AGM Dinner 2014

Venue: The Oakwood Centre, Reading, RG5 4JZ

Date:  Sun 22nd June 2014 | 6:30pm


We showcased INSAAN’s activities of the last 12 months with your most kind support.

Please see notes for Disabled Purchasers. 

Scroll down to view the gallery highlights of the smash-hit night.

For more on our performing Artist:

Read his Bio on The Asian World Newspaper

Visit Ali Abbas’ Record Label Site

Visit Ali Abbas’ Twitter

Watch Ali Abbas’ rendition of “Nit Khair Manga”


Event Info

The INSAAN AGM Dinner function at the Oakwood Centre on Sunday 22nd June 2014 was attended by over 170 people. It was a great family atmosphere enjoyed by all present.

The evening opened with a delightful Quranic recitation by Naeem Choudhary, a very special young man who attends The Avenue Special Needs Academy. He was followed by Cllr Shahid Younis who shared with us his thoughts on the meaning of INSAAN from a philosophical, social and cultural perspective.

For the many Urdu/Hindi speaking guests in the audience, Shahida Kiani welcomed all in Urdu and introduced the subject of disability, outlining the aims and objectives of INSAAN.

This set the scene for INSAAN Co-chairperson Dr Asif Butt to give his review of the year gone by. He highlighted the many public meetings INSAAN has arranged as well as the online presence for raising awareness of disability and families facing disability. His presentation was filled with a photo diary of key events INSAAN delivered and he also paid tribute to all those who supported INSAAN over the year.

INSAAN Treasurer, Asaf Saleem, was next on the podium. Mr Saleem gave a thorough account of INSAAN funds collected thus far. He explained that the Charity’s account is audited every three months by independent persons. In addition, he invited members of the public to interrogate him and inspect the INSAAN books. Such transparency is rarely heard of these days!

INSAAN was privileged to have as one of the keynote speakers, Dame Sue Bourne, DME, who is headmistress of The Avenue School. Dame Sue has a wealth of experience in the disability sector and she was able to share some of her insights with us. Her take-home message was to promote diversity and equality for all. She also offered much praise to the work of INSAAN and expressed a wish to continue to collaborate with us going forward.

Our second keynote speaker was Dr Masih Kader, MD who travelled from the USA to be with us. His presentation emphasized the different nature of disability and the need for doctors to be more “hands-on” as he felt that many doctors are unaware of the nature and scale of the problems associated with disability.

Our third main speaker was Cllr Parry Batth, Deputy Mayor of Wokingham. He was so moved by the occasion and expressed his admiration for the INSAAN initiative by publicly offering his support as and when needed. Parry also acknowledged the great work that the Avenue School is doing for our Special Ones.

INSAAN Patron, Alok Sharma MP also echoed these sentiments. He further made it clear that INSAAN is unique to Reading and it is his goal to see the initiative spread nationwide. Alok will be helping to arrange a formal inauguration of the Charity at the Houses of Parliament in the near future.

The final speech was delivered by the Chairman of the INSAAN Trustees, Mr Raza Ahmed, who gave a vote of thanks to our guest speakers and concluded by asking all present to take a pro-active role in supporting all families facing disability.

After the formalities were over, the entertainment began with a raffle and many prizes were given away to the delight of young and older winners alike. A local sponsor also donated the “INSAAN Cake;” on auction, this fetched a whopping £400 from one generous soul.

The evening concluded with a musical performance by a 4-man band with lead singer Ali Abbas. His classic/contemporary mix was refreshing and mesmerizing. He also attracted a strong and very vocal new following!!

Finally, INSAAN would like to thank all those who supported the successful evening and as we grow from strength to strength, we look forward to seeing you again at many more future INSAAN events.

Ali Abbas

Ali Abbas, is a very talented new British Pakistani Sufi vocalist whose aim in music is to bring Sufi literature and music back with a contemporary twist, in which he is being successful. Ali Abbas is not only a singer but has a long list of talents; he is also a spoken word poet, a sincere songwriter, compelling composer and accomplished Acapella vocalist. Born in Pakistan, this young British Asian talent has had an unconventional start to his musical career. He studied an engineering degree at university, but confesses he was writing poetry and songs in his lectures rather than taking notes on engineering. Ali Abbas is fluent in several languages, being Punjabi, English and Urdu and wants his music to reach many people so is learning Pashto and Farsi. He launched himself as a singer on BritAsia Super Star and even though this had been the first time he had sang in public, he became a finalist on the talent show. Ali told Asian World “I am inspired by Ustad Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan sahab”.

“I was brought up by my aunty, and she loved to listen to music. This made me interested in and inspired by music from a very young age. Growing up in east London I was exposed to different genres of music, from grime to urban hip hop and garage.” Ali told Asian World his music ambition started at the tender age of 4 more or less, when he could tell he has immense passion for music and only music. Due to him not being the usual British Asian artist, his style and genre is so varied and different, that it is sure to catch attention for its originality and great sound. Young Ali mixes his Sufi/Qawali influenced voice with modern music, bringing two parts of himself together, one being Pakistani and the other, British. Asian World asked Ali Abbas what genre of music he specialises in, “I am completely genra-less, if you close yourself to one type of music you can’t open your music to other styles, so I leave it to listeners to categories my music”.

Ali has previously collaborated with MC Special after MC Special’s kind offer to work on his album, after being impressed by Ali Abbas on Brit Asia Super Star 2010. The song is called ‘Ranja Sade Vehdeh’, which has had a positive response from listener’s. He is appreciated a lot where ever he performs which includes venues such as Madame Tussauds (Brit Writers’ Awards), Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (Muslim Writers’ Awards), The Royal Concert Hall Glasgow (opening act at Atif Aslam’s concert), The Watford Palace Theatre (Mummy Ji Presents), music events, melas, festivals and others and has repeatedly been known to leave the audience mesmerised and with ‘goosebumps’ after hearing his amazing vocal talent.

Ali Abbas has had a great response to his singing career, but as with anything in life, the good always comes with some bad, Ali explains how he handles this, “negative comments don’t deflate me, they’re good as they keep me grounded. They help me to perform better and prove critics wrong”. He explained, “I would like to provide a platform to new artists and I want to do a lot of good with my music, as I believe it has power to transcend generations and also has the power to influence people. I plan to target the world when it comes to who I want my audience to be”. His latest release, Nit Khair Manga, a tribute to his inspiration, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sahab, has done incredibly well. It has been the highest selling Asian track on iTunes – World UK, for almost each day since its release and the song got to number 1 on the BBC Asian Network chart.

Article from the Asian World.

Event Disclaimer

By purchasing a ticket, you agree to the following terms and conditions:

1) Tickets cannot be replaced if it is lost, stolen or destroyed, and is valid only for the event (and seat) for which it is issued.
2) Tickets are not transferrable or redeemable for cash. Tickets can be emailed to the purchaser upon request.
3) Reproduction of tickets are not permitted.
4) Unless indicated otherwise, all prices set are inclusive of any applicable taxes but exclusive of any booking fee and collection or delivery fee for sales and/or cash discounts (if available).
5) Tickets are a revocable license and admission may be refused upon refunding the face amount of the ticket.
6) Unauthorized or unlawful resale or attempted resale is grounds for seizure and cancellation without compensation.
7) Management reserves the right, without the refund of any portion of the ticket purchase price, to refuse admission or to eject any person who fails to comply with the rules of the venue and applicable laws.
8) No refunds/exchange policy.
9) Ticket user assumes all risks of personal injury incidental to the event, whether occurring prior to, during, or subsequent to the event. Ticket purchaser bears all risks of inclement weather.
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  1. INSAAN is able to provide a Disability Discount code for disabled attendees.
  2. Complimentary Disability Discount codes are valid for discount on up to 2 TICKETS (one for the individual and one for 1 parent/carer). These will be checked upon entry.
  3. Please contact us via the button below to send an email to request a code.
  4. Codes will ONLY be provided upon proof of disability to our email. You may a scan an official document (Certificate of Entitlement etc.) and attach via the link below by email. All copies will be destroyed after the event.
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