Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicot City MD 21403

410-531-9492

August 2015

NEWS FROM AROUND WASHINGTON AREA
The Fall Lineup
The Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC (AAA), has planned a number of exciting programs for late summer and the fall. Following is a brief description:
Yaum-e-Azadi Mushaira-Kavi Sammelan: The day and date are Saturday, August 22, 2015, and the venue is Arlington Public Library, Virginia. This event traditionally attracts both Urdu and Hindi poets and showcases the composite, mosaic culture of South Asia. (Coordinators: Razi Raziuddin and Zafar Iqbal)
Qawwali Program: The AAA is organizing the first ever Qawwali program on Saturday, October 3, 2015. More details will be forthcoming soon (Coordinator: Masood Farshori and Wazir Qadri)
Annual Mushaira: The AAA’s signature event will be held on Saturday, November 7, 2015, at Gaithersburg High School auditorium. A number of prominent poets from India and Pakistan are expected to participate. (Coordinators: Abdullah Abdullah and Khurshid Usmani)
Annual Sir Syed Day Dinner and Lecture: The annual dinner and the scholarly lecture are scheduled on Sunday, November 8, 2015. The featured speaker is Professor David Lelyveld, former professor of history, William Peterson University, and noted author and scholar of South Asian studies. His topic will be “Making Room for Women at the Aligarh College and University.” (Coordinators: Syed Amir, Rafat Husain and Yazdani Siddiqui)
Community Service and Social Events
Nepal Earthquake Relief: The AAA collected $1,875 for Nepal earthquake relief funds and donated to American Red Cross and Islamic Relief USA for distribution to earthquake victims.
Scholarship Program: The AAA awarded one thousand scholarships in 2014-2015 to benefit needy and deserving students in various parts of India. It also collected about $55,000 in a fundraising drive in 2015. Mr. Frank Islam, the well-known philanthropist and a long-standing supporter of the AAA, was the largest single donor.
Impressive Performance of Students Supported by the AAA: Students at the three AAA-sponsored coaching centres in Indian states of Bihar and Jharkhand achieved a 100% success rate this year in their matriculation examination, many attaining placement in the First Division.
Eid Dinner at the Indian Embassy: Some thirty members of the AAA attended the Eid dinner on Saturday, August 8, 2015, hosted by the Indian embassy at the ambassador’s residence. The guests were welcomed by Ambassador Arun K. Singh. Ms. Manal Omar, Vice-president, Center for Middle East and Africa, U. S. Institute of Peace, in her keynote address spotlighted the significance of Eid and responsibilities of Muslims in prevention of hunger and establishment of a peaceful global society. The evening concluded on a vote of thanks by Dr. Zafar Iqbal, a member of the AAA.
Aligarh Alumnus Honored: The University of Texas, Medical Branch, Galveston, recently honored Dr. Ghulam Ahmad Shakeel Ansari, professor, department of pathology, by naming him as the Mace Bearer at their commencement ceremony. The practice dates back to medieval times in Europe where universities recognized faculty members for distinguished performance. Dr. Ansari, an Aligarian, was also the recipient of an award from the AMU Alumni Association, Houston, for lifetime achievement in research and academia.
NEWS FROM ALIGARH UNIVERSITY
The AMU Helping Madrasas to Modernize: The AMU vice chancellor, Lieutenant General Zameeruddin Shah, has launched a scheme to help students, receiving traditional education at religious schools, acquire secular education, such as computer sciences and information technology, to enable them to find gainful employment afterwards. A two-professor mission from AMU, comprising professors Syed Zainuddin and Abdus Salam, recently visited several religious institutions in UP, as well as the Shibli Academy, Azamgarh, to assess how the AMU could be helpful in this endeavor. The following account is based on their report about their visit.
“We visited the world-famous Shibli Academy on February 26, and had the privilege of staying in the same room where some distinguished personalities of the past, Jawaharlal Nehru, Moulana Abul Hasan Nadvi and Abdul Majid Dariabadi, had stayed. We were aware of both the high scholastic standards of this academy, its exalted reputation, and its past association with stalwarts like Moulana Shibli and Moulana Syed Suleiman Nadvi, but never had the opportunity to visit it. We were thrilled to learn at firsthand details of the invaluable services this institution has rendered in the fields of religion, Islamic philosophy, jurisprudence, history and a host of other disciplines.
We had high admiration for Allama Shibli Nomani, acquired through reading his books and hearing about him, but after gaining a better understanding of the vast contributions he made in the fields of religion, history and literature, our veneration has gone up many folds. The staff associated with the Shibli Academy comprises highly dedicated professionals who are wedded to the mission and serve in return for little compensation. We were especially impressed by the rich collection of books and journals on a variety of subjects in the library, unique and unavailable anywhere else. The library provides an extremely peaceful environment conducive to scholarship and academic research.
After visiting several religious schools, we were pleased to learn that they were fulfilling a great need by offering educational opportunities at low cost to young people. We found both the staff and the pupils keen and welcoming of opportunities to broaden their academic horizons and acquire new knowledge.” (Translated and Adapted from: Ma’arif, July 2015)
Syed Amir (Editor)                                                                                 Khurshid Usmani (Web)

Farzana Farooqi (President)                                                               Razi Raziuddin (Chairman)

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