Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pakistani-American Population Growth Second Fastest Among Asian-Americans

There are now more Asians migrating to the United States than Hispanics,  reflecting a  decline in illegal immigration as American employers increase their demand for high-skilled workers. About 430,000 Asians, or 36 percent of all new immigrants, arrived in the U.S. in 2010, according to the latest census data. That's higher than 370,000, or 31 percent, who were Hispanic.

A study published by the Pew Research Center details what it describes as "the rise of Asian-Americans",  a highly diverse and fast-growing group making up roughly 5 percent of the U.S. population. Mostly foreign-born and naturalized citizens, their numbers have been boosted by increases in visas granted to specialized workers and to wealthy investors as the U.S. economy becomes driven less by manufacturing and more by technology.

 The Pew survey is based on an analysis of census data as well as interviews with 3,511 Asian adults living in the U.S., conducted by cell phone or landline from Jan. 3 to March 27. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points for all respondents, higher for subgroups.

Pakistani-Americans (pop: 409,163) are the seventh largest community among Asian-Americans, behind Chinese (3.8 million),  Filipinos (3.4 million), Indians (3.2 million), Vietnamese (1.74 million),  Koreans (1.7 million) and Japanese (1.3 million), according to Asian-American Center For Advancing Justice . They are still a miniscule fraction of the overall US population. However, their numbers have more than doubled in the last decade due to increased immigration, according to US Census 2010 data. With 100% increase since 2000, Pakistanis are the second fastest growing Asian immigrant group in the United States. With median household income of $63,000, Pakistani-Americans also earn more than an average American household. The most common jobs of Pakistani-Americans include doctors, engineers,  accountants, salespersons, administrators/managers and financial analysts, and 55 per cent hold at least a bachelor’s degree which is higher than 49% of all Asian-Americans and almost twice the 28% of overall American population with college degrees.

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 (204,309) to 2010 (409,163), the second largest percentage increase after Bangladeshis' 157% increase in the same period.

3.  The median household income of Pakistani-American families is nearly $63,000 versus $51,369 average for all Americans.

4. 55% of Pakistanis have a bachelor's degree or higher.

5. 55% of Pakistanis own their own homes.

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

7. 65% of Pakistanis in America are foreign-born. 57% of foreign-born Pakistani-American population is made up of naturalized citizens.

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

9. There were 69,202 immigrant visas issued to Pakistanis from 2001 to 2010, the 5th highest among Asian nations.

10. 28% of Pakistanis have limited English proficiency.

11. 15% of Pakistanis are classified as poor; only 1% of them are on public assistance.

12. 8% of Pakistanis are unemployed, a figure lower than the general population of Americans.

13. Median age of Pakistanis in America is only 29 years, lower than most of the Asian groups and the national median age of 36.8 years.

Pakistani-American community is still relatively young when compared with other immigrant groups. More of the Pakistanis in America are college educated than the general population of whites and various immigrant groups. The youthful energy and higher education levels of Pakistani-Americans are opening doors for them to rise and shine in America, in spite of the current economic difficulties in their adopted land of opportunities.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistani-American NFL Team Owner  

OPEN Forum 2012 

Pakistani-American Elected Mayor

Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs Catch the Wave

Khan Academy Draws Pakistani Visitors

Minorities are Majority in Silicon Valley

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 
Pakistan's Demographic Dividend

Pakistanis Study Abroad

Pakistan's Youth Bulge

Pakistani Diaspora World's 7th Largest


Sam said...

A little correction

As of 2010

Pakistanis have a bachelor's degree or higher is 60.9%


Anonymous said...

i think you forget your 5-6 children of pakistani immigrants.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "i think you forget your 5-6 children of pakistani immigrants."

I suggest you use math and data instead of bigotry to seek the truth.

Divide the household income by per capita income and it'll give you avg household size.

For Pakistanis, household income $63000 divided by per cap income $25000 gives you 2.52 persons per household.

For Indians, household income $87000 divided by per cap income $36000 gives you 2.42 per household.

Riaz Haq said...

Women in the labour force:
A key source of distinction between the immigrants from India and other South Asians is the higher participation of Indian women in the labour force. A much higher integration of women in the labour force is one of the reasons why immigrants from India have fared much better than others in the United States. Consider that only 42 per cent of the women from Pakistan were active in the labour force in the US compared to 57 per cent women from India. In fact women from Pakistan reportedly the lowest participation in the labour force in the US falling behind women from Egypt, Afghanistan , and Bangladesh.

Education matters the most:
It should come as no surprise that immigrants from India are one of the most educated cohort in the United States. Almost 42 per cent of immigrants from India over the age of 25 reported having a graduate (Masters) or a professional degree. In comparison, only 10 per cent of the native-born adults reported having a graduate or professional degree. Approximately 23 per cent of adult immigrants from Egypt and Pakistan reported having a graduate or professional degree.

Indian said...

I know for a fact that pakistanis are not issued visas frequently. So increasing population must be attributed to increased birth rate.

It is the ONLY natural conclusion.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian: "I know for a fact that pakistanis are not issued visas frequently. So increasing population must be attributed to increased birth rate.It is the ONLY natural conclusion."

Yours is a bigoted conclusion based on ignorance, not data or facts.

There is a class of countries called high immigrant source countries used by US to ensure diversity. Countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants in 5 years are in this group that includes India, Pakistan, Mexico, Philippines, etc.

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.


Anonymous said...

Any crackdown on illegal immigrants abroad or restricting quotas to Indians are a major concern to India’s politicians. The latest statistics from US Department of Homeland Security shows that the numbers of Indian illegal migrants jumped 125% since 2000! Ever wondered why Indians migrate to another countries but no one comes to India for a living?


Anonymous said...

The Indians, whose hiding space was furnished only with soiled mattresses, claimed to be on vacation. But authorities quickly concluded they were waiting to be smuggled into the United States via an 11,000-mile (17,700-kilometer) pipeline of human cargo — the same network that has transported thousands of illegal immigrants from India, through Central America and Mexico and over the sandy banks of the Rio Grande during the past two years.

Indians have arrived in droves even as the overall number of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. has dropped dramatically, in large part because of the sluggish American economy. And with fewer Mexicans and Central Americans crossing the border, smugglers are eager for more "high-value cargo" like Indians, some of whom are willing to pay more than $20,000 for the journey.


HopeWins said...

Dr. Haq,

This is not at all surprising to me.

If you look carefully, you will notice something interesting about the trend. In general, the rate of increase appears inversely proportional to the magnitude of the already-existing population.

In other words, the smaller already-existing immigrant groups (Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Taiwanese, Thai, Indonesians) have higher growth rates ; While the larger already-existing immigrant groups (Chinese, Philippino, Indian, Vietnamese) have lower growth rates.

This is not surprising at all because it is an artifact of the Quota-System that was created under the American Immigration & Nationality Act:

http://alturl.com/7votw (See Acts 201, 202, 203)

As a result of this Act, immigrants from the countries with larger existing-populations tend to face the quota CUT-OFF. This leads to very, very long "waiting lists" and sets a limit on how many can come in any given year from those countries.

On the other hand, statistically, the countries will smaller existing-populations do not face these cut-offs and their immigrants can come in larger numbers (up to the cut-off) and so "waiting lists" are shorter (or non-existent) for these countries.

But this continues ONLY UNTIL they reach sufficient mass to hit the quota ceiling. After that, their rate of increase will also slow down like the others.

Note that this is a general observation of a general trend; it is not be offered as the Absolute Gospel Truth.

Example: The US has 1 immigrant from the Republic of Nauru. She applied last year to bring (sponsor) her 8 brothers and sisters to the US. These applications are quickly approved without any wait-list since they are nowhere close to the quota-based cut-off for Nauru. All eight of her sibling will come over this year.

THE RESULT: The population of immigrants from Nauru will increase by 800% this year! It will be the new fastest growing immigrant group! Stop the presses! Screaming News Headlines! Ooo! Aaah! Ooo!

Thank you.

Riaz Haq said...

HopeWins: "In other words, the smaller already-existing immigrant groups (Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Taiwanese, Thai, Indonesians) have higher growth rates ; While the larger already-existing immigrant groups (Chinese, Philippino, Indian, Vietnamese) have lower growth rates."

Except that Pakistan is already on the list of countries called high immigrant source countries used by US to ensure diversity. It's the countries which have sent more than 50,000 immigrants in past 5 years.

HopeWins said...

Dr. Haq,

Here is what I meant:

For the sake of simplicity, let us look only at only one category of immigration. The principle is general and can be trivially extended to the other categories.

According to the family-based (main program) immigration quota system, no more than 25,900 can be issued to any one country in any one year.


Size of Existing Philippino Immigrant Population: 3.5 Million
Size of Existing Pakistani Immigrant Population: 0.5 Million

As you can see Philippinos & Pakistanis have both reached the cut-off this year. Therefore, under the family-based general program a maximum of 25,900 (limit) pakistanis and 25,900 (limit) Phillipinos will get immigrant visas this year. The rest of the applicants will go into the infamous "waiting list".

Therefore, the percent increase in their immigrant populations due to THIS PARTICULAR family-based category of immigration this year will be:

Philippinos: 0.74% (25,900 Limit over a base of 2.5 Million)
Pakistan: 5.18% (25,900 Limit over a base of 0.5 Million)

You see what I mean?

So on a decadal basis, in THIS PARTICULAR family-based category of immigration, Philippines may see ~10% growth in the next 10 years, whereas Pakistan may see ~60% growth in the next ten years.

But once the base of the existing Pakistani immigrant population increases, and the annual quota limits stays the same, the rate of increase for Pakistan must fall.

I hope that helps.

Thank you.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's assessment after his recent Pakistan visit--Part I:

Pakistan, a Muslim country, has spent about half of its independent life under military governments. Today, Pakistani leadership celebrates the ruling coalitions success in almost finishing the first five year term in history (previous leaders indicted by the courts, assassinated by extremists or brushed aside by the generals.) In meetings last week with the senior General, Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, they made the case for a new and updated image of Pakistan: one of the largest democracies in the world, with a vibrant and open press, an upcoming demographic dividend of hardworking young people, and a highly educated elite leadership of the country. Islamabad and Lahore, where we visited, were relatively safe and certainly safer than Afghanistan. It was clear to us that Pakistan has an image problem.

Pakistan also has a power problem, as in electric power. Power is now off two hours out of three all day and all night. Estimates are that the country has enough generation capacity (hydro and oil based) to handle all the load, but corruption, power stealing, poor payment rates and the classic mistake of underpricing power compared to its real generation cost means that industrial production is threatened. Everyone of means has a UPS, and the air-conditioning seldom works on a 45 Celcius day. Our meetings often were literally in the dark, a common enough occurrence that people did not even remark about it.

Pakistanis are on their way to full mobile penetration with more than 110 million users, and all effective political communication programs now rely on SMS. 3G licenses are underway and the start of a real software industry can be seen.

Against this backdrop, another side of Pakistan emerges. The consensus is that the military drives the foreign policy of the country with unforeseen consequences. Alleged use of extremist groups to fight in Kashmir enables a criminal element to flourish, and the hosting of the Taliban in the autonomous regions (called FATA) to the north and west in the mountains turned an ungoverned area into a very dangerous area. The Army Generals explained the difference between fundamentalism (which they support) and extremism (which they fight), and the political leadership explained that the extremism now comes from “seminaries” where youth are indoctrinated, housed and fed in the rural areas where there are no opportunities at all.

Until recently a strong US ally, Pakistan is now on very good terms with China, and has improving relations with India (with whom they have had three wars.) The development of a nuclear stalemate between India and Pakistan seems to have forced them to pursue accommodation and trade is now increasing rapidly. The press are generally hyper-critical of the United States policies in the region and take the view that the India-US relationship is driving much of our countries behavior. The drone strikes are universally condemned as a violation of sovereignty and their constitution and are subject to much negotiation between the two countries. The bin Laden raid is viewed with strikingly different perspectives in the two countries.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's assessment after his recent Pakistan visit--Part II:

...We met a number of impressive Pakistanis, none more so than Masarrat Misbah of Smile Again. Every year, hundreds of young rural women have acid thrown on their faces by men as punishment for some dishonor, including being raped by the men who pour acid on her. This horrific crime, which often leads to death or blindness, requires painful rehabilitation and rebuilding of the woman’s life. Masarrat Misbah’s home in Lahore provides a temporary safe house. The perpetrators, most often direct family members, are seldom prosecuted and almost never convicted of anything. I will never forget the faces of these shy, young women so grievously injured in such an evil way.

Much of what people say and think about Pakistan is absolutely true for most of the FATA provinces (autonomous areas) and for Baluchistan. Pakistan's image problem results from the fact that people outside the country believe the realities of North and South Waziristan and Quetta are reflective of what the larger country looks like. Islamabad and Lahore are certainly safer than people realize, unless you are a politician (many prominent politicians still suffer assassination attempts and threats inside these cities).

Pakistan's major security challenge comes from having two many fronts. FATA represents a Haqqani network and Taliban problem, threatening the establishment in Islamabad. Baluchistan is a persistent separatist movement. Afghanistan is a threat because Pashtuns are allowed to go back and forth undocumented. All of this, including India, is simply too much for a government like Pakistan to take on right now.

We ultimately see three Pakistans: 1) The places where the security issues are true (FATA, Baluchistan, parts of SWAT Valley, and Kashmir); 2) the rest of Pakistan for the average citizen, much larger than the first and which is reasonably misunderstood and relatively safe; 3) The politician's and military's Pakistan, which whether in FATA or Islamabad, is turbulent, unsafe, and complex.

There is a good case for optimism about Pakistan, simply because of the large emergent middle class (#2). The country, vast, tribal and complicated, can follow the more successful model of India. Connectivity changes the rural experience completely.. illiteracy at 43% can be overcome relatively quickly, and providing information alternatives can dissuade young males from a life of terrorism. The well educated elite can decide to further reform the countries institutions to increase confidence in the government. The war in Afghanistan, destabilizing to Pakistan in many ways, winds down after 2014 and buys time for Pakistan to address its real and continuing internal terrorism threat (more than 30,000 civilian terror deaths in the decade.)

Technology can help in other ways as well. The power problem is mostly a tracking problem (tracing corruption and mis-distribution). The problem of extreme crimes (like acid, or stoning) in poorly policed regions can be mitigated with videos and exposes that shame authorities into prosecution. The corruption problem can be tracked and traced using mobile money and transparent government finances. We met with clever Pakistani entrepreneurs who will build large, new businesses in Pakistan in the next few years and global multinational will locate sales and eventually manufacturing in the country.

The emergent middle class of Pakistan won’t settle for a corrupt system with constant terrorism and will push for reforms in a burgeoning democracy. Here’s to the new civil society of Pakistan, who will use connectivity, information and the Internet, to drive a peaceful revolution that brings Pakistan up to its true potential.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn article by Michael Kugelman on Pakistani-Americans:

...For sure, many if not most Pakistani-Americans and US-based Pakistanis retain strong links to Pakistan. Some do so by staying close to relatives still in the country, or via the Internet and the various Pakistani media outlets accessible in America. Others quite famously exemplify the diaspora’s “giving” bonafides. We often hear about the remittances sent back to relatives, yet it’s equally important to acknowledge the humanitarianism. This largesse can be seen in the work of groups like APPNA, but also from the quiet actions of individuals. I know of various Pakistani-Americans — who otherwise rarely visit Pakistan — spending extended periods in the country to provide relief assistance after the 2010 floods.

Then there are the many diaspora organisations dedicated to Pakistan. Some, such as the various chapters of the Pakistani American Association (from North Carolina to Florida), promote Pakistani culture. Others, such as the Pakistan American Business Association, advocate business ties between the two countries. Still others are unabashedly political.

In the context of politics, only in recent months have I begun to fully understand the considerable influence Pakistani politicians’ exercise over the diaspora. As I’ve suggested before (only somewhat in jest), Pervez Musharraf seems to have more supporters in America than he does in Pakistan (and he has an extraordinary public relations operation to sustain his apparent popularity here). Then there’s Imran Khan, whose PTI party was scheduled to hold a jalsa in New York City until it was abruptly postponed with no apparent explanation. When Musharraf spoke at the Woodrow Wilson Center last summer, many of the 400 people in attendance were Pakistani-Americans. I suspect a visit by Khan would draw many more.

Yet my main interest here is those diaspora members who decide to go back to Pakistan — and not simply to visit relatives or attend weddings. I’ve previously alluded to Ijaz Nabi and Adil Najam, long-time successful professionals in this country who returned to Pakistan to join LUMS. There are also the likes of Pakistani-American Nadia Naviwala, a Harvard-educated, one-time USAID staffer who not long ago decided to relocate to Pakistan to serve as the US Institute of Peace’s country representative there.

These are only the more well-known cases. I recently received an email from a young, newly minted law school graduate, born and raised in America, who had decided to move to Pakistan — where she had never lived before. I imagine there are other examples like this one.

So what inspires diaspora members to return to Pakistan? More than three years ago, a blogpost by Nosheen Abbas highlighted the various opportunities diaspora members perceive in Pakistan, and the sense of attachment that attracts them.

In truth, I doubt there’s one overarching motivating factor — and certainly not idealism. Several years ago I had lunch with a deeply cynical diaspora member who lamented — as many do — the hopeless state of Pakistan. Not too long after this conversation, he returned to the country to take a prominent position in government. He was likely drawn to Pakistan by a job, not by do-goodism.

Another question is how diaspora members are treated once they arrive back in Pakistan. Do they encounter hostility? Are they dismissed as out-of-touch outsiders? And, in the case of those born in the United States, are they tainted for being Americans?

On all accounts, I suspect the answer is no. Various Afghan and Iraqi diaspora members (from accountants to politicians) have returned to help rebuild their countries of origin, a process that seems to be encouraged in these countries......


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Forbes excerpt on Pakistani-American Shahid Khan:

With flowing black hair and the thick handlebar mustache of a man used to leaving a lasting impression, the 62-year-old Khan, driving a shiny white Grand Cherokee, is a swashbuckling contrast to the desolation around him. While Danville and the rest of the Rust Belt were deteriorating over the last 40 years, Khan was moving in exactly the opposite direction. The sole owner and CEO of Flex-N-Gate, he built one of the biggest automotive parts suppliers in North America almost from scratch from his headquarters just 35 miles away and now employs more than 13,000 people at 52 factories around the globe. Sales reached $3.4 billion in 2011. FORBES estimates his net worth at $2.5 billion, placing him in the top half of the soon-to-be-released 2012 Forbes 400.

An enormous accomplishment for anyone, it’s more like a Mars landing for a middle-class kid from Pakistan who flew into Illinois for an engineering degree at 16 and never left. Khan’s is the kind of only-in-America success story that has filled boats and planes with dreamers for the past 150 years, one that gives a face to an ironclad fact: Skilled, motivated immigrants are proven job creators, not job takers.

Khan’s American Dream continued this January, when he purchased the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars for $770 million. In so doing, he became the first ethnic-minority owner in a league synonymous with cheerleaders and tailgate parties, Thanksgiving grudge matches and that most secular of U.S. holidays, Super Bowl Sunday. Buying into the NFL, he says, was a statement about the opportunity America offers.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of an ET piece by Shahid Javed Burki on Pakistani-Americans:

To appreciate the economic influence the Pakistanis living in America could exert on the country of their origin, we should have some idea about their wealth, sources of income and aggregate incomes. Their total annual income is of the order of $45 to $50 billion a year. The savings rate should be around 25 per cent of the income, which is typical of immigrant groups. This means that about $12 billion a year is being set aside and invested in the creation of assets. Since the diaspora was formed over a period of more than 25 years, I estimate the asset base of this community at about $175 billion. The income from this should be about $8 billion a year. Originally, salaries and wages were the main source of income. Now, with a sizeable asset base, one-sixth of the incomes are drawn from returns on investments. With these numbers as the background, we can begin to understand the source of remittances and other capital flows that originate from this particular diaspora.

In the last two decades, there was a 16-fold increase in the amount of remittances sent by Pakistanis living and working in the United States. These increased from $150 million in 1991-92 to 2.4 billion in 2011-12. This represents an increase of 15 per cent a year. The rate of growth in remittances from this particular source was almost four times the rate of increase in the national product. Another way of looking at this flow of capital is in terms of its contribution to the increase in GDP. Assuming that currently the incremental capital output ratio for Pakistan is four — meaning that it takes four per cent of GDP to be invested to generate a one per cent increase in the national product — about a 0.3 percentage point increase in national income could be attributed to the remittances from the United States. Could this amount increase even further and could it be used more effectively? I will take up these questions in the article next week.


HopeWins Junior said...

Take a look at the Table you have posted:

It shows Pakistani-Americans at roughly 400,000 in 2010.

It also shows Indian-Americans at roughly 3,200,000 in 2010.

This sounds about right, given that India has about 7 times our population in the Old Country.

However, if you reckon that AT LEAST 10% of Indians are Indian-Muslims, then we get Indian-Muslim-Americans at 320,000 in 2010.

See Page 44: http://alturl.com/r5vgx

Neglecting Pakistani Non-muslims, this is very close to our Pakistani-American figure of 400,000!

shahzaib said...

a great discussion i have ever read i spent about 1 hour to reading all discussion great job

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.


Riaz Haq said...

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



Riaz Haq said...

In addition to Prof Asim Khwaja at Harvard Business School, there are other notable Pakistani-American professors of business and economics at top universities in America. Prominent among them are two names: Prof Atif Mian at Princeton and Prof Amir Sufi at University of Chicago Booth School.

Mian and Sufi have recently written a book "House of Debt" published by University of Chicago Press.

Here are excepts of their thoughts as published in a Bloomberg piece:

The point is general: Housing is a service we must all consume, whether we rent or own. A decline in the price of housing services is a good thing for those of us who plan on increasing our consumption. If my home value declines, I should only feel poorer if I was planning to decrease my consumption of housing services or moving to a less expensive area.

So from a macroeconomic perspective, in a world without mortgages, falling house prices would have negligible aggregate effects. Some households would be richer and some would be poorer. But there is no reason to believe that there would be a large aggregate “housing-wealth effect.”

So why is housing holding back the economy? It is because most homeowners use substantial amounts of debt to purchase houses. Once we acknowledge that housing is a highly leveraged sector, the conclusions of the theory are totally different. In this case, there are a number of reasons why house-price declines will affect household spending.

First, the collateral value of housing is extremely important. Households can only borrow at a 3.9 percent, 30-year fixed rate if they have home value to back the loan. A severe decline in house prices takes away this channel.

Second, the debt associated with homes means a higher rate of defaulting households. This leads to lower credit scores and more foreclosures, both of which have negative effects on household spending.

And third, even for households that choose to continue paying their mortgages, the decline in home values will lead to deleveraging as homeowners struggle to improve their financial position.

The evidence overwhelmingly supports the view that high debt levels are the central reason that house-price declines negatively affect household spending. For example, our research shows that for a given drop in home value, a household cuts back on auto purchases much more if it is highly leveraged. We also find that the reductions in household spending in counties experiencing large house-price declines are far too large to be explained by a housing-wealth effect alone.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Men's Journal story of Pakistani-American Mixed Martial Arts champ Bashir Ahmed:

In April 2013, Bashir Ahmad stood bleeding in a cage before a 12,000-person stadium crowd in Kallan, Singapore. Having defeated his Thai opponent, the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter draped the green-and-white Pakistani flag across his shoulders and hoisted his gloved hands as the stadium. The crowd – along with a 500-million-person Asian TV audience – cheered for Pakistan's first national MMA champion. The accolade was made all the more precedent-breaking considering Ahmad's true identity: just a few years earlier, he had served in Iraq as a U.S. soldier. As relations between the U.S. and Pakistan remain strained due to drone strikes, Taliban attacks, and lingering resentment over the unauthorized commando raid on Osama bin Laden, Ahmad has become the unlikeliest of national heroes – an American soldier turned MMA champion. "I've gotten Facebook messages asking how I could be a part of the U.S. army and support the killing of Muslims," he says. "Does it get to me? No. My whole life has been a paradox."
Born in Lahore in 1983, Ahmad moved as a child with his family to Great Falls, Virginia. In 2002, he joined the National Guard to fund his tuition at Virginia Commonwealth University – thinking he'd only spend one weekend a month doing military drills. "When I first got there and asked if they'd served in Afghanistan, they laughed and said 'We can't even make it to the highway without getting lost,'" Ahmad says. Yet nine months after the beginning of the Iraq war, in 2003, Ahmad was deployed to work as a medic on a bomb disposal unit in Mosul – a stronghold of the Sunni insurgency. "Have you seen the movie Hurt Locker?" he says. "That was my day-to-day life. We'd drive five times a day to wherever in the city there was a suspected IED or car bomb."
Despite his rising star in Pakistan, Ahmad says his time there has shown him how essentially American he remains. "When I came here I was like, 'oh I'll fit right in'," Ahmad says. "No, I was definitely different – a foreigner." Pakistan's pervasive anti-American rhetoric and uncritical nationalism irritated him. "It's so mixed up, it's so ridiculous," he says about the country's political climate. "There are Pakistanis whose whole family is in the U.S. and they want a visa, yet they hate America." One of Ahmad's proudest achievements, beyond the fame and growing success of MMA in Pakistan, is having created something that erases, however modestly, Pakistan's social divides. "These two young waiters at a roadside restaurant told me their lives had changed," Ahmad says. "Guys who would usually order them around were now the same people looking up to them and saying, 'This guy fights for my gym.'"
Ahmad is now splitting his time between Virginia and Pakistan while courting Pakistani expatriates to help fund his league – and admits to not feeling quite at home in either country. "The TSA held me for seven hours at Reagan airport, but then only questioned me for a couple of minutes," Ahmad says, "I expected it but was still like 'Screw you, I'm a vet.'"


Riaz Haq said...

Here's Express Tribune on Mir Zafar Ali, Pakistani-American Oscar winner Mir

Richard Parker swims in the Life of Pi ocean. Afterwards, the 10 million hair on the Bengal tiger’s body are wiped down, his fur gradually morphing from dripping wet to dry. In Frozen, we watch the little girl Elsa create snowfall and her enchanting ice world emerge. The line between fantasy and reality blurs, so real are the images. But this much is clear; the artist behind this graphic wizardry deserves the three Oscar awards he has received in six years.
The recognition from the industry for Pakistani visual effects artist, 38-year-old Mir Zafar Ali, has been nothing short of a dream come true. His latest Academy Award, for Frozen, was the first in the animation category for the Walt Disney Animation Studios. The 3D musical fantasy-comedy film is now the highest-grossing animated film in history, beating the Lion King and Toy Story 3. It has also made it to the top 10 biggest films, leaving far behind the likes of Star Wars and the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
Ali’s first Oscar came for The Golden Compass in 2008. He recalls the moment as being “very, very surreal.” “My wife Tamanna Shah was working at Paramount Studios at the time and we were invited to one of their Oscar parties. So we’re talking to people, having a good time and then the nomination for the best visual effects category came up and I almost dropped my drink when they announced The Golden Compass as the winner,” he said in a telephone interview with The Express Tribune.
It was a tough competition. They had been up against Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. “It took a good few seconds to sink in,” he recalled.
Ali’s forte is to mainly recreate natural phenomena such as water, fire, destruction and snow as well as visually recreate fantasy. This takes hundreds of hours of reference research, watching footage of natural phenomena such as tsunamis and storms and poring over science papers.
His second Academy Award came last year for the Life of Pi, a movie based on Yann Martel’s acclaimed novel. The Bengal tiger named Richard Parker stars in most sequences, although the real 300-pound tiger was only used when Pi and Richard are not in the same shot. The rest of the scenes consist of computer-generated images that give life to an extremely challenging script. It was in Life of Pi that a real animal and a digital one were used interchangeably for the first time. A team of 15 people were dedicated to creating just the fur by placing and combing all 10 million hair on his body.
But in the United States, even Oscar wins don’t promise job security. After the successes of Life of Pi and The Golden Compass, Ali found himself unemployed for some weeks. “After being in business for well over a decade, the company I worked for, Rhythm & Hues, filed for bankruptcy in 2013,” he said. “That was right after we won the Oscar for Life of Pi. There were major layoffs and I ended up on the chopping block after I wrapped up Percy Jackson 2 in April.”
The layoff came as a near blessing though and a couple of weeks later he was offered a job at Disney where he was assigned Frozen, leading to his second consecutive Oscar win. “The timing worked out perfectly for me.”
Ali grew up in Karachi watching a wide range of films and was particularly interested in science-fiction and fantasy movies. Jurassic Park was his first main inspiration. “It completely blew me away!” he said.
He studied at the BeaconHouse School Systems and always wanted to go to art school. “But back in the day, going to art school wasn’t thought of as a good career move — hell, it’s still not thought of as a good career move,” he admitted. As a result, it took him a while to figure out what he wanted to do..


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times story on a Pakistani-American Halal food entrepreneur:

During the early months of 2010, Adnan A. Durrani found himself frequently thinking of kosher hot dogs. To be more precise, he was thinking of an ad campaign for them created decades earlier by the Hebrew National company. Its well-known slogan went, “We answer to a higher authority.”

Let it be said that Mr. Durrani was, in many ways, an unlikely recipient for such a revelation. An observant Muslim born to Pakistani parents, a Wall Street refugee turned natural-foods entrepreneur, he was then trying to create a line of frozen-food entrees adhering to the Muslim religious standard of halal for the American market.

And Mr. Durrani was doing so in an especially forbidding political climate, with a demagogic battle raging against a proposed Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan depicted as the “ground zero mosque,” and judicial and criminal attacks against a mosque being constructed in Murfreesboro, Tenn. “Perfect timing,” he recalled dryly.

Yet the Hebrew National mantra attested to the goal that Mr. Durrani had set for his nascent company, Saffron Road: to hit both the bull’s-eye of a specific religious audience and appeal to the concentric ring of other consumers inclined to impute positive traits to any food with a sanctified aura.

By the late summer of 2010, the first Saffron Road entrees landed store shelves. This year, as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches, bringing with it daytime fasts and nightly iftar meals, the company has put out more than 50 different products and built annual sales on a pace to reach $35 million.

As significant, thanks to a close partnership with the Whole Foods chain, Saffron Road’s products have moved beyond a core audience of observant American Muslims and into the commercial mainstream. In that respect, Saffron Road is among the first halal producers to follow what might be called the kosher model of simultaneously serving and transcending a communal constituency.

“What it takes for an ethno-religious food to cross over into the mainstream is, first of all, buy-in from the general public — a perception that this food has something of value that other food does not,” said Sue Fishkoff, author of the book “Kosher Nation.” That something, she continued, might be a sense, even if inaccurate, that the food is healthier, purer or of higher quality because it has been produced under religious supervision.

The challenge for a halal product, then, is a foundational one. Instead of entering a marketplace that has an innocuously favorable view of a religion and its clergy, such as Judaism and Christianity enjoy in America, a brand like Saffron Road runs the risk of colliding with and even provoking Islamophobia. All of which makes its commercial success more notable, and one might say more heartening.
As of 2014, about two-thirds of Saffron Road’s products are gluten-free and about one-third do not use genetically modified ingredients. They are sold in such mainstream supermarket chains as Costco, Publix and Kroger.

Predictably, some anti-Muslim reaction has appeared, with a small number of bloggers assailing Whole Foods in 2011 for running a Ramadan promotion of Saffron Road products. Less predictably, however, the brouhaha wound up being a bonanza. Mr. Durrani went on CNN to defend his company and deployed a “rapid-response team” of bloggers, including a rabbi, to attack the attackers. Thanks to all the free publicity, Saffron Road’s sales shot up by 300 percent during that Ramadan.

“We say this is higher-powered,” Mr. Durrani said. “Angels come in from nowhere to help us.”

That part of the story, of course, just may not fit into an M.B.A. case study.


Riaz Haq said...

“My goal is to use the professorship to increase awareness about complex health challenges in developing countries, including Pakistan, and develop stronger academic ties between students,” he says, while talking to The Express Tribune. “Collectively, I hope, we will be able to address high-impact health challenges of the developing countries, through innovation, context awareness and a broad-based approach.”

Boston University’s Hamid Zaman and his students have developed a detector for counterfeit and defective drugs flooding poorer countries, among other technologies to improve medical care in the developing world.

Zaman is an associate professor of biomedical engineering at BU’s College of Engineering and a columnist for The Express Tribune. But now he has another feather in his cap.
He is one of the 15 professors across the United States – and the first Pakistani – to receive the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professorships, awarded to researchers to introduce innovative techniques for undergraduate science education. And for this, the professorship confers a five-year $1 million grant to each HHMI professor.
The aim of the professorship is to provide resources to research scientists who are making science more engaging for undergraduate students and empower these individuals to create new models for teaching science at research universities, according to the HHMI website.

And how will Zaman make this happen? “My goal is to use the professorship to increase awareness about complex health challenges in developing countries, including Pakistan, and develop stronger academic ties between students,” he says, while talking to The Express Tribune. “Collectively, I hope, we will be able to address high-impact health challenges of the developing countries, through innovation, context awareness and a broad-based approach.”
The goal is to go beyond the disciplinary boundaries and integrate policy, development and health research with engineering education to come up with new and more potent tools to address these challenges, he explains.
“A lot of my approaches and appreciation of global health challenges are derived from my background. I grew up in Pakistan so not only do I have a soft corner for global health challenges.”


Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani-American Dr. Mehmood Khan, Head of Global R&D at Pepsico Frito Lay, to create healthier snacks for world market:

As a Pakistani-born doctor who grew up in England, studied nutrition and agriculture in the U.S. and consulted for the Mayo Clinic on diabetes and other diseases, Mehmood Khan's background gives him a broad perspective.

His job gives him a daunting challenge.

Khan, 53, is PepsiCo's chief scientist and CEO of its Chicago-based Global Nutrition Group. It's his group's task to more than double Pepsi's healthier food portfolio to $30 billion in revenue by 2020.

Food companies are under pressure from government, consumers and special interest groups to address the epidemic of obesity, particularly in the United States. As more consumers seek out healthier snacks, drinks and meals, these products can be the fastest-growing piece of an otherwise mature portfolio. And some consumers are willing to pay more for them.

But PepsiCo is still primarily in the business of sodas and chips (from its Frito-Lay stable of brands). In fact, Pepsi is also planning to increase its core business, including Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Doritos and Cheetos, to $70 billion by 2020, from $48 billion at the end of 2010.

As chief scientist, Khan oversees efforts to reduce salt and introduce alternative sweeteners. And that puts the doctor in the unlikely position of selling what most people call junk food, but also helping to make it marginally healthier.

Sitting in his downtown Chicago office, which is adorned with artwork and memorabilia depicting everything from his role at PepsiCo to the importance of looking at the big picture (a broken squash racket mounted on the wall is labeled "tough point"), Khan addressed what some might view as the contradiction inherent to his job.

A healthy lifestyle, he maintains, is all about balance. That means there are no "bad" foods, he said. Some of them you just shouldn't eat all of the time.

"There's no one prescription fits all," said Khan. "What is good and appropriate for my grandson is not appropriate for my 22-year-old college student son, which is not appropriate for me. … It's what is appropriate for you at the quantity and at the time in your life. If we can make it easier for people to make better choices, then we've done a lot of good."

Khan also said that nutritional needs and taste preferences vary by region, and he noted the testing of a snack aimed at teenage girls in India. Iron deficiencies are very common in India, where vegetarianism is widespread, Khan said. Lehar Iron Chusti — tea cookies or savory snacks resembling tiny, spicy, cheeseless Cheetos that are fortified with iron and B vitamins including folate — is being sold for 5 rupees, or about 10 cents.

"This to an Indian girl in Bangalore is very delightful," he said, passing a sample across the table. But for young girls in the U.S., he added, it probably wouldn't be.

Khan is quick to acknowledge that the healthy-lifestyle battle is uphill. He points to a photo taken at a seminar for cardiac specialists. The snapshot looks down at a jammed escalator, with only two people climbing the adjoining stairs. One of them appears to be elderly.

"This is literally the world's experts on cardiology and it tells you everything, doesn't it?" Khan said. "It reminds me that having the knowledge and knowing what to do doesn't change anything, no matter if you are the people who are writing the books on that knowledge."


Riaz Haq said...

‪#‎Pakistani‬-American neuroscientist Dr. Tipu Siddiqui from ‪#‎Karachi‬ discovers cause of ‪#‎ALS‬.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-08-22/news/ct-met-northwestern-als-breakthrough-20110822_1_als-patients-siddique-key-protein … via @ArchiveDigger

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Texas news story about Pakistan seeking help of a Pakistani-American oilman in Midland, Tx to develop Pakistani shale oil and gas:

Among those drawn to the Permian Basin is Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, who made a brief trip to Midland Wednesday.

“Pakistan has huge oil and gas reserves and we’re looking at this area for investors interested in joint ventures,” explained the ambassador, speaking by phone as he headed to the airport to fly to Houston. He was accompanied by Afzaal Mahmood, general consul for Pakistan stationed in Houston.

Jilani said he was impressed “by the things happening in Midland” and that he was warmly received at the luncheon attended by local oil men, including Don Evans as well as Midland Mayor Jerry Morales and Jose Cuevas, owner of JumBurrito. He said he hopes local businesses will consider participating in what he described as significant opportunities in Pakistan.

It’s estimated Pakistan holds total conventional and unconventional reserves of about 160 trillion cubic feet equivalent.

Anwar, a native of Pakistan, explained that the ambassador was making an “exculpatory” visit to Midland to gauge interest in helping Pakistan develop its unconventional hydrocarbons.

“They have an acute shortage of natural gas. They used to have conventional gas reserves, but with population growth and economic expansion,” they’re experiencing a shortfall, Anwar said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration cited a Pakistani government report that the country had a natural gas shortfall of 912 billion cubic feet in 2013, though its dry natural gas production has grown by over 80 percent over the last decade to 1,462 Bcf in 2012.


Riaz Haq said...

Economist Magazine: In Britain, Bangladeshis have overtaken Pakistanis. Credit the poor job market when they arrived and the magical effect of London

In many people’s minds, and often in official statistics, the 447,201 people who called themselves Bangladeshi in the 2011 census and the 1,124,511 who identified themselves as Pakistani are lumped together. And the two groups have much in common. Mass immigration for both began in the 1950s. Both are largely working-class and Muslim. Both tend to vote Labour (see Bagehot). Both are concentrated in one business—restaurants in the case of Bangladeshis, taxi-driving among Pakistanis. But their fortunes are now diverging. And that says something about what it takes to succeed as an immigrant in Britain.

Even during the half-term holiday, the library in Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets is busy with mostly Bangladeshi children. Around three-quarters of the school’s pupils are so poor that they qualify for free school meals. A similar share do not speak English as their first language. And yet, last year, 70% got five good GCSEs, the exams taken at 16—much higher than the national average.

Pakistani pupils do not fare too badly in school either, considering how poorly educated and badly off their parents tend to be. But Bangladeshis overtook them more than a decade ago and have pulled farther ahead since then (see chart 1). Some 61% of Bangladeshis got five good GCSEs in 2014 compared with 51% of Pakistanis and 56% of British whites.

That will help their job prospects. Both Bangladeshis and Pakistanis have low employment rates because so many women do not work. But among the young, Bangladeshis are more likely to be studying or in work. And Yaojun Li, a sociologist at the University of Manchester, calculates that Bangladeshis’ average monthly household income, though still low, is now slightly higher than that of Pakistanis.

Bangladeshis born in Britain are also more likely than their Pakistani counterparts to socialise with people of a different ethnicity, according to another study (see chart 2). Both still overwhelmingly wed within their own ethnic group. But among young men, for whom marrying out is easier, 26% of Bangladeshis now do so compared with 17% of Pakistani youths.

The explanations lie partly in the past. Pakistanis—many of them from the rural Mirpur Valley in Kashmir—began to settle thickly in Britain in the 1960s. They often took jobs in the textile mills of the north and the foundries of the West Midlands.

Most Bangladeshis came later. Many men arrived in the 1970s as refugees, but the peak of migration was in the early 1980s, when the women and children turned up. They thus arrived when British industry was on the ropes—which was oddly lucky, suggests Shamit Saggar of Essex University. Though many were working in the rag trade, they had not committed themselves to one doomed industry. Pakistanis had: they suffered greatly from the collapse of British textile-making.


Riaz Haq said...

#Chinese, #Pakistani and #Indian groups sue Harvard U. for racial bias in admissions. #Pakistan #India #China http://n.pr/1EjX8hU

A group of more than 60 organizations has filed a complaint with the federal government claiming Harvard holds higher expectations for its Asian applicants than other minorities.

The coalition is made up of nonprofit organizations, including Chinese, Pakistani and Indian groups, and it claims Harvard uses racial quotas to control the number of Asian-Americans on campus.

"Asian-American applicants shouldn't be racially profiled in college admissions," says Swann Lee, a Chinese-American writer from Brookline, Mass. "Asian-Americans should have the playing field leveled."

Lee is the mother of twin 11-year-old boys. She helped organize the coalition because she worries her sons will be discriminated against. She wants Harvard, and other schools, to end race-based admissions.

"A lot of colleges really look up to Harvard and they will see what Harvard is doing and they will do something in the same vain," she says.

So the group filed a complaint with the federal government.

"We are asking the Department of Education and the Department of Justice to look into the black box that is the Harvard admissions process," Lee says, "so we can see what is really going on."

The complaint follows a lawsuit making similar claims that was filed in federal district court last year.

Lee and other members of the coalition cite research that shows to get into Harvard, Asian-Americans have to score much higher on the SAT than white, African-American and Hispanic students. And they say Harvard's admissions process lumps together different groups of Asian applicants into a single, high-performing stereotype.

"We are really diversified, with totally different cultural backgrounds and traditions and philosophies," Lee says.

Harvard officials wouldn't talk on tape, but in a statement, the university said its admissions philosophy complies with the law. The school points out that the percentage of admitted Asian-American students has spiked — from 17 percent a decade ago, to 21 percent. The population of Asian-Americans in the U.S.? Just 6 percent.

So what do students think? The coalition doesn't include groups on campus. Many Asian students I spoke with didn't want to talk about the issue. Some who did, said racism is still a problem here.

"I definitely see instances of it on campus," says Danielle Suh, a senior from Austin, Texas. The 22-year-old Korean-American says she feels discrimination through small, subtle ways. Still, Suh doesn't agree with the premise of the complaint.

"If there is a problem that we're lumping all of these groups that face different structural issues together," Suh says. "Then the response for that is even more nuanced affirmative action policies that give students who have faced different inequities growing up, the opportunity to account for those inequities."

Claims of discrimination against Asian students at elite colleges aren't new at Harvard and elsewhere. The University of North Carolina is battling a lawsuit claiming black and Hispanic students were given preference over Asian-Americans.

One response to the Harvard complaint has come from Asian-American members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, who fear it could be a "back door attack on affirmative action."

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News - #Indian and #Pakistani #Americans are big US election donors http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33116280 …

For presidential hopefuls in the United States, it's still early days in the race for the White House, but the campaign finance machines are all geared up for the show.
Among the big donors and fundraisers are some from the Indian and Pakistani American community. They do not yet have the numbers to wield significant influence as voters in US politics, but they are a highly sought after lot when it comes to campaign cash.

Many of them figure in the elite list of political donors in both congressional and presidential campaigns.
So why do they fund political campaigns, what's in it for them?
BBC's Brajesh Upadhyay reports. Edited by Maxine Collins.

Riaz Haq said...

Meet Sana Amanat, the Shonda Rhimes of #Marvel comics. #Pakistani-#American http://www.vox.com/2015/11/19/9757682/sana-amanat-marvel?utm_campaign=vox&utm_content=feature%3Atop&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter … via @voxdotcom

As a woman and a Pakistani American, Amanat has made it her mission to redefine what is possible for women and people of color in an industry dominated by white men. Through her work as an editor on comic books like Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, and Ms. Marvel, she has helped reimagine what superheroes can be. Last year, the first issue of Ms. Marvel — a series and character that Amanat co-created with editor Steve Wacker, writer G. Willow Wilson, and artist Adrian Alphona — went into its seventh printing, a level of success that's extremely rare. Earlier this year, Amanat was introduced to National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates — that initial introduction would later develop into a successful deal orchestrated by editor Will Moss, Marvel's VP of Publishing Tom Brevoort, and Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso to bring Coates to Marvel and write the new Black Panther comic book series.

"My long title of director of content and character development — I always forget it," she tells me about four weeks after New York Comic Con. I've caught her on a busy Monday.

"I still double-check my card and ask, 'What am I?'"

"Just call yourself Ms. Marvel," I joke.

"That's what my nephew calls me. He's 5 now. It's super cute. I think he's kind of messing with me."

He's onto something.

Sana Amanat is the Shonda Rhimes of Marvel comics

There's something poetic about the fact that Amanat is a huge fan of Shonda Rhimes, one of the most powerful showrunners in the television industry and the woman who created the hit shows Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. Rhimes has mastered the art of what Amanat calls the "oh no," the gasp-inducing moments that pepper her sudsy, kinetic dramas. And when you think about it, Rhimes's TV shows, with their hyper swerves and hurtling dialogue, are a bit like live-action comic books.

"You need the 'oh nos.' That's the beauty of serialized storytelling. That's what Shonda does so well," Amanat tells me.

But Amanat and Rhimes have more in common than a love of drama and the utmost respect for Scandal star Kerry Washington. What Rhimes has done for ABC — create great, diverse work that's gone on to inspire more diversity in the network's programming — Amanat is doing for Marvel.

Since her promotion, her editing duties have been streamlined to Captain Marvel, Daredevil and Ms. Marvel, three books she's very passionate about, to make time for an endless array of strategy meetings. Amanat's goal is to determine how Marvel can evolve and make its superheroes more representative and diverse, and then to ensure that it happens. By doing less hands-on editing, she's able to work with the company on a grander scale and across multiple titles.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan (83,000), #Iraq, #Bangladesh Top #Muslim Nations Receiving Green Cards from #US in 5 years https://shar.es/1Gniaf via @sharethis

Immigrants from Pakistan, Iraq, and Bangladesh received the most green cards from the United States in the past five years when compared to other Muslim-majority nations.

The U.S. granted 83,000 green cards to migrants from Pakistan and another 83,000 to migrants from Iraq between fiscal years 2009 and 2013, according to a chart produced by the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest using Department of Homeland Security data.

Migrants from Bangladesh received 75,000 green cards, those from Iran received 73,000, and those from Egypt received 45,000 to round out the top five.

In sum, the U.S. granted 680,000 green cards to immigrants from Muslim-majority nations between 2009 and 2013.

Thousands of green cards went to immigrants from more than three dozen Muslim countries, including: Somalia (31,000), Uzbekistan (24,000), Turkey (22,000), Morocco (22,000), Jordan (20,000), Albania (20,000), Lebanon (16,000), Yemen (16,000), Indonesia (15,000), Syria (14,000), Sudan (13,000), Afghanistan (11,000), Sierra Leone (10,000), Guinea (8,000), Senegal (7,000), Saudi Arabia (7,000), Algeria (7,000), Kazakhstan (7,000), Kuwait (5,000), Gambia (5,000), United Arab Emirates (4,000), Azerbaijan (4,000), Mali (3,000), Burkina Faso (3,000), Kyrgyzstan (3,000), Kosovo (3,000), Mauritania (2,000), Tunisia (2,000), Tajikistan (2,000), Libya (2,000), Turkmenistan (1,000), Qatar (1,000), and Chad (1,000).

The U.S. is expected to issue another 660,000 green cards over the next five years to immigrants from Muslim-majority nations.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan to Westland #Michigan to the #WhiteHouse: A #Pakistani-#American's story http://on.freep.com/1QK8Xs3 via @freep

Writing on a White House blog Tuesday morning, a 24-year-old writer for the Obama administration described how she and her family made it from Pakistan to the U.S. -- Westland to be exact -- and, in her case, on to the West Wing, forging their identities as new Americans.

Asra Najam’s blog entry begins with the words “Mujhe Amreeka jana hai” -- “I want to go to America” -- spoken by her as a 4-year-old in Karachi to her father before her family began a journey that eventually landed them in southeastern Michigan, where her father worked as an engineer on a skilled worker visa.

“We knew no one there, but thankfully, that didn’t last long,” she wrote. “We lived in an apartment complex 15 minutes from the airport and befriended two or three neighboring Pakistani families … Our mothers would drink chai and watch over us. You could find our fathers nearby discussing world politics.”

“I didn’t know it at the time but the community we built in that apartment block the first year we moved to Michigan became the cornerstone to my American identity,” she continued. “Every time I go home, I still find myself in the company of those same neighborhood kids. Even though we’ve all grown up to lead different lives, we still look back to the days when we were all nervous and excited to live in a country where we could be anything we wanted.”

Najam’s blog entry comes at a time when, in the wake of attacks in Paris and California, many have called for a tightening of restrictions on programs to let people into the U.S. out of fear terrorists may try to infiltrate the country. The Obama administration has maintained its intention to settle some 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. by next October.

Najam said it was in 2008, when her parents took their oaths of citizenship, that they knew, as a family, “that the home we had built for ourselves here could never be taken away from us.” She said it was that same day she started dreaming of a future that might include government service, “because I knew I had a stake in bettering this country and in carrying forth its ideals of opportunity and openness.”

“Being an American has never meant giving up who you are to become something else. It means using the sum of your parts to establish communities, build your livelihood, reimagine your identity and grow your dreams,” she added. “It means that even though there are imperfections in the immigration experience, they are always eclipsed by the overwhelming sense of possibility that makes our nation great.”

You can read Najam’s full blog post here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/12/14/being-american.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's "godfather of #MMA" has a gym to keep young #Pakistanis away from radicals http://ti.me/1LpRful via TIME WORLD

One man who is trying to prevent impoverished, uneducated children from getting caught up in sectarian violence is Bashir Ahmad. What makes him strikingly different to the other would-be saviors of Charrah Pind is the fact that he is a 33-year-old U.S. Army vet, raised in Virginia. He’s also a professional mixed-martial-arts (MMA) fighter.

‘Where we create good citizens’
Ahmad was born in Pakistan and grew up in the U.S. before returning to Lahore in 2007, after completing his U.S. military service. He has since built up a community of MMA fighters, established the country’s first promotion — as companies that organize MMA bouts are called — and opened two gyms. But most importantly, he is using the sport to create opportunities for kids to get out of poverty.

“Peace through sports,” he says. “I’ve got that on my shorts.”

Ahmad’s commercial gym is called Synergy. But, in Charrah Pind, he has opened a second facility named Shaheen (“Falcon”) and gives free classes to the neighborhood kids. He drives there, passing mothers bundled in ragged shawls and children going from car to car begging for money or selling roses.

The slum is an island of destitution encircled by the more affluent, military-owned Defense Housing Authority township that surrounds it. Rickshaws, mopeds and the occasional horse and cart clog up the narrow roads. A butcher slaughters chickens on a wooden table. Bloodied feathers flutter to the ground.

Shaheen is in the basement of a nondescript building. It doesn’t seem like much — some mats, a couple of punch bags and a ring — but to the kids that use it, it is everything. Among them is Abu Bakr, a quiet 11-year-old with neatly brushed hair who lives in Charrah Pind with his family. Abu Bakr’s mother is a cleaner at Ahmad’s other gym, where Abu Bakr would sit for hours, watching as Ahmad and the other martial artists sparred and grappled, before being asked to train with them.

Riaz Haq said...

This #Pakistani-American's startup uses technology help prevent school bombings. #Pakistan #terrorism http://cnnmon.ie/1FKrksL via @CNNMoney

What if suicide bombings could be thwarted days in advance?
Startup PredictifyMe is using data to do just that.
"[We] have the largest data set on earth when it comes to suicide bombings," said Dr. Zeeshan-ul-Hassan Usmani, Predictifyme's co-founder and chief data scientist.
This inspired the analytics company to partner with the United Nations in an initiative to use the data and protect schools in Pakistan, Nigeria and Lebanon against bombing attacks.
"Parents in these countries are afraid to send their children to school," said Rob Burns, PredictifyMe CEO and co-founder. "We're sitting here with technology that's easy to deploy and can help predict an attack and secure schools against it."
Terror attacks on schools are at the highest level in 40 years, with more than 10,000 attacks in the last five years, according to the UN.
PredictifyMe's technology not only predicts when a bombing will occur, it can also help schools prepare for an attack.
"This is what we're going to give the United Nations," said Usmani. "What schools, what is the threat level on schools on a particular date and day of the week. [The schools] will talk to the authorities to come up with their own plans."
Related:These tiny robots have superhuman strength
It's a two-step process, driven by the startup's software "Soothsayer" and "SecureSim."
Soothsayer's algorithm analyzes 200 indicators to predict the likelihood of a suicide bombing attack, said Usmani.
This includes weather, sporting events, major holidays, attacks in nearby countries, visits by international dignitaries and the emergence of a blasphemous video on YouTube or Facebook (FB, Tech30).
Usmani said the software is able to predict an attack within three days with 72% accuracy.
Related: 5 startups that are reimagining the world
SecureSim models and simulates explosions, taking into account physical and environmental properties and the type of explosives and shrapnel.
It assesses a facility's vulnerability to an explosion and determines the level of impact and injuries. It can also suggest preemptive safety measures. For instance, Usmani said the software showed that having a school's main entrance 20 feet from the classrooms can reduce the casualty count by one-third.

Riaz Haq said...

As 7th largest immigrant population, #Pakistanis not eligible for US diversity visa. #Pakistan #America #Immigration


According to the US law, diversity laws are only allowed to counties that have low rates of immigrants, said US consulate in Karachi’s spokesperson Brian Asmus, during a media tour of the Karachi consulate’s visa section on Friday. Pakistan had 104,000 immigrants in the 10 years between 2005 and 2014, he said, explaining why Pakistanis are no longer eligible.

The state department has only stopped diversity visas and there are a lot of other options, such as petitions, student, visit and exchange programme visas, which come under the non-immigrant category. “One can always apply for immigrant visa if they have immediate family in the US,” explained US consulate’s Non-Immigrant Visa chief Mary Pellegrini.

She also explained that it takes around one year for spouse and children, two years for parents and, for siblings, the time can vary up to a decade.

Nevertheless, the Pakistanis who have managed to immigrate are doing pretty well. According to a recent survey, an average Pakistani in the US earns $63,000 every year while an average US citizen earns only $51,000 a year, said Asmus.

Asmus dismissed the misconception that fewer Pakistanis are able to get visa for the US. The percentage of applications is increasing every year and the number of Pakistani citizens getting visas has also increased by 20% between 2014 and 2015, and another 20% between 2015 and 2016, he said.

The US Consulate in Karachi only deals in non-immigrant visas while immigrants visas are dealt at the embassy in Islamabad. Last year, the consulate issued a total of 72,000 visas across the country. So far in 2016, the US consulate in Karachi has issued a total of 14,400 visas.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistani-#American Entrepreneur Shoukat Dhanani Runs One of #US's Largest Private Businesses #fastfood via @forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/amyfeldman/2016/08/28/entrepreneur-shoukat-dhanani-runs-one-of-americas-largest-private-businesses-very-very-quietly/#12bd2b8d47aa …

Shoukat Dhanani, 60, isn’t the type of entrepreneur who courts publicity, but his company, Dhanani Group, has gotten too big to ignore.

Dhanani Group is the largest franchisee in the Popeyes system, as well as a giant Burger King franchisee, making it the nation’s third-largest restaurant franchisee, with 2015 revenues of $871 million, according to trade publication Franchise Times. But those numbers capture only a piece of the group’s businesses, which include convenience stores and gas delivery, as well as the franchised restaurants. In a recent conversation, Dhanani told me that “if you add everything up, it would be over $2 billion” – an amount that would likely qualify Sugar Land, Tex.-based Dhanani Group for FORBES’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies.

Dhanani’s story is a classic tale of entrepreneurship, and how a hard-working family can build a giant, and highly succcessful, business without venture capital or private equity money. The group today includes 130 convenience stores in the Houston area, 502 Burger Kings and 170 Popeyes. It remains 100% family owned and operated. “We always believed in staying low-key and under the radar,” says Dhanani. “That’s what our dad taught us.”

Dhanani’s father, Hassan Ali Dhanani, who died earlier this year, was a born businessman and the family’s guiding force. Back in Pakistan, Dhanani recalls, his father started working at age 13, rolling cigarettes by hand and packing them for sale. “He could smell the money everywhere,” says Dhanani, who immigrated to the U.S. to attend college. “He saw opportunities and he guided us. He taught us business.”

The business, which dates to 1976, began with convenience stores. Dhanani moved into restaurant franchising in 1994, with Burger King. “In those days, co-branding fast food and convenience stores was just being talked about, and I thought it was a great idea,” Dhanani says. He opened what he believes was the first one. “It was just a corner dedicated to Burger King,” he recalls.

Over the past few years, as restaurant franchisees have gotten bigger and bigger (for our magazine story on America’s largest restaurant franchisee, see here), Dhanani’s operation has grown exponentially. In early-2010, he figures, the group had only 40 Burger Kings, but then they started making acquisitions. “We had a lot of cash. The economy was good. And it was a great time to buy out troubled franchisees,” he says. By 2012, the group had roughly doubled in size.

Riaz Haq said...

Obama picks #Pakistan-born #American #Muslim as federal judge in #Washington DC district court . http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-muslim-federal-judge_us_57cf2cfbe4b03d2d45970d3a … via HuffPost Politics

President Barack Obama made history on Tuesday by nominating the first Muslim person to the federal judiciary, Abid Qureshi.

“I am pleased to nominate Mr. Qureshi to serve on the United States District Court bench,” Obama said in a statement. “I am confident he will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.”

It’s unlikely Qureshi’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will go anywhere. With just months left in Obama’s term, Senate Republicans have all but stopped confirming his judicial picks.