Human Development Foundation of North America Fundraiser
A Pakistan Link Report
Pictures by Faiz Ahmed
Pictures above: Glimpses of the Human Development Foundation of North America Fundraiser at the Knotts Berry Farm Resort Hotel on July 25
The Human Development Foundation of North America Fundraiser at the Knotts Berry Farm Resort Hotel on Saturday, July 25, vividly testified to the community's sustained drive for improving the lot of the underprivileged segment of Pakistan population: in the space of barely a few hours, the select group of community members raised $80,000 to support various schemes of the HDF in the four provinces of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.
The program started with a recitation from the Holy Qur’an by Faisal Qasim followed by the English translation of the verses recited by Imran Qasim. A small auction followed. It mainly consisted of:
… A travel package from Travel Plus donated by Wasim Qaiser.
… Return ticket for Los Vegas for two people by Travel and Tours donated by Rubina and Samin Faruqui.
… A package by Montage Resort-Laguna Beach donated by Iqbal Bashir.
… A dress from Mirage Boutique donated by Summer Iqbal.
… A dress from Kashish Boutique donated by Farah.
… A diamond bracelet from Shalimar Jewelers donated by Byma Karim.
Leading the fundraising event was Dr Atiya Khan, Vice President of the Human Development Foundation of North America. She was ably assisted in the noble undertaking by Dr Yasmin Qasim who had taken pains to bring the leading lights of the community in Los Angeles to the event.
"I am rejuvenated every time I return to Pakistan," said Dr Atiya as she spelled out the raison d'etre of the HDF and enumerated the Foundation’s multifarious successes since its inception in 1997.
A leaflet distributed at the fundraiser summed it up all: "If you believe that people everywhere deserve the same respect and dignity, then we ask you to come forward and take action. This goes beyond donating and volunteering. It asks for activism, for using our collective voice for those who have been neglected, and effectively silenced by the system."
In a brief span of 12 years, HDF has an impressive number of achievements to its credit. It has established adult literacy centers for men and women, schools for underprivileged boys and girls, and health care centers across the length and breath of the country. The Foundation has also introduced micro credit and capacity-building schemes for the benefit of the underprivileged class in Pakistan.
Dr Atiya Khan made a comprehensive presentation highlighting the HDF program. She extensively quoted Ahmad Faraz to describe the sufferings and privations plaguing the life of the poor and made a fervent appeal to the Pakistani-American members of the community to generously contribute to the fundraising effort.
Consul Ahsan Wagan also spoke on the occasion and impressed upon the gathering the importance of well-meaning initiatives like the HDF which would go a long way in realizing national developmental goals.
The two speakers were spiritedly supported in their well-meaning exhortations by Dr Yasmin Qasim who conducted the proceedings. Two community activists - Waqar Ali Khan and Ashraf Ali - played a prominent role in urging the audience to contribute to the noble cause. Their efforts had an enlivening influence on the proceedings and were duly rewarded.
The chief guests and major donors for the event were Dr Meher F. Tabatabai and Mr. Qaisar Madad and Dr Khalid B. Ahmed and Dr Parveen Noor Ahmed. Others present on the occasion also made handsome donations.
Dr Yasmin Qasim has successfully organized HDF fundraisers in Southern California for the last five years and indisputably each fundraiser has been a memorable one. She is to be duly commended for her efforts.
The guests were treated to a sumptuous dinner catered by Mr. Dara Khan’s Shahnawaz Restaurant. After dinner, the audience sat spellbound as Charangjeet sang several popular songs and presented a highly entertaining musical program.