Chicago Roundup
Consul General Zaheer Pervaiz Khan Urges Community to Raise Funds for Flood Victims
By Dr Mujahid Ghazi

The Consul General of Pakistan in Chicago has urged community leaders to come forward and help his office in organizing a fundraising dinner for flood victims on October 29, 2010. He said the disaster is so enormous that it requires each and every member of the community to pitch in and help those who are in need. He acknowledged the efforts of non-profit organizations that are raising funds in their own capacity. He announced that the fundraising dinner will be held at Holiday Inn Skokie on Friday, the 29 th of October, 2010. He thanked Mr. Mansoor Lakhani, the owner of Holiday Inn Skokie, for making the place available free of charge.

Mr. Ahmed Abdul Karim Jangda gave a brief report on the flood relief activities of Friends of Humanity, a west suburban group that has been busy sending emergency relief articles to Pakistan. This scribe shared his experience of the recent flood relief trip to Pakistan. Mr. Raja Yaqoob, Dr. Arshad Mirza, Mr. Naimatullah Chaudhry and Mr. Hidayat Khan also spoke on the occasion. The community leaders assured the Consul General to do their best to make the fundraiser a great success.

 

American Islamic College reopens with a well attended conference and a sold out concert by Sami Yusuf

The American Islamic College located at Lake Michigan in Chicago was the venue of a three-day conference and a sold out concert of Sami Yusuf. The events marked the partial rehabbed reopening of this academic institution founded by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in 1981.

Recently, it went through a complete overhaul under the leadership of the present Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. The new caretaker Ali Yurtsever has successfully solicited support of organizations like CIOGC, CAIR Chicago, Niagara Foundation, Mosque Foundation and other notable Islamic organizations in Chicago. This was all too evident from the presence of notable scholars and activists belonging to Muslim and other religious faiths.

Speaking on the occasion Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that OIC has evolved into a unique institution with a very modern and up-to-date charter and a 10-year program of action propelled by the vision of moderation and modernization.

OIC ambassador to the UN Ufuk Goken said OIC not only cares for the interest of Muslim Ummah but also condemns acts of violence committed against people of other faiths and ideologies. He quoted the recent OIC condemnations of attacks on an active duty Jewish soldier in Israel and Christians in Mosul.

World Congress of Muslim Philanthropies president Dr. Tariq Cheema moderated the panel on “American Foreign Policy & the Muslim World.” He urged the American Muslims to strengthen inter-continental relationship. Imam Abdul Malick Mujahid presented his famous wheel of effect and cause. He talked about various aspects of US foreign policy and the turbulent US-Muslim relationship.

During the third panel titled “Islam in the American context” Magali Rheault, a social scientist working for Gallup, outlined the findings of a 2010 “religious perceptions” poll.

Misbahudeen Ahmed-Rufai of Molcolm X College talked about the contribution of African Muslims in the US.

Loyola University Islamic studies director Marcia Hermansen talked in detail about the Muslim communities in Chicago. She also gave a brief overview of her recent study about the Chicago mosques. .

“Imagining our future” panel had Gambling State University’s mathematics Professor Abdulalim Shabbaz, Loyola Professor Aminah McCloud and Abd al-Hakim Jackson as speakers. Safa Zarzour moderated this panel.

Sami Yusuf’s concert during the conference in the new high tech college auditorium attracted a houseful crowd. Speaking to his fans he said that he only came to Chicago to support the cause of education at American Islamic College. Later, Ms Khan and Miss Atkinson, two rafflewinners, were given a chance to meet Sami Yusuf backstage.

 

“Abhi Tho Mein Jawan Hoon” at 2 nd Annual Dinner of AARA

The American Association of Retired Asians (AARA) held its second annual dinner at Ashyana Banquet to mark the inauguration of its office and senior center in Carol Stream. Speaking to a large gathering of South Asian community, AARA President Dr. Talat Razvi said the Association is continuing to strive to serve the retired community members. She said the retired seniors can meet at this center and share their grief and happiness, celebrate cultural and religious festivals and get counseling from professionals.

Anthony Paraika, Commissioner Cook County gave a very informative account on how to get various grants and financial aid for organizations like AARA. He said community service organizations should take benefit of the funding provided by government at all levels. Treasurer Ahsan Hafeez presented his report and furnished details of the budget for the coming fiscal year. This scribe then raised funds and as reported by Dr. Naveeda Athar a good amount was collected. This segment was emceed by Sohail Khan.

It was followed by a performance by students of Nrithyanjali, a local dance school, run by a famous classical dancer and guru Sushmita Arunkumar.

The main attraction of the evening was a masterly done compeering of TV Asia fame Shiraz Sharief in the musical entertainment part titled after his famous program “Abhi Tho Mein Jawan Hun”. With his couplets and brief history of old classics he introduced Bhupender Singh, Roma Raghuramen, Mahajit Singh Virdi and Nalini Parekh to sing the unforgettable.

 

Loyola Responds

Loyola faculty and students were busy collecting funds last week for the flood victims of Pakistan. “Loyola Responds” is a theme used by the University to help the victims of disasters anywhere in the world. Speaking at the fundraising dinner at Mundelein Auditorium, Rabia Khan broke into tears saying, “I love my Pakistan”. She also welcomed all the attendees and speakers at the event. The first keynote speaker, Professor Marcia Hermansen, talked about the geopolitical history of Pakistan. The second keynote speaker Jaffar Husnain, a board member of Human Development Foundation, talked in detail about the post-flood situation and its implications. This scribe, with the help of a slide show, briefed the audience about the flood situation in Pakistan. The food was donated by India House Restaurant. It was a record turnout of 450 students of all colors and races. The MSA Loyola also collected donations during Friday prayers. The collected funds were to be donated to UNICEF and Islamic Relief.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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