Night of Poetry to realise inclusivity of the disabled

By Tuan Nurul Iffah Tuan Ismail

GOMBAK, 12 December 2019: It was a night of poetry filled with joy moments of poem recitations and music demonstrations by the disabled performers to boost their confidence level while trying to do their bit to help raise funds.

The programme called “Malam Puisi Hari OKU Sedunia” was held at Banquet Hall, IIUM Cultural Centre (ICC), on Wednesday night (11 December) to celebrate the World Disabled Day 2019 at the university level on the theme ’Realising the Inclusivity’.

It was aimed at promoting inclusiveness between students and the disabled community and was held in conjunction with the IIUM Disability Grand Awareness Campaign 2019.

The poetry recitation has its own goal to enhance confidence level among the disabled community as they performed in front of a large crowd to raise funds to help improve facilities for the disabled at the university.

As admitted by IIUM’s Head of Disability Services Unit, Prof. Dr. Ruzita Mohd Amin, in her welcoming speech, “This is in line with the hope that all universities can move forward towards disability inclusion.”

She said that such programme was held for the first time in IIUM. She therefore expressed the hope that this programme would continue.

The event saw the presence of prominent personalities like Major General Datuk Yusof Anuar, Member of National Education Advisory Council (Ministry of Education, Malaysia), Prof. Dr. Mohamad Fauzan Bin Noordin from Kulliyyah of Information and Communication Technology (KICT), Tan Sri Prof. Emeritus Mohd Kamal Hassan, former Rector of IIUM, Prof. Dr. Durrishah Idris, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs) of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Ustaz Haji Ismail bin Hashim, Chairman of the Religious Committee Majlis Tindakan OKU Selangor (MTOS), and Dr. Amnah Bahari from Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS).

Also present at the event were three representatives from Yayasan Faqeh – Zaid, Adib and Izuan – who were given the responsibility to translate the speech by the speaker using sign language.

The programme was opened with a recitation of the Quran by Ahmad Danial, currently a student of IIUM. Danial has a vision problem but that did not break his spirit as he read the Quran using Quranic braille. His recitation touched everyone’s heart as even though he is blind he could recite the verses clearly and smoothly.

Each presenter gave a very impressive performance that touched the heart of the audience. The poems they recited were successfully shared that made the audience shed their tears feeling grateful for all the good things they have received in life.

One story shared by Abdul Hakim bin Manaf could be deeply seen as an inspiration to the audience, as he himself has a disabled child who lost both his legs due to an accident which happened in the past. It was a nightmare to Hakim’s family as he and his wife were traumatised and almost lost hope because “we were too sad about what had happened”.

However, because of the spirit that was left, this family came back to life and eventually his child now pursues his studies in Darul Quran at Kuala Kubu Bahru, Selangor.

Hakim dedicated the poem entitled ‘Anak Syurga’ to the audience which tells the journey of a disabled child who wants to live and succeed like everyone else.

On the contrary, Azzrulkhan Hasbullah told his life story through the poem ‘Bunga Kuning di Kaki Lima’ which portrays the journey and hardship experienced by the disabled people to continue living in this beautiful world.

The content of the poem was also dedicated to all those who were considered as the backbone to the disabled to help them achieve a better life and future.

Azzrulkhan, who was a Bachelor of Human Sciences student then majoring in Communication, had received the Malaysia Book of Record award for being the first disabled person who succeeded to climb Mount Everest.

Among those who also gave their performance by reciting poems, playing the violin and demonstrating a short sketch was Assoc Prof. Dr. Zulkifli Hasan, Ismail Ahmed Mahamod from Somalia, Shah Nizam bin Mazlan, Pyan Habib, Prof. Dr. Mohamad Fauzan Bin Noordin, Mohamad Naja Nafhan bin Azman, Fudzail bin Mohd Nor and Nazmi Kamarulzaman.

The closing performance was marked by a poetry recitation by former Rector, Tan Sri Prof. Emeritus Mohd Kamal Hassan. His words of inspirations were:

“You’re not disabled nor impaired spiritually,
You can defeat the army of post-normal cruelty,
With your heart and soul of Pristine Purity,
With your hope and smile of amazing sustainability”

Earlier in his opening speech, Deputy Rector (Student Development and Community Engagement), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zulkifli Hassan, said IIUM has among the highest number of disabled students in Malaysia today that stood at 96.

Having one of the highest number of disabled students, he said, this event was held with the primary purpose for fundraising to improve the services for the disabled in IIUM, as well as to assist these students in buying devices to ease their studies.

The event was organised by IIUM’s Disability Services Unit in collaboration with CiTRA and IIUM Ibn Ummi Maktum Club (I-MAC). ***

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