Pioneers Who Build Bridges
“I grew up in a poor family in a village about 150 kilometers from Banda Aceh,” Darni Daud said. “My father was a primary school teacher, a graduate of a teacher training school (SGB). The Fulbright scholarship allowed me to see more of the world than I ever thought I would. In short, it helped me to think more openly.”
The rector of Syiah Kuala University, Darni Daud was born in 1961. He is running, in the 2012 general provincial elections in Aceh to become governor of Nanggroe Aceh Darusalam. At this point, it is not clear whether he will be elected governor or whether he will have to be satisfied as rector. However, what is clear is that Campus Asia magazine named Darni number seven of Indonesia’s top leaders for the year 2008.
He received a Fulbright scholarship in the early 1990s. However, the story begins way back when he was still small. “There is a poem in Acehnese by Teuku Nyak Arief,” he said, “that says that the most advanced country in the world is the United States and the most developed city is New York. My father told me, ‘If you want to see it, you must go there. And to go there, you will need to be diligent at school.’ So when I received an opportunity from Fulbright, I immediately chose New York. And in particular, I chose New York University (NYU) because there was an expert there in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).”
Darni said his Fulbright grant had an impact not only on him, but also on Aceh and Indonesia. “Aceh needs to better understand Indonesia, and, vice versa, Indonesia needs to better understand Aceh. And America can help make this happen,” he said. A man who likes gardening, Darni believes that America can empower other nations. On various occasions, he has lectured about the importance of being a pioneer who builds bridges. A Fulbrighter, he said, is obligated to become both an educator and a bridge for peace.
In his position as a university lecturer, Darni does more than teach English. He has become a motivational enthusiast for study in various fields. “When I give a public lecture, I take the opportunity to share tips on how to study and learn more effectively, things I learned during my time as a Fulbright scholar.”
For him, the American Fulbright scholars who come to Indonesia can also spread the spirit of learning and become excellent pioneers in their fields. Darni believes that the role of Fulbright is indeed to find the best people and then raise the level of their quality by widening their opportunities for study and learning.
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2019 @ 2:33 pm
This article appears from the book of Across the Archipelago, from Sea to Shining Sea Commemorating the 60/20 Anniversary of Fulbright and AMINEF (Page 101– 102) published in 2012.
Translator: Sagita Adesywi and Piet Hendrardjo.
© 2019 AMINEF. All Rights Reserved.
Developed by Konsultan Website