Ahmed is a grade 6 student at Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy in Richmond, BC.
He was nominated for a Rick Hansen Difference Maker Award by his school for his socially responsible behaviour, and in particular for standing up for others and resolving conflicts through dialogue. "Ahmed is a great role model," says Sister Sabera at the Academy. "He is very compassionate, respectful and gentle and we can always count on him to do the right thing in the most polite way."
Resolving conflicts through dialogue
Ahmed demonstrates a very mature approach to reducing bullying at his school. Whenever he sees others getting hurt Ahmed will intervene and calmly talk to the person causing harm. If this does not resolve the problem, Ahmed will ask a teacher for help to address the situation. Even if other students resort to violence, Ahmed will always seek to resolve the situation through dialogue.
"I strongly feel that if we all treated people with respect and dignity, we could all make the world a better place," says Ahmed. "I believe we should all stand up and speak up when we see someone getting hurt."
Coming from a family that includes both Christians and Muslims, Ahmed also believes that people of different faiths should understand each other and work together. At a recent peace forum for schools from different backgrounds he spoke about compassion based on different religions. He has also stood up to challenge misconceptions about people of particular faiths.
Rick is the perfect example to look up to
Ahmed says that much of his inspiration comes from his mom and the rest of his family. But he also has another role model: Rick Hansen. "Rick is the perfect example to look up to because he put himself through a lot to raise money for those who needed help," he says. "I hope one day I could do the same. It makes me very proud to have been chosen for this wonderful award by my school."
We congratulate Ahmed on receiving the award, and hope that his peaceful approach to resolving conflict inspires others to make positive change in the world around them.
The Rick Hansen Difference Maker Program empowers young people to make positive change in their communities. Click here to find out more.
Read more stories of inspirational young Difference Makers here.