Salman Khan, Math tutor to the world
The name Salman Khan evokes the images of a Bollywood personality. But there is another 33 year old with the same name who is changing the way people learn math and along the way changing lives of people for the better.
Salman Khan, a Mountain View resident, has posted 800 plus tutorial videos on his website the Khan Academy which interactively teach math at all levels. These videos are viewed 35, 000 times a day.
Salman Khan, who holds engineering and science degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School, says it all started in 2004 when he was tutoring his cousin Nadia, who was having having trouble with her math, through the telephone and Yahoo Doodle as a shared notepad. She ended up getting ahead in her class and also started tutoring her brothers.
Nephews and family friends soon followed. But scheduling conflicts and repeated lectures prompted him to post instructional videos on YouTube that his proliferating pupils could watch when they had the time.
Realizing the immense potential of his method and the possibilities of the internet Khan formed the Khan Academy, a non profit organization. The nonprofit generated thousands in advertising revenue this year through YouTube and could become self-sustainable as a one-person operation within a year. Khan is in talks with several foundations for capital that could enable him to expand the organizationâ€™s reach.
For his services Khan was awarded the 2009 Tech Award for Education. The Tech Awards website praises the Khan Academy as follows:
Millions of students around the world lack access to high quality instruction, especially in the sciences and math. The Khan Academy provides it for free in a way that can be accessed on-demand at a studentâ€™s own pace.
The videos are directly teaching tens of thousands of students on every continent on a daily basis. Other non-profit groups have even begun distributing off-line versions of the library to rural and underserved areas in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
Lilburn sued for denying mosque permission
LILBURN, GA–The Dar-e-Abbas, a local Muslim congregation, is suing the the Lilburn city council for discrimination in denying the required zoning to build a mosque. The council had denied the zoning request citing traffic and other issues. The Muslim group says that the council caved into pressure from residents.
Doug Dillard, an attorney for the Muslim group told the WABE Radio, â€˜Thereâ€™s seven churches within a two mile radius of this facility. Within half of mile thereâ€™s a Baptist church. They have 110,000 square feet on 11 acres. We were asking for 28, 000 square feet on 8 acres, so it was clearly discriminatory and their decision had no basis.â€™
The congregation filed the lawsuit under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which prohibits local governments from restricting land access to religious groups.
Madison mosque decision in Jan.
JACKSON, MI–The Madison County zoning board would decide in January whether to allow the Mississippi Muslim Association to build a mosque on US 51. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to meet on Jan 4.
The association owns five acres just north of the Madison city limits and proposes to build the Magnolia Islamic Center, a worship center to serve the 100-plus local families who now attend a mosque in south Jackson. The association has met resistance from nearby landowners and residents, who say the project is not the best use for the property.
The association earlier this month received conditional approval from the countyâ€™s planning commission for the site plan detailing the landscaping and building design.
The plans for the Islamic center call for a 10,000-square-foot, two-story building made of red brick with a standing seam metal roof. The first floor will contain the prayer hall, multi-purpose room, office, restrooms and kitchen. The second floor will contain a prayer hall, classrooms, restrooms and office. The building is based on a capacity of 650.
Torontoâ€™s Muslim convention sends message of unity
TORONTO, Dec. 29, 2009–Speakers at a three day Islamic convention held in Toronto on the weekend (Dec. 25-27) urged Muslims to live up to their responsibility to save the world. The Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention, in its eighth year, was attended by more than 15,000 people from across Canada and some from the US and elsewhere. The convention is unique as it is completely organized and managed by the youth.
The convention theme, SOS: Saving the Ship of Humanity, hosted more than a dozen hi profile speakers from the USA, Canada, and the Middle East. Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah, the former minister of justice of Mauritania and a member of the Islamic Fiqh Council, said that Muslim youth must not forget the spiritual legacy of their predecessors bust must reconnect with that tradition.
Dr. Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens, was another main speaker at the event and spoke on the universal message of Islam.
The convention saw a steady stream of people converting to Islam.
Dr. Tarek Al Suwaidan (a leading scholar and public speaker from Kuwait) spoke on Islam and the modern world. He said Muslims should look up to the character of Ali (RA) as a role model for their own lives. He also spoke at length about Islam and science and criticised those who try to force in strange assertions in such an exercise. He stated that scientific facts can never contradict Islam but scientific theories can. He said the distinction should always be kept in mind.
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf urged the assembled gathering to live up their responsibilities and fight for a sustainable and peaceful world. He said Muslims should shun bickering over minor issues and instead unite. He also said that Muslims should avoid indulging in takfeer of fellow Muslims.
Shaykh Habib Ali Al Jifri, Dr. Tareq Ramadan, Dr. Abdul Hakeem Murad, Dr. Sherman Jackson, Imam Zaid Shakir, and a host of other scholars spoke at the convention.
Prominent Canadian politicians including Derek Lee and Liberal Finance critic John McCallum also spoke at the convention and appreciated the efforts of Canadaâ€™s Muslim youth to build an inclusive society.
The conventionâ€™s entertainment session featured live performances by Maher Zain, Irfan Makki, Junaid Jamshed, Bennami and Grammy award winning Outlandish. The Allah Made Me Funny comedy troupe also performed.
As part of its social outreach the convention raised more than 1000 winter coats and close to 10,000 meals for the needy in the Greater Toronto Area.
The convention featured a large bazaar selling books, clothing, and other Islamic items. Prominently missing from this yearâ€™s convention were the packaged Halal food product companies. An interest free MasterCard from the UM Financial group was launched at the event.