Community News (V16-I6)

Farah Pandit leaves state department for Harvard

Farah Pandith, the first-ever US special representative to Muslim communities, is leaving her position at the State Department to join the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

Appointed to the position in June 2009 by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Pandith “always places people above politics, and she has performed groundbreaking work,” said Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement on Thursday.

Originally from Srinagar, Ms Pandith will be joining the Institute of Politics as a resident fellow for the spring semester. She will lead weekly study groups on a range of topics.

Ms Pandith has a master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, and an AB from Smith College. Ms Pandith’s deputy, Adnan Kifayat, will serve as the acting special representative until a permanent replacement is named.

Describing Ms Pandith as a “trailblazer and a visionary,” Mr Kerry said “Farah’s legacy is an extraordinary record of thoughtfulness, balance, and sheer guts and determination.”

“For Farah, this isn’t just a career. It’s her life’s passion,” he said.

“It’s in her DNA as a first-generation immigrant who achieved historic firsts for America, from changing the way our Embassies engage with Muslim communities in Europe to getting a Quran placed in the White House Library.”

Zarin Ibnat Rahman among Intel Talent Search finalists

The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) is the nation’s most prestigious pre-college science competition. Intel STS alumni have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most coveted science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science. Students are selected based upon their scientific research and also on their overall potential as future leaders of the scientific community. Intel STS recognizes and rewards 300 students, as well as their schools, as semifinalists each year. From that select pool, 40 finalists are then invited to Washington, DC in March to undergo final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists, and compete for $630,000 in awards, including the top award of $100,000.

Among this year’s finalists is  Zarin Ibnat Rahman from  Brookings High School, Brookings, South Dakota. Her project is titled, ‘The At-Risk Maturing Brain: Effects of Stress Paradigms on Mood, Memory and Cognition in Adolescents and the Role of the Prefrontal Cortex.’

Muslims and Jewish unite to help tornado victims

OKLAHOMA CITY–Muslim and Jewish students from across the country are joining together to help in the recovery of Oklahoma’s tornado victim.  “Bridges,” an interfaith dialogue and action arm of the Jewish Disaster Response Corps, is coordinating the effort and has so far rebuilt several homes in Moore, Shawnee, Newalla and Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Watchdog reported.

Adina Remz, executive director for JDRC, said the Bridges program “is based around the idea that our communities are stronger when they work together and coexist. Thus, we participate in community service projects, social gatherings, and religious discussions throughout the year.”

“Some of the bigger events include an annual Jummuah/Shabbat dinner and an alternative breaks trip,” Remz said. “Each year, they spend a week helping with disaster relief. In the past, we joined the JDRC Birmingham, Alabama and Joplin, Missouri. By doing these sorts of activities, we hope to promote unity between these faiths.”

Yousuf Khan named CIO of Qualys

Security software maker Qualys Inc. has hired Yousuf Khan, formerly CIO of Hult International Business School, as its first CIO, according to media reports. Qualys CEO Philippe Courtot said Mr. Khan will help support the company’s global expansion into threat prevention.

Founded in 1999, Qualys makes cloud software that scans computer networks for malware and tracks lapses in corporate security compliance. Over 6,000 customers use the company’s software to collectively run more than one billion Internet address scans and audits per year.


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