Turkish teacher Doğan Yücel wrote the story of Inamullah, a PakTurk student who prepared for the national qualifier of the 2007 Turkish Language Olympiad. He narrated Inamullah’s high determination and his success in the test he took right after a long journey.
I had mentioned earlier that we had held the first scholarship exams for the Lahore PakTurk Schools in 2005. I had also narrated about the success of Mubashir, one student who shone in the scholarship exams. In the same period, we had another student from Islampura district. His name was Inamullah.
In the 2006 Turkish Olympiads auditions, Mubashir qualified for the rounds in Turkey after getting the first position in the grammar category. Inamullah was placed second or third, and had to reattempt in the following year. We had enrolled these students to the high school on scholarship. Since high schools in Pakistan provided two-year qualifications each for Matriculation (SSC) and Intermediate (HSSC) levels, students take exams from Class 9 onwards. Like Mubashir, Inamullah too had studied day and night. Yet, only one student was to compete in Turkey.
While the preparations for the Turkish Olympiads continued, it was also the time for the matriculation exams. Inamullah, despite some of his teachers’ stern warnings like, “Stop these Turkish studies! You will fail the exams and will not be promoted to the next class!” Although the teachers had said so to alarm him, Inamullah did not falter. The same teachers went to the principal and complained, “Inamullah does not listen to us. He is a scholarship student meant for high-achievement. He should stop studying Turkish!”
He outperformed the contestants
The PakTurk students who would compete in the 2006 Turkish Language Olympiad took the intermediate level (B2) language exam, not the basic level, in the national rounds. That year, we as Pakistan participated in the competition in four categories. One student competing in the qualifiers was our Class 10 student Inamullah from Lahore. He got the first position with a large and clear margin compared to his competitors in the middle level and could compete in the international rounds in Turkey. He would then participate in the 5th International Turkish Olympiad held in Ankara and Istanbul between May 26 and June 3, 2006.
Our student had been thoroughly prepared. We expected him to return to Lahore with a gold medal from Turkey. We bought his airline ticket from Turkish Airlines (THY) which offered reduced fares to the teachers and students who would participate in the Turkish Olympiads from that year onwards. We received Inamullah’s visa from the Turkish Embassy in Islamabad. We also bought his connecting flight ticket to Karachi from a travel agency we knew in Lahore. Inamullah would take a domestic Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Lahore to Karachi and from Karachi to Istanbul, he would fly with the Turkish Airlines. We had booked Inamullah’s flight two or three days beforehand so he could arrive early, rest adequately and take the exam with a fresh mind. I think it was Tuesday and he was due to take the exam on Friday.
A test after approximately 24 hours of travel
When we reached the check-in counter at the Lahore Allama Iqbal International Airport, we learned that our ticket had been sold to someone else. We had to return home and send Inamullah to Karachi on the next day’s flight. If I remember correctly, he took a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul on Friday morning. I think he had to sit for a test on Friday afternoon at 2:00 PM. A friend took Inamullah, who landed in Istanbul at 7:00 AM in the morning, to Kizilcahamam, where the test would be held. Inamullah arrived half an hour before the test, after two plane and car journeys that took nearly 24 hours. When he took the exam under tiredness and insomnia, Inamullah, from whom we expected a gold medal for Pakistan, pleased us with a silver medal. He was placed second in the test he took as tired and sleepless.
After returning to Lahore, businessmen presented him with gifts. Inamullah later worked as an interpreter for the Turkish businessmen who visited Lahore and as a dorm mentor. He continues to teach. On this memoir, once again, I wish him all success in life.
To be continued…
Part Twenty: Colourful Black Sea trip of Pakistani businessmen