Blaze of glory: Lyceum honours students as they say goodbye

Published: April 29, 2012
Qamar apa gives away the disciplinary award to Lalarukh on Saturday. Students sat patiently waiting for their turn to be called up on stage to receive their awards. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

Qamar apa gives away the disciplinary award to Lalarukh on Saturday. Students sat patiently waiting for their turn to be called up on stage to receive their awards. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

Qamar apa gives away the disciplinary award to Lalarukh on Saturday. Students sat patiently waiting for their turn to be called up on stage to receive their awards. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS Qamar apa gives away the disciplinary award to Lalarukh on Saturday. Students sat patiently waiting for their turn to be called up on stage to receive their awards. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

For The Lyceum School, 2012 has been a good year.

They were the only school in the entire country to make it to Best Delegate, the premier Model UN website’s Best International Delegation list for 2011-2012 and they successfully adopted the student government system – with a democratically elected president. And for the first time in years they had their graduating class farewell at the Carlton Hotel.

They were also active members of RoundSquare, a worldwide association of schools that shares a commitment beyond academic excellence, to personal development and responsibility. Students were sent to Bangladesh and the UK to talk about global inequalities and technologies for a sustainable world.

And so the smiles of the 400 immaculately dressed students were understandable as they walked on stage to shake hands, strike a pose and collect their graduation certificate from the principal, Shereen Saeed Khan.

On Saturday the lawns at Beach Luxury Hotel were crowded with proud parents armed with SLR cameras. Before the event started, Yasin Bizenjo or Yasin Bhai as he is better known, Sir Zaidi and Victor were busy huddling – probably trying to decide on how to get the students to sit throughout the entire graduation ceremony. As students and parents started pouring in, Victor broke the huddle and said something every Lyceum student has heard a million times, “A2s this way! Quiet! A2s quiet! Almitra! You all get going.”

In her welcome address, the principal welcomed the parents to the school’s 25th graduation ceremony and said that the students were lucky to be graduating in the year of the school’s silver jubilee. While wishing the graduating class the best of luck, Khan borrowed a quote from an American senator who once said that graduation was not the end that is why it was called a commencement.

The first round of awards and certificates started with the CIE High Achievers 2011, which went out to Priya Anoop, Mina Khan, Mujtaba Zaidi and Fahad Jumani.

The second round of awards was distributed in memory of their namesakes and faculty members. Aeman Muneeb was awarded the valedictorian award which was named after Dr Asdar and Nurun Nehar Asdar, the parents of Shehrazade Ahmad – Lyceum’s academic director. The Razia Shabbir Ahmad Urdu award was given to Marium Asif Younus. Razia Shabbir – or Jiya, as she preferred to be called – was the school’s founding principal and Urdu teacher. The Maimoona Hamid Language award was given to Mishal Shujaat. Hamid taught language and literature and was a founding member of the school’s executive council. Myra Javaid received the Maki Kureshi Award for Literautre. Kureshi was one of the finest English Literature teachers. She graduated from Smith College in the 50s and taught at the University of Karachi till she retired, and then joined the school as the first head of the literature department. The Murreum Sikander award for sociology was presented to Alisha Sethi.

The Qamar Bano Hussain Award for discipline was presented to Lalarukh Murtaza. Qamar apa is described as an institution, often seen in the school hallway stopping girls and telling them that their shirt was too short or they should tie up their hair. Govinda Nandlal Kessrani, Aiman Abdul Majeed and Alizeh Mehek were the recipients of the Yasin Bizenjo community service award. Students also received awards for excellence in commerce, science, arts and extra-curricular activities.

Bilal Zuberi received the Rohda Vania award for Integrity. The award was dedicated to Rohda Vania, a former principal.

Tears rolled down some cheeks, as other got in line to collect their year books. As students prepared to head home for the night, one of them remarked that it was an almost perfect night – the only thing missing was Bashir Bhai and his fries.

Published In The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • fairhope1
    Apr 29, 2012 - 8:27AM

    Woww…. a great publicity campaign for a private school. For sure the Cities and the Beacons will be following the same pattern soon.

    One day we will have a whole article on the health benefits of GAYE MARKA SABUN.


  • Apr 29, 2012 - 8:32AM

    Of the Rich. By the Rich. For the Rich.


  • qwerty
    Apr 29, 2012 - 1:29PM

    ^ haters gonna hate.


  • Ali
    Apr 29, 2012 - 4:50PM

    How is this news?Recommend

  • Zaki Jawaid
    Apr 29, 2012 - 5:10PM

    I’m sorry, if you know anything about Ms.Sherezade Ahmed (founder, The Lyceum School), and of what she has been through to make this school what it is today, then you’d be taking your words back. Same goes for the school’s teachers. I suggest you do your research before you post your baseless opinion on a public forum.


  • A. S
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:31PM

    I was from the lyceum so I’ll take a partial liking to this article.
    But the above statement ” how is this news?” Is True. How does your average citizen benefit from this?


  • S.K
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:57PM

    It’s an honor for the students who’ve worked hard to get appreciation, not just from their own school but also from people on the outside. Besides it’s graduation on the 25th anniversary of Lyceum. That IS news.


  • lala
    Apr 29, 2012 - 9:27PM

    A school from Pakistan receiving an international ranking is news.

    A school celebrating its 25th Anniversary is news.

    Furthermore not everything needs to ‘benefit’ citizens. I’m quite sure that citizens do not ‘benefit’ from reading the sports section. Its a form of entertainment and its a means to stay up to date. Similarly this is a topic that is bringing one up to date about one of the best schools in Pakistan and along with that lists down its achievements.

    As for the comment by Antebellum, please do note that Lyceum has students from all walks of life. This team that received international recognition (for instance) did not consist of rich ‘snobs’ rather it consisted of many belonging to the middle class.


  • SRA
    Apr 29, 2012 - 10:09PM

    The Lyceum is just another resource to change individual lives….it has changed mine and it should be in the news because the poor are not the only ones who need direction….everybody needs someone or something to guide and direct them. Lyceum is an excellent institution, that allows all those who are a part of it, to express themselves and change their individual lives. With the array of extra curricular activities, they bring us very close to the world of other, less fortunate and it empowers us to move forward and take others with us.
    It is a great institution and it deserves applaud.


  • S
    Apr 29, 2012 - 11:11PM

    @Antebellum: I went to the Lyceum school, and studied there with financial aid. That place changed my life. I was part of one of the best Model UN teams in the country, and I was picked to be on the team that was sent to Harvard MUN. Again, I didn’t have to pay for it beyond what I could afford, and there was no suggestion that I would be kicked off the team if I couldn’t pay to go. I’m at college in the U.S now, and I attribute a lot of what I’ve achieved to the Lyceum. So before you come up with all these default assumptions about how the school is “for the rich” why don’t you reconsider your preconceived notions and do some research? The school makes every effort to help students who are willing to work hard and show that they’re dedicated.
    Also, given that you’ve listed the Tehrik-e-Insaf website on your comment, may I just remind you that a lot of the PTI’s youth support base also consists of the “rich burgers” whom you are attacking, and much of the leadership is in a position of considerable financial privilege. I suppose you obviously need to look into your own political leanings as well, instead of nitpicking what’s wrong with this article/how the school is “for the rich”.


  • Syed
    Apr 30, 2012 - 12:18AM

    All of you DO realize that #Antebellum is most probably one of “the rich” who ended up going to Nixor College?


  • chris
    Apr 30, 2012 - 12:37AM

    Publicity.. thats all. lyceum had to stoop down to this level to fill their next batch because most of the students prefer nixor.
    true story


    Apr 30, 2012 - 1:58AM

    Ahhh i graduated from lyceum four years ago, still remember my graduation day.Great institution great people.


  • Lyceumite anrd Proud
    Apr 30, 2012 - 2:55AM

    @ Chris: Haha you think we need publicity to fight off competition from some new school on the block? I guess you’ve never seen the line outside our school of students waiting to get their applications keeps on growing every year – True Story :)
    And while we are talking about publicity? What purpose does ‘House of Dreams’ serve btw?
    P.S It totally sounds like something else :)


  • Apr 30, 2012 - 6:05AM

    LOL @ everyone, a lot of lyceum graduates here. It appears I have hit a raw nerve here. See, I’m not against the idea of an elitist school for the privileged per se. I just find their ordinary activities becoming news for some reason repulsive in a country with so much horrible things going on. It is a perfect example of how the rich, living in their La La Land, have lost touch with reality.

    News such as these belong in the gossip columns of a tabloid in a developed country, say Daily Mail of the UK.


  • A.D
    Apr 30, 2012 - 2:07PM

    @ Antebellum: Privileged and elitist? That’s where you’re wrong. Attaching labels without knowing the facts. Have you ever been inside the school or do you know ALL of its student body to judge them? If you had, you wouldn’t be saying what you have been.Sure there are a few students from affluent families but the ratio is the same as anywhere else in Pakistan. In a country where such horrible things are going on, people need some good news to find relief in; a school from Pakistan achieving such fame at Harvard and in a country where illiteracy is widespread, a quality institution completing 25 years of quality education does bring hope to readers, at least to me. So please, keep the ignorance to yourself.


  • AZ
    Apr 30, 2012 - 2:45PM

    Its not about Lyceum or Nixor or rich.Its about an institution created against odds and the pride they feel on completing 25 successful years of education to many young men and women.That definitely IS newsworthy! In this day and age, where you end up reading misery, injustice,poverty, corruption and so on so forth in news ,why can you not celebrate the happiness and pride of one institution, that is doing something positive.Why must everyone be so bitter and cynical? Feel happy for someone else for once instead of criticising and feeling jealous.Well done, Lyceum!


  • My name is in the article
    Apr 30, 2012 - 3:32PM

    @antebellum, yaar stop crying.

    Going to the Lyceum was the best decision i ever made and has positively shaped me and i will forever be indebted to the school. Zaki is right, Lyceum has struggled and through all the hard work and dedication, it has become an excellent A level institution and deserves publicity.


  • Mera
    Apr 30, 2012 - 4:29PM

    Horribly written article! Did no one at ET bother to read it before uploading it.


  • Hafsa
    Apr 30, 2012 - 5:34PM

    I have been reading comments and I am surprised by the mentality of so many people out here.
    I have 1 brother and 1 sister and Alhamdullilah we all have graduated from the Lyceum and i can say from my own personal experience that Lyceum is in NO WAY elitist, not even close to it.I still remember that day when my sister got into Lyceum and My mom went to the school to submit an application saying that we could not afford the admission fee. And guess what Mrs Ahmed( the academic director) did. She personally responded to the application, saying the the admission fee had been reduced by over 50%. FIFTY PERCENT. and then you call this school Elitist?
    My brother and sister paid half the tuition fee as everyone else, and no my dad was not a big shot or belonged to the government. Up to this day whenever someone mentions Lyceum, both of my parents arrribute our success to this school and to its amazing directors.
    My experience with Lyceum was unforgettable and i found people from all backgrounds. There were those who travelled to school in rikshaws and those who came with their personal drivers. There were those who were on financial aid and those who were not. In future, Please try to refrain from passing such comments without any experience.

    I congratulate the class of 2012 and wish them best of luck in eveything.
    Cheers :)


  • kayem
    Apr 30, 2012 - 8:19PM

    i knew someone in my batch at lyceum who travelled to school by public bus on most days, hows that for elitism?


  • Oligarch
    May 1, 2012 - 9:07PM


    Lyceum is a blend of people from different social classes. Considered financially, the composition of the student body of Lyceum isn’t any different from any other system like Beaconhouse.

    In fact, I have seen more “born in Defence, live in Defence, die in Defence” burgers in Beacon as compared to Lyceum. Considered financially, Lyceum is a typical middle class school.

    Also, there is a difference between “rich” people and those “out of touch with reality” people as you call them. A person may be rich and still very much realistic or poor and yet unrealistic.

    Truth be told, I don’t even get how you consider Lyceumites to be “out of touch with reality”.


  • Scourge
    May 1, 2012 - 9:34PM

    Excellent. We have flood victims dying of starvation, a sinking economy, and countless other problems, gnawing away at our nation, and all these people can find time for is to commemorate a private school set up for the absolute upper crust of elitist society. Good work tribune. Very relevant news.


  • May 2, 2012 - 12:12AM

    LOL I’m wondering how the faces of all these Lyceumiites will look like, once they come to know who Antebellum actually is! :D


  • May 5, 2012 - 4:33PM

    ^Nasir Ghani? or Nadeem Ghani from his House of Dreams?


  • Fauzan Naeem
    May 6, 2012 - 2:14PM

    Cmon Kids. Stop fighting over petty things.


  • withAntebellum
    May 6, 2012 - 9:11PM

    Hahahaha i completely agree with u antibellum lover :P !


  • KarachiMom
    May 7, 2012 - 2:26PM

    @Antebellum If there’s so much to defend, then I think you’ve hit right where it hurts! Good job!!


  • Usman15
    May 15, 2012 - 7:38PM

    Lyceum indeed has students from all walks of life. Being a Lyceumite I know of the struggles one has to go through. We work hard to get where we are. It is not about being Rich. It is about shaping individuals into great human begins. Being here has taught me a lot. And I am grateful to the school for that.


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