Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicot City MD 21403

410-531-9492

June 2018

AAA – June  2018
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Trustees: Aisha Khan (Chair), Tariq Farooqi, Abdullah Abdullah, Fazal Khan, Masood Farshori
Exec.Council: Rafat Husain (President), Harris Usmani (Treasurer), Afzal Usmani (Secretary)
NEWS FROM AROUND WASHINGTON AREA
Iftar Dinner and Fundraiser: The Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC (AAA), held its annual Ramzan fundraising program on May 26, 2018, at the Senior Center of Rockville, Maryland. More than 150 guests, drawn from a spectrum of local organizations, attended the event.
 
The annual event is designed to raise funds to support meritorious and needy students. Since 1976, it has helped over 2,800 students at AMU through an established scholarship program. In addition, the Feeder Program, started in 2008, has assisted over 5,000 students in various parts of India where free, private tutorial facilities are offered. 
 
The AAA secretary-elect, Mr. Mohib Ahmad, welcomed the audience, while Dr. Haris Azmi coordinated the proceedings. Dr. Aftab Ansari (Chairman, Scholarship Committee), Dr. Razi Raziuddin (in charge of the Feeder Program), and Mr. Mohsin Khan (Member, Scholarship Committee) briefed the guests about the status of their respective programs. 
 
The guest-speaker Ms. Sehar Raziuddin reminded the audience of their obligation in this month to support charitable causes, such as education. The chief guest, Mr. Suhail Farooqui, an entrepreneur, encouraged the audience to increase their level of participation to help sustain AAA’s educational and humanitarian projects. 
 
Dr. Atiya Khan, a lifetime member of AAA, added her voice in support of the important scholarship program being run by the AAA. The evening concluded with brief remarks by Ms. Shakila Raza who thanked the donors, participants, and volunteers. The occasion raised around $45,000, making it a successful evening. (Adapted from an article by Mr. Afzal Usmani).
 
 
AAA Annual Picnic: The AAA will be holding its annual picnic on Saturday, June 30, 2018, at Urbana District Park, Shelter 1, Frederick, MD, starting at 12 noon. For details, please click here.
SELECTED NEWS FROM AMU
Basic Research Flourishes at the University:  According to a notification from AMU public relation’s office. Dr. Saba Tufail, a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry, J N Medical College, has identified a protein, amyloid nanosheets, with structural features that might facilitate its use as a delivery vehicle for drugs to combat the progression of dreaded diseases, such as Alzheimer and Parkinson, besides cancer and similar malignant disorders. Her findings have been published in the prestigious Journal “Journal of Biological Chemistry.”  Dr. Aftab Ansari of the AAA fondly recalls that many years ago he had reported findings drawn from his thesis research carried out at the same department to the same journal (Contributed by Dr. Rafat Husain).
MEMORIES FROM THE PAST
The Passing of an Era
In the course of a year, the literary world has lost two illustrious authors who were both alumni of the Aligarh Muslim University. Mukhtar Masood, died in April last year (2017) at Lahore at age 90, while Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi passed away on June 21, 2018, at Karachi at age 94. Both were proud of their association with AMU, and their love for their alma mater and the influence it had on shaping their careers is evident in many of their essays. By an uncanny coincidence, they were also contemporaries at Aligarh. 
 

Mukhtar Masood received his entire education at AMU, starting with the University High School. He migrated to Pakistan soon after independence. He is quoted as remarking that “had events not intervened, he would have preferred to spend his entire life teaching at AMU.” In 1949, Mukhtar Masood successfully competed in the Pakistan Superior Service Examination and joined the Civil Service, serving in many pivotal positions at provincial and federal levels. All his achievements notwithstanding, he will not be remembered as a bureaucrat, rather as an accomplished author, essayist and social philosopher who had invented and refined his own unique writing style, greatly enriching Urdu literature.
His first book, Awaaz-e-Dost, drawing upon his tender memories from his days at Aligarh, was an instant best seller that secured his place in the pantheon of Urdu literature. It was followed by two more, Safar-e-Nasib and Lauhe-e-Ayyam., the last recorded an eye-witness account of the Iranian revolution as it unfolded while he served as the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation for Development based at Tehran. Until his last few years, Mukhtar Masood remained involved in social and literary activities.
Compared to Mukhtar Masood, Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi gained greater popularity among the ordinary folks, who loved the humor, satire and wittiness that pervaded all his writings, a trait developed and nurtured during his Aligarh days. He occupied top positions in Pakistan’s financial institutions while establishing himself as the foremost practitioner of the art of humorous writing that echoed some of Professor Rashid Ahmad Siddiqui style. His one-liners became the staple of dinner conversations at salons and social gatherings in Pakistan.
His first book, Chiragh Talay, was published in 1961 and has been so popular that some 11 editions have appeared so far. Subsequently, he authored Khakam Badahan (1970), Zarguzasht (1976) and Aab-i-Gum (1990), books that established him as one of the most celebrated humorists of our time. His last book, Shaam-e-Shair-e-Yaaran (2014), was unveiled at the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi in 2014, and was eagerly received by his Urdu-reading fans around the world.
Both Mukhtar Masood and Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi received the highest honors that Pakistan could bestow. On the occasion of Yusufi’s recent death in Karachi, someone ruefully commented that it would be a long time before the Aligarh Muslim University produced another Mukhtar Masood or Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi.

Syed Amir (Editor)                                                                                    Khurshid Usmani (Web)
Rafat Husain (President)                                                                        Aisha Khan (Chairperson)
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