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July 11, 2012

Prepared to serve

Students from the UAE graduate with Fire Service Leadership Diplomas

On June 27, 2012 the JIBC proudly welcomed its newest alumni, when a group of students from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) received their Fire Service Leadership Diplomas. This occasion marked the culmination of years of hard work for the graduates, who have been studying in Canada since 2008. “We have finished something today,” said valedictorian Ahmed Almessabi. “It took us a lot of time and effort to achieve this goal and this is not the end, but just the beginning.”

These students are 14 of approximately 40 students from the UAE who have graduated from a JIBC program since 2003. JIBC President Jack McGee thanked the graduates and noted that they “help us extend our international reputation for excellence well beyond the confines of Western Canada.”

JIBC is proud of its longstanding relationship with Abu Dhabi Police and the presence of international students who attend courses and programs every year. Both the graduates and JIBC were honoured to have Lt. Colonel Mohammad Al Shekaili of Abu Dhabi Police in attendance, who travelled from Abu Dhabi to witness the graduation.

Studying in Canada presented many challenges to this group of students, who began their training at an ESL school in 2008. While delivering his speech, Ahmed joked, “We didn’t even know that there is a difference between the letter “P” and “B” - we thought it was just one! I was always lost in translation.” After the years of hard work and study, though, he said, “I can proudly say that I am no longer lost in translation.”

There were many significant personal landmarks for the students while they were pursuing their education here in Canada: many got married and had their first children. One student, Hamed Aldarei, even missed the convocation ceremony so that he could go home to meet his new baby girl, who arrived during his final days in the program.

UAE grads

This long road may not be over for these students, who are waiting to hear if they will continue their studies with the Fire and Safety Division in the Bachelors program. If approved, the students will return to Canada to complete Years 3 and 4 of the degree program to earn their Bachelor of Fire & Safety Studies. Until then, these JIBC alumni will return to the UAE and put their knowledge and skills to work, making an immediate contribution to the safety of their communities.

In his closing remarks, Ahmed stressed that he and his classmates “want the Justice Institute of BC to be proud of its graduates.”  Both the Institute and this class of graduates can take great pride in their successful completion of the diploma program, but there are still expectations to be fulfilled. “The students from UAE have greatly enriched our learning environment,” said President McGee, who further expressed confidence that “these graduates will make a difference in their country.”

Tags: Fire & Safety Diploma, fire service leadership, graduate, UAE

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Last updated April 4, 2017