Students from Bayyinah Donate Their Furniture to Afghan Refugees in Texas
By Br. Zahid Hussain
A team of blessed Bayyinah students contributed to Afghan refugees by donating their furniture through ICNA Relief Dallas.Their contributions were delivered to the three needy families.
The ICNA Relief Dallas team recently spent a whole day in the Fort Worth area visiting the Afghan refugee families in different apartment complexes. We documented through the intake process their entire needs, which range from furniture, kitchen items, other household items to copies of the Qur’an and prayer rugs.
ICNA Relief Dallas invited these families to our Food Pantry, most of whom visited and received considerable amount of food based on their family strength.
In addition, ICNA Relief Dallas has started propagating their needs and have already started working on fulfilling them.
We all must understand the fact that these people are refugees brought into Fort Worth, TX through a resettlement agency (Catholic Charities, RST or World Relief) which also plays a part in meeting their basic needs. It takes time for a refugee family to settle down and their needs to be fulfilled. We, at ICNA Relief Dallas, understand this process very well and we act accordingly.
When a similar batch of refugees from Afghanistan started settling down in the Dallas area two years back, we helped settled them down comfortably. We provided them with all of their basic necessities. Approximately 105 Afghan families benefited through this in-kind donation help.
How can a group of good samaritans visit these refugee families in order to support them?
First of all, we must respect their privacy and not invade it. Remember we are dealing with families and do not want to embarrass them. Having documented their needs, we know what a specific family requires. Alhumdulillah, there is a way to do this, which ICNA Relief Dallas knows pretty well. As we did in Dallas, we will surely help these family in Fort Worth too.
Now, how can our community help under this circumstances?
ICNA Relief Dallas will communicate these refugees' current needs and will seek help from the community. Please be on the look out for an annoucement soon.
What else is needed seeking community support?
Ninety percent of families we visited needs cars. As we all know, without a car a family is immobile in many parts of the U.S. ICNA Relief Dallas has been facilitating car donations for the past three years. Alhamdulillah, we have facilitated more than 25 cars so far to the needy, refugee families and single mothers. If you can find us a car donor, ICNA Relief Dallas will facilitate the car donation to these refugees. The donor will receive not only get a tax deduction but innumerable HASANATH for every RPM, the car rolls on.
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Working With Harbor House to Raise Domestic Abuse Awareness in Central Florida
On the weekend of April 24th, ICNA Relief alongside Harbor House visited three different mosques across Central Florida to educate the muslim community on domestic abuse. Members of the community were able to get much needed information on how to identify, react, and refer survivors of domestic abuse. With over 1.3 million cases for women in the state of Florida and 1 in 5 men, domestic abuse has become a rampant epidemic. With the core tenets of Islam that speak against harming others and giving both men and women rights in relationships, this workshop served as a reminder and a way for the community to join the greater American community as we all others to take a stand against abuse.
ICNA Relief staff along with Harbor House as well as imams across Central Florida will be working to create curriculum to educate Muslims across the state of Florida and nationwide. We ask God to bless them in this effort. If you are interested in more information on Harbor House, visit their website at www.harborhousefl.com.
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ICNA Relief Massachusetts and BU Dental Students Reunite For Second Week To Distribute Dental Kits in Honor of Deah, Yusor and Razan
ICNA Relief MA in collaboration with students from Boston University (BU) School of Dentistry conducted a Dental Kit Distribution in memory of Deah Barakat for a second week in a row. Over 300 Dental Kits were distributed at Masjid Alhumdilillah during their monthly food distribution serving roughly 250 families each month. Masjid Alhumdilillah is one of the oldest Islamic Centers in the Boston area and is situated in an impoverished community. The Dental Kits were a welcomed, unexpected addition to food packages recipients received.
One local area resident, an older Latino woman asked about free dental care which the students from BU were able to refer her too. She stated she was truly blessed this day, explaining she had broken her dentures but could not afford a new pair.
ICNA Relief MA along with BU, Mercy to Mankind and the Islamic Society of Boston collected 2809 Dental Kits which have been distributed among the most needy in our communities. Amr Aly said “As a Dental Student I was truly devastated by the Chapel Hill murders and felt so fortunate to live out Deah Barakat’s legacy by serving those in need and what better way than by distributing Dental Kits.”
ICNA Relief Massachusetts Distributes Dental Kits At Soup Kitchen with Help from Boston University Dental Students
On April 5th, ICNA Relief Boston partnered with BU Dental School MSA volunteers to distribute dental kits at the Haley House located on Dartmouth Street in Boston. Haley House is a soup kitchen that serves the homeless population in the Boston area. We partnered with the Dental School MSA to extend the mercy and intention of Deah Barakat who spent his final days serving the community. As a tribute to his memory as well as his beloved wife, Yusor, and her sister Razan, we spent our morning in service of the displaced.
The atmosphere of Haley House is one of humility. The clients and staff stand on equal footing when they are in this space. The lines between class and economic privilege blur here as both groups interact and begin to know one another. While in conversation with one of the clients, Ariz Saleem, community organizer for ICNA Relief in Boston, recalled some inspirational words. “When you beg, you make angels out of people. It's better to beg than steal. It's better to work than beg.” Ariz shared his takeaway from these words. “The beauty of what my brother stated lies in the personal meaning he was able to forge from the difficult moments of his life.” This is the kind of mutual love and understanding that permeates the atmosphere of the haley house.
This principle of humility is well practiced and lived out by this wonderful organization. ICNA Relief was proud to be a partner. The BU Dental School also enjoyed the experience as well as the chance to give back. Amr Aly shared his feelings. “Lending a helping hand to the community, and to those in need, is an integral part of our mission within the Muslim Student Association at the Boston University School of Dental Medicine. Having the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give back to the community is a gift within itself, bringing about a sense of unity between Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”
Good Food, Dental Kits, and Mutual Respect were the gifts the mercy and memory of Deah and his Beloved ones brought to our staff and supporters. A Special thank you to Haley House and Boston University Dental School!
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One-on-one with ICNA Relief Chicago and Aliyah Banister, Dept. Head Muslim Family Services
Aliyah Banister is a licensed therapist specializing in the Muslim American population. She currently works as the social-emotional counselor for Islamic Foundation School in Villa Park, IL and is the head of the counseling department at ICNA Muslim Family Services in Glendale Heights, IL. Her Master’s degree, from University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, focuses on clinical social work with an emphasis on marriage, family, and children. Ms. Banister takes a faith-based approach to mental health, citing that many answers to our daily concerns can be found in the Quran and Sunnah.
“Life changes can sock us in the stomach. In my experience, a person can be doing all the right things, come from an affluent family, be well educated, have good tarbiyah at home, basically be set up for success, but may still have serious concerns they need help with. When you ask for help, and make moves to better your life, that actually is to be applauded and admired, rather than stigmatized. At least you know when you are in a rut and have the courage to ask for help to get out of it. One of our weaknesses, as a community, is our tendency to judge others, and ourselves, by our mistakes or behavior.
Whether it’s relationship issues, cultural concerns, identity issues, premarital counseling or creating programming for community members, every interaction with the community, especially the youth, is a blessing. This job has taught me one thing. That Allah (swt) doesn’t discriminate in the trials he gives. Bad things can happen to anyone. We try our best, but the results are up to Allah (swt).
Making a positive difference by helping others is a Sadaqa Jariyah. Helping His ummah is a form of dawah. I love ICNA Relief because besides counseling, there is also the social work aspect. Not only can we help clients with social-emotional-spiritual concerns, we can also help them with emergency assistance, food, shelter, clothing and more. People, in dire straits, need help on so many levels and its amazing to be able to offer that.”
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