Making an impression in foreign tongue

Rokiah Mahmud

The ability to speak more than one language can be beneficial as it opens doors and broadens one’s perspective.

Recently, Year 6 student from Al-Falaah School Abdul Hadi Muiyyad bin Haji Azrol emerged as the winner in the primary school category of the Bayan Award for Creative Expression in Arabic, an international Arabic language competition organised by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) Award.

The competition was held as part of the ICESCO Digital Home, in line with its initiative, ‘Learn and Master Arabic at Home’.

The 12-year-old has been showing an interest in Arabic language since kindergarten. Abdul Hadi, active in co-curricular activities and national competitions, excelled in Arabic language storytelling and Murattal Al-Quran competitions. In 2019, Abdul Hadi emerged as the champion in the members of Malaysia Brunei Indonesia Singapore Religious Council (MABIMS) Al-Quran memorisation competition.

To prepare the youngster for the competition, a group of teachers assisted him in making and preparing a video focussing a cleanliness and health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ustazah Iman Hujazi and Ustaz Tamam helped Abdul Hadi with the content of the text, Ustazah Hajah Nuriaeliyana with the Power Point slides, and Ustaz Fakrul and teacher Khairul Hasni with the recording and editing of the video for submission. With their collective efforts, Abdul Hadi won first place and was awarded USD1,000 in cash prize by the ICESCO, sharing the top spot with Van Massena El Muwaehib Mas’udin, a Year 6 student from Singapore.

Umi Faizura binti Haji Ismail and her son, Abdul Hadi Muiyyad bin Haji Azrol. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

In an interview with the Bulletin, Abdul Hadi expressed his gratitude to his teachers for helping him throughout the competition.

Asked about his interest in learning Arabic language, Abdul Hadi explained that the students at Al-Falaah School have been exposed to the language since Kindergarten 1.

As students were encouraged to communicate with their teachers using Arabic language, he trained daily to master the language. “My teachers were supportive; they signed me up for the competition to represent Al-Falaah School. They told me that I had the potential to win the competition.

“My teachers also helped me find resources, materials and content as well as assisting in the recording of the videos. My parents were also supportive in helping me refine the content,” he said.

Abdul Hadi said that he did not have high hopes of winning the competition as there were other great competitors in the same category. Thus, he was surprised to be named as the winner.

“Alhamdulillah, Allah the Almighty has set this journey for me and with all the efforts and prayers that were shown by my parents, teachers along with families and friends, my participation was chosen as the best in the primary school category in the Asian region. All the hard work paid off.

“I trained with my parents and spoke a lot about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it had impacted the world. As I have an interest in current news, it contributed for the contents for the competition.

“I also exchanged ideas with my teachers who helped me refine the content. I was lucky to have them as my backbone during the competition,” Abdul Hadi said.

As for his future plans, Abdul Hadi would like to attend Institute Tahfiz Al-Quran Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah after the Primary School Assessment (PSR) as he is keen on mastering Arabic language and memorise the 30 Juzuks of Al-Quran. Abdul Hadi’s mother, Umi Faizura binti Haji Ismail, said that as a parent she is proud of her son’s achievements, adding that she and her husband will continue to support Abdul Hadi’s interest and aspirations.

Meanwhile, Iman Hujazi noted that Abdul Hadi has a bright future ahead.

“We as teachers hope that he will become a successful person one day,” she added.