Student activities

Speech of valedictorian Luai El-Goul

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Let me start by telling you my personal story at AQB and how I got here in the first place.

My name is Luai El Ghoul, I joined Al-Quds Bard College 4 years after I graduated from high school, I had already experienced the hardships of life with a full time job and the utterly disturbing sense of lack of direction. I joined AQB not really knowing what I had gotten myself into. Frankly speaking, if anyone would have told me then how many books I had to read or papers I had to write or presentations I had to give, I would not have joined this place in the first place. Thankfully, no one did! And 4 years later, I stand here as an honor student of this great college after doing all that hard work. It took 4 years, lots of work and determination to realize what this truly marvelous place is all about!

First and foremost, I must admit that most of what I learned at AQB came not from the books I read or the classrooms I attended, but mostly from all the bright and talented people here, both faculty members and students alike. I can stand here and list many things I have learned throughout my college experience but to sum it up in a few sentences,

I can say that at this great institution:

  1. I have learned that if we dedicate ourselves there is virtually no limit to what we can do and achieve.
  2. I have learned to been strong and daring when the situation gets rough
  3. And the most important thing I have learned here, is literally HOW to think.

We are truly joyful for being here today, for what we have achieved and qualified. It was definitely a challenging path, but As Aristotle once said “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet”. Today as we harvest our sweet fruit; we should not forget that this day is just the beginning.

The question now is What is next? The answer to that question is as varied as the students who make up this year’s graduating class. Many of us know (or claim to know) exactly the next step to take, whether an internship, a full-time job, graduate school, or even a backpacking trip through Europe. Others like me will frankly tell you I have no idea, and many of us will leave our majors with some vague idea of the job we’d like to get or business we’d like to start, but nothing more. Whatever we decide, most of us will agree that AQB was a perfect place to foster our minds and bodies in this critical learning phase.

Finally, to everyone who touched our lives, to parents who stood by us no matter what. To Our lovely professors who tried to install in us a passion for learning, to our administration team whose efforts provided an excellent learning environment, to our beloved advisors who always laid out the options for us and helped us make tough choices. To friends who were there for pizza parties, study sessions, and everything in between, I say Thank you! And to all others who helped us throughout our college education. Without you—without each other— we would not have been able to be here today, it is the work of all of us that got us here. Thanks to all the loving, kind people I have met during my time in AQB. And in the name of the entire graduating class, thank you AQB for having us all here!

Last but not least, I would like to wish my fellow graduates good health, happiness and the satisfaction of knowing that whatever they end up doing, they shall do it well. After all they are graduates of AQB and that is just another name for the college of excellence.

Sincerely, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you all!

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