Setting an example: ‘It starts with education’
Setting an Example is a first-person story, in the words of a Concordia donor, on the importance of supporting higher education.
On the morning of April 9, 2020, my father, Mustafa Miqdadi, passed away from COVID-19 at the age of 69.
He was a very pleasant man who loved life and lived it to the fullest. He was also a big supporter of education. He believed the best gift you could give someone is the knowledge and tools to survive in this challenging world — and that starts with education.
As I began to handle his affairs after his passing, I was overwhelmed with letters and messages from all the people he had helped get through school or university. I knew about his generosity to some extent, however, as he was a modest man, he never spoke of it. He helped people without seeking praise.
I was always proud of my father and my pride was only strengthened after seeing all the messages of appreciation and condolences.
As I skimmed through his emails, I noticed a few from Concordia University. I was confused because my father never attended Concordia — but I had. I discovered that he had created a bursary for students at my alma mater. I was touched.
He started the Miqdadi Adopt a Student Award back when I was finishing my undergrad at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business. Between 2009 and 2018, he enabled six students in financial need to get a quality education. He donated an additional $2,000 in 2018, but unfortunately lost touch with the university due to his heavy schedule.
I was incredibly honoured and inspired. By virtue of my attending Concordia, my father supported other students to get the same education and opportunities at the university. Naturally I asked, ‘How can I keep this going?’
After a few discussions with the wonderful team at Concordia, we added to my father’s final donation and extended the award for the coming years.
I wanted to make sure the award — and my father’s generous legacy — would persevere. This marked the start of my path to help others finish their education.
My journey with the team at Concordia has led me to reach out to other institutions my father worked with to support education. I want to make sure the work he did over his lifetime continues. I just hope I can do half of what he did as I strive to spread the positive impact he made on many lives within our region and the world.
Join Omar Miqdadi’s support of higher education by making a gift to the Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen Now.