2009 NED Alumni International Convention
By Dr. Farhat Siddiqi
Garden Grove , CA : The 5 th annual international convention of NED Alumni organized by the NED Alumni Association of Southern California (NEDAASC) was held at the Embassy Suites South Anaheim on Saturday, July 18 th. The day sessions were attended by nearly 200 people. The evening banquet with dinner and entertainment was well received by a sold out crowd of 500 people.
Pictures above: Glimpses of the 2009 NED Alumni International Convention
NEDians, their friends, and families came from far places throughout the country, Pakistan and the rest of the world. Dr. Rafeeqi, Dean of the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering at NEDUET, and Dr. Shamsul Haq, pro Vice-Chancellor of NEDUET, travelled from Karachi to attend the convention. The conference attendees were greatly pleased with the entire event. They returned with life-lasting memories of a great convention. The ambiance of the evening program truly enthralled the entire audience.
The convention consisted of two sessions including a day program of technical discussions and an evening program complete with dinner and entertainment. The author of this article had the honor of serving as the host for the day program. Mr. Arif Mansuri was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening program. Mr. Ahmed Ali, President of NEDAASC, started both sessions by welcoming the guests and briefly describing the activities of NEDAASC and the achievements made in the short span of time that the organization has been in existence.
The first technical discussion of the day was entitled “Secrets of Success in Entrepreneurship.” It was moderated by the author of this article. The panelists presented their views, vision, and the hurdles they faced in pursuit of success. Mr. Raghib Hussain, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Cavium Networks, described his journey from Pakistan to Silicon Valley. He worked briefly for Cisco and other companies until eventually starting Cavium Networks with his friends, where he currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer. Mr. Arif Mansuri told his story of starting out as an engineer after graduating from NED, but later succeeding in the diversified fields of manufacturing and journalism.
Mr. Shahnawaz Ahmed moderated the second session of the day that was titled “Transportation: A Prerequisite for Economic Prosperity and Social Bonding.” One of the panelists, Mr. Mujib Ahmad, showed an interesting slide presentation about the different aspects of the transportation system in Pakistan.
The third session of the day entitled “How Alumni can Enhance Quality of Education” was moderated by Mr. Moqueem Ansari. The panelists presented their views regarding the improvement of the education system at NEDUET. Mr. Zaid Ahmed, a panelist, described the scholarship program undertaken by NEDAASC to help the current NEDUET students.
The last technical discussion of the day, “ Pakistan and Technology”, was moderated by Mr. Nadeem Mughal. The final session consisted of brainstorming ways to improve technology in Pakistan.
All technical sessions were productive exchanges of knowledge between the panel and the audience. The day’s keynote speaker, Dr. Jami J. Shah, presented his views about the need to improve the current education system at NEDUET and ways to turn those changes into a reality.
The evening was packed with an entertaining and informative program. With the excellent main course, the audience was ready for the keynote speech and entertainment. The keynote was delivered by none other than Mr. Ashraf Habibullah, the CEO and founder of Computers and Structures, Inc. Mr. Habibullah gave a few lessons to the audience about structural engineering and then took the crowd on a stroll through memory lane of the old NED Engineering College. Ashraf’s speech accentuated the evening as he received a standing ovation. Saima Khan, Ryan Khan and Sakhi Kamal entertained the audience with beautiful music and humor. The audience was on their feet dancing along with Saima Khan and Ryan Khan. Then came the legend everybody was waiting for, Alamgir. He delighted the audience with a rendition of his everlasting popular songs. The King of Pop, who has been in the hearts of the music fans for the last four decades, sang with passion. And a moment came when emotions started to overflow. The audience stood up to give Alamgir a standing ovation. Alamgir responded with even more emotion, choked voice and teary eyes.
Since everything eventually comes to an end no matter how good, so did the evening of fun and entertainment at nearly 1 AM. The convention of 2009 attendees will cherish its memories for the rest of their lives!