Tim's Blog

Mustaffa and Ati
"I'm going to have to charge for this," chuckles Mustaffa as he poses together with his wife Ati. But he doesn't. Mustaffa owns the Islam internet cafe from which I do a lot of my interneting and in which this photo was taken. He's English, but he's very active in the muslim community. He wears only traditional muslim attire having converted two decades ago in his thirties while he was in Singapore maintaining an oil company's computer system. Like Muhammad Ali, mild-mannered Mustaffa took on a muslim name after conversion. Back then, he was known as Martin Pryor.

Just before returning to his native Bournemouth, ash-bearded Mustaffa spent a few years in Kosovo as a foreign aid worker. He helped rebuild homes for the muslims there. One of his four daughters is still there helping to clear mines with what he insists was two weeks of basic mine clearing training. He assures me that his daughter is quite safe.

Mustaffa is hoping to continue his muslim-aid work with a contingent from the US. They plan to make a trip to the middle-east on missionary work, bringing the word of Allah to whatever pocket needs its faith shoring-up and wherever the word of Allah has yet to reach.

In the meantime, this balding and bespectacled man with youthful eyes spends his days pottering about his internet cafe. He dug up several of the cafe's computers from trash heaps and restored them to working order, one of which you can see on his right. When I met him, he slept on the floor underneath his main server counter. That was before he brought his Malaysian wife, Ati, over from Malaysia a few weeks ago. Now they're both staying in a hotel until the tenant in Mustaffa's apartment moves out so that they can move in.

Ati is a young deeply religious woman who wears her tu-dung (Malay scarf headress) all day. She can, as you can see, do her ironing just about anywhere. Now Mustaffa spends most of the day teaching her about the business of running an internet cafe.

Mustaffa is the least loquacious person I know. Except when you get him started on the Masons. "They're evil and must be attacked!" he vents. Underneath that amiable exterior, he is obviously a man of great passions. But is smart enough to keep them in check. A trait that's too much in short supply these days.

posted at 04:20:08 AM on 06/07/2023 by timyang - Category: General


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