“Dare to Dream“: The NED Alumni Association of Washington DC 2012 Convention
By Ahmed Ali
Board of Directors
The overwhelming success of the three-day Alumni International Convention from October 12, 2012 through October 14, 2012 is proof to the organizing skills, importance of the NED brand we have established and success of the NEDians all over the globe. “Dare to Dream” was the theme of this convention.
On behalf of NEDIAN-NA, its board of directors, and the member networks of NED Alumni in North America which includes Chicago, Silicon Valley, New England, New Jersey, Southern California, Houston, Washington DC, Alberta, and Ontario, we appreciate and applaud you for executing a world class event and providing a stage for so many NEDians to come together under an umbrella and show that NEDians are always there for NED and the people of Pakistan.
We started Saturday the 13 th with The Professional Development Session conducted by Abul Islam. It was encouraging to learn that none in the audience was aware of any Pakistani/American new business venture failing. This gives a positive encouragement to entrepreneurs who want to venture into new business opportunities.
The Alumni Session, moderated by Tanweer Malik from Chicago, secretary of NEDIAN-NA, provided NED networks in good standing a forum to share their contributions to their alma mater. Ahmed Ali, Chairperson of NEDIAN-NA introduced the network representatives.
The Project INDUS Session, NEDians’ Initiative for Cultivating Leadership in Pakistan, was the idea and concept of Mr. Athar Javaid, Chairman of NEDA-DC was moderated by Pamela Constable. The panelists comprised of Ambassador Touqeer Hussain, Dr. Walter Anderson, Dr. Ayesha Jalal, Dr. Hassan Abbas, and Mr. Moeed Yusuf.
The presentation for Project NED ALEF (NED Alumni Endowment Fund) concept was unanimously approved by the attendees of the conference and demonstrates the desire and willingness of the Alumni to see progress at NEDUET even though it is a big commitment for all of us. The credit for NED ALEF goes to the hard-working committee members and Rashid Baig of New Jersey for a complete and appealing presentation. Over $20,000 was committed as seed money for this project.
The evening program was taken away by our own featured speaker Mr. Syed Aftab H. Rizvi, an NEDian, who instilled the relationship of mother and child between the student and the beloved institution, the story about a live in servant’s son named Dawood affectionately referred to as DUDA who grows up to succeed in life moved the audience and there were many teary eyes.
Master of ceremonies was Dr. Asma Ali, with an array of artists in the packed ball room with the comedy and music-filled evening ending with bhangra headed by the favorites of NEDian crowd.
It is practically impossible to measure and quantify the success of the amazing event the NEDA-DC team put together. Indeed any success metric pales in comparison to the energy, beaming smiles, emotional embraces and forward-looking discussions that were visible in every corner of the huge site of the ballroom for the event. With over 200 attendees during the day and some 500 people who packed the hall at the evening event NEDA-DC clearly set a record of participation and involvement. The specially served meals (reception/dinner on the 12 th, breakfast, Pak/Chinese lunch, hor douvres and dinner on the 13 th, and nahari/naan with celebrity carved cake breakfast on the 14 th) all provided an opportunity to enjoy some of the finest Pakistani food available in the US. Kudos to the entire planning committee, the volunteers, the friends and families that supported you in the hard year-long preparation for the event. It was certainly worth it.
Many thanks to Arif Sattar, Syed Mehdi Kamal, Tanweer Mallick, Rashid Baig, Safwan Shah, Amir Alislam, Qamar Kazmi, Afzaal Hafeez, Abul Islam, Aslam Siddiqui , Asma Ali, and many more for their untiring efforts and energy demonstrated during the convention.
As NEDians we always debate the significance of putting together social events and their long-term value to the NEDian community. Let me share a few of the comments that have come to my attention.
“I shared my personal experience with my two Chinese partners whom I showed the pictures of the event tonight, they always get surprised whenever I tell them that I met another NEDian somewhere in a government organization or a private company and they always ask me that how come so many Pakistanis are engineers especially in this area, and all of them are at some very responsible positions.
And tonight when I told them about the convention and what I saw there and how many engineers I met and how many different programs were run, and then I showed them the pictures I had taken - they were speechless. One of them said that I never thought that Pakistanis are so educated and organized. He said that he wished that his Chinese engineers may also be united and organized like Pakistani engineers.”
“It was really heart-warming and emotionally deep feelings I had after hearing these words about Pakistanis from a different nation which has really been very rare these days.
“I want to congratulate all NEDians who are the real face of Pakistan and keep our heads high in all times, especially the organizers of this event who made me and all of us, Pakistanis, proud, by organizing such a wonderful event.”
“Thank you very much for your encouraging remarks. Believe me, this was not possible without a team effort and dedication. I always told my friends who are residing in USA, Canada and Pakistan that I found a wonderful team of NEDians and their supporting families here in USA under the banner of NEDA-DC.”
“This was the first event in my life when I realized several times in last 12 months that I was getting emotional. Tears were coming to my eyes and I saw the same situation with other team members.”
“The success of this convention was not the only our milestone from the platform of NEDA-DC. Whatever we set and promised in this convention for the INDUS & ALEF are our milestones and we have to work hard to achieve the slogan of this convention “Dare to Dream”.
“Tears of enjoyments, with boiling blood of NED, plausible standing ovation, great remarks from attendees, are the evidences and Real Awards, of all dedicated hard working team NEDA-DC that entire world saw from DC to Pakistan. I am proud to be part of this successful event. As Tanveer said, we all want to be ‘KAMAL’ in future. I had tears in my eyes when you were specially recognized at the podium, a well deserved award. We love all team members. All of you who didn't sleep many nights deserve special congratulation. Thank you for bringing our great friends to our home town. I heard a lot of positive comments and can't wait to share with you.”
Few positive comments I heard:
1. Great idea about "Endowment Fund" or "Alef"
2. Bring forward "Youth of NED families" on NED platform/events to have more strong outcome.
3. People loved food, DC tour, and network and idea of state-to-state group reorganization.
4. Great way of finding motivation, unity and support when a well-organized event happens like this one.
5. Adding NED shirt in gift bag was a great idea.
“This was a great team effort. I enjoyed a lot working with such a dedicated and hard working group of NEDians. Congratulations to all steering committee members, Athar sahib, Mrs. Arif Sattar, Arif Sattar, Arif mahmood and Afzaal's daughters, Maaz, Ashfaq, Nusrat and their daughter, Faraz, Khurram and Shafqat. Special thanks to Shakeel and Mannan for a very well-organized DC tour.”
“Please keep this spirit alive to achieve our goals and turn our dreams true for our Alma Mater NEDUET and our motherland Pakistan.”
“Arif sahib - Congratulations to you. You did a wonderful job both at the check-in and with the security. Your selection as the Hospitality chief was the right decision, as we say in Urdu "Dair ayad durst ayad". One of our guests who came from outside the DMV area came to me before leaving to specifically mention that she has been to almost all conventions, but we had the best security system of all.”
“Congratulations everyone on a job well done! This was only possible due to the untiring efforts of all involved. Special thanks to all the family members who spent so much of their time and effort.”
Once again, please accept our heartfelt thanks and gratitude for taking the lead to keep the spirit of NED alive and inspiring NEDians everywhere. The presence, participation and representation of Dr. Shams Ul Haque and Registrar Engr Javed Aziz Khan from NEDUET are much appreciated.
The success of any movement is relevant if it is sustained and there are others that are willing to join and carry forward the cause. We will soon announce the location of our 9 th NED Alumni International Convention in 2013.
Build a Better NED, NEDians for NED, Long Live NED, Long Live Pakistan.
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