Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pakistani-American Elected Mayor

Pakistani-American has been elected mayor of a town in Washington state by a landslide. The 54-year-old Mayor-elect Haroon Saleem admits that running the Timberline Bar and Cafe, with beer ads plastered everywhere, is not exactly a pious following of Islam, which forbids alcohol consumption.

The big win for a Muslim Pakistani-American is all the more surprising because Granite Falls is a small mining town of 800 mostly blue-collar whites, a result that residents say would have been inconceivable not long ago.

After 911 attacks in New York and Washington, Saleem told the Associated Press that community members reached out, letting him know he was one of them. No one seems to notice that his wife, Bushra, attends social events wearing a traditional shalwar-kamiz.

While Saleem is only the second American mayor of Pakistani origin after Dr. M. Ali Chaudry of New Jersey town of Basking Ridge elected in 2001, others have been elected to public offices in different parts of the country. Masroor Javed Khan, a fellow NEDian and a friend, serves on the city council in Houston, Texas. Saghir Tahir is a member of the New Hampshire State Assembly. Saqib Ali is a legislator in Maryland State.

Since the growth of immigration from Pakistan and other non-European nations starting in 1965, the Pakistani American community has not been particularly politically active, but this is now changing, with the community starting to contribute funds to their candidates of choice in both parties, and running for elected office in districts with large Pakistani American populations. In recent times, Pakistani American candidates have run for various offices across the nation. Because the community is geographically dispersed, the formation of influential voting blocs has not generally been possible, making it difficult to for the community to make an impact on politics in this particular way. However, there are increasing efforts on the part of community leaders to ensure voter registration and political participation.

The U.S. Census Bureau has indicated that there are about 210,000 U.S. citizens of Pakistani descent living in the United States, including permanent residents. The Census Bureau, however, excluded the population living in institutions, college dormitories, and other group quarters from all population groups. The Pakistani embassy estimates the number of people of Pakistani origin living in United States to be much higher, closer to 500,000.

According to estimates published by the Wikipedia, 50% of Pakistani Americans have origins in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. About 30% are Urdu-speaking "Muhajirs" and the rest is made up of other ethnic Groups from Pakistan. The most systematic study of the demography of Pakistanis in America is found in Prof. Adil Najam's book 'Portrait of a Giving Community' (Harvard University Press, 2006), which estimates a total of around 500,000 Pakistanis in America with the largest concentrations in New York and New Jersey states, each with around 100,000 Pakistani-Americans.

Here are a few demographic snapshots of Pakistani-Americans in different parts of the United States:

California:

A 2008 LA Times survey of Pakistani-Americans, conducted on the basis of 2000 Census, found that Californians of Pakistani descent numbered about 28,000, double the population of 1990. Community members say the figure now surpasses 40,000.

The data showed that 56 per cent had undergraduate or graduate degrees, the second-highest rate after Indian-Americans among 16 Asian subgroups examined. Nearly half were home-owners, with the median household income about $49,000, on par with the state-wide average. Two-thirds were immigrants, with a 46 per cent naturalization rate, and the majority were fluent English speakers.

Based on my own knowledge and experience of living in California for decades, the estimate of $49,0000 median household income of Pakistani-Americans appears to be too outdated and too low, particularly for the San Francisco Bay Area where I conservatively estimate it to be higher than $100,000.

New York:

Unlike California, New York City’s Pakistani Americans are mostly newer and less-educated immigrants. They tend to experience greater poverty, earn less, speak less English and live in larger households than city residents as a whole in 2000, according to a census analysis by the Asian American Federation of New York.

Key profile statistics (involving 2000 census data unless stated otherwise) include the following:

1.From 1990 to 2000, New York City’s Pakistani American population grew from 13,501 to 34,310, or 154 percent – surpassing increases of 9 percent for the city overall and 71 percent for all Asian New Yorkers.
2. More than one-third (34 percent) of Pakistani American children and more than one-fourth (28 percent) of all Pakistanis in New York City lived in poverty – exceeding 30 percent of all children and 21 percent of all residents in the city.
3. Pakistani New Yorkers’ per capita income was $11,992 – about half of the city-wide figure ($22,402).
4. Two out of 3 elderly Pakistani Americans (67 percent) and nearly half (48 percent) of all Pakistani adults in New York City had “Limited English Proficiency” – markedly surpassing 27 percent of all elderly New Yorkers and 24 percent of all city adults.
5. New York City’s Pakistani American households averaged 4.1 occupants – far more than 2.6 city-wide.
6. Almost one-third (32 percent) of Pakistani American adults in New York City had not finished high school – compared with 28 percent of all adult New Yorkers.
7. With a 79 percent foreign-born population, New York City’s Pakistani Americans were more than twice as likely to be immigrants as city residents overall, of whom 36 percent were born outside the United States.
8. Most Pakistani Americans in the city lived in Queens, with 45 percent of Pakistani New Yorkers (15,604 people), or Brooklyn, with 41 percent (14,221). The rest of the city’s Pakistani population was distributed about evenly among the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island.

Chicago:

According to the New York Times, the stretch of Devon Avenue in North Chicago also named for Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, seems as if it has been transplanted directly from that country. The shops are packed with traditional wedding finery, and the spice mix in the restaurants’ kebabs is just right.

The 2000 federal census counted over 18,000 Pakistanis in metropolitan Chicago, one of the largest concentrations of Pakistanis in the United States. According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, community estimates in the late 1990s, however, ranged from 80,000 to 100,000, most of whom were either Urdu- or Punjabi-speaking Muslims. Like other South Asians, Pakistanis have commonly tended to settle in and around major urban areas, especially on the two coasts near New York and Los Angeles. Chicago and other inland cities such as Houston have also developed large and visible Pakistani communities.

Nationwide, Pakistanis appear to be prospering. The census calculated that mean household income in the United States in 2002 was $57,852 annually, while that for Asian households, which includes Pakistanis, was $70,047. By contrast, about one-fifth of young British-born Muslims are jobless, and many subsist on welfare.

Hard numbers on how many people of Pakistani descent live in the United States do not exist, but a book published by Harvard University Press on charitable donations among Pakistani-Americans, “Portrait of a Giving Community by Professor Adil Najam,” puts the number around 500,000, with some 35 percent or more of them in the New York metropolitan area. Chicago has fewer than 100,000, while other significant clusters exist in California, Texas and Washington, D.C.

New York Times estimate of 109,000 Pakistani-born American workers' occupations include salesmen, managers or administrators, drivers, doctors and accountants as the top five categories.

Pakistani-Americans political participation remains woefully inadequate. But it's good to see some signs that it is starting to happen at various levels starting from from local communities to state legislatures.

Related Links:

Edible Arrangements--Pakistani-American's Success Story

Pakistani-Americans in Silicon Valley

HDF Fundraiser in Silicon Valley For Pakistan

Pakistani Diaspora in America

Asian-Americans: Contemporary Trends and Issues

New York City's Pakistani Population

Pakistani-Americans in NYC

NED Alumni Convention Draws 400

NEDians Convention 2007 in Silicon Valley

Muslim Demographics in America

Pakistanis in America

Pakistani-Americans Wikipedia Entry

Illegal Immigration From India to America Hits 125%

Pakistanis Find US Easier Fit than Britain

Portrait of a Giving Community

India's Washington Lobby

Occupations of Pakistani-Americans--New York Times

25 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

Lately, there have been some arrests of American-Muslim and Pakistani-American youths on suspicions of terror. The Internet has been identified as a tool for radicalization and proposals made to deal with it. Here's an interesting post by Reem Salahi in HuffingtonPost on this subject:

Yet even in cases where agent provocateurs were not employed, the reality is that the government and media have too long treated Islam and Muslims as a homogeneous, non-dynamic, suspect group. Whenever a Muslim engages in a criminal act, the individual is always qualified by his religious background. Very rarely do we see similar treatment of non-Muslims. For example, I have never read an article describing Timothy McVeigh as the Christian white man. But nearly every article on Nidal Hasan qualifies him as a Muslim and Palestinian within the first few sentences.

As a consequence, Muslims are forced to account for the (negative) actions of a fourth of the world's population. Ironically, I have never been congratulated for the positive actions of other fellow Muslims. The acts of a few bad apples or even a few misguided youth become the norm and not the exceptions. Put differently, it would be like suspecting that every White high school student was prone to commit a massacre as Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the killers at Columbine High School, did.

The reality is that the discourse on radicalization and homegrown terrorism is fundamentally racist and Islamophobic. It is based on seeing Muslims as the "other" and viewing our actions through an "orientalist" lens which frames any Muslim's questionable action as terrorism. Hence, a Muslim overstaying an immigration visa or improperly filing taxes or even paintballing becomes evidence of terrorism and radicalization, justifying the government's infiltration of our mosques, surveillance of our youth groups, and mapping of our populations. Maybe, just maybe, Muslims don't need to be understood by a different rubric than other populations. Further, by framing Muslims as terrorists and as the internal enemy within, the government and media have alienated and disenfranchised many law-abiding Muslims who seek nothing more than to actually live "unremarkable" lives.

Those in the media, in the government, and in Muslim organizations who have jumped on the bandwagon, you have missed the boat. Muslims and Muslim youth are not intrinsically prone to radicalization through the aid of the internet, just as White youth are not intrinsically prone to commit massacres or lynch ethnic minorities in solidarity with the KKK. Rather, the problem is the media and the government's continued vilification and the consequential disenfranchisement of the Muslim community. It is the government's infiltration of mosques and community centers with informants and agent provocateurs. It is the FBI's prolonged fishing expeditions and false prosecutions of many innocent Muslims. And it is an ever-worsening foreign policy that wastes away our tax dollars on killing innocent civilians throughout the world. So please stop parroting the misguided construct of homegrown terrorism and Islamic radicalization as the problem, when the real problem is xenophobia couched in politically correct terms.

Riaz Haq said...

A Pakistani-American businessman Shahid Khan of Illionois is buying the NFL team St. Louis Rams, according to media reports:

Rams owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez have entered into a signed agreement to sell the team to Shahid Khan, multiple NFL sources told the Post-Dispatch late Wednesday night.

Khan, 55, is the president of Flex-N-Gate Corp., an auto-parts manufacturer based in Urbana, Ill. Khan has lived in the Champaign-Urbana area for more than 40 years and is married with two adult children. Khan is a graduate of the School of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois.

According to league sources, Khan will purchase the 60 percent of the team owned by siblings Rosenbloom and Rodriguez, who inherited the franchise from their late mother, Georgia Frontiere, in early 2008. NFL owners must approve the sale.

Riaz Haq said...

Over 50,000 Pakistanis have immigrated to the United States in the last 5 years, making Pakistanis ineligible fir the diversity visa lottery.

Here's an excerpt from America.gov on this subject:

This year, the entry period for the lottery lasts for 30 days, from October 5 to November 3. The lottery is open to individuals who meet certain education or work requirements and were born in an eligible country. Those whose names are selected by computerized random drawing are permitted to take the next steps in the visa application process.

“The idea was to diversify the immigrant pool,” said John Wilcock, a visa specialist with the State Department, in explaining the 1990 law that created the new class of “diversity immigrants.” He briefed journalists at Washington’s Foreign Press Center September 27.

The Diversity Visa Lottery is open to natives of countries that have sent fewer than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the last five years. Countries that are the source of high numbers of immigrants are excluded from the lottery.

The ineligible countries are the same as last year: Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. People born in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.

To ensure that 50,000 permanent resident visas are issued each year, Wilcock said, some additional names are selected in the lottery to make up for people who decide not to apply for a visa or don’t qualify.

Riaz Haq said...

Thousands of Indian illegal immigrants are slipping into Texas from Mexico, according to LA Times:

Reporting from Harlingen, Texas — Thousands of immigrants from India have crossed into the United States illegally at the southern tip of Texas in the last year, part of a mysterious and rapidly growing human-smuggling pipeline that is backing up court dockets, filling detention centers and triggering investigations.

The immigrants, mostly young men from poor villages, say they are fleeing religious and political persecution. More than 1,600 Indians have been caught since the influx began here early last year, while an undetermined number, perhaps thousands, are believed to have sneaked through undetected, according to U.S. border authorities.

Hundreds have been released on their own recognizance or after posting bond. They catch buses or go to local Indian-run motels before flying north for the final leg of their months-long journeys.

"It was long … dangerous, very dangerous," said one young man wearing a turban outside the bus station in the Rio Grande Valley town of Harlingen.

The Indian migration in some ways mirrors the journeys of previous waves of immigrants from far-flung places, such as China and Brazil, who have illegally crossed the U.S. border here. But the suddenness and still-undetermined cause of the Indian migration baffles many border authorities and judges.

The trend has caught the attention of anti-terrorism officials because of the pipeline's efficiency in delivering to America's doorstep large numbers of people from a troubled region. Authorities interview the immigrants, most of whom arrive with no documents, to ensure that people from neighboring Pakistan or Middle Eastern countries are not slipping through.

There is no evidence that terrorists are using the smuggling pipeline, FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials said.

The influx shows signs of accelerating: About 650 Indians were arrested in southern Texas in the last three months of 2010 alone. Indians are now the largest group of immigrants other than Latin Americans being caught at the Southwest border.

Riaz Haq said...

A Pakistani-American executive Kamal Ahmed has been caught in the Galleon financial scandal. Here's an excerpt from a San Francisco Chronicle report:

.. Kamal Ahmed, a Morgan Stanley managing director in Menlo Park. According to federal prosecutors, he provided inside information about Advance Micro Devices' July 2006 takeover of a Canadian firm, ATI Technologies, information that ultimately found its way to the captain of the pirate ship hedge fund, Raj Rajaratnam.

Ahmed's alleged involvement was revealed in a government court document Friday concerning Rajaratnam's trial, scheduled for Feb. 28.

The 42-year-old banker is cooperating with investigators, said his lawyer, Douglas Tween of New York's Baker & McKenzie in a statement. He is "confident that when the investigation is completed, and all the facts are gathered, it will be shown that he did nothing illegal or unethical."

According to securities filings and other sources, Ahmed works at Morgan Stanley's investment practice in Menlo Park. He was one of 241 new managing directors named by Morgan Stanley in December 2007.

On its website, OPEN Silicon Valley, a Pakistani American business organization, Ahmed, a Los Altos resident, is described as having "led a wide variety of financing transactions and has executed numerous mergers & acquisitions" for Morgan Stanley since 1999," according to information Ahmed provided to the organization.

Prior experience included stints at Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse First Boston.

According to Institutional Investor, Ahmed was one of two Morgan Stanley managing directors advising Hewlett-Packard on its $2.7 billion takeover of 3Com last year, earning the investment bank tens of millions of dollars in fees.

He is listed on the advisory board of Folio3, a Redwood City organization with offices in Pakistan and Bulgaria, which is "focused on helping entrepreneurs and small enterprises successfully build and manage an offshore software development presence."

A Yale economics graduate and Cornell University MBA, with 383 connections according to his LinkedIn profile, Ahmed could have plenty to say if he's cooperating with the feds. Morgan Stanley advised AMD on the ATI deal, and provided a $2.5 billion loan to finance it.

Saratoga resident Anil Kumar, a McKinsey consultant since fired by the firm, pleaded guilty and was fined $2.8 million last year for providing insider information to Rajaratnam, including the planned AMD takeover of ATI.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani-American mayor Omar Ahmad of San Carlos, CA died suddenly yesterday. It's really shocking news.

I met Omar recently in San Jose when he gave a very humorous but inspirational talk at a Human Development Foundation (HDF) fundraiser just last month to encourage young Muslims and Pakistani-Americans to make a difference through public service in America.

Here's an excerpt from Prof Adil Najam's Pakistaniat.com post on his sudden sad demise.

I never met Omar Ahmed, but I remember first hearing of him when he famously responded to a question about whether his being a Muslim affected his position as Mayor of San Carlos City, California, that “there’s no Muslim way to fill in a pothole.” It was with great sadness that I learnt today that he had suddenly died of a heart attack at the young age of 46.

Omar Ahmad – born in Ohio to Pakistani parents and raised in Florida – was elected to the city counil in San Carlos in 2007 and became mayor in 2010. According to an interview published in Illume, he was “an experienced entrepreneur and community leader who founded several companies including SynCH Energy Corporation, TrustedID and Logictier. He was also in leadership positions at Grand Central Communications, Naptser, @Home Network, Netscape and Discovery Channel.”

A serial entrepreneur, an NBC story on his death reports that he “was a Silicon Valley techie before running for office and continued that work while in office. He moved to the Bay Area to work for @Home Networks and then Netscape. His city biography says he was the CEO of a new Silicon-Valley technology startup CynCH Energy Corporation, which is renewable energy company.”


May his soul rest in peace!

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt on Pakistani doctors in N Engl J Med 2007; 356:442-443February 1, 2007

In Pakistan, students who are accepted into medical school are congratulated — only half-jokingly — on three counts: that they will become doctors, that they will become certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties, and that they will soon be living in the United States.

Pakistan has contributed approximately 10,000 international medical graduates (IMGs) to the United States,1 even though it faces a shortage of physicians.2 Take the case of Aga Khan University Medical College in Karachi. By 2004, it had produced 1100 graduates, 900 of whom had gone on to graduate medical training in the United States — . . .


http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp068261?andorexacttitleabs=and&

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an inspiring story of a Pakistani-American Hamid Chaudhry reported by the NY Times today:


Then, as a couple of local officials he knows catch up by the window, and a former state police officer he knows picks up a frozen cake, and a Mennonite family, regular customers, eat his soft-serve out on the patio, Hamid from the Dairy Queen tells his American story.

He was the youngest of six in a Muslim family in Karachi. His father, an accountant, was physically and mentally damaged after being hit by a car; his mother, a schoolteacher, took care of her husband and insisted that her baby go to America for a better life. That meant Chicago, where a brother was driving a cab while studying to become a college professor.

Mr. Chaudhry took several years to earn a college degree in finance, partly because of language difficulties, and partly because he was always working — mostly at the celebrated Drake Hotel. He was the unseen busboy, working his way up to assistant manager for room service and minibars, serving Caesar salad to President-elect Bill Clinton, delivering unsatisfactory apple pancakes to Jack Nicholson, tending to the dietary needs of a guest named Lassie. The Drake became an immersion course in Western pop culture.

He became an American citizen and started a career in financial-accounting software, eventually moving to New York, where he got fired. (“Wall Street wasn’t for me,” he says.) But he did meet a medical student named Sana Syed. Their first meeting was with her parents; the second was for a coffee at Starbucks; the third a brunch at a diner; and, finally, a dinner date at an Outback Steakhouse.

After they married in 2001, she landed a residency at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center. While his wife worked 90 hours a week, Mr. Chaudhry mustered the nerve to ask the owner of the local Dairy Queen, at Kenhorst Plaza, whether he wanted to sell. When he heard yes, Mr. Chaudhry scraped, mortgaged and borrowed to meet the asking price of $413,000.

He completed his classroom training at Dairy Queen’s headquarters in Minnesota, where he studied everything from labor management to the proper way to hand a customer a Blizzard. On June 27, 2003, he finally opened the doors to his Dairy Queen, but he was so jittery, intent on making every customer feel extra, extra special, that one employee quit on the spot. Oh, and the soft-serve machine malfunctioned.

Once he found his footing, Mr. Chaudhry decided to give back to the community, and held an elementary-school fund-raiser in which he provided the parent-teacher organization with 25 percent of the sales. Though the $450 seemed a generous amount, the publicity he received did not seem right to him.

“It felt like I got more in return than what I was giving,” he says.

Just like that, the Dairy Queen began to become the center of communal good, notwithstanding its contribution to the high obesity rate recorded among adults in Berks County. Mr. Chaudhry immersed himself in fund-raising, splitting everything 50-50 so that he only covered his costs. Good for promoting the business, yes, but also good for Hamid.

Fund-raisers for a father of four with cancer; for the Children’s Miracle Network; for soccer teams and Little League teams and the widow of a deputy sheriff recently killed in a shootout — he was a regular customer who liked Blizzards. Sponsorship of car washes and high school homecomings and blood drives four times a year. (Donate a pint of blood and get a $20 frozen cake.) Free parties held at every local elementary school, as well as at a Bible school run by the Mennonite church.

Riaz Haq said...

Dr. Teepu Siddique, a Pakistani-American doctor and professor, has identified an ALS causing gene, according to a report in Science journal:

Research that has discovered a new gene whose mutations cause 5 percent of inherited cases of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is part of a national study led by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

The study reported in Science today (Feb. 27) points to a common cellular deficiency in the fatal neurological disorder, said Teepu Siddique, MD, Les Turner ALS Foundation/Herbert C. Wenske Foundation Professor in the Davee Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurological Sciences and Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and director of the Division of Neuromuscular Medicine at the Feinberg School.

The new research is part of a national collaboration directed by Dr. Siddique, the principal investigator for the “Genetics of ALS” project funded at Feinberg by the National Institutes of Health.

Earlier research by Siddique and colleagues extended the genetic knowledge of familial (inherited) ALS by identifying the first and second ALS genes (the SOD1 gene in 1993 and the ALSIN gene in 2001), in addition to identifying loci on chromosomes 9, 15, 16, and X.

The study published today discovered aFUS/TLS gene mutations in ALS families collected through efforts of the NIH-funded multi-center project and included among others a large Italian family previously studied by Drs. Siddique and Cortelli.

ALS affects the motor neurons in the central nervous system. As motor neurons die, the brain’s ability to send signals to the body’s muscles is compromised. This leads to loss of voluntary muscle movement, paralysis, and eventually death from respiratory failure. The cause of most cases of ALS is not known.

“The purpose of this national study is to understand what triggers the death of motor neurons in order to find new cellular models of ALS, with the ultimate goal of advancing research that leads to a treatment for this fatal disease,” Dr. Siddique said. “Approximately 10 percent of ALS cases are inherited.”

“The discovery of this gene mutation shows new kinds of molecular defects that damage motor neurons and it implicates defective pathways previously identified in other genetic forms of ALS,” said Dr. Siddique.

The new findings were reported in Science by the University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of three institutions that collaborate with Dr. Siddique on the national study. Other authors from the consortium include M.A. Pericak-Vance (University of Miami) and Jonathan Haines (Vanderbilt University). Robert H. Brown Jr., MD, chair and professor of neurology at University of Massachusetts Medical School, was senior investigator of the study and lead author of the Science paper.

In addition to funding from the NIH, Siddique’s ALS research is supported by the Les Turner ALS Foundation, Vena E. Schaff ALS Research Fund, Harold Post Research Professorship, Herbert and Florence C. Wenske Foundation, Ralph and Marian Falk Medical Research Trust, The David C. Asselin MD Memorial Fund, Les Turner ALS Foundation/Herbert C. Wenske Foundation Professorship, Help America Foundation, and the ALS Therapy Alliance, Inc.


http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/news/past-years/2009/2009K-February/als.html

Riaz Haq said...

While there is nothing wrong with being a taxi driver, all this bigoted talk by presumably Indian commentators(sent to me but not posted) about most of the taxi drivers in America being Pakistani is just nonsense as confirmed by the NY Times data.

It shows that there are 16000 Indian taxi drivers in America versus 10,000 Pakistan taxi drivers.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/04/07/us/20090407-immigration-country.html#view=52100

I see that most taxi drivers, 711 workers, gas station attendants, liquor store clerks and newsstand sellers in the United States are Indian....and it's not surprising given that there are a large number of legal and illegal Indian immigrants in US.

Even Hilary Clinton once joked about it saying "He (Gandhi) ran a gas station down in St. Louis.”


Anecdotally, here's this excerpt from Time Magazine about Indians in New Jersey:

"I am very much in favor of immigration everywhere in the U.S. except Edison, N.J. The mostly white suburban town I left when I graduated from high school in 1989 — the town that was called Menlo Park when Thomas Alva Edison set up shop there and was later renamed in his honor — has become home to one of the biggest Indian communities in the U.S., as familiar to people in India as how to instruct stupid Americans to reboot their Internet routers....

For a while, we assumed all Indians were geniuses. Then, in the 1980s, the doctors and engineers brought over their merchant cousins, and we were no longer so sure about the genius thing. In the 1990s, the not-as-brilliant merchants brought their even-less-bright cousins, and we started to understand why India is so damn poor.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1999416,00.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a France24 story about New York's "Little Pakistan":

Following the 9/11 attacks of 2001, renewed fears of terrorism turned the New York community of Little Pakistan into a ghost town. But 10 years later, this Brooklyn neighbourhood has learned some important lessons in community activism.
-----
In Little Pakistan, a New York neighbourhood where the store signs are in English and Urdu, the rich smell of freshly fried samsosas entices mothers in hijabs walking their children home from school.

On the corner of Coney Island and Foster avenues, a cheerful, matronly woman roasting corn on a charcoal spit provides a lively commentary on the neighborhood. “This is Little Pakistan, it's going well here,” Kaneez Fatima says, in her native Urdu. “This is my home. I'm the queen of this place,” she adds with a throaty laugh. Around her, a clutch of clients chomping her roasted corn sportingly agree.

Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, commerce is brisk – or as brisk as one could hope for during an economic crisis – along this stretch of Coney Island Avenue.

The area has come a long way since the dark days following the biggest terrorist attacks on US soil. As law enforcement officials began patrolling here and detaining hundreds of Pakistani immigrants – often for minor infractions – in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, a climate of fear gripped the community. Numerous wives, mothers and sisters, some of them non-English speakers, had no idea back then where their menfolk were being held.

In the following months, once-thriving stores permanently closed their shutters as thousands of Pakistani immigrants packed up and left, often either for Canada or Pakistan. By May 2003, about 15,000 of the once 120,000-strong community had left, according to Pakistani government estimates.
----
Of the estimated 700,000 Pakistani-Americans, roughly two-thirds live in the New York area. Over the past decade, Little Pakistan has periodically turned into a focal point for journalists who swoop down on the area to take the community's temperature with every new black mark on Pakistan's terrorism track record.

And there have been many black marks. In May 2010, a newly nationalised US citizen of Pakistani origin attempted to detonate an explosive device in a car on Times Square. When he was arrested, Faisal Shahzad admitted to receiving bomb-making training in Pakistan’s Waziristan province.

A year later, US Navy SEALS and CIA operatives found and killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a house in Abbottabad, not far from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, renewing US suspicions that Pakistan's military establishment is protecting Islamist militants.

With every crisis in US-Pakistani relations, community leaders in Little Pakistan spring into action, taking to the airwaves to reiterate the community's rejection of violence and their history of being patriotic, law-abiding US citizens.
------------
COPO, for instance, was founded by a local businessman who turned his fabric store into a temporary community service centre, believing that once the neighbourhood's immediate problems were resolved, he would close down the organisation and get back to business.

Engaging with America

Nearly a decade later, COPO not only survives but has vastly expanded its operations, conducting English-language classes, youth programs and forums where law enforcement officials meet with community members in order to discuss each other's concerns.

Caught unprepared shortly after 9/11, the community is now keenly aware of the importance of empowering its members to engage actively with officials in their new home, rather than fearing and fleeing them.
...

Riaz Haq said...

Surreal estate: Former Pakistan PM Qureshi offers Embassy Row mansion for $12 million
By The Reliable Source


Nice, huh? (Homevisit.com)

Seller: Moeen Qureshi

Asking price: $12 million


Moeen Qureshi in 1995. (Tyler Mallory/The Washington Post) Details: This 11-bedroom home (yes, 11) has a lot of character. It sits on half an acre nestled between the vice president’s house and Rock Creek Park; it’s owned by a former prime minister of Pakistan; and it’s currently the second highest-priced home for sale in D.C. (Georgetown’s Halcyon House still seeks a buyer, for $15 million.) The 22,000-sq.ft Mediterranean-style mega-villa actually started life as two neighboring houses that Qureshi bought in 2000 and rebuilt with a connector bridging them. (The former World Bank exec, 81, oversaw his home country for three months during a 1993 government crisis before moving into private equity.) Qureshi briefly had the mansion on the market in 2006 for $21 million, so we’re talking about a serious bargain now. There’s a pool of course. Three of those 11 bedrooms are designed for your household staff.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/post/surreal-estate-former-pakistan-pm-qureshi-offers-embassy-row-mansion-for-12-million/2011/10/07/gIQA7xX0TL_blog.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a brief summary of Pakistan foreign education market put together by the British Council:

Pakistan is one of the six countries which accounts for 54 percent of the UK’s (non-EU) international students. After September 2001, it has become the market leader, a place traditionally taken by the US, but the US is picking up after a long time, owing to simplified visa procedures and increased marketing efforts, not to forget the excellent scholarship opportunities that thy have to offer Pakistani students.

There were 5222 students from Pakistan studying in the United States in 2009/2010 (Source:IIE Opendoors). Pakistan now has the largest Fulbright Scholarship Programme in the world. There is an upward trend of Pakistani students studying in Australia. 2557 students studied in Australia in 2009/2010 compared to 2190 in 2008/2009 (Source: AEI). Other European countries have also become quite active in marketing their education in Pakistan. Countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are more visible and perceived as offering quality education at lower prices. UK has remained the highest in this with 10,420 students studying in the UK in 2009/2010 (HESA, 2011).


Market opportunities
Pakistan is predominantly a postgraduate market, of the students currently studying in the UK, approximately 71 per cent are postgraduate and 29 per cent undergraduate. While the further education market is still relatively small, there is potential for growth, as there is a greater need for skills in a more service sector-led economy.

One-year Master's programmes are popular, due to their shorter duration compared to competitors. A further major aspect of the postgraduate market is the relatively wide availability of scholarships by UK institutions and Government funding agencies. In addition to the Pakistan Government‘s new overseas scholarship schemes, this target group also has access to scholarships offered by international organisation such as IMF, Commonwealth and World Bank. Popular subject areas are for 2009- 2010 are Business Studies, Engineering, Computer Sciences, Social Sciences followed by law.

Based on HESA statistics, the total number of Pakistani students enrolled in the UK was 10,420 in 2009 / 2010, a 2 percent growth on 2008/2009.

There is also significant growth in GCE O- and A-levels conducted in Pakistan, which naturally leads to demand for UK undergraduate study. More than 46,000 students took these examinations in 2010 / 2011. Popular subjects include business, law, accountancy, IT, management and engineering.

Foundation programmes have a market in Pakistan as a pathway from 12-year study into UK higher education.

Vocational programmes are a new market in Pakistan, with increasing student awareness of the opportunities. National Vocational and Technical Education Commission (NAVTEC) is a regulatory body for promoting linkages among various stakeholders to address challenges aced by Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET)....

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some of the highlights of Pakistani-American data from US Census 2010 as gleaned from a report titled "A Community of Contrasts Asian Americans in the United States: 2011" published by Asian-American Center For Advancing Justice:

1. There are 409,163 Pakistani-Americans in 2010, the 7th largest Asian-American community in America.

2. Pakistani-American population doubled from 2000 to 2010, the second largest percentage increase after Bangladeshis' 157% increase in the same period.

3. 6% of Pakistani-American population is mixed race.

4. 65% of Pakistanis in America are foreign-born. 57% of Pakistani-American population is naturalized citizens.

5. There are 120,000 Pakistani legal permanent residents of which 42% are eligible to naturalize.

6. There were 69,202 immigrant visas issued to Pakistanis from 2001 to 2010.

7. 28% of Pakistanis have limited English proficiency.

8. Average per capita income of Pakistani-Americans is $24,663.00 and 15% of them are classified as poor.

9. 55% of Pakistanis own their own homes.

10. 55% of Pakistanis have bachelor's degree or higher.

http://www.advancingjustice.org/pdf/Community_of_Contrast.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Bloomberg report about Pakistani-American Shahid Khan buying Jaguars:

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The Jacksonville Jaguars will be sold to Shahid Khan, the owner of auto-parts maker Flex-N-Gate Corp. who failed in a bid last year to buy the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams.

The Jaguars, who have a 3-8 record this season and fired coach Jack Del Rio today, are the only team in the four major U.S. professional sports to play in Jacksonville. Khan plans to keep the franchise in the northeast Florida city rather than relocate, owner Wayne Weaver said at a news conference.

“It’s a little bittersweet,” said the 76-year-old Weaver, who called the sale an exit strategy. “I’ll miss it because it’s been a big part of our lives for 18 years. But it’s the right time and it’s for the right reasons.”

The Jaguars have an estimated value of $725 million, the lowest in the NFL, according to Forbes. They rank 26th among the NFL’s 32 teams in attendance this season.

Khan, a native of Pakistan whose company is based in Urbana, Illinois, agreed in February 2010 to buy a controlling interest in the Rams before billionaire Stan Kroenke exercised an option to purchase the 60 percent of the club he didn’t own.

“He said he really wanted to buy a team and do it here in Jacksonville,” Weaver said. “This gentleman is absolutely the American story. He’s passionate about football and he’s going to buy a home here in Jacksonville.”

Weaver, the owner of shoe retailer Shoe Carnival Inc. and chairman of wholesale distributor Liz Claiborne Shoes, bought the Jaguars for $208 million in 1993, two years before they started play as an expansion team. Weaver said he refused to take several calls from interested buyers in California, where the city of Los Angeles remains without an NFL franchise.

‘Wasting Time’

“It was wasting my time and their time,” Weaver said without identifying the interested parties. “We had no interest. We’re a Jacksonville franchise and we plan to stay a Jacksonville franchise.”

Khan left Pakistan in 1967 at the age of 16 to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and began working for Flex-N-Gate three years later while still an engineering student. Khan left the company in 1978 to begin a business that designed and manufactured lightweight metal bumper systems, with no seams to corrode or rust.

Today, almost two-thirds of all North American-built pick- up trucks and sports utility vehicles have bumper systems based on Khan’s designs, according to figures released by the Jaguars today. Khan bought Flex-N-Gate in 1980 and the company now has more than 10,000 employees at 48 manufacturing plants with annual sales exceeding $3 billion.

‘Dream Come True’

“Owning a team in the National Football League has long been my personal and professional goal,” said Khan, whose purchase could be formally completed in January. “Becoming the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars would be a dream come true for me and my family but, above all, would be a privilege.”

The team made the playoffs in four of its first five seasons and has been to the postseason twice since. Jacksonville last finished with a winning record in 2007 and has had a series of home games “blacked out,” which means they can’t be televised locally if tickets aren’t sold out 72 hours before kickoff at EverBank Field.

“We’ve got a lot of tickets to sell before these last few games,” Weaver said. “I would hope the community would respond and support us in a positive way. We’re still a small market and growing.”

The Jaguars cut starting quarterback David Garrard in September five days before their first regular-season game, a move that saved the team $9 million..


http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-11-29/nfl-s-jaguars-to-be-sold-to-khan-remain-in-jacksonville.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune report on US Congressman Kucinich speaking to Pakistani-American doctors in America:

WASHINGTON: A United States Congressman from Ohio has called on his government to apologise to Pakistan, and for NATO to pay compensation to the families of 24 soldiers killed in a NATO air strike on a Pakistani border check post on November 26.

Speaking at an event organised by the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, a Democrat, said relations with Pakistan was a critical issue. “We need to apologise to the people of Pakistan, NATO must pay reparations to the families of the soldiers.”

His remarks come a day after US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham called for Pakistan’s funding to be reviewed.

(Read: Key US Senators urge review of Pakistan funding)

Pakistani doctors face visa wall to working in US

Dr Zaffar Iqbal, a member of the 17000-member strong APPNA said “Last year, only 90 doctors came to work in the US.”

Speaking to The Express Tribune on the sidelines of an event organized by APPNA at the Rayburn House Office Building to highlight to Congressmen the issues faced by Pakistani physicians applying for visas to work in the US, Dr Iqbal said numerous young physicians applying for visas to work in the US are facing delays or are being rejected by the US embassy and consulates. “They don’t get their visas on time, and hence can’t join their residencies that they’ve been offered.” Dr Iqbal said that hospitals then become reluctant to offer residencies to Pakistani physicians.

He added that due to less Pakistanis being given visas, the number of Indian doctors coming to the US to work has more than doubled in the past few years.

Dr Manzoor Tariq, President of APPNA, said that they had held meetings with the State Department and Homeland Security to urge them to facilitate the process.

The event also saw a number of members of Congress attending, and looking at APPNA posters highlighting statistics of the decrease in Pakistani physicians coming to the US. APPNA says that a majority of Pakistani doctors work in the rural areas of the US, and provide a vital service to the country.

Addressing the event, Congressman Kucinich said, “I’m aware of complexities around US-Pakistan relations, but you are our brothers and sisters, and we need to help facilitate those who want to take care of people here”.

Paying tribute to the Pakistani community in her district of Nevada, Congresswoman Birkley added that the US was facing a shortage of medical professionals, and offered her support to APPNA to push for more visas for Pakistani doctors.

Other members of Congress who attended the event and lent support to APPNA included Senator Bob Casey, Claire McCaskill, Congressman Guthrie and others.

Addressing the event, Tim Lenderking, the head of the Pakistan desk at the State Department, said that it was important to talk to the Embassy. “Pakistan has done a great job in contributing to healthcare in the United States, and we want to support that.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly quoted Dr Iqbal that this year 90 doctors from Pakistan came to the US. Also Congressman Kucinich was listed a Republican. This is incorrect. The error is regretted.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/303012/us-should-appologise-to-pakistan-nato-pay-reparations-to-soldiers-congressman-kucinich/

Riaz Haq said...

NFL owners approve Shahid Khan's purchase of Jacksonville Jaguars, according to AP:

Shahid Khan was 16 when he moved from Pakistan to the United States to attend the University of Illinois.

While hanging out in the basement of his fraternity house, he began his American dream of owning an NFL team.

After building a multibillion-dollar company, Khan started working toward spending some of his fortune on fulfilling that college fantasy. He reached out to owners such as Wayne Weaver of the Jacksonville Jaguars to learn the business from the inside, and for them to get to know him.

Khan's dream-turned-plan crossed the goal line Wednesday. He joined the fraternity of NFL owners as his purchase of the Jaguars from Weaver was unanimously approved by the other owners.

The deal is for an estimated $760 million. The ownership transfer will be complete Jan. 4.

"What I want to share with the Jacksonville fans is: Here I am, reporting for duty and ready to serve the fans. Let the fun begin,'' Khan said with a smile that never left his face during a 20-minute news conference.

The 61-year-old Khan is the league's first minority owner. But that's not the only reason he stands out among his 31 peers. There's also the prominent mustache he's fancied since 1972, a trademark that he joked enables him to leap tall buildings and "do things I didn't know I could do.''

Then again, what he's done to get to this point is pretty remarkable.

Upon graduating from college in 1971, Khan went to work at Flex-N-Gate as an engineering manager. He left in 1978 to start his own company, Bumper Works, and two years later bought his former employer.

Now his privately held company is a major manufacturer of bumper systems for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles built in North America. Revenue last year topped $3 billion, and Khan is believed to be a billionaire himself.

He tried buying the St. Louis Rams last year, coming close enough that the league had done its homework on him. That helped speed along this sale.

The deal was announced in late November and the league's finance committee formally approved his bid last week. When the agenda item came up Wednesday, there wasn't a single question or dissenting vote.

"I think that's a good sign,'' NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "It's certainly an endorsement of his ownership.''.....


Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/football/nfl/wires/12/14/2020.ap.fbn.nfl.owners.2nd.ld.writethru.1401/index.html#ixzz1gYwRs4MG

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a brief history of Pakistani-Americans from Everyculture.com:

...Since Pakistan only came into existence in 1947, any documentation of the life of Pakistani Americans can technically only commence from that year. However, it should be noted that Muslim immigrants from India and the region that is now Pakistan entered the United States as early as the eighteenth century, working alongside their Hindu or Sikh brethren in agriculture, logging, and mining in the western states of California, Oregon, and Washington.

In 1907, around 2,000 Indians, including Hindus and Muslims, worked alongside other immigrants from China, Japan, Korea, and Italy on the building of the Western Pacific railway in California. Other Indians worked on building bridges and tunnels for California's other railroad projects. As the demand for agricultural labor increased in California, Indians turned to the fields and orchards for employment. Muslim agricultural workers in California sometimes brought an Imam or learned man to the fields with them. The Imam proceeded to pray from the Holy Quran several times a day when the men took their breaks.

Muslims from the Indian subcontinent became successful as land tenants in the early part of the twentieth century, and leased or owned land in many California counties in order to grow rice. Many of these ventures were very successful, and many Indians, Hindu and Muslim, prospered financially as they increased their acreage and even bought small farms and orchards; however, heavy rains in 1920 devastated some rice crops and drove some Indians into bankruptcy.
-----------
The immigration of Indians, Hindu and Muslim, was tightly controlled by the American government during this time, and Indians applying for visas to travel to the United States were often rejected by U.S. diplomats in important Indian cities like Madras and Calcutta. In addition, legislation was introduced in the United States that attempted to legally restrict the entry of Indians and other Asians into America as well as to deny them residency and citizenship rights. Some of these pieces of legislation were defeated, while others were adopted. For instance, a literacy clause was added to a number of bills, requiring that immigrants pass a literacy test to be considered eligible for citizenship. This effectively ensured that most Indians would not be able to meet the requirements. It was only in 1947 that Congress passed a bill allowing naturalization for Indians. Between 1947 and 1965 there were only around 2,500 Pakistani immigrants in the United States according to reports from the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
SIGNIFICANT IMMIGRATION WAVE

The largest numbers of Pakistani Americans have migrated to the United States since 1965, when the U.S. government lifted previously existing immigration restrictions and repealed quotas. Numbers of Pakistani immigrants swelled after 1970, with thousands of Pakistanis entering the United States each year since that time. Like their Asian Indian counterparts, they tended to be urban, well-educated, and professional. Many of them had come from cities like Karachi and Lahore, and were familiar with Western culture and ways of living. However, the dependents and relatives that they have since sponsored for permanent residence in and citizenship to the United States in the years after 1965 have tended to be characterized by lower levels of education....


Read more: Pakistani Americans - History, Early immigration, Significant immigration wave, Acculturation and Assimilation, Cuisine http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Le-Pa/Pakistani-Americans.html#ixzz1goN4pE00

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India story on Indian exaggeration of Indian professionals in US:

It's an Internet myth that has taken on a life of its own. No matter how often you slay this phony legend, it keeps popping up again like some hydra-headed beast.

But on Monday, the Indian government itself consecrated the oft-circulated fiction as fact in Parliament, possibly laying itself open to a breach of privilege. By relaying to Rajya Sabha members (as reported in The Times of India) a host of unsubstantiated and inflated figures about Indian professionals in US, the government also made a laughing stock of itself.

The figures provided by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Purandeshwari included claims that 38 per cent of doctors in US are Indians, as are 36 per cent of NASA scientists and 34 per cent of Microsoft employees.

There is no survey that establishes these numbers, and absent a government clarification, it appears that the figures come from a shop-worn Internet chain mail that has been in circulation for many years. Spam has finally found its way into the Indian parliament dressed up as fact.

Attempts by this correspondent over the years to authenticate the figures have shown that it is exaggerated, and even false. Both Microsoft and NASA say they don't keep an ethnic headcount. While they acknowledge that a large number of their employees are of Indian origin, it is hardly in the 30-35 per cent range.

In a 2003 interview with this correspondent, Microsoft chief Bill Gates guessed that the number of Indians in the engineering sections of the company was perhaps in the region of 20 per cent, but he thought the overall figure was not true. NASA workers say the number of Indians in the organization is in the region of 4-5 per cent, but the 36 per cent figure is pure fiction.

The number of physicians of Indian-origin in the US is a little easier to estimate. The Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) has 42,000 members, in addition to around 15,000 medical students and residents. There were an estimated 850,000 doctors in the US in 2004. So, conflating the figures, no more than ten per cent of the physicians in US maybe of Indian-origin – and that includes Indian-Americans – assuming not everyone is registered with AAPI.

These numbers in themselves are remarkable considering Indians constitute less than one per cent of the US population. But in its enthusiasm to spin the image of the successful global Indian to its advantage, the government appears to have milked a long-discredited spam - an effort seen by some readers as the work of a lazy bureaucrat and an inept minister.

The story has attracted withering scrutiny and criticism on the Times of India's website, with most readers across the world trashing it. "The minister should be hauled up by the house for breach of privilege of parliament (by presenting false information based on hearsay). We Indians are undoubtedly one of the most successful ethnic groups in USA, be it in Medicine, Engineering, Entrepreneurship. BUT, that does not translate to those ridiculous numbers that have been presented....this is a circulating e-mail hoax," wrote in Soumya from USA, who said he worked at the NASA facility in Ames, California, and the number was nowhere near what was mentioned in the figures given to Parliament.


http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2008-03-12/us/27742502_1_indian-origin-indian-parliament-indian-american

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times story about Pakistani-American mayor of Paris, Texas:

This charming, droopy city needed new fire trucks not long ago, but, like many American municipalities today, couldn’t necessarily afford them. The mayor, a small-government Republican, dithered: to buy or not to buy? He turned to the natural choice for advice on running a Texan city: Pervez Musharraf, the exiled ex-president of Pakistan.

Mr. Musharraf may seem an unlikely adviser to the mayor of a Southern town where crickets chirp shrilly and the leafy streets are dominated by places pledging to fix your truck. But even more unlikely is the man he advised: Mayor Arjumand Hashmi, a Pakistani-born cardiologist who has become one of the United States’ most improbable politicians.

He is like the opening line of a joke: “So a Texan, a Muslim, a Republican, a doctor and the mayor of Paris are sitting at a bar ...” Except that he is, by himself, all of the people in the joke.

America seems to be an ever more divided, bitter country. Lost amid those divisions is the story of how a down-on-its-luck town in Texas struck its own little blow for unity. A little more than a year ago, this city of 25,000 — overwhelmingly white and Christian — made a Muslim outsider their mayor. (Dr. Hashmi had campaigned to be one of seven city councilors and, having won, was voted mayor by the council.)

The mayor swept into office with an immigrant’s zeal: planting hundreds of crepe myrtle trees on the loop around the city; surprising local agencies with impromptu visits during his lunch hour; interrupting the “brother-in-law deals,” as they’re called in the South, that gave contracts to the wrong people; using tax abatements to lure businesses to Paris.

All this while serving as a cardiologist and leader of a local hospital catheterization laboratory that is often the only thing standing between the chicken-fried steaks that patients keep on eating and the deaths they nonetheless wish to defer.

Which is why Dr. Hashmi, who is in his early 50s, wakes up at 3:30 a.m. most days. He prays the first of his customary three daily prayers. (He maxes out to the prescribed five when he can, but says he’s pretty sure Allah wouldn’t want him stopping to pray when he’s got a catheter up someone’s groin.) Then he alternates throughout the day between doctor and mayor, doctor and mayor.
------------
U.S. politicians are wont to conceal the complexity and worldliness in their backgrounds — as with Mitt Romney’s ability to speak French or President Barack Obama’s early years in Indonesia. Dr. Hashmi takes a different approach, speaking Urdu to friends or family in front of his colleagues, answering the phones with “Salaam aleikum” at times and at times with “How ya doin’?” His Pakistani accent remains strong.

Just after 11 p.m. that same night, after a full day’s work twice over, he was sitting on a sofa at home with his family and some friends, nibbling on flaky cookies specially bought in Lahore.

His beeper sounded. A middle-aged man was at the hospital with chest pains, and the emergency room doctor wanted his advice. He asked for an electrocardiogram to be texted to his iPhone. When he saw it, he concluded that the man needed him. He told the doctor to prepare the catheter, and he drove away down a dark country road into his Paris.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/28/us/28iht-currents28.html?_r=1

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune report on Australia's first Pakistani female in a state legislature:

AUSTRALIA: A Pakistan-born migrant Mehreen Faruqi became the first Muslim woman to enter the Australian state parliament as she was selected by the New South Wales Greens to fill a position in the upper house of the state legislature, Voice of America (VOA) reported on Wednesday.

Faruqi was selected by a postal ballot of party members, from a field of seven in a contest in which only women could run.

She is all set to become part of Australia’s first and oldest parliament in New South Wales in July as the first female Muslim in any of Australia’s state, territory or federal parliaments.

While Muslim groups worry that Faruqi will face problem in merging the teachings of Islam and Greens policies, she believes that faith should have no bearing on Australian politics.

“I see no role that religion plays in government and nor should it. I am not a spokesperson, you know, for religious Islam. There are many other MPs who are Christians and likewise they are not spokespeople for the church,” she stated.

“And, like I said earlier, I joined the Greens because of a really strong position on sustainability, social justice, human rights [and] multiculturalism.”

“She would support things such as gay marriage and that is directly in conflict with the teachings of Islam. I do not know whether she is going to stick to that, how she is going to harmonize between the two,” Keysar Trad, the founder of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia said.

Faruqi studied environmental engineering after she migrated from Pakistan with her family in 1992 and is a professor at the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales.

As the ethnic diversity increases in Australia, analysts expect more participation from minorities in the political arena.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/539848/pakistan-born-first-muslim-female-to-enter-australian-parliament/

Riaz Haq said...

Indian Muslims make up 14.6% of India's population, almost 50% higher than the 10% of Indian-American Muslim population. In addition, every Indian minority other than Muslims is over-represented in America.

http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Demographics/Asian%20Americans%20religion%20full%20report.pdf

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21572785-steadily-rising-muslim-population-continues-fall-behind-growing-and-neglected

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of Newseeek Pakistan story on Shazia Sikandar:

Her works are part of the permanent collections of some of the world’s most famous museums—the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, the Guggenheim. In 2005, The New York Times called her an “an artist on the verge of shaking things up.” The year before that, Newsweek counted her among the clutch of overachieving South Asians “transforming America’s cultural landscape.” Shahzia Sikander, arguably Pakistan’s most famous living modern artist, has been wowing the international art world with her multidisciplinary works inspired from Mughal-era miniature painting techniques and tropes. She’s been scoring accolades since graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1995. Last year, the U.S. secretary of State awarded her the Inaugural Medal of Art. She’s previously won a MacArthur “Genius Grant.” While Pakistan hasn’t entirely ignored Sikander—she won the President’s National Pride of Honor award in 2005—she’s hardly a household name in her home country, and viewed by Pakistani critics as an outlier. We spoke with Sikander recently about her art and life. Excerpts:

From the National College of Arts in Lahore to the pinnacle of the global art scene, what’s the journey been like for you?

Complex, the way life is. It’s hard to summarize more than two decades in a single answer—besides, the journey is still unfolding. In retrospect I would have, perhaps, made some different decisions, but I’m appreciative of all the opportunities and detours I experienced that helped me develop my ability to think and express.

You’ve rarely held any shows in Pakistan, why?

Not being invited in any serious manner to exhibit works in Pakistan is an issue. Compounding the situation is also the fact that almost all of my work got collected rapidly by international museums in the late 1990s and early 2000s. To show the work, it has to be loaned directly from the [collecting] institutions. It was never as simple as putting the work in a suitcase to be brought over to Pakistan to exhibit.

Do you think your work has helped change how women artists from the Muslim world are viewed abroad, judged on the basis of the work rather than the baggage of biography?

Our actions speak for ourselves. If anything my choices in life do not fit into any stereotypes. I am a strong advocate for women’s education. The support I received from my family and mentors in Pakistan was instrumental in allowing me to think for myself, take responsibility for my actions, and develop a healthy sense of independence and self-worth. Unfortunately, stereotypes get resurrected often around the world for all sorts of people. Muslim women are subjected to this much more frequently. Over the years there have been numerous opportunities to debunk or challenge these stereotypes, and I have been there many times through my work and through my life.

How much of your work is informed by your heritage, your Pakistani identity?

My identity is very much about my being from the subcontinent. It is not as if I left my roots and have to find ways to engage with them. I came of age in Pakistan. My engagement with Indo-Persian miniature painting started in the mid to late-’80s when I was studying at the NCA........

http://newsweekpakistan.com/the-forgotten-daughter/

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpt of Obama's remarks after meeting Sharif at White House:

... And I shared with him that I had the opportunity, back in 1980 when I was a very young man, to visit Pakistan because I had two Pakistani roommates in college whose mothers taught me how to cook daal and keema, and other very good Pakistani food. And it was a wonderful trip for me, and created a great appreciation and a great love for the Pakistani people.

I know that Pakistani Americans here in the United States are enormous contributors to the growth and development of the United States, and so we have these strong people-to-people connections. And my hope is, is that despite what inevitably will be some tensions between our two countries and occasional misunderstandings between our two countries, that the fundamental goodwill that is shared between the Pakistani people and the American people, that that will be reflected in our governments’ relationships and that we will continue to make progress in the coming years.

So, Mr. Prime Minister, welcome. And thank you for an excellent conversation and an excellent visit.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/10/23/remarks-president-obama-and-prime-minister-nawaz-sharif-pakistan-after-b

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani-American Dr. Saud Anwar elected mayor of the city of South Windsor, Connecticut

http://southwindsor.patch.com/groups/elections/p/democrats-take-council

http://www.ummid.com/news/2013/November/20.11.2013/connecticut-gets-first-muslim-mayor.html