Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicott City MD 21041


January 2019

AAA-DC – January 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 Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC, had a very successful and productive year (2018), when it organized a number of cultural, literary and entertainment programs, and raised funds to support the needy students at AMU and coaching centers in North India. The following list compiled by Mr. Afzal Usmani, secretary of the AAA, highlights the activities during the past year. Details of the events can be found on the AAA website:

  1. Book-release ceremony, Dr Salman Akhtar, March 18, 2018
  2. General Body Meeting and Elections, March 25, 2018
  3. Ramzaan Fundraiser, May 26, 2018
  4. Annual picnic, June 30, 2018
  5. Reception for professor Suhail Sabir, Former Chairman AMU Alumni Affairs Committee, July 17, 2018
  6. Cohosted a lecture by Arfa Khanum Sherwani in Virginia, September 8, 2018
  7. Annual Sir Syed Memorial Lecture, Oct 13, 2018, (keynote speaker, Mr. Raza Rumi)
  8. Reception for Lt. Gen Zameeruddin Shah, former vice chancellor of the AMU, October 21, 2018
  9. Reception for Professor Faizan Mustafa, vice chancellor NALSAR University, Hyderabad (India), November 2, 2018
  10. The Annual Mushaira, Nov 11, 2018
No programs are scheduled during the winter months.

Bereavement: The AAA is sad to note the passing of Mr. Tofeeq Mohammad Khan, father of Mrs. Afreen Husain, who died in Bhopal (India) in December 2018 after a prolonged illness. Afreen Husain, along with her husband Dr. Rafat Husain, has been very active and energetic supporter of the Association. She was able to travel and be with her father during his final days. The AAA would like to invoke God’s mercy and blessings on her father’s soul.

Overseas Trips: Dr. Rafat Husain, the current president of the AAA, traveled to India in November 2018, to visit his family. Unfortunately, his plans were upended when he had to attend his ailing father-in-law in Bhopal; indeed, most of his time was spent in providing care for him. However, in his spare moments, Rafat was able to photograph some to the historic monuments of Bhopal, now in a bedraggled state, dating back to the city’s glorious past. Here are some samples.

Dr. Abdullah’s Trip to Pakistan: During his visit to Pakistan in December, Dr. A. Abdullah was honored at a Sham-e-Sukhan organized by the international literary society “Harf-e-Kar” at the famous Gymkhana Club, Lahore on 17th December 2018. Presided over by Amjad Islam Amjad. The participants included Abbas Taabish, Zahid Fakhri, Sadat Mirza, Saud Usmani, and selected poets from Pakistan (Contributed by Dr. Zafer Iqbal)
MU students setup a free health camp on the occasion of Kumbh Mela.

Here are some pictures.

Rulers of the Princely Bhopal State
The ruling family of Bhopal was always supportive of the Aligarh Movement. Nawab Shah Jahan Begum (1868-1901), the 9th ruler, supported the Scientific Society, and donated a sum of 10,000 Rupees to the construction of the Jama Masjid at the Muslim Anglo-Oriental College (MAO). Her daughter, Sultan Jahan Begum (1901-1926), was a great supporter of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s mission. In 1910, she enrolled her son, Hafiz Hamidullah Khan to attend the College. This represented a historic step for Bhopal’s royal dynasty, as Hafiz Hamidullah Khan was the first of its members ever to attain a formal university education.
Sultan Jahan Begum visited Aligarh on 27th February 1914 and laid the foundation stone of the All India Muslim Educational Conference (AIMEC) building. This building is now known as “Sultan Jahan Manzil.” In the annual session of AIMEC in 1910, the idea of a Muslim University was first formally proposed. The Agha Khan and Nawab Viqarul Mulk visited Begum Sultan Jahan in Allahabad to seek her support for the venture. She generously donated 100,000 Rupees, a huge sum at the time, for the proposed University.
In addition to extending her own support, she enlisted the help of other princely rulers for the University project. When the fund-raising campaign gained momentum, Sultan Jahan Begum assumed a leadership role in it. She made promotional speeches at different forums, including the Prince of Wales Ladies Club. In 1915, she visited Aligarh to inaugurate the Sultan Jahan Building and accepted the plaque of honor from the College trustees. She also fully financed Allama Shibli Nomani’s Seeratun-Nabi publications. Sultan Jahan Begum took special interest in women’s education and supported the Girls School, founded by Sheikh Abdullah at Aligarh.
She served as the first Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University until her abdication in 1926. Her son and MAO College alumnus, Nawab Hafiz Hamidullah Khan, was elected the second chancellor of the University. He was the 11th and the last ruler of the state of Bhopal (Adapted from an essay by Mr. Afzal Usmani).
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.
PO Box 1877, Ellicot City MD 21403
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