yet not quite. haha. yes, i still can’t believe that he had actually flown to iraq and back!



mr. khairul entertaining his guests with his infamous iraq story!


* * *


fun fact #8 : as usual, one-on-one pose with the ladies before they went back. i didn’t get a picture with kak zaida, kak mira, kak misbah, rosma, srija and feeza – but you’re in my heart, ladies! thanks for coming!


010411_kazim bday - Copy

from top right : fida (who made the ‘oso’ cake), eiyda (who brought the cendol), elisa, kak nani and kak riri, with kak su & her japanese-anime daughter, with kak linda, kak nani, with dear fauziah and my dear kak muna




* * *


fun fact #9 : the day is incomplete without a de-boxing of presents – AKA opening of presents! kazim’s big brothers abang long khaleef and abang ngah kahfi gladly volunteered in tearing out wrapping papers to find out what’s inside.



mind you, although the boys seemed rough and eager, they were being very very gentlemen about it – they asked permission to open presents every time they grab a new wrapped presents. they were very excited, but they were very polite too.

well done, boys.

and as usual, only 3 of the toys were actually allowed to be opened and played with. the rest will be for keeps, until further notice. hah, in fact, there are still some more of khaleef’s presents from his november birthday bash that are unopened!

make it more priceless to them, people!


* * *


fun fact #10 : with all the new toys around him, you would think he can’t wait to get his hands on one of them. and yet, at the end of the day, what did birthday boy play with?



an empty toy BOX. yeap. a BOX. no toys inside. just an empty box. sigh. sometimes they prefer the simplest things…

oh, well. we’re continuing the countdown to your 1st birthday, kazim. 1st of april is drawing near!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kazim : His 1st 12 Months

in one week, on 1st april, kazim will turn ONE.

however, i haven’t been fair to my putera bongsu because i haven’t recorded his milestones in this blog, like i did with his elder brother kahfi. sorry dear! so here is a compilation of all his ‘achievements’ – his hits and misses during his entire, first 12 months.


my youngest, kazim


he can walk by 10 months – early walker! (khaleef walks after his 1st bday, and kahfi walks at 11 month)

he eats everything (well, everything edible, that is. takde la sampai kaki meja pun nak makan) from pizza and porridge to nasi mandi to spaghetti, apples and cekodok pisang – anything and everything!

he speaks back to people! haha. this is his most cutest trait. (masa kecik macam ni comel la. kalau dah 13 tahun pun lawan cakap, siap lah! haha) when we speak to him, he will reply in a raised voice; as if he’s speaking back and defending himself, especially when he did something naughty like spilling or making a mess!

dances by shaking his waist left to right, arms in the air.

he absolutely LOVES ‘special agent oso’, he boogies to ‘barney’ and ‘the imagination movers’, and i’m moulding him to be a disney kid too – just like his abang-abang and his mak! his current disney favorite is ‘the bug’s life’. ternganga tengok!

he can comb his own hair. yeap. give him a comb and see him combing his hair. badly, but yes!

simply say “where’s the baby?” and he will reciprocate with closing his face with his palm, and play peek-a-boo with you.

he has a weird fascination with all the cleaning items – mops, brooms and vacuum cleaner.

when he cries particularly because of merajuk (not because lapar or terjatuh), he closes his mouth with his his palm.

i’m almost sure he was already able to pronounce the word ‘hot’!


* * *


today, (26th march 2011) we’re having a mini makan-makan to celebrate his 1st birthday. doing it a week earlier because mr. khairul’s mom will be heading back to malaysia this 29th so tak sempat tunggu sampai 1st april.

kawan-kawan dubai yang mana tak sempat sampaikan jemputan, sila lah datang memeriahkan ye! makan-makan, lepak-lepak, borak-borak!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Choosing a Name for Your Baby

kazim is turning ONE soon. 1st april. how time flies.

i read with deep interest and great amusement the article written by mommy lyna in her blog, mysuperkids. she just delivered her 3rd baby boy (welcome to the 3-boys club, mommy!) and she wrote about how she picked out names for her boys, and what creative and lovely names they are! click here to read the interesting article.

i have three boys too.

Khaleef, Kahfi and Kazim.

first of all, i’ve always wanted my kids’ name to have alliteration with their bapak’s name – khairul. hence the search for any names that start with ‘K’.

secondly, since their bapak’s name is just one single word – khairul – so we decided to give the boys one single name too. no need to complicate matters with a string of names – like mine!

with all our 3 boys, i will be the one searching for names, shortlist my favorites, present it to the big boss – and mr. khairul will pick and choose. yes, he has the last say, but any name he ends up choosing is fine by me because they’re already shortlisted as my favorites.



* * *


 khaleef khairul

this was an easy one. because he was the first, the K names are in abundant and all up for grabs. we wanted a name that has a good meaning in arabic, sounds cute, and modern. among the classic, traditional ‘khalid’, ‘karim’ and ‘kasim’ – we found ‘khaleef’.

it means khalifah, and how apt we thought to name our first born khaleef, so he may lead his younger siblings to good manners, respect for the elderly and upholding islamic values.



 kahfi khairul

for our second boy, we turned to the names of the quranic surah for inspiration. we found surah al-kahf, that tells of the youths at the cave, hiding from a tyrannical king. the story is very inspiring and shows the greatness of Allah. the surah itself carries tremendous goodness, recommended to be read every friday night.

we hope kahfi emulates the goodness of his namesake, and live up to its glory.

(err, right now we have yet to see either one! haha)


kazim khairul

again, we look at muslim names that start with ‘K’. this took a longer time since we’re running out of ‘K’ names that fit our favor! after a long search, we settled for ‘kazim’. in fact, the morning after kazim was born, we asked teh my sis-in-law to double-check with her arab lecturers about the meaning of the name.

kazim means ‘the controller of anger’ – senang cakap, cool la haha. i love the grandeur in the sound of that name, and the simplicity of its meaning. he was born right as the sun reaches the peak of the sky, near noon – so orang kata kepala angin lahir tengah-tengah hari ni! but hopefully with that name, it may balance things out haha.

* * *

how did you choose your kids’ names? and who, between the two of you decide on the name? hmm, i have a few girl names that start with ‘K’ – i hope i can actually use it one day…or should our daughter’s name start with an ‘S’ instead?


* * *

oh, in the meantime – countdown to kazim’s 1st birthday this 1st april. horay.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Want to Know Dubai? Watch ‘City of Life’!

two *emirati buddies; one a rich ferrari-driving arab, one a less-fortunate arab. a romanian stewardess searching for love, and an indian cab-driver with a bollywood dream. their lives verged in an instant; in the colorful city of life; DUBAI.

(*rakyat united arab emirates (UAE) dipanggil emirati)

‘city of life’ is a movie that seems to be a BIG deal to dubai and a big historical moment for UAE, as it is :

  1. the first emirati full-length feature
  2. set entirely in dubai
  3. directed by an emirati (a young 28-year old ali mustafa)
  4. multi-million dollar budget
  5. international cast
  6. multi-lingual – arabic, english and hindi


(aku cuma wonder, so sebelum ni, diorang memang tak pernah buat filem ke? mungkin buat drama je kot.)



in this movie, the bestfriends faisal and khalfan represent the 2 different sides of the emiratis – and the opening scene of the movie tells us this.

faisal sent khalfan to his house; a middle class arab whose kitchen is even more downtrodden than mine!

meanwhile faisal is the rich kid, driving a ferrari, easily took over his dad’s business without even breaking a sweat looking for jobs on his own. after sending khalfan to his small ‘villa’, we see him arriving in his huge, luxurious mansion.

two arabs, two different lifestyle. bukan semua arab ni kaya-kaya. and ali mostafa the director of ‘city of life’ wants to show the reality.

‘city of life’, other than making history as UAE’s first feature film, also received criticism for portraying the arabs in a negative light.

the characters faisal and khalfan are like any other youths in their glory – they smoke, they get into fights, they rempit and place bets, they show the middle finger when angry, missing prayers, and go to clubs while hitting on hot mat saleh!

arabs. mat saleh. melayu. sama je. yang nakal tu, nakal. yang baik tu, baik.


director & script writer of ‘city of life’, ali mostafa. cute, huh?


* * *

the main characters

faisal & khalfan


i love the intense friendship between the two emirati; faisal the rich kid (white turban), and khalfan, the street-smart hot-head. by the end of the story their brotherhood love will definitely leave you in tears…

favorite quote :

faisal just came to pick up khalfan at his home, when they met khalfan’s grandma who just came back from the shop. when they drove off…

faisal : shit! i sure have no manners! i didn't help her with the groceries!
khalfan : (smiling cynically) brother faisal, pray 5 times a day and grow a beard, and then i'll think of having this conversation. now drive!


basu, indian cab-driver


basu is the indian cab driver who looks like a bollywood star peter patel. opportunity and glory always seemed just within reach for him, but never quite. his journey would be very tough, and sangat kesian – but in the end you’ll find yourself cheering with him…

favorite quote :

basu is struggling to get to an audition on time to get a part in a bollywood movie. he’s in a cab.

basu : boss, everyone has their own dreams. i'm sure you do too. if you get me there on time, maybe it will change my life.
cab driver : change your life? stop dreaming! wake up!
basu : (resigns in frustration) i don't need to wake up. i dream with my eyes open.


natalie & guy


natalie, a sweet-natured romanian stewardess ready to fall in love. meeting guy berger, an advertising divorcee seems like a dream come true. we follow her cloud nine as she learns that everything is not a bed of roses…

favorite quote :

natalie and her roomate olga, talking about guy berger, the ‘playboy’ natalie is currently seeing.

natalie : it's all happening a bit fast, but it's lovely. i'm happy when i'm with him, and i miss him when i'm not.
olga : i just never thought he was your type. you know, the high-roller with the sports car..
natalie : what is my type then?
olga : cammon nat, he's so smooth he could sell sand to the arabs!


perhaps dubai has always been put on a pedestal as a wealthy nation with luxurious living – but what ali mostafa has done is to give the taste of the real raw life of dubai. this is what goes down. arabs do get down and dirty. people come to dubai with soaring dreams but do get crushed. stewardess living the high-glamorous life do stumble and hit rock-bottom.

it explores the lives of the 3 main group of people in dubai – the locals (emirati), the indians, and the expats. these groups live, and work together in this city but never really connects. 

however, in ‘city of life’ these 3 lives converge in an upsetting scene that sets to move you. congrats ali mostafa for creating believable characters that audience can relate to, and come to care. kudos for the awesome cinematography that shows dubai’s many angles. if this is the start of dubai’s historical cinema – it looks pretty good.

* * *

if you live in dubai, this movie is a must for you to watch. for the rest, if you wanna take a peek into dubai’s life and times, give a go. either way, you’d be entertained, amused, inspired and touched.

watch the trailer here :

check out these postings too!

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