HDF Washington Chapter Raises $ 225,000 for Projects in Pakistan
By Dr Mujahid Ghazi
Pictures above: Glimpses of the Human Development Foundation Washington Chapter Fundraiser
"Join HDF in eliminating poverty and illiteracy from Pakistan," urged Dr. Meher Tabatabai, Chief Guest at the Washington DC HDF fundraiser late last month.
Earlier, Tariq Mehmood, Chairman HDF Washington Chapter, welcomed the guests. Briefly explaining the background to the formation of the HDF he said that all of us know that Pakistan is going through a very difficult time, economically and politically. He said we are the most promising hope for the country. He said the Pakistani Americans are also going through difficult economic times but we need to help our people back home.
Dr. Atiya Khan, Vice Chair of HDF USA, in her inaugural speech said that we are all keen to see Pakistan on the path to progress. To achieve this goal we have to unite and launch the struggle together. We can do it without the help of any government or foreign agency. We have demonstrated in the earthquake relief operations and the IDP crisis how national unity could produce tangible results..
She asked the attendees to pledge to unite and work for a positive social change, which was the prime mission of HDF.
Professor Azra Raza introduced the chief guest Dr. Meher Tabatabai with the Urdu verse: Sargoshiye Bahar Sey Khushboo key Dur Khuley Kis Ism Key Jamal Sey Bab-eHunar Khuley She gave a brief history of her association with Dr. Meher Tabatabai since her days in Dow Medical College. Dr Tabatabai was always active on the social front. Most of her time in Pakistan was spent in Orangi and Malir in vaccinating children and educating women on hygiene and health.
She said Meher could be praised for many things but what impressed her most was her unconditional and universal compassion. Hundreds of studies on wisdom have been analyzed but what emerges from the analysis is that while wisdom mends a lot of different ills, it is almost always embedded in a component of compassion. She quoted Allama Iqbal while comparing reason with compassion Bey Qatar Kood Para Aatish-eNamrood Mein Ishq Aql hai Mehvey Tamasha-e-Labe-Bam Abhi She said Meher had found a very different style. She has a lovely way of combining both passion and reason.
She said Meher has won many prestigious awards from medical and community organizations belonging to both American and Pakistani societies. Meher is a visionary leader, an exemplary wife and a role model mother. Praising her generosity she said that Meher's name should not be Meher Fatima Tabatabai but Meher Fatima Hatim Tai.
She said her husband Qaiser Madad has supported the activism of Meher and behind the successful Meher there has been a successful and strong Qaiser Madad.
Dr. Meher Tabatabai in her keynote speech commended the work of HDF and Dr. Atiya Khan's dedication to the organization. She spoke on the importance of educating children and illiterate women. She said that we have to help HDF in its mission of eliminating illiteracy from the poor and needy population of Pakistan.
She said whatever we give is returned to us multiplied by 100. She said it is her personal experience that whatever she gives comes back multiplied many, many times. She asked people to open their hearts and donate generously.
Dr. Atiya Khan presented a plaque of appreciation to Dr. Meher Tabatabai and Mr. Qaiser Madad in appreciation of their philanthropic work.
After a brief power-point presentation by Dr. Atiya Khan, a very successful fundraising was carried out by Dr. Mujahid Ghazi. In the space of barely 20 minutes a total of $ 225,000 was collected. Dr. Meher Tabatabai's family emerged as the top donor with $ 100,000 towards the cause of HDF followed by Dr. Atiya Khan and Dr.
Azra Raza's families with $ 30,000 each.
The fundraiser was followed by a Qawali performance by the famous Imran Aziz Mian Qawal. During the Qawali a very unique thing was observed. Majority of the audience giving cash to the performer were female attendees.