Nabil Khan, a senior at Swarthmore College, has been named a Fulbright Grantee for 2007. The son of Shafqat and Khalil Khan and brother of Mehreen and Hasan Khan, he is a 2003 graduate of the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., and also attended the International School of Choueifat in Abu Dhabi. Khan is one of three Swarthmore seniors to have won the Fulbright Grant this year.
Khan plans to use his Fulbright Grant to explore and elucidate contemporary understandings of mental â€œillnessâ€ in urban Morocco and of the cultural import of the psychiatric field in a place where it is governmentally sanctioned and is growing. â€œI am interested in understanding what mental health services and the worldviews they represent, so rooted in Western diagnostic and therapeutic traditions, mean to those from a country historically considered a frontier of the Islamic world,â€ said Khan. â€œGiven the countryâ€™s eclectic background and demographic, I am interested in the political, religious and social dimensions of psychological understanding and how cultural currents inform daily mental healthcare practice.â€
Khan is a psychology major with minors in biology and English literature. He is a Thomas B. McCabe scholar, selected as an entering student based on leadership, ability, character, personality, and service to school and community, and has been active in Swarthmore for Immigrantsâ€™ Rights, the Muslim Student group, Deshi (South Asian Students organization), and Forum for Free Speech and is co-editor of Remappings (the Asian/Asian-Diaspora literary publication). He was also a biology Writing Associate (peer tutor) and a member of the steering committee of the 2006 â€œBeyond the Boxâ€ conference on critical multiculturalism.
Administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards full research grants to graduating seniors and young alumni after an extensive application process. Recipients receive a stipend to cover housing and living expenses.
Four Muslims named Truman scholars
Four Muslim students have been selected for the much coveted Truman Scholarships. Sixty-five students from 56 US colleges and universities have been selected as 2007 Truman Scholars. They were elected by eighteen independent selection panels on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of â€˜making a difference.â€™
Each Scholarship provides $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be US citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, be in the top quarter of their class, and be committed to careers in government or the not-for-profit sector.
Salmah Y. Rizvi, of John Hopkins University, who is from Laurel, Md., is a double-major in Anthropology and International Relations at the Johns Hopkins University, founded Vision XChange, a nonprofit organization which serves as a mechanism to create entertaining, opportunistic events while spreading awareness of important issues. She has traveled extensively as a student ambassador promoting peace and stability and teaching International Humanitarian Law. She is also an executive board member for the Johns Hopkins University Muslim Student Association and the Foreign Affairs Symposium. Currently, Salmah is a Department of Defence employee and hopes to continue her career in government.
As an active member of the Muslim-American community, Rizvi has also interned for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, published a number of papers regarding Islamic politics and volunteered with various Muslim organizations. She teaches Islamic history every Sunday at her local mosque, Idara-E-Jaferia Center in Burtonsville, Md.
Umair Iqbal was born in Pakistan and immigrated to America when he was nine. He is a junior pre-med student with a major in Biological Sciences and a minor in Political Science at the University of Anchorage Alaska. He conducts research at the Alaska Science Center on the Alaska Avian Influenza Project. After five years of avid participation in the Model United Nations of Alaska, he is Secretary-General of the 2007 conference, which focuses on the Emerging Global Pandemic. He also serves as president of the Pre-Med Club. After college he plans to study for an MPH and an MD in rural health, with the goal of working to reduce poverty and to improve access to health care for the poorest people in the world.
Asma Jaber is a junior anthropology and international studies major at the University of South Carolina. Her passions for helping immigrants and refugees continue to grow as she volunteers at advocacy centers for immigrants and with local Somali refugees. She also helps facilitate refugeesâ€™ health care access. Asma plans to pursue a law degree and attain a M.P.H. in Health Policy in order to take on public interest work in the health field and improve the lives of immigrants and refugees.
Nazir is the founder and president of the Muslim Student Association at Seattle University. In 2005-2006 he lived in Cairo and studied classical Arabic. Currently Nazir is researching code-switching among Arabs in Seattle. Nazir enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and learning languages in his spare time. He speaks Spanish and Arabic and teaches Arabic twice a week in addition to organizing many cultural and educational events on campus.
Muslim radiologist sues hospital
BALTIMORE, MD–A radiologist who was kicked out of the University of Maryland Medical Center after he performed a Muslim ritual has filed a $30 million lawsuit against the hospital.
The suit says Doctor Mohammed Hussain was at the hospital last month to undergo surgery. He was washing his hands and feet in a sink in a lobby bathroom when a security guard came in and ordered him to get out â€œimmediately or else.â€
Hussainâ€™s lawyer, David Ellin, says the guard made references to Hussain as if he were a terrorist and hurled racial epithets at him. He says Hussain was pushed down a hallway and into the custody of another security guard, who escorted him outside.
The hospital released a statement saying medical personnel reached out to Hussain after the incident. The statement says the hospital is â€œdisappointedâ€ that Hussain filed a lawsuit.
Evanstonâ€™s first mosque to open soon
EVANSTON, IL–Evanston, Chicagoâ€™s suburb and homes to the Northwestern University, will soon have its first mosque. The Bangladesh Islamic Community Center are converting a former Church and have already received approval from the city council council. The building will feature prayer area, offices, a kitchen and multi-purpose meeting rooms.
The construction expected to last from eight months to a year, according to center officials.
Ald. Delores Holmes (5th), who represents the ward in which the mosque will be located, said the centerâ€™s presence would enhance the areaâ€™s religious diversity.
â€œThereâ€™s a variety of churches and different denominations,â€ Holmes said. â€œThis would just be a mosque. There are churches and temples, so why not a mosque?â€
Arizona Muslims celebrate Prophetâ€™s birthday (s)
CHANDLER, AZ–Around 200 Muslims gathered at the Chandler Community Center to mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The event, organized by the Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education, was open to all interested and a number of non-Muslims also attended. Sheik Sayyed Muhammed, a religious scholar from Atlanta, was the featured speaker at the Chandler event.
Paul Eppinger, executive director of the Arizona Interfaith Movement, praised the Islamic groupâ€™s efforts to build respect among people of all faiths living in the Valley.
â€œI am for interfaith dialogue so that people can begin to understand one another,â€ said Eppinger, 74, a former American Baptist minister for 35 years.
Slain convenience store owner remembered
EAST WINDSOR, CT–Neighbours and community members paid moving tributes to convenience store owner Javed Akhtar,32, who was gunned down on Feb.28. More than 50 people gathered at the prayer vigil held in the parking lot outside the One Stop grocery where he was slain. He leaved behind his wife Rafia and twin children Humair and Hirra. His killers have not been identified yet, the Journal Inquirer reported.
Holding candles and gathering in a circle around Rafia and her children, members of the assembly spoke in turn, describing Javed as a gentle, caring man who they clearly missed.
â€œWhen we came and moved here, I needed to have a cup of coffee in the morning, and I came here just a few times, and Rafia and Jay were just so kind,â€ said Bobbie Taravella, who has since moved away. â€œI have a coffeemaker, but I never used it because they were always so nice and made me a friend rather than a patron.â€
Robert Nicholas, who lives half a mile up the road, said he was in the store buying cottage cheese 45 minutes before Javed was shot. â€œI used to come down here just to talk, and when nothing was going on weâ€™d play with the kids out in the parking lot – they made me part of the family,â€ Nicholas added.
â€œHe was definitely an asset to this community and well-loved,â€ said Officer Bruce Everitt, community resource officer for Mill Pond Village.
As for solving the case, â€œitâ€™s progressing very well and progress is being made,â€ Everitt said. â€œWeâ€™re just making sure we cross all our Tâ€™s and dot all the Iâ€™s.â€
Akhtar was Muslim and a Pakistani-American. His death brought outrage to the community at large, with many groups calling for justice and a $5,000 reward posted for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the killer.
Canadian Muslims give $1m to hospital
TORONTO, CANADA–Muslim community of Toronto has provided a huge boost to the William Osler Health Centre Foundation by pledging $1 million to build Bramptonâ€™s new hospital. The Muslim Friends of William Osler Health Centre, a group of community leaders,physicians and members of the public, announced their plans last week.
â€œThis pledge represents a promise from the large and active Muslim community to ensure the best possible health care for all people who rely on William Osler to provide quality medical facilities and compassionate care,â€ said Dr. Farooque Dawood, Muslim Friends of WOHC chair and president of Dafina Holdings Ltd. â€œThe spirit behind (our organization) is to gather support from various Muslim communities in pursuit of excellence in local health care for now and for the future.â€
About 50 people gathered for the afternoon reception, held in an auditorium at Peel Memorial Hospital.