Besut is my hometown. My sister and cousins both from the side of my father and mother are still living there. My grand nephew who is the grandson of my sister is also studying in the Besut Imtiaz. Moreover, my sister's house is just about a kilometre away from Imtiaz. All of these, hence the request.
The reason Taariq was interviewed in Dungun was just because Dungun was the first place of the interview. The interview in Dungun was on the 10th while in Besut on the 12th December 2006. On that very day of the 12th, I have to deliver a keynote address at ISDEV Second Graduate Conference held at Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang. My presence at the interview in Besut on that day was therefore impossible.
The other reason was because of the monsoon season. Rain had began to pour and definitely we had to avoid the flood as soon as possible. I and my family had been in Terengganu since 3rd December for my fieldwork on Operational Mechanism of Islam Hadhari for the State Government. Leaving Terengganu after a long stay at a Kuala Terengganu hotel and on the eve of flooding season is understandble.
In Dungun, we spent a night on the 9th at UiTM Hotel. Early in the morning on the 10th, we were already at Dungun Imtiaz for the interview and managed to get the first number. I was told that there were more than 300 students - who were all 5A's scorer - came for the interview. They were asked to memorise a page of the Qur`an within 40 minutes, apart from oral and writing examination. Among them was the daughter of the Terengganu Menteri Besar herself, accompanied by the Menteri Besar's wife. Though the Menteri Besar was the founder of the Imtiaz, her daughter had to go through similar procedure as others and his wife was together with us the parents in the hall listening to the briefing delivered by the Director of Integrity icon Sdn. Bhd. (IISB) Ustaz Wan Zakry Wan Kamaruddin. IISB is a subsidiary of Yayasan Terengganu given the task of managing the Imtiaz.
All together, I came to understand, more than 1,000 students came for the interview in Dungun, Kuala Berang, Besut and Kuala Terengganu from the 10th until 13rd December 2006. Out of these, only 420 students were chosen. And Taariq was one of them, Alhamdulillah! Taariq was very happy to know the result. He hugged and kissed his mum out of happiness.
But why both my wife and I are very keen to send Taariq to Imtiaz? Why Imtiaz?