â€œYou Have Respect & Resources,â€ says Young Adeel Zeb
The Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America, which was conceived during a meeting of 20 Pakistani Physiciansâ€™ at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn Michigan on October 30, 1976, is now one of the largest ethnic medical societies in North America representing more than 15,000 physicians and health care professionals of Pakistani descent serving across the United States and Canada. Popularly known as â€œAPPNAâ€, it truly became North American in the Year 2009 with the establishment of the first Canadian Chapter. Every year during the summer APPNA organizes the Annual North American Convention at one of the most prestigious places of this continent; while during the winter, APPNA organizes the Pakistan Convention (this year, it will be in Lahore).
This past week June 30th till July 04th, 2010 saw the 33rd Annual Convention of APPNA at the prominent â€œAlice in the Wonderland Theme Parkâ€™s Gaylord Resortâ€ in Grapevine Texas (near Dallas). Hundreds of APPNA Members, vendors (especially clothes and jewelry) and media persons attended the event. Other than several Alumni Luncheons and Dinners, most of the mornings were dedicated to Continuing Medical Education (CME), where doctors and others related to the healthcare industry receive new up-to-date knowledge in the field of their expertise plus get the credit hours required to maintain their licenses.
Although the Convention activities had started on June 30th, the Convention officially got inaugurated around 4:30pm. on July 01st, 2010 at the picturesque Mission Plaza / Hotel Atrium, with traditional American dancers performing acrobats and participants enjoying refreshments.
Large number of people gathered on Friday for Jumah Prayers, whose sermon was given by Young Adeel Zeb. He warned parents and Youth about going towards two extremes of either becoming religion-less and becoming too religious (almost to the state of radicalization). He said American way of life at colleges and universities is too liberal and because of that the important institute of family is in dire straits and it is Muslims, who can revive it for the betterment of the society. He stressed upon the doctors that since they interact with public very closely on daily basis, they have respect in the society, plus they have all the money & resources: As such they have more responsibility to lead the communities in which they live in and bring up a generation of Muslims, who will become role models of good in the society. He said APPNA has done very well over the years, although if one looks at APPNAâ€™s potential, much more can be done, in terms of guiding and leading the community locally and internationally.
Under APPNA come several Alumni of various Medical Colleges and Universities of Pakistan. This year was significant for Sindh Medical College of Karachi, as the Alumni celebrated their 25th Anniversary. Each Alumnus also has its own activities during the convention. Some of the notable Alumni are: Aga Khan; Allama Iqbal Medical College Alumni Association of North America; Baqai Medical University Alumni; Dow Graduate Association of North America; Fatima Jinnah Medical College Alumni Association of North America; Khyber Medical College Alumni Association of North America; King Edward Medical College Alumni Association of North America; Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences Alumni; Nishtar Medical College Alumni of North America; Quaid-e-Azam Medical College Alumni Association of North America; Rawalpindi Medical College Alumni Association of North America; and Sindh Medical College Alumni Association of North America.
The political committee of APPNA, called â€œthe Pakistan American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC)â€ and this year they hosted a luncheon meeting to honor Congressman Pete Sessions (Republican – TX – 32nd District), who is the Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and serves the House of Representatives on the Rules and the Budget Committees. This event was also attended by Former President of APPNA Dr. Nasim Ashraf (for more information please call 1-202-558-6404 or E-Mail email@example.com)
Various musical shows were held every evening after 10pm. till 2am. for the Youth (which some liked and other abhorred), while Friday Night was the famous APPNA Poetry Program (Mushaira). This year Khalid Irfan of New York with his humorous but poetry with many messages was the best.
One of the climax events of the Convention is the Banquet Dinner, which was attended by more than 2,500 members and guests. This was followed by the more than 3,500 attendees Entertainment Program by legendary humorous figure Bushra Ansari and contemporary icon of the Pakistani youth singer Atif Aslam, a person with a simple personality, who mixes new music with classical and produces own meaningful lyrics.
The prestigious APPNA President Award was given to Internal Medicine Expert, Philanthropist and a Visionary Dr. Meher Fatima TabaTabai at the Main Banquet. Mrs. TabaTabai recently gave a copy of the â€œMuslim World Almanacâ€ to President Barack Hussein Obama in California. Awards were also given to Dr. Mehmood Khan of PepsiCO and Dr. Jalil Khan Chair of this convention.
Dr. Manzoor Tariq, MD, FACC, FSCAI, APPNA President Elect 2010, in his speech, said: â€œAPPNA looks forward to holding the Annual Summer Meeting in St. Louis on June 29th – July 4th, 2011 in my city. Our community is renowned for their hospitality, excellent planning, and great organization. Together, we made APPNA history by hosting the most profitable quarterly meeting for APPNA in 2007. I hope everyone will help out and contribute to make the 2011 Summer Meeting memorable for all of APPNA! St. Louis is also the host for DOGANAâ€™s 6th Annual Retreat, which is being hosted in St. Louis for the 3rd time. Together, we can make it very successful, as we do with all events in our city. The APPNA Community Health Clinic in St. Louis is under development, we are waiting on the completion of legal paperwork and an agreement with the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis. As soon as those tasks are completed, renovation of the site will begin and, Inshâ€™Allah, the clinic will open and this vision will become a reality. A united APPNA, one which embraces all its members, and over 16,000 members is my vision.â€