Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Volume 3, March 31, 2013

 Editor: Mohamed Ziauddin 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful 


We deeply regret that we were not able to continue this E-Zine in the past, but alhamdullilah, we are up and running again with this new issue. I myself was a student who graduated from the Masters Program in Social Work from Washington University  and let me tell you that there were many myths surrounding one's education in the U.S. For example before my arrival to the US, a non-muslim class mate in my home country, while discussing with me about LIFE IN THE U.S. told me that once I come to  the US, I would eventually start drinking alcohol. He said that it was very cold in the US and that there are also parties and stuff where I have no option but to drink alcohol. I told him that in Islam alcohol is not allowed and I would never take it. He then challenged me on it and predicted that I would be wrong in terms of not taking alcohol. But to this day, I maintained my word of what I told him. There are also other myths in terms of promiscuity etc. 

It is my humble advice that any Muslim student who comes from overseas  to pursue education in the US be linked with the nearest MUSLIM STUDENT ASSOCIATION. They would help him or her in many ways including giving leads and help in finding appropriate housing, preferred shopping places including the nearest ethnic store where one  could buy halal meat. In certain cases he or she could even take the new Muslim student  around and show  the different places  including the nearest Islamic Center (if it is close by), to attend Friday prayers and Islamic oriented functions  during  weekends etc. In short,  brothers and sisters from MUSLIM STUDENT ASSOCIATIONS can be the new student's  small little SUPPORT SYSTEM and could  guide and assist the student &  make it easier to cushion the initial culture shock and facilitate the gradual  adjustment and assimilation in your local American community. 

As I have recommended in my earlier writings in other blogs, I strongly suggest each and every Masjid, (if it is feasible) to have a SOCIAL SERVICE COMMITTEE within its organizational structure. Such a SSC could be an additional link and support to foreign Muslim students besides the MUSLIM STUDENTS ASSOCIATION.  Usually the MSA would even try to find someone who is from the same country, ethnic group or who speaks  the same language as the newly arrived Muslim student. A newly arrived foreign Muslim student will feel more at home by mixing with other brothers and sisters of his own faith and background in a Islamic friendly environment. Besides Friday prayers, they could also assist the new student about information pertaining to the schedule of IFTAAR and TARAWEE during the month of Ramadan. In some cities, they have OPEN HOUSE during both the Eids and the students could be invited and have a special free meal with other Muslim brothers and sisters on such a auspicious Islamic holiday.  

There are increased chances that a  Muslim brother or sister would even be willing to offer the new student ride in their car  for Friday prayers or for weekend Islamic functions held in the Islamic Center besides taking the new student  for shopping or other places until the new student  has got his own transportation. This becomes all the more important especially when  there is no major network of buses or trains in the area which is the norm in most of the US that is away from the major metropolitan cities.

I have decided to inshallah continue this E-Zine highlighting the activities of students as it pertains to Islam in different contexts. Below is an article on the sponsorship by Nubian Benevolence Association    for the Muslim women in Science, Technology and Math presentation at the Lorton Community Library on March 23, 2013.


Muslim Women Encouraged to Explore STEM

Six women share their success story at the Lorton Library.

March 24, 2013

Event organizer Hajjar Ahmed put together a panel of Muslim women from the sciences, technology, engineering and math fields for a National Women’s History Month presentation, encouraging the next generation to study in those disciplines. Photo by Andrea Worker.

The Nubian Benevolence Association was the official sponsor for the Muslim Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) presentation at the Lorton Community Library on Saturday, March 23, but there was little doubt that Hajjar Ahmed, daughter of the organization’s co-Founder Hossam Ahmed, was the driving force behind the event.

Photo by Andrea Worker
From left—panelists Dr. Safiya Samman, Hazima Javaid, Sumara Baig, Amani Eisa, Tasneen Hussam and Sali Osman, all with post graduate degrees in engineering specialties, spoke candidly about their journeys in life, faith and education.

The session was not originally on the association’s calendar. “My daughter suggested that the association sponsor a positive program during March, National Women’s History Month, about Muslim women as a way of encouraging the next generation of women to enter STEM careers. She came up with the idea in response to what we saw as a negative meeting that we had read about. Hajjar pretty much put this together in less than a month,” said Mr. Ahmed.

He was referring to the February meeting of the Republican Women of Clifton. The topic to be discussed by guest speaker Stephanie Reis was “the treatment of women in Islamic Society” and how she believes that the hijab (head scarf often worn by Muslim women) “is a catalyst for Islamic terrorism.”

Photo by Andrea Worker
The Nubian Benevolence Association sponsored the Muslim Women in STEM event. From left, Hossam Ahmed, P.E., a co-founder of the association and the day’s master of ceremonies, Association President Hassan Rashwan, Treasurer Ahmed Osman, and co-Founder Yassin Mohamed.)

“Some local Muslim men and women attended the talk,” said Mr. Ahmed, “hoping to correct any misimpressions that the speakers might bring up. But my daughter didn’t want to attend a negative event. She wanted to showcase Muslim women who have succeeded in difficult, male-dominated fields, and done so peacefully in the United States of America.”

Mr. Ahmed welcomed the assembly with a brief explanation of who the Nubian people are, describing the descendents of an ancient civilization, located between northern Sudan and southern Egypt, speaking a unique non-Arabic language, as “a peaceful people.” As to the purpose of the day’s event, “It’s important to encourage all people to explore the sciences,” he said, “for the continued growth and welfare of our country. 

In the last 10 years there has been a 32 percent increase in jobs that require STEM backgrounds, but the numbers of students enrolling in STEM fields had decreased during that same time period.”

THE SMALL MEETING ROOM was filled to capacity with teenagers and their families as six women, all wearing hijab, took to the speakers’ panel table. Their titles, printed boldly beneath each of their names, were an impressive variety of engineering specialties, from civil to aerospace engineering, from forest genetics to IT security.

After an introduction by Hajjar Ahmed, the women spoke for about 20 minutes each, with tales from their childhoods, speaking of how they became interested in STEM areas, providing highlights from their academic and professional careers, and offering advice on how to pursue a path in the sciences, math and technology. Some of the women were born in the United States of immigrant parents. Amani Eisa, a civil engineer who graduated from George Mason University, came to this country in 2001 with no English skills. “Maybe not the best timing, giving the tragedy of that year, but whatever is happening around you, you keep working and going forward.”

Sumara Baig came to America from Pakistan at 12 years of age. Her parents wanted her to be educated, and that was not an option for girls past the sixth grade where she came from. The Oakton High School graduate stressed how important it was to be able to communicate well in English, no matter what you study. Today, Baig works in air traffic control technology for Lockheed.

The particulars of their stories may have differed, but there were many similarities as well. The speakers, who ranged in age from 60s to 20s, all recounted having been one of few females in their majors classes, like Herndon High School graduate Hazima Javaid who was one of six girls in a class of 150 studying aerospace engineering at Virginia Tech. They were in the minority in the internships that they completed, the competitions they entered, and often in their workplaces, even today. All have experienced gender bias, often further complicated by their wearing of the hijab.

Regardless of the difficulties for women, they urged their audience to persevere, if their passion really lies in STEM fields. One after another, their advice was repeated: “Take the challenging classes, stretch yourself;” “Keep busy and intellectually active during the summer and breaks. Go after those internships early;” 

“Read. Read everything you can and learn to communicate;” “Seek out mentors and listen and learn;” “Be true to yourself. And if your faith guides you, then be true there, too. How you wear the hijab says a lot about your faith and your belief, even in yourself.”

A FORMAL QUESTION AND ANSWER period followed the presentation. The speakers stayed beyond the program to answer additional questions and to personally show their own mentoring spirit. Members of the Nubian Benevolence Association, headquartered in Falls Church, were also present and available for questions and comments. The Nubian Benevolence Association can be contacted at


Friday, February 12, 2010


(Second Quarter April- June 2010)

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful

It looks like Steven Jackson and the St. Louis Rams will have a new owner: Illinois businessman

The St. Louis Rams are a professional American football team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team has won three NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl. (

Keith Null #9 of the St. Louis Rams reacts to fumbling a snap against the Houston Texans at the Edward Jones Dome on December 20, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. December 19, 2009 - Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America. (

Cheerleaders Complete Afghan Tour
Sep 18th, 2009 by Chuck Simmins

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Natalie Cahill, from Sault Ste Marie, Mich., poses for a photograph with St. Louis Rams cheerleaders at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, Sept. 16. Five Rams cheerleaders completed an eight-day tour of U.S. military installations in Afghanistan, where they met troops, signed autographs and provided evening shows. The Qatar base hosted the expeditionary entertainment group's final performance in Southwest Asia. Photo by Dustin Senger


It looks like Steven Jackson and the St. Louis Rams will have a new owner: Illinois businessman Shahid Khan. ( )

(...Some experts have said a more realistic sale price will be closer to $750 million...Huffington Post)

(condensed version)
Feb 12, 2010
Don Dodson

URBANA, Illinois – It seems only appropriate that a man who made his fortune in bumpers would buy a team called the Rams.

Shahid Khan, the 55-year-old President of Urbana-based auto parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate Corp., has a tentative agreement to buy a 60 percent stake in the St. Louis football team, according to announcements Thursday.

The deal must be approved by a 75 percent vote of NFL owners.

Khan's purchase of the team is the latest venture in a string of expansions that date back more than 30 years. And he is a man who has a history of taking the next step, even if the step isn't easy.

In his early days of making bumpers, Khan found it tough to sell to the Big Three automakers, so he went to the Japanese.

He soon supplied virtually all the Japanese truck manufacturers, and by the 1990s, he was supplying their American counterparts.

Today, Flex-N-Gate Corp. employs more than 9,500 people at 57 facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Spain, according to the company's Web site. That's down from 13,000 a few years ago.

Its products have extended far beyond bumpers. Over the years, its lines grew to include exterior components, grilles, jacks for changing tires, hinges, latches and mechanical parts – and more recently, parking brakes and pedals.

Khan, a native of Pakistan, came to the United States in 1967, and graduated from the University of Illinois with an engineering degree.

While in school, he worked for Flex-N-Gate, but in 1978, he started his own business. He ended up acquiring Flex-N-Gate and operating it as a sister company to his Bumper Works plant in Danville. Later, he opened the Master Guard plant near Veedersburg, Ind., and the Guardian West plant in Urbana.

And the growth kept coming, unrestricted by national boundaries.

By 2008, Flex-N-Gate was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 155th largest private company in the United States, with $2.72 billion in revenues for the previous fiscal year. Last year, it fell to 229th place in the ranking, with revenues of $2.14 billion.

Not only has Khan acquired companies and facilities throughout the world, but he has also made acquisitions locally.

In 2003, he acquired a controlling interest in Flightstar, the aviation service company based at Willard. One reason: Flex-N-Gate was using Flightstar services a lot in travel to distant facilities.

In 2008, Khan took over operation of the Urbana Golf & Country Club facilities.

In a 1987 interview with The News-Gazette, Khan explained how he was able to sell to the Japanese, even though he couldn't crack the U.S. automakers at that time.

"The simple reason was that the Japanese didn't have ties with U.S. (bumper) firms. They bought simply on product and pricing," he said. By contrast, "the U.S. industry had (supplier) ties that go back to the horse-and-buggy days," he said. "Those are hard to shake."

Khan's selling point was his bumper design: a light, continuous piece of metal with no seams where corrosion and rust could start.

By 1992, he was making bumpers for Ford and Dodge trucks but still hadn't snagged General Motors as a client. But in time, GM, Volkswagen and BMW would eventually enter the fold.

In 2000, Khan delivered a lecture at the UI in which he called himself a "contrarian thinker" in making business decisions.

His advice: play to competitors' weaknesses, make strategic alliances to maximize your strength and keep information to yourself.

He continued to follow that last piece of advice – perhaps to his detriment last year.

Stan Kroenke, a billionaire from Columbia, Mo., owns the remaining 40 percent of the Rams franchise.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

First Quarter (January- March 2010)

Mohamed Ziauddin

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent and the Most


Every Muslim should self-reflect and ask him(her)self whether they are truly following the spirit of what UMMAH really means in their day to day life ? Our loving Prophet envisioned GLOBAL UMMAH to be way beyond get together of Muslims during weekly Friday prayers and both Idd festivals.

As Muslims, we need to continually strive to reach out and help as many people as we can.

It is not true that only money is the main instrument to help others. There are many other ways to assist people. The most important aspect of any assistance is the INTENTION (niyat) that starts from the heart.

Towards this end, I would like to reach out and assist others to the best of my ability. This blog's main focus is on assisting foreign students who may be interested to climb up the ladder of higher education in the United States.

I humbly appeal to all prospective students to e-mail me if they have any questions relating to pursuing higher education in the US.

DISCLAIMER: I would like to make it clear that I am not an "expert" to give professional advice as a career counselor, but I definitely could provide you with information that could be of help to facilitate your goal of pursuing higher education in the US.

If any of you are interested to pursue Social Work, then of course, that is my speciality & "piece of cake" and I will be glad to give extensive details on above professional field. However if you have questions relating to other subjects, I can refer you to appropriate sources of information or contacts to the best my ability.

If you have any other questions relating to your higher education, please do not hesitate to contact me. If you decide to come to my favorite city ST. LOUIS - GATEWAY TO THE WEST,
I will do my best to personally receive you at the airport and assist you in your settlement, inshallah.

Inshallah I will do my best to reach out to closest MUSLIM STUDENTS ASSOCIATION and alert them of your visit in which ever city of the US that you may arrive. The extent of their ability to help is not in my hands, but I would appeal to them to extend all possible help. To me, reaching out to help all new brothers and sisters is truly a demonstration of UMMAH IN ACTION.

I appeal to all members of MUSLIM STUDENTS ASSOCIATION and the SOCIAL SERVICE COMMITTEE OF ALL MASJIDS/ ISLAMIC CENTERS spread across the United States to join me in assisting and welcoming our new brothers and sisters to the United States. One man cannot do it all. It needs a co-ordinated team effort under the umbrella of ONE UMMAH.

So brothers and sisters who intend to pursue higher education in the US, if you have a question, please ask me. Remember that NO question is a silly question. Feel free to ask me any question pertaining to higher education in the United States.

Although, at the present time, I have fulfilled the American dream and living a comfortable life, I cannot forget that I too started off my life in the United States initially as a foreign student coming to St. Louis as a complete stranger with NO friend or relative to help me initially.

I owe my success first to the blessings of Almighty Allah and next to this great country of America. It is here in the U.S, that I found the TRUE ISLAM and I believe in actions, the US is literally one of the most Islamic countries in the world. Forgive me for my bias, but I believe that my fellow Americans are the most tolerant and broadminded people in the world and I LOVE THEM TO DEATH.

I pray that as Almighty Allah fulfilled my educational and career dreams, He also fulfills your educational and career dreams too.

If I can be of any help, please do not hesitate to e-mail me with your questions.

Following the true spirit of UMMAH, I am your brother who is waiting to have an opportunity to assist you.

E-mail address: