Back to December: A Love Letter to LESTARI

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In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Assalamualaikum, May peace be upon you.

I contemplated a lot about whether to post this on either the public or private account on Instagram. In the end, no matter what I decided, it would not do justice without sharing here in a public setting – even if it has been 2 months.

I embarked on this journey of self-discovery and Alhamdulillah, achieved what I have come for – albeit in a different way that I have imagined. While it was no smooth ride, I have come to appreciate the little things – both in others and in myself.

Let me take this chance to extend my gratitude to the people who have stood ground beside me as one family. As #OHANA56. Your letters to me are sweet and inspiring and I hope yours are too. We started off as strangers and have no idea about the details of each others’ lives but miraculously in 4 days, like a dysfunctional family with a bond like no other. We are odd, we are unique, we are each our own “Stitch”. But together with this much diversity, we unite and we strengthen – we are one.

“This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Ya. Still good.” – Stitch, Lilo & Stitch (2002).

Thank you to the equally important people who are behind the magic curtains: Brunei Aids Council for organising this biannual event. Without each and every one of you, this programme wouldn’t have gone so well. Without you, without this programme, we wouldn’t have reached where we are now.

To step to what I feel is right, to bare it all to the crowd. I put my heart on my sleeve to reach the ideas of others – and acceptance was the key. I learn things that I never knew before, and things that I was too stubborn to understand, but finally understood. I learn to not only respect others but to respect my self, my limits and my purpose. Things I never knew I could. Things I never knew I had. Things that are just a tiny speck of knowledge from His limitless reservoir.

He is my reason for my growth, and you are His agents to me. From you, by you, He reached me. You took away any lenses and see us eye to eye. You see the potential, the locked capabilities and you drew it from us. I had personally doubted. But you reminded me that I could, and that I only need Him to get through ANYTHING.

A mantra, whenever I surprised myself that I could:

“If you can do LESTARI, you can do anything!”

So here is my Love Letter to you:

If I can do it, so can you.

Fastabiqul khairat, Run towards Goodness.



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