Farewell Formal at the Islamic Center at NYU

April 28, 2010

“…while my education has been great, it really was the Islamic Center at NYU that convinced me that I would not have wanted to go to any other university for my MA.”

Dear Papaito,

A quick note to let you know that it was completely worth it going to the Farewell Ceremony at the Islamic Center at NYU. Yes, thesis and all. The ceremony was beautiful, and I think I needed some kind of closure, or farewell from the IC. I have been too busy lately to think of how much belonging to this community has meant to me, but this doesn’t mean that I have for one second forgotten it. When I have some more time, I will write to you more about this, but for now I can tell you that I have no doubt in my mind or heart that I would not have been happy at NYU without the IC, and that while my education has been great, it really was the Islamic Center at NYU that convinced me that I would not have wanted to go to any other university for my MA. How would I have survived that incredibly difficult first semester at NYU without the IC? Like Sumra said in her speech tonight, going to the IC between classes became part of my daily routine, something without which I would have felt lonely and empty.

And you should be proud of me Papaito, because the ICNYU awards a few people every year, and this year I got an award! I am very touched that someone out there thought of nominating me! the award if for ‘Education,’ and it reads, ‘Janan D, For inspiring us through your words, your actions and your example.’ How touching is that?!? mashAllah, it makes me tear up just to see it… and when the Imam introduced me, he said something about inspiring others through my stories and writing (I admit I was not paying too much attention, because I was playing with Mariem’s kids, and I was not expecting Khalid to be talking about me…and then he mentioned my name and I was a bit confused at first…)

How exciting is it to know Papaito, that at least one person out there, or two or three, have been touched by one of my stories? It is a very humbling, beautiful feeling. See? I’m come a long way from being that mean selfish kid who was happy when her classmates did not get to eat two sausages instead of one. And I have moved on to better things in my life that ruining my mother’s flower pots with my corn and potatoes… (I’m still trying to guess what you think of me after the past two letters I sent to you , but it is difficult to read your silence).

MashaAllah, what a beautiful evening it was, and how blessed I have been to have come to NYU, and to have been part of NYU’s beautiful Muslim community… So many right things about the past couple of years, and now they are quickly coming to an end!

May Allah always make us grateful Papaito, and conscious enough to recognize His mercy and kindness towards us. Ameen!

J.

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