Home » Community » Houston’s Indian Muslims host 8th Annual Eid Milan with great diversity

Houston’s Indian Muslims host 8th Annual Eid Milan with great diversity

Swami Vedaswarupananda of Vedanta Society of Greater Houston being honored at the IMAGH Eid Milan. Photos credit Quaid Tinwala.

Swami Vedaswarupananda of Vedanta Society of Greater Houston being honored at the IMAGH Eid Milan. Photos credit Quaid Tinwala.

by Shobana Muratee
HOUSTON- Eid Milan, hosted annually by the Indian Muslims Association of Greater Houston (IMAGH), is one of the most largely-attended functions of the Indian Americans in Houston. This was IMAGH’s 8th Annual Eid Milan celebrated on Saturday, July 1 at the Marriot Westchase amidst a diverse audience of over 500 guests, both Muslims and non-Muslims.
This year’s celebrations were heightened by the spirit of 4th of July, especially with the presence of men and women in uniform. Munir Ibrahim, president of IMAGH recognized officers of Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Department, firefighters – all men and women in service and in particular, “the face of Muslims who are serving in uniform,” he said. “There is constant talk of division, fragmentation, hatred, polarization, a racial, political and religious division. But there is more that unites us than divides us,” he said, adding that the values and ideals of IMAGH was to unite.
Chief Guest, Commissioner Jack Cagle said he was very impressed by the diversity of the gathering and the messages from the young and old. In his speech, he illustrated the importance of being united with the inspiring story of Darius the Great, the Persian king. “Instead of competing with each other we can cooperate with each other to bring about creative solutions for cooperative prosperity”. He was earlier introduced by Karun Sreeram, Chief, PWE, City of Houston.

Members of the India Culture Center who received the Community Service Award from IMAGH. Photo credit: Quaid Tinwala,SMB Films & Images LLC

Members of the India Culture Center who received the Community Service Award from IMAGH. Photo credit: Quaid Tinwala,SMB Films & Images LLC

Among the dignitaries were the representatives of all major religions, communities, and organizations – former Houston Mayor Annise Parker and former First Lady Kathy Hubbard, Deputy Consul General of India, Surendra Adana, former Ambassador to Qatar Chase Untermeyer and wife Diana, State Representatives Hubert Vo and Gene Wu, Consul General of Turkey Ferhat Alkan, Executive Director of IACCGH Jagdip Ahluwalia, Chairman of Wallis Bank Musa Dakri and Chairman of Rupani Foundation Nasru Rupani, to name a few.
The event’s highlight was a its featured speaker Aziz Akbari; the 23 year old Indian American is the young Fremont’s Resident elected to Water District’s Board. He remains the youngest Muslim (he was only 19) to ever run for office in the history of the United States. “Do something, don’t waste your youth” his parents kept telling him after 9/11 and by that time, he already had a ‘solid resume of public service,’ he said in his inspiring speech. Two other young achievers: Umar Ibrahim for admission in Post Graduate work at MIT, Boston and Nabeel Ahmad for winning Fulbright Scholarship were recognized by the IMAGH on the occasion.
Latafath Hussain, Past President of IMAGH (who the current president referred to as the ‘Godfather’ of IMAGH for his relentless service), said that he is humbled by the community’s response to this annual event. “Houston truly is a microcosm where tolerance and respect for all religions, communities and cultures is universal.”

Munir Ibrahim welcoming the gathering. Photos by Quaid Tinwala.

Munir Ibrahim welcoming the gathering. Photos by Quaid Tinwala.

Deputy Consul General of India, Surendra Adana giving his message.

Deputy Consul General of India, Surendra Adana giving his message.

This year’s Special Guest Organization was Vedanta Society of Greater Houston and their spiritual leader, Swami Vedaswarupananda. Swamiji spoke of the Vedas but his simple explanation that the church, mosque and temple are all six letter words while the Bible, Koran and Geeta are all five letter words. When 5 is subtracted from 6 it results in 1 was his message of oneness.
The IMAGH awarded India Culture Center (ICC) with the Community Service Award 2017. Falguni Gandhi, ICC president received the honors.
Deputy Consul General Surendra Adana conveyed Eid greetings and mentioned the Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb, symbolic of blending the Hindu-Muslim values like the two great rivers. He praised the contributions of Indian Muslims in India and in the US.

Speaker Aziz Akbari being honored by Abeezar Tyebji.

Speaker Aziz Akbari being honored by Abeezar Tyebji.

Latafath Hussain, Pwith former Mayor Annise Parker

Latafath Hussain, Pwith former Mayor Annise Parker

Event Chair Arshad Martin, President and CEO, Paradigm Inc. thanked the various Committee members for making a memorable event. In his address, he mentioned how the Indian Muslims in the US were flourishing as entrepreneurs, professionals well as in public office, contributing to the country’s progress.
The entertainment segment was provided by Keka and Jeet Kar with hit songs from Hindi films and a dance by children choreographed by Keka Kar. Fatehali Chatur presented a skit written a directed by him that was applauded for its creativity and profound message brought forth by the apostles of peace: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Mother Theresa and others. Tayyeb Shipchandler, senior most member of the IMAGH, was the star of the play.
Dr. Samina Salim was the Mistress of Ceremonies who kept the audience engaged with interesting couplets. She also made a presentation on “Why we celebrate Eid”. The program started with the recital from the Holy Koran by Ali Faruqui. This was followed by National Anthems of India and the United States sung by Sreedevi Patel and Abeezar Tyebji, respectively.

COMM_IMAGH Eid Milan_Skit

A section of the audience. Also seen are honored guests HPD officers,

A section of the audience. Also seen are honored guests HPD officers,

The IMAGH has under its fold the Club 65, and SAYA for the youth which receives mentorship from stalwarts like Col. Bhalla, Abeezar Tyebji, Latafath Hussain and a few others. “What truly makes our event such a great success is the commitment and dedication of our volunteers who span all the three organizations,” Hussain said about the wonderful event that concluded with a grand feast.


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