Community News (V13-I10)

Muslim Media Network

Community News (V13-I10)

Harvard Business school awards Muslim startup

CAMBRIDGE,MA–Harvard Business School’s (HBS) Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship has announced nine winners of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Funding, a new pilot program offering $50,000 in total awards to student entrepreneurs working on projects during the School’s winter term.

Among the eight teams selected for the award is a Muslim children’s entertainment company which is the brainchild of Mohammed Aser. His company is called Children’s Stories for American Muslims.  This children’s entertainment and education brand for the under-served North American Muslim population. The business will start as a subscription service delivering monthly stories and will later expand into toys, books, games, videos, and licensing. 

Eighty-eight teams, each with at least one current Harvard MBA student, submitted entries. Written proposals were due at the end of January, and finalists presented their ideas to the MVP selection committee in mid-February.

Funded teams are required to meet with a mentor on a monthly basis, attend a monthly gathering of other MVP teams, and present lessons learned from the MVP program and process at the end of the semester.

“The number and quality of the business and product ideas submitted for consideration were outstanding. Equally impressive has been the intense support we have received from HBS alumni and other individuals in the entrepreneurial and technology communities who have stepped forward to serve as advisors and mentors to the winning teams,” said Rumennik. “This response, in addition to that of the recently admitted MBA students who are already expressing interest in the program, shows there is a major appetite for entrepreneurship at HBS. We hope this program can grow in the years ahead to support more students as they strive to get their business ideas off the ground.”

Syed Habib, Faheem Zaman named Times scholars

NEW YORK, NY–The New York Times Company Foundation each year selects Time Scholars. These are students students who have overcome exceptional hardship to achieve excellence in New York City high schools. Each student receives a four-year college scholarship, mentoring and summer employment.

Eight students have been selected this year. Among this is Faheem Zaman, 17, of Bangladeshi American origin,  who now wants to study neuroscience and health care policy at Harvard University. Syed Habib of Bronx was also selected for the prize.

Inmate sues Texas prisons for denying halal meals

HOUSTON, Mar.2, 2011 (News Agencies)–Religious dietary accomodation in American prisons continues to be source of increasing lawsuits. In the latest such instance, a prison inmate at the Stringfellow Unit in Rosharon says that he has been denied halal meals despite requests.

Cornelius Boulard Jr. has filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on Feb. 23.

Boulard claims he repeatedly attempted to address the issue to no avail.

“The defendant(s) have never demonstrated the existence of any compelling government interest for their decision to substantially burden the plaintiff’s religious exercise by denying him a halal diet, or demonstrated how the failure to provide a halal diet is the least restrictive means of advancing any such alleged compelling government interest,” the original petition says.

Jewish,Muslim peace walk to be held this Sunday in Tucson

TUCSON, AZ–The Eight Annual Jewish–Muslim PeaceWalk Tucson will be held on Sunday, March 6, 2011 in Tucson. People of any faith or persuasion who share the  vision of coexistence and mutual understanding are invited to join all or part of this important opportunity.

Participants will gather at 1:15 pm at Congregation Or Chadash, 3939 N. Alvernon Way (north of River Rd. – west of Pontatoc Rd.) for refreshments and the 1:45 pm opening ceremony.

After rest stops along the approximately 2 mile route, walkers will arrive at the Al Huda Islamic School located at 2800 E. River Road at approximately 4:30 pm for activities, followed at 6:00 pm by multi-faith prayers and an evening meal. Transportation between sites will be provided if needed.  Participants are asked to bring their own water bottle.

From the mission statement of PeaceWalk Tucson, “Our coming together as a community here in Tucson is witness to our belief that peace is possible. We call for alternatives to military or violent solutions to the problems in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world,” said a press release from the organizers.

This year’s theme is “Weaving Peace” and there will be activities for all ages and conversations throughout the event related to common ways we weave our families and communities together to emphasize peace and cooperation.

For additional information contact Dina Afek at or visit


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