HDF Fundraiser in Santa Clara Collects $155,000
By Ras H. Siddiqui

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
Athar Siddique
Dr. Shahnaz Khan
Imam Tahir

The Human Development Foundation (HDF) held its 3rd Annual Silicon Valley Benefit Dinner at the Santa Clara Marriott Hotel on July 15, 2006. Over 600 Pakistanis and locals attended this gala event which can attribute its success to our community’s ongoing concern about the welfare of Pakistan and the efforts of a great team that the HDF has assembled (including some young people) here in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The event began with a recitation from the Holy Qura’n by Imam Tahir Anwar. Dinner was served on time with, and this year with chili added to cater to Pakistani tastes and professionally presented in the continental tradition.

Javed Khan
Syed Ilyas Ahmed
Dr. Rajabally
Adeeb and Azeem Khan

Master of ceremonies Athar Siddiqee made the necessary introductions and got the program off to a good start. Our local host and leader Javed Khan of the HDF came up to the stage and welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming. “Figure out how to take part in this movement” (for the less fortunate), he said. He urged everyone to join the HDF and use this organization as a vehicle to bring change into the lives of poor people in Pakistan. Javed gave a briefing on his last visit to Pakistan and shared with us the great work that the HDF is doing there. The victims of the October 2005 massive earthquake in Northern Pakistan and Kashmir were very much on Javed’s mind during his “Report to Donors” and when he made an appeal to everyone present to be generous again this year. He also took the opportunity to thank a number of community members and local HDF team members along with the volunteers who worked very hard to make this event possible.
Following Javed, two young boys, twins Adeeb and Azeem Khan, came up to the stage dressed in the traditional Pakistani clothes and sang “Dil Dil Pakistan.” It would have been a real delight if this song’s original singer Junaid Jamshed of the “Vital Signs” could have been there to assist them, but for some reason he could not make it even though as he was originally slated to be the event keynote speaker.
Syed Ilyas Ahmed next spoke from his experience with disaster management. He spelled out the specific immediate needs after the October 2005 earthquake - building materials and people (plumbers and electricians)and medicines (especially Tetanus vaccines). Syed was extremely appreciative of the Cuban Medical team that stayed on for 9 months in the area to help 31000 people, performing 845 surgeries and over 5900 minor procedures. (And to add to his words we Pakistani-Americans would like to acknowledge the help provided by the US Chinook Helicopter crews and M.A.S.H. units during Pakistan’s days of crisis).
Dr. Shahnaz Khan, one of the two main pillars of the Human Development Foundation, spoke next. She introduced us to the HDF “Apni Madad Aap” campaign that is the organization’s philosophical base. Dr. Khan spoke of the more than 20,000 children that died in that earthquake but reminded everyone that over 400,000 children die in Pakistan every year from treatable diseases. She said that this was the silent and daily disaster still there. She said that next year HDF would be 10 years old, a matter of pride for us. She also described the work that the organization has been doing in various parts of Pakistan and invited everyone to visit its projects while visiting there. She recognized the original vision of the HDF which the late Dr. Mahbub ul Haq had presented. “The vision is not to have state welfare,” she said. The HDF is a charitable organization, but it is not a charity. She said that the HDF promoted self-help.

A section of the audience
L to R: Javed Khan, Shahid Khan and Athar Siddique

A moving video montage presentation described the phases of earthquake relief that HDF was involved in. But there is so much more to do where we can help. HDF is compassion, teamwork and hope. HDF makes a difference, described by a voice in the video.
Dr. Rajabally, a well-known area personality was invited to assist in the fundraising activity. And amongst his many talents, he is very much in the fundraising arena and quickly took charge of the task. Over $137,000 had been collected by Maghrib prayer time and before the keynote speech soon after.
Keynote speaker Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is no stranger to the area Islamic speaker’s circuit. He is a sought after commentator on a number of Islamic issues and has been especially helpful in communicating the real face of Muslims in post-9/11 America.
But on this evening his talk was focused on Pakistan and the Pakistanis whom he described as an “incredibly generous” community which is very supportive of Muslim causes. He said that he had come into contact with the misery of the October 2005 earthquake in the UAE and had a feel for the conditions there. He described Pakistan as “a state founded on very high principles” and felt that the younger generation does not realize how many people sacrificed a great deal to come to Pakistan. “A lot of people have forgotten what that principle was,” he said. He added that some have even become cynical. “People really need to think about the state of Pakistan,” he added. He spoke of the thousands of Pakistani doctors working in the USA, and asked how many people were from King Edwards and Aga Khan Medical College in the audience? King Edward gave up his crown for love, he reminded us. “You serve what you love,” he said. He described Pakistan as an extraordinary place that needs help.
Entertainment brought the evening to its logical conclusion. Dr. Waheed Siddiqee played sitar along with Ferhan Qureshi on tabla to start things off. Local poet Javaid Sayed presented some of his moving verses. Asim Khan on keyboards and the very popular Maneshwar Judge on the tabla rejuvenated the Sawaaz Band spirit.
Javed Khan and the local HDF team (especially Shahid Khan who was recognized for his efforts on stage) and all the old and young volunteers from local Pakistani-American community need to be thanked for the success of this event. The $155,000 raised was certainly a great reflection on everyone here.
In conclusion, the HDF mission is “to facilitate a movement for a positive social change and community empowerment through mass literacy, enhanced quality of education, universal primary health care and grassroots economic development.” Under the “Apni Madad Aaap” banner the HDF is currently serving thousands of people and operating over 200 schools, many health care clinics and has a large in micro-credit effort in Pakistan. It is headquartered in Schaumburg Illinois and can be reached at www.hdf.com online where one will find a group Americans that proudly say “Yes” to Pakistan.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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