It give me great pleasure to inform members of the family about the conferment of doctorate on ALMAS ZAKIUDDIN, daughter of the late Khwaja Zakiuddin and Binoo Zakiuddin, in Vancouver. She is now
Dr. ALMAS ZAKIUDDIN
Let us congratulate her on achieving this great honour as a grandmother. For those who wish to communicate with her direct, her telephone number is: (604) 515-7209 and e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Almas wishes to share her experience with members of the Family as reproduced below:
With best wishes,
Khwaja Sayeed Shahabuddin
Message from Almas
I am delighted to share some wonderful news with my family members. By the Grace of Allah my Final Doctoral Oral Examination was held on January 9th, 2012, at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. It was for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, in the department of Women’s Studies and Gender Relations, UBC.
I defended my dissertation entitled “Modernizing” Islam: The Imam Discourse in Bangladesh. By Allah’s Kindness, my examination went very well and all examiners were satisfied with my defence and with my dissertation. They have recommended to the Faculty of Graduate Studies that my dissertation be accepted without revisions. This means I can submit it as is, no changes required. The “no revisions” condition is alhamdulillah a real honour as most often dissertations need minor revisions. In some cases, there are major revisions too that have to be made. I will inshallah submit it within a few days and then, after about a week or so, it will be available as an electronic document online for anyone to read. I will send the link as soon as that happens inshallah! The Convocation is in May this year.
I was very fortunate because my older son Ziad, my daughter in law Goldie and a good friend Itrath were among those who watched my defence (it is a public event and the audience can also ask questions — thank God they did not!). My external examiners (two) were from the University of Victoria and Cornell University. The examiner from the University of Victoria was present at my defence while the other examiner sent in questions. I also had two university examiners and my committee of three including my supervisor. Everyone asked three or four questions each and one examiner was quite aggressive and asked five questions! But on the whole, alhamdulillah, they did not really attack my work, merely felt around to find out how much I knew what I claimed to know! At one point I wanted to sit down but the format is that you have to stand throughout the exam — for nearly two and a half hours! My back was aching towards the end.
Then, I had to leave the room with the audience while the examiners deliberated and then they called me in alone and told me I had passed with no revisions! I shook their hands, embraced a few women professors and then when Ziad came in, I hugged him and burst into tears and I have to say, his eyes misted over too!! (Kamil is in Toronto and I know if he had been there too the waterworks would not have stopped at all!).
I want to say that I could not have done this on my own. My thanks to my family: to my mother, Binoo Zakiuddin, for everything she has taught me in life from working hard to never losing hope, for her prayers for me through every moment of my life; and to my late father, Khwaja Zakiuddin. I do not think it was a coincidence that my exam was held on January 9th, his birthday. I know Abbu was smiling at me and his dua and blessings made my journey possible. My sons, my daughter in law, my brother, sister, sister in law, cousins, nephews, nieces are all so happy for me! I am indeed fortunate to have their love and so much more.
I used to walk around Bait ul Aman as a child and pretend I was a teacher. The hens and flower beds (and sometimes my younger brother Zahid) were my students. I remember thinking to myself, I am Almas Zakiuddin, ABCD. I think I was trying to say PhD. Which makes January 9, 2012, one of Allah’s miracles for me.