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STORY OF A SOLDIER: Samad Khurram!

Guest Post by Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

Reference is the news item, published in the daily news, titled “Pak student refuses to receive award from US envoy“, dated 19th June, 2008 – The News

In this world of hypocrisy, it takes guts to stand up for your beliefs. No one has the courage to challenge the mighty. The nation has become numb. After all that we have suffered, all the chaos that we witnessed, we have become masters of “moving on”. Nothing seems more important than our own selves. The venomous passion and the scintillating love that 60 years ago, infected us and made us believe that we could get what we want, has faded. Love has died. We wear masks and pretend our conscience is dead. But in fact it isn’t, it yearns to be noticed. It yearns to find a voice

Samad Khurram, a friend, who showed us that it isn’t difficult to notice our conscience, stood up for his beliefs and refused to take an award from the American ambassador. I, being his friend, know what circumstances he is in, studying at Harvard and battling none other then the “usual” society pressures that we, the aspiring youth of this nation face. He just stood there with grace and spoke his heart out at the ceremony. He not only refused to accept the award, but also refused to shake hands with the ambassador because he believes what every Pakistani believes in, but the rest of us don’t have what it takes to take off the mask and be real!

Salutations to the soldier. One just hopes the rest of the “army” learns from it and doesn’t bow before the mighty, when it comes to principles and national prestige.

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi
[email protected]

  • Silence


    I appriciate your courage, it’s a difficult decison to make when one’s career is on stake, refusing the scholarship is a tough decion but you have shown courage.

    If you have any problem in furthering your studies, I might be of some help, as I am working and living in Malaysia, I would wellcome you here on sponsorship from my company for your studies including your fee’s and residence.

    Please let me know if you are intrested.

    Syed Ali Zaidi please convay my messege to Sarmad as I don’t have his contact.

  • Obi Wan Kenobi

    Most probably he is getting funds from some resource in US, be his professor or his dept or from any one for this matter. What is the big issue if he does not accept some award , it is not like he refused green card or scholarship at Harvard. I can refuse 100s of such stupid rewards, no biggie, just a political mileage and good thing to put in his resume as Pakistanis are the most sentimental nation in the world so I am sure he could cash it and if he is good in delivering his speeches than may b he would get some political party ticket in next election. Faggot. These stupid rewards means nothing unless there is some big cash or scholarship with it. And I believe he did not refuse award, he refused to accept it from the hand of ambassador.
    Stupid nation.

  • I am proud of this brother!

  • Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

    Sir, your message is forwarded to Samad.

    If you could drop in your email, he can contact you.

    after all the bashing that he has received from the “elderly” crowd, i salute people like you, who appreciate the notion!

    We thought we were alone :).


  • Silence

    Thanks brother,

    Please tell him to contact me on [email protected]

    Send me his cell or e mail and I will call him back.

    He is pride of Pakistan and wehave to stand by him, unfortunately I am also an eledrly on our standerds, but Sarmad is mine and your future,………..he is our Pakistan, a new Pakistan. love him and appriciate him, this was a dream in our times, but today is right time and we have right people like Sarmad.

  • Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi


    I have mailed you his cell.


  • @Silence & @Abbass – let me clarify one thing, after a little investigation – Samad’s non-acceptance of the certificate does not mean his Harvard Scholarship was canceled – the Harvard Scholarship has nothing to do with the appreciation certificate that was been given to him by the ROOTS school for his distinction in A levels and what not – it was simply an appreciation certificate. This is my understanding, last when I talked to Samad. The media / a few sources may have misconceived it as such. So its not hopefully that but we must appreciate his stand – which was a strong way to lodge your own protest

  • dr razahaider

    “Zillat ki zindagi say izzat ki moat behtur hai” Hazrat Ali (A.S).

    Merit and qualification has its own expression of valor, courage, response, move, and reaction to retaliate as ego. It is his prerogative to accept the reward or decline.

    However, what he has done can not even be perceived by people like me .Applause and Appraise.

    But, there is of course an element of rage and immaturity , transformed in to Ego.

    Ego should always be perceived in the light of eventual endings and outcome at larger interest.

    If such endings are the need of time without compromising the beneficiary and population at large all is well but if it is sacrificing the dignity of some one and interest of population at large, it should be avoided.

    If we took the incident in broader perspective, it’s an alarming sign; as such incidences are the expected outcome of such anarchical continuous misconception being in conductivity within the community and measures to be initiated to groom and polish the young generation in the better interest of the country and our hospitality as Muslim, who by virtue of our Islamic teaching should offer respect if some one is on our platform.

    In my opinion we should be humble and courteous enough to own Anne Patterson and be apologetic to her for such undue embarrassment; after all she was our guest and lady of the eve who visited the institute on request.

  • Nighat Khan

    you are exactly what our new generation should be. Well done.
    some of the comments are typical of our previliged ones. cut their limbs to ne in and please US of Allah
    well done boy we are proid of you

  • Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

    @ Teeth, yes sir, You’re right. He is already studying at Harvard on scholarship, in Pakistand for leave and he didnt refuse the scholarship. I just wanted him to know that he is not alone :).


    And @ mr Obi, i dont know where you hail from, but mention your origins and let me become as ignorant as you and prove that your existence means no good to this world. It is people like you, who cant even see the light at the end of the tunnel, who make this world so gloomy.

  • I also came across that Samad came pakistan to join long march… he was quite active in those days also .

    This shows true commitment …

  • IUnknown

    gr8 stuff khurram. Thats wat we all beleive in. US shud be kicked out of this country

  • IUnknown

    @Obi Wan Kenobi is retarded person we all know from KMB

  • dr razahaider

    i am unable to understand extreme of reservation against america,i think america should relax visa policy for pakistan.atleast for me ,as i am the only supporter ,left here.

  • Samad u did a great job…thoroughly courageous,pragmatic,strong and clear….kudos…

    btw Syed Ali raza can u plz mail me his contact number on [email protected]..pls..

  • *Syed Ali Abbas zaidi…..do fwd me his cell..waiting!

  • Arsalan

    cool guy, He Rocks

  • mp

    My family and I are one on this, regardless of what the “elderly” crowd have been saying: Kudos! Good for you, Samad. :)

  • nazia

    syed ali abbass zaidai
    that boy is no doubt a geniuess and courageous and americans would never opt to discourage this man on their soil but his anti US sentiments would create problems for him.A group like one who trained 911 bombers can contact him and offered him any kind of dangerous mission that caould again make problem for mslim community.So we have to protect and saveguard our precious assets that can lead the sentiment of muslims much better than the dummy leaders.

  • Saghir Anjum

    I feel proud of him. I feel proud of being Pakistani now. This is the proper and most effective way of protest. I appreciate the courage of this brilliant Pakistani. It reflects how bright is our future if we have more Samad Khurrams among us.

    US should understand that we are a civilized nation and we know how to protest. Burning tyres on the roads and damaging our own property will be the past now.

    I salute the parents of Samad Khurram. I can understand that how great they are. It is the need of the hour to give courage to our kids to say NO whenever they think it is the best available choice to record their protest and bring down the so-called pride of these western nations.

    Long Live Samad Khurram!

    Allah bless you with His loving care!

    We all Pakistanis are proud of you because you have done what our government failed to do.

  • Pakistani

    Samad lacks manners. If he is so committed to Pakistan, then he should leave Harvard and US and come back to Pakistan. Just to embarass a foreign diplomat has not done any good. Now after all this hulla gulla, he will go back to US, study in the same institution where most of the US policy makers are born and at the end will be not much different than Mr. Haqqani.

  • Silence

    Have spoken to Samad, he seems to be in good spitits.

    As far embarsassing a foreign diplomat is concerned, it was quite a decent way to lodge protest and thought to be normal even in US.

    Well, we are in a world which is global villege, Amricans are not our enemies but its their government and policies, 75% of Americans are also protesting against their government but they have not left America.

    80% of Pakistanis are aginst Musharaf, we can demonstrate it peacefully but can not pull him out of office and hang on a poll.

    By the way in our time, It was Zia’s martial law, we used to make speaches in colleges against him and were “charged” as trrorists and brought in chanis before a “military court” headed by a brave “Captian” who without knowing law, legal procedure would offer us a choic, either to submit a written appology for being terrorist or go to prison.

    Most of us choosed the second options!

    I dont know these brave capitans hold what posts now, might be they are generals of today and might feeling ashamed of themselves on Samad’s protest in a changed world.

  • Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

    @ malique. Number has been mailed. Sorry for the late response, was caught up in something.

    @ nazia, I fail to understand what you are trying to infer upon me!

    @ Dr. Raza Haider, Sir, Doctor sahib, Some people would just never get it!

  • nazia

    Syed abbas ali ziadi
    I simply want to convey to that this boy is extraordinary in his academic and national spirit.Majority of people at this moment are applausing him and try to contact him through you.So we have to secure him from the evil people of world who produced that characters of 911 suicidial bombers.The men who took part in 911 were surly extra ordinary brave and intelligent too but some group had misused their energy for representing the wrong picture of muslim community.So we must protect this boy from the golden traps of such groups.

  • Tahseen Alam Khan

    SAMAD does not lack manners we should change the attitude of being so SUBMISSIVE in front of the Forigeners. He did the best to lodge the Complaint against the Agressors. He is a true Pakistani we must apprecieate his Gutts.

  • Qudus Yousuf

    OOps I did it again!!!rather I should say that we did it again.I think this act of Sarmad who has remained the part Harvard with such intellect and vision is just equavalent to many of the suecide bombers who are doing nothing but bringigng a bad name for our country and the religion. Sarmad’s this act can only be taken as : Uncivilzed, ill mannered and illiterate attitude and similar to any street boys who have not given such opportunites.Instead of doing so what we expect from Sarmad is that he bring such a system for our country that bring prosperity and brilliance for our nation that he can learn from Harvard if he is given such opportunity.Why not he try to bring our country and nation if not better atleast equvalent to America so that we dont get any scholarship from them rather we give citizens of USA the scholarships to learn from systems at our our country. So, please stop any encouragements to this guy and before giving any comments please give a deep thought within yourselves that how can we bringout our best to support our country in every positive way not these out of control and out of mind attitudes.

  • Ammar

    Re: Qudus Yousuf and Pakistani,

    I don’t even know why i’m gracing your ill-advised meanderings with a reply, but suffice it to say that your obtuse ramblings couldn’t be further from the point at hand..
    Pakistani, your tone reeks of unconcealed envy for a person who has a well-deserved position at the best university in the world yet chooses to use his pedestal to display a socially-cognizant and purposeful message. What he has done is indeed enough.. He has absolutely no need to leave his studies and come back to Pakistan to please bigoted people like yourself.
    Qudus, what you said is so pointless, it doesn’t even make sense on a structural or grammatical level. Samad is doing all of the things you say he should be doing and what he did is worlds apart from the havoc wreaked by suicide bombers..it was a simple, peaceful expression of righteous indignance and anger..if you’re suggesting that even this harmless form of protest is ‘out of control and out of mind’ then i can’t say much for your backbone or honor, my friend… I honestly think you’re the one who needs to give a ‘deep thought’ before you set out to foolishly discourage the only few rays of hope left in this desolate land of ours..

  • Tahseen Alam Khan

    If Samad is illmannered then I will suggest whole Pakistan should follow him. He is a true Pakistani who is not a HYPOCRATE thats why people are talking against him. WELDONE SAMAD PAKISTANIS ARE PROUD OF YOU.

  • peace

    I just wish to ask those who are trying to teach Samad manners, what if they or any members of their families/loved ones had lost lives as a result of US unlawful assault…would they still wish that people should continue to be respectful to the “Might is Right” type aggressor and its representatives, and should behave in a humble, subservient and obliging way, to justify manners and high moral values?

    Are our lives so cheap? Why is it so that an extreme loss, i.e., loss of lives, cannot justify a protest that has merely inflicted insult, not loss of any life, in the process???

    It is so unfortunate to see how enslaved some mind could be…when comparing loss of lives of our people vs. insult of a US official caused in the process of registering protest…they simply fail to compare the cause vs the effect…the effect was “nothing” when comapred to the severity and intensity of the cause!

  • peace

    I just wish to ask those who are trying to teach Samad manners, what if they or any members of their families/loved ones had lost lives as a result of US unlawful assault…would they still wish that people should continue to be respectful to the “Might is Right” type aggressor and its representatives, and should behave in a humble, subservient and obliging way, to justify manners and high moral values?

    Are our lives so cheap? Why is it so that an extreme loss, i.e., loss of lives, cannot justify a protest that has merely inflicted insult, not loss of any life, in the process???

    It is so unfortunate to see how enslaved some mind could be…when comparing loss of lives of our people vs. insult of a US official caused in the process of registering protest…they simply fail to compare the cause vs the effect…the effect was “nothing” when comapred to the severity and intensity of the cause!

  • ashhad

    hello if possible can i get mr. Samad's contact no. or his e-mail id.

  • peace

    “This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil).” (AlQuran: Al Baqarah(002), verse 002)
    “Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness, with the (Qur’an).” (Al Quran: Al Furqan(025), verse 52)
    “And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah’s guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.” (Al Quran: Al Baqarah(002), verse 120)
    “And be not compliant to the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and leave unregarded their annoying talk, and rely on Allah; and Allah is sufficient as a Protector.” (Al Quran: Al Ahzab(033), verse 48)
    “O you who believe! do not take for intimate friends from among others than your own people; they do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from out of their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater still; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you, if you will understand.” (AlQuran: Aal Imraan(003), verse 118)
    Unfortunately, today, very few Muslims actually “UNDERSTAND” what Allah has guided us…and they are too confident about their self-made opinions which are absolutely limited and unversed when compared to any opinion on world affairs formed while using the divine teachings and guidance of Quran and Sunnah as a standard yardstick.
    There is no doubt that our own weaknesses have always allowed the enemies, within and outside, to play mischievous games against Muslims and Islam, but again this is because we have been disoriented, forgotten the REAL purpose of our lives and have totally ignored to employ the real “manuals of operations” designed by our creator for our lives, i.e., Quran and Sunnah.

  • Shahzad

    hey peace! is it not possible for the musalmans to have any discussion without draging islam into it? there is a life apart from religion you realise…and hundreds of millions of people live very contented lives without ‘God’! religion has no monopoly over morality…so can we stick to the topic at hand…and leave god out for once!!if you actually believe that the verses you quote relate to jews and christians for all time to come and are not specific to historical events then no musalman should want to educate himselfin the ‘infidel’ West…otherwise it’s just plain ‘munafikat’ on their part! cheers!

  • omair .k.chishti

    samad dear..to call yourself a future leader is easy,i see that you hold the art of making a statement,but a statement without a followup is of no importance.The scholorship u refused is not that big of a deal,if u know millions watch n few of them would b kind enough 2 invest in da so called future leader…..so my dear point u made was valid,but much more is required…we look forward to it.n yes sir if u are a patriot u dont have to be a leader u can be a citizen..so make 1 thing clear are u interested in being a leader or is it that you want somethin else..i hope n pray you end up being a true patriot

  • I am in desperate need of sarmad khurram Cell # can any body email me his number . He is the hero of Pakistan

  • peace

    Shahzad, dear, your first question is as naive as asking…what is wrong with if a person claiming to be a mathematician or a medical doctor has least accurate knowledge of the fundamentals of the respective field, or has some shallow and superficial knowledge, just gained from informal means, which he does not even care to apply anyway…just like any such so-called self-proclaimed mathematician or doctor, musalmans without accurate knowledge and correct application of Islam are just causing disparage for the whole lot! But there are always black sheep in every flock!!

    Since I myself am not a scholar, I would request you to read this lucid article http://www.islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=116 for better understanding of why musalmans SHOULD drag Islam into their discussions, and those who do not feel the need to do so, they actually need to seriously reconsider the answers to some basic questions like purpose of life, how to attain true happiness without knowledge of life’s purpose…and a series of similar questions…for more details you can just visit http://purposeofcreation.com/home.html

    Yes, it is widely accepted that the verses I quoted earlier relate to jews and christians for all times, but Islam has never forbidden exchange of trade or education with people of the Book, but it does warn Muslims to be careful and protect their interests in all dealings with them.

    These are answers to your comments on my post, I am defending my point of view and this does not mean defending Samad unconditionally, but his much debated “reaction” itself is not criticize-able in my opinion!

  • Shahzad Aslam Shaikh

    peace…all i got from you was more of the same meaningless drivel spouted by over excited musalmans..the article link, i read it..and it contains the same rubbish about being secular as the ‘knowledge’ of one of our many crazed mullahs! if this article represents a scholarly approach to islam then it really is not surprising that islam these days finds itself at the bottom of the heap. and lets not pre-judge what the other knows about islam. like most others you have totally missed my point about religion being made to interpret everything in life…everyone does not need its sanction. and i suppose i have to repeat myself here…but many millions of people lead very happy and purposeful lives without ever knowing ‘God’ or religion. just because many millions need to believe does not negate the many millions who do not!

  • appreciation of the act of SAMAD KHURRAM can never come to lower rate by the masses of PAKISTAN ,he has lifted our heads again by his act
    but i should say here that all these act can be ruined if the masses are not participating in this struggle of rights
    and when i say masses it means the grocerer,the common office gonig man ,the student going to PUNJAB UNIVERSITY,KARACHI UNIVERSITY ,SINDH UNIVERSITY and all such public universities plz try to engage them

  • Shahzad

    people! anyone from among the ‘ghairatmand’ musalmans care to comment on the killing of 17 of our soldiers by the taleban? which is ofcourse only the latest such atrocity committed by these islamic thugs…earlier 22 people had their throats slit like animals…but like always i don’t think there will be any condemnation this time as well…most of the ‘ghairatmands’ would rather grovel before the taleban/al-qaeda fascists….what a pity

  • Muhammad Ali

    We pakistani’s still live like the Slaves of the British India.Always looking for someone to guide us in everything.One person opened his EYES and instead going for a bright successful carrer in some German or American company , He took his chances and DID something what he thought was right.

    By Beloved brothers especially STUDENTS , its time for all of us to open our EYES ASWELL and standup ON OUR OWN .CONFIDENT in OURSELVES and THE RIGHT PATH.

    Y only LAYWERS , lets get united , be guided by noone but the RIGHT PATH and JOIN THM in this fight.AS Students , as PROTESTENTS and as PAKISTANI’s.
    Please help me save my beloved country.

  • Malik Janjua


    You say religion has no monopoly over morality but you clearly have limited understanding of morality. If, like any rational man, you believe in evolution, then it is only logical for you to accept that morality stems from no where else but religion itself. You can not expect an entire race that has evolved to have a predisposition to a higher authority (religion) and a higher demand (morals) arising from the existence of such an authority.

    Man has no obligation to societal values, ethics or principles without the concept of God and the reward-punishment system. In fact I will go so far to say that the concept of morals is meaningless without religion.

    We are all Machiavellian by default. You need to understand this. You can get into a conversation about the soul but it will be nothing short of the mindless drivel you blame others of. Our morals are nurtured into us. We feel bad because we are told to or believe we should. We are emotional creatures because we have grown up learning how to behave, how to empathize and how to impart.

    Does the moral atheist exist? De facto, yes. But de jure? No. People are content without religion but only follow morals because our legal systems and judiciary are tied strictly to religious concepts of enforcing the reward and the punishment because it seems ‘fair’. If you really want to know man’s true nature, place him in actual anarchy. No one will spare the other. If a system is to eventually form it will not be out of a sense of moral righteousness but rather from problem solving individuals that sense the need for a legal infrastructure and statute to live under for reciprocal protection. This is how a state is formed. An agreement is formed between man and owner.

    However man did get religion. Religion set up the state by creating law and order. So everything we do is in fact preordained by religion.

    So saying that a person need not drag religion into a discussion on basic morals and principles is naive.

    Furthermore you have added nothing conducive to the article at hand. Samad has secured a future in Pakistani politics. It was an intelligent move, he has shown signs of patriotism when the entire country is patriotically crippled. His not accepting the award will be far more fruitful than if he had done so. Anyway you look at it, no negative can arise from the formula employed by Samad.

    Harvard university and the group rewarding Samad are completely different establishments. Never mix up academia with government.

    America has forced itself into our country and our excuse of a government bends over. Sure, Sammad’s action does not save the hundreds that will be massacred, but it shows that not all Pakistanis are willing to follow the dictates of a nation that is sick of its own ‘democracy’. When their own population is so close to over throwing the republicans, why should we be so subservient?

    Sammad made a stand based on ideals and morals. It is the very thesis of this article. When Bhutto tore the resolution at the United Nations, there was no pragmatic reason for doing so. Right now, honour is a tale Pakistanis can only talk about. Surely this is a sad state of affairs.

    The woman handing out the award was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was not a personal insult to her and should not be treated like one.

  • peace


    Malik, you wrote excellently! You have a real flair for philosophy.

    I agree. One has to have a holistic understand of nature and nurture before they start saying ignorant things like Shahzad.

  • We Expect the same from CJ Chouhdry
    CJ is a hero in this movement for being the protector of “missing persons”. Now what moral stand he has for receiving medals from a US institution, when all missing persons are missing because of USA. The constitutional movement raised a lot of voice on civil rights. Now what bout greater civil right violator in the world?. Cant he see Guantanamo bey?, the institutionalization of torture in CIA abduction cells in Europe?

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