Des Moines Oral Histories

A Collaborative Project Between Community Members and Drake University Students

Noor Sabrina Mah Hussin

My name is Noor Sabrina Mah Hussin. I’m a physics major at Drake.

Map of Maylasia --- Image by © MAPS.com/CORBIS

I was born in Brunei then I moved to Indonesia for a year or so then we moved to Malaysia. My mom had bought land in Beranang, which is about an hour from the capitol, Kuala Lampur. My mom grew up in Beranag which is why she bought the land there. My grandparents live about a five minute walk from the land. When we moved to Malaysia we didn’t move onto the land right away as we started building a house there We would go check on the progress about twice a week or so during that time I would go climb trees in our orchard. We have mango, durian, and other tropical trees.                                                                                      

My favorite climbing tree was a mango tree, it grew up straight
but at the top it branches out perfectly so you could sit on it flawlessly.

“It was my Tree House.”

On days that we didn’t go to the land I would draw. My sister had all 24 of the Sailor Moon books; I would try to draw them and superheroes.  I would also play video games with my friends though sometimes we pulled out the kiddy pool and played in that.  On Saturdays I would watch Dragon Ball; on occasion, I would watch a little bit of Sailor Moon as I waited for Dragon Ball.

Before we moved to Malaysia we lived in Brunei for about two years. I know it was two years because my brother was born there too, and he’s two years younger than me. I used to clearly remember Jerudong Park but now the memory is a bit faded. We would often go to Jerudong Park, I would play games and win crayons, I don’t remember what games I just remember winning the crayons. As we walked back home I would be carrying the crayons. I really liked winning those crayons

© Copyright 2015 Corbis Corporation

Two years later we moved to Indonesia. I started schooling when we moved. I started learning English along with the basic stuff. When school was over I would play with my neighbor.

Putu Bambu

Putu Bambu

If I heard the vendor selling Putu Bambu I would run home and wake up my mom, she really liked those too.

“whenever I hear them come around I would wake my mom up. “

Sometimes a horse carriage would come around our neighborhood. I remember riding it at least twice. I really like horses so even when I didn’t ride them I liked watching them go down our street when they did.

Continue to Family

2 Comments

  1. Emily Enquist

    2015-12-15 at 00:27

    Hi Benet. Your oral history has some really great parts! I think you include interesting stories, pictures, and details (I love the recipe part). The stories are very detailed and give a good picture of Sabrina’s life.

    I would give your oral history another read-through. There are several grammatical errors that would be pretty quick fixes. Also, look at the formatting for your pictures and pull quotes, as some of them are overlapping. Finally, I would reword some of your sentences to make them flow a little bit easier to the reader. Although you can tell they are straight from the transcript, it makes it a bit difficult to read.

  2. Lourdes Gutierrez Najera

    2015-12-16 at 07:20

    Colin thanks for sharing her story. I think you’re off to a good start. Here are some points for revision.

    1. clean up the prose. While you are relying on transcripts, your job is to transform their words into meaningful prose. You see, you keep the main ideas but write in way that flows more naturally and smoothly.

    2. write out numbers, i.e. two instead of 2. For example, “which would be about 2 hours. We would have PE for 2 hours.”

    3. Avoid redundancies. In section after Drake, for example, you repeat that she graduates Dec. 19th. Not needed. You also repeat information about govt. educational program in another section. I took out first instance. Doesn’t really flow there.

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