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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Omar Kader, a longtime advocate of Arab and Palestinian interests, told graduating Weber State University students to approach tomorrow with the intensity, curiosity and drive.
Kader, a former Brigham Young University political science teacher, was the keynote speaker at Weber's commencement Thursday.
About 2,100 students received degrees Thursday. Another 1,700 members of the 2004 class received their degrees in conjunction with the university's winter commencement last December.
Kader has long been active with the Democratic Party and was long associated with the Arab-American Affairs Council. He now has a management consulting firm, Pal-Tech Inc., in Washington, D.C.
"Think about your wildest dreams and ask yourself what you will do the day after you achieve them," said Kader. "Keep in mind the distinction between those who make a difference and those who do not -- successful people aim high and never quit."
Kader compared his father's immigration to America with the graduates' move into the career world. He urged students to apply his father's beliefs of hard work and sacrifice, faith and optimism and a recognition of the freedoms this country affords.
The learning process shouldn't stop after graduation, Kader said.
"Take with you an interest in everything around you and an interest in what makes others tick. Realize that risk is a fundamental of life, and paranoia and self-pity are for those who do not lead," he told the students.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)