A Special Luncheon Hosted by the Merit Grants for Young Women(MGYW)
By Farhana Mohamed, PhD

During the luncheon the MGYW Board members set up an enticing boutique featuring exquisite Pakistani and international jewelry, shawls, and clothing

The Merit Grants for Young Women (MGYW) Project was envisioned in 2000 and later became an integral part of the Pakistani American Forum. The vision of MGYW (www.mgyw.org) is to empower impoverished but meritorious young women from Pakistan through higher education. The MGYW achievements include providing sustained monetary support to almost 200 meritorious young girls, partnership with several internationally reputable NGOs which are also providing educational opportunities to poor girls in urban and far flung rural areas of Pakistan, and initiation of a novel program to provide economic incentives to the MGYW Partner Women Co-Operatives in Pakistan. Due to the continued MGYW support, several of the MGYW grant recipients (daughters of mostly illiterate and impoverished parents) are now advancing to college for higher education.

Recently, MGYW held its special fundraiser luncheon at an elegant restaurant in Southern California. During the event, the MGYW Board members set up an enticing boutique featuring exquisite Pakistani and international jewelry, shawls, and clothing. One of the main features of the luncheon was organizing silent and live auction where MGYW board members, private donors, and local retail and professional businesses donated gold jewelry, elegant boutique outfits, paintings, cosmetic treatment services, air travel package, and restaurant besides merchandise gift certificates amounting to thousands of dollars.

The program was eloquently conducted by Kiran Alvi with Syed Ashraf Ali handling the entertainment segment. The program items included Qur’anic recitation by Sadia and Haseeb Khan, the MGYW highlights presentation by Dr. Farhana, live auction conducted by Ashraf Ali, Dilshad Shah, and Dr. Giang Biscan, and musical performance by Omar Kazmi Group. Ambreen Mohamed coordinated the fashion show during the event where models (Sharmeen Alvi, Anum Sheikh, Nebula Gu, and Beena Alvi) gracefully displayed the latest casual and formal Pakistani attire.

Some of the tireless volunteers of the event included Riaz Khan, Essam ul Haque, Yasmeen Khan, Roohi Siddiqui, and Osman Mohamed. The MGYW board members who helped organize the fundraiser included Dilshad Shah, Farhana Mohamed, Iffat Ali, Iram Iqbal. Nasreen Pervaiz, Yasmine Shad, and Zille Zaman.

Please note that on Saturday, April 24, 2010, MGYW will host its tenth anniversary fundraising gala dinner at Sheraton Cerritos Hotel, Cerritos, California, when its significant achievements of the past decade will be shared with the attendees. The program will also feature musical performance by live band, gourmet cuisine, live and silent auction, exotic bazaar and several other items.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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