RSS

Monthly Archives: August 2009

Good news

The garage here at Elizabeth Street has been unlet for far too long. Happy to report the Indian neighbours, both students of IT at UNSW and UTS respectively – yes, Indian students – have just corrected that for me. 🙂

These things matter to a pensioner like me.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 31, 2009 in personal

 

Second Rugby League post in 24 hours!

Very uncharacteristic!

But first the local good news: the South Sydney Rabbitohs beat the premiership favourites 41-6 on Saturday. Sirdan was pleased.

Now the news with wider import: Hazem el Masri’s final day for the Canterbury Bulldogs.

After yesterday's game

After yesterday's game

More pics at Zimbio.

We won’t talk about the Cronulla Sharks – out of sympathy with my grand-nephews who are very sad today.

 

Great player, example, Australian… and Muslim

One Daily Telegraph (our most right-wing daily) reader notes on hearing of Hazem El Mazri’s retiring from Rugby League:

I teach in China, Italy and the UK, and when my students start talking about who my sporting hero is, I always say, without hesitation… Hazem El Masri. Not the greatest player, probably the greatest goalkicker, but more importantly, one of the greatest men on or off the field. A tribute to real Muslims, immigrants, loyalty, discipline, family values and the Bulldogs. You are a legend Hazem El Masri, we will miss you!

It is fair to say such an opinion is pretty much universal here in Sydney. See for example El Masri’s army salutes its inspirational leader.

El Masri’s popularity isn’t restricted to the boys who, like him, have Muslim backgrounds. He appeals to them all. Helal is a Muslim boy, as is nine-year-old Adam Abdulwahab. Eight-year-old Andrei Bakhos and eight-year-old twins Michael and George Tabet are not Muslims, but it makes no difference. They all love El Masri.

Most of them have met the Bulldogs winger because he gives so much of his spare time to the community and they enjoy the way he kicks goals from everywhere and scores tries, but perhaps more importantly they can tell he is a good person.

“I hope he wins the comp this year,” Andrei said. “He deserves that. I follow the Bulldogs. My dad’s a member of the football club, so we go to all the home games. Hazem’s my favourite player. I play wing or fullback, but I want to be a winger when I grow up.”

In the Brisbane Courier-Mail Mike Colman writes:

… Some want him to enter politics.

When I told my wife that she said, “Well, he’s got my vote” and for my wife to say that about a rugby league player, much less a Bulldog, is saying something.

Hazem and his wife were so delightful it was hard not to feel uplifted by the experience.

One thing summed him up perfectly. After Fatty Vautin had urged league supporters to get along to ANZ Stadium this afternoon to “say thank you” for all the pleasure he had given them over the years, Hazem insisted on having the last word.

“It’s not really about people saying thank you to me,” he said, “it’s about me saying thank you to them for all the support they’ve given me.”

The label doesn’t matter – league player, Bulldog, Muslim, human – it comes down to one thing: He’s one great role model.

Football great Steve Mortimer has this to say:

“It’s an absolute privilege to be mentioned in the same sentence as Hazem El Masri,” Mortimer said.

“For me, rugby league is the greatest game of all and it just seems with all the hardships we’ve been through, Hazem has been a shining light his entire career.

“He’s a silent hero, an unsung hero, who has played the most number of games for the Bulldogs and been a wonderful servant for rugby league.

“With his religion and his faith, he’s just an absolute role model not only as a player on the football field, but as an Australian citizen as well.

“I’m proud to say I know him.

“He’s a very humble man and an absolute star.”

And again: Man of God whose greatest deeds are done off the pitch.

There will be many fine things said about Hazem by footballers, coachers, pundits and the Premier in the coming weeks, but you get the feeling it all washes over the kid from Tripoli who made Sydney his home at age 10.

He’s playing for are the kids in blonde-brick apartment blocks around Bankstown and Punchbowl, the ones who attract police attention quicker than an Everlast hoodie.

Very few people can claim to have made a real impact on their community. But when tensions between Lebanese and Anglo Sydneysiders spilled into the streets during the Cronulla riots, it was Hazem who played the crucial role in bringing his community back from the brink. Unlike some Muslim clerics who should have known better, Hazem spoke the language of respect and not revenge. With hindsight, we all recognise things could have been so much worse without people like him.

When Hazem El Magic runs out on Sunday, we’ll honour a footballer, peacemaker, teacher and philanthropist.

And here he was on Stateline in 2004:

Here at Holroyd High School in Sydney’s west — a school with a large number of students who are refugees — he’s come to draw the winning raffle for a school fundraiser.

But his visit is more than just a celebrity appearance.

In this discussion with the school football team the conversation soon turns to one of the boy’s experience of being discriminated against for being Lebanese and Muslim.

HAZEM EL MASRI: The whole community suffers because of a small minority, you know, and what upsets you sometimes is that the culture and the religion and all of that doesn’t promote such a thing but we end up copping a fair bit against it.

I always say to people, “The best way to go about it is let your actions do the talking.”

You know, around the footy and that and a lot of the guys know anything happens outside I don’t get teased about it or I don’t — because they know the type of person I am, the lifestyle I’m living.

I’m trying to lead by example and show them that’s how it’s done, basically.

Hazam El Mazri and his family

Hazam El Mazri and his family

Sydney has been fortunate in having this man, his wife Arwa, and their family in our midst. From the man himself:

Kerry Stewart: How about Hazem el Masri.

Boys: Yes, he’s footy, best kicker in the world.

Kerry Stewart: Is he impressive, do you think?

Boys: Yes, yes.

Kerry Stewart: Why?

Mohammed Nurjaman: Because if you can get religion into the way of his other play, like he’s the only Muslim in the NRL, and he’s a good player, and he’s not there to show them that he’s Muslim, he shows that he plays good football.

Kerry Stewart: But I think he brings his religion to the game.

Boy: He brings religion to the game, yes.

Mohammed Nurjaman: You never see him in punch-ups. Yes, he always keeps it to himself. That’s what Muslims learn from their religion.

Hazem el Masri: Well look, I didn’t choose to be a role model. To me, I don’t like to sort of call that as a role model, I prefer to just to go out there and let my actions do the talking. I try to live a wholesome lifestyle. Early on, I had to take that stance of making sure this is what I’m about you know, the fasting, the praying, the eating Halal food for example, not drinking alcohol, the temptation of ladies, you name it, I try to have fun as well but everything within the limits. I love socialising with my friends and I love going out and I love spending time with my family and all that. But at the end of the day I’m my own person, I try to as you say, set the right example for these kids and hope that they can follow the same footsteps. And it’s a matter of as well, because all the misleading coverage and the generalising out there especially of the Muslim and the Lebanese community, that I’ve taken that stance to show everyone pretty much, that we’re not all the same, everybody’s got their bad and good in them….

Yes, his wife wears the hijab — her choice, not his, as she saw it as marking the next step in her religion: she adopted it about a year after her marriage, very much her own choice for her own reasons. (That was in an excellent Good Weekend profile of El Masri in this Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald — not online.)

The man — and indeed the family — is a living, breathing rebuttal of all that paranoia out there about the Muslims in our midst.

Finally, read A Winger and a Prayer – Transcript from Australian Story 2007.

 

Sunday Floating Life photo 29

CIMG3250

This appeared on the photoblog a week or so back. Enjoy. It’s in a Surry Hills side street.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 30, 2009 in photography, Sunday photo

 

Saturday stats roundup — clicks

Here are the all-time top sites readers have clicked through to on my WordPress blogs.

Floating Life

  1. qlisted.blogspot.com/2007/10/why-am-i… 922
  2. belshaw.blogspot.com 856
  3. ninglundecember.files.wordpress.com/2… 760
  4. ninglunbooks.wordpress.com 741
  5. sm9.sitemeter.com/stats.asp?site=sm9n… 675
  6. google.com/reader/shared/057430699921… 517
  7. neilphoto.wordpress.com 516
  8. ninglundecember.files.wordpress.com/2… 333
  9. feeds.feedburner.com/NinglunsSharedIt… 332
  10. deuslovult.wordpress.com 310

Floating Life Apr 06 ~ Nov 07

  1. belshaw.blogspot.com 630
  2. anvilbook.com/guestbook.php?neil743 601
  3. seeking-utopia.blogspot.com 485
  4. thinpotations.blogspot.com 449
  5. support.microsoft.com/kb/935448 363
  6. talkback.zdnet.com/5208-12691-0.html?… 354
  7. neilwhitfield.wordpress.com 314
  8. deuslovult.blogspot.com 274
  9. photobucket.com 260
  10. ianmckellen.org/macbeth/index.htm 257

Ninglun’s Specials

  1. artmonthly.org.au/default.asp 708
  2. ninglundecember.wordpress.com 321
  3. sm9.sitemeter.com/stats.asp?site=sm9n… 188
  4. ninglun.wordpress.com 136
  5. roslynoxley9.com.au 130
  6. ninglun.journalspace.com/?cat=religio… 127
  7. cafephilos.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/t… 113
  8. belshaw.blogspot.com 104
  9. artsycraftsy.com/dore_mariner.html 101
  10. anvilbook.com/guestbook.php?neil743 79

English/ESL

  1. users.bigpond.com/peterskrzynecki/ind… 1,511
  2. neilwhitfield.files.wordpress.com/200… 1,427
  3. cwrl.utexas.edu/~syverson/309-fall95/… 1,342
  4. hsc.csu.edu.au/english/area_of_study/… 1,159
  5. shortstorygroup.com/storytips.htm 838
  6. write101.com/shortstory.htm 649
  7. litgothic.com/index.html 568
  8. neilwhitfield.files.wordpress.com/200… 555
  9. eteachers.com.au/Samples/int/Sec/Immi… 535
  10. englishteacher.com.au/index.php 506

Neil’s Sydney Photo Blog

The “youngest” blog…

  1. ninglundecember.wordpress.com 81
  2. citydailyphoto.com/portal/index.php 73
  3. ninglun.journalspace.com 63
  4. sm9.sitemeter.com/stats.asp?site=sm9n… 49
  5. ninglunbooks.wordpress.com 34
  6. blogexplosion.com/index.php?ref=ningl… 25
  7. sydney-eye.blogspot.com 16
  8. boudist.com/archive/2007/05/12/goodby… 15
  9. en.wordpress.com/tag/surry-hills 14
  10. feeds.feedburner.com/NinglunOnBlogspo… 12

Some content on this page was disabled on April 6, 2017 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from Cameron Krone. You can learn more about the DMCA here:

https://en.support.wordpress.com/copyright-and-the-dmca/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 29, 2009 in blogging, site news, site stats

 

Korean War Memorial – Moore Park

CIMG3218a

See also Korean War Memorial Moore Park (photoblog).

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 28, 2009 in photography, Surry Hills

 

On a handy application and an unhandy mobile service

1. Tweetdeck

This very useful application even has a lawyer’s endorsement.

tweetdeck

Facebook and Twitter all in one highly intelligible space. It even rings when something new is added.

2 Telstra

Just recently Telstra “migrated” a lot of its services to a new system. Well, I wanted to do something simple this morning – check my prepaid mobile phone usage online. Not so simple. After half an hour’s Skype-ing with some lovely Indian people I still can’t get to the appropriate page, so I don’t think I’ll bother any more. I can get the info on the mobile anyway…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 28, 2009 in Australia, computers, web stuff, www