OP-ED

A Farewell to the Class of 2012

National Yemen

Dr. Murad Alazzany

by Dr. Murad Alazzany

Professor Sana’a University

I joined Sana’a University as a lecturer in the Department of English Language Studies in 2010. The first students I taught in the department are the students graduating right now – the 2012 class.

The three academic courses I taught them were outstanding and really enjoyable. I unexpectedly found my students competitive, highly motivated, and determined to pursue their academic goals and ambitious. There countless times in which they mesmerized me with their critical thinking skills and sky-scraping enthusiasm.

Now I am filled with pride to see this group of students leaving Sana’aa University with a smile on their face and certificate in hand. The four years of diligent and consistent work they spent at the university will be the most distinguished stage of their lives, with no experience ever matching the what they’ve been through in the past four years.

As the students leave, they’ll leave with memorable stories, academic and non-academic, to share for the rest of their lives.

What distinguishes this stage from everything else they’ll experience is the academic surroundings that have given students a chance to meet people who have different experiences and come from many walks of life. However, it would be a huge loss for them to get disconnected from this vibrant of community of people after they success and become engrossed in their future career.

Hence, I encourage our graduating students to form an alumni chapter in which they could register their names and e-mails. The alumni chapter could be established as a Facebook page or even a simple e-mail group. This could be used as a channel to preserve and maintain their ties with colleagues and lecturers and share their experiences.

Our students should bear in mind that from the day they stepped on to Sana’a University they became a member of our faculty, and they will remain forever so. While it may be true what all the students will no longer be physically located here after graduation, they will still remain a valued part of its part of an extended academic family.

This academic family valued so much because it is the greatest asset of any academic institution as the success of its students perpetuate and build the excellent reputation about such institutions and the those who work at it.

Let me assure our graduate students that the knowledge they gained here at this university is a precious gift that will never leave them. Their education is theirs to keep, and it the knowledge they gained will enrich them for the rest of their life.

Therefore, students may come any time to consult their lecturers regarding problems and difficulties they face in their field of their work. In return, they can bring their lecturers a glimpse into the reality beyond to university walls. In fact, this could open new horizons for both lecturers and students to explore new research thoughts and ideas. It will help develop new perspectives for academic pursuits and interests which can contribute to the country’s development and progress.

Let me assure our graduates that the knowledge they have gained here at this university is a precious gift that will never leave them. Their education is theirs to keep forever and it is their knowledge will enrich them for the rest of their lives. They truly have much to hope for and much to give.

One aspiration that this university offers that it passes to every student that passes through its doors is the motto, “with knowledge, we serve.” Because the education students gained is a precious and rare gift, it  comes with the responsibility to use their knowledge to further the development of society.

While I want these lines to congratulate this graduating class for their outstanding achievements, they should be reminded that they are leaving the university at a moment when Yemen is witnessing a historical and transitional change. Hence, graduation in such a time does not mark an end, but a beginning for a new stage in which the country is in need for their intellectual capacity to push the country forward.

Make no mistake, our students are graduating from the finest institutions in the country. Because of this, we put a lot of hope on them to lead a fundamental change in the country. With the knowledge they have gained from four years of studying, our graduating students can contribute greatly in deciding our country’s fate. While just new and fresh graduates, their contributions can take the shape of their ability to think and to make decisions to help the country overcome the difficulties it encounters. Surely, as new blood is added to the nation, they can lead us to the unexpected surprise we all hope to see with the transitional government and legitimate elections. However, any such a political surprise will not happen without a strong engagement without the new graduates.

Furthermore, the graduating students can also contribute to society by advocating for education. As graduates of the university, they could play a significant role in enhancing the ability of the education system in Yemen to prepare millions of young people to become well-informed participants in their society.

I have no doubt that our graduates will save no effort to create the future for our country that we all aspire to have — a progressive, civil and advanced Yemen. For this, we are putting a lot of hope on our graduates to lead a fundamental change in the country. It is with this that we are celebrating them as the heroes or nation needs.