Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Aadil's Speech

This is the graduation speech given by my colleague, Mr Aadil Mansoor, at Carnegie Mellon's graduation ceremony in Adelaide, South Australia, last Friday, August 20, 2010. An enjoyable masterpiece!

"Honourable Chief Guest,
Dean Heinz College, Professor Ramayya Krishnan
Executive Director, Professor Terry Buss
Faculty Members and Staff of Heinz College Australia
My Fellow Comrades,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

As alam o Alaiukum

It is an honor for me to address this august gathering in the great land of the down-under, Australia and the great city of Adelaide!

One year ago, I began a journey that I had vied for, for many years. As most of you know, I am from Pakistan. I have worked with the development sector in Pakistan for several years with a belief that change is possible and that my country can overcome the problems of poverty, unemployment, weak economy, law and order, and governance.

However, as all of you know, change does not happen on its own – it is brought about as much by ideas, innovation and inspiration as it is by hard work and motivation. Practical life can be both enlightening and disillusioning – and it was the latter that affected me the most! It was to break my disillusionment that I came to the Carnegie Mellon University!

This one year at CMU has been the most enlightening period of my life. I have learnt, first and foremost, that when in the hot-seat, a public policy leader must be able to – and therefore must – decide based on whatever information is available to them. As Professor T K Lim teaches us, we must be able to make out between what’s good and what’s bad, why so, and decide in earnest what action to take.

I have learnt from Professor Emil Bolongaita that ethics and values sit at the centre of public policy. And Professor Paul Chapman has taught us, that regardless of the established orthodoxy, we must look at a situation from multiple perspectives.

That the best difference one can make to public policy is by making contributions that make a real difference in peoples’ lives – by saying the right thing at the right time, despite adversity!

The CMU experience has been a roller coaster ride of sorts. The word respite is unknown to the aliens of the Torrens Building. The excellence of the faculty and the staff at CMU has pushed us to the limits in this one year.

I have also come to fancy the Australian way of life and have been inspired by this dynamic and caring society. I came here as a Pakistani representative, but shall go back as a walking-talking good-will ambassador of Australia in the streets and bazaars of Pakistan. Let me assure you all, that I will do more than just walking and talking!

On my return, I intend to contribute more meaningfully to public policy development and implementation, particularly in the regions and communities that have been affected by the recent floods.

Finally, I want to pay my gratitude to the Australian taxpayers, the Australian Government and the Government of South Australia for their generous contribution to my pursuit of a lifetime dream: to study at a world class institution and to learn about the Australian society.

I can say with confidence that this friendly gesture of yours’ will go a long way in contributing to Pakistan’s development and prosperity, and in promoting trust and understanding between our nations.

I must also thank my parents, who are the ones I owe my spirit and all its virtues to – since the rest is of my own making. The pleasure they derive from my little successes is what keeps me going.

I must thank nature for gifting me with the most gorgeous and loving wife Talat and our little treasures – Hafsa and Rayyan – who are a reservoir of fun, adventure, humanity and hope for the future for both of us.

I wish my new alma mater, the Carnegie Mellon University a bright future in Asia-Pacific under the leadership of Professor Terry Buss!

Thank you Australia, thank you Carnegie Mellon, and thank you everyone!"

Aadil Mansoor, August 20, 2010
Adelaide, South Australia

1 comment:

Qaisar Mansoor said...

Superb ! May ur walking-talking bring the two nations in one streem!