Human Development Foundation of North America’s Memorable Fundraiser
By Syed F. Qasim
This year’s Human Development Foundation of North America’s Fundraiser at the Cerritos Sheraton Hotel on Sunday, October 29th, 2017, once again vividly testified to the community’s sustained drive for improving the lot of the underprivileged people of Pakistan. The select group of community members raised money to support various projects of HDF in all four provinces of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.
As usual, the program started with a recitation from the Holy Qur’an by Faisal Qasim followed by its English translation by Sean Khan. This year’s emcee was Dr Imran Qasim who moved the program smoothly with his flawless introduction of the guests.
The opening remarks were presented by Dr Yasmin Qasim who had once again brought the leading lights of the community to the event, including Dr Sana Khan, Dr Nasir Qureshi and Mr Abdul Jabbar Memon, Consul General of Pakistan in Los Angeles. Dr Yasmin Qasim is the Chairperson of the HDF Los Angeles Chapter. She made a passionate plea to the audience to support HDF programs in Pakistan. Spotlighting HDF initiatives by way of a slide show, she demonstrated how the Pakistani-American community donations are helping over a million underprivileged people in the home country. The valuable funds are being utilized to educate boys and girls in the poorest parts of the country, provide healthcare, help with small business micro loans for creating self-sufficient families, build water filtration plants to meet the needs in poor villages and a model Village.
In a span of 20 years, HDF has impressive number of achievements to its credit. It has established adult literacy centers for women, build schools for underprivileged boys and girls, health care centers in the rural areas of the country and many infrastructure project that sustain and improve the lives of local villages. The Foundation continues to help people help themselves by working in the most desolate areas of Pakistan, and most importantly, giving people the light to see their potential to better their own lives.
The Chief Guest, Dr Sana Khan, began his address with a passionate dua for the audience and gave a refreshing speech on how the future is changing right before our eyes, that the future is now. Dr Khan is an accomplished radiologist, researcher, teacher and entrepreneur and his involvement with various charitable and Islamic causes shows his passion for mankind. With devotion and support for many charitable causes and organizations he has helped many in need; he has been a longtime supporter of the HDF and a dedicated community member who is always present in times of need. He emphasized that helping others makes the giving person happier than the person receiving.
The events’ Keynote Speaker Dr Nasir Qureshi, who made a special appearance on Dr Yasmin’s request, is a renowned physician who has made a great name for himself as APPNA’s past-president, an outstanding business and community leader. He has generously supported many charitable causes locally and in Pakistan to fund hospitals, schools and many organizations. Dr Qureshi highlighted the need for helping the most needed in Pakistan and how we must support the country we originally belong to. True to his words, he made a generous contribution.
The evening’s Special Guest, Syed Javaid Anwar, is a renowned philanthropist, a Pakistani-American businessman who has made a great name for himself in the American Oil and Gas industry. He is admired in the community as an outstanding business leader, a philanthropist, and a community leader. A man of integrity who believes in honesty, education and hard work. He was unable to attend the event due to a schedule mix-up and had sent a special message for the audience with an appeal to make a generous donation. Mr Anwar himself made a generous contribution this year as he has done in the past.
The Guest of Honor, Mr Abdul Jabbar Memon, Consul General of Pakistan in Los Angeles, spoke of the need to help Pakistan alleviate poverty through a structured approach and promised the government’s help in partnering with NGOs for greater good. He lauded HDF’s focus on imparting education, especially to girls.
Guests who were sponsors and made generous donations include M. Syed Javaid Anwar, Dr Sana and Safura Khan, Mr Saleem and Yasmeen Adaya, Mr Navaz and Fauzia Malik, Dr Naseem and Noor Jehan Malik,and Dr Khalid and Ghazala Khan. Others present also made donations ranging from $100 to $1,000.
Dr Yasmin Qasim and the HDF team have successfully organized HDF fundraisers in Southern California for the last many years and each occasion has been a memorable one. This year’s event was no different. She and the HDF team comprising Ghazala Khan, Parveen Imdad, Aisha Bajwa, Abida Ahmed and Fatima Khan are to be duly commended for their efforts. Congrats to Dr Qasim and the HDF team for their hard work and continued support of HDF. Also Ghazala Khan and Parveen Imdad played a prominent role in organizing and sponsoring the event, their contribution is greatly appreciated.
The guests were treated to a sumptuous dinner catered by Mr Dara Khan of Shahnawaz Restaurant. After dinner, the guests enjoyed a highly entertaining musical program by famous singer Ms Shaista Alam; a trailblazer in live entertainment, an acclaimed international singer, recording artist, writer and TV personality. She is blessed with a God-gifted voice, and has been performing live from her childhood. She is an avid participator in programs hosted by PTV, Karachi TV, and Prime &Islamabad TV. She has been featured on FM101 several times.
Shaista has produced four original albums - original compositions and lyrics. Some of her popular songs have been on top of the charts for months in Pakistan.