Category Archives: NRI’s / PIO’s

Jamia Milia Islamia alumni meet evokes nostalgic memories

NEW DELHI :

The ex-Jamia students came all the way from India, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UK for the meet
The ex-Jamia students came all the way from India, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UK for the meet

The meet not only fostered the alumni bond, but also extended a helping hand to fresh graduates

It was an evening steeped in nostalgia, as over 500 alumni of New Delhi’s central university and one of India’s most famous – Jamia Millia Islamia – came from all across the world to celebrate their alma mater’s 97th birthday.

Scores of ex-Jamia students who travelled all the way from India, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UK along with their families, attended the event at Hyatt Regency, Dubai Creek Heights.

Apart from the distinguished guest list that included Ambassador of India to UAE Navdeep Singh Suri, the university’s vice chancellor Talat Ahmed and other dignitaries, successful alumni shared nostalgic memories of their time at the school.

The programme began with a recitation from the Holy Quran, followed by the university’s anthem called sung with full enthusiasm.

Addressing the gathering, prominent alumni Parvez Akram Siddquie welcomed the guests and JMI alumni and highlighted the university’s key objectives. He spoke about starting a medical college in the university’s campus, expansion of the campus, and campus placement for students.

Talking about the role of the alumni meet, Siddquie added: “The heart of the alumni meet lies in giving back in kind to their alma mater. Such meets not only aim to bring together and foster a bond among alumni, but also are a means of extending a helping hand to fresh graduates in different aspects, from job-hunting to settling down in the UAE. Many a time, the alumni chapter has also generated funds for pressing needs like a hostel accommodation at the university.”

Dr Haji Ibrahim, co-chairman of Malabar Gold & Diamonds, announced the company’s support in building the hostel facility for students, on the Jamia campus.

JMI vice-chancellor Talat Ahmed delivered a powerful speech on the values and ideals that define the university. Stating that JMI is a confluence of modern and age-old values of brotherhood and mutual coexistence, he said: “JMI is a platform from which students embark on a journey of learning and self-discovery. It is a model of national integration where children of every religion, sect, and denomination study together,” Ahmed said.

“We recalled our college days today, as we met our batchmates and friends after so many years, even 20 years in some cases. We shared the same jokes that we cracked as students and had a great time catching up,” said Imtiyaz Ahmad, a JMI alumni and one of the meet’s organisers.

Suri assured his support in getting the Global Jamia Alumni Network (GJAN) official recognition and registration in the UAE.

Talking about the role of Indian expats in the UAE, Suri said: “I was talking to some very high officials in the UAE government, and they said we have been told to drive the India-UAE relationship because our leaders believe that Indians are the people we trust. Why? ‘Because, at home, we leave our children in the care of Indians, in hospitals we put our lives in the hands of Indian doctors, and in banks, we put our money in the hands of Indian bankers’ he said. There is a lot of goodwill earned by the Indian community.”

The show concluded with the vote of thanks by one of the main organisers and JMI alumni Nadeem Hasan. Others key alumni members who helped in organising the event were Imtiyaz Ahmad Ansari, Eqbal Ahmad, Abdul Khaliq, Abbad Khan, Ahmad Khan, Riyaz Khan, Shams Khan, Jalal Ahmad, Rizwan Ahmad, Salauddine Ansari and Amjad Khan has been appreciated to make this event successful and Syed Nadeem Zaidi.

saman@khaleejtimes.com

source: http://www.khaleejtimes.com / Khaleej Times / Home> Nation / October 24th, 2017

Doha: KMCA celebrates Karnataka Rajyotsava in grandeur, patriotic fervor

KARNATAKA :

Doha, Qatar :

Karnataka Muslim Cultural Association (KMCA), celebrated the 62nd Karnataka Rajyotsava with full fanfare on November 10 at Indian Cultural Centre, Ashoka Hall. KMCA again presented a well-organized programme that was laced with entertainment, comedy, patriotic fervor and perfect blend of art and music.

The evening commenced with the Qiraat, recited by Faakhir Fayaz Ahmed and translated by Bilal Ahmed Assadi. Zakir Ahamed and Hasan Nihal, as the compere for the evening, explained the schedule of events and handed the stage over to standup comedian, Ajay Sarapure from Belagavi. Ajay, also known as Hasya Ratna, has been a student of Karnataka’s comedy king Gangavati Pranesh.

Young multi-talented Tejaswi Ananth stunned the audience by his mesmerizing LED poi acts, juggling and hand shadow act. His LED poi act was the highlight of the evening that received a thunderous applause, and at a mere 19 years of age, Tejaswi, is a true variety entertainer. His gimmicks and vibrant personality had the audience asking for more.

Jeevansab Walikar Binnala was the next performer of the evening. Jeevan Sab, also a standup comedian, famously known as Janapada Hasya Kalavida, from North Karnataka is a multi-talented artist. He started his performance with a melodious folk song and went on to entertain the audience with his comedy where he brought out the subtle day-to-day life experience in his own style.

KMCA should be lauded for recognizing upcoming talents from the native land and providing them an international platform for a larger exposure. KMCA has started a trend that they live up to, at every community event they conduct.

The guest of honour of the evening, Haji SM Rashid, chairman of SMR Builders and Promoters, had flown in from Mangaluru to be part of KMCA celebrations. During the formal function, he was escorted to the dais by president Abdulla Monu and vice-president Aisha Rafique.

The Chief Guest for the evening, Syed Abdul Hye, founder member of KMCA was escorted by general secretary Saquib Raza Khan. Living up to the Arabic culture, dates were presented to the chief guest and guest of honor. KMCA president Abdulla Monu welcomed all the dignitaries, members and all attendees to the event. He also explained the importance of Rajyotsava, an event that brings all the Kannadigas together with a bond of friendship and plays a significant role in rebuilding relationships and harmony within all.

Saquib Raza Khan read the profile of Haji SM Rashid, after which Haji SM Rashid was felicitated by the executive committee members of KMCA. Haji SM Rashid addressed the gathering and expressed his gratitude on being a part of this spectacular event.

Dignitaries from different Karnataka-based organizations namely, Ravi Shetty Sanjay Kudri, H K Madhu, Arvind Patil, Navaneet Shetty, Deepak Shetty, Nazeer Pasha, Anil Boloor, Nagesh Rao, Seetharam Shetty, Ramchandra Shetty, Subramanya, Mahesh Gowda, Iqbal Manna, Manjunath, Anil Boloor, Veeresh Mannangi, Ilyas Beary, Diwakar Poojary, Asmath Ali and Habibun Nabi were also present at the event.

KMCA annual souvenir, the 5th edition of Pragati, was released on the occasion by the chief guest.

KMCA has been conferring special award every year, on people who are the silent heroes of the community. This year’s recipients were Cajetan Nery Alphonso, marketing manager of Ali bin Ali Group, Ligorio Francis Estrocio, employee of Ministry of Interior and Richard Jurnis. Their voluntary, selfless service to communities is praise worthy and inspiring. Executive committee members of KMCA honored them for their valuable contribution to the society. KMCA Excom and presidents of affiliated Karnataka Associations also honored the performing artistes. Ruksana Begum then rendered the vote of thanks.

Soon after, the stage was again set for the artistes to enthrall the audience. Jeewansab Walikar, the folk artist, sung a patriotic song in memory of Tipu Sultan as November 10 is also the birthday of the Tiger of Mysore – Tipu Sultan. The day is celebrated as Tipu Jayanti by the government of Karnataka.

The folk routine was again followed by another mesmerizing LED poi act by Tejaswi that had the crowd cheering with immense joy, on the images of Qatar and India, and various images of Tamim Al-Majd.

The magical part of the evening was Basavaraj Umarani from Belgaum. A Maths magician, he is renowned as the ‘Blind Walking Computer’. Completely blind since birth, Basavaraj has never glimpsed the external world, but his mind sees and interprets things that no normal person could ever perceive. He is gifted with a brain of unparalleled capacity, immense memory, unbelievable levels of perception, mathematical and analytical skills that could challenge the greatest brains in the country. His mind-blowing cricket commentary of a random match, and nine digit calculations carried out mentally, was the highlight of the evening. Interacting with the audience with his inspiring words, he quoted that nothing is impossible when the word itself states ‘I’m possible. His sheer talent, simplicity and words of immense wisdom received a standing ovation.

The final icing of the evening was yet again Tejaswi Ananth, who stunned the audience with the Hand Shadow Act and concluded the celebrations for the evening.

An evening that promised to deliver entertainment and lived up to its promise.

source: http://www.daijiworld.com / DaijiWorld.com / Home> Top Stories / by Media Release / Monday – November 13th, 2017

Meet Young Scientist From Bihar Who Made Breakthrough Discovery for New Vaccine to Treat Dengue, Hepatitis C and Zika

bihar / uk

Mumtaz Naiyer
Mumtaz Naiyer

 

New Delhi:

In a development that is something Bihar should be proud of, Dr Mumtaz Naiyer, a UK-based scientist from Kishanganj district, has come up with an ‘exciting’ discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses.

He along with other scientists from the University of Southampton has made a significant discovery in efforts to develop a vaccine against Zika, Dengue and Hepatitis C viruses that affect millions of people around the world.

In a study published in Science Immunology, researchers have shown that natural killer cells (NK cells), which are a fundamental part of the body’s immune system, can recognise many different viruses including global pathogens such as Zika, Dengue and Hepatitis C viruses, through a single receptor called KIR2DS2.

The Southampton team have shown that this NK cell receptor is able to target a non-variable part of the virus called the NS3 helicase protein, which is essential in making the virus work properly. Unlike other proteins, the NS3 helicase protein does not change, which allows the immune system to grab hold of it and let the NK cells deal with the threat.

Lead researcher Salim Khakoo, professor of hepatology, said the findings are very exciting and could change the way viruses are targeted by vaccines but warned that the research is still at an early stage, and animal studies/clinical trials will be needed to test the findings.

It is very exciting to discover that other viruses similar to Hepatitis C, such as Zika virus, dengue virus, yellow fever virus, Japanese encephalitis virus and in fact all flaviviruses, contain a region within their NS3 helicase proteins that is recognised by exactly the same KIR2DS2 receptor.

“We believe that by targeting this NS3 helicase region, we can make a new type of vaccine based upon natural killer cells, which can be used to help protect people from these infections,” said  Khakoo.

In an exclusive interview with MuslimMirror, Dr Naiyer, a postdoctoral scientist at the University of Southampton who the first author of the paper, talked at length about his roller coaster journey from Bihar to the United Kingdom and study.

Here are the excerpts:

MM: Please tell us about your journey from Bihar’s one of the most backward districts of Kishanganj to the University of Southampton, United Kingdom?

Dr Naiyer: I was born in one of the remotest village of Kishanganj in Bihar. The place earlier was referred to as ‘Kala Pani’ because of sheer backwardness and no access to mainland India. You can consider my small village as ‘Kala Pani’ with no access to schools etc. So much so, electricity in my village arrived in 2016 after 70 years of independence.

I was born in the 80s in a humble family of farmers. My parents were illiterate but had great quest for education. I was youngest among my siblings with five elder brothers and two sisters. The eldest brother did not attend school, one studied up to class V and three attended college. One of them did masters and later PhD in English literature.

My father passed away when I was 8 years old. It was extremely difficult for my mother to support us. As madarsas are cheaper, my mother even asked me to attend the Islamic seminary and become an ‘Aalim’ (Islamic scholar). After my father’s demise, one of my eldest brothers Mr Zainul Abedin had to discontinue his studies to support the education of two younger brothers.

As there were no schools nearby, I studied at home and a single teacher used to teach all the children in the village. I was directly admitted to standard three in a government school, which was 4 km away from my village. There were no roads and the situation in rainy season was like a nightmare. There was a strict discipline in our family for education. No matter how bad the day, one cannot miss the school.

I studied up to high school in my village. After that, I moved to Patna. Since my medium of instruction was Hindi till high school, it was difficult to switch to English books at 10+2. Contrary to my elder brothers who studied arts, I choose science with biology, physics and chemistry. I had a dream to become a doctor as I had seen young children die in my village without medical facilities.

However, after repeated attempts I could not clear Premedical Test (PMT) conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Bihar Combined Entrance Examination (BCEE). I moved to Delhi from Patna in the year 2000. I cracked BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) entrance examination of Karnataka and B.Pharm (Bachelor of Pharmacy) entrance examination of Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi. Unfortunately, I could not afford any of these two. Then, I decided to do a simple B.Sc. course.

I appeared in the entrance test of B.Sc. (Biosciences) at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, and I got selected for the course.  That year, Jamia had lauched B.Sc. (Biotechnology) programme. The central university gave us an option to choose either of the programme. In addition, those who were top in the merit list have an option to choose biotechnology. I choose biotechnology.

Teachers were very supportive. Till that time, I had no predefine goals for an academic career like this. But later, I attended lectures of prominent academicians and scientists in my university. That changed my attitude completely towards higher education.

Surviving in a metro city like Delhi was not an easy job. The money I used to get from my family was not enough. I used to give tuitions in the posh colonies of Delhi to earn some bucks and support myself. Apart from that, I received Merit Scholarship by Central Wakf Board, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, for consecutive two years at bachelors level. I must say my brothers tried their best to support me throughout my academic journey.

After my bachelors, I joined Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi in its master’s programme in biotechnology, which was one of the best in the capital. Here too, my teachers were very supportive and encouraged me to do pursue research. I got training in institutions like Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), New Delhi. I got an exposure to quality research at my masters level. I was the recipient of Tasmia Merit Scholarship for best academic performance at masters level university exams in Jamia Hamdard.

My M.Sc. final year was full of turmoil. I lost my mother just a month before my final year’s examination and my family was going through financial crisis. Somehow, I managed to continue my studies.

I appeared in national level exams like National Eligibility Test (NET) jointly conducted by CSIR-UGC. I was awarded NET -Lectureship and Junior Research Fellowship by the UGC to pursue Ph.D. I also cleared GATE with 97 percentile.

After my masters, I joined National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune, an autonomous institution of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, for my Ph.D. This is one of the top biotechnology research institutes in India. It is also a national cell repository. One of the best Immunologists in the country Dr Bhaskar Saha who is also a Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Awardee mentored me.

During my Ph.D., I gained knowledge in molecular immunology and cell signaling. I worked on Human Visceral Leishmaniasis also called Kala-azar. My research work ‘Identification and Characterisation of Interleukin-10 Receptor Antagonist’ was published in the journal ‘Human Immunology’. The financial support was provided by the UGC for five years in which I was awarded Junior Research fellowship (JRF) for two years and senior research fellowship (SRF) for three years.

At the end of my Ph.D., I received offers for postdoctoral fellowships from University of Montreal, Canada; John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA; National Institute of Health, Bethesda, USA; and Imperial College London, UK. Previously, Khakoo lab was in Imperial College London, which was later shifted to University of Southampton where I work now since March 2012.

Although I had options to join other labs in the USA and Canada, I decided to join Professor Khakoo’s lab for my postdoctoral research as my research goals were best matched with the objectives of Khakoo lab.

At University of Southampton, I started working on clinically important viruses such as Hepatitis C virus, Dengue, Zika, etc. and tried to understand how Natural Killer cells – which are fundamental part of body’s immune system – can clear the viruses.

MM: Tell us about your research.

Dr Naiyer: This is a well-presented study and a significant advancement in this field that identifies the important role of the receptor KIR2DS2. Since I come from India, which has thousands of cases of dengue each year, I can understand the suffering of patients with dengue. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to ease the suffering of these dengue-affected patients.

Natural Killer Cells play important role in fight against cancer and viral clearance. Our study focuses on how a single vaccine can be effective against multiple viruses. Our findings, which was recently published in prestigious journal “Science Immunology” also suggests that this strategy for virus therapeutics could be easily translated into the field of cancer.

2. What kind of encouragement did you find from your family and friends?

Dr Naiyer: My family was supportive. My brothers would often say, ‘Do not think about money, you just focus in your studies and leave rest to us’.

I had a very healthy competition with my friends and some of them genuinely motivated me.

MM: given the literacy rate of your area, what did inspire you to select this stream in higher studies?

Dr Naiyer: During my growing up years in the 90s, the sentence I often hear in my surrounding was “padh likh kar kuch nahi hota” (education gives you nothing). Most of the parents would send their school going to children to Delhi, Mumbai, Punjab and other metro cities of India to earn money and livelihood. That was such a discouraging period for education in my area called Seemanchal, which resulted in very high number of unskilled labour force.

Nevertheless, I was never tempted to leave my school or studies and determined to prove that education is the most powerful tool. Despite hardship, I keep going systematically. Even during my bachelors and masters in Delhi, people from my area would say “kab tak padhte rahoge miyan” (how long would you study)?

MM: Why did not you go for engineering and other short-term professional courses like others belonging to humble family background do to support their families?

Dr Naiyer: As I said before, I wanted to become a medical doctor, so engineering or any other short-term courses were never in my mind.

MM: What are your future plans?

Dr Naiyer: I want to contribute more to science and use my knowledge and expertise against the serious threats to humankind posed by dangerous viruses such as Zika, Dengue, Ebola, etc.

I would like to establish my own lab and become a principal investigator. If given the opportunity, I would like to return to India and want to contribute to the Indian science.

MM: Is there any big project in your mind?

Dr Naiyer: I am contemplating to write grants for my own funding to support my research work. I shall apply for grants in Medical Research Council, UK, and Wellcome Trust, UK.

MM: Where do you want to see yourself 10 years down the line?

Dr Naiyer: After 10 years, I want to see myself as a successful scientist who has contributed a bit for the welfare of humankind by doing high-level science. I want to become an expert in my field.

  1. Do you have any plan for the educational upliftment of your area, especially for Muslim youth?

Dr Naiyer: This is interesting question. I would definitely plan and would happy to contribute for the educational upliftment of my area. I along with some other friends from Bihar are trying to develop a unique platform where we can support meritorious students from Seemanchal (Bihar) irrespective of their financial conditions.

I have a dream to establish school/colleges, hospitals and healthcare in every block of Seemanchal. I would also focus in girls/women education. I would share the road map at appropriate time.

  1. MMDo you want to give any message to the youth of the community?

Dr Naiyer: Our community has some deeper problems and the youth are looking for microwave solutions. Our community has limited resources, please use them effectively. You must work hard, and should not waste time and resources.

The message I would pass to the youths is that there is no short cut for success. You cannot bypass the stairs of education and reach on the top through a side-lift. If you try, it would be disastrous for your career. Do not fear failures as failures are there to make you strong.

source: http://www.muslimmirror.com / Muslim Mirror / Home> Health / by admin – Muslim Mirror Staff / October 10th, 2017

When the Empress of India Met Her Muslim Teacher

Lalitpur (Jhansi) & Agra (UTTAR PRADESH) / London, GREAT BRITAIN with Empress of India

Queen Victoria at her desk, assisted by her servant Abdul Karim, the munshi.
Queen Victoria at her desk, assisted by her servant Abdul Karim, the munshi.

VICTORIA & ABDUL 

The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant

By Shrabani Basu

Illustrated. 334 pp. Vintage Books. Paper, $16.

I really do wonder if I am qualified to review this remarkable work. I am a nonagenarian, Anglo-Welsh, republican, agnostic liberal, an only half-redeemed British imperialist, sexually complex and incorrigibly romantic. “Victoria & Abdul” is about an aging British queen, her eccentric obsession with an engaging Muslim servant from India and the half-farcical opposition of the British establishment to their relationship. I had never heard of the story until the book reached me for my critique, and I had no idea it was about to be the subject of a much-publicized movie.  Am I qualified to respond to it for The New York Timer? Reader, judge for yourself.

When it first reached me I began, as a republican, by scoffing. The very status of Alexandrina Victoria, Queen of England, at the time of her first encounter with that Indian servant struck me as perfectly ridiculous. She was a woman in her late 60s who was treated with almost religious reverence and responded accordingly. The whole preposterous charade of royalty was performed perpetually in her presence. It was wildly exaggerated, too, because she happened to be the titular head not simply of a small island nation but of the most enormous empire in the history of empires, claiming sovereignty over nearly a quarter of the earth’s surface. Perhaps the least logical of these bizarre circumstances was the fact that among her far-flung territories was one of the proudest and most ancient of all human entities, India. Since 1877, Victoria had been called Queen Empress, and India was the reason.

I scoffed, but then that Indian charmer entered the book, and I was beguiled.

So was Victoria. Abdul Karim was 24 when he arrived in England in 1887, engaged as an orderly for the queen during her Golden Jubilee celebrations and presently also charged with teaching Her Imperial Majesty Hindustani (as the British habitually referred to both Hindi and Urdu). Although of relatively humble stock, he was a born winner, educated, good-looking, clever and ambitious. I soon fell for him myself.

In no time at all, it seems, he became far more than an orderly, but rather an Indian gentleman of the court, more or less self-promoted out of the servants’ quarters and dubbed, by Her Majesty’s command, a “munshi” — which meant, I gather, a sort of more-than-teacher. This in turn seems to have morphed into a vaguely aristocratic honorific, and before long the delightful young orderly had become the Munshi. For the rest of his life he flaunted the title, and “Bravo,” say I!

Victoria02MPOs06oct2017

I find myself genuinely touched by the bond between the empress and the munshi. He was an opportunist, but he was kind, which for my money redeems many faults, and old Victoria had been having a rotten time of it. First she lost her adored husband, Albert, and never got over it, and then John Brown, her beloved Scots gillie, died on her. Victoria’s nine children were scattered across Britain and Europe, and they were a mixed bag anyway. It must have been a lonely time for the old lady, but then along came Abdul Karim, in his virile youth, and he was very soon treating her not only as an empress but as a woman.

There was obviously nothing carnal about the relationship. Heaven forbid! The munshi seems to have regarded Victoria as an affectionate and generous surrogate mother. (She gave Abdul Karim and his wife three cottages, each near one of her own palaces, plus some land in India, and when he traveled on the royal train he had a whole carriage to himself.) In return he gave her his sympathy and understanding, and in particular they both seem to have enjoyed her daily (and very successful) lessons in Hindustani.

The affair, if we can call it that, spilled over into the style of the British court, which became more and more Indianified. Indian colors were everywhere, Indian sounds and even Indian smells (for curries were often served). When the court indulged itself or its visitors with one of its elaborate tableaux vivants, Indian faces were prominent on the stage, and indeed in the tableau of the king of Egypt, pictured in this book, the Pharaonic ruler himself was played by none other than — the munshi!

The generally snobbish and often racist British establishment of the day came to detest the munshi with an almost comical fervor, and, led by Victoria’s son and heir, Bertie, who later reigned as Edward VII, persecuted even Abdul Karim’s memory when he and his love were both long gone. I suspect that the munshi was a sort of dual reincarnation of Victoria’s beloved Albert and her dear, dear John Brown. And if there was something rather excessive — even, to my mind, schoolgirlish — about her attachment to her young servant, it was perhaps only a late and pathetic extension of the maternal instinct.

I grew fond of them both as I read this generous and meticulous book, and I write this review now with a sentimental tear in my eye. So what think you, Reader? Am I qualified for the job?

_____________________

‘To have my son captain England in India. It couldn’t get any better’

Chennai, TAMIL NADU / UNITED KINGDOM : 

AT HOME in Madras, Joe Hussain was very keen on the tour. He was a great Fred Trueman fan. He waited by the nets and asked one of the bowlers: “Is Mr Trueman here?” The great Fred had declined this particular passage to India. “Who’s Mr Trueman?” the other bowler sneered.

That memory may seem another world, another lifetime away for the smokey-haired 61-year-old who now presides over the bat-on-ball echoes of the Ilford Cricket School tucked proudly, if a touch shabbily, round the back of Beehive Lane just off the A12. But Joe Hussain has reasons for that pride.

And not just because his son, Nasser, is having a net and Joe’s young hopefuls are queuing up to bowl at the England captain.

“Cricket is so important in India,” he says. “Hockey used to be the number one sport but cricket has overtaken it by miles. Now it’s like a religion. But cricket fans are very knowledgeable and very welcoming. It’s like here,” he says, looking round the obviously mixed ethnic group on Thursday afternoon, “it brings people together.”

Cricket has been important to Joe. He scored a hundred for Madras University against Hyderabad before he came to England in 1960. Over here it helped him meet his wife, Shireen, at an Ilford game and when the couple returned to India for 10 years, cricketing memories of Joe batting for Madras at the Chepauk Stadium were among the early inspirations for the young Nasser Hussain.

“I didn’t want to over-push the boys,” says Joe, whose daughter, Benazir, trained at the Royal Ballet and is now a principal ballerina in Perth, Australia. “But cricket has been something of a passport. When Nasser had already got a maths scholarship to Forest School, our elder boy, Mel, went and scored a hundred against their first XI and Mr Foxall, the headmaster, came up at tea and said: “We must find a way to get him here too.”

All four siblings are now successes in their own field, but with cricket so ingrained in Hussain senior, it was with real angst that he faced the possible cancellation of a tour to his homeland following an England team captained by his son. “It was something quite unbelievable for me,” says Joe with a smile of the purest, most wistful paternal pleasure playing around his lips. “To have my son captain England in India. It couldn’t get any better.”

Then came September 11 and all that has followed. Joe, like everyone else, furrows his brow at the memory. “Of course the world has changed,” he says, “and no one should ever forget what happened. But life must go on. All my friends are ringing up from India saying, `Are they coming? Please tell them how welcome they will be.’ I think we just have to go. I just hope that the security arrangements are not so tight that they can’t go out and see what a wonderful country India is.”

“Besides,” he adds as the conversation is momentarily silenced by a particularly loud report from Nasser’s bat as he takes the gun to the bowling machine in the net over to the right of us, “it will be such a challenge for the lads. To bowl against Tendulkar, to bat against Kumble and Harbhajan Singh in their own country is a terrific test. No one here can imagine how big Tendulkar is in India. Far bigger than Beckham or any sportsman is over here. He and the others aren’t just stars, they’re like gods.”

Discussion of such celestial beings is delaying attendance on younger earthlings. Tom Yallop and Ricky Royds have already played for South of England Under-14s, Varun Chopra has been to an England Under-15 training course at Old Trafford and a local paper cutting on the noticeboard pictures him receiving his award as Ilford young player of the year from Nasser himself.

All three live locally, all three can see the natural progression from this elderly three-net hall to the great cricket arenas of the globe, which has already been made by the likes of Graham Gooch, John Lever, Nasser Hussain and now young James Foster.

“I took over here in 1990,” says Joe. “By then Nasser was already on his way and I promised myself I would produce another Test player. James Foster is just 21 and he’s going on the tour. I’m so proud of him.”

When Foster had that much publicised spat with Andy Flower in Zimbabwe a month ago, it was Joe who got on the phone to keep his spirits up. He would do just the same for any of the three, or indeed for the scores of boys and, more recently, girls who follow this ageing, Indian, chain- smoking Pied Piper to put cricket in their dreams. Cricket’s new money finds its way to many places infinitely less deserving than this old hall, where the outer wrapping is at so much variance to the gleaming spirit within.

On winter weekends the place is heaving, as indoor tournaments take their turn. For a while the kids were predominantly Asian, but Joe has noticed more white children coming to cricket as football’s intensity squeezes too much of the fun out of the game. But another crack from the far net reminds you that colour has nothing to do with it, and how proud we are to have England captained by an Englishman called Nasser Hussain.

So far Tom Yallop has been on tour to Taunton, Ricky Royds has been to Folkestone and Varun Chopra has done best with a school trip to Barbados.

“It was great,” says Varun, already pushing six feet at just 14 and restlessly flicking the ball around his wrist as he readied himself to bowl. “I didn’t score a lot of runs but I got among the wickets and when our keeper was injured, I had to do that too,” he said.

In truth, the three kids are not hanging too heavily on Joe’s words this afternoon. They want the chance to bowl at their hero. One day they, too, will hope to tour India and other foreign parts. In cricket it was ever thus.

Long may it remain.

source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk  / The Telegraph / Home> Sport> Cricket / by Brough Scott / November 10th, 2001

How An Act Of Kindness By An Indian-Origin Muslim Helped A Man To Become Top Jurist In South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA :

An Indian-origin shopkeeper based in South Africa became an overnight sensation after the new deputy chief justice recalled his generosity over four decades ago when he was looking for a loan to fund his studies.

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Suleman Bux, 76, who at that time ran a small general store in Ixopo town, had forgotten about the young man with whom he had struck a deal to be a good student by giving him groceries for his family so that they could save what they would have spent on this for his studies.

Judge Raymond Zondo, 57, who has been recently appointed as the Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, recalled how he had sceptically approached Bux when he started his studies in 1981, unsure of whether he or anyone else would give a loan to a 20-year-old man.

Zondo approached Bux, without telling his family and helped him with groceries for his family.

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Reunion after over 30 years, Judge Raymond Zondo & Suleman Bux 😀 Absolutely love this..Faith In Humanity Restored😎@KhayaZondo73 –  ✌🙏

Zondo’s emotional video at his installation to the second highest judicial post in the country recently went viral as he recalled Bux’s influence on his life, expressing a desire to meet him again after the fasting month of Ramadan was over.

Zondo met with Bux and his extended family to thank him personally. Bux shrugged off the huge media attention.

“He gave me a very nice watch, which was very generous. I was moved by the gesture,” Bux told local media, adding that he had not expected the issue to have received as much attention as it did.

After he began earning, Zondo tried to repay Bux but the shopkeeper, who is still running a wholesale store, told Zondo to rather finance some other young students.

“I helped him because it was the right thing to do. As a Muslim, helping others is important, but you do it because you want to, not because you want recognition and for everyone to know,” Bux added.

source: http://www.indiatimes.com / Indiatimes.com / Home> News> India / IndiaTimes / July 11th, 2017

Chronicler of the mundane: Ranjith Kally documenting Indians in the anti-apartheid movement

SOUTH AFRICA :

Born into a family of ‘coolie Indians’, Ranjith Kally was important in documenting the role of Indians in the anti-apartheid movement

Monty Naicker, Nelson Mandela, and Yusuf Dadoo at the Treason Trial, Pretoria, 1958.
Monty Naicker, Nelson Mandela, and Yusuf Dadoo at the Treason Trial, Pretoria, 1958.

For most Indians with some awareness of the history of South Africa, India’s connection with the country begins and ends with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. As Nelson Mandela famously put it, India sent Mohandas to South Africa and received a ‘Mahatma’.

If the province of Natal was one of several places around the globe where the epic of Indian indentured labour was writ large, South Africa was nearly distinct as the site of an unusual and inspiring solidarity between black people and Indians in the equally epic struggle against racial oppression. Photojournalist Ranjith Kally, who died at the age of 91 in Johannesburg this June, was the great chronicler of both Indian life in Natal and the resistance to apartheid.

Kally was born near Durban in 1925 into a family of ‘coolie Indians’. His grandfather worked on a sugar plantation; his father, likewise, left for the fields early every morning. As was common in his generation, Kally was educated only up to Class VI. He worked in a shoe factory for 15 years and stumbled upon a Kodak Postcard camera at a rummage sale. In 1956, Kally procured a job as a photographer with Drum, a magazine that had been launched to give expression to the lives of black and coloured people.

Chronicling a struggle

Kally’s first photographs of anti-apartheid figures would be taken in the late 1950s. One of his favourite subjects was Monty Naicker, an Indian who trained as a doctor before turning to political activism. At a break during Pretoria’s Treason Trial in 1958, Kally captured Naicker with a young Mandela and the venerable communist leader Yusuf Dadoo in the background. Kally’s many photographs of Fatima Meer, another titanic figure in the anti-apartheid struggle, furnish insights both into how women assumed political roles in the public sphere and the little-discussed role of South African Indian Muslims in shaping secular narratives of freedom.

MeersMPOs11jul2017

In one photograph, taken in the early 60s, Kally seated Meer’s daughters, Shamin, Shehnaaz and Rashid, around their buoyant-looking mother in Durban’s Botanical Gardens. The photograph was intended for Ismail, Meer’s husband, who was then in detention, as a keepsake of his family. There is no hint here of anxiety, fear, or the oppressiveness of racial terror. But Meer was also godmother to Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s children, giving them a home and hope at a time of despair.

Kally knew better than most that the story of the anti-apartheid struggle was not only one, or even mainly, of ‘great’ figures. In a rigidly racist society, the occasions for transgression were many and the outcome generally was painful for those animated by the desire for equality and social justice. The anti-miscegenation laws were severe, but, as one of Kally’s most stunning photographs shows, this did not prevent Syrub Singh and the dazzling Rose Bloom (seen emerging from a court hearing) from joining hands in matrimony.

Courting the everyday

What is striking in Kally’s large and still largely unknown body of work is his attentiveness to the quotidian life of Indians in and around Durban. Close to half a century after the end of the indentured system, the greater majority of Indians still lived below the bread line. In one photograph, an Indian woman scrubs dishes outside a group of shacks; a very young girl, clutching a toddler, stands by her side. Kally closely observed young Indian boys and girls working in the cane fields.

His 1957 photograph, ‘Children Gotta Work’, is illustrative of not only Kally’s approach to the grittiness of Indian life in Natal but of the self-reflexivity in much of his work. Four Indian children, some unmistakably teenagers, are on their way to work in the fields. Shovels are flung across their shoulders; two of them firmly grasp lunch boxes in their hands. They walk barefooted in the morning light. The photograph resonates with pictures of Partition, but there are also shades of the historic march of Indian miners from Natal to the Transvaal in 1913. Workers on the move, the daily walk, the look of determination: all this is part of the ensemble.

I didn’t know Kally well enough to say whether he was a man of sunny optimism, but his photographs nevertheless suggest an eye for the whimsical and a zest for life. The whimsical touch is nowhere better captured than in his photograph of a boy with a large tortoise on his head.

The wide grin on the boy’s face reveals the unmistakable fun he is having in ferrying his slow-moving companion. The boldest expression of this element of joie de vivre in Kally’s work is a photograph called ‘The Big Bump’. Two men, both amply endowed at the waist, are rubbing against each other. Each man seems to be saying, ‘My tummy is larger than yours, and all the better for it.’ Kally’s camera paves the way for understanding the extraordinariness of the ordinary.

That is not an inconsiderable gift.

Professor of History at UCLA, the author has the distinction of being listed among the 101 Most Dangerous Professors in America.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Society> Spotlight – History & Culture / by Vinay Lal / July 08th, 2017

Ramadan on the North Dakota Prairie – Forging an American-Muslim Experience

Hyderabad, TELANGANA / North Dakota, USA :

The author, his wife and three children circa late 1970s in North Dakota.
The author, his wife and three children circa late 1970s in North Dakota.

This is Day 22 of the 2017 #30Days30Writers Ramadan series – June 17, 2017

by Syed Husain

It was in the summer of 1976, following my post-doctoral assignment at Stanford Research Institute in California, I was offered a faculty position at University of North Dakota, School of Medicine. Although it was a tempting offer, leaving San Francisco and moving to Grand Forks with three small children was a difficult thing to consider.

Recalling the Persian proverb, “Mulk-e-Khuda Tang Neest, Pa-e-mera Lung Neest” (The Kingdom of God has no limits and no broken legs do I have to limit my travel), I decided to accept this offer – though I knew a Muslim community to draw on for support in North Dakota would be virtually nil.

A leap of faith indeed, but as a Muslim, I had a firm belief in my Creator and my destiny.

As we started our journey across the country, it was full of amusement and excitement. We only had ourselves to rely on – myself, my wife, and my three children, ages seven, four and one. The passage through Yosemite with tall redwoods, the majestic Grand Tetons, the enchanting Yellowstone National Park, the amazing Mount Rushmore and the Badlands was an experience to behold.

Finally, we arrived in the small college town of Grand Forks. And, we found the people of this land of Aurora Borealis, sun-dogs, snow and tumble-weed to be friendly, hospitable and compassionate.

After settling in the faculty housing, my priority was to find out how many Muslims, including students, were on campus. As the Ramadan was approaching, I wondered if they had facilities to pray and observe Ramadan. Surprisingly, I found only one another Muslim faculty and a handful of students with no place to worship. Later, I located four more families in a radius of fifty miles from Grand Forks that became the “core group” of Muslims in the area.

In this isolation, as Ramadan arrived, we made frantic calls to Chicago, Montreal, Minneapolis and Winnipeg to confirm the sighting of the moon. To determine the duration of fast and follow the fiqh ruling, we decided to follow the times in Winnipeg, the closest city with a sizable Muslim population. Those were long days — we were fasting for 19 hours a day with the sun setting around 9:45 p.m.

The University had appointed me as Muslim Faculty Adviser, and I was able to get space in the student union for our Jummah prayers and iftars. This small community had no provision for halal meat and no place to buy spices and other ingredients to prepare our food. A good Samaritan in the community located a farmer, who helped us sacrifice a heifer or a black angus.

This farmer became the source our halal meat supply for the rest of our stay (15 years) in North Dakota. Families would share the meat and drive to Winnipeg or as far as Chicago to get condiments and other supplies. The spouses in this small core group got together and started preparing meals, iftar and sahoor for their families and for students as well on weekends. We began to feel the baraka (blessings) of Ramadan in this newly formed community.

Fasting was difficult, but we managed and grew closer as a family (and as a married couple) in doing so. When we finally made it to iftar time around 9:45 p.m. and broke our fast, my wife and I (we were the only ones fasting in our family in the ‘70s) were grateful. Our children would beg us to take them to McDonald’s for ice cream after we prayed Maghreb and ate dinner, around 10:30 p.m. at night, but it was hard to get the energy to do so.

The nights we rallied and took them were very special to all of us – small treats that meant so much to our children and to us.

The summer season in North Dakota is short, sweet and very precious. It was amazing to see farmers busy harvesting crops under floodlights into the wee hours of the night. Our neighborhood on the outskirts of Grand Forks bordered a large farming field. The rumbling noise of trucks hauling beetroot and sunflower seeds were a reminder to us to get up for our sahoor.

I recalled my childhood days back in Hyderabad, India, when at sahoor time hawkers pass through Muslim neighborhoods singing local folklore, breaking the quiet of the night as these trucks did and reminding the community that sahoor time was soon to end.

Our children (and the daughter of one other Muslim family in town) were the only Muslim students in their schools. The school authorities were kind, compassionate and understanding. They were cognizant of the Islamic principles and provided our children with a private bathing facility and a place to worship. This was back in the 1980s in an educational community that probably had never seen or interacted with Muslim kids before.

Alhamdulillah, this conducive, inclusive and inter-faith understanding of the teachers and the school district authorities nurtured a healthy, positive civic atmosphere and a sense of belonging for our children. Our children use to wait eagerly for the arrival of Ramadan and for the celebration of two Eids.

These occasions were a real source of joy to these few host Muslim families and their children and to the small group of students. We celebrated Eids in a church, in an International Students’ Home on campus and in our homes.

This was our Little Mosque on the Prairie much before the celebrated television show.

This was our forging of an American-Muslim experience in a community that sometimes didn’t understand us, but developed friendships and deep relationships with us based on love, kindness and mutual respect.

In our sojourn of 15 years (1976-1991) in North Dakota, we also saw swings in the population of Muslim students and in the community due to graduations, termination of University of North Dakota’s Pilot Training programs with Gulf Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines and faculty transfers/retirements. In recent years, the economy of North Dakota has improved greatly due to oil exploration in Williston Basin.

The city of Fargo (one of the largest cities in North Dakota, about an hour away from Grand Forks) has seen a sizeable number of Muslim immigrants arriving. The city of Grand Forks also has its share and has seen a surge in new arrivals. We wish them all a Happy Ramadan and Eid Mubarak.

Syed Husain, Ph.D. is a retired professor of Pharmacology at the School of Medicine, University of North Dakota and a retired Scientific Review Administrator at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. He now has eight grandchildren forging their own American-Muslim experience.

source:  http://www.patheos.com / Patheos / Home> altmuslim / by Syed Asif, Guest Contributor / June 17th, 2017

SAUDI ARABIA – Community bids farewell to Indian diplomat

Jeddah , SAUDI ARABIA :

Dr.Irshad Ahmed (seated centre) with leading members of the Indian community in Jeddah at the farewell event
Dr.Irshad Ahmed (seated centre) with leading members of the Indian community in Jeddah at the farewell event
 JEDDAH:
An evening to bid farewell to Dr. Irshad Ahmed, consul for press, information and culture, on completing his four-year term at the Consulate General of India in Jeddah was held recently.
 It was organized by Jeddah-based community welfare organizations from Telangana, including Khak-e-Taiba Trust, Urdu Academy, Deccan NRIs, Noor Education Society, Pain & Palliative Care Trust and Telangana Welfare Foundation.
 Ahmed thanked the Telangana organizations for holding the event in his honor. He spoke about his memorable experiences in the Kingdom and applauded the hospitality of the Hyderabadi community residing in Jeddah.
 “People living in this holy land are very blessed and very proactive when it comes to community welfare,” he said, adding he will miss the Indian community.
Ahmed said he enjoyed his stay in Jeddah and felt very fortunate to be able to help the expats residing here.
The evening commenced with the recitation of the Holy Qur’an by Hafiz Noor, followed by a heart touching naat by Khalid Hussain.
Mirza Qudrath Nawaz Baig, along with senior community members, welcomed Chief Guest Ahmed and lauded the brotherly hand he had extended toward overseas Indians.
The presidents and vice presidents of the Telangana organizations praised Ahmed for his dedication to the Indian community and in organizing various events; specifically pointing out the large-scale mushaira held at the Consulate of India and promotion of the Urdu language in a foreign land.
Ahmed was presented with a plaque of appreciation. Members of the Telangana organizations said they would not say goodbye to Ahmed but would rather say “see you soon.” They said they are looking forward to seeing Ahmed soon in Jeddah on a new assignment.
One of the key hosts of the event, Imran Kausar, gave the audience an overview of the consul and his achievements.
He started his career as an Arabic lecturer in Jamia Millia Islamia in 1995; he later joined the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India in 2001. His first foreign posting was at the Embassy of Riyadh as third secretary (Information and Culture from 2003 to 2005; then he was transferred to Consulate General of India, Jeddah as consul (Education and Culture) from 2005 to 2008.
He then worked as undersecretary (Gulf) from 2008 to 2012 and was then posted to the Consulate General of India, Jeddah again where he continued his posting as consul (Press, Information & Culture) from 2012.
He will continue his new assignment at the Ministry of External Affairs (headquarters) in New Delhi, India.
Leading members of the community at the event included Shameem Kausar, Siadat Ali Khan, Hasan Bayazeed, Jamal Qadri, Abdul Razzak, Abdul Wahab, Asimuddin Ansari, Aslam Afghani, Asif Daudi, Tahir Ali, Noorul Amin, Majid Saleem, Munawar Khan, Mazharullah Jibran, Sheikh Ibrahim, Rashid Razzak, Saleem Farooqui, Mahmood Misri, Ghazanfar Zaki, Mir Arif Ali, Abdul Rafay and Liaqat Ali Khan.
source: http://www.arabnews.com / Arab News / Home> Saudi Arabia / Wednesday – April 26th, 2017