About Us Contact Us Help




AAANE Hosts The Annual Sir Syed Mushaira

Press Release

On the occasion of the 192nd birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, The Aligarh Alumni Association of New England (AAANE) organized an International Mushaira on 24th October 2009 at the Brown Middle School, Newton, MA.  

The program this year was one of the best ever witnessed in the New England area with an estimated 175 guests. Ms. Homaira Naseem, the dynamic president of AAANE, (who also is active on the national level as the Treasurer-Elect of the Federation of Aligarh Alumni Associations), has done a commendable job of reaching out to other area associations like the Indian Association of Greater Boston (IAGB), The Pakistani Association of Greater Boston (PAGB) The Indian Medical Association of New England (IMANE), the Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England (APPNE) and India Society of Worcester (ISW).  The media partners Lokvani and New England India news did a great job of publicizing the event.

The Aligarh Alumni Association of New England, AAANE is a non-profit, charitable, secular, non-political and non-sectarian organization. Its membership apart from its alumni and their friends is open to all who believe in its mission. AAANE provides an ideal forum for people to build bridges and network and enjoy literary and cultural activities.

The Aligarh Muslim University was conceptualized as Mohammedan Anglo Indian College in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898), a great Indian visionary and educationist. It achieved university status in 1920.The Aligarh Alumni Associations formed by AMU alumni all over the world celebrate Sir Syed Day with great enthusiasm.   In USA, this annual tradition has been kept alive since the 1970’s, when the New York chapter initiated the first Aligarh Mushaira. Then, a handful of students got together and invited a few select poets from within America and overseas, especially India, and arranged the “Nashisht” or “gathering” at a much smaller scale.

The Aligarh Mushaira tradition has come a long long way since then. There are nearly 19 Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Associations spread over the major metropolis areas in North America that arrange Mushairas, namely, Atlanta (Georgia), Boston, (Massachusetts), Birmingham (Alabama), Chicago (Illinois), Cleveland (Ohio), Detroit (Michigan), Nashville (Tennessee), New York (New York), Orlando (Florida), Phoenix (Arizona), Washington D.C , Little Rock (Arkansas), Austin, Dallas and Houston(Texas), and San Francisco (California), Salt lake City (Utah), New Orleans and Virginia. As more and more “chapters” join the list, the various alumni associations now coordinate their Mushaira events via the Federation of Aligarh Alumni Associations, the apex body that does the ground work of selecting and inviting poets based upon inputs from its member associations.  

Mrs. Homaira Naseem, started the program with age-old customary recitation from the Holy Quran by Amir Ali, a bright high school student. Mrs. Homaira Naseem, invited Mr. Ali Rizvi, the outgoing President of AAANE to introduce the new Team. Mr. Ali Rizvi, introduced the incoming Team and their spouses, with Ms. Homaira Naseem (President), Dr. Mohsin Syed (Secretary/Treasurer), and the members of the Executive Committee: Dr. Sadia Chaghtai, Mr. Hasan Chowdhury and Mr. Ahsan Munir.

Mr. Ali Rizvi, highlighted the various Programs and projects of AAANE, like the Adopt-a-Student, Adopt-a-Scholar, Adopt-a-Teacher, Adopt-A-Library, Adopt-A-school and the Sir Syed Excellence in Sciences (SSESA) awards.

Mrs. Homaira Naseem, incoming President welcomed the audience, poets, sponsors and volunteers and thanked them for their continued support year after year. She then invited Mr. Sarvar Iqbal, a local poet and a great “Nazim” to conduct the program. Amidst thunderous applause from the audience, one-by-one the poets settled on the stage. Mr. Waseem Barelvi graciously accepted its “Sadarat” which is typically done by a senior poet.

The Mushaira started slightly late than its scheduled time. But in the 3.5 hour continuous session, all had a chance to present their ‘Nazms, Ghazals, Geets, etc. As this was a few weeks after the occasion of Eid Ul Fitr AAANE had arranged complimentary Siwayee, cookies and hot and cold drinks for all guests. Indian Kabab and grill, catered sumptuous dinner packs at nominal charge.

Kiran Nath from Boston came up with some touching couplets.

Dr. Saleem Khanani of Boston also surprised the audience with his light entertaining poetry.

Mr. Tareq A. Khan, another Boston based poet frequently seen at local literary gatherings,  delivered some good Sufi poetry.

Prof Chaghtai, a retired Physics professor from AMU read a few of his most thought provoking ghazals and had the audience spell-bound with his bodily gestures, facial expressions and carefully monitored voice dilations and a constant dialogue with the audience.

Mr. Tahir Faraaz, the popular Indian poet with a sweet melodious voice, gave some very thought provoking couplets. One of his key highlights was his rendition of “Maaey” (Mother), a homage to the wondrous and selfless love of a mother.

Mr. Abaas Tabish, the renowned poet from Pakistan, enthralled the audiences with his nostalgic and touching poetry on life and reality.

Dr. Waseem Barelvi pleasantly surprised the audience with his touching couplets on day to day issues on life and politics. A poet who delves into deep philosophical thoughts with the same ease as with truly tender thoughts on love and romance.  His carefully selected lyrics and his deliverance were equally appreciated as the content of his poetry.

Mr. Zamin Jafri, a name which itself evokes laughter gave some fun Urdu anecdotes, followed with his usual light and hilarious shairi, on love, romance, youth, politics etc. His expertise lies in molding Urdu couplets into well meaning, jovial expressions.

Mr. Mahmud Jafri of the Syed Muhammad Jafri Foundation which has for the past five years supported the AAANE Mushairas expressed deep satisfaction on the increasing acceptance and popularity of Mushairas in the New England Area.

In appreciation of selfless services to its cause, on behalf of AAANE, Prof. Surriya Hussain, retired Chairperson, Department of Urdu, Aligarh Muslim University, presented two plaques this year to SAHELI and MCSS. In the acceptance remarks, Usha Vakil highlighted the work of SAHELI, thanked the audience and urged them to continue to build bridges for a meaningful coexistence.

Dr Shamim elaborated on the work being done by MCSS and her close ties with AMU alumni and thanked AAANE for its recognition of her continued commitment.

The program ended at around after midnight with a vote of thanks by Dr. Ashraf Khan, the founder President of AAANE.

The guests were very happy with the Mushaira and commented aloud, that this was a great Mushaira organized in Boston after many years.

Mrs. Homaira Naseem, President of AAANE, said that these Mushairas bond us to our culture and asked for people to financially and morally support AAANE that works towards the cause of providing education and other social programs for less fortunate in India. For a place like Boston, with so many educational institutions of international repute, and a literary atmosphere, the Mushairas are finding a firm footing. Ms. Naseem added that though there are many cultural events, Mushairas are more like literary functions and need to be promoted. Ms. Naseem thankfully acknowledged that these events can never be possible without the moral and financial support of sponsors and the volunteers who give valuable time which would otherwise have been rightly spent with families and friends. She acknowledged the efforts of Mr. Tanvir Salim, Mr. Khaldi Naseem, Mr. Obaid Qadri, Maria, Asif Alvi, Dr. Deeba Husain, Dr. Zafar Siddiqui, and the kids who helped with the venue management. To get more information or to join AAANE, please visit the website WWW.AAANE.US.

The Mushaira was such a hit that the next day another dinner Nashist was organized for all the poets at the residence of Drs. Onaly and Chander Kapasi in Newton.  There were 50-60 guests and after two rounds of beautiful, expressive poetry, Dr. Onaly Kapasi, himself a prolific writer, read three of his compositions in English. One was inspired by the events of 9-11, the other a tribute to an elderly friend on his 85th birthday. Mrs. Kapasi, thanked the poets and the guests and hoped that this trend will continue in the years to come.

Prof. Shehla Raza, a retired professor from AMU hoped that the Mushairas will continue to bring laughter and fun to the thousands of Indian and Pakistani families who crave for a regular taste of their culture and will enjoy its richness, beauty and soft expressions.

Ms. Jugnu Jain who had come to the Mushaira with her Uncle and Aunty, lauded the efforts by AAANE in arranging such programs.

Dr. Razzaque Ahmad, Dr. Noor and Mr. Farooq Ansari, said they thoroughly enjoy the Mushaira every year and hoped more of such events will continue to be organized.

Mr. Tahir Choudhury, past-president of PAGB, was appreciative of the serious and hilarious shairi of the poets. Mr. Ehsan Afzaal said, this was a rare event and he did not want to miss it and so had come with many friends.

The event was also promoted by Lokvani, which has been playing a significant role in building bonds and keeping the community abreast of the programs and events in the growing South Asian community in New England.

Dr. Mohsin Syed, newly elected Secretary/Treasurer of AAANE said, “The Mushairas play a significant role in the propagation of urdu poetry. We have to keep our culture alive and this is one of the ways of doing it. With the ever increasing immigrant population who understand Hindustani, which is the lingua franca in the Indian sub-continent, we hope to have more such events and provide a common platform to bond

Dr. Shabana Islam the Editor of the Mushaira Magazine spent countless hours to bring out the colorful bi-lingual Mushaira Magazine. In addition to the advertisements, it has some juicy tit-bits and articles in Urdu and English and a write up on this year’s poets.

The Vice Chancellor of AMU, Prof Abdul Azis, sent his best wishes to AAANE for organizing this wonderful event.

Dr. Masarrat Ali, Ex president of AAANE, video-recorded the event. The Mushaira will be available for viewing on DVD in January 2010. The still pictures taken by Dr. Shujaat Ali and Mr. Ali Rizvi will be posted on the AAANE website. For getting a video copy of the Mushaira please contact, Mrs. Homaira Naseem, President, AAANE at nhomaira@hotmail.com. All proceeds will go towards helping the mission of AAANE.

Bookmark and Share |

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help