Summer 2005 – Syawal 7, 1426H – the month of Muslim celebrated Eid after one month fasting in Ramadhan – it was when Safiyah first time took her Syrian husband, Yusof and their child, Husayn back to
. Five years ago was the last time she was home. Last time she met her late father, Encik Hassan. The last time she kissed goodbye before leaving back to Malaysia for her final year. And the last time Safiyah hugged and promised her mother, Puan Maznah to come back right after her graduation. Wellington
But only on that Syawal 7, she managed to fulfil her promise. Yusuf really wanted to take Safiyah to see her family. And she did hope to introduce Yusuf to her family since long time ago. But only that year she managed to. Only after five years of their marriage with a three year-old son. Safiyah couldn’t really expect what and how her mother would react to her first time homecoming after her marriage. She remembered how unhappy her mother was to hear about her decision on the marriage.
“Didn’t you learn anything from your cousin’s marriage?”
“Married to a Lebanese for only two years! Only two years I remind u!” Puan Maznah continued before Safiyah could defend herself.
“Mak, please listen to me..”
“No! You listen to me! Didn’t you remember, her husband was brought up here, here in
, but what happened to their marriage? Still didn’t work out! He cheated on her and left her! What happened to their kid? Believe me; this kind of interracial marriage will never work out,” Malaysia
“Mak, we are different, Zaleha and me are different. Her husband and Yusuf are totally different.” she tried to control her voice. She was almost crying at the end of the line.
“No, those Arabs are just the same, it doesn’t matter where they are from and brought up. They are all cheaters!”
At that moment Safiyah really cried.
And Puan Maznah was even more mad when her late father agreed to Safiyah’s decison to marry her Syrian western-brought-up husband, Yusuf. It was only because one reason - Puan Maznah had already had her dream son in-law for Safiyah, her best friend - Puan Zainun’s son, Faris. A lawyer and he was Malay, a pure Malay. That was the most important criterion Puan Zainun wanted in her only son and daughter in-laws.
Safiyah was very unfortunate when she couldn’t be at her father’s funeral last year. She was afraid if her mother thought of her as anak derhaka – disobedient child for not paying the last respect to her father. Safiyah really wanted to be there but they had financial problem when the incident occurred and she was indeed very worry if her homecoming would merely grow hatred to her mother.