By Dr. Aslam Abdullah-Chicago
Oct 3rd 2011
The American Federation of Muslims of Indian origin (AFMI) successfully held its 21st annual national convention in Chicago under the leadership of Dr. Tajuddin Ahmed, the incoming AFMI president, and the chairperson Dr. Siraj Ahmed, Co-chair Hassan Kaleemuddin and various heads of other committees. Over 350 people attended the banquet session.
The theme of the convention was â€œWomen Empowerment Through Educationâ€.
Distinguished and knowledgeable speakers from across the nation who participated during the whole day sessions discussed various issues like â€œCurrent Status of Indian Muslim Womenâ€, â€œTools and Models for Empowering Women Through Educationâ€ followed by the session for â€œStrategic planning and Moving Forward in to Actionâ€.
Mrs. Priya Dutt, Member of the Parliament, address the banquet session of the convention. She is also in charge of women section of the Indian National Congress and Congress partyâ€™s general Secretary. The other Chief Guest was the former Illinois senator, Mosley Braun. The theme of the convention being women empowerment, both the main speakers focused on their educational and economic empowerment through creating opportunities at all levels. Priya Dutt is the daughter of Late Sunil Dutt, a Bollywood icon and a former minister of youth affairs. She is involved in running a number of women empowerment centers in the slums of Bombay.
The AFMI convention enables people from Indian origin to find ways of cooperation on issues of concerns for Muslims of India. AFMI organizes an international convention in India in December to distribute medals to students who out excel others in education. Besides, AFMI also runs and supports a number of educational institutions in different parts of India. Relief and political education are two other areas that form the focus of AFMI activities in India. The organization was established in 1989 to provide a platform to Muslims of Indian origin living in the US.to contribute their human and material resources for the Muslims of India. This yearâ€™s convention saw the emergence of a youth leadership in the organization as they made significant presentation on educational and economic issues. Some of the presenters presented the conclusion of their research in the city of Hyderabad and other places where women are making significant efforts in bringing about changes in their sociopolitical conditions. The emergence of a women leadership in Indiaâ€™s Muslim dominated areas is a fact that is being recognized by the community as was suggested by one of the speakers.
Mr. Ashfaq Qureshi, the current President of the organization said that the organization was focused on education and has adopted a motivational approach to help Muslims achieve the goal of 100 per cent literacy.
Dr. Abdul Raheman Nakadar, the founder of the organization presented an overview of the organizationâ€™s projects in different part of the country that includes schools, hospitals, clinics, and relief centers besides the distribution of medals to the achievers of highest academic honors. Dr. Nakadar presented the graph of progress in the field of education asserting that the encouragement and recognition of highest achievers create an environment of healthy competition and inspires students to become high achievers.
Among those attended the convention were Dr. Khurshid Malik, a prominent Chicago physician involved in several developmental projects in India. Manzoor Ghori, of the Indian Muslim Relief Committee, Rashid Khan of American Indian Muslim Council, Dr. Abidullah Ghazi, prominent Muslim educationist, Dr. Ahmadullah Siddiqi, Media professor at Western Illinois University, Macomb, Dr. Azhar Quader, a community activists and former President of the Chicago Area Council of Muslim organizations, and recipient of AFMIâ€™s award of Excellence. Dr. A. Razzaque Ahmed, recipient of AFMIâ€™s â€œExcellenceâ€ award and an internationally known dermatologist. The youths who made a mark and were keen to participate in AFMI activities were: Dr. Fareen Parvez (Boston), Dr. Tasneem Osmani (Chicago), Dr. Sana Uddin (South Bend-Indiana), Dr. Saad Mahmood (Boston) and many others.
This yearâ€™s AFMI international convention will take place in Ranchi on December 24 and 25, zonal conventions in UP is slated for Faizabad and Lucknow. MP zonal convention will take place in Burhanpur.