Sindhi-Americans Gathered in Houston to Pay Tribute to Their National Leader

Message of Support sent by US Senator Kay Baily Hutchison

District Attorney Patrica Lykos was the Chief Guest

HOUSTON, TX, USA.  Sindhi-Americans gathered in Houston on Saturday, January 28, 2012 to commemorate the 108th birthday of Mr. G. M. Syed, a national leader of Sindh who waged a nonviolent struggle against religious fundamentalism and for freedom.

Sindh is home to the ancient Indus Valley civilization and is now a province in Pakistan. A vibrant Sindhi-American community numbering in the tens of thousands lives in various U.S. cities. More than 30 million Sindhis live in Sindh today. Sindhis are supportive of democracy and secularism and have been marginalized by  security establishment and its fundo ideology.

Ms. Patricia Lykos, District Attorney of the Harris County of Texas, was the Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker of the evening. Other prominent speakers include Mr Albert Chang, Director of Regional Office of the US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Mr. Iqbal Detho, a human rights scholar affiliated with the University of Minnesota, Mr. Mohammed Khan Buriro, a human rights lawyer from Sindh, Mr Umed Ali Laghari, Sr. Vice Chairperson of the World Sindhi Congress, and Mansoor Samo of the G M Syed Memorial Committee and Several community leaders spoke at the event. An estimated 250 delegates from different parts of Texas, USA came to attend this event.

Mr. Iqbal Detho, who is a National Manager for the Society for Protection of Rights of Child (SPARC) in Karachi and currently visiting USA as a Hubert. H. Humphrey Fellow (Human Rights) at the University of Minnesota. Mr Iqbal Detho said that G M Syed was the continuity of Sindhi’s heritage which is based on Universalism and love towards the land and people. Describing the existing International Human Rights systems at UN, he said that Sindhis need to align our struggles to the international human rights framework.

Mr. Mohammed Khan Buriro, who works as a Public Prosecutor indict in Karachi, Sindh taking variety of human rights and Anti-Terrorism cases mainly indicting the terrorists belonging to the Tehreek-e-Taliban and Pakistan Paramilitary a.k.a. Rangers personnel involved in a innocent and brutal murder of a 17-year old civilian Sarfraz Shah. Mr. Buriro highlighted the non-violence and secular aspects of Saeen GM Syed teachings. “It is important to affirm his message to the Sindhi people’s struggle for their unalienable rights,” said Mr Buriro.

Mr Albert Chang read the message of US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. In her signed letter Senator Hutchison said that, “Sindhi Commuity is a wonderful community that embodies the best in America…” In her letter she paid tributes to Mr. G M Syed and wrote that “His [Syed] message of non-violence, democracy, secularism, and the right to self-determination is as important today as ever.”

Ms Patricia Lykos, who is a District Attorney of Harris County of Texas, and is elected to serves entre Houston, Texas and the surrounding area as the chief law enforcement official for a county of approximately 1,800 square miles and almost 4 million residents, a greater population than 24 U.S. states. She is the first women ever I the history of Harris County to reach to such a prominent position. She praised the unity of Sindhi-American community of Houston and paid tribute to a Sindhi leader G M Syed. “I am truly delighted and feel honored to be here among the people whose values and traditions incorporate Universalism and peace around the world,” said Ms Lykos.

During this event, G M Syed Memorial Award for 2011 was also announced. Mr. Taj Joyo of Shaheed Benazirabad, Sindh and Ms Veena Shingi of New Dehli were conferred with the prestigious ‘G. M. Syed Memorial Award 2011’ in recognition of their contributions to Sindhi Society and Culture. These award are jointly sponsored by the World Sindhi Congress and the G. M. Syed Memorial Committee.

Mr Mansoor Samo and Mr Umed Ali Laghari presented the gifts of traditional scarves (Ajraks) to all speakers and awarded ‘Community Service Awards’ to those who have done extra ordinary work to help Sindhi-Americans and other communities around the Houston.

The proceedings of the event were conducted by Ms. Zubaida Bhurgri.

The birth anniversary ceremony included the recital of the Sindhi National Anthem by Zubair Bhambro and a cake cutting ceremony.

A Sindhi Sufi music session followed the dinner and speeches.

Prominent community members who attended the event including: Mamood Dahri, Shakil Shah, Imdad Seehar, Jamil Daudi, Shabir Jatoi, Asif Shah, Abhiman Parmar, Paras Shah, Jalissa Soomro, Raees Patoli, Mumtaz Chang, Akhter Shah, Amber Laghari, Saghir Shaikh, Sabir Jatoi, Mazhar Jatoi, Qasim Jatoi, Issa Bhurgri, Ashfaq Seehar, Ishfaque Seehar, Bashir Shahani, Khan Thebo, Tashfeen Brohi, Suhail Soomro, Nusrat Samo, G M Morai, Mazhar Khowja, Taj Nizamani, Nizam Jatoi, and Khushal Kalani.

The G. M. Syed Memorial Committee is a Houston, TX-based educational group organized to promote G. M. Syed’s message of non-violence, democracy, secularism, and the right to self-determination for Sindhis and other oppressed nations within the international community. For more information, visit http://www.gmsyed.org.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, January 31, 2012.

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