Community News (V13-I51)

December 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Salman Khan, of Khan Academy, is commencement speaker at MIT

Laurels keep on coming the way of Khan Academy founder Salman Khan. He has now been selected as the commencement speaker at his alma mater MIT’s commencement ceremonies in June 2012. According to the student newspaper he will be the youngest commencement speaker in at least 30 years.

Salman Khan obtained two bachelors and a master’s degree from MIT before finishing his MBA from Harvard.

The hugely popular website now hosts over 2700 instructional videos in topics ranging from basic algebra to thermodynamics to art history, in addition to online exercises and drills.

Khan Academy, which offers its services for free, is supported by donations; among others, Google has promised to contribute $2 million, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed to $1.5 million.

Muslim run food pantry in Bronx to close

BRONX,NY–A food pantry run by Muslims in Bronx will close unless they receive a rush of donations. The Muslim Women’s Initiative for Research and Development has been feeding more than 10,000 people through its two pantries which have been serving as a lifeline to the needy and destitute. But the current economic downturn combined with an increase in requests are taking its toll on the initiative.

‘A 70% slump in donations and a more than 50% increase in demand for services this year has put the organization $48,000 in the hole,’ said its executive director Nurah Ama’tullah in an interview  to the Daily News.

“This is very important for me,” said Antonia Cruz, 52, an out-of-work mother of five. “The food is very good. I don’t have public assistance. I hope they don’t close.”

MWIRD can be contacted at 718-960-2262 / 1-917-529-5242 or via email  info@mwird.org

Irfan Khan joins Phoenixville School Board

PHOENIXVILLE,PA–Irfan Khan took his seat as the new member of the Phoenixville School Board on December 5. He was elected unopposed in October. His term lasts four years and he said he is looking forward for productive term.

Khan has extensive experience in the area of finance and would be able to provide a vast knowledge of management of funds and investments to the local school board, according to an endorsement he received from the Democratic Committee.

Khan has served as a volunteer with a number of charitable organizations in the greater Phoenixville area.

Tri-Faith Initiative of Omaha makes historic land purchase

OMAHA– Representatives of Temple Israel, the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture (AIISC) and the Tri-Faith Initiative of Omaha today announced each of the four entities has purchased land at 132nd and Pacific Streets in Omaha. The four parcels, totaling approximately 35 acres, will be the future site of the Tri-Faith neighborhood.

This unique project, the first of its kind in the world, deliberately co-locates a synagogue, church and mosque. The site plan also includes aTri-Faith Center with social, educational and conference facilities enabling global study and communication.

“Experience teaches us that interaction can transform intolerance, ignorance and fear into understanding, respect and trust,” said Bob Freeman, Tri-Faith Initiative Board Chairman. “These basic values are shared by the three Abrahamic faiths and are rooted in our Midwestern culture.”

The Tri-Faith Initiative and the three religious groups each raised funds and purchased their own parcel of land. Additional funds will be raised to underwrite design and construction costs. The first building is expected to be completed in 2013.

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Muslim Scientists and Thinkers–Obaid Siddiqui

September 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Syed Aslam

obaid_siddiqiObaid Siddiqui was born in Basti, Uttar Pradesh, India.  He completed his Master in Biology from Aligarh Muslim University in 1953.  After teaching at Aligarh for a while he came to England and finished his PhD. from the University of Glasgow in in the year 1961 where he worked in the Department of Genetics.

Obaid Siddiqui was offered a post-doctoral position at the MIT to work with , Dr. Alan Garen, a well known man in genetics. He came to MIT worked there for a while and then they moved to the University of Pennsylvania. Together they discovered the suppressors of “nonsense” mutations that led to the discovery of “nonsense” codons, the stop signals in the genetic code. In early seventies he moved to California to  work with Dr. Seymour Benzer of the California Institute of Technology. Their work led to  identification of several genes that control nerve conduction and synaptic transmission. Obaid and his associates’ pioneering work on neurogenetics of fruit fly, Drosophila, has opened up the prospects of an integrated genetic and neurobiological investigation of chemosensory perception.

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, invited him to start a molecular biology group at the institute . Obaid recruited top-class scientists and put the Institutes’s molecular biology group on world map of genetics. Later, with the support of government of India, he founded  National Center for Biological Sciences at Bangalore. The  aim  of this Center is basic research in the frontier areas of biology and currently it has many distinguished scientists working in various fields  with state-of-the-art facilities.

Prof. Siddiqi’s contributions have been widely recognized. He has been elected to several academies including all the National Academies in India, the Royal Society, London, the US National Academy of Sciences and the Third World Academy, Trieste. He is a former President of the Indian Academy of Sciences. Prof. Siddiqi has held visiting professorships at Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Caltech and Cambridge University. He was twice Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at Caltech and is a life member of the Clare Hall, Cambridge. The Aligarh Muslim University, the Banaras Hindu University, Jamia Hamdard, Kalyani University and IIT Kanpur have conferred upon him honorary degrees of D.Sc. He has received many prizes and awards, including the civil honors Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.

Aslamsyed1@yahoo.com

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Community News (V13-I19)

May 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

MDC Humanitarian Award for Salman Khan

NEW YORK,NY–MDC Partners, a business transformation organization, announced the creation of the MDC Humanitarian Award to recognize individuals and organizations whose disruptive thinking and innovation have led to lasting and sustainable impact. The inaugural award was presented at the 2011 WIRED Conference in New York on May 3. The focus of this year’s conference is “Disruptive by Design,” and it brought together leaders in business and technology to discuss how using disruption and innovation will pave the way to growth.

The first award was presented to Salman Khan in recognition of his creation of the Khan Academy and his innovative approach to education. The Khan Academy was the result of Salman’s desire to help tutor his cousin in New Orleans while he was living in Boston in 2004. Over time his lesson plans evolved into videos, which he began posting to YouTube for her to complete at her own pace, and they quickly built a strong following of viewers.

“We have created the MDC Humanitarian Award because we feel it is important to recognize that true talent innovates and creates not merely for profit and prestige, but to create a legacy of transforming the lives of those in need,” said Miles Nadal, CEO of MDC Partners. “We are proud to honor Salman Khan because he reinvented broken systems to deliver educational tools across the world. Perhaps most significantly, these tools are encouraging under-served individuals to fuel their love of learning and help themselves.”
Although Khan is the only teacher at the Khan Academy, he has posted over 2100 videos and 100 self-paced exercises that have received more the 24 million views. His lessons continue to expand, covering everything from physics to finance and history. Khan’s goal is to bring a world-class education to anyone in the world completely free, and he is currently being aided by Google to help translate his lessons into all the most commonly spoken languages.

Overall, MDC Partners has pledged $100,000 to the recipients of the MDC Humanitarian Award during the first 5 years of its existence. To honor Khan’s work, MDC will contribute $20,000 to the Khan Academy.

“I am extremely honored to be the first recipient of this award, and am excited that a company like MDC is recognizing innovation beyond the business world,” said Mr. Khan. “The Khan Academy has been very successful thus far, and with the support of companies like MDC its influence and reach will only continue to grow.”

Mohammed Alamani wins award

WILKES-BARRE,PA–Every spring, the Center for Global Education and Diversity hosts a ceremony honoring members of the Wilkes community who are being recognized for fostering multicultural awareness at Pennsylvania’s Wilkes University. This year Mohammed Alamani has been named as the recipient of  Wilkes Helping Hands Student Award. The award is given to a student who has contributed the most to improve the diversity climate at Wilkes.

Woodland mosque raises money for Japan victims

WOODLAND,CA–Imam of the Woodland Mosque, Qari Aamir Hussain, recently lead a fundraising campaign for victims of Tsunami disaster in Japan, the Daily Democrat reported.

Imam Hussain appealed the Muslim Community of Woodland for funds and said that Prophet of Islam Muhammad (s) “has taught them to be kind to each other, to respect elders, and care for our children, and he also taught us that it was better to give than to receive and that each human life is worthy of respect and dignity.”

In this campaign to raise funds appeals were made for three Friday’s during the weekly prayer services and community raised $850 for the victims of Japan tsunami.

Director of the mosque, Khalid Saeed, invited representatives of Woodland Red Cross to Woodland mosque receive a check for the funds. At the Friday, April 22, prayer services two representatives of the Red Cross, Katrina Kilgore and Maria Elena, visited the mosque, where Saeed and Imam Hussain presented them a check and thanked them for their visit to the mosque.

Kilgore thanked the Muslim Community of Woodland for their generosity in raising these funds for the sake of humanity and accepted the check in the main prayer hall in front of the weekly congregation.

Tasmiha Khan speaks at Yale’s United for Sight Conference

NEW HAVEN,CT–Tasmiha Khan, a Wesleyan University student and founder of Brighter Dawns, spoke at United for Sight Global Health and Innovation 2011 Conference April 16-17 at Yale University. She spoke on “Water and Clinic Social Enterprise Pitches – Ideas in Development.”

Tasmiha Khan, a native of Chicago, founded Brighter Dawns in the fall of 2010. In the Summer of 2010, she worked with World Peace & Cultural Foundation (WPCF) in Bangladesh to offer free diabetic screenings, and seminars on hygiene and food preparation. Touched by the people she worked with, she felt the need to address many of the issues she encountered there and brought her mission back to Wesleyan University, where she is a student.

Now Tasmiha, with many of her fellow students, is working to establish Brighter Dawns as a non-profit, collaborating with WPCF to improve living conditions in the slum in Khalishpur, Khulna, Bangladesh.

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