Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium (a.k.a. Gong Badak Stadium) collapses

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Alhamdulillaah no one was injured in the dramatic collapse of the roof of the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin stadium in nearby Gong Badak here in Kuala Terengganu.  It is only about 10 minutes away from where we live here in KT, and in fact, it’s on the way from our place to downtown.  Therefore, I took the opportunity to snap some pics over a couple of days.  You can find more pics in the gallery, including several panoramas.  I’ve also taken some HDR pics, but they are not processed yet.  Patience is beautiful.  😉

It’s a boy!

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Alḥamdulillāh, on Monday, the 19th of Rabīʿ ulʾawwa, 1430 (16th of March, 2009) at 5:38 PM Malaysia local time, Allāh blessed us with a 2.3 kg (~5 lb.) blessing we named ʿAbdurraḥmān (عبد الرحمن), which, in Arabic, means “slave of the Most Merciful”, which is one of the beautiful names of Allāh in Islām.  In fact, the Messenger of Allāh, ṣalallāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam (may Allāh peace & blessings be upon him) mentioned that the two most beloved names to Allāh are ʿAbdullāh & ʿAbdurraḥmān (slave of Allāh), which is why we chose that name for our first son.

Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, Book 025, Number 5315:
Ibn Umar reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: The names dearest to Allah are ‘Abdullah and ‘Abd al-Rahman. (link)

Both mother & son are doing fine, alḥamdulillāh, and we all came home earlier today.

Picture requests will not be honored.  😉

March of the Ants!

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

As bugs are normal around the house here in Malaysia, I have just gotten used to them for the most part.  Yes, the wall next to me is a veritable graveyard for mosquitoes, but most other insects don’t bother me much, alhamdulillaah.

This includes ants.  Ants are usually very benign, they mind their own business, and they even are basically the bottom chain of clean-up around the house.  That is, anything biological that we failed to remove, they take care of for us.

So, it was only with a casual non-alarm that we regarded the increased amount of ant activity in our bedroom.  They were more apt as of late at finding our food and swarming it, but that’s just ants.  Until I came into the bedroom one day in the afternoon and found the following.

Continue reading “March of the Ants!”

En route to Malaysia

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Alhamdulillaah, my wife & I are en route to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where we’ll be staying one night with her brother & his family before continuing on our way to home in Kuala Terengganu, in shaaʾ Allaah.  Right now we’re in the Kuwait International Airport, and, alhamdulillaah, they have free wifi throughout the airport.  This is even more wonderful given the fact that we have a 7 hour layover here.  Alhamdulillaah.

Continue reading “En route to Malaysia”

Flock of Seabirds

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Alhamdulillaah, from our apartment in Alexandria, Egypt, we have an outstanding view of the Mediterranean Sea on clear days. On foggy days, we’re treated to an eery sight where the sea is ambiguously “missing”.


One of the amazing sights I discovered while looking over the sea was the hypnotizing landing sequence of a flock of seabirds that had chosen a rather colorful spot on the top of the one of the nearby buildings on the coast.  The video captures the beginning of the landing sequence, so click the thumbnail to check it out.

From the South China to the Mediterranean Sea

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Alhamdulillaah, my wife & I arrived safely in Alexandria, Egypt this past Friday to the welcoming arms of my parents, whom I haven’t seen since I left the US back in June.  If you’ll recall, I originally departed on this journey because I could not bring my wife to the US yet, as the immigration process is still ongoing.  Needless to say, we are enjoying happiness upon happiness being with family that we haven’t seen for months, and, in the case of my wife, well over a year.

The last time I was in Egypt was in the Summer of 2001, and I didn’t have a blog, own a camera, or even have a website at the time (other than one through my university department, which is long gone by now).  The only way I kept people updated was via e-mail, interestingly enough!  Alhamdulillaah, now I have so many ways to keep people bored about my current goings-on!

I had forgotten just how big Alexandria is, and also how photogenic.  Our Internet connection is an order of magnitude slower here than it was in Malaysia, but at least it is stable, and we may be upgrading it, in shaaʾ Allaah.  So, updates will be forthcoming, in shaaʾ Allaah, but please be patient – since I’m sure you’ll on the edge of your seats waiting for more media from me…

In the meantime, I leave you with this treat – a view from our balcony.

Panoramic photo of the balcony from our apartment in Alexandria, Egypt in the direction of the Mediterranean Sea
Panoramic photo of the balcony from our apartment in Alexandria, Egypt in the direction of the Mediterranean Sea

Close Encounters of the Blurred Kind

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

While riding (on a scooter) to a nearby masjid with one of my brothers-in-law, I felt something flew straight into my eye despite the fact that I was wearing my glasses at the time.  I was unable to flush it out while on the bike, and I thought that, like most eye gunk, it would just migrate to the corner of my eye for easy extraction.

As it turned out, I was unable to get it to move, and after returning home, I could still feel it.  I looked in the mirror and was able to spot, rather clearly, a small black speck in my right eye right between my iris and the surrounding white area.  I flushed my eye out with water, and, alhamdulillaah, I was able to get it out.  Surprisingly, it stayed on my finger long enough for me to show it to my wife, brother-in-law, and finally, to take a few pictures.

UFO extracted from my eye
UFO extracted from my eye

The object is roughly spherical in shape (though it’s hard to tell from the picture), and if I had to guess, I would say it was an insect of some kind, or part of one, given it’s semi-shiny appearance and the few features I was able to make out.

There are too many amazing things about this.  For starters, just the sheer size of the thing and how much trouble it was causing me in my eye.  Also, the fact that it was so easily flushed-out.  And, alhamdulillaah, my eye, though red immediately after I extracted the speck, was fully healed as if nothing happened within hours (and possibly minutes).

Alhamdulillaah for the blessing of sight and for everything else that we take for granted.  How easily could it have been that this would have turned out worse?  Alhamdulillaah ʿala kulli shayʾ.

Back home in Kuala Terengganu

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Alhamdulillaah, I’ve returned “home” to Kuala Terengganu (KT), which is my wife’s hometown, and I’ve taken it to be my home-away-from home.  It’s a beautiful place, especially because we actually live in a kampung, or village, not to far away from the main part of KT.  Additionally, compared to Kuala Lumpur (KL), the air here is so much cleaner, fresher, and easier to breathe, alhamdulillaah.

I haven’t gone anywhere notably picture-worthy yet, but I hope I will get a chance to soon, in shaaʾ Allaah.  The weather today (after a fierce storm last night) is outstanding, and made me want to shoot some photos with a crystal-clear blue sky background.  Maybe another time…;)

If you want to see some photos of KT, just view the Malaysia category and there are plenty in previous posts.

Time Lapse Barrage

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Alhamdulillaah, I’ve been able to take an enormous amount of pictures during my stay here in Malaysia until now.  And while the actual yield of shots with any value may be low, the sheer volume of photos means that I have plenty I would like to share.

The sheer amount of work to upload these and present them in anything close to an appealing way through WordPress has made me decide that I am going to seek an alternative method for disseminating the videos.  I am hoping I can leverage my Gallery installation, in shaaʾ Allaah, but it’s support for alternative media types has not impressed me to date.  And don’t even dare suggest that I use a Flash-based solution…

Read on for the feature presentation(s)!  As usual, make sure to get a copy of the free-and-open-source VLC player if you don’t have it or another media player that can play Ogg Theora videos.
Continue reading “Time Lapse Barrage”

Back in Malaysia

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Alhamdulillaah, I am back in Malaysia, which means I am also back withView from the balcony of our apartment in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia my wife.  Words cannot express how much joy the two of us are experiencing being together once again.  More than six months have passed since we’d been together the last time.  In case it is not obvious, the reason we are not yet able to live together permanently is due to the fact that the U. S. Citizenship & Immigration Services has not yet approved the petition for my wife’s immigration visa, and thus, I cannot legally bring her into the country.  Therefore, until such a time as the petition is approved (and the NVC approves the visa, and my wife passes the interview) in shaaʾ Allaah, we will face challenges to living together permanently.

Continue reading “Back in Malaysia”

(Belated) Marriage Announcement

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Putting aside for now the minor detail that it actually happened over six months ago, I just wanted to announce as far-and-wide as possible that Allaah has blessed me, Basil Mohamed Gohar, with marriage to Nor Sallsabil binti (daughter of) Abdul Razak.  Our marriage took place after `Ishaa’ (evening prayer) on May 3rd, 2007, in the beautiful city of Kuala Terengganu (KT for short), Malaysia.  Read on for the reason behind the delay in my announcement.

Continue reading “(Belated) Marriage Announcement”

Floating Masjid of Kuala Terengganu

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

One of the beautiful sites in the city of Kuala Terengganu, the hometown of my wife, is the Floating Masjid, pictured below:

Floating Masjid of Kuala Terengganu

We prayed `asr here a few days back, and naturally, having my camera with me, I snapped a few pictures. Click on the image above to go to the gallery and see more pictures of the masjid.

Malaysia – Part Deux

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem


Alhamdulillaah, I’ve arrived safely in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. The reason for being here, obviously, is to visit my wife as we have yet to receive the green light regarding her immigration. Right now I’m in KLIA, just relaxing and waiting for my next flight, which will take me to Kuala Terengganu, where I will finally be reunited with my wife, in shaa Allaah. Just as an FYI, my wife & I have been physically separated since I left Malaysia on May 19th, after spending only two weeks together after we got married. I’m sure you can imagine how much both of us have been waiting for this time together, walhamdulillaah.


As a refresher, you can see some pictures from my first visit to this beautiful country in my media gallery. Continue reading “Malaysia – Part Deux”