Sir Syed Dinner and Mushaira

Sir Syed Dinner:
AMU Alumni Association of Greater Chicago (AMUAA-GC) organized the Sir Syed Dinner, Lecture and the International Mushaira on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at the Albanian-American Islamic Center, 5825 St. Charles Road, Berkeley, Illinois 60163.

Dr. Ahmadullah Siddiqi was the convener of both the programs.
Former Vice Chancellor, Ret Lt General Zameeruddin Shah was the chief guest and Mr. Irfan Kareem, a leading member of the Muslim Community of the Greater Chicago area, was the keynote speaker. The program was started with the recitation of Holy Quran by Hafiz Maaz Sheikh. 

In the welcome note, Dr Ahmadullah Siddiqui informed about the active and practical involvement of the AMUAA-GC towards Sir Syed’s mission for last 40 years and said:  

Jo Taaqe Aligarh men Roshan hai ----- who shamaaa Chicago men bhi jalti hai .”

He thanked the members of the board, the executive committee, members of the SS Day committee, the Mushaira committee and all the volunteers for their efforts and hard work to make the program successful. He also thanked Mr. Shahid, Mr. Mannan Ahmad and Dr. Zafeer Ahmad for their generous contributions to support the projects of AMUAA.

The President of AMUAA-GC, Dr. Zafeer Ahmad welcomed the chief guest, the keynote speaker and all other guests. He informed the audience about the programs that AMUAA-GC organizes every year, such as, Sir Syed Day, Mushaira, educational/cultural program, Ramadan Iftar and annual picnic. He shed light on the educational projects that have been initiated by the AMUAA-GC. He requested to support girls’ educational projects in the underprivileged areas of India. He also appealed the audience to come forward and become member of the association and support more projects.

The keynote speaker, Mr. Kareem Irfan is an attorney and a business owner. He has served as chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC). Currently he also serves as the Executive Vice President of Northwest Suburban College. He spoke on “Sir Syed’s Educational Mission and its Relevance Today.” He described the seminal contributions of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in motivating, mobilizing and engaging the Muslims of India at a very critical time when after the 1857 mutiny, Muslims suffered the most and they were totally shattered.  Sir Syed’s mission was to provide them with the opportunity to seek the highest quality education and to instill in them the confidence and determination to change the course of history.  To achieve his mission, he established the “Madarstul-Uloom,” which later became the Mohammadan Anglo Oriental College, which finally lead to the establishment of Aligarh Muslim University in 1920. “Sir Syed brought the best professors, best administrators and the most philanthropic personalities together to fulfill his dream,” noted Mr. Kareem. “He knew that with mediocre actions a high caliber institution couldn’t last long. The relevance of his mission today is to again focus on educational upliftment of Indian Muslims by emphasizing on high quality of education, unwavering commitment to the cause of education, and  a progressive action-oriented plan.”

In his speech, the chief guest, Mr. Zameeruddin Shah, said that the AMU Alumni can and should play a pivotal role in advancing the educational uplift of Indian Muslims. He enlightened the audience with the major developments and initiatives recently taken at the AMU. 

As a token of thanks, memorable plaques were presented to the chief guest, Mr. Shah and the keynote speaker Mr. Kareem Irfan.

The Secretary of the AMUAA-GC Dr. Hina Nazli, paid tribute to Sir Syed by presenting a conversation with Syed Ahmad Khan. She beautifully articulated the message and advice of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan not only to the alumni of AMU but also to everyone who believes in the mission of this great educational reformer.  Dr. Nazli’s presentation was both entertaining and inspiring. 

AMU Tarana was played by the AMUAA-GC Tarana team. 

At the end of the program, Mrs. Nargis Jahan, the AMUAA-GC board member, presented a vote of thanks. She thanked the chief guest, the keynote speaker, all the sponsors, guests, and volunteers for their support and hard work. 

Overall it was a very successful program and about 120 people attended.


Keeping up with its tradition, the AMUAA-GC organized the International Mushaira, in combination with the Sir Syed Day Lecture and Dinner on Saturday October 27, 2018 at the Albanian-American Islamic Center. The Mushaira started at 10:00 pm.

Dr. Ahmadullah Siddiqi welcomed the guest and invited Lt. General (Rtd.) General Zameeruddin Shah to preside over the Mushaira. He invited the poets at the stage. The guest poets included Mr. Khushbeer Singh Shad (India), Mr. Saud Usmani and Mr. Rehman Faris (Pakistan), Mr. Irfan Sattar and Mrs. Seema Naqvi (Canada), and Mrs. Farah Deeba Iqbal (Houston). From Chicago, six poets participated in this Mushaira. These poets were: Mr. Heshmat Suhail, Mr. Hamid Amrohvi, Mr. Kashif Haider, Mr. Rafi Bakht Nafees, Dr. Latif Saif, and Mr. Ghulam Mustafa Anjum. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah from Washington, D. C. and Mr. Qamar from Cleveland were also present. Mr. Amin Haider has conducted the Mushaira. 

In his welcome note, Dr Ahmadullah Siddiqui said that the tradition of Mushaira has a unique importance in our society. Poets express not only their personal feelings but also present social and political issues in poetic form. The AMUAA-GC has been organizing Mushaira every year since 1987. 

The Mushaira started with the Hamid and Naat by Janab Hamid Amrohvi: 
“Khud se jo Ashna nahin hota ---- Us ka dil haq numa nahin hota” 
Mr. Rafi Bakht Nafees presented his ghazal:
“Yaad bhi aa ke teri ab to goonj uthti hai ---- Itna khali to mera zehn kabhi pehe na thaa”
 Mr. Kahsif Haider started his ghazal with this sher:
Lag gaya waqt kahani ko jo suljhane men ---- mar gya akhiri kirdaar bhi afsaane men”
Dr. Latif Saif: “Is se behter to yahi thaa ki na miltaa mujh se ----   who na milta to mera derd sanbhalta mujh se.”
Mr. Ghulam Mustafa Anjum: “Usko jab dobara dekha bare dini ke baad ---Maine khud ko bhi ghar aaker phir dobaara dekha.”
Janab Hashmat Suhail recalled his unsuccessful visit to AMU in these words:
“Hum ne nahi perha hai Aligarh men dosto ---- Lekin purani yaad sanbhale hue to hain
Koshish to ki magar na milaa dakhilaa hamen ---- waan ke nahin per wann ke nikaale hue to hain.”
After local poets, Ms. Seema Naqvi (Toronto) presented her kalam.  
“Subhe azal se shame abad tak aana jaana hota hai ---- manzil tak jaane kaa rasta kisne paana hota hai.
  main ek aurat hoon ghar bhar ki zimmedaari hai meri ---- merdon ko to kaam bahut hain chand pe jaana hota hia.”
Mrs. Farah Deeba Iqbal (Houston):
“Her eik rut men mahekte se khawab rekhte hain ---- Hum apni sochon men taaza gulaab rekhte hain
Samunderon se hai nisbet hmaari aankhon ko ---- Khazaane jitney hain hum zere aab rakhte hain.’
Mr. Irfan sattar (Canada):
“Tere lehje men tera jehle deroon boltaa hai ---- Baat kerna nahin aati hai to kyon bolta hai
Tera andaaze tekhatuib, tera lehja, tere lafz ----who jise khufe khudaa hota hai yoon bolta hai?”

Mr. Rehman Faris (Pakistan) 
“Ishq toota to istikhaara kiya ---- Aur phir ishq hi dobaara kiya
Main to mehfil se uthne waala thaa --- Phir kisi aankh ne ishaara kiya.” 

Mr. Saud Usmani (Pakistan):
“khud apne aap se kat ker hyat kya maani ---- Jahan ka gher who samete jo apne ghar kaa bhi ho.”
“Us per kaa ajeeb saa naata thaa dhoop se ---- khud dhoop men thaaa sab ko bachataa thaa dhoop se.”

The last but not least poet was Mr. Khushbeer Singh Shad from India:
“Hamen ab her bulandi aarzi maaloom hoti hai ---- hum apni zindagi men itni gehrai se guzre hain.”
“Ek hum hain ki perestish pe aqeedah hi nahi ----- kuch log yahan ban ke khuda baithe hain.”

At the end of the Mushaira, Mr. Rehman Faris’s collection of poetry, “Ishq bakhair” was released.  
Mr. Anis Khan thanked the poets, the chief guest, and all the volunteers and the audience for making this evening a memorable and enjoyable evening. The Mushaira concluded at 1:00 a.m.