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The SummerSalt Project !"#$%&'&()$*%&$+,&-.$/&#$%+0%$)1%""2$)*3,&4*$56$,-6#$*&&4-0&'$7+*%$-$,'&-/$56$4+0%*8$9+00&)*$-):+'-*+"4; <"'=$-)$-$>"3'4-2+)*$?"'$"4&$"?$*%&$*":$4&7)$)"3'1&)$+4$*%&$4-*+"48$@2-4;$A'&-*&$52"0$7+*%$?3446$)*"'+&) B4"7$'&2"1-*&,C$)&&$2+4=$*"$)+,&D8$EFG!$)+*&$+)$4"7$,&H"*&,$*"$'&-2$2+?&8$@352+)%$"?*&48$I-*%&'$-,"'+40 ?"22"7&')$B6"3D8$<+)%$"4$)%""*+40$)*-')$-4,$JJ.JJ$BKL$KMN$@LD#$*%-*$)"/&"4&$7+22$)&&8$G,&-2+)*+1;$O&)8 93*$*%-*()$/&8$K4,$*%+)$+)$E%&$!3//&'!-2*$@'">&1*8


L&%,6()$I'-,3-*+"4$!:&&1% *My apologies for the short removal of this post. This was the speech Mehdy would have given at graduation, had he been able to attend. What he was prepared to read to the graduating class was everything Mehdy Hazheer stood for, and it's saturated with the essence of imense love Mehdy had for his friends, his school, his family, the world, and God. I hope wherever he is now, he's seen the golden city. The Gardener

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Friends and family, brother and sisters, peers and faculty; I have the incredible honor to come and speak to you on this remarkable day, a truly momentous occasion, on the matter of our seeming rite of passage into college and ultimately, independence. Before I start, I would like to thank my parents for being fabulous in so many different ways and for not having kicked me out of the house. I appreciate their wonderful kindness. Raleigh Charter, you’ve been amazing and you have constructively challenged me to elevate myself, to appreciate diversity, and to serve others valiantly. And most of all, I would like to thank God, the Beloved for every good in our world. The mistakes have only been ours. So thank God for being...God. And so, we sit here, celebrating what will be a memorable moment of our lives, rejoicing that high school, that our initial years of education are finally over. We’re with our families and our friends; we are shedding some indelible tears on this inevitable movement towards tomorrow. And to describe this in one word, "Wow!" What a time we live in now. The thing is though, that if you listen closely enough, in the background, you, I...we can hear the spiritual gunfire. If we focus, between the cracks of our privileged lives, we can see an oncoming darkness that will try to cover and in a sense, suffocate the hopes and dreams, the passions and love of our youth, of our lives. This 'gunfire', this pervasive complacency, this widespread acceptable apathy, can become my downfall and the downfall of enriched students and people like you. The seeds of inspiration will have no possibility of surviving under this blanket of numbness that may come over us, penetrating our fertile hearts through various means, forcing us to succumb to a sense of mediocrity. Notice that in history, it's youth in general, that initiates revolutions, that topples dictatorships, that drives a society forward to further paradigm shifts. It was the sacrifices of


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youth in Tunisia that ignited the youth of Egypt into widespread social demonstrations. It was the heroic demands of youth in Egypt that inspired the oppressed youth in Bahrain and Syria to stand up against decades of corrupt tyranny. It was through the struggle of youth in the Middle East that the Libyan people woke up from their freakish nightmare and strived and are striving towards a golden future. That golden future is what we need to constantly be conscious of, struggling towards, and I want to relay to you today an experience of mine, a personal one and possibly a Life of Pi kind of story. I had once known a great man, a family man, a Godly man. His name was Ehsan. And Ehsan was a member of the community, and oddly enough, a part of me. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think much of him at the time, nor did I think he thought much of me. We were strangers to one another, but incredibly enough, we were mysteriously linked. And at some point in time--this is going to sound fuzzy and possibly silly--but at some point in time, Ehsan had a dream. And what a dream it was. Please donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ask me how I came to know this dream, or how I became aware of it, what path I took to see it, because honestly, I don't know. This dream stupefied me, astonished me; it truly perplexed me. And it came, the words, the vision, it came to him, and I believe it came to me. In his dream, there was a golden city of human perfection, a spiritual utopia, one where the possibility of crime and corruption was present, but no one dared to lower themselves because they were conscious of their transcendent identities, their community, and their God. There were riches, wealth, but it was not of the material kind but rather of the spiritual and intellectual one. In this beautiful world, there was only a lower-case "I" to describe the self, and people strove to make their needs their only wants rather than all their wants their needs. And at the risk of this seeming very "radly hippie," it was a world of peace, love, and Unity. A world, to us, of impossibility, foolishness, and pure fantasy. As this dream progressed, Ehsan walked through the divine streets of gardens that blossomed life, on third avenue where the daffodils sung and were kissed by lips of the magnificent, cherished Sun. The city was full of men and women, children and elder, but there were only two categories of people who lived in this golden city: there were dancers who read and there were scholars who danced. Ehsan followed the trails where lovers bicycled their way through and found at the dead center of the massive Golden city was a humble hut with a small olive tree to the side. I watched, through Ehsan's eyes, as Ehsan carefully entered the hut with humility before the awesomeness of everything. And he found, or we found, in the center, on a mat, in meditation, a middleaged woman, who seemed to emit an alluring light from a recent birth she had. Her name was Marium. She cordially invited us in, and gave us a seat on the patted mats that were against the sides of the hut. Ehsan stared for a while, unable to really grasp any of it, and she recognized, I mean she always seemed to know, that we were stuck. She then, with a smile, reached for her pouch, and from it, she took out a seed. She looked up at us, with a slightly different smile, one which saw opportunity, and she held that seed a foot away from her face, displaying it optimistically to us, and she said "The pensive light awaits awakening. Plant this seed in your spiritual ruins and let Atlantis come alive. Achieve Atlantis, and then allow it to spread. Golden cities will grow into a Golden world and eventually into a Golden universe." And with that, all of it became a waterfall. A moment in evaporation. And all I know now is that I received a seed of inspiration and at same time, a new friend: Ehsan. That seed, I planted it, and Ehsan became the gardener. He was no longer an acquaintance, but rather, he was me. And I him. We were one. And he became the embodiment of my passion to enrich myself with the immense amount of opportunities available in my world. He was the one who, in order to nourish that seed, strived at Raleigh Charter these past four years. And his essence is not something unique to me, but rather, is found commonly within each of us. It's his

essence that we continue to find enlightened within each of us at Raleigh Charter, and it is those inner, at least partial, enlightenments, that have empowered Raleigh Charter to achieve an environment where intellectual curiosity is fostered and encouraged by not only teachers and parents, but by students as well. And we will receive those seeds constantly from Marium, with her continual urgency regarding the need to transform our world into Atlantis, but we need to translate those seeds into Golden cities. Friends, classmates, be awakened and awaken others. Achieve your inner Ehsan. Thank you, and I hope you all have a wonderful day and eventually all of you will realize success. !"#$%&'()'*+,,%-*./$'.$'0123'!4' 5%.6$7"8#1'

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Mehdy's Graduation Speech  

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