Who Was My Mentor When I Started Teaching English

My teacher, my mentor, and my grandmother Dilorom opa Gazieva has passed away. She was the most wonderful person who I have ever met when I entered Uzbek State World Language University in 2000.

If I became a teacher today, I became a teacher mostly because of Dilorom opa Gazieva who was the head of lexics department when I was a student in 2000.

One day I had an idea of opening a FREE Speaking Club for the 1st-year students at the university. So I approached Dilorom opa and told her about my idea.

She listened to me carefully with a lot of joy and said, "Alright son. I don't know who you are, but I will help you". Next day, she gave me the key to the room for about 20 students. It was the best room at the university at that time.

She gave me full support. Nobody could say anything when I started running the speaking club. I opened 3-4 groups and overall I started helping 30 to 40 students for free.

After a year, I got too busy and wanted to close the club but she told me to involve my most active students. I did as exactly as she said. And my students started running the club by themselves and attracted about 60-70 students. They ran the club for another 3 years. So during 4 years we helped the faculty students improve their speaking skills for free.

During that time Dilorom opa recommended me to the President of Uzbekistan Teachers of English Association (UzTEA), Dr. Abbos Tursunovich Iriskulov. I worked very closely with Abbos aka shoulder to shoulder at the association for about a year.

During that year British Council decided to send me to Moscow for IT workshop. Before I flew to Moscow, Dilorom opa called me while I was in UzTEA office and asked me to visit her as soon as possible.

I came to her office but she asked me to go with her to another room. I sat down on the chair and she asked me,

"Are you going to Moscow next week?"
I said, "Yes, British Council is sending me for the workshop".
"Have you ever been to Moscow son?".
I said, "No, Dilorom opa".
She replied, "Do you know how cold it is there, buddy?"

and pulled out two Russian boots and asked me to try them on.

I tried them on and luckily they were not my size. I was happy and said

"Dilorom opa. Thank you so much but you don't need to. I will be fine".

Then she pulled out $ 100 note and gave it to me. This was another surprise. I said,

"Excuse, but what are you doing, Dilorom opa?" feeling uncomfortable and funny at the same time.

She said, "Take it. You will need it". I said, "No, I have the money. I will be OK". She insisted that I accept it and added, "If it so happens that you don't need it, call my daughter who lives in Moscow on the last day of your stay in the hotel and give it back to her". I agreed and accepted $ 100.

On my last day in the hotel in the hotel in Moscow, I called her daughter (Dr. Indira Gazieva, the Professor at Russian State University) and returned all the money.

After working about one year at the teachers' association, I left the place and worked in Knowldge Village in Dubai and Westminster International University in Tashkent. And I have always visited her on 1 October, 8 March with my kids. She was always happy and would tell about me to her students. She was surely an angel on earth. I have never and ever met anyone so kind-hearted like her.

Since I left the Westminster University, I have been working on my own projects and I haven't been able to visit her much the past 2 years thinking that when I do something worthy telling her, I would visit her and tell her about all my projects. However, it was wrong thinking. 

Peace be upon her. I will always and always do my best to spread the knowledge, wisdom, and kindness I inherited from her.

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