Last night I had a night to remember. Two of my very young friends invited me for dinner in a Chinese restaurant. It wasn’t one of those where you can have a whole meal for pittance though! It was in one of those fancy places that I don’t normally go to. The ambiance was great and the two girls were really nice, I had them choose the dishes as I thought that maybe my choices will be dull for them, it was a great night with great discussions.
I know, you were wondering why my young friends had invited me for dinner? Well, for over a year one of them was trying to get a scholarship to do her clinical psychology, she tried all the various bodies and none of them were helpful; so we were working on solving this issue slowly but surely, of course she had many hoops to jump, which was worrying me, as the constitution of this country insists on free education for all the citizens. At the end we had to resort to going to the head. This proved to be problematic as her dad was not too happy about it. However once that was done, everything fell into place, the domino effect started and she is going to travel in less than two weeks.
Since we started our work, we made it a point to help the students get funding, from any source except their parents money. Of course all the organisations that we work with provide some sort of financial aid to the students, and because studying is not cheap and can consume a huge portion of ones savings we make sure that the budget is not exceeded. One thing we realised is that the high schools are not telling the students that they are entitled to free education; whether it’s in the country or outside the country. Thus the staff and I make sure that we tell the students about their rights, and one of them is the free education. Of course I am sure the scholarship providers are not that happy about us, but we do not work for them, we work for our clients, the students, and the providers are merely the purse that we use to facilitate the journey of studying.
Money is a weird thing, one can use it for anything and everything as these could be a one off expenditure, but when it comes to paying fees, then it’s a commitment, the parents have to ensure that the stream of funds continue for the next 4-5 years, and that is where we have to intervene and make it easier for everybody. Take us for example, and since we do not belong to a country that provides free education for all, we had to make sure that we have enough money to pay for our kids education, of course it is not simple, but having two graduates at home, and one on the way shows real perseverance from both my husband and I. Sometimes we forgo buying essential stuff for ourselves as the payment for the kids is due. I am so happy that we made it, and now the youngest is in her last semester, its all gone like a breeze. And I am sure her two years of masters will also be ok.
I cannot count my blessings, and having young friends for life, who will wish me well, and remember my advise and carry it forward, will only increase the balance of my good deeds. I am proud as well that my young friends distinguished my advice and actually took me for dinner to celebrate their achievements.
This experience makes me forget the agonies of our work, and makes me want to continue to do this no matter what.
So as I said in one of my tweets, a person can achieve, unless he or she become his/her own obstacle, don’t be your own obstacle, and ignore those that throw stones on your way, just go forward and achieve your goals.
Suad thank you for your support all along! You are a blessing to all Emirati students who have dreams and aspirations to further advance in their education and as i told you yesterday i would not have made it without your encouragment. May Allah bless you and your family. Love always, Asma