COMMUNITY SUCCESS STORIES
When Khoja Tamim Sediqui was practicing Mathematics on chalkboard at one of Kabul’s oldest schools back years ago, he hardly thought he would one day happen to teach his favourite subject at a school in Canada. And much the same, it was beyond his wildest dreams to become a Diamond Jubilee Medal laureate.
Sediqui graduated as an Honours student from the prestigious Habibia High School of Kabul.
Built in 1903, the school is known for its historic role as the very first hub of progressive and modernist movements in the nation. Scores of distinguished politicians and celebrated artists including the first democratically-elected President Hamid Karzai, and the music icon, the legendary Ahmad Zahir; popularly known as Elvis Presley of Afghanistan, have studied in Habibia.
However, like many others, war forced Mr. Seddiqui into exile, practically depriving him of the chances of becoming a Maths teacher he’d so fervently wished for during his years in school prior to resettling in Canada. Seddequi says, “I always maintained a keen interest in Mathematics and the aspiration to teach Math. That is why even after I came to Canada, it remained as a goal which I never abandoned pursuing. Though the problem was,” he continues, “that as a newcomer, I wasn’t familiar much with the right approach to move forward.” But the hardships and rigors gradually turned to offer fresh opportunities for Seddiqui. He says, “to me the problems didn’t amount to a reason to stop right there. Canada was the land of opportunity to me and I had to find my way into the educational system while, at the same time, determined to making sure to learn the language, no matter what.”
Proceeding from those high aspirations, Seddiqui enrolled in Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute in Toronto earning a High School Diploma. He then went to Carlton University where he did his B.A. Majoring in Mathematics and Chemistry, he was put through a whole new experience in further discovering and learning his favorite subject. But this just wasn’t the end of the journey for him. To capitalize on his B.A., Seddiqui eyed on a Bachelor of Education Degree (B.Ed.) from Ottawa University, which landed him merely a step away from materializing the goal of becoming a Maths teacher. Enjoying an academic stamina and empowered by the long-held passion, he finally moved to travel the remaining extra mile and earned an Honor Specialist degree in Mathematics from the University of Toronto.
Sediqui says, “The educational system in Canada is provided publicly, which offers each and every single Canadian a lot of opportunities and a promise for a successful future if and should he/she is clever enough to take advantage of it. Perhaps I may serve as the best example here, as someone who decided to utilize those opportunity toward realizing my goal of becoming a Math teacher. No doubt, it required years of real hard work and commitment before achieving my ambition. But I’m glad I was all ready to embrace that commitment.”
Today, he holds a sincere wish for other members of the community to follow through their dreams of doing something and becoming someone capable of contributing to the greater society.
Sediqui is known for his consistent efforts within the Afghan community. A founding member, board-member and ex-President of the Canadian Afghan Council (CAC), he continues working with the organization in the capacity of treasurer. A Non-Profit Organization, CAC has been involved in promoting social, cultural and educational interests of the Afghan community in Ontario, as well as contributing to the efforts aimed at re-building and re-construction of Afghanistan since 1995. (The organization presented an elaborate written account of its viewpoints to the Independent Panel on Canada’s Future Role in Afghanistan in 2007.) He is also a board member of the Dyana Afghan Women’s Fund (DAWF).
The Government of Canada nominated Khoja Tamim Sediqui for Diamond Jublee Medal in 2013, whereupon, he was presented with the Medal by The Honourable Chris Alexander, Member of Parliament i n January this year.
The Diamond Jubilee Award marks the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and is presented to those Canadians who have made significant contributions to Canada