The concern for jobs and earnings consumes us all as we go thru our busy professional lives. For the most part we neither receive any formal education over the confusing issues of financial planning nor do we have much time to spend in understanding it thru self-education. Not surprisingly we often remain at the mercy of experts who may at times have their own self-interest higher than ours. Yet financial freedom and security is a goal that is dear and near to all of us as we aspire for a worry free retirement and a secure track to meet the ever rising costs of college education for our children. As with so many other areas of our lives, a properly understood and planned approach in the establishment and execution of sound financial strategies can go a long way in our desire to reach our life’s financial goals.
Community Builders Chicago (CBC), offered a series of free educational workshops at different locations within the community addressing “Money Matters” that impact our pocket books. The range of topics selected for discussion covered some of the most common to some of the most confusing issues in money management. From cash and credit management, insurance, home buying, college financing, investments in real estate , stocks, business enterprises to retirement planning, asset protection and charitable giving, we put together a menu that suited the taste of all, both young and old and at whatever stage in life they may be.
A panel of experienced professional experts within our own community provided presentations in clear and easy to understand language and led interactive group discussions that helped us obtain a much needed clarity in our money matters.
This educational program was sponsored by Amana Mutual Funds Trust, www.amanafunds.com.
Each registrant for the workshop received a Workbook to further their education.
CBC conducted four of these workshops at Muslim Education Center, Islamic Society of Northern Suburbs, Islamic Foundation South, and, Islamic Foundation North respectively.
A room full of attendees from high school students to retirees came to listen and learn. The topics covered included Cash Management, Credit Management, ), Identity Theft, Home Financing, College Financing, Insurance (Health, Life, Auto, and Home),Wealth Building, Stocks, Real Estate Investment Strategies, Entrepreneurship, Franchises, Wealth Management, Retirement Planning, Asset Protection, Estate Planning, and Charitable Giving.
These sessions were moderated wonderfully by Rummana Hussain, Thabraize Ahmed, Fadi Farhan, and Ali Khan respectively.
The panelists who presented were:
Ali Farooq, Saturna Capital: S. Ali Farooq, Senior Wholesale Manager - Midwest U.S., joined Saturna Capital in February 2010. After earning a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 2004, Mr. Farooq started his career in Wealth Management with Merrill Lynch. Most recently, he worked as a Wealth Manager for B.C. Ziegler. Mr. Farooq has worked with retirement plans for small to medium sized businesses and helped non-profit organizations, corporations, and professional individuals develop retirement programs. Mr. Farooq takes pleasure in serving as an active member of various social, faith based, and investment organizations across the U.S. He is a lifetime Chicagoan and an avid sports fan. He also enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and experiencing the cultures across the globe.
Masood Bijapuri, Humana Inc. Masood Bijapuri has been in the Insurance industry for the past 20 years. He is currently the Sales Manager at Humana located in Oakbrook, IL. He has been with the company for the past 15 years. Humana Market Point represents companies that offer products and services you may need in order to be better prepared for the future. He specializes in Health, Life insurance and Medicare supplement plans.
Mushtaq Darabu, Farmers Insurance and Financial Services Agency in Wood Dale, Illinois 12 Years in Insurance Business, Trained and Licensed in Personal Lines (home, cars etc), Life and Health Insurance, Commercial (Business and Workers Compensation Insurance) and Financial Services.
Amjad Quadri, University Islamic Financial Corp: Amjad M. Quadri is currently the Vice President of Business Development and New Markets at University Islamic Financial. Before moving into his current role at University Islamic Financial Corp., Mr. Quadri helped form advisory councils of local imams and community leaders in three states and started two new offices, the latter which he currently supervises.
Tariq Laliwala, major financial institution: Tariq Laliwala attributes his success in advising the high net worth community to three core themes: experience, effective communication, and high level of service. His proven track record of helping to achieve clients’ financial goals through astute financial planning and discerning wealth management has contributed directly to the steady and impressive expansion of his private wealth business.
Amina Saeed, Law Office of Amina Saeed: Amina Saeed is an Illinois attorney, helping families and businesses plan for life’s unexpected circumstances, protect assets and develop a lasting legacy. She is a member of Wealth Counsel, a nationwide collaboration of trusts and estates attorneys and other legal, tax and business professionals. Amina is also a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, where she has been appointed by the president as chairperson of the Committee on Women and Minority Participation in the Law, and is also a member of the Trusts and Estates Section and the Diversity Leadership Council. In addition, she serves as president of the MuslimBar Association of Illinois. Amina is a fellow of the prestigious Leadership Greater Chicago, a group that strives to create lifelong partnerships and develops community awareness among leaders in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Tipu Chauhdary, Ridgestone Bank: Tipu Chauhdary is currently Assistant Vice President for Government Lending at Ridgestone Bank . Under his current role, Tipu has a focus in small business finance in the Midwest . He has financed deals for a wide array of industries including manufacturing, childcare, hospitality and petroleum to name a few. His projects have included franchise financing, acquisition of real estate and business assets, financing of equipment, providing working capital needs as well as business expansion funds. Prior to assuming his current position, Tipu co-founded the commercial lending division for a boutique Chicago commercial mortgage brokerage firm - JFG Capital. During his tenure with JFG his primary focus was debt financing for various clients. He worked in conjunction with institutions such as Banks, Wall Street firms, Private Equity Firms as well as Private Investors to consummate financing.
Saleem Shaikh, Saleem Shaikh Holds a Masters in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He worked in corporate world for seventeen years as Industrial Engineer, later becoming the department head as Chief Industrial Engineer. He later joined a startup print and Graphic business as a partner and built it before selling it to Allegra, a Franchise Company. He later became a business and franchise broker, in this capacity he has worked with a number of franchised and privately owned businesses.
Fadi Farhan, Olive Tree Wealth Management: Fadi is currently Manager at Olive Tree Wealth Management. After graduating from the University of Chicago, Fadi worked with institutions such as Merrill Lynch. Fadi has more than a decade of experience in the field of wealth management. Fadi is also part of a soccer league and enjoys playing foot ball in his leisure time.
Iqbal Jaffer, Reality Resources: Iqbal Jaffer has been in Real Estate Business for over 22 Years, is the owner/managing partner of Reality Resources, a realestate brokerage firm in Lomard, Illinois. He specializes in Shortsale, Forclosure and Investment properties. He is licensed through Illinois Dept of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR). He is Certified CDPE and SFR. Iqbal jaffer has been serving the community for 22 years and has developed net work to help clients with appraisals, Mortgage financing, inspections, insurance and other services.
For a good while now the societal activities in the Muslim community have centered over interfaith work. The political opportunism that resulted in the evolution of Islamophobia following 911, largely resulted in this quest for dependable partners within the faith community. While this has produced some tangible benefits to overcome certain frustrating challenges that Muslim’s have encountered mostly to do with zoning issues, the focus is gradually shifting towards building political networks which may indeed be more powerful and more beneficial.
Compassionate Care Network(CCN) will be meeting at the Muslim Community Center , Chicago (MCC) to discuss its accomplishments by serving in our community on Sunday, Jan 16, in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. “Giving back in our community is at the core of CCN’s work,” says Ayesha Sultana, MD President of CCN, “ and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate all we’ve done these few years than to continue to provide health care services to the underserved in our neighborhoods.”
Community Builders Chicago
Although the obvious this conclusion regarding the decadence of Muslims need to be reiterated. We have for a while been harping on the need for priortizing emphasis on education in the Muslim community. Not Islamic education so much as secular education. We have maintained that Islamic education can be dealt with at the level of the weekend schools if properly structured and delivered. Secular education at the best public and or private schools will remain the bedrock for our community's future success. Education of both boys and girls that extends beyond the high school level into college undergrad level for sure and perhaps into grad level whenever possible. Living in America we can only do so much for the global literacy of Muslims except contribute financially wherever some credible programs exist which need support. We continue to believe that here in America we need to assure that we do not lose sight of this important goal. The secret to our community's empowerment is not through political engagement or through business connections, though helpful to have, but through a committment to excellence in education. This is not such a new idea but certainly an idea that we have ignored to pay heed to for a few centuries now. That path to a glorious past we all dream of lies meandering through the enchanting fields of science, technology and the arts. We will have to travel that route if we are to ever reach that desired destination.
With fewer and fewer dollars being available through grants and scholarships to fund the high cost of college education in America, we will have to continuosly explore our resources for funding our children’s college education through a commitment to savings, avoidance of extravagance, pursuing financial goals with investments obtained for long term growth, and being prepared to make sacrifices in the present to secure the benefits in the future. The challenges are many, the distractions numerous and success might often seem elusive. But without doubt our focus has to remain on educational excellence.
The two reviews below, by two different individuals reporting on the status of two world communities very clearly demonstrates the powerplay of education.
Why are Muslims so powerless?
There are an estimated 1,476,233,470 Muslims on the face of the planet: one billion in Asia, 400 million in Africa, 44 million in Europe and six million in the Americas. Every fifth human being is a Muslim; for every single Hindu there are two Muslims, for every Buddhist there are two Muslims and for every Jew there are one hundred Muslims. Ever wondered why Muslims are so powerless?
Here is why: There are 57 member-countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), and all of them put together have around 500 universities; one university for every three million Muslims. The United States has 5,758 universities and India has 8,407. In 2004, Shanghai Jiao Tong University compiled an 'Academic Ranking of World Universities', and intriguingly, not one university from Muslim-majority states was in the top-500.
As per data collected by the UNDP, literacy in the Christian world stands at nearly 90 per cent and 15 Christian-majority states have a literacy rate of 100 per cent. A Muslim-majority state, as a sharp contrast, has an average literacy rate of around 40 per cent and there is no Muslim-majority state with a literacy rate of 100 per cent. Some 98 per cent of the 'literates' in the Christian world had completed primary school, while less than 50 per cent of the 'literates' in the Muslim world did the same. Around 40 per cent of the 'literates' in the Christian world attended university while no more than two per cent of the 'literates' in the Muslim world did the same.
Muslim-majority countries have 230 scientists per one million Muslims. The US has 4,000 scientists per million and Japan has 5,000 per million. In the entire Arab world, the total number of full-time researchers is 35,000 and there are only 50 technicians per one million Arabs (in the Christian world there are up to 1,000 technicians per one million). Furthermore, the Muslim world spends 0.2 per cent of its GDP on research and development, while the Christian world spends around five per cent of its GDP.
Conclusion: The Muslim world lacks the capacity to produce knowledge.
Daily newspapers per 1,000 people and number of book titles per million are two indicators of whether knowledge is being diffused in a society. In Pakistan, there are 23 daily newspapers per 1,000 Pakistanis while the same ratio in Singapore is 360. In the UK, the number of book titles per million stands at 2,000 while the same in Egypt is 20.
Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to diffuse knowledge.
Exports of high technology products as a percentage of total exports are an important indicator of knowledge application. Pakistan's exports of high technology products as a percentage of total exports stands at one per cent. The same for Saudi Arabia is 0.3 per cent; Kuwait, Morocco, and Algeria are all at 0.3 per cent while Singapore is at 58 per cent. Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to apply knowledge.
Why are Muslims powerless? Because we aren't producing knowledge. Why are Muslims powerless? Because we aren't diffusing knowledge. Why are Muslims powerless? Because we aren't applying knowledge. And, the future belongs to knowledge-based societies.
Interestingly, the combined annual GDP of 57 OIC-countries is under $2 trillion. America, just by herself, produces goods and services worth $12 trillion; China $8 trillion, Japan $3.8 trillion and Germany $2.4 trillion (purchasing power parity basis).
Oil rich Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce goods and services (mostly oil) worth $500 billion; Spain alone produces goods and services worth over $1 trillion, Catholic Poland $489 billion and Buddhist Thailand $545 billion (Muslim GDP as a percentage of world GDP is fast declining).
So, why are Muslims so powerless?
Answer: Lack of education.
Dr Farrukh Saleem
And why are the Jews so powerful?
There are only 14 million Jews in the world; seven million in the Americas, five million in Asia, two million in Europe and 100,000 in Africa. For every single Jew in the world there are 100 Muslims. Yet, Jews are more than a hundred times more powerful than all the Muslims put together. Ever wondered why?
Jesus of Nazareth was Jewish. Albert Einstein, the most influential scientist of all time and TIME magazine's 'Person of the Century', was a Jew. Sigmund Freud -- id, ego, superego -- the father of psychoanalysis was a Jew. So were Karl Marx, Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman.
Here are a few other Jews whose intellectual output has enriched the whole humanity: Benjamin Rubin gave humanity the vaccinating needle. Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine. Alert Sabin developed the improved live polio vaccine. Gertrude Elion gave us a leukaemia fighting drug. Baruch Blumberg developed the vaccination for Hepatitis B. Paul Ehrlich discovered a treatment for syphilis (a sexually transmitted disease). Elie Metchnikoff won a Nobel Prize in infectious diseases.
Bernard Katz won a Nobel Prize in neuromuscular transmission. Andrew Schally won a Nobel in endocrinology (disorders of the endocrine system; diabetes, hyperthyroidism). Aaron Beck founded Cognitive Therapy (psychotherapy to treat mental disorders, depression and phobias). Gregory Pincus developed the first oral contraceptive pill. George Wald won a Nobel for furthering our understanding of the human eye. Stanley Cohen won a Nobel in embryology (study of embryos and their development). Willem Kolff came up with the kidney dialysis machine. Over the past 105 years, 14 million Jews have won 15-dozen Nobel Prizes while only three Nobel Prizes have been won by 1.4 billion Muslims (other than Peace Prizes).
Why are Jews so powerful? Stanley Mezor invented the first micro-processing chip. Leo Szilard developed the first nuclear chain reactor. Peter Schultz, optical fibre cable; Charles Adler, traffic lights; Benno Strauss, Stainless steel; Isador Kisee, sound movies; Emile Berliner, telephone microphone and Charles Ginsburg, videotape recorder.
Famous financiers in the business world who belong to Jewish faith include Ralph Lauren (Polo), Levis Strauss (Levi's Jeans), Howard Schultz (Starbuck's), Sergey Brin (Google), Michael Dell (Dell Computers), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Donna Karan (DKNY), Irv Robbins (Baskins & Robbins) and Bill Rosenberg (Dunkin Donuts). Richard Levin, President of Yale University, is a Jew. So are Henry Kissinger (American secretary of state), Alan Greenspan (fed chairman under Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush), Joseph Lieberman, Madeleine Albright (American secretary of state), Casper Weinberger (American secretary of defence), Maxim Litvinov (USSR foreign Minister), David Marshal (Singapore's first chief minister), Issac Isaacs (governor-general of Australia), Benjamin Disraeli (British statesman and author), Yevgeny Primakov (Russian PM), Barry Goldwater, Jorge Sampaio (president of Portugal), John Deutsch (CIA director), Herb Gray (Canadian deputy PM), Pierre Mendes (French PM), Michael Howard (British home secretary), Bruno Kreisky (chancellor of Austria) and Robert Rubin (American secretary of treasury). In the media, famous Jews include Wolf Blitzer (CNN), Barbara Walters (ABC News), Eugene Meyer (Washington Post), Henry Grunwald (editor-in-chief Time), Katherine Graham (publisher of The Washington Post), Joseph Lelyyeld (Executive editor, The New York Times), and Max Frankel (New York Times).
Can you name the most beneficent philanthropist in the history of the world? The name is George Soros, a Jew, who has so far donated a colossal $4 billion most of which has gone as aid to scientists and universities around the world. Second to George Soros is Walter Annenberg, another Jew, who has built a hundred libraries by donating an estimated $2 billion.
At the Olympics, Mark Spitz set a record of sorts by wining seven gold medals. Lenny Krayzelburg is a three-time Olympic gold medalist. Spitz, Krayzelburg and Boris Becker are all Jewish.
Did you know that Harrison Ford, George Burns, Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Sandra Bullock, Billy Crystal, Woody Allen, Paul Newman, Peter Sellers, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley, Kirk Douglas, Goldie Hawn, Cary Grant, William Shatner, Jerry Lewis and Peter Falk are all Jewish? As a matter of fact, Hollywood itself was founded by a Jew. Among directors and producers, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Oliver Stone, Aaron Spelling (Beverly Hills 90210), Neil Simon (The Odd Couple), Andrew Vaina (Rambo 1/2/3), Michael Man (Starsky and Hutch), Milos Forman (One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest), Douglas Fairbanks (The thief of Baghdad) and Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) are all Jewish.
To be certain, Washington is the capital that matters and in Washington the lobby that matters is The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. Washington knows that if PM Ehud Olmert were to discover that the earth is flat, AIPAC will make the 109th Congress pass a resolution congratulating Olmert on his discovery.
William James Sidis, with an IQ of 250-300, is the brightest human who ever existed. Guess what faith did he belong to?
Question: So, why are Jews so powerful?
There are three categories of the elderly population, those that are of the young-old group between the age of 65 and 74, those that are 85 years old and over and those that are over 100 years old. There was a study done in Alberta, Canada in 2006 that researched how South Asian immigrant seniors are spending their lives. In the study it was found that seniors, age 65 years and older were mainly living with their adult children (70% of the sample studied), while another 5% were living on their own and the remaining seniors were living with other relatives. This study shows the familial background of South Asian immigrant seniors and can be paralleled with the lives of seniors living in the United States since no research has currently been conducted in the U.S.