I attended the 14th Library of Congress National Book Festival On Aug 30 2014-By Dr.Afshan Hashmi
( Posted on 30 Aug 2014)
Reading and writing is one of my greatest passion. I read and write when I am happy as well as when I am sad. I am feeling so happy and inspired to attend this festival on this Labor day weekend here in Washington DC USA. I learned lot of new things today by attending this beautiful festival. This year’s festival moved from its traditional place on the National Mall to the beautiful Washington Convention Center. There were authors presenting as well as signing books from these genre: “History and Biography, Science, Fiction and Mystery, Contemporary Life, Culinary Arts, Teens, Poetry and Prose, Children and Picture Books”. I learned a lot about the world’s largest library “Library of Congress” today by visiting their pavilion.
Many authors from across the country were present in the festival. There was Pavilion of the states where one can learn about not only the literary heritage of one’s home state but also other states and territories. In “Let’s Read America” pavilion there were fun activities for the entire family and I enjoyed there also a lot.
It was impossible to attend all the sessions in a day but all the author sessions are being video recorded and I will go to the library of congress website to access them (http://www.loc.gov/). Some sessions will also be shown on C-Span2’s Book TV.
To know about the festival in detail please visit the following website link: http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/
I attended the session of Derek Anderson the famous NBA star. I am one of his greatest fans and it was a dream come true to meet him in person. This will be a meeting I will always remember. I was very inspired by his talk. To know more about Derek Anderson please visit the following websites:
Hollywood and Bollywood has always inspired me. My interest in films led me to attend the session “Great Books to Great Movies”.
It was a beautiful session with panel discussion as well as multimedia presentation. “Great Books to Great Movies” was moderated by Ann Hornaday, film critic for The Washington Post. Four famous authors were E.L. Doctorow (recipient of the 2014 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction), Paul Auster, Alice McDermott and Lisa See. I loved the panel discussion and movie clips from the movies made on their books.To know more about it please visit the following website link:
To know more about me please visit my website: http://drafshanhashmi.com/
Dear Readers of my Blog posts:
Its an honor for me to tell you all that my mom got felicitated by the UP Chief Minister in Lucknow(UP) India:
(Posted on 18 Aug 2014)
My mother Mrs. Jamila Siddiqi, was recently felicitated by the UP State Government in India for her contributions to female literacy.
I salute you mom for all the good work you are doing!!!!
Following a felicitation in Aligarh (UP), in India she was invited to
Lucknow (UP), India on Saturday Aug 2 ,2014,to meet with the Chief Minister of UP. The picture shows her with a plaque, flanked by my brother
Dr. Shahid Jameel and my nephew Uzair Siddiqui which is seen in the video which I made.
Ammi (Hindustani language for mom) started educating a few girls at
home in the mid-90s and later opened the Ismat Literacy and
Handicrafts Center on the AMU Aligarh(UP), India campus in October 1997. Getting close to 80, her energy and vision, is truly inspiring.
The Ismat Center provides non-formal education and vocational
training to about 100 girls each year. These girls come from very
poor families. They are not charged any fees, with all expenses
covered from private voluntary donations from friends and family.
Video on this occasion reflecting my thoughts and loaded on You tube:
To know more about me please visit my website:
Nostalgia Visiting Aligarh Muslim University VC Lodge- By-Dr. Afshan Hashmi written on Aug 5 2014
As my grandfather Prof. Abdul Aleem who was a renowned freedom fighter of India (To know more about my grandfather please visit my website where I have written about him http://drafshanhashmi.com/id19.html) was the Vice- Chancellor(VC) of the prestigious Aligarh Muslim University( AMU), Aligarh(UP) India. So I have grown up in VC Lodge and there are lot of memories attached to this grand house. It took me long to gather strength and visit VC house after a long time, 8 years back ,for the first time on one of my visit to India . I get very nostalgic to enter this grand house. First I went in the office of VC inside this house and could literally feel the presence of my grandfather. At that time it was not used as an office but during my grandfather time it was used as one of the office of VC. I could recall sitting there in the lap of my grandfather whom I lovingly called Nana Abba( Desi or Hindustani language how one calls maternal grandfather). I could feel the presence of Muhammad Khan a Hyderabadi gatekeeper standing on the door of the VC house. Also I could remember Yaseen bhai ( Bhai said in respect in Hindustani language meaning brother) and Naseer bhai the two drivers. Naseer bhai used to drive that black Maharaja style car of VC and he was very aristrocratic himself. Shareef bhai was one of the most talented gardener while remembering Haneef bhai one of the most talented cook I have encountered in my life. I still remember Rafeeq bhai’s dish the famous kababs which was taught to him by my grandmother !!!!
Eight years ago when I visited VC house for the first time I could see one of my old servant Khaliq bhai ‘s son Rashid working as the incharge caretaker of VC Lodge and he immediately asked me this question: “Bibi( meaning lady master in Hindustani language) how come you have visited after so long we all wanted to meet you”. Then he showed me around. Sitting in the inside hall of VC lodge which was used as living room for my grandmother I remembered so many things that will take a book to write about all of it. I asked Rashid about the historic pond inside the VC house where there were lots of lotus flowers and my friends and I used to play around it a lot. But there was no pond now there but I sat near it and remembered my doll house which was presented to me by my grandfather.
This house is magnificent. The present guest room suite where my grandfather used to stay I visited it and Rashid took me there. I could feel there as if my grandfather will come out and say “love you lot Afshan dear”. I also went around the garden and asked about my favorite trees where I have played a lot with my friends. In this magnificent house I have been taught many things by my grandparents and they have taught me how to host dignitaries with magnificient style and lavish food preparations. My grandparents were one of the most well -dressd and glam couple in India and they have taught me how to groom oneself in the best possible way.
In my last trip to India I visited VC Lodge on the invitation of present VC Lt. Gen.Retd. Zameeruddin Shah and his wonderful wife Sabiha Shah. There I met their sweet grandson Saad and their handsome sons Muhammad Ali Shah and Omar Shah. Also I met beautiful wife of Muhammad Ali Shah. I could remember my childhood seeing Saad as I was of the same age when my grandfather became VC. The hospitality given to me by Gen. Shah and his wife was wonderful and it resembled a lot the way my grandparents hosted people with great warmth and love. After meeting this wonderful couple I was so happy to see AMU is in the best of hands it could be. Gen. Shah is one of the best Vice- Chancellor AMU has seen.
On my next trip to india I plan to visit VC lodge and refresh my memories of childhood even more!!!
AMU awards Dr.Afshan N.Hashmi:
On my visit to India I was awarded by a function organized by the Ladies Club of AMU. AMU Vice -Chancellor Prof. P K Abdul Azis presented an award of excellence to me. Please see the link below:
Dr. Afshan Hashmi in a Panel Discussion in India:
Dr. Afshan Hashmi seen here in below picture in the middle at a panel discussion where she spoke about ” Entrepreneurship-some thoughts and experience” to a very large audience in India.
On right side seen is Mrs. Salma Ansari wife of the current Vice-President of India Honorable Hamid Ansari.