Friday, July 13, 2007

A Day to Be Proud

Wednesday July 11th 2007, was, for me, a day to feel proud..

It was a day that every father dreams about and lives for..

Dana, my beautiful, talented, sweet little girl, graduated from Leeds University... She now holds a BA in World and Popular Music..

We travelled that morning to Leeds. She has been there from the previous day, preparing with her friends and fellow graduands for their collective big day...

When we got to her house, she met us at the front door, looking radiant.. She was happy and self-assured, and in her usual way, bubbly, excited, and full of beans!..

She led the way in the short walk through Leeds's famous Hyde Park to the University, walking ahead of us with her elder sister. Her twin brother met us at the University. He also studies in Leeds, doing Medicine. He had asked to be excused from his tutorial to join us, and be with his sister on this memorable day. The sight of the three of them together completed our sense of pride, and filled our hearts with immense pleasure and deep contentment.. They are our most valuable asset.. our most gratifying achievement..


She then went to collect her graduation gown. When I saw her emerging from the dressing room in her gown, I felt a lump in my throat.. She looked so grown-up.. so confident.. so, so beautiful...

Dana, on the Parkinson Steps, Leeds Umiversity

The Graduation Ceremony was delightful. A nice congratulatory speech from the Pro Vice Chancellor, followed by the Conferment of the Degrees. Each graduand was called by name, and was handed his or her certificate, to the applaud of the audience.. At that point, the 'graduand' is transformed to 'a graduate'.. and what a moment in their young life this is..


The two sisters

Dana has worked very hard for this moment. She has put a lot of time, effort, tears, anxious days and sleepless nights to get the results she aspired to. She achieved an impressive and truly deserved Higher Second Class Honours (known as a 'two-one'). Even more impressively, she got First Class Honours for her dissertation, which many of you have so kindly contributed to, when you responded to her questionnaire about the Fairuz... (Alright.. alright.. so you too deserve some of the credit!..).

Dana is going to do a Masters degree.. I am so proud to say that she has chosen to do her dissertation on Middle Eastern Music, although the exact topic is yet to be determined.. some of the options she is considering include Fairuz (too large for a Masters.. more like PhD material..), or Folk Music of the Levant (a largely untapped subject, with a good opportunity to come up with some truly original work..).. However, whichever topic she chooses, her choice would be an indication of her deep-seated sense of belonging, and an unmistakable expression of her pride of her roots...

My pride and joy...

More importantly, whichever topic she chooses, and whichever career path she follows, with her delightful sense of humour, her unique personality, and her considerable drive and determination, Dana will continue to radiate optimism, happiness, and vitality around her.. and will continue to make me a very proud Dad.. very proud indeed...

18 comments:

Wassim said...

Alf mabrook Doktor!

Yazan said...

i cant imagine how proud u must be with all of them.

Mabrook to you SB, and more importantly to Dana.

Sam... said...

Many Congrates....
wishing her and the family a happy and successful days to come

Cheers

Rime said...

Inshallah alf mabrouk to our lovely graduate, and to her equally beautiful siblings. Allow us to feel proud as well of the achievements of our fellow Syrians, and remember to keep us posted on all these milestones!

abufares said...

Syrian Brit,
The timeless words of T.S. Eliot "I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottom of trousers rolled..." come to mind. Simply, you and I are but a few years apart and the way I see it is that you're barely a few steps ahead of me. Your pride and joy is not only justified but rather a small reward for all the time, the tears, the unslept nights and the sacrifices you and all parents take for the sake of their children.
It won't be long now, Inshallah, before one of your magnificent children turn you into a grandfather. Then we'll be all waiting to hear about that lump in your throat.
There's no better gift in life than growing old ( I mean over 21 :-) knowing full well that we've done everything we ought to do to our children, and a little more.
Congratulations to Dana, her sister and brother, Om Omar and to you.

KJ said...

abufares - you calling me old :P

Brit - congrats man, it is amazing for me as a graduate to read what my dad had experienced.. I hope inshalla I would experience that one day and tell you all about it :)

The Syrian Brit said...

Wassim, Yazan, and Sam,
Thank youfor your kind wishes..

Rime,
Thank you for the lovely words.. As I said in my 'Blogger Profile': "I am delighted to say they have not inherited my looks"... When I want to tease my son, I tell him he belongs to the category of 'Tall, dark... and two out of three is not bad!..'.. I know.. I am so cruel.. he is actually a very handsome boy, even if I say so myself..

Abu Fares,
All the sacrifices you mention seem completely worth it, when you see your children flourishing.. and as for becoming a grandparent, at this stage of my life, nothing would make me happier..

KJ,
Trust me, KJ.. There is no experience to match this.. or even come close... I sincerely wish that we would hear about yours when the time comes...

Lujayn said...

Mabrouk Syrian Brit, to you and to Dana! The kids all look so happy, I can just imagine your face - ear to ear grin, eh?

The Syrian Brit said...

Lujayn,
You bet!!.. :-)
Thank you for the kind words..

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