Najjar, I feel like it was just yesterday I received your big hug as I bid farewell to you at the KL International Airport. Time passes so fast. Things and events are so transient. But true friendship and love between humans stay. Life is about 'being' not consuming. We have a wonderful life, not just a 'career'. Love and friendship give us a life.
Najjar, I am extremely happy and proud to see that you are still emitting your positive vibes. Congratulations on your recent endeavor, a TV host at WSIU. I know for sure that you will be a great host. Your vibrant and colorful energy will be spread and transmitted even further. I hope you are also doing a great service to your Illinois Governor as one of his advisers on Muslim and Islamic affairs.
Remember this building? Ya, it used to be your studio (or garden of the mind) when you were here as an artist in residence at the Muzium & Galeri Tuanku Fauziah (MGTF), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
It used to be like an abandoned building before your came, a place where we (MGTF) stored most of our junks. It used to look spooky too, with lots of dust and crawling creatures.
Then you came along and we transformed it into a studio that vibrates with your infectious energy.
Najjar, you left a strong presence that still lingers. After you went back to the USA, the Physical Development Department put a new coat of paint on the wall, repaired the floor and made a nice pavement. You transform things (and hearts) that you have touched. You have more than friends in Malaysia, Penang specifically.
Now this building will be my office and studio. I am currently moving my stuffs into it, while my previous office will be turned into a meeting room. I will use it until the university throws me out. In the meantime, I will adorn it with a picture of us (with Shamsul, like three musketeers).
My wife Ana, send her love and warmest regards.
Salam and big hug from me to you, you wife Khaleela (remember Jambu) and all your beautiful daughters.
I really hope to see you and your family in the USA soon. and seeing you plus your family back in Malaysia. Lets pray for that to happen.
In the meantime, whenever you are feeling a bit down or having a bad spell, just remember that you have few friends back in Malaysia who are always praying for you.
Najjar, your journey to Malaysia has allowed you to connect with several blessed souls who are vibrating the Malaysian visual art scene. I am working on a book on your residency. Meanwhile, you may recap our journey here :
I will be using materials from my blog entries for the book. Here are the links :
Will be using Shamsul's reflection on your residency in the book too. Here is the the link :
and your own reflection: