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Honoring The Life Achievements Of Mr. Ray Mahmood On His 60Th Birthday

Rep. Shelley Berkley

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Mr. Speaker, today I join with my distinguished colleagues, Congressman Howard Berman of California and Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia, to honor the outstanding life achievements of Mr. Ray Mahmood, as he celebrates his 60th birthday on March 23, 2012.

Ray began his ``American Dream'' story when he moved from Pakistan to Alexandria, Virginia in the early 1970s, bringing with him a belief that anything is possible in America. Starting out with nothing, Ray saved $5,000 to invest in a gas station in Alexandria. His hard work turned the business venture into a success, and he seized the opportunity to earn his real estate license and establish Mahmood Investment Corporation. Ray proved to have the genius and creativity to rapidly expand his enterprises into a broad array of developments. His projects have revitalized numerous locations, creating economic activity and employment through his developments in the residential, hotel, and commercial sectors of the real estate industry.

We congratulate Ray on his remarkable success in business, but we believe his greatest achievements are found in his tireless dedication to civic, political, and diplomatic work. Ray and his wife, Shaista, have made it their mission to bring people together to meet the challenges of United States-Pakistan relations. Ray's passion for this important diplomatic work and his ability to unite people of many backgrounds, have made him an indispensable factor in efforts to strengthen ties between America and south Asia. His unique talent to work with community leaders, and with all levels of government make him a legend as a problem-solver and as a citizen-statesman. As Ambassador-at-Large for Pakistan to the United States, Ray is an integral part of crafting effective foreign policy, and building person-to-person relationships between the two countries.

Ray and Shaista have turned their home into a hub of political discussion, hospitality, and a place where countless friendships are made. We are proud to be among the many, many friends of Ray Mahmood. On the occasion of his birthday celebration, Congressman Berman, Congressman Moran and I honor Ray's innumerable achievements in business and political life, and wish Ray and Shaista all the best in the coming years.