IMAGH Launches South Asian Youth Alliance (SAYA)


By Hafeeza Shaik

HOUSTON: After months of planning and anticipation, the South Asian Youth Alliance (SAYA) was launched on April 27, at the Turkish Raindrop Center. SAYA is the second organization under the Indian Muslims Association of Greater Houston (IMAGH) banner. (The first organization is Club 65, an association for Seniors in the community). The organization focuses on engaging young adults, between the ages of 16 and 25 to promote social, educational, and cultural responsibilities by becoming more involved in the community. It is the first organization run FOR and BY the young adults of the South Asian community.


The event began with Latafath Hussain, President of IMAGH, welcoming the distinguished members of the community and to the many young adults to an informative and exciting afternoon. He said that he was grateful that the young people had taken a break from their studies for on- going Finals to attend this event. Hussain was followed by a famous  South Asian comedian, Sai Ranade.  He conveyed a subtle message to the audience addressing the needs and cultural issues South Asians face in the Western world through his comedy and shared his journey of personal struggles after coming to America.

 The mission of SAYA was introduced by two outstanding young leaders, Irfana Hussain and Mohammed A. Khan, who have been collectively working with a dedicated team for several months. This team consists of Khushboo Bansal, Yan Digilov, Adeelah Nasser, Hafeeza Shaik, Joel Kurien, and Zain Hussain along with the Chairman, Dr. Moyeen Haque. The presentation was very informative and discussed the various activities that the organization has planned. The main goal of SAYA is to create an interactive group of young adults of South Asian heritage to connect to similar individuals who have reached the pinnacle of success. Hussain and Khan discussed the proposed activities which include a mentorship program, a networking program and a multimedia storytelling project.

 Rahil Jafry, the great South Asian local entrepreneur presented a much anticipated speech which motivated everyone in the room to never stop learning and growing. He shared stories of his journey from Pakistan to Houston. He also talked about his illustrious elder brother Adil Jafry and how after losing everything to the Enron debacle, they went on to create a multi- million dollar company, TARA energy. He gave credit to the South Asian community, which believed in them, and the network of friends and family, who contributed with their money and advice. He expressed his gratitude to the community leaders, his teachers and the various mentors who helped them along the way. He also shared various business principles and suggested the most important lesson he learned was to never stop learning. “You must learn to learn, unlearn, and relearn,” he said.

After Rahil Jafri’s speech, the crowd was split into two groups: the young adults broke into a discussion group to talk more about SAYA’s objectives while the adults had a treat listening to Biki Mohindra. Col. Raj Bhalla, a Board of Advisor member of IMAGH, introduced Biki Mohindra. Mohindra talked about the challenges the young people face growing up in this country, and how we as parents, can help them meet those challenges and help them become great leaders.

Dr. Moyeen Haque, summed up the meeting and explained that SAYA was created to help the young adults of the South Asian community to connect back to their heritage and cultural roots as well as grow and succeed in their careers. The organization is there to help and reach out to every individual who would like to benefit from this group.

If someone was unable to attend this great event and wants to join, then the next meeting is on May 17 at 11am at Platform Houston in Rice Village (5504 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005). RSVP is required as free lunch will be served.

For further information, call Latafath Hussain at 713-269-6171 or Email:  or Facebook: