Community News (V13-I38)

September 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Mohammad Shahid recognized by UCF police

M-ShahidORLANDO,FL– University of Central Florida freshman biomedical sciences major Mohammad Shahid was recognized by the UCF Police Department , Sept. 9, for an act that helped them arrest  a man suspected of vandalizing campus vending machines

Shahid called the police after seeing the suspect on campus; he recognized him  from a picture he saw in a Tower I elevator.

“He looked a lot older than most of the people here,” Shahid said. “I wasn’t sure if it was even the guy.”

Despite his doubts, Shahid used his friend’s cell phone to call the police.

He was awarded a  Certificate of Appreciation and the UCF Police Department’s Challenge Coin, sponsored by the Student Government Association.

Asif Khan lead research could pave way for ultra-low power computing

BERKELEY,CA–Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have shown that it is possible to reduce the minimum voltage necessary to store charge in a capacitor, an achievement that could reduce the power draw and heat generation of today’s electronics.

“Just like a Formula One car, the faster you run your computer, the hotter it gets. So the key to having a fast microprocessor is to make its building block, the transistor, more energy efficient,” said Asif Khan, UC Berkeley graduate student in electrical engineering and computer sciences. “Unfortunately, a transistor’s power supply voltage, analogous to a car’s fuel, has been stuck at 1 volt for about 10 years due to the fundamental physics of its operation. Transistors have not become as ‘fuel-efficient’ as they need to be to keep up with the market’s thirst for more computing speed, resulting in a cumulative and unsustainable increase in the power draw of microprocessors. We think we can change that.”

Khan, working in the lab of Sayeef Salahuddin, UC Berkeley assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, has been leading a project since 2008 to improve the efficiency of transistors.

Islamic school of Seattle hires new director

SEATTLE, WA–The Islamic School of Seattle has just hired a new School Director. Louis Tornillo brings to the school over 25 years of experience as a classroom teacher, curriculum developer and instructional leader in California public schools. He is committed to continuing the school’s unique program, and to guiding its outstanding staff in fine-tuning the school’s vision and outreach to the wider Seattle community. For over 30 years, ISS has provided a dual-language, child-centered education which develops community leaders proud of their Muslim identity but also ready to become global citizens of a wider world beyond the school community.

It is the only school in Seattle, and one of only a handful of schools in the country, which merges a child-centered teaching philosophy with an Islamic perspective, combining these two ideas into a program which results in powerful learning experiences for its lucky students.

“The quality of the education ISS offers is comparable to the best secular private schools in this area. Like them, its program follows best practices in English literacy and most effective teaching strategies. ISS also believes that infusing Islamic values, history and spirituality gives its students a strong ethical foundation that will prepare them for the pressures of the modern world,” Louis Tornillo said. The kind of teaching and learning which takes place here has a Montessori foundation, giving children opportunities to be creative, to express their uniqueness in project-based learning which is also rigorous and aligned with State standards.

The Montessori philosophy is based on profound respect for the child. Gentle guidance within a thoughtfully prepared environment allows children to grow and thrive naturally, by empowering them as learners making choices based on their needs and interests. Maria Montessori’s research into how children learn, her emphasis on multi-age grouping, and her commitment to teaching for peace, are now accepted by many of today’s influential educators. She was truly ahead of her time.

Finally, ISS educates the whole child, in a nurturing but challenging atmosphere focused on each child’s uniqueness as a learner. It is the synthesis of child-centered education with an Islamic point of view that makes ISS completely unique on the West Coast.

Health clinic holds golf tournament

WICHITA, KA–Mayflower Clinic, a free health care clinic for the working uninsured and people who have been laid off, held its first golf tournament this week.

The tournament is sponsored by Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open.

The clinic was started in December by Wichita attorney Abdul Arif, who is originally from India, and a group of his friends, all immigrants from various countries.

The clinic, named Mayflower Clinic after the ship that brought immigrants to America, is at 3305 E. Douglas. It offers a full range of medical care — everything but hospitalization. It is designed to help people who are between jobs or temporarily lacking health insurance, not those who are chronically unemployed or homeless.


Ahmed H Zewail

August 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Syed Aslam

File-ZowelDr. Ahmed Zewail was born  in Egypt in 1946. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Alexandria University. He earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974.  Joined the  California Institute of Technology in 1976 after two years as an IBM Fellow at UC Berkeley. In 1999 he was the Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry for his studies of the transition states of chemical reactions. Dr. Zewail received E.O. Lawrence Award, administrated by the Department of Energy. Other awards include the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, A. Welch Award in chemistry and the Priestley Medal from the American Chemical Society. In 1999, he received Egypt’s highest state honor, the Grand Collar of the Nile.

Zewail’s technique uses what may be described as the world’s fastest camera. The method uses ultrafast laser flashes of such short duration that we are down to the time scale on which the reactions   happen -that is femtosecond or  one millionth of one billionth of a second. This area of physical chemistry has been named femtochemistry a brand new branch of Chemistry. This new techniques for observing chemical reaction has open the door for amazing useful discoveries.

Femtochemistry enables us to understand why certain chemical reactions take place but not others. We can also explain why the speed and yield of reactions depend on temperature. Scientists all over the  world  are studying processes with femtosecond spectroscopy in gases, in fluids and in solids. Applications range from how catalysts function and how molecular electronic components must be designed, to the most delicate mechanisms in life processes and how the medicines of the future should be produced.

Dr. Zewail is also paying  attention to his home land, Egypt. He established two prizes in his name, one at the high school in Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt where he went to school and the other at the American University in Egypt (AUC).The  Ahmed Zewail prize, awarded for the first time in 2005 at AUC’s commencement. He thinks that the prise will provide an incentive for students to pursue excellence in science.  He is currently writing article for Nature magazine called “Science for the have nots,” in which he tries to explain why building a solid scientific base is so important for developing nations.


KinderUSA Event for Gaza

September 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

By Susan Schwartz, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)

The deteriorating situation in Gaza is of primary concern to humanitarians throughout the world. Unfortunately the Israeli dominated media have done little to present to the public the true picture of present life in Gaza, often and correctly labeled “the world’s largest outdoor prison.”

A number of charitable organizations have been on the ground in Gaza doing humanitarian work, though such work constitutes only a fraction of what is needed. None of the much vaunted aid pledged to Gaza has been received. KinderUSA (Kids in Need of Development, Education, and Relief) is one such organization.

KinderUSA held a successful Ramadan Iftar and fund raiser at Omar Ibn Al Khattab Mosque in Los Angeles this past weekend.

Titled: “Working Together, Rebuilding Lives”, the event filled the mosque’s Abu Dawood Hall as attendees listened to KinderUSA Chair, Dr. Laila Al-Marayati, and keynote speaker Dr. Hatem Bazian of UC Berkeley describe the dire situation in Gaza. The scope of the presentations focused on  Gaza’s continuing deterioration begun by Israel’s deliberate isolation of Gaza following the successful election of Hamas and exacerbated by Operation Cast Lead. The latter was a month long siege which began in late December of last year.

Dr. Al-Marayati, speaking in front of a video screen, gave some background on KinderUSA and its accomplishments since its founding in 2002. She emphasized the low overhead – 20% – of most projects. With respect to Ramadan projects, 100% of monies collected is used for charitable work. Contributions to KinderUSA qualify as Zakat.

KinderUSA is unique in that instead of goods and services, vouchers are given. These vouchers give greater choice to the recipients, and they can tailor the purchases to their particular needs. Since purchases are made from local merchants, this system also strengthens local communities.

KinderUSA also supports projects for women who are heads of households. Women who are pregnant are provided with special meals, and baked goods are delivered to impoverished families. More than 80% of Gazans are dependent on outside aid.

During Operation Cast Lead, Israel attacked mosques, residential areas, and schools. The infrastructure was destroyed, and Gaza residents were left to live in tents.

Dr. Al-Marayati introduced Dr. Hatem Bazian. Dr. Bazian is the founder of the Berkeley Center for the Study and Documentation of Islamophobia and a Senior lecturer for Near Eastern and Asian American Studies.

Dr. Bazian expressed his admiration for KinderUSA and told of his support for the organization since its founding. He spoke of the Palestinian Diaspora and mentioned in particular the number of Palestinians in South America. He remarked ironically that “Palestinians have been forced to conduct most of their politicking outside of Palestine.”

Dr. Bazian referenced former President and peace activist Jimmy Carter. Mr. Carter has said that there is no question that Israel is responsible for the bloodshed in Gaza.

The audience gasped as Dr. Bazian told of the destruction of Gaza’s electrical plant six months before Operation Cast Lead, which destruction has made Gaza totally dependent of Israel for electricity.

“I didn’t know that.” said one young woman to her table mate. “You don’t read that in the newspaper or see it on TV” replied the other woman.

There has been a lack of courage to take Israel to task, Dr. Bazian continued. The Palestinians do not have control in Gaza, the Israelis do. The speaker referenced Israel’s dismay over Hamas’  electoral victory – their justification for continuing control. He brought laughter from his audience when he postulated an analogous situation vis a vis other nations who may have disapproved of former President George Bush’s victory at the polls. But Israel, of course, plays by its own rules.

Israel, the speaker asserted, wants to starve Gaza into submission. Israel has violated numerous codes of International law. Yet they are not called to answer for these violations. He urged people to speak up. Silence will only help Israel retain the status quo.

Successful fundraising took place. The attendees enjoyed an excellent Middle Eastern meal and were actively engaged in discussion at the end of the event.

KinderUSA is a 501 (c) (3) organization. To learn more of KinderUSA’s work, please access them at: