University council award for Sooliman
DR IMTIAZ Sooliman has been awarded the Chancellor’s Medal by the University of Pretoria for his pursuit of the ideals of peace, tolerance and improving the human condition.
Each year the university council awards the Chancellor’s Medal in recognition of outstanding achievements made to a person who has made a distinguished contribution to the community.
A medical doctor, Dr Sooliman established Gift of the Givers on the instruction of a spiritual teacher in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1992.
Through his philanthropic and humanitarian work locally and abroad, Sooliman is a household name in South Africa. The Gift of the Givers has provided immediate and hands-on support to many communities in need, especially in disaster zones like the Knysna fires.
Through his vision and leadership, people around the world have received care, medical assistance, disaster relief, food, water, shelter and clothing. In recent years, Sooliman has also become increasingly involved in mediation in conflicts and negotiations for the release of hostages.
Sooliman received his award gracefully, but warned graduates not to forget where they came from and said they should not let their qualifications get in the way of their humanity. “As soon as we get our degrees we are likely to get a good job and live the high life while cherishing the material life and forgetting about helping other people,” he said.
He cautioned graduates that all the education and technology was useless if they lost human values and social virtues.
Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Tuks, Professor Vasu Reddy, right, with Dr Imtiaz Sooliman at the University of Pretoria yesterday.