Noraseri – Homesick

March 29, 2006 Totally devastated, but life has to go on Time passed very fast, and it had been my thirtieth day in the NGO camp in Noorasery. I was reading some printed material from Andreas Harsono blog ( which explained about some basics of journalism. This weblog was recommended in the photographer website. It was indeed enlightening. The posts were mostly in Indonesian, and the articles about investigative journalism, how to write in English, some basic elements of journalism, the narrow Indonesian nationalism in tsunami disaster, and the literal journalism were very well-written that I thought deeply about my country. He was right, Indonesia, our country, was full of problems. It was not difficult to see injustice, suppressed people, poverty, mysteries, struggles, and so on. I felt that somehow I wanted to dedicate myself deeper to the journalism world. But I still had too much to learn, as my educational background was not exactly fit with this new life I am trying to start. There is no reason to complain. Live here is much harder. Reading the articles in Indonesia made me really homesick. I dreamt about Indonesia, and somehow wanted to be there soon. I missed the food, [...]

March 29, 2006 // 2 Comments

Noraseri – A Story from Basyir’s Family

New home, new hope March 18, 2006 After five consecutive months living in emergency tents, finally, Mr. Basyir had the chance for a celebration: a move to the new shelter. The Danish Muslim Aid, an NGO from Denmark, had provided the family with the building material, and three men from the family worked hard every day to build their new home, the new place to shelter the hopes and dreams remained after everything was devastated by the disaster. Mr. Basyir was a typical example of the suffering victims of the disaster which rocked South Asia on October 8, 2005. The family, once consisted of the parents and ten children, now was smaller. Basyir had had six sons and four daughters. Three died. All boys. And the boys were the youngest in their family. The scars of the tragedy still rooted very deep on Mrs. Basyir. Her youngest boy looked like a Chinese boy, when he was alive. That youngest son was only two years old, and he was not recovered under the rubbles of the house. Mr. Basyir said that his wife cried on the first day she saw me, due to my Oriental face which reminded her to her [...]

March 18, 2006 // 0 Comments

Muzaffarabad – Sea of Tents

Sea of tents March 4, 2006 The city of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, sprawls along two important rivers in Pakistan, Niilam and Jhelam. The two rivers meet in the heart of the city, where the economic activities of the city concentrated. The main road stretched from the north through Chella Bandi area until the ‘Secretariat’ area, of total 4 kms of length. Muzaffarabad is hilly city, the roads are all ‘uupar niche’ (up and down), with several steep cliffs (many were collapsed due to the earthquake 5 months earlier) and ladder provided to pedestratians to up the hill. Was the main landmark and tourist attraction of the city, the historical Red Fort or Lal Qila is now a bunch of red stones. The remains of the fort, walls now not more than 2 metres tall, are still standing on the top of small hill near Chella Bandi. The shops and houses are also still showing the scars of disasters, with orphaned children beggar sleeping on the street, exhausted of waiting alms from the pedestrians. The shop owners are apparently going back to their shops, despite the risk that the shops may collapse at any single possible [...]

March 4, 2006 // 0 Comments