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Effat University Graduation Speech

In those days where I find myself reminiscing my academic journey and personal and social development, I find my fingers flipping through the speeches I delivered, my mind reflecting on the lessons learned, and my heart yearning for me.

I wrote and delivered the following speech on the occasion of graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Counseling Psychology from Effat University in 2011. As a Queen Effat Citizenship Award recipient, I was selected to deliver the class 2010-2011 graduation speech; I hope that through this 15 minute long poem, I was able of interlacing comedy with melancholy, and gratitude with triumph, and inviting my class, our families, and teachers to turn the page for a bright future.

Here goes nothing.


Blue parts were not included in the speech.


صاحبة السمو الملكي الأميرة لطيفة الفيصل

صاحبة السمو الملكي الأميرة لولوة الفيصل

الدكتورة هيفاء جمل الليل

السادة أعضاء هيئة التدريس

أمهاتنا وآباءنا الأحباء

صديقاتي الخريجات

الحضور الكريم

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

انطلاقاً من هذا المكان الذي أقف فيه اليوم، ونيابةً عن زميلاتي الطالبات الخريجات من كافةِ الأقسام، أرحبُ بكم، في مناسبةٍ هي الأولى من نوعِها حيث نتشرفُ اليومَ بتخريجِ أول دفعةٍ من طالباتِ كليةِ الهندسة من جامعةِ الملكة عفت، هؤلاء الطالبات اللاتي اخترتن طريقاً غيرُ ممهدٍ لكي يسلكونه ولكي يمهدونه لغيرهن من نساء هذا الوطن… أنتنّ الأوائل وكم لهذه الأولوية من فضلٍ ومجدٍ ومكانةٍ..

فقد وصلَ القطارُ إلى محطةٍ من محطات الحياة.. في طريقٍ قطعناه معا

وعند ذكر الوداع ينقبضُ القلبُ، إلا أنه يكفينا أننا في حلقةِ علمٍ نتطلعُ للأعلى ونسمو للقمة

قارب الوقتُ نهايتَه .. إلا أن العطاء الإنساني والمحبة الصادقة والتعاون الفعال لا ينتهي

تعجز الكلمات في وداعكم ولا يفي إلا الدعاء من رب السماء بإطلالة جديدة مشرقة للمستقبل

أما باقي كلمتي فستكون باللغة الانجليزية مراعاة وتقديرا لمعلماتي الحبيبات وباقي زميلاتي اللاتي لا يجدن اللغة العربية


Dear life partners,

Mothers and fathers,

Sons and daughters,

Respected faculty members,

And my fellow colleagues, the certificate holders,

Today we celebrate life-long efforts

Backed-up by grand supporters

From the start until beyond this day

For all that students display

Is but due to true believers

I confess…

We skipped classes

Thinking of good-looking eyelashes

We laughed at situations

Engaged in steamed conversations

We formed friends

Viewed life from a different lens

Influenced by an opposing idea

Perhaps rebelled against a criteria

Popped questions that provoked your mind

Made it seem like we’re ones that love to whine

Revealing a showcase of problems on a table

Intending harm was never a favor

For life-long-learning is our major

Proudly I am now a member of the Effat family and indeed as a Queen Effat Citizenship Award Winner, it has been a greater responsibility. But never forget my friend, that if I am a model for citizenship, you sure are a model for discipline. If I am a model for respect, you are a model for achievement and if I were a model for harmony, then I shall take you as my model for peace.

For each has a specialty that is unique

And that is how we become complete.

Perhaps my past is a jungle

I am not perfect and I am no angel

Though, I aspire to achieve what someday

May become our children’s garden

Towards the happening of a truthful generation

In my mind, the clapping of a proud audience

Is not as significant as of my longing for a better tomorrow

All unique in one row

Today my friends, we spark that glow

To you my teacher,

Today that I leave this great school of art

I cannot write you a thank you card

But I hope you learned from us

As much as we did,

For is it said

That: Teaching is learning twice

Though detachment is not so nice

I can’t wait to graduate

For life is still filled with treasures to contemplate

I’ve got only one lifetime to prove myself

But a gazillion of chances to shape that life

A life that is worth living

A journey inside Effat University has encouraged me to look forward to the outside world, not only with a child’s curious peek into the future, but with courageous and leadership skills and aspirations.

Time requires that I speed up

And soon is the close-up

But truthfully, to every person whom I met in a class or in a hallway, your presence in my journey is cherished.

My family, that dense words and extended speeches will never be enough of a thank you to them.

This happened five years ago,

If you were me,

How would you let go?

We have grown

Perhaps not in wrinkles of age

But in dreams and faith

I became this young woman

And so did Effat College

Which expanded to a leading women’s university

On this family tree

I spot my name on a branch

With the title -Psychology-

Together with my colleagues, the fabulous Psych Chicks

Forming that ideal mix

and dearest professors Dr. Jannat, Dr. Tabassum, Dr. Saddiga, Ms. Nour, Ms. Kim and Dr. Amal

You have been to usnot only a knowledge canal

But I believe I speak for all when I thank you for nourishing a team filled with a transparent spirit, harmony, acceptance, strength and love for learning.

Thank you for accepting my late arrival to your classes, long essay answers and never ending debates!!

Thank you for making us feel not weird, but gifted young adults.

To Dr. Rania, Dr. Kholod, Ms. Jenifer, Ms. Arwa, Ms. Abeerand many more. You have successfully formed my life as a student and that exactly what makes you the backbone of Student Life.

Dr. Haifa Jamal Allail,

You were and will be a mother to us always,

I thank you especially for nurturing this home in many unconditional ways

Dr. Ghazi BinZagr,

You were and will be my mentor who encouraged me to ponder

With youth initiatives we thank you

But is that enough, I wonder

To the one who encouraged me to unfold my feelings

Who healed my social and personal allergies

Who guided me in decisions and purred his knowledge and experiences on me

Baba, today I hope you glimpse a reflection of your teachings on your child

For in my mind, heart and soul, they are filed

Who taught me that free time is a killer

That in every life experience I am a winner

Encouraging me to see the glass half full

Though often I fail in doing so, I am grateful

Yes, you’re my mother, my companion and a dear friend of mine.

Your advices, late night talks and morning goodbyes make my sun shine

Rozana Al-Banawi, another Queen Effat Citizenship Award Winner

My dearest sister, who prepared a welcoming entrance for me

Because a collective effort is a success factor

Your graduation day, five years ago, was my first step into Effat

Believing that knowledge and achievement is a thread

That must always spread

To my grandparents whose love and care

Are constant beyond what I can today declare

To my brothers and sisters and to those who made my journey worth the ride.

I thank you

I am no poet

I am a Effat Graduate

And that should say it all


You were young!

You were a dreamer!

I hope i've taken good care of you, Fatima.


August 2018

Fresno, CA, USA

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