Friday, July 01, 2005
The Voice of a Community Elder
This School is undoubtedly a Community Sucess Story
TEXT FROM THE SPEECH BY ABDI ISMAIL YONIS MADE ON THE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION CERMONY AT THE OTTAWA ISLAMIC SCHOOL (OIS), JUNE 25, 2005
Despite rankles of the past; this school is a towering achievement by all standards. Throughout the long years, Ottawa Islamic School(OIS) has been managed and maintained with the tireless efforts of a young community mainly Somalis with no deep pockets comparatively, but proudly with unrelenting resilience, a big heart and high hopes. Many times when chances to succeed were bleak as student numbers were low, cash flow down and therefore running the school not practical/feasible, miracles happened as the gallant community spearheaded by persistent mothers dutifully dashed in to rescue their school and pride with steadfast determination. Yes that demonstrates the resolve and character of the community as it strives to mark its presence in its new home of Canada. I have no doubt history will bear witness to what you stood for, have done or achieved for our posterity, and to all those noble deeds and philanthropy, we say to you: thank you, thank you and Jazaakumulaahu jamiican, khayran kathiiran.
It is a fact that every success story has its heroes, for OIS there are many. I did mention the parents especially mothers of OIS students serving as the lifeline of the school. For the others that deserve recognition let me start with the ANCHOR the Principal Mr. Mohamed Sh Dalmar a true gentleman and a remarkable leader, thank you Sir for the commendable service you have honestly given to OIS. The dedication and teamwork spirit of all the staff (teaching and support both) symbolize the strong backbone of the institution, and can’t be thanked enough. Performing your duties always with due diligence is and has been exemplary. Furthermore this level of success couldn’t have been realized without the wise elderly counsel of the Board. To you, you and you all, we say thank you for a job well-done. Continue your creative ways to build on the past achievements and may we wish you to keep up the good work and the healthy rhythm. To all your dedication and hard work, our hearts say: jazaakumumulaahu ajran xasanan.
Finally a word to the fruits of the efforts, I do mean the students, the beneficiaries of all the blood sweat and tears of the community. As our sons and daughters, as the pride and energy of our community, as the future of our nation, I want you to heed this message; YOU ARE LUCKY & FORTUNATE compared to your counterparts in most schools of the public system. Here are few reasons why.
You are lucky because, as vast research works have concluded there are four need areas that all crave for adequate attention in any learning situation and these need areas are:
In your case therefore, the unique environment you are privileged with is truly progressive as you receive instruction from a multicultural staff coming from diverse backgrounds ( from 15 different countries to be precise) and hence very befitting to the adage, “It takes a whole village to raise a child”. Mark this; in this school your gains besides the academic knowledge include the acquisition of soft skills seeping in through your daily interaction with your school staff. This provides you with the necessary grooming and preparedness needed to be in sync with the globalization phenomena and its prerequisites for successes now and down the road.
You are fortunate to be in a school with very conducive environment that enhances adequate catering to all your need areas.
You are lucky as enough attention is given not only to your minds but to your hearts through the Islamic nurturing and its ordained ritual practices.
You are fortunate to learn in an atmosphere where you all feel not only welcomed despite the different origins/backgrounds you might have come from but are valued and treated as being the centre of attention and attraction.
Today at this occasion let it be known that the community recognizes the value of the OIS, and is strongly committed to its support. We hope and expect that OIS students will take full advantage of the special privileges and fortunes deservingly awarded to them at this institution. Please capitalize on this unique opportunity at OIS as your chances to go to the top are within your reach. Listen to the call; NOW is the moment when one must decide and plan for one’s tomorrow. Now is the moment when one must get into what it takes to own it!
To the graduating class: No doubt this is a memorable day, it’s a day we all have gathered to congratulate you and your families for the remarkable achievements you made. I want you to note the joy and pride that exudes from the faces as the ceremony moves to witness the acknowledgement of a successful completion of a leg of your learning journey. But remember, please remember that now is the time to ponder on how and when you make to the next level of the learning ladder which by the way, is a lifelong endeavor that doesn’t seize for one as long as he/she breathes.
To this therefore, I want to share and conclude with my guiding note from the findings of a survey done on a group of Canadian students who won full scholarships to reputable universities. They were asked this question; what do you attribute to your achievements? Strikingly none said they were gifted/brilliant students, instead they all asserted unequivocally that HARD WORK is to be the main reason for their successes- hence an advice I beg you to take to heart. It is through hard work now and hard work always your aspirations and goals will and can be achieved. So dream big as you set to March forward into the future, with hard work, moral devotion, positive attitude and a decent character you are destined Bi ithni laah to enjoy nicmatu dunya wal aakhira, Allahuma Amen.
Alhamdulilaah wasalaama calaykum wa raxmatu laahi wabarakaatuhu.