Saturday 6th July marked Al-Mahdi Institute’s Hawza Graduation Ceremony, celebrating the achievements of AMI students who successfully completed the Hawza course with 200 special guests. AMI Director, Shaykh Arif Abdul-Hussain presented the graduates, Mateen Noori, Mansoureh Fatemi, and Zain Abbas Syed with their certificates and tablets that had been kindly gifted by the Punjani Charitable foundation of Canada. Zain delivered a heart-warming speech on behalf of the students reflecting on their time at AMI and thanking AMI faculty for all the time they invest in students outside of teaching hours.
Each year AMI awards two honourary graduates for outstanding contributions to the study of Islam and humanitarian services. The Ayatollah Amini Award for Academic Excellence was presented by Ayatollah Professor Mohaghegh Damad to the world-renowned academic, Professor Ian Richard Netton who is an Emeritus professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter and has authored and edited over 20 books. His impromptu speech delivered flawlessly emphasised the importance of gratitude and seeking knowledge. The AMI Humanitarian Award was presented by Mr Sajjad Ebrahem to Dr Swee Chai Ang who is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at St. Bartholomew’s hospital and co-founder of the charity, Medical Aid for Palestinians. She shared her journey as a young woman with pro-Zionist views to a medical aid worker volunteering in Palestinian refugee camps who witnessed the massacre of hundreds of innocent people. As she spoke of how she realised that God had destined for her to spend her life advocating for the rights of Palestinians and caring for the most vulnerable, the guests were moved to tears.
Following the official ceremony, everyone enjoyed canapes and drinks in the beautiful gardens before ending the evening with dinner.
View more pictures from the event here.
Watch the full ceremony below.