Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicott City MD 21041


February 2019

AAA-DC – Fabruary 2019
Trustees: Aisha Khan (Chair), Tariq Farooqi, Abdullah Abdullah, Fazal Khan, Masood Farshori
Exec.Council: Rafat Husain (President), Harris Usmani (Treasurer), Afzal Usmani (Secretary)
The Annual General Body Meeting and Elections: The Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington, DC (AAA-DC), has announced that its annual general body meeting and elections will be held on Sunday, March 31, 2019, at 1 pm, at the auditorium of the Montgomery County Building, Rockville, MD. Dr. Syed Amir has been appointed the election officer and the AAA-DC is seeking nominations for various vacancies to reach the election officer by Tuesday, March 26, 2019.
Disturbances at the Campus: On February 12, 2019, a TV news channel team entered the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus, without the required permission, to cover a program organized by the Students Union. The Proctor’s Office officials and some students objected to the presence of the outside journalists.
Arguments followed and the situation was about to get out of hand when the proctorial staff intervened and escorted the two journalists and their team out of the campus. The AMU administration lodged two separate formal complaint with the police regarding the incident.
Unfortunately, a few students exploited the chaos and shouted some inflammatory slogans that provoked reaction from other students. Some unidentified youth set fire to a few vehicles, allegedly parked by outsiders in the campus. Fourteen students were subsequently charged with offenses, including sedition. A first information report (FIR) was filed by the police, based on a complaint by a Bharatiya Yuva Janata Morcha leader.
The senior superintendent of police Aligarh has now hinted that the sedition charges against the students might be dropped. “We are not so casual that we will sustain such charges against students if there is no evidence,” he claimed (Compiled from the AMU News and the Wire news)
Editor’s Note:

The current issue of the Newsletter carries an unusual number of death notices, about the following community members. We are greatly saddened by their passing and pray to God to grant them eternal peace, shower them with His everlasting blessings and afford forbearance to their families. Inna-lillahe-wa-inna-elaihe-rajeoun (To Allah, we belong and to Him we shall return).

Mr. Aziz Khan: The AAA-DC learnt with great sadness the passing in late January in Chicago of Mr. Aziz Khan who had become a familiar and well-loved figure within our community. Since 1987, he had travelled from Chicago every year to be with us to record the Mushaira. He continued his annual practice even though in recent years his health had deteriorated. The videos and CDs he produced, long before the era of YouTube, allowed many of us to continue to draw pleasure from watching the Mushairas of long ago.
Jameel Ahmad: The AAA-DC deeply mourns the death of Mr. Jameel Ahmad, a senior Aligarian, who passed away on February 17, 2019, in Detroit. Lovingly known among his friends as Jameel Bhai, he was a gentleman to all and a true Aligarian. Though he was firm in his convictions, he was always willing to listen to the point of view of others.

Jameel Bhai was educated at Aligarh Muslim University in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He emigrated from Aligarh in the late 1960 and started working at the Indian Consulate in New York. He became 5th secretary-general (president) of Aligarh Alumni Association of New York in 1976. He moved to the Baltimore area in 1979 and started his own business. He became president of the AAA-DC in 1980, and subsequently served as member of the Board of Trustee. Besides being an enthusiastic supporter of the AAA-DC activities, he was a community activist.

He had been in failing health for the last few years due to a heart ailment, but his physical sufferings did not circumscribe his activities; he remained a lively and optimistic person. Jameel Bhai is survived by his wife Dr. Ghazala Ahmad, son Haris Jameel, a daughter Muna and grandchildren (Contributed by Dr. Syed Naseem).

Syed Baqar Zaidi: With the passing of Syed Baqar Zaidi in Karachi, Pakistan, in February this year, the literary world has lost an iconic poet and lyricist of classical Urdu poetry. Zaidi Saheb was a prolific creator of several genres of poetry, ghazal, Mursia, and had published several collections of his poems, many with spiritual or religious themes. He was a well-established literary figure around the Washington DC area and had regularly participated in the AAA-DC’s annual Mushairas and others organized by the community. He was visiting Karachi to supervise the printing of his beloved Masnavi, Masnavi Hub- e- Ali, and was planning to stay there to see through all stages of its publication. Unfortunately, he caught some serious infection, was admitted to the Agha Khan Hospital, but succumbed to the illness (Abul Hasan Naghmi Saheb contributed to the report).
India’s Republic Day: Some members of the Association attended the India’s Republic Day celebration on February 2, 2019.
Maulana Shibli’s Tour of the Middle East
Editor’s Note: On the persuasion of Sir Syed, Maulana Shibli Nomani joined the teaching faculty of the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College (MAO) in 1882 and taught Arabic and Persian classes for sixteen years. During his stay at Aligarh, he got to know Professor Thomas Arnold, who was the professor of philosophy (1888-1898), and the two became friends. In 1892, when Arnold was going on summer vacation to England, Shibli decided to join him and fulfil his long-held desire to visit Syria, Egypt and Turkey. On his return to India, he recorded impressions of his trip and the conditions he had observed in the three Muslim countries in a book, Safar Nama Rome, Missr, O Shaam. The following paragraph is translated and adopted from his travelogue.
“As we left Aden, the sea was calm and we were enjoying the trip, when our delight was abruptly interrupted. We learnt that the ship’s engine had broken down and could no longer move it. The boat was now slowly drifting on the waves. I noticed that the captain and the crew were running around with worried expressions on their faces, as if they did not know how to cope with the emergency. I realized that we faced some potentially perilous situation on the high seas, which made me scared. I started to imagine all kind of frightening scenarios.
I could think of no one to talk to at the time. In panic, I rushed to see Professor Arnold. To my surprise, I saw him calmly reading a book in his chair, as if he had no care in the world. Incredulous, I inquired if he had heard the news. Yes, he replied, the ship’s engine had broken down. I expressed my astonishment that he was so unperturbed. ‘Is it the time to read a book?’ I asked. ‘Yes”, he exclaimed, ‘very much so. If the ship is destined to go down, it is prudent to utilize the remaining time doing something worthwhile, such as reading.’ His tranquil and serene demeaner had a calming effect on me. The engine was repaired eight hours later, and then we were well on our way.”
Syed Amir (Editor)                                                                              Khurshid Usmani (Web)
Rafat Husain (President)                                                                 Aisha Khan (Chairperson) donate to AAA each time you shop. Click on the right to donate.
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