Leadership Role Recognition of Anila Ali in Washington

Washington , DC: In a hall packed with 800 dignitaries, congressmen, senators, bureaucrats and businessmen at the prestigious Capitol Hilton in Washington DC, Anila Ali, a Pakistani-American woman, was escorted by the Internship fellows of the International Leadership Foundation, a non-profit that encourages civic awareness and leadership in Asian American youth. This was the first time that a Muslim woman was honored for community service and for bridging the gap between her community and the mainstream community.

US Army Color Guard

The impressive US Army Color Guard initiated the proceedings, next the Pledge of Allegiance was taken by the audience. After an invocation by Pastor Franklin David, the honorable Norman Mineta, ILF National Chairman and Secretary of State for Veteran Affairs, made the opening remarks. This year’s keynote remarks were made by Honorable Congressman David Wu and Congresswoman Judy Chu from California. Next, the ILF fellows presented this year’s honorees. Daniyal Ali, a Pakistani American now a junior at UCLA, introduced his mother, Anila Ali, a long time resident of Irvine, California

“She has truly been an international civic advocate. Ms. Ali teaches, writes, serves the community, and builds bridges of understanding between her culture and the mainstream American culture. I am proud of you, Mom,” said the young ILF fellow to an enraptured audience.

“For me life changed after 9/11 when my daughter was called a terrorist and I was accused of being a ‘sleeper agent’ by a colleague. I decided the time had come to get engaged in the community and give back to the community at the same time, create a understanding between cultures,”said Anila Ali.

Anila was accompanied by her colleagues form COPAA, the Council of Pakistan American Affairs, who are also on the advisory board of the ILF, namely President Adnan Khan, Past President Hamid Malik, and Gazala Adaya Shauk.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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