dBY ABDALGHANY AOUESKHANOV
When Umar Pasha saw the program of the 7th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) just a week before the event, he told me: "We must be there, we can't allow this cohort of bankers and modernists to promote submission to Kufr in the land of great sufis and warriors".
Initiated by the Malaysian government 7 years ago WIEF is an annual event rotating the host country every year. Dubbed by the media as Islamic Davos the 7th WIEF was scheduled to take place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on 8-9 June 2011.
The format of the forum and the list of speakers were prerogative of the Malaysian side and of course the Islamic Banking session was a major feature of the event along with 20 other sessions. And the fact that in such a huge Islamic event, held in the country which had a special place in the heart of Umar Pasha, there was no intention to speak about Riba, Muamalat or Gold Dinar, had sparked the determination of Umar Pasha that instantly travelled in Unseen Reality around the world. That our journey started before we moved I would understand later when I witnessed the string of events that unfolded right from the moment when Pasha said "we must be there" up until we touched Kuala Lumpur on our way home.
Art was a passion for Kritika Mahindra, but her family’s expectation that she should follow a traditional career kept her from pursuing it. “Though I used to paint at home, I never got the right platform to showcase it,” says Mahindra, 26. I88artstreet n May 2012, Mahindra joined a public relations firm. Alongside, she finished various short-term courses—one on art appreciation from the National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology, New Delhi; a three-month course on fine arts from the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; and later a course on “Creativity, Innovation and Change” offered by Pennsylvania State University, US, through the open online course platform Coursera.org. “That is how I kept myself rooted to art in some way,” says Mahindra.
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