Khin Lan San
K hin Lan San is from Kyauk Ni Maw Village, Rakhine State, Myanmar. She is the youngest child from a family of six. Both parents made a living with fishing until they retired. She graduated from Universiti Utara Malaysia, under full sponsorship of Albukhary Foundation.
She currently works at the Nielsen Company as a Production Executive.
Brought up in the oppressed Rakhine State of Myanmar, she made a promise that after graduating from the University, she will continue to help her community through education, a volunteering work that she has committed while she was at the high school, 10 years ago. Then, she volunteered to work for free as a tutor to help the elementary students in their study.
What a beautiful coincidence when she mentioned that the 10 students who were accepted for undergraduate study at AIU are among the little kids from grade 3 that she used to teach.
She has been very grateful to Albukhary Foundation through which she gained a Bachelor’s degree that enabled her to secure a better job, thus providing better life for her and her family. She is now able to provide a retirement fund for her parents. Indeed, her monthly salary is divided into three; one part goes to her own living expenses & savings to further her education at Masters’ degree; Second part goes to her parents and third part goes to Haymar Yatul Islam (The Garden), an NGO established by Al Haj Moulana Nazarmuddin (Marhi al Bidaat) in 1951. The Garden has helped her to get through life. The Garden has nourished her through all her life. Now, she raised funding from the whole village and a small part of her savings to help the 10 students to fund their flight tickets, student pass and other fees that are not covered by AIU. Indeed, that is the spirit of Moulana Nazarmuddin’s beloved followers.
She is always thankful for The Gardener and also to the Founder of Albukhary Foundation, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary for the opportunity given to change her whole life. She will continue to help others in need, particularly community in her own village.
Achmad Zulkarnain is an IT practitioner (Software developer, IT Support, Cloud Architect) and now working in the multinational company in KL office which has headquartered in Palo Alto, US to help clients accelerate alignment, reduce friction and connect with their teams, partners and customers. He was born in Surabaya, Indonesia from lower-middle class family with rich surrounded loving family.
He is the first child and has only a brother. During his childhood he was exploring his journey from a boy to a man with many obstacles. When he was seven years old, he lost his father. His father was a government servant and his mother was a housewife. His mother needed to switch the roles to raise two boys as a father as well as a mother if needed.
Raising two “lions” in the family was not an easy task. Besides working, his mother also had to meet the needs of her children such as affection, chores and most of the time needed to arbitrate those two males that were fighting. That was actually a break-even point where he noticed something was not right if being such a brat that would impact in his future. His mom said:
“Son, what do you want to be tomorrow if you keep doing this behaviour? At least, if you are successful later, you can help me during my old days”
From that day and on, he changed 1800 completely. He was always be the first or second rank during his education journey. His uncle had huge impact for his education journey since he was a chemical engineer in one of the best University in Indonesia. He needed to be awake around 2 am every day to perform prayer and also study along with his cousin. When the world is quiet, studying at night is very effective in the studies.
He had a second thought not to continue his study after his high school due to economic background although his uncle promised to fund the process. He would only continue in two conditions; get the scholarship or studying part time after work. Evidently, he got offered a full scholarship from Albukhary in 2011 after competed with more than 300 students in Surabaya.
Albukhary International University (AIU) has a different atmosphere and it is on different level. Students from around the world with many backgrounds, gathered in one place. This is where the terms “the struggle is real” had come to him, especially a language barrier that that he had.
AIU has shaped him to be an individual that is aware of the social needs from the surrounding. He is always encouraged to join in social activities that involve “helping people in need” in many places. He loves doing volunteer’s job, fund raise to help and teaching people, sharing ideas and many more.
Everyone is free to have great dreams in their minds. He always keeps the motto,
“Keep dreaming like the kids do”.
Because kids never be afraid of saying something that they want in the future. His initial dream to be a pilot when he was kid. However, he realized that the fee was so expensive and he knew that his mom won’t be able to pay it. Then he turned his dream to be a chemist due to his uncle’s influence in the science area. Again, education path pulled him from the chemistry world to computer world. Beside all of those dreams that he passed, he always loves aviation and science till now.
In the end, he completed his degree Bachelor of Science with Honours in Information Technology (First Class) from Universiti Utara Malaysia. Nevertheless, he did not dissolve in a prolonged victory and stop learning. He keeps learning and growing every day for the next career and education plan. Say your dream, set your goal, and do it as you mean it because dreaming is free at cost.
Mohammad Zarif Alizadah
Soon after graduation from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), I got a job offer from my Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Once I secured this job, and worked for few months, my ex-ambassador and other colleagues at the embassy noticed my eagerness and hungerness with commitment, they all unanimously encourage me to further my study at postgraduate level. Then, I registered for master degree in IIUM. I did my best to manage between my full time work and full time studies till I graduated. Since early 2014 till now I am working at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Kuala Lumpur. During this time, I was rotated in all divisions and now I am able to handle any given task.
I have always been blessed with what I have gained. What makes me feel proud of myself is that I have obtained a master’s degree, been able to support my family back home in Afghanistan and continue to serve my fellow Afghanistan people and other people with dignity.
All of what I have obtained is due to Albukhary Scholarship. It’s changed my life a lot. Difficult to express in words. I came from a disadvantageous family, without this scholarship it was not possible to get my bachelor degree from a Malaysian public University, where the medium of instruction is English and the environment was colorful and diverse. This scholarship, not on impact my family and I financially but it’s changed my world view and attitude as well. Because, I was came from a very conservative society, had a narrow mind and less ambitious. After I got this scholarship, and started my study at IIUM, I realized my inner Allah given talent ability and start thinking outside of the box.
For the time being beside my official work at the Embassy, I am lending helping hands to my fellow young Afghan students to join Malaysian University including Albukhary International University. Since opening of AIU, I reached out to more than 50 Afghan students directly and encourage them to apply to AIU. I strongly believe that with educating the new generation we can change the course of history. And with education, slowly but surely we can get rid of poverty. I do enjoy when I assist others to enroll in the university.
I always uphold my principles in life; honesty, hardworking and self-confidence, committed and humility. I believe this is what has shaped me all the way until now. I would advise all AIU scholars to always keep study hard with purpose, be ambitious and venturous, appreciative to your sponsor, always help others, and make yourself, family and community proud of yourself. Once graduated, never forget to serve humanity and never forget AIU and Albukhary Foundation.
I am SA PILY, a 26 year old AIU alumnus from Cambodia. I did my half Bachelor study in Banking and Finance at Albukhary International University from 2011-2014, and I graduated from SEGi University in 2016 in Bachelor of (Hons.) Business Management, specializing in General Management.
Currently, I am joining the Royal Government of Cambodia as an integrity official at Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) of National Council against Corruption (NCAC), specializing in International Affairs. This means I AM FIGHTING CORRUPTION in my country joining hands with the counterparts around the world under the umbrella of UN Charter and Compliance- United Nation Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and United Nation Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
Since my graduation, it is of a notice that my graduation certificate does not really represent and correlate to what I am doing now, yet to put it straight, there is no boundary to learn, seek new skills, and contribute back to the community as wanted and wished by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, our most beloved and respectful father and founder of Yayasan Foundation. Choosing this career path does shape my thinking and personality; from a person who is not really into social affairs to a person who becomes passionate in changing social norms, perceptions, and contexts for better social advancement. In fact, these driven forces are the greatest key achievements which I have got from being an AIU scholar, including Confidence, Compromise, and Capability. These result from being exposed to intercultural diversity, communications, various challenging skills, and humanity values.
Guess what? These amazing qualities have really transformed a normal soul like me to be a very useful component for the society; it is because I have been able to upgrade myself a better version of an open-minded and competent human resource for the country and I have been able to contribute back to national and international communities by assisting local and global counterparts in Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) to promote social integrity, justice, transparency, and international cooperation.
The principles in life that I have in mind are two things: Firstly, ALWAYS put God first- there is no you going ahead achieving your dream and nourishing your soul if there is no willing from God. Secondly, listen to your heart, stick to what you love to do, and believe in what makes you happy and meaningful and most importantly, what brings your heart joys in the ways of God. You will find your ways…!!
My last advice to my beloved and dearest AIU students is- always remember that every single of us matters in this universe. Spread love and humanity as much as you can and never take education for granted. You are going to make changes and great contribution in this society in different forms according to your real passion. NEVER forget the roots of the education you get from, and NEVER EVER forget the wish of the person who provides you education.