Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Old Wine In A New Bottle" - By Guest Blogger - Rizwan Sharif, Bangladesh

Rizwan has vast experience of public relations, client service, branding and CSR while working with corporates in Bangladesh. Currently he is pursuing his Masters in International Public Relations from Cardiff University, UK.

After much procrastination and delay, I finally sat down with my laptop in the conducive Cardiff University dorm to retrieve memories. Memories that are fast moving away with the unstoppable pace of time but have always been and will always remain one of the most precious ones in my life. Yes, I am talking about the Mosaic Summit 2010 that had brought all of us together and broke the barriers of borders and time. It’s been more than two months, but seems like yesterday that we all laughed together and shared ideas that could change us and that can change this world!

So what shall I talk about? As I continue writing, so many thoughts float in my head and I am being so deeply lost in memories of the Summit. But let me start with some of my experiences and then I will tell you the story of old wine getting into a new bottle!

When I first came to know about Mosaic Summit, I did not take it very seriously and I am sure I am not the only one here who thought like that! I won’t mention the names but I can see some faces smiling if they are reading this. For me it was more like taking a paid Euro tour and I was equally confused about the outcomes of the Summit. But I was wrong. My perception of the Summit changed pretty fast within the first couple of days and it surprised me more to see how quickly all of us mingled well with each other. A sense of responsibility to do something started strengthening and I could feel the urge to learn from the Summit and most importantly from other delegates. I should thank Ahmed (Bahrain) and Hossam (Egypt) for being so patient in answering my stupid questions in the late hours at night. I should also mention Afrah (Bahrain) for all the little walks at night and silly talks that made both of us laughing and also to set our goals in life. She is a great friend!

Another thing that I find worth mentioning here is that knowledge of my own religion. I have always been a Muslim by inheritance and not by practice. I do not blame my family, friends or my parents being so liberal to give me the freedom to live my life the way I want to. But I always felt that I may be doing something wrong. And it was the Mosaic Summit that perhaps brought me closer to my religion and to people whose faithful dedication to Islam made me question my actions. I was again surprised and felt bad about the way I perceived religion and faith. The summit helped me understand more and opening my eyes though I can never be a perfect Muslim but a big thanks to all of you for making me realize things that I never realized before.

I will wrap it up by saying that for the last four and a half years, I have been a successful corporate figure and life has always been very easy. Thanks to the kindness of the Almighty. All I concentrated was on how to get more business, how to be more rich and popular and all the materialistic things in the world. But the Mosaic experience was profound and helped shape up my views on life. It helped me realize that there is more to give than to take. I looked at the speakers at Cambridge and during our study tours and felt that there is so much to do for others and time is running out so fast. I felt we are nothing but travelers in this world and when we are gone, we leave behind memories that are remembered, loved and cherished by so many people. Live a life that is worth living and mentioning even after you have left this world. I felt that my thoughts are being reborn and reshaped in so many new directions that I was previously unaware. I know I will not like to revert back to corporate world again but rather dedicate most of the time for others who need me to stand next to them wherever they need my help. With all that, I wish every success to all my Mosaic friends and apologize if I have ever hurt or offended any of you and that is purely unintentionally. May Allah bless us all in our journeys.

1 comment:

  1. Rizwan, you echo sentiments that a number of us share. Isnt it remarkable how a conference in UK sponsored by HRH could actually be a journey into a rediscovery of the beauty and power of our faith, and through it, to self discovery?

    It also shows how sometimes you only need to ignite that spark that we all carry somewhere within_ you just need an external stimulus to bring it aflame... I wish more people from the Muslim world could benefit from this experience, but I hope we who have been blessed must make that possible in as much as we can, by BEING the change we wish to see, and inspiring, motivating, leading and helping others around us to undertake this transforming journey into self-awareness.
    May Allah bless you!
    Memoona S