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India Arts and Heritage Society (IAHS), Seattle

Mumbai Tragedy Memorial Service in Seattle by NRI associations

Seattle December 6, 2008
Amrik Kamoh

India Community represented by India Arts and Heritage Society (IAHS), The Indian Association of Western Washington (IAWW), Co-Chairs of Washington State & India Trade Relations Action Committee (WSTRAC) , Monsoon Masala along with students of University of Washington (UW) performed the memorial services remembering the victims of the Mumbai attacks at the Taj and several other places. Diane Naraski the Executive Director of Asian Council and Referral Services (ACRS) and Habib M Habib the Co-Chair of Media relations of North American Seattle Muslim committee (NASMCO) were also present. The memorial services began on December 6, 2008, at 3pm to 4pm by handcrafting “Diyas”- traditional Indian clay lamps and held at the University of Washington Conference Room, Thomson Hall 317 in Seattle, followed by actual services from 4pm to 5pm. The Diyas” were handcrafted as the symbol of ending the darkness of ignorance that breeds violence.

Debudutta Dash Co-chair of the WSTRAC started the services and shared the details on this tragic ordeal that shook the entire country and people around the world. Mr. Dash shared his personal experience on his last visit at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai India. Mr. James, the District Director of Honorable Congressman James McDermott read the letter that Congressman sent to the government of India through the India Embassy. In his letter, Mr. McDermott expressed the commitment and support for India Government in fighting the terrorism. As a friend of India community Mr. McDermott has made several visits to India to find ways to improve Indo-US relations.

Murthy Kalkura (MK) President of IAWW led the one minute silence to mourn and express sympathies followed by the praise for Hero’s, who saved hundreds of lives during this ordeal. Habib M Habib, treasurer of Washington St Democratic Party, expressed condolences to the families who suffered loss and injuries.
Habib read letter from Governor Christine Gregoire expressing sympathies to the people of India origin and the Government of India. Habib as co-chair of the media relations of North American Seattle Muslim organization condemned the attack and read a press release, sharing the grief. Even though Habib was born in Tanzania, but his forefathers were originally from Mumbai, was deeply touched with sorrow and expressed grief over these tragic incidents.

Mr. Amrik Kamoh - President of IAHS, condemned the tragic and brutal attack on our home land soil, and expressed that this attack is not on the Taj, but a scar on our security and independence. We all must stay united and fight this together. Kamoh expressed that India community demands that government should take stern action and take steps to bring the culprits to justice. Kamoh pleaded to the governments around the world to support to fight the cancer of terrorism. Kamoh read an email message from Sarita Roy Director of Public Relation of Taj Hotels in Mumbai, expressing the praise from Blessing and prayers and strength to deal with the scars from all over the world. E-mail message was sent to Dr. Rashmee Sharma CEO of Roshni Media. Dr Sharma in her telephone interview with Kamoh stated that she was deeply shocked with the tragic events in India and brought the memories of unveiling the first edition of Roshni in Mumbai at the Taj. Other community member Dr Harchand Singh was also present and expressed grief and shock on the tragic incident.

Priyanka Joshi - CEO of Monsoon Masala: Indian Immigrant Community of Seattle expressed condolences by restating her memories of India Taj and as a reported of the Times of India. She expressed sorrow that unfortunate incidents have caused anger among the community and we need to be careful that this incident does not divide communities on the religious grounds. Mr. Kanji Patel a community activist stated in his prayer that we all must stay contained and peaceful and not let our emotions to take over this unfortunate incidents. Many students and community members expressed prayers and sympathies during the memorial service. The Consulate General of Korea expressed their sympathies by sending flowers during these services. In conclusion, each attendee took a diya (traditional Indian clay lamp) in commemoration of the service, and to light the diya for peace and love and to place an end to the hatred.

Picture – from left – Amrik Kamoh, President IAHS, Murthy Kalkura President IAWW, Priyanka Joshi CEO of Monsoon Masala, Habib M Habib, Treasurer -WA State Democratic Committee, Sunil Sharma
V-President IAHS, Debudutta Dash Co-Chair - Wash ST & India Trade Relations. Dec 6, 2008