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Naeemah’s Speech for the Kindergarten Graduation
Sister Naeemah Ziyad
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Pre-k begins a person’s formal education journey. My journey began with two loving and nurturing women Sis. Veverly Muhammad and Sis. Sandra Saleem. They taught me not to write capital e s in my name. They helped me to call on my imagination on daily basis. They were my introduction to what was to come and what was expected of me. It's amazing that 13 years ago I sat in the very spot our kindergarten graduates are sitting in today. I remember being nervous to say my parts and being so excited to wear my cap and gown. I recall my mother putting my speech on the refrigerator so that every day I was reminded of what I had to commit to memory. I remember knowing my parts as well as everybody else's. I recall feeling the adrenalin rushing through my body as we hurried to the back to change into our cap and gowns. I remember that feeling of satisfaction when it was all over.
Till this day parents still talk about how funny it was that I was pretty much the only one on beat. Thank G-d I won't be the only one staying in beat this year. It is remarkable to see the transition humans go through at different phases of their lives. In the Quran Allah speaks of four rivers in paradise: the river of water, the river of milk, the river of wine, and the river of honey. In my Qur’anic Thinking class this school year I often related infancy and adolescence to the river of water and the river of milk. Water symbolizes purity, morality, and innocence during a child’s life and milk represents nourishment, calcium, and strength. Breast milk for example is designed specifically for a particular baby and that milk is what allows that baby’s brain and body to develop properly. Once a baby reaches a certain age he or she is permitted to drink water and from then on he or she drinks water for the rest of their lives. Even before the adolescent stage children are taught the difference between right and wrong. They are taught to be firm in what they believe in. That when a fellow classmate tries to convince them to steal pencils from out of the teacher’s desk to not only say no but to persuade them not to do it either.
During this period in children’s lives they are given a foundation to build off of and are planted firmly into the ground to flourish and blossom into a beautiful plant. A plant that will grow because of the rich soil its seed has been placed in, the sun light it has been exposed to, the pure water it has been given, and the constant love it has been blessed with. The Mohammed Schools of Atlanta has educated me about my existence, shinned me with enlightenment, showered me with morality, and supported me through everything. This institution along with my family is the reason why I have matured into the young Muslim African American woman I am today. If it were not for coloring, snack and nap time, learning my numbers and learning to use my letters correctly in Pre-K I would not have been prepared for Kindergarten. If it were not for learning to read, learning to identify and add my numbers and being a bit more disciplined in Kindergarten I would not have been trained for elementary school. If it were not for learning how to multiply, divide, and write book reports in elementary school I would not have been prepared for middle school. If it were not for algebra and geometry, research papers, and writing taleems in middle school I would not have been ready for high school. And if it were not for studying economics, learning figures of speech, rhetorical devices, precalculus, trigonometry, biology, world religions, philosophy, and writing analytical essays I would not be equipped for college.
The students at the Mohammed Schools of Atlanta are children of this astonishing G-d conscious establishment. Like a mother it carries us inside of it so that we may advance in our growth. It allows us to share in its sacredness. It allows us to consume its nutrients we need in order for us to prosper. It comforts us and shields us from harm and pathogens. It shares its ethics with us. It houses us in its womb until we are developed and capable enough to present our existence to the world. Our young children are who we store our belief system in. They are the ones who will make the largest contributions to this world because faith has been instilled in them from the very beginning of their existence. If regardfulness for G-d is embedded in them now immorality will not have a chance to personify within them. Alhamdullilah I was blessed with the opportunity to attend Clara Mohammed School where my roots strengthened in Al-Islam. Because of this blessing even though it is time for the umbilical cord that I share with the school to be cut, I will forever be a Muslim who will seek perfection in all that I endure. This chapter as a student of Mohammed Schools has empowered me to indulge in the world outside of this community without leaving my essence behind, thanks to the school’s resilient submission to The Most High.
Oh Allah bless the students of the kindergarten class’s foundation in their faith to not waver so that they may fight off the ignorance of the world. Oh Allah bless them to blossom into productive servants of You. Oh Allah bless us to never lose sight of the right path and Oh Allah bless us to always remember that we will always be children of The Mohammed Schools of Atlanta. Amen. I thank you Mohammed Schools for molding and shaping me into the leader I am today and As-Salaamu Alaikum.