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A Memorable Day At The AMU Youth Festival

Homaira Maseem
03/31/2010

A MEMORABLE DAY AT THE YOUTH FESTIVAL
Hosted By
THE ALIGARH ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OF NEW ENGLAND

The Aligarh Alumni Association of New England (AAANE) organized a Youth Festival on March 7th, 2010 at the India Center in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. This was a truly energizing event for all the youth and their families in our extended communities.

Mrs. Homaira Naseem, the dynamic president of AAANE, (also serving at the national level as Treasurer-Elect of the Federation of Aligarh Alumni Associations), has done a commendable job of reaching out to other area associations such as the Indian Association of Greater Boston (IAGB), the India Society of Worcester (ISW), Adharshila the Foundation Stone ATFS), The Indian Association of New Hampshire, The Indian Muslim Council (IMC), Stand up for Kids (Worcester chapter), Sangeetayan and local public and private schools.

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 for the pure enjoyment of literary and cultural activities.

Mrs. Naseem initiated the program with the age-old customary recitation from the Holy Quran, delivered by Alia Rizvi, a 4th grade student. In her welcome address, Mrs. Naseem stated that the year 2010 had been recently proclaimed by the United Nations as the “year of youth”. AAANE firmly supports this proclamation and we will do our best to encourage and support all youth to participate in all aspects of culture and education so they may continue to enrich society. In fact, our youth are our future, and we are building our future by supporting them. The underlying mission of this program is to develop leaders for tomorrow, young men and young women who will shape the future of society. AAANE has been very active in helping the less fortunate kids globally and the proceeds from this event will be sent to Ahmadi School for the blind in Aligarh, India. Mrs. Naseem thanked the AAANE team, Dr. Syed Mohsin Ali Alvi (Secretary/Treasurer), and the members of the Executive Committee, Dr. Sadia Chaghtai, Mr. Hasan Chowdhury for their help in organizing the event. She especially thanked Mrs. Maaria Alvi, the event coordinator, who along with Dr. Sadia Chaghtai spent countless hours in its planning and execution. Next she thanked the AAANE volunteers and youth volunteers Amir Ali, the youth Master of Ceremonies for the event, and Hina Bhatt who coordinated the Spelling Bee contest. Mrs. Naseem then extended thanks to Ms. Gauri Chandana, the director of ATFS for graciously accepting AAANE’s invitation to run the Math and Spelling Bee contests.

Spelling & Math Contests - Amir Ali introduced Gauri, who took center stage to manage the Spelling Bee. The kids participating in this contest were from grades 2-8. This was an interactive contest and was enjoyed by both the kids and the audience. This first event was followed by a Math Bee in which kids from Kindergarten through 8th grade participated. There were 90 contestants between the two competitions. After the contests, Dr. Ashraf Khan, the past president of AAANE invited Mr. Farooq Ansari to distribute the prizes and certificates of participation. Mr. Ansari was invited as a special guest. He has been an ardent supporter of AAANE, and his company Ansari builders, has sponsored many AAANE events.

Fun & Games - During the math contest, Dr. Sadia Chaghtai and Dr. Mohsin Alvi provided bingo for the audience. Mr. Ali Rizvi (the past president of AAANE) announced the winning results of the raffle in addition to managing the auction. The auction items consisted of gift certificates to an art school, a health club and zoos throughout the New England area. Maaria Alvi personally donated the items for the raffle and graciously and creatively turned these items into well thought of and meticulously planned and beautifully presented gift baskets. Throughout the festivities, a Henna booth was operated by youth volunteers and two boutiques displayed jewelry and traditional clothing.

Food & Drink – The Indian Kabab and Grill catered sumptuous vegetarian and non vegetarian dinner combinations for a nominal charge. Pizza and a snack bar with juices and drinks were also provided, and staffed by volunteers. They did a very nice job!

The Talent Show – The talent portion of the festival was organized by Dr. Sadia Chaghtai. There were 27 participants in all. They included Bhajan by Vaida, Group song by Rafe, Tabish and Basim, harmonium duets by Omar and Sara, Violin by Kinza Husain, Piano by Amber, Asra, Alia and Ansh, mimicry by Hamzah, Bharat Natyam by Anvitha, Hula Hoop by Yusra, and many more. Mrs Hina Kausar (an alumni from Aligarh) directed a play, “Jab They Met.” Its theme was based on campus life in Aligarh, how some students from different walks of life meet as classmates in Engineering College and how their lives unfold. The roles were played by the children Amber Ali, Zeina Zahoori, Zaid Zama, Samid Bhatti and Faizan Mohammad. The narration was provided by Sumaiya Zama, dialogues by Mrs. Rozina Zama and Mr. Amin Zama, and stage settings by Mrs. Maseeha Dawar and Arusa Zama. It was very entertaining, bringing back memories of college days for most of the audience presenting humor and nostalgia.

Recognition – The AAANE would like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors:

Aasiya Boutique
BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc.
Desi Market
Domino’s Pizza
Franklin Park Zoo
India Kabab and Grill
Resolv Corporation
Royal Arts Academy
Southwick Zoo
Super Stop and Shop
YMCA of the Burroughs
Zeina Collection

If you would like more information about AAANE, its calendar of events or sponsorships/membership, we encourage you to please visit our website: www.aaane.us. Please feel free to contact the president of AAANE, Mrs. Homaira Naseem at 508 869 6464 or by email: homaira.naseem@gmail.com



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