Remarks GIVEN BY
FRANK F ISLAM
SHEMA KHAN ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Distinguished Guests, Friends, and Ladies and Gentlemen:
Thank you for your kind introduction.
Thank you for your hospitality and your warm welcome. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to Badrul Khan for inviting me to speak on Shema Khan’s accomplishments.
Shema please do not be overwhelmed as all the eyes are upon you. Enjoy the evening
Shema and I have three things in common: we are both immigrants, we came to the United States and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to pursue the American dream, and we are strivers and achievers.
I know that many of you share those characteristics as well. So, in opening let me acknowledge our common bonds and our shared history and heritage and shared background and belief. A sense of humility brought us together as we are linked by common goals and common commitments.
We are here tonight, however, not to recognize me or you but to honor Shema for her amazing and varied career. Centuries ago, William Shakespeare wrote the famous line, “And one man in his time plays many parts.”
While Shakespeare referenced a man, he could have written that line about Shema – because she has indeed played many parts – all of them exceedingly well.
Shema’s receiving her doctorate from Capella University is just another milestone on her incredible journey. This is the third degree that she has received since arriving here from her homeland of Bangladesh.
Those degrees tell only a small part of her story and her journey. Shema is a classically trained, multitalented musician and has performed many times in the United States and Bangladesh.
Shema’s defining hallmark though is being a role model for working mothers. Along with her husband, Badrul, she has raised two wonderful sons while working full time as a federal employee and participating extensively in social and cultural events for Bangladeshi Americans.
A few years back, Sheryl Sandberg the COO of Facebook wrote a best-selling book titled, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead in which she advocated women taking stronger roles in advancing their careers.
Shema has not written a book. But, she does serve as an outstanding example and a constant source of inspiration for other women who want to work diligently and to “play many parts”. If she did write a book, I think it might be titled, Step Forward: Be All that You Can Be.
In closing, Shema personifies the fullness and richness of the American dream. As a fellow immigrant from Southeast Asia who has also fulfilled the American dream, I must say that I admire and appreciate and am humbled by her achievements.
She is proof that the American dream lives for immigrants and is not restricted by gender. She is also proof that if you aim high and work hard you should be able to pursue your dream. In the vernacular, she is the whole package and the real deal. I take my hat off to her and ask you to do the same on this special evening.
Thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts on Shema Khan. It has been a privilege to be here. I wish her continued success in the future.
When I look back the time we spent together and memory that we cherished together I will always think of you.
Please join me in this journey so that we can weave into the fabric of our society a sense of hope and a sense of positive energy and sense that we are in this together.
God bless you all