Indian community in Jeddah bids adieu to Syed Masood Ahmed


Saudi Gazette

— The Indian Community in Jeddah organized a farewell party for Syed Masood Ahmed, former principal of International Indian School Jeddah (IISJ), who is returning home after leaving a rich legacy of academic excellence spanning over three and a half decades in the Kingdom.

The speakers at the function hailed the remarkable contributions rendered by Ahmed with his utmost dedication, sincerity and honesty to the core.

Ahmed, who joined the school as a biology teacher in 1984, has also served as head master and vice principal before heading a 600-member team of staff with more than 11,000 students for around 10 years as principal of IISJ. The speakers called him as one of the most distinguished and respectable figures of the Indian community in Saudi Arabia and thanked him immensely for bringing glory and laurels to their prestigious institution.

The speakers were unanimous in their perception that it is time to follow the footprints of a captain par excellence, who has proved that success could be achieved only through teamwork and dedication. Leaders and prominent figures from various strata of the community attended the function held at Trident Hotel.

Hassan Gayas, member of the Higher Board and former chairman of the IISJ managing committee (MC), and Dr. M.S. Karimuddin, former chairman of MC and winner of Pravasi Bharathiya Samman, were the main speakers of the evening. In his speech, Gayas thanked Ahmed for his outstanding services to the Indian community in their educational field.

“Apart from being a professional, teaching was for him a passion and noble mission in molding our younger generation and crafting their future. He is a remarkable person whose approach to education as well as his personality and values all impressed us,” Gayas said while urging the community members to follow the values of commitment as well as honesty and sincerity of Ahmed.

In his speech, Karimuddin recalled his close association with IISJ for around four decades, especially after becoming a MC member in 1981. While praising Ahmed’s unique qualities of integrity, sincerity, devotion and dedication to the core, he described him as a man of character with zero percent corruption. “While I was chairman of the MC, Ahmed was serving as a superb biology teacher. I approached him with a request to take tuition for my ward but he politely declined and was ready to take extra classes without charging any fee. Another time, I was amazed when he approached me while I was MC chairman, asking to reduce his salary and I managed to bring it down by SR1,000 after getting approval from the Higher Board,” he said, adding “if Ahmed had been given extension of service, IISJ would have been benefited tremendously,” Karimuddin said in an emotional speech.

In his farewell speech, Ahmed recollected how he started his job in IISJ and how he was instrumental in bringing laurels to IISJ in numerous fields. He urged all parents to give priority to education with always keeping in mind the slogan of “Education is empowerment.” Receiving proper respect is the right of the teachers as they are molding the younger generation, he emphasized.

Ahmed spoke about the tireless efforts that have been made to enable IISJ scale ladders of excellence in both curricular and co-curricular realms. “With the whole-hearted support and dedication of a marvelous team, we were instrumental in changing the perception of IISJ in the entire community through formulating plans and programs to achieve the goal of excellence and was successful in this big task despite many limitations and constraints. As parents and elders, we should ponder deeply on how to confront potential challenges facing our children and for this we have to enable them acquire life skills and more significantly values,” he said while stressing that education without values is meaningless. He also underscored the need to embrace the tenets of transparency, accountability, and mutual respect.

Ahmed expressed profound gratitude to all members of the community for the unflinching support extended to him during his stint in IISJ.

In a video message, Faisal Al Jahdali, supervisor of foreign schools at the Ministry of Education, recalled his long association with Ahmed, and wished him the best of luck in all his future endeavors.

The program started with recitation of a few verses from the Holy Qur’an by Zaiyan Qamar Sada. Dr. Jemsheeth Ahmed, vice president of Abeer Medical Group and former head boy of IISJ, Adv. Shamsuddin, former chairman of MC, Mohan Balan and Noorul Ameen, former members of MC, V.K.A Rouf (Jeddah Keralites Forum), Zakariya Biladi, Qamar Sada, Azizurrabb, president of Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys’ Association, and Mohsin (alumnus of IISJ) were among those who spoke on the occasion.

A video presentation, prepared by Mohammed Amir, was screened showing various phases of Ahmed’s brilliant academic career. Video messages, paying respects to their mentor by various community members who were former staff members and old students of IISJ from different part of world were displayed on the occasion.

On behalf of the Indian community, a memento was presented to Ahmed by Aboobacker Arimbra, Zakariya Biladi and Ashraf Morayur while a gift was handed over by Zakir Hussain Edavanna, Qamar Sada and Noorul Ameen. A shawl was put on him jointly by Aziz Kidwai, Abdul Majeed Naha and Murali. Mohan Balan and Zakariya Biladi presented him with a bouquet. On behalf of Kerala Engineers Forum a memento was presented by Abdul Rasheed and Rishad Alavi.

Mohamed Iqbal, former chairman of MC, and Asim Zeeshan, former president IISJ Alumuni, were the masters of the ceremony.

Earlier, K.T.A Muneer welcomed the gathering and Siraj Mohideen proposed the vote of thanks. Belda Benny, a student of IISJ, and Roshan Musthafa, alumnus of IISJ, paid their respects through their melodious melodies. Live music orchestra, led by Sabir and team, enthused the audience.