HOME / OUR WORK / NEWS & OPINION

NEWS & OPINION

Inspiration Session with Dr Imtiaz Sooliman

At our recent Inspiration session, we were honoured to host Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman, the esteemed founder of Gift of the Givers. We extend our deepest gratitude to Dr. Sooliman for his truly inspiring and authentic presentation, which garnered a standing ovation from all in attendance.

Gift of the Givers stands as the largest disaster response non-governmental organisation of African origin on the continent. Since its establishment in 1992, the organisation has provided life-saving assistance and on-the-ground support to countless individuals, with contributions valued at approximately R4.5 billion across more than 45 countries worldwide, including South Africa.

During the session, Dr. Sooliman shared his fundamental philosophy regarding his work and our global community:

Changing the negative narrative and the power of positivity: Dr Sooliman stressed how we collectively need to change the negative narrative. Challenges are a part of everyday life. They serve to bring out the best in us and help us grow. Focusing on the importance of gratitude for what we have rather than discontent for what we don’t, Dr Sooliman cited the example of an old man excited to be on loadshedding stage 6 as, for most of his life, he had not had access to any electricity at all. Gratitude for our blessings can but only lead to more, whereas continuous negativity will only serve to breed further negativity.

Faith and spirituality: Dr Sooliman shared that positivity, hope and inspiration is not found in economics or figures, but rather in faith and spirituality. He urged us to pray for what we need rather than what we want and to be open to the learnings and blessings that brings. Dr Sooliman shared that Gift of the Givers is not an organisation that was formed in a traditional sense but rather one that is based on spirituality and the belief that if you do the right thing, help will always arrive. During a visit to a mosque where he witnessed people from all walks of life, religions and countries coming together as one, a Turkish holy man directed him to his life’s work and purpose and told him the name that when translated into English, reads ‘Gift of the Givers’.

He shared countless examples and supposed ‘coincidences’ of the power of believing and the miracles he has witnessed during what, for many of us, would have been insurmountable moments. Dr Sooliman expressed his core conviction that what he does is not humanly possible. Thus, it is not done ‘by’ him but rather ‘through’ him.

In service of others: Irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, geography or even what side of the war you may be on, Gift of the Givers is focused on assisting all who are in need with kindness, love and compassion. Mankind is but one single nation and most have goodness in them. We may never know at exactly what stage in someone’s life it may come to the fore. It is therefore not for us to judge but, rather, to honour and preserve the dignity of all. We need to appreciate all of mankind and interact with respect and love. The essence of humanity is service and love and caring for each other. We always need to put ourselves on the other side and ask what would we do if it was our mother, our father, our child? If someone is down, do not push them further. Kiss the tears, feed the hungry and water the thirsty. In all that you do be the best that you can be, not because of ego as that destroys but, rather, because you are dealing with human life and the right to dignity for all.

Our role: Government will never provide the perfect solution. A country of over 60m can never be supported by just over 7m taxpayers. It is therefore up to every one of us to become involved and to be part of the solution we need and seek. Faith and spirituality will fix anything.

Thank you to our sponsor, Sanlam Investment Group, for sponsoring this engagement. We look forward to seeing you at our next Inspiration Session!

View our other press releases

Growth for Jobs Strategy Discussion

Growth for Jobs Strategy Discussion

"Unified action is imperative, I urge all parties to work together, collaborating jointly to generate the momentum needed for positive outcomes and collective success. We are in this venture together! While competition has its place, let us focus on co-competition." -...

read more