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Published in the 16-31 Jan 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

SPECIAL REPORT

AFMI's 13th annual convention

By Ayub Khan

New Delhi: The American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI), a North American organization dedicated to the socio-economic and educational development of Indian Muslims, held its 13th annual convention on education and award ceremony at the sprawling campus of Jamia Hamdard University in New Delhi on December 25-26, 2004. Formed in 1989 AFMI has been working to eradicate illiteracy and other ills affecting India's Muslim community. At its annual conventions more than 1000 gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to Muslim toppers of X and XII standards from each state of India. This year 85 meritorious students were awarded with the medals. The purpose of the medal program is to motivate students to excel in their studies and promote competition.

Speaking on the opening ceremony of the two day convention Dr. A. R. Kidwai (Governor of Haryana) said that quality education of citizens is the most important factor in today's age of globalization. He stressed on the need for continuous improvement of the country's educational system. Each new day brings something new and innovative and consequently we should also proactively respond to these new and emerging challenges he said. Dr. Kidwai applauded AFMI efforts in promoting education in India.

Dr. A. S. Nakadar (Trustee, AFMI) in his speech urged the students to enlighten and empower themselves with knowledge. "Armed with knowledge break the vicious circle of hate and violence by learning, teaching and preaching the message of peace," he said.

He pointed that efforts of AFMI and other organizations are finally bearing fruit.
"Our movement has discovered new frontiers in education and continues to reinforce educational movements led by our pioneers.

And as reported widely there is now a sense of hunger and a sudden surge among Muslims to obtain education.

Although we are nowhere near our targets of 100% literacy, we are now confident than ever before of achieving 100% literacy.

Let me assure you we will not rest till we achieve our goal.

The proof of my statement lies in the recently released census report of 1991 to 2001.

It tells you about the growth of Muslim literacy rate in the last decade.

It covers the period when we started our medal program in 1991," he said.

He said AFMI plans to develop a 5 year educational master plan for Uttar Pradesh that could be implemented later in Bengal, Bihar, Assam and other backward areas of the country.

AFMI's Sir Syed award for excellence in education was awarded to Prof. Sheikh Ali from Mysore for promoting education by building new institutions including two universities. Maulana Fazlurrahim Mujadiddi of Jamiatul Hidaya (Jaipur) was presented with an award of excellence for tirless efforts in protecting the civil liberties in India.

Fatima Ahmed, a student of Indian origin from Cleveland USA, was awarded the Student of the Year award for scoring 97% in the Dental Board exams.

The line up of speakers at the convention was a virtual who's who from the educational field. It includes Mr. Saiyid Hamid (Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard), Siraj Hussain (Vice Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard), Justice A. M. Ahmedi, Dr. Syed Samee (President AFMI), Syed Akram (President Elect, AFMI), Christine Diallo (1st Secretary Cultural Affairs US Embassy, New Delhi), Prof. Syed Masood (Arabic College, Chennai), Dawood Shah (Crescent School, Chennai), Ghiyasuddin Babukhan (United Economic Forum, Hyderabad), Dr. Omar Khalidi (Massachusets Institute of Technology), Rinku Lamba (University of Toronto),Dr. Najma Akhtar, Dr. Shahid Jameel, Shaukat Khan (Houston), Prof. Imitiaz Ahmed (JNU, New Delhi), A. R. Shervani (National Minorities Commission), Air Marshall (Rtd.) O. P. Mehra, Mahir Kothari (Gujarat), Er Irfanullah (Faizabad), Representatives from MESCO (Mumbai),Markuz ul Maarif (Assam), and Sawed Trust (Chennai), Dr. Taiyab Poonawala (New York), Dr. Safir Ahmed (New Jersey), Prof. M. M. Ansari (Jamia Hamdard), Prof. Ather (Jamia Hamdard),Mr. Ali Qureshi (New Mexico), Mr. A. Razzack (Germany), Prof. Warsi (University of California at Berkeley).

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