Chicago Roundup


Rohina Malik’s Performance Brings Tears at “Unveiled” . Marcia Hermansen and Dana Elborno Present Their Pioneer Work . Pakistan Physician Society Chicago Chapter Attracts Hundreds . Professor Vipin Tripathi Heads Roundtable Discussion at IQRA’ International Educational Foundation . Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago Meets . “Connect and Communicate” SPJ’s Workshop at Columbia College Chicago

 By Dr. Mujahid Ghazi


Council of Islamic Organization meets at ICN Naperville to discuss Action Day

Town Hall Meeting at Anjuman-e-Saifee Mosque

Rohina Malik’s ‘Unveiled’ is performed at the Jewish Community Center

Milad at the inauguration of Anmol Restaurant

Rohina Malik’s Performance Brings Tears at “Unveiled”

Pakistan Physician Society holds Annual Spring Meeting

Roundtable discussion chaired by Professor Vipin Tripathi at IQRA’ International Educational Foundation

Dr Marcia Hermansen and Dana Elborno present their pioneering work

Society of Professional Journalists Workshop at Columbia College


(Contributed by Nazneen Ahmed-Desi Talk)

Jewish and Muslim groups’ co-hosted one-woman theatrical performance titled ‘Unveiled’ by Rohina Malik, on March 7, at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Illinois.

The compelling one-woman show was about Muslim women and their lives in the post-9/11 world. The critically acclaimed play has touched several issues of the Islamic world such as racism, hate crimes, love, Islam, culture, language, life and hope.

Rohina Malik, writer and actress, brought the Muslim culture to spotlight with her stories of five women living in a post-9/11 world. Malik acted multiple roles to portray each of the characters. Four of the women live in the US - Maryam, a Pakistani-American; Noor,  a Moroccan-American; Inez,  an African-American; Layla, an Arab-American, and lastly, Shabana,  a South Asian-Londoner. They differ in age and while some are wives and mothers, others are single and career-focused.

There were emotional moments when Rohina Malik took everyone by surprise with her superb performance. Tea and coffee which are an important part of Islamic culture formed an integral part of the theme in the play.   As the women make their cultural drink, they begin to unveil who they are — their hopes, fears, hardships and triumphs.

The show was sponsored by Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (JRC) Peace Dialogue, Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative (JMCBI), Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA), Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals (CAMP) and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago).

The show is scheduled for showing at Victory Gardens Biograph Studio Theater from March 24 - April 4, 2010at Victory Gardens 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614.
Wednesdays - Sundays at 7 PM.


Marcia Hermansen and Dana Elborno Present Their Pioneer Work at CB Monthly Meeting


On March 5 th, 2010, Marcia Hermansen, Director of Islamic World Studies and Professor of Theology at Loyola University Chicago and her student Dana Elborno presented a unique study at the monthly meeting of Community Builders at Holiday Inn Skokie. They spoke on ”Basement Mosques and other Muslim Spaces in Chicago”. With the help of power point and slides they discussed in detail the history of mosques and religious spaces in the north part of Chicago. They also gave statistical data and projected graphs of sectarian and ethnic diversity in the Muslim community. Their presentation was applauded by more than 30 community activists present at the meeting. Dana Elborno described in detail the methodology of the study and the hindrances they faced during their research. The study also discussed how the religious needs of the Muslim community from South Asia transformed basement spaces and storefronts into mosques and religious meeting places. They also spoke briefly on the religious processions and meetings which are becoming part of the social life of Muslims in Chicago. Earlier in the meeting, Dr. Munir Choudhry of IFANCA introduced the distinguished guests. Later, Dr. Azher Quader conducted the Q and A session.


Pakistan Physician Society Chicago Chapter Attracts Hundreds to the Annual Spring Meeting


Hundreds of physicians and their families attended the annual spring meeting at the Westin O’Hare Hotel last Saturday. Javed Imam, president of PPS Chicago Chapter, welcomed the guests and spoke about the future projects of PPS. Dr. Waseem Kagzi, secretary of the chapter, presented a detailed annual report of the activities of PPS while the treasurer Dr. Mohammad Ishaq Memon talked about the finances. Chairman Board of Trustees Dr. Arif Agha introduced Dr. Pervez Rasul, recipient of the Community Service Achievement Award. Earlier, the program started with the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, pledge of allegiance and the national anthems of Pakistan and the US, all done by the children of the members of PPS. Later a luscious dinner, catered by Usmania Restaurant, was served followed by entertainment by Sameer Saini and his group with known musicians Sa’ad and Mudassir. Sound was done by Tariq. Famous Pakistani television artist, Raju Jamil, son of Jamiluddin Aali, also graced the occasion with his surprised appearance.

Professor Vipin Tripathi Heads Roundtable Discussion at IQRA’ International Educational Foundation

Indian Muslim Council-USA Chicago Chapter and Indian Muslim Education Foundation of North America organized a round-table discussion last Saturday, headed by Professor Vipin Tripathi, a Gandhian from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and University of Maryland.

The discussion focused on Dr Tripathi's efforts in promoting Mahatma Gandhi's non-violence ethic to restore dignity to the underprivileged, by empowering them through education; and the collateral benefits of the Sadbhav Mission's approach in creating harmonious relationships among people of all classes and communities.

Prof. Vipin Tripathi is currently on a teaching assignment at the University of Maryland, College Park, from IIT Delhi. He joined IIT Delhi in 1983 as a Professor of Physics after working at the University of Maryland, College Park for seven years in the area of thermonuclear fusion.

Along with extensive contributions in these areas (over 250 research papers, review articles, books) Prof. Tripathi has been an active, practicing advocate of Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence.


Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago Meets at Islamic Center of Naperville


Representatives of member organizations of CIOGC met at the Islamic Center of Naperville early Saturday morning to discuss issues concerning the Muslim community and to take decisions about the Muslim Action Day scheduled for April 22 nd , 2010.

Dr. Zaher Sehloul, chairperson of the council, welcomed the participants and outlined the issues to be discussed in the meeting. Samreen Khan, Governor Pat Quinn's liaison to the Muslim community spoke about her role, the state budget, the status of the Muslim appointees to the different State Boards and commissions and the preparation for April 22 Muslim Action Day.

Alie Kaaba, the Executive Director of United African Organizations, informed the members of CIOGC about the efforts being done at the local level to improve the status of refugees, many of whom are Muslims and the role the Council can have in the newly formed coalition that advocate on behalf of the refugees. Ahlam Jbara, the director of family services at the Illinois Coalition of Immigrants and Refugees Rights, gave an update on the preparation of March 21Immigration Rally at Washington DC.

She asked the member organizations to participate actively in this rally and asked them to sponsor buses for this purpose. CIOGC sponsored a bus which will be leaving North Side of Chicago from Devon and Campbell intersection. Greg Pierce, the chairman of the executive team at United Power for Action and Justice informed the attendees about the new redistricting campaign and ask for collecting 5000 signatures from the Muslim community for a proposed constitutional amendment.


Government Agencies Educate Bohri Muslim Community at Al Masjid Al Badri Willowbrook


Willowbrook; March 10 th, 2010: Members of Anjuman-e-Saifee Chicago welcomed a large contingent from Transportation Security Agency, US Custom and Border Control and US Citizenship and Immigration Services to address a town hall meeting at Al Masjid Al Badri Willowbrook. Amir Chalisa, known Pakistani activist in Greater Chicago, introduced the participants and explained how the meeting is going to be conducted. He introduced the Ameer of Chicago Jamaat Obai Bhai Sahib Nooruddin commending his vision and leadership which has opened the doors of knowledge and communication with the government agencies and other resources. Obai Bhai Sahib welcomed the guests and thanked them to have come this far and share information. He also asked the community members to take advantage of this facility and take interest in educating themselves so that they can educate others. He also prayed for the spiritual leader of Bohri Muslims, Syedna Burahanuddin Hasan, who is turning 99 this year.

Kathleen Petrowsky, Federal Security Director, Transportation Security Administration, O’Hare International Airport, explained in details the mission, vision and values of TSA. She said the US Transportation System includes screening of 457 airports, 2 million airline passengers daily, 361 major seaports, 51,000 ports of call by 7,500 foreign vessels, 3.9 million miles of public roads, 120,000 miles of major railroads, 700 million rail freight miles, 25,000 miles of commercial navigable waterways, and 2.2 million miles of pipelines. She also explained the 20 security layers, Federal Air Marshal Program and Secured Flight Program in addition to explaining the new passenger screening techniques. Donald Ferguson from US Citizenship and Immigration Services explained in detail the immigration and citizenship process. He said people should not be afraid to come to their offices even if they are out of status as they are not the enforcing or reporting agency. They are there to help. He also stressed the importance of participating in the current US Census.. For details visit

Neelofar Aziz, Chief Agriculture Specialist, Passenger Operations was the most sought after officer during this Town Hall meeting. She explained in detail why food and plants are not allowed to enter the US. She said the fruits and food have to be processed by special measures before they can be allowed to be imported. Being from Bangladesh she was able to relate the food people were interested to bring from their kitchens in South Asia.

Greg Prescott from TSA and Larry Di Giannantonio from US CBP also responded to the questions asked by the community members.


“Connect and Communicate” SPJ’s Workshop at Columbia College Chicago


Society of Professional Journalists organized a workshop on “Connect and Communicate” to uplift the skill level of ethnic journalists in Greater Chicago. More than 20 journalists attended the workshop. Stephen Franklin, Ethnic News Media Project Director, Community Media Workshop at Columbia College spoke about the importance of alternate media like face book, blogging, twitting, etc. He introduced Jeff Cutler, who is a free lance writer, blogger and very well-known journalist from Boston. Cutler talked in detail about the use of websites and Internet resources to enrich journalistic skills and to become an effective writer and blogger.

The attendees in general commended the efforts of Stephen Franklin and SPJ in providing the opportunities for the journalists belonging to ethnic communities. Stephen Franklin is a senior journalist who speaks multiple languages, including Arabic fluently.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.