39th IIUM Convocation: Palestinian Izzudin Alselawe surmounts challenges at home and in study to earn degree

By Daniya Afroz

GOMBAK, 1 December 2023: In a remarkable journey, armed by fortitude and hard work, Izzudin Alselawe, who hailed from the conflict-ridden West Bank Jenin camp in Palestine, received his scroll in the eigth session of the 39th IIUM Convocation Ceremony on 29 November 2023, at IIUM Gombak.

This marked him successfully completing his Bachelor of Business Administration (Honors) specialising in Marketing degree from the Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences (KENMS), at the IIUM.

Izzudin reflected on the highs and lows of his four-year journey while expressing a spectrum of feelings. “Alhamdulillah, it had its ups and downs, but it was great overall,” he remarked, thanking Allah for the experience.

At the onset, Izzudin faced initial challenges, primarily in language and cultural adaptation in Malaysia. He highlighted the barrier of language as he had low English proficiency, that required him to spend a semester at the Centre for Languages and Pre-University Academic Development (CELPAD), to improve his English language.

Addressing the grave situation in Palestine, Izzudin expressed his concerns about his family’s safety. While acknowledging the forms of difficulties they faced, he emphasized that Palestinians were accustomed to such bad circumstances.

When asked about the reason for studying at the prestigious IIUM, he claimed that his choice to attend the IIUM was motivated by the expense and difficulties of studying in Palestine. Based on favourable recommendations from others and the university’s good environment that advocates the Palestinian cause, made him choose to study at the IIUM.

“Business Administration play a very crucial role in any society, anytime and anywhere. So, hopefully when I go back to Palestine which is my destination, one way or another, I will try to contribute to the communities economically,” disclosed Izzudin.

Although coming from a conflict zone has its own set of innate challenges, Izzudin found the atmosphere at the IIUM to be encouraging. He expressed gratitude for Malaysia’s stance on freedom while emphasising how contrasting it was in Malaysia compared to Palestine with its restrictions.

“There is no such thing like freedom of movement in Palestine. Moving from one city to another is a big struggle in Palestine but here in Malaysia you can go from one side to other, and nobody would stop you,” he said.

Izzudin highlighted how imperative his intention was to achieve success. He urged everyone to follow their goals with sincerity and faith, knowing that Allah’s plan will unfold.

“Believe in having the right intention, do your best, and you will receive what’s written for you,” said Izzudin as he ends his interview with IIUM Today. ***