Houstonian Corner (V9-I31)

July 26, 2007 by  


Congressman Al Green Helps Permanent Residents File For Citizenship Ahead of Huge Fee Increase

Congressman Al Green (TX-09), in conjunction with NALEO hosted his second annual citizenship workshop. This workshop sought to assist eligible legal permanent residents in completing the N-400 naturalization process. Currently, the fees for filing the N-400 are $400. On July 30th these fees will increase to $675.

Rep. Green hosted this workshop as a part of a national effort to assist those eligible to complete this final step towards citizenship ahead of the 69% increase in fees.

Over 200 eligible legal permanent residents were to be assisted through Congressman Green’s workshop. Many started lining-up outside the workshop location at 2:00AM. Services provided included: assistance with filling out forms, consultation with citizenship experts, taking photographs necessary for the N-400 form, on-site availably of money orders for the fee, and on-site mailing of the completed application packet. Several organizations, including NALEO and ACORN, assisted in facilitating this event.

“I am proud to be co-hosting this workshop as a part of a national effort to help legal, eligible permanent residents apply for US citizenship. Today, our immigration experts were able to help hundreds of eligible individuals begin the N-400 naturalization process and begin the course to becoming American citizens,” said Rep. Green.

“The timing of today’s workshop is of particular importance, because on Monday, July 30th, the N-400 naturalization application fee will increase to $675. That will be a 69 percent increase from the $400 those eligible will have to pay today–an increase which places an unfair burden on the nearly 8 million hardworking legal permanent residents who are eligible to become American citizens and who want to participate fully in all our great nation has to offer. America is a nation of immigrants and this effort seeks to help as many immigrants as we can achieve the American dream and become United States citizens.”

Gahwar-e-Aadab Organizes the Pakistan-India Tradition

Mushaira is an integral part of the culture of Pakistan and India. It is an occasion where people gather together for three to four hours and listen to poetry from poets. Usually a good Mushaira is the one where the poems presented cover certain contemporary issues as well.

Over the past few years, an organization by the name of Gahwar-e-Aadab has organized a Pakistan-India Unity Mushaira and this year seventeen cities of USA will witness such sittings. Last weekend Friday to Sunday was booked for Texas, where three Mushairas were held in Houston, Dallas and Austin.

The Houston mushaira was held at Safford Center along Cash Road and Murphy Drive. This year, the event was held on short notice: but still it was attended by hundreds of avid poetry listeners. The program was well organized and coordinated by Mohammad Zaheer of Horizon Travel, Shamshad Wali of Wali Associates (Architects and Engineers), Inayat Ashraf, Maqsood Alam and their dedicated team of volunteers.

In addition to Houston’s local poets, famous international poets from Pakistan and India like Waseem Barelvi, Mairaj Faizabadi, Mansoor Usmani and Rafiuddin Zar, looted the hearts of the audience with their superb poems on current issues.

The Houston City Councilman MJ Khan was there for the inauguration of the new book of poems by the world-renowned Waseem Barelvi.

In their presentations, the poets talked about the betterment of lifestyle of the people of the sub-continent: however, they did mention the poverty and lack of proper facilities and infrastructure in those countries.

Then they talked about ever increasing materialism in the world, causing much hatred worldwide. They also talked about the essence of beauty in modesty of dress and manner rather than obscene openness.

One of the verses of Waseem Barelvi was very much liked: “The Eyes Which Are Clogged By The Fumes Of Hatred: They Can Not See Any Dreams.” People who can not dream, can not survive and progress.

For more information about Gahwar-e-Aadab Houston activities, one can reach Shamshad Wali at 832.875.7996.

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