January 2014 Newsletter to community
Celebrating Four Decades of Community Service
The year 2014 marks the start of the 40th year of the founding of The Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC (AAA). We are proud that during nearly four decades of its existence, AAA has served the community in this area through the dedicated efforts of several generations of members and office bearers, both past and present. AAA is currently planning a galaxy of programs of cultural, social and literary interest. This line up will include our signature events, the Annual Mushaira, Sir Syed Day Dinner, the fund-raising Iftar dinner and hopefully a few new programs.
Besides social programs in this area, AAA has long been active in supporting an ambitious program of scholarships for bright and deserving students at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). In addition, it promotes education and efforts aimed at acquisition of knowledge through a network of coaching centers that help prepare students to compete for admission to higher academic institutions. Attached is the link to a Power Point presentation, delineating some ongoing projects, made at the Annual Fund-Raising event last year (2013) by one of us. Click here to launch/access the presentation.
News Highlights about AMU and its Faculty
- Several recent surveys have placed AMU among the top-ranking academic institutions in India.
- Dr. M. Naeem, a young scientist at the Department of Botany, has been awarded a grant by the Council of Science and Technology, UP, for a research project to investigate the cancer fighting therapeutic agents in the flowers of the periwinkle (Sadabahar). He found that Sadabahar is the only known source of two therapeutically important alkaloids, vinblastine and vincristine, that have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
- On Jan 4, 2014, Lt. Gen (Retired) Zameeruddin Shah, Vice Chancellor, AMU, laid the foundation stone of Green School at Sultan Jahan Manzil. The school is sponsored by the India Muslim Educational Conferences. Gen. Shah, in his address, stressed the point that no community could develop without the benefit of education, and the greatest service to society could be rendered only through education.
- The AMU administration has withdrawn its order issued earlier that required the female students in one of the residential halls to wear “proper and decent-looking dresses,” that is Shalwar and kameez with dupatta, both inside and outside the hostel. The order from the provost of the Abdullah Hall for Girls also mandated that they keep only one mobile phone and avoid eating out. The order was denounced by a section of the university teachers. Ultimately, the strong protests compelled the authorities to withdraw the unreasonable edicts.
- AMU Women’s Badminton team moved into the semi-final of the All India Inter-University Badminton Championship played at Bhuvneshwar (Orrisa) (Dec. 2013). Also, Ms. Sara Naqvi and Kamaljeet Kaur won singles and doubles matches defeating the Calcutta University teams. In earlier matches, AMU Badminton Team defeated Devi Ahaliya Bai University Indore team by 2-0. (Abstracted From AMU News)
Glimpses into the Past History
Most likely it was the year 1916, when I wrote a letter to a friend back home stating that two traditions of Aligarh had impressed me most, first the cricket match and the other the funeral processions when someone was carried to the cemetery. The former used to be a hugely blissful, joyous occasion, while the latter a solemn and somber practice with its own strict protocol.
Years have gone by, and many long-established cultural mores and traditions of MAO now have either become diluted or disappeared altogether, but the elaborate ceremony and etiquette governing funeral processions and burial customs have remained intact, having passed on from one generation to the next.
Much, however, has changed as far as cricket is concerned. In my student days, the MAO College was renowned for its fabulous cricket matches. We took pride in that our college home team had remained unbeaten for four consecutive years. Their winning record before the year 1915 was even more glorious.
It has been my lifelong yearning that someone could compile the history of Aligarh cricket and document for future generations the superlative record of victories that our teams achieved in their trailblazing days. (Adapted from Ashufta Biani Meri; By late Professor Rashid Ahmad Siddiqui)
Syed Amir Razi Raziuddin Tariq Farooqi
Editor President, Executive Council Chairman, Board of Trustees