Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicot City MD 21403

410-531-9492

October 2015

NEWS FROM AROUND WASHINGTON AREA
AAA Hosts a Qawwali Program: Some 150 music lovers, braving rain and cold weather, came out to attend the Mehfil-e-Sama, organized by the Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC (AAA), on Saturday, October 3, 2015, at the Turkish Community Center auditorium at Lanham, MD. The AAA hosted a Qawwali program for the first time, and judging by the overwhelming positive response it received from the audience, it was a great success.
The Qawwali and music were rendered by the Sunny Diwan orchestra, who have an established reputation as Ghazal and light music singers. For them, Qawwali was a venture into an unfamiliar territory. Making their debut in the Washington area, they staged an admirable performance. The elegant setting of the Turkish auditorium with its state-of-the-art audio facilities and brand new furnishings helped create a magical ambiance. Reprising the old South Asian tradition, the enthralled audience showered money on the artists to express their delight. The event was organized and directed by Mr. Masood Farshori, who was ably assisted by a coterie of volunteers.
Report of this event, printed in “Indian Panorama” can be obtain by clicking here.
The Annual 41st International Mushaira: The AAA’s signature event, the annual international Mushaira, will be held on Saturday, November 7, 2015, at Gaithersburg High School, MD. The AAA has announced that some of the well-known Urdu poets, including
Javed Akhtar,

Lata Haya and A.M. Turaz from India, Seema Ghazal and Sarwat Zehra from Pakistan, along with selected poets of North America will be participating. For further information click here.

Sir Syed Day Memorial Lecture and Dinner: The Mushaira will be followed the next day (Sunday, November 8, 2015) by a scholarly lecture and dinner to celebrate the 198th birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, founder of the Aligarh Muslim University. The keynote speaker will be the noted scholar, Professor David Lelyveld, who will address the topic, “Making Room for Women, Aligarh College and University.” The lecture and dinner will be held at the Argyle Country Club, Silver Spring, MD. For more information click here,
Glimpses into the Past History of Aligarh
Masood Farshori Fondly Remembers his Days at AMU
 
The Scheduled Sir Syed Day Lecture and Dinner on November 8, 2015, brought back memories of Sir Syed Day dinners. Every year on October 17, AMU celebrates the birth anniversary of its founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, with elaborate and sumptuous dinners to which all students are invited.
Offerings of free food and drink, for good-food deprived students, were a rare treat. The impatient among us often jumped over the shamiana drapes to access food at Sir Syed Dinners. However, not everyone was so desperate. If you were a friend of the Hall’s food monitor, who was invariably a senior resident student, you hit the jack pot on the dinner night. You would be treated royally, be an honored guest, and be seated next to the food monitor. Your status would ensure that the first offerings of the best dishes would be brought to you.
Conversely, the further away you sat from the food monitor, the less likely it would be that you got your hands on special “murgha taang” or the biryani dish. An empty “doonga” with no “goasht” would likely be your fate, especially if you were sitting at the end of the “dastar-khwan.” Some students, like me, finding themselves in that unfortunate situation, would empty the “raita” dish into their plates and be content with eating any left over salad; after all, something was better than nothing.
Back in those days, we followed some long-established, quaint AMU traditions. Senior students usually enjoyed a high status. Right after the final exams, juniors would purposely delay their departure home, waiting for the seniors to leave first. Everyone in the hostel would somehow find out about the train their departing seniors friends were to take from Aligarh and its time of departure. Then, we would surprise them by showing up en masse at the railway station to say goodbye, attired in Sherwani and pajama. Of course, according to the tradition, it was incumbent upon the senior to treat us with some tea, the so-called “free treat for juniors.” Even though traveling to the railway station from the Habib Hall, where I resided, was a long bike ride, we thought it was a fun-filled experience, well worth having for the free cup of tea.
(Mr. Masood Farshori was a student at AMU in the early eighties, receiving his MBA degree in 1984. He is the incoming (2016-2017) president of the AAA.)
Syed Amir (Editor)                                                                                 Khurshid Usmani (Web)

Farzana Farooqi (President)                                                               Razi Raziuddin (Chairman)

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