“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” [Albert Einstein]
Its 0300 and I have woken up, whilst everyone around me is fast asleep. I walk out of our dormitory and walk into the conference room, trying to somehow side-step the creaking wooden floor beneath me. I stop and listen. Pin drop silence. It’s still pretty warm in this summer’s night. I decide, it’s best if I say thanks to Allah and accordingly offer tahajjud prayers, whilst I await the tired delegates to wake up for Fajr.
Its 0800, everyone had woken up for Fajr prayers and then sleepily walked back to bed. For once there was no discussion, no talking, just a sense of overwhelming fatigue. I had woken up later than planned and I found that everyone, equally, slept longer then expected. (Except the food team, who were preparing breakfast and lunch and packing up everything! Legends!).
If yesterday was gloriously sunny, today was no different. Not a single cloud in the sky. Birds chirping away. I was breathing in fresh air, something us Londoners rarely get! Life was good. It then dawned on me I had packing-up to do. If the start was slow, the rush of packing and getting everyone ready to go, least of all myself. Making sure we were going to get that deposit back, and no equipment had been left behind, and organising the group photo and the drivers for our trip and all that…. it was all of a head rush thinking about it now, but somehow everything was done within an hour and a half. We were on schedule!
A Polymer of Cars and Activity
Eight cars in line, slowly pulled out of the YHA onto country roads towards the Roaches! It was time to play! If Saturday had left us mentally exhausted, Sunday would leave us physically challenged. Though, in my humble opinion, it was the icing on the cake, a perfect finish to an exhilarating weekend.
The day started with a 90 minute hike to rendezvous with a climbing company who would have us climbing, abseiling and scrambling (Simply put, we had to scramble our way around various rock formations and through some tight gaps, there were times where I genuinely thought I was a goner)!!
After all this a quick final session of prize giving and farewells to all delegates was held, immediately after which, we all hiked (a gentle walk, really) back to our parked cars and to home sweet home.
In conclusion, to tell you the truth I hate writing reports and I can never write about events after couple of weeks of them happening. I just can’t remember. But the conference has left such a massive impression on my mind, I am writing this account more than three months after. To cap it off, I have thoroughly loved the opportunity to bask in the memories of that summer weekend. The friendships made and the knowledge I had gained. Whilst nostalgia is a dangerous indulgence, in this case it has been a wonderful inspiration. I would personally like to request, your most heartfelt prayers for the organisers (whom I will name, shortly). For six months, they worked, some right through their exams, without any drop in grades and standards of study. I would also like to thank the delegates and the special guests who made the conference such a memorable and historic event.
Organisers: Tauseef Khan, Naveed Malik, Qasid Safir, Taha Malik, Tahir Nasser, Taha, Nasser, Usama Riaz, Foaad Tahir, Anas Rana, Umer Nasser, Khalid Safir, Rizwan Safir, Muddassar Rashid.
Finally, to the delegates and the dear reader, the goal of the conference was to inspire and teach the delegates about “the way of the researcher”, the struggle and the joy of pursuing something you love and find interesting. To give a taste of the environment found in academia. I hope the conference leaves you yearning for more and that you consider the option of a career in research.
I leave you with one of my favourite Ahadith:
Abu Darda(ra)’ relates that he heard the Holy Prophet(saw) say, “ For him who adopts a path seeking knowledge, Allah eases the way to Paradise and angles spread their wings for a seeker of knowledge, being pleased with his occupation and all that are in the heavens and the earth, including the fish in the water, ask for forgiveness for a learned one. A learned one is superior to a worshiper as the moon is superior to all the planets. The divines are heirs of the Prophets and the Prophets do not leave in an inheritance of dirhems and dinars but only of knowledge. He who acquires knowledge acquires a vast portion.”(Abu Daud and Tirmidhi)