KOA runs a number of programs whose purpose is to protect, preserve, and promote Kashmiri ethnic and socio-cultural heritage, to promote and celebrate festivals, and to provide financial assistance to the needy and deserving. Your contribution in US dollars is tax-deductible.
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Kashmiri Overseas Association, Inc. (KOA) is a non-profit, tax-exempt socio-cultural organization registered in Maryland, USA. Its purpose is to protect, preserve, and promote Kashmiri ethnic and socio-cultural heritage, to promote and celebrate festivals, and to provide financial assistance to the needy and deserving
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Re: KOA Symposium – Kashmir: The View From Our Eyes Oct 19th, 2019 On October 19th, 2019 Kashmiri Overseas Association (KOA) held an all-day symposium at the Marriott Convention Center in Bethesda, MD. Actions taken by the Indian government after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A directly impacts our existence. A new light of hope has energized our community for the first time after our forced exodus three decades ago. This has also brought out many pent up memories of loss and pain. Each of us has our own stories of our lost childhood, lost homes mixed with feelings of lost friendships, betrayal and a feeling of being disowned, dispossessed and uprooted.
The denial, misinformation, and silence of the forced exodus of the Kashmiri Hindu community has been rampant in narratives by the press and in discussions and debates all across the US. It was thus imperative on Kashmiri Overseas Association (KOA) to educate our fellow citizens and to make all efforts to get our voices heard. Our congressional briefing on October 16th, 2019 in collaboration with Indo-American Community Federation (IACF) and USINPAC was one such effort.
The all-day symposium focused on raising awareness of the history of the indigenous Kashmiris whose culture is at the brink of extinction. A welcome address by the KOA President, Dr. Shakun Malik, followed by the Indian and American national anthems began the program. The first session focused on the impact of the revocation of Articles 35A & 370 and the restructuring of J & K State. Shri Sanjay Kaul moderated this session with renowned speakers: Shri Sushil Pandit, Dr. Suresh Jain, Dr. Subhash Kak and Shri Tariq Fatah who each provided context to the current affairs of the valley.
Dear Honorable Brad Sherman,
On behalf of the Kashmiri Overseas Association (KOA) executive committee, the KOA Board and the majority of the Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus) who are members of KOA, I humbly request that you note our story that got lost when you focused on the Kashmir issue in the congressional hearing on October 22 nd 2019.
At this historical moment, it was a major victory for the Kashmiri Pandits to be on Prime Minister’s meeting list. The delegation consisted of 17 members, 8 women and 9 men from different organizations who are working together for the same cause. KOA was represented by 4 members (all women) that included the KOA President Shakun Malik, Zonal director Anita Kaul, KOA Secretary Amrita Kar and Youth Director Nisha Quasba. Meeting Modi ji was exciting, somber and emotional. The PM’s acknowledgement that “you have suffered a lot” felt cathartic.
There has been a tremendous amount of confusion, misinformation, and fear being disseminated by propaganda mongers and the ill-informed press about the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A by the government of India. While it is human nature to condemn any injustice, like loss of internet and phone lines to the people living in Kashmir valley, it is also prudent to understand the implication of these articles that shaped the destiny of us minorities of the region over the last 70 years.
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