Ceritalah Indonesia chronicles the transformation of Indonesia from 1998 to 2014. Once a nation in turmoil, Indonesia is now a rising regional power thanks to the wisdom of its leaders and the resilience of its people.
The writer Karim Raslan - who has travelled across the archipelago for more than 20 years - explores the lives and stories of ordinary Indonesians across the archipelago while also identifying new, emerging, challenges to Indonesia.
He explores four locations that highlight the stunning diversity of Indonesia - Solo, Banda Aceh, Ambon and Surabaya - to understand one of the most remarkable developments of our time.
Ceritalah Indonesia concludes in the capital of East Java, Surabaya. A lively and bustling metropolis, Surabaya is also Indonesia’s second-largest city. There, he visits the renowned religious leader, Ustad Khoiron. The Ustad, along with his wife Roudhatul, have spent years working and living in Bangunari, one of Surabaya’s most notorious red light districts.
Karim also speaks to a former prostitute and local thug who were won over by the Ustad’s message of compassion and repentance. Thanks to the Ustad’s gentle and patient approach, vice activities have ended in Bangunsari.