AMV chapters opened in Chico and Woodland
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
WOODLAND, CA: The American Muslim Voice Northern California held an introduction dinner on April 10, 2004 at the Woodland Library. The colorful event was organized by Mr. Khalid Saeed, Director of AMV Northern California to introduce the AMV in northern California. The lively event was attended by four generations – grand parents, parents, children and grand children. Over 100 people attend the program.
Qari Bashir Ahmed Sialvi recitated the verses from the Holy Quran. After that the guests were invited to a sumptuous dinner and to socialize.
The highlight of the program was introduction of the AMV and our first chapter presidents in Chico and Woodland.
(AMV Executive Director, Samina Faheem speaks. AMV Director for Northern California, Khalid Saeed is seen at left)
Umar Saeed, a business major at the Sacramento State University, introduced the Woodland President Farhan Zia Anwar a graduate in Business Administration from California State University Sacramento. He is currently working for the State of California in Audit & recovery division of the State Board of Equalization in Sacramento. Farhan is a very active member of the community and Vice Principal and teacher at Woodland Mosque Sunday Islamic School.
Farhan, 27, said that he was proud to be involved in political activism. He said that he is looking forward to fulfill his responsibilities as president of the American Muslim Voice and implement its agenda of bridging the gap between all communities as well as promoting the cause of the Muslim community.
After Farhan’s brief speech, the AMV president of Chico, Nosheen Khan was introduced to the audience by the host Khalid Saeed.
Nosheen Khan is recent graduate in Information Technology from the Chico State University. She is currently working for an IT firm in Chico California as a consultant and travels all over the state. She has been a very active youth member of American Muslim community. Nosheen has been also very active in college and member of various Muslim groups and clubs.
Nosheen Khan, spoke about the “Importance of activism for the Muslims in America.” She said the decisions made in America don’t just affect us, they affects the whole world. “We cannot have an affect on decision making unless we participate in political and social life of America. We have to get ourselves involved.” She said she was proud that her aunty Rubina Khan who is involved in the community work and political activities.
After 9/11, Nosheen added, things have changed, students are returned to their countries and people are being detained. “President Bush ‘s campaign ad shows a young Arab as a terrorist. This is stereotyping.”
She said we should educate our fellow Americans about Islam and women in Islam. “I do not find anything in Islam that shows me that I am not an equal to a man.” Nosheen pointed out that we should not criticize but teach fellow American about Islam. “We should hold international festivals to show our culture and religion.”
Nosheen’s speech drew wide applause from the audience. Khalid Saeed told the audience that everybody should absorb her thought. He said that “I am here since 1979 and I never had an American friend But 9/11 changed my thinking and I felt that the American Muslims should involve in the mainstream social as well as political activities.”
“After 9/11, my next door neighbors knocked at my door and told me that we want to assure you that you are our very good neighbor and we have any problem with you.” Khalid Saeed said that personal contact makes a big difference. If one hears anti-Muslim propaganda, he will say that I know Khalid who is not like that and this makes a lot of difference. So we have to make personal contacts. Khalid Saeed was of the view that it should not have taken 9/11 to wake me up. I should have done that long back. AMV is doing that crucial work to provide first hand experience to our fellow American about Muslims and Islam and forming lifelong friendships.
Khalid Saeed argued that political and social activism pays. He pointed out that the Patriot Act II was not introduced because of our outreach with fellow Americans and other communities. He said that currently SAFE Act is being introduced in the congress that would amend the PATRIOT Act to limit the alleged Fourth Amendment encroachments of the use of surveillance equipment and search warrants by the federal government. He urged the Muslim community to support this bill.
Samina Faheem Sundas, Executive Director of the American Muslim Voice, was the keynote speaker. She was introduced by Hannan Chaudhry, a student at the Sacramento State University.
Samina said that first of all she would like to thank Allah for giving her vision and courage to be able to serve Him and her community. “I would like to thank few people who made it possible for me to be here today. My grand parents and my parents for their unconditional love and advice to always seek and speak the truth. My siblings, children and friends to their continuing support and encouragement, my teacher and mentor Dr. Agha Saeed from whom I learned more than I would have learned obtaining a Phd, Ghazali Sahib who supported and encouraged me to follow my dream of bridging the gap between all communities and Khalid Saeed Sahib and Nasreen Sahiba for organizing this event and becoming an Ambassadors of AMV and all of you for joining us, without you there will be no event of forums.”
She expressed pleasure that the new generation is coming forward as “our chapter leaders. She said that they are our future and if we fail to pass down the torch of leadership to them then we have failed miserably. Our children are very intelligent, capable and eager to play an important role. They just need our encouragement, support and training. AMV will provide that platform to our future leaders.
About the membership of AMV, she said that “AMV is a unique organization with plans to be very inclusive of all humanitarian individuals. “Our mission is to protect and preserve civil liberties and constitutional rights for all. Our goal is to bridge the gap between all communities. We would like to build a strong and involved community, which is not limited to just Muslims. We will make the most beautiful diverse human wall of support and strength for each other and stand by each other to fight injustice because as Martin Luther King Jr. said: injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
If there are individuals who share our mission, goals and human values, then we can’t deny memberships to them. Together we can make a difference.
She said in this country only a squeaky wheel gets the oil, “we should become a squeaky wheel. We should stand up, speak up and make noise to make our voice heard.”
Samina told the audience that we should take care of our leaders. She pointed out that Dr. Sami Al-Arian is in prison for about 13 months and we should provide support for him and his family. “Remember it takes the whole village to raise a child. Their lives have been put on hold. It has been difficult to gather the kind of support they deserve. Please visit our website to see how you can help them.”
She said that it is crucial that we stand by each other, get involved and build a community where people have mutual respect, understanding, total acceptance, trust, friendships and celebrate diversity.
Samina shared the following story with the audience that she heard a number of times in conferences and workshops:
The Sense of the Goose
In the fall when you see geese heading south for the winter flying
along in the "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way. It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
PEOPLE WHO ARE PART OF A TEAM AND SHARE A COMMON DIRECTION GET WHERE THEY ARE GOING QUICKER AND EASIER, BECAUSE THEY ARE TRAVELING ON THE TRUST OF ONE ANOTHER.
Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go through it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the power of the flock.
IF WE HAVE AS MUCH SENSE AS A GOOSE, WE WILL SHARE INFORMATION WITH THOSE WHO ARE HEADED THE SAME WAY WE ARE GOING.
When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose takes over.
IT PAYS TO SHARE LEADERSHIP AND TAKE TURNS DOING HARD JOBS.
The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep their speed.
WORDS OF SUPPORT AND INSPIRATION HELP ENERGIZE THOSE ON THE FRONT LINE, HELPING THEM TO KEEP PACE IN SPITE OF THE DAY-TO-DAY PRESSURES AND FATIGUE.
Finally, when a goose gets sick or is wounded by a gunshot and falls out, two geese fall out of the formation and follow the injured one down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out with another formation to catch up with their group.
IF WE HAVE THE SENSE OF A GOOSE, WE WILL STAND BY EACH OTHER WHEN THINGS GET ROUGH, and even when they're not.
If you want to become part of this team to make a positive change in your community, country, world and humanity please join us today. The AMV is searching for dedicated, committed, reliable, punctual, sincere, warm, open minded, friendly, outgoing and kind hearted individuals who are ready to do serious work as an AMV,s Ambassador to become community servant and a community builder. Samina concluded her speech with the quotation of Arnold Glasgow: "The true measure of a man is not the number of servants that he has, but the number of people he serves"
Qari Bashir Ahmed Sialvi urged the community to maintain its religious identity. He said that the Muslim Americans should participation in the national political process and “we should guide the community about the candidates and propositions.”
Taj Khan suggested that the Muslim community should involve itself in local social and political activities. He said that he himself is involved in providing help to local soup kitchens.
At the end of political event, the audience was amused with live music and songs. Maria Bella and her Music Band gave an exhilarating performance. Her melodious voice thrilled the audience.
Bela was followed by an exciting performance Pakistani Band, Dream Sounds. Anwar Ali was the guitarist and Abrar Ali was on the Keyboard. Honeydew Rapper (Hannan Chaudhry) also amused the audience with his thrilling performance.
Before winding the program, the host Khalid Saeed astonished many of his friends with his special talent of singing. He moved the audience with his melodious voice.
Among those who attended the three-hour program included: Rabina Khan & Mukhtar Khan from Chico, Abdul Hameed Bath Yuba City, Taj Khan from Lodi, Shahid Chaudhry, Shafqat Saied , Anwar Zafar , Nasir Chaudhry from Elk Grove, Tasawwar Ali Khan, Ghulam Fareed, Safdar Niaz, Muhammad Latif Chaudhry , Muhammad Ali Sharif , Shakil Anwar CPA , Mohammad Imrarn , Mohammad Nasim from Sacramento. Khalid Mahmood from Strings Vacaville, Maulana Bashir Ahmed Sialvi, Mr.Mohammad Raouf, Mr.Ashfaq Akhtar of GNC, Jawied Anwar, Arshaad Ali, Dr. Shabbir Ahmad from Davis and Dr. Athar Tariq from Natomas CA
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