Dr. Zahir Ahmed Humanitarian Award for Hasan Chishti

Book-signing ceremony | K. M. Jaddi and Hasan Chishti | M. M. Jaddi, A. M. Jaddi and K. M. Jaddi | Hasan Chishti and Owais Jafrey

Seattle :  “In recognition of his unremitting humanitarian efforts of a lifetime and his contribution to the society as a poet, writer and journalist” Mr. Hasan Chishti was honored with the “Dr Zahir Ahmed Humanitarian Award”(cash, a shwal and a plaque) in Seattle , Washington, on 15 th August, 2009.  This award to Mr. Hasan Chishti is a continuation of many recognitions and honors he received for his writings, excellence in community service and uplifting human values.

Dr. Zahir Ahmed Foundation was established in Seattle in 1986 by Mr. Ahmed Jaddi P.E., S.E., in memory of his maternal uncle.   The Foundation is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Seattle International District. A Scholarship Program was established in 1986 under the Rotary Club and that year one scholarship was awarded in Dr. Zahir Ahmed’s name to an honors student who was graduating from an intermediate college and was going to attend the university. This student is now the Mayor of a major city in Colorado, USA. Presently, the Rotary Club of Seattle International District awards six scholarships to high school graduates in Seattle to help them attend a college.

Hasan Chishti with a group of invitees

Dr. Zahir Ahmed had a brilliant and varied career in the Hyderabad Civil Service and held important positions such as Secretary of State, Foreign Affairs and the Nizam’s Representative in London.  In 1957 he joined the United Nations and distinguished himself in various international assignments -- at the UN Secretariat in New York; as the Secretary General’s Representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna; as Middle-East’s Regional Director for Economic and Social Affairs at Beirut; as Regional Advisor on Land Reform in the Far East and as an Advisor-in-Chief for Economic and Social Affairs in Saudi Arabia.  He retired in 1967, but in 1970 he was called upon by the UN and the Ford Foundation to undertake a world tour and study land reforms in selected countries.  In 1971 he proceeded to Jeddah to serve as India’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Zahir Ahmed has a number of books to his credit and was a scholar of repute.  Among his books are Dusk and Dawn in Village India, Land Reforms in South East Asia, Life’s Yesterdays and Mohammad (PBUH) - Glimpses of the Prophet’s Life and Times.

The function was sponsored by the Bazm-e-Adab in cooperation with the Pakistan Association of Greater Seattle.  Well known structural engineer Mr. Ahmed Jaddi,  after reciting from the Holy Qur’an,  welcomed the audience drawn from Seattle and adjoining cities.  Moderator Khawja Shamsuddin shed light on the award which was instituted in 1986.  Mr. Adnan Jaddi briefly spoke on the brilliant career of the author and career diplomat Dr. Zahir Ahmed.  Mr.  Kader Jeddy,  who flew from Atlanta to attend the ceremony, related engaging stories about Mr. Hasan Chishti from his student days at Osmania University, Hyderabad ( Deccan), where Mr. Chishti also served as administrator.

The award ceremony was followed by a Musha’irah presided by Mr. Chishti. Prof. Owais Jafrey, one of the founders of Bazm-e-Adab, known for his manzoomnizamat took charge as Nazim-e-Mushaira. Host poets included Riaz Khan, Rahul Upadhyaya, Saqib Rasool, Tariq Minhas, Mrs. Najma Mazhar Ali, and Rizwan Nasr. Visiting poet Dr. Kamal Shankar Dave, past president of Jigar Academy, Kanpur ( India) was also present. Mr. Hasan Chishti engaged the audience with his excellent poetry and was called to the podium many times among repeated applause. Poet Kamal Shanker Dave also arrested the attention of the audience and his chaste poetry was much appreciated, and it was punctuated by the spicy humor and spontaneity of poet Owais Jafrey.

Poet Hasan Chishti autographed his books for his admirers. The memorable evening came to an end at past midnight.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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