Univer­sity coun­cil award for Sooli­man

The Mercury - - NEWS - Sakhila Nd­lazi

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.

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