Community Awareness Symposium Evokes Spontaneous Response
By Zia Khan

Abubakr Vakil
Zia Khan
Iqbal Ibrahim
Dr. Quratulain Bakteari

“Human resource development is a process of love, care, and humility and unlimited belief in the creative potential of ordinary and average people,” says Dr. Quratulain Bakhteari, Founding Director of Institute for Development Studies and Practices, IDSP-Pakistan. Dr. Bakhteari has been nominated for the award of the coveted Nobel Peace Prize for 2005 from Pakistan. She has spent over 30 years in community development related programs and humanitarian causes including the recent earthquake in the northern parts of Pakistan. She was one of the guests of honor at an intellectual community awareness symposium held on December 16, 2005 at the Shahnawaz Restaurant in Norwalk, California.
The dinner and symposium were hosted by prominent community members from Los Angeles including Zia Khan, Iqbal Ibrahim, Abubakr Vakil, Afreen and Mohsin Mehmood.

L to R: Dr. Nasim Malik, Abubakr Vakil, Zeshan Khan, Dr. Ahsan Mubarak and Iqbal Ibrahim
Zia Khan and Dr. Ahsan Mubarak
Zia and Tina Khan with Dr. Quratulain Bakteari

Dr. Ahsan Mubarak (Sitara-e-Imtiaz) a prominent nuclear seismic scientist was the other guest of honor who made a presentation on the recent earthquake and the seismic activity in Pakistan. His colorful charts came as a surprise to many of us who were not aware of the volatile situation and the activity beneath the surface of the earth. He responded to many questions from the audience and highlighted the need for greater awareness, building codes, and better preparedness for any future seismic events.
After the dinner the program began with tilawat-e-Kalam-e-Pak by Mr. Iqbal Ibrahim and its translation. He pointed to the human aspect of community building and remarked “Allah loves those who love their fellow

human beings.”

Mr. and Mrs. Sarfarz Khan with Dr.
Quratulain Bakteari
Dr. Quratulain Baktear, a guest and Irfan Murtaza
Dr. Quratulain Bakteari with Mr. and Mrs. Samin Faruqui

Mr. Abubakr Vakil a prominent community icon and supporter of Pakistani community affairs and humanitarian causes, spoke of the important work that Dr. Bakhteari and her institute were performing to better the lives of the under-developed communities of Pakistan. He emphasized the need for recognizing the work of silent workers such as Dr. Bakhteari and Dr. Mubarakmand.
Mr. Syed Hasan,a Los Angeles Pakistani community leader, stressed the need for supporting the work being done by the IDSP.
There was pin drop silence during the presentations. Dr. Quratulain Bakhteari showed a video on the activities of IDSP workers and some slides on the help and reconstruction support being provided to the earthquake victims in the 8000ft high mountain region of Batal and its surroundings.

Dr. Quratulain Bakteari with family
Dr. Quratulain Bakteari with a guest
A section of the audience
L to R: Zia Khan, Dr. Ahsan Mubarak, Dr Quratulain Bakteari and Iqbal Ibrahim

The mission statement of IDSP speaks for itself: “To create and develop human resources that will change the power structure by demystifying the development process and establish sustainable partnership with communities.” IDSP is an NGO based in Quetta, Pakistan, and provides learning opportunities to the youth, especially the community workers who attend a two-year course at the institute and later implement innovative programs on education policy and planning, gender mainstreaming, participatory poverty assessment, girl child nutrition program, and numerous advisory services to leading government and development related programs in Pakistan.
In response to a question as to how someone could support the work being done by her organization, she pointed out that individual support from people and organizations is the primary source of its strength.
IDSP’s future goals include building a university which would meet the challenges of the community building in the 21st century and would give Pakistan a continuous corps of educated and trained community workers who can go back and help in alleviating sufferings, solving problems, and contributing in community rebuilding and the educational process. Giving out proper education is at the core of Dr. Bakhteari’s program and all agreed with her. People showed great interest in her work and asked how they could help and participate in the noble cause. To begin with more information can be found on the website www.idsp.org.pk
In addition the e-mail to Dr. Bakhteari can be sent on idsp@idsp.org.pk


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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