Ahlam Abdul- Aziz.
Tracing from my memory lane, I have known Ahlam way back from Primary School- Star of the Sea. She was the type of girl that you would like from the word go and from my history (my close friends would agree to this); I was always ready to make friends with any new comer in the school especially the lower lots.
Ahlam and her cousin sister Layla had actually taken my heart and I used to treat them like my own. Anyway, that is history.
10:00 a.m., 4th March 2016.
I was in Kakamega for an Enactus Leadership Forum and suddenly I bumped into this text in WhatsApp that was trending like crazy!
Ahlam Abdul-Aziz, top student in Mombasa County
I got extremely speechless. Like we all can relate when we know someone amongst us and they succeed, how does it feel? Gosh, by God I was all in goosebumps! I was exultant, super happy! That was like a moment for me and I cannot even want to imagine how amazing it was to Halu (I normally call her that).
Ahlam attributes her success to three main things: God, Discipline and Hardwork. She states that, “ It could not be possible without Allah and my drive to reach the sky” Laziness is a characteristic of the losers and only those people that struggle and try to better themselves, stand up when they fall, know their ambitions and their drive to reach their targets, only such people can arrive at their destinations.
Brilliance is not impossibility just like disability is not inability. What makes you act in a certain way, what makes you different and unique, what pushes you to your goals, that is brilliance! Ahlam proved to the whole country that being Hijabis doesn’t make us weak.
I had written this quote in my Instagram page some time back and while I narrate Ahlam’s story, I am reminded so much of it, “ The covering of the Muslims do not in any way lower their beauty or make them inferior. It is infact our pride. I cannot imagine myself moving out without my hijab, I feel my identity is lost. Hijabi women are still liberated, they are still modern and their beauty is just like the moon, even when covered, it still shines through”
We can achieve more and more if we set our trends and move mountains. We can be who we are if we strive to stand out in a world where everyone is so similar!
Uniqueness is crucial!
What motivates Ahlam to be a diamond in a world of gold?
“My mother. She has been my endless support. I remember how much she smiled when she saw my results, that was a breath-taking moment. There are not enough words to describe how important my mother was to me and what a powerful influence she still continues to be”
Ahlam denotes that her ambition to achieve something big in her life, her aim to pursue her dreams has been largely attributed to studying; yes studies have been the stepping stone to her victory. And she says that she is not yet done, the K.C.S.E blockbuster was just a thriller, and the movie is yet to be watched!
Being a first-born always gives you an upper hand, the ability to act as an example, to prove to your family, to prove to the world! Unlike any other lady, Ahlam believes that sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other. She remains a shimmering hope, an undying touch of perfection to her amazing three sisters: Azhar, Amal and Amira.
Studying would be the most tiring and mind-numbing task for any teenager, ask Ahlam and she would tell you that, “we have a hunger for the kind that asks for knowledge for all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing”
Ahlam wants to go on to pursue her dream, Medicine. She chose Medicine because she was raised up in a family that has always been striving to empower communities.” I want to help people that are not in a good economic situation and demonstrate that everyone has the same right of good health. Being a doctor has always been a childhood dream and right now it’s more of an adulthood passion “
Not wanting to leave other teenagers sinking in the deep waters, Ahlam has an advice to all high school students; they should know that selfies won’t solve the Biology practicals, too much picnics won’t help in Mathematics and too much make-up and going out for events and weddings won’t make them in any way smart to tackle Physics and English.
- Believing and having faith in The Almighty because no victory is bestowed without His will.
- Self-discipline- you have to be your number 1 motivator. Control yourself, stay on track and do what is right. With self-discipline, you have to make yourself do things that should be done.
- Hardwork- this entails proper time management, reading smart (doing of past papers), engaging in group discussions (this fosters team work and team work is 100% success) and the last bit under hardwork is actually consulting teachers frequently and other fellow mates.
And before Ahlam winds up and says bye, she has some amazing closing remarks that define her as a person. “I am the kind of girl that hopes rainbows into existence and works her dreams into a reality. I am not special, I am just Ahlam, a Muslimah Queen, and if you call me the Niqabi Queen, I will be forever grateful”