May 17–The Human Development Foundation held a successful fundraiser this past Saturday evening in Michigan. Over 500 people were present at the fundraiser at the convenient MET hotel in Troy. Speakers included Dr. Nina Rehman Khan, emcee Mr. Ahmar Iqbal, keynote speaker journalist Ash-har Quraishi, and the surgeon Dr. Abdul Majid Katranji.
The event garnered approximately $250,000 in gifts and pledges.
HDF provides development work, medical aid and educational aid in many locations around Pakistan. It is a relatively old organization–this was its 16th annual fundraising dinner.
The theme of the keynote speakerâ€™s speech was that courage is a vital moral quality for which fearlessness is a poor substitute.
Mr. Quraishi gave several humorous examples from his own life as a journalist travelling around the world with his life of life threatening situations where he did not know enough to be afraid, giving these as examples of fearlessness, which he compared less than favorably with the actions of a very young Pakistani man who confronted a suicide bomber and prevented an attack on school children while losing his own life.
On a lighter note, Mr. Quraishi gave us a wonderful story in which he and his wife travelled to a foreign country where they lived in fear that they were being spied on. His wife found and removed one apparent listening device in each of their closets. Later they learned that the â€œlistening devicesâ€ were actually the doorbells of their rooms–removing them prevented a meeting with their friend and associate.
Dr. Katranji invoked the people present to conjure up their wallets and their pledges with impassioned pleas, with some success.