NEDians in North America
NED Alumni Association of Washington DC aka NEDA-DC is preparing to host NED 2012 DC; 8th International Alumni Convention from October 5th to 7th in the Dc area. Looking back at the seven NED Alumni Conventions in NA, the second best thing that happened was the extension of the event into a three day gala. (The best thing was the establishment of NEDIAN – NA, NED International Alumni Network, the NEDian Alliance of NA).
So, what the start of festivities on Friday evening (October 7th, 2011) did was provide an organized yet informal meeting time and place for NEDians. And the outcome was, well, Moving, Gratifying, Inspiring, Astounding, Amazing, Mind-boggling, Mind-blowing – some of the adjectives that come to mind, but do not come even close to describing how I felt about what I experienced and observed the evening of October 7th. I was truly over-whelmed. Indeed, the numerous sights of handshakes and hugs, of yells and screams, of roars and laughter….. was an experience that you can feel, not describe. It is not easy to explain – you can only be aware of it if you witness the zeal and fervor of NEDians meeting each other; the intensity varying of course with the distance they had traveled or the time that had lapsed between the last time they were together. But at the same time, when you listened to them talk to each other, you would not know that they had been separated by all these miles and years – as if their relationship was frozen in time and space. I met some fellow-NEDians after more than three decades, when our foreheads were smaller, much like our waist-lines. Notwithstanding the loss of hair and gain of pounds, you were reliving NED once again……..you had to be there!
And that was just the beginning……there was a whole forty hours worth of celebration, jubilation and above all a feel good sense of camaraderie……….you had to be there!
But these conventions are not just about fun and fiesta it is also a reinforcement of comradeship and solidarity among what is now gelling into the North American NEDian family.
According to some estimates there are over 5,000 NEDians in North America. Since graduating from NED most have become successful professionals, executives and authorities in their fields, while some have soared to excellence and in a few cases, fame. The individual successes of NEDians, is but a testimony to the quality, the gall, the perseverance, the relentlessness, the commitment of NEDians. We have accomplished what we have because we have put their minds to it, we have applied ourselves. But it was all because Pakistan, and in particular, NED, provided us the opportunity. When we graduated from NED, we came out not only with a degree, but also a personality and a can-do attitude.
So we owe it to NED. We owe it to Pakistan. The first step was to have the sense of gratitude and the desire. We have that. The next step was to bring NEDians together. That process is well under way. Indeed, assembling the eight Alumni Associations of North America in a teleconference on April 4, 2010 was a wonderful milestone, worthy of recognition and a congratulatory pause. In subsequent months the delegates worked hard leading to the declaration on July 31st at NED 2010 Chicago: Alumni International Convention of establishment of NED International Alumni Network of North America: NEDIAN-NA. Currently, its members are the Alumni Associations of, in addition to Greater Chicago, Houston, New England, Silicon Valley (CA), Southern California, Tri-state (NJ, NY & CT) and (from Canada) Alberta, (the Founding Members), and its newest member – Washington-DC
The Vision is that “NEDIAN-NA will be an umbrella organization of NED Alumni in North America, linking Alumni with NED, NED with the Alumni and Alumni with each other with the ultimate goal of uniting and empowering Alumni to serving and bettering our Alma-Mater NED and Pakistan.”
So we not only have the Alumni base mobilized as an entity eager to perform, we have established what needs to be done and we have a plan on how these objectives are accomplished. The goals are tri-fold.
a. Here in North America promote, facilitate and support the amalgamation of Alumni to enrich the lives of fellow Alumni and to better the communities we live in
b. Secondly, NEDIAN-NA has been engaged in communication with NED to come up with plans of how the NEDians of North America can contribute towards the betterment of NED.
c. And, finally, our hearts ache at the sad state of affairs in the old country, the motherland. Are we going to allow the status quo to continue, are we going to let this bleeding to go on, or are we going to do something about it?
A study of the History of Indo-Pakistan shows how a group of Alumni shaped history and initiated the movement that ultimately changed the picture of the sub-continent, accomplished the creation of Pakistan. The Alumni of Aligarh Muslim University did it for us. We have to pay it forward. Taking inspiration from our grandfathers and great grandfathers, it is incumbent upon us, the NEDians to step up to the plate and go to bat for the future generations of Pakistan.
Just as NEDians, we have accomplished more than we thought we could, as Alumni, we can do a lot more than we realize we can for NED and for Pakistan.
Build a Better NED. Build a Better Pakistan; NEDians for NED, NEDians for Pakistan