The Willis Tower, Daily Show, and Edible Arrangements



National Asian-Pacific
Islander Heritage Month


May is Asian-Pacific-Islander Heritage Month, which celebrates both Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The 1965 change in immigration laws eliminated quotas on Asian immigrants, resulting in an influx of large numbers of South Asians in diverse and highly skilled professions such as medicine, engineering, and the sciences. We will highlight a few notable South Asian American Muslims in various fields.
south asian

(Identified below from left to right)

Bangladeshi-American Muslims: Considered the “father of tubular designs for high-rises,” Fazlur Rahman Khan is the designer of the Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower and tallest building in the world, as well as the 100-story John Hancock building, both in Chicago. He was also a pioneer in computer-aided design (CAD). Abdus Suttar Khan was a leading chemist and jet fuels inventor. The son of two South Asian immigrants, Salman Khan is the founder of the famed Khan Academy, a non-profit education organization which Bill Gates says he uses to teach his own children. Khan was named to Time magazine’s 2012 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. As of April 2014, his Khan Academy videos had been viewed over 416 million times. 

Indian-American Muslims: Fareed Zakaria is the Editor of Time magazine and host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS. Aasif Mandavi is an actor and comedian featured on The Daily Show. Farah Pandith, until recently, served as Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the U.S. Department of State.

pakistani american heritage

(Identified below from left to right)

Pakistani-American Muslims: Over 15,000 doctors of Pakistani background practice medicine in the U.S., making Pakistan the fourth highest source of foreign-born physicians. Pakistan is also the fourth highest source of foreign-born dentists licensed in the U.S. Pakistani-Americans are also businesspeople, lawyers, politicians, and in countless other fields. A graduate of both Harvard and Yale, Rashad Hussain is an American-born attorney appointed by President Obama as U.S. Special Envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Tariq Farid is the owner and CEO of Edible Arrangements. Shahid “Shad” Khan is a billionaire businessman and owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Gibran Latif Hamdan is the first person of Pakistani descent to play in the NFL. Faran Tahir is an actor who has appeared in television shows such as 24, Monk, and Justice, and in the 2009 movie Star Trek. Kamran Pasha is a screenwriter, director, and novelist and writer and producer for the NBC series Kings and Bionic Woman. Shakila Ahmed, the first woman elected president of the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, the largest mosque in Ohio. Sana Amanat is editor for Marvel Comics, which for the first time will feature a Muslim teen superhero, Kamala Khan. These and thousands of other South Asian Americans continue to enrich and contribute to our country and our world.