My Father, a student throughout his life


By Ahmet Abdulaziz…..

Being a student is a phase of our lives which almost all of us has been through. However, in our young ages when we were students, most of us perhaps frequently passed through a phase where we wanted to get rid of it. Most of the students do usually get fed up of the routine lectures, home assignments, tests, etc etc. Almost all of the students dream of finishing their student life at the earliest time. But the biggest reality is that almost all of us, do miss our school days, once we grow up and enter the practical life after leaving our schools.

My late father was one such person who never missed his school life. The reason for this was throughout his whole life (over 70 years) he remained a student. Throughout the whole of my life, I saw him busy carrying out his studies.

He remained a student, because he loved being a student.  Learning for him was an unending process. He kept on learning, in diversified fields. I remember, when I grew up, I frequently asked him if he was going to finish his studies one day. His answer had always been a big No.

(My father Mohammad Younus, on the left in white trousers, with his friends, early 1950s)

I accept, I never liked the idea of studying any further once I finished my studies. But my father frequently pushed me to study further. Due to that I completed a few other diplomas apart from my main field of professional qualification. I stopped, but he never stopped. He had developed a habit of immediately enrolling himself in some other night school, after getting one diploma. His schedules were pre-planned.

Interestingly he never utilised his knowledge of diversified fields, in his practical life. The reason for that perhaps was that he believed in achieving some knowledge of some new field.

An interesting aspect of his way of learning was that he used to repeat whatever he had read, at home. He used to tell us every day about what had happened in the class on that particular day. He used to tell us about what he had studied. He would repeat almost everything before us whatever he had studied. Frequently we participated in his home assignments. The interesting point is that due to this practice, we all at home would  get much knowledge of so many different fields.  It is this diversified knowledge that  all of his children benefited from in the later parts of our lives.  I still remember that my late mother, who had not studied after primary school, had a very deep knowledge of law and journalism. She was always generous enough to give her technical advice about legal matters to her friends and relatives.

I remember that  when I was in middle school, he was carrying out some research project about journalism, and he had asked me to measure the length of news on a particular topic in 3 major dailies, for one week. I remember he had marked the news with coloured pencils. (for example news about local politics marked with red pencil, news about local municipal elections marked with blue pencil and local crime news marked black). After returning from school, I had to measure the length of each news item in each newspaper, and write down on a given sheet of the paper.

He had started his job in a government department as audit clerk, and had moved to the local municipality as Assistant Accounts Officer.  He had worked as Accounts Officer, Assistant Financial Advisor and Financial Advisor, before being promoted as Director of Finance and Administration, from where he had retired.

My Father after receiving his degree for Masters in Journalism

But his love of being a student, persisted throughout this period. I will try to list down here the fields in which he studied, spanning over his whole life.

  1. Bachelor of Arts.
  2. Masters in Journalism
  3. Masters in Islamic History
  4. Bachelor of Law
  5. Intermediate level of Industrial Accountant
  6. Diploma in Car fitting and repair.
  7. Diploma in repair and maintenance of Radio
  8. Diploma in Repair and maintenance of Television
  9. Diploma in Homeopathic medicines. (He was having a practice certificate as doctor of homeopathic medicines)
  10. Diploma in basic and advanced Arabic.
  11. He had good knowledge of Persian, Turkish and French languages

(Myself with my father and elder brother in 1958)

On weekends and holidays he used to work at the television and radio repair shop of one of his friends. For a pretty long period of his life, he worked as free-lance journalist. After completing his Diploma in Homeopathic medicines, he had joined a medical school as part time teacher of human psychology.

In the last part of his life he was learning to play the violin in a music school.

He loved to learn, and to remain a student. The whole his life I saw him busy reading books, attending night schools, preparing his home assignments, taking exams. He spent the whole of his life in a way that he wanted it to be.

However what is more important is that he did all this side by side with his official job and assignments.

He was a very sensible father, who always attended and took great care of his family.

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