A Harmonious Prelude:
The gala’s enchantment began when guests stepped into the lobby of the banquet hall. The soul-stirring melodies of Azim Khan’s violin set the stage for a truly memorable evening. His music, a blend of elegance and festivity, served as a prelude to what was to come. Khan, a masterful violinist, guitarist, and music teacher, filled the air with soft, festive tunes, creating an atmosphere of pure enchantment.
Dominating the lobby was a striking vertical ISEEK poster emblazoned with a potent quote by Dr. Pasha: “Sanctity of Human Dignity is foundationally inherent and independent of one’s class, gender, religion, skin color, or historical heritage.” This quote served as a guiding beacon for the evening, emphasizing the celebration of innate human dignity.
The lobby buzzed with excitement as volunteers, including enthusiastic youth, greeted guests with warm smiles. It was a moment of reunion, where old friends rekindled connections, sharing stories and embraces.
The Main Event:
At 6 PM sharp, a call to gather in the banquet hall reverberated through the space, expertly delivered by Paru McGuire, the Strategic Director of Community Engagement and Initiatives for ISEEK, who also served as the evening’s emcee. Her exceptional skills as an emcee have brilliantly showcased the values and spirit of ISEEK, making her an indispensable pillar of the SEEK team and a true maestro in orchestrating successful events.
The business segment was graced by four remarkable speakers who shared insights into ISEEK’s vision and the profound significance of the Golden Rule. Ibrahim Khawaja, First Assistant District Attorney in the Fort Bend County District Attorney, known for advocating ISEEK’s mission and the Golden Rule, kicked off the discourse. George Willy, Founder and Principal Attorney at Willy, Nanayakkara & Associates, echoed these sentiments, underlining the role of the Golden Rule in all facets of life.
Imam Dr. Wazir Ali, an entrepreneur, kinesiologist, and registered dietitian illuminated the intrinsic nature of human dignity. The final speaker, Marian Hillar, M.D., Ph.D., a distinguished scholar and founder of the Center for Socinian Studies in Houston, eloquently advocated for the paramount importance of respecting human dignity in society.
Dr. Jaseem Pasha, President, and Founder of ISEEK, then took the stage, reminding us of ISEEK’s unique mission to create a society free from cultural backwardness and uphold the sanctity of human dignity. He stressed the importance of morality in building a just and compassionate society.
Dr. Khalid Razvi receives the ISEEK’s Lifetime Achievement Award
Ms. Paru then announced the ISEEK award ceremony.
Mr. Jamil Chunawala, a popular and lovable music enthusiast in the Houston Community, was requested to come to the podium. Mr. Chunawala then started narrating fascinating anecdotes and a list of community service and personal achievements about a “person” present in the audience without naming him. That naturally created suspense about who this person was. But the suspense was over as soon as Mr. Chunawala revealed the identity of this person, saying he was Dr. Khalid Razvi, who is a geologist by profession, who happens to be also a Board member of ISEEK, and the ISEEK Education Program Director. Mr. Chunawala asked Dr. Nooranissa Pasha, MD, the Vice-President of ISEEK, who has been the key driving force behind the team’s success, to come to the podium and give the plaque for the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Khalid Razvi in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the world of poetry, humor, and community service.
A Multicultural Extravaganza:
After the business portion of the program concluded, the stage erupted with a vibrant showcase of transcultural dances, songs, and music. Indian classical and sub-classical dances blended seamlessly with Lebanese theatrical folk dances, inviting the audience to join the Lebanese dance celebration.
Adding to the musical delight, Nick’s band’s music and songs were sung by Bindu Malhotra, whose melodious voice added to the old songs, provoking nostalgia.
The entertainment, scheduled for 90 minutes, was a colorful and rhythmic journey that left everyone enchanted. This fusion of music, dance, and nostalgia created an atmosphere of pure delight, leaving attendees with memories they’ll cherish for years.
The grand finale was a sumptuous buffet dinner featuring vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, a testament to the rich diversity celebrated throughout the evening.
The 2023 ISEEK Gala concluded at 9:30 PM, leaving attendees with cherished memories of an evening celebrating the organization’s seven-year ethical enlightenment and cultural harmony legacy.
For those who missed this spectacular event, you missed an evening that exemplified unity, diversity, and the unwavering commitment to upholding the sanctity of human dignity.
As we reflect on this remarkable gala, it’s a testament to the values and mission of ISEEK—a journey that we are proud to be a part of. With seven years of meaningful contributions behind us, we look forward to the bright future that awaits us, filled with continued ethical enlightenment and cultural harmony.
Purvaiz Yusuf, MBA, CPA
Director, ISEEK Chapter in Canada
Director, Oxford Learning Markham, ON, Canada
Director, Oxford Learning Boxgrove, ON, Canada