Sunday, 3 September 2017
Aiman Azlan and My Regrets
Semester break! One of those rare moments of (almost) no work and all play. With all the free time I finally got a chance to finish reading some of the books I've always wanted to read but never got the chance to. One of them is 'The Other Side of the Coin' by Aiman Azlan and Ameen Misran.
Well I bought the book mainly because of Aiman Azlan and here's the story of how I get to know him.
Back in my matriculation days (I'm not as old as it sounds), I was given the responsibility of leading a campaign called 'Islamic Awareness'. Being a naive kid that I was, I agreed. That 'oh shit' moment hit me when i realised there are two main problems. I have zero experience in leading campaigns and my knowledge of Islam is really superficial.
I tried to calm myself down.
Don't worry too much. You got this man!
Muslims pray 5 times a day, fast during Ramadan and everyone has to cover their awrah.
Alright! Lets make everybody more aware about that.
During the planning process, we have a slot for a motivational talk. Everyone's brainstorming on the topic as well as which speaker to invite. One of the committee members suggested Aiman Azlan!
My reaction was like, 'Aiman who?' Raising an eyebrow.
'Aiman Azlan! You know, that famous (good looking) Malaysian Youtuber studying in Canada.'
I put 'good looking' in a bracket because I wasn't certain if she said that but she was fangirling while suggesting. So even if she didn't say it, I knew deep down, she wanted to.
Okay, so we're not only gonna talk about Aiman Azlan in this blog entry. I'm also gonna talk about me. Well because this is my blog and what I did was probably the worst mistake in my life.
Just keep in mind that with my zero experience, I was a terrible event organizer.
Aiman Azlan, despite being Youtube famous and an oversea graduate, is one of the nicest and humblest guy I've ever met. A wise man too and i mean it. He was willing to speak for free after we told him about our tight budget. We just have to provide him shelter for the night. The committees waited him at the guard house, brought him to the guest house and we even had dinner together before the talk which was held in the college mosque after the Magrib prayers. Everything was smooth. The talk started and I sat on the last row with some of my Muslim friends.
I'm gonna go on a tangent here just to point out how uncomfortable it can be for a Chinese dude like me to enter the mosque. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful place and non Muslims are welcomed too. It's just that I'm not used get all those eyes staring me.
It's not that angry 'Hey what's he doing here?!' kinda of stare but that rather friendly 'Hey look, there's a chinese here' kinda stare. Or maybe it's just my tendency to overthinking and complicate all things.
Back to the story, the throughout the talk, I was really tired and i even got a headache. Running a week long campaign was draining. Towards the end of the talk, I wasn't feeling good and decided to walk back to my room and have some rest. Everything went smoothly so far and the talk was ending real soon. What could possibly go wrong?
When a story asked 'What could possibly go wrong?' anything that can go wrong, will.
I remembered vividly lying down on my bed before getting a text from my friend. He told me that he saw Aiman Azlan walks around the mosque and later walks back to the guest house all alone, unaccompanied.
Invited a somebody to an event without paying him a single cent, the least the organisers should do is to thank him after the event and escort him back for some rest. But nooo, the person in charge decided to go back to his room early and leaving the Aiman Azlan all alone after the event ended. I was and still am ashamed. God knows I much I hated myself back then.
Acting on my natural guilt, I apologized through emails and the forgiving soul was really calm and cool about it.
I was touched by the way he reacted and yes, he's definitely someone I idolize.
It has been 3 years. People grow and hopefully wiser by age.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you Mr Aiman Azlan. I wasn't polite addressing you as Aiman back then plus reading back on those emails, I sounded like a kid!
Thank you so much for being kind. Thank you for pardoning my messy management. Thank you for inspiring and empowering thousands of youth in Malaysia through your educational programs.
May God bless you and your family.