Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicott City MD 21041


May 2014

News from around the Washington Area

Shaam-e-Ghazal: As part of its 40th anniversary celebration, Aligarh Alumni Association of Washington DC (AAA) is hosting Shaam-e-Ghazal, an evening of beautiful classical music and romantic poetry led by Radhika Chopra, known for her superb renditions of Ghazals of celebrated poets like Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Mirza Ghalib and contemporary poets like Farhat Shahzad and Parveen Shakir. The event will be held on May 30, 2014, at 7:00 pm at the Universities at Shady Grove, Rockville, MD

– Please reserve your ticket by clicking here.

– Purchase tickets at here.

– To see a sample of her performance, click here.

AAA and the Islamic Horizons: In its latest issue (May/June, 2014), Islamic Horizons, the bimonthly magazine of Islamic Society of North America, has published an article under the headline; Living the Spirit of Aligarh, recounting details of the Aligarh movement, and highlighting its share in uplifting the educational and economic status of Muslims of the subcontinent following the devastation wrought by the 1857 war of independence. The article also discusses the contributions of the AAA, especially the important role played by Dr. Abdullah, in advancing the mission of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in this country and abroad.

Fund-raising Event to Help Children:  Drs. Razi Raziuddin and Arati Raziuddin recently hosted a fund-raising meeting, limited to AAA members and sympathizers, at their house to raise money to support a school in Aligarh for young orphan students.  Significance amount of money was collected which will be sent to the school trustees.


News from Aligarh Muslim University

An Exhibition of Rare Photographs: An exhibition of rare photographs on the life of Rashid Jahan, eminent writer, dramatist and daughter of legendary papa Mian Sheikh Abdullah, was inaugurated at the Moinuddin Ahmad Art Gallery by the Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah. The exhibition has been organized jointly by the Sir Syed Academy, Moinuddin Ahmad Art Gallery of AMU and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi.

Presentation at International History Conference at Lahore:   A group of ten delegates, including seven teachers, one Assistant Archaeologist and two research scholars from the Department of History presented their Research papers in the 24th International Pakistan History Conference organized by the Department of History & Pakistan Studies, University of Punjab, Lahore.. Researcher from around the world participated and shared their ideas on history and historiography of South Asia.

New Editor of Monthly Fikr-o-Nazar:   Professor Syed Mohammad Hashim, Department of Urdu, has been appointed Editor of Urdu monthly “Fikr-o-Nazar” in place of Professor Abul Kalam Qasmi. The Vice Chancellor Lt Gen (Retd) Zameer Uddin Shah has made the appointment for a period of two years with immediate effect.

Best Delegate Award at the UN Conferee, Kazakhstan:   Mr. Zulfiqar Sheth, Research Scholar, Department of Economics, and Senior Hall, Viqar-ul-Mulk Hall, won the best delegate award at the New Silk Way International Model United Nations Conference held at Almaty, Kazakhstan. He was part of the eight-member Indian delegations to the international conference.

Targeted Communal Violence: The former Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, today expressed his concern on incidents of “targeted communal violence” in the country in which the police force had reportedly played a dubious role. He was delivering the fourth K. P. Singh Memorial Lecture on “India’s Emergence as a Nation: Its Triumphs and Tragedies “at the Aligarh Muslim University (Source: AMU News, May 2014)

 Glimpses into Aligarh’s Past

Emir Habibullah Khan’s Historic Visit to the MAO College more than a Century Ago.

Emir Habibullah Khan ruled Afghanistan from 1901 to 1919. At the time, British India Government was deeply embroiled in the affairs of Afghanistan, since it did not want that country coming under the sway of Czarist Russia which was considered a potential threat to British sovereignty over India. In 1907, Emir Habibullah Khan was invited to tour India by the viceroy, Lord Minto. A visit of the Emir, a religious man, to MAO College was especially arranged to show him the premier Muslim educational institution .Habibullah Khan did not have a good opinion of the college as he had heard many negative stories about lack of religiosity of the students and teachers. He wanted to see for himself how bad the situation was.

He was warmly welcomed at the college. First, a group of Shia students was introduced to him. He questioned them about the principles of Islam.  Their responses did not satisfy him as he himself had only scant knowledge of the Shia theology. Next, a different group of students was presented. The Emir tested them with new questions. Having satisfied himself that their answers were correct as far as he understood them, he picked a student at random and asked him to recite a sura from the Quran. Fortuitously, the student was both a Hafiz and a qari. He chose a sura from Aa’lay Imran to recite. His recitation was so pleasing and voice so melodious that it brought tears to the eyes of the King. By the time, it was over; the Emir became exceedingly emotional, his beard soaked with tears. Finally, he raised himself, embraced the young man and declared that from that day on, he would be the greatest defender of the college and the staff and vigorously fight those bent on falsely defaming that great institution.

(Translated and adapted from Aa’mal nama, The autobiography of Sir Raza Ali, 1943)

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