Redza A. Khairuddin

Speech by Ahmad Redza bin Ahmad Khairuddin, Incoming Ibby President, 12 September 2010

Dear Friends

I would like to start by thanking all of you for your confidence and trust in accepting me as your new president  for  the next two years. It is a significant moment in my journey of learning and appreciating as well as championing the fundamental rights of children of this universe to be able to read and have access to books.  Three days ago I celebrated Eid Mubarak here In Santiago de Compostela. It signifies the end of Ramadhan in which Muslims for 30 days before that, fast, abstaining from food and drinks from dawn to dusk and all other acts in physical form or thoughts that will lead us to sin. It teaches us the experience of  hunger and to empathise with the sufferings of  unfortunate ones,  children and adults alike. Yes we have successfully overcome the challenges of Ramadhan and now we celebrate eid, yet millions of children are still in crises.. hungry, abused, orphaned, working in the streets and suffering from all the worst imaginable pain..Words sometimes are inadequate in describing this pain, more often than not pictures and illustrations paint a thousand words, henceforth as we celebrate we must resolve to fight on, to provide and care for children of the world, to promote international understanding through books and the many other activities that Ibby supports.

I am extremely lucky to have found Ibby and maybe Ibby is also lucky to have found me, as I am now President. I continue to be excited and definitely inspired by the wonderful work and passion by our 72 national sections and members through their many activities. The passion and commitment shown by all shall be my guiding light and I intend to continue with all the initiatives that has been put in place by Patsy and the past EC and that are currently on going. As we go along we shall continue to explore and put in place many more initiatives as we pursue our target objectives for the children of the world.  I am very proud to be part of this wonderful organisation and the wonderful people in ibby.I have found many instances of similarities despite our diversity  in my interaction with my ibby friends. Just yesterday I found that the two simple words like Dada and Dadi, which for some in Malaysia means Grandpa and Grandma, also carries the same meaning or reference for my friends in Brazil, China, Afghanistan and Nepal .  It’s astounding to know that we are similar in many ways despite our  diversity in religion and culture..I now wonder how many more countries uses the same words in the same light!

My dear friends

My journey has only started. I spent the last 4 years as a member of the EC with the last 2 yrs up till this afternoon as the VP of Ibby. I was fortunate to have had the privilege of learning and working under  Patricia Aldana or Patsy as we fondly calls her. I have learnt so much from her directly and indirectly. And I must share with you that she is super efficient and sharp, always on top of things and with a genuine passion for all the things and values that Ibby stands short she has been a great boss! And in case you all didn’t know she also has a great sense of humour..that’s why EC meetings have been lively and fun.. AND I now have these big shoes to fill in.. TQ Patsy! I also want to thank my fellow EC members for the confidence and support  to take on this responsibility, with my sincere hope that you will continue supporting me as we move forward. I must not forget to mention my highest gratitude to my Liz Page for all the help rendered to me and not forgetting to Forest too.

On a final note, I want you to know that I am humbled by this honour to lead such a noble organisation named IBBY. I believe and fully embrace its objectives and missions. And I pledge to do my best in carrying out my responsibilities as Ibby President. Ibby is only strong if its members and national sections are strong. I call upon all members and national sections to work with me and the EC and collaborate in our pursuit in building the bridges of understanding for the children of the world.

Lastly, my very special thanks  to the organisers of this congress, OEPLI and the Spanish section of IBBY,  Maria Jesus Gil and Henrike and all the other members of the team, for the wonderful work put into organising this memorable congress . I shall always remember  Santiago de compostela and all my friends here as this is where it all began for me.

My Dear friends, I would now like to carry out my first task as President of IBBY. It is only appropriate that Ibby shows its appreciation to the person who has shown exemplary dedication and contributed immensely to the  strengthening and development of IBBy and its activities during her tenure as President. I call upon Patricia Aldana to come on stage to receive a memento from us.   

I will now introduce the new executive committee for 2010-2012:-

  • Ms Maria Jesus Gil Iglesias – President of the Hans Christian Anderson Jury
  • Ms Marilar Aleixandre
  • Ms Gulcin Alpoge
  • Ms Hasmig Chahinian
  • Mr Wally de Doncker
  • Ms Nadia El Kholy
  • Ms Jehan Helou
  • Ms Kiyoko Matsuoka
  • Ms Linda Pavonetti
  • Mr James Tumusiime
  • Mr Mingzhou Zhang
  • And for the auditors: Peter Gyr