September 5, 2008

About the Dome and Values - Zohair Ashir

The following email was received from Zohair Ashir of the Class of 1968.

Dear Javed,


Congratulations on successfully holding the soft ceremony of the Old Publicans. I was present, albeit briefly and throughly enjoyed the proceedings for which all of you and others deserve a well earned gratitude from the rest of us.


I just wish to explore and contribute more actively towards one single idea under the Old Publicans banner and thought I share this with you and Ashraf first (since he is singly responsible for keeping me engaged with the Publicans crowd) before exploring with the larger group. At the ceremony you mentioned that one idea will be to rebuilt the Dome in its lost glory, which I think is a wonderful idea. But is that enough, that is looking beyond the sentiments and nostalgia. To my way of thinking its not enough.


Therefore, I propose that while rebuilding the Dome is a meritious idea, it can be backed with something more substantative and meaninful, something that may take a shape of ideology and ideals. Let me explain. My view is that loss and neglect of values is single most core failure of us as a people, nation, community, etc. If we are able to "fix" and harness the right values in us and in future generations than I see hope for us as a society, otherwise, there will be more of the same gloom that we see around us. Incidentally, I also feel very strongly that during our time in the school, say in my case 1968, I now realize that our road downhill had commenced then due to the behavior and values we had begun to adopt and practice at the time. To me now all the rah rah slogans of the school's greatness ring hollow when I see the state of affairs around us.


My suggestion is that instead of the Publicans just supporting and instituting routine ideas of scholarship, memorials, awards, lectures etc., if we were to focus a sustained effort in harnessing and promoting upholding of certain values (to start with we already have Unity, Faith and Discipline which we have unfortunately left by the wayside) and more can be added in consultation with our groups, this may go a long way in making us a more civilized society. My suggestion is that just identifying these values will by themselves will not be enough but then we should ensure that the future generations abide and PRACTICE them. One way this can be done is by Publicans providing scholarships, funds for research and practice of these values in schools, communities and colleges. In effect starting, albeit humbly, the resurgence of us as a soceity through instilling values that make societies and nations vibrant and longlasting. This to me will be a more fitting tribute to our school.


This I think will be a worthwhile cause to champion under the Publicans banner. Perhaps Dome (Structure) and Values (Ideology) can come together under this concept with each column of the Dome representing one of the values that we cherish and wish to promote. As I said this is an idea in the making and I will be very keen to work with others if there is merit and interest in this by others. Perhaps others may contribute to further crystallizing this concept.


Since by profession I am in the social policy consulting profession, I will be willing to devote time in doing the preparatory work on this if you think this has merit.


I will attend the meeting on Sept. 6th and will appreciate if possible to receive your feedback on this before then though I realize that time is short.

Best regards,

Zohair Ashir

Class of 1968