By Aminata Camara The Chancellor of the Islamic Online University, Dr Bilal Philips, has on Thursday presided over the graduation of 378 students who have completed life-changing courses in various disciplines. This year’s graduation makes it third since IOU was set up in the Gambia in 2013, graduating more than 1, 500 Gambians in total from the university’s English, Arabic and IT programs. Among the 378 graduates, 342 students graduated in intensive English course, 130 students in intensive Arabic programme, and 6 students in Arabic for Quran. Speaking at the event, Chancellor of IOU, Dr Bilal Philips, spoke on the importance of acquiring and sharing of knowledge, especially one guided by Islam. “IOU is a unique compared to others as it seeks to make a difference to the Ummah. One bent on changing nations with an education which is guided by Islam. “The most important thing we need to know about in this life is Allah. If we don’t then this life is no different from the life of animals, “he said. The IOU seeks to help the Ummah achieve its role in the ultimate education that brings out the good in human beings and in the world as a whole. “As long as people are learning, calling for good, preventing evil, those people are the best of humankind. “Let me remind you, one who has the Knowledge of this world but doesn’t worship Allah, who denies Allah’s existence or neglects the worship of Allah, then his life is a waste.” The Islamic scholar said he is thankful to Allah that IOU has over the past two years reached a global network of 288, 000 students, and that 282, 000 of them are studying at virtually no cost. “Because the university was and is dedicated to serving the Ummah and to spread the knowledge of Islam far and wide,” he said. Dr Philips noted that they will continue to expand the IOU in the Gambia with the help of all Gambians to encourage students to study in its programmes and get enlightened with the light of Islam. Dr Mariam Ceesay, the guest speaker on the occasion, praised the graduating students, especially the females who persevered so much to realize their educational goals. Dr Cherno Barry, the vice Chancellor of IOU encouraged the graduating students to seek more knowledge, saying “it’s just the beginning of a long road to the ocean of knowledge.” The Valedictorian, Lamin Marenah, expressed gratitude to the IOU and management for providing them with qualitative education which would go a long way in shaping their lives.]]>
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With Latirr Carr As I debated with myself on what to write for my week's essay, I had a brief moment, where I looked out...
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