Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicott City MD 21041


September 2019

AAA-DC – September 2019
Trustees: Mohammad Rashid (Chair), Aisha Khan, Abdullah Abdullah, Fazal Khan, Masood Farshori
Exec.Council: Razi Raziuddin (President), Wazir Qadri (Treasurer), Mohsin Khan (Secretary)
The International AAA-DC Mushaira and Sir Syed Day Dinner: The AAA-DC has decided to dedicate its annual Mushaira to the birth centenary of renowned Urdu poet, Kaifi Azami, The Mushaira and the Sir Syed Day Dinner this year will be held on Saturday, November 16, and Sunday, November 17, 2019, respectively. The special features of these events, besides the anticipated participation of a constellation of national and international poets, will be the participation of Javed Akhtar, a prominent Urdu poet and famous Bollywood lyricist. In addition, the vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Professor Tariq Mansoor, has accepted the invitation to be the chief guest at the Mushaira and the keynote speaker at the Sir Syed Day Dinner the following day. The details of these functions are being worked out by the Association and will be announced shortly. 
Eleventh Annual Independence Day Mushaira-Kavi Sammelan: The AAA-DC in association with the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin-Metro DC (GOPIO-DC) hosted a Yom-e-Azadi Mushaira/Kavi Sammelan, celebrating 72nd Independence Days of the subcontinent, at the Central Library Auditorium, Arlington, on Sunday 25th August 2019. More than 150 literary enthusiasts flocked into the auditorium to be part of this event. Coordinator Dr. Zafar Iqbal explicated that the goal of the program was to provide a forum where people of diverse background, transcending political, religious, regional, and geographical boundaries, could assemble under the same umbrella and enjoy the Ganga-Jamuni (variegated) culture of the subcontinent.
Dr. Razi Raziuddin, President AAA-DC, and Dr. Renuka Misra of GOPIO-DC welcomed the audience on behalf of their associations. Dr. Moazzam Siddiqui, former Director of South-Asian and Far East Languages at Voice of America, traced the history of centuries-old cultural heritage of the people of the subcontinent and the role of Urdu in the freedom movement. Dr. Mike Ghouse expanded on the same theme by reciting a poem, evoking early memories of shared celebrations of festivals of all communities. Mr. Afzal Usmani skillfully piloted the poetry recitation session. In keeping with the tradition of honoring authors and poets of the Metro-Washington area, books of two poets-Rakesh Khandelwal and Gulshan Madhur-were introduced and released by Dr. Satya Pal Anand and Dr. Ashok Narayan, respectively. (Contributed by Dr. Zafar Iqbal)
AMU Microbiologist recognized for his Research Contributions: Professor Asad Ullah Khan, Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Biotechnology Unit, AMU, will be conferred the Visitor’s Awards 2019, by the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan for his work “Identifying the antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a growing problem in India: the mechanism of spread and control of AMR.”
Professor Khan is recognized nationally and internationally for his contributions over a decade to overcoming the problem of AMR. He has developed technology to control infection caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria. The work is, however, still in its early stage. Professor Khan is also a recipient of the National Bioscience Award of the Government of India. He was earlier elected a member of European Commission and UK Academy of Medical Sciences to work on the AMR problem in India (Communicated by Dr. Razi Raziuddin).
Dr. Hashima Hasan Receives 20-year Service Award: Dr. Hasan, a past president of the AAA-DC, was recently honored by NASA for completing 20 years of meritorious service. The NASA announcement cited her achievements as program scientist for 12 missions that spanned the entire electro-magnetic spectrum, from infrared to x-ray, extending into gravity probe B physics. Especially appreciated were her contributions to the success of two Hubble missions and the first flight of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, a joint venture of NASA and The Boeing Company. Besides her latest recognition, Hashima has received numerous awards and prizes for her outstanding performance at NASA.
Wedding of Afsheen Eeshat: The wedding of Ms. Afsheen Eeshat, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eeshat Ullah Ansari, was solemnized with Mr. Jordan Fischetti on Saturday, August 24, 2019, at Meadowlark Atrium, Vienna, VA. The colorful, elegant ceremony was presided over by Dr. Mike Ghouse and Rabbi Stuart Gershon. The wedding guests comprise an eclectic group drawn from diverse faiths. Eeshat Ullah Ansari is a second generation Aligarian.
How an Indian Saw America Over a Century Ago
(Editor’s Note) Munshi Diya Narain Nigam was a towering figure in his days who made enormous contributions to Urdu literature. He edited the monthly Zamana magazine from Kanpur, India, from 1903 until his death in 1942. The magazine set a high standard in journalism and its old files are still cherished and meticulously preserved by many individuals and libraries. A selection of articles from Zamana was compiled in a book and published in 1994 by Khuda Bakh Oriental Public Library, Patna, as a tribute to Munshi Nagham. The following account is translated and adapted from an article by Pandit Shive Narayan who visited the US in 1905.
My journey started on February 3, 1904, at San Francisco and ended in the same city a year later. In the meanwhile, I covered some twelve thousand miles by train and boat. There is an abundance of majestic metropolises in this country, that have numerous factories manufacturing a variety of goods. The cities and towns look so imposing and luxurious that I cannot fully describe them. Although Americans have already achieved great prosperity, they are still frantically chasing wealth and material goods. The population of the country mostly comprises immigrants from Europe, and the real native people live in a primitive, segregated state, speaking their own language.

The local currency is the silver dollar which is equivalent to our three-and-half rupees. The cost of living is high, and the traveler should be very careful about how to spend his money. A single room in a hotel could cost anywhere from one to twenty-five dollars per night, which does not even include meals. However, there is an abundance of restaurants where decent meals can be had for fifty cents to one dollar daily. The cost for getting a shirt laundered is as high as ten or fifteen cents, but it is very important in this country to appear fashionable and well dressed. Be especially watchful for those fellows who show much friendship and feign concern for your well being, even offering to take you around the city. They appear earnest, until they spring on the unsuspecting tourist a hefty bill for their unsolicited services. It is best to avoid going out at night. If, for some unavoidable reason, one must venture outside, it is of the utmost importance not to engage in a conversation with anyone, especially women, lest you may get caught in some nasty scandal. 

Syed Amir (Editor)                                                                   Khurshid Usmani (Web)
Razi Raziuddin (President)                                      Mohammad Rashid (Chairperson) donate to AAA each time you shop. Click on the right to donate.
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