Houstonian Corner (V11-I12)
By Ilyas H. Choudry, MMNS
New Building of the Everest Academy in Stafford Inaugurated
His wife is an educator: As such he knows the challenges involved, but it is very crucial to establish exemplary schools of learning and definitely Everest Academy will soon be that shining example: We will always lend all the possible support. These were sentiments of Mayor of Sugar Land James Thompson, as he accompanied his wife Gay, at the inauguration of Everest Academyâ€™s new building of about 8,000 Square Feet (existing facility is 6,000 Square Feet). Everest Academy is situated just besides the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) South Center Brand Lane Masjid.
Present on the occasion were Board Members and Teachers of Everest Academy (including Saleem Kudia); the City of Sugar Land Councilperson Jacqueline â€œJacquieâ€ Baly Chaumette; President of the Fort Bend Independent School District Board of Trustees Sonal Bhuchar; President of ISGH Dr. Aziz Siddiqi, Director ISGH South Zone Fuad Cochinwala; Imam Wazir Ali of Mercy Community Center; Imam Sayeed of Brand Land Masjid; the Zakaria family and Attorney Farah Ahmed (emcee on the occasion).
After benediction by Sheikh Sayeed, Imam Wazir Ali talked about the importance of education in light of the first word of Quran; Iqra (which means Read). Mayor Thompson said that after reading, one more important thing is to develop understanding of all the people in the society and that the City of Sugar Land celebrates the diversity.
Saleem Kudia, Member of the Board, said at Everest Academy, they are endeavoring to provide the best possible education (both contemporary as well as Quran, Arabic and Islamic Studies): â€œWe are investing in education, which is a most positive investment in our future generation, community and society at-large. This investment includes community, teacher training and infrastructure development. We started with 4 children and have grown to 60 and next year we have projected 100+ students and eventually we want to be one of the best private schools located within the boundaries of the Fort Bend Independent District,â€ he added.
Everest Academy is a full-time private Islamic school. It is an affiliate of Darul Arqam Schools and falls under the jurisdiction of both IEIT- Islamic Education Institute of Texas, and ISGH- Islamic Society of Greater Houston. It has been established in 2006, and located at 610 Brand Lane, Stafford, Texas, near State Highway 90 and FM 1092. The 6000+ square feet state of the art, modern facility is built specifically for an Elementary and Middle School Institution and furnished with all the modern amenities including computer ports, internet, audio, video and visual teaching aids. We aim to provide a challenging and rewarding academic environment for all students, enabling them to acquire excellent academic skills and Islamic morals so they become successful individuals prepared to meet the challenges of our changing world.
For more information, once can visit www.everest-academy.com or call 281-261-3030.
Coalition Appeals Release on Bail for Sheikh Zoubir Bouchikhi
â€œThe Community Coalition for the Freedom of Imam Zoubir Bouchikhiâ€ held a Press Conference at Southeast Muslim American Society (MAS) Youth Center this past. The coalition called for all others, who value civil and religious rights, to contact their Representatives in Congress and the Department of Homeland Security to Free Imam Bouchikhi on bond immediately.
An extensive Petition-Signing effort was done by the coalition after Friday Prayers at various Mosques across Houston, getting hundreds and thousands of petitions signed by the community members, which will be mailed to four different Governmental and Congressional Offices.
Coalition spokespersons informed that Imam Bouchikhi is a prominent national scholar, a person of high moral character, and a man of peace. He has no criminal record of any kind, has lived in the United States legally for eleven years, three of his four minor children are US citizens and his I-360 application was approved in 2003. He was taken into custody by Immigration and customs enforcement (ICE). Imam Bouchikhi is a unique teacher and mentor, who has touched the lives of the community members in Texas. His detention has caused much uproar and disappointment with the DHS and the process.
Coalition spokespersons added that Imam Bouchikhi attorneyâ€™s requests for temporary release on bond have been refused by Director of ICE in Houston, Texas, although people with even terrible crimes get out on bail. These actions are counterproductive to our efforts to remove the false impression in some quarters that DHS is biased in dealings with the Muslim community.
For more information, one can call 832-878-8788.