February 2014 Newsletter to Community
In keeping with the democratic traditions of past years, the Aligarh Alumni Association of Washington DC (AAA) has formally announced that elections for new office bearers will be held on March 22, 2014. Syed Amir has been appointed the Election Commissioner to oversee the process. More detailed information about the elections will be forthcoming shortly. Meanwhile, the AAA urges its eligible members to nominate well-qualified candidates to fill the vacancies when the nominations are formally solicited.
The year 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of our association. The AAA has planned an ambitious set of cultural, social and literary activities throughout the year to celebrate this milestone in the life of the Association.
Following are the details of the planned events:
- Saturday, March 22 – General Body Meeting and Elections
- Saturday, June 21 – Annual Picnic
- Saturday, July 12 – Iftar Fundraiser
- Saturday, August 23 – An Evening of Entertainment
- Saturday, Sept 20 or 27 – 40th Sir Syed Annual Mushaira
- Saturday, Oct 11 or 18 – Sir Syed Day Memorial Celebration
News highlights about AMU
AMU moving forward: Speaking on India’s Republic Day celebrations, the Vice Chancellor, Lt. General Zameer Uddin Shah, remarked that while India was busy in strengthening the educational base of the country, AMU is also contributing its best efforts to achieve this objective. His own goal was to take AMU to the number one position in the country by 2017, and earn for it a respectable status among the best 200 universities in the world. He said that he had envisioned a road map to direct and guide the comprehensive development of the University and chart its future direction.
A new satellite Campus: The foundation stone of an AMU satellite college was laid on January 30th at Kishanganj district in the Purnea Division of Bihar state by Ms. Sonia Gandhi, president of Indian National Congress.Lt. Ge n. Shah said that the Government of India had allocated a fund of Rs. 135 Crores for the project and construction work would commence as soon as the funds were received. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kishanganj_district
AMU ranked among the most productive research institutions: One of the largest bibliographic databases of Indian Universities/Institutions has ranked the Aligarh Muslim University as fifth among twenty-five of the largest doctoral-degree awarding universities of India, with 9564 doctoral theses to its credit so far.
Interdisciplinary Brain Research Centre: The Faculty of Medicine, AMU, is organizing a one-day National Symposium on “Neuroscience and its Future Prospects” on February 15th, 2014. It will include invited talks and poster presentations showcasing the latest research. More information can be found here.
Refresher Courses in Library Sciences: The AMU recently launched two new Subject Refresher courses in Library & Information Science and Research Methodology in Social Sciences. More than 40 university and college teachers from different parts of country subscribed to these courses.
Glimpses into AMU History
The Turkish Lady Who Came to Aligarh Almost a Century Ago
Khalida Adeeb Khanum, the famous Turkish writer, journalist and political activist, was one of the leaders of the women’s liberation movement and promotion of female education in Turkey in the twilight years of the Ottoman Empire. Later, following Turkish defeat in the First World War, she joined up with Mustafa Kamal Ataturk in the armed struggle to rid Turkey of the Western occupying forces and to establish a secular, democratic constitution.
She was hugely popular among Indian Muslims. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari, the venerated leader of the Indian freedom movement, invited her in 1935 to visit India and to deliver a series of extension lectures at the Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. She travelled extensively, visiting many cities in India and meeting almost all important leaders. She also visited AMU, and was enthusiastically welcomed at the Student’s Union by a lively body of students. Following are a few of her recorded impressions about the AMU:
“This is a unique institution. One of its distinguishing features is that it has long-standing traditions and the students are fiercely proud and protective of them, following them scrupulously on all occasions. The Student Union invited me to address them and conferred honorary membership on me. The speeches were delivered mostly in Urdu, but listening to them, for the first time, it dawned on me that the Urdu language was far more sweet and melodious than Persian was. Its pronunciation, harmonious elocution and musical rhythms were mesmerizing.
“As I stood up to give my talk at the podium, I was taken aback by the sudden deluges of flowers, raining on me, seemingly coming from every direction and covering me profusely. As I looked up to see where they were coming from, I noticed two men shoveling loads of flowers and petals through openings in the skylight of the auditorium.
“I was overwhelmed by the affection showered on a little old lady, like myself.“
(Adapted from the Urdu translation of her book, Inside India, published in 1937 in Paris)
Syed Amir (Editor) Khurshid Usmani (Web)
Razi Raziuddin (President, EC) Tariq Farooqi (Chairman, BOT)