Road named after Allama Iqbal in New York’s Queens borough

Ambassador Masood Khan congratulates APAG abd its chief for role in getting a road renamed as Allama Iqbal Avenue.

NEW YORK: With Pakistan’s Independence Day around the corner, a road in New York City’s Queens borough was named after Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the country’s national poet who visualized and then worked for a separate homeland for Muslims of the sub-continent.

“Allama Iqbal Avenue” was inaugurated at a well-attend ceremony in Richmond Hill section of Queens, amid loud slogans of “Pakistan Zindabad” by people waving the national flag. 

The event marked the culmination of intensive lobbying efforts over a long period by the Pakistani-American community members, with the leading role played by the American-Pakistani Advocacy Group (APAG), a not-for-profit organization.

“It is a proud moment for all of us,” Ali Rashid, who heads the APAG, told cheering Pakistani-Americans, most of whom attended the ceremony in traditional dresses.

“It is an Independence Day gift to the Pakistani-American community here as well as to the people of Pakistan,” Rashid, who spearheaded the campaign for honouring Allama Iqbal, added.

Among those who attended the ceremony included New York City government official and Assembly council members — Ms. Jenifer Rajkumar and David Weprin — who called Allama Iqbal a great thinker and paid tributes to his life and mission.

In 2019, a section of a busy avenue in Brooklyn — also a borough of New York City — was named after Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in a sign of activism by the Pakistani community. A sign board, bearing the inscription “Mohammad Ali Jinnah Way” was unveiled on the Coney Island Avenue, where the Pakistani community is concentrated.

Ambassador congratulates APAG

Ambassador Masood Khan has congratulated President American Pakistani Advocacy Group Ali Rashid for his leadership in having one of the avenues co-named as ‘Allama Iqbal Avenue’ in New York.

He also paid tribute to Ali Rashid for his resolute efforts to build better relations between Pakistan and the United States and creating greater awareness about the history and culture of Pakistan in the United States. 

It may be recalled that Ali Rashid and APAG were instrumental in introducing a resolution in the US House of Representatives to designate March 23, 2023, as “Pakistan Day.” 

Co-naming 109 Street and 101 Avenue in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, recognizes Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage whilst allowing Pakistani American to honor one of the most significant leaders of their country.

Speaking on the occasion, Adrienne Adams, Speaker of the New York City Council said, “As we approach Pakistan Independence Day, I am honored to celebrate the co-naming of 109th Street and 101st Avenue as Allama Iqbal Avenue.”

“Hailed as one of the defining poets, scholars, and leaders of his time, Allama Iqbal’s work and vision led to the creation of Pakistan as an independent country.”

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