Lake Qarun, Fayoum

The only medicine for suffering, crime, and all the other woes of mankind, is wisdom.

~Thomas Huxley~


Lake Qarun in Fayoum is the third largest lake in Egypt. The water is salty, which makes it unfit for drinking. It was said that the lake was a lot larger in the past.
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There are a lot of origins associated with the lake, with the story of Qarun to be the most popular one. The story of Qarun was mentioned in the Holy Quran, in Al-Qasas:76-83.

Verily, Qarun (Korah) was of Musa’s (Moses) people, but he behaved arrogantly towards them. And We gave him of the treasures, that of which the keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men. Remember when his people said to him: “Do not exult (with riches, being ungrateful to Allah). Verily Allah likes not those who exult (with riches, being ungrateful to Allah). “But seek with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world,’ and do good as Allah has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah likes not the Mufsidun (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupters).” He said: “This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess.” Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected? But the Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) will not be questioned of their sins (because Allah knows them well, so they will be punished without being called to account). So he went forth before his people in his pomp. Those who were desirous of the life of the world, said: “Ah, would that we had the like of what Qarun (Korah) has been given! Verily he is the owner of a great fortune.” But those who had been given (religious) knowledge said: “Woe to you! The Reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is better for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and this none shall attain except those who are As­Sabirun (the patient in following the truth). “So We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place. Then he had no group or party to help him against Allah, nor was he one of those who could save themselves. And those who had desired (for a position like) his position the day before, began to say: “Know you not that it is Allah Who enlarges the provision or restricts it to whomsoever He pleases of His slaves. Had it not been that Allah was Gracious to us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us up (also)! Know you not that the disbelievers will never be successful.” That home of the Hereafter (i.e. Paradise), We shall assign to those who rebel not against the truth with pride and oppression in the land nor do mischief by committing crimes. And the good end is for the Muttaqun (the pious and righteous persons)

Whether the lake was where Qarun was swallowed or not, only God knows. But one thing for sure, there are a lot of things that we can learn from this story, regardless of your belief.
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This lake is definitely worth a visit while you are in Fayoum!

Behind A Name – ‘Dignified’ 凛 (Rin)

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.

~Henry David Thoreau~


Kanji is fun to learn. I found it to be very fascinating. Combining pictures to create a word. The same goes with a person’s name.

For example, Tanaka can be spelled by combining 田 (ta) + 中 (naka) which means dweller (in the center of paddy field). Or Yamaguchi – 山 (yama) + 口 (guchi) which means mountain entrance. If a different kanji combination is used, the meaning would be different.

As for my name, Lyn in Japanese is pronounced as Rin. This word has several meanings. It can be 林(forest), or 輪 (wheel), or 厘 (an old monetary unit), or several others.

In my case, I would go with 凛- which means dignified.

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At least that’s the kind of person I would like to be. Independent, with great courage and determination ^-^

2014

To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift.

~Franklin Roosevelt ~


I entered 2014 with a great start.

On the New Year, I was still in Malaysia with my family. I went back to New Zealand two weeks after that, and started working on a fixed term contract at ADInstruments as a software engineer.

In February, I received another great news from the university that my thesis has been accepted. All the sacrifices made to complete my PhD were paid off.

In April, my paper was accepted at HSI’14 conference in Portugal, and my expenses were covered by the university and CS Department.

My travel to Portugal, as well as Spain, took place in June. On the way, I had a day stop over in Hong Kong. It was summer and the weather was nice.

After the travel, I continued my fixed term job for another 2 weeks, then went back to Malaysia to celebrate Ramadhan and Eid with my family in 7 years!

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Then came August. I went back to New Zealand with my mom and my younger brother for my graduation. And right after that, we went for a road trip in South Island.

It sounded like a great year, aye?

But starting from September, nothing good actually came my way. I had several job interviews but these were followed by a series of rejections. Until the year ended, I still haven’t managed to get myself a proper job.

On top of that, my current novel is also far from completion.

Now comes 2015. This is not the time to give up. My resolutions are still the same as in 2014. To get myself a worthy job and to complete my novel for publication.

今からがんばります!