Activities Pick up Momentum
By Yousuf Bhuvad
Americans Mr. Naqvi, Mr. Bhuvad, Mr. Mannan, Mr. Ameer
and Ms. Kazmi with Arizona Democratic Party Chairman
receive awards for the best Democratic Party Club
in Phoenix, AZ
The transition from 2006 to 2007 ushered many wholesome
changes for the Pakistani-Americans in Arizona. Recently,
hundreds of Hajjis returned safely after performing Hajj.
Local Chandler families of Akhtar Hamidi, Shahid Pervez,
Yawar Khawaja, Syed Ahmar and many others had wonderful
experiences during Hajj and shared their experiences of
traveling to the holy land with us.
An important point was made about the diversity of the three
million plus Muslim Hajjis in Arafat, all of whom appeared
eager to help the others to perform Hajj safely.
Before the Hajj, the community was involved in political
activities and many get-to-gathers were held with candidates.
One such dinner was hosted by Dr. Farooqui and Mr. Naqvi
at the Scottsdale Muslim Community Center. Close to 400
key community members from various parts of the valley were
present to meet candidates for different public offices
for the upcoming mid-term election. Some of them included
Sen Harry Mitchell US Congress Dist 5, Attorney General
Arizona Terry Goddard, Dan Oseran State Senate Dist 7, Stephanie
Rimmer, House Rep legislative Dist 8 and Susan Fuchs, Justice
The candidates were invited by Mr. Arif Kazmi, Vice Chair
of the County political party, to share their campaign issues
with the community members so that they could make important
decisions. The candidates addressed the audience and made
themselves available to answer any questions, while also
meeting individually with the attendees.
Mitchell and his election team member Arif Kazmi at
a dinner reception. Also seen are Dr. and Mrs. Farooqui
and Mr. and Mrs. Naqvi
after winning the election, at the invitation of Mr. Kazmi,
US Congressman Harry Mitchell met with the Pakistani Americans
twice, at his office in Scottsdale and at the Islamic Center
in Tempe. The Congressman expressed his support for the
immigration reforms and lauded the community effort for
his victory. Mr. Kazmi shared his thoughts on the need to
overhaul the immigration system beginning from the US Consulate
Mitchell and Arif Kazmi address a
community gathering in Scottsdale, AZ
Farooqui expressed his concern for further cuts in Medicare
spending that could hurt the quality of health care.
Dr. Halepota who is also an activist for ACLU presented
a list of issues being faced on the civil liberty front.
Itrat talked about the liability of the small business owners
in hiring workers with false documents. Our guest and President
of the "We are America" organization, Roberto
Reveles expressed his support for the guest worker program
and offered his help for training Harry Mitchell's staff
in setting up the office.
The re-elected Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano, invited
several Pakistani community members to her inauguration
reception at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Earlier the re-elected State Attorney General Terry Goddard
held a reception at his residence and our community had
a special invitation to be there. Our political circles
have reported that another meeting is planned with US Congressman
Jeff Flake in the end of February to discuss local and international
issues of mutual interest
Before the November 2006 election, Bollywood-fame Javed
Akhter and Shabana Azmi were in the Phoenix valley for a
lecture series at Arizona State University during a literary
stars Shabana and Javed Akhtar with Latifs,
Kazmi and Bhuvad in Mesa, AZ
by ASU Office and Global Institute of Sustainability, Javed
and Shabana conducted an informal and interactive session
on Urban Sustainability and social/religious conflicts.
Both of them are well known for their activism on social
issues. A large number of ASU students as well as diverse
community members attended the event held at the Memorial
Union of the University. Social scientists and literature
enthusiasts from various parts of the Sub-continent fully
enjoyed the memorable event.
The local Pakistani community and others are anxiously waiting
for the Pakistan Consular services so that they could plan
their summer vacations. Our dedicated Consul, Mr. Ahsan
Wagan has announced the consular visit for Phoenix on March
3, 2007, 10:30 AM at the Phoenix Central Library (local
contact: 480 722 2996). Recently the Phoenix Pakistani Businessmen
were invited by our Commercial Counselor, Mr Shahid Tarar,
to attend a high level business seminar in the beginning
of March in Islamabad. Mr. Tarar is among those polished
high officials of Pakistan, who are very much involved in
engaging American businesses in Pakistan.