AMU Celebrates Sir Syed Day

Muslim Matters

AMU Celebrates Sir Syed Day

AMU Alumni to celebrate Founder’s Day with Mushaira and Banquet on November 15th in Bay Area

capture11-13-2008-2.56.52 PM The Alumni of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), one of the oldest and famous seats of learning in Asia, will celebrate Founder’s Day on November 15th, which is the 191st birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder of AMU, was born on October 17, 1817. Sir Syed, the famous 19th century scholar, historian and social reformer spent most of his time on promotion of social, economic and educational conditions of Indian Muslims.

Sir Syed’s untiring and painstaking efforts over a long period of time bore fruit when he was able to establish the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental (MAO) College in 1875, which subsequently developed into Aligarh Muslim University in 1920. The institute was founded with the primary objective of removing the educational backwardness of the Muslim community. In this task Sir Syed sought cooperation of all the communities and the institute was open to all, irrespective of caste creed and religion. For Sir Syed Ahmed Khan it was impossible to conceive the growth and progress of India without simultaneous development of communities in harmony, brotherhood and cooperation.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

Today, AMU symbolizes on the one hand the secular ideals of the Republic of India and on the other the aspirations of more than 150 million Muslims in India. The AMU, which Sir Syed planted as a sapling in British India, has now grown into a blossoming tree. Located in the picturesque surroundings of the city–with greenery, parks, and sports fields, this lively and ambitious seat of learning is built on almost 500 hectares of land with strength of over 30,000 students and 1400 teachers spread in 15 faculties consisting of 100 departments and residential halls around the campus. The AMU offers more than 250 full-time courses in the traditional and modern branches of education like agriculture, biotechnology, medicine, engineering, management, commerce, arts, information technology, mass communication, and unani medicine. The university draws students from all corners of the country as well as from foreign countries; especially west and Southeast Asia.

The Aligarh alumni are spread in large numbers in all over the world with the majority being in the sub-continent. Prominent personalities in all walks of life including statesmen such as Dr. Zakir Husain – former president of India, Ayub Khan – former president of Pakistan, M. Hamid Ansari – current vice president of India, renowned poets and writers such as the late Ali Sardar Jafri, Jan Nisar Akhtar, Asrar-ul Haq Majaz, Shakeel Badayuni, Asmat Chugtai, the popular Jawed Akhtar and artists such as Naseeruddin Shah are all Aligarh alumni. All chapters of the AMUAAs throughout North America are non-political, non-sectarian secular organizations dedicated to furthering the cause of education, Urdu literature and poetry, and cultivation of harmonious relations at the people to people level among the various South Asian communities, and between these communities and the Americans.

Around this time of the year, hundreds of thousands of students, alumni, and well wishers of Aligarh Muslim University around the world will be celebrating the founder’s day popularly known as ‘Sir Syed Day’.

On this occasion AMU alumni in California are organizing the 10th Annual International Mushaira, along with dinner, on November 15th at India community center in Milpitas at 6:00 pm. Featured guest poets from the Indian sub-continent include, Popular Meeruthi (India), Himayat Ali Shair (Pakistan), Azhar Inayati (India), Shahnaz Noor (Pakistan), Dr. A. Abdullah (Washington DC), Nausha Asrar (Houston), Mahnaz Naqvi (San Francisco). The Guest of Honor and key note speaker is Dr. A.S. Nakadar, Trustee, American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI). AMUAA’s annual Mushairas are well recognized and widely acclaimed as the most sophisticated and popular in North America and attract almost 500 enthusiasts and admirers of Urdu poetry in the Bay Area.

All are requested to join the celebration. More information can be obtained either at the association’s website ( or by calling (650) 212-ALIG
AMU Alumni Association of northern California consisting of the alumni of Aligarh Muslim University and its friends and supporters of the Aligarh movement was founded in 1996 as a secular, non-partisan, non-political organization serving the Educational, Social, Literary and Cultural needs of the Community. It aims to keep alive Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s dream of ensuring equality for all and particularly the underprivileged through education.


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