Chicago Roundup
An Evening to Remember Hazrat Ameer Khusro . Northeastern Illinois University Discusses Pakistan Floods
By Dr. Mujahid Ghazi

An Evening to Remember Hazrat Ameer Khusro

A packed house of Urdu lovers enjoyed an evening to remember Ameer Khusro, the legendary name in S. Asian Music and Literature.

The evening was organized by Urdu Circle of North America, to introduce and pay tribute to the great sufi poet who has left an everlasting imprint on the music and poetry of the subcontinent.

The evening started with the melodious voice of Umme Habiba. She mesmerized the audience with a beautiful Naat by Ameer Khusro. Chicago poet Mr. Hashmat Sohail shared some of Ameer Khusro’s famous riddles. Mr. Itrat Husain Itrat then spoke about the life and contributions of Ameer Khusro to music and Mehfil-e-Samaa.  Dr. Abidullah Ghazi talked about the love of Ameer Khusro for India and his struggle to cultivate tolerance and understanding between Muslims and Hindus. Dr. Muzaffaruddin Farooqui spoke about Ameer Khusro’s literary work and also the mission and future program of the Urdu Circle of North America.

Later, Naila Mughal, a famous singer from Chicago, sang the popular Urdu and Persian numbers of Hazrat Ameer Khusro. She was supported by Ustad Mumtaz on tabla and Ali Saad on keyboard. She also did an impromptu song from Razia Fasih Ahmed’s poetry collection.

This segment of the program was assisted by Mr. Aejaz Hashmi.  Mr. Jawed Aslam concluded the meeting by thanking every one who helped in making the program successful.   

Amin Haider, a very famous compere of literary events in the USA, added to the gaiety of the enlivening evening by his masterly remarks and quotes. He kept the audience spellbound till the very end.

The Urdu Circle is known for organizing the high standard programs of poetry, literature and music. The International Mushairah organized by the Circle not too long ago is still the talk of the town.

Northeastern Illinois University Discusses Pakistan Floods

During their interfaith week, the faculty and students of NEIU held a special session on the Pakistan flood crisis. Introducing the panel chair of the Justice Studies Department, Cris Toffolo welcomed the audience and the participants. She highlighted the need for such a session and moderated the meeting.

This scribe talked in detail about the ongoing crisis in Pakistan and the US and Global response to it. Bashir Siddiqi, staff of the Department of Justice Studies, told the audience what prompted her to reach out to her chair and the faculty to organize the session. She thanked all the student groups and the faculty members who supported her idea.

Wajjiha Moonis, President of Pakistan Students’ Association in NEIU, said, “Despite many challenges we were able to convey the message of humanity throughout the campus”. She acknowledged the support of Yasmin Rani, Director of Center for Diversity, Intercultural Affairs, Asian and Global. She said the students had two bake sales and had sent 276 boxes of relief items to the flood victims through Helping Hands USA.

Sherilyn Maddex , president Justice Studies Club (JSC,) said since 2009 JSC had several fundraising efforts from actively collecting donations for Haiti to organizing buses for immigration reform march in Washington DC. With all that experience behind JSC has never had to fight and never had to struggle to help others as hard as it had for the fundraising effort for Pakistan where the students’ union was reluctant and the poster was taken off the notice board quite a few times.

“What do we know about Pakistan?” “What do we know about Muslims?” “Is this why we are experiencing such treatment?” “Is this more about discrimination than helping others?” she asked. She said she didn’t have answers to these questions but one thing she does know is that when one suffers, we all suffer. The only thing which separates us is distance.

Nadia Zeeshan from Helping Hand USA did a presentation on flood relief efforts of her organization in Pakistan. She acknowledged NEIU for its ongoing support to the flood victims. She informed HH USA has so far sent 23 containers to Pakistan.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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