The American Ambassador Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir to Malaysia was warmly welcomed on an equally warm Friday afternoon. She was given a tour of the school with two others from the embassy. She met with students and faculty, and willingly answered questions students had.
STARS student, Lily Casey, ’17, led the tour starting with a 9th grade World History class. The teacher, Mr. Hengstler, explained that the class is learning about religion, mentioning that there would be a field trip to the Kuala Lumpur National Mosque in the near future. Ambassador Lakhdhir gave the 9th graders a word of advice based off of her own experience visiting the National Mosque, telling them that “if you get the opportunity to go where people get married, be sure to ask if there’s a wedding going on, because we didn’t and the next thing I knew, I was sitting close to the bride whispering ‘I’m so sorry.’” The class collectively laughed, promising to keep to that in mind.
Not only did Ambassador Lakhdhir learn about ISKL, but those who met her learned a lot about her work in the embassy as well as the American government. She explained that the US federal government is currently closed due to the presidential inauguration, mentioning that if she and her colleagues were to be in the US right now, they wouldn’t be going to work.
Students were also eager to ask about President Trump, hoping to learn the process of becoming a President from someone currently active in politics. Ambassador Lakhdhir was happy to explain that President Trump must take an oath on the bible to protect the laws of the Unites States, just as she did when she became a US ambassador, and just as the presidents before him did when they were sworn in.
After the visit to the World History class, the tour continued to two high school English classes, and a variety of other classes that spanned both the middle and high school.
In the 6th grade humanities classroom, the teacher explained that the students are currently learning about natural disasters. Ambassador Lakhdhir took a liking to the class, admitting that the topic of natural disasters comes up often at the embassy, and that she feels right at home, jokingly adding that “they’re [our students] preparing for future work at the embassy.”
There is an obvious sense of ease with Ambassador Lakhdhir, she can walk into a 12th grade English class and join the discussion on the novel The Things They Carried, a collection of short stories told from the perspective of an American vet. who served in the Vietnam war, or walk into a 10th grade Science class, willingly admitting that she doesn’t know much about what they are studying, but clearly wanting to try to learn something new in her short time there.
The ISKL community thanks her for her visit, and welcomes her to come again.