|Fijra Awards: A Visit|
I don't know how to start this, but something happened lately bothered me a great deal and made me write this note. Tibra Awards for this year have started me thinking about how things are done at Tibra and what guidelines they use in checking the credibility of the participants. Don't take me wrong. I believe in Tibra's mission statement, and I also believe in its goal. It has helped many Libyan young ladies excel in their schooling and their life in general. It is an inspiration for so many young Libyan women, and I wish the organization the best of luck.
Announcing the awards this month brought up to mind names of a wonderful group of young Libyan girls. One of this year’s group won the Tibra Award and another won the Fijra Award. In my opinion, the Fijra award winner’s credibility is in question. Go to www.tibra.org and click on Fijra award’s winner personal statement. You will find it to be identical to another personal statement belonging to a previous recipient of Tibra Award 2003, Ms. Ishra Solieman. While you are on the same site, click on awards, and then click on the year 2003, you will find that the personal statement of Ishra Solieman has been copied almost word for word and then used by the girl who recieved the Fijra award of this year. This is blatant plagiarism. How would anyone now believe any statement the Fijra award winner made? There is a great injustice done to Ms. Ishra Solieman. Most disturbingly, what does this tell us about the credibility of some of our young women?
Generalizing is a wrong thing to do, and I am not going to generalize or accuse the other countless honest and hard-working young women who have been participating in this, or who will participate in the future. I am not trying to put the blame on Tibra organization either. Maybe some of these young ladies can learn a lesson or two from this and in particular the young lady in question. I would like to suggest a couple of things to the Tibra team to help smooth things in the future. First, the organization should have a way of verifying all of the information sent to them. As it is, half of some of the personal awards and recognitions recieved by some of these young women from their schools and organizations are false. These young ladies have to provide for Tibra team references or places to call to verify their statements and awards, like school names, emails, and phone numbers. There should be a system of some sort to make sure what sent to Tibra team is authentic. Credibility is very important, and some of these young women have to learn that as soon as they start learning their ABC's. Second, and last, plagiarism should not be encouraged nor tolerated; therefore, I would like Tibra organization to withdraw the Fijra award recieved by the second winner because it was based on plagiarism.
Also, I would like to see a statement from the young woman in question (who won Fijra award for this year) apologizing to the public, to the Tibra team, and particularly to Ishra Solieman for her behavior. This letter should be posted on www.tibra.org. People in general make mistakes and when you are young, you are bound to make mistakes, but what's important is to apologize for your mistakes and to learn from them. Since Fijra award winner for this year is a high school graduate, I am sure she knows what's involved in taking other's work and claiming it for your self, and I am sure she knows what's expected from her too. I know it is hard, but doing it this way might teach our young generation that "honesty" will take them a long way.
Finally, Tibra team has a responsibility towards its public. In the future, I hope they pay more attention to what they publish on their website and that those kind of unintentional mistakes do not happen again.
All the best.