Consul General Speaks at AIC . Rally to Support People’s Struggle in Bahrain . AAI Holds Annual Milestone Awards Benefit Dinner . Bazm e Sukhan Organizes Monthly Literary Meeting . Islamic Center of Chicago Raises Funds for Full Time Islamic School . Consul General Speaks at AIC
By Dr. Mujahid Ghazi
Rally to Support People’s Struggle in Bahrain
Chicago; April 29 th 2011: Men, women and children from Baitul Ilm, Hussaini and Masoom centers in Greater Chicago attended a rally at Daley Center in downtown Chicago to support people’s struggle in Bahrain. People gathered in front of Daley Plaza to hear the Juma Khutba of Imam Amir Mukhtar Faizi from Baitul Ilm and offer Juma Prayers behind him. A collective prayer was made for the people suffering in Bahrain. Imam Faizi shed light on the importance of human rights in Islam. He praised the struggle of the people in Bahrain and prayed for their welfare.
After the Friday prayer the rally with hundreds of men, women and children walked through the streets of downtown Chicago raising slogans to protest against the oppression of the Khalifa of Bahrain and the role the Saudi Government is playing to support him. They had banners and plaques with slogans written on them. The rally came back to Daley Center where speakers gave detailed accounts of what is happening in Bahrain.
Among the speakers were Allama Syed Suleman Hassan Abidi, Andy Thayer, John Beecham, Allama Syed Haider Mehdi Abidi, Imam Syed Mohammad Ali, Raja Yaqoob and this scribe. Known community activist Ali Bakhtiari conducted the rally while famous poet Nazar Naqvi was among the organizers.
AAI Holds Annual Milestone Awards Benefit Dinner
Chicago,; April 28 th 2011: Asian American Institute (AAI), a community advocating organization, held its Annual Milestone Awards Benefit Dinner last week. The event attracted prominent personalities from all over Greater Chicago.
This year the Milestone makers were Chinese American Service League, Gene Honda, announcer, Chicago White Sox and Blackhawks andUnmi Song, Executive Director , The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation . The event was emceed by Ravi Baichwal, a news anchor and reporter at WLS-TV.
Michael P. Chu, President of the institute welcomed the guests and shed light on the achievements of AAI. Tuyet Le, Executive Director of AAI gave a brief report highlighting the activities of AAI during last year. She mentioned the efforts put into the Mayoral debate organized by AAI. Samreen Khan, Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor, read a message of the Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn.
Among the guests was Tariq Malhance, CFO of Cook County.
Bazm e Sukhan Oganizes Monthly Literary Meeting
Chicago; May 1 st 2011: Bazm e Sukhan, a local literary group, held its monthly literary meeting at Zam’s Hope last Sunday. It was presided over by known literary figure Mr. Hasan Chishti.
Poets presented their poems structured around the given radeef “Baat”. Rasheed Sheikh moderated the event. The poets included Rasheed Sheikh, Shah Naeemuddin, Wajid Nadeem, Shehzad Hashmi, Afzalur Rehman Afsar, Shahid Aleg, Nadeem Sharafi, Mujahid Ghazi, Khursheed Khizir, Munir Sharar Siddiqi, Abdur Rahim Talib, Hamid Amrohvi and Hasan Chishti.
Mir Turab Ali talked about his new book “Chicago mein Urdu” which gives a detailed account of Urdu writers and poets in Chicago.
Islamic Center of Chicago Raises Funds for Full Time Islamic School
Chicago; May 7 th 2011: At a very impressive event at Monty’s Elegant Banquets in Bensenville, Islamic Center of Chicago (ICC) raised funds to support a full-time Islamic school and its various ongoing projects. “We have great plans and we need to move forward by helping each other,” said young and vibrant Mufti Hussain Kamani in his welcoming speech.
The program started with a recitation from the Holy Qur’an by two very young children from the Full Time school, Abdul Basit Syed and Safoora Salman. Following the welcome speech a very interesting game show was moderated by the host of the evening Hafiz Azam Hashmi. Four segments of this game show, “Are you smarter than ICC student?” involved a young child from the ICC school and an adult member of the audience facing questions ranging from religion to science and civic knowledge. The young kids beat the grownups in every category. The children who participated included Ansar Ahmed (2nd Grade), Wajiha (3 rd Grade) and Zakaria (3 rd Grade). Ahmed Abdul Joyo, Midhat and Ziauddin were the grownups from the audience.
Mr. Abdul Hai, Founder and Director of ICC, informed the audience about the goals of the organization. He said the organization has long-term and short-term goals. Explaining the short-term goals, he mentioned the institution needs to expand and buy the adjacent buildings and houses to meet the needs of the community. He said there is a need of additional floor to the present structure, additional parking, central library, Da’wah and Outreach Center, after school programs and a daycare center. He also highlighted the long-term goals which included separate High Schools for boys and girls, Funeral Home, Adult Care and Nursing Home, Hospital, Shelter and Halfway House and Community Soup Kitchen.
The keynote speaker was Shaykh Junaid Kharsany, founder of the Riyadhul Uloom Institute in Torrance, California. Giving a historical perspective of the importance of mosques, religious institutions and schools in the Muslim community, he said the needs of a child grow with his or her growth and it is the duty of the parents to fulfill these needs. Similarly to meet the needs of a growing community we have to join hands and support projects like the Full Time ICC School.
Mufi Husain Abdul Sattar concluded the fundraiser with his Du’a.
Consul General of Pakistan Speaks at AIC
Chicago; May 3 rd 2011: The Hon. Zaheer Pervaiz Khan, Consul General of Pakistan, was the guest speaker last week at the American Islamic College in Chicago. He spoke on “Pakistan’s current internal situation and economic outlook for the future.” It was a very informative talk. He made a Power Point presentation to address the historical background of the current geo-political situation in Pakistan. He talked about the natural disasters and socio-political ups and downs Pakistan has gone through since its creation. He successfully presented Pakistan and its nation as very resilient and strong when it comes to face hardships. He also gave an outlook of the progress in the economic and social sectors in spite of the challenging situation Pakistan has been facing including the current war on terror.
Prominent members of the Muslim community attended this lecture which was moderated by Dr. Ghulam Haider Aasi,Associate Professor and Chairperson of Islamic Studies and the History of Religions Emeritus at the American Islamic College in Chicago. He thanked the speaker and the audience. A token gift was also given to the speaker at the end of the lecture.