Computers & Structures, Inc. Celebrates 35 Years in San Francisco
By Ras H. Siddiqui


Glimpses of the 35 years of Computers & Structures, Inc. celebrations in San Francisco

For those not yet familiar with Computers & Structures, Inc. ( CSI ), it is a Berkeley, California-based civil-structural engineering software company which remains at the cutting edge of use in various applications, more specifically for building construction in earthquake zones worldwide. The company celebrated its 35 th year in business on Saturday, March 13, 2010 in a grand style at the San Francisco City Hall Rotunda where hundreds gathered to celebrate the occasion with a tastefully done Bollywood Ball.  

Mr. Ashraf Habibullah  the founder, President and CEO of CSI , is a Pakistani-American, graduate of Karachi’s NED Engineering College (now University), and if there is any Pakistani origin person in the Northern California region who really knows how to throw a party, it is Ashraf. A long-time supporter of local ballet, Urdu-Hindi language events and his alma mater along with a host of other social and cultural efforts, his is an example that our Pakistani-American community should emulate.

As we walked into the beautiful venue, besides the excellent appetizer and dinner presentation, fine music and songs from The Ali Khan Band were being played, with Riffat Sultana leading its vocals.  South-Asian rhythm permeated the area as ethnically diverse attendees danced to Pakistani-Punjabi folk music. And by not skirting around the reality here, it would be accurate to report that there were more white people at this event dressed in shalwar kameez, and saris than Pakistanis and Indians. And that does not take anything away from Desi people either, because our Pakistani and Indian ladies present were certainly dressed to impress. 

After the dinner and Pakistani folk music segment, Ashraf Habibullah made a short welcoming speech during which he also exposed his singing talents. He spoke of his learning to recite songs while growing up in Pakistan to impress others and to express himself. He thanked several hundred of his friends present and said that hewas ready to lead CSI for another 35 years. He stressed the fact that without friends and supporters success is difficult and one cannot go it alone. He added that work should be followed by having some fun, and that this evening was all about that aspect.

Dressed in an illuminated jacket with the letters CSI glowing on its back, Ashraf was quite a dazzling and gracious host as he lit up San Francisco City Hall in more ways than one.

Dessert and coffee were served in the adjoining hall where a live Bollywood and Bhangra dance performance drew a great deal of attention. The group “Bhangra Empire” which has gained nationwide attention recently by performing at the Obama White House during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was on hand here at this event to the delight of many present. Their colorful attire and athletic moves were greatly appreciated, and we are glad that they were not copied on the dance floor later by us as we did not have the training to perform their moves.

In conclusion, congratulations are in order to CSI ( http://www.csiberkeley.com/) for completing 35 years in business, and quite successfully, one might add.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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