Trustees: Mohammad Rashid (Chair), Aisha Khan, Abdullah Abdullah, Fazal Khan, Masood Farshori
Exec.Council: Razi Raziuddin (President), Wazir Qadri (Treasurer), Mohsin Khan (Secretary)
NEWS FROM AROUND WASHINGTON AREA
The Annual Iftar and Fundraiser: The AAA-DC organized its annual Ramzan Iftar and fundraiser on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at Rockville Senior Center. The function was well-attended. Association president, Dr. Razi Raziuddin, served as the emcee. Mr. Harris Usmani, secretary-elect, welcomed the guests, while Dr. Mohsin Khan, current secretary, briefly updated the audience about the AAA-DC’s Feeder Program which aims at establishing coaching centers in India to prepare students for higher education. In addition, it supports education of children, grade 5-12.
Dr. Aftab Ansari, chairman of the scholarship committee, made a Power-Point presentation illustrating the success of the scholarship project. The number of scholarships went up last year by 15, to a total of 287, while the amount of individual award increased from Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,500. The AAA-DC has awarded over 3,000 scholarships since 1976. Similarly, under the Feder Program, 25 units of schools and coaching centers have been established, and over 6,000 students have so far benefited from it (for more details click here
The keynote speaker, Dr. Frank Islam, a renowned philanthropist and benefactor of the AMU, recounted the numerous ways in which he had benefited from the AMU. He attributed his success in life to the education he received and the self-confidence he developed while a student. He urged the audience to generously donate to promotion of educational opportunities being offered by the scholarship program. Mr. Shahidur Rasheed Talukdar and Dr. Atiya Khan, both effective motivational speakers, also encouraged the audience to support the program. At the end, the AAA-DC raised close to $54,000 in donations, thanks to the generosity of the community. A distinctive feature of the program was that it was largely planned and orchestrated by the younger members and office-bearers of the Association (Dr. Aftab Ansari contributed to the report).
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The AMU Vice Chancellor’s Reflections for the Future: Professor Tariq Mansoor, on completion of his two years, highlighted some of his achievements and articulated his vision for the future as follows:
The University is now counted among the top national institutions, according to an evaluation conducted by international and national agencies. The faculty of life sciences is ranked number one in the country. Based on these accomplishments, the expert committee (EEC) has recommended that the status of “Institute of Eminence” be bestowed upon the AMU. If approved, the University will receive Rs. 1000 crores over a period of five years.
Also, approval has been received for recruitment to some teaching positions for the Colleges of Nursing and of Para Medical College. The construction of the new building of these Colleges is in the planning stage. The Tibbiya College Dawakhana is now fully functional. To provide residential facilities for female students, the University has recently opened the 1500-bed Begum Azizun Nisa Hall of residence. The University has also submitted an elaborate proposal for establishment of a separate, “College of Professional Studies for Women”, to the Government of India with a budget estimate of Rs. 140 crores.
The University has entered the digital age. Recently, 64 classrooms have been converted into Smart Classrooms. We recently organized the winter session of the Aligarh Academic Enrichment Program at which eminent alumni from the USA and UK made presentations for the benefit of research scholars and the faculty (Dr. Rafat Husain contributed to this report).
(Editor’s Note: Dr. Abid Ullah Ghazi was a prominent student at AMU in the fifties, who served as both secretary and president of the Student’s Union. Recently, he has written a book based on his experiences of life during his seven-year stay at Aligarh).
It was December 1959, the University was closing for a week and a few of us decided to visit the International Industrial Exhibition being held at Delhi at the time, wherein many countries were showcasing their industrial progress. For the first time, US and the Soviet Union were introducing an early version of the black and white TV in India. However, my problem was how to find money for the trip. Somehow, I scraped together enough money to cover the ticket, but what about the rest? I recklessly decided to put aside these worries and joined the travel party anyway. None of us had any idea where we would eat or sleep at night once in Delhi.
Fortuitously, one of us knew an Aligarh friend, Shah Abdul Qayyum, who lived in Delhi, but we had no further details. After reaching Delhi, we traced his house and knocked at his door in the middle of the night. When he saw this army of invasion descending on him out of nowhere, he was startled and somewhat befuddled. Our leader, Prince Nayeer Qadar, heir to the defunct Oudh dynasty, who knew him, invoked the Aligarh connection. These are your own fellow Aligarians, he implored. They are hungry, cold and looking for a shelter for the night and depending on you.
After collecting his wits, Qayuum expressed his inability to help us at that late hour. However, he was not going to leave us in a lurch. He took us to his elder brother, who lived close by and was a prosperous businessman. The brother turned out to be very hospitable and kindly soul. He welcomed us and ordered some hot food for us. Then, looking at our bedraggled state, inquired whether we had a place to stay overnight., He laughed at our response that the only shelter we had was either his house or his shop. He hastily collected a few old scrappy blankets from neighbors, laid them on a poorly carpeted floor. These served as our beds. In the morning, we were provided with delicious puri and sabzi breakfast. The lesson: the Aligarh connection never fails; it made our trip both possible and enjoyable (Translated and adapted from Jehd- e- Musalsal, by Dr. Abid Ullah Ghazi)
Syed Amir (Editor) Khurshid Usmani (Web)
Razi Raziuddin (President) Mohammad Rashid (Chairperson)
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