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Jangan Remehkan Sakit Punggung

Sekitar pertengahan tahun 2017, mentor saya di sebuah kursus jurnalisme kesehatan pernah berkata di kelas bahwa penyakit yang paling banyak diderita anak-anak muda di kota besar adalah sakit punggung. Dia pun pernah mengalaminya dan sempat bercerita sedikit mengenai hal ini, tetapi saya takkan membahasnya lebih jauh. Sebaliknya, saya mau membagi pengalaman saya sebagai mantan penderita cedera punggung.

Sekitar mid-Desember 2016, beberapa hari sebelum berlibur ke Yogyakarta, saya mulai merasakan sakit di punggung. Awalnya saya mengira bahwa nyeri ini akan hilang sendiri sehingga saya biarkan saja. Benar bahwa rasa sakitnya sempat menghilang, tetapi, pada pertengahan Februari 2017, rasa nyeri ini muncul lagi. Saya sempat berpikir untuk pergi ke jasa pijat dekat rumah, tetapi ayah saya menyarankan agar saya langsung mengunjungi dokter saja.

Singkat cerita, pada 16 Februari 2017, saya pergi ke dokter spesialis rehabilitasi medik di sebuah Rumah Sakit di kawasan Jakarta Timur. Pada kunjungan tersebut, saya menyampaikan keluhan-keluhan saya kepadanya. Pertanyaan pertama yang dia ajukan adalah : “Apakah Anda melakukan olahraga berat?” . Saya berkata jujur bahwa saya memang aktif berolahraga, tetapi tak tergolong “berat”. Orang-orang yang kenal saya sudah tahu bahwa menyukai berbagai olahraga mulai dari futsal, bulutangkis, bersepeda, renang dan jogging. Meskipun demikian, saya tidak pernah “ngotot” ketika berolahraga, apalagi mengambil resiko.

Setelah itu, pada hari yang sama, saya dirujuk dokter untuk menjalani rontgen. Hasil rontgen menunjukkan, saya mengalami spasme otot akibat penyempitan di bagian diskus invertebralis. Dia bertanya apakah saya mau minum obat penghilang rasa sakit. Saya bilang bahwa saya masih bisa menahan rasa nyeri, meskipun alasan utamanya bukan itu, melainkan lebih ke ingin menghemat uang.

Saat itu juga, dokter merujuk saya ke bagian fisioterapi. Saya minta dirujuk ke sebuah klinik yang letaknya tak jauh dari RS ini karena biayanya lebih murah ketimbang tarif fisioterapi di RS tersebut. Di tempat ini, saya hanya menjalani sesi fisioterapi sebanyak dua kali dan untungnya, langsung sembuh.

Total biaya yang saya keluarkan untuk konsultasi dokter rehabilitasi medik, rontgen, dan terapi adalah 1,5 juta rupiah. Sebenarnya saya bisa saja menggunakan BPJS, tetapi mengingat saat itu saya sangat sibuk karena bekerja fulltime, sedang mengikuti kursus dua kali seminggu, dan harus mencicil tugas-tugas kursus pada malam hari, saya mengambil keputusan untuk berobat dengan biaya sendiri. Kalian pasti sudah mengetahui bagaimana antrian pasien BPJS, dan terlebih prosedur yang harus dilalui untuk dapat berkonsultasi dengan dokter spesialis.

Penyebab Sakit Punggung

Olahraga “berat” tidak pernah saya lakukan. Lalu, apa yang menjadi penyebab utama rasa sakit di punggung saya? Saya menduga, ini akibat bad posture ketika berdiri di angkutan umum. Sudah lebih dari sepuluh tahun saya lebih sering berdiri di angkutan umum dengan posisi tidak proporsional ketimbang duduk dengan nyaman. Setelah sembuh, apakah saya tetap berdiri di bus? Ya, karena saya tidak ada pilihan lain selain menggunakan bus Transjakarta untuk bekerja.

Solusinya, agar punggung tak terlalu terbebani, saya menaruh tas di bawah. Namun, ini hanya dapat dilakukan jika bus tidak terlalu penuh. Saya juga sempat menduga sakit ini dipicu oleh punggung yang tidak tersangga dengan baik. Sekitar bulan September-awal Desember 2016, saya seringkali begadang untuk mengerjakan paper. Saya duduk di lantai , menghadap laptop, dan punggung saya tak tersangga. Saya baru menyadari belakangan bahwa ini pun bisa memicu cedera punggung. Akhirnya, saya menghentikan kebiasaan buruk ini.

Sakit punggung juga bisa disebabkan kebiasaan duduk terlalu lama. Sejujurnya, saya tidak merasa kebanyakan duduk karena saya tidak betah duduk terlalu lama. Sesekali saya berdiri atau sengaja mengambil minum di dapur untuk melemaskan otot-otot. Tips lengkap untuk mengatasi nyeri punggung akibat kebanyakan duduk bisa dilihat di sini.

Kurang minum juga bisa menyebabkan sakit punggung. Sayangnya, banyak orang tak mengetahui hal ini. Saya pun baru mengetahuinya empat tahun lalu. Pasti banyak yang bertanya-tanya apa hubungannya pentingnya minum air secara teratur dan kesehatan punggung. Untuk mengetahuinya, kita harus berkenalan dengan diskus invertebralis. Diskus terletak di tulang belakang, berbentuk seperti gel yang hampir seluruhnya mengandung air. Manusia memerlukan air agar diskus terus terhidrasi dan mampu melaksanakan fungsinya dengan baik, yaitu melindungi tulang punggung dari benturan.

So, jangan sepelekan sakit punggung. Jika kalian mengalaminya, lebih baik langsung mendatangi dokter. Jangan lupa juga untuk minum air secara teratur, menghindari duduk terlalu lama dan posisi berdiri yang tidak proporsional. Olahraga yang baik untuk menjaga kesehatan punggung juga bisa dilakukan. Silakan googling atau mencarinya di Youtube.

I was 11 when I visited a local police precinct with my school friends and teachers. As far as I can remember, it was a field trip to learn about police institution. At the age of 14, I started watching NYPD Blue and drew a conclusion : police brutality is a real problem.

Four years later, I enrolled in a public law school in Indonesia. When I was in a the third year in the faculty, I took a course called Criminal Law Practice. One of the lecturers in the course asked students to write a case study. I did a case a study on access to legal aid for drug offenders. I went to the court and watched some drug trials. I also conducted interviews with public defenders who handled these cases. They told me that drug offenders are usually denied legal aid.

Last year, when I was working in a project as a researcher, a human rights activist said that female drug suspects are routinely abused during interrogation. Sexual violence usually used as torture to secure confessions from women suspects. In another interview, a lawyer of a foreign female death row inmate told me that her client was denied the right to a fair trial.

This week, once again, the world witnessed police brutality. A Minneapolis police officer pinned down George Lloyd — an unarmed black man- by the neck with his knee during an arrest. The man died subsequently in front of other police officers and witnesses. So far, the officers only got fired. We still don’t know if they will be held accountable. The FBI and Minnesota law enforcement authorities are investigating this incident.

You might want to say “not all police”. However, in my country, police brutality is not a random and isolated incident. It is an institutional and a structural problem. Twenty-two years after being separated from Indonesian military, the national police remains one of some states institutions that almost untouched by reform. Because of esprit de corps, the police regularly protects their members, even when it comes to grave violations. In addition, police recruitment system is often not based on merit.

Reforming police institution is not enough if it is not followed by improving the performance of criminal justice system. How to start a reform? By admitting that they have serious problems and having a willingness to solve them.

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I am a football lover, however, for the past few years, I no longer identify myself as a supporter of certain clubs. I have never been an Atletico Madrid fan, but I admire Diego Pablo Simeone. In 2014, I wrote a review of “Simeone’s Effect” (a book written by Simeone and a Spanish journalist, Santi Garcia Bustamante) in an online sport newspaper.

When I knew that Atletico Madrid would come to Singapore to play International Champions Cup, I made a vow to find a way to meet and take picture with him (and his players). I realized this was not easy, but kept trying.

Preparation : Information is Important 

Few days before Atletico arrived in Singapore, I tried hard to track their hotel and flight. Straitstimes.com, a Singaporean online media, reported that los rojiblancos would stay at Mandarin Oriental. When it comes to the flight, the club announced it just one day before their arrival date.  Thanks to social media, I was able to find out such information.

Based on that tweet, it was estimated that Atletico departed at 9 pm Jakarta time (or 3 pm Madrid time) on 24 July. The problem was, because they boarded private aircraft, I could not find their flight duration on Flightradar. Therefore, I calculated it by seeing the schedule of any commercial airplane who flew from the capital city of Spain to Singapore.

You might wonder what I was doing while waiting for them to arrive. On Wednesday morning, 25 July 2018, I left my friend’s house to go to Marina Square mall, which is located very near to the hotel. There, I ordered a glass of iced coffee in a coffee shop while monitoring social media. I spent my time there for two hours before walked around the mall. I found a chair located on the 3rd floor and sit there for more than three hours. I read a book, monitored Twitter, and waited.

Around 3:30 pm, As.com reported that Atletico had arrived in Singapore at 2 pm. Without thinking twice, I headed straight to the hotel. I met a Chinese journalist who also waited for the team.  I talked about my plan and he said : “When you ask for Simeone’s autograph, I will take a photo”.

But the plan did not go smoothly.  When I approached Simeone to get his autograph and said “Hola señor!” , he kept walking. Maybe he was tired after more than 16 hours flight from Madrid to Singapore. Fortunately, I got Jan Oblak’s (Atletico’s goalkeeper) autograph and took picture with him.

Left : Jan Oblak and Me . Right : Oblak’s autograph

Blessing in Disguise : Caught on Camera With Simeone 

Although I failed to get Diego Simeone’s autograph and to ask him to take picture with me, I was appeared in a video official of Atletico (see 1.07 – 1.08)

Few days after returning to Jakarta, I found that I was caught again on camera with Simeone. Goal.com Indonesia displayed a picture of myself and him.

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Source : Goal.com Indonesia

At first, I thought this picture was taken by an Indonesian journalist (see above. The news was written by Eric Noveanto). I contacted him through Instagram, and he confirmed that it was taken by a photographer hired by the International Champions Cup organizer. Later, I found that the same picture were also used by other media outlet.

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Source : FourFourTwo Indonesia

Simeone and me 3

Source : BeSoccer.com

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Source : Screenshot sent by my German friend

My first and last football adventure in Singapore was fun and my plan went pretty well. I can’t wait another football pilgrimage.

Sudah lama saya tidak update tulisan di blog ini karena kesibukan saya nulis berita dan artikel di media. Menjelang berakhirnya tahun 2018, saya merasa punya “utang” karena belum menulis mengenai perjalanan saya ke Vietnam yang saya lakukan 2,5 tahun lalu.

Sekitar bulan Maret atau April 2016, saya menyadari bahwa paspor pertama saya takkan dapat digunakan lagi pada bulan Agustus. Saat itu, saya mencari – cari ide agar saya dapat menggunakan paspor saya untuk terakhir kalinya sebelum melakukan perpanjangan. Akhirnya, saya memilih Vietnam sebagai tempat berlibur.

Setelah memutuskan untuk ikut tur ala backpacker yang diadakan sebuah biro perjalanan yang bermarkas di Malang, saya mulai mencari tiket. Saya berangkat dari Jakarta pada tanggal 1 Juni 2016 dan pulang dari Hanoi via Singapura tanggal 5 Juni 2016.

Menderita Karena Flu

Sehari sebelum berangkat, tepatnya tanggal 31 Mei, saya terjangkit flu. Batuk , sakit tenggorokan, dan sakit kepala bercampur jadi satu. Parahnya , sebulan sebelumnya saya baru sembuh dari penyakit yang sama. Saya agak sedikit khawatir dengan kondisi saya ini karena pernah mengalami hal yang sama pada bulan Desember 2012. Singkatnya, ketika pulang dari Bangkok, saya berada dalam kondisi sakit flu. Sesampainya di Jakarta,  rasa sakit di telinga saya semakin menjadi-jadi. Setelah memeriksakan diri ke dokter, saya didiagnosa menderita radang saluran telinga.

Sewaktu take off, saya tak merasakan sakit di telinga. Sebaliknya, rasa sakit itu baru muncul ketika berada di udara dan setelah landing di Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Saya sempat berpikir untuk menelpon seorang teman yang berprofesi sebagai dokter di Jakarta. Namun, melakukan panggilan telpon ke Jakarta sangatlah mahal. Akhirnya, saya mengirimkan pesan via twitter kepada seorang kenalan dokter yang berpraktek di Kuala Lumpur. Sayangnya, dia tak membalas pesan saya secara cepat. Kemudian, saya menemui petugas bandara dan menceritakan kondisi saya. Saya juga menanyakan apakah ada klinik di Terminal 2. Dia mengatakan kepada saya bahwa klinik tak terletak di terminal 2. Selain itu, saya tetap tak dibolehkan keluar imigrasi karena waktu transit yang singkat. Tak ada cara lain yang bisa saya lakukan selain menahan rasa sakit ,  merasakan “budeg” di salah satu telinga dan berusaha tidur sambil menunggu penerbangan pagi tujuan Hanoi.

Tempat saya tidur di bandara Kuala Lumpur sambil menunggu penerbangan tujuan Hanoi

Barang-barang yang saya bawa selama transit di Kuala Lumpur.

Ketika tiba di bandara Noi Bai, Vietnam, kondisi yang sama berulang, dan bahkan lebih buruk. Saya merasa bahwa “budeg” saya semakin parah. Itulah yang menyebabkan saya mencari fasilitas pertolongan pertama di Bandara Hanoi. Seorang dokter memberikan saya Panadol untuk mengurangi rasa sakit. Ketika saya bertanya kepadanya apakah saya harus minum antibiotik, dia bertanya balik : “what is antibiotics?”. Lagi-lagi, bahasa menjadi hambatan untuk komunikasi. Hal yang menjadi pertanyaan bagi saya : “Kenapa nggak menempatkan seorang dokter yang bisa berbahasa Inggris?”

Di tengah kota Hanoi, saya masih berusaha mencari obat yang dapat meringankan rasa sakit saya. Untungnya, ketika mendatangi sebuah apotek, saya menemukan seorang apoteker yang mampu berbahasa Inggris. Dia memberikan obat yang saya pikir, sangat ampuh karena keesokan harinya (3 Juni 2016), saya tak lagi “budeg” meskipun masih menderita akibat flu.

Objek Wisata di Vietnam 

Saya, pemandu wisata, dan tiga orang peserta tur lainnya mengunjungi beberapa tempat di Hanoi dan Halong Bay.

  1. Danau Hoan Kim 

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2. Halong Bay

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Saya dan seorang teman (yang ada di foto ini) mencoba untuk kayaking. Agak susah juga karena tak terbiasa mendayung

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Gua Thien Cung

3. Museum dan Mausoleum Ho Chi Minh 

Ho Chi Minh dapat dianggap sebagai “Bapak Bangsa” bagi rakyat Vietnam. Tak mengherankan apabila ada museum dan mausoleum yang didirikan untuk mengenang jasa-jasanya. Sayangnya, saya dan tiga peserta lainnya tak mengunjungi mausoleum karena antrian yang sangat panjang.

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Patung Ho Chi Minh

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Antrian menuju mausoleum Ho Chi Minh

4. Penjara Hoa Lo 

Penjara yang kini menjadi museum adalah bukti kekejaman pemerintah kolonial Perancis. Museum ini dibuat dengan nuansa gelap sehingga terkesan angker. Diorama yang dipamerkan di sini menceritakan penindasan yang dilakukan oleh Perancis terhadap rakyat tahanan politik Vietnam.

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Di sini disebutkan bahwa para tahanan diberikan makanan kadaluarsa yang menyebabkan sakit bahkan meninggal.

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Kloset di penjara Hoa Lo

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Kaki para tahanan yang diborgol

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Sel tahanan perempuan

5. Museum Sejarah Militer Vietnam 

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6. Flag Tower Hanoi 

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7. St. Joseph’s Cathedral 

8. Patung Lenin 

9. Pagoda Tran Quoc

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10. One Pillar Pagoda 

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Makanan dan Minuman di Vietnam 

Saya mencoba beberapa makanan, tetapi tak semua saya abadikan dalam bentuk foto.Seperti layaknya negara-negara lainnya di Asia Tenggara, beras adalah makanan pokok di negara ini. Namun, beras tersebut tak dimasak menjadi nasi, melainkan mie yang dikenal dengan nama “Pho”.

Pho

Foto di atas adalah pho yang saya beli di bandara Noi Bai, Hanoi. Harganya 50.000 Vietnam Dong (VND) atau Rp. 25.000 untuk kurs pada saat itu (Juni 2016). Apabila membeli kuliner ini di pinggir jalan, harganya bisa sangat murah, sekitar 25.000 VND. Inilah salah satu hal yang saya suka dari Vietnam. Harga makanan dan minuman lebih murah apabila dibandingkan dengan Jakarta.

Selain itu, setiap restoran selalu menyediakan ekstra sayur. Seperti yang telah saya ceritakan di atas, saya menderita flu sehari sebelum berangkat. Di Vietnam, saya hampir selalu makanan pho hangat dengan ekstra sayur. Mungkin ini juga yang membuat saya pulih lebih cepat (kurang dari seminggu).

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Mungkin kebiasaan makan sayur menjadi salah satu faktor yang menjadikan tubuh langsung orang-orang Vietnam, selain kebiasaan berjalan kaki.

Tradisi “Nongkrong”

Sepanjang pengamatan saya ketika berada di Vietnam, nongkrong sepertinya telah menjadi tradisi. Pagi, siang, sore, dan malam, selalu ada orang yang duduk-duduk di kursi pendek di pinggir jalan sambil menyantap makanan atau sekedar ngopi.

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Salah satu hal yang agak menyulitkan ketika berwisata di negara ini adalah bahasa . Selain kasus dengan dokter di bandara, saya sempat mengalami kesulitan ketika ingin membeli roti tawar di sebuah minimarket. Kedua pramuniaga yang bekerja di situ tak mengerti ketika saya mengatakan “bread”. Akhirnya, saya meminjam telpon seluler salah satu dari mereka untuk meng-googling gambar roti tawar. Meskipun demikian, secara keseluruhan, saya mendapatkan banyak pengalaman baru serta teman-teman baru di Vietnam.

 

Kopi Darat di Semarang

Desember lalu, saya memutuskan pergi ke Semarang sekaligus “kopi darat” dengan Nana Podungge, atau cukup dipanggil mbak Nana. Saya mengenalnya sejak kami masih memiliki akun friendster, tepatnya pada tahun 2004. Ketertarikan terhadap isu isu kesetaraan jender membuat kami “nyambung” saat berdiskusi. Sulit untuk mencari teman yang paham dengan isu ini, bahkan teman perempuan sekalipun.

Selama di Semarang, saya menginap di kamar kost Ranz, temannya mbak Nana. Mereka berdua-lah yang menjadi guide saya selama disana. Jarak antara satu tempat wisata ke tempat wisata lainnya di Semarang tidak terlalu jauh, oleh karena itulah kami memutuskan untuk bersepeda.

 

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Mbak Nana dan Saya

 

Kami mengunjungi beberapa tempat di kota Semarang, diantaranya sebagai berikut :

  1. Klenteng Sam Poo Kong

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2. Klenteng Tay Kak Sie

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3. Lawang Sewu

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Mbak Nana, Ranz, dan Saya

 

4. Kota Tua Semarang

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Gereja Blenduk

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Pabrik Rokok Praoe Lajar

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5. Wihara Avalokiteswara

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Sleeping Budha

 

Selain mengunjungi tempat tempat di atas, kami juga tidak lupa untuk berwisata kuliner.Harga makanan pinggir jalan di Semarang lebih murah ketimbang di Jabodetabek. Ini beberapa makanan yang kami coba.

tahu gimbal

Tahu Gimbal

mie kopyok

Mie Kopyok

 

Sebenarnya, saya berkeinginan untuk berkunjung ke Ambarawa untuk melihat Museum Kereta Api. Akan tetapi berhubung jatah cuti saya terbatas dan jarak dari Semarang terlalu jauh (kurang lebih 35 km), saya harus membatalkan niat itu. Ada yang pernah berkunjung ke Ambarawa ?

Human Rights in Turkey

199486 Protestors hold placards reading “free media cannot be silenced” in front of Zaman headquarters on Dec.14, 2014. (Photo: AP)

In a sharply-worded response, Amnesty International described today’s take-over of Zaman newspaper  by court-appointed trustees asthe latest deeply troubling episode in the Turkish authorities’ ongoing onslaught on dissenting media.”

“By lashing out and seeking to rein in critical voices, President Erdogan’s government is steamrolling over human rights,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey expert. Today’s attack is simply the latest salvo in a sustained attack on freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Turkey.

5966656-3x2-940x627 Staff members and supporters of Zaman newspaper shout slogans and hold placards reading “Free press can not be silenced” during a protest against a raid by counter-terror police in Istanbul on December 14, 2014. AFP: Ozan Kose

Amnesty noted:

Just last week, the TV channel IMCTV was taken off air

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Human Rights in Turkey

231937 Riot police break the main entrance of the İpek Media Group headquarters in İstanbul during the raid on Wednesday. (Photo: Today’s Zaman)

“Countless unfair criminal prosecutions, including under criminal defamation and anti-terrorism laws, targeted political activists, journalists and others critical of public officials or government policy. Ordinary citizens were frequently brought before the courts for social media posts.”  That’s the grim portrait on freedom of expression in Turkey, as outlined by Amnesty International in its 2015 Annual Report.

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Last November, I had chance to cover life of Hazara refugees in Indonesia. I have been interested in refugees related issues for the last two years, since following news about Syrian conflict. Refugees has become the center of global media spotlight. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that the number of Syrian refugees exceed 4 millions for the first time.

In general, refugee crisis isn’t only about Syria. Hazara refugees story are tragic as others. Hazara people have lived hundred years as minority in Afghanistan . To make the matter worse, they experience double discrimination because, for many people, the religion they practice is different from the one most people practice. Most of them are Shiite Muslims in the Sunni Muslims majority nation. Besides, the way the look is also different from the way most people look. The Hazara people have Asiatic look and almost appear to look Chinese or Mongol.

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Some of many Hazara refugees who attend futsal friendly game

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Some other refugees who also attend futsal friendly game

When the pro-communism government came on power in Afghanistan in 1980s, the pressures on Hazaras reduced but the situation changed drastically after the fall of them. Then, the Hazaras were systemically under persecution by different militia groups. When Taliban was ruling on Afghanistan, the Hazaras again faced massacre and forced displacement. After Taliban was overthrown in 2001, it was thought that their situation would also change but in reality, as a movement, Taliban is still exist. And last November, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) linked–militia beheaded seven people from Hazara ethnic in the southern province of Zabul following their kidnapping a month before. Three women and a child were among of the victims.

Many Hazaras have been forced to seek refuge overseas, and some of them ended up in Indonesia as a transit place in their journey to find a safer place to live. They then apply for refugee status to the UN refugee agency, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Unfortunately, they cannot attend school or work legally.

In Cisarua, West Java, a group of teenage girls from Afghanistan have found a surprising escape from the boredom and seeming hopelessness of their lives: futsal. Twelve-year-old Banfsha Mudaber arrived in Indonesia from Herat Province in the western part of Afghanistan with her parents and four siblings in December 2013. The Mudabers flew to Malaysia before continuing to Indonesia by boat together with some 24 other people. Like many of their countrymen, they settled temporarily in Cisarua, Bogor, about 80km away from Jakarta, while awaiting resettlement, which could take years.

Banfsha cannot attend a formal school. Every day from 6 A.M. to noon she studies at the Refugee Learning Center, which was set up with some international support by other refugees. To kill time, Banfsha and her 14-year old sister Nooria often played football with other kids. Inspired by a friendly match of the boys’ football team, some girls from the Refugee Learning Center formed a football team. This was something unthinkable in their own country.

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Banfsha was playing futsal. She refused to show her face, so i respected her decision.

“Our parents did not allow us to play football at home because there were a lot of killing, kidnapping, and shooting. It just wasn’t safe,“ said Banfsha. And then there is also cultural barrier. “Many families think that if girls play football, they are bad girls,” she added.

But eventually the parents allowed their daughters to play. The team later became a futsal team, which is an indoor version of the mini football. Said Banfsha’s sister Nooria, 14: “It was my father who wants us to play football.”

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Nooria also refused to show her face, so i took her picture from behind

On the day I visited them, the two were playing in a friendly match with a team from another refugees learning center. Nooria and Banfsha said they are passionate about futsal. Playing futsal makes them feel healthy and fresh.

The girls’ futsal team is led by Said Sadeq Akbari, 33, who had been a coach for the last 13 years. He used to coach a men’s football team in a sports center in Tehran, Iran. Akbari said he was happy with the progress of the girls’ futsal team.

“I coach the girls to make them healthy and to prepare them if they eventually decide to play futsal or football more seriously,” he said. ”They are good players, but if they have more facilities, they will get even better,” he added.

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Coach Said was standing in the middle

Life may be safer in Indonesia, where they don’t fear being massacred or beheaded by the militias, but it is not any easier, with limited money and a future that remains unclear. Since refugees cannot legally work, they often have to rely on their savings.

“As refugees, we could be here for four to five years, and we don’t have much money. We don’t know where the UNHCR will sent us,” said Banfsha, adding, “but wherever they send us, it will not be a problem.”

She told me her hopes for the future: “I want to become a writer or a journalist like you, because I want to know about refugees. I want to know what their problems are.”

Despite their hardship, they never lose hope and faith.

“Our purpose of coming here is to be safe and to have education. By having education we can improve our life,” said Nooria.

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Refugee Learning Nest girls futsal team

And last week, surprisingly and accidentally, I met 4 Hazara refugees in Central Park Mall, West Jakarta. I seems that I get beter in recognizing faces. Before, I even couldn’t distinguish Hazara and Chinese because they are both Mongoloid. I told them that three months ago, I wrote reportage about Hazara refugees in an online magazine. Then I talk to them for more than 30 minutes.

Miki, who previously lived in Kabul said  : “Of course I know that every country has its own problem. But here, in Indonesia, i get more freedom”. Other refugee, Ahmad, told his risky journey by boat from Malaysia to Medan. Most of them arrived in Indonesia by boat, which was a very risky journey.

Many people still asking why “refugees don’t look poor”. I told you one thing : most people who seek refuge in other countries don’t feel safe. SAFETY is a BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS. Hazara people fleed their home countries because they fear persecution based on their race and religion.

As for me, my encounter with refugees leave me a deep impression. I keep asking why,  in this twentieth century , there is still religious and ethnic persecution. This is make me sad and broken heart. Then I realized that the only winner in war is weapon industry. Civilians suffer the most in war. Making the world a better place to live is not an easy task. As long as most people worship money and power, peace is only an illusion.

hazara refugees boys

Hazara refugees that I met accidentally at Central Park Mall

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This story has been published in magdalene.co  . You can see the original version here . All pictures are mine.

 

 

 

War is far from being over in Syria. Nice thought,

Elijah J. Magnier

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There are three possible scenarios in Syria

Participation of Arab troops  in Syria is not excluded ..

As in Berlin WWII, Syria might face Gharbistan and Sharqistan

By Elijah J. Magnier (@ejmalrai)

A high-ranking officer within the joint operations room in Damascus, which includes Russia, Iran and Syria and Hezbollah said, “ there are three possible scenarios in Syria: The first is the Arab ground troops would enter Syria from the Turkish borders, in the area under the so-called “Islamic State” group (ISIS) on the long bordering front from Jarablus to Al-Ra’ee. This can be possible and quickly achievable if a kind of an agreement is reached between Turkey and ISIS. After all, the Jihadist group has to face either the Turkish-Arab forces – that could allow a possible exit – or the Russian-Iranian-Hezbollah forces where there will be no exit”.

“The second scenario is through the Jordanian borders East…

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Human Rights in Turkey

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When Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğluarrived in Netherlands today for one-day talks with his counterpart, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, activists from Amnesty International were there to greet him.  Their message was simple: Turkey’s on-going human rights abuses can not be ignored. 

In particular, Amnesty is focusing on the dramatic and far-reaching abuses in southeastern Turkey, where indefinite, round-the-clock curfews and other arbitrary measures have resulted in tremendous hardship.

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