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Indus Community Action Network Annual Event

By Almas Akhtar, TMO

June 9–Detroit—On Saturday June 9th, 2012, the Indus Community Action Network(ICAN) held its first annual dinner at the beautiful Charles H Wright Museum of African American History.

ICAN president Dr Waseemullah (4th from left), with all the directors (l-r) Nimr and Beenish Ikram, Atiya and Waseemullah, Ahmed nadeem, Jawad Arshad, Kashif and Seemin Qureshi, Noshaba Mohsin, Almas and Adil Akhtar, Nauman Imami.

ICAN is an organization that aspires to make positive social changes in the lives of not only Pakistani American or Muslim American Communities, but rather all communities at large. ICANS’ vision is to build vibrant spaces within those communities that enable its members to lead dignified lives. ICAN is the first of its kind in that it is run by Muslim Americans to provide aid to our fellow American citizens.

The evening’s guests were gathered in the regal atrium, surrounded by the beautiful artworks donated for charity auction. The capacity of the atrium is 250 and it was completly full. The high glass ceilings, revealing the majestic sky, contrasted beautifully with the elegant gold and peacock-feather centrepieces placed elegantly atop the organza table covers. Beautiful plaques with names of the parents of the sponsors were placed on the tables.It was a symbol of love for their parents and acknowledgement of the theme ‘Honor thy Parents’.

The MC for the evening, Dr. Nauman Imami, welcomed the guests and introduced the president of ICAN, Dr Waseemullah. He presented a poem about parents in honor of the theme ‘Honor thy Parents’. A beautiful poem in Urdu with English translation brought tears in everyone’s eyes.He invited Ms Seemin Qureshi to the stage–she is a director of the organization and also the driving force behind the ‘Wisdom Keepers Program’.

She spoke about the purpose of ICAN, the first of its kind of organization launched over a year ago to give back to the community which has selflessly offered so much. The seniors of this group or rather the Wisdom Keepers who were seated on a separate table in the audience–applauded Ms Qureshi along with everyone present in the atrium. She was given an award by the organization in honor of her services to the community.

Later, Dr Waseemullah talked about the Dream Project of ICAN which hopes to bring about the revival of Detroit by American Muslims, one home at a time. ICAN’s team presented their hopes and their dreams for their city, a city plagued by poverty, ravished by corruption and defenseless in the face of soaring unemployment.

The keynote speaker of the evening Mr Rami Nashishibi the co-founder of IMAN (Inner City Muslim Interfaith Action Network), he talked about the importance of social justice and urban development and how a group or a community can achieve these goals. The evening’s other speakers included Ms. Rashida Tlaib and Dr. Syed Taj, who touched on the importance of helping our youth. Finally, Mr. Ashraf Qazi, known for his philanthropic endeavors, took the stage and shared a few words about giving back to the community. He was awarded ICAN’S first Community Service Award.

Other highlights of the evening included a silent auction, consisting of items donated by various families, organizations and businesses within the state of Michigan. Many of the guests took part in the silent auction.The winners were announced after Maghrib prayers. The guests enjoyed delicious dinner and desserts and they also looked at the beautiful exhibits in the museum which was open for ICAN guests till 9:00pm. The evening ended by a brief thankyou by Dr. Jawad Arshad, another director of ICAN and the remarkable operatic prowess of Mr Zeeshan Begwadi.

The guests of the evening had nothing but good remarks for this organization and its team. Ms. Sabiha Omar, one of the guests, called it ‘an elegant event’. Another couple, Mr. and Mrs. Muqtadir, also appreciated all the efforts of the organization and thanked the team of ICAN. Ayesha and Sarah Farooqi of Sterling Heights said that ‘they had an amazing time’.


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