The Power of Forgiveness

Coeducation is education for life. Naturally

The power of forgiveness

ASC’s Year 9 and 10 students recently heard about the power of forgiveness and how a sad event for two families was turned into something positive for people all around the world.

In 1995, a 14-year-old gang member, Tony, shot dead Azim Khamisa’s only son, Tariq, while Tariq was delivering pizzas as a means of paying his way through College. Just one month shy of his 21st birthday, Tariq bled to death in the car where he was left.

Tony Hicks was the boy who pulled the trigger, and he became the first juvenile in the State of California to be given an adult murder sentence.

Responding to his belief that the one who pulls the trigger is also often a victim, Azim reached out amidst his grief to the family of Tony Hicks, including Tony’s grandfather, Ples. These two men (they have come to call themselves ‘brothers’) visited All Saints’ College recently and spoke to students and parents about the importance of non-violence, about how to develop emotional and spiritual resilience, and the power of forgiveness.

Azim and Ples encourage people to discover that “our thoughts help create our reality: they can be used to take control of life; the potentially damaging mental routines we tend to run when ‘on autopilot’; and the vital connections between our upbringing and our ‘resiliency quotient’”.

Azim and Ples’ visit was part of the College’s Djaaliny Community Learning program. Djaaliny (which is Noongar for ‘flame’) is, for All Saints’ College, about the flame, the spark, the fire that kindles supportive partnerships and lifelong learning.

“All Saints’ recognises the importance to our students of a connected community and was proud to welcome Azim and Ples from the USA,” says Principal, Belinda Provis. “We were most fortunate to have them share with our community their message of forgiveness and non-violence, particularly at a time when our world seems to be so wracked by acts of aggression and intolerance.”

Azim and Ples speak with All Saints' College students as part of the Djaaliny Community Learning Program

Ples Felix and Azim Khamisa speak with All Saints’ College students as part of the Djaaliny Community Learning Program