A Pakistani girl’s dream & mission celebrated

Sonia Shah with school children in Pakistan

Sonia Shah with school children in Pakistan

ROLLING MEADOWS: Human Development Foundation (HDF) and Kulsoom Foundation celebrated ‘Rahmania for Sonia’ on Saturday February 23 at Meadows Club, Rolling Meadows, a northwest suburb of Chicago.

Hosted by Kulsoom Foundation and attended by over 400 people, the theme of the evening was ‘A Girl, A Dream, A Mission’. It was about Sonia Shah who wanted to help poor girls of a small village in Pakistan by building a school but could not complete her mission due to a tragic accident in summer of 2012.

The fundraiser included live and silent auction, a dance performance by Sonia’s friend Shimoli Shah and choreographed dance performance by Dhrishti Art at A.R. Rahman music, which kept people engage and glued to the stage till midnight. All the proceeds will go to building Sonia Shah Memorial School in village Kangra in rural North West of Pakistan.

Of Pashtun heritage, Sonia lived and studied in four countries, Thailand, England, US and finally graduated a year early from Zurich International School in Switzerland. An honor student, she was among the youngest interns at Obama’s campaign headquarters in 2012.

In his condolence letter President Obama says ‘though Sonia was the one of the youngest intern, she was most determined’. Her mother Iram made a passionate picture of a girl who loved humanity and wanted to make a difference.

Hamza Hayaauddin gave the welcome address. Dr Mian Arshad Jan, the keynote speaker, recounted how, instead of crying and moping, his younger sister Iram threw herself into Sonia’s project.

The fund raising and live auction was conducted by Nabeela Rasheed and Dr Mujahid Ghazi. All different items put out for auction were sold.

Kulsoom Foundation and HDF share the commitment to help the disadvantaged in Pakistan. HDF combats extreme poverty by “Helping people help themselves.” Donations are tax deductible: https://www.facebook.com/KulsoomFoundation.

Visiting actor and Kathak exponent Aditi Bhagwat wowed the audience with her dazzling choreography on Rahman’s signature tune Manmohana from the period classic Jodha Akbar.

Asian Media USA