Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicott City MD 21041


September 2017

Upcoming Events
Sir Syed’s Bicentennial Celebration: Preparations are well underway to celebrate on a grand scale the two-hundredth birth anniversary of the founder of the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College, later to become the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). The Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC (AAA) has designed a rich and eclectic program to mark the occasion. The event will be held at the Turkish Community Center (Diyanat Center of America) on Saturday, September 9, 2017. It will include an exhibition of books, historic photographs and news clippings related to Sir Syed, scholarly talks on the relevance of his message in today’s world, a live demonstration of the lost art of storytelling that once flourished in Indian cities, like Delhi, Lucknow and Peshawar, and travel stops along the silk road. The program also will include a catered dinner. Further information can be obtained from our website by clicking here.
The Annual Mushaira: The AAA will host its traditional, annual Mushaira on Saturday, November 19, 2017. A galaxy of national and international poet is expected to participate. The location and other details will be announced shortly.
Past Events
Annual Kevi-Sammelan and Mushaira: Following the tradition of past years, the AAAin cooperation with the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) organized the 10th annual Mushaira and Kavi- Sammelan on 19th August 2017 at the Arlington Central Library Auditorium, Arlington, VA. This program affords an opportunity to the people of the subcontinent to gather under one roof and celebrate their common cultural heritage. This year, Independence Day fortuitously coincided with the Janam Ashtami festivities. The organizers had dedicated the event to the memory of a distinguished Aligarian and freedom fighter, Maulana Hasrat Mohani, who was among the first Indian leaders to demand complete independence from the British Raj. Some 30 poets participated in the poetry reading and regaled the audience. Dr. Moazzam Siddiqui presided over the session, while Dr. Abdullah Abdullah served as the compere. Zafar Iqbal organized and directed it. (Contributed by Dr. Zafar Iqbal)
Book-Releasing Ceremony: Ms. Nuzaira Azam’s second novel, Anahita Ki Janam Basti, was formally released in a well-attended ceremony on July 22, 2017, at the Pohick Regional Library, Burke, Virginia. A number of academic and literary associations of Metropolitan Washington area, including the AAA, joined in hosting this event, and more than 120 Washington literary fans attended it. Some prominent literary figures in the area critiqued the book and its theme. The author, recounting the political and social norms prevailing at the time the novel was set, highlighted the hurdles and road blocks female professionals routinely faced in their working lives. She expressed some relief, however, that the situation lately had been changing for the better. (Courtesy, Dr. Zafar Iqbal)
AAA Annual Picnic: The Association held its annual picnic on Sunday, July 9, 2017, at Urbana District Park, Frederick, MD. The members and guests had a fun time, partaking in abundant food items, with barbeque grills working non-stop. Some added attractions included a game of cricket, live music performance, exotic drinks, such as lassi and the famous AMU “dhabay wali chai”. Taking advantage of the gathering, the Association officers reminded the attendees of the forthcoming functions and the need to publicize them widely among the community members. (Mr. Masood Farshori contributed to the report)
Community News
Wedding: The wedding of Ms. Sehar Raziuddin, daughter of Drs. Razi and Arti Raziuddin, the long-standing and active members of the AAA, to Dr. Mathew Robinson was solemnized on August 13, 2017, at the Argyle Club, Silver Spring, MD. The bride is the program manager, American Bar Council and has been involved in the promotion of civil rights, elections and democracy in the Third World countries. The bridegroom is a physician and a Senior Fellow, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, studying issues of global health/ Infectious diseases in the Third World. Best wishes on behalf of the Aligarh community to the newlywed couple.
Glimpses into the History
Nawab Hamidullah Khan of Bhopal
Editor’s Note: His Highness Nawab Hamidullah Khan was the last ruler of the princely state of Bhopal. One of the most talented and astute rulers of the Indian princely states, he ascended the throne in 1926, the first male heir, following an uninterrupted rule by three female monarchs. Nawabzada Shahryar Khan, who migrated to Pakistan as a child with his mother, Princess Abida Sultan, is the grandson of Nawab Hamidullah Khan. A prolific author, he retired after serving in high positions in Pakistan’s diplomatic service. The following paragraph about his grandfather is extracted and adapted from his book; “The Begums of Bhopal” (IB. Tauris Publishers, London and New York.):
“Nawab Hamidullah Khan has a unique place in Indian history, as he alone among Muslim Indian princes was educated at Aligarh Muslim University. In the year 1910, young Hamidullah was enrolled by his mother, Her Highness Sultan Jahan Begum, at the famous Aligarh Muslim University (AMU); a move that represented a historic departure from traditions of the Bhopal royal family. Sultan Jehan Begum, an enlightened ruler was intensely interested in prompting education among Indian Muslims, especially women, and was herself to serve as the first chancellor of the AMU.
At Aligarh, apart from special living arrangements, the young prince was treated like any other student, and even had to endure the torturous “ragging” (introduction night) ceremony which all freshman had to. His mother insisted that the prince should experience academic and social life like any other AMU student. Hamidullah Khan distinguished himself as an outstanding sportsman, a talented student and a natural leader of men. Soon, the short, attractive prince gathered around him a circle of young friends who were academically high achievers and politically savvy. Many of them later joined the Bhopal state service in high positions, so much so that at one time, the state administration was virtually run by AMU Alumni.” 
Nawab Hamidullah Khan never lost his affection for and attachment to his alma mater. He died in 1960 when he was only 65 years old.
Syed Amir (Editor)                                                                                   Khurshid Usmani (Web)

Mohammed Akbar (President)                                                                    Fazal Khan (Chairman)

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