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Formative Experience

By Ilyas Choudry, TMO


Dr. Aziz Ali Khwaja of Ibn Sina Foundation, receiving his coveted award.

Houston, Texas (From Our Own Corespondent): By the Grace of God, on Thursday November 15, 2012, I with about 900 other persons, witnessed an amazing event at the picturesque Hilton Americas Downtown Houston.

Event was the 15th Anniversary Crystal Celebrations of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities, where they honored someone from the Pakistani community with their top $50,000 Community Health Award.

This remarkable gentleman then announced that all of these $50,000 will go to the charity of his choice.

Keynote speaker at this gala dinner was none other than Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN TV, who gave a moving presentation, based on his experiences and real life stories as a journalist doctor: His speech was truly inspiring.

Through this event, almost $1 million were raised for the St. Luke’s Foundation & St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities.

I learned that this gentleman had to go through rigorous series of interviews to qualify for this $50,000 national level award, which is given to only one person once a year.
Some of these interviews were done, where the real persons judging the candidates were sitting elsewhere, away from the eyes of the candidate to really determine the true talents, leadership, vision, and in fact higher integrity level of the winner.

Our community’s proud has given much back to the humanity in Pakistan, America, and in fact World, while serving as consultant for World Bank in the field of environmental health in providing access to potable water and sanitation services.

As he said in his remarks tonight that issue is not poverty, real issue is unjust system, where educational and health services do not equitably reach to masses; so in order to pro-actively do something about it, this gentleman has established 14 community based schools in rural Pakistan, and has served on many boards to reduce the infant and maternal mortality in developing countries.

He has further developed a sustainable model of affordable primary care and researched how to reduce cardiovascular risk factors in developed countries.

Over the past eleven years or so, he has developed a partnership with the City of Houston, Department of State Health Services, and philanthropic organizations, to provide equitable access and to deliver high-quality care to the uninsured families.

As a public and global health specialist, he earned a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Texas; Master’s in Public Health from the University of Glasgow; and Medical Degree from the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences Pakistan.

He has three years old twins (boy and girl), plus a most God Gifted & Talented 14 years old daughter, who was born on the Earth Day, and whose mission is to work for global peace, bridge between East & West to negotiate conflicts through diplomatic efforts, and bring peace in war-torn areas.

In his remarks he said two years ago, a Muslim lady Khadija came to him saying she will soon be dying as she cannot afford a very expensive medicine; he tried his best to get the price of the medicine reduced, but still it was about $750 per month; then he met a Christian gentleman, who said he wants to give something to serve the humanity; so our community proud asked him to donate $750 for Khadija; now this gentleman did not just give one time $750 but still pays every month for Khadija, who is still alive by the Grace of Almighty.

He said this is truly called humanity & passion to serve; and today’s world needs it more than ever before.

He added that due to the disparity seen in education and health services, he wants to encourage all the young people, whichever field they maybe in, to work for the suffering humanity, as our very existence and future depends on this most rewarding endeavor.

Later on Dr. Sanjay Gupta said that he felt goose bumps when listening to our community proud, and informed about a story from Sri Lanka Tsunami 2004 time, when he was about to do a live coverage of an incident, and as everything was almost ready, he saw a poor young boy walking towards him from the behind and gave him some biscuits, while this boys’ mother from a distance gave the sign to him to eat: Meaning this family that was in need of help wanted to give their few biscuits to him as they thought I maybe hungry, but today we may walk past many hungry on a Manhattan Street without ever thinking of them.

Our community proud is the Founding CEO of six community clinics in Houston with the seventh one coming in December 2012.

Just in 2012, these clinics have provided comprehensive primary care & dental services to 70,000+ individuals; and in all since 2001, more than 300,000 persons have benefited.

He is presently working on a short term goal that by 2015, these clinics will able to serve the medical, dental, specialty, diagnostic, and imaging services needs of 100,000+ people.

Yes: He is none other than Founding CEO of the Ibn Sina Foundation Dr. Aijaz Ali Khowaja, and he has donated all of the $50,000 personal award money to this Foundation.

He really deserves all the appreciation for his hard-work and lets’ Pray for his long life, and that God Immensely Bless him and his family (Aameen).


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