Friday, February 7, 2014

The 'Biblio' Culture

14th December 2013 / 9 Safar 1435

May peace be upon you.

“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience; this is the ideal life.” – Mark Twain

It was during an ad-hoc casual meet up one auspicious morning, somewhere in late September of 2012 which saw to the introduction of a brand new product under the MASSA portfolio of PKPIM. Attended by its ‘founding-father’, its‘operational executive’ and a somewhat initially sceptical ‘witness’, the proposal to execute the pioneer project in IIUM Gombak was officially presented and discussed in detailed.

The name “Bibliophilia”,coined and agreed upon mutually by all three was in essence an attempt to re-inculcate the culture ofreadingbooks among the student community, in particular members of PKPIM itself as well as being a platform to gather admires of multiple genres and book-lovers alike. The entire concept was proposed by Fazril Saleh, the Vice President of PKPIM in charge of campus relations (now Deputy President) with the hope of it setting a new standard for upcoming products, a form of reorientation from past programs.

The responsibility to manage this product at its infancy was handed to Yusof Karim, the head bureau of MASSA cum head of Publications & Documentations unit of PKPIM IIUM Gombak. The discussion went on further to stipulate the ‘formula’ by which Bibliophila must abide by; simplicity, do-able & consistency. Moreover, it was decided that the Bibliophilia session will take off on a Friday, usually after Asarprayertill the Maghribadhan’ and from there on out become a weekly event of PKPIM IIUM Gombak.

Thus, is the origin story of Bibliophilia, now entering its 32nd edition in IIUM Gombak and has seen approximately 36 different books been elaborated and its key points highlighted by the students themselves.The original setting for IIUM Gombak’s Bibliophilia was at The Grill, an open-concept café nearby the campus library. This continued to be the venue for the entire first semester it was conducted. Since then, Bibliophilia has had several different locations in IIUM as its venue due to the gradual increase of its audience member.

Conceptually, Bibliophilia would often begin with the opening remarks made by the host, followed swiftly then by the introduction made by the book presenters. The presenters whom volunteeredmay choose any book he or she prefers and share its contents with the audience. Subsequently, the host would then allow for an ample amount of discussion period between the presenters and audience before proceeding with the final roundtable comments from all those present and lastly deliver the conclusion& closing remarks. This however varies from time to time according to the situational context.

The 7th edition of IIUM Gombak’s Bibliophiliamarks the birth of another offshoot product, called “SukFelia”coined by Yusof Karim and NoraminRahmat, later on renamed by the new tenure as “FilmMania”. Deriving its name from Bibliophilia, meaning ‘the love of books’, SukFelia was termed as the love for films or movies, maintaining the similar method and approach used inBibliophilia. The reason as to how SukFelia came into existence was mainly because of how often throughout the previous six Bibliophilia editions that film references were made by the audience, prompting for film material to have its own product.

Since then, 14 films have already been covered ranging from all kinds of language, themes, film types and production industries. The FilmMania slot would normally be done immediately after the Bibliophilia slot, simultaneously on the same day for IIUM Gombak.  It is also noteworthy to mention that on the 9th edition of Bibliophilia saw its first female audience, coincidently from IIUM Kuantan and set the trend for PKPIM HEWI’s active involvement later on in the Bibliophilia/FilmManiaseries.

Verses of the Holy Quran, namely Surah al-‘Alaq verse 1, Surah al-Zumar verse 9 & Surah al-Mujaadilah verse 11, all of which points to the importance of ilm’ or seeking knowledge in Islam were made the fundamental basis by which Bibliophilia is founded upon. PKPIM’s Bibliophilia has now been expanded beyond the walls of IIUM Gombak, with campuses like KUIS, IIUM Kuantan, UniZA, CFS IIUM PJ, UKM & UiTM Shah Alam beginning to follow suit due to the efforts made by PKPIM’s central leadership conducting a ‘Campus Road Tour’ program all over the country after IIUM Gombak’s initial success.

The exposure received by the audienceduring IIUM Gombak’s Bibliophilia, who interestingly enough usually consist of mainly junior students, are significant as the chance to exchange thoughts, ideas and share rare books (some even banned) indeed allows these individuals to further enhance their own understanding of issues and have discussions that aren’t found in the curriculum or syllabus of their respective fields of study or study circles. The more flexible and quite open-minded approach adopted in Bibliophilia/FilmMania has made it very vibrant and an enlightening product for the youths to be interested in.

Another impact that this intellectual product has manage to do is it has made the reading material of its consistent enthusiasts to diversify further and increase in complexity as well as difficulty, indirectly leading to the expansion of one’s own horizon or perspective. The balancing act of merging western and Islamic materials, conflicting points of view throughout the discussion period and the variety of questions and equally colourful answers are certainly highlights for Bibliphilia/Film Mania, leaving a long lasting impression to its audience.

Fortunately what motivates most significant advances in knowledge is not profit but the pursuit of knowledge itself, the desire and ‘hunger’ in seeking more knowledge that can be useful for the person and also the surrounding community. This is what personifies the ‘Biblio’ culture, in tandem with PKPIM’s own principle of ‘culture for knowledge’, the never ending quest for self-awareness that brings benefit to those who seek it with utmost sincerity and a constant effort worthy of such a brilliant blessing from The Almighty.

As for the upcoming plans of the Bibliophila/FilmMania product that for quite a while now have been in the works include merchandising like T-Shirts and mugs, the Biblio-TV video casting, inviting distinguish book authors as presenters, The Bibliophila Convention, the Biblio Booklet, a compilation of past book reviews, a more rigorous marketing campaign for outsiders and much more. These are some of the efforts carried out both by PKPIM’s central leadership and PKPIM IIUM Gombak’s MASSA in a gradual phase accordingly.             

As a conclusion, the writer expresses his deepest gratitude for all those who had participated, presented and more importantly assisted in making both the Bibliophilia/FilmMania product into such asuccess. Thank you for the constant moral support, contributionsand beinga part of this growing family. Hopefully all the wonderful experiences and valuable knowledge shared would be put to good use and carried out as a continuous effort by its members to cultivate the ‘biblio’ culture; adeep love for reading books or any other educational and intellectual materials.

* The writer is the Vice Amir of
Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia (PKPIM) IIUM Gombak and also happens to be the initially sceptical ‘witness’, with perfect attendance.

Past Reviews
1.        Penyelamat Dari Kesesatan (Imam Al-Ghazali)
The Ronin Age (Peter Sheldrake) – 12th October 2012, The Grill

2.        MahaMaha (Shanon Ahmad)
The Alchemist (Paolo Coelho) –19th October 2012, The Grill

3.        TenggelamnyaKapal Van Der Wijck (Hamka) – 30th November 2012, The Grill

4.        Iman&Kehidupan (Yusuf Qardawi)
The International Jew, Part I (Henry Ford) – 7th December 2012, The Grill

5.        Peribadi (Hamka) – 14th December 2012, The Grill

6.        The International Jew, Part II (Henry Ford)
How To Think Like Sherlock (Dan Smith) – 21st December 2012, The Grill

7.        TeguranSuci&JujurTerhadap Mufti Johor (Hamka)
# Speedy Scandal (Kang Hyeong-Cheol) – 15th February 2013, Riverside Econs

8.        RahsiaYahudiDalamFilem (IbnuYaacob)
#The Batman Trilogy (Christopher Nolan) – 22nd February 2013, Riverside Econs

9.        Aminah : CintaPuteriQuraisy (ZahiruddinZabidi)
#A Beautiful Mind (Ron Howard) – 28th February 2013, Edu LR 3

10.     SebongkahBatu Di Kuala Berang (Faisal Tehrani)
#The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (D.Fincher) – 15th Mac 2013, Riverside Econs

11.     AyyuhalWalad (Imam Al-Ghazali)
# Passion of The Christ (Mel Gibson) – 4th April 2013, Edu LR 3

12.     Rothschild, YahudiKepercayaanDajjal (IbnuYaacob)
#The Da Vinci Code (Ron Howard) – 12th April 2013, Riverside Econs

13.     The Art of War (Sun Tzu)
#TaareZameen Par (Aamir Khan) – 19th April 2013, Café Econs

14.     SyekhSitiJenar (AchmadChodjim)
# Frozen (Adam Green) – 26th April 2013, Law Student Activity Centre

15.     Versus (HLovate)
#Sujud (RahimiZailanni) & #Dear Ridhwan (Aidilrusli) – 10th May 2013, Riverside Econs

16.     Son of Perdition (Wendy Alec)
# Valley of The Wolves Palestine (ZubayrSasmaz) – 17th May 2013, Riverside Econs

17.     The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle) – 23rd July 2013, Edu LR 6

18.     EdisiKhasMesyuaratSelari PKPIM Pusat : 
Sejarah&PerkembanganGerakan Islam Abad Moden (RiduanMdNor) – 28th July 2013, KDH

19.     EdisiKhasRamadhan :
Padang Bulan&Cinta Di DalamGelas (Andrea Hirata) – 1st August 2013, Restaurant AsamPedas

20.     EdisiKhasAidilfitri :
No God But God (Reza Aslan) – 18th August 2013, Johor Bharu

21.     PKPIM : 5 Dasawarsa (HilmiRamli) – 27th September 2013, Sekretariat PKPIM Pusat

22.     RisalahUntukKaumMuslimin (Syed Naquib al-Attas) – 3rd October 2013, Riverside Econs

23.     Bibliophilia Road Tour Kampus PKPIM Pusat :
Manusia&KemarukKebendaan (Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi) – 9th October 2013, Edu Square Lvl 2

24.     Asian Renaissance (Anwar Ibrahim)
FiqhAwlawiyyat (Yusuf Qardawi) – 11th October 2013, Café MahallahRuqayyah

25.     Pedoman-pedomanBermazhabDlm Islam (Hafiz Firdaus Abdullah)
# The Conjuring (James Wan) – 25th October 2013, Bookerz Café

26.     Derik Kerisek (Faisal Tehrani)
# Fitna (Geert Wilders) – 1st November 2013, Evoke Café

27.     Bibliophilia Road Tour Kampus PKPIM Pusat  [MaalHijrah] :
MerantauKe Deli (Hamka)
#Istiqamah (Jamal Khan) – 8th November 2013, Edu Square

28.     EdisiKhas CONVEST’13 & STABAZ
Badiuzzaman Said Nursi (Abdul LatipTalib) – 15th November 2013, STABAZ Hill

29.     The Myth of Stress (Andrew Bernstein) – 22nd November 2013, Evoke Café

30.     The Quest For Meaning (Tariq Ramadhan) – 6th December 2013, HS Cafe

31.     ABIM 30 Tahun : BeberapaIsuPentingSepanjangTigaDekad (FaridShahran)
#The Pursuit of Happyness (Gabriele Muccino) – 13th December 2013, Law-Econs Bridge

# :FilmMania, movie review
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...