Gilgit - Baltistan

Reflections on the Powerful Reflections of a Role Model

by  Sharif Khan (Faculty PDCN – Gilgit)

In 2006 I was able to compete for M.Ed 2006 at AKU-IED. We were supposed to join Aga Khan University Centre of English Language (AKU-CEL) at the main campus as a compulsory course before the commencement of two years M.Ed course. The objective of that course was to familiarize us with academic writing and the American Psychological Association (APA) style of referencing. Our fellows were 35 Course Participants (CPs) from various parts of the developing world such as Kenya, Zanzibar, Syria, Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Kirghiz Republic  and from the remote areas of Pakistan such as Northern Areas, NWFP -Chitral, Makran Division, Noshki –Quetta -Blochistan, Hafiz Abad-Punjab, Thatta and Khairpur- Sind.   

            Most of the CPs from East African countries comparably were confident at English with their good schooling background, while the participants from Noshki Hafizabad and Quetta were also good at English. The rest, including me, were in great trouble and were struggling for survival. However, after the two months course, I got  little confidence and hope for the good start of my M.Ed class in October 2006.  

            During the first semester all my colleagues except the few were totally disturbed because of the inquiry based teaching and learning and the pressure of academic writing. At the end of the first semester, I had suffered in a great trouble, as my two years old son suffered in serious illness and was hospitalized in Karachi for two months. One can imagine the tough schedule of AKU-IED and the torture of a dear one staying at a hospital, struggling between life and death. During the day times I attended my M.Ed class at AKU-IED and submitted all the required academic papers including the verbal presentations in many intervals while at night I attended my son at the hospital.

           After two months I suffered in a trauma, having lostt my beloved son Jan Sher Khan, at AKU hospital. As usual I took his dead body to my native village and stayed there till the seventh day. Afterwards I went back to AKU-IED for the continuation of my M.ED course. My facilitators were shocked on the tragic demise of my son but there were no concessions or comprises on my academic assessment. My colleagues were supportive but they were supposed to struggle for their own survival. I was totally disturbed because of the trauma and the tough academic activities.  

            I was thinking to escape from the scene, not seeing any hope under those circumstances, but thanks to one of my senior M.Ed colleague who forwarded the reflection of Molana Hazir Imam (MHI). I read it thoroughly and found many points empathetic. It helped me regain the zeal for moving on in my life despite of the tragedy. 

With that reflection ( attached below) and the kind support from my parents, brothers, kith and kin, I was able to successfully complete the two years M.Ed program. Those who have gone through the process of research and rigorous process of formative assessment  can imagine the situation. Luckily, I got degree from the University Chancellor His Highness The Aga Khan in December 2006, during the convocation. Thus, I was able to reach to my destination because of the power of reflection of a role model.

 Click on the link below to read the speech of His Highness the Aga Khan that helped the writer in troubling times. 

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  1. Ustad-e-Mohtaram Sharif Khan has shared a geniune matter about the real world.At times uncertain conditions develop traumatically and become uncontrolable.One loses hope and imagines everything as completely ruined and lost.In such a situation if a spark of hope is got from any source,helps to restore shattered dreams and gives a way for the construction of castles(successes) with unique and splendid features that becomes a source of inspiration for others.
    The Farameen of MHI are the source of eternal peace and mental contentment.It encompasses all affairs of the life therein and afterwards.
    A very good experience shared which is a source of inspiration for all of us.
    Best wishes Ustad-e-Mohtaram
    Your student
    Aslam Ghalib

  2. It was the courage and the spirit that you already have and also the directions of our beloved MHI as you referred to his reflections are right there for everyone.

    I can imagine the unfortunate illness and demise of your son ( may Moula bless his soul with peace) may have struck you very heavily during your studies. I salute your courage that you came out of that situation very fast and completed your studies.

    I hope that the experience, knowledge and skills you acquired at the most prestigious institution like AKU-IED will be benifitted for long time for the cause of quality education in the whole region.

    Good luck for your future

  3. Sharif Bhai,
    Thank you very much for sharing this story which is very telling and deep like yourself. This is what inspiration is all about. The world always offers opportunities and challenges and it depends on people how they turn challenges into opportunities. Secondly it is a matter of choice as well. You are right- you could have left in the middle by cursing your fate but you kept working hard. This is teh meaning of life. I salute you for your courage and thank you again for sharing this worhtreading reflection as well as the wonderful attachment which are full of lessons and wisdom.

    Sultan Ahmed

  4. Respected Sir
    Though i have not remained your student directly. But in different times we have taken your kind help and guidelines in different development activities.
    Am today proud to say that all the knowledge and education i have got till today has no value if i will compare these real gems of knowledge which you have shared here.
    A man is successful and satisfied only when he learns how to fight problems, understand the nature of the crises or crucial situation and does not lets any turbulence to become a barrier between him and his goal..
    Dear sir i have learnt alot today. this inspiring personal experience you have shared i hope will prove to be a new and enegetic lesson in carving strong and sound careers as well as characters for every one whoever will go through it.
    I hope, you and the other senoirs will guide us in future and show us the path of a bright future and a healthy Society.

  5. Brother I am the witness of your struggle and we shared the sad moment of Jan Sher Khan due to the mis handling at AKU but we were firm and left it to God and MIH.I personally thought to sue the doctor but due to AK SYMBOL I left that thinking because we have lost and that was not possible to get back.I really salute you for your courage at AKU IED for achieving your goal and thank for your contribution in our jammat at various positions.You are a great brother and a courageous leader I always seek your guidance as i need it.

    Saleem Khan
    glaxosmithkline pk

  6. Thanks for teaching us that all things are difficult before they are easy.

    Love and Prayers for your doings


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