Human Story & Lifestyle

Khadijah Khatib: the Malaysian Artist Behind Percy Jackson Book’s Cover

The name Percy Jackson resonates with readers worldwide, captivating audiences with its gripping narrative of a teenage Greek demigod and his enthralling Olympian escapades. However, little is known about the talented illustrator behind the captivating UK editions of Rick Riordan’s renowned series, a Kuala Lumpur-born artist named Khadijah Khatib.

At the age of 26, Khadijah is a versatile freelance artist with a diploma in illustration, movie, and game art, lending her diverse skill set to a range of creative endeavors.

According to Khadijah, being a fan of the novel since she was 14 has helped her a lot when it came to designing the book covers. She adds that it was also helpful that her art director provided sketches for each of the books.

Before she collaborated on the Percy Jackson series, Khadijah had already made her mark by illustrating covers for Riordan’s “The Daughter of the Deep” and “The Sun and the Star.” Her artistic prowess extends beyond literature, as she has delved into conceptual art for both film and gaming projects, including her notable contribution to K-Pop sensation AleXa’s album cover

Borneo: Home for the World’s Smallest Elephant Species

Renowned for its remarkable biodiversity, Malaysia is recognized as the habitat of the Borneo Pygmy Elephant, the world’s smallest elephant species. These unique creatures are predominantly found in the forests of northeastern Borneo, spanning across Malaysia and Indonesia.

Measuring under 8.2 feet in height, the pygmy elephants represent the smallest subspecies of elephants globally. They are characterized by their distinctive large ears, rotund bellies, and lengthy tails that often sweep the ground as they traverse their habitat.

Known for their peaceful nature lead, these elephants are notably more docile compared to their Asian and African counterparts, which some scientist believes they are descendants of a domestic herd.

Initially speculated to be descendants of a domesticated herd presented to the Sultan of Sulu during the 17th century, research conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) confirmed the genetic distinctiveness of Bornean elephants from other Asian elephant populations. DNA analysis revealed that these elephants became isolated approximately 300,000 years ago, branching away from their relatives on the Asian mainland and Sumatra.

Tragically, the Borneo Pygmy Elephant faces the critical threat of endangerment primarily due to the loss of their natural habitat, resulting in a stark decline in their population. Presently, it is estimated that only around 1,500 of these remarkable creatures remain in the wild, underscoring the urgent need for conservation efforts to protect and preserve their vulnerable existence.

‘King Tooth’: One of the Oldest Records in Malaysia

Malaysia’s rich tapestry extends far beyond its cultural diversity; it’s also packed with incredibly talented people. In the annals of extraordinary human achievement, few stories captivate the imagination, such as Valu Rathakrishnan or ‘King Tooth’. Back in October 2003, Valu achieved the title of ‘Heaviest Train Pulled by Teeth’ and got the nickname ‘King Tooth’ after using his teeth to pull two KTM commuter trains with sheer determination and a unique, ancient practice.

Valu managed to use his teeth to pull not one, but two KTM commuter trains with the combined weight of the train amounting to a staggering 260.8 tonnes. With enough determination, he managed to cover a distance of 4.2 meters.

However, Valu’s story was far from over. In 2007, he shattered his record, surpassing the limits of his already remarkable strength. This time, he pulled a train that weighed over 291 tonnes for 2.8 meters at the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.

Beneath the surface of his incredible strength, he revealed the secret. Valu attributed his exceptional strength to an ancient Indian form of meditation, a practice imparted to him by his guru when he was a mere 14 years old. Under the guidance of his mentor, he learned to focus and channel his energy, directing it to a single part of his body.

Vanizha Vasanthanathan : A Name to Watch in the World of Fashion

Vanizha Vasanthanathan: A Name to Watch in the World of Fashion

At a striking height of 1.81 meters, Vanizha Vasanthanathan, a Malaysian supermodel, has recently achieved a groundbreaking milestone, becoming the first Malaysian Indian to grace the cover of the iconic Vogue magazine.

Her recent debut on the cover of Vogue Singapore’s anniversary October issue, sharing the limelight with Indonesian model Rizal Rama, has solidified her status among the fashion elite.

According to her interview with FreeMalaysiaToday (FMT) Lifestyle, she talks about her initial disbelief upon receiving the news, thinking it was a potential scam. It was only when her flight to Singapore was booked that the realization dawned upon her.

Despite her international successes, including a sensational debut at Milan Fashion Week in 2022 and a prominent role in Sephora’s global beauty campaign in 2019, the Vogue cover shoot holds a special place in her heart.

Her humble beginnings in the world of modeling, sparked by an unexpected encounter during a college fashion show, have paved the way for her remarkable career. She had struggled with self-doubt and insecurities because of the local beauty standard that ‘fair is beautiful’. But Vanizha remains resolute in her commitment to making a meaningful impact overcoming societal norms, and redefining conventional beauty standards, Vanizha stands proud with her rich complexion.

The Pride of Malaysia in the Film Industry: Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh​

Ipoh-born actress Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh became the first Malaysian to win an Oscar at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

At the age of 61, she won a prize for her role in the blockbuster “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

She dedicated the award to her mom in Malaysia, who has shown her non-stop support since the start of her career.

Yeoh is also now the first actress who identifies as Asian to win the Best Actress Award.