Summer Student Program, Graduation 2015
By Amina Derbi
The graduation ceremony at IIIT’s al-Faruqi librarywas bittersweet as the Summer Student Program drew to a close on June 16, 2015. While students and instructors were thrilled with the academic progress they had achieved together, a twinge of sadness filled the halls of IIIT as it was time to say good bye. What makes the Summer Student Program so special, apart from the excellent professors and amazing students, is the exhilarating bond which forms among the students. In the words of the SSP Student Speaker and IIIT Student Research Fellowship recipient, Nancy A. Khalil (Ph.D. student, Harvard University), the group truly became a family. As the SSP Student Speaker, Khalil highlighted that there was so much hidden talent in the room and so many amazing voices who deserved to be heard in future scholarship. Khalil then passed on the floor to Fatima Siwaju (MA student, Syracuse University), also a IIIT Student Research Fellowship recipient, so they could thank IIIT on behalf of all students for their positive experiences during the program.
Just yesterday, students gave their final presentations to select IIIT staff including Dr. Ermin Sinanovic (Director of TFI), Mr. Saber Al-Kilany (Library Director of IIIT), and Dr. Mahmoud Ayoub (Chair of IIIT Summer Institute for Scholars). Participants presented on a mélange of topics ranging from Sufism, Salafism, and everything in between. After rigorous diligence and dedication, they earned their Certificates of Completion for this year’s IIIT Summer Student Program which were presented by the Executive Director of IIIT, Dr. Abubaker Al-Shingieti, and the Director of TFI, Dr. Ermin Sinanovic.
The following students were recognized for their achievements:
Hina Anwar Ali
Nancy A. Khalil
Abdul Rahman Latif
Muhammad Ahmad Munir
Mohammad Waqas Sajjad
Thomas Wright Sullivan
The third IIIT Student Research Fellowship recipient was Muhammad Ahmad Munir (Ph.D. student, McGill University). The IIIT Student Research Fellowship is reserved for the top performers in all core courses within the program. Students had to excel in Methods in the Study of Islam, Qu’ran, Sunnah, Islamic Constitutionalism, Islamic Finance, Islamic Jurisprudence, Contemporary Islamic Thought, Muslim History and Civilization, Reform Movements in South Asia, and within their area of independent study. Two students, Farah Zahra (MA student, Harvard Divinity School) and Najah Nadi (D.Phil. student, Oxford University), received honorable mention for their exceptional academic contributions. All students successfully fulfilled the requirements of this challenging and intellectually stimulating program while making friendships and connections which will last a lifetime. It was clear to see that the graduation ceremony may have been the closing chapter of this year’s Summer Student Program, but it was only the beginning of a lifelong bond which students could experience as brothers and sisters in intellectual and spiritual rejuvenation.