Houston Community Comes Together to Support Higher Education in Pakistan

The fundraising served to re-galvanize the support of the Pakistani diaspora in Houston for Habib University, at a time when higher education is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic.

By A Correspondent
Habib University President, Wasif A. Rizvi addressing the audience at Habib University Foundation Annual Fundraising Gala 2021 at the Marriott Marquis, Houston.
Habib University, a Karachi-based private educational institution, held its second annual fundraising gala 2021 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Houston.

Funded by the House of Habib, the Habib University Foundation was established in 2010, and was chartered in 2012 as an independent university. Based on a 6.3 acres campus in Gulistan-e-JauharKarachi, it is a multi-disciplinary university offering undergraduate degree’s in scienceengineeringartshumanities and social sciences. It has a strong liberal arts focus and requires all its students to take a set of liberal arts courses consisting of sociology, history, philosophy, and anthropology.

Habib University is Pakistan’s first not-for-profit, community-based, liberal arts and sciences university, which aims to develop engaged, empathetic and critically conscious future leaders with the ability to have a positive impact on their communities and contribute to Pakistan’s development.

Titled, “Creating Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow”, the fundraising served to re-galvanize the support of the Pakistani diaspora in Houston for Habib University, at a time when higher education is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic.

The Pakistani community in Houston has supported Habib University’s cause of ensuring that a world-class, liberal arts and sciences model of higher education is accessible to students from all socio-economic classes in Pakistan. “The event exhibited the resolve and conviction of Pakistani diaspora for the cause and demonstrated their confidence in the potential of the nation and its youth,” says a press release issued by the university.

Alluding to the historic crossroads that Pakistan was at, Mr. Usman Dhanani, Vice President, The Dhanani Group and the host for the evening said that higher education in a country like Pakistan could create history.

Wasif A. Rizvi, President Habib University highlighted the challenges facing higher education in Pakistan and highlighted how, “Habib University is the first institution outside the US to offer: a world-class education, [which is] accessible education, and sustainability”.

Speaking at the Gala, keynote speaker, the legendary humorist and satirist, Anwar Maqsood, added: “I have always believed that if we are to see our nation prosper, we have to ensure that our youth are provided the opportunity to attain the world-class education like that provided by Habib University.”

Shoukat Dhanani, CEO, The Dhanani Group USA, Member, Host Committee and Member, Board of Governors, Habib University acknowledged the importance of connecting with one’s homeland saying, “our connection with Habib University helped us connect with our roots,” and how it was a worthy cause to support such a great institution.

Dr. Asim Shah, Executive Vice-Chair Menninger Dept. of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine, USA and Chair of the Host Committee lauded the Houston community for its support, “We are really overwhelmed by the support given by the Houston community, and we will work towards supporting higher education because that is the only way we can change society and the future of Pakistan.”

The First Annual Gala was held in Houston, Texas in March 2019. Due to worldwide restrictions in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gala did not take place in 2020.

Habib University has affiliations with Stanford University, Pitzer CollegeUniversity of Michigan, Carnegie Mellon UniversityLUMS, University of California, Berkeley, and Texas A&M University; allowing students to attend summer sessions at these universities. It has a student-to-teacher ratio of 12:1 and has a growing student body. The university is regarded as among Pakistan’s most progressive education institutions.

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