AKA Hyderabad turns 10 : Our first Graduation | Aga Khan Academies

AKA Hyderabad turns 10 : Our first Graduation

05 August 2021

As the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad celebrates its 10-year anniversary, it offers alumni like myself an opportunity to reflect on our journeys. For me, it all started when I joined the Academy in 2012 as part of the first graduating class (2014). During my time there, I met a group of incredible young people who were ambitious, tolerant and humble. It was my first time living away from home, but the Academy, still in its infancy both in terms of its community and infrastructure, quickly became my new home. Unfamiliar faces turned into lifelong friends and the campus itself was transformed into the majestic 100-acre dream that it currently presents itself as.

A significant moment during my time at the Academy was its Inauguration Ceremony, for which I was selected as Master of Ceremonies. Standing five feet away from His Highness the Aga Khan, who delivered his remarks in front of a jubilant audience, I remember his words very clearly: “We should think of this developing Academies network as a single, coherent institution, geographically dispersed, but highly coordinated.” It was then that I realized that His Highness’ vision went much further than creating an educational institution. His Highness was encouraging us, the Academies community, to act as a single unit across the sister schools, across the globe. This vision extended not only to the Academies themselves but also to the alumni network.

With the above words in mind and a longing to remain an integral part of the Academies, I met with the former Director of the Academies, Salim Bhatia, in Lisbon. We discussed the need to bring our alumni together in a formal manner and address their personal and professional needs. Salim made it clear that he wanted the network to be led by alumni themselves, but with full backing from the Academies Unit. I was tasked with this responsibility of creating a team that would come together to create something of value to our alumni. Having completed an internship at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, I was in a privileged position to take up this role and bridge the gap between the two schools and especially their alumni. In this process, I was able to reconnect with a number of alumni and develop working relationships that remain quite special, including those with members of the Academies Unit.

Today, the alumni network is serving the Academies community and our alumni in a highly coordinated manner, with volunteers from Mombasa and Hyderabad working tirelessly to engage our alumni, mentor our younger alumni and Diploma students, and think of ways to give back to the Academies in the long term. We wish to see this network grow into an 18 Academy-wide institution, where alumni can support each other in a way that is aligned with His Highness’ vision. While I was at the Academy in Hyderabad only for my Diploma Programme, my journey with the Academies has extended far beyond those two years. It remains a special place and I am hopeful that my association with the network will continue to grow beyond this momentous occasion of its 10-year anniversary.

 Imtiyaz Hariyani, Class of 2014