It was one hectic day between thesis and internship when a new message on my Facebook inbox caught me by surprise. It was a message from an editor of Qultum Media, a publishing company which is part of Agro Media group (famously known for Gagas Media publishing in Indonesia). He asked me if I want to join six travel-bloggers to write my experience being a Moslem in Portugal. He found me thru this blog (yeay! The more reasons I shud blog more often. The more reasons why I never get bored encouraging my friends to write a blog.)
I never expected to get this kind of offer. This was such an honour for me. But at that time, I didn’t say yes directly after I read his message. A doubt slightly came to my mind, “am I able to write for a book?” I love writing yet I always encourage people to write. But I usually wrote on my blog about my random thoughts. Without considering any proper grammar nor considering if my blog post wud be useful or not. Then I decided to challenge myself: I gave it a try. I answered: YES!!!!!
Finding Islam. Some of you might find this title kinda serious. Even myself when Mr. Editor proposed this for the first time. Its tagline, there is always a light in every journey, shows a simple message the book wants to deliver to its readers. This book concept combines Islam and travel in seven stories written by seven different travel bloggers in seven different countries, including Indonesia (not in Java island, of course!).
Seven chapters on this book are:
- Spain: Journey to the City of Light by Iin Mutia.
- Thailand: Among Thousand Temples of the White-Elephant Country by Awan Yulianto.
- The Netherlands: I Call Them a Family by @tesyasblog.
- India: the Long Journey to Visit Taj Mahal by Olenka Priyadarsani.
- Portugal: Hijab and the Meaning of a Commitment by me.
- Iraq: A piece of Peace in the Land of 1001 Nights by Istiadzah.
- Indonesia: Heaven in the East of Khatulistiwa by Nurul Noe.
When I first got the draft from Mr. Editor, I couldn’t stop myself from admiring my bloggermates on this book. Every place has a story. Even for places I have been visited before such as Spain and the NL, I felt like a deja vu about those two countries but I read about them from different perspectives. A story about the first experience of an Indonesian living abroad also beautifully written by mbak @tesyasblog, which I think this can give you some ideas about how does living abroad feel like.
Then about new places I haven’t been there before, reading it made me curious and started checkin’ on my bank account. OMG! I need to save more money :p I am curious of the Jawa Mosque mentioned by mas Awan on his experience in Thailand. Then I also put Iraq on my bucket list after reading mbak Isti’s story, I changed my perspective on seeing Iraq as a “dangerous and unsafe” country. Not to mention, Makassar! My brother just talked about his plan to go there and thaaanks a bunch for the insight of Toraja on your story in Makassar, mbak Nurul.
And how about my story? Because the increasing number of Indonesians coming to Portugal these past years, I want to tell the readers how did I enjoy my life in Portugal as a Moslem. I usually wrote more about my travel and my traveller-slash-student life in Portugal (and the EU in general) on this blog. Therefore thru this book, I want to highlight the part of me living as a Moslem. The ups and downs but more the fun sides I found during those two years. You know, I can’t help but to fall in love with Portugal.
Theme: Islam and Travel
Title (in Bahasa): Finding Islam, Selalu Ada Cahaya di Setiap Perjalanan
Category: Agama Islam (you have to look for this book in islamic section at your nearest bookstore. or ask the officer 😉 )
Size: 14 x 21 cm
# of Pages: 232
Publisher: Qultum Media
Price (at bookstore): 53k IDR
This book is available at your nearest bookstore. Don’t forget that you have to look for it at the Islamic section B) or you can order it thru me with a special mini Ms. OMG! bookmark as a bonus (and my signature if you want to, haha). The price is the book’s price at bookstore plus delivery fee (FREE for Surakarta and Yogyakarta).
Message me at bhellabhello<at>gmail<dot>com if you are interested then I will send you the details of payment method 😉
PS. Mr. Editor mentioned this book will be available on Google Play. I will tell you further info about this.
Kisses from Solo,