Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicott City MD 21041


May 2018

AAA – May  2018
Trustees: Aisha Khan (Chair), Tariq Farooqi, Abdullah Abdullah, Fazal Khan, Masood Farshori
Exec.Council: Rafat Husain (President), Harris Usmani (Treasurer), Afzal Usmani (Secretary)
AAA Annual Iftar and Dinner Fundraiser: The Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington, DC (AAA) will be holding its Ramzan fund-raising dinner on Saturday, May 26, 2018, at the Rockville Senior Center. The collected funds will support the Association’s highly acclaimed scholarship program offering stipends to bright and needy students at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). In addition, they will support a string of coaching centers across North India set up to prepare underprivileged students to compete for admission to higher academic institutions. In 2017, according to the AAA Scholarship Committee, donations supported 272 scholarships and helped over 800 students via 16 schools and coaching centers. AAA has assisted more than 5,000 students since 2008.

Up-coming Events: The AAA is planning the following events during the coming months. More details will be forthcoming shortly. 

Annual Picnic: Saturday, June 30, 2018 (corrected date)

Mushaira-Kavi Sammelan: Saturday, August 25, 2018
Annual Sir Syed Day Mushaira: Sunday, November 11, 2018

Violence at the AMU Campus: One May 2, the AMU came under attack by some elements of right-wing Hindutva parties. These attacks were ostensibly protesting a portrait of Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah hanging in the Students’ Union since 1938, when he was awarded an honorary membership of that body. The protesters were opposed by some of the students and they withdrew. Subsequently, students gathered at the campus to demand action against the intruders. To disperse them, the police resorted to the use of teargas and lathi charge. At least 28 protesting students and faculty members were injured and taken to hospital. The violence happened when the former vice-president of India, Professor Hamid Ansari, was visiting the campus to receive the life-membership award. The ceremony was called off and he returned to Delhi. 
Attack on an academic institution has provoked widespread uproar, nationally and internationally. The AAA secretary, Afzal Usmani, issued a statement in the name of the Association’s president and the chairperson, expressing the anguish and concern of the community at the police’s harsh action against the students protesting peacefully at the campus. For details: AMU SOLIDARITY STATEMENT-AAA-DC 

Community News
Mr. Tufail Ahmad Honored: Mr. Tufail Ahmad, the chairman of the Board of the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation (MCMF) and a long-time supporter AAA and its scholarship program was honored by Montgomery County with the Roscoe R Nix Distinguished Community Leadership award for his role in establishing MCMF and his dedication and hard work in launching several welfare programs to help the seniors, youth and other residents needing help. The AAA would like to congratulate Mr. Tufail for receiving the distinguished award in acknowledgment of his community service. 
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah: The founding members of the AAA, Dr. Abdullah, was recognized by the United Maryland Muslim Council for his services to the AAA and the community at large at a Grand Celebration Lunch on April 22, 2918. Congratulations on behalf of the AAA membership.

Ms. Sehar Raziuddin in a New Role: Sehar, daughter of Drs Arati and Razi Raziuddin, recently joined the Campaign Legal Center (CLC), as Foundation Manager. She would have opportunities in her new role to make valuable contributions to help protect and strengthen our democracy and civil rights in America. Congratulations to her and her parents. 

A Brand-New Physician: Dr. Sharmeen Husain, daughter of Dr. Rafat and Ms. Afreen Husain, completed her training in medicine this year at Eastern Virginia Medical School, VA. She will now start her residency program in surgery at Medstar Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore. The AAA joins many others in the community in offering congratulations and best wishes to Sharmeen and her parents. 
A noted Investigator: Dr. Mohammad Imran Ansari, an AAA member, who is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Baltimore, has published some exciting findings on opioid drugs. He and his colleagues have developed a new generation of drugs that are effective in pain relief, but have significantly lowered risk of addiction. Best wishes for and congratulations on Imran’s continued success.  For further information click here.
Editor’s Note: Professor Aley Ahmad Suroor was a poet, writer, literary critic and an Urdu scholar renowned for his work on Allama Iqbal. He taught at both Universities of Lucknow and AMU. Following Professor Rashid Ahmad Siddiqui’s retirement, he took over as head of the Urdu Department at Aligarh. He received high honors for his scholarship from the governments of India and Pakistan. In his autobiography, Khwab Baki Hain, Professor Suroor has narrated, in rich detail, life at the AMU during his tenure there (1958-1974). He included many captivating anecdotes and made candid commentaries on contemporary faculty members. He died in 2002 at age 90. The following paragraph, translated and adapted from his autobiography, describes the eccentricities of a few endearing professors.

“Moulana Abdul Aziz Memon, head of the Arabic Department, was considered unmatched in the depth of his knowledge and scholarship of Arabic. A charming conversationalist, he also had a reputation of being very frugal and tight in spending money. Admiringly, he bequeathed most of his wealth to the advancement of knowledge and research at AMU. Colonel Haider Khan, head of the Chemistry Department, a colorful personality famous for his unbounded love for Aligarh, had a quick, volcanic temper, but was also equally quick to forgive and forget. He loved his students, but never hesitated to reprimand them sternly. For that reason, his students were afraid of him, something that sounds odd these dayis. He was married to Mumtaz Apa, the daughter of the legendary Shaikh Abdullah, founder of the Girls College. 

Another memorable personality was Asghar Ali Haider, who was married to a German lady. They were a very hospitable couple, and, in the evenings, there were lively gatherings at their house, drawing luminaries such as Rashid Ahmad Siddiqui, Professor Haadi Hasan, and others. It was at the recommendation of Professor Rashid Ahmad Siddiqui that Allama Iqbal hired Professor Haider’s sister-in-law to take care of his young children, Jawaid and Munneza. The German lady related the story that when she arrived to join Iqbal’s household at Lahore, Iqbal came to the dinner table on fully attired in formal European evening dress. Later they came to the understanding that thereafter he would have his meals in his regular, informal attire, vest (Banyaan) and Tahmad, in which he felt at home and comfortable (Adapted from Khwab Baki Hain, published by the Fiction House, Lahore).
Syed Amir (Editor)                                                                                    Khurshid Usmani (Web)
Rafat Husain (President)                                                                        Aisha Khan (Chairperson)
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