Javed and Sabina narrated their experience of running campaigns for public office. Both faced and overcame challenges as outsiders because of their lack of experience and name recognition.
|View of Dinner Attendees at APPAC Dinner|
Javed Ellahie talked about how candidates' names affect their ability to win votes. In his case, people with familiar western names won votes in spite of lack of effort. One white candidate dropped out and still got many votes. Javed ran in a small city where he could knock on doors to do a lot of one-on-one campaigning to ask for votes personally. His efforts paid off. He thanked several Pakistani-American families living in Monte Sereno who contributed both time and money to his campaign.
|L to R: Javed Ellahie, Yasmeen Haq, Riaz Haq, Sabina Zafar|
The event drew hundreds of Pakistani-American residents of the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, I saw several Pakistani attendees who had traveled from various cities in Pakistan to attend 7th Annual StartUp Grind Global Conference being held in Silicon Valley. Among the Pakistani delegates to the conference is Rehan Allahwala from Karachi. He showed me a plan for building a cyber city for which he has acquired several hundred acres of land near Karachi. I also met Naeem Asghar, a journalist working for Express News and covering Pakistani participation in StartUp Grind. Earlier in the week, I met Shahjhan Chaudhry, Director of National Incubation Center located on NED University Campus grounds in Karachi, who is also attending StartUp Grind Conference.
|L to R: Riaz Haq, Faraz Darvesh, Javed Ellahie, Sabahat Ashraf|
They told me there are about 40 delegates from Pakistan attending the StartUp Grind global technology conference as part of Pak-US Technology Exchange Program. The delegates will get an opportunity to have first hand visits of tech giants like Google, Facebook, Apple and Uber; technology incubators/accelerators like Y-Combinator, TechStars, StartX and Founder Institute; prestigious organizations like Stanford University, Draper University and more. They will participate in exclusive events organized by partner organizations inducing meetups, workshops and office hours with Pakistani diaspora in Silicon Valley.
|Javed Ellahie and Sabina Zafar|
|Javed Ellahie and Sabina Zafar with Stand-up Comedian Faraz Ozel|
Overall, US-born Muslims make up the largest percentage at 34% of all Muslims in the Bay Area, followed by 14% born in Pakistan, 11% in Afghanistan, 10% in India, 3% in Egypt and 2% each in Iran, Jordan, Palestine and Yemen.
There are 35,000 Pakistani-born Muslims in San Francisco Bay Area, or 14% of the 250,000 Muslims who call the Bay Area home, according to the 2013 study. Bay Area Muslim community constitutes 3.5 percent of the area’s total population and is one of the highest concentrations of Muslims in the country.
As of 2013, South Asian Muslims, including Pakistanis, have the highest income levels, with nearly half (49%) of them having a household income above $100,000. In comparison, those groups with the lowest proportion of household incomes above $100,000 were Hispanic Muslims (15%), Afghans (10%), and African American Muslims (10%).
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