Sunday, June 17, 2007

Karen Armstrong in KL...

Yes, Karen Armstrong, the famous British author of our times was here in Malaysia, to participate in a conference on ' Islam and the West: Bridging the gap., organised by the Institute of Foreign Relation and Diplomacy Malaysia. At one of the forum, to a packed crowd of about one thousand five hundred people, at the Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Dr.Karen Armstrong gave a very informative talk. She handle the delicate and sensitive aspect of the subject on religion in a lively ways, despite the subject been rather dry: History and Religion. I was there and it was really good to get the opportunity the see her in person, after having read almost all her books that she has written so far. At present I am reading her latest book entitled ' The Great Transformation..'. As an avid reader of her books over times I have accumulate knowledge which I would not have got otherwise, especially those of the religions of the world. Reading her book help me to get to understand the teaching of the many religions of the world. In a way she has enlighten many as to the true teaching of all religions. That single message: Peace and Love to all mankind on this planet of ours.

It was great indeed to have in Dr.Karen, a person who took upon herself to do research on all the religions of the world and to look for resources for the contents of the books in the dark and dusted corner of those many archives in libraries of the world. And to do so with all the correctness she has also took to the studying other languages as well, which includes Arabic. Which let her to write many books on Islam and related subjects. Had it not been for her diligence in getting these book published, I doubt that we as readers, would have got that knowledge of our past history by just reading one or two books. We would have to read thousand of books before we could reach what she had complied in those few books that had been published so far.

It was great indeed to see so many people of all faiths, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Tao and others congregate in one room to hear her speak of the role that religions should and could play in preaching peace and love in the world now and that hatred should not have a place in the hearts of peace loving people. She talk on the history and the role of all faiths throughout history and that it has one common role, that of Peace and compassion to all mankind. In her talk she relate the many times that works for peace and compassion has taken place throughout history. She even explain the special meaning of the word Love and that it means more than just giving love but of compassion, understanding and unity as well.

I arrived early to the forum which start at ten in the morning. It was held on the first floor of the five star hotel situated adjacent to the KLCC. On arrival I met many people enjoying the coffee, tea and the snacks that were provide by the organiser. It was an opportunity to meet strangers and friends before the formal function. After the forum that lasted until past twelve noon, we again were served with coffee and tea. During this time I got the opportunity to meet some strangers which later became friends. We soon talk on many subjects like old friends. The two persons that I would like to mentioned here is Tian Chai and Peter Wong who continue to chat with me until the place were deserted. For me meeting these two young articulate persons was indeed an opportunity to exchange view that of common interest. It was indeed great to get to talk to them on subjects that are close to our hearts, especially so on subjects that concern religions, social interaction of the society and the progress of the country, to the subject of raising children in these ever challenging period of our country and the society. These two persons are knowledgeable in many subjects, thus the chats became a sort of a social discourse, that add color to the already colorful event of the day. Indeed it is a meeting of the minds of like minded people, in an atmosphere of harmony. Enriching each others minds with more knowledge, that comes so unexpectedly. Continuing to make lives so wonderful and beautiful. And of course making my life as colorful as ever. Have a nice day. [KL mean Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia]

16 comments:

MarinaM said...

Pak Idrus, I wish I had seen you there! There were so many people and I couldn't really spot who was there among the crowd. I must say that I saw many people who had been there the previous day also turned up for the public forum. That says a lot for the pull of Dr Armstrong as a thinker and speaker.The organisers were hoping for 500 people but obviously with 1500, they very much underestimated the interest.

Pak Idrus said...

marina, thanks for the visit and the comments. Well I too did not expect that numbers of attendance. To me its a dream come true to get to see her in person and listen to the talk. I read some of her books while living the US some years ago. I am indeed glad to see Malaysian of all faiths were there under one roof. Well I saw you there 'all in a family', met your dad and saw your mom talking and been photograph with friends, but at that moment in time I did not see you for the crowd was too large to reach anyone you know. Have a nice day and take care.

A Voice said...

Good coverae of event. I also got my take of it.

Pak Idrus said...

a voice, thanks for the visit and the encouragement note. Have a nice day.

svllee said...

Dear Pak Idrus,

Thank you for giving us your view of the Karen Armstrong talk. Wish I could be there as I have heard a lot about her. Is she traveling around the country? Indeed, strangers are friends unmet!

Anonymous said...

Pak Idrus,
I actually block my diary to be there, but something came up, I have read a few of her books, she is a voice of reasons! Cheers!

Pak Idrus said...

svllee, thanks for the visit and the kind words. Indeed a rare moment that Malaysian get to meet such a well known person, an author and a thinker. It is her first visit here and I believe she would be here just for a few days.

Pak Idrus said...

anonymous, thanks for the visit and the notes. Agreed, indeed She is a Voice of reasons and a great thinker in our midst. Have a nice day.

zorro said...

Had to give it a miss. Happy Grandpa Day, datuk.

Pak Idrus said...

zorro thanks for the greeting, Happy Garndpa to you too, Have a nice day.

Daphne Ling said...

Dear Pak Idrus,
Wanted to attend the talk, but schedule and distance prevented me from...Am visiting blogs for different perspectives of the talks, since don't trust newspapers to give a proper one (aiya, they're always very 'nice')...Thanks for the post =)Cheerio!

Pak Idrus said...

daphne ling, thanks for the visit and the 'voice' on what we get to read. Well now that we have blogs surely there are more colors in the ways news are presented now. Thats I believe is progress in the mass media. Have a nice day.

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Pak Idrus,

I missed the talk. Had to host a wedding reception. Perhaps we would have rezki to meet some other time.

Pak Idrus said...

ruby, thanks for the visit. Well I hope that there would be another event where we would be at the same spot in times. Have a nice day.

Manal said...

salam Pak Idrus,

I was actually so keen on attending her talk but as i mentioned in my blog on my financial state, i hope that she'll come visit our country again in the near future. But it's so good to know that some (topnotch) bloggers like ur respectable self attending this talk and cared to share the experience as well on your blog.

Anyways, salam perkenalan!

Pak Idrus said...

manal, thanks for the visit, the kind words and encouraging comments. It is not always we get to listen to a great thinker in person like Dr.Karen. There are so much she talk about that day and I shall write about it in due course. Have a nice day.