People and Tidbits

Scholarships worth Rs. 1.57 cr. Disbursed
Shibli Academy Elects Hamid Ansari as its President

Wasim Akram marries: Pakistani left arm bowler Wasim Akram married his girlfriend Shaniera Thompson on August 22 in Lahore. First wife of the 47-year old bowler, Huma ,had died in 2009. Shaniera was a Public Relations Consultant in Melbourne. The family sources said she had converted to Islam and is learning Urdu and decided to settle in Pakistan. Akram is father of two boys from his previous marriage. Wasim had played 104 tests and 356 one-day internationals for Pakistan between 1984 and 2003.

Malala awarded 2013 Children’s Peace Prize
Teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head by a militant last October after campaigning for girls’ right to education, has won the prestigious International Children’s Peace Prize, KidsRights announced last month. The 16-year-old will receive the award from 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner and women’s rights campaigner Tawakkol Karman at a glittering ceremony in The Hague on September 6, the Amsterdam-based organization said.
Malala “risked her life in the fight for access to education for girls all over the world”, KidsRights said in a statement.

Mrs. Marziyeh Afkham is the new spokesperson of the Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry. She was appointed by the new foreign affairs minister Muhammad Jawad Zareef. She was earlier director in the Ministry for the last eight years. She is the first woman spokesperson of the Ministry.

Salma Khatoon, Bangladesh Railways’ only woman locomotive driver has complained of gender discrimination at the popular level. She has been running the trains since 1995 and has logged 5,000 kilometers on the track. She recently told newsmen, people are just not ready to accept the fact that a woman could be a locomotive driver. “it is inconceivable for them to think that women could be put control of some affairs,” she commented.  She said she has been pelted with stones and targeted with anti-woman slur. She is waiting for more women to join as drivers. Currently 10 women are being trained to take up the job of drivers in Bangladesh. Bangladesh figures on 86th place on gender disparities chart of the World Economic Forum. 

Died: Amirullah Nizami, veteran Urdu journalist who stewarded Urdu weekly Nasheman from Bangalore for 51 years, died at the age of 83. He launched Nasheman with its founder editor Usman Asad on January 26, 1962, in the then sleepy Bangalore which had quite a considerable body of Urdu-users. His pen never stopped and Nasheman mainly owed its existence to him as none among the founding family had practicing knowledge of Urdu. Its popularity peaked during 1971-73, an era known for Indo-Pak and Arab-Israel war. A straightforward person, he led a clean life, learning never to compromise on principles. Writing in simple Urdu, he launched barbs against all kinds of superstitions, corrupt practices in the Muslim society and the diabolical plots by the West against the Islamic countries and the third world. He never aspired for awards and received none during the long span of the career. His column “Thapdakhen” (a Deccani Urdu term for ‘Slaps’) was read avidly by thousands of readers. He had worked in Deccan Herald for a brief period in 1960 and later shifted to Daily Pasban and Caravan. He and Usman Asad (who was manager at Pasban), later broke up from Pasban and launched Nasheman. He is survived by six sons and a daughter. He was buried in Chhota Qabrastan in the ancestral town of Channapatna, 60 kms west of Bangalore.

Honour for Abdul Jaleel
Chennai-born Indian businessman in Singapore Mohamed Abdul Jaleel was given the guest-of-honour Award on Sept. 19. The third tabla Community Champion Award was conferred on Jaleel at an award ceremony held in conjunction with the inaugural Singapore International Deepavali Shopping Festival 2013 at the Singapore Expo.
Guest-of-Honour S. Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office presented the award.
Jaleel is known in the community for his philanthropy. He is founder and chief executive officer of Mini Environment Service (MES), a construction logistics company. It provides world class dormitories for foreign workers in Singapore and the Middle East. It has an annual revenue of $100 million.
The award also comes with a cash donation of $10,000 from the State Bank of India, to be given to the charity of Mr. Jaleel’s choice — the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA). The $10,000 cheque was presented by Mr Aravind Kumar, Executive Vice President, Credit Syndication and Investments, State Bank of India.
Mr. Jaleel came to Singapore five decade ago with his family and did petty jobs for several years and later started MES and transformed it into a leading construction company. His Shaik Mohamed Jaleel Foundation donates almost $1 million to various charitable causes.

Smart Phone App by Pak Youth
 Ali Rehan, a student from Lahore University of Science and Technology, a private university in Lahore has come out with a smartphone app that allows even the photographer to be part of the group photo.
It has always been a dilemma for one of the three in a group to miss the opportunity to be seen together in a group photo as one among them would be snapping the photo behind the camera. Groopic, the new app devised by Ali Rehan allows two different photographs to be merged seamlessly in order that all members of the groups, even the photographers, could be seen together. The app solves the dilemma which every group faces. Currently, it is being loaded by several American companies for just one dollar.

Died: Leading Urdu writer, critic and poet Dr. Syed Abdul Bari  died on September 1 in Delhi.  Bari who taught Urdu at the Government College, Tanda in Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh for several decades, edited literary Urdu journal Pesh Raft, a representative of constructive and Islamic literary trends. He was chief patron of Idar Adab e Islami, an organization promoting constructive thought through literature. His earlier magazine monthlyDawam from Tanda folded up after serving the cause for nearly two decades. He used pseudonym Shabnam Subhani for writing Urdu poetry. Having wielded his pen for nearly five decades, Bari was known for his criticism of the leftist ideology in the early decades and later critiquing the permissive trends emanating from the West. His books Adab Shanakhtand Lucknow ke Adab ka saqafati wo maasharti mutalaa won wide acclaim.

Research Grant for Bande Nawaz Institute: The government of Karnataka has announced a research grant of Rs. 1.35 crore for Khaja Bande Nawaz Research Centre. The announcement came on September 22 from Chief Minister Mr. Siddramaiah on the occasion of the 609th urs (death anniversary) of the sufi saint who made Gulbarga his seat and spread the message of love and peace.

Grant for Mausoleum of Bismillah Khan: The Uttar Pradesh government has sanctioned Rs. 30 lakh for construction of a mausoleum of Ustad Bismillah Khan, the renowned Shehnai maestro who died at his ancestral city of Varanasi on August 21, 2006. The UP government even intends to set up a Music Academy named after the musician who was awarded the Bharat Ratna.

AMU Centre at Kishanganj to commence from Nov. 23: The Kishanganj campus of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) will commence academic session from November 23. To begin with, the unit will start BEd course, according to District Magistrate Aditya Kumar Das. He said the land for the centre was allotted by the State Government. The district administration has also provided two buildings for the student hostels. n