Reforming Pakistan’s Government School System

May 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

“While being involved in relief work for the 2010 floods victims in Pakistan, I was standing with a Brigadier of Pakistan Army at a higher altitude; and saw seas of volunteers in front of us, working hard to serve the humanity. After few weeks, not many of these volunteers were left serving, and it was Pakistan Army & governmental machinery that were providing all the assistance. This shows that without a proper and strong system at governmental level, long-term change in the society, communities, and Pakistan is not possible.”

These were the approximate sentiments expressed by famous performer of Pakistan Shehzad Roy, as he and his wife Salma introduced the new initiatives of Zindagi Education Trust to a large gathering of Houstonian Pakistanis, & their American friends of the grass-roots level Pakistanis. Aron Kader from Los Angeles California was a hit at this program with his hilarious comedy, while legendary Bushra Ansari presented some nice cultural songs of Pakistan in various languages. Shehzad Roy also most passionately presented his most famous songs, included those about social issues and history of Pakistan.

This awareness & charity gala was organized by Dr. Asaf Qadeer, Faiyaz Merchant, Colonel (Retd) Hamed, Asad Jawad, Fariha Jawad, & their team of young volunteers at the nice Sugar Land ballroom in Stafford Texas. Tauheed Ashraf, Sadia Ashraf, and Khalid Qureishi from national Zindagi Trust came from Chicago.

Honorable Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee especially attended the event, and gave Congressional Recognition to Shehzad Roy for his outstanding service to Pakistan in the field of education. Honorable Congresswoman said that things may look tough for Pakistan at present; future is extremely bright due to the work done by person like Shehzad Roy and his wife. She said she will continue to be the voice in the Congress to support the educational, health, energy, and environment related programs in Pakistan.

Shehzad wife Salma made a nice power-point presentation, showing how they have revamped the overall curriculum of their adopted government schools, like the SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School in Pakistan. The new curriculum is more interactive, engaging, and interesting for children to learn the basics of mathematics, sciences, languages, and so on. Students from this school came live into the fundraising.

Once the basics are strong, there is much hope that students excel throughout their academic life and beyond. This curriculum place the students at par with any private school, and eventually if this is replicated through a long-term process throughout Pakistan by adopting one school at a time, the whole living standards, ways to live life, consciousness, and environment will positively change; and those involved in this noble endeavor are Shehzad Roy, his wife Salma, and their colleagues plus all the hundreds & thousands of patrons throughout the world, including USA.

Shehzad Roy, in his  made a nice power-point presentation, showing how the Zindagi Trust other than their 9 years continuing “I-am-paid-to-learn” program, has taken over in 2006 the management of a public school called SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School. The objective was to turn it into a centre of excellence with the hope that government would replicate the model all over Pakistan. For the first time in Pakistan, Zindagi Trust replaced decades-old government textbooks with imaginative and thought- provoking textbooks. They have introduced innovative learning modules like sports, rowing, photography as well as an outstanding audio-visual room, art room, computer lab and other facilities that help children discover their individual talent. With such innovative intervention, idea is that there are Ibnae Sinas, Sadeqains, Einsteins, and Newtons in the slums and streets, who once given equal opportunities in neat and clean environment, with fully equipped infrastructure (including well designed classrooms, net-&clean restrooms, labs, and libraries), will excel, and bring their lives, and the state of country out of the gloom.

For more information on Zindagi Trust, one can visit www.zindagitrust.org or call Tauheed Ashraf at 1-630-926-1564.

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Houstonian Corner V12-I3

January 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Bereavement for the Khan Family

We announce with immense pain and sorrow that Yasmeen Khan (Parro), wife of President of the American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI) Shaukat Khan and sister of former City of Houston Councilperson Masrur Javed Khan, passed away after bravely battling with cancer for almost two years. Her funeral prayers were held at Hamza Masjid.

A special program of prayers was held for her on Saturday, January 16th, 2010 at 12:30pm. at the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) Main Center located at 3110 East Side Street, Houston, Texas 77098. For more information, one can call 832-867-2522 / 713-398-4829.

Staff members and their families of our media institute would like to extend our heartiest condolences’ to the whole Khan Family, pray for the departed soul to enter into the highest paradise and that God gives strength to the whole family to bear this immense loss (Aameen).

Public Service Does Not Need Any Portfolio: M. J. Khan

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Friends of Former City of Houston District “F” Councilperson M. J. Khan arranged a dinner to recognize and appreciate the services rendered by termed-out Councilman. Special congressional recognition was given by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee on this occasion. Also present and who gave tremendous tributes to M. J. included Congressman AL Green, Former Mayor of Houston Bill White, City of Houston Councilperson District “A” Brenda Stardig; Harris County Judge Candidate Gordon Quan, Azam Akhtar; Ghulam Chisti; Ghulam Bombaywala, Ali Riza Candir (Turkish Community); Dr. Asaf Qadeer; Shamshad Wali; Haroon Shaikh; Dr. Yaqoob Sheikh; Attorney Nomi Hussain; Ahmad El-Yaseen; Mohammad Zaheer; Attorney Neiyyar Izfar; and others. Everyone said that people will soon see M. J. Khan at a high public service post.

M. J. Khan with heavy heart informed everybody that doctors have given up hope for his sister to recover from cancer, which she had been daringly fighting for 2 years and then proudly informed that God has given him a grandson Yousuf only two weeks ago. He said these are real life struggles and then joyous stories: Winning or losing elections have no meaning in front of the real life.

He said he never ever imagined that a stadium full of people like 70,000 would ever vote for him in his life. Masrur Khan informed about a saying of Gordon Quan: “A stadium full of people voted for me. But just as information, my opponent also got a stadium full of voters balloting in his favor.”

He said although he did not win City Controller Elections, it does not mean he has lost or he will sit on the sidelines. “One does not need a portfolio to serve fellow human being,” added M.J.

Talking generally to the Muslim Community, M. J. Khan said history is a proof that wherever Muslims went, they left beautiful legacy of human service and that is what the community needs to do in USA: We need to serve everyone without any discrimination.

M.J. mentioned about one internal challenge the Muslim Community is facing and that is the Youth in the community need good guidance and should not fall to misinformation of the extremists, who have capability of sending their message inside USA using various new technology and media. “Muslim Youth need to follow the middle path specified by God and His Messenger Mohammad and avoid any extremist inclinations. Allah SWT in Quran clearly has stipulated that if someone saves a life, it is as if he or she has saved the whole humanity; while if someone kills one innocent person, it is as if he or she has killed the whole humanity.”

At the same time, M. J. Khan mentioned that one of the biggest external challenges the Muslim Community has to face is the false propaganda of few that wrongly attribute violence with Islam. “If Muslim Community is openly involved in what Islam has asked us to do and that is we have to be at the forefront of the public service, we can take care of this tirade of propaganda. We may be students in schools & colleges; entrepreneurs; professionals; politicians; and so on: Our main task in life is to serve the humanity,” said M. J. Khan.

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