IMAGH’s Eid Milan Celebrates Unity and Cultural Diversity

IMAGH board members with dignitaries, including Consul General DC Manjunath (center).

By Yasmin Udawala & Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: For the past few years, Eid-ul-Fitr has been celebrated by the Indian Muslim Association of Greater Houston at the Marriott Hotel in Westchase. This year, IMAGH stirred it up a lot by venturing to the Omni Riverway Hotel in the Post Oak area and promised a sumptuous gala night on Saturday, April 20. And they delivered on their word!

The eagerly anticipated annual Eid Milan celebration was hosted by the leadership of President Tasnim Vadva, the Executive committee consisting of Dr. Hina Azam, Naeem Vehvaria, Yasmin Udawala and Mohammed Ali Khan and Club 65 President Rahat Kale, and hard work by so many IMAGH friends and family. Entitled “Bridges Cultures”, the program unfolded as a magnificent tapestry of unity and cultural celebration.

The Folkholic Dance Theatre, representing Palestinian culture.

Guests mingled during the social hour and then entered the main ballroom set with a stage with a huge backlit LED backdrop from which emecees Dinaaz Vadwa and Danny Uddin unfurled the program for the evening. This was followed by a Quran recitation by Sana Rafi and Soha Langha, invoking a sense of reverence and tranquility.

The rendition of the US National Anthem by Lily Tran and the stirring performance of the Indian National Anthem brought out the patriotic spirit of the gathering.

A highlight of the evening was the IMAGH President’s Tasnim Vadva’s speech, wherein the event chairs were introduced amidst rounds of applause. Prominent guests for the event were the Consul General of India D.C. Manjunath and Texas Dist. 137 Representative Gene Wu who spoke in admiration for the work the IMAGH has done in the past decade to foster warm and cordial relations with other communities.

A video tribute to the Ismaili community and its landmark project in the Ismaili Center currently under construction along Allen Parkway heightened this outreach effort, with the presentation of the IMAGH Award.

IMAGH members after the successful Eid Milan. Photos by Quaid Tinwala, SMB Films & Images.

The captivating performance by the Parul Shah Dance Company dazzled the audience with its artistry and grace. The Folkoholic Dance Theatre, representing Palestinian culture, enraptured the audience with their mesmerizing performances, and loud drumbeats, especially as they overflowed off the stage onto the ballroom floor and enticed the audience to join in the steps.

The Colonel Raj Bhalla Community Service Award was presented to internationally acclaimed choreographer and Indian classical dancer Rathna Kumar, the founder and Executive Director of the Anjali Center for Performing Arts.

A special moment of the evening was the presentation of the Latafath Hussain Award for Exemplary Community Service to Lufti Hassan, recognizing his outstanding contributions to the community and embodying the spirit of service and leadership. Hasan is a businessman and the Honorary Consul for Guyana.

As the event drew to a close, the event chairs, Yasmin Udawala and Abraham Merchant, expressed their heartfelt gratitude to all attendees, announcing the commencement of Namaaz and inviting guests to partake in a sumptuous Indian buffet dinner catered by Nirvana Restaurant, as well as two pasta stations in the dining room.