[Following is a press release from JMIAA, Riyadh Chapter, dated April 11, 2014]
Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association (JMIAA), Riyadh Chapter organized its 7th annual meet “A Jamia Campus across the Sea”, a term coined in 2008 by Mr. Ghizal Mahdi, founding member and current President of the association. The meet had two main attractions – Painting Competition for school students and speeches on ‘Ideal and Values of Jamia Millia Islamia: Preservation and Dissemination by Jamia Overseas Alumni’.
The Campus get together was conceptualized by senior Jamiaites in 2008 to bring together Jamiaites to recreate a campus like milieu and afford opportunities for bonding between Jamiaites cutting across generations. This year the program was graced by two prominent academics from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi: Chief Guest Mr. Abdul Naseeb Khan, Principal, Jamia Senior Secondary School and Guest of Honor Dr. Zubair Meenai, Professor of Social Work Department. Over four hundred Jamia alumni and their families participated in gala event, in addition to the representatives of other Alumni associations and social organizations.
The program began with a recitation of the Holy Quran by Mr. Abdul Rahman, Treasurer of the Association.
Say It with Flowers:
The chief guest and the guest of honor were warmly welcomed with flowers. Senior Jamiaites Mr. Salman Azmi , Mr. Ehsan Azim, Mr. Zafar Bari, Mr. Ghayasuddin, Mr. Aftab Nizami, Mr. Irfanul Haque, Dr. Tansir Ahmad and Mr. Naushad Alam presented bouquet of flowers to the guests. In addition, President Ghizal Mahdi presented mementos of appreciation to the Chief Guest Mr. Abdul Naseeb Khan and Guest of Honor Dr. Zubair Meenai for their services to Jamia Millia Islamia. Vice President Ghayasuddin presented a memento to former president, Khursheed Anwar for his role in advancement of the Association. Chief Guest Mr. Abdul Naseeb and Guest of Honor Dr. Zubair Meenai presented souvenirs to Professor Sarwar Hussain and Mr Nadeem Alam.
Riot of Colors:
Children of the alumni and their guests participated in drawing and painting competition. Tiny tots displayed their art skills along with young boys and girls, unleashing their creativity. The program was organized under the guidance of Mrs. Razia Zaidi, Mrs. Bareerah Saad, Mrs. Nazma Tansir, Mrs. Shazia Ahmed, Mrs. Sania Nisar, Mrs. Deeba Shamsad, Dr. Shabana Rehman, Mrs. Sheeren Khan, Mrs. Shahana Murshid, Mrs. Saima Pervez, Mr. Abid Aqeel Mr. Najeeb Qasmi, and many other volunteers. Meritorious children were awarded; not to leave other children heartbroken, consolation prizes were granted to all participating children.
Achievements and aspirations:
Addressing the gathering, President Ghizal Mahdi welcomed the guests and Jamia Alumni. He highlighted the major achievements of the association and how it has become a force for good in the welfare of its members. He mentioned specific cases of how the association rose to the occasion to help members in need. He spelt out his vision for the next two years to strengthen the fraternal bonds within the Jamia Alumni as well as to develop strong interaction between overseas Alumni and Jamia Millia Islamia. One of his cabinet’s missions is to bring out a directory of Jamiaites across the Kingdom. This directory will be gifted to Jamiaites on the occasion of 94th Jamia Foundation Day (29 Oct) this year. He also tabled the amendments to the association’s charter which was duly approved by the General Body. He said his focus was to inject young blood into the association, maximize participation and democratize the Association. President Ghizal Mahdi thanked and read out the names of those Jamia Alumni who extended their financial assistance for organizing this self-financed program. He also expressed his gratitude to Mr Nadeem Nadwi, CEO Saudi Cricket Council for his patronage and assistance to the recently-formed Jamia Alumni Cricket Team.
General Secretary, Mr. Abid Aqeel presented a report on the activities of the association in chaste Urdu. He highlighted the achievements of the association and it aspirations over the next two years. He said that a directory of Jamiaites in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be published.
Cricket: Vice captain of the JMIAA Cricket Team Mr. Nisar Ahmad presented a report on the excellent performance of the JMIAA cricket team which is registered in Riyadh Cricket League. As of now JMIAA is a rising and well recognized team in the cricket circles of Riyadh. It has won several League matches.
Saudi alumnus of JMI:
A former diplomat and Jamia Alumnus, Mr. Mansoor Alrashidi participated in the event. He welcomed the guests and members to Saudi Arabia.
This year’s get together was themed ‘Ideals and Values of Jamia Millia Islamia: Preservation and Dissemination by Jamia Overseas Alumni. Speaking on the issue, former President Khursheed Anwar emphasized the need for the overseas alumni to contribute to educational initiatives which is the core Jamia value. He narrated the details of a an educational initiative launched by eminent educationist Mr. Khalid Saifullah which trains madrasa graduates in modern education so as to fulfill the needs of teachers in rural schools.
Dr. Shafaatullah Khan, founding member of the association, emphasized the need to revisit and propagate the pristine values of mutual respect and affection. He recounted his experience that every member of the staff was treated with respect and courtesy irrespective of his or her position.
Professor Sarwar Hussain emphasized the role of alumni in propagating the humane values of compassion and brotherhood espoused by Jamia across the globe.
Dr. Zubair Meenai, a renowned scholar in the field of social work dwelt on the values that are synonymous with Jamia. He urged members to inculcate critical thinking and to question the status quo. He expressed admiration for the way the association has imbibed democratic values in its day to day activities. It is in the DNA of University to be a rebel with a cause: to rebel against injustice and hypocrisy. He said that Jamia had taken progressive educational measures long before they were in vogue in educational circles. Being a former dean of student welfare, he further suggested that the association should institute scholarships in the University.
The chief guest Mr. Abdul Naseeb Khan delivered a powerful speech on the values and ideals that define Jamia. He stated that Jamia is a confluence of modern and age old values of brotherhood and mutual coexistence. It is akin to a platform from which students embark on a journey of learning and self discovery. It is a model of national integration where children from every religion, sect, and denomination study together. He shed light on the achievements made by the Jamia School. He said that graduates of the school were doing well in competitive examinations for engineering and medicine.
Former President Mr. Murshid Kamal anchored the proceedings with aplomb, interspersing the proceedings with rich Urdu poetry. Mr. Najeeb Qasmi administered the award distribution ceremony to children who participated in the Drawing and Painting Competition. Vice President Mr. Ghayasuddin raised the vote of thanks. Mr. Nadeem Alam a prominent JMI alumnus from Jeddah and Mr Faheem Khan, a lecturer in Architecture Department of University of Qaseem participated in the event.
Mrs Tasneem Salman, Mrs. Farhana Ghayas, Mrs. Shaista Abid Aqeel, Mrs. Roheena Parveen, Mrs. Nigar Nizami, Mrs. Subia Pasha and Mrs. Zafar Bari made nice arrangements in the ladies section and accorded warm hospitality to the ladies and kids during the event.
Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association, Riyadh