Hamdard Center For Health and Human Services Celebrates 17 Years of Dedicated Service
By Dr Mujahid Ghazi
Chicago, IL: “Life is neither short nor long. It can be measured by our experience, memory, and cooperation with and compassion for other people,” said Dr. Mohammad Hamid, Chairman, Hamdard Center for Health and Human Services at their 17 th Annual Gala Dinner last week at Donald Stevens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. He was paying tribute to his late wife and founder of the Center, Dr. Farzana Hamid.
The Gala was attended by 800 dedicated supporters and donors. Elissa Efroymson, Director, Development welcomed the guests and introduced the emcee of the evening, ABC weekend anchor Ravi Baichwal, who didn’t waste any time in announcing the Hamdard Center 2009 Community Service Awards:
Lifetime Employee Award went to Ms. Afsar Rasheed who recently retired from Hamdard Center after 17 years of dedicated service.
Farzana Hamid Volunteer of the Year Award went to Ms. Renee Pollino for her dedicated service to emergency shelter for four years.
Outstanding Community Service Award went to Dr. Azher Quader MD for his dedication and hard work in bringing the community together through compassionate Care Network and Community Builders.
Outstanding Community Service Award went to Mr. Sher Muhammad Rajput for his services to the community through various organizations like MCC and Indo American Center.
The award ceremony was followed by a professional auction conducted by Vini Zambrano. He collected $ 52,000 in 20 minutes by auctioning among other things Celebrity Chef Radhika Desai, who was Bravo’s Top Chef Contestant and former executive chef of Between Boutique Café and Lounge. She was auctioned for $ 4000 for going to the top bidder’s home and preparing a six-course dinner with the option of wine pairings for 10 people. She graciously offered to even dance with the hosts to help the cause of Hamdard. With an anonymous donor of $ 24,000, the total raised came to a $ 76,000. In this period of recession, it can be taken as a good community support.
Pakistan’s Consul General Dr. Aman Rashid was also present in the audience. Consul General of India Mr. Ashok Attri didn’t show up on the occasion.
A glamorous fashion show was also presented by Miraje from California.
Dinner was followed by an entertainment program organized by Mr. Irfan Sufi. Famous singers from New York Ghulam Abbas and Sumbul Raja entertained the audience by singing old numbers of Madam Noor Jehan and Mehdi Hassan.
Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Organizes International Mushaira
An International Mushaira was organized by the Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Association of Greater Chicago at Lake County College Auditorium in Grayslake, Illinois. Because of the distance and weather a select audience attended this event. The convener of the Mushaira ,Dr. Ateeq Ahmad welcomed the guests, and the poets. He said that the alumni is not only holding literary events but also running social projects in the down-trodden Muslim communities in India. He mentioned few ongoing projects and asked the audience to join AMUAA in this effort.
Dr. Shahid Siddiqi, a well known academic and literary personality of Chicago, was the emcee. He introduced the guest poets and also contributed to the liveliness of the proceedings with his wit and aesthetic sense of humor. The poets included Waseem Brailvi, Meraj Faizabadi and Tahir Faraz from India, Abbas Tabish from Pakistan, Zamin Jafari from Canada, Naheed Virk from Michigan and Hashmat Sohail from Chicago.
It was the first Mushaira I attended which started on time and ended before midnight. Though few of the audience thought that more time should be given to the guest poets who had come all the way from abroad to deliver their poems but most of the attendees were happy as they had to travel long distance to reach home. Tahir Faraz’s poem on mother, which he delivered with Tarannum, moved the audience. Hashmat Sohail and Zamin Jafari’s humorous poetry was enjoyed to the fullest. Audience doubled up and laughed their hearts out on a few of the poems. Zamin Jafari is the nephew of late Syed Mohammad Jafari, a renowned poet of his time and he delivered his poetry in his characteristic style. Naheed Virk presented a poem in remembrance of the victims of the earthquake in Pakistan. Waseem Brailvi and Meraj Faizabadi were again the main attraction. Waseem Brailvi tried to avoid tarannum because of his bad throat but the audience didn’t let him go without it. Abbas Tabish’s poetry was also very impressive and received applause from the audience.
Council of Islamic Organizations Organizes Teacher’s Training Workshop
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) organized a teacher’s training workshop in collaboration with IQRA’ International Educational Foundation at IQRA’s headquarters in Skokie, Illinois. About 40 teachers from Islamic schools attended the workshop.
Amal Ali representing the Council welcomed the attendees. She briefly gave an account of what our children go through in the public schools and how they are confronted with different kinds of prejudices in the class. She advised the teachers to build a relationship with the children and make them feel comfortable in class. She said it is important to communicate with the students and address their concerns. She said the council organizes these workshops to develop teaching skills with better interpersonal relationship with the Muslim children who are confronted with various biases in the public schools.
Habib Quadri, Principal of MEC full-time school ,was the main presenter. He also spoke about the environment in the class. He said the teachers had to go into the class with a pleasant attitude and to make their teaching experience an enlightened one, not an unpleasant ordeal. He said the teaching sessions have to be planned well. He said the lessons should be designed to influence the life of the students even after they go back to their homes. He said our attitudes should be positive. He said we have to have a self profile tests to measure our weaknesses and strengths in various topics of teaching.
The workshop proved to be successful in attracting a large number of teachers with its strong educational content.