Adalah Ananda Ahmad Shidqi Qushayyi, Santri Darunnajah 2 Cipining asal Banjarmasin lahir pada tanggal 7 Juli 2000 Yang kini duduk di bangku kelas XII MA telah berhasil meraih kesempatan untuk mengikuti program YES (Youth Exchange Students) di Amerika Serikat tepatnya di kediaman Gayla and Madsen North State Road 59, Evansville, Wisconsin United States.
Shidqi telah berhasil mengikuti program tersebut selama 1 tahun lamanya dan baru saja kembali ke Indonesia pada bulan Juli lalu. Kedatangannya ke Pesantren disambut hangat oleh seluruh santri serta guru. Selain itu Shidqi juga diberikan kesempatan untuk menceritakan langsung pengalamannya di Amerika didepan seluruh santri pada Jum’at pagi selepas agenda taujihad yang disampaikan oleh KH. Jamhari Abdul Jalal Lc di masjid, materi yang disampaikan Ananda Shidqi adalah mengenai “Moslem life in United States”.
Tak hanya itu, Ananda Shidqi juga diberikan kesempatan untuk menceritakan secara singkat pengalamannya ketika berada di US dalam acara PORSEKA (Pekan Olahraga Seni dan Pramuka) Ke-31 yang dilaksanakan pada tanggal 29 Juli 2018 lalu. Siapa sangka, santri yang bernama Shidqi ini bukan hanya mahir dalam berbahasa asing, namun juga aktif dan mahir dalam bidang akademik. Buktinya Ananda telah berhasil meraih beasiswa sekolah sebanyak 7 kali dari tingkat MTs hingga Aliyah.
Berikut short speech yang disampaikan Shidqi dalam event PORSEKA:
First of all, I would like to praise Allah Azza wa Jalla, because of His magnanimity I could have an amazing opportunity to go to Evansville, State of Wisconsin, United States last year. Shalawat and Salam may always be presented to our prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, the best creature Allah Azza wa Jalla has ever created.
Secondly, it would be lovely for me to say thanks a lot as our principle, KH Jamhari Abdul Jalal, Lc and other teachers and staffs aided me to establish the strongest base of all; the trilogy; Iman, Islam, and Ihsan, that I proudly presented Indonesia and Darunnajah with, overseas.
Name’s Ahmad Shidqi Qushayyi and I’m student of Sixth Year Class, Class of 2019. Last year, I was standing here, on the exactly same spot, giving a farewell speech before I finally could depart to the United States for ten months. It was a great blessings Allah had given for me. In my speech, I promised you all to show them the best value, Islamic value; and the best culture, Darunnajah culture; and I did.
I had participated in this student exchange program, Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study or KL-YES shortly, as a foreign exchange student at one of their high school, and also as a representative of Indonesia, and Islam. This program was established in 2002, a couple years after the 9/11 tragedy, in order to make a better understanding between the United States with other countries with Moslem population, to create a peaceful and better world for us to live on. The program is organized, coordinated and funded by the United States Department of State—a Department which is dealing with immigration affairs—so that you would not need to pay any cent or rupiah to participate in this program.
I lived in Gayla and Tim Madsen’s house, my host parents, at North State Road 59, Evansville, Wisconsin. They were good people. They welcomed me warmly, and tolerated my religion, Islam. They allowed me to pray and fast, and had never cooked pork for me as long as I was there. Gayla was bossy and Tim was humorist, but for a complete stranger like me, their house really felt like home.
There were a lot of unbelievable experiences I had faced. Attending Evansville high school, befriending the students and teachers, facing new people, doing sports other than silat, tasting American food and beverages, cooking some Indonesian food, meeting with Persatuan Mahasiswa Indonesia-Amerika Serikat or PERMIAS in one of the University—there was a college professor named Mr. Dustin Cowell who can speak our trilingual fluently—, going to some Universities and Museums, becoming a teacher aid at the Islamic Center Madison’s Sunday School to teach little immigrant children how to recite Al Quran to speak in Arabic. Also for the first time seeing snows and touching them, and by the end of the year, fasting for 18 hours a day for 23 days, and so on.
People said there will be a time when an exchange student like me would face what they call ‘homesickness’, a state when you miss your home. But I didn’t face it. I faced dormsickness instead—my own word though, to define how much I missed this Pesantren and the dormitory. Just like when the one you used to stare at, and her shadow vanished from the edge of your sight, then you finally notice how empty your heart is—that is exactly how it felt missing you all. I missed the Azan, the queue line in the bathroom and cafeteria, the Qiyaam al Lail and Shaums, how it sounds like bee buzzing when it is the time for student to recite Allah’s holy verses, and how nostalgic the principal’s speeches every single week. Maybe you envy me for having chance to go to the United States, but in other hand, I envy you guys, from the bottom of my heart.
Maybe that’s all. I would love to explain, share, and tell you more things about my year there. If you have any question, feel free to ask or contact me. Once, my host dad Tim Madsen said, in my very first day at their house “if you don’t know or understand anything, just ask, cause the only stupid question is when you hesitate or afraid to ask.”
Thank you very much for your attention!
Semoga pengalaman serta kesempatan emas yang sangat berharga ini mampu bermanfaat bagi santri lainnya, sehingga menjadi contoh dan pendorong bagi adik-adik kelasnya untuk mengikuti jejak sang juara. Amin!