Over 1,100 people from different walks of life attended the “Celebration of the Glory of Hyderabad” held under the patronage of Consulate General of India in Chicago at Shalimar Banquets in Addison, Ill. May 15.
The event that started with the singing of the National Anthems of the United States and India was aimed at celebrating the famed ‘Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb’ – display of the diversity and culture of one of India’s cosmopolitan cities, its spirit of civility, hospitality and courtesy, and capturing the essence of what is known to many as the “Hyderbadi Tehzeev”.
“Hyderabad has always remained as a point of convergence of many different cultures, traditions, festivals, and religions that gave it its distinct cosmopolitan character, typifying the true plural character of the city, where people belonging to different castes, creed, and religions live in peace and harmony and participate in each other’s festivals with enthusiasm”, said Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago in his inaugural address. “The Hyderabadi Tehzeeb is the traditional mix of civility, hospitality, courtesy, and grace in social interaction, the hallmark of which is respect and consideration,” added Sayeed.
The dignitaries who attended the event included Dr. Gopal Lalmalani, Mayor of Oak Brook, Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer, Office of the Governor of Ill, Raja Krishnamoorthy, Democratic Party nominee for the 8th Congressional District of Chicago and Krishna Bansal among others graced the event.
From the displays of the beautiful calligraphy to award-winning theater performances from the Qadri Ali Baig Theater Foundation, which was especially flown from India to perform at the event, and Sufi Qawaali, the event showcased the best of the arts from Hyderabad.
Honoring the diversity and strength of Hyderabad’s educational institutions the “Glory of Hyderabad” Steering Committee honored prominent Chicago area Hyderabadis, who have made landmark contributions to the community, with awards of excellence in many areas. The awardees included Dr. Azher Quader from the Compassionate Care Network, who received an award of excellence for community service; Dr. Vidyasagar for excellence in science and medicine in the field of neonatology; Dr. M.T AliNiazee for excellence in promoting education through his service as an academician for the past 50 years; Ratnam Chitturi for excellence in promoting education as the founder of North South Foundation which successfully delivered at least nine national spelling bee champions as well as educated thousands of students in India; Mohammed Kaiseruddin for excellence in community Service interfaith for his tireless efforts in building relationships with other faith communities in Chicago; Dr. Nazneen Razi for excellence in business as the senior vice president and chief human resources officer of Health Care Service Corporation, the largest customer-owned health care services provided in the U.S. and Sadiq Ahmed Naqvi for excellence in promoting Hyderabad’s history and culture. Naqvi is an author teacher and historian and has published more than 26 articles on history of Urdu and English.
Prominent Chicagoan from Hyderabad Prem Rupani highlighted in his address the intellectual might of Hyderabad with the establishment of such world class educational institutions as the Indian School of Business, Indian Institutes of Management, Indian Institutes of Technology, and a string of professional, technical, and vocational and educational institutions. “Hyderabad is emerging as the most preferred destination for students from a number of countries,” he said.
The Steering Committee also presented a special award to Consul General Sayeed for his exceptional commitment and service to the welfare of Indian-Americans in Chicago. “This event really displayed what the cosmopolitan and diverse the city of Hyderabad really is, and we were not only able to bring culture, traditions, literature, music, poetry, calligraphy and even dress to Chicagoland but also were able to raise close to $1,000,000 which will be used to help the city back home that’s a great achievement”, said Sayeed.
The renowned Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation presented two internationally acclaimed plays, “Spaces: Story of Hyderabadi Haveli” which confronted the modern-day question of how space is defined , or “does space defines us” and “Quli: Dilon ka Shahzaada” , the story of Golconda Kingdom that look the audience back to the time a through a philosophical tale of true love.
According to Padma Shri Awardee Mohammed Ali Baig, head of the Qadir Ali Baig Foundation, the most important mission for him is to keep the ancient tradition of Indian theater, which found it roots in Hyderabad and is alive across the world. “It is across India and unlike Bollywood movie and songs, performing arts and artists have to make a lot of efforts to get recognition. My father was the founder and we are now trying to bring this art form to mainstream. Today, we hold the largest festival in India and we are going to France, Germany, Asia and we have accomplished a lot. Our whole mission and effort is to revive the love for theater and promote this ancient art to the world while maintaining its historical integrity”, Baig said.
The Siasat Urdu Daily, Hyderabad, showcased hundreds of calligraphy made by artists from India as part of the Urdu and Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition, including calligraphy exhibits of Nayeem Saberi and Faheem Saberi, paintings of Lateef Farooqui, embroidery of Naseer Sultan, and wood work of Mohammed Mazharuddin. The visit of Zahid Ali Khan, Editor of Siasat, to Chicago, exclusively to grace the event, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many Urdu lovers.
The crowning glory of the entertainment event was a Qawwali which is part of the rich culture of Hyderabad. Riaz Qawwal and his party, who came from Houston for the event, delighted the audience, beyond their expectations by presenting popular Qawwalis.
Aside from the exquisite displays of culture and art, perhaps what was most remarkable was that the event raised more than $1,000,000 in funds which will be contributed directly to Hyderabad for various projects, including building hospitals, providing treatments to patients, offering educational scholarships, and improving educational institutions with a generous donation from Deepak Kant Vyas Chairman and CEO of RedBerri Global Corp.
Mir Z Khan, Chairman of the Steering Committee thanked the entire Steering Committee – Ashfaq Hussain Syed (secretary), Iqbal Ali M.Baig (treasurer), Prem Rupani, Muzaffar Mirza, Sami Siddiqi, Tasneem Osmani, Iftekhar Shareef, Gazala Rahman, Syed Sharafat Hussain, Anis Khan, Syed Hussain, Khalid Osmani, and Ali Jaffer who worked tirelessly for over two months, to make the event a success. He also thanked Azam Nizamuddin, the MC of the event.
“ This is such an amazing event, unbelievable even though I am not Hyderabadi, I have many friends who are physicians from Hyderabad, and I really enjoyed seeing their amazing culture and fantastic cuisine. This is the first year we have seen anything like this in Chicago land I hope that they will continue this for years to come” commented Mayor of Oak Brook Gopal Lalmalani.