Community News (V10-I7)

Omar A. Khan, M.D., MHS, Receives 2007 Pfizer Teacher Development Award

Omar A. Khan, M.D., MHS, a member of Christiana Care’s Department of Family & Community Medicine and a faculty member of the Department’s Residency Program, received the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation’s 2007 Pfizer Teacher Development Award for scholastic achievement, leadership qualities and dedication to family medicine.

The award each year recognizes a select group of community-based physicians who have chosen to teach family medicine on a part-time basis and provides funding for each recipient to attend a seminar, workshop or fellowship to further his or her development and teaching skills.

Dr. Khan received his BA and MA degrees in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania; his M.D. degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine; and his MHS degree in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont Residency Program and is currently teaching at the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Christiana Care Health System.

Dr. Khan serves as faculty and led the Global Health education program for Family Medicine residents at the University of Vermont and as chair of the Publications Board for the American Public Health Association (APHA) and volunteers locally and globally. He is a volunteer emergency relief physician for the Delaware Medical Reserve Corps. As a member of Project Bangladesh, Dr. Khan is part of a group of U.S.-based physicians who volunteer their time to build the capacity of a primary care clinic in one of the larger slum areas of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Dr. Khan is a past recipient of APHA’s Executive Director’s Citation; The Gold Foundation’s Humanism in Medicine Award; and the Resident Teacher of the Year Award by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.

The AAFP Foundation (AAFP/F), which administers the Pfizer Teacher Development Award, is the philanthropic arm of the 94,000-member American Academy of Family Physicians. The AAFP/F supports programs which benefit people’s health care delivery such as initiatives to raise immunization rates in children, opportunities for residents to promote mother/child relationships through the gift of a rocking chair, and research training opportunities for residents and medical students.

Cleveland Mosque struggles to find an Imam

CLEVELAND, OK –The Islamic Center of Cleveland is struggling to find a spiritual leader three months after a Nebraska imam bowed out under pressure from critics who accused him of anti-Semitism.

Leaders at the Parma mosque said there is a shortage of American-born imams who are Islamic scholars and fluent in Arabic.

“It’s very, very hard to find somebody like that,” said Ahmed Fellaque of the Council of Elders. “The ones who are good are not gettable.”

Zahid Siddiqi, mosque general secretary, said the center has interviewed a couple of candidates, but “so far, nothing has panned out.”

Pakistani-American group celebrates 10th anniversary

BILLERICA, MA–The Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America will mark its tenth anniversary this year.

The not-for-profit association with chapters in New England, Silicon Valley, Houston, Washington D.C. and New York is dedicated to supporting Pakistani professionals involved in technology, biotechnology, healthcare, finance and educational enterprises.

OPEN informally started in 1998 by seven Pakistani friends who found themselves always talking about the same things: business and politics.

“It started off as a networking group,” said Iftikhar Ahmad, the president of the board of the New England chapter. “Typically what happens in the South Asian communities are lots of social gatherings. When we first got together, it was nothing related to business or business issues, just friends talking about their own personal experiences. But the more we got to talking the more we thought, how do we help people with nowhere to go up? Everyone who started the organization was a senior manager, CEO or other higher-up who wanted to give back.”

Ahmad, who is the Senior Vice President of Viisage Technology, Inc. in Billerica, Mass., is originally from Karachi and attended the University of Karachi before moving to Massachusetts in 1983. He has over 25 years of experience in business and management fields, and has an extensive resume that includes working as an engineering and operations manager for the now-defunct Digital Equipment, as well as starting his own electronics assembly business where he was the engineering manager for four years.

Hardwork pays off for New York Muslims

NEW YORK, NY– After four long years of waiting, the first prayer service was held Friday at the Middletown Islamic Center’s new mosque, the Record Online reported.

Despite steady sleet and freezing rain outside, more than 100 people gathered in the new mosque on Ryerson Road. The men were downstairs in the prayer hall, with its high, airy ceiling, thick carpeting imported from Turkey and crystal chandeliers. The women gathered in a second-floor balcony overlooking them, with the same lush carpeting.

“It is a joyous and auspicious day for all of us. Our hearts are filled with joy that finally, we are here in this masjid,” said Imam Hafiz Fahim Mahmood. “It took a long time, a lot of money, hard work, a lot of sacrifice, labor pain. All of it, to build this masjid.”

He pointed out the beauty of the mosque’s furnishings, and reminded everyone that the mosque’s true beauty will be revealed by the good works that its members do.

“This masjid is for all races, all nationalities, all professions,” Mahmood said.

Dr. Quazi al-Tariq, the mosque’s chairman, thanked everyone who helped build: those who donated money or labor or materials and those who donated their time.

Khalil Gibran School gets new principal

NEW YORK, NY–New York city appointed a teacher well-versed in Arabic to lead its first Arabic language and culture academy on Tuesday, filling a void in the school’s leadership left by the forced resignation of the school’s founding principal, Debbie Almontaser, in August.

Holly Reichert, a lifelong student of the Arabic language long-time educator, will replace interim principal Danielle Salzberg, who was hastily chosen to serve as Almontaser’s temporary replacement despite her inability to speak Arabic.

In contrast, Reichert, 42 has a working knowledge of both modern Arabic and Egyptian colloquial Arabic, having worked extensively in the Middle East. Most recently, she worked for the city, giving literacy support to 17 teachers at 11 schools.


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