Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicott City MD 21041


June 2014

Musical Evening: The Aligarh Alumni Association of Washington DC (AAA) launched its 40th anniversary year by organizing a colorful program of romantic, classical music and poetry (Shaam-e-Ghazal) on May 30, 2014. The concert was led by Dr. Radhika Chopra, the renowned Indian artist and musician who was trained by some illustrious masters ofIndian music. In addition to being an artist, Chopra is an academician, having been a professor of sociology at Delhi University.


For over three hours, she enthralled and delighted the large audience that had filled the hall with her melodious voice and lyrical songs and ghazals of past and contemporary Urdu poets.  The eclectic audience, comprising lovers of poetry and music and drawn from a broad spectrum of South Asians residing in the area, responded to her with numerous rounds of applause. Chopra kept her audience entertained and engaged by sprinkling her musical performance with witticism and amusing comments. The highly enjoyable evening concluded around 11 pm.

Click here for more pictures.


Book Signing Ceremony: Organized by Dr. Zafar Iqbal and Ms. Nuzaira  Alam, the Association co-sponsored a book signing ceremony on June 7,  at Arlington Central Library. The chief guest was Mr. Karamatullah Ghori, a former Pakistan diplomat. His highly readable book in Urdu, Bar-e-Shanasai, based on his experiences as Pakistan’s ambassador in several countries and his often rocky interactions with various Pakistani rulers, was well received.  A number of people lined up to buy the book and get his autographs.


Summer Picnic: The annual summer picnic on June 21, 2014, at the Urbana Pike, Fredrick, started under grey skies, but soon the weather improved, leading to a cool, pleasant summer day. A large number of friends and families gathered to socialize in an informal, relaxed, and jovial environment. The food was plentiful and of a wide variety, with barbecue chicken in special demand. The organizers who deserve to be complimented had ensured that all needed items, crockery, cutlery, paper napkins, tea urns were at hand. Tariq and Farzana Farooqui celebrated the recent arrival of their grandchild by offering special sweet to the guests.

Future Events: The AAA is working on an ambitious program for this year. The planned events include the Iftar Fund-raising Dinner (July 12), the annual Mushaira (September 27), the Sir Syed Day Lecture and Dinner (September 18). Also new this year is a program on the life and times of the late Dr. Rahi Masoom Raza, scheduled on August 23. The Association is also reviving the tradition of holding the Annual Iqbal Day Lecture in November, which has been in abeyance for some years. It is hoping to invite a well-known personality to be the keynote speaker to infuse new life and vitality to this program.
AMU Among the top 100 Universities:  The Times Higher Education List for the year 2012- 2013 has placed AMU among the top hundred Universities of Asia. The list includes nine other Indian Universities, among them Punjab University, Chandigarh, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.


AMU Medical College Ranked 15:  Nielsen Ranking of Best Medical Colleges of India for 2014 has placed the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in fifteenth position among numerous Indian medical colleges. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Delhi secured the top position, while Christian Medical College, Vellore, was placed the second. The high rating achieved by their medical college has greatly pleased the Aligarh community.


AMU Faculty of Law Rated Sixth Best:  Nielsen Ranking has judged the faculty of law as number six among the law institutions of India. The National Law School of the Indian University, Bangalore, secured the first position while the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University, Hyderabad, which was rated at the top last year dropped to the second position. The Banaras Hindu University Law Faculty was at number nine.


Tibbiya College Organizes a Medical Camp:  The Department of Moalejat, Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College, organized a free Unani Medical Camp at Jalesar, District Etah, to better familiarize people with the eastern Unani system of medicine. The camp received an overwhelming response from local people, and around 475 patients who attended the camp were examined by physicians trained in Unani system of medicine. (Source: AMU News)

Glimpses into the Past History of Aligarh

Nawab Hamid Ullah Khan of Bhopal Recalls his Student Days

Mukhtar Masood is a gifted Pakistani writer and a former civil servant who receive his entire education at Aligarh Muslim University. Selected for the Pakistan Civil Service in 1949, he occupied many high-level positions. His Urdu books became bestsellers in Pakistan, and his writings are permeated with his enduring love for his Alma Mater. The following paragraph is translated and excerpted from one of his most celebrated books, Aawaz-e-Dost.  Except for Moulana Azad’s Ghubar-e-Khatir, no other Urdu book has undergone so many reprintings.


“In December 1939, Hamid Ullah Khan, Nawab of Bhopal, came on a visit to Aligarh. He was invited to give a speech at the student’s Union. Except that he was wearing a western suit, he looked no different than any other student; had none of the regal accompaniments or an army of aides shadowing him. It was impossible to tell that in real life he belonged to that special class of Indian princes who normally go around with huge turbans bedecked with shiny jewels covering their heads, necklaces made of precious pearls hanging down their necks, and a throng of medals adorning their chests. In many ways, he looked so ordinary, so normal.


When he stood up to give the talk, in our minds, his status as an Aligarian superseded all his other identities. It was an unassuming, but captivating speech. Two phrases in his speech have remained imprinted in my memory ever since. Meanwhile, I must have listened to thousand of speeches given by many celebrities over the years, but they made no lasting impression.


“Hameed Ullah Khan started wistfully: ‘The golden period of my life when I used to be a student here has long passed and now I am a mere Old Boy. Yet, God knows, there is some ethereal, mystical quality to the environment of this institution–so unique, so inimitable. Whenever I set foot on this hallowed ground, the vision of the time I spent here returns with amazing alacrity. As I sat in this historic Union Hall, the memory of the speech I gave here as a student many, many years ago came rushing back, and with my mind’s eye I could envision that entire occasion vividly as if it happened only yesterday. The images seemed so authentic, so real that I started to fantasize–why did they re-invite me so soon?

“Hameed ullah Khan concluded his talk by directly addressing the Union vice president: ‘Sir,’ he exclaimed in a somber voice, ‘I noticed that your fingers are inching towards the bell, indicating that my time is nearly up. I dread it, as I don’t know when the next opportunity will come for us to meet again.'”(Aawaz-e-Dost, Mukhtar Masood, 1972)


It is unknown whether Nawab Hameed ullah Khan ever returned to his beloved University. He died in February 1960, at age 65.

Syed Amir (Editor)                                          Khurshid Usmani (Web)
Fazal Khan (President)                                  Tariq Farooqi (Chairman)

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