LUMS 24th convocation: We must dream, and dream big: Sharmeen
Lahore, June 25: Pakistani Oscar Award winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has advised the students to speak out, don't take no for an answer, embrace failure and dare to dream big.
Keynote speaker at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) 24th convocation, Ms Chinoy said she was stubborn in pursuit of her dreams and that led her to work as a journalist at a tender age of 14. By the time she was 17, she was doing undercover investigative stories.
One of her stories about some teenagers being harassed, tortured and kidnapped, Ms Chinoy said, earned strong reaction and graffiti hurling profanities at her appeared on some walls. At this time, she said, her father stood beside her and said, "If you speak the truth, I will stand by you and so will the rest of the world".
Stating that parents do not often realise the impact their words have on their children, Ms Chinoy said, "My father's words changed the way I saw the world and I felt that it was almost my duty to stir things up". She also narrated her experiences for the young graduates.
Recollecting her memories, Ms Chinoy explained why failure should be embraced. She said that she had met a young man in Herat, Afghanistan, whose sister Nadia Anjoman, had been murdered by her husband. Narrating Nadia's heart-rending poetry, Ms Chinoy said, she tracked down Nadia's husband and conducted his first ever interview in which it became clear that he himself was guilty.
She said she assured Nadia's brother that her sister's killer would be brought to the book, soon after the release of her documentary. However, she regretted that the man was still free. She said that that 'failure' made her realise that no effort goes in vain as Nadia's brother later wrote to her that "her efforts had restored his faith in humanity".
Ms Chinoy stressed that every individual should dare to dream big and
referred her struggle to earn the coveted Oscar Award for her
documentary "Saving Face". She said that it was a dream coming true that
a woman from a developing country, a
country with virtually no film institutions or industry, walked the red carpet amongst the best filmmakers in the world.
"Dreams help (you) put your goals in a perspective and enhance your creativity," she asserted.
In 1947, Ms Chinoy said, the dream that Pakistan's founding fathers had envisioned for this land became a reality. Regretting that people of this land were not daring to dream, she stressed, "As a nation, we must dream and we must dream big".
She said the National Outreach Programme (NOP) was one such dream launched in 2001 to provide educational opportunity to bright and talented students who were unable to meet the regular fee requirements. She said the NOP had changed the lives of 464 families across the country.Ms Chinoy also said LUMS was a microcosm where students from four corners of Pakistan studied together and participated in co-curricular activities and realised they were all same. "The ethnic and religious differences that plague Pakistan melt away in LUMS," she added.
She told the graduates that the Act one of their life's play had ended and the curtain had risen for the Act two of life's play.
"Make sure you weigh your decisions carefully," she stressed.
Earlier, LUMS Rector Razzak Dawood said the varsity's governing body, the National Management Foundation, had approved renaming of the School of Science and Engineering as "Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering"; and School of Humanities and Social Sciences as "Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences".
Acknowledging Syed Babar Ali's personal financial contributions to LUMS as well as donations drawn from other individuals, corporations and foreign educational institutions, Mr Dawood announced that the Gurmani family through the Gurmani Foundation had donated Rs1 billion to the university.
"This is the largest single donation to the LUMS and as a matter of fact any educational institution in the world," he said. Mr Dawood also lauded the Gurmani family's generosity.
LUMS Vice-Chancellor Dr Adil Najam announced that within a couple of years, the varsity's full-fledge School of Law would be set up.
Later, 713 degrees were conferred upon graduates in various majors and disciplines. Malik Jahan Khan earned the only PhD degree in computer science conferred at the convocation. Dawn
Karachi: The British Council Pakistan's first of the series Education UK exhibition, showcasing academic opportunities in the leading UK institutions, was held at a local hotel on Saturday. Representatives of a number of leading UK institutions were present to help students, professionals and parents to have face-to-face information about undergraduate, postgraduate and research courses. A free visa seminar by UKBA and a session on IELTS was also held at the event. The next exhibition is scheduled to be held in Islamabad on June 25 followed by one in Karachi on June 28. The news