Taufik Uieks, a traveler and a wanderer, was born in 1961 in a small town on the southern tip of the island of Sumatra. Since childhood, his fate has led him to move to Java in order to continue his education to a higher level.
Taufik’s education Taufik is related to aircraft maintenance, according to the education he received at Aviation High School Indonesia, formerly known as the Curug Institute of Training and Flights located in Tangerang, west of Jakarta.
Due to his profession and hobbies who loves to travel, up till now he has visited more than 50 countries in different parts of the world .
In 2011, Taufik joined ‘Kompasiana’ and since then he has written more than 500 articles, mostly stories on odyssey. Among others, tells a lot about a visit to a mosque in a country where he stopped
Taufik Uieks said he had already visited over fifty countries, and he would set aside time for a visit to local mosques on arrival in a country.
He told MINA about beautiful mosques in Asia, Africa, America and South America, from Argentina to Austria and covers various mosques from Amsterdam to Wellington.
MINA interview with Taufik as follows :
MINA: What has been driving you to travel the world and visit different mosques
Taufik Uieks:Life is a journey. So just enjoy the life that flows like water. Every human being must have had great ideals and try as much as possible to make the dream comes true. For me, since childhood my goal is visiting distant lands and enjoy the uniqueness and natural beauty, cultural, culinary, and of course local spiritual life.
Who would have thought, some dreams have been realized, since nearly thirty years ago, I did trip after trip and there have been a lot to learn and study the life of society in every country, city, region, and the area I visited. It is true the lyrics of an old song “Ebony and Ivory” which tells that people are basically the same wherever we go.
MINA: What did you find when you visit from one mosque to another mosque?
Taufik Uieks: When traveling from one place to another, I have always done everything possible to find and stop briefly to a local mosque, especially into areas where Muslims are a minority population.
With this visit, we will soon know the life of local Muslims. And even start the entry of Islamic history and development of Islam there.
Islam as a religion of mercy for all the worlds has contributed to a heart-warming story that began in a mesjid.Sebagai example, mosques in Kigali, Rwana, has managed to reconcile the Tutsi and Hutu tribes fighting each other in a civil war that was marred with genocide in the African country.
The Paris Grand Mosque was once the hideout of Jews from the threat of German Nazi..
MINA: What the interesting things that you get from a visit to mosques around the world?
Taufik Uieks: The experience of being marbot (Masjid caretaker) and hard to find a Masjid in Athens give a lesson, that a land once ruled by Islam could be hostile to Islam. Not to mention getting the fact that sometimes a little beyond expectations as the largest Masjid in South America turned out to be located in the capital of the country that was once the headquarters of communism, namely Moscow. Or in the Netherlands, the Masjid was used as a “terrorist nests”.
MINA: How does the process of finalizing the writing of the book ‘Wander Into Remote Mosques In The World?
Taufik Uieks: The process of this book has been running seven years since 2008 and I wrote it in separately articles. Thank God, now everything is finished. Because of my busy schedule at work, writing books take a long time. There are 56 articles gathered from here and there and collected in a book in 2015.
MINA: What difficulties you find to adapt a new culture and language when traveling?
Taufik Uieks: Difficulties will always there, especially our culture is different from theirs. There are always people who welcome us, even if they do not understand our language. In Africa I have difficulty communicating, but they average slightly understand Arabic.
In China, Local people are very honest and good. They will always give my change is not enough I received while spending on goods at their stalls at a later time.
.MINA: What’s your message for the lovers of the traveling?
Taufik Uieks: Language is very important for those who wish to travel, manners and understand any conditions. Take advantage of youth in spreading goodness. (L/P007/R07)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)
Taufik Uieks can be contacted through his account
Facebook: Taufik Uieks
Twitter : @taufikuieks