Society diversity

Asian American Trips to Houston: Dr. Khawaja Azimuddin

Produced in partnership with MAX Studios at the University of St. Thomas and Yetter Coleman LLP

Dr. Khawaja Azimuddin came to the United States as a refugee boy from Pakistan. Driven by his values ​​of hard work, faith and family, he became a successful surgeon and a leader in the Houston community. Bringing Houstonians together through art and dialogue, Dr. Azimuddin is known and loved for building bridges across the city.

Watch his interviews to learn more about his experience in refugee camps, the importance of education, and his work as the founder of the Society for Islamic Arts.

On refugee journeys:

On the importance of education:

On the power of art to bring people together;


About Dr Khawaja Azimuddin

Dr. Khawaja Azimuddin is a gastrointestinal surgeon in Houston, Texas. He specializes in minimally invasive and robotic colon cancer surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons of England and Edinburgh. As a child, he spent two years in a civilian refugee/POW camp. After nearly fifty years, he tells his story and hopes to draw attention to the current refugee crisis.

He is an active member of the community and is involved with various non-profit organizations. Dr. Azimuddin believes in service above self and has received the Paul Harris Fellow as well as the Distinguished Service Award, Rotary International’s two highest honors.

In his spare time, Dr. Azimuddin is an avid ceramic tile artist and his work has been exhibited in numerous libraries, art exhibitions and festivals. Several of his large-scale murals are installed in public places. He is the founding president of the Islamic Arts Society, an organization dedicated to promoting Islamic arts. He uses his passion for the arts to help build bridges between communities of faith. The Islamic Arts Festival he launched in 2014 is now the largest and longest running festival of its kind in America and attracts more than 5,000 visitors each year.


About Asian American Trips to Houston

In partnership with MAX Studios at the University of St. Thomas, Asia Society Texas presents a new video series, Asian American Trips to Houston. Through short video interviews with local Asian Americans, the series illuminates the voices that make up a vital part of America’s most diverse city.

Featuring Houstonians who reflect the richness and diversity of local Asian American communities, the series highlights a variety of experiences, cultures, religions and ethnicities and explores themes of identity, memory and shared humanity. By sharing these personal journeys, Asia Society Texas and the University of St. Thomas seek to build empathy and connectedness between people, as well as deepen our collective understanding of Asian American experiences in Houston.