Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Diana Studies at Al-Ishlah

Pondok Pesantren Alishlah Sendang Agung Paciran   My mother and my sister Diana left home very early today. They went to Al-Ishlah, a pesantren (Islamic Boarding School) in the village of Paciran, East Java -- a few kilometers from Wisata Bahari Lamongan. Diana will study there. She just finished her Junior High School at MTs M 11 Dengok and got an award from the school for the second best student.

   It is Diana's first experience being away from home for such a long time. She will spend her three years study in the pesantren, getting to know new people and new environment, something which is completely different from the things that she used to do at home. In the Pesantren, she will find no TV, no mobile phone.

   One thing that I notice from Al-Ishlah is that it applies the English language as the daily communication. Students are not allowed to speak in Javanese. Diana is probably unaccustomed to this policy as she rarely speaks in English nor Bahasa Indonesia despite her best mark for the English subject at school. Al-Ishlah also applies Arabic. Most students, they say, speak Arabic in just a couple of months after they start their studies in the pesantren.

   I hope Diana can feel at home during her stay in the pesantren. Being away from the family is just a small thing comparing to the knowledge and education she will get from the pesantren.

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