timely help can save lives!
Pakistanis in the
USA have been responding generously to the “Drought Relief Fund”
for Balochistan and Sind. Dr. Naveed Iqbal has been actively raising
funds, reports that school age children amongst the hard working
people are the ones, who are sending money to help the people. A
Pakistani living in Kentucky sent in $100,000 towards the Relief Fund
and another contributed $500. It was suggested that the money be sent
through the Edhi Foundation, an NGO registered in the United States.
Any contribution made to Edhi is tax exempt.
What is the
Triangle waiting for and when are we going to help the needy in
Pakistan? Can we feel the
hunger and pain of our brethren in Balochistan and Sindh? If the
Pakistani community in the Triangle cannot raise money collectively,
then we need to contribute on an individual level. Lets skip a meal
and forego our cravings for Breyers and Haagan Daz ice creams, Godiva
chocolates, pizza supremes and crates of mangoes. Send a check (tax
deductible) to Edhi Foundation in New York at:
42-07 National Street, Corona, NY 11368
Pak-American Drought Fund on the memo line of your check. Your timely
donations CAN save precious lives!
Mehfil-e-Hamd-o-Naat organized by the Pakistani-American Association
will be held on Friday June 16th at Cary Bond Park
Community Center, High House Road from 8 p.m. till 11:30 p.m.
Volunteers are needed for Milad, Naat and Qawalli. Admission is FREE
and refreshments will be provided. For more information, please
Mujahid Hussain ---- 919-846-0811
Ahsen Salim --------- 919-319-6345
Naima Khan ---------919-678-0909
Ahmed Faraz on July 7th!
The legendary Urdu
poet Ahmed Faraz is visiting the Triangle area in the month of July.
Faraz is one of the great poet of this era. One of the most famous
ghazals of all times “ranjish hi sahi” is written by him. SHAM-e-FARAZ,
an evening in his honor is being arranged by Urdu Majlis to meet and
hear him recite his poetry at the Cary Community Center on July 7,
2000 at 7.30 p.m. Please mark your calendars. For more information,
Jafar Abbas: 919-844-2136
Hassan Imam: 919-469-4626
Seema Faruqi: 919-596-4792
Faiza and Abid
Hussain of Durham, NC finally became parents. Their daughter Iqra was
born on May 24, 2000 at Durham Regional Hospital. Iqra is their first
on Urdu Scholar –
Reported by Asma Khan
A monthly seminar
by Urdu Majlis was held on May 13, 2000 at Caldwell Hall of NCSU. The
Urdu scholar under discussion for the May Urdu Majlis, was Hamid Hasan
Qadiri (1887-1964). He was born in a distinguished family of Bachhraon.
He was one of the greatest Urdu scholars of his times and the author
of more that thirty books including the classical:
Dastaan-e-tarikh-e-Urdu. The discussion turned out to be rich and
informative. It began with scholarly papers on Hamid Hasan Qadiri’s
life, philosophy and poetry presented by Nauman Faridi, Seema Faruqi,
Asma Khan, Sarfaraz-ul-Haq and John Caldwell.
A sumptuous dinner
followed the next session in which the melodious voices of Shahzad
Riaz and Saima Ali captivated and enthralled the audience by their
singing of ghazals.
Syed Arif read an
article Safar hai shart that he had written some time ago. This travelogue
from Karachi to Miami was well written and liked by everyone in the
audience. The evening culminated with a sense of appreciation for the
great Urdu scholar from Bachhraon.
On April 22nd
Fareeha Sufder, an 11th grade student at Millbrook High
participated in a pageant organized by the Miss National Teenager
Scholarship Foundation of South. This foundation awards four college scholarships including
one for studies in business. There were 99 teenagers from all over
North Carolina with Fareeha as the only person representing Lahore,
Pakistan. The pageant
commenced as the contestants walked on the stage, introduced
themselves to the audience and shared their goals in life. The pageant
concluded as the winners were announced and the New Queen was crowned.
Fareeha found the pageant to be not only fun but also full of good
experience. She met a lot of people and made new friends. Fareeha
plans to study medicine after completing her college.
graduated from Jordan High School, Durham in May 2000. She plans to
pursue a business career. Sophia Hussain also graduated this month
from Riverside High School in Durham. She will be going to UNC at
Chapel Hill this fall and plans to study medicine. Payamber Staff
wishes both of them well in their educational endeavors.
Permanent Residence for Some Alien Spouses
Your husband or
wife is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident (he or
she has U.S. citizenship or a green card). Your spousal petition has
been processed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS),
you made it through your interview, and you got your passport stamped
and even received your green card. So now you are a lawful permanent
resident, right? Well,
Some aliens who
become permanent residents based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen or
permanent resident alien must meet additional requirements before
becoming full permanent residents. Their permanent residency is
conditional. Generally, these are aliens who seek permanent residence
as an immediate relative based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen, or who
seek permanent residence in the Second Preference category as the
spouse of another permanent resident alien, and who were married to
the petitioning spouse within two years prior to the grant of
Once these aliens
become permanent residents, they have full permanent residency in most
respects, but with some important differences. They can work in the
U.S.; they can travel freely in and out of the U.S. with their alien
registration receipt cards (green cards) just like other permanent
residents. And the time they spend as “conditional” permanent
residents may count toward the residence and physical presence
requirements for naturalization as a U.S. citizen.
But these aliens
who have “conditional” permanent residence can have their
residence terminated within two years of the grant of residence if any
of a number of events occur. These events which may bring about the
loss of residence include the termination of the marriage or the
determination by the INS that the marriage was entered into for the
purpose of procuring the alien’s entry as an immigrant.
Also, the alien
must file an application to remove the conditional status of his or
her permanent residence in the 90-day period preceding the two-year
anniversary of the granting of that residence.
This application has specific procedures that must be followed
precisely, or else the permanent residence will be terminated. The
process of removing the conditional aspect of an alien’s status is
complex and is outside the scope of this article.
So, if you think
you may be subject to the conditional residency requirements discussed
above, be sure to mark your calendar and be certain to meet all of the
requirements imposed by the INS for removal of the conditional status
within the time allowed, or your status may be terminated.
Robert B. Spiro, Attorney, Bashyam & Spiro, LLP, concentrating
exclusively in matters involving Immigration and Nationality Law,
the small village of Ali Raza Abad near Lahore, stands a dusty plot of
land with a few tents made out of rags. There are children and dogs
running about, young girls with their noses pierced on both sides of
the nostrils sitting together and sun burnt men lying down on
charpoys. These people are the gypsies often talked about as the
wandering exotic people. They are nomadic and do not settle down at
any one place. They speak different languages and practice different
religions and customs. They have always been distinguished from other
people on the basis of their looks, their lifestyle, their language
and their pets.
In Pakistan, the
gypsies are known as Odhs, Pukhiwaas and Khanabadosh. The gypsies are
fiercely proud people who are Muslims belonging to the Rajput clan.
They trace their forced migration from Ferozpur, India, to the time of
Mughal Emperor Akbar and his fight with a Dullah Bhatti who belonged
to the gypsy tribe. They recall tales their elders have been reciting
about the bravery of their hero Dullah Bhatti and how he fought
against the powerful and mighty Akbar. The gypsies, however, lost the
fight and were driven out. Their predecessors used to tell accounts of
the many days and nights they spent hiding in forests from the Mughal
army, protecting their women, children and cattle.
The gypsies used to
be cattle grazers when the open unclaimed land were plenty and they
could let their animals loose and were not bothered by anyone. Now
there is no longer a piece of land where they are allowed to stay for
free. The owner is either too suspicious of them or does not want his
land to become barren from repeated grazing by the cattle. As a
result, the Odhs no longer want to move around as they did when they
were cattle farmers. Now
they want to settle down and have regular employment but cannot afford
to do so.
The Odhs realize
that education is the key to becoming socially acceptable but, again,
cannot afford to obtain education. Due to the high level of
unemployment in Pakistan, some are now becoming more educated but they
often end up following the footsteps of their elders and work as
underpaid construction workers and laborers. The women also do mostly
construction work. They would like to educate their daughters too but
where they live, there is no school nearby and they know that since
they would have to move away eventually, there would be no point in
even sending the girls to school.
The Odhs of
Hanjarwal strongly believe in the elder’s decision for marriages,
which are celebrated with unique songs and dances. The gypsies in the
Czech Republic or Spain do not have anything in Common with those in
Pakistan except for the Romani language, which has evolved since the
original one spoken in India but continues to follow a particular
dialect and style. In Pakistan, it is known as the Odhki language.
From Punjab to the inner Sindh, from the depths of the Frontier and
the vast plains of Balochistan, every gypsy man, woman and child
speaks one language, the Odhki. The
words of the Odhki are very unique, quite dissimilar to any language
in the area of Punjab. Words like kalkeesna for man, kalkeesni for
woman, taari for food, pakhi for house, khutt for bed and tokun for a
dog are not found in any of the other fourteen languages of the
The Odhs are an
unconventional people and perhaps this is one of the reasons why they
get victimized in every country. In Pakistan, too, they are not even
counted as real people and not treated as the real citizens of the
country. The gypsies have no way of expressing their lamentations and
do not have a representative to reach the government. They are ready
to settle down but they have no land, they would like to educate their
children but have no money; they have no way of conveying their
demands because even though persecutions of gypsies have stopped, the
discrimination still exists.
They are polite and
are proud of their community and their race, their lifestyle and their
people. Maybe they are so open and honest because they have nothing to
hide no secrets, no shady deals and no dishonesties. They deserve
representation and they deserve respect.
Thus, the gypsies
have come a long way in many aspects of living. They used to be
Wanderers, with huge fierce guard dogs and were ill reputed as being
thieves and baby snatchers. Now they are a peace-loving community.
Parveen: world’s great singer
Abida Parveen is
Pakistan’s greatest female singing star, a powerful vocalist who has
made her mark in a number of styles. Born in 1957 in Larkana,
Pakistan, Abida Parveen has been performing for twenty years. Her
initial vocal training came from her father, Ustad Ghulam Haider.
Later, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan of Sham Chorassi Gharana taught her. She
was performing in 1977 with Radio Pakistan, in Hyderabad. She was then
a featured performer on Pakistani Television and began public radio
concerts at about the same time.
Abida Parveen has
evolved a unique; versatile style which blends elements of classical
and folk music. Much of her music is rooted in Sufi spiritual
tradition and she has recorded qawwali music and related styles, as
popularized internationally by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
She has attained
immense popularity as a singer of ghazals – the romantic, poetic,
and traditional style. The centuries old ghazal blends poetry and
music in a sublime expression of love both romantic and spiritual. The
results are nothing less than mesmerizing. Abida Parveen’s
three-octave range and heart rendering expressiveness has led at least
one critic to call her “the Um Kalthoum of Pakistan”. She is
indeed one of the world’s greatest singers. She has twenty albums to
Pakistani North American Film Festival
first ever Pakistani North American Film Festival will take place July
15, 2000, in Atlanta, Georgia. SAYA,
a society of Pakistani North American young adults ages 18 - 29, is
affiliated with APPNA. SAYA
is holding the film festival and a Pakistani fashion show event as
part of its annual convention, scheduled at the Atlanta Hilton and
Towers from July 13-16.
The audience is
expected to be more than 500 strong based on Saturday afternoon SAYA
fashion show attendance in the past years. The film festival will
showcase work by Pakistani American and Canadian filmmakers as well as
films, including Pakistani related themes and characters. It will
highlight aspects of the Pakistani experience in North America. For
more information, contact: Murad Toor, SAYA president: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAYA website: http://www.saya.net
Nazir Sabir Conquers Everest
May 17: Nazir Sabir, 45, became the first Pakistani to reach the
summit of Mount Everest from Nepalese side. He unfolded the Pakistan
flag on the world’s highest peak. Sabir and his teammate, Benjamin
Webster, 38, a photo- journalist from North York in Canada, reached
the summit of the 8,848-metre (29,000-feet) mountain, accompanied by
four Nepalese high altitude mountain guides who have already climbed
the 8,848-meter peak. Nazir Sabir started hard-night-long ascent on
Tuesday at 10pm and reached the top at 7.31am Nepal time on Wednesday.
This was Sabir’s second attempt on mount Everest. In 1997, he had
made his first try from the Chinese side as leader of Pakistan's
golden jubilee expedition, but was driven back by blizzards a few
hundred meters short of the summit. With this outstanding feat, Sabir,
born in 1955 at Raminj, a remote village of upper Gojal-Hunza, in
Gilgit district, has scaled five of the world's 14 high peaks of
can buy Airlines tickets for Pakistan in Cary!
Now you can buy
airlines tickets for your next trip to Pakistan from Z & Z
International Travel in Cary. This new travel agency has been in
existence since January 2000 and is operated by Riaz Khan and his wife
Fouzia from their home in Cary. Z&Z International Travel provides
guaranteed seats on all major international airlines at the lowest
rates. The tickets can be delivered overnight to your door. Riaz and
Fouzia have been residing in the area since 1991 and are members of
Pakistani-American Association. For all your international travel
needs, do call Z & Z International Travel at 919-319-3586.
showing off his new Pakistani dress to his parents: Rakhshi and Kamran
in Greenville, NC.
final countdown - by
Syeda Sara Abbas
It is interesting
to note that the Urdu language is making waves in the USA where it has
not yet been forgotten. Certain libraries in Queens, New York -
probably the most ethnically diverse Borough in America - have the Khawateen
Digest, Deputy Nazeer Ahmed
kay afsaney and Chand Girhan
an immensely popular Pakistani television serial. The vast collection
of Urdu books is part of The Namast-e-Adaab
collection that comprises material in Hindi, Punjabi and Gujarati. You
can Pick a local Urdu weekly from any Indian grocery store where young
girls roam about in Shaloos making sections of New York City look like
Tariq Road. The Urdu language now has a prominent web presence. You
can enjoy Faiz and Miraji on the website carrying Urdu text. This
sixteenth century Arabic-Turkish-Persian polyglot has lent words to
urban America such as halal, ramadaan, mehndi and kala.
An American girl of
Pakistani origin is surfing on the Net for a particular website in the
county library in Queens, NYC, but is stumped. Her mother, whose head
is covered with a dupatta, is wearing a roughly ironed kurta shalwar
as she looks towards me hopefully. She nudges the daughter "Jao
us say pucho." With hesitant steps and a reluctant expression,
she ventures to ask, "Could you help me?" Every feature in
her tanned face, her Bata shoes, her modestly long frock and tung
pyjama screams out Pakistani. Here lies the dilemma. Talking to a
fellow Pakistani she uses English. Iqbal Zaidi, a freelance writer for
Californian newspapers calls this a deep-rooted inferiority complex.
He moved to the USA three years ago. His seven-year-old daughter can
speak Urdu because, he explains, "we did not reply if she spoke
to us in English.'
Says Iqbal Zaidi,
"Most of the Pakistani immigrants were semi-literate and felt it
was heavenly when their child could speak in English, the language of
the Pakistani elite." Professor Shaheen Parveen who teaches Urdu at Columbia
University is of the opinion that this is connected with a low level
of literacy among Pakistani women. She says,
"women of Muslim India and Pakistani women are family
oriented, preferring Bollywood movies or Urdu digests." And what
of Urdu's fate? She replies: "They could preserve this language
if they wanted to do so." Indeed of her forty-five students, only
two are Pakistanis. This figure leaves a lot to be desired.
is being destroyed by Pakistani immigrants," snorts Mrs. Qamar
Jaffery, the senior librarian at the Glen Oaks library. In 1990, there
were 100,000 Pakistani Americans of whom half spoke Punjabi and only
30 per cent spoke Urdu. The figure has probably trebled in number as
the bulk of immigrants fled from violence stricken Karachi. Mrs. Qamar
knows the entire local community by name. She runs the Namast-e-Adaab
program that Comprise books, videos and CDs in South Asian languages
like Bengali, Gujrati, Hindi and Urdu at Queens' libraries. Library
budgets reflect the ethnic distribution of the neighborhood. Glen Oaks
is bursting with desis, thus Mrs. Qamar buys Akhbar-i-Jehan,
Shah Rukh Khan movies and PTV plays.
and journals are all readily accessible but there is a limited
readership. Says Qamar Jaffery; "They issue Urdu books but far
less in number when in comparison to Indian films. Children read
less." She blames the parents who, she says, must teach the
language at home if they want their children to integrate into the
community. Most immigrants kept their language alive by teaching kids
at home. Korean, Chinese and Hebrew are prime examples. But local
Pakistani families are caught up in working hard and earning a
livelihood. By the time they are financially secure, their children
have reached their teens and have assimilated in mainstream America.
As Urdu is
accredited at the official level, it can be used to fulfil a language
requirement in a college curriculum. Columbia University, Berkeley
College in California, Wisconsin and Chicago teach three-year courses
that combine Hindi and Urdu. Frances Pritchett, the foremost Urdu
specialist in Columbia reels the names of the colleges while I look at
a painting of Ghalib in her room. Dressed in a topi and achkan, Ghalib
appears as faded as his language. A familiar figure in New York
mushairas, her Urdu vocabulary puts mine to shame.
"I have yet to see a Pakistani family where parents know more
English than the children." She sees Urdu's decline in America as
a symptom. The problem is at the source. "Urdu is declining in
Pakistan." In Pakistan, the stakes are high; Urdu must fight
Punjabi for the status of a qaumi zaban, the national budget, the
advertising revenues, and the prestige. She sees the spread of English
medium schools that set aside Urdu as another reason. Attending such
schools means opening the door to a brighter future in Pakistan.
Frances calls Urdu
a luxury language, for those with fee paying ability. "The
prevalent level of the language is enough to understand a Hindi movie,
but not to enjoy a musahaira or write letters." As a last resort,
she believes that Urdu can be taught like Arabic in Pakistan - with a
tutor teaching children at home.
Urdu has a tiny
commercial base. Most of Shaheen's students want to work in
development projects in the United Nations. Other appointments in
larger cities where Pakistanis are employed in large numbers are at
immigration offices, airport security desks and county libraries. On
the more positive side, one finds that there is an abundance of Urdu
weeklies as the popular Urdu Times and Pakistan Post published
simultaneously from urban American cities such as New York, Los
Angeles, Chicago and Houston. They are usually a one-man affair; the
publisher is the editor, owner, financier and distributor. But the
paper has no employing power. It's free and the cost is met by ads.
Its content is mediocre - news, snippets from Bombay and nazms by
launched in 1997. Its homepage says that the aim is to record all past
and present Urdu literature and offers email in Urdu as well. It has
links to Urdu text tools that enable translations, dictionaries and
other fonts. UrduWeb is for 'Urdu savers' who Want to study the
language. Maybe, at this point in time Urdu needs the Internet to
survive out of Pakistan.
Qamar Jaffery is of the opinion that as long as the immigrants keep
arriving Urdu will survive in America. Iqbal Zaidi has a gloomier
view; he gives it no more than 50 years. He attributes his gloomy
prediction to the spread of English in Pakistan. Frances Pritchett
thinks Urdu will survive only as a passive language.
Ahsen Salim, son of
a Pakistani diplomat, was born in Basra, Iraq and grew up in China,
and Pakistan. He studied in England and now lives in Cary, NC. After
graduating from University of London in Electrical Engineering, he
started his career with Multitone,
an electric radio paging equipment-manufacturing company. He then
worked for Plessey, on
microprocessors, and Babcock
on process control before moving to the Connecticut, USA. Then came Gould,
where he worked on programmable logic controllers and micro code and
He does not claim
to invent the Internet (like others) but he came very close to it. He
was working on the upgrade of the Internet backbone from an unmarked
building for IBM and NSF on a project that was then top secret and
which became the most important infrastructure for the twenty-first
century. He had one of the seven nodes in his office. There are now
hundreds of nodes around the world. They carry the backbone for the
Internet. Ahsen Salim visited NC while working for the IBM. He liked
the area and moved to the IBM facility in the Park in 1993.
By this time he had
started ADTI as a consulting firm and did some custom programming. Web
hosting wasn’t on anyone’s mind then. It was then he realized the
importance of this tool and envisioned the Internet boom and jumped on
the bandwagon. ADTI officially started web hosting in 1994. He was
still working after hours from his basement. He rented an office in
1996 and just like other successful businessmen; he left IBM.
hosts 1500 websites and over 3500 email clients. BorrowOrRob.com
and Riverdance.com are
very well known European companies and both are hosted by ADTI.
ADTI is located in
Research Triangle Park. More information on the company is available
from http://www.localweb.com. Ahsen Salim lives in Cary, NC with his
wife Sumaira and 14-month-old daughter Aamna. They are very active
with Pakistani-American Association and volunteer their time with it.
Sumaira writes Urdu poetry. Both Ahsen and Sumaira enjoy Urdu
literature and very loyally participate and attend the monthly
literary meetings of Urdu Majlis.
Internet firm in $20 million deal
KARACHI, May 4:
Pakistani firm, NetSol International, Inc has announced that it is
acquiring SuperNet AG, a German Internet Service provider, in a $20
million all-stock deal. A press release said that under the terms of
the definitive agreement, NetSol International would acquire all of
SuperNet AG’s issued and outstanding stock in exchange for 425,600
shares of NetSol’s restricted common stock. SuperNet AG provides
high quality Internet access nationwide in Germany and manages online
communities, services and delivers e-business solutions.
Last week it has announced of launching nationwide Internet
services in Pakistan through its wholly owned subsidy eReady. With the
brand name of NetSolCONNECT's. eReady plans to commence its
operation in Karachi from June 2000. (Dawn News Service)
firm to invest $80 million in IT
ISLAMABAD, April 4:
International Telecommunication LTD of the United States will invest
$80 million for the promotion of information technology (IT). US
Charge d' Affaires, Michele Sison speaking at a seminar here Tuesday
said that the company would invest $80 million in Pakistan to help
promote IT development. An American investor’s delegation will soon
visit Pakistan, to initiate a new chapter of cooperation between the
two countries, she added.
Science and Technology, Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman has welcomed the US
firm's decision. The experience of Americans will be fully utilized
for the promotion of science and technology in Pakistan, to meet
modern challenges, he added.
The government was
committed to equip the new generation with modern scientific and
technical education, to enable them meet the new challenges, he said.
The government is taking concrete steps to actively promote science
and technology, both in the rural and urban areas, to ensure
prosperity in every development sectors, the minister observed.
Atta said the new IT Policy will be announced within 15 days, to be
implemented through an integrated action plan. He directed PTCL to
help in speeding up IT promotion in the country.
Controller of International Telecommunication Limited, Ray
Morris and Chairman PTCL, Nasim S. Mirza, also spoke on the occasion.