AMU Alumni marks Sir Syed Day 2019

AMU Alumni marks Sir Syed Day 2019

Dazzling performances by children were the highlight of this year’s Sir Syed Day celebrations in Sydney organised by the Aligarh Muslim University Alumni of Australia.

The AMU of Australia marked Sir Syed Day 2019 on Saturday 2 November at the Granville Town Hall.

Sir Syed Day is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, founder of the Aligarh Movement that contributed towards the modern education of Muslims in India.

AMU Alumni of Australia was founded in the early nineties and has been holding Sie Syed Day every year inviting educationists, community leaders and diplomats for a gala dinner, inspiring talks and entertainment.

The formal programme started after Maghreb prayers with recitation of Quran by Rehan Akhtar and its translation by Safiy Rehman.

The President of AMU Alumni, Mr Khurshid Anwar during his welcome address paid tribute to Sir Syed for working on his educational mission in spite of widespread opposition from the community elites of the time.

“Sir Syed was an early pioneer and a great reformer in 19th century who wanted to change the thinking of Indian Muslims and obtain modern education,” Mr Anwar said.

Pointing out to the Alumni’s scholarship program, he said its  main objective was to provide education for the under privileged children and thereby break the cycle of the poverty.

He acknowledged the efforts of the past presidents of Alumni who led the team in carrying out its highly successful projects for more more than a quarter century.

Mr Anwar thanked the continuing partnership of the sponsors of Sir Syed Day year after year specially by Human Appeal Australia, LCH Group and AMUST.

A video presentation was shown highlighting the projects by  the Alumni in India including scholarships, school buildings and helping the underprivileged sections of the society.

A printed copy of the Alumni’s Scholarship Committee report was distributed to the audience while Scholarship Committee Chair, Mr Riyaz Akhtar highlighted its achievements during the past year.

“Education is not the key to just solve poverty  but it also it helps with social justice and health,” Mr Akhtar said.

He further made an appeal, “If you are genuinely ready to help us then help the poor children in India so they can have proper education. We are helping hundreds of students to get their education.”

All donations to the Alumni are tax deductible.

The keynote speaker at Sir Syed Day 2019 was Professor Inam Haq, Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney.

Prof Haq is a rheumatology specialist currently carrying out teaching and research supervision in the fields of medical education, technology-enhanced learning, inter-professional education and assessment.

He commended the Alumni for the great work they were doing in the field of education especially the establishment of the scholarship project for students in India.
“I came to Australia four years ago.  It brought me in contact with new families while settling here. What I learn from the indigenous people is the the power of story telling from generation to generation. Go, tell people your story of  compassion and help to students in India in the field of education,” Prof Haq said.

He further added, “I wish to share my story with you tonight. My family is from Hydrabad, India who migrated to UK in 1968. This events tonight reminds me very much of Hyderabad.

“My medical training was at United medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London from 1987-1993.  I entered rheumatology training in London in 1997-2005, working at national centres of excellence such as the Royal Free Hospital (sceroderma), University College Hospitals London (connective tissue disease and biologic therapies) and Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (metabolic bone disease and sports and exercise medicine.

“In 2005 I took up a Senior Lecturer position at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, becoming Director of their medical program from 2008. In 2015, the medical school had the highest student satisfaction rate of medical schools in the UK. From 2011-2015, I was Asociate Medical Director for Education at Arthritis Research UK, one of the UK’s largest medical research charity. From 2011-2015 I was an elected member of the UK Medical Schools Council Assessment Alliance Board.”

At this year’s Sir Syed Day, the chief guest was the newly appointed Consul General of India in Sydney, Mr Manish Gupta who attended the event together with Mrs Gupta.

During his address, Mr Gupta highlighted the contribution of Sir Syed towards modern education in India and elaborated on Sir Syed’s vision for education and his great achievements and services for the community.

Dr Sami syed went on stage to announce the Sir Syed Award 2019 for Mr Mohammad Shaheem for his accounting services to the Alumni and other charitable organisations that was presented by Mr Gupta.

There were addresses by representatives of sponsors including Human Appeal Australia and LCH Group.

There were a number of dazzling performances by the children of Alumni members including nasheeds and Indian film song medley followed by a trivia competition using Kahoot App.

The entertainment included a ghazal recited in his melodious voice by Mr Khurshid Anwar.

The formal programme ended with the usual tradition of Tarana recited from the stage by some members of the Alumni joined in by the audience.

Dinner was served by the popular Himalayan restaurant based in Granville.

A well documented Scholarship Report 2018-2019 was freely distributed at the event listing the names of donors and recipients of scholarships that the Alumni has established as well as a detailed audited financial report.


About The Author

Mehar Ahmad

Mehar Ahmad based in Sydney is a Public School Teacher and President of Seena Inc, Publishers of the Australasian Muslim Times AMUST.

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