Done in Hijab,Beard and Kufi Pakistani-American Muslims Proudly received $1 Million Hult Prize 2017

hult prize

A Pakistani-American team from Rutgers University has won this year’s $1 million Hult Prize, a high profile, global contest for student social entrepreneurs focused on tech for refugees.

The winner this year is a startup called Roshni Rides, Bill Clinton announced at the end of the competition last Saturday. The former president, who began working with the Hult Prize in 2010, continued to speak but a roar of cheers drowned out his words. As he inched toward the stage, Roshni Rides CFO Moneeb Mian said in a breathless falsetto, “Oh, my God, we won.”

hult prize 2017
The company is called Roshni Rides. In the pilot, refugees paid a fixed fee for a ride to town in one of these three motorized rickshaws. Roshni is a name that means “light” in Iran and India.

Roshni Rides provides a private shuttle service dedicated to ferrying refugees from their homes to schools, work, hospitals and markets. “[The company] has an immediate impact and addresses one of the greatest needs, which is mobility. If you can’t be mobile, you are a prisoner,” says Ahmad Ashkar, the founder of the Hult Prize.

At the moment, Roshni Rides is set up in Orangi Town, a slum of 2.4 million inhabitants — the largest in the world — outside Karachi, Pakistan, that’s densely populated with refugees from around Asia.

As in many informal settlements in South Asia, transportation services there are practically non-existent, says Gia Farooqi, the company’s CEO. “There’s no good roads. There are ambulance systems, but they’re not very effective. There’s not a lot of government money invested into these locations.” Walking or biking is often unrealistic because of the long distances between refugee settlements and basic services like hospitals.

Even auto rickshaws, three-wheeled motorized taxis common in south Asia, are simply out of reach. Drivers often prefer to stay in the city where customers have more money. When refugees are able to flag a rickshaw, they might be forced to pay staggering prices, says Hasan Usmani, COO of Roshni Rides. “One of the women [in a focus group] wanted to take her dad to the hospital. He was having a heart attack, and they needed a rickshaw” he says. “See, the thing is, it’s not necessarily the driver’s fault because they’re from the bottom of the [economic] spectrum as well. So, when the driver got there, he hiked the price like six times.”

And people don’t have any choice but to pay. “It’s a classic example of someone getting taken advantage of in a vulnerable situation,” Usmani says.

Looking at this situation sparked an idea in the team. The drivers aren’t making enough money because there are so many of them in the city, Mian says. At the same time, millions of people in settlements outside the city need transportation but don’t have options. “As supply chain majors, we saw this as a huge inefficiency. [Seeing] it was heartbreaking, but we stepped back and we realized this is just a huge logistical problem, and we can solve it by making small adjustments in the market,” Mian says.

The team originally wanted to create a solar-powered, electric rickshaw company. But instead, for their pilot project they turned to employing existing rickshaw drivers and using their taxis to create ride-sharing service. By giving the drivers set routes, like a bus, running between pick-up points in a refugee settlement directly to designated points of interest like a market or a hospital, Usmani says they create a transportation network catered to refugee needs.

By filling the rickshaw’s three seats with passengers and scaling up to serve more riders, Roshni Rides can charge passengers 80 rupees (76 cents) — half the price of a typical rickshaw ride — and still pay their drivers a salary much higher than what they made as an independent driver. Where an independent driver might pick up an average of eight passengers per day, a Roshni Rides driver gets about 40, according to the team. Most important, the service can make resources like health care, education and job opportunities accessible to refugees who could scarcely reach them before, Farooqi says.

The team developed the idea for Roshni Rides only over the last year, but Usmani says they’d been working together for years. The four co-founders met three years ago at Rutgers University when the company’s CMO, Hanaa Lakhani, suggested they work together to compete for student business prizes. The quartet won a student competition every year until Lakhani graduated in 2016.

Then, Lakhani heard about the Hult Prize and left her post-graduation job at a bank to get the team back together for one more round. The Hult Prize’s ethos of social entrepreneurship — for-profit businesses creating solutions for social problems — appealed to them immediately.

“I think social entrepreneurship and Islam go hand in hand,” says Farooqi. “Islam is about being the best person you can be every day and doing the most good.”

“This is a faith-based team. Incorporating our faith makes what we do that much more passionate,” Lakhani adds.

When Clinton announced this year’s challenge would be aimed at refugees, “that’s when we got really serious about it,” Farooqi says. “Trump was elected, and there was a lot about the Syrian refugee crisis. The stories in the news reminded us of stories that our grandparents and parents told us. As four Muslim-Americans, we’re connected to our global Muslim family. Everything that happens to them hurts [us] as well.”

All four co-founders of Roshni Rides are Pakistani Americans who are Muslim. And they’re hearing from their fellow Muslims about the million dollar prize they won. “Some of the messages [I’m] getting are just like, ‘you don’t know how impactful it is to see four Muslim-Americans up there on that stage representing the United States in today’s climate.’ That’s empowering to a lot of people, and I can’t be more humbled to be in this position,” Farooqi says.

be in this position,” Farooqi says.

If they meet that goal, the company is projected to make a profit of over $5 million a year through advertising revenue and fares. But before all that, “I think we need like a minute to soak in the gravity of what just happened [Saturday] night,” Lakhani says. There were a lot of sleepless nights working up to the competition finals, Mian adds. A little rest would be nice.

News Ref : NPR

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Pakistani Actor Hamza Ali Abbasi,ex aetheist to quit acting for Allah and to Spread Islam.

In a video shared by him on Twitter, Hamza Ali Abbasi spoke about his journey – how he became an atheist when he was 14-15 years old and how science “brought him back” being a theist when he went to the US.

“I want to spend the rest of my life talking about God,” Abbasi said in the video-sharing that his decision is based on 10 years research.

Abbasi, who recently married Naimal Khawar, said that now he will try to shape his life in accordance with Islam and will try to spread across the message through various platforms.

“Being an ‘ex-atheist’, I want to share the answers I have received about God with people. I don’t want to debate or convince people, I just want to share,” he said and added that if he will make any movie or show, then it will be about Islam.

Read –What Allah says to the disbelievers

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babri masjid demolisher now a muslim

Man involved in Babri Masjid demolition now builds mosques to wash away guilt

Do you know that Kar sevak from Haryana who was part of Babri Masjid demolition, now preaches Islam, builds masjids ?He has built 90 Mosque so far.

Aamir, a former Shiv Sena leader from Panipat, Haryana often recalls the fateful day of December 6, 1992, that marked the demolition of Babri Masjid.

Aamir said that along with his friend Mohammed Umar, formerly Yogendra Pal, he had vowed to construct the Sri Ram Mandir at Ayodhya demolishing the masjid. Today, the two are fulfilling their pledge to renovate 100 mosques, in an attempt to purge themselves of their sins.

On December 1, 1992, Aamir reached Ayodhya to join thousands of kar sevaks coming from across the country. On December 6 that year, according to Aamir, he was the first man to climb the middle dome.

“We feared that the army might have been deployed in large number. But on ground there was hardly any security, that gave us a boost and we were mentally prepared to demolish the masjid that day,” said Mohammed Aamir.

Aamir along with many other kar sevaks from Sonipat and Panipat demolished the dome with spades and pickaxes.

“When I reached my home town Panipat after that I was given a hero’s welcome by the people,” Aamir said.

“But at home, my family’s reaction shocked me. My secular family denounced my actions. I had participated in the kar seva because I felt strongly about it, but I realized later that I was wrong.”

Mohammed Aamir, born a Rajput, said, “I realized that I had taken law in my hands and violated the constitution of India. Guilty, I embraced Islam.”

Ref :India Today.

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#Hijabisanidentity- Hijab walk to Stop the discrimination and marginalization of Muslim women and girls.

Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right in the Ghanaian legal system. To be specific Article 21 (c) of the 1992 Constitution states: “All persons shall have the right to freedom to practice any religion and to manifest such practice.”

Unfortunately, most Muslim women and girls living in Ghana have dealt with individuals who exert their biases and bigotry into institutional cultures. Thus, making it impossible for Muslim women to wear the hijab as part of their religious freedoms stipulated in the 1992 constitution.

The #Hijabisanidentity campaign pushes for the right of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab to be free to do so without intimidation from any individual or institution.

Why do Muslim Woman Wear Hijab.

Recently, an invigilator of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) asked a candidate to remove her hijab before sitting her exams. This latest move sparked a recent social media campaign by Islam advocates dubbed: #Hijabisanidentity

They believe the successful campaign which culminated in a massive demonstration in some regions – North, Ashanti and Accra – will help shake up some traditionally-held cultural misconceptions about the female Muslim identity. On Saturday October 12, Ghanaian Muslim women marched for their right to wear the hijab. The #Hijabisanidentity campaign is still on.

Stop policing Women’s bodies!

My hijab, my CHOICE My choice, my right

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Sinead o connor

Sinéad O’Connor Performs in Hijab.Says : ‘I have been a Muslim all my life and I didn’t realise it’

Dublin: Singer Sinead O’Connor stepped out in a traditional hijab with her son after converting to Islam in October.

The 52-year-old wore a bright red abaya and matching hijab when she appeared on “The Late Late Show” in Dublin on Friday night, reports ” the sun”

Earlier in the day, she arrived at the studio with her son, 15-year-old Shane Lunny, who looks exactly like his mom.

Sinead was dressed more casually in blue trousers, a matching belted shirt, and a navy cardigan. She complete the look with a dark blue headscarf. Shane carried his mother’s red abaya to the venue.

Shane apart, Sinead is also mother to 32-year-old Jake, 23-year-old Roisin and 12-year-old Yeshua.

In October last year, Sinead announced that she had converted to Islam, changing her name to Shuhada Davitt.

Sinéad O’Connor has described how she felt “at home” after reading the Koran and subsequently embracing the Muslim religion.

The singer, who has returned following a five-year hiatus from touring, announced her decision to “revert” to Islam almost a year ago and says she often wears the hijab as a means of signalling her new-found beliefs.

The word ‘revert’ refers to the idea that if you were to study the Koran you would realise that you were a Muslim all your life and you didn’t realise it. That’s what happened to me,” she said on Friday night’s Late Late Show.

“I am 52. I grew up in a very different Ireland to the one that exists now and it was a very oppressed country religiously speaking. And everybody was miserable; nobody was getting any joy in God.

”The singer, who has long captivated audiences with her views on Irish life, spoke about reading the scriptures as a child and later exploring other religious texts “trying to find the truth about God”. She left Islam until last because she held her own prejudices about the religion, she said.

Ref :”The Sun”

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oldest rural mosque

Archeologists finds the World’s Oldest Rural Mosque in Israel

 Archaeologists in Israel have discovered the remains of one of the world’s oldest rural mosques, built around the time Islam arrived in the holy land,

world's oldest rural mosque

The Israel Antiquities Authority estimates that the mosque, uncovered ahead of new construction in the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Negev desert, dates back to the 7th to 8th centuries.

There are large mosques known to be from that period in Jerusalem and in Makkah but it is rare to find a house of prayer so ancient whose congregation is likely to have been local farmers, the antiquities authority said.

Play the Quiz : Identify these Mosques

Excavated at the site were the remains of an open-air mosque — a rectangular building, about the size of a single-car garage, with a prayer niche facing south toward Makkah.

“This is one of the earliest mosques known from the beginning of the arrival of Islam in Israel, after the Arab conquest of 636 C.E.,” said Gideon Avni of the antiquities authority.

“The discovery of the village and the mosque in its vicinity are a significant contribution to the study of the history of the country during this turbulent period.”

Source : Arab news

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