Habib University’s 1st Alumni Convention, Shaam-e-Milaap, was a momentous occasion that brought together the alumni and faculty of the esteemed University for an evening of reflection and reconnection. The event, held on March 11, 2023, began with a Meet & Greet session where alumni and faculty had the chance to mingle informally over refreshments. The evening then kicked off with the formal Opening Session, which was led by the MCs who welcomed all guests, observed a moment of silence and prayer for the late Dr. Asif Aslam Farrukhi, and introduced Dr. Aamir Hasan, Vice President, Academic Affairs at Habib University to deliver the Welcome Address.
In his speech, Vice President Dr. Hasan expressed his gratitude to the alumni for their continued support of Habib University and their efforts in bringing positive change to society. He also highlighted the importance of the alumni community as ambassadors of the University and encouraged them to stay connected and engaged.
“(…) And as we gather here today at Shaam-e-Milaap, it is clear that the bonds we form here at Habib University are lasting ones, ones that will continue to shape our lives long after we’ve left this campus,” said Dr. Aamir Hasan.
The keynote address that followed was the highlight of the evening. Mr. Zain Jeewanjee, a prominent businessman in the USA and philanthropist, delivered an insightful talk on the importance of innovation and risk-taking in today’s world. He emphasized that Habib University has provided its graduates with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the challenges of the modern world.
“Habib University has always been at the forefront of innovation and has consistently produced graduates who are capable of leading and making an impact. As alumni, it is our responsibility to take the lessons we learned here and use them to create a better future,” Mr. Jeewanjee stated.
Shaam-e-Milaap program then took a nostalgic turn as Unzila Bilal, Habib University’s alumna from the Class of 2018, presented a light-hearted re-enactment of Dr. Nauman Naqvi’s famous lecture on Modernity. After which Dr. Anzar Khaliq, Associate Dean, Teaching, Learning and Research, and Associate Professor, Integrated Science and Mathematics at Habib University, presented a fun and engaging presentation on “Our Habib University Experiences.” Dr. Khaliq shared his personal experiences and anecdotes from the first day he stepped inside Habib University, and some fun experiences of his students, which left the audience in splits.
The Alumni Panel Discussion that followed, moderated by Dr. Waqar Saleem, Associate Professor, Computer Science at Habib University was a lively and engaging conversation on the learning journey of the alumni at Habib University. The panelists shared their experiences, challenges, and successes and highlighted the role that Habib University has played in shaping their lives and careers at Shaam-e-Milaap.
The first speaker, Anumtah Aijaz, Habib University’s Electrical Engineering alumna from the Class of 2020, set the tone for the rest of the session, sharing inspiring stories of overcoming adversity and how Habib University’s inclusive academic environment made her thrive in the field of STEM. The second speaker, Muhammad Furqan Karim Kidwai, Habib University’s Computer Science alumnus from the Class of 2020, and the co-founder and COO of the fintech start-up, YPay Financial Services, spoke about the importance of collaboration and teamwork in achieving ambitious goals, drawing on personal experiences from his time at Habib University’s 1st Alumni Convention, Shaam-e-Milaap.
The third speaker, Luluwa Lokhandwala, Habib University’s Communication and Design alumna from the Class of 2021, and now working as the adjunct faculty in the University, shared valuable insights on the importance of communication and empathy in building successful relationships, both personal and professional. The final speaker, Anzal Abbas Jaffery, Habib University’s Social Development and Policy alumnus from the Class of 2021, and now working in the Education & Public Health sector as an advocate of youth empowerment, reflected on the unique opportunities and experiences that Habib University offers, emphasizing the importance of taking risks and embracing new challenges.
Shaam-e-Milaap evening then proceeded with the announcement of the Alumni Engagement Plan by Saad Rahim Zubair, Senior Manager, Office of Alumni Relations and Engagement. The plan outlined various initiatives and activities aimed at promoting alumni engagement and building a strong alumni network. Ms. Yasmeen Bano, Vice President, Student Success at Habib University also presented tokens of Recognition to participating members of the Alumni Association.
Ms. Lubna Ahmed, Director, Resource Development department at Habib University also presented the Hum Rah Program and encouraged the alumni to support the University’s giving campaign. After the session, the MCs thanked the guests, and guided them for tea downstairs. The alumni were also able to stop by the booth for the Humrah program to get more information and indicate their interest for further engagement.
After the tea break, Shaam-e-Milaap resumed with a series of alumni speakers sharing their experiences. The sessions were held in a hybrid format, allowing speakers to join in from different locations around the world. The topics covered a range of subjects, from the challenges and successes of starting a new business to the personal growth and development that came from studying at Habib University.
The first speaker, Manahil Siddiqui, Habib University’s Communication and Design alumna, from the Class of 2022, talked about how she navigated through the world of business with her creative background. The second speaker, Sidra Dara, Habib University’s Social Development and Policy alumna, from the Class of 2018 talked about the importance of diversifying your skillset and how Habib University provided her with a well-rounded education. The third speaker, Farwa Hussain, Habib University’s Social Development and Policy alumna, from the Class of 2018, spoke about the value of creating opportunities for yourself and how her time at Habib University taught her to be proactive. Overall, the alumni sharing session provided a unique opportunity for current students and recent graduates to hear from successful Habib University alumni and gain insight into how they can apply their education in the real world.
After the sessions, Shaam-e-Milaap moved on to revive some of the nostalgic memories from the past with a sports session and sound bath. As the night drew to a close, the convention culminated with a soulful qawwali performance by the Saami Brothers, an internationally renowned group of musicians known for their mesmerizing Sufi music. The performance was a fitting conclusion to the convention, bringing together the attendees in a moment of collective joy and celebration.
In the end, the event was a resounding success, bringing together alumni and faculty from all over the world to celebrate their shared memories and experiences. The convention was a beautiful testament to the enduring bonds and connections that Habib University fosters, not only during one’s time at the university but also in the years that follow.