Houstonian Corner (V12-I39)

September 23, 2010 by  


AFMI – AIQEC – & – AAAT Collaborated with ICC to Organize the Historic First Eid Milan Celebration Program

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A well thought-of impressive event was organized this past Sunday, September 19th, 2010, the India Culture Center (ICC) Houston in close association with the American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI), the Aligarh Alumni Association of Texas (AAAT); and the All India Qaumi Ekta Committee (AIQEC). ICC was established in 1973. This was the first ever Eid Milan Party in their history organized by ICC at the picturesque India House.

Chief Guest on the occasion was Honorable Sanjiv Arora, Consul General of India. Special message was delivered by Judge Ed Emmett of Harris County. Young Omer Mohiuddin & Nadia Mohiuddin gave the invocation; while young Nisha Azhar gave an excellent review of what is Ramadan, what Eid is, and how Eid is celebrated in India & in USA.

Judge Ed Emmett congratulated all Muslims and Indians for celebrating this inaugural Eid Party and said these days Muslims and broader community are going through challenging times in USA and it is heartening to see events like Eid and Ramadan Dinners that bring diverse people together. He also saluted Indians for being the largest democracy, where billion strong people of various languages, religions, and ethnic backgrounds. “This is astronomical and all Indians deserve to be commended.”

Chief Guest Honorable Sanjiv Arora talked about the stupendous diversity of the biggest democracy and congratulated everyone on the occasion of Eid. He said both diversity and democracy is not only celebrated in India, but Indians especially those outside India, know the challenges that come with this and are doing excellent job in enhancing the good image of India. Consul General of India was lauded by all for his keen interest in coming up with the idea of Eid Milan Party.

Other speakers included Board of Director Member of ICC and Event Chair Colonel Raj Bhalla, President ICC Swapan Dhairyawan, Vice-President AFMI Dr. Syed Azeemuddin, President AIQEC Fayyaz Khan, President AAAT Latafath Hussain, Former Texas Governor Candidate Farouk Shami, Entrepreneur Lutfi Hassan, and others. Sponsors of the event included Dr. Nasrullah Manji, Anwar Khusro, Dr. Rucha Sheth, Rafi Ansar, Lutfi Hassan, Abid Khan, Rajiv Bhavsar, Abeezar Tyebji, Swapan Dhairyawan, and Colonel Raj Bhalla.

Program also included Poster Contest between students, literary and entertainment sessions.

For more information on ICC and its activities, one can visit http://www.icchouston.org/

White Vs Perry: So Near & Yet So Far

Farouk Shami, who in Texas Primaries made history, to become the first person of Middle Eastern Origin, to run for the Democratic Party Governor of Texas Race, which he lost after making much impact and buzz during the campaign: He organized a one of the kind event at the Arab American Cultural Center in Houston, when on Monday, September 20th, 2010, both the leading candidates for the Governor of Texas Republican Party Incumbent Governor Honorable Rick Perry and Former Mayor of Houston Democratic Party Honorable Bill White, came under the same roof to talk to large gathering of voters of diverse background (Hispanic, Arab, African-American, Anglo, Asian, and others). The only thing was both came about two hours apart from each other, as Governor Perry has been seen avoiding a debate with Mr. White.

In the latest polls, 22% of voters have said they are undecided and less than two months until Election Day, which has given much hope to Mr. White, who is behind by just 6-Points in the same University of Texas Poll (four months ago, Bill White was trailing by 12 Points in the same poll: So he has gained quite a ground).

Hosting the inaugural event of his new organization, Arab American Voters (AAV), Mr. Shami welcomed both Gov. Rick Perry and former Houston Mayor Bill White to the chandeliered ballroom of the Arab-American Cultural Center, where the two gubernatorial candidates addressed — at different times — an audience of more than 200 people. Mr. Shami said he was hoping to be introduced by Bill White.

Jamilah Shami, Farouk Shami’s niece, is the executive director of this non-profit, non-partisan organization. Its purpose is three-fold, said Ms. Shami: to get Arab Americans registered to vote, to get out the vote and to educate members of the Arab American community about becoming politically active.

Twenty-two nations are represented in Houston’s Arab American community, which includes 120,000 Houstonians Arabs: Jamilah Shami said.

Both gubernatorial candidates relied on versions of their standard stump speeches, although White was able to remind his audience that they had worked together during his years in the mayor’s office.

“We’ve been through a lot together,” he said.

He also reminded his audience that Shami was willing to debate during the Democratic primary, while Perry has refused.

“We need our state government to be run as an efficient organization using customer-service principles,” he said.

Perry spoke of the four principles of government that he said have guided his administration during his decade in the governor’s office: “Don’t spend all the money, have a tax and regulatory policy that are fair and predictable, have a legal system in place that does not allow for over-suing and appropriately fund accountable public schools.”

“Here in Texas,” Perry said, “you’re free to keep the money that other states would take as income tax. You’re free to worship as you choose. This state is plenty big to embrace many faiths.”

Mr. White is trying to unseat Mr. Perry, who seeks an unprecedented third term in the November election. For more information on Texas Vote, one can visit http://votexas.org/

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