Sharing of Scholarship Recipients - Nuray Omarkhan
Nuray Omarkhan (BBA Marketing)
Recipient of HKBU Awards for Global Vision 2018/19
As an awardee of HKBU Awards for Global Vision, I would like to share my experience and express my profound appreciation for giving me the opportunity to attend the UN Peace Summit for Emerging Leaders (Bangkok, Thailand).
In this most anxious period of human history, the subject of peace, above every other, commands the solemn attention of all men of reason and goodwill. Moreover, on this particular occasion, coming from different parts of all over the world, a group of around 500 young people gathered to attend the Inaugural Emerging Leader’ Peace Summit at the United Nations’ Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand from November 28 to 30, 2018. No subject could be closer to my heart, since I have the honor to be there as a participant and a peace ambassador. With the passion and the heart to become proactive youth leaders and genuine peace advocates, we have undergone networking sessions and team development simulation games, informative talks, and values education. The most exciting and aspiring part of the Summit was speeches of distinguished speakers who shared their words of wisdom that can always remind us about equity, freedom, democracy and justice.
I listened to Hyppolite Ntigurirwa, a survivor of the worst violent form of hostile in human history, Rwandan Genocide. In just 100 days in 1994, about 1,000,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda by ethnic Hutu extremists. Neighbours killed neighbours and some husbands even killed their Tutsi wives, saying they would be killed if they refused. Thousands of Tutsi women were taken away and kept as sex slaves. His father has been killed and fed to the dogs. Instead of unforgiveness and anger, this experience birthed within Hyppolite the desire to find reconciliation. He taught me that forgiveness is something you give, not what you ask of others around you.
I was particularly inspired by Ponheary Ly, who has survived genocide, the murder of her father in 1977, along with 13 other family members. After the regime dissolved, Ly, her six remaining siblings and their mother were forced to start over. She had a passion for education. Living a portion of her life in poverty, Ponheary knew the struggles that children in rural Cambodia faced when trying to attend school. Starting with just one student, Ponheary began what has grown into the Ponheary Ly Foundation, sponsoring 2,800 students in four primary schools and five secondary schools through rural northwestern Cambodia. I was impressed by her words saying “We will educate our children. We will do it one by one, step by step”, which applies not only to children in Cambodia, but also to all the people, who are not educated enough to create violence and injustice. That is why, as a future Peace Ambassador I will always keep these words in mind and try to do my part at my best.
Overall, I have learnt an incredible amount these few days from so many different people. I believe I have made some lifelong friends who are just as impassioned about bringing about peace in this world as I am. I can surely say that when you attend conferences of this type, you will never come back as the same person again. I will always remember those unrepeatable moments of happiness for people who are now living peacefully; moments of anger and anxiousness for those who are still surrounded by threat; and appreciation for what I have. However, no matter what you do have now, who you are and where you came from, it is the responsibility of all of us to build harmonious society of openminded and openhearted people!