Nur Aqilah and Amni Shams Reflects on Their Journey Back to Banda Aceh, Indonesia
In December of 2004, an earthquake measuring 9.3 on the Richter scale occurred off North Sumatera resulting in a tsunami over all littoral regions of the Indian Ocean, from as far as Somalia to Sri Lanka, to Phuket in Thailand and Aceh in Indonesia. It was the largest natural disaster of this century, claiming more than one hundred thirty thousand lives and rendering more than five hundred thousand people homeless in Aceh alone.
Waves of Change by authors Nur Aqilah and Amni Sham is a reflection of their journey back to Banda Aceh, Indonesia three years after the country was hit by a devastating earthquake followed by a deadly tsunami that claimed the lives of so many people. This picture book illustrates the care of the Malaysians and other civic organisations from all over the world in alleviating the sufferings of other human beings during the disaster.
This book includes six chapters with more than 100 captioned pictures reflect on their journey and perceptions after witnessing the aftermath of the tsunami years later. Banda Aceh, in general, does not appear to be different from other towns in Indonesia. Packed buildings, busy marketplaces, and traffic jams were the initial encounter that the authors had upon returning. They saw no signs of post-tsunami effects due to rapid development. A few designated buildings, sites, and memorial places were preserved or constructed for tourism and as a remembrance of the affected victims. In general, there is little the authors could see as the effect of tsunami, other than the preserved memorial places. However, stories from some of the surviving victims and relief workers, which were still fresh in their memories, are also captured in this book.
Waves of Change is an enlightening and inspiring read. It will be useful and will motivate readers to be more passionate towards humanitarian relief. Their journey has indirectly nurtured the authors to be passionate in caring for others that are unfortunate, especially those affected by the disaster.
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About the Author
Nur Aqilah Abdullah, MBBS, a graduate of Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS) is now working as a medical officer in Ampang Hospital, Malaysia. Her passion in volunteerism since schooldays has made her involved in many community services and in local and international humanitarian missions. Her journey with her colleagues to Banda Aceh was done while she was still in her undergraduate studies.
Amni Sham Che Din MBBS, also a graduate of CUCMS and now serves the Ministry of Health as a medical officer at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia. She too is very active in activities related to volunteerism and rarely misses any flood relief missions and community work organised by local NGOs. Together with Nur Aqilah, they organised the trip to Banda Aceh as part of their elective coursework.