AMV’s Eid Picnic in Milpitas Attracts Large Multi-faith Crowd
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
Pictures above: Glimpses of the picnic organized by the American Muslim Voice Foundation
American Muslim Voice Foundation’s first Annual Eid Picnic was held on October 18th, 2008 at the Cardoza Park in Milpitas, California. The picnic attracted a large crowd of over 250 people from all walks of life. The secret of the successful picnic was team work, great food and fun filled activities for the whole family. It also reflected the personal efforts of AMV’s Northern CA president Syed Zafar Mohsin and Mrs Zia Mohsin’s grass-roots work in the community.
The picnic was held to spread the miracle movement of friendship. AMV’s approach to community-building is a simple one. The organization has been hosting annual open houses, peace picnics and peace conventions to unite neighbors and strangers alike with the promise of food and social engagement. Successful events like these separate the AMV from scores of organizations that do not take the extra step beyond interfaith dialogue.
Welcoming the old and new friends Samina Faheem Sundas, Founding Executive Director of The AMV Foundation, explained why social events like the picnic are crucial for the future of our nation. AMV Foundation is striving to create a culture of peace, acceptance, mutual respect and harmony by fostering friendships among all Americans. The safety, security and happiness of our future generations depends on that. We must dedicate ourselves to build an inclusive and harmonious global village, where all of us could raise our children together. We can help build a world where all of us feel safe and at home.
It was a beautiful October afternoon, the sun was shining and blessing us with its warm rays. There were lots of engaging conversations and most notably the children’s laughter was infectious. The scent of the spicy ethnic snacks and halal burgers with all their condiments were appealing. The application of henna painting, kids’ face painting, and colorful balloons added to the gaiety of Eid. Everyone had a great time and it was a sight to be seen.
Pete McHugh, Supervisor SCC Dist 3, appreciated the AMV Foundation’s efforts of building bridges. He said that the AMV Foundation is distinguishable among all groups because of its peaceful community-building efforts. McHugh particularly applauded Samina Faheem Sundas for her dedicated hard work.
Pete McHugh presented a proclamation to AMV for holding Eid picnic and bringing fellow Americans to a common platform. “On behalf of the residents of Santa Clara County, I am honored to recognize the AMV for promoting non-violence, inclusiveness, and civil, immigrant and human rights with the goal of creating a culture of peace, acceptance, mutual respect and harmony,” said the proclamation.
Jose Esteves, the Mayor of Milpitas hailed the multi-cultural and multi-faith event. “This is a great picnic, I see people from all faiths. Milpitas has a diverse community and it is important to work together,” he said, adding, “I support the AMV effort in this regard.”
Dave Cortese, Vice Mayor of San Jose, believed that events such as the Eid picnic are needed for community interaction. He said, “I have learned a lot from events like these.”
Bob Livengood, Vice Mayor Milpitas, said he was very impressed by the gathering. He was glad to see the large turnout. “Keep up the good work,” he remarked.
A number of local officials graced the event. Among the local dignitaries were Jose Esteves (Mayor Milpitas), Bob Livengood (Vice Mayor Milpitas), Dave Cortese (Vice Mayor San Jose), Pete McHugh (Supervisor SCC Dist 3), Ms. Debbie Giordano (Milpitas Council Member), Carmen Montano (Milpitas School Board Member) and City Commissioners.
Zafar Mohsin, the AMV Foundation President for Northern California, explained the significance of Eid which is celebrated at the end of Ramadan. He thanked everyone for attending the picnic. He especially thanked the public officials. “We are encouraged by the supportive comments from our guests.” He also thanked the Board Members, Abdus Sattar Ghazali, Firdous Kamran, Keith Evans, Asiya Iqbal, Zeya Mohsin and volunteers for working hard to make the picnic a great success.
About American Muslim Voice Foundation: AMV was established in July 2003 by American Muslims to work with, and for, all Americans. We are a grassroots, nonviolent, inclusive, civil, immigrant and human rights organization which strives to protect and preserve civil liberties and constitutional rights for all. We build alliances and genuine partnerships with like-minded groups and individuals. Our goal is to bridge the gap between all communities and unite us all under the umbrella of our common humanity. We celebrate diversity and value all human beings regardless of race, religion or creed.