Prof. Dr. Kamal Tawfiq, the Keynote Speaker at First Graduation Ceremony

Professor Dr. Kamal Tawfiq, present his speech after the president, and the following is his speech.

"Before I start my humbled speech, I would like to express my appreciation for the honor and trust you have given me to speak on this extraordinary day.

It is extraordinary because it is the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one.

It is also a special day for your parents. They gave you your life, and they have devoted theirs to you, and for that, they are owed dearly on this day and every day.

Dear fellow graduates of class 2017, today, I can give justice to your thoughts and feelings now that you have reached the end. 

The end to all the studying and comprehending. To all the work to make ground plans, syllabi, homework materials, lab reports, and projects, and to all the laughing and crying while preparing for finals. While we are here today, tomorrow is another day.

Tomorrow you may wake up and search for a place to work ……. or a new place to live. Regardless, this place will be different than this campus, the classrooms and the labs where spent your young adulthood studying. This place will be in the real world, and the real world is a wild world. It is a different realm than the world you have experienced so far.

In the real world, there are no boundaries to what you can achieve and where you can reach.

In this boundless world, you can travel three roads. You may choose one or all.

Down the first road, you can choose to go further in your education, and pursue your postgraduate education, or earn degree certificates. I genuinely advise you to take this path. A master’s degree is not a luxury degree like it used to be in my generation.

The second road is more comfortable. You can choose to build a life in your hometown. Simply, because it is more convenient and less hassle for you and your family.

The third road takes you far away from home, in search of a totally different life. This life may require you to adapt to different cultures, rules, and habits. For this option you should be very well prepared.

Luckily, Komar University of Science and Technology has already prepared you for all of these options. If you choose to go further with your postgraduate studies, the curricula that you studied at Komar will allow you a smooth transition to any international university. Komar University has chosen to adopt the American System of higher education in all of its programs. This system is recognized by all universities and institutions around the world.    

I personally, ventured through all three roads. In fact, I had no choice, but to leave my parents and friends and the place where I spent my childhood and travel to another country to seek my first college degree.

 I came back to Dubai after graduation hoping that I would be around my family and my friends, and practice engineering looking forward for a decent life and a bright future. Unfortunately, the beginning of this life was not promising. The Middle-East region at that point started to get in turmoil again. Therefore, like many young graduates then, I decided to continue my journey in this boundless world and chose to travel all the way to the United States of America to continue my postgraduate studies.  

Sure enough, I went from one level in my postgraduate education to another.  I earned my MSc from Ohio State University, and my Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. After that I spent some time in that university working as a Post-Doctoral fellow.  

At that time in the 80s the Middle-East region continued to get worse than the time of my first return in the 70s. I decided to stay where I was and look for another life, and another career away from my culture and my roots. It was not an easy choice for me at that time.  In this regard, I would like to advise you …..If you choose this route in the future think twice before you do it.

 

First, you need to be prepared to succeed or to fail. There is no third choice there. The success for this path requires certain considerations. On the top of these considerations is “perseverance.”  You have to be resilient and persistent. Your noble goal should always to succeed on your mission.

 My advice to you is whether you travel abroad or stay around, there are two possibilities “a better future” or not.  As I mentioned earlier, be prepared to “succeed” or to “fail”. Be prepared to give up something. This something will vary from one person to another.

No matter what kind of person you are, never ever give up your “dignity” and your “integrity”.

In other words, don’t lose hold of your ethics.

Maintaining your ethics is necessary to ensure your “success” in life; whether this life is here, in Sulaimany, or anywhere else in this big world. 

Knowledge and skills can be acquired and grow, with education and practice.  However, ethics, you either have it or you don’t.

Without ethics, knowledge and skills will not help your career.

Why is that?

Remember, if you are an engineer one mistake may cause many lives. There is an old proverb that says

Mistakes can be unintentional, and this is the lack of knowledge and skills.  Mistakes can be intentional and this is for the lack of ethics.  Even if you are not caught for an unethical conduct, shame will live with you and haunt you for the rest of your life.

If a doctor makes a mistake, he kills one person. If an engineer makes a mistake, he might kill hundreds.

Once Johann Wolfgang von Goethe غوته, the famous German writer and philosopher, said:

"It is the strange fate of man, that even in the greatest of evils the fear of the worst continues to haunt him"

Also, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, I am going to say it in Arabic:

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم: «ألا أُخبِرُكُم بأبعَدِكُم مِنّي شَبَهاً؟ قالوا: بلى يا رسولَ اللهِ، قال: الفاحِشُ المُتَفَحِّشُ البَذيءُ، البَخيلُ، المُخْتالُ، الحَقودُ، الحَسودُ، القاسِي القَلبَ، البَعيدُ مِن كُلِّ خَيرٍ يُرجى، غَيرُ المَأمونِ مِن كُلِّ شَرٍّ يُتَّقى

كما قال صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم:

إِنَّمَا بُعِثْتُ لِأُتَمِّمَ مكارم الأَخْلاَقِ

 

 

Last but not least, always remember the three pillars, the three columns, the three supports of your professional career

Ethics, Knowledge &   Skills.

Again, these qualities are in our Komar University MOTTO. These pillars will be “on your Certificate” to remind   you that if you want to succeed in life you always need to gain “Knowledge” and more “knowledge”, and to acquire “Skills” and more “Skills”, AND never lose your ethics.

Thank You,"