The conference ends, the memories begin – IBA LeadershOp Conference 4.0

Jan 22, 2012 by     1 Comment     Posted under: Cover Story

At the end of IBLC, when I look back at day one, I realize that what everyone expected to be a taste of IBLC, one-fourth of the entire program, was actually only a trailer of what was to come.

Day 2 was opened by an energetic and impressive Zain Goplani and ended by an inspiring, humble and even-more-impressive-than-before, Zain Goplani. On day 2, the ‘dive in’ day, all speakers and activities concentrated on making the participants accept and love themselves for who they are. They talked about struggles, losses, failures, imperfect looks and many other things that convinced the youth that it isn’t beautiful and not made to win. The general pattern was that the speaker gave the participants instructions and warnings and led them to an activity. After the participants had lived it, they were taught a lesson. The first activity was a hur-lay race (originated from hurdle and relay), conducted by Shireen Naqvi aka Shipa. After playing it with their clusters, when the participants returned, laughing, dripping with water (even after having posed for a lot of jumping pictures) and carrying balloons, they were asked to analyze how well they played. When most of the participants commented about the team work and weaknesses and strengths of fellow team members, Shipa, related to that and talked about loving one’s self and those around for whatever they are and always keeping one’s mind open to others’ opinions and beliefs, and how this was the key to a happier, harmonious life.

After one and a half day of having enjoyed together, played together and screamed together, the clusters were given yet another group activity: eating. There was more to it. They were served plain rice with masoor ki daal and pickles on a large steel plate, which they were supposed to eat, sitting on the ground, in circles around their plates.

Back in the auditorium, stories about not wasting food followed. Then a few plays by ‘Zharsss’, absolutely hilarious and with actors so good that they received standing ovation from the crowd. A few hours and a few more speakers later came the story that was to be the only topic of discussion in the tea break: the story of Zain Goplani’s life. After a crazy day, when every second had added to the energy level of the participants, Zain’s story changed the entire mood of the place. It brought serenity, admiration and high hopes to all who were sitting in the auditorium. With that, Zain Goplani officially closed IBLC for the day. But nobody went home; there was still something on the schedule for the day: a social event, bonfire.

Every day at IBLC taught people something new about themselves. Just arriving at the IBA campus at 08:30 in the morning made them realize that even after a long day of lots of mental and physical activities, they could still wake up the next day, feeling fresh and more enthusiastic than before to come back to do that they liked.

Day 3 – Levitate, focused on discovering yourself and living your dreams. Conducted by Umair Jaliawala and other speakers like Sohail Zindani and Yousuf Bashir Qureshi, it was the most heavily scheduled of the four days of IBLC. The first speaker, Sohail Zindani, talked about finding out what you truly loved to do. The importance of his message and his sense of humor combined, made his session one of the most liked ones. Next came Yousuf Bashir Qureshi, in his signature dhoti, which I find very important to mention because it made a strong connection between his believes, his words and his life. His topic was ‘Culturolution’. He talked about respecting one’s self and one’s own comfort by not faking anything.

Then, on the journey of self discovery, the participants were given 13 different activities, involving 13 different intelligences, which they were to perform in groups. The most famous among those activities were music, kinesthetic, naturalistic and literature which involved writing and singing a song on a given subject, forming human towers, guessing flowers, fruits and vegetables with a blind fold and telling a story by adding one sentence per person to a given first line respectively. Every activity was to be completed n 7 minutes. When the participants were excited by all these activities, Umair Jaliawala took over and divided them into groups based on their different gender, race, ethnicity and religion and made them walk in each other’s shoes to feel how it felt with the prevailing discrimination. He ended that topic by talking about respecting the differences and told everyone to give a “rib breaking hug” to those standing with them.

From there, after lunch, the participants went into a class of their choice, where there were professionals from different fields to teach them something of their chosen art. The classes included photography, creative writing, film making, interior designing and beat boxing. After that there was another session with Umair Jaliawala, ‘Dastaan-e-Ishq’. Though Jaliawala had done most of the talking all day, but still every time he came, the crowd cheered louder than it had before. Dastaan-e-Ishq was about many aspiring people from across the globe who had, for their own satisfaction, set their goals and standards very high and hence had achieved a never-ending life. And with that, another day of IBLC came to an end.

The final day of IBLC ‘defy gravity’ was conducted by Maddi Murtuza. Maddi and Sumair Abro, the two main speakers of the day taught the participants how they could always keep up the energy level, optimism and enthusiasm they had developed at IBLC and how they could stay away from negative energy. The highlight of the day was something totally unplanned. In the panel discussion session, with Faisal Qureshi, Dr. Awab Alvi, Abid Beli and Dr. Shahida Jameel, when all the panelists were talking about taking responsibility and action, a participant narrated his story of how he had been playing for . .almost everyone present promised to stand for the boy and help him get his right. The panelists, who were journalists, offered that if the students, who were promising to help their fellow today, actually got up and helped him, the panelists, with their T V programs, and newspaper columns, will support their cause. Later the management at IBLC promised to get involved in it and head the cause.

With that IBLC came to an end. Other than the abstract things, there were three things the participants carried home that final day: pictures, daily newsletters of IBLC – ‘IBLC Parda-Less’ and sugar cubes. The newsletters of IBLC were truly IBLCanian. From jokes to titles and the right pictures, they had everything to remind people of IBLC as how it really was.

At the end of IBLC, there were stalls set up with envelopes for every person at IBLC i.e. the participants as well as the MT and everyone was welcome to write messages for who ever made a difference in his/her experience at IBLC and put it in his/her envelope, which the person could take home later.

And at last every one left IBLC, with the sugar cubes, ice creams, smiles and lots of happy memories.

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1 Comment + Add Comment

  • Dear Jehan Ara,

    I am over the moon after reading this blog! Thank you for describing the 2nd,3rd & 4th day very beautifully and with great detail.

    However, there are a few corrections that you can make:

    1- Yousuf Bashir Qureshi was our speaker for 4th day, not 3rd day.
    2- There are 9 intelligence’s. We had 2 stalls for each intelligence to make it convenient for all 18 clusters.
    3- The 4th panelist of our panel discussion was Mr. Faisal Kapadia, not Ms. Shahida Jameel.

    Thank you once again for this wonderful write-up.


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