My exchange semester abroad comes to an end in Hong Kong, but it is time now to visit the family in Kuala Lumpur, the heart of Malaysia. We moved to Malaysia in 2003 for my father’s job, and we have loved it so much that when my father had to move back to Iraq, we decided to stay.
Malaysia and its people are known for the hospitality and taking life easy. In our family everyone says “Boleh Lah!” when we associate with the country. The phrase translates to “Can Lah!” and means that everything is doable.
Later on, the economy started declining and something struck the country, not sure if it is just the cycle of life, or bad circumstances. But, one thing I know for sure, is that it all came down hill faster than an unleashed ferrari.
The economy was going down and then Malaysian Airlines MH370 disappeared. A huge blow to the tourism industry and BOOM, another Malaysian Airlines goes down MH17 hit by a rocket. The lively, musical and beautiful airport of Kuala Lumpur turned into a ghost town. Fewer planes, fewer people on any plane arriving to KL and no one flying on a Malaysian Airline. Terrible news for the country, for the people and more than 3000 people on the Malaysian Airlines were let go.
Well, here I am on board MH433 on its way to Kuala Lumpur. I had many options to choose from including AirAsia, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines, but I chose MAS because Malaysia gave me and my family a lot, saftey, food, shelter and most importantly Malaysian hospitality. I can only repay them by using local products and services to help this country grow again. However, I was surprised when there were no more than 100 people on the plane and apart from the airhosts, I am the closest thing to a Malaysian and I only hold the permanent residence. It was disappointing because their service is still great, their seats are very comfortable and the flight was very smooth. I cannot lie that I was terrified before the flight, but anything worth fighting for is not going to come easy, and if it takes me to be petrified every single time to hear the captain say “For the Malaysians with us today, welcome home!” I will do it every single time and board one of the best flights in the world.
Almustafa Mahmoud Khalid
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