BOARD MEMBERS

Khawaja Azimuddin

Khawaja Azimuddin is a General and Colon-Rectal surgeon who lives and works in Spring, TX. He specializes in minimally invasive surgery for diseases of the colon such as cancer or diverticulitis. He is one of the pioneers in robotic colon & rectal surgery and teaches this type of surgery to practicing surgeons from all over America.

He has lectured and published extensively and is an editorial reviewer for the Diseases of Colon & Rectum, the official journal of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and the International Journal of Surgery. He has authored 22 research articles in scientific journals, has written 8 book chapters and is the co-author of a surgical text book printed by Springer, UK in 2009.

He is a member of numerous surgical societies including the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.

Dr. Azimuddin is an active member of the community. He believes in “Service Above Self” and is a member of the Rotary International. He has been named a Paul Harris Fellow and has received the “Distinguished Service Award” (two of the highest awards conferred by Rotary International).

In his spare time, he loves to design, carve, and create art with his hands. Apart from operating, his hobby and passion is Calligraphy. He does calligraphy on ceramic glazed tiles. The verses from the Quran are the source of inspiration for his calligraphy pieces. He also likes arabesque – these patterns are inspired by the Islamic art created over the centuries by Muslim artists. His work has been displayed at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, local libraries, Methodist Willowbrook Hospital’s Faith Wall, and incorporated in Masjid Al-Salam’s main prayer hall.

Samia Nizar

Samia Nazir was born in the bustling city of Karachi, Pakistan. However shortly afterwards made her trek westward, living in Middle East and UK before making her home in Houston. She will be forever grateful for being a nomad in her youth as it allowed her to experience and appreciate numerous countries and cultures.

Samia graduated from St. Thomas University with a BBA but kept the love of art alive by visiting weekly the Menil Museum and Rothko Chapel, which was a walking distance from the campus. She then went on to work for the family business before opening her own furniture store, Moda Furnishings. Moda Furnishings also hosted a local artist gallery. As an artist herself, providing a forum for artistic expression and display have been always important to her. She currently runs Town Trawler Media LLC, which specializes in internet marketing and web development along side being an active artist.

Zulfiqar Ali

 

Zulfiqar Ali profile

 

 

 

Born in Lahore, Pakistan and now residing in Spring, Texas, Zulfiqar Ali is a founding board member of the Islamic Arts Society. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University. His professional experience includes General Motors, NASCAR Auto Racing and Oil & Gas industry.

He received his formal training in calligraphy from Haji Mohammad Azam also known as Munawwar Raqam in Urdu Bazar, Lahore, Pakistan. Haji Azam is a master calligrapher and is the author of “Tadrees-e-Khattati” book on Nastaliq script.

Calligraphy is a form of meditation for Mr. Ali. He mastered in Nastaliq script which is popular in Iran, Pakistan, India and Western China. Nastaliq is primarily used for written poetry and as a form of art. He uses traditional reed qalam (pen), ink and paper for his calligraphy. He also taught many Nastaliq calligraphy classes. He has performed live calligraphy at Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Calligraphy Guild, Springworld International Festival, ICNA Annual Convention, TCF Annual Gala, Islamic Arts Festival and Aaj TV show.

Zafar Tahir

Zafar “Zaf” Tahir is an attorney with an MBA and BS in Electrical engineering. Mr. Tahir has extensive technical and management experience as an engineer, project manager, businessman, consultant and now a legal practitioner.Mr. Tahir has worked both, in domestic and international arena in the fields of oil & gas, chemicals, automation, project management, international business development, consultant in franchise industry and management consultancy.

Mr. Tahir has led a life consumed with civic and political activities in the greater Houston area. Starting with a student leadership role on the campus of University of Houston (UH), serving as V. President and then President of PSA at UH. He quickly moved into leading the Pakistan-American community as the youngest leader in the mid 80s and then the President of Pakistani-American Association of Greater Houston in 1990. He served on the planning committee of Islamic Society of Greater Houston in the early 90s.

In 1991 his focus shifted exclusively to the inclusion of Pakistani-Americans, South Asian-Americans and Muslim-Americans in the mainstream politics of Houston and Texas. He has been part of several PACs, having served on the board of PAKPAC and continues to serve as General Secretary of Pakistan American Council of Texas.

In 1997 Mr. Tahir served as the transition co-Chair of Mayor Browns Transition Team and has since served all three mayors of Houston – Brown, White and Parker in various capacities. He has served for the last 18 years on the Mayor’s council on International Trade & Development, and Public Works commission under Brown administration. Mr. Tahir led a task force on Safety & Security for convenience store and small retailers under White administration.In 2000 he was the first ever Muslim to be elected as a National delegate of the Democratic party  from Texas. In 2004 he was elected again as a National delegate from Texas. In 2007 he ran for Houston city council for an At-large position but did not succeed.

He has served on the Advisory Board of Asia Society since 2007. He served on the board of Crime Stoppers from 2008-2010. He is a founding board member of the Islamic Art Society of Houston.

Ather Jamil

By profession Ather Jamil is a technologist and a solutions architect at a Fortune 500 company, but is an entrepreneur and artist at heart. He spent the past several years evangelizing an industry-wide shift to the cloud, virtualization, infrastructure convergence and software defined datacenter paradigms, to transform the modern enterprise workspace. He is a member of several professional and technical organizations setting industry standards.

As an entrepreneur, Ather founded two startups.  The first, Transworld Digital Solutions provided applications development, and secure data backup services. Pakvoice was his second startup providing telecom services to US and Asian sub-continent based customers. Both companies were later acquired.

Visual Arts has been Ather’s passion since childhood. He enjoys mixing realism with abstraction in a classical Middle Eastern setting. Islamic geometric patterns and Arabesque are his latest interests. A large portion of his art work is donated for community and community fundraisers. He is also a freelance photographer.

Qaisar Imam

Qaisar “Q” Imam is a resident of Sugar Land, Texas where he and his wife, Bushra Cheema, are raising their three kids.  He attended The College of Wooster in Ohio where he graduated as Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the prestigious William Galpin Award for the most outstanding graduate. He started his career at Price Waterhouse as a management consultant.  He is currently a Senior Project Manager with IBM’s Global Business Services serving Fortune 500 clients across multiple industries.

Qaisar is active with various local non-profit organizations.  As the volunteers chair of the Toys for Tots/Santa’s Exchange 2015 executive committee he was instrumental in providing over 700 local youth an opportunity to bring smiles to thousands of children in Fort Bend County by helping distribute toys.  He has been involved with the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, South Asian Chamber of Commerce, Exchange Club of Fort Bend, PCC USA Chamber of Commerce, and OPEN–Entrepreneurs Network to help young entrepreneurs and professionals with business and professional development skills.  He also volunteers with the American Muslim Volunteers and American Cancer Society.

Qaisar is passionate about improving public education quality.  He has served as a member of the Facilities Planning Steering Committee of Fort Bend School District.  He has served on elementary and middle school Campus Based Leadership Teams to advise on setting goals and attain excellence in student achievement.  He is a Fort Bend School District’s Recognized Student Mentor and loves teaching as a Junior League Teacher volunteer.

Passionate about grassroots civic participation, Qaisar has facilitated multiple workshops in local community encouraging civic engagement.   His efforts have resulted in increased voter registration, voter turnout, and citizens becoming members of grassroots political and non-profit organizations.  He is currently the Precinct Chair and has previously served at the state level of Texas Democratic Party Executive Committee for Senate District 17.

Qaisar currently serves on various boards across greater Houston area.  As a Board Member of the Greater 288 Partnership, he works with various private and public sector stakeholders focused on mobility improvement in Fort Bend and Brazoria counties.
20229342_1390594354364740_6482399319656628368_n - Copy

 

 

 

Zakia Lalani is a Houstonian at heart and she is active in volunteering for numerous charitable organizations. She is a member of Host committee of Houston Health Fest, The Agha Khan walk and member of The Agha Khan Council for Southwest region. She is married to Dr. Sulaiman Lalani who is also well known for his philanthropic work and lives in Sugar Land with her three children.