Bruneians Are So Kind & Calm
by Jayden Sia
Bandar Seri Begawan - Maher Zain, 28, is a Swedish singer who concentrates on dakwah songs. Having signed by Awakening Records, his debut album "Thank you Allah" reached the No 1 spot on Amazon's World Music charts and No 9 on the R&B charts. His music videos on YouTube gained more than one million hits.
Maher Zain on Saturday visited UBD FM at 12.20pm. Fans and supporters were seen at the compound of Educational Technology Centre Building, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. He was led straight to the recording studio for a live interview. Below are excerpts of the interview by UBD FM DJ AL & DJ Zul.
UBD FM: Some people are confused whether you are Swedish or Lebanese? Why did you migrate from Lebanon to Sweden?
Maher Zain: I am Lebanese; I moved to Sweden 21 years ago and grew up in Sweden. Swedish is my first language, English is my second and Arabic is my third.
UBD FM: How do you find the people in Brunei?
Maher Zain: They are humble; everyone is so kind and calm, I really like that.
UBD FM: Have you tried our famous traditional cuisine - ambuyat?
Maher Zain: Yes, I've tried it. It's with the stick, and you dip it in some sauce. It is interesting, and has a special taste. They told me not to bite and to just swallow it.
UBD FM: What made you change your genre of music?
Maher Zain: Before I started working with RedOne, I was very far from Allah. I did all the things that the youths do. As this went on, there was something inside me that felt differently. Maybe it was strange but I always felt something was missing.
My friends brought me to the mosque in Stockholm. It was like a big inspiration for me to see youths being so active in doing things for Islam. So I got pretty attached to the environment, and I realised what was missing.
It was a big challenge for me to leave what was doing. It took about a year to think before I could decide. I spoke to friends and family about it. In the end, I decided to leave music totally. But after that, I got inspired to do something with my experience and to convey the message that I wanted to.
UBD FM: How many concerts are you going to do here in Asia? Any upcoming album or singles?
Maher Zain: I'll be touring around Asia. And Insyallah, we'll come back Brunei for a concert. As for now, I'll be moving to Malaysia in two days. There, I'll be doing a lot of interviews, press conferences, radios and magazine interviews.
Currently, I'm on tour to promote my current album, at the same time, I've started some planning for the next album. The next album will be released sometime next year.
UBD FM: Any last word for Brunei fans, especially for the UBD students?
Maher Zain: Education is very important. There's a Hadith that goes like this - Live life as if you live forever and live for Akhirat as if you're going to die tomorrow. This means getting good education, security and stability. Because you'll never know how long you will live. So education is the basic, it is the foundation of the future. So it is very important. Insyallah, never lose hope.
The interview session ended at 12:45pm, Maher Zain was led to meet some fans and have a brief photograph session. UBD FM crew members also took a group photo with him. Some fans were lucky to get his autograph. Also present at the event were Pengiran Anak Ni'matullah, Pengiran Anak Abdul Qayyum and Hjh Nurul Amal Amnani Athirah.
The interview session with Maher Zain will be uploaded to UBD FM's fanpage (UBD FM Radio Station) on Facebook. -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin
Hundreds Throng UBD for Maher Zain
by H Afiq
Bandar Seri Begawan - Hundreds of fans flocked to UBD Education Technology Centre (ETC) which houses the UBD FM studio for a meet-the-fans session with singer Maher Zain, who was later interviewed.
Upon arrival at the UBD ETC building, the singer was greeted by the head of ETC, Dr Hanapi Mohamad; UBD Dean of Students, Dk Dr Nurolaini binti Pg Hj Muhammad Kifli; UBD FM vice president, Khairunnisa Ash'ari; as well as other guests and UBD FM crew members.
The singer later went to the UBD FM studio for an interview. In the interview the singer felt grateful being able to visit Brunei as well as UBD as the nation's first-choice university. He also thanked all Bruneian fans for supporting him so he could realise his dream to visit Brunei as part of his Asian tour.
After the interview, the singer joined a group photo session and it concluded with a presentation of a token of appreciation from UBD FM to the singer. -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin
27 September 2010
Bid to Raise Awareness on Peace One Day17 September 2010
by Adam Radhi
DESPITE heavy downpours last night the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) International Club soldiered on with their organised event held to honour Peace One Day.
President of the International Club at UBD, Christine Hixenbaug told The Brunei Times, "The aim (of the event) is to raise awareness in honour of Peace One Day, and (as) Brunei is the abode of peace, we feel like it is being taken for granted".
She added that "especially people living in such a peaceful (country) are not likely to think of all the chaos and war, as they don't need to".
"But when (many people) donate, they donate to donate they don't actually think where is my money going, whom am I helping? I want people to know what they are donating for, not just for the sake of donating; I want them to be touched."
In response to such mentalities, it was an initiative of the International Club to have a continuous viewing of a video on the Pakistan relief efforts.
"We were planning to stream (the video) all day but one thing led to another, we couldn't switch off the lights (where the projector was placed), it has started raining sometimes things don't go your way but we did try our best."
Earlier on in the day however, the video was viewed by "most (of the) committee members (from the International Club)".
Asked if she thought she managed to expose the reality of the disaster through the video, Christine said, "Not like I had planned at all, but I was kind of happy when I would walk around and overhear people say what is this for? And someone would be able to answer at least."
The Peace One day event, which according to UBD FM vice student director Khairunnisa Ash'ari, is the first to be observed by Brunei Darussalam, had attracted several of people, most of which were from outside of UBD, said Christine.UBD FM is the university's student radio station.
Also organised for the event was a football tournament as Christine explained.
"We heard that everywhere in the world there was a football game on September 21st, so we thought we had to have a football game, but then someone said why not a tournament? We could raise a lot of money."
A total of 15 teams of 10 took part in the football tournament for which a registration fee was necessary, and 60 per cent of the proceeds were put towards the Pakistan relief efforts. As of press time, the total results were unknown. -- Courtesy of The Brunei Times
Student DJs Plug the Airwaves19 March 2009
Bandar Seri Begawan - Student proactivity has found a creative byway through student-driven media outlet, UBDfm, from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) in the ThinkBig Business Plan 2010/11.
As one of the shortlisted participants in this year's competition, the student-run Internet radio station is gunning for gold with its streaming of original content and plans for commercialisation.
"We've actually been established for three years now, so we thought the iCentre Think Big Business Plan would be a great stepping stone for more innovation and it's actually a way to reach the external audience as well," said team member Madison Sheena Nazareno Vejerano. As the first student-based radio station in Brunei, UBDfm currently uses audio software, RealPlayer, to stream their radio content. She said, "so now we want to create our own software in which we can include new content. So when people stream it, there's a lot more that they can do while streaming like going onto social networking sites".
Madison added that's the station's current direction in innovating but would most likely be looking to source an external professional to help them create the software for this. It's another form of progress for the radio station, she added, "because the radio station right now runs on a zero sum budget so if we can reach more people outside (of UBD) then that's a platform for us to get more sponsors," she added, saying it would have a domino effect in helping the station to grow.
When posed the question on whether UBDfm has managed in garnering attention from intenational listeners online, Mohamed Jazmi Kamel, who is also an online deejay for the station, said UBDfm's fan base began from Bruneian students studying abroad at foreign universities who listened online to keep updated with local news, happenings and music, from as far as the United Kingdom and New Zealand. "We do try to promote beyond our Bruneian circle of friends," said Nur Syamimi Suhaimi, so that the station has a wider range of listeners but as she admits, the group has not chosen to actively promote participation in the Think Big Business Plan competition as their consumer base has already been established and the station receiving a form of branding in its identity. "It's something more for personal development," Madison added, saying that as they are all business major students, the business plan competition was simply an avenue to help UBDfm innovate more.
"Also internationally, if you refer to the number of fans on our Facebook (page), because we use a lot of these social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the user statistics show that we have fans from Japan and the United States." As the station is managed by UBD students, said Madison, she hopes that the station creates more efficiency by keeping the campus informed and aware.
"The unique thing about us is we provide educational programmes and more to do with campus news and information tailored to the UBD students. UBDfm is also trying to inject more entrepreneurial spirit into the station to make it a more profitable business despite currently being a non-commercialised student entity." said Kharirunnisa Ash'ari, member of UBDfm's production team. Time commitment and management is the biggest challenge for all four team memebers, as they have to juggle working on the radio shows and managing the growing number of radio hosts volunteering for UBDfm, alongside their educational committments.
With 26 students currently manning UBDfm, all members agreed that they are still welcoming any volunteers, pending an audition process every semester. "It's definitely something big," said Madison of the shortlist nomination, adding that the selection process means their success thus far has been very meaningful. "We take it as a positive sign, to challenge our ability and creativity as students. I guess you could say we're really motivated to do more than what we've been doing so far," said Nur Syamimi.-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times
DJ auditions for UBD's first radio network
UNIVERSITI Brunei Darussalam (UBD) students at the Educational Technology Centre (ETC) held deejay auditions yesterday for the university's first radio station, UBDfm, which is currently under plans to be launched.
In an interview, Dr Hanafi Mohammad, the head of ETC, said that the plan of obtaining a radio station for the university was still tentative and through the audition, they would be able to see how many students responded.
"This is still a planning stage, and we are trying to see how many students will respond to this idea," he said.
Pre-arrangements through approaching relevant government agencies about this issue has had a positive response, he said.
Still in the midst of writing up the proposal for a radio station to be passed on to Vice-Chancellor Dr Zulkarnain Hanafi for approval, he added that it was now just up to them to draw up the paperwork and then it will be finalised in due time.
He said that part of the introduction of the radio station was to ensure a more private campus which is aligned with the initiatives that support the new Generation X degree intakes.
In the future, students might be compensated for working with the radio, but in these early stages, the plan is for students to volunteer, he stated.
"But slowly, when the radio station is stable after three or four months, then we'll think about market in UBDfm," he said.
He also said that there were still other issues to think about, such as deejay training for students.
According to Hj Md Khalil Hj Md Kashfi, a member of the Student Representative Council (MPP), a total of 24 students has signed up for either the radio deejay position or part of the radio crew.
"The response has been overwhelming as we were only expecting 15. To be honest, there are actually more students who wanted to come today but they had classes," he said.
He also said that he was quite happy with the response and that there will be another date for UBD students to audition which will be announced at a later date.
UBD students had to register and went through another three stages for the radio deejay/crew process.
The second stage was interviews with two first-year students and student council members, namely Rahmalini Rahman from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Policy Studies and Shafiee Yakob from the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute (SHBIE).
Both students were interviewed and gave statements on how the radio station could change the face of the university.
"What we are looking for are students who are committed to making things happen. A student who can put 100 per cent into this project," said Rahmalini.
"We are trying to make a reform and make a difference in our university. If this happens, it will be the first university in the country to have its very own radio station," said Shafiee.
Following the interviews, the students were asked to audition in front of renowned deejays in Brunei namely, DJ Alif from Pelangi, DJ Alan from Pilihan, DJ Sean from Pilihan, DJ Ayu from Kristal and Badariah, a representative from the tutors in UBD.
The results of the deejay/crew auditions will be announced next week. (SHR1)
-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times