Humble beginnings yield great days ahead - and such is the story of Dr Hassan Omari, a religious and Arabic language lecturer in various tertiary institutions in the country.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Dr Omari who holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Nairobi, explained that growing up in poverty motivated him to aspire for more in life.
Following a separation of his parents who died in his childhood, the scholar was left to fend for himself with his grandmother.
"My parents died when I was young. I studied under very difficult conditions. I joined Form One in 3rd term and dropped out of secondary school in Form Two's second week for lack of school fees," he explained.Dr Hassan Omari speaking during a previous conference
While out of school he joined madrasa classes which he pursued before becoming an Imam and a madrasa teacher. At the time, he was earning Ksh3,000 from his teaching, which he later saw would not lead him out of the poverty.
It is at that time while staying in Mathare that he joined an adult school commonly referred to as 'ngumbaru school' and sat for his KCSE which he passed and was able to proceed to university.
Aware of the financial constraints threatening to derail his ambition for education, Dr Omari went to mosques looking for sponsorships. After a long search a philanthropic businessman sought to pay half the fees for him.
He graduated from the University of Nairobi with a 1st class Honours in the Bachelor of Arts with two majors, Arabic Language and Religious studies. He later got to pursue his Master's degree (2008-2010) and later on his PhD (2010-2014).
Dr Omari who started off as a part-time religious studies lecturer at the UoN went to acquire full-time priviledges as he went on to teach in other tertiary institutions.
He is also a religious studies tutor at the Machakos University, and tutors the Arabic language at St Paul University and Adventist University.Dr Hassan Omari (right) with a colleague in 2019.
He doubles up as an arabic and religious Studies lecturer at Tangaza College (CUEA) and Mount Kenya University.
"People ask me why I teach in many Universities and the reason is that not many people are qualified to teach Arabic in Kenya," he stated.
Due to his influence, Omari has bagged a number of government appointments as he is a member of the County Education Board in Kiambu County and the vice-chairperson on the task force on Chaplaincy in Schools at the Ministry of Education.
The lecturer is also a presenter at Iqra FM as well as the chief host at Naaha Kwa Ummah on Al Huda TV.
Dr Omari also offers counselling to young people in the slums and his advice to everyone is, "If you have a vision and determination they can achieve anything."Dr Omari (standing) during an episode of his show on Al Huda TV.
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