Community News North America Vol 8 Iss 35

August 24, 2006 by  


Saba Ashraf selected as fellow of American Bar Foundation

ATLANTA,GA–Saba Ashraf of the national law firm Alston & Bird LLP has been selected as a member of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. The Fellows is an honorary organization of attorneys, judges and law professors whose professional, public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession. Membership in The Fellows is limited to one third of one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. Members are nominated by Fellows in their jurisdiction and elected by the Board of the American Bar Foundation. Currently there are only 69 General Fellows practicing law in the state of Georgia.

Ashraf is a partner in the firm’s federal income tax group, concentrating her practice on the structuring and effecting of complex business transactions and tax planning for corporations, partnerships and other business entities. She participates actively as the vice-chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Business Law Section’s Tax Committee, is a member of the board of directors of the Georgia Asian Pacific Bar Association, a member of IndusBar of Georgia, and a member of the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America.

With 700 attorneys, Alston & Bird is a major U.S. law firm with an extensive national and international practice. With offices in Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, New York, and Washington, D.C., Alston & Bird provides a complete breadth of corporate, intellectual property, litigation, and tax services. For the seventh consecutive year, Alston & Bird was ranked in FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2005, making it the only law firm with that record of success in the FORTUNE rankings.

American Parkinson Research Grant for Dr. Syed Imam

The American Parkinson Disease Association Research has awarded a $50,000 grant to Dr. Syed Imam Phd., of the University of Texas, San Antonio. The country’s largest grassroots organization serving the Parkinson community awards $3.3 million in grants, fellowships and support to eight centers for advanced research.

Dr. Imam’s major research interest is in therapeutic targeting of novel cell signaling mechanism to mitigate the progression of Parkinson’s disease. His laboratory is focused on the role of signaling kinases in the regulation of various components of PD as a therapeutic target in animal models and in PD patients. In addition, his team is working to develop projects on molecular signaling mechanisms during progression of AD and various related alpha-synucleinopathies. His laboratory has set-up extensive collaborations with various PD research and clinical centers in the USA and Europe that include the Morris Udall Center of Excellence for PD Research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Neurology at UCSD, Hertie Institute of Clinical Brain Research at University of Tubingen, Germany and Brain Mind Institute of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland. He has published over thirty peer-reviewed academic articles

“APDA has been supporting research towards finding a cure for PD for 45 years and has been a funding partner in every major scientific breakthrough,” Gattullo said. “This year we have increased our funding on all levels from advanced research to young scientists entering the field of research at medical and academic institutions from Maine to California.” He noted that APDA’s dual mission to “Ease the Burden–Find the Cure,” includes equal support to the 1.5 million Americans afflicted with PD and their caregivers every day through 58 Information and referral centers, 58 chapters and hundreds of support groups across the country.

Islamic Center of Reading to maintain moon sighting tradition

READING, PA–Practices for determining the start of holidays at the Islamic Center of Reading are not expected to change despite the Fiqh Council of North America’s release of an Islamic calendar based on astronomical calculations, a report in the Reading Eagle newspaper said.

Steve Elmarzouky, president of the Islamic Center on Noble Street, said the mosque uses moon sightings to determine the start of holidays. In fact, he said every Muslim month starts with the sighting of the moon.

Because the local mosque is a multi-cultural community, Elmarzouky said he relies on sightings in a variety of countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Mosque leaders then determine what the majority are saying about when a holiday starts.

Regarding the occasional disparity between holiday start dates at different mosques, Elmarzouky said, “It’s not a big deal,” adding that the dates may differ by a day or so.

The Islamic Center of Reading opened in 1992, with 15 families, and has grown to more than 200 members.

Muslim Festival in Salt Lake City

The Salt Lake American Muslim Cultural Festival will be held Aug. 26 from 2-8 p.m. and Aug. 27 from 3-7 p.m. at Washington Square, 200 E. 400 South in Salt Lake City. The festival will include music, food, family fun, dancing and a rock-climbing wall. Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon will inaugurate the festival at 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission to the event is free. For more information, visit www.saltlakeamericanmuslim.com, call 801-671-6709 or e-mail ghasnain@hotmail.com. The U.S.Army, Salt Lake City Arts Council and Utah Arts Council are some of the sponsors of the festival. A film festival is also being held in cooperation with the Salt Lake City Film Center at the Main Public Library.

Mosque open house held at Temecula Mosque

TEMECULA, CA–The Islamic Center of Temecula Valley held an open house last weekend and opened its doors to curious local residents. Imam Mahmoud Harmoush explained the basic tenets of Islam and stressed on its similarities with Judaism and Christianity.

“We believe in one God,” he said. “That commonality of values that we Muslims, Christians and Jews believe in —- freedom, family, life —- is encouraged. … We believe in the Ten Commandments, what God said to Moses, Jesus and the prophet.”

The event —- supported by the Southwest Riverside County Interfaith Council —- is part of a larger Open Mosque program among Southern California Muslims. Around thirty other mosques held open houses last Sunday.

Interfaith Roundup

The First Church of Christ, Unitarian-Universalist of Lancaster, MA, held an interfaith educational program on August 13. The program titled “Understanding Islam” featured speakers Imam Sheikh Hafiz and Hamid Mahmood.

An interfaith prayer event was held at the St.George Maronite Church in San Antonio to pray for peace in the Middle East. Archbishop José H. Gomez, Rabbi Leonardo Bitran of the Achim Jewish congregation and Imam Youssef Said of the Islamic Center participated.

An interfaith dialogue, “Coming Together: A Conversation Among Jews, Christians and Muslims” was held at the Temple B’Nai Israel in Auburn New York. Six local faith leaders participated; Elaine Cohen and Herb Sussman from Temple B’Nai Israel, the Rev. Philip Windsor from Westminster Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Frank Lioi from St. Mary’s Church, Imam Taqi’uddin Ahmed and Imam ‘Abdur Rahim Muhammed. About hundred local residents participated. •

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