Chicago Roundup
Mayor Daley of Chicago Hosts Reception for Pakistani-American Community

By Dr Mujahid Ghazi

Glimpses of reception hosted by Mayor Richard M Daley of Chicago in honor of the Pakistani-American community

Mayor Richard M Daley of Chicago congratulated Pakistani Americans residing in Greater Chicago on the occasion of the anniversary of Pakistan’s Independence Day. He commended the contribution of the Pakistani-American community in various fields. He especially quoted famous architect Fazalur Rehman Khan who designed Sears Tower and other architectural icons in the city.

Earlier, the Consul General of Pakistan Aman Rashid recalled the roles of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Iqbal and the Pakistani leaders who worked hard to get independence from the British Rule. Hameedullah Khan, the chairman of parade committee, praised the Mayor for his role in the major facelift of Chicago. He said that the Pakistani Americans are very proud to have Richard M Daley as Mayor of Chicago and he added that we wanted to see him as the Mayor in the year of Olympics 2016. Mr Sabri, a Pakistani entrepreneur, presented Mayor Daley gifts on behalf of the Pakistani community.

Like every year community service awards were given to prominent community activists and professionals. This year the awards went to Mr. Mohammad Yasin Chohan, Mr. Mumtaz Karim, Mr. Syed Qaiser Ali and Ms. Anwar Cheema. Following the award ceremony a group of Pakistani-American children sang Pakistan’s national songs. Refreshment was also served.

This event at Chicago Cultural Center has a history of having a packed attendance but this yearly only a little more than a hundred Pakistani Americans attended this event due to lack of communication.

APA Bolingbrook Celebrates Pakistan’s Independence Day

APA Bolingbrook Celebrates Pakistan’s Independence Day

The APA Bolingbrook Pakistan Day Celebration was a resounding success. The smell of the tandoori BBQ chicken wafted pleasantly over the ethnically transformed Bolingbrook City Center Park on August 2nd in a packed outdoor concert/gala celebrating the 62nd Independence Day ceremony of Pakistan. The Pakistani community came cheerfully to celebrate the occasion in a true family-oriented atmosphere with Pakistani food vendors, clothes stalls and handicrafts making the attendees reminiscent and nostalgic about the country they have left behind. The Pakistani APA was grateful to the city of Bolingbrook and Mayor Roger C. Claar for sponsoring and kindly hosting such a successful event.

Earlier in the evening, the flag of Pakistan was hoisted by the Consul General of Pakistan Dr. Aman Rashid. Prominent community activists Choudhry Munir Akhtar, Rasheed Choudhry and Talat Rasheed were also present on the occasion. Mayor of Bolingbrook Roger C. Claar congratulated the Pakistani Americans on the independence day of Pakistan. He also commended the community for contributing positively in the affairs of the village. Consul General of Pakistan Dr. Aman Rashid thanked Mayor Claar for holding this prestigious program every year without fail. He also read out the messages of the president and prime minister of Pakistan addressed to the Pakistani community living in Greater Chicago.

The grand finale of the event was the much anticipated performance by world renowned comedian Shakeel Siddiqui before the 6500 people in attendance. The weather was greatly cooperative as a gentle breeze assisted the harmonious Pakistani folk and patriotic tunes that local performers sang. The crowd went wild when they launched into racier and lively music and several young men and little kids hopped onto the stage with Pakistani flags and ethnic dance movements, aiding to culminate the day’s events in high spirits.


HDF Chicago Chapter President Arshia Husnain celebrates summer at White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville

HDF Chicago Chapter President Arshia Husnain celebrates summer at White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville

Arshia and Jaffer Husnain organized a beautiful evening last week to celebrate summer 2009 and to thank the supporters of Human Development Foundation. The event was an informal dinner with a musical evening. Jaffer Husnain and Arshia welcomed the guests. After a lavish dinner the night became young with songs and music. Dr. Syed Irfan Ali, a psychiatrist by profession, surprised the audience by singing two very difficult classical numbers of late Mohammad Rafi and supporting the professional musicians by masterly playing his guitar. Mr. Nazeer also sang songs satisfying the nostalgia of the audience. Mr. Malik, a local music teacher, who is also attending a local university to obtain a degree in music, was the main singer of the evening. Vikas Fulnaker got the loudest applause when he sang Mannaday’s famous number “Laga Chunri Mein Lal”. He along with famous Pakistani tablist Umaid and a teenage Indian American dholak player Arpit Pathek mesmerized the audience. It was a memorable evening to be remembered for long.


Metropolitan Asian Family Services celebrates 17th anniversary of community service

Metropolitan Asian Family Services celebrates 17th anniversary of community service

Last Saturday MAFS celebrated their 17 years of community service at the India House in Schaumburg, Illinois. The banquet hall was packed with the community activists, clients, workers and dignitaries who came to show support to this remarkable organization, which is uniquely serving the senior citizens of South Asian heritage.

Dr. Firdaus Jafri, president of the board of directors, welcomed the guests and thanked the staff and volunteers for organizing the event. She briefly highlighted the need of an organization like MAFS. She also said that MAFS is also working on establishing a residential facility for the seniors in addition to a shelter for abused individuals. She appealed to the audience to support MAFS with open hearts.

Addressing the audience, Ms. Nikki Smith, Director of Communications in the Illinois Department of Aging, spoke highly of the leadership and the team of MAFS. She said that the team has set an example for her and her department as to how to do various projects and how to target people with dignity and respect they deserve. She said this takes strong character, patience and perseverance. She said the people who do such humanitarian work can otherwise work for their personal gains but they choose to sacrifice their personal gains. She explained the present Budget Crisis and defended the Governor’s proposal of tax hype to reduce the financial deficit the state government is facing. She blamed the general assembly for not passing the bill and putting the Human Services organization in trouble of not getting the funding or reimbursement on time. She said Governor Pat Quinn has very wisely put aside $342 million for the support of the elderly and this money will be for our elderly. She asked the people to help MAFS in their endeavor of helping the seniors. She commended Ms. Santosh Kumar and Dr. Firdaus Jafri and the people working for MAFS for doing a great service to humanity.

Mr. Michael Gelder, senior advisor on Health Policy, said State of Illinois is made of communities and the office of Governor Pat Quinn is dedicated to support these communities. He further said that without supporting each other it is very hard to survive. He said the State does not have cash at the moment to reimburse the organizations like MAFS. He said every one in the community has to support these organizations in this time of crisis. He further said that he has been attending the annual event of MAFS for quite some time and is very happy to see the progress this organization has made in a very short time.

Consul General of India Honorable Ashok Kumar Atri commended the work of MAFS. He said he was very happy to see a full house response from the community. He said organizations like MAFS are a great help to the government and they are cost-effective in providing better life for senior citizens. He said that his office worked very closely with MAFS. He said that he will take advantage of this occasion to congratulate the community on the independence day of India.

Ms. Santosh Kumar, Executive Director of MAFS, gave a brief report on the services provided by MAFS during last year. She said that although the organization is also faced with a financial crisis it has been working in full swing. She said that in addition to the four centers now working in Chicago, Des Planes, Lombard and Carol Stream, MAFS is working to open another center in Naperville. She said that our faith in the Government is very strong and our belief in the Governor is strong also and we hope that he will soon bring the State Government out of this crisis. She thanked all the dignitaries who came to support MAFS. She also thanked Dr. Firdaus Jafri and the Board of Directors for supporting her and the organization. She also commended the workers and staff of MAFS, especially Armaghan Rana to make MAFS what it is today. She said she is proud of them.

This scribe delivered a humble fundraising speech and highlighted the importance and need of MAFS for helping the senior population of South Asian origin.

Other speakers who commended the work of MAFS include Rodney Craig, Mayor of Hanover Park, Mr. Nelson, Mayor of Rolling Meadow, Chris Zala from Chicago Mayor’s office, Raja Krishnamurti, State Comptroller candidate and few others who were associated with MAFS.

Later, a Special Recognition Award was given to Ms. Nikki Smith, Director of Communication, Illinois Department of Aging for the tremendous help and support she provides to make MAFS do its work for the community.

AN Appreciation Award was given to Mr. Michael Gelder, Senior Health Policy Advisor to the Governor. Executive Editor of Indian Reporter Mr. Jatinder Bedi received the Media Award for supporting MAFS through timely reporting its events.

Awards were also given to the members of MAFS staff in multiple categories who performed beyond their call of duty and did remarkable service for the humanity.

Musical evening was organized by Drs Dipak and Sheela Shah. Both of them are dentist by profession but their passion and dedication to music had made them good singers also. They sang new and old melodies of Bollywood.

Famous Pakistani dance director Master Dilshad presented well choreographed dances by his students.

The best dance was performed by Catherine Jafri who came all the way from New York to support MAFS.

A very well organized fashion show was organized by Raaz Boutique.

Ms. Vasanti Bhatt conducted a successful raffle sale. Sameer Saini and Ms. Trupti Kuvadia were emcees of the event.

Mr. Nikunj Baxi, secretary of board, thanked the audience and appealed for continual support of this organization.


International Fun and Food Festival at MEC

International Fun and Food Festival at MEC

This past Sunday an International Fun and Food Fest was organized by the MCC/MEC to raise funds and create awareness of the incomplete construction of the new building project. Hundreds of community members turned out with their families to help MEC and also to enjoy outdoor activities. The heat index was very high which kept many community members to stay home. Still there was a great show of support by the community. Mr. Habib Abbasi was instrumental in the organization of this event.

Kids were enjoying pony rides and moon walk while adults were satisfying their taste buds by tasting various foods from India and Pakistan.


Heat wave in Chicago

Heat wave in Chicago

Chicagoans are blessed with extreme weather conditions. Last weekend they were exposed to extremely high temperatures. This sent few of the susceptible people to their local hospitals for the treatment of heat stroke and dehydration. City administration was warning and asking people to stay home. Appeals were also made to check senior citizens living alone in private condos and houses, as many times they would pass out due to heat and no one would know their plight for hours.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.