Photo: Istanbul from the Boat

A romantic ambience of Istanbul [2015: E O]

A romantic ambience of Istanbul [2015: E O]

From the boats, we caught this beautiful historical building [2015: E O]

From the boats, we caught this beautiful historical building [2015: E O]

The city of Istanbul [2015: E O]

The city of Istanbul [2015: E O]

Caught Galata Tower in The Frame [2015: E O]

Caught Galata Tower in The Frame [2015: E O]

Trying to catch fish for dinner [2015: E O]

Trying to catch fish for dinner [2015: E O]

Slow motion [2015: E O]

Slow motion [2015: E O]

.

signature

Spirituality: Hamsa

Got this antique pair of hamsa earrings at St. Lawrence Sunday Antique Market. It is only for 20 $. Hamsa prayer: Let no sadness come to this heart; Let no trouble come to these arms; Let no conflict come to these eyes. Let my soul be filled with the blessing of joy of peace. 

Hamsa earrings [2014: E O]

Hamsa earrings [2014: E O]

Indonesia: A Letter To Pak Beye

People attend a candlelight vigil at Proclamation Monument in central Jakarta on Tuesday night (August 28th) to pray and show support for Shia Muslims in Sampang, Madura after local Sunni Muslims attacked the community, killing two men and burning dozens of homes. Hundreds attended the Malam Seribu Lilin (Night of a Thousand Candles). [2012: Oktofani]

People attend a candlelight vigil at Proclamation Monument in central Jakarta on Tuesday night (August 28th) to pray and show support for Shia Muslims in Sampang, Madura after local Sunni Muslims attacked the community, killing two men and burning dozens of homes. Hundreds attended the Malam Seribu Lilin (Night of a Thousand Candles). [2012: Oktofani]

Dear Pak Beye,

I am a citizen. I am a journalist. As a journalist, I like to observe, I like to listen to my source when they tell me a story. I do not interrupt them. I let them  take all the time that they need. It is because I realize that people like to be listened to.

Since I started my career in journalism, I often covered stories on human rights and legal issues. As a result, I am very aware of human rights issues now. There is a saying in journalism “Bad news is good news“. And working as a journalist in Indonesia, I would find ‘good news‘ very easily. It is because everyday I see and hear s about so many  cases of human rights violations in this beloved country.

It is very saddening to see that the number of violent attacks on religious minorities keeps increasing each year. Setara Institute found that  there were 216 cases of violent attacks on religious minorities in 2010, 244 cases in 2011 and 264 cases in 2012.

The victims of the attacks mentioned in the report belonged to religious communities including Catholic and Protestant Christians, and Islamic groups Shia, Sunni and Ahmadiyah.

Some people say that journalistic duties are to JUST write down the fact and present it to the public, we must not be involved. That is so true. But sometimes, I questioned myself how can I help the victims? I don’t want to be a hero. But I am a human with heart and feeling.

Ten Shiites from Sampang, Madura, East Java, are heading to Jakarta on bicycles to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and directly convey their complaints over being expelled from their own village in August 2012.

Ten Shiites from Sampang, Madura, East Java, are heading to Jakarta on bicycles to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and directly convey their complaints over being expelled from their own village in August 2012.

Norma Manalu, an activist from Aceh, speaks at a June 4th gathering about women’s rights in Aceh, at Hotel Acacia in Jakarta. Activists say they are not against Sharia Law but question the way it is being implemented.

Norma Manalu, an activist from Aceh, speaks at a June 4th gathering about women’s rights in Aceh, at Hotel Acacia in Jakarta. Activists say they are not against Sharia Law but question the way it is being implemented.

My heart beat stopped when I saw women crying because they could not use their church for worshiping God on Sunday. I cried when I heard that three Ahmadiyah followers were killed in West Java.

I was speechless when I heard a Syiah  follower had nothing to say to his four years old boy that they no longer have house because their house has been burned down by extremists in Sampang, Madura, East Java.  I wanted to scream to the government of Aceh for regulating women’s clothing and movement in Aceh as if there are not more important things to be involved in.

Akh…. Indonesia!  Don’t you remember what your teacher taught you in the class when you were at Elementary School? They taught us about Pancasila and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity).

Akh… Indonesia! We forgot how to respect each other. We forgot the value of humanity. We forgot our national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika . We just care about ourselves and be selfish instead.

Indonesia! We forgot that the Indonesian Constitution has guaranteed its citizen to choose and practice their religion. Yet, Ahmadi cannot use their mosque and some Christians cannot use their churches to worship God.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has just received theWorld Statesman  Award for promoting religious freedom  in Indonesia, while in reality your people cannot  practice their belief and religions in safety.  They come to you to convey their problem, yet you don’t even have five minutes for them. Should you wait until the table turn on you?

Bapak SBY, they are your children. They consider you as a father hence they come to you. Please kindly open your eyes, open your ears and open your heart to them.  Help them justice.

Bapak presiden, they might not have a high education but they know the value of humanity. Open your heart, open your door for them. It is ridiculous that they should come to you because the local government were too blind and to dumb to hear their problem.  We all just want to live peacefully in our home country.

Bapak presiden, if you were a real soldier, you should act like it. If you are a good father, then you should act like one. If you are a good president, then be a good president. The extremists have insulted you big time but you still give them space. That’s unfortunate.

Oh here… I have a song for you Pak Beye “Dear Mr. President” by Pink. I hope you enjoy it.

Love

Ride the bus

An FPI-Free Indonesia supporter holds a sign at a rally attended by about 50 people in front of the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta on May 10th, 2012. The group is demanding a stop to violence committed in the name of religion. [2012: Oktofani Elisabeth]

An FPI-Free Indonesia supporter holds a sign at a rally attended by about 50 people in front of the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta on May 10th, 2012. The group is demanding a stop to violence committed in the name of religion. [2012: Oktofani Elisabeth]

Indonesian Youth's Express their disappointment to the government because Lady Gaga had to cancel her sold-out show in Indonesia following protests by Islamic hard-liners and conservative lawmakers, who said her sexy clothes and dance moves will corrupt young people [2012: Oktofani]

Indonesian Youth’s Express their disappointment to the government because Lady Gaga had to cancel her sold-out show in Indonesia following protests by Islamic hard-liners and conservative lawmakers, who said her sexy clothes and dance moves will corrupt young people [2012: Oktofani]

The protesters called President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono “banci,” which literally translates to transvestite, saying he was a coward for not disbanding Ahmadiyah. [2011: Oktofani Elisabeth]

The protesters called President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono “banci,” which literally translates to transvestite, saying he was a coward for not disbanding Ahmadiyah. [2011: Oktofani Elisabeth]

Notes: Back to Jakarta Baby

 

Bali story is over for the moment. I am back to Jakarta and back to real life where I have to deal with crazy traffic again. But what can I do? I gotta make some cash so I can get some more shoes no? Ooops!

Despite the fact I am complaining about Jakarta’s traffic, I would say that it is fun to be back to Jakarta because I am back to cover some stories again. I would meet new people again, I would get some new informations and I would write more stories again. Yay!

Kabut Jihad book launching in Hotel Borobudur, Jakarta [2012: Oktofani]

Khairul Ghazali, the author of Kabut Jihad, launched his 50th book in Jakarta [2012: Oktofani]

Today I attended a book launching, which was written by an Islamic fundamentalism figure, who was accused to involve in 2010 bank robbery at CIMB Niaga branch in Medan. It was very interesting because it was attended by many Islamic fundamentalism figures, Islamic scholars and also government officers.

Umar Patek, an accused bombmaker in the 2002 Bali attacks, was speaking to reporters in West Jakarta District Court [2012: Oktofani]

While tomorrow (Thursday), I would attend a Umar Patek’s verdict hearing. I really have to wake up early and leave early so I can get a front seat in the court room in West Jakarta District Court. It will be fun!

FYI, Umar Patek, 45, is accused of assembling explosives for twin suicide bombings on a bar and a nightclub in Bali that killed 202 people, and church attacks in Jakarta on Christmas Eve in 2000 that killed 19.

Anyway, I got a little problem here. I have been spending a week writing fiction and now I have to switch my brain to write news again. I found it super hard…. but what can I do? Little mamma needs to make some money.

And yay! I can go back to gym again… it has been a week that I did not work out at the gym.

Ride the bus