Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Dr Omnia Marzouk, President of Initiatives of Change International (IofC) made a four day visit to Malaysia en route home from Japan. She arrived on Thursday 26 June to be received by Mr K Haridas, Chair of IofC Malaysia.

Meeting with Opposition leader in the Malaysian Parliament

Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Leader of the Opposition in the Malaysian Parliament Early the next morning a meeting was arranged with Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Leader of the Opposition in the Malaysian Parliament. He received us warmly and discussions ranged from current inter-faith issues in Malaysia, issues in the Middle East and in particular Egypt as well as the work of IofC. He also inquired after former IofC President Shri Rajmohan Gandhi during the hour spent with him.

Interfaith Spiritual Fellowship (Insaf)

The rest of the day was spent catching up with news, preparing for the ‘KL Lecture 2014’, and a visit to Kuala Lumpur ‘Sights by night’. The following morning Dr Marzouk was received by Mother Mangalam at the Inter-faith Spiritual Fellowship (Insaf). Dr Amir Farid Chair of Insaf outlined the activities of Insaf at the Board Room Meeting attended by several members of the Insaf Executive. Dr Marzouk shared a presentation on IofC and this was followed by an exchange of ideas. Dr Amir Farid then introduced Dr Marzouk to the work of United Religions Initiative (URI) and connected her with Dr Kiran Bali, the Chair of URI in the UK. IofC Malaysia remains an active member of Insaf with the Chair of IofC Malaysia being the Vice Chairman of Insaf. Thereafter we were hosted to a vegetarian lunch.

Meeting with IofC team

Following lunch a meeting was held at the ‘UEM Leadership Training Centre’, the venue of the ‘KL Lecture 2014’ with about 30 active members of IofC Malaysia. This was a prelude to the KL Lecture. They heard from Dr Omnia Marzouk and thereafter had a vibrant question and answer session. Later that afternoon at 3.30pm they began to welcome the public and friends to the KL Lecture.

The KL Lecture 2014

Dr Omnia MarzoukAbout 80 attended the ‘KL Lecture 2014’ on the theme ‘Sustainable Engagement: Beyond Medicine Towards Healing Our Common Humanity’. Following Dr Marzouk’s address, two other doctors, Dr Mary Cardoza and Dr Amir Farid responded to her speech. The Chair, Mr K Haridas, welcomed everyone and said what a joy it was to have three doctors address this theme, all three with outstanding educational achievements, distinguished practitioners, and specialists in their own right. He stressed that what was special about them was their involvement with causes and issues beyond their professional careers. All three showed deep concern for the needs of society. They are all individuals with sustainable engagements that are compassionate in essence.

In her address Dr Marzouk shared her life journey having been born in Spain, schooled in Egypt, and then onto Australia where her father was the Egyptian Ambassador. 'I did my medical training in Australia, then specialised in paediatric emergency medicine. For the last 30 years my home has been Liverpool – the city of the Beatles and football – where I work in a children’s hospital with one of the largest and busiest children’s emergency department in Western Europe'.

Dr Omnia Marzouk, President of Initiatives of Change International, visits MalaysiaShe spoke of meeting IofC at the age of 15 when she attended a youth camp. 'I was the only Muslim in an intergenerational group of Christians. I was struck by the quality of life of the people I met, who combined a real interest in the world with a deep personal care for people. They also combined big thinking with a practical application of change in their communities and workplace. I wanted to know more about their approach.'

Download the rest of the report, including the text of the 2014 KL Lecture.

Radio Interview

On Monday morning 30 June Dr Marzouk was at the office of BFM 89.9, a popular radio station. A 40 minute radio interview covered not only her life’s journey but also her conviction for IofC and the world today. Listen to the podcast here.