Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicot City MD 21403

410-531-9492

July 2017

NEWS FROM AROUND WASHINGTON AREA
AAA Iftar-Fund-Raising Dinner: The Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC (AAA), traditionally hosts its annual fund-raising Iftar every year in the month of Ramzan to raise money to support outstanding students who need financial help at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). This year the function was held on June 10, 2017, at the Rockville Senior Center and attracted a large number of guests that filled the main hall to capacity. The president of the Association, Dr. Mohammed Akbar, welcomed the guests, while Dr. Aftab Ansari, director of the scholarship program, presented a detailed report on its status, and its success in identifying and supporting appropriate recipients. He stated that last year 264 students had benefitted from the program at a cost of about $45,000 
Dr. Raziuddin, who directs the Feeder programs designed to prepare students, through coaching centers, for admission to colleges and universities, provided a detailed account of the workings of the network. He disclosed that they had thus far offered free coaching to approximate 800 students located in various centers in India. Total funds raised this year at the Iftar dinner exceeded the goals set by the organizers.
 
AAA Cosponsors the First Urdu Fair (Mela):

The AAA in collaboration with the Urdu Academy of Maryland, founded by Ms.Tahira Anwar, staged an impressive Urdu Fair on May 20, 2017, at Seneca Valley High School, Germantown, to enhance the awareness of and interest in learning the Urdu language at the state’s academic institutions. Ms. Anwar who has been active in promoting Urdu for several years aspires to extend her mission to cover more schools. The organizing committee had planned a highly enjoyable program that kept the audience enthralled for the better part of three hours. The menu ranged from a serious talk by Dr. Abdullah on the role of Urdu language in bringing the various communities together to light entertainment, including an enchanting dance performance by Ms. Anupma Sharda. Ms. Nuzaira Azam compered the proceedings.
 
Future Programs: The Association is hosting the annual picnic on Sunday, July 9, 2017 (12-5 pm), at Urbana District Park, Frederick, MD. The schedule of other programs is as follows:
 
– Jash-e-Azadi Kavi Summelon/Mushaira
August 19, 2017
– Sir Syed’s Birth Bicentennial Celebration September 9, 2017
– Sir Syed Day Annual Mushaira November 18,2017
Additional details will be provided in upcoming newsletters.
 
Community News:
 
Mr. Azam Husain’s Graduation with High Honors: Azam Husain graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, this year, majoring in cellular & molecular neuroscience. He won the prestigious, full-ride scholarship, graduating with Summa Cum Laude Honors, with distinction in neuroscience. He was also the recipient of the Paul G. Curcillo II MD Biology Award for excellence in research, academics, and extracurricular activities. Azam is a coauthor of a research a paper on the role of retinoblastoma proteins in neurodegenerative diseases that is under editorial review. He will continue his education at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine Temple University. Azam is the son of Dr. Rafat and Ms. Afreen Husain.
 
Second Novel by Ms. Nuzaira Azam: Her second novel “Anahita ki Janam Basti,” narrating a love story related to the 80’s-political situation in Pakistan will be formally released on Saturday, July 22, 2017, 1 pm, at Pohick Library, Burke, Virginia. The event is sponsored by the AAA and several other local organizations.
SELECTED NEWS FROM AMU
Sir Syed Bicentenary Celebrations: The Department of Post and Telegraph, Ministry of Communication, Government of India, will release a special stamp to mark the birth bicentenary on October 17 of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of the Aligarh Muslim University and the great social reformer of 19th century India. The vice chancellor, Tariq Mansoor, has formed a committee to plan and orchestrate various bicentenary programs
The University has decided to invite the AMU alumni from around the world to an International Meeting on October 15-16, 2017 to seek their input in the developmental initiatives recently undertaken by the University. The move is consistent with the vision of the new vice chancellor, Professor Mansoor, who would like to encourage a greater involvement of the alumni in the affairs of the AMU, and to maximally utilize their advice, help and guidance. (Contributed by Mr. Afzal Usmani)
 
AMU Ranked Third Among Indian Universities: The India Today has ranked AMU as third in excellence among all Indian Universities, after Jawaharlal Nehru and Delhi Universities, which were judged as first and second, respectively. The survey compared 500 universities and the results were based on the evaluation of factors, such as the availability of Internet, information drawn from published reports, and ranking from 600 experts, including university deans, registrars, departmental heads, professors and readers. The rankers were not allowed to rate their own universities. 
 
A Book on Algebra Published by a Senior Professor: Dr. Asma Ali’s, professor, department of mathematics, has authored a book entitled, ‘Algebra and its Applications’ that has been published by Springer, an international publisher of high-quality books in science, technology, and medicine. Professor Ali has made valuable contributions to her specialized field of study, “rings and the module theory”, and has published scholarly papers in many international journals. (Information contributed by Dr. Razi Raziuddin) 
 
AMU Court membership: Dr. Rafiuddin, professor, department of physical chemistry, who is also the provost of the Mohammad Habib Hall, has been appointed a AMU Court member, based on his seniority as the provost. He is the younger brother of Dr. Razi Raziuddin, a member of the Board of Trustees, AAA (personal communication)
MEMORIES FROM THE PAST
Sir Syed on the Early Days of the MAO College: [Editor’s Note]: Sir Syed never authored an autobiography, even though he wrote extensively on a variety of subjects. His life story is, however, dispersed in many letters and articles he wrote during his lifetime. Author Zia Uddin Lahori, after painstaking research, has put together a cohesive narrative, drawn entirely from Sir Syed’s own writings. The following piece is extracted, translated and adapted from his book, Hiyyat- e-Sir Syed (Fazlee Sons Publishers, Karachi, 1993).
 
“The number of students at the nascent MAO college in its early years (around 1878) was small, and there were no adequate boarding facilities for them. Consequently, all of them were crammed in the few available hostel rooms. Gradually, the situation eased as the pace of the construction of the dorms accelerated.
 
I decided to celebrate the college’s inauguration in a formal ceremony on a grand scale and invited Earl Northbrook, viceroy of India (1872 -1876), to lay its foundation stone. Unfortunately, his unexpected departure from India scuttled my plans. The new viceroy, Lord Lytton (1876–1880), at the enthusiastic recommendation of Sir John Strachey, lieutenant-governor of the North-Western Provinces, graciously accepted my invitation to substitute for Earl Northbrook. On January 8, 1877, Lord Lytton laid the foundation stone of the MAO college in an elaborate, glittering ceremony at Aligarh.
 
Several prominent Muslims luminaries offered to fund the college’s inauguration festivities and pay for the vice-regal visit. Among them was His Highness Nawab Calbay-e-Ali Khan, the ruler of the princely state of Rampur and two other prominent local landowners, all expressing the desire that invitations should go out in their names. Their generous offers placed the college authorities in a quandary. Whom to choose? Finally, it was decided that the invitations would be extended in the name of the two local aristocrats, while the offer of the Nawab of Rampur be declined with expression of profuse appreciation. Further, the college authorities decided to hang two beautiful, carved plaques, with name of each benefactor inscribed, outside two hostel rooms to honor their contributions.
 
The college was formally opened on May 25, 1875, and teaching at school level started on June 1st, while college level classes started about three years later.”
Syed Amir (Editor)                                                                                    Khurshid Usmani (Web)

Mohammed Akbar (President)                                                                    Fazal Khan (Chairman)              

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