A Muslim Community Center with a Difference
Anwar Maqsood, Moin Akhter et al. Raise Funds for MCC San Diego
By Sarah Ansari
Pictures by Anwar Khawaja and Faiz Ahmed
Above: Event-planning dinner at the residence of Ishraq and Munawwer Mir
Zamane ke Andaaz badle Gaye
Naya Raag Hai Saaz Badle Gaye
Bujhi Ishq ki aag Andher Hai
Musalman Nahin Raakh ka dher Hai
Mujhe Ishq ke par laga kar ura
Meri khaak Jugnu bana kar ura
Khirad to Ghulami se azaad kar
Jawano ko Peeron ka ustaad kar
Tarapne Pharakne ki Taufeeq De
Dil-e Murtaza Soz-e Siddiq De
San Diego, CA : These moving verses on the state of the Muslim Ummah by the great "Poet of the East", Allama Iqbal, set the tone, at the recent charity fundraiser for the Muslim Community Center, San Diego. Held at the Sheraton Cerritos Hotel, the event was attended by about 300 guests, among them the Consul General of Pakistan, Syed Ibne Abbas.
Rafay Zaman, a young San Diego community member, began the evening with a beautiful rendition from the Holy Qur'an.
The talented duo comprised of legendary satirist and intellectual Anwar Maqsood and comedian extraordinaire, Pride of Performance winner Moin Akhter, together with Qazi Wajid, Behroz Subswari, Ayaz Khan and Shehzad Raza presented a comedy spectacular " Loose Talk" and "Loose Mushaira", which explored pressing political and social issues of the world through humor.
The enjoyable "Loose Talk" segment mirrored the extremely popular television show by the same name. Incomparable Anwar Maqsood interviewed "a man of many faces", the great impersonator Moin Akhter, who morphed effortlessly into myriad political figures including General Musharraf, performing a fresh-off- the press skit written by Anwar Maqsood, just minutes before the show.
"Loose Mushaira" had the audience practically falling off their chairs with laughter! Qazi Wajid in a flaming orange silk sherwani and midnight velvet dopalli topi did the poets of Purani Dilli proud, with his riotous rendition of a ghazal depicting the poor poet's security checking ordeal at JFK airport.
The "poets" included the aptly intoxicated "Tun Amrohi", the charming "Chichoo Cheechawatni" and our favorite from the NWFP, Janab "Kajoo Kishmish", whose refrain was "Gulon mein Bhung Bhare, Baad-e Naubahar Chale...."
The entertaining segments of the evening were beautifully interwoven with rousing messages from San Diego community members Dr. Aliya Khan, Javed Bhaghani and Sarah Ansari, about the need for the new Muslim Community Center, a center with a difference for a community "united by their faith".
The Muslim Community Center San Diego (MCC) is a $4.8MM project to build a state-of-the-art facility on a five- acre piece of land in the highly desirable Santa Luz area of San Diego. The 10,000 sq ft center will feature a prayer hall, school, library, banquet facilities and sport court, among other amenities.
But what is noteworthy is not the building, but the mission statement and the core values guiding the center, which will be tolerant, respectful, and open to Muslims of all backgrounds, as well as welcoming to non-Muslims.
MCC is also focused on energizing Muslim youth so that they are proud of their faith and of their identity, and become leaders and "agents of positive change" in their communities and in the world.
Starting with just $15,000 and the tireless efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers from diverse backgrounds, MCC San Diego has now raised all but $600K needed for project completion. Having overcome numerous obstacles along the way, MCC broke ground last August with Congressman Brian Billbray in attendance, and was also recently featured on NPR.
The San Diego Muslim community is dynamic and vibrant, and realizes that these are exciting times for Muslims in America, where the very definition of what it means to be a Muslim, is changing before our eyes. Just as each individual is an ambassador of faith, so are our mosques, silent ambassadors for the thousands of people who pass by them every day.
San Diego Muslims envision a Muslim Community Center that is special, a center that is a truly positive ambassador of our faith, Islam. A center that is an open, happy and tolerant place, where youth naturally gravitate to, to explore and expand their relationship with Allah without fear or judgment, and truly experience the love of the Creator.
Koyi Andaza Kar Sakta Hai Us Ke Zor-e- Bazoo Ka
Nigah-e Mard-e Momin se Badal Jaati hain Taqdeerain!
Please help make this exciting center a reality! For more information and to make a tax-deductible donation in any amount, visit www.gsdmcc.org
We wish to thank Ishraq and Munawwer Mir who convinced the artists to add Los Angeles to their hectic tour schedule, and a special thanks to all the wonderful community volunteers from San Diego and Los Angeles, who worked tirelessly to make this an unforgettable event, for a wonderful cause!
EVENT PLANNING DINNER AT THE HOME OF ISHRAQ AND MUNAWWER MIR: The night before the event, the artists from Pakistan including Anwer Maqsood, Moin Akhter, Qazi Wajid, Behroze Subswari , Ayaz Khan, Shehzad Raza and others were hosted at the beautiful home of San Diego residents Ishraq and Munawwer Mir, to finalize the details of the charity fundraiser.