Ahmad Sampang ibnu Hajiri, MD

A Personal blog by a Tausug medical student (now a doctor!) from Sulu and the stories that inspired him.
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Sembreak Series: part 2 of unknown number of parts.
October 26, 2013

It’s my second sembreak as a medstudent. Yup. I am already a year and a half done with medschool (and hundred more years to come. LOL). And As I usually don’t go home to my beloved homeland (Sulu) during sembreaks for a lot of reasons, I might as well spend the whole two weeks of freedom (and boredom) doing something worth remembering: read away from medicine-related things. I keep on telling myself that I should be productive this sembreak that I may not regret it (or die of boredom from it). After all what’s the purpose of calling it a “break” if you’ll not take a break? Haha.

 I spent the first week of this break on different things. 1) I spent a day rummaging my things and looking for unfinished books to read. Strolled around bookstores nearby and checked some interesting and really cheap books. 2) Also spent some time catching up on movies I failed to watch thanks to the weekly exams we had last sem. 3) Also tried working on my write-ups: my never-been-finish-and-yet-to-see-its-ending novel(s). Yeah, ambitious as I may be, I am still hopeful that I can finish some good part of it(them) this break In shaa Allah. 4) Also practicing with my camera, though I am still too lazy to go out and do a photowalk. And 5) I’m also reviewing my lectures last sem… I am now reading Harrison’s Internal Medicine 2 hours every day.
No, just kidding. The fifth one actually never happened. Not at all.

 Anyway, for the first post on this series, here’s the list of books I read over the weekend :) Not in any order of importance or ratings.

Surgeons Do Not Cry by Dr. Ting Tiongco

It’s true that great treasures are rare to find. And this book is one of those treasures that all service-oriented Med-students should have. The problem is, it’s pretty hard to find a good bookstore having enough supplies of this copy. I have spent searching a great number of bookstore only to find out that they are already “out of stock”. In fact the copy I found was THE LAST COPY when I bought it! That’s how great this book is.
Sembreak Series: part 1 of unknown number of parts yet.
October 26, 2013
Brothers and Sisters listening to the lectures
After some months of absence, finally Alhamdulillah, I was able to attend this month’s SOULidarity conducted by the Nur Factory last October 26, 2013 at Balay Kalinaw in UP Diliman. This month’s theme is “The Sacred Journey”, and the lectures and discussions we had were about Hajj and the sacrifices that Muslims had done and should be willing to do for Allah’s sake. (To know more about Nur Factory and SOULidarity, read the last paragraph of this post >_0)

Hajj, or the Pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca), is the fifth pillar of Islam. It is the journey of visiting the Holy place of Makkah and conduct certain religious practices throughout the whole month of Dhul Hijjah (the 12th and last month of the Hijra Islamic Calendar). It is also one of the important pillars of Islam that is considered done “by one’s capacity”, that is: a Muslim is not fully obliged to do Hajj if he is not capable, financially, physically and emotionally. Simply having the intention of going to Makkah to perform Hajj will suffice for those who cannot afford (But not even having the intention is already a low form of iyman/faith!).

Funny as it may seem, but in reality only a few of the whole Muslim population (especially here in the Philippines) knows what Hajj really is: Its history, the rites and ceremonies done while in Hajj,the whole processes of completing the Hajj and the great importance the pilgrimage itself in one’s own completion of his or her deen (religion). We only know that it happens once a year, that we slaughter goats and cows during Eidul Adha; that our relatives going to Makkah would come home with bags full of dates and praying mats and praying beads (Tasbih) and will have a new name and added tag “Apah Hajji” or “Babu’ Hadja”.  Only a few who are really studying in Islamic schools, and those who are actually going to Hajj would learn what Hajj really is. And Alhamdulillah, through the 10th Soulidarity by Nur Factory, I have learned something about Hajj and its importance in Islam and the whole Muslim Ummah as a whole.

Broterh Mustafa Samur sharing the beautiful story of Hajj
The Session started with meeting new friends and introducing to new brothers and sisters in Islam attending the session. Then the proper lecture about the beginning of Hajj was prepared by Brother Mustafa Samur' a Turkish brother whom I have met years before and have been a dear friend to me (and to all of us who knew him :) The Story of Hajj started from the very beginning of creation of the Ka’ba by Prophet Adam (Alayhis Salaam) as the first house in this world, then by the reconstruction of it by Prophet Ibrahim and
Subtitle: : A (rather disappointing) visit to the National Museum.
October 6, 2013


I always enjoy visiting Museums. I always cherish the experience and the feeling of seeing what happened before I even existed. It was like travelling through time and experience what the people in the past experienced. See what they saw. Learn what they knew then. Among the few Museums I went into were those that are close and easily accessible to me: The National Museums in Sulu (oh I love that place!) and Zamboanga in Port Pilar (I hope it was not affected by the recent crisis -_-), the lauded Aga Khan Museum in MSU Marawi, and some Museum I cannot name somewhere in this planet. And now Alhamdulillah being fortunate that I am in Manila since May 2012, visiting the National Museum has long been placed on my priority list. But I have to wait for a year and a half then before I can finally visit it, as what finally happened last Saturday.

A good friend of mine told me in FB about the “free-admissions” in the Museum for the whole month of October in celebration of Museum and Galleries month. And finally having a somewhat “free” Saturday, and as I was yearning to do something far different from my cluttered life of medschool, I decided to pay a visit to the National Museum and check it off of my list of “places to visit”.

And oh boy, I had never been this disappointed.

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just saying. -Dr. Ahmad