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                Alumni of Aligarh Muslim University (India)
                                         Saudi Arabia
Essay Competition on Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was organized at IIS Dammam
Reported by Kaleem Ahmed

The essay competition on "Sir Syed Ahmed Khan - a social reformer and eductionist" has been organized at International Indian School Dammam. According to Dr. Jamil Qureshi, organizer of this event, over 140 students  (girls & boys) have participated in this competition. Total four prizes have been given. Two prizes to girls and two prizes to boys have been given from AMU Alumni. A group photo graph of winners was taken with the school principal and teachers.

Sir Syed Day in Dammam was celebrated on 26 October at Dammam Sheraton Hotel

This year Sir Syed Day 2000 – Eastern Province , K.S.A was celebrated at Dammam Sheraton Hotel on 26th October 2000. The function was celebrated in all its traditional zeal and glory.

Dr. Qassim Khan (MRCP, UK), Consulting Physician and a Senior Alig was the Chief Guest of this great event. Dr. Pervaiz Ahmad, Assistant Professor at King Saud University Riyadh was the Guest of Honor. The function was presided over by Dr. Jamil Qureshi of KFUPM, Dhahran.

Mr. Kaleem Ahmad opened the floor.

Mr. Syed Azim Warsi had compered the program in a very traditional manner with lot of couplets from renowned Urdu poets keeping the distinct individuality of AMU.

The program was started by the recitation of Holy Quran by Mr. Zafar Altaf Mir.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Pervaiz Ahmad stressed the need of IT education among Muslims. 

Dr. Misbah from Riyadh introduce the Mohibbane Syed Society and invited Dr. Pervaize Ahmed, the guest of honor to give the ‘Nishan-e-Syed’ prize to Master Faiz Abdullah of International Indian School - Dammam for his outstanding performance in Higher Secondary School Examination.

Mr. Adeel Ahmed presented a Nazm ( Syed ki lauhe Turbat ) of ‘Allama Iqbal’ which reflect the complete personality and the thoughts of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan .

Dr. Jamil Qureshi outlined the details of the essay writing competition, which was held under his supervision at International Indian School, Dammam. He thanked Mr. Anwar, Principal of School and his team who made this event a success. The winners, two each from boys and girls section, will be awarded at school function. He emphasized the need of educating our young generation about Sir Syed, his mission and his contribution in building modern India.

Dr. Shakeel Ahmad, another Guest speaker vividly described the contribution of Sir Syed as an educationist and a social reformer.

Mr.Hashim Abedi & Sabir Imam presented Naghma-e-Aliagrh and captivated the audience with their mesmerizing performance.

Dr. Qaseem Khan, Chief Guest of the function appealed the audience to spread the message of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan with much more devotion and determination. He thanked the organizers of this great event and said that he had attended many SS Days in Europe & Australia but this one turned out to be the best.

Mr. Muzaffar Mohiuddin, a senior Alig. presented the vote of thanks.

At last Tarana brought the nostalgia and swayed the emotions throughout the auditorium. Tarana team included

  • Sabir Imam
  • Mansoor Raza Khan
  • Hashim Abedi
  • Khalid Zia
  • Asif Imam

Mr. Syed Azim Warsi had invited the attendees for the long awaiting item…Dinner. The participants praised & congratulated the organizing committee for their fruitful effort and paid special thanks to Mr. Sharique J. Shamsi & Mr. Naiyer Aslam Siddiqui for their excellent hotel arrangements including the special designing of Ice logo of Aligarh Muslim University.

Correspondents of leading Newspapers were present in the function and had a wide coverage of the program, which will be published shortly. The radio program from Riyadh ‘Asia this week’ will also broadcast this event on Tuesday, 31 October 2000 at 8:00 p.m.

Sir Syed Day in Riyadh was celebrated on 16 November at Minhal Hotel

Reported By Mohammad Nizam Khan

Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association, Riyadh Chapter, celebrated Sir Syed Day 2000 at Minhal Hotel, Riyadh on 16th November to commemorate the 183rd birthday of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder of famous and historical Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. The day falls on 17th October every year, but it was celebrated a little late in Riyadh due to some unavoidable circumstances.

Attended by over 500 very enthusiastic Aligarians from Riyadh, including a few from Dammam and Jeddah, the function was presided over by a senior Aligarian and national award winner physicist Dr. Mahesh Gupta, who is director of National Physical laboratories New Delhi currently on deputation with Saudi Arabian Standard Organisation (SASO), Riyadh. Mr. Salman Khurshid, former foreign minister of India and an Oxford educated eminent Supreme Court lawyer and grandson of former AMU Vice-Chancellor and President of India, Late Zakir Hussain, was the chief guest on this special occasion. Mr. Khurshid is undoubtedly considered one of the top highly educated, intelligent and honest young politicians. He came to Riyadh the same day just to attend this function sparing some time from his very busy schedule, and left for Delhi next morning.

Compered by a senior Aligarian, Engr. Suhail Ahmed, the function traditionally began with the recitation of Holy Quran. Mr. Abdul Azeem Khan, the President of AMU Old Boys’ Association, Riyadh gave his opening presidential address briefly highlighting the mission of Sir Syed in context with the scientific education of Muslims of Indian sub-continent and the importance of his personality to Aligarians. He briefly mentioned the names of the Aligarian who studied at AMU and excelled in their respective professions on the national and international level.

A well-known and dedicated senior Aligarian, Mr. Ahtashamuddin, presented a charter of demands on behalf of the general body of Aligarians and requested the chief guest to raise them on the national scene through the Congress plate form. He drew the attention of Mr. Salman Khurshid towards the recent happenings at Aligarh. Deploring the ugly designs of certain section of the society in maligning the university as a breeding ground of anti-social elements and brandishing it as a hub of ISI activities; and considering rampant corruption and communalism among the rank and file of police and the Government, Mr. Ahtasham described the case of Mr. Mobin, a former student of AMU and currently in jail, a prefabricated and concocted story. He demanded a judicial inquiry by impartial and known secular personalities into all the allegations related to Mr. Mobin.

Considering the disproportionate job representation of Muslims in Public and Private sector, which is less than 2%, compared to their population which is 16%, a commission should be established to investigate the reasons for this disparity and propose the solution to the problem. In the meantime, a minimum 10 % job reservation should be given to Muslims.

Muslims are economically and industrially weak as well, which is evident from a cursory look at the finance pages of leading newspapers like Times of India, Hindustan Times, and Hindu etc. You will hardly find any company belonging to a Muslim listed on these pages. Mr. Ahtasham demanded to start certain special schemes with liberal financial terms so that the Muslims could establish small businesses and commission industries.

Mr. Ehtasham pointed that all the previous Indian governments have clearly sided with the Palestine in their struggle to free their forcibly occupied land from the clutches of barbarous and mighty Israel. But the current government seems tilting towards the fascist regime of Israel. Acknowledging that though Mrs. Sonia Gandhi has criticized the current government in very strong words recently, but the AMU Alumni in Riyadh do not think it enough. Therefore they demanded to put more pressure on the government till it changes its stand and returns to its historical relationship with the Arab world.

The Principal of IISR, Mr. Manzar Jamal Siddiqui, a very senior Aligarian with over 30 years’ of association with AMU as a student and a teacher was amazed on the move of a certain section of the society to malign the AMU as a communal institution and its founder a communal personality. He proved it wrong citing various historical facts from the life of Sir Syed. He stressed that Sir Syed was a great social reformer with clear secular credentials, and a firm believer in national integration. He worked mainly with Muslims because he found them more backward educationally and economically, than the other communities. The University he dreamt of was established based on the same philosophy and still following his foot steps by giving admissions to Hindus and Muslims alike and recruiting the able teachers from both the communities without any prejudice.

Mr. Mohammad Mukarram Khan, former AMU lecturer and presently working with University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran thrilled the audience with a unique style of his speech starting in chaste Hindi and ending up in literary Urdu with Sanskrit and Persian couplets embedded in between. Mr. Salaman Khursheed was surprised by Mukarram Saheb command on different languages and said that a product of Aligarh can only excel like that.

Mr. Salman Khurshid, in his key note address , speaking in fluent Urdu, thanked the Aligarians to give him an opportunity to be with them and share views on the present status of AMU affairs and upliftment of Indian Muslims in general. He admitted that the Congress party had committed some mistakes in the past with regard to Muslims, but with the new, young and more secular leadership in place, the congress is trying its best to rectify those mistakes and reassure the minorities, particularly Muslims that the congress is still the party sincerely championing their cause. He professed that he inherited love for Aligarh from his grandfather, Late Zakir Hussain. Boasting to be born in AMU VC’s lodge at Aligarh, he finds natural to be associated with the University. It is this association that took him personally to Aligarh to find facts in the recent happenings at AMU Campus. The congress has already taken a very clear and tough stand in this case on my persuasion and will do its best to restore the correct image of AMU and justice to those affected by the recent happenings. We have already demanded a judicial inquiry in this case. The results of our efforts may already be seen as the hue and cry of the biased section involved in this episode has already died down, he added.

Replying the demand for job reservation he pointed out that reservation in the government jobs is not much relevant as only less than 6000 jobs become available every year. The number will dwindle further with the increasing privatization of public sector. He advised to concentrate more on the private sector where most jobs will be available in future. But to help Muslims, the Congress, at the moment, is discussing at a very high level to deal with this problem by proposing a rebate in income and sales tax to those private sector companies, which would employ a certain percentage of Muslims. He showed the readiness of the Congress to consider some sort of reservation to the Muslims of India on Karnataka and Kerala model and invited all Aligarians to give him a feedback to draft a viable proposal. He also advised to develop Muslim based industries further such as lock industry in Aligarh, brass in Moradabad, textile in Surat and Bhivandi etc. to create more jobs for Muslims.

Mr. Salman was so much moved by the sincerity of Aligarians that he proposed to bring Mrs. Sonia Gandhi to Saudi Arabia within few months to discuss the genuine problems of Muslims at length and promised his personal help to incorporate them into their manifesto. He invited all Aligrarians and other educated Muslims living in Saudi Arabia to take part in this process. He also revealed that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi has called the meeting of all her Chief Ministers to review if they have fulfilled the promises given to the minorities in the manifestoes in their respective states. He termed it as a first move by any President of a national party in this regard.

Mr. Mohamad Zaigham Khan, Secretary of AMU Old Boys’ Association – Riyadh thanked the Chief guest for accepting his invitation. Mr. Zaigham said we share special relatioship with Mr.Salman Khursheed as he is grandson of that Vice Chancellor who came to the rescue of AMU soon after the Independence when AMU was being punished for its role and action during the independence movement by communal element in the congress party. Zaigham said relationship could grew further if he takes up the demands of the Old Boys’ for the minorities with his party. Zaigham said that the Muslims do not have a good experience with congress party, as they have been let down by the congress party time and again in the past. We don’t need assurances and promises any more but real action from his party. If your party show some sort of action then we will support you otherwise congress will continue to sit on the opposition benches in the parliament. Zaigham said that it is very difficult to believe the congress because of their past bitter experience. Zaigham summed up his feelings with the couplet.

Jo Tumhari Tarah Tumhise Koyi Jhoote Vaade Karta

Tumhi Munsifi se Kahdo Tumhe Aitabar Hota

He also thanked all Guests, Aligarh Community, the office bearers and members of the Association and other Senior Aligs who took keen interest to make this event a great success.

The Function traditionally closed with the singing of University tarana followed by delicious DINNER including Shahi Tukra. After the dinner Mr. Salman Khursheed interacted personally with all Aligs and listened to their suggestions and answered their queries

Jashn-e-Eid 2000 in Riyadh, Organized by AMUOBA

Reported By Dr. Mohammad Ahmad Badshah

After a busy Ramadan schedule it was a time for meeting & exchanging greetings. The Indian community too was looking for an occasion to celebrate the Eid & a chance was provided by the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), which organised the Jashne-e-Eid 2000" program on the outskirts of Riyadh in a beautiful Istaraha (Guest House). More than 300 people along with same number of children participated in Jashn-e-Eid 2000 celebration on 29th December,2000. It was a real feast for the kids as they enjoyed the celebration most to the last moment. There was an entertainment program, games & quiz contest for the children. The winners were awarded the prizes. The ladies too, in the separate enclosure enjoyed and have had opportunity to meet with friends & relatives. The older boys got an opportunity to play the cricket match & played few innings of the matches till they got exhausted. On the sideline, the men got assembled in a hall to sit & chat. However, Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Badshah asked the gathering to start some constructive discussion & proposed a subject " Indian Muslims & Media". Zaigham Khan initiated the discussion with his views on the media in India, its role & the way forward. Nizamuddin presented his analysis on the global media & its approach towards Muslims & Islam encapsulating his views on Electronic media in Indian context, stressing a need for the Muslims to have their own TV channel. A further strength & heat was added to the discussion
with an inspiring presentation by Dr. Iqbal Siddiqui who, stressed upon character building & strengthening Islamic values by every Muslim before taking an hi tech approach to counter the forces, hostile to Muslims & Islam. Dr. Iqbal said that Muslims should be role models for others due to their strong character and faith. This added a colour to the discussion & it was heartening to see the team of Sir Syed participating in the debate with its might. The non-Aligs who were also present in a good number were too pleased to witness this interaction and a sort of debate. After the Maghrib prayer the discussion continued and Nizamuddin went on to provide further information on a forthcoming new TV channels (Namely Al-Falak and Al Hind) in Urdu run by prominent Muslims in India and gave the
details about their launch & requested the audience to invest in this venture.
It was really a rare occasion where a constructive discussion with an objectivity was conducted apart from the usual te te & the AMUOBA should be commended for providing the platform for such interaction. It is also to their credit that they opened the AMUOBA platform for the non-Aligs to participate & interact which, will prove much fruitful for the future. This kind of interaction is very much needed to expand the spirit of brotherhood among the Muslims and spread the message of Sir Syed everywhere to everybody which is need of the hour.

The credit goes to the organisers as a whole but it would be prudent to mention few names who really took pains to make this event a grand success. Azeem Khan the President & Zaigham Khan, the Secretary of AMUOBA were leading the front whereas Dr Javed Shamsi, Eng. Syed Suhail & Eng. Suhail Ahmad took charge of the meals and other arrangements. Dr Mohammed Ahmed Badshah was nicely organising the programmes for the Children and even presented few skits to entertain the audience and took Aligarians back to memory lane of AMU. One of the senior member Ehteshamuddin conducted the group discussion diligently with an ease and provided valuable thoughts on the subject at the discussion.
Wasi Hyder Rizvi, the Indian International School Management Committee Chairman, Dr. Zubair Ahmed, Arif Shah, Israr Ali Khan Vice President of AMUOBA, Dr. Mohamad Iqbal Siddiqui and others too contributed a lot to make the event a success and memorable.

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