Posts Tagged ‘umrah’

A new year

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in lifestyle, Social News

Happy new year, ladies and gentlemen. It’s only the third day of 2018 and I bet everyone’s trying to be in second gear. It has been a fruitful 2017 for myself and many moments those were my highlights. I shall just recapped them in no particular order. For the record, I hardly do any resolutions or milestones. It only works when you really set your intention and you mean it. Don’t just simply make resolutions that you will commit halfway or only in the first week of the year. Yea, I’ve been there and done that.

Business wise, it has been slightly turbulent but it has been encouraging at the same time. It has reminded me how it was when I started my blog as a business entity. 10 years ago, I changed the direction of my blog and now with the emergence of social media, the blog scene has demoted in favour of social media. The great thing is my social media presence has made my blog sustainable thanks to the power of Instagram. Sometimes I would ask myself what if instagram becomes less relevant or even Facebook per se in the next few years. We shall see what happens but it’s always important to keep up with the social trends to be relevant.

 

 

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A shot with the members of the Royal Family. This was taken at the Royale Chulan Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the SEA Games in August 2017.
 

The Royal Shot. This was unexpected in terms of the number of likes I received for this photo alone. My average likes are normally from 200 to 300 likes. But this image caught so much attention that I hit the 10,000 likes barrier. Something I can never reached on a normal day. This shows how influential @tmski is on social media, locally and internationally. Sometimes I wonder how does he feel being in the limelight and being bombarded by his fans to take selfies. He is definitely a sporting person who is able to accommodate the wishes of his fans.

 

 

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My separation with Maggi since October 2017. The struggle is real. So real. This was taken on Day 61 without consuming maggi curry.
 

The Divorce with Maggi? It’s getting there. Now it’s Day 92 with out having to eat my favourite maggi curry or any instant noodles. This was my mini resolution in October because of my health scare where my blood pressure hit its highest (almost 160). The doctor has advised me to cut down on salt and I finally realised that my daily consumption on maggi curry has done the damage. Yes, it has high sodium content and packed with MSG. So how do I deal with it? With difficulty because it has been 30 years and running that I ate maggi curry. It came to a point that my body has reached its toll. The health scare happened before I boarded a flight in October. In the end, I canceled my trip for the love of my health which also means to sacrifice what I craved for. I created a 100 day challenge and now with a few days left, what would I do? Let’s wait and see. At least, I know that my BP is back to normal. Phew!!!

 

 

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Finally, it’s surreal that I’m back in the holy land of Makkah and Madinah. Sometimes it’s hard to describe the feeling. You have to be there to experience and you will know what I mean. This was taken in December 2017.
 

Umrah with At-Taqwa. One of the best memories and highlight for me in 2017 and a huge thanks for At-Taqwa Travel and Tours for making this trip possible for me. I was a bit scared in the beginning because of my health condition (BP). It was a good thing that I remained positive to counter those negative thoughts and Alhamdulillah, that I managed to complete my umrah trip in good health. I also loved the service and hospitality provided by At-Taqwa Travel & Tours and many have shared the same sentiments. Of course, I really missed the holy lands especially Madinah. I hope to be there one day again. InsyaAllah.

 

 

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Coldplay concert “Pocket full of dreams” was so liiiitttttttt!!!!!!! Both Jolene and I had a great time at the gig.
 

My first taste of Coldplay. I have been wanting to catch Coldplay for a long, long time. I missed the first two concerts in Singapore until this year in March 2017. This was the best concert I’ve been to because of a different experience delivered by Coldplay. It’s not just the music but the atmosphere, the confetti, the wristband lights, the set up, the huge ass balloons. It was just a phenomenal experience. I have seen many concerts and gigs and Coldplay’s concert was by far the best I’ve experienced as a concert goer. I want more!!!!

 

TO BE CONTINUED

Umrah with At-Taqwa Travel & Tours

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, Social News

I’m very grateful for being part of the At-Taqwa Travel & Tours for the current Umrah trip as part of Group 3 (9th December to 20th December). Apparently there are batches of 8 groups in total with the final group departing on 23rd December 2017. It has been a while since I actually stepped my foot in Jeddah, Medinah and Mecca. My last visit was back in the year 1998, together with my beloved family. Hence, it’s good to be back to the Holy land and I’m loving the service here at At-Taqwa Travel & Tours.

Allow me to share with you the journey from when I made the decision to fly for Umrah to my first few days in Medinah. It will be in a form of images and captions to show you the flow of things and why I would recommend future customers to At-Taqwa Travel & Tours for their next Umrah trip this coming February and March 2018. Do enjoy the images for your reference and don’t forget to spread the love around.

 

 

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The Radiah session with the pilgrims from At-Taqwa a few weeks before umrah. This was to prep them for the Saie for umrah led by Ustaz Qahar.
 

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The briefing session for the pilgrims at Al-Falah school two weeks before umrah for the pilgrims to be familiar and be prepared for the Umrah trip.
 

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The management of At-Taqwa Travel & Tours and the officers for the Umrah December trip during the briefing
 

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One of the appointed officers for At-Taqwa, Ustaz Khairul Nazif, also known as UKN.
 

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The practical session of Umrah for the pilgrims at Sg. Kebun Sports Complex.
 

 

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The pilgrims had a practice session, walking around seven times for Tawaf while being briefed on the dos and donts during Tawaf
 

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All the customers of At-Taqwa were given a hand carry luggage. Inside the luggage, you will get a slipper bag (for entering the mosque), water bottle, power bank (useful), sling bag, neck pillow, luggage tag and not forgetting the passport cover. All the pilgrims were also given a special name tag so others will be able to identify.
 

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The time where we have to do our finger print session before sending our passport for visa purposes. This is something new implemented by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The queue can get very long as they are only two people working there. I do hope they improve the manpower situation there.
 

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For all those who fly to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, you will have to get an injection jab for influenza. This is a must!! This is at the vaccination centre near Times Square, behind the petrol station.
 

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Thank you, Hitesh, the director of YMRM Galleria, for sponsoring some gamis and songkok 😀
 

 

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For all the pilgrims, it is required for them to do advanced check-in the night before the flight. This is to make sure smooth journey for the passengers and they don’t have to worry to check in on the actual day itself.
 

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We are allowed 30 kilo of weight for check-in. I reached around 19kilo so far, allowing space for some shopping during my visit to Jeddah, Medinah and Mecca.
 

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Ustaz Abdus-Salam brought his own chilli, just in case. It was recommended by others to bring your own chilli sauce as the local ones (in Saudi) do not taste as good.
 

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What a privilege for the pilgrims to be featured on RTB news before their flight
 

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This was the first batch that flew. Well, it was only Fahmi from this group and his friends sent him off. The first batch flew off on 2nd December.
 

 

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The first batch of pilgrims from At-Taqwa. They will be returning to Brunei Darussalam on the 13th December.
 

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I belonged to Group 3 from 9th December to 20th December.
 

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Thank you, sis, for sending me off the other day. Thanks for being so concerned of my well being and dropping my room to check on me. Don’t worry, my maggi days are over (for now). Day 67 and counting 😀
 

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All the pilgrims on the flight to Jeddah will enjoy a much better facility on their flight because it’s the Dreamliner 787. Woohoo!!!
 

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After 10 hours later, we have arrived at the International Airport of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
 

 

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At-Taqwa is a step ahead of other travel agents because they prepared us sim-cards in Brunei Darussalam. This will make the passengers at ease so they can contact their loved ones upon arrival at the airport. A well thought gesture for their customers. Thumbs up!!
 

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We were greeted by the At-Taqwa’s Managing Director at the airport. A man will a strong vision and he makes this happen. I’m happy for his new journey as an entrepreneur and also giving back to the community. May Allah bless you and your family!
 

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The bus trip from Jeddah to Medinah took 6 hours. From the airport, we headed straight to Medinah and we were provided with refreshment on the way.
 

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Every group will have their own Mutawif. A Mutawif is someone who will help to lead and guide us during our Umrah procession with the doas and such. The Mutawif also will help with logistics to make the trip of the pilgrims more smooth and convenient.
 

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Upon arrival at Dar Al Taqwah Hotel, Medinah and making sure that all the room numbers are written on their luggage tags to make it convenient for the concierge to send the luggage straight to their rooms. We arrived around midnight.
 

 

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Some of the pilgrims having breakfast at the hotel after Subuh prayers at Al-Masjid an-Nabawī
 

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It was definitely great to be back at Al-Masjid an-Nabawī. I fell in love with this place on my first umrah trip decades ago. This will be my fifth time here. Alhamdulillah.
 

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The umbrella outside being erected during the day, to shelter from the heat
 

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The first batch of officers from At-Taqwa at one of the visiting sites near Mecca
 

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They were fortunate to bump into Malaysian celebrity Adflin Shauki
 

 

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I’m glad to have my friend Ak Nabil Pg Abdul Kadir to be on the same group as me. You might recognized him on my IG previously. I know this lad from toastmasters.
 

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The books I bought and these only cost around BND 4
 

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Pg Razi briefing Group 3 before the visit to makam Rasullullah
 

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It was tricky to steal a shot inside. I still managed.
 

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The view inside Al-Masjid an-Nabawī
 

 

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The hotel we are staying is strategically located in front of Al-Masjid an-Nabawī. Very, very convenient.
 

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The birds are aplenty nearby
 

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It’s better to change money at Saudi than in Brunei. You will get more 😀
 

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I might be eyeing on this jubah soon. A bit pricey but it has the quality,
 

Briefing for Umrah pilgrims by At-Taqwa

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, Social News

 

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Pg Hj Mohd Rosdimar, Manager Director of At-Taqwa Travel Tours, gave his welcoming remarks to the Umrah pilgrims at Al-Falaah School at Sg. Akar earlier this morning
 

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Pg Hj Mohd Rosdimar with the officers for the December Umrah at the briefing
 

This morning, At-Taqwa Travel Tours Sdn Bhd held a briefing for their umrah pilgrims who will be performing their umrah this coming December. Around 400 pilgrims will be heading to Madinah and Makkah under the care of At-Taqwa Travel Tours Sdn Bhd and they will be flying in different batches from 2nd December to the final batch on 28th December 2017. I shall be flying off on the as the third batch on 9th December 2017 Inshaa Allah.

The briefing was held at Al-Falaah School at Sg. Akar where representatives from At-Taqwa Travels Tour and their liaison officers (logistics team) were present as well as a representative from Takaful Brunei. Manager Director of At-Taqwa Travel Tours Pg Hj Mohd Rosdimar Pg Hj Omarali gave a welcoming remarks to the pilgrims after a blessing prayer by Ustaz Abdus Salam.

Pg Hj Mohd Rosdimar was very appreciative of At-Taqwa Travel Tours’ pilgrims in trusting in their service. He mentioned that this is the second year that At-Taqwa Travel Tours are organising Umrah for the residents of Brunei Darussalam. The response has been very encouraging and he believes that the company’s core values – efficient, reliable, quality and service – will be instrumental to the growth and success of At-Taqwa Travel Tours. He believes that providing real service, we must add something which is priceless or not measurable. He also instill the value of sincerity and integrity in At-Taqwa Travel Tours.

The briefing was led by Pengiran Fakhrulrazi bin Pengiran Haji Omarali, the Head of the Haji and Umrah Department. Accompanying him were  Awangku Mohd Nassiruddeen bin Pengiran Haji Yussof, the Chief Financial Officer and Haji Shamsul Bahrin bin Haji Abdul Rahman, the Chief Operating Officer and a representative from Takaful Brunei. There was also a brief ceramah by Ustaz Hj Khairul Nazif.

The briefing touched on preparation for the pilgrims such as bringing the appropriate documents, wearing appropriate attire and the dos and the donts while in the Holy land. The briefing was useful in prepping the pilgrims for their upcoming Umrah pilgrimage and some of the audience were given opportunities to ask questions.

The pilgrims were also handed over a luggage, powerbank, pillow neck and a bottle as a token of appreciation from At-Taqwa Travel Tours Sdn Bhd.

Next week there will be another briefing for the pilgrims where there will be given a practical demo on Umrah such as Tawaf and Saie to be held at Sg. Kebun Sports Complex.

This is a good initiative by At-Taqwa Travel Tours Sdn Bhd to give more added value to their customers in preparation for Umrah. For more updates, you can follow their instagram @at_taqwa_travel_tours or you can call, 243 1234 or 719 1676. Some images courtesy of Sazali Ariff and whatsapp.

 

 

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Some of the attendees this morning
 

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Some of the 400 plus pilgrims attended the briefing
 

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The briefing led by Pengiran Fakhrulrazi bin Pengiran Haji Omarali
 

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Haji Shamsul Bahrin gave some information on the preparation for Umrah
 

 

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Ustaz Abdus Salam leading the prayers
 

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There will be 8 batches flying with At-Taqwa Travel Tour
 

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DJ Daffy and Sazali Ariff will be flying for Umrah too
 

 

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The hardworking officers from At-Taqwa Travel Tour
 

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Ustaz Hj Khairul Nazif will be heading for Umrah in December
 

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Ustaz Hj Abd Kahar will also be flying for Umrah in December
 

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Ustaz Abdus Salam will also be heading for Madinah and Makkah this December
 

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Mr. Aziz in the house
 

 

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I will helping with social media updates on At-Taqwa Travel Tours
 

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With the officers for December batch
 

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The goodies for the December pilgrims. Awesome stuff 😀
 

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Our luggage model, DJ Daffy
 

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Pilgrims receiving their token of appreciation from At-Taqwa Travel Tour
 

Contact RA

ranoadidas (a) gmail.com
Instagram & Snapchat @ranoadidas
Contact: +6738677773

About RA

A blogger since 2002, using platforms from blogspot, joomla and now currently wordpress. A readership that stands on average of 20,000 visits per month. Also on active on social media platform on IG, Facebook and Snapchat (@ranoadidas)

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