Noor Arisa brings her father’s spirit with her on stage

By Athirah Mohammad and Hakim Mahari

GOMBAK, 20 March 2022: It is everyone’s dream to see their parents together with them to celebrate their achievement on graduation day, but for Noor Arisa, she was only able to bring the spirit of her father with her.

“There was one time where I was very down, at my lowest, when my father was hospitalised due to lung complication. Then, I called him while he was in the hospital. What he said to me was to keep moving forward and focus on my studies. But today, I can only bring his spirit with me, not him,” Arisa said.

Yesterday, despite the absence of both her biggest supporters due to health reasons, the Best Student in Academic from Kulliyyah of Dentistry (KOD), Noor Arisa binti Mohamad Rashidi remained strong on stage delivering her valedictorian speech during the 13th session of 36th Convocation Ceremony. 

Following her speech, Arisa dedicated her success and thanked both her parents, Meriam binti Mail and Mohamad Rashidi bin Awang, for their sacrifices and love they had showered to her in making her a successful human being. 

However, the hall was silenced for a few seconds when she addressed the highest point that brought her down – just a week before this convocation took place, her father was tested positive for COVID-19. But worse, her father is now being intubated at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM), Kubang Kerian, Kelantan. 

There are no words to describe, but Noor Arisa was indeed a strong person as she still remained positive in delivering her speech to the audience on Saturday (19 March) despite the circumstances she was faced with.

Noor Arisa with both of her sisters who accompanied her during the convocation ceremony.

Encountering any bad news about loved ones can be devastating and sometimes it feels like giving up. In the interview with IIUMToday, Noor Arisa recalled how she felt when she received a call informing that her father needed to be put to sleep.  

Despite feeling like not wanting to attend the ceremony, Arisa who hailed from Bachok, Kelantan, still showed up at her graduation and continued to deliver her speech as scheduled. 

“At first, I have made up my mind that I will not attend this convocation considering my father’s current situation.

“But what made me rethink my decision to come today is because I believed later when my dad wakes up from his sleep, he would definitely ask me to attend this big day of mine,” Noor Arisa said in tears. 

For Arisa, it is both her parents’ wishes to see her successfully graduating as a dentist one day. Hence, she feels very grateful that her father managed to see her stepping into the working phase even though he was unable to see her receiving the scroll at the convocation yesterday.

“I hope that I have a chance to show him the recording of this convocation later when everything is fine,” Arisa said.

Asked about how she managed to excel in the midst of several bad episodes in her degree journey, she shared that she always prioritised two things in life – maintaining good relationship with Allah, as well as with human beings. 

“As a Muslim, maintaining good relationship with our Creator can be done through performing prayers on time and never skip reciting the Quran. Also, whenever we are in trouble, do go back to Allah and ask for his assistance as he is our ultimate helper,” she added. 

Meanwhile, Noor Arisa shared that her way of creating good relationship with her parents is by keeping in touch with them, by making a call at least once a week, even though she had a tight schedule at the university. 

She highlighted that students should pay respect to their lecturers and should get rid of arrogance with classmates and always remain humble. ***

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