Phoenix Community’s Activities Pick up Momentum
By Yousuf Bhuvad



Pakistani 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

Phoenix: 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 of Peace.
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.


Congressman Mitchell and his election team member Arif Kazmi at a dinner reception. Also seen are Dr. and Mrs. Farooqui and Mr. and Mrs. Naqvi

Immediately 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 offices abroad.


Congressman Mitchell and Arif Kazmi address a
community gathering in Scottsdale, AZ

Dr. 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 evening.


Bollywood stars Shabana and Javed Akhtar with Latifs,
Kazmi and Bhuvad in Mesa, AZ

Sponsored 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.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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