2009 and Early 2010
Salaams to everyone,
As usual, the MWC has an active and busy month in the
past Ramadan (1430/2009), apart from prayer and worship. The MWC helped arrange an iftar event at Rutgers Preparatory School
in order to teach non-Muslims about some of the reasons for fasting and help them learn more about Islam. Part of the event
involved the MWC speaking to gathering, which included both students and teachers. In addition, the MWC participated in the
iftar dinner at the local Franklin High School, and made gift baskets for a local abused women's shelter.
As usual, the MWC participated in the Martin Luther
King breakfast organized by Franklin Township. We donated $100 to scholarships for Franklin Township students.
With the terrible news of the recent tragedy in Haiti,
the MWC sent money and medicine with Meriscar family who is travelling to there. We will be having ongoing medicine drives
in order to help those who lost so much because of the earthquake. Our prayers are with them as well.
Finally, please mark your calendars for an upcoming
event. On March 28, 2010 there will be an interfaith event at Douglas Student Center at Rutgers University
in collaboration with Message for Peace. Sheikh Hisham Kabbani is currently one of the planned guest speakers. There will
be about 500 people attending this event.
2007 and Early 2008
Salaams to all,
MWC has kept active in the year
of 2007, participating in a plethora of community projects in the area. Here is just a brief summary of the many activities
we have been involved with.
February/March 2007 – Interfaith
bridge building events at Quaker churches in Summit, NJ and New Brunswick, NJ.
April 2007 – Stamp Out Hate
project with AJC. Another event is coming up again April 2008.
August 2007 – Ramadan baskets
given to abused women’s shelter, from Muslim and non-Muslim organizations.
October 2007 – MWC assisted
in the Helping Hands for the Handicapped project. We helped Raise $10,000 for project to build two halls for project centers
on donated land in Mysore, India.
Fundraising in October 2007 to March 2008
October 2007 – Interfaith
Iftar projects at Franklin High School,
Rutgers Preparatory School,
and MWC headquarters to break fasts during Ramadan.
November 2007 – Interfaith
at New Brunswick synagogue (Face to Face, Faith to Faith).
Dialogue and critiquing a movie of young Israeli/Palestinian women
November 2007 – Mawlid event
arranged at Islamic Center of Old Bridge.
November 2007 – Food for
Journey project at Rutgers University with
multi-faith groups through Rutgers theological seminary. Meetings were held every 2 months
with different themes of discussions: hospitality, service to humanity, and prayers in different religions. The service to
humanity dialogue was held in Dr. Shamim’s home.
January 2008 – Leadership
trip to Jerusalem sponsored by President’s club. Dr.
Shamim was one of six Muslim leaders chosen to build bridges and understand the Middle East
situation first hand.
February 2008 – Lecture
on Mysticism in Islam at Steven’s Institute of Technology.
I hope you had a great summer, a pious Rajab and
peaceful Shabaan, and are gearing up for Ramadan, Inshallah.
I wanted to keep you informed about some of the
MWC activities in NJ during the summer. Susan Menkes, an art teacher, and Rabbi Brown of the Long Island Jewish Group
have initiated a Mural Art Project portraying an interfaith perspective of peace from children's point of view. Ruhi Shamim
has been involved in the organization of this project. Last August Ruhi, Raheel Siddiqui and Nuzhat Quereshy arranged for
Muslim children to paint their section of the mural. This project is due to be completed in the next 4 months, Inshallah.
It will also include panels painted by Catholic, Baptist, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist and Native American children from
across the country. Also over the summer, Razia, Jenna, and Tasneem attended a seminar on how to properly conduct grant writing.
In September, the American Jewish Committee hosted
a dinner to honor Governor Corzine at the Liberty Restaurant in Jersey City, NJ. The MWC was also honored during the
dinner for their participation in the planning of the Stamp Out Hate Coalition Teen Conference that took place in April 2006.
The MWC was also recognized for their involvement in interfaith activities with the Interweave Group of Summit, and for the
international service for Pakistan's Earthquake relief, Indonesia's Tsunami relief and Mindanao Project in the Philippines
through the Asia-America Initiative. The AJC has generously contributed for these international projects.
Upcoming projects include an interfaith event at
Rutgers University. Tasneem Shamim is scheduled to participate in an event at the Rutgers Student Center on College
Ave on October 10, and at the Quaker Church near Douglas Campus in November. "Project Tolerance," a student run reconciliation
group at Columbia University, has also requested the MWC to schedule a date for a speech on interfaith issues. Also,
the MWC has been invited to attend the International Diversity Dialogue workshop in Netherlands on November 1 and 2, 2006.
Please let us know if you are interested
in getting involved with this year's "Stamp Out Hate Coalition" meetings or if you would like to attend any of the workshops
organized by the "Interweave Group" of Summit. Please visit their website for more information on future events. www.interweave.org
Also, please let us know if you are interested
in attending the fund raising event for the ”Women’s Shelter" in Newark organized by Karima.
Thanks for all your help, support and involvement.
The MWC is accepting check donations for the Pakistan Earthquake Relief Fund. For more information, please see the link listed under NEW FEATURES.
The MWC received $7,385 from the Union County Tsunami Relief Fund. The donation will go toward the Caravan of Hope, Indonesian Orphan Aid project. Meher Rafiq, Tasneem Shamim and Razia Sheikh accepted the donation in October on behalf of the MWC. The MWC has collected a total of $25,000 so far for this cause. For more information on this project, please visit the Caravan of Hope—Tsunami Orphan Relief website
at http://www.caravanofhope.org/. Karima Kylberg, the Regional Director of MWC-California will be accepting ongoing
In September of 2005, in response to the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, the
MWC collected over 3,000 bottles of water to send to the victims in Louisiana. Donations, which came from North Jersey, Central
Jersey and South Jersey, were shipped by the New Jersey National Guard.
In February 2005, MWC worked in conjunction
with the American Red Crescent and Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla to collect supplies for the Banda Aceh tsunami victims.
The unique project united members of the community from all over New
Jersey: Marlboro, Princeton, Short Hills, Edison, Piscataway, Somerset, Basking Ridge, East Brunswick, Secaucus, Highland Park, Upper Saddle River, as well the Washington D.C. area. People donated medical supplies, clothing, and school supplies. Organizations such as the Association
of Women Physicians, the American Jewish Committee, and the Organization of Chinese Americans made significant monetary contributions.
Wood Johnson University Hospital donated patient beds, respirators, monitors
and other medical equipment. The Somerset Eye Institute also donated a vitrectomy machine, a defibrillator, and suture material.
Mr.Doshi of New Brunswick generously donated an X-ray machine, X-ray films, and a mammogram unit. The total collection
was 500 boxes of supplies and instruments with a fair market value of $100, 000, and an actual value of $300,000. With community
spirit and God’s blessing the project achieved success.
This month has been very special for MWC. We have been able to deliver the Ramadan Platters to the abused women from
Manavi. We were able to continue with the Interfaith classes with Interweave. Meher and Tasneem attended the Pre-Thanksgiving
dinner with the members of the Stamp-Out-Hate-Coalition on November 16th.
The Phillipino project was given a lot of publicity because of being chosen as a worthwhile project by Seventeen magazine.
We have gotten a lot of interest from teens all over USA.
Inshallah the toy drive will be in December at the Carribean Palace. The lecture at Stevens Institute is scheduled on
December 1st on the "Islamic concept of the chosen people". There was an invitation sent to Tasneem to attend the
White House for Iftar dinner on November 10th, but because of being out of the country, the invitation had to be passed. Inshallah,
we will be on their list for the next year.
Allahamdullilah we met after a fulfilling summer of accomplishments, from getting
our website updated, to getting new contacts from the Marlboro area's mother daughter club, to getting into the news media
with Homenews, Courier News, Gannet and the magazine "Seventeen" giving us free publicity, Allahamdullilah.
We are still carrying on the soup kitchen volunteering, as well as the meetings with the "Stamp Out Hate Coalition",
and are doing the "Adopt a Grandparent" matching. The important new current project has been the "Prophets Classes" at Christ
Church conducted by Mr. Rober Morris and Dr. Tasneem Shamim to educate the christian and jews about Islam, and the Prophets
from an Islamic perspective. This is the first time in the "Interweave" group's 25 years of existence that a Muslim group
was invited to participate in, Allahamdullah.
On the international front, we did recieve a "thankyou" letter from Dr. Farah Tan Omar, for helping send the XRay
machines, Mammogram unit, books, computers and toys. Inshallah, with the money we raised with the "Crescent Club" from Franklin
High School, with the help of Shazia Mehmood, the American Foreign Policy Council's President, Mr. Al Santoli, bought desks
for an elementay school in Mindenao islands of Phillipines. We are going to work towards getting volunteers to "Adopt a classroom
or a school" there, by networking networking the serious volunteers, with the principals there via Email, inshallah.
Today's meeting was attended by Noorie Nisar, Nighath Rizwi, Anthea Dasti, Mehr Rafiq, Razia Sheikh, Zenia Rehman, Mohsina
Latif, Tasneem Shamim and our new honored member Razia Mir, who works with "Manawi" a center to help South Asian abused and
displaced women. Razia Mir was kind enough to give an outline of Manawi's activities, and brought to awareness, the sadness
and humiliation and abuse faced by countless women in NJ. We decided to make these women and children feel cared for and loved,
by giving them "Ramadaan Platters" with gifts of slippers, scarves, gloves caps, handlotion, desserts and dates in each of
them. In addition, to these 10 of the platters meant for the muslims in that group will carry a prayer mat and a tasbeeh.
Allahamdullah, the response was so blessed that all the 16 needy people were matched and the gifts will be delivered by October
29th! There are more members who have expressed deep interest in this project, and we are waiting to hear from Dr. Tahera
regarding the women in other shelters.
We also planned more on the toy donation day of December 5th, 04 from 10 to 12 Noon. Many of the members present and
absent, in today's meeting will collect used toys in excellent condition, and will personally donate them to the poor
children in the community. Razia Sheikh has offered to explore the possibility of holding this event in the Franklin Fire
House or the Communtiy Center in the next few days. As soon as we get our location, confirmed flyers will be made, and distributed
to the poor children through the soup kitchen, the low income housing areas and may be through the schools.
Thanks to all the members for their continued enthusiasm and involvement in keeping up with the good works to make this
world a better place to live, inspite of the daily commitments and pressures of life. Inshallah, we are trying to accomplish
good works for the sake of Allah, enjoining others to do so, with truth and perseverance as per our mission statement of Surah
Allahamdullilah, we have all been busy with so many differenct activities, that I thought I would write a general letter
to keep us connected.
The Phillipino project of sending the XRay machines and the boxes to the Muslims of Mindenova Island was a success. Our
contact, Mr. Doshi donated a mammogram, 2 XRay machines, few tables and some parts. Allahamdullilah, with all your help, we
collected 57 boxes of medicines, old computer, university and school books, and a few toys and clothes. These boxes helped
hold the bulky XRay machines in place, in the shipping container. A great big thanks to all the strong teens, Nighat, Firdaus,
Razia, Noorie, Dr. Udeshi, and all the others that helped pack and carry the boxes to the van and the warehouse.
Inshallah, will let you know of the next shipment ahead of time. Shazia Mehmood is arranging a fund raiser event for
this project as part of her High School Crescent Club (Franklin High School) activity on June 11.
The soup kitchen activity has been going on persistently on the 2nd wednesday afternoon of every month at the Elijah's
The Stamp out Hate meeting with the American Jewish Congress was again a very interesting experience, with atleast 12
Muslim participants. Razia Sheikh says, that inshallah, for the next year's meeting, we will prepare a lot more Muslim teens
to attend, and share their experiences with the non Muslims.
I was asked to be one of the four judges for the essay writing competion by the American Jewish Congress, regarding the
topic "A person or a group of people making the most difference in the world and the community:. The contestants were high
school students of northern NJ, and they wrote very inspiring essays. I will share those with whoever may be interested, in
our next meeting.
Firdaus Farooqui has been very busy with arranging the Mawlid event on April 30th at Shahnawaz Palace at 9-30 PM. All
the community members are invited to attend this blessed and special event. I have forwarded the flyer to you already.
We have been busy with the interfaith activites as well. Ruhi Shamim gave a presentation at the Raritan Valley College
on "Women's rights in Islam" to high school and middle school students as part of the human rights conference on March 29th.
Anthia Dasti, with a group of 4 women, participated in the Boundbrook Church, to talk about the 5 pillars of Islam, and to
answer their general questions. There is a conference for the University students and Professors scheduled at Stevens
institute on Monday the 19th of April, where I am invited to talk on the "Role of the Muslim Women".
We are also invited to address the Marlboro area teen girls and their mothers, about our activity and inshallah, we will
get that group involved with our future activities.