Quick updates, meaningful acts

Time for more ramblings on my life.

Exam season is around the corner, and in 2 days the 1-year programme students will sit for their first examination in the year 2009. Another pressing matter at hand, however, is the soon-to-be-released Advanced Subsidiary results on 22nd January. We are all crossing our fingers and praying fervently. The mere thought of it sends shivers down my spine.

Recently, my roommate had a fantastic and humble idea of collecting funds for the Palestine Relief Fund under Mercy Malaysia. I have to admit that he is really a man of actions and he does what he wants. He has this amazing urge to help after reading the daily atrocities inflicted upon thousands of innocent civilians in Gaza Strip. So, he enlisted the help of most of the male classmates and we went on a donation drive around the college. At first, due to his over-eagerness, we started the drive late at night on 17th. In that short period, however, we managed to collect over RM400 from the students. We went up each stairs and knocked on students’ residences to appeal for aid. Some kind souls gave RM50 without hesitation. Thus it is really true when they say Malaysians are a generous lot.

He sought help from his female classmates and together they raked in more than RM700 in donations. Today we went on a last donation drive to appeal from the lecturers. The last count of the total amount turns out to be close to RM2000, our target. Thank God that the Datin director approved of our intentions. We feared that the whole effort would be jeapordised if some less-than-philanthropic people object to our activities.

On a more serious note, the mindless shelling and offensive push of Israel military has stopped, at least for the while being. As innocents start to pick up their shattered lives and tread their destroyed homes in fear, what could we, as fellow human beings, do to alleviate their suffering? Some might see it as a conflict between religions and ideologies, but ultimately, it is an act of arrogant disregard for international pressure and a cruel move of a secular Zionist regime. Some people misunderstand that Zionist equals Jews, and thus, the religion which is intricately linked with Christianity is seen by some as a monstrosity. It is misunderstanding and confusion which led to various conflicts we see today. Truth is, Zionism is a policy created by hardliners of Israelite cause, propagated under a mask of self-righteous claim and helped by the fact that the military hardwares they possess dwarf that of Palestine. The fact that there exist some anti-Zionist groups in Israel itself goes on to show that what people see and perceive today might not be the truth, especially when the media starts portraying certain groups as being terrorist cells or others giving the other parties a bad image.

The question here is not about who is right or wrong, as told by my friend. He put forth the question of who would look after the innocents that die, lives that are lost without cause nor justification. Thus, the donation drive we organised was not a rallying event to throw support behind any particular nation. It is the desperate yet cohesive action of some like-minded JPA scholars who just want to help, to alleviate suffering and do what we can to deliver aid to the civilians. The invasion not only an act of aggression, but an unfair punishment for the people. If we, as future doctors, are without sympathy and look on the victims as just casualties of a faraway war that does not concern us, then I personally think that those who have that point of view lack the proper drive to be a humane doctor, without any semblance of humanity to even carry out the basic duty of a doctor to care for the sick, wounded and ill.

I asked my friend whether he wants to join Mercy Malaysia voluntarily in the future. His answer was a resounding ‘Yes.’ At last, someone who shares the same aspiration as I do.

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