The Cape Town Branch of the Islamic Medical Association of SA [IMASA] held its Annual Graduation & Fundraising Dinner on, Thursday, 14th Dec 2017 at Islamia College Hall in Lansdowne.
The event has reached iconic status and we were again faced with the healthy situation where the last-minute demand for tickets exceeding our initial estimates. As usual, all faculties from a number of universities were represented. IMA made sure that each and every graduate, whether receiving their first or advanced specialist qualification, was made to feel equally honoured and special, and were introduced to the special community that the organization is trying to foster.
The value of serving the community unconditionally was reiterated throughout the evening and the guest of honour, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman [Gift Of The Givers], emphasized this point with a presentation that simultaneously stunned and inspired the audience.
The evening commenced with a presentation of the current projects that the branch was involved in. These included the Langa Clinic and Renal Dialysis Programme. An attempt was made to translate the projects’ impact into measurable and visible outcomes and we therefore had recipients of the IMA’s interventions and assistance, relating their stories. It made for a refreshingly real viewpoint instead of the usual statistics of how many patients were treated and the funds disbursed.
As usual, it was empahsised that the skills of everyone could be utilized in the IMA, from Social Workers, Dietitians, Psychologists, Dentists to Specialist Nephrologists. The IMA is a multi-storied welcoming building with all doors wide open; all it needs is for graduates and current students to enter.
Dr Imtiaz Sooliman delivered a riveting talk of how the organization [Gift Of The Givers] started and the progress they have made from evolving from initially assisting in disaster zones from a medical and relief perspective to a fully-fledged humanitarian organization. Many in the audience had teary eyes as he recounted their voluntary work as medical and auxiliary workers, search and rescue teams in disaster areas such as post earthquake Haiti, current work in Syria and in hostage negotiations.
He related some incredibly moving stories of the people and mere humans behind all the work that they do. His take home messages were that there is a place for everyone to serve on a voluntary basis, how every little effort counts and that working in extreme conditions brings out innovative ways of adapting in order to serve to the best of one’s ability.
The realism brought into perspective what the achievements of the graduates could in some way or the other be put to good use for. This proud sense of achievement, and of course of camaraderie and of old friends meeting again reverberated throughout the evening.
After the capping ceremony, the graduates taking the Oath of the Muslim Healthcare Professional, and the other formalities, families and friends mingled till late into the night taking photographs and discussing their futures. Some of the IMA members could exchange ideas and offer guidance to some of the graduates. Insha-Allah, many of them would embrace the values of the IMA and serve the Ummah in whatever way they can.
Our best wishes accompany the newly qualified healthcare professionals, Class of 2017, Mubarak!