NEW YORK: The American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI) has honoured India-born entrepreneur and philanthropist, Frank Islam with the “Pride of India” award, the media reported. India’s Consul General in New York Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay conferred the award upon Mr Islam who had donated $222,000 in May this year to the Aligarh Muslim University in India, India New England daily reported.
“It is a distinct honour and privilege to be here tonight to accept the AFMI ‘Pride of India’ award. It is also a privilege to be asked to speak as a part of AFMI’s silver jubilee celebration,” Mr Islam was quoted as saying.
“I have received many awards. But this one is extra special because it comes from this prestigious organisation in its silver jubilee year,” Mr Islam added. “I must admit that receiving this award and joining such luminaries does not make me proud. It makes me humble,” he noted.
Islam, 63, was born in Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh and is married to Debbie Driesman, 61. Apart from being a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist and civic leader, he is also a thought leader with a special commitment to civic, educational and artistic causes.
He currently heads the FI Invest Group – a firm that he established after he sold his information technology firm called the QSS Group in 2007, the report added. Islam serves on several boards and advisory councils including the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C.
He has written two books on the American condition, titled “Working the Pivot Points: To Make America Work Again” (2013) and “Renewing the American Dream: A Citizen’s Guide for Restoring Our Competitive Advantage” (2010). The donation to the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) will be used towards building the Frank and Debbie Islam School of Management with an endowed chair and building a technical college for girls in Azamgarh in memory of his mother Qumran Nisan.
Past winners of “Pride of India” award include noted lyricist and song writer Javed Akhtar and Rehman Khan, former Union minister of minority affairs in India. The AFMI, a philanthropic charity formed by American Muslims of Indian Origin in the 1989, celebrated its silver jubilee convention on August 29. The AFMI strives to improve the socio-economic status of the underprivileged Indian Muslim minorities through education.