Imbibed in confidence | Daily News

Imbibed in confidence

Hejaaz International College
Salma Firoze and Arshaq Ibrahim . Pictures by Sarath Peiris
Salma Firoze and Arshaq Ibrahim . Pictures by Sarath Peiris

Educated to inspire, and inspire others to find the power to create change, is what Hejaaz International has accomplished in Head Girl of Hejaaz International Dehiwala Salma Firoze and Head Boy of Hejaaz International Mount Lavinia Arshaq Ibrahim. Perfect Prefect features these two head prefects who lead by example.

Salma Firoze is grateful to her parents for selecting Hejaaz International as her educational institute, calling it her second home, and thanks her principal, teachers and friends for moulding her into the confident young lady she is.

Full potential

“I believe that a role model is someone who would make a young person aspire to develop a character that is optimistic with integrity, compassion and determination. A role model should be someone who will enable a young person to realize his or her full potential,” said Firoze.

Hejaaz is an institute that provides a holistic education not only confined to academics but provides a learning environment so that the child takes part in sports and creative work with debates and quizzes that stimulate the mind.

“All this helps in building a child’s personality making the child a balanced individual. My school has imbibed in me the qualities such as integrity and confidence and I am proud to go out into the world as a student of Hejaaz,” stated Firoze.

She points out that the course of history can be changed in a powerful way if both men and women join together. Men and women united can change the world. Male and female leaders are both necessary to change the world we live in. That is the force that can change the times we live in. Maybe even permanently.

Admirable characteristics

“I admire the former first lady of USA Michelle Obama. I find her really inspiring because she speaks very eloquently and along with inner strength she has admirable characteristics. She is an advocate of women's rights and she was an exemplary first lady. I think as women we need to let the world know that women can learn and come up in life and be independent and I would like to influence other women to challenge themselves. I also feel that Sri Lankan society can become a more progressive community if our girls’ achieve their full potential,” explained Firoze.

Firoze believes in working for the betterment of our nation and wants to be an advocate for human rights and make a difference in the lives of all those people who are deprived of their human rights. She feels very strongly about child labour and wants to do her part to abolish child labour in the world. This is because she has received much from life and wants to give back. Make a difference in a child’s life, so that child can go to school and have an education. So the child can have a future.

“I would like to tell everyone to aspire to inspire. Be a person who will also help others succeed in life and celebrate people. Even a small compliment can bring a change in other peoples’ lives. Stay focused and be optimistic and be confident, never lose hope and never be arrogant. The key to happiness in life is when you are with people who really understand you,” added Firoze.

Courage and strength

Obstacles and difficulties come in many forms. Some take years to resolve. Some take a very short time to resolve. What is clear is that you need the courage and strength to face it.

“I feel that when encountering an obstacle you should know exactly what you are dealing with. A good understanding of the obstacle will help you. When you know what you are dealing with, you can get ideas from those closest to you as to how you should deal with it. I usually talk to my mother because she has more experience than me and she knows me better than anybody else. When you have the solution then you should find the courage within you to implement the solution,” pointed out Firoze.

Head Boy Arshaq Ibrahim has also been educated to inspire. Like Firoze he too has been blessed. Through the education he has received, he is a confident young man who wants to make an impact on society.

“Basically a role model is someone who should inspire people. There are people in this world who inspire others by the success they have enjoyed. That is the kind of role model a young person needs. I have different role models based on different aspects. I am someone who believes in human rights so I choose Malala Yousafzai as my role model. But personally, I feel my father is my role model. My father is a very simple and humble man. That impresses me. So it depends on peoples’ ideas,” said Ibrahim.

Obstacles come in two kinds explains Ibrahim. Some obstacles come from within -Sometimes you may lack skills that can obstruct you from accomplishing your goals. But there are other obstacles that come externally. Some people may not like you. Certain incidents can also be obstacles when it comes to achieving your goals he points out.

Endless ruminating

“So when I face obstacles I try and understand – is it external or internal? Is it rational for me to stress out about the problem? Some obstacles come to you and it just disappears on its own. Sometimes endless ruminating is pointless. But there are times when I talk to my best friend as well. I need opinions from others. I even talk to my parents who have a lot of experience. I analyze the problem and think for myself. Obstacles make me strong. Obstacles make all of us strong,” points out Ibrahim.

As a youngster, he was extremely introverted. In 2016 October he was selected as President of the Model United Nations. That was when he got responsibilities. Many people depended on him. That was when his success story started. That was when he had to work towards a goal. He had to come out of his shell.

“When I was introverted I did not move around with others and did not even speak to the teacher. My mother, however, encouraged me saying that introverts succeed in life and achieve things in life because they talk less and do more work. Those words motivated me. As President of MUN, I had to organize many events. Being the junior prefect I had to help my senior prefects. After becoming Head Prefect I had more responsibilities and had to organize so many things. So my school had made me into a person who can face obstacles and overcome challenges.

I was a student who did not study much and I used to get very moderate grades. In Grade Seven, my class teacher actually motivated me in such a way that I felt that I could accomplish what I set my mind to. My school has moulded me into the kind of citizen who can take up leadership and responsibilities. If you are a leader there will always be people who oppose you. The management of Hejaaz has stood by me and encouraged me and supported me,” explained Ibrahim.

Need to discuss

He has three goals. He is interested in aviation and would like to be an aerospace engineer. He also has a calling to be a human rights activist in the United Nations. He correctly points out that he feels a need to discuss issues that children of his age are facing in other parts of the world. This is due to his experience in the MUN. Lastly, he wants to be an Entrepreneur because he wants to give back to society. Ibrahim says that leadership can be used in a positive and negative way. You can misuse your power or you can use it for the betterment of humanity.

Ibrahim feels that there are common myths in society among the youth that should be abolished. He points out that one myth is that you need to drink cigarettes and live the life of a playboy to gain acceptance. On social media, if there is a picture of someone drinking a cigarette that post gets more likes than a normal picture, says Ibrahim.

“I enjoy a good life in Sri Lanka but in other parts of the world we see suffering – the War in Syria. The bloodshed and innocent people are being killed. We have had problems even in Sri Lanka. We may have differences but that should not separate us. Social and religious discrimination and gender inequality concern me. These are problems we have to solve without being selfish,” explains Ibrahim.

His message to the youth is to achieve something in life you need to work hard. Life is tough and achieving something is not easy. People will try and discourage you. But these are the people who fear you will one day achieve your goals. That is the main reason they demotivate you. A leader works with his teammates humbly and does not demand respect. Just because you may not be recognized do not think you are not a good leader. Make sure you stay humble. Every time you fall you have to stand up explains Ibrahim. 


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