Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Celebrating hard work

Tonight was the students awards ceremony. It was a wonderful occasion! I got to make a speech about my program, why journalism is important and how proud I am of my students. It reminded me of Richard Just's speech. Richard Just is one of the directors of the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program (SJP) I did during the summer of 2008. (That program just concluded its 10th anniversary, by the way! Whoo!)

The newspaper, The Imtiazian, looks great! Everyone's hard work has paid off. I am really impressed and proud of all my students. During the program, everyone -- the school principals, Ms. Ayesha, Madam Imtiaz Nawaz (founder of the school), and my students -- thanked me over and over again for coming to Al-Imtiaz Academy and starting their newspaper. I was so humbled for such great honors and good wishes. My father sat in the front row and I could tell by the look in his eyes he was so proud of me. My father is usually shy in expressing his feelings, but today, managed to say a few words after the program was over. "Mariya, you did a great job. I am really proud of you." Hearing this from him meant a lot to me.

After the hour-long program, we served all the guests an Iftaar meal catered from a famous five-star restaurant, Usmania. I got to meet a lot of parents which was wonderful. Saying goodbye to my students was the hardest part. I bid them farewell, not knowing when I would see them again.

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