Deemathie de Silva
is honored with a Brick from Marti Farha Ammar.
Deema de Silva is a model for all those who struggle to integrate old world traditions with customs in a new land. Born in Sri Lanka, she has made her home in the United States without relinquishing any love for her war-torn country. She has remained concerned about her home land and has used her own experience of immigration to extend compassion and understanding toward all people from countries in turmoil.
As director of Student Support Services at WSU, Deema has become a heroine not only to the underserved communities at WSU and in Wichita, but to the international student community and international community at large. In her private life, Deema is also a heroine to her mother, siblings, and her four successful children, and her three precious grandchildren. Deema extends herself to provide help and attention to those who need it, never seeking personal acclaim for what she accomplishes. She offers compassion and wisdom to all.
Always taking care of people from other countries, she has friends all over the world as a result. Deema's home is graced with artifacts obtained in her many global travels. A trip through her home is like an adventure through Deema's rich and varied life. I truly believe that if there were more people in the world like Deema de Silva, most of the world's problems would seize to exist. I have never seen Deema judge another person. Even in the face of discrimination and hatred, Deema de Silva always finds answers and solutions to help bring individuals and peoples together.
Deema has been a role model to me. She encourages me at times when I feel that my work and dreams have come to a dead end. Deema takes what I perceive as a dead end, and creates something positive and important from it. Deema is wise beyond her years. Deema is fun and full of joy. She is both a counselor and friend to me. I am proud to honor Deema in the Plaza of Heroines, and most of all I am proud to know her and call her my dear friend.
Submitted by Marti Farha Ammar
August 12, 1998