Your Majesty King Abdullah II, esteemed guests, parents, faculty, staff and the graduating Class of 2013:
This is it! This is the moment we’ve been awaiting for four years. Four years of hard work. Four years of sleepless nights. Four years of dreams and aspirations. But this not the end of our journey, this is just the beginning.
It is impossible for me or anyone sitting here to forget the day we first came here, and compare it with this magnificent day. We have all changed, and we have changed for the better.
I still remember my first day here; I was nervous and worried that I wouldn’t fit in in this “new” community. The King’s Academy idea was novel and even a bit bizarre for me so much so that I couldn’t imagine how a group of extremely unalike and different people would actually come together and function properly. I was now going to school with students from places like Irbid and Karak and even places as far away as Korea and Nigeria. It seemed like a puzzle made from unmatched pieces. It just didn’t seem to work in my mind.
But what I have come to learn is that the Class of 2013 can be described as a mosaic. We first came here as scattered pieces, everyone different, from different backgrounds, different thoughts and different beliefs. Over the past four years, each of the colorful diverse pieces that make up the Class of 2013 has been artfully placed to create the masterpiece mosaic we see today. Those mosaic tiles did not come together haphazardly; rather, they were honed, shaped and carefully put together by our beloved teachers, the hardworking staff and of course…our families. I have come to learn and appreciate that this is how we were meant to be. My realization is affirmed as even the Holy Qur’an mentions it in an ayah that says, “O mankind! We created you from a pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other, not that ye may despise each other.”
We are not the only ones who grew in this Academy – as anyone who has lived at King’s can attest. The Academy in many ways has grown and emerged with us. We are in, in many ways, a different place than we were four years ago. We even watched the trees grow as I still remember the day I came here, when THIS fruitful tree was just a little bush. Quite the metaphor of our lives!
Today I think back to that first day…and I laugh. I look at myself and all my other classmates, and I can confidently say that we are now stronger, more respectful, more fond of learning, more responsible and closer than ever to being global citizens. We have King’s Academy and its five Guiding Principles to thank for that. Your Majesty, I can, and with all certainty, assure you that your vision has now come to reality.
King’s Academy has taught us to be difference makers. We are here to approach issues and problems differently and creatively. So there are, perhaps, no better words to explain what we learned here at King’s than those of Emerson:
“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Thank you and congratulations, Class of 2013.