Karachi University Alumni Holds Dr. Abdus Salam Memorial Lecture in Washington
By C. Naseer Ahmad


A view of the function held by the Karachi University Alumni in Washington

The Karachi University Alumni Association, Washington DC Chapter, held the Dr. Abdus Salam Memorial Lecture on July 2, 2010 . This event was held at the Harvest Moon Restaurant which was packed. Dr. Sahiha Qazi, current UKAA President , acted as the program coordinator. In her remarks she said that “those who do not pay due respect to scientists, poets and writers disappear from pages of history”. Dr. Qazi paid tributes to the great Pakistani scientist who paved the way for the nation and many who were inspired by Dr. Salam.

 A distinguished panel, which included Dr. Masoom Ali Tirmizi, former Vice-Chancellor, Karachi University, addressed the gathering of about 150 people. Mr. Ovais Qarni, Dr. Suraiya Ahmad, Mr. Noman Siddiqui, Mr. Sajjad Durrani and Dr. Mirza Amin Baig were the speakers who paid tribute to Dr. Salam either as his former students, colleagues or just friends. One of the speakers noted that while Gen Zia feted the only Pakistani Nobel Laureate, he prevented Dr. Salam from speaking at any Pakistani university . However, Dr. Salam insisted on giving a lecture at Karachi University and was eventually able to talk to the students. Speakers at this event noted Dr. Salam’s generosity, humility and perseverance in the pursuit of his goal to promote scientific education in Pakistan particularly and developing nations in general.

 The event also included interesting presentations from UKAA scientists working on state-of-the-art scientific projects at NASA. Dr. Rafat Ansari discussed space medicine issues and  research to diagnose disease. Mr. Mansoor Ahmed, a Pakistani-born engineer and a NASA manager, talked about the Hubble space telescope. “Hubble can see a dime 200 miles away”, he said while talking through his educational technical presentation, which included discussion about the “ Dark Matter” and “Composition of the Cosmos”. Valuable educational material - such as “Mapping the World in Three Dimensions: The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission”, “ Interacting Galaxies Arp 147’”, “Looking at Earth – A Family Activity Book”, “Hubble 2007 – Science Year in Review” and “The Dynamic Earth – NASA Observes our Ever Changing Planet” – were made available for the attendees.

 The sumptuous food at the Harvest Moon Restaurant made the evening special.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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