LLD (Hon) Award Ceremony : 9th July 2008 @ 6:30pm,
Bridgewater Concert Hall, Manchester
Presiding Officer - Professor Kevin Bonnett
Dean of Faculty, Humanities, Law & Soc Science – Professor Ann Holmes
Honourand’s presenter – Miceal Barden, Head of Law School
ü Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Graduands, parents and friends, I am most grateful to Manchester Metropolitan University and Miceal Barden, in particular, for his kind words and confirm that I am absolutely delighted to receive the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws.
ü As a Muslim, I believe that all life comes from one true source - God. Every heart that beats, every breadth that we take along with every other faculties and intellect that we take for granted comes from God and, as such, it is important for us to thank God for all the goodness He bestows upon us through His eternal Grace.
ü I start, therefore, with a short Arabic prayer of thanks, hope and prosperity for all, along with an English translation so that we can understand what God has revealed to man. The recital is from Surah Fatiha, which is ‘The opening chapter’ from the Holy Quran.
ü <Arabic recital of Surah Fatiha> Translation:
1. In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful,
2. Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds;
3. Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
4. Owner of the Day of Judgement.
5. Thee alone we worship, thee alone we ask for help.
6. Show us the straight path.
7. The way of those whom thou hast favoured. Not of those who earn thy anger or of those who go astray.
ü I thank MMU for this great honour and, in particular, for a solid MBA that helped to catapult my career. It was, without doubt, the best investment in my own career and I commend it to all those wishing to progress in the world.
ü As every graduand knows, success does not come easy and we all have to work hard to pass examinations and various other life tests on the way. I assure the new graduads, your successes have only just begun and I encourage all of you to make a positive difference to British society or, if you are going abroad, to where ever you call your home.
ü To help graduands on their chosen careers, I share four pointers for succcess - which have been based upon my own experiences - in the hope that graduands (and others) are inspired to reach even higher heights. The pointers are as follows:-
(i) you must possess a personal conviction to succeed, along with a passion focused on excelling at everything that you do;
(ii) you must do good and provide leadership to others to ensure customers/citizens come first;
(iii) you must value life-long learning and recognise the important role that self-reflection can play in your success; and
(iv) it is up to you to fulfil the potential given to all of us by God.
ü This speech would not, of course, be complete without recognising the hard work of other professionals and family members who have contributed to the achievement of my successes and the latest honour. I pay a special tribute to and give thanks, therefore, to:-
(i) all the hard working Councillors and staff of Birmingham City Council (past and present), including in particular my highly successful & award winning management team;
(ii) my colleagues at the Association of Council Secretaries & Solicitors, the Bar Council and Birmingham Law Society;
(iii) Debo Nwauzu, Founder & Managing Director of the Black Lawyers Directory, who helped to raise my national profile; and
(iv) in order that I came into their lives, my mother & father, brother, wife and family - Without their unending love, affection and, above all prayers of support, I may not be standing here before you today. Thank you.
ü Finally, I end where I started, with thanks to God, MMU and a prayer of hope and good luck to all those starting out on their careers. I thank you all for listening and may God continue to bless us all.
Dr Mirza Ahmad LLD (Hon), MBA, LLM, Barrister
Chief Legal Officer, Birmingham City Council
Chairman, BALGPS & Vice-President, ACSeS