Peace Picnic in Fremont Brings Communities together
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

 

Pictures above: Members of various ethnic groups and faiths cement closer bonds and understanding at the picnic

To promote peace and harmony, Global Peace Partners and American Muslim Voice sponsored a ‘peace picnic’ on July 21 at the Elizabeth Lake in Fremont, CA.
The picnic, which GPP and AMV hope to make an annual feature, attracted about 200 activists from various faiths, ethnic and civil rights groups. About two dozen groups and organizations co-sponsored the event.
Peace enthusiasts came from near and far including: Fremont, Newark, Union City, Hayward, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Milpitas, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, Daily City, San Francisco, Emeriville, Oakland, Berkeley, Roseville and DC.
Craig, Azar Anwar, Omair and Kleem Khan were chefs for the day and helped in BBQ of spicy chicken and burgers. Firdos brought Pakistani mixed vegetables, Amber Khan chaana daal and Taj Noori rice.
The peace picnic, besides Pakistani food, had colorful program of music and story telling. There were games and puzzles for all ages. Children enjoyed special activities and face painting.
Eric Sabelman of Multifaith Voices For Peace and Justice (MVPJ) captivated the guests with his great storytelling style.
Willard from Department of Peace brought enough instruments to have a complete quire. Every one loved the activities.
The East Bay Campaign to Establish a US Department of Peace & Nonviolence, Enemy Alien Files Exhibit Consortium, Muslim American Project - Vote and Muslim Support Network had put up their stalls to acquaint the people about their mission.
Congressman Pete Stark joined the picnic with his family. Ahmed Kaleem Hashmi briefed Stark about Muslim American Project – Vote (MAP-Vote). Hashmi explained that the MAP-Vote is aimed at motivating and mobilizing the Muslim community. MAP-Vote plans to launch campaigns to educate the community members about the importance of their role in the local, state and federal elections.
The AMV Executive Director Samina Faheem Sundas thanked all those who came to the peace picnic and helped in making it a memorable event. Reflecting on the objective of the picnic, she asked the participants to imagine a culture of peace, acceptance, mutual respect and harmony in our world. “I can visualize it and it feels great but we cannot have peace without social justice or without getting to know each other”, she said. "We want to challenge people — what do you do to create that peace? Unless all of us get involved in that, peace won't happen."

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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