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Tears flow as Heliza speaks

Reported by

Fazil Mahmud
CBSD

It was an emotional and painful moment for UniKL Malaysian Institute of Information and Technology (MIIT) students as they heard straight off the cuff the daunting and nightmarish experience of singer-turned humanitarian aid worker Heliza Helmi’s missions in Palestine and Syria.

Heliza was the guest speaker at an event titled Millennial Talk: ‘One Way Ticket’ organised by 43 students from MPU 2232 (Interpersonal Skills) course on April 30 at the Chancellery.

A spokesperson for Aman Palestine, a non-government organisation, Heliza is well known for humanitarian work in Malaysia, West Asia and Eastern Europe. She is best remembered by Malaysians as an attractive, wide-eyed finalist of Akademi Fantasia 5, constantly rendering spiritual pop music and songs.

Her parents, says Haliza, have always been her guiding force and pillar of strength.

“They have always encouraged me to do what I loved, within the boundaries of a Muslim woman, and what makes me happiest is spending quality time with them and doing a good job,” she said.

Heliza visited Palestine in 2012, Russia, Jordan and Bosnia-Herzegovina too.

Together with Akademi Fantasia 4 graduate and singer-actress Salima Habibi, the duo lighted up the hearts of hundreds of children and the destitute in hospitals and orphanage homes who were victims of atrocities.

She went on to share some of her most unforgettable moments especially when she met a group of children kicking around a ball that was only partially inflated.

“What was very touching is that I saw a child reciting verses from the Quran while kicking the ball. Now that is not a normal thing to do but in a war-torn nation like Palestine, the kids were just preparing for anything sinister that may occur, at any moment,” she added.

“Moments later we received an emergency call instructing us to flee immediately from the area we had visited. The information that was relayed to us was that a missile was launched by the enemy of the state and it was heading in our direction.”

“It was a chaotic moment as everyone ran for dear life. The next moment we realised we were actually seeking shelter in a grave. All of us just prayed for nothing bad befalls us,” said Heliza.

As Heliza narrated her experience through video shows, there was pin drop silence all around in the Bestari Hall. Curiosity soon turned into an emotional moment for the faint-hearted as tears rolled down pudgy cheeks. It was a nerve-wrecking moment even for the men, who claim to have nerves of steel.

The heinous crimes committed against children, women and hapless families by the enemies was simply unbearable.

Project Manager, Zurafizza Adilla Selamat, said the event served as a best platform in a tell-all session of the human sufferings in Gaza and Syria.

The Millennial Talk: ‘One Way Ticket’ was sponsored by Kabinet Dapur Saujana, Curve café and Ar Faqir Enterprise.

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