Maneka Gandhi to release Draft Trafficking of Persons Bill today

New Delhi: Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi will release the Draft Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2016 in New Delhi today.The new bill aims to check human trafficking by unifying several existing laws, meting out tougher punishment for repeat offenders and ensuring the protection and rehabilitation of victims. Besides creating a comprehensive law against trafficking, the draft bill calls for the creation of a special court and investigation agency to tackle such cases and joint working groups with neighboring countries to undertake preventive measures. According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau, up to 5,466 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2014, an increase of more than 90 per cent since 2009. The US Department of State`s 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report estimates that up to 65 million people were trafficked for forced labour in India. It said, 90 per cent of trafficking in India is internal. At present, human trafficking cases are dealt with by a hodgepodge of laws and multiple agencies. According to experts, these laws, including the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, are inadequate as they gloss over prevention or fail to address trafficking beyond sexual exploitation. A senior official said, the draft bill will address these loopholes by bringing forced labour under the ambit of law and by working with the governments of Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar to curb trafficking.To act as a deterrent, the bill proposes to double the jail term to 14 years for repeat offenders and people engaged in the trafficking of minors. (ANI) ANI

It’s official: Chennithala to be Leader of the Opposition

Former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president and former Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala was on Sunday unanimously elected Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader. Mr. Chennithala will automatically become Leader of the Opposition in the House under the United Democratic Front (UDF) formula since he will be heading the largest party in the coalition. Mr. Chennithala’s unanimous election was announced by All India Congress Committee representative Sheila Dikshit at the end of a five-hour exercise that involved one-to-one meetings with each of the 22 Congress legislators. The Choice was supposed to be a smooth affair except for a small hiccup caused by K. Muraleedharan, former KPCC president, who wrote to KPCC president V.M. Sudheeran questioning the practice of decisions being taken unilaterally ahead of the CLP meeting. Subsequently, Ms. Dikshit, who was assisted by AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik and secretary Deepak Babria, decided to meet the legislators individually. Soon after this exercise, the CLP was formally convened. The meeting passed a resolution seeking AICC president Sonia Gandhi’s approval. Mr. Chennithala’s name was formally proposed by former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and seconded by Adoor Prakash, V.T. Balaram, and V.D. Satheeshan. Soon after, Mr. Chandy and Mr. Sudheeran had telephonic conversations with leaders of other UDF constituents briefing them about Mr. Chennithala’s unanimous election as CLP leader. Massive setback Mr. Chennithala replaces Mr. Chandy as the CLP leader. Mr. Chandy did not put a claim this time for the CLP leadership in view of the massive setback the Congress had suffered in the Assembly election. As per the understanding arrived at a few days ago, there would be a separate full-fledged UDF Legislature Party meeting. Mr. Chennithala would automatically become the UDF leader, but there could be a change in the script with Indian Union Muslim League leader P.K. Kunhalikutty being nominated as deputy leader of the UDF, considering the status of his party as the second largest party in the UDF with 18 legislators. Mr. Chennithala’s elevation also signals a change in the factional equations in the Congress and the subtle induction of a new leader, with the entire appurtenances of a consensus in choice. Another decision which is pending resolution is Mr. Chandy’s role in the post-election period since he has preferred to cool his heels for the time being.

Coal India gains after increasing coal prices

Coal India rose 4.23% to Rs 293.25 at 10:00 IST on BSE after the company’s board of directors approved about 6.29% increase in coal prices over the current prices with effect from 30 May 2016. The announcement was made on Saturday, 28 May 2016. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 86.92 points or 0.24% at 26,717.57. On BSE, so far 1.86 lakh shares were traded in the counter as against average daily volume of 5.44 lakh shares in the past one quarter. The stock hit high of Rs 296 and low of Rs 287.90 so far during the day. The stock had hit a record high of Rs 447.25 on 5 August 2015. The stock had hit a 52-week low of Rs 272.05 on 12 April 2016. The stock had underperformed the market over the past one month till 27 May 2016, falling 3.2% compared with Sensex’s 2.26% gains. The scrip had also underperformed the market in past one quarter, sliding 9.64% as against Sensex’s 15.11% gains. The large-cap company has equity capital of Rs 6316.36 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10. Coal India’s board of directors at its meeting held on 28 May 2016, approved about 6.29% increase in coal prices over the current prices with effect from 30 May 2016. This will be applicable to all subsidiaries of Coal India and NEC for regulated and non-regulated sectors. Due to this revision, Coal India will earn additional revenue of about Rs 3234 crore for the balance period of current financial year i.e. from 30 May 2016 to 31 March 2017. The board has also approved the differential price for non-regulated sector at a reduced rate of 20% over the price of regulated sector for G6 to G17 grades of coal for all subsidiaries of Coal India. Meanwhile, Coal India’s consolidated net profit rose 0.22% to Rs 4247.93 crore on 0.72% decline in total income to Rs 22898.79 crore in Q4 March 2016 over Q4 March 2015. The result was announced on Saturday, 28 May 2016. Coal India is an organized state-owned coal mining corporate. The Government of India held 79.65% stake in Coal India (as per the shareholding pattern as on 31 March 2016).
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    Saudi Arabia hopes for religious tourism boost

    With Saudi Arabia’s government announcing reforms aimed at moving the kingdom away from its dependence on oil, another source of income looks set to become a major contributor to the economy – religious tourism. The authorities plan to relax restrictions governing visas for Muslim pilgrims, meaning those travelling to Mecca and Medina will be able to extend their stay and visit non-religious cultural cities and sites. Projected growth The tourism industry currently generates about 2.7% of Saudi Arabia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with religious tourists making up the largest group of visitors to the kingdom. The Hajj pilgrimage, which takes place in the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and lesser Umrah pilgrimages, which can be performed at any time of the year, contribute $12bn annually. That is projected to rise to more than $20bn within the next four years, according to the Council for Economic and Development Affairs.The council predicts that the number of religious tourists coming to perform Umrah will grow from eight million this year to 15 million by 2020, and 30 million by 2030. Until now, pilgrimage visas tightly controlled where and when pilgrims can travel in Saudi Arabia, but officials hope to loosen these restrictions. “We’re working towards pilgrims visiting Saudi antiquities, such as Madain Saleh near Medina, after they have done their religious duties,” said Prince Sultan bin Salman, head of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage. “But we also have attractions that will encourage tourists to travel much further and to visit other parts of the kingdom.” Untapped potential A vast programme of infrastructure development – including railways linking Mecca, Medina, Jeddah and other large urban centres – is already under way.Among tourism attractions being prepared are archaeological excavations, including spectacular rock art, that will become open-air museums. Oxford University professor Michael Petraglia, who heads a team of archaeologists in Saudi Arabia, says there are dozens of such sites – including Jubbah, Shuwaymis and Nejran – which could draw large numbers of visitors.”There are four Unesco [World Heritage] sites in Saudi Arabia and many others are under consideration,” he said. Mohammed Hafez, a member of the influential Saudi Art Council, said cultural initiatives had untapped potential to boost the economy. “Our basic aim of educating Saudi Arabians about art has been eclipsed by events. “Now art plays a part in every project – from Jeddah’s new international airport to building tourist programmes around the unique collection of international modern sculpture on Jeddah’s corniche,” he said. A recently-announced plan for a Red Sea bridge linking the Kingdom with Egypt could also help boost visitor numbers. With a market of 90 million Egyptians, the new pilgrimage route would help bring more tourists to Saudi than ever before.
    Ambassador’s meeting with Governor of Eastern Province and Secretary General, Asharqia Chamber

    Ambassador’s meeting with Governor of Eastern Province and Secretary General, Asharqia Chamber

    H.E. Mr. Ahmad Javed, Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia called on the Governor of Eastern Province His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud today (May 9) and discussed issues of bilateral interest. The two sides made special emphasis on further strengthening and diversifying the engagements in the fields of trade and investment. Ambassador Ahmad Javed also expressed his thanks to the Governor for hosting a large number of Indian community in the Eastern Province and ensuring their safety and welfare. Ambassador Ahmad Javed also visited the Asharqia Chamber and met the Secretary General Mr. Abdul Rahman Al-Wabel and senior officials of the Chamber. The discussions covered the opportunities available between the two countries for further enhancement of commercial engagements.
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    China: Finally allowed to have second child, older parents turn to IVF

    China’s decision to allow all married couples to have two children is driving a surge in demand for fertility treatment among older women, putting heavy pressure on clinics and breaking down past sensitivities, and even shame, about the issue. The rise in in vitro fertilization (IVF) points to the lost dreams of many parents who long wanted a second child, but were prevented by a strict population control policy in place for more than 30 years. That, in turn, is shifting prevailing attitudes in China regarding fertility treatments — formerly a matter of such sensitivity that couples were reluctant to tell even their parents or other family members that they were having trouble conceiving.More and more women are coming to ask to have their second child,” said Dr. Liu Jiaen, who runs a private hospital in Beijing treating infertility through IVF, in which an egg and sperm are combined in a laboratory dish and the resulting embryo transferred to a woman’s uterus.Liu estimated that the numbers of women coming to him for IVF had risen by 20 percent since the relaxation of the policy, which came into effect at the start of the year. Before, the average age of his patients was about 35. Now most of them are older than 40 and some of the women are fast approaching 50, he said.They have a very low chance to get pregnant so they are in a hurry. They really want to have a child as soon as possible,” he said. Chen Yun is 39 and was in the hospital waiting to have the procedure for the first time. She and her husband already have a 7-year-old son and their families are encouraging them to have a second child. “We are coming to the end of our childbearing years. It may be difficult for me to get pregnant naturally because my husband’s sperm may have a problem, so we want to resolve this problem through IVF,” she said. Chen said she hoped having a brother or sister would make their son happier, more responsible and less self-absorbed. “We had siblings when we were children. I had a younger sister and we felt very happy when playing together,” she said. “Now that every couple has one child, two generations — parents and grandparents — take care of the child. They give the only child too much attention.” If her son has a younger brother or sister to look out for, he may not “think too much about himself like a little emperor,” Chen said. Over the past two decades, IVF technology has developed rapidly in China, where about 10 percent of couples are estimated to need the procedure to conceive. In 2014, 700,000 women had IVF treatments, according to the health commission’s Women’s and Children’s Department, which said in a statement that demand for all types of fertility treatment had risen following the policy relaxation, including the use of traditional Chinese medicine. “Currently, fertility centers at renowned medical organizations in Beijing and Shanghai and others are under increased pressure for treatments,” the department said. Previously, China limited most urban couples to one child and rural couples to two if their first was a girl. There were exceptions for ethnic minorities, and city dwellers could break the policy if they were willing to pay a fee calculated at several times a household’s annual income. While authorities credit the policy introduced in 1979 with preventing 400 million extra births, many demographers argue the fertility rate would have fallen anyway as China’s economy developed and education levels rose. Intended to curb a surging population, the policy has been blamed for skewing China’s demographics by reducing the size of the future workforce at a time when children and society face increasing demands from the growing ranks of the elderly. It also inflated the ratio of boys to girls as female fetuses were selectively aborted, while compelling many women to have forced abortions or give up their second children for adoption, leaving many families devastated. The National Health and Family Planning Commission said in November that 90 million women would become eligible to have a second child following the policy change. Authorities expect that will add 30 million people to the country’s labor force by 2050. Those projections could be overly optimistic since many younger Chinese see small families as ideal and would be reluctant to take on the cost of raising a second child. When the policy was changed in 2013 to allow two children for families in which at least one parent was an only child, it spurred fewer births than authorities expected. Also under pressure are China’s sperm banks, which already suffer shortages owing to a reluctance to donate among young Chinese men unwilling to father children they won’t know or fearing their offspring may turn up at their door one day despite donor confidentiality. “The relaxing of the one-child policy certainly gave an impetus to the demand for sperm as more women, usually aged around or above 35, came for assistance,” said Zhang Xinzong, director of the Guangdong Sperm Bank in southern China. Calls have also gone out for a loosening of China’s adoption law, which currently states that only couples with no children can adopt, while also allowing couples with one child to adopt a disabled child or an orphan. The Ministry of Civil Affairs didn’t respond to a question on whether the law would be changed, and it couldn’t say whether the number of couples seeking adoption had risen since the policy change. It said there were 109,000 children available for adoption in the custody of governmental institutions, 90 percent of whom were disabled and 60 percent severely disabled. Zhang Mingsuo, a professor at Zhengzhou’s University’s School of Public Administration, said few Chinese couples were willing to adopt disabled children “because they worry about the possible heavy medical expense.”

    Australian man killed fighting against Islamic State terrorists in Syria

    Canberra: An Australian man has reportedly been killed while fighting against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.Social media accounts belonging to Kurdish military units claimed 45-year-old former Australian Defence Force (ADF) soldier Jamie Bright died last week in the northern Raqqa countryside, ABC Australia reported on Monday. However, Bright’s death is yet to be officially authenticated, but he has appeared in recent online videos. “The reason I came to Kurdistan is because of the people, their struggle and their fight,” Bright said in one of the videos. “I came to help them in any way I can.” According to officials, Bright had been a member of the ADF, training with the School of Military Engineering in Sydney in the 1980s before being posted to Perth as an army engineer. Bright joined the YPG early last year and knew fellow Australian Ashley Johnston, who was killed by IS militants in 2015, the officials said. Johnston, a former Army reservist originally from Queensland, was killed during an assault by Kurdish forces on an IS position near Tel Hamis, a tactically important area. IANS
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    Brainstorming Session organised by Indian Engineers Forum Jeddah Chapter

    Brainstorming Session organised by Indian Engineers Forum Jeddah Chapter - May 15 2016

    Indian Engineers Forum, Jeddah chapter, organised Brainstorming session on Today’s Economic crunch and Unemployment as their Quarterly event highlighting Prospects and Opportunities for Engineers and other professionals in Gulf and India. Dr. Mohammed Haseebullah, Engr. Fazil Ali, Engr. Syed Fazal ul Haq and Engr, Munawar Amafh were among the speakers who broadly highlighted the current jobs situation in Gulf and India, also advised the audience to take initiative to become entrepreneurs by establishing business in India and here in Saudi Arabia with the help of local authorities. Engr. Mohammed Sayeeduddin President Indian Engineers Forum Jeddah Chapter Presided over the function and in his presidential speech advised engineers and other professionals to be competitive in their profession. Dr. Haseebullah well known social reformer with the help of power point presentation described the current jobs status of gulf and India, Dr. Haseebullah an expert on time management and human resources, spoke at length on the chances of new ventures that can be done in India in general and Hyderabad in particular. You do not need millions to be an entrepreneur but few thousands with wisdom can make you successful. He said there are three major obstacles for development namely illiteracy, ignorance and poverty, the worst and most challenging is ignorance. Online business can be developed and turned into a successful venture with the help of local Saudis, we must adapt to changes, local as well as global, he appreciated and welcomed vision 2030 of Saudi Arabia. Engr. Fazil Ali while speaking encouraged engineers to become the need of the society. Still 1,200,000 skilled men are required by Saudi Arabia and requested IEF to do further research on this subject. Develop technically trained force and networking to be more effective in future. Engr. Syed Fazal ul Haq Vice president of the forum delivered his speech on Safe investment, he said no risk no gain, we must focus till accomplishment one task only then shift to the next one. We must develop stability and patience to be successful in life. Investment must be done with acumen and professionally; by hiring experts for advice. Vice Chairman of Electrical Sub Committee while speaking explained about the current jobs situation and advised freshers, experienced professionals and retired persons to come together and work so that this will help everyone to get jobs. Munnawar told that there are three types of engineers in the society freshers, experienced and entrepreneurs. Fresher must sharpen their skills and develop the cutting edge. Experienced engineers must try to develop more than one source of income. Entrepreneurs will struggle and will be squeezed in the short term but beneficial in the long term, these must be encouraged. Engr. Mustafa Khan vice president of the forum summarized the speakers and presented his report at the end. Program started with recitation of holy Quran by Engr. Muazzam Sayeed, Chairman for IT and Electronics, Engr. Mohammed Shoebuddin Chief Coordinator of the forum delivered the welcome speech while Guest speakers were introduced by Engr. Nayeem Quraishy Chairman Civil Sub Committee and Engr. Raziuddin Owais Chairman of Mechanical Sub Committee. As a token of appreciation Mementos were given to the speakers by legend social workers Mr. Shamim Kausar and Mr. Siadath ali khan,  Engr Syed Nasir Khursheed General Secretary anchored the program, while vote of thanks was delivered by Engr. Imdad Ali Vice Chairman of civil subcommittee.
    Young Stars Jeddah lifts Karnataka Noble Trophy Season 2

    Young Stars Jeddah lifts Karnataka Noble Trophy Season 2 - Apr 18 2016

    JEDDAH — KNT SEASON 2, the Knockout Series Cricket Tournament jointly organized by Jamiyyatul Falah Jeddah & KNRI Forum Jeddah had concluded with the last ball of trilling Final match where Young Stars Jeddah has beaten Target Lothers and claim the title of KNT Season 2 Trophy. Enjoying the full season of two weeks in Sharbatly Ground the cricket fans witnessed the great play of cricket in between 16 well known teams from Jeddah. 8 teams have entered quarter finals and the first semifinal was played in between Masters XI & Target Lothers and Second Semifinals was played in between Young Stars & Barik ATS. The Finalists were Target Lothers & Young Stars. The impressive event of Final Presentation ceremony was honored by the chief guest Mr. Sayed Masood Ahmed – Principal of International Indian School Jeddah who also enjoyed the full innings of final match, presented the Title Trophy to Young Stars Jeddah Cricket Team and Runner Up Trophy to Target Lothers. Addressing the gathering Mr. Masood remembers his college life and congratulated all the teams who play cricket matches in this blessed land for the Noble Cause. He also emphasized the awareness and the responsibility of well to do peoples towards the social welfare of deserving needy and appreciated both the respective Organizations for their objectives and the achievements on Noble Cause. The Man of the Final Match Sponsored by Al Saggaf Eye Clinic was presented to Mr . Aftab from Young Stars for his amazing bowling figures of 2 overs-1 Maiden -3 Runs – 3 Wickets The Man of the Series Sponsored by Intermodal Services of SA was presented to Mr. Safayar from Target Lothers for his outstanding all round performance in the tournament with total score of 91 runs and had taken 9 wickets The Best Bowler award Sponsored by IOE Freight Forwarders was presented to Mr. Safayar from Target Lothers for his excellent bowling figure of 9 wickets against 18 runs in the tournament. The Best Batsman award Sponsored by Majdi Foods & Marketing Co was presented to Mr. Amer Siddiqui from Young Stars for his total score of 99 runs in the tournament. Mr. Iqbal Mirza, President of Jamiyyatul Falah Jeddah delivered welcome address while Mr. Roshan Rodrigues, President of KNRI Forum delivered Key Note Address on the occasion. Both the presidents honored jointly the chief Guest Mr. Syed Masood Ahmed by presenting the memento. The event was commenced with the recitation of Holy Quran by Mr. Shaikh Saoud from Jamiyyatul Falah Jeddah. Mr. Sabu Chandran from KNRI Forum had anchored the program who leads the honoring of all the sponsors and well-wishers by presenting the memento for their generous support. The guests and audients were also enjoyed the event by winning dozens of amazing prizes on Raffle Draw which had DSLR Camera, LED TV, Tab, Mobile Phones, Home Appliances and many more gifts. The Vote of Thanks was presented by Mr. Shaikh Saoud. On behalf of KNT he expressed deep sense of appreciation and thanks to all the members of the both the organizations for their dedicated and excellent team work to organize this tournament; he thanked Mr. Syed Masood Ahmed – Principal Indian International School Jeddah for gracing the event as Chief Guest. He also thanked all the sponsors for their generous contribution to the tournament as below: Al Saggaf Eye Clinic, Intermodal Services of SA, IOE Freight Forwarders, Majdi Foods & Marketing Co, RF Developers, Al Esayi Aviation, EFS Cargo & Logistics, Imas- Innovative Media Access Solutions, Intermodal Medical Services, AB Industrial Supplies, Hakami Computers, Premier Food Corp, Team Work Freight Forwarders, Village Restaurant , Lafi Est., SSQ Industrial Support Services, Al Ayon Est , Bariz Global Co, Global Key Est, Master Trading & Contracting, Al Salam Al Alami Est – Unitel, Al Zuoman General Trading Co, AEG Al Eshrath Gold Est for Transports, C System. Our Well Wishers : Mr. Vishwanath Karkera, Mr. Arshad Parker, Mr. Mohammed Iqbal and Mr. Qamar Sada. Mr. H. V. Hegde of Intermodal Services of SA, Mohammed Mansoor – NRCC Ameer Jamiyyatul Falah , Mr. Sharif Mashaly from Al Saggaf Clinic, Mr. Mohammed Mushtaq from IOE Freight Forwarders, Mr. Abdul Khader Kudrolli from AB Industrial Supplies were among the prominent supporters attended the event.
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    The “Celebration of the Glory of Hyderabad”, under the Patronage of Consulate General of India in Chicago, Attracted Huge Crowds

    The “Celebration of the Glory of Hyderabad”, under the Patronage of Consulate General of India in Chicago, Attracted Huge Crowds

    Launch of the Special Commemorative Souvenir, Glory of Hyderabad by Mr.Zahid Ali Khan, Editor-in-Chief, The Siasat Daily, Dr.Gopal Lalmalani, Mayor of Oak Brook,Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago, Mr. Mir Z Khan, Chairman,Steering Committee and Mr. Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer, Office of the Governor of IL, “Hyderabad has always remained as a point of convergence of many different cultures, traditions, festivals, and religions that gave it its distinct cosmopolitan character. Hyderabad’s lingua franca, ‘Dakhini’, is a unique blend of several languages, typifying the true plural character of the city, where people belonging to different castes, creed, and religions live in peace and harmony and participate in each other’s festivals with enthusiasm”, said Dr.Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago in his inaugural address of the “Celebration of the Glory of Hyderabad” held under the patronage of Consulate General of India in Chicago, on Sunday, May 15th, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM, at  Shalimar Banquets, 280 W. North Ave. Addison, IL. Continuing his address, Dr. Sayeed said that the event is aimed at celebrating the famed ‘Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb’ and portraying the “Hyderabadiyat”, rather than merely glorifying Hyderabad’s historical achievements. “The Hyderabadi Tehzeeb is the traditional mix of civility, hospitality, courtesy, and grace in social interaction, the hallmark of which is respect and consideration”, added Dr. Sayeed. “While Hyderabad has been protecting and preserving its age-old culture and traditions, it has been proactive in welcoming and embracing the contemporary socio-economic changes. It has emerged as the ‘Best liveable city’ in India and gained reputation as a home for such global giants as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook”, added Dr. Sayeed. The Mesmerizing Plays: Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation, Hyderabad presented two internationally-acclaimed plays, namely, “Spaces: Story of Hyderabadi Haveli” and “Quli: Dilon ka Shahzaada”. With a blend of fine and performing arts, embellished with Indian classical and shadow dances, period sets and costumes, the play takes audience back in time to the 17th century Indian kingdom of Golconda through a philosophical tale of true love. ‘Spaces: Story of Hyderabadi Haveli confronts a question that most people in any urban society globally: do we define our space or does our space define us?  The male lead actor,Padmashri Mohammed Ali Baig, and the female lead actress, Noor Baig, stole the thunder by their explosive performances. The audience gave them standing ovation, again and again, throughout the duration of the show. Mohammad Ali Baig and Noor Baig, along with their troop, were especially flown from Hyderabad to present the phenomenal plays.  The Siasat Urdu Daily, Hyderabad, show-cased hundreds of art pieces of the calligraphy made by artists from India, as a part of the Urdu and Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition. The calligraphy exhibits of Nayeem Saberi and Faheem Saberi, paintings of Lateef Farooqui, embroidery of Naseer Sultan, and wood work of Mohammed Mazharuddin were displayed at the Exhibition. The Calligraphy Exhibition was jointly inaugurated by Dr. Ausaf Sayeed and Zahid Ali Khan, Editor-in-Chief, The Siasat Daily. The visit of Zahid Ali Khan, Editor Urdu daily to Chicago, exclusively to grace the event, was a pleasant experience for the Urdu lovers. The crowning glory of the event was a qawwali program considering the fact that it has beena powerful part of the rich culture of Hyderabad. Riaz Qawwal and his party, who came from Houston exclusively for the event, delighted audience, beyond tier expectations, by presenting popular qawwalis. Mir Z Khan, in his inaugural address, said that a part of the proceeds of the event will benefit “Feed the Hungry” in Hyderabad and youth education programs in India. He stated that the Steering Committee of the Event, Ashfaq Hussain Syed (Secretary), Iqbal Ali M.Baig (Treasurer), Dr. PremRupani, Dr.Muzaffar Mirza, Sami Siddiqi, Tasneem Osmani, Iftekhar Shareef, Gazala Rahman, Syed Sharafat Hussain, Anis Khan, Syed Hussain, Khalid Osmani, and Ali Jaffer worked tirelessly, day in day out for over two months, to ensure that the event turns out to be a high watermark of success. Dr. Prem Rupani, a prominent member of the Hyderabadi community in Chicagoland, said that with the establishment of such world class educational institutions as Indian School of Business, Indian Institutes of Management, Indian Institutes of Technology, and a string of professional, technical, and vocational educational institutions, Hyderabad is emerging as the most preferred destination for students from a number of countries. Similarly, he added, the mind boggling growth in Industry, Services, and Business, India has become a mighty force to reckon with at the global plane. “Awards of Excellence” were presented to Azher Quader, Dr. Vidyasagar, AliNiazee, Dr. Chitturi, Kaiseruddin, Nazneen, and Sadiq Naqvi for their landmark contributions in different domains of work. The Steering Committee presented a special award to Dr. Sayeed for his exceptionally good contribution for the overall welfare of the Indian-Americans in Chicago. The event kick started withthe singing of the National Anthems of the United States and India. The authentic Hyderabadi dinner served to the guests was relished by one and all. Azam Nizamuddin, the MC of the event, anchored the proceedings of the event in a professional fashion manner.
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