Muhammad Emil Hafiz Hafiznizam made our country proud when he won Honourable Mention for Malaysia at the 2022 International Philosophy Olympiad at Lisbon, Portugal.
Emil was kind to share some reflections on IPO for Malaysians interested in the philosophy Olympiad.
What did you enjoy the most in IPO?
IPO had a great deal of mingling and making new friends for me. Apart from the essay writing, meeting new people from all parts of the world opened a new window for me to view life. It was also a new challenge, having never really experienced being overseas. to suddenly be flown out to another continent and force to share a room, have breakfast, and bond with complete strangers over the course of 4 days. We also were able to see and learn about the host nation’s culture and history, as well as really great sights there.
What did you learn from your experience in IPO? Is there a memorable experience that you would like to share?
For me, the IPO taught me to learn and accept the differences between myself other people by engaging in discourse. I have made friends with people who had completely opposing values and beliefs and doing so by having chats with the genuine intent to learn from one another. I was also humbled a lot from this experience because there will always be people who know more and/or are better than you. The only thing to do from there is to move forward and learn. A fond memory from the trip will have to be my roommates who happen to be introverted like me. We would enjoy some comfortable silence after a whole day of speaking to other participants.
What advice would you give Malaysian students interested in the philosophy Olympiad?
To those who are interested in joining the MyPO and the IPO, I encourage you to absolutely do so. Try your best because along with the competition itself, it will absolutely help to develop yourself as an individual in this world.
Congratulations to Emil, and we wish him all the best!
Photos are provided by Emil Hafiz.